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

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

2nd October  2002    #     Issue 79
The pause is an exceedingly important feature in any kind of story,
and a frequently recurring feature, too. It is a dainty thing, and
delicate, and also uncertain and treacherous; for it must be
exactly the right length-no more and no less-or it fails of its
purpose and makes trouble.
~ Mark Twain - "How to Tell a Story,"1895


Moderator's Comment -
                                         ~ Gunjan

The Other Moderator's Comment
                                         ~ Eva


Silly Numbers
                         ~ Joseph Harris
                         ~ Moderator's Comments

Speaking Tip
                          ~ from Mark Twain

Speaker Marketing Tip
                          ~ from Tom Antion

Dotty Ditties
                         ~ from Joseph Harris


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Moderator's Message

Hi LaughMates,

While looking for something I stumbled across
a web-page titled "Twain tells how to tell a speech".
Wow, I says .... and promptly saves it to read at
leisure. But I can't resist skimming through it.

The last para reads "You know it's a funny thing, but when
the speech-making is all over and the strain is gone and you
have listened to what all the other fellows have had to say
you are always ready to get up and make a great speech!
When I am all through with my performance at a dinner I
always think of ever so many clever, brilliant things that I
wish I had said. You know the best speeches in the world
are composed going home in the cab!"

I can't believe it. MARK TWAIN has the same problem
that we were discussing last week ?? I think to myself
this is going to be real fun when I put together I -Laugh #79.

Unfortunately, when I go through the article in detail the title
happens to be a misnomer. The page has an ancient article
from the New York Times. I'm not complaining. The article
was good but just a little bit of it was about Mark Twain
(I've reproduced that bit for you). And the para mentioned
above was by a great after dinner speaker called Evarts.

Great person to be in the same boat as, perhaps, but
certainly not the same glee as being in the same both as
Mark Twain.

While I sit and console myself, you enjoy yourself with
I-Laugh #79.

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

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The Other Moderator's Comment

Dear LaughMates,

It's getting close to the absolute end of this year's tax season.
October 15th is the deadline. No more extensions.

So you'd think my clients would have gotten me all their information
so I could finalize everything in the next few days. This used to be a
really stressful time, as we'd frantically call people over and over again,
asking for their missing data, requesting their missing data, nagging
about their missing data, BEGGING for their missing data.

With some people, believe it or not, even people who are owed huge
refunds, it's worse than pulling teeth to get them to cough up a few
simple documents or numbers.

For years, and years, and years, I've taken all of this very much to heart.
I've felt totally responsible for getting these folks' tax returns done,
if they resisted or were self-destructive.

Funny thing, though, it takes a while to grow up. For me, it seems to
have taken nearly 25 years. This year, I've stopped stressing about
their carelessness. It's the same people, over and over again.

One person, who shall be nameless, has a habit of calling, saying
he'll be in with his data and a big check, tomorrow, or the next day.
So far, he's called about 9 times this year. With that same message.
I haven't seen him in over a year.

Another, who will have over $5,000 in refunds, wants the luxury
of filing at the last minute. He just does. That's all there is to it.

Another, well, he tries, but just doesn't seem to get to it. Lulu knows
and she called him yesterday. Knowing we don't usually talk to him
until September, and that he doesn't have a computer, (yes, there are
still people in urban areas who are untouched by the Internet frenzy)
she was startled when he asked if we've moved yet.  She came into
my office with this puzzled look on her face. "How does Brian know
we're moving?" I just looked at her for a few minutes, waiting to see
if she'd remember....No...?

She's right. Normally, he'd not have had a clue. But this guy happens
to be a general contractor. He's the first person we called to get an
estimate on remodeling the house to accommodate the office.

We're going to have so much fun over the next few weeks, finishing
up the season, packing up the office - and remembering to let
everyone know that we're moving.

But I have a question for you. My partner and I are splitting up the
tax practice. (That was the general idea - work together for two
years and get the clients comfortable with him. Then sell off half
the client base.) I need to write them a letter.

Can you help me find some nice wording to let my clients know
that they will be working with Bruce from now on?

They're mostly people I've known for ages. And really feel close to.
But it IS time for me to move on.

So, how do I tell them that they're the ones being transferred,
without hurting their feelings?


Comic Guide

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

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=====  Continuing Discussions  =====

=== > Silly Numbers


Is it just me? (Probably) but what is special about 77 (apart from
being part of the old TV series title: 77 Sunset Strip); I am agog.


Moderators' Comments - I passed this on to Eva instantly...
Here's her reply ...

"Not a clue. I'm not the one who said it was special.

If pushed, 77 is symmetrical, looks like two L's upside down.
Is often used as part of the expletive 'h' 'e' double hockey-sticks
upside-down (4377) and mirror-imaged.

Also, 7 is a lucky number. So two 7s must be twice as lucky?"

So I also did a quick look around ...

The twelfth perfect number, number of which the sum of its
dividers gives the same number, contains 77 numbers. Let us
mention that the first five perfect numbers are 6, 28, 496, 8128
and 33550336. At the present time we know 24 perfect numbers,
the last one being 2^19936 x (2^19937-1). That last number has
12003 numbers. All the known perfect numbers are even and we
don't know if there is an odd perfect number.
(Isn't that rather odd !)
Halley's comet, turning around the sun, reappears approximately
every 77 years.
(As opposed to I-Laugh's 'blessed' issues. We're trying to ensure
they reappear every 7th day!)
Symbol of sinners who lived before the arrival of the Christ according
to Fathers' of the Church, because this number is the product of 7,
the creature evolving, by 11, the transgression.
(If you want to read all 77 peculiarities of number 77 click here...
http://pages.globetrotter.net/sdesr/nu77.htm but I think you'll have
more fun concentrating on number 5 in this week's humor section.)


