Friday humour - April 01, 1999

     From Tony at Bluehaze:

And on this Good Friday, most of you won't of course be receiving this -
you'll probably see it all mixed up in your mail on Tuesday (or even later
if you're taking some extra time off!).

This week, I'm attacking the jokes bin from the opposite end, ie: the
most recent stuff (just to be different).  First up - bit of material
gleaned off our infamous western list:


It was the accepted practice in Babylonia 4,000 years ago that for a
month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law
with all the mead he could drink.  Mead is a honey beer, and because
their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the "honey month"
or what we know today as the "honeymoon."

Before thermometers were invented, brewers would dip a thumb or finger
into the mix to find the right temperature for adding yeast.  Too cold,
and the yeast wouldn't grow.  Too hot, and the yeast would die.  This
thumb in the beer is where we get the phrase "rule of thumb."

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts.  So in old England,
when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them to mind their
own pints and quarts and settle down.  It's where we get the phrase "mind
your P's and Q's."

Beer was the reason the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.  It's clear
from the Mayflower's log that the crew didn't want to waste beer looking
for a better site.  The log goes on to state that the passengers "were
hasted ashore and made to drink water that the seamen might have the more

After consuming a bucket or two of vibrant brew they called aul, or ale,
the Vikings would head fearlessly into battle often without armour or
even shirts.  In fact, the term "berserk" means "bare shirt" in Norse,
and eventually took on the meaning of their wild battles.

In 1740 Admiral Vernon of the British fleet decided to water down the
navy's rum.  Needless to say, the sailors weren't too pleased and called
Admiral Vernon "Old Grog," after the stiff wool grogram coats he wore.
The term "grog" soon began to mean the watered down drink itself.  When
you were drunk on this grog, you were "groggy."

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the
rim or handle of their ceramic cups.  When they needed a refill, they
used the whistle to get some service.  "Wet your whistle" is the phrase
inspired by this practice.

So now you can appreciate the importance of BEER throughout history.

    And before we move on - one more from the same collection:


          1,000,000,000,000 Microphones = 1 Megaphone
                     1,000,000 bicycles = 2 megacycles
                        500 millinaries = 1 seminary
                     2,000 mockingbirds = 2 kilomockingbirds
                               10 cards = 1 decacards
                           1/2 lavatory = 1 demijohn
                          0.000001 fish = 1 microfiche
                  453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake
                 1,000,000,000,000 pins = 1 terrapin
  1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 picolos = 1 gigolo
                             10 rations = 1 decoration
                            100 rations = 1 C-ration
                          10 millipedes = 1 centipede
                         3 1/3 tridents = 1 decadent
                           5 holocausts = 1 Pentacost
                            10 monologs = 5 dialogues
                            5 dialogues = 1 decalogue
                            2 monograms = 1 diagram
                              8 nickels = 2 paradigms
                           2 snake eyes = 1 paradise
                              2 wharves = 1 paradox

     Enough of that.  Now for a couple (both fairly short) that were
  forwarded on by Jenny Chong over at NEC:


             (And you thought computer programmers were bad):

Apparently many ageing US citizens have bought pre-paid funerals, part of
which includes a ready carved tombstone which reads along the lines of:

     Joe Bloggs

     Born 1924

     Died 19__

that is - the gap to be filled in after the owner falls off his/her perch.

Its now becoming apparent that many of these people will live beyond
1999, and the only obvious solution seems somewhat drastic.  So, if you
know anyone contemplating such a purchase, tell them to make sure its
YtombK compliant.

     ... and (the other one from Jenny):

A gentleman walks into a bank in New York City and asks for the loan
officer.  He says he is going to Europe on business for two weeks and
needs to borrow $5,000.

The bank officer says the bank will need some kind of security for such a
loan.  So the gentleman hands over the keys to a new Rolls Royce parked on
the street in front of the bank.  Everything checks out, and the bank
agrees to accept the car as collateral for the loan.  An employee drives
the Rolls into the bank's underground garage and parks it there.

Two weeks later, the gentleman returns, repays the $5,000 and the
interest, which comes to $15.41.  The loan officer says, "We are very
happy to have had your business, and this transaction has worked out very
nicely, but we are a little puzzled.  While you were away, we checked you
out and found that you are a multimillionaire.  What puzzles us is why
would you bother to borrow $5,000?"  The gentleman replied, "Where else in
New York can I park my car for two weeks for 15 bucks?"

    And another regular contributor, Nicki A-O, recently forwarded this:

              Probably not one to read to young children...

