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 Nine Hallmarks of Highly Incompetent Losers

By Pat Reeder, with Laura Ainsworth

Foreword by Former Arkansas Governor, TV & Radio Host, and
Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee

A great gift for fans (or haters) of your standard
business motivation/"self-help" book
or anyone who just loves to laugh!



For media inquiries, email

Pat also does a very funny live presentation on the Nine Hallmarks of Losers for corporate, civic and charity groups.  For more information about booking him as your speaker, click here.

Excerpts From the Foreword to "Nine Hallmarks" by Mike Huckabee

"Pat Reeder and Laura Ainsworth's Comedy Wire is as much a part of my morning reading routine as the Bible and the morning paper.  It may not be as important as the Bible, but it sure as heck is more pleasurable than the morning paper...

In my world of the full contact sport of politics and public office, a sense of humor is as necessary as a roomful of lobbyists lined up to hand over big checks for the campaign.  This book is a million dollars worth of laughs, and it doesn't cost that much, and you get to skip the finger food...

In the interest of full disclosure, I confess that some mornings, I've hated Pat and Laura as well -- those days when I laughed so hard, I spewed coffee all over my computer keyboard, or had to change shirts or (please don't tell this!) pants...

Read this book on days when you really  feel down on yourself.  You'll be lifted up knowing that there are other people who really are dumber than you feel."

                                                      -- Mike Huckabee,
                                                        Former Ark. Governor/2008 Presidential Candidate

(For more on Mike Huckabee, scroll to the bottom of this page)

Everyone agrees that mistakes are how we learn.  Unfortunately, mistakes are also how we get fired and go bankrupt and end up in prison. We believe that learning from mistakes is great, as long as you learn from someone else's.

So in our "reverse self-help" book, "Nine Hallmarks of Highly Incompetent Losers," we recount over 200 hilarious but true stories from our vast Comedy Wire files to illustrate nine basic errors that people make over and over again. These gaffes, boners and boo-boos account for about 90% of all the stories of failure and humiliation that we write about daily. They are...

1. Never plan ahead.

2. Lose sight of the goal.

3. Don't sweat the details.

4. Don't communicate clearly.

5. Work while drunk, high or otherwise indulging your addictions.

6. Call undue attention to yourself.

7. Lose your cool.

8. Claim talents and abilities you don't really have.

9. Bend over too far backwards.

Any one (or a combination) of these mistakes can result in chaos, embarrassment, and in the worst case scenarios, someone dialing 911 and alerting the media. Nobody is immune, from petty criminals with third grade educations to top government bureaucrats and major corporations, as we richly and humorously demonstrate.

For instance, ponder whether the Romanian man who tried to kill his lice by shampooing his hair with gasoline and drying it by a blazing wood stove really showed any less regard for details than the top British government scientists who studied a sample of sheep brains for four years before finally discovering something startling: it was actually a mislabeled sample of cow brains.

"Nine Hallmarks of Highly Incompetent Losers" offers solid, common sense business and personal advice in a form that will make you laugh until your nose bleeds. It makes a great addition to your own bookshelf and the perfect gift for friends who have suffered through one too many "secrets of success" books. Order it today, and find out why one prominent reviewer of business and self-help books hailed it as "a breath of fresh air!"

Nine Hallmarks of Highly Incompetent Losers is wonderful -- It's like eating really delicious candy.  You just can't stop because you know the next bit is going to be just as satisfying."

-- Steve Young, Emmy-Winning Writer
"Late Show With David Letterman"

Page below from the Dallas Morning News



President Reagan used to keep a sign on his desk in the Oval Office that read, "There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." I don't know who said this originally, but many people gave the credit to Reagan, and he never turned it down.

Admittedly, it is tough to take advice about not courting attention from a man whose major careers included male model, Hollywood actor and politician. Despite all that blatant attention-mongering, Ronald Reagan was certainly no loser. Likewise, Donald Trump is fabulously successful, and he is so attracted to the spotlight that he is rumored to have moth DNA. Our pop culture landscape is littered with "celebrities" whose entire careers, if one can call them that, stem from nothing but their willingness to do anything, from eating scorpions to rolling around in rats, to call attention to themselves. These people include Tom Green, all the contestants on Survivor, Fear Factor and Temptation Island, and anyone who has ever appeared on MTV...

Getting noticed is great, if you are noticed at the right moments for the right reasons. That's why celebrities hire press agents: to make sure the media take notice whenever their clients do something praiseworthy, such as dishing out Thanksgiving dinner to their former personal assistants down at the homeless shelter or graduating from rehab for the 25th time. But when that same celebrity staggers into an awards show with eyeballs as red as two cherry tomatoes, reeking of bourbon and lightly frosted with angel dust, wearing the jacket of a baby blue 1977 tux with a pair of paisley pajama bottoms and a tampon on his head, and accompanied by two half-naked professional escorts, his press agent does not insist that the cameras come in for a close-up. That's Joan Rivers' job.

No matter how tempting it may be to invite the world's notice, sometimes it's just plain counterproductive.  Again, let's start with the people who should know this truism better than anyone: criminals...

*  A woman in Muskegon Heights, Michigan, was allegedly shoplifting at a Family Dollar store. She set off an alarm as she left, then dropped her purse in the parking lot. She later called police to claim her lost purse and even came down to police headquarters to retrieve it. Naturally, she was immediately arrested. But then, they knew she was dumb when she risked jail to shoplift at the dollar store.

