Richard Attempts a Poem
Waiting for gig to start
At Burger Fuel in Newtown
Too much food to eat
So little time
Is this how poems go?
Or are they meant to rhyme?
I think I remember from school that it doesn't really matter in fact they don't really have many rules so you can just go on and on about whatever you want and even just take a commentary viewpoint of whether your poem you are writing is like a poem or not.
That's all I've got.
What's so Funny about Numbers?
Numbers are all around us, on bits of paper, on computer screens, in the sky. Well maybe not in the sky, although once I did see a zero as part of a skywriting advertisement, granted though that it might have been an O rather than a zero, but then O is the 15th letter in the alphabet so as you can see you’re never far away from having something to do with a number or two.
But what’s funny about numbers? I think that the funniest thing about numbers is the consistency of the naming. Let me explain.
The words for the numbers 0 to 9, they’re all a different and unique words, zero one two three four five six seven eight nine. All consistent. The namer of numbers is consistent so far and so continues on.
10, it’s going to be some kind of combination of one and zero right, maybe it will be onezero, but no, they’ve chosen to continue giving the words unique names by calling this one ten. Righto, we can live with that.
11, ok we’ve resigned to the fact that it won’t be called oneone, and we are told it’s eleven, ok.
12, well we’ve got a unique word again although this one seems somewhat related to 2, two-elve, so not completely unique, maybe half unique, but in any case breaking the pattern of all the words being named uniquely. Maybe it’s a Friday afternoon and the number namer needs to get off home for the weekend so has just rushed it.
13, hang on a moment, what the heck? Thirteen, Thir is part of the word third which is the placing for when someone is number three in a race, and teen sounds a bit like ten. Now that’s just being lazy, hardly creative at all, you can’t just take two existing numbers, get them a bit wrong then concatenate them. Placing + teen, that’s just not right.
14, following suit it should be forthteen, but no. Ok well maybe there is some logic here, maybe they’re trying to establish a new pattern. We’re ditching using the placing version of the number and just using the word, four, followed by teen, so the formula is number + teen. Maybe this is making more sense. Still strange that teen thing, not quite being ten but nearly. Although it could be argued that they are staying consistent with the teen which was the latter part of thirteen, so some consistency there.
15, ah ok so I must have been wrong, they’ve messed up consistency yet again by going back to the placing thing again by using fif, being part of fifth, then teen, so back to placing + teen. They’re alternating, maybe they can’t make their mind up? Maybe there are two people doing this number naming, having a go each, and they’re not communicating very well.
16, ok so I was right because this one is six and teen, again the proper number six rather than sixth, followed by teen. Obviously I was right about the two people doing this naming as they are alternating consistently between placing + teen and number + teen. Logically the next one should be seventhteen.
17, but no, it’s seventeen, using the number + teen twice in a row rather than going back to the placing of seventh. Has the other number namer had a day off and the guy who named 16 also done 17, using his number + teen formula rather than placing + teen?
18, ok we have three in a row with number + teen now, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, maybe the guy who did thirteen, and fifteen, the placing + teen guy, has been given the sack and is off working at Starbucks making terrible coffee instead.
19, yes it seems I was right, nineteen, the forth consistent number naming using number + teen in a row. This is starting to go well. Still there is the anomaly of using teen instead of ten, but it’s a bit late to go back now, children have already been taught that you use teen rather than ten as a suffix to a double digit number and it would be unfair to ask them to relearn. So be it.
20, so this is obviously going to be twoteen right.. hang on, twenty? What on earth is that? It doesn’t follow any of the patterns at all, well tw is a bit like two, but what is this enty? This is getting ridiculous, I’ve invested too much emotion in this and just when I thought that all was well I’m disappointed again. I’ve had enough, I don’t care if numbers are funny or not, it's over.
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I’ve worked in offices for a long time. I’ve been involved officially in comedy for a shorter time. I like both. When people hear that I do comedy they often assume that I’ll write my comedy jokes based on my experience of working in an office, and for a few of them I do but for most of them I don’t. And for those few that I do, they are completely made up, so not really based on my actual work in an office. Unless by “office” you mean the office in my mind where I write my jokes, although I don’t write jokes about my mind office either. Unless you laughed when you read that bit I just wrote about the mind office, and if you did then it was a joke about my mind office, and if you didn’t then it wasn’t.
In real offices I find that the humour tends to be situational, in that the behavioural responses people have to office situations can be humourous. For instance, I’m typing this in an office, and I just typed the word “humourous” and the word processing tool I am using automatically “corrected” it to humorous, without one of the all so important u characters. I guess my computer mistook me for an American, or someone who can’t spell. Or is that the same thing? I found that chain of thought to be funny because of the stance I took in pretending that I think that Americans spell wrong because they don’t know how to spell rather than the fact that their language is based upon English from the old days before “British English" changed to how it is now.
Another example of situational humour in the office is meetings. How I laugh! Inside. The funniest thing I find about meetings, and brace yourself before I tell you this because you may just get yourself into trouser trouble if you don’t, it’s the bit of the meeting where the meeting seems to end but it keeps going on. “So okay I think we’ve covered everything…” good it’s time to go… “Except five other things” awww please please let me go… “Ok now we’ve definitely finished, bye to everyone on the conference call, we are hanging up now” Ok so time to go now… oh no but hang on there is a little post conference call unofficial meeting where people get a bit more social and say what they really think, which then inevitably leads into getting back on topic of what was said in the meeting and repeating it a couple dozen more times. Ok so come to think of it, that situation isn’t funny at all rather a bit annoying.
So I’m going to keep searching for funny office things, so far I have automatically correcting word processors which you cannot deny was definitely funny, and we have meetings which wasn’t. Oh I know what’s funny about offices, it’s people fishing for attention. That’s definitely funny, and funnier when they don’t get the attention and keep amping it up in hope that people around them finally give in. “Oh what a morning!” <pause, nothing>… “Yeah the gym this morning… owww” <pause, nothing> “How many exercises does my personal trainer expect me to do?” <pause, nothing>… “Pay attention to me!!! I did so much exercise this morning that I nearly puked, surely that is worth your attention isn’t it? Surely that’s a thing that makes sense to do, exercise so much that you nearly puke while some scam artist stand over you and shouts that you need to do more exercises and definitely puke!” <pause, nothing>.
But then work life isn’t all about finding humour in things is it? Surely you be serious about it, rather than trying to make yourself happy and spread it around to others in the hope that it lightens their day up just a little. Definitely not, that would be ridiculous. Next thing you know everyone would start enjoying working in the office, get more productive, make more money, then go home happy, and their partners would think something suspicious is going on and leave them. So I must insist that you turn off your sense of humour in the office, leave it at the door, put it in one of those umbrella bags, and live out your day with a blank look on your face and darkness in your heart. You’ll fit in better.
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