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Fire burn and cauldron bubble…

April 19, 1996

Howdy folks. It’s Friday again, and a stormy, blustery Friday it is too. But the weather is probably different depending on where you are, so instead I’ll talk about something you find everywhere: grocery stores. Have you ever wondered who buys some of the stuff you see in grocery stores? I was in the meat section the other day looking for Pop Tarts, and I found this whole part of the meat section filled with stuff with had purple labels that said "Mature". Now, I don’t know anything about graphic design or anything like that, but if I had designed those labels, I probably would not have chosen a color that would accentuate so well the green tinge of the meat. Needless to say, I’ll leave the mature meat to the mature old men who wander the store talking to their eggs because I prefer hamburgers that have to be cooked instead of sterilized.

Oh, before I give you this week’s unrelated snippet, several of you noticed that last week went by without a single mention of Sri Lanka.

I was met in the parking lot by a couple of thugs named Romesh, and, to make a long story short, I did a special cleansing ritual in the jungle and everything’s all right now.


10. "I see the flat tax wouldn’t apply to you."

9. "Inflation isn’t the only thing going up around here."

8. "I’d like you to exercise my pocket veto."

7. "Could you give my voting lever a little pull?"

6. "I said I wanted to keep the governmetn out of the bedroom, but I didn’t mean this senator."

5. "Hello, my name is Sen. Bob Packwood…."

4. "…and hve you met my friend Sen. Ted Kennedy?"

3. "Would you like to import some fine foriegn salami?"

2. "Do you wanna go stuff the ballot box?"

1. "I’ve got an economic stimulus package right here in my pants…er, uh, pocket."

Finally Friday!

April 12, 1996

Yes, folks, it’s finally that time. I noticed the other day that there are more women on the Freethinker’s list than men. Naturally, this is something I’m proud of. I’m glad to be able to supply a gentler, kinder brand of humor that transcends boundaries of gender.

There are not going be any of those kind of jokes coming from me, especially about that frequent complaint from women that men never ask for directions. All right, on this one I do have to make a stand.

Women should realize that if they want men to ask for directions, they should take men some place that they want to go. No matter how secure in his manhood, no man is going to stop at a gas station and ask a redneck tobacco-chewing attendant, "Excuse me, is this the way to the Boutique de Satin?" On the other hand, put one of the macho types who supposedly never ask for directions in a slightly different situation. He’s got two tickets on the 50-yard line at the Superbowl and it’s ten minutes before kickoff. Do you think this guy is going to say, "Well, let’s just keep circling, that stadium has gotta be around here somewhere"? NO! He’s not going to be asking for directions–he’s going to be paying for them!

Just a little junk food for thought. And now for something completely different. Wait, that’s been taken. And now for something completely unrelated.

30 Ways to simulate being in the Navy when you’re at home

1. Lock all friends and family outside. Your only means of communication should be with letters that your neighbours have held for at least three weeks, discarding two of five.

2. Surround yourself with 200 people that you don’t really know or like: people who smoke, snore like Mack trucks going uphill,and use foul language like a child uses sugar on cereal.

3. Unplug all radios and TVs to completely cut yourself off from the outside world. Have a neighbour bring you a Time, Newsweek, or Proceedings from five years ago to keep you abreast of current events.

4. Monitor all home appliances hourly, recording all vital information (ie: plugged in, lights come on when doors open, etc)

5. Do not flush the toilet for five days to simulate the smell of 40 people using the same commode.

6. Lock the bathroom twice a day for a four hour period.

7. Wear only military uniforms. Even though nobody cares, clean and press one dress uniform and wear it for 20 minutes.

8. Cut your hair weekly, making it shorter each time, until you look bald or look like you lost a fight with a demented sheep.

9. Work in 19-hour cycles, sleeping only four hours at a time, to ensure that your body does not know or even care if it is day or night.

10. Listen to your favourite CD 6 times a day for two weeks, then play music that causes acute nausea until you are glad to get back to your favourite CD.

