Jennifer Crystal challenged our Grub Street class to write a 500-1,000 word essay “using humor to make a point.” In speech and writing, I pepper people with puns and jokes. But humor for revelation?
In our assignment from Writing Well, William Zinsser demonstrates comic devices. To question women’s public adornment with hair curlers in the 1960s, Zinsser parodied an advice column. That seems easy enough.
Dear Jennifer, Using humor to make a point is really hard. For once in my life, I can’t think of anything at which to poke fun. -Kim
[I thought you might enjoy a chance to re-vist Susan’s talent for story telling and her sense of humor. This was written by Susan and her brother, David von Salis, in 1988, on the occasion of my friend Deb Moore’s graduation from seminary. I have a vivid memory of Susan and David gleefully putting it together, with Ruth looking over their shoulders, “checking” it all.]
Notes from on high to The Bible: The Old Testament
Hi everyone. My name is Kim. I’m an e-calendar-aholic, and this is my first time at one of these meetings.
“Welcome, Kim,” said the group of about 5, seated in the windowless, cinder block room, with orange, white, blue, and beige cabling covering the ceiling.
“Kim,” said the leader, a white woman in her mid-thirties with her dark hair neatly pulled back in a ponytail. “Please tell us your story.”
I shifted myself on the slippery aluminum fold-up chair and began.
I’m one of those people who often forget what day today is. When I got my first digital watch, of course I started timing everything I could with the chronometer. And of course I annoyed everyone around me with “beep-beep . . . beep-beep beep-beep,” as I pushed each of the buttons, struggling to turn off the alarm I’d so cleverly set. The most mind-blowing feature, however, was that at a glance I could see not just the time and date, but the day of the week! Back when I wore that watch, I wonder how much time of any given day I spent checking where I stood within those three markers: time, date, and day.