Tag Archives: Humor

Why Is That Funny?

Disclaimer: This post is undoubtedly condescending. I apologize for that.

I continue to find myself completely out of touch with pop culture.  It’s not something I really feel bad about, but in my own judgmental way, I wonder what is wrong with people.  Nowhere does this happen more than with movies.

I recently went to see The Hangover, and while I expected not to love it, I thought it would be good for a couple laughs.  After all, the populace in general seems to love it, and it was done by the same director who did Old School, which I found to be quite funny (well, the first and last acts, at least. The second act drags).  More importantly, though, is that the critics tended to like it, as it scores a 73 on metacritic.com.

However, watching this movie baffled me.  I wasn’t exactly baffled that people found it funny, what I found baffling is why people found it funny.  The movie was made up of old jokes from a bunch of other movies of the same genre.  If you’ve seen the joke before, especially if you’ve seen it hundreds of times before, how is it still funny?  But there are other things that I just don’t understand why people think is funny:

  • A man wears a jock strap instead of underwear.  Why is that funny?
  • A wedding band sings inappropriate things, a joke done in a bunch of other films, but also in Old School!  Why is that funny?
  • An old man gets a check up.  We see his ass.  Why is that funny?
  • People get hit, kicked, slapped, punched, and tasered over and over again.  Nothing more to the “joke” than that.  Why is that funny?
  • While transporting a drugged tiger, the tiger wakes up behind them and destroys classic car.  In Tommy Boy, same thing except it was a supposedly dead dear.  It wakes up and destroys a classic car.  So they repeated the same joke.  Why is that funny?
  • Mike Tyson shows up to recover his tiger, and… and… well, there wasn’t any joke there other than Mike Tyson showed up.  Why is that funny?

Of course, to some extent, I do understand why people find some of these things funny.  Male nudity is apparently this generation’s man-in-a-dress.  So whatever the context, people will for whatever reason find it funny.  But why?  That’s where they lose me.

People also like to watch things that they’re familiar with.  So watching a joke play out that they’ve seen before makes it fairly easy for people to comprehend and find amusing.  After all, there was an audience for Wild Hogs.

And always, from well before vaudeville, people find it amusing when characters are physically hurt.

Put all these together and you have the explanation for why people find these things funny, and why people love The Hangover.  The unfortunate problem is that every one of these explanations begs the question.  Why are these things funny?

Cheers,
Charlie

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The Netflix Recommendation: Bill Cosby is a God

For a while there, I was thinking that I wouldn’t be able to continue this series as Netflix had apparently given up on me.  In fact, I can still say that, as Netflix only recommends to me around 30 titles (most of which I have no interest in), but that’s still better than when it was at about 6 titles a few months ago.  However, while I have more recommendations, they’ve veered-off from weird to the totally absurd.  And so, we have today’s recommendation.

The Recommendation: Jesus of Nazareth

Because I enjoyed: Bill Cosby: Himself
 

netflix-jesus

See, simply recommending a documentary on Jesus to me is silly to begin with.  I’m a proud atheist-leaning agnostic, and am allergic to almost all things Jesus.  But what makes this recommendation legendary, is that it was recommended to me because I liked a film of Bill Cosby stand-up.  Did I miss something?  Did Cosby recently declare himself the new Messiah?  Does Netflix know something I don’t?  Should I be worshipping at the altar of Huxtable?

I guess it’s time to start a new religion.  I’ll have to quit my job and start writing the Gospel of Cosby.  I wonder if I can become one of Cosby’s apostle.  From now on, call me Theo.

Cheers,
Charlie

Chuck E. Cheese Band Plays Usher

It’s so silly it’s great:

Hilarious.  More info at The Detroit News.

Cheers,
Charlie

iPhone-like “Line-Waiting” Coverage

My Twitter “line-waiting” coverage this morning:

Rumpusgoopus Walked by a line of iPhone owner-hopefuls (I wonder if they’ll get one!) on my way to work. There’s just something wrong with people. about 10 hours ago from Ping.fm

                                                                                                                                                                         

Rumpusgoopus But it’s time to stop being a curmudgeon and embrace the line-waiting coverage. First up, to Caribou to cover people waiting for coffee. about 10 hours ago from Ping.fm

                                                                                                                                                                         

Rumpusgoopus The line here is crazy! There are at least 20 people here, mostly Target workers, waiting for coffee! about 10 hours ago from Ping.fm

