Eat Someone, Blow Something Up or Throw Penguins Through the Air
I want to write something funny today but it's not happening.
I can't ever seem to be funny on cue. I mean, I can be if I'm regurgitating something I came up with in the past. I do that all the time, probably too often as I'm well known for repeating myself in conversation. Friends complain but I choose to think of it as rehearsal for the time that I'm required to defuse a delicate diplomatic situation between hostile nuclear powers with perfectly elocuted tales of self-deprecation.* But, novel and humorous I just can't do in the moment.
A friend of mine is a writer on a well-received television sitcom. She spends her entire work day being funny for pay and I can't even begin to imagine how she does it. Sure, she must have her better and worse days but her entire career is incumbent on her being at least a little bit funny every single day and she excels at it. I'm just plain jealous.
I have another friend who performs with an improv comedy troupe. I've never actually been to see her perform. I was planning on it once but then I realized that she was never going to sleep with me so why was I going to pay twenty-five bucks? Ignorant of her actual abilities, I'm going to assume that she's spectacularly talented, in part because I refuse to presume that any of my friends aren't spectacularly talented and in part because there's the slimmest possibility that she might read this and I want her to reconsider that "not sleeping with Tom" position that she's been holding to.
Point being, I don't know how she does it, either. And, she does it in real time with people watching. I can't summon the will or the talent to earn a chuckle on a given day of the week and both of these friends can do it at will! Where do I get this talent? Is there a pill I can take? An injection to the buttock, perhaps, the kind that my family physician was so enamored of? A class that I can pay for, not attend and still tell people I took? An inspirational video? An ordeal that I can endure, not a terribly hard one, mind you, not firewalking or that thing where you hang from a meat hook, but one of those mushroom-induced vision quests or a killer game of Scrabble? A mind meld, maybe?
Are there other things that people can do on command that I can't? Maybe I should learn these things as well. Perhaps, in those times that I am speaking to myself inside my head, if I tack the word "now" onto all of my thoughts. "Be funny, now!" "Have a great idea, now!" "Fall in love, now!" "Pee, now!"
I just don't have it. I haven't had a legitimately funny thought in weeks and I don't think there's anything that will bring one to me. You could beat me over the head with a rubber chicken, force feed me whoopee cushions, stomp on me with clown shoes and force me to crawl naked over contaminated shards of irony, and I still couldn't get a laugh. Such is my week.
So, a priest, a rabbi, a lawyer, a homeless guy, the devil, Hitler, a horse, six ducks, a midget tambourine player, Grover Cleveland, the Swedish bikini team, Steve Jobs and Dale Earnheart walk into a bar....
*I don't actually have any tales of self-deprecation. I'm an egomaniac; it's just not how I roll.**
** Remind me never to say "it's just how I roll" ever again. I sound ridiculous.