Sunday, November 20, 2022

Book Review: The Ultimate Actuarial Joke Book and Best Tweets From Actuarial Problem Dog by John Lee

It is with much chagrin and envy that I offer my review of a pair of books composed by John Lee, a.k.a the Actuarial Tutor. 

I once had a dream to dominate the actuarial humor market. Now, I realize I have to share it. I missed the boat on being the first to publish an actuarial joke book, but perhaps I can still claim the best actuarial parody blog on the internet.  And while I may not have my tweets compiled into a reader, I can take pride in the occasional zinger I throw out there. 

But this is not supposed to be a jealous rant, so let me swallow my pride and proceed to support a fellow actuarial humorist. 

Actuaries are a rare breed. And if you are lucky enough to find one, you may get a chance to get a glimpse of actuarial wit and charm.  But if you are unable to find one or if you happen to be an actuary who wants to present proof that actuaries are indeed capable of humor, then John Lee's books are just what you need. 


Not every joke is about the stereotypical introverted actuary. 

"Have you heard the one about the fun/interesting actuary? Me neither."

Lee covers the whole spectrum of actuarial personality. Including

Our social lives:

"What do you call male actuaries who love equations? Alge-bros."

Our romantic side:

"My wife and I share a fantastic sense of humor. We have to because, I as an actuary don't have one."

The jokes aren't solely about actuaries Lee covers other aspects of the actuarial universe including various maths, insurance products, and relevant subject matter.

"What do you call stadium statistics? Ball park estimates."
"Why was the baker unable to obtain insurance? Her high whisk profile."

The joke book is complete with spins on classics and tropes "You might be an actuary if..."*, Knock-Knock Jokes, Road Crossing, Walking into Bars and Light Bulb Jokes*.

"knock, knock.
*actuary inside stays silent and absolutely still until knocking stops."

And to top it off you have a few memes and a few jokes that would make your momma blush.

"What do you call a series of payments that sleep around? A promiscuity."

The collection is a wonderful coffee table or bathroom reader that will be sure to entertain your guests, or at the very least generate some interesting questions about your life choices.

*Between the Spreadsheets has maintained its own versions of these tropes on the Clipped Art Site

The Best Tweets From Actuarial Problem Dog

For those of us who are actuaries and active on twitter  (find me @nateworrell), the entity known as Actuary Problem Dog, has graced us with humorous, occasionally dark, but bitingly true quips and observations about the realities of an actuarial student.  John Lee has compiled and organized a "best of" set of Tweets to pay homage to the ten plus years worth of character limited wit. This book also happens to be a fundraiser for mental health. In a contentious and COVID laced world, doing anything to support sanity is a noble quest.

In many ways, the tortuous path to becoming an actuary is an absurd emotional rollercoaster. And we can thank the modern internet era for providing an anonymous avatar to give a voice to the agony of actuarial candidates across the globe. Engage in some cheap therapy for yourself and help alleviate the stress of others by purchasing and paging through this avant-garde assortment of humor.

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