Monday, July 29, 2013

Julia's Guide: How to Joke the Jokes!

Lots of people have asked me how I got so funny. I mean LOTS of people. Don't wanna brag, but if I had to throw a number out there, I'd say it was around *doing math in head* let's see, carry the five...probably upwards of ten people have asked me that question. But it's not a big deal, we all have different talents, ya know? Mine just happens to be being so friggin hilarious that the number of people asking for my comedic secrets is in the double digits.

Anyway, back to how I got to be so funny: the short answer is that I was an ugly kid, and when you're ugly you learn reeeeal fast that ya gotta get those laughs if you want anyone to hang out with you. Just ask Mikyn, she still deals with that daily. But we still love her though because, ya know, family.

This picture? This isn't me! Ha! This is soooo Mikyn! I know, super ugly right? HEH. *discreetly scratches out writing on back of photo* It absolutely doesn't have Julia 1st grade 1992 written on the back because, again, this is not me! It's Mikyn! Good old ugly Mikyn...

But enough about the ugliest person in the world (reminder: it's Mikyn), I have to admit that it's hard being funny! I know I make it look easy, but it actually takes a lot of work. I like to think of my sense of humor as a muscle, and just like every other firm, well-defined muscle in my body (all of them. every single one.) I have to exercise it! One of the best ways to do it is by cracking jokes to strangers when I'm out in public. Think about it, the world is your stage! Coming up with a clever quip to say to the cashier not only makes errands seem less mundane, but it also serves the greater purpose of watching other people feel uncomfortable. I don't know about you, but that's satisfaction enough for me (I'm always thinking of others).

Some comedians call the person(s) on the receiving end of the joke (the jokee) their audience, or their listener, perhaps they'll even call them their mark. Or maybe comedians don't use any of those words I have no idea because I've never spoken to a comedian in my life. Regardless, the term I use is 'client' because I like to class things up. When I'm out, I think of everyone as a potential 'client.'

"Come on, Jules! I really love you and could (and do) read your blog all day, but I'm dying for you to give me some pointers on how to have everyone ROFL during my weekly trips to Walmart for another jumbo pack of toilet paper because my kid keeps putting rolls into the toilet/bathtub/dishwasher while it's running!" Okay, okay! Let's get started!

1. Find the right client.
Like a predator searches for its prey, you too must study the crowds for your potential client. Perhaps you spot someone. Judge them according to the following criteria: Is he/she in a hurry? Then forget it. Does that person seemed preoccupied with a deep thought? Abort! Only engage a potential client who seems open to engagement. Are they trapped in line? Are they bored?  Do they have kind eyes? Then go for it! Warning: Pre-screening your client is essential, but no matter how much sizing up/racial profiling you do, things can still go wrong.
Waiting in line at Old Navy, there's a grandmotherly type with a stroller behind me.
Julia: Wow! Look at that little baby! He has such beautiful hair! It looks like a wig! *leans in and winks* This baby's wearin' a toupee, ain't he? HA! *elbow jab* You can tell me!
Grandmotherly Type: *head tilt* Que?
2. The older the better! (Also, the older the louder.)
Old people almost always laugh my jokes. This is even more impressive considering about 100% of the time, they didn't understand what I just said (this is not an exaggeration, it's science). I can tell that they knew I was making some sort of joke because they always toss their own (unrelated, but well-intentioned) joke right back at me. It's also important to remember to speak slowly and clearly if you have an elderly client.
Walking into the apartment complex's sauna where a couple of old ladies are already sitting.
Julia: Is it just me, or is it hot in here?!
Sauna Ladies: *talking to each other*
Julia: AHEM Is it just me, or is it hot in here?!
Sauna Lady #1: *turns to Julia, laughing and nodding* So true! I've already seen it twice this week!
3. Check the cart!
Have you zeroed in a a great potential client, but are struggling to come up with a quip? Take a gander at their personal items! Are they buying a plunger? They must be full of crap! Do you spy a cantaloupe? Nice melons, lady! is always a safe and fun comment! This trick is especially great to use as you're standing closely behind someone who is getting their prescription filled at the pharmacy. It may be hard to listen in on what exactly they're getting, but if you can pick out the name of their medication, the rest is easy: "What kinda medicine name is Terazol?! Sounds more like a dinosaur, am I right? *elbow jab, friendly wink*

4. Have a back up joke.
Pretty much everyone in North America knows that I am really cool and funny, but occasionally I run into people who haven't gotten the memo yet. Luckily for them, my joke arsenal is well-stocked.
On a conference call with the software engineers.
Julia: The bad news is we're going to have to push back the latest build. The good news is I just saved 15% on my car insurance!
Engineers: *silence*
Here are some good backups that work when you're getting crickets:
  • "Is this thing on?" while tapping your invisible microphone (standup comedian style)
  • *shifty eyes* Tough crowd! *tug on collar*
  • If your client blatantly rolls their eyes/takes offense at your joke, you can always make fun of them to the next nearest person.  Simply turn to the new person, point to the client and say out of the side of your mouth, "Somebody's got a case of the Mondays!"
If all of these back ups fail (Yes, I said ALL of them. You must carry out all three before throwing in the towel), it is essential that you leave the immediate area as soon as possible. Even if you are not done with your business, YOU HAVE TO GET OUTTA THERE. Leave your cart, drop your kid, do whatever it takes to remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible. But most of all, remember to have fun!

Good luck, my little struggling and pathetic aspiring comedians!

P.S. In honor of hitting 100 followers (that's 25 a year, B*TCHES) I will write an acrostic poem for each person who links to my blog on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest. Just show me the link and I'll whip one up for you, even especially if I don't know you personally! I'm spontaneous!

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