Category Archives: Humour

Age is wasted on the not-so-young

An homage to Bernard Shaw’s “Youth is wasted on the young”, there’s something to think about when a nine year old boy is giving advice on relationships, which is selling AND being made into a movie.  Points to note:

  • It’s a boy
  • … talking about relationships
  • … giving advice
  • … about stuff that continues to be out there (that is, it’s not new or ground breaking knowledge)
  • … which adults continue to ignore!

Hmmm.

The kid observed other kids and provided advice for kids.  I observe adults.  Now of course I generalize and hypothesize (so much fun and entirely liberating), but I’d say I wouldn’t give my pet fish (if I had one) juggling sticks to keep itself amused.  Or take a 5 yr old child to see a political commentary monologue on stage (unless s/he was truly interested, in which case I’d say a special prayer for their well-being and take them to a psychologist instead).  And yet I see in relationships people speaking different love languages; in essence, not giving the other what is important to them, rather what is convenient for us.  And we then are surprised, baffled and upset that things don’t work out.

Apparently we tried to do it to pandas too (i.e. give them something they didn’t need or want) – hoping to increase their population by feeding them viagra or showing panda adult videos (not kidding).  Didn’t prove effective there either.  Eventually the pandas worked it out themselves and therefore haven’t become extinct yet.

The moral of the story?  Humans also have to stop watching adult videos to save themselves from becoming extinct.

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Aviate this

Ever wondered what it would be like if the vehicle (car/ SUV) you were travelling in suddenly took flight?  OK so maybe I’m the only one with over-active imagination and a dangerous ADD while on the road.  Different topic.  But I recently had that experience; well, almost.  In a recent short-hop flight, I had the distinct pleasure (?!) of getting into an aeroplane and going “You’ve got to be kidding me!!”.  I guess I should have clued in when, going from the boarding lounge to the plane, the walkway was sloping down.  I thought maybe the support underneath hadn’t been configured to the right height, and busy in my “Oh I miss my bed” thoughts, I kept on going with my usual innocent optimism. 

The door that I (at my average female height) had to duck to enter was another sign that something is oddly Lilliputian about this scenario.  But before I could analyze it further, the air hostess looked at my average sized carry on and said, “Would you please leave that outside, right there by the plane’s entrance?”  I’m like ‘not on your life lady!’ but outwardly “but why?  this is not checked baggage!” 

“Yes I understand, but the overhead compartment is not big enough for this, so you’ll have to leave it outside, and trust me that it’ll be there waiting for you when you arrive at your destination and alight from the plane”.   Trust my entire trip-survival package, cosmetics, toothbrush, change of clothes, and unmentionables to … no one in particular?  I guess the look of disbelief and panic on my face must have been unusually eloquent.  The hostess, very politely, explained it to me again and reconfirmed that I can choose between her way or foregoing the flight (OK I paraphrase).

Bidding my bag a tearful “see you soon!”, I (ducked and) stepped into the grand Embraer RJ135.  I’ve never been claustrophobic but this plan was literally 3 seats wide and 13 rows long.  I could stretch and knock the neighbouring passenger’s head out of the window on the other side of the plane!  And yes the overhead could barely carry a (small) pack of chips. 

The saving grace was that the hostess was exceedingly funny, the 17″ seats were leather-covered and comfortable, there were emergency exits pointed out to us, and the drinks trolley didn’t fatally injure anyone while going through the 8 inch aisle.  And my carry-on bag was waiting for me at the other end.  I hugged it tight.

Note to self: Careful of what you wish for while you’re imagining weird stuff on the road.  It just might happen!

