This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest, Episode 51

Let’s get back to this. These are jokes I told on Twitter, and why.

WORDPLAY:

Semantics.

WORDPLAY:

This is gross. It is also hilarious, because it is true. Come to think of it, I could’ve made it funnier and not as gross by saying, “A gastric bypass? You mean when you throw food in the toilet?” That would have been even more literally bypassing your gastrointestinal system.

I’ve been thinking about poop jokes recently. I make poop jokes sometimes (although not as often as I joke about making poop jokes). I don’t really like hearing them when they’re gratuitous, but I do think the human body (like almost everything else) is wondrous and absurd and just plain interesting. Today, for instance, I was thinking about (WARNING: POOP ALERT!) how—even when I eat mostly the same stuff—my bowel movements can come in so many different shapes, textures, and colors. Seriously, what is going on in there?!

I realize that this is a gross thing to talk about, but I’m not trying to be gross for grossness’s sake.1 These are the real thoughts I have—real things that strike me as funny or weird—and this blog is about as close as you can get to a window into my stream of consciousness. If I were in polite company, I probably wouldn’t make poop a topic of conversation, but this is my blog. This Is Conlan is where poop jokes stop being polite… and start getting real.

Beyond that, I really do try to base my poop jokes on something more meaningful than the gross-out factor.2

But3 that’s just my rationalization.

WISDOM:

I think this is genuinely a better thing to say than “too little, too late”, and it means the same thing. I included the #toodaloobitch hashtag because my friend Floyd uses it sometimes. I don’t know what it means, but I think it’s funny, too.

WISDOM:

I posted this without the “accidentally” and then quickly deleted it and reposted this version. Explicitly saying “accidentally” heightens the contrast between setup and punchline, making it more absurd and funnier. That’s what I think, anyway.

STUPID:

This could be interpreted as a satirical statement about something important, but really I was just being dumb.

STUPID:

I spilled iced coffee all over my pants (and shirt!). No one called me “Coffee Pants”, but I imagined someone could have called me that, and it didn’t seem that bad.

WISDOM:

I really believe this. A lot of businesses approach social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Dogpark) by asking, “What value can social media provide to my business?”, which usually results in spammy posts and general crappiness. Instead, if they asked, “What value can we provide to others through social media?” they’d be more likely to contribute information that people would actually be interested in, and eventually create a sense of brand loyalty. These posts could include tips, discounts, humor, or just a sincere interest in others. There may be some short-term gain in spamming people, but the customers who stick with a company, long-term, are the ones who form an emotional connection with it.

WISDOM:

I really believe this, too. But I’m using the word tragedy loosely. I really mean something closer to arbitrary. So many things have no real reason behind them. I’m not trying to get theological here; I’m talking about practical things, like clothing and poop and genocide.

REACTION:

I don’t think you can deny that this would have made a lot more sense.

WISDOM:

I like the “style advice” reversal here, coupled with my trademark apathetic despondecy. But the truth is, when I wear flip-flops it’s because I do care. I care about my feet stinking, which is what they do whenever I wear shoes (any kind) without socks. I like the idea of wearing appropriate closed-toe footwear during hot weather—and I’ve tried several tips to make this work—but I haven’t found a good solution. The next step is to buy some loafer socks, but I don’t care enough to go to that much trouble. So then we’re back to me not caring, which is where we started. And I’m comfortable here.

That concludes this episode of This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest.

  1. Grossness, in terms of appropriate conversation, is probably mostly dependent on culture. But I do think there can be some practical and “universal” guidelines to keep in mind. Talking about things like poop or corpses and other things that smell bad (or can make a person physically ill) are likely to elicit memories from people, and thus elicit the emotional and physical reactions tied to those memories. So I don’t think it’s just a cultural construct that people don’t talk about raw sewage while they eat (unless they’ve been desensitized to it—due to their occupations, for example—and are able to separate the sense memories from the ideas). I think there’s a practical and maybe evolutionary reason to not always discuss things like that. []
  2. In this case, it was based on an incorrect, but logically plausible, misinterpretation of the name of a medical procedure. []
  3. Haha, “Butt.” []