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
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Excellent question. I have taken copious notes on the matter for your reading pleasure. However, novice reader be warned: I take myself very seriously.
I’m 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 don’t 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 don’t know) see beauty everywhere, in the rose, in the song of the lark, so I see humor. Teens who haven’t 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 (“I can’t wait to slip slowly into the eternal morass of nothingness when I die!”). People who stand smack dab in the middle of store aisles with their cart, blissfully unaware. And really, what’s funnier than a clown named Binky?
Since I’ve referenced my dad once already, let me refer to him again. He’s 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 that’s why I do what I do now. I remember an evening when Dad complained about fingerprints we were leaving on doorways. “It makes no sense!” he ranted. “Every 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!” 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 he’d 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 I—yes, even I—am 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 hadn’t 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. I’m happy to report that I’m 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 that’s funny.
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