Author Archive: Christopher Waldrop

How about virtual bosses?

November 7, 1997

Personally I think virtual pets are a good idea. They allow parents to teach their children about responsibility without giving them any real responsibility, they give children the opportunity to learn about pets without breaking anything, forcing any life adjustment, or stinking up the house, and they teach children that death or fatal illness is a tragic thing, but that it can be fixed with a new battery. Doesn’t it make you wonder, though, what will happen when these children grow up and go into jobs? Inevitably some of them will be managers and supervisors, and just what kind of managers will they be? I think that question’s already been answered by a recent phenomenon in the work world: temps. Don’t get me wrong. I like temps. Some of my best friends are temps. At one time I was a temp myself. I spent a week shipping magazines in a warehouse and was awarded the title "Biggun" on my second day. But the same mindset that created virtual pets created temporary worker agencies first–maybe it was even the same people. Temps are like virtual employees. They’re cheap, easy to maintain, and are easily replaced. And because technology is always advancing, they, like pets, may soon be replaced by battery-operated counterparts. Keeping that in mind, maybe toy designers need to design electronic cardboard box environments complete with computer-generated welfare checks so children can learn about virtual unemployment.

Enjoy the following virtually funny offerings.

"Anytime you feel dumb, don’t worry. Check out the following excerpts from a Wall Street Journal article by Jim Carlton, and you’ll realize there are lots of people in the world far, far more idiotic than you could possibly be…"

  1. Compaq is considering changing the command "Press Any Key" to "Press Return Key" because of the flood of calls asking where the "Any" key is.

  2. AST technical support had a caller complaining that her mouse was hard to control with the dust cover on. The cover turned out to be the plastic bag the mouse was packaged in.

  3. Another Compaq technician received a call from a man complaining that the system wouldn’t read word processing files from his old floppy diskettes. After troubleshooting for magnets and heat failed to diagnose the problem, it was found that the customer labeled the diskettes then rolled them into the typewriter to type the labels.

  4. Another AST customer was asked to send a copy of her defective diskettes. A few days later a letter arrived from the customer along with Xeroxed copies of the floppies.

  5. A Dell technician advised his customer to put his troubled floppy back in the drive and close the door. The customer asked the tech to hold on, and was heard putting the phone down, getting up and crossing the room to close the door to his room.

  6. Another Dell customer called to say he couldn’t get his computer to fax anything. After 40 minutes of troubleshooting, the technician discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in front of the monitor screen and hitting the "send" key.

  7. Another Dell customer needed help setting up a new program, so a Dell tech suggested he go to the local Egghead. "Yeah, I got me a couple of friends" the customer replied. When told Egghead was a software store, the man said, "Oh, I thought you meant for me to find a couple of geeks."

  8. Yet another Dell customer called to complain that his keyboard no longer worked. He had cleaned it by filling up his tub with soap and water and soaking the keyboard for a day, then removing all the keys and washing them individually.

  9. A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged because his computer had told him he was "bad and an invalid". The tech explained that the computer’s "bad command" and "invalid" responses shouldn’t be taken personally.

  10. An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Tech Support couldn’t get her new Dell Computer to turn on. After ensuring the computer was plugged in, the technician asked her what happened when she pushed the power button. Her response, "I pushed and pushed on this foot pedal and nothing happens." The "foot pedal" turned out to be the computer’s mouse.

  11. Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her brand new computer wouldn’t work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it in, and sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. When asked what happened when she pressed the power switch, she asked "What power switch?"

  12. True story from a Novell NetWire SysOp: Caller: "Hello, is this Tech Support?" Tech: "Yes, it is. How may I help you?" Caller: "The cup holder on my PC is broken and I am within my warranty period. How do I go about getting that fixed?" Tech: "I’m sorry, but did you say a cup holder?" Caller: "Yes, it’s attached to the front of my computer." Tech: "Please excuse me if I seem a bit stumped, It’s because I am. Did you receive this as part of a promotional, at a trade show? How did you get this cup holder? Does it have any trademark on it?" Caller: "It came with my computer, I don’t know anything about a promotional. It just has ‘4X’ on it."

    At this point the Tech Rep had to mute the caller, because he couldn’t stand it. The caller had been using the load drawer of the CD-ROM drive as a cup holder, and snapped it off the drive!

It’s a conspiracy!

October 31, 1997

So I was walking across campus and saw this poster: "During the last three major earthquakes in North America, the space shuttle has been in orbit. Could the government be testing a dangerous new weapon? And I know more." Yeah, right. So I walked on, and saw this: "The rate of suicide among high-ranking CIA officials is 33.4 times that of the rest of the population. And I know more." My reaction? I think this guy NEEDS to know Prozac. Then this: "A certain brand of hard candy leaves a semi-metallic residue in your teeth that government agents can use to track your movements anywhere. And I know more." That’s it. I can only take so much before I have to say something. I’m an open-minded skeptic–I won’t dismiss the possibilities, but I like to have a little proof behind my conspiracy theories. Why? Because if I went on as little proof as Mr. "I Know More" probably does, I’d go completely insane. Consider this: All over the city, wrecking crews are tearing down historic buildings, restaurants, offices, and parking lots to build more parking lots. Soon there will be parking everywhere and nowhere to go. Hmm… And what about all those unanswered questions like: Who shot JFK? Does the government have proof of intelligent life in Cleveland? Why have I stopped mentioning Sri Lanka? Where have all my post-it notes gone? And is all this paranoia really part of a major conspiracy? Ah–there’s something to make you stop and think. Do I know more? Well…that’s for me to know and you to find out.