11. Cut a twin mattress in half and enclose three sides of your bed. Add a roof that prevents you from sitting up (about 10 inches is a good distance) then place it on a platform that is four feet off the floor. Place a small dead animal under the bed to simulate the smell of your bunkmate’s socks.

12. Set your alarm to go off at 10 minute intervals for the first hour of sleep to simulate the various times the watchstanders and nightcrew bump around and wake you up. Place your bed on a rocking table to ensure you are tossed around the remaining three hours. Make use of a custom clock that randomly simulates fire alarms, police sirens, helicopter crash alarms, and a new-wave rock band.

13. Have week old fruit and vegetables delivered to your garage and wait two weeks before eating them.

14. Prepare all meals blindfolded using all the spices you can grope for, or none at all. Remove the blindfold and eat everything in three minutes.

15. Periodically, shut off all power at the main circuit breaker and run around shouting "fire, fire, fire" and then restore power.

16. At least once a month, force the commode to overflow to simulate a ‘black water system’ boo-boo.

17. Buy a gas mask and smear it with rancid animal fat. Scrub the faceshield with steel wool until you can no longer see out of it. Wear this for two hours every fifth day especially when you are in the bathroom.

18. Study the owner’s manual for all household appliances. Routinely take an appliance apart and put it back together.

19. Remove all plants, pictures and decorations. Paint everything gray, white, or the shade of hospital smocks.

20. Buy 50 cases of toilet paper and lock up all but two rolls. Ensure one of these two rolls is wet all the time.

21. Smash your forehead or shins with a hammer every two days to simulate collision injuries sustained onboard Navy ships.

22. When making sandwiches, leave the bread out for six days, or until it is hard and stale.

23. Every 10 weeks, simulate a visit to another port. Go directly to the city slums wearing your best clothes. Find the worst looking place, and ask for the most expensive beer that they carry. Drink as many as you can in four hours. Take a cab home taking the longest possible route. Tip the cabby after he charges you double because you dress funny and don’t speak right.

24. Use fresh milk for only two days after each port visit.

25. Keep the bedroom thermostat at 2 deg C and use only a thin blanket for warmth.

26. Ensure that the water heater is connected to a device that provides water at a flow rate that varies from a fast drip to a weak trickle, with the temperature alternating rapidly from -2 to 95 deg C.

27. Use only spoons which hold a minimum of 1/2 cup at a time.

28. Repaint the interior of your home every month, whether it needs it or not.

29. remind yourself every day: "it’s not just a job, it’s an adventure!"

30. mix kerosene with your water supply to simulate the de-sal plant on the ship picking up jp5 in the intake — if a lit match thrown into your coffee pot doesn’t ignite it, add more kerosene.

Friday at last!

April 5, 1996

Life rarely ever goes the way you want to, doesn’t it? Whether it’s Tamil rebels or bad drivers, there’s no telling what’s going to happen next. That’s why I take comfort in remembering that everything I ever needed to know in life I learned in college: When crossing the street, ignore oncoming traffic. When people ask your opinion, they really want to hear their own. If it’s an essay test, don’t copy anyone else’s answers. Cram. Warm pizza and cold beer are good for you. We all need to sleep, and that’s why they invented classes like Breathing 101. Be nice to your roommate–you never know when you’ll need a car. If you’re going to regret doing something, do it anyway, because later on you’ll regret not doing it. Life will be fine as long as you read some and talk some and drink some and stay up late and when life gives you lemons, make pineapple juice.

And now for some more profound thoughts that someone else wrote:

I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.

Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.

The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
The graduate with a Liberal Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate plants.

The Lord’s Prayer is 66 words, the Gettysburg Address is 286 words, there are 1,322 words in the Declaration of Independence, but government regulations on the sale of cabbage total 26,911 words.

Half of the people in the world are below average.

There’s so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?

I still miss my ex-husband, but my aim is getting better.

If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there are men on base.

Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake when you make it again.

