Comedy Think Tank

Monday, June 12, 2006

KIDS ARE FUNNY

My two-year old has been potty-trained for a while now. However, she occasionally will have little set backs. One day, I saw her doing an uncomfortable dance. I asked her, “Maddie, did you pee your pants?”
She responded, “No silly daddy, I’m not wearing pants. I peed in my dress.”

I had to do a bit of traveling this last weekend. I called home to talk to my family. My four-year-old boy got on the phone. “Dad, we went to Lagoon (the local amusement park.” He was really excited.
“What did you do there?” I asked.
“We went on the train. And the music ride. That was really fast . . . And I screamed like a girl.”

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

THE FINE PRINT
By Chad and Shelly Morris

There are words printed on almost everything. Do you ever start reading pointless things just because they are in front of you, like the back of a cereal box, a department store ad, or . . . um . . . well . . . this? Of course you do. Some of them can be quite amusing. It makes me laugh that shampoo bottles have directions, and that bags of carrots list its ingredients - “carrots.” And Kleenex boxes have the message, “If you have any questions or comments, please call 1-888-546-4652 weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.” This means that there has to be some poor soul sitting by a telephone for nine hours a day waiting for anyone to voice his or her fascinating tissue concerns.

The other day I noticed that on a lot of topical medications there are the words “Not for Ophthalmic Use.” This was a little funny to me. It would have to be a rare breed of idiot that thinks “Hey my dermatologist says this will help with enflamed, irritated skin, I think I’ll soak my contact lenses in it.” And if there is such an idiot (which the fact that the warning exists probably testifies that there is) are the words “Not for Ophthalmic Use” really going to do the trick? Shouldn’t we drop the fancy terminology and just write, “Don’t put in eyes!” or “Keep away from eyes” or “If you’re dumb enough to put this in your eyes, please tell the whole thing to the Kleenex guy at 1-888-546-4652 weekdays 8 am to 5 pm. He could probably use a good story.”

Of course there are even less logical things lingering in the realm of fine print. The best that I have found came with a Disney movie. It was a postcard that asked me a few questions in exchange for a chance to win a Disneyrific sweepstakes. At the bottom of the card in fine print read this exact quote, “In order to receive a prize, a Canadian prize claimant will be contacted by the judging organization and must correctly answer a mathematical skill-testing question without mechanical or other assistance within a time limit.” (This is completely true!!! That’s what makes it so funny.)

It could be just my crazy interpretation, but this doesn’t exactly sound like Canadians are going to get a fair shake. Just imagine.

The phone rings. An unsuspecting person in Calgary answers, “Congratulations, you just won the Disneyrific sweepstakes. Unbelievable magical prizes will be yours if you can answer a question. You can use no calculator, but it will only involve some simple counting. How many seconds has it been since Italy became a country? . . . Oh I’m sorry, you’re disqualified.” Or maybe “Think of a number. Now times it by 7. Now multiply by 3,657. Now divide it by your birthday. And guess how old I am. Now substract my age from your total. What is your answer? . . . I’m sorry you’re disqualified.” Or “You have 10 seconds to answer the following question. A train leaves Toronto at 4 am traveling toward Disney World at 75 mph. One of those cool little cars on train tracks with two people doing that teeter tooter motion leaves Burley Idaho going to the same destination at the same time. The wind is blowing 2,000 mph in a Southeasterly direction in Kentucky. Magical gnomes are conducting the train and feeding the fire with explosive gold dust. However, the teeter tooter car is manned by Kronk and Mr. Incredible and also includes a secret turbo combustion engine that will ignite if they exceed 27 miles per hour when its hailing in Romania. Which will arrive first. Oh! I’m sorry you’re time is up. You’re disqualified. If you have any questions or concerns please call the Kleenex guy at 1-888-546- . . . (oh you saw that one coming didn’t you?)”

