Compare This!

Jay Cole image

Humor is our most enjoyable form of truth.


Let’s agree that comparisons are indeed a basic literary device, but that’s exactly why they are so often overlooked.

Humorist have, or certainly should develop, a knack for comparing things to… Well, damn near anything. And that’s the point. The average fiction writer strives for comparisons that are novel, emotionally evocative, or impressive to literary critics. (Although frankly, if a literary critic is nitpicking individual similes, he\she needs their dosage adjusted.)

The sunset used a palette that left mortal artists found wanting.

Comparisons for a humorist have no such limitations. Or, any limitations.

LSD invented: 1938. The Wizard of Oz flying monkeys: 1939.

To Compare or Not to Compare
It’s true, comparisons can be considered trite, and there are some fairly good arguments supporting that belief. However, comparisons can also be very effective, which is why they have survived as a literary device, and as jokes. If a comparison is trite, it’s not the fault of the device, but the writer.

Ooh, that hurts!

The problem with comparisons is that, although they offer a fabulous opportunity to stretch one’s imagination, many humorists—particularly beginners—bypass the opportunity or settle for the patently obvious. On the other hand, stretching one’s imagination—really pushing the envelope—when using a comparison offers your audience exactly what they’re looking for: a great laugh.

Ah yes, divorce, from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man’s genitals through his wallet. – Robin Williams

Simile Smiles
The simile is in its simplest, purest, and totally unadulterated form: this is like that.

She welcomed me like E. coli in the mayonnaise.

Or, one of my personal favorites from Judy Rose’s post, The 25 Funniest Analogies (Collected by High School English Teachers):

Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

A true artiste that one!

The lowly simile is probably the first comparison that most us learned in grade school English class. Used well, it is also the most effective. With no exaggeration, millions of jokes are based on similes. The funniest, by far, are those where the writer refused to settle for his first idea and kept pushing until he had a great gag tickling hell out of his audience.

TOP SECRET Humor Formula #7826: Pushing your imagination is not time consuming after a modest bit of practice. It quite easily becomes second nature, and the speed with which you will be able to formulate a great gag regularly increases.

Metaphor, My Love
A metaphor is a hidden comparison not using like or as. However, it’s the same soup, just a different flavor.

All the world’s a stage and men and women merely players.
– William Shakespeare

Olde Will could certainly turn a phrase, and he was screaming funny at times, even in his tragedies. Of course, there’s still plenty of humor fodder in more modern views:

Obstetricians aren’t real doctors; not once did mine say, ‘This won’t hurt a bit.’

Oh, So Familiar Analogy
An analogy explains something unfamiliar by comparing it to something familiar, which is particularly useful in topical humor when something esoteric makes headlines.

Scientist have discovered that electrons are spherical. If an electron was the size of the solar system, any imperfection would be less than the width of a human hair or the dust that your mother-in-law can see on your countertop.

Welcome to George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Cover image: "Sexual Evolution"Allegory uses symbols and symbolism to compare people, things or even all of society to abstract ideas or events. As allegories are generally longer works, I’ll skip posting an example, but you can find a list of popular allegorical books at Goodreads. Note, longer forms are not immune to humor. The theme, entire plots, and bits and pieces of any book can be both humorous and allegorical.

Comparative literary devices are practically straight-lines for humorists. And for those humorists with lots of imagination and no fear, one final comparison: Use them like you know what you’re doing.

Parting Funny: The best way to get most husbands to do something is to suggest that perhaps they’re too old to do it.Ann Bancroft
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Picture This!

Jay Cole image

Humor is our most enjoyable form of truth.


Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but I heartily recommend that captions be significantly shorter.

Captions are practically custom-made for ‘outside the box’ thinking. Seriously… Captioning pictures and cartoons is a fabulous opportunity for the humorist to stretch their imagination. Even better, your readers expect humorous captions to push the envelope—the more outlandish the better—as long as it produces a laugh.

While it’s easy to say that humorous captions have no limits, it may be difficult at first for the novice writer to make appropriate, though wild and wooly, connections. However, consider that the best humorous connection between the picture and the caption is not necessarily inherent within the graphic itself. It’s perfectly acceptable for your caption to connect the graphic to something remotely related or even unrelated. In fact, it may be preferred. Often, the least obvious connection gets a better response due to surprise.

Shack, falling down

The San Francisco City Council strongly disputes reports that affordable housing is no longer available within city limits.

