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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write in the HUMOR genre (04/12/07)

TITLE: What's Funnier Than a Clown Named Binky?
By Sherrie Jackson


Those of you readers who are familiar with my column here at the Weekly Heckle know that I follow an unavoidable pattern. Something ridiculous happens in town, I riff on it for eight-and-a-half inches, and the adoration floods my inbox. But recently, some of you have been asking a most crucial question: where do I find humor in my own daily life?

Excellent question. I have taken copious notes on the matter for your reading pleasure. However, novice reader be warned: I take myself very seriously.

Iím pretty sure the only thing that keeps me sane is laughing at the mundane around me. Like the young man at Best Buy today, who told me a completely random story about fourth grade when all I asked was where to find some Spongebob. Or yesterday at the drugstore, when a woman innocently remembered she had no money in her checking account after the sales clerk had rung up over two hundred dollars worth of infant miscellanea.

Or take last Friday evening, when I was relaxing at my favorite coffeehouse. It was Poetry Night, and there I was, surrounded by beatniks, with their pencil mustaches and berets sitting diligently askance. Postmodern authority hung heavy in the air, and I donít know when poetry stopped rhyming but I bet it was a bleak, bleak day. At times like those, you can only laugh. Laugh and shudder.

Just as some people (whom I donít know) see beauty everywhere, in the rose, in the song of the lark, so I see humor. Teens who havenít figured out that antisocial is the new social. Little kids who feel the need to run everywhere with reckless abandon. The way bridge tips in newspapers are written like the latest Grisham thriller, plot twists and all. Atheists (ďI canít wait to slip slowly into the eternal morass of nothingness when I die!Ē). People who stand smack dab in the middle of store aisles with their cart, blissfully unaware. And really, whatís funnier than a clown named Binky?

Since Iíve referenced my dad once already, let me refer to him again. Heís the funniest person I know. He once told me that making me laugh as a child was the only way to get me to open up. Perhaps thatís why I do what I do now. I remember an evening when Dad complained about fingerprints we were leaving on doorways. ďIt makes no sense!Ē he ranted. ďEvery time you leave the room you have to reach out and seize the corner like an invalid, and then fling yourself into the hallway like Batman!Ē It apparently was of no issue to us that he was trying to be serious. We were rolling on the floor by then.

There was that time my brother made me sit still for at least half an hour while he drew my portrait, only for me to find out at the end that heíd drawn me in the ugliest way possible. What was worse was that it was so comically drawn, I couldn't help but laugh! So not fair. (For the record, it was an inaccurate portrait.)

Sometimes Ióyes, even Ióam the focal point of day-to-day mirth. In high school I tripped and fell during Spanish class. Over a box. At least five feet long. Of course the big question was, how large does a box have to be for me not to trip over it? I am here to tell you, there were boys who hadnít uttered a word all semester who laughed louder than anyone else.

As I look back over my life, I recall a lot of laughter and plenty of smiles. Iím happy to report that Iím responsible for at least eighty percent of both. But I try to remember as I go about my work, that I love what I do because this is who God made me. Nothing passes from fingertip to keyboard that I feel dishonors or misrepresents Him and His plan. Humor is a blessing. If you want painful nihilism, turn to the movie reviews.

Speaking of cookies, that reminds me of a Christmas when I was six. I loved eating cookie batter so much that my dad solemnly instructed my mom to get a tablespoon of butter and sprinkle some sugar on it. That way, he claimed, I could just get right to the point.

Now thatís funny.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 04/22/07
I enjoyed reading your "Weekly Heckle". :) You used some good words. I think you have a lot of good memories of your Dad. I too, like cookie batter and smiled at your Dad's suggestions of putting sprinkles on butter. So funny! Thanks!
Val Clark04/24/07
A neat way to string together many funny ideas. Time to write the column now! yeggy
Marilyn Schnepp 04/24/07
Loved this story, especially about the "bleak, bleak day when rhyming poetry was put out to pasture", or however it was put - and I too laugh & shudder. Just a great light hearted romp throuout...making the reader feel good all over. Thanks! Well done, and I enjoyed the frolic. More! More! More!
Joanne Sher 04/25/07
I love the voice of this - so casual and lighthearted. Great funny stuff too. I enjoyed this very much!