Sunday, October 07, 2007

The F-Word (Or, Performance Anxiety)

I simultaneously dread and love the word "funny".

I love it for obvious reasons...and I hate it because it can be a death knell.

Whenever I'm introduced to a stranger by a friend as "This is Trevor - he's funny" - it's pretty much all over for me.

I'm toast.

When that word is tossed out, it generates expectation...as in: "Ok, monkey...perform now" or "He's funny...therefore he's about to spew hilarity at you in mere seconds." And...in me it generates panic. It's like I'm that dancing, singing frog from that old Looney Tunes cartoon that only performs for the sadsack construction worker that finds him in a shoebox on a street corner.

Anyway, all that aside, sometimes, I set myself up for such a disaster. There are points where jokes fly and riffs roll and witticisms rhumba without effort - but just as often, these flights and cha-chas crash and stumble just as fast as they happen.

Once I was on a long roadtrip with friends - I was working overtime on the funny tip and laughter abounded. But, then, I pushed things too far and rambled on and on and on thinking I was going to land at a punchline somewhere.

The landing never happened...so I gracefully tried to bow out and started mumbling to myself, hoping that those I was previously entertaining would somehow not notice that my story had no point.

I eventually just stopped talking and looked out the window.

And now, as I scramble to wrap this up...I realize...

This story has no punchline either.

In my attempt to make "not funny" funny here I sit...

Not. Even. Funny.

3 comments:

sugar sack said...

i know what IS funny.... a "sadsack" - what the hell is that? sounds like a scrotal disorder

Robert said...

I'm laughing, but not out loud. Okay, I giggled a bit. heh! It must've sucked when you realized that your conversation/joke/funny matter wasn't getting anywhere... I hate that, maybe that's why I'm not much of a storyteller.

Hope you're having a great Monday!!

m00nchild said...

If someone introduces me as funny, I point back to the emcee and say: "Look at him. He's the funny one."

Of course no one has ever introduced me as being funny.