Use the whole picture.
It’s natural for someone viewing a picture to focus on…well, the focus of the picture. However, both foreground and background objects are viable fodder for a good caption. When searching for the most humorous line, try both before making a final decision.

Laundromat, climb in dryer

My Zen training kept me in the moment while I waited, so I immediately noticed the available empty basket.

Odd Captions
While it’s true that most captions are statements, there is no law requiring a caption to be a standard one-liner. It’s entirely fair to attempt a question, a paragraph, or even a multiple choice caption.

CAUTION: Readers do not expect to read War and Peace when viewing a caption. Still, long captions are perfectly acceptable, but they are best when over the top funny.

Bride, red bouquet

A bride’s smile says to the world:
1. I’m so happy.
2. I’m so in love.
3. I fit in the damn dress; I’m going to eat today!

Cartoon Ballons
Cartoons capture both the real world and fantastic fantasies dredged from the mind of the artist.

First, be sensitive to an artist’s rights. While it’s often easy to think of a better caption for a published cartoon, make sure that you get the artist’s permission before use, or stick to public domain.

Next, even if the box is the same size, the ‘outside’ in ‘outside the box’ just became much larger. However, don’t be intimidated. Pure fantasy can be just as humorous as reality, and frankly, it’s a lie that adults outgrow cartoons. Almost every newspaper has a comics page because of their enduring popularity.

Think of captioning cartoon characters as simply expanding your repertoire.

Potato 01 - Caption Replacable

A Narrative in Pictures
My last blog told the story of Trump vs. Baby. Narratives using pictures and captions offer a chance to significantly pump up the humor. However…

  1. Never force a picture to conform. Choose pictures that you feel fit naturally into your story.
  2. Keep the story simple. It’s not only easier to find pictures for a simple story, but simplicity improves the flow for the reader.
  3. If you choose a theme, it’s generally best to keep it light so that it doesn’t interfere with the humor. No one sane wants to laugh at graphic pictures of Armageddon.

Captioning pictures and cartoons is great fun for most humorists, and to be honest, relatively easy. A picture kick-starts one’s imagination. After that, it’s simply a matter of editing the caption to tighten up the humor. So, if you haven’t yet tried captioning, what are you waiting for?

All photos CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay

Parting Funny: I tried to be normal once. Worst two minutes of my life.Ziad K. Abdelnour

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Humor Calamities

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Humor is our most enjoyable form of truth.


Calamity noun – an event causing great and often sudden damage or distress.

Humor may cause the odd bit of emotional damage, but humorists rarely sink the Titanic…other than metaphorically. Ergo, for this discussion, damage is not the keyword in the above definition. Comedy writers are more often faced with occasional bouts of distress. While this distress is certainly emotional, there’s no need yet to check yourself into the nearest mental health facility. Most humorists are no crazier than normal folk, who, as we all know, are just plain batshit.

Sometimes it’s the crazy people who turn out to be not so crazy. – Kevin Spacey

Being funny on demand is a mental discipline, and if you’re aware of a couple fairly common pitfalls, it’s much easier to take them in stride.

An amateur knows how to get into trouble. A professional knows how to get out of it.

External Distress
Can you produce 1000 words on a particular topic today?

If your answer is yes, then you’re a writer.

Can you produce the same 1000 words with ten killer jokes today?

If your answer is yes, then you’re a comedy writer. That is, until the day when you get hit with the flu, your bank returns the check for your car payment for no particular reason, your screaming children all want ice cream for dinner and help with homework avoidance, and your spouse mistakenly takes her multivitamin from the Ambien bottle.

Note to self: You live in a ground floor apartment. Don’t jump.

There are days when life just kicks you in the groin. Granted, this happens to nearly everyone at some point in time, but heart surgeons, police officers and taxi drivers don’t have to be funny. Comedy writers do, whether they feel like it or not.

Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for curing a crappy day. Simply realize that you already know how to handle all the crap that has absolutely nothing to do with your writing.

So, take your flu meds. Mail a new check for the car payment. Properly feed and water your children; help them finish their homework and put them to bed. Convince your sedated spouse that she should also go to bed. That is, handle your life as best you can, then sit down and write just like every other day. With luck, you’ll finish work and leap into bed before the Ambien wears off and your wife will still be loopy enough to think your eagerness is romantic instead of desperate.

Life’s crap can’t stop you from being funny. It’s actually fodder for future jokes.

