Saturday, May 17, 2008

Conundrum from the Congregation

Brothers, Sisters, and Transgendered Comedists Everywhere,

This week, I received a plaintive plea from one of our own, good Brother Ron. He has a problem and I think it may take the community as a whole to help:

So, here I was, working on a piece about the Warner-Lieberman Global Warming Bill. And, into my mind popped the words, "Of course, we all know that the penguin is mightier than the swordfish." Not in context. Not with a joke attached. Just the words. It was like a shaggy dog story, but without the dog. It was, in fact, the leavings of a shaggy dog trimming. It was intellectual dander, from out of nowhere.

Now, I'm not concerned with coming up with the rest of the dog. I don't care. I don't even like shaggy dog stories. (Well, when I was a kid I loved the one about the snail in the sports car that ended with, "Wow! Look at that S-Car go!" But I've gotten older, and my appreciation of the divine has gotten better.) That's not why I have a problem.

My problem is that there are two strong possibilities. It is possible that I have been selected by the divine comedian to have a humorous insight, to be one of the few not forwarding, but rather *inventing*, a joke. And while I recognize that there is no holier moment, I must, like Moses before the burning bush (or Howard Beale in Network) stammer that I am neither worthy not a fitting vessel. I used to do stand up comedy. Trust me; I'm not that funny.

But it's equally possible that I'm just losing my marbles. Assuming I ever had any marbles to begin with. (Sorry, son. Those aren't marbles. Those are kidney stones...)

As a devout comedist, what is the prayer one says to be shown the way to either holiness or antipsychotic drugs? How *DOES* one tell if one is holy or off one's rocker? And is that merely a false dichotomy?
Good brother Ron, anyone who would claim the domain name "" has his comedist marbles firmly in place (I'll not comment on the state of your marbles beyond that, thank you).

Joke writing is one of those strange affairs where sometimes the complete joke hits you at once, other times, like this, the Cosmic Comic shows you the trailhead and you must climb that mountain to humorous holiness. I say that you have had a riotous revelation, you have been given a Divine punchline.

Suggestions, good comedist brethren and sistren as to a narrative theme or wording for a set up to this magnificent line?

Along with good Brother Ron, I wish everyone:

Live, love, and laugh,

Irreverend Steve