[Ed: Recently I have been getting more and more submissions of the "Found Humour" type--true life news, notes and experiences with a humourous bent. If I get a really good one, it goes directly to the newsgroup. The medium to good ones will show up in digests like this. They aren't really jokes, but they are often quite amusing.]
(From the Boston University Wall Calendar, entry under May 17:)
``1934 More than thirty women receive letter awards for excellence in athletics, scholarship, and posture.''
[From The Seattle Times, Saturday, Dec 17th]
"The University of Wisconsin presented nearly 4,000 diplomas to graduates in May, but it took six months for someone to notice that the name of the state was misspelled 'Wisconson.'"
(Scene: My girlfriend and I are in a restaurant, and a strikingly attractive woman walks by.)
Girlfriend: Would you date her?
(This is a certified genuine original quip. It was invented by me, and it is mine. It actually happened. - Dan Pearl)
Summary: How to make your travel safer
I am afraid that I have to blame Alice Dunsmuir for this one. She was the occasional secretary and booking agent for Fat Moose. One passenger was very worried about getting on an airplane that had a bomb on board. The argument that this was less than a one in a million chance really was not working. So Alice suggested that the passanger carry a bomb on board, for the chance of getting on an airplane with two bombs on board was so small as to be almost never.
Ed Gauss, Fat Moose Flying Service, retired
[Ed: Reported in comp.risks]
Recently, in an archeological excavation in the middle east, a large stone tablet was unearthed. Scholars determined that it was an ancient audit report, complaining about the use of papyrus scrolls by the scribes. It was clear that such scrolls lacked the evidential integrity of stone and clay tablets.
A radio program about Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young aired recently in Philadelphia. The documentary outlined their dramatic impact on the world of music and focused some on the band's social commentaries.
The program was sponsored by the U. S. Navy.
Ah, the times they have a-changed.....
From an Associated Press article:
MAN FLIES MATTRESS AS HOME EXPLODES
- Crystal Lake, Illinois.
A flying mattress carries a 79 year old man to safety as his suburban home was leveled by a natural gas explosion. The incident occurred Thursday morning as James Steurer was sitting on his bed putting on his shoes. Moments later he was still sitting on his mattress - outside on the driveway, blown out of side wall of his home by the force of the explosion, which also threw a side wall of the home against a next-door garage, and gave off a blast of heat that melted the siding on a neighboring house.
The following announcement was made on the PA system while we were browsing in a local Wal-Mart store:
Attention Wal-Mart Customers!
We are having a Red Light Special in the women's department!
From "The Grab Bag" by L. M Boyd (San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 22, 1989 - without permission)
Writes a client: "We've got a pet squirrel. A squirrel can gather 10,000 nuts in one season. We call ours Donahue."
It is said that it is impossible to argue patients out of their delusions. As evidence, this apocryphal story is told about a patient suffering from the delusion that he is dead:
Medical Student: Now, what seems to be the problem here?
Patient: No problem, I'm just dead.
M. S.: No, no, you can't be dead. Look, you're standing here talking to me. You couldn't do that if you were dead, could you? (no response from P)
Now listen, (pinches him) that hurts, right? (no response from P) If you were dead, you wouldn't feel that, would you? (no response)
(aggravated, pinches harder) Don't try to tell me that doesn't hurt... (still no response)
(noticing that her pinching has drawn blood) Now look at that! You must be alive. Everyone knows dead people can't bleed!
P.: (staring at his arm) Amazing! I never knew dead people could bleed.
P.S. A medical student friend told me that this was quite an old story in the Psychiatric E.R., but if you're not a medical student, you may find it new.
A group of lions is called a pride, a flock of quail a covey. What do you call a group of computer dealers?
This was answered recently when computer dealers on the US East Coast organized a convention for dealers and called it the "Long Island Computer Exposition."
I was talking with two friends and the subject got around to jargon. You know, specialized terms that carry a whole wealth of meaning around with them, like `file' or `byte.'
