Making Each Other Laugh


My little brother makes me laugh; July 30, 2005 – Photo by Me.

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I was shopping today and a can of tuna was up to $2.79. Totally not worth it… tuna hasn’t even tasted right since they took the dolphin taste out. That’s an old joke. I wrote that back in first-year journalism school for my humour column. Not the price though, the price is real.

I used to write a humour column. Not really funny “haha”, more sardonic and full of hate and anger. People who know these kind of things told me humour was the hardest writing discipline… then they handed me my award (insert bow w/flourish here).

I always found writing my column fairly easy… it sounds cringe worthy but writing is all about the words because the words set the tone. Once you figure out “tone” you can write in almost any style… and if you want to be paid to write you have to know tones.

I don’t find humour particularly easy anymore. In the four years since I started my recovery I’ve only been able to write since November, 2006, but only regularly since last August. And not much of Salted is made up of stuff I’d consider funny… plus I didn’t even start laughing again until just a few months ago.

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I tried to get back into writing humour last year with posts called “Totally Inappropriate Salted Humour Day”, but they were basically serious posts with a funny YouTube at the top.

I’ve recently started trying to write humour again with my Salted Shambhala photo blog. It feels right so far.

I just wanted to write something about laughing and humour tonight. I’ve been wanting to do that here for a little while… even though I didn’t really know that’s what I wanted to do.

I figured it out while looking at a blog called “WhiteCoat Rants”, he writes about the American medical system from the inside and recently he wrote a post asking for humour submissions on the doctor / patient relationship.

If you’ve got any, let him have them. It’s a good blog for your blogroll as well.

So I was trying to remember anything funny from my numerous trips to the emergency room… which I couldn’t, and I happened to find Big Daddy Tazz doing his standup routine on television. BDT is a Canadian comic who also has a big case of The Bipolars. The last third of his regular routine is on manic depression and suicide… very funny stuff.

So I figured I’d write a post about stuff I thought was funny… and ask for stuff you think is funny in return.

So here’s some of the stuff I think is just freaking FUN.knee…

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Fun. Knee. Stuff

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Movies:
Blazing Saddles; GhostBusters; The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother; Phil The Alien; The Philadelphia Story; Knocked Up; Super Troopers; Fast Times at Ridgemont High; The Americanization Of Emily

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Television:
Futurama; Newhart; Arrested Development; The Trailer Park Boys; The Muppet Show; Becker

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Dick Joke:
1. My dick is so big it was overthrown by a military coup. It’s now known as the Democratic Republic of My Dick.
2. My dick is so big it has its own dick. And even my dick’s dick is bigger than your dick.

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Blogs:
Garfield Minus Garfield; The Rut; See Mike Draw; XKCD, Ask A Ninja

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People:
Tina Fey; Justin Moharb; Colin Ferguson; Seth Meyers, Jim Carrey; my younger brother; Richard Pryor; Gene Wilder; Brett Butler

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YouTubes:
Peaches “Fuck the Pain Away“, sung by Miss Piggy
Don Hertzfeldt: Rejected
Sesame Street: mahnamana
best fight ever
Family Guy: You Got My Money?

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A Funny Story:
Back in the early 90’s I used to
spend my nights and early mornings walking around The Market, which is the Clubland and homeless-shelter district of downtown Ottawa. You do that enough times and you’ll see some crazy stuff. One night in the middle of winter I was walking down an alleyway into The Market from the main street (Rideau). Two high-end cars loaded down with skis pull up in front of a bar across the street from me. It’s late, and the bars are closed so I stop to see what happens.

From fairly deep in the alley I watch four guys pile out of the first car, and they’re pissed. Three of them yelling and swearing at the driver, he’s swearing at them. The driver pulled four sets of skis off his car and threw them to the ground while his buddies were cursing him out. Then he tossed a bunch of bags out of the trunk. Finally the driver got back in the car and took off, his tires throwing snow everywhere.

The guys in the second car are snickering and joking around while one of them and all the first car guys pick up their equipment and stack it against the front of the bar. Driver of the second car says “well I can’t take everyone home”. So while he and his passengers straighten out their skis the three guys left from the first carload start banging on the door of the bar.

Door finally opens and they beg the cleaner to use the phone for a cab. So the three dudes, laughing and joking and calling their friend an asshole, walk into the bar to warm up and call a cab. A few minutes later the second carload of guys take off.

I’m just about to walk out of the alleyway, and I’m trying to decide if I should take the skis and hide them somewhere. In my head it just does not sound like a good idea. But… I’m back in the alley because someone is walking down the street. It’s a dude walking to the Salvation Army just down the street.

