Humor Drop: June 22nd, 1998

Introduction

Hi All;


The Mighty Ford Escort successfully received the auto-trim transplant on Friday, so I have no planned trips to Bellingham for a while.

Things of the Week

Word of the Week

This week's word is: Pleonasms


Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]

Pleonasm \Ple"o*nasm\,, n. [L. Pleonasmus, Gr. ?, fr. ? to be more than enough, to abound, fr.?, neut. of ?, more, compar. of ? much. See {Full}, a., and cf. {Poly-}, {Plus}.] (Rhet.) Redundancy of language in speaking or writing; the use of more words than are necessary to express the idea; as, I saw it with my own eyes.

Web Site of the Week

This week's web site is:

The Elements of Style

Book of the Week

This week's book: "Otherland: River of Blue Fire" by Tad Williams

Humor

Humor sources:

Ken Fowles, Kevin Mills, Sam Hughes, Caren Pollock, John Richards, Doug West, Michael Forgey and Tim Miller

Subject: AltaVista's Translation Service

One of the several "services" AV offers is translation of web pages or plain text. Thought I'd test it out with something I said to my wife yesterday. In each section below, the first paragraph is what I said. The second is AV's translation. The third is AV's translation back into English of the second paragraph.

FRENCH

Tomorrow a man is going to come over to fix our sprinkler system at about 1:30 p.m. We should be sure to be home when he comes.


Demain un homme ira venir pour fixer notre système d'arroseuses à environ 1:30 P.M. Nous devrions être sûrs d'être à la maison quand il vient.


Tomorrow a man will come to fix our system of water carts at approximately 1:30 P.M. Us should be sure to be at the house when it comes.

GERMAN

Tomorrow a man is going to come over to fix our sprinkler system at about 1:30 p.m. We should be sure to be home when he comes.

Morgen wird ein Mann vorbeikommen, unser Sprengersystem um ungefähr 1:30 P.M. zu regeln. Wir sollten sicher sein, Haupt zu sein, wenn er kommt.

Tomorrow a man will go past, our sprinkler system around approximately 1:30 P.M. to regulate. We should be safe to be head if he comes.

ITALIAN

Tomorrow a man is going to come over to fix our sprinkler system at about 1:30 p.m. We should be sure to be home when he comes.

Domani un uomo sta andando venire sopra riparare il nostro sistema di spruzzatore a circa 1:30 p.m. Dovremmo essere sicuri essere domestici quando viene.

Tomorrow a man is going to come over repairing our system of sprayer to approximately 1:30 p.m. We would have to be sure to be domestic when it comes.

PORTUGESE

Tomorrow a man is going to come over to fix our sprinkler system at about 1:30 p.m. We should be sure to be home when he comes.

Amanhã um homem está indo vir sobre reparando nosso sistema do pulverizador a aproximadamente 1:30 p.m. Nós teríamos que ser certos ser domésticos quando vem.

Tomorrow a man is going to come on repairing our system of the spray approximately the 1:30 p.m. We would have that to be certain being domestic when comes.

SPANISH

Tomorrow a man is going to come over to fix our sprinkler system at about 1:30 p.m. We should be sure to be home when he comes.

Un hombre va mañana a venir encima fijar nuestro sistema de regadera en cerca de 1:30 P.M.. Debemos ser seguros ser caseros cuando él viene.

A man is tomorrow going to above come to fix our system of regadera to near 1:30 P.M. We must be safe to be homemade when it comes.

Subject: Prison vs. Work

IN PRISON: you spend the majority of your time in an 8x10 cell.

AT WORK you spend most of your time in a 6x8 cubicle.


IN PRISON you get three meals a day.

AT WORK you only get a break for 1 meal and you have to pay for it.


IN PRISON you get time off for good behavior.

AT WORK you get rewarded for good behavior with more work.


IN PRISON a guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you.

AT WORK you must carry around a security card and unlock and open all the doors yourself.


IN PRISON you can watch TV and play games.

AT WORK you get fired for watching TV and playing games.


IN PRISON you get your own toilet.

AT WORK you have to share.


IN PRISON they allow your family and friends to visit.

AT WORK you cannot even speak to your family and friends.


IN PRISON all expenses are paid by taxpayers with no work required.

AT WORK you get to pay all the expenses to go to work and then they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners.


IN PRISON you spend most of your life looking through bars from the inside wanting to get out.

AT WORK you spend most of your time wanting to get out and go inside bars.


IN PRISON there are wardens who are often sadistic.

AT WORK they are called managers.

