Archive - February 2005
The United States of America has the finest education system in the world. Wouldn’t it be great if that were true? Don’t get me wrong, we do all right I suppose. We do, after all, allow everyone an equal opportunity to never, ever understand what a dangling participle is. That may have been one, I have no idea. And only immigrants fresh from the citizenship exam can name all forty-seven states. But, I do know that we have a superior post-secondary education system (you may know it as college).
Why, in most American cities, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a college. Not that I’ve actually tried that, or think that anyone should. I don’t condone that. (Swinging cats, dead or otherwise. In fact, I frown on most antics performed with, or against, almost all creatures, regardless of their “life state.” Except maybe hippies.) It’s just an expression, like “I swear I didn’t even see that stop sign, Officer.” Or “Sorry I ran over your Mom, Ricky.” It means there are a lot of them - colleges, not dead cats waiting to be swung. Some of these colleges are designated Community Colleges. And these are the best kinds of colleges. They are where you go to take classes in arc welding, floral arranging, or Magician’s Apprentice. They are wondrous places, where no two people you see have anything in common, not even the language they speak.
I have threatened on
numerous occasions to take some classes at the nearby community college, but
have yet to live up to it. Though I do constantly peruse their catalog. Which
is where I ran into this little gem, under Business Courses. Humor For
Success. No, I am NOT kidding and no, I will not stop. I have not taken the
class, nor do I intend to. Not because I wish to deride it, but because it
cannot possibly live up to what I have imagined it to be.
Every time I think about that class I envision a middle management go-getter screaming out of the office parking lot every Tuesday and Thursday for six weeks, sitting in the very front of the class, furiously taking notes as his mini-recorder whirs on the desk. If I went to this class, and he weren’t there, I’d be very disappointed.
What does this class do for you, you ask? Well, according to the course description, you will “Develop your ability to think and share funny thoughts more effectively.” And you will also “Explore humor-strengthening techniques” and “Experience professional techniques for creating your own humor, remembering jokes . . . “ and so on. But best of all: “Text required.”
“Humor-strengthening techniques?” I can only assume this means they make you
watch “Life of Brian” until you get it. “Experience professional techniques?”
That one’s got me stumped. Is a local comedian going to show you some mnemonic
devices for remembering jokes? Or do they give you a small but alarming
electric shock every time you tell a joke wrong?
“Moo. No! Interrupting
They need to show you how
to joke your way out of the awkward situations you always seem to find yourself
in. Like asking the boss how his wife and kids are just as you remember that he
lost them to some Canadian fur traders in a poker game. Or an alternate
punchline for a particularly ribald quip that you are in the middle of when you
realize the vice-president of human resources is standing behind and you know
for a fact she doesn’t find blonde jokes at all amusing. That would be helpful.
So go forth, my comedically impaired friends. March straight to your Community College and ask, nay, demand that they make you funny.
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