Joke or in-joke?

My littlebig[1] brother has just blogged about christmas.

Well, not exactly about christmas.  Rather about explaining christmas to his missus, who grew up in a culture that doesn’t have it.  And what he explained wasn’t christmas in general, but christmas day in our family.  Even more particular than that, the circumstances as he describes them can’t’ve existed in full for more than a couple of years, though much of what he describes is perennial.

As ever, his narrative is superb, and in this instance it’s also very funny: I can’t recollect when I last laughed that much!  But a moment’s reflection leads me to wonder: is it objectively that funny, or is it also (or even just) because what he describes is, like an in-joke, something he and I know all about, but the outside world can only infer?

[1] He’s the youngest of the family, but also the tallest.

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Posted on December 15, 2009, in christmas, humour. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Why, thank you for the kind words, to say nothing of the linkage…

    I didn’t think of the piece as a joke, just an account of my childhood memories that’s meant to be entertaining enough to engage the reader a little. The framing text (conversation with Susan) is completely true – we really did have that discussion yesterday morning, and her contributions are recorded pretty much verbatim, although my account has been – enhanced a little, as I remembered more while I was writing it down.

    But I’m glad to have made you laugh.

  2. Sounds like Christmas in our house when I was smaller.

    Although there was just the big sister, no bloody-minded older brothers. On one memorable occasion supplemented by my youngest cousin waking everyone in the house by shouting “SANTA’S BEEN” at about 5am.

  3. I enjoyed Vet’s account too. I was baffled by just one thing, though…whilst I concur with the description of the elder brother in most respects, I’m puzzled by the Jack-the-Ripper reference. Given the proximity of his residence to mine, is there something I ought to know…?

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