Compleat Idler

Some Comic Relief

Back in the fifties I read Boys Life regularly. I remember Heinlein and project articles. Most of all I developed a keen sense of jokes.

Any magazine worth reading has a joke page or cartoons.

So, since I am not within range of anyone’s hat, I feel free.

Q. What is the difference between grapes and elephants?

A. Grapes are purple.

Q. What did Tarzan say when he saw the elephants coming?

A. “Here come the grapes.” He was color blind.

Q. How do you get six elephants in a Volkswagon?

A. Three in front. Three in back.

Q. What’s red and green and travels quickly?

A. A frog in a blender.

Q. Why does Prince Charles not wear Fruit-of-the-Loom briefs?

A. Gentlemen prefer Hanes,

You can tell the ad men were involved in the film production when Maj Reno says, “and there lies General Custer with a Van Heusen through his chest,” (I also read Mad Magazine.)

SWIFTIE: “This seems to happen every seven days,” Tom said weakly.

Q. How many road construction workers does it take to change a lightbulb?

A. Three. One to change the bulb, two to lean on their shovels and kibbitz.

William Jennings Bryan would be perplexed. The only place you find “Free Silver” placards is when the animal rights activists boycott the Lone Ranger set.

After Mozart’s death, his ghost would go into music halls and erase the notes from sheet music. It was called de-composing.

The Normans always did executions behind a white sheet so the splattered blood would frighten onlookers—sort of like that 20th Century Norman in Psycho.

Q. Why did the chicken cross the road?

A. She didn’t get hit.

Stranger: Is there a criminal lawyer in this town?

Resident: Ain’t that redundant?

SHAGGY DOG — Robin Hood Rocks

The following story is copyrighted.  (c) 2011 by Earl Haehl.  I prepared it to be educational but I think I should avoid reading Asimov under the influence of energy drinks and tequila.

The term “murder” comes from the murdrum, a tax levied by the Normans on all residents of a shire when there is an unsolved homicide. This was to encourage the residents to cooperate with the Normans to avoid the tax.

It happened that the Reeve (or Administrator) of the shire—from which came shire reeve which evolved into sheriff—and the King’s deputy, Sir Alfred Down were investigating such an occurrence to determine that the victim was a Norman so the tax could be levied. If the corpse were English, it did not count as a person.

On Wednesday the bodies of both Reeve Lacey and Sir Alfred were found flat on their back with arrows through their throats. William, Baron of Barrenshire, a trusted assistant of the King, went to investigate. No one would talk so tax would be double except that the King wanted a neck to be stretched.

They stopped at the Silver Unicorn Pub for what was on draft and as he and his crew walked in, he noticed Robert Locksley (Robin Hood himself) bragging to the barmaid, Maid Marian (late of the Comedia di’l Arte) and her co actor, Tuck the Mendicant about his skill with the Welsh long bow. This was curious as a Norman like Locksley would carry a sword.

William walked up to Locksley and demanded to know if Robert had used his bow on the two victims.

“Yes,” Locksley answered, “and no.”

“The answer is yes or no?”

“But the answer is yes and no.”

“Howso Robert?”

“Simple, Will. I shot the Shire Reeve but I did not shoot Deputy Down.”

Free Society, Uncategorized

Marketing and desparation

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

Well, it happened. Playboy is seeking me out….along with maybe 200,000 other “potential” subscribers. I know the game and everyone else knows the game. How do you market a hard copy magazine in a digital age? What they are looking for are demographics: male, over 55, has other magazine subscriptions.

Here’s the deal. Male. That has always been a demographic for Playboy. This was proclaimed by Hefner in 1963.

Over 55: There are a couple reasons for this. One is that the over 55 male population is perceived as sexually restless in “studies” and market research questionnaires with warranty cards. The reliability of such research is suspect. I can recall sitting in McDonalds with some friends filling out “anonymous” questionnaires—it can be a hoot. It is like faking an identity on the internet—and do not say there are safeguards because there are people who regard them as a challenge. Secondly, the over 55 crowd might be willing to read hard copy. And this is more critical. You can interviews with serious thinkers on the internet (and is that not the reason to read Playboy in the first place) as well as finding purveyors of hedonistic paraphernalia. If the magazine fails to attract readers, ad revenues fall.

Have other magazine subscriptions: If someone does have subscriptions, they are more likely to subscribe. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. And I admit to subscribing to a number of magazines catering to male interests—shooting, flying, fishing, military, &c. So I probably fall in the 50-60 percent likely category—remember that this is also 40-50 percent unlikely, but those are decent odds when you are in a dying industry.

Then there are the special offers like price. This is the same as other magazine offers I get. A dollar an issue is nothing to sneeze at.

In other words, it is a trying time in the magazine industry as a whole—I am considering going to online subscriptions for several that I already get. Advertisers understand this. Back when I was hustling ads the primary tool we used was the Audit Bureau of Circulation and the knowledge that drive time radio was better because it is the buffer in the background. You tend to remember what you hear while doing something else—you do not have to remember where you heard it but you have heard it twice a day for the last three months.