Tag Archive: Jack Handey


[Continued from part i]

as i said before, one thing i take really seriously in life, is humour:

‘To me, clowns aren’t funny. In fact, they’re kind of scary. I’ve wondered where this started and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus, and a clown killed my dad.’

[Jack Handey] 

‘I imagine a horse drawn carriage would be a really ugly thing. For starters, it must be almost impossible to grip a pencil with hooves. Plus there is all that fine detail around the edges to consider.’

[Brett Andy]

[one of my funniest guys followed by one of my attempts at making humour like on of my funniest guys, which you can find more of here]

so i didn’t actually plan to write the previous blog post – it just kinda was there and i started on it and suddenly it became this thing needing to be ended off before it became a book and since i hadn’t finished going where i was wanting to go when i started it, i figured i should carry on. it was one of the most personal blogs i have written and contained some stories and revelations that i have never really shared with anyone, especially the bullying stuff. i guess because my self-identity was pretty strong from quite a young age, due to my faith in God, that that stuff never really got to me so much, or at least not in a way that led to any destructive behaviour or anything.

one of the main points of it was that i really hoped to be quite funny in life and in certain contexts and with particular people i have been – and maybe that is enough, or should be – but i guess i always secretly harboured the hope that on stage or in a book or online or something i would be ‘discovered’ and a whole lot more people would find me funny. and also wanting to write a funnier blog [not always but sometimes, something that would really make people happy] and realising that for me that is a really difficult thing to do – i really seem to struggle to write funny [more than i struggle to be funny] and i’m not sure why that is, but stop it.

someone who i think achieves that writing-wise is a woman named Jamie Wright who calls herself The Very Worst Missionary and her blog makes me smile and laugh on quite regular occasions, but she also totally knows how to drive an uber serious point home and nail it between your eyes. [a classic of hers would be how she manages to capture so brilliantly awkwardly her mistrust and lack of skill at ‘The Hug’ – take a look at this one!]

when it comes to stand-up, which i’ve always wanted [but been too scared] to try, i have a strong feeling that once i got going i would be great because one of my skills is working a crowd – i have just never been able to come up with the starting material to lay a good foundation to be able to work a crowd from. and so i never have. and perhaps i never will. [although in my mind i still like to at least think i will and maybe the material that is naturally rushing towards me in the Americans and African Geography theme might be enough for a set one day altho i will need to disclaim that this is a true story… no, South Africa itself is a country. please stop asking me what country i am from. still South Africa. yes.]

THE FRIEND WHO DID LIGHTS AND AN IMPROV LIFELINE

i guess one of the things i am most grateful to my ex-girlfriend Kirsty for, is having a friend called Karen.

Karen used to do the lights for an improv comedy show in Cape Town called TheatreSports [altho these days they are now called Improguise and they do TheatreSports]and because we were friends with her we ended up going to see quite a lot of their shows. and because we went to see quite a lot of their shows i feel like we eventually got to see them for free or something.

but i sat there for a year and i watched these masters of comedy and improvisation and i thought to myself repeatedly, ‘i can do that’ although in my head i imagine the word ‘better’ probably ended off that particular sentence.

and so, somehow i ended up doing the TheatreSports course with one of the scariest women [when she is mad] who was [and always has been in my experience] the most gentlest person when leading people through a very scary-by-nature class where it is all about making things up on the spot [and perhaps trying to have those things make people laugh!] and who led [and leads] and incredible class and i really, honestly believe that everyone in the world should do the Introduction to TheatreSports course once in their life as it is so helpful for learning to think creatively, for helping break your inhibitions and for teaching you how to be generous in helping other people look good.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

# let me give a bit of a sidebar here, because i believe this is of the utmost importance in terms of my journey – the way TheatreSports generally works is that you do the course and then there are three options given to you:

1. Thanks for doing the course. I hope you had fun. You will make an excellent librarian.

2. Thanks for doing the course. I hope you had fun. We would love to have you as part of our team. Feel free to join us for class once a week and we would love you to do the front of house and lights for approximately 6 months before you ever have a hope of being on stage. [this is not said to people but is the general understanding – new people from a course do door and lights for about 6 months before any of them are given a shot on stage and some of them might never be]

3. Thanks for doing the course. I hope you had fun. We would like you to play in two week’s time.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

From most of the courses i have been around for, i can’t remember many more than three people [out of a group that might be 15 to 25] be asked to join us for class. i think everyone who has been invited to class has been a number 2 in terms of the descriptions above.

