A few days ago, my new book received a terrible review on Amazon.UK by some lady who had “at least uploaded the free version”. A slap in the face to which I professionally, apologetically replied. Hey, not everyone likes everyone. I get it. Like now, I don’t like her anymore:) But then my overly-sensitive side began to get offended. My memoir was described by her, in one short sentence, “I don’t get the point of the book, just a bunch of little stories about himself”. Which my memoir-publishing, overly-sensitive side translated as “His memoir (from French: mémoire: memoria, meaning memory or reminiscence is a collection of memories that an individual writes about moments or events, both public or private, that took place in the subject’s life) is pointless”. Now, two days later, the tiny bruise has healed, but the bigger part of my brain has begun to over-analyze the wimpier, smaller part.
Had I begun to morph into the ‘Me-Generation”, posting pictures of myself on Facebook just so that I could walk around with my nose glued to my screen while reading what the world thought of Me?
As I young teen, I had once spent the entire hour of Sunday School being my natural class-clown-self, continually fueled by the laughter of classmates, but eventually bringing the teacher to tears, frustrated by my antics. A Sunday morning which I’ll never forget and always regret. I realized that I was definitely a funny person, but being funny had its right time and place.
Which apparently, I didn’t learn right away. Whenever asked by my sixth-grade teacher to read aloud for the class a selection from a textbook, I did it while doing a imitation of Flip Wilson’s ‘Geraldine’, a falsetto version of an older black woman’s voice. Easy it was at the time, seeing as to how my voice hadn’t finished changing into its permanent manly tone.
A girl in high school once randomly confided to me that the only time that she didn’t see me smile was when I was on the un-masked, closed confines of the basketball court. Up-close and personal, I always played to win. Seriously.
Back on a blue day before the crazy season of Christmas, I shared the following little analytical insight. It didn’t receive many ‘Likes’ on Facebook, perhaps the confusing Facebook algorithm, which determines what you see and don’t see in your news feed, had slowed the distribution (with no mention of cute cats, political opinions, or family pictures). Or perhaps it was read by some, who then felt uncomfortable ‘liking’ something so dark and personal. (And strange:) If you’ve never studied the common mental similarity amongst the comedians Williams, Dangerfield, Pryor, and Belushi, then you may not “get the point” of the following.
*** Some funny people are like a balloon with a pinhole.
A line that’s ironically funny to type in that it’s funny to say aloud.
Even an untied Balloon, when totally inflated and carefully held by someone, can still be perceived by others as a source of entertainment. The Balloon Animal comes to mind. Even your typically-shaped Balloon, inflated and secured with helpful hands, can produce laughter with a quick bonk on the head of another.
Once a Balloon is inflated with helium and properly secured, it can provide a constant source of entertainment to anyone that encounters the Balloon. When a Balloon is set free to rise in the clouds, anyone present will look skyward, become delighted and inspired, with curious envy, by the Balloon’s carefree flight. A Balloon is a constant at parties and celebrations.
When you think Balloon, you think Happy.
A Balloon uses a gas to remain pressurized. But what if the Balloon develops a pinhole? A Balloon can still provide amusement after only losing a small amount of pressure. A little patch on the pinhole and adding more gas, makes the Balloon entertaining again. The quick fix with the patch will eventually fail or a second pinhole will develop. At this point, only a constant flow of gas will keep the Balloon pressurized. The larger the cause of deflation, the greater the need for more gas. Over time, the constant need for more and more gas becomes impossible to satisfy. The Balloon is no longer entertaining.
Some funny people need to hear laughter to be entertaining.
This is Dr. Freud signing off.