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

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

24th July  2002    #     Issue 69
Nothing is easier than self-deceit.
For what each man wishes,
that he also believes to be true.
~ Demosthenes
c.383-322 BC, Greek Orator


Moderator's Comment -
                                 ~ Gunjan

The Other Moderator's Comment
                               ~ Eva


Tragic Comics
                          ~ Joseph Harris

Ebook Title
                         ~ Gunjan

The Hole Technique
                                 ~ Joseph Harris

Is your mouth open too wide?
                                 ~ Gunjan

Speaking Tips
                                  ~ from Tom Antion


Do you Read Marketing Books for Selling Ideas?
                                  ~ Gunjan


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Moderator's Message

Hi LaughMates,

Another week goes by. This one has some really
fun happenings (although one of the happenings was
extremely embarrassing).

The highlight of the week was at the Toastmaster's
Club Meet which had the installation of a new
team. We had Mr. Chendil Kumar, who is on the
faculty of the Indian Institute of Management, as a
guest speaker and what a speaker he turned out
to be. He started by thanking the person who had
introduced him (with high praise) for all his words
of praise. He then added softly, almost modestly,
- "But I do feel, I deserve it!".

He also mentioned the opening of David Ogilvy's
book 'Ogilvy on Advertising' ....

"I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art
form, but as a medium of information. When I write an
advertisement, I don't want you to tell me that you find it
'creative.' I want you to find it so interesting that you buy
the product. When Aeschines spoke, they said, 'How well
he speaks.' But when Demosthenes spoke, they said,
'Let us march against Philip.'

He had a story about a black belt presentation ceremony
which is a great story for any graduations (The speechcrafters
were graduating as this meeting) and his whole speech was
really good.

Later after the ceremonies were over and the
Toastmasters were using their skills for most practical
purposes (Cheers! ;-) I got a chance to meet him. After
I had finished gushing and slobbering over how great his
speech was we got down to some conversation and he
asked me what I do. I told him about workinghumor.com
and jestforpun.com and then started telling him about the
newsletters starting this time with Jest for Pun. He started
telling me about how he was subscribed to a few and then
went on to mention his favorite.

Sure all you who-dun-it readers may have guessed, but
having raised three Toasts already that evening, I wasn't
at my sharpest and nearly fell off my chair .... (or were
we standing at the time ???? :-) as he named I-Laugh !!

It's really wonderful to know that I-Laugh is now getting
truly global. We even have subscribers from Bangalore !
WOW !!

Also, Mr. Chendil Kumar, or CK as he prefers to be
called, has agreed to start participating in earnest and so
we can look forward to stealing some of the wealth of
humor tucked away in the IIMs.

As a starter CK sends this one ....

As I went to the income tax office I saw a sign which
read "Watch your steps". On my way out there was
a sign which read "Watch your language".

In that jestful mode, we move along with I-Laugh #69

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

Subscribe to
Jest for Pun - pun-subscribe@topica.com
Jest a Quote - quote-subscribe@topica.com
Jest in Literature (A) - lit-subscribe@topica.com


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

Please, send any comments to:

The Other Moderator's Comment

Dear LaughMates,

Well, I like the exit line above. It's perfect for TaxMama.com

And speaking of taxes, it always amazes me that people will
send a stranger (me, as TaxMama) so much intimate detail
about their lives. They know it's going to get published....
(I really do have to omit details, or disguise names, especially
when the queries come from relatively small towns.)

But a couple of weeks ago, I got a very long letter from a
reader who was having an intense, frustrating problem.
Seems, he'd stumped the system because he had done
everything correctly. And despite months going by, he was
getting nowhere within the system or with the Taxpayers
Advocate's office.

(For those of you who aren't familiar with this, this is really a
rather unique concept. They are not part of our tax collection/IRS
system. They operate side-by-side and report directly to Congress.
They were created just to help taxpayers who were getting
nowhere with IRS.  Kind of a watchdog system.)

Anyway, thinking I might be able to help, where no IRS
agent or Advocate seemed to, I sent his letter, without the
identifiers, to the home e-mail of an Advocate who
reads Ask TaxMama.

He didn't respond...I shrugged, and I moved on with life.

A couple of weeks later, this guy told me there was still no
progress, so I got bold and did two things. First, I posted
his problem publicly (stripping the ID). Then, I also posted
my very wicked answer - where I gave him, and the public, the
phone  numbers of the two IRS commissioners in charge of
the whole division that deals with individuals and small businesses.

(I did mention that I had tried to reach my advocate buddy to
see if he would help, but got no response, so he probably
wasn't free to voluntarily take on these cases.)

As soon as Ask TaxMama came out, I get a note from my
Advocate buddy. He says, "Hey, why didn't you ask ME?"

Uh, I did, but you ignored me...?

(That was the punch line....you can laugh, now.)

Turns out, his kids must have deleted the e-mail.

He enthusiastically jumped onto this project. Connected with
the guy. Found the bottleneck, and has re-started his refund
process. The taxpayer will have his money in a couple of weeks.