In fact, i have only ever seen one number 3 that i remember [and that could really just be my memory, but this is the one that stands out] and that was me. And i honestly don’t know that i would have managed to stick around for 6 months not playing if i had not been given the chance. Hopefully i would have. But i know for absolute sure, that the fact that i got on to stage to play with them almost immediately was the hugest boost for my confidence and in my opinion, improvisation is 80% confidence and 20% skills and funny or something like that.

Ashley Brownlee and Megan Choritz, now Furniss, are in my opinion the best TheatreSports players i have ever worked with [and there have been a bunch of other hugely talented people as well] and the secret with them was that they could come up with amazing ideas most of the time… but on occasion they could also have a pretty crap idea and deliver it with an amazing character or with such incredible confidence that it would be brilliant and the audience would love them. i have seen many lesser skilled players have amazing ideas and deliver them nervously and they have crashed and burned. so much of it is confidence. and i am so grateful that, for what ever reason [maybe shortage of players when i was around] i was given the chance to get on to the stage quite quickly.

and sometimes i was good. and sometimes i was really really bad.

i remember one excrutiating Rag show we did in the Baxter theatre [an annual show for the local university students where they got stand-up often filthy comedy for an hour and then we brought our family friendly show for an hour] where we were playing a warm-up game called ‘Environment’ which is a guessing game where the audience pick three words while you are out of the room and then you come in and play the scene in the environment they give you and try stumble on to the words.

Ashley Brownlee: best guy i ever played with.

Ashley Brownlee: best guy i ever played with.

 Ours was set in a Spur and i got stuck on stage as the head waiter or chef as teammate after teammate came on and guessed food suggestions for the last word we just couldn’t get and left again. Embarrassing, awkward, awful and i died a little inside. fortunately i also remember one of my highlight moments ever came at the end of that show and i forget the exact scene but we were playing Music Style Replay and Ashley and i managed to get our tongues stuck to a frozen ski lift and were singing a rousing duet that brought the house down.

i played with the TheatreSports crew for just under a year and in the beginning there is very much [even if just in your head] the feeling of you being the newcomer and this subtle gap between you and the regular players – they don’t treat you any differently and it is probably again linked to a confidence thing [as early on, most of the notes sessions we have after a show where we discuss how things went and try to learn from them, seem to be aimed at you because you are messing up the most] but i do remember the moment ‘it happened’ and suddenly i was one of the team – and having played for 11 years with them i got to see that dynamic happen with other people as well where there is this moment of ‘yup, you’re really in’ and i imagine each player probably experiences that differently.

so if my first lifeline was being thrown quickly on to stage, my second lifeline happened a year or two later. as i mentioned i was with TheatreSports for a year and then i went overseas to do the Youth With A Mission course that i did in Holland, heading to the UK and London specifically first so as to make money to pay for it. but before i left i really thought it would be a great idea to proselytise the entire team and in a very messy way that was brought about by circumstances and time constraints and fear i guess, i ended up writing a long letter comparing aspects of TheatreSports and improv games and then giving it to each of them and leaving the country.

it did not go down so well.

SO MUCH GRACE AND LOVE 

and i was away for just over a year and i knew that everyone was really pissed with me. and so i just tried to keep/build relationship by sending postcards and emails and staying in touch and letting them know that i missed them.

time managed to heal a lot of wounds. and my TheatreSports crew were incredibly gracious. i remember literally having one moment back stage with my ‘Stunt Double’ friend Sarah before going on to do a show and then it was left in the past. it was a few months after my return that i felt my moment of transition from ‘new guy’ to ‘one of the team’ and i just soared from there.

so much fun. so much funny. so many great memories and great memories of not-so-great-corporate-show memories and trips to Namibia and Sun City and all around Cape Town for a whole bunch of very different shows. i loved getting to lead TheatreSports courses with Megan and others in the team. fionaquite possibly one of the fun highlight moments of life [and a running gag between me and my teammate] was the time Fiona Du Plooy and i were doing a workshop at a boy’s school in Cape Town and playing a game where you basically set up the next kid in line with an action [with the strong instruction to never make anyone do anything you would not do yourself] and one of the boy’s when asked ‘what are you doing?’ [usually the answer is something like ‘I’m eating an ice-cream’ and then the next kid mimes eating an ice-cream] responded with ‘I’m sucking a ferret’ and despite losing Fiona almost completely to giggles at the suggestion, before we had a chance to interject and re-emphasise the instruction, the next boy in line mimed sucking a ferret as if it were a giant lollipop… needless to say we needed a time-out to get Fiona back and it has been a private joke between us for years…

the key focus of TheatreSports is teamwork and making each other look good and i think i took a little while to learn that one, whereas i was surrounded by generous folks who were always modelling it for me – but i tended to try to get the laugh for myself and often do it at the expense of the scene or the believability of the scene and that was never very cool of me and i often got ‘shouted at’ in notes. i guess it was the struggle between finally having the space and the skills to be funny and having people [a whole audience of them] think i was. but i owe so much to that tireless group of improvisers who showed me grace and forgiveness and patience on so many occasions as i learnt to do improvisation more as a team player.

