Friday, April 3, 2009

Timing is everything

People tell me I'm a funny guy. Timing is everything in humor. Usually I'm pretty good about knowing when to be funny and when not to. Pretty good at knowing when humor is appropriate and when it isn't. This didn't happen to me:

Dave Barry published a column on 9/11, in place of his usual humor column, he simply posted his thoughts and reflections on what was happening. It was moving.

"No humor column today. I don't want to write it and you don't want to read it."

But... how wrong would it have been to write a humor column?

Sometimes, it's at the hardest times in life that we most need to laugh. Sometimes, it's when everything around us is terrifying and ugly that we need to stop taking things seriously. Sometimes. I don't think that 9/11 was one of those times. But I think that part of pain is laughing because it hurts, part of grief is not taking the grief seriously. Part of mourning is laughing. Part.

People tell me I'm a funny guy. But I wish I had better timing. I wish that I was funny even when you wouldn't think I was supposed to be. Because I think that that kind of laughter helps people more than the regular kind. I think that performing to distract people from their pain is fine, but performing to get them through the deepest pain is better. I wish I could do that.

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