Humor & Story BLOG

Humor & Stories To Make Your Day

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Message from God

Paul Harvey, American radio's premier commentator, read this on
his Noon News, Saturday, May 16, 1998. The response was
overwhelming. Harvey's Chicago office was inundated by phone
calls, mail and faxes.

Here's the text:

An Open Letter from God:

My dear children, and believe Me, that is all of you, I consider
Myself a pretty patient guy. I mean, look at the Grand Canyon. It
took millions of years to get it right. And about evolution? Boy,
nothing is slower than designing that whole Darwinian thing to
take place cell by cell and gene by gene.

And I have been patient through your fashions, your
civilizations, wars and schemes, and the countless ways that you
take Me for granted until you get yourselves into big trouble
again and again.

I want to let you know about some of the things that started
ticking Me off. First of all, your religious rivalries are
driving Me up a wall. Enough already!

Let's get one thing straight. These are your religions, not Mine.
I'm the whole enchilada. I'm beyond 'em all.

Every one of your religions claims that there's only one of Me,
which, by the way, is absolutely true, but in the very next
breath each religion claims that it's My favorite one. And each
claims its bible was written personally by Me, and that all of
the other bibles are man-made. Oh, Me. How do I ever begin to put
a stop to such complicated nonsense?

All right, listen up now. I am your Father and Mother, and I
don't play favorites among My children.

Also, I hate to break it to you, but I don't write. My longhand
is awful, and I've always been more of a doer anyway. So ALL of
your books, including those bibles, were written by men and
women. They were inspired men and women, they were remarkable
people, but they also made mistakes here and there. And I made
sure of that, so that you would never trust a written word rather
than your own living heart.

You see, one human being to Me-even a bum on the street-is worth
more than all of the holy books in the world. That's just the
kind of a guy I am.

My spirit is not an historical thing. It's alive right now, right
now, as fresh as your next breath. Holy books and religious rites
are sacred and powerful, but they are not more so than the least
of you. They were only meant to steer you in the right direction,
not to keep you arguing with each other, and certainly not to
keep you from trusting your own personal connection with Me.

Which brings Me to My next point about your nonsense. You act
like I need you and your religions to stick up for Me or win
souls for My sake. Please, don't do Me any favors. I can stand
quite well on My own, thank you. I don't need you to defend Me, I
don't need constant credit. I just want you to be good to each
other.

And another thing, I don't get all worked up over money or
politics, so stop dragging My name into your dramas. For example,
I swear to Me that I never threatened Oral Roberts. I never rode
in any of Rajneesh's Rolls Royces and I never told Pat Robertson
to run for president, and I have never had a conversation with
Jim Bakker, Jerry Falwell or Jimmy Swaggart.

Of course, come Judgement Day, I certainly intend to.

Now the thing is, I want you to stop thinking of religion as some
sort of a loyalty pledge to Me. The true purpose of religion is
so that YOU can become more aware of ME, not the other way
around. Believe Me, I know you already. I know what's in each of
your hearts, and I love you anyway with no strings attached.
So, lighten up and enjoy Me. That's what religion's best for.

What you seem to forget is how mysterious I am. You look at the
petty differences in your scriptures and you say, "Well, if this
is the truth, then that can't be." But instead of trying to
figure out My paradoxes and unfathomable nature-which, by the
way, you never will-why not open your hearts to the simple,
common threads of every religion? You know what I'm talking
about. Play nice with each other. Love and respect everyone. Be
kind. Even when life is scary or confusing, take courage and be
of good cheer, for I'm always with you.

And learn how to be quiet, so that you can hear My still, small
voice. I don't like to shout. Leave the world a better place by
living your life with dignity and gracefulness, for you are My
own child. Hold back nothing from life, for the parts of you that
can die surely will, and the parts that can't, won't. So don't
worry, be happy. (I stole that last line from Bobby McFerrin, but
Who gave it to him in the first place?)

Simple stuff now. Why do you keep making it so complicated? It's
like you're always looking for an excuse to be upset. And I am
very tired of being your main excuse. Do you think whether you
call Me God, or Yahweh, or Jehovah, Allah, Wakatonka, Brahma,
Father, Mother, even the Void of Nirvana? Do you think I care
which of My Special Children you feel closest to-Jesus, Mary,
Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed or any of the others? You can call Me
and My Special Ones any names you choose, if only you will go
about My business of loving one another as I love you. How can
you keep neglecting something so simple?

No, I am not telling you to abandon your religions.
Enjoy your religions, honor them, learn from them, just as you should enjoy,
honor, and learn from your parents. But do you walk around
telling everyone that your parents are better than theirs? Your
religion, like your parents, may always have the most special
place in your heart. I don't mind that at all. And I don't want
you to combine all of the great traditions into One big mess.
Each religion is unique for a reason. Each has a unique style so
that people can find the best path for themselves. But My Special
Children-the ones that your religions revolve around-all live in
the same place in My heart, and they get along perfectly, I
assure you.

The clergy must stop creating a myth of sibling rivalry where
there is none. My blessed children of Earth, the world has grown
too small for your pervasive religious bigotries and confusion.
The whole planet is now connected by air travel, satellite
dishes, telephones, fax machines, rock concerts, diseases and
mutual needs and concerns. Get with the program!

If you really want to help me celebrate the birthday of My Son
Jesus, then commit yourselves to figuring out how to feed your
hungry and clothe your naked, and protect your abused and shelter
your poor. And just as important, make your own everyday life a
shining example of kindness and good humor. I've given you all
the resources you need, if only you abandon your fear of each
other and begin living, and loving and laughing together.

Now, I am not really ticked off. Not really. I just wanted to
grab your attention because I hate to see you suffer. But I gave
you free will, so what can I do now other than try to influence
you through reason, persuasion, and a little old-fashioned guilt
and manipulation?

After all, you know I am the original Jewish Mother. I just want
you to be happy, and I'll sit in the dark. I really am with you always.

Always,

Trust in Me.

Your One and Only,
God

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 07:33:00 PM (0) comments

Fractured Bible Stories

Bible Stories Retold by Young Scholars around the World. The jewels found below are said to be written by actual students and are "genuine, authentic, and unretouched." Compiled by Richard Lederer, they appear in the 12/31/95 issue of National Review.

In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, God got tired of
creating the world, so He took the Sabbath off. Adam and Eve
were created from an apple tree. Noah's wife was called Joan of
Ark. Noah built an ark, which the animals came on to in pears.
Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by
night.

The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had
trouble with the unsympathetic Genitals. Samson was a strongman
who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah. Samson
slayed the Philistines with the axe of the apostles.

Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened
bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. The Egyptians
were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, Moses went up on
Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Amendments. The First Commandment
was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple. The Fifth Commandment is
to humor thy father and mother. The seventh Commandment is thou
shalt not admit adultery. Moses died before he ever reached
Canada. Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol. The
greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to
stand still and he obeyed him.

David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought
with the Finklesteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical
times. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700
porcupines.

When Mary heard that she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the
Magna Carta. When the three wise guys from the east side arrived,
they found Jesus in the manager. Jesus was born because Mary had
an immaculate contraption. St. John, the Blacksmith, dumped water
on his head.

Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do one to others
before they do one to you. He also explained, "Man doth not live
by sweat alone." It was a miracle when Jesus rose from the dead
and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance.

The people who followed the Lord were called the 12 decibels. The
epistles were the wives of the apostles. One of the opossums was
St. Matthew who was by profession a taximan.

St. Paul cavorted to Christianity. He preached holy acrimony,
which is another name for marriage. A Christian should have only
one spouse. This is called monotony.

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 07:31:00 PM (0) comments

You're Not Old UNLESS You Can Remember...

Being sent to the drugstore to test vacuum tubes for the TV.
When Kool-Aid was the only other drink for kids, other than milk and Sodas.
When there were only 2 types of sneakers for boys, & girls wouldn't wear them.
When boys couldn't wear anything but leather shoes to school.
When it took five minutes for the TV to warm up.
When nearly everyone's parents smoked.
When all your friends got their hair cut at the kitchen table.
When nearly everyone's mom was at home when the kids got there.
When nobody owned a pure-bred dog.
When a dime was a decent allowance, and a quarter a huge bonus.
When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny.
When girls neither dated nor kissed until late high school, if then.
When your mom wore nylons that came in two pieces.
When all your teachers wore either neckties or had their hair done, every day.
When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking....... for free, every time.
When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him, or use him to carry groceries, and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it.
When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents.
When schools threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed--and actually did it.