altho one aspect does stand apart from all of that. my favourite game from the beginning [my watching days] was a game called Sign, where much like the recent Mandela memorial service, someone gets up and makes up a whole lot of sign language. the game is played as an interview where two people are given a topic and the third person recreates the entire interview in a made-up sign language.

in my opinion, Ashley Brownless is the king of that game. is and always will be. i used to love watching him do the sign language and because he was so good, no one else ever wanted to try it. if we played Sign, Ashley was going to do the signing.

signi imagine there must have been times when Ashley wasn’t around during our time at TS together and i probably would have tried doing it. but it was really when Ashley left that i started doing it more and more and then suddenly i became the go-to person for sign and at some point people even started referring to it as my game. that was a big moment for me. i have always said that i am not as good an actor as most of the rest of TheatreSports [who generally had some kind of dramatic training] and so when it comes to creating [and holding] characters and making scenes happen, i was always on the back foot [especially in the early days, hopefully i’ve improved]. so i used to generally excel at games that involved words or quick wit or cleverness [my absolute favourite game being one we invented as a team called Jonathan’s Lisp where we would get two consonants from the audience and if it was a ‘F’ and a ‘P” then ever ‘F’ in the scene that our characters spoke would be replaced with a ‘P’ – it was a lot of silly pun].

so the idea that i was really good at one particular game really was a great ego and confidence boost for me. and i just also loved playing that particular game so much as well.

and so being part of that amazing group of creative and clever and witty and adventurous and generous people is one of the things i really miss a lot from being away from South Africa [for close to three years now – although in Jan this year they let me play a bunch of shows when i was there and that was so much fun!]

MY NON-EXISTENT [SO FAR] INTERNATIONALIMPROV CAREER

and i did audition for two shows while i was over here:

[1] the first was a group called Comedysportz in Philly and they were really great – as with TheatreSports days of old i would sit in the audience and watch their show and think, ‘I am definitely better than at least half of these people’ and so i was super amped to play but in all honesty probably would not have had the time with our Philly work/home schedule – I went to an audition [and i really suck at auditions – my humour, as mentioned, works well playing off an audience] and thought i did decently, but they auditioned about a hundred people in three days in three minute auditions and so i really didn’t have much of a chance and didn’t make it. i was bummed, but playing improv for 11 years with an amazing bunch of people back home and knowing i could do it, meant that it didn’t ding my confidence or identity at all. their loss really. i still enjoyed watching a bunch of their shows and made friends with some of the people who played and they had some really great players as well.

[2] in the first few weeks in Oakland we found a place online and i went and auditioned there and they said they would email us back with the results within 24 hours and i never heard back from them. i auditioned with about 12 other people and easily thought i was in the top 2 so really didn’t think i wouldn’t get in. however, while i was auditioning, my wife Val was outside waiting for me and got to witness their ‘A-Team’ practising and she told me later it was a really horrible experience with people blocking each other and fighting on stage and just doing a bunch of stuff that didn’t make for good improv. so bullet dodged i guess.

but i do miss playing and am looking forward to a guest appearance at a show or two in Jan/Feb when we head home for a visit which is but weeks away. i have been playing around with the idea of perhaps running an improv course here in Oakland and seeing if we can get a little something together. but we will have to see.

so the TheatreSports crew and my years in improv definitely helped play a huge role in terms of me finding my funny and it has been so amazing to perform for and entertain literally thousands of people over the last decade and more. thank you thank you thank you to everyone who played big and small roles in that.

i feel like there is one more part to share [anyone make it down this far?] which will focus on the more recent years, my failed attempts at viral success and my discovery of a really tiny audience who really appreciate my funny way more than they should and have inspired me to keep on trying simply because i love seeing how they interact and looking at attempts at Jack Handeyesque humour, a nutcase called Brad Fish [who at least four schools in South Africa invited into their online classrooms to teach English to], my standup pulpit and the biggest [and sometimes hardest but most fulfilling when it comes] laugh to strive for – that of tbV.

to close off, one of my favourite movie lines which comes from a Bond movie and was perhaps meant in all seriousness, but which i find one of the greatest and funniest lines of all time – picture Sean Connery’s James Bond strapped to a table with a gold laser beam making its way slowly towards his privates as villain Auric Goldfinger looks on:

James Bond: Do you expect me to talk?

