After my recent auto crash, the insurance agent told me I could file a claim for loss of wages. Only I thought she said “pages.” Gee, what a nice way to treat writers, validating us just like any other reputable, steady employee.
And it was true! I hadn’t written anything remotely funny since the accident. Gee, I never thought of attributing this to my head injury. But look what a simple tornado did for Dorothy!
What I need is some professionally documented medical evidence.
Me: Hi! Since my auto accident, I can’t make people laugh anymore.
Neurologist: Are you sure? Have you seen your hair today?
Me: Haha. Could you just do one of those magnetic resonance imaging diagnostics with contrast dye of my right hemisphere, focusing on my cerebellum, pons and medulla. And maybe my amygdala and frontal cortex?
Neurologist: You can throw that important-sounding terminology you learned in high school biology at me all you want, but none of it will explain why you’re such a hack writer.
Me: Hey, watch it! Okay, then just scan my brain real quick, print out a copy, and circle/draw professional doctor arrows to the part where my sense of humor used to be, so I can submit it with my claim.
Neurologist: Look Ms. Menopause, I’m afraid it just doesn’t work that way.
Me: Fine. Can you just sign this piece of paper agreeing that I’m now dull and boring?
Neurologist: With pleasure.
What I need are some real witnesses who remember how hilarious I once was.
Me: Kids, do you recall a few months ago we went to Disneyland and then the next day, with my trusty laptop, I turned what was just a basic, typical family outing into an uproarious, creative adventure — writing us into scenes from Cinderella, Aladdin, Mary Poppins, and Shawshank Redemption? It was so humorous, even The Huffington Post published it.
Daughter: You mean when you barfed all the way through Space Mountain?
Me: Yes, I simply changed my character action to “barked” all the way through Space Mountain. And it was a real knee-slapper, remember?
Daughter: Yes. Sorta. Kinda. No.
Me: Okay, well I need to prove that if we had that exact same experience today, there’s no way I could write anything amusing.
Son: Yippy! C’mon everyone, get in the car! Mom’s taking us back to Disneyland for the weekend!
Me: Yeah, not happening. No lawsuit is worth that.
What I need is an ex-husband willing to testify.
Ex: Let me get this straight, you want me to go into court telling a jury how much I used to howl with laughter at you when we were married?
Me: Exactly. And now you don’t even crack a smile.
Ex: That’s because I don’t see you getting undressed or cooking anymore.
Me: Well can you just say it’s the direct result of that fateful last drive in my car?
Ex: Your driving is no laughing matter.
What I need are a few humor writer girlfriends to sign some affidavits on my behalf.
Bethany: Stephanie, give it a rest. We’re all happy you’re still alive, but honestly we’re relieved you haven’t blogged much since your accident. You were NEVER the least bit funny.
Me: What??! Why do I even have you as a friend? You’ve always been so competitive with me and you’re just jealous of my wicked sense of humor! Why, even your name “Bethany” sounds an awful lot like “Stephanie.”
Tiffany: I suppose that goes for my name too? Ha. Don’t make us laugh.
Destiny: Yeah, that’s pretty hilarious. She’s actually a freakin’ side-splitter now. The blow to the head must’ve knocked some humor into her.
That was it! I’ve been approaching this thing backwards. Instead of suing the insurance company for my loss of humor, I need to write the driver who hit me a thank-you note. Because now I’m a complete riot with lots of new car accident material I can use in a stand-up routine! I can even take this act on the road. Well, maybe not quite the road — just the sidewalk… with the rest of the droll, but perfectly safe pedestrians.