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Moderated by : Eva Rosenberg  mailto:eva@workinghumor.com

Assisted By : Gunjan Saraf   mailto:gunjan@workinghumor.com

   04th  July  2001    #     014
 "Push to test."  <click>  "Release to detonate."
(William Brabant)


Moderator's Comment

           "Good News & not so Good

Do we have a sense of humor?
                  ~ Gunjan Saraf
               ~ Eva Rosenberg

Role Playing Games!
             ~ Linda
             ~ Gunjan
   Useful? Humor Tips

For the Medical Profession Only
             ~ Gunjan

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Moderator's Message

Dear LaughMates,

First of let me wish all our American Laughmates
a very Happy Independence day. Bet you're all busy
celebrating and not even reading this. (Talk of
Redundancy :-)

Next, you'll be happy to know that our sponsors,
Phil & Clara, people with a wonderful sense of humor
have extended their sponsorship for another month.
The not so great news is that they got extremely poor
results in the month of June. This brings me to an
interesting point for discussion (Definitely interesting
from an ex ad-man's point of view.)

We have got so used to seeing ads all around us that
many of us have started thinking of them as a pain,
or as an irritation. In fact ad-men with humor weigh
their success by how many people despise them. :-)
But we forget that a lot of the free or subsidized things
that we get in life are provided for by these very sponsors.

We had a little incident in the school where I help out
just the other day. One of the students on the editorial
board brought up the point - "Why we should accept ads
in the school magazine?" He felt it brought down the
quality of the magazine. As the coordinator it was my
job to explain to him. Instead of long words I simply gave
him the costing. And let him calculate the cost per copy.
I then asked him if he and his colleagues would prefer to
pay that much per copy. His immediate reaction was -
"No way, if the ads keep our magazines free, we'll
tolerate them."

But by now I was on a roll. I pressed on - "Look, I was the
sponsor for this issue. Seeing your attitude I have changed
my mind. I don't want to sponsor your school magazine. You
can find another sponsor yourself, or have an ad free magazine."

I was very impressed when instead of replying immediately
the boy thought for a few minutes and then replied - " I see
your point Sir, I would never find a sponsor with the kind of
attitude I had. Forgive me. I now see sponsors/advertisements
in a new light. Thank you"

I'm pretty sure that this boy will not only see ads in a much
better light but convince a lot of his colleagues too and I
wouldn't be surprised if he grows up to be an ad-man himself ;-)

That's all folks, Hoping that we keep our sponsor
laughing just as he keeps  "I-Laughing"* every week.

Your Grinning Moderator

* - Remember Arik's definition ? :-)

P.S. Please remember to invite your friends to subscribe.

Please, send any comments to:
depending on your point of view.

=====  New Discussion =====

====> Do we have a sense of humor?

Hi Friends,

I bring this up today because it's quite relevant
to the Role Playing discussion that we are having.
I am extremely fond of Jewish Humor, I feel a lot
of it stems from a very deep inner strength which
allows Jews to make fun of themselves. I can never
forget Tevye's conversations with God in "Fiddler on
the roof". So when I found this article on Jewish Humor
http://www.foigm.org/IMG/humor.htm  I put everything
else aside for what I thought would be a great read.
And it was .... till I got to the penultimate paragraph -

"Yet as funny as those stories and jokes might be,
they are only funny-or even acceptable, for that matter-
when told by a person of the same background. Please, if you
are not Jewish, don't tell your Jewish friend a demeaning
"Jewish joke." It may be funny coming from a Jewish person,
but it can be extremely offensive coming from a non-Jewish

I couldn't believe my eyes, here was this gentleman who was
writing about humor, about arguably the most tolerant form
of humor and he doesn't seem to understand (in my opinion)
the basics of humor. Does the great Jewish humorists he talks
about restrict themselves to Jewish jokes only? They have never
told a blonde or lawyer joke? Didn't most of them make fun of the
American Presidents? How many Presidents were Jewish?
(That reminds me Eva had a great Jewish President joke
in I-Helpdesk. All those who want to hear it contact her :-)

Personally, I feel like - Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder,
the suitability of a joke depends on the listeners sense of humor.
How can you classify a joke as demeaning? Practically all
racial jokes are making fun of a particular attribute which may be
common (or has been tagged as common) with that race. If the
listener is touchy he can find it demeaning. If the listener has a
sense of humor not only should they not find it demeaning in most
cases but even appreciate that you are aware of their traits or
cultures especially if the joke you crack is not very common.

