Friday humour - January 09, 2004

     From Tony at Bluehaze:

    I'm disappearing until Feb, but I hear that Davo is accepting donations
    of Maltesers and fine cuban cigars to keep this thing going till then ;-)

    Now, this week's humour proper actually begins with a sinister touch,
    but just before we get onto that, cupla interesting updates from David M
    (currently on a top secret Govt contract up in Canberra) re the ever
    expanding US Home Security thought-police State:

  Osama 'fin' Laden: Click here and Hijacker Injector: Click here
    ("Wow! I hope they have good safeties on the KILL setting." - David M)

                                  *  *  *  *  *

    Okay - to this weeks donations - err, contributions.  First up, it's
    a scam notice that's just been circulated around the NRC in Canada, and
    Lachlan has forwarded it over ...

                             NEW CREDIT CARD SCAM

An acquaintance of an NRC employee recently got the telephone SCAM described
below.  While I usually like to check the background of such SCAMS with the
appropriate authorities before disseminating a security awareness notice,
a timely response nowadays is unlikely. Considering the nature of this SCAM
and the fact that I consider my source as reliable, I would rather err on
side with caution.

Please pass on.

We all receive emails all the time regarding one scam or another; but last
week I REALLY DID get scammed! Both VISA and MasterCard told me that this
scam is currently being worked throughout the Midwest, with some variance
as to the product or amount, and if you are called, just hang up.

My husband was called on Wednesday from "VISA" and I was called in Thursday
from "MasterCard". It worked like this: Person calling says, "This is Carl
Patterson (any name) and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud department
at VISA. My Badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual
purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA
card issued by 5/3 bank. Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for
$497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona?"

When you say "No", the caller continues with, "Then we will be issuing a
credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the
charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that
flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to
(gives you your address), is that correct?"

You say, "Yes".  The caller continues "... I will be starting a fraud
investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 800 number
listed on your card 1-800-VISA and ask for Security. you will need to refer
to this Control _".

Then gives you a 6 digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?"

Caller then says he "needs to verify you are in possession of your card. Turn
the card over. There are 7 numbers; first 4 are 1234 (whatever) the next 3
are the security numbers that verify you are in possession of the card. These
are the numbers you use to make internet purchases to prove you have the
card. Read me the 3 numbers."

Then he says "That is correct. I just needed to verify that the card has
not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any
other questions?  Don't hesitate to call back if you do."

You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the card
number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20
minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA security dept.
told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99
WAS put on our card.

Long story made short .... we made a real fraud report and closed the VISA
card and they are reissuing as a new number. What the scam wants is the 3
digit number and that once the charge goes through, they keep charging every
few days. By the time you get your statement, you think the credit is coming,
and then its harder to actually file a fraud report. The real VISA reinforced
that they will never ask for anything on the card (they already know).

What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from
"Jason Richardson of MasterCard" with a word for word repeat of the VISA

This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up.  We filed a police report
(as instructed by VISA), and they said they are taking several of these
reports daily.  And to tell friends, relatives and co-workers.

  [ BTW, don't forget that Lachlan has his own semi-bottomless pages over at
    Bluehaze (updated daily) at Click here  -  science, philosophy, hangover

    cures, and mucho pics he's taken during his world meanderings over the
    past 6 years in Oz, England, the US and Canada. ]

       Okay - now to another one passed on by David Mags from the Oz capital:


Sam Weller, in his 1976 book "Bastards I have Met" points out that "through
common usage the word 'bastard' has practically become a verbal nonentity,
because it mostly relies on the associated adjective to give it meaning".

He gives numerous examples of its use, including 'WHINGING Bastard', viz:
"When he was born, the doctor slapped his arse to make him cry and he hasn't
shut up ever since",
'UNLUCKY Bastard', as in "He's got the "Midas Touch" in reverse.  Everything he
touches turns to shit".

The book is all about Bastards he has met throughout his life.  And there
were a few.

John O'Grady gives this advice to students of strine (Aussie English, 1965):

 Until - and if ever - you become familiar with all the shades of meaning
 given to the word 'bastard', it will be better for you to leave it out of
 your conversation.  Otherwise you will may acquire a reputation as a 'know-
 all bastard', which will mean that you know nothing at all

As stated elsewhere, the beauty of the Australian language and culture is
that it is, to a fairly high degree, shared by all members of our society.

