Obnoxious Fans Make Me Want To Go Take A Long Nap

I’m a Serial Obsessive, which means I rarely continue a strong interest in any one topic for more than a few months at a time.  Casual interest in a topic means I don’t quality as being in any particular “fandom,” really. I’m not saying my way of doing things is better or worse than anyone else’s, and having interests and hobbies is not a bad thing, either.

That said, most fandoms simply exhaust me. Been there, did that. I actually do have some t-shirts, too.

Things about fandom that really piss me off:

1. Other people don’t give a crap. Please get other (completely unrelated) interests, so you do not bore everyone.

2. Being a Big Name Fan is a generally empty prize, much like winning the Doesn’t Sweat Much For A Fat Chick gold medal award. Speaking as one who was thrust into BNFness and took years to escape from it, if you have had BNFness thrust upon you, for whatever reason, be it visibility, or knowledge, or active participation within fan circles, don’t let it define your entire being. I do know that you can’t escape from BNFness, whether you want the label or not, unless you withdraw completely from the fandom. Did that.

3. Melodrama about how your fandom saved you from social retardation, illness, mental illness, suicide or self-harm really make me worry about you. Save the drama for your mama.

4. Insisting that you know better than the participants involved (actors in a film, writers of books/scripts/etc., band members, team mates) what “really” happened is delusional. It goes beyond speculative fiction at that point.

5. If you are not twelve, then banding together with socially retarded peers and feeding off of each other’s social retardation to annoy other members of your fandom or outsiders is BAD. Just STAHP, okay? You make non-socially retarded members of your fandom look stupid by association, and it is a sad fact that the loudest and most outspoken fandom members are typically those with the fewest other interests in life, and the most free time.

6. Feeling jealous rather than happy for peers who have had an enjoyable fan experience you wish you had experienced is childish.

7. Sock puppetry for fun and profit is the sign that you are taking your hobby FAR too seriously. You are not “more right” if you and all twenty of your alter egos show up to argue that you are right.

8. Refusing to acknowledge any flaws your fandom or objects of interest in your fandom might have is silly and a way of avoiding critical thought and perspective. Example: “Arena” was embarrassing. Sane Duran Duran fans acknowledge this. Insane ones think it is high art because it has a reference to a softcore French comic book that was later a film. Ooh. Art.

9. Shipping in general is tiresome to me, but that is a personal gripe. If the writers put a couple together, I accept it. If they don’t, I accept it. I don’t spend a lot of time poking at the possibility. In fact, I generally dislike situations that make a big deal about relationships. Example: X Files jumped the shark when Chris Carter pandered to Philes and got Mulder and Scully to hook up and breed.

10. A real person’s sexual inclination and preference isn’t really cool to speculate about unless it is generally known and discussed by said person. Example: No, Merry Whosits is not secretly sucking Frodo’s toes behind a bush in Chapter Twelve. Or in the trailers between takes. “Gandalf”, however, has a truly hot real life boyfriend. It is entirely possible there was some hot boy on boy lurve in the Wizard’s Winnebago occasionally.

11. If a character is supposed to be 12, what possesses you to spend hours lovingly sketching him or her having sex with an adult and not seeing that there may be a slight problem with this? If nothing else, it is distasteful. Quick guideline: can you show this to your grandmother and your pastor (or imam or rabbi, or whatever)? It’s probably not okay to upload to Teh Intarweeblez. Srsly. What’s your motivation for this, if not to titillate someone (if only yourself)? Which is gross. And illegal.

12. Characters are not paper dolls that you can write absolutely anything about. Well, you can’t do it convincingly or well. Also, spelling, grammar, punctuation, paragraph breaks, plot, characterization, showing rather than telling and lack of cliches are all required in GOOD writing. They are not optional.

13. Mary Sue and Gary Stu can go get bent.

14. Lack of well-roundedness in life, when reflected in obsessive fandom-ness, can make you boring. There are things outside of your fandom ‘verse. Truly. A sense of perspective is useful in life. Enjoy your fandom. Just give it a rest once in a blue moon.

15. Just because you want something to be true, it does not make it true.

16. Speculation and satisfaction with said speculation is no substitute for actual research, logic, and, when appropriate, canon.