Butcher Dance

[--spr goan!]

A guy has spent five years traveling all around the world making a documentary on Native dances. At the end of this time, he has every single native dance of every indigenous culture in the world on film. He winds up in Australia, in Alice Springs, so he pops into a pub for a well earned beer. He gets talking to one of the local Aborigines and tells him about his project.

The Aborigine asks the guy what he thought of the "Butcher Dance."

The guy's a bit confused and says, "Butcher Dance? What's that?"

"What? You no see Butcher Dance?"

"No, I've never heard of it."

"Oh mate. You crazy. How you say you film every native dance if you no see Butcher Dance?"

"UmmSUM. I got a corroborree on film just the other week. Is that what you mean?"

"No no, not corroborree. Butcher Dance much more important than corroborree."

"Oh, well how can I see this Butcher Dance then?"

"Mate, Butcher Dance right out bush. Many days travel to go see Butcher Dance."

"Look, I've been everywhere from the forests of the Amazon, to deepest darkest Africa, to the frozen wastes of the Arctic filming these dances. Nothing will prevent me from recording this one last dance."

"OK, mate. You drive north along highway towards Darwin. After you drive 197 miles, you see dirt track veer off to left. Follow dirt track for 126 miles 'til you see big huge dead gum tree - biggest tree you ever see. Here you gotta leave the car, because much too rough for driving. You strike out due west into setting sun. You walk 3 days 'til you hit creek. You follow this creek to Northwest. After 2 days you find where creek flows out of rocky mountains. Much too difficult to cross mountains here though. You now head south for half day 'til you see pass through mountains. Pass very difficult and very dangerous. Take 2, maybe 3 days to get through rocky pass. When through, head northwest for 4 days 'til reach big huge rock - 20 ft high and shaped like man's head. From rock, walk due west for 2 days and you find village. Here you see Butcher Dance."

So the guy grabs his camera crew and equipment and heads out. After a couple of hours he finds the dirt track. The track is in a shocking state and he's forced to crawl along at a snails pace and so he doesn't reach the tree until dusk and he's forced to set up camp for the night.

He sets out bright and early the following morning. His spirits are high and he's excited about the prospect of capturing on film this mysterious dance which he had never heard mention of before.

True to the directions he has been given, he reaches the creek after three days and follows it for another two until they reach the rocky mountains. The merciless sun is starting to take its toll by this time and his spirits are starting to flag, but wearily he trudges on until he finds the pass through the hills - nothing will prevent him from completing his life's dream.

The mountains prove to be every bit as treacherous as their guide said and at times they almost despair of getting their bulky equipment through. But after three and a half days of back breaking effort they finally force their way clear and continue their long trek.

When they reach the huge rock, four days later, their water is running low and their feet are covered with blisters. Yet they steel themselves and head out on the last leg of their journey.

Two days later they virtually stagger into the village where the natives feed them and give them fresh water. They begin to feel like new men.

Once he's recovered enough, the guy goes before the village chief and tells him that he has come to film there Butcher Dance.

"Oh mate. Very bad you come today. Butcher Dance last night. You too late. You miss dance."

"Well, when do you hold the next dance?"

"Not 'til next year."

"Well, I've come all this way. Couldn't you just hold an extra dance for me, tonight?"

"No, no, no! Butcher Dance very holy. Only hold once a year. If hold more, gods get very angry and destroy village! You want see Butcher Dance you come back next year."

The guy is devastated, but he has no other option but to head back to civilization and back home.

The following year, he heads back to Australia and, determined not to miss out again, sets out a week earlier than last time. He is quite willing to spend a week in the village before the dance is performed in order to ensure he is present to witness it. However, right from the start things go wrong.

Heavy rains that year have turned the dirt track to mud and the car gets bogged every few miles, finally forcing them to abandon their vehicles and slog through the mud on foot almost half the distance to the tree.

They reach the creek and the mountains without any further hitch, but halfway through the ascent of the mountain they are struck by a fierce storm which rages for several days, during which they are forced to cling forlornly to the mountainside until it subsides. It would be suicide to attempt to scale the treacherous paths in the face of such savage elements.

Then, before they have traveled a mile out from the mountains, one of the crew sprains his ankle badly which slows down the rest of their journey enormously, to the rock and then the village. Eventually, having lost all sense of how long they have been traveling, they stagger into the village at about 12:00 noon.

"The Butcher Dance!" gasps the guy. "Please don't tell me I'm too late!"

The chief recognizes him and says "No, white fella. Butcher Dance performed tonight. You come just in time."