For example, ex-prime Minister Bob Hawke casually mentions how "some bastard"
had stolen his gown in his written memoirs. And as we explained in our page
devoted to ex-Prime Minister Gough Whitlam:

 Of course, not only was Gough an avid admirer of the amber fluid, the old
 bastard also spoke Australian fluently despite the fact he occupied the most
 powerful position in the land (well, second to the Governor General, as it
 turned out). And no, he wouldn't take offence at me calling him a bastard
 (well at least that's what he told the ACT Branch of the ALP in 1974):

 "I don't mind the Liberals, and still less do I mind the Country Party
  calling me a bastard. In some circumstances, I'm only doing my job if they
  do. But I hope you won't publicly call me a bastard as some bastards in
  the Caucus have."

And for the American observers out there, you might already be wondering how a
PM could speak like that and still be accepted by the public.  Well, try to
imagine for a moment what would happen if one of your presidents pulled out
this beauty:

 "The man is a paranoiac, he's a fanatic, and he's a bigot.  What makes
 it all the more nauseating is, of course, that Bjelke-Peterson is
 such a Bible-bashing bastard."
        Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, 1974

One only has to sit around parliament for a few days to hear strine in action:

 A farmer, having come into some serious conflict with the local stock
 inspector drew a pig on his permit and wrote on the bottom, "The stock
 inspector is a pig."  Another of my farmer constituents. wrote on the
 document, "The stock is inspector is a bastard." Let me say that the farmers
 to whom I have referred were correct on both counts ...
        Hon. Mr Gilmore MP - Legislative Assembly 7 October 1993

But of course, don't think for a second that just because he got away with
it, others can:

 Mr LITTLEPROUD: 'According to officer Foster, that person told him "I had
 another meeting with Wayne Goss about that bogus fax. He's now using the
 story that he knows nothing about the bogus fax and he says he shredded it
 without reading it." There is some sort of similarity there! The statement
 continued "I was absolutely furious because the lying little bastard knows
 I told him all about it and handed him a copy" ...'


 Mr LITTLEPROUD: I am sorry; I am quoting.

 Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: The honourable member will resume his seat. That term is
 unparliamentary. Even though the term came from the mouth of somebody else,
 under the provisions of the Standing Orders it should be withdrawn. I ask
 the honourable member to withdraw it.

 Mr LITTLEPROUD: I withdraw that comment. It is contained in the documentation
 that I tabled, so honourable members can read it. I withdraw and apologise
 for that comment.
     Legislative Assembly 363 17 October 1995

Or perhaps more humorously:

 MR OSBORNE (6.54): Mr Speaker, it saddens me that I have to rise today as
 a member of the crossbenches to speak - - -

 Mrs Carnell: You bastard!

 MR SPEAKER: Order! I am not sure the Chair heard what I thought it heard.

 Mrs Carnell: I withdraw.

 Mr Whitecross: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I thought a member referred
 to another member as a bastard, and I thought that should be withdrawn.

 MR SPEAKER: If they did, I would ask that it be withdrawn immediately.

 Mrs Carnell: Absolutely withdrawn.
     ACT, Week 2, Hansard (27 February, 1997) - Page 625

 "I wish you all the luck in the portfolio, it's a bastard of a job, if that's
 not unparliamentary ..."
    My Toyne referring to the new Minister for Education, NT Eighth Assembly
    First Session 22/02/2000 Parliamentary Record No:21

But perhaps the best use of the word bastard by a politician in power was by
the Premier of New South Wales in 1966 (Robin Askin).  Robin was giving
President Lyndon Johnston a guided tour of the streets of Sydney when a mob
of anti-Vietnam protestors spilled out into the street in from of their
car. Without blinking an eyelid, Robin leaned over to police escort and
growled, "Run the bastards over".

Even the famous Breaker Morant, who was, in great Australian tradition,
screwed over by the Poms and sentenced to death, chose these as his last
words when facing the British firing squad in 1902:

    "Shoot straight you bastards. Don't make a mess of it."

They didn't.

   [ For the original - Click here ]


       And Jon Firth up at Unicorn Glass in Darwin passed on a thought:

I came across this the other day and it struck a chord ...

"Just because the voices are not real doesn't mean their advice is no good."

          Okay - next, it's over to PLC John the K at the frothy CUB:

There were two brothers. One was very good and tried to always live right
and be helpful. His brother on the other hand was bad and did all the things
that men should not do in life and didn't care who he hurt.

The bad brother died. He was still missed by his brother since he loved him
despite his ways.

Finally, years later, the good brother died and went to Heaven.  Everything was
beautiful and wonderful there, and he was very happy.

