That's Not Funny

January 10, 2009 -

John Heald

I am dreading tonight. Heidi and I are going to a big charity event in London. It’s being held at one of the five-star snob hotels called the Dorchester and there will be an auction …… followed by dinner……followed by…..music provided by a big band…….which means Heidi………will want to dance.

Men can’t dance. Their place is at the side of the dance floor getting drunk and laughing at the men who are trying to dance. However, thanks to programs like Dancing with the Stars this is no longer acceptable. Warren Sapp has hurt mankind and thanks to him and the other men who have taken part in the show we are expected…….to dance …………thank you so very much.

No real man should ever dance however there are three exceptions to this rule. Michael Jackson, John Travolta and Patrick Swayze. These are the only men on the entire planet ever to look brilliant and at home…………….on a dance floor.

No man should be proud of knowing the difference between the Foxtrot and the Pasidoblay thingy……….unless you are a little bit of a Len Goodman. Have you ever noticed though that the Simon Cowell of dance that is Len Goodman never actually dances himself? He criticizes other chaps prancing around in leotards and sparkly shirts but never gets up of his arse and shows them how it should be done.

Reality TV has hurt men for sure and tonight at the charity event I shall feel like Michael Caine in the movie Zulu. I won’t be surrounded by heavily armed warriors ready to give me the good news with their sharply pointed spears but thanks to reality TV I will be surrounded by women who will expect us men……….to dance.

Tonight’s event is for a worthy children’s cause that I have been involved in for some time at a local level here in Essex but tonight we have been invited to a black-tie event which, although the massive amount of money I will be spending to attend goes to the charity, the evening has the potential to be full of danger.

First of all there is the getting ready for Saturday night’s event which for Heidi started 10 days ago. Heidi, like most women, suffers from a debilitating illness where she can look at a walk in solidly packed with clothes and proclaim with that one tear running down her cheek “I have nothing to wear.” It is then a man’s job to carefully point out the hundreds of sodding items clearly visible to the naked eye and that can also be seen on Google Earth. Why is it that after a man has pointed this out no woman in history has ever said ……….”You know what honey, you are right. I do have lots to choose from and thank you for helping me see the light. Now, let me go and make you a cup of tea and a hero sandwich.”

This never happens but what does is that the man just sighs, gets his credit card out and makes his own sandwich. I remember once when Heidi did the “I have nothing to wear” thingy , I thought for a joke I would agree and take a huge handful of her clothes and put them in the garbage bin………..that was a huge mistake. Never, ever joke about a woman’s clothes just as you would never joke with a police officer……….either could get you a large dose of pepper spray in the face.

This time the “I have nothing to wear” also had the added fun of nearly being true because, of course, Heidi has a sack of potatoes down her dress and that meant a trip to a designer maternity clothes shop.

Eventually we went to a regular shop and bought a regular dress that shows off her bump…….it looks the same as the three hundred other black dresses she has in her closet but because my bottom does not want a close encounter with the new shoes that go with the dress……….I bit my lip and said bugger all.

Of course, there was the pure hell of having to hold her purse while she tried the dress on. Only women enjoy purses. I tried to resist holding her purse because it feels so wrong. That’s why “Man Bags” are so wrong and are another example of the world trying to feminize men. Only Len Goodman and Jack Bauer look good with man bags.

I even hate going inside Heidi’s purse. If she asks me to get something from her purse my face contorts as if she has asked me to put my hand in some yak poo and then lick my fingers. I am always scared that my hand will get trapped in there in the mouth of one of those Venus Trap flower thingies and I will be slowly pulled in where my genitals will be removed by a Judge Judy look-a-like.

Men should never ever try and buy a purse as a present without taking another woman or Len Goodman with you. Buy one alone and you are not handing the woman you love a purse……….you are handing her a receipt.

Then, of course, there is the dinner.

How many times have you been out with your wife or partner and your lady opts for the salad. Your heart skips a beat and you let out a huge sigh……..because you know she will be stealing your food moments after its arrival. I have seen this so many times on board when I sit with the captain and his guests and, of course, Heidi is the master of this. The phrase “just get what you want and I will have a little taste” is very bad news for men because you know you will be lucky to get three mouthfuls as he large Chewbacca size hand leans over and scoops up the lot. One idea though men is to deliberately order something that tastes the same as fried elephant scrotum….do that and she may never take your food ever again.

