If there is anything I enjoy one thing I do enjoy is being in the company of those who are happy to have a laugh at their own expense. It is wrong I know to stereotype people and many of my lessons to students in first year was to emphasis just that. Yet it is true that there are some stereotypes that do seem to have a grain of truth within them. it is very true that there is a world of difference between the humour of the Celtic nations as measured against the humour of the English.
I have to admit that when I see a programme on the tv schedules under the heading comedy I just know that i probably will not find this in the least funny. There are of course always exceptions to the rule, I did find Victoria Wood funny and her humour will be sadly missed.
I remember while acting as chaplain to a large part of British Steel while minister in Motherwell a group of Irish workmen who had me in fits of laughter every time I met them. Not only did I laugh at the things they said but I often could not believe what I saw them doing. I remember watching one of these men filling the diesel tank on a compressor from diesel he had brought to the machine in a wheelbarrow. He was using a wellington boot to make the transfer.
I remember another one telling me of his pal and him looking for a parking place in Edinburgh, always a difficult place to park. His pal had an important meeting to attend and could not get parked.
Looking skywards he was heard to say, "lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday and for the rest of my life i will give up the Whiskey!"
Almost miraculously, a parking place appeared.
Patrick looked up again and said, "Never mind, I found one."