The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘silly’

Noon Year’s Eve Party

Dear fellow new parents and otherwise sleepy individuals,

How are you? Are you excited about New Year’s Eve? Kind of an ‘eh’? Hey, me too! And guess what, I’ve got a party for you!

That’s right, it’s Noon Year’s Eve! We’ll have brunch (eggs, bacon, another helping of bacon, biscuits, hash browns, and tortillas in case a fork isn’t your thing and you want to eat your food in an edible carrying case) and then count down to 12!

Twelve noon.

When noon hits, we’ll continue to sip coffee and talk and sit around. It’s only noon, you seriously already need to go to bed? We’re a judgement free zone, so, sure, go ahead. There’s a bunch of blankets in the corner, we call it ‘blanket corner.’ Head over there and knock out. It’s fine. But I hope you can sleep over the uproarious sound of forks on plates (cinnamon roles for dessert, anyone?) and spoons stirring their coffee.

Join us, sleepyheads, and we’ll rock in Noon Year’s Eve, because midnight is too damn late.

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Baby Board

Jim Francis was furious, the numbers that Dave Standton had reported looked bad. Very bad. The board’s care team was glancing amongst themselves, looking nervous. This was going to be a long meeting.

Thus far, the board meeting had proceeded without much chaos, but the horizon looked worrisome.

Standing up next to report on new products for the coming quarter, to hopefully reverse the tragedy that is the projected numbers for this quarter, was Jill Hargrove. Jill looked around the room, eyes unable to focus on anything, one eye going over there, now making direct eye contact, then quickly darting to stare at the lights in the room … a slight smile appeared on Jill’s face before disappearing and she began.

It was bad. There were no noteworthy new products, like Apple, the company was in a rut of marketing new versions of the same thing. But, unlike Apple, their customers tended to notice and be angry.

Jim’s forehead crinkled, his eyes narrowed, and then, there it was, his mouth opened wide and a loud, heart-wrenching scream pierced the room. A care team member jumped up and tried to get a pacifier into Jim’s mouth but he was too late, he was deep in the throws of his crying. Two other care team members came and, together, the three of them picked up Jim and rocked him until he calmed enough to get the pacifier. Calmed, he was put back into his leather office chair, and with the room quieted Jill continued while Jim sucked angrily on his pacifier, his eyes seemed shooting fire around the room.

This was no ordinary board of directors. Each of the directors, while intelligent, capable, and fully grown, also had the peculiar habit of acting like a newborn.

With one crisis down, another began, as Jill stopped speaking and began shaking her head vigorously side-to-side, mouth opening and closing as her arms began to flail about. Her thrashing was erratic, terrifying, and building momentum. Thankfully, one of her arms accidentally smacked into her head and she plopped back down into her chair while sucking on her knuckles. The care team was one step ahead this time, and they deftly plopped a bottle into Jill’s mouth while gently sliding her knuckles out of the way.

The meeting was, as far as these go, pretty productive. They had lasted seventeen minutes.

The care team moved Jim and Jill out of the room, wheeling them back to their offices. Dave stayed behind, he had fallen asleep. There was another meeting starting soon, but who could possibly wake him up to make that next meeting?, he looked so adorable.

Potluck Sign Up Sheet

We here at DumbFunnery aren’t above a little tomfoolery. A trifle chicanery. A pinch of hijinks.

And one way to show that is anytime you come across a physical sign up sheet for a potluck. You’re walking along and suddenly, there it is, a little opportunity to exercise some creativity.

So grab a pin, take a quick, nervous glance around, and get to work.

Are you Peggy, bringing chinchilla surprise?

Are you Tom, bringing creamed man meat?

Are you Sus, bringing 2 to 4 cans of spinach with some straws?

07c7cad336a91d0807938ce6efb9ee86The key is to picture the confusion on people’s faces when they read this, the wonder, the hope, the fear. ‘Oh, please Lord, let Peggy label her chinchilla surprise so I don’t accidentally eat it.’

Are you Jerry, bringing FAMILY SIZED PORTION OF GLART?

Are you Paul, bringing egg, or shareable egg?

Don’t forget about adjectives, why not throw some adjectives not typically associated with foods on there?

Are you Jackson, bringing an incredibly sexy meatloaf?

