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What a caper!
November 20, 2008 3:55 PM   Subscribe

The plan isn’t foolproof. For it to work, certain things must happen:
posted by oxford blue (59 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
You can find more of Jack's stuff here.
posted by oxford blue at 3:56 PM on November 20, 2008


I just read a bunch of stuff at McSweeney's before coming over here and reading this.

Suffice it to say, going from McSweeney's to Jack Handey is like being impressed by a reasonably adroit team of middle schoolers playing 3 on 3 basketball, then turning around and seeing a robotic version of Shaquille O'Neal slam dunk Batman's skull into a goblet made out of snakes.
posted by Damn That Television at 4:04 PM on November 20, 2008 [66 favorites]


The plan bailout isn’t foolproof. For it to work, certain things must happen:
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:13 PM on November 20, 2008 [9 favorites]


IRFH, I love you.
posted by boo_radley at 4:16 PM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Once on the roof, Leon must be able to hold on to the hang glider with one hand and the money and the gold bars with the other and launch himself off the roof. Then glide the twenty miles to the rendezvous point.

Still the only real way to rob a bank with style.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:28 PM on November 20, 2008


It's an allegory. It is about the bailout. Not a stretch.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:34 PM on November 20, 2008


Jack Handey? The New Yorker should have him writing on the Franken election. :)
posted by rokusan at 4:37 PM on November 20, 2008


It's pronounced "Fronken election."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:40 PM on November 20, 2008 [6 favorites]


- Nobody happens to notice that underneath our Nixon masks we are officers of the bank.

- After we get away with the money, the government replaces it at the taxpayers' expense, and we pay it out to ourselves as bonuses.
posted by Topkid at 4:46 PM on November 20, 2008


I'm from Metafilter and I can defunny a plate of funny.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:52 PM on November 20, 2008 [11 favorites]


That man is a genius, that Jack Handey. Who is he?
posted by krilli at 4:59 PM on November 20, 2008


What, stuff can mean other stuff? Animal Farm isn't just about the animals and stuff they do?
posted by oxford blue at 5:01 PM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is all bank-robbery related humor now destined to become an allegory for the bailout? There go my next, like, five FPPs.
posted by potch at 5:02 PM on November 20, 2008


No kidding, AZ.

—The monkeys must grab the bags of money and not just shriek and go running all over the place, like they did in the practice run.

I want to train a band of monkeys in the art of robbery, and I think Jack may just be the man to help me.
posted by Salmonberry at 5:04 PM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Too many en dashes to be truly funny.

(There's a place called No Kidding in Arizona? Cool!)
posted by i_cola at 5:14 PM on November 20, 2008


Y’know, you guys keep talking like he’s not serious. But I think part of the plan is to lull people into a false sense of security. I don’t think you’ll be laughing so hard when the cops take those poor monkeys to jail.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:22 PM on November 20, 2008 [7 favorites]


Who is he?
In a perfect world, he's the White House Press Secretary.
posted by lekvar at 5:29 PM on November 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


Wow. I laughed my ass off, but the thought never crossed my mind that it might be an allegory for the bailout.

But looking at it that way, damn. It's just...

It's not funny at all that way. What is wrong with you all?
posted by Navelgazer at 5:39 PM on November 20, 2008


I'm almost ashamed to admit but I'm with navelgazer; it's deeply funny without, you know, thinking.
posted by oxford blue at 5:41 PM on November 20, 2008


Didn't this actually happen in a Donald Westlake novel?
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 5:45 PM on November 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


"I want to train a band of monkeys in the art of robbery, and I think Jack may just be the man to help me."

I think you'll find Doberman Pinschers more suited to the task...
posted by Naberius at 5:46 PM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


To put it another way - satire about the bailout could be funny, no doubt, but Handey's comic voice is one of carefully-crafted blissful ignorance. If you superimpose knowing satire on top of that, the bubble is burst.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:46 PM on November 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think most of it read like any given episode of Adam West Batman.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:48 PM on November 20, 2008


IT sounds like he's really thought it through!
posted by SteelyDuran at 5:51 PM on November 20, 2008


I really hope that Jack Handey is very rich. If not, I'll send him money.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:59 PM on November 20, 2008


To put it another way - satire about the bailout could be funny, no doubt, but Handey's comic voice is one of carefully-crafted blissful ignorance. If you superimpose knowing satire on top of that, the bubble is burst.

