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Pay-per-laugh comedy clubs will have spread around the world by 2016

Pay Per Laugh Graphic

See? It’s a real thing. It really is a real thing. Eek.

Spain’s comedy clubs are in such dire straits that they’re now charging patrons per laugh…

Dating websites charge you for each match, online advertisers pay-per-click, and we pay-per-drop for petrol…and LSD.

Very soon, I imagine, we’ll be paying-per-view for YouTube cat videos, per-perve for porn and every time we want to get our own money out of our very own bank accounts, we’ll be paying for that too.

What an outrage!

It’d be far easier if we went back to paying for everything in liquor, which was the first official currency of Australia. Until we drank it all.

We’re turning into a user-pays society…so why not have a comedy club where you pay-per-laugh?

That’s exactly what’s happened at the Teatreneu Club in Barcelona, Spain.

(As opposed to Barcelona, Venezuela, or Barcelona Way on the Gold Coast, Queensland.)

Anyway, facial recognition software has been built into tablet computers attached to the back of each chair and it notes each time a person laughs during a show.

There’s no mention, unfortunately, of how a person is charged if they’ve already got a funny looking face.

Apparently, each laugh costs you around 40 cents and patrons can only be billed a maximum of $30 for the evening.

This is all the Spanish government’s fault. They increased the taxes on theatrical shows from 8 to 21 percent back in 2012, so the clubs had to do something.

Now, I often don’t make predictions in these articles, but watch this:

“Pay-per-laugh comedy clubs will have spread around the world by 2016.”

I put it in quote marks, because you can quote me on that.

Comedy clubs around the world are struggling big time.

Thanks to YouTube, television comedy specials and even comedy festivals, fewer and fewer people are actually going to comedy clubs.

People also used to think “comedy” meant “funny”.

However, thanks to shows like The Big Bang Theory, Two and Half Men and any Adam Sandler movie made after the year 2000, many people now think “comedy” means “extremely unfunny”.

So I work as a comedian and I can tell you that many comedy clubs in Australia, the UK and USA fill their rooms by charging nearly nothing, or nothing at all.

People just aren’t as willing to pay to go to comedy clubs anymore.

This concept has shown that they are willing to pay, however, if they laugh.

Here’s the big problem with this concept.

Ask anyone why they go to a comedy show. It’s not for the overpriced drinks or the ease of parking. It’s to laugh.

This concept encourages people to not do the thing that they’ve gone to that specific place to specifically do.

That’s like a bar that doesn’t want you to drink, a racetrack that won’t take your bets, or a reality TV star that won’t do absolutely everything they’re told in front of the camera.

Or a peep show that’s run out of tissues.

If I was performing at a pay-per-laugh club, I’d never want to go on first. Put me on after most in the audience have reached their maximum laugh quota, so they aren’t holding back.

Actually, if I was being paid to perform, I’d go on wherever I was told to. It’s a paying gig, and I’m not an idiot.

The number one rule in comedy is not to make people think, entertain them, or have them question their political leanings. If you can do those things, as a comedian, that’s fantastic.

However, before you do anything else, you need to make them laugh.

A comedy club that encourages people NOT to do that is just really dumb.

There’s also the problem of comedians forgoing any of the aforementioned lofty goals, because they’re forced to wring out as many laughs as possible.

Thus reducing any possibility that comedy ever had of becoming an artform to zero…and making it entertainment solely for the lowest common denominator.

But whatevs.

Apparently laughter is contagious and cliches are never wrong, so maybe it will work.

Also, it’ll mean all the seats at this comedy thingy will have iPads in them.

People love iPads.

This article first appeared on The Big Smoke:

http://thebigsmoke.com.au/2014/10/21/pay-per-laugh-comedy-club-youre-joking/

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian

Follow me on Twitter: @xaviertoby

Like me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/xaviertoby

Buy my first book (read a bit for free):

http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/mining-my-own-business

For speaking engagements, comedy performances, writing assignments and all other enquires: me@xaviertoby.com

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Having a tongue for detail

eye-licker

Apparently at the moment, this is what’s big in Japan. Yep, eyeball licking.

Out of Bosnia comes the story of a tongue with a twist.

A grandmother, Hava Cebic, is claiming that she can cure people by licking their eyeballs. The story appeared in the Daily Mail.

Of course.

She can’t, but she says she can, and plenty of people believe her.

So how did she discover that she had this talent? How many things did she lick before she found it that it was specifically only eyeballs she could cure? And how much damage did she cause along the way?