                                                                                                                                                                         

Rumpusgoopus Just asked the first person in line when he got there. Apparently he’s been there since about five minutes ago! Can you imagine? about 10 hours ago from Ping.fm

                                                                                                                                                                         

Rumpusgoopus The line outside the Starbucks is not nearly as long. And it’s right outside the Target too. First person in line: there since 2 mins ago. about 9 hours ago from Ping.fm

                                                                                                                                                                         

Rumpusgoopus Whoa! @jongordon is joining the waiting in line at Caribou craze. http://ping.fm/mbXh1 I need to get back there and cover it. about 9 hours ago from Ping.fm

                                                                                                                                                                         

Rumpusgoopus Hmm, my wife needs a Mac mouse. I wonder if today would be a good day to head to an Apple store to pick one up. about 9 hours ago from Ping.fm

                                                                                                                                                                         

Rumpusgoopus I’m done with the “line-waiting” coverage for the morning. Be sure to check in with my Taco Bell lunch line-waiting coverage this afternoon. about 9 hours ago from Ping.fm

                                                                                                                                                                         

Rumpusgoopus The line here at Taco Bell is out the door! Some people have been here as early as 11:39 AM! This line-waiting craze has really caught on. about 6 hours ago from Ping.fm

                                                                                                                                                                         

And today (the day after):

Rumpusgoopus http://twitpic.com/3r2r – The line at the MOA ATT store is so… so… nonexistent. And iPhones aplenty. 35 minutes ago from TwitPic

Cheers,
Charlie

The Nigerian Prince Wants to Rent You a House

My wife and I are currently in the process of house hunting.  Well, house rental hunting, because we want to have far more money in our accounts for down payment, hopefully more secure employment for myself, and because we’re hoping that in a year houses actually start selling at the lowered value they’re alleged to have but right now the owners are holding onto their homes rather than selling at the lower price (that was a doozy of a sentence.  Good job if you got through that the first time without having to go back).  Unfortunately, it appears that most houses/townhouses advertised for rental at this time have owners who aren’t willing to rent out the place beginning the end of August.  As such, we’re in a limbo between having given our move-out notice to our apartment complex and having a place to live come the end of our lease.

Interestingly, only a week after we made some inquiries into some places (we actually used newspaper classified ads, if you can believe.  Not only that, we actually bought a paper newspaper to look at the ads.  Who knew paper newspapers still existed?), we’re starting to see some places that might be available at the time of our preferred move-in date.

We’ve seen a few places online that look promising, but were quite taken aback by the new Internet scam.  I never knew that Nigerian princes rented out houses in addition to dying and leaving inheritances.  They’ve branched out from their regular “My husband died and we need someone to inherit his $9,000,000,000,000,000,000” emails, and now advertise on places like Craigslist using someone else’s house information in order to swindle a person to “rent” from them.

We’ve only seen one so far, but we haven’t made too many inquiries yet.  The ad in question copied a fair amount of information from another online rental site, including the homeowners’ names, and created an ad on Craigslist complete with a yahoo email address which included the owners’ names.  The ad itself was promising, and was not clearly a scam on its face, other than the rent was a pretty good deal (but not so outlandish that it stood out).  It did not include any phone numbers, but did include the aforementioned email address.  As such, I emailed the address asking a few questions, as well as asking about taking a look at the place.  What I received in return was the following (with name and contact information redacted):

Hello ,
Thanks for the email. I own the house and also want you to know that it was due to my transfer to West Africa, Nigeria that makes me and my wife to leave the house and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean all the time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own. So for now, We are here in West Africa and will be staying here for the next 3 years in our new house and also with the keys of the house for rent, we try to look for an agent that we can give this documents and the keys before we left but could not find, and we as well  do not want our house to be used any how in our absence that is why we took it along with us. I and my wife came over to Africa for a missionary work, so i hope you will promise us that you will  take very good care of the house. So get back to me on how you could take care of our house or perhaps experience you have in renting home. Hope you are okay with the price of $1000 per month..ADDRESS……….XYZ, West Bloomington, MN 55437
SO IF YOU ARE REALY INTERESTED I WILL WANT YOU TO FILL THE RENTAL APPLICATIONS FORM BELOW
RENTAL APPLICATION FORM
Pls let me get this answer.
1)Your Full Name
2)Your Full Address & Phone Number
3)How old are you?
4)Are you married?
5)How many people will be living in the house?
6)Do you have a pet?
7)Do you have a car?
8)Occupation?

