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

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

8th January  2003    #     Issue 93
The metaphor is perhaps one of man's most fruitful potentialities.
Its efficacy verges on magic, and it seems a tool for creation which
God forgot inside one of His creatures when He made him.
 ~ Jose Ortega Y Gasset


Moderator's Comment -
                                                 ~ Gunjan

The Other Moderator's Comment
                                                  ~ Eva


Greetings ... Comments
                       ~ Jana Brown

Greetings ... My Experience
                       ~ Stephanie

Greetings ... Some of the best replies I got
                      ~ Gunjan

Ideas to ponder over .... and Discuss
                               ~ The Doc (JD Lentz)
                               ~ Gunjan

When words don't fail
                             ~ Gunjan

Speaking Tip
                                  ~ from Tom Antion


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Moderator's Comments

Dear Laughmates,

I was extremely sorry to learn that our dear Laughmate
Arik Schenkler's father passed away on the 26th of
December 02. Can we all stop for a moment to pray
for his soul and for strength to the bereaved family.

While learning about Jewish customs to send an appropriate
note I found a very interesting passage and it applies not just
for Jews but is absolute common sense. But as Voltaire said...
"common sense is not so common" so let me reproduce it here.
It focuses on things not to say when you visit a grieving person ....

Here are examples of things not to say:

"How are you?" (They're not so good.)

"I know how you feel." (No you don't. Each person
feels a unique loss.)

"At least she lived a long life." (Longer would have been better.)

"It's good that you have other children," or, "Don't worry,
you'll have more." (The loss of a child, no matter what age,
is completely devastating.)

"Cheer up -- in a few months you'll meet someone new."
(He/she has just lost the other half of their soul!)

"Let's talk about happy things." (Maybe later.)

My personal advice to you would be ... whether it's to
a grieving person, or a boss who's screaming at you, or
your kids asking you for permission to repaint the house,
when you're not sure what to say .... say "excuse me", rush
to a computer, get on to the Internet and start searching for
the appropriate thing to say .... like I did !

Lastly, before we go on with I-Laugh #93, remember Eva's
message in last week's issue? I enjoyed her catch-line so much
that I went and repeated it in a bar. I'd had just one beer but
they refused to serve me any more liquor, gave me a prize for
being the happiest drunk in the place and packed me home !

With best wishes,
Many a true word is spoken in Jest
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,

Oh my goodness. Thank heavens for newsletters. This is the first
I've heard about Arik's father. (You should see the letter Gunjan
inspired me to write.)

Words are really hard to find when facing friends with deaths in
their families. In keeping with Gunjan's comments above, let me
give tell you a few more tips on what to avoid. (Uh, being an
expert on the receiving end of those  kind comments since before
I was 5.)


"I'm sorry." (Why? Did you kill him?)

"How can I help?" (Go away! or Uh. can you bring him back?)

"Eat, it will make you feel better?" (Sure. Let's start a good pattern,

Oh yes....and then there are those well-meaning people who chose to
tell you about times your loved ones were ripped off or taken
advantage of by other family member, due to their kind nature. (Do
you really need to learn that, when you're in mourning?)


Do you want to know what is helpful?


A hug.

"Do you want to tell me about your father?" (Just being a good listener.)

"May I tell you about a special memory or experience with your father?"
         (A good one - not that you had a affair with him.)


And then, of course, there are the special tension relievers that spout
spontaneously among close relatives. Often, completely inappropriate,
but healing. (And of course, no one else present will understand.
The raised eyes and sharp looks just make it worse, as you go off
into suppressed gales of laughter.)

At the funeral of father's cousin (whispered to my own cousin):

So, this is a dress rehearsal for your father?!
(Who was nearly dead with his cancer. He was literally holding on to
live, through sheer stubbornness until after New Years Day, I kid
you not,  just for tax purposes! Just to get his affairs into the following
year. The hospitals blood technicians came up to his room to see this
remarkable patient whose blood chemistry insisted that he should
already be dead. Laci did make it into January.)

Which reminds me of what he said at my father's funeral, just before
his 60th birthday.  (My uncle, Laci, was born on my father's 13th
birthday. He was my father's Bar Mitzvah present. They were very

So. It looks like I'll only live for thirteen more years.
(And that's the other reason he held on. He wanted to make his own
prediction come true. He lived for almost exactly one month less
than my father. Even with his powerful will, his body just couldn't
hold on for that much longer.)

Incidentally, speaking of Bar Mitzvahs, Laci knew he wouldn't
live to see his grandsons'. So (aside from the videos he made for
them before he died) he left them a sealed boxed bottle of brandy,
to be opened on each of their Bar Mitzvahs. He left a special
message to each of them. Ten and eleven years later, he was
still very present on their special days. You could really feel
his spirit in the room...created by all our memories.