On a tombstone: "I TOLD YOU I WAS SICK"

Based on what you know about him in history books, what do you think Abraham Lincoln would be doing if he were alive today?
1. Writing his memoirs of the Civil War.
2. Advising the President.
3. Desperately clawing at the inside of his coffin.

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. — Mark Twain

Calvin: People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don’t realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world.
Hobbes: Isn’t your pants’ zipper supposed to be in the front?

The dumber people think you are, the more surprised they’re going to be when you kill them. — William Clayton

My name is Joe Friday (part 2)

March 1, 1996

I carry a badge. It was cold that morning in the city of Colombo, and there was absolutely nothing afoot. I mean it. Nothing. It reminded me of Nashville, although at least in Nashville you have country music, which is part of what prompted me to go to Colombo in the first place.

For those of you who read through this morning’s offering going, "What?" I offer this instead. Next I’ll throw out some really arcane joke about Oscar Wilde and a jockey, and how…well, we’ll leave that one for later on.

Before I leave you to it, I was asked this morning how it is that I manage to get any work done. The fact is, this is my work. The Freethinker who asked was rather surprised to find that she actually owed me several thousand dollars, since you’re all supposed to be paying me a hundred dollars a week for this service. Void where prohibited. Some restrictions apply. Your mileage may vary. Has been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals.

One more thing (yes, I’m getting Columbo, the detective, confused with Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka)–for those Freethinkers who are going on Spring Break this week, have a fabulous time, and take the following words of wisdom with you. And even if you don’t take these words of wisdom, make sure you take some protection.

1. Indecision is the key to flexibility.
2. You can’t tell which way the train went by looking at the track.
3. There is absolutely no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation.
4. Happiness is merely the remission of pain.
5. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
7. The facts, though interesting, are irrelvant.
8. The careful application of terror is also a form of communication.
9. Someone who thinks logically is a nice contrast to the real world.
10. Things are more like they are today that they were before.
12. Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.
13. Friends may come and go but enemies accumulate.
14. I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.
16. If you think there is good in everybody, you haven’t met everybody.
18. If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.
19. One seventh of your life is spent on Monday.
20. By the time you make ends meet, they move the ends.
21. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
23. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.
24. This is as bad as it can get, but don’t count on it.
25. Never wrestle a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.

My name is Joe Friday…

March 1, 1996

I don’t know how many of you out there are Trekkies, but I hope that you’ll appreciate these little amusing bits anyway. And for those of you who aren’t, well, I’ll send something later on in the day.

By the way, quite a few of you out there have asked about Wednesday’s comments on salt, and why there weren’t instructions on the packet of pepper. Well, that’s simple. An illiterate person might open the packet of salt, and seeing tiny white crystals, think it’s cocaine.

The Foundation To Prevent Salt Abuse wanted to prevent that from ever happening. What has that got to do with pepper? you ask. Simple: any idiot who shoves pepper up his nose gets exactly what he deserves.

Why did the chicken cross the road?
(Star Trek Version)

Chakotay: Whatever its reason, whatever its goals, we should respect its right to cross the road and seek its own spiritual awareness.

Neelix: Actually, Captain, I’m not really familiar with the chickens in this system. But, if you can catch it, I can cook it.

Riker: I don’t know why, but I know how: with pleasure, sir.

Worf: I don’t know. KLINGON chickens do NOT cross roads.

HoloDoc: How should I know? No one tells me anything around here. I didn’t even know we added chickens to the crew. All I know is that it would have been nice, BEFORE the chicken went off to the cross the road, if it had remembered to turn me off!

Dr. Crusher: If there’s nothing wrong with the chicken, there must be something wrong with the universe.

Dr. Soran: His heart just wasn’t in it. (Scenes of chicken torture with nanoprobes have been edited out.)

Scotty: Because she couldna take much morrrrrre.

Odo: I don’t know, but I’m sure it must be Quark’s fault.

Quark: Who, me?

Charlie X: Because it didn’t want to STAY…STAY…STAY…

Kirk: You chicken bastard, you killed my son…YOU chicken BASTARD, you killed…my SON…you CHICKEN bastard….youkilledmy…son!

