On A Scale of Snork To Hiccup

Randy and I were just talking about our sense of humor. While we do differ a little, our sense of humors are nearly the same. He finds farts way more funny than I do and he loves The Three Stooges. 

We mostly find the same things funny and the same things not funny. We have friends who have similar humor to ours even though they think Dewey Cox: Walk Hard is funny and that Romy And Michelle’s High School Reunion is not, we do all agree that Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Napoleon Dynamite are awesome.

We were flipping through Netflix, as we do, trying to find something funny to watch. There are so many wildly popular comedy movies that neither of us find amusing. Hangovers for instance. The only thing funny about a hangover is seeing a coworker you don’t like struggle through work with one.

For the record, the tiger in the bathroom scene did make me laugh out loud. 

Anyway, we were coming up dry on the comedy front.

Me: Maybe, we just don’t have a sense of humor, you know?

Randy: Yes we do.

Me: I don’t know. I don’t laugh very easy. You don’t laugh very easy. Maybe, we’re just dour people.

Randy: We have a sophisticated sense of humor.


Randy and I are a whole bunch of things, but sophisticated, in any sense of the word, isn’t one of them. animal-insect-smoking-funny

Randy: We’re funny. You know we are.

Me: Well, I guess.

Me: I’m funnier than you, though.

Randy: You wish camel dish.

Me: I mean, you’re funny, but you are more of a snork on the humor scale and I’m a hiccup.

Randy: You make up a lot of scales.

Me: You shouldn’t feel bad about snork. Snork level is pretty high on the scale.

If you are not aware of the humor scale that I just made up, let me explain it to you:

  1. Eye Roll – A person who has an “eye roll” level sense of humor really wants to be funny, but just isn’t. They hear “I’m laughing on the inside” more than your average person.
  2. Polite Laughter – This level shows a sense of humor that is developed enough to elicit an insincere laugh that is given to show the effort is appreciated. Unless the polite laughter is coming from the person working the check out at the grocery story. Then the polite laughter is only happening because they’re at work and their boss expects them to be friendly. I’ve been trying to explain this to Randy for years.
  3. Chuckle – This level is where most people sit. Most people are able to come up with response that is unexpected or absurd at least some of the time.
  4. Laugh – If you find someone who has “laugh” level on the humor scale, then stick with them. If someone makes you laugh often, it’s almost like getting free drugs. Not that I’m advocating drug use. I’m just saying, if someone makes you laugh, then it’s like getting a free, giddy little high. Unless you are at a comedy club. Then you paid for it. Unless you got free tickets or something.
  5. Laughter with tears/until your sides hurt – This is the same as number 4, but with more kick. This is where you expect to find people comedians on the humor scale. Except Dane Cook. He’s like a .5 on the humor scale.
  6. Snort – We’ve all been there. Someone says something unexpectedly funny and you just can’t get your laugh out fast enough and it ends up coming out your nose and you make a hilarious sound like an old man suddenly waking up after falling asleep in front of everyone at the dinner table.
  7. Snork – Snork is actually like snort except it happens just as you take a drink of something and the liquid shoots out of your nostrils along with your laugh.
  8. Pee A Little – I actually have never laughed until I peed before. On the one hand, I guess I should be glad that I’ve never pissed myself as an adult. On the other, maybe I’m missing out. Maybe, I do have a damaged sense of humor. I mean, I know a lot of people who pissed themselves laughing. Maybe, humor is more fun for them. Although, laundry would still be more fun for me.
  9. Hiccup – “Hiccup” level is when you make people snork and pee a little and have raccoon eyes because they laughed so hard they cried their mascara off. After all that, they are so overcome, they get the hiccups. Honestly, you should only be around “hiccup” level people on a limited basis. You have to have time for working, reading, and perhaps cleaning up the goddamn bathroom. You can’t be sitting around pissing yourself and getting the hiccups because you’re laughing so much. It’s not practical.
  10. Silent Laughter – You know that point. When you laugh so hard that everything tries to get out of you, bottlenecks, and gets caught in the back of your throat. You can’t even snort. Your shoulders are shake and tears are streaming down your face which has become an alarming shade of purple. Sooner or later, you take a breath that sounds like you’re having an asthma attack and you’ll get it under control. With a few relapses. There is usually at least one when you laugh this hard. People who cause laughter this hard should come with a warning.