The term under discussion in this case was `resistance.' One friend challenged the other to define it in non-technical terms. The second, who was always looking for opportunities to be crude, said
``Oh that's easy--resistance is what you have to overcome to get a girl [sic--this was in the early 70's] to go to bed with you.''
Without missing a beat, the other one said
``No, that's not resistance. That's impedance; because it has a real part and an imaginary part.''
The Bank of England decided to replace the one pound banknote with a coin. In an apparent attempt to make the new coin look like the traditional one pound gold coin (referred to as a "sovereign"), it was to be thick, and was to be made out of a nickel-copper alloy, which had a yellowish color. When the new "round pound" was issued, it quickly garnered the nickname "Maggie Thatcher" because it was "round, thick, brassy, and acted like a sovereign."
My mother sent me this from a recent Reader's Pablum--er, Digest:
On May 15, 1930, the first airline stewardesses boarded planes with the following set of instructions, notes an early Stewardess Manual:
- Keep the clock and altimeter wound up.
- Carry a railroad timetable in case the plane is grounded.
- Warn the passengers against throwing their cigars and cigarettes out
- Keep an eye on passengers when they go to the lavatory to be sure they
don't mistakenly go out the emergency exit.
-- Jeff Sargent
The following is the actual assignment given to me for my last paper in the course "Politics of the Middle East and North Africa."
Discuss the following issues as they relate to the country of Egypt:
--> Its historical background. --> Its economic, political, and social structures. --> Its economic, political, and social problems. --> Its political regimes & their strategies of development. (Be sure to comment on the degree of success for each) --> An examination of the relationship between religion & politics. --> Its modernization processes. --> Its future political development. --> unique problems.
The paper should be approximately eight pages in length.
(I had resolved not to post anything this year, but this was too good to pass up. In the Bulletin's travel section for Jan. 17th, there was a box on horror toilets... here are a few excerpts, reproduced without permission...)
"The most unusual French loo I know is at the Argentiere Hut, in the Alps near Chamonix. It is a small cabin at the edge of a ledge, and the pans open directly onto a drop of several hundred metres onto a glacier. I noticed the climbers who went into it would pick up a few pebbles or shards of granite, which struck me as a particularly severe alternative to toilet paper, but it turned out they were for a different purpose. The toilet was effectively pressurised by the wind blasted up from below, so that when the job was done the uninitiated would step through the door accompanied by a cloud of used tissues and exclamations of horror."
[This sounds like the worst kind of air pollution imaginable. Presumably, the rocks were used as weights for ensuring that the used paper made it to the bottom. One expects that the glacier below would NOT be a popular spot... the next one's worse, though.]
"Unless the mujahideen have blown it up, the world's most threatening bathroom plumbing is in a block of several storeys not far from the main market in Kabul. It had several name changes, but for a while this nasty, bug-ridden hovel was called the Ambassador Private Hotel.
"The Ambassador had the most basic of loos, a hole in the floor. It became infamous among overland adventure tour operators before the Soviet invasion as more than one troubled guest settled down to the urgent task only to have their attention drawn to a sound from above. In their tentative incursion into highrise accommodation, the builders had put each bathroom above one another!"
[Imagine the surprise, just as you look up...]
Rev. Dr. Phil Herring, University of Wollongong
From THE OREGONIAN (Wednesday, November 23, 1988)
Maria Teresa Egurrola, Miss Colombia, was at El Campin stadium in Bogota Sunday to kick out the first ball at a soccer match. In the presence of 40,000 fans and 200 police officers, she handed her purse to a man who offered to hold it for her. After her kicking bit, she turned to retrieve her purse. No man, no purse. Gone were her jewels, money, and ID.
Saurabh Sonawala email@example.com
The National Opinion Research Council (NORC) at the University of Chicago reports that in a recent 11-year period, the proportion of adults who say that have been in touch with the dead has, uh, risen from 27 percent to 42 percent.
(supply your own punchline)
(I realize this belongs in Reader's Distress, but I figured, go for it)
Inspired by recent testing of elementary students in math and science, I decided to check firsthand into my second grader's education.
