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In the News…

September 25, 1998

In the news this week, it’s campaign season again. Like Christmas it comes earlier every year, and most people promise themselves, as soon as it’s over, that they’re going to be prepared and still end up making a lot of bad decisions at the last minute. Like bad Christmas gifts, lousy politicians are expensive and cannot be returned to the place they came from because, frankly, no one really wants them. And like the inevitable Christmas fruitcake, they seem really good when you read about them, and they’re full of things that, separately, sound really good but have been ruined by the process that turned them into fruitcakes. I’m sure all of you are more than capable of coming up with more resemblances between politicians and fruitcakes, so here’s are some reasons politicians aren’t like fruitcakes: it’s easy to throw away a fruitcake, fruitcakes will eventually decompose, fruitcakes will not accept bribes, preside over witch hunts, accuse other fruitcakes of being fruitcakes while claiming they themselves are twenty-two grain wheatbread, or with a straight face tell you they have your best interests at heart then give you stomach ulcers. Finally, fruitcakes will never come up with inane campaign slogans like this one I saw today: "Vote for Nate! He’s first rate! He’ll delegate, regulate, and be just great!" Really? He just made me want to regurgitate.


SO WHAT ARE YOU SMUGGLING?

Juan comes up to the Mexican border on his bicycle. He has two large bags over his shoulders. The guard stops him and says, "What’s in the bags?"

"Sand," answered Juan.

The guard says, "We’ll just see about that. Get off the bike."

The guard takes the bags and rips them apart; he empties them out and finds nothing in them but sand. He detains Juan overnight and has the sand analyzed, only to discover that there is nothing but pure sand in the bags The guard releases Juan, puts the sand into new bags, hefts them onto the man’s shoulders, and lets him cross the border.

A week later, the same thing happens. The guard asks, "What have you got?"

"Sand," says Juan.

The guard does his thorough examination and discovers that the bags contain nothing but sand. He gives the sand back to Juan, and Juan crosses the border on his bicycle.

This sequence of events if repeated every day for three years. Finally, Juan doesn’t show up one day and the guard meets him in a Cantina in Mexico.

"Hey, Buddy," says the guard, "I know you are smuggling something. It’s driving me crazy. It’s all I think about….. I can’t sleep. Just between you and me, what are you smuggling?"

Juan sips his beer and says, "Bicycles."


You might be a teacher if…

You believe the staff room should have a Valium salt lick.

You find humor is other people’s stupidity.

You want to slap the next person who says, "Must be nice to have all your holidays and summers free.

You can tell it’s a full moon without ever looking outside.

You believe "shallow gene pool" should have it’s own box on the report card.

You believe that unspeakable evil will befall you if anyone says, "Boy, the kids are sure mellow today."

When out in public, you feel the urge to talk to strange children and correct their behavior.

Marking all A’s on the report card would make your life SOOO much simpler.

When you mention "vegetables" and you’re not talking about a food group.

You think people should be required to get a government permit before being allowed to reproduce.

You wonder how some parents ever MANAGED to reproduce.

You believe in aerial spraying of Prozac.

You really encourage an obnoxious parent to check into home schooling.

You’ve never had your profession slammed by someone who would NEVER DREAM of doing your job.

You can’t have children of your own, because there is NO name you could give a child that wouldn’t bring on high blood pressure the moment you heard it.

Meeting a child’s parents INSTANTLY answers the question, "Why is this kid like this?"

Yes, I have lost my mind.

September 18, 1998

Because shopping requires so little brainpower, I’m always on the lookout for strange and innovative products in the grocery store. This week’s winner is: sauerkraut juice. I’m not kidding. The same people who make sauerkraut in a jar, sauerkraut in a can, and sauerkraut that already comes with a written list of comments your kids can make when you put sauerkraut in front of them (including such appetizing remarks as, "What monkey threw this up?") apparently took a complete holiday from reality and decided to try to carve a wedge out of the juice market. So, in my local grocery store, and probably in yours too, in the same aisle where you find beet juice, clam juice, and tomato-orange-mutton juice cocktail, you can now find aluminum cans of sauerkraut juice sold in six-packs for convenience.

Why would anyone want or need sauerkraut juice? Well, let’s say you’re throwing an elegant dinner party for the ambassador from Austria and you realize that you don’t have any sauerkraut to serve alongside the lobster thermidor. How embarrassing! And, as so often happens, all the grocery stores in town are out of sauerkraut, but one does happen to have just one sixpack of sauerkraut juice left. So you buy half a dozen cabbages, chop them into a pot, and pour sauerkraut juice over the whole thing and cook it. This is, believe it or not, how regular sauerkraut is made. It’s a little known fact that most store-bought varieties of sauerkraut are made with juice stock that is decades old and has been recycled countless times. There are huge refineries that capture sauerkraut juice from kitchen sinks and landfills everywhere.

Recently, though, successful experiments with sauerkraut cloning have threatened to make these factories obsolete, which would cost millions of workers their jobs and cripple sauerkraut-based economies all over the world. In response, the sauerkraut industry has boldly moved into the juice market. And just think of the possibilities! You can put it in your childrens’ lunches. You can replace your friend’s soda for a prank. And what drab punch wouldn’t be livened up with a shot or two of sauerkraut juice? So support the workers and be the life of the party–buy some sauerkraut juice today!


