Where did THAT come from?

June 27, 1996

Folks, you’re getting this week’s edition a little early because I’m going to be out tomorrow. It seems that the last time I re-entered the U.S. and went through Customs, I took the form they gave me and under "Are you carrying any illegal or dangerous substances?" I wrote, "What did you have in mind?" You know how bureaucrats are–they just got around to actually processing the form the other day, and now they’ve called me in for a few questions. Of course, I may not make it to the interview, because when I leave work, I completely forget how to read clocks. It’s because of this hate-hate relationship I’ve always had with alarm clocks. It’s bad enough that someone had to invent them in the first place, but to make matters worse, some genius in the last ten years or so added the most useless device ever conceived: the snooze button. For those of you who don’t know, a snooze button shuts off the alarm and then makes it come on again sometime between one and ten minutes later (determining any regularity in the snooze delay has baffled modern science.) Now, if your alarm goes off and you decide you want a couple of extra minutes of sleep, the snooze button is wonderful. If you’re like me, though, once you’ve hit that button you can’t get back to sleep because you know that at some indeterminate moment the alarm is going to be screaming you again. You have to hit the snooze button four or five times before you get those couple of extra minutes of sleep, and by that time you’ve built up a resistance to the alarm so those extra couple of minutes turn into an extra couple of hours. When you awaken to your boss screaming at you from the other end of a telephone line, the day is pretty well shot and you might as well go back to bed.

My advice: keep something between yourself and the alarm clock, something guaranteed to get you up and moving. As for me, I keep my wife there, and I’d like to take this opportunity to say Happy Anniversary. Thanks for giving me a reason to get moving every morning for the past three years.

Yeah, yeah, I know, you’re all saying, "Chris must be getting soft in his old age." Well give a guy a break once in a while–it’s a big job being the illegitimate son of Lenny Bruce and Sylvia Plath. Enjoy this week’s offering.


A story from the mid-1930s, U. of Edinburgh medical school, second-term human physiology course, Prof. Kenneth Ivors, Instructor:

"Good morning, class. Before we begin today’s lecture, I should like to discover how well ye have been tracking the previous material.

Miss MacMaster, will ye stand?" {She stands.}

"Can ye tell me, which organ of the body achieves 10 times its normal size when it is excited?"

{She stammers, reddens, says nothing.}

"Ye may sit down. Mr. Campbell, can ye answer that question?"

"It is the pupil of the eye, sir."

"Vurra good. Now, Miss MacMaster, I have three things to say to you: One, you have not done your homework, Two, you have a dirty mind, and Three, you’re in for a big disappointment."

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