Tag Archive: no_bob

If you are a big Pearls Before Swine fan like me [i really am – i met him once and introduced him to my most famous of stuffed dolphins, No_bob], then you will know how much he likes to

on occasion mess with the newspaper editors, other cartoonists and people in general really.

But i think he has a hard spot [like a soft spot, but harder and with more prickly edges] for the censorship board and often tries to sneak naughty words, sayings and innuendos in that just about make it through. And then parody the fact that he has done hat in a brilliant stroke of misdirected genius to make them somehow think they have won, while he has once again made us think of naughty words, sayings and innuendos. Well played, Steph!

pearls before censors 2

[For a previous mess-with-the-censors Pearls strip, click here]

[For a weak French-themed pun infested Pearls before Swine strip, click here]



It’s been a while since i shared about No_bob, the world’s most famous stuffed dolphin [can you name any others] who i was going to call ‘Bob’ [largely due to this amazing Blackadder scene] but then realising that he was made out of material and fluff and would not in fact bob, he became No_bob.

When i was a speaker on the youth/school speaking circuit in South Africa i would usually take No_bob with me and introduce him to the crowds and pretty soon he started getting more cheers than me and i knew my ‘fame’ had been eclipsed by an inanimate object [that’s right, unlike a lot of people’s stuffed toys they pretend are real, No_bob is just a toy and knows it, or would if he was real, which he’s not]

He has had a song written about him by a then famous South African punk band, Serving Suggestion. He has been kidnapped and borrowed for overseas travel [see above pic] and used to ‘bring the rings’ in a wedding [mine, to the beautiful Val] and featured in magazines and more.


Since coming to Americaland though, both i and No_bob have kept a low profile as the pond is much bigger and not many people know me here, but recently he has been introduced to the Re:generation church in Oakland and he ‘got to know’ an amazing bunch of youth and leaders in Florida Keys when i went to speak there, and so his fame feels on the rise again.

For years i have been trying to get Stephan Pastis, the cartoonist behind my favourite strip, ‘Pearls before Swine’ to include him just once in a cartoon, but even after meeting No_bob and signing a book in his name, he is yet to do that [but i won’t give up, so you might as well Stephan, if you can handle the fame and increased book sales!].


I have also recently been introduced on The Twitterer to an incredible artist called Ray Ferrer [@Ray_artist] who makes these unbelievably insane pictures using spray paint which i can’t even wrap my head around they are so good:



He has favourited a tweet or two of mine on the Twitterer despite having like a gazillion followers and i have interpreted that as a desperate plea to have permission to do a spray painting of No_bob. Ray, you have my permission…

So what you, my friends and general following public can do to assist is one [or both] of the following:

[1] Email Stephan Pastis [theratandpig@aol.com] or tweet him [@stephanpastis] and let him know how much you would love to see No_bob, the world’s most famous stuffed dolphin appear in his strip.

[2] Tweet Ray Ferrer [@Ray_artist] and encourage him by telling him how much greater his body of work would be with a No_bob piece or tell him you don’t really believe he has the skills to create a great resemblance of the most famous stuffed dolphin in history.

And add this link: https://www.facebook.com/Nounderscorebob – to make sure they know exactly what he looks like.

Finally, just to help you on the spelling of his name as there are many variations and mess ups as people get creative, but the official spelling of No_bob is Capital N, small b’s and an UNDERSCORE between…

Who else do you think we should get involved in No_bob’s fame revival? Any contacts you have who could up his profile?



so by now you have heard of the #neknomination phenomenon sweeping the world [this week at least]

apparently [and i say that because i haven’t actually seen any of the original versioned clips] it started out as a drinking challenge video clip game where someone downs a beer and then challenges his/her mates to up the ante and passes it forward

so stupid that two people in Ireland died from participating [this never happened with ‘Planking’ or so i thought until i read someone’s Facebook comment troll and apparently someone did die while ‘Planking’]

and then it hit South Africa and got turned ON ITS HEAD [yay us!] as first Brent Lindeque [and then every other SA #neknomination video i have seen] decided to use his for good and so instead of drinking alcohol, gave some food to a homeless guy and encouraged South Africans to show that we can do it better and use our #Neknominations for good.

pretty soon after that my friend Howie came to the party doing an impromptu visit and singalong and photo take at an old age home, spreading some cheer and good vibes, and it wasn’t too long before another mate Jono van Deventer was paying for some stranger’s shopping in the supermarket and serenading her in Spanish.

and nominating me!