So he's a literal vikingbank robber?
posted by fleetmouse at 6:22 PM on November 20, 2008


Handey also regularly updates (I think; it's hard to tell from that archives page.) his Deep Thoughts website.
posted by shadytrees at 6:27 PM on November 20, 2008


He forgot cats jumping onto all the keyboards at the FBI.
posted by longsleeves at 7:26 PM on November 20, 2008


A really interesting Sound of Young America interview with Jack Handey a while back, from MetaFilter's Own YoungAmerican. Turns out Jack Handey lived next to Steve Martin in Santa Fe, just as Steve Martin's career started to take off. I guess Steve would come over and play the banjo -- awesome!
posted by sararah at 7:53 PM on November 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


So he's a literal vikingbank robber?

I use "viking" to mean "high achiever" as often as practical. I like to think I'm making a difference.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 7:56 PM on November 20, 2008


I have a question. A few weeks ago, I made my very first post, which was a timely link to the news that Sen. Smith (R-OR) had conceded his race, making the Dem total 57 in the Senate. That was promptly deleted by cortex for being too thin. But, uh, single link posts to New Yorker articles are substantial enough? There's a bunch of these every week. Can someone please explain?
posted by oneironaut at 8:00 PM on November 20, 2008


Really funny haha.
Thanks.

Nice tag, too.
posted by bru at 8:04 PM on November 20, 2008


oneironaut, that is a question better suited for MetaTalk.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:34 PM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ooookay. Man, this place has a lot of rules.
posted by oneironaut at 8:49 PM on November 20, 2008 [7 favorites]


Didn't this actually happen in a Donald Westlake novel?

Reminded me a lot of Quick Change.
posted by dhartung at 9:00 PM on November 20, 2008


oneironaut: I feel ya, for real (seriously, you should lock your windows at night.)

But my best guess is that this was really funny, and anything funny tends to get a bit more leeway than anything newsfiltery. As everyone is a little worn out by a full eighteen months of election-related news by now, another newsfilter-post was likely to get harsher judgment, no matter how worthy, especially if it was single link.

Please stick around and try again. Everybody has a little trouble getting the culture at first. Good to have you around.

(And yeah, questions like that work better on MeTa.)
posted by Navelgazer at 9:04 PM on November 20, 2008


Cheers, Navelgazer. Although, I have to say, this is one of the strangest parties I have ever paid a cover charge to get into.
posted by oneironaut at 9:08 PM on November 20, 2008


the plan bailout

You know, I read that whole article waiting for the bailout analogy to start.

(and oneironaut, we were all sick to fucking death of electionfilter. I still am... they promised it'd stop after the concession, but it just seems to keep on going)
posted by pompomtom at 9:13 PM on November 20, 2008


That was funny. (But I fail to see how it can be read as an allegory on the bailout.)
posted by jack_mo at 10:16 PM on November 20, 2008


But I fail to see how it can be read as an allegory on the bailout.

Monkeys. Shrieking. Hello?
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 11:04 PM on November 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


But I fail to see...

It's Raining Florence Henderson was joking and other people took it as gospel. Just as the Gospel was allegory taken as gospel. Or something like that.

No, what I mean to say is that will be read that way if that's the only thing on your mind. To a man with a hammer, everything's a nail. To a population with a collapsing economy, everything's a government financial aid plan. Or an allegory about one.
posted by pracowity at 11:06 PM on November 20, 2008


Eeek, sorry oneironaut. :( If it makes you feel better people laughed *at* my first post, not with it! I'd like to say it gets easier, but I'm still surprised whenever someone finds some enjoyment out of any of my posts.

While there are many exceptions, I think there is nothing intrinsically superior about a multilink post; it seems that often there is one good link, and the rest are just padding for that one good link. The variety of links:posts is what makes metafilter so great; there are posts for when you have a whole afternoon to dig into something, but then there are posts, like hopefully this, that you can read while making your afternoon tea.

