Shortcutting… Cards

24 May

Whenever I walk into a card shop (I’m talking celebratory folded thick paper with envelope, not just thick paper in general), I always spend at least 20 minutes looking at every single card that claims to be funny. The truth is, I find cards hilarious. There are different genres of card humour of course: the bold sarcastic statement, à la Waldo Pancake (a personal favourite of mine), the cartoon strip (usually rude), the picture taken from real life but with hilarious speech bubbles or captions added, the witty and thought-provoking quote, and the single bold cartoon picture with hilarious speech bubble/ caption. There is certainly an art to choosing a card for someone, so here’s how to choose well:

1) Consider the receiver: If they like a bit of a laugh, then humour is essential. Even more so if you are known for liking a bit of a laugh: they’ll be expecting something funny, everyone else will be expecting something funny, and let’s be honest, you’d be letting yourself down a little bit if you just went with the pretty one with the butterflies. He’ll be getting one of those from Aunt Beryl anyway. But if you think they’d rather receive a sincere expression of your feelings, maybe go for the pretty one with butterflies.

2) Consider the occasion: Birthdays are the true domain of humour, but it is also acceptable for congratulations and weddings (depending on how well you know the couple). I would suggest an innocent little joke for ‘get well soon’ cards too, unless the receiver’s illness makes it hurt when they smile or laugh. Also, make sure the joke isn’t about their illness – that would be a bit awkward… Obviously for consolations steer clear of humour at all costs.

3) Consider who else will see it: A card is a public thing, and everyone else at the party/ hospital/ in the family will see it, so make sure none of them would find it offensive (this goes for what you write in the card too).

4) Consider the type of humour: Once you’ve decided on humour, the exact genre is important too. Basically, get sarcastic people sarcastic ones, innocent people innocent ones, ‘adult humour’ people ‘adult humour’ ones, etc. etc. I know it’s virtually impossible to believe, but some people don’t appreciate the brilliance of a picture of knitted peas saying ‘Ha-pea Birthday!’

5) Consider the content: Now is the time to get your actual message across. There’s no need to be hilarious (you should have done that with the front), and as I said before, remember that a lot of people could potentially read what you write, so don’t go disclosing ancient secrets or anything. Having said this, do try to make it more personal than ‘Dear Aunt Beryl, Happy Birthday! From Zoe’. Apparently she didn’t like that very much.

Good luck with the card choosing!

Keep Shortcutting,

The perfect card for an alcoholic philosopher.

The perfect card for an alcoholic philosopher.

For someone who does mean a lot to you (otherwise... awkward!).

For someone who does mean a lot to you (otherwise… awkward!).

Sometimes, you just can't remember...

Sometimes, you just can’t remember…


One Response to “Shortcutting… Cards”

  1. wittylaila May 25, 2012 at 2:50 am #

    Reblogged this on intourbeing.

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