48 hours before i leave the country – so my last two days in SA – did i mention #Neknominations have a 24 hour time limit in which they need to be filmed? Nice one, Jono. Oh and on a day where i was pretty much busy til 2pm and was cooking dinner for my mates at 6pm and my nomination arrived at 8 in the morning… game on.


so while driving in between meetings i am furiously trying to come up with a cool idea to expand on this new craze and then desperately text the people who might help me out [my TheatreSports improv crew who are all busy except Megan Furniss who is super amped but on a bit of  time constraint] and once we have the who then i can start working on the what, only to find out, with Megan’s time furiously ticking away that performing improv in the children’s hospital is not going to work because you can’t take photos of the children there for safety reasons…

same story at Marsh Memorial home… completely understandable but also pretty frustrating…

while speaking at Rondebosch Boy’s High School in between all this, i manage to film them shouting “Let’s nominate this in the neck” cos it seemed like it might be a little something i could slot into the video later as my mind whirls around to try and find a plan B.

Megan suggests dancing around in the traffic with signs inviting people to chill and smile and relax and laugh but we don’t have sign-making materials or much time and eventually i lose Megan…

down to me and now MJ, my other mate who has taken time off work to help me film nothing. oh dear.


so i come up with the almost-but-not-quite-AS-great idea of taking a bunch of donuts to a police station at night [yes, yes, always on the prowl for irony and with a bunch of mates coming over for dinner, i figure i can get them into the mix – in and out in twenty minutes – happy donut-filled police, video done and dusted]

one quick phone call later and it turns out you can’t just give donuts [or anything, according to the station manager i spoke to on the phone, “although call the Colonel tomorrow and see if you can set it up” – no sir, i don’t think you understand the time-constrainted motivation behind me popping over to fatten you up…] to the police… so donuts AND bacon was probably out on that count too and also for the risks of  overwhelming ironic encounter.

so no hospitals or kids homes and no police stations – this day is conspiring against me, and i need to go and start preparing supper for 11 people…


so day gone, time rushing away at a speed of knots, and my man Howard ‘Edit-Thru-The-Night’ Fyvie ready from 10.30pm to edit the video i don’t have… what’s a guy to do?

well, armed with donuts and some mixed video footage from throughout the day and a chance [invited] visit from my mate Richard Bolland who had been expressing some reservations about this whole ‘random act of charity’ thing, we did what we could and so i present to you [and to Bono and Joss Whedon who my #neknomination goes out to] my #Neknomination:

If you are on the Twitterer then please copy and paste this link [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA8vaRX6xmc] and tweet it at @Paul_Hewson [Bono] and @josswhedon [Joss Whedon] and challenge them to take this challenge on… just imagine the effect this will have when they do…

they call me Fish

2013 was a fun year for me on the blog – decided to stop my Weekly Mash blog so i could be more focused on this one which is titled ‘Irresistibly Fish’ and there have been a decent bunch of new subscribers in 2013 [welcome!] as well as those who regularly pop in to take in some of what i write and share over here.

meandvalso brief intro to me if you are new – my name is Brett Fish [nickname] Anderson and i am married to the beautiful Val [tbV] and am from the country [#cough Americaland #cough] of South Africa where i have spent most of my life, except for the last 3 years where i have been in Americaland…

working as a resident of the simple way in Philly in 2011 and 2012 and after a visit home [to the still country of South Africa] moving to Oakland to work with the same boss but different non-profit known as Common Change which is great and you should totally find a group of friends who want to join you in a collaborative giving experiment and adventure and sign up, join a group and start helping meet needs of people you know.

