How to Kill a Joke

I have received my shipment of copies of my new Basic Instructions book, Dignified Hedonism, and am now able to offer signed copies for sale. Details can be found on the Basic Instructions store page (you’ll have to scroll down a bit) but in a nutshell, after shipping, a signed copy will cost $20 in the US, $35 in Canada, and $39 in other countries. I know that’s a bit steep. If you’d rather, you can buy the book elsewhere and get a signed bookplate by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Scott Meyer
P.O. Box 692191
Orlando, FL 32869-2191

If you have copies of my other books, just tell me how many book plates you need. I’ll send up to 5. In the past, people have thrown a buck in the envelope, which was appreciated, but is not, I repeat, IS NOT REQUIRED.

I’ve had a few people ask me what purchasing method makes me the most money. I’m touched that you’d ask, but seriously, I want you to buy the book in whatever way makes the most sense for your life. I promise, I’ll get paid something no matter how you buy it. I just want you to enjoy the book. 

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Reader Comments (28)

So much truth to Panel 2!

Sadly, this is the result of taking things way too seriously, which I think is a result of overt PC and the thought police. Come to think of it, if what the "perp" was thinking during the commission of a crime (hate crime) matters, then so shouldn't the intent of the joke in the "joker's" mind get him a pass when the joke isn't received as intended? Classic PC double standard.

Love the comic!

October 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMikey

I knew I shouldn't have put so much nutmeg in my coffee. I've entered a parallel universe where the draft didn't end decades ago. Aaagh!..Oh, I'm to old for it,. Fine then.

October 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTony

I feel like anyone who wanted to serve their country probably didn't wait to get drafted.

I suppose this comic was super effective on me, because I kind of want to just smack that woman. Ah, art. Makes me feel something.

October 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEd

To quote from the Lorax here, but "That's a woman?"

October 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCheeseball

I've never been all that worried about offending drug addicts as a group, and I'm still not.

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristina L

I find it odd that people think the draft "ended" at any point. It's still quite existent, it's merely unutilized.

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Chosen One

Fem Jenkins! when are they gonna meet?

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBleepBloop

I'm sorry. Actually, no, I'm not. Women are disqualified from getting to be offended by a joke about being drafted. When blobby female character whose name I cba to look up figures out why, and gets done checking her privilege, let us know.

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

Kristina: consider the probability that your doctor is a, um, substance depender. He or she has a stressful job, and can probably get the stuff easy enough. The question is, do you want them to think that you know about it?

I think that one apology is enough, but that would leave panel two with our cast staring blankly at each other after bubble number three. Can you do pauses in comics? I saw a version Of Lone Wolf And Cub, where Wolf would go "..." when he had a bubble but he had nothing to say just then. So it would go "..." and then "...". But that wouldn't be funny. Also, they might be stuck doing that for the rest of the comic.

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Carnegie

Far too much truthiness for me to relax into laughitude.

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBabyDoc

but-there isn;t a draft any more..
wle

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwle

This is actually my favorite way to kill joke, particularly when I am the butt of the joke. It is effective and makes the joke teller either frustrated or embarassed.
Awesome instructions today!

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

I love how people blame PC thinking and us taking things too seriously. Nah - PC simply gave permission to not have to force a laugh at something that wasn't funny.

That's reality - the rule of thirds. 1/3 of the people will laugh at your joke. 1/3 of the people will not laugh at your joke and think you are a jerk for telling it. 1/3 of the people will be waiting for you to shut up and sit down. Get used to it.

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLEH

@The Chosen One:
Actually the draft did end for a few years after Vietnam. I know because I fell into the age window where I never had to register.

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstephen

@BleepBloop They already did, back in 2009
http://basicinstructions.net/basic-instructions/2009/4/15/how-to-maintain-a-peaceful-break-room.html

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSeth

People like the one on the left often make me ponder unspoken thoughts such as "Just think, if I sock (silly person) in the mouth right now, we wouldn't be talking about this."

