Author Archive: Christopher Waldrop

Been there, done that, left trash

March 18, 2000

In 1953 Sir Edmund Hillary became the first person to ascend to the peak of Mount Everest. When asked why he climbed it, so it’s said, he replied, "Because it’s there." Since then, many climbers have followed in his path, and all have left proof of their courage, their austerity, and their slovenliness. Yes, just about everybody who’s climbed Mount Everest in the past fifty years or so has left behind garbage. Everything from oxygen cannisters to foil tents to carbo-bar wrappers now dots the once pristine slopes of the world’s highest peak. In fact, the problem has gotten so bad that since 1992 several expeditions have set out with the purpose of bringing down some of that garbage. To which I ask, Why? It’s there. Why not leave it there?

Don’t we have enough garbage down here without bringing more off of some stupid mountain? I say more expeditions need to be made to take more garbage up there, but Mount Everest, or just about any mountain for that matter, is a lousy place for garbage. Mountains, to paraphrase Graham Chapman, climb steeply upward for a long way, then suddenly slope downward. These are not good places for garbage. The chances that anything left up there will be blown off and land on somebody are just too great. If you’ve ever seen anyone get hit by a falling oxygen cannister, you know what I mean. Nature, fortunately, has provided us with several wonderful potential dumping grounds. Here are a few:

  • The Grand Canyon: If you haven’t seen it by now, go buy a postcard. The Grand Canyon has been empty space for millions of years now. It’s about time we turn it into the world’s biggest landfill.
  • The Marianas Trench: Only two people have been to the bottom of this deepest point in the ocean. Two scientists made the descent of 35,800 feet (that’s deeper than Mt. Everest is tall) in 1960 and saw an 18-inch sea cucumber. Some have pointed to the presence of a giant echinoderm as evidence of a strange, fragile ecosystem far at the bottom of the ocean. I say it’s proof that the ocean is already using this chasm as a dumping ground, and it’s about time we landlubbers follow suit.
  • Antarctica: Since there’s already a hole in the ozone layer down there, a few million cubic tons of solid waste wouldn’t hurt. Sorting out the recyclable stuff would give the penguins something to do while they’re avoiding ultraviolet radiation.
  • The Moon: It’s cold, it’s dark, and there’s nothing to do. It’s just like North Dakota. The best part about the Moon is it’s a great jumping-off point for outer space itself, which is so incredibly big it’ll take us years to fill it up with garbage. We can start with columns like this one.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


Here are some of the "All Time Dumbest Questions Asked by Banff Park Tourists," as heard at the information kiosks manned by Parks Canada staff.

How do the elk know they’re supposed to cross at the "Elk Crossing" signs?

At what elevation does an elk become a moose?

Tourist: "How do you pronounce ‘Elk’?" Park Information Staff: " ‘Elk’ " Tourist: "Oh"

Are the bears with collars tame?

Is there anywhere I can see the bears pose?

Is it okay to keep an open bag of bacon on the picnic table, or should I store it in my tent?

Where can I find Alpine Flamingos?

I saw an animal on the way to Banff today – could you tell me what it was?

Are there birds in Canada?

Did I miss the turnoff for Canada?

Where does Alberta end and Canada begin?

Do you have a map of the State of Jasper?

Is this the part of Canada that speaks French, or is that Saskatchewan?

If I go to B.C., do I have to go through Ontario?

Which is the way to the Columbia Ricefields?

How far is Banff from Canada?

What’s the best way to see Canada in a day?

Do they search you at the B.C. border?

When we enter B.C. do we have to convert our money to British pounds?

Where can I buy a racoon hat? ALL Canadians own one don’t they?

Are there phones in Banff?

So it’s eight kilometres away… is that in miles? We’re on the decibel system you know.

Where can I get my husband really, REALLY, lost??

Is that 2 kilometres by foot or by car?

Don’t you Canadians know anything?

What Other Use?

March 10, 2000

"Not to be used for the other use." – instructions on a Korean kitchen knife

It’s recently been brought to my attention that duct tape (or, as it’s more appropriately called by some people, "duck tape") is good for just about anything but sealing ducts (for a complete article please see the Home Energy Article on Duct Tape).

