World travel is like a beautiful flower - a blossoming of international experience and a deeper understanding of the human condition. A magnificent thing, really. Sadly, these travels have also had a stark, cruel edge to them. No, it is not the language barrier or cultural differences. Nor the general disregard for our beloved Commander in Chief. No, I have had to face the hard, painful truth that my sense of humor is not a globally shared one. Never have I felt so comically alone.
Liz, in England, would stare blankly as I joked wise about bodily functions. Barbara, in Ireland, was too busy to take notice. Had the yucks of Mel Brooks, Chris Farley and Jack Black not captured the laughs of the entire world? My faith was rattled.
Just like the story line of a Greek tragedy, my plight ever-worsened when I realized that the only one who shared my sense of humor was a 2 year old - Rowan, the son of our Portugal HelpX hosts. Oh, the shame of it all!
Though his vocabulary was (very) limited, in sick potty humor we found a common language.
He would squat down while standing and I would make a bellowing fart sound. Pbbbbbbt. Scuttle around, squat. Scuttle around squat. Sometimes he laughed so hard that he almost fell over. In his animal picture books, he would kiss the rumps of the zebras and elephants and, again, I would make the necessary sound effects. Pbbbbbbt. Like this we would laugh together for hours, others passing by with a sort of half-smile. In fact, we played with his older brother's whoopee cushion so much that it broke! Stretched to death.
Head dizzy from the constant cushion blow ups and eyes blurry with tears of laughter, I sat back in my chair and felt a moment of pride for bridging the American-Portuguese divide.
Even if it was with a two year old.