Troi: I feel the chicken’s pain!

Kira: It was probably being chased by those cursed Cardassians.

Bones: Dammit, I’m a doctor, not an ornithologist!

Data: The chicken, in observing that it was on the opposite side of the 20th century Terran paved roadway, was aware that its immediate goal should have been to traverse the distance without interception by an kind of combustion-propelled personal transport vehicle, but I am unclear as to why any kind of domesticated fowl should desire to perambulate upon a conveyance normally reserved for the usage of…yes, sir.

Dr. Bashir: It probably heard about my amazing medical skills not to mention my sexual prowess and came to get some pointers.

The Borg: Crossing the road is irrelevant. The chicken will be assimilated.

Hugh the Borg: Maybe it just needed a big hug!

B’Elanna: I’m sure it felt suffocated by all the bleeping regulations of bleeping Starfleet and just couldn’t stand it any longer!

Picard: There are four lights!

Q: Wouldn’t you like to know? Too bad your puny human brain wouldn’t be able to comprehend the answer.

Uhura: Shall I open hailing frequencies so you can ask it, sir?

Tasha: That depends…was it fully functional?

Chekov: It must have been on its way to assist in saving my life for the billionth time..did I scream this time?

Khan: With my last breath I spit at the chicken…

Harry: I don’t know, it’s my first mission.

Paris: Well, I think that…say, that’s a lovely shirt you’re wearing.

Harvey Mudd: Chicken? I don’t remember any chicken. No no no, there’s been a terrible misunderstanding.

Janeway: Its primary goal was no doubt to get back to the Alpha Quadrant…and it probably misses its dog.

Nurse Chapel: Oh, Spock!

Lwaxana: Oh, Jean-Luc!

Spock: Fascinating, Captain.

V’Ger: To join with the Creator.

The Grand Nagus: Stupid chicken! You don’t cross the road all at once! You sneak across it quietly, without anyone noticing!

Gul Dukat: Well, that’s a very interesting question…I’m sure we can work out some kind of arrangement to obtain that information that will be to everyone’s satisfaction.

Kes: It was remembering back to the times when its ancestors crossed roads all the time! They lost those abilities because they stopped using them!

O’Brien: No problem, Commander, I’ll get right on it.

Wesley: I’m not sure, but I can figure it out if I reroute these systems and reconfigure the warp field and run a complete internal whootchacallit on the computers and…

Sisko: It was seeking deeper meaning. Jake, do you see what we’ve learned from all this?

Jake: Check out the babe that just came off that transport!

Geordi: Well, wherever it’s going, I’m sure it’ll have more luck with women than I do.

Sulu: Don’t call me Tiny!

Sarek: Sometimes logic fails me where chickens are concerned.

Mr. Homn:

Dax: To get to the other side. Kurzon might have disagreed with me, Tobin I’m sure wouldn’t have had a clue,and then there’s…

Tuvok: That’s not a question we’d prefer to hear from a senior officer.
It makes the junior officers nervous.

Gene Roddenberry: To boldy go where no one had gone before.

Double Dose For the Day

February 28, 1996

Do you ever find things that make you wonder where civilization is headed? Yesterday I was digging around in my file cabinet looking for some ketchup, and I found one of those little packets of salt that they sometimes give you at fast food places. I’ve seen some idiotic things, but this one pretty well topped them: instructions on a packet of salt! It said, "Tear along top. Add to food to improve taste." Who the hell came up with this? Who said, "You know, not everybody will know what salt is for"? And why didn’t they stop to think that anyone who doesn’t know what salt is for will probably not be literate in the first place? Or were they expecting aliens, who had learned our language by monitoring our TV and radio broadcasts, to be unfamiliar with the Ways of Salt? I can see this guy sitting in Salt Lake City saying to himself, "I must take time out from my monumental History of Salt to make sure people who go to fast food restaurants don’t misuse it." Yes, this man whose History of Salt goes from the days when Roman soldiers were paid with salt (how he would like to have been one of them!) to the present, and even contains a final chapter in which he looks hopefully to the future when everyone will have a proper electrolyte balance.

