Once upon a time there was a lady who had a really horrible sense of humour. Maybe two or three years ago she was considered to be a bit of a wit, a wit with an edge but a wit all the same. Her friends defended her, saying she was misunderstood. When she was criticised to her plain face, she said she just had a love of interesting adjectives, and life was short, and people were absurd.
She had a skin like a concrete dinosaur, and the feelings of her adversaries were skewered carelessly by the lumbering spines of her intellect. She was very, very funny. But the problem was that the only other people who found her so were also, in their way, stomping concrete animals of one kind or another.
This lady baked successful biscuits, which sometimes made up for her increasing viciousness.
All at once her friends abandoned her. She was very surprised and hurt by this, and in her lumbering concrete dinosaur way, she sat down in the stomped-over wasteland, and howled a lonely song.
It won’t surprise you to hear that she did not immediately become nice, or try to apologise to any of the people she’d lampooned. Nor, to her credit, did she become bitter or nasty. She became a bit sad, and this simple, unadorned emotion made her more attractive and she got at least one of her friends back, who gave her some very valuable advice by saying to her, ‘You know, sometimes, you can be a real bitch’.
Suddenly she began to deflate, making a little hissing sound as she did so. She deflated until she was only a pink and squidgy woman. ‘That’s better,’ said her friend. Privately, the lady didn’t think this was better at all. This was painful and she felt exposed.
It would be an exaggeration to say that she learned a lesson. But she chose her barbs more carefully from this time on, and took care of the friends she loved, and became – well, not a nice person, exactly. But she was funnier, because she was more focused, and besides, people could see that she was pink and squidgy and not a concrete dinosaur at all.