I remember A Spot of Bother very clearly – but thought I’d read it ages ago.
It made me chuckle, although sometimes I felt the same joke was being used over and over again. Maybe it’s because the style and thoughts are very similar to the way my mind works, but sometimes the gags were too obvious.
Jacob made a runway out of cutlery so his bus could take off and got quite heated when George said that buses did not fly.
There’s humour to be had out of young children. This is a nice, and very real, exchange. I think being told indirectly (ie, not using direct speech) makes this funnier as well.
“What’s fiery?” asked Jacob.
“Gets cross, doesn’t she,” said Ray.
Jacob thought for a few moments. “Can we get the submarine out?”
This time, this works because of the direct speech, but it’s a similar thing. The random jump by Jacob is where the humour comes from.
(Jacob wanted to be a racing driver when he grew up, preferably on Pluto)
Another one here – you see what I mean about the same joke. Again, I like it, and it’s the ridiculousness of the last statement that makes this amusing. Actually, I’m not sure if this one is so good – I’m not sure if children would talk like that – but the humour still stands.
And no one wanted the truth (“He was a man incapable of seeing a large-breasted woman without making some infantile remark. In later years his breath was not good”).
A bit of black humour here. This is from someone imagining a speech at a funeral of someone from work.
Ian gave him another bear hug which Jamie now realized was a Christian hug, not a real one.
We’re in Jamie’s head now for a bit of free indirect discourse (one of my favourite modes). Made me chuckle this – I like the redefining of “hug”. And also I’m an atheist, so this would appeal to me.