Dear Doctor Creepy,
Today at work, I told an inappropriate joke that, while inappropriate, was also subject to misinterpretation. Someone mentioned using a false name of “Bob,” and I rejoindered with, “Because everyone likes a floater.” One woman in our group gasped appropriately at the tastelessness, but I later thought that she might have gotten the joke wrong. A floater, as you know, can refer to a bloated corpse fished from a body of water; however, in the common vernacular, it can also refer to a piece of excrement which does not go down the drain with a single flush.
My question is, how can I let these people know that while inappropriate and crude, I am above the common proletarian scatalogical humor?
Signed, Stepped In It
Dear Stepped In It,
As you know, it’s perfectly acceptable to make ghastly comments and inappropriate remarks about death to show that you’re either a trenchcoat wearing purveyor of the same or hiding your stark terror at mortality behind a flippant front. However, when it comes to creeping people out with your humor, it’s more important to let the recipients of your wit wonder about your motives or how you could make that joke than to have them think you’re a nice guy.
So let the miscommunication stand. Your apparent cluelessness and lack of decorum serves well enough to creep people out whether its ghoulish humor about decaying flesh or poop. Although the former is preferable, the latter will do, so to speak.