Okay, I’m going to write humor if it kills me. It might just do that,too, since after that first sentence, it took me 15 minutes to write the next sentence. And that sentence doesn’t have a stinkin’ bit of comedy in it. Where do people find their funny bones, I wonder?

I’ve known funny people before. I even lived with a funny person. I’m telling you, funny isn’t fairy dust. It doesn’t rub off by rubbing elbows. This much I do know; comedy takes many shapes. The funny guy I lived with had a sense of funny that I didn’t get at all. With his dry wit and non-sequiturs, he kept adoring friends and fans rolling and wiping their eyes, while I stood in the corner, forehead furrowed by the intensity of trying to understand what was so funny. He even named his company Laughing Dog Productions. That’s how funny he was. I don’t get it.

Then there was the woman I worked with for several years who talked code so fast that you had to listen with both ears just to catch how funny she was. She had a way of describing people and incidents without describing them. We worked at the Post Office, so there were lots of people and incidents for her to describe. One day she was telling me how old Mrs. Seger, who was in her 90’s and half blind at the time, had come charging  down Jefferson Street in her Segermobile. The dogs, cats, squirrels, and letter carriers all ran for cover from the cloud of dust and smoke that trailed the car, Mona rattled in her deadpan, jet-paced delivery. —Well, that’s sort of what Mona said. It was a lot funnier than that, but now I’m telling the story so it isn’t funny.

Then there was the guy from New York who moved to Idaho to be different from the rest of the herd that he called family. We worked together for several years during which he regaled me with amazing personal narratives about “speed dating” and Match.com dates. He wove such fascinating tales that one rainy day off, I decided to see what Match.com was all about. The next thing I knew, I was signed up! You know, in six months of membership, I never had a single funny date. I guess the funny ones could smell my humor deficiency through cyberspace. The people I met through Match.com resembled cardboard cutouts in black and white.

The blogosphere is bursting with comedic geniuses. Take Polly Scott over at Coming to Grips, for example. Her bio says it all better than I could:

“Polly Scott lives and writes in Alexandria, VA. Her first short story featured a male martian named Jana who lived on Pluto and wanted to act on Knots Landing. Polly now writes non-fiction.”

In a million years I couldn’t string together three sentences that funny. Polly’s essays plumb the depths of Coming to Grips with anything from Sweatpants to Miss America and The Pedophile. And she can even make me laugh at the pedophile. How does she do that?
I think I’ll wrap this up now and retreat to my comfort zone; Strunk and White, Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace, and a Norton anthology or two. Maybe I’ll uncover some clues to finding a funny bone. Ouch, who moved that bookcase under my elbow?