     Dr. Seuss as a court reporter

     I am Starr.  Starr I are.
     I have followed you near and far.
     I'm here to ask, as you'll soon see,
     Did you grope Miss Lewinsky?
     Did you grope her in your house?
     Did you feel beneath her blouse?
     Did she give you gifts and ties?
     Did you tell a bunch of lies?

     I did not do that here or there!
     I did not do that anywhere!
     I did not do that in a chair!
     I went not near her giant hair!
     I did not join, even for fun,
     The Mile High Club in Air Force One,
     I did not do her in my car,
     I did not do her, Starr you are!

     Did you smile?  Did you flirt?
     Did you peek beneath her skirt?
     And did you tell the girl to lie,
     When called upon to testify?

     That is it!  You've gone too far!
     I do not like you, Starr you are!
     I will not answer any more!
     In fact, I think I'll start a war!
     That's it!  A war!  You must agree,
     Will take the focus off of me!
     But, Starr, you're a tenacious jerk,

     Even bombings might not work.
     Okay, you're right, I must admit,
     But she, of course, had begged for it!
     I did her in the private hall!
     I did her up against the wall!
     Yes, it's true, Mr. Starr,
     I did it with a cheap cigar!
     And then, to complicate the mess,
     I left a stain upon her dress!
     You are Starr, Starr you are,
     You saw me lying from afar.

     Just what about me did you see?
     Perhaps my constant look of glee?
     I won't resign, no I will not!
     I am not bad, I just got caught!
     Please don't impeach, please let me stay!
     Such a high price for one quick lay!
     Give me a fine, I'll pay the price,
     And leave you with some sound advice.
     For cheap thrills, this lesson learn:

     And (almost finally) - a quickie from Steve Harding:

A blonde goes for a job interview in an office.  The interviewer decides
to start with the basics. "So, miss, can you tell us your age, please?"
The blonde counts carefully on her fingers for about 30 seconds before
replying "Ehhhh .. 23!".

The interviewer tries another straightforward one to break the ice.  "And
can you tell us your height, please?"

The young lady stands up and produces a measuring tape from her handbag.
She then traps one end under her foot and extends the tape to the top of
her head.  She checks the measurement and announces, "Five foot two!"

This isn't looking good so the interviewer goes for the real basics. "And
ehh, just to confirm for our records, your name please?"

The blonde bobs her head from side to side for about twenty seconds,
mouthing something silently to herself, before replying "Mandy!"

The interviewer is completely baffled at this stage, so he asks "Just out
of curiosity, miss.  We can understand your counting on your fingers to
work out your age, and the measuring tape for your height is obvious, but
what were you doing when we asked you your name?"

"Ohh that!" replies the blonde, "That's just me running through `Happy
birthday to you, happy birthday to you...."

   Okay.  This last contribution was passed on by David over at Telstra.
   It's a little unusual in that (a) it isn't really a joke, and (b) it's
   quite long (as in ... about 260 lines).  But as David put it, "well
   worth a few minutes to read."

                  Speech by Charlton Heston at Harvard

            Editor's Note: Charlton Heston addressed the topic 'Winning
the Cultural War' at the Harvard Law School Forum, February 16, 1999.  Here
is the text of that speech:

            By Charlton Heston

  I remember my son when he was 5, explaining to his kindergarten
class what his father did for a living. "My Daddy," he said, "pretends to
be people."  There have been quite a few of them.  Prophets from the Old
and New Testaments, a couple of Christian saints, generals of various
nationalities and different centuries, several kings, three American
presidents, a French cardinal and two geniuses, including Michelangelo.

    If you want the ceiling re-painted I'll do my best.  There always
seem to be a lot of different fellows up here.  I'm never sure which one
of them gets to talk.  Right now, I guess I'm the guy.

    As I pondered our visit tonight it struck me: if my Creator gave me
the gift to connect you with the hearts and minds of those great men,
then I want to use that same gift now to re-connect you with your own
sense of liberty ... your own freedom of thought ... your own compass for
what is right.

    Dedicating the memorial at Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln said of
America, "We are now engaged in a great Civil War, testing whether this
nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

    Those words are true again.  I believe that we are again engaged in a
great civil war, a cultural war that's about to hijack your birthright to
think and say what resides in your heart.  I fear you no longer trust the
pulsing lifeblood of liberty inside you ... the stuff that made this
country rise from wilderness into the miracle that it is.

    Let me back up.  About a year ago I became president of the National
Rifle Association, which protects the right to keep and bear arms.  I ran
for office, I was elected, and now I serve ... I serve as a moving target
for the media who've called me everything from "ridiculous" and "duped"
to a "brain-injured, senile, crazy old man."  I know ... I'm pretty old
... but I sure thank the Lord ain't senile.  As I have stood in the
cross-hairs of those who target Second Amendment freedoms, I've realised
that firearms are not the only issue.  No, it's much, much bigger than
that.  I've come to understand that a cultural war is raging across our
land, in which, with Orwellian fervour, certain acceptable thoughts and
speech are mandated.

