October 3, 2003

I’m worried about a lot of things. I’m worried about the environment, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, Ebola outbreaks, famine, and plague. I’m worried that people who buy ferrets as pets will train them, then breed the smartest ones, thus unwittingly creating a race of super-ferrets who will take over the cities. I’m worried that people will heed the "do not try this at home" warning that appears in more than half of the commercials, but, convinced that they can still perform the absurd stunt involving motor oil, a trampoline, and a piece of fried chicken, they’ll try it at my house and sue me when they end up paralyzed from the neck down, in addition to already being paralyzed from the neck up.

So the other night while watching the news, a panic-inducing experience in itself, I heard one more thing to worry about, a warning that came from, of all people, a linguist. I always thought linguists only had two things to worry about: first of all, whether they’d ever be as well-known as their peer who invented Klingon, and jokes about their profession that involve the word "cunning". Actually it’s not so much the jokes the linguists worry about as the fact that no one uses the word "cunning" anymore, and there’s the problem. Linguists are worried that the English language is disappearing. For every word like bling bling, bootylicious, or d’oh! added to the Oxford English Dictionary we’re losing such valuable terms as gallimaufry, sneipe, and pellicle. Save the English language! Use an endangered word! Go and tell a co-worker, "I need an unguent for my semprini," a statement which will not only help preserve the linguistic environment but is also guaranteed to win friends and influence people. Otherwise we run the possibility of degenerating into George Orwell’s nightmare, a world where people walk around quacking like ducks.

This raises a serious question, though: what did the ducks ever do to Orwell? I’ve known ducks who were more intelligent than the people behind the counters of most fast food restaurants, but then again Orwell was lucky enough to die before the invention of fast food. If he’d lived longer he might have changed his metaphor to "a world where people walk around grunting like pigs," especially with what news commentators call "the obesity epidemic" but which the rest of us call "a throng of adiposity". Of course there is a possible advantage to that. Pigs are big, intimidating animals that can grow long horns and have been known to kill and eat innocent hikers. (Okay, I’m making that last part up, but bear with me.) Ducks, on the other hand, are slightly less dangerous than shoe inserts. Whoever heard of anybody being attacked by a duck? And there’s the danger: if we go around quacking like ducks the ferrets won’t hesitate to take over.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.

Updated Employee Handbook


It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing $350 Prada sneakers, and carrying a $600 Gucci Bag, we assume you are doing well financially and therefore you do not need a raise.

If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise. If you dress in-between, you are right where you need to be and therefore do not need a raise.


We will no longer accept a doctor’s note as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.


Each employee will receive 104 holidays a year. They are called Saturday and Sunday.


Too much time is being spent in the toilet. There is now a strict 3 minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open and a picture will be taken.

After your second offence, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the "Chronic Offenders" category.


Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy. Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure. Fat people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that’s all the time needed to drink a Slim Fast.

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation, and input should be directed elsewhere.

Have a nice week!

The Management

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