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the martians are coming... and they're bringing huge savings!

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the martians are coming... and they're bringing huge savings!

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This morning on the way to work, I heard an ad for a doctor who specializes in vasectomies. It talked about a technique that involved no needles, referenced "numb nuts" and encouraged the males among us to "use your stimulus package on your package."

It occurs to me that I have no idea if this was a real ad or a joke one produced by the station's morning gorillas (or zoo or crew or whatever they call themselves). When I first heard it I thought it was genuine, and it wasn't until I started writing this that I realized it might not be. Perhaps I'm just overly gullible, but I could make a case for it either way, and seriously, I just don't have an inkling. It's no more out there than some real ads I've heard, and the parody ads are usually more obvious about it.

The ultimate result for me personally is that I sit here and ponder the nature of satire. It's one of the most slippery areas of humor because the butt of the joke is so versatile. The default would be the subject, but then if the satire fools the supporters of the original subject into thinking it genuine, as happens with Colbert or some Onion articles, they then become part of the subject themselves. If the satire fails, the creator effectively mocks himself. If the satire so closely mirrors the original that no one can tell what's real and what isn't... well, who is the butt of that joke? The subject? The joker? The audience? The Daughters of the American Revolution? All of the above and the whole rest of the mockworthy world besides?

Ask Andy Kaufman, if you see him.
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