Please don't be discouraged; I do hope you try again!

posted by oxford blue at 11:36 PM on November 20, 2008


I love Jack Handey - hes brilliance shamefully makes me want to quote Tina turner - 'Simply the Best'.
posted by therubettes at 1:40 AM on November 21, 2008


Handy's eulogy How I'd Like to Be Remembered is pretty funny as well.
He was fabulously wealthy, but he would pretend to be broke, and often tried to borrow cigarettes and money from people. Little did they know that those who gave him stuff would later be rewarded in his will, with jewels and antigravity helmets. Women who refused to have sex with him are probably wishing that they could turn back the clock and say yes.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:09 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Borked link.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:09 AM on November 21, 2008


Or, God, his Ideas for Painting
Stampede of Nudes
The trouble with most paintings of nudes is that there isn’t enough nudity. It’s usually just one woman lying there, and you’re looking around going, “Aren’t there any more nudes?” This idea solves that. What has frightened these nudes? Is it the lightning in the background? Or did one of the nudes just spook? You don’t know, and this creates tension.

Abstract White No. 1
This is a solid-white painting. You might be asking, “Is it O.K. to put in a fleck of color here and there?” I give up. Do whatever you want.

The Boxers
Two boxers are whaling away at each other in a boxing ring. But then you notice that the people in the audience are also fighting one another. And it makes you ask: Who are the truly barbaric ones here, the boxers or the spectators? Then you can turn the painting over and read the answer: “the boxers.”
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:15 AM on November 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


Abstract White No. 1

They also come in black
posted by ghost of a past number at 4:22 AM on November 21, 2008


All art should "challenge the limits of visibility".
posted by cillit bang at 4:32 AM on November 21, 2008


Not to sound crazy (here comes the crazy part), but carrying out a heist with some monkeys seems like a genius idea. Even if they don't carry the gold for you, monkeys must be extremely distracting to the bystanders and police. I think you'd buy yourself 10 minutes while people try to get their heads around what's happening and if it's for real or not. Does anyone on the blue have 5 or 6 monkeys I can borrow for the weekend?
posted by ShadowCrash at 5:38 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Love me some Jack Handey. Thanks, original poster!
posted by Mister_A at 7:26 AM on November 21, 2008


You know, until now, I thought the Jack Handey of "Deep Thoughts" fame was not a real person. My world has been shaken.

Thanks oxford blue! Great article! Would read again!!!!! A+++++++
posted by schleppo at 9:39 AM on November 21, 2008


Not as funny as this New Yorker humor piece, by a longshot.
posted by aliceinreality at 10:14 AM on November 21, 2008


Bank robberies in chicago on pace to surpass last years numbers, but not the record setting numbers of 2006. No monkeys mentioned however.
posted by garlic at 10:22 AM on November 21, 2008


Not as funny as this New Yorker humor piece, by a longshot.

Humor is subjective. I didn't find that one funny at all. It struck me as the kind of thing you can find in any college newspaper's humor section.

The Jack Handey piece, on the other hand, is a perfect little gem of professional comedy writing.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:37 AM on November 21, 2008


The website was linked above, but not The Deep Thought of the Day.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:49 AM on November 21, 2008


This one is good too: My Nature Documentary
posted by 912 Greens at 11:22 AM on November 21, 2008


How Things Even Out: "Eventually, I believe, everything evens out. Long ago, an asteroid hit our planet and killed our dinosaurs. But, in the future, maybe we’ll go to another planet and kill their dinosaurs.
"Still don’t believe that things even out? Try this simple test: flip a coin, over and over again, calling out “Heads!” or “Tails!” after each flip. Half the time people will ask you to please stop."

Their archive of his articles is a treasure trove.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:48 PM on November 21, 2008


Love me some Jack Handey. Thanks, original poster!
posted by Mister_A at 12:26 AM on November 22 [+] [!]

Thanks, responder! :)
posted by oxford blue at 3:49 PM on November 21, 2008


It is only now, more than 15 years after I first saw Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts on Saturday Night Live, that I discover that he is an actual person.
posted by grouse at 11:23 PM on November 21, 2008


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