Tonight is blogapalooza night which gives us a topic and an hour to write about it. Tonight’s topic appealed to me.
Write about and describe your sense of humor.
I did not start out life as the funny kid who made wise cracks in class. I was pretty serious and read whenever I could. I was creative and intelligent but not athletic or popular, a bit of a nerd really.
Then one day Freshman year I got a pass in Biology class to go to the office. There were 3 other classmates there and a photographer for the yearbook. She told us that our teachers had voted us the 4 funniest kids in the Freshman class.
I felt like I was dreaming. Me? Funny? My teachers had decided this?
Then we were told to act funny so they could take our picture. We would be the introduction page to the Freshman class section. I blanked.
Here is the page from the yearbook. The guys are trying to be funny. The skeleton is giving his all but I am sitting on the floor laughing.
I was so shocked that all I could do was laugh. Later on I was glad that I was wearing my favorite kilt so there’s that. But the title, one of the four funniest Freshman, stayed in my head.
I had been taking creative dramatic lessons since 4th grade and I had a quick tongue and an expressive face. I can raise one eyebrow like a pro. I can look sad, glad, confused, happy, mean, sarcastic or dubious.
I have always read a lot and when I was ten I went through a Jean Kerr, Erma Bombeck stage and read every “funny” book I could get my hands on. I was fairly nerdy but I was not a target because I could sneer and say a funny insult to defend myself. I guess that had developed over the years. For the record, my mother was not fond of these talents.
I enjoyed being in plays and I had a variety of roles. I was a plant, an old lady, Mrs. Gibbs and various other character parts. I enjoyed putting my all into every scene and being memorable.
Repeatedly, people told me I was funny, especially in college. If you hear something often enough, you begin to believe it. When I began teaching I used this to my advantage.
My classes were all a show, I had jokes and quips and an assistant principal who taught me his system of disciplining with humor. If a kid was racing down the hall he would stop him and with a serious face but a slightly teasing tone ask, “You weren’t running in the hall, were you?”
I incorporated that into my style and I learned from my students. I heard a boy ask another girl, trying to get under her skin, “Do you have a mustache?” She replied, “Jealous?”
Facebook, Yelp and blogging helped me extend my humor into writing. When I was working I did grant writing, emails, parent letters and letters of recommendation. Now I could be amusing!
My sense of humor is a quick wit and a mobile face most of the time. I show emotions and expressions mainly to amuse myself. I like to have a quick reply and people tell me I’m funny.
Sometimes it backfires on me. I was giving a speech for my father and I began, “I have known Jerry Mathews all my life” and people laughed like crazy. I had written it sincerely but I played the rest for laughs as well.
What the heck, you take what you’re given in life!
Just be careful who you tell, “You’re funny.” (Warning: very salty language)
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Here’s my last blogapalooza post.