Author Archive: Christopher Waldrop

Illegal Aliens?

April 3, 1998

This is true: a senior at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas is taking 64 hours of classes in one semester. For those of you not familiar with the college system in the United States, 64 hours is three times more than the maximum I could have taken in one semester (half-year) at the college I went to, and 21 hours in any subject qualified as a minor (you don’t get a degree but you can speak authoritatively on the subject). This means, though, that he is spending 64 hours a week in classes–give or take a few hours. The University is being questioned for its low standards, but I think they’re not only asking the wrong question, they’re asking the institution when they should be asking the student.

But first consider this: it is possible to take that many hours of classes, even though with twenty-one classes (assuming they’re all three hours except for one which would be four) the cost of textbooks alone would bankrupt Macedonia. Hopefully I have my math right here (I didn’t just get a degree in English because I like to read) but out of classes, he’d have 56 hours a week, or 11.2 hours per day. Subtract–on average–8.2 hours for sleep, and he’d have 3 hours a day to study. That’s not counting Sundays when he’d have practically an entire day–once he recovered from Saturday’s bender, and assuming that he studied Friday, which is why he’d really break loose on Saturday. That gives him about 4.29 minutes per class, or as much as 4.5 if he’s taking a gym class. Let’s say he’s also taking Hiking 101, and, considering the location, Advanced Gambling. He’d have up to 5 minutes per subject. Now, if this guy gets anything about a barely passing grade, the question that should be asked is this: What planet is he from, and should Earth be reconsidering its immigration policy?

Enjoy this week’s checked and approved offering.

The following letters are taken from an actual incident between a London hotel and one of it’s guests. The Hotel ended up submitting the letters to the London Sunday Times!

Dear Maid,

Please do not leave any more of those little bars of soap in my bathroom since I have brought my own bath-sized Dial. Please remove the six unopened little bars from the shelf under the medicine chest and another three in the shower soap dish. They are in my way.

Thank you,

S. Berman

Dear Room 635,

I am not your regular maid. She will be back tomorrow, Thursday, from her day off. I took the 3 hotel soaps out of the shower soap dish as you requested. The 6 bars on your shelf, I took out of your way and put on top of your Kleenex dispenser in case you should change your mind. This leaves only the 3 bars I left today which my instructions from the management is to leave 3 soaps daily. I hope this is satisfactory.

Kathy, Relief Maid

Dear Maid,

I hope you are my regular maid. Apparently Kathy did not tell you about my note to her concerning the little bars of soap. When I got back to my room this evening, I found you had added 3 little Camays to the shelf under my medicine cabinet. I am going to be here in the hotel for two weeks and have brought my own bath-size Dial so I won’t need those 6 little Camays which are on the shelf. They are in my way when shaving, brushing teeth, etc. Please remove them.

S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,

My day off was last Wed. so the relief maid left 3 hotel soaps which we are instructed by the management. I took the 6 soaps which were in your way on the shelf and put them in the soap dish where your Dial was. I put the Dial in the medicine cabinet for your convenience. I didn’t remove the 3 complimentary soaps which are always placed inside the medicine cabinet for all new check-ins and which you did not object to when you checked in last Monday. Please let me know if I can of further assistance.

Your regular maid,


Dear Mr. Berman,

The assistant manager, Mr. Kensedder, informed me this morning that you called him last evening and said you were unhappy with your maid service.

I have assigned a new girl to your room. I hope you will accept my apologies for any past inconvenience. If you have any future complaints please contact me so I can give it my personal attention. Call extension 1108 between 8AM and 5PM. Thank you.

Elaine Carmen Housekeeper

Dear Miss Carmen,

It is impossible to contact you by phone since I leave the hotel for business at 7:45 AM and don’t get back before 5:30 or 6PM. That’s the reason I called Mr. Kensedder last night. You were already off duty. I only asked Mr. Kensedder if he could do anything about those little bars of soap. The new maid you assigned me must have thought I was a new check-in today, since she left another 3 bars of hotel soap in my medicine cabinet along with her regular delivery of 3 bars on the bathroom shelf. In just 5 days here I have accumulated 24 little bars of soap. Why are you doing this to me?

S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,

Your maid, Kathy, has been instructed to stop delivering soap to your room and remove the extra soaps. If I can be of further assistance, please call extension 1108 between 8AM and 5PM. Thank you,

Elaine Carmen, Housekeeper

Dear Mr. Kensedder,

My bath-size Dial is missing. Every bar of soap was taken from my room including my own bath-size Dial. I came in late last night and had to call the bellhop to bring me 4 little Cashmere Bouquets.

S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,

I have informed our housekeeper, Elaine Carmen, of your soap problem. I cannot understand why there was no soap in your room since our maids are instructed to leave 3 bars of soap each time they service a room. The situation will be rectified immediately. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.

Martin L. Kensedder Assistant Manager

Dear Mrs. Carmen,

Who the hell left 54 little bars of Camay in my room? I came in last night and found 54 little bars of soap. I don’t want 54 little bars of Camay. I want my one damn bar of bath-size Dial. Do you realize I have 54 bars of soap in here? All I want is my bath size Dial. Please give me back my bath-size Dial.

S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,

You complained of too much soap in your room so I had them removed. When you complained to Mr. Kensedder that all your soap was missing so I personally returned them. The 24 Camays which had been taken and the 3 Camays you are supposed to receive daily. I don’t know anything about the 4 Cashmere Bouquets. Obviously your maid, Kathy, did not know I had returned your soaps so she also brought 24 Camays plus the 3 daily Camays. I don’t know where you got the idea this hotel issues bath-size Dial. I was able to locate some bath-size Ivory which I left in your room.

Elaine Carmen Housekeeper

Dear Mrs. Carmen,

Just a short note to bring you up-to-date on my latest soap inventory. As of today I possess:

On the shelf under medicine cabinet – 18 Camay in 4 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2.

On the Kleenex dispenser – 11 Camay in 2 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 3.

On the bedroom dresser – 1 stack of 3 Cashmere Bouquet, 1 stack of 4 bath-size Ivory, and 8 Camay in 2 stacks of 4.

Inside the medicine cabinet – 14 Camay in 3 stacks of 4 & 1 stack of 2.

In the shower soap dish – 6 Camay, very moist.

On the northeast corner of tub – 1 Cashmere Bouquet, slightly used.

On the northwest corner of tub – 6 Camays in 2 stacks of 3.

Please ask Kathy when she services my room to make sure the stacks are neatly piled and dusted. Also, please advise her that stacks of more than 4 have a tendency to tip. May I suggest that my bedroom window sill is not in use and will make an excellent spot for future soap deliveries.

One more item, I have purchased another bar of bath-sized Dial which I am keeping in the hotel vault in order to avoid further misunderstandings.

S. Berman


March 27, 1998

The other day I saw some taco hot dogs. Seriously. They’re hot dogs that are supposed to taste like tacos. This means product development has gone about as far as it can possibly go, and all we have to look forward to as the millenium approaches are weird combinations and watered down versions of things that were really original innovative ideas a few decades ago. Looking back to the first millenium, though, I found that things weren’t that different.