Duct tape is defined as "any fabric-based tape with rubber adhesive", which apparently doesn’t include that mysterious black tape that bends light around it and cannot be cut with anything but very sharp industrial-strength scissors. Try to cut it with anything else, and it will simply expand, then take on a mysterious life of its own. Uncle Rupert once attempted to cut some of this tape with a rusty pocket knife. (He was building a bookshelf, although why he needed a bookshelf in the first place remains a mystery.) Within less than twenty minutes he was so hopelessly entangled that it took three local policemen to free him. The policemen declared that "duck tape" was almost as dangerous as Uncle Rupert himself. The bad news is that 90% of the homes in most first world nations are merely composites of "duck tape", drywall, and that sticky white stuff you use for filling in holes in drywall. Homes in less developed nations have to use less reliable materials such as wood and concrete. The good news is that no one has ever actually seen "duck tape" being used on ducts of any type. It’s more often used to hold up supporting walls, fire extinguishers, and to keep small children quiet. And, as Uncle Rupert and his buddies on the police force will tell you, its name is well-earned: it’s as useful for catching ducks as bright spotlights are for catching deer.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


After Quasimodo’s death, the bishop of the cathedral of Notre Dame sent word through the streets of Paris that a new bellringer was needed. The bishop decided that he would conduct the interviews personally and went up into the belfry to begin the screening process. After observing several applicants demonstrate their skills, he decided to call it a day when a lone, armless man approached him and announced that he was there to apply for the bellringer’s job.

The bishop was incredulous."You have no arms!"

"No matter," said the man, "Observe!" He then began striking the bells with his face, producing a beautiful melody on the carillon. The bishop listened in astonishment, convinced that he had finally found a suitable replacement for Quasimodo. Suddenly, rushing forward to strike a bell, the armless man tripped, and plunged headlong out of the belfry window to his death in the street below.

The stunned bishop rushed to his side. When he reached the street, a crowd had gathered around the fallen figure, drawn by the beautiful music they had heard only moments before.

As they silently parted to let the bishop through, one of them asked, "Bishop, who was this man?”

"I don’t know his name," the bishop sadly replied, "but his face rings a bell."

(but wait, there’s more…)

The following day, despite the sadness that weighed heavily on his heart due to the unfortunate death of the armless campanologist (now there’s a trivia question), the bishop continued his interviews for the bellringer of Notre Dame. The first man to approach him said, "Your excellency, I am the brother of the poor, armless wretch that fell to his death from this very belfry yesterday. I pray that you honor his life by allowing me to replace him in this duty."

The bishop agreed to give the man an audition, and as the armless man’s brother stooped to pick up a mallet to strike the first bell, he groaned, clutched at his chest and died on the spot.

Two monks, hearing the bishop’s cries of grief at this second tragedy, rushed up the stairs to his side.

"What has happened?", the first breathlessly asked, "Who is this man?"

(Wait for it…)

"I don’t know his name," sighed the distraught bishop, "but he’s a dead ringer for his brother."

You Have 2 New Woofs

March 3, 2000

I know I’ve said in the past that I hate telephones, that I think they’re an instrument of evil, that Alexander Graham Bell was a technological Tamerlane, but lately I’ve had a change of heart. (Partly because I thought disliking telephones would make me "eccentric", but really it just made me "out of touch".) Admittedly, talking on the telephone for an extended period for some strange reason makes my ear sweat, and when the sweat hits the cold plastic it drops to a temperature just above freezing, and talking to someone’s disembodied voice coming out of a speakerphone is almost as creepy as talking to someone’s disembodied voice coming out of a little piece of molded plastic. But telephones are a nice way to actually hear the voices of friends I don’t get to see very often, and, in the normal workday, telephones can transport me to new and magical worlds. Anyone who’s had to call any organization knows the joy of being put on hold and listening to a message that says, "Please stay on the line. You’re call isn’t that important to us, but we have an office poll going to see just how many morons we can get on hold at one time." And then there are the actual human beings who are always delightful and interesting. Take for instance the following conversation I had just the other day:

(The phone rings. Unidentified Person picks up.)
UP: Ughl?
Me: Good afternoon. Is this the headquarters for the International Society of Little Tiny Metallic Objects Engineering?
UP: Ughl. Hugh?
Me: I’m trying to reach the headquarters for the International Society of Little Tiny Metallic Objects Engineering.
UP: Ughl. No.
(Click. Dial tone.)

Then there was what I saw outside the building where I work: a dog had been tied to the bicycle stand by the entrance, but his kind and thoughtful owner had left a cellular phone clipped to his collar. Maybe the owner thought that if the dog got in trouble, he could call for help. Or maybe he, the dog, was just planning to check his voice mail.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


MARTHA STEWART’S TIPS FOR REDNECKS

GENERAL

  1. Never take a beer to a job interview.
  2. Always identify people in your yard before shooting at them.
  3. It’s considered tacky to take a cooler to church.
  4. If you have to vacuum the bed, it is time to change the sheets.
  5. Even if you’re certain that you are included in the will, it is still considered tacky to drive a U-Haul to the funeral home.

