Friday humour - September 10, 1999

     From Tony at Bluehaze:

      Yo,
   A little lengthy again this week - not because of the number of
   contributions, but simply because one or two are longer than usual.

   This first one (via Jean) is short and sweet though - from Caroline:
                         -------------------

                      ANOTHER STORY FROM ZIMBABWE

While transporting mental patients from Harare to Bulawayo last week, a bus
driver stopped at a roadside bar for a few beers.  When he got back to his
vehicle, he found it empty, with the 20 patients nowhere to be seen.

Realising the trouble he was in if the truth were uncovered, he halted his
bus at the next bus stop and offered lifts to those in the queue.  Letting 20
people on board, he then shut the doors and drove straight to the Bulawayo
mental hospital, where he hastily handed over his 'charges', warning nurses
that they were particularly excitable.

Staff removed the furious passengers to wards; it was three days later that
suspicions were roused by the consistency of stories from the 20.

Nothing more has been heard of the real patients and they have apparently
blended comfortably back into Zimbabwean society.
   ------------------------------------------------------------------------


    This second contribution was passed on by our "ex" Linda (Ottery, now
    enjoying life over at MOLSCI in Parkville).  Linda originally received
    this from her son, Patrick:
                         -------------------

The following is an article from The Courier Mail, published August
26th, 1999 - written by Peter Wear:

            IF WE HAVEN'T ARRIVED, START THE BATTLE WITHOUT US

To:      The Indonesian Foreign Minister
From:    The Australian Prime Minister

My Dear Dr. Alatas,

May I thank you, on behalf of the Australian people, for your country's most
kind declaration of war, received in my office at 8pm last night.

With sincere regret, I must decline your invitation to fight.  If you could
delay your invasion of our northern coastline until, say, the year 2015, I'm
sure we'd be able to give you a terrific scrap.  But at the moment I doubt we
could even field a team.  Our F-111s are grounded again, and, because of
their age (ours are the ones with the gearshift on the steering column, and
those indicators that flip out of the door pillars), spare parts are
available only at wrecking yards and swap meets in Kentucky and Tennessee.
Also, try as we might, we just can't seem to get them to run properly on
unleaded.

The Chinooks in Townsville are grounded, too.  Now losing the choppers is bad
news, as our fixed-wing capacity in the north is presently in tatters.  Why?
A slight kerfuffle over my good friend Warren Entsch's concreting business
has left our RAAF base at Weipa short of a number of desirable features ---
like a runway.

Our Defence Minister, Mr Moore, sends his apologies, but insists that a war
is presently out of the question as we don't have a Defence Secretary.  Well
we have one, but he's currently trying to wrestle Mr Moore to death in the
Federal Court, for wrongful dismissal.  It would be a little unfair on Mr
Moore to begin a war while nobody in the Defence Department will speak to
him.

You will probably know that the Chief of Navy isn't getting a new contract
either but, even if he was, I could not possibly commit our senior service to
any conflict.  Our two Collins-class submarines, Drowning and Waving, have
just returned from sea trials off Fiji to assess their design targets of
silence and stealth.  Every time they went into reverse, normal conversation
became impossible across most of Chile and Peru.  It is also disheartening
that Drowning ran aground, especially as this mishap somehow snapped off her
periscope.  Think about it!  Not that we have enough submariners to man the
boats anyway.  Attracting career sailors to our modern professional navy has
not been helped by recent revelations on prime time television that recruits
are routinely stripped naked, smeared with food scraps and excrement, and
flogged on the buttocks.  I take no comfort from the flood of applications
this publicity drew from Tasmania.

The army is still the bulwark of Australia's security, but even there things
are difficult.  Changes following the Women In Combat report, and same-sex
relationship rulings, have, in my opinion, compromised our flexibility.  For
example, both the First Heavy Armoured (Dykes With Pykes) and the Gay
Fusiliers (The Queens Light Foot) Divisions refuse to fight for a fortnight
either side of the Sydney Mardi Gras.  Other soldiers are insisting, these
days, on owning the conflict and have begun to enrol in regular workshops to
manage their aggression.

High Court rulings may also mean, with no offence Dr Alatas, that we cannot
engage in a battle against a racially-selected enemy force.  Can you recruit
a sprinkling of Europeans next time?  By all means take as many of ours as
you want.

