Are We Still Laughing Out Loud?


When I heard we were having an edition of the magazine featuring a humorous writer, I figured this was right in my wheelhouse. I could crack all those off-color jokes and talk about pretty much everything from rubber chickens to foot fetishes. This would be awesome. There would be no limits and I could joke and talk about tongue in cheek issues with no barriers or limitations. Spin my webs of weirdness to the masses as I do in my books.
Then the magazine editor said, “Ummm, NO”.
So I started to really think about it.
Over time humor has definitely changed, just as society has changed. In a lot of ways, we have all became a little more sensitive. It has become time to push aside a lot of the really offensive humor that we used to take for granted. Sorry, serious moment. There is no longer any room for blatant harsh comedy that degrades people by race, sex, etc.
But we also need to understand that society as a whole can be pretty darn funny. Hell, daily life is funny.

Doing stupid things like walking into a glass door at Walmart is pretty funny. With everyone focused on their phones this happens way too often. In fact, cellphones give us a boatload of humor all by themselves. Think about it. Walking across the street while watching a TikTok video and having a car honk their horn - you actually go into convulsions and jump out of your skin, leaving a puddle…that’s some funny stuff.
We have become a society reliant on technology to do everything. Admit it, you argue with Siri or Alexa about directions (yes guys, this is aimed at you) because you know where you’re going. Then Siri taps her shoe when you have to flip a turn because you didn’t listen.
We have animals that drive us crazy, but we still spend millions on them, watching the cat play in the delivery box and the dog shred those new French designer shoes. Actually they are knock-offs, but nobody can tell. Besides, now they are a redesign with the leather all falling apart. At last you’re a fashion icon.
As a writer, I use things like this to add reality to my characters because nobody is perfect. We all have quirks that are humorous. Do you mumble while you eat? Perhaps you’re the tops at spilling a drink on your new blouse. Gotta love watching the dog chase its tail and tripping over its paws at the same time. You think how silly the dog is, then realize you’re watching the dog with fascination. Who’s the silly one now?
I have to believe that things like this help connect my characters to my readers. Seeing the nervousness they display in a new or awkward situation. Writing the tongue twisters that naturally happen as they try to act cool and make small talk to a special person. It helps reveal our flaws and humanizes characters. At least, that’s my belief.
Since our world changed with the onset of Covid, and all the precautions, distancing, mask wearing and shots, we were walking around like astronauts on the moon. I wrote a whole article about dealing with it. Thankfully, we are getting past most of the things that really hurt our world and approaching something resembling normal. Whatever normal is.
But now, if you take a look around, you’ll find that the old  places we used to find humor have changed – in fact many have flat out disappeared.

Read the entire article in the September 2022 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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