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I-Laugh - Your 'Working' Humor Discussion List
Moderated by : Eva Rosenberg mailto:email@example.com
Assisted By : Gunjan Saraf mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
5th September 2001 # 023
Happy Be Late for
IN THIS DIGEST :
Moderator's Comment -
Caterpillars can fly if they just lighten up!
~ Scott Simmerman
Innovative School Projects
Travel Tales (to Gunjan's rescue)
~ Sandra Linley
HELPFUL HUMOR TIPS
Word play at work
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P.G. Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster used to say -
The sun is shining, the birds are singing and all
is fine with the world!
To paraphrase him - There are plenty of posts this
issue, not much rambling or grumbling from Gunjan,
a fine issue of I-Laugh!
So, here we go......
Your Comic Guide
Currently in Italy (Virtually) :-)
WZ-ard of Virtual Travel
P.S - Unnoticed by us our wonderful sponsor Clara just celebrated
her birthday. Celebrated actually is the wrong word as she wasn't
well, but judging from the LOL in her reply to my get well message she's
much better now.
How do we celebrate her Birthday? Reminds me about my
good old school days.
In school we used to have a chappie called Rohan, whose
father ran the school tuck shop (wonder why it was called
tuck shop, it used to sell stationery items, little gift items
and all kinds of knick-knacks.) Every year on Rohan's birthday
all of us in the class used to trod down to the Tuck Shop and
buy little items (not for him, for ourselves). We were happy
that we could get money at home saying it was Rohan's present
and then get something for ourselves. Rohan's Dad happy
with the extra sales that day used to buy Rohan a good gift,
thus making Rohan happy too.
Can you think of a better method of all round happiness?
[Come on, take the hint ;-) and visit Phil and Clara now, at
Please, send any comments to:
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===== New Discussions =====
====> Caterpillars can fly if they just lighten up!
In honor of those folks that sometimes "just don't get it," I am
contributing this to the Working Humor gang. I hope that you
like it and can even find it useful. The title of this is:
"Caterpillars can fly if
they just lighten up!"
Note: This will be developed more fully in Mel Silberman's McGraw
Hill 2002 Sourcebook for Team and Organizational Development
toolkit but here goes an approach that you might find interesting.
The Sourcebook will have the slides and the forms and delivery
details and all that. But useful essentials are as follows:
Start your corrective off by saying that you heard a good joke:
There were two caterpillars riding on a wagon and a
butterfly floats by. The one caterpillar looks up and
says to the
other, "You'll never get me up in one in of those
You should get a laugh. Or at least a smile. But you can also
ask them if they REALLY GOT THE JOKE.
They will not have a clue as to what you are asking them. Of course
they got it. Stupidly simple...
But here is the background on MY learning experience:
I had been telling this joke for about 2 years when I told it in Hong
Kong to a group of English speaking Chinese people. The reaction
was a bit mixed so I simply asked them to discuss the joke among
so that they could tell me The Answer. I was using this
to illustrate resistance to change and had put these characters on
my Square Wheels wagon.
And they did discuss it, with an increasing amount of laughter and
interaction between tables. In Cantonese -- I had NO CLUE AS TO
WHAT WAS SO FUNNY AND WHY IT TOOK SO LONG.
When I asked them to share their thinking, they gave me 32 different
answers to the joke. All this time, I had been telling the joke thinking
that the answer was, "Resistance to Change." But the diversity
human thinking gave rise to a whole different level of understanding.
I would have never gotten this realization, that there are many answers
to most questions, if I had not been aware of the situation and paying
attention to the reactions of others.
So, as time goes on, I embellish this:
In the US Open Tennis Tournament, John McEnroe, the retired
tennis star, once said in a press conference upon
"That taught me a lesson but I am not sure what it
There was a lesson in the telling of this joke. Take 2 minutes and
discuss this with your associates and see if you can discover
'The Lesson' in the joke.
What will happen is that they will come up with some of the answers
but certainly not all of them. And they will probably NOT get my
favorite one, "My Mother was a Moth!"
After stringing them along a bit, you can finally tell that that the
lesson is very simple:
"It is Dangerous to Know The Answer. (That is 'the' as in Duh.)"
Leadership, motivation, innovation, teamwork and change is about
realizing there are lots of possibilities and lots of perspectives and
just being the Boss and knowing The Answer is not the way to do
things. In the initial telling of the joke, people invariably get
"The Answer" and QUIT THINKING about other possibilities -- thus
limit their thinking and perspective.
Different people see and understand things differently. There is no
Best Way; things change. The Round Wheels of Today become the
Square Wheels of tomorrow.
Only by talking about these differing perspectives can we become
For managers and talent alike, it is important to recognize that
knowing The Answer is limiting one's discoveries.
"Caterpillars can fly if they just lighten up!"
This is one of the key messages I use in my presentation, "Teaching
the Caterpillar to Fly." The participants eventually figure out
who is the
caterpillar and what the butterfly might represent. Eventually...
A full-blown version of this is on my website. I also have a 90 minute
video of me doing a session for 400 people using this plus my Square
Wheels metaphors. Readers can get the paper version by printing. If
you are interested in the video, it's $50 if a train-the-trainer and free
one might use me as a speaker! <grin>
"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, god calls a
"If caterpillars were meant to fly, god would have given them
(normal management perspective <grin>)
"What is an 11-letter word for an insect that can fly?"