Internal Distress
Some call this a crisis of confidence; it’s the day that you discover that you’re a fraud. You can’t really write funny, and you’ve just been fooling everyone.


For how many years now have you been fooling everyone?

Even veteran comedy writers have an inner voice that occasionally tells them to panic. That’s what scotch is for.

Of course, if you don’t have time for a hangover, there are other remedies.

  • Read some of your old work. Prior success builds confidence that you can succeed once again.
  • Research your new topic. The more you know about something, the easier it will be to exploit new humorous angles.
  • Work on something else for an hour. Sometimes, the mind just needs a break.
  • As a last resort, try to lease an apartment on a much higher floor.

However, I don’t recommend that last one very highly.

Writers have the same insecurities as everyone else. And like most others, you will get over it, and you will be funny again. Hopefully, in as short a period of time as possible.

Book Cover image


Writing comedy is work. Granted, it’s fun work, but it is still occasionally subject to stress and fear, much like any other profession. However, consider that staring at a blank page is not as stressful as brain surgery, nor as fearful as night landings on an aircraft carrier. Realistically, a humorist’s worst case scenario is a joke that flops or a vicious papercut.

Being funny on demand is a talent that one continuously develops over a lifetime. The occasional panic attack is just one of the perks.

Parting Funny: My father always said, “Be the kind they marry, not the kind they date.” So on our first date I’d nag the guy for a new dishwasher.Kris McGaha
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Slapstick and the Novel

Jay Cole image

Humor is our most enjoyable form of truth.



Note: Today’s post is a bit longer than usual due to the inclusion of a short book excerpt, but—hang tough—it’s worth it.

Slapstick or physical comedy falls into the love it or hate it category, but you may be surprised to learn that it is one of the only universal forms of humor. Slapstick can be found in every country and every culture. As such, it shouldn’t be ignored by any humor writer.

Maybe you hate The Three Stooges, and maybe Gilligan’s Island is not on your Top Ten List, but the fact that they are still in syndication generations after their original production is testament to slapstick’s popularity with all ages and every demographic. In spite of this, many writers ignore this form of humor when writing novels and articles, feeling that slapstick can’t be made funny on the printed page—simply not true. Slapstick can be used everywhere, but it may take a bit more work in printed formats.

You can find slapstick scenes in many novels. Funny faces, funny appearances, funny actions, funny situations, and the occasional heavy dollop of the just plain stupid. Likely, one of the best explanations appears in the opening to Kurt Vonnegut’s 1976 novel entitled, Slapstick:

It is about what life feels like to me.

Slapstick Challenges A Writer’s Descriptive Abilities
It’s easy to put a pratfall on film. One only needs a good premise, a director who’s not a moron, and a great comedic actor or actress. When describing similar characters and actions in print, you have to paint a picture—assuming adequate caffeine, easy enough for a talented writer. However, a slapstick picture should deliberately accentuate:

  • Comic action
  • Comic characters (physical and personality traits). This can include personality clashes, and personalities clashing with action (fish out of water, etc.)
  • Additions—add comic flourishes external to the main action
  • Consequences of comic action
  • External forces—deliberate interference with characters and action

Essentially, slapstick can utilize all aspects of the scene. Everything is funny with the right perspective and carefully constructed description.

A Sample Slapstick Scene
Below is a short excerpt from my book,
Sexual Evolution: A Naughty Comedy of Social Madness.

This scene describes a failed assassination attempt by a quite obsessed, quite insane, and quite inept assassin. Note the add-ons to the primary action, both in the descriptions and, in this case, the addition of a few fictitious quotes\comments.

Setup: Our assassin, Gwen, is a television news anchor; she shoots from the unfinished floor of a high-rise building under construction, and the mentioned ‘DST cartridge’ is a memory storage device like a DVD.

    Gwen Taylor was back in her assassin’s window looking at MacClaren the Pig through her purse-sized binoculars. He was talking on the phone again as he tossed a DST cartridge in the air. He caught it repeatedly and sent it back toward the ceiling tiles with a flip. MacClaren stopped and pulled a single sheet from the buff file folder on his desk. Gwen knew exactly what he was doing.
    Figuring more ways to denigrate women.
    Setting her binoculars on the floor, Gwen opened a large packing case and pulled out a shoulder-fired rocket launching tube. “No mistakes this time. I just lock it onto a heat source and push the button.”
    Toasted Pig MacMuffin–MacClaren!
    She shouldered the weapon.

