Friday humour - November 16, 2001

     From Tony at Bluehaze:

          Gidday,
     Yesterday was one of those perfect sunny days here in Melbourne (Oz),
     not a cloud in the sky after weeks of grey, miserable, wet and boring
     weather, and Davo (who again did the last cupla FH editions) had this
     week off, so hopefully he spent the day stretched out luxuriously on a
     banana-lounge in his back yard reading a nice book or doing something
     equally pleasant.

     Here's another brain teaser just before we get onto the week's humour:
                               --------------

                           THE COMBS IN THE HATS

     Imagine that you have three hats, one containing two black combs, one
     containing two white combs, and the third containing one black comb
     and one white comb.

     The hats were originally labeled for their contents (BB - WW - BW) but
     someone has inadvertently switched the labels so that now every hat is
     incorrectly labelled!

     Without looking inside, you are allowed to take one comb at a time out
     of any hat that you wish, and by this process of sampling, you are to
     determine the contents of all three hats.

     What is the smallest number of drawings needed to do this?

     (Answer next week)
     ----------------------------------------------------------


     To humour now.  First up this week, cupla contributions from QCAT in
     sunny Queensland (except it wasn't last week when we were there):
                            ----------------------

A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.  The teacher said it was
physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though they
were a very large mammal, their throat was very small.

The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.  The teacher
reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was impossible.

The little girl said, "Well when I get to heaven, I'll ask Jonah."

The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"

The little girl replied, "Then you ask him."

                       -----=====#===#===#=====-----

The SAS, the army and the police decide to go on a survival weekend together
to see who comes out top.

After some basic exercises, the trainer tells them their next objective is
to go down into the woods and come back with a rabbit for tea.

First up are the SAS.

They don their infra red goggles, drop to the ground and crawl into the woods
in formation.  Absolute silence for 5 minutes, followed by a single muffled
shot.  They emerge with a rabbit, shot cleanly through the forehead.

"Excellent" says the trainer.

Next up are the army.

They finish their cans of lager, cover themselves in camouflage cream, fix
bayonets and charge down into the woods, screaming at the top of their lungs.
For the next hour the woods ring with the sound of machine gun fire, mortar
bombs, hand grenades and blood-curdling war cries.  Eventually, they emerge,
carrying the charred remains of a rabbit.

"A bit messy, but you got a result.  Well done" says the trainer.

Lastly, in go the coppers.

Walking slowly, hands behind backs, whistling Dixon of Dock Green.  For the
next few hours, the silence is only broken by the occasional crackle of a
walkie-talkie: "sierra oscar lemur one, suspect headed straight for you", etc.
After what seems an eternity, they emerge, escorting a squirrel in handcuffs.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" asks the incredulous trainer. "Take
this squirrel back and get me a rabbit, like I asked you 5 hours ago!"

So back they go.  Minutes pass, minutes turn to hours, day turns to night.  The
next morning the trainer and the rest of the crew are awakened by the police,
holding the squirrel again, now covered in bruises.

"Are you taking the piss outa me?" asks the seriously irate trainer.

The police team leader shoots a glance at the squirrel, who promptly squeaks
"Alright already ... I'm a f--king rabbit!"
  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


       Now to a few more classic Steven Wright one-liners (these are from
       that collection I came across a few months ago):
                           ----------------------

So I figured I'd leave the area, because I had no ties there anyway except
for this girl I was seeing.  We had conflicting attitudes: I really wasn't
into meditating and she wasn't really into being alive.  I told her I knew
when I was going to die because my birth certificate has an expiration date.

My girlfriend's so intense.  She woke me up the other night and asked, "If you
could tell exactly when and how you were going to die, would you want to know?"
"Heck no," I said, "Why?"
"Doesn't matter, just go back back to sleep..."

When I woke up this morning my girlfriend asked me, "Did you sleep well?"
I said, "No, I made a few mistakes."

It's a good apartment because they allow pets.  I have a Shetland pony named
Nikkie.  Last summer Nikkie was involved in a bizarre electrolysis accident.
All her hair was removed except for her tail.  Now I rent her out to Hare
Krishna family picnics.

I was born by Caesarean section - not so you'd notice.  It's just that when I
leave a house, I go out through the window.

