Learner's definition of TIGHTROPE
a tightly stretched rope or wire high above the ground that a performer walks on, does tricks on, etc., especially in a circus
— often used figuratively to describe a dangerous or uncertain situation in which you have to be very careful not to make mistakes
As soldiers during the war, we walked a tightrope between life and death every day.
The writer manages to walk a tightrope between good humor and poor taste.