Monday, December 1, 2008

face value - part 3

Here's an easy way out for those of you who weren't born or paying attention when Maria in The Sound of Music said 'let's start at the very beginning'. Just click here to get to face value - part 1.

Before we talk about this type, let’s talk about you.

You’re probably thinking – easy weasy, I know the type, it’s all those people who abuse double meanings and make people go aargh!

Then, like people who automatically adopt a pseudo BBC accent while talking about the channel, you will get into pun mode. Hehehe, you’ll go, people who belong to this group believe the pun is mightier than the sword. Hahaha, if Facebook were a Hindu community, these people would all be pun-dits. If they were to be given a state of their own, they would choose Punjab. Hohoho.

And so on and so forth till I rapped you on the knuckles and said ‘Sorry. You couldn’t be more off the mark if you were blindfolded’.

Ok here's the most effective way to spot this personality type from your friend list.

The life-at-punpoint type

Whatever your instincts may say, don't think of words.

Think instead of pictures on a colourful wall calendar at a tea shop. Imagine a mythical hero with a rhyming dictionary in one hand and a thesaurus in the other. Those of you who have cut your teeth on Amar Chitra Katha comics can go ahead and imagine two extra hands – one holding the url of an anagram finder, and the other, an oxygen mask for victims.

Now, here’s the real clue.

Vanquished under the feet of this mythological character is not a demon, but another identical hero armed with the same weapons!

Get it now? This personality type constitutes the warriors of Facebook, and its greatest motivation is to establish supremacy over others of the same personality type. Everyone else is, well, just a part of the audience. This insight may help explain how life-at-punpoint people manage to remain undaunted by all the yucks they get regularly from the rest of us.

While the rest of us are fooled into thinking that the punsters in our friend list are just being funny or plain silly, what we miss is the determined war in progress. It’s a war to verbal death as far as the people fighting are concerned.The fact that the war is public and watched by all makes it even more critical for all parties to try harder.

I’ll give you an example of how it goes.

If, reacting to the recent Mumbai ordeal, one of the warriors says:

Mart is shaken and stirred. Without an olive in sight.

Mart’s competitor will be forced to come up with a rejoinder: James’ bond with Mumbai grows stronger with every bomb.

Mart will then be stung into changing his status update to: Mart gets a quantum of solace from knowing his friends are safe.

To which, James will have no option but to say: James is da-nieling at church and praying for the victims and their families.

Mart will shoot back with how he is craiging at the insensitive reactions of politicians in Mumbai.

The updates will retract in time and wit, till they start to look like typos and signs of drunkenness to the rest of us.

Status messages will deteriorate to ‘Our politicians seemed to be moored in fiction’ and ‘It’s a fleming shame’

Then the day will come when one of them, let’s say James (because he started with a punny advantage) says something like James’ chitty chatty media friends say the bang bang is over’, and Mart is forced to change the topic.

The score card will read 1-0 in favour of James, and Mart will be the one underfoot in the calendar.

This will continue till the next topic comes along and Mart gets a chance to be the one on top.

Waiting in the wings: The-Sharelock-Holmes-type


  1. Hee hee hee...funnier and punnier as its moving. As each one is coming up i'm anxiously hoping that my archetype will go unidentified.....Im quite sure that I don't belong anywhere so far. ....and please dont dedicate one to me....i still would want to believe that im rare species. Are you still going to have a facebook account after this risky initiative?

  2. i love it yet again :-)
    and i see exactly what you mean :-0

  3. Thank you twice over rahul :)

    Thanks rajesh. i'm told that there's no way to get out of a facebook account, but i have a feeling they might make an exception in my case :P

  4. Brilliant man. Am waiting for the rest.
    Now for some quick personality tests. Let's look at the last 5 status reports of the people here. Let's start with the one before the Mumbai attacks because a big event corrupts the data.

    Rajesh's last 5 status updates were :
    Rajesh hates this status bar. It keeps asking 'What are you doing right now?'.
    Rajesh was up early in the morning.
    Rajesh is loving tata sky plus....fwd everything.
    Rajesh is tripping on Metallica's 'The day that never comes'. They've said it all.
    Rajesh is motivated with the quote 'Don't be serious. Be sincere'.

    Rahul's were :
    Rahul is arm-wrestling monday.
    Rahul is asking fundamental questions.
    Rahul is tired.
    Rahul is off to the NCR.
    Rahul is one day away from another working weekend.

    Ashwini's were :
    Ashwini wants to send her mind to Goa.
    Ashwini is still reeling from an overdose of Diwali sweets.
    Ashwini is. But only if you look carefully.
    Ashwini is wondering if weekends can beat the speed of light.
    Ashwini is suffering from tuesday morning blues.

    That was the data. As I am the field-agent, I am not allowed to participate.

    So any theories on the archetypes of these three?

  5. Ha ha ha ha!
    Someone quickly get Ramesh's 5 status updates before he deletes them :-)

  6. Mr Ramesh I object to this. If you want beer just ask straight instead of adding fodder to Ashiwini's dangerous mission of causing trauma to our peaceful lives. We cannot be stripped naked like this for public scrutiny. She can very well do without these clues. e the resisters.