No one laughs at my jokes at home. My late big golden retriever just looked at me with her big dark clueless eyes. The Mrs. just rolls her eyes and walks away. After the publication of my first, last, and only humor book, my friends casually, and indeed politely, suggested that I keep my day job. Yet in my head, some things I say and write just make me giggle, but maybe just me. We all know people that should never tell a joke or even try to be funny. I had one friend who would be giving a talk and would say: “All jokes aside, we . . . .” and all of us would say: “What jokes”?
So, I regularly read humor articles, listen to the comedy channels, and look for the amusing elements of life to get better with a sense of humor. During my recent “research” I stumbled upon “The International Society for Humor Studies” (ISHS) and laughed riotously in my head, thinking it is a joke. But ISHS says it is a scholarly and professional organization dedicated to the advancement of humor research. They even held their 34th International Humor Conference in San Francisco this summer they say.
They accept members such as educators, health professionals, managers, writers, performers, students and others “interested in the advancement of humor studies and research”. ISHS membership dues are up to $110.00 next year, but include a copy of the quarterly journal and discounts on books in the Humor Research series. I looked at the membership list and they seem to be from all over the world. I did not see any of my relatives on the list.
So, I am thinking this is perhaps too much for me. It sounds like work to belong to this group and I would need to study something to get better at it. Some of my grade school neighbors said I could not find a book in a library. We did not have ice at home because we lost the recipe. Did you hear that the Governor’s Mansion burned down? Yeah, it almost took out the whole trailer park. I know, keep the day job or matriculate at the Humor School.
My goal here is to develop something for a speaker to say at my funeral. I am hoping that one will say: “Steve was a humorist” because no one will know what that is. It will sound scholarly and is not likely to be confused with any kind of perversion by some old person.
In my head, that does remind me of the right proper Baptist couple in my home town who, upon checking into the motel, asked if the porn channel was disabled? The clerk looked at them and said: “No, it is regular porn, you perverts.”