DINING OUT

  1. When decanting wine, make sure that you tilt the paper cup, and pour slowly so as not to "bruise" the fruit of the vine.
  2. If drinking directly from the bottle, always hold it with your fingers covering the label.

ENTERTAINING IN YOUR HOME

  1. A centerpiece for the table should never be anything prepared by a taxidermist.
  2. Do not allow the dog to eat at the table…no matter how good his manners are.

PERSONAL HYGIENE

  1. While ears need to be cleaned regularly, this is a job that should be done in private using one’s OWN truck keys.
  2. Proper use of toiletries can forestall bathing for several days. However, if you live alone, deodorant is a waste of good money.
    (Doesn’t Martha Stewart herself live alone?-CW)
  3. Dirt and grease under the fingernails is a social no-no, as they tend to detract from a woman’s jewelry and alter the taste of finger foods.

DATING (Outside the Family)

  1. Always offer to bait your date’s hook, especially on the first date.
  2. Be aggressive. Let her know you’re interested: "I’ve been wanting to go out with you since I read that stuff on the bathroom wall two years ago."
  3. Establish with her parents what time she is expected back. Some will say 10:00 PM; others might say "Monday." If the latter is the answer, it is the man’s responsibility to get her to school on time.
    (This is of course assuming she is under 16 and hasn’t dropped out of school for a lucrative stripping career.-CW)

THEATER ETIQUETTE

  1. Crying babies should be taken to the lobby and picked up immediately after the movie has ended.
    (I would say leave a cellular phone with them, but then this is rednecks we’re talking about.-CW)
  2. Refrain from talking to characters on the screen. Tests have proven they can’t hear you.
    (Interestingly rednecks have a similar problem: they can’t hear anything they don’t want to.-CW)

WEDDINGS

  1. Livestock, usually, is a poor choice for a wedding gift.
  2. Kissing the bride for more than 5 seconds may get you shot.
    (Especially if she’s you’re sister.-CW)
  3. For the groom, at least, rent a tux. A leisure suit with a cummerbund and a clean bowling shirt can create a tacky appearance.
  4. Though uncomfortable, say "yes" to socks and shoes for this special occasion.

DRIVING ETIQUETTE

  1. Dim your headlights for approaching vehicles; even if the gun is loaded, and the deer is in sight.
  2. When approaching a four-way stop, the vehicle with the largest tires always has the right of way.
  3. Never tow another car using panty hose and duct tape.
  4. When sending your wife down the road with a gas can, it is impolite to ask her to bring back beer.
  5. Do not lay rubber while traveling in a funeral procession.

It’s All In How You Look

February 25, 2000

Occasionally I find a gray hair on my head, but it never happens often enough. I know you’re probably thinking, Who really wants gray hair? Who wants hair that’ll make them look older than they really are? Well, considering that I’m nearly thirty and still get asked to show my ID whenever I buy an alcoholic beverage, I’d like to at least look my age. But the fact is I want to look old, dignified, and…eccentric. You may not realize this, but there’s a whole organization of eccentrics. They’re called Eccentrics International, and I’ve been trying to get in for years. I’m being discriminated against because of my age–in every other respect I’m a shoe-in. Here’s the latest rejection letter:

Dear Mr. Waldrop,

Thank you for you interest in Eccentrics International. At first you seemed like an excellent candidate. Members had actually spotted you skipping on your way to work, and, as interviews with friends and coworkers have revealed, many people consider you eccentric. Your opinions on religion are unusual, but too widely held to be a factor. However, your unreasonable prejudices against elks, chimney sweeps, and people from North Dakota were more than enough to compensate. Your off-color jokes (including, "My sister was a nun until she found out what ‘nun’ meant") interspersed with references to subjects ranging from quantum physics to Abbott and Costello, make you exactly the sort of individual our club looks for. We were especially interested in the fact that you dismiss horoscopes as nonsense, yet read them religiously. Unfortunately, your age precludes you from joining us, Mr. Waldrop. When someone over the age of sixty behaves as you do, he is eccentric. When someone your age behaves in a similar manner, he’s, well, a jerk. Thank you for your application. Look us up in thirty years.