Death does funny things to the people it touches.

Knowing when you will die is a special gift.

Your Comic Guide,

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

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=====  Continuing Discussions  =====

===> Greetings - Comments

you're right. it only takes a few kind words to make someone's day better.

have a wonderful day!

Brown Jana

===> Greetings - My Experience

Was wonderful. SO many people wrote back -- I think due to
the caricatures of Edd and me, or perhaps because of the greeting
which was chosen to be published in a Rocky Mountain News
article. People sent their own greetings back, some funny, some
serious. I will do it again this year.

~ Stephanie

Stephanie West Allen, JD
Denver, CO
Morale Masters: Bringing humor and motivation to organizations.

Moderator's Comment - That reminds me, if you'd to see
what one of your moderators looks like take a peek at

You can see the other moderator courtesy of Serenata
( http://serenata.nu ) who has done many caricatures
They're all over the TaxMama site. For instance...

Please, send any comments to:

===> Greetings - Some of the best replies I got

 From Laughmate DC

To reply in kind...

Two thousand and two was over in a blink
Even though Gunjan wrote it in India ink
Here's hoping double-ought three
Is everything that you want it to be

 From Cynthia Macgregor (www.CynthiaMacgregor.com)

A happy new year in return.
May this be a year we both learn
     To better our rhymes.
     Here's to happy times!
A great year's ahead--stem to stern.
 From Syman Hirsh (www.sodamail.com)

Thanks for the nice wishes. Just remember, "I may be a crumb,
but that's the yeast I can do with the dough I make!'

Happy New Year and keep the puns coming.

More in next issue ...

Please, send any comments to:

===> Ideas to ponder over .... and Discuss

I don't recognize the excerpt about the science of organizations,
but the character, Jonah, made me wonder if this scene was going
to be relative to delayed shipping of materials to be used in ark
construction. Timely shipping would have been critical since it
was pretty important that the ark be finished before the rain.

But, about the science of organizations, there is, indeed, a fairly
large field of study on the topic. In Business courses, there is a
focus on organizational design from the simplest flow-charts of
authority (it weakens, but runs steadily down hill, like another
substance) to matrices wherein authority changes with
accountability. Of particular note, and maybe more relevant to
the excerpt is the area of study of "organizational change."

It has been said that change only occurs as a result of pain or
gain. Change also requires that either of these conditions must
be fairly acute before change will actually occur, and this is
relative to organizations and individuals alike.

There is also the psychological finding about homeostasis which
is the attempt by those who witness a change in another person
to persuade that person to revoke the change and return to his
pre-change condition. Apparently, this occurs because when a
person "changes," that creates a need for others to change their
method of interacting with that individual, and there is neither
enough pain or gain in that situation to cause them to do so. It's
easier on everybody if no one changes. Since organizations are
constructed of individuals, it is also easier if an organization does
not change, even if it is ineffective in its current configuration.

I suppose this is why a sinking ship continues to sink, even more
so than if the shipping of materials for its construction is delayed
until well past the first thunderstorm. Until the shipping organization
is up to its earlobes in water, it will fight diligently to maintain its
current level of inefficiency.

The science of organizational change attempts to understand and
deal with this sometimes self-defeating tendency.

The Doc (JD Lentz)
Loosen up your cod-piece a notch or two and let's
go find out what the punchlines are to all those dirty
Shakespearean jokes! with JEST in LITERATURE!
lit-subscribe@topica.com (For Adults Only)

The extract was taken from quite a famous 'business'
book for a change. Bet none of you expected Gunjan
to have read a bizziness book. No wonder nobody
could guess. The extract was from Eliyahu M Goldratt's
1984 book "The Goal". The book is written in the form
of a novel about a plant manager named Alex Rogo
who is having problems both with his plant and at home.

At work he is given 3 months to turn the plants around
and the book traces his journeys and adventures.

For those of you familiar with various management
accounting procedures Eli Goldratt is the pioneer of
the TOC (Theory of Constraints) and its associated
TA (Throughput Accounting) I found quite an interesting
pdf on this subject [The Making of "New" Management
Accounting - A comparative analysis of ABC (Activity
Based Costing) and TOC] You can download it at
http://les.man.ac.uk/IPA/papers/64.pdf It gives you
quite a lot information on Goldratt, his activities before
and after 'The Goal' as well as about the book itself.

Getting back to book, as I was saying it's more like a
novel, so you can treat it as light reading if you want but
some ideas are extremely powerful. The review by
The Economist on Amazon.com is great ....