then just recently i started working as the youth leadery type person at Re: Generation church near Lake Merritt and so am a little bit of the bivocational at the moment, but have LOVED the opportunity to be preaching again [once a month] and just connecting with some rad people who love Jesus [and enough of whom love cool games like Settlers of Catan, Bang, Puerto Rico and Dixit]

gamesi am passionately in love with God and try to be a follower of Jesus and so a lot of this blog tends to be encouraging or challenging other people in their faith or else hoping to introduce people to Him. the bible tab on my blog has links to where i have been slowly walking through the psalms in blog posts [currently up to 64] and also meandering through the gospel of Mark in video posts [just finished chapter 12] and also recently started a series where i have been sharing and commenting on some of my favourite verses.

i also own the world’s most famous stuffed dolphin named No_bob [i was going to call him ‘bob’ but he doesn’t!] and hate raiSINs with a different absolute passion and do not find it surprising at all that the word SIN is hidden in the word raiSIN – in fact i have written and recorded two songs about my dislike of all things squishy fruit and it is high time i did a third.

otherwise i have a deep appreciation for humour and so whether it is sharing the brilliance of other people or else just being completely silly myself and aiming for laughs as my alter ego, Brad Fish, with his Dangerous Things You Can Least Expect [DTYCLE] series or trying out some Jack Handeyesque deep thoughts as Brett Andy that is bound to be part of my posting in 2014 and one of my quests is to write [on occasion] some funnier blog posts…

so if you are continuing to journey with me in 2014 i am hoping that we will see some more incredible stories in the Taboo Topics series [which has seen a whole lot of other people sharing some intensely deep and personal stories about areas we don’t often hear much about such as Singleness, Infertility, Losing a child or being a parent of one when it’s not all that easy and so much more], I hope to continue to try and speak life into Relationships and i have an exciting series in mind capturing advice and stories from people who have been married for differing numbers of years as well as inviting some of my single friends to share their insights in a particular area.

i am very much looking forward to going home for a visit in just about a week and also for the chance to do some fun-making on the improvised comedy stage with my old team of TheatreSporters, i am hoping to figure out a better eating/exercise plan when i get back so i can be more fit for field hockey which i have loved being part of [go Eagles!], i hope to do more slacklining with my friend Todd and the  gang at Lake Merritt and to have some more amazingly fun evenings of games with friends we have made and also with the friendly folks at the games store on Wed nights.


and maybe, just maybe, i will finally get around to self-publishing the book i finished writing two years ago, titled ‘I kissed hating [the church] goodbye’ cos that would be very nice.

oh and the FISH stands for Faithful In Serving Him if you didn’t know, which is an Irresistible proposition to aim at in life… loving God, loving people and looking out for those who are considered by many to be ‘the least of these’… 

lastly i do hope to find a way to engage more in the comments section with those who do read my blog so not sure if that means i must get more controversial or hilariously funny or some kind of differently creative, but hopefully a feature of 2014 will be more of you coming and saying “hi” in the comments, or that you think that i’m the biggest jerk you know or you would like the United Nations to raise a statue in my honour on Mars or something like that – just come and play, people…

and have a most excellent 2014 – let’s suck the marrow out of this life thing together! 


[Continued from part ii]

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

‘I think that sick people in Ankh-Morpork generally go to a vet. It’s generally a better bet. There’s more pressure on a vet to get it right. People say “it was god’s will” when granny dies, but they get angry when they lose a cow.’

[Terry Pratchett, my favourite comedy author, creator of the Discworld series which you should read]

So continuing the story of my quest for funny and if anyone has made it this far, well done, because this has been lengthy stuff, but it really has shone a bit of a glimpse into a big part of my soul and psyche and just gives an idea of how i think about one aspect of life…

And in a couple of posts there is no possible way i will be able to summarise a 30 plus journey of humour-seeking, but hopefully this has given a bit of an overview with some of the best [and worst] parts.