6:29 a.m. PDT, My husband just called to warn me. On his way out
the door at 4:30 a.m., he managed to duck aside, just in time to
avoid being ensnared in the biggest spider web he's seen in a long
time. Rick thinks that I won't see it in the daylight. Oh yeah?!?

And a tip for couples who disagree about camping
(you know, he loves it; she hates it, or vice-versa).
Here's an easy compromise:

Stay home.
Have him remove the roof from your house.

And the whole natural world will enter, en mass.

He'll have his camping experience. Bugs and all.
You'll have all the comforts of home.

Oh yes, nature is not silent. Between the squirrels
the birds, and the bugs, there's a constant fugue,
endlessly repeating variations on the same theme.

The world is pretty. Maybe we'll leave the roof off.

Your Comic Guide

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

P.S. Thanks for all your comments about my upcoming e-book,
TaxMama's Secrets - etc. I really appreciate your help. Changes
and improvements are being made.

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=====  Continuing Discussions  =====

=== > Tragic Comics


Well, of course, you need to be very careful and sparing with
a diet of gravity; otherwise everything ends up at the bottom.

I think I was assuming that often gravity is the cover for the
effects of tragedy. While tragedy may be viewed objectively
it is, I think, its subjective effects that often generate a defence
mechanism of humour. But I would concede that comedy is not
only from tragedy.

Then again, does the clown have gravity? Pathos ( and possibly
bathos) are the clown's stock-in-trade. The underlying concept
is of the mask;  the painted smile on the downturned mouth.
Of course humour, comedy, comedian, clown are not exact
synonyms, so some definition of terms might help the

And one man's laugh may well be another's banana skin.

Joseph Harris

Moderator's Comment : What a great idea! I'll start looking up
some definitions for the next issue. If any laughmates have a
favorite definition for any of the above words, please do send
them in.
~ Gunjan

Comments or if have you a tip to share -

=== > Ebook Title

Hi Eva,

I think a title like ....

Ten Online Businesses Ideas that should have you rolling in Money
( & NEEDING TaxMama's Help!!)

..... should be Catchy !

It could also be a good explanation for why you're pricing your
ebook at whatever rate you finally decide to price it. (Ebook
sellers always seem to claim that each of their ebooks is worth at least
ten times what they've priced it at and are then at pains to explain why
they are selling it so much below what it's worth. TaxMama's explanation
could be simple. She plans on collecting the balance in Tax Management
Services after you've made your fortune. :-)


[Eva: Hey, you're giving away my secrets, here!
Incidentally, a couple of people came up with a price concept
I am going to explore. I think you'll like it.]

Comments or if have you a tip to share -

Turning Dreams into Dollars...

An ebook in which you won't find the get-rich-quick
garbage or motivational fluff that sounds good but never
works. Not too surprising, since the editors of
Internet ScamBusters are publishing it."


=== > Hole Technique


Ah, yes. Unfortunately our government *did* use up a billion
pounds sterling, it should not have been able to dip its sticky
fingers into, for the Millenium Dome. That was some technique;
and they are still pouring cash down that hole!

Joseph Harris

Comments or if have you a tip to share -

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

Hi LaughMates,

Have you noticed that you tend to notice things more
if related thoughts are on your mind?

Here I was watching an episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire,
and I notice a perfect follow-up to last week's article with the
same title. If last week's article was about somebody who lost
business this one is about doing great business.

Uncle Phil walks into a car showroom followed by Carlton
(his son) and Will Smith and they are trying to choose a car.
Carton and Uncle Phil are looking for something sturdy
and reasonable whereas Will is absolutely in love with a
sporting convertible. (I won't even try to get into brands or
models as I have a difficulty in differentiating an Austin Healy
from a Nissan Z-Car ). The salesman (who incidentally is the owner
of the showroom) comes up to the three of them, realises what's
happening and slowly fades into the background.

After Carlton finishes his thrifty speech and Uncle Phil
mentions what he used to drive while he was in college,
Will takes over. He forces Uncle Phil to sit in the sports
car for a minute, makes him close his eyes and then goes
on with ..... "Imagine you're still in college and you have
this sports car." I bet you can visualize the rest of the spiel
and the result. Yup, they walk out of the place after
purchasing the sports car.

The people I was watching with went gaga over Will
Smith's sales pitch. Me, on the other hand, was applauding
the showroom's salesman.

What did that guy do? He just moved out of the way !!

Exactly! But that is so important! How many times are
we irritated by insensitive salesman. How many times
when you're trying to choose between two items have
you been told that you could buy both. Don't you feel
like giving the chappie a kick in the bu^^?

And the worst are the morons who'll give you a brochure
or a handout to read and then started talking as you're
trying to read. Multimedia I know is effective, (I've delved
in it for 3 years) but that's when audio signals match
visual signals!

With a silent toast to all Salesmen who knew exactly how wide
their mouths should be open,

www.workinghumor.com - Let your Humor WORK for you !

