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Terry was so excited. Today he was going with his boyfriend to the theme park. They had saved all year for this trip.
“OK, Terry, remember the rule,” said Terry’s partner Jim, “If we get separated just remain in one place. You know that my gaydar is stronger than yours. I’ll use it to locate you.”
Terry couldn’t help but agree. Jim’s gaydar was highly trained. In the past, he’d been jealous because of it. Jim could pick out a gay man in a club from across the room within seconds of entering. Within a minute, he knew where every single gay man was located in the club.
Well, sure enough, Terry and Jim got separated in a crowd later. Terry remained in the place where he last saw Jim, just as he had agreed to. But Jim didn’t return to him until late that night. His gaydar was overloaded, and he couldn’t make out which of the thousands of gay men he was sensing around him was Terry. Or at least that was Jim’s excuse. But based on Jim’s disheveled appearance when he finally returned, Terry wasn’t so sure…
The police chief sat at his desk, bored. “Arrests are rare nowadays,” he thought to himself. “I miss the days when we used to drag a dozen criminals in here from off the street every day.”
Life was different now. The chief was nearing retirement. Crime had fallen drastically as prosperity had risen. Arrests are rare, sure, but that’s because crime is rare nowadays too.
Well, the chief wasn’t just going to sit around until he retired. His blood was boiling for some action. He called all the officers in the station into his office.
“Alright, men, we’re going to setup a good old-fashioned dragnet. I know the criminals are out there. We just have to drag them out of hiding and expose them to the light of justice!”
This idea didn’t go down well with some of the rookies. They reported him to Internal Affairs. This wasn’t the first incident where the chief had broken protocol, and the chief was dragged out of his office kicking and screaming. As he was being physically dragged across the station floor, the chief began screaming. “I know why arrests are rare! All the criminals are hiding at the top levels of the bureaucracy!”
Roman numerals were numbers for the Romans. To us they look like letters: IV, XXII, etc. And indeed they are, to the confusion of many students across the world.
It wasn’t until the invention of Arabic numerals that what we recognize as modern “numbers” came to be: 1, 2, 3, etc.
Still, it’s interesting to think about how these unrelated number systems are both related to the human hand. “I” and “1” both represent a single finger. Roman numerals has “V” for “5” (or a hand’s worth of fingers). And whereas the Romans used “X” for “10” (or the fingers of both hands) and the Arabic numerals only went to 9, there are still 10 of them if you count “0”.
“Your homework is to write a 10-page essay on the word ‘that’.” announced the teacher.
The class grumbled in response. One student spoke up: “That’s impossible!”
“Nothing is impossible,” responded the teacher. “That negative attitude won’t get you far in life.”
“No,” responded the student, “I’m serious. ‘That’ is such an abstract and common word. How are we supposed to write a 10-page essay on it?”
“That’s your challenge. Let’s see how creative you can get.”
Most students brought back essays explaining this or that about the etymology of the word. But the student who had objected to the assignment had had a different idea. She had written a 10-page essay about the need for better teacher training in public schools: all without using the word “that” once. It was an impressive achievement, but the teacher didn’t see it that way…
“Obey your father and sit up straight when you’re at the dinner table.” said the mother to the child.
The child just looked on, refusing to obey.
The mother had an idea. She whispered to the father, “Maybe he won’t obey you, but I bet he’ll obey dessert.” The father was confused by what she was saying, but he sat in silence as she walked into the kitchen.
When the mother returned, she had 2 ice cream cones in her hands. She moved them up to her face, as if the ice cream were her eyes. And then she spoke in a false deep voice to her son.
“Hi Tommy. Don’t I look delicious? I bet you’d like to eat me. But you won’t get to unless you obey your parents. OK?”
Tommy sat up straight. He wasn’t stupid. He didn’t actually obey dessert, but he’d found that this was a good way to get 2 ice cream cones for dessert instead of 1…
Oh, this commode was not very comfortable in Sakura’s opinion. She sat thinking about how she was ever going to get comfortable here. She knew this foreign exchange program would be a good experience, but there was a lot to adjust to.
