The quality of being amusing or comic, especially as expressed in literature or speech.
Seems fairly straightforward doesn’t it? Yet there are sub-sets within. Humour can be rude or childish, sexist, racist, light hearted and sometimes very dark. Yet it’s still not that simple because humour and how it is categorised depends on the prevailing circumstances, the group it is presented to and finally the ear that hears it.
I love this by Chris Rock – contains some profanity and violence
Having watched this you may be laughing like me. Conversely, you may be angry about the language, the use of police violence and the message being passed.
The police work in an environment where they have to deal with some pretty awful incidents. As a result there is occasionally some humour that people outside of the service would find distasteful. It’s a coping strategy that was echoed by @fleetstreetfox last week on BBC Woman’s Hour. She talked of some of the awful things she had to witness as a journalist and how at the end of a dreadful day she and colleagues may find themselves drunk and joking about unfortunate victims accidentally falling into mass graves.
Sometimes there is humour that everyone else finds funny with the exception of the person who instigated an idea. Many years ago I worked in a force on the C division. The new Chief Supt in a drive to improve morale and staff attitude to work came up with a mantra.
“The C division is a “Can Do” division”
He had lots of posters printed up and posted all over the station broadcasting this message. On a set of nights a mischievous officer – not me! – (probably a group) produced their own posters. They then swapped each one of the Chief Supers with theirs. The message on the substitute posters was the same but “Can Do” became “Kandoo” and this image was added.
As you can imagine, the officers on the early shift found it hilarious. The Chief Supt on the other hand was less impressed. His posters were found undamaged and put back up. A man hunt (should that be person hunt?) commenced and a division wide email threatening severe consequences was sent. Any respect officers may have had for him was eroded because he failed quite comprehensively to have a sense of humour and respnd appropriately.
This week the CPS apparently requested a statement from a PC Peach for a prosecution file. They hadn’t realised that PC Peach was in fact PD Peach… “Police DOG Peach”. In a moment of harmless fun an officer is reported to have responded with a statement as requested.
To my mind and that of many others it is very funny. If the Daily Mail is to believed then the CPS have taken a “we are not amused” stance. I think there will be Crown Prosecutors all over the country laughing at this. I also suspect a straight faced PSD department who are grinning from ear to ear behind their hands.
The fact is that humour is a complex layered emotion and one where you cannot keep everyone happy all the time. However, it is sometimes very easy. Recognise your error, laugh along with everyone else and move on together. You will gain much more respect doing this than getting hot under the collar and demanding a head.
All the CPS need to do is post this on their main account. I’ll make it easy .. Here’s the tweet wording.
“CPS mistake police dog as police officer and get a ruff draft statement in response”
Smile, laugh, take it as intended and move on taking a big chunk of respect from fellow CJS colleagues with you as we all move on.. life’s too short.