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 07:28:00 PM (0) comments

Mom's day

For the Moms out there who can relate, the dads out there who need to, and any future parents to prepare you...
Being A MOM ! ! ! ! !

One day a man comes home from work to find total mayhem at home.

The kids were outside still in their pajamas playing in the mud and muck. There were empty food boxes and wrappers all around. As he proceeded into the house, he found an even bigger mess. Dishes on the counter, dog food spilled on the floor, a broken glass under the table, and a small pile of sand by the back door. The family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing, and a lamp had been knocked over.

He headed up the stairs, stepping over toys, to look for his wife. He was becoming worried that she may be ill, or that something had happened to her. He found her in the bedroom, still in bed with her pajamas on, reading a book.

She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.

He looked at her bewildered and asked "what happened here today?"

She again smiled and answered, "You know everyday when you come home from work and ask me what I did today?"

"Yes," was his reply.

She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it!"

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 07:25:00 PM (0) comments

Rampant Cruelty

The clerk asked me, "Cash, check or charge?" after ringing up my purchase.

As I fumbled through my wallet, she noticed a remote control for a television set in my purse.

"Do you always carry your TV remote?" she asked.

"No," I replied. "But my husband refused to come shopping with me, so I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him!"

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 07:22:00 PM (0) comments

New Yorker and...

A Saudi, a Russian, a North Korean, and a New Yorker are walking down the street. A pollster stops them and asks, "Excuse me, what is your opinion of the meat shortage?"

The Saudi replies "Excuse me, what's a 'shortage'?"

The Russian replies, "Excuse me, what's 'meat'?"

The North Korean replies, "Excuse me, what's an 'opinion'?"

The New Yorker replies, "What's 'Excuse me'?"

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 07:20:00 PM (0) comments
The photographer for a national magazine was assigned to get photos of a great forest fire. Smoke at the scene was too thick to get any good shots, so he frantically called his home office to hire a plane.


Flying Photographer

"It will be waiting for you at the airport!" he was assured by his editor.

As soon as he got to the small, rural airport, sure enough, a plane was warming up near the runway. He jumped in with his equipment and yelled, "Let's go! Let's go!" The pilot swung the plane into the wind and soon they were in the air.

"Fly over the north side of the fire," said the photographer, "and make three or four low level passes."

"Why?" asked the pilot.

"Because I'm going to take pictures! I'm a photographer, and photographers take pictures!" said the photographer with great exasperation and impatience.

After a long pause the pilot said, "You mean you're not the instructor?"

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 07:18:00 PM (0) comments

Cakes & Ale

Here is a true story someone found regarding exams at Cambridge University.

It seems that during an examination one day a bright young student popped up and asked the proctor to bring him Cakes and Ale. The following dialog ensued:

Proctor: I beg your pardon?

Student: Sir, I request that you bring me Cakes and Ale.

Proctor: Sorry, no.

Student: Sir, I really must insist. I request and require that you bring me Cakes and Ale.

At this point, the student produced a copy of the four hundred year old Laws of Cambridge, written in Latin and still nominally in effect, and pointed to the section which read (roughly translated): "Gentlemen sitting examinations may request and require Cakes and Ale." Pepsi and hamburgers were judged the modern equivalent, and the student sat there, writing his examination and happily slurping away.

Three weeks later, the student was fined five pounds for not wearing a sword to the examination.

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 07:16:00 PM (0) comments

After Surgery

Two little kids were in a hospital laying next to each other. The first kid leaned over and asked, "What are you in here for?"

The second kid said, "I'm in here to get my tonsils out and I'm a little nervous."

The first kid said, "You've got nothing to worry about. I had that done to me once. They put you to sleep and when you wake up, they give you lots of jello and ice cream. It's a piece of cake!"

The second kid then asked, "What are you in here for?" The first kid responded, "Well, I'm here for a circumcision." The second kid said, "Whoa! I had that done when I was born. I couldn't walk for a year!"

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 07:14:00 PM (0) comments

Pilot?

Taxiing down the tarmac, the jetliner abruptly stopped, turned around and returned to the gate. After an hour long wait, it finally took off.

A concerned passenger asked the flight attendant, "What was the problem?"

"The pilot was bothered by a noise he heard in the engine," he explained. "It took us awhile to find a new pilot."

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 07:07:00 PM (0) comments

Y2K, How soon we forget..

January 1, 2000

Dear Valued Employee:
Re: Vacation Pay

Our records indicate that you have not used any vacation time over the past 100 year(s). As I'm sure you are aware, employees are granted 3 weeks of paid leave per year or pay in lieu of time off. One additional week is granted for every 5 years of service. Please either take 9,400 days off work or notify our office and your next pay cheque will reflect payment of $8,277,432.22 which will include all pay and interest for the past 1,200 months.

Sincerely,

Automated Payroll Processing

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 07:00:00 PM (0) comments

Cute Stuff

A three-year-old went with his dad to see a litter of kittens. On returning home, he breathlessly informed his mother there were two boy kittens and two girl kittens. "How did you know?" his mother asked. "Daddy picked them up and looked underneath," he replied. "I think it's printed on the bottom."

####

Another three-year old put his shoes on by himself. His mother noticed the left was on the right foot. She said, "Son, your shoes are on the wrong feet." He looked up at her with a raised brow and said, "Don't kid me, Mom. I KNOW they're my feet."

####

On the first day of school, the Kindergarten teacher said, "If anyone has to go to the bathroom, hold up two fingers." A little voice from the back of the room asked, "How will that help?"

####

A mother and her young son returned from the grocery store and began putting away the groceries. The boy opened the box of animal crackers and spread them all over the table. "What are you doing?" his mother asked. "The box says you can't eat them if the seal is broken," the boy explained. "I'm looking for the seal."

####

Can people predict the future with cards? My mother can. Really? Yes, she takes one look at my report card and tells me what will happen when my father gets home.

####

A father was reading Bible stories to his young son. He read, "The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city, but his wife looked back and was turned to salt." His son asked, "What happened to the flea?"

####

A four-year-old girl was learning to say the Lord's Prayer. She was reciting it all by herself without help from her mother. She said, "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us some e-mail. AMEN."

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 06:57:00 PM (0) comments

Near Death Humor

A middle aged woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital.

While on the operating table she had a near death experience. Seeing God, she asked if this was it. God said, "No you have another 43 years, 2 months, and 8 days to live."

Upon recovery the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a face lift, liposution, breast augmentation, tummy tuck, etc. She even had someone come in and change her hair color, figuring since she had so much more time to live, she might as well make the most of it.

She got out of the hospital after the last operation and while crossing the street was killed by an ambulance speeding to the hospital.

Arriving in front of God, she demanded, "I thought you said I had another 40 Years?"

God replied,"I didn't recognize you."

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 06:13:00 PM (0) comments

Whodunnit

A workman was killed at a construction site. The police began questioning a number of the other workers. Based with past brushes with the law, many of these workers were considered prime suspects. They were a motley crew:

-The electrician was suspected of wiretapping once but was never charged.

-The carpenter thought he was a stud. He tried to frame another man one time.

-The glazier went to great panes to conceal his past. He still claims that he didn't do anything, that he was framed.

-The painter had a brush with the law several years ago.

-The heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractor was known to pack heat. He was arrested once but duct the charges.

-The mason was suspect because he gets stoned regularly.

-The cabinet maker is an accomplished counter fitter.

The autopsy led the police to arrest the carpenter, who subsequently confessed. The evidence against him was irrefutable, because it was found that the workman, when he died, was hammered.

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 06:10:00 PM (0) comments

Business as usual

Two beggars are sitting on a park bench in Mexico City. One is holding a cross and one a Star of David. Both are holding hats to collect contributions. People walk by, lift their noses at the man with the Star of David and drop money in the hat held by the man with the cross. Soon the hat of the man with the cross is filled and the hat of the man with the Star of David is empty.

A priest watches and then approaches the men. He turns to the man with the Star of David and says: "Young man. Don't you realize that this is a Catholic country? You'll never get any contributions in this country holding a Star of David."

The man with the Star of David turns to the man with the cross and says: "Moishe, can you imagine, this guy is trying to tell us how to run our business?!"

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 06:07:00 PM (0) comments

Love letter for your valentine

This is a love letter from a boy to a girl.... However, the boy's father does not like her and want them stop the relationship...... So the boy wrote this letter to the girl.

