Readers: When I’m Not Funny, Andy Rooney Helps

Ok, Ok, I give - I've called Andy!

Recently I have run up against a brick wall of critiques that claim I am a few cards short of a full deck as a “humor writer.” My mentor, Andy Rooney, warns students NOT to label themselves humor writers as readers then expect to laugh when reading an essay. Damn, I knew I forgot something when I had savor the ride redesigned; I neglected to include the banner stating savor the ride could, at times, be considered interesting but not quite funny. Forgive me.

Thank goodness I’m not on stage- as Larry the Cable Guy, is known to ask his audiences after a quip falls… FLAT, ” C’mon Ya’ll that was funny! “Sometimes we just miss the mark. We sit down and the next thing we know we missed the stool and find ourselves sitting on the floor. What is one to do when crawling around the floor listening to little snippets of “boring, boring?” I choose to bring in backup. My two favorites in the humor-writing arena are

Because I am a good writer beneath the facade of making you chuckle (audibly or silently), I choose cohesiveness in my selection. I have a little gem my buddy Andy wrote on women over 50 copied on my clipboard. Now I know I have your attention and because I am a woman over 50, I can include it without fear of repercussion. So, without further adieu, here is a piece written by Andy Rooney for CBS 60 minutes. Thanks, Andy. I owe you one.

Women over 50

As I grow in age, I value women who are over 50 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

* A woman over 50 will not lie next to you in bed and ask, “What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think.

* If a woman over 50 doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it’s usually something more interesting.

* A woman over 50 knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of 50 give a damn what you might think about her or what she’s doing.

* Women over 50 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.

* Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.

* A woman over 50 has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women.

* Women over 50 could care less if you’re attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won’t betray her.

* Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 50. They always know.

* A woman over 50 looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women or drag queens. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 50 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

* Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk if you are acting like one! You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

* Yes, we praise women over 50 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of 50+, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of him with some 18-year-old waitress.

The Truth Behind My Paper Clutter

Rough estimate of how long it takes for me to clutter an area: 30 minutes. This is, of course, assuming I have my usual entourage of stuff with me. I’m not a hoarder. My papers are mobile. You ask, then, how do I explain the stacks of paper surrounding me? Or more importantly, why can’t I throw any away?

For you to understand, I must share with you my challenge. My mission is a tough one. Daily I compete with discussions about

  • The cost of milk
  • The debt ceiling
  • The new ingredients in a ‘Happy Meal’
  • The heat index OR ‘it feels like… it’s hot as… outside’
  • Texts, Google +’s, tweets and other technical howdy’s


My task is to carry my readers away in a Calgon bath of giggles and ‘laugh out loud’ humor. To do this I tell a story. To compose a mirthful story, I go through a few duds, and some vapor-lock, blank mind moments before I settle in with a topic or wisp of an idea. After 20 or so rewrites, the FINAL copy emerges much to the delight of my readers.

As with most creative folks, I find as my mind wanders, ideas for essays take shape. Storylines are gold nuggets in a writer’s world. When one hits me, I do not need to be on the phone with cousin Mildred. Cousin Mildred can wait. My idea may be gone in ten minutes. Rookies find this out the hard way as I imagine them saying, “Oh, I’ll remember this. Who could forget such a fabulous idea?” Guess what? You can. We all have.

I choose to write one storyline on one sheet of paper. If I put more than one together, my mind tends to enjoin the two. So, I stick with one train of thought- sometimes my thoughts fill the sheet; other occasions I may only include one sentence. Oftentimes the most popular posts have grown out of a wisp of an idea I jotted down on a sheet of paper.

What happens to the other fleeting sentences of wispy humor? They stay embedded in the stack playing the Round Robin game. This perpetual gathering of paper is ongoing. Some ‘wisps’ have been in there for over a year. I can’t take them out. I have written some of best posts from ancient wisps.

Red Alert. This one has been around the circuit a few times-

  • I am drinking the last Diet Coke in the house. This is a scary place to be. What now?

What if in my attempt to quench my diet coke thirst, I launched a walk to the Kangaroo station 3 miles from my house. Pools of perspiration, catcalls from automobiles, step aside… nothing will stop me. As I am walking I begin repeating a yoga type mantra… to be continued

So, I ask you, my readers, do you want me to pitch the extra papers? I didn’t think so. Now you can look forward to reading “the rest of the story” about my journey to the Kangaroo station. Until then, I’m going to run up to the BP station. It’s closer.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun!