Okay, so it’s my turn. What tickles my funny bone when I’m reading? Lots of things, actually. (And don’t tell Christie, but I often laugh out loud when reading her scenes. It’s not good to tell her that, though, since it will only encourage her to throw in more naked, tattooed men, male perps in pink negligees and oversexed dogs.)
Like Christie, I think that humor is a natural extension of characterization. After all, just as every individual has a slightly different way of looking at life, so do our characters. And for some of them, a good sense of humor is a necessity since their view of life is more than a little askew.
Humor, to me, is taking the ordinary, twisting it around a little and looking at it from another angle. Preferably a funny angle. Like, for example, the other day when I was up to my ears in snow here in upstate New York. I’d been clearing my walkway and decided to take a break before I turned into a human popsicle, so I planted my shovel in the snowbank and went inside to defrost. When I came back out about 20 minutes later, my shovel was gone. Somebody had stolen it.
Somebody stole my snow shovel.
They’d waded, uphill, through three feet of snow from the edge of the street and swiped a $6.99 piece of cheap metal. I was furious. I honestly considered following the footprints and confronting the thief. I would have, too, except, well, they’d taken my shovel and I didn’t want to wade through all that snow. Then I thought about calling the village police. I didn’t do that, either. When I’d called them two years ago to report that somebody had stolen my trash can in the middle of a freaking snow storm, I’d gotten the county sheriff by mistake and, well, let’s just say that stolen trash cans apparently aren’t high on their priority list of crimes to solve. So, I decided to whine about the stolen snow shovel to my friends. But, did they give me sympathy? (Or offer to buy me a new shovel? Or, better still, offer to come to my house and help me shovel the 79 feet of snow that was now piling up outside my house?) No. They just laughed. They thought it was funny.
Of course, they all still had their snow shovels.
Or, they lived in places where snow shovels weren’t necessary.
It was that perception thing again, and that’s how I think of humor. It’s a matter of perception.
So, what about you? What are your thoughts on humor? Please feel free to share. And don't forget. As Christie said, we're giving away a $10.00 gift certificate to B&N to some lucky commenter this month!