I have a few upcoming events … um … coming up. I will be discussing my book, “Below Average Genius,” at the Bethel Park Public Library Wednesday at 7 p.m., and a few days later, Saturday, Jan. 26, at 12:30 p.m., I will be discussing the same book at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie. At both libraries, I will talk about comedy and how to craft a joke. I also will encourage everyone to get a library card (seriously, run to your local library and get one today!).
I hope talking about humor will be humorous; sometimes explaining how to write a joke can be as deadly as explaining a joke. Ever have to explain a joke to a kid? It’s exhausting.
“Wait. You’re a talking orange?”
“No. I’m saying ‘orange’ instead of ‘aren’t you’ as in ‘Orange you going to open the door?’”
A child looks up at you with wide, bright eyes and says, “I don’t get it.”
“Let’s try this again. I say ‘knock-knock,’ and you say, ‘Who’s there?’”
“Why do I have to say that?”
My hair was coming out in clumps.
But, once again, I digress. Because of the aforementioned upcoming events, I’ve been interviewed by two journalists and a librarian. It’s been great publicity, but, oddly enough, all three of them have asked the same question: Why comedy? Are mystery writers asked, “Why mystery?” I don’t know. It’s a mystery to me. I will write a mystery novel and get back to you on that.
Why comedy? I want to say, why not? I think the world is taken seriously way too much. I mean, have you looked around? The world is full of serious subjects. Cast your eye upon other sections of this newspaper, and you will understand my pain.
When I was a little kid, I went to the funeral of my Aunt Eleanor. It was the first funeral I remembered. I loved this woman. She was always smiling, always laughing. I remember getting angry in the funeral parlor because everyone was joking around and having a good time. Someone I loved was gone, and everyone was laughing. It pissed me off. It took me a while, but I learned that laughing is how we cope with loss. It’s how we cope with everything. It’s a great mechanism for handling bad and frustrating situations. It’s a great tool, and we need to pull it out of our emotional toolbox more often.
I used to be an angry guy. I’d get angry over everyday situations. Once, I got a flat tire and I was infuriated. It was just a flat tire. It happens to everyone, except pedestrians. I could rail against God and the universe and scream, “Why!?” That gets old really fast. No one wants to hang out with the angry guy.
Now, I call Triple A and say, “The good news is … three of my wheels are perfectly fine!”
And that’s why comedy. Come out and see me. If you don’t laugh with me, you can laugh at me.