Today I am going to explore why I write humor. My therapist asked me to write on this topic because he wanted to better understand, as he tactfully put it, “what went so wrong with you.” This therapeutic kick in the teeth aside, I agreed, and this column is the result. Bear with me, though, because what follows is a bit self-indulgent. Yet it also reveals some of my most heartfelt feelings, thoughts, and impressions. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I suppose the first reason why I write humor is to delight readers. I imagine them sitting in a cozy chair, reading my latest piece, chuckling softly to themselves. But chuckles are not enough for me. I want readers whooping. I want them guffawing. I want them laughing to the point of bladder dysfunction. That is what it means to delight readers.
But it’s not only the reader I am trying to delight. I am also trying to delight myself. Each column is like a thousand-piece puzzle, and solving it is a joy that is open to anyone who follows the process. First, lay out your pieces. Find a corner. Develop it. Refer to the picture on the box. Curse the pieces for all looking the same. Flip the pieces right-side up. Assemble larger and larger areas. Then, finally, after discovering a mistake that can only be fixed by scrapping the whole thing and starting over, jam ill-matched pieces together and bash them flat with your fist. Congratulations! You have just written a humor column. This procedure also works for assembling furniture.
The third reason I write humor is my unfaltering belief in the power of the written word. The written word is much more powerful than video. Never mind YouTube. Don’t tell me about TikTok. Forget about Disney+, Paramount+, British Films Subtitled for Americans+, Movies that Got Me Through English Lit+, etc. The written word still thrives in the hearts and minds of readers all over this country. If you don’t believe me, just go to your local library. There you will find dozens of readers perusing all sorts of books for as many as three seconds before heading to the DVDs. There is simply no replacement for the written word when it comes to pointing you in the direction of other, better media.
This is why I write a humor column, Dr. Jungfreud. Though writing this column was difficult, you may rest assured that, thanks to your expertise, my fragile psyche is still in one piece. And so is mine.