Posts Tagged ‘Humor’

A few days ago I used a Marx Brothers reference to indicate how crammed a track felt due to over compression. Not twenty-four hours later, We7’s Monday morning playlist of new releases (new to We7 at least) made me regret wasting that phrase, for truly there is no finer example of the audio equivalent of the stateroom scene from “A Night at the Opera” than “The Intro and the Outro

The song is by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah band, a collection of lunatics from the 60’s. No doubt, those of us above a certain age remember this track well, and maybe a few more such as “Hunting Tigers Out in India”.

The band included Neil Innes on Piano, who later went on to help create the Rutles (a Beatles parody band, years before Spinal Tap) and musical work with Monty Python.

“The Intro and the Outro” introduces each member of the band, and gives them a few bars of solo time. Once out of actual band members, the MC continues to introduce anyone else who comes to mind (e.g. Charles de Gaulle on accordion, Snoopy and his pals tap dancing, Roy Rogers on Trigger, etc., etc.) until it seems there could no remaining room in the studio.

Take the three minutes for this bit of seldom heard history.


Part of my day job involves making sure that the text displayed in our software is grammatically, professionally, and politically correct. For example, I spend a lot of time removing multiple instances of the word, “invalid”, since many developers seem oblivious to its dual meaning.

This morning I was personally offended by one application’s reaction to me when I tried to log in to a test deployment. It simply said, “The user is disabled”.

“I beg your pardon”, I wanted to say, even though I was pretty sure the machine wasn’t speaking to me. Or, maybe it was implying that I’m latitudinally challenged in the way that people who spend too much time in front of computers often are.

I soon realized that the machine was projecting its own issues on to me when it lost the plot completely by asking me to input “natural numbers only”. Natural? Surely, that depends on context. For example, in the following sentence:

Three strikes and you’re out.

Three is a natural number. In fact, I’m pretty sure that sentence was used in a film called “The Natural”. However, in the following sentence:

The user has three nipples.

Three is an unnatural number. In the event that the user also becomes disabled, please contact your System Administrator.

True Stories From The Big Smoke #1

Posted: February 16, 2010 in Humour
Tags: , , , ,

On the Luas coming out of town one afternoon, as we approached the Blackhorse stop the driver made the following announcement: Ladies & Gents there are two plain clothes ticket inspectors getting on at this stop so could you please have your tickets at hand for convenience thank you.

When we pulled up to the stop two people got on and about 50 got off and stood on the platform, clearly waiting on the next train.

When we pulled away the driver got back on the intercom, laughing, and said: I was only joking, there’s no such thing as a plain clothes ticket inspector, I just wanted to see how many people got on without paying!!

Remember when “Lost” was a about a group of plane crash survivors trying to get off an island? How quaint. In it’s fifth season, a core group of characters came unstuck in time, travelling back and forth between decades, and finally settling in the 70s, which they attempted to wipe from history by detonating a hydrogen bomb over a pocket of electromagnetic energy. Or perhaps they were still just trying to get off the island.

Either way, reality was ripped in two, and season six started with most of the major characters living double lives, literally as well as unwittingly. After eight months of expectation and heated debate, the Cady household watched the season premier, and I noticed that the teenagers were quite bemused. I was soaking up the paradox and they were scratching their heads, ironic since their synapses are supposed to be firing a lot more quickly than mine are these days. Whatever they had imagined they would see, “Lost” seemed to be going in a completely different direction. How typical.

Maybe you noticed something similar in your house, or maybe you were the one who roared, “first time travel, and now this?!”, to no one in particular. If “Lost” seems even more confusing and disorienting than ever, then maybe a few familiar frames of reference will help get you back to your comfort zone.

If fictional time travel has taught us anything, it’s that you don’t muck around with the past. The ramifications of such an action were explained by Doc Brown in “Back to the future Part II”, in which old Biff, in 2015, steals a sports almanac from 1985, then travels back to 1955 and gives the almanac to young Biff who proceeds to make a killing in gambling on sporting events to which he already has the results. As Doc Brown explained to Marty, using nothing more elaborate than a chalk board, this creates a divergence in the time stream starting in 1955, resulting in time branching off into a separate, parallel reality, in which Biff kills Marty’s father, marries his (Marty’s) mother, and owns Hill Valley. Simple, right?

Another example of the ramifications of mucking around with the past was demonstrated by the well known explorer and philosopher Homer Simpson. Some of you may remember his pioneering work in time-travel technology when he repaired a toaster in such a way that it allowed him to travel back millions of years, at least until the toast popped up. You may also recall that the seemingly insignificant act of swatting a fly resulted in Christian fundamentalist Flanders becoming the supreme leader of the world, or at least of America, which equates to the same thing in the mind of many Americans.

So you see, while “Lost may have upped the ante, there’s nothing here that hasn’t been touched on in other serious works of speculative fiction. If you still need help finding a comfort zone from which you can relax and enjoy the E ticket ride, try repeating this mantra:

“Lost” is only a TV programme.

It’s a great one, but it is only a TV programme.

I Didn’t Even Know I Was Sick

Posted: January 27, 2010 in Humour
Tags: , ,

I arrived early to church for a funeral service yesterday. I thought I might walk to the funeral home before the procession started, but I didn’t know quite where that was.  So I asked a woman passing by for directions.

“Well, there is a funeral home at the top of the hill, then around the corner to the right. There’s a procession starting from there now, but I don’t know if it’s you’re funeral. “

I thanked her and she walked away, but I was a bit bemused, thinking, “My funeral? I certainly hope it’s not. Do I look that bad?

Today in Sleaze

Posted: January 25, 2010 in Humour
Tags: , , , , ,

Seen on the streaming banner on TV3’s Morning Ireland – In Entertainment: Tiger Woods is in rehab being treated for sex addiction in a bid to save his marriage to his wife Elin. What I want to know is: When did Tiger Woods fall out of the sports category? I don’t need an answer to that. I know this isn’t sports, but how is this entertainment? I guess I know the answer to that as well, as does anyone who ever glances at the front page of a tabloid. But I do think Entertainment is too broad a category for this type of story.

I propose a new category with which to tag “news” items of this type. I considered Sex, but that’s too broad. I mean, really, anything related to money, power and politics could fall into that category. Besides, Sex sounds too clinical. Titillation or Sensationalism could be appropriate, but I’m looking for something short and punchy.  So, I propose that we call this new category Sleaze.

Here are some examples of how I think this category can be used in mainstream news:

  • In Sleaze: New Brittany Spears release hits shops today.
  • In Sleaze: Berlusconi overconfident with female voters.
  • In Sleaze: Woods on top form after 18 holes.

You get the picture. And notice how it applies neatly to Entertainment, Politics, Sports, and no doubt other categories. It can probably be applied to weather depending on what channel you’re watching.