I have come to the stark realization that I am no longer funny.
I say that having once had one of the world’s great senses of humor. I recall sitting in a room full of gentlemen, sitting in leather chairs surrounded by oaken bookshelves discussing the classics and the great philosophies of the world. The conversation would die down, there would be a pause and then I would say something hilarious.
Next thing you know, the place would erupt in a roar of laughter. Brandy and bourbon flying everywhere. Glasses falling and shattering upon the ground. Men rolling on the floor, laughing uncontrollably. Others calling 911 because some of the men had rolled onto the broken glass. EMS arriving and asking what was said that was so funny. They themselves then bursting into laughter, slapping their knees so hard they were unable to drive to the hospital.
Autopsies for some of the men who didn’t get the care they needed that night are considered among some of the funniest autopsy reports in the world by the American Medical Association.
But really, I don’t remember what I said that was so funny.
All I know is that the sense of humor I once had is gone.
The other day, I knocked on some guy’s door.
“Who’s there?” he shouted.
I felt like I needed to say something hilarious, but I froze. When he finally came to the door, I was speechless. I didn’t even remember why I was there, to be honest with you. I awkwardly offered him some gum and walked away.
I drove off, depressed, no destination in mind.
I stopped into the nearest bar. A priest, a rabbi, and a minister all walked in. I took out a pen and a pad of paper and wrote down every single word they said.
I then quickly took that new material to the nearest comedy club, but it didn’t get a single laugh. It turned out most of what I had transcribed was their drink orders and I ended up walking away with a massive bar tab.
I headed home in despair, but my car broke down in front of a farmer’s house.
“You can spend the night here, stranger,” he said. “I just have one rule.”
Again, I pulled out my pen and paper, but his one rule ended up being “no shoes in the house.” When I broke that rule he did end up chasing me out of his house with a shotgun, but it wasn’t funny and it didn’t make me feel any better.
After that, I became depressed. Increasingly, I turned to the bottle for answers.
One night, I stumbled back into that old club, where in happier times I would debate the classics with my fellow gentlemen, delighting them with my wit.
I was surprised to find the oaken bookshelves empty and only the janitor in the room.
“You,” he said. “You’re the one who caused all that trouble.”
“Where is everyone?” I asked. “Did the literary club disband?”
“Cops shut us down because of all the ruckus you caused,” he explained. “Also, this wasn’t a literary club. It was the mafia.”
“Well, you don’t need to worry about any ruckus out of me,” I assured him. “I lost my sense of humor.”
“Well, that’s good,” he said, “because you created a lot of damage. And most of what you said wasn’t funny.”
“Then why did everyone laugh?” I asked.
“Those were courtesy laughs,” he answered.
“Several people were injured because they were rolling around on glass laughing so hard,” I said.
“Those again were courtesy laughs,” he explained. “This was an extremely courteous group of gentlemen.”
And there it was. I was never funny in the first place. I didn’t lose my sense of humor. I never had a sense of humor to begin with.
Overjoyed, I embraced the janitor. He kept trying to break free, but I’m pretty strong.
As I walked away, a sense of relief came over me.
On my way home, I lost my sense of direction and hit a chicken that was crossing the road. It wasn’t funny and the chicken was killed.
I called the police, sobbing as I reported the accident. The officer who answered the phone started laughing at me. So I guess I am kinda funny.