REPURPOSING CONSUMER ITEMS

David Foster Wallace's favorite tool, likely to be dated before he finishes his next book. The Henny Youngman Humor of tomorrow.

Examples:

  • Interpretive readings of J. Peterman catalog
  • Poems entitled, "No one can eat just one"
  • Tattoos of Cap'n Crunch

See Also: Bastardized Logos and Slogans

Examples: The Pillsbury Dough Boy in drag; "Crack: It's Everywhere You Want to Be"

 

APPROPRIATING LINGO

Highlight the absurdity of jargon by pulling it out of context. Most popular example: Dilbert's relentless compulsion to bleed management-speak dry. But other examples abound: Managerpatois at the singlesbar! Geekspeak at breakfast! Academic deconstruction in a music mag! Well, that's Spin, but still ...

Examples:

  • "If you have any questions or concerns regarding this meal, please contact Mommy formally in writing, detailing your observations and suggesting methods of improvement."
  • Bachelor Seminar 103: Prioritizing Dirty Laundry for More Fulfilling Weekends

 

INSTANT "FUNNY"

There are some things that are just plain funny. Instrinsically funny. Refer to this list to "laff up" your conversation:

  • Drug references
  • "Er" or "um" (Useful in particular before an otherwise lame punchline or pun.)
  • Quotation marks to show your "ironic distance" from certain concepts or phrases
  • Canada
  • Funny animals doing stupid stuff; extra points for squirrels, roaches, and giant bunny rabbits
  • Childish phrases like "stupidhead" and "dumbass" (see: Beavis and Butthead)
  • "Brandishing" things other than knives
  • Adding "schm-" to a second rhyming word, as in "rabbit, schmabbit"
  • Characters whose identity is defined by some appellation like "Evil" or "Stupid"
  • Extremely "square" words from the '50s and '60s like "peachy" and "delish"
  • "Clipping" recipes
  • Misunderstandings
  • Violence
  • Misunderstandings that lead to violence
  • Miscellanous funny: toast, toasters, most small kitchen appliances, anything cheese-filled, anything with the word "cheese" in it, (such as toe cheese, head cheese, etc.), anything crusty, corn dogs (which are crusty), dustbunnies, mold, cake mix, lighter fluid, the color teal, referring to skinny people as "fatty," teal mold, tacos
 
 

Instant Funny at Work.