At the big party Saturday night, I met Merlin Mann and I was able to tell him things I’ve always wanted to tell him (all good stuff, in case you were wondering). He was gracious and kind. Additionally, he signed his toot* in Twitter Wit. Yes, I wrote it in there so he could sign it.
(People throw around the word “irony” a lot. But I believe this qualifies.)
It’s ironic that this makes me inordinately happy.
* I would like to get everyone’s autograph on their toots in the book. I was fortunate enough to get many this weekend. And sad about the people I missed.
While we’re on the subject, I’m still happy about this.
They’re Jokes, People
I started my Twitter account, @rolandfox, back in 2008 in order to tell jokes. Even before then, I used humor as an outlet to manage stress. I always figured it was easier to see the humor in a stressful situation rather than let the stress get the best of me, and it has always worked out pretty well. I can thank my dad for that.
My wife (we’re now divorced) and I decided that since my jokes weren’t exactly tasteful, and since my part-time job was at an extremely conservative church where her extremely conservative father was my boss, that I should tweet under a pen name. We really needed the money from that job, and we feared that my job would be in jeopardy if anyone at the church discovered my Twitter feed. But I think the biggest reason for coming up with the pen name of Roland Fox was because we were afraid of disappointing her parents. That fear governed a lot of what we did or didn’t do.
So I tweeted and tumbled and went to tweetups as Roland Fox. And it was nice to have that outlet to say whatever I wanted, but it was awkward, too. One of the first times I realized how awkward it was was at the first San Francisco tweetup when smartasshat asked people who had tweets in the Twitter Wit book to autograph their tweets, and I was honored to do so, but when I went to sign my name, I thought, ‘Wait. This isn’t me.’ I signed it, but my signature probably looked like it was written by a 2nd grader who just learned cursive. Then the awkwardness came full circle a few years later when I introduced myself as RF at a local meetup, and as soon as the words came out of my mouth, I looked up, and standing there was a former coworker. Later in the evening, I “came out” and everyone was understanding and supportive, as all of you all who I’ve met have always been.
Then came my separation from my wife in January 2013, and let me tell you, it was a nasty split, and it’s been nasty ever since. We both took our jabs at each other. I had a tracking code set up to track visitors to my blog, and I started noticing IP addresses that I recognized as my ex wife’s or members of her family (remember, they never knew about my blog when we were together) that were deep scanning my blog. They were finding snippets of my writing that were posted on other websites, too…things I didn’t even remember writing. To me, it looked like they were building a case against me, for writing the jokes about my kids, so I locked down my Twitter account and jettisoned my Tumblr blog. Sure enough, when I went to our 9-hour mediation in July, I was presented with a 90 page document that had screenshots of those jokes in the form of tweets and blog posts, jokes that she used to laugh at but all of a sudden was trying to use against me in order to (I assume) paint me as a bad father. The mediator took a brief look at the document and said it really had no bearing on our divorce settlement.
Now that we’re divorced and I no longer have to deal with in laws with obsessive conservative disorder, or with a church that I no longer work for (it was an easy decision for everybody, really, to not work for the father of my ex-wife), I really don’t have to worry about you all knowing who I really am. And since I’ll be doing open mic stand up comedy at The Comedy Attic in Bloomington, IN, one of USA Today’s 10 Great Places Where Comedy is King, it’ll be much easier to promote myself there if everyone knows who I really am. I’ve got real-life Twitter/Tumblr friends, lifelong friends and family members, Facebook friends, etc., and this is just way easier to manage if I merge all of these accounts.
So…Hi, I’m Todd Mullins. Nice to meet you. I grew up in rural New Palestine, IN, southeast of Indianapolis. I’ve got an amazing, supportive, huge, Irish Catholic family on my dad’s side that loves to laugh, and most of them have never seen my jokes, but that’s about to change. I’ve got an equally amazing and supportive girlfriend, Leah, and without her and her connections, the stand up comedy thing probably never would have happened. Some of you may know my best friend Zach from the April 2012 CHSH.
Feel free to friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. If you’re ever in the Indianapolis or Bloomington area, look me up, and if Leah and I are available, we’d love to host you for an evening or a weekend.
I dearly love my two boys. They’re intelligent and funny, and they’re really the most well-behaved kids that a parent could ask for. Sometimes, I might turn something they say or do into a tweet or Facebook or Tumblr post, but just remember, they’re jokes, people.
I’m so glad your jokes didn’t affect your divorce. That’s good news for lots of us for whom humor serves a purpose other than making jokes for their own sake. Many people don’t understand that when you need humor as an outlet, you can’t simply stop making jokes.
I grew up in a family where there were no boundaries on what you could say as long as it was funny enough, so that’s my baseline. The question “Why did you make that joke?” doesn’t make sense to me. Why wouldn’t I?
When I joined Twitter, I had just gotten a new job after getting in trouble for making jokes at my previous job. I used Twitter as my humor outlet to keep it out of my professional life. Favrd came along in the nick of time for me.
Enough about me. If you’re in the Bloomington area, go see my friend
Roland’s Todd’s beginner’s signature:
Roland Todd may be the only person who has the same joke in Twitter Wit twice.
The NRA’s position has a long history. In 1945, the National Concentration Camp Association said that if the Nazis were in concentration camps, too, this wouldn’t have happened.
FUROR OVER HITLER TEAPOT
I searched through a lot of news items on this Hitler-shaped teapot to find a picture that stood alone. Most had pictures with the actual Hitler next to it, or a shot of the original offending billboard shot from below. I just wanted a good shot to judge for myself.
What I noticed was that NONE of the stories I found had the above headline. It seems to me that EVERY story should have had that headline. Right?
That is the epitome of a headline that writes itself.
I also couldn’t resist tweeting about it: