Category Archives: Satire

Humor: A Hard Way to Write an Essay

Jennifer Crystal challenged our Grub Street class to write a 500-1,000 word essay “using Unintended humor. Sign reading: No Trespassing. Police Prosecuted. 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.

Continue reading Humor: A Hard Way to Write an Essay

Notes on high to The Bible, by Susan and David von Salis

[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

At first was nothing.  Then God made the earth and man (Adam) and woman (Eve) and a snake (Snake).  They were naughty, and learned about sin.  Then they were fruitful and multiplied.   Continue reading Notes on high to The Bible, by Susan and David von Salis

E-Calendars Anonymous

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.

I moved my short legs yet again, trying to find a position that allowed my feet to find the floor. Continue reading E-Calendars Anonymous