Well, maybe Groucho Marx was on to something when he said, "I would never belong to any club that would have me as a member."

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


So this guy who works at an aquarium gets called in by his boss. She says, "The dolphins are behaving like they’re in a porno flick, and we’ve got a busload of kindergartners and the head of Citizens For Animal Decency on their way here. The only thing that will turn off those dolphins is baby seagulls, so I want you to run down to the beach and get some. But be careful. A lion escaped a few minutes ago, and though they hit it with a tranquilizer, it still got out." So the guy runs down the beach, gets some baby seagulls, and starts to head back. But on the way he sees the lion right in the middle of his path. It seems to be sound asleep, so he steps over it. Just then, a policeman arrests him. "Sir," the policeman says, "you can’t transport young gulls across a sedate lion for immoral porpoises!"

What’s Next–Soybeans?

February 18, 2000

The other morning on the radio I heard that scientists are currently working on a peanut vaccine. At first I thought maybe this was for a new strain of the plague that caused the lymph nodes to swell into a peanut shape, or that maybe it had something to do with the philosophical comic-strip "Peanuts" which ceased on the same day its author, Charles Schultz, passed away after nearly half a century of cartooning. (Although it should say something that in Europe existential questions were posed in the plays of Pirandello and the novels of Camus while in America they were found on the comics page of the newspaper, I still find more existential depth in two pages of "A Flying Ace Needs a Lot of Root Beer" than in all of "Being and Nothingness".) As it turned out, scientists really are working on the noble venture of vaccinating people against peanuts–the legumes. Technically they’re really working to provide a vaccine for people who are allergic to peanuts. In addition to having severe reactions to peanut oil and other peanut-derived products, people with peanut allergy also cannot fly on planes because flight attendants routinely pry passengers’ mouths open and force-feed them honey-roasted goodness. Although it’s led to many tragic accidents, this practice is necessary because only flight attendants have the high-power lasers that are the only instrument capable of opening those little bags of peanuts they give out on flights. I’m just glad that, with all the life-threatening diseases, undiscovered species lost to habitat destruction, and seemingly limitless applications of aspirin, there are scientists who can dedicate themselves to making sure a fraction of the population can safely enjoy peanut butter.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


George Carlin Quotes

  1. One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.
  2. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
  3. If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?
  4. I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where’s the self-help section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.
  5. Could it be that all those trick-or-treaters wearing sheets aren’t going as ghosts but as mattresses?
  6. If a deaf/signing person swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap?
  7. If a man is standing in the middle of the forest speaking and there is no woman around to hear him is he still wrong?
  8. If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?
  9. Is there another word for synonym?
  10. Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do "practice?"
  11. Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all?"
  12. What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?
  13. If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?
  14. Would a fly without wings be called a walk?
  15. Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will clean them?
  16. If a turtle doesn’t have a shell, is he homeless or naked?
  17. Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?
  18. Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?
  19. If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?
  20. Why do they put Braille on the drive-through bank machines?
  21. Why is it called tourist season if we can’t shoot at them?
  22. How do they get the deer to cross at that yellow road sign?
  23. Is it true that cannibals don’t eat clowns because they taste funny?
  24. What was the best thing before sliced bread?
  25. One nice thing about egotists: they don’t talk about other people.
  26. To be intoxicated is to feel sophisticated, but not be able to say it.
  27. Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.
  28. The older you get, the better you realize you were.
  29. Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.
  30. Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.
  31. Women like silent men, they think they’re listening.
  32. Men are from earth, women are from earth. Deal with it.
  33. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
  34. Do pediatricians play miniature golf on Wednesdays?
  35. Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?
  36. If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?
  37. If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest have to drown?
  38. If the #2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still #2?
  39. If work is so terrific, how come they have to pay you to do it?
  40. If you ate pasta and antipasta, would you still be hungry?
  41. If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

