A Lawsuit Has Been Filed Against One Minute Wit

Due to the nature and importance of this story, I am waiving the one minute limit.

Dear Friends;

I have some troubling news to share today. I recently learned there is a man named One Minute Wit who is not happy about me using his name for my publication. He has filed a lawsuit to stop me from publishing under his name.

I have tried to reason with him. Here is a transcript of that conversation:

“Hello.”

“Yes, Is this One Minute Wit?”

“Speaking.”

“I am Mark Starlin…”

“The crook who stole my name.”

“No. I was unaware that there was anyone named One Minute Wit when I chose the name. I did a Google and Domain search, and there were no matches.”

“Because I like my privacy. Now you have gone and stolen my identity.”

This went on for quite a while. Me trying to be reasonable. Him calling me a thief. Finally, I had put up with enough of his hostility.

“Listen, One. I am having a hard time believing your parents actually named you One Minute Wit.”

“Call them and ask, here’s their number” [number deleted for privacy sake.]

“Alright.”

[Ring ring.]

“Hello.”

“Hello. Is this Mr. Wit?”

“Speaking.”

“Hi, my name is Mark Starlin. I am the publisher of One Minute Wit. A humor publication on Medium. Your son has recently entered into a lawsuit against me, claiming that his name is One Minute Wit and seeking the cessation of publishing by my publication. I wanted to confirm with you that you did, in fact, name your son One Minute.”

“That is correct.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“May I ask you your first name?”

“Sure. It is Two Minute.”

“And you’re wife’s name?”

“Rebecca. But my father’s name was Three Minute. His father’s name was Four Minute. And his father’s name was Five Minute. The tradition goes all the way back to One Thousand Wit.”

“Then I assume, if you have a grandson, he will be named Zero Minute?”

“Of course.”

“What happens if he has a son? Will you call him Thirty Second Wit?”

“Ha, ha. That would be silly. No, he would be named One Thousand Wit like his great, great, great, great, great, great… Well, you get the idea.”

“Yes. This is quite troubling. One Minute Wit has over 300 readers who will be disappointed if the publication ceases. And I spent well over a half-hour creating the branding for the publication.”

“I understand. And I would hate to see you lose your income from the publication.”

“Well, actually, I don’t make anything for publishing it.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“Then I must ask you why you continue to do it.”

“I ask myself that a lot. But I enjoy the community of writers involved. And I like to do creative things. I guess it is a hobby.”

“I like to play golf. It costs me a small fortune, and I stink up the links, but I love it. I understand. I will talk to my son and call you back.”

“Thank you, Mr. Wit.”

“Please, call me Two.”

“Thank you, Two. You can call me Mark.”

[The next day. Ring, ring.]

“Hello.”

“Hello, Mark. It’s Two.”

“Hi. I am glad to hear from you.”

“Perhaps not. It seems my son is quite adamant about his lawsuit. I asked him why he was so bothered by your publication, and he said… Well, how can I put this? You see, my son writes for Medium under an alias, a pen name. I am not at liberty to reveal it, but he has quite a following on Medium. Forgive me, but he said he only writes big ideas and important stories, and your lame attempts at humor disgust him. He didn’t care when you published them under your own name. But as soon as you started publishing them under his name, he got mad.”

“But why did he wait so long to say something?”

“Well, it’s not like One Minute Wit is The Mission or The Startup or The Writing Cooperative or P.S. I Love You or…

“Alright. I get it.”

“He didn’t know about your publication until one of your stories accidentally showed up in the Self section.”

“Is there anything I can do to resolve this crisis, without going to court?”

“You could try donuts. He loves those.”

“That was the first thing I tried. It didn’t work.”

“Then I am afraid you may have to change the name of your publication.”

“Well, thank you for trying, Two.”

“Best of luck. Bye.”

“Bye.”

[Ring, ring]

“Hello.”

“Yes, is this One Minute Wit?”

“Speaking.”

“I am Mark Starlin…”

“The crook who stole my name.”

“Speaking. Listen. What is it going to take to get you to drop this lawsuit?”

“Can you teach me to be funny?”

“What?”

“I am tired of writing the same old serious stuff day after day. I want to be funny. Can you make me funny?”

“Uhh, I thought my humor disgusts you?”

“I just told my Dad that to get him off my back. I want to make people laugh like that skeleton with the green hat. He’s hysterical.”

“Wooh. That’s a tall order. I’m not nearly that funny.”

“No, but I can’t sue him. You’ll have to do.”

“Lucky me. Well, let’s hear you say something funny.”

“I wrote a joke. There was a man named Tree. He made his dog bark. Get it? Tree bark. Dogs bark. Funny, huh?”

“Maybe in second grade. Listen, Grasshopper. Rule number one of humor. If you have to explain a joke, it’s not funny.”

Thus began my intensive humor training with One. The more we worked together, the more I became convinced that humor is nearly impossible to teach. Finally, I could take no more.

“Alright, One. Give me your best joke.”

“Here goes. A Walrus and an Elephant were talking. The Walrus said, “Got any peanuts?” The elephant said, “Let me check my trunk.”

“Brilliant! Genius! Super-funny! You are ready, Grasshopper. Alright, pick a new alias, and I will make you a writer on One Minute Wit.”

I can’t reveal his new alias, but you can expect to see a new writer on One Minute Wit sometime soon. He said once he gets 1k claps on one of his humor stories, he will drop the lawsuit.

I am hoping for sometime in 2022.

Old bones. Young heart. Focusing on a wide variety of creativity. @markstarlin

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