Humor-us

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Global warming- meh, Terrorism- Bad but sigh, Corruption- yawn, Unemployment-Duh! None of these global phenomenon’s affect me much anymore. What gets my goat is what goes around in the name of humor.

People as you see and have read, I can be extremely, very, somewhat, remotely funny sometimes but I have acquired a taste in humor over the years. I used to laugh at the drop of a hat and I was ever so easily amused. But then began a chase which has worn me down. I continuously sought more humorous material either via books, movies, friends or comedians to a point that I think I have laughed myself out of it. I can no more relate to what goes around as humor. And if you think otherwise, I think many of you out there need a hug.

I think I have a healthy, palatable taste for humor (Not sense of humor). Saying “I have good taste in humor” is different from saying “I have a good sense of humor”. Let me illustrate:

Scene: Snickering at people who frantically press the elevator button repeatedly as if it helps – Taste in Humor.

Scene: The project has been well received by the clients and those who deserve will get a raise(Project Manager)- Sense of Humor.  

Ironically enough I have never met any guy who doesn’t think he is funny. You know what is sadder than a guy with no sense of humor? A successful guy in power who thinks he is humorous. I remember a project director hounding a friend of mine for not laughing at a joke while the other members laughed so hard as if  they didn’t want their tonsils anymore.

If you are single guy into your mid twenties humor is your last resort to get lucky. So it creates a hurried sense of insecurity in you even if you are trying to be normal. And we all know what insecurity lends, don’t we? – Lack of confidence.

Consider this situation which you would find in any dumbfuck Hindi Romcom which involves the goofy guy meets the serious girl (OR) the serious guy meets the goofy girl. The guy is at a friend’s marriage and being the verb that pretty much fucks your chance of getting laid Decent, you eyeball the girl only when she is not looking. You ∑ courage and go up to her. “You are pretty”, she goes What? You panic and reply “I am joking”. And she stomps off.

I believe humor is like a hiccup, it is best if it’s natural, you can’t force it. If you do it will only make things more awkward and give inception to a new Rom com script as described above. And the urge to impress the fairer sex has brought upon many such abominations to the world:

  1. Adapted humor: Its spelled plagiarism with a capital P. Did you have that friend in college who would go through your phone for funny jokes? Chances are that he isn’t looking at them to have a good laugh. He is trying to overcompensate for his lack of humor.

Course of Action: I hate such unoriginal people and wish fate curses them with eternal, mushy, clingy love.

2.Tag a billion: There isn’t shortage of such Tag whores. They are people who browse through office mails, reditt and other joke forums to find a picture which is as funny as getting Aids. No, the prick won’t just laugh at it. Instead he would upload it on Facebook and tag everyone who had ever said a Hi to him. Why should I validate his pitiable sense of humor?

Course of Action: Click on the dropdown next to the post, Unsubscribe from this person.

3.To Complement or ! complement: Compliments have always been a tricky issue for me. As often in my school the only response to a compliment was a walk to the principal’s office and later being forced to become the “brother” of the victim.  For people who grew up in the western culture let me illustrate. In U.S if a guy is naughty at school he ends up with a lot of girlfriends, in India especially in my school if you are naughty you end up with more sisters than Mother Teresa.

Now if a guy has a feeling for  a girl and proposes it via a letter or something there are two possible repercussions:

a)      She complains to the school principal who would detain you. On top of it the girl would “punish” you by tying you a “Rakhi” which makes you her brother. I never understood the twisted logic behind that.

b)      She would complain to her parents who would call your parents up and school them for shoddy parenting. By shoddy I mean raising you as a heterosexual boy.

Since compliment always lands us in hot water, we look for other alternatives. So even if a girl looks viscerally stunning, the only compliment we imbeciles could afford is in this format:

Yada yada yada (Compliment), blah blah blah (Negating the compliment!).

Eg:

Your “friend” for the lack of trying uploads a pretty picture of herself.

“You look stunning!” ”Good job on Photoshop”. Every time an idiot comes up with such a lame compliment, the terrorist camp falls short of one box of Kleenex.

4.Revenge of the emoticons: I enjoy emoticons as much as Mel Gibson enjoys Hanukkah; I could forgive the regular smiley or the sad expression. But I have an unhidden disgust for this one :P. What does that mean? Were you trying to be cheeky, Are you insecure of your statement, Must I not be offended by your stupidity?

An exclamation mark is supposed to mark a sense of surprise. What in the name of baby black Jesus is this?

 “!!!!!!!!”  Did you have a stroke or are you enjoying the moment so much that you are typing with one hand? And the ever unforgiveable albeit atheistic remark OMG LOL!!!!!

