Friday, May 5, 2017

Happy Birthday Challenge

I typically don’t take requests for readers of my blog, but a friend, Cindy Canipe, living in eastern North Carolina has a birthday today and she requested I write something funny for her. 

Imagine the pressure this poses. 

One, I’m not Jay Leno, and two, my brain doesn’t produce humorous quips under pressure, or at a moment’s notice. However, I found her request intriguing and by opening my mouth, moving my fingers, I am bound by honor to oblige. 

The sad part is that I told her it would be published by 2:00 today. That gives me shy of 4 hours to be funny and do all the edits. 

So, here’s to you Cindy, happy birthday. 
Thanks for the pressure.

I started looking through some humor stories that had never been published. There was a boat story, a sailing story, and a travel story that I could have shared. But that’s not the kind of story Cindy would want to hear. She would like to hear about another cooking disaster or that I set the kitchen on fire for the fifth time. That wouldn’t work because I’ve only set the kitchen on fire three times. 

Sorry Cindy, but I gave up cooking. I live on air.

I suppose I could tell the story of the two women that work at Wal-Mart, that stopped in the Maritime Museum on Tuesday while I was volunteering. 
One woman was reserved and congenial while the other one was brash, loud talking and couldn’t refrain from commenting about each male that walked by. She was on the prowl. She outright confessed, “Anything above the waist I can touch but I won’t go down there. Nope.” She had her values in order and it was perfectly okay to ogle after men and let them know how fine they were. To their face, no less.

The first woman didn’t participate in this sport but was there, just in case. I’m not sure what she would have done if the second woman got over her head, but after 14 years of being her friend, she was through chastising and made no comments. Deep down, I think she was vicariously living another personality, one she didn’t dare indulge. When they left the museum, the second woman said, “Let’s go to the fudge factory. I see some men I’d like to sample.”

Unfortunately, Cindy probably wouldn’t like that kind of story. I thought about my bedroom and sleeping with 3 cats. You can probably guess that it entails cats walking on my face, biting my head, jumping on the least meaty part of my legs, the shins, when they want to go somewhere, bruises and bite marks everywhere. Or maybe about the different kinds of meowing, squeaks and chirps that occur at all hours of the morning, the cat that has to cough up hairballs, ate too much and is throwing up, and the male cat that has to make so much noise at 3 or 4:00 in the morning that he’s ready to hunt outside.

On second thought. All that’s depressing and I’m yawning now just thinking about all the sleep I missed.

Perhaps Cindy would find my writing amusing.
 She’s only known my “real” writing from the newspaper and magazine articles I’ve written over the past 9 years. My writing has been nonfiction, creative non-fiction, and a little bit of humor that is nonfiction or slightly skewed.
I am the queen of nonfiction; it fits my science/math orientation. I like facts, figures, logic and order. She’s never known me to write fiction, and neither has anyone else.

I’ve always said that I couldn’t write fiction if Stephen King stood over my computer key board, took my fingers, and started typing with the manual sitting next to me.

My friend, Joan Carris, who is a fabulously famous, award winning YA author, read one of my manuscripts for a children’s book and said, “Helen, you should stick with nonfiction.” Who am I to dispute such authoritative wisdom?

All this being said, rather than write the 100 American Boats You Must See in Your Lifetime (which I’m working on, by the way), I decided to get the farthest from the nonfiction genre as possible, I’m writing a romance novel. 
Not even Scott knows this and it’s hard blushing all the time while he wonders what I’m writing.  I’ve also been taking cooler and cooler showers lately…

I hope this tickles Cindy’s funny bone, and with an hour to spare.  

Happy birthday

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