Funny or Pathetic: My Attempt at Comedy

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My latest online writing course is about comedic writing and I’m thinking, sure, I can write something funny. I don’t always have to do misery or tear jerking, heart wrenching or thought provoking. Can you actually provoke a thought? Tell me how. I have always been told that I am funny and have a good sense of humor (and here I thought I was just plain rude) so I think I’ll try this out. One of the references I’ve been given is a list of guaranteed, time-tested, funny words. OK, so I’m putting my funny cap on. Please don’t laugh at my attempt, just my story.

 So the first word on the list is bamboozled. I know what it means because someone who shall remain nameless always told me I was trying to bamboozle him (and here I thought I was hornswoggling), but other than the nameless one, who actually uses that word? I mean, it’s funny the way it rolls off your tongue and all but if you can actually use it in a conversation without being ridiculed, I’d like to know how. Perhaps this list isn’t going to help me be funny after all. I’ll continue reading it to see what else I’ve been given. No, I don’t plan on using each and every one but I’d like to find at least one that could make me a comedian.

 Noggin? Yeah, I know that one. Elijah (who is now three, by the way) is always smacking his noggin off of things, like his mother before him. But funny? I’m not really amused by the word. It’s probably because my mother was always smacking me across the back of my noggin for some small infraction or another. Happened often since I was quite the infracting type back in my childhood. But to be honest, the noggin smack was a lot easier to take than the switch across the back of my legs. The funniest thing about the switch was that she made me go out to the Japanese Quince tree in the yard each time to procure the weapon for the deed. And I, in my youthful ignorance, thought that the skinniest switch would bring less pain. Little did I know.

 How about canoodle? Do normal people canoodle? Canoodling, if you don’t already know, is cuddling and all that happy stuff. I’ve read about numerous celebrities, the hoi polloi, that are photographed or reported canoodling at some luxury resort in an exotic location but I guess they are the only ones who do it. I think normal people just slobber all over each other. Doesn’t even make the tabloids unless they’re caught canoodling someone else’s spouse and murder is committed, causing a scuttlebutt (like how I slid that new word in there?). Ok, so those were poor excuses for funny words since I can’t make anything out of them. Moving on.

 I have always liked words that kind of bedazzle the mind and if they are funny, so much the better. Like perpetuity; so many syllables it just makes me want to giggle. Holler is another good one. Not if you’re being hollered at, of course, but it’s still amusing. Although not everyone has heard of it; those up and comers from better parts of the country are usually yelled at or disciplined but where I’m from, we holler. We also have doohickeys instead of things. Can’t believe that doohickey is on the funny word list (it is funny but didn’t know others knew it). I thought only people from my neck of the woods used it. My father was a good one for saying such things. He kind of mixed in a little Czech (which is the only language his mother spoke) with whatever else he could think of made for a unique form of speaking. So we had whatnots, squeegees and gumption. We skootched out of the way when he was in a persnickety mood.  Add to that my mother’s Irish upbringing plus six kids and we had a lively household. Things were always catawampus or someone was having a conniption and the end result was usually a smack on the noggin, as previously mentioned. The whole shebang.

 Places are another good source of funny words. Bethesda is charming and has always been my favorite name for a city (just say it, you’ll see) although, since my recent relocation, I’m getting a kick out of Atchafalaya, which is a really cool swamp among other things. Teaching Elijah to say Atchafalaya was awesome plus watching his little lips say the word is hilarious. He also says Baton Rouge with a French accent. But I digress. I’ve moved away from my glossary of witty words and need to return. This assignment isn’t completing itself. Onward and upward.

 Whenever I am floundering in the literary sense, I always call a friend from the home land that is very good with words. Sort of like the phone a friend on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Actually it’s my daughter and she makes me laugh. Like tonight she tells me she got an invitation to the Bath & Body Works Valentines Party and wanted to know if she should bring a covered dish. Her sense of humor is even stranger than mine. She advised me to just go with what I was good at. Well, saying it and doing it are two different things. But I have her inspiration plus that of my Tweeps, so I’m going for broke. I only have about one hundred words left to go before I can put this one to rest. Oh, and my daughter also said that adding palooza to any word makes it funny. I think I’ll pass on that one.

 Of course I also have Elijah and his mother for inspiration. That’s worth at least fifty words or more. He’s a cheeky little monkey and a rapscallion as well. Rapscallion is good, really good. Add to that a frustrated young mother and I could just laugh myself silly if I hadn’t been there myself twenty years ago (ok, twenty-three years ago but who’s counting). Between me and the lamppost, been there or not, I sometimes do laugh myself silly but don’t tell her that. His constant need for something is enjoyable, especially since what he “needs” and what he gets is usually … he gets what he wants. He has an adorable way of finagling things out of her since her method of discipline is lackadaisical at best. He runs screaming “rock and roll” through the house, thanks to an awesome rock band who shall remain nameless (Imagination Movers). Sticks buckets on our feet constantly as a result of the same rock band (thank you so much for that one). He also points his little finger at me and says, very seriously, “I’m done with you, YaYa.”  Who can resist?

 And on that happy note, bazinga! I think I have proven that some of the words on my time-tested, funnier than hell, laughable list are actually that. I have used just about half of them and if this isn’t funny, it isn’t because I haven’t tried. It’s just because, well, I’m not typical comic material.


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