I was just recently reminded of this episode: During Hodgepodge Lodge one year (I think it was the year ACT was around), the theme for the main get-together was labyrinths and maze. So I wrote (with some help from Michele) a lecture for Hodgepodge Lodge on mazes. To set the mood, I started parodying a commercial. I had obtained an ear of corn from a local market, and said, in an imitation of the tone of the woman in the commercial, "This is Maize. My ancestors knew it as... corn." I then looked at my notes, shook my head, tossed the ear of corn over my shoulder, and said, "Sorry, wrong lecture." The laughter was so hard that I looked over my shoulder, quite convinced that I must have hit John Algeo or Joy Mills in the face with the ear.

I still can't quite figure out why the audience found it more than mildly amusing...

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Because we are all disgusted with the maze thing. John gave a talk about mazes and mentioned that the one in Paris had a minotaur in the middle and asked if anyone could guess why that was. I turned to Bob Ellwood who was sitting next to me and whispered, "Because it's a load of b*******."

And watching Bob try not to burst out laughing was more fun than saying it was.
Still, I was later told that Joy Mills almost collapsed with laughter on a throwaway line I used, "Theseus, while working on his doctorate". Mind you, there was plenty of laughter at the REAL jokes, but what surprised me was that the biggest laughs I got were on the smallest jokes. Still, not bad for a piece I knocked away in about an hour (once again, with Michele making some major improvements on a couple of lines. Betty Bland made me throw out a paragraph on the use of labyrinths in public health systems, though; I THINK I may still have my original notes in a file case somewhere.
The best laughs always come from the throwaway lines.


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