Try This On Your Own!

Michael Hume - Word Play logo

July, 2022 * Volume II, Number 7

Dear Personable Reader,

When the last day of the month rolls around, you can count on two things: Bills are due (boo), and you’ll be blessed with the distraction of your favorite news-free newsletter, Word PLAY!


In this edition, we explore everything from prison life to ancient comedy wisdom. You don’t want to miss a single word.


Joking aside, THANK YOU for reading, and for making Firewords Creative Copy your go-to source for the words that win and the funny that makes money. I am humbled by your support, and seriously grateful for your business.

- Michael

Michael D. Hume, M.S.
Senior Author and Parolee
Firewords Creative Copy

Meanwhile, in this edition of Word PLAY...

Try This On Your Own!

Word PLAY… Playful Monthly Commentary
On Persuasive Copy For YOUR Business

Guy goes to prison, and after Lights Out on his first night in stir, he hears someone down the line yell out “43!”

Laughter rings out throughout the cell block.

Once the cacophony dies down, someone else yells “92,” and the place breaks up again.

“What’s going on?” the guy asks his cell mate.

“We’re bored, so we’re telling jokes,” the mate replies. “14!”

HUGE laughter.

“Yeah, that’s a good one,” the cell mate mutters. “Always gets a laugh.”

“Excuse me,” the guy says, “all I hear are numbers, not jokes.”

“Well, we’ve all been here so long that we’ve heard all the jokes there are,” the cell mate responds. “So to save time, we numbered ‘em.”

“I see,” said the guy. “Can I give it a try?”

“Go ahead.”

“Twenty-seven!” he yells.


“Nineteen!” he adds, still without a reaction.

“What gives?” the guy asks his mate. “Aren’t there jokes with those numbers?”

“Sure,” says the cell mate. “Those are knee-slappers!”

“Why the stony silence, then?”

The cell mate simply sighed. “I guess some guys can tell a good joke, and some just don’t have the knack.”

I offer this hoary old anecdote to make my point, if any, which is most-likely this: If you’re like me (and I know I am), you hate it when someone tries to copy your wit and charm.

My clients publish lightly-humorous email newsletters which also present the key differentiators of their businesses.

They do this for three major reasons.

First, people actually read entertaining stuff… studies show my clients get 50% higher readership than they’d get with boring, “standard” copy.

Second, their competitors can match everything from their logos to their pricing, but the one thing they can’t copy is my clients’ lovable personalities, which come shining through when they publish funny stuff people actually welcome and read.

Third, my clients have a writer who can actually pull this off! I’m a professionally-trained copywriter, so I know how to present their key selling points… but I’m also a knucklehead with a long history of ridicule-worthy failure, so I’ve learned there’s no point in taking myself seriously. I’ve given my life to comedy.

Looking briefly at Point Two (above), when my clients’ competitors try to copy their entertaining newsletters, they come across like the Guy in our story who can’t tell a joke. They just don’t have the knack.

Many simply say “Hey, we’re fun too! We’re VERY funny!”

But there’s no getting around this ancient axiom of comedy: “Don’t tell me you’re funny. Tell me a joke. I’ll figure out for myself how funny you are.”

So to my clients’ competitors I say, please, go for it! Publish your own funny newsletter, and see how that works for you.

And if that doesn’t work, you can always just holler out “78!”

Key Take-Aways From This Edition

  • Prison life can be boring after Lights Out.
  • When your competitor tries to copy your fun personality by attempting to publish entertaining stuff, it’s likely they’ll come across as though they’re just running through the numbers.
  • A long life of ridicule-worthy failure can be seen as a professional asset. The key is choosing the right profession.
  • When you take your business seriously – but you don’t take yourself too seriously – you are in a great position to share your fun personality with the world.
  • When you share your fun personality with the world, people want to work with you! This can be very good for business!

Who doesn’t love Key Take-Aways THIS Key? Nobody. So you’ll get more of the Key Take-Aways you love in next month’s edition of Word PLAY!


Discussion Questions

  1. 1
    Can you give the punchline to #78 without swearing, but keep it funny?
  2. 2
    Create a bar graph that shows the relative funniness of all known jokes.
  3. 3
    Do you have lame competitors who THINK they’re funny, but can’t really tell a joke? Ready to kick their butt with some powerful marketing copy that actually entertains?

Send your answers to The most creative, inspirational response will be eligible to win a PRIZE! *

(* Prize is at the sole discretion of Michael Hume, his heirs and assigns, and a select committee of comedically-talented inmates and ex-convicts. This month’s Grand Prize may or may not be a Get Out Of Jail FREE card, or possibly a little plastic green house. Not a “greenhouse,” Silly, just a green house. Maybe we’ll give away a greenhouse next month. But probably not, so don’t wait – this might be your best shot, right here. Deadline has been jailed for lack of existence. Boring, lackluster, or unimaginative entries may be sent to prison, which would be no less than they deserve. So send in the good stuff! Best of luck.)

Last Month’s Grand Prize Winner: Duchess L. of Littleton, Colorado won by writing about the enthusiastic response to a client’s Hume-orous email newsletter, stating “I hope this brightened your day.” Sure did, Duchess! Call to claim your prize!
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I write HUME-orous marketing copy for happy clients who take their professions very seriously… but whose customers like and trust them because they don’t take themselves too seriously. Want more info? Get in touch…

Call me: (303) 478-8702
Email me:
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Copyright 2022 by Michael D. Hume, M.S. All rights reserved.
Word PLAY! has not been found to contribute to tooth decay
FireWords Creative Copy, 195 South Rancho Vista Drive , Pueblo West, CO 81007, United States

Michael D. Hume, M.S.

Michael Hume is a freelance writer, singer, and songwriter, and author of The 95th Christmas. He's an honor graduate of the Defense Information School, and holds an M.S. from the University of Colorado School of Business. Michael is the author of hundreds of online articles, including the popular series Great Leadership Requires Inspiration, The Conscience of a Restorationist, Appreciate Your Adversaries, and Take Care of Your Business.

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