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

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

17th December 2003    #     Issue 142
I have long contended that, however many zillion dollars
the federal government costs us, we get it all back and
more in the form of quality entertainment.
~ Dave Barry


Moderator's Comment -
                                                             ~ Gunjan

The Other Moderator's Comment
                                                              ~ Eva


What was that again ?
                                                 ~ Arik Schenkler

Comment on issue 141
                                                  ~ The Doc

To Bluff or Not to Bluff
                                  ~ Gunjan

Speaking Tip
                                                  ~ from Tom Antion

                                    On Being Shy

Helpful to the Limit
                                 ~ Gunjan



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Moderator's Comments

Dear LaughMates,

I don't know about you ... but I certainly enjoyed
I-Laugh #141. On the one hand sending out these
newsletters is real fun. It can hardly be called a
'JOB' and shouldn't ever become monotonous.
Yet, anything that you do week after week can, on
occasions, become a drag. So there I was last week,
groaning and cursing that it was Wednesday again ...
time for another issue ... and I had no ideas for the
issue. My mind was as blank as Gunjan's mind
normally is ! ;)

And then suddenly the words - Washington Irving,
Irving Washington, Washington Irving screamed at
me from somewhere out of the hollow depths of my head.
They've been my 'triggers' (not bad for me eh, I'm using
NLP terms now) since ages to remind me that even the
silliest of variations in how you do things can help to make
them more fun.

So I-Laugh #141 was born...

It was an escape from having to write the issue,
while sharing with you one of the most fantastic tips
that I have ever learnt about keeping work (or anything
else for that matter) fun, and giving you a live demo
on how to use the tip !! How's that ?

Now all I need to do is to figure out a way to make
all of you say 'Uncle' and then this list will be really
rocking !

Before I wind up my tirade, I hope you have visited
'Santa' Phil and availed the Christmas Discount
that he has for you ... ;)

With no further ado, Here's I-Laugh #142
(Doesn't that sound like a hot topic for a
symbolic poem ;)


With best wishes
Who is still busy working on
to search for a quotable signature !


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,

On my recent trip to Phoenix, I stayed, not at a hotel, but at a
magnificent resort, with water park, golf courses, riding stables,
tennis, spa and all.  Driving up in the cab, it looked like we were
entering  Disneyland, with all the lights and distractions.

The place was so big that the bellman didn't walk me to the room,
he drove me there. Of course, there were not one, but many heated
pools and jacuzzis throughout the facility; several restaurants, most
requiring a car and driver to get to...and simply lovely grounds, in the
midst of a desert. Room service, for one meal, cost $42.00.

Oh, and the tips they added to the room bill, were $10.00 per day.
What a surprise to see that there, after I'd been tipping generously.

Yet, who was staying here? 650 professionals, attending a government
sponsored homeless conference. (Yes, the bellman told me there were
that many people from that group in residence at the resort.)
Need I say more?

OK I will - 650 people, times 4 nights and meals and entertainment,
paid by government, amounts to nearly half a million dollars. Think of
how many homeless people they could have helped with that?

Oh, by the way, the Ramada was across the street, with rooms at
half the price. And, it turns out there was a Dennys and other fast
food restaurants with meals at a fraction of the price.

Yup, folks could have still attended the conference and they could
have spent half the price. Hmmm....an extra $250,000 to cover
homeless programs. That could help how many people?

Well, that's life in these here States.

Eva Rosenberg
http://taxmama.com -Where taxes are fun!

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===> What was that again?

Gunjan shalom,

My comment...

Remind me: What was the question?