# i used to be really good at sarcasm – no, i mean really, really good, as in hurt-you good. and i remember in high school one of our teachers mentioned that ‘Sarcasm was the lowest form of wit’ and i disagreed because i was good at it and really wanted to keep doing it. but then one day i remember answering sarcastically to some question that had been put to me [and maybe there was a build up and this was the culmination] and i remember seeing a small glimmer of hurt in the person i directed it at and that was the beginning of the realisation for me that not all humour is fun for everyone – some of the fun comes at peoples’ expense, and that is not cool. i know there will be people who think differently to me on this one and all power to you, but i really try my best not to hurt someone else [or make them feel stupid] in the process of trying to get a laugh. i imagine this is one i don’t get right a lot but i think since becoming aware of it and intenti0nal about it, i do it a lot less than i otherwise might have – i really believe that humour is not worth it if it makes someone feel bad. [because different people have different sensitivities and humour preferences this can be a very tricky one but i am at least talking about intentionally making someone else feel/look stupid for a joke]

# there was a specific moment – and i remember that i was sitting at the table in the kitchen of Highbury [the student digs our church ran back in the day] when i had this internal conversation and decision-making moment – when i realised that i am not a big fan of small talk for the sake of small talk. when we are talking about movies or certain sports then i would probably differ on those as movies in general and cricket and formula 1 back in the day i can definitely get into… but it was a time when i realised that i hung out with a bunch of people who got caught up in small talk a lot of the time… and made the decision that in those circumstances, if the options were neutral or funny, i would choose to be funny. don’t get me wrong – i love deep conversations – if we are going real and deep and trying to solve the mysteries of the world or wrestling with an aspect of Christ following or poverty or war or something like that and the conversation is genuine and people are into it, then that is probably my go to place… BUT my realisation that day at that moment was that IF we were not going deep, then i would change my setting to FUNNY [or attempt to] because i enjoyed making people smile and laugh and have a good time.

i imagine that is why in some circles, to some people [and maybe many people] i got the reputation of ‘he can never be serious’ which is not a great reputation to have when you are involved in any form of leadership or you are hoping people will invite you to be part of important things or speak at places… but it was generally the periphery people who would think that. anyone who knew me and took time to spend time with me and wanted to go deep on any conversation would have realised how ridiculous that statement was of me. but, if you only saw me in the neutral situations where it didn’t look like it was going to go deep and i resorted to trying to be funny, then i can understand how you might get that idea. and it’s also not like i am differentiating between serious=good and funny=less good because there are certainly times when funny is the right and best place to go to, but it was simply a distinction i made that linked to how intentional i was at certain times with certain people and it was quite a defining moment in my life.

# lastly, and i should maybe keep this til the end, cos we’re going to suddenly get all serious and you were hoping to read something light and fluffy, but this is such an important one for me. Rape is never funny. Ever. i know that Ricky Gervais and others think differently on this. i know a certain group of people feel like every topic and situation should be able to be joked about, because some of them are so difficult that that is the only way some people can deal with them. but i disagree strongly. more strongly than i am able to say right here. for me there are a few things that should never be joked about and rape is right at the top of the list [along with molestation, sodomy and other related issues]. because i know people who have been raped and sexually abused and it must be one of the most devastating violating experience and the idea that someone would make light of it, or even joke about it when someone who has been raped might be in the audience, is just for me one of the most awful things ever.

when ‘raped’ started to become a light-hearted descriptive word for ‘got the better of’ as in the context of a sporting team losing badly or someone really being taken down by an exam [and you can read my rant about that here] that frustrated me no end and i took on a couple of people [mostly in their inbox rather than their facebook wall where they said it] every time i saw it being used in that context and just challenged them on the hurt it could bring to someone who had been through that seeing the word being used so lightly [many still disagree]. ‘

i believe there has to be a line. and for me ‘raped’ is it. i also am not a fan when people joke about marriage or divorce, simply because i know how under strain marriages generally are and every little joke or side comment can act as a hammer and a chisel chipping away at the relationship and each single comment might be completely harmless in and of itself, but you start adding them up and you start even-half believing the chauvenism or belittling that usually forms part of those jokes and it can really add to everything else that already might be there below the surface. it is just not worth it and too often words are spoken without thinking. race and disability, which also tend to be easy targets, are very sensitive issues and so will probably fall next in line for me here.