FOOD SPOILAGE TABLE

THE GAG TEST
Anything that makes you gag is spoiled (except for leftovers from what you cooked for yourself last night).

EGGS
When something starts pecking its way out of the shell, the egg is probably past its prime.

DAIRY PRODUCTS
Milk is spoiled when it starts to look like yogurt. Yogurt is spoiled when it starts to look like cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is spoiled when it starts to look like regular cheese. Regular cheese is nothing but spoiled milk anyway and can’t get any more spoiled than it is already.

MAYONNAISE
If it makes you violently ill after you eat it, then the mayonnaise is spoiled.

FROZEN FOODS
Frozen foods that have become an integral part of the defrosting problem in your freezer compartment will probably be spoiled – (or wrecked anyway) by the time you pry them out with a kitchen knife.

MEAT
If opening the refrigerator door causes stray animals from a three-block radius to congregate outside your house, the meat is spoiled.

LETTUCE
Bib lettuce is spoiled when you can’t get it off the bottom of the vegetable crisper without Comet.

CANNED GOODS
Any canned goods that have become the size or shape of a basketball should be disposed of. Carefully.

CARROTS
A carrot that you can tie a clove hitch in is not fresh.

WINE
It should not taste like salad dressing.

POTATOES
Fresh potatoes do not have roots, branches, or dense, leafy undergrowth.

CHIP DIP
If you can take it out of its container and bounce it on the floor, it has gone bad.

GENERAL RULE OF THUMB:
Most food cannot be kept longer than the average life span of a hamster. Keep a hamster in your refrigerator to gauge this.


  • Whose cruel idea was it for the word "lisp" to have an "s" in it?

  • Light travels faster than sound – isn’t that why some people appear bright until you hear them speak?

  • How come abbreviated is such a long word?

  • If it’s zero degrees outside today and it’s supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be?

  • Why do you press harder on a remote-control when you know the battery is dead?

  • Since Americans throw rice at weddings, do people in Asia throw hamburgers?

  • Why are they called buildings, when they’re already finished? Shouldn’t they be called builts?

  • Why are they called apartments when they’re all stuck together?

  • Why do people without a watch look at their wrist when you ask them what time it is?

  • Why do you ask someone without a watch what time it is?

  • Why does sour cream have an expiration date?

  • Who is general failure and why is he reading my disk?

  • The light went out, but where to?

  • Why do banks charge you a non-sufficient funds fee on money they already know you don’t have?

  • Does the reverse side also have a reverse side?

  • Why is the alphabet in that order?

  • If the universe is everything, and scientists say that the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?

  • Why is a carrot more orange than an orange?

  • When two airplanes almost collide why do they call it a near miss? Shouldn’t it be called a near hit?

  • Do fish get cramps after eating?

  • Why are there 5 syllables in the word "monosyllabic"?

  • Why do they call it the Department of the Interior when they are in charge of everything outdoors?

  • Why do scientists call it research when looking for something new?

  • When I erase a word with a pencil, where does it go?

  • Why is it, when a door is open it’s ajar, but when a jar is open, it’s not a door?

  • How come Superman could stop bullets with his chest, but always ducked when someone threw a gun at him?

  • If "con" is the opposite of "pro", then what is the opposite of progress? (go on – go there)

  • Why is lemon juice mostly artificial ingredients but dishwashing liquid contains real lemons?

  • How much deeper would the ocean be if sponges didn’t grow in it?

  • Why buy a product that it takes 2000 flushes to get rid of?

  • Why do we wash bath towels? Aren’t we clean when we use them?

  • Why do we put suits in a garment bag and put garments in a suitcase?

  • Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

  • Do Roman paramedics refer to IV’s as "4’s"?

  • Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard?

  • If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes? Neanderthals are extinct.

  • Should you trust a stockbroker who’s married to a travel agent?

  • Is boneless chicken considered an invertebrate?

  • Do married people live longer than single people or does it just SEEM longer?

  • 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.

  • If all those psychics know the winning lottery numbers, why are they all still working?

Horror-scopes

September 11, 1998

A local weekly newspaper has a creative and amusing horoscope writer who sounds, even to an open-minded skeptic like myself, almost believable. (For those of you who are wondering what an open-minded skeptic is, here’s an example: I firmly believe there are intelligent creatures on other planets, but it’s going to take more than the Weekly World News and three-dozen abductees from trailer parks to convince me that they’re actually visiting us.) The predictions are also never bad–at least until yesterday. "If I could, Sagittarius, I’d send you a tape with nothing but Credence Clearwater Revival’s Bad Moon Risin’ on it. Listening to it repeatedly might help you sidestep what’s coming, but I doubt it." Skeptic though I may be, I’m open-minded enough to be completely terrorized by such a prediction. So I went for a second opinion. Every horoscope I could find told me the same thing: dark and mysterious forces were moving my way.

