Head in the Clouds

FTI Wordcloud resized website

This is a wordcloud for my book Funny Thing Is: A Guide to Understanding Comedy


“A perceptive dissection of the science and philosophy of comedy and comedic writing…one with a heartfelt message”. Foreword Clarion Reviews


“Anyone who wonders at what makes us laugh is certain to enjoy Funny Thing Is.” —BlueInk Review


If you're curious, click your heels three times and say "Funny Thing Is".  Or you could just click the picture. Though if you did click your heels three times and say "Funny Thing Is", you're definitely curious (I would know).



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The Memory Drawer

He went into the memory drawer, again, and already forgot why he opened it. Such clutter. Memories, social security number, telephone numbers. Old street addresses and girl friends' names. He wouldn’t use those again. Should toss them. 

No tossing matter from the memory drawer. In there was what he needed if he could remember what he sought. The memory drawer didn’t hold that memory although he did see that he planned to get a sandwich at that new sandwich shop, what was the name of that place? Where was it? He'd just walked past it the other day.... Rummaging through the memory drawer’s contents, he saw an unused exercise schedule and found his wife’s car needed gas. The plans for making hotel reservations had shimmied down between retirement planning, preparations for last week’s guests, and articles he meant to read about Windows 10. Pulling out past summers and the movie he’d seen last week, he discovered a forgotten bolt, saw his cousin’s birthday was last Tuesday and medicine for the cat needed ordered. There was that book that he’d bought and set aside…which he’d seen recently….

He picked through the memory drawer’s pieces, searching for where he’d seen that book. Wasn't it red...with gold letters? Or blue? It’d had been so recently…. What had he been doing? Walking around, doing something. Dusting? Dressing? Looking for the cat or another book? No, it was while looking for the camera, wasn’t it? It had been hot, either in the late morning or the early afternoon...and he'd been alone. So. That had been either Wednesday or Thursday, hadn’t it? No, Tuesday, yes, Tuesday’s memory suddenly sparkled from the memory’s drawer murk. Tuesday, he’d been readying the house for guests and was cleaning the master shower. Then the phone rang . Yes. He’d gone in there to see who was calling. It was for his wife – he saw the memory and recalled, Jill, yes – so he’d let it go to memory – he laughed at his faux pas, correcting, he’d let it go to answering machine. Then he went to the back door….

Dragging out Tuesday’s memory, he left the memory drawer open and retraced Tuesday’s activities through the house. The memory was already fading, reducing the paths to bewildering charcoal smudges. Yes, he’d gone into the living room, not while cleaning the bath and checking the phone but while dusting the living room furniture. Aha. Triumph seizing him, he hastened into the living room, easily circumnavigating furniture and piles of books, discovering a dust rag left beside the stereo, which he’d not finished dusting, until the forgotten book was discovered. Memories of other books languishing in the piles were recovered. He’d not even seen them in the drawer but here they were. He must have wanted to read them. Yes, that one had been a gift. 

While enroute to the other room, he surrendered to a cat's begging and fed the starving animal, leaving the book in the laundry room beside the cat food, fortunately remembering it right after he stepped from the room. Returning to his home office, he sat down and glanced at his computer screen. Oh, that’s right, he’d been about to do something. Setting the book aside on a pile of newspapers and magazines, he glanced at a postcard beside the mouse pad on his desk – he’d meant to answer that but a week had already expired – and frowned at the computer’s screen. What he’d been about to do would not come. Sighing, he reached for the memory drawer.


His frown deepened.

Didn’t he leave that open?


Gingerly he drew the drawer out. Sliding crookedly, it stuck, requiring a stiffer tug. Everything almost flew out. He stared down at the collection.

What was he looking for again?

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Worrying About the Crows

Squirrels blitzed an oak's gray harsh bark in a rambunctious territorial race as finches partied in another oak's high naked branches. I knew the finches were there but distance and angles kept me from spying details. I don't know what the party was about, whether it was a graduation, wedding or wake. Maybe they were just celebrating a new month.

Amidst that noise and action, I wondered about the crows. Crows are usually up there, neighborhood lords calling out niggardly conjecture from swaying fir tops or, more cleverly, showing off their vocal skills as they flapped over the street and wires, mocking us who mindfully ambulate the terrain. No crows were heard today. I noticed they'd been off doing other things on other recent days, as though, after years of observing and discussing, they'd come to an agenda. I speculated about what it would be, envying them and missing them, wondering when they'd be back.

And I'd just thought all of this when I crossed a street and there they were, silently inspecting a yard, as though they were people, milling, waiting for something to begin. I had no reason to worry about the crows, except those causes formed in my ignorance's vacuum. 

The crows always know what they're doing.

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A Red Letter Day

My dream came true at last yesterday, one I've nurtured since I was a young man: all the socks came out of the laundry with matches.

People always told me that it's not possible, but I refused to quit. There's never been a laundry done where a sock didn't disappear, they told me, but I'm testifying, friends, that it does happen if you persevere, because it happened to me.

I had no clue it was going to be a special day. It was Thanksgiving but we were spending it low key. My wife is a vegetarian, and Thanksgiving isn't her most favorite holiday, given what's done to turkeys with hormones, conditions and hormones to plump them up in people's ovens. After reading and taking a long walk, we ate dinner and settled down to have pie for dessert. She decided to do some laundry as we watched Nashville. I moved the clothes to the dryer and when it tumpeted its series of beeps to announce its cycle was over, we went in to fold clothes. We always follow certain routines for this. Matching and rolling socks is done last. The socks are taken into the office so we have more space to spread them out and see what socks are missing. She then went off to do other things as I matched and folded socks, so she wasn't there to witness the triumphant moment when I realized that every...sock...had...a match. 

Hearing my shrieks of joyful amazement, she raced in to affirm I wasn't being attacked, and I showed her the rolled, matched socks. Accusing me of cheating somehow, she searched the area for hidden socks but found none. Realizing the moment's imports, she got a little misty eyed, sad because she'd not been there for the moment.

And now, my accomplishment achieved, I'm done. As God is my witness, I'll never match and roll socks again.

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Latest Comments

Monika Schott PhD To be the poet, and the poem
12 February 2021
I agree, Stephen. It's the simple things.
Stephen Evans To be the poet, and the poem
16 January 2021
"The joy in doing something worthwhile, to give without condition or expectation is a nourishment im...
Rosy Cole Advent and Destiny
13 December 2020
Female authors of that era, and way before that, were seldom taken seriously. At least Mary Webb kep...
Stephen Evans Advent and Destiny
07 December 2020
Very interesting. I don't know this author.
Stephen Evans Be It Ever So Far Away
21 November 2020
So apt, Ken!