January 2011

Something Funny

Author: Frank Dunne, Jr.

Wow! It’s really great to be here!

I’m not really a joke guy. I don’t do stuff like a monkey walked into a bar, or, a priest, a rabbi and a radical imam were on a cruise ship.

That’s for the stand-up comics, and that stuff can be funny. But you know what’s really funny? I’ll tell you what’s really funny. Two things: Every day of your life, and “The News.”

Am I right? Think about it. Take any day in your life and look at it with a sense of humor. Focus especially on the things that annoy you. There’s a half-hour sitcom script in there isn’t there?

Seinfeld did it for years, and we all laughed our heads off!

“What did you do today?”

“Well, I got up, went to work, and now I’m here.”

“There. That’s a show!”

They did that for what? Ten? Eleven seasons? It was brilliant.

Come on, let’s try it. We’ll go with the annoying thing. What annoys you?

I’ll tell you something that annoys me. Poodles annoy me.

Why is this funny? This is why. My roommate Patti has two of ’em, Dopey One and Dopey Two (not their real names), so I have to deal with them every day.

Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs, but I just don’t get poodles. They don’t even look like dogs. They look like balls of yarn with bad breath. They don’t hunt or catch Frisbees, and they certainly don’t attract babes like a pit bull puppy.

They basically possess three skills: barking, eating, and evacuating. Every morning it’s the same routine as I leave the house. Four beady little eyes locked on to my every move…until I touch the doorknob. Then they go berserker. When I get home…more berserker.

See? That’s what I’m talking about. It’s annoying when it happens—every single morning—but I’m laughing while telling you about it.

Go on. Give it a try. Make some fun out of stuff that drives you crazy.

But enough of that. Let’s move on to the real funny stuff: “The News.”

We’re in the first month of 2011, so we just put another decade behind us. WooHoo and Happy New Year!

In my twisted mind, these are the three funniest news stories of the decade: Y2K, Baghdad Bob, and the Jaycee Lee Dugard kidnapping.

I know it sounds like a stretch at first, but stay with me. This is funny stuff.

Remember Y2K? A bunch of computer geeks writing software in the ’60s and ’70s were trying to save a few bits and bytes by using two digits for dates instead of four, yadda yadda yadda. When the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve 1999, all heck was supposed to break loose.

People were hoarding foodstuffs and building shelters like in the Cold War. The entire infrastructure was going to collapse! Panic in the streets! Mayhem everywhere!

Look back at it 10 years later. The iPod in your pocket has more processing power than the giant computers those geeks were working on back in the day. Did anybody really think that the technology we had in 2000 couldn’t deal with the situation? Hilarious!

And then a few years later there was Baghdad Bob. Remember him during the Iraq War? It was our second televised war, like Monday Night Football.

“Hey, what are you doing tonight?”

“Not much. Think I’ll just sit on the couch, have a beer and watch the war.”

Not to make light of our nation going to war. Nobody has more respect and love for our American heroes in uniform than I do, but that doesn’t mean funny things can’t happen while the war’s going on.

Baghdad Bob (I think his real name was Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf) was the Iraqi information minister. His job was to go on the air and tell everybody how well the war was going for the Iraqis.

Here’s some of his best stuff:

“There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!”

“They’re not even within 100 miles of Baghdad. They are not in any place. They hold no place in Iraq. This is an illusion.”

That’s great, Bob, but how do you explain the RPG whizzing past your head? Or the U.S. Marines in the royal palace a few blocks away, doing number two on Saddam’s gilded commode while reading the latest issue of Leatherneck?

Yeah, that was great stuff.

Finally, there’s Jaycee Lee Dugard.

Don’t get me wrong…again. It’s terrible what happened to this woman, and thank God she was finally rescued. But come on! Did you follow this story? Did you see the overhead pictures of Phillip Garrido’s property?

This guy held her in a campground in his back yard for 18 years! Jaycee gave birth back there and not one neighbor saw or heard anything? Come on, man! Parole officers went into the house and out back and nobody saw anything?

Antioch, California has got to be the stupidest town in America, and this is good news for village idiots across the nation. You should all move to Antioch. By virtue of your presence in town, you’ll be elevated to prominent civic icon.

See? There’s comedy everywhere. Having a bad day? Turn it into a sitcom. Depressed by the news of the day? Dig a little deeper and you’ll find something to make you laugh.

If that doesn’t work for you, remember that you live on Hilton Head Island. What’s funnier than that?

Thank you and good night. You’re a great audience!

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