Sunday, April 17, 2016

Introduction to Humor 101: How to Tell Jokes for Power, Prestige, Profit, and Personal Fulfillment

Do you want to become more attractive to members of the opposite sex? A look at the personal ads shows that a good sense of humor is the attribute people desire most in significant others. Well, next to money, anyways. Do you want mental, physical, and spiritual health? Science is proving that laughter truly is the best medicine. (Which prompts me to ask, If laughter is the best medicine, why isn’t comedy part of anyone’s health care plan?) Do you want raw unadulterated power? Humor is power. A great joke can help persuade people to support your cause or to withdraw support from your opponent’s cause.

“Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”
Mark Twain

Humor 101 is a self-study course for people who want to tell jokes effectively. You may be a public speaker seeking to improve your Likeability Quotient (LQ) during your opening. You may be a manager or business owner who occasionally has to make a presentation. You may have dreamed of being a standup comedian, like most people, but never found a way to work it out. Or you may just want to get better at telling jokes because you know there’s something very funny deep inside you that’s going to die a tragic death if you don’t figure out how to set it free.  

“I got started in show business very young. My mother swears I performed prenatally. She says I got a few laughs on the way to the hospital. It was the best womb I ever played.”
Billy Crystal from Absolutely Mahvelous

Many people have mistakenly believed the myth that a sense of humor is inborn – that it cannot be learned or taught. It’s true that few people are born with as good a sense of humor as Billy Crystal was blessed with. Even with diligent practice, few people stand much of a chance of becoming as funny as him. However, while it is true that some people are born with more natural comedic abilities than others, even people who have been clinically diagnosed as laugh-impaired can learn how to tell jokes by applying the simple techniques of Humor 101. And anyone who can tell a dozen jokes well will become the life of many parties, dazzling friends and colleagues.  

“In business, ideas presented with humor gain more support, and after five, the person who gets more laughs gets more dates.”
Judy Carter from Standup Comedy

Al Gore was a fine example. When he took office as Vice President, he was horribly, tragically unfunny. It’s amazing that he got as far as he did in politics without having a clue about how to tell a joke. By the 1996 campaign, he and his handlers realized it was a big problem, and they worked on his sense of humor. It worked! Al Gore mastered the art of self-deprecation and he learned how to tell jokes. His stiffness had been a liability. When he learned how to tell jokes, his stiffness became the setup for most of them. He’s an inspiration to all who have the hope of becoming funny.

“They laugh that win.”

Laughing and winning frequently go together. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way for Al Gore. However, after he lost the election of 2000, he went on to host Saturday Night Live and he did a decent job, probably a better job than he would have done as President. The point is,if Al Gore can learn to tell jokes, anyone can. As you do, you will reap the benefits that joke-tellers all over the world have been reaping since the dawn of creation. Power, prestige and personal fulfillment – not to mention truckloads of money – can all be yours when you master a few simple techniques.

But this course will not only teach you how to tell jokes. Humor 101 will also show you where to find jokes and how to pick appropriate jokes. I tip my hat to you as you strive to improve yourself. By studying this material, you’re already showing that you have the desire to tell jokes, and that’s the first key. When you learn how to tell jokes, you will not merely be improving yourself. You’ll be improving the world we all live in. I commend you for that!

“Without laughter life on our planet would be intolerable.”
Steve Allen from Funny People

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Narcissus Code, Chapter 1

The  Narcissus Code is a novella which is available on Kindle from Amazon.

Coming soon to a device near you!
“Our speaker this morning is the author of a dozen books, including The Bliss of Narcissus, Ultimate Self, and his new bestseller Nurture Your Inner Narcissist. He holds advanced degrees from Harvard and M.I.T. and he is the publisher of I AM Magazine,” Christine White announced.

Jonah Redthorn checked his cameras and glanced at the stage. Christine’s platinum blonde hair was bound in a neat ponytail. A form-fitting red pantsuit accentuated her curves. Glasses with thick black frames gave her the look of a librarian – a very hot librarian.  As usual, she had the attention of the audience. “Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming Doctor Adam Arturo Nova.”