It is a good indication of the quality of our Defence Intelligence
Organisation that I am unable to send this transmission in code.  The code
books were stolen by an unstable steroid-abuser, Jean-Phillippe Wispelaere,
shrewdly recruited by the DIO, and entrusted with most of our defence
secrets.  So now we don't have any --- Mr Wispelaere sold them all in
Bangkok.  If you have any secrets you don't need any more, we would be most
grateful for them.  I should have the code books back soon.  Christies are
auctioning them in Havana next week.  In the meantime, DIO suggests we do the
old a=b, b=c, c=d code.  They swear by it.

I know our refusal will be a considerable disappointment to you, but can I
suggest that you consider invading New Zealand instead?  Their only
significant defence capability lies with their two Anzac-class frigates, Mulk
and Lemb.  I have no doubt you'll cream them, and I should know.  They were
both built in Australia.

                                                  Best wishes,


                                                      John Howard
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       Now for another contribution from David (Fifi) McCallum (clean :-)
                         -------------------

                      NEW WORDS FOR THE DICTIONARY

Arachnoleptic fit, n:
The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a
live spider web.

Beelzebug, n:
Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at 3 in the
morning and cannot be cast out.

Bozone, n:
The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas penetrating.
The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down at any
time in the future.

Cashtration, n:
The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for
an indefinite period.

Caterpallor, n:
The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.

Dopelar effect, n:
(1) The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when you come at them
rapidly. (2) The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at
you rapidly.

Extraterrestaurant, n:
An eating place where you feel you've been abducted and experimented on.  Also
known as ETry.

Foreploy, n:
Any misrepresentation or outright lie about yourself that leads to sex.

Grantartica, n:
The cold, isolated place where arts companies without funding dwell.

Intaxication, n:
Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realise it was your
money to start with.

Kinstirpation, n:
A painful inability to get rid of relatives who come to visit.

Lullabuoy, n:
An idea that keeps floating into your head and prevents you from drifting off
to sleep.
   --------------------------------------------------------------------------


       From time to time, people pass on humorous pictures.  I don't want
       to include these in Fri humour as attachments (they do tend to blow
       out the size of people's mailboxes), and it's also awkward to place
       them on CSIRO web servers or ftp machines so anyone can have a look.

       But I may now have a solution, which is to put them on _my_ server
       at home (currently experimental).  It only has a modem link to the
       world, so I'd have to keep such images pretty small.

       Anyway - as an experiment, here's an interesting picture that
       Colin MacRae just forwarded on.  Click on the following and see
       what happens: Click here

                                 --==[|]==--

       This next one arrived via Bob Flann back in May.  It's also fairly
       topical when considering the events of the past couple of weeks ...
                          -------------------

                     THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER

1. THE ORIGINAL VERSION

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house
and laying up supplies for the winter.  The grasshopper thinks he's a fool
and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.  Come winter, the ant is
warm and well fed.  The grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in
the cold.

2. THE MODERN AMERICAN VERSION

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house
and laying up supplies for the winter.  The grasshopper thinks he's a fool
and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.  Come winter, the shivering
grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should
be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper
next to video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with
food.  America is stunned by the sharp contrast.  How can it be that, in a
country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Then a representative of the NAGB (The national association of green bugs)
shows up on Nightline and charges the ant with green bias, and makes the case
that the grasshopper is the victim of 30 million years of greenism.  Kermit
the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when he
sings "It's not easy being green."  Bill and Hillary Clinton make a special
guest appearance on the CBS Evening News to tell a concerned Dan Rather that
they will do everything they can for the grasshopper who has been denied the
prosperity he deserves by those who benefited unfairly during the Reagan
summers.

Richard Gephardt exclaims in an interview with Peter Jennings that the ant
has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and calls for an immediate
tax hike on the ant to make him pay his "fair share."  Finally, the EEOC
drafts the "Economic Equity and Anti-Greenism Act," retroactive to the
beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of greenbugs and,
having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by
the government.  Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper
in a defamation suit against the ant.  The case is tried before a panel of
federal hearing officers that Bill appointed from a list of single-parent
welfare mom's who can only hear cases on Thursday's between 1:30 and 3 PM.
The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the
ant's food while the government house he's in, which just happens to be the
ant's old house, crumbles around him since he doesn't know how to maintain
it.  The ant has disappeared in the snow.  And on CNN they are showing Bill
Clinton standing before a wildly applauding group of democrats announcing
that a new era of "fairness" has dawned in America.
   --------------------------------------------------------------------------