And so we reach the end of my ramblings about fine print. “That was pointless” you might say to yourself. Honestly, such a statement would probably be true, unless you are a math teacher in Canada. Then the next time one of your young precocious students asks “when am I ever going to need this stuff?” you confidently reply, “If you’re a Canadian and happen to win a Disney sweepstakes, it just might come in handy.”

Sunday, February 12, 2006

FEBRUARY IS JUST PLAIN WEIRD
By Chad Morris

As far as months go, February is just plain weird. It’s even spelled weird. It has the mystery ‘r’ that no one pronounces. I still remember my elementary school teacher struggling to teach my class how to spell it. I thought she was making it up. In fact, maybe she did. In my younger years I used to theorize that my teachers plotted against me. Perhaps I wasn’t far off. Maybe this is just a small example of how teachers through the ages have met after school and brainstormed ways of making education a little more torturous.

“Let’s see. How can we make kids’ lives more torturous?”

“I have an idea! Let’s give the kids a little break. No homework for the next day or two. We’ll give them a false sense of security and then—WHAM!—everyone assign unreasonable amounts of busy work on Friday.”

“GENIUS!”

“Oh! And we should all be extremely vague about what the assignments are, and when they’re due.”

“Of course.”

“Any other ideas?”

“Let’s put another ‘r’ in the word ‘Febuary.’ I’m getting far too many perfect scores on my spelling tests.”

“Where would you want the extra r?”

“Who cares, as long as it doesn’t make any sense.”

“BRILLIANT!”

“Why stop at February? Grab the dictionary and point to any word you see.”

“sycology – as in, ‘I want to study sycology.’”

“Throw an ‘h’ in there somewhere”

“Oh! And start it off with a p.”

“No one will ever see that one coming.”

“Give us another one.”

“buffay – as in, ‘I went to eat at the buffay.’”

“Throw a ‘k’ in the middle.”

“No. No. We’ve already done that. Why don’t we change the ending from ‘ay’ to ‘et’?”

“But that’s insane.”

“Exactly!”

“Whew! I haven’t had so much fun since we made of the exceptions to the-I- before-E-rule.
Anything else?”

“Yeah. I’ve being thinking. Is our calendar is too logical? Eleven months of 30 days each is way too predictable.”

“I know. Why don’t we give some months 30 days and others 31.”

“Will they just alternate? Because that would be too predictable.”

“No. Let’s have most of them alternate, but then have two in a row that have 31.”

“But have one random month with only like—Oh, I don’t know—28 days.”

“Except every fourth year give it 29!”

“BRILLIANT!!!”

Yep, February is just weird. If the spelling and the amount of days isn’t enough proof, I would draw your attention to the second day of the month. That’s right, Groundhog Day. Should we really celebrate the day we turned to dumb rodents for our seasonal forecasting? It doesn’t exactly seem like leap forward. That is unless the whole holiday was meant as a good joke on our weathermen, then it’s genius. “Sorry Glen Richens, I’ve stopped watching your forecast. I find furry Phil’s shadow much more reliable.”

At least another holiday in February is based on something everyone can understand, love. Thank your lucky stars for Valentine’s Day. Amid the irrational chaos of the month, we have a day dedicated to eating chocolate and kissing each other.
Now I’ll be the first to admit, Valentine’s Day is not completely logical. For example, people give away cards and little candy hearts that say, “Will you be my Valentine?” Should we really be asking people this? Wasn’t Valentine a saint who was killed in the second century? No offense to him, but I’m really not so keen on inviting a beautiful girl to be my ancient dead man. If I’m going for romance, it just seems a little counterproductive.

Also, Cupid is a little weird. I can’t quite understand how a little naked boy with arrows and wings symbolizes love. The inventor of the cupid had to be female. Women think little naked children are sooooo cute. You don’t remember your Dad running to get the camera while little toddler you was naked in the tub. In fact, you probably don’t remember your mom running to get the camera either. Hopefully you were so young that you don’t remember anything about the whole incident. If it weren’t for those pesky scrapbooks, you’d finally be able to forget the whole thing—which would really cut down on the therapy bills.