“Alright kids, we’re going to Grandma’s!” says Mum.
“Come on kids, get in the car,” says Dad.
The parents look around the house. The kids are gone.
“They’ve run away again,” says Mum.
“I don’t blame them,” says Dad. “Tell me again why we just can’t get her a cat to lick?”
“We tried that. She licked the poor thing to death.”

Apparently Hava Cebic discovered she had this talent as a little girl when she pinned down her brother and licked his eyeball after he complained of dry eyes. Lucky the kid didn’t complain of a sore bum.

Mrs Cebic can supposedly help with dry eyes, allergies, conjunctivitis and high eye pressure. Which is just like high blood pressure, except it’s not real.

People come from Sarajevo, Zenica, Tuzla, Kaknja, and Croatia to “lap up” the benefits of Hava Cebic’s magic tongue and she seems to have a real taste for this work as well, recording all the names of the people she’s helped over the years on her “lick-list”.
She also hopes her tongue will be cut off when she dies so it can continue licking disease and causing a (taste) sensation long after she’s gone.

So, this story made the news so we can all read about her and laugh. However, hoax cures have been around as long as disease.
Mrs Cebic provides the same service as any tarot card reader, astrologist, miracle diet pill, Reiki session, hypnotherapist, or any other garbage that science has proved doesn’t work. She provides hope and an easy answer.

Laugh at her if you like, but plenty of people in first world countries spend billions on this crap.  We’re surrounded by them. You might know them. You might even be one of them.

Is this story even newsworthy?

Probably not, but it’s what the news has become.

Sure this sort of thing has always been part of the news, the odd spot is as old as the front page, but the freak show has become the lead story.

News used to entertain, and provide a portrait of problems and issues from around the world.

Now it’s pure entertainment aimed at the lowest common denominator.

This article also mentions “oculolinctus” – eyeball licking as an expression of affection, which is a craze currently sliding, slipping and salivating its way through Japan.

At least Hava Cebic washes her tongue first using alcohol, but don’t worry, she seldom swallows.

The Japanese haven’t been washing and have been spreading disease. Yuck.

Really, they need to either start putting their tongues in condoms, or wear glasses.

This article first appeared on The Big Smoke:

http://thebigsmoke.com.au/2014/10/16/hava-cebic-cures-slip-tongue/

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian

Follow me on Twitter: @xaviertoby

Like me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/xaviertoby

Buy my first book (read a bit for free):

http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/mining-my-own-business

For speaking engagements, comedy performances, writing assignments and all other enquires: me@xaviertoby.com

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Luxy: A new app for the #onepercent…of F-wits

Nothing says 'luxury' like spelling mistakes on your marketing materials.

Nothing says ‘luxury’ like spelling mistakes on your marketing materials.

“Luxy” is a new dating app that is calling itself “Tinder, minus the poor people”.

What it should be calling itself is “Tinder for complete fuckwits”.

Or, “Tinder, but even more shallow if you thought that was possible”.

Or, “Tinder, minus the last ounce of humanity”.

Or, “Literally trying to cash in on Tinder.”

Luxy works the same way as Tinder, with that whole swipe right for yes and left for no.

Here’s my top tip of the week – swiping is for flies, not humans.

So, Luxy is this new dating app that’s apparently only for millionaires, super models, celebs, CEOs, and other “one percenters”.

Basically, it’s for rich men to meet shallow girls.

Instead of a dating app, Luxy is more like a high-end brothel. Actually, it is a high-end brothel, while Tinder is just a street corner in a dodgy neighbourhood.

Luxy doesn’t come with any income verification, but does include a filter to weed out low-income prospects by neighbourhood.

So as well as the “one percent”, I imagine it’ll also include anyone who’s worked out how to pretend to be part of that “esteemed crew”. Nerds and losers rejoice, this app screams out for you to trick rich people or gold diggers into bed.

Instead of Snapchatting prospective dates pics of their penises, will guys just be Snapchatting, I don’t know, their penises wrapped in cash with gold chains hanging off the end?

Really, I’ve got no problem with this. Sub-humans that I don’t want anything to do with will use Luxy to meet other sub-humans for meaningless experiences.

Just like Tinder, but with more expensive meals, limos instead of taxis, and ending in similar disappointing sexual experiences on sheets with a slightly higher thread-count.

It’s all another attempt to fill this massive hole (yuk-yuk) called “being human” with immediate but ultimately vacuous noise.

Whatever.

I hate living in a world where there are humans who sit around and waste our oxygen on inventing things like this.

