Tag Archives: comedy

I’m officially a podcaster!

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I’m very very excited because today marks my official debut out there in the vast world of podcasting.  We’re on iTunes and everything!  Our little show, called Professor Dave’s Ark in Space, is Dave and I having a discussion about what elements of our culture mark the best and the worst of humanity, and generally having a great time while we’re at it. 

If you feel inclined to give us a listen, here are the links:

iTunes–   http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/professor-daves-ark-in-space/id359160686

libsyn– http://www.profdave.libsyn.com/rss

If you love it, we also have a facebook group– just search for Professor Dave’s Ark in Space.

Enjoy!

P.G. Wodehouse Insult Generator

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Thanks to a commenter from half-way around the world, ya’ll have this beauty of a widget to enjoy. 
Indulge your love of all things Wodehousian, courtesy of Osama Lali.  Thanks, dude!

[clearspring_widget title=”P.G. Wodehouse Insult Generator” wid=”490eebb11b871e9a” pid=”4a839c34d0f37f87″ width=”250″ height=”300″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”]

the 2nd flight of Aeolus

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Back again, bouyed by breezy comments from Aeolus’s margins, we fly.  If you missed the previous flight, catch it here.  This may be a bumpy ride, so please stow your luggage securely and put your trays in the upright positions.

 

“Practice dwindling.  A mighthavebeen.  Losing heart.”– such a sad fellow.

“Weathercocks.  Hot and cold in the same breath.”– are they Mary Poppins then?

“Is he taking anything for it?”– a good question.

“shite and onions”– such a disgusting phrase!  What did onions ever do to you?

onions are lovely.  leave them alone.

onions are lovely. leave them alone.

“Get a grip of them by the stomach.”– I agree.  good advice.  hopefully not using the shite and onions, though.  eww.

“The editor’s blue eyes roved towards Mr Bloom’s face, shadowed by a smile.”– Why, what does Secret Squirrel here know?

Is this really a picture of the Editor and Leopold Bloom?

Is this really a picture of the Editor and Leopold Bloom?

“My Ohio.”– ooooooo ooo hio– where North Cork won every time [sung to tune of “Oklahoma”]

“He took a reel of dental floss…”– ok, nice to see him flossing, but such poor manners!

“Who wants a dead cert for the God cup? he asked”– how are the odds on the choirboys handicap?  Bertie Wooster wants to place a bet with Pongo.

“There’s a hurricane blowing.”– listen, bub.  You don’t know nothin’  ’bout no hurricanes.

“We are the boys of Wexford…”– I’d rather have David from “Newsies” singing here: “Open the gates and seize the day…”

give me David anyday over random Ulysses urchins

give me David anyday over random Ulysses urchins

“He’ll get that advertisement”– why is Leo so motivated here?  does he work on commission?

“Lenehan promptly struck a match for them and lit their cigarettes in turn.”– according to Hanff, the English would light cigs only off of other peoples.  they would never ask for a match.

“Thanky vous”– well, aren’t we just too Gallic for words!

“Silence for my brandnew riddle”– booooogus!

“We mustn’t be led away by words, by sounds of words.”– Pah-lease!  That is all that J.J. does!

“The Roman, like the Englishman who follows in his footsteps, brought to every new shore on which he set his food… only his cloacal obsession”– Do you have a flag?

“First my riddle, Lenehan said.  Are you ready?”– Poor guy can’t get a word in edgewise.

“Youth led by Experience visits Notoriety”– sounds like a naughty poem by Blake.

“Lenehan said to all:”– Why is a raven like a writing desk?

“He comes, pale vampire”– is he sparkly?

“The bloodiest old tartar God ever made.”– Ah, She Who Must Be Obeyed.

“O’Rourke, prince of Breffni”– yes, yes, we’ve had all of this already.  get on with it!

“We were always loyal to lost causes.”– ah, like Evan Tanner.

“But the Greek!”– For all our faults, we loooove our Greeks.  [sung to a tune from Pirates of Penzance]

“Pyrrhus”– without Thisbe?

“LENEHAN’S LIMERICK”– I like Carl Kasell’s better.

“Myles Crawford crammed the sheets into a sidepocket.”– Those Blasted Sheets and Tissues!

“The Rose of Castille”– groan.  awful.  though, better than Stevie’s from earlier.

“YOU CAN DO IT!”– why does this remind me of those Python letters to the editor?

 

And I shall leave you, dears, with one of my favorite bits of flying humor.  Enjoy.

Plum wonderful

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Plum Wodehouse at his typewriter

All right, folks, it is time we had a serious chat about the stunning and wonderful brilliance that is P. G. Wodehouse.  If you have never read his books (why not?!), you have deprived yourself of some of the most magnificent work in the English language.  Not only that, but he also had both a truely astonishing output and staying power.  Wodehouse wrote and was published continuously from 1903 to his death in 1975.  What other author can say such a thing?  In addition, Wodehouse was an absolute favorite of another brilliant (and deeply-missed) writer, Douglas Adams.  Adams once called him “a genius of the English language” and then proceeded to compare his writing to a Bach fugue [introduction to Sunset at Blandings].  Well, I mean, what higher praise is there?

