There is tremendous satisfaction in knowing I’m able to provoke a thought or two with my words. But, with that being said, I also am extremely grateful that I’m able to get a reader, here or there, to crack a smile or two while they read my drivel.
Some refer to it as a gift. There are times I almost feel it’s a curse. The reason I say that is that I have found myself sitting here, hour after soul-searing hour just trying to pry a few choice chucks out of my psyche. Oft-times what I end up creating during those sessions is something deeper and less than replete with cunning punch-lines.
So…the question is; why is that important. Well, to start with, I love to laugh. Truly, deeply love a tear-invoking laugh session. You know the kind. The ones that leave you reaching for the aspirin cos your head hurts from all the blood that rushed into it. If it’s a really good chucklefest, you might even pee your pants. Aaah, how I live for ridiculous irony and the truly sadistic art of a rip-roaring, gut clenching laugh out loud. And in saying that, I want to be the guy that brings that to the party. Problem is, sometimes I just seem to come up short.
So…what makes me laugh. Well, rude, obnoxious humour, à la Monty Python makes me laugh. Roseanne made me laugh. Brett Butler REALLY made me laugh. Erma Bombeck, my idol, she made me laugh.
And…there are times that I make myself laugh. It’s true. Every once in a great blue while, I will backtrack through my works. I do this mostly to check on my progress as a writer. The exercise will more often than not leave me cringing from all the grammatical errors, run on sentences, what have you. But every now and then, I’ll stumble across a nugget, and I have to say that I’m kind of impressed that I was able to string together a thought that hit my very own funny bone. I feel so narcissistic suddenly.
Perhaps I need to do a walk of shame to the rape shower, like the ones you used to see in bad after school specials. Camera focuses on the cleansing water, diluting the tears on your face as you comically slide down the wall, crying oh so dramatically.
I’m sorry, that stuff, all by itself is as funny as funny gets. Now, I’m not implying that rape of any sort is funny, nor am I stating that laughing at a person’s emotional state after such a traumatic experience be taken in such a light-hearted way. But those “scenes” were so badly acted, you just cannot help yourself. You want to feel bad for the actress on your TV, soaked and performing her little heart out, but truthfully, it never comes off as planned.
Take for instance the “Heritage Moments” we had showing on television years back here in Canada. They were produced to give Canadians a sense of self-pride. And, for the most part, they did precisely that. But, there is that one little video. You know the one I’m referring to. Well, if you’re Canadian, you do. Burnt toast. This vignette extolled the accomplishments of one Doctor Wilder Penfield. We, as a country, all sat there feeling awful about the snickers that escaped our tightly clamped lips as that dreadful actress went into her “fit”.
Ok, it’s not nice to deprive the world of its God-given right to see what I’m talking about, so here…take a look at this gem.
The one thing that actress will never hear…”And the Oscar goes to”.
So, as you can see, “I’m a little bit twisted, I’m a little bit off my meds” Sung to that golden nugget I’m a Little Bit Country, I’m a Little Bit Rock and Roll.
My chorus has now decided to become The Osmond Brothers, and are threatening to sing One Bad Apple if I ever play that song again. Best I leave the voices in my head harmonizing Carpenter’s tunes. Less likely to make me walk up to some rooftop in a stupor with an Uzi.
Humour can come from a great many places. My biggest source of amusement is tearing myself apart in scribe, but I’ve learned from others that I needed to find a new gig, so I now try to see funny beyond my mirror.
And, funny I do see. Take, for instance, children’s toys. Has it ever occurred to you that the little gifties you give your sweet child might help them form the wrong idearz?
Let’s start with the queen of the toy section, Barbie. Because of her shiny blonde locks and her impossibly stacked rack, we now have three decades worth of silicone and Botox leering at us through our theater screens and television sets. With few exceptions, North America has become one big cesspool of Restalyne.
Mattel, proudly warping little girls for over 50 years.
