Operation was a game I fondly remember from my childhood. Even in our pre-legal drinking days, our hands would wobble and twitch as we attempted to extract the spare ribs or the funny bone from the grimacing patient on the game board. It was a game in which frustration and fun were perfectly inter-twined.
Flash forward thirty-plus years and the twitch of the hand has transformed into a twitch of the mind as I attempt to extract the funny from my brain and insert it into the words on the page. It’s so tantalisingly close but the fear of the rasping buzzzzzzzz of failure creates frequent pauses and stalled efforts. Any minor distraction: a cup of tea, ironing your keks or ramming your Marigold-covered hand round the u-bend of the khazi to dislodge a blocked turd is enough to step away from the keyboard and try to seek a moment of clarity.
A myriad of thoughts cascade erratically like trampolines in a Floridian hurricane. Does humour suit the topic at hand? Is it justified to keep mocking Trumpelstiltskin when he poses one of the greatest threats to order and democracy in western society? Why is Google chrome causing such high CPU usage on the computer? What to make for dinner this evening? Who, for the love of God, thinks John Bishop is funny? The list is endless.
In truth, it is a search for balance, finding that fine line between polemics and publishing something that’s entertaining to read. The world is a confusing, uncertain place at the moment and finding that niche in becoming part of the solution to this crisis is a struggle that needs persisting with. What will make the people listen to your message, to make them stand up and think, “Hey, he’s onto something here. What can we do about it?”
I could sit here all day ranting and raving, post my stories and build my audience but reader fatigue will eventually take over without the healthy injection of marrow from the funny bone. It’s not exactly easy to obtain a donor should all else fail. However, I’m not too worried because I know the answer. It isn’t a miracle cure where witty lines will magically drop from the skies like spiders in the Brazilian rainforest. It’ll be through sitting here and producing random passages of word like this one. Repeatedly. A proliferation of purple prose if you will.
The targets are out there with whopping great bullseyes on their backs: Trump, the Far-Right in Ireland, TheLiberal.ie, Putin, Brexit, Jose-bloody-Mourinho, organised religion and corporate greed. The list is huge and growing larger every minute we refuse to avert our eyes from Netflix or continue to Crush Candies with swipes from our fingers.
Now, time for a cuppa and a trawl of the internet to see what’s been happening in the world this morning. There’s work to be done and funny bones to be tickled.