Monday, January 25, 2010

Kpn it smpl

They say brevity is the soul of wit, but it's not that simple.

Though that was a pretty good joke in 13 words, and today's Frazz tried to pull it off in essentially one letter.

Mostly, though, contradiction is the root of humor. That's really why that first line is funny, and it's why it's so funny watching me employ the butterfly in pursuit of forward motion, which plays out neither simply nor briefly.

But I still like simplicity, though you wouldn't know it by the length of most of my posts or the amount of text in my allegedly visual comic strip. Or, of course, the footnote count in my book Trizophrenia. One of my favorite philosophies is Occam's Razor: "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate," or "Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily," or "Keep It Simple, Stupid."

There's no denying William of Occam had a point, and there's equally little denying that people didn't get it, else we wouldn't now have two spellings of his name to choose from (the other being Ockham). For the record, I choose the first because it has only one superfluous consonant instead of two.

I got to thinking of all this after getting my mail over the weekend and seeing that the Postal Service had lost my winter issue of Triathlon Life magazine and tried to make things right. They may have no idea how successful they were. The magazine arrived in one of those cellophane-front envelopes the Postal Service uses to deliver your mail after they've mangled it, complete with a pre-printed apology. Let me say here that Triathlon Life, the magazine sent as a membership benefit to athletes with a USA Triathlon license, has become very good and very much thicker in recent years, a true contender in the field of Magazines You Spend Too Much Time Reading When You Should Be Training. But this envelope felt as light as the Triathlon Life of years back. Had their success been short-lived?

No. The outermost sheet had come unstapled from the magazine itself, and that's what was in the USPS "My Bad" envelope: exactly four pages comprising an advertisement for a helmet I already own; two for races I'm too late to enter anyway; and the front cover, complete with teasers to some of the stories I would not be spending my training time reading. One of those stories was "Spice Up Your Off-Season Training." Another was "Fight the Indoor Training Blues." I laughed. And then I set it down and went outside for a run.

That's the kind of simplicity I like.


KovasP said...

Jef, in case you missed it, you can get the digital version at Though that's the opposite of Kpn it smpl.

Jef Mallett said...

Thanks, P! I will indeed catch up there. I appreciate it. You are ... smply gr8.

CaptainVector said...

Speaking of Frazz, it's way past time for a new Frazz book (or two)!

Kp up d gr8 wrk!