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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

17th July  2002    #     Issue 68
"Oh...I listen a lot and talk less.
You can't learn anything when you're talking."
 ~ Bing Crosby


Moderator's Comment -
                                ~ Gunjan

The Other Moderator's Comment
                              ~ Eva


Tragic Comics
                         ~ Joseph Harris
                         ~ Madorator's Comment

Language and Thinking
                         ~ Joseph Harris

MLM No Way!
                           ~ Tom Trottier
                           ~ daMatador's Comment

Speaking Tips
                                 ~ from Tom Antion


Is your mouth open too wide?
                                ~ Gunjan

The 'Hooghly River Bridge' Technique
                                ~ Gunjan


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Moderator's Message

Hi LaughMates,

It's been 6 years since I spent so much time locked up in a
tiny room. Before you get any wild ideas I'd better clarify...

I'm talking about (both times) a video editing room. This
week I helped my friend Akash in making a little video
presentation instead of the normal annual report speech
for his school.

We had estimated that it's going to take about 10-12
hours but it landed up taking around 30 hours. However
I'm not complaining. Learned a valuable lesson and was
reminded of a 'freaky' technique. Those are the new posts
in I-Laugh #68, but the continuing discussions are now starting
to pick up pace too. Just another few takers and we'll finally
have real 'discussions' going! ;-)

With Best Wishes,
Many a true word is spoken in jest.

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The Other Moderator's Comment

Good morning, LaughMates

Another week, lots more grit and grime. Rick is totally in his
element in 100+ degree F weather, ripping the roof off our
house. He's thought through, designed and built some unique
tools and devices to make the job go more easily. I've got
to tell you, man, is he relishing this experience. The guy is glowing!
(But then, so do turkeys, roasting at 300 degrees for three hours...)

He's set up a little area near the patio door where he can step into the
house on a carpet, to catch all the tar and dirt. So, he comes in the
other day and wants to sit down.

I grab the nearest chair, a steno chair, on wheels, that I am no longer
using. Running over to accommodate him, I put the chair down....and
the seat falls to the floor, nearly taking me with it.

Uh, that explained the weird, suffocated look on his face as he watched
me carry the 'chair' over. It seems the seat got separated from the base.

For the last few days, instead of doing the work I was supposed to do,
somehow I got started working on an e-book. It was just supposed to
be a short thing, with a few quick pointers on several real, live,
goodness businesses you can start online for FREE - without one thin dime.

Instead, it's taken up all my waking hours since Saturday; has turned into
over 50 pages of really good information, tips, and ideas, I finished it
night. Then, wanted to convert it. You don't even want to hear about the
learning curve and software I've rejected and...but I did come up with a
brilliant breakthrough at about 6:00 a.m.

I've got the document converted. All the links work. Internally, within
the book as well as links to the Web. Now, all I've got to do is get the
bookmarks to become visible in the PDF file, add some graphics, a
cover and send it to several friends to proofread and tell me how
wonderful they think it is - preferably in writing.

I really wanted to get it done by morning so I could announce it in
Friday's Ask TaxMama and start selling it by this weekend. But, then,
that thing, that perfectionist thing that kept cropping up, "Slow down
and do it right. Just wait. Another week won't kill you." (Have I got
you curious?)

Do you have that annoying creature looking over your shoulder, too?

Incidentally, which title do you prefer?

1.   TaxMama's Secrets: 10 Online Businesses Ideas to Start for Free

2.  TaxMama's Secrets: 10 Businesses to Start Online Without
     One Thin Dime

3.  TaxMama's Secrets: 10 Honest-to-Goodness, Real Businesses
      to Start for Free

Any other ideas? Whoever gives me the best name will get a free copy.

And would you be willing to pay $29.95 for a book guaranteed to
return 10 times your purchase cost? Should the cost be higher or


Got to run, I've held up Gunjan and you-all long enough waiting for me.

Take care - and stay cool!

Your Comic Guide

Eva Rosenberg
http://taxmama.com      -  and please visit TaxMama's Boutique:

P.S. A big THANKS to all of you who send us comments for this week's
issue. Keep those cards and letters coming.

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=====  Continuing Discussions  =====

=== > Tragic Comics


The concept of the tragic clown is age old - the opera song 'On
With The Motley' is almost the definition of it. Spike Milligan,
manic depressive that he was, epitomises it. John Cleese tried
to fight his was out of the conundrum by co-writing a
psychology book about his family.

Marvin the Robot in Hitchhiker's Guide is the tragedian writ large,
pulling humour to the audience, but away from himself. In the head
of the real life comic is a 'left-bank' bunch of grey cells, looking for
things to go wrong; or being certain how to put them right (often
by stringing up the chosen guilty). Those grey cells are convinced
things can only get worse, and determined not to let anyone else
know that they know.