Relieved beyond measure, the crew spends the rest of the afternoon setting up their equipment - preparing to capture the night's ritual on celluloid as dusk falls, the natives start to cover there bodies in white paint and adorn themselves in all manner of bird's feathers and animal skins.

Once darkness has settled fully over the land, the natives form a circle around a huge roaring fire.

A deathly hush descends over performers and spectators alike as a wizened old figure with elaborate swirling designs covering his entire body enters the circle and begins to chant. Some sort of witch doctor or medicine man, figures the guy and he whispers to the chief, "What's he doing?"

"Hush," whispers the chief. "You first white man ever to see most sacred of our rituals. Must remain silent. Holy man, he asks that the spirits of the dream world watch as we demonstrate our devotion to them through our dance and, if they like our dancing, will they be so gracious as to watch over us and protect us for another year."

The chanting of the Holy man reaches a stunning crescendo before he moves himself from the circle. From somewhere the rhythmic pounding of drums booms out across the land and the natives begin to sway to the stirring rhythm.

The guy is becoming caught up in the fervor of the moment himself.

This is it. He now realizes beyond all doubt that his wait has not been in vain. He is about to witness the ultimate performance of rhythm and movement ever conceived by mankind.

The chief strides to his position in the circle and, in a big booming voice, starts to sing, He says, "You butch yer right arm in. You butch yer right arm out. You butch yer right arm in and you shake it all about"

Subject: cops

++++"Officer, Officer"

A man is driving home late one afternoon, well above the speed limit. He notices a police car with its red lights on in his rear view mirror. He thinks, "I can outrun this guy!" so he floors it, and the race is on. The cars are racing down the highway -- 60, 70, 80, 90 miles an hour.

Finally, as his speedometer passes 100, the guy figures, "What the heck..." and gives up. He pulls over to the curb.

The police officer gets out of his cruiser and approaches the car. He leans down and says, "Listen Mister, I've had a really lousy day, and I just want to go home. Give me a good excuse and I'll let you go."

The man thought for a moment and said, "Three weeks ago, my wife ran off with a police officer. When I saw your cruiser in my rear view mirror, I thought you were trying to give her back to me!"

Subject: Screwing up interviews

HOW TO SCREW UP AN INTERVIEW

- Submitted by Ken Smith

We've all been interviewed for jobs. And, we've all spent most of those interviews thinking about what not to do. Don't bite your nails. Don't fidget. Don't interrupt. Don't belch. If we did any of the dont's, we knew we'd disqualify ourselves instantly. But some job applicants go light years beyond this. We surveyed top personnel executives of 100 major American corporations and asked for stories of unusual behavior by job applicants.

The lowlights:

  1. "... stretched out on the floor to fill out the job application."
  2. "She wore a Walkman and said she could listen to me and the music at the same time."
  3. " A balding candidate abruptly excused himself. Returned to office a few minutes later, wearing a hairpiece."
  4. "... asked to see interviewer's resume to see if the personnel executive was qualified to judge the candidate."
  5. "... announced she hadn't had lunch and proceeded to eat a hamburger and french fries in the interviewer's office - wiping the ketchup on her sleeve"
  6. "Stated that, if he were hired, he would demonstrate his loyalty by having the corporate logo tattooed on his forearm."
  7. "Interrupted to phone his therapist for advice on answering specific interview questions."
  8. "When I asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and started tap dancing around my office."
  9. "At the end of the interview, while I stood there dumbstruck, went through my purse, took out a brush, brushed his hair, and left."
  10. "... pulled out a Polaroid camera and snapped a flash picture of me. Said he collected photos of everyone who interviewed him."
  11. "Said he wasn't interested because the position paid too much."
  12. "While I was on a long-distance phone call, the applicant took out a copy of Penthouse, and looked through the photos only, stopping longest at the centerfold."
  13. "During the interview, an alarm clock went off from the candidate's brief case. He took it out, shut it off, apologized and said he had to leave for another interview."
  14. "A telephone call came in for the job applicant. It was from his wife.
    His side of the conversation went like this:

    "Which company? When do I start? What's the salary?"

    I said, "I assume you're not interested in conducting the interview any further."

    He promptly responded, "I am as long as you'll pay me more.

    "I didn't hire him, but later found out there was no other job offer. It was a scam to get a higher offer."

