I've been asked by people why I write for this website. They say that I "should be using my time doing other, productive things." Like what, watching reality shows on television? They say that I ought to be using my writing talents to make money. Don't I need to develop that talent first? They say that some of what I write is not appropriate to people of all ages and morality levels. And the stuff that you want me to watch on television is appropriate?
If you are looking for a funny article, I'd suggest that you not read this one. If you are looking for some small fragment of insight into the mind of one of the lunatics that write here, maybe this is for you.
So, in a nutshell, let me explain what I'm doing here and why I write this stuff:
I've heard the saying attributed to many different people, so I'm not going to say that any one person said it. Somebody, however, once said that humor comes from pain. In my case, that is somewhat true. I lost a child and a marriage and have had some bad luck in career choices. I'll accept that the idea of laughter being a catharsis for pain has some merit. Without the laughter, I don't know how I could have dealt with the tears.
However, I have always grown up enjoying a good laugh, so this is not always true.
As a kid, I was not the class clown. In fact, I was more the class "know it all" and the class "sarcastic wit." I wasn't trying to be funny, I was trying to be the best and show everyone how much better and smarter I was. I have been accused of being an arrogant asshole by some, and think that this is sometimes true.
Humor has always been a major part of my life. As I said, laughter has helped me through many of my trials and tears. I hve often been accused of failing to take some things seriously enough, or at least "enough" as measured by my accusers.
A large part of my shaping has come from my own religious background. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, more commonly known at The Mormons. My testimony, beliefs, and inspiration have carried me through the harshest portions of my life; my religious education has also shaped who I am.
I enjoy religious humor. I have penned dozens of jokes and stories about my church and religion in general in my years at this website. Any joke that begins "A priest and a rabbi...." automatically gets my attention. The marriage of church and humor is the best of both worlds to me.
One of my favorite verses in The Book of Mormon, a book of scripture in my church, is very funny to me. In the book of Omni, verse 9, we read:
"Now I, Chemish, write what few things I write, in the same book with my brother; for behold, I saw that last which he wrote, that he wrote it with his own hand; and he wrote it in the day that he delivered them unto me. And after this manner we keep the records, for it is according to the commandments of our fathers. And I make an end."
The brother of this Chemish, named Amaron, wrote only verses 4 through 8 of that same chapter in a record of history that was handed down from one generation to another.
In my church, we are not all somber with permanent constipated expressions tattooed to our faces. We have a history of humor. We tell J. Golden Kimball stories and BYU co-ed jokes. Our General Authorities have told jokes and humorous stories from the pulpet at the Tabernacle (and now the Conference Center) for generations. Paul Dunn was teh most popular speaker in our church for many years, mostly due to his humorous stories of his experiences in WWII and in professional baseball. You will find humorous cartoons and jokes in our official church publications. Our Missionary Training Center is a hotbed of practical jokes as a way for the Elders to break the strain and monotony.
I feel that I have been blessed with the ability to create and share humor through the written word. I may be deluding myself in that belief, since I have never really tried to get my work printed for a larger audience. My friends and family tell me that I am good at it, but you can never really trust their opinion on their talents (my mother has said for many years that I have a great singing voice, but stray cats run when I break into song).
When did I first realize that I could be funny? Well, I had told jokes or used humorous stories in some speeches with success when I was a kid. My first big experience, however, came at a meeting for Tupperware ladies (yes, Tupperware ladies).
My mother was a manager for Tupperware for several years. She used my brothers and sister and me to help her with her business. I would help with the paperwork and invoicing process, my brother would check off and organize the many boxes of product when it came in weekly, and my little brother and sister would help to bag up the individual orders.
At one of her monthly "night rallies" for everyone that sold the product, she was asked to have her family speak on how we were a "Tupperware family." Instead of speaking on my assignment, however, I went into left field. I told jokes and humorous stories and anecdotes about the funny experiences with Tupperware in our family. I was a hit! These women were laughing hysterically. I had a room of 400 people in the palm of my hand and I loved it! At that moment, I knew that I had a talent for humor and it felt good.
Unfortunately, I then became like the foolish man in the parable of the talents. I didn't do anything for about 20 years towards using my abilities to make people laugh. It took the tragedies to bring me out of my shell and begin to write up the jokes and funny experiences. It started about nine years ago and has eventually evolved into where I am now.
I'm about 90% finished with a book, my first true novel. It is about the funny experiences of a man who is the leader of the local men's organization in my church. Will it ever be published? I don't know; I'd like to see it in print. Will it make me rich? No. Will it make me famous and have women throw themselves at me? It is unfortunate, but...no.
Writing that book, and writing for this website, however, will have helped me to develop what I see at a talent. Both have been fun experiences and good learning experiences. Both have entertained me and my family and have brought some jokes and humor and laughter and maybe a little happiness to some people in the world. If I've been able to do that, then I've been successful.
So, that said, enjoy the Spoofing of this website and of "Jalapenoman." It's been a fun and wild ride, and I hope that something here can put a smile on your face.