*  A registered sex offender wanted for walking away from a halfway house was captured in San Diego after he was noticed walking in a park, wearing an orange shirt with the word "FUGITIVE" printed on it in large block letters. A police spokesman said it was just a shirt he had, so he wore it. Probably because his "REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER" T-shirt was in the wash.

*  An ex-con sued the Australian prison system for $265,000, claiming that because of their confusing record keeping system, he'd been held 239 days longer than he should have. Prison authorities in Queensland recalculated his sentence and found that he was right about it being incorrect, but he had actually been released six weeks early. They never would have noticed if he hadn't called attention to it. He was sent back to jail for another six weeks. See, he told them it was confusing!...

In all the above cases, the poor losers who called attention to themselves did so primarily because they were dumber than a mud lump. But stupidity is not the only underlying cause of a thirst for attention. Competent, even intelligent, crooks can also call too much attention to themselves, just through sheer arrogance...

*  A Florida fraud suspect who cashed nearly $200,000 worth of bad checks got so cocky, he made a video and sent it to the police, taunting them by saying, "Here I am, now you know what I look like! Catch me if you can!" Well, they did. They simply went to his mother's house in Hialeah, and there he was. Turned out being a criminal genius was a lot harder than it seemed in his comic books.

*  Proving that comedy is not for amateurs, a man stood up at open mic night at a Macon, Georgia, comedy club and began doing "slice of life" jokes about the subject he knew best: the three bank robberies he had pulled. The audience thought it was a skit, but the club manager, an ex-cop, realized it wasn't and called the police. The would-be funnyman was captured and sentenced to a rather big slice of Life: 87 years in prison. At least he now has a captive audience for his jokes...

And so we learn that calling undue attention to yourself is a definite career drag for criminals. But what about those who crave attention as an easy way of advancing themselves? Everyone wants to be popular, and in our society, fame is often erroneously equated with popularity; so it's tempting to think that making an overt grab for attention is the first step on the road to winning your true love, advancing your favorite cause, or being the most popular person on your block. Well, dream on...

*  A Hong Kong woman who was jilted by her married lover decided that the way to win him back was to be impossible to ignore. So she phoned him approximately 1,000 times a day for three years. After two years, the man quit his job and changed all his phone numbers to avoid her; but she found out his new numbers, resumed the calls and started sending 500 faxes a day as well. She may never land another boyfriend, but she could easily land a job as a telemarketer.

*  A sexy, 27-year-old animal rights activist decided to draw attention to her anti-fur crusade by standing outside a busy Tucson, Arizona, shopping center, wearing nothing but panties and a strategically-placed banner reading, "Human Skin In, Animal Skin Out." She got more attention than she bargained for when male drivers slammed on the brakes to gawk, resulting in a multi-car pile-up. All her stunt accomplished was to prove that the skin of a fox is hard to resist.

*  Members of an antique rifle club in Yorkshire, England, certainly chose an attention-getting name: "The Cock, Ball, Nipple and Touchhole Club." Actually, those are all parts on an antique rifle. But the gimmick backfired when the local bank closed their checking account for being just 32 pence overdrawn. A bank spokesman claimed the account closure was not due to the club's filthy-sounding name. Nor to his keen disappointment after he subscribed to their newsletter.

*  An Essex, England, man who was locally famous for his elaborate Christmas decorations decided to do "something a bit different" to draw even more attention. He spent $950 on a 30-foot-tall inflatable snowman with a giant top hat and a massive carrot nose. It drew crowds of strangers, but it made him very unpopular with his own neighbors. They claimed it seemed to be staring through their bedroom windows, and some complained of having nightmares about being chased by a giant snowman. It truly was abominable...

Okay, so maybe drawing lots of attention to yourself isn't always the best way to advance socially. Still, there's no denying that in order to advance on the job, you must get noticed. If you don't, you may spend the rest of your career in a cubicle, dreaming of the day when you can retire and live out your last years in a tiny room that actually has a fourth wall and a ceiling.

But beware: your job is the place where the difference between "good attention" and "bad attention" becomes critical. Being noticed by your boss because you landed a million-dollar sales contract is "good attention." Being noticed by your boss because you photocopied your butt at the office Christmas party and e-mailed a copy to everyone on the board of directors is "bad attention." Unless you have an incredibly attractive butt.

As Robbie Knieval could tell you, attention-getting stunts are an extremely risky way to advance your career and can have quite the opposite effect...

*  Eight stockbrokers in Toronto thought it would be good publicity to take part in a newspaper stock-picking contest. After one year, the results of their picks ranged from an 84 percent loss to a 149.3 percent gain. But they were all beaten by a ninth competitor: a wind-up toy Santa in a little helicopter whose blades came to rest pointing at a Texas oil and gas company whose stock rose 179.2 percent. In similar contests, attention-seeking brokers were humiliated by a five-year-old girl who threw darts at a financial page and a zoo orangutan that pointed at stocks at random. The brokers couldn't figure out why they lost, since these were the same methods they used to pick stocks...

To read more, order your copy today!



For media inquiries, email  

Pat Reeder also does a very funny live presentation on the Nine Hallmarks of Losers for corporate, civic and charity groups.  For more information about booking him as your lunch, dinner or convention speaker, click here.

If you found this page by searching for info on Mike Huckabee, try these sites...

Home Page:

For news and commentary, try:

Mike Huckabee Facebook page

Here's another great book for which he wrote the Foreword:

And here are links to books written by Mike Huckabee:
A Simple Christmas
A Simple Government
Character Makes A Difference
From Hope To Higher Ground
Quit Digging Your Grave With A Knife And Fork

All material copyright 2002-2015 by Pat Reeder & Laura Ainsworth.