“Yes, yes,” I can hear you cry, “But how can this be true? If this P. G. fellow is so brilliant, then why is he not taught in schools along with Shakespeare and Milton?” 

Ah– I have an answer for you, but you’re not going to like it.  Unlike Shakespeare and Milton, P. G. has never written a boring word in his life– thus he has been disqualified from the canon.  In all seriousness, Wodehouse wrote comedy, which is tragically undervalued in so-called “educational” literature.  {please note– I am a teacher and an English major.  I have read my share of truly mind-numbing “literature.”}  Plum, as he was called by his friends, was not interested one wit in changing society, or giving a grand message, or exposing the dark-underbelly of our tragic lives, or mourning the stark futility of our existential existences. 

He, instead, simply wrote the most fun, intelligent, and clever prose to make people laugh.  Yes– all of this just for the sheer joy of it.

I dare you to finish an entire Wodehouse novel and feel not happy with the world.

Now, being the perpetually stubborn optimist that I am (my college classmates may remember that I prefer the term “anti-utopia” to “dystopia” because I adamantly maintain that utopias are possible and that most people are inherently good-hearted), I find nearly all Literature (note the capital letter there), especially those that win the prizes, appallingly dark, grim, and horrible.  There is enough of that hideousness in real life!  I, like Plum, have no interest in glum navel-gazing when I’m reading.  Give me young Bertie Wooster and his bumbling escapades any day! 

this is the hardback version

And so, to that end, I submit for your reading entertainment, what I consider one of P. G. Wodehouse’s masterpieces of prose and plot: The Code of the Woosters (1938). 

You need this book.  Everyone who can read English needs this book.  Don’t worry; it’s definitely still in print.  Your copy is awaiting you at the bookstore as we speak.

“But, why oh why do I need to own this?  I already have bookshelves teetering to dangerous levels with my to-be-read pile.  My cats are huddling for cover under the bed.  What makes this book, which you have already clearly said does not have a deep and dark message, worth space in my house?”

Thank you for asking this, dear readers.  You need this book because every sentence in it is perfect.  To take just the teeniest of samples from pages 1 & 2 {it helps if you read it aloud.  All of Wodehouse is better when read aloud.}:

“He [Jeeves] shimmered out, and I sat up in bed with that rather unpleasant feeling you get sometimes that you’re going to die in about five minutes.  On the previous night, I had given a little dinner at the Drones to Gussie Fink-Nottle as a friendly send-off before his approaching nuptials with Madeline, only daughter of Sir Watkin Bassett, CBE, and these things take their toll.  Indeed, just before Jeeves came in, I had been dreaming that some bounder was driving spikes through my head– not just ordinary spikes, as used by Jael the wife of Heber, but red-hot ones.

He returned with the tissue-restorer.  I loosed it down the hatch, and after undergoing the passing discomfort, unavoidable when you drink Jeeves’s patent morning revivers, of having the top of the skull fly up to the ceiling and the eyes shoot out of their sockets and rebound from the opposite wall like racquet balls, felt better.  It would have been overstating it to say that even now Bertram was back again in mid-season form, but I had at least slid into the convalescent class and was equal to a spot of conversation.”

Enjoyed that, did you?  Good.  Now, close your eyes and imagine that there was an entire book written in exactly this way. Next, imagine that its plot revolved around a silver cow creamer, a bit of friendly blackmail,a good many engagements (intentional and otherwise), and the most perfect butler in all of literature, all with plot so hopelessly muddled by the end that only a cove of Jeeves’s marvelous intellect is able to unravel it and to conduct us all to the happy ending.  You would need to own such a book, would you not?   You may now open your eyes.  Thus,  The Code of the Woosters needs to come and live at your house.   

I should probably warn you at this point that once you have read one of Wodehouse’s novels, you will fall deeply in love with his prose.  Not to worry, though.  Unlike those irritating modern authors who only write one or two books and then bow out of the field, our Plum published over ninety books and musical plays.  All are frothing over with his wonderful words. 

There is no other way to end this but with Plum’s words from the end of this novel:

“Jeeves was right, I felt.  The snail was on the wing and the lark was on the thorn– or, rather, the other way round– and God was in His heaven and all was right with the world” (285-86).

With a Wodehouse book in your hand, all IS right with the world. 

 

p.s.  the only way to magnify the perfection of Wodehouse would be to combine him with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.  Such a thing was done between 1990 and 1993:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098833/

500!

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On the occasion of 500 hits on my blog in just over a month (thank you, thank you, you lovely people!), I’ve decided to share with you some of my favorite search terms that brought folks to my doorstep here.

 

tennant’s tardis house

laughter funny pictures

squaricle and westlake

where can I find men’s suits in south florida  (oh bless his dear little heart! I do hope he found some.)

galactic war ships

joe’s stone crab south beach

robinson crusoe quotations

nero’s romulan ship (lots of these)

costumes

Thanks to everyone for coming to visit me. 

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

visitors’ guide to south florida– via Dave Barry

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Good morning, all!