Somehow, a woman made cupid up and he stuck. I, for one, feel sorry for him. I know that if I were forced to fly around naked with a bow and arrow, love probably wouldn’t be my biggest worry. Flying to the nearest mall and holding up the cashier for some pants might be a little higher on my priority list—especially in February.

If a man had invented the mascot I’m sure that the poor little cupid guy would have some clothes. In fact, he probably wouldn’t be a little guy at all. He would be quite large, have bulging muscles, and would definitely be equipped with some greater fire power. . . like Thor and his love hammer, or Sergeant Love and his love bazooka, or President Love with nuclear love warheads. Alright, I’m officially carried away.

If we stopped to think about the whole idea of cupid, he’s quite creepy. Some armed naked kid snooping around. If he were caught, he’d be arrested so fast.

“Honestly officer, I was just trying to help other people fall in love.”

“And how exactly was stalking around naked with a bow and arrow going to help other people fall in love?”

“It’s a magical arrow.”

“Having you been drinking?”

“No.”

“Walk a straight line. Good. Now follow this light with your eyes. Okay, now spell February.”

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

"Follow Your Dreams" Comic Strip



Saturday, January 21, 2006

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS: Unsolicited, Unwanted, and Maybe-Even-Not-Very-Good Advice
(Jan. 9, 2005)
By Chad Morris

We probably all ate more than our share of candy after Halloween, gorged ourselves on Thanksgiving, and noticed that many of the Christmas pleasantries seemed to be high in sugar and fat (for example, a cup of eggnog has 17 grams of fat, 45 grams of sugar, 745 million calories, and 1/37 of an egg.). Therefore, tradition is that as the new year rolls in we all write long lists of resolutions. Of course, it is required by law for everyone to include either “lose weight” or “get in better shape” on that list (You never hear, “this year my resolution is to put bacon and cream cheese on everything”).

And to kick off all of our lofty resolutions we celebrated New Year’s Eve. Unless your goals included partying like a drunk sailor, eating handfuls of junk, and sleeping in past noon, you probably started the year off a little counterproductively.

Before writing anymore, I wanted a clear definition of what the word “resolution” meant. So I looked it up in the dictionary. The entry read,

resolution (n) A determined plan of action that . . . um . . . well . . . I started off strong there . . . but what was I doing? Let me get back to . . . Oh look, fudge!

No, seriously. The word resolution comes from the Latin resolutus which means “a plan of action one is determined to follow, unless you didn’t write it down. Then it was just a wish. So you might as well . . . Oh look, fudge!”

No, really seriously this time. We can do this. We can make goals and achieve them. Joan of Arc didn’t know the meaning of the word “quit.” Napolean never said die. Of course, that’s mostly because neither one of them spoke English. So they also didn’t know the meaning of the word “cross-dresser,” and never said, “I’m an egocentric conqueror”. But that doesn’t change the fact that we can do this.

Before we go planning out our 2006, I would like to warn you. When people think of self-improvement they are sometimes tempted to compare themselves to those around them. And if you’re like me, you have neighbors that play 5 different musical instruments, fix their own cars, have their PhDs, trim their hedges to portray famous people in history, exercise at least every hour, and in their spare time translate the unabridged Les Miserables into rare African dialects and hand stitch bandages for the lepers in Russia. I might have exaggerated a little, but they are relentlessly good! However, most of us have to realize that if we try to keep up with these people it will lead to a small family of hernias.

Therefore, I suggest simplifying things. As I was pondering this counsel, I was reminded of a true story. Once in Salt Lake City, Utah a woman sought Brigham Young’s advice. Someone told her to “go to hell” and she didn’t know what to do. The Mormon prophet's response was brief and wise and my inspiration for my resolution. He responded, “don’t.” I think that is some solid counsel. Therefore, no matter how long and exhaustive, or short and pathetic your list of resolutions is, I recommend “don’t go to hell” should be somewhere toward the top.

