Life Lessons Humor Contest

Here’s our humor writing contest for March.

Your challenge is to write funny lines on this theme (sample lines follow)

Life has taught me…

Don’t cook anything that doesn’t match your kitchen floor.

The next time you buy carpet, pick a pattern that looks like dirt.

Never buy anything you can’t sell at a garage sale.

If you burn garlic toast badly enough, it will catch on fire.

The more a medicine tastes like a Fear-Factor beverage, the better it heals.

Ideas to Help You Create Humor

  1. Remember.  It’s not about the jokes.  It’s not about winning.  It’s about growth.  It’s about sharpening your sense of humor.  Writing funny lines is like going to the gym.  It strengthens your ability to see and create humor. Take the challenge.  Write some lines.  Submit your best ones.
  2. Here are some tips to get you started. 
  3. Take a good look at each of the sample humor lines listed above and notice how there is a connection of two (usually unrelated) things.  Food/Floor.  Buying something/getting rid of it.  Preparing food/Destroying it.  Medicine/Reality TV.  This is the key: Looking for links, connections, relationships.
  4. Explore events in your life that made you laugh.  Maybe not right away, but eventually.
  5. Look at things that irritate you and ask yourself why.
  6. Examine events that taught you something.  Leave it under the broiler long enough and garlic toast really WILL catch on fire.  I’ve done it more than once!
  7. Ask yourself what-if and why questions.  When I couldn’t sell something at a garage sale, I asked myself:  WHY did I buy it in the first place?
  8. Look at how things are different.  Notice how some foods, when dropped on the floor, make a mess and some blend in.
  9. Exaggeration.  A Fear-Factor beverage is probably stretching it a bit.  (Fear Factor–A reality show in the USA where people are forced to do things they fear to win a competition).
  10. Extrapolation.  Taking something a step further.  Browning garlic toast.  Burning garlic toast.  Igniting garlic toast. 
  11. Absurdity.  Carpet that looks like dirt?
  12. Look for solutions to problems.  At my house, unless company is coming, the vacuum cleaner sees little action.  Dirt colored carpet is sounding more practical all the time.
  13. Avoid submitting a line you’re heard from another source.  For example, a widely circulated funny line is:  Life has taught me that no man was ever shot by his wife while doing the dishes.  Old line.  Not original.  Take the challenge of writing your own lines.
  14. Set aside 30 minutes and see what you can create.

Here is how the contest works:

  1. Write some lines in the format of:  Life has taught me…
  2. I recommend you set a quota of ten lines or more.
  3. It’s also a good idea to work with a humor buddy to bounce around your ideas and sharpen your humor.
  4. Select your best lines.
  5. Submit your entries (you can send more than one line) by March 15, 2006 to:  HumorPowerTips@aol.com.
  6. A panel of judges (speakers and comedy improv players) will judge the entries.
  7. We’ll post the winners and honorable mention lines on March 20.
  8. Happy writing.  Have fun!