I like to think of myself as a humorist/satirist. Making people laugh was a goal of mine from a young age. Many of my stories, blogs, and poems have a humorous tone to them. I’ll start this weekly segment with some reposts of my writings.
What is funny? Anything that makes you laugh, I suspect. Or chuckle, snicker, chortle, giggle, or smile. The measure of real humor is something that makes you laugh when you are alone. Think about it. When was the last time that you laughed out loud all alone? For most of us, it is rare, if non-existent. But, as they say, laughter is the best medicine. One feels contented after a good, long laugh.
I remember a time when I was sitting in the mall with my sister reading a newly purchased Calvin and Hobbes book. I remember it fondly because of the tears running down my cheeks from laughing so hard. There was the occasion when I couldn’t place my drive-thru order because I couldn’t talk through all my laughter (I don’t remember why, though). Then there was the time my mom said something that no one expected her to say…
You can’t feel angry when you are laughing. Or sad, or alone, or helpless…Pain disappears for a while (not counting the pain in your side). You can laugh so hard that you cry, and those tears can wash away any sad thoughts- at least for awhile. Laughing is contagious. Try to hold a straight face while others around you are partaking in the joy.
I like to make people laugh. It makes me happy. Most of my writing these days has a humorous edge to it, even with some of the more serious topics. Some of my ideas were the catalyst for my cartoon, The Miniscules.
People’s sense of humor evolves. What was funny as a child (farts) is not necessarily funny as an adult (notice that I said not necessarily, I bet you know someone who still laughs at them). Children get some of their sense of humor from their parents, and they also get it from peers and pop culture. Schools can be a breeding ground for hurtful humor, but I know that our educators do their best to teach what is acceptable.
Humor is constantly changing. What was thought of as humorous in the past is no longer acceptable. Many comedians went through times (some still do) of pushing boundaries and limits, using race, gender, sexual orientation, status, profanity, and taboo subjects in order to get a rise or laugh out of the crowd. People supported this hurtful, questionable content, demanding more profane, edgier routines.
I know. I was there. I admit, I laughed. Now I don’t.
Comedians now have to adapt their craft and evolve with the times. Many will fall and fade, while others will use their talent to give us the laughs we deserve.
One last thought: Has anybody ever actually laughed at a “Knock, Knock” joke?
– I played around with several items: underwear, pants, shoes, before deciding on the lowly discarded sock.
Is there anything lonelier than discarded clothing?
A sign of disappointment, of rejection, of loathing
Threadbare and stained, no fight left within
Wondering what events caused this great sin
Did you wear out your welcome, what did you do?
Was it a weakness of cotton that allowed the big toe to come through?
Was it your owner’s odd gait that wore through the heel?
Taking the blame, how did that feel?
Was your partner discarded or saved for another
Pair that shares the same fate and just the right color?
–My attempts at cartooning failed (in my eyes) due to the fact that I just couldn’t draw people very well, and when I could, I could not keep consistency. This was my solution.
The Miniscules: Three of my earliest
Story: Reasonable Hand-drawn Facsimile (Short Story from: The Knot at the End of the Rope)
-Science fiction has a history of humor, from authors like Asimov, Vonnegut, and Adams to shows and movies like Red Dwarf, Galaxy Quest, and The Orville.
I actually laughed out loud when I thought of this story (and so did my editor). Here is a free reading link to it on my Medium.com page:
That’s a wrap for this Friday. I hope that I have entertained you!