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

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