Humor & Story BLOG
Humor & Stories To Make Your Day
Thursday, January 29, 2004
Once a Methodist...
John Smith was the only Protestant to move into a large Catholic neighborhood. On the first Friday of Lent, John was outside grilling a big juicy steak on his grill. Meanwhile, all of his neighbors were eating cold tuna fish for supper.
This went on each Friday of Lent. On the last Friday of Lent, the neighborhood men got together and decided that something had to be done about John; he was tempting them to eat meat each Friday of Lent, and they couldn't take it anymore. They decided to try and convert John to be a Catholic.
They went over and talked to him and were so happy that he decided to join all of his neighbors and become a Catholic. They took him to Church, and the Priest sprinkled some water over him, and said, "You were born a Methodist, you were raised a Methodist, and now you are a Catholic."
The men were so relieved, now their biggest Lenten temptation was resolved. The next year's Lenten season rolled around. The first Friday of Lent came, and just at supper time, when the neighborhood was setting down to their tuna fish dinner, came the wafting smell of steak cooking on a grill. The neighborhood men could not believe their noses! WHAT WAS GOING ON?
They called each other up and decided to meet over in John's yard to see if he had forgotten it was the first Friday of Lent. The group arrived just in time to see John standing over his grill with a small pitcher of water. He was sprinkling some water over his steak on the grill, saying, "You were born a cow, you were raised a cow, and now you are a fish."
Good morning! Please join me in a morning prayer.
Albert Schweitzer believes we need to be aware of the sleeping sickness of the soul. He cautions, "As soon as you notice the slightest sign of indifference, the moment you become aware of the loss of a certain seriousness, of longing, of enthusiasm and zest, take it as a warning."
Creator God, the one who gifted us with a number of days to enjoy in this life, help us to remember much of life and its circumstances are given to learn valuable lessons. As this new day unfolds, keep us from indifference, renew our zest and enthusiasm, refresh our hearts and spirits with thankfulness and energy to face the day and all it holds, and remind us that we need to listen to the quiet inner guidance you provide for our well-being. Bless our day now, oh Lord, with these requests that we may learn the beneficial lessons given to us by you for this day.
Very Cool Math trick
Here is a math trick so unbelievable that it will stump you. OK, maybe it won't stump you, but it sure did me!
1. Grab a calculator. (you won't be able to do this one in your head)
2. Key in the first three digits of your phone number (NOT the area code)
3. Multiply by 80
4. Add 1
5. Multiply by 250
6. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number
7. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number again.
8. Subtract 250
9. Divide number by 2
Sunday, January 25, 2004
A Christmas Story
It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so.
It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas---oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it-overspending... the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma---the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else.
Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.
Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church, mostly black. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler's ears.
It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't acknowledge defeat.
Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I wish just one of them could have won," he said.
"They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them."
Mike loved kids-all kids-and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That's when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition---one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.
The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.
As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn't end there.
You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more.
Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope.
Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit will always be with us.
Sign in a laundromat
Automatic washing machines: Please remove all your clothes when the light goes out.
Sign in a London department store:
Bargain Basement Upstairs
In an office:
Would the person who took the step ladder yesterday please bring it back or further steps will be taken.
Outside a farm:
50p per pre-packed bag
In an office:
After tea break staff should empty the teapot and stand upside down on the draining board
On a church door:
This is the Gate of Heaven. Enter ye all by this door. (this door is kept locked because of the draft. Please use side door.)
English sign in a German cafe:
Mothers, please wash your hans before eating
Outside a secondhand shop:
We exchange anything - bicycles, washing machines etc. Why not bring your wife along and get a wonderful bargain?
Sign outside a new town hall which was to be opened by the Prince of Wales:
The town hall is closed until opening. It will remain closed after being opened. open tomorrow.
Outside a photographer's studio:
Out to lunch: If not back by five, out for dinner also
Seen at the side of a Sussex road:
Slow cattle crossing. No overtaking for the next 100 yrs.
Outside a disco:
SMARTS is the most exclusive disco in town. Everyone welcome
Sign warning of quicksand:
Quicksand. Any person passing this point will be drowned. By order of the district council.
Notice sent to residents of a Whiltshire parish:
Due to increasing problems with letter louts and vandals we must ask anyone with relatives buried in the graveyard to do their best to keep them in order
Notice in a dry cleaner's window:
Anyone leaving their garments here for more than 30 days will be disposed of.
Sign on motorway garage:
Please do not smoke near our petrol pumps. Your life may not be worth much but our petrol is
Notice in health food shop window:
Closed due to illness
Spotted in a safari park:
Elephants please stay in your car
Seen during a conference:
For anyone who has children and doesn't know it, there is a day care on the first floor
Notice in a field:
The farmer allows walkers to cross the field for free, but the bull charges
Message on a leaflet:
If you cannot read, this leaflet will tell you how to get lessons
Sign on a repair shop door:
We can repair anything (please knock hard on the door - the bell doesn't work)
Sign at Norfolk farm gate:
Beware! I shoot every tenth trespasser and the ninth one has just left
Spotted in a toilet in a London office block:
Toilet out of order. Please use floor below.
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
..Thank you for calling Technical Support
Ring... Ring... Ring... Ring... Ring... Ring... Ring... Ring... Ring...
Ring... Ring... Ring... Ring... Ring... Ring... Ring... Ring... Ring...
Thank you for calling Technical Support. All of our technicians are currently busy helping people even less competent than you, so please hold for the next available technician. The waiting time is now estimated at between fifteen minutes and eternity. In order to expedite your call, please punch your 63-digit product identification number onto your telephone touch pad, followed by your product serial number, which can be found in a secret compartment inside your computer where, for security purposes, it is printed in the smallest typeface known to mankind. Do that now.
(Lengthy excerpt from Mahler's "Lugubrious" Symphony in C Minor)
Thank you again for calling Technical Support. We recommend that you sit at your computer, preferably turning it on at some point, and have at hand all your floppy disks, CD-ROM disks, computer manuals and original packing materials in order to allow the technician to aid you in the unlikely event that he ever takes your call. It would also be helpful for you to refrain from sobbing while explaining your problem to the technician. Shouting obscene threats will cause you to be immediately disconnected and blackballed from further communication with Technical Support, not only from ours but that of every other electronics-related firm in the industrialized world.
(Medley of Hootie and the Blowfish hits rendered by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir)
Thank you once again for calling Technical Support. In order to enable us to better assist you, it would be helpful to know more about you and your equipment. Have you called Technical Support before? If you have, please press the numeral "one" on your telephone touch pad. If not, press the numeral "two." If you are not sure, using the letters on your touch pad, spell out the phrase: "I am confused and despondent and quickly losing the will to live." Once you have finished, hang up your phone and make arrangements to sell your computer because by the time the technician takes your call, it will be obsolete, and you will be too senile to use it anyway.
(Rangoon Opera Company's classic 1963 recording of Wagner's "Ring Cycle" in its entirety)
Thank you for calling Technical Support. Unfortunately, all of our technicians just went out for lunch. This means that to the estimated waiting time we gave you earlier, you may now add at least another two hours.
(Wayne Newton singing "Danke Schoen" 1,743 times)
Thank you for calling Technical Support. Before talking to the technician about your problem and risking the possibility that you may be wasting his valuable time, please ask yourself the following questions: If my monitor screen is dark, is it possible I have forgotten to plug in my computer or, alternately, that I have been suddenly struck blind? Have I exhausted every possible means of help before utilizing the sacred, last-resort-only telephone option? Have I sent a fax to Fast Fax Technical Support? Have I consulted my manual? Have I read the Read-Me notice on the floppy disk? Have I called up my know-it-all geek cousin who I can't stand but who can probably fix this thing for me in under five minutes? Have I given the central processing unit of my computer a good, solid whack? If you can not honestly answer "yes" to all these questions, please get off the line immediately so that our overworked technicians can help those truly desperate customers whose
suffering is so much greater than yours.
(Recording of Tibetan monks performing a six-day chant celebrating the reincarnation of one of their recently deceased colleagues into the form of a salamander.)
Thank you for calling Technical Support. Our electronic sensors indicate that you are about to slump over and die from a massive frustration attack combined with severe dehydration from lack of food and water. Before doing so, please take a moment to place your telephone receiver back in its base and switch off your computer so as not to wear down its internal battery. As a non-living person, you will have no further need of Technical Support and so we regretfully must remove you from our list of registered product users. Remember, we valued your patronage and were happy to serve your needs. Do not -hesitate to have your heirs or beneficiaries contact us should any further technical problems arise.