She was used to her highly advanced toilets in Japan. With their heated seats, it was comfortable to sit even early in the morning. In case she was afraid of being overheard, she could just put her MP3 player into the built-in speakers. And when she was done, the toilet would wash her bottom and dry it with a gentle warm breeze. But this commode didn’t have any of that. She would have to wipe with paper when she was finished. How barbaric!
When she looked around for the toilet paper, she couldn’t find it. She looked over at her host and asked in her best English “Where is the toilet paper?”
Her host, his jaw nearly on the floor, had been staring in disbelief the entire time. When this new foreign exchange student had asked for the commode, he didn’t realize that she meant the toilet. Instead, he pointed her to the antique commode in the living room. And just like that, she walked over and squatted over it. He was pretty sure that the rest of her stay here was going to be very uncomfortable after she realized what had happened.
“Put ’er there.” said the man, offering his right hand for a handshake.
Bill froze. He had a very particular social problem: he wasn’t able to shake hands. It wasn’t a fear of germs, it was just that his mind would freeze up thinking of all the steps it took to shake hands. Have you ever actually thought about it? You have to get your hand into just the right place, but you can’t look at their hand: you have to look them in the face. And then you have to grip with just the right pressure. Oh, and there was the question of your hand temperature and dryness. How hard should you shake, and what was the accepted vertical range of motion?
No, Bill wasn’t afraid of shaking hands. He just wasn’t able to do it in a reasonable amount of time. By the time he was done thinking it through and finally ready to shake, the other person invariably had thought that Bill was blowing them off.
Oh, how many business deals Bill had been sure he was going to close right up until the other party wanted to shake on it and said “Put ’er there.” Maybe he would have to stop doing business with people from the South…
Mary was pregnant. She was so pregnant that she couldn’t untie her shoes. And this was a problem because her feet were always getting swollen. She was forced to ask random strangers to untie her shoes.
After about a month of this embarrassing situation, Mary had an idea for a pregnant untying device. Ignoring the obvious alternative of slip-on shoes or the like, Mary decided that she was meant to be an inventor. But she didn’t have the money to build the first batch of the devices.
So after a lot of thought, she decided to ask for the money on Kickstarter. Surprisingly, there were enough other pregnant women who couldn’t untie their shoes that Mary was able to raise enough money to begin production.
The problems came when the shipping dates slipped and people began to ask for their product or their money back. I guess your customers are more demanding that you meet your deadlines when they’re pregnant…
I used to work for the railroad. Those days were hard. We left our families behind to go build tracks across the country.
The sun would beat down on us as we worked. We had left most of our belongings at home, so we only had sleep to look forward to. And the days made us hard. We had to rely on each other. We learned to work hard and put our complaints aside.
Sometimes while clearing a hill or digging a tunnel there would be an avalanche or cave in and men would be trapped. But we had to just leave them. We didn’t try to save them. We left them for dead.
So when you tell me that your first days of school are hard, I want you to leave that silly attitude aside and think about what kind of hard days are ahead of you if you don’t get an education.
“Africa is beautiful, isn’t it?” said the guide. All of the tourists nodded in agreement.
“And now you’re about to see the most beautiful scene of the day. The sun is setting, and if you look around you you’ll notice the air fill with mosquitoes.” said the guide in a very satisfied tone.
Sure enough, in the air mosquitoes began to appear all around them. Within minutes the tourists were covered in mosquitoes.
“I don’t find this beautiful at all!” exclaimed one of the tourists. She swatted at mosquitoes on her arms and face.
“Ah, but notice how the sunlight reflects off of the wings, look at their blood-engorged bodies glistening bright red, close your eyes and hear the air around you buzz with the beautiful song of the mosquitoes!”
Copyright 2008–2017 Chris Forno