I can’t tell you how many different varieties of mutton on a stick were tried by roadside vendors trying to cope with lords and ladies who were no longer swayed by traditional advertising, and there were even more different ideas about how to put a horse and a wagon together, remakes of popular plays, and hundreds of troubadors dressed in rags and removed six of the eight strings from their lutes under the influence of the Ennui Movement. Then there was the First Crusade, a big budget blockbuster so wildly popular it inspired endless sequels, spinoffs, and even versions for children. But there, I think, is the problem. A thousand years ago, if you felt apathetic and weary of hype, sarcasm, and apathy, you could run off to a distant land, kill a few heathens, spend some time in a Turkish prison, and it would put things in perspective. What we need now is a new Crusade, and with equal opportunities, more people than ever could fight in them.

But that’s the trouble. Since political correctness has robbed us of all the heathens, who do we go after? Simple: aliens! What if those aliens people claim have been abducting them are real? Once we get past their superior technology and mind-control powers, they’re pretty weak, scrawny little guys, so they’d be really easy targets. Sure, for the ambitious few it wouldn’t be worth it, but think of all the other people whose self-esteem would be boosted by blowing away a big-eyed round-headed heathen. And by the time we got done with all that, people would be clamoring for regular hot dogs. And for the few who still wanted the new and differen’t, there’d be plenty of Martian burgers to go around.

Enjoy these totally new offerings.

I took some clients out to dinner last week, and I noticed a spoon in the shirt pocket of our waiter as he handed us the menus. It seemed a little odd, but I dismissed it as a random thing. Until our busboy came with water & tableware; he,too,sported a spoon in his breast-pocket. I looked around the room, and all the waiters, waitresses, busboys,etc. had spoons in their pockets. When our waiter returned to take our order, I just had to ask, "Why the spoons?"

"Well," he explained, "our parent company recently hired some quality efficiency experts to review all our procedures, and after months of statistical analyses, they concluded that our patrons drop spoons on the floor 73% more often than any other utensil at a frequency of 3 spoons per hour per workstation. By preparing all our workers for this contingency in advance, we can cut our trips to the kitchen down and save time…nearly 1.5 extra man hours per shift."

Just as he concluded, a "ch-ching" came from the table behind him, and he quickly replaced a fallen spoon with the one from his pocket. "I’ll grab another spoon the next time I’m in the kitchen instead of making a special trip," he proudly explained. I was impressed.

"Thanks. I had to ask." "No problem," he answered, then he continued to take our orders. As the members of my dinner party took their turns, my eyes darted back & forth from each person ordering and my menu. That’s when, out of the corner of my eye,I spotted a thin, black thread protruding from our waiter’s fly. Again, I dismissed it; yet I had to scan the room and, sure enough, there were other waiters & busboys with strings hanging out of their trousers. My curiosity overrode discretion at this point, so before he could leave I had to ask.

"Excuse me, but…uh…why, or what…about that string?" "Oh, yeah" he began in a quieter tone. "Not many people are that observant. That same efficiency group found we could save time in the Men’s room, too."

"How’s that?"

"You see, by tying a string to the end of our, eh, SELVES, we can pull it out at the urinals literally hands-free and thereby eliminate the need to wash our hands, cutting time spent in the restroom by over 93%!"

"Oh, that makes sense," I said, but then thinking thru the process, I asked "Hey, wait-a-minute. If the string helps you pull it out, how to you get it back in?"

"Well," he whispered, "I don’t know about the other guys; but I use my spoon."


Drug dealers: refer to their clients as "users."
Software developers: refer to their clients as "users."

DD: "The first one’s free!"
SD: "Download a free trial version…"

DD: Have important South-East Asian connections to help move the stuff).
SD: Have important South-East Asian connections (to help debug the code).

DD: Strange jargon: "Stick," "Rock," "Dime bag," "E."
SD: Strange jargon: "SCSI," "RTFM," "Java," "ISDN."

DD: Realize that there’s tons of cash in the 14- to 25-year-old market.
SD: Realize that there’s tons of cash in the 14- to 25-year-old market.

DD: Job is assisted by the industry’s producing newer, more potent mixes.
SD: Job is assisted by industry’s producing newer, faster machines.

DD: Often seen in the company of pimps and hustlers.
SD: Often seen in the company of venture capitalists.

DD: Their product causes unhealthy addictions.
SD: DOOM. Quake. SimCity. Duke Nukem 3D. ‘Nuff said.

DD: Do your job well, and you can sleep with sexy movie stars who depend on you.
SD: Damn! Damn! DAMN!!!


We’ve all been interviewed for jobs. And, we’ve all spent most of those interviews thinking about what not to do. Don’t bite your nails. Don’t fidget. Don’t interrupt. Don’t belch. If we did any of the don’ts, we knew we’d disqualify ourselves instantly. But some job applicants go light years beyond this. We surveyed top personnel executives of 100 major American corporations and asked for stories of unusual behavior by job applicants. The lowlights:

  1. "… stretched out on the floor to fill out the job application."
  2. "She wore a Walkman and said she could listen to me and the music at the same time."
  3. " A balding candidate abruptly excused himself. Returned to office a few minutes later, wearing a hairpiece."
  4. "… asked to see interviewer’s resume to see if the personnel executive was qualified to judge the candidate."
  5. "… announced she hadn’t had lunch and proceeded to eat a hamburger and french fries in the interviewer’s office – wiping the ketchup on her sleeve"
  6. "Stated that, if he were hired, he would demonstrate his loyalty by having the corporate logo tattooed on his forearm."
  7. "Interrupted to phone his therapist for advice on answering specific interview questions."
  8. "When I asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and started tap dancing around my office."
  9. "At the end of the interview, while I stood there dumbstruck, went through my purse, took out a brush, brushed his hair, and left."
  10. "… pulled out a Polaroid camera and snapped a flash picture of me. Said he collected photos of everyone who interviewed him."
  11. "Said he wasn’t interested because the position paid too much."
  12. "While I was on a long-distance phone call, the applicant took out a copy of Penthouse, and looked through the photos only, stopping longest at the centerfold."
  13. "During the interview, an alarm clock went off from the candidate’s brief case. He took it out, shut it off, apologized and said he had to leave for another interview."
  14. "A telephone call came in for the job applicant. It was from his wife. His side of the conversation went like this: "Which company? When do I start? What’s the salary?" I said, "I assume you’re not interested in conducting the interview any further." He promptly responded, "I am as long as you’ll pay me more."
    "I didn’t hire him, but later found out there was no other job offer. It was a scam to get a higher offer."
  15. "His attache [case] opened when he picked it up and the contents spilled, revealing ladies’ undergarments and assorted makeup and perfume."
  16. "Candidate said he really didn’t want to get a job, but the unemployment office needed proof that he was looking for one."
  17. "… asked who the lovely babe was, pointing to the picture on my desk. When I said it was my wife, he asked if she was home now and wanted my phone number. I called security."
  18. "Pointing to a black case he carried into my office, he said that if he was not hired, the bomb would go off. Disbelieving, I began to state why he would never be hired and that I was going to call the police. He then reached down to the case, flipped a switch and ran. No one was injured, but I did need to get a new desk."

Just a trim, please

March 20, 1998

Well, as you may have noticed, Freethinkers Anonymous has undergone a small cosmetic change. This was done in response to the impending threat of a meteor crashing into the Earth. Nine hours later we discovered that there was no danger whatsoever, but sometimes these changes, once done, are better left alone. In the entire history of humankind, the phrase, "Let’s see what this will do" has done more damage than any meteor.

But I digress.

