Pavilion Digest: July 2009

A plethora of perplexing pavilion posts. The Pavilion Annex thread, the Pavilion Discussion thread, and monthly digests of all messages from the Pavilion.

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Lori Koonce
Posts: 3538
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:10 pm
Location: San Francisco California

Hey Frank

Postby Lori Koonce » Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:53 am

Name: Lori Koonce
Source: unca20090706.htm
"Humour is in the eye of the beholder. This is just like music taste--mysterious. Esthetics still exist, but even there we define what that means as well."

Frank, while that is certainly true, it doesn't explain the fact that there are universal constancies. Almost everyone laughs at Charlie Chaplin. Almost everyone Can enjoy Bach and Mozart.

For you statement to be true, that couldn't happen. But it does!

Just my two cents, I'll go back to the Pavillion now.

Posts: 191
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 6:28 pm

Hunor and getting it

Postby KOS » Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:26 am

Name: KOS
Source: unca20090706.htm
Saw a bumper sticker in the seventies, "Are we having fun yet?!"

Pointed it out to my friend driving the car we were in.

"What?" he said?

"Why do they care?" I asked


"What's it to them if the rest of us are having fun?"

"Ir's a JOKE!"


He spent at least twenty minutes trying to explain before realizing I was not going to get it, EVER.

Saw a cartoon once in Playboy. Two construction workers in a ditch, working with shovels. Above them a temporary sidewalk, built from sections of steel grating you could see through. Walking across the grating are half a dozen gorgeous women in skirts and dresses.

One worker stares up through the grating, admiring the view, the other leans on his shovel, head down in thought, and speaks to the first worker.

The caption?

"I just don't get that guy Kissinger!"

(Historical note: Henry KISSINGER was Secretary of State at the time.)

I had to ask everyone around me "Why is this supposed to be funny?"

I was genuinely puzzled. I kept thinking it had to be a pun on "Kissinger". "Kissing Her?" I kept checking to see if one of the babes was being kissed. Nope, no one kissing.

I think that one can be traced to my having grown up in Orange County. We didn't have construction workers on every other corner whistling and grabbing their crotches every time a babe walked by. Even surfer boys act a little classier than that.

Actually, upon a nanoseconds' reflection: no, they don't.

Best explanation of humor I ever saw was featured in an episode of the early sixties sit-com "The Dick Van Dyke" show. The character of Rob Petrie, played by Van Dyke, appears at his son's school for a "show and tell" or "Career Day" event. The students ask him to do something funny. So he does a prat fall, and they bust up. Then Rob explains that it was only funny because no one expected him to fall. He gave several other examples, and talked about "comic" and "comedian" It was fascinating. I expect it was written by Carl Reiner, who produced the series, as well as wrote many of its episodes.

About five years ago there was a documentary on humor, based on that classic joke "The Aristocrats" Uneven, but hilarious at times.

The only joke I ever wrote professionally (featured in that lost classic "Screwball Hotel"):

"You treat women like they're pieces of meat! They're not meat."


"They're poultry!!!"

But seriously, folks....

Hey, it was like two in the morning, and they wanted the rewrite in a day, and it was two AM and...

Sickest joke I ever heard:

What's the worst thing about bald pussy?




Nah, I just cannot bring myself to type it....

Somebody else will have to tell ya...


Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:31 am

the thief of bad gags...

Postby steveperry » Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:16 pm

Name: Stephen
Source: unca20090706.htm
uncle milty knew from humor, studied it as his craft and worked
hard to perfect it. if you want to know from humor, look to
the man in the flower print dress.

a ham sandwich walks into a bar and orders a bowl of chili and a beer.
the bartender says, "we don't serve food here."

lets not get started on bad jokes, lest the pie rates of penn's
aunts rears its ugly head again. thank you for your support.

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Chuck Messer
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 9:15 pm
Location: Lakewood, Colorado

Postby Chuck Messer » Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:36 pm

Name: Chuck Messer
Source: unca20090706.htm
Sometimes the timing in humor is in current events. When they're no longer current, will people know enough to laugh?

How long before these jokes get blank looks:

Yu*go (yoo-go)
n. 1) Small, economical, Yugoslavian-built automobile.
2) 4x4 hood ornament.
adj. 1) What dosen't happen when you press the accelerator.

Q. How do you double the value of a Yugo?
A. Fill the tank with gas! (If it can still hold liquid.)
A. If not, put a gallon of milk in the back seat.

A man entered an auto parts store...
Man: "I need a windshield wiper blade for a Yugo."
Clerk: "Well, only if you throw $20 into the trade."

Two guys in a Yugo were arrested last night in Oakland following a push-by shooting incident.

What do you call a Yugo with a flat tire?

"Uh, what's a Yugo? Is it, like, a car?"


James Van Hise


Postby James Van Hise » Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:49 pm

Name: James Van Hise
Source: unca20090706.htm
The first time I encountered "Are We Having Fun Yet?" was in the 1981 Alan Alda/Carol Burnett film The Four Seasons. At one point she was told an outing would be fun, but she felt otherwise and kept asking mockingly, "Is This Fun? Are We Having Fun Yet?" Thereafter I saw it used repeatedly in the Zippy The Pinhead comic strip.

