The Short Story
My name is Laura, and I love to laugh. I also love maple bacon potato chips.
The Mid-sized Story
My name is L.L. Barkat. I own a top poetry site and an award-winning publishing company with an Oprah-selected title to its name. As a Staff Writer for The Curator, I get to write thoughtful things. I’m also the author of six books. Only some of them are funny. But maybe funny is not the right word. The books contain some wit, some whimsy. None of them will land me on a stage with Ellen DeGeneres.
I hesitate to bring up a delicate subject just now, when we are only at the mid-sized stage, but I am also a vegetarian (going on fifteen years of chickpeas, etc.). As far as I know, vegetables prevent saggy buttocks and make a person increasingly good humored. At least that’s how it happened for me.
The Blue Marble Story (Please Activate Attention Span Now)
Not to be coy, but someday I will tell you the whole blue marble story, and that day isn’t today. I suppose it’s in ill taste to begin with a tease, but there you have it. I do so love to tease.
The owner of a top poetry site and an award-winning publishing company, with an Oprah-selected title to its name, my name is L.L. Barkat—Laura, to you, if you want to know me.
I said that once, to a semi-famous person. That thing about knowing. It goes down in history as one of my most embarrassing moments. I handed my business card to this semi-famous person and said, “I want to know you.” The gentleman beside me laughed out loud. He’d taken my words in “the biblical sense.” So there you have it. I happen to make jokes when I am trying to be serious. (You do too. I’m almost sure.)
You might recall (I’ve said it elsewhere) that I am not Ellen DeGeneres material. I’m not Steve Martin standup (though a poster I designed hangs above a Steve Martin Brothers picture). I am sometimes Emily Litella. Mistakes can be funny if we let them be. I do.
So who am I, on a scale from wit to whimsy? I’m not sure. I have a conflicted humor past.
One big-deal guy told me I am “not funny” and that it “doesn’t look good on [me]” when I try. Another big-deal guy told me I am the “funniest person” he “knows” (not in the biblical sense, okay?).
The women in my life have been largely silent on the matter of my humor quotient.
She is still quite young. So you might doubt her ability to judge such things as a humor quotient. But I take seriously the things my children say.
“I didn’t know you were funny,” my daughter Sara recently told me (gee thanks, Sweetie). She’d found an old blog of mine where I’d done a series that was rather snarky-funny and sometimes downright silly. “Please start a new blog. I’ll read you,” she promised.
I dare you to avoid the pleas of a teenager who gives you those eyes and promises to be your first (if only) fan.
I also dare you to appear to go back on your words, to please said teenager. Though, let’s be clear—this is a curated website and not a personal blog. (However, as the Curator-in-Chief of this curated website I have promised to occasionally publish myself. Otherwise, the site will be dedicated to humor and whimsy that I find humorous and whimsical—without having been the source of it.)
That’s the long story of EatLoveRead.Me. But it is really only the beginning.
Someday I’ll tell you the whole story of the Blue Marbles. For now, here we are. Don’t ask me what EatLoveRead.Me has got to do with wit, whimsy, and laugh-out-loud humor. It has nothing to do with it. I got the domain cheap from a friend who owned it and knew she wasn’t going to do a thing with it. I liked the name, and it is the perfect name to prove the first rule of humor: anything can be funny. It’s all in what you do with it.
—Whimsically Yours, L.L. (Laura) Barkat
Two Books I Set Out Not to Write
Humor Scale: Whimsical, Amusing, Smiles
Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing, twice named a Best Book of 2011
Humor Scale: Witty, Wry, Self-Deprecating
“To state the pleasurable, Barkat is a damn fine writer”
—Hubert O’Hearn, former editor Herald de Paris, Contributing Editor San Francisco Book Review
The Amusement Team