Monthly Archives: May 2014

LOST: SENSE OF HUMOR

Angry Look

Somebody has stolen my sense of humor, and I won’t give up until I get it back.

At first I thought I had lost it. We all do from time to time, right? You tell a joke and it flops. Your friend sends you a funny picture but it makes you cry. Someone farts in a public toilet and you don’t scream out “EEEEEEWWWWWEEEEEE!!!” Yes, sometimes we wake up and forget where we put it the night before. I strap mine around my groin before I go to bed at night because, frankly, it’s a joke down there. Then, when I wake up the next morning and go to the bathroom (I think it’s required by law in most states) it’s right there when I pull my underwear down so I can start my day with a big laugh. I’ve always had a heightened sense of humor when I first wake up. Once upon a time I had a heart catheter test, and they gave me some really awesome bye-bye medicine. I don’t remember the procedure at all, but when I finally came to, my wife was crying and the doctor was laughing. Seems the instant they injected some kind of dye into my heart it quit beating, so they had to do the ole two-paddle shock to bring me back to life. Evidently the instant they legally electrocuted me, I sat up on the table and yelled “Hey, what happened to the dancing girls?” Since then I’ve had absolutely no fear of death.

Yesterday morning though, I went to find my sense of humor and couldn’t find it. I checked everywhere, and I mean everywhere. The neighbors didn’t appreciate me waking them up by rummaging through their closet, but I just had to be sure. I couldn’t remember being in their closet the day before, but at my age you can never be certain. Blame the 70’s. Well, you can imagine how grumpy it made me, not finding anything funny. The neighbors must have lost their sense of humor, too, because they didn’t find it funny either. Neither did the cops. That was when I suspected there was a humor thief out there somewhere. When I announced my suspicions to law enforcement hoping I’d be proven wrong, they laughed like crazy for about three seconds and then gave me their meanest stares as they handcuffed me. When I called my wife from the hoosegow and told her to look around the house for my sense of humor, she answered, “Not funny, you idiot.” They got hers, too! The only person with a sense of humor was my lawyer. You should have seen his outrageous bill. Had I a sense of humor I would have laughed right in his face. Unfortunate for me, because for that little misunderstanding in my neighbor’s bedroom closet (and NO, I don’t know how the woman’s pink two-piece bathing suit came to be on me) , it will be the lawyer who laughs every month for the next thirty-eight years when the postman drops by.  Needless to say, those shenanigans cost me most of the day, so I spent what was left of it searching for my funny bone (except those places designated by my neighbor’s restraining order) to no avail. It turned out to be a pretty serious day.

I prayed that I’d wake up this morning with my buffoonery solidly attached so that I could pretend the day before had just been a horrid dream, but I knew the instant I opened my eyes today that it was still gone, as gone as yesterday. Still no sense of humor. I instantly (after the legally required unloading of the bladder, of course) turned the TV on to the Comedy Channel, hoping to hit the chuckle lottery. After a couple of minutes of I Love Lucy and not even a weak grin, I tuned to MSNBC, the gold standard of comedy. Nothing.

So now I’m going around this part of town and even the internet (still obeying the court order) putting LOST fliers wherever I can in hopes of regaining any semblance of my former wit. The cops are still no help (they do have great donuts, though), but what do you expect, right? It’s not like I could just go to the doctors and get a cackle reattached, either. Woe is me!

 

later…

 

I found it. My sense of humor had slipped around back and was stuck in my guffaw. Being fat I couldn’t reach far enough to extract it manually, so I tried pushing it out using my abominable muscles. That caused me to toot out my hoot so hard a knee-slapper slung around and hit me upside my face. The first thing that came to mind once my sense of humor kicked back in was the joke I’m about to tell you. I laughed so hard I cried and peed myself and cried again because I realized I’d forgotten my Depends, then laughed about that. It is all the proof I need to demonstrate the return of my phenomenal humor. Here goes:

Do you know when two singing lovers are at their best?

When they duet.

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Spritz and the Pits

spritz and the pits

There is a new smart phone application that has the techies of the world wetting themselves in excitement. It’s called Spritz, a program that streams words at speeds up to 1,000 words per minute. The creators are utilizing something called the “Optimal Recognition Point,” the exact moment when the brain recognizes a single word. The app flashes text at you one word at a time, and the center of the word is colored red to help the mind focus at that point. Theoretically, a person who trains their reading speed using Spritz can in time read an entire novel in just a couple of hours. Evidently the average person reads around 220 words per minute. They must not have timed someone trying to read while their spouse is watching a TV show with the volume cranked to ear bleed levels, and their child in the next room (door open, of course) playing Modern Warfare online with a whole platoon of friends with the speakers wide open. I’m lucky to get 5 words a minute (8 words a minute during commercials – unless it’s for food, which brings all reading to a stop).

I went to their website and tried it. By golly, it worked! I sat right here in my computer chair and read for fifteen minutes as they increased the speed. By the time I was finished , I not only was reading at 1,000 wpm, I wet myself three times and didn’t know it. The only problem I had with the program was that I had no freaking idea what it was I read. That in itself is no big deal. I mean, as a writer I’m always being plied with offers from new authors wanting me to check out their novels, and I’m always happy to do so. Most of the novels I read are excellent all the way around, and I have no qualms about giving a glowing review. Sometimes, though, a novice writer cranks out something that reads like a psychopathic thesaurus has gone on an English language killing spree. Over the years I’ve read so many of these ‘experiments in literature’ (I’m being nice, ok?) that I’ve started thinking of taking their words apart and selling them back to the dictionary people. Of course, I’m much too nice a guy to tell another writer that their work makes me air my reading room out, so that officially makes me a terrible critic. I’ll respond to a writer’s query that they have ‘unique and challenging character development’ when in reality I never could determine who the protagonist was. When I say their novel has ‘unexpected plot twists,’ that means I expected there to be plot twists, but the story was so predictable it was like guessing what a baby would do when pinched. When I say I enjoyed their use of dialogue, that means everything else should be shoveled out. Now, I want to say something to all the authors who have asked me to review their books. I’m not talking about you. Trust me. Your book was incredible and inventive. Seriously.

Look, I’m the last person in the world to be all holier-than-thou in the realm of writing. There are some writers who are so awesome they make me want to break my keyboard over my knee and swear to never write another word out of respect and humility. There is a brigade of incredible young talent out there just waiting to take your imagination on a journey you’ll always cherish (I was going to say ‘a journey you’ll never forget,’ but that can cut both ways). You may have to wade through a haystack full of blunt straws in order to find that one sharp piece of writing, but thank goodness for Spritz. Now you can find out in record time if a certain book is worth your time.

Just do me a favor, though, ok? Don’t tell me my work has unexpected plot twists, ok. Let me know up front if my book sucks. I’ll respect you more for it. Actually, I’ll suggest you read the same book backwards using Spritz, just so you can get my words out of your system quicker. Who know? It might make more sense that way.

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What my Cat Dreams

What my Cat Dreams

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May 13, 2014 · 4:26 pm