Looking forward to hear from you with all this details so that i can have it in my file incase of issuing the receipt for you and contacting you.Await your urgent reply so that we can discuss on how to get the document and the key to you,please we are giving you all this base on trust and again i will want you to stick to your words,you know that we do not see yet and only putting everything into Gods hand, so please do not let us down in this our property and God bless you more as you do this.
Thanks and you are welcome
Regards.
Thanks

If you’re going to create an Internet scam of any sort, shouldn’t you NOT use Nigeria?  What screams an Internet scam more than someone who claims to be from Nigeria?  I could point out the myriad of ways this just screams scam, but I should hope that even the least Internet savvy person could figure them out (although, judging by the amount of people who still visit my email scam blog posts with search terms from the scam email, a lot of people have no clue).  However, I am amused that the writer thinks that there is a “West Bloomington,” but more amused that this letter essentially says the house is empty, while the ad specifically stated that the house was currently occupied.  And why do non-lottery Internet scams almost always include some sort of “God bless you” type language?

After receiving this email, I decided to check out how they had pictures of the house as they used in the ad.  I googled the address and came up with the aforementioned other rental site.  The ad on this other side, which I assume is legit, charged $450 more in rent per month than advertised on Craigslist, did not have an email address, and did have two local phone numbers.

Again I wonder how anyone can fall for scams like these, but because I watch Judge Judy, I’ve actually seen multiple people who do.  I’m not entirely sure how this scam is supposed to work, but I assume it has to do with us sending this person a security deposit and rent, inside of house unseen, and they “promise” to send us the keys (and “the document”?  What the heck is “the document”?) once they receive the rent.

I think the weirdest part of this is that the rent for the house wasn’t such that it made it a “must rent,” so that we wouldn’t take normal precautions by actually seeing the place in person first.  But again, you never know with some people.  As far as I know, phrases from the email posted here might lead to an overflow of visits to my blog.  If that was you, c’mon now.  You must have known this was a scam, right?

Cheers,
Charlie

I Finally Get Myself to Go Jogging Again… Again

And finally, I get myself to go jogging for the second time since I reinstituted my jogging regimen.  Okay, okay, it’s not so much a regiment since it’s only twice, and it’s not so much a regiment when each time has been less than a half hour, and it’s not so much a regiment since my first time was two weeks ago, but I’ve been sick, darn it.  And it didn’t fit into my schedule.  And I just ate.  Or something like that.

Anyway, it’s silly to make excuses for why I haven’t been jogging more often (although, I really was sick), since I’m only justifying it to myself… and the random member of the jogging-stapo who can run 56 miles while drinking their morning coffee (which they of course got at Caribou or Starbucks) and came across this post because I happened to add a “jogging” tag to the end.  To that person, I will never satisfy.  To the jogging-stapo (“jogstapo”?), well, they’ve moved on already anyway since I haven’t started talking about Trader Joe’s yet.

But yes, I finally got myself to go again, and surprisingly, even after it being two weeks, and with me still not feeling 100 percent, I did better than last time.  Of course, doing better than last time means little more than not feeling like vomiting after two minutes of jogging, but I take my victories as I can get them.  The jogging I did today will at least have burned-off half of the half malt I had at the Convention Grill yesterday (oy, have I been craving one today).

It really wasn’t that bad this time, but I’m absolutely nowhere near where I was when I jogged in my college days.  Back then, 20 minutes wasn’t a problem, and once I got into a routine after a few times, I was able to go 45-60 without too much difficulty.  In law school, well, I was much worse, but could still go 25-30 without the difficulty.  I don’t plan on being the hyper-mega-jogger (as is obvious since I’m distancing myself from them, making them sound all crazy, the jogstapo that they are), nor do I really plan on being a person who exercises for at least an hour every other day.  I simply just plan on jogging fairly often, where it’s no longer a rare thing.  If I only do 30 minutes at a time, no big deal.  In fact, that’s my goal.

Anyway, it’s now two times I’ve gotten myself to go jogging.  Maybe, just maybe I can get myself to go a third… in about two more weeks

And now that I’ve exercised, time for beer.

Cheers,
Charlie

The Best of Comrus: God Flooded the Bathroom

This post originally appeared on December 19th, 2006 at http://weblog.xanga.com/ComRus/557173220/item.html.