Oh yes and as we are talking about dinner and restaurants…………I have one other gripe. If a group of five men go out for dinner the check is split five ways…….because there are five of them. Five women have something to eat together and it is a little different. Once the check arrives they spend the next hour carrying out complex mathematical formulas because Marie didn’t have an appetizer and Ashley only had the salad and only should therefore have to have that. Tracy had some wine but Dusty didn’t and Francine don’t have anything at all except water but she did have an appetizer.

If Jesus’ disciples had been women the last supper would still be going on now because the big guy had turned water into wine but Paulette and Doubting Tina didn’t have any.

Anyway……..Good morning everyone. How are you? It’s freezing again here and temperatures last night were at minus 10 degrees making this so far one of the coldest Januarys I can ever remember. Very quickly and having read questions from my friends Carolyn and Don and Wes and Liz let my categorically confirm that I was 100% completely joking when I mentioned that the Bloggers tour was clothing optional ……… everyone must wear the usual beach resort wear and under no circumstances will topless bathing be allowed…………nudity and bloggers are words that should never appear in the same sentence ………..just like airline and food. Sorry guys for the confusion.

Thanks for the comments yesterday about what you enjoy about our onboard gift shops and what you would like to see on their shelves. I still invite you to write-in about this if you have not yet done so and just to save you going backwards here is what I wrote yesterday:

A few weeks ago I told you all that I would need your help and advice as we continue to keep Carnival at the top of the industry.

Your thoughts are going to be very important to us this year and over the next few weeks I will be talking to you about some of the areas we need your comments on. I want to talk to you over the next few days about some of the areas on the vessels where you the guest …………spend your money.

Now, I would be a first class idiot if I tried to pretend that we don’t want you to spend loads of dosh (www.urbandictionary.com ) on board but…….we also want to know where you want to spend it and on what. We want to improve and we want to have things available that you want to spend your money on and have fun doing so.

Therefore, over the next few days we will cover the following.

CASINO
ART AUCTION
BAR
PHOTO
BINGO
SPA

We may cover some other areas as well but for now…………those are the areas I need your honest thoughts on. Remember, the reason I am asking you this is because they are your ships and we want to have the best facilities possible. We could just boldly make changes without asking our guests’ opinions as most other cruise lines have done and will do or we could change absolutely nothing thinking everything in the garden is rosy. Not at Carnival………..this blog is one way for you to post your thoughts and suggestions knowing that each one will be read not just by me but by people very high up ……..some of whom have beards which means they will listen and act on what you say.

Therefore, today’s subject is:

THE ONBOARD GIFT SHOPS

We think our onboard shopping experience is brilliant. They have recently brought in a huge selection of jewelry and fine luxury items while keeping faith with the old faithfuls like Inch Of Gold and other daily specials.

So, with this in mind I wonder if you might take the time to write your thoughts about your onboard shopping experience. Now, I could ask specific questions but I don’t want this to be too regimented. Maybe you could tell us the sort of merchandise you buy when you cruise. Do you think they have a good selection and do you have any suggestions on what you would like to see for sale in the shops the next time you cruise? We want your onboard shopping experience to be the best and we can continue to make sure this happens through your comments and suggestions …….so…..let’s see what you all have to say. Again, this will help us of course but ultimately it well help you all enjoy your onboard shopping experience that much more. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

So, I will please ask you to tell me honestly what you think about our onboard shops and then on Monday I will talk to you about another area of the ship. Remember…….this is not just idle chit chat because this year this humble blog can make a difference as we continue to ask you what you want to see onboard your fun ships.

I had a SKYPE conversation last night with my actor mate Kevin from Gray’s thingy. It was weird seeing him sitting in a trailer dressed as a doctor waiting for his next scene. As was pointed out by a blogger, Kevin was just on Ellen Thingy’s show. He has done Jay, Jimmy Thimble or something and now Ellen. He thought she was wonderful and he really felt good about his interview.