1) "The great love that I have for you
2) is gone, and I find my dislike for you
3) grows every day. When I see you,
4) I do not even like your face;
5) the one thing that I want to do is to
6) look at other girls. I never wanted to
7) marry you. Our last conversation
8) was very boring and has not
9) made me look forward to seeing you again.
10) You think only of yourself.
11) If we were married, I know that I would find
12) life very difficult, and I would have no
13) pleasure in living with you. I have a heart
14) to give, but it is not something that
15) I want to give to you. No one is more
16) foolish and selfish than you, and you are not
17) able to care for me and help me.
18) I sincerely want you to understand that
19) I speak the truth. You will do me a favor
20) if you think this the end. Do not try
21) to answer this. Your letters are full of
22) things that do not interest me. You have no
23) true love for me. Good-bye! Believe me,
24) I do not care for you. Please do not think that
25) I am still your loveone."

So bad..... However, the boy told the girl before to "READ BETWEEN THE LINES", meaning only to read 1st line, then third line, then 5.7.9.11.13......So...Please read it again!

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 06:02:00 PM (0) comments

College Humor

A fellow walks into a restaurant, orders a drink and asks the waiter if he'd like to hear a good USC joke.

"Listen Buddy," he growled. "See those two big guys on your left? They are both linemen on the USC football team. And that fellow on your right is a world-class wrestler for USC. That guy in the corner is USC's all-time champion weight lifter. And I lettered in 3 sports at USC. Now, are you absolutely sure you want to go ahead and tell your joke here?"

"Nah, guess not," the man replied. "I wouldn't want to have to explain it 5 times."

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 05:58:00 PM (0) comments

listserv humor

How many mail list subscribers does it take to change a light bulb?

Answer: 1,331

1 to change the light bulb and to post to the mail list that the light bulb has been changed

14 to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently

7 to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs

27 to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing light bulbs

53 to flame the spell checkers

41 to correct spelling in the spelling/grammar flames

156 to write to the list administrator complaining about the light bulb discussion and its inappropriateness to this mail list

109 to post that this list is not about light bulbs and to please take this email exchange to another list

203 to demand that cross posting to other lists about changing light bulbs be stopped

111 to defend the posting to this list saying that we all use light bulbs and therefore the posts *are* relevant to this mail list

3 to post about links they found from the URLs that are relevant to this list which makes light bulbs relevant to this list

306 to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs work best for this technique, and what brands are faulty

27 to post URLs where one can see examples of different light bulbs

14 to post that the URLs were posted incorrectly, and to post corrected URLs

33 to concatenate all posts to date, then quote them including all headers and footers, and then add "Me Too."

12 to post to the list that they are unsubscribing because they cannot handle the light bulb controversey

19 to quote the "Me Too's" to say, "Me Three."

4 to suggest that posters request the light bulb FAQ

48 to propose new change.lite.bulb newsgroup

47 to say there is already an alt.light.bulb newsgroup

143 to ask if anyone ever did change the lightbulb

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 05:49:00 PM (0) comments

Going Too Fast

A man decided that he was going to ride a 10 speed bike from Phoenix to Flagstaff. He got as far as Black Canyon City before the mountains just became to much and he could go no farther.

He stuck his thumb out but after 3 hours, hadn't gotten a single person to stop. Finally a guy in a Corvette pulled over and offered him a ride. Of course, the bike wouldn't fit in the car. The owner of the Corvette found a piece of rope lying by the highway and tied it to his bumper. He tied the other end to the bike and told the man that if he got to going
too fast, to honk the horn on his bike and that he would slow down.

Everything went fine for the first 30 miles. Suddenly, another Corvette blew past them. Not to be outdone, the Corvette pulling the bike took off after the other. A short distance down the road, the Corvettes, both going well over 90 mph, blew through a speed trap. The police officer noted the speeds from his radar gun and radioed to the other officer that he
had two Corvettes headed his way at over 90 mph. He then relayed, "and you're not going to believe this, but there's guy on a 10 speed bike honking to pass!"

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 05:44:00 PM (0) comments

English Pronunciation Test

This is the finest detritus that I've seen come over the internet. It illustrates beautifully that written English is NOT phonetic.

It reinforces Bernard Shaw's "GHOTI" which he proposed for "fish."
GH as in cough, O as in women, and TI as in nation.

Once you've learned to correctly pronounce every word in the following poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.

If you find it tough going, do not despair, you are not alone: Multi-national personnel at North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters near Paris found English to be an easy language ... until they tried to pronounce it. To help them discard an array of accents, the verses below were devised. After trying them, a Frenchman said he'd prefer six months at hard labor to reading six lines aloud. Try them yourself.

English is Tough Stuff

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation -- think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough --
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

-- Author Unknown

posted by Gary  # 12/31/2003 05:00:00 PM (0) comments
Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Oooops!

A parts manager for a small electronics shop, had occasion to order part No. 669 from the factory. But when he received it he noticed that someone had sent part No. 699 instead.

Furious at the factory's incompetence, he promptly sent the part back along with a letter giving them a piece of his mind.

Less than a week later, he received the same part back with a letter containing just four words: "TURN THE PART OVER."

posted by Gary  # 12/30/2003 09:53:00 AM (0) comments
Monday, December 29, 2003

Growing Old...

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

Insanity is my only means of relaxation.

Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst; for they are sticking to their diets.

You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.

My mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves completely.

Every time I think about exercise I lie down till the thought goes away.

It's frustrating when you know all the answers, but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.

If you can remain calm, you just don't have all the facts.

Stress reducer: Put a bag on your head. Mark it, "Closed for Remodeling." Caution-leave air holes.

I finally got my head together and my body fell apart.

There cannot be a crisis this week, my schedule is already full.

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

The best way to forget all your troubles is to wear tight shoes.

The nice part of living in a small town is that when I don't know what I'm doing someone else does.

The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight because by then your body and your fat are really good friends.

Age doesn't always bring wisdom. Sometimes age comes alone.

Just when I was getting used to yesterday, along came today.

Sometimes I think I understand everything, then I regain consciousness.

You don't stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing.

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 08:25:00 PM (0) comments

Why I'm REALLY tired all the time

Finally the reason behind why I'm always so tired!!!

For a couple years I've been blaming it on lack of sleep and too much pressure from my job, but now I found out the real reason: I'm tired because I'm overworked.

The population of this country is 237 million. 104 million are retired. That leaves 133 million to do the work.

There are 85 million in school, which leaves 48 million to do the work.

Of this there are 29 million employed by the federal government, leaving 19 million to do the work.

2.8 Million are in the Armed Forces, which leaves 16.2 million to do the work.

Take from the total the 14,800,000 people who work for State and City Governments and that leaves 1.4 million to do the work.

At any given time there are 188,000 people in hospitals, leaving 1,212,000 to do the work.

Now, there are 1,211,998 people in prisons. That leaves just two people to do the work.

You and me.

And you're sitting at your computer reading jokes.

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 08:19:00 PM (0) comments

If Airlines Sold Paint

How it is now.

Buying paint from a hardware store:

Customer: Hi, how much is your paint?

Clerk: We have regular quality for $12 a gallon and premium for $18. How many gallons would you like?

Customer: Five gallons of regular quality, please.

Clerk: Great. That will be $60 plus tax.

Buying paint from an airline:

Customer: Hi, how much is your paint?

Clerk: Well, Sir that all depends

Customer: Depends on what?

Clerk: Actually, a lot of things.

Customer: How about giving me an average price?

Clerk: Wow, that's too hard a question. The lowest price is $9 a gallon, and we have 150 different prices up to $200 per gallon.

Customer: What's the difference in the paint?

Clerk: Oh, there isn't any difference, it's all the same paint.

Customer: Well, then, I'd like some of that $9 paint.

Clerk: Well, first I need to ask you a few questions. When do you intend to use it?

Customer: I want to paint tomorrow, on my day off.

Clerk: Sir the paint for tomorrow is $200 paint.

Customer: What? When would I have to paint in order to get $9 paint?

Clerk: That would be in three weeks, but you will also have to agree to start painting before Friday of that week and continue painting until at least Sunday.

Customer: You've got to be kidding!

Clerk: Sir, we don't kid around here. Of course, I'll have to check to see if we have any of that paint available before I can sell it to you.

Customer: What do you mean check to see if you can sell it to me? You have shelves full of that stuff, I can see it right there.

Clerk: Just because you can see it doesn't mean that we have it. It may be the same paint, but we sell only certain number of gallons on any given weekend. Oh, and by the way, the price just went up to $12.