17. Don’t expect outsiders to understand fandom-specific slang, acronyms, band member names, footnotes, the name of the gaffer on the set, your favourite character’s girlfriend’s birthdate, and so on. Why would outsiders care? Conversely, don’t be surprised if an outsider does happen to know some of the Sacred Secret Insider Information, as s/he probably saw the same TV show / website / interview you did.

18. Do not tattoo your fandom on your body. It is unkind to name your children after your fandom. Example: If your dog is named after a Hobbit or a Jedi, do not be surprised if Obi-Wan the poodle bites you.

19. Tips for writers: “Rape” is not a synonym for being 100% willing and OK with being talked into having sex so you don’t feel guilty or dirty because you have some prudery issues or whatever. It is, however, rape is someone says no or is unable to consent.

20. Tips for writers: “Incest” is not healthy or sexy or titillating. Family members who are close do not inevitably secretly desire to have sexual intercourse with each other.

21. Tips for writers: Even if two characters you find attractive are gender- and sexual-preference-appropriate for each other, that does not automatically mean they “should” hook up. If they are not sexual-preference-appropriate partners, bending the laws of space and time to make them bi or gay when they are not is not “being gay positive,” it is called “having a sexual kink that is sparked by writing or reading about fictional people getting it on”.

22. Tips for writers: Relying on death, sex, or soap opera plots to insert Dramatic Tension in your story is rarely going to result in a fine result. It’s been done to death, it’s been done very badly, and there are other ways to construct plot and dramatic tension and excitement into a story.

23. Tips for writers: Mixed metaphors, especially inserting quotes from another obsession or fandom ‘verse into your writing, is generally a bad idea. Strive to be original and to speak in your own voice when writing, without neglecting the natural voice and character development set forth in canon for your borrowed characters. NOTE: Crossover fic has its own rules, but it is still a good idea to remain true to the various established personalities and ‘voices’ of your borrowed characters.

24. If cosplay is part of your fandom, glamour bombing and freaking the mundanes is an attention-seeking ploy that makes your fandom peers look bad by association. Try to restrict your urge to run around like a vampire or fox person to your private gathering spot.

25. If you are a furry, don’t bother non-furries or try to win converts, and, for god’s sake, please don’t mongle your dog.

I’m just sayin’, man.

I could go on, but I’m getting repetitive.

Our Panel Of Experts: Advice For The Lovelorn And More

kitty

The Panel were contacted and asked to convene in the Star Chamber here at Der Haus of Eclecstacy, and after consuming five boxes of baked cheese cracker snacks, four cartons of Sampoerna cigarettes, half a key lime pie, four thin-crust chicken and bacon BBQ pizzas, a can of Chef Boy-Ar-Dee ravioli, three eggs, two half gallons of Breyer’s ice cream (chocolate mint and french vanilla), a bottle of Godiva liqueur, one and a half bottles of Kahlua, some Jamaican rum that had been imported to the US in 1945, two bottles of Absolut vanilla vodka, a bottle of Stoli, 144 beers of various types, a quart of cheap scotch, some box wine, some bumwine, and some cinnamon-flavoured mouthwash, they all took long naps carefully considered the Topics Du Jour.

Dear Panel:

I would like to hear the blog’s Panel of Experts’ thoughts on this. What techniques are best for holding men’s attentions? And is any man who has to be ego-boosted and coddled to that degree really worth having?

From: cyanidefish

* * *

During the 1960s, I think, people forgot what emotions were supposed to be. And I don’t think they’ve ever remembered. Employees make the best dates. You don’t have to pick them up and they’re always tax-deductible. I had a lot of dates but I decided to stay home and dye my eyebrows.

When I got my first television set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships. I’m the type who’d be happy not going anywhere as long as I was sure I knew exactly what was happening at the places I wasn’t going to. I’m the type who’d like to sit home and watch every party that I’m invited to on a monitor in my bedroom.

People need to be made more aware of the need to work at learning how to live because life is so quick and sometimes it goes away too quickly. Sex is more exciting on the screen and between the pages than between the sheets. The most exciting thing is not doing it. If you fall in love with someone and never do it, it’s much more exciting. The most exciting love attractions are between two opposites that never meet.

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

I think that being interesting is interesting. My Superstars are either beauties or talkers. Edie was a beauty, gee! But I always liked my talkers best.

