The Fairhead Funnies Page

NB: all of these were received via email on great long chains; these are therefore assumed to belong in the public domain.
Similarly, any stories presented as fact must be presumed to be apocryphal.

Last update: December 17, 2000
This compilation © Steve Fairhead 2000

Contents (in no particular order)

Misc. lists

For some reason the Internet is full of lists...

Dubious references

Actual excerpts from Royal Navy and Marines officer fitness reports:

Actual lines out of U.S. Military OERs (Officer Efficiency Report):

The following were taken from real resumes and cover letters. They were printed in the July 21, 1997 issue of Fortune Magazine:

Things You Learn From the Movies

  1. Large, loft-style apartments in New York City are well within the price range of most people - whether they are employed or not.
  2. At least one of a pair of identical twins is born evil.
  3. Should you decide to defuse a bomb, don't worry which wire to cut. You will always choose the right one.
  4. Most laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communications system of any invading alien society.
  5. It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts: your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors.
  6. When you turn out the light to go to bed, everything in your bedroom will still be clearly visible, just slightly bluish.
  7. If you are blonde and pretty, it is possible to become a world expert on nuclear fission at the age of 22.
  8. Honest and hard working policemen are traditionally gunned down three days before their retirement.
  9. Rather than wasting bullets, megalomaniacs prefer to kill their arch-enemies using complicated machinery involving fuses, pulley systems, deadly gasses, lasers, and man-eating sharks, which will allow their captives at least 20 minutes to escape.
  10. All beds have special L-shaped cover sheets that reach the armpit level on a woman but only to waist level on the man lying beside her.
  11. All grocery shopping bags contain at least one stick of French bread.
  12. It's easy for anyone to land a plane providing there is someone in the control tower to talk you down.
  13. Once applied, lipstick will never rub off - even while scuba diving.
  14. You're very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.
  15. Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German or Russian officer, it will not be necessary to speak the language. A German or Russian accent will do.
  16. The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.
  17. A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating, but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.
  18. If a large pane of glass is visible, someone will be thrown through it before long.
  19. If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange noises in their most revealing underwear.
  20. Word processors never display a cursor on screen but will always say: Enter Password Now.
  21. Even when driving down a perfectly straight road, it is necessary to turn the steering wheel vigorously from left to right every few moments.
  22. All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they're going to go off.
  23. A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty.
  24. If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you meet will know all the steps.
  25. Police departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are deliberately assigned a partner who is their total opposite.
  26. When they are alone, all foreign military officers prefer to speak to each other in English.


How our GCSE/high school students reinvented history

  1. The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked, "Am I my brother's son?"
  2. Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.
  3. Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea where they made unleavened bread which is bread without any ingredients. Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada.
  4. Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies and they wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and travelled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.
  5. The Greeks were a highly sculptured people and without them we wouldn't have history. The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a female moth.
  6. In the Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the Java.
  7. Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died of an overdose of wedlock. After his death his career suffered a dramatic decline.
  8. Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.
  9. Eventually, the Romans conquered the Greeks. History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long.
  10. Nero was a cruel tyranny who would torture his subjects by playing the fiddle to them.
  11. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out 'Teehee, Brutus'.
  12. In midevil times most people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the futile ages was Chaucer who wrote many poems and verses and also wrote literature.
  13. The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter. Romeo and Juliet are an example of an heroic couplet. Romeo's last wish was to be laid by Juliet.
  14. Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. John Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.
  15. Another story was William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son's head.
  16. Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practised on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world and so was Handel. Handel was half German half Italian and half English. He was very large.
  17. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.
  18. Gravity was invented by Isaac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the autumn when apples are falling off trees.
  19. It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking. And Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100 foot clipper.
  20. Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. She was a moral woman who practised virtue. Her death was the final event which ended her reign.
  21. Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and was canonised by Bernard Shaw. Finally Magna Carta provided that no man should be hanged twice for the same offence.
  22. Queen Elizabeth was the "Virgin Queen". As a queen she was a success. When she exposed herself before her troops they all shouted "hurrah".
  23. During the Renaissance America began. 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.
  24. Later, the Pilgrims crossed the ocean, and this was called Pilgrim's Progress. 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.
  25. One of the causes of the Revolutionary War was the English put tacks in their tea. Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps. Finally the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay for taxis. Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congres. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backwards and declared, "A horse divided against itself cannot stand.". Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.
  26. Soon the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.
  27. Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theatre and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposedly insane actor. This ruined Booth's career.
  28. Meanwhile in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltaire invented electricity and also wrote a book called Candy.
  29. The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened and catapulted into Napoleon. Napoleon wanted an heir to inherit his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn't have any children.
  30. The nineteenth century was a time of a great many thoughts and inventions. People stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper, which did the work of a hundred men.
  31. Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the Organ of the Species. Madman Curie discovered radio. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx brothers.
  32. The First World War, caused by the assignation of the Arch-Duck by an anahist, ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.
  33. The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West.