Pardon me for that obligatory rant. Let’s not dwell on salt anymore, and I promise to even avoid speculating about why pepper didn’t have the same instructions. Instead, enjoy two more little bits that will make you wonder even more about where society is headed.

1960’s Arithmetic test: "A logger cuts and sells a truck load of lumber for $100. His cost of production is four-fiths of that amount. What is his profit?"

70’s New Math test: "A logger exchanges a set (L) of lumber for a set (M) of money. The cardinality of set M is 100. The set C of production costs contains 20 fewer points. What is the cardinality of set P of profits?"

80’s education reform version: "A logger cuts and sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost is $80, and his profit is $20. Find and circle the number 20."

90’s version: "An unenlightened logger cuts down a beautiful stand of 100 old growth trees in order to make a $20 profit. Write an essay explaining how you feel about this as a way of making money. Topic for discussion: How did the forest birds and squirrels feel?"

IDEA FOR THE DAY: We have enough youth, how about a fountain of SMART?

One of the primary reasons cat flaps are called cat flaps is that they’re flaps specifically designed for cats, as opposed to dogs, or giraffes, or humans. All of this became abundantly clear to teenager Jason Evans, of Eastleigh, Hampshire, when he recently spent six hours stuck in one after using it in an attempt to get into his house. He was eventually cut free by firemen. In Germany, meanwhile, Gunther Burpus remained wedged in his front-door cat flap for two days because passers-by thought he was a piece of installation art. Mr Burpus, 41, of Bremen, was using the flap because he had mislaid his keys. Unfortunately he was spotted by a group of student pranksters who removed his trousers and pants, painted his bottom bright blue, stuck a daffodil between his buttocks and erected a sign saying ‘Germany Resurgent, an Essay in Street Art. Please give Generously’. Passers-by assumed Mr Burpus’ screams were part of the act and it was only when an old woman complained to the police that he was finally freed. "I kept calling for help," he said, "but people just said ‘Very good! Very clever!’ and threw coins at me.

Everybody wave!

February 26, 1996

This is a little late for some, and a little surprising for others, but we have some new additions to the Freethinkers Anonymous List. I would tell you their names, e-mail addresses, home addresses, and amusing and embarrassing details about their personal lives, but, well, the English language is a lot more amusing than anything I could tell you about them.

Speaking of Sri Lanka, do any of you out there receive "This Is True"? For those who don’t, it’s a weekly internet News of the Weird Digest that, until last week, was distributed to 92 countries worldwide. This week, believe it or not, number 93 was added, and it was none other than Sri Lanka. My operatives there were suitably impressed. Anyway, for any of you who don’t get it and would like to, here are the instructions:

TO RECEIVE "THIS is TRUE" every week free by e-mail, send e-mail to with the message: "subscribe this-is-true" (without quotes) — please: nothing else on the line.

And here is something that could be true:

Evolving the English language

Having chosen English as the preferred language in the EEC (now officially the European Union, or EU), the European Parliament has commissioned a feasability study in ways of improving efficiency in communications between Government departments.

European officials have often pointed out that English spelling is unnecessarily difficult; for example: cough, plough, rough, through and thorough. What is clearly needed is a phased programme of changes to iron out these anomalies. The programme would be administered by a committee staff at top level by participating nations.

In the first year, for example, the committee would suggest using’s’ instead of the soft ‘c’. Sertainly, sivil servants in all sities would resieve this news with joy. Then the hard ‘c’ could be replaced by ‘k’ sinse both letters are pronounsed alike. Not only would this klear up konfusion in the minds of klerikal workers, but typewriters kould be made with one less letter.

There would be growing enthusiasm when in the sekond year, it was anounsed that the troublesome ‘ph’ would henseforth be written ‘f’. This would make words like ‘fotograf’ twenty persent shorter in print.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments would enkourage the removal of double letters which have always been a deterent to akurate speling.

