Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Not everyone loves a good dirty joke


When you write comedy, you occasionally have to accept the fact that not everyone finds you funny.

I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when I went in for a routine eye exam. The doctor had me cover one eye and recite the letters I could see on the chart. As I neared the bottom, I noticed something interesting about the sequence of letters.

“Did you know the last line reads STD?” I asked. “Maybe you could double your profits by adding venereal disease screening to the eye exam.”

My comment was met by silence, so I uncovered my eye and looked at the doctor. He wasn’t smiling.

Apparently, not everyone finds gonorrhea amusing.

Encounters like that make me all the more appreciative of customer service professionals with a sense of humor. I was at the AT&T store last Friday when the representative began demonstrating some of the features on my new iPhone.

“This one has video recording capability that your 3G iPhone didn’t have,” he pointed out.

“Excellent,” I said. “I can have that porn career I’ve always wanted.”

The guy didn’t miss a beat. “Yes, and if you click this button here, you can reverse the camera to record those solo sessions.”

I was still laughing when he punched a sequence of keys to change my voicemail password. A chipper, automated voice began reciting a list of menu options.

“Holy crap,” I said. “Did she just say press three for testicle support?”

“Yes, it’s a new feature AT&T is offering,” he replied. “Free prostate exams with any new phone purchase.”

I think I actually snorted. “Will you be my new best friend?”

“Absolutely.”

When’s the last time you encountered with an unexpectedly clever sense of humor? How about a time your own humor fell flat?

Please share!

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the best time to discover what the new “face time” feature does on an iPhone is not while you’re taking a leak. Just saying.

22 comments :

Jessica Bell said...

Hahahahahaha! Oh wow. What a fantastic encounter! I have a filthy sense of humour too be don't really make a point of it online in the fear of, yes, being met with silence ... um ... can YOU be MY new best friend??? LOLOLOL Love it ....

Nicole Basaraba said...

Soooo yeah. I was at work and I have to write a news story on an organisation with the acronym "CEEMAN". Apparently, I was the only one who thought of, well you know.

Taymalin said...

My dad was a sailor. I seem to be the only one who thought his being a seaman was hilarious.

Patrick Alan said...

I don't think you've been called flat for a long long time.

I just made a boobie joke.

Sarah W said...

Where do you find all these marvelously clever men?

I had two jokes die on me yesterday when people inexplicably took me seriously. Thank heavens they were relatively clean ones . . .

The cleverest thing I've seen lately is the promotional video for a new free app reminder for self-breast checks -- seriously, I laughed so hard I woke the kids. I think it's exactly your kind of cheese, Tawna:

http://youtu.be/VsyE2rCW71o

Kelly Polark said...

That's hilarious! I love quick-witted people.
We had a squirrel stuck in our fireplace and I had to have two wildlife rescue men get it out. They were having a hard time. I asked, "Should I act like a nut to coax him out?" No response! :)

Julie Glover said...

It used to happen to me more often when I actually made clever jokes about sex to friends aloud. Now I try to keep them to myself, mumbling and chuckling silently like a just-released schizophrenic. But your story makes me wonder if I should be sharing the humor with people I don't know. If it falls flat, who cares? I'll find another audience. (My husband appreciates my jokes at least.)

Skye said...

When I recently went in for an emergency appendectomy (while in another state, but at least where I have friends) and I was in the pre-op room, I started to cry because my mom wasn't there and wouldn't be there afterward (just a year since she died).

So I get into the operating room and I'm still leaking tears and the anesthesiologist says "you have to tell us a joke", like it's the usual thing they do with everyone. So I use my old standby, a tame yet risque joke. About half the people laughed and amazingly, I wasn't crying afterward! Smart man, that anesthesiologist (who did laugh).

Delphine Dryden said...

When that happens to me, I always have the urge to start quoting Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. "These are the jokes, KID." Next step: whacking myself in the face with the microphone. THAT, they love. "Thank you very much, folks, I'll be here all week!"