Goldfinger: No, Mister Bond, I expect you to die.

[to be continued…]

corpsing megan

I did that. Gold medal right there.

and of course in 11 years of improv’ing where more often than not i have been on the opposing team to Megan, one of my favourite [naughty] things to do is when we do play a game together and i find a way to corpse [make her break character and laugh] her – because she is such a pro that it doesn’t happen often, hence the challenge, and the reward when this results:

[To continue on to part iii which looks largely at my stand-up preaching and the three jokes i invented, click here]

So part IV of the Brett Andy survey garnished the most votes so far and the clear winners were these two:

[6] “THEY SAY YOU SHOULD GRAB LIFE BY THE BALLS, WHICH IS TRUE, BUT ALSO NEVER CONFUSE LIFE WITH ANOTHER MAN.” [Brett Andy]

[4] “WHAT IF LIFE GOES STRAIGHT TO GIVING YOU LEMONADE? I’M NOT SURE WE’VE BEEN SUFFICIENTLY PREPARED FOR THAT POSSIBILITY.” [BRETT ANDY]

which was a little sad for me cos this one was one of my early favourites but didn’t quite grab the crowd support this time round – “I STARTED A BUSINESS DESIGNING AND MANUFACTURING SHOES FOR CIRCUS CLOWNS USING THE LEAD FROM DISCARDED PENCILS. BUT I HAD TO STOP ONCE I WAS MADE AWARE OF THE HUGE CARBON FOOTPRINT I WAS CREATING.” [BRETT ANDY]

which brings us to the last and final round [until such a day as i come up with some new ones] and so please once more indicate by number which your top 1 to 3 selections are from the following list:

[1] ‘As I slowly moved my piece across the board, I quietly but firmly declared, “I think that’s checkmate!” Since then my gran refuses to do jigsaw puzzles with me any more.’ [Brett Andy]

[2] ‘As the noose tightened, it felt like my breath was being forced out of my lungs, and my whole life flashed instantly before me. Wait, not ‘noose’ I mean ‘necktie.” [Brett Andy]

[3] ‘I reckon I can forgive that evil scientist who injected me with that advanced memory serum, but I will never forget.’ [Brett Andy]

[4] ‘Do you know what makes me laugh? A taxidermist filling out tax forms in a taxi. Get yourself an accountant, man.’ [Brett Andy]

[5] ‘I did a search for Spiderman on the web the other day.’ [Brett Andy]

[6] ‘Before you criticise someone, walk a mile in their shoes. Then, walk half a mile in their shirt, followed by another full mile in their pants. Walk two more miles in their underwear and then criticise them all you want. Oh and also, they’re naked.’ [Brett Andy]

[7] ‘”Pay a R10 fine or take a chance,” my girlfriend read aloud off the Monopoly card. “Okay,” I said, “Those jeans make you look fat.”‘ [Brett Andy]

[8] ‘I wish I had the balls to do that, I thought, as I enviously watched the juggler.’ [Brett Andy]

[9] ‘I wondered, ‘Is it white with black stripes, or black with white stripes?’, which was all fairly strange as I was looking at a giraffe at the time.’ [Brett Andy]

So there you have it… final individual round – what are your top three? Will you go for jigsaws, juggling or jeans? Leave your selection in the comments section below. And thankx for taking time to vote…

[If you missed out on previous rounds and want to go and add your votes to the rest, click here]

 

So the results are in for the Brett Any survey round 3 and the winners in no particular order were:

[3] ‘Last night I dreamed I ate a giant marshmallow and when I woke up this morning my pillow was gone. I found it later on the floor next to my bed. It probably got knocked off during the night or something.’ [Brett Andy]

 [5] ‘ “Out, Out damned Spot!” cried lady Macbeth, but still the mutt refused to budge.’ [Brett Andy]

which is a pity cos i feel like [1] and [4] were class, which just goes to show we don’t all find the same things funny and that’s okay…

Moving on to round 4 and once again if you could choose your top 1 to 3 of these and then indicate if there is one or more you would choose to omit from future volumes…

Thank you muchly for your time and remember every vote counts…

[1] “I STARED AT THE MAN EATING TIGER AND BEGAN TO WONDER IF THIS RESTAURANT WAS A TAD TOO EXOTIC FOR MY SIMPLE TASTES.” [Brett Andy]

[2] “SCISSORS ARE CRUSHED. PAPER IS CUT TO SHREDS. ROCK IS LYING THERE GOING, “OH NO, THERE’S A PIECE OF PAPER ON TOP OF ME, WHAT SHALL I DO?’ [BRETT ANDY]