One man is speaking to a college professor and admits that he is just stymied by big government and politicians. The Professor says "Now don't worry. You just have to understand politics. Just break down the word. Poli means 'many' and tics are 'blood suckers'!"
After the revival had concluded, the three pastors were discussing the results with one another.
The Methodist minister said, "The revival worked out great for us! We gained four new families."
The Baptist preacher said, "We did better than that! We gained six new families."
The Episcopal priest said, "Well, we did even better than that! We got rid of our 10 biggest trouble makers!"
Jewish Origin of High Tech
Q. What English language edition of Chumash is ideal for the Computer Age:
A. Hertz Edition
Q. What is the large print copy called?
A. Mega Hertz Edition
Q What is the large print edition of the Stone Chumash called?
A. Mega-lith Edition Chumash
Q How are they now distributed?
A. As freeware: the five disks of Moses.
Q. What is the most recently compiled edition of the Jewish Knowledge that help reconcile revelation at Sinia with the computer age?
A. "Torah for Dummies" available on CD-Rambam.
Q. Why do we blow the shofar on the day of remembrance?
A. To recall the original ram memory.
Q Why are we sure the computer was a Jewish invention?
A. Every keyboard has a scroll key.
Q. Why are we sure the Internet was a Jewish Invention?
A. Because Jews are known of their large nodes and we have been talking about the promised LAN for over 3000 years...
Ice Cream Prayer
Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son
asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads, he said, "God
is good. God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even
thank you more if mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And liberty
and justice for all! Amen!" Along with laughter from the other
customers nearby, I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong
with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking
God for ice cream! Why, I never!"
Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong?
Is God mad at me?"
As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and
God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached
the table. He winked at my son and said, "I happen to know that
God thought that was a great prayer." "Really?" my son asked.
"Cross my heart." Then in a theatrical whisper the gentleman
added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole
thing), "Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice
cream is good for the soul sometimes."
Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My
son stared at his for a moment and then did something I will
remember the rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and without
a word walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a
big smile he told her, "Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good
for the soul sometimes, and my soul is already good."
I was out walking with my then 4 year old daughter. She picked up something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth. I asked her not to do that.
"Because it's been laying outside and is dirty and probably has germs."
At this point, she looked at me with total admiration and asked, "Wow! How do you know all this stuff?"
"Uh," I was thinking quickly, everyone knows this stuff, "Um, it's on the Mommy test. You have to know it, or they don't let you be a Mommy."
We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, but she was evidently pondering this new information.
"I get it!!!!" she beamed. "Then if you flunk, you have to be the Daddy."
Friday, January 16, 2004
Do you want sashimi?
A customer at Green's Gourmet Grocery marveled at the proprietor's quick wit and intelligence.
"Tell me, Green, what makes you so smart?"
"I wouldn't share my secret with just anyone," Green replies, lowering his voice so the other shoppers won't hear. "But since you're a good and faithful customer, I'll let you in on it. Fish heads. You eat enough of them, you'll be positively brilliant."
"You sell them here?" the customer asks.
"Only $4 apiece," says Morris.
The customer buys three. A week later, he's back in the store complaining that the fish heads were disgusting and he isn't any smarter.
"You didn't eat enough, " says Green. The customer goes home with 20 more fish heads. Two weeks later, he's back and this time he's really angry.
"Hey, Green," he says, "You're selling me fish heads for $4 apiece when I just found out I can buy the whole fish for $2. You're ripping me off!"
"You see?" says Morris. "You're smarter already."
Thursday, January 15, 2004
My friend Ann and I were eating at a Chinese restaurant. When an elderly waiter set chopsticks at our places, Ann made a point of reaching into her purse and pulling out her own pair.
"As an environmentalist," she declared, "I do not approve of destroying bamboo forests for throwaway utensils."
The waiter inspected her chopsticks. "Very beautiful," he said politely. "Ivory."
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
A Christmas Story
It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our
Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It
has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years
It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas---oh, not
the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of
it-overspending... the frantic running around at the last minute
to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for
Grandma---the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't
think of anything else.
Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual
shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something
special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.
Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior
level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas,
there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an
inner-city church, mostly black. These youngsters, dressed in
sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing
holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in
their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling
shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other
team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet
designed to protect a wrestler's ears.
It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford.
Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class.
And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered
around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride
that couldn't acknowledge defeat.
Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I wish just one of
them could have won," he said.
"They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take
the heart right out of them."
Mike loved kids-all kids-and he knew them, having coached little
league football, baseball and lacrosse. That's when the idea for
his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting
goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and
shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church.
On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note
inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me.
His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and
in succeeding years. For each
Christmas, I followed the tradition---one year sending a group of
mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a
check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the
ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.
The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was
always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our
children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed
anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to
reveal its contents.
As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical
presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story
doesn't end there.
You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When
Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I
barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an
envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three
Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an
envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and
someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing
around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their
fathers take down the envelope.
Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit will always be with us.
Observations Of All Sorts
ON TERM PAPERs
I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top.
--English Professor, Ohio University
ON MARTIAL ARTS AND METAPHYSICS
Deja Fu: The feeling that somehow, somewhere, you've been kicked in the head like this before.
To err is human, to moo bovine.
ON DEEP THOUGHTS
A day without sunshine is like night.
ON MATHEMATICAL TRANSFORMS
A polar bear is a rectangular bear after a co-ordinate transform.
Some people say that I must be a horrible person, but that's not true. I have the heart of a young boy. In a jar. On my desk.
ON PROBLEM SOLVING
When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail.
He who dies with the most toys, is, nonetheless, still dead.
ON RELIGIOUS PRACTICES
Neutrinos have mass? I didn't know they were Catholic.
If you had everything, where would you keep it?
The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.
ON REVISIONIST HISTORY
What was sliced bread the greatest thing since?
When aiming for the common denominator, be prepared for the occasional division by zero.
ON MATERIAL SCIENCE
Character density: The number of very weird people in the office.
Save the whales. Collect the whole set.
This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
ON EXPLANATION OF THE END
One of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that, lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful termination of their C programs.
The meek shall inherit the earth -- they are too weak to refuse.
Grabel's Law: 2 is not equal to 3 -- not even for very large values of 2.
ON WORLD POLITICS
Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock.
The truth of a thing is in the feel of it, not the think of it. (Stanley Kubrick)
Least Popular Hanukah songs ...
1. Drek the Halls
2. Goy to the World
3. Have a Bialy, Jolly Hanukah
4. Oy, Tannebaum
5. God Rest Ye Merry Gentile Men
6. The First Schmoel
7. Bagels We have Heard on High
8. Santa Claus is Goyim to Town
9. Do You Shmeer What I Shmeer?
10.Ov vey Maria
The Bill Gates Song
(to the tune of "The Christmas Song")
Netscape roasting on an open fire,
Apple begging on its knees,
Photos popping up on Time magazine,
Yes, Bill Gates dreams of days like these!
Everyone knows he's never satisfied,
Throws himself behind each task,
World dominion is his company's goal.
Well, hey, is that so much to ask?
He knows the world is in his sway,
We'll buy whatever software he might toss our way,
We'll surf his Internet, watch his TV,
He'll take us anywhere we ask him -- for a fee.
And so we're offering this simple prayer,
To Bill and all his MS grunts:
Since we all follow any standard you write,
Make it good, please,
Make it good, please,
Make it good, please, just once!
Gil Amelio's Coming to Town!
(to the tune of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town")
You better watch out,
Absurd as it sounds,
'Cause Apple's about
To lose a few pounds --
Gil Amelio's coming to town!
He's making a list,
And trimming the rolls
Of projects that missed
Their revenue goals --
Gil Amelio's coming to town!
He knows what's losing money,
Like eWorld, PowerTalk ...
You'd better make your project work
Or prepare to take a walk!
Though you follow his lead
Right out the back door,
You know he'll succeed --
He's done it before!
Gil Amelio's coming to town!
(to the tune of "Jingle Bells")
Nine-tenths of a gig,
Biggest ever seen,
God, this program's big--
MS Word 15!
Comes on ten CDs,
And requires -- damn!
Word is fine, but jeez --
60 megs of RAM?!
Oh! Microsoft, Microsoft,
Bloatware all the way!
I've sat here installing Word
Since breakfast yesterday!