I don’t really think Randy is a snort and I am a hiccup. We travel up and down this scale all the time. Usually not at the same time, though, and we pass each other and offer up either eye rolls or high fives. Sometimes we are in sync and then we’re fucking hilarious.

We might not laugh super easy, but we do laugh a lot. But not until we piss ourselves. Maybe, I was right. Maybe, we are just dour people.

Also, I’m feeling guilty now about talking shit about Dane Cook. Was that too mean?



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      • Do you think he’s a snork or snort? Up top you say snork, last paragraph you say snort…i must know where Randy is on this laughter scale… you sometimes fall into the piss myself laughing category for me

  • you would be the least dour people I’ve come across! I think I’m somewhere between a chuckle and a laugh – if I was a drinker I could probably move a bit further along the scal – oh well……..the world has lost a potential snorker 🙂

  • I don’t know why I’ve stopped but I used to laugh like Tom Hulce in “Amadeus”. For a while I even had the nickname “Wolfie” because of that. I was having a great time with some friends in a mall one night when a guy came over and said, “Could you please not laugh?” and that made me laugh like a hyena passing a kidney stone the size of a bowling ball.
    I also have a weird sense of humor and have demonstrated numbers 1 through 10. Haven’t we all, though? Don’t we all react in different ways to things we find funny?
    But I think E.B. White said it best when he said, “Humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.”
    I know he was being all philosophical but I still find that line HILARIOUS.

  • I have NEVER laughed until I peed because I do KEGELS!!!
    Thousands and thousands of Kegels over the last few years. Even upside down Kegels. Didn’t fix what it was supposed to fix, but I can hiccup into silent laughter phase and stay dry.
    Bonus Side Effect: No sneaky farts! 😉
    I TRY to laugh as much as possible.
    I start here.
    Mondays and Thursdays are my ‘injection days’ (Epi-Pen talk 😉 )
    I love a good maniacal sounding squeal coming from my face, but the thrill of feeling someone else lose it over a simple observation or rebuttal I’ve offered is the ‘no-drug high’ I need to feed.
    Laughing and joking were not a part of my childhood without doubt and confusion about why we were laughing and at who.
    The laughter and joking I grew up with was usually at the expense of whatever ‘idiot’ my father was picking on at the time.
    It never felt funny. It always felt like if he could see us laughing then we were on his side and safe from being the subject of his ‘humor.’
    Needless to say, in developing my own line of humorous observations and one-liners, I try really hard not to use people as my spring board.
    (yeah yeah… every once in a while a ‘Supreme Being’ needs taken down a notch, and then: Voila. Laughter IS the best medicine! And a highly accurate kill shot 😉 )
    I have been accused of having a very warped sense of humor. I used to think I was special.

    Then, I read Rubber Shoes in Hell (and most recently, halfa1000miles) and I felt safe and secure and understood and not warped… just a little twisted.

    My people.
    My tribe.


    • And no, not too mean about Dane Cook.
      I used to think he was funny, then I heard he’s a real asshole.
      I’m trying to stay somewhat ‘not mean’ about a certain high profile Western Author who(m) I used to think was a pretty cool dude.
      Then I got one of the rudest and most abrupt confirmation emails I have ever received in a business LIBRARY setting.
      I will have to try REALLY hard to NOT call him a douche twizzle to his face when I meet him. IF I decide I want to…
      (IF I don’t have to announce his performance… Oh, but how FUCKING hilarious would that be? Get all tongue tied and say the WRONG thing on accidentally purpose?? 😀 )
      *claps hand over mock horrified mouth*

  • Fuck Dane Cook. And you’re not scaling yourself right because I definitely went into silent laughter reading your stuff, but I skipped the peeing part. Does it still count if you skip the peeing part? I mean I’ll pee if I have to.

  • Interesting, the language of humor. I know “snork” to be little underwater guys from the 80’s cartoon, and the method of laughter you describe to be a “snarf” (which is also a little guy from an 80’s cartoon, actually, but a different one).