Hence every silver lining needs to be melted down and beaten
into a reflective shield to hide the cloud.

Joseph Harris

Moderator's Comment

Uncle Joe,

I know about the tradition of the tragic clown. What I found
provocative in that statement was that it implied that -
one MUST be tragic to be a clown.
(Although, of course it was talking of gravity rather than tragedy!)

Comments or if have you a tip to share -

=== > Language and Thinking

First, of course, many a true jest is spoken in word.

But, as the long-dead Professor C E M Joad, a panellist on
BBC steam radio The Brains Trust, would have stated:
'It all depends what you mean by thinking'. We tend to
communicate thinking by language use, but both painting
and music are non-verbal yet may convey images as well
as moods and emotions.

I think the book offers a circular tautology - the verbal thought
requires language, therefore language is essential to thought.
Ergo and propter hoc, and other impressive looking Latin
phrases like that. The problem with the e-book argument is
that it makes assumptions - we do not catch nonverbal,
atomistic ideas ..... into words - which are treated as fact.
I do not know, and do not believe they are true.

How many ideas have you had that turn up and then demand
to be put into words? How many words have you had that are

Worst of all the assertion assumes that only mankind is capable
of thinking. No-one who has had a living pet would believe that
for one moment. Then again, it all depends what you mean by

Joseph Harris
Smile Poetry Weekly

Comments or if have you a tip to share -

====> MLM No Way...
 > > Tom said in issue #66 -
 > > The problem with MLM is that it's based on your taking advantage of
 > > your (soon-to-be-ex) friends to make you rich, and worse, convincing
 > > them to do the same.
 > Willem replied in issue #67
 > Quite frankly, Tom, this is nonsense. You could only come to this
 > conclusion if you have only had contact with bad MLM people.

If your friends pay more than where they usually shop, they are
being taken advantage of. If they buy something they never use,
they are being taken advantage of. If they waste time listening to
a sales promo, just because you were a friend, they are being
taken advantage of.

You don't have to use high-pressure tactics to take advantage
of friends.

Tom Trottier

Moderator's Comment -
Tom, aren't you being just a wee bit too severe? If you go on
to that line of thinking everytime you land up at a pub when you're
friend would rather have been fishing you've advantage of him.

Everytime you lean on his shoulder or share a sob story you're
taking advantage of him. If you're not going to take even that
much advantage of having friends or treat then with silken gloves,
so you never take any advantage that they're around, then you might
as well be with strangers. Right?

I think one shouldn't con one's friends or put them in delicate
situations but getting help from them is a different ball game
altogether. I don't consider that taking advantage at all.
Talking of help, I used to be quite a decent offline
salesman, but my online pitches don't seem to work as
well. Any suggestions from any of my Laughmates.

Eva, can we buy Tom's Product too or atleast his e-book?
That's just around 20$. The fun part there's no direct link.
You have to go to his speaker shop,
then go to the ebook section and then choose "Wake
'em Up Laughing" ebook.


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=== > Speaking Tips

The Laws of Humor  Part I by Scott Friedman

Law #1
You Do Not Have To Use Humor, Unless You Want To Get Paid
People will pay more to be entertained than to be educated.
Two Trends in Speaking: 1.Immediate application 2. More
Incorporate the 3 Es:
1.Educate 2. Enlighten 3. Entertain

Law #2
Know Thy Audience
The more you know about the audience, the more
opportunities you will have to play with them.

Ways to Learn About Your Audience:
A.Pre-program questionnaire:
B. The fastest way to know the inside humor of an
organization is to ask. Ask about the characters in the group.
C. Read their annual report, past newsletters, copy of the
program, web site address, Hoovers
D.Attend meetings and field trips before you speak. Find
humor hot buttons.

Law #3
The Shortest Distance Between You And The Audience Is A Good
Laugh. Eliminate all barriers between you and your audience.

Create the illusion of control. Approach the audience as
though everyone came to have a good time. The purpose is
not to control them, but to ask, "What is it we have
in common?"

Four Effective Humorous Openings:
A.Self-effacing Humor Creates a bond with the audience.
B.Physical surroundings If it is on the mind of the audience,
you must mention it.
C.Tap into "Inside Humor." Comment on what everyone is
chuckling about. All of a sudden you are one of them. You
immediately gain respect because you did your homework.
Always check with person you are going to poke fun at.
D.Current events: What is happening in that particular city,
around the nation, or worldwide?

**The purpose of your opening is to loosen up the audience
and invite them to listen.

from Tom Antion's Great Speaking Newsletter

You can subscribe FREE to Tom's newsletter 'Great Speaking'
To subscribe why not use our affiliate link (given below)


Comments or if have you a tip to share -

Cartoon Break

Push me


IRS Information


=====  New Discussions  =====

====> Is your mouth open too wide?

