• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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If I Could Make Wishes Come True



Would you sleep with Louis C.K.? Do the words “syndication” mean anything to? When I got to graduate school, I was told that my writing was okay if I wanted to be the next Fran Leibovitz. IT was said as a put down, but I honestly took it as a compliment. I think being funny on the page is more difficult that anything else. Once, a reader of this humble blog said that he spit coffee on his monitor because of something I wrote. The reason I remember it is because it THE BEST compliment of my writing life.

Do you write funny?

15 Responses

  1. you know, i dunno if i’d sleep with Louis CK. he doesn’t give me a reciprocity vibe, if you know what i mean.

    but comedians aren’t exactly sexy people, more quirky. not that there’s anything wrong with that. i find Craig Ferguson quick-witted and curious, positive qualities in bed.

    i write darkly funny. i know, i know. that’s an adverb. i fucking miss adverbs.


  2. I would not sleep with Louis CK. Jerry, maybe.

    I write a humor column in Small Craft Advisor, a mag focused on boats under 25 feet or so. My real estate is the last piece in each issue, and I’m told that some people read my stuff first. That is, to me, high praise. My limit is 1250 words so I have to be quick about it, though I sometimes do a two or three part story, getting all the way to 3750 or so.

    So near, yet so far.

  3. “I think being funny on the page is more difficult that anything else.” Couldn’t agree more. I don’t write funny – although I do try to have humor/wit somewhere in there. I attempted to make my protag funny at times to offset a dark story – it worked for some.

  4. I think I’m funny.

  5. Do I write funny? Actually my penmanship is quite serious.

    However, I have been told quite often by some readers that spewing coffee on their keyboards has been the consequence of my humble word allotment.
    I find it interesting that such comments are related to the time of day.
    Early riser home-brewed drinkers are more likely to lose their beverage over humor, rather than afternoon sippers of ethically sourced dark liquid in environmentally approved cups, while hogging the corner table at Starbucks.
    Ha, losing it while sitting around in your underwear at home seems a bit more amusing, and safer, than spraying coffee droplets on back of the head of the guy at the next table.

  6. Paul was, at heart, a practical joker. He had dosed Donnie’s YooHoo with 500 mikes of a hallucinogen some buds in Madison developed. Happy stuff, they assured him, nothing dark. Paul got his buddy Pencey to do the bait and switch and the drug should kick in somewhere over Georgia as Air Force 1 headed to Florida. Another crisis arose, however, and the plane trip was delayed. Sean was running interference, but the enemy were asking too many questions and Sean blew a gasket and began to speak the truth. Yes, we’re in cahoots with Russia. The president stands to make a lot of money from his holdings in Moscow. Conflict of interest? Of course; what are you going to do about it?
    Look, you got the golden shower thing all wrong — it’s 3 hookers peeing on him, not two. And it’s a daily thing. How do you think he maintains that healthy orange glow?
    Of course there will be a war. One incident is all we’re waiting for, something to distract us from this incompetency and BOOM!, bye bye to all the Muslims in North Korea.
    Donnie needed to take the stage before this got further out of hand. The carpet felt funny beneath his feet. He felt light, he felt younger, he felt different. Abraham Lincoln came to him and told him he was in an episode of Seinfeld. Trump was George. KellyAnne/Elaine rushed to his side, whispered, Are you okay? Sure, sweetheart, never better. Hey, you think I’m funny right? Listen to this! He called on a reporter in a wheelchair — Yeah, you, Stephen Hawking. He then asked a woman reporter if she’d go out with him. I know a place by the bay — you pay. Hey! That rhymes! C’mon, sweetheart, whattya say?
    Steve Bannon looked alarmed and waved at the president. Jerry! How are you? Donnie asked. Hey, did you see the Mets just signed Reggie Jackson? Sean Spicer tried to wrestle away the mic but wound up tripping and falling across the first row of reporters. That Kramer. He’s a character. Chris Christie walked in holding up Rudy Guliani. Newman, Donnie hissed, Whatcha got there, a puppet?
    Donnie saw the roof retract, like in a football stadium. The sky was dark and planets appeared close, the rings of Saturn, the colors of Jupiter. Two leopards dressed in suits appeared and led the president to a spaceship. Where are we going?, Donnie asked. Far from here, they replied.

    Funny? I don’t know, but it’s better than crying.

  7. I grew up on ’60s and ’70s sitcoms, and didn’t realize for years how much of that humor, if replicated in real life, was unbelievably cruel. You could never say those things to a real friend or a real partner and not have them walk away pretty quickly. As John Scalzi says, the failure mode of clever is asshole.

    I write relationships. Relationships have in-jokes. And I work to have the reader become enough a part of the relationship that they feel the in-jokes themselves, feel welcomed into the party.

    I was gratified at how many readers have said that the recent nonfiction book was funny. But there, too, it was in-jokes, the things that we’ve all seen a million times and never put words to before.

    And can I just say that Shouts and Murmurs in The New Yorker has about an 85% fail rate? It’s almost anti-funny. And yet, there it is. As I’ve said way too many times, who knows? Who the hell knows anything at all?

  8. Louis C.K., No. I’m more of a Jack Black kinda girl myself. There’s also the occasional strange fantasy involving the Coen brothers but that’s a story for another time. Funny is hard. My songwriting mentor once said, “Okay, funny girl, write a funny song.” I whined and complained for about a week before getting to work. Six weeks later I had produced a pretty crappy song.

    “This humble blog” makes me feel less lonely. For that, I’m grateful. It’s not steaming liquid spraying out of flaring nostrils, but it’s true. Thanks.

  9. Tetman says I write funny, and Tetman’s the most truthful person I know.

    Of course, as Herb noted about the New Yorker thing, one man’s funny is another man’s WTF?

    As for Louis CK, I would sleep next to him, and we would fart funny farts, and not otherwise have to be funny.

  10. I don’t think humor makes a person sexy, but it doesn’t detract from that appeal either. I find George Clooney one of the wittiest celebrities ever, and I would sleep with him in a split second. Well, if he wasn’t married and expecting twins.

    As far as humor in our writing, I just read this recent comment about mine: “What you would get if Erma Bombeck had a streak of Hunter S. Thompson.”

    Best freaking comparison I’ve ever had. His check is in the mail.

  11. “Do you write funny?”

    You tell me.

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