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Saddle Up Saloon; Serious Fun

“Pal? Pal, where ya at?”

“Pal’s not here, Kid. Just me.”

“What? Why’re you here at the Saddle Up, D. Avery? Where’s Pal?”

“Pal asked me to fill in this week. Said it might do you some good to touch base with your writer.”

“Hmmph. Ya know well as me I kin write m’sef.”

“I do know as well as you Kid. But Pal thought maybe I should check in on you.”

“Hmmph. But I s’pose ya knew I was gonna say that.”

“Kid, I know a lot of people identify me as your writer, but the fact is I don’t often know what you’re going to say or do. So why don’t you tell me what’s bothering you.”

 “I ain’t quite sure either. Guess it’s this writin’ thing.”

“I saw that you wrote a short story for Marsha Ingrao’s Story Chat! Congratulations, Kid.”

“Yeah. Thanks. It’s jist that, people think I’m funny. That was a serious story a suspense an’ mystery.”

“Ahem. Okay. But, Kid. Being funny is your job around here.”

“Well that’s a lotta pressure, D., havin’ ta be funny. An’ then what if I ain’t funny?”

“Is that your worry? Sure, you take risks Kid. Everyone that writes at the Ranch is taking a risk, putting themselves out there. But I think it works; you are usually funny.”

“Yeah. Thanks. It’s jist that… ah, never mind.”

“No, what, Kid?”

“It’s jist that bein’ so funny an’ all, I worry I won’t never be taken seriously.”

“Seriously Kid? You’re worried about not being funny and about being too funny?”

“Well, it sounds funny when ya put it like that.”

“Listen, Kid, I’m glad you’re taking humor seriously.”

“You tryin’ ta be funny?”

“Not always. But humor always helps. I’ve been thinking about this lately. Maybe something I read at Norah Colvin’s site? Growth mindset and all that? I don’t know. But just recently the Wellness Committee at my new school asks, Did you know that humor is actually a way to build resilience? Yes, I did know that. Your friend Shorty must know that too, Kid. She set you up with the Saddle Up Saloon at the beginning of the pandemic so that you could help people reduce stress by giving them a laugh.”

“Yep, she give me an’ Pal a space ta ennertain folks.”

“Funny you should say that. A space. Sogyal Rinpoche, a Buddhist teacher from Tibet, said humor is a way of ‘making room’.  Of being accommodating. I always felt, as a teacher, that humor facilitated both teaching and learning in the space provided by its use. And humor can provide a lens to look at problems in a new way, to see things differently.”

“But I ain’t no teacher, D.”

“You might be, Kid. I’ve learned from you and from Pal. And what you do is provide people some time and space to step away from reality. As Elena Aguiliar says, When we laugh at ourselves, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. When we laugh with others, humor breaks down barriers, brings us onto common ground, and builds our resilience. If you can help people to laugh, Kid, and get silly, well that’s important work. Humor helps build a healthy mindset.”


“Aguiliar also says that much research has shown that laughter strengthens the immune system. And that laughter is grounding.

“It does feel good ta be a part a that. But that’s jist more pressure fer me ta be funny. An’ if I am funny then that’s jist more reason that folks mebbe won’t never take me seriously.”

“Look, Kid, playing the fool doesn’t make you foolish. Pay attention to old stories and traditional tales. The jester is as important as the wise man to balance the king, and the jester’s counsel and advice often contains more wisdom, in a more palatable form.”

“Mebbe. Like havin’ a musin’ character and a amusin’ character?

“Uh, yeah. But, look, Kid, if you really want a serious role, I can write you differently.”

“You’d do that fer me?”

“If it’s important to you, yes.”

“Kin fix it so I ain’t mixin’ up words, things ain’t goin’ over my head? Fix it so I ain’t messin’ up an’ gittin’ inta scrapes?”


“Not annoyin’ Pal all the time?”

“Yes. I mean no. I mean, yes, you could not be annoying Pal all the time.”

“Well that doesn’t sound like much fun, D.”

“But I thought— ”

“Think agin. I was just Kid-ding!”


“Mebbe I’ll even start tellin’ dirty jokes.”

“No, Kid, not that.”

 “What, ain’tcha got a sense a humus?”

“Ugh. See you around the Ranch, Kid.”


“And Kid?”


“Congratulations to you and to Pal. It’s a year today that you’ve been running the Saddle Up. And I think you’ve got another great year ahead.”

“Ya got that write, D.!”

Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse

And cool the earth, the air and you.

~Lanston Hughes

Interact! Leave a link to a favorite funny story, or leave the story in the comments. What are your thoughts on writing funny?

*Elena Aguiliar quotes are from her Onward; Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators .

If asked, Pal & Kid will deny that they spill from the pen of D. Avery. They claim to be free ranging characters who live and work at Carrot Ranch and now serve up something more or less fresh every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up to take the stage as a saloon guest, contact them via


  1. Chel Owens says:

    I LOVE writing humor! Each month now, I host an A Mused Poetry Contest. Whenever I write, I’m tempted to dip into silliness or whimsy (don’t worry, I’m getting more serious with maturity).

    Here’s a humorous post I found after trying to search my own site:
    EH? (





  2. I would if I could, but I can’t so I shan’t.

  3. Jules says:

    Why was six afraid of seven…? *answer at the bottom of the post.