Oh! Microsoft, Microsoft,
Guess you hadn't noticed:
Four-gig drives don't grow on trees!
I'm Dreaming of a Clean System
(to the tune of "White Christmas")
I'm dreaming of a clean System,
Something that fits on one CD.
Each component matches,
Not bits and patches,
I'm longing for a dream System,
Small, stable, fast, and trouble-free.
What we want, I think you'll agree,
Is called System 6-point-oh-3!
(to the tune of "Silent Night")
Silent Mac, broken Mac!
System bombed, screen went black.
Books suggested things; I tried 'em all:
Shift key, desktop file, clean reinstall.
Now my deadline is tight,
This Mac's been silent all night.
Violent night, horrible night!
Lost my cool, filled with spite,
Threw my Mac through the balcony door
Watched it fall from the 20th floor,
Now I'm sleeping in peace;
Thank God I had it on lease.
Prove It's So!
(to the tune of "Let It Snow")
Oh, the papers say Apple's dying,
But before we start good-byeing,
We should call them all up and go,
"Prove it's so! Prove it's so! Prove it's so!"
They say "Mac OS software's scarcer."
We say, "Read those numbers, there, sir,
Sales continued this year to grow.
There ya go, there ya go, there ya go!"
When they tell us Win 95
Made the Mac's famed advantages ebb,
We'll say, "Why, then, do Macs now drive
60 percent of the Web?"
We can win our PR reversal--
Make the Mac be universal--
Though we may have some years to go,
Make it so, make it so, make it so!
Happily Addicted to the Web
(to the tune of "Winter Wonderland")
Doorbell rings, I'm not list'nin',
From my mouth, drool is glist'nin',
I'm happy -- although
My boss let me go --
Happily addicted to the Web.
All night long, I sit clicking,
Unaware time is ticking,
There's beard on my cheek,
Same clothes for a week,
Happily addicted to the Web.
Friends come by; they shake me,
Saying, "Yo, man!
Don't you know tonight's the senior prom?"
With a listless shrug, I mutter, "No, man;
I just discovered letterman-dot-com!"
I don't phone, don't send faxes,
Don't go out, don't pay taxes,
Who cares if someday
They drag me away?
I'm happily addicted to the Web!
MEN & THE MERMAID
Three guys are out having a relaxing day fishing. Out of the blue, they catch a mermaid who begs to be set free in return for granting each of them a wish. Now one of the guys just doesn't believe it, and says, "Okay, if you can really grant wishes, then double my IQ."
The mermaid says, "Done." Suddenly the guy starts reciting Shakespeare flawlessly and analyzing it with extreme insight.
The second guy is so amazed, he says to the mermaid, "Triple my IQ."
The mermaid says, "Done."
The guy starts to spout out all the mathematical solutions to problems that have been stumping all the scientists in various fields: physics, chemistry, etc. The last guy is so enthralled with the changes that his friends that he says to the mermaid, "Quintuple my IQ."
The mermaid looks at him and says, "You know, I don't usually try to change people's minds when they make a wish, but I really wish that you would reconsider."
The guy says, "No, I want you to increase my IQ times five, and if you don't do it, I won't set you free."
"Please," says the mermaid, "you don't understand what you're asking, it will change your entire view on the universe. Won't you ask for something else....a million dollars, anything?"
But no matter what the mermaid said, the guy insisted on having his IQ increased by five times its usual power. So the mermaid sighed and said, "Done."
And he became a woman.
True Irish Humor
Padraic O'Reilly was lucky. Since the day he had found that four leaf clover, everything good seemed to come his way. He had met the wonderful Rosie, and after a whirlwind romance, they were married. And now, a year later, he was the proud father of beautiful twins, a boy and a girl. At work, the story was the same. He had been promoted and had received a substantial raise, and now the firm had come up with a profit sharing plan. Paddy was certain his good fortune was due to his 4-leaf clover. Everywhere he went, he was certain to be carrying the talisman in his suit pocket. One morning, Paddy could not find the clover. He searched the house, but it was not there. In panic, he tried to recall when he had last seen it. He finally recalled it was in his gray suit that he had dropped off at the dry cleaners. He rushed to the cleaners only to find that the work had been completed and his suit was ready to be picked up. He searched the suit and found the 4-leaf clover, still in one piece but now flattened from the dry cleaning. From that day on, Paddy's fortunes changed.
Life was good but was no longer perfect. The little inconveniences were always there. He had a flat tire as he was driving to an important meeting. The twins developed measles when his boss and his wife were over for dinner. No, Paddy's life had changed. He still carried the amulet, but he was certainly not living under the silver lining he was used to and had come to expect. Finally, he had had enough. He visited the parish priest to see if he could help him understand what had happened.
"This certainly was to be expected," he was told. " You should have known ... One should never press one's luck."
Ads that needed some proofreading
- Man wanted to work in dynamite factory. Must be willing to travel.
- Nice parachute. Never opened. Used once.
- Nordic Track $300. Hardly used. Call Chubby.
- Open house: Body shapers toning salon. Free coffee and doughnuts.
- Our experienced Mom will care for your child. Fenced yard, meals, and smacks included.
- Semi-Annual after-Christmas Sale.
- Snowblower for sale. Only used on snowy days.
- Stock up and save. Limit one.
- Vacation Special: Have your home exterminated.
- Wanted: Man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink.
- And now, the Superstore — unequaled in size, unmatched in variety, unrivaled inconvenience.
- Christmas tag-sale: Handmade gifts for the hard-to-find person.
- Dog for sale: Eats anything and is fond of children.
- Georgia Peaches, California grown.
- For Sale by owner: Complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica 45 Volumes. Excellent condition. $1,000 or best offer. No longer needed. Got married last month. Wife knows everything.
A new home owner in NY reported the following experience:
We purchased an old home in Northern New York State from two elderly sisters. Winter was fast approaching and I was concerned about the house's lack of insulation. "If they could live here all those years, so can we!" my husband confidently declared.
One November night the temperature plunged to below zero, and we woke up to find interior walls covered with frost. My husband called the sisters to ask how they had kept the house warm. After a rather brief conversation, he hung up.
"For the past 30 years," he muttered, "they've gone to Florida for the winter."
Monday, January 12, 2004
August, 1998, Montevideo, Uruguay
Paolo Esperanza, bass-trombonist with the Simphonica Mayor de Uruguay, in a misplaced moment of inspiration decided to make his own contribution to the cannon shots fired as part of the orchestra's performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture at an outdoor children's concert. In complete seriousness he placed a large, ignited firecracker, which was equivalent in strength to a quarter stick of dynamite, into his aluminum straight mute and then stuck the mute into the bell of his quite new Yamaha in-line double-valve bass trombone. Later, from his hospital bed he explained to a reporter through bandages on his mouth, "I thought that the bell of my trombone would shield me from the explosion and instead, would focus the energy of the blast outwards and away from me, propelling the mute high above the orchestra, like a rocket."
However, Paolo was not up on his propulsion physics nor qualified to use high-powered artillery and in his haste to get the horn up before the firecracker went off, he failed to raise the bell of the horn high enough so as to give the mute enough arc to clear the orchestra.
What actually happened should serve as a lesson to us all during those delirious moments of divine inspiration. First, because he failed to sufficiently elevate the bell of his horn, the blast propelled the mute between rows of players in the woodwind and viola sections of the orchestra, missing the players and straight into the stomach of the conductor, driving him off the podium and directly into the front row of the audience.
Fortunately, the audience were sitting in folding chairs and thus they were protected from serious injury, for the chairs collapsed under them passing the energy of the impact of the flying conductor backwards into the row of people sitting behind them, who in turn were driven back into the people in the row behind and so on, like a row of dominos. The sound of collapsing wooden chairs and grunts of people falling on their behinds increased logarithmically, adding to the overall sound of brass cannons and brass playing as constitutes the closing measures of the Overture.
Meanwhile, all of this unplanned choreography not withstanding, back on stage Paolo's Waterloo was still unfolding. According to Paolo, "Just as the I heard the sound of the blast, time seemed to stand still. Everything moved in slow motion. Just before I felt searing pain to my mouth, I could swear I heard a voice with a Austrian accent say "Fur every akshon zeriz un eekvul un opposeet reakshon!"
Well, this should come as no surprise, for Paolo had set himself up for a textbook demonstration of this fundamental law of physics. Having failed to plug the lead pipe of his trombone, he allowed the energy of the blast to send a super heated jet of gas backwards through the mouth pipe of the trombone which exited the mouthpiece burning his lips and face.