Time to die, you bastard!
The theme of all James Bond films.

    Sighting the rocket on MacClaren’s desk lamp, Gwen pushed the launch button. A geyser of intense flame shot from the end of the tube. The bright flash temporarily blinded Gwen.

And the rocket’s red glare…
Francis Scott Key
Lawyer and poet
Lord knows, he was no musician

    The anti-tank rocket, model MX-43 Rev. 2, had been stolen from a National Guard Armory and stored for several years in the damp basement of a popular Italian deli and pizza parlor/cocaine and methamphetamine distribution center. Gwen purchased it from a career criminal, who she’d previously used as an informant on a racketeering and political influence story. The little missile was then bounced around for nearly a week in the trunk of Gwen’s BMW. It was a truly marvelous example of American craftsmanship, which despite long storage and abuse, launched on command without hesitation. The rocket flew out the back of the tube behind Gwen, straight across the eleventh floor, missed two pallet loads of drywall, and accelerated out the empty window on the opposite side of the building.
    After exiting the building, the rocket flew two blocks to the river and crossed in less than a second. It had locked onto the Mid-Town Jaycees clambake on the far riverbank. Fortunately, no one was attending the cooking fire when the missile hit. The huge pot of Redstone clams blew sixty feet in the air and rained their now severely overcooked seafood dinner into the Jaycees’ laps. Also fortunate, the Jaycees were drunk enough to laugh at flying clams. It didn’t matter really. They still had corn-on-the-cob and a huge variety of potluck pasta and potato salads available. No one would die of starvation or poorly aimed rockets.
    The only known injury was a very small and very mild, clam-shaped burn on the tongue of a toy poodle, named Polo, which was both the Jaycees chapter mascot and honorary public relations director. The lucky pooch couldn’t resist the opportunity to steal away with his share of this seafood bounty falling from the heavens.

No animals were harmed in the making of this film.
Hollywood film disclaimer
A common lie to soothe the social conscience

Only one animal was harmed in the writing of this book.
Don’t care. It wasn’t my dog.

    The Jaycees chapter president, having caught a clam on the fly, sucked the neatly cooked morsel from its shell and continued to tap a second icy keg of Budweiser. “The clams were better last year,” he announced. It didn’t occur to him to blame the strange taste on the chemical residues of an explosive warhead and expended rocket propellant. “Probably that damn global warming.”
    When Gwen’s night vision returned, she was surprised to see MacClaren, sitting at his desk, chatting on the phone and routinely tossing his DST cartridge in the air. The Pig was supposed to be barbecue. She looked into the empty launcher tube. The rocket was gone. “Why isn’t he dead?” Gwen asked aloud.
    Her words gently reverberated down the empty tube. Gwen felt completely numb. She had failed once again. Her body began to shiver and quiver uncontrollably. Her tears burst forth, and her vision blurred into a blood-red haze.
    “Dead Pig. Pig dead. Dead Pig. Pig dead,” Gwen recited her new mantra as she collapsed into a fetal position on the concrete floor, hugging her now nicely warm ‘rocket tube thingy.’

Cover image: "Sexual Evolution"Fear Not!
If you fear that slapstick will not translate to the printed page, now is the time to reconsider and give it a try. It is absolutely doable.

Will slapstick appeal to every reader? No more than Gilligan’s Island, the number one program in syndication for almost fifty years.

Isn’t that worth some thought?

Parting Funny: I just carved my initials into a tree, but only as a warning to other trees.
Bridger Winegar
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Popular Is Not Enough

Jay Cole image

Humor is our most enjoyable form of truth.


Last week, I posted a humorous commentary on a news article from The Wall Street Journal which questioned the relationship between doctors and pharmaceutical companies. The article noted a study linking gifts and free meals for doctors to an increase in the number of prescriptions for new drugs.

Now, topical humor is generally a good bit of fun, however, a study relating a free lunch to prescription medication is a fairly esoteric topic. ‘Esoteric’ is Latin for No one cares.

Still, the question remains, Why did I pick this particular topic?

Two reasons:

  • The Wall Street Journal was not alone. The story appeared in the health sections of multiple major metropolitan newspapers (online).
  • I had a point of view worth exploring humorously.

It’s good that health is a popular topic, but point of view is equally important.

Point of View In General
First, let’s dispel the rumor that merely having a point of view is interesting or funny. That’s simply not true.