We would al agre that the horible mes of silent ‘e’s in the languag is disgrasful. Therefor we kould drop thes and kontinu to read and writ as though nothing had hapend. By this tim it would be four years sins the skem began and peopl would be reseptive to steps sutsh as replasing ‘th’ by ‘z’. Perhaps zen ze funktion of ‘w’ kould be taken on by ‘v’, vitsh is, after al, half a ‘w’.

Shortly after zis, ze unesesary ‘o’ kould be dropd from words kontaining ‘ou’. Similar arguments vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

Kontinuing zis proses yer after yer, ve vud eventuli hav a reli sensibl riten styl. After tventi yers zer vud be no mor trubls, difikultis and evrivun vud fin it ezi tu understand ech ozer. Ze drems of the Guvermnt vud finali hav kum tru.

A little late for Mardi Gras…

February 21, 1996

Yes, it was yesterday, and it was during the weekend that we really saw the big parties in New Orleans. For those of you who don’t know, it is from those parties that the name "Mardi Gras" comes from, since it roughly translates as "Urinate anywhere you want".

I have vague memories of having once gone to Mardi Gras, but it’s like the sixties: if you really remember it, then you probably weren’t there.

On a totally unrelated note, here’s something to remind even those of us who don’t have children what finally having to take on responsibilities means.

Preparation for Parenthood

Preparation for parenthood is not just a matter of reading books and decorating the nursery. Here are 12 simple tests for expectant parents to take to prepare themselves for the real-life experience of being a mother or father.

1. Women: to prepare for maternity, put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front. Leave it there for 9 months. After 9 months, take out 10% of the beans. Men: to prepare for paternity, go to the local chemist, tip the contents of your wallet on the counter, and tell the pharmacist to help him- self. Then go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office. Go home. Pick up the paper. Read it for the last time.

2. Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels, and how they have allowed their children to run riot. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behavior. Enjoy it – it’ll be the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.

3. To discover how the nights will feel, walk around the living room from 5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 lbs. At 10pm put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, till 1am. Put the alarm on for 3am. As you can’t get back to sleep get up at 2am and make a drink. Go to bed at 2.45am. Get up again at 3am when the alarm goes off. Sing songs in the dark until 4am. Put the alarm on for 5am. Get up. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

4. Can you stand the mess children make? To find out, smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains. Hide a fish finger behind the stereo and leave it there all summer. Stick your fingers in the flowerbeds then rub them on the clean walls. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

5. Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems: first buy an octopus and a string bag. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this – all morning.

6. Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a pot of paint turn it into an alligator. Now take a toilet tube. Using only scotch tape and a piece of foil, turn it into a Christmas cracker. Last, take a milk container, a ping pong ball, and an empty packet of Coco Pops and make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower. Congratulations. You have just qualified for a place on the playgroup committee.

7. Forget the Miata and buy a Taurus. And don’t think you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don’t look like that. Buy a chocolate ice cream bar and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a quarter. Stick it in the cassette player. Take a family-size packet of chocolate cookies. Mash them down the back seats. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There. Perfect.

8. Get ready to go out. Wait outside the toilet for half an hour. Go out the front door. Come in again. Go out. Come back in. Go out again. Walk down the front path. Walk back up it. Walk down it again. Walk very slowly down the road for 5 minutes. Stop to inspect minutely every cigarette end, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect along the way. Retrace your steps. Scream that you’ve had as much as you can stand, until the neighbors come out and stare at you. Give up and go back into the house. You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

9. Always repeat everything you say at least five times.

10. Go to your local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child – a fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat. Buy your week’s groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goats eat or destroy. Until you can easily accomplish this do not even contemplate having children.

11. Hollow out a melon. Make a small hole in the side. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side. Now get a bowl of soggy Weetabix and attempt to spoon it into the swaying melon by pretending to be an aeroplane. Continue until half the Weetabix is gone. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it falls on the floor. You are now ready to feed a 12-month old baby.

