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Cunningham: Is anything funny anymore?
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Cunningham: Is anything funny anymore?

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Temperatures at or well below zero do not create a fertile hotbed from which seedlings of gut-busting laughter might emerge. Ridiculously low temps… not funny. Frozen river, slick streets, broken windshield scrapers…not funny.

In fact, a case could be made that nothing, save Congress, is funny anymore. Yes, the bar is that low.

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to compose a writing that seeks the humorous but discovers, instead, the fixed, frozen, unsympathetic dead-stare?

I’m racking my brain here, folks.

No tall people jokes. (How’s the weather up there?). No shorties either. (Do you have to pay full price for your pants?)

Can’t make fun of race, religion or gender. That takes out all references to skin tone, eliminates the priest, pastor and rabbi genre and all blonde jokes of the past half-century.

All Polack, German and Canadian one-liners are off-base. That’s right. We can’t even insult the Canadians and they, frankly, don’t care.

Can’t disparage unknown Little Green Martians, either. I mean, who hasn’t been to Mars lately?

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Certain death follows any use of a killer pun. And don’t blame the funeral directors for that because they’d be the last people to let you down.

I can tell you haven’t laughed yet. And that worries me.

Maybe watch Blazing Saddles? A more offensive script would be difficult to create. Never make the screen today. Mel Brooks broke every possible more, folkway and cinematic law. Remember the eating-beans-around-the-campfire scene? (Oh, for the days of disgusting, middle school humor.)

As a passing note, making light of bodily functions has become taboo. Also, barfing, hurling and worshiping the oval throne are not only better-off-forgotten college images but, alas, potentially fodder for lawsuits in 2030. (You want to be a judge? Really?)

Word to the wise: beware of those funny, water cooler discussions about your co-workers ineptitudes. Whispered disparaging comments about that new kid could land you in Slandersville. Hungry lawyers people. Hungry...wait? That was not to imply we should joke about lawyers. Or that all lawyers are ill-fed. Or that we should feed ill lawyers. Dare not poke fun at lawyers. Nooooo. Neveeeer. (Somebody call 911!)

How many of you have wound up in Facebook jail for your attempts at humor? Probably deserved it, you Gen Y aristocrats. Hope you got it for assaulting us boomers. Can’t joke about your elders. You should know better. We have our ways of getting even which includes falling asleep during Thanksgiving dinner at your place.

I long for the days of O’Malley.

O’Malley goes to the doctor. The doctor says, “O’Malley, you’re in such a bad shape. Ya gotta quit drinkin’, O’Malley. Ya gotta stop. Whaddya goin’ to do?” O’Malley says, “Find a new doctor.”

Hold it! Stop! Do not make fun of doctors. They have needles, probes and that bright unicorn light.

(Heavy sigh.). Ahhh, I’m just going back to working on my income taxes. (Cell door closes.)

Don Cunningham of Fremont is a freelance columnist.


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