I eventually conclude that getting sued and losing my job isn't worth it.

Eventually.

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDania

@stephen
I see what your confusion comes from. In 1975, Ford ended mandatory registration for the draft. But in 1980, Carter reinstated it after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. Men born between March 29, 1957, and December 31, 1959, were completely exempt from Selective Service registration. I presume that includes you.

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJustin Reilly

Khereva- not being permitted to register for the draft isn't privilege, it's discriminatory. Against both men and women. Which makes it kinda egalitarian, I guess....

Limiting the draft to men only is a prime example of how patriarchy hurts men, too. Not every role in the military is combat, and not every man in the military is suited to a combat role. If the test for a given role is based on aptitude and ability combat roles would still be skewed to mostly men, but it would extend the available pool of troops massively.

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Since ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" eliminated the previous favorite dodge, i.e. showing up in a dress, this is probably the only one left.

The catch is, that you couldn't be required to "prove" you were gay, a simple statement sufficed. The addict gambit's going to require a pee test, which means you have to go the whole nine yards.

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Skubinna

@Robert Carnegie
Pauses in comics are quite effectively used in two of my personal childhood favorites, most often in Garfield, and also, though to a somewhat less frequent extent, in Calvin and Hobbes...

I wouldn't expect it to work quite as well in this category of comic, though

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoseph

I like to respond to dumb jokes or verbal pranks by (pretending I'm) taking it seriously, and escalating.
Example; when I was getting ready to swear in to my union, two journeymen told me I would have to ride a goat around the room as part of the ceremony.
I asked one if I had to bring my own goat, and the other if I would have to be naked.
Since I was the first woman to swear in at this local, they each got a little uncomfortable and dropped the subject.

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDee

Scott or Missy, does this character have a name? This is the person who plays the Moon Emperor, that many people mistake for Rick, right?

Thanks, as always, for the laughs.

This character, one of Scott's co-workers, is named Kate. The Moon Emperor is drawn from Rick, but back when he had a beautiful Prince Valiant hairstyle. Neither of us quite understands why people think Kate is a man, but that's probably because we know the woman she's drawn from. ~Missy

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark W

@Seth Revisiting that comic made this one ALL the more worth it.

Ironically, in a sad way, "Xtian", "porn addict", and "pretending to be offended about jokes one's own actually laugh at" can and do coexist. Probably in yet another joke, too.

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjaklumen

(Vulgarity warning)

Steve: nine yards is impressive.

http://www.phill.co.uk/comedy/porridge/quotes.html : "What, from here?"

October 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Carnegie

"I'm sorry. Actually, no, I'm not. Women are disqualified from getting to be offended by a joke about being drafted."

Does not being a victim of abuse or rape mean I can't be offended of this type of joke too?

Taking offense at something is an emotional response, not a logical one... not something I or you is in control of...

That said, if someone takes offense at something I am not offended by, I shrug my shoulders and move on... If I said the offensive thing, I apologise shrug my shoulders and move on...

Offensiveness is in the eye of the beholder, so to speak...

October 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJamesT

Okay. The basic rule of thumb is: interpretation over intention. How somebody takes your comment is more important than how you meant to be taken. While I.personally thought Scott's joke was funny, clearly this women didn't. However, she should have stopped at Scott's first apology.

October 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWhy

I don't think this is a matter of someone being pc. There's a great Onion article titled "I'm Like A Chocoholic, But For Booze". That article is arguably being very pc by pointing out the irony of using the word "Chocoholic" in a cutesy way. And yet someone could kill that joke with the same reaction. It's more a matter of trust. Scott's taking a risk by throwing out some ironic humor. His audience knows he's going for humor, so if they're a fan of comedy they should go along for the ride and enjoy the humor. However, some people, some times, would rather jump on the opportunity to have some temporary power over the comic. And then the joke is killed and everybody dies a little.

October 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterscott t.

...then what happened?

(usually a good joke-killing line, as well)

October 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAarontu

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