    If anyone needs proof of humor healing they need to watch the movie “Patch Adams” starring Robin Williams.

    Then again they can watch any movie with Mel Brooks – Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein are a couple of my favs.

    Or if they can get ’em some of the Carol Burnett episodes of her TV show.

    Humor is a spice of life that we all should carry with us where e’re we go!

    And children’s humor is fun too… The punchline to –

    Why was six afraid of seven? Because 7, 8, 9!

    No sense in growing up if ya can’t groan once ‘n awhile! 😉

    Which reminds me another favorite…

    P U is two thirds of a PUN!!

    • Chel Owens says:

      Puns are great. I miss the old comedies!

    • I loved the Carol Burnett show. It was contagious when the actors got out of control giggly with each other. Another terrific study in humor was The Muppet Show. And anything with Bob Newhart.Huh. TV. So now I’m wondering do I ever read for a laugh. I like stories and characters that have humor, like life, but don’t read humor per se.

      Speaking of numbers, what did Zero say to Eight?
      Nice belt.

      • Jules says:

        Oh, yes, Bob Newhart! We actually have some humor records, I think at least one of his. And Alan Sherman…

  4. Ann Edall-Robson says:

    A year already? Wow, can’t be. Seems like only yesterday we were all welcomed into this new establishment on the Ranch by Pal and Kid.
    And Kid, for the record, I wouldn’t want you to be any other way than what you are. Congratulations Saddle Up Saloon on your first anniversary!

  5. Marsha says:

    A friend sent me this video. It is LOL funny.

    Kid, your story, Wanda-Lust was perfect for Story Chat. You are becoming a serious humor writer. The fact that you have self-doubts reflects what all writers feel deep inside. I loved this heart-felt talk you had with D. I am right now linking the summary post for Story Chat to all the people who commented on your post. It will come out as soon as I’m finished.

    Everyone loved your Story Chat, and that’s super amazing for a first story. I’m glad you stepped out and submitted it.

  6. Marsha says:

    I forgot to send the link to the video.!Ar6H1BmHS3Apg4JaINxZbTpmkOJo7g?e=HygqTZ

  7. Wow, D… I loved this. Humor is tough, and you’re a pro at making me smile. I think that’s pretty special and an art! Congratulations to you for celebrating your first year at the Saloon. I appreciate all the humor, love, and opportunities for growth you’ve given me and everyone else. You are a star, my friend. <3

  8. […] A. Kid Anne, kin it be BOTS if the author’s a fictional character from a virtual ranch? But I’ll take that ta mean it reads real which is real pleasin’ ta me. Them pictures mess with how I see things but reckon I need ta git used ta other folks’ visuals, ya know, like in case this gits picked up by netflix er some sech. […]

  9. Marsha says:

    Hey D., I forgot to say congratulations on your first year! You’ve been a pillar here since I first discovered Carrot Ranch. I had no idea it had only been a year. You and your very real characters have made quite an impact. I can just see you and Kid sitting down discussing his writing experience and his disappointments. He doesn’t seem “older than dirt,” but young and vulnerable.

    Here is the link to A.Kid’s Story Chat Summary with all the kiddos that his readers offered him.

  10. Charli Mills says:

    Good to see you at the Saloon, D., chatting with Kid. If humor makes space then you and your characters have expanded the Ranch with it. I have appreciation and admiration for all you do through the Saddle Up Saloon. Thanks for being so punny and fun.

  11. Congratulations on your anniversary. You’ve kept us entertained all year. I enjoyed your reflections on humour. It’s certainly a serious business.

  12. These are great and all my posts are humorous

    I look to the world
    and am proud of myself
    But only as long as
    there’s coffee on the shelf

    Laugh Until It annoys someone. They’ll thank you

  13. Reblogged this on ShiftnShake and commented:

    For fun, come by the Saddle Up Saloon, just over the line at Carrot Ranch. Open 24/7 and serving something fresh every Monday.
    This week Kid takes humor seriously.
    Next week meet author Pete Fanning.

  14. My thoughts on writing funny? I feel like funny has, at some level, something to do with subverting expectations. I think it’s really hard to put a finger on what is funny.

  15. Norah says:

    Phew! So pleased you got that sorted with D., Kid. You and Pal are great to have around the Ranch and it’s great that the Saloon is always open to drop in and have a drink and a chat. And a laugh. Yes, I agree that laughter is the best medicine and there should be more smiles and more laughter in every day – a bit like that cup and a half of milk in every bar of chocolate.
    I’m grateful to D. for introducing me to another educator whose work I’m sure to love – Elena Aguiliar. I love this quote “When we laugh at ourselves, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. When we laugh with others, humor breaks down barriers, brings us onto common ground, and builds our resilience.” There can be almost no better reason to laugh.
    I’m also chuffed that D. mentioned me in the post. I am humbled by the very esteemed company who are also here.
    Congratulations on your anniversary, Kid and Pal (and D., even if she doesn’t admit it). It’s a wonderful milestone and I look forward to sharing many more anniversaries with you all.

    • Thank you Norah. All we need to keep the Saloon running is for people to play along, maybe allow Kid and Pal to interview them. So far it has been a lot of fun. And I am glad to have Chel and Colleen bringing some class to the place twice a month.

  16. Geri Lawhon says:

    I always have time for some good humor. Thanks.

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