Serious as the web and digital technology are, from time there are little nuggets of humour, both unintended and entirely unexpected.
HMRC’s April Joke
Take, for example, the opening weekend of the Government’s tax department, HMRC, biggest shakeup of PAYE in a decade. There were huge glitches as the system was unable to cope with the flood of data.
Businesses now have to file returns to HMRC every time they pay an employee, in real time, rather than as before at the end of the year. The new tax regime was not demanded by businesses who must now pick up the costs to file almost daily in some cases.
So you’d have thought they’d be ready for the masses of new data. But they were far from it. They knew it was coming….
So where’s the comic point? They allowed bi-annual routine maintenance of their systems to occur simultaneously!!!
You truly couldn’t make it up.
From the Help Desk
Real life letters/excuses to teachers, explanations to insurance companies to back up claims and now recorded calls to web-supporting help desks – we are spoilt for comic choice sometimes.
Try this one, apparently true:
Telephone call received this morning:
Caller : “Hello, can you tell me how much a website would cost?”
Me: “Well that depends on what type of website it is you require and how involved it would be. Could you tell me a little about what the purpose of the website would be and your business/company?”
Caller : “I want a website that would be on the internet. I didn’t know there were different places? What do you mean?”
Me : “I understand that sir, but would you want to sell goods online, or use it purely to promote your company without selling products or services on the internet, for example?”
Caller : “Oh I don’t understand, forget it.”
He then hung up.
Lots of people enjoy circulating jokes on the internet. It’s a cheap, efficient way of passing on smiles and brightening other people’s days. You receive one you find funny and forward it to a friend at a click. He/she does the same. It’s become quite interesting to see how many people have it forwarded before it hits someone you know who thinks you should see it….
Here’s an example: One Wish Genie
A woman rubbed a bottle and out popped a genie. The amazed woman asked if she got three wishes.
The genie said: ‘I’m a one wish-genie. So… what’ll it be?’
The woman did not hesitate. She said, ‘I want peace in the Middle East. See this map? I want these countries to stop fighting with each other and want all the Arabs to love the Jews and America and vice-versa. It will bring about world peace and harmony.’
The genie looked at the map and exclaimed, ‘Lady, be reasonable. These countries have been at war for thousands of years. I’m out of shape after being in a bottle for five hundred years. I’m good but not THAT good! I don’t think it can be done. Make another wish and please be reasonable.’
The woman thought for a minute and said, ‘Well, I’ve never been able to find the right man. You know – one that’s considerate and fun, likes to cook and help with the house cleaning, is great in bed, and gets along with my family, doesn’t watch sports all the time, and is faithful. That is what I wish for…a good man.’
The genie let out a sigh and said………’Let me see the map again.’
From all the news about the death of Baroness Thatcher, Britain’s first woman Prime Minister, come a series of examples of net humour, some of which is not that amusing. Some media outlets were in such a hurry to get the story out there first, they got essential facts wrong.
- A channel in Taiwan used footage of the Queen to illustrate the story.
- Briefly BBC News reported she had died of a strike, not a stroke.
- The Guardian reported her death year as 2010.
- Thailand’s Channel 5 news showed images of Meryl Streep in the Thatcher role in the film The Iron Lady.
Slapped wrists all round for careless mistakes.
But a nastier side emerged as news broke on 8th April and tributes started to be published, even by her more sensible enemies, some people thought it proper to post offensive remarks online.
Between the extremes of admirers and detractors lay a group of the confused. The hashtag ‘nowthatchersdead’ led some to post comments believing that the singer Cher had passed away!
Happy internet trawling!