Contest Results — Life Lessons

Our Life-Lessons contest received over 250 entries.  Thanks for the excellent writing to everyone who submitted.  Congratulations to all.  Don’t miss the Lessons-Learned section which follows the results.

A panel of five judges (speakers and comedy-improv players) had the difficult task of selecting the top lines.  Here are the winners:


Life has taught me….
No matter how sexy your spouse is, at some point you’re going to have to talk with each other.
Les Harden, Brisbane, Australia

Life has taught me….
When you are in a bad mood, everyone else is a terrible driver.
Sharon Rhoton, Dallas, TX

Life has taught me….
It is difficult to be funny when you have a lack of humor, especially in your audience.
Anish Vyavahare, India, Mumbai

HONORABLE MENTION (in random order)

Life has taught me….

Cactus is a poor choice to cover your couch with.

Don’t get married because you like wedding cake.

Real heroes don’t wear a cape and usually know how to wear their underwear.

My wife watches Fear-Factor for the cooking tips.

To call my wife Honey, Sweetheart and Darling when I forget her real name.

Tupperware keeps things so fresh I want them to make my coffin.

One mistake can be forgiven, two pushes the friendship and three tells me to find a place for another body.

All time is wasted that isn’t spent breathing.

Never wear your bridal dress to someone else’s wedding.

Being poor is ok until you want to buy something.

It’s safer to smoke than participate in any sport involving the word skate in its name.

Never hammer nails into an explosive.

Life has taught me that the greatest virtue is to be fair…hence, I never go out in the sun.
I will love you till the end, especially of this week.
I want you to be the richest, most successful person in the world and then I want you to be my friend.

Computer bugs only occur when the technician is not watching.

A vacuum is a device for evenly distributing dirt throughout your house.

The frequency of furnace filter replacement should exceed that of furnace replacement.

Cats prefer to lie on the clean clothes pile.
Never get a tattoo from a guy named Nervous Eddie.
The only speeches that change your behavior come from doctors.
Women don’t enjoy flirting as much as I do…at least not with me.

Lessons Learned

1.  Quality and quantity.  As is normally the case, the winner was the person who submitted the most lines.  In the comedy writing business, even top professional writers aim for quantity.  The funniest lines seldom spring from the pen or keyboard while writing the first line.  Inspiration comes from deep within the creative process…with the 20th line, the 50th line, the 100th line.  When you go to the gym, your success comes not from the first pushup or curl, but from many repetitions. 

2.  Subjectivity of humor.  As usual, the taste of the judges varied from person to person.  Your favorite line is likely different from the results of the judging ballots.

3.  Life philosophy.  Many lines had an excellent philosophical message with a humorous touch.  Often a great source of humor is the truth.

Life has taught me…
Never write what you really think.
Death is a waste of a good life and justice for a bad one.
First impressions are often judged by the words you should have said.
The more I learn the more I need to learn.
Health problems are the speeding fines for living life in the fast lane.

4.  Target audience.  Sometimes a humorous line was written for a specific target audience.  Someone who lived in Las Vegas would enjoy this line more than someone who lived elsewhere:Life has taught me…
When you live in Vegas, “What happens in Vegas” catches up with you quickly. 
Note:  This is a play on Las Vegas advertising slogan “What Happens In Vegas,  Stays In Vegas.”
And members of Toastmasters would be more likely to appreciate:

Life has taught me…
If at first you don’t succeed; you’ve got the makings of good Toastmaster’s speech.
If the joke is good for Toastmasters, the mates at the pub won‘t understand it.
5.  The Joke Set-Up.  The Set-Up for a joke is as often as important as the punchline.  The Cactus joke was actually submitted as a Set-Up for the punchline (an aside) which followed:

Life has taught me…

That Cactus is a poor choice to cover your couch with.(This is a test of the National Humorous Impact of the “K” Sound Association. This is only a test)
Note:  This was a link of the K-sound article with the contest announcement which were both in the last newsletter.

6.  Implied Set-up.  Sometimes the Set-Up is not directly stated.

Life has taught me…to run like hell when a chicken sneezes.
What is implied is your awareness of the news headlines on the bird flu.  Without that awareness (setup) your likely response to the joke would probably be “Huh?”
Life has taught me…that the battle of the sexes will never be won until women learn they have already lost.
Note:  What is implied is your being aware of the supposed sexist attitude of the imaginary writer.

7.  The twist.  Often, a good humor line has an unexpected twist.

The teachers always hated me, even when I was the principal.
I once tried reading a book upside down, but I had a hard time keeping my legs up in the air.

8.  That’s it for this month’s contest.  Look for our next contest announcement on April 1.  No fooling.