I once read a horoscope that said, "Today, try to avoid being run over by a delivery truck." Now I had the feeling that I could be buried in a bunker in the desert, and that not only would the delivery truck still find me, but that being run over was unavaoidable. The stress gave me a headache, so, while digging in my desk for some aspirin that I hoped would not be laced with arsenic, I found a fortune cookie. I’m sure it was a sign. Forces I don’t believe in but am still inclined to treat with respect were operating in strange ways. I opened the cookie and read: "Always get a second opinion." Well THAT helped a lot! If you don’t hear from me next week, here’s a bit of advice: don’t believe everything you read.

Enjoy this week’s offerings you can really believe in.


Bumper sticker messages

Wanted: Meaningful overnight relationship.

I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Don’t take life too seriously: You’re not getting out alive, anyway.

I got a gun for my wife. Best trade I ever made.

Jesus may love you, but he won’t respect you in the morning.

Anyone can give up smoking, but it takes a REAL man to face cancer.

I need someone really bad… Are you really bad?

To all you virgins… thanks for nothing.

I’m not a complete idiot. Some parts are missing.

My kid had sex with your honor student.

If something goes without saying, LET IT!

Help wanted — telepathy: you know where to apply.

Jesus paid for our sins… Now, lets get our money’s worth!

I don’t have to be dead to donate my organ. Want it?

WARNING! Driver only carries $20.00 in ammunition.

I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather… not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

God loves stupid people. That’s why he made so many.

I said "NO" to drugs… but they just WOULDN’T listen.

I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.

When you do a good deed, get a receipt in case heaven is like the IRS.

Rainy days and automatic weapons always get me down.

When there’s a Will, I want to be in it!

Warning: Dates on calendar are closer than they appear.

Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

Don’t drink and drive. You might hit a bump, and spill your drink.

Elvis is dead, and I’m not feeling so marvelous myself.

Always remember you’re unique, just like everyone else.

Very funny, Scotty… Now beam down my clothes!

Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy.

Be nice to your kids. They’ll choose your nursing home.


It has come to our attention recently that many of you have been turning in time sheets that specify large amounts of Miscellaneous Unproductive Time (code 5309). To our department, unproductive time is not a problem. What is a problem, however, is not knowing exactly what you are doing with your unproductive time. The newly installed Activity Based Costing Financial System requires additional information to achieve its goals. Attached below is a sheet specifying a tentative extended job code list based on our observations of employee activities. The list will allow you to specify with better precision what you are doing during your unproductive time. Please begin using this job code list immediately and let us know about any difficulties you may encounter.

Task Code Explanation:

5000 Surfing the Net
5001 Reading/Writing Social Email
5002 Sharing Social E-Mail (see codes #5003, #5004)
5003 Collecting Jokes and Other Humorous Material via E-Mail
5004 Forwarding Jokes and Other Humorous Material via E-Mail
5005 Faxing Jokes and Other Humorous Material to Friends not on E-Mail
5316 Meeting
5317 Obstructing Communications at Meeting
5318 Trying to sound knowledgeable while in Meeting
5319 Waiting for Break
5320 Waiting for Lunch
5321 Waiting for End of Day
5322 Vicious Verbal Attacks Directed at Coworker
5323 Vicious Verbal Attacks Directed at Coworker while Coworker Is Not Present
5393 Covering for Incompetence of Coworker Friend
5400 Trying to Explain Concept to Coworker Who Is Not Interested in Learning
5401 Trying to Explain Concept to Coworker Who is Stupid
5402 Trying to Explain Concept to Coworker Who Hates Me
5481 Buying Snack
5482 Eating Snack
5500 Filling Out Time Sheet
5501 Inventing Time Sheet Entries
5502 Waiting for Something to Happen
5503 Scratching Myself
5504 Sleeping
5510 Feeling Bored
5600 Bitching about Lousy Job (see code #5610)
5601 Bitching about Low Pay (see code #5610)
5602 Bitching about Long Hours (see code #5610)
5603 Bitching about Coworker (see codes #5322, #5323)
5604 Bitching about Boss (see code #5610)
5605 Bitching about Personal Problems
5610 Searching for a New Job
5640 Miscellaneous Unproductive Bitching
5701 Not Actually Present at Job
5702 Suffering from Eight-Hour Flu
6102 Ordering Out
6103 Waiting for Food Delivery to Arrive
6104 Taking it Easy while Digesting Food
6200 Using Company Resources for Personal Profit
6201 Stealing Company Goods
6202 Making Excuses after Accidentally Destroying Company Goods
6203 Using Company Phone to Make Long-Distance Personal Calls
6206 Gossiping
6207 Planning a Social Event
6210 Feeling Sorry for Myself
6221 Pretending to Work While Boss is Watching
6222 Pretending to Enjoy My Job
6223 Pretending I Like My Coworkers
6224 Pretending I Like Important People When in Reality They Are Jerks
6238 Miscellaneous Unproductive Fantasizing
6601 Running my Own Business on Company Time (see code #6603)
6602 Complaining
6603 Writing a Book on Company Time
6604 Planning a Vacation on Company Time
6611 Staring Into Space
6612 Staring at Computer Screen
6615 Transcendental Meditation
7281 Extended Trip to the Bathroom (at least 10 min.)
7400 Talking with Divorce Lawyer on Phone
7401 Talking with Plumber on Phone
7402 Talking with Dentist on Phone
7403 Talking with Doctor on Phone
7404 Talking with Masseuse on Phone
7405 Talking with House Painter on Phone
7406 Talking with Personal Therapist on Phone
7419 Talking with Miscellaneous Paid Professional on Phone
7425 Talking with Mistress/Boy Toy on Phone (also see code #7400)
7931 Asking Coworker to Aid Me in an Illicit Activity

Put This In Your Funk & Wagnalls!

