“Savage amusement” is what the Crankee Yankee and I call something or some situation that’s funny to us, but possibly not for someone else. It might have been Lou Costello (of the famous comedy duo, Abbott and Costello) who broke down comedy and tragedy in this way:
“So there’s a guy walking down the street, not noticing that there is a banana peel on the sidewalk. He slips on it, and falls hard on his back. That’s comedy. But if the same thing happens to me, it’s tragedy.”
I’ll admit that savage amusement is pretty snarky, but I find that, the older I get, the more snarky I get. I think it comes with age. Think of it this way; you spend your childhood and young adulthood being respectful to everyone, even the ones who treat you badly. That’s because you were raised to be nice to people.
But when you get older, you often find that ‘nice’ isn’t always how you want to be. There are times when the snarky gene kicks in, and you stop worrying about what people think of you—you just go for it.
For example, my mom got funnier as she got older. Sometimes she would say things that made me say, “MOM! How could you say that?” Then she would shrug and say, “I’m old, I can say what I want; who’s going to stop me?” (Not me, for sure!)
She once called me about something she read about smallpox. It said that, should smallpox came back with a vengeance, it would probably kill everyone under 30 on the planet. To which she said, “how bad would that be?”
She told me to never tell anyone that she had said such an awful thing; and of course I told everyone. And everyone laughed their heads off about it.
Ah, savage amusement; it’s not for everyone. But the Crankee Yankee and I are at an age where we can pretty much say whatever the hell we want to; it’s the privilege of being older. Moohahahahaha!