Award-winning writer: Jackie Papandrew

Airing My Dirty Laundry!

Hard Times for Humor

In the field of funny, it is the best of times and it is the worst of times.

It’s the best of times because demand for real, rib-tickling humor has never been higher. Everybody could use a good laugh these days. Unfortunately, it is also the worst of times because the supply of high-caliber comic relief is getting harder to come by. Mirthful material used to practically fall from the trees like leaves in autumn. It used to come bubbling up from the ground like oil – black gold for even the borderline funny, Texas tea for those who were only marginally witty. Anybody could be a humorist.

Now though, thanks to society’s rabid appetite for amusement and a restriction of humor supplies by the grumpy but powerful Organization of People Expecting Calamity (OPEC), only the most committed pun providers remain in the field. And we’re having to dig much deeper for our jokes. Soon, unless we can develop new sources for our laugh lodes, professional humorists like me will have to drill for droll in places no comedian has gone before.

Therefore, just as many industries are passing on skyrocketing energy costs to their customers, I must do the same. Starting today, I am imposing a new fee schedule on my column.

Low-grade humor consisting mainly of references to bodily functions and Paris Hilton jokes – the kind necessary to entertain adolescent boys – will remain free of charge. Being a civic-minded person, I feel an obligation to mothers of said boys to continue to provide this service, especially during the summer. Besides, this stuff is easy to get. It’s practically lying around on the ground. Not even OPEC seems to want it.

Slightly more sophisticated humor, however, will require a surcharge based on the amount of work I have to do to deliver it. Future stories about my kids will still come relatively cheaply as my offspring provide plenty of material. Ditto for any humorous bits about my dog, who is grateful for the attention. If I have to do any reading or, heaven forbid, deep thinking in order to produce a column, charges will go up dramatically. Actually, if I have to do any thinking at all, you’re going to be paying the price. And if I have to leave my house, especially in business attire, you’ll pretty much be nickel-and-dimed to death. Kind of like the airlines and the phone companies are doing.

A fee will be levied for every laugh-out-loud line provided in one my columns. Readers who wish to challenge these fees must provide proof that they did not so much as snicker. Guffaws will garner an additional charge, and anything that causes genuine belly rolling will be assessed at the very highest rates.

Additional fees will be incurred against any reader who fails to realize my column is not to be taken seriously. And those charges will be doubled on readers who believe I can offer valid advice on their personal lives. I once wrote a column with tongue-in-cheek tips for husbands seeking to experience greater frequency in certain marital activities. These tips could be boiled down to a single message: Help out more around the house, fellas.

Several of those fellas, apparently believing I was an actual advice columnist, contacted me asking for additional suggestions because the tips I offered did not seem to be working for them (or because they didn’t want to actually help out around the house). In the future, this type of reader will have to pay me the same hourly rate charged by real therapists.

You’ll be glad to hear that I will offer some discounts to help with these humor delivery charges. Any reader who praises me lavishly to friends or even strangers on the street will receive a Laugh Offset Loan (LOL) that can be used against future levies. And any reader who contacts my editor and uses terms to describe me such as “genius” and “should be paid more” will get a year’s worth of free laughs.

I truly appreciate your understanding during these hard times for humor. I accept cash or credit cards.

~ Jackie Papandrew ~
© 2008, All Rights Reserved

Jackie Papandrew is an award-winning writer, syndicated humor columnist, coffee addict and mom to a motley crew of children and pets who provide a steady stream of column ideas and dirt. She's also wife to a very patient man who had no idea, years ago when he still had time to escape, what he was getting himself into. Visit her website at:  JackiePapandrew.com

[ by Jackie Papandrew Copyright © 2008, (me@jackiepapandrew.com) -- submitted by: Jackie Papandrew ]

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