[3] “AS THE BLIND LADY ENTERED THE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT, SHE PONDERED THE IRONY.” [Brett Andy]

[4] “WHAT IF LIFE GOES STRAIGHT TO GIVING YOU LEMONADE? I’M NOT SURE WE’VE BEEN SUFFICIENTLY PREPARED FOR THAT POSSIBILITY.” [BRETT ANDY]

[5] “I STARTED A BUSINESS DESIGNING AND MANUFACTURING SHOES FOR CIRCUS CLOWNS USING THE LEAD FROM DISCARDED PENCILS. BUT I HAD TO STOP ONCE I WAS MADE AWARE OF THE HUGE CARBON FOOTPRINT I WAS CREATING.” [BRETT ANDY]

[6] “THEY SAY YOU SHOULD GRAB LIFE BY THE BALLS, WHICH IS TRUE, BUT ALSO NEVER CONFUSE LIFE WITH ANOTHER MAN.” [Brett Andy]

[7] “THE THING I FIND FASCINATING ABOUT ELEPHANTS IS THEIR ABILITY TO SHOOT OUT A POWERFUL STREAM OF WATER FOR HOURS AT A TIME. WAIT, NOT ELEPHANTS… FIRE HYDRANTS!” [BRETT ANDY]

So what’s it going to be? You gonna vote for clowns, seafood, tigers or balls? Please your vote in the comments section and get your friends to participate as well.

[To continue on to the 5th and final round of this survey, click here]

The clear winners of round II of the Brett Andy survey were:

[4] ‘I realised I’d been making a mountain out of a molehill. The mole family, in particular, was not amused.’ [Brett Andy]jhmankind

and,…

[7] ‘I was walking down a dark alley the other day updating my Twitter account when I noticed that someone had just started following me.’ [Brett Andy]

And so we continue with the search for Jack Handeyesque out there random humourage which works as i invite you to place your bets on the top one to three you like from the following list:

[1] ‘Stop throwing the baby out with the bathwater!’ Hank knew that his wife was right. That was the third baby they’d lost already this week.’ [Brett Andy]

[2] ‘I don’t understand why I have so much bellybutton fluff. I guess I’ve just been incredibly lucky cos I only really started collecting seriously a couple of months ago.’ [Brett Andy]

[3] ‘Last night I dreamed I ate a giant marshmallow and when I woke up this morning my pillow was gone. I found it later on the floor next to my bed. It probably got knocked off during the night or something.’ [Brett Andy]

[4] ‘As I began chopping the onions, my eyes started to water. I was confused. Why was preparing dinner making me so emotional?’ [Brett Andy]

[5] ‘ “Out, Out damned Spot!” cried lady Macbeth, but still the mutt refused to budge.’ [Brett Andy]

[6] As I pitched my tent I thought to myself, ‘This is the weirdest game of baseball I have ever played.’ [Brett Andy]

[7] ‘My waitress asked me for a tip the other day. I told her to avoid Miley Cyrus music videos.’ [Brett Andy]

There you have them. A strong round but which three will come out on top. Please leave your votes in the comments section below.

 [To move on to Round 4 and some more classic Brett Andy one liners and register your vote there, click here]

 

jackThe clear winners of round I were:

[4] ‘I would imagine a horse drawn carriage would be a really ugly thing. For starters, it must be almost impossible to grip a pencil with hooves. Plus there is all that fine detail around the edges to consider.’ [Brett Andy]

[6] “I think the story of Hansel and Gretel teaches us that it’s okay to push old people into ovens. But only if they first tried to eat you.” [Brett Andy]

and

[5] “After watching the cricket for five days, I thought to myself, “I’ve got to get myself a more interesting bug!” [Brett Andy]

Which deep thoughts by Brett Andy will dominate in round II – I am looking for your top one to three and then which one do you think most deserves to be cut from the list? [Votes in the comments section below – thank you for your time]:

[1] ‘She barked twice, following it with a low gutteral growl, “Oh no!” I thought, “Timmy has fallen into the well.”‘ [Brett Andy]

[2] ‘Who would win if a T-Rex got into a fight with a man? Answer: The man. Did I mention it was an intellectual fight? [Brett Andy]

[3] ‘Sure, he had attracted all the rats of the city, but what now? thought the Pied Organist to himself.’ [Brett Andy]

[4] ‘I realised I’d been making a mountain out of a molehill. The mole family, in particular, was not amused.’ [Brett Andy]