One day he asked God where his brother was, as he hadn't seen him there.
God said that he was sorry but his brother lived a terrible life and went
to Hell instead. The good brother then asked God if there was any way for
him to see his brother.  So God gave him the power of vision to see into
Hell and there was his brother. He was sitting on a bench with a keg of beer
under one arm and a gorgeous blonde on the other.

Confused, the good brother said to God, "I am so happy that you let me into
Heaven with you. It is so beautiful here and I love it.  But I don't
understand - if my brother was bad enough to go to Hell, why does he have
the keg of beer and a gorgeous blonde? It hardly seems like a punishment".

God said unto him, "Things are not always as they seem, my son. The keg has
a hole in it; the blonde does not."

      Then there was this one from our list over in the Wild West of Oz:

                         NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN

Someone forwarded this advert to me, from a newspaper published in the
goldfields in 1875.  It's a lot more subtle than some of the spam I've been
receiving lately, but it's essentially same thing:

                     DR RICORD'S 'ESSENCE OF LIFE'.


   Restores manhood to the most shattered and debilitated constitution.

   This invaluable remedy affords relief, and permanently cures all who suffer
   wasting and withering of the nerves and muscular tissues, spermatorrhoea,
   and all urinary deposits, which cause incapacity and degeneracy, total
   and partial prostration, and every other exhaustive derangement of the
   system; regenerating all elements of the human frame, AND ENABLING MAN

   Parcels packed secretly and free from observation.


      To the pics and things now.  Most of our regular contributors have
      gone pretty quiet in the last couple of weeks as one might imagine.
      No doubt this is due to everyone finally getting away from their
      keyboards and having a few beers around the barbie - a much better
      way to spend one's time!  But if you do come across anything next
      week - pics, mpegs, or whatever - send 'em into Davo via the usual
      address, ie: fridayhumour~at~bluehaze~dot~com~dot~au).

      James Powell found this one yesterday and thought one or two of you
      might be amused ...

I switched to Linux!  Click here

      And Maria the Harding came across this one.  It's quite explicit,
      with the underlying theme of:

Why you shouldn't get drunk on your next blind date (X-Rated) - images/BlindDate.jpg


      Now some more sound bites.  First up, we let's have one last episode of
      of that classic Oz radio serial, Dad and Dave.  They're still getting
      ready to celebrate an Oz Christmas from way back in 1942.  (And don't
      ask me what happened to episode 536 - I can't see it here!).  So find
      yourself a quiet room, get yourself into a comfortable chair, pull up
      the Internet, turn out your lights, and come back to Snake Gully with:

Dad and Dave Episode 537 - MP3 version: Click here
or the RealBadAudio streaming version: Click here

      Peter up in Sydney is still sending down great old BBC classics, and
      this is an episode of "I'm sorry, I haven't a clue", with Mr Humphrey
      Lyttelton and the crew ...

I'm sorry, I haven't a clue - Episode 1 - MP3 version Click here
or the RealBadAudio streaming version: Click here

      The last one this week is the 2003 BBC Reith lectures.  These are not all
      on Bluehaze yet, so I'll just have to send you off to the BBC.

      I recently heard these lectures in Oz via our own ABC, and they're quite
      fascinating.  All about neuroscience and the human brain, as presented
      by Professor Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, Director of the Centre for
      Brain and Cognition at the University of California (San Diego).
      Just Click here and then click on each episode over on the right-hand side

      and enjoy.  (Prof Ramachandran would have to be this century's answer
      to Professor Julius Sumner Miller :-)

      If you can't get them to stream reliably from the BBC site (or you just
      don't have an UnReal player on your computer), here's an MP3 version of
      part 1:

The Emerging Mind, Part 1 of 5 - MP3 version: Click here

        A couple more ASCII contributions from Maria the Harding now ...

A girl was visiting her blonde friend who had acquired two new dogs, and
asked her what their names were.  The blonde responded by saying that one
was named Rolex and one was named Timex.

Her friend said, "What?  Whoever heard of someone naming their dogs like that?"

"Err, hellooOooo," answered the blonde.  "Like ... they are watch dogs."


                           THANK YOU, NAPISAN

   Dear Napisan,

I'm writing to say what an excellent product you have! I've used it since
the beginning of my married life, when my Mum told me it was the best.

Now that I am older and going through menopause, I find it even better!

In fact, about a month ago, I spilled some red wine on my new white blouse.
My unfeeling and uncaring husband started to berate me about how clumsy I
was and generally started becoming a pain in the neck.

One thing led to another and I ended up with a lot of his blood on my white
blouse. I tried to get the stain out using a bargain detergent, but it just
wouldn't come out. After a quick trip to the supermarket, I stopped and got
a bottle of Napisan Oxywash with bleach alternative, and to my surprise and
satisfaction, all of the stains came out!