Before I share this week’s offerings, here are a couple of quick items that seemed appropriate for the occasion:

In a frame shop I saw a picture of a certain former president. Printed underneath it was this: "President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1962. Informal Head Shot." Thankfully there weren’t any pictures of another informal head shot of President Kennedy taken later in the year. Those have all mysteriously disappeared.

Walking across the college campus where I work, I overheard a student say, "Man, to be the dumbest one in your class would, like, suck." Yes, it would, but obviously ignorance is bliss.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


  1. If it is all the same to you I won’t be coming in to work. The voices told me to clean all the guns today.

  2. When I got up this morning I took two Ex-Lax in addition to my Prozac. can’t get off the john, but I feel good about it.

  3. I set half the clocks in my house ahead an hour and the other half back an hour Saturday and spent 18 hours in some kind of space-time continuum loop, reliving Sunday (right up until the explosion). I was able to exit the loop only by reversing the polarity of the power source exactly e*log (pi) clocks in the house while simultaneously rapping my dog on the snout with a rolled up Times. Accordingly, I will be in late, or early.

  4. My stigmata’s acting up.

  5. I can’t come in to work today because I’ll be stalking my previous boss, who fired me for not showing up for work. OK?

  6. I have a rare case of 48-hour projectile leprosy, but I know we have that deadline to meet…

  7. I am stuck in the blood pressure machine down at the Food Giant.

  8. Yes, I seem to have contracted some sort of attention-deficit disorder and, hey, how about them Skins, huh? So, I won’t be able to, yes, could I help you? No, no, I’ll be sticking with Sprint, but thank you for calling.

  9. Constipation has made me a walking time bomb.

  10. I just found out that I was switched at birth. Legally, I shouldn’t come to work knowing my employee records may now contain false information.

  11. The psychiatrist said it was an excellent session. He even gave me this jaw restraint so I won’t bite things when I am startled.

  12. The dog ate my car keys. We’re going to hitchhike to the vet.

  13. I prefer to remain an enigma.

  14. My mother-in-law has come back as one of the Undead and we must track her to her coffin to drive a stake through her heart and give her eternal peace. One day should do it.

  15. I can’t come to work today because the EPA has determined that my house is completely surrounded by wetlands and I have to arrange for helicopter transportation.

  16. I am converting my calendar from Julian to Gregorian.

  17. I am extremely sensitive to a rise in the interest rates.

  18. I refuse to travel to my job in the District until there is a commuter tax. I insist on paying my fair share.

A timely bit of news:

A man who cut off his head with a chainsaw to prove his manliness and an anti-depressant drug that triggered an orgasm on yawning are among a collection of tales of the bizarre published today.

For 42 years, New Scientist, better known for its reports on research breakthroughs, has been documenting some of the more outlandish feats passed on by the scientific community. Today, it publishes the first collection of these strange tales.

Several concern the lengths to which some men will go to show how macho they are. However, Pierre Pumpille, from Lyon, who shunted a stationary car two feet by head-butting it ("Women thought I was a god," he said from his hospital bed), was outdone by Krystof Azinski, a Polish farmer.

Azinski, 30, had been drinking with friends when it was suggested they strip naked and test their strengths. Initially, they hit each other over the head with frozen swedes but then one man seized a chain saw and cut off his foot.

Not to be outdone, Azinski grabbed the saw, shouted "Watch this then!" and chopped off his own head. Among the patented inventions New Scientist has recorded since 1956 are Hungarian condoms containing a computer chip that plays the Internationale ("Arise ye workers"), a ladder to help spiders escape bathtubs, chocolate shock-absorbers for cars and a toothpaste that glows in the dark and reflects the headlights of motor cars.

The most intriguing, however, is British Rail’s patent in 1970 for a nuclear-propelled, saucer-shaped space vehicle. BR claimed the idea was far less far-fetched than it sounded and that its inventor was experienced in nuclear physics.

Among several verified reports from the animal kingdom is an account of inebriated elephants at Kruger National Park. They worked out how to get drunk by eating huge quantities of marula fruit, drinking large quantities of water and then "jogging" to aid fermentation.

And in a round-up of some of the pointless or redundant warnings printed on products by safety-conscious manufacturers includes one on the back of a packet of Sainsbury’s salted peanuts: "Contains nuts"; a Korean kitchen knife marked "Keep out of children"; a carton of Nytol sleeping tablets carrying the warning "May cause drowsiness"; a Marks & Spencer bread-and-butter pudding with "Take care: product will be hot after heating"; and a car mirror with "Remember: objects in the mirror are actually behind you."

I guess it’s better than ‘musk’

March 13, 1998

I got on the elevator the other day, and at the same time a woman from another office got on. Before the doors had even closed, I was blown away by the smell of bubblegum. I wasn’t chewing gum, and she didn’t seem to be either, so I made the natural assumption: she’s wearing bubblegum perfume. Believe me, there are stranger things out there, so it’s not hard to imagine this woman at a perfume counter saying, "Two words describe my ideal man: Willy Wonka. What fragrance would be ideal for me?" And as a perfume, bubblegum is not as bad as some of the noxious scents I’ve known women to load themselves down with. Have you seen all those perfumes that promise a free gift with every purchase, but they never specify what the gift is? I suspect it’s invisible noseplugs. Not that men are exempt here. Every time I’ve gone to get my picture taken at the mall or for a yearbook, the photographer has his shirt half open, is wearing about twelve gold chains, and is so soaked in Brut it’s obviously done brain damage. But back to my story. The woman got out of the elevator, and I realized the smell of bubblegum was actually coming from a big wad of it a former passenger had left stuck to the handrail. Suddenly the tables have turned! The whole time she was probably thinking that either I was a really strange photographer, or that I came from some backward European country where the men only bathe once a month and the rest of the time smear themselves down with bubblegum. And would you like to know what the worst part is? I have absolutely no idea how to end this.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.

Absolutely True Facts

  • When King Henry VIII was on his deathbed, although his doctors were competent, they reported that the King was not seriously ill as it was at the time considered high treason to predict a king’s death.

  • John F. Kennedy was voted "most likely to succeed" in high school even though he graduated 64 out of a class of 112.

  • Babe Ruth kept a cabbage leaf (which he changed every two innings under his baseball cap to keep his head cool on hot days.

  • Charles Manson recorded an album entitled "Lie" to spread his philosophies.

  • While at Duke University Law School, Richard M. Nixon broke into the dean’s office to find records showing that he was at the top of his class.

  • Louis XIV of France never took a bath in his life.

  • The middle initial of Harry S Truman does not have a period after it as it does not stand for anything.

  • Isabella, the daughter of 16th century King Phillip II of Spain swore never to change her underwear until the rebellious port of Ostend was re-captured, which took three years.

  • Shirley Temple’s mother made sure the child star’s hair was set every day with exactly 56 curls.

  • While president, Franklin Roosevelt always slept with a gun under his pillow.

  • Mark Twain served one week in the Confederate Army before deserting.

  • Al Capone’s business card said he was a second-hand furniture dealer.

  • Warren G. Harding was the first U.S. president to drive a car.

  • J. Edgar Hoover did not allow anybody to walk on his shadow.

  • After Richard Nixon’s resignation, African dictator Idi Amin wished him a "speedy recovery."

  • Although distant cousins, presidents Franklin Roosevelt, and Theodore Roosevelt pronounced their names differently… Teddy pronounced it "Ruse-a-velt" while Franklin said "Rose-a-velt."

