One friend called another on the phone.
When the latter answered, the former (after sufficiently identifying himself) replied: “Hey, got your wedding invite. I’m supposed to respond with any ‘known regrets,’ it says. What about unknown regrets, though? Who do I talk to about any possible unknown regrets?”
“I see,” said the second friend. “Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to help you. We’re currently only equipped to deal with known regrets here. We looked into possibly doing work with unknown regrets, but that’s a whole big thing. Lot of moving parts with unknown regrets.”
They didn’t call it a bit. Like, they didn’t use that word. But it was pretty obviously a bit.
“I’m the king of this fucking barrio, okay?” noted travel writer Rick Steves yelled as he thrust an impromptu shiv into the side of a man (the offending party) being held by two larger men (associates of Rick Steves’, presumably). The wound was bad, Rick Steves knew, but not so bad that the offending party would die. For this reason, and for a number of others, Rick Steves was the king of this fucking barrio.
As he prepared for his date, his roommate urged him: “Don’t just tell her about your dog all night, okay? No one cares.”
He agreed reluctantly (because his dog was very important to him) and, shortly thereafter, left.
The next morning, escorting his date to the front door, he saw his roommate in the living room. When she’d left, the roommate smiled. “That appears to have gone well.”
“Yes,” he replied. “I said I’d prefer to show her my dog.”
Humor is a general term to denote those instances when one accidentally discovers a new entry amongst his own personal Inventory of Weaknesses.
When relating an anecdote, it’s best to proceed under the (probably accurate) assumption that those gathered possess no actual interest in your life per se, but merely in the pleasure which they might extract from your story.
A writer is talented to the degree that he’s internalized this principle. A writer’s personal affairs ought to be uninteresting even to himself.
One ought to be avoided in direct proportion to the frequency with which he or she employs the superlative. Constant use of it reveals a lack of imagination — a terrifying lack of imagination, an indication that one is not only surprised by the course of events but surprised at being surprised. A reasonable person is always, at some level, unimpressed by circumstance.