    For example, I marched for civil rights with Dr. King in 1963 -- long
before Hollywood found it fashionable.  But when I told an audience last
year that white pride is just as valid as black pride or red pride or
anyone else's pride, they called me a racist.

    I've worked with brilliantly talented homosexuals all my life.  But
when I told an audience that gay rights should extend no further than
your rights or my rights, I was called a homophobe.

    I served in World War II against the Axis powers.  But during a
speech, when I drew an analogy between singling out innocent Jews and
singling out innocent gun owners, I was called an anti-Semite.

    Everyone I know knows I would never raise a closed fist against my
country.  But when I asked an audience to oppose this cultural
persecution, I was compared to Timothy McVeigh.

    From Time magazine to friends and colleagues, they're essentially
saying, "Chuck, how dare you speak your mind.  You are using language not
authorised for public consumption!"

    But I am not afraid.  If Americans believed in political correctness,
we'd still be King George's boys-subjects bound to the British crown.

    In his book, "The End of Sanity," Martin Gross writes that "blatantly
irrational behaviour is rapidly being established as the norm in almost
every area of human endeavour.  There seem to be new customs, new rules,
new anti-intellectual theories regularly foisted on us from every
direction.  Underneath, the nation is roiling.  Americans know something,
without a name is undermining the nation, turning the mind mushy when it
comes to separating truth from falsehood and right from wrong.  And they
don't like it."

    Let me read a few examples.  At Antioch college in Ohio, young men
seeking intimacy with a coed must get verbal permission at each step of
the process from kissing to petting to final copulation ... all clearly
spelled out in a printed college directive.

    In New Jersey, despite the death of several patients nationwide who
had been infected by dentists who had concealed their AIDS --- the state
commissioner announced that health providers who are HIV-positive need
not. .. need not ... tell their patients that they are infected.

    At William and Mary, students tried to change the name of the school
team "The Tribe" because it was supposedly insulting to local Indians,
only to learn that authentic Virginia chiefs truly like the name.

    In San Francisco, city fathers passed an ordinance protecting the
rights of transvestites to cross-dress on the job, and for trans-sexuals
to have separate toilet facilities while undergoing sex change surgery.

    In New York City, kids who don't speak a word of Spanish have been
placed in bilingual classes to learn their three R's in Spanish solely
because their last names sound Hispanic.

    At the University of Pennsylvania, in a state where thousands died at
Gettysburg opposing slavery, the president of that college officially set
up segregated dormitory space for black students.

    Yeah, I know ... that's out of bounds now.  Dr. King said "Negroes."
Jimmy Baldwin and most of us on the March said "black."  But it's a no-no

    For me, hyphenated identities are awkward ... particularly
"Native-American."  I'm a Native American, for God's sake.  I also happen
to be a blood-initiated brother of the Miniconjou Sioux.  On my wife's
side, my grandson is a 13th-generation Native American ... with a capital
letter on "American."

    Finally, just last month ... David Howard, head of the Washington
D.C. Office of Public Advocate, used the word "niggardly" while talking
to colleagues about budgetary matters.  Of course, 'niggardly' means
stingy or scanty.  But within days Howard was forced to publicly apologise
and resign.

    As columnist Tony Snow wrote: "David Howard got fired because some
people in public employ were morons who (a) didn't know the meaning of
'niggardly,' (b) didn't know how to use a dictionary to discover the
meaning, and (c) actually demanded that he apologise for their

    What does all of this mean?

    It means that telling us what to think has evolved into telling us
what to say, so telling us what to do can't be far behind.  Before you
claim to be a champion of free thought, tell me: Why did political
correctness originate on America's campuses?  And why do you continue to
tolerate it?  Why do you, who're supposed to debate ideas, surrender to
their suppression?

    Let's be honest.  Who here thinks your professors can say what they
really believe?  It scares me to death, and should scare you too, that
the superstition of political correctness rules the halls of reason.

    You are the best and the brightest.  You, here in the fertile cradle
of American academia, here in the castle of learning on the Charles
River, you are the cream.  But I submit that you, and your counterparts
across the land, are the most socially conformed and politically silenced
generation since Concord Bridge.

    And as long as you validate that ... and abide it ... you are-by your
grandfathers' standards-cowards.

