Actually, I never buy a book (anymore) described as “hilarious.” Usually they are not. I’ve been suckered into buying a few hilarious travelers’ tales and they are mostly about dyspeptic assholes. Isn’t hilarious supposed to mean laugh-out-loud funny?

As this week’s creative saga unfolds, I’m wondering if I could learn to be hilarious or not.

Last night’s soul-searching led me to the conclusion that a collection of my precious little memory-insights would not sell. Not that I don’t live for pure art. But… I could not envision giving such a book as a gift or even arm-twisting a few kind cousins into buying it. A fictional thriller, a novel has more panache — I’m giving you the gift of escape! Memories about what a klutzy-brainy little malcontent I was might not be that endearing.

I was dragging off to bed when I had this flash: unless it’s hilarious!!! Or at least as funny as having an IV drip of chuckles. My father chuckled all the way through Catcher in the Rye. He liked it when something tickled him.

It’s a tall order for me — the serious child who scolded my parents for having too much fun and not saving their pennies for my college education.

But someone did write me recently to say that (of all the memoir entries I have) she most enjoyed the story of my mother sending me off to college with underarm shields. Enjoyed it enough to Twitter me. Hmm…

I think being humorous (not just a wiseacre) is way harder than being serious.

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