US science test paper comments

This is a list of comments from test papers, essays, etc., submitted to science and health teachers by elementary, junior high, high school, and college students. It is truly astonishing what weird science our young scholars can create under the pressures of time and grades. The spellings are the original ones.

  1. H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water.
  2. To collect fumes of sulphur, hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube.
  3. When you smell an oderless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide.
  4. Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is water and gin.
  5. A super saturated solution is one that holds more than it can hold.
  6. Liter: A nest of young puppies.
  7. Magnet: Something you find crawling all over a dead cat.
  8. Momentum: What you give a person when they are going away.
  9. Vacuum: A large, empty space where the pope lives.
  10. The pistol of the flower is its only protection against insects.
  11. A fossil is an extinct animal. The older it is, the more extinct it is.
  12. To remove dust from the eye, pull the eye down over the nose.
  13. For a nosebleed: Put the nose much lower than the heart until the heart stops.
  14. For head colds: use an agonizer to spray the nose until it drops in your throat.
  15. Germinate: To become a naturalized German.
  16. The tides are a fight between the Earth and moon. All water tends to go towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight.
  17. Blood flows down one leg and up the other.


Only in the US legal system...

A Charlotte, North Carolina man, having purchased a case of rare, very expensive cigars, insured them against... fire.

Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of fabulous cigars, and having yet to make a single premium payment on the policy, the man filed a claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the man stated that he had lost the cigars in "a series of small fires". The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason that the man had consumed the cigars in a normal fashion.

The man sued... and won.

In delivering his ruling, the judge stated that since the man held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable, and also guaranteed that it would insure the cigars against fire, without defining what it considered to be "unacceptable fire", it was obligated to compensate the insured for his loss. Rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the judge's ruling and paid the man $15,000 for the rare cigars he lost in "the fires".

After the man cashed his check, however, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of arson. With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used as evidence against him, the man was convicted of intentionally burning the rare cigars and sentenced to 24 consecutive one-year terms.

Massachusetts Bar Association

[Ed. note: a bit of an old chestnut, this one. If you've not seen this before, where were you?]

Recently reported in the Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyers Journal, the following are questions actually asked of witnesses by attorneys during trials and, in certain cases, the responses given by insightful witnesses:


Physics: food for thought

The following concerns a question in a physics degree exam at the University of Copenhagen:

"Describe how to determine the height of a skyscraper with a barometer."

One student replied:

"You tie a long piece of string to the neck of the barometer, then lower the barometer from the roof of the skyscraper to the ground. The length of the string plus the length of the barometer will equal the height of the building."

This highly original answer so incensed the examiner that the student was failed immediately. The student appealed on the grounds that his answer was indisputably correct, and the university appointed an independent arbiter to decide the case.

The arbiter judged that the answer was indeed correct, but did not display any noticeable knowledge of physics. To resolve the problem it was decided to call the student in and allow him six minutes in which to provide a verbal answer that showed at least a minimal familiarity with the basic principles of physics.

For five minutes the student sat in silence, forehead creased in thought.

The arbiter reminded him that time was running out, to which the student replied that he had several extremely relevant answers, but couldn't make up his mind which to use. On being advised to hurry up the student replied as follows:

"Firstly, you could take the barometer up to the roof of the skyscraper, drop it over the edge, and measure the time it takes to reach the ground. The height of the building can then be worked out from the formula H = 0.5g * t squared. But bad luck on the barometer."

"Or if the sun is shining you could measure the height of the barometer, then set it on end and measure the length of its shadow. Then you measure the length of the skyscraper's shadow, and thereafter it is a simple matter of proportional arithmetic to work out the height of the skyscraper."