Here we go again

February 11, 2000

Recently in North Carolina, a state that usually prides itself on not being South Carolina, a schoolteacher was fired for her religious beliefs. Although the teacher never mentioned her beliefs to students either in or outside of the classroom, a student who "happened to find" a web page put together by the teacher’s husband brought the fact that she was a practitioner of a nature-oriented belief system called Wicca to the community’s attention. Although county officials were vehement in their statements that it was the teacher’s religious beliefs that led to her dismissal, they were also upset by the fact that the web page contained nudity. Many expressed shock that a student was able to find a web page with nudity that, unlike the web pages the school officials frequented, did not require a credit card number for full access. Of course the officials were not interested in the fact that there were no photos of the teacher on the web page, or the warnings that preceded the photos, or the fact that the page had been registered with several major content filters. For that matter, they didn’t care that firing her was grossly unconstitutional (once it was explained to them what the "Constitution of the United States" and the "Bill of Rights" were). What really concerned officials was the threat of a lawsuit by a local yokel. In many states, particularly in the South, it’s become common practice to cede authority to unelected fanatics and thus sidestep any responsibility for trampling the rights of people bureaucrats would rather not have around anyway. The bigot who threatened to bring the lawsuit expressed his "love for sinners", or, more specifically, his love for tying sinners to large wooden stakes and burning them to death as an act of mercy. Most students supported the teacher, but she accepted the dismissal, citing concerns that a protracted lawsuit would be detrimental to the students. Although there’s very little local officials can do to make themselves look worse, it’s fitting that the one person with a concern for the students is being driven out of the county.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


Jokes from the Montreal "Just For Laughs" Festival

  1. (On going to war over religion:) "You’re basically killing each other to see who’s got the better imaginary friend." – Rich Jeni
  2. "I used to smoke pot until I came to the conclusion…what was that conclusion, anyway?" – Rich Jeni
  3. "The Web brings people together because no matter what kind of a twisted sexual mutant you happen to be, you’ve got millions of pals out there. Type in ‘Find people that have sex with goats that are on fire’ and the computer will say, ‘Specify type of goat.’" – Rich Jeni
  4. "Luge strategy? Lie flat and try not to die." – Tim Steeves
  5. "Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake whole relationships. – Jimmy Shubert
  6. "I was born in Nicaragua and I felt there wasn’t enough political instability in my life. So I moved to Quebec." – Marta Chaves
  7. "I got kicked out of Riverdance for using my arms." – Gary Valentine
  8. "The difference between Charles Manson and every woman I’ve dated is that Manson has the decency to look like a nut the first time you meet him." – Rich Jeni
  9. "I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with ‘Guess’ on it. I said,’Thyroid problem?’" – Emo Philips
  10. "I read somewhere that 77 per cent of all the mentally ill live in poverty. Actually, I’m more intrigued by the 23 per cent who are apparently doing quite well for themselves." – Emo Philips
  11. "I discovered I scream the same way whether I’m about to be devoured by a Great White or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot."- Kevin James
  12. "Capital punishment turns the state into a murderer. But imprisonment turns the state into a gay dungeon-master." – Emo Philips

Space: The Final Marketing Opportunity

February 4, 2000

According to some recent reports, the commercialization of space will be one of the major developments of the next fifty years. Although right now companies are using engineering techniques, new materials, and even drugs developed in space (insert your own joke about weightlesness and sexual-potency pills here), space-hotels and even tours of the planets may soon no longer be mere science fiction. Normally I would say that the last thing we need is the commercialization of anything else, but space is the one thing I can get gung-ho about. Short of a typographical error followed by a series of wacky mishaps, commercial flights are the only way out-of-shape slobs like myself could get a glimpse of worlds beyond. The problem is that, no matter how old I get, the future always seems to be a long way off. Chances are the only way I’ll make it into space is if someone takes my ashes up in a rocket. But in case I do live to see commercial space flight, I plan to buy a trip by writing advertising. With that in mind, here are a few sample slogans I’ve been working on:

  • Mercury: The Last Tan You’ll Ever Need
  • Venus: Carbon dioxide atmosphere, sulphuric acid snow, and plenty of sunlight. It’s Los Angeles without the tourists!
  • Mars: Spot a Martian, and your trip is free!
  • Jupiter: It’s big. Really, really big.
  • Saturn: Ring in the new year…here! (The next planet could be the perfect getaway place, but not many people are going to put up with the jokes they’ll get when they say, "I’m vacationing near Uranus.")
  • Neptune: When we say ‘get away from it all’, we mean it.
  • Pluto: It’s cold. It’s dark. There’s nothing to do. It’s just like North Dakota.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


Three guys are working on a high-rise building project: Steve, Bill and Charlie. Steve falls off and is killed instantly. As the ambulance takes the body away, Charlie says, "Someone should go and tell his wife." Bill says, "OK, I’m pretty good at that sensitive stuff, I’ll do it." 2 hours later, he comes back carrying a 6-pack. Charlie says, "Where did you get that, Bill?" "Steve’s wife gave it to me." "That’s unbelievable! You told the lady her husband was dead and she gave you the beer?" Bill says, "Well not exactly. When she answered the door, I said to her, ‘You must be Steve’s widow.’" She said, "No, I’m not a widow." And I said, "Wanna bet me a six-pack?"