  • Cuban leader Fidel Castro had an unsuccessful tryout with the Washington Senators baseball team while he was at Havana University.

  • In 1936, Shirley Temple received 135,000 presents for her 8th birthday.

  • President George Washington’s family motto was "Exitus acta probat." ("The end justifies the means.")

  • Marcel Duchamp, artist and chess master spent his honeymoon contemplating chess moves until his wife glued the chess pieces to the board. They divorced three weeks later.

  • Paul Revere made George Washington’s false teeth.

  • Frank Sinatra gave Marilyn Monroe a white poodle named "Mafia."

The following is from a 1950’s Home Economics textbook intended for High School girls, teaching how to prepare for married life.

  1. Have dinner ready: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal – on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him, and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.
  2. Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.
  3. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too.
  4. Prepare the children: Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces if they are small, comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.
  5. Minimize the noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him.
  6. Some DON’TS: Don’t greet him with problems or complaints. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.
  7. Make him comfortable: Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.
  8. Listen to him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.
  9. Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; instead try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his need to be home
  10. The Goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.

Now the updated version for the ’90s woman:

  1. Have dinner ready: Make reservations ahead of time. If your day becomes too hectic just leave him a voice mail message regarding where you’d like to eat and at what time. This lets him know that your day has been crappy and gives him an opportunity to change your mood.
  2. Prepare yourself: A quick stop at the "LANCOME" counter on your way home will do wonders for your outlook and will keep you from becoming irritated every time he opens his mouth. (Don’t forget to use his credit card])
  3. Clear away the clutter: Call the housekeeper and tell her that any miscellaneous items left on the floor by the children can be placed in the Goodwill box in the garage.
  4. Prepare the children: Send the children to their rooms to watch television or play nintendo.
  5. Minimize the noise: If you happen to be home when he arrives, be in the bathroom with the door locked.
  6. Some DON’TS: Don’t greet him with problems and complaints. Let him speak first, and then your complaints will get more attention and remain fresh in his mind throughout dinner. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner; simply remind him that the leftovers are in the refrigerator and you left the dishes for him to do.
  7. Make him comfortable: Tell him where he can find a blanket if he’s cold. This will really show you care.
  8. Listen to him: But don’t ever let him get the last word.
  9. Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; go with a friend or go shopping (use his credit card).
  10. The Goal: Try to keep things amicable without reminding him that he only thinks the world revolves around him.

YOU might be a redneck

March 6, 1998

With the current popularity of redneck jokes, most people have forgotten that rednecks are a universal phenomenon. Every culture and society has its own version of the redneck. The ones we joke about most are the Common Redneck (rufuscollum vulgaris) of the southeastern United States, but there are so many others. I know this because I am a student of Comparative Redneckology. I became one by accident when, in a pub, I encountered an English redneck (rufuscollum britannicus or "lager lout" as they’re commonly known). Although I didn’t know it at the time, he had the distinctive plumage: a brightly colored nylon workout suit, a long moustache and a little goatee, blonde hair that was almost nonexistent on top but really long in the back, and bloodshot eyes. After informing me that all Americans are "wankers" (if you don’t know this term, consult the nearest slang dictionary), he offered to "take care of me." He said, "I was in America the other day. Everybody was trying to sell me ice cream. But they took care of me. So I’ll take care of you. Let me know if anybody gives you any trouble, and I’ll take care of them." I was still trying to figure out how exactly he was planning to take care of me when his cab arrived. I later learned that British lager louts are, in most ways, like American rednecks, except for two things: they don’t like country music, and they aren’t a major export.

Here’s a short guide to spotting rednecks in other regions: In Russia, rednecks are "Zhirinovsky’s friends" In central Africa, rednecks are "the party currently in power" In Australia, rednecks are "the locals."

Enjoy this week’s offering.

From a book called, "Wisdom From The Walls," by Kristen Kammerer and Bridget Snyder. They compiled some really great graffiti, and here it is:

If you can piss this high, join the fire department.
– -On the wall in the men’s restroom at a height of 6 feet.
       O’Ryan’s Irish Pub.  Ashland, Oregon.

Beauty is only a light switch away.
    Perkins Library.  Duke University.  Durham, North Carolina.

I’ve decided that to raise my grades I must lower my standards.
    Houghton Library, Harvard University.  Cambridge, Massachusetts.

If life is a waste of time, and time is a waste of life, then let’s all get wasted  together and have the time of our lives.
    Armand’s Pizza.  Washington, D.C.

If Bush were captain of the Titanic, he’d say we were stopping for ice.
    Smoky Joe’s.  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Remember, it’s not, "How high are you?" it’s "Hi, how are you?"
    Rest stop off Route 81.  West Virginia.

God made pot.  Man made beer.  Who do you trust?
    The Irish Times.  Washington, D.C.

Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.
    The Bayou, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

No matter how good she looks, some other guy is sick and tired of putting up with her shit.
    Men’s Room, Linda’s Bar and Grill.  Chapel Hill,  North Carolina.

To do is to be.       -Descartes
To be is to do.       -Voltaire
Do be do be do.     -Frank Sinatra
    Men’s restroom, Greasewood Flats.  Scottsdale,  Arizona.

At the feast of ego, everyone leaves hungry.
    Bentley’s House of Coffee and Tea, Tucson,  Arizona.

It’s hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere.
    Written in the dust on the back of a bus. Wickenburg, Arizona.

Make love, not war.  –Hell, do both, get married!
    Women’s restroom, The Filling Station.  Bozeman, Montana.

God is dead.  -Nietzsche
Nietzsche is dead.  -God
    The Tombs Restaurant.  Washington, D.C.

If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.
    Revolution Books.  New York, New York.

A Woman’s Rule of Thumb:  If it has tires or testicles, you’re going to have trouble with it.
    Women’s restroom, Dick’s Last Resort.  Dallas, Texas.

If pro is opposite of con, then what is the opposite of progress? Congress!
    Men’s restroom, House of Representatives.  Washington, D.C.

What are you looking up on the wall for?  The joke is in your hands.
    Men’s restroom, Lynagh’s.  Lexington, Kentucky.


  1. If they want to loan you money, tell them you just filed for bankruptcy and you could sure use some money. Ask, "How long can I keep it? Do I have to ever pay it back, or is it like the other money I borrowed before my bankruptcy?"

  2. If they start out with, "How are you today?" say, "Why do you want to know?" Or you can say, "I’m so glad you asked, because no one seems to care these days and I have all these problems, my sciatica is acting up, my eyelashes are sore, my dog just died…." When they get try to get back to the sales process, just continue on with telling about your problems.

  3. If the person says he’s Joe Doe from the XYZ Company, ask him to spell their name, then ask them to spell the company name, then ask them where it located. Continue asking them personal questions or questions about their company for as long as necessary.

  4. This one works better if you are male: Telemarketer: "Hi, my name is Judy and I’m with Canter and Siegel services…. You: "Hang on a second." (few seconds pause) "Okay, (in a really husky voice) what are you wearing?"

  5. Crying out, in well-simulated tones of pleasure and surprise, "Judy!! Is this really you? Oh, my God! Judy, how have you BEEN?" Hopefully, this will give Judy a few brief moments of terror as she tries to figure out where the hell she could know you from.

  6. Say, "No", over and over. Be sure to vary the sound of each no, and keep an even tempo even as they’re trying to speak. This is the most fun if you can keep going until they hang up.