Dude walks past the bar and does a double-take when he sees the skis. But keeps walking… slower, but still walking. Then, halfway to the Salvation Army he stops and walks back, his head whipping around looking into the shadows. He stands beside the skis, gives one more look and then picks them all up. Poles included.

I watched him run down the block… with the skis askew in his arms he looked like a giant asterisk. I don’t know where he went because my attention went back to the door of the bar. I waited there for another five minutes until the cab showed up. When the dudes came out they looked for their skis… and figured the second driver had taken them.

Then they got into the cab and drove off. I have no idea what dude ever did with them, or what he could have done with them… but I guess it’s better to have an armful of skis and find out you can’t fence them, than it is to not have an armful of skis and hear someone say “damn… I wish I had some skis right now.”

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About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression in 1989, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. I have an 8-year old son, and a 4-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at saltedlithium.com....
This entry was posted in crazy people with no pants, Health, Humor, Humour, Inappropriate Humour Day, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, No Post Day. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Making Each Other Laugh

  1. bine says:

    it may be an old joke, but i laughed about the tuna joke nevertheless. i love making fun about stuff that people think isn’t funny.

    and now you got me in mahna mahna mode for the rest of the day, thanks. i had this downloaded to my HD for a few years and used to watch it whenever i wanted a laugh. i can still laugh about it, it’s crazy. but i’m a cookie monster addict, actually. i can’t help it, i just topple over laughing every time i hear “oooh, cookies … me eat!”.

  2. thordora says:

    The old Who’s Line is it Anyway (British) never fails to make me pee from laughing so hard-even the american one can.

    Always wished I could write funny, but I just can’t.

  3. exactscience says:

    Movies
    Team America World Police, The Monty Python movies, The Producers

    Television
    Peep Show, A Bit Of Fry and Laurie, Arrested Development. QI, Mock the Week.

    Blogs
    Penny Arcade http://www.penny-arcade.com

    People
    My friend D when we should be writing songs, my friend R when we should be doing anything, Eddie Izzard, Michael MacIntyre. My younger sister is hysterical – case in point “he is not gay, he is Irish”

    Favourite Joke
    How many people with a.d.d does it take to change a lightbulb?
    I don’t know
    Lets ride bikes.

    Funny Story.
    This happened with both a friend and my CPN.
    Them: (hushed tone) so is there any reason why you cut your left arm?
    Me: How do you mean?
    Them: Sometimes there is significance to where you cut.
    Me: Nope, just right handed.

    I first remember being turned onto subversive humour by my primary four teacher. When we finished work early she would tell us to swing from the lights, gloat to other pupils and other such things. I have never let go of that.

    I was never particularly popular or athletic or artistic, so I honed my humour to get by. As a result I am mostly regard as an intelligent depressive with a dry sometimes acerbic wit. I have made two peers wet themselves – I think that speaks volumes.

  4. Kitty says:

    The story about the guy looking like a giant asterisk is hilarious. I can see it.

  5. Gabriel... says:

    Thanks Kitty… what are some of the things that make you laugh?

    Great selections Scott. America… FUCK YEAH!

    Team America:World Police was awesome, I can’t believe I forgot that. And “South Park The Movie”, which had some of the most realistic portrayals of Canadian culture ever put on film.

    Life Of Bryan is one of my favourite movies… I’m a bit burned out on Holy Grail, and there are some really funny bits to The Meaning Of Life, but I used to watch the episodes on late night American public television. Same with Benny Hill.

    Try to find some “Kids In The Hall” videos, they were a Canuck sketch comedy group.

    Hi Thor… I never saw the British version, but the American Who’s Line was good for a few laughs every episodes. I was never really into Drew Carey as host though… but I liked his sitcom.

    Writing funny just takes practise, and since most comedy is based on tragedy, anger and hate you should probably do pretty well…

    Thanks Bine… I used to have a top-five list in each column, so this food company called Highliner had billboards all over Ottawa asking “Wonder why you don’t eat fish more often?”. So the dolphin taste thing was my number one. Some of the others were: because there’s none left, and; ask us again in Spanish… because the Spanish fishing fleet were doing their thing inside Canadian waters at the time.

    Did you know Canada and Spain almost went to war in the mid-1990’s? Funny story… they were sending their fishing fleet to fish in our waters. We told them to fuck off, they said “nope”, but in Spanish. So we boarded and seized one of their ships and one of our Navy frigates put a shot across the bow of another one.

    So Spain actually sent some of its Navy ships (I know, who knew?) to protect their fleet. Long story short, everybody went home. I think that was the best showing for the Spanish navy in two hundred years.

    And Bine, this cookie’s for you… Cookie Monster in rehab: here.

  6. darkentries says:

    how big a can of tuna?

