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    The finer points of poverty

     

    I'm poor. And I'm not ashamed of it. Actually, I'm kind of proud of myself for being poor. It's an accomplishment that many people will never attain. Some people will go through their whole life and never know what it's like to experience some of the finer points of poverty like eating ramon noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner 5 days a week. My heart goes out to these types of people. The Fourtunate Ones. People who've always had electricity, nice cars, and proper clothing. I wasn't always poor. I had to work hard at it. I had to quit several jobs without finding new ones. I had to spend 75% of my paycheck at the bar when I knew my bills would have easily taken 90%. I had to max out credit cards and never pay on them. I had to give money to females that I knew would never pay it back. And most importantly I had to move to a small town where $6.00 and hour is considered 'good money'. I didn't know that I was putting myself in line for poverty while I was doing all these things. I just woke up one day and realized that I couldn't pay my car note because I only had 11 cents in the bank. And that's when it hit me: I'm POOR! It took me 25 long years but I finally nose-dived below the poverty line. I was now in the same category as the homeless and welfare recipients. No more was I hindered by riches. I had shed that lifestyle. I got up and fixed myself a mayonaisse sandwich to celebrate. Delicious! As a poor person I am entitled to certain privledges to which the well-to-do won't every be privy. I decide haved to list a few: - Instead of lugging around a wallet full of heavy dollar bills I now pay for important purchases like gasoline and food with spare change that I scavenge up around the house. - I get to shop at stores with improperly spelled titles like Sav-A-Lot, Thrif-Ti-Mart, and DisKount King. These stores offer a wide variety of out-dated, slightly damaged merchandise that Wal-Mart shoppers can only dream of. - I get to drool at resturant commercials on TV because I know I will never be able to afford meals like that again unless a rich relative dies - I get to wear my friend's hand-me-down clothes and shoes. This means that I rarely match and my feet ache constantly from wearing shoes that are three sizes too small. - I get to freely engage in the offical sports of the National Poor People's Association: begging and borrowing. - I get to go to bed every night with the comforting thought that if I ever do meet Ms. Right I can't afford to date her. I'll stop there because I see the envy rising to dangerous levels in a few reader's eyes. These readers probably have steady jobs and nice homes or apartments. Their bills are probably caught up. They probably have an immense wardrobe with properly sized shoes. Their bank account probably never drops below $5,000. I apologize to these readers if my boasting about my impoverished condition has made them feel inferior and totally removed any self-esteem they may have had left. All I can say is that I never meant to be poor. I was just in the right places at the right times. Maybe one day all of you will find yourselves on the Road to Rags as well. Until then you can check in with me if you want to know what it's like. I'll be the guy on the side of the interstate off-ramp with the 'Will Work For Food' sign. Pull your Mercedes right up and ask me anything. I promise I won't laugh. [ Submitted with ArticleSubmitter Pro - articlesubmitterpro]

         
    The headless horseman of mass media information everywhere philosophy nowhere

     

