Saturday, December 20, 2008

Lessons from Mom

My Mother taught me LOGIC... "If you fall off that swing and break your neck, you can't go to the store with me."

My Mother taught me MEDICINE... "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they're going to freeze that way."

My Mother taught me TO THINK AHEAD... "If you don't pass your spelling test, you'll never get a good job!"

My Mother taught me ESP... "Put your sweater on; don't you think that I know when you're cold?"

My Mother taught me TO MEET A CHALLENGE... "What were you thinking? Answer me when I talk to you...Don't talk back to me!"

My Mother taught me HUMOR... "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT... "If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up.

My mother taught me ABOUT SEX... "How do you think you got here?"

My mother taught me about GENETICS... "You are just like your father!"

My mother taught me about my ROOTS... "Do you think you were born in a barn?"

My mother taught me about the WISDOM of AGE... "When you get to be my age, you will understand."

My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION... "Just wait until your father gets home."

My mother taught me about RECEIVING... "You are going to get it when we get home."

and my all time favorite thing- JUSTICE... "One day you will have kids, and I hope they turn out just like YOU.. then you'll see what it's like."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Definations - But not found in any Dictionary

abdicate (v), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

balderdash (n), a rapidly receding hairline.

carcinoma (n), a valley in California, notable for its heavy smog.

coffee (n), a person who is coughed upon.

esplanade (v), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

flabbergasted (adj), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

flatulence (n), the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

gargoyle (n), an olive-flavored mouthwash.

lymph (v), to walk with a lisp.

marionettes (n), residents of Washington DC who have been jerked around by the mayor.

negligent (adj), describes a condition where you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightie.

oyster (n), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.

semantics (n), pranks conducted by young men studying for the priesthood, including such things as gluing the pages of the priest's prayer book together just before mass.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My favorite George Burns quotes

“I would go out with women my age, but there are no women my age.”

“Nice to be here? At my age it's nice to be anywhere.”

“I can't afford to die; I'd lose too much money.”

“Look to the future, because that is where you'll spend the rest of your life.”

“I'd rather be a failure at something I enjoyed than be a success at something I hate.”

“When I was young I was called a rugged individualist. When I was in my fifties I was considered eccentric. Here I am doing and saying the same things I did then and I'm labeled senile.”

“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”

“People are always asking me when I'm going to retire. Why should I? I've got it two ways -- I'm still making movies, and I'm a senior citizen, so I can see myself at half price.”

“First you forget names, then you forget faces. Next you forget to pull your zipper up and finally, you forget to pull it down.”

“If you live to be one hundred, you've got it made. Very few people die past that age.”

“Smartness runs in my family. When I went to school I was so smart my teacher was in my class for five years.”

“Everything that goes up must come down. But there comes a time when not everything that's down can come up.”

Monday, October 13, 2008

"Competent" Employees

For those of you in the supervisory positions, have you ever had an occasion to use any of the following quotes?
For those of you who are employees, good luck that your supervisor or boss does not ever use these words to describe your work attitude:)


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

"His men would follow him anywhere but only out of morbid curiosity."

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

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

"When she opens her mouth, it seems that this is only to change feet."

"He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle."

"This young lady has delusions of adequacy."

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

"This employee should go far -- and the sooner he starts, the better we'll be."

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

"This employee should not be allowed to breed."

"This man has the whole six pack but is missing the plastic thingy that holds them all together."

"He certainly takes a long time to make his pointless."

"He doesn't have ulcers, but he is a carrier."

"He's been working with glue too much."

"He would argue with a signpost."

"He has a knack for making strangers immediately."

"When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell."

"Is apparently very careful with equipment, as his tools show very little signs of wear."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Murphey's Laws Of Computing

1. When computing, whatever happens, behave as though you meant it to happen.

2. When you get to the point where you really understand your computer, it's probably obsolete.

3. The first place to look for information is in the section of the manual where you least expect to find it.

4. When the going gets tough, upgrade.

5. For every action, there is an equal and opposite malfunction.

6. To err is human . . . to blame your computer for your mistakes is even more human, it is downright natural.

7. He who laughs last probably made a back-up.

8. If at first you do not succeed, blame your computer.

9. A complex system that does not work is invariably found to have evolved from a simpler system that worked perfectly.

10. The number one cause of computer problems is computer solutions.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pun with Coffee

* Stealing someone's coffee is called 'mugging'.

* Coffee has bean the grounds of many a heated and strong discussion.

* Does a coffee shop have the grounds to operate in the black?

* Selling coffee has its perks for those who have bean so lucky.

* I just had some coffee that was good only for its sedimental value.

* What do people buy coffee with? Starbucks.

* The author wasn't pleased to see a review of his book on cappuccino's. It said it was all froth and no substance.

* The concession stand at the circus had very good coffee. It was the greatest joe on earth.

* When they spilled coffee on his neck, he got hot under the collar.

* If you spend too much time in the coffee shop you'll be latte for work.

* My wife is trying to lose weight but continues to frequent the coffee shops for rich beverages and delicacies. You could say she is making a moccary of her diet.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Word puzzle 2 - Be the first to solve to Win 500 Entrecard Credits

Latest update : I guess 100 credits is considered as peanuts. So I have upped the winning by 5 times. Yes, be the first to solve all five of these word puzzles to win 500 Entrecard Credit.

Don't wait. Put on your thinking caps NOW!

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My earlier word puzzle was quite challenging and I'm sure you guys had lots of fun at attempting to solve it. So now its time for a second helping:)

The same rules apply. The first person to solve all five puzzles and give me the correct answers will get 500 EC credits.

Each puzzle box below portrays a common word or phrase. Can you guess what it is?

Let me give you an example.




Answer: Since the word HEAD is over the word HEELS, the answer to the puzzle would be HEAD OVER HEELS! Get it? That's great!

So don't wait, wake up your brain by having some more fun with the teasers below and solve the puzzles first to win 100 EC credits!









Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Vanity Plates

Check out these interesting plates.

-CSHFLW Negative Cashflow. In Missouri, the state usually
fills in any spaces on a vanity plate with a "-". This
person has the most creative use of that little quirk
of state government I've seen.

OOO LALA What more do you need to say? On a 1991 Red
Convertible Corvette with IL Plates

02 BE ME Modest fellow, isn't he? On a 1991 ZR-1 Corvette

16 APR On an accountant's car

187 Seen on a yellow '70s Cadillac Fleetwood Sedan with
dark windows and bullet holes all over the lower body
and doors. 187 is police code for murder.

10R SAX Tenor sax, on the car of a professional saxophonist

10SNE1 Tennis, anyone?

10SPRO Tennis Pro, seen on a white Porsche

1DFOAL Wonderful on a Ford Mustang. Get it? Foal as in baby
horse.

1DN1TGO One down, one to go. There are two daughters in the
family, and the older one has graduated college and
married, while the younger one has yet to do either.

1UPONU One up on you, on a Porsche

2 3PAIR Too(th r)epair...get it? On a dentist's car

24 KT A jeweler's car

26E4U Too Sexy for you!

29 CRIB The owner is president of the Madison Cribbage Club.
For cribbage neophytes, 29 is a perfect hand, VERY VERY
rare.

2BENVD To be envied, on a Corvette

2BLND4U Too blonde for you. The plate was in a plate holder; the
top of the plate said, "some blondes" and the bottom of
the plate said, upsidedown, "are intelligent."

2BORWAT To be or what? Modern day Hamlet?!

2M8OS Tomatoes. Either this guy is a vegetable or he's a
farmer

2MCHHP Too much horsepower, spotted on a Chevy SS

2N2R4 On the car of a school teacher in Plano, Texas

2ND2NUN Mother Theresa's right hand nun perchance? Seen on a
white Toyota Supra

2ND2SEX Second to sex, on a black Ferrari Convertible. Actually
you can have the best of both worlds ;)

2PCME To pee, see me! Urologist's plate

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fun with Puns

What happened when the cow tried to jump over a barbed wire fence? Udder destruction.