The pyrotechnic dance wasn't over yet. The force of the blast was so great it split the bell of his shiny Yamaha right down the middle, turning it inside out while at the same time propelling Paolo backwards off the riser. And for the grand finale, as Paolo fell backwards he lost his grip on the slide of the trombone allowing the pressure of the hot gases coursing through the horn to propel the trombone's slide like a double golden spear into the head of the 3rd clarinetist, knocking him unconscious.
The moral of the story? Beware the next time you hear someone in the trombone section yell out, "Hey, everyone, watch this!"
Dear Darling Son and That Person You Married,
Merry Christmas to you, and please don't worry. I'm just fine considering I can't breathe or eat. The important thing is that you have a nice holiday, thousands of miles away from your ailing mother. I've sent along my last ten dollars in this card, which I hope you'll spend on my grandchildren. God knows their mother never buys them anything nice. They look so thin in their pictures, poor babies.
Thank you so much for the Christmas flowers, dear boy. I put them in the freezer so they'll stay fresh for my grave. Which reminds me -- we buried Grandma last week. I know she died years ago, but I got to yearning for a good funeral so Aunt Viola and I dug her up and had the services all over again. I would have invited you, but I know that woman you live with would have never let you come. I bet she's never even watched that videotape of my hemorrhoid surgery, has she?
Well son, it's time for me to crawl off to bed now. I lost my cane beating off muggers last week, but don't you worry about me. I'm also getting used to the cold since they turned my heat off and am grateful because the frost on my bed numbs the constant pain. Now don't you even think about sending any more money, because I know you need it for those expensive family vacations you take every year. Give my love to my darling grandbabies and my regards to whatever-her-name-is -- the one with the black roots who stole you screaming from my bosom.
Junior had just received his brand new drivers license. The family troops out the driveway where he is going to take them for a ride for the first time. Dad immediately heads for the back seat, directly behind the newly minted driver.
"I'll bet you're back there to get a change of scenery after all those months of sitting in the front passenger seat teaching me how to drive," says the beamish boy to the 'ole man.
"Nope," comes dad's reply, "I'm gonna sit here and kick the back of your seat as you drive, just like you've been doing to me all these years!"
The patient was lying in bed, still groggy from the effects of the recent operation. His doctor came in, looking very glum. "I can't be sure what's wrong with you," the doctor said. "I think it's the drinking."
"Okay," the patient said. "Can we get an opinion from a doctor who's sober?"
Martha Stewart's Christmas letter to Erma Bombeck
This perfectly delightful note is being sent on paper I made myself to tell you what I have been up to. Since it snowed last night, I got up early and made a sled with old barn wood and a glue gun. I hand painted it in gold leaf, got out my loom, and made a blanket in peaches and mauves. Then to make the sled complete, I made a white horse to pull it, from DNA that I had just sitting around in my craft room. By then, it was time to start making the place mats and napkins for my 20 breakfast guests. I'm serving the old standard Stewart twelve- course breakfast, but I'll let you in on a little secret: I didn't have time to make the tables and chairs this morning, so I used the ones I had on hand. Before I moved the table into the dining room, I decided to add just a touch of the holidays. So I repainted the room in pinks and stenciled gold stars on the ceiling. Then, while the homemade bread was rising, I took antique candle molds and made the dishes (exactly the same shade of pink) to use for breakfast. These were made from Hungarian clay, which you can get at almost any Hungarian craft store. Well, I must run. I need to finish the buttonholes on the dress I'm wearing for breakfast. I'll get out the sled and drive this note to the post office as soon as the glue dries on the envelope I'll be making. Hope my breakfast guests don't stay too long, I have 40,000 cranberries to string with bay leaves before my speaking engagement at noon. It's a good thing.
P.S. When I made the ribbon for this typewriter, I used 1/8-inch gold gauze. I soaked the gauze in a mixture of white grapes and blackberries, which I grew, picked, and crushed last week just for fun.
Response from Erma Bombeck:
I'm writing this on the back of an old shopping list, pay no attention to the coffee and jelly stains. I'm 20 minutes late getting my daughter up for school, packing a lunch with one hand, on the phone with the dog pound, seems old Ruff needs bailing out, again. Burnt my arm on the curling iron when I was trying to make those cute curly fries, how DO they do that? Still can't find the scissors to cut out some snowflakes, tried using an old disposable razor ... trashed the tablecloth. Tried that cranberry thing, frozen cranberries mushed up after I defrosted them in the microwave. Oh, and don't use Fruity Pebbles as a substitute in that Rice Krispie snowball recipe, unless you happen to like a disgusting shade that resembles puke! The smoke alarm is going off, talk to ya later.
Newspaper headlines in the year 2035
Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh
largest country in the world, California.
White minorities still trying to have English recognized as
California's third language.
Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United States crops &
Baby conceived naturally.... Scientists stumped.
Last remaining Fundamentalist Muslim dies in the American Territory
of the Middle East (formerly known as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and
North Korea still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at
least ten more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels.
Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported
legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking.
George Z. Bush says he will run for President in 2036.
Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and
reduces mail delivery to Wednesday only.
35 year study: Diet and Exercise is the key to weight loss.
Massachusetts executes last remaining conservative.
Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil
Average height of NBA players now nine feet, seven inches.
New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly
swatters, and rolled up newspapers must be registered by January
Congress authorizes direct deposit of illegal political
contributions to campaign accounts.
IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75%.
Florida Democrats still don't know how to use a voting machine.
So What's The Moral Of The Story??
An unemployed man is desperate to support his family. His wife watches TV all day and his three teenage kids have dropped out of high school to hang around with the local toughs. He applies for a janitor's job at a large firm and easily passes an aptitude test. The human resources manager tells him, "You will be hired at minimum wage of $5.15 an hour. Let me have your e-mail address so that we can get you in the loop. Our system will automatically e- mail you all the forms and advise you when to start and where to report on your first day."
Taken aback, the man protests that he is poor and has neither a computer nor an e-mail address. To this the manager replies, "You must understand that to a company like ours that means that you virtually do not exist. Without an e-mail address you can hardly expect to be employed by a high-tech firm. Good day."
Stunned, the man leaves. Not knowing where to turn and having $10 in his wallet, he walks past a farmers' market and sees a stand selling 25 pound crates of beautiful red tomatoes. He buys a crate, carries it to a busy corner and displays the tomatoes. In less than 2 hours he sells all the tomatoes and makes 100% profit.
Repeating the process several times more that day, he ends up with almost $100 and arrives home that night with several bags of groceries for his family.
During the night he decides to repeat the tomato business the next day. By the end of the week he is getting up early every day and working into the night. He multiplies his profits quickly.
Early in the second week he acquires a cart to transport several boxes of tomatoes at a time, but before a month is up he sells the cart to buy a broken-down pickup truck.
At the end of a year he owns three old trucks. His two sons have left their neighborhood gangs to help him with the tomato business, his wife is buying the tomatoes, and his daughter is taking night courses at the community college so she can keep books for him. By the end of the second year he has a dozen very nice used trucks and employs fifteen previously unemployed people, all selling tomatoes. He continues to work hard. Time passes and at the end of the fifth year he owns a fleet of ice trucks and a warehouse, which his wife supervises, plus two tomato farms that the boys manage.
The tomato company's payroll has put hundreds of homeless and jobless people to work. His daughter reports that the business grossed a million dollars.
Planning for the future, he decides to buy some life insurance. Consulting with an insurance adviser, he picks an insurance plan to fit his new circumstances. Then the adviser asks him for his e-mail address in order to send the final documents electronically.
When the man replies that he doesn't have time to mess with a computer and has no e-mail address, the insurance man is stunned, "What, you don't have e-mail? No computer? No Internet? Just think where you would be today if you'd had all of that five years ago!"
"Ha!" snorts the man. "If I'd had e-mail five years ago I would be sweeping floors at Microsoft and making $5.15 an hour."
Which brings us to the moral: ..........................
Since you got this story by e-mail, you're probably closer to being a janitor than a millionaire.
Sadly, I received it also.
