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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

4th September  2002    #     Issue 75
I am not the editor of a newspaper and shall always try to do right
and be good so that God will not make me one.
~ Mark Twain


Moderator's Comment -
                                       ~ Gunjan

The Other Moderator's Comment
                                     ~ Eva


                                       ~ Tom

Speaking Tip
                                        ~ from Tom Antion


Helpful Humor Tip
                                           ~ from I-Sales

Benefits of Humor
                                           ~ Gunjan


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Moderator's Message

Hi LaughMates,

A long time ago I read a story in the Reader's Digest.
I think it was supposed to be a true story but I don't
remember for sure. Also I don't remember where it
happened or any names etc, but the gist of it was
that some top doctors in a particular city formed a
group which was like post mortem group. They used
to get together once a month (or maybe 3 months) and
discuss about their patients that they had buried (or burnt)
since the last meeting and analyze as a group whether
they had done all they could or had they made any mistakes.

A young doctor started developing a reputation as a genius
in that city and was therefore allowed to become a member
of this august fraternity, though before this guy, you had always
needed a silver hair count before you could be a part of the group.

In the very first meeting this guy brings up a case. About how
somebody had certain ailments and how he had diagnosed it
as xxxxxxxx but the patient had reacted most negatively to his
medication and .......

An old Doctor had been nodding right through the narrative
and even before the young man could complete, burst in saying
it was a classic case. It had happened to him too about 2 decades
back and the mistake the young doctor was making was .........

Barely, had the words escaped him than the young doctor in an
obvious hurry, grabbed his hat, excused himself and rushed out.
It was obvious that the young Doc had broken the rules of the
Fraternity, but in the bargain was saving a life.

Do you think he should be thrown out of the Fraternity? or should
the Fraternity amend it's rules slightly? I think the answer is obvious,
right ?

Similarly at I-Laugh, instead of just sharing events that have happened,
I hope we can start helping each other do better for upcoming events.

A friend just made a little mailer for a pub called 'Dublin'. He
showed it to me and although he had thrown in lots of Irish Slang,
I don't think it read throughout like a mail written by an Irishman.
I told him next time if he gives it to me early I'll get somebody who
knows the lingo to help him out.

I have a presentation to make to a bunch of interact club members
about the benefits of humor. I hope to share my idea (in this issue
if time permits or in the next) and get your suggestions BEFORE
making the presentation.

What I'm suggesting is that if we need to make a presentation,
a speech, to check if a line is grammatically correct, some translation
(a couple of lines only), need to find an apt quote or two, or are in any
way stuck for ideas, we use our fast growing (now over 1750 members)
resource - I-Laugh, to get some help.
(Uncle Joe if you're ever stuck for ideas for dotty ditties,
would you enlist our help?;-)

So what does everyone think of this idea?

Without further ado, here's I-Laugh #75...

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

Subscribe to
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Jest in Literature (A) - lit-subscribe@topica.com


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The Other Moderator's Comment

Dear LaughMates,

Future humor, an interesting idea for Gunjan to propose.
You already know, that on the HelpDesk, we review websites -
in depth.

Why not offer you a similar service in I-Laugh?

If you can prepare far enough in advance, I'd like to suggest that
you send us your sales pitch or speech (please, if it's too long for
the issue, put it up a URL on your site for a week or so). We
read your material and critique it for various qualities:

excessive smarminess,
too puny,
too heavy,
not enough light, natural humor,
put-to-sleep technical (even to people in your own field),
(and, inevitably, for grammar)

We can offer ideas to improve it, polish it, or enhance it.

Naturally, you'll want to send it to us at least 2-3 weeks
before your presentation. But many of you already have
presentations you've been doing - and have been wondering
how to improve them, or why you're speech is falling flat.
Perhaps we can help.

If it's a speech, send it here:

If it's a sales pitch, send it here:

And speaking of funny, Ian Purdie, our good buddy in Australia
from http://electronics-tutorials.com/ and valiant crusader in the
fight to make Amazon.com treat their affiliates with respect, sent
me a link to the most remarkable Harry Potter product.