"But if you wanted to be highly scientific about it, you could tie a short piece of string to the barometer and swing it like a pendulum, first at ground level and then on the roof of the skyscraper. The height is worked out by the difference in the gravitational restoring force T = 2 pi sqr root (l / g)."

"Or if the skyscraper has an outside emergency staircase, it would be easier to walk up it and mark off the height of the skyscraper in barometer lengths, then add them up."

"If you merely wanted to be boring and orthodox about it, of course, you could use the barometer to measure the air pressure on the roof of the skyscraper and on the ground, and convert the difference in millibars into feet to give the height of the building."

"But since we are constantly being exhorted to exercise independence of mind and apply scientific methods, undoubtedly the best way would be to knock on the janitor's door and say to him 'If you would like a nice new barometer, I will give you this one if you tell me the height of this skyscraper'."

The student was Niels Bohr, the only Dane to win the Nobel Prize for Physics.

"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a very narrow field."
Niels Bohr

The wonders of science/physics

An American magazine held a competition, inviting its readers to submit new scientific theories on ANY subject. Below is the winner:

When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet, and when toast is dropped, it always lands buttered side down. Therefore, if a slice of toast is strapped to a cat's back, buttered side up, and the animal is then dropped, the two opposing forces will cause it to hover, spinning inches above the ground.

If enough toast-laden felines were used, they could form the basis of a high-speed monorail system.

And then this mail arrived from a reader:

I've been thinking about this cat/toast business for a while. In the buttered toast case, it's the butter that causes it to land buttered side down - it doesn't have to be toast, the theory works equally well with Jacob's crackers. So to save money you just miss out the toast - and butter the cats. Also, there may be an imbalance between the effects of cat and butter, and there are other substances that have a stronger affinity for carpet.

Probability of carpet impact is determined by the following simple formula:

p = s * t(t)/tc

Where p is the probability of carpet impact, s is the "stain" value of covering substance - an indicator of the effectiveness of the toast topping in permanently staining the carpet.

Chicken Tikka Masala, for example, has a very high s value, while the s value of water is zero. tc and t(t) indicate the tone of the carpet topping - the value of p being strongly related to the relationship between the colour of the carpet and topping, as even chicken tikka masala won't cause a permanent and obvious stain if the carpet is the same colour.

So it is obvious that the probability of carpet impact is maximised if you use chicken tikka masala and a white carpet - in fact this combination gives a p value of one, which is the same as the probability of a cat landing on its feet. A cat with chicken tikka masala on its back will be certain to hover in mid-air.

There could be other problems with buttered toast. The toast may fall off the cat, causing a terrible monorail crash resulting in images of members of the royal family visiting accident victims in hospital, and politicians saying it wouldn't have happened if their party was in power as there would have been more investment in cat-toast glue research. Therefore it is in the interests not only of public safety but also public sanity if the buttered toast on cats idea is scrapped, to be replaced by a monorail powered by cats smeared with chicken tikka masala floating above a rail made from white shag pile carpet.


Doctor's notes

These are doctors' notes on patients' charts: (Actual notes - unedited!)

  1. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
  2. On the 2nd day the knee was better and on the 3rd day it disappeared completely.
  3. She has had no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.
  4. The patient has been depressed ever since she began seeing me in 1993.
  5. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.
  6. Discharge status: Alive but without permission.
  7. Healthy appearing decrepit 69 year-old male, mentally alert but forgetful.
  8. The patient refused an autopsy.
  9. The patient has no past history of suicides.
  10. Patient has left his white blood cells at another hospital.
  11. Patient's past medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days.
  12. Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
  13. Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant.
  14. Since she can't get pregnant with her husband, I thought you might like to work her up.
  15. She is numb from her toes down.
  16. While in the ER, she was examined, X-rated and sent home.
  17. The skin was moist and dry.
  18. Occasional, constant, infrequent headaches.
  19. Patient was alert and unresponsive.
  20. Rectal exam revealed a normal size thyroid. (ouch!)
  21. She stated that she had been constipated for most of her adult life, until she got a divorce.
  22. I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.
  23. Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.
  24. Exam of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.
  25. The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.
  26. The patient was to have a bowel resection. However, he took a job as a stockbroker instead.
  27. Skin: Somewhat pale but present.
  28. The pelvic examination will be done later on the floor.
  29. Patient was seen in consultation by Dr. Blank, who felt we should sit on the abdomen and I agree.
  30. Large brown stool ambulating in the hall.
  31. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.

