I’d F**k A Funny Woman Any Day.

I find women funnier. I just do. There, it’s said. It’s out there. For years I’ve taken a diplomatic stance – funny is funny no matter what the gender, no matter who is telling the joke, but who was I kidding, give me an Amy over an Arj any day. Now by no means is that meant to be taken as a disparaging comment on the Arj’s of the world, it’s just that my pen is inked from a different well, um, a well of ladies.

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I was born this way. From the moment I came into the world, as my mother looked at my tanned skin and joked between puffs ‘oh look, she’s nicotine stained’…it was inevitable.

About a week ago some guy called Wippa from a radio show mentioned that funny women don’t get the guys. Mama Mia writer Lucy Gransbury posted a great response to his assertions – ‘Eat a bag of dicks’. A more articulate response to the ‘funny women shut up if you want to get laid debate’ I’m yet to see. My fiancé, a man no less, decided he too would post a response. Less barbed he conceded that funny was sexy no matter what gender but I begged to differ, and I did. Under his post, I wrote ‘I find women funnier.’ It was out.

As much as I’m a fan of David Sedaris, it’s his sister Amy Sedaris who I stalk with unwavering commitment. Her Instagram account is ‘what Instagram was made for’ a friend recently declared. Her recent turn in Broadcity, something to behold ‘where isn’t a toilet?!’

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Judith Lucy and Jane Kenndey were the reasons I fought to stay up well past my bedtime to watch The Lateshow, it had little to do with Mick or Santo. Then of course there was Lynda Gibson in Let the Blood Run Free, Madge in Big Girls Blouse, Smack the Pony, Lucille Ball, The Golden Girls, Mona from Who’s The Boss, Ruth Cracknell, Lily Tomlin, Bette Midler and Shelley Long in anything. Oh and then there was Girls on Top that introduced me to Tracey Ullman, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. And Julia Davis pretty much revolutionised my viewing experience with Nighty Night, um and Jo Brand, Ab Fabs Patsy, Tamsin Greig, Janeane Garofalo, Olivia Colman and Parker Posey, and that my friends is only a list encompassing my formative years to say about the time I started working in comedy in the early 2000s.

Now sadly it was only when I started working in the industry did I learn, or sorry, I was told that women weren’t funny from some punters, some promoters and the odd comedian thus negating my entire back catalogue of inspiration, well they would have if I’d actually given a shit and for a moment believed them. I guess it doesn’t help that near every year some journo with space to burn poses the question ‘Are women funny?’ it’s about as relevant and interesting a question as that from my Year 12 debating final ‘Should you be permitted to choose whatever clothes you want to wear outside of school?’

Sure I have friends who are professionally funny and successful because they’re funny, but it’s also my lady friends from other walks of life that crack me up just as much, if not more. I think it’s the reason I think I’m drawn to them in the first place, that and their hair. It’s what I value most in a friendship, a good laugh and good hair. My mum is one of the funniest women I know, now whether or not it’s intentional we’ll probably never be certain, but on more than one occasion she’s made me pee my pants and this is well after the potty training years. My friend Clem never fails to make me laugh-cry in my face and then there’s Hattie. I see her maybe every 5 years or so, but I’m still left smiling for years after our catch ups because of  her tales of exotic world travel engrossing me while her cigarette animatedly dances around the table as she weaves her squeal inducing stories. Actually if I’ve invited you around for dinner and plied you with booze and you’ve got a vagina it’s probably because you’ve made my tummy hurt with laughter at some stage….feel used? Good.

I’m sure if you know me you’ve probably always suspected that I’m funny girl inclined, there’s been rumours floating around for years and I just felt it was time to set things straight, on my own terms. I plan to raise my children as lovers of funny women and you know what, I don’t think they’ll be alone, especially if the recent spate of fan obsessing ver the Amy’s, Mindy’s, Tina’s and Ilana’s is anything to go by and they’ll be in the best of like-minded sexy funny company, I’m sure.

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The girl doesn’t eat potato.

My dad was making dinner the other night when suddenly he stopped mid chop, ‘are you eating potatoes these days? It’s just your mother and I were discussing earlier that I might make a nice potato based side tonight, but if you’re not eating potato’s then there isn’t much point’.

Curiously I replied yes to the potato question, hesitating only to pick up the TV Guide.

‘It’s just your mother said that you might not be eating potato, so I was just making sure.’ ‘I don’t think I’ve ever given up potato before dad. It’s really not a problem.’ But he’d seized all chopping now and moved closer to the couch as my mother emerged from the decking, glass of wine in hand, binoculars in the other. ‘No, what I said Michael….’ I watched as my mother sat herself on the chaise lounge, helping herself to a handful of wasabi peas ‘…was that Louise shouldn’t eat potato.’

I reminded myself that track suits pants have elastic waistbands because it’s part of their design and that I was wearing them because I planned on going for a nice brisk walk later on and not because there was no other option now that my girth couldn’t possibly support a zipper or button pant like garment. I was certain an eating disorder lay dormant in me and that maybe this conversation was the catalyst for its release. At 28 and with my self esteem back on track it seemed only right it should rear its ugly head now. I could do with the drama.

‘Now does that include sweet potato?’ my father enquired as he rummaged through this secret potato sack he kept hidden away under the sink. A few months earlier my mother had requested that all carbs be not seen in the house, and that is how I explained the cereal packets in the bathroom cupboard to visitors. No one ever seemed surprised by this after seeing my mother attempt to eat vegemite on toast blind folded – ‘if you’re body can’t see it, then it can’t really be food’. My argument about fat blind people was not welcomed.

‘You know what darling, I’m not sure if it does include sweet potato. I’d have to look it up on the Weight Watcher’s site.’ As my mother pulled out her Blackberry I dreamed of a time when I didn’t live with my parents, but as tears welled in my eyes I thought best not think about what might’ve been.

‘Ok, according to them, she can have half a steamed normal potato or one full steamed sweet potato. I guess it just comes down to how hungry she is. How hungry are you?’ Her eyes burnt into my elasticised waist.

‘Really, I’m not that hungry.’

‘Oh here we go. We’re not having a go at you Louise, so don’t get all victim on us. It’s just that we as your parents are interested in knowing what you put in your mouth.’

It would only fall on deaf ears explaining to my mother and father that at 28 years of age neither of them had any control over what I put in my mouth. It was a brutal truth that an ex boyfriend of mine had learnt the hard way and sometimes I found myself wondering how he explained that scar to all the other girls since me. I’m almost certain all of his encounters since that fateful Christmas night opened with the line ‘sorry bout that’.

‘I think we should have beans as a side this evening, until we work out where we stand as a family on potatoes’, my father proclaimed as he poured himself another glass of wine. ‘Only if you use the fresh olive oil to drizzle them with, otherwise they taste to green’ my mother lamented.

I decided not to self harm that day. I’d save it for a special occasion, or maybe I’d save it for Mother’s Day. I’m still undecided.

 

 

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