Have you heard about the Harry Potter, Nimbus 2000 broomstick?
Do you think the manufacturers really understood what their product does?
And how adults can enjoy it even more than children? (After all, adults have
enjoyed the book as much as children have) Do you think it was deliberate?
A subtle joke on their part? Or a gift to .... well, I won't tell you.
You'll have to read it.

Scroll down to Spotlight Reviews: (copy - paste link if necessary)

Did you read the reviews? Are you seeing the same mental pictures I am?

What other products have you come across that have ended up with
an unintended purpose? (Besides the In and Out Burgers bumper stickers -
oh, if you're not from around here, you don't know how people have
edited them, do you?)

OK. Here's what the bumper stickers look like when originally printed:


Here's how they are modified by people before being placed on their cars:


Here's the story

I'm trying to find a picture - I can't. Even the inandout.com site store
doesn't have a bumper sticker for sale. Pity.


Oh well, time to go have fun with IRS.

Your Comic Guide

Eva Rosenberg
http://taxmama.com   - 4 Secrets to Happy Tax Returns

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=====  Continuing Discussions  =====

=== > Voice

Hi! You've probably already gotten numerous responses, but the
best-quality speech recognition software generally available to
consumers is Dragon Naturally Speaking. They have numerous versions
from basic and relatively primitive to quite advanced. It not only lets you
speak your correspondence, but I believe they have versions that let you
control your computer as well.

I'm not sure of the manufacturer's website offhand, but a search should
turn it up quickly.

Hope this helps!

   -- Tom

[Moderator's Comment - I'm really happy that the thought that
I must have got numerous responses didn't deter you from writing.
'Cause as it happens, yours was the only response I got. A search
in google indeed turned up tons of sites having the Dragon. The
professional version is listed as 515$; the preferred version 169$;
(which seems all topsy-turvy to me :-), but I'm getting the previous
version at ebay for about 15-20$. Thanks again, Tom]

Comments -

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=== > Speaking Tip

SHOCK 'EM by Tom Antion

When I was planning for my last all day presentation I was
considering the post lunch sleepiness that most audiences
experience. I wanted to do something totally different that I
knew would shock them out of their afternoon low. So I bought
a muskrat trap.

I was talking about the "traps" AKA deep trouble you could get
into by spam email marketing. I set the trap with great care.
Then I put a pencil into the trap to set it off. The pencil
snapped showing the trap to be real . . . This got their
attention. I then reset the trap and talked about how learning
what I was going to teach them in the next section would keep
them from getting hurt in the email spam trap.

Then, with lots of suspense building as I approached the trap, I
set it off with my bare hand, I let out a fake Karate-like
scream, the trap slammed on my hand and I held it up hanging from
my fingers.  . . . Believe me this got their attention!

I know how to do this without getting hurt. I am not responsible
if you break your finger or get hurt in any way !!!

There are many other ways to shock people. You could put a needle
through a balloon, you could stick a knife through one of their
coats. Stop by any magic or gag shop for tons of ideas. Just
don't get too outrageous and scare people unnecessarily.

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

Are you Game?

The New Crayola Crayons...


=====  New Discussions  =====

===> Helpful Humor Tip ...

Recently (issue #1619) in I-Sales our striving moderator, John
Counsel was striving hard at delivering a bad pun. The pun he
had in mind was "One man's fish is another man's poisson".
(Poisson is French for fish ! A bilingual pun!!) Unfortunately,
his editor wasn't too hot on French, and neither is the editor's
spellchecker so they corrected it to read poison for him, making
the fishy pun smell.

Below find the helpful tip that John had in the next issue ....

~ Gunjan

Murphy's Law is alive and well on-line, it appears. My execrable pun
in Friday's I-Sales Digest suffered the fate it deserved due to my
lack of forethought in not warning my editor that "poisson" is
French for "fish" and was used deliberately. This is especially
important when the original proverb I quoted says "one man's meat is
another man's poison."

Ahhh... the intricacies of the language and the diligence of editors
combined with the potential for disaster. Truly amazing. :)

The lesson to be learned?

"If anything can be misunderstood, it will." (Murphy's Law,
Thirteenth Corollary.)