Humor is hard. I wrote 26 issues of the Now Comics Real Ghostbusters comic book (which was a spinoff of the animated series which was a spinoff of the first Ghostbusters movie). Since the animated series had lots of humorous situations and dialogue, that's the style I wrote in. In a 20 page story I tried to average 3 humorous lines a page. If I'd ever approached it from the point of view that I had to write 60 jokes, I couldn't have done it, so I just let the humor come out of the situations and the characters.

One of the best examples of how humor can be created was in a Cheers episode where Cliff Clavin wrote a joke he wanted Johnny Carson to read. Cliff was dragged kicking and screaming out of the audience for the Tonight Show (John Ratzenberger at his best) but Johnny Carson decided to read the joke anyway. It wasn't funny at first but then he read it different ways and finally his unique delivery made the joke funny. It was an amazing display of sheer talent and professionalism.

Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:31 am

Funny Story

Postby steveperry » Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:18 pm

Name: Steve Perry
Source: unca20090706.htm
Re: Ghostbusters. As it happened, I had a hand in several episodes of the animated show, which, in case you may not know it, was story-edited by none other than Joe Straczynski.

Joe is a very funny guy. And part of one of my all-time favorite Hollywood stories, one I thought passing amusing at the time. If for no other reason, I'll always love Joe for that outing. I won't inflict it on the readers here, but if you want to read it, have a look -- the names have been changed to protect the guilty. ... ntion.html

Okay, I double-posted today, I'm off the air for a couple days.


Alan Coil
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:21 pm
Location: Southeast Michigan

Postby Alan Coil » Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:51 pm

Name: Alan Coil
Source: unca20090706.htm
Steve Perry -- good story.

Hope everybody has a great holiday weekend.



Postby Le » Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:25 pm

Name: Le
Source: unca20090706.htm
I absolutely love the joke about Adam and Eve with the pigeons Mr. Ellison tells in an installment from AN EDGE IN MY VOICE.

I also loved the "You no lookie Jewish" joke he tries to tell (over pizza and wearing that stylish British Spitfire sweatshirt. I want a sweatshirt like that, only with a P-51D Mustang on it instead) to Neil Gaiman in DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH. It *is* old, but the way he tells it....

Dave Bruce

Interest in Harlan

Postby Dave Bruce » Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:41 pm

Name: Dave Bruce
Source: unca20090706.htm
Seriously, what is Ellison doing? Does he write anymore? I've always LOVED anything HE wrote/did. Have been following him since the late '60's in the LA Free Press when I was in high school. Once interviewed him approximately 1973 @ Kent State University. Is the man alive or dead? Best TV criticism EVER was the two 'Glass Teat' books, collections of his columns. HE is a GENIUS and I miss his work. You can only read 'Memos From Purgatory' so many times. I keep expecting a cover of 'Fantasy and Science Fiction' to have his name on it...

Bob Ingersoll
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Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:36 pm

Bob Ingersoll is Fine, But...

Postby Bob Ingersoll » Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:16 pm

Name: Bob Ingersoll
Source: unca20090706.htm
R.I.P. Robert M. Ingersoll, Esq. July 13, 1981- July 2, 2009

Turns out that after twenty eight years, Cuyahoga County doesnt want me anymore.

Twenty-eight years Ive been a loyal, government employee. But now, that local government -- smacked upside the head by the recent economic downturn, escalating costs, and a football team that insists that post-season play doesnt really add anything to the local economy, can no longer afford my services. In other words, Cuyahoga County wants to get rid of me.

And people like me.

People who have been working for the county for close to thirty years, who have reached maximum capacity in their pay scales, and who are close enough to retirement that we can smell it cooking on the grill. So, the county is buying us out of our contracts.

Now, dont worry about me. This isnt like some buy-out where the company gives its long-time employees a lump sum of money and tells them to go away, leaving said employees with the problem of figuring out what theyre going to live on once that lump sum payment runs out. No, in the case of the Cuyahoga County buy-out, the county is buying service credit for its employees rather than buying a cessation of their services. What it means is this...

We government employees in Ohio have both our retirement pensions and retirement health benefits vest in full after thirty years of employeement. So there is an incentive for us to stay for the full thirty years. Both in terms of how big our pensions will be and in terms of how comprehensive our retirement health benefits will be.

The county, on the other hand, has a disincentive in having us stay for 30 years because we long-timer tend to be the highest-paid employees in our departments and the county would like to get out from under our salaries. So what Cuyahoga County is doing in 2009 is agreeing to buy three years of service credit from OPERS from us long-timers so that we reach thirty years or more and can retire with full pension and full health benefit.

I, for example, will have only 28 years of service credit in July. It would not be in my best interest to retire then, when I was so close to the full pension and full health benefit. However, by buying three years of service credit for me from Ohio Public Employee Retirement Service in return for my promise to retire, I will have 31 years of service credit; the 28 years I worked and the 3 years the county bought for me and will be able to retire with both my full pension and my full health benefit.

