At the End of the Day

Serious signs of hysterical laughter

I bring this “warning” to your attention:


The most amusing people in the world are those who are deadly serious. A legal beagle obviously slaved on the form of words above for hours to absolve his client (who was, by the way, obviously selling hard) of any responsibility for the crap he was writing. But while the first four words tickled, it was the unwritten last five that had me in stitches: ‘this is not advice, it is a racing certainty’. Caveat emptor, and all that.

The folks in the world who succeed in reducing me to tears are few and far between. What’s more, they tend to start off outrageous, and then get the edges shaved off by TV legals, Hollywood agents, and thinly-disguised censors. If you look at Steve Martin, Eddie Izzard, Chevvy Chase, and Alan Davies, they are nowhere near as funny as they were a decade ago. Bill Bailey is, George Carlin was right to the end – and Robin Williams live is still capable of cracking me up. But most radical comedians are club-foot in their delivery, with a “progressive” agenda-slip showing at all times…and most of them go legit the minute they’re offered the munnneee.

When it comes to the Establishments, the best way to judge them is by observing the unconscious idiocy of their members. I mean “let’s be clear about this”, they are asking for it. For example, a leading open-minded educationalist comments:

“So anyway, there I was, Education Secretary and all that, scouting for boys who might, you know, give me an independent watchdog’s view of the schooly learny thingie…but in the manner of a gundog, so to speak. And I thought well, bless me McTavish, if old Ezak over at Health can get away with David Prior, why on earth shouldn’t I be allowed to have Spiro Agnew, the private equity boss who has given £144,000 to political good causes. And then I get this Laws poof criticising me. It really is enough to make a chap absolutely furious.”

What makes the serious folks look most silly on the whole, is the gap between their objectives, and the eventual achievement. We’re all familiar with these panels on packs:

‘Warning: does not contain nuts, but may contain nuts. Not made in a factory making nuts but may still contain nuts on account of some ambulance-chasing sh*thead having persuaded a judge suffering from tertiary dementia that nuts fly in the window like candy-bar seeking missiles and insert themselves therein, and if they do then it is the manufacturer’s fault so you have been warned but now we’re bombproof’

The aim, you see, was protection. The result is bladder-emptying laughter.

But while the never-ending irony here is that people with absolutely no sense of humour can produce humour at will – as if they might be some sort of idiot savant – it is in the written warning that this unconscious genius excels. Every sign they write is a sign.

This is especially true of religious people:




Another deadly serious sector of humanity (once they’ve graduated) is that containing doctors and the bureaucrats who ‘support’ them. They produce stuff like this:




Of course, nobody does it like the road-signage blokes. I’ve posted many times before about the unhelpful insanity of these people, so here’s yet more proof:




Penultimately, that old favourite – Lost in Translation:





And finally, the exception that proves the rule….the consciously seditious sign-writer:


Signs can be signs of everything from mental illness to satirical sanity. But more often than not, they are funny.

Earlier at The Slog: A report on the mental health of Health Tsar David Prior