[Eva: Sometimes, staying out the way isn't the best idea.
I have been trying to buy someone's downloadable software
since Monday morning. His shopping cart didn't work and I wrote
to him asking him to "help me buy your product." So far, I have
written to him three times. So far, he's following Gunjan's advice
and staying far away. Pity. Because I wanted to try it, use it and
review it in the book.

Now, that's really bad salesmanship.]

{Gunjan : There's a difference between a guy who conscientiously
keeps a distance and a chap who isn't there! If your software guy
was had been around, seen that you were a net junkie who would
rather try to find your own way than be told a solution and
therefore not answered you then he'd have been the kind of
salesman I'm talking about !!}


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=== > Speaking Tips


Do you remember the soft-spoken, cigar smoking detective on the
hit TV series "Columbo?" Most people do because the show is still
in reruns all over the world and once in a while a new episode
comes out. One of Detective Columbo's trademarks is that he would
start to leave and when he was almost out the door he would stop
and say, "Oh. Just one more thing." The same technique can be used
by speakers (without the cigar).

Here's how the Columbo technique works: Save one of your really
critical points . . . maybe your most important point . . . then
completely leave your subject . . . then use the "Oh. Just one
more thing" technique and deliver your big point.

Until you've tried this out several times, don't try to use this
technique at the end of your speech because people will start
shuffling their materials in anticipation of the talk being over.
This would cause too much distraction for the technique to have
it's full effect.

Begin by using the technique just before a major transition in
your talk. That way you will eliminate the shuffling of papers
problem noted above. When you get comfortable with this, try the
technique before a break.  Play with your wording so that you
control the audience. Don't say "Well before we take a break . . .
" This will start them shuffling. Say something like, "That's all
on that topic . . . Oh. and one more thing" . . . then give your
main point.  As you get really good at controlling the crowd you
can try this as your closing. Coming back with the main point will
be powerful and memorable.

Oh. Just one more thing . . . .only use this technique ONCE  per
presentation. :)

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

Heart Treatments

Smart Pets

At the hospital...


=====  New Discussions  =====

====> Do you Read Marketing Books for Selling Ideas?

Hi LaughMates,

Marketing Books can be a good source for Selling Ideas
(No I'm not trying to sell you one!) but I get ideas from
all kinds of weird sources. Like "Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire"
as I mentioned in the post above. What I didn't mention
in that post was that the owner of the showroom in addition
to being a good salesman is also an amazing HR guy. Just
as Uncle Phil walks out of the showroom, he grabs Will
over for a second and hands him a huge check saying
that's your commission for that sale. As Will's eyes are
popping out their sockets, he pulls back the check and
adds - "Oops, I forgot you don't work for me!". "That's
what your check would have been" he says very
deliberately tearing the check.

Here's a couple of Will Smith Car Selling Techniques !!

Clients 1 - Big, Tough, Mafia kind of guys.
Don't bother with other features of the car. Take them
straight to the boot. Climb in. Close the lid!

Client 2 - Jock with a cheerleader in tow.
Lead them straight to back seat.

Sorry, I missed Client 3 and 4. I was re-missing...
I mean reminiscing!

If you get inspirations from all kinds of sources, be sure to share
them with your LAUGHMATES!

The inspired guy!

[Eva: I can't resist - OK -

BACKYARD MECHANIC - forget the car. Invite him to hang
out in the service bays.

NARCISSISTIC BEAUTY - slide her into the driver's seat and
just pull down the lighted make-up mirror.

COMPULSIVE SHOPPER - drive her straight to Gucci's and
fill up the car with boxes and bags. ]


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


* Always put staples in the right hand corner. Go ahead and put a
down the whole right side. The extractors who remove the mail from
the envelopes have to take out any staples in the right side.

* Line the bottom of your envelope with glue and let it dry before
you put in your forms, so that the automated opener doesn't open it
and the extractor has to open it by hand.

* Pay with a three-party check, pay one of the dollars you owe in
cash. When an extractor receives cash, no matter how small an amount,
he has to take it to a special desk and fill out of few nasty forms.

* Write a little letter of appreciation. Any letter received has
to read and stamped regardless of what it is or what it's on.

* Write your letter on something misshapen and unconventional.
Like on the back of a sack.

* Always put extra paper clips on your forms. Any foreign
fasteners or the like have to be removed and put away.

* Sign your name in ink on every page. Any signature has to
verified and then date stamped.

* When you mail it, mail it in a big envelope (even if its just a
single EZ form). Big envelopes have to be torn and sorted
differently  than regular business size ones.

NOTE: These are just a few of the fun and exciting things you can
do with the man. These methods are only recommended when you
owe money.

(Gunjan's Note: I sent this to Eva to double check what the
Taxmama thought of these ideas. Her comments .....

"This stuff is cute but silly. And it doesn't really help much.
The only really helpful thing to do isn't mentioned.

That is - run a magnet over the bottom of your check.
Then, when it gets to the bank, their machines can't
magnetically read your check and they have to process
it manually. It gives you an extra day or two of float."

(Of course, this is not a official suggestion from Taxmama but
just a personal comment that I'm sharing.)

Comments :


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