Tuesday, June 26, 2007

That's Really Funny

The semester after I broke up with a long-term love, I had the dismal task of teaching a class with seven (yes, seven) boys with the same name as my ex. It's a common name, a biblical one, and to have an entire team of people with variations on this theme was proof that God did have a sense of humor, that irony is not solely a literary convention, and perhaps the deepest most true thing I know about life -- you cannot get away from yourself, no matter what the hell you do, and you can't get away from your exes either. I'm still friends with this person after a fashion and when he delivered my birthday present, he had his mouth shot up with Novocaine from one of his near constant dental visits after many years of utter dental neglect and said, If you want to, you can punch me now because I won't feel it. I know you wanted to lots of times in the past, something both funny and sad and maybe a little bit true, because, let's face it, the only funny things are the sad true ones.

In retrospect, you can often say anything and everything about a situation once it's over which makes an ending both bitter and sweet. Years ago, I could laugh over damn near anything, often to the point where I felt sick to my stomach. Now I'm more the kind of person who recognizes humor, who says, That's really funny while nodding and trying to figure out what makes it funny. But it's futile in the end You can name things thinking that you own them, that you understand them, but in the end they own you and surround you, invisible staves that you don't know are there until you run into them and hurt yourself. And try and find it funny.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
“What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists?” he wondered. “In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.” Woody Allen

Cocktail Hour
Drinking essay suggestion: Mere Anarchy Woody Allen

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday!


Woody Allen said...

Don't think of being dead as a handicap.

Chemical Ali said...

I'll never have to worry about calling Hagopian again.

Cheri said...

I laugh with my mother about her near-rape as a teenager, only because it saves her from sobering and depressing effects that would cripple her emotionally. It's taken 30 years for her to get to where she is now, if it makes her laugh, well, I don't want it to be anything else.

eric313 said...

Irony follows us everywhere we go. Writers just seem to recognize it's marks easier than most. Then we go and do our writer thing, and leave the words for the rest of generations to ponder and hopefully learn from. You know, let god sort it all out. Even if stones get cast at something you write, you know you did your job because it stirred emotions in people, for good or ill. Glad you report to the page all of your finest, everyday. That's all I try to do! Even if the finest kinda blows at that moment.

Take care

tui said...

so true. group therapy is the funniest hour of my week, even though there're always tears splashed in too.

Susan Miller said...

Yep, I crave funny but have always been drawn to more of a dark funny and find it rather hard to write. Love the Woody Allen quote. Here's one of my favorites for you from the movie I watched again last night:

[Royal motions to Pagoda]

Royal: He saved my life, you know. Thirty years ago. I was knifed at a bazaar in Calcutta, and he carried me to the hospital on his back.

Ari: Who stabbed you?

[Royal motions to Pagoda again]

Royal: He did. There was a price on my head, and he was a hired assassin. Stuck me in the gut with a shiv.