Demicturation*

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I have recently been scolded for taking the piss out of people. I’m not surprised that I got the backlash – the person who complained was probably feeling a bit dehydrated at the time. That sort of thing can make you cranky.

Perhaps I was a little to obvious in my writing – and obvious is never a good thing in humour…particularly as comedy depends so much upon timing and exposure too soon in the joke spoils the ending. Let’s face it, we have all ruined a good joke at some stage of the game by blurting out the punchline too soon. I learned long ago that the best thing at that stage is just to drop it – no amount of backtracking will set the thing in operation again.

I have also learned that, just as revenge is a dish best enjoyed cold, public derision is most enjoyable when the subject does not perceive it. It is even more delicious when they contribute by applauding their own downfall. It would be a sad and disreputable thing to oil the stairs at the old folk’s home in hopes that they would fall to the bottom, but it is no sin to quote a famously cynical line from a famously false showman to someone who is trying the same flim flam…and then have them agree publicly.

Does that also sound cynical and false? Goodoh. The vitamins are working.

* Wee, the people…It gets better – you can make transparently and outrageously foolish statements to Australian politicians and as long as it seems to be their party line they and their supporters will write back and agree.

 

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The Dad Joke

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We are a sad society when we fail to see the goodness around us. Particularly when we fail to give credit where it is due – to the fathers of the world who tell jokes to their children. In particular to that selfless band of men who tell Dad Jokes.

For anyone who has been in the jungle since 1945 and has not experienced modern life, the Dad Joke is a humorous animal that stalks the helpless child but does it slowly and then runs over them in the gentlest possible way. How could it be otherwise – after all it is generally pretty lame.

Thus you can ask a 5-year-old what is brown and sticky and when they are just about to shout out ” poop!” you say ” a stick “. The humour and rage that chases over their face alternately is a joy to behold. You can do Knock Knock jokes that were stinkers in 1956 and still get away with them. If the child is in a car seat restraint they can’t get away either.

The best audience, however, is not the helpless toddler. It is the sophisticate at the cocktail party – the adult who has a vast vocabulary of bad language, indulges in sexual or racial humour, and considers themselves far too cool even to register on a thermometer. If you start an anecdote in a manner that suggests that it too will be suggestive, drag it out with extra preparation, and then deliver a certified Dad Joke, you will be heartily detested but untouchable. If they are caught out expecting a penis but getting a peanut, they look worse than you. Particularly if you employ the phrase ” If you know what I mean…” or ” Geddit…? “.

It is worth while practising in a mirror until you can deliver the jokes with smirks, leers, and raised eyebrows. Making a Tsch Tsch sound with your tongue is also good, particularly if the listener is a female of a certain age.

As a social tactic it is well up there with the practice of addressing everyone in the third person…such as ” How’s ( insert full name ) doing? when you are speaking directly to full name in the first place. You may add an age reference to increase the effect, and if you really want to ignite the love you add “the” and a title or relationship. Let me give you an example:

You go to someone’s house, wait until they pour you a glass of their liquor, and then turn to them and brightly say:

” And How’s The Young Fellow Doing? ” or “Well How’s The Old Brother-In-Law Feeling Today, Eh, Eh, Eh…?”

Then turn away before any reply is possible – head for the drinks table and slope off somewhere else. You will have made a social hit, and with luck, it will be below the waterline.