Anyway, I’m too busy for Tinder and all the clones trying to cash in on its success.

I’m just the loser writing about it who prefers to meet prospective partners the old-fashioned way – going to bars and building up the confidence to talk to by imbibing so much alcohol that by the time I’m ready to make an approach, nobody can understand what I’m saying.

This article first appeared on The Big Smoke:

http://thebigsmoke.com.au/2014/10/14/luxy-new-app-onepercent-f-wits/

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian

Follow me on Twitter: @xaviertoby

Like me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/xaviertoby

Buy my first book (read a bit for free):

http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/mining-my-own-business

For speaking engagements, comedy gigs, writing assignments and all other enquires: me@xaviertoby.com

 

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DIY invisibility is now an actual real thing

Wonder Woman's invisible plane. So why can we see it?

If Wonder Woman’s plane is so invisible, why can we see it?

Scientists at the University of Rochester in the USA recently revealed how to make stuff invisible.

Kinda.

Most other articles and even the press release from the University of Rochester itself compared this discovery to Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, and nothing else. Which was a bit dumb for two main reasons.

Firstly, this invention has nothing to do with Harry Potter as one is real, and the other is not.

Also, one works really well because it’s not real, while the other has taken a few good photos but that’s about all.

It’s an optical illusion which disappears immediately once you shift your perspective, similar to holiday snaps of someone holding the Eiffel Tower between their fingers, looking down on the leaning tower of Pisa, or stepping over a seemingly tiny Sydney Harbour Bridge.

holding-eiffel-tower

This picture isn’t clever, it’s annoying. Pretty sky though.

Secondly, the concept of invisibility did not start with Harry Potter, although it’s the only reference ever used. There’s the invisible man, Wonder Woman’s invisible jet, the way I was made to feel invisible at my high school formal, along with countless other previous incarnations.

Invisible Man

The Invisible Man from 1933. Imagine how old he looks now?

Magicians also have a right to feel miffed. They’ve been using mirrors, dodgy jokes and sleight of hand for centuries to make stuff ‘disappear’, and the ‘disappearing act’ is a trick several of my ex-girlfriends seem to have perfected, but still it’s all been about Harry’s cloak.

disappearing-magic

Here’s a picture from right back when magicians could only make stuff disappear in black and white.

According to doctoral student Joseph Choi some possible uses of this invention include, ‘surgery, in the military, interior design, art, and possibly cloaking a trailer on the back of a semi so the driver can see directly behind him.’

More useful might be hiding all you can eat buffets from the overweight, drugs from addicts and rubbish tips from everyone. Which is the problem with invisibility. You’re never making anything actually disappear, you’re just hiding it.

The addict hasn’t learnt to deal with their addiction, and although you can’t see it, they’ll still be the same environmental ramifications for the rubbish dump.

It’s an old conversation starter, ‘What would you choose? Invisibility or the ability to fly?’

bed-fly

I’d take the ability to fly and sleep. Like this winner.

If you choose invisibility, it’s always with nefarious objectives. Stealing, eavesdropping, secretly seeing people naked. Surely that’s what the inventors were really thinking?

So are there any significant, world-changing applications for invisibility? I can’t think of one. If you can, be a champion and leave a comment? Cheers.

Really, these scientists should be focussing on something far more meaningful, and that’s working out how we can all fly. It’d seriously cut down your commute to work, eliminate cars and airport security checkpoints, and it’d be fun.

This invisibility experiment can apparently be repeated with minimal cost or know-how. 

I’m not going to bother, I severely struggle with a set of instructions and an allen key, but if you want to have a crack, here’s how:

http://www.rochester.edu/newscenter/watch-rochester-cloak-uses-ordinary-lenses-to-hide-objects-across-continuous-range-of-angles-70592/

This article first appeared (ha!) in the Brisbane Courier Mail:

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-cloaking-is-the-real-art-of-disappearing/story-fnihsr9v-1227090460462

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian

Follow me on Twitter: @xaviertoby

Like me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/xaviertoby

Buy my first book (read a bit for free):

http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/mining-my-own-business

For speaking engagements, comedy gigs, writing assignments and all other enquires: me@xaviertoby.com

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Hey Apple, where’s my Fairtrade iPhone?

iphone 6 - meme 1Were you so excited about the new iPhone 6 that you lined up for it? You shouldn’t have.

I’ll tell you what’s worth lining up for – something that’s in short supply.

Not a thing that’s mass produced and widely available. Like an iPhone 6. Spending hours in a queue just so you can have it hours before someone else is not a good enough reason to line up for anything.

