Adventures of the Author

Intelligent Humor for the Enlightened Masses

I have been reading up on Search Engine Optimization lately and my research has inspired me to try and clarify the focus and purpose of the Ominous Comma, in the hope of reaching a greater percentage of my internet neighbors with the glad tidings of my existence.

Regular readers will have already grasped the humorous intent of these pages, but since my presentation is often very highbrow and almost always very, very, very dry, causal observers, may they be human or search engine, may not immediately grasp the point of all this Very Exciting Nonsense.

Some people would say that the problem lay in my Search Optimization skills. Those people would be wrong. The real problem is this: Google is an idiot.

Regular readers may also recall a similar effort a few months ago, namely my spectacular sellout, in which I boldly inserted the world ’humor’ into my subtitle in a valiant attempt to garner more attention for this site. Search engines however, seem to have no respect for effort, and the exhaustive restructuring of nearly a dozen letter in my top- part- header- thingy has so far brought me very little in the way of visitors. Some people would say that the problem lay in my Search Optimization skills. Those people would be wrong. The real problem is this: Google is an idiot.

Google fails at intelligent humor search

I know that those who lovingly pour over these pages are not used to such harsh language, and if I suspected that Google Search had been dropped on its head as an infant algorithm, I would be much more delicate with my words. But what else can I say about any so-called program, the result of hundreds of thousand of hours of loving devotion and nurture, that cannot grasp the exuberant joy and articulate humor of this publication?

So with apologies in advance to all my subscribers and other loyal constituents of this blog, I am going to attempt to explain what the Ominous Comma is all about, using small keywords so any non-corporeal visitors can follow along.

The Ominous Comma is about humor, intelligent humor,1 humor that launches itself from the shining phosphors of your monitor and grabs you by the cerebellum, wringing the laughter from the irony centers of the brain like an over-filled sponge.

Humor that takes no prisoners, that is unafraid to fill articles, take occasional plunges into satire, and even lightly caresses the cheek of politics.

Humor that is proud of the term humor and is not considering a name change to Funny, Witty, or Mildly Jovial.

Humor that doesn’t have time for celebrities or reality TV because it is still in college even though its synapses have advanced far beyond what are normally considered the Learning Years.

Humor whose wife frequents these pages and therefore cannot resort to boobies and bikinis to bring in traffic but must actually write essays and articles to attract the masses.

That kind of humor.

To further clarify and annoy, I will give a brief list of my influences to help you determine whether or not you have found the right Internet Humor Provider for you.

Douglas Adams
Steven Wright
Anyone able to use the word “scrumbly” in a sentence.
The Far Side
Danger Mouse
Anyone receiving a mandatory sentence for using the word “scrumbly.”
Monty Python
Oscar Wilde
Invader Zim
The Scumbly Scrumblers of Scrumblitude.
Danger Couch
The Peter Principle by Laurence Peter and Raymond Hull.
Dave Berry

I think that about covers it. Remember, if you are looking for political diatribe you are at the wrong site. Similarly if you thirst for gossip or computer tech stuff, you are not going to find much of that here. All you are going to find here is the funniest stuff that anyone has ever written.

Just as long as you define anyone as me.

  1. If you are not intelligent, I am sorry but I am going to have to ask you to stop reading right now. If you are illiterate, I need you to stop staring at the screen pretending to read. Go loiter somewhere else.

    Sorry, rules are rules.

Best of the Comma Commentary

Building My Career With A Book Signing Tour

I have decided that if I am to advance to the next level in my authorly career, I am simply going to have to launch a book signing tour.

According to my research on the subject, the key requirements for such a literary event are a book, an author, and a writing utensil. I am told that a Sharpie-brand1 permanent marker works well for most autographing needs, but in a pinch you can make do with a charcoal briquette or even an unfolded paperclip dipped in your own blood, which is especially appropriate if you are promoting a horror novel or a grade-school teaching memoir.

After a careful inventory of my dwelling, my clothing, and a couple of people who happened to walk by, I discovered that I did not, in fact, have a book to sign. So I called my publishers to lodge a complaint. Once they had searched their records, they informed me that the breakdown in the publishing process had occurred somewhere around the point where I failed to submit a book for publication.

As an American I am not used to tolerating this level of incompetence, so I fired my publishing company and immediately initiated a class action suit on behalf of all the would-be authors in the country that may also have been discriminated against in such a egregious fashion.

My more financially savvy friends have advised me to invest any settlement I receive in commodities that I support and believe in. When pressed,2 my lawyers revealed that my share of the upcoming settlement should be just sizeable enough to invest in a good cup of coffee.

Undaunted by this minor setback, I decided that I owed it to the American people to carry on with my tour, in the hope that my perseverance against overwhelming odds might inspire people, and get me a spot on Oprah3 to promote my absent book. As a contingency, I decided that should any fans insist that I actually sign a book on my book signing tour, I would simply autograph something from Dave Barry’s large catalog of publications. As long as I stay out of Florida, I’m sure he’ll never notice.

I thought that I would start my literary pilgrimage in small, local bookstores and then switch over to Barnes and Noble locations to take advantage of those nice Starbuck’s kiosks they have in their stores. As any touring author can tell you, book signing is far too strenuous to attempt without a ready supply of Cinnamon Dolce Lattés.4

From there, I will travel to other cities. After all, what is the point of being an author if you are surrounded by people that already know you, and therefore fail to properly appreciate your literary brilliance, celebrity status, and may even expect you to pay for your own meals.

At each stop I will be enjoying the deluxe accommodations of my tour sponsor, the Honda Civic Inn, who’s single occupancy executive suite is far more luxurious that the meager lodgings that I am accustomed to on the driver’s side.

Yes, it is shaping up to be a glorious tour, filled with joy, excitement, and of course, me. Which is as much as you could realistically ask for in an event of this literary magnitude.5


Soon, I will finalize the list of cities to be graced with a visit, chosen on the basis of their reputation for author appreciation and the enforcement stringency of their local vagrancy laws. Be sure to subscribe to this site to receive up-to-the-second information on this ground breaking literary event as it unfolds.


  1. Unpaid product promotion. To submit your product for promotion, please send me a working sample of your product and a briefcase full of small unmarked bills. If you could organize them by date due and amount owed, that would really help.
  2. Lawyers must always be pressed if you wish to extract truth from them. I recommend an industrial steam press like the ones used by laundries and dry cleaners. It allows you to get to the truth quickly, while leaving your lawyer’s suit fresh-looking and wrinkle-free.
  3. I refuse to comment on Oprah on the grounds that the Organization of Surprisingly Unpleasant Talk Show Personalities might again send their minions to address my “uncooperative attitude” with large blunt objects.
  4. Dear Mr. Starbuck, please extend the limited, winter-only availability of your Cinnamon Dolce drinks. Don’t cut me off like this. My literary career, and the subsequent happiness of millions of people, depend on this life-giving product. Please consider the welfare of the nation as you make this decision.
  5. I really don’t have anything to say here, I just hate having an even number of footnotes. Odd numbers somehow look much more professional.