Wednesday, April 24, 2024

That's Not Funny

I sat down to brainstorm a post for this month, and my brain failed to storm.  It drizzled out some of the least entertaining ideas I’ve ever had.  Here are a few of the topics I’m not going to use to try to make readers laugh.

1) A poem about my notebook.  Bad poetry can be mildly amusing in a groaning, if-you-like-puns sort of way.  The words mildly, groaning and puns should have stopped me.  I kept trying to imagine a poem that didn’t reveal what it was about until the end.  All the words used to describe a notebook (cover, pages, lines) are pretty obvious.  I thought about turning it into a metaphorical container for a story.  No one has ever laughed while picturing a box.  Also, I still don’t like poetry.

2) Digging up a tree stump.  I had an idea to compare and contrast writing a book with a project in my backyard.  Both are things I’ve been tempted to give up.  One requires mental stamina while the other is physical.  One brings me joy when I finally finish.  One frustrates me by refusing to budge no matter how many times I hit it with a shovel.  It had a snake by it one day and a gross spider another day and a cable tangled in the roots every day that I don’t think will electrocute me and won’t scurry away when I scream at it.  No one is allowed to find humor in any of that.

3) IRS form 2210.  I know someone somewhere just cringed reading that.  Look it up.  It’s possible to summon a sadistic laugh by picturing that really annoying guy you know trying to fill it out.  But that’s an ugly laugh.  I’m not encouraging it.  And no one is allowed to laugh at why I’m currently very familiar with that form.  Or how many times I started over. 

4) Advice for writers.  I’ve given tongue-in-cheek advice for fun.  I thought about offering a few tips that have actually helped me.  I couldn’t figure out how to do that in a light-hearted, non-big-headed way.  Also, I am not qualified to give advice because I considered trying to entertain people with a tax form.

5) A list.  I thought I could simply make a list of funny things.  What funny things?  Exactly.  That’s why I’m not doing this one either.

6) The bad stuff that wasn’t published.  I have a collection of projects that never saw the light of day, mostly abandoned faster than that tree stump I still intend to outwit.  I think I could find a few interesting paragraphs to share if I spent several hours reading through old papers.  I might spend as many hours sneezing at the dust I kicked up doing that.  Also, I don’t want to do that.

7) It did occur to me that I could write about how I never know what to write about.  That at least would be novel since I haven’t mentioned it before.  Maybe I’ll do that next month.

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