deadline, punchline

Who has two thumbs and beats deadlines by ~48 hrs? I don’t know, but this one’s eating my popcorn!

Wait, my index cards got stuck together there. The correct answer is “We would, but we need the eggs.”

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ducks

“Hey, I got quoted in The Atlantic.”

“What?”

“I’m reading an Atlantic article about an AskMe thread, and they quoted me… OH WHOA, they blockquoted me.”

It was a good thread: full of compassion, laughter, and condolences. MeFi member dmd (identified in The Atlantic as Daniel Drucker) posted this question: “My father passed away this morning. I’m going through his file, and I came across JOKES.TXT … which contains only the punchlines. Can the Mind please tell me the jokes?”

He included the list of punchlines, and one by one, community members popped in to offer their sympathy and answer the question. (It’s worth pointing out that MeFi guidelines require AskMe responses to answer the question above all things; a response that doesn’t answer the question is promptly deleted. In a condolence thread, it’s possible that a response offering only condolences miiiight stand, but it’s by no means certain.)

By the time I saw that thread, someone had already explained the punchline about the ducks, but I was able to add a suggestion, and a memory of my own:

O9scar outlines the riddle above, but it’s worth mentioning that this one works best deployed not as a joke but as a casual bit of trivia tossed off when you see a V of birds in formation.

Person 1 [points to birds]: Hey, y’know when you see birds flying in V-formation? And sometimes one side of the V is longer than the other? You know why that is?
Person 2: No, why?
Person 1: More birds on that side.

If you do it casually enough and your friends are sufficiently curious about random subjects, you may even be able to use it on the same person more than once. I caught my own much-missed father with that gag several times. My sorrow for your loss, and thank you for that happy memory.

As MeFi member HotToddy (quoted in the Atlantic‘s closing paragraph) says in the MetaTalk appreciation of that thread, “What an amazing thing, your dad inadvertently arranging for your friends to tell you jokes all day long on the day he dies.”

My own father would have loved to be involved in this discussion — and now he is, through my memories and my story. I love you, Dad.

a fine how-do-you-do

The Fella: Your hands are so soft.
Elsa: They’re getting rough. I think I have to buy some fancy-lady lotion.
The Fella: I’ll get you some Zelda Fitzgerald gloves.
Elsa: Did she have crazy*-lady gloves?
[a pause]
Elsa: [way too excited at the prospect] Like, did she have the nervous disorder where she picked at her hands? And she wore gloves to keep from doing it?
The Fella: … no. She had fancy-lady gloves. She drank champagne in them. She smoked cigarettes in them.
Elsa: A lady doesn’t eat, drink, or smoke in gloves, though —despite unschooled suggestions to the contrary — it is perfectly proper to shake hands while wearing gloves. A lady should leave her gloves on rather than delay the handshake.
The Fella: A lady should bang in them.
Elsa: But Zelda mighta drunk champagne in her gloves. Or smoked in ’em.
The Fella: She mighta banged in ’em.
Elsa: Anything one may properly do in gloves, one may properly do in bed. Wait. I mean, I suspect handshake etiquette is the same as banging etiquette. Wait.
The Fella: [waits]
Elsa: [laughing] For example, the senior lady always initiates it with the younger lady! ETIQUETTE JOKE!
The Fella: Uh-huh.
Elsa: And the lady always makes the invitation, not the gentleman, but if he extends it, you’d be rude not to put your hand out for it. ETIQUETTE JOKE!
The Fella: Mm-hmm.

*I’ve been slowing trying to replace casual able-ist slurs in my everyday speech. It isn’t going super-well.

widow’s weeds

This morning, Maggie of Mighty Girl transcribed a harmless-seeming (or harmless, depending on your mindset) chat between friends, spurred by a typo: widow for window.

In the comments there, I responded to her joke, a response that was half thoughtful and half visceral. Since a handful of people have clicked over to Macbebekin by way of that comment, I felt it was worth addressing here as well.

As a sort-of-widow myself*, with a sister recently widowed, and many friends and loved ones who have seen their partners die, I felt gutted by that joke, by the ease with which it consigns widows to a pile of anachronistic things.

That is not to say that Maggie shouldn’t have made the joke, or shared it.

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