Love,


Andy

* * *

You know you’ve made it when you’ve been moulded in miniature plastic. But you know what children do with Barbie dolls – it’s a bit scary, actually. You can tell a lot about a woman if you ask her what games she used to play with me.

Ken doesn’t seem to need much coddling. He’s perfectly comfortable with all my high-profile, high-powered careers. Of course, after a few decades, I discovered he was holding me back. I think a good partner grows as much intellectually and emotionally and spiritually as you do, when you are in a relationship.

It’s not so much about looks. Neither of us is anatomically correct, you know.

XOXO,

Babs

* * *

When it comes to Couture Chaos, this Tacky Terror should take a bow – looks like an over-the-hill Lolita.

What?

What?!

Stylishly yours,

Mister B.

* * *

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.

When I think about relationships, I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound – if I could remember any of the damn things.

I require three things in a man: he must be handsome, ruthless and stupid. The best way to keep a man at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant–and let the air out of the tires. Four be the things I’d have been better without: love, curiosity, freckles and doubt. Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves: you can apply that to relationships, too. In the boudoir, brevity is the soul of lingerie.

In life, everything comes and goes in cycles. Why, every year, back come Spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants. You may lose in love on occasion, but your time will come.

This would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment. Sometimes one can overthink things. Men are silly things to feel angst about. Like crosstown busses, another one comes along if you wait long enough.

Have a martini, darling.

Cheers,

Dot

* * *

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use. Nothing is less important than which fork you use. Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is honor. Manners are made up of trivialities of deportment which can be easily learned if one does not happen to know them; manner is personality—the outward manifestation of one’s innate character and attitude toward life…. Etiquette must, if it is to be of more than trifling use, include ethics as well as manners. Certainly what one is, is of far greater importance than what one appears to be.

There are certain things a lady can do to be more mannerly, however. The attributes of a great lady may still be found in the rule of the four S’s: Sincerity, Simplicity, Sympathy and Serenity. The joy of joys is the person of light but unmalicious humor. She must not swing her arms as though they were dangling ropes; she must not switch herself this way and that; she must not shout; and she must not, while wearing her bridal veil, smoke a cigarette. Be yourself. The most vulgar slang is scarcely worse than the attempted elegance which those unused to good society imagine to be the evidence of cultivation.

A single woman must endure the rapt attention of everyone around her, all will wish to know her business. The pretty young woman living alone, must literally follow Cinderella’s habits. The magpie never leaves her window sill and the jackal sits on the doormat, and the news of her every going out and coming in, of every one whom she receives, when they come, how long they stay and at what hour they go, is spread broadcast.

Training a man is exactly like training a puppy; a little heedless inattention and it is out of hand immediately; the great thing is not to let it acquire bad habits that must afterward be broken. Anyone can be taught to be beautifully behaved with no effort greater than quiet patience and perseverance, whereas to break bad habits once they are acquired is a Herculean task. Ego-boosting? Whereas one believes that this must cut both ways, a little praise is not only merest justice but is beyond the purse of no one.

Selflessness, or unconsciousness of self, is not so much unselfishness as it is the mental ability to extinguish all thought of one’s self—-exactly as one turns out the light.

Being devoted to one’s love is not coddling; coddling is akin to spoiling, and spoiling is a grave mistake. There is a quality of protectiveness in a man’s expression as it falls on his betrothed, as though she were so lovely a breath might break her; and in the eyes of a girl whose love is really deep, there is always evidence of that most beautiful look of championship, as though she thought: “No one else can possibly know how wonderful he is!” Appreciating one’s partner is never unmannerly or inappropriate.

Respectfully yours,

Emily Post (Miss)

* * *

I see myself as an intelligent, sensitive human, with the soul of a clown which forces me to blow it at the most important moments.

A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself-and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. The same applies to a partner. Your partner should also be your friend, man. Friends can help each other. That’s what real love amounts to–letting a person be what she or he really is. Love cannot save you from your own fate, however.

We fear violence less than our own feelings. Personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict.

