What's an acceptable length of time that you can make a pun or a joke about something that another person has just said?
Person no. 1 : My dad is an avid gardener, the other day he was outside painting his new fence green. He tripped over a rake, fell over and as he tried to break his fall he stuck his hand straight in the tin of paint!
Person no.2 : I suppose you could say that your Dad really does have Greenfingers then!
Say it quick enough, and you'll get a chuckle... but leave it until a few seconds later and people will invariably laugh at you for taking so bloody long, no matter how funny it might have been.
If I know that there's a joke somewhere, my internal 'Punnernator' (?) goes into overdrive and for a few seconds my mind will be completely occupied with trying to crack a joke - sometimes I time it right and I'll get a laugh, other times I just know that I'm too late and I'll shut up (unless I'm drunk, when I'll tell you whether you like it or not).
Your thoughts please.