i have a saying, ‘When in doubt, don’t!’ and for the most part, i try to apply that to my humour. If saying this risks hurting someone, then the possible laugh i get is really not worth it.

[and i imagine there might be a line of people standing in front of the comments section ready to share examples of where i might have gotten it wrong and to you i deeply apologise – i am talking about my heart and intention here and am aware that i have hurt people with my humour, and i am not proud of that in any way or form]


the most important thing to me in life is my faith in God which manifests in my attempts at following Jesus [who i believe was and is God] and His teachings [which, if you look at the core of them being ‘Love God, Love people’ are not quite as horrendous as the mess we christians have been able to make of them through the ages – i’m sorry! however, thankfully, that has also been the core foundation for SO MUCH GOOD that has been done in the world in terms of medicine and education and relief and so much more and so it’s a bitter sweet relationship]

so it was natural that there would be some crossover between my focus on humour and my love for God and fortunately it seemed to happen for me when someone gave me a pulpit. [to be honest i’m not a big fan of pulpits and more the metaphor of being invited to speak God things to groups of people – personally I’ll take barefoot and a stool any day].

while my desire to give stand-up comedy a go has not [yet] materialised, standing in front of a group of people in a church or at a camp, and being able to weave humour into my speaking is the closest i have gotten so far. and that has been a lot of fun.

i have a lot of respect for a guy like Mike Pilavachi who, often when he preaches, does 90% stand-up comedy material involving stories from the Bible or his own life and then finishes off with 10% of point which just nails you between the eyes and often is a lot more powerful as a preach than some people who do a forty minute exegesis.

i don’t think i’m quite there, but i do have three jokes i invented, which have helped along the way, as well as a stuffed yellow-and-white dolphin called No_bob who i often take with me to preaching gigs.

Let’s be honest – most jokes we tell and even the majority of analogies – are things we heard from someone else and are just recycling them and maybe adding a bit of a twist to them, but for the most part a lot of talk material at some stage belonged to someone else. i do that shamelessly [and openly] – if i hear a great analogy about something then i often will incorporate it into my talk and if i do the talk enough times then eventually it will start to feel like it was my analogy in the first place. fortunately, we’re in the business of getting the message across and not so much of claiming fame for whichever parts of the message felt like they were made up by me.

The ‘No_bob factor’ is an interesting one and really helps give a deeper glimpse into the type of humour that i have [which i feel is quite eclectic and ranges from Jim Carrey to Monty Python to Jack Handey to Parks and Rec and even touches on moments from Naked Gun and Bob Newhart and The Mighty Boosh and Flights of the Conchord] – for the most part i would probably lean towards British and a more subtle, dry humour but i do like a lot of bits of everything and so it is hard to tie down. BUT i do enjoy what i call ‘The Higher Grade’ joke and what that means is rather than the joke which everyone in the room finds funny, i prefer the joke that maybe only four or five people will get and especially if there is a pause for a few seconds [often when someone is explaining the joke to their neighbour] and then the laugh comes. In TheatreSports that is my favourite laugh of all.