September 4, 1998

I’m always working to improve my vocabulary. I have a daily calendar with useful words, I subscribe to a few different listservs that give me interesting words, their definitions and origins, and occasionally when writing something, I resort to the dictionary or thesaurus in order to avoid cliches and to find something that will really catch people off guard and grab their attention. Here are just a few of the best words I’ve added to my vocabulary:

boustrophedon (adj)–of or relating to the writing of alternate lines in opposite directions

This comes up in conversations a lot, especially when I say things like, "Does anyone know what ‘boustrophedon’ means?"

farctate (n)–the condition of feeling bloated after a full meal I used this one several times in restaurants where I’m now banned.

ploughbote (n)–from Anglo-Saxon times, this was the legal right of tenant farmers to acquire from their master’s estate the lumber necessary for farming tools. Now it applies to anything that comes out of an office supply closet.

cooperage (n)–the art of making barrels

This one’s incredibly handy at farewell parties, especially ones where you don’t know the person leaving but you’re just there for the food. Go up to the person leaving and say, "So, I hear you’re making the transition from sales to cooperage." Enjoy this week’s offerings.


POINTS TO PONDER

A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the authors of that study: "Duh."
– Conan O’Brien

In elementary school, in case of fire you have to line up in a single file line from smallest to tallest. What is the logic? Do tall people burn slower?
– Warren Hutcherson

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they are okay, then it’s you.
– Rita Mae Brown

If your parents never had children, chances are you won’t either.
– Dick Cavett

I was a vegetarian until I started leaning towards sunlight.
– Rita Rudner

The Swiss have an interesting army. Five hundred years without a war. Pretty impressive. Also pretty lucky for them. Ever see that little Swiss Army knife they have to fight with? Corkscrews. Bottle openers. "Come on, buddy, let’s go! You get past me, the guy in back of me, has got a spoon. Back off! I’ve got toenail clippers right here!"
– Jerry Seinfeld

Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant? I’m halfway through my fishburger and I realize, "Oh my GOSH….I could be eating a slow learner."
– Lynda Montgomery

What do people mean when they say the computer went down on me?
– Marilyn Pittman

Sometimes I think war is God’s way of teaching us geography.
– Paul Rodriguez

I don’t do drugs anymore ’cause I find I get the same effect just by standing up really fast.
– Johnathan Katz

When you look at Prince Charles, don’t you think that someone in the Royal Family KNEW someone in the Royal Family?
– Robin Williams


How to know where drivers are from:

  • One hand on wheel, one hand on horn: Chicago
  • One hand on wheel, one finger out window: New York
  • One hand on wheel, one hand on newspaper, foot solidly on accelerator: Boston
  • One hand on wheel, cradling cell phone,brick on accelerator: California. With gun in lap: L.A.
  • Both hands on wheel, eyes shut, both feet on brake, quivering in terror: Ohio, but driving in California.
  • Both hands in air, gesturing, both feet on accelerator, head turned to talk to someone in back seat: Italy
  • One hand on latte, one knee on wheel, cradling cell phone, foot on brake, mind on game: Seattle
  • One hand on wheel, one hand on hunting rifle, alternating between both feet being on the accelerator and both on the brake, throwing a McDonalds bag out the window: Texas city male
  • One hand on wheel, one hand hanging out the window, keeping speed steadily at 70mph, driving down the center of the road unless coming around a blind curve, in which case they are on the left side of the road: Texas country male
  • One hand constantly refocusing the rear-view mirror to show different angles of the BIG hair, one hand going between mousse, brush, and rat-tail to keep the helmet hair going, both feet on the accelerator, poodle steering the car, chrome .38 revolver with mother of pearl inlaid handle in the glove compartment: Texas female
  • Both hands on steering wheel in a relaxed posture, eyes constantly checking the rear-view mirror to watch for visible emissions from their own or another’s car: Colorado
  • One hand on steering wheel, yelling obscenities, the other hand waving gun out the window and firing repeatedly, keeping a careful eye out for landmarks along the way so as to be able to come back and pick up any bullets that didn’t hit other motorists so as not to litter: Colorado resident on spotting a car with Texas plate.
  • Four wheel drive pickup truck, shotgun mounted in rear window, beer cans on floor, squirrel tails attached to antenna: West Virginia male.
  • Junker, driven by someone who previously had a nice car and who is now wearing a barrel: Las Vegas
  • Two hands gripping wheel, blue hair barely visible above window level, driving 35 on the interstate in the left lane with the left blinker on: Florida "seasoned citizen" driver, also known as "no-see-um" (or could it be Marge Simpson?)
  • Two hands on the wheel, driving forty-five in a seventy mph zone in the left lane, with the left turn signal on, and making a right turn: New Mexico resident (as anyone who has ever driven through this lovely state can attest)