A short history of medicine

"Doctor, I have an earache."

2000 B.C. - "Here, eat this root."

1000 B.C. - "That root is heathen, say this prayer."

1850 A.D. - "That prayer is superstition, drink this potion."

1940 A.D. - "That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill."

1985 A.D. - "That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic."

2000 A.D. - "That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root!"

News Flash

LONDON (Reuters) -- Following the approval of Viagra by the UK's health authorities, the first shipment arrived yesterday at Heathrow airport, but was hijacked on the way to the depot. Scotland Yard have warned the public to be on the lookout for a gang of hardened criminals.


Ruling on European Language

I think that you will be interested to learn that the European Union Commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

In the first year, "s" will be used instead of the soft "c". Sertainly, sivil servants will reseive this news with joy, and keyboards could have one less letter. Also the hard "c" will be replaced with "k". Not only will this klear up konfusion, but keyboards kan loose a further letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replased by "f". This will make words like "fotograf" 20 persent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters, which have always been a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent "e"'s in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" by "z" and "w" by "v".

During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from words kontaining "ou", and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

After ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer.

Ze drem vil finali kum tru.

Some English translation errors


Bulwar Lytton contest

"These are the 10 winners of this year's Bulwar Lytton contest, wherein one writes only the first line of a novel. Held annually by the English Department at San Jose University."

10) "As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the sound chamber he would never hear the end of it."

9) "Just beyond the Narrows the river widens."

8) "With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned, unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description."

7) "Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along the east wall: "Andre creep... Andre creep... Andre creep."

6) "Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was about to give his body and soul to a back-alley sex-change surgeon to become the woman he loved."

5) "Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from eeking out a living at a local pet store."

4) "Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often do."

3) "Like an overripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor."

2) "Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know the meaning of the word "fear," a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of death - in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies."

And the winner is...

1) "The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog's deception, screaming madly, 'You lied!'"


"Funny you should come to me..."

A Jewish lawyer was troubled by the way his son turned out and went to see his Rabbi about it. "I brought him up in the faith, gave him a very expensive barmitzvah, cost me a fortune to educate him. Then he tells me last week he has decided to be a Christian. Rabbi, where did I go wrong?"

"Funny you should come to me," said the Rabbi. "Like you I too brought my boy up in the faith, put him through University, cost me a fortune, then one day he too comes and tells me he has decided to become a Christian."

"What did you do?" asked the lawyer.

"I turned to God for the answer", replied the Rabbi. "And what did He say?" pressed the lawyer.

"God said 'Funny you should come to me...'"

Noah's Arc II

Noah was out for a stroll one day when God made himself known to him.

"Noah!" He boomed, "I want you to make another ark."

"As you wish, my Lord. Shall I make it the same as before?"

"No, not this time," said God, "I'd like you to make it with several different floors... mmm... let's say ten!"

"As you wish, my Lord. I shall make it ten floors tall, it shall be the greatest ark ever built. And shall I fill it with all of Your worldly creations, two by two?"

"No," said God, "I'd like it filled with just one species - I'd like it filled with my favourite fish, the carp."

"As you wish, my Lord. I will fill it as you desire, but may I ask you why you require this?"

"Well," replied God, "I've always wanted a multi-storey carp ark."

Loch Ness

An atheist was spending a quiet day fishing when suddenly his boat was attacked by the Loch Ness monster. In one easy flip, the beast tossed him and his boat high into the air. Then it opened its mouth to swallow both.

As the man sailed head over heels, he cried out, "Oh, my God! Help me!"

At once, the ferocious attack scene froze in place, and as the atheist hung in mid-air, a booming voice came down from the heavens. "I thought you didn't believe in Me!"

"Come on, God, give me a break!!" the man pleaded. "Two minutes ago I didn't believe in the Loch Ness monster either!"

T.G.I.F. - Thank God it's Friday, or maybe not

One day a guy dies and finds himself in hell. As he is wallowing in despair, he has his first meeting with the devil...

Satan: Why so glum?

Guy: What do you think? I'm in hell!

Satan: Hell's not so bad. We actually have a lot of fun down here. You a drinking man?

Guy: Sure, I love to drink.

