Friday, August 28, 2009

Anatomy of a different joke.

I don't know if you heard, but a few weeks ago, Micheal Jackson died. It was in all the papers. But anyway, on Twitter, they have these "trending topics" and one of the goals of any twitdork is to get his or her special event or topic listed as a trend.

Trends are supposed to be observed from the spontaneous and unanimous tweets from individuals all over the world to serve some universal useful purpose, such as, #followfriday where everyone gets in everyone else's business and tells them what they should be reading.

What many assholes on Twitter do when they see trending topics is lace their posts with as many trends as possible, thereby ensuring that their posts will be viewed along with the other legitimate trend-related posts.

So if Harry Potter is a trend, you see posts like: "I can't wait until the new Harry Potter!" And the rest of us think, Yes, we don't care that you can't wait because obviously you can. Are you starving yourself until Jo pens a new one? Or do you mean the movie because IMDB will tell you it's at least another year until the next one comes out, so you're going to be pretty hungry.

Or if the trend includes the Apple Mac OS X upgrade called "Snow Leopard," you'll see, "Why the f#ck is snow leopard trending? It's a $25 software upgrade. Who the hell cares?" Which is infinitely preferable to, "In line waiting to purchase Snow Leopard, and I'm wetting myself with glee. Oh, God, if only The Rapture would happen just as I make my purchase and I could go before The Lord in all His glory with my box of Snow Leopard in my hand, Heaven would be, oh, just heavenly." But then, that would be way too many characters for a tweet, so you probably wouldn't see that. Thank God.

And then sometimes, like I mentioned before, some people lace their posts with multiple trends that have absolutely nothing to do with the topic, but because they are just whores: "harry potter snow leopard #followfriday tgif. I love you all!!!!!!!" Yeah, eff you, too.

So after MJ died, one of the sets of trends on Twitter included Chuck Norris and Arnold Schwarzenegger. And one of my friends posted the tweet:
"Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Jackson walk into a bar..."
And that was it. I don't think he was being a trend whore, I think he was being funny by inferring a joke from the trends. But I was a little pissed because I love jokes. And here was the setup for a joke, but it had no punchline. So I wrote back, "... and Michael Jackson got a large bump on his head??"

That's the first thing I thought that was short enough to write back. I didn't want to waste a lot of time on a long setup that would take lots of work and then maybe not even pay itself off. So I just went for the other definition of "bar" meaning a long straight piece of wood or metal. And if you walked into one, you'd get a bump on your head. Funny? I think so.

So I worked on the joke this morning by accident (it just popped into my head) and I came up with this:
"Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Jackson walk into a bar... Michael gets knocked out cold; Arnold bends the bar with his forehead; and then the bar says, "Excuse me, Mr. Norris" and gets the fuck out of Chuck's way."
But I think it still needs work.