Hurricane Bubba

August 28, 1998

It’s hurricane season again. Hurricanes are large Atlantic storms that, for some reason, are given the names of relatives like "Bonnie" and "Andrew". This is because people respond to hurricanes exactly the way they respond to surprise visits from their relatives: they board up their houses and go somewhere far away until the danger passes. Where I am, of course, I never have to worry about hurricanes. Instead I have to worry about tornadoes and, my favorite part, the news coverage of the aftermath of tornadoes. The news coverage is always the best part because, given a group of well-dressed professionals, reporters will home in on the toothless guy wearing overalls and a baseball cap that says, "Guns don’t kill people–I DO!" as the best representative of the community. You may recall that my area had a tornado scare a few months ago. At a crucial moment, a weather report was interrupted by a DJ’s interview with a "local man" who had had a tornado go right through his yard. It went something like this:

Local Man: "It just went right through mah yard and picked up my daughter’s tramp’line, threw it against a tree, and bent it all to hail."

DJ: "How big was it?"

Local Man: "It was twelve feet by eight feet. But it’s all bent to hail. I don’t think it can be fixed."

DJ: "Well, at least your family’s safe."

Local Man: "Yeah, I guess, but I ain’t lookin’ forward to tellin’ my daughter what happened to her tramp’line." Someone I talked to this morning said, "I’d rather go through a hurricane than a tornado." Some people just don’t understand the value of good entertainment.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


I can please only one person per day. Today is not your day. And tomorrow isn’t looking good either.

Someday we’ll look back on all this and plow into a parked car.

I don’t have an attitude problem. You have a perception problem.

Everyone has a right to be stupid. Some just abuse the privilege.

Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, "Where the hell is the ceiling?!"

Indecision is the key to flexibility.

Having an out of body experience. Back in five.

I have not yet begun to procrastinate.

I don’t suffer from stress. I’m a carrier.


A married couple went to the hospital together to have their baby delivered. Upon their arrival, the doctor said he had invented a new machine that would transfer a portion of the mother’s labor pain to the father. He asked if they were willing to try it out. They were both very much in favor of it.

The doctor set the knob to 10 percent for starters, explaining that even 10 percent was probably more pain than the father had ever experienced before.

But as the labor progressed, the husband felt fine, so he asked the doctor to go ahead and bump it up a notch. The doctor then adjusted the machine to 20 percent pain transfer.

The husband was still feeling fine. The doctor checked the husband’s blood pressure and pulse and was amazed at how well he was doing. At this, they decided to try for 50 percent.

The husband continued to feel quite well. Since it was obviously helping out his wife considerably, he encouraged the doctor to transfer ALL the pain to him. The wife delivered a healthy baby with virtually no pain. She and her husband were ecstatic, as well as the doctor, because his new invention was a success.

When they got home, the milkman was dead on their porch.

Thanks a Lot!

August 21, 1998

I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank the people who don’t receive the direct weekly mailings, but who drop in to read the page and occasionally make comments. All three of you have really made me feel that taking ten minutes out of my week is worth it. Thanks especially to the guy who said, "Man, that was hilarious! That thing after the ‘Forwarded Message Follows’ was just great! Oh yeah, about that crap at the beginning–something about your uncle or telephones or something. What’s up with that?" Those sort of sparkling comments really help to brighten up already bright days. I would, however, really like to thank the reader out there who gave me some real information about the candiru, the Amazonian fish that…well, you know. It seems that the fish really does exist, and, although I overlooked this at the time, the warning is against urinating in the Amazon WHILE SWIMMING. I was confused because, around several rivers, including the Amazon, there are local legends about fish that can swim up a trail of urine while a man is standing on the bank of the river demonstrating his abilities as a fireman. As you can imagine, these stories are always told by people who live downstream. For more information about the candiru, as well as a bibliography, see the following:

http://www.urbanlegends.com/animals/candiru_urethra.html

And enjoy this week’s offerings. Man, are they hilarious!


A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts:

"Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?"

The man below says: "Yes you’re in a hot air balloon, hovering 30 feet above this field."

"You must be an engineer" says the balloonist.

"I am" replies the man. "How did you know?"

"Well" says the balloonist, "everything you have told me is technically correct, but it’s no use to anyone."

The man below says "You must be in upper management."

"I am" replies the balloonist, "but how did you know?"

"Well," says the man, "you don’t know where you are, or where you’re going, but you expect me to be able to help. You’re in the same position you were before we met, but now it’s my fault."


Only in America…can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance…

Only in America…are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink…

Only in America…do people order double cheese burgers, a large fry, and a diet coke…

Only in America…do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters…

Only in America…do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and leave useless things and junk in boxes in the garage…

Only in America…do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won’t miss a call from someone we didn’t want to talk to in the first place…

Only in America…do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight…

I’ve Lived All My Life In This Weird Wonderland

August 14, 1998

"I keep buying products I don’t understand. ‘Cause they promise me miracles, magic, and hope, But somehow it always turns out to be soap!" -Allen Sherman

Where would we be without commercials? I’m so grateful to commercials for finally having shown me the real way to live my life. Apparently I’ve been doing things wrong all along. Here are a few changes I’ll be making in my lifestyle, thanks to commercials:

  • Whenever I take the dog out, I’ll go in my underwear, and I’ll make sure to take along a clean pair to wave in front of the dog’s face.