Satan: Well, you're gonna love Mondays then. On Mondays that's all we do is drink. Whiskey, tequila, Guinness, wine coolers, diet tab and fresca... we drink till we throw up and then we drink some more! And we don't worry about getting a hangover, because you're dead anyway.

Guy: Gee, that sounds great!

Satan: You a smoker?

Guy: You better believe it!

Satan: All right! You're gonna love Tuesdays. We get the finest cigars from all over the world and smoke our lungs out. If you get cancer - no biggie, you're already dead, remember?

Guy: Wow... that's awesome!

Satan: I bet you like to gamble.

Guy: Why yes, as a matter of fact I do.

Satan: 'Cause Wednesdays you can gamble all you want. Craps, Blackjack, Roulette, Poker, Slots, whatever. If you go bankrupt... you're dead anyhow. What about drugs?

Guy: Are you kidding? Love drugs! You don't mean...

Satan: That's right! Thursday is drug day. Help yourself to a great big bowl of crack, or smack. Smoke a doobie the size of a submarine. You can do all the drugs you want, you're dead, who cares?

Guy: WOW! I never realized Hell was such a cool place!

Satan: You gay?

Guy: No...

Satan: Ooooh (grimaces). You're gonna hate Fridays.


Zen Buddhist to hotdog vendor: "Make me one with everything."


Easy guide to political ideologies

The Military

Mutant Marsupials Take Up Arms Against Australian Air Force

The re-use of some object-oriented code has caused tactical headaches for Australia's armed forces. As virtual reality simulators assume larger roles in helicopter combat training, programmers have gone to great lengths to increase the realism of their scenarios, including detailed landscapes and - in the case of the Northern Territory's Operation Phoenix- herds of kangaroos (since disturbed animals might well give away a helicopter's position).

The head of the Defense Science & Technology Organization's Land Operations/Simulation division reportedly instructed developers to model the local marsupials' movements and reactions to helicopters. Being efficient programmers, they just re-appropriated some code originally used to model infantry detachment reactions under the same stimuli, changed the mapped icon from a soldier to a kangaroo, and increased the figures' speed of movement.

Eager to demonstrate their flying skills for some visiting American pilots, the hotshot Aussies "buzzed" the virtual kangaroos in low flight during a simulation. The kangaroos scattered, as predicted, and the visiting Americans nodded appreciatively... then did a double-take as the kangaroos reappeared from behind a hill and launched a barrage of Stinger missiles at the hapless helicopter. (Apparently the programmers had forgotten to remove that part of the infantry coding.)

The lesson?

Objects are defined with certain attributes, and any new object defined in terms of an old one inherits all the attributes. The embarrassed programmers had learned to be careful when reusing object-oriented code, and the Yanks left with a newfound respect for Australian wildlife.

Simulator supervisors report that pilots from that point onward have strictly avoided kangaroos, just as they were meant to.

Reportedly from June 15, 1999 Defense Science and Technology Organization Lecture Series, Melbourne, Australia, and staff reports

Ship Ahoy!

"This is the transcript of the actual radio conversation between a US Naval ship and the Canadians, off the coast of Newfoundland, Oct 95. Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-10-95."

Canadians: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the South, to avoid a collision.

Americans: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the North, to avoid a collision.

Canadians: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert your course.

Canadians: Negative. I say again, You will have to divert your course.

Americans: This is the aircraft carrier US Lincoln. The second largest ship in the United States Atlantic Fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers, and numerous support vessels. I demand that you change your course 15 degrees North, I say again, that's 15 degrees North, or countermeasures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.

Canadians: We are a lighthouse. You decide.


From the Montreal Comedy festival


Music & musicians

Musician-musician abuse

[Ed: Musicians have a long-standing tradition of poking fun at one another; here are some examples. The instruments under attack, in each case, are mostly interchangeable; the actual instrument is usually just a reflection of the source of the gag]

Drums and bodhráns (type of drum used in traditional music)


Bass guitar





Bodhrán joke

A man is sitting in a bar, minding his own business, when a bloke with a black dustbin bag sits down next to him, looking furtive.

"What's in the bag?" asks your man.

"Semtex" replies the other.

"Thank God for that. I thought it was a bodhrán!"

Drummer joke: the drummer joke

A guitarist receives a panic phone call from a band one evening. It appears that their guitarist has broken his arm and they require a stand-in for that night's gig. He agrees to do the gig and goes to the pub venue in plenty of time. He buys a drink and waits patiently for the rest of the band to arrive.

