You can fill in the blank…wrote it, said it, thought it. You know, you had to be there.
The funny thing about trying to be funny is that the only thing you’re absolutely sure of is that you thought you were funny at the time.
There are plenty of times when you are telling a story or a joke that doesn’t quite turn out as funny as you hoped, you may still get laughs in person because of your facial expression or tone of your voice. Even a mediocre comedy writer can be saved by funny people reading the lines. But writing funny? Tough.
Back when The Far Side cartoons were a daily event, people would debate about the cartoons. “How could you find that funny?” one person would ask, while the other would respond, “Are you kidding, it’s hilarious!”. The brilliant thing about Gary Larson’s work is that the very next day, those two people could be debating from the opposite points of view. Funny just hits you…or it doesn’t.
I’ve always understood that everyone’s sense of humor is uniquely their own. With that understanding came the realization that I would always fail to write funny for you. The only person I could write funny for was me. Thus, the title of today’s post.
The world is full of absurdities, which tends to provide me no end of things to chuckle about. Added to that my generally goofy personality and a personal history of so many embarrassing moments, it’s difficult for me to take myself seriously. Once you learn how to laugh about yourself, seeing all the humor around you is a lot easier! I don’t believe you have to laugh “at” things, but about things, absolutely!
I do like to try to make people happy. We all know that’s a challenging goal (although for some people, all I have to do accomplish that is be quiet). And I like to see people laugh, the good, hearty, not-worrying-how-loud-or-how-I-look laughing. It should be no surprise that most of my written and verbal dialog has humor as the central theme.
Of course, as just mentioned, it’s my humor. Sometimes that works for others, sometimes not so much. Perhaps it is a personal delusion, but I like to think I have tipped the scales at least 51% in my favor. I’ll lay plenty of eggs. Stinky ones. Ugly ones. Not off-color ones, though. I’m not skilled in that brand of humor, although it’s as valid as any other.
Along the way, I hope to make a few of you snicker. Maybe generate a guffaw or two. A belly laugh would be a great compliment. Either way, you’ll get some insight into my own personal sense of humor, because I thought it was funny at the time I wrote it. Which is not to say I haven’t gone back and read some of my own work and groaned (and I mean literally groaned; aloud). But then I just shake my head and laugh. In that case, the joke was on me and I imagine an entire room of deadpan faces looking at me in silence. There aren’t too many things that hang in the air like a joke no one finds funny. That’s comedy!
Still, as long as I find things funny in the world or in my life, I’m going to continue to write about them. Which is unfortunate for you, because I find a lot of things funny. This frequently causes my Dad to ask me why I’m always laughing, a question I don’t think I’ve ever satisfactorily answered for him. Sorry, Dad. I’m just funny that way.