Holiday Posts

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At some point in the recent past, present or near future, I am (have or will be) on holiday for two weeks with the certain conviction that I will not be following my usual writing routine whilst I am away.  Consequently, I have to approach (or have already done so) the two week gap with six posts up my sleeve which I can schedule to entertain you in my absence.  Some of you, I’m sure, will spot them (or you may already have done so) generally, I would guess, because of what they don’t say, what they don’t address, and although I will try (or possibly have already done so) through my lack of response to comments.  For that, I apologise in advance (or possibly retrospect).  OK, enough of this tense hopping nonsense.  Whenever I am writing this, it is ‘now’ to me.  Before, after or during, the more perceptive amongst you will probably have worked it out long ago anyway.

When I have the time and my mind is in the right place – e.g. not turning itself inside out over things upon which it can have absolutely no influence (everything) – I can write copious amounts.  It doesn’t make it good – for me passable is always a triumph – and editing out the bad bits and tarting-up the decent takes much longer.  Pieces that I like might hit the blog on the day of writing whilst more troublesome pieces can take many days and much ink before they pass muster (e.g. I’ve got nothing better).  Consequently, the pieces I have left to post whilst I am away are generally those that I have been fussing over for weeks: adding jokes, removing jokes, cutting, pasting, deleting, retrieving, unknotting Gordian Knots of syntax, trying again until I lose all sight of whether they have anything to offer or not.  Because I have rewritten the gags a thousand times, I see them coming (which is just as well as most people don’t see them even after they have long gone) and the whole thing becomes polished, but lifeless (like Donald Trump’s head).  You understand what you are looking for now?  Good luck with that.

The strange thing (for me at least) is in realising how different my tastes are to your own, because very often these holiday pieces are received very well, getting more likes and comments than the pieces that, in my excitement, I can’t wait to get out there.  I have tried sitting on everything whilst I work on it, but that generally means that by the time I post it in all its polished glory, time has completely passed it by.  I am seldom topical, never on-point and there would be no point in publishing a tract about, for instance, the insanity of a country having a complete buffoon for a leader, when the two biggest have already gone.  (You work it out.)   Topical gags, like a summer oyster, have a very short shelf life and can, in retrospect, have similarly distressing after-effects.  Things that are funny now, should remain funny for all time and that can be accomplished by avoiding topical gags, demeaning language and satire.  (Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Father Ted, Fawlty Towers and Dinnerladies*)  Sexism and racism are never going to win you friends (except, of course, the kind that nobody wants).  I try very hard to avoid satire as it has a troubling tendency to appear spiteful in print (and I’m not bright enough to fully understand the difference between satire and sarcasm anyway) and I am not: I am chilled, relaxed, laid back, happy and on holiday (or was, or will be…)  You decide.

*The Office, Dad’s Army, Extras, The Royle Family, Blackadder, One Foot in the Grave, the oft forgotten Rev and the truly wonderful Mum


8 thoughts on “Holiday Posts

  1. Fawlty Towers was priceless, though I have not watched an episode for years now and I am wondering if it would still make me laugh. Sometimes I fear that I have lost the ability to laugh. Though there was that time when I put my feet in the wrong boot which I discovered as we were going into a supermarket. It struck me as terribly funny and we tittered all the way through our weekly “shop” as I hobbled along.

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  2. Well, you enjoy yourself and try not to think of us, your languishing fans, waiting for your return. Or you could just schedule some reruns of your best stuff.
    Wait a minute. Didn’t you just get back from holiday?

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