Posts Tagged ‘humor’

‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Power of Nothing

August 11, 2013

Tickling Butterflies is an epic fantasy, containing 128 fairy tales that together create one huge story.

Here’s the story so farThe story continues:


The Power of Nothing

(Containing exact instructions on how to get something out of nothing.)


Hundreds of years ago, Minister Vazir regaled another tale of science, scientists had three main fashions in Capital City. One: They all had to carry telescopes around their necks wherever they went. Two: their hair had to be white. Three: they refused to take a stand or make a decision regarding anything.

At the time, the most renowned scientist was called Squarefoot Squarehead Squarecheeks, or Scientist Squarefoot for short. The telescope around his head was the biggest, his hair was the whitest, and, more importantly, he took no decisions on anything in his life.

One time, the king asked for Scientist Squarefoot’s presence. Scientist Squarefoot did not decide to come and did not decide not to come. He simply did nothing.

A day later, guards appeared at his doorstep and carried him to the king. Scientist Squarefoot bowed before the king and explained the reason he had not come. After hearing Scientist Squarefoot’s explanation, the king’s cheeks burned in anger. Angry beyond reason, he threw the scientist into the castle prison for a week.

In prison, Scientist Squarefoot could not understand why he ended up in prison despite the fact that he had done nothing.

Then, in the middle of the night, Scientist Squarefoot understood that doing nothing was still doing something. Otherwise, he would never have ended up in jail. Something has been created out of doing nothing! This was a source of power!

This was a great scientific discovery.

Scientist Squarefoot devised a machine.

At its bottom were a hundred people doing nothing. At its top was a wheel that turned and created electricity. Scientist Squarefoot discovered that a hundred people doing nothing could supply enough power to light Capital City for an entire day!

At the same time, the second best scientist in Capital City made another discovery. His name was Roundfoot Roundhead Roundcheeks, or Scientist Roundfoot for short. Scientist Roundfoot had the second largest telescope around his neck and the second whitest hair of all scientists. Last but not least, even though he was good at doing nothing, he was even better at saying nothing.

One day, the wife of Scientist Roundfoot asked him if she was pretty. Scientist Roundfoot said nothing.

She asked him again. He said nothing again.

She asked him a third time. He said nothing a third time.

At that point, she threw a chair at his head.

Later that night, Scientist Roundfoot realized that saying nothing was still saying something. Something has been extracted out of saying nothing! Saying nothing was a source of power!

Within a week, he had created a massive machine.

At its bottom were a hundred people saying nothing. At its top was a large wheel that distributed water to Capital City. Scientist Roundfoot discovered that a hundred people saying nothing could supply enough power to bring water to Capital City for an entire day!

Meanwhile, another scientist in Capital City made another discovery. His name was Ovalfoot Ovalhead Ovalcheeks, or Scientist Ovalfoot for short. Scientist Ovalfoot was not the greatest of scientists. In fact, he was lazy. His greatest hope was to truly think of nothing.

For years, Scientist Ovalfoot tried to think of nothing. But every time he tried it, someone interrupted him.

Determined to finally achieve his lifelong ambition, Scientist Ovalfoot went to the desert, so that he could think of nothing without being disturbed. However, try as he might, something would still enter in his mind.

Then, in the middle of one night in the desert, Scientist Ovalfoot had a brilliant idea: thinking of nothing is still thinking of something! Something had come from thinking of nothing! This was a power source!

Within a week of returning to Capital City, he built a gigantic machine.

At its bottom were a hundred people thinking of nothing. At its top was a large wheel that created wind for all buildings in Capital City. Scientist Ovalfoot discovered that a hundred people thinking of nothing could power wind for Capital City for an entire day!

One day, Scientist Squarefoot Squarehead Squarecheeks and Scientist Roundfoot Roundhead Roundcheeks and Scientist Ovalfoot Ovalhead Ovalcheeks began a competition. Whose discovery was the strongest one? Which was doing more? Doing nothing? Saying nothing? Or thinking nothing?

And so, a hundred people doing nothing competed with a hundred people saying nothing, who competed with a hundred people thinking nothing.

The entire Capital City attended the event.

Families brought lunches and stared at the hundred people doing nothing, the hundred people saying nothing, and the hundred people thinking nothing. It was the most exciting event of the year!

Everyone saw clearly that thinking nothing was doing less than saying nothing, and that saying nothing was doing less than doing nothing. In fact, doing nothing proved to be the biggest ‘doing something’ besides actually doing something.

And so all machines in all the Land of All Legends began to run on the power of doing nothing. New jobs were posted, seeking people who were good at doing nothing. All over the land, young men and women received written recommendations from their parents, explaining how good they were at doing nothing.

This fad continued for twenty years. But eventually, everyone was paid for doing nothing, no one did anything, and the city was on the verge of collapse. The technology was abandoned, and Scientist Roundfoot was sent to jail for bringing society to the brink of destruction.

His last words at his trial were: “I shouldn’t have done it. I should have done nothing.”

From that point on, scientists made it a point to always do nothing. That is why we no longer have scientists today in the Land of All Legends.

This has been the story revealing how the power of nothing is a very powerful force of nature, said Minister Vazir.

