—no no bear with me. Those two a not only intricately intertwined, they are causative.
But, how, I hear you ask. Autistics don’t understand humour! 🙄
Well, firstly, fuck you.
And secondly, fuck off.
I know humour is hard. You know what else is hard? Socially acceptable replies. There’s so fucking many situations. It takes forever to learn them all. I am far from done, I tell you. Just recently, when I couldn’t fall back on a joke in a conversation I was floundering. Absolutely lost.
But in 80% of situations, you can get away with a joke. Make that 95% if you are willing to take a little awkwardness. (Not comparable with the Big Awkwardness™ resulting from a Bad reply.)
And you know what autistics are good at? CORRECT! Pattern recognition. And humour has a pattern. It takes some time to recognise. I don’t think I was very funny before I turned – oh, 30 at least.
It is a tentative estimate and I put it with me starting to write my hilarious PoV which I have now honed very much. But it started back then and I learnt a lot from the kind people commenting on my updates and telling where they laughed. I put that to good use.
And once I mastered the trick – it worked.
I rarely have to fear spouting a Bad Reply nowadays. If in doubt, joke it out.
The time before tended to be excruciating. Learning humour isn’t fun and having jokes fall flat or bite you in the ass hurts. It was, overall, easier than learning my replies to all possible social situations. (Full disclosure, I don’t think you can do that.)
I also don’t know how I did it in detail. Trail and error at least because I remember some ear-burning shame for really bad jokes that didn’t make it. The positive enforcement from humour that did land would have been double, though: getting around a social interaction I had no idea how to master plus being seen as a fun functional person.
I may or may have neglected my snooping out how to properly react skills. (I think I did.) I’m a waking joke-machine. And while I like it for obvious reasons, I am not sure how good it really is for me.
Also, maybe I am completely wrong about this and the gods just gifted me with a late-blooming talent for utter hilarity. 🤷