When I was five years old I was on a merry go round.  There was a gunshot
nearby.  The horses stampeded.  There I was running down the street on a purple
wooden horse.

When I was little my grandfather asked me how old I was.  I said, "Five."
He said, "When I was your age, I was six."

I used to own an ant farm but had to give it up.  I couldn't find tractors
small enough to fit it.

When I was 10, my pa told me never to talk to strangers.
We haven't spoken since.

When I have a kid, I want to buy one of those strollers for twins.  Then put
the kid in and run around, looking frantic.  When he gets older, I'd tell him
he used to have a brother, but he didn't obey.

Babies don't need a vacation, but I still see them at the beach.  It pisses
me off!  I'll go over to a little baby and say, "What are you doing here?  You
haven't worked a day in your life!"

One night I came home very late.  It was the next night.

I broke my arm trying to fold a bed.  It wasn't the kind that folds.

I lost a button hole today.  Where am I gonna find another one?

I made wine out of raisins so I wouldn't have to wait for it to age.

I saw a man with a wooden leg and a real foot.

I saw a subliminal advertising executive, but only for a second.

A wino asked me for change.  I gave him my shirt.

Factorials were someone's attempt to make math *look* exciting.

How young can you die of old age?

If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back?

The sun got confused about daylight savings time.  It rose twice.  Everything
had two shadows.
  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


      Over to Telstra now, and this one passed on by David Magnay:
                           ----------------------

                   TOILET TESTERS STRIVE TO COME OUT NO. 2

                               By DAVE BARRY

     TASTEFULNESS ADVISORY: Do not read this column if you are eating, or
     plan to eat ever again.  Thank you.

Recently I watched as a professional engineer attempted to flush fermented
bean curd down a toilet.

This was not some fun engineer prank.  This was a laboratory test conducted
at the research center of the National Association of Home Builders, which is
trying to develop a laboratory test for toilet performance that simulates the
challenges faced by toilets in the real world.  This research is necessary
because Americans are unhappy with the wimpy toilets we are now required
to buy.  We yearn for the glory years, when our toilets were among the most
powerful on earth -- when the standard American household commode could,
in a single flush, as proven in actual tests, suck down a mature sheep.

(Before I get a lot of mail from angry animal-rights activists, let me stress
that these tests did NOT use an actual sheep.  That would be barbaric!  They
used two goats tied together.)

But then, in 1992, the U.S. Congress -- instead of passing a law that would
actually benefit ordinary Americans, such as a mandatory death penalty for
telemarketers -- decided to cripple our toilets.  Specifically, Congress passed
a law limiting new toilets to 1.6 gallons of water per flush, less than half
what the old toilets used.  In terms of power and studliness, our toilets went
from being the Baltimore Ravens to being Barry Manilow.

(Before I get a lot of mail from angry Barry Manilow fans, let me stress that,
as a musician and a performer, he sounds like two goats tied together.)

The new toilets were supposed to save water.  And they work OK when it comes
to disposing of what is euphemistically referred to as ``Number One.'' The
problem is that, when they must dispose of what is euphemistically referred to
as ``Geraldo,'' they tend to clog, and they often must be flushed repeatedly,
which actually wastes water.  (Before I get a lot of mail from angry Geraldo
fans, let me stress that there ARE no Geraldo fans.)

So anyway, the plumbing and homebuilding industries have gotten many complaints
about the new toilets.  That's why the National Association of Home Builders
has been trying to come up with a real-world toilet test, so we'll know which,
if any, toilets actually work, so consumers can buy these and get rid of the
bad toilets, which will then be dropped from bombers onto the U.S. Capitol.

Okay - that last part is a fantasy (for now).  But the NAHB really is doing
serious toilet research, as I learned when I was given a tour of its Maryland
research facility by Larry Zarker, Chuck Arnold and Tom Kenney.  They showed
me a laboratory where test toilets are mounted on a frame; the procedure is,
you put your test material into the bowl, flush, then see how much material
makes it through to a wire collection basket underneath.  (Kids: This would
be a GREAT science-fair project!)

Kenney first showed me the current test standard, in which the toilet is
supposed to flush 100 little plastic balls.  There are two problems with this
test.  One is that anybody who emits anything like 100 little plastic balls
doesn't need a better toilet; he needs immediate medical care.  The other
problem is that the test is WAY too easy. ``Any toilet in the world can pass
it,'' said Kenney.