When I was a kid, violence was funny. Anvils were funny. Hell, my mother dressed me funny. Not that I’m complaining about the bread bags in my leaking rubber boots, mind you. And I am especially thankful for the purple velvet number I got to wear in my Grade 3 school photo. Thanks, Donny! Hope I can repay you one day for that fad!
But I’m kind of disturbed that they gutted Bugs Bunny. Apparently some years back, parents groups had the “consequence” scenes taken out of that classic cartoon, effectively gutting its punch lines. Perhaps they were afraid kids would throw a 6 ton boulder off that cliff that they tricked a sibling into running off of beforehand.
Well, you know, all you had to do was hand the little shit a teeny umbrella and a sign with some clever expression on it. We all knew that protected the Coyote. If it didn’t, he’d not be back in the next scene, once again annoyingly trying to trick the Road Runner into yet another trap. As if Acme would ever send me an anvil to throw at my sister! Riiight!
Speaking of the Road Runner. You can tell that Warner Bros. had to have been high when they made that damned cartoon. I mean, between that bird and the hopped up mouse, Speedy Gonzalez (I want to apologize to all my Mexican readers for that one), you know the writers and animators had to have puffed on a few Jamaican fatties while creating that jive. Both of these characters had to have done speedballs. That’s the only explanation for them. Of course, the character that inspired my own online nic, the Tasmanian Devil was a total crack whore. Proof was when he shredded entire forests looking for rock or crystal meth. Less said…
And my mother worried about Puff the Magic Dragon?
So, you see, I grew up in a warped time to begin with. One that actually included the Time Warp. I was born just before the Age of Aquarius, got to witness the world going “Space Happy”, got down with the “Me” generation, was oh so lucky to have sex forever ruined with the threat of AIDS being thrown in my face at every turn. I survived The Macarena and The Chicken Dance, not to mention The Bump and The Hustle, and that dreadful Urban Cowboy inspired Line Dancing.
Now, mix that with two oh so prolific eras of music and style, you know, the seventies and eighties? I loved the eighties especially. It released the hounds when it gave us Brian Mulroney, the mullet, Da Da Da and Don’t Worry, Be Happy. I’m honestly amazed that I am able to form complete sentences on my own after all that. The eighties also saw to it that little boys watched Transformers cars and trucks change into Autobots while little girls watched sweet, badly drawn music heiresses turn into tawdry ho’s called Jem and The Holograms. I swear, some kids watched both and ended up trans-gendered!
And in among all the madness, we burnt a hole in Mother Natures ozone, and found ourselves threatened daily with nukes by the world’s “stupor” powers.
And people wonder why I talk aloud to myself. Well, actually, they don’t. With hands free Bluetooth, you can have entire conversations with yourself now, and no one bats an eyelash. And I’m wondering when I’m going to be told my brain has a cellphone shaped tumour on it as a result.
All in all, I’d say it’s been a frigged up 46 years so far. But, without it, I’d have nothing to poke fun at, nothing to satirize, nothing to make me smile about when reminiscing over “simpler” times.
I think, honestly, that we, as a species, well, we’ve kinda forgotten how to laugh. We’ve become so wrapped up in serious business, work, debt, unemployment, terrorism, ect, that we’ve lost the ability to truly look at ourselves and just let ‘er rip. If more people would just let go of that ball of confusion they’re running through life with, and instead, just bounce that mother until they got the laugh track running full tilt again, I honestly think a WHOLE lot of problems would suddenly not look so threatening.
I’ll take crinkled laugh lines around the eyes over worry-generated stress cracks any day!
So, as I close this little blurb about nothing, I’d like to leave you with a thought.
It’s not what hand your dealt, but how you play that hand. And it’s not about that Escalade in the showroom window. It’s about how you feel about yourself. Take a moment, pretend you’re wearing your tighty whities outside your pants, and go dance merrily through the office. Everyone will think you’re insane, but man, I promise, you’ll feel a ton lighter once you reach the elevators.