Monday, January 8, 2018

Another Humorist

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There is this problem with being a humorist. You keep guessing the punchline, expecting kinky ways of describing things and so on, to the extent that when someone says that there is another guy who writes humor, you are almost like, 'Oh! Yeah! Let me see." Not because of any competitive envy but because when you can guess the punchlines, the read is less funny...and, so, it takes a lot more to impress a humorist with humor. At least, that's the way it works with me...I mean, there are those people who start laughing all the more when they guess the punchline, and from the moment they guess it, and there are those who feel bored when that happens. I belong to the latter lot. (Yeah! True! You will find humorists laugh when no-one else does as well but THAT is because of the ability to SEE that joke...)

So, then I get into blogging and there is this guy, calling himself 'The Fool', who is also supposed to write humor. Bloggers come in all shapes and sizes, writing in all know parenting, travel etc etc...but almost everyone claims to write 'Humor', except only those who feel it is a shame to be writing any such frivolous thing. So, this 'supposed to be write humor' always has me approaching the blog with a metaphorical sneer.

Surprise! Here was one guy who actually DID write humor, when he wrote humor; a unique brand of humor - astringent, cynical, tangy - and capable of making you chuckle or even laugh out aloud. Withal, there was this refreshing feeling of an underlying honesty...the strong conviction that the author speaks from the heart.

Take this for example

"Parent Bloggers of the World, Spam me with your blog-links; A new customer is born today"

THIS was his way of announcing on Facebook that his son was born!

I get ahead of my story as usual. When I went into his blog and read this Great Indian Bride HuntI was hooked. You know all that I said above...that honesty, that cynical humor etc...that was what I found there.

We became online friends and went on to conducting a 'Writing Workshop' - a typical case of the blind leading the blind. We, indeed, SAW it that way...that we were there as much to learn as the others...but the fact of running it made it seem to the others that we had it in us to teach...anyway, as in most social media ventures, where the admins are not active on it, the workshop sort of petered out.

Not without causing one output, though. This chap, I and Radha collaborated on and put out an anthology of three crime stories - Sirens Spell Danger. In the process of putting together that one was my next major revelation about my new friend.

One of the things about writing is the process of beta-reading. So, you write something; you know it is absolute deathless prose and so you send it to people for what is called a 'beta-read', where they can tell you if there are areas of improvement; of course, you say that you expect honest criticism because you know your writing is near-flawless and, so, if it is honest, it can only be praise and, if anything, there will be a typo or two; and the damn beta-readers come out with pages of criticism whereupon you make wax figures of them, stick red-hot pins into them and dredge out all the curses that humanity ever invented; and, then, reluctantly change the MS and toss it back at the betas with the implicit 'You better like it or you will not survive the experience'.

I am sure that my friend was not really immune to indulging in waxworks and pins...the point is that he wrote and rewrote four times to get out the final story in that anthology. That capacity in him to junk almost the entire story or huge sections of it, if someone whose advice he respects tells him that it does not work...well, all I can say is that, in most authors' cases, what would be junked is that person and not the writing!

So, it is about time to introduce TF Carthick's first solo book - 'Unfairy Tales' - about which all I have to say is said there

Carthick has the unique talent to look upon the familiar from a strange vantage point and make it appear funny and wonderful. Here he applies it to well-known fairy tales to make them seem hilarious and fascinating. Be warned! If reading this book permanently skews the way you see the world, I am not to be held responsible.





  1. Nice intro, Suresh. Never knew that TF or Carthick as he calls himself dealt in Voodoo. As they say, you read and read some more and then you just might learn.

    Kidding aside, he has quite the talent. In fact I think I must have purchased and read all his anthologies and this his latest Unfairy Tales. Here is wishing that he will go far.

  2. That's quite an announcement of turning into a parent... Yes, I have heard of the Fool before 😊
    And your analogy of wax figurine got me laughing out loud. 😀 will definitely check out the ebook.
    On another note: I always struggle finding a good humor blog in the blogging world these days. Yours is a gem of a blog that I found years back 😊

  3. Not sure if you got my previous comment.
    That's quite a unique way to make an announcement. Yes, I have heard of the Fool before. 😊 I will definitely check out the ebook.
    Your analogy of wax figurine got me laughing out loud.
    I have to say this, it's very difficult to find well written humor blogs in the blogging world these days. And I am really glad I found yours few years back. 😊

    1. Comment moderation is on. And since I come in desultorily it can take some time before you see the comment.

  4. Yet to read the book but waiting to are a born humorist Suresh doubt

  5. Totally agree, The Fool does have the knack for his own brand of humor. I am glad to have stumbled upon his writings and even gladder his book is out. It's already on my kindle and queued for reading. Sometimes I seriously contemplate dropping the humor tag from my blogs because very few folks can understand or appreciate that kind of humor, then I look at your blog and Carthick's and tell myself, hold on, you are not alone!