Hello Everyone! As promised on several occasions…
THE TAO OF THE FOD T-SHIRT!
The Tao is waiting…
Do not desire to win the T-Shirt… or the Contest. You will win, or not – it is not YOUR decision.
You must demonstrate excellence with your caption… it will be appreciated, or not – it is not YOUR criteria.
You must accept what occurs… there is nothing you can do about it – it is not YOUR judgment.
That being said, there are certain parameters and precedents that may help you in your journey…
1. “Sometimes, when you win – you actually lose…” You really haven’t arrived at FOD until the magic day when you have a CLEAR winner, many more funnies than the next best caption and – SHAZAM!! You don’t win! (FIVE times for me…so far!) That’s because FOD, in the persona of an unknown “Caption Czar(s)” chooses the winners, when and as THEY see fit! On an interesting side note – the winning caption is ALWAYS on the first page per Ratings, SO, Rule #1 - Your caption must BE/STAY on the first page!
2. “There is no accounting for Taste…” The typical winning caption is usually a trite, banal cliché, often a recent quote, or trendy reference from some movie, television show, popular song, or some newsworthy event or scandal. There seems to be at least two FOD Caption Czars; one who usually picks whatever caption is on top, regardless of content or relevancy to the chosen picture, and one or more “others” who pick any caption EXCEPT the one on top, depending on their own twisted criteria. Certain FOD “insiders” claim they do this to “spread the love” and encourage the newer and frankly - lesser talented members of the FOD community. Rule #2 – Your caption must be LUCKY!
3. “The Early Bird gets the Worm…” The winning caption is almost ALWAYS posted before 09:00 in the morning. Don’t ask me why but that’s the way it seems to work; I believe it has something to do with the fact that out of all the hundreds of members of FOD who actually participate in the Caption Contest on a daily basis, only a few dozen actually award “Funny” votes on anyone else’s captions. These pillars of virtue and truth seem to be the most active early in the morning and later in the evening. They recognize and reward talent and especially – originality. Rule #3 – Your caption must be Original!
4. “The Brave man dies but once – the Coward dies a thousand times…” Die Bombers… the reclusive trolls of FOD exist, along with the multiple account cheaters that wreak havoc and manipulate the contest almost every day. These people have no Honor whatsoever; they think that by killing off (off the first page...) the better captions that their pathetic efforts will rise and stay on top to win…of course they don’t, but when your only tool is a hammer, the whole world starts to look like a nail! Rule #4 – Avoid the attention of the Die Bombers.
Now – about that picture… YES – those are the fabled and highly coveted FOD T-Shirts that so many of us seek. NO – I didn’t BUY them; I WON them and I didn’t do it by “Farting on the Linoleum”, or using multiple accounts to vote myself into first place. I worked hard and I got LUCKY and received enough votes to win in the ratings and - I was LUCKY enough to be chosen by FOD as well.
You may be wondering about some of the “Talismans” in the picture. Frankly, so would I, if I chose to dwell about things like that; I DON’T – I ACCEPT the spiritual and the unknown possibilities of existence, but I will explain the significance of most of them.
I LOVE edged weapons! They CUT things! And really, I see them more as TOOLS, rather than weapons; even the more dedicated and sinister versions, like the Katana at the top of the photo. And everything in this picture pertains to writing, at least to MY writing and the way I do it. The Katana for instance; this is where my “process” starts. Over 27 inches long and razor sharp I use it to cut away the obvious and average ideas that first spring to mind when I initially examine the picture. Since my personal opinion is that submitting 3 to 5 GOOD captions per contest is ENOUGH, I take my time and “reject” (HAI YA!! SLASH!!) many more ideas than I submit, the Cleavers are for the butchering and trimming of these surviving ideas; the larger for the major quartering and limbs, and the smaller, much sharper one for the finer hacking and shaping. The Marine KA-BAR is my “working knife” of choice, it is an antique, well balanced, double edged, and I use it for the final carving – the cutting of the steaks as it were. The straight razor is also an antique, a Wade & Butcher manufactured by Sheffield in England in the 18th century; it represents the final delicate cuts and shaving of the perfect caption. You might have noticed the Fountain Pen near the Katana; they say “the pen is mightier than the sword”… obviously they never faced a sword with a pen – the fight would last about 3 seconds!
MOJO and SPIRITUAL TALISMANS
As a partial Native American (French Canadian Indian actually...) I embrace many of the mystical beliefs of “my people”, for instance the Buffalo Bone Choker at the top left was not only a status symbol and adornment; it served a practical purpose to protect the throat against knives, arrows, and spears. In my case it represents protection of my “voice” from the Die Bombers and Trolls who would silence and bury my efforts. The Bald Eagle Skull (no hate-mail please, it’s a museum reproduction) is a very powerful talisman representing Power and Cunning and Pride in ones accomplishments. Of course, as a Musician and “Bluesman” drummer and harmonicat, where would I be without my “Black Cat Bone”; the most powerful and preferred form being a skull, which in this case – is NOT a museum reproduction. Even if your MOJO‘s workin’, you still need LUCK, and LOTS OF IT to win the caption contest, let alone the T-shirt. I’d say the odds on the contest are about the same as throwing 3 sevens in a row, and the odds on the T-shirt? Like getting a Royal Flush in a poker game! As for the Stethoscope? It means you can trust me and my advice – I’m a Doctor!
FUNNY OR DIE, and MISC
That’s the name of the game, isn’t it? It is Funny though that many of the winning captions are not actually funny; they’re really more ironic, or cynical, or even sarcastic! But trying for funny seems to be the best choice, hence – the ubiquitous Clown Horn! Honk Honk! I think you could make the crowd at a Funeral laugh with a Clown Horn, if you dared. The Cow-Bell is to remind me of the GENIUS of one of FOD’s founding fathers, the brilliant and inventive Will Ferrell! It also reminds me that ANYTHING, regardless of how trivial or banal (or stupid) can catch on and become a National Phenomena; you just have to invent it, “write it down” (0r use a digital recorder…) Hand-Cuff it and wrestle it to the ground! I fortify myself for the “Creative Process” by drinking a few shots of good whiskey, either Scotch or recently the new Crown Royal Black (imagine the smoothest best Jack Daniels you’ve ever tasted) and a few snorts of pure Oxygen, now available in the small silver can. I keep my Powder Horn dry, and I find a Swiss Army Knife to be extremely useful. There are actually FOUR MAGS in the picture; I didn’t notice that until now, but that’s alright I suppose – sometimes the accidental discoveries turn out to be the best. I use the Magnifying Glass to examine the Contest Picture closely, always trying to find something that everybody else missed, and the MAG-LITE represents illumination, as well as a nice club when necessary. Since many of the contest pictures are about SEX, well… it’s always best to be SAFE! I don’t always wear condoms, but when I do – I prefer (and require…) MAGNUMS! I’m just sayin’... Oh – I almost forgot; that rather large pistol in the picture? That’s a Smith and Wesson 357 Magnum loaded with 158 grain jacketed hollow points filled with liquid mercury and sealed with candle wax ala “Taxi Driver”. Let’s just say – I really HATE Die Bombers and Trolls!
So there you have it Everyone, everything you need to become a “Serial Winner” here at Funny or Die, I hope you found this interesting and I can’t wait to read your comments - I’d love to hear about your “Processes and Tools” as well.