Woes of a humourist

Woes of a humourist


Woes of a humourist

People assume that being a humour writer is fun, that the writer is always amused over something or the other. Even if you frown, friends choke up thinking a joke is coming now, now, now...

Everyone relates unfunny anecdotes from their lives, while doubling up with laughter, insisting, “You must write about this.” They send you cheesy internet jokes because “only you will get them”. During your evening walk, people ask why you are not laughing. It is universally believed that humour writers laugh all the time — even while brushing their teeth.

Friends invite you to parties so you can make their guests laugh. At the party, when two people are discussing something boring and important, like dental hygiene of arctic racoons, the hostess yells, “Stop, stop! I am sure our humour writer has a nice joke about it.” They will introduce you to grave-looking glum sorts, saying, “She is so funny, you will wet your pants,” leaving the biggest silence — not to mention driest pants — behind.

It’s easier to get sighs and swoons over — “The naked earth is warm with Spring. With green grass and bursting trees leaning to the sun’s kiss, it quivers in the sunny breeze”, than “the floral bermudas bristled like the first flush of spring on his butt”.

People request you to talk to depressed folks so you can “cheer them up” and you end up depressed yourself. Your family hates you because they are the butt of your jokes — you have to sleep with a gun under your pillow to protect yourself.

Mainstream writers make you feel like Nana Patekar-wanders-into-Karan-Johar’s-party, even when you have donned a perfect disguise, like a hand-loom saree and terracotta earrings to get in unnoticed.

The stress is incredible. I fear that it may not be long before humourists turn into psychopathic killers. I can picture them taking people hostage, and chopping their fingers, one at a time, laughing as they do it.

A friend retorts, “Well, these are the risks that come with the job. If you are so agitated with it, do something else.”

Hmmm, that sounds logical, but there are problems with that too.
A humourist in a serious job can have frightening consequences.

How would you like a judge who starts telling lawyer jokes? And pounding the mallet to the tune of “Who let the dogs out?” Those critics who accuse the legal system of being a joke would have the last laugh.

What if you happen to go to a humourist-turned-doctor?
Doctor : Your reports have come. There is good and bad news.
Patient: (almost fainting) Tell me the bad news first.
Doctor: Your insurance has expired.

Till sometime back, I thought I could become a newsreader. Till I found myself adding addendums to headlines in my head: ‘The local MLA expressed grief over the riots. He was visibly moved by the destruction he saw. And Genghis Khan was my grandmother’s aunt’.

So, let’s be reasonable: there are no jobs that we can do without getting killed in the process. We are condemned to be humourists.

Even if you die, die with a smile on your face, so people say at your funeral: ‘She’d been cracking a joke, poor thing, when she died.’