14 February 2017

Riding Off Into The Sunset--From A Singles' Ride

I have never been to any sort of event or function with the word "singles" in it.  Honestly, I have never felt any great urgency about meeting a potential date or mate.  Other people in my life, however, have felt such anxiety and have tried to get me to go to bars, parties, dinners, book clubs, lecture series,gallery openings, church "socials" and even bike rides for the unattached.  Or they've invited me to lunch or dinner and, when I arrived, they introduced me to some similarly solo friend or co-worker who would be "right" or "great" for me.

It seems that there aren't as many singles' events as there were in my youth, and singles' bars seem to have disappeared altogether.  The main cause, I suspect, is the all of the ways in which people can find each other online.   
So I wonder what people who met on singles' fora of the past tell their children, or other young people--most of whom, I suspect, have no concept of the sorts of things I'm describing.

I am thinking now, in particular, a woman whose story I came across recently.  Suzanne Travis, a California nurse, went on a singles' bicycle ride on--you guessed it--Valentine's Day.  

As she tells the story, she was, in addition to a nurse, an aspiring stand-up comedienne.   She went to the bike ride the way she went to other singles' events: expecting that not much would come of it besides material for her routines.  After all, how many jokes or monologues have you heard about successful relationships or people who lived "happily ever after."

From Out and About Singles

On the ride, she met a man she describes as "adorable."  And, of course, she invited him to her show.  One thing led to another and now they have been married for 27 years.

She still rides her bike.  And she tells her jokes--to her patients.  They are a "captive audience", she says.  Apparently, that's what she needs: "I found that I became a little less funny the happier I got."

Hmm...More happy=Less funny?  Could that be the reason why we haven't heard many stand-up routines about cycling?


  1. Tragedy+Time=Humor
    (After Mark Twain.)

  2. Some of the funniest comedians were I think basically unhappy people. Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor come to mind. There seem to be many others. If their life's problems had suddenly gone away would they have lost their comic edge?

  3. Or, on what might be a grander scale... If you had a time machine and could go back and give Vincent Van Gogh modern drugs and eliminate his bi-polar disorder and epilepsy, thus robbing the world of his art, would you do it? I would answer with a resounding "Yes".


  4. Mike, Phillip and Leo--As someone who teaches literature and writing, I often wonder what I'd teach (or, for that matter, read) if psychotropic medications and modern treatments methods had existed when Plato, Aristophanes, Dante, Milton or even Shakespeare--let alone the Romantic poets or T.S. Eliot or Virginia Woolf--were around. Would comedy even exist?