Duty to Humor
Graham never spoke much at dinner at our house. I think we scared him. If we teased him about his silence, he would quietly say “meep”. But he was always polite, smiled the whole time, and clearly was engaged and on top of the entire conversation.
The exception to this rule was when he had a joke to make. I could see that he didn’t want to speak, but if he had something funny to say, he would force himself to free the humor locked within him. It seemed a moral obligation for him – like the joke needed to be out in the world. Like it was greedy or unfair to keep it to himself.
Once he finished speaking, he would sit back, and enjoy the response with that beautiful smile.