The Difference Between Men And Women

Written by Warren Whitfield. Posted in Funny, Humour

Let’s say a guy named Fred is attracted to a woman named Martha. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.

And then, one evening when they’re driving home, a thought occurs to Martha, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: “Do you realize that, as of tonight, we’ve been seeing each other for exactly six months?”And then, there is silence in the car.To Martha, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he’s been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I’m trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn’t want, or isn’t sure of. And Fred is thinking: Gosh. Six months.

And Martha is thinking: But, hey, I’m not so sure I want this kind of relationship either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I’d have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily towards, I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?

And Fred is thinking: …so that means it was…let’s see…February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer’s, which means…lemme check the odometer…Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.

And Martha is thinking: He’s upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I’m reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed – even before I sensed it – that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that’s it. That’s why he’s so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He’s afraid of being rejected.

And Fred is thinking: And I’m gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don’t care what those morons say, it’s still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It’s 25 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves R2800.

And Martha is thinking: He’s angry. And I don’t blame him. I’d be angry, too. I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can’t help the way I feel. I’m just not sure.

And Fred is thinking: They’ll probably say it’s only a 90-day warranty…scumballs.

And Martha is thinking: Maybe I’m just too idealistic, waiting for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I’m sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.

And Fred is thinking: Warranty? They want a warranty? I’ll give them a warranty. I’ll take their warranty and stick it right up their…

“Fred,” Martha says aloud.

“What?” says Fred, startled.

“Please don’t torture yourself like this,” she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. “Maybe I should never have…oh dear, I feel so…”(She breaks down, sobbing.)

“What?” says Fred.

“I’m such a fool,” Martha sobs. “I mean, I know there’s no knight. I really know that. It’s silly. There’s no knight, and there’s no horse.”

“There’s no horse?” says Fred.

“You think I’m a fool, don’t you?” Martha says.

“No!” says Fred, glad to finally know the correct answer.

“It’s just that…it’s that I…I need some time,” Martha says.

(There is a 15-second pause while Fred, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work.)

“Yes,” he says. (Martha, deeply moved, touches his hand.)

“Oh, Fred, do you really feel that way?” she says.

“What way?” says Fred.

“That way about time,” says Martha.

“Oh,” says Fred. “Yes.” (Martha turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks.)

“Thank you, Fred,” she says.

“Thank you,” says Fred.

Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn, whereas when Fred gets back to his place, he opens a roll of Pringles, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a Proteas match. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it’s better if he doesn’t think about it.

The next day Martha will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification.

They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it either.

Meanwhile, Fred, while playing golf one day with a mutual friend of his and Martha’s, will pause just before serving, frown, and say: “Norm, did Martha ever own a horse?”

And that’s the difference between men and women.

36 Brutally Honest Wikipedia Entries

Written by Warren Whitfield. Posted in Funny, Humour

posted yesterday
While traditional Wikipedia is an excellent tool for pretending you know something and didn’t just look it up on Wikipedia, it can also be tremendously longwinded and boring. That’s why we created TL;DR Wikipedia (or Too Long; Didn’t Read Wikipedia if you’re our dad). TL;DR Wikipedia aims to be your #1 source for fact-esque information in as few words as possible. So get your pseudo-learn on!

How to be funny

Written by Warren Whitfield. Posted in Funny, Humour, Quotes, Videos

So What Are The Six Steps To Being Funny? by  

Mel Helitzer’s Comedy Writing Secrets is commonly used as a textbook in college courses on comedy writing.

What does it say is the best method for how to be funny? Helitzer explains the “THREES” formula.

It’s an acronym for the six essential elements that are found in everything from good one-liners, to funny anecdotes to full comedy sets:

  1. Target
  2. Hostility
  3. Realism
  4. Exaggeration
  5. Emotion
  6. Surprise

Here’s a breakdown:

1) Target

Via Comedy Writing Secrets:

Humor is criticism cloaked as entertainment and directed at a specific target… A humor target can be almost anything or anybody, but you need to be sure you’ve focused on the right target for your particular audience… Humor is an attempt to challenge the status quo, but targeting must reaffirm the audience’s hostilities and prejudices…Successful humorists select targets with universal appeal.

Louis CK’s target here is his doctor. (Note — All videos are NSFW):

2) Hostility

Via Comedy Writing Secrets:

Humor is a powerful antidote to many of the hostile feelings in our daily lives. All of us have hostility toward some target… Comedy is cruel…some common sources of hostility (and therefore humor): authority, sex, money, family, angst, technology, and group differences.

Lewis Black, the king of comic hostility, unleashes a torrent of anger regarding the milk section of the supermarket (around 3 mins 16 seconds in):

3) Realism

Via Comedy Writing Secrets:

Most good jokes state a bitter truth,” said scriptwriter Larry Gelbart. Without some fundamental basis of truth, there’s little with which the audience can associate.

Louis CK is quite harsh — but hysterical — when talking about his daughter (1min 29 seconds in.)

But it works because it contains elements any parent can relate to:

4) Exaggeration

Via Comedy Writing Secrets:

How does realism relate to exaggeration? As we accept poetic license, let’s accept a humor license that grants permission to expand on realistic themes with soaring imagination and unabashed metaphors…

Eddie Izzard explains World War 2. For many, history can be dry but he exaggerates and dramatizes key moments to lighten the subject matter:

5) Emotion

Via Comedy Writing Secrets:

There must be a buildup of anticipation in the audience. This is really nothing more than the writer’s skill in using emotion to produce tension and anxiety. It’s a trick. Think of hostility as an inflated balloon. When you create tension in your audience, you are effectively adding more and more air to that balloon, building the audience’s anticipation over when the balloon will burst.

Watch how Chris Rock leverages emotion to engage his audience:

6) Surprise

Via Comedy Writing Secrets:

…surprise (is) one of the primary reasons why people laugh. It’s no wonder then that it’s also one of the primary building blocks for a successful joke… “Comedy is mentally pulling the rug out from under each person in your audience,” wrote Gene Perret. “But first, you have to get them to stand on it. You have to fool them, because if they see you preparing to tug on the rug, they’ll move.”

UCLA film school professor Howard Suber says surprise is the key to all storytelling.

Jerry Stahl tells the story of how he managed to break his addiction to heroin… by switching to crack:

(More on how humor works here. More on how humor can improve your life here.)

What Can We Learn From A Pro?

My friend Andrew Goldberg, a staff writer on Family Guy, gave a number of comedy tips in my interview with him.

What can he add to the six tips above? Don’t get wedded to your first idea:

I think some people make the mistake of thinking that the first thing that they think of is perfect, and they fall in love with it. You might write five different versions of it, and ultimately come back to the first version and decide that’s the best. But I think writing different versions is kind of the same thing — it frees you up to be more creative and to look for different ways to go with that same moment in whatever you’re writing.

Keep at it. Keep trying new versions (“alts”) of a joke until one clicks:

I’m a big fan of writing alts. If I come to a joke spot, even if I’m working on my own stuff, I’ll often write three or four or five different alts, and then I’ll show it to friends, show it to my wife, show it to my manager, show it to a director or somebody on the project, and ask them which they think is funniest. Usually the first joke you think of isn’t the funniest. One thing that I’ve learned from TV and working in a big group is:whatever joke is there, you can always beat it. There’s always a funnier joke somewhere out there.

To read the extended interview with Andrew and learn more about how to be funny, join 45K+ readers and get my free weekly update via email here.

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