Friday, August 10, 2007

Random Thoughts, Random Humor

Valerie J. Steimle

My family (husband and children) have always appreciated random humor. We laugh the hardest when a movie we are watching has completely random scenes. For example, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe is completely random. Some of the ideas and storyline are so unrelated to each other it’s funny. The writings of Jack Handy are very random and very funny. Sometimes I think it would be funny if I had a button to push like the Staples Office Store "That was Easy" button so when I hear random things I can push the button and it would say: "That was random."

I was in a funny mood last week and asked my children for random thoughts and this is what they came up with:

1. I think penguins should do people's laundry. That way if it gets messed up, you can't be mad. I mean come on, it's a penguin.

2. And it would be great if when you were upset, a magic waiter/waitress showed up with a sirloin stake and offered it in French with a French accent. Then you would eat it with gusto while you listened to the waiter/waitress speaking to you in French.

3. Sometimes when I sit outside on the front porch, I think to myself, What can I do to make life more fun?” This time when I did that, I saw a cow crossing the road and I grabbed some grass from my lawn and tried to feed it to the cow. Then I jumped on top to ride it and it ran away.

Now that was random.

If you’ve ever played the “story writing game” with a group of friends, you know what random is. The idea is to start with the first line of a story written on a paper. Then the next person adds a line to the story, folds the paper down and passes it on. That person sees the last line and adds his own line, folds it down and passes it on until the whole group has the chance to write a line to the story. The stories come out so funny because the lines are random and some how make the story funny. Here is an example from a singles' party I went to:

There once was a dwarf, who lived at the beach,
who loved to build toy houses for his dog.
His calico cat was jealous and pondered,
Gee, that was sad seeing tears,
rolling down their faces, messing up their makeup.
“We look like drunken mines” she thought.
“I had better put on my grease paint before the authorities come.”
And she disguised herself as ghost.

Now that story was really random because the people passing the paper around only saw the last line and then started writing. They had no idea what was written before. And when in the right mood, they can be very funny.

So random writing is good if you have the right combination on paper and right kind of people reading it. It's not so good if you don't understand what random is and your sense of humor is different. That was random.

3 comments:

  1. Okay, Valerie, I want one of those buttons, too. I think you have a market for it...too funny!

    I love the French waiter thought. I imagine him serving rib eye steak, medium rare...along with a selection of chocolate desserts...calorie free, of course.

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  2. Random thoughts are fun. But when I'm trying to tell a story straight, I keep getting sidetracked, and seldom stick to the subject. I have one son-in-law who especially laughs, poking loving (I hope) fun at me for my scatterbrained approach. And why not? As you say, Valerie, it's fun, and sometimes very productive.

    I haven't played the 'fold and write' game for a long time. Thanks for resurrecting it.

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  3. I loved the penguin laundry story. Now that's a child with a sense of the ridiculous!

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