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I-Laugh - Your 'Working' Humor Discussion List
Moderated by : Eva Rosenberg  mailto:eva@workinghumor.com

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

6th March  2002    #     049
"I write for the same reason that I breathe. If I didn't, I'd die!"
~ Isaac Asimov


Moderator's Comment -
                         ~ Gunjan


                              ~ Linda Dorfmont

                             ~ Richard Parata

Speaker Tips
                              ~ from Tom Antion

Tips for Humor Writing
                               ~ Janet Thompson

Resource for Writers/Writing Enthusiasts
                              ~ Stephanie Allen



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Moderator's Message

Dear LaughMates,

Since Eva asked me to send her the proofs of I-Laugh
by Sunday instead of Monday, I've had to do quite
some rescheduling. I normally used to work on
Jest for Pun on Sundays. Now I try to complete it
by Thursday or Friday so that I have Saturday
to work on I-Laugh.

As usual, I had my issue of Jest for Pun ready by
Friday but that's the day I read that Spike Milligan
(one of my favorite nutty-stuff writers) had passed away
and I decided to put together a special issue of JFP in
his honor.

This sent my entire weekend schedule haywire. By
Saturday evening I was feeling I had so much stuff left to
do that I'd have everything, from mail to JFP to I-Laugh to
offline work all delayed for a week.

The moment I realized that I was getting more worked up
than getting work done, I stopped. Right in the middle of
the chaos, I just stopped work and started taking a leisurely
stroll. One part of my brain was screaming - "You're nuts!
You have so much work to do that you didn't know how to
complete it and here you are, taking a walk and trying to laugh
at these warnings that I'm giving you." The other part, now
experienced at this game, knew that all I had to was to manage
to think of nice funny incident. Have a laugh. Calm the part of my
brain which was keeping on shouting 'too much work' and not
letting me do any work at all and once all of me got back
working together I'd do a much better job.....

....Now, a quick look at my clock shows that I'm almost
back on track. And in the bargain I have 2 Helpful
Humor Tips for you. What a bargain!!!

So here it is, on time, I-Laugh #49,

coz 7 days without a pun makes one weak


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=====  Continuing Discussions  =====

====> Cricket

That's that little bug hiding behind my bookcase who
woke me up at 4:00 a.m. when I was in 7th grade.
I spent two hours trying to catch it in a jar so I
could take it to school with me.

Some of us don't speak British.

Linda Dorfmont EA

(Moderator's Comment - After I warned you, in
my Moderator's Comments about it - That post
is just not cricket ! :-)

Comments :

===> Pop-Ups

You can stop pop-ups by getting a programme from
www.panicware.com called Pop-up Stopper.
It is very effective.

Richard Parata
Gran's Remedy for Smelly Feet and Footwear
"Short Term Use - Long Term Relief"

[Moderator's Comments - Actually I was looking for
posts on whether I should use pop-ups on my site.
(I believe it improves sign-up rates drastically.) And
if I do, how could I make it funny enough to not be
irritating. I guess, your vote would go against
pop-ups, Richard?]

Comments :

===> Speaking Tips

Advanced tips on public speaking from Tom Antion.

These techniques are used by savvy presenters to really
WOW the audience.

=> Split your story. Start a story near or at the beginning of
your talk, but don't finish it. Build suspense by cutting off the
story at a key point or just before the climactic finish. This
builds anticipation. Finish the story at the end of your talk.

=> Refer to an article in a magazine or passage in a book, but do
it in a special way. Pause and look up in the air as if you are
thinking and picturing the publication in your mind. Then refer
to the article by page number, left or right-hand page, passage's
position on the page, etc. The audience will think you are some
kind of genius. However, we know that you are just a savvy
presenter who memorized the information and delivered it with
that special WOW factor.

=> Purposely omit material that you know will evoke certain
questions. When the questions come, give a preplanned answer
that appears spontaneous.

Tom Antion
Great Speaking

You can subscribe to his free newsletter 'Great Speaking'
To subscribe why not use our affiliate link (given below)


Comments or if have you a tip to share -

Cartoon Break

Best Spots!

20 Toes Tell a Story!

Great Escape?


=====  New Discussions  =====

====> Five Tips For Writing Humor

Too many writers who want very much to write humor, get
bogged down in some of the most obvious mistakes a humorist
can make. Here are five ways to tighten and lighten your work.

1. Keep the analogies to a dull roar.
Humor diva Erma Bombeck had that one down to a fine science.
She never drowned her readers in 'like or as'.  She let one slide
in and take its toll on your mental images and merrily went on her
way with the story. In many cases, analogies can kill the reader's
attention . faster than a one-legged chicken on a downhill slope.
(sorry, I couldn't resist)

2. Don't force your words.
Let the language have its head and take you along with it. Don't
force it into attempts at humor that will lose your readers and make
your work sound hyped. Humor has to have a force of its own. It
is a living breathing funny-bone we're talking about here. If you
believe you have a sense of humor, let it express itself on its
own terms.