  15. "His attache [case] opened when he picked it up and the contents spilled, revealing ladies' undergarments and assorted makeup and perfume."
  16. "Candidate said he really didn't want to get a job, but the unemployment office needed proof that he was looking for one."
  17. "... asked who the lovely babe was, pointing to the picture on my desk. When I said it was my wife, he asked if she was home now and wanted my phone number. I called security."
  18. "Pointing to a black case he carried into my office, he said that if he was not hired, the bomb would go off. Disbelieving, I began to state why he would never be hired and that I was going to call the police. He then reached down to the case, flipped a switch and ran. No one was injured, but I did need to get a new desk."

Subject: Year 2000 Bug

Some people are worried about the year 2000 bug, but I'm not. I just checked the calendar and Jan. 1, 2000 is on a Saturday. That means if there is a problem, we'll have the whole weekend to deal with it!

--Michael Forgey

Subject: Falling from Grace

There's this old priest who got sick of all the people in his parish who kept confessing to adultery. One Sunday, in the pulpit, he said, "if I hear one more person confess to adultery, I'll quit!" Well, everyone liked him, so they came up with a code word. Someone who had committed adultery would say they had "fallen".

This seemed to satisfy the old priest and things went well, until the priest died at a ripe old age. About a week after the new priest arrived, he visited the Mayor of the town and seemed very concerned. The priest said, "you have to do something about the sidewalks in town.When people come into the confessional, they keep talking about having fallen." The Mayor started to laugh, realizing that no-one had told the new priest about the code word.

Before the mayor could explain, the priest shook an accusing finger at the mayor and said, "I don't know what you're laughing about, Your wife fell three times this week."

Submitted by: Harsh Javeri @ vsnl.net.in

Subject: Canadian Genie

Three guys, a Newfie, a Quebecer and an Albertan are out walking along the beach together one day. They come across a lantern and a Genie pops out of it.

"I will give you each one wish, that's three wishes total", says the Genie.

The Newfie says, "I am a fisherman, my Dad's a fisherman, his Dad was a fisherman and my son will be one too. I want all the oceans full of fish for all eternity."

With a blink of the Genie's eye, ,FOOM' the oceans were teaming with fish.

The Quebecer was amazed, so he said, "I want a wall around Quebec, so that nothing will get in for all eternity." Again, with a blink of the Genie's eye, ,POOF' there was a huge wall around Quebec.

The Albertan asks, "I'm very curious. Please tell me more about this wall." The Genie explains, "Well, it's about 150 feet high, 50 feet thick and nothing can get in or out." The Albertan says, "Fill it up with water."

Submitted by: Cornelia Ziemer @ uni-frankfurt.de

Subject: Bloody fine wish

Two men were adrift in a life boat following a dramatic escape from a burning freight vessel. While rumaging through the boat's provisions, one of the men stumbled across an old lamp. Secretly hoping that a Genie would appear, he rubbed the lamp vigorously. To the amazement of the castaways, one did come forth. This particular Genie, however, stated that she could only deliver one wish, not the standard three. Without giving much thought to the matter the man blurted out, "Make the entire ocean into beer!" Immediately the Genie clapped her hands with a deafening crash, and the entire sea turned into the finest brew ever sampled by mortals. Simultaneously, the Genie vanished to her freedom. Only the gentle lapping of beer on the hull broke the stillness as the two men considered their circumstances. The other man looked disgustedly at the one who's wish had been granted. After a long, tension-filled moment, he spoke: "Nice going! Now we're going to have to pee in the boat."

Subject: Research

Several years ago, Great Britain funded a study to determine why the head on a man's penis is larger than the shaft. The study took two years and cost over $180,000. The results of the study concluded that the reason the head of a man's penis is larger than the shaft was to provide the man with more pleasure during sex.

After the results were published, Germany decided to conduct their own study on the same subject. They were convinced that the results of the British study were incorrect. After three years of research and a cost in excess of $250 000, they concluded that the head of a man's penis is larger than the shaft to provide the woman with more pleasure during sex.

When the results of the German study were released, Canada decided to conduct their own study. The Canucks didn't really trust the British or German studies.

So, after nearly three weeks of intensive research and a cost of around $75, the Canadian study was complete, and came to the conclusion that the reason the head on a man's penis is larger than the shaft is to prevent your hand from flying off and hitting you in the forehead.

Subject: Social Order?

A journalist had done a story on gender roles in Kuwait several years before the Gulf War, and she noted then that women customarily walked about 10 feet behind their husbands.

She returned to Kuwait recently and observed that the men now walked several yards behind their wives. She approached one of the women for an explanation.

"This is marvelous," said the journalist. "What enabled women here to achieve this reversal of roles?"

Replied the Kuwaiti woman: "Land mines.