Metric Conversion Chart
10^12 microphones = 1 megaphone
10^6 bicycles = 1 megacycles
500 millinaries = 1 seminary
2000 mockingbirds = 2 kilomockingbirds
10 cards = 1 decacards
1/2 lavatory = 1 demijohn
10^-6 fish = 1 microfiche
454 graham crackers = 1 pound cake
10^12 pins = 1 terrapin
10^21 picolos = 109 los = 1 gigolo
10 rations = 1 decoration
100 rations = 1 C-ration
10 millipedes = 1 centipede
3 1/3 tridents = 1 decadent
10 monologs = 5 dialogues
5 dialogues = 1 decalogue
2 monograms = 1 diagram
8 nickels = 2 paradigms
2 snake eyes = 1 paradise
2 wharves = 1 paradox
10^-6 phones = 1 microphone
10^6 phones = 1 megaphone
10^-2 mental = 1 centimental
10^-1 mate = 1 decimate
10^12 bulls = 1 terabull
10^-12 boos = 1 picoboo
10^-15 bismol = 1 femtobismol
Sunday, January 11, 2004
Ultimate Final Exam
Instructions: Read each question thoroughly. Answer
all questions. Time limit - four hours. Begin
Describe the history of the Papacy from its origins to the
present day, concentrate specifically but not exclusively,
on the social, political, economic, religious, and
philosophical impact on Europe, Asia, America and Africa. Be
brief, concise and specific.
Compose an epic poem based on the events of your own life in
which you see and footnote allusions from T.S. Eliot, Keats,
Chaucer, Dante, Norse mythology and the Marx brothers.
Critique your poem with a full discussion of its metrics.
Write a piano concerto. Orchestrate it and perform it with
flute and drum. You will find a piano under your seat.
Explain the Mona Lisa's smile. Relate all interpretations
associated with it.
Assuming the Judeo-Christian moral structure, take the stand
for Adam and Eve, and the eating of the forbidden fruit.
Explain your position fully to a Chassidic Rabbi, and answer
his arguments. An Anglican bishop will moderate this debate.
Using accepted methodology prove all four of the following:
the universe is infinite; truth is beauty; there is not a
little person who turns off the light in the refrigerator
when you close the door, and that you are the person taking
this exam. Now disprove all of the above. Be specific; show
Sketch the development of human thought; estimate its
significance. Compare with the development of any other kind
Take a position for or against truth. Prove the validity of
You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze,
and a bottle of Scotch. Remove your own appendix. Do not
suture until your work has been inspected. You have fifteen
Create life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human
culture if this form of life had developed five hundred
years earlier, with special attention to the probable
effects on the English Parliamentary system. Prove your
Employing principles from the major schools of
psychoanalytic thought, successfully subject yourself to
analysis. Make appropriate personality changes, bill
yourself and fill out all medical insurance forms. Now do
the same to the person seated to your immediate left. Also,
based on your degree of knowledge of their works, evaluate
the emotional stability, degree of adjustment, and repressed
frustrations of each of the following Alexander of
Aphrodisias, Rameses II, Gregory of Nicea, Hammurabi.
Support your evaluations with quotations from each man's
work, making appropriate references. It is not necessary to
Estimate the sociological problems that might accompany the
end of the world. Construct and experiment to test your
Develop a realistic plan for refinancing the national debt.
Trace the possible effects of you plan in the following
areas Cubism, the Donatist controversy, the wave theory of
light. Outline a method from all points of view. Point out
deficiencies in your argument as demonstrated in your answer
to the last question.
Define computer. Define Science. How do they relate? Why?
Create a generalized algorithm to optimize all computer
decisions. Assuming an 1130 CPU supporting 50 terminals,
each terminal to activate your algorithm, design the
communications to interface and all the necessary control
Define Management. Define Science. How do they relate? Why?
Create a generalized algorithm to optimize all managerial
decisions. Assuming an 1130 CPU supporting 50 terminals,
each terminal to activate your algorithm; design the
communications interface and all necessary control programs.
2,500 riot-crazed students are storming the classroom. Calm
them. You may use any ancient language except Latin or
Explain the nature of matter. Include in your answer an
evaluation of the impact of the development of mathematics
Disprove Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Construct an
experiment to prove your position.
The disassembled parts of a high-powered rifle have been
placed in a box on your desk. You will also find an
instruction manual, printed in Swahili. In ten minutes a
hungry Bengal tiger will be admitted to the room. Take
whatever action you feel is appropriate. Prove your
assertions, and be prepared to cost- and motion- justify
Outline the steps involved in breeding your own super high
yield, all weather hybrid strain of wheat. Describe its
chemical and physical properties and estimate its impact on
world food supplies. Construct a model for dealing with
world-wide surpluses. Write your Nobel Prize acceptance
Three minute time test. Read everything before doing
anything. Put your name in the upper right hand corner of
this page. Circle the word name in sentence three. Sign your
name under the title of this paper, after the title write
yes, yes, yes. Put an X in the lower left hand corner of
this paper. Draw a triangle around the X you just put down.
On the back of this paper multiply 703x668. Loudly call out
your name when you get to this point. If you think you have
followed directions carefully to this point call out "I
have." Punch three small holes in the top of this paper. If
you are the first person to get this far, call out "I am the
first person to this point, I am leading in following
directions." On the reverse side of this paper add 8950 and
9850. Put a circle around your answer and put a square
around the circle. Now that you have finished reading
carefully, do only sentence two.
There is a red telephone on the desk behind you. Start World
War III. Report at length on its socio-political effects, if
In Part 2 of Shakespeare's "Henry VI", Jack Cade, the leader
of the Populist revolt, proposes that the first order of
business following a successful coup d'e'tat could be to
"kill all the lawyers". In light of the present populist
mood in the United States, assess the utility and any
potential impact of such a policy today.
It has recently been suggested (especially after Black
Monday) that only a foreign war can restore America's lost
national consensus. Propose the ideal opponent(s) for the US
in such a war, and how the conflict might be engineered so
that US would seem not to be the aggressor in the situation.
Discuss the pros and cons.
Give today's date, in metric.
Transform lead into gold. You will find a tripod and three
logs under your seat. Show all work including Feynman
diagrams and quantum functions for all steps. You have
Describe in detail. Be objective and specific.
Define the Universe. Give two examples.
A Collection of Life Observations
I've learned you can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. -- age 6
I've learned I like my teacher because she cries when we sing "Silent Night" - age 7
I've learned when I wave to people in the country, they stop what they are doing and wave back. -- age 9
I've learned that just when I get my room the way I like it, Mom makes me clean it up. -- age 12
I've learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up. -- age 13
I've learned that although it's hard to admit it, I'm secretly glad my parents are strict with me. -- age 15
I've learned that silent company is often more healing than words of advice. -- age 24
I've learned that brushing my child's hair is one of life's great pleasures. -- age 25
I've learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it. -- age 39
I've learned there are people who love you dearly but just don't know how to show it. - -age 41
I've learned you can make someone's day by simply sending them a little card. -- age 44
I've learned that the greater a person's sense of guilt, the greater his need to cast blame on others. -- age 45
I've learned that children and grandchildren are natural allies. -- age 46
I've learned that singing "Amazing Grace" can lift my spirits for hours. -- age 49
I've learned that motel mattresses are better on the side away from the phone. -- age 50
I've learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.-- age 52
I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly after they die. -- age 53
I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. -- age 58
I've learned that if you want to do something positive for your children, try to improve your marriage. -- age 61
I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. -- age 62
I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to throw something back. --age 64
I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you. -- age 65
I've learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision. -- age 66
I've learned that everyone can use a prayer. -- age 72
I've learned that it pays to believe in miracles. And to tell you the truth, I've seen several. -- age 73
I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. -- age 82
I've learned that everyday you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch -- holding hands, a warm hug or just a friendly pat on the back. -- age 85
I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. -- age 92
An old Native American wanted a loan for $500. The banker pulled out the loan application and asked, "What are you going to do with the money?"
"Take jewelry to city and sell it," was the response.
"What have you got for collateral?"
"Don't know collateral."
"Well that's something of value that would cover the cost of the loan. Have you got any vehicles?"
"Yes, 1949 Chevy pickup."
The banker shook his head, "How about livestock?"
"Yes, I have a horse."
"How old is it?"
"Don't know, has no teeth."
Finally the banker decided to make the $500 loan. Several weeks later the old man was back in the bank. He pulled out a roll of bills, "Here to pay." he said. He then handed the banker the money to pay his loan off.
"What are you going to do with the rest of that money?"
"Put in teepee."
"Why don't you deposit it in my bank," he asked.
"Don't know deposit."
"You put the money in our bank and we take care of it for you. When you want to use it you can withdraw it."