12. Learn the names of every character from Postman Pat, Fireman Sam and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When you find yourself singing "Postman Pat" at work, you finally qualify as a parent.

Mondays can be your friend…

February 19, 1996

…if you’re lucky enough to not have to go in to work/class/whatever this morning. Otherwise, don’t they really suck?

Here’s a cute little story that really illustrates how I feel some Mondays. Days when I make it all the way through, only to find that everything I’d done could have been a lot easier. So, although my experience doesn’t exactly compare with that of a Pope, I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did.

There was a Pope who was greatly loved by all of his followers, a man who led with gentleness, faith and wisdom. His passing was grieved by the entire world, Catholic or not.

As the Pope approached the gates of heaven, it was Saint Peter who greeted him in a firm embrace.

"Welcome your holiness, your dedication and unselfishness in serving your fellow man during you life has earned you great stature in heaven. You may pass through the gates without delay and are granted free access to all parts of heaven."

"You are also granted an open door policy and may at your own discretion meet with any heavenly leader, including the Father without prior appoint- ment. Is there anything which your holiness desires?"

"Well yes," the Pope replied. "I have often pondered some of the mysteries which have puzzled and confounded theologians through the ages. Are there perhaps any transcripts which recorded the actual conversations between God and the prophets of old? I would love to see what was actually said, without the dimming of memories over time."

Saint Peter immediately ushered the Pope to the heavenly library and explained how to retrieve the vaious documents. The Pope was thrilled and settled down to review the history of man’s relationship with God.

Two years later a scream of anguish pierced the stacks of the library. Immediately several of the Saints and angels came running to the Pope’s side to learn the cause of his dismay.

There they found the Pope pointing to a single word on the parchment, Repeating over and over, "There’s an ‘R’, There’s an ‘R’!!!"

"Look, the word is celibrate, not celibate!"

Happy Valentine’s Day.

February 14, 1996

Folks, I’m gonna bring the room down for a minute…NOT! Seriously, there’s a lot of mush and stuff like that going around on today of all days, and I personally don’t want to add any of it. I want to give you something to laugh about, and, although the piece that follows is a little out of date, I think you’ll still get a kick out of it anyway. First, though, from the home office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, I present a pirated Top Ten list from David Letterman. Enjoy it!

Signs Your Spouse Is Having An Affair By Computer

As presented on the 02/02/96 broadcast of LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN

10. Lately she sits at the computer naked
9. After signing off, he always has a cigarette
8. The giant rubber inflatable disk dive
7. In the morning, the computer screen is all fogged up
6. He’s gotten amazingly good at typing with one hand
5. She makes sarcastic remarks about your "software"
4. Lipstick on the mouse
3. During sex, she screams "A colon backslash enter insert!"
2. The jam in the laser printer is a pair of underpants
1. The fax file is filled with pictures of some guy’s ass

The Ballad of The Bobbit Hillbillies
(Sung to the tune of the Beverly Hillbillies)

Here’s s little story of a man named John A poor ex-marine with a little fraction gone It seems one night after gettin’ with the wife she lopped off his schlong with a swipe of a knife Pecker that is ,
Rodeoed, fillet food

Well, the next thing u know there’a ginsu by his side And Lorena’s in the car taking willie for a ride She soon got tired of her purple headed friend And tossed him out the window as she rounded the bend Curve , that is
Pricker shrubs , wheel hubs

She went to the cops and confessed to the attack And they called out the hounds just to get the weenie back they sniffed and they barked , then they pointed "over there" To John Wayne’s henry that was wavin’ in the air Found , that is
By a fence, evidence

Now peter and John couldn’t stay apart too long so a dick-doc said "Hey , I can fix your dong !" A needle and a thread ‘s just the thing you’re gonna need Then the world held it’s breath till they heard that John peed Whizzed , that is
Stitched seam , straight seam

Well he healed and he hardened and he took his case to court With a cock eyed lawyer (since his assets came up short ) They cleared him of assault and acquitted him of rape And his pecker was the only one they didn’t show on tape Video, that is
Unexposed , case closed

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