  7. If MCI calls trying to get you to sign up with their Family and Friends plan, reply, in a sinister a voice as you can muster, "I don’t have any friends…would you be my friend?"

  8. If they clean rugs: "Can you get blood out, you can? Well, how about goat blood or HUMAN blood – chicken blood too?"

  9. Let the person go through their spiel, providing minimal but necessary feedback in the form of an occasional "Uh-huh, really, or, "That’s fascinating." Finally, when they ask you to buy, ask them to marry you. They get all flustered, but just tell them you couldn’t give your credit card number to someone who’s a complete stranger.

  10. Tell them you work for the same company they work for. Example: Telemarketer: "This is Bill from Watertronics." You: "Watertronics!! Hey I work for them too. Where are you calling from?" Telemarketer: "Uh, Dallas, Texas." You: "Great, they have a group there too? How’s business/the weather? Too bad the company has a policy against selling to employees! Oh well, see ya."

  11. Answer the phone. As soon as you realize it is a telemarketer, set the receiver down, shout or scream, "Oh, my God!!!" and then hang up.

  12. Tell the Telemarketer you are busy and if they will give you their phone number you will call them back. If they say they are not allowed to give out their number, then ask them for their home number and tell them you will call them at home (this is usually the most effective method of getting rid of Telemarketers). If the person says, "Well, I don’t really want to get a call at home," say, "Ha!"

Take that Prozac away!

Feburary 27, 1998

"The world is insane!" I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this, but I’ve recently come to the conclusion that it’s not true. My forthcoming study based on years of observation and research of sane people proves conclusively that the more sane a person is, the more prone that person is to develop the kind of babbling lunacy that results in the shooting of coworkers, passers by, and fast food restaurant customers. Insanity is something in all of us, and, without an occasional release, it backs up and poisons the entire system. Things like anthrax bombs, random highway shootings, and the success of the Spice Girls are not symptoms of a world gone insane. They are indications that the world is TOO sane, and is in desparate need of a global release. Some countries, such as France, are already planning small-scale releases using the millenium as an excuse, but it may be too little too late. Worldwide sanity has been a problem for too long. History is full of acts that are so sane they boggle the imagination. That’s why, while talking to a friend the other day, I looked over at an empty parking lot and yelled, "Hey you kids, get away from that donkey!" My friend said, "What was that all about?" I replied, "Just doing my part to make the world a better place."

Enjoy this week’s offerings.

(attrib. to Memphis Earlene Gray
with help from Uncle Plunky)

  1. Most blues begin "woke up this morning."

  2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the blues, unless you stick something nasty in the next line:

    I got a good woman-
    with the meanest dog in town.

  3. Blues are simple. After you have the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes. Sort of.

    Got a good woman
    with the meanest dog in town.
    He got teeth like Margaret Thatcher
    and he weighs about 500 pounds.

  4. The blues are not about limitless choice.

  5. Blues cars are Chevies and Cadillacs. Other acceptable blues transportation is Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Walkin’ plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin’ to die.

  6. Teenagers can’t sing the blues. Adults sing the blues. Blues adulthood means old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

  7. You can have the blues in New York City, but not in Brooklyn or Queens.  Hard times in Vermont or North Dakota are just a depression.  Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City are still the best places to have the blues.

  8. The following colors do not belong in the blues:
    a. violet
    b. beige
    c. mauvre

  9. You can’t have the blues in an office or a shopping mall, the lighting is wrong.

  10. Good places for the Blues:
    a. the highway
    b. the jailhouse
    c. the empty bed

    Bad places:
    a. Ashrams
    b. Gallery openings
    c. weekend in the Hamptons

  11. No one will believe it’s the blues if you wear a suit, unless you happen to be an old black man.

  12. Do you have the right to sing the blues?  Yes, if:
    a. your first name is a southern state-like Georgia
    b. you’re blind
    c. you shot a man in Memphis.
    d. you can’t be satisfied.

    No, if:
    a. you were once blind but now can see.
    b. you’re deaf
    c. you have a trust fund.

  13. Neither Julio Iglesias nor Barbra Streisand can sing the blues

  14. If you ask for water and baby gives you gasoline, it’s the blues.  Other blues beverages are:
    a. wine
    b. Irish whiskey
    c. muddy water

    Blues beverages are NOT:
    a. Any mixed drink
    b. Any wine kosher for Passover
    c. Yoo Hoo (all flavors)

  15. If it occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it’s blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is a blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse, or being denied treatment in an emergency room. It is not a blues death, if you die during a liposuction treatment.

  16. Some Blues names for Women
    a. Sadie
    b. Big Mama
    c. Bessie

  17. Some Blues Names for Men
    a. Joe
    b. Willie
    c. Little Willie
    d. Lightning

    Persons with names like Sierra or Sequoia will not be permitted to sing the blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

  18. Other Blues Names (Starter Kit)
    a. Name of Physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Asthmatic)
    b. First name (see above) or name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi)
    c. Last Name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.) Mix and Match

Now hiring…anybody

February 20, 1998

In my sordid past I worked for a fast food restaurant. I’m not proud of this, but what I think is strange is the application I had to fill out. They wanted to know everything about me. My education, my address, my social security number, a photo identification, where I’d worked previously…I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had run a background check on me, but why did they want to know all this about me? I was going to be restocking a salad bar for minimum wage–not handling national security documents. Were they afraid I had been convicted for doing unnatural things with lettuce? I was asked for references, and could hardly imagine what a former teacher might say if asked how well I handled a spatula. To make it even stranger, I was recently in the same restaurant, and they have significantly revised their applications. I didn’t ask for one–they put them out in open view now, and they only ask for name, address, phone number, and "special skills". I’m a little offended. I was grilled for almost an hour about why I wanted to "join the team" when now convicted felons could probably walk in off the street and be hired on the spot. What they put under "special skills" alone would be enough to qualify them: "I was noted for my attention to detail and my attention to the customers last week when I held up this place."

These Quotes were taken from real resumes and cover letters and were printed in a recent issue of Fortune Magazine:

  1. I demand a salary commiserate with my extensive experience.

  2. I have lurnt Word Perfect 6.0 computor and spreadsheet progroms.

  3. I Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.

  4. Reason for leaving last job: maturity leave.

  5. Wholly responsible for two (2) failed financial institutions.

  6. Failed bar exam with relatively high grades.

  7. It’s best for employers that I not work with people.

  8. Let’s meet, so you can ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over my experience.

  9. You will want me to be Head Honcho in no time.

  10. Am a perfectionist and rarely if if ever forget details.

  11. I was working for my mom until she decided to move.

  12. Marital status: single. Unmarried. Unengaged. Uninvolved. No commitments.

  13. I have an excellent track record, although I am not a horse.

  14. I am loyal to my employer at all costs … Please feel free to respond to my resume via my office voice mail.

  15. I have become completely paranoid, trusting completely no one and absolutely nothing.

  16. My goal is to be a meteorologist. But since I possess no training in meterology, I suppose I should try stock brokerage.

  17. I procrastinate, especially when the task is unpleasant.

  18. As indicted, I have over five years of analyzing investments.

  19. Personal interests: donating blood. Fourteen gallons so far.

  20. Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store.

  21. Note: Please don’t misconstrue my 14 jobs as ‘job-hopping’. I have never quit a job.

  22. Marital status: often. Children: various.

  23. Reason for leaving last job: They insisted that all employees get to work by 8:45 a.m. every morning. Could not work under those conditions.

