[*] Call the accountants -- inventory the jokes

I came to work this morning with optimism that it would not come to this because I'm a 40-year-old man and Dave Armstrong is about the same age (I think Armstrong is older, but may the saints forbid that I attest to a fact which is questionable about DA), and you'd think that we would at least have a basic ability to read to share between the two of us.

Unfortunately, that's not the case. Armstrong has this to offer this morning:
Actually, it's just as fun to compare numbers with Frank Turk. Remember, he said that I put out "50,000+ words per week via the internet." 4,993 is a measly 10% of that (minimum) total. Given Frank's propensity for tall tales, I guess being off by a factor of ten is within the range of the expected norm, in his fantasy-land whopper-world.
You know something? I did say, "50,000+ words per week via the internet." No doubt. You can find it right here. However, it would be important to notice that what I said was
There is no such person as Dave Armstrong. He is a conspiracy of Jesuits working as a group to turn out 50,000+ words per week via the internet. And as we all know, you can't put a Jesuit conspiracy out of business.
Thus, rather than saying, "it is astounding that, after much research, I have determined that David Tiberius Armstrong, driver of delivery vehicles and much-feared Catholic apologist, produces a minimum of 50,000 words each and every week, with his most prolific week being the week of May 8th, 2005 with ###,### words, including number groups and title headings," what I said was, "Phil -- Armstrong is a joke, and I'm going to make fun of him by calling him a Jesuit conspiracy to flood the internet with text."

Now look: being defensive about how much you post is one thing. I personally have no shame about how much I post because I am keenly aware that the more I post the more people read, and I am a self-confessed stats junkie. I jones for stats. I have track marks on my keyboard that are the telltale sign of stats abuse. But some people (and I'm not talking about Armstrong here) realize that they post too much stuff and need to curb their enthusiasm -- and when you bring it up, they make excuses about why this week or that week was a text waterfall. They get defensive.

It's another thing simply to have no sense of humor -- even if you take offense to the joke. For example, if I said to Pecadillo, "Dude: the story about your saggy skin was funny, but tell the truth: you used to be a girl, and those are stretch marks from the family of 6 you gave birth to while you were a Mormon wife in rural Utah." I can see why someone would take offense to that joke for a lot of reasons: transsexuality blasphemes God; Mormon marriage practices in rural Utah are an affront to Christian marriage ethics; the issue of child brides is not very funny, either. So the right response to that joke is, "cent, that's not funny because it violates the Eph 5 standard for Christian conduct. You have just made a mockery of your own confession of faith and should repent." The matter is not that I got my facts wrong: I made an offensive joke. Because who in their right mind would believe that Pecadillo was ever a girl? Should we try to prove he was never a girl in order to say, "I'm offended by that joke"?

But for Armstrong, a statement made as a clear and obvious joke has to be scrutinized through all manner of scientific research in order to prove, "By the league of Christian intellectuals, I have never blogged 50,000 words in a week in my life! Forsooth, I am not the blow-hard, but you and all your mockers and scorners are, in fact, much more blow-hardy than I!"

So trying to decipher his methodology is completely pointless -- we might as well concede that fact that he has used the upstanding and legally-scrupulous firm of Stephen L. Nelson, CPA, PLLC of Redmond, WA, to tabulate his results. When he can't distinguish between sarcastic exaggeration and legitimate facts of the matter, there is no sense in dealing with facts. There is a deeper problem -- which cannot be named or else it is slanderous and mean-spirited -- that ought to be dealt with, but after years of offering solutions to that problem there's not sense in bringing it up again.