Finding the Funny

After plunking out $250 for the Central Coast Writer’s Conference, I may be concluding that writing a book may just be too much work.  Being allergic to work is one of my ticks.  So…I am rethinking this idea.

So many times in life we are called upon to rethink our thinking.  It’s either that or living with the consequences be they big or small.  

Two squirrels are playing on the fence right now.  Wish you could watch them with me.  They are smallish and that’s why they are playing.  Kids, is all.  They jump from the fence to the tree which is a mighty jump for the little kids.  Then they run around the bole of the tree as though they had in hand a string of lights that they were using to decorate the tree  for xmas.  Up and down and all around.  They are so squirrelly.   Imbedded below is a movie I took in my cousin’s backyard.  Look for the squirrel!!



But I digress.

So I also learned that writing is practice.  You must constantly be practicing.  Therefore, I am practicing on my blog this fine morning.  The sun is shining, the sky is blue, you can safely breathe, you can see Mt. Hood.  It is a good day and I hope the same for you, all three of my faithful readers!!  I appreciate so much my faithful followers.   It gives us a connection of sorts and in this day of so many choices for spending ones time…

Another thing I learned is that we all need to find the funny in situations.  Like if you are in line at CVS, the line is long, there is only pharma person at the register, you might be tempted to say, “Oh, for heavens sake…why are they so short handed.  I have other things I have to do and this is stupid.”  The speaker suggests that we should take a different tack because all our huffing and puffing doesn’t change a darn thing.  So have fun.  You could say to yourself…”it appears I will be here until Thanksgiving.  I wonder if that outdoor furniture over there would help on Turkey Day.   Would it seat 6?  How would the wine glasses fit?”  Admittedly it was funnier when she said it because of her verbal delivery.  The point is well made and well taken.  Lighten up and find the funny.  It truly is all around us.

As we were returning from the Green Dog Organic Health Food Store, Rayman made bedroom eyes at me.  So I thanked him for warning me and giving me ample time to come up with an airtight excuse.  TMI?  Perhaps.  But it was a funny conversation.  We both laughed.

Another thing I learned was the difference between surprise and suspense.  Surprise on the golf course would be chipping in the ball for a birdie.  Suspense is when you are lying 6 in the fairway and wonder if your next shot will get over the water.  Now, suppose you aren’t a golfer.  Surprise is if a man sits down at his desk and a bomb goes off under the desk.  Suspense is if the reader knows there is a bomb under the desk.  The man sits down…suspense is automatically created unless that person is, say, Hitler.  In Hitler’s case, you would hope the bomb would go off negating the suspense.  Or in Hitler’s case, you know he didn’t die this way because you are an esteemed reader of history and so no suspense is forthcoming at all.  Unless it is a Coen movie.  Or a Tarrantino movie.  And the way I deftly moved from writing to movie was not a switch a bait…every movie is written, afterall.  

We, the conferees listened and learned all these tricks of the trade on Zoom.  And by some weird twist of fate, no matter if I got on line before the session started or mid-session….I was always in the far left top corner, usually next to the speaker.  This rendered me somewhat unnerved.  All those people couldn’t help but see me.  It’s like sitting in the front pew Zoom style.  Don’t know how it happened but it did.  Every time.   Of course, the fact that I was in the top left also gave me a sense of being in the right place politically speaking.  Far left.  Top of far left.  While I was not asked my political affiliations, perhaps they instinctively knew.  Nah.  It was just one of those things that required me to comb my hair before signing on.  

There are so many talented people and they made the conference very informative and entertaining.  Sometimes, however, the speaker would be upstaged by a fluke of digital proportions.  All of a sudden, the Hollywood Squares format on Zoom would stop, and one of the conferees would be the only person you could see as the speaker spoke.  And this lead to some embarrassing moments for these folks.  We had a woman  in the afternoon session that got looped on gin and tonic and then cried.  One got caught feeding her dog.  Another laying on her couch.  Ah, Zoom.  It makes for some moments, doesn’t it?

We watched some movie clips.  One was Lucille Ball and Ethel at the candy factory.  As many times as I have seen it, I was left snorting with laughter.  That was one time I muted myself.  It was uproarious.  That was the class where the leader told us that the funniest stuff is people caught in the situation of being human.  And somehow getting caught in the act of being human leads to death…not directly.  But I learned that everyone dies.  Now that was a real revelation.   Did you know that?  And that somehow everything goes back to that because all art, it turns out is based upon death.  As some of us with brains know, we know we will die and we spend our lives trying to come to grips with that central fact.  And this was the session on Being Funny!!

The funny is when you tell the truth about people.  For instance, you have an ordinary guy, struggling against insurmountable odds while lacking talent.  Aah, ha.  That explains my funny blogs…Rayman fits the bill!  Fang filled the bill for Phylis Diller.   Okay.  I got it.

So, your assignment today is to find something funny…or as I do, lots of things that are funny.  They are all around us if we just take the time to notice.  

Please report back on your assignment results.  They should be a scream!!

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