Thursday, April 14, 2011

L is for LAUGHTER

Do you have humor in your writings?

Let me tell you about one of my favorite blogs: Res ipsa loquitur.

The name means, according to Google, It speaks for itself.

Phoenix, she's a poet, an introspectologist, and one of the most heartfelt, honest bloggers around. Her writing is tremendous, and if I've mentioned anecdotes are my favorite form of storytelling, you'll find insightful, meaningful, entertaining anecdotes on her site.

And she's DAMNED funny.

Why is she so funny? Because she's honest, and because honesty is pretty darn funny. I told her once that I read her site so I don't feel so stupid. I can look at what she did and say, At least I didn't do ~that~.

I find humor pops up in my writings even against my will, and I believe it's for the same reason I like humor in Phoenix's site: it's honest.

It's life.

We are born knowing how to cry, but we have to LEARN TO LAUGH!

Think about it. I know I have these past five months, after my second son was born.

He's in a good place, nice and warm, doesn't know hunger or pain or discomfort, doesn't know what it's like to be cold, or tired, or grumpy, or have the lights in his eyes, or get woke up by the damned dog barking when someone knocks on the door selling candybars or lawn services.

Suddenly the little guy is yanked out of the womb!

BAM! Into the light. Cut the cord. What the fuck, lunchbox, you mean now I gotta BREATHE on my own! And what's this feeling in my tummy? Why am I shivering?

Waah waah waah! Cry baby cry.

Oh, and while we're at it, let's cut off part of his pecker. HA! No anesthesia. Babies can't feel anything, don't you know.

Yeah, fuck that. He felt it. I felt it. We all felt it. I'm still feeling it now and hold on, I need to beer myself after that little flashback...

Anyway, point is the little guy knew how to cry right off the bat, right out of the chute, out of the womb. First thing he learned is that hot women with gloves are bad news, and some things never change.

But he had to learn how to laugh! We all need to learn how to laugh. You're not born into it. You see the absurdity of the world, the backwardness, the awkwardness, the chaos, and your mind, too much horsepower for such a little skull, can't suck it all in and make sense of it.

So you laugh. It's the ultimate fuckit response. You don't get it. It doesn't make sense. Ha ha ha.

That's all you can do.

One of my stories is what I consider a ~serious~ piece. I used my Cormac McCarthy voice, the one from The Road and Child of God. If those aren't serious books, ain't no such thing.

And my character, a young boy whose dad hanged himself, burns his house down trying to cook a squirrel.

I have hookers, and they have a pistol named Chavez.

At my grandfather's funeral, I put a tic-tac between his cold dead forefinger and his cold dead thumb, because he always had tic-tacs. Didn't take long for others to catch on, and he had a dollar bill (he gave the kids dollar bills), and a Nutter Butter, and so forth.

When someone says they got or are getting a divorce, I say, CONGRATULATIONS! and make as big a deal as if they had said they were getting married (seriously, you should see the reactions, especially at bars).

I tell people, Don't think of it as getting laid off, think of it as being given the chance to chase your dreams.

I try to be serious, I really do, but the humor, the awkwardness, it pokes through and makes everything a little bit tilted.

I call it being unhinged, and it's the only way I can write. I am unhinged.

I am unhinged. The worms are free, wiggling out of their holes, and I am unhinged.

I quote in my unhingedness the kings of unhinging:

o Steven Wright: Ok, so what's the speed of DARK?

o George Carlin: Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.

o Preacher Man Sam Kennison: AAAAAH! AAA AAA AAAAAA!

It's the honesty that's funny.

How about you? Are you unhinged? Do you include humor in your writing out of necessity? Are you honest, or do you lie? Are you a liar? Be honest.

- Eric

6 comments:

Wine and Words said...

I was raised old and responsible. I am still learning to laugh, but I have always appreciated humor, especially self deprication. I try to write humorous...but usually that's a lie, something I play act. I'm pretty dark, but learning to open the windows, pull back the drapes.

Phoenix said...

Oh, man... I have shrunk into my chair in embarrassment about how unworthy I am of this post...but I am also laughing and shaking my head. Eric, dammit, you're just the coolest, you know that? And I'm flattered and awkward right now so I think I'll just duck my head into my sweatshirt as I type.

My mom and dad used to get into fights - bad ones. Knock down, drag out, screaming matches, neighbors calling 911, the works. And one time my dad was screaming orders at my mom (whose name is Donna) and yelling, "Donna, you have to do this, Donna, you should have done that," and she just turned on him and screamed "BLAH BLAH BLAH GINGER!" (referencing the Far Side cartoon where the guy is trying to train his dog Ginger and all the dog hears is its name).

My dad stopped dead in the middle of yelling and just stared at my mother, completely bewildered. And from where I was hiding on the stairs, I just started giggling. Because I realized right then and there that this world is a twisted and fucked up place and if you don't laugh at it then you just die a lot sooner.

Life is the funniest tragedy we will ever encounter. Even if it's just because we keep closing the fridge on our damn heads. (Stop laughing, it totally hurt!!!) lol

Hugs and thanks again, Eric. You made my freaking' month.

Eric W. Trant said...

And folks, if you don't see why I love Phoenix, read her comment.

My point exactly.

- Eric

Phoenix said...

Dammit, Eric, stop leaving me comments that make me tear up. I've got a rep to maintain!

::hugs and love::

Donna Hole said...

I did read Phoenix's comment; it was cool. A little sad, but cool.

I don't do humor well in my writings; but I try keep things light sometimes. Life can be an absurdity. Yeah, we do have to learn to laugh.

Thanks for the humor Eric and Phoenix :)

.......dhole

Cindy said...

*raises eyebrows a bit*... I just don't know what to say to that, really.