This is a list of actual (reportedly) English subtitles used in films made in Hong Kong:

  1. I am damn unsatisfied to be killed in this way.

  2. Fatty, you with your thick face have hurt my instep.

  3. Gun wounds again?

  4. Same old rules: no eyes, no groin.

  5. A normal person wouldn’t steal pituitaries.

  6. Damn, I’ll burn you into a BBQ chicken!

  7. Take my advice, or I’ll spank you without pants.

  8. Who gave you the nerve to get killed here?

  9. Quiet or I’ll blow your throat up.

  10. You always use violence. I should’ve ordered glutinous rice chicken.

  11. I’ll fire aimlessly if you don’t come out!

  12. You daring lousy guy.

  13. Beat him out of recognizable shape!

  14. I got knife scars more than the number of your leg’s hair!

  15. Beware! Your bones are going to be disconnected.

  16. The bullets inside are very hot. Why do I feel so cold?

  17. How can you use my intestines as a gift?

  18. This will be of fine service for you, you bag of the scum. I am sure you will not mind that I remove your manhoods and leave them out on the floor.


October 24, 1997

Not too long ago a scientific probe was fired at Saturn. While on the one hand, I think it’ll send back some amazing pictures and information, I also hope that, someday, we’ll be sending humans out that far, and they’re not exactly going to be happy when 72 pounds of Plutonium crashes into the hull. Hopefully the scientists on Earth will remember to tell the astronauts that the probe is there. I also hope the scientists who design the ship and plan the mission will review their science fiction movies because, as we’ve learned from Mir, life sometimes does imitate art. In case they don’t, here are a few suggestions:

  • DON’T design a ship with dark, twisting passageways. Aliens can hide in them too easily.

  • DON’T put anybody in hibernation, suspended animation, or anything else. Have you ever had that experience where the power goes off in your sleep and you wake up late for work? Well imagine if that happened two million miles away from Earth. You’d be pretty upset.

  • DON’T send a computer that’s smarter than the crew. If someone happens to beat it in chess, or if somebody’s floating soft drink shorts out a vital section, or if it just blows its civilized behavior fuse–the most sensitive, delicate, and least protected part–it’ll go crazy and kill everyone–starting with the people in hibernation.

  • DON’T send any trigger-happy psychopaths. Here’s an important note for the screening process: if the applicant wears a cowboy hat or screams "Yeeeehaaa!" at any time, scratch his name from the list.

  • DO send a ship with an escape pod that can hold more than one person. Why is it that whenever a crew of eight or nine on a ship the size of a small city gets attacked by a vicious, blood-hungry, eleven-foot tall indestructible alien, they discover that the escape pod can only hold one person?

  • DO eliminate anybody who says, "Hey, what’s this?" and grabs an object he doesn’t recognize. Natural selection will take care of him eventually, but not before he brings that eleven-foot tall alien on board. And finally,

  • DO let the Russians design it. Say what you like about Mir, but that thing’s been up there for eleven years. The average American car doesn’t last that long.

Enjoy this slightly more down-to-earth trivia.

Courtesy of Pete’s Wicked Ale

It was the accepted practice in Babylonia 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer, and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the "honey month" – or what we know today as the "honeymoon".

Before thermometers were invented, brewers would dip a thumb or finger into the mix to find the right temperature for adding yeast. Too cold, and the yeast wouldn’t grow. Too hot, and the yeast would die. This thumb in the beer is where we get the phrase "rule of thumb".

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. so in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them to mind their own pints and quarts and settle down. It’s where we get the phrase "mind your P’s and Q’s".

Beer was the reason the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. It’s clear from the Mayflower’s log that the crew didn’t want to waste beer looking for a better site. The log goes on to state that the passengers "were hasted ashore and made to drink water that the seamen might have the more beer".

After consuming a bucket or two of vibrant brew they called aul, or ale, the Vikings would head fearlessly into battle often without armor or even shirts. In fact, the term "berserk" means "bare shirt" in Norse, and eventually took on the meaning of their wild battles.

In 1740 Admiral Vernon of the British fleet decided to water down the navy’s rum. Needless to say, the sailors weren’t too pleased and called Admiral Vernon, Old Grog, after the stiff wool grogram coats he wore. The term "grog" soon began to mean the watered down drink itself. When you were drunk on this grog, you were "groggy", a word still in use today.

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. when they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle", is the phrase inspired by this practice.

In the middle ages, "nunchion" was the word for liquid lunches. It was a combination of the words "noon scheken", or noon drinking. In those days, a large chunk of bread was called lunch. So if you ate bread with your nunchion, you had what we still today call a luncheon.

One night, a Delta twin-engine puddle jumper was flying somewhere above New Jersey. There were five people on board: the pilot, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, the Dalai Lama and a hippie.

Suddenly, an illegal oxygen generator exploded loudly in the luggage compartment and the passenger cabin began to fill with smoke. The cockpit door opened and the pilot burst into the compartment. "Gentlemen," he began, "I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that we’re about to crash in New Jersey. The good news is that there are four parachutes, and I have one of them" With that, the pilot threw open the door and jumped from the plane.

Michael Jordan was on his feet in a flash. "Gentlemen," he said, "I am the world’s greatest athlete. The world needs great athletes. I think the world’s greatest athlete should have a parachute" With these words, he grabbed one of the remaining parachutes, hurtled through the door and into the night.

Bill Gates rose and said, "Gentlemen, I am the world’s smartest man. The world needs smart men. I think the world’s smartest man should have a parachute, too." He grabbed one, and out he jumped.