Blake said that the body was the soul’s prison unless the five senses are fully developed and open. He considered the senses the ‘windows of the soul.’ When sex involves all the senses intensely, it can be like a mystical experence, man! I believe in a long, prolonged derangement of the senses to attain the unknown. Yeah! I think the highest and lowest points are the important ones. Anything else is just…in between. I want the freedom to try everything. Our pale reasoning hides the infinite from us. Drugs are a bet with your mind. It’s like gambling somehow. You go out for a night of drinking and you don’t know where you’re going to end up the next day. It could work out well or it could be disastrous. It’s like the throw of the dice. Where’s your will to be weird? Of course, I’m probably not one to talk about the benefits of drugs and shit.

Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.

This is the strangest life I’ve ever known.

Oh yeah, a righteous chick loves you when you get fat and hairy and can’t fit into your leather pants anymore. Your old man should love you, too, despite your exterior flaws. Love the mind, the spirit, not the container. But don’t totally, like, neglect the container. Destruction of the container affects the beautiful things within.

Peace,

The Lizard King

* * *

O HAI. LET ME SHO U MY ADVICES. MY ADVICES, LET ME SHO U THEM.

MANS WHO WANT TAKING MOAR THAN GIVING IS BAD MANS. I ARE CAT, I LIKE TAKE THINGS, BUT I GIVE LUV BACK. IS FAIR.

TEKNEEK FOR ATTRACT MANS: SHO MANS UR BUTT! HOLD IT UP HIGH! PUT IT IN MANS FACE. MAKE PURR. RUB U HED ON MANS. MEW SWEETLEE. IT ARE ALWAYS WERKING.

IF MANS IS BAD, U SKRATCHEZ MANS. OR PEE ON MANS PILLO. THAT TEACHEZ MANS NOT TO BEING BAD MANS.

IM IN UR BLOG, BEIN’ ALL SMRT.

MIAO,

MEEZERS

* * *

My heart is a gypsy–continuously searching for a home, fighting within itself, wondering whether it is weak or even right for that matter to be searching in the first place. Loneliness is what it feels like. Other women think I’m a slut. They just want to be like me. They’re seeing the glamour icon but don’t realize…there are more facets to me besides spreading my legs.

When I am asked my advice about someone’s relationship problems, I always look at both sides and totally understand their fears of the unknown…and Whenever there is any type of “adult” stigma surrounding the fear, the worst is always assumed. I, like, hate that shit. Human sexuality has a specific nature, We are more likely to be satisfied with the outcome, if we work with our biology rather than against it.

Feminism? Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition!

Who says porn queens can’t be cosmically correct? Let there be pleasure and ecstasy on earth and let it begin with me.

Kisses,


Melony


Dear Panel:

I have a sofa. It isn’t an expensive sofa, nor a designer sofa, but I like it. My problem is that my three cats also like it…as a toilet. We can’t figure out which cat is the culprit, and we’re at our wits’ end. We love our cats, but we also like our sofa. We assume that even if we removed the sofa, the new sofa we’d get to replace it would not be immune to being mistaken for a litterpan. Can you help?

(Anonymous)

Dear (Anonymous):

Ah, the game of What Cat Shat On That. We have played that game before. You have my sympathies. There are a few things you can try.

Since removing the cats or the sofa as solutions are both out, your choices are more limited. We thus suggest that you try isolating your cats from the sofa. Place two of them in a room together, shut the door, and let the third roam free. This presumes that you have litterboxes in both the free-range area and the enclosed area. If the first cat does not indulge in Sneak Pewpin, try this arrangement again with the other cats. If three weeks go by and there are no poops on your sofa, that, in and of itself, is a major success. If three weeks go by and no one falls for the Crap Trap, it’s time to reverse your system. Two cats out, one cat in. Eventually one will break down and decorate your sofa. The process of elimination (no pun intended) will help narrow down your list of suspects. Once you identify the Stealth Doodymaker, you can strive to separate Guilty Party from sofa. That should cut down on the spot cleaning and cursing you’ve endured so far.

Another way to deal with the Random Poo-By: cover your sofa with aluminium foil. For some reason, cats dislike the sound it makes when they walk on it. Most cats. They have to walk on it to get into position to let fly the bowels of war, however. So this may stop the annoyance. Of course, you may have a strange cat who enjoys chewing tinfoil. This is a bad thing, and is to be discouraged. Tinfoil is not a food. If you have one of these contrary beasts, covering up your sofa like a leftover is not the solution for you.

