Sometimes it’s hard to go first when you’re writing a themed blog. I always want to know what other folks are writing about. How my blog sisters will approach the theme. What will catch their fancy? Inquiring minds what to know. Then again, going early allows me to set the bar, a bit, and maybe the tenor of the theme—to a certain extent. That part is fun.
This month’s theme is humor and laughter. The first thing that popped into my mind when I saw the calendar was Robin Williams in his Patch Adams costume. Remember him? The doctor who used humor to treat his patients? Then I remembered Robin Williams’s tragic end. The fine line between comedy and pathos.
OK, tuck that away and turn to books. Humorous books. Laugh out loud funny books. I live in Florida. Carl Hiaasen springs to mind – then there is Dave Barry. Oh my. Yes, both are hysterical. Carl writes mysteries of course. Dave. Well, he writes. I still have an article Dave wrote after Hurricane Andrew (1992) where he happened to mention that if Bryan Norcross (weathercaster extraordinaire) happened to suggest we pull our dirty underwear over our heads and wear it outside to avoid another hurricane, all of South Florida would be thusly attired. All of South Florida laughed hysterically at the suggestion. Then we contemplated our cleanest pair of dirty undies in case the suggestion was made.
Carl’s books always have characters that I know I’ve met in real life if only I could remember where. In the 1980s the Dade (we hadn’t become Miami-Dade yet) County Chamber of Commerce launched an ad campaign that touted “the rules are different here.” Floridians, especially transplanted Floridians, took the campaign to heart and maybe massaged it to mean the rules don’t exist here. Carl exploits that very natural mistake. I mean, anyone could see how it could happen. Right? Humorous writing. When you dissect it you discover that it’s merely reality, from a sideways slant.
Sounds so simple. Some cozy writers do it so well. Janet Evanovich and own Diane Vallere to name two make it look so easy. I’ve tried. Won’t work. Anyone like bread without yeast. That’s how my humor writing comes off. Which is strange. Because in real life—I’m funny. My natural viewpoint is slightly left of center (NOT a political statement but a way of looking at things from a different perspective). However, when I write it—I feel the need to explain. See the previous statement. SO – hats off to the humor writers. They give us the gift of natural laughter and lighten our daily life. What’s more, done well, it looks so easy.
Oh, the Robbie comment. Anyone ever wonder what happened to Robbie the Robot? Well, this is supposed to be a true story, but it’s funny, and maybe true. A Tennessee, or maybe Kentucky, bar owner bought Robbie at auction. He had him in the pickup bed of his truck and was driving him to the bar. Somewhere between the auction and home, the driver was in a wreck and Robbie flew into a ditch. When the paramedics and the police arrived, the bar owners was concerned and kept talking about the robot in the ditch…the rest, as they say, is local legend, but it all worked out well, and now, I understand, you and raise a glass with Robbie in Tennessee, or maybe Kentucky, and the first responders drink for free.
Don’t you love a dash of lightness in the day? I do.