The Dalai Lama and the hippie looked at one another. Finally, the Dalai Lama spoke. "My son, "he said, "I have lived a satisfying life and have known the bliss of True Enlightenment. You have your life ahead of you; you take a parachute, and I will go down with the plane." The hippie smiled slowly and said, "Hey, don’t worry, pops. The World’s Smartest Man just jumped out wearing my backpack."

No, I really do read the articles

October 17, 1997

There are basically two kinds of fear, and I once experienced both on a Boy Scout camping trip. The first kind, private fear, is that fear only you have, and you have it when you’re either alone or everyone around you is asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and, half asleep, thought I was in my room at home. I tried to turn on the light, and couldn’t move my arm. Panic. I tried to move my entire body and couldn’t–I was trapped, as though some enormous weight were pressing down on me. I broke into a cold sweat. I remembered that I was on a camping trip, that I was in a tent, but that still didn’t explain the paralysis. If he hadn’t snored, I never would have realized that one of my tentmates had, in his sleep, rolled over on top of me. By doing a sort of body-wave you’ve probably seen professional wrestlers perform, I was able to escape.

Earlier that evening, I’d experienced public fear–the collective fear of a large group, usually brought on by one very convincing idiot. We were supposed to be asleep, but we were hungry and rumaging through the leftovers. Then we heard the growl. "Oh man," said the idiot. "I read in this month’s Playboy that bears can’t find enough food and they’re eating people." Too scared even to ask another teenager where he was getting recent issues of Playboy, yet strangely impressed that someone really did read the articles, we all went into a panic. There was no safe place to hide from what sounded like a very large bear. After being thrown out of the scoutmaster’s van, we huddled together and waited for collective death. Growl. Growl. It was then that we noticed that this bear’s growls were amazingly regular. Slowly our group-hysteria became group humor as we realized that these growls were from one of the adults who had been sent to sleep outside the camp because he kept his tentmates awake…with his snoring! After exhausting ourselves laughing, we were hit with another fear: One day we would be old, and one day we might make the same noises ourselves.

Enjoy this week’s offering, which is almost as frightening.

DURHAM, N.C. (Reuters) – A North Carolina drivers’ education teacher has resigned after he was alleged to have told a student to chase down another driver, whom he then allegedly punched in the nose, a spokeswoman for the Durham Public Schools says.

Police in Chapel Hill said David Cline, 36, a teacher in neighboring Durham, was out teaching two students to drive on a local highway on Sept. 19 when he thought another driver, Jon Macklin, cut them off.

Police said Cline allegedly told the student driver to catch Macklin’s car and when both cars stopped at a red light, Cline got out of the car and approached Macklin. The two exchanged words and, according to Macklin, Cline punched him, police said.

Police learned of the incident shortly afterward when Cline’s car was pulled over for possible speeding. As the officer talked to the people in Cline’s car, Macklin pulled up and said he had been assaulted.

Cline was arrested, charged with assault and released on $400 bond.

Cline resigned from his job on Wednesday, the schools spokeswoman said. He had taught in the school system since 1986. REUTERS

Signs You May Be Drinking Too Much

  • You lose arguments with inanimate objects.

  • You have to hold onto the lawn to keep from falling off the earth.

  • Job is interfering with your drinking.

  • Your doctor finds traces of blood in your alcohol stream.

  • Career won’t progress beyond Senator from Massachusetts.

  • The back of your head keeps getting hit by the toilet seat.

  • Sincerely believe alcohol to be the elusive 5th food group.

  • 24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case – coincidence?? – I think not!

  • "Two hands and just one mouth… – now THAT’S a drinking problem!"

  • You can focus better with one eye closed.

  • The parking lot seems to have moved while you were in the bar.

  • You fall off the floor…

  • Your twin sons are named Barley and Hops.

  • "Hey, 5 beers has just as many calories as a burger, screw dinner!"

  • Mosquitoes catch a buzz after attacking you

  • At AA meetings you begin: "Hi, my name is… uh…"

  • Your idea of cutting back is less salt.

  • You wake up in the bedroom, your underwear is in the bathroom, you fell asleep clothed. – hmm.

  • The whole bar says ‘Hi’ when you come in…

  • You think the Four Basic Food Groups are Caffeine, Nicotine, Alcohol, and [Women or Men].

  • Every night you’re beginning to find your roommate’s cat more and more attractive.

  • Roseanne looks good.

  • Don’t recognize wife unless seen through bottom of glass.

  • That damned pink elephant followed me home again.

  • Senators Kennedy and Packwood shake their heads when they walk past you.

  • "I’m as jober as a sudge."

  • The shrubbery’s drunk from too frequent watering.

  • You wake up screaming "TORA TORA TORA!" in the middle of the night.

A little dab’ll do ya.

October 10, 1997

I heard on the radio this morning that a local nuclear power plant may be recycling some potentially radioactive material. This means that there may be things like radioactive cans, pots, and pans on the market soon. A lot of people are upset about this, but I have trouble seeing why. According to all the Saturday Afternoon Monster Movies I used to watch, the real effects of radiation, if there are any effects, are pretty positive, and in the fifties, when people were exposed to a lot more radiation than they are now they seemed to have a much better understanding of and appreciation for radiation than they do now. Hey, without radiation, would Godzilla have been able to save us from that giant three-headed space dragon? I think not. As for real-life effects of radiation, my Uncle Rupert got himself X-rayed over a hundred times in less than a year once, and look what happened to him. The most common effect of radiation, according to the movies anyway, is to be that it makes things bigger. Ants, earthworms, even people who get exposed to high doses of radiation turn into giants. The doses people get from the recycled metal will probably be much lower, but we can still put them to good use. For example, this could literally add a whole new dimension to the WonderBra, and as far as guys are concerned, those radioactive zippers could be REALLY popular. I hope this week’s offering makes you more serene.

