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How to Tell the Perfect Lame Joke

Ever wondered what my most regularly used pen name (“Duita Phish”) means? I'll tell you. So there I was, one fine day in school, doing absolutely nothing productive. I racked my brain for a joke that I would unleash on everyone so that they'd be instantly awed and the gloomy mood would be thus lifted. I took my Orbit pen and proceeded to twirl it around my other hand, asking everyone what it meant. The blank faces turned to grimaces as I told them it was in orbit (since it was an Orbit pen. See?). One friend proceeded to tell me that I was too much to handle.

Too much? Too “maach”? Two “maas”? Duita Fish? Ladies and gentlemen, this is how Duita Phish was born. Since it is blatantly obvious that I'm the expert on all things lame, I'll teach you not-funny people how to tell the perfect lame joke.

Find a funny base to work with. Be creative with what you base your joke on. Force yourself to rise above common toilet humour (or use them as backup in case your initial smarter-than-thou attempt fails). Turn mundane household items and ordinary objects into something that can be joked about. The following example is copyrighted by yours truly [though it started with How I Met Your Mother, the TV show of course], so if you do go around telling it, make sure to mention the Duita Phish. Example: the teacher asks you to turn on the AC inside the classroom. You go towards the AC unit and pretend it's not turning on. Turn around and say, “Sir, we're having Major issues with the General AC.” Turn around to the General branded AC, salute it and walk back to your seat confidently. Bask in your glory. If it's a National AC instead of a General, think of something else. It's relatively easy to work with Air Conditioning, mostly because of names like the two mentioned, plus Carrier, Whirlpool, etc, but also because it's cool. Hehe.

Never ever try to explain your joke immediately. One of the many problems I faced during my days as a stand-up-comedian-who-can't-actually-stand-because-I'm-lame was that I explained the joke immediately after I said it. Everyone just shook their heads and walked away. Never attempt this, young lame-ones. After you've delivered your punch line, wait for 3-4 seconds and if no one laughs, quietly slip back into “nobody important” mode. If you get at least one half of a smile (if your joke was particularly bad) pat yourself on the back for a job well done. It's also a good idea to refrain from letting loose any other lame-os for the day if you've received mostly blank looks for your previous attempts.

Choose your audience carefully. One luxury proper stand-up comedians don't have is that they can't choose the audience they're comfortable with. They have to work with all they've got and risk having a terrible show. Being the “nobody” that you probably are gives you a distinctive advantage. Choose your audience by the number of people, the size of the men amongst the group, the number of smiles they currently have on their faces, and the closest proximity to an exit door or deep shadow (important to follow in the order mentioned). Even if your carefully chosen audience members fail to laugh, refer to the next point.

Be prepared to be shot down, constantly. Nowadays, every time I open my mouth, people either move away or start talking about serious stuff like tsunamis or exams or painful bowel movements. Even when you're starting out, young ones, you'll face barriers like these. It seems no one has the time to stand around and listen to lame jokes. Learn to be assertive. Push your joke on them. Sneak attack them from behind if necessary. A good lame joke is worth all the trouble you go to, to tell it to the correct audience.

Tell yourself constantly that you are the best at what you do and that people love you. They probably don't, but that shouldn't matter at all. A lame joke that makes people laugh is the ultimate statement of your creativity and useless talent, and a marvellous feat. Congratulate yourself and know that you're well on your way to greatness.

By Shaer Duita Phish Reaz


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