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Peter , my introduction to your art of the absurd, the flippant and hilarious , was when I had stumbled upon that inspired perfectly choreographed twin performance by Cathleen and you. Which had then turned out to be just your instantly improvised spontaneous response to a complete stranger’s post! I shall refer to it as “The IRS correspondence” . Hope I am getting her name right, by the way. If not, I most sincerely apologize and will rectify it as soon as circumstances permit.

That was a real masterpiece. Already her text by itself was so outlandish and very funny; but to write that response, perfectly matching her every “antic” with one of yours, it was just simply marvelous! I still have to giggle every time I think of it!

I agree with you : there is one fundamental difference between genuine humor and making someone an object of a joke. That is the ability to laugh at yourself . What you call being able to give and to take. A good test to see if it is an authentic humor or something else disguised as such. I despise practical jokes. They are just too easy , the traffic is one way and it is about making a fool of someone, a laughing stock. The essential distinction between the two is that genuine humor generates happiness , joyful laughter. Practical jokes on the other hand, as a rule, victimize someone. There can not be any joy in it even for the joker. Maybe glee or some similar cheap sense of triumph.