I wonder whether you like a good joke, I would imagine that most people would and it is good to have something to laugh at because the weather certainly isn't too good right now!

If we can agree that principle, the next part gets a little trickier does it not? Especially in terms of what constitutes a good joke or whether a story is funny or not. My own type of humour tends to be rather on the dry side and much of the humour in modern comedy leaves me bemused, wondering to what the audience are finding so funny. Having said that, there has always been shows or comedians I have found it hard to take to. The other thing I find funny (pun intended!) is that there are shows/films etc. that really made me laugh years ago that I no longer find funny to the point of not wanting to watch them again at all. There is one well known raconteur, Jack Whitehall, who appears as a Countdown guest from time to time. He talks about very funny accounts of some of  his own real life situations but he tells them with a perfectly straight face and that seems to be his nature. I have yet to see him break into a broad grin whether recounting a situation or in ordinary conversation.

Jokes of the Christmas cracker sort often make us all groan and our recent Christmas lunch was no exception – what do you get if you cross a snowman with a crocodile? Answer: frostbite. Have you stopped laughing yet? The nation groaned. These are the sort of jokes heard all the time as we go on our way or are watching a television programme and some programmes focus heavily on 'groaners' for humour.

How did I get on to this subject? Well, I live with someone who frequently comes out with groaners. His favourite at the moment is to find an opportunity to use the word 'exactly' (eggs-actly) every time he sees me using eggs. Perhaps he'll soon move on to another soon, perhaps!

One has only to look back at literature through the ages to see how humour, as well, as language has evolved. Some folk might be of the opinion that there is no humour in the Bible but it is there if you  read it carefully and imagine yourself an onlooker, though I must say the Pharisees are not a glaring example. It is always a question of interpretation, one example is where Jesus changes water into wine at a wedding after his mother tells him that there is no wine left. “Dear woman, why do you involve me? Jesus replied”. (John 2:4 – NIV). Commentators mostly say that Jesus rebuked his mother, yet I wonder if he did, whether a loving son with a reputation for kindness would publicly rebuke his mother. I often used to say 'Mum!' or even 'Mother!' and might add something along the lines of 'how could you' for example, but all said with a smile that would make her smile as well as we shared the experience of the moment.

There are many other instances in the gospels where Jesus uses humour to gently make a point but you need imagine yourself as an onlooker and not just read the words and take them at face value. If you have time on your hands, that might be a useful exercise. In the end, it does all come down to one's own experiences and to interpretation. Exactly!