Snakes alive!

October 6, 2000

"Show me something illegal, and I’ll show you something stupid."
–Penn Gillette

This is true: according to a news article in the London Times some criminals are using snakes and Barbary apes to hold up people in the Metros (known here as "subways") of Paris. Since snakes and apes don’t require reloading or sharpening like those new-fangled knives and guns, they’re the obvious choice of weapon among Parisian criminals. Of course, even the least exotic species of snakes require good-sized cages, food, warmth, and water. Poisonous species (which make up about one-third of the snakes confiscated by Paris police) generally require live food, and, depending on the species, large cages and very carefully controlled temperature, light, and humidity.

Then there are the apes which grow to a size of 55 pounds. It goes without saying that they need pretty large cages. However, they have the added advantage of automatically attacking a victim’s genitals first. Then there’s the problem of actually getting the money from your victim. Presumably criminals walk up to someone holding a snake in their hand and say, "Hey, give me all your money or this snake will bite you." Of course the first instinct of most people would be to run away. (You can’t fire a snake, after all.) Even if the person was cornered, snakes are, well, snakey. If you’ve ever held an angry snake (note: to make a snake angry, hold it tightly with your hand and wave it at someone) you know that, when released, their first target is going to be the person who was holding them. This has led many criminals to walk up to people and say, "Excuse me, could you hold this snake and make it angry, and also hand over your wallet?" The apes, of course, are a little easier because all you have to do is release them, but again the victim’s first instinct will be to run away.

There’s an old joke about two guys photographing a lion in Africa. The lion notices them and starts roaring threateningly. One of the guys reaches down and puts on a pair of running shoes. The other one says, "Do you think you can outrun a lion?" The first one says, "Forget the lion. I just need to outrun you!" The moral of this story? If someone lets a Barbary ape loose near you, you’re going to run away. The ape will think, "Why should I waste time chasing that guy when I can attack the genitals of this idiot standing here holding an ape cage?"

The sad part is some people have handed over their money to these criminals. The good part is that all the victims were only carrying Euros.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


Job Hunting

These are taken from real Resumes and Cover Letters, and were printed in the July 21st, 1999 issue of "Fortune" Magazine:

  1. "I have lurnt Word Perfect 6.0 computor and spreadsheet progroms."

  2. "Am a perfectionist and rarely if if ever forget details."

  3. "Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year."

  4. "Wholly responsible for two (2) failed financial institutions."

  5. "Reason for leaving last job: maturity leave."

  6. "Failed bar exam with relatively high grades."

  7. "It’s best for employers that I not work with people."

  8. "Let’s meet, so you can ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over my experience."

  9. "I was working for my mom until she decided to move."

  10. "Marital status: single. Unmarried. Unengaged. Uninvolved. No commitments."

  11. "I have an excellent track record, although I am not a horse."

  12. "I am loyal to my employer at all costs… Please feel free to respond to my resume on my office voice mail."

  13. "My goal is to be a meteorologist. But since I possess no training in Meteorology, I suppose I should try stock brokerage."

  14. "I procrastinate, especially when the task is unpleasant."

  15. "Personal interests: donating blood. Fourteen gallons so far."

  16. "Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store."

  17. "Note: Please don’t misconstrue my 14 jobs as ‘job-hopping’. I have never quit a job."

  18. "Marital status: often. Children: various."

  19. "The company made me a scapegoat, just like my three previous employers."

  20. "Finished eighth in my class of ten."

  21. "References: none. I’ve left a path of destruction behind me."

These quotes were taken from actual Performance Evaluations:

  1. "Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig."

  2. "I would not allow this employee to breed."

  3. "This associate is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definitely won’t be."

  4. "This young lady has delusions of adequacy."

  5. "Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap."

  6. "When she opens her mouth, it seems that this is only to change whichever foot was previously in there."

  7. "He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them."

  8. "This employee is depriving a village of an idiot."

  9. "This employee should go far and the sooner he starts, the better."

These lines are actual lines from Military Performance Appraisals:

  1. Got into the gene pool while the lifeguard wasn’t watching.

  2. A room temperature IQ.

  3. Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thingy to hold it all together.

  4. A gross ignoramus — 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus.

  5. A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on.

  6. Bright as Alaska in December.

  7. Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn’t coming.

  8. He’s so dense, light bends around him.

  9. If he were any more stupid, he’d have to be watered twice a week.

  10. It’s hard to believe that he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm.

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