Picture of a notebook from the BunKaryudo humor blog.

Nothing of Note

Not a thing…

 

Not a single thing…

 

As I leaf through the pages, I find myself becoming increasingly alarmed. I can see nothing, not even page numbers. What on earth am I going to write about? It may sound as though I’m blaming my notebook here, but of course this would be a silly way to frame my problem. I’m actually blaming my notebooks. I have four of them and they’re all responsible.

 

There’s really no excuse for this lack of results. The notebooks are kept in strategic locations on and around my person so they can generate ideas around the clock. No matter the time day or night, there is always a writing surface of some kind nearby where new comic ideas can materialize. Without these notebooks, who can tell where the jokes might be forced to appear? The kitchen wall? The tablecloth? My eldest son’s forehead?

 

My notebooks vary considerably in size and shape, enabling them to fill different roles in my comedy production line. Unfortunately, these precision-engineered inspiration-capture-and-containment devices have been of no real help to me at all this week.

 

Consider, for example, my navy blue notebook with its heavy-duty plastic covers. It boasts an impressive 10 x 7-inch page size, yet although this means vast expanses of pristine writing surface are available for the appearance of comedy gold, literally nothing has turned up on any page for well over a week now. That’s right! My notebook has not seen fit to provide me with anything at all! Not even so much as an elementary school fart gag. It has been a lamentable performance and has severely shaken my faith in this notebook’s abilities. Given its current form, I’m not sure it could come up with a suitable first line for a knock-knock joke.

 

Perhaps I’m expecting too much in this case given that, strictly speaking, my navy blue notebook isn’t actually a notebook at all, but rather a washed-up 2014 Business Diary in search of redemption. Oh, I’m sure it had its excuses. No doubt it could cite sluggish economic conditions or natural lows in the production cycle for its failure to shine during its big year. But the fact remains, from the beginning of January to the end of December 2014, the only entry it managed in twelve whole months was, “Wed, March 5th: staff meeting.” That’s a lot to try to explain away with volatility in herring prices and the unexpected strength of the Albanian lek

 

Now I don’t remember precisely what went on in 2014. When I try to look back at it, I discover it’s hiding behind 2015, so I can’t see it clearly. I’m even prepared to admit that 2014 arrived during something of a lean spell for me in my career, coming as it did slap-bang between leaving high school and the present day. Nevertheless, I simply cannot believe a single staff meeting in March is an accurate reflection of the no doubt stellar work I was doing at the time.

 

My black and green notebooks do not even have this excuse of being originally intended for some other purpose. They are pocket notebooks and fit easily into almost any jacket or coat. I try to carry one or other about with me at all times. Rather than deciding on a clear favorite, I alternate which of them I take with me because I’m trying to engender a healthy spirit of rivalry between them. In this way, they will attempt to outdo each other in the production of comic gems.

 

That, at least, is the theory. But this week, they have let me down badly. A careful look through both of them just before writing this essay confirmed what I’d already suspected: neither has done a stroke of work for over a week. Personally, I fear they may be trying to set up a cartel. The logic is clear. By working together to severely disrupt the flow of jokes, they hope to drive the price of humor through the roof, allowing them to make exorbitant claims for whatever tiny amounts they do produce—even jokes so weak they should really be propped up in bed with some cocoa.

 

Who can tell what outrageous payment demands they may make? Drop capitals in all opening paragraphs? Illuminated borders? Plastic lamination of individual pages? No matter what they have in mind, though, they will soon find that writing gags for me is no laughing matter. I’m not by nature a cruel man, but I do have a steely determination when it comes to my writing. I’m afraid I’m quite prepared to rip a page or two right out of a notebook if I feel a lesson is in order.

 

The last of my four notebooks, the grey, is the one I feel sorriest for, and also the one I’ve been most disappointed by. Unlike the others, it has only a soft paper cover rather than a hard plastic one. Originally, I tried taking it to the office with me in my workbag, but being unable to protect itself as it got pushed, squeezed and jostled, the notebook soon became little more than a tattered shadow of its former self.

