Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Copping Out, Just a Little

The theme this month is humor. At first, I thought I’d copy and paste a scene from my book Hooked, but when I read it, it really was quite raunchy. Then I read the one and two-star reviews of that book. The readers thought it was too predictable and too sexy. (There are 69 five-star reviews too, by the way.)
Well, yeah, it’s about a gorgeous ex-call girl. The funny character in the book is an oversexed hedge fund manager who owns a bordello. While naked, he’s being tempted by the beautiful call girl―a dream come true―and he spills coffee in his lap and gets a blister on his…well, use your imagination. It’s kind of a slapstick scene, and you either find it funny or you don’t. You see, there’s been a murder, and she’s working for the cops, and he’s just a schnook.

When that turned out to be a dead end for blog post material, I started reading all my one and two-star reviews for the funny ones. There weren’t any. I got depressed and watched a movie. Then I thought, wait, how many are there? 34 one and two-star reviews on 1003 Amazon reviews, and one, one-star review loved the book. That’s not bad, so I wasn’t depressed anymore.

I turned to an old faithful, salty Dorothy Parker.
I wish I had a fraction of her wit, though she said herself, “There's a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words."

“If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”
“The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.”
“I hate writing, I love having written.”
“Don't look at me in that tone of voice.”
“Tell him I was too f’n busy-- or vice versa.”
“Brevity is the soul of lingerie.”
“That woman speaks eighteen languages, and can't say 'No' in any of them.”
“She was pleased to have him come and never sorry to see him go.”
“It serves me right for putting all my eggs in one bastard.”
“A hangover is the wrath of grapes.”
“I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.”

There are more, but I’ll end with a bit of my own humorous poetry, though humor is in the eye of the beholder.


When Webster wrote his dictionary,
and Roget wrote his Thesaurus,
they had in mind to educate,
in a way so’s not to bore us.

They wrote on Music, Art and Beauty,
each harder to define,
on Hate and Joy and Motherhood,
on Thou and Bread and Wine.

The definition so hard for me,
and one I can’t defend,
is how they tend to miss the point,
when describing what’s a friend.

The meaning of that simple word,
they wrote more than one way.
but I’ve my own description
to relay without delay.

A friend is tried and true of heart,
a platonic kind of love.
One who takes you as you are,
and who you’d fart in front of.

Polly Iyer is the author of nine novels: standalones Hooked, InSight, Murder Déjà Vu, Threads, and Indiscretion, and four books in the Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series, Mind Games, Goddess of the Moon, Backlash and The Scent of Murder. A Massachusetts native, she makes her home in the beautiful Piedmont region of South Carolina. You can visit her website for more on Polly and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. LOL. Interesting poem on friendship——definitely a different point of view. :)

    1. I wrote the poem for a friend decades ago when I lived in Atlanta. He thought it was funny. We were that kind of friends. Still are.

  2. Definitely a funny poem. And Dorothy Parker, yeah, I wish I had 1/4 of her wit.

    1. I used to write poems for clients I had when I did their advertising. Some were funny, some were cute, some stunk.

  3. Ahhh, Dorothy Parker! I’m one of the readers who find your work funny in all the right places. And that scene in Hooked? Yes !

    1. Thanks, Michele. I think even the darkest stories need to have some humor. There has to be a break in a thriller/suspense. Hopefully, they do what they're supposed to.

  4. You've hooked me on Hooked. Just added it to my TBR list.

    As for your poem, I laughed out loud. this is indeed an excellent humor post.

    1. Thanks, Pat. There are definitely some risque parts in that book, but it is about a high-class call girl.

  5. Loved the post. You really do need to pretend those one-and-two-star reviews are not there. Really! It is much less depressing that way. LOL BTW, I read a one-star review on a book today in which the reviewer said they loved the book. Somebody commented to ask why the single star if they loved the book. No response by the reviewer. Just shows those reviews are not to be taken seriously. REALLY. (Have I convinced you? :-) )

    And I loved this line: "Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words." That is so true. While I enjoy a bit of slapstick, clever bits of wit will get me every time.

  6. I agree about the wit. I also have a one-star review that loved one of my books. I've seen a few of those. I guess they think 1 is better than 5.

  7. They say we should never look at our reviews, but who are "they" anyway? Focus on the positive, I always say. Loved the line about brevity being the soul of lingerie. Love your books!

    1. We all look at our reviews even if we don't want to. Many are helpful, but it is a bit after the barn doors are left open. Thanks for the compliment, Maggie.


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