We feel 100% confident that New York City essayist and public relations consultant Bob Brody has been sheltering in place. Otherwise, he never would have written this piece for BoomerCafé, which he calls, “Hysterically Funny Stuff I’m Never Going To Write (Probably).”
Over the years I’ve come up with umpteen ideas— I know it’s umpteen because I counted— for allegedly funny pieces. But I’ve never written very many. Now though, with the coronavirus pandemic and the global economic meltdown taking priority, I’m having second thoughts about doing them at all.
Still, as a public health service— and as a feeble attempt to introduce a dose of levity— I’ll now list some of those ideas.
- A dog’s guide to New York City real estate. Best fire hydrants and parking meters to visit, neighborhoods with highest veterinarian-dog ratio.
- How we can break our addiction to to-do lists. It would of course have to take the form of a to-do list.
- An interview with a penny from Los Angeles, with quotes from the unsung denomination about how it really used to be somebody, a coin that meant something around here, only now no one even picks one up off the floor.
- Why we should turn over all our emails to the U.S. Postal Service for delivery by hand. If nothing else it would be profitable. And we might actually look forward to receiving emails.
- Advertisements for little-known medical conditions. Like restless ear lobe. Slow annoyance syndrome. Angry buttocks disorder.
- How to boost year-end holiday sales in retail. Invite American consumers to visit a local mall, go inside private kiosks and park yourselves in front of computers in order to shop online. Bricks meet clicks!
- Breaking news about Harvard scientists discovering the ever-elusive asshole gene. And the ensuing debate over whether it should be engineered out of existence or allowed to keep flourishing at prep schools and hedge funds.
- Important health news you might have missed. Turns out, for example, that it’s actually better to be sorry than safe.
- How most data is actually quite useless. And how we now have the data to prove it. And it’s 12% accurate!
- A review of an ordinary meal made at home as if it were in a restaurant serving haute cuisine. Bonus: elaborate recipe for the special spreading techniques behind a killer PB & J.
- An interview with the inventor of the soundbite, about why brevity is important. He explains his philosophy, but does so ad nauseam. All his sentences start with either “Long story short” or “To cut to the chase.”
- Self-help books everyone should read now. Top of the list: “Stupidity for Dummies” and “Self-Esteem For Losers.” Preferably in that order, too.
- How each new memoir ups the ante on hardships faced. The latest: how a woman rose to become a Fortune 500 CEO despite growing up without a head.
- A behind-the scenes glimpse at a professional fart ventriloquist. He throws his farts to trick you into suspecting it’s actually other people farting.
Of course some of my ideas surely should be headed off at the pass. Say, an interview with the least interesting man in the world, whose favorite magazine is “Urban Dullard.”
Or obituaries for people who never accomplished all that much in life. They would highlight certain modest successes, like flossing regularly.
Or how a psychotherapy patient recently decided to address his anxieties. Literally. In a letter that started, “Dear Anxieties.”
So for certain reasons— lack of time, energy, and an adequate sense of humor, among others— I’ll probably never deliver on any of these ideas. In fact it’s all but definite.
Then again, you just never know. Maybe, once this microbe runs its course, I will after all.
You can buy Bob’s memoir, “Playing Catch with Strangers: A Family Guy (Reluctantly) Comes of Age.”