 

Such heroic sacrifice could not but be respected, and so I began using the robust blue notebook to take to work with me instead and gave my battered grey one pride of place on the bedside table. Whenever I’m lying awake in bed late at night and seeking humorous inspiration from the ceiling, the grey notebook is the one that always manages to produce the best jokes. I’ve come to rely on its input and trust its judgement. But this week, I opened it up wondering what it would have in store for me and found there was nothing at all.

 

Despite my disappointment, there’s no way I would resort to physical threats with the grey notebook. It has already suffered quite enough in the cause of comedy. Unlike those shiftless good-for-nothings the green and the black, the grey is clearly trying it’s best. It’s simply that, given the way it has been knocked about over time, it’s no longer the notebook it once was.

 

I suspect the fact I’ve been so exhausted recently has not helped either. I’ve slept like a log for the past week, and so have not been there to encourage my faithful friend by oohing and aahing admiringly as it came up with its puns and one-liners. It’s even possible the poor old thing found it difficult to concentrate on producing humor with all the snoring I was doing in the background.

 

So I’m afraid, much as I wish it weren’t so, I have absolutely nothing to write about for my blog this week. This being the case, I have no option but to cancel today’s post and hope that by this time next week, my notebooks will have begun supplying me with topics again.

 

 

 

© Bun Karyudo and the BunKaryudo Blog (2016)

(All Rights Reserved)

 

 

NOTE: I’m afraid a family health situation means I probably won’t be around much until January. I apologize, for that, but with luck everything will be back to normal in a few weeks. (This message is likely to be on my site for a while, so please feel from to ignore it from now on.) 

137 replies
  1. carine
    carine says:

    I had a similar post some months ago. Just sat here and couldn’t think of a darn thing to write about and that’s what I wrote about. Maybe it’s just something all of us bloggers have to do once in a while.

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      I remembered the advice that if we have nothing to write about, we should just start typing anyway and see what happens. I’m not sure if it will always work, but I seem to have got away with it this week.

      Reply
  2. Robert Parker Teel
    Robert Parker Teel says:

    Obi Wan Karyudo – The only part of this Un-blog that puzzled me, is when you write “unexpected strength of the Albanian lek”. Why would that be unexpected??! Any currency introduced by a guy called King Zog is bound to be a hit, and I’ve filled my vaults with these coins. When you raised this disturbing question, I checked the internet to confirm the wisdom of my investment, but the first entry that popped up was “lek” as “an aggregation of males gathered to engage in competitive displays, “lekkiing,” that may entice visiting females…” I’ll stop there, my blushes, just wondering where you’re going with this whole “lek” thing, on a family-oriented blog. Have any of these Tabula Rasas been shelved next to a “gentleman’s magazine”??

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      I remember watching an old black and white documentary on TV about the subject when I was a child. A respected Russian scientist went to see King Zog. Of course, getting to his planet was dangerous, so Doctor Zarkov had to take a beautiful companion called Dale Arden, and also her muscle-bound boyfriend, whose name now escapes me. The scientific details are hazy, but there was something about Hawkmen and a death ray. Then King Zog, who was known on his home world of Mongo as Ming the Merciless, had a fight with Prince Barin, or something. It was good stuff and I’m pretty sure somebody get a Nobel Prize in Physics for some of the groundbreaking science involved.

      Reply
  3. maryannniemczura
    maryannniemczura says:

    Writer’s block, artist’s block – it happens to the best of us. When I worked on my sewing artist’s pieces, I would sometimes become so frustrated after countless mistakes. After 2-3 times of ripping out the same stitches, I left it. I walked away. I did something else or nothing at all. I felt you banging your head and fists against all these notebooks. When you have nothing, it is fine too. We all need a break from creating! You did give me an idea for my own blog this week as I explore my piano playing again. Good thing you can’t hear it right now too. It is amazing what a good night’s rest will do for me. I return to my project with fresh eyes and wonder what I had been doing wrong. At least you told us from the heart why there was no “post” this week. When there is nothing to create, it is best to just let us know you are “under construction” and will return shortly. Have a good week and take long walks. With or without your notebooks in hand. Happy blogging!

