She reveals her restraint


By fifth grade, my humor was tall for its age. It was goofy and awkward and made my friends laugh. My two best friends, both nerdy, called me Professor Car-Car.


In sixth grade, almost everyone else’s humor started filling out and looking more grown up. Mine stayed skinny, scrawny, and flat chested. By year’s end, it was shorter than most.


In high school, I was ashamed of my humor. Everyone knew it had stopped growing in the fifth grade, loved dumb jokes, laughed hysterically at slapstick, and snorted through its nose at jokes about gas. Most people my age preferred jokes about sex, but my humor and I secretly preferred Knock-Knock jokes and puns.


There’s no cure for fifth-grade humor; it never grows up. I’ve tried literary supplements but I end up making fun of them. After hours of imbibing ironic artsy films full of sardonic laughter, I create parodies in my mind to mock them. These often involve banana peels.


Contrary to what you might think, I have tried to train my humor to sit quietly through meetings and not make up funny stories in my head about the people talking. However, my humor can only sit still so long. Fifth-graders have a lot of energy and can’t be stuck in a chair all day.


Yesterday I wrote about my husband’s colonoscopy and titled the post Let’s get this party started. In an act of heroic restraint, I did not use my first choice: Let’s get this party farted. I should get some credit for that.


Also, I refrained from writing an entire post about Doctor Payne and his daring space probe. He lands on Uranus in search of his nemesis, Paul Upps, a parasitic creature who attaches himself to other living beings and sucks the life out of them. Doctor Payne heard that Paul Upps was hiding out in a dark tunnel deep in the heart of Uranus. In the end, Doctor Payne finds Paul Upps and removes him. However, that’s just the pilot story. Paul Upps is not so easily destroyed. He takes on other forms and shows up other places, so Doctor Payne can have a satisfying career seemingly killing off Paul Upps each week, only to find the evil creature has re-emerged somewhere else next week. I haven’t decided yet who should play Doctor Payne, but I’m open to suggestions.


I’ve given my humor free rein in my brain, where it has room to run around in all that empty space. The letter “g” has corrupted free rein, so now we are seeing people given free reign. Free rein means my humor is sitting on the buckboard of my mind letting the horses run wild. Free reign means the little potentate is sitting a throne, dictating what I say. So untrue. I keep my humor in check, and I think it’s important that you know that I’m doing my best to keep it from racing around the interblogs, kicking up dust and  making a nuisance of itself.


You’re welcome.


33 thoughts on “She reveals her restraint

  1. Talk to me...I'm your Mother

    Hmm…did you really refrain? I think not! Well, one day at a time. I’m glad your humor won out. Fifth grade must be my level.

  2. After reading this brilliantly funny piece I’m thinking of giving up writing and becoming a plumber. Let us hope you continue to sit on your writer’s throne, reigning over us, for many years to come.

  3. Dear Yearstruck
    This post reminds me of a system my kids used (to great effect) when they were little – in order to curse and swear they would repeat the curses so-and-so had said (they clearly ran around with some very bold children). If I objected they pointed out that they weren’t actually cursing they were just ‘telling’ me what had happened.
    I see your unconscious has employed much the same ploy.
    re your storyline – might I suggest that Dr. Payne discovers that Paul Upps is a creature that sprung up after an ass-teroid crashed into a remote island and that on that island a ‘pile’ of aliens from the planet Hemmeroid, are actually in charge of this evil Paul Upps manifestation and master minding the places he pops up in order to colon-ise the earth…

  4. Thanks for the Jerry Lewis clip and for developing some of the humor that my slow brain and my different pronunciation of planet names made me miss yesterday! This post goes so far past (or before) bathroom humor.

  5. I was expecting you to say that you were tempted to call the post “Let’s get this potty started”. But I love your other tempting title even more! Fart jokes rule (at least around the people in my house).

  6. hello, yearstricken,

    it seems i can’t get past the fifth grade level. is there a school i could go to, to perhaps improve my chances, huh? ^^

    am enjoying your posts immensely and hope to be half as good as you, in say, 10 years time, ahaha. ^^ hope your husband’s coping well with the post-surgery… :):)

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