That one seals your deal and your chances of reaching heaven as you mock the existence of a Holy one.

All this while it may seem that I am being apathetic by picking on guys all along and trying to earn brownie points with the ladies, But I stand corrected. I have rarely come across a girl who I have found funny. I am not saying women aren’t funny, I am just saying they needn’t be funny.  Though there are exceptions, guys like me would testify that there are only two reasons we laugh at your jokes.

Either because you are pretty or we find your spirit and intellect too weak to handle sarcasm.

😛

$hit People S.A.Y

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I was entertained by the way the above hash tag is trending worldwide and thought of contributing my own to this list. For the uninitiated it is mostly a list of things people say that typifies them and most of it they don’t mean.

  1. Friends

       a.   (Before going to the bar)

Dude I got a job. Lets celebrate!!!

The day after You get a new “Email notification” from Bill Monk.

b. I’ll be there in five minutes (You can hear him brushing, when he says that)

c. When you show the picture of your crush or the girl you are interested in

  • Diplomatic friends: She looks charming, Love is blind who am I to comment, you would look good together
  •  Honest friends: 6/10, but considering the fact that you are 4/10. I would say it’s a bargain.
  • Close friends: I would/wouldn’t do her. Of course they would say “I was kidding” after your kick closely misses their nuts.

2. Human Resources

  •      We welcome you to our organization with open arms, I am sure you will love our vibrant environment. And I am your first friend; feel free to ask me anything.
  • Our organization appreciates openness and healthy competition. We always promote based on performance based evaluation.

3. IT Employees

  • I have identified key areas to work on and my weekly target and I am on course to finish it.
  • Yesterday there was network outage so I was reading Functional Specification Documents.
  • Job satisfaction is more important to me than monetary incentives.

4. Girlfriends

  • I promise I will introduce you to my friends. (After you are caught looking at her (girl)friends profile pictures
  • You will continue to be my best friend.( I don’t know which would be a far worse job, this or the person trying to perform Brazilian wax on Anil Kapoor)
  • That shirt looks so awesome on you, so what if it is purple in colour.

5. Mothers (Indian)

  • I know what is best for you (packs spinach for lunch)
  • You can be anyone you want when you grow up. Doctor or Engineer. We leave the choice to you.

6.Boyfriends

  • No this jeans does not look fat on you  (Compared to Adele)
  • Honestly, I knew it was from the first time I saw you. It was love at first sight.(:P)

7. Girls on girls (who they hate or think is ugly or couldn’t care to give an opinion)

  • I think she has nice hair
  • She is not fake, a real genuine person.(You don’t say, I thought she was from the secret Clone Human project)

8. Project Managers

  • You are doing a great job guys, this project will take us places (From water cooler back to our cubicles
  • How much percentage do you think you have completed? (Personally I would go with 37.4%

  9.  Football Team mates

  • Yes I will fall back when needed to defend.
  • You can play as striker if you want.

10. Air hostess on Indian Airlines

  • We wish you a happy and comfortable journey ahead.
  • Please feel free to choose amongst our multi cuisine menu. (We are out of stock on Greek chicken salad) .
  •            Me: But I am sitting in the first row?

11. Any election campaign manifesto

12. YOU 

  •      Your R.E.S.U.M.E

Mind your language

Mind it

On the onset it almost feels cathartic to start writing again. Well I don’t feel yuppy when I say this but I am pursuing my masters now in USA (As opposed to “doing” my masters, ). The next time someone is gonna go “I did my masters in” I am going ask “Did you have to bend over real bad”? Grad life is taking its toll on me hence i haven’t been able to blog a lot.Apologies for the pause.

After a brief period of culture shock  I can now confidently confide that I am with peace with American way of life.

Quite a handful of Americans here have said that “For an Indian, your English is good” (Sorry for the hubris). I took it as a compliment. But I am not going to ridicule how people speak English here. I intend to introspect, let’s see where it takes us.

An incident at my workplace 2 years ago:
There was a team meeting going on and the business analyst (who returned from an onsite trip) wanted to evaluate our team. Everyone was asked to be at their best, guys were told that they shouldn’t be repeating socks and underwear’s on the D day. We did try to protest but most of us obliged.

So this guy basically wanted to improve the communication in the team. That’s the buzzword, doesn’t matter if you are dumb as fuck in the team. As long as you can successfully “communicate”, then you are considered competent.   I am not bellitling the importance of communication, but it alone cannot run a company can it?

So he begins by asking our usually hard working team leader.