I had to call maintenance yet again today.  It started a few days ago, when I walked into the bathroom to find a puddle next to the toilet.  This couldn’t be, I yelled to the heavens, we just had the toilet fixed.  So I flushed the toilet (any good weblog entry contains “so I flushed the toilet,” you know), and nothing came out.  I mopped up, in that I grabbed some paper towels (like I’m going to go to the effort to pull out a mop?), picked up the rug near the toilet so as to eliminate a later possible need to wash it, and left it at that.  For the day, the floor was dry.

The next day came, and at one point in the afternoon, the floor near the toilet was wet again.  So I continued to fiddle with the toilet, and eventually determined that if I leaned on the left side of the tank (or right side, if we’re talking from the toilet’s point of view), Niagara Falls came to my bathroom.  This time I mopped up and left a few paper towels near where the falls hit the floor.

Did I call maintenance?  Of course not.  Sure, the toilet has proven itself to leave small puddles by the toilet when left unattended, but it’s not like it happened all the time.  We could live with a few leaks.  I mean, the alternative would be to actually call maintenance.  That would be awful.

As we all know, I hate doing that: gratuitous link to my post where I discussed that I dislike calling maintenance (which gratuitously links to another post on the same topic.  Both posts, incidentally, make up almost exactly what this post is).

The next morning, very early, I went into the bathroom and found Noah constructing something using what he called a cubit-stick, and complaining that the bathroom wasn’t big enough to fit something 300 cubits long.  Seeing as how I really don’t know what a cubit was, I accepted his expert opinion.  However, I had to draw the line when he wanted me to mail out some sort of cruise invitation to people like Mr. Camel and guest.

I then finished the annoying Ark-based joke, and continued on with the weblog.

So the bathroom was nearly flooded.  Luckily, it mostly pooled in the corner by the tub, so that most of the bathroom was spared.  I then spent the next 15 minutes cleaning up the mess, and sighing that I actually had to call maintenance.

I finally did so today, after the necessary minor cleaning, and they came and fixed it without too many issues.  But that’s not to say I now like Maintenance.

Anyway, after they left I noticed a large metal object next to the toilet.  They were in such a hurry to leave and check out of work for the day that they left a screwdriver the size of a katana blade.  And by comparing it to a katana blade, I do mean to reference the fact that the screwdriver was very much weapon-like.  It felt uncomfortable to even hold such an object, as its heft and length could only be used for evil.  As such, I became the screwdriver bearer, and had to bring it back to Nextdor to the Mt. Apartment Office to unmake it (yeah, I have been watching The Lord of the Rings series again.  I downloaded Rifftrax for the Fellowship of the Rings and got semi-hooked.  I just wish they had a Two Towers Rifftrax, as I missed watching the film without the commentary.  And to completely digress, I just started reading The Hobbit again for the first time since Junior High.  I never realized just how much it was written for the young.  Too bad, it used to be a legend of a book in my mind).

Bringing the screwdriver down to the office, however, posed a few problems.  The first of which was that I was headed out to run an errand, and I had to determine whether or not to drive the block to the apartment office.  I figured I might as well, but because of my experience in criminal defense, I knew that if I was pulled over, given its immense size, the officer could only interpret the screwdriver as a “burglary tool.”  Possession of such an object is a felony (of course, also in my experience, something as dumb as a pair of scissors has been called a burglary tool with enough prosecutor imagination).

I decided to drive it to the office anyway, and luckily wasn’t pulled over.  I then had to bring this gigantic weapon-like object into the office.  Do I walk in with it, scaring the hell out of the office workers?  Do I hide it in my jacket pocket, pull it out, and risk one of them diving to the back to call 911?  I decided to hold the “blade” of the screwdriver in my hand, with the handle rather clearly showing.  I have to say, it still looked like an instrument of attack.

And given the office-worker’s face, she interpreted it very similarly too.  I’m already a pretty large man, but I walked in and made the unfortunate mistake to tell her in a deep booming voice that maintenance was just in our apartment (in a very not a calming way) while walking straight up to her wielding a large heavy-looking object.  I raised my hand to give it to her, and I think she might have squeaked.

She was startled, and only after I started to walk out did she say “thank you.”  And then, as I was exiting, she confirmed my suspicion about the screwdriver.  She looked at the woman who entered behind me (who apparently worked there), lifted the screwdriver to her, and said, “be careful, I’m armed.”

Yup.  I’ll probably be brought up on charges tomorrow.

Cheers,
Charlie