Instead of lining up for an iPhone 6, your time would be far better spent buying a mirror, so you can have a good hard look at yourself.

So the new iPhone 6 or ‘iBend’ comes in a few different models. However there are two versions of the iPhone that are way overdue for release.

Number One is the iWaterproof.

Every ithingy ever can be destroyed by something so abundant that it falls from the sky, and we’ve got it on tap.

That’s like having a flying car that melts when it rains. Or a stripper with an amazing body, but is covered in hair. Or living in a country full of natural resources, and letting only the richest people sell them and then keep all the cash for themselves.

Number Two is the iFairtrade.

A couple of years ago, Apple was accused of mistreating its third world workforce. This is a touch complicated, as it doesn’t directly employ the majority of these people – they work for sub-contractors.

It seems that if any of these employees were being treated poorly they aren’t anymore, according to the standards in the country where they’re employed.

So a lot of these workers still put in ridiculous hours and get paid only a few Australian dollars a day, but apparently that’s a respectable third world wage.

Now at last count, Apple has around $160 billion in cash. That’s not savings, or what the company is worth, that’s ready cash.iphone 6 - meme 3 iphone 6 - meme 2

It’d probably fill all the piggy banks in the world, as well as the actual pigs.

Imagine then how much it’d be in mixed lollies? Enough lolly snakes to end world hunger, but create world diabetes.

And how many $2 peeps would it buy? At least a Brazillion.

$160 billion cash is also over three times as much as the US Government has on hand, which is about $49 billion. You know, just in case they need more weapons for white police working in racially sensitive areas.

$160 billion is also way more than you, or me or Australia has got, so Apple can clearly afford to pay it’s workers a little more.

Failing that, it has the cash to at least look into making a completely guilt-free iPhone.

Every hipster, hippie and hip-anything is as hooked on their Apple products as they are on extremely questionable fashions, facial hair and kale, which is just lettuce pretending to be hip, but don’t tell anyone.

iPhone-6-Memes-29I call them the ‘ya ya’ crowd.

When they’re over at my (share) house they’re all like,

“None for me. Not unless it’s organic fairtrade GMO free. Ya ya.”

“And your toilet paper? Is it fairtrade? No. Lucky I brought my own. Ya ya.”

“Oh and I brought my own almond milk. Squeezed from non-GMO, organic almonds that weren’t removed from almond trees, but fell to the ground. Naturally. Ya ya. It’s $73 a litre, but totally worth it. Try a bit. You can really taste the lack of persecution. Ya ya.’

As well as the ‘ya ya’ crowd and other iAddicts, many of us are prepared to pay a little more for an iAnything. Then even more for slightly better iVersions, and iAccessories galore.

So why not an iFairtrade?

Let’s not just stop with looking after the workers either. I want an iPhone that’s completely sustainable.

There’s demand for guilt-free fruit, vegetables, meat, tea, coffee, and sometimes clothing if you don’t ask many questions. So why not?

A sales assistant might say, ’Here it is, the world’s first completely guilt free iPhone.iphone 6 - meme 3iphone 6 - meme 3

iphone 6 - meme 3It’s made completely of hemp, cow dung and positive vibes by Chinese workers, who each work on their own private yachts, and are paid the equivalent of $6 an hour, which is a fortune to them. So I’m told.’

‘How much does it go for?’ asks the ya ya.

‘Only $3000, and comes in brown, tan, or earth.’

‘That sounds amazing. What sort of battery life does it get?’ says the ya ya.

‘Seven seconds.’

‘So it’s just like a regular iPhone. No thanks. I’ve already got nine of those.’

‘Uh, okay. Well how about the guilt-free iPad? Uses absolutely no power. 100% recyclable,’ says the sales assistant.

‘Buddy, that’s just an etch-e-sketch.’

‘No it’s an iPad. Look it’s got a column for your appointments, and your contacts. And a separate column for drawings of a dog, house with chimney, and a smiling sun.’

‘Seriously, I’m not pay $5000 for an etch-e-sketch,’ says the ya ya.

‘It’s a fairtrade, guilt-free, completely sustainable etch-e-sketch, and you’ll be the first person in this shopping centre to have one,’ the sales assistant replies.

‘I’ll take four.’

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian

Follow me on Twitter: @xaviertoby

Like me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/xaviertoby

Buy my first book (read a bit for free):

http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/mining-my-own-business

For speaking engagements, comedy gigs, writing assignments and all other enquires: me@xaviertoby.com

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