He then showed me some of the tougher, more-realistic tests being considered.
These involve various materials, including wads of paper and sponges, both
weighted and unweighted, to simulate what the NAHB refers to as ``sinkers''
and ``floaters.''

But the most impressive test material, by FAR, is the fermented bean curd, which
Kenney said is made, using a secret recipe, by the Toto toilet company of Japan,
a world leader in commode innovation.  I mean, this stuff looks EXACTLY like
real Geraldo.  I myself would not touch it.  I watched in fascinated horror
as Kenney boldly grasped a mass of it and, with his bare hands, formed 10
incredibly lifelike Puff Daddies.  Needless to say, these clogged the test
toilet.

I was deeply moved by this experience.  I came away convinced that these
engineers will, some day, develop a test that will enable us, as a nation,
to once again have faith in our commodes.  When that day comes, I want to shake
the hands of the courageous researchers who made it possible.  But first they
will have to wash.
  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


       Onto some visual humour now - first one is from our Illinois
       correspondent, Nestor (Telepresence Microscopy) Zaluzec:

   Taliban missile: Click here

       This lot were passed on by Anna S (my wife) who solicited them from
       her students under threat of death at a certain high school over the
       past cupla weeks ....

   Bomb Raider: Click here
   Oooops ... Click here
   Can you do this?  Click here
   Opening soon:  Click here
   Illusion:  Click here

       And here are some optical illusions just passed on by my
       daughter Rosie (couple may be repeats, but all good fun):

   Illusion 1:  Click here
   Illusion 2:  Click here
   Illusion 3:  Click here
   Illusion 4:  Click here
   Illusion 5:  Click here
   Illusion 6:  Click here
   Illusion 7:  Click here
   Illusion 8:  Click here
   Illusion 9: Click here
  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


        Enough of those.  Back now to the old West and a contribution that
        floated down the wires a few months ago:
                            ----------------------

                   "THE POISON PRINCIPLE" - Gail Bell

It is 1862.  At the London ball season crinolines are the rage.  A young lady
is wearing twenty yards of green tarlatane.  Silk would have pleased her
more but tarlatane is a passable substitute since it can be made to shine in
a silky way.  The tarlatane comes from a factory in Leipzig where they have
the knack of laying a paste of starch and copper arsenite (called Schweinfiirt
Green) onto cotton.  When the paste is dried and polished, the cloth dazzles
like an emerald.

Fully rigged for dancing in matching gown, headdress, fan and shoes, the
young lady is carrying enough arsenic on board to kill everyone in the
room.  If she dances till the late hours in a jostle of overheated bodies,
thousands of lethal green particles, loosened from the paste on her dress,
will lift and spin in the whirls and eddies of a room shut tight against the
damp air.  When she raises her fan, which has lain between times in the folds
of her gown, or when her dress is admired and the folds extended, she will
dust her partners with green death.

By midnight her head is aching so much she has to leave, pleading exhaustion.
Her face is pale.  She barely makes it home and undresses before a spasm of
nausea tenses her stomach.  She needs to urinate every five minutes.
She loosens her drawstring and lies down.  Suddenly she can't breathe.

She sits up, coughs, clutches her throat.  Then she vomits.  Her maid finds
her slumped over the commode pot, her bowels emptying watery stools, her face
a deathly white.

Is it cholera? typhoid?  So many young officers are returning from Algiers,
Morocco, the East, bringing foreign, purging contagions into the ballrooms
of London.  She can hardly speak now Her throat is burning and raw Her hands
and feet are icy cold, the dreadfiil machinery of her body is trying to expel
all its fluids even when it seems there is nothing left.

The doctor arrives at 3 a.m.  Diagnosed with choleric dysentery, she is taken
to the infectious diseases hospital where she dies the following day of liver
failure exacerbated by dehydration.
  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


       Here's another one from the Westerly mob - humour this time:
                            ----------------------

A young Scottish lad and lassie were sitting on a low stone wall, holding hands,
and just gazing out over the loch.  For several minutes they sat silently, then
finally the girl looked at the boy and said, "A penny for your thoughts, Angus."

"Well, uh, I was thinkin ... perhaps it's aboot time for a wee kiss."