LHASA, TIBET–Employing the brash style that first brought him to prominence, Sri Dhananjai Bikram won the fifth annual International Yogi Competition yesterday with a world-record point total of 873.6.

"I am the serenest!" Bikram shouted to the estimated crowd of 20,000 yoga fans, vigorously pumping his fists. "No one is serener than Sri Dhananjai Bikram–I am the greatest monk of all time!"

Bikram averaged 1.89 breaths a minute during the two-hour competition, nearly .3 fewer than his nearest competitor, second-place finisher and two-time champion Sri Salil "The Hammer" Gupta.

The heavily favored Gupta was upset after the loss.

"I should be able to beat that guy with one lung tied," Gupta said. "I’m beside myself right now, and I don’t mean trans-bodily."

Bikram got off to a fast start at the Lhasa meet, which like most major competitions, is a six-event affair. In the first event, he attained total consciousness (TC) in just 2 minutes, 34 seconds, and set the tone for the rest of the meet by repeatedly shouting, "I’m blissful! You blissful?! I’m blissful!" to the other yogis.

Bikram, 33, burst onto the international yoga scene with a gold-mandala performance at the 1994 Bhutan Invitational. At that competition he premiered his aggressive style, at one point in the flexibility event sticking his middle toes out at the other yogis. While no prohibition exists against such behavior, according to Yoga League Commissioner Swami Prabhupada, such behavior is generally considered "un-Buddhalike."

"I don’t care what the critics say," Bikram said. "Sri Bikram is just gonna go out there and do Sri Bikram’s own yoga thing."

Before the Bhutan meet, Bikram had never placed better than fourth. Many said he had forsaken rigorous training for the celebrity status accorded by his Bhutan win, endorsing Nike’s new line of prayer mats and supposedly dating the Hindu goddess Shakti. But his performance this week will regain for him the number one computer ranking and earn him new respect, as well as for his coach Mahananda Vasti, the controversial guru some have called Bikram’s "guru."

"My special training diet for Bikram of one super-charged, carbo-loaded grain of rice per day was essential to his win," Vasti said.

The defeated Gupta denied that Bikram’s taunting was a factor in his inability to attain TC.

"I just wasn’t myself today," Gupta commented. "I wasn’t any self today. I was an egoless particle of the universal no-soul."

In the second event, flexibility, Bikram maintained the lead by supporting himself on his index fingers for the entire 15 minutes while touching the back of his skull to his lower spine. The feat was matched by Gupta, who first used the position at the 1990 Tokyo Zen-Off.

"That’s my meditative position of spiritual ecstasy, not his," remarked Gupta. "He stole my thunder."

Bikram denied the charge, saying, "Gupta’s been talking like that ever since he was a 3rd century Egyptian slave-owner."

Nevertheless, a strong showing by Gupta in the third event, the shotput, placed him within a lotus petal of the lead at the competition’s halfway point.

But event number four, the contemplation of unanswerable riddles known as koans, proved the key to victory for Bikram. The koan had long been thought the weak point of his spiritual arsenal, but his response to today’s riddle–"Show me the face you had before you were born"–was reportedly "extremely illuminative," according to Commissioner Prabhupada.

While koan answers are kept secret from the public for fear of exposing the uninitiated multitudes to the terror of universal truth, insiders claim his answer had Prabhupada and the two other judges "highly enlightened."

With the event victory, Bikram built himself a nearly insurmountable lead, one he sustained through the yak-milk churn and breathing events to come away with the upset victory.

Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself.

October 2, 1997

I work with a guy whose voice sounds like a cross between Gomer Pyle and Dudley Dooright (an old cartoon character for those of you who might not be familiar with him). Naturally, I tried impersonating this voice, and experts have assured me that I do it very successfully. (Even my boss has said that, when she hears the voice, she’s never sure whether it’s really him or whether it’s me making fun of him.) And being the kind of person I am, I tried it in front of him. He found it as funny as everyone else, but unfortunately it gave him ideas. He’s convinced that, if I talk to his wife on the phone, she’ll never know the difference. I’ve tried to convince him not to let me do this. I’ve explained that, if I talk to his wife on the phone, I won’t be able to resist the temptation to do something like this: "Hi honey, how are…<strange guttural noises followed by a dramatically deeper and rougher voice> I’M POSSESSED." His wife has no sense of humor. She’s also, well, more than a little religious. Although he doesn’t believe me, I’m convinced that, if I did this, I’d be reading his obituary in the paper the next morning. Then again, it would be really funny. Ah, what the heck? I think it’s worth it, and there’s the assurance that, after he’s gone, his voice will still live among us. Oh, by the way, have a good weekend everybody. I’m skipping out early.

CANBERRA, ACT – Peter Fyfe, Director, Residences at the University of Canberra and father of two, has announced plans to outsource his children to a private enterprise specializing in child rearing as part of his family’s cost saving effort. Fyfe said that his request for proposals will go out very soon, and that he hopes that a contractor will be in place by Christmas 1997.

Fyfe says that he anticipates saving 25% of his child rearing expenses by hiring a company which specializes in the field. He believes that between the things that his kids destroy, the wear and tear the kids put on the family residence and vehicles, and the other expenses such as school and activities, he should be able to pay a private firm about 75% of what he currently spends on his children.

Although his children have expressed concern that being raised by non-parents would be impersonal and would deprive them of some of their current privileges, Fyfe has worked to alleviate their fears. He held a family dinner meeting to announce the decision and told the kids that mere parents don’t really know how to raise kids until the kids are grown. This is obvious because every grandparent on the street has advice to give to any parent they meet. A professional child rearing service would already know how to raise children and not make the mistakes of a rookie parent.