Customer: You mean the price went up while we were talking?

Clerk: Yes sir. You see, we change prices and rules thousands of times a day, and since you haven't actually walked out of the store with your paint yet, we just decided to change. Unless you want the same thing to happen again, I would suggest you get on with your purchase. How many gallons do you want?

Customer: I don't know exactly... maybe five gallons. Maybe I should buy six gallons just to make sure I have enough.

Clerk: Oh, no sir, you can't do that. If you buy the paint and then don't use it, you will be liable for penalties and possible confiscation of the paint you already have.

Customer: What?

Clerk: That's right. We can sell you enough paint to do your kitchen, bathroom, hall and north bedroom, but if you stop painting before you do the other bedroom, you will be in violation of our tariffs.

Customer: But what does it matter to you whether I use all of the paint? I already paid you for it!

Clerk: Sir, there's no point in getting upset; that's just the way it is. We make plans based upon the idea that you will use all of the paint, and when you don't, it just causes us all sorts of problems.

Customer: This is crazy! I supposed something terrible will happen if I don't keep painting until Sunday night?

Clerk: Yes, sir, it will.

Customer: Well, that does it! I am going somewhere else to buy paint!

Clerk: That won't do you any good, sir. We all have the same rules. You might as well just buy it here, while the price is still $13.50.

Thanks for flying - I mean painting with our airline.

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 08:18:00 PM (0) comments

GREAT REASONS TO BE A GUY (from a woman's perspective)

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
You know stuff about tanks.
A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
You can open all your own jars.
Dry cleaners and hair cutters don't rob you blind.
You can go to the bathroom without a support group.
You don't have to learn to spell a new last name.
You can kill your own food.
You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
If someone forgets to invite you to something, he or she can still be your friend.
Your underwear is $10 a three-pack.
If you are 34 and single, nobody notices.
Everything on your face stays it's original color.
You can quietly enjoy a car ride from the passenger's seat.
Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
You don't have to clean your apartment if the meter reader is coming.
Car mechanics tell you the truth.
You can quietly watch a game with your buddy for hours without ever thinking: He must be mad at me.
Same work......more pay.
Gray hair and wrinkles add character.
You don't mooch off others' desserts.
You can drop by to see a friend without having to bring a little gift.
If another guy shows up at the party in the same outfit, you just might become lifelong friends.
Your pals can be trusted to never trap you with...."So, notice anything different?".
You are not expected to know the names of more than five colors.
You don't have to stop and think which way to turn a nut or a bolt.
You almost never have strap problems in public.
You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
You don't have to shave below your neck.
Your belly usually hides your big hips.
One wallet and one pair of shoes, one color, all seasons.
You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife.
You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.
Wedding dress - $2,000; Tuxedo rental - $75.
The same car is good for at least 200,000 miles.
You don't have to ask directions since you know where you're going.
Windows don't need to be washed since the next rain will clean them.

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 08:06:00 PM (0) comments

A Homily

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made.

But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."

"Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"

"I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure. The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from
the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His table. In God's great economy, nothing goes to waste.

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 08:01:00 PM (0) comments

Triumphs of science and math!

A Mathematician, a Biologist and a Physicist are sitting in a street cafe watching walk by the empty house on the other side of the street. First they see two people going into the house. Time passes. After a while they notice three people coming out of the house.

The Physicist says: "The measurement wasn't accurate."

The Biologist concludes: "They have reproduced."

The Mathematician says: "Now if another person enters the house, it'll be empty again!"

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 07:50:00 PM (0) comments

Comparing Men and Women

NICKNAMES:
If Emma, Suzanne, Debra and Michelle go out for lunch, they will call each other Emma, Suzanne, Debra and Michelle. But if Mike, Phil, Rob and Jack go out for a pint, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Useless.

EATING OUT:
When the bill arrives, Mike, Phil, Rob and Jack will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $22.50. None of them will have anything smaller, and none will actually admit they want change back. When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

MONEY:
A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he wants. A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't want.

BATHROOMS:
A man has six items in his bathroom -- a toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel from the Holiday Inn. The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 437. A man would
not be able to identify most of these items.

ARGUMENTS:
A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

CATS:
Women love cats. Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men kick cats.

FUTURE:
A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband. A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

SUCCESS:
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

MARRIAGE:
A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't. A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change and she does.

DRESSING UP:
A woman will dress up to: go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage, answer the phone, read a book, get the mail. A man will dress up for: weddings, funerals.

NATURAL:
Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed. Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

OFFSPRING:
Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends and favorite foods and secret fears and hopes and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 07:48:00 PM (0) comments

I asked...

I asked God to take away my pride.
It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
Her spirit was whole, her body was only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience.
Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is earned.

I asked God to give me happiness.
I give you blessings, happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.

I ask God to help me LOVE others, as much as he loves me.
God said... Ahhhh, finally you have the idea!

####

What if,
GOD couldn't take the time to bless us today because we couldn't take the time to thank HIM yesterday?

What if,
GOD decided to stop leading us tomorrow because we didn't follow HIM today?

What if,
we never saw another flower bloom because we grumbled when GOD sent the rain?

What if,
GOD didn't walk with us today because we failed to recognize it as His day?

What if,
GOD took away His message because we failed to listen to the messenger?

What if,
GOD didn't send His only begotten Son because He wanted us to be prepared to pay the price for sin?

What if,
the door of the church was closed because we did not open the door of our heart?

What if,
GOD stopped loving and caring for us because we failed to love and care for others?

What if,
GOD would not hear us today because we would not listen to Him yesterday?

What if,
GOD answered our prayers the way we answer His call to service?

What if,
GOD met our needs the way we give Him our lives???

What if,
we failed to send this message on?

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 07:42:00 PM (0) comments

Instructions For Life

1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
2. Memorize your favorite poem.
3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
4. When you say, "I love you", mean it.
5. When you say, "I'm sorry", look the person in the eye.
6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
7. Believe in love at first sight.
8. Never laugh at anyone's dreams.
9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.
10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
11. Don't judge people by their relatives.
12. Talk slowly but think quickly.
13. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"
14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
15. Call your mom.
16. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.
17. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
18. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
19. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
20. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
21. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
22. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
23. Spend some time alone.
24. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
25. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
26. Read more books and watch less TV.
27. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll get to enjoy it a second time.
28. Trust in God but lock your car.
29. A loving atmosphere in your home is so important. Do all you can to create a tranquil harmonious home.
30. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
31. Read between the lines.
32. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
33. Be gentle with the earth.
34. Pray. There's immeasurable power in it.
35. Never interrupt when you are being flattered.
36. Mind your own business.
37. Don't trust a man/woman who doesn't close his/her eyes when you kiss.
38. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
39. If you make a lot of money, put it to use helping others while you are living. That is wealth's greatest satisfaction.
40. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of luck.
41. Learn the rules, then break some.
42. Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other.
43. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
44. Remember that your character is your destiny.
45. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
46. Excellence is not a gift given, but a skill perfected.
47. Be sure your feet are planted in the right place before you decide to stand firm.
48. When you can think upon yesterday with pride and tommorrow with hope, you can live peacfully today.
49. If you have no shoes, do not worry, there are some people who have no feet.
50. Life is a journey with death as a destinaton, slow down and enjoy the ride!

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 07:32:00 PM (0) comments

Pills

After giving the woman a full medical examination, the doctor explained his prescription as he wrote it out. "Take the green pill with a glass of water after getting up. Take the blue pill with a glass of water after lunch. Then, before going to bed, take the red pill with another glass of water."

"Exactly what is my problem, doctor?" the woman asked.

"You're not drinking enough water," he said.

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 07:28:00 PM (0) comments

In The Hospital

An older woman called Mount Sinai Hospital. She said, "Mount Sinai Hospital? Hello. Dollink, I'd like to talk with the person who gives the information about the patients. But I don't want to know if the patient is better or doing like expected, or worse, I want all the information from top to bottom, from A to Z."

The voice on the other end of the line said, "Would you hold the line, please, that's a very unusual request."

Then a very authoritative voice came on and said, "Are you the lady who is calling about one of the patients?"

She said, "Yes, dollink! I'd like to know the information about Sarah Finkel, in Room 302." He said, "Finkel. Finkel. Let me see. Feinberg, Farber--Finkel.Oh yes. Mrs.Finkel is doing very well. In fact, she's had two full meals, her blood pressure is fine, and if she continues this way, her doctor is going to send her home on Tuesday at twelve o'clock."