The girl blushed, then leaned over and kissed him lightly on the cheek.  Then
he blushed.

The two turned once again to gaze out over the loch.  After awhile the girl
spoke again, "Another penny for your thoughts, Angus."

"Well, uh, I was thinkin ... perhaps it's noo aboot time for a wee cuddle."

The girl blushed, then leaned over and cuddled him for a few seconds.  Then he
blushed.

Then the two turned once again to gaze out over the loch.  After awhile, the
girl spoke again, "Another penny for your thoughts, Angus."

"Well, uh, I was thinkin ... perhaps it's aboot time you let me poot ma hand
on your leg."

The girl blushed, then took his hand and put it on her knee.  Then he blushed.

Then the two turned once again to gaze out over the loch.  After awhile the girl
spoke again, "Another penny for your thoughts, Angus."

The young man knit his brow. "Well, now," he said, "My thoughts are a bit more
serious this time."

"Really?" said the girl in a whisper, filled with anticipation.

"Aye," said the lad.

The girl looked away in shyness, began to blush, and bit her lip in anticipation
of the utlimate request.

"Din'na ye think it's aboot time ye paid me the first three pennies?"
  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


        Now for one from Steve Kerassitis (otherwise known as Kero tin):
                            ----------------------

A young man joined the Army and signed up with the paratroopers.  He went
though the standard training, completed the practice jumps from higher and
higher structures, and finally went to take his first jump from an airplane.
The next day, he called home to his father to tell him what happened.

"So, son - did you jump?" the father asked.

"Well, first, let me tell you what happened.  We got up in the plane, and the
sergeant opened up the door and asked for volunteers.  About a dozen men got
up and just walked out of the plane!"

"Is that when you jumped, son?" asked the father.

"Um, not yet," said the young oldier. "Then the sergeant started to grab the
other men one at a time and throw them out the door."

"Well, did you jump then?" asked the father.

"I'm getting to that, dad.  Everyone else had jumped, and I was the very last
man left on the plane.  I told the sergeant that I was just too scared to jump.
He told me to get off the plane or he'd kick my butt."

"So, did you jump?"

"No, not then.  He tried to push me out of the plane, but I grabbed onto the
door for dear life and refused to go.  Luckily, I was able to push the sergeant
out the door.  Finally, the Jump Master called me over and said 'Boy, are
you gonna jump or not?' I said, 'No, sir.  I'm just too scared.' So the Jump
Master pulled down his zipper and took his dick out.  I swear, it was about
ten inches long and as big around as a baseball bat!  Then he said, 'Boy,
either you jump out that door, or I'm sticking this schlong up your baby butt.'"

"So *that's* when you jumped?" asked the father.

"Well, a little ... at first."
  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


         And to round out the week, one from Dave (Biggus) McCallum:
                            ----------------------

                   THE STRAIGHT DOPE ON FOOD AND EXERCISE

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life.  Is this true?

A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it.  Everything wears
   out eventually.  Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's
   like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster.  Want
   to live longer?  Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies.  What does a cow eat?  Hay and corn.
   And what are these?  Vegetables.  So a steak is nothing more than an
   efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system.  Need grain?
   Eat chicken.  Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy
   vegetable).  And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily
   allowance of vegetable slop.

Q: Is beer or wine bad for me?

A: Look, it goes to the earlier point about fruits and vegetables.  As we all
   know, scientists divide everything in the world into three categories:
   Animal, Mineral, and Vegetable.  We all know that beer and wine are not
   animal, and they're not on the periodic table of elements, so that only
   leaves one thing, right?  My advice: Have a burger and a beer and enjoy
   your liquid vegetables.

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: Well, if you have a body, and you have body fat, your ratio is one to
   one.  If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: At the gym, a guy asked me to "spot" for him while he did the bench
   press.  What did he mean?

A: "Spotting" for someone means you stand over him while he blows air up your
   shorts.  It's an accepted practice at health clubs; though if you find that
   it becomes the ONLY reason why you're going in, you probably ought to
   re-evaluate your exercise program.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise
   program?

A: Sorry ... Can't think of a single one.  My philosophy is: No Pain-No Pain.

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not!  When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger.  You should
   only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

     I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[ End Friday humour ]



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