        Time for something off the infamous "westerly" list:
                         -------------------

                        WORLD'S SHORTEST BOOKS

My Plan To Find The Real Killers by O.J. Simpson

To All The Men I've Loved Before by Ellen DeGeneres

The Book Of Virtues by Bill Clinton

The Differences between Reality and Dilbert

Human Rights Advances in China

Things I Wouldn't Do For Money by Dennis Rodman

Al Gore: The Wild Years

Amelia Earhart's Guide to the Pacific Ocean

America's Most Popular Lawyers

Career Opportunities for Liberal Arts Majors

Detroit - A Travel Guide

Different Ways To Spell .... Bob

Dr. Kevorkian's Collection of Motivational Speeches

Easy UNIX

Ethiopian Tips on World Dominance

Everything Men Know About Women

Everything Women Know About Men

French Hospitality

George Foreman's Big Book of Baby Names

How To Sustain A Musical Career by Art Garfunkel

Mike Tyson's Guide to Dating Etiquette

One Hundred and One Spotted Owl Recipes by the EPA

Staple Your Way To Success

The Amish Phone Directory

The Engineer's Guide to High Fashion
   --------------------------------------------------------------------------


     Ron Kerpen just passed this on (it's been doing the rounds of various
     I.T. (computing) groups in the last couple of days):
                         -------------------

              RULES FOR INTERACTING WITH I.T. SUPPORT STAFF

1.   When an IT support person says he/she's coming right over, go away for a
     coffee.  It's easy for us to remember everyone's screensaver password.

2.   When you call IT support to have your computer moved, be sure to leave
     it buried under half a ton of postcards, baby pictures and other
     assorted crap.  We don't have a life so we find it deeply moving to catch
     a fleeting glimpse of yours.

3.   When IT support sends you an email with high importance, delete it
     immediately.  We're obviously just testing the public groups.

4.   When an IT support person is eating his lunch at his desk, walk right in
     and spill your guts out - we only exist to serve.

5.   When an IT support person is having a smoke in the smoking room, ask him
     a computer question.  The only reason why we smoke at all is to ferret
     out those clients who don't have access to email or a telephone.

6.   Send urgent email in UPPERCASE.  The mail server picks it up and flags it
     as a rush delivery.

7.   When you call an IT support person's direct line, press 5 to skip the
     bilingual greeting that tells you he's out of town for a week, record
     your message and wait exactly 24 hrs before you send an email to the
     managing director because no-one ever returned your call.  You are, after
     all, entitled to common courtesy.

8.   When the photocopier doesn't work, call IT support.  After all, there's
     electronics in it.

9.   When you're getting a NO DIAL TONE message from home, call IT support -
     we can fix your line from the office.

10.  When something is wrong with your home PC, dump it on an IT support
     person's desk with no name, no phone number and no description of the
     problem.  We love a challenge.

11.  When you have IT Support on the phone walking you through changing a
     setting, read the paper.  We don't actually mean for you to do anything,
     we just love the sound of our own voices.

12.  When we offer training on the new software package, don't bother.  We'll
     be there to hold your hand once it's complete.

13.  When the printer won't print, re-send the job at least 20 times.
     Everyone knows print jobs get sucked into black holes every now and then.

14.  When the printer STILL won't print after 20 attempts, send the job to
     every other printer in the building.  One of them is bound to work.

15.  Don't use online help - that's for wimps.

16.  If you're taking night classes in computer science, feel free to go
     around and update the network drivers for you and all your co-workers.
     We're grateful for any overtime we can get.

17.  When you have IT support person fixing your PC at 12:15, eat your lunch
     in front of him.  We function better when wracked with pangs of hunger.

18.  Don't EVER thank us - we're paid for doing this.

19.  When an IT support person asks you if you've installed any new software
     on your computer, LIE.  It's not our business what you've got on the PC.

20.  If a mouse cable keeps knocking down the picture of your loved one, lift
     the computer and trap the cable.  Mouse cables were designed to have 20kg
     of computer sitting on top of them.

21.  If the spacebar on your computer doesn't work, blame it on the Exchange
     upgrade.  Keyboards are actually very happy with half a pound of biscuit
     crumbs and nail clippings in them.

