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Allen Smith is an award-winning writer living in Oceanside, California and has published thousands of articles for print, the web and social media.

Writing/humor

An award-winning author shares how to find humor in everything you write

Photo by Tim Hüfner on Unsplash

Every year after winning the Pulitzer Prize for humor, I’m besieged with questions from new writers about how I went about writing my award-winning humor pieces. They run the gamut from “What in the world were you thinking?” to “Were you drunk when you wrote that?”

So, to clear up the confusion, I thought I’d take a moment to offer a few suggestions on how to write stunning humor pieces, unlike anything people have seen before.

What most non-writers don’t know is writing brilliant humor pieces is infinitely harder than writing non-fiction. The best humor pieces are steeped in research…


Humor/technology

Until I found out she was seeing other people

Photo courtesy of Slate.com

Like many other hook-ups on Match.com, my relationship with Alexa started out as a lark. I was lonely and depressed and thought a virtual relationship might be just the thing to pull me out of it.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with her, Alexa is a cloud-based software application that acts as your virtual personal assistant and responds to your voice commands — sort of like my ex-wife during the first six months of our marriage.

In a nutshell, you use your voice to ask Alexa questions like, “How many nipples does a monkey have?” or “Is Betty…


Political correctness

How Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs have pushed us over the edge

Photo courtesy of RobertEbert.com

My tenth-grade science teacher was a short, ugly, middle-aged junkie who lived in the slums on the wrong side of town. But I’m not allowed to say that anymore.

Instead, political correctness dictates that I write something like, “My high school pedagogue of advanced scientific theories was an unconventional-looking, vertically, and chronologically challenged male with a substance abuse dependency who lived in an economically deprived part of the propinquity.

There. Does that sound better? Hmmm… Not to me.

What set me off on this ridiculous diatribe was the deflating news that my favorite California ski resort is succumbing to pressure…


Spaceflight/humor

Sir Richard Branson becomes the first to complain about in-space food service and movies

Photo courtesy of Fox Business News

Truth or Consequences, NM — After more than twenty years of planning and rigorous training, Sir Richard Branson became the first British civilian to fly into space today, onboard Virgin Galactic’s Unity22 spacecraft. But it didn’t come without its failures.

“I knew things weren’t going right from the beginning,” said Branson. “I had to wait hours at the ticket counter because someone messed up my reservation. I mean, for God’s sake! It’s not like there are thousands of civilian billionaires going up into space on a Sunday morning.” And the problems didn’t end there.

Evidently, Branson’s name was targeted on…


Olympics/sports

This year Olympic athletes will be making history by competing from the comfort of their own homes

Photo by Alex Smith on Unsplash

Lausanne, Switzerland — The International Olympic Committee has announced that in addition to banning all spectators in the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, they will be banning all athletes from competing, as well. At least from the traditional venues.

Current IOC President Thomas Bach announced yesterday, “While we are still moving ahead with the XXXIII Summer Olympics in Tokyo, because of the threat of the covid disease, athletes from around the world will not be allowed to compete together as a group in Japan. …


Hypochondriacs/humor

But my drooling has gotten much better!

Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash

Every morning before I open my eyes to the rest of the world, I convince myself this is the day I’m going to die. It has to be. Anyone who’s lived as crappy a life as I have is bound to be suffering from something that will fast track them to the pearly gates. But to get a better handle on my diminishing health, I need to diagnose everything that’s wrong with me, its severity, and compute exactly how long I have left to live.

My last episode began with an innocuous pain on the inside of my cheek. By…


Outdoor Humor

Full leg scissor take downs, morning stars, and pizza cutters will change deer and elk hunting season forever

Photo courtesy of the author

It’s late summer and before you know it, our national forests will once again be teeming with overweight, beer-guzzling, middle-aged men bonding with their offspring, engaged in an annual wilderness right of passage: deer and elk hunting season.

Across the United States, there have always been three traditional hunting seasons: muzzleloader and archery followed by high-power rifle season. Short of running and hiding, deer and elk have stood defenseless against this barrage of artillery. Until now.

There’s a new sheriff in town

Forced to live off the land using just their instincts and lightning-fast reactions, wildlife is helpless against man-made weapons of mass destruction like high-powered…


Humor/sports/eating

The International Federation of Competitive Eating adds new categories: insects & reptiles, animal sweetbreads and non-organic hardware

Photo courtesy USA Today

New York, NY — The world of competitive eating shocked sports enthusiasts yesterday when the IFOCE —the International Federation of Competitive Eating — announced widespread changes to the sport of professional gurgitation.

“Due to the cutthroat nature of some of our competitors, the IFOCE has been forced to up the ante in all of its sanctioned events by adding several new categories,” said George Shea, Chairman of the IFOCE. In an update posted on the Federation’s website, Major League Eating, Shea wrote, “Up until now, natural food products in various forms and methods of preparation were sufficient to challenge professional…


Humor/dieting

Exciting inventions to help you lose weight without counting calories or going on a diet

Courtesy: The Independent

During one of my recent nocturnal online shopping trips, I came across a number of thrilling new products designed to help me lose weight. Well, they hadn’t actually become products yet. They were still in the figment of someone’s imagination phase, based enough in reality to have been issued patents, but still miles away from seeing the light of day. I did, however, find four that were for sale, so I scooped them up before they disappeared from the market.

The Dieter’s Dam


Humor/medicine

Until graduating from the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo Escuela de Medicina, I never dreamed of becoming a doctor

Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash

Thanks to years of snorting cat tranquilizer, bonging Sinsemilla, and forging a worthless junior college transcript, I’d pretty much accepted looking forward to a life of worthless, low-paying jobs and the abysmal self-esteem that goes along with them.

Going to medical school was never even a blip on my radar.

But, thanks to a deal between the U.S. Department of Labor and The Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo Escuela de Medicina, even a dolt like me can earn a medical degree from the comfort of their living room using their smartphone. …

Allen R Smith

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