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I-Laugh - Your 'Working' Humor Discussion List
Guest Moderator : Joseph Harris www.SmilePoetryWeekly.com

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

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

24th April  2002    #     Issue 56
A pessimist is one who builds dungeons in the air.
~ Walter Winchell


Idling Moderator's Comment -
                           ~ Gunjan

Moderator's Comments
                          ~ Joseph Harris



Decisions, decisions
                                ~ Joseph Harris

Travelling with Laughter
                                ~ Joseph Harris

Speaker Tips
                               ~ from Tom Antion


                                ~ Gunjan

A man with Focus
                                ~ Joseph Harris


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Idling Moderator's Message

Hi Laughmates,

Uncle Joe decided that he is indeed having enough fun at
moderating I-Laugh to be with us for a 3rd and final week.
As he describes it, writing for and moderating I-Laugh has
made him remember things that had been put in deep storage
(the back-up CDs of the mind?).

That was really good to hear, cause that was one of the
objectives of I-Laugh, to remember (and relive) the good
times that we've had at work, to re-open the not so good
times and have a laugh about them so that they can be
restored in our minds more positively and to learn from them.
I therefore hope that this will encourage more of you to post
often as well as to take over the mantle of guest moderator
once in a way....

While Uncle Joe has been doing a great job here, I've had just
a wee bit of free time which I used up in 2 ways ....

1) Reading about free time (refer my post on this subject)
2) Buying and going through John Cantu's ebook
'Getting Paid to make People Laugh'.

(No, it's not about starting an ezine ;-), it's all about
offline stuff )

I don't know anybody here who is doing this kind of stuff, so it
might be a big hit here or a big flop. I don't know, but the
Optimist in me says it could definitely work so I've already
taken the first step that Cantu stresses and joined the local
Toastmaster's club. I'll keep telling you about the happenings

In the meanwhile if any of you do pick up this ebook please
do write and let us know what you think of it, how practical
it would be in your region of the world, etc.

Hoping to hear from you ....

Best Wishes,
www.workinghumor.com  - Let your Humor Work for you !


P.P.S - Please invite your friends to subscribe by sending an email to:

Please, send any comments to:

===> Moderator's Comments


Well, I have raised a few topics in this and the previous two weeks,
and I am sure you have noticed that I have a fairly serious outlook
on work. Well, I think we all do really. (Although I remember the
chap I had to do my technical drawings on one magazine - neither
I, nor my publisher, could get him to work, at all. But a rare
exception, I hope)

But how could we get through our day if we did not laugh? We
couldn't. Some of us guffaw immoderately, some of us present a
laugh as the merest of lip twitches, and most of us are strung out
between these two extremes.

We strain to get it right, we drain if there is emotional demand, we
refrain if there is a lot of repetition, we debrain if our minds have
to chug away too much, we train to take on more responsibility
and we gain if at the end of each day we have learned a little more
about ourselves and  about those around us.

You might say we gain by the strain on de brain when we train to
refrain from the drain. Then again, in the main, you might think it's
a pain and the bane of the sane;  that this nonsense shows I'm vain
and deserve the cane to be sure such humour will wane, and that,
when I've lain  in the rain a grain of common sense will rearrange
my sense of humour. Fain, sir, it's plain I shall reign as the Thane
of corn - or I'll use a crane to lift the skein of wool to knit
purl/plain with no stain.

And if my name was Dwayne....

In other words don't be afraid to be ridiculous, and don't be
surprised if the above pops into your mind to make you smile
when you least expect it. (And who spotted Thane of corn -
or == Thane of Cawdor). If I can make *you* smile to help
your day, who can *you* make smile to help their day?

Thank you all for letting me bring my thoughts to you;  unchain
your laughter.

Joseph Harris

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=====  Continuing Discussions  =====

====> Decisions, Decisions

Hi Friends,

Mentioning in a recent conversation that I had made the point in
I-Laugh about decisions I was told that decision making was
simple.  "Take the money and run," said my friend. "All decisions
are as simple as that."

"But that is only true if you don't care about anyone else," I told him.
"And if you never accept responsibility for making your part of the
world work." And I told him this story.

Imagine you are sitting across the desk from a senior manager.
You are defending a fellow worker on a charge of drinking in a
public house while in charge of a company machine and during
work hours.

The witnesses against are two middle managers, one new but
appearing to be upright and the other you wouldn't trust to count
up to one. Unfortunately, you are also pretty sure that your
colleague is guilty and only telling a small part of the truth when
he says he had to use the toilet in the public house.

You, of course, are looking to find the weakness in the manager's evidence;
the senior manager is effectively judge, for his decision
could be appealed up to the Privy Council (nowadays also to the
European Courts from the UK); so he must conduct proceedings
with probity.