Half an hour passes with no sign of the others. He is just starting to get a bit concerned, when in walks a chap, who buys a drink and sits down at the table with our guitarist. The two start talking and in conversation the newcomer turns out to be one of the band. He reassures the guitarist that the gig isn't due to start for a while and they don't take long to set up.

The two are getting on really well, when the guitarist says "Hey, I heard this really good drummer joke the other day".

The other chap replies, "Err, before you go on, I think you ought to know that I'm the drummer".

"Oh, don't worry about that," says the guitarist, "I'll tell it slowly!"

Drummer joke: a walk along the river

A band suggested to their drummer that he wasn't needed for the rehearsal. (The others were scoring musical notation for the session orchestra booked to record later that evening.)

Lead vocalist - band spokesman in other words - suggested that the tubthumper might like to go for a walk along the river bank. After all, they were paying a fortune for the studio in its idyllic setting. Shame to waste the available amenities!

Drummer sets off. After about half a mile, he spots a chap on the opposite river bank. "Must be some kind of a drummer too. Well... he's holding a bodhrán."

So our hero calls out a friendly greeting: "Hello there! Tell me: how do I get to the other side?"

"You are on the other side", comes the reply.

"Dear Bandleader...

We look forward to your performance at our daughter's wedding. If you don't mind, we would like to request a few of our favorite songs. If you could play these at some point during the reception, we'd be grateful:

Any Keith Jarrett composition from his solo series. Please arrange it for full ensemble and nothing in 4/4 please.

Mahavishnu Orchestra, "Dance of the Maya" and please have the guitarist play John McLaughlin's solo from the live performance Nov. 16, 1972 at Chrysler Arena. My wife and I were at that show and we particularly liked his use of polyrhythms. If you find it too difficult you can leave out the feedback.

Any of John Coltrane's duets with Pharaoh Sanders. I understand that their use of atonality is not everyone's cup of tea, but all our guests love high register tenor saxes.

We thought a little Stravinsky right after the toast would be nice. We particularly like "The Rite of Spring." If you want to use the sheet music it's OK. We like a tempo of about 1/4 note = 93.

Then for the candle lighting ceremony, please play Frank Zappa's "The Grand Wazoo." If you want to play it in the original key of Bb, that would be fine. And my cousin Jeannie would like to sing the baritone sax solo, though you may have to play that part in another key - she has kind of a high voice.

When my daughter throws the garter, could you play just a little of Varese's "Ionization." It's such a funny piece, we think it would go over real well. Much better than "The Stripper."

And for the Bride & Groom's first dance, please slow things down a bit by doing Barber's "Adagio For Strings." It's so much better than "We've Only Just Begun" or the "Anniversary Waltz."

When my wife and I join in the first dance, could you please segue to Thelonius Monk's "Ruby, My Dear" - it's in honor of my wife's grandmother whose name was Ruby. It would mean so much to the family.

Thanks very much for all your help. We'll certainly be happy to recommend your band to all our friends.

By the way, the gig pays $250 for the group, and before you leave, please feel free to ask the caterer for a sandwich and a soda."

The things people do

So you think you're having a bad day?

  1. The average cost of rehabilitating a seal after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska was $80,000. At a special ceremony, two of the most expensively saved animals were released back into the wild amid cheers and applause from onlookers. A minute later, in full view, they were both eaten by a killer whale.
  2. A psychology student in New York rented out her spare room to a carpenter in order to nag him constantly and study his reactions. After weeks of needling, he snapped and beat her repeatedly with an ax, leaving her mentally retarded.
  3. In 1992, Frank Perkins of Los Angeles made an attempt on the world pole-sitting record. Suffering from the flu he came down eight hours short of the 400 day record. His sponsor had gone bust, his girlfriend had left him and his phone and electricity had been cut off.
  4. A woman came home to find her husband in the kitchen, shaking frantically with what looked like a wire running from his waist towards the electric kettle. Intending to jolt him away from the deadly current she whacked him with a handy plank of wood by the back door, breaking his arm in two places. Until that moment he had been happily listening to his walkman.
  5. Two animal rights protesters were protesting at the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn. Suddenly the pigs, all two thousand of them, escaped through a broken fence and stampeded, trampling the two hapless protesters to death.
  6. Iraqi terrorist Khay Rahnajet didn't pay enough postage on a letter bomb. It came back with "Return To Sender" stamped on it. Forgetting it was the bomb, he opened it and was blown to bits.

Strange but true

The following are from just one week's "strange but true" section of the UK's Teletext Internet news service (, and are © Teletext 2000.

The sexes

The Mistress

A very wealthy man and his wife were having dinner at a very fine restaurant when this absolutely stunning young woman comes over to their table, gives the husband a big open-mouthed kiss, says she'll see him later and walks away.

His wife glares at him and says, "Who the hell was that??"

"Oh", replies the husband, "she's my mistress."

"Well, that's the last straw", says the wife. "I've had enough. I'm not putting up with that, I want a divorce."

"I can understand that", replies her husband, "but remember, if we get a divorce it will mean no more shopping trips to Paris, no more wintering in Barbados, no more summers in Tuscany, no more Mercedes and Lexus in the garage and no more yacht club. But the decision is yours."

Just then, a mutual friend enters the restaurant with a gorgeous babe on his arm.

"Who's that woman with Jim?" asks the wife.

"That's his mistress", says her husband.

"Ours is prettier", she replies.

From the mouths of babes

The wisdom of children

How do you decide who to marry?

What is the right age to get married?

How can a stranger tell if two people are married?

What do you think your mom and dad have in common?

What do most people do on a date?

What would you do on a first date that was turning sour?

When is it okay to kiss someone?

Is it better to be single or married?

How would the world be different if people didn't get married?

How would you make a marriage work?

Pets & animals

How to give a cat a pill

  1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of the cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
  2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.
  3. Retrieve cat from bedroom and throw soggy pill away.
  4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut to count of ten.
  5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of the wardrobe. Call spouse from yard.
  6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees. Hold front and rear paws. Ignore growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.
  7. Retrieve cat from curtain rod, get another pill from wrap. Make a note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing.
  8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow pill down the drinking straw.
  9. Check label to make sure pill is not harmful to humans. Drink glass of water to take taste away. apply BandAid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
  10. Retrieve cat from neighbour's shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door with head sticking out. Force mouth open with dessert spoon and flick pill down throat with elastic band.
  11. Get screwdriver and put cupboard door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Throw T-shirt away and get new one from bedroom.
  12. Call the fire department to retrieve cat from tree across the street. Apologize to neighbour who crashed into fence while swerving to miss cat in the road. Take last pill out of wrapper.
  13. Tie cat's front and rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to table leg. Don heavy-duty pruning gloves. Push pill into mouth and follow with large piece of steak. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash all down.
  14. Get spouse to drive you to emergency room. Sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes remnants of pill from your eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.
  15. Threaten to arrange for RSPCA to collect cat and check pet store for hamsters.
  16. Give up on pill.

How to give a dog a pill

  1. Wrap it in bacon and give to dog. He swallows.

Little Known Feline Ailments

Having conquered cat 'flu, triumphed over tapeworm and braved behavioural quirks, it is time to focus attention on some oft-observed, but little-documented, afflictions of cats.

Collapsible Legs



Non-Specific Insect Infestation (also Non-Specific Spider Infestation)


Irritable Lap Syndrome

Lap Fungus Disorder



The Lonely Frog

A lonely frog telephones the Psychic Hotline and asks what his future holds.

His Personal Psychic Advisor tells him: "You are going to meet a beautiful young girl who will want to know everything about you."

The frog is thrilled. "This is great! Will I meet her at a party?" he croaks.

"No," says the psychic, "in biology class."


Wise Words of Wisdom (sic)