    I, too, find the regular “comedy” section of movies to be pretty terrible. Netflix does have some pretty good standup on occasion, though. I recomment “Warpaint” and “Freezing Hot”, with Iliza Shlesinger. And Patton Oswalt, of course. That 70’s Show also used to be on Netflix in its entirety, though I’m not sure if it still is.

  • You’re not really living unless you travel that scale on a weekly (preferably a daily) basis. When I encounter people who cannot laugh easily and out loud, I just feel sorry for them, like they were born messed up or seriously damaged during childhood. They make me feel concerned about them. Luckily I’ve always been surrounded by funny people – especially my kids. Why do you think I’m here? (Extra points for using the word “dour”)

  • Where does chortle fall in your scale? And I will definitely be using this in the future since the only scale we have here is burp rating.

  • I used to laugh harder and at stupider things when I got high. When I was in high school, I brought a drummer I had just met over to a friend’s house, and we all ate mushrooms and listened to Firesign Theater. Turned out that Joe, the drummer, was mildly epileptic, and didn’t tell anyone. We made it through the first side of the LP, and stopped because he was scaring us by laughing so hard.
    I did the silent laugh thing twice each reading Jenny Lawson’s books, and otherwise I can never really tell when something will strike me as that funny and leave me temporarily incapacitated. It has definitely happened a few times reading your blog, but I can’t remember exactly where.

  • I think I have a sense of humor, but I don’t always laugh even when something is really, really funny.

    Even worse, I sometimes say, calmly soberly, “That’s really funny,” and apparently, people just find that kind of insulting.

    • OMG..I do the same thing..even if something is hilarious. I DO laugh, but not easily. It’s not just humor. My sisters and I went to see Adam Ant a few years ago. It was fun. I loved it. My sister said..you just stood there with a grim look on your face the whole time. I WAS LISTENING! It didn’t mean I didn’t love it. haha.

  • PMSL at this. I have my pee pants – if I go out with people when I know I’m going to be laughing – I wear them – to save my jeans !!
    Al doesn’t laugh out loud much – his eyes laugh lots but not so much his mouth. I shriek with laughter sometimes. We were out to dinner on Sunday night with some friends and , at one stage, her husband was pretending to be driving a bus (Al had been staying in a converted bus in Whoop Whoop during the week) and she and I were laughing so loud the kids at the next table had turned around to look at us – then they saw him ‘driving the bus’ and nudged their little sister to look – so that made us laugh even more. I was trying to talk to tell Al but I was laughing so much I couldn’t. I am a very loud laugher – and more than make up for Al who laughs a lot with his eyes !!!!
    Thanks for starting my day off with a round of laughter – the best way to start a day !!

  • I have totally laughed til I cried. My best friend from childhood made me laugh til I told her I was going to pee my pants, and she kept it up until I totally did, which made me cry too, because we were in public, walking down a street in our town. So, yeah, that kind of laughter effect should come with a warning, too. Or pack extra clothes when you’re together…

    We laugh a lot here, too. Since we’ve known each other since before dinosaurs roamed the earth, Shane and I have a million private jokes, and they seem to get funnier the older we get, which is pretty awesome.

    *eye roll/high five* 😀

  • As much as I love your list, you neglected to include ‘busting a gut’ and ‘guffaw’. I understand you’re not partial to these legendary terms, but they ring with comedic truths. Now, excuse me, I must go bust a gut.

  • Sense of humour is so many things, but without one, you might as well be an olive. Or a banana- although bananas are themselves quite funny. Or is that just me? Anyway, for the record, thanks to a third degree tear during childbirth and total laziness when it comes to pelvic floor exercises, I now regularly nearly pee myself for which I consider myself fortunate- loads to laugh at (myself mostly) and people to laugh with. :-). You, Michelle, are extremely funny, no doubt about that; objectively hilarious!!!!! Anyone who disagrees has a tumour in their humour.

  • I pee my pants a little when I laugh really hard. My family finds this very amusing and actually make a sport of it.
    I probably should not have admitted this on a public forum but screw it. At least I know where I am on the scale, right?

By Michelle