Me: Do you know anything about circles?
Chris: Oh, yeah, we've learned about that since Kindergarten.
Me: Do you know what a radius is?
Me: Do you know what a diameter is?
Me: Do you know what a circumference is?
OK, I thought. Try another tack.
Me: Do you know anything about squares?
Chris (after slight pause): I THOUGHT I did.
When the F.B.I. puts people undercover, it wants them to behave like the locals. Traders in Chicago are fond of (illegal) sports betting pools. The undercover agents, of course, participated in this (illegal) activity. The U.S. Attorney made his first set of indictments on the Friday before the Super Bowl. At this point, the agents' cover is blown. As expected, all the agents participated in the Super Bowl pool. What wasn't expected is that one of the agents would have placed the winning bet. The pool contained $4000. Furthermore, decorum requires that the winner personally collect his money. Needless to say, the pot remains uncollected.
One of my favourite envelopes is the one which came addressed to me at "The Lost Society of Upper Canada."
-- David Sherman The Law Society of Upper Canada (equivalent to a state bar association, for you Americans)
The following story is an excerpt from an interview with singer Tom Jones published in the San Fransisco Examiner 2/12/89.
The interviewer asked Mr. Jones whether he ever has problems with the husbands of the women who throw their underwear onto the stage during his performances.
"One night a woman came down to the stage to retrieve an undergarment and I gave her a big kiss. I asked her name, and if she was married. She said 'yes' and pointed out her husband at a nearby table. I explained to him that the kiss was all in fun and that I hoped he hadn't taken offense. He just smiled and said, 'Look, you pump up the tires, and I'll ride the bike.'"
Daryl Odnert firstname.lastname@example.org Hewlett-Packard
Does anyone besides myself find it deliciously subtle that the March 1989 issue of Consumer Reports magazine is billed as the "Home-Entertainment Special" issue, with a feature lead article evaluating and rating CONDOMS?
Of course, they're not just for use at home.... - Brian
A few years ago, a friend of mine had a copy of this on his door. It seems genuine, with an official-looking letterhead. You might like it....
HAMDARD FOUNDATION PAKISTAN
26 Oct 1982
The declining moral situation around us is a portent threatening mankind, and is causing much consternation to every thinking soul, especially to the intellectuals among us. Responsible citizens throughout the world often wonder whether they should remain dumb witnesses to this moral landslide.
As a scholar and humanitarian you must have assessed this situation and your keen eyes must have traveled far and deep to view the moral decline of today and the situation resulting from it. You must have also thought about an answer.
Would you be so very kind as to express your views on the moral decline and its causes and also to please put down on a piece of paper the ways you propose to deal with the situation?
I am addressing this letter to nearly ten thousand of scholars and thinkers and it is my wish to collect and preserve their views and, if necessary, to give these views the form of a book and arrange for the distribution of such a book.
The two very important questions are:
1. What is your opinion about the moral bankruptcy which is so rampant today, what are in your views its causes and how do you propose to remedy them?
2. Would you bracket together the dangers to the peace and moral lapses and how do you suggest to rehabilitate the peace and order?
Kindly write your lofty ideas in a minimum number of words, say 500, on your letter-head or on plain paper and send it to me with your address. This will be a valuable piece of writing which shall be preserved in the Hamdard Library. I am sure you will grant acceptance to my request and give me the honour to be the trustee of your note.
I present my high compliments.
Yours truly, Hakim Mohammed Said President Hamdard Foundation Pakistan
[Mayor Lee] Cooke said he started actual salary negotiations with Barnett a week ago because, "I just wanted to have all my ducks in a row so if we did get into a posture we could pretty much slam dunk this thing and put it to bed."
From the Austin American-Statesman Saturday, 18 February, front page
[Austin has been trying to find a new city manager for over a year, and recently hired Barnett after a great deal of behind the scenes wheeling and dealing, much to the chagrin of some city officials who claimed that the spirit of the open meeting policy had been violated.]