@ 50`F New Yorkers try to turn on the heat.
Canadians plant gardens.

@40`F Californians shiver uncontrollably.
Canadians sunbathe.

@35`F Italian cars won’t start.
Canadians drive with windows down.

@32`F Distilled water freezes.
Canadian water gets thicker.

@0`F New York landlords finally turn on the heat.
Canadians have the last cookout of the season.

@ -40`F Hollywood disintegrates.
Canadians rent videos.

@ -60`F Mt. St. Helens freezes.
Canadian Girl Guides sell cookies door-to-door.

@-100`F Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Canadians pull down their ear flaps.

@ -173`F Ethyl alcohol freezes.
Canadians get frustrated when they can’t thaw the
keg.

@ -460`F All atomic motion stops.
Canadians start saying "Cold eh?"

@-500`F Hell freezes over.
The Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup.

It’ll Be Bigger Than…

January 28, 2000

Recently in Singapore a riot started in a shopping mall selling the latest brand of overpriced stuffed toy that adults, desperately clinging to non-existent happy childhoods and gullibly accepting the idea that a stuffed animal will pay for a first-class Hawaiian cruise, will bribe, divorce, and maim each other to get. I really thought this was a passing phenomenon. Now that one type of stuffed toy is no longer being made, I had hoped the rest would become as extinct as many of the animals they resemble. For those people who collected only a small number, reasoning that it was sort of like buying lottery ticket, the fad is diminishing, but there are still a lot of people out there who think stuffed animals are the only way to fill their vacuous, deeply unsatisfying lives.

Since I find it hard to pass up a quick buck, I’ve decided I’ll start producing my own line of stuffed animals. My sewing skills are pretty limited, so I’ll just make little balls of fake fur filled with dirt to keep costs down. I’ll call them Wobocs–that’s WOrthless Balls Of Cloth–and sell them for an absurd price like $10 each. Then every month I’ll send out a newsletter with exaggerated price information "Flemmy, the yellow Woboc, is now worth $16,500!"). You’re probably thinking I’m an idiot, but in case you’re not, just send me $39.95 and I’ll send you a complete information package on how to start your own Woboc production line–right in your very own home! Then we’ll see who’s an idiot.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


OBTAINING AN L.A. DRIVER’S LICENSE

Since driving conditions (and culture)are unique in L.A., you may not have realized that the California Department of Motor Vehicles has now issued a special application and driver’s test solely for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. Here it is below:

GREATER LOS ANGELES AREA DRIVER’S LICENSE APPLICATION:

Name: ____________________

Stage name: __________________________

Agent’s Name: __________________________

Attorney’s Name: _______________________

Actual Age: _____ Admitted Age: _____

Sex: [ ] male [ ] female
[ ] formerly male [ ] formerly female
[ ] both [ ] neither

If female, indicate breast implant size: _______

Will the size of your implants hinder your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle in any way? 
Yes [ ] No [ ]

Occupation:
[ ] Lawyer
[ ] Actor/Waiter
[ ] Film-maker/Self-employed
[ ] Writer
[ ] Car Dealer
[ ] Pan-handler
[ ] Agent
[ ] Hooker/Transvestite
[ ] Other; please explain:
___________________________

Please list brand of cell phone: 
________________________
(If you don’t own a cell phone, please explain.)

Please check hair color:
Females: [ ] Blonde [ ] Platinum Blonde
Teenagers: [ ] Purple [ ] Blue 
[ ] Skin-head

Men: Please list shade of hair plugs
________________

Please indicate if you have Automobile Insurance:
[ ] Yes [ ] No

If Yes, please explain:

Please check activities you perform while driving (Check all that apply):
[ ] Eating a wrap
[ ] Applying make-up
[ ] Talking on the phone
[ ] Slapping kids in the back seat
[ ] Applying cellulite treatment to thighs
[ ] Tanning
[ ] Snorting cocaine 
[ ] Watching TV
[ ] Reading Variety
[ ] Surfing the net via laptop
[ ] Reading a book or other Newspaper

Please indicate how many times:
a) you expect to shoot at other drivers, _____
b) and how many times you expect to be shot at
while driving ____.

If you are the victim of a car-jacking, you should immediately:
a) [ ] Call the police to report the crime;
b) [ ] Call Channel 4 News to report the crime, then watch your TV; 
c) [ ] Call your attorney and discuss lawsuit against cellular phone company for 911 call not going through;
d) [ ] Call your therapist;
e) [ ] None of the above (South Central residents only).

