I write a lot, but in the beginning, it wasn’t passion that fueled my late night practice. When I tell people I write humor, they ask how I learned. And to this day, I’ve never told a soul the truth. But here I am, releasing my delicate past to the entire internet. This is…this is hard for me to say. When I was younger…sorry, just choking up a little. For my first nine and a half years on the planet, my parents kept me locked up in a dimly lit closet with nothing except a desk, a notepad, a pencil and a pencil sharpener. They made me write from dawn to dusk, and I was allowed a five minute break every once in a while if I made them laugh out loud.
And that’s not it. For the first ten years of my life, I was in the twelfth percentile for weight in my age group. Can you guess why? All those days locked in that closet, I had no food or water. On a lucky day, they’d slip a saltine under the door. And the most terrifying part of it all was the laughter. When I did make them laugh, it wasn’t an ordinary chuckle, giggle or guffaw. No, it was a booming laugh. An evil laugh that would make even Dracula shake in his cape.
Now my sister, she had quite a different lifestyle. Two years younger than me, she lived it up, every day, every hour of every day, and every minute of every hour. While I slaved away in my solitary confinement, she sat on the sofa, watching a Disney movie and eating a bowl of vanilla ice cream, or drinking hot chocolate with a marshmallow covered in whipped cream, supporting a KitKat with a raspberry balanced on top. Once in a while, she’d pour some under the door of the closet and I’d lick it up with infinite gratitude.
But one morning when I was nine, I woke up to the sound of birds chirping outside, and I realized that it was far past my usual morning time (four o’clock, on the norm). I went downstairs, and my parents informed me that I was to attend…what was that? School? The idea seemed impossibly grand. But when I got home from that first day, I realized I was terribly mistaken. Now, looking back on those days, I thank my lucky stars that I spent them locked up in that closet writing humor. For I know, if I’d had to spend my first years at school, I wouldn’t be here today.