  • Eating a particular brand of chips will always be accompanied by a well-choreographed but spontaneous dance routine involving every person within a six-mile radius, except for the one guy who’s eating some other brand of chips.

  • I’ll sit around and eat other brands of chips as though it’s the greatest thing in the world. Eating chips with friends will take the place of any conversation.

  • I’ll remember that some products are more important than petty things like family members or close friends.

  • Anytime I ask for anything, I’ll ask for its full brand name, and be sure to mention the name of the company that makes it, but forget to say "Please" or "Thank you". Finally, if I should happen to win the lottery, I’ll remember that wealth pales in comparison to the joy of a greasy taco made from mass-produced parts and low-grade beef, and slapped together by a kid who can barely afford to go to a state college.

Enjoy this week’s offerings–with no money down and no obligation!


Why do banks charge you a "non-sufficient funds fee" on money they already know you don’t have?

Why do you press harder on a remote control when you know the battery is dead?

Light travels faster than sound. Is that why some people appear bright until you hear them speak?

If it’s zero degrees outside today and it’s supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be?

Isn’t Disney World a people trap operated by a mouse?

Why are they called buildings, when they’re already finished? Shouldn’t they be called builts?

Why is the alphabet in that order?

If the universe is everything, and scientists say that the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?

If you got into a taxi and the driver started driving backward, would the taxi driver end up owing you money? (I’ve tried it, it doesn’t work)

Why is a carrot more orange than an orange?

Why are there 5 syllables in the word "monosyllabic"?

Why do scientists call it research when looking for something new?

If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?

When I erase a word with a pencil, where does it go?

Why is it, when a door is open it’s ajar, but when a jar is open, it’s not a door?

Why do we put suits in a garment bag and put garments in a suitcase?


ADDITIONS TO MURPHY’S LAWS

"The Law of Volunteering"
If you dance with a grizzly bear, you had better let him lead.

"The Law of Avoiding Oversell"
When putting cheese in a mousetrap, always leave room for the mouse.

"The Law of Common Sense"
Never accept a drink from a urologist.

"The Law of Reality"
Never get into fights with ugly people, they have nothing to lose.

"The Law of Self Sacrifice"
When you starve with a tiger, the tiger starves last.

"Weiler’s Law"
Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn’t have to do it himself.

"Law of Probable Dispersal"
Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.

"Law of Volunteer Labor"
People are always available for work in the past tense.

"Conway’s Law"
In any organization there is one person who knows what is going on. That person must be fired.

"Iron Law of Distribution"
Them that has, gets.

"Law of Cybernetic Entomology"
There is always one more bug.

"Law of Drunkenness"
You can’t fall off the floor.

"Heller’s Law"
The first myth of management is that it exists.

"Osborne’s Law"
Variables won’t; constants aren’t.

"Main’s Law"
For every action there is an equal and opposite government program.

"Weinberg’s Second Law"
If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would have destroyed civilization.


Two blondes were walking through the woods and came upon a set of tracks. One blonde said that they were deer tracks. The other blonde said that they were moose tracks.

They were still arguing when the train hit ’em.

What Do You Mean It Was Brimming?

August 7, 1998

I just got a new word processing program and put it to the ultimate test. I’d like to share the results–with apologies to Lewis Carrol.

‘Twas brimming and the stilly totes
Did gyrate and gamble in the wage,
All misty were the boroughs,
And the mom rates outgeneral.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jujube bird and shun
The furious bandstand!"

He took his vortex sword in hand,
Long time the Manxmen foe he sought–
So rested he by the tumble tree,
And stood a while in thought.

And as in offish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock with eyes of flame
Came whiffing through the bulgy wood
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One,two! And through and through
The vortex blade went snicker snack!
He left it dead and with its head
He went gallumphing back.*

"And hats thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms my bearish boy!
Oh fractious day! Callow! Chalet!"
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brimming and the stilly totes
Did gyrate and gamble in the wage,
All misty were the boroughs,
And the mom rates outgeneral.

*This was the one stanza that had no problems. Go figure. This year marks one-hundred years since Charles Dodgson retired from life. He’d be happy to know that he’s still causing confusion.

Before I share this week’s offering with you, I would like to share something more serious. This is not a joke. In fact, it’s a story we hear all too often. On July 19th, 1998, a little girl was abducted. Please visit the website listed below, and pass this information on. Someone out there must know something. The rest of us should do what we can. Thank you.

http://www.wtp.net/clamb/


Question of the Day:

If a lawyer and an IRS agent were both drowning, and you could only save one of them, would you go to lunch or read the paper?


WHAT KIND OF PUNNY BUSINESS IS THIS?!?

On an Electrician’s truck: "Let us remove your shorts."

English Sign in German Cafe: "Mothers, Please Wash Your Hans Before Eating."

On a Scientist’s door: "Gone Fission"

On a Taxidermist’s window: "We really know our stuff."

Outside a Hotel: "Help! We need inn-experienced people."

At an Auto Body Shop: "May we have the next dents?"

At a Music Store: "Out to lunch. Bach at 12:30. Offenbach sooner."