It’s great to see him doing so well and Danny and I are very proud of him. Time was that an English actor only got work in America if he was prepared to ham up his Englishness to play a villain, an eccentric bad guy who was “emotionally constipated.” So it is wonderful that now people like Kevin and other British actors are doing so well. Look out for Kevin in a movie called Bunraku with Demi Moore and Josh Hartnett ………… where he plays a ……ummmmm…………killer………oh well, guess the Brit villian thing hasn’t completely gone then.

Every night some sour faced city analyst comes on the television news to say that the stock market has plunged another 20,000 points since lunch time and we will all soon be forced to burn our family pets just to stay warm….and it’s all because of the credit crunch.

Bollocks………..I have finally discovered why the economy is in such a bad way here at the beginning of 2009. The world’s markets are in free fall because the brokers spent too much time e-mailing one another with tales of the previous night’s sexual conquests. Hardly a day goes by without a poor hapless girl getting her photo chain e-mailed all over LehmanciticorpMerrill and Sons as the subject of a stripy-shirted clown’s electronic global boast.
Every morning when I log on to my computer, my inbox is stuffed to overflowing with messages, none of which ever has anything to do with cruising, Carnival or anything I actually care about. Most are from companies offering me Viagra and loans to pay for it. Then there are usually a couple from someone I’ve never met telling me that they had rumpy pumpy last night with someone called Abi while talking to their girlfriend on the phone.

Then there’s someone called “the Joker” who sends me viruses. But luckily they always come as a zip file, which my computer doesn’t understand because it only speaks Indian.

There are basically four stages of humor that we go through as we grow up. Before we’ve mastered the art of speech, a funny face is sufficient to make us laugh. Then we go through the pooh phase before jokes come on the scene at around the age of eight. ……….ok…………I admit that I have never actually come out of the “poo ” phase.

I once saw Ricky Gervais (the creator of The Office) live on stage and he was so funny even my nose laughed. But at no time did he mention a nun, a chicken or an elephant. Nobody crossed the road, nobody went into a bar and nobody arrived at the pearly gates.

What I have always tried to do is to have people laughing because of the absurd. I try to use spontaneity, timing and imagination. Something a little bit more than a punch line that was visible to the naked eye 10 minutes ago. When people I meet onboard say they are going to tell me a joke, I always listen intently hoping that it is one I have never heard before. That’s because I think I have probably heard every joke there ever was. I have a few blogger friends who send me daily jokes for which I am truly grateful yet I have still to find that one joke that makes me lose control and consequently have to purchase new underwear.

Then you have the “genuine” letters sent to homeowners saying they must dismantle the dam they have built in their back garden. And the “genuine” replies explaining that the dam was built by beavers. I’ve shortened it for you here — the real thing is longer, more difficult to read and less funny than finding out how much a steak is onboard the thismeatisntfree of the seas…

I wouldn’t mind but some of these jokes are visual so you have to sit around for 20 minutes while the computer downloads them. Twenty-four of those — by no means implausible — and that’s the entire eight-hour working day gone. You will go home having done nothing but look at a man’s thingy that is shaped like a carrot — or vice versa.

And so it is that I have promised myself that when I am onboard the Carnival Valor as cruise director I will not e-mail the hotel director whose office is next door ………instead I will go over and see him and tell him this joke instead of e-mailing it to him.

A woman walked up to a little wrinkled up man rocking in a chair on his porch.

“I couldn’t help noticing how happy you look,” she said. “What’s your secret for a happy life?”

“I smoke 10 cigars a day,” he replied. “I also drink a case of whiskey a week, eat lots of fatty foods, and never ever take any exercise.”

“That’s amazing, “the woman said. “Exactly how old are you?’

“Twenty-six,” he said.

Returning to my topic at the start of this blog there is of course a big difference between what men and women find funny ………and nothing more so than……..the fart.

I have never seen a grown woman break wind and then waft the pungent smell towards her best friend’s vicinity………this does not happen. Only men and children find farting amusing.

Here is an extract from the New York Post which will prove what I mean.

A bullied office worker has been awarded $50,000 after her boss raised his right buttock from his chair and broke wind in her direction

If you are laughing right now………….you are either ten years old…………or a man.

Goodnight
Your friends
John, Heidi and the Thingy.

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.