    Reply
  4. Vicki
    Vicki says:

    The solution is quite obvious – you mislaid the pen/biro/pencil to write with. Next post aught to be about what writing utensil appeared ‘out of the blue’ and graciously slipped into your hand.

    Reply
  5. In My Cluttered Attic
    In My Cluttered Attic says:

    This is totally unacceptable behavior on their part! Why those shiftless, no good for nothing—Okay, maybe manufacturers of small paper airplanes, BUT THAT’S ABOUT IT!—old fashioned, outdated (Did you know the new modern chrome notebooks don’t even require a pencil?) blank, ruled page, lazy, slacker notebooks! Who do they think they are? (Psst… Bun, just between you and me… I’d be very curious to see what they come up with in answer to that question, case they actually provide you with an answer.) Why I take umbrage (just been dying to use that word) with they’re do nothing attitude, and so close to Christmas too. They’re precisely what’s wrong with this country today—well that, and our politicians, and why I voted for Donald Trump—I didn’t really, but I don’t think I could stand being screamed at again by Kellyanne Conway that “He’s our president, so get over it!” Don’t these antiquated notebooks (full of scratch paper) realize how lucky they are to have a job of producing priceless comedy material for one of the great humorist of all time? And, of course, you too Bun. Or maybe they’d prefer being used as wadded up spitballs to be thrown at the back of Mr. Smithers shiny bald head during one of his boring four hour conferences, for two points! Three points, if you happen to hit old rum pot from the water cooler—which is practically half a room away! Like Nancy did (who happened to get framed for it) back in 08, just before she was striped of her steno pad while being sent packing. BUT OH WHAT A GLORIOUS DAY THAT WAS, HUH? Just, not for poor Nancy. But how was I to know he had no sense of humor? Anyway, all I can say is, these (soon to be unemployed notebooks) better start coming up with some darn good funny ideas, or they’ll likely find themselves back in crazy Billy’s office, where cackles of delight ring throughout the office on a regular basis—and usually just before some mysterious buzzing sound is heard. You know, those rumors of a broken shredder being fixed have been circulating an awful lot lately. Just saying. :O.

    Reply
      • In My Cluttered Attic
        In My Cluttered Attic says:

        LOL. It’s a fun word isn’t Steph? And then there are those practically impossible to pronounce words which supposedly translate into fun, but are not nearly as much fun. Take for instance: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, which when said backwards is pronounced, Dociousaliexpilisticfragicalirupus—woof! Now this also translates (according to Funk & Wagnals cousins, Slangaw & Knuf) into the word… knuf (with a silent K, or so I’m told), which I think means… enough. However, I can’t confirm this bizarre translation, as it apparently comes from an early Pig Latin interpretation of the words… Oink! Oink! 😀

        Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      Thank you for the support, Paul. At your suggestion, I shouted, “Who do you think you are?” at my notebooks. Unfortunately, they haven’t written their reply yet, but I’ll let you know as soon as they do. It’ll be very interesting to find out.

      My own hunch is that they think they are members of a very strict order of Trappist monks who aren’t even allowed to write, never mind speak. This would explain their recent silence. Of course, they won’t actually be able to write this information for me, so I’m watching them very carefully in case they start trying to mime it.

      I haven’t mentioned Bill’s office and the shredder rumors yet, but rest assured, if there is no communication with me in the very near future, my notebooks may be discovering firsthand the source of that mysterious buzzing sound.