Here's another example.  Right now at more than one major university,
Second Amendment scholars and researchers are being told to shut up about
their findings or they'll lose their jobs.  Why?  Because their research
findings would undermine big-city mayor's pending lawsuits that seek to
extort hundreds of millions of dollars from firearm manufacturers.

    I don't care what you think about guns.  But if you are not shocked
at that, I am shocked at you.  Who will guard the raw material of
unfettered ideas, if not you?  Who will defend the core value of
academia, if you supposed soldiers of free thought and expression lay
down your arms and plead, "Don't shoot me."

    If you talk about race, it does not make you a racist.  If you see
distinctions between the genders, it does not make you a sexist.  If you
think critically about a denomination, it does not make you
anti-religion.  If you accept but don't celebrate homosexuality, it does
not make you a homophobe.

    Don't let America's universities continue to serve as incubators for
this rampant epidemic of new McCarthyism!  But ... what can you do?  How
can ANYONE prevail against such pervasive social subjugation?

    The answer's been here all along.  I learned it 36 years ago, on the
steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., standing with Dr.
Martin Luther King and two hundred thousand people.

    You simply ... disobey.  Peaceably, yes.  Respectfully, of course.
Nonviolently, absolutely.  But when told how to think or what to say or
how to behave, DON'T.  We disobey social protocol that stifles and
stigmatises personal freedom.

    I learned the awesome power of disobedience from Dr. King ... who
learned it from Gandhi, and Thoreau and Jesus and every other great man
who led those in the right against those with the might.

    Disobedience is in our DNA.  We feel innate kinship with that
Disobedient spirit that tossed tea into Boston Harbour, that sent Thoreau
to jail, that refused to sit in the back of the bus, that protested a war
in Vietnam.

    In that same spirit, I am asking you to disavow cultural correctness
with massive disobedience of rogue authority, social directives and
onerous law that weaken personal freedom.

    But be careful ... it hurts.  Disobedience demands that you put
yourself at risk.  Dr. King stood on lots of balconies.  You must be
willing to be humiliated ... to endure the modern-day equivalent of the
police dogs at Montgomery and the water Cannons at Selma.  You must be
willing to experience discomfort.  I'm not Complaining, but my own
decades of social activism have taken their toll on me.  Let me tell you
a story.

    A few years back I heard about a rapper named Ice-T who was selling a
CD called "Cop Killer" celebrating ambushing and murdering police
officers.  It was being marketed by none other than Time/Warner, the
biggest entertainment conglomerate in the world.  Police across the
country were outraged.  Rightfully so-at least one had been murdered.
But Time/Warner was stonewalling because the CD was a cash cow for them,
and the media were tiptoeing around it because the rapper was black.  I
heard Time/Warner had a stockholders meeting scheduled in Beverly Hills.
I owned some shares at the time, so I decided to attend.

    What I did there was against the advice of my family and colleagues.
I asked for the floor.  To a hushed room of a thousand average American
stockholders, I simply read the full lyrics of "Cop Killer" -- every
vicious, vulgar, instructional word.


    It got worse, a lot worse.  I won't read the rest of it to you.  But
trust me, the room was a sea of shocked, frozen, blanched faces.  The
Time/Warner executives squirmed in their chairs and stared at their
shoes.  They hated me for that.  Then I delivered another volley of sick
lyric brimming with racist filth, where Ice-T fantasises about sodomising
two 12-year old nieces of Al and Tipper Gore. "SHE PUSHED HER BUTT

    Well, I won't do to you here what I did to them.  Let's just say I
left the room in echoing silence.  When I read the lyrics to the waiting
press corps, one of them said "We can't print that." "I know," I replied,
"but Time/Warner's selling it."

    Two months later, Time/Warner terminated Ice-T's contract.  I'll
never be offered another film by Warners, or get a good review from Time
magazine.  But disobedience means you must be willing to act, not just

    When a mugger sues his elderly victim for defending herself ...  jam
the switchboard of the district attorney's office.  When your university
is pressured to lower standards until 80 percent of the students graduate
with honours ... choke the halls of the board of regents.  When an
8-year-old boy pecks a girl's cheek on the playground and gets hauled
into court for sexual harassment ... march on that school and block its
doorways.  When someone you elected is seduced by political power and
betrays you ... petition them, oust them, banish them.  When Time
magazine's cover portrays millennium nuts as deranged, crazy Christians
holding a cross as it did last month ... boycott their magazine and the
products it advertises.

    So that this nation may long endure, I urge you to follow in the
hallowed footsteps of the great disobediences of history that freed
exiles, founded religions, defeated tyrants, and yes, in the hands of an
aroused rabble in arms and a few great men, by God's grace, built this

    If Dr. King were here, I think he would agree.

       Thank you.
[ End Friday humour ]

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