The outsource proposal requires companies to provide the children with benefits at least the same overall level as they receive at home, with some benefits (TV hours for example) expanding, while others (parental attention) declining. The proposal mandates certain "core" benefits, such as food, clothing, and schooling; but, leaves the non-core (music, sport, television) at the discretion of the contractor.

The outsourcing would phase in over a six month period, with the children initially spending daytime hours at their outsource site and sleeping at their parent’s home; but, as space becomes available offsite, the children will begin spending all their time away from home except when they are desperately needed at home (for example, when the yard needs "patrolling").

The children originally expressed dismay at residing off-site, but Fyfe told them that they would have weekly visitation to the house to retrieve any personal belongings, get new books, ‘perform’ on their musical instruments or talk to, their parents. This would also allow the kids to visit their pet (one dog), at least until phase 2 of Fyfe’s cost cutting spree, which includes outsourcing the family pet. Fyfe would not say where he came up with the idea of outsourcing the children, other than to admit that he and his wife were having a discussion about family finances which illustrated the need to raise the family in a "better, faster, cheaper" mode.

Although his wife was initially reluctant to have the children raised offsite, Fyfe convinced her to accept the scheme because she too was eligible for "outsourcing."

Hello, Vincent Price?

September 26, 1997

Once in a while I stay up late and watch horror movies. This is a lousy idea–sometimes I end up afraid to walk through the dark house to the bedroom which is placed, conveniently, as far from the TV room as possible. However, in the event that a serial killer, werewolf, or flesh-eating zombie vampire alien from Hell ever come into my neighborhood, I’m completely prepared. Here are some things I will do: get out of town before dark. And all gas stations I stop at will be well-lit and in VERY public areas with a lot of other people around. If, for some reason, I can’t get out of the house, I’ll lock the door to the basement where the fuse box is. Aliens always go for the fuse box and the phone lines first. I suppose having a cellular phone wouldn’t be a bad idea, but at the first sign of anything suspicious (and there are ALWAYS warning signs) I’m going to have the police on speed dial. Of course, as I know from horror films, police don’t believe in serial killers or werewolves, and the department that handles flesh-eating zombie vampire aliens has been eliminated because of budget cuts. So I’ll tell them something they can believe: there are terrorists in my backyard, and they’ve got a large nuclear device. The cops will show up just because they’ve always wanted to see a nuclear device up close. Here are some things I won’t do: Take a shower. Aliens, werewolves, and serial killers never stick around for more than two hours. Take off all my clothes for any reason. Take off all my clothes for no reason. Assume that the knocking at the door is Jim, the next door neighbor. Open any door that plays eerie music when I approach it.

Enjoy this week’s offering–some REALLY scary stories.

The following are the first three winners of a Most Embarrassing Moment’s Contest in New Woman Magazine.

"It was Christmas Eve, and I was on my feet all day working behind the cosmetics counter. I decided I would find a place to sit for a moment. I spied a tall plastic trash can and plopped down, resting my feet on a cardboard box. I allowed my body to ease into the can.

About that time a few customers came to the register to check out, but I couldn’t get out of the trash can. I was stuck; I couldn’t believe it. The customers came around the counter to help me – some pulled my arms while others held the can.

Then my manager came to the counter, wanting to know what was going on. He said he was going to call the fire department, who blasted in with sirens and lights. My hips had created a vacuum, so they had to cut me out of the trash can with a giant pair of scissors."

-Linda Evans; Winter Park, Florida


"While in line at the bank one afternoon, my toddler decided to release some pent-up energy and ran amok. I was finally able to grab hold of her after receiving looks of disgust and annoyance from other patrons.

I told her that if she did not start behaving *right now*, she would be punished.

To my horror, she looked me in the eye and said in a voice just as threatening, ‘If you don’t let me go *right now*, I will tell Grandma that I saw you kissing Daddy’s pee-pee last night!’

"The silence was deafening after this enlightening exchange. Even the tellers stopped what they were doing! I mustered up the last of my dignity and walked out of the bank with my daughter in tow.

The last thing I heard when the door closed behind me were screams of laughter" -Amy Richardson; Stafford,Virginia


"It was the day before my eighteenth birthday. I was living at home, but my parents had gone out for the evening, so I invited mygirlfriend over for a romantic night alone.

"As we lay in bed after making love, we heard the telephone ring downstairs. I suggested to my girlfriend that I give her a piggyback ride to the phone. Since we didn’t want to miss the call, we didn’t have time to get dressed.

When we got to the bottom of the stairs, the lights suddenly came on and a whole crowd of people yelled, ‘SURPRISE!’

My entire family – aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins – and all my friends were standing there! My girlfriend and I were frozen in a state of shock and embarrassment for what seemed like an eternity.

"Since then, no one in my family has planned a surprise party again." -Dave McCarthy; Fremont, California


At a Santa Fe gas station: "We will sell gasoline to anyone in a glass container."

In a New York restaurant: "Customers who consider our waitresses uncivil ought to see the manager."

On the wall of a Baltimore estate: "Trespassers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.–Sisters of Mercy"

On a long-established New Mexico dry cleaners: "38 years on the same spot."

In a Los Angeles dance hall: "Good clean dancing every night but Sunday."

In a Florida maternity ward: "No children allowed."

In a New York drugstore: "We dispense with accuracy."

In the offices of a loan company: "Ask about our plans for owning your home."

In a New York medical building: "Mental Health Prevention Center"

On a New York convalescent home: "For the sick and tired of the Episcopal Church."

