Humor is My Genre discussion

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Humorous Quotes - An Insider Family Language

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message 1: by Catherine (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:57PM) (new)

Catherine Hill | 3 comments My family has always used humorous literary phrases to express themselves. Some favorites:
¨Throw Rex and hold him¨ from Thurber´s The Night The Bed Fell on Father, to talk about dealing with fractious animals or people.
¨Being tied to the end of a long pole and used to clean the windows¨ - Thurber´s remarks about certain kinds of dogs, used when chores and housework were required.
¨This pig is too fat. I´m going to make it run.¨ - from P.G. Wodehouse, used for overweight pets and people.
¨The Gauls are attacking the ditches with arrows.¨ - from the wonderful Molesworth series, my own personal favorite for commenting on loud, confused noises.


message 2: by Red (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:57PM) (new)

Red Evans | 12 comments Mod
Fascinating. I can't say my family was litgerary in nature. I'm the only writer among us, although my older brother has written two textbooks on Engineering. He admits that fiction is beyond his ken, however no one is a better sounding board for trying out a funny story.

My book On Ice's lead character, Eldy Brewer is a country youth from West Virginia who has his own special way of saying things. I call them Eldyisms. Here are just a few:

- O -

"What was I gonna do if it did hurt (the hen to lay an egg) kiss it and make it better? I dadgum sure wasn't going to do that! Besides, there's this one rooster that would spur hell out of my butt was I to mess with his hens. I think he gets jealous because he thinks I'm a rooster only taller."

- O -

"'That last was like a knife in my gut, sharp, deep and painful. I never cried about losing Daddy. I swore I never would, 'cause I didn't lose Daddy. He was stolen from me when God wasn't lookin'.'

I jerked away from her and snapped bitterly, 'It ain't the same! Daddy was took from me!'"

- O -

"I guess President Eisenhower was a pretty smart fella when he made 'em build these big (cold war highways). He knew we wouldn't have time to find some place to eat, get gas, or spend the night when we was running from Russian hordes, atomic bombs and all, so he made sure everybody put these little signs telling that they was at the next exit. That way, see, we could buy some burgers and fries on our flight to safety."

- O -

"…Among the little places was a pizza joint called Alfredo's, a shoe store that claimed the lowest prices in Crossover, and an eyeglass place with a pair of eyes staring out at the parking lot. Some kids had done a fine job of painting them to look cross-eyed. I admired it and gave some hard thought to where Peepee and me could find us a sign like that."

- O -

"Here was a real judge who was more important than anybody I ever been this close to. He even talked like he had read all the legal books ever writ in the world. LeSeur was about to mess his pants and now here was a woman lawyer who seemed more powerful than Mother Nature!

And, Holy pumpkin pie, I was a witness!"

- O -

Over the few days of travel and final hours of the story, one can see and feel Eldy maturing and developing an understanding of human emotions, his own and those of the people around him. I think that's what makes him a special character.


message 3: by Rosemary (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:58PM) (new)

Rosemary You all are right--styles of humor can be a family affair. The kind of humor I learned from my mother was very caustic (she used it to let off steam while feeling trapped with an alcoholic husband--that tiger she had by the tail). The sarcasm I learned and often used, didn't go over so well with my husband, who wasn't brought up that way and whose feelings wound easily, so now I try to tame my tongue (though the daily sharp practice was once so good for my playwriting dialogue).


message 4: by Catherine (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:59PM) (new)

Catherine Hill | 3 comments I really enjoyed Eldy´s comments about Eisenhower and the interstates. I remember all the futuristic pictures of interstate cloverleafs in my grade school text books.


message 5: by Red (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:59PM) (new)

Red Evans | 12 comments Mod
I've written several books, but none gave me the pleasure I derived from creating Eldy and his view of things, although On Ice is my first to be published. Delighted I am that others are getting such a kick out of him.

Red Evans author On Ice


message 6: by Andy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:59PM) (new)

Andy | 5 comments Mod
Hi everybody, good to see some familar faces here))). The big issue I have with transferring humor from real life in to fiction is the risk of crossing lines and offending people. It's easy enough when you're in company to get a feel for how people will react and what their boundaries might be but with a book, you never know who is going to pick it up or what is happening in their life when they read it!. I guess tact is the answer, as long as it doesn't get in the way of a good gag....


message 7: by Red (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:00PM) (new)

Red Evans | 12 comments Mod
Interesting thought Andy. However, I have decided that if my intent is humor and I approach it with an open and clean mind, it is unlikely that someone would be offended. On the other hand, some people deliberately read into humorous pieces something to which they object no matter the intent of the writer. That being the case, I simply try to be sensitive but not to the extreme.

Red Evans author On Ice


message 8: by Andy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:01PM) (new)

Andy | 5 comments Mod
True Red, but it remains a challenge never the less, especially if you consider our subject material (On Ice-driving around with a corpse in your truck and Recycling Jimmy-suicide for profit!) I think I can speak for us both when I can say that our intent is always to make the majority of people smile at our humor, and not get cheap laughs from a few at the expense of other's. I still think sometimes though that RJ in partuicular may suffer from pre-judgement as on the surface, it could seem shocking and cold (which it isn't of course).


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