September 04, 2009 Features & Images » Feature Story

Summer of Funny 

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Every season has a mood. Fall is for reflection, winter is somber and serious, and spring is the joy of rebirth. Summer has always belonged to the jesters. It's the season of humour writers like Stephen Leacock and P.J. O'Rourke, of ice cream stains on khaki shorts, of bellyflops into just swimmable lakes, of people going "ooh, ow, ah," while waddling across hot beaches with soft feet, weighted down with folding chairs, beach bags and coolers. The heat makes us dizzy, the cold beer and deck chairs make our problems seem less serious.

I'm pleased to say that Pique received a lot of great submissions to our first Summer of Funny humour contest this year, almost 20 submissions. Judging was extremely difficult, as nothing is more subjective than comedy. Some people are partial to scatology, a branch of humour that is focused on the things we excrete like sulfurous gas and poo. Others defer to irony, which is ironically the most difficult type of humour to define because it tends to disappear the moment you point it out.

Humour is also hard to judge impartially because we tend to the familiar, the "that's so true, white people can't dance," effect that every stand-up comedian in the world tries to create. We've all flown on planes and had airline peanuts, we've all made observations about the opposite sex.

Some entries you have to live in Whistler to truly appreciate, while for others you needed to have children, pets or power tools. We couldn't discount those entries, even if the humour was less than universal, because that wouldn't be fair. Funny was the sole the criteria for this contest, and we know funny. We think...

There were jokes, a poem, slices of life, forays into frailty and darkness, and bittersweet recollections that add up to something funny as the years pass. I thank you for all of your submissions, embedded in PDFs, obscure word processing formats (who uses Rich Text Format anymore?), and email bodies. We even got a submission on paper, sent by actual mail, which is a rarity in any modern office.

Without further ado, here is our list of prize winners, in no particular order. All of our submissions will be posted online so you can judge for yourself, but these are the entries we enjoyed the most.

As for prizing, the editorial board - Pique writers could not agree on any kind of ranking for our finalists and the consensus was to share the $400 out among the top eight entries.

Thanks for your submissions!

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