In 2006 as I approached my 65th birthday, widowed and four children successfully raised, I decided it was time (before it ran out) to pursue my goal of a writing career. I enrolled in our community college beginner writer’s course. It was cancelled due to low enrollment.
Months later, I signed up for writing classes offered by our local library…no fee. Four ladies who attended were there for the sole purpose of escaping from their husbands and kids and readily admitted to it. As they talked amongst themselves, I couldn’t help but wonder if the area restaurants and bowling alleys had mysteriously shut down for the evening. How is it that four seemingly normal people would choose a library writing class as a great place to meet for socializing?
An elderly gentleman who attended, proved that we all need someone to talk to and loneliness is everything it’s cracked up to be. Consistently, he interrupted with tales of his foot problems (there was fungus among us) and other body parts but we won’t go there…those places are reserved for proctologists.
We had a “sleeper” who created a medley of snores and other embarrassing noises. Following class I overheard our teacher, Mr. Mesner, mumbling something about going home and sucking on an exhaust pipe. I’m sure he was only kidding. I never returned.
You’ll understand my glee when my nephew informed me of the Robert Benchley Humor essay contest…open to all! I can do this, I decided. I like to write and people are always telling me that I’m funny.
Our family zoo trips became my topic of choice. I assumed I would be recalling so many hilarious events that choosing the most riotous ones would be my only challenge. Not so! After several jolts to my memory, I came up with a measly two and these two events would leave the reader thinking- no embellishments, please.
For example, we visited the zoo during mating season(not planned). The monkeys were doing, and I mean “really” doing, what comes naturally. The kids stood mesmerized. No movie they had ever seen, no book they ever read or toy they ever owned held them with such rapture. As their father attempted to pull them away, I tried to divert their attention by pointing to the lions. Oops! That was a mistake. Our one hour zoo visit came to an end.
On another visit, we approached a fenced off area which looked down into a deep, empty hole. As we stood looking down and pondering the whereabouts of whatever species of animal we should be seeing, we spotted a sign which read, “URINE AND DUNG PIT.” This calls for no further embellishment, except to say…what a Kodak moment!
Hopefully, with perseverance, the time will come when my talent for writing will equal the admiration I feel for all those who do it so well. Until then, I’ll continue to write simply because it is fun.