      Reply
      • In My Cluttered Attic
        In My Cluttered Attic says:

        Oh indeed. In fact, my anonymous sources tell me that the Mysterious Order of the Notebook—first established, I believe, by those closet Trappists in the ancient court of Cai Lun, in ancient China and their monks of sheet) are sworn to abstinence in regards to any kind of magically self-producing hieroglyphics on blank paper. Naturally, this lends itself perfectly to their refusal to write. However, my anonymous sources also tell me, that these paper based monks happen to be devoted followers of the famous mime team of “Shields and Yarnell” and apparently have studied under the great, Marcel Marceau in a secret abbey located somewhere in the vineyards of Provence, France. So try not to act surprised if all of a sudden your notebooks start to act out by pantomime. In any event, I feel sure that your threat to expose them to the mysterious buzzing sounds emitting from Crazy Bills office, may prove to be just enough to draw them out—so to speak.

        Reply
  6. derrickjknight
    derrickjknight says:

    Sorry about your tiredness, Bun, but notebooks are no good. If you really want to know what you did when, you have to consult WP and your posts. That is what I have to do for anything earlier than yesterday 🙂

    Reply
  7. elfidd / The Rooster
    elfidd / The Rooster says:

    I am so thankful I keep a daily journal. Happenings are posted in the front by date, starting with the wakeup weather, outside and in. The wife shuts the heat down at bedtime and opens a window. Often in the winter a watch cap is on my head, crazy woman. While living in CT many years ago I would on occasion awake with snow on my head. The woman is not right.

    Starting rear to front are stumble upon thoughts and internet sites to reflect on later. I can appreciate your post Bun. Merry Christmas my friend.

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      A daily journal is a good idea. It sounds like during winter, it may be difficult to write in it first thing in the morning, though. You probably need to defrost for a couple of hours first.

      Anyway, I wish you have a great Christmas and New Year too! 🙂

      Reply
  8. Aquileana
    Aquileana says:

    It is said that colours might have a considerable impact on our moods (and outputs!?)… or at least that is what FengShui teaches us… LOL…. Maybe you should try another one?… The frame or accesory quality does not necessarily relate to any given or expected result… But this is still a mystery to unravel! 😉

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      Colors and moods do often seem to be associated, don’t they? We talk about people being blue when they’re sad or green when they’re envious. I get purple with light orange stripes and pink polka dots when I’m confused. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Ann Coleman
    Ann Coleman says:

    I swear, Bun, you can write a funny post about absolutely anything!
    And maybe you’ve discovered that notebooks can suffer from writer’s block? If so, I hope they recover soon, because I enjoy your blog!

    Reply
  10. Binky
    Binky says:

    I would like to know where one purchases these magical notebooks that come up with comic ideas by themselves. Not that I’m admitting that I need them, but they could come in handy. Of course, I would like ones that work a little more effectively than yours.

    Reply
  11. Diane
    Diane says:

    I think your notebooks are telling you something, Bun. Take a break, fer cryin’ out loud. Hang up the “gone fishing” sign. If it’s good enough for the notebooks…

    Reply
  12. yvettecarol
    yvettecarol says:

    I feel your pain, Bun! Why is it that some weeks, I have to start writing the post the night before, it’s just bursting the walls, then other weeks, I wait until the last minute of the week to write it because there’s no inspiration whatsoever? Not sure. Fickle, the muse is.
    Also, I am a keeper of many strategically-placed notebooks. Why, then, do I insist on writing my notes on the calendar, on the edge of supermarket dockets, finished school notices, and the margin of my to-do list?

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      I know exactly what you mean about writing notes anywhere despite the notebooks, Yvonne. When I’m out, I have one notebook in my workbag and one in my coat pocket, but ideas turn up wherever and whenever they like, and they don’t always wait until I’m near one or other of these items. I’ve often had to resort to writing on the back of receipts, snack wrappers, tickets, napkins or whatever else was to hand. I hope the paperless society that futurologists are always going on about never ends up being invented or you and I will be in big trouble.

      Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      Thanks for your good wishes, Susan. That’s very kind of you. As for the notebooks, I’m thinking about perhaps trying to write some of my future posts by myself after this latest incident. 🙂

      Reply
  13. davidprosser
    davidprosser says:

    Fortunately for you, your dry period has been the source of much enjoyment by your readers. You still retain a talent for filling space with words which written i a certain order retain some humour. By next week hopefully your writing companions will have enjoyed their break and brought you some ideas.
    Hugs

    Reply
  14. Hariod Brawn
    Hariod Brawn says:

    Well, I just wrote a post about nothing happening and it’s generated more interest than when I write about things happening. Somethings happening, Bun, and doubtless will be on this post of yours about nothing. In fact, I see you already have a deluge of comments on nothing in particular. We’re entering a new paradigm, my friend; I call it Post-thingism.

    Reply
  15. Bespoke Traveler
    Bespoke Traveler says:

    Shouldn’t you be thanking your blank notebooks for providing you with this very witty post due to their inability to perform for you? In the matter of notebooks, I would also suggest purchasing a waterproof one and leaving it inside your shower. Who knows how many funny one-liners you have missed while shampooing?

    Reply
  16. transmutation.me
    transmutation.me says:

    Nothing to write: in such case I would just write not a post here about nothing and nothing again and again. There are too many posts like this on wordpress, but here it is most obvious. There are so many other things which you could have done at this time for example: thinking and meditating about the nothingness in its total and real depth which can lead to complete illumination in the best case (old zen-wisdom). Nobody knows this for sure.

    Reply
  17. adsunsri
    adsunsri says:

    This is just a lull before a storm and then a deluge I guess…
    Wishing you and your loved ones the season’s greetings and I am sure Santa is going to give you great ideas:)

    Reply
  18. Kim Gorman
    Kim Gorman says:

    Two comments and a question. 1. Thanks for making me laugh 🙂 2. I envy you for sleeping like a log. I haven’t slept well for weeks. Question: Have you considered a tape recorder? Then you can talk out your ideas with it. Just a thought 🙂

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      I have a lot of sympathy as I very often suffer from insomnia myself. The tape recorder idea is an interesting one, but I don’t think my wife would appreciate it. The other alternative would be to get out of bed, but it’s so cold! Brrrr! 😀

      Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      Thank you very much, Debby. I mentioned all four of my notebooks in the same post. Later on, I realized it might have been wiser only to mention one of them. That way, I could have written three more posts on the same theme on weeks when I had no inspiration. 😀

      Reply
  19. Sharon Bonin-Pratt
    Sharon Bonin-Pratt says:

    Your notebooks and mine must be hanging out at the same loiterer’s bar – mine also have nothing to say despite being left alone for considerable lengths of time to consider all options. Just what do these lazy collections of lined paper and cardboard covers expect if they do nothing to contribute to their own upkeep? I might just whisper to them that the shredder awaits. You always give me such good ideas, Bun. Too bad our notebooks routinely let us down.

    Reply
  20. Poet Rummager
    Poet Rummager says:

    I think you can scare your notebooks into becoming more productive by saying aloud that you’ll just turn to using your cell to record your thoughts, jokes, stories, etc. and won’t need your notebooks any longer! Lol. Use the scare tactic — it works so well with the orange troll that will soon inhabit the White House.

    On a sweeter note, best wishes for a healthier and more peaceful 2017, BunK!! xo

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      You’re right about you-know-who! I’ll try those scare tactics on my notebooks and see if they work. Incidentally, thank you for the New Year greeting. I hope you have a wonderful 2017 too, Rose. 😀

      Reply

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  1. […] As I leaf through the pages, I find myself becoming increasingly alarmed. I can see nothing, not even page numbers. What on earth am I going to write about? It may sound as though I’m blaming my notebook here, but of course this would be a silly way to frame my problem. I’m actually blaming my notebooks. I have four of them and they’re all… (Continued) […]

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