When I was in the supermarket I saw a man and a woman wrapped in a barcode. I asked, "Are you two an item?"

What did the toy store sign say? Don't feed the animals. They are already stuffed.

What musical is about a train conductor? "My Fare, Lady"

What is the difference between a frog and a cat? A frog croaks all the time, a cat only nine times.

What would you get if you crossed a parrot with a centipede? A walkie-talkie

They arrested the bartender for taking liquor home. I believe the official charge was "emboozlement."

I tried to make the plump ladies see the error of their weighs.

What is the difference between a well dressed man and a dog? The man wears a suit, the dog just pants.

Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this taste funny to you?"

What is the difference between a unicorn and lettuce? One is a funny beast and the other is a bunny feast.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The paradox of our time

The paradox of our time in history
is that we have taller buildings but
shorter tempers, wider Freeways ,
but narrower viewpoints. We spend
more, but have less, we buy more,
but enjoy less. We have bigger
houses and smaller families, more
conveniences, but less time. We
have more degrees but less sense,
more knowledge, but less judgment,
more experts, yet more problems,
more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much,
spend too recklessly, laugh too little,
drive too fast, get too angry,
stay up too late, get up too tired,
read too little, watch TV too much,
and pray too seldom. We have multiplied
our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom,
and hate too often. We've learned how
to make a living, but not a life.
We've added years to life not life
to years. We've been all the way
to the moon and back, but have trouble
crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.

We conquered outer space but not
inner space. We've done larger things,
but not better things. We've cleaned
up the air, but polluted the soul.
We've conquered the atom, but
not our prejudice. We write more,
but learn less. We plan more,
but accomplish less. We've
learned to rush, but not to wait.
We build more computers to hold
more information, to produce more
copies than ever, but we communicate
less and less. These are the times
of fast foods and slow digestion,
big men and small character,
steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes
but more divorce, fancier houses,
but broken homes. These are days of
quick trips, disposable diapers,
throwaway morality, one night stands,
overweight bodies, and pills that do
everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Why Guys Can't Win

If you work too hard, there is never any time for her.
If you don't work enough, you're a good-for-nothing bum.

If she has a boring repetitive job with low pay, it's exploitation.
If you have a boring repetitive job with low pay, you should get off your butt and find something better.

If you get a promotion ahead of her, it's favoritism.
If she gets a job ahead of you, it's equal opportunity.

If you mention how nice she looks, it's sexual harassment.
If you keep quiet, it's male indifference.

If you cry, you're a wimp.
If you don't, you're insensitive.

If you make a decision without consulting her, you're a control freak.
If she makes a decision without consulting you, she's a liberated woman.

If you ask her to do something she doesn't enjoy, that's manipulation.
If she asks you, it's a favor.

If you try to keep yourself in shape, you're self-centered.
If you don't, you're a slob.

If you buy her flowers, you're after something.
If you don't, you're not thoughtful.

If you're proud of your achievements, you're an egotist.
If you're not, you're not ambitious.

If she has a headache, she's tired.
If you have a headache, you don't love her anymore.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wizened Proverbs

- Man who run in front of car get tired. Man who run behind car get exhausted.

- Man with one chopstick go hungry.

- Man who scratch bum should not bite fingernails.

- Man who eat many prunes get good run for money.

- War does not determine who is right, war determine who is left.

- Wife who put husband in doghouse soon find him in cat house.

- Man who drive like hell, bound to get there.

- Man who stand on toilet is high on pot.

- Man who live in glass house should change clothes in basement.

- Man who break wind in church sit in own pew.

- Crowded elevator smell different to midget.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Alcohol Consumption Warning

- The consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering when you are not.

- The consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like an idiot.

- The consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.

- The consumption of alcohol may cause you to think you can sing.

- The consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at four in the morning.

- The consumption of alcohol may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.

- The consumption of alcohol may make you think you have mystical Kung Fu powers, resulting in you getting your behind kicked.

- The consumption of alcohol is the leading cause of inexplicable rug burns on the forehead/knees.

- The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.

- The consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe you are invisible.

- The consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing WITH you.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Twin Trouble

Upon telling people that I am a twin, I have heard some really interesting comments. I can't tell you how many times this exchange has happened:

"Are you two related?"
"Yes, we're twins."
"Gosh, you look so much alike I would have thought you were sisters."


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One of the stories my twin sister and I like to tell is that neither my mother nor her doctor had any idea she was going to have twins until a nurse in the delivery room looked down and exclaimed, "Oh my gosh, there's another one!"

A friend to whom I told this story remarked, "Wow! How old were you when this happened?"



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Around the beginning of the school year, my sister was talking to a guy in her history class. Apparently the same guy was in my English class but didn't realize there were two of us. He came up to my sister and said, "Hi Sarah."

My sister corrected him. "No, I'm Jennifer."

He got really confused and asked, "Well, how come they call you Sarah in English class?"



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If I had a nickel for every time someone pulled something like this on my sister and me....


Someone: "So you two are twins?"
My Sister and Me: "Yep."
Someone: "But you can't be twins! Your names don't rhyme! Her shoelaces are bigger than yours! Your clothes don't match! You weren't born at the exact same second!"
My Sister and Me: (sigh)


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One of my favorite exchanges about being a twin happens every now and again. It goes like this:


"How old are you?"
"I'm 27."
"How old is your twin sister?"


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I have twins that are five months old. Once I was talking to a young man, maybe 19 or 20, who looked at my babies and asked if I had two boys or two girls. I replied, "Oh, they're a boy and a girl."

"I thought they were twins?"

"They are!" I answered, and then I had to explain that, yes, this was possible. He couldn't seem to grasp the difference between fraternal and identical twins.

Finally he asked, "Are you sure?"



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When I was in college, I was working for a savings and loan as a security guard at night. One evening, my identical twin brother stopped by, and one of my not-so-bright co-workers was amazed:


Co-Worker: "Wow, are you guys twins?"
Me: "Yeah."
Co-Worker: "How do you tell each other apart?"
He was not joking.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Word Puzzles Contest 1 Answers and Winner

Congrats to English Advantage who answered correctly to all five puzzles first. Canucklehead gets a consolation prize of 50 EC credits for answering 4 of them right.

Now for the answers



Answer : Missing You



Answer : Space invaders



Answer : Split second timing



Answer : Too intense (2 in tens)



Answer : Down to Earth

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Word Puzzles Contest 1

My first contest for this blog was extremely easy. There were only 3 participants and all of them got the correct answers to my riddles. So I hope this puzzles will prove to be more challenging.

The same rules apply. The first person to solve all five puzzles and give me the correct answers will get 100 EC credits.

Each puzzle box below portrays a common word or phrase. Can you guess what it is?

Let me give you an example.




Answer: Since the word HEAD is over the word HEELS, the answer to the puzzle would be HEAD OVER HEELS! Get it? That's great!

So don't wait, wake up your brain by having some more fun with the teasers below and solve the puzzles first to win 100 EC credits!









