It's been a rough week for humor. If I hear one more dead celebrity joke, I just might puke.
Maybe I've lost my sense of the absurd, and the jokes are actually funny, or maybe I just hang out with a rather low-brow crowd. Either way, I've groaned myself cranky.
Whether spawned in poor taste, or boredom, It's gotten me thinking about humor, particularly in reference to writing, for a couple of reasons. First, I fancy a funny read above almost any other. Second, I have aspirations for my writing to contain enough mirth to inspire, if not a hearty chuckle, then at least an amused smirk.
Personally, I like British humor. It's a bit silly, somewhat cerebral, and for the most part, no one gets hurt. Except for the Kamikaze Highlanders and the occasional parrot. In the literary universe, I cut my teeth on Douglas Adams, and leisurely devour whatever Terry Pratchett I can get my hands on. My favorite, Christopher Moore, is the all time master. His is the only work I've chanced upon that not only made me laugh, but knocked me, cackling, right off the couch, and on more than one occasion, nearly made me pee.
(I mentioned the low-brow bit, right?)
So, how does one cultivate that type of hilarity? Is it a natural born art?
For my own part, alas, I'm just not that funny. I know, I've tried it. In the end, I'm sure, I'll have to settle for the occasional amused snort. I can live with that, I suppose.
Last week I showed my husband a short piece of writing that descended on me in a flash of inspiration. I was nearly certain it was hilarious. As he read it (after much prodding on my part) over my shoulder, I watched his face. Big mistake.
On the other hand, maybe it goes back to that British thing. I sent one of my current short stories through the critters workshop (check the links, use it, it's free) I received a slew of critiques that ranged from "needs work" with some fabulous suggestions, to "I loved it. " But of all the responses, the only one that understood that the story was, in fact, funny was the Brit.
Maybe he can get me a list of British markets...
In the meantime, I'll leave the side tickling to the pros.