In fact, the stains came out so well, that some detectives who came by
yesterday told me that the DNA tests were negative and then my lawyer said
that I would no longer be considered a suspect!

I thank you, once again, for having such a great product.

Well, gotta go. I have to write a letter to the Glad bag people,


     (A Relieved Menopausal Wife)

      And to wind up for this week, let's have three more from over at CUB:

                             MORE SILLY SIGNS

At a Santa Fe gas station:
"We will not sell gasoline to anyone in a glass container."

In a New York restaurant:
"Customers who consider our waitresses uncivil ought to see the manager."

On the wall of a Baltimore estate:
"Trespassers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law -- Sisters
 of Mercy"

On a long-established New Mexico dry cleaners:
"38 years on the same spot."

In a Los Angeles dance hall:
"Good clean dancing every night but Sunday."

In a New York drugstore:
"We dispense with accuracy."

In the offices of a loan company:
"Ask about our plans for owning your home."

In a New York medical building:
"Mental Health Prevention Centre"

On a New York convalescent home:
"For the sick and tired of the Episcopal Church."

On a Maine shop:
"Our motto - give customers the lowest possible prices and workmanship."

At a number of military bases:
"Restricted to unauthorized personnel."

On a display of "I love you only" Valentine cards:
"Now available in multi-packs."

In the window of a Kentucky appliance store:
"Don't kill your wife. Let our washing machine do the dirty work."

In a funeral parlour:
"Ask about our layaway plan."

In a clothing store:
"Wonderful bargains for men with 16 and 17 necks."

In a Tacoma, Washington men's clothing store:
"15 men's wool suits, $10. They won't last an hour!"

On a shopping mall marquee:
"Archery Tournament -- Ears pierced"

Outside a country shop:
"We buy junk and sell antiques."

In the window of an Oregon store:
"Why go elsewhere and be cheated when you can come here?"

In a Maine restaurant:
"Open 7 days a week and weekends."

On a radiator repair garage:
"Best place to take a leak."

In the vestry of a New England church:
"Will the last person to leave please see that the perpetual light is

In a Pennsylvania cemetery:
"Persons are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves."

On a roller coaster:
"Watch your head."


                            UP COMING MERGERS

   Below are some of the latest rumors from Wall Street. In the wake of
   the US greenback fall, here are some mergers we can expect to see:

Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush, and W.R. Grace
Company merge to become Hale-Mary-Fuller-Grace.

Polygram Records, Warner Brothers, and Keebler Crackers merge to become

3M and Goodyear merge to become MMMGood.

John Deere and Abitibi-Price merge to become Deere-Abi.

Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco, and Dakota Mining merge to
become Zip-Audi-Do-Da.

Honeywell, Imasco, and Home Oil merge to become Honey-I'm-Home.

Denison Mines, and Alliance and Metal Mining merge to become

Federal Express and UPS merge to become FED-UP.

Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers will merge and become

3M, J.C.Penney and the Canadian Opera Company will merge and become

Knott's Berry Farm & National Organization of Women will merge and
become Knott-NOW!


    Slamming Sam Says:

                                 OLD PEOPLE

It's no secret none of us like paying tax, and it's common knowledge we're
in deep shit in terms of revenue raising, and I can't believe that for once
in his life John Howard has got it so wrong.

Let's call a spade a useless old piece of rusted metal. The problem is that
we've got too many old people straining our tax base, and in the future
there's going to be even more of the dribbling old bastards.  Smelly old
men who try to root every female nurse unfortunate enough to have to apply
ointment to the old dickhead's bed sores.  And stupid old women with blue hair
who want to sing some shitty Irving Berlin song.

I can't believe Johnno could stuff it up so badly.  Look at his politics!
Rebates for health cover, no GST on fresh food.  And even higher taxes on
drinking, smoking and gambling.

It should be the other way round. We need to thin out the numbers of oldies
if we want tax relief. Smoking, drinking and gambling is nature's way of
culling. Government's shouldn't discourage these activities by burdening
them with taxes.

Married men live longer. Bring in a marriage tax. The longer you're married the
higher the tax. Pets, medicine, health food, Jane Fonda work out videos. Tax
anything keeping oldies alive. Force men over 70 to have vigorous sex daily
straight after consuming a meal of German sausage, eggs potatoes, black
forest cake and four bottles of beer.

You know it makes sense.

I'm Sam Kekovich.
[ End Friday humour ]

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