The old Indian leaned across the desk, "What you got for collateral?"
You Don't Have What!!??
A woman walks into a convenience store. She walks straight to the manager and asks, "Do you have any small note- books?"
"Sorry," says the manager. "We're all out."
The woman shrugs, and asks, "Well, do you have any mechanical pencils?"
"Nope, don't have that either," says the manager.
The woman feels her stomach rumbling and asks, "Do you have Doritos? Nachos?"
The manager shrugs, "Sorry."
"Hmmph. How about Chapstick?" says the woman.
"Nope. Don't have that."
"Wow!" the woman shouts, "If you don't have anything, you should close the stupid store!"
The manager shrugs, "Don't have the key."
King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after
years of war with the Hittites. His last great possession
was the Star of the Euphrates, the most valuable diamond
in the ancient world. Desperate, he went to Crosus, the
pawnbroker, to ask for a loan. Crosus said, "I'll give you
100,000 dinars for it." "But I paid a million dinars for
it," the King protested. "Don't you know who I am? I am the
Crosus replied, "When you wish to pawn a Star... it makes
no difference who you are!"
Rules for Men's Gifts
Rule #1: When in doubt -- buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if
he already has one. I have a friend who owns 17 of them, and he has yet
to complain. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills.
For that matter any power tool is a good choice. He may not need it, or
know what it does, but it will look good hung on the peg board in the
Rule #2: If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the
word ratchet or socket in it. Men love saying those two words. "Hey
George, can I borrow your ratchet?" "OK. By the way, are you through with
my 3/8-inch socket yet?"
Rule #3: If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car.
A 99-cent ice scraper, a small bottle of deicer or something to hang from
his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars.
Rule #4: Do not buy men socks. Do not buy men ties and never buy men
bathrobes. If God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn't have
invented Jockey shorts.
Rule #5: You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have
worn out. If you have a lot of money buy your man a big-screen TV with
the little picture in the corner. Watch him go wild as he flips, and flips,
Rule #6: Do not buy a man any of those fancy liqueurs. If you do, it will
sit in a cupboard for 23 years.
Rule #7: Do not buy any man industrial-sized canisters of after shave or
deodorant. We do not stink -- we are earthy.
Rule #8: Buy men label makers. Almost as good as cordless drills.
Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere. "Socks.
Shorts. Cups. Saucers. Door. Lock. Sink." You get the idea. No one knows why.
Rule #9: Never buy a man anything that says "some assembly required" on
the box. It will ruin his Special Day and he will always have parts left over.
Rule #10: Good places to shop for men include Northwest Iron Works, Parr
Lumber, Home Depot, John Deere, Valley RV Center, and Les Schwab Tire.
(NAPA Auto Parts and Sears Clearance Centers are also excellent men's
It doesn't matter if he doesn't know what it is. "(From NAPA Auto, eh?
Must be something I need. Hey! Isn't this a starter for a '68 Ford Fairlane?
Rule #11: Men enjoy danger. That's why they never cook - but they will
Get him a monster barbecue with a 100-pound propane tank. Tell him the
gas line leaks. "Oh the thrill! The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?"
Rule #12: Tickets to a professional sports game (any team within 300
miles) are a smart gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to "A
Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts."
Rule #13: Men love chain saws. Never, ever, buy a man you love a chain
saw. If you don' t know why - please refer to Rule #8 and what happens when he
gets a label maker.
Rule #14: It's hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum
Never buy a real man a step ladder. It must be an extension ladder.
Rule #15: Rope. Men love rope. It takes us back to our cowboy origins,
or at least the Boy Scouts. Nothing says love like a hundred feet of 3/8"
Rule #16: Clamps. Men can never have enough quick grip clamps. No one
Rule #17: Buy your man Duct Tape. This is a man's most universal repair tool.
All men know, if you can't fix it, duct it.
Saturday, January 10, 2004
Chronicle of Higher Education—From the issue dated January 9, 2004
By MIKITA BROTTMAN
When I attended a job interview at the Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore, I was surprised to see a number of dogs — indoors in the art studios as well as outdoors in the public areas. When I asked about this, I was told that MICA has a long tradition of allowing pets on the campus, and that students are even permitted to bring their dogs to class. In my experience, such a policy is rare, perhaps even unique, among institutions of higher education. Of course, there are strict rules about pet behavior at the institute. The official pet policy states: “Pets on campus must be kept on a leash and should be controlled by their owner so that they are not a problem for members of the MICA community. They may not roam freely through studios, classrooms, offices, or public spaces.” Additionally, pets are not permitted anywhere on the campus where food is prepared or served.
The pet policy first struck me as rather imprudent. Allowing animals into the classroom sounded like a disaster. I imagined my lectures being disturbed by rambunctious dogs getting frisky, starting fights with each other, needing to be taken outside when nature calls. I also couldn’t help thinking about the possible hazards of dogs in the studio — knocking over pots of paint, trampling on works of art, sniffing nude models in embarrassing places. In practice, however, I have discovered that the policy works surprisingly well, mainly because the only dogs brought into class are extremely well behaved.
Most students don’t bring their dogs to MICA. Dogs are not allowed in the dormitories, and student life in general, even for those living off campus, is usually too active and unpredictable to be conducive to dog care. In fact, the dogs seen most commonly on campus belong to members of the faculty. Jupiter, the associate dean’s Jack Russell terrier, is well known, as is Gelbert, a gentle Australian sheepdog belonging to Carole Poppleton, a fellow language-and-literature professor. Well behaved and discreet, Gelbert is a welcome visitor in all classes and offices on our floor, and students often drop by Carole’s office just to spend some time with him. “He’s especially well loved by students who miss their household pets,” says Carole, who works mainly with second-language students — many of them from China and South Korea — who often feel lonely and depressed so far away from home. “Having Gelbert in the classroom helps students relax and open up,” she says. “He helps break the ice and gives the more reserved students something to talk about.” The sheepdog also provides comic relief during lectures, when his well-timed yawns or snores can remind Carole that the class is long overdue for a break.
According to MICA’s vice president and dean of academic affairs, Ray Allen, there are far fewer dogs at the institute now than there were 30 years ago, when the area around the campus was more dangerous, and students often liked to have dogs for their protection, especially when walking home at night. Allen himself brought his Airedale into his office for 12 years. And the chief librarian at the time, he says, had a dog that virtually lived underneath his desk. Those were obviously well-behaved animals, accustomed to community life. But not all dogs are so obedient. One student last year was asked to stop entering campus buildings with his large, aggressive, unneutered pit bull, whose presence made a number of students and staff members very uncomfortable.
Dogs are by far the most visible pets on the campus, but not the only ones. One student sometimes brings his pet ferret on a leash; a hedgehog reportedly made an appearance on a couple of occasions; and I even observed a class in which a hamster, inside a ball, rolled happily around on the floor during a lecture. Since the peripatetic creature was presented in the guise of an artwork, though, perhaps it shouldn’t really count as a classroom pet.
Pets have long been valued for their therapeutic capacities. Dentists and psychiatrists often have aquariums in their waiting rooms, as watching tropical fish is believed to have a calming effect on stressed-out patients. Prison inmates who are allowed to take care of birds and small animals have allegedly become less emotionally isolated, less prone to violence, and have exhibited higher morale. Also popular are more-generalized forms of animal-assisted therapy, in which pets — usually dogs — are taken into hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, and other facilities. Psychologists have suggested that the presence of a friendly pet can help people recover from physical illness and emotional trauma. A number of well-known studies have shown that petting a dog, or simply being in the same room with a dog, has a soothing effect upon people, reducing blood pressure and heart rate.
According to Alan Beck and Aaron Katcher, in their book Between Pets and People: The Importance of Animal Companionship, the proximity of a pet has an effect not unlike that of the presence of the silent but understanding therapist.
“The difficult art in therapy,” they write, “is achieving a mutual feeling of intimacy without touching.” With an animal, that is not a problem. In the relationship between humans and animals, unlike so many other forms of interaction today, touching is never taboo.
Pets also play an important therapeutic role in the lives of creative artists. Many writers have had close relationships with their pets, which have provided them with inspiration and material, or, at the least, have given them comfort when their work was not going as well as it might. Among pet-loving writers, it appears that the animal of choice is not the dog, which is too dependent and demanding, but the cat, which is more composed and detached. In fact, judging from literary biography, cats have presided over the crafting of many classics.