Saturday, July 26, 2008

Punny Entertainers

1. The magician got so mad he pulled his hare out.

2. When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she'd dye.

3. It's not that the man did not know how to juggle, he just didn't have the balls to do it.

4. I used to be a tap dancer until I fell in the sink.

5. For a while, Houdini used a lot of trap doors in his act, but he was just going through a stage.

6. Seven days without a pun makes one weak.

7. Did you hear about the fire at the circus? The heat was in tents.

8. Somebody was running a flea circus, but a dog came and stole the show.

9. I saw a beaver movie last night, it was the best dam movie I've ever seen.

10. A circus lion won't eat clowns because they taste funny.

11. If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

12. Soldiers in plays like to Shakespeares.

13. A pun is its own reword.

14. When James Bond slept through the earthquake, he was shaken but not stirred.

15. The unveiling of the statue was a monumental occasion.

16. A former doctor, while auditioning for a play, broke his leg. But luckily, he could still make the cast.

17. Thirsty jokers can be seen waiting in the punch line.

18. I keep reading 'The Lord of the Rings' over and over. I guess it's just force of hobbit.

19. When a vampire decided to become a poet, everyone said he went from bat to verse.

20. When the human cannonball retired they couldn't find a replacement of the right caliber.

21. I like to stay current with the electrifying adventures of Sherlock ohms.

22. A tight-rope walker enjoys being on-line.

23. To kill a circus in one blow, go for the juggler.

24. Two ladies were discussing the planetarium show they had just seen. One said the show was fantastic. The other agreed but added 'Most of it was over my head.'

25. I hear the Sylvester Stallone Film Festival got off to a rocky start.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Low Impact Exercise

Physical exercise is good for you. I know that I should do it daily, but my body doesn't want me to do too much, so I have worked out this program of strenuous activities that do not require physical exercise. You are invited to use my program without charge. Here are the things I have become good at:

* Beating around the bush
* Jumping to conclusions
* Climbing the walls
* Swallowing my pride
* Passing the buck
* Throwing my weight around
* Dragging my heels
* Pushing my luck
* Making Mountains out of molehills
* Hitting the nail on the head
* Wading through paperwork
* Bending over backwards
* Jumping on the bandwagon
* Balancing the books
* Running around in circles
* Eating crow
* Tooting my own horn
* Climbing the ladder of success
* Pulling out the stops
* Adding fuel to the fire
* Opening a can of worms
* Putting my foot in my mouth
* Starting the ball rolling
* Going over the edge

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Can you solve these Riddles

Hi everyone,

The first person to solve the following three riddles by commenting and giving me the correct answers will get 100 EC credits.

So have fun and flex your Grey cells NOW!

Riddle 1

Fill in the blanks using the same three letters at the end as at the beginning in the same order to find a place where water flows free: _ _ _ ERGRO _ _ _


Riddle 2

Feed me and I Live
Give me Drink and I Die

What Am I?

Riddle 3

What english word means burning wood when you take away the first letter of the word?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Poem Quotes by who else but poets

"A poet is someone who is astonished by everything."
-- Anonymous

"Reality only reveals itself when it is illuminated by a ray of poetry."
-- Georges Brague

"The poet doesn't invent. He listens. "
--Jean Cocteau

" In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite."
-- Paul Dirac

" Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood."
-- T. S. Eliot

"The adventitious beauty of poetry may be felt in the greater delight with a verse given in a happy quotation than in the poem."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

" There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it."
-- Gustave Flaubert

"A poem begins with a lump in the throat. "
--Robert Frost

" Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement."
-- Christopher Fry

" There's no money in poetry, but there's no poetry in money, either."
-- Robert Ranke Graves

" Poetry is to hold judgment on your soul."
-- Henrik Ibsen

" When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses."
-- John F. Kennedy

"Perhaps no person can be a poet, or can even enjoy poetry, without a certain unsoundness of mind."
--Thomas Babington Macaulay

"The poem is the point at which our strength gave out. "
--Richard Rosen

" Science is for those who learn; poetry, for those who know."
-- Joseph Roux

"Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. "
--Percy Byshe Shelley

"Wanted: a needle swift enough to sew this poem into a blanket. "
--Charles Simic

"A poem is never finished, only abandoned. "
--Paul Valéry

"Poetry is the music of the soul, and, above all, of great and feeling souls."
-- Voltaire

"Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge."
-- William Wordsworth

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Proof of Stupidity

Overheard this on a London bus:

First Woman: "I don't know what to get Fred for his birthday."
Second Woman: "Why don't you get him a book?"
First Woman: (after a moment's thought) "Nah, he's already got a book."


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At the fish hatchery where I work, we have a small display that describes the now-extinct Michigan Grayling (a kind of fish). This summer, I had the following conversation with a tourist:


Tourist: "Is the Grayling still extinct?"
Me: "Yes sir, it doesn't exist anymore."
Tourist: "Any thoughts of bringing it back?"
Me: "No, I don't think that's possible."
Tourist: "Why not?"
Me: "Because it's extinct."
Tourist: "Still?"
Me: "Yes."
Frustrated, he left.



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I was checking out at the local Foodland with just a few items, and the lady behind me put her things on the belt close to mine. I picked up one of those dividers that they keep by the cash register and placed it between our things so they wouldn't get mixed. After the girl had scanned all of my items, she picked up the divider and looked all over it for the bar code so she could scan it. Not finding the bar code she said to me, "Do you know how much this is?"

I said, "I've changed my mind; I don't think I'll buy that today."

She said, "OK," and I paid her for the things and left. She had no clue about what had just happened.



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Overheard at a movie theater snack bar:


Customer: "I'll have a large popcorn."
Clerk: "Sorry, our popper is broken. How about a hotdog?"
Customer: "Ok, I'll have a hot dog."
Clerk: "We're out of hot dogs."


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This happened a couple of years ago in a local electronics store.


Me: "I am looking to buy a large screen TV, but I have heard that they scratch easily."
Salesman: "Not at all true! Let me show you."
The salesman took a quarter out of his pocket and make a huge scratch in one of the display models.


Salesman: "As you can see, there is no scratch."
Me: "What are you talking about?? Look at that huge scratch right there!"
Salesman: "There's nothing there. Here, let me show you again."
He proceeded to deface two more TVs.



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My girlfriend and I visited together with her friend in an old churchyard from the 1700s. Among the tombstones was one dated around 1725 that had fresh flowers by it.


Our Friend: "I wonder who has been here with the flowers?"
My Girlfriend: (joking) "I guess the widow has been here."
Our Friend: "Yes, I guess you're right. Who else could it have been?"


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My doctor's office gives each patient a card with the date of the next appointment. One lady came in with her card on August 23rd, and here's what happened:


Lady: "My card says to be here on the 28th at 10am, and I'm here!"
Receptionist: "But, ma'am, today is the 23rd."
Lady: "No it isn't, my card says the 28th!"
Receptionist: "I know your card says the 28th, but that's next Monday."
Lady: "No, my card says to be here on the 28th, and I'm here!"
This went on for several minutes.



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The following call came in at 7:30 this morning:


Me: "Hello?"
Some Woman: "Mannie?"
Me: "Ma'am, what number are you trying to reach?"
Some Woman: "Mannie, y'all get up now, cause y'all are goin' to Sunday School, okay, sweetie?"
Me: "Ma'am, I am not your sweetie. You have a wrong number!"
Some Woman: "Okay, sweetie, see you soon!" (click)


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I work as a cashier at a grocery store that was celebrating its grand re-opening. To draw customers, we were mailing out coupons for various free items, such as eggs, soda, chips, etc. The coupon for the chips was very specific: it had to be a 13 1/4 bag of Lays Potato Chips.

One lady was a bit confused. Upon handing me her bag of chips and the corresponding coupon, she said, "The coupon says thirteen and one fourth, but I guess this is close enough, right?" I checked. The net weight of the bag was given as 13.25 ounces. I looked up, certain she was joking.

She wasn't.



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This stupidity was a story my friend told me about his girlfriend at the time. When he told me the story, I didn't believe him, so I asked his girlfriend (who thought the South Pole was hot because it was in the South), and she confirmed the story.

He and his girlfriend were necking in his car when there was a power failure. All the street lights when out, and all the houses around were dark. She said, "Oh no, you won't be able to start your car!" He told her it would start just fine, and then she said, "But your headlights won't work! You won't be able to see where you're going!"



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Near here (Hastings, MI) is a restored water powered grain mill. It has been turned into a public attraction and several historic buildings have been moved to the grounds.

