My happiest writing moments are when I’m writing something funny. I’m happy reading, too, when what I’m reading is funny, although maybe not happiest. I adore a good book in all its aspects.
Writing funny means keeping an eye out for opportunities. We writers make our characters miserable, and one of misery’s faces is humor. After our mother died, my sister and I flew to Florida to sell Mom’s condominium. We rented a car, and I backed into a police car. That was pretty funny.
So was the time I smashed up a coworker’s brand-new car in the office parking lot on my first day on the job. (And confessed, naturally.)
One of my earliest dates, when I was about fifteen, was with a boy who stood about six foot three. I’ve never made it to five feet. We went to a museum, and afterward, on Fifth Avenue in New York City, he held my hand, which I had to reach up to grasp. For blocks, people pointed and laughed. I didn’t laugh along, but we were funny.
When I was even younger I loved the verse about Ooey Gooey. I used to repeat it to myself over and over with a mixture of horror and delight. For those of you who missed the sad saga, it’s this:
Ooey Gooey was a worm,
a mighty worm was he.
Crawled out on the railroad track,
the train he did not see.
Death at its silliest.