In anticipation of April Fools’ Day on Tuesday, my Generation Next editor asked me to write a My View about “being funny.” I all too eagerly stepped into this trap, but now, some 13 hours after my deadline has passed, desperation has set in. Who would have thought that being amusing on cue would be so difficult? Wiser men and women than me — in other words, the rest of the Generation Next staff — clearly understood the challenge. Only now am I realizing that writing humorously about being humorous is the ultimate lose-lose proposition: The author will either come across as pathetically unfunny, a narcissistic ass or, worst of all, both. I have a sinking feeling that I have already fallen into the third category in less than 150 words.
Still, over the past couple of years, I have gained a fair degree of notoriety at my school for being a wise guy — in the comedic, not Mafioso, sense — after years of straight-laced, serious behavior. I find that being funny is similar to being a meteorologist in that almost all humor is based on the observation of patterns, like tracking a low-pressure system on radar. Jokes are like daily forecasts, sometimes hitting the mark, but more often than not — as in my case — being just off enough to make the audience uncomfortable.