The guide, telling about a two story house, explained that the upper story was added several years after the lower part. One family insisted on knowing where the builders found an upper story that fit. The guide explained that "they just built it," but the family still insisted on knowing where the builders found an upper story that fit. Finally, in exasperation, the guide said, "They bought it at Sears."

The family went away happy, apparently not aware that the house had been built long before Sears had ever been conceived.



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I was signing the receipt for my credit card purchase when the clerk noticed that I had never signed my name on the back of the credit card. She informed me that she could not complete the transaction unless the card was signed. When I asked why, she explained that it was necessary to compare the signature on the credit card with the signature I just signed on the receipt. So I signed the credit card in front of her.

She carefully compared that signature to the one I signed on the receipt. As luck would have it, they matched.



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I was working in a photo store, which specializes in restoring old photographs, when a lady brought in a old picture of a man sitting behind a cow, milking it.


Her: "Can you fix this picture for me?"
Me: "Sure. What would you like us to do?"
Her: "Can you move the cow?"
Me: "Move the cow?"
Her: "I want to know what my great-grandfather looked like. That's him."
She pointed to the feet sticking out under the cow.


Me: "I don't think we can do that."
Her: "Just move the cow over, and we'll be able to see his face."
Me: "I'm sorry. We don't have the technology to do that."
Her: (getting huffy) "Well, I guess I'll just take this somewhere else."


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I am a very frequent taxi user, especially for the trip from Melbourne's airport to the city center. The trip started in the usual fashion; I gave the taxi driver the destination, got grunts in return, and we edged out onto the motorway and accelerated to about 115 kmph. Then the driver braked down to about 90. He then eased back up to 110. Braked to 90 again. After four or five repetitions I asked if there was a problem with the car.


Driver: "Eh?"
Me: "Is there something wrong with the car? You're braking all the time."
Driver: "Eh?"
Me: "You know, every time you get above 110 you brake"
Driver: "Oh, that. Don't wanna speed, they take ma license, you know?"
Me: "Sure, but why brake?"
Driver: "Eh?"
Me: "Why brake? Why not just not accelerate?"
Driver: "Doan wanna speed, y'know?"
I pondered this for another couple of brake-accelerate repetitions, then spoke up again.


Me: "Hey. Let's just try something, all right?"
Driver: "Eh?"
Me: "When you get to 110, just take your foot of the accelerator. Don't brake."
Driver: "Accelerator?"
Me: "Take your foot off the pedal."
Driver: "Ah."
We reach 110. The driver backs of the pedal. The car slows, magically.


Driver: "HEY MAN! That's great! I'm gonna use that from now on!"
At the end of the ride I showed the driver how to accept credit card payments on his system and wished him better luck with his second fare.



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With his car up on a lift in the garage where my father worked, the owner of a 1970s Cadillac (with the extra wheel well fenders that covered a fair portion of the tires) asked that all four wheels be rotated such that the valve stems were "pointing up" (and therefore not obstructed by the fender extensions). This was to ensure that the next time he pulled into a service station to put air into the tires, all four valve stems would be accessible without needing to move the car several times to get access.



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In my high school civics class the air conditioner didn't have the vents to direct which way the air would blow for most of the first semester, so everyone who sat in the back of the class would freeze, while the people sitting in the front were always hot. One day, somebody in the back decided to take a stand against the teacher and declare the class to be cold. He stood up and said, "Mrs. Barnes, it's cold in here. We need to turn the air off."

Since this was a class that always had to argue, someone else said "Turn it off?"

The first person, being the exceptionally bright student that he is, retorted, "Yeah, off. O - F."

Then one of our other geniuses decided to pipe up and said, "I would have laughed so hard if you had spelled that wrong."



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In my high school biology class, one day, we were watching a video about wildcats in Africa. At one point, a flood had receeded, and the cats were hunting for fish stranded in small pools of water. A girl in the back piped up.


Her: "What's it doing?"
Teacher: "It's looking for fish."
Her: "Why?"
Teacher: "So it can eat the fish."
Her: "Oh." (pause) "I thought cats ate cat food."


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I work in the Toy Department at a Walmart, and one day I was asked to do a price check. The cashier explained to me that a customer wanted to buy some puzzles, priced at 4 for $5.00, but they were ringing up at $1.25 a piece. Apparently neither the customer nor the cashier ever made it through sixth grade math.



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I used to work in an art supply store. We sold artists' canvas by the yard, and you could get it in either of two widths: 36 inches or 48 inches.


Customer: "Can you please cut some canvas for me?"

Me: "Certainly, what width?"

Customer: (confused and slightly annoyed) "Scissors?"


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I was pulling into a gas station one day when I saw a woman drive off with the nozzle still in her gas tank. She jerked the nozzle right off the hose. Realizing what she had done, she pulled back in, took the nozzle out of the tank, and put it back on the pump. Then she went inside to straighten things out with the management.

While she was inside, a young man pulled up to the pump. He took the nozzle, with no hose attached, into his tank. He couldn't seem to figure out why he wasn't getting any gas. He even took the nozzle out and repositioned it in the tank a couple times. I thought about pointing out the obvious problem to him but then decided that he'd be embarrassed enough when he figured it out on his own.



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About a year and a half ago I went with a couple of buddies to a hardware store to get some paint for my living room. Since we were buying paint we started talking about various facets of house painting, home renovation, etc. I brought up the fact that I wanted to paint my bedroom camouflage when I was little, but my parents wouldn't let me. The clerk looked at us with a straight face and said, "How would you go about mixing camouflage paint anyway?" I had to walk out of the store very quickly so I wouldn't laugh in the clerk's face.



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In Canada, we have recently begun receiving and using new $10 bills that are harder for counterfeiters to reproduce. I overheard this conversation, between two ladies, on a bus:


Lady #1: "You know the new $10 bills? Do you know how much it costs the government to print them?"
Lady #2: "I don't know. Twenty bucks each?"
Lady #1: "Well, that's what I thought too, but I saw on the news yesterday that they only cost four cents!"
Lady #2: "WHAT?? Four cents! And we pay ten bucks for them? What a rip off!"


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I was at the airport, checking in at the gate, when the airport employee asked, "Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?"

I said, "If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?"

He smiled and nodded knowingly, "That's why we ask."



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The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it is safe to cross the street. I was crossing with a dense co-worker of mine; she asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals to blind people when the light is red.

She responded, appalled, "What on earth are blind people doing driving?"



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At a goodbye lunch for an old and dear co-worker who is leaving the company due to "rightsizing," our manager spoke up and said, "This is fun. We should have lunch like this more often." Not another word was spoken. We just looked at each other like deer staring into the headlights of an approaching truck.



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Once I was on a school trip to England. We flew there in a Boeing 747. Shortly after take-off, the flight attendant had distributed candy. One girl didn't know what to do with the wrapper, so she started trying to open the window. Others nearby started snickering, but she shouted, "Shut up and help me open this bloody window!"



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Twelve years ago, while stationed in Germany, I walked into the post exchange at Leighton Barracks in Wurzburg to purchase some velcro. I told the woman in the fabrics section that I needed two yards of the stuff. She frowned and informed me, "We only sell it it feet." At first I thought she was being humorous, but when I realized she was serious I said, "Ok, then, give me six feet." For a moment I was afraid she was going to cut it into twelve-inch segments, but instead she hauled out a length and began measuring it against the yardstick attached to the table. She paused, looked, thought, then measured out two yards, cut it and rang it up without another word.



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While I was watching a football game on TV with my friend and his wife once, a player was knocked out of bounds with considerable force. He plowed right into a technician holding one of those satellite dish-shaped microphones who did not even have time to attempt to avoid the collision. During the replay which showed the technician getting knocked over backwards and doing about three summersaults, his wife replied sarcastically, "Right, like that little shield was going to protect him!"



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I work for a cable company. About two years ago a storm caused terrific damage to a neighborhood about three blocks from our office. A customer called to complain that his cable was off. I asked his address. When he gave it to me, I recognized it immediately. I had done a damage survey less than an hour before.


Me: "Sir, isn't this the big yellow two story house on the corner that's divided into apartments?"
Him: "Yes."
Me: "Well, sir, a tree is lying on your roof isn't it?"
Him: "Yes."
Me: "Sir, that tree tore down the power, phone, and cable lines. We'll have to wait until your landlord has the tree removed to fix the cable."
Him: "Listen, I want my service fixed now. I don't care about the tree."
Yeah, that makes sense. Let it rain in the house but don't miss must-see-TV!


Me: "Well, sir, even if the tree was gone, we have to wait for the power company to remove the power lines."
Him: "I don't care about that. I want you to fix my cable now!"
Me: "Sir, even if the cable was working, without power you couldn't turn on the TV."
It was about this time I wondered how he was calling me -- remember, the phone line was down too. He answered the question for me.


Him: "Listen buddy, I've got a generator and a cell phone. I've got to see the game. I don't care how big the hole is in the screen of the set. I can work around that."


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A family was plagued by a "techno-terrorist" who terrorized the family in many ways. The family would be on the phone talking to a relative or friend, and the hacker would break into the conversation and say some pretty rude things. He also managed to turn the lights on and off in the house. Everyone was baffled, and the police were eventually called in, along with Bell Canada, and the electric company. Bell and the electric company both insisted that such a thing could not be done, but everyone was convinced of the hacker's ability to control the phones and electricity in the house. The electric company rewired the house three times, all to no avail. Everyone was completely baffled as to how someone could do this. Modern technology was to blame, of course.

After about three weeks of terror, the son confessed. It turned out that he gained control of the electricity by going to the main power feed and turning it off, and he gained control of the phones by picking up another extension in the house. Needless to say, the family was stuck with the bill for rewiring the electricity and the phones, and they were fined by the police to boot.



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While on a ski trip in Wyoming, I encountered a husband and wife on the slopes who asked me if I would take a picture of them. I said I would be happy to, and I did. Then I asked if they wouldn't mind taking a picture of me.

"Oh...sorry," the man answered, "but we only have two pictures left, and we wanted to take some pictures of the lodge."



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When I brought my mother-in-law home one afternoon, she discovered that she didn't have her key to her second story apartment. I went to the garage, took out the ladder, and climbed up, finding that all the windows were locked. As I stood there on the ladder, deciding whether to break the window or not, she looked up at me and said, "Too bad Mrs. Jones (the owner of the building) isn't here. She has a key to my apartment, and she could go up and open the window for you!"



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A friend of mine was showing me a little fold-away phone number list that he kept in his wallet. The way it worked was that the piece of paper with the telephone list is glued to two magnets the size and shape of a credit card. The paper folded up accordion-style and was secured by the two magnets sticking together.


Me: "Wow! This magnetic telephone list is cool!"
Friend: "What? That's not magnetic."
Me: "Umm...yeah, it is. See, these two things on the end are magnets, and they stick together."
Friend: "Oh, so that's why my credit cards won't work anymore!"
Me: "So, how did you think it stuck together if you didn't think they were magnets?"
Friend: "I thought it was just paper suction."


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I set a VCR up for my father and asked if there was anything he'd like taped soon so I could show him the on-screen programming. There was, and I did, and I said, "Then you just put a blank tape in and shut the VCR off, and it will come on and tape your program at the right time."

Sound instructions. Except my father had heard that you shouldn't leave a blank tape in the VCR, so he took out the tape and shut the power off.

Without the tape in the VCR, the timer icon blinked in warning. So he unplugged the VCR.



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At a nursing home where I worked several years ago, a nurse on frequent evening duty had bought a VCR in order to tape some of the shows she missed while at work. However, she had some trouble programming it -- not once had it taped anything -- so she asked if I could help her. She would bring the remote and the instruction manual with her the next evening.

On a break the following evening I walked her through programming her VCR, and she repeatedly said that she had done exactly like I showed her, but it still hadn't taped anything. I was a bit mystified, so I handed her the remote and asked her to show me how she programmed it. She looked in the evening's TV listing, found a show she wanted to tape, and pressed all the right buttons on the remote, just as she was supposed to do, if she wanted to set the VCR correctly. And then she asked me: "So when I get home, it will have taped the show, right?"

Her home was about 15 miles from the nursing home. I politely explained her that it was probably outside the remote control's range, and if she programmed her VCR before leaving for work, it might help. It did.



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The mother of a friend went to New York City for the first time and was approached by a homeless man soliciting the sale of a bottle of exclusive moisturizer, normally retailed at $80, for only $5. She reached for her purse enthusiastically and said, "Sir, will there be tax on that?" When the man recovered from laughing, he made the sale -- tax free.



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Several years ago when we were still in high school, my friend, her sister, and I were watching the Olympics. Her sister asked us why rodeos weren't an Olympic sport. We said,"Because the U.S. is probably the only country where rodeos take place." She was very quick to argue, "Nuh uh, Oklahoma has rodeos too."




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It's amazing how stupid people can be on the telephone. I used to work for a major northwestern bank in the collections department, and we would frequently get calls like this:


Caller: "Could I speak to [somebody's name]?"
Me: "I'm sorry, but that person is [on vacation, out of the office, otherwise unavailable]. Would you like to leave a message?"
Caller: (annoyed) "I'm calling long distance!"
As if calling long distance will magically make the individual magically appear in the office!



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Caller: "Can I speak to Mr. [name], please?"
Me: "I'm sorry, Mr. [name] is on vacation."
Caller: "I'll hold."


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When my friend got her driver's license, her sister looked at it and, quite perplexed asked, "'Donor'? What did you doan?" My friend corrected her, "I donated my organs in the event that I die." Her confused response: "Don't you need them?"




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I work for a cable company, and this is without a doubt the stupidest question a customer has ever called in with. It was during a blizzard, which had knocked out power in the many areas.


Customer: "Hi, my cable is out."
Me: "Ok, do you have power?"
Customer: "No, but my cable is out."
Me: "Well sir, if your power is out you wouldn't get cable."
Customer: "Why the hell not? What does my power have to do with cable?"
Me: "Well sir, without power you--"
Customer: "Look, just get my cable working. Send someone out."
Then he hung up, without so much as giving his name or address.



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Once I found myself in the dubious position of Customer Assistant at a university computer center. We had three computers that were used for students to sign up for email accounts. Signs were on all the walls, in and out of the computer lab, that read "Email Account Setup This Way" and pointed toward these three computers. Still, every day, two or three people would ask us where to sign up for an email account.

Frustrated, I created a seven step sign in large letters, detailing the exact procedure to follow in order to get to these computers:


How to Sign Up for an Email Account

Look at the other end of the room from where you are standing.
Notice the computers labeled "Email Account Setup."
Go to one of them.
Sit down at it.
Fill out the form you see in the Netscape browser with your relevant information.
Hit "Submit."
Remember your username and password.

One day, soon after putting this sign up, an older man came in with his daughter. He walked up, started to speak, and then noticed the sign. He read it, looked over his shoulder, turned back, read some more, looked over his shoulder again, conversed quietly with his daughter, read a bit more, then walked up to the window and asked, "Where do we sign up for an email account?"



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Phone Sales Representative: "Ok, now I need the billing address of the card."
Customer: "But I want it shipped to my daughter at school."
Phone Sales Representative: "That's not a problem; I can ship anywhere you like, but I do need the correct billing address."
Customer: "Ok."
I pause, expecting him to supply me with the address.