(for those still challenged by all this)
For the FUN of It!
Performance Management Company - 800-659-1466
Moderator's Comment : The positive quote used by Scott is
from Illusions by Richard Bach. The full quotes reads -
"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in
injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of
the world, the master calls a butterfly"
With other quotes like - "In order to live free and happily you
must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice" and
"Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they're yours."
is one most amazing books I've ever read. If by any chance
you haven't read it yet, check it out now ....
====> Innovative School Projects
Got this note from a dear friend in Canada with a
short note saying - "Hope you don't mind, helping with
this mapping project."
Mind? I love it. I love seeing teachers come up with
interesting projects which will get the children
interested in learning cause as Winston Churchill
said - "I am always ready to learn although I do
not always like being taught."
In my humble opinion it's the key to teaching.
So here I am doing my bit by passing it on to you,
hope you mind doing your bit.
We are in the 5th grade at Newington Elementary School in
Summerville, South Carolina. We are located in Dorchester County,
just outside of Charleston, SC. Our teacher, Miss Christie Bailey, is
helping us by using her e-mail address as our e-mail receiver. We
have decided, after seeing this done at another school, to map an
e-mail project. We are curious to see "where in the world" our
will travel via the Internet between the dates of August 21st
- September 21st, 2001(only 1 month). This is not a pen pal
project, so we will not write you back unless you request it. We
would appreciate your help. If you receive this message, we ask
1-e-mail us back at email@example.com
and tell us your city/state/location so we can plot it on our map.
2-send this letter on to everyone you know so that they can send it
on to everyone they know (and so on) to help us reach even more
people. (We don't mind receiving repeats so send it on to everyone.
We're tracking the number of responses we receive by making a
graph in our math classes using the numbers received by state and country)
We will post our results on our web-page
so that you can see how we did. With your help, we can make this
a very exciting learning experience.
PLEASE help us.
Thank-you for any help you can give. Our e-mail address is :
Miss Bailey's 5th grade classes
Newington Elementary School
10 King Charles Circle
Summerville, SC 29485
Glance through these cartoons, I chose them
out of a collection of over 100, just for you...
Do you think he is qualified??
I need it now!
====> Travel Tales
Well, Gunjan, your "no posts" lament has gotten to me,
since I've been enjoying your I-Laugh wit.
And, since you've been recounting mishaps on trips, I thought I
would share a similar one (just don't ask me to relate it to business
humor!). While on a bus trip through Afghanistan, headed for India,
my husband and I were deposited in a small Afghan town in the
middle of the night. It was pitch black and pouring rain. We, of course,
in our usual carefree (don't know any better) style had given no
thought to accommodations.
Stumbling from the bus, we were relieved to find several young Afghani
waiting to guide tourists to their respective hotels. Heads down,
we trudged along after our "rescuer," winding through several
streets, through a gate and into a tiny, shabby "office" where
happily paid for a room.
The room was what you might expect...dingy, dirty...but at least dry.
Like you, Gunjan, we opted for chairs rather than the bed. And tried
to sleep. But there were such comings-and-goings on either side of
us, so much thumping and giggling and door-slamming on the other
side of paper-thin walls, as to make sleep impossible. Even with
exhaustion-dulled wits, we quickly tumbled to the truth: our hotel
served as a brothel!
Well, that did it. Inconvenience became adventure, whisking away
and aggravation. The remaining hours of darkness passed contentedly,
with mellow talk, shared amusement and teasing. For the two of us, it was
night to remember...a night to repeat. Almost!
bIndependent You can do it - We can help
Moderator's Comment - Your post is related to the oldest
profession and it was pretty humorous. So it is linked to
business humor ;-).
If you have tale where you handled a hard situation
with humor as your weapon, share it here -
====> Pet Peeves
>From - Ronnie <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hi: Like your column. My pet peeves are sooo many but I will list
When one is standing in line at a drug store or market invariably you
find a female under 40 with a child approximately 8 ahead of you.
The child keeps wandering around and bringing merchandise back
and then the mother leaves too, leaving her merchandise to stand in
for her in the queue. Just as I walk ahead to be checked out as the
cashier is ready the voyager returns and she is furious because I had
the gall to go ahead of her.
I take a sarcastic dig about reservations for the check-out but
she does not seem to get it.
I must say this happens so often lately that I am thinking of a better
way to handle these females.
Moderator's Comment - Ah! An example of the kind of people
Scott was talking about - who just don't get it?
=========== Helpful Humor Tips ==========
===> Wordplay at work
There were two evil brothers. They were rich and used their money to
keep their ways from the public eye. They attended the same
Church and looked to be perfect Christians.
All of a sudden, one of the brothers died. The remaining brother sought
out the Pastor the day before the funeral and handed him a check
for the amount needed to finish paying for a new building in the church.
"I have only one condition," he said. "At his funeral, you
must say my
brother was a Saint." The Pastor gave his word and deposited the
The next day at the funeral, the Pastor did not hold back. "He
evil man," he said. "He cheated on his wife and abused his
After going on in this vein for a small time, he concluded with ...
"But, compared to his brother, he was a Saint."
(Submitted by a dear friend from S. Africa)
Comments or Have a Humorous Tip/Dirty Trick to share?
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