On a Maine shop: "Our motto is to give our customers the lowest possible prices and workmanship.."

At a number of military bases: "Restricted to unauthorized personnel."

On a display of "I love you only" Valentine cards: "Now available in multi-packs."

In the window of a Kentucky appliance store: "Don’t kill your wife. Let our washing machine do the dirty work."

In a funeral parlor: "Ask about our layaway plan."

In a clothing store: "Wonderful bargains for men with 16 and 17 necks." In a Tacoma, Washington men’s clothing store: "15 men’s wool suits, $10. They won’t last an hour!"

On a shopping mall marquee: "Archery Tournament — Ears pierced"

Outside a country shop: "We buy junk and sell antiques."

In the window of an Oregon store: "Why go elsewhere and be cheated when you can come here?"

In a Maine restaurant: "Open 7 days a week and weekends."

On a radiator repair garage: "Best place to take a leak."

In the vestry of a New England church: "Will the last person to leave please see that the perpetual light is extinguished."

In a Pennsylvania cemetery: "Persons are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves."

On a roller coaster: "Watch your head."

On the grounds of a public school: "No trespassing without permission."

On a Tennessee highway: "When this sign is under water, this road is impassable."

Similarly, in front of a New Hampshire car wash: "If you can’t read this, it’s time to wash your car."

Turn it off…

September 19, 1997

Some time ago I was appointed Office Technical Support Liason. This was despite the fact that I have only a vague idea what goes on inside computers–or maybe it was because of that. A vague idea seems to be more than most people have. Basically this is what I do: someone has a problem, I tell them to turn their computer off and turn it back on, and if that doesn’t work, I call someone who actually knows what they’re doing. For some people, though, that wasn’t enough. They should add "And Therapist" to my title. Some people seem to feel that, when their machine has problems, it’s because it doesn’t like them. I’m not really sympathetic–a machine is just a machine, but telling them that doesn’t help. Sometimes your computer has a problem that you just have to work around–it’s part of the basic setup, and it can’t be changed. Some people are the same way. Sometimes you just have to feed their neuroses. So with those people, I say something like, "Wow, looks like your ROM inducer has been infected," and then, while moving cables around, covertly turn their computer off and turn it back on again. Now, if only those people had a switch of their own…

How to keep the office on it’s toes

  • Put a chair facing a printer, sit there all day and tell people you’re waiting for your document.

  • Arrive at a meeting late, say you’re sorry, but you didn’t have time for lunch, and you’re going to be nibbling during the meeting. During the meeting eat 5 entire raw potatoes.

  • Insist that your e-mail address be "" or ""

  • Every time someone asks you to do something, ask them to sign a waiver.

  • Every time someone asks you to do something, ask them if they want fries with that.

  • Find out where your boss shops and buy exactly the same outfits. Always wear them one day after your boss does. (This is especially effective if your boss is a different gender than you are.)

  • Make up nicknames for all your coworkers and refer to them only by these names. "That’s a good point Sparky." "No I’m sorry I’m going to have to disagree with you there, Chachi."

  • Put your garbage can on your desk. Label it "IN."

  • Plant a hedge around your cubicle.

The First Realizations That You’re Not In College Anymore

You’re waking up at 6 am instead of going to bed.

Beers at lunch get you reprimanded.

College sweatshirts are ‘casual’ instead of dress up.

Your parents charge rent.

The four food groups are no longer beer, pizza, ramen and cereal.

It’s ‘getting late’ when it’s 9:30 p.m.

Three words: School Loan Payments.

You make thousands of dollars a year – and still can’t afford that dream Porsche.

You start eyeing the Light Beer Section appreciatively.

Pickup football games mean that at least one person will be in the hospital by game’s end.

THEN, discussing with your friends: GPA’s, phone rates and tonsil hockey; NOW: IRA’s, Interest rates and their kid’s orthodontia.

Sleeping on the couch is a no-no.

Naps are no longer available between noon and 6 p.m.

Sneakers are now ‘weekend shoes’.

Dinner and a movie – The whole date instead of the beginning of one.

Your girlfriend being pregnant brings thought of tax deductions instead of coronaries.

Jack and Cokes become Dewars on the Rocks.

The only drugs you take are Tums and Tylenol.

The weak single you hit in the intramural softball game is now remembered as a Varsity dinger for the League Championship.

You get your news from sources other than USA Today, ESPN Sportscenter and MTV News.

Random hook-ups are no longer acceptable.

You wear more ties/skirts in a week than you even owned while taking classes.

You find yourself reminiscing fondly of 2-hour Calculus exams.

You empathize with the characters from ‘Friends".


Football "season tickets" go FROM $75 for the season with dozens of friends TO $750 for the season with the three other guys who want to get away from the family.

Wine appreciation expands beyond Boone’s and Mad Dog.

You actually eat breakfast foods at breakfast time.

Grocery lists actually contain relatively healthy food.

When drinking, you say at least once per night, ‘I just can’t put it down the same as I used to’.

You are the only person over the age of 16 in your neighborhood with a Sega.

Hold the cream cheese.

September 12, 1997

Someone asked me earlier this week what the shelf life of a bagel is. I wasn’t quite sure, so I did a little research, and, as far as I could determine, the life of bagels is not measured in days of years but in geologic periods. Bagels will probably last longer than coelocanths and horseshoe crabs. This is because bagels are made by boiling and then baking the dough, which not only kills anything that could possibly be living inside them, but makes them impervious to just about anything. Bagels are the ultimate indestructible food, and held that position long before twinkies ever came into existence. And bagels are even better because if you drive over a twinkie, it flattens it. If there’s ever a shortage of rubber, we can use large bagels as tires. You’re probably wondering why bagels are made to withstand conditions that would even kill cockroaches. It’s simple: the tribes of Israel wandered through the desert for forty years. The bagel was invented in case they ever have to do it again.

