How to Prevent Unicorns from Stealing Your Car And Other Funny Stories by Oleg Medvedkov
Lesson Number Two - Learn 10-15 names of fringe colors and use them in everyday conversations. For example, say "azure" instead of "blue." Sneak in "royal blue" every once in a while. To impress your Spanish-speaking friends, say "celeste" with a knowing smile. It will also help immensely if you can start spelling "color" with a u, as in "colour."
you start wearing turtlenecks as soon as possible. Nothing screams, "I am a
trendsetter," more than a blue, sorry, azure turtleneck, worn with
reckless abandon. Also, wear a baseball cap with a clever phrase to indicate
your superior trendsetting abilities. Start with something simple; for example,
a lime green baseball cap that says, "If you are illiterate, please raise your
Lesson Number Four - It is quite necessary for you to keep an eye on
what celebrities wear. It is not as difficult as it sounds! In reality, you do
not have to follow gossip websites or watch boring award ceremonies on the
television. Trust me; that is not important! When surrounded by people in
hearing range at the mall or at your daughter's piano recital, simply say, "Have
you seen what J.Lo was wearing last night?" If somebody claims that they have,
just reply with, "I know! That coloUr simply does not suit her, poor thing." Random bystanders will be properly awed by your keen insight and deep
Lesson Number Five - Website. You simply have to establish your
trendsetiness on the Internet. As we all know, a good website for a trendsetter
must have an incomprehensible domain name. Here are a few examples:
Next, make sure that your website’s "About Me" page is written in the most confusing manner possible. Please, do not be alarmed! People who are looking for trendsetters are simple-minded, and any degree of complexity makes a good impression on them. Here is a simple template that you can start using today:
“Pioneer in applying Social Media to Third-World Kitchen Appliances and
Non-Endangered Species of Water Lilies. Not a Follower, but a "FolloWah."
Not a User of G-Mail due to Spiritual Beliefs. Future Writer of ‘B'hanna, B'henna and B'londi.’ Past Contributor to Many Things - Big, Small, and Eco-Friendly. Inventor of Applied Calculus for Penguins. Connoisseur of ColoUrs.”
That should get you started!
In conclusion, these five lessons should be enough to get you on the road to
success in trendsetting. Please remember: You ARE! Nobody can take that away
from you. Fizzleloop!
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Oleg's responses to questions from Julia's students
No particular reason. I sat down, put the timer on and started typing and this is what came out. There’s really no “grand design” here, it’s just a silly piece that makes fun of trends, brands, and the desire to “stand out” from the crowd at any cost, no matter how ridiculous the attempts might appear.
Your brand of humor is extremely dry and sarcastic, and to me, sometimes a bit hard to perceive, which makes it enjoyable to me, I like a challenge in humor, but to some it goes over their heads, how is your writing generally received?
At a first introduction to my stories, the opinion of the readers splits about 50/50, just like with any comedy. There are people who “connect” with my kind of humor from the get go. Yet, there are people who would read one story and say, “What's so special about it?” However, I hear a lot from my readers that they “get it” after reading a few stories in a row. When they come back to the first story they’ve read, they see it in a different way.
I don’t actually write “sarcastically” on purpose, or try for a “dry” humor. I simply write in a very “economic” style, with as few words as possible. Even though my target audience is people who read in sentences, I still try to make it easier for them.
Was it easy to become a writer or did it take a long time? Do you often put your writing on the back burner?
Learning the craft of writing is easy. Putting it all to practice takes a lifetime of effort.
You either are a writer or you are not. There is no such thing as a “putting writing on the back burner.” Even if all you wrote some days is a short email, put as much thought and effort into it as if you were writing a chapter in a novel. Practically speaking, anyone has thirty minutes a day when they can sit down and type things. Just set the timer and go for it. Do it every day. That’s all it takes.
How do you come up with this humor?
I sit down and start typing. Some of the things that come out are funny; those I keep. I also think what would make my friends and family laugh; that’s usually a good guideline.
Humor, in a nutshell, is nothing more than a way of looking at things. A different perspective, if you will. I see our world as largely illogical and chancy place, populated by people who think that the past makes sense and the future will reflect it. That perception alone provides me with an endless source of amusement on a daily basis.
Who do you get your inspiration in writing from? Any particular writers/books?
I don’t do inspiration. That is a concept invented by people who wish they would write but find any excuse not to. Once again, you sit down and start typing. Once you get into it, you can call the feeling you get an “inspiration,” if you wish. As for what I read to make me a better writer, Encyclopaedia Britannica and similar publications come to mind easily. You can write only about what you know; the more you know, the more you can write about.
How can we learn to use humor in our writing? Any advice?
A couple of simple techniques for writing jokes are the surprise and reversal. Tying a joke to something to which people might relate and putting a twist on it works as well.
Remember the movie Matrix?
"Cat, the food is ready," I said.
"There is no cat," said the imaginary cat.
"Fine," I said, "more for me."
“Have you ever been handcuffed to a hungry dragon?” she asked me.
“No,” I said.
“Do you want to?”
We reached social equality--being born on the wrong side of the tracks is a must for a successful resume.
"Till death do us part..." Who put Death in charge of
Humans mate for life. Unless they meet somebody
History gets written by the winners and mythology by the losers.
Let's sit upon the ceiling and tell each other das stories.
The rabbits in a passing boat were singing a maritime showtune
while pretending not to hold automatic weapons in their paws.
In a perfect world, there would be a limit on how many storage containers one should own. Thank Goodness, we do not live in a perfect world.
How do you react and respond to a bad review?
I am a positive person, so I tend to look at bad reviews through a rose-tinted sniper scope attached to 50-cal. anti-material rifle.
But seriously: Bad reviews hurt. I don’t react to them, I don’t respond to them, unless there’s a need to answer a question or smooth out an argument. However, I never get antagonistic with a reviewer. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, no matter how badly it is misspelled.
What do you have against turtlenecks? Were you traumatized by one when younger? I remember being made to wear leisure suits and it traumatized me to this day!
No, no childhood or adulthood traumas are involved here. That would have been great if it were true; that’s the kind of trauma a person can live with. It’s simply a common reference to an outdated, in the US, piece of clothing that is still popular in Europe.
It’s often used in comedy shows to emphasize elitism and standoffishness. While it is not true, obviously, and I know some very nice people who wear turtlenecks, it’s one of the comedic staples; a shortcut to deliver a point without explaining it, if you will.
Humor can be very hard to write, and most good humor tends to be not politically correct, like the reference to Hungarians. How does one determine where the line is with an audience and when to cross it? Keeping in mind that in this day and age written
word lives on forever and will be viewed by those outside your target audience.
In the first lesson, who are you poking fun at? Hungarians, Metrosexuals or Hungarian Metrosexuals?
If you noticed, I make fun of “trandsetters” who take things too far, but I exclude Hungarians from belonging to such a group. Therefore, I actually do not make fun of Hungarians; quite the opposite, I am saying that they alone cannot possibly be this
I equate Metrosexuals to a nationality in the first lesson. When you compare apples and oranges, you underline an absurdity of an argument.
In general, I am not concerned with being “politically correct.” The concept of “political correctness” is something that was invented by “trendsetters,” and you know how I feel about them.