Along the lines of
here’s a seasonal entry from Alan Bennett’s 2001 diaries:
15 December. Words only used at Christmas: Tidings. Abiding. Swaddling. Lo! Abhors.
Indeed, as a boy chorister it always felt embarrassing having to sing “Lo, he abhors not the virgin’s womb”—despite having only the vaguest idea what any of these words might possibly mean (and once you do understand the line, it becomes problematical—it has attracted much comment, notably this). But that’s ritual for you, eh…
AB goes on:
A card from Victor Lewis-Smith with a sanctimonious picture of Jesus and printed underneath:
Jesus loves everyone—except you, you cunt.
This makes me laugh helplessly.
What makes this entry so funny, apart from the content of the card itself, is both that AB was delighted to receive it and that he saw fit to tell the tale.
Conversely, the way AB is portrayed in Love, Nina is hilarious precisely because his persona there is so boring.
Some readers can be so literal… This article by the glorious Philomena Cunk prompted quite a few BTL comments from readers unaware that it’s a spoof, or that she’s a fictional creation (“Like, hello?”)—thus inadvertently making the comments hilarious too.