Anyway, as I say goodbye, remember to be tireless and determined. Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, no never give up.” And Confucius taught “A bird without vision is like a strand of seaweed floating aimlessly in a sea of . . . Oh look fudge!”

OH LOOK MISTLETOE! FANCY A SNOG?
(Dec. 21, 2005)
By Chad Morris

Christmas is a time of many traditions. Some of these traditions make perfect sense to me. For example, cookies mysteriously appearing on my doorstep, presents, a plate of fudge mysteriously appearing on my doorstep, Christmas carols, and a plate of “you’re getting Muffins for Christmas” mysteriously appearing on my doorstep. That’s all perfectly logical. However, some of our yuletide habits have confused me. Now, I could go on a verbal rampage about middle-aged men voluntarily climbing up rickety old ladders to dangle a few lights from their rain gutters, or how people run extension cords across their lawns to bring to life an inflatable family of snowmen when there is plenty of real snow all over the place, but I think our time would be better spent talking about mistletoe.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I don’t wholeheartedly approve of an excuse for a good snog (which is not a holiday drink, but English slang for a little smoochie smoochie. Haven’t you read Harry Potter? If you haven’t, did you hear that in book six Harry paused in a duel with Voldemort to tell him he was off his trolley, and called him a “evil cheeky duffer”? Voldemort promptly killed Harry while he was talking. This will bring on book seven - “The Revenge of Neville Longbottom.” Crazy huh? I never saw it coming.). It’s just that for the longest time I’ve had difficulty seeing the connection between standing under an odd plant and being obligated to kiss someone. First of all, the name mistletoe doesn’t exactly seem romantic, or even remotely plantlike. It sounds more like a badly named Decepticon, or a foot fungus.

In an effort to find the method to the madness I completed extensive research (9 ½ minutes on the internet) on the subject. Turns out that experts trace the mistletoe tradition back to ancient Druid customs. What a surprise! The NCMO plant legacy came from an old pagan culture. Like we couldn’t see that one coming? But I wanted to know if women or men invented it.

The plant’s bad name led me to believe that it was a man’s brainchild. There was further evidence - the whole thing is extremely shallow and gimmicky. Afterall, men were responsible for the great I’ll-bet you-a-quarter-I-can-kiss-you-without-touching-your-lips scheme of the early 80’s. This idea dead ended when I realized that men, ancient and pagan or not, would never hang a plant as decoration. They would be more likely to carry it around with them and quickly hold it over an unsuspecting passing girl (which is not a good idea due to the fact that mistletoe can give you a really bad rash. I mean itchy all over, poison ivy kind of rash. That’s true. . . Not that I’d know. . . nor am I writhing in bitter itchiness as I write).

A woman mastermind was a better fit. Women save anything and everything romantic right? They need it, just in case they happen to marry the guy who gave it to them. And if they break up, they’ll need something to burn while they eat chocolate and tell all their roommates how insensitive he was. So one day, an ancient druid woman, Guntherina, was kissed. The next day, in a romantic daydream and singing a chipper Gaelic song, she revisited the very spot of the first kiss and noticed that it had happened under a strand of mistletoe attached to a tree. She clipped it, took it home and then told all her other Druid girl friends. The group of women giggled and demanded details, then decided that if ever they were under a mistletoe, the closest Druid man would have to kiss them. If the men refused to comply they would be tied to the Stonehenge until the aliens that made the ancient rock formation returned and abducted them.

Of course, the Druid men did a little research and found out 1) that attempting to discard all the mistletoe can give you a terrible rash and 2) that mistletoe is the vampire of the plant world. It attaches itself to another form of vegetation and gradually drains its sustenance (That’s true. It was on the internet. You can’t argue with stuff on the internet). The Druid men thought the similarities between mistletoe and Druid women were profound and deserved deep meditation. So in honor of the victims of mistletoe, human and plant, the ancient Druid men started hanging pieces of dead vegetation and as they passed under it, they were reminded to run from all women before it was too late.

Unfortunately only the female tradition stuck.