Odd Job

There is a need for someone to take on the uniquely challenging position of … “Bear Management Technician”.  All interested may evaluate themselves along the following criteria:

  • You are motivated to support the Bear Wise program
    (please note that at this time it’s only the bear that’s wise, and you will be wiser after the experience)
  • You can provide effective solutions to human-bear conflicts
    (remember that in all relationships and conflict situations, things can be worked out by trusting the other party and openly sharing your feelings by talking things through)
  • You are good at determining problem bear prevention tactics
    (all that tackling practice in football, successful bodychecks in hockey, and schoolyard fights that involved hand-to-hand combat with some on-the-ground wrestling, should certainly go on your resume)
  • You can demonstrate experience in bear capture/immobilization/relocation techniques
    (a live audition with the bear will be required, and hauling half-conscious friends to their homes after a wild party does not count as relevant “capture/immobilization/relocation techniques” experience)
  • You have demonstrated tact, diplomacy, good judgement
    (see above note about conflict resolution through talking)
  • You have computer skills in a variety of applications
    (be prepared to carry a pda and google your way out of a tricky negotiation)

It’s a seasonal temporary 5-month job, so there’s a possibility of extension if the 360 evaluation by the bear community supports it.  And no bribing the evaluators with mushy bear-hugs!  All interested applicants please follow the bear-marked trail (yes you’ll know where it’s been if you’re the person for this job) and leave your resume at the mouth of the bear’s den.  Pin it down with a jar of honey so it doesn’t fly away.  Applicants selected for an interview with the bear will be notified after the hibernation period is over.

All in a day’s play

Anyone expecting this to be a cohesive piece of writing, your wish-fulfilling-genie is on a break today.  (And no I don’t know when they’ll be back.)  The only accidental thing common to these musings is that they sort-of occurred within the same day, in the EST timezone.

If someone is about to scream, and the purpose is just to scream cos they feel like it, they should let the people within earshot know beforehand.  It’ll be quite distressing if they rushed to help, and then found out they were supposed to ignore thousands of years worth of evolutionary training.  I’d request the same courtesy from all artists/ performers.  If they’re just looking to express (rather than communicate or entertain), and I’m part of the audience, please let me know so I can stop trying to figure the art or performance out.  I have other uses for my limited gray cells, such as pondering on how best to use my gray cells.  If I go to see a dance performance, please have mercy and do not give me a euclidean riddle to solve in my off-work hours.  (And while we’re on that subject, please don’t give me those in my on-work hours either!)

So say I’m a believer.  In God, that is.  Or try to be.  One thing kinda common to all believers of the God-delusion (that’s a tongue-in-cheek homage to all those who choose to ignore Einstein’s conclusion on the topic) is that there’s no place we’re not watched.  In fact, one of the earliest-heard stories from my childhood (back when the stories aimed to communicate morals, not advertising tag lines) is when a teacher asks the students to go do a task where no-one was watching, and one child comes back saying, I couldn’t do it because everywhere I went, God was watching.  So why is it, that we behave so differently in the masjid, the house of God, than we do outside of it, as if that was the only place God can see us?  The same people who’d talk, work, take the bus, buy stuff at the counter, or any of a myriad of mundane everyday tasks in the presence of males and females, would be SO hesitant to coexist in the same physical room as the other gender?  One, it hasn’t been established that breathing the same recycled air as the other gender is forbidden.  Second, if it was, it’d be no worse doing it inside the mosque than outside of it.  And third, merely coexisting in the same space is about as desegregated an environment as that of Southern US (or British India) of the late 1800’s.  I don’t get it.  But what else is news.

I walk into a comedy show.  The audience is so white it’s like it snowed inside.  I don’t have a problem, but I do wonder.  Now that we see some brown on the ski-slopes, or even in cottage country and canoeing lakes, what’s up with comedy shows?  Either this “refined” entertainment escapes the rest of the human population, or they are (or think they are) so funny themselves they don’t need “hired help”?  The other interesting demographic is: it’s only women or couples.  I guess it’s just not a guy thing to go watch some dude being funny?  And once the courtship/ “winning over” period ends, it makes sense to pay the $15 or something to some other guy to amuse the wife/girlfriend.  Who can keep up that effort for life?  What I found amusing (certainly not the opening act) was the disclaimer that there may be adult material, but there’s no age restriction.  Talk about consistent laws!  I can’t hear this joke in a movie, but I can go hear it in a live show.  It’s bound to be less damaging to my young impressionable mind.