  24. The company made me a scapegoat, just like my three previous employers.

  25. Finished eighth in my class of ten.

  26. References: None. I’ve left a path of destruction behind me.

Actual lines out of U.S. Military Efficiency Reports

  • Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  • Got into the gene pool while the lifeguard wasn’t watching.

  • A room temperature IQ.

  • Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thingy to hold it all together.

  • A prime candidate for natural deselection.

  • Bright as Alaska in December.

  • Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn’t coming.

  • So dense, light bends around him.

  • If brains were taxed, he’d get a rebate.

  • If he were any more stupid, he’d have to be watered twice a week.

  • Was left on the Tilt-A-Whirl a bit too long as a baby.

  • Wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.

  • His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiosity.

  • I would not breed from this officer.

  • He has carried out each and every one of his duties to his entire satisfaction.

  • He would be out of his depth in a puddle.

  • This young lady has delusions of adequacy.

  • This medical officer has used my ship to carry his genitals from port to port, and my officers to carry him from bar to bar.

  • Since my last report he has reached rock bottom, and has started to dig.

  • She sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.

  • He has the wisdom of youth, and the energy of old age.

  • Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.

  • This man is depriving a village somewhere of their idiot.

Results of a contest for "theories" sponsored by Omni magazine


When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet, and when toast is dropped, it always lands with the buttered side facing down. I propose to strap buttered toast to the back of a cat; the two will hover, spinning inches above the ground. With a giant buttered cat array, a high-speed monorail could easily link New York with Chicago.


  1. If an infinite number of rednecks riding in an infinite number of pickup trucks fire an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an infinite number of highway signs, they will eventually produce all the world’s great literary works in Braille.

  2. Why Yawning Is Contagious: You yawn to equalize the pressure on your eardrums. This pressure change outside your eardrums unbalances other people’s ear pressures, so they must yawn to even it out.

  3. Communist China is technologically underdeveloped because they have no alphabet and therefore cannot use acronyms to communicate ideas at a faster rate.

  4. The earth may spin faster on its axis due to deforestation. Just as a figure skater’s rate of spin increases when the arms are brought in close to the body, the cutting of tall trees may cause our planet to spin dangerously fast.


The quantity of consonants in the English language is constant. If omitted in one place, they turn up in another. When a Bostonian "pahks" his "cah,"the lost r’s migrate southwest, causing a Texan to "warsh" his car and invest in "erl wells."

Is this what they mean by ‘Hit the slopes’?

February 13, 1998

Well, it’s Olympic time again, and that means there’s a lot of attention on skiing – especially the really big falls that send the skiers spinning through the air like tops. I’m really not sadistic or warped (although you’re more than welcome to believe otherwise). It’s just reassuring to me when I see professionals making some of the same moves I made my first – and only – time skiing. Being from an area that has pitifully small amounts of snow even during the harshest winters, I had an incredibly romantic idea of skiing. I thought it was simply a matter of pointing your skis downhill and enjoying the ride. And of course I knew the group I was with, consisting entirely of teenage guys, would get one of those young, attractive ski instructors we would all develop immediate crushes on. All in all, I assumed it would be one of those experiences that would last me a lifetime. At least I got one thing right. The instructor was a 78-year old retired auto worker, but I really didn’t have a chance to get over my shock at having a grandfather figure for an instructor. The lesson had barely started when I began to move. Honestly – I was just standing there trying to listen when my rental skis, complete with a mind of their own, took me on a ride down the amateur slope. Backwards. Then on my stomach. The instructor shouted down to me that I needed to turn my skis sideways, and walk up the hill. As I was progressing, slowly, up the slope, the skis – apparently having decided they didn’t want me wearing them – tried to get away from me again. I slid into the side fence, as far away from the rope that carried skiers back up the hill as possible. When I finally got to the rope and figured out how to use it (imagine an escalator where YOU are one of the steps), I got flipped onto my back every time I grabbed it. I spent the next four and a half hours just trying to get back up the hill, although in that time I did manage two seconds of perfect skiing. At that point, it was enough to last me the rest of my life.

Tomorrow is St. Valentine’s Day – have a happy one everybody. I have a few appropriate offerings, but remember that today, February the 13th, (which also happens to be a Friday, so don’t spill any salt, walk under ladders, or step in front of large moving vehicles) is St. Modomnoc’s Day. He’s the patron saint of beekeepers, so it’s not too early to call your significant other "honey".

Romance, Country Folk Style

Kudzu is green, my dog’s name is Blue, And I’m so lucky to have a sweet thang like you.

Yore hair is like cornsilk, A-flapping in the breeze. Softer than Blue’s, And without all them fleas.

You move like the bass, Which excite me in May. You ain’t got no scales, But I luv you anyway.

You’re as graceful as okry, Jist a-dancin’ in the pan. Yo’re as fragrant as SunDrop, Right out of the can.

You have all yore teeth, For which I am proud; I hold my head high when we’re in a crowd.

On special occasions, when you shave yore armpits, Well, I’m in hawg heaven! – I’m plumb outta my wits.

And speakin’ of wits, You’ve got plenty fer shore. ‘Cuz you married me, back in ’74.

Still them fellers at work, They all want to know, What I did to deserve such a purty, young doe.

Like a good roll of duct tape, Yo’re there fer yore man, To patch up life’s troubles, And stick ’em in the can.

Yo’re as strong as a four-wheeler, Racin’ through the mud, Yet fragile as that sanger, Named Naomi Judd.

Yo’re as cute as a junebug, A-buzzin’ overhead. You ain’t mean like no far ant, Upon which I oft’ tread.

Cut from the best pattern, Like a flannel shirt of plaid, You sparked up my life, Like a Rattletrap shad.

When you hold me real tight, Like a padded gunrack, My life is complete; Ain’t nuttin’ I lack.

Yore complexion, it’s perfection, Like the best vinyl sidin’. Despite all the years, Yore age, it keeps hidin’.

And when you get old, Like a ’57 Chevy, Won’t put you on blocks, And let grass grow up heavy.

Me ‘n’ you’s like a Moon Pie, With a RC cold drank, We go together; Like a skunk goes with stank.

Some men, they buy chocolate, For Valentine’s Day; They git it at Wal-Mart; It’s romantic that way.

Some men git roses On that special day From the cooler at Kroger; "That’s impressive," I say.

Some men buy fine diamonds, From a flea market booth. "Diamonds are forever," They explain, suave and couth.

But for this man, honey, These will not do. For you are too special, You sweet thang you.

I got you a gift, Without taste nor odor, Better than diamonds; It’s a new trollin’ motor!

Something useful for those of you seeking a meaningful relationship:

COLLABORATION AGREEMENT WHEREAS the party of the first part (hereinafter referred to as "she") and the party of the second part (hereinafter referred to as "he") are desirous of exploration an opportunity for a joint and mutually beneficial collaboration (hereinafter referred to as the "Relationship"); AND WHEREAS he is willing to invest an inital amount of time and money in investigating the potential for such a Relationship; AND WHEREAS she has determined that she is not washing her hair during the time in question; NOW THEREFORE, she, being sound of mind and fairly good body, and he, being out of his mind and into his body, agree as follows:


The parties agree to make a minimum initial investment of $200 and 4 hours each into the Relationship. During such period (hereinafter referred to as the "First Date"), each party may conduct his or her due diligence investigations to determine whether he or she wishes to proceed with the Relationship. The cash portion of his investment will be applied towards a form of entertainment to be agreed to by both parties. The cash portion of her investment will be applied towards apparel to be worn by her on said First Date.


