Former humor editor fondly reminisces, gets last laugh

It seems like so long ago that I wrote my first Humor article, “5 rejected Mug Night themes Vassar should instate.” Unfortunately for me, this sounds exactly like something you would find on the Vassar Odyssey Online. The most clearly thought out part of the article were the puns in the Mug Night titles. Live Anacon­da Mug Night was certainly a clever play off the unendurable “Anaconda”-by-Nicki craze that plagued freshman year, right? My family certainly thought so, or maybe they were just sniggering about the blatant sexual imagery that I evidently didn’t see. I’ve been to enough Mug Nights now to know.

As freshman year went on, I definitely ma­tured. I puked less and wrote more, and thus my articles started to marginally improve. I still retained startling levels of cliche in the premise of the articles (writing about my phone break­ing or the struggles of preregistration), but each one started to contain bits of gold if you sifted through it for a little while. It wasn’t anything to uproot and move to California for, but there cer­tainly were some precious nuggets in my stream of consciousness.

The spring approached and with it came the realization that our far more talented, far more experienced Humor editor would be graduating soon. This left the position of Humor editor wide open for anyone lanky enough to reach for it. The rest is Misc History. I ran for the position unop­posed and when asked in my interview why I was applying for the position, I responded, “Well, I think I’m really funny.” Much like my excessive, overconfident sad boi complex, I’m also confi­dent if the Misc elections were run like VSA elec­tions, the entire editorial board would have voted to have the position appointed instead of voting for me.

If I could personify my humor writing style, it would definitely be wearing light-wash jeans, getting way too invested in youth soccer, while simultaneously writing letters to the editor of Scientific American. The first response to most of my articles is similar to how one might re­spond to someone of this ilk, not with a “Haha” but “God dammit.” During my time as an editor, I wrote about Pokemon, Einstein, Odysseus, Star Wars and Intramural Athletics. Wow, it looks even lamer listed out.

So the ever-present question remains, if you aren’t funny, then why would you want to spend so much time working on the Humor page? Well, I’ve always said to work at The Miscellany News you need three things: enthusiasm, effort and tal­ent, in that order. I certainly had copious doses of the first two and my immediate family would likely insist that the third was present, the same way that they proudly displayed my macaroni art on the fridge.

Luckily, as an editor I was able to exist in the shadows of my excellent new writers, but I didn’t give up the chance to shamelessly self-promote. During my time in charge of the least important section of the Misc, somehow I managed to get a picture of me in a tank-top on the front page of the paper. I also oversaw the rumor that con­vinced many students on campus that Patrick from UpC had been the mysterious admin of the Vassar Missed Connections page. True, I didn’t write the article or take the photo or come up with the idea by myself, but that’s fine. Life is all about collaboration, especially when it comes to spreading rumors that involve love and milk­shakes.

The best part of being the Humor editor has been this collaboration with my staff. And this isn’t just because the section would have been on par with popsicle-stick jokes without them. It’s also not entirely because of the power trip I got from being able to set deadlines and edit their work. We really broke down the profession­al barrier the gmail app encourages and got to know each other in embarrassing contexts. I’ve seen writers in the TH’s, had classes with a few, and I’m even currently playing (beating) one in Words with Friends. I know what you’re think­ing: “2012 wants its Scrabble knockoff back,” and while I do agree with the jab at the timeliness of this app, isn’t the Humor section, and the whole Misc really, just a different way of playing Words with Friends?

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