Charles Dickens’s cat, it is said, kept him company in his study as he wrote, and when she wanted his attention, she would snuff out his reading candle with her paw. Edgar Allan Poe’s cat, Catarina, the inspiration for his macabre tale “The Black Cat” and the essay “Instinct vs. Reason — A Black Cat,” used to enjoy sitting on his shoulder as he wrote. During the winter of 1846, when Poe was destitute and his wife, Virginia, was fatally ill with tuberculosis, Catarina would curl up on the bed, providing the dying woman with warmth. Harriet Beecher Stowe took in a stray Maltese cat, Calvin, which arrived on her doorstep one day demanding food. This grateful creature, another shoulder-sitter, repaid Stowe for her kindness by radiating calm “during hours of frenzied writing,” as Stowe put it. An often overlooked advantage of the word processor is the many comfortable places it provides for companionable cats to perch — more comfy than a shoulder, at any rate.
Ernest Hemingway kept a brood of Maine coon cats with extra toes and a problem with premature tooth decay. Jeoffrey, the cat of the 18th-century poet Christopher Smart, kept Smart company when he was going insane, and was in part the inspiration for his best-known work, the “Jubilate Agno.” The best-known lines of this long poem begin, “For I will consider my cat Jeoffrey,” and proceed with a litany of fulsome praise of the cat’s activities: “For he keeps the Lord’s watch in the night against the adversary. / ... For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.”
Other authors who testified to the importance of cats in their lives and work include Colette, Théophile Gautier, Thomas Hardy, Edward Lear, Pierre Loti, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Horace Walpole, whose cat, Selina, accidentally drowned in a goldfish bowl — a sad occasion commemorated in an epitaph by the poet Thomas Gray. The moral of Selina’s tragic end is told in the last verse:
From hence, ye beauties, undeceived,
Know, one false step is ne’er retrieved
And be with caution bold.
Not all that tempts your wand’ring eyes
And heedless hearts is lawful prize.
Nor all that glitters, gold.
One of the most famous of the literary felines was Hodge, who kept Samuel Johnson company as he labored at his dictionary. Johnson’s biographer, Boswell, was surprised at the indulgence with which Hodge was treated by the doctor, who made special trips into town to purchase oysters for his pet. Boswell also recalled seeing Hodge “scrambling up Dr. Johnson’s breast, apparently with much satisfaction,” while the Doctor rubbed the cat’s back and gently tugged his tail. Boswell famously reported his own remark that Hodge was a fine cat, to which Johnson replied, “Why, yes, sir, but I have had cats whom I liked better than this.” Then, evidently observing that Hodge looked a little put out, he added, “But he is a very fine cat; a very fine cat indeed.”
It seems odd that despite their association with creativity, pets are rarely tolerated in institutions of higher learning. Accordingly, some scholars have rebelled at the prohibition. When Lord Byron moved into Trinity College, Cambridge, and was informed that undergraduates were not allowed to keep dogs in their rooms, he exchanged his dog for another animal. On October 26, 1807, he announced in a letter to Elizabeth Pigot, “I have got a new friend, the finest in the world, a tame Bear.” Since there was no mention of bears in the Trinity statutes, the authorities had no legal basis on which to complain. Byron was allowed to keep his new pet, which caused quite a sensation when he walked it around on a chain. The Cambridge dons were less than amused, however. “When I brought him here,” wrote Byron, “they asked me what I meant to do with him, and my reply was ‘he should sit for a Fellowship.’ ... This answer delighted them not.”
One can well imagine. Even the dons at MICA would doubtless draw the line at a bear — unless, of course, it was part of an artwork.
Mikita Brottman is a professor of liberal arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her new book, Funny Peculiar: Gershon Legman and the Psychopathology of Humor, is forthcoming in February 2004 from the Analytic Press.
Section: The Chronicle Review
Volume 50, Issue 18, Page B5
Copyright © 2004 by The Chronicle of Higher Education
1.) Only a true Southerner knows the difference between a hissie
fit and a conniption, and that you don't "HAVE" them, --
you "PITCH" them.
2.) Only a true Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens,
turnip greens, peas, beans, etc. make up "a mess."
3.) Only a true Southerner can show or point out to you the
general direction of "yonder."
4.) Only a true Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is -
as in: "Going to town, be back directly."
5.) All true Southerners, even babies, know that "Gimme some
sugar" is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance
that sits in a pretty little bowl on the middle of the table.
6.) All true Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is. They
might not use the term, but they know the concept well.
7.) Only a true Southerner knows instinctively that the best
gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of
hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. (If the
neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large
8.) Only true Southerners grow up knowing the difference
between "right near" and "a right far piece." They also know
that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or 20.
9.) Only a true Southerner both knows and understands the
difference between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and po' white trash.
10.) No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the
flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.
11.) A true Southerner knows that "fixin'" can be used as a noun,
a verb, or an adverb.
12.) Only a true Southerner knows that the term "booger" can be a
resident of the nose, a descriptive, as in "that ol' booger," a
first name or something that jumps out ! at you in the dark and
scares you senseless.
13.) Only true Southerners make friends while standing in lines.
We don't do "queues", we do "lines," and when we're "in line," not
"on line," we talk to everybody!
14.) Put 100 true Southerners in a room and half of them will
discover they're related, even if only by marriage.
15.) True Southerners never refer to one person as "y'all."
"Y'all is the contraction of you all, and it is plural, not singular.
16.) True Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat
them, with lots of butter, but never milk and sugar.
17.) Every true Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits,
and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that redeye gravy is also a
breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast
18.) When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself
lookin' .. ," you know you are in the presence of a genuine
19.) Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet
tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it - we do not like
our tea unsweetened. "Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk.
20.) A true Southerner knows that if you are with a couple of
friends you, you could be with 2 or 10. The number doesn't matter.
21.) And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at
little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just
say, "Bless her heart" and go your own way.
Monday, January 05, 2004
Clinton / Saddam Humor (Originally Received 12/12/98)
Saddam Hussein and Bill Clinton meet up in Baghdad for the first round of talks in a new peace process. When Bill sits down, he notices three buttons on the side of Saddam's chair.
They begin talking. After about five minutes Saddam presses the first button. A boxing glove springs out of a box on the desk and punches Clinton in the face.
Confused, Clinton carries on talking as Saddam laughs.
A few minutes later the second button is pressed. This time a big boot comes out and kicks Clinton in the shin. Again Saddam laughs, and again Clinton carries on talking, not wanting to put off the bigger issue of peace between the two countries.
But when the third button is pressed and another boot comes out and kicks Clinton in the privates, he's finally had enough, knowing that he can't do much without them functioning well. "I'm going back home!" he tells the Iraqi. "We'll finish these talks in two weeks!"
A fortnight passes and Saddam flies to the United States for talks. As the two men sit down, Hussein notices three buttons on Clinton's chair and prepares himself for the Yank's revenge.
They begin talking and Bill presses the first button. Saddam ducks, but nothing happens. Clinton snickers. A few seconds
later he presses the second button. Saddam jumps up, but again nothing happens. Clinton roars with laughter. When the third button is pressed, Saddam jumps up again, and again nothing happens. Clinton falls on the floor in a fit of hysterics.
"Forget this," says Saddam. "I'm going back to Baghdad!"
Clinton says through tears of laughter, "What Baghdad?"
Two guys are walking through the woods and come across this big deep hole.
"Wow...that looks deep." "Sure does... toss a few pebbles in there and see how deep it is."
They pick up a few pebbles and throw them in and wait... no noise "Wow. That is REALLY deep... here.. throw one of these great big rocks down there. Those should make a noise."
They pick up a couple football-sized rocks and toss them into the hole and wait... and wait. Nothing.
They look at each other in amazement. One gets a determined look on his face and says, "Hey...over here in the weeds, there's a railroad tie. Help me carry it over here. When we toss THAT sucker in, it's GOTTA make some noise."
The two drag the heavy tie over to the hole and heave it in. Not a sound comes from the hole.
Suddenly, out of the nearby woods, a goat appears, running like the wind. It rushes toward the two men, then right past them, running as fast as it's legs will carry it. Suddenly it leaps in the air and into the hole.
The two men are astonished with what they've just seen... Then, out of the woods comes a farmer who spots the men and ambles over.
"Hey... you two guys seen my goat out here?"
"You bet we did! Craziest thing I ever seen! It came running like crazy and just jumped into this hole!"
"Nah", says the farmer, "That couldn't have been MY goat. My goat was chained to a railroad tie."
