Conferences Wikia

Humorous competition To learn the value of humour in speaking
1st place: Geoff Jennett (the president of his club accepted his first place by prior arrangement)
2nd Place: Chris Deacon
3rd Place: Karen Taylor.

IF THESE NAMES ARE WRONGLY SPELT, MY APOLOGIES. Please fix them -- click the "edit" button on the right hand side of the section, edit the name, and press Save. Thanks Erichv 10:46, 8 Oct 2005 (UTC)

Chris Deacon: Sorry for the Interruption[]


Deacon started with his cellphone rings. Pretended to take a call from a life insurance salesperson; winning a gym membership; and one from a time-share salesperson. "How important do you have to be to answer the phone when on the loo? If you have to answer a call when answering nature's call, please wait until the paperwork is done." He says the marketing people must come from the 70s – the era of flared trousers, bad hair and free love; the era of the digital watch. The marketing geniuses decided that no watch would be complete without a calculator – except that if you were old enough to count, your fingers were to big to operate the buttons. Nobody could find a way of including a calculator usable by somebody without genetically-modified fingers. Now with the new phones that include video conferencing, it's not enough to clear your throat, you now have to do your hair as well! "What are you doing in the bathroom? I'm just getting ready for my phone call!" Whatever they present us with in the future, it's certain that our fingers will be too big to operate it.

Marlene van Wyk: Are men happier than women?[]


Of course – they don't have to colour co-ordinate their wallets and their underwear. Men are happier than women. Men are simple creatures. To men, the simplest of women is the most complicated of creatures. Men and women use different words from each other. Men's conversation extends to saying "hi" and grabbing a beer. Women need a week to explain how they are. A reliable indicator of the happiness of women is their handbag. A Gucci bag may indicate a financial problem A black bag may indicate jealousy about the blonde at the office. A beach bag disrespectful children. Small bags indicate jealousy Big bags indicate unhappiness. Hormones should be called "her moans." All female problems start with male pronouns: MEN-opause. MEN-struation. HIS-terectomy. Somebody might say: Stop it – you're behaving like PMS-Barbie. The over-riding story is that women may seem unhappier than women, but it's because women are unhappiest when they're unhappy. Have you ever heard a man at a braai saying: "What a week I've had, trying to be a working father"?

Olivier Baudry: Trolley Rage[]


I hate shopping Trolley Pushers I'm scared of having to go shopping in a supermarket – especially if I have to push a trolley. The boulevards of PnP, the Streets of a Spar or the elegant avenues of Woolworths – it's chaos out there.

  1. Speed – some people are doing six, eight, even 10 kilometres / hour! At a Spar, I saw somebody running and jumping on the trolley and riding it, first crashing into a shelf of chickens, and then into a shelf of popcorn!
  2. The second danger is cellphones. A woman on her cellphone drove straight into me, damaging my bottles of wine! She didn't see me!
  3. The third problem is children. As the level rises in the trolley, the children slowly disappear from site.

Proposal 1. Limit the speed – not more than 4km/h to prevent trolley rage. No right to push trolleys for the youngsters without the proper trolley-driving licence. Proposal 2. No cellphones – create special perimeters for cellphone use – preferably near the frozen foods so that the calls don't last too long. Proposal 3. We drive only on the left of the aisles. And implement stop signs at the end of the alley.

Tibor Major: Lost in Translation[]


I'm not stupid. People have called me stupid. I have done stupid things. But I made quick restitution so they don’t count. But I was lost in Paris, looking at the map, and feeling stupid. I approached a local. I knew he was a local because he was wearing a beret, had a cigarette dangling from his mouth and had a French loaf clutched under his arm. We know that foreigners all understand English if we speak slowly enough, loudly enough and articulate clearly enough. He explained how to get the the Hôtel Liberté by making reference to Anglaises and motioning in the direction of the English Channel. Our world is getting smaller by the day, because of the technology: WAP, GPRS, GSM, Bluetooth and Blackberry. That's the technology, but what of the language we're talking in? South Africa is no easier to get around – even for nominal English speakers. Picture Richard Loftington-Smythe from the London office. Hospitably you invite him to your place for the weekend, explaining: I'll pick you up in the bakkie and we'll shoot to the plot for a lekker braai in the lapa. But remind me to pick up some droewors and biltong to go with Klippies and Coke as we watch the Lions donner the Bulls at Loftus. Meaning is often lost in translation,leaving us feeling rather stupid.

Karyn Taylor: BMI[]


Have you heard of BMI? I heard about it from my Personal Trainer Brother. You may ask how we came from the same gene pool – I got the brains. He talked about BMI. I thought he meant Bring Me Ice-cream. He said no – you have the Big O – Oreo Flavoured Ice-cream? No – Obesity! Then he gave me a resistance trainer and went back to the UK where he belongs, and the resitacne elastic thingy took pride of place in my bathroom as an undies holder. I gave up smoking, joined the gym, and became Ta Da—FAT – Future Athlete in Training! I measured myself with one of those machines they have there, but no matter what I did, all the indicators seemed to go up. In the gyms they stick those mirrors in front of you so you can see everything wobbling about. Then I felt ill, and spent a week in bed, eating fudge, cake and ice-cream. When I returned to the gym and the machine, all the indicators had gone down! That's when I had an epiphany. If you want to reduce your BMI, stay in bed!

Geoff Jennett: She[]


(Fingers clicking). That's the sound of the dominant part of the species commanding her man to obey her. There I was, minding my own business, discussing Rugby and golf, when She descended to take control of my life. The minister said: "Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?" As if I had a choice in the matter! On honeymoon, Henry and Daphne were staying at the same hotel. They had got married on the same day as we had. That's when I first heard it – the clicking finger of She Who Must Be Obeyed. A few years later my She Who Must Be Obeyed was in a maternity ward and pushed out not one, but TWO. GIRLS! She Who Must Be Obeyed are now THEY who must be obeyed. I know they will leave home to take over somebody else's life. Then we'll be in an old-age home. "She" may develop arthritis (demonstrates her inability to click her fingers) and I may develop "selective hearing". On my tombstone will say the words: Here lies a good husband and good father. Cause of death? Silence.

Beverley Baker: The Anguish of a Woman[]


How many men have slept on the couch because they believed their wives when they said: "Don't buy anything for my birthday." What that actually means is: "I haven't seen you sneak anything into the house. Don't you DARE forget my birthday!" The answer to "is my bum big" is not: "Where are my keys?" or "Define 'big'" There is no answer to this question that cannot be translated into "Yes". The correct answer is "No". Say it clearly, loudly, immediately and as if it's a well-established fact. Thin people irritate me, especially when they say: "I forgot to eat." That takes a special kind of stupid. I've just finished that annual ritual humiliation – buying a bathing suit. I put on this piece of elastic and when I looked down, I realized my breasts had disappeared. First it's PMS – now It's menopause. Somebody's been altering my clothes, because nothing fits anymore. When my husband says "lets' go upstairs and make love." Nope – choose one. And if you see us not wearing bras, it's not to seduce you – it's to pull the wrinkles from our faces!