During the First Date, each party agrees to make full, true and plain disclosure of:

(a) any and all material facts including existing dependents, bizarre religious beliefs, social diseases, extreme political affiliations, radical forms of political correctness, or currently active relationships which have not yet terminated;

(b) any deep-seated mother/father/brother/sister complexes;

(c) any family history of schizophrenia or depression;

(d) any fanatical obsessions with cleanliness, pets, careers or organized sports.

Failure to make such disclosures will result in the immediate termination of the relationship.


Should both parties agree to continue the First Date past the minimum four hour period, they may do so at the location at which either party is resident, subject to such residence meeting the minimum requirements of environmental regulation (including, but not limited to, absence of roaches, poisonous substances growing on socks, and toxic chemicals not contained in refrigerated areas).


The parties confirm that the continuation of the Relationship past the First Date neither implies nor requires any guarantee of exclusivity. Both parties mutually agree not to ask any questions about the other’s whereabouts on weekends, weeknights or holidays during the first 30 days of the Relationship (the "Dating Period"). During the Dating Period, neither party will have any "right" or "hold" over the other’s time.


Following the completion of the Dating Period, both parties may mutually agree to exercise their option to continue the relationship provided that each covenant to the other, and confirm that the other is relying on such covenants, that:

(a) such party will not refer to the other as his or her "lover", "little woman/man", "my old woman/man";

(b) such party will not call the other more than once a day on weekdays;

(c) all dates will still be made at least 24 hours in advance for another 30 days;

(d) such party will not use the "L" word; and

(e) such party will make at least one romantic and apparently spontaneous gesture within two weeks of exercising the option.

Upon the completion of the first 45 days of the Relationship, each party will return to his or her normal personality.


Any of the following events will be grounds for immediate termination and final dissolution of the Relationship:

(a) failure to return phone calls promptly,

(b) failure to limit phone calls to a reasonable number

(c) comparative statements involving an ex

(d) discovery of strange prescriptive medications in the medicine cabinet of the other party

(e) yelp-like laughter,

(f) excessive absenteeism,

(g) cold feet

(h) bad hair

(i) bad breath

(j) annoying breathing habits (including, but not limited to snoring).



Each party agrees to hold the person who arranged the underwriter of the relationship (colloquially referred to as "the matchmaker") blameless in the event that the other party is found to be a "real loser" or a "psycho bitch". For a definition of "real loser", see Maradonna: "My story", available at most bookstores, or Michael Palin as Ken in "A Fish called Wanda". For a definition of "psycho bitch", see Sharon Stone in "Basic Instinct" or Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction", all of which are incorporated into this Agreement and form an integral part of what not to do in the Relationship.


In the event of a termination of the Relationship other than in accordance with this Agreement, each party agrees to indemnify the other for all loss, damages, and distress caused by:

(i) removal of the indemnified party from the circle of friends of the indemnifier, which friends are more fun than those of the indemnified party (if in fact the indemnified party had any friends at all), resulting in such indemnified party being left with no one to have brunch with on Sunday mornings;

(ii) the appropration by the indemnifier of what few cool friends the indemnified party has which friend consistently talk about how much fun they had the other night at the indemnifier’s dinner party, resulting the indemnified party never being able to forget about the indemnifier and move on; and

(iii) the appropriation of sweatshirts, boxers, and other paraphenalia belonging to the indemnified party.


At the time of breakup, the party being dumped (the "dumpee" – pronounced "dumpy") reserves the right to make the other (the "dumper") feel guilty for breaking up with him/her.


(a) Each party agrees to give the other at least five minutes notice before terminating said relationship.

(b) Both parties agree to remain exclusive until such time as the Relationship appears to be "on the rocks".

(c) On termination of the Relationship

(i) both parties agree to behave maturely and return compiled socks, sweatshirts, books, record albums, door keys and personal undergarments with all due haste through impartial intermediary

(ii) each party agrees to wait at least seventy-two (72) hours before engaging in sex with any of the other’s friends

(iii) both parties agree to refrain from slandering the other for a period of at least three days (bedroom performance included).

During the three days following the termination of the Relationship, both parties consent to use one of the following nebulous terms in the description of the breakup, "The timing wasn’t right", "He/she wanted more than I could give", "He/She was too involved in his/her career", He/She decided to go back to his/her

(1) girl/boyfriend,

(2) last lover

(3) hometown

(4) therapist".

One heck of a tangle

February 6, 1998

So I’m taking my weekly shower, and I notice that the shampoo and conditioner – both the same brand made by the same company – have a toll-free number you can call during regular business hours or an address you can write to if you have questions or comments. Here’s the strange thing, though: each one has a different number AND a different address. One’s in New Jersey, and one’s in Illinois. Now, anyone taking the time to call in a comment would, unquestionably, make sure that they had the right number depending on whether they wanted to comment on the shampoo or the conditioner. But what about someone in an emergency situation? Let’s say you get up late, you’re rushing around, and you pour shampoo in your hair without wetting it first (for those of you who didn’t know you were supposed to wet your hair first, I strongly recommend the instructions printed right above the customer service information). Of course, the offices in either state probably wouldn’t be open yet, so you’d have to proceed immediately to some other source of assistance. But let’s say you live on the west coast, and you’re really late. You call the shampoo office in New Jersey, explain the situation and…oh no! In your panic, you actually poured CONDITIONER in your hair without even shampooing first! Chaos! To make it worse, the unhelpful person is now transferring you to the conditioner offices in Illinois. You’ve been moved back an entire time zone and the conditioner people haven’t arrived yet! Hair emergencies of this degree are rare, but let’s face it, it could happen! At this point there’s only one course of action: call the police, ask for the styling department, and hope that trained professionals will arrive before it’s too late.

Enjoy this week’s squeaky clean offerings.

Announcing the new Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge device (BOOK).

The BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It’s so easy to use even a child can operate it. Just lift its cover!

Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere — even sitting in an armchair by the fire — yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc. Here’s how it works…

Each BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. These pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder, which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs in half. Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density; for now BOOKs with more information simply use more pages. This makes them thicker and harder to carry, and has drawn some criticism from the mobile computing crowd.

Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet. The BOOK may be taken up at any time and used by merely opening it. The BOOK never crashes and never needs rebooting, though like other display devices it can become unusable if dropped overboard. The "browse" feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet, and move forward or backward as you wish. Many come with an "index" feature, which pinpoints the exact location of any selected information for instant retrieval.

An optional "BOOKmark" accessory allows you to open the BOOK to the exact place you left it in a previous session – even if the BOOK has been closed. BOOKmarks fit universal design standards; thus, a single BOOKmark can be used in BOOKs by various manufacturers. Conversely, numerous bookmarkers can be used in a single BOOK if the user wants to store numerous views at once. Only the number of pages in the BOOK limits the number.

You can also make personal notes next to BOOK text entries with an optional programming tool, the Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Stylus (Pencils).

Portable, durable, and affordable, the BOOK is being hailed as the entertainment wave of the future. The BOOK’s appeal seems so certain that thousands of content creators have committed to the platform. Look for a flood of new titles soon.