Enjoy this week’s offering.


… from the Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyers Journal. They are a set of questions asked of witnesses during trials and the author says they are true.

  1. "Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?"

  2. "The youngest son, the twenty-year old, how old is he?"

  3. "Were you alone, or by yourself?"

  4. "Were you present when your picture was taken?"

  5. "Was it you or your younger brother who was killed in the war?"

  6. "Did he kill you?"

  7. "How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?"

  8. "You were there until the time you left, is that true?"

  9. "How many times have you committed suicide?"

  10. Q: "So the date of conception(of the baby), was Aug.8?"
    A: "Yes."
    Q: "And what were you doing at that time?"

  11. Q: "She had three children, right?"
    A: "Yes."
    Q: "How many were boys?"
    A: "None."
    Q: "Were there any girls?"

  12. Q: "You say the stairs went down to the basement?"
    A: "Yes."
    Q: "And these stairs, did they go up also?"

  13. Q: "Mr. Slatery, you went on a rather elaborate honeymoon, didn’t you?"
    A: "I went to Europe, sir."
    Q: "And you took your new wife?"

  14. Q: "How was your first marriage terminated?"
    A: "By death."
    Q: "And by who’s death was it terminated?"

  15. Q: "Can you describe the individual?"
    A: "He was about medium height and had a beard."
    Q: "Was this a male, or a female?"

  16. Q: "Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?"
    A: "No, this is how I dress when I go to work."

  17. Q: "Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?"
    A: "All my autopsies are performed on dead people."

  18. Q: "All your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you go to?"
    A: "Oral."

  19. Q: "Do you recall the time that you examined the body?"
    A: "The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m."
    Q: "And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time?"
    A: "No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy."

  20. Q: "You were not shot in the fracas?"
    A: "No, I was shot midway between the fracas and the navel."

  21. Q: "Are you qualified to give a urine sample?"
    A: "I have been since early childhood."


  1. Leave the copy machine set to enlarge 200%, extra dark, 17×11 inch paper, 99 copies.

  2. In the memo field of all your checks, write "for sensual massage."

  3. Specify that your drive-through order is "to go."

  4. If you have a glass eye, tap on it occasionally with your pen while talking to others.

  5. Stomp on little plastic ketchup packets.

  6. Insist on keeping your car windshield wipers running in all weather conditions "to keep them tuned up."

  7. Reply to everything someone says with "that’s what YOU think."

  8. Practice making fax and modem noises.

  9. Highlight irrelevant information in scientific papers and "cc" them to your boss.

  10. Finish all your sentences with the words "in accordance with prophesy."

  11. Signal that a conversation is over by clamping your hands over your ears.

  12. Disassemble your pen and "accidentally" flip the ink cartridge across the room.

  13. Holler random numbers while someone is counting.

  14. Adjust the tint on your TV so that all the people are green, and insist to others that you "like it that way."

  15. Staple papers in the middle of the page.

  16. Publicly investigate just how slowly you can make a "croaking" noise.

  17. Honk and wave to strangers.

  18. Decline to be seated at a restaurant, and simply eat their complimentary mints by the cash register.


  20. type only in lowercase.

  21. dont use any punctuation either

  22. Buy a large quantity of orange traffic cones and reroute whole streets.

  23. Repeat the following conversation a dozen times: "Do you hear that?" "What?" "Never mind, it’s gone now."

  24. As much as possible, skip rather than walk.

  25. Try playing the William Tell Overture by tapping on the bottom of your chin. When nearly done, announce, "no, wait, I messed it up," and repeat.

  26. Ask people what gender they are.

  27. While making presentations, occasionally bob your head like a parakeet.

  28. Sit in your front yard pointing a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.

  29. Sing along at the opera.

  30. Go to a poetry recital and ask why each poem doesn’t rhyme.

  31. Ask your co-workers mysterious questions and then scribble their answers in a notebook. Mutter something about "psychological profiles."

  32. Send e-mail jokes relentlessly to friends until they regret the day that they ever bought a PC and told you their email address!


I’ll tell you what’s in a name…

September 5, 1997

I got a package the other day addressed to "Chris Wedlrip". It didn’t come as much of a suprise. It was only the latest in a long series of mutations of my name by various agents of public service. The problem, I think, is not that I have a weird name, but that it just borders on normal. If my name were "Yezmulkveschtein" it would prompt the immediate question, "How do you spell that?" No, my name just makes people try to guess. "Waldron? Waldrot? Waldrip?" I don’t follow car racing, but I know there’s a driver named Daryl Waltrip because people have asked me if I’m related to him since I was four years old. It’s gotten so that I dread having to give my name. At restaurants, pizza delivery places–anywhere I have to give my name, I always consider saying "Jones" so I won’t have to go throyugh the ordeal of hearing, "Waldrep? Waldorp? Are you related to that race car driver?" Occasionally someone asks how to spell my name. Even rarer, although it has been known to happen, someone actually gets it right. But usually when that happens they write down "Kris". Enjoy this week’s offering. My apologies to all blondes out there, but I just couldn’t resist. I followed it up with some really obscure facts you can use to dazzle people.

Once there was a blonde who got DARNED sick and tired of those jokes mocking blondes for a low I.Q.

She therefore resolved to prove that blonds could be as smart as anyone else. She spent several weeks studiously peering at a map…

The next time some one attempted to tell a Blonde Joke, she riposted "Well, I’m a blonde and I’m NOT stupid! I’ll have you know I’ve memorized the Capitals of every state in the union!"