"A survey of the reading habits of managers found that
though they buy books by the likes of Tom Peters for
display purposes, the one management book they have
actually read from cover to cover is The Goal."

Personally I enjoyed it for another reason .... (The
pdf I spoke about above mentions that reason).
Any of you who've read The Goal can you guess
the reason I enjoyed it ?


We'll discuss that in the next issue. In the meanwhile in case
you can't wait to get your hands on your copy of The Goal -
new copy - 14$ - http://snurl.com/goalnew
used copy - 5$ upwards - http://snurl.com/goalold


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=== > Speaking Tip

Extract of one of the points under the '34 ways to be Funny'
chapter in Tom Antion's ebook Wake 'em Up.

Comic Verse
Often a short poem will illustrate your point better than hours
and hours of talk. Poems can be inspiring and motivating as
well as funny, and they also add variety to your presentation.
You must flawlessly memorize any poetry you use. Any stumbles
will ruin the effect of the verse. If the verse is long, you may want
to consider reading it, but total memorization will have more impact.
Poetry, whether funny or not, should be used sparingly in any business

Always look for the points that a piece of comic verse could illustrate.
You normally don't want to use any kind of humor that does not
support the points you are trying to make.

Point: Get going to achieve your goals. You have the tools, but you
must pick them up and use them.

                     Sitting still and wishing
                      Makes no person great.
                  The good Lord sends the fishes
                    But you must dig the bait.

Point: Look forward, not backward.

              The lightning bug is a brilliant thing
                    But the insect is so blind.
              It goes on stumbling through the world
                  With its headlights on behind.

Point: Do you know what you're doing ?

                 A silly young man from Port Clyde
                In a funeral procession was spied.
                       Asked, "Who is dead?"
                       He giggled and said,
             "I don't know. I just came for the ride."

Point: Quit fighting.

               There once were two cats in Kilkenny.
             Each cat thought there was one too many.
                  So they scratched and they fit
                    And they tore and they bit,
               Til instead of two there weren't any.

In the famous words of Marie Antoinette

                Keep cool when all's done and said
             Above all remember, don't lose your head.

[You can get your own copy of Tom Antion's ebook
Wake 'em Up at http://snurl.com/wakeup]

Comments or if have you a tip to share -

====>  When Words Don't Fail...

Hi Laughmates,

The 'When words fail' post last week reminded me of
something. In Jest in Literature The Doc had once asked
all of us to submit a couple of good metaphors. No one had
replied though on an average 3-4 entries used to come in
whenever he asked to write a poem. Personally I'd tried for
quite some time to come with some unusual and funny metaphors.
I'd thought it should be easy but for some reason I couldn't come
up with a single one. Since then while reading anything ... especially
anything funny my attention is always caught if I spot a fun
metaphor. Here are two amazing ones I found last week ...

(Woody Allen describing a person who's scared as hell)
He was shaking like the lead singer in a rumba band.

(Groucho Marx describing a hostile audience)
I have no way of knowing the precise temperature in the
theatre during our performance that afternoon but, roughly,
I would say it was about the same temperature as the water
that flowed around the exterior of the Nautilus the day it sailed
under the North Pole.

So whaddya think .... aren't they great ? And can't they be useful
whenever we're story telling or excuse making ??

Please do remember from now on, when you're reading ... if you
bump into any such gems to share it with all your Laughmates.
Hopefully someday we'll have a little online library where we can
all dip in - to heat up or make more chilling any presentations we
have to make.

Best wishes


Submissions -

Click: The Ultimate Guide to Electronic Marketing for
Speakers, Authors, Coaches and Consultants...by Tom Antion

A breakthrough e-book which will show you how to build an
electronic marketing business from "square one" into a
five-figure . . . six figure . . . even a million dollar asset.

Adds Tom Antion "I don't have a tremendous amount of
basic computer knowledge. The technical stuff doesn't even
interest me. . . .
I like to write deposit slips, not programs.
I do know where to "click" to make money and this E-book
was designed to make it easy for you to click in the right place.

Adds Gunjan "Start by Clicking here" :-)

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

During my surgical residency I was called out of a sound
sleep to the emergency room. Unshaven and with tousled hair,
I showed up with an equally unpresentable medical student.
In the ER we encountered the on-call medical resident and
his student, both neatly attired in clean white lab coats.

The resident said to his student, "You can always tell the
surgeons by their absolute disregard for appearance."

Two evenings later, I was at a banquet when called to the
ER to suture a minor laceration.

I was stitching away -- wearing a tuxedo -- when I
encountered that same medical resident.  He looked at me,
then said to his student, "Sure is sensitive to criticism,
isn't he?"

(From Jo Lene's Daily Humor)

Comments :


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