Recently my mother said something unexpected, “You should do stand up comedy.”
My ego soared but then something occurred, “But you don’t like my comedy.”
In fact once, I may have mentioned this before, I read her a monologue that I had written for an open mike thing and she got really grumpy and complained I was always writing rubbish. I ended up reading it anyway and it seemed to go down well. I was telling Mum, how much they laughed. She was confused, where was the humour. I pointed out that the speech involved taking over the world by having a superior ability to relate to extraterrestrial visitors. She admitted that she hadn’t noticed and had believed it to be a straight speech. I pointed out a couple of other ludicrous parts. She claimed that they had crept in so subtly that she didn’t realise I didn’t mean them.
I am worried about my mother.
But back to the more recent conversation:
“Oh I don’t,” said Mum. “but I was watching a comedy festival and most of them were even worse than you.”
For a while I wondered what all of this meant. Was it a compliment, a boost for my ego, a path I could take in life. Or considering she is my mother and biased, is this a worthless opinion.
Then it came to me, I write in the genres of speculative fiction, humour and non-fiction. I watch humour, spec fic, documentaries and crime drama. Mum enjoys romance and historical romance, she watches soaps, reality TV and medical and crime drama. And even in the one area of crossover of crime fiction we still have different tastes.
Maybe I should not be asking her opinion. I mean she is well educated, she was a teacher. But then again she only ever taught English to remedial students. She taught science, home economics, agriculture and even computers.
So how good is her opinion on my standard of writing if I am writing in genres she actively dislikes.
The trouble is I only really have a couple of people to ask; I mean my husband, my support worker, my children and my Mum. That’s it! How does one get an honest opinion of one’s work?
Then I realised, would I want an honest opinion. Perhaps I am happy in blissful ignorance. But then how will I progress.
Then I remembered I have that covered. In my imaginary stand up routine, the writing is not imaginary the performance is, I point out to my audience that they can not upset me because I am disabled.
“If you heckle me, I will fall on the floor, twitch and make strange piteous noises, and the rest of the audience will turn on you.”
That’s right, my imaginary future is still on course. If I cannot rely on talent, I can get by on pity.
Hurray, I love pity!
BTW: Humour especially written humour is very much in the eyes of the beholder. I am joking above. That is to say; I am not that depressed. You don’t have to find it funny, just don’t worry about me.
I remember in the comedy class I went to I told some people that I had a difficulty to overcome; people with autism are incapable of understanding humour. I expected that the context, my being in a comedy class and having spent the morning laughing at our genius instructor, would make it clear I was being ironic. They believed me and started being sympathetic. It was so embarrassing, although as I look back I prefer to remember that my dead pan delivery was just too flawless.
Bysie Bye. I has chocolate to eat.