Hi Laughmates,

I don't how many of you have spent any time in a video or a
film editing studio. The way it is done here it alternates
between hectic activity when you are actively editing and
passive waiting, when the computer is rendering.

The owner of the studio we'd gone to is a nice friendly and
extremely helpful guy. Let's call him Mr. A. He goes out of the
way to help and  has no hesitation in working at unearthly hours.
So we got along really fine with him - initially.

It was only as the working hours started stretching that one
thing started becoming noticeable, then painfully obvious and
finally unavoidably irritating. Mr. A had a comment on anything
and everything, whether he knew anything about the subject or
not. If we were discussing whether Akash should speak for a
minute or two (not all the important events during the year were
on tape) before or after the tape, he had a comment on that. Then
we started recollecting and discussing some of the events and he
had comments on that. Remember about all the passive waits I
mentioned .... well soon Akash and me were dreading those waits
because we couldn't say a thing to each other without Mr. A
butting in. Finally, we used to excuse ourselves and quickly leave
the room for each of these waits.

I always believe in being warm and friendly and going out of your
way to help customers but Mr. A was going so far out of his way
being friendly that he kept getting in our way! Now, I wouldn't
mind recommending him if you had a short job but if you have a
project which is going to take over 3 days, go to him at your own

Kinda sad isn't it, losing customers by trying to be over friendly.

The bugged guy!


====> The 'Hooghly River Bridge' Technique

Hi Laughmates,

Our friend Mr. A put most segments of the video together,
except 2 major sections which were left as holes to be filled
in later and started working on polishing the segments he had
already put together. All requests to fill in the holes fell on deaf
ears. (Actually, it wasn't on deaf ears, he always replied, but with
an excuse, or with some quaint little special effect to divert Akash).

For some time I was wondering what he was up to then realized
that he was working the Hooghly River Bridge Technique on us.
You've never heard of that technique have you? Well, I'll tell you
in a minute.

Heard of the Howrah Bridge? There's a better chance that you
might have. It was supposed to have been the longest suspension
bridge at one time and was a landmark of Calcutta. Also, other
than taking a ferry it was the only way across the Hooghly River
(That's what that section of the Ganges is called for reason's that
beat me!) Calcutta with it's bursting population is on one bank of
the river but it's railway station and industrial areas are on the other
bank. So the Howrah bridge was among the most congested spots
on earth with traffic jams that could make you take 3-4 hours just to
cross that bridge.

To ease the congestion The Calcutta Government got a committee
to plan a second bridge. They did so and did quite a good job
planning not just a bridge but a series of flyovers at either end
of the bridge so that the second bridge didn't have the same
problems as the Howrah bridge.They then gave the government
a budget for it. The Government approved and sanctioned a much
smaller amount. For the sake of argument let's say half the amount.
The committee could see with this amount there was no way they
could make both the flyovers and the bridge, they also knew that
once they made the bridge getting additional funds would be next
to impossible. So they went ahead and spent all the money on
building all the necessary flyovers at both ends and ran out of
money for the bridge itself.

It used to be such a hilarious sight. These huge flyovers all leading
into one other, an extremely complex web of roads which finally
ended up looking like a 10 metre diving board above the river.
(If I could afford to ruin a few cars I would have to loved to make
them dive for me off that platform!;-) And of course every time
anybody saw it  was a hilarious reminder of the way the committee
had taken the Calcutta Government for a ride. In a year or two,
they had to scrape up the funds, so that the bridge could be
completed and people would stop laughing at them.

Although in the case of Mr. A it wasn't the question of budgets
we would have certainly given him much lesser time for his
touch ups if the whole video had been complete.

If you plan on ever using this technique please use it with care.
It can be very irritating for the one on the receiving end unless
when he views the final product he realizes how much better it
is because of the extras put in. In this case Mr. A pushed it to
such an extent that if project completion would have been
delayed by another hour the entire project would have become

(Note - I was quite small when this had happened so I have no
idea which authorities were involved. Whether it was the Calcutta
Municipal Corporation or The West Bengal Government. In fact
the whole thing may be just folklore as I have no data to support
the story. However I still remember the 'diving boards' vividly.)



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

Sneak  A Peek !!

A man applied for a job as an industrial spy. Together with several
other applicants, he was given a sealed envelope and told to take it
to the fourth floor.

As soon as the man was alone, he stepped into an empty hallway
and opened the envelope. Inside, a message read:
"You're our kind of person. Report to the fifth floor Personnel Office."

(From Jo-Lene's Daily Humor)

Comments :


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