The woman said,"Thank God! That's wonderful! She's going home at twelve o'clock! I'm so happy to hear that. That's wonderful news."

The guy on the other end said, "From your enthusiasm, I take it you must be one of the close family."

She said, "What close family? I'm Sarah Finkel! My doctor doesn't tell me anything!"

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 07:25:00 PM (0) comments

Deepest Thoughts

"THE STREETS ARE SAFE IN PHILADELPHIA. IT'S ONLY THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE THEM UNSAFE." - Former Philadelphia Mayor and Police Chief Frank Rizzo

"IT IS BAD LUCK TO BE SUPERSTITIOUS." - Andrew Mathis

"IT'S LIKE AN ALCATRAZ AROUND MY NECK." - Boston mayor Menino on the shortage of city parking spaces

"THEY'RE MULTIPURPOSE. NOT ONLY DO THEY PUT THE CLIPS ON, BUT THEY TAKE THEM OFF." - Pratt & Whitney spokesperson explaining why the company charged the Air Force nearly $1,000 for an ordinary pair of pliers

"WE'RE GOING TO TURN THIS TEAM AROUND 360 DEGREES." - Jason Kidd, upon his drafting to the Dallas Mavericks

"WHEN MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE THROWN OUT OF WORK, UNEMPLOYMENT RESULTS." - Former U.S. President Calvin Coolidge

"CHINA IS A BIG COUNTRY, INHABITED BY MANY CHINESE." - Former French President Charles de Gaulle

"THAT LOWDOWN SCOUNDREL DESERVES TO BE KICKED TO DEATH BY A JACKASS, AND I'M JUST THE ONE TO DO IT." - A congressional candidate in Texas

"THINGS ARE MORE LIKE THEY ARE NOW THAN THEY EVER WERE BEFORE." - Former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"A BILLION HERE, A BILLION THERE-SOONER OR LATER IT ADDS UP TO REAL MONEY." - Everett Dirksen

"I DON'T FEEL WE DID WRONG IN TAKING THIS GREAT COUNTRY AWAY FROM THEM. THERE WERE GREAT NUMBERS OF PEOPLE WHO NEEDED NEW LAND, AND THE INDIANS WERE SELFISHLY TRYING TO KEEP IT FOR THEMSELVES." - John Wayne

"HALF THIS GAME IS NINETY PERCENT MENTAL." - Philadelphia Phillies manager Danny Ozark

"WITHOUT CENSORSHIP, THINGS CAN GET TERRIBLY CONFUSED IN THE PUBLIC MIND." - General William Westmoreland, during the war in Vietnam

"IF YOU LET THAT SORT OF THING GO ON, YOUR BREAD AND BUTTER WILL BE CUT RIGHT OUT FROM UNDER YOUR FEET."
-Former British foreign minister Ernest Bevin

"SMOKING KILLS. AND IF YOU'RE KILLED, YOU'VE LOST A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR LIFE." - Brooke Shields

"THE PRESIDENT HAS KEPT ALL OF THE PROMISES HE INTENDED TO KEEP." - Clinton aide George Stephanopolous speaking on "Larry King Live"

"THE POLICE ARE NOT HERE TO CREATE DISORDER. THEY'RE HERE TO PRESERVE DISORDER." - Former Chicago mayor Daley during the infamous 1968 Democratic convention

"IF YOU'VE SEEN ONE REDWOOD TREE, YOU'VE SEEN THEM ALL." - Forestry expert Ronald Reagan

"TRADITIONALLY, MOST OF AUSTRALIA'S IMPORTS COME FROM OVERSEAS." - Former Australian cabinet minister Keppel Enderbery

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 01:52:00 PM (0) comments

Words To The Wise

1.) I STARTED out with nothing....I still have most of it.

2.) When did my wild oats turn to prunes and All Bran?

3.) I finally got my head together, now my body is falling apart.

4.) Funny, I don't remember being absent minded.

5.) All reports are in. Life is now officially unfair.

6.) If all is not lost, where is it?

7.) It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.

8.) If at first you DO succeed, try not to look too astonished.

9.) The first rule of holes: If you are in one, stop digging.

10.) I tried to get a life once, but they were out of stock.

11.) I went to school to become a wit, only got halfway through..

12.) It was all so different before everything changed.

13.) Some days you're the dog, some days you're the hydrant.

14.) Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

15.) A day without sunshine is like a day in Seattle.

16.) I wish the buck stopped here. I could use a few...

17.) Kids in the back seat cause accidents; accidents in the back seat cause kids.

18.) It's not the pace of life that concerns me, it's the sudden stop at the end.

19.) It's hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere.

20.) Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun.

21.) The only time the world beats a path to your door is if you're in the bathroom.

22.) If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

23.) Never knock on Death's door: ring the doorbell and run (he hates that).

25.) A closed mouth gathers no feet.

26.) Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

27.) The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 01:35:00 PM (0) comments

Quotes

If you don't go to other men's funerals, they won't go to yours. --Clarence Day

I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph. --Shirley Temple

It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing, when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper. --Rod Serling

Somewhere on this globe, every ten seconds, there is a woman giving birth to a child. She must be found and stopped. --Sam Levenson (1911-1980)

The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office. --Robert Frost

The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy. --Sam Levenson

Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees. --David Letterman

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. --Douglas Adams

This isn't right. This isn't even wrong. --Wolfgang Pauli, on a paper submitted by a physicist colleague

You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun. --Al Capone

Today you can go to a gas station and find the cash register open and the toilets locked. They must think toilet paper is worth more than money.--Joey Bishop

The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it. --Franklin P. Jones

Red meat is NOT bad for you. Now blue-green meat, THAT'S bad for you! --Tommy Smothers

I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something. --Jackie Mason

When you go into court you are putting your fate into the hands of twelve people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty. --Norm Crosby

We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?--Jean Cocturan

The imaginary friends I had as a kid dropped me because their friends thought I didn't exist. --Aaron Machado

The reason there are two senators for each state is so that one can be the designated driver. --Jay Leno

It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper. --Jerry Seinfeld

If it were not for Thomas Edison, we would all be watching television in the dark. --Michael Landon

Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use. --Wendell Johnson

It matters not whether you win or lose; what matters is whether I win or lose.--Darrin Weinberg

Remember that as a teenager you are in the last stage of your life when you will be happy to hear that the phone is for you. --Fran Lebowitz

The genius of you Americans is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves, which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing. --Gamel Abdel Nasser

Maybe this world is another planet's hell. --Aldous Huxley

It ain't so much the things you don't know that get you in trouble. It's the things you know that just ain't so. -- Artimus Ward, 1834-1867

Put another way: You can always spot a well informed man - his views are the same as yours. -- Ilka Chase

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 01:29:00 PM (0) comments

A Difference

In Maine they tell of an old man walking along the beach with his grandson, who picked up each starfish they passed and threw it back into the sea.

"If I left them up here," the boy said, "they would dry up and die. I'm saving their lives."

"But," protested the old man, "the beach goes on for miles, and there are millions of starfish. What you are doing won't make any difference." They boy looked at the starfish in his hand, gently threw it into the ocean, and answered: "It makes a difference to this one."

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 01:19:00 PM (0) comments

Prayer

One Sunday in a midwest city a young child was "acting up" during
the morning worship hour. The parents did their best to maintain
some sense of order in the pew but were losing the battle.
Finally the father picked the little fellow up and walked sternly
up the aisle on his way out. Just before reaching the safety of
the foyer the little one called loudly to the congregation, "Pray
for me! Pray for me!"
####
A daddy was listening to his child say his prayer "Dear Harold".
At this, dad interrupted and said, "Wait a minute, "How come you
called God, "Harold"? The little boy looked up and said, "That's
what they call Him in church. You know the prayer we say, "Our
Father, who art in Heaven, Harold be Thy name."
####
And this particular four-year-old prayed: "And forgive us our
trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."
####
During the minister's prayer one Sunday, there was a loud whistle
from one of the back pews. Gary's mother was horrified. She
pinched him into silence, and after church, asked: "Gary,
whatever made you do such a thing?" Gary answered soberly: "I
asked God to teach me to whistle...And He just then did!"
####
One night Mike's parents overheard this prayer. "Now I lay me
down to rest, and hope to pass tomorrow's test, if I should die
before I wake, that's one less test I have to take."
####
A five-year-old said grace at family dinner one night. "Dear God,
thank you for these pancakes." When he concluded, his parents
asked him why he thanked God for pancakes when they were having chicken.
He smiled and said, "I thought I'd see if He was paying attention tonight."
####
A little boy's prayer. "Dear God, please take care of my daddy
and my mommy and my sister and my brother and my doggy and me.
Oh, please take care of yourself, God. If anything happens to
you, we're gonna be in a big mess."
####
A rabbi said to a precocious six-year-old boy: "So your mother
says your prayers for you each night? Very commendable. What does
she say?" The little boy replied, "Thank God he's in bed!"
####
A woman invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned
to her six- year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say
the blessing?" "I wouldn't know what to say," the little girl replied.
"Just say what you hear Mommy say," the mother said. The
little girl bowed her head and said, "Dear Lord, why on earth did
I invite all these people to dinner?"
####
Johnny had been misbehaving and was sent to his room. After a
while he emerged and informed his mother that he had thought it
over and then said a prayer. "Fine," said the pleased mother.
"If you ask God to help you not misbehave, He will help you."
"Oh, I didn't ask Him to help me not misbehave," said Johnny. "I
asked Him to help you put up with me."
####
A little boy was overheard praying: "Lord, if You can't make me a
better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time
like I am!"