On a Music Teacher’s door: "Out Chopin."

On the door of a Music Library: "Bach in a min-u-et."

At a farmer’s field: "The farmer allows walkers to cross the field for free, but the bull charges."

In a Podiatrist’s window: "Time wounds all heels."

On a Butcher’s window: "Let me meat your needs."

On another Butcher’s window: "Pleased to meat you."

At a Used Car Lot: "Second Hand cars in first crash condition."

At the Electric Company: "We would be delighted if you send in your bill. However, if you don’t, you will be."

In a Beauty Shop: "Dye now!"

Name of another Beauty Shop: "Hair We Are!"

On the door of a Computer Store: "Out for a quick byte."

Outside a Radiator Repair Shop: "Best place in town to take a leak."

In a Dry Cleaner’s Emporium: "Drop your pants here."

In a Restaurant window: "Don’t stand there and be hungry, come in and get fed up.

I’ll Wait For the Movie

July 31, 1998

I had planned to share an amusing story involving construction workers and tobacco spit this week, but instead I decided I’d take things up a notch or two. A few places have been putting out lists of the 100 Best Books of the Century We Published, and of course there’s been a lot of debate about the Great Books, the books we’re told we must read in order to be successful people, despite the fact that very few CEOs who make more money in an hour than some of us do in a year could tell you who wrote "The Prince". Maybe they’re on to something, though. Some of the Great Books really are great–they’re entertaining, and they generally make good movies. But then there are the others. Take for example Sophocles’ "Ajax". Sophocles is basically an ancient version of Kenneth Branagh–he wrote, directed, and sometimes played a big role in his own productions, which were based on the ideas of someone who died a few hundred years before him. He wrote 120 plays, of which only 7 have survived. Now, because so few have survived, some stuffy professors who spend too much time in their offices inhaling book mold have decided to tell the rest of us that we have to read ALL the plays to be "culturally literate". So that brings us back around to "Ajax", which is about a guy who, in a stupor, thinks that he has killed all his enemies, but really killed a bunch of sheep. Then the play starts. He wakes up, realizes what he’s done, and spends the entire play telling everyone (a few real characters and fifteen naked guys who are "the chorus", and obviously not the Mormon Tabernacle variety) that he’s going to kill himself. Then he does, and everyone gathers around and argues about how to bury him. And we need to read this so we can understand who our floor cleaner is named after. Though future societies may wonder what we saw in, for instance, Woody Allen, at least we can say he didn’t dance around naked.

Enjoy this week’s <ahem> culturally enlightening offering.


This paper was turned in by an Oakland High school student who received the highest honors at the school district’s ebonics translation competition.

Assignment: Please translate the following Rap song lyrics from Ebonics to standard English.

Artist: Notorious B.I.G.
Album: Ready to Die
Song: One more chance (remix)

Lyrics:
First things first, I poppa, freaks all the honeys
Dummies – playboy bunnies, those wantin’ money
Those the ones I like ’cause they don’t get nathan’
But penetration, unless it smells like sanitation
Garbage, I turn like doorknobs
Heart throb, never, black and ugly as ever
However, I stay coochied down to the socks
Rings and watch filled with rocks

Translation:
As a general rule, I perform deviant sexual acts with women of all kinds, including but not limited to those with limited intellect, nude magazine models, and prostitutes. I particularly enjoy sexual encounters with the latter group as they are generally disappointed in the fact that they only receive penile intercourse and nothing more, unless of course, they douche on a consistent basis. Although I am extremely unattractive, I am able to engage in these types of sexual acts with some regularity. Perhaps my sexuality is somehow related to my fancy and expensive jewelry.

Lyrics:
And my jam knock in the Mitsubishi
Girls pee pee when they see me,
Nava-hoes creep me in they tee pee
As I lay down laws like I lay carpet
Stop it – if you think your gonna make a profit

Translation:
I enjoy playing my music loudly on my car stereo. Apparently, women enjoy this also because they become sexually aroused when they see me driving. Oddly enough, when I visit the Native American reservations, some of the more sexually promiscuous Indian women attempt to seduce me in their homes. Their intent is to divest me of my earnings. Such actions are unacceptable.

Lyrics:
Don’t see my ones, don’t see my guns – get it
Now tell ya friends Poppa hit it then split it
In two as I flow with the Junior Mafia
I don’t know what the hell’s stoppin’ ya
I’m clockin’ ya – Versace shades watchin’ ya
Once ya grin, I’m in game, begin

Translation:
Understand this fact: you can have neither my money, nor my weapons. I suggest that you inform your peers that we engaged in violent sexual acts. Currently, I am rapping with my associates, the Junior Mafia. I’m having some difficulty understanding why you refuse to approach me. I am attempting to make eye contact with you through my expensive glasses, and as soon as you respond with a smile, I will approach you.