King John the Cute nodded. “Interesting and instructive. I may use that some day.” he said. “Getting closer to what I seek… Tell me another secret of the land.”


(To be continued on Tuesday…)

You can win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!

Benedict Cumberbatch, Neil Gaiman, and Guy Hasson Walk Into a Bar…

June 9, 2013

SF Signal just published a new guest post I wrote, called Benedict Cumberbatch, Neil Gaiman, and Guy Hasson Walk Into a Bar…

Here’s a little taste:


To be clear: this post is your fault, the fault of SF Signal readers.

In my last guest post a few weeks ago, I told you about how I was approached by Mary Belle, CEO of Digital Kingmakers, and how she offered to make my guests posts go viral.

It was…an experience, which I had fully relayed in my post. Her theories were infuriating. And yet, having done everything she said, the new post got 17 comments (viral by SF Signal standards), while my original post (no less brilliant) got none. (Don’t remember? Check it out.) That post even made the list for top 30 SF Signal posts in May.

True to my public promise, I returned to the offices of Digital Kingmakers. In the email that preceded the meeting, Ms. Belle promised to further reveal to me the psyche of the SF fans in a way that would increase my book sales by 1000% in a month.

Last time the experience was insulting. This time it proved to be…psychedelic.

I wish I could tell you I was making this up. But I can’t.

Here’s what happened.


Read the entire article here.

Comedy Material for Marc Maron

February 5, 2013

Listening to stand-up comic Marc Maron’s comedy as well as podcasts, one gets the impression that he likes a very specific and unique form of punch lines.

It seems as if he starts out thinking: Now what’s so bad it could never be funny?

He then proceeds to find a way to make it funny, ensuring that the punch line itself is a straight-out, not-funny horrible truth. And yet you laugh at the punch line.

He is literally working hard to make sure that tragedy is funny without changing it for comic effect.

Well, he’s a very busy guy. So, in the interest of making sure he doesn’t run out of material, here are a few punchlines I would like to suggest to him:

Punchline #1: “…And then they discovered he raped three more women.”

Punchline #2: “Fifteen American citizens were killed in the Al Qaeda attack.”

Punchline #3: “After years of living as a homeless on the streets, he killed himself.”

Punchline #4: “The kids swindled their old man out of his entire life savings.”

Punchline #5: “…And now she’s paralyzed from the neck down for her entire life.”

Punchline #6: “I cried for two days straight. I wished I was dead.”

I hope that was helpful, Marc, and that it saves you a lot of time in searching for additional material. If you need any more, don’t hesitate to call.

Interested in edgy comedy? Try ‘The Best of’ The Voice of God Comedy Podcast.

Improving English: 12 Ways to Categorize Americans

February 2, 2013

We all remember with fondness the time Americans stopped calling some of their citizens the offensive word ‘black’ and started calling them ‘African Americans’.

Non-American blacks, even those visiting or working in the US, were still stuck with the offensive name, but somehow persevered.

Recently, one of the MSNBC anchors called teachers ‘Unselfish Americans’ and that got me thinking that indeed many offensive categories, like ‘blacks’ or ‘teachers’, could use a bit more protection from the PC police. And so, as a service to the public, here are a few modest proposals that will cause millions of American citizens to live happier, more fulfilling lives.

  1. Models and supermodels will, from this point on, be called Photoshopped Americans.
  2. Farmers, from this point on, will be called Cock-a-Doodle-Doo Americans.
  3. Americans living in the South will now be called Fiddle-Dee-Dee Americans.
  4. Singers of any kind will now be called Tra-La-La Americans.
  5. Jews, from this point on, will be called Kosher Americans.
  6. Asians of any lineage will now be called Kung Fu Americans.
  7. Rapists will now be called Penised Americans.
  8. Women called Edith will, from this point on, be called Dingbat Americans. (That’s for you folks over forty).
  9. People who love Cher will, from this point on, be called Shoop Shoop Americans.
  10. Lovers of Tolkien’s works will henceforth be called Middle Earth Americans.
  11. Children between the ages of 3 to 6 will now be called Potty Trained Americans.
  12. And lastly: Lovers of S&M will henceforth be called Slapping Americans.

If you have any more categories that you want to share, in order to make this a better and less offensive society, please put them in the comments.

The Emoticon Generation by Guy Hasson

The Emoticon Generation

Article: How to Give Really Bad Interviews

June 20, 2011

Hub Magazine published an article of mine, called How to Give Really Bad Interviews. Download the PDF file to read the article. Here’s an excerpt:

So you’re an author and your newest book just came out. It’s time to give interviews to try and sell the book. You want to be proper, respected, serious, inspiring, and to give an air of authority. But why? Why would you want to give a good interview when you can give a truly horrible one? Isn’t it so much more fun?


I didn’t start out as a bad interviewee on purpose. I stumbled onto it. It was destiny, I suppose. And now I’m ready to take it to the next level. I’m ready to turn it into an art. I am here to share my vast and shocking knowledge in giving bad interviews with any potential authors out there who would like to glean a bit of the technique from an old master.


But first thing’s first: Let’s see how it all began. 


Read the rest of the article here.