January 16, 1998
In most parts of the world, snow is a natural phenomenon that is enjoyed and treated with respect. However, here in The South (that is, the southeastern U.S., not to be confused with the southwestern U.S., southern Europe, southern Asia, or, for that matter, the entire southern hemisphere) snow is a paralyzing, dangerous event. It results in people driving even more like idiots than they usually do, careening around on ice-covered residential roads at highway speeds so, no matter how much food they already have at home, they can go to their local grocery and stock up on bread, milk, eggs, and toilet paper. In recent years, though, a steady inward flow of Northerners has offset these cultural practices. In order to preserve our proud Southern heritage, the local legislature has written the following Snow Reaction Plan:
1 inch or less: Wild, disorganized rioting in groceries begins. Children are automatically released from school because snow’s myserious beguiling properties will keep them from learning anything as long as it’s coming down.
1-3 inches: Grocery stores set up special barricades to prevent looting. Checkout-people are issued handguns. This is the only time that the "ten items or less" rule in the Express Lane is enforced.
3-6 inches: Cars entering the state are stopped. Any with license plates farther north than Kentucky are refused entrance for fear that drivers with experience driving in snow will interfere with locals intent on causing as many wrecks as possible. Children who have been given sleds by Yankee relatives test their reaction time by careening around assorted wreckage and gasoline fires.
6-9 inches: Salt trucks are fired up and used by public officials as escape vehicles. As snow levels reach the upper limit, the emergency broadcast system is used to inform people that "all hell is about to break loose."
Over 9 inches: The mayor will declare martial law from his hotel room in Florida.
In the words of the Southern Roman scholar Cletus, "Permittet ningitere!" Enjoy this week’s offerings–especially the first one which was a nice trip down nostalgia lane for me.
This frog was really down on his luck. All he had left in the world was this little ceramic figurine his mother had willed him when she croaked. He decided he’d go to the bank and get a loan so he could improve his lot in life. He wrapped up the figurine and hopped on down to the local bank. When he got to the bank, the bank receptionist directed him to a loan officer by the name of Mr. Paddywack. Mr. Paddywack took one look at the frog and knew his day was ruined. "Ok, he said, what can I do for you?"
"Well, I’d like a small loan," the frog said,"so I can get back on my feet."
"We don’t usually lend money to frogs," Paddywack said."Do you have anything in the way of collateral?"
The frog held up the figurine and said, "Well, I have this."
Paddywack rolled his eyes and said, "I’m going to have to ask my manager."
He went to find the manager, and told him, "You’re not going to believe this. There’s this frog out here, who wants money. He has this figurine for collateral. Have you ever heard of something so dumb?"
The manager scowled at him and said, "For Heaven’s sake, it’s a knicknack, Paddywack, give the frog a loan."
A guy driving a Yugo pulls up at a stoplight next to a Rolls-Royce. The driver of the Yugo rolls down his window and shouts to the driver of the Rolls, "Hey, buddy, that’s a nice car. You got a phone in your Rolls? I’ve got one in my Yugo!"
The driver of the Rolls looks over and says simply, "Yes I have a phone."
The driver of the Yugo says, "Cool! Hey, you got a fridge in there, too? I’ve got a fridge in the back seat of my Yugo!"
The driver of the Rolls, looking annoyed, says, "Yes, I have a refrigerator."
The driver of the Yugo says, "That’s great, man! Hey, you got a TV in there, too? You know, I got a TV in the back seat of my Yugo!"
The driver of the Rolls, looking very annoyed by now, says, "Of course I have a television. A Rolls-Royce is the finest luxury car in the world!"
The driver of the Yugo says, "Very cool car! Hey, you got a bed in there, too? I got a bed in the back of my Yugo!"
Upset that he did not have a bed, the driver of the Rolls-Royce sped away, and went straight to the dealer, where he promptly ordered that a bed be installed in the back of the Rolls.
The next morning, the driver of the Rolls picked up the car, and the bed looked superb, with satin sheets and brass trim. It was clearly a bed fit for a Rolls Royce. So the driver of the Rolls begins searching for the Yugo, and he drove all day. Finally, late at night, he finds the Yugo parked, with all the windows fogged up from the inside. The driver of the Rolls got out and knocked on the Yugo. When there wasn’t any answer, he knocked and knocked, and eventually the owner stuck his head out, soaking wet. "I now have a bed in the back of my Rolls-Royce," the driver of the Rolls stated arrogantly.
The driver of the Yugo looked at him and said, "You got me out of the shower to tell me THAT??"
A small town prosecuting attorney called his first witness to the stand in a trial-a grandmotherly, elderly woman. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?"
She responded, "Why, yes, I do know you Mr. Williams. I’ve known you since you were a young boy. And frankly, you’ve been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you’re a rising big shot when you haven’t the brains to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you."
The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Williams, do you know the defense attorney?"
She again replied, "Why, yes I do. I’ve known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. I used to babysit him for his parents. And he, too, has been a real disappointment to me. He’s lazy, bigoted, he has a drinking problem. The man can’t build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the shoddiest in the entire state. Yes, I know him."
At this point, the judge rapped the courtroom to silence and called both counselors to the bench. In a very quiet voice, he said with menace, "If either of you asks her if she knows me, you’ll be in jail for contempt within 5 minutes."