[5] ‘If you ever want to show off a new shoelace-tying technique you’ve invented to your long-time girlfriend, I don’t think the best way to introduce it is by saying, “Hey, I’ve got something to show you,” and then going down on one knee.” [Brett Andy]

[6] ‘Pow. The Rice Crispy who left before the group went big.’ [Brett Andy]

[7] ‘I was walking down a dark alley the other day updating my Twitter account when I noticed that someone had just started following me.’ [Brett Andy]

[To continue on to round III and add your votes there, click here]

“Consider the Daffodil. And while you do I’ll be over there looking through your stuff!” [Jack Handey]

jack

I’m no Jack Handey [thought Caw] but i really do enjoy me some good random misdirected word humour as only he can get as right as he often does in such classic Handey Deep Thoughts as:

“Before you criticise a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way you’ll be a mile away and you’ll have his shoes.”

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. ‘Oh no,’ I said, ‘Disneyland burned down.’ “He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. ‘I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”

“To me clowns aren’t funny. In fact, they’re kind of scary. I’ve wondered where this started and I think it goes back to the time I went to a circus and a clown killed my dad.”

“It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.”

“Somebody told me it was frightening how much topsoil we are losing each year, but I told that story around the campfire and nobody got scared.”

“When I was a kid my favorite relative was Uncle Caveman. After school we’d all go play in his cave, and every once in a while he would eat one of us. It wasn’t until later that I found out that Uncle Caveman was a bear.”

and of course: “Maybe in order to understand mankind we have to look at the two words that make it up – “Mank” and “Kind”. What do these words mean? I’ts a mystery and that’s why so is mankind. 

Now I’m no Jack Handey but a few years ago I got into the habit of trying to come up with my own Jack Handeyesque type deep thorts and I naturally called them Deep Thorts by Brett Andy’  so as not to be completely sued… I figured it’s time to revive some of the better ones and to try and get an idea of which you, the general public, feel really work and really don’t…

So, if you have a minute and a half to read the selection below and in the comments section, let me know which are your top one to three and which ones, if any, you would personally choose to strike from the list. If you’re feeling really magnanimous, you could invite a friend to do the same or share this post on your Facebooking wall or stick it in the Tweeterer, or you could be really cool and use your favourite one as a status and see if it gets any response:

[1] “I don’t think there can be anything sadder than watching a mime struggle at Charades. “That was your chance, man!” [Brett Andy]

[2] “I’ll bet Rock-Paper-Scissors was a lot less fun before scissors were invented… and paper.” [Brett Andy]

[3] “People who live in glass houses, shouldn’t!” [Brett Andy]

[4] ‘I would imagine a horse drawn carriage would be a really ugly thing. For starters, it must be almost impossible to grip a pencil with hooves. Plus there is all that fine detail around the edges to consider.’ [Brett Andy]

[5] “After watching the cricket for five days, I thought to myself, “I’ve got to get myself a more interesting bug!” [Brett Andy]

[6] “I think the story of Hansel and Gretel teaches us that it’s okay to push old people into ovens. But only if they first tried to eat you.” [Brett Andy]

[7] ‘Do you think if minutes were edible, they’d taste good enough that we’d want to go back for seconds?’ [Brett Andy]

Best and Worst? And worthy of a share or a copy or a link? Appreciate your time…

love Brett Andy

 [For round 2 and a further invitation to choose your favourites, click here, thought Caw]

BV134WordPress informs me this is my 1000th blog post on Irresistibly Fish. It feels like i should be doing something special.

for anyone who follows this blog, or maybe stumbled upon it today, and who doesn’t understand the title, let me explain…

my nickname is Fish – has been for a very long time – stands for Faithful In Serving Him and i try to see it as something i am aiming towards as opposed to something i feel like i’ve arrived at… there is always room for me to be more faithful. the Bible tells is that even when we are unfaithful God is faithful and so it’s a good example to follow.

and then just taking it a step further, i want to be Irresistibly Fish – i want to be faithful in serving God in a way that is enticing to others – that is really the heartbeat of what i want this blog to be about.

sure, it tends to be a bit of a mixed stew because i am also a great appreciator of humour [yes, Americans, with a U!!!] tending more towards the dry british monty pythonesque and the random misdirection’ness of a good Jack Handey:

‘Before criticizing someone, walk a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away and have their shoes.’ [Jack Handey]

‘Of all my uncles I think I liked Uncle Cave man the best. After school we’d go and play in his cave and every now and then he’d eat one of us. Later we found out he was a bear.’ [Jack Handey]

so how to celebrate a 1000th blog post? i guess by sharing somethings i wish for you to know:

IF YOU ONLY HEAR TWO THINGS

Often when i get a chance to preach, i throw in a kind of bonus pre-preach intro along the lines of ‘If you only walk away with two things today, let it be these two things’ and so this would be a good place to share those as well and they apply to you whoever you are:

[1] GOD LOVES YOU MORE

You might be someone who doesn’t believe in God or is struggling to hold on to a belief in God. You might be someone who has turned away from God or stopped believing in Him. You might be someone who is really angry with God at the moment, or disappointed or confused because of ‘something God did’ or maybe even something God didn’t do [that you really believed or were hoping that he would] – Know this – God loves you more. It doesn’t take your believing it for it to be true.