There are chemical solutions to your problem, but, like the tinfoil solution, this can be thwarted if you have a Weird Cat. (For some reason, Siamese and Tonkinese tend to be prone to Weird Cat Syndrome, but no particular breeds are immune.) On the off chance that your cat is not weird, head to your local pet supply emporium and request sprays that make your furniture smell unappealing to all but the strangest animals (and hounds–hounds will eat anything).

It goes without saying that any time a cat stops using its litterpan that there may be an underlying physical reason. UTIs tend to lead to Dribbles Of Doom all over your house. Stress can lead to the poo scootin’ boogies all over your furniture. Take your beasts into a vet to rule out a physical ailment first thing, and if our solutions fail to stop the problem, don’t hesitate to write back.

Yours,

Tha Prof

* * *

DERE ANNONYMOUSE:

HAI THAR. IM SRS CAT AN THIS ARE SRS PRUBLIM. HAZ U STOPT GIVEN UR CATZ THE GOOSHY FUDZ? DEY MAY BE ANGERY AT U BECAZ WE WANTZ THE GOOSHY FUDZ.

GIF UR CATZ THE GOOSHY FUDZ.

LUV,

M. Meezers

P.S. HAY, IZ U RILY MOUSE? COM VISIT MEH, K?


Dear Panel:
I am desperate. I like this girl, a LOT. She’s beautiful, and smart, and popular. And, well, I’m not. Not that I’m ugly or anything, or stupid, but I compare myself to her and I feel like I couldn’t possibly stand a chance with her. I’m really, really, shy, but I’ve tried sending her flowers, and writing poems and sticking them in her locker, sending her funny haikus on Twitter, and leaving comments on her Facebook, Tumblr, LiveJournal and MySpace profiles, and she won’t respond to me. What should I do?!

Call me…Ishmael.

Dear “Ishmael”:

Even in this hurry-scurry modern era, the most worthy females of good social standing cannot help but be duly impressed by the niceties of good breeding. If you cultivate a familiarity with the differences between a salad fork and a dinner fork, this is a type of knowledge that should, as they say in the vulgar vernacular, do the trick.

Actually, that is but a wry jest on my part. It is not the juggling of forks that makes one mannerly, but character and honor. You may be frightening the young lady with your tactics. Your wooing is rather persistent, given that you have had little response to spur you on. Perhaps being more reserved in demeanor is the answer.

If this fails, you should attempt to ingratiate yourself with her chaperone. Leave your calling card when visiting if the family is not receiving visitors on that particular day. Work on your bowing; a gentleman knows all the different forms, from the slightest inclination of the head to a nodding acquaintance, to the deepest bow, which includes lowering yourself onto one knee, and which should be reserved only for royalty. It is possible that your poetry lacked a certain refined grace, or that your posies were chosen rashly, without regard for the subtlety and romance a knowledge of the symbolism of flowers would provide.

If all else fails, take up the lute. Ladies do love a musician.

With warm regards,

You may call me…Emily.

* * *

Hey man, why be so uptight?

Chicks love it when you write poetry. “Death makes angels of us all, and gives us wings, where we had shoulders, smooth as raven’s claws.”

They eat that shit up, man.

Also, drugs are good. Make even the most uptight, repressed, middle-class chick into a righteous woman. I should know, right? But, hey, they are illegal. If that harshes your mellow, you can try other things. Tequila can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you’re ready and willing to do just about anything.

You will notice the benefits of tequila almost immediately, and with a regimen of regular doses of tequila you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live.

Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past, (well, shyness anyway) and you will discover many talents you never knew you had! Stop hiding behind your shyness and start living, with tequila. Tequila may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use tequila. However, women who wouldn’t mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects of Tequila may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration, erotic lustfulness, loss of motor control, loss of clothing, loss of money, loss of virginity, delusions of grandeur, table dancing, headache, dehydration, dry mouth, and a desire to sing Karaoke and play all-night rounds of Strip Poker, Truth Or Dare, and Naked Twister.

Tequila. Leave Shyness Behind.

Emily also has a point about the musician thing. Man, I’m dead, and chicks still make pilgrimages to my tomb, dude.

Peace, love, and leather pants,

Jim


Dear Panel:

I’m a stand-up comedian. I’ve been doing stand-up at the local improv for the last three years; ever since I graduated High School. I use to make some people laugh, but now they mostly look at me like I’m a freakin’ retard. I was thinking about going to improv school, but with my job at McDonald’s, I just can’t afford it. How can I learn how to be funny, for free?