You have to maintain your standing in the eyes of your colleague
and of those he will tell about the disciplinary proceedings, and
you must maintain the respect of the managers because of future
dealings with them.

How do you proceed.

"I wouldn't be there," he said. "And I think you were daft to take
on such a position. But what did happen. It is a true story?"

Yes. It is a true story. I can only remember now that I had thought
up a clincher of an excuse to get the defendant off, and the case
against him was dismissed.

But as the senior manager said none of my remarks had influenced
him. In the course of the case he had asked both the accusers if they
had felt the heat of the engine. Without some assurance that the
engine was cold or at least cool there was no evidence that the
accused had been in the pub for more than the couple of minutes
he claimed.

As I realised from other matters this senior manager both found it important
to show himself cleverer than me and wanted to appear
to be completely fair because of  the many negotiations that we
were both engaged in at that time.

Now this story is replete with decisions, but just as you will have
benefited from the efforts of those willing to argue the case for
good treatment in the workplace, my question is would you take
your place in standing up for your fellow workers, or do you agree
with my friend: "take the money and run"?

Joseph Harris
Funny poet at http://www.smilepoetryweekly.com
Smile Poetry Weekly - subscribe - join2@smilepoetryweekly.com

Comments :


===> Travelling with Laughter

Hi Friends,

According to our understanding of aerodynamics and the laws of
physics the bee cannot fly!   As the old joke has it, it's lucky the bee
doesn't know that. In fact you can imagine the laughter at the hive
over a nectar highball after a good day of honeycombing.

"How was the flying today?"

"Oh, on a wing and a prayer."

"Lucky we don't pray to the scientists, then."

And the announcement over the inter-comb:  "The buzz-word for tomorrow is
honey. I repeat. Tomorrow's buzz-word is honey."

Bees are great travellers;  at least the hunter gatherers are. And
they are highly organised. Nesting bees have ways of
communicating the direction (and probably distance) of a
discovered source of nectar. But they must also be able to tell
the difference between a single flower or plant and a group of them,
to be able to give those directions. There are also bees that live and
work alone.

We assume that the bee has no sense of humour and therefore
wouldn't appreciate I-Laugh. But how would we recognise a bee's
sense of humour? The more that scientists find out about insects and
animals, the more difficult it becomes to see them as lower forms of
life. For all we know the nest bee finds it great fun to send off his
fellows in the wrong direction; or to play peek-a-boo with the larvae.

Or perhaps any sense of humour would have to be relative to the way
of life. I imagine a Queen doing nothing but lay eggs all day would welcome
the antics of a court jester. Or perhaps she lays the eggs in different
shapes, sizes and colours.

Many people travel a lot for their jobs, and the travel itself can be
quite boring. So we have in-car radios, books to read on the trains
and buses and various forms of portable radios and tape or disc
players. The job of the taxi or lorry driver is almost nothing but

You will have noticed, in yourself and others, that if something has
made you smile while you are driving you are more courteous to
pedestrians and other road users. The bus driver with a smile on
his face drives less jerkily, and the laughing taxi driver shows more
interest in getting you to exactly where you want to go.

One of the things which puts a smile on many drivers faces is those
fun stickers on the backs of cars like "Surfers do it standing up"
and "Please don't hoot, the driver needs his sleep".

So why not share your favourite car stickers with other readers
of I-Laugh. You never know, you might tickle the funny-bone of
a passing bee.

Joseph Harris
Funny poet at http://www.smilepoetryweekly.com
Smile Poetry Weekly - subscribe - join2@smilepoetryweekly.com

Comments -

===> Speaker Tips


If you make the audience the stars, they will make you the
star by giving you higher evaluations and buying more of your
ideas, products and services. Here are a few ways to do it:

=> Get them on stage with you. I find an excuse in virtually
every presentation to have one or many people up there
with me.

=> Mention their individual names, or subgroups during the
program. Praise their accomplishments and mention the good
ideas you got from them in your pre program research.

=> Put quotations of the audience members in the handouts. . .
again you could have easily gleaned quotes during your pre
program research.

=> Put quotations and ideas of the audience members in custom
visuals (overheads, slides and computer generated images). I do
custom quote overheads with my company name on them at the
bottom. After using it in the presentation, I give it to the person who
gave me the information. I've seen these pinned up on the recipients
bulletin board long after my presentation.

=> Give out awards. Find out who the unsung heros are and make
up an award to present during your presentation.

=> Give out prizes for people who participate in a positive way.

Raise the bar and make them the stars.

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

Belong to God

The Truth in Advertising

High Jump


=====  New Discussions  =====

====> Idling

Hi Friends,

Here are a few interesting thoughts on being idle....

There are plenty of lazy people and plenty of slow-coaches, but
a genuine idler is a rarity. He is not a man who slouches about
with his hands in his pockets. On the contrary, his most startling
characteristic is that he is always intensely busy.

