• “I am God’s gift to the world.”
  • “I’m pretty sure everyone loves me”
  • “63% of the people on (here) are on my friends list”
  • “Billy Holiday was at my birthday party”
  • “Al Pacino was my God Father”

Recently I was headlined in a blog about a comment I made in a chat room based on a single solitary line. The comment was meant to be silly, but a blogger took it as an opportunity to question my impeccable “math skills”.

You can’t be upset by the headlining, (there is no such thing as bad press) but one has to ask, “Did this person actually take my comment – seriously?” The fact they committed an entire blog to it seems to indicate they actually DID.

So it got me to wondering…

What is Jesting?

Jesting is an comedic, satirical, somewhat dry art form that has been embraced by authors of antiquity like Chaucer, Shakespeare and by “modern” populous authors like Kurt Vonnegut, S.J. Perelman or Hugh Laurie.

The list of comedians who jest or use outrageousness in their acts is countless. This kind of humor is often attributed to comedians and comedic writers like Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Don Rickles, George Carlin, but it can be found in writings from philosophers like Voltaire or Ludwig Wittgenstein. Even politicians!

“Let’s be honest. All Republican’s think they understand everything, …but the people who don’t understand them.”

(slapping knee) No no, I am jesting. Maybe…no seriously. Well, possibly not.

Whatever you want to call it (dry humor, jesting, the vino veritas) it’s a form of expression that is used as a tool in many different situations – for various reasons.

In a chat room, I’m constantly blasting out silly little jests. Why? When the conversation is dry or off topic or in some cases caustic; I’ll throw out something silly just to provide people a reason to give pause.

What did he say?”

That’s the reaction I am seeking. A well placed quip can make someone stop dead in their tracks. It forces themselves and others to momentarily pause and take a breath, providing opportunity for their brain to assess whether to change direction from the path they are originally on, all in that instantaneous moment to address my little quip.

It’s my way of throwing a stoppage, a chat flag or temporary traffic cone – right in front of their wayward conversation(s).

The Dangers of Jesting

(shrug) Sadly, some people just can’t get the joke. Even worse, they commit free flowing electrons to devise a story around one statement, that someone said, in some remote chat room – that they weren’t even witness to.

As in the case of this blogger; narrow-mindedness and lack of perspective, gave them no reference point as to why my comment was even made. I’m still shaking my head as to how anyone could have taken my comment seriously. It was so outrageous, even I was laughing when I typed it.

(Sigh) this is the difference between bloggers who can write with flair; and those who prefer to latch on to anything and pound out National Encryerer garbage as if they are still chipping messages out on stone tablets.


Dealing with people with tunnel vision or bloggers who think they are the next National Enquirer; makes it difficult to cull their need for sensationalism for the purpose of developing click bait.

Even though their storyline is manufactured, its not our responsibility to enlighten them on the true nature of any chat quip. That would make chatting dull and boring. But I see opportunity in all of this.

Education: If you would like to do your part in educating a wayward blogger or screen capturer, add an annotation to the end of your jesting chat lines.

Something like a (smile) or maybe initials like (CJ) meaning “chat jest” or even possibly, the “shrug” emote. This will help them recognize that it’s only a jest.

So for example, if you use the following statement in the presence of a screen capturing blogger, annotate responsibly.

ChatterA -- Did you hear that the one blogger abandoned their "National Encryerer" format? (CJ)
ChatterB -- No, I didn't hear that.
ChatterA -- Yeah, they went with the more personalized "Ann Slanders" columned format instead (CJ)

不不不不不 (slapping my knee) Oh my God, I kill myself sometimes, I’m so damn funny.


T.E. Snyder

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