Are you Parul, bringing judgemental paella (NO MOMS ALLOWED)?

See what I did on that last one – I overwhelmed you. That’s a rookie mistake. You can bring pancakes (NO MOMS ALLOWED) or you can bring flirty pancakes, but you can’t combine those two things. Then it’s obvious you’re a wackadoo. You’ve got to pace your crazy.

Get out there, pretend you’re Gunther, claim to be bringing your chilled yum yums – no cinnamin this time 🙂 and have fun.

As always, we here at DumbFunnery encourage kindness and weirdness, happy potlucking.

Only YOU Can Prevent a Social Life

Toastmasters speech number nine, Persuade with Power, is a speech where you focus on persuading the audience of something or getting them jazzed about some call to action. For my speech, I decided to persuade the audience they could sit around and do nothing, completely clearing their life of social obligations, by being an absolute weirdo which would lead to no more invites.

 

Picture this! You are a little more awake than you feel at this moment and you are beginning to let your mind skip ahead to the weekend. Your weekend … is free. No plans at all. And you are feeling pretty ambitious.

A friend texts, hike Saturday morning? Heck yes.

You bump into another friend, dinner Friday night? Sounds great!

There’s something you’re on the fence about for Saturday afternoon but you know what … yeah, let’s do it.

And then you get a reminder – don’t forget, you’ve got that thing going on Sunday night.

And now we fast forward to Monday morning and you’ve hit your alarm … where did the weekend go? How was it so go-go-go? This coming weekend, yes, this coming weekend I’ll just wake up and do … nothing. Sweet, glorious nothing.

But … those DANG social graces of yours. You’re probably thinking to yourself, ‘of course I’m getting invited out Brad. It’s my natural charisma. I’ll admit, I have smiled when passing the mirror and swooned. How can I possibly keep from having a full calendar?’

Have no fears. By the end of my speech you will leave here CONFIDENT that you will soon have a free weekend. My tricks will have you failing to impress at a cocktail party, or any number of social gatherings, in no time.

But who am I to give such a fool proof plan on failing to impress? What books have I read to teach me this? What training have I taken? (Fake chuckle) Don’t worry, been there, done that, haven’t been invited back.

For the purposes of this speech I will divide the world into four categories of people. There are the youth, the ‘surly folks’ (I’ll define that later), people you want desperately to impress, and your peers.

I

Let’s start with the youth.

For this group you may want to do some research. You want to have enough of an awareness of slang to really pain them when you use it. If your slang is outdated, then you’ve accidentally just impressed them because they’ll be so unaware of that slang that they’ll now claim your outdated slang as some cool new thing.

I’ll admit, my slang is already outdated. But I might try something like this:

Hey kids! Woah, look at those jeans, someone is looking rather fleekish. And it looks like somebody here has a few tomatoes on their little plate of snacks! Now that’s what I call YOLO! Because guys, really, you only live once, so eat a well-balanced diet. Ok, now, everyone tell me your favorite subject in school!

Overall, this category of people isn’t difficult, just try really hard to make them think you’re ‘cool’ and you’re guaranteed to fail to impress.

II

Let’s move on. The ‘surly types.’

These are the people that have a disposition that would make you think life is one giant waiting line at the DMV. They might come across as, at best, stoic, and at worst, openly disgusted.

Really, we could skip this section – the fact that you’re there, at all? You’ve already failed to impress them. But are we the type to merely content ourselves with success? No, I think we need to overwhelm them with a failure to impress.

I’ve got good news, and I’ve got better news. The good news is that this is an EASY group to fail to impress. The better news is that you’re about to learn some magic tricks.

Because you know what this group doesn’t like? Magic.

I want you to picture the person that comes to mind for this unbending, unhappy, lip-practically-curled-in-disgust-at-all-times person in your life – and visualize how they’ll react to the following magic trick.

(Two fingers bouncing back and forth and then lose one behind someone’s ear)

Remember, it’s not important if you get the magic trick exactly right or not, what is important is being a bother.

III

Next – people you want to impress. You might think failing to impress them could come naturally, but I have a counter example.

