Thursday, February 22, 2007

I'll tell you my zinger if you tell me yours.

Woo hoo! Lookie at me! I won a contest! A very battle of wit(tiness)! I'm bigger than the Beatles and Tickle Me Elmo, put together!

Now that I'm all gloated out, confession time: my struggle with humor hubris has devolved into a neverending game of Whack-a-Mole. Just when I have sworn off the cheap laughs once and for all, up pops another fat little rodent with "mock me" taped to his backside. Just when I have meekly donned the gray habit of the Unfunny Nunnery and committed myself to a life of abstinence from sarcasm, someone (usually President Bush) sets himself up for a snarky comment and off I go again, humor whoring.

No doggedly perfecting my Art alone in some cave and burying well-crafted, tasteful jokes to be unearthed by future generations -- I crave your approval, folks. I'm just an overgrown class clown (blame it on the adult acne!), so if you laughed, then it was funny -- simple as that. On the bright side, if you ignore me, I will definitely go away. But don't ignore me! Please! Oh, oh -- I know! Have you heard the one about the squid and the rabbi who walked into a bar...?


sharonsfriendjen said...

I can't fathom a day where you aren't sarcastic! Humorless, you might as well be dead. Stand up all you overgrown class clowns and say with pride - Do you want fries with that? Those cheap one-liners that get snickers and giggles is why I was placed here on this earth. If I lost my sense of humor, no matter how cheap it is, I would have . . . nothing. Don't go away Marie, we need your witty sattire. Besides, I haven't heard about the squid and the rabbi that walked into a bar :)

Sarah said...

My poor husband has to deal with me asking him "do you think I'm funny?" about ten times a day. "Sure, honey." "No - really. Am I funny?"

I don't know why funny has become such a coveted commodity in this world, but I wouldn't worry about obsessing after it. Most of us are!

And yes, you are funny! I loved, loved loved your caption :)

Marie said...

Aw, shucks, you guys. And from such a funny pair, too!

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I am totally reading your blog while I'm supposed to be proofreading a document. Yikes!

Well, when I read about your efforts to find a poem about friends parting ways, I immediately knew where to look. Who knew my $80,000 degree in East Asian Studies would come in handy? Here is a poem by a very famous Chinese poet from the Tang Dynasty, translated of course (but not by me!).

Li Bai
A Farewell to a Friend

With a blue line of mountains north of the wall,
And east of the city a white curve of water,
Here you must leave me and drift away
Like a loosened water-plant hundreds of miles....
I shall think of you in a floating cloud;
So in the sunset think of me.
...We wave our hands to say good-bye,
And my horse is neighing again and again.

Li Bai uses a lot of nature imagery in his poems. I like how the mood is very still and gentle, broken only by the soft neigh of the horse, which mirrors the friends saying goodbye to each other. Also, I like the notion of being uprooted and travelling down a river like a piece of grass or floating like a cloud. Nature also reflects people's inner states. For instance, the exhortation by the friend who is staying put to think about him when the other friend sees the sunset has been translated as sunset in the friend's heart or sunset is like parting. What do you think?

Marie said...

I love it. Not beating-the-chest anguish like a lot of farewell poems I found. That kind of quiet sadness and mournful lingering. It's lovely -- I'll send it on to my cousin.