    I used to love Kids in the hall, but I second Exacts vote for Peep Show. Its very british though. Anyone into british comedy can no doubt find it on You Tube.
    Green Wing is another great british show.
    I died a little inside when Arrested Development ended.
    Black Books never fails to amuse.

  7. exactscience says:

    I know Kids in the Hall, they appear on various compilation shows here, they are very funny. Like a Canuck SNL? Also I had a crush on Tina Fey for ages. Goodnight, and have a pleasant tomorrow

  8. Kitty says:

    My kids make me laugh constantly. My mom is pretty funny as well.

    As for Youtubes and movies, I’d have to think about that. Blazing Saddles was my dad’s favorite comedy. I love that movie too.

  9. Gabriel... says:

    Thanks for coming back Kitty…

    Scott, Tina Fey is the sexiest woman on earth. Kids In The Hall was produced by Lorne Michaels, the Canuck who created and still produces SNL… which had a lot of Canadians including Phil Hartman, Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd and Norm MacDonald.

    If you search YouTube you can find SCTV, that’s the Canuck sketch comedy program (1976-1984) where John Candy, Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Harold Ramis, Dave Thomas and Catherine O’Hara all got their start.

    Bonjour M. Dark Entries. The can, I believe, was 200 grams but instead of water I believe it was packaged in platinum. I just checked and as of today 1 British pound = 2.00290344 Canadian dollars.

    I haven’t heard of Peep Show but we get most current British comedies over here, they’re just scattered around on different channels. Ricky Gervais’ programmes, unfortunately, are on the next cable package up from mine.

    I can’t remember many Canadian comedies or sitcoms from when I was a kid (before cable). I remember King Of Kensington wasn’t really that funny, but we watched it out of some weird nationalistic feeling anyway.

    But I did watch The Two Ronnies, Benny Hill, Fawlty Towers (don’t mention the war), Yes Minister, Red Dwarf, most of the Blackadder’s, and Spitting Image.

    And all the American sitcoms… MASH, Diff’rent Strokes, All In The Family, The Carol Burnett Show, Newhart, I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Happy Days, Mork & Mindy, Laverne & Shirley, Hogan’s Heroes, The Love Boat, Three’s Company… suddenly I’m not sure when I had time to breathe.

    I’ll check out Green Wing and Black Books later tonight. Thanks.

  10. beeper says:

    Hey I liked that big daddy tazz clip, had a cheeky view at work!

    People, Innuendo and Family Stories make me roll about laughing.

    My favourite being my sister outing me in front of a select catholic section of my family, playing “Articulate” with them at the dinner table.

    My mum says to her, “your sister is one of these”. Sister replies lesbian, to the horror of everyone at the table. The word on the card was “Vegetarian”.

    The catholic’s left promptly, my sister hid and I don’t know what’s funnier, the thought of lesbian on an articulate card, my mum’s reaction or the fact no-one told me until the following Christmas when I suggested a game of Articulate.

    TV programmes that make me laugh, include early French & Saunders, Alan Carr Stand-up and anything with Jimmy Carr in it.

    -Beeper-

  11. Gabriel... says:

    Thanks for coming over Beeper.

    Your sister is funny… and inappropriate, which is what makes up 70% of “funny” so it makes sense. That’s a great ‘coming out to the neighbours’ story.

    French & Saunders = Absolutely Fabulous! I really liked AbFab.

    Despite the many connections I have to the UK I still have problems with some of the accents so I was only able to understand about 60% of what Alan Carr was saying. That 60%, however, was pretty funny.

    However, Jimmy Carr was hilarious. His correspondence with Stephen Hawking was touching and weird and funny. Thanks…

  12. raincoaster says:

    Those guys? They’re still down in the Market, looking for those damn skis.

  13. Gabriel... says:

    Bziara bbant, Rain. I’ve always wondered about the asterisk guy, because there’d be no way the Sally Ann would let him take three sets of skis up to his room…

  14. Catatonic Kid says:

    I just found you through Patient Anonymous and I’m really glad I did.

    And you know, it’s kind of funny that I happened to read this today. My therapist was just telling me about this line she read the other day about creativity and depression. Now, I reckon humour is just about the most deeply creative writing process you can try your hand in. I’m an editor, so I’ve spoken to a few people about the topic…

    Anyway, what my therapist said the writer she was reading about had said that if they didn’t participate in at least one creative endeavour every day then they’d for sure and certain get Depressed. So that really made me think about it as a ‘chicken or the egg’ situation. And I thought that might be something you’d find intriguing too.

    Oh, and Mahnamana – love it! A friend and I turned it into our crazy theme song, often sung when slightly tipsy of course. Hehee

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