Let me give you an example. We play a game called ‘Accent Rollercoaster’ in which the actors play out a scene and at different points the MC will call out different accents [provided by the audience before the game begins] and the same story will carry on, but the accent will change. An easy laugh that everyone gets is anytime the accent changes to ‘Xhosa’ and one of the actors says ‘Eish’ or it changes to Russian and someone asks for or mentions ‘vodka’ – instant laugh, but an easy one. And satisfying because it’s a laugh, but what i prefer even above that is a subtle pun or a misdirection where you lead the audience to a really obvious place and then don’t go there. For example, when you are singing a song and you rhyme heavily through out the song and the last two lines you set up the most obvious rhyme:

They were looking for a pilot so they grabbed a poor baboon

then they stuck him in the spaceship and they sent him to the…

The next word is ‘moon’ right? And if i sing ‘moon’ the audience will be impressed because i just made up a silly song and made it rhyme all on the spot, but for me in that moment i will generally go for the misdirection, put huge emphasis on the first rhyming word and then go for the twist, as in:

They were looking for a pilot so they grabbed a poor babOON

then they stuck him in the spaceship and they sent him to the Space Station…

For me it is a cleverer laugh. Possibly the best example of that [and REALLY hard to do but I’ve got it once or twice] is in that game, ‘Jonathan’s Lisp’ i mentioned before where all of one consonant in a scene has become another consonant… if you are really quick and clever and able to think fast while still concentrating on the scene that is happening around you, then there is the possibility of saying a sentence that makes sense both with the old letter and the new letter… and you really have to see it to understand how ridiculously amazing it is when it works but say for example all ‘B’s have become ‘C’s and you are doing a murder mystery and as the detective you announce that:

Aha, I have solved the mystery by looking at all the blues [clues]. The murderer killed him with a Cat [bat].

It actually worked twice in that sentence, but the ridiculousness of killing someone with a cat and then as the audience there is that moment when you are realising, ‘wait all C’s are B’s’ so he actually meant ‘killed him with a bat’ and it’s a double whammy. That is what i mean when i talk to higher grade humour. For me misdirection and a double joke are up there. And because it is so complex, you might find that everyone laughs at the sentence, but a few seconds later you get the people who saw the double joke and there will be the follow up laugh. That for me is priceless.

Introducing No_bob [because he doesn’t!]

Which brings us back to the ‘No_bob’ factor – the original reason i started taking No_bob to talks with me was partly cos i thought it was a cool gimmick, but largely and more intentionally it was as an reaction to the idea of ‘the big man of God speaker on the stage with power and authority’ – i never wanted to become that [see your typical tv evangelist for a great bad example of what i’m referring to]and so i thought to myself, well if i arrive on stage carrying a stuffed toy dolphin, then if anyone in the audience is challenged or changed by anything i say, they are going to attribute it to God rather than ‘that weirdo with the dolphin’ and so this is a way of helping keep the focus off me. The great thing about introducing No_bob is that generally the most i get out of it is a groan [occasionally a laugh and more so as I’ve added the word ‘bob’ to the explanation, where before i used to just say ‘i call him that because he doesn’t’ and a lot of people didn’t make the connection] and then later [the second time i speak or a future occasion] he has become this celebrity dolphin and that is when it kicks in – for most of the first times of using him, i just get weird looks but i’m in it for the long haul and so i continue – i feel like the introduction of a stuffed dolphin at the start of a Christian talk also helps people relax a bit and be open to what might follow.

And it is a true story – i won No_bob on the pier at Brighton by throwing yellow balls into holes and my wooden dolphin ‘swam’ faster than all the other ones and so i won him. I wanted to call him ‘Bob’ because i really liked the name [based on a Rowan Atkinson ‘Blackadder’ sketch where a girl is pretending to be a boy in Victorian England because girls aren’t allowed to work and Blackadder meets ‘him’ and asks his name:

[Blackadder]: What’s your name, boy?

[girl]: Kate.

[Blackadder]: Isn’t that a bit of a… girl’s name?

[girl] It’s er, um, short… for Bob.

Brilliant. But there seemed to be a lot of people or things being named ‘Bob’ at the time so i decided to switch it up a little and because my dolphin is made of material, i realised that if you threw him in an ocean he would not ‘bob’ but sink and so ‘No_bob’ was christened.