But of course, since I have electricity, running hot/cold water, reliable and safe transportation, and everything else to make my life comfy (including socks that have “fingers” for my toes just like gloves for the hands), I can sit back and complain about anything and everything.  Perfectly natural and justified.

Cutting God out of the picture!

In some muslim countries, movies are censored. And it’s not always the … er… “mature” bits, there are other kinds of “forbidia” as well (yes I created that word and am sticking by it!) Items of potential misuse by personnel that have yet to find anything productive to do, are also stricken/ snipped/ abbreviated/ edited… you get the drift. And this is done with complete and blatant disregard to the story, or the director’s sensibilities. Not even a condolence card or word of sympathy reaches those bereaved by the fate of the movie post-scissorum.

So Bruce Almighty plays in the theatres in one such country. With all the “God” scenes cut out of the picture. Did I mention it was the movie Bruce Almighty? So in the entire picture, there’s nothing left of Morgan Freeman, and the audience, who’ve already educated themselves via internet or other means we won’t discuss, are there enjoying a comedy movie, but laughing at parts the director had no intention of making funny! That is, the making up of the missing story bits with their own imaginations!

I watched the entire uncensored movie without for a moment holding any God-like feelings towards Morgan. I guess I’m part of the cynical jaded generation that has lost faith in the “truthfulness” of movies. This may be more harmful to the faithful who are more innocent than myself, and therefore are the loudest to protest. Perhaps there should be a special rating for such movies, with a minimum level of maturity, not measured in units of time on earth of just … “existing”.

And for those well-meaning folks who are touchy-feely about sensitivities, my vote would be to prioritize and protect those who are the weakest, needing protection. God isn’t in that picture either.

=> Retold with due credit and reverence to a dear person in my life, who is an incredible story-teller, and related this much better than I could!

The cost of living…

The day humans decided to store food and choose a sedentary life, they stepped into the “we” world inextricably and irreversibly, more so than any of them may have understood at the time.  Gone were the good ol’ days of “guy heaven”: hunting for food, shooting the breeze, making babies, coveting the neighboring hunter’s wive(s), and staying alive.  (Just to keep the records straight, the women did the boring unglamorous gathering job that provided stable daily nourishment, while the men did the unplanned and sexy, heroic, scarcely and occasionally successful hunting, which resulted in everyone overeating and getting sick because there were no food preservatives.)

Then they stumbled on growing food.  With natural laziness (more food with less work), risk-averseness (the plants can’t trample you to a pulp) and even more natural lack of foresight of implications, they started producing more than needed, and therefore storing food.  Now a few could work on the food, and others could do different stuff, like build sheds to protect the food.  But now too, there were the touchy-feely complicated matters of societal rules, specialization, dealing with others whether they liked the others, having to hide the coveting of the neighbor’s wive(s), etc.

Don’t like it?  Gone are the days of “total freedom”?  Well, tough!

So after thousands (15 or so) of years of evolution into societies and growth of civilization based on specialized skills and mutual dependence, some of us would like to believe that we’re “independent” and need only “worry about ourselves”, and most certainly “don’t want to give up my pleasure for Joe Shmoe”.   My freedom to drink, smoke, eat junk, produce babies out of wedlock or stable home, earn and spend irresponsibly, not look after my elders, …. is my unalienable right.

Maybe.  But.  There is a cost.  Of every decision.  For everyone.  Because we left the “independent” jungle living.  For reasons.

And for those with short-term convenient memories, it was dangerous, hot/cold, and there was no pizza or TV or internet.

Celebrating life

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
— Anonymous
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Everything has been figured out, except how to live.
Jean-Paul Sartre
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An autobiography is the story of how a man thinks he lived.
Herbert Samuel
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The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you’re still a rat.
Lily Tomlin
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Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.
Will Rogers
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Life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates bad television.
Woody Allen
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You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the America’s Cup, France is accusing the U.S. of arrogance, Germany doesn’t want to go to war, and the three most powerful men in America are named ‘Bush’, ‘Dick’, and ‘Colon’.
Chris Rock