Last time I shared with you my favorite Murphy’s Law quotations.  The other group of page-a-day pages stuck up on my wall are from my old Dave Barry calendar (Boy, do I miss his column!).  They are all from his “Visitors’ Guide to South Florida” series.  [Those of you who have lived there will know how true these are!  They almost make me homesick.]

Population: South Florida is a real “melting pot” whose residents come from all over the world, bringing with them a wide variety of languages, cultures, narcotics, etc.  Despite our differences, we South Floridians are united by a common belief, which is that every one of us, regardless of race, or religion, or ethnic background, could be armed.

Economy: The largest single industry in South Florida is pest control, followed by sprinkler repair, wiretapping, snake importing, and begging at intersections.

System of Government: Elections are held at regular intervals as ordered by the courts, with turnout ranging as high as 347 voters, of whom as many as 153 may actually be the same voter, who is not always technically alive.  The officials elected via this process traditionally serve for three months or until they are indicted, whichever comes first.  Then we have new elections, usually resulting in the same officials being reelected, because South Florida voters prefer experienced leaders who will “hit the ground running” and not waste a lot of time shopping for defense attorneys.

Museums: Right.  Like you would ever go to a museum.

Tourist Attractions: Probably our biggest tourist attraction is naked Europeans on the beach.  To find them, walk along the beach until you start seeing people without any bathing suits; these are your naked Europeans.  When you see them, act cool.  Don’t stare or shout: “Hey!  You people are NAKED!”  Instead, walk back and forth past them forty-five or fifty times, sneaking peeks while pretending that you’re looking for some object that you lost in the sand.  It helps if you periodically remark aloud: “I’m looking for some object that I lost in the sand!”

Driving: South Florida traffic operates under international standards, under which each motorist obeys the laws of his or her individual country of origin.  The proud motto of the South Florida motorist is “Death Before Yielding.”

Mass Transit: Miami is blessed with a modern, interconnected light-rail transit system.  If you figure out how it works, please let us know.

Nightlife: The hottest nightspot is South Beach where, on any given evening, you’ll find thousands of fun-seekers staying up until the “wee hours” in their never-ending quest to find a parking space.  Once you find a spot for your car (allow two days for this), you can take your pick among literally dozens of night-clubs that offer hot music, cold drinks, and large men outside refusing to let you in because you are, no offense, from Iowa.  Or you can go to the world-famous Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant and experience, as many thousands have experienced before you, a legendary, world-class wait for a table.

If you enjoyed these, go immediately and read Dave Barry’s book “Big Trouble.”  The film is pretty good, too.

For more Dave Barry, see below:

http://www.davebarry.com/index.html

quotations for galactic hitchhikers

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Well, who doesn’t have some favorite Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy quotations (and if you don’t, go away and get some immediately).

Here are a few of mine.

“Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very fast.  People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are often given to wonder what’s so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to get there, and what’s so great about point B that so many people from point A are so keen to get there.  They often wish that people would just once and for all work out where the hell they wanted to be.”

“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”

“Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.”

“‘Ford!’ he said, ‘there’s an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script of Hamlet they’ve worked out.'”

“When you’re cruising down the road in the fast lane and you lazily sail past a few hard-driving cars and are feeling pretty pleased with yourself and then accidentally change down from fourth and first instead of third thus making your engine leap out of your hood in a rather ugly mess, it tends to throw you off your stride in much the same way that this remark threw Ford Prefect off his.”

“‘It is most gratifying,’ it said, ‘that your enthusiasm for our planet continues unabated, and so we would like to assure you that the guided missiles currently converging on your ship are part of a special service we extend to all of our most enthusiastic clients, and the fully armed nuclear warheads are of course merely a courtesy detail.  We look forward to your custom in future lives…Thank you.'”

“It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they appear.”

“‘So there you have it,’ said Slartibartfast, making a feeble and perfunctory attempt to clear away some of the appalling mess of his study.  He picked up a piece of paper from the top of a pile, but then couldn’t think of anywhere else to put it, so he put it back on top of the original pile which promptly fell over.”

“R is a velocity measure, defined as a reasonable speed of travel that is consistent with health, mental well-being and not being more than, say, five minutes late.  It is therefore clearly an almost infinitely variable figure according to circumstances, since the first two factors vary not only with speed taken as an absolute, but also with awareness of the third factor.  Unless handled with tranquility this equation can result in considerable stress, ulcers, and even death.  R17 is not a fixed velocity, but it is clearly far too fast.”

and we’ll end with Marvin:

“‘That ship hated me,’ [Marvin] said dejectedly, indicating the policecraft.

‘That ship?’ said Ford in sudden excitement.  ‘What happened to it?  Do you know?’

‘It hated me because I talked to it.’

‘You talked to it?’ exclaimed Ford.  ‘What do you mean you talked to it?’

‘Simple.  I got very bored and depressed, so I went and plugged myself in to its external computer feed.  I talked to the computer at great length and explained my view of the Universe to it,’ said Marvin.

‘And what happened?’ pressed Ford.

‘It committed suicide,’ said Marvin, and stalked off back to the Heart of Gold.”

What are your favorite quotations from Douglas Adams’s works (be they radio show, book, computer game, or towel)?