“Shecky”

Dear Shecky:

When John Cleese tired of questions about where he got his jokes from, he resorted to, “I buy them from a little man in Swindon.” The truth is much more prosaic. Jokes are about 10 per cent inspiration and 90 per cent whittling and crafting – much of it in front of an audience. So, keep practicing!

A professional comic’s routine may be based on true personal experience, but real experience doesn’t tend to come conveniently complete with a punchline. That’s why most comics are outrageous liars. It’s also why pathological observational comics may even begin to provoke ‘hilarious’ denouements by deliberately forgetting their wedding anniversaries or leaving their children in the supermarket. We’ll assume that they did not do these things in actuality, though the “leaving of children in supermarket” thing is comedy gold, and probably a good idea to adopt in real life.

Jerry Seinfeld compares telling a joke to attempting to leap a metaphorical canyon, taking the audience with him. The set-up is the nearside cliff, and the punchline is the far side. If they’re too far apart, the listeners don’t make it to the other side. And if they are too close together, the audience just steps across the gap without experiencing any exhilarating leap. The joke-hearer gets far more pleasure from the joke if he or she has to do a little work. Whether or not Jerry Seinfeld is actually funny is a debate we should address at a different time.

A very cheap and easy way of making people laugh is to throw in some swear words. It’s become something of a tradition among the more iconoclastic comics to write a routine that is ostensibly aimed at depriving taboo words of their power to shock, but which conveniently harnesses the power of shocking words to make us laugh. George Carlin says, ‘Shock is just another form of surprise, and comedy is based on surprise. This is a noisy culture… If you want to be heard, then you have to raise your voice a little bit. If swearing is the only thing going for you, it won’t last long.” This, from the guy who brought us “seven words you can’t say on television.” So don’t fucking swear just to fucking swear.

Timing is everything. Ask anyone who resorts to the “pull out” method of birth control. It can go well, but it’s a tricky procedure. And, if in the hands of an amateur, it can go very badly indeed. Surprise is often worked into a joke through the “pull-back and reveal” technique (which is totally unrelated to the “pull out” method, just to be clear). The joke focuses your attention on a particular angle or detail of the scene, then suddenly pans out to show you the whole, surprising picture. Very often the success of these jokes hinges on the joke-teller’s subtle control of rhythm: a beat here, a breath there. The difference between a funny story and a joke is often verbal economy. It’s not that long, wordy jokes can’t be funny, but if too much is explained, there’s no logical leap for the audience to make, and the paradigm shift which elicits laughter is lost.

If nothing else, learn what words sound funny. Neil Simon had one of his characters explain it thusly: “Fifty-seven years in this business, you learn a few things. You know which words are funny and which words are not funny. Alka-Seltzer is funny. You say Alka-Seltzer, you get a laugh. Words with K in them are funny. Casey Stengel, that’s a funny name. Robert Taylor is not funny. Cupcake is funny. Tomato is not funny. Cookie is funny. Cucumber is funny.” Observe:Wombat, kazoo, yoghurt, Port-a-Loo, Sasquatch, pantomine, jelly doughnut. I am a comedy GOD.

Other tips: Pick your moments. It’s easiest to tell a joke when everyone’s relaxed and enjoying themselves. Telling a joke to relieve tension is a high-risk strategy, but potentially hilarious. Besides, there’ll be other funerals. Know where you’re going–the punchline–before you start. Don’t be tempted to over-elaborate. Eddie Izzard makes it look easy, but remember that one man’s surreal flight of fancy is another man’s rambling, incoherent humiliation. Project a demeanour of relaxed confidence–it gives your listener permission to laugh. You can try deadpan, but social joke-telling usually requires the teller to laugh too. Enjoy it. If your entire self-esteem is resting on whether people laugh at your joke, then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. On the other hand, you are showing signs of the borderline personality disorder that characterises all the best comedians, so perhaps you should consider telling jokes for a living. Whatever you do, refrain from prop humour. Smashing watermelons is so passé.

By the way, I have been reciting this entire post in the voice of “Uncle Arthur” on Bewitched. People are currently piddling their drawers from Kalamazoo to Palo Alto. Top that, motherfucker.

Toodles!

Uncle Paul