Friday humour - March 13, 1998

     From Tony at Bluehaze:

   Hi,
First up this week, some philosophical thoughts passed on by
Martha Hills (now busily engaged over at the MST library):
                 ---------------------------------


             Kurt Vonnegut's commencement address at MIT:
             --------------------------------------------

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proven by scientists, whereas the
rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.  Oh, never mind.  You will not
understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded.  But trust
me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way
you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you
really looked.  You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future.  Or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your
worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts.  Don't put up with people who
are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy.  Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're
behind.  The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive.  Forget the insults.  If you succeed in
doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters.  Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do
with their lives.  Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.  Be kind to your knees.  You'll miss them when
they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't.  Maybe you'll have children, maybe you
won't.  Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on
your 75th wedding anniversary.  Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself
too much, or berate yourself either.  Your choices are half chance.  So are
everybody else's.

Enjoy your body.  Use it every way you can.  Don't be afraid of it or of what
other people think of it.  It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines.  They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents.  You never know when they'll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings.  They're your best link to your past and the people
most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older
you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.  Live in
Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise.  Politicians will
philander.  You, too, will get old.  And when you do, you'll fantasise that
when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and
children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you.  Maybe you have a trust fund.  Maybe
you'll have a wealthy spouse.  But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia.  Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling
it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.
          -------------------------------------------


    This next one was passed on by the SS20's "fortune" program:
                   ---------------------------

   Congratulations!  You have purchased an extremely fine device
   that would give you thousands of years of trouble-free
   service, except that you undoubtably will destroy it via some
   typical bonehead consumer maneuver.  Which is why we ask you
   to PLEASE FOR GOD'S SAKE READ THIS OWNER'S MANUAL CAREFULLY
   BEFORE YOU UNPACK THE DEVICE.  YOU ALREADY UNPACKED IT,
   DIDN'T YOU?  YOU UNPACKED IT AND PLUGGED IT IN AND TURNED IT
   ON AND FIDDLED WITH THE KNOBS, AND NOW YOUR CHILD, THE SAME
   CHILD WHO ONCE SHOVED A POLISH SAUSAGE INTO YOUR
   VIDEOCASSETTE RECORDED AND SET IT ON "FAST FORWARD", THIS
   CHILD ALSO IS FIDDLING WITH HE KNOBS, RIGHT?  AND YOU'RE JUST
   NOW STARTING TO READ THE INSTRUCTIONS, RIGHT???  WE MIGHT AS
   WELL JUST BREAK THESE DEVICES RIGHT AT THE FACTORY BEFORE WE
   SHIP THEM OUT, YOU KNOW THAT?

     -- Dave Barry, "Read This First!"
   ---------------------------------------------------------------------


        Now, another one from "that" unmentionable list:
                -------------------------------

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:


1. "Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his
    sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?"

2. "The youngest son, the twenty-year old, how old is he?"

3. "Were you present when your picture was taken?"

4. Q: "Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check
       for a pulse?"
   A: "No."
   Q: "Did you check for blood pressure?"
   A: "No."
   Q: "Did you check for breathing?"
   A: "No."
   Q: "So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when
       you began the autopsy?"
   A: "No."
   Q: "How can you be so sure, Doctor?"
   A: "Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar."
   Q: "But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?"
   A: "It is possible that he could have been alive and
       practicing law somewhere."

5. "Was it you or your younger brother who was killed in the war?"

6. "Did he kill you?"

7. "How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?"

8. "You were there until the time you left, is that true?"

9. "How many times have you committed suicide?"

10. Q: "So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?"
    A: "Yes."
    Q: "And what were you doing at the time?"

11. Q: "She had three children, right?"
    A: "Yes."
    Q: "How many were boys?"
    A: "None."
    Q: "Were there any girls?"

12. Q: "You say the stairs went down to the basement?"
    A: "Yes."
    Q: "And these stairs, did they go up also?"

13. Q: "Mr. Slatery, you went on a rather elaborate honeymoon,
        didn't you?"
    A: "I went to Europe, Sir."
    Q: "And you took your new wife?"

14. Q: "How was your first marriage terminated?"
    A: "By death."
    Q: "And by who's death was it terminated?"

15. Q: "Can you describe the individual?"
    A: "He was about medium height and had a beard."
    Q: "Was this person a male or a female?"

16. Q: "Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a
        deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?"
    A: "No - this is how I dress when I go to work."

17. Q: "Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead
        people?"
    A: "All my autopsies are performed on dead people."

18. Q: "All your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you
        go to?"
    A: "Oral."

19. Q: "Do you recall the time that you examined the body?"
    A: "The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.."
    Q: "And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time?"
    A: "No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was
        doing an autopsy."

20. Q: "You were not shot in the fracas?"
    A: "No, I was shot midway between the fracas and the navel."

21. Q: "Are you qualified to give a urine sample?"
    A: "I have been since early childhood."
    ----------------------------------------------------------


    And finally, a short one passed on by Dr Julian Johnson (a
    contribution from his wife):
              ------------------------------

A guy walks into a bar with an octopus.  He sits the octopus down on a stool
and tells everyone in the bar that this is a very talented octopus.

He can play any musical instrument in the world.  He hears everyone in the
crowd laughing at him, calling him an idiot, etc.  So he says that he will
wager $50 to anyone who has an instrument that the octopus can't play.

A guy walks up with a guitar and sits it beside the octopus.  The octopus starts
playing better than Jimi Hendrix, just rippin' it up.  So the man pays his $50.

Another guy walks up with a trumpet.  The octopus plays the trumpet better
than Dizzie Gillespie.  So the man pays his $50.  A third guy walks up with
bagpipes.  He sits them down and the octopus fumbles with it for a minute
and sits it down with a confused look.

"Ha!" the man says.  "Can't you play it?"

The octopus looks up at the man and says, "Play it?  As soon as I can figure
out how to get its pyjamas off, I'm going to fuck it ."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
[End fri humour]




 Previous (March 05, 1998)  Index Next (March 19, 1998)