This appeared in today's (2/17) Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
It was a flush with a rush.
Toilets and urinals in the King County Courthouse exploded yesterday after a worker in Metro's downtown bus tunnel mistakenly connected an air compressor to the building's water line.
As soon as hapless individuals flushed the pressurized privies, the plumbing started popping in restrooms throughout the 72-year-old building, said building services manager Bill Kemp.
"They started blowing at about 11:30 (a.m.) and it took us awhile to figure it out," he recounted."We knew it had to be air in the system but the Water Department said that was impossible."
It wasn't. The source of the problem was finally tracked to the tunnel under Third Avenue, and the errant air compressor was shut down.
But not before employees on every floor in the 10-story courthouse had stories to tell about gushing geysers in the john.
"We think we've lost about 20 to 25 toilets," said Kemp. "The porcelain is actually cracked."
Kemp said no one has admitted being hurt by the unusual blast, although several people were badly drenched. Or very surprised.
Explained Kemp, "The urinals acted more like bidets." We had other reports that people were not necessarily on the toilet but close."
"This has not exactly been a good day for Metro," he noted.
by Mary Rothschild --P-I Reporter
Sure started my day with a laugh!
This is a True Story. It actually happened recently to three friends of mine. Reproduced with permission, and with apologies to Lovecraft.
Mark, Cathy and Harry share an apartment with a family of several thousand cockroaches. Australian cockroaches are, of course, far larger, hungrier, and more aggressive than their counterparts in other countries. One day, becoming annoyed at the constant patter of tiny tentacles, the suspicious crunching sounds that should never come from a cheese sandwich, and especially peeved at finding the furniture rearranged without notice, Mark decided to commit genocide. He bought a can of surface spray.
A distorted leer on his face, he methodically covered the skirting boards, cupboards, cracks, nooks and lairs of his enemy with the fast-acting contact poison. He was merciless, rooting out forgotten nests and spraying crucial strategic points with the fine but deadly mist. When the can finally ran out, he knew that morning would see a newer, cleaner, better world for humans to live in. Smug and confident in his powers, he settled down for a well-earned rest.
Night fell. A clear, silent moonlit night. Quiet. Perhaps, too quiet. For the first time in memory, no scampering of greasy exoskeleton, no clacking of mandibles, no buzz of shadowy wings to disturb the great white mammals, dormant and safe in their nocturnal hibernation. All around the hunting fields, tantalising with the promise of cheese sandwiches, a heavy pall hung. Not an inch, not a smidgen, not a scad of floor space could be found that was not covered with the insidious but certain death. Not even a place to stand, except ...
Harry woke with it. He thought it was the rain. But the night was clear. The moon shone through his bedroom window. Then he felt it. Then he started to scream.
Mark and Cathy ran to Harry's room, armed with large blunt objects. The door was locked. Inside, they could hear whimpering, a tiny voice crying "No no no no ...," and the sound of rain. Mark hammered on the door. Cathy went to ring the police. The door thudded once, and then the bolt drew back, the lock turned, the door slowly opened, the light snapped on. Mark and Cathy drew breath as one, turned and fled, screaming, into the night, followed after a period by the shambling wreck that had been Harry. His bed was littered with hundreds of twisted black cockroach corpses, fallen from a teaming leathery mass that entirely covered the ceiling. And they made a sound like rain ...
From the Civil War SongBook, published circa 1965.
Articles of incorporation of the Springfield Militia
1. This Company shall be known as the Springfield Militia.
2. In case of war, this company shall immediately disband.
Forwarder: watmath!blake.acs.washington.edu!wildstar (wildstar)
I was paging through a recently acquired 727 manual and came across this little gem of wisdom. (GPWS is the ground proximity warning system. It tells the crew when the ground is getting too close for what they're doing.)
"Note: the GPWS will not provide a warning if an airplane is flying directly towards a vertical cliff."
Gee, thanks. I'll keep that in mind. :-