November 1998
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The Art of Conversation

(this is how the staff here really talks)

or "Who's On First" versus Jack Handy

by Jason Morrison

Many times I'm asked: "Jason, just how do you come up with this stuff?" The truth is humor is hard work, and the Shrub Staff trains constantly by refusing to talk to each other in a sensical manner. Here are a few real life samples of how we talk to each other.

Note: All dialouge reprinted as-is, mistakes intentional.


Part I: A typical Jessica/Jason chat over Instant Messenger:

Two other people were in the room chatting to Jessica on two other computers the same time as this was going on. Sadly, those other two conversations have been lost.

Jason: hello.

Jessica: hi.

Jessica: wait a moment i am stuck.

Jason: Stuck you!

Jessica: i was stuck in a strange Howard Stern game..

Jessica: okay

Jason: Cool.

Jason: There's lots of people here.

Jason: We're like a computer lab.

Jessica: yes and i am talking to 2 of yous

Jason: You're not talking to Martin.

Jessica: i know

Jessica: but isn't patrick in the room?

Jason: This is maddening!

Jason: Yes.

Jessica: plus i am talking to Alden, from Florida, and Emily from Hudson, and trying to read my mail :)

Jason: I didn't send you any mail, so it's not important.

Jessica: you're right!

Jessica: so i sent interview requests to Al Roker, Conan, and the Sifl and Olly guys :)

Jason: If we can interview Sifl and Ollie, I'll go nuts!

Jessica: well the guys are from Chagrin Falls

Jason: Wow, really!?!

Jessica: yeah. then they moved to Tennessee i think. but they were created here.

Jason: That's cool. We should get them to do a column :)

Jessica: lol i bet they're busy!

Jessica: have you been to their site?

Jessica: www.sigl-n-olly.com

Jessica: that's sifl, not sigl

Jason: Nope. I'm at college I have more studious things to do.

Jason: Todd says hi.

Jason: (But he's not here. I'm in the computer lab and todd's with me.)

Jason: I'm Jason and I'm in a nother room with Tod and Patrick's not here now.

Jessica: i am going nuts.

Jessica: what does "histronic" mean?

Jason: I'm not here.

Jason: "Oh my God! I forgot what histronic means," said Todd.

Jessica: mhmm

Jessica: i am ignoring your friends now.

Jason: Todd says it means he's not here.

Jason: Ann says hi.

Jason: hi

Jason: ...Ann

Jason: Todd says Ann says hello.

Jason: (Love, Todd.)

Jason: Sncerely.

Jason: My name is Dan, I'm Jason's roommate.

Jason: I;m in the bathroom.

Jason: I'm sorry. Todd made me do all this crap.

Jason: Please forgive me, he's bigger than me.

Jason: Todd says that's a lie.

Jessica: am i on tv?

Jason: Yes. No. Ann says hi.


Part II: A typical Ben Pagano/Jason conversation:

Jason: Did you know that pop tarts are like rocket fuel? Guess where I found that out?

Ben: [pause] The Internet?

Jason: You know it. These guys did an experiment where they put cherry pop tarts in a toaster and jammed the handle down. Flames shot up like six feet high!

Ben: Really?

Jason: Yep. They had pictures. And that was with just two Pop Tarts. Imagine if they loaded the space shuttle with them. They could go to Mars in seconds!

Ben: You'd think NASA would have already tried everything else before they settled on rocket fuel. That's pretty powerful...

Jason: What you don't understand is that NASA is a bloated bureaucracy... the only reason they use rocket fuel is because that's what it's for, it's rocket fuel.

Ben: When they first started out they kept trying to use car fuel (gasoline). They would take off, fly a few feet off the ground, and crash.

Jason: Exactly, because that's car fuel, not rocket fuel.

Ben: Do you remember when they launched that car into space with car fuel?

Jason: Yeah, that was a horrible tragedy.

Ben: yeah, the heat from the friction really did a number on the family inside the car.

Jason: It wasn't the heat so much as the vacuum of space. They forgot that it's like a law that on long trips, dads have to stick their elbows out of the car window.

Ben: It melted his arm right off.

Jason: ...and let the vacuum in. That was terrible, how it crashed on that town in Iowa.

Ben: Did you know that I was there when it happened?

Jason: I did not know that.

Ben: It was horrible

Jason: You know what I bet the worst thing about it was? The smell.

Ben: It certainly didn't smell like baking cookies.

Jason: But you would think cooking human meat would smell good, like cooking cow meat...

Ben: But it doesn't.

Jason: And burning hair too. That smells even worse. And it leveled the whole town.

Ben: I went there as part of a relief effort, actually.

Jason: Yeah, I was going to go, but I sent CARE packages instead. I put sand bags, and toothpaste, and chewing gum and comic books for the little kids inside.

Ben: The only thing left standing was that one church.

Jason: I remember.

Ben: ...I burned that church down.

Jason: Ben, I told you not to light that pew on fire. But you said, "c'mon, it's only one pew..."


Part III: A typical Larry deep thought:

Sometimes at work, people stare at me while the credit is going through. Then I look behind me to check if they are looking at someting else. Then I saw. It's a nice day outside isn't it. Because the window is right there.

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