On the other hand, you might be someone who feels completely loved by God at the moment. You feel completely close to Him. You hear Him speaking to you through scripture and through the promptings of the Holy Spirit. You feel absolutely connected to Him in worship. You and God are pretty tight right now. Well hear this – God loves you more. No matter how big you can grasp His love for you to be right now, it is bigger.

God loves you more. And if you don’t believe it, then take at least a moment to consider ‘What if it is true?’ Ask Him if He does? He’s certainly big enough to confirm it to you.

[2] GOD IS BIGGER 

I’ve been known to make churches or whole camps of people sing this little mantra i came up with years ago. The only problem is that although i have a kindof tune in my head it is really hard to communicate that tune and so the whole singing part for the most part ends up being me singing and everyone staring at me with a kind of WHATTHEFLIPISGOINGONHERE kind of look… it goes like this:

God is bigger than my box…

He’s bigger than my theology…

He’s bigger than my understanding…

He’s bigger than me.

With some kind of weird fast five clap thing after the ‘understanding’ that no one [including me most of the time] ever gets right.

But it’s true. You may not like to think this but you have a box in terms of how big you think God is, what you actually believe He is capable of, where you think He can and will get involved, how He can speak to people, what He looks like, who He speaks to and so on. It might be a really huge box. It might be the tiniest of boxes, or a box that confidently displays ‘There is no God’ which is its own little picture of God. But you have one.

Each of us do – the idea of just how big God is and the limitations that we place on Him. We each have a theology [study of God] and we each have an understanding. And it’s a little bit of tautologous redundancy on the one hand as the three things mean largely the same thing, or connected things. But the point is that in some way each of us reduce God to a smaller thing or being than He actually is.

One verse that helps bring this home to me is Ephesians 3.20 which informs us that God is able to do IMMEASURABLY MORE THAN ALL WE HOPE OR IMAGINE which basically says that however large we are able to hope or imagine, God can do even more, even bigger than that. But it’s these verses that come before that which help back up my statement song as well:

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. [17b-19]

How wide and long and high and deep…

God is bigger than your box, than your theology and your understanding.

Plus the one we forget way too often: He’s bigger than me.

WHAT I WOULD LIKE YOU TO HEAR AND TAKE WITH YOU FROM THIS BLOG

there are so many things i could say and so this list will not be exhaustive by any means, but as i hit this milestone on the blog there are some definite things i want people to take hold of and engage with;

# going back to the above verse, God is able to do immeasurably more than all we hope or imagine – i do say this a lot but i think often our hopings and imagings are so small that we aren’t all that impressed when God does them. i suspect God might be wanting us to HOPE and IMAGINE bigger so that when He does show up and do the things we are hoping and imaging for, we are super impressed and give Him the glory and praise He deserves…

 – i think of the story of Gideon in the Bible facing this huge unbeatable enemy army and how God stripped his army down from thousands to just three hundred and then ‘armed’ them with musical instruments and torches and sent them into battle [so it was obvious that the victory was God’s]

 – i think of the story of Joshua and the whole of Israel marching around the impenetrable city of Jericho for seven days and then on the last day breaking into shouts and musical instrument noise and the city walls collapse and they gain a huge victory [all attributed to God]

 – but i also think of my friend Dale who was praying with a bunch of friends from church before hitting the streets and one person got ‘a ‘download’ from the Holy Spirit that there is an elderly man, who’s name is Henry who used to be a painter, but is now out of work and financially vulnerable and suffering from pain in his knees.’

they went out on to the streets to pray for people and didn’t meet up with Henry the whole day. Until right towards the end, when they came across this old man walking with his four year old grandson:

‘We asked if we could pray for him… he declined and was walking away. I asked him ‘Is your name Henry?’ He turned and said yes. I did a double take. I asked him if he used to be a painter. He said yes, but he was laid-off and is now working odd jobs and money is tight. I asked him if he had pain in his knees. He said the arthritis was so bad in his knees that he often could not fall asleep at night!! So I called over everyone and asked them to repeat what we had spoken of that morning. They confirmed all this to him. Boom!’

