It is, admittedly, not a complex mystery why I gave up standup comedy: I was no good. More astonishing to me is that I tried it all. As someone with inordinate reverence for its successful practitioners (probably precisely because I failed at it and had a brief glimpse at the clunking machinery ticking away behind an apparently effortless performance), I almost feel like apologising for throwing my hat in the ring, and I certainly would like to apologise to the approximately 100 people in total who were ever subject to my meandering and clumsy attempts.
Once, a boyfriend from my teenage years told me I was funny. Surprised, I denied it: I never actually told any jokes, so how could I be funny? This was true, he said upon reflection, but I found funny things funny, even those funny things not everyone could identify as such. I had found it funny when someone writing for our school magazine as a food reviewer described a meal as “hot and thoroughly cooked”, for instance, and this was an example he gave of how I was observant of the everyday charms of language. He was correct about me as a mostly passive lover of funniness: it’s still correct to this day, and sadly it remained correct even when I was trying my best to be an active, productively funny person.