"So what’s the capital of Vermont?" inquired a sceptic.

The blonde replied, "’V!"

A blonde woman is driving along a country road, out in rolling hills of the Midwest, when she sees some movement off in the distance. As she gets closer, she realizes that it is another blonde woman in a rowboat in the middle of a field rowing the boat like crazy.

She stops her car at the side of the road and gets out. She yells out to the blonde in the rowboat, "What the &$%# are you doing?" The blonde in the boat, obviously flustered, yells back, "I have got to hurry up and get home in time for dinner or I will be in real trouble!"

The blonde at the side of the road is aggravated. "I can’t believe this! You are out in the middle of a field in a row boat! It’s blondes like you that give blondes like me a bad name! In fact, if I could swim, I would swim out there and kick your butt!"

This blonde goes to the Western Union office and says, "I just have to get an urgent message to my mother in Europe." The clerk says it will be $100, and she replies "But I don’t have any money…. and I *must* get a message to her, it’s urgent!… I’ll do anything to get a message to her." The clerk replies "Anything?" "Yes…. ANYTHING!" replies the blonde. He leads her back to his office and closes the door. He tells her to kneel in front of him. "Unzip me…" She does. "Take it out….. go ahead." She does this as well. She looks up at him, his member in her hands and he says "Well… go ahead.. do it.." She brings her lips close to it and shouts "Hello?…. Mom?"

There was this blonde who bought a coach ticket to go to Chicago. She boards the plane and sits in the first class area. The stewardess comes over and says "ma’am your ticket says coach you must move to the coach area". The blonde says "I’m blonde beautiful and going to Chicago". The stewardess says "you must move to the coach area". The blonde says "I’m blonde beautiful and going to Chicago". The stewardess goes over and gets the head stewardess. The head stewardess comes over and says "ma’am you must move to coach." The blonde says "I’m blonde beautiful and going to Chicago". The stewardesses look at each other and decide to go get the captain. The captain comes over and says" ma’am your ticket says coach you must move to the coach area". The blonde says "I’m blonde beautiful and going to Chicago". The captain shakes his head and bends down and whispers in her ear. All of a sudden she jumps up grabs her luggage and goes over to the coach area. The stewardesses look at each other and ask the captain "What did you say to her?" The captain says " I told her first class wasn’t going to Chicago."

Five blondes go into a bar and one of them says to the bartender, "A round of drinks for me and my friends." They get their drinks and the raise their glasses to a toast of, "To 51 days!" and they drink. The "head blonde" asks the bartender to set them up again. Again, the blondes toast "To 51 days!" and they drink. After they order a third round, the bartender says that he has to ask what the toast means. The head blonde says, "We just finished a jigsaw puzzle. On the box it said, "two to four years" and we finished it in 51 days".

A duck’s quack doesn’t echo, and no one knows why.

In the 1940s, the FCC assigned television’s Channel 1 to mobile services (two-way radios in taxicabs, for instance) but did not re-number the other channel assignments. That is why your TV set has channels 2 and up, but no channel 1.

A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle, a group of geese in the air is a skein.

The underside of a horse’s hoof is called a frog. The frog peels off several times a year with new growth.

The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments

The "save" icon on Microsoft Word shows a floppy disk, with the shutter on backwards.

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

The verb "cleave" is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.

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

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

The shape of plant collenchyma cells and the shape of the bubbles in beer foam are the same – they are orthotetrachidecahedrons.

The word ‘pound’ is abbreviated ‘lb.’ after the constellation ‘libra’ because it means ‘pound’ in Latin, and also ‘scales’. The abbreviation for the British Pound Sterling comes from the same source: it is an ‘L’ for Libra/Lb. with a stroke through it to indicate abbreviation. Same goes for the Italian lira which uses the same abbreviation (‘lira’ coming from ‘libra’). So British currency (before it went metric) was always quoted as "pounds/shillings/pence", abbreviated "L/s/d" (libra/solidus/denarius).

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

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

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

Pinocchio is Italian for "pine head."

Camel’s milk does not curdle.

In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.

An animal epidemic is called an epizootic.

Murphy’s Oil Soap is the chemical most commonly used to clean elephants.

The United States has never lost a war in which mules were used.

Blueberry Jelly Bellies were created especially for Ronald Reagan.

All porcupines float in water.

Hang On Sloopy is the official rock song of Ohio.

There are coffee flavored PEZ.

The world’s largest wine cask is in Heidelberg, Germany.

Lorne Greene had one of his nipples bitten off by an alligator while he was host of "Lorne Greene’s Wild Kingdom."

Cat’s urine glows under a blacklight.

If you bring a raccoon’s head to the Henniker, New Hampshire town hall, you are entitled to receive $.10 from the town.

St. Stephen is the patron saint of bricklayers.

The first song played on Armed Forces Radio during operation Desert Shield was "Rock the Casba" by the Clash.

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

Non-dairy creamer is flammable.

The airplane Buddy Holly died in was the "American Pie." (Thus the name of the Don McLean song.)

Texas is also the only state that is allowed to fly its state flag at the same height as the U.S. flag.

The only nation who’s name begins with an "A", but doesn’t end in an " A" is Afghanastan.

The names of the three wise monkeys are: Mizaru: See no evil, Mikazaru: Hear no evil, and Mazaru: Speak no evil.

When opossums are playing ‘possum, they are not "playing." They actually pass out from sheer terror.

The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history. Spades – King David, Clubs – Alexander the Great, Hearts – Charlemagne, and Diamonds – Julius Caesar.