When this is all over, the county loses my larger salary and is able to transfer my health benefit payments to the OPERS. And I get to retire. On full pension and health benefit. Three years earlier than we would have been eligible otherwise.

Can I afford to do this? Well, Ive a famous financial consultant that question and the consultants answer was, Signs point to yes.

As I said, Ill be on full pension. And this, mind you, is a pension funded by the Public Employee Retirement Service, not Social Security. The PERS pension funds are much healthier than Social Security. (Okay, at this point John Wayne is much healthier than Social Security, but you get my point.) I should be OK.

So, as you read these words, I will have retired from the Cuyahoga County Public Defender Office.

What will I do?

Start reading the hundreds of unread books I have backlogged in my house. Surf the Internet. Watch the huge backlog of Turner Classic Movies waiting on my TiVo and unwatched DVDs I have in my family room. Travel more.

Oh, and write and, I hope, sell more stories.

So yes, the County offered me a buy-out, so that it could get out from under my higher salary and benefits. I took the buy-out so that I could retire on full pension and full health benefit three years earlier than I would have been able to do otherwise.

Its a win-win.

As long as I dont end up in a Winnebago.

Eric Waggoner

Thanks, Harlan.

Postby Eric Waggoner » Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:24 pm

Name: Eric Waggoner
Source: unca20090706.htm
To Harlan, should he see it--

Standard introit: I'm a long-time reader, first-time poster. I teach American literature and cultural studies at a four-year college in a small town in West Virginia. It's a life I love, and one that, in its most fundamental form, rewards me constantly.

When I was ten years old, my cousin, a goodhearted fella, told me, "Read _Deathbird Stories_. It'll make a better person out of you." I did, and kept going. And while generally such sweeping pronouncements exceed the reach of any single book, becoming immersed in your writing over the past 28 years has never been anything but a stone reward.

Every time I walk into a classroom I try to remember that, although there might just be one person here who's open to what we're reading, that one person traveled a long way, geographically and otherwise, to be in the class today. That student needs something here, in these words, and it's that student to whom I pitch the day's talk.

I've just spent an evening watching _Dreams With Sharp Teeth_ on DVD, the big-screen experience being tough to come by 'round here, and I sit now at my kitchen table, humming with pleasure at spending an evening in the (digital) company of the first living writer who ever hipped me to the fact that we all deserve to live the lives we dreamed of as kids.

To make a long expression of gratitude short: Thanks for your work, man. Thank you.

All best,

Posts: 44
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 6:24 pm

Postby Mary » Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:44 pm

Name: Mary
Source: unca20090706.htm
Reading Adam-Troy's post reminded me about one particular scene in "Trekkies 2"...

One gentleman was distressed over another fan's insistence at wearing her Star Trek uniform to the Whitewater trials jury selection. He felt that really put the fans' reputation in the hole.

This coming from a man who belongs to an organization that insists on dressing up like Vulcans, Starfleet officers, and the like, filming their own scenes from the show, talking about the show, generally driving everyone nuts with their love of the show...yeah, I think their reputation was already pretty much gone at that point. But hey, to each his own. They don't hurt anybody.

I don't have a problem with a group of people loving something so much that they are inspired to become astronomers, astronauts, scientists, engineers as so many other fans have done. That's cool.

But if other types are going to make fantastic costumes, film scenes, that sort of thing, why don't they do something...oh, I don't know...


Why can't they do something separate from the Star Trek universe? Why are they so stuck on it?

I like Star Trek, but I like to switch channels once in a while.

Or even better, read a book.

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David Loftus
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Location: Portland, Oregon

Yes but Yu-(don't)-go

Postby David Loftus » Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:03 pm

Name: David Loftus
Source: unca20090706.htm

Loved the Yugo jokes. I'll never forget an ad-libbed remark by one of the hosts of Car Talk when they were counseling a guy who was trying to decide whether to spring for a fancy foreign car. Lotta fun, yes, but it'll be hard to get service and parts over here, they told him. Then one of them added, "Or you could just pick up a six-pack of Yugos."

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Postby robochrist » Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:09 pm

Name: Rob
Source: unca20090706.htm
To Mike Jacka,

Re: breaking bread with the good Governor Sanford...

You seem to be attaching the argument to that of casting stone, thereby missing what this is all about.

So, I urge you to run to the dictionary and look up a word.

It's spelled H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y.

THEN apprise yourself about what Sanford helped do to Clinton in the 1990's.

After that, you can decide whether or not you still want to be Sanford's altar boy.

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Postby robochrist » Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:09 pm

Name: Rob
Source: unca20090706.htm
To Mike Jacka,

Re: breaking bread with the good Governor Sanford...

You seem to be attaching the argument to that of casting stone, thereby missing what this is all about.

So, I urge you to run to the dictionary and look up a word.

It's spelled H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y.

THEN apprise yourself about what Sanford helped do to Clinton in the 1990's.

After that, you can decide whether or not you still want to be Sanford's altar boy.

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