– i also think of a talk i preached at a Simply Worship gathering where [against my initial will and ‘better thought’] i invited people to step forward into the impossible thing God was calling them to [much like Peter walking on the water] and a young guy called Brendon felt like God had told him to take his inheritance money and put it as a down payment on a place of safety for children at risk and how a group gathered with him and started praying regularly [because God had told them they were not allowed to as for money or fund raise] and how God used an atheist having an encounter with a presence on the property they had found to hand over 2.1 million South African Rands to but that property, which more than 5 years later is continuing to function as a place of safety for children at risk.

so i would like you to ASK and IMAGINE bigger – and i would like to start doing the same more often.

# those of you who claim to be followers of Jesus [whatever you choose to call yourselves] i would like for you to follow Jesus. 

this ‘christian’ thing is not a decision you make once so that you can ‘make it into heaven’ – it is a life-transforming decision that needs to be made again every day as we choose to put Jesus on the throne of our lives and submit to His will and be involved in bringing about His kingdom. i just wish for you to live that stuff you say you believe. i wish to see you living it in the way you spend your money, i would love to see you living it in the way you use your energy and time and the resources you have at your disposal. i wish to see you following Jesus in the way you forgive anyone and everyone who may have wronged you in any large or small way. i wish to see you involved in some way with those who are considered ‘the least of these’ whether they love Jesus or not.

i wish to see you combining these two – so asking and imagining bigger in the things of Jesus. Thinking of your community, of your neighborhood, of your country even. Thinking along the lines of education and healthcare, of human trafficking. taking on the ‘What ifs’ of even daring to consider the idea of ending poverty, or lack of access to clean drinking water or an end to the violence that plagues the streets around you.

# i deeply desire that we [as followers of Jesus and even just as people in general] will be known more for WHAT WE ARE FOR than for WHAT WE ARE AGAINST. even as we wrestle with scripture and trying to hold on to Truth in times that test the very fabric of it, may we completely be removed from the mantle of ‘you will be known by your hatred of the gay’ as one example within a myriad of examples.

# i hope that we can move past trite ‘answers’ such as ‘abortion is wrong’ to what may sometimes be difficult or inconvenient solutions such as offering to adopt the child of a young single mother whose only option seems to her to be abortion… or better yet, inviting the woman and child to live with us. because surely as the church that is the next logical step right? providing viable solutions rather than just picking on the scabs of what is broken and messed up?

# i love my wife. i know, i know, doesn’t seem to fit in with the run of where i was going there but i can’t write a 1000th blog post and not mention tbV [aka The Beautiful Val] but yes, we have not had the easiest of contexts since we have been married, but we are still running strong and we had the most excellent date night last night. i do completely love her and am grateful for the journey we have walked and run [and occasionally crawled] together thus far, and for everything that is ahead of us.

# i long to see relationships flourish, which is why so much of what happens on this blog has to do with relationships. From those in the lives of people who are single right now, to those who are in dating or engaged relationships, to those who are married and then beyond that to any who have children. God just has such a huge heart for relationships, and so do i. i want to see the 50% of marriages end in divorce statistic plundered. i want to see fresh life and hope and people who will fight for their relationships and not just in them. i want to see people honouring promises made in front of family and friends and God instead of jumping ship when the waters get rough or when someone messes up. i want to see people owning up to their own crap first before trying to fix their partners. i want to be doing that too.

# i long to see Taboo Topics spoken about and stories shared that encourage others to seek transformation in their own lives or simply encourage those who may be struggling through a particular experience or stage. This has been the most successful aspect of this blog and i love how powerful some of the stories that have been shared have been for other people – i think particularly of Singleness, Losing a Child, Infertility, Parents of young children [when it hasn’t been particularly easy] and Pornography/Masturbation. Topics rarely spoken about in church [and even general life often] where a bunch of my good friends have come forward and bravely shared a glimpse into their story/struggle/experience with amazing results. May these continue to grow.

and so much more… but i will have the next 1000 posts to do all of that.

thank you to those of you who made it this far down. thank you to those who journey on Irresistibly Fish, whether you read each post religiously or whether you head back every now and then and dip your feet into the waters [that was a metaphor, no actual water was involved in the writing of this blog post] – i really appreciate you, even those who disagree with me from time to time. maybe especially those who disagree with me from time to time [especially when you fight nice]

# i think largely i would say if i had a wish for this blog it would be more engagement! More comments and interaction, more sharing of similiar stories or equally funny cartoon strip links or your opinion on the thing i’m currently opinioning on or your Facetablet offer

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