3. If you do not have a sense of humor, one will be appointed
for you. I haven't met too many humorists without a sense of humor.
Humor is a necessary part of our life. A feeding tube for some hidden
and hungry deranged freak with a pen. The unpleasant side-effects
of not getting it down on paper are too .well. unpleasant to
describe here. Trust me though, I know whereof I speak. It takes
weeks of recovery with copious amounts of scrabble, the New York
Times crossword puzzle in INK, and plenty of coffee.

4. Death may not become you.
Unless it comes very naturally, writing on the mishaps at Aunt
Dottie's funeral may not be something you're able to pull off.
When in doubt, write it, have a family member read it and if
they haul off and belt you for disrespecting the dead, it may not
be in you to write 'morbidity mirth'.

5. And the truth shall set you free.sometimes
The coolest aspect to being a humorist or satirist is that both are
given a far wider berth in the vast dry lands of litigation.  Humor
and satire can take liberties far beyond the usual boundaries and
generally get away with it. There have been cases of satirists
confined to the stocks in front of Radio City Music Hall, but in
general, we can take the boundaries a bit further than writers of
other genre.

All in all, being a humor writer is a wonderful job. We keep the
world laughing and reduce stress. Now if we could only claim
low cholesterol, we'd be the perfect food.

Janet Thompson
Copyright 2002 - J. Thompson

(Moderator's Comment - I liked this article and thought
with all the talk of replying humorously to spam etc. I'll
share it with you. If you do start humorous writing don't
forget to share your attempts with your Laughmates. ;-)

Comments -

====> Resource for Writers/Writing Enthusiasts

Hi, Gunjan/Laughmates

I don't remember if I told you about Absolute Write's new water
cooler? You can see it at
Humor Writing is the most popular by far of discussion boards.
Also, please drop by my Life Story Writing.

Have any of you written a humorous autobio? If it is online, I might
link to it from my life story writing ezine.

Yours in the spirit of laugher and joy,


Comments -

=====  Helpful Humorous Tip  =====

Once upon a time, (Sorry if that sounds like a corny
beginning, but that's how far back my college stories
seem to me now :) I'd gone for an inter-college literary fest
with a friend.

For some reason, we started making our way to announcers
desk. Just as we reached the desk we found that one of the
organizers in an obvious state of panic was trying to explain
something to the announcer but she was doing it at such a
furious pace that he couldn't follow her.

After her second attempt she got disgruntled with him and grabbed
the mike herself and started to dish out announcements like an
express train.

"The JAM has been postponed to 6 O'clock. The Mad Ads will
also be rescheduled to 6 O'clock." She had a whole list of
rescheduled events, but in her state of panic the way she was
rattling them, they weren't clear to anyone and it was very odd
the way she announced on the P.A system and all she managed
to do was cause confusion all around.

As soon as she finished and put the mike down, my friend winked
at me took up the mike and added. "Oh I'm sorry, but we forgot
to mention - 6 O'clock has been postponed to 7 O'clock."

This brought a smile, to most of the audience which had just started
to get restless, and when the announcer took over again in a couple
of minutes and explained the new instructions in a much more
calm and normal way, with the rhetoric apologies and drawing
on the humor my friend had infused, peace was restored and
even all the delays didn't seem as big a deal as the organizer
had made of them.

Now to the Humorous Helpful Tip. No, it's not to have a friend with
a sense of humor along with you always ! :-) Though that would be
nice, but as Laughmate Srivatsa explained in a recent Public Speaking
course that he conducted, most people think that a mike just amplifies
your speech.

However, a mike is an amplifier that amplifies all sounds. So your
mumbles, stutters, deep breaths, coughing or sighs (or cursing under
your breath;) can all be caught by the mike and become much
more obvious. As such, if you're in a state of panic, or disturbed in
any way, or rushed, out of breath or panting, the LAST thing you
should do in that state is to reach for a mike.


coz 7 days without a pun makes one weak

Comments -

===========  This week's Humor  ==========


Conversation :
"Oi! Where yew goin'? It ain't a girls' school no more."
"Isn't it? Never mind I'll join the Regiment instead"
"I suppose, you know you are three months late
"I'll make up for it sir, I'll fight nights as well!"
"Can you play 'The Maple Leaf Forever'?"
"No sir, after an hour I get tired."

Radio Conversation :
"You're very faint. Over."
"It's the food sir. Over."

Jokes :
He told me a story about Jesus College, Cambridge.
It was Christmas morning, the phone rang in the
gate porter's lodge.
"Hello" said the porter.
"Is that Jesus?" asked a donnish voice.
The voice sang "Happy Birthday to you"

And Worse :
Apples be ripe
Nuts be brown
Petticoats up
Trousers down
(Old Sussex Folk Song)

(Little bits that I've put together from Spike Milligan's
'Adolf Hitler - My Part in His Downfall' for the latest issue
of Jest for Pun. If you'd like a copy of the entire issue
drop me a note.~ Gunjan)

Comments :


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Eva Rosenberg mailto:eva@workinghumor.com

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