So introducing No_bob became a staple to a lot of my talks… and then there were my three made-up jokes [which, i remind you, is rare, cos most often we just steal other peoples’ much better jokes]:

# The first one is my fake testimony, which i know works well with older [middle-aged and above] audiences and yet i keep falling into the trap of telling it to younger audiences and getting pity looks or groans. But older people tend to laugh at more stuff and so this works well in church audiences and bigger crowds:

I was born into and raised by a family of lions. [in fact that is usually the moment that gets a laugh for some reason and so sometimes i will add a ‘it could happen – we all read Jungle Book – which is maybe why it doesn’t work so well for younger audiences, who haven’t!] Then one day i became a christian and God took away my pride! [drum roll]

# The second joke is my ‘The tie joke’ which i am ever so proud of as i came up with it in matric [grade 12] and it generally goes down really well, especially when people know me a little, and has gotten the biggest laughs [and sometimes groans and often a mixture of the two] and it has morphed and grown and evolved through time and i can’t tell it here because it is a visual gag and i usually save it for the last talk on a weekend camp where i have built up a bit of a rapport with the audience. But i made it up and it is quite funny [often, especially the bits i have added in] and other people have copied it and performed it which is the absolute compliment for a joke.

# The third one is my bilingual joke which only works for a very small audience who understand [or have some understanding of] both Afrikaans and French [you know, that huge set of people] but i will try it on you anyways and the bonus is that it is a Knock Knock joke that is genuinely fun or funny [as most of them aren’t, although three are!]

So you have to respond in Afrikaans [maybe Dutch?]

Me: Klop Klop

You: Wie’s daar? [Who is there]

Me: Cellar 

You: Celler wie? [Say this out loud and the French understanding of you will get it]

I think i enjoy that one just cos it’s more nice than funny. It’s just such an aaaahhhhhhhhh joke.

I did recently invent a fourth joke which i think was quite funny, but for the life of me i can’t remember at all what it was, so i am going to have to stick with three unless it comes back.

So armed with my three made-up jokes, my No_bob intro and then often one of the smurf joke [which involves stutter smurf and so is one of those do i or don’t i jokes although everyone i have met who stutters absolutely loves it], the meat hanging from the ceiling[more groan than laugh – the steaks/stakes are too high – so pretty lame pun but works on the young] or my dog “true story” joke [ ‘i,m going to have to put your dog down’ – ‘you’re going to put my dog down just because he’s cross-eyed? –  ‘No sir, he’s just getting really heavy’] which can go either way but i don’t tell it so much any more since i made some people cry the one time by being so convincing in the first half of the telling of the joke [and then they got mad with me] i usually have a good entry point into a message.

my messages tend to be more 10% humour up front and then 90% seriousish with humour moments scattered along the way as i do the thing i think i am more gifted at, which is reading the crowd and improvising humour lines or adding to moments and happenings that present themselves. so generally people end up being entertained but also challenged or convicted or encouraged if all goes well.

i really do think the difference between actual stand-up and my preaching which many might describe as stand-up-esque is the fact that with the preaching i have a base idea of the story i am trying to tell whereas i have not been able to figure that out as far as the stand-up is concerned.

and i am still not done… this is starting to feel like a bit of an autobiography and i imagine the length of it has lost a lot of people, but i am enjoying writing about this stuff, and perhaps glimpsing into my own soul, and so i will see it to its end, which i really do imagine will be the next part – i think we only have silly videos, one liners and trying to get a Valerie laugh to go…

but thanks for reading, if you have, i appreciate it.

[the truth about the fame of No_bob, who had a song written about him by a really popular band back in the day called Serving Suggestion which audiences loved, is that on two occasions i went to speak somewhere and i was introduced and maybe 5 to 15 people clapped or registered some kind of ‘oh, Brett Anderson, i’ve heard of him’ response [in a room of well over 150 people] and then i got up to speak and as i pulled No_bob out of my pocked a third or more of the room erupted in applause – that’s when you know!]