Lyrics:
First I talk about how I dress and this
And diamond necklaces – stretch Lexuses
The sex is just immaculate from the back I get
Deeper and deeper – help ya reach the
Climax that your man can’t make
Call and tell him you’ll be home real late
Let’s sing the break

Translation:
I prefer to open the conversation with light banter about my wardrobe and jewelry, then I like to discuss my collection of expensive cars. This is more than enough to convince you to have sexual intercourse with me. I am able to insert my penis further into you when I enter you from behind. Furthermore, you will be able to reach orgasm. I understand this to be a problem with your current sexual partner. He needn’t be concerned about your whereabouts. Please phone him and inform him that you won’t be home for a while. By the way, please sing the chorus of the song for me also.

Lyrics:
She’s sick of that song on how it’s so long
Thought he worked his until I handled my biz
There I is – major pain like Damon Wayans
Low down dirty even like his brother Keenan
Schemin’ – don’t bring your girl ’round me
True player for real, ask Puff Daddy

Translation:
Your current love interest no longer wishes to hear your fabrications about the length of your member. After I had sexual intercourse with your woman, she became enlightened as to the proper way it is supposed to be performed: violently and immorally. It would be in your best interest to keep your woman away from me as my sexual prowess is very strong. If you are unconvinced, ask Puff Daddy.

Lyrics:
You – ringin’ bells with bags from Chanel
Baby Benz, traded in your Hyundai Excel
Fully equipped, CD changer with the cell
She beeped me, meet me at twelve

Translation:
Despite the fact that you attempted to win her at her doorstep with bags full of expensive clothes and a car (the lower end model Mercedes Benz which you financed by signing over your current vehicle) containing an expensive stereo and a cellular phone, your woman has contacted me through my pager indicating that we should rendezvous at midnight.

Lyrics:
Where you at? Flippin’ jobs, playin’ car notes?
While I’m swimmin’ in ya women like the breast stroke
Right stroke, left stroke what’s the best stroke
Death stroke – tongue all down her throat
Nuthin’ left to do but send her home to you
I’m through – can ya sing the song for me, boo?

Translation:
You, on the other hand, jump from job to job, barely able to maintain payments on the Mercedes Benz you purchased for your woman. Meanwhile, I continue to engage in sexual intercourse and commit lewd osculatory acts with your women. My only remaining option is to request that she leave my home and return to you because I have reached orgasm and no longer have a need for her presence.

Lyrics:
So, what’s it gonna be? Him or me?
We can cruise the world with pearls
Gator boots for girls
The envy of all women, crushed linen
Cartier wrist-wear with diamonds in ’em
The finest women I love with a passion
Ya man’s a wimp, I give that ass a good thrashin’

Translation:
The ultimate decision rests with you. Whom do you choose as your sexual partner. I can take you on cruises around the world. I will dress you in the finest jewelry and footwear. You will be envied by women worldwide in your fine clothes and jewelry. There is a special place in my heart for beautiful women. I will defeat your man in an altercation because he is effeminate.

Lyrics:
High fashion – flyin’ into all states.
Sexin’ me while your man masturbates.
Isn’t this great? Your flight leaves at eight.
Her flight lands at nine, my game just rewinds.
Lyrically I’m supposed to represent.
I’m not only the client, I’m the player president

Translation:
You will be dressed in finest clothes on the runways of Paris. I will fly you to every state to shop for fine clothes and jewelry. You will enjoy sexual intercourse with me and your man will be forced to pleasure himself through manual stimulation. What a life! I’ll return you to LaGuardia in time to catch your 8 o’clock flight. The timing is perfect because I have scheduled a date with a second woman who arrives at the same gate at 9 o’clock. I’ll seduce her in the same way that I seduced you. I rap well and I am a positive reflection of my home town. Not only am I a sexually deviant, misogynistic, immoral, wealthy, male prostitute, but I also sit on the board of directors of the organization that governs others of my kind.

And your mother’s monosodium glutamate!

July 24, 1998

The other day I heard one kid say to another, "Leave me alone, corn starch!" I’ve heard some really clever insults in my time, as well as some unbelievably stupid ones. In middle school, I once told a kid he was a fountain of verbal eloquence. He turned around and said, "So’s your momma!" I can’t tell you how happy my mother was to hear that. Anyway, "corn starch" has to rank as one of the best insults I’ve ever heard in my life, despite the fact that it doesn’t have that special kick you only get by referring to bodily functions (and I think we can all think of examples). Just consider what calling someone "corn starch" is saying about that person: they’re powdery, tasteless, and not good for anything but thickening soups and gravy!" And the real advantage of it is that, like the cloud of ink the octopus uses to escape from its dimwitted predators, calling a bully "corn starch" will make him stop long enough to make an easy escape. Sure, eventually bullies will catch on that it’s an insult, but by that time you’ll be gone like mouthwash.


Lesser Primate Committee Thinking

Start with a cage containing five apes. In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put stairs under it. Before long, an ape will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the Banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the apes with cold water.

After a while, another ape makes an attempt with the same result-all the apes are sprayed with cold water.

Turn off the cold water.

If, later, another ape tries to climb the stairs, the other apes will try to prevent it even though no water sprays them.

Now, remove one ape from the cage and replace it with a new one. The New ape sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other apes attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five apes and replace it with a New one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous Newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.

Again, replace a third original ape with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four apes that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest ape.

After replacing the fourth and fifth original apes, all the apes which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no ape ever again approaches the stairs. Why not?

"Because that’s the way it’s always been around here." Sound familiar?

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