where you’ll find my guest post about “How to Write Funny”.
Of course, it’s an impossible question because no one knows how! Which makes it funny already. And therein lies a lesson:
Funny is about charming the implausible into sounding somehow possible.
I’m taking that lesson to heart as I craft a humorous speech for an upcoming contest. My subject? Shooting my mother. Seriously. She asked me. “Shoot me, son, shoot me.” Maybe she was joking, but I don’t think so. She’s 98! Can’t stand up without her walker. She can hardly hear. She can barely see the Golf Channel.
Shoot me, son, she said.
At the same time, she acts like she’s going to be the oldest living person on earth. I don’t get it.
This summer she bought a fan and paid extra for the extended warranty. I’d say she was senile…if it wasn’t for the fact that she’s got all her marbles. That’s why she knows how miserable she is.
Big mistake admitting her to that 5-star retirement residence. They breed centenarians. Hundred-year-olds who eat like horses and laugh with their mouths full. It’s disturbing. No 99-year-old should have a role model.
But, more to the point, how can I shoot her? I’ve never owned a gun; never touched a gun. I don’t even know if I need a licence. Do they even have licences for killing old people?
Well, you can see the comic potential in something as impossible as killing your own sweet mother.
Longevity in general is a subject wide open for pot shots.
Did you know there’s a scientist out there working on the longevity pill. When people wake up to the downside of living to a hundred, they’re going to hunt that guy down and make sure he doesn’t live another day.
Medical science already ensures we live so long that we’re sure to suffer chronic diseases that would have (mercifully) killed our ancestors. Arthritis, angina, constipation… no fun! Take my mother—no more smoking, no more whisky, and no more casino—she can’t afford it anymore.
Sure, you can live to 100…but only if you give up all the things that make you want to live to 100.
Shoot me, son, shoot me.
Anyway, I see they’ve discovered that people who sleep with a mate live longer. I wonder who my mother is sleeping with.
Maybe I should just shoot him.