Phone Sales Representative: "Sir, the billing address please?"
Customer: "Oh, were you waiting for me? I'm sorry. I send the payments to a PO Box in Maryland, I think. Do you really need that address?"
Phone Sales Representative: "No, sir, not where you send the payments, but where you receive the statements."
Customer: "A statement?" (rustle, rustle) "Yeah, here's one. It's PO Box 2386, Towson, MD."
Phone Sales Representative: "Sir, is that Towson address you just gave me where you send your payments or where you receive your statements?"
Customer. "Oh, the statements come here."
Phone Sales Representative: "And what is that address?"
Customer: "But I want it shipped to--"
Phone Sales Representative: "--your daughter at school. Right. But I still need a valid billing address."
Customer: "Young lady, if you would just tell me what you need from me, I would be happy to supply it."
Phone Sales Representative: "Where do your credit card statements come?"
Customer: "I told you. They come from Towson, MD."
Phone Sales Representative: "Not where they come from, where you receive them."
Customer: "In the mail, of course! You're not very smart, are you?"
Phone Sales Representative: "Sir, when you receive your statement from the credit card company and open it up to look at it, where are you standing?"
Customer: "In my kitchen."
Phone Sales Representative: "Your kitchen at home?"
Customer: "Of course!"
Phone Sales Representative: "Great! And what is your home address then?"
Customer: (finally supplies the address) "If you just wanted my home address, why on earth didn't you just ask for it?"


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Phone Sales Representative: "Will you be paying by credit card?"
Customer: "Yes."
Phone Sales Representative: "Ok, I need your credit card number and your name as it appears on the card, please."
Customer: "WHAT?!? I'm not giving my credit card to you over the phone! Then your company will have access to it!"
He hung up. Saved me the trouble, actually.



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Some time ago I worked for an independent TV station in Northern Ontario. The transmitter was off the air, and it was my job to go to the transmitter site to restore service. Before I left the station manager asked me why there was no sound or picture. I explained the transmitter was off, and I was on my way to fix the problem. He then instructed me to ask master control to run an announcement that we were off the air and would be back on as soon as possible.



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Just when I was beginning to have faith that the world of politics was becoming standard knowledge for nearly all Americans, this happened to me.

I was in the hallway where a girl was talking to her friend. In a nutshell, she was convinced that the name of a person running for President of the United States was "Bush Cheney."

I just about lost it, but then she topped herself. She said that the prime opponent was someone named "Kerry Edwards," adding that she thought he was a guy but could be wrong, "because Kerry sounds like a girl's name."



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While looking at a house, my brother asked the real estate agent which direction was north because, he explained, he didn't want the sun waking him up every morning.

"Does the sun rise in the north?" she asked.

When another person jumped in and explained that the sun rises in the east (and has for some time), she shook her head and said, "Oh, I don't keep up with that stuff."



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I used to work in technical support for a 24x7 call center. One day I got a call from an individual who asked what hours the call center was open. I told him, "The number you dialed is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."

"Is that Eastern or Pacific time?" he asked.



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So my colleague and I were eating our lunch in our cafeteria when we overheard one of the administrative assistants talking about the sunburn she got on her weekend drive to the shore. She drove down in a convertible but didn't think she'd get sunburned because the car was moving.



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I was in an advanced high school physics class, and the teacher was talking about a new military weapon that used sonic waves on the battlefield to burst enemy soldiers' chests. One person in the class spoke up and said, "Well that's stupid! Why don't they just wear headphones?"



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My sister has a lifesaving tool in her car. It's designed to cut through a seatbelt if she gets trapped. She keeps it in the passenger side door's map pocket.



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My friends and I were on a beer run and noticed that the cases were discounted 10%. Since it was a big party, we bought two cases. The cashier multiplied two times 10% and gave us a 20% discount.



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I was hanging out with a friend of mine when we saw a woman walk by us with a nose ring attached to an earring by a chain. My friend said, "Wouldn't the chain rip out every time she turned her head?"



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I couldn't find my luggage at the airport baggage area. So I went to the lost luggage office and told the woman there that my bags never showed up. She smiled and told me not to worry because they were trained professionals, and I was in good hands. "Now," she asked me, "Has your plane arrived yet?"



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I worked for a lighting control manufacturer, and our toll-free number was only one digit off from one of GE's. This resulted in a number of misdirected calls, but the most memorable was this one.


Me: "Thank you for calling (company name). How may we help you today?"
Customer: "I just bought this doorbell chime and can't seem to get it to work."
Me: "Sir, we don't make doorbell chimes."
Customer: "I just got it today, and this is the number on the side of the box."
Me: "Who manufactured the doorbell chime?"
Customer: "You did."
Me: "Sir, we are a lighting controls and building automation manufacturer. We don't make doorbell chimes."
Customer: "Well, it has your company's name on the side of the box."
Me: "And what name would that be sir?"
Customer: "Don't you know your own company's name!? GE!"
Me: "Ah, that's the problem, sir. We are not GE. We are (company name)."
Customer: "So? Can you help me or not?"
Me: "Sir, we don't make doorbell chimes, so I have no idea how to help you."
Customer: "Well you made it didn't you?"
Me: "No, sir, we didn't. It's best you check the number on the box again."
Customer: "But it's your number, and if you need it I can fax you the instructions."
Me: "Sir, the instructions won't help us as we did not make the doorbell chime."
Customer: "Well that's rude."
Me: "Sir, it's a doorbell chime. If you need help installing it then please call GE."
Customer: "This isn't GE?"
Me: "No, sir, this is (company name)."
Customer: "But doesn't GE own your company?"
Me: "No, sir."
Customer: "Funny. I thought GE owned everything."
I finally got him to read the number on the box and pointed out that he was off by one digit. He thanked me and hung up. Ten minutes later, he called again and (lucky me) got me again.


Customer: "I want to let you guys know that some of your techs are very rude on the phone."
Me: "I am sorry, sir. Do you know who you were talking to?"
Customer: "I'm not sure. He was with one of your subsidiaries. (Company name), I think."
Me: "Sir, this is (company name)."
Customer: "This isn't GE?"
Me: "No, sir, this is not GE."
Customer: "Can you help me with this doorbell chime?"
Aargh.



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In my high school geometry class we were using protractors. This bimbo girl (imagine valley girl like speech) was holding her transparent plastic protractor saying:


Her: "Those stupid Japanese people put the numbers on backwards!"
She was holding it upside down. I thought she was kidding. She wasn't.



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I work at a Target store in a large city, where I work in customer service and sometimes as a cashier. Like most other retail stores, we have credit card machines (called PIN pads at our store) at each of our registers, so that people can pay with their credit cards as employees are ringing up merchandise. The PIN pad clearly states on the screen, "Please select card type." Beneath this are two buttons clearly marked "Credit" and "Debit." If you do not press one of these two buttons first, nothing will happen when you slide your card. The instructions on the PIN pad seem simple enough to me, but I am constantly amazed at the number of people who just cannot seem to comprehend the process. What follows is an exchange between a particularly rude customer and me.

The woman walked up to the counter with credit card in hand. I finished ringing up her purchases (she had already been rude by this time), and she marched up to the credit card machine, stared at the screen for several moments (mind you, this screen was instructing her to select her card type first) and proceeded to swipe her card. Several times in a row. Upside down AND backwards.


Me: "Ma'am, will (swipe) you be (swipe) paying with (swipe) credit or debit today?"
Customer: (swiping furiously) "Your machine isn't working."
Me: "Please turn your card around. No, that way, yes, and now--"
Customer: (swipe) "See, it's still not working."
Me: "That's because you have to press the credit button or the debit button first, then swipe your card."
Customer: (swipe)
Me: "Press credit or debit first."
Customer: (swipe)
Me: "Credit or debit?"
Customer: "Oh, well nobody told me that."
So she pressed the debit button and swiped her card. The machine instructed her to key in her PIN number, since the card was a checkcard being used as debit instead of credit. I noticed that the customer was standing there looking confusedly at the screen again, so I asked her to key in her PIN number for her debit card.