    Did you ever notice that we’re surrounded by information but hardly ever come across an idea in the media that might help us lead sane and happy lives? Oh, not the usual self-help drivel about how to lose weight or enjoy sex, but answers to the really big questions, like what to think about when you wake up in the morning and how to drink water out of a plastic bottle without burping. Try this experiment. Next time you go up to your favorite newsstand, scan all the overwrought front pages and smiley cover stories and try to find at least one suggestion that addresses the biggest questions your have about life. We’re not kidding around here. We’re talking about the big slam-dunk ideas that can actually help you get along with a commendable degree of rationality and happiness. Of course, you’d think everybody would know enough about such mental resources by the age of sixteen or so, but, judging by the amount of craziness and misery in the world, even among supposedly intelligent people, apparently very few folks ever do marshal their defenses against life’s tribulations and their inspirations toward its delights. For instance, how about Spalding Gray, whose recent successful foray into New York’s East River, shocked and depressed us all? What was he thinking? Or, going back a way to another misguided riverine escapade, take Robert Schumann, one of the brightest and most generous composers who ever lived. The distracted soul became so frantic and depressed, even with a cute and accomplished wife like Clara, that he walked into the Rhine in the middle of February and, having accidentally survived, begged to spend his last days in an insane asylum. Obviously, there’s a real need here for some handiwork. So, to help make up for the pervasive vapidity of the usual media and not wanting anything untoward to happen to you, precious reader, but actually wishing you perpetual joy, we herewith present twelve ways to help jaunt through life sane and happy, at least, most of the time. 1. Believe you were born to be sane and happy. It helps you think better of what’s behind it all. 2. To be sane and happy, do great things, because it’s fun, helpful, and makes you feel good about yourself. It’s also generally, but not always, rewarding to be considerate and, if you can afford it, generous. 3. Let other people believe anything they want to and just be happy that they have something that helps them get through this frequently challenging life, unless what they believe is likely to hurt somebody else, especially you. Then just clear out. You can find better friends. If they’re part of your family, wait till they figure out how to love you on their own. 4. Take good care of your life and whatever “made it” will take good care of you, if it takes good care of anybody, providing, of course, it’s sane and happy enough for you to be concerned about, and we do hope and trust it is. Otherwise, why do birds sing, even if some of them, especially the caw-caw choir, obviously never went to music school? 5. Be nice to everybody who isn’t entirely despicable, because everybody else is at least as fragile and uncertain as you are, no matter how big his or her mouth is or how inconsiderate and selfish he or she can be. 6. Remember Philosophy 101 and big Ari’s two generally neglected chestnuts. One: happiness is more likely to come your way if you guide your life “according to reason,” instead of hearkening to the plenteous varieties of idiocy that are somehow still afoot in the world. Two: be guided by The Golden Mean, that is, avoid excess of any kind, primarily because it’s likely to get you into excessive trouble. Notice, for example, how many people mess up their relationships because they don’t know that the quest for more and more generally leads to less and less, since that inconsiderate rampage negates the value of the individual, who happens to be the only person you can hug and kiss. Also notice how many celebrities are twisting on the agonizing spit of neediness, apparently unaware that infinite need can know no satisfaction. 7. Always keep the wholeness of your life in mind and never let a detail subordinate it and drive you completely to distraction, even when the detail is the person you love, telling you, “I just decided my happiness depends on kissing you goodbye.” Times like these are ideal to remember what your grandmother taught you: count your blessings. 8. Curse without feeling guilty. It’s an outlet that never hurt anybody. And what are words really but just sounds in the air? Never forget: the most forbidden word of all rhymes with luck. 9. Actually, don’t feel guilty about anything, unless you’re so perverse you actually hurt somebody else or, on rare occasions, yourself. Then you should feel really guilty, unless, of course, the other person was trying to hurt you. Then you should feel terrific for beating him or her off and he or she is the one who should feel really guilty. To free yourself from guilt, we advise the following half-original remedy: See your superego, which may, unfortunately, be parked on your flattened ego, as an agglomeration of internal objects that represent the most influential people in your past. Pretend they’re in a jury box, observing you. They are probably not smiling and saying, “Do whatever you want to, sweetie. We love you and just want you to be happy.” No, they are probably frowning and wagging their fingers, sternly advising, “Don’t do that.” Or “How could you do that?” Now, here’s the original part of the remedy: one by one turn these oppressive adjudicators upside down and bounce them on their heads. This innovative tactic helps you realize they’re now just in your mind and therefore they’re within your control. You’ve “internalized them,” like Freud’s perpetually unhappy sons internalized the primal father, along with all of his troublesome rules, and, as Siggy tells us, now this stern but deceased terror is more powerful than ever, because he’s in their minds, even watching their most embarrassing thoughts. As you no doubt know, helping most guilt-ridden people find a little space where they can breathe free is based on prying their garbage-truck-size superegos off their egos. One easy way to kick the primal father in the butt is to realize that being able to think of every alternative is the very dynamic that let’s you decide, nobly or ignobly, what you’d actually like to do. Who knows? With a little persistent head-bouncing, one day you may be able to dismiss the entire jury. 10. Enjoy sex and alcohol. You were born to enjoy the first, and you need to enjoy the second. Amazing how many people take responsibility for the fact that they have normal desires. Relax. You didn’t design the setup. Your job is just to live with it. Obviously, nature believed in pleasure more than any moralizer you’re likely to come across, at least, when he or she is speaking in public. Second, ever notice how people who don’t drink are usually really uptight and frequently get pale about the age of 40, lock up, and eventually stroke out. Your body needs a nice, reliable way to relax, especially in a workaday world that’s all set up to stress out even The Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz, and the thing booze has over pills is that it tastes good. Just don’t get drunk, because you’ll feel sick and maybe get arrested for DWI or kill some innocent person or other drunk who’s driving toward you. 11. Don’t worry about when the sun is going to burn out. You have more immediate concerns. 12. If you become overly concerned about what may await you when the curtain comes down on your life, remember how many problems you had before you were born. If still concerned, consult sane and happy hint number seven, sentence two. Bonus idea. We said only twelve but we have another big idea, alluded to, for comic effect, at the start, that we can’t resist sharing for good luck. 13. How to drink out of plastic bottles. Surprisingly, there is a way to drink water out of a plastic bottle without inhaling so much air you have to burp revoltingly three or four times. Astonishingly enough, there is also a way to drink soda out of a big plastic bottle without the bubbly getting flatter as the bottle gets emptier. When you drink right out of a bottle of water, especially Poland Spring, which, as you may have noticed, has an orifice so tiny you almost think the company doesn’t actually want you to drink it, just buy it. Place the rim on your lower lip so that the upper part of the curve is still exposed to the air. Then you can pour it down, instead of sucking on it like a desperate baby dealing with a retentive nipple. With big bottles of soda, each time you pour a glass, squeeze it until there’s very little air in it and then put the cap on tightly. Now, there’s hardly any space for the fizz to evaporate into. Admittedly, the flattened, bent thing will look odd in your refrigerator but at least the bubbly stuff will stay tangy. Unfortunately, this resourceful trick doesn’t work with champagne, because it obviously doesn’t come in plastic bottles, at least, not yet. We assume that now you’re ready to face life, prepared for any eventuality, which, if experience is any indication, will contain the usual confoundedly unpredictable mix of devastations and delights, which, if you really think about it, is the main thing that makes life mind-teasingly interesting.

