Monday, August 13, 2012

"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. 
I only claim to know how a story ought to be told, for I have been 
almost daily in the company of the most expert storytellers for many years. 

There are several kinds of stories, but only one difficult kind--
the humorous. I will talk mainly about that one. The humorous story 
is American, the comic story is English, the witty story is French. 
The humorous story depends for its effect upon the MANNER of the telling; 
the comic story and the witty story upon the MATTER." 

Mark Twain (From his essay “How to Write a Story”)

Humorous, Comic, Witty

Storytelling is just this side of lying--the north side. Humorous storytelling is just this side of lying added to hyperbole mixed with enough wit to make reality look funnier than it actually is.

According to Mr. Twain, any little old thing that happens during the day can become a humorous story if told with the correct amount of art and skill. I agree. I find that there isn't much in this world that isn't funny, especially now, what with the roving gangs of I-Want-Something-I-Don’t-Have-But-I’m-Pretty-Sure-That-You-Might-Have-It, So-I’m-Going-To-Fling-Poo-At-You folks. I know I’m laughing when I practice my anti-gang tactics and poo dodging drills.

I enjoy humor that involves irony, wit, satire, and the clever use of the word indubitably. My husband, father-in-law, and grandson find the three stooges wildly funny. Thus illustrating the ethereal nature of what qualifies as humorous. Some folks laugh at the sound of a fart produced by an armpit. Some folks laugh at the subtle and not so subtle manipulation used in the advertisements of politicians that have spent sixteen trillion dollars and don’t even have a lousy T-shirt to show for it. Oops.

But here we are to tell about it, humorously if possible. It shouldn’t be too hard. After all, we are in the presence of expert storytellers every time we turn on the six o’clock news.

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