Customer: "What's a PIN number?"
Me: "Your personal identification number for your checkcard. Usually four digits."
Customer: "I don't have a PIN number."
Me: "Ma'am that is a checkcard, which means it should have a PIN number."
Customer: "Well, then, I don't know it."
Me: "Then I can just run this card through as a credit card, and you won't have to enter a PIN number."
Customer: "Oh, no, no, no! Don't do that! I don't want to pay with credit. I want this to come out of my checking account."
Me: "It will come out of your checking account. This card isn't like a credit card -- it's the same thing as using debit, just without the PIN number."
Customer: "I'm not going to let you do that. Then I will have to pay interest."
I decided not to argue and asked her if she had any other card she'd like to use. She said she didn't. I asked her if she'd like to write a check. No. I asked her if she wanted to use cash, and she said she didn't have any with her.


Customer: "I want to use this card. I don't have a PIN number. Just make something up."
Me: "That won't work."
Luckily, the woman's husband came walking up, wondering what was taking us so long. She explained the situation to him.


Husband: "Well, you have your PIN number written down in your wallet, where you keep all your credit cards."
Customer: "Oh, I thought that was for my car keys."
I won't even venture a guess as to what she was talking about.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Political Flubs

Outside of the killings, [Washington] has one of the lowest crime rates in the country." -- Marion Barry, Mayor of Washington, D.C.

"There are two kinds of truth. There are real truths, and there are made up truths." -- Marion Barry, on his arrest for drug use.

"If crime went down 100%, it would still be fifty times higher than it should be." -- Councilman John Bowman, commenting on the high crime rate in Washington, D.C.

"[I want to] make sure everybody who has a job wants a job." -- George Bush, during his first campaign for the presidency.

"I would like to thank Nasal Beard for that warm welcome." -- George Bush, thanking Hazel Beard, mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1992.

"Rarely is the question asked: is our children learning?" -- George W. Bush

"I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family." -- George W. Bush

"The most important job is not to be governor, or first lady in my case." -- George W. Bush

"We must all hear the universal call to like your neighbor as you like to be liked yourself." -- George W. Bush

"Well, I think if you say you're going to do something and don't do it, that's trustworthiness." -- George W. Bush

"I think if you know what you believe, it makes it a lot easier to answer questions. I can't answer your question." -- George W. Bush

"This campaign not only hears the voices of the entrepreneurs and the farmers and the entrepreneurs, we hear the voices of those struggling to get ahead." -- George W. Bush

"We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile." -- George W. Bush

"Actually, I -- this may sound a little West Texan to you, but I like it. When I'm talking about--when I'm talking about myself, and when he's talking about myself, all of us are talking about me." -- George W. Bush

"Will the highways on the Internet become more few?" -- George W. Bush

"This is Preservation Month. I appreciate preservation. It's what you do when you run for president. You gotta preserve." -- George W. Bush, speaking during Perseverance Month.

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- Jean Chretien

"When a great many people are unable to find work, unemployment results." -- Calvin Coolidge, ex-president, discussing the United States economic situation in 1931.

"This opens the door on another chapter of history." -- Walter Cronkite

"President Carter speaks loudly and carries a fly spotter, a fly swasher -- it's been a long day." -- Gerald Ford

"If Lincoln was alive today, he'd roll over in his grave." -- Gerald Ford

"Things are more like they are now than they have ever been." -- Gerald Ford

"I love sports. Whenever I can, I always watch the Detroit Tigers on the radio." -- Gerald Ford

"That is what has made America last these past 200 centuries." -- Gerald Ford

"China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese." -- Charles de Gaulle, President of France

"A zebra does not change its spots." -- Al Gore

"The theories -- the ideas she expressed about equality of results within legislative bodies and with -- by outcome, by decisions made by legislative bodies, ideas related to proportional voting as a general remedy, not in particular cases where the circumstances make that a feasible idea..." -- Al Gore

"The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep." -- Senator S. I. Hayakawa

"Wherever I have gone in this country, I have found Americans." -- Alf Landon (in America), during a speech in his presidential campaign against FDR.

"There is a mandate to impose a voluntary return to traditional values." -- Ronald Reagan

"Now we are trying to get unemployment to go up, and I think we're going to succeed." -- Ronald Reagan

"The right to suffer is one of the joys of a free economy." -- Howard Pyle, aide to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, commenting on the unemployment situation in Detroit.

"The streets are safe in Philadelphia -- it's only the people who make them unsafe." -- Frank Rizzo, ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia.

"A man could not be in two places at the same time unless he were a bird." -- Sir Boyle Roche, eighteenth century Member of Parliament from Tralee.

"I'm not indecisive. Am I indecisive?" -- Jim Scheibel, mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota.

"Wait a minute! I'm not interested in agriculture. I want the military stuff." -- Senator William Scott, during a briefing in which officials began telling him about missile silos.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Murray Walker Blunders

After active service in World War II and a successful career in advertising, Murray Walker became a sports commentator in 1949. Over the next 52 years, he made a name for himself with his commentating on motor racing, particularly Formula 1. His catch-phrase, "Unless I'm very much mistaken -- and I AM very much mistaken!" was the leader of a pack of quotable lines from Walker's commentating. Many of them were verbal blunders of some kind; he specialized, it seemed, in putting one person in two different places at the same time.

Unless I'm very much mistaken -- I AM very much mistaken!"

"Look up there! That's the sky!"

"Jenson Button is in the top ten, in eleventh position."

"And this is the third place car about to lap the second place car."

"This is an interesting circuit, because it has inclines. And not just up, but down as well."

"And there's the man in the green flag!"

"That's the first time he had started from the front row in a Grand Prix, having done so in Canada earlier this year."

"And he's lost both right front tires."

"Only a few more laps to go and then the action will begin. Unless this is the action, which it is."

"And there's no damage to the car. Except to the car itself."

"Mansell can see him in his earphone."

"Anything happens in Grand Prix racing, and it usually does."

"Alboreto has dropped back up to fifth place."

"As you look at the first four, the significant thing is that Alboreto is fifth."

"Do my eyes deceive me, or is Senna's Lotus sounding rough?"

"I can't imagine what kind of problem Senna has. I imagine it must be some sort of grip problem."

"I know it's an old cliche, but you can cut the atmosphere with a cricket stump."

"Alesi is in second place, and Hill is in second place."

"The lead is now 6.9 seconds. In fact, it's just under 7 seconds."

"Tambay's hopes, which were nil before, are absolutely zero now."

"This has been a great season for Nelson Piquet, as he is now known, and always has been."

"And the first five places are filled by five different cars."

"As you can see, visually, with your eyes."

"And Damon Hill is following Damon Hill."

"Michael Schumacher is leading Michael Schumacher."

"Jacques Lafitte is as close to Surer as Surer is to Lafitte."

"Jean Alesi is 4th and 5th."

"Villeneuve is now twelve seconds ahead of Villeneuve."

"Frentzen is taking, er, reducing that gap between himself and Frentzen."

"Ferrari leads, McLaren second, McLaren second, Jordan third, and Benneton fifth and sixth."

"Schumacher has made his final stop three times."

"Mansell is slowing it down, taking it easy. Oh, no he isn't! It's a lap record."

"And he's done that in a whisker under 10 seconds, call it 9.7 in round figures."

"Nigel Mansell is the last person in the race apart from the five in front of him."

"And here comes Mika Hakkinen, double world champion twice over."

"It's lap 26 of 58, which unless I'm very much mistaken is half way."

"Let's stop the startwatch."

"That's history. I say history because it happened in the past."

"And the first three cars are all Escorts, which isn't surprising as this is an all Escort race."

"I didn't see the time, largely because there wasn't one."

"Rally points scoring is twenty for the fastest, eighteen for the second fastest, right down to six points for the slowest fastest."

"I was there when I said it."

"Stewart has two cars in the top five: Magnusson 5th and Barichello 6th."

"The European drivers have adapted to this circuit extremely quickly, especially Paul Radisich who's a New Zealander."

