Spread the Joy

March 1, 2002

[Freethinkers Anonymous will be taking a two-week vacation and will return on March 22nd, 2002, with all new ranting and raving. In the meantime, enjoy the silence. Go learn to make salt or something.]

Every few years in the neighborhood where I work there’s a rash of racist graffiti. I have no idea who’s behind this, or why, like an intestinal parasite, they go through a dormant phase before coming back. (Admittedly I’m being unfair to intestinal parasites, so those of you who keep tapeworms or flukes as pets and are offended by my analogy, please feel free to insert some more loathsome animal; for instance, bunny rabbits.) The graffiti takes the same form, containing the standard number of epithets, and there’s always at least one that issues a so-called "warning" to "white people".

I’m a little thrown by this, partly because the warnings don’t seem relevant, and partly because I’m not entirely sure that I’m white. Now, I know what you’re thinking. All you have to do is look at me, right? But even if races were as easily divisible as, say, dog breeds, white people would be the Terrier Group. Actually I’d be kept out of the dog show because, like most of North America, I’m a mutt– but more about that in a minute. The graffiti is frequently decorated with swastikas, and, if I remember my history correctly, the Nazis didn’t like Slavs, despite the Celtic origins of the Slavic people. Or maybe because of it.

Anyway, I’m half Czech–a Slavic group. On the other side I’m Scottish–a Celtic group. I’ve also got a fraction of Cherokee, and if the Celts and the Slavs are out, Native Americans haven’t got a chance. So while my skin may be pale, am I really "white" according to these covert propagandists? Of course it doesn’t matter, because I’m not buying what they’re selling. I believe in tolerance, and although opportunities don’t come my way often, I try to be a peacemaker whenever I can. For instance, I met a Scottish guy in a bar one night, and told him I was related to the Murray clan. (I know, you’re saying, "Waldrop, Murray, what’s the relationship?" Trust me–long story.) The Scottish guy said, "I’m a Campbell! The Murrays and the Campbells are bitter enemies!" (That’s true. Actually the Campbells were bitter enemies of everybody, and went around knocking other clans’ castles down. They especially hated the Murrays, though, because they couldn’t knock the Murray castle down. But I digress.) I suggested we shake hands, and, as representatives of two peoples who had caused so much bloodshed, that we declare peace. We sealed the deal with a couple of pints of Guinness, which I hope also settled any lingering animosity between the Campbells, the Murrays, and the entire country of Ireland. Granted, it’s not the sort of thing we’d get a Nobel Prize for. We pretty much blew our chances at that when, heady from our newfound peace and understanding, we decided to go out and beat up some Belgians.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.

Did you know…

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

A crocodile can’t stick it’s tongue out.

A shrimp’s heart is in their head.

People say "Bless you" when you sneeze because when you sneeze, your heart stops for a millisecond.

If you sneeze too hard, you can fracture a rib. If you try to suppress a sneeze, you can rupture a blood vessel in your head or neck and die. if you keep your eyes open by force, they can pop out.

In a study of 200,000 ostriches over a period of 80 years, no one reported a single case where an ostrich buried its head in the sand (or attempted to do so – apart from Bones ).

It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.

A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.

Between 1937 and 1945 Heinz produced a version of Alphabetic Spaghetti especially for the German market that consisted solely of little pasta swastikas.

More than 50% of the people in the world have never made or received a telephone call.

Rats and horses can’t vomit.

Rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over million descendants.

The "sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick" is said to be the toughest tongue twister in the English language.

Wearing headphones for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times.

If the government has no knowledge of aliens, then why does Title 14, Section 1211 of the Code of Federal Regulations, implemented on July 16, 1969, make it illegal for U.S. citizens to have any contact with extraterrestrials or their vehicles?

In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.

The cigarette lighter was invented before the match.

Thirty-five percent of the people who use personal ads for dating are already married.

A duck’s quack doesn’t echo, and no one knows why.

23% of all photocopier faults worldwide are caused by people sitting on them and photocopying their buttocks.

In the course of an average lifetime you will, while sleeping, eat 70 assorted insects and 10 spiders.

Most lipstick contains fish scales.

Cat’s urine glows under a black-light.

Like fingerprints, everyone’s tongue print is different.

Over 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow.

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