Second, the belief that every point of view can be made humorous is actually unprovable. While everything has a funny side, whether a writer can find it and utilize it well is problematic. Add to this audience acceptance…

Only one in four jokes ever works, and I still can’t predict what people will laugh at. – Steven Wright

I think Steven Wright is one of the funniest men on the planet, and while I question the validity of his “one in four” calculation, he is correct that predicting audience response is often complicated (AKA a Crap Shoot?). However, you can improve your odds.

Pro vs. Con Is Just The Beginning
Referring to my previous column once again, do you think it’s probable that one can cure everything by taking a pill?

Not likely.

Are doctors really making decisions about your health based on the quality of
a free Chicken Tetrazzini?

Amusing, but even less likely.

Are the directors of most pharmaceutical companies a bunch of sociopathic, price-gouging bastards?

Okay, that one is arguable.

Still, as the above statements demonstrate, a humorous point of view is not simply choosing a pro or con stance. It’s an exploration of multiple viewpoints, and may even be an ad hoc mixture of pro and con. You’re searching for funny, not a personal manifesto.

Topic Exploration
Naturally, each writer has his own opinion on nearly all topics. That’s fair. Writers form opinions just like everyone still breathing, and a fair number of dead people who happen to be oft quoted.

The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of ages, may be preserved by quotation. – Isaac D’Israeli

I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
– Clarence Darrow

That pretty much covers quoting or ignoring the dead. And of course, it’s entirely fair to quote the living as well. In fact, many journalists spend huge amounts of time looking for interesting quotations to take out of context.

However, in addition to reading articles on the same topic from multiple news outlets, looking for appropriate quotations, and formulating your own opinion(s), there is one blatantly obvious and very helpful tool that many writers overlook.

CLUE: You’re not the only one with an opinion.

Broaden Your Views
No writer alone can think of every possible angle. There is just too much flexibility in our significantly-less than black and white world. Ergo, searching for opinion (non-news) articles is just common sense, and very often useful when writing humorous commentary.

Granted, newspaper opinion pieces are more prevalent on political topics. And fortunately, a good many of us live in countries that offer legal protections whereby political commentators will not have their giblets roasted over charcoal briquettes for doing their job.

[answering phone] Amnesty International, Putin Division, may I help you?

However, many MUCH, MUCH more mundane topics have been editorialized.

Bottom Line: Yes, you have a point of view worth exploring, but so does everyone else. The Editorial Page is just as valuable a resource as the front page for topical humor.

When exploring viewpoints, always google: “Editorials on __________.”

You don’t have to agree with the views that you find, and you’re certainly entitled to laugh at them. …Damn! Isn’t that useful for humorous commentary!

Parting Funny: My mother buried three husbands, and two of them were just napping.
Rita Rudner
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Comedians and Tragedy

Jay Cole image

Humor is our most enjoyable form of truth.

CRAFT – A special note.

Sometimes, the elephant in the room is the one with the most influence.

Most of us have experienced personal tragedy—the loss of a loved one, a family member who receives a frightening diagnosis from their doctor, or the disastrous loss of a family home from fire or natural disaster. Being human, we grieve, each in our own way, until such time as we are able to, as the Brits say so succinctly, soldier on.

Professional writers who experience a personal tragedy usually continue writing, some introducing a cathartic strain to their prose. Professional humorists follow a similar course, continuing to craft jokes, but there are some differences.

And not all tragedies are personal.

As we were so recently reminded in Orlando, national tragedy also impacts our consciousness. For those who need help, psychologists are available to deal with the varying degrees of shock and horror. Most writers or performers need only recognize the fact of its existence. At such times, the catastrophic event weighs on each mind in every humorist’s audience. Even if audience members are not aware consciously, tragedy can subdue their mood and limit their ability to enjoy the work of even the most talented humorists.

How can we laugh in the face of tragedy?

How can a comedian make jokes in a time of crisis?

How can a humorist do his\her job while our nation grieves?

The same way as doctors, lawyers, plumbers and carpenters. We get out of bed. We go to work. We do our job.

First, address the pain.
In the aftermath of tragedy, it’s entirely normal for a humorist to want to act professionally and carry on. However, respect for the feelings of your audience (and your own feelings) is best served by acknowledgement. Avoiding a harsh reality accomplishes nothing; directly confronting the event compassionately helps clear the air. Be clear. Be direct. Express your own thoughts, your own sympathies.

There is no right or wrong way.
Sometimes, all we can do is our best, and hope it’s adequate.