Christine initiated applause while Adam waited backstage. As the clapping peaked, he emerged and strode with purpose to the podium. His hair was dark with graying temples. Six feet tall and athletic, he had an engaging smile and exuded self-confidence.

At the podium, he turned a handshake with Christine into a tight hug. “Thank you for that fine introduction,” he whispered, so close she could feel his warm breath on her ear. His cologne was mildly musky with a hint of incense. Christine left the stage feeling light on her feet.

Adam surveyed the audience, inhaling their adulation. Well-dressed. Intelligent. Prosperous. Perfect, he thought. The applause subsided and he waited patiently for a few stragglers to settle into their seats. Then he extended his arms in a gesture of warmth.

“Good morning, and thank you,” he said in a deep and resonant voice. “Christine, thank you for that superb introduction. However, I do need to make one minor correction. My book is not just a bestseller. As of today, Nurture Your Inner Narcissist is number one on the New York Times list of best sellers.”

The audience erupted in applause. “Thank you all. Thank you so very much. You’re wonderful people, and I mean that.”

Jonah was surrounded by a sea of Adam’s admirers. They clapped on cue. They laughed on cue. Jonah anticipated that most of them would buy anything Nova was selling on cue. He removed his lens covers and moved toward the podium to start taking pictures.

Participants in the conference were all well-groomed and impeccably dressed. Jonah’s hair was disorderly, his jacket was worn, and his shoes were scuffed. As a freelance reporter working on a puff piece for Holistic Health, he was something like a hired hand.

“As those of you who know me are aware, and as the rest of you will soon find out, I’m not good at humility,” Dr. Nova began. “In Genesis, the serpent told Adam, ‘Your eyes will be opened and you will be like God.’ Well, ladies and gentlemen, no one has ever refuted the serpent’s assertion. Furthermore, my name is Adam.”

Pulling a shiny red apple out of a compartment in the podium, he held it up with both hands, and gazed upon it. It was reminiscent of the church liturgy where a priest holds up the Communion Host for all to behold. Jonah had a good angle and took the shot.

“When the first Adam tasted the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, it was, understandably, new to him. He didn’t know how to handle it. Man has come a long way since then.” Nova drew the apple toward his mouth, stopped just short of taking a bite and smiled a wicked grin.

With Kung Fu quickness, he moved his hands up and outward. The apple was gone and sparkling glitter floated like stardust between the stage and the audience.

Adam pulled a small device from his pocket. “In Greek Mythology, Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.” It was the size of a phone and shiny with a green tint. He held it up for all to see.

“When Narcissus touched the water, his beloved disappeared. In utter despair, he killed himself.”

With his forefinger, Adam touched his device and the auditorium went dark. Some members of the audience murmured, not knowing if it was a mishap or part of the presentation.

The sound of waves came through the audio system, soft and gentle at first, then loud like a storm.

 “Let there be light,” Nova thundered from the back of the stage. Spotlights illuminated him. Gigantic video screens had been unveiled to his right and left. He appeared to be standing between walls of water. With his arms outstretched, he looked like a movie version of Moses parting the Red Sea.

“Peace. Be still,” he said in a commanding tone. The waves became gentle and the water receded until the images on the big screens were half water and half sky. As Adam stepped forward, his image appeared onscreen, small at first and larger with each step. He appeared to be walking on water.

Assistants of Nova’s who had been planted in the audience began to clap. Soon, everyone in the auditorium was clapping, then standing, and then cheering. Most were cheering simply because other people were cheering.

The larger-than-life images behind Nova were him, but better. On the screens, his eyes twinkled. People took their seats and the applause subsided.

“For centuries, people have treated narcissism like a dirty word. Something to be ashamed of. The idea of people having self esteem and thinking well of themselves has been disparaged. What nonsense! Jesus told his followers to love one another as they loved themselves.”

Lowering his voice, Adam added, “The problem is that many people don’t love themselves. The truth that will set each of us free is that we must love ourselves. If you want to change the world, loving yourself is the logical place to start.”

