One of the largest challenges I face while quilling these daily journals is crafting gags for the more whimsical lexicological offerings. Predominantly written bereft of a sounding bound, I’m writing gags which’ve not been witnessed, approved or dismissed prior to, via writesaidfred.org, launching them unceremoniously onto the worldwide web.
Without prior critical feedback seeds of uncertainty manifest. Has the quip has been optimally structured? Not to mention angst as to whether the joke is actually funny or not.
Despite this, though, I fundamentally prefer penning these essays as sole creative contributor; for one thing it means a co-writer cannot talk me out of including content I really like.
I’m not averse to collaborating with a fellow penman, however if I’d written something I deemed erudite or funny, which yours truly was determined to incorporate within a daily monologue, if my literary colleague was adamant it wasn’t fit for inclusion I’d be irked.
Although hopefully I’d not sulk for too long, eventually getting over the snub by 2030 at the very latest, I’d definitely question my co-writer’s creative judgement if he/she snubbed one of (what I deemed to be) my belting quips.
While writing about unappreciated artistic wherewithal in the above paragraph, a whimsical anecdote of Frank Skinner’s sprung to mind. The West Midlands comedian telling of his paradoxical reaction after failing to reign victorious in a 2002 episode of TV show ‘Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes’.
For the uninitiated, the format of the show is for contestants to mimic the song and style of a famous singer/band. Skinner, performing as Elvis Costello in this celebrity version of the ITV broadcast, after contest defeat, jokingly stormed to his dressing room with a diva-esque rant of “They may have stars in their eyes, but they’ve got f***ing s**t in their ears!”
In the absence of available objective measures, other than I suppose an audience titter, gauging whether a quip is decent isn’t an exact science. To the best of my knowledge there’s no laughter Richter scale that can gauge from a jokes quality from seismic activity created by audience chortles. Well unless there’s significant seismic activity from crowd laughter in which case there is…… It’s errrrrr….. The Richter scale!!
Anyhow, I raised today’s observations on the seeds of uncertainty sown when attempting to write humour following this morning’s unexpected visit of two jokes into my conscious mind. Both wisecracks of borderline quality, leaving uncertainty in my mind whether they bore sufficient comedic value for inclusion in essay.
The first quip relates to a two liner interaction between a reader of my work and GJ Strachan:-
Reader – “Have any of your narratives gone viral, Gary?”
Me – “No, but back in April I contracted the helicobacter virus off a germ infested keyboard while writing the blog Dance With My Father!”
This morning’s second attempt at whimsical prose a short self-deprecative joke revolving around my habit of driving around in elderly, non-performance automobiles:-
“I was filling in car insurance quote for a compare the market website this morning. On being asked if I’d any anti-theft features negating against car theft I responded ‘Yes, I drive a ten year old Vauxhall Astra!'”
Right, I’m gonna bring this narrative to a conclusion; I’ve to clear the hallway of tumbleweed.