         
    The illogical puppet of iran any chance of getting the little guy a better script

     

    First, we learned to say and spell the puppet’s name: Armadinejad. Not exactly Smith. Then we watched him perform upon a crafty mullah’s knee. We have been patient, like any fair-minded audience, but the more we listen, the more we realize that the puppet has a script that just doesn’t make sense. He raises one hand and, without the mullah appearing to move his own lips, practiced ventriloquist that he is, little Armadinejad threatens to “wipe Israel off the map” and blusters against anyone in the audience we disagrees with his absurdly unachievable goal. No sooner does he do that than he raises his other hand and announces that he has the right to nuclear technology but only for peaceful purposes. The audience is finally beginning to lose patience with the nonsensical but dangerous show. Some members of the audience have become so alarmed that they’re stamping their feet and demanding a new script. A few have even said if they don’t get one they may decide to knock down the little puppet’s playhouse. Poor little Armadinejad. We certainly wouldn’t want such a tragic thing to happen to him and just because he hasn’t been given a good script. In fact, all he can say back to the threatening audience are dares based on fragmented variations of his nation’s name, as in “I ran? You ran? Who ran?” So we must turn to the troupe of turbaned puppeteers who have provided the script. We assume that they’re allowing his illogical performance to continue because they think the survival of their anachronistic theocracy depends on demonizing the West and thereby distancing their own people from the truly beneficently revolutionary ideas that would upend their rule, generally, enlightenment, freedom, democracy, and a hot nightlife, where men and women actually go out together. And little Armadinejad is, with consistently provocative bravado, doing an extraordinary job for them. We can understand their urgency. They’re living in a world that has, especially in the West, managed largely to emerge from the overhang of The Dark Ages. Yet the dominion they have imposed over their people depends on the tenuous preservation of a medieval mindset. Meanwhile, their darksome enclave is being continually and very annoyingly impinged upon by unwelcome flashes of modernity, such as the sometimes substantial content of the Internet, the frivolous baubles of the Hollywood road show, and the general conduct of free nations. We assume that the puppeteers are, in fact, so pleased by the puppet’s performance that they have decided the he’s doing just fine with an illogical script. Are they concerned about the most explosive consequences? To a degree, of course. But we also suspect that their excessively life-negating belief that they’ll all be in Paradise if they do manage to self-ignite the nation is exerting its risky subliminal influence. Since distance makes the mullah’s feel more secure, what, we must ask, is the likelihood that they will provide a new script for the little guy and perhaps cancel his appearances until they do? Knowing the depth of their anxiety, we cannot be overly expectant. So we turn to the people who finally put up and have agreed to maintain the show, the Iranian people. Since they have been under the dominion of darkness for decades, and are now inspirited to feel that their pride is confounded with the puppet’s blustery bravado, what hope is there that they will demand a new script or close the show? Are we just telling ourselves a fairytale by hoping that someone in the terrifyingly mismanaged nation will take over the show before the provocative puppet provokes the audience so much they do bring the house down? If the past is prologue, of course, we are. And what a sad outcome for ourselves, for Iranians in general, and even for the ill-fated puppet and his intensely paranoid puppeteers.