Mr. Farin return: Do you feel there are any impediments to the team’s learning curve?
Team leader: Stood flummoxed as she didn’t know what the word impediment meant. On the other hand I was trying to recollect the last complex word on gre barrons list. Alas no avail.
Mr farin: After a brief pause (glad that no one in the team understood what impediment meant) Ah by impediment I mean do you face any obstacles to communicate.?

The guy next to me remarks

“BC (a Hindi cuss word implying that you are more close to your sister than you should be) why couldn’t he use a simpler word the first place”

I cannot begin to imply how ironic this meeting was. Here was a guy purposefully putting the team at a discomfort by using management verbiage. I feel as a community in India we feel one’s verbiage is directly proportional to you intellect. And we suffer from a chronic disease which goes by the name He/she-used-a-word-I-did not-know-hence-he/she-must-be-more-intelligent.

I somehow feel that many guys use English as a tool of intimidation or overcompensate for their unsatisfactory length of their ding dong. Do people get some kind of a hard on for wordy language? Do they go like “Honey I feel kinky tonight, let’s stop by the book store and buy a sexy hard bound edition of Webster?”

Here is a real life incident that spurred me to write this article. I was in a bus in Chennai with my friend conversing in English. We were about to get off and were unsure of where the stop was, so I asked to the guy next to me in the local dialect (Tamil). But to my surprise he seemed irritated and replied back in English. It seems as if he was trying to say that “How dare you translate your question to Tamil when you speak to me”?  Now if I was speaking to my friend in Tamil, and questioned him in English would he revert back to Tamil to answer me?

Unless he hails from dmk or is the Tamil version of bal thackeray he might not. Hence my theory of English being widely viewed as an accessory to one’s ego holds some truth to it.

But beyond that what puzzles me is that how can fluency in any language let alone English pass off for intelligence? The condition vice versa holds true. In fact I am culpable of this act, for I have often in the past ridiculed many for their poor grammar. I do that not because I am snobbish about English. Well to  quote a very good lady friend of mine who once told me after our unsavory lunch “Dhanesh, you have the attention span and emotional maturity of a three year old”.

Hey look there, a rabbit!!!

Surviving a PowerPoint presentation

Surviving a PowerPoint presentation

Kill me now

I think that most presentations are an untapped cure to insomnia. Except those which have me in them, either as a host or as a recipient. After I get my prize or certificate, I pretty much don’t care who gets what. All I look forward is to make sure that my picture was captured properly, no gaffes such as a closed eye, bending over a little too far etc…

Presentations after the lunch are the worst. It’s like asking Arnab goswami (Times Now) to read you a bed time story while having a migraine.

But let us shift our focus to PowerPoint presentations. It is one of those products of Microsoft which I sincerely loathe. It is because of the way how it is being used rather than hatred for the product itself. People think fancy fonts and tacky animations make a stronger point in presentations. Call me old schooled but I still think it is down to your delivery, on how you present your ideas in your voice and body language. Your words bring more life to your ideas than any animation.

In the following space, I shall enlist a few strategies which I have employed and observed over a few years. I hope it helps

Repeat the last two words

Often if the topic is obscure to you and if you aren’t paying enough attention, the speaker might notice. Now if the speaker happens to be the person who signs on the dotted line it is better to be safe rather than sorry. Repeat the last two words of his/hers sentence silently and with a pausing effect.

Art of nodding

Now being Indians we are not averse to nodding are we? So why not use our gift to our advantage. Now I am not (only) a con man teaching you to feign emotions, I am scientific too. I shall employ Doppler’s theory in this.

The frequency of your nod should be directly proportional to

a. The rate at which their topic flies over your head. Be casual about it you don’t want to sound like you are having a violent fit of silent hiccups.

b. The proximity of the speakers gaze: Again if the speaker is looking out for response and their role is superior to yours increase your nod’s frequency. If not who gives a shit at the first place?

Track patterns

This is one of my favorites. Every speaker has some pattern in their speech or antics. One of our professors who taught (allegedly) computer networks used to swing his hands. It looked like he was bowling to an imaginary batsman. And later he would also wave his hands mimicking the motion of a cover drive. Pretending to take notes we would take the score.

Ask for repetition

It often happens with imbeciles like me who often drift off during the course of presentation. The speaker uses the board to draw some shape to explain a concept. And we start to giggle if it resembles a half boob. And then the train of thought changes tracks which might be uncharitable to discuss in this space.

Requesting to repeat something is quite acceptable and wouldn’t be frowned upon, even if you weren’t interested in their topic in the first place.

Practice Graffiti

This technique is employed by folks of all ages from classrooms to board meetings. This involves drawing random shapes, angular fonts and thinking that they should try their hand at anime or animation.

So if there are any other creative solutions to survive a presentation please do share your thoughts in the comments section