I got an email today from the PR and marketing person at Towersey Festival, which we are playing on Monday 29th August. The email explained that she is putting together a festival programme and thought that it would be fun to include some “quirky bits from the performers.” Well, I thought that this was rather forward and a bit much. I don’t know how the other performers feel about this, but I’m not going to have my “quirky bits” included in their programme, not unless they paid me good money, and not unless I could vet the photo before it went in. But when I emailed them back, they explained that by “quirky bits,” they were simply meaning something along the lines of a joke, a funny story, a favourite recipe or a poem. To be honest, I was a tad disappointed; I mean, I could have done with the money.
Now, the problem is, as you’ll know if you’re a regular Dollop reader, I’m not really what you’d describe as a particularly “quirky” person; I’m normally pretty straight-laced. But, I’ve had a little think, and I’ve come up with something.
So, here’s a joke, revolving around a conversation between two fonts, as in computer fonts, rather than church fonts. Sorry if you saw the word ‘fonts,’ and then got all excited at the prospect of a joke about holy water and baptism, only to have your hopes dashed when you realised it’s going to be a joke about computer fonts – “oh no, not another bloody joke about computer fonts; I’ll have probably already heard it.” Well, you won’t have heard this one, because I made it all up by myself, so continue reading.
Now, before we get this joke under way, in order to help you read this joke properly, I will put certain words in block capitals. This is an indication for you to emphasise those words, perhaps pausing a little before delivering it. This will help the joke flow better and have more coherence. I’m sure you’ll agree that the best jokes are the ones where the reader is given a set of instructions beforehand about how to best enjoy the joke. I think Christmas crackers would be much improved if they gave instructions to the joke’s deliverer about how to best deliver the joke.
OK, so now here’s the joke. This is a conversation between two fonts.
“Excuse me Arial, er, if I may be so BOLD? I’m a bit nervous about this, er … hang on … let me calm down, I need to CENTRE myself. OK … so, Arial. I find you very ATTRACTIVE. Would you like to go on a date with me? Maybe have a night at the Space Bar?”
“Oh, er, well, I’m sorry. I mean, I think you’re a great CHARACTER …”
“No, it’s OK, you don’t have to JUSTIFY yourself Arial.”
“no, but really, I think you’re a great CHARACTER, it’s just, you’re not really my TYPE.”
“Fair enough, but I had to ASCII.”
(ASCII – to be pronounced “asky – is a type of computer code which is essentially the building blocks of font creation and character encoding. Ideally, I wouldn’t have had to explain that, as it kind of tempers the immediacy of your reaction, and somewhat dilutes the hilarity of the joke. Ideally you’d have done your research beforehand. Maybe I should have given you some pre-joke reading material, so that you could swat up before reading and then get the most from this joke. Oh well, never mind. I mean, there’s been plenty of hilarity so far anyway, hasn’t there? OK, let’s get back to this joke.)
“I hoped that you might be my Ms WRITE.”
(I suppose you could argue that I didn’t really need to change the word ‘right’ to ‘WRITE,’ as it would have worked with the word ‘right’ as in right aligned, but I think ‘write’ helps your brain to come to the punchline quicker with the word ‘write’ as opposed to ‘right’. As you can tell, a lot of thought has gone into this. Hilarious jokes like this take time and effort to master. This took me at least twenty minutes.)
“What? You’re Ms WRITE? Me?! Really?! well I don’t want to be rude, but I find that idea rather COMIC.” (as in Comic Sans.)
“Oh Arial! I’d do anything for you. I’d even take a BULLET for you, Arial! Life without you would be Helvetica.”
(ideally, you would have left a pause between “hel,” and “vetica.” Bare that in mind if you ever retell this joke to someone, which I’m sure you will, because it’s obviously amazingly funny, and you’re friends will clearly be impressed at your joke telling skills. Anyway, we digress. Back to the joke.)
“Oh Arial, life without you would be HEL … VETICA!”
(You see, it works much better with the pause, doesn’t it?)
)Please Arial, don’t leave me Hei and dry.”
(Hei is an East Asian Gothic typeface.)
“For goodness sake, look, I’m not interested! Full stop! How many TIMES?” (As in New Roman.)
So there you go, I hope that you enjoyed that joke. Obviously the main thing to bare in mind is, if you deliver the joke to friends, make sure you get the emphasis, the pauses and, the pace and meter right. Remember, the secret of comedy is timing. If your friends don’t laugh, then it’s not the fault of the joke, but you’re fault for not understanding how to tell the joke properly. In fact, maybe it’s best if you leave it to a professional. You can always book me for your party, although, be warned that I don’t just do jokes about computer fonts, so if you were hoping for a solid ninety minutes of font jokes then I’m not your man; I could only do about half an hour of font jokes.
So that’s what I’ve emailed her for the programme. I’m a bit worried that it’s not quite quirky enough for her, but I did my best. I also sent her a photo of my genitals and an invoice, just in case she changes her mind