The latter hurts far more than the former and its effects can last for centuries. If it is well done, you can bleed for 400 years – well after you are dead.
Making fun of – or mocking – someone is a very serious business. Far too serious a matter for laughter. In many cases any attempt at fun merely obstructs the process.
We all learn it early on – the schoolyard bully’s taunt is the first intimation that all will not be well in life. If we are lucky, we can throw it off as mere noise – if we are less fortunate it may colour our days far longer than anything else. Some people carry this sound with them well into adulthood and it can either cripple or energise them.
The adult mockery we encounter may be much more subtle – the slight, the sneer, the show of status. These can all tell upon a sensitive soul – as they are meant to – and give a feeling of gloom and despair to any social occasion. But what is one to do? What to do..what to do…?
a. Fight fire with fire.
Mock back. Every person has a sensitive spot that will send a pain to their brain. Find it and press it.
Once you are sure of it, press it publicly, repeatedly, with plenty of witnesses.
b. Fight fire with oil.
Become smooth and conciliatory. Soothe the taunter with praise for their personality, looks, wealth, and power. Do it so well that people will think you are best friends and then discount all that the taunter says as mere badinage.
c. Fight fire with water.
Burst into tears. Weep at the scorn that is poured on you. Do it well and few spectators suspect the slice of onion in your hand and will look upon your tormentor with contempt. Prepare to be consoled with brandy and sympathy.
d. Fight fire with insulation.
Ignore the taunt. Smile and offer the taunter a slice of bread and butter – or a small pamphlet on monetary reform. Keynesian economics will quell the loudest mouth.