Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I came up with a brilliant pun the other day that went wholly unappreciated by the general populace.  I told it a couple more times to make sure everyone had a) heard, and b) understood, but it seemed that comprehension was not the issue.  
I refuse to acknowledge that it might not be funny.  It’s clever.  Clever things in the context of jokes are funny.  And funny things should be rewarded with laughter.  

So here we go, one last try:

The pun in question:
My friend is telling us how her husband has a tooth missing.  One of his incisors.
I interject with: “Uh oh, has he been dabbling in some incisor trading?”
Silence descends on the room.
I repeat the joke.
More silence.
I explain the concept of ‘insider trading’ and how this relates to the conversation at hand.  
My efforts are greeted with resentful looks.
I retreat back into my head where I am a) more appreciated, and b) greeted with raucous laughter.  

Some time later, still bewildered, I seek out the experts for their advice on what to do when the audience is so mean.  
What I find shocks me:

Don't repeat
"Sometimes you’re so sure, so absolutely positive that a joke is good, that when the audience doesn’t laugh, you assume it has to be a technical problem with the microphone.  But everyone heard you just fine. That bit just sucked. So don’t repeat it...The only thing worse than telling an anecdote that no one laughs at is doing it twice.”

Don’t explain
"After blaming the audience for a bomb, a comedian’s second instinct is often to try to explain the premise behind the joke, as if that will somehow make it retroactively funny.  Explaining will only exacerbate the situation."  

Do move on
"If the joke flounders, hustle on to old, reliable, material, so the crowd never even remembers the bomb. Everyone should have a go-to story they can turn to in any situation.”  
[thanks a lot, "experts"]

Hmm, back to the 'old jokes' eh..?  Thankfully I do have one up my sleeve... 

(Next time, laugh at my joke). 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A weekend away with the girls

What is it with this Western cultural obsession with 'doing'?  Why is everyone always asking me what I'm going to do this weekend, or what I did yesterday?  Why is my status as a human defined by all these actions?  I'm a human being, not a human doing!  What if I don't want to "just do it"? 

It gets to me.

And naturally, when I told people I was going away for a weekend with the girls, the first thing they all asked was, "What are you going to do?"

Do?  I would have thought the exact purpose of 'going away for the weekend' was to not do.  

Do, do, do, that's all we ever do.

But okay, since you's what we did:


Those are all verbs, right?  A verb is 'a doing word'.  Thus, we 'did' stuff the whole time. 

Which means that now I can go to work Monday morning, happy in the knowledge that I got out and 'did stuff' in the weekend, thus validating my existence as a human.  Lovely.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm a cyclist. Reh!

A little while ago my friend Eli acquired a bicycle.  
Neither of our lives have been the same since.

For her part, things couldn't be better.  Her life was revolutionised by her bike.  She could get across town for free, without getting stuck in traffic, and without waiting around for a bus that was possibly late, or possibly had left a minute before she got to the bus stop.  
Eli told me all this.  She told me all the reasons why bicycles are good and every other form of transport, including walking, is bad.  
She told me.  
A lot.  

In the past, when I looked enviously upon those cool cyclist chicks that zoomed around Wellington, managing to look simultaneously stylish, sporty, and environmentally-conscious, my only consolation was that at least Eli wasn't one of them too.  That would really be too much.

And that's why, on my part, life got a little bit worse once the bicycle came into her life.  Eli took every opportunity to rub it in my face that she was a cyclist and I wasn't (by which she really meant that she was a good person and I was spawn of the devil). 


Oh yes, and she also developed the habit of saying "Reh!" after every anecdote that proved how much better her bicycle-filled life was than my bicycle-less life could ever be. 

It was annoyingly effective.  

So I found myself with two choices.  Endure her gloating noises until one of us died, or get a bicycle myself, and become one of those annoyingly perfect Wellington women that makes everyone in cars and buses feel bad about themselves.  It was a tough choice.

I chose the bicycle.  If only to save a life. 

And last night, I rode home for the first time... 

I have never felt so alive!  It was way faster than the bus!  And it didn't cost me a thing!  And I didn't leave a carbon footprint!  And I felt amazing!  Why the heck didn't I do this before?  How did I even live before?  How do others live without one now?  I must rush out and find someone who doesn't ride a bicycle, and tell them what they are missing...(Reh!)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pulling teeth

Last night I had a nightmare that a giant tooth fell out of my mouth.

And then another one.  Two giant teeth.  Out.

According to the dream experts, losing a tooth in a dream may (or may not) symbolise:
- a fear of death and growing older (who me?)
- a preoccupation with mortality (never!)
- an inability to make decisions (not sure about that one...)
- a fear of change (ooh, I hope not.)

It was clearly nothing to do with me.
And so I went on my merry way without giving it another thought.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A wee problem

I was talking to my friend Tom today.  He is married to my friend Cat.  They just moved to Dunedin with their two blue-eyed, blonde-haired children, bought a beautiful house and an adorable puppy, and promptly became the family that every other family in the world wants to be like, or at least be friends with.   Sometimes it’s hard to relate to people who seemingly have it so ‘together’.  

So naturally, I was delighted when Tom said that their puppy had developed the habit of peeing whenever it got excited. 

I was so intrigued that the moment we got off the phone I conducted some extensive internet research, and discovered the fascinating canine world of " Excitement Urination".  
Which was actually slightly disappointing, as it seems to be quite a normal phase for puppies to go through, before they turn back into perfect dogs again.  
But then I read that excitement urination can be a slippery slope into "Submission Urination".   

Which is far more interesting, due to its viciously cyclical nature.  

It goes something like this: The insecure dog desperately wants to please its master and submit to its every command.   Sometimes the dog will communicate its submission by urinating in the presence of this revered figure.  The master thinks the dog is being naughty, and tries to discipline the dog back to submission.   So the dog submits to the master by peeing some more.  Punishment, pee.  More punishment, more pee.  Everyone ends up sad and dirty.

Apparently a good way to help solve this problem is to get down on all fours to make yourself appear less dominant to the dog.  Also you should give it lots of encouragement to boost its confidence.

So now, when I think of Tom and Cat in their dream house down in Dunedin, I imagine them crawling around on the floor chanting affirmations to their weak-bladdered dog.  

And for some reason, that kind of makes me feel better.