Dilbert's Words Of Wisdom
1. I can please only one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow isn't looking good either.
2. I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by.
3. Am I getting smart with you? How would you know?
4. I'd explain it to you, but your brain would explode.
5. Someday we'll look back on all this and plow into a parked car.
6. There are very few personal problems that cannot be solved through a suitable application of high explosives.
7. Tell me what you need and I'll tell you how to get along without it.
8. Accept that some days you're the pigeon, some days you're the statue.
9. Needing someone is like needing a parachute. If he isn't there the first time you need him, chances are you won't be needing him again.
10. I don't have an attitude problem. You have a perception problem.
11. Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, "Where the heck is the ceiling?!"
12. My Reality Check bounced.
13. On the keyboard of life, always keep one finger on the escape key.
14. I don't suffer from stress. I'm a carrier.
15. Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.
Redneck Nativity (from a transplanted Northerner, obviously!)
In a small Southern town there was a Nativity scene that showed that great skill and talent had gone into creating it. One small feature bothered me. The three wise men were wearing firemen's helmets. Totally unable to come up with a reason or explanation, I left. At a Quick Stop on the edge of town, I asked the lady behind the counter about the helmets.
She exploded into a rage, yelling at me. "You darn Yankees never do read the Bible!"
I assured her that I did but simply couldn't recall anything about firemen in the Bible. She jerked her Bible from behind the counter, ruffled thru some pages, and finally jabbed her finger at a passage.
Sticking it in my face she said, "See, it says right here, 'The three wise men came from afar.'"
Santa Claus, like all pilots, gets regular visits from the Federal Aviation Administration, and it was shortly before Christmas when the FAA examiner arrived.
In preparation, Santa had the elves wash the sled and bathe all the reindeer. Santa got his logbook out and made sure all his paperwork was in order.
The examiner walked slowly around the sled. He checked the reindeer harnesses, the landing gear, and Rudolf's nose. He painstakingly reviewed Santa's weight and balance calculations for the sled's enormous payload.
Finally, they were ready for the checkride. Santa got in, fastened his seatbelt and shoulder harness, and checked the compass. Then the examiner hopped in carrying, to Santa's surprise, a shotgun.
"What's that for?" asked Santa incredulously.
The examiner winked and said, "I'm not supposed to tell you this, but you're gonna lose an engine on takeoff."
"Begin Worrying. Details to Follow!"
A man called his mother in Florida. He said to his mother, "How are you doing? " She said, "Not too good. I've been very weak." The son then asked, "Why are you so weak?" She said, "Because I haven't eaten in 38 days." The son then asked, "How come you haven't eaten in 38 days? " She said, "Because I didn't want my mouth to be filled with food when you called".
Three men, an Italian, a Frenchman and a Jew were condemned to be executed. Their captors told them that they had the right to have a final meal before the execution.
They asked the Frenchman what he wanted. "Give me some good French wine and french bread," he requested. So they gave it to him, he ate it, and then they executed him.
Next it was the Italian's turn. "Give me a big plate of pasta," said the Italian. So they brought it to him, he ate it, and then they executed him.
Now it was the Jew's turn. "I want a big bowl of strawberries," said the Jew.
"Strawberries!!! They aren't even in season! "No, so I'll wait...."
A shaddchan (matchmaker) corners a yeshiva bochur and says "Do I have a girl for you!".
"Not interested", replies the bochur.
"But she is beautiful!"
"Yeah?" says the bochur.
"Yes. And she's very rich too."
"And she has great yichus (ancestry)! From a very fine family."
"Sounds great." says the bochur. "But why would a girl like that want to marry me? She'd have to be crazy."
Replies the shaddchan "Well, you can't have everything!".
An American tourist in Tel Aviv was about to enter the impressive Mann Auditorium to take in a concert by the Israel Philharmonic. He was admiring the unique architecture, the sweeping lines of the entrance, and the modern decor throughout the building. Finally he turned to his friend and asked if the building was named for Thomas Mann, the world-famous author.
"No," his friend said. "it's named for Frederick Mann, from Philadelphia."
"Really?" I've never heard of him. What did he write? "
Mr. Rabinowicz goes to the doctor for a check up. After extensive tests the doctor tells him "I'm afraid I have some bad news for you. You only have six months to live."
Mr. Rabinowicz is dumbstruck. After a while he replies "That's terrible doctor. But I must admit to you that I can't afford to pay your bill."
"Ok" says the doctor, "I'll give you a year to live."
The first Jewish President is elected. He calls his mother: "Mama, I've won the elections. You've got to come to the swearing-in ceremony."
"I don't know, what would I wear? "
"Don't worry, I'll send you a dressmaker."
"But I only eat kosher food."
"Mama, I am going to be the president. I can get you kosher food."
"But how will I get there?"
"I'll send you a limo. Just come mama."
"Ok, ok, if it makes you happy."
The great day comes and Mama is seated between the Supreme Court Justices and the future Cabinet members. She nudges the gentleman on her right.
"You see that boy, the one giving the speech? ... His brother's a doctor!"
Test For The Kiddies
Match each item in list A with an item in List B:
1. All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not truly auriferous.
2. Sorting on the part of mendicants must be interdicted.
3. Male cadavers are incapable of rendering any testimony.
4. Neophyte's serendipity.
5. A revolving lithic conglomerate accumulates no congeries of small, green, biophytic plant.
7. Members of an avian species of identical plumage tend to congregate.
8. Pulchritude possesses solely cutaneous profundity.
9. Freedom from incrustations of crime is contiguous to rectitude.
10. It is fruitless to become lachrymose of precipitately departed lacteal fluid.
12. Eschew the implement of correction and vitiate the scion.
13. The stylus is more potent than the rapier.
14. It is fruitless to attempt to indoctrinate a superannuated canine with innovative maneuvers.
15. Surveillance should precede saltation.
16. Scintillate, scintillate, asteroid minim. (not a proverb)
17. The person presenting the ultimate cachinnation possesses thereby the optimal cachinnation.
18. Exclusive dedication to necessitous chores without interludes of hedonistic diversion renders John a hebetudinous fellow.
19. Individuals who make their abodes in vitreous edifices would be advised to refrain from catapulting petrious projectiles.
20. Where there are visible vapors having their provenance in ignited carbonaceous materials, there is conflagration.
A. Rolling Stone gathers no Moss.
B. Beauty is only skin-deep.
C. The Pen is Mightier than the Sword.
D. Beggars cannot be choosers.
E. Where there is smoke, there will be fire.
F. Don't cry over Spilt Milk.
G. One who laughs the last, laughs the best.
H. You can't teach an Old Dog new Tricks.
I. Birds of a feather flock together.
J. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
K. All work and No Play makes Jack a Dull boy.
L. Dead men tell no tales
M. Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child.
N. All that Glitters is not Gold.
O. Those who live Glass Houses should cast no stones.
P. Twinkle twinkle little star
Q. Beginner's luck
R. Look before you leap.
Sunday, January 04, 2004
A Good Survival Kit for each day.
1. TOOTHPICK...to remind you to pick the good qualities in everyone, including yourself.
2. RUBBERBAND...to remind you to be flexible. Things might not always go the way you want, but it can be worked out.
3. BAND-AID...to remind you to heal hurt feelings, either yours or someone else's.
4. ERASER...to remind you everyone makes mistakes. That's okay, we learn by our errors.
5. CANDY KISS...to remind you everyone needs a hug or a compliment everyday.
6. MINT...to remind you that you are worth a mint to your family.
7. BUBBLE GUM...to remind you to stick with it and you can accomplish anything.
8. PENCIL...to remind you to list your blessings every day.
9. TEA BAG...to remind you to take time to relax daily and go over that list of blessings. This is what makes life worth
living every minute, every day.
Call the KGB
The phone rings at KGB headquarters. They answer:
"Hello, is this KGB?"
"Yes. What do you want?"
"I'm calling to report my neighbor Yankel Rabinovitz as an enemy of the State. He is hiding undeclared diamonds in his firewood."
"This will be noted."
Next day, the KGB goons come over to Rabinovitz's house. They search the shed where the firewood is kept, break every piece of wood, find no diamonds, swear at Yankel Rabinovitz and leave.
The phone rings at Rabinovitz's house. He answers, "Hello."
"Hello, Yankel! Did the KGB come?"
"Did they chop your firewood?"
"Yes, they did."
"Okay, now it's your turn to call. I need my vegetable patch plowed."
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