"Of course he did it voluntarily, but he had to do it."

"The tires are called wets, because they're used in the wet. And these tires are called slicks, because they're very slick."

"You might not think that's cricket, and it's not. It's motor racing."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bad Predictions

It's generally a bad idea to say something can't or won't be done, especially in the realm of science and technology. The following are quotations from the past that haunt their speakers today:

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." -- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.

"Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and weigh only 1.5 tons." -- Popular Mechanics, 1949

"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." -- The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957.

"But what...is it good for?" -- Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." -- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.

"640K ought to be enough for anybody." -- Attributed to Bill Gates, 1981, but believed to be an urban legend.

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." -- Western Union internal memo, 1876.

"The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys." -- Sir William Preece, chief engineer of the British Post Office, 1876.

"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" -- David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

"While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility." -- Lee DeForest, inventor.

"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C', the idea must be feasible." -- A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" -- H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

"I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary Cooper." -- Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in "Gone With the Wind."

"A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make." -- Response to Debbi Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields' Cookies.

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." -- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

"Radio has no future. Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. X-rays will prove to be a hoax." -- William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, British scientist, 1899.

"So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'" -- Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and HP interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.

"If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this." -- Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M "Post-It" Notepads.

"It will be years -- not in my time -- before a woman will become Prime Minister." -- Margaret Thatcher, 1974.

"I see no good reasons why the views given in this volume should shock the religious sensibilities of anyone." -- Charles Darwin, The Origin Of Species, 1869.

"With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn't likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market." -- Business Week, August 2, 1968.

"That Professor Goddard with his 'chair' in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react--to say that would be absurd. Of course, he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools." -- 1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work. The remark was retracted in the July 17, 1969 issue.

"You want to have consistent and uniform muscle development across all of your muscles? It can't be done. It's just a fact of life. You just have to accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of weight training." -- Response to Arthur Jones, who solved the "unsolvable" problem by inventing Nautilus.

"Ours has been the first, and doubtless to be the last, to visit this profitless locality." -- Lt. Joseph Ives, after visiting the Grand Canyon in 1861.

"Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy." -- Workers whom Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." -- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

"There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will." -- Albert Einstein, 1932.

"The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives." -- Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project.

"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value." -- Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.

"There will never be a bigger plane built." -- A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that holds ten people.

"Everything that can be invented has been invented." -- Attributed to Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899, but known to be an urban legend.

"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction." -- Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872.

"The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon." -- Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Readers who just don't get it

The following have all been asked of library reference desk workers in the USA and Canada.

"I'm looking for a book."

"Do you have books here?"

"Do you have a list of all the books written in the English language?"

"Do you have a list of all the books I've ever read?"

"I'm looking for Robert James Waller's book, 'Waltzing through Grand Rapids." -- The actual title is "Slow Waltz In Cedar Bend."

"Where is the reference desk?" -- Asked of a worker sitting at a desk, over which was a sign saying 'REFERENCE DESK'.

"Can you tell me why so many famous Civil War battles were fought on National Park sites?"

"Which outlets in the library are appropriate for my hairdryer?"

"I was here about three weeks ago looking at a cookbook that cost $39.95. Do you know which one it is?"

"I need a color photograph of George Washington." -- Other individuals asked for, by other patrons, are Christopher Columbus, King Arthur, Moses, Socrates, and more.

"Do you have any books with photographs of dinosaurs?"

"I'm looking for information on carpal tunnel syndrome. I think I'm having trouble with it in my neck."

"Is the basement upstairs?"

"I am looking for a list of laws that I can break that would send me back to jail for a couple of months."

"I got a quote from a book I turned in last week but I forgot to write down the author and title. It's big and red, and I found it on the top shelf. Can you find it for me?"

"Do you have anything good to read?" -- The response was, "No, ma'am. I'm afraid we have 75,000 books, and they're all duds."

Friday, June 6, 2008

Do You Know Your Bible

The following are quotes from exams and papers assigned to 7th through 12th students:

"In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating the world, so He took the Sabbath off."

"Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree."

"Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark."

"Noah built an ark, which the animals came on to in pears."

"Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night."

"Samson was a strong man who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah."

"Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients."

"The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert."

"Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Amendments."

"The First Commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple."

"The Fifth Commandment is 'Humor thy father and mother.'"

"The Seventh Commandment is 'Thou shalt not admit adultery.'"

"Moses died before he ever reached Canada."

"Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol."

"The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still, and he obeyed him."

"David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar."

"David fought with the Philatelists, a race of people who lived in Biblical times."

"Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines."

"The people who followed the Lord were called the 12 decibels."

"The epistles were the wives of the apostles."

"St. Paul cavorted to Christianity."

"Paul preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marriage."

"In some religions a man can have many wives, and this is called polygamy. In our religion a man can have one wife, and this is called monotony."

Monday, June 2, 2008

History Through Children's Eyes

The following are quotes from exams and papers assigned to 7th through 12th students :

"The Magna Carta provided that no free men should be hanged twice for the same offense."

"Another tale tells of William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son's head."

"Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes."

"The system involving barons and lords was called the futile system."

"Milton wrote 'Paradise Lost.' Then his wife dies, and he wrote 'Paradise Regained.'"

"Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic. His ships were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe."

"The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers. Many people died, and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all this."

"Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead."

"Under the Constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms."

"Bach was the most famous composer in the world, and so was Handel."

"Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English."

"Bach died from 1750 to the present."

"Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He expired in 1827 and later died for this."

"[Napoleon] wanted an heir to inheret his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn't bear him any children."

"The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West."

"Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years."

"Queen Victoria's reclining years and finally the end of her life were exemplatory of a great personality."

"Queen Victoria's death was the final event which ended her reign."

"Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis."

"Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the Organ of the Spices."

"It was the painter Donatello's interest in the female nude that made him the father of the Renaissance."

"Without Greeks, we wouldn't have history."

"One myth says that the mother of Achilles dipped him in the River Stynx until he became intollerable."

"Homer also wrote The Oddity, in which Penelope was the last hardship that Ulysses endured on his journey."

"Actually, Homer was not written by Homer, but by another man of the same name."

"In the Olympics Games, Greeks ran races jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java."

"The government of Athen was democratic because the people took the law into their own hands."

"When they fought the Parisians, the Greeks were outnumbered because the Persians had more men."

"Eventually, the Ramons conquered the Geeks."

"The Whiskey Rebellion was when some people got smashed and went and rebelled."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Punny Around the World

A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.

The incontinent Scotsman had a wee accident.

Show me someone in denial and I'll show you a person in Egypt up to their ankles.

I like European food so I decided to Russia over there because I was Hungary. After Czech'ing the menu I ordered Turkey. When I was Finnished I told the waiter 'Spain good but there is Norway I could eat another bite'.

England doesn't have a kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool

The Irish should be rich because their capital is always Dublin.

Visitors to Cuba are usually Havana good time.

Italian building inspectors in Pisa are leanient.

There is some Confucion about the oldest religion in China.

In a Scandinavian race the last Lapp crossed the Finnish line.

Did you know that donuts were first made in Greece?

If you said you were from South America, I would not Bolivia.

Britain is a wet place since the queen has had a long reign.

Goats in France are musical because they have french horns.

The pharaohs of Egypt worked out the first pyramid scheme.

While in Mexico, the chinese diplomat got a ticket for going the
Wong way on the Juan Way street.

Before the revolution, Russia was in a Tsary state.

A practical Czech is considered to be Praguematic.

Things made in Australia are high koala-ty.

People in Switzerland can't learn to ski without a lot of alp.

Television sets in Britain have to cross the English Channel.

People have a happy time vacationing in Ireland because they are
walking on Eire.

If you send a letter to the Philippines put it in a Manila
envelope.

When Irish boys carry their little brothers, they get a Pat on the
back.

Should we watch the Swiss?'. 'Of quartz we should.'

When Mongolians walk they like to take big steppes.