‘Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.’ [Terry Pratchett]

So looks like Stephan Pastis, creator of the most excellent cartoon strip, ‘Pearls Before Swine’ is slowly coming around to my idea and persuasion about including a  yellow-and-white stuffed dolphin character called ‘No_bob’ into his cartoon strip. Baby steps, Stephan, baby steps. Today a fish, tomorrow the dolphin.


Pearls Before Swine


My biggest fear is not so much that Stephan Pastis won’t ever put No_bob into the cartoon strip – I have full confidence we’ll wear him down eventually – but that when he finally relents, he will be like most of you and spell it with a hyphen and a big ‘B’ – his name is not no-Bob.

If you would like to join in the positive peer pressure to see this happen in a future strip, simply email Stephan at pearlscomic@gmail.com and tell him you love his cartoon strip and would dig it even more if he included a not real yellow-and-white stuffed dolphin called No_bob [who was going to be called ‘Bob’ but he doesn’t bob] and if he wants to learn how to draw him properly to contact brett fish at brettfish@hotmail.com

Join the Revolution!

[For more great Pearls strips i have included on my blog, click here] 

Pastis before Swine…

Brett Fish and No_bob meet Stephan Pastis

so yesterday i got to meet Stephan Pastis, creator and draw’er [i guess] of the greatest cartoon strip alive, Pearls Before Swine… [more importantly, he got to ‘meet’ No_bob, the world’s most famous stuffed dolphin]

The Far Side, on it’s good days [and when it was good it was great, and it was usually good] is definitely up there.

so is Dilbert [Scott Adams who draws Dilbert got me started on Pearls Before Swine and i never looked back, don’t tell him, sh! no seriously cos i used to buy a bunch of Dilbert annuals and now i exclusively buy all of the Pearls books] and Garfield… but with less good days less often… and then Calvin and Hobbes was also definitely up there.

but for some reason, i have come to settle on Pearls. for the moment anyways [or the last ten or so]. i love the characters he comes up with [from innocent stupid Pig to cynical mean and despotic Rat to the ‘outrageously stoopid’ crocs and the exasperated ‘zeebas’ they are constantly trying to eat to the many lesser known or occasional characters such as guard duck Duck [usually seen holding a bazooka] and Andy the god with big plans for his life that are constantly thwarted by the post he is chained up to in his yard, and to the ridiculously silly such as Pastis himself reminded us, Pig’s ‘sea anenome enemy’.

i love the humour – cynical, witty, overly and obviously corny ad punderful on occasion [oh Pastis works for those puns] – the fact that he is the only cartoonist who features himself regularly in his own cartoons and usually about to be ‘taken out’ by Rat for another dreadful pun – the way he is able to laugh at himself, with himself, at us and with others and sometimes all at once.

yes, there is an occasional miss, but even like episodes of Friends, the bad ones are better than most of the good ones of most other stuff. [‘Friends’ is now ‘Parks and Rec’]

i dunno. it’s really hard to say why and do it any justice, i think there is a element of loyalty as i was one of the ones who ‘discovered’ him early on via Scott Adams blogging about him and i am so glad i did – has brought me much fun – and feels like i’ve been on this journey with him from close to the beginning.

[he still hasn’t agreed to create a stuffed dolphin character called ‘No_bob’ who doesn’t in his strip yet, but i think he’s just playing with me… and that the more people who emailed pearlscomic@gmail.com and suggested he do so, the sooner it would likely take place!]

anyways, i was perusing Twitter and saw that Stephan was going to be doing a book signing about an hour away and told tbV and she said we should go and so we headed out. i was expecting it to be a little awkward and stalkery i guess but he gave a brilliant and funny presentation and then he sat and working his way through 100 plus people in a line [i was 46!] posing for photos, drawing a character in each book and engaging in a little bit of small talk with each person. i was really impressed [and i think tbV was too cos she came home and grabbed an old annual and started reading!]. it doesn’t take a lot of effort to not be a jerk and Mr Pastis didn’t do so admirably.

Larry speaks truth.

Catch the daily strip here…

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