Please indicate if you drive:
a) [ ] a BMW,
b) [ ] a Lexus,
c) [ ] a Mercedes,
d) [ ] a Cabriolet.

If your answer is d, please add 6 to 8 weeks to normal delivery time for your driver’s license.

In the event of an earthquake, should you:
a) [ ] stop your car
b) [ ] keep driving and hope for the best,
c) [ ] immediately use your cell phone to call all loved ones, or
d) [ ] pull out your video camera and obtain footage for Channel 4?

In the instance of rain, you should:
a) [ ] never drive over 5 MPH,
b) [ ] drive twice as fast as usual, or
c) [ ] you’re not sure what "rain" is.

Please indicate number of therapy sessions per week: ____.

Are you presently taking any of the following medications?
(Check all that apply.)
a) [ ] Prozac;
b) [ ] Zovirax;
c) [ ] Lithium;
d) [ ] Zanax.
If none, please explain: __________________.

Length of daily commute:
a) [ ] 1 hour;
b) [ ] 2 hours;
c) [ ] 3 hours;
d) [ ] 4 hours or more.
If under 1 hour, please explain:

When stopped by police, should you
a) [ ] pull over and have your driver’s license and insurance form ready,
b) [ ] try to outrun them by driving the wrong way on the 405, 
c) [ ] have video camera ready and provoke them to attack, thus ensuring yourself of a hefty lawsuit

Why Should You Never Take a Cell Phone To Italy?

January 21, 2000

Because you’ll have to pay the Roman fee. According to the Wall Street Journal one of the deadly number bugs we have to worry about in the next decade or so is the lack of phone numbers. Apparently because fax machines, modems, and cell phones have used up so many numbers, there’s a very real possibility that all possible seven number combinations (or six number combinations depending on where you live) will be used up. Of course there may be complex solutions involving consolidation of various services, but I have an idea that will temporarily fix the problem. In checking a world-wide list of area codes, I discovered that no place has the area code 666. Of course there are those people who believe "The Exorcist" was a documentary, or who are simply superstitious, but, unlike 13, there’s no real significance to the number 666. It became known as "the sign of the beast" during the reign of the emperor Domitian. The Roman numeral 666 is DCLXVI. Since people in those days were as nutty about anagrams as people today are about dot-coms, it didn’t take much for an upstart religion with a martyr complex to turn that number into the phrase, Domitianus Caesar Legatos Xsti Violenter Interfacit (Domitian Caesar is violently killing the spokespeople of Christ). But for those people who feel uncomfortable with that number, I have a solution: it will only be assigned to top executives at large telecommunications companies. With all the merger mania, these guys have pretty much sold their souls anyway, so it shouldn’t be a problem for them. Besides, who do you think has four fax machines, three cell-phones, two regular phone lines, and seventeen internet accounts? Top execs at one telecommunication company use up more phone numbers than the population of Nebraska. Unused numbers in the 666 area code will be assigned to telemarketing companies.

By the way, I was blasted from a few different directions for last week’s rundown of the crimes and misdemeanors of the United States Congress, even though I didn’t write it. One of the questions was, "If a member of Congress had been arrested on drug charges, don’t you think we would have heard about it?" Probably. But the charges of fraud, bankruptcy, and drunk driving were very likely true in spades, so the drug charges statistic was probably a lie wedged in between several truths–the ultimate way to discredit a piece of information. That’s as close to a conspiracy theory as I’ll get.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


How Many Dogs Does It Take To Change A Light Bulb?

Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, we’ve got our whole lives ahead of us, and you’re inside worrying about a stupid burned-out light bulb?

Border Collie: Just one. And I’ll replace any wiring that’s not up to code.

Dachshund: I can’t reach the stupid lamp!

Toy Poodle: I’ll just blow in the Border Collie’s ear and he’ll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.

Rottweiler: Go Ahead! Make me!

Shih Tzu: Puh-leeze, dah-ling. Let the servants.

Lab: Oh, me, me!!! Oh Pleeeeeeze? Pleeeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Can I?

Giant Schnauzer: Broken? Who says? For your information the light bulb isn’t broken until I say it’s broken.

Malamute: Let the Border Collie do it. You can feed me while he’s busy.

Cocker Spaniel: Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark.

Doberman Pinscher: While it’s dark, I’m going to sleep on the couch.

Mastiff: Mastiffs are NOT afraid of the dark.