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 01:16:00 PM (0) comments

A Collection Of Humor

Mr. Smith was brought to Mercy Hospital (a Catholic hospital), and taken quickly in for coronary surgery. The operation went well and, as the groggy man regained consciousness, he was reassured by a Sister of Mercy, who was waiting by his bed.

"Mr. Smith, you're going to be just fine," said the nun, gently patting his hand. "We do need to know, however, how you intend to pay for your stay here. Are you covered by insurance?"

"No, I'm not," the man whispered hoarsely.

"Then can you pay in cash?" persisted the nun.

"I'm afraid I cannot, Sister."

"Well, do you have any close relatives?" the nun questioned sternly.

"Just my sister in New Mexico," he volunteered. "But she's a humble spinster nun."

"Oh, I must correct you, Mr. Smith. Nuns are not spinsters - they are married to God."

"Wonderful," said Mr. Smith. "In that case, please send the bill to my brother-in-law."

####

An airline captain was breaking in a very pretty new blonde stewardess. The route they were flying had a stay-over in another city. Upon their arrival the captain showed the stewardess the best place for airline personnel to eat, shop and stay overnight.

The next morning as the pilot was preparing the crew for the day's route, he noticed the new stewardess was missing. He knew which room she was in at the hotel and called her up wondering what happened to her.

She answered the phone, crying, and said she couldn't get out of her room.

"You can't get out of your room?" the captain asked, "Why not?"

The stewardess replied, "There are only three doors in here," she sobbed, "one is the bathroom, one is the closet, and one has a sign on it that says 'Do Not Disturb'!"

####

The Insurance Policy:

Rex's barn burned down and his wife, Susan, called the insurance company.

Susan told the insurance company, "We had that barn insured for fifty- thousand and I want my money."

The agent replied, "Whoa there, just a minute, Susan. Insurance doesn't work quite like that. We will ascertain the value of what was insured and provide you with a new one of comparable worth."

There was a long pause before Susan replied, "Then I'd like to cancel the policy on my husband."

####

At Sunday School they were teaching how God created everything, including human beings.

Little Johnny a child in the kindergarten class, seemed especially intent when they told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam's ribs.

Later in the week his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill, and said, "Johnny what is the matter?"

Little Johnny responded, "I have a pain in my side. I think I'm going
have a wife."

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 01:13:00 PM (0) comments

Computer Jargon and Corporate Jargon--Explained!

When I went to college in the 1980's, I heard a lot of words
like "data input" and "beta version." They confused me. I
wanted desperately to know what people were talking about,
what Big Secret resided in the computer industry.

Now that I've worked in a computer company for the last few
years, I've gained an insider's perspective. I decided to
share my knowledge with the uninitiated by creating the
following brief, handy glossary: Alpha. Software undergoes
alpha testing as a first step in getting user feedback.
Alpha is Latin for "doesn't work."

Beta.
-----
Software undergoes beta testing shortly before it's
released. Beta is Latin for "still doesn't work."

Computer.
---------
Instrument of torture. The first computer was invented by
Roger "Duffy" Billingsly, a British scientist. In a plot to
overthrow Adolf Hitler, Duffy disguised himself as a German
ally and offered his invention as a gift to the surly
dictator. The plot worked. On April 8, 1945, Adolf became
so enraged at the "Incompatible File Format" error message
that he shot himself. The war ended soon after Hitler's
death, and Duffy began working for IBM.

CPU.
----
Central propulsion unit. The CPU is the computer's engine.
It consists of a hard drive, an interface card and a tiny
spinning wheel that's powered by a running rodent - a
gerbil if the machine is a old machine, a ferret if it's a
Pentium and a ferret on speed if it's a Pentium II.

Default Directory.
------------------
Black hole. Default directory is where all files that you
need disappear to.

Error message.
--------------
Terse, baffling remark used by programmers to place blame on
users for the program's shortcomings.

File.
-----
A document that has been saved with an unidentifiable name.
It helps to think of a file as something stored in a file
cabinet - except when you try to remove the file, the
cabinet gives you an electric shock and tells you the file
format is unknown.

Hardware.
---------
Collective term for any computer-related object that can be
kicked or battered.

Help.
-----
What we all need. Actually, it is the feature that assists
in generating more questions. When the help feature is used
correctly, users are able to navigate through a series of
Help screens and end up where they started from without
learning anything.

posted by Gary  # 12/29/2003 01:08:00 PM (0) comments
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Words

The longest one-syllable words in the English language are "screeched" and "strengths".

All of the clocks in Pulp Fiction are stuck on 4:20.

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".

Almonds are members of the peach family.

The symbol on the "pound" key (#) is called an octothorpe.

The dot over the letter 'i' is called a tittle.

Ingrown toenails are hereditary.

The word "set" has more definitions than any other word in the English language.

"Underground" is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with the letters "und."

There are only four words in the English language which end in "-dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford English
Dictionary, is: pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.

The only other word with the same amount of letters is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconioses, its plural.

The longest place-name still in use is
Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwenuakitanatahu, a New Zealand hill.

Los Angeles's full name is "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula" and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size, "L.A."

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.

In most advertisements, including newspapers, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10.

Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a belly button. It was eliminated when he was sewn up after surgery.

Telly Savalas and Louis Armstrong died on their birthdays.

Donald Duck's middle name is Fauntleroy.

Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.

The muzzle of a lion is like a fingerprint - no two lions have the same pattern of whiskers.

A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.

There is a seven letter word in the English language that contains ten words without rearranging any of its letters, "therein": the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, ere, therein, herein.

Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.

John Larroquette of "Night Court" and "The John Larroquette Show" was the narrator of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's "Its A Wonderful Life"

A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.

It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

Cranberries are sorted for ripeness by bouncing them; a fully ripened cranberry can be dribbled like a basketball.

The male gypsy moth can "smell" the virgin female gypsy moth from 1.8 miles away.

The letters KGB stand for Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti.

The name for Oz in the "Wizard of Oz" was thought up when the creator, Frank Baum, looked at his filing cabinet and saw A-N, and O-Z, hence Oz."

The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

"Stewardesses" is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.

The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."

The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.

Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the correct order, as does arsenious, meaning "containing arsenic."

Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian coat of arms for that reason.

Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.

The word "Checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat," which means "the king is dead".

The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of yore when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.

posted by Gary  # 12/28/2003 04:01:00 PM (0) comments

Speeding And All The Fish

A man was speeding down the highway, feeling
secure in a gaggle of cars all traveling at the same
speed. However, as they passed a speed trap, he
got nailed with an infrared speed detector and was
pulled over.

The officer handed him the citation, received his
signature and was about to walk away when the
man asked, "Officer, I know I was speeding, but I
don't think it's fair - there were plenty of other cars
around me who were going just as fast, so why
did *I* get the ticket?"

"Ever go fishing?" the policeman suddenly asked
the man.

"Ummm, yeah..." the startled man replied.

The officer grinned and added,
"Ever catch *all* the fish?"

posted by Gary  # 12/28/2003 03:40:00 PM (0) comments

Where's The Baby?

For weeks a six-year old lad kept telling his
first-grade teacher about the baby brother or
sister that was expected at his house.

One day the mother allowed the boy to feel the
movements of the unborn child. The six-year
old was obviously impressed, but made no
comment.