He again held up his device. “Before we began this morning, my assistants placed one of these in the literature pouch in the back of each seat. Please retrieve them if you haven’t already.”

Everyone did as Nova instructed. “I give you the N-Phone. I want each of you to breathe in. Empty your minds of any negativity you may have brought here with you. Now breathe out. Think of a place in nature where you have felt at peace. Breathe in. There may be a beach or a lake or a river. Close your eyes and go there.”

The only sound in the room was the gurgling of a mountain stream. The audience was bathed in the green light emanating from the devices.

So, this is what mass hypnosis looks like, thought Jonah.

Nova continued. “Think of how you would look if you were in perfect health and were enjoying the prosperity you deserve. Now, open your eyes. As you look into your N-Phones, you are seeing the self that you can be. The person you were always meant to be. Look into the image of your own eyes on the N-Phones.”

He inhaled deeply and exhaled and most of the audience followed his lead.

“I want you to repeat something after me. It’s very important that you hear what I say with your own voice. Your voice is the most important voice you’ll ever hear. Now repeat, ‘I am special. I am beautiful. I am intelligent. I am powerful. I am I am.’”

Nova repeated the mantra twice. When people refocused on him, he asked, “Do you feel empowered?”


“I want you to respond with your inner voice, the voice of god within you. Do you feel empowered?”

“Yes,” the audience answered a bit louder.

“Do you feel empowered?”


Dr. Nova took a deep breath. “I feel empowered. I know I can do anything. Thank you. I’m literally tingling from the energy in this room. How about the rest of you?”


“We live in a challenging and unstable time. People invest in gold, diamonds, and other commodities. Sometimes they win and sometimes they lose. What so many fail to recognize is that we ourselves are our own greatest resource. Investments in self always pay off.”


“Our time together is growing short. However, there’s no need for anyone to rush out of here. Continue to relax. Allow your minds to ease back to normal. Nothing else in your life is as important as what is happening right here right now.”

Jonah had never seen anyone control an audience so completely. These people would believe anything Nova had to say and they would do anything he told them to do.

“The N-Phones yours to keep.”

“They will enable you to tap into the source of power within you, to hear your inner voice, and to become your ultimate selves. In addition, you can sign up this morning for a trial subscription to Narcissus, the program that drives the N-Phone. The subscription will enable updates tailored specifically to each of you. is the home page for your N-Phone and you can enter your email address there. It’s that simple.”

Adam put his hand over his heart. “I thank each of you. You have honored me with your presence this morning. It has been a tremendous privilege.” Inhaling the positive energy of the audience, Adam slowly took one step back.

Christine returned, clapping softly.  "Wow," she said. "For those of you who have questions or need assistance of any kind, we have people in the lobby to help. Also, signed copies of Dr. Nova's books are available."

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Danny’s Drone Busters

Courtesy of
A homeowner in Edmond, Oklahoma, recently shot down a drone that had entered the airspace over his property. Homeowners all over the country are seeing drones in their airspace with increasing frequency. It’s frightening and it made me think about what I would do if I spotted a drone in the airspace over the sovereign state of Murfopia.

I’ve spent too much of my life building my castle to allow anyone to enter my airspace without first negotiating a treaty. However, the fact is that although I’ve put up fences to defend against any ground attack, I’m not prepared to deal with threats from the sky.

That’s why I’m developing a new product: Danny’s Drone Busters. Drone Busters will be like personal rocket launchers equipped with tiny ground-to-air heat-seeking missiles. Drones entering my airspace will do so at their own peril. But this issue is much bigger than my backyard and the airspace over Murfopia. The market potential for Danny’s Drone Busters is simply tremendous.

The prototype is scheduled for testing on July 4th, 2016. I’m initiating a Kickstarter campaign for investors who want to get in on the ground floor while this exciting product is still in its infancy. If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to invest in a consumer product that millions of upscale homeowners will want, your wait is over.

To request a prospectus, write to

Friday, April 1, 2016