After college I was visiting a friend of mine and I met his boyfriend for the first time. We were having dinner and drinks and we’re out at a restaurant. One of my friends was trying to convince me to talk to a girl and I explained my disinterest in my own way, and the boyfriend piped up – ‘ohhhh! You’re BRAD! The non-game game!’

‘What?’ I asked.

‘Like, your absolute lack of game is … your game.’

This was a little insulting, but VERY accurate. But here’s the crazy thing, I’m married. CLEARLY there are people into the non-game game.

For this group, try being painfully aware of your body and every physical movement you do.

Picture two people up here talking, and I’ll show my interest in being a part of their conversation.

(Stand apart and stare – fake laughing sometimes, raising my hand at one point, whispering to myself … etc)

This one is tough. To fail to impress people with just nonverbal communication is an impressive feat, but I have confidence that, with time and practice, all of you can be creepy strangers.

IV

Last, but certainly not least, are your peers.

Your peers might be just as out of the loop about slang as you, and mistakenly think your bad use of slang is ‘cool’, your peers might actually think ‘magic’ tricks are enjoyable, and worst of all – you may end up in an uncomfortable stare-off with a peer before you realize it, and end up leaving the party having failed to not impress a single soul.

This is a difficult group to fail to impress, because if you don’t want to be there, they probably don’t either. They’re going to be forgiving of you being odd because they get it, too. For this group, you’re going to need to be confident, and I want there to be music playing in your head that doesn’t match any music that may happen to be playing in the room.

When all else fails, a good pun will do.

‘What is this, pâté? More like pâté-plus!’ (Self-high five.)

Conclusion

Social obligations are a part of life. Sometimes you’re going to be invited to something, and feel compelled to be there. Or, your ambitious self will make weekend plans only to later regret it.

You want people to think about their upcoming social event to consider you, exchange looks and say, ‘mmm … I don’t know if he’ll mesh with everyone else.’

If you remember nothing else about my speech today, remember I believe in you. I know that you can overcome the odds and truly fail to impress not just one person, but a WHOLE party of people gathered at a restaurant, a wedding, a house, even your own home.

Remember, only YOU can prevent a social life.

Attn: Ellen (11/30/16)

Front

ellen288a

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

ellen288b

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

A lot of books and movies have a character with some terrible secret, and that character lives with anxiety/worry/fear/etc. and someone threatens to reveal that awful secret and the character feels relief even though they also don’t want that to happen?

That’s me every football season – except I’m living anxiously until I realize my teams I like have zero chance and then I can finally relax. Hope free beats delusional state of wishful thinking in my book.

Sincerely,
DumbFunnery.com

Why am I doing this?

Attn: Ellen (11/23/16)

Front

ellen287a

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

ellen287b

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

Here we see a depiction of an American woman escaping contentious and fruitless political conversation over Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and remember to keep your escape canoe handy.

Sincerely,
DumbFunnery.com OR @DumbFunnery

Why am I doing this?

Chatty Copy

I’m going to make your day a smidgen worse.

 

This is nothing new, but something I hadn’t noticed. Allow me to introduce it to you … Imagine a sign above a water fountain at a gym. These days, that sign might read something like:

 

“Hey buddy! Thirsty, huh? Drink up – it’s important to hydrate! But remember, this is a public water fountain, please don’t make a mess and move out of line as soon as you finish!”

 

A less chatty version of this same message?

 

“Respect other water fountain users.”

 

Or, if you want to spell it out more.

 

“Respect others – don’t leave a mess, and move along quickly.”

 

Now that I’ve been introduced to chatty copy I can’t notice how it seems to be EVERYWHERE.

 

Think to yourself, is this telling me about a product or some information? Is it also trying to be weirdly chummy while doing so? Hey hey, you’ve just run into some chatty copy! Why say with 10 words what you can say in 100 words with an emoji to boot?

 

I think it is on the decline or way out at this point, but what an interesting trend that seemed to have swept so many different companies and notices/warnings all over. This makes me want to pay more deliberate attention to advertising in all its various forms, instead of letting it be the background noise that sticks in my head. I feel like paying attention to ads and dissecting them takes a bit of the crafty subtle manipulative powers away from them. But then again, they are so abundant you can’t help but want to tune them out. At this point I’m just rambling. (This is not a form of advertising as far as I know.)

 

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Let’s hope Charmin never embraces chatty copy.

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