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by robert a. melos

It was gone. One day I looked around for it and it just wasn't there anymore. Well, this started a panic in me which resulted in my personal red level security alert. I had lost my sense of humor and I was sure terrorists had taken it.

What made me think I simply hadn't misplaced it somewhere around all the clutter I call home? What made me jump to the conclusion terrorists abducted my sense of humor? Well that should be obvious to every American, but I'll illuminate for your amusement.

The most important thing you need to know about me is I have always believed the most important trait in anyone is a sense of humor. My sense of humor was my armor, my defense and my offense when necessary. Like my credit card and car keys I never leave home without it, so when I discovered it was missing I knew I simply hadn't mislaid it. Oh no, there could only be one reason my sense of humor was missing, and I knew it had to do with terrorists.

A quick call to Tom Ridge, Tsar, er, Chief of Homeland Security, did very little assuage my fears. Actually it did nothing since I couldn't get through the automated answering system. I pressed one for English language, I swear I did, but I still had to listen to the greeting in about five different languages. By the time I got to the main menu I was bouncing off the walls.

How was I to save my sense of humor if I couldn't report its abduction by terrorists? I mean, my personal home had been invaded and my sense of humor was the only thing missing. It was obviously an attempt on the part of terrorists to cause me grief, emotional pain, and an upset stomach. Okay, the upset stomach may have been due to the liverwurst sandwich I had eaten before going to bed the previous evening, but the rest was all caused by the abduction of my precious sense of humor.

I was gravely worried. My sense of humor had never been away from me for more than a few hours, usually when I was attending a church service or funeral. I found I had to leave it at home during those times because it was just too unruly and would make comments at the most inappropriate of moments.

Noting to a widow this was the first time her late husband had been stiff in years was not appropriate funeral conduct. And rewriting the lyrics to Amazing Grace and Jacob's Ladder during a hymn sing was enough to get me excommunicated, had I actually belonged to a church which would excommunicate its members.

So on those few occasions which were considered by more genteel society to be solemn occasions I would gently tuck my sense of humor away in a drawer with a few comic books to keep it amused, and go off and be boring for the sake of society. Thus, not having been to any solemn occasion in quite some time, I knew my sense of humor had been abducted and was probably being tortured at that very moment.

With Tom Ridge being unreachable, and the country's level of security still being only a dull peach in color, I knew I had to do something on my own. The question was, what could I do to get my sense of humor back from terrorists when I didn't know exactly who was holding it?

I mean, no one had contacted me with ransom demands, or even acknowledged the taking of my sense of humor. What kind of evil creatures was I dealing with, I wondered? If no one was taking credit for the abduction of my sense of humor, had some other more horrible fate already befallen it? Or worse, had it been taken by my own government?

Oh yes, the thought of my government abducting my sense of humor crossed my mind. After all, I have made fun of his holiness Saint George W. on many occasions. In my mind it was quite possible the CIA, or FBI, or Gestapo, er, Republican Party had taken it as retribution for some off handed remark.

I didn't care who had it, my main goal was to rescue it before it could be tortured or brainwashed. It's not that my sense of humor had many secrets to reveal, but who knows what evil would have befell it had it been in the hands of the Republicans?

Reporting the abduction to my local police served to amuse them for several moments, until they realized I was serious. The ensuing hours talking with psychologists only served to hamper my efforts to track down the dastardly culprits of this most heinous crime.

It was early the following morning when I finally returned home, dejected and beaten, not literally (my local police weren't authorized for such treatment), fearing I would never see my precious sense of humor again. I worried Al-Qada operatives, or perhaps Kaos agents, had my sense of humor and were going to fillet it after extracting all the useful information residing in it. I feared I would never again see or feel my sense of humor.

I slumped down in a chair and wearily turned on the early morning news to catch a few moments of a speech by George W. As he put his foot in his mouth, er, spoke eloquently on the subject of environmental protection, I felt a smile begin at the corner of my mouth. My sense of irony was still with me. I sighed and channel surfed until I found a VH1 Rockumentry on the talents of Marilyn Manson and felt my smile turn into a laugh.

My sense of humor had returned. It hadn't been abducted at all, but had simply curled up in the back of my mind for a long nap after the terrorist events of last year, and the continuing terrorist events being reported on the nightly news. My sense of humor had decided to take a break from the world and hibernate, as the sense of humor does on occasion, rejuvenating itself for more pressing upcoming events such as the issues of gay marriage in New Jersey, and just about anything George W. says or does.


Robert is the author of the novels Cool Mint Blue, Melba Ridge, and the recently released The Adventures of Homosexual Man and Lesbian Lad; and the creator of the on-line comix Impure Thoughts found at his web site Inside R.A. Melos, as well as having been an on-line staff writer for QBliss where he had a monthly humor column, Maybe A Yip, Maybe A Yap. In his non-writing time, when he's not studying the metaphysical or creating a tarot deck, he sells real estate in Middlesex County New Jersey, hangs out with his dog Zeus, and spends time at the Pride Center of New Jersey in Highland Park, NJ, where he is on the Board of Trustees.

more about robert a. melos


primary season! wabbit season? duck season?
politics will only become more complicated in the future
by robert a. melos
topic: humor
published: 1.9.08

eat the rich
politics of the people
by robert a. melos
topic: humor
published: 10.29.10


daniel castro
7.14.02 @ 2:50p

Well, at least it wasn't dead, that would have been worse, don't you think? My sense of humor sometimes goes A.W.O.L. on me, and that freaks me out, cos that fucker is hard to find sometimes. Or at least I think...

wendy p
7.14.02 @ 11:40p

I think a lot of us lost our sense of humor for a while. Hopefully we've all found ways to open that door again.

erik myers
7.15.02 @ 10:30a

I read an article at some point last fall that suggested that the age of flippancy in American was over. That the slapstick comedy that was making its way through our television and theaters was over -- the America would lose its sense of humor.

That lasted... what... 3 months? I think comedy is an excellent form of therapy, and I, for one, am not going to give it up. The only way you can get it away from me is a frontal lobotomy (I'd rather have a bottle in front of me).

A sense of humor is vital. Glad to hear you found it again.

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