All the best,

Arik Schenkler

Moderator's Comment - Arik Shalom, The virtual postman
delivered your mail so leisurely ... I'm not sure which issue it
relates to. So I have no recollection what the question was.
The current question is "How do I make everyone on this
list say 'Uncle' ?" (And don't answer - "Make everyone read
Catch 22" )

Comments -

===> Comment on Issue 141

Today's Text:

"Catch - 22," by Joseph Heller, who died on this day in 1999.
This is the moment in Chapter V when Yossarian asks to be
grounded and gets the famous answer:

         JD looked at her soberly and tried another approach.
"Am I crazy?"
       "You sure are," Principal Levine said.
       "Can you retire me?"
       "I sure can. But first you have to ask me to. That's part of
the rule.
       "Then why don't I just ask you to?"
       "Because you're crazy," Principal Levine said. "You have to be crazy
to keep trying to teach these classes when all you get are students who
refuse to do what students have to do. Sure, I can retire you. But first you
to ask me to."
       "That's all I have to do to be retired?"
       "That's all. Just ask me."
       "And then you can retire me?" JD asked.
       "No. Then I can't retire you."
       "You mean there's a catch?"
       "Sure there's a catch," Principal Levine replied. "Catch-22.
Anyone who wants to get out of teaching isn't really crazy."

The Doc
Jest in Literature (A) - lit-subscribe@topica.com

Comments -

===> The Complete Idiot's Guide to Bluffing

Hey Laughmates,

I did a search on Amazon for "Complete Idiot's Guide to Bluffing"
"Bluffing for Dummies" "Bluffing" etc. I found things like Poker
books. I'm really surprised. I do think something like this should
have been published a long time back.

A couple of days back I had a colleague give me a chocolate.
Offering my thanks I asked if there was some occasion
or any cause for celebration & how come she was being so nice

Guess her reply ... She needed change for the money that she had on
her and the shopkeeper wouldn't give her any change unless she
purchased something, so she bought about half a dozen chocolates.
She didn't want to eat them all so she was giving them away to
whomever she was bumping into.

Don't you think she could have got just a wee bit more goodwill
from her colleagues by a touch of bluffing, or atleast refraining from
being so stupidly truthful?

So whadya all think ... shall we get cracking on the book? Any
of you interested in collaborating with me in writing it ??? ;)

~ Gunjan
The EXaggerating WZ-ard of Bluffing? :)

Comments  -

===> Speaking Tip

Tough Venues by Tom Antion

Did you ever present in a barn? How about a bowling alley? How
about a community center where drum lessons are being given in
the next room?

Well I've been in all those situations and more and so far I've
survived the recurring nightmares and waking up in a cold sweat
just thinking about them. I've been diagnosed with PTVD --
Post Traumatic Venue Disorder.

If you are really gung ho about speaking, you're going to jump at
the chance to do just about any speaking engagement. You should
do this because it helps you to get really good, really fast. As
you get more experienced you'll learn to use your pre-program
research to recognize potentially disastrous venues before you
agree to speak. But sometimes, even with the best of preparation,
you get blindsided and have to present in a lousy venue.

What is a lousy venue?
A lousy venue could have one or more of the following problems:

=> Bad lighting

=> Bad sound system

=> Noise coming from outside

=> Numerous sight blocking fixtures

=> Poor heating and air conditioning

=> Large distance between the stage and the seats

This list is by no means comprehensive. One time because of a
scheduling mishap, I ended up on the dance floor of the sports
bar during lunch time. I would call this a lousy venue, wouldn't

So what do you do?
My first piece of mundane, but powerful information is to stay
calm and keep smiling. (Don't think I haven't violated this rule
before because I just did last month when a very large amount of
money was riding on my presentation and nothing was set up when
I got into the room.)

Then, determine what is in your control and what is out of your
control. If the air conditioning is making noise, you can turn it
off yourself or go find a janitor to do it for you. (in past
issues I have described ethical bribes where I'll grease a
janitor's palm with twenty bucks if he can get something resolved
for me in the next five minutes)

But if you've got 500 people waiting and the sound system just
blew up, what do you do?

Go directly to the meeting organizers and ask them what they want
you to do.

They are under as much or more pressure than you are so again,
try to keep smiling and portray a very helpful and accommodating
attitude. This is no time for prima donna antics.