Personally I find the idea communal jokes to be shared only
by that community most stupid. Hell if I had to try
and find people of my caste with a sense of humor to tell my
jokes, I'd be like the honest lawyer trying to find partners.
Even worse I'd have heard probably 3 jokes so far in my
whole life.

In my definition a person with a sense of humor is not one
who can dish it out (that would be a witty person or a wisecrack)
but how well you can take it. And the greatness of Jewish humor is
reflected more in how they can laugh at so called 'demeaning jokes'
without taking offense rather than just what their best comedians
have hit back with.

Anyone agree with me?



====> Some People Seem to be Born Without Humor

Humor of any kind ceases to be funny when the
object of the humor is hurt. This is often not as much of a
racial or religious matter as it is personal. Gunjan's comments
bring to mind my brother and his children.

My brother cannot communicate without teasing. I grew up
with it, took it in stride, and it only got on my nerves when I
needed to get straight answers about something and didn't know
if I'd gotten the truth or some joke.

His children, however, from the first day, could not abide
being teased. Sabbath lunch was always such a pleasant
experience...with one, or all three, children leaving the table
in tears because they just couldn't handle Dad's ribbing.
(Frankly, that's abusive. I wanted to take the children
away. Just remembering makes me shudder.)

Those kids seem to be OK now, but there was a great deal
of time in therapy - for the whole family.

It's important to know the tolerance levels of the person to
whom you're speaking. Some people can't handle or
recognize humor at all.

Your Comic Guide,

Eva Rosenberg


=====  Replies =====

=====> Role Playing Games

 >From Linda

Hi Friends,

I usually say "I resemble that remark"
Then we all start laughing.

Linda Dorfmont EA


=====> Role Playing Games

Hi Friends,

Just a little background. Marwaris are a business
community of India who are famous for their stinginess
and as total skinflints. I mean the normal New York
subway stick up line - "Your money or your life" would
be an oxymoron to them. As you've probably guessed
(not from my actions I hope :-) I'm a Marwari.

When I'm told a Marwari joke or more often when
somebody just says something nasty about Marwaris
(The Hindi colloquial for stingy is 'Marwari' :-).
I love to launch into my collection of Marwari jokes.
My favorite is ...

This chap is drowning in a little puddle. Lots of people
are gathered around and are offering their help. "Here,
give me your hand." But the chappie squirms away from
each helper and puts his hands firmly behind his back.
Everyone is wondering what's happening when a new passer
by observes the scene carefully. After a second he has a
knowing look and asks the drowning fellow if he is Marwari.
On getting an affirmative reply he nods, moves to the edge
of the puddle and says "Here take my hand." The drowning
Marwari immediately grabs the offered hand and is promptly
rescued. (A true Marwari would rather die than 'give' anything
free. Taking is a different matter :-)

So many times, its real fun watching the expressions of the
chaps who were trying to be nasty when you launch into
the jokes.. Some of them have even had to make
double sure "Hey aren't you a Marwari?"

You have so many options of dealing with them once you have
disarmed them of their 'weaponry' by simply showing them
that you are immune to their quips. That you can laugh at
yourself or your community comfortably without taking offense.
In fact you have an as good if not better arsenal of quips.

Anyone else who has tried this or similar method?
How about some great case stories!



How good are you at remembering faces?
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===========  Helpful ? Humor Tips    ==========

===> A Tip with a touch of humor

Sparkling Text In Word

If you create documents that people will read on the
computer, you can add a bit of spice to your text. Open a
Word document and select some text. Now, choose
Format/Font. When the Font dialog box opens, click the Text
Effects tab. Now, click one of the text effects--Sparkle
Text, for example. Now click OK to close the dialog box and
apply your selection.

We were once asked why the sparkle didn't work on the
printout. Please don't ask that--we don't know.

- Sue Whitehouse
(Office 2000 Tips from emazing.com)



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