Where-in Lies the Funny?

The author without his make-up and after imbibing extra caffeine.

The author without his make-up and after imbibing extra caffeine.

I am attempting to be a humor writer.  There’s a statement that calls for more than a little rationalization.  Why would anyone want to be funny?  Especially why would a manic-depressive sick-old former school teacher want to be funny and write books for young people that tackle subjects like suicide, lying, nudity, sex, trans-genderism, death, suffering, religion, alien invasions, and getting old?  (Well, okay, getting old is inherently funny… especially the noises you unintentionally make from orifices and joints whenever you try to sit, move, lift, eat, or breathe.)  I ask myself this question only because I need to get to 500 words and stretch out the hoopti-doo to cover up the fact that I already know the answer and it is short and simple.  Joking about the things that tear your life apart is the only way to handle things and not become a serial killer.  (Make that cereal killer, especially Kellogg’s cereal of any and every description.  I am a very loving and accepting fool at heart and could never kill even one person… probably even in self-defense.)  I recently took a Who-do-you-write-like test that I found on another blog at All Things Chronic.  Here is the link; https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/who-do-you-write-like/

That silly little analyzer took a bit of my purple paisley prose and churned out a horror-writer answer, H.P. Lovecraft.  The Lord of the Old Mad Gods and Moonbeasts is a particular favorite of mine, one of several writers whose novels I have read everything I can get my hands on.  I still sleep with the lights on at night because of The Dunwich Horror, and The Shadow Over Innsmouth.  I am mad with admiration for his allusions to gibbering sounds and unholy terrors that taint and transfix our lives with fear to the very marrow of the bones.  I have to admit, I like the idea of being compared to him, in spite of the fact that he tries to inspire fear and madness, while I aim for goofiness and gaiety.   It is a delicious irony to try always to be Mark-Twain funny while writing with a horror writer’s convoluted and dictionary-intensive style.

And don’t get the idea from my mention of him in this self-reflecting ramble through jumbled ideas that I really believe I am as funny as Mark Twain.  I am not deluded or mentally ill… well, not deluded, anyway.  I am still learning to make people laugh with words.  And I don’t mean to be mean about it.  I don’t do George Carlin F**k-the-world-style humor.  I don’t even do Don Rickles-style insults.  I am more in favor of gentle humor.  I am not looking to call anybody names or trying to make certain folks look like Biblical-word-for-donkeys.  (Not even Republicans named Rick in yesterday’s post).  I want to show fictional people undergoing some of the dark things that filled my life with hurt, and doing it with the grace and good humor that only comes from a heart full of self-sacrificing love.  (Gee, no wonder I find comedy hard… I have chosen the most difficult and elusive kind of humor for my art.  I’d do a lot better with poo-poo jokes.)  (Oh, wait, I do poo-poo jokes, don’t I.  This one counts too.)Senator Tedhkruzh

I wonder if I made a mistake yesterday in portraying Senator Ted Cruz as a lizard man from outer space.  Was that a mean, name-calling sort of joke?  Or was I painting him in broad, humorous strokes with my colored pencils?  Once again, you can be the judge.  Here’s the picture again.  And you get to decide if anything I have ever said is funnier than it is just plain sad.

4 Comments

Filed under humor, Paffooney, writing humor

4 responses to “Where-in Lies the Funny?

  1. I imagine that part of the aspirations for being a professional writer is the ability to take self-criticism to a whole new level. Thankfully, I don’t have that problem. I don’t consider myself a a writer (or a professional). But I know intelligent humor when I see it, which is one of the reasons I follow your writings. 🙂

  2. Dry humor is most entertaining. Vert few get it. I agee laughing at ourselves is some how freeing.

  3. Laughing at myself is easy. I am quite laughable. How else could I have been foolish enough to be a middle school teacher?

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