This ever happen to you? Yep, it’s beyond annoying. I bet you could write something funny about it.
Let’s face it. Annoying things are funny. If you can look at the humorous side of the things that drive you crazy, two things happen: (1) it no longer seems as annoying; and (2) you can write a great post that makes your readers laugh. Some of my most popular posts–such as “12 Reasons Why I Don’t Like Autumn“– have been biting jabs at things I don’t like.
Here are 6 ways you can turn something that makes you want to stick white-hot steel pins in your eyes into something that makes your audience (and you) laugh.
1. First, try to find the funny side of whatever it is that annoys you.
Come on, you don’t have to dig that deep. Almost everything has a funny side to it. Most things that are merely annoying (as opposed to, say, tragic, where it might be hard to find a light side) are very funny indeed. Hate morning radio shows? (I do.) Make fun of them! Talk about how idiotic they are or the way they never play any music. Rant on about the way there’s always a dumb-as-a-bag-of-hammers female sidekick who gets paid to do nothing except laugh idiotically at Bubba and Ed’s lame jokes. Lampoon the way all the jokes are about celebrities and sex. Or celebrities having sex. Like anyone cares.
2. Don’t be afraid to use sarcasm.
If you’re good at it, that is. You should know if you are. I’m one of those people that is not. Snark and sarcasm don’t come naturally to me. But if you’re good at it, that’s a plus because it can make your funny posts even funnier. If, like me, you’re not good at sarcasm and snark, skip it because you’ll seem like you’re trying too hard, and worse, come off as nasty and mean instead of bitingly funny.
“That Turbo-sized mug of Pumpkin Spice cappuccino she forced on me against my will smelled like cinnamon-and-clove-scented sewer” is a lot funnier than “that large mug of Pumpkin Spice cappuccino she gave me smelled terrible.” You’re not lying; you’re embellishing the truth with colorful imagery to enhance its humorous effect. (Oh, and almost everyone I know is fed up with Pumpkin Spice everything).
4. Profanity can be useful, but use it sparingly.
I try not to use too many profanities in my blog posts, not because I’m some prudish church-lady afraid of “salty” language, but because most of the time, it just makes you sound low class, mean, and uneducated. It’s also lazy. There are usually better ways to express frustration, anger, surprise, or whatever strong emotion you’re trying to convey. That being said, sometimes a well placed expletive gets your point across more effectively than anything else, and you don’t have to worry about Those Words making you sound pretentious, as a euphemism might. You can usually get away with naughty words if you’re writing something humorous–especially if it’s about something you find f***ing annoying. It’s the surprise factor of seeing a four letter word there that sometimes sets off the guffaws. Everyone can relate to the F-bomb (and well-placed, it does act like a kind of bomb!), even if they don’t admit it. Only use it once or twice though. If you overload your post with profanities, you’ll probably just turn off most readers instead of making them laugh.
5. Make a numbered list.
Everyone loves lists–or “listicles,” as they have been recently (and annoyingly) called when they refer to lists on blog posts. The human love of lists is the reason why back in the 1980s, “The Book of Lists” was a huge bestseller, and spawned a jazillion followup books. It’s the reason why every article about writing engaging blog posts will tell you to “put it in a list.” If you’re writing about something that annoys you, you can either write a list of all the different things that annoy you, or focus on one thing and list all the reasons why you hate it.
Lists are also a lot easier to write than regular prose, and easier to read too.
6. Find funny images to illustrate your post.
I love Google Images, and I can almost always find the perfect image for any post I’m writing. All you do is type in a few words describing what you’re looking for or what your post is about, and click on Images, and voila! Then it’s just a matter of choosing the one that “speaks” to you the most. There are some pretty hilarious ones too, for almost any subject you can think of. Images, memes, cartoons, and funny photographs can make your funny post even funnier, but don’t overwhelm your readers by posting too many. After all, you want your own words to stand out, not have their effect diluted with too many funny pictures. One at the top of your post, and maybe one or two others sparingly placed should be enough. If you’re good at writing captions, do it, because sometimes those are the funniest things in a post. If you love funny captions, check out those on Cracked.com. Theirs are the greatest.
You can also turn things that elicit other disagreeable emotions in you (as long as they’re not “serious” emotions like sadness or grief) into comedy gold! Try writing a funny post about things that disgust, bore, or scare you! Here’s one I wrote called “25 Things That Gross Me Out.“