Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The ultimate in outsourcing, I guess

As I was out and about today, I noticed a big truck parked in front of an office building.

The truck was from a company that shreds other companies' documents.

The name of the company was in big letters on the side of the truck.

Beneath it, in smaller but still prominent letters, was the company's slogan:


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bless me, Father, for I have wiped out

In Italy, Catholic nuns and priests have established an inflatable church and a beach-convent in the sands to attract sunbathers, Reuters reports.

The 98-foot-long church was scheduled to debut this weekend on the Adriatic coast in the Molise region, with priests available to hear confessions, the news service says.

I guess you had to be there

Reuters is reporting that the world's oldest recorded joke has been traced back to 1900 B.C.

The knee-slapper, attributed to the Sumerians (they were residents of what we now know as Southern Iraq), goes like this: "Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband's lap."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

This just in

“Tonight on Channel 13 news: Man at South Sasquatch house holding police at bay! Now switching to News 13 reporter Cosmo Nerp on the scene, telling us what he’s hearing….”

“Not hearing much officially, Phil. Police saying little, playing their cards very close to their vests. Neighbors talking nervously among themselves. Rumors, speculation running rampant. One rumor making rounds: Man in house holding mysterious weapon, muttering something about ‘present particles’ – Wait, hold it, Phil: Next-door neighbor whispering in my ear.”

“Whispering what, Cosmo?”

“Telling me it’s not ‘present particles’ but ‘present participles.’”

“Present participles? Hm. Phrase ringing a bell. Bringing to mind memories of grammar school, English class, nuns rapping me on wrist with rulers.”

“Phil, another neighbor informing me that you’re getting the right idea!”

“Neighbor identifying himself?”

“Not giving name, but saying he’s living in retirement, not regretting leaving his job as high school English teacher.”

“Retired teacher saying anything else?”

“Telling me about ‘present participle.’ Defining it as something used with the verb ‘to be’ to indicate an action that is incomplete. Giving examples: ‘I am reading.’ ‘I was reading.’ Further explaining that present participles can also be used as adjectives, as in ‘an interesting story.’”

“Fascinating. But man in house making threats, police surrounding house, all owing to grammatical term?”

“Making no sense to me either, Phil, but – holding on! Man in house signaling he’ll be making statement very soon! Starting to speak now! Everyone preparing to listen! Getting our microphones in place! Standing by, cutting to him now!”

“You there! You TV reporters! I can’t take it anymore! Used to be that someone was hit by a car! Or a president was assassinated! Or the World Series will begin Tuesday! Haven't you people ever heard of the past tense? Or the future tense, even! But all these present participles! I can’t take them any more! They’re driving me crazy – hey! Did you hear what I just said? ‘Driving!’ You’ve got me doing it, too! I can’t take it anymore!”

“Phil, man’s holding small box. Opening it. Mysterious light shining from within it! Pulsing! Humming! Getting louder! Resembling some kind of bomb! Indeed, turning out to BE a bomb! Me, running for cover, trying to remember words to Lord’s Prayer, wondering whether this report will make the deadline for this year’s Emmys! Throwing things back to you, Phil!”

“Thanking Cosmo Nerp for that incisive report! WORLD ENDING! And after this break, catching up with the latest ‘American Idol’ loser!”

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A headline I always wanted to write

Just suppose.

Suppose that a man who once served as President George H.W. Bush's chief of staff moved next door to one of the co-stars of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."

And suppose that one day, the former chief of staff bought a pet: a long, dark antelope with a long head, a beard and mane, and a sloping back.

And suppose that this pet turned out to be rather noisy.

And suppose that the pet's noise irritated the movie star next door.

And suppose that the movie star filed a lawsuit against the former chief of staff, claiming not only that the pet was a problem, but that the former chief of staff was aware that the pet would be a problem when he bought the animal.

Then the headline could be: