My husband’s IQ is within the upper 2% of the general population. He was a member of Mensa until the early 80s when he discovered that mentioning a Mensa membership gets you about as far on a first date as revealing your ability to recite the title, writer, director and guest star of every original Star Trek episode, which I swear to God he can do! Being a genius has its advantages. For my husband pesky subjects like calculus or quantum mechanics are child’s play. He’s a fabulous problem solver and the king of “thinking outside of the box.” His superior intellect saves us both money and time. We’ve never had to fork out big bucks for math tutors for our children, and I rarely have to waste my valuable time digging through the junk drawer for my crumb infested calculator when I need to know what 248 X 17 is. As beneficial as his mental powers are, they do have their shortcomings. He’s a complete head-in-the-clouds, absent-minded professor type, sans the professor, (not surprisingly, he’s an engineer). It once took him two weeks to notice that I’d painted the kitchen green, despite the fact that the paint fumes that hung around for several days were making him dizzy. He doesn’t always recognize social cues, which is probably the reason that long ago, despite the fact that he is very nice looking, the Army issued him a “girlfriend” for functions that required a date. Perhaps the biggest downfall to my husband’s super intelligence is his inability to devise and execute a successful joke. This is extremely sad, because more than anything in the world my darling husband, who proposed to me in front of a dishwasher, wants to be thought of as funny.
My husband’s sense of humor is mainly plagued by horrendous word play, one-liners that are funny only in his head, and jokes that he’s painstakingly memorized from the internet. Always after each failed zinger, he scans the room to see if his quip has conjured at least a smile. Every so often he’ll return from work beaming, because he made everyone laugh at his weekly staff meeting. “They’re your subordinates,” I tell him. “You sign their paychecks and decide who gets promoted. They have to laugh.” Then I remember that he’s playing to a staff of other engineers who very well might hoot passionately at his misguided jocularity.
While his attempts at hilarity do little for us at home, there are times that my husband kicks ass in the humor department when he’s not even trying. A prime example, is a few years ago when I broke my leg and had to have surgery. The day my husband brought me home from the hospital our very kind, Southern neighbors brought dinner over to us. Even in an oxycodone induced stupor, complete with the nods and drooling, I was still able to cringe when I heard my husband say to them several times during their conversation the phrases “Yeah, buddy!” and “Ain’t nuthin’ but a thang!” This incident wasn’t funny until several days later, when I was fully sober. “So honey what was with the “Ain’t nuthin’ but a thang!” and the “Yeah buddy!” when the neighbors were here the other day?” I said nearly snotting (yes, actual snot was about to exit my nostrils) with laughter. “Well, they have that Southern accent thing going on and I guess I got carried away with trying to fit in. Was it that bad?” he said with a sheepish grin. “Well, with your New Jersey accent it sort of sounded like The Sopranos meet Sanford and Son,” I not-so-reluctantly admitted. Luckily, he, too, found the situation hilarious in retrospect. Several days later, when our daughter recounted to us how the neighbor’s son overheard his parents mentioning my husband’s ill phrasing, we laughed even harder. To this day the phrase “Ain’t nuthin’ but a thang!” still sends us into seizures of laughter.
There are many more riotous illustrations of my darling husband’s unwitting comedy, but my blog is beginning to break the rule of being too prolonged. I’ll close by confessing that although there may be some awkward times associated with being married to a brianiac, that I am blissfully happy to be his wife and supremely thankful that our home is filled with mirth!