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Opinion There’s nothing wrong with good, harmless fun!

So long as nobody's getting hurt! (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
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I have noticed you are not laughing.

I have noticed, indeed, as we near the anniversary of a wonderful confirmation of great innocence, as a new book and news story suggest there were more allegations against Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh that were never looked into properly, that you are taking this all very gravely indeed. You are going so far as to get up in arms over a little tweet that described a penis in someone’s face as “harmless fun.” You are acting as though something real could have been hurt. Could it be that you do not have a sense of fun?

Let me clarify. People (boys) are entitled to have fun. Could it be that you do not know what fun is?

Harmless fun is when nothing real is hurt: when two friends knock the head off a doll, say, or hit a baseball as hard as they can into the window of a house where no one lives, or when two friends have a really good time, throwing something around — a toy or a Frisbee or maybe a frightened girl. Fun is when there is laughter, enough to etch itself into someone’s hippocampus.

Following a new sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, some Democratic presidential candidates called for impeachment. (Video: Allie Caren/The Washington Post, Photo: Graphic: Sarah Hashemi/The Washington Post)

Fun is what I do to you. You can tell because I am laughing. (I have noticed that you are not laughing.) You must consider that this is all in good fun, good harmless fun, as popping a balloon or stealing someone’s bag lunch or knocking over someone’s drink or holding down a girl until she is terrified she cannot breathe. A cheerful and salutary incident in which nothing of value was harmed or lost, when no one who belongs or matters is startled or afraid. Fun can even be scary, as when you think that there are going to be consequences for an action, but then it turns out at the last minute that there won’t.

So many things are fun, when you have the right perspective. Calling people funny names! Grabbing someone by the — anywhere! Chanting! Telling someone to die, humorously and ironically! Anything can be fun if no one is hurt. (If you are hurt, you are no one.)

Fun is when no one is harmed, when no one real, no nice young fellows with promising careers who are allowed to say “just kidding” any time they want are endangered. Are you laughing yet? If you laugh hard enough, anything can be laughed off. Why do you insist on being hurt when being hurt is the one thing that will make you less real?

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Take it. Take the joke. Take it. If you remember that this is harmless fun, then it does not matter whether it keeps happening, whether it happens to anyone. It does not even matter whether it happens to you, or to your family. It ceases to be something you wish to stop or from which you wish to protect others. It becomes something over which you can laugh and shake hands, or smile, and shake your head.

This lack of laughter on your part leads me to suspect you are a humorless killjoy, the type of person who is harmful and not fun! Harmful fun is when a deserving young lad fails to obtain a deserved position. Harmful fun is when a fledgling career is wounded! That is unthinkable, and a loud outcry is warranted.

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So let us suppose there really was an incident. Even, perhaps, multiple incidents. Would it have been worth inquiring into? Hardly.

We can agree that, after all, these were just fun. Just good, harmless fun.

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