Know your schedule in advance and the costs to reschedule
airfare, etc and be ready to tell the meeting planner what you
can and can't do. For instance, if you must make your flight to
be able to get to your next speaking engagement on time, then you
certainly can't agree to do the presentation after they fix the
sound system if it will make you miss your flight. It wasn't the
other group's fault the sound system blew up at this event so you
can't cause them problems by being late.

Be creative and be prepared
On big events where they have plenty of money, maybe they would
agree to charter you a flight or call in the corporate jet if you
can stay and get the job done. Maybe the meeting planner of your
troubled event knows the meeting planner of your next event and
they can help each other out behind the scenes with scheduling so
that you can get both jobs done.

On local and smaller events you could have your own portable
sound system in the trunk of your car as a backup.

For noise coming from the next room, have some pre-planned
ad-libs ready to acknowledge the distraction and continue if
possible.If the weather is nice, take people outside (which
has it's own set of problems) or go to another part of the

I certainly don't have solutions for all the problems you will
run into in your speaking career. What I want to get through to
you is that bad venues will happen. Sometimes you just can't do
anything about it and you must quit or reschedule the event and
sometimes you can be flexible and creative and find a way to get
the job done.  . . . That's what being a pro speaker is all

P.S. What did I do about the sports bar presentation? I got
manager to turn on the DJ booth and show me how to work
the disco lighting. I got the lunch patrons involved and a good
time was had by all.

[from Tom Antion's 'Great Speaking' newsletter.
To subscribe why not use our affiliate link (given below) ]


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One consolation that shy folk can take unto themselves is that shyness
is certainly no sign of stupidity. It is easy enough for bull-headed
clowns to sneer at nerves, but the highest natures are not necessarily
those containing the greatest amount of moral brass.  The horse is not
an inferior animal to the cock-sparrow, nor the deer of the forest to
the pig. Shyness simply means extreme sensibility, and has nothing
whatever to do with self-consciousness or with conceit, though its
relationship to both is continually insisted upon by the poll-parrot
school of philosophy.

Conceit, indeed, is the quickest cure for it.  When it once begins to
dawn upon you that you are a good deal cleverer than any one else in
this world, bashfulness becomes shocked  and  leaves you.  When you
can look round a roomful of people and think that each one is a mere
child in intellect compared with yourself you feel no more shy of them
than you would of a select company of magpies or orang-outangs.

~ Jerome K Jerome
(in... The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow.)

==========  NEW DISCUSSIONS =========

===> Helpful to the Limit

Hi Laughmates,

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Srivatsa Kadaba
again after quite a long gap. (Srivatsa is a good friend of mine
and in my opinion one of the best trainers you'll find in Bangalore.)

He was telling me about a 'high achiever' at one of the call centres,
where he'd had a training session. This fellow had been taught always
to sound enthusiastic and chirpy, to offer as much help as he could,
and currently to mention, at any chance he got, a children's product.

There he was answering a call and throwing all the phrases he had
been trained to throw - "I can help you with that"; "That's wonderful";
How can I help with you that?"; "That's just Great !" etc etc and the
call seemed to be going very well. Sensing an opportunity he even
started mentioning the children's product, but the lady interrupted him
immediately saying "That's not of interest to me... I have no children!"

Without realising what he was saying, our most helpful, chivalrous,
young man had the instant reply ... "I can help you with that !" 

~ Gunjan
The EXtremely helpful WZ-ard !

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

Benny had told all of his friends about the delicious steak
he'd eaten in the Delaney Street restaurant the day before.

So they decided to go down there and see if they were really
as large and delicious as Benny claimed.

However, much to their disappointment, the waiter brought
them the tiniest steaks they'd ever seen.

"See here, my good man," Benny barked. "I was in this restaurant
yesterday and you served me a big juicy steak, and now today,
when I've organized a party, you serve such small ones?"

"Yes, sir," replied the waiter. "But yesterday you were sitting by the

(Thanks tOM)

Comments :

===========  This week's Stress Reliever? ==============

If you are geeky enough to know what a mirror site is then visit this
link for a pun on a Google mirror site.


(Alex in P.U.N.Y)

Comments or Submissions of your own favorites:


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