Sometimes moderately funny things become impossibly hilarious to me. So is the case with Ab Lincoln, an errant typographical moniker assigned to our 16th president by a colleague in a recent email. The author intended to inspire and energize the corporate troops with a quote from Abe Lincoln, but the clumsy motivational metaphor fell flat, in no small part because he attributed the day’s wisdom to “Ab” Lincoln.
Typos are funny in a way similar to videos of people obliviously stumbling into fountains at the mall while texting. It’s the kind of unintentional, non-malicious, disproportionately embarrassing act that we quietly laugh at when others do it and simmer in frustrated shame when we do it ourselves.
And Abe Lincoln is our most consistently comedic historical figure (although I rally for Rasputin). Saturday Night Live recognized this years ago when Abe Lincoln showed up to call Tom Hanks “an incredible pussy” during the opening monologue. And Conan O’Brien (who likely wrote the Hanks skit back in his SNL days) has long appreciated the comedy versatility of Abe.
So, yes, “Ab” Lincoln made me laugh. It conjured images of Honest Ab, with a glistening washboard torso usually only seen in magazine shoots of Twilight stars and favorable imaginations of a super-lightweight division boxing champion Jesus Christ. And what would a ripped cabin builder and super-motivational orator do? Open Ab Lincoln’s Fitness Emporium, that’s what! Fortunately, I work with a talented designer who helped realize this vision.