Finding the Funny

I used to write funny things a lot. Humor was my favorite kind of writing because who doesn’t like to laugh?  And because humor is to my psyche what the deflector shield is to the Enterprise.  Yes, I’m a nerd who played the flute.  But I was also a baton twirler, so I kind of broke even.  I never really understood those rules. (Oh yeah, I still need to pay for my 30 hear high school reunion)

Annnnnnyway, because of some life circumstances and lack of circumstances and because I was good at it (who knew – certainly not my youth minister or Sunday School teacher), I started writing erotic novels.  I know.  Just saying that phrase is amusing.  Like I should have a pair of knee-high boots (who says I don’t???).  I don’t, by the way, because I live in the deep south, and even in January that would just be way too hot.I do have some nice black boots I wear with tights or leggings and those long tunic tops.  I love that long tunic tops are in because I have a life and a job and a middle aged metabolism, and I therefore have neither the time nor the body chemistry to spend 3 hours a day at the gym, 1 at the tanning bed, and 2 at the “bleach mixed just for you” hairstylist so that I can be freakishly thin and too tan.  Not that I’m thinking of anyone specific.  So those long tunics hide the slightly more curvy shape of my normal working mom of teenagers who can’t afford a personal chef body.

If my 11th grade English teacher just read that, she probably killed herself.  Sorry, Mrs. H.

So, I wrote naughty novels for awhile and made just enough extra money to have to claim it on taxes.  But there are only so many plots for those novels.  There’s the “I hated his arrogance at first and then my panties fell off” plot.  There’s the, “I’m a middle aged divorcee who wants to be dominated so I’ll move in with a stranger” plot.   There’s the “She’s innocent and he’s a rouge” plot (or the reverse).  By the way, you are much more likely to see the real life version of these plots on Investigation Discovery than anywhere else.

And with that segue and because I am also addicted to Criminal Minds, I got bored writing “romance” (cough, cough) and started writing thriller/suspense stories, usually with a serial killer theme, and almost always involving technology in some form.  I think I was working out some secret aggression, but that’s another story.Luckily my psychologist had the brains to understand the difference between reality and fiction.  Hint: fiction isn’t real.  For example, I bet Stephen King never broke someone’s ankles with a mallet, Killed a family with an axe, or ran someone down with a homicidal car.  My spellchecker is telling me I spelled axe wrong.  Is this like the Oxford comma thing? Because I will always use an Oxford comma no matter what evil plot the millennials have hatched to remove it.

The truth is, nothing is as much fun as being funny and random.  I love being funny and random.  Is it ladylike? Probably not, and because I went to charm school (yes, I actually did), I should probably be ashamed, but I’m not. So I’ll keep making puns and quips and rambling on in a stream-of-consciousness fashion because it’s who I am.  Serenity now!!!  By the way, did you know that Lloyd Braun from Seinfeld is now selling insurance for AARP?  Now, that’ll put the length of your life in persepctive.

I’m sorry, I’ve completely lost sight of the reason I even stopped working and started writing.

I’ve got all sorts of snippets of partially finished “stuff” that I haven’t worked on in a long time because I just kind of lost the funny.  I was still funny in person – to everyone except my kids – but I couldn’t write it anymore.  Just….bleh.

Until Twitter.  I had a Twitter account that I basically did nothing with except for the occasional stalk of Criminal Minds Twitter accounts (because there might be an off-chance they’d hire me as a writer or let me have a walk on role, and then I could meet Matthew Grey Gubler and Penelope Garcia).  But I started reading there one day, and there was this guy with a weird handle who was just…funny as crap.  Like a mixture of my dad before he got old and grumpy, Chris Rock if he was white, and James Joyce if James Joyce had had a sense of humor. Ha!

I could go into the whole journey of rediscovering funny, except I’ve already rambled way past the customary blog length, and my job doesn’t require this much uninterrupted typing, so I’m pretty sure they KNOW….But the guy has written 3 books, and with every one I read, I felt my funny coming back.  My kids are really irritated, so it must be working. Yay! Now maybe I can finish something that doesn’t require the characters to be naked or homicidal…though that could be interesting in a disturbing kind of way.  Especially if the antagonist (ooooo literary term) could be freakishly skinny, middle aged, and have a personal chef.

So, thank you and a shout out to this author, who has made me laugh a lot.  He is married, so a shout out to his wife for being really pretty and funny too.  I needed to mention that because I’m female and he’s male and oh my God I don’t want anyone to think I would steal someone’s man – yeesh.  Plus I’m 5’9″ and I don’t steal men from women.  So there.

Check him out and thank him.  Or, if you’re one of my kids, blame him for the recent resurrection of your personal humor hell.

Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooog (aka Rodney Lacroix

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Oh Captain, my….Captain Underpants?

This week is Banned Book Week, and in schools all over the country, both teachers and students are celebrating by reading these books, some of which are wonderful classics of literature, past Newberry winners, etc. It’s a great week for reading and rebelling, and libraries all over the place are probably working just a little extra, which is wonderful in this age of “there’s an app for that.”

However, to my dismay, as I scan my Facebook news feed, one book and book cover seems to dominate the conversation: Captain Underpants. This is a book/graphic book series about a superhero kid who wears, well, underpants and a cape.

Don’t get me wrong here; I have two kids, and both of them laughed over Captain Underpants, each of them purchasing more than one installment at annual book fairs. And yes, I think banning a light hearted cartoon book about an underwear-wearing superhero is just…sad. And embarrassing. And I would like to express a resounding “lighten up” to those who had nothing better to do than to wring their hands over this book series.

However…

Is this really the “poster child” we want for our stand against censorship? I mean, here are a few other books that have been banned over the past couple of decades:

Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl

The Chocolate War

Harriet the Spy

A Light in the Attic

Bridge to Terebithia

Where the Wild Things Are

Huckleberry Finn

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Grapes of Wrath

Book list found at: http://www.infoplease.com/spot/banned-kids-books.html

And let’s not forget the uproar over Harry Potter (a book that got more children reading again than any book in recent history); an uproar that was fueled by a satircal humor article in The Onion. The Onion is not real, people. I remember a dear friend of mine worrying over whether eating a cupcake with a Harry Potter decoration on top might somehow harm her…..

Banning books is not only unAmerican, in my opinion, it’s also just about the surest way to make kids WANT to read them. In our free market society, we have an option for those who find a book inappropirate. It’s called:

Just don’t buy it.

However, in the interests of great literature and English professors everywhere, let’s use a better example of life changing classics as our banner than a tighty-whitie wearing cartoon with a cape next year. This English major will be grateful.