Interview of Barry ParhamAuthor of Sorry,
We Can’t Use Funny
Questions: R. Murry
Can you tell me a little about yourself?
Well, let's see. I'm a moderately pleasant single guy. I'm a music lover, a lucky Uncle, a proud graduate of the University of Georgia, and a recovering software developer. I'm middle-aged, assuming I live to be 112. And I'm fiscally conservative, except for music CDs.
Do you remember the first story you wrote?
The first humor column I ever published was called "Things I've Learned from Television." It was basically a list of misconceptions that somebody from another planet might make, if their only source of information was a few hours watching TV. For example:
If you live in a trailer park, and have a 200 lb. pet chimp, and then feed the chimp Xanax, and then invite the neighbors over, you may shortly appear on the TV news in what is known as a "Breaking Story."
Were you inspired by someone or something?
Absolutely - two of the best: Mark Twain and Dave Barry.
What do you like about writing a story?
What's most fun for me is finding an odd angle; an unexpected connection; a pairing between things that, at first glance, might seem to have nothing in common.
Can you tell us about your book?
Sorry, We Can't Use Funny is my second (of five) collections of humor columns and other short pieces. The book's title is actually a quote I received in a rejection letter from a newspaper editor. He's dead now, but let's not get into all that.
What genre best fits for the book?
Observational humor, I suppose, is a good fit. I was once told that what I write is not fiction, which was a silly thing to say. After all, I know perfectly well its fiction - I made all of it up myself.
Are you working on something new at the moment?
Other than the weekly columns, I'm thinking...slowly...about a new book. I've enough material for another book, but this time I might skip the physical venue altogether, and just stick with an eBook version.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
My self-inflicted discipline is to write a minimum of 625 words, about something, every week. But I understand not everyone can do that - it takes a firm commitment to be that lazy.
Where can people go to read your work?
The weekly columns are available online, via a yearly subscription, at
Alternatively, Kindle owners can subscribe and have the columns automatically downloaded each week, from this address:
Do you have anything to add?
I'm thankful to my God, I'm grateful for my parents, and I'm honored to now be able to count myself among the authors reviewed on these pages. Thanks, Roy, to you and your readers!