Furthermore, he stopped telling his teacher
about the impending event. The teacher finally
sat the boy on her lap and said, "Tommy,
whatever has become of that baby brother or
sister you were expecting at home?"

Tommy burst into tears and confessed,
"I think Mommy ate it!"

posted by Gary  # 12/28/2003 03:36:00 PM (0) comments

Shmily

My grandparents were married for over half a century, and played their own special game from the time they had met each other. The goal of their game was to write the word "shmily" in a surprise place for the other to find. They
took turns leaving "shmily" around the house, and as soon as one of them discovered it, it was their turn to hide it once more.

They dragged "shmily" with their fingers through the sugar and flour containers to await whoever was preparing the next meal. They smeared it in the dew on the windows overlooking the patio where my grandma always fed us warm, homemade pudding with blue food coloring. "Shmily" was written in the steam left on the mirror after a hot shower, where it would reappear bath after bath. At one point, my grandmother even unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper to leave "shmily" on the very last sheet.

There was no end to the places "shmily" would pop up. Little notes with "shmily" scribbled hurriedly were found on dashboards and car seats, or taped to steering wheels. The notes were stuffed inside shoes and left under pillows. "Shmily" was written in the dust upon the mantel and traced in the ashes of the fireplace. This mysterious word was as much a part of my grandparents' house as the furniture.

It took me a long time before I was able to fully appreciate my grandparents' game. Skepticism has kept me from believing in true love-one that is pure and enduring. However, I never doubted my grandparents' relationship. They
had love down pat. It was more than their flirtatious little games; it was a way of life. Their relationship was based on a devotion and passionate affection which not everyone is lucky experience.

Grandma and Grandpa held hands every chance they could. They stole kisses as they bumped into each other in their tiny kitchen. They finished each other's sentences and shared the daily crossword puzzle and word jumble. My grandma whispered to me about how cute my grandpa was, how handsome and old he had grown to be. She claimed that she really knew "how to pick 'em."

Before every meal they bowed their heads and gave thanks, marveling at their blessings: a wonderful family, good fortune, and each other.

But there was a dark cloud in my grandparents' life: my grandmother had breast cancer. The disease had first appeared ten years earlier. As always, Grandpa was with her every step of the way. He comforted her in their yellow room, painted that way so that she could always be surrounded by sunshine, even when she was too sick to go outside.

Now the cancer was again attacking her body. With the help of a cane and my grandfather's steady hand, they went to church every morning. But my grandmother grew steadily weaker until, finally, she could not leave the house anymore. For a while, Grandpa would go to church alone, praying to God to watch over his wife. Then one day, what we all dreaded finally happened. Grandma was gone.

"Shmily." It was scrawled in yellow on the pink ribbons of my grandmother's funeral bouquet. As the crowd thinned and the last mourners turned to leave, my aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members came forward and gathered
around Grandma one last time. Grandpa stepped up to my grandmother's casket and, taking a shaky breath, he began to sing to her. Through his tears and grief, the song came, a deep and throaty lullaby.

Shaking with my own sorrow, I will never forget that moment. For I knew that, although I couldn't begin to fathom the depth of their love, I had been privileged to witness its unmatched beauty.

S-h-m-i-l-y: See How Much I Love You.

Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa, for letting me see.

posted by Gary  # 12/28/2003 03:32:00 PM (0) comments

Eating Out

Remember when eating out was a relaxing experience? Someone else
cooked for you, served you and cleaned up after you. All you had
to do was chew, swallow and pay. No longer, though. Today, you
feel like a laboratory rat who has to struggle through a maze
every time it wants a chunk of cheese:

"Good evening," the maitre d' said. "Table for four?"

"Yes, Thank you."

"Smoking or non?"

"Non smoking."

"Would you prefer to dine indoors or outdoors this evening?"

"I guess indoors would be good."

"Very well, sir," he said. "Would you like to be seated
in the main dining room, the enclosed patio, or our lovely
solarium?"

"Uh, let me see...uh..."

"I can give you a table with a lovely view in our lovely
solarium."

"I think the solarium would be lovely," I said.

We followed him there...

"Now, would you prefer a view overlooking the golf course,
the sunset on the lake or the majestic mountains to the West?"

"Whatever you recommend," I said.

Let HIM make a decision for a change, I thought.

He sat us by a window facing the golf course, lake or mountains.
I couldn't tell which because it was dark outside.

Then, a young man, better dressed and better looking than
any of us, presented himself at our table...

"Good evening, my name is Paul, and I'll be your waiter this
evening. Would you like a few minutes before I take your order?"

"No," I said. "I'm just a meat-and-potatoes guy, so I'll
have the filet mignon and a baked potato."

"Soup, or salad?"

"Salad."

"We have a mixed-green salad, hearts of palm, or a very fine
endive salad with baby shrimp."

"Just a mixed-green salad, okay?"

"Whatever you say, sir. Dressing?"

I didn't want to make another decision...

"Whatever you've got will be fine."

"We have Creamy Italian, Blue Cheese, Vinaigrette, Thousand
Island, Honey Dijon and Ranch."

"Just bring me one. Surprise me."

"Creamy Italian is our house specialty. Would that be
all right, sir?"

"Yeah."

I was curt. I was done with civility.

"And for your baked potato?"

I knew what was coming!

"I just want the baked potato dry, you understand?
I don't want anything on it."

"No butter? No sour cream?"

"No."

"No chives? No bacon chips ? "

"No! Don't you understand English? I don't want anything
on it. Just bring me a baked potato and a steak."

"Would you prefer the six, eight, or 12-ounce steak, sir?"

"Whatever."

"Would you like that rare, medium rare, medium, medium
well or well done? Or, if you prefer, we can butterfly
it for you."

"Pauly Boy," I said, "you are really starting to get me steamed."

"Which brings up the vegetables, sir. Would you like steamed
broccoli, creamed corn, sauteed zucchini, or diced carrots?"

That did it. I threw my napkin to the floor, stood up, put
my face right in his arrogant kisser and said, "How'd you
like to settle this outside?"

"Fine with me, sir. Would you prefer the parking lot, the
side alley or the street in front of the restaurant?"

"I prefer right here."

Then I sucker-punched him: he ducked, then countered with
a left hook right under my eye. It was the first time all night
he hadn't offered me a selection.

I collapsed semiconscious into my chair, as someone in authority
rushed over and berated Pauly.

I felt my tie being loosened, my collar unbuttoned, hands
slapping my face.

When I regained my senses, I saw the very concerned
maitre d' right in front of my nose.

He apologized and offered to buy me a drink, call the paramedics,
whatever I wanted.

"No, no," I said. "I'll be all right. Just bring me a
glass of water."

"Yes, sir, right away," he said.

"Would you prefer imported mineral water, sparkling water,
or club soda with a wedge of lime?

posted by Gary  # 12/28/2003 03:17:00 PM (0) comments

Preacher

A parish priest was being honored at a dinner on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his arrival in that parish. A leading local politician, who was a member of the congregation, was chosen to make the presentation and give a little speech at the dinner, but he was delayed in traffic, so the priest decided to say his own few words while they waited.

"You will understand," he said, "the seal of the confessional, can never be broken. However, I got my first impressions of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I can only hint vaguely about this, but when I came here twenty-five years ago I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first chap who entered my confessional told me how he had stolen a television set, and when stopped by the police, had almost murdered the officer. Further, he told me he had embezzled money from his place of business and had an affair with his boss's wife. I was appalled.

But as the days went on I knew that my people were not all like that, and I had, indeed come to, a fine parish full of understanding and loving people."

Just as the priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and give his talk.

"I'll never forget the first day our parish priest arrived in this parish," said the politician. "In fact, I had the honor of being the first one to go to him in confession."

Motto: Don't Ever Be Late

posted by Gary  # 12/28/2003 03:13:00 PM (0) comments

A.S.A.P.

Ever wonder about the abbreviation A.S.A.P.?

Generally we think of it in terms of even more hurry and stress in our lives. (As Soon As Possible)

If we think of this abbreviation in a different manner, we may begin to find a new way to deal with our rough times.

A. S. A. P.

Always Say A Prayer!

posted by Gary  # 12/28/2003 03:07:00 PM (0) comments

Random Observations

The early bird still has to eat worms.

I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose fitting clothing. If I HAD any loose fitting clothing, I wouldn't have signed up in the first place!

The worst thing about accidents in the kitchen is eating them.

Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

Wouldn't it be nice if whenever we messed up our life we could simply press 'Ctrl Alt Delete' and start all over?

Stress is when you wake up screaming and then you realize you haven't fallen asleep yet.

My wife says I never listen to her. At least I think that's what she said.

Just remember...if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.

Why is it that our children can't read a Bible in school, but they can in prison?

If raising children was going to be easy, it never would have started with something called labor!

Brain cells come and brain cells go, but fat cells live forever.

posted by Gary  # 12/28/2003 03:05:00 PM (0) comments

Geriatric Humor

While on a road trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch. They left the restaurant, after finishing their meal. The elderly woman left her glasses on the table, but she didn't miss them, until they were back on the road. By then, they had to travel quite a distance, before they could find a place to turn around.

The grouchy old man fussed and complained all the way back to the restaurant. He just wouldn't let up one minute. When they finally arrived at the restaurant, as the woman got out of the car to retrieve her glasses, the geezer yelled to her: ....."While you're in there, you might as well get my hat."

posted by Gary  # 12/28/2003 02:58:00 PM (0) comments

Want To Be A Navy Pilot?

This guy writes for Sports Illustrated.

On a Wing and a Prayer by Rick Reilly

Now this message for America's most famous athletes: Someday you may be invited to fly in the back-seat of one of your country's most powerful fighter jets. Many of you already have -- John Elway, John Stockton, Tiger Woods to name a few. If you get this opportunity, let me urge you, with the greatest sincerity....

Move to Guam. Change your name. Fake your own death.

Whatever you do, do not go. I know.

The U.S. Navy invited me to try it. I was thrilled. I was pumped. I was toast!

I should've known when they told me my pilot would be Chip (Biff) King of fighter Squadron 213 at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach. Whatever you're thinking a Top Gun named Chip (Biff) King looks like, triple it. He's about six-foot, tan, ice-blue eyes, wavy surfer hair, finger-crippling handshake -- the kind of man who wrestles dyspeptic alligators in his leisure time. If you see this man, run the other way. Fast. Biff King was born to fly. His father, Jack King, was for years the voice of NASA missions. ("T-minus 15 seconds and counting...." Remember?). Chip would charge neighborhood kids a quarter each to hear his dad. Jack would wake up from naps surrounded by nine-year-olds waiting for him to say, "We have a liftoff."

Biff was to fly me in an F-14D Tomcat, a ridiculously powerful $60 million weapon with nearly as much thrust as weight, not unlike Colin Montgomerie. I was worried about getting airsick, so the night before the flight I asked Biff if there was something I should eat the next morning. "Bananas," he said. "For the potassium?" I asked. "No," Biff said, "because they taste about the same coming up as they do going down."

The next morning, out on the tarmac, I had on my flight suit with my name sewn over the left breast. (No call sign -- like Crash or Sticky or Leadfoot - but, still, very cool.) I carried my helmet in the crook of my arm, as Biff had instructed. If ever in my life I had a chance to nail Nicole Kidman, that was it.

A fighter pilot named Psycho gave me a safety briefing and then fastened me into my ejection seat, which, when employed, would "egress" me out of the plane at such a velocity that I would be immediately knocked unconscious from the G-forces. Just as I was thinking about aborting the flight, the canopy closed over me, and Biff gave the ground crew a thumbs-up. In minutes we were firing nose up at 600 mph. We leveled out and then canopy-rolled over another F-14. Those 20 minutes were the rush of my life.

Unfortunately, the ride lasted 80 minutes. It was like being on the roller coaster at Six Flags. Only without rails. We did barrel rolls, snap rolls, loops, yanks and banks. We dived, rose and dived again, sometimes with a vertical velocity of 10,000 feet per minute. We chased another F-14, and it chased us. We broke the speed of sound. Sea was sky and sky was sea. Flying at 200 feet we did 90-degree turns at 550 mph, creating a G-force of 6.5, which is to say I felt as if 6.5 times my body weight was smashing against me.

And I egressed the bananas. I egressed the pizza from the night before. And the lunch before that. I egressed a box of Milk Duds from the sixth grade. I made Linda Blair look polite. Because of the G's, I was egressing stuff that did not even want to be egressed. I went through not one airsick bag, but two. Biff said I passed out. Twice. I was coated in sweat. At one point, as we were coming in upside down in a banked curve on a mock bombing target and the G's were flattening me like a tortilla and I was in and out of consciousness, I realized I was the first person in history to throw down.

I used to know cool. Cool was Elway throwing a touchdown pass, or Norman making a five-iron bite. But now I really know cool. Cool is guys like Biff, men with cast-iron stomachs and Freon nerves. I wouldn't go up there again for Derek Jeter's black book, but I'm glad Biff does every day, and for less a year than a rookie reliever makes in a home stand.

A week later, when the spins finally stopped, Biff called. He said he and the fighter pilots had the perfect call sign for me. Said he'd send it on a patch for my flight suit.

What is it? I asked.

. . .

"Two Bags."

posted by Gary  # 12/28/2003 02:53:00 PM (0) comments

The Unsolicited Phone Call

I was at home the other night in the middle of my dinner when the phone rang.

ME: Hello.

AT&T: Hello, this is AT&T ...

ME: Is this AT&T?

AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T ....

ME: This is AT&T?

AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T ....

ME: Is this AT&T?

AT&T: Yes! This is AT&T, may I speak to Mr. Byron, please?

ME: May I ask who is calling?

AT&T: This is AT&T.

ME: Ok, hold on.

At this point I put the phone down for a solid 5 minutes thinking that, surely, this person would have hung up the phone. I ate my salad. Much to my surprise, when I picked up the receiver, they were still waiting.

ME: Hello?

AT&T: Is this Mr. Byron?

ME: May I ask who is calling, please?

AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T ...

ME: This is AT&T?

AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T ...

ME: The phone company?

AT&T: Yes, sir.

ME: I thought you said this was AT&T.

AT&T: Yes, sir, we are a phone company.

ME: I already have a phone.

AT&T: We aren't selling phones today, Mr. Byron. We would like to offer you 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

ME: Now, that's 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day?

AT&T: (getting a little excited at this point by my interest) Yes, sir, that's right! 24 hours a day!

ME: 7 days a week?

AT&T: That's right.

ME: 365 days a year?

AT&T: Yes, sir.

ME: I am definitely interested in that! Wow!!! That's amazing!

AT&T: We think so!

ME: That's quite a sum of money!

AT&T: Yes, sir, it's amazing how it adds up.

ME: Ok, so will you send me checks weekly, monthly or just one big one at the end of the year for the full $52,560; and if you send an annual check, can I get a cash advance?

AT&T: Excuse me?

ME: You know, the 10 cents a minute.

AT&T: What are you talking about?

ME: You said you'd give me 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That comes to $144 per day, $1008 per week and $52,560 per year. I'm just interested in knowing how you will be making payment.

AT&T: Oh, no, sir. I didn't mean we'd be paying you. You pay us 10 cents a minute.

ME: Wait a minute, how do you figure that by saying that you'll give me 10 cents a minute, that I'll give YOU 10 cents a minute? Is this some kind of subliminal telemarketing scheme.? I've read about things like this in the Enquirer, you know.

AT&T: No, sir, we are offering 10 cents a minute for ...

ME: THERE YOU GO AGAIN! Can I speak to a supervisor please?

AT&T: Sir, I don't think that is necessary.

ME: I insist on speaking to a supervisor!

AT&T: Yes, Mr. Byron. Please hold.

At this point, I begin trying to finish my dinner.

SUPERVISOR: Mr. Byron?

ME: Yeth?

SUPERVISOR: I understand you are not quite understanding our 10 cents a minute program.

ME: Is This AT&T?

SUPERVISOR: Yes, sir, it sure is.

ME: (I had to swallow before I choked on my food. It was all I could do to suppress my laughter and I had to be careful not to produce a snort.) No, actually, I was just waiting for someone to get back to me so that I could sign up for the plan.

SUPERVISOR: Ok, no problem, I'll transfer you back to the person who was helping you.

ME: Thank you.

I was on hold once again and managed a few more mouthfuls. I need to end this conversation. Suddenly, there was an aggravated but polite voice at the other end of the phone.

AT&T: Hello, Mr. Byron, I understand that you are interested in signing up for our plan?

ME: No, but I was wondering - do you have that "Friends and Family" thing because I'm an only child and I'd really like to have a little brother...

AT&T: click...

posted by Gary  # 12/28/2003 02:50:00 PM (0) comments

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