Agent Kristin Nelson recently shared a collection of church bulletin bloopers. In addition to providing a good laugh, the blog post served as a good reminder to me that the funniest humor often stems from things that aren’t meant to be funny at all.
Many moons ago while working as a newspaper reporter, I was editing an article about a guest speaker who would be talking about buffalo diseases. Clearly this was to be a sellout event. While reviewing the speaker’s bio, I stumbled across the following sentence:
John Doe became an expert on Brucellosis during the six years he spent as a buffalo in Yellowstone Park.
Once I stopped laughing and picked myself up off the floor, I did a little research and discovered that John Doe had not actually spent six years crawling around a national park on all fours eating grass. The missing word was “herder.”
It’s been more than a decade, but I still can’t type that sentence without risking laughter-induced incontinence.
Another bout of accidental humor came a number of years later when I was writing my very first love scene in a novel. It was risqué and steamy and took place in a shower. I was feeling pretty proud of it until I got the following note back from one of my critique partners:
“I know he’s a great lover and all, but did you mean to have him lick the back of his own neck?”
Upon closer inspection, I realized I had used the pronoun “his” when I meant to use “her” to describe the hero trailing his tongue along some exposed flesh. I briefly considered leaving it the way it was, as I’m certain many female readers could see the merits of such a skill. Eventually, I decided the sex appeal would be negated by the hero’s habit of using his exceptional tongue to bathe and catch insects.
Now that I’m writing humorous fiction, almost everything I write these days is supposed to be funny. Even so, it’s humbling to know that I’m never quite as funny as when I don’t mean to be.
Got any amusing typos to share? Leave them in the comments so we can all have a good laugh today.