HoundDog:ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Chihuahua: Yo quiero Taco Bulb.

Irish Wolfhound: Can somebody else do it? I’ve got a hangover.

Pointer: I see it, there it is, right there…

Greyhound: It isn’t moving. Who cares?

Australian Shepherd: Put all the light bulbs in a little circle…

Old English Sheepdog: Light bulb? Light bulb? That thing I just ate was a light bulb?

As Time Goes By

January 14, 2000

The new millenium is now less than a year away, but I find it hard to get excited. This is partly because the new millenium will begin on a Monday. It’s also because, regardless of the advances in health care and the prolongation of life, it’s extremely unlikely that any of us will be around for the most significant events of the next millenium. This is depressing because some very exciting things are going to happen in the next 1000 years. Here’s a glimpse ahead:

2066: Celebrations of 1000 years since the Battle of Hastings are held all over the newly formed Euroasian Collective. However, events are marred by calls to make English the official language of the EAC, and fighting breaks out. The bulk of the fighting force drowns while crossing the English Channel which, due to global flooding, is now 150 miles wide.

2076: Tricentennial celebrations for the United States are held in the new coastal city of Las Vegas.

2145: Computer geeks all over the world celebrate roughly 700 years since Guttenberg invented the printing press…and then laugh.

2146: A huge magnetic meteorite passes close to the Earth erasing all electronic storage devices. Directors at the only two libraries that still have old-fashioned books look distinctly smug. One of them says, "This proves that not only does God exist, but that He also has a sense of humor."

2147: Throwing the existence of God into doubt but proving once again that nothing is more hated by the general public than smugness, mobs burn down the only two remaining libraries that still have old-fashioned books.

2148-2362: Attempts to hold "1000 Years Since the Dark Ages" celebrations collapse due to widespread illiteracy and poor communication. However, people still celebrate the Dark Ages by allowing no historically significant events to happen.

2363: Well-preserved copies of "Star Trek" are unearthed at an underwater archeological dig in the California Sea. People laugh at how ridiculous 20th Century predictions for the future were.

2364: Vulcans arrive on Earth.

2666: People living on the European peninsula celebrate 1000 years since the end of the Black Death. Scientists promise that eventually they’ll also find a cure for the common cold.

2667-2999: Celebrations of the Dark Ages resume.

3000: People uninhibitedly celebrate the new year with the slogan, "7000 Years Until The Y10K Problem!"

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


Can you imagine working at the following Company? It has a little over 500 employees with the following statistics:

  • 29 have been accused of spousal abuse

  • 7 have been arrested for fraud

  • 19 have been accused of writing bad checks

  • 117 have bankrupted at least two businesses

  • 3 have been arrested for assault

  • 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit

  • 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges

  • 8 have been arrested for shoplifting

  • 21 are current defendants in lawsuits

  • In 1998 alone, 84 were stopped for drunk driving

Can you guess which organization this is?

Give up?

It’s the 535 members of your United States Congress. The same group that perpetually cranks out hundreds upon hundreds of new laws designed to keep the rest of us in line.


In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods.

On a Sears hairdryer: "Do not use while sleeping." (Gee, that’s the only time I have to work on my hair.)

On a bag of Fritos: "You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside." (The shoplifter special.)

On a bar of Dial soap :"Directions: Use like regular soap." (And that would be how…?)

On some Swann frozen dinners: "Serving suggestion: Defrost." (But it’s just a suggestion.)

On Tesco’s Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom of box): "Do not turn upside down." (Too Late!)

On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding: "Product will be hot after heating." (As night follows the day…)

On packaging for a Rowenta iron: "Do not iron clothes on body." (But wouldn’t this save even more time?)

On Boot’s Children’s Cough Medicine: "Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication." (We could do a lot to reduce the rate of construction accidents if we could just get those 5-year-olds with head colds off those forklifts.)

On Nytol Sleep Aid: "Warning: May cause drowsiness." (One would hope.)

On most brands of Christmas lights: "For indoor or outdoor use only." (As opposed to what?)

On a Japanese food processor: "Not to be used for the other use." (I gotta admit, I’m curious.)

On Sainsbury’s peanuts: "Warning: contains nuts." (Talk about a news flash.)

(On an American Airlines packet of nuts: "Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts." (Step 3: Fly Delta.)

On a child’s Superman costume: "Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly." (I don’t blame the company. I blame parents for this one.)

On a Swedish chain saw: "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals." (Was there a spate of this happening somewhere? My God!)

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