It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of
work to do. There is no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing
to do. Wasting time is merely an occupation then, and a most
exhausting one. Idleness, like kisses, to be sweet must be stolen.

Extract from Jerome K Jerome's
'Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow'

Like most of my generation, I was brought up on the saying: 'Satan
finds some mischief for idle hands to do.' Being a highly virtuous child,
I believed all that I was told, and acquired a conscience which has kept
me working hard down to the present moment. But although my conscience has
controlled my actions, my opinions have undergone
a revolution. I think that there is far too much work done in the world,
that immense harm is caused by the belief that work is virtuous, and
that what needs to be preached in modern industrial countries is quite
different from what always has been preached.

Extract from Bertrand Russell's
In Praise of Idleness

So friends, what do you think now - Have you been working
too hard? More importantly have you been idling hard enough? :-)

WZ-ard of Virtual Travel

Comments :

====> A man with Focus

My trainee reporter (he was a mature man who was already into
his thirties) had a fixation to interview one of the moneymakers of
the day. Though I resisted for a while - for, I thought, he was not
ready for such an assignment, and the man was to my mind already
old news - I finally gave in. After all I could always bin the story.

I can remember now my absolute disgust that he returned with a
decent story and the approval of my editor. But he it was who, and
he must have been one of the first, had a personal advisor or trainer.

Over lunch one day - we must have gone to some vegetarian bar - he
was telling me about his trainer's advice and suggested that I give up
smoking! I ask you? Cigarettes were about all that was stopping me chewing
the carpet.

"And give up tea," he said with earnestness and, clearly, a friendly
interest in my health. "I drink only fruit juices, now," he added. "And
I feel a lot better for it."

Eventually, admittedly, I did give up smoking (as the chewed edges
of our carpets testify), but abandoning tea is no joke. Especially as I
have little liking for fruit juices (especially not orange juice), and water
is only something to put in the kettle.

A schoolfriend - actually the father of a schoolfriend - had a similar
attitude to tea and upon my arriving at the threshold of his house the
sound of tea being put in the teapot greeted my ears. For a couple of
years I was influenced by his view of a teaspoon for each person and several
more for the pot.

Then, I was myself a junior journalist at that time, I was sent to a
new tea blend launch. One of the delights on offer at the Press Conference
was tea tasting. That is similar to wine tasting. You
noisily slurp a little tea from a spoon, swill it around and then spit
it out with various knowing comments like: "Ah, yes. A dark little
fruity number that clings."

>From this time I began to realise that tea was not only for dissolving
spoons with its strength, but it also had flavour. Many different
flavours, and some of them very nice indeed.

And now I am happy to bore anybody with a discussion of the teas
of the world - and how to make them - and I'm waiting for the cub
reporter who will nag his news editor to interview me. Coffee, too,
if wanted ("you can't get the arabica beans, you know!").

Often (but not too often), when I have a cup of tea, I am reminded
of that reporter and his focus. It was almost his *raison d'être* for
becoming a reporter, to interview his hero, and shortly after achieving
it he left for a post in television.

I often wonder whether focus like that would have served me well, or whether
I might not have noticed so many of the gentle things that
make life so worth living.

Joseph Harris
Funny poet at http://www.smilepoetryweekly.com
Smile Poetry Weekly - subscribe - join2@smilepoetryweekly.com

Comments :

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

Lawyer in Texas

A big city California lawyer went duck hunting in rural Texas.
He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a farmer's field on
the other side of a fence. As the lawyer climbed over the fence,
an elderly farmer drove up on his tractor and asked him what
he was doing. The litigator responded, "I shot a duck and it fell
in this field, and now I'm going into retrieve it."

The old farmer replied. "This is my property, and you are not
coming over here."

The indignant lawyer said, "I am one of the best trial attorneys
in the U.S. and, if you don't let me get that duck, I'll sue you and
take everything you own."

The old farmer smiled and said, "Apparently, you don't know how
we do things in Texas. We settle small disagreements like this
with the Texas Three Kick Rule."

The lawyer asked, "What is the Texas Three Kick Rule?"

The Farmer replied. "Well, first I kick you three times and then
you kick me three times, and so on, back and forth, until someone
gives up."

The attorney quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided
that he could easily take the old codger. He agreed to abide by the
local custom. The old farmer slowly climbed down from the tractor
and walked up to the city feller.

His first kick planted the toe of his heavy work boot into the lawyer's
groin and dropped him to his knees. His second kick nearly ripped the man's
nose off his face. The barrister was flat on his belly when the farmer's
third kick to a kidney nearly caused him to give up. The
lawyer summoned every bit of his will and managed to get to his
feet and said, "Okay, you old coot now it's my turn."

The old farmer smiled and said,
"Naw, I give up. You can have the duck"

(From Jo-Lene's Daily Humor)

Comments :


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