Dealing With Telemarketers

  1. If they want to loan you money, tell them you just filed for bankruptcy and you could sure use some money.

  2. If they start out with, "How are you today?" say, "Why do you want to know?" Alternately, you can tell them, "I’m so glad you asked, because no one these days seems to care, and I have all these problems; my sciatica is acting up, my eyelashes are sore, my dog just died…"When they try to get to the sell, just keep talking about your "problems."

  3. If they say they’re Joe Doe from the XYZ Company, ask them to spell their name. Then ask them to spell the company name. Then ask them where it is located. Continue asking them personal questions or questions about their company for as long as necessary.

  4. This one works better if you’re male: Telemarketer: "Hi, my name is Judy and I’m with Canter & Siegel services… " You: Hang on a second. [a few seconds’ pause] Okay, [in really husky voice] "What are you wearing?" Telemarketer: [Click.]

  5. Cry out, in well-simulated tones of pleasure and surprise, "Judy! Is that you? Oh, my GOD! Judy, how have you BEEN?" Hopefully, this will give Judy a few brief moments of terror as she tries to figure out where the hell she could know you from.

  6. Say "No", over and over. Be sure to vary the sound of each one, and keep an even tempo even as they’re trying to speak. This is the most fun if you can keep going until they hang up.

  7. If MCI calls trying to get you to sign up with their Family and Friends plan, reply, in as sinister a voice as you can muster, "I don’t have any friends…would you be my friend?"

  8. If they clean rugs: "Can you get out blood? Can you get out GOAT blood? How about HUMAN blood?" Alternate: "Sorry, my floor is made of stone."

  9. Let the person go through their spiel, providing minimal but necessary feedback in the form of an occasional "Uh-huh", "Really" or "How fascinating". Finally, when they ask you to buy, ask them to marry you. When they get all flustered, tell them you couldn’t just give out your credit card number to a complete stranger.

  10. Tell them you work for the same company they work for. Example: Telemarketer: "This is Bill from WaterTronics." You: "WaterTronics! Hey, I work for them too. Where are you calling from?" Telemarketer: "Uh…Dallas, Texas." You: "Great, they have a group there too? How’s business/the weather?!?" Telemarketer: "Sorry, we can’t sell to employees." You: "Oh, Okay. Bye!"

  11. Answer the phone. As soon as you realize it is a telemarketer, set the receiver down, Shout or scream "Oh my God!!!" and then hang up.

  12. (Jerry Seinfeld version) Tell the telemarketer you’re busy at the moment and if they give you their phone number, you’ll call them back. Telemarketer will say "We’re not allowed to give out our number". You say, "I guess you don’t want anyone bothering you at work, right?". Telemarketer will agree. You say "Now you know how I feel!" Hang-up.

Morning Lessons

January 30, 1998

The snack machine down the hall occasionally has notes on it that say things like, "This machine owes Ellen in office 228 65 cents for M&M’s", or "This machine owes Roger on the 11th floor 50 cents for a chocolate bar". The other day, I noticed this one: "This machine owes Lenny $5 for a superbowl bet." It just goes to show that machines aren’t trustworthy. How can anyone expect a machine that would sadistically torment someone in the midst of a chocolate craving to pay off gambling debts? I happen to know for a fact that they lock up this building on the weekends not just to keep the burglars out but also to keep that particular machine in. It earned quite a reputation at the dog tracks up in Indiana, and was even arrested for trying to sneak into the press box at the Kentucky Derby. Oh, very few people realize just how insidious some machines can be. Lenny, if you’re out there, let this be a lesson to you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pay off the elevator. Enjoy this week’s offering – – some more things you should know.

If you toss a penny 10000 times, it will not be heads 5000 times, but more like 4950. The heads picture weighs more, so it ends up on the bottom.

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. Hydroxydesoxycorticosterone and hydroxydeoxycorticosterones are the largest anagrams.

Los Angeles’s full name is "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula."

Only one person in two billion will live to be 116 or older

Ben and Jerry’s send the waste from making ice cream to local pig armers to use as feed. Pigs love the stuff, except for one flavor: Mint Oreo.

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

Wilma Flintstone’s maiden name was Wilma Slaghoopal, and Betty Rubble’s Maiden name was Betty Jean Mcbricker.

A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

The Ramses brand condom is named after the great pharaoh Ramses II who fathered over 160 children.

If NASA sent birds into space they would soon die, they need gravity to swallow.

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

A pig’s orgasm lasts for 30 minutes.

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"

It was discovered on a space mission that a frog can throw up. The frog throws up its stomach first, so the stomach is dangling out of its mouth. Then the frog uses its forearms to dig out all of the stomach’s contents and then swallows the stomach back down again.

Armored knights raised their visors to identify themselves when they rode past their king. This custom has become the modern military salute.

Sylvia Miles had the shortest performance ever nominated for an Oscar with "Midnight Cowboy." Her entire role lasted only six minutes.

Charles Lindbergh took only four sandwiches with him on his famous transatlantic flight.

Goethe couldn’t stand the sound of barking dogs and could only write if he had an apple rotting in the drawer of his desk.

101 Dalmatians, Peter Pan (Wendy), and Sleeping Beauty are the only three Disney cartoon features with both parents that are present and don’t die throughout the movie.

‘Stewardesses’ is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand. The Baby Ruth candy bar was actually named after Grover Cleveland’s baby daughter, Ruth.

A whale’s penis is called a dork.

Armadillos have four babies at a time and they are always all the same sex.

Armadillos are the only animal besides humans that can get leprosy.

To escape the grip of a crocodile’s jaws, push your thumbs into its eyeballs — it will let you go instantly.

Reindeer like to eat bananas.

A group of unicorns is called a blessing. Twelve or more cows are known as a "flink." A group of frogs is called an army. A group of rhinos is called a crash. A group of kangaroos is called a mob. A group of whales is called a pod. A group of geese is called a gaggle. A group of ravens is called a murder. A group of officers is called a mess. A group of larks is called an exaltation. A group of owls is called a parliament.

Physicist Murray Gell-Mann named the sub-atomic particles known as quarks for a random line in James Joyce, "Three quarks for Muster Mark!"

The phrase "sleep tight" derives from the fact that early mattresses were filled with straw and held up with rope stretched across the bedframe. A tight sleep was a comfortable sleep.

"Three dog night" (attributed to Australian Aborigines) came about because on especially cold nights these nomadic people needed three dogs (dingos, actually) to keep from freezing.

Gilligan of Gilligan’s Island had a first name that was only used once, on the never-aired pilot show. His first name was Willy. The skipper’s real name on Gilligan’s Island is Jonas Grumby. It was mentioned once in the first episode on their radio’s newscast about the wreck.

In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.

Playing cards were issued to British pilots in WWII. If captured, they could be soaked in water and unfolded to reveal a map for escape.

Ivory bar soap floating was a mistake. They had been overmixing the soap formula causing excess air bubbles that made it float. Customers wrote and told how much they loved that it floated, and it has floated ever since.

Studies show that if a cat falls off the seventh floor of a building it has about thirty percent less chance of surviving than a cat that falls off the twentieth floor. It supposedly takes about eight floors for the cat to realize what is occurring, relax and correct itself.

The saying "it’s so cold out there it could freeze the balls off a brass monkey" came from when they had old cannons like ones used in the Civil War. The cannonballs were stacked in a pyramid formation, called a brass monkey. When it got extremely cold outside they would crack and break away from the stack… Thus the saying.

Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks; otherwise it will digest itself.

The Sanskrit word for "war" means "desire for more cows."

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