Comments -

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=== > Speaking Tip


Mark Twain never prepares a speech in any way. He says that
he has lived so long, and had so many and varied experiences,
that no man can talk for five minutes without suggesting to him a
train of thought and a consequent number of pertinent anecdotes
and important points. It is for this reason that he always likes to
be put at the very end of the programme, if possible; he uses the
other men's speeches as inspiration and fuel for his own, and is
likely to make new and humorous changes upon almost any
subject which has been broached during the evening.

Mr. Clemens enjoys speaking immensely - indeed, he loves to
talk, by his own admission. And apparently people love to hear
him quite as much, judging by the number and urgency of his
invitations. Of course he cannot accept one-half of them, and
now appears at very few public banquets. he prefers to talk at
small dinners, where he feels he is among friends - though,
indeed, he could not fail to be that wherever he might go,
for every one loves Mark Twain.

As he talks he runs his fingers through his long, thick, white hair,
and in his delicious drawl, murmurs, "it's a very curious thing - a
very curious thing" - and then springs a story upon his audience
which awakes roars of laughter. This little trick of repeating a
phrase just before he makes a point is a favorite one with
Mark Twain. He uses it as a composer uses a phrase of melody,
repeating it slowly to create a sense of suspense before he bursts
into a new motif.

Everything which Mr. Clemens does is invested with his own
individual touch - a touch which is paramountly humorous; but it
is interesting to note that he never makes a speech which has not
in it a deeply serious note.

(Extract from the above article of The New York Times,
March 1, 1908)

=== > Speaking Marketing Tip


Drive by any small strip shopping center and you're likely to see
a van with a big ad on the side for one of the stores in the
center. Vehicle marketing, although not a new concept, seems to
be gaining a resurgence.

I recently got a solicitation from someone who wanted $500.00 for
a bumper sticker sized ad on a vehicle that was going to tour the
country to promote them and their cause (they supplied me with a
complete ad cost schedule for larger sized ads too) Although I
didn't bite, I did think it was a cool idea.

Here are some other ideas:

=> Use a very tiny vehicle (like a clown car) to ride in parades.

=> Use a large motor home type vehicle with your ads on it.

=> Travel in a custom bus like John Madden.  Maybe you could have
a picture of yourself with a microphone.

=> Vanity license plates.

=> Vanity license plate frames (easily found on the web)

=> Use 4 wheel pedal power with advertising.,
I was thinking about doing this one myself for parades and
special events.

=> Decals. Here's a place that will make custom car window decals
for you http://www.tnl-ink.com/

=> Magnetic signs can be custom made at any sign shop or order on
the web.

=> If you regularly park in a high traffic area put your ad on
the side of a van.

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 -

====> Dotty Ditties


Remember, we'd suggested a topic for a dotty ditty
to Uncle Joe Harris. Anyone interested in knowing
what grew out of it ?

> From issue 21 of SmilePoetryWeekly, here's .......

Bippo the Hippo

A hip hopping hippo named Bippo
Met, on the dance floor, young Zippo.
They jazzed and they jived -
They thought they'd arrived -
Till they met a grumbler named Chippo.

This dancer with two feet that are left
Of flow was completely  bereft.
They lost all rhythmic sense
But as they got tense -
More nimble was Zippo and Bippo more deft.

Yes, this hippo Bippo - with Zippo -
Would quippo: 'hip-hop's so hip-o
They'd waltz and they'd rhumba
Till their feet felt much num-b-er
But 'twas hip-hop made their sweat drip-po.

2002 Joseph Harris   www.smilepoetryweekly.com


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

I was walking down the street the other day when I saw my
buddy Doug. I walked up to him and mentioned that I had the
most bizarre dream the night before last.

Doug listened intently as I told him that the dream consisted of
one thing and one thing only. So I told him that all I had dreamt
about was a huge glowing number "5." It was made of gold and
sparkled with diamonds.

Doug's curiosity was peaked. I went on to say that the first thing
that I did in the morning was to grab the daily racing digest and
look up the fifth race.

Doug raised an eyebrow. So I told him that the #5 horse in the
fifth race was named "The Fifth Element."

Doug started grinning.

Then I told Doug point-by-point what I did that day. I ate five bowls
of cereal for breakfast and drank five cups of coffee. I went for a five
mile jog to clear my head. I took a five minute shower. I dressed in
the fifth suit I found in my closet. I sat in my car for five minutes
before starting it up. I drove to the racetrack and parked in the fifth
stall in the fifth row. I entered through the fifth admissions gate.
I bought five programs. I went to the fifth betting window and bet
$555 on the fifth horse in the fifth race.

I went and sat in the fifth row of the bleachers making sure there were
five people sitting on either side of me. I settled in and waited for the
race to start.

"Well," said Doug. "Did the horse win?"

I smiled at Doug and said, "Of course not, he came in fifth."
(from The Daily Joke Post)

Comments :


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