  1. Save the whales, collect the whole set.
  2. A day without sunshine is like, night.
  3. On the other hand, you have different fingers.
  4. I just got lost in thoughts, it was unfamiliar territory.
  5. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
  6. 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
  7. I feel I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
  8. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.
  9. I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.
  10. Honk if you love peace and quiet.
  11. Remember half of the people you know are below average.
  12. Nothing is fool-proof to a talented fool.
  13. Atheism is a non-prophet organisation.
  14. He who laughs last thinks slowest.
  15. Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how popular it remains?
  16. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
  17. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
  18. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
  19. I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.
  20. I intend to live forever - so far so good.
  21. Borrow money from a pessimist - they don't expect it back.
  22. If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
  23. Mind like a steel trap - rusty and illegal in most states.
  24. Quantum mechanics: the dreams stuff is made of.
  25. If you have lost something, it will be in the last place you look for it.
  26. If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?
  27. If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people get married more than once?
  28. If your feet smell and your nose runs, you have been made upside-down.
  29. Everything you like is bad for you in some way.
  30. If a job is worth doing, then get someone in to do it properly.
  31. Don't drink and drive, you might spill it.
  32. If you are not to drink and drive, why do you need a driver's license to buy alcohol?
  33. The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.
  34. Support bacteria - they're the only culture some people have.
  35. When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane and going the wrong way.
  36. If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
  37. A conclusion is the place you got tired of thinking.
  38. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
  39. For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.
  40. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of cheques.
  41. Never do card tricks for the group you play poker with.
  42. No one is listening until you make a mistake.
  43. Success always occurs in private and failure in full view.
  44. The colder the X-ray table the more of your body is required on it.
  45. The hardness of butter is directly proportional to the softness of the bread.
  46. The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the ability to reach it.
  47. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
  48. To succeed in politics, it is often necessary to rise above your principles.
  49. Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7th of your life.
  50. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
  51. Two wrongs are only the beginning.
  52. The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
  53. The sooner you fall behind the more time you'll have to catch up.
  54. A clear conscience is usually a sign of bad memory.
  55. Change is inevitable except from vending machines.
  56. Get a new car for your spouse - it'll be a great trade!
  57. Plan to be spontaneous - tomorrow.
  58. Always be modest and be proud of it!
  59. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments on your car.
  60. How many of you believe in telekinesis? Raise my hand.
  61. Love may be blind but marriage is a real eye-opener.
  62. If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving isn't for you.


Computer Bumper Stickers We'd Like to See (maybe)

  1. BREAKFAST.COM Halted... Cereal Port Not Responding
  2. <-------- The information went data way -------->
  3. The name is Baud... James Baud.
  4. BUFFERS=20 FILES=15 2nd down, 4th quarter, 5 yards to go!
  5. Access denied -- nah nah na nah nah!
  6. C:V> Bad command or file name! Go stand in the corner.
  7. Southern DOS: Y'all reckon? (Yep/Nope)
  8. Backups? We don' *NEED* no steenking backups.
  9. E Pluribus Modem
  10. File not found. Should I fake it? (Y/N)
  11. Ethernet (n): something used to catch the etherbunny
  12. CONGRESS.SYS Corrupted: Re-boot Washington D.C (Y/N)?
  13. 11th commandment - Covet not thy neighbor's Pentium.
  14. Windows: Just another pane in the glass.
  15. SENILE.COM found . . . Out Of Memory . . .
  16. RAM disk is *not* an installation procedure.
  17. Smash forehead on keyboard to continue...
  18. COFFEE.EXE Missing - Insert Cup and Press Any Key
  19. ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI!
  20. E-mail returned to sender -- insufficient voltage.
  21. Error: Keyboard not attached. Press F1 to continue.
  22. "640K ought to be enough for anybody." - Bill Gates, 1981
  23. Press any key... no, no, no, NOT THAT ONE!
  24. Press any key to continue or any other key to quit...
  25. REALITY.SYS corrupted: Reboot universe? (Y/N/Q)
  26. Error reading FAT record: Try the SKINNY one? (Y/N)
  27. Hit any user to continue.
  28. Disk Full - Press F1 to belch.
  29. Backup not found: (A)bort (R)etry (P)anic
  30. (A)bort, (R)etry, (G)et a beer?


About those reindeer...

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year (the only members of the deer family, Cervidae, to have females do so), male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring.

Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, every single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen... had to be a girl. We should've known. Only women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night, and not get lost.

Good King Wenceslas cooked out...

Good King Wenceslas phoned Pizza Hut with his order.

"Is that the usual?", the man asked.

"Yes, deep pan, crisp and even..."


A Friendly Word

A Southerner up north sees a pub sign which says "A pint, a pie and a Friendly Word".

He thinks "Great! Northern hospitality at its best!" So he goes in and orders exactly as the sign says, a pint, a pie, and a friendly word. The landlord simply nods, goes away and gets him the beer and the food.

"Well, that's the pint and the pie," says the traveller, "but what about the friendly word?"

"Oh yes; don't eat the pie."

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