What I'd Say to the Martians
August 6, 2005 9:48 PM   Subscribe

All semantics aside, Martians would rip us a new one.
posted by Balisong at 9:54 PM on August 6, 2005

love this--thanks! (i miss Deep Thoughts--who is he really?)
posted by amberglow at 9:57 PM on August 6, 2005

who is he really?

Jack Handey is a secret identity? I vote for "anyone but Dave Eggers".
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:00 PM on August 6, 2005

That was fucking brilliant.
posted by Asparagirl at 10:17 PM on August 6, 2005

Okay, I get your "brutal nature of humanity" thing, Jack. You pounded it into my head with that jackhammer you got your Martian captors to give you when you claimed you needed it for your solid waste elimination.

Still, this line mde me giggle...
You may kill me, either on purpose or by not making sure that all the surfaces in my cage are safe to lick.
And we all know that the exactly frequency of a MeFi Member giggling makes the Martians' heads explode (Slim Whitman, my ass...)
posted by wendell at 10:29 PM on August 6, 2005

The not-Dave-Eggers skinny on Jack Handey.
posted by stacyhall1 at 10:31 PM on August 6, 2005

thanks stacy--i always thought it was some other person who made up the character.
posted by amberglow at 10:35 PM on August 6, 2005

That was funny... for the first few paragraphs.
posted by muckster at 11:04 PM on August 6, 2005

wow, that was about as subtle as getting hit over the head with a thermal discombobulator. your earthling humor is distinctly inferior.

posted by spiderwire at 11:33 PM on August 6, 2005

Jack is Steve. Who knew?!
posted by wsg at 12:14 AM on August 7, 2005

Well sure, it's not subtly, dry, BBC humor, but it's still funny stuff.
posted by craven_morhead at 1:20 AM on August 7, 2005

kind of a one note johnny there ...
posted by pyramid termite at 6:07 AM on August 7, 2005

I read all the way to the end of that for some reason. How did that get into the New Yorker, or any publication, for that matter?
posted by es_de_bah at 7:04 AM on August 7, 2005

Shouts and Murmurs never fails to deliver up duds. I've never understood why a magazine known for its dry wit always reserves this space for such dorky humor.
posted by Hobbacocka at 7:25 AM on August 7, 2005

I thought all humanity already agreed to say "How do you do. Welcome to the human race, you’re a mess"?
posted by parallax7d at 7:33 AM on August 7, 2005

Dang, I thought it was going to be a communal site where everyone could post what they'd say to the Martians.
posted by mediareport at 8:13 AM on August 7, 2005

Just like Saturday Night Live. Take something that's funny for a minute and beat it into the ground.
posted by Bort at 9:01 AM on August 7, 2005

Maybe there's some sort of minimum word count requirement for Shouts & Murmurs. I laughed out loud up at the top of the page, and was annoyed by the tedium about halfway through.
posted by jonson at 9:07 AM on August 7, 2005

mediareport, marster.com seems to be free and for sale.

Your chance? Maybe?
posted by Laotic at 9:53 AM on August 7, 2005

Maybe there's some sort of minimum word count requirement for Shouts & Murmurs. Johnson, I've often thought the same thing. They just can't seem to fill an entire page with teh funny.
posted by Outlawyr at 5:06 PM on August 7, 2005

Jack Handey is a comic god.

This is not one of his all-time best, granted, but if you're able to get into it from the right angle, it works perfectly. And it's a helluva lot funnier than most Shouts & Murmurses.

The initial gag, see, is that he says he's able to act civilized, but then in the very next phrase reverses that into a threat. So the logical comic sequence, after repeating that several times, would be to reverse it somehow, to show some development or new understanding, something that allows him to break out of the metaphoric cage of the established structure. But he never does - the setups just get more ridiculous and still collapse into the same threat of violence. He's still locked in the cage, and so are we with him.

I know some of you will say I'm over-analyzing this, that such an interpretation doesn't address the basic gut-level funny- or un-funny-ness of the piece, but I don't think you'll be saying that anymore after I've snuck up behind you with a shovel, now will you?
posted by soyjoy at 8:18 AM on August 8, 2005 [1 favorite]

The only logical thing to do on first contact is to hit the Martian in the face with a pie. This way, if they invade you, you can taunt them for having such a poor sense of humor:
"This is all just because we hit you in the face with a pie, isn't it?"
posted by Smedleyman at 8:40 AM on August 8, 2005

We'd make great pets.
posted by surplus at 1:02 PM on August 8, 2005

Ask my wife to please send me a bazooka, which is a flower we have on Earth. :)
posted by Debaser626 at 2:05 PM on August 8, 2005

And the first thing I'd do is show those martians a symbol of Rah... if they hit the dirt and grovel, I know to stay away from the big staffs they're carrying.
posted by Debaser626 at 2:06 PM on August 8, 2005

I love Jack Handey, and I thought the New Yorker piece was funny.

Contrary to what most people say, the most dangerous animal in the world is not the lion or the tiger or even the elephant. It's a shark riding on an elephant's back, just trampling and eating everything they see.
posted by jcruelty at 4:45 PM on August 8, 2005

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