Count on it. Anticipate it. Pre-empt it -- if you can. A salutory
lesson for anyone writing sales copy.

Your Striving Moderator,
John Counsel


====> Benefits of Humor

Hi Friends,

For the presentation I plan on starting my introduction using
G.K.Chesterton's quote - "By experts in poverty I do not mean
sociologists, but poor men." and saying something about me not
being an expert in humor in a theory but just one of the poor
sods who laughs a lot.

I then intend to ask them what they feel are the benefits of
humor, and after scribbling various answers, go on to the fact
that in my humble opinion there are too many benefits for
one little session. I would therefore like to concentrate on
one benefit and discuss it with examples rather than just trying
to just state a dozen benefits.

The particular benefit that I have in mind for discussion is that
humor can be used to improve attentiveness. Just as beauty
is said to lie in the eye of the beholder how much one enjoys
a speech or how carefully one listens can depend as much on the
listener as on the speaker.

Sounds crazy ? On the one hand I'm always talking about
working on improving our public speaking skills and on the
other I'm saying that even if you are a terrible speaker your
listeners can enjoy themselves if they want to.

Just imagine that you have to report a speech that is being
delivered or you need to get the figures from a boring financial
presentation or as a student you have to take notes of what the
teacher is saying. You need these even if the speaker/presenter/
teacher is the most boring in the world. What do you do?

If while taking notes you try to add little humorous asides for
yourself you'll find the job much easier to do. Also if you do
come with some asides which you felt were clever enough to
repeat to friends (and it's very easy to find one's own remarks
clever) you'll definitely need to remember the passage/point
related to which your comment was. Once you WANT to remember
something, instead of HAVE to remember something it's so so
much easier.

As an example I plan on using Senator Thornton's speech from the novel
'Shall we tell the President by Jeffrey Archer and the 'wise-arse' comments
of Bernstein, a reporter from The Washington Post, during the speech.
The example is reproduced below with Bernstein's comments in brackets.
(The descriptive and non-quoted portions of the extract have been deleted !)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Extract ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Ladies and gentlemen of the press..."

("That's a pompous start")

"I have just left the White House after a private session with
the President of the United States and because of that meeting,
I wish to make a statement for press and television."

"My criticisms of the Gun Control bill and my vote against it
in committee were motivated by a desire to represent my
constituents and their genuine fear of unemployment..."

("...and your own genuine fear of unemployment; What bribe did
the President offer you at dinner on Monday?")

"The President has assured me that if this piece of legislation is
passed, and domestic production of guns is prohibited, she will
sponsor legislation to give immediate financial assistance to gun
manufacturers and their employees, in the hope that the facilities
of the gun industry can be turned to other, less dangerous uses
than the production of weapons of destruction. The President's
concern has made it possible for me to vote in favor of the Gun
Control bill. I have for some considerable time been in two minds..."

("True enough")

"... concerning this bill, because of my genuine fear of the freedom
and ease with which criminals can obtain firearms."

("It didn't worry you yesterday. Just what contracts did the President
promise, or did she say she would help you win re-election next year?")

"And the problem for me has always been in the balance ..."

("... and a little bribe tipped that balance.")

"Now that the President has shown such consideration, I feel able
to announce with a clear conscience..."

("... so clear we can see right through it")

"... that I am now able to support my party's position over gun
control. I will, therefore, not be opposing the President on the
floor of the Senate tomorrow."

"I shall, ladies and gentlemen, rest an easier man tonight..."

("And a re-elected one")

"I should like to end by thanking the members of the press
for attending..."

("We had to; it was the only show in town.")

"And I would like to say that I will be delighted to answer any
questions. Thank you"

("Bet you don't answer any of mine")

coz 7 days without a pun makes one weak


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."


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

In a class on abnormal psychology, the instructor was
about to introduce the subject of manic depression.

She posed this question to her students: "How would
you diagnose a patient who walks back and forth
screaming at the top of his lungs one minute, then sits
down weeping uncontrollably the next?"

A young man in the rear raised his hand and suggested
earnestly, "A football coach?"

Comments :


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Eva Rosenberg mailto:eva@workinghumor.com

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