22.  When you get a message asking "Are You Sure ?", click on that YES button
     as fast as possible.  Hell, if you weren't sure, you wouldn't be doing it
     in the first place, would you ?

23.  Feel free to say things like "I don't know nothing about that computer
     crap".  We really love hearing our area of professional expertise
     referred to as crap.

24.  When you need to change the toner cartridge, call IT support.  Changing
     the cartridge is an extremely technical task and Hewlett Packard
     recommends that it be performed only by a professional person with a
     masters degree in Nuclear Physics.

25.  When something is the matter with your computer, ask your secretary to
     call our Helpdesk.  We enjoy the challenge of having to deal with a
     third-party who knows jack-shit about the problem.

26.  When you receive a 300 Mb AVI file, send it on to "all" as an email
     attachment.  We've got LOADS of disk space on the server.
     [ And don't the users just *love* watching their PC trying to load
       it down and do something intelligent with it - Ed. ]

27.  Don't even think of breaking large print jobs down into smaller chunks.
     Someone else may sneak a memo into the queue.

28.  If your son is a student in computer science, have him come on over the
     weekend and do his projects on your work PC.  We'll be there for you when
     his illegal copy of Visual Basic 6 makes your Access 95 disappear and
     riddles your PC with viruses.

29.  When you bring your own personal home PC in for repair in the office
     leave the documentation at home.  Don't worry, we'll find all the
     settings and drivers on the Internet.
   ------------------------------------------------------------------------


       And lastly of awly for this weekly, one more from the West:
                         -------------------

                    HOW TO SCREW UP AN INTERVIEW

We've all been interviewed for jobs.  And, we've all spent most of those
interviews thinking about what not to do.  Don't bite your nails.  Don't
fidget.  Don't interrupt.  Don't belch.  If we did any of the don'ts, we
knew we'd disqualify ourselves instantly.

But some job applicants go light years beyond this.  We surveyed top
personnel executives of 100 major American corporations and asked for stories
of unusual behaviour by job applicants.

  The lowlights:

1.   "... stretched out on the floor to fill out the job application."

2.   "She wore a Walkman and said she could listen to me and the music at the
      same time."

3.   "A balding candidate abruptly excused himself.  Returned to office a few
      minutes later, wearing a hairpiece."

4.   "... asked to see interviewer's resume to see if the personnel executive
      was qualified to judge the candidate."

5.   "... announced she hadn't had lunch and proceeded to eat a hamburger and
      French fries in the interviewer's office - wiping the sauce on her
      sleeve"

6.   "Stated that, if he were hired, he would demonstrate his loyalty by
      having the Corporate Logo tattooed on his forearm."

7.   "Interrupted to phone his therapist for advice on answering specific
      interview questions."

8.   "When I asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and started tap dancing
      around my office."

9.    "At the end of the interview, while I stood there dumbstruck, went
      through my purse, took out a brush, brushed his hair, and left."

10.  "... pulled out a Polaroid camera and snapped a flash picture of me.
      Said he collected photos of everyone who interviewed him."

11.  "Said he wasn't interested because the position paid too much."

12.  "While I was on a long-distance phone call, the applicant took out a
      copy of Penthouse, and looked through the photos only, stopping longest
      at the centerfold."

13.  "During the interview, an alarm clock went off from the candidate's
      brief case.  He took it out, shut it off, apologised and said he had to
      leave for another interview."

14.  "A telephone call came in for the job applicant.  It was from his wife.
      His side of the conversation went like this: "Which company?  When do I
      start?  What's the salary?"  I said, "I assume you're not interested in
      conducting the interview any further."  He promptly responded, "I am as
      long as you'll pay me more.  "I didn't hire him, but later found out
      there was no other job offer.  It was a scam to get a higher offer."

15.  "His attache [case] opened when he picked it up and the contents spilled,
      revealing ladies' undergarments and assorted makeup and perfume."

16.  "Candidate said he really didn't want to get a job, but the unemployment
      office needed proof that he was looking for one."

17.  "... asked who the lovely babe was, pointing to the picture on my desk.
      When I said it was my wife, he asked if she was home now and wanted my
      phone number.  I called security,"

18.  "Pointing to a black case he carried into my office, he said that if he
      was not hired, the bomb would go off.  Disbelieving, I began to state
      why he would never be hired and that I was going to call the police.
      He then reached down to the case, flipped a switch and ran."
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[ End Fri humour ]




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