A nicely written article by Adam Epstein (with video clips) demonstrates for us how some popular comedians addressed the Orlando mass shooting. Speaking with palpable discomfort in some of these clips, these professional humorists express their feelings and those of our nation.

Note the range of feelings expressed. From sincere empathy to blatant anger, it can honestly be said that all are appropriate at such emotionally confusing times. It is also brave for them to be so open with their audience, and whether you agree with all of their sentiments or not, each effort to reach out to our nation is wholly admirable.

Human, then humor
As a nation, Americans have always come together and been supportive in times of national tragedy. American comedians have the same desire to be supportive; today both of the Orlando victims’ families and of their audience members concerned with the often uncertain feelings this horrific crime has engendered in their hearts and minds.

Afterwards, humorists will return to work. There will be new jokes written and performed. Audiences will once again enjoy a smile, a giggle and a laugh. And each succeeding day, it will get a little easier for all of us.

No tragedy, no depraved act will ever permanently rob our country of normal.

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.
– Helen Keller

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Funny Insights

Jay Cole image

Humor is our most enjoyable form of truth.

One of the difficulties faced by novice humor writers is their relentless search for that magic How To that is going to make everything they write hilarious.

Comedy Secret #4961: That How To doesn’t exist.

Still, there is much to learn from the search.

Studying humorists is an excellent start. Most comedians are very generous with tips on technique. They generally respect other humorists and have a genuine interest in expanding the field. After all, the more people (audiences, readers) learn to love humor, the better it is for their career because demand increases.

I’ll be happy to do a show for The Grand Exalted Order of the Magenta Feltberry Lodge…Uh, who the hell are you?

Or, as Robin Williams once quipped:

When I started, I would have played the opening of an envelope.


While learning from other humorists is wholly worthwhile, there are many other sources of humor insights all around us—some quite normal and expected, and some rather strange. All it takes is a little awareness to find useful tips nearly everywhere.

Let’s consider a few not-so-obvious examples:

Billions of dollars are spend on scientific research to cure disease, explore the nature of our universe, and create new breathable synthetic fabrics for underwear that doesn’t bind.

It’s true, science has improved our lives, yet many discoveries can be attributed not to intent, but to one very simple, very human act: A scientist looks closely at some aspect of his world and says to himself, “That’s odd.”

What a fabulous observation! It can also be a fabulous insight leading to your next joke.

If stray cats follow you into a singles bar, reconsider your aftershave.

When I spotted a stray cat outside a noisy club, did I consider it odd? A bit. Is it funny?

My audience thought so.

It takes a very secure man to give a public lecture wearing a toga.

Pick any philosopher at random, and you’ll see he\she offers lessons useful for the construction of humor. Let’s try Jean-Paul Sartre, often one of the most confusing philosophers of modern times. His concept of living without freedom, which he called
Bad Faith can be described as telling ourselves that we MUST live a certain way, and as a result, we close ourselves off from other options.

Does everything in life have to be a certain way?


Deviating from the expected norm may lead you to a more comfortable life, but it could also lead you to a great gag.

I don’t think I’ll marry again. I’ll just find a woman that hates me and buy her a house. – Attributed to Lewis Grizzard and others.

Out of the Mouths of Babes
I firmly believe that the most wonderful thing about children is that most of them aren’t mine.

Book Cover image


Still, children have a unique way of looking at the world. Some call this innocence, but whatever you call it, children often go right to the heart of a matter with their own wonderfully skewed view of the world.

One day, when my son was three years-old, his grandfather brought him home and announced, somewhat red-faced, that he wasn’t taking my son to a restaurant again until he was older.

They had simply gone out for ice cream! What happened?

Answer: They had gone to a local family restaurant which was known for its many flavors of ice cream. While waiting to be served, my son had stood up in their booth, pointed to a nearby table with an obviously overweight customer and shouted:

Poppy, look at how much food that man is eating!

Everyone in the restaurant looked and laughed, and mortally embarrassed ‘Poppy’ wanted to crawl under the table.

Intentionally looking at the world from the view of innocence, or imagining everything as if it were a new experience, is a great insight, and quite often, just plain funny.

Certainly, comedians can teach us how to add a touch of humor to life, but the truth, often a bit harder to grasp, is that everyone and everything we know teaches humor. That is, if we’re listening.

Parting Funny: Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean all parachutes are perfect.
Benny Hill
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