Trying to finish up some of my unfinished drafts again. God, this is the SECOND TIME stupid WP published my post without my permission! I hate this new interface!
It seems every language has different ideas of what it means to be something. Spanish has ser vs estar, Chinese has 是，在，有，and of course nothing. (It seems anything and everything in Chinese can be omitted and implied.) Japanese also has a distinction between properties of the thing itself （implied、だ、です） versus where it exists （ある、いる）.
The verb 「ある」 can be used in some interesting ways to define existence in a way that’s not entirely obvious, hence this post.
If you define all the normal, common activities and occurrences that exist in the whole world, nay the whole universe, if you do something that doesn’t exist in this realm, it can mean that it’s grossly unfair.
– Because I made all the dinner by myself, I’m going to eat it all.
– That’s not fair. (That doesn’t exist.)
– Then how about helping me next time?!
Here’s another example of using 「ない」 for what one expects to be an uncommon scenario.
– My boyfriend said he had something important to say on tonight’s date.
– Is that so?
– Maybe he’ll bring a gorgeous engagement ring and propose.
– Umm, I don’t think that’s likely.
You can even erase things that happen in the past and treat it like it never happened. Water under the bridge and all that.
– If you buy me lunch, I’ll forget that you ate the last chocolate yesterday without my permission.
– But I bought that chocolate!
Finally, my favorite ボケツッコミ combo.
– In Japan, for some reason uniforms like sailor uniforms and maid uniforms are really popular. If you walk around town, you’ll often see girls wearing uniforms.
– That happens, that happens.
– Even grandmas are wearing maid uniforms normally.
– That happens, that happens… no it doesn’t!
As you can see, as is often the case, humor translates horribly. I hope to cover the different aspects of ボケ and ツッコミ and its importance in understanding Japanese humor but that’s another post that will probably sit in my draft folder for another couple years. Feel free to share your own corny jokes in the comments.