Jenna said...

Hey, Skye? You wouldn't happen to have been in Tennessee, would you? Because when I had my gallbladder removed a couple years ago, I had to tell a joke before they'd start the procedure too. And I wasn't even crying.

Matthew MacNish said...

You are so messed up. But that guy was a great AT&T rep. I want to know if the eye test really had STD in a row, or if it was just your twisted mind (or bad eye)?

Diane Henders said...

I have such a dirty mind that I don't dare say anything to people I don't know. I instinctively suppress everything but a smirk. I smirk a lot.

P.S. LOVED Sarah W's video link!

The Sprouting Acorn said...

hahahahahahaha love it when that kind of thing happens… love. it. sorry bout your eye doctor being a stick in the mud… some people just don't get it. :)

Kristina said...

Happily giggling to myself over here...

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

Oh wow! Thanks for the advice abot the iphone! GSOH is a dying art, methinks...

Jill said...

I recently had a comedy-writing friend tell me (about my own comedy), "It's not that you're not funny. It's that I have to use a dictionary to get your jokes. My fault, I'm the dumb-ass." Right. He's the dumb-ass.

Charity Bradford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Kate Leahy said...

You should marry that man! He can fix your phone and gets your dirty jokes? Great catch.

Tawna Fenske said...

Jessica, yes! We should definitely be BFFs. Want to have a pillow fight now?

Nicole, bwahahahahaha! I love it. Now I’m remembering that old Friends episode where Chandler has to work on the “WENUS” (Weekly End Net Usage Status). Love!

Taymalin, I always find seamen hilarious. Wait, what?

Patrick, you’re right there :)

Sarah W, love, love, LOVE that video!

Kelly, LOL, maybe they thought you were serious?

Julie, you never know who’ll appreciate the filth!

Skye, ((hugs)) on the surgery and your mom, but how wonderful that doctor saw the value in humor!

Delphine, I’ve never seen Monsters, Inc. Will have to check it out.

Jenna, small world with the joke-telling doctors!

Matthew, cross my heart and hope to die, the chart really had STD in the last line. There was one other letter at the beginning of the row….maybe an F or something. But I definitely saw STD.

Diane, why suppress? Let it aaaaaaaaaallllll out!!!

The Sprouting Acorn, I got a survey a couple days later asking me to rate my customer service rep on a scale of 1 to 10. Suffice it to say, he got a 10.

Kristina, I live to make you giggle :)

Writer Pat Newcombe, I know there are times people wonder if I make this stuff up to get the laugh. As God is my witness, I really did attempt to test the “face time” feature while peeing right after I got the phone. Next thing I knew, I was looking at a video of my face and the phone told me it was dialing someone. Yikes!

Jill, interesting! Once upon a time, I had a number of editors suggest I should dumb down my humor. I didn’t listen.

Mary Kate, ha! I’m thinking I need a husband like I need a hole in the head right now.

Thanks for reading, guys!
Tawna

Jessica Bell said...

Haha! Sure! Time and place and I'm there ... um, wanna gimme the fund for a ticket from Greece? I'll bring some ancient Greek erotic calenders for ya ;o)

Jess Corra said...

I love banter. Wit for the win! And I laughed at the STD comment, Tawna.

I work at a bookstore (yay). Most recently I was standing at the cash registers with my coworker, it was a slow day, so I said, "Apparently they're paying me to stand here and look pretty." He said something like, "You've got that covered."

We then had a conversation about how awkward it could be having to work in the Sex books section. He had some good customer service stories. Apparently there's a series of how-to books. With LEVELS. My coworker had to say, with a completely straight face, "I'm sorry, sir, we're out of the intermediate edition, but we have it for beginners and advanced."

Sophia Chang said...

Can you be MY best friend?

I found an unexpectedly humorous white dude who got my racial jokes at the New Balance store - he also diagnosed my arch problems and said I had bunions from dancing. You win some you lose some.