         
    The illogical puppet of iran any chance of getting the little guy a new script

     

    First, we learned to say and spell the puppet’s name: Armadinejad. Not exactly Smith. Then we watched him perform upon a crafty mullah’s knee. We have been patient, like any fair-minded audience, but the more we listen, the more we realize that the puppet has a script that just doesn’t make sense. He raises one hand and, without the mullah appearing to move his own lips, practiced ventriloquist that he is, little Armadinejad threatens to “wipe Israel off the map” and blusters against anyone in the audience we disagrees with his absurdly unachievable goal. No sooner does he do that than he raises his other hand and announces that he has the right to nuclear technology but only for peaceful purposes. The audience is finally beginning to lose patience with the nonsensical but dangerous show. Some members of the audience have become so alarmed that they’re stamping their feet and demanding a new script. A few have even said if they don’t get one they may decide to knock down the little puppet’s playhouse. Poor little Armadinejad. We certainly wouldn’t want such a tragic thing to happen to him and just because he hasn’t been given a good script. In fact, all he can say back to the threatening audience are dares based on fragmented variations of his nation’s name, as in “I ran? You ran? Who ran?” So we must turn to the troupe of turbaned puppeteers who have provided the script. We assume that they’re allowing his illogical performance to continue because they think the survival of their anachronistic theocracy depends on demonizing the West and thereby distancing their own people from the truly beneficently revolutionary ideas that would upend their rule, generally, enlightenment, freedom, democracy, and a hot nightlife, where men and women actually go out together. And little Armadinejad is, with consistently provocative bravado, doing an extraordinary job for them. We can understand their urgency. They’re living in a world that has, especially in the West, managed largely to emerge from the overhang of The Dark Ages. Yet the dominion they have imposed over their people depends on the tenuous preservation of a medieval mindset. Meanwhile, their darksome enclave is being continually and very annoyingly impinged upon by unwelcome flashes of modernity, such as the sometimes substantial content of the Internet, the frivolous baubles of the Hollywood road show, and the general conduct of free nations. We assume that the puppeteers are, in fact, so pleased by the puppet’s performance that they have decided the he’s doing just fine with an illogical script. Are they concerned about the most explosive consequences? To a degree, of course. But we also suspect that their excessively life-negating belief that they’ll all be in Paradise if they do manage to self-ignite the nation is exerting its risky subliminal influence. Since distance makes the mullah’s feel more secure, what, we must ask, is the likelihood that they will provide a new script for the little guy and perhaps cancel his appearances until they do? Knowing the depth of their anxiety, we cannot be overly expectant. So we turn to the people who finally put up and have agreed to maintain the show, the Iranian people. Since they have been under the dominion of darkness for decades, and are now inspirited to feel that their pride is confounded with the puppet’s blustery bravado, what hope is there that they will demand a new script or close the show? Are we just telling ourselves a fairytale by hoping that someone in the terrifyingly mismanaged nation will take over the show before the provocative puppet provokes the audience so much they do bring the house down? If the past is prologue, of course, we are. And what a sad outcome for ourselves, for Iranians in general, and even for the ill-fated puppet and his intensely paranoid puppeteers.

         
    The origins of spring cleaning or along came eve

     

    I always know when April makes its yearly debut without consulting the calendar because my wife usually says, “Let’s clean out the garage today.” Trust me on this one, it is no April fool’s joke, but someone gets fooled. And believe me, I’m just not anybody’s fool. I’m my wife’s fool. Somehow, her “let’s” has a funny singular ring to it and we had, if I remember correctly, a double ring wedding ceremony. Hers is on her left ring finger while mine somehow ended up in my nose. For some reason spring brings to women, wives in particular, an uncontrollable urge to clean something. It doesn’t matter what that something is, it has to be cleaned. Moreover, it does not matter how clean or dirty that something is or when it was last cleaned, it must be cleaned again. This represents a basic philosophical difference between men and women. In the beginning, man was perfectly at home with dirt, then along came Eve and introduced spring-cleaning. We have no idea how long it was between Adam and the time Eve came onto the scene, but it was long enough to get the entire Garden of Eden dirty, necessitating a thorough cleaning. Thus began the yearly ritual known as spring-cleaning. This tradition has been handed down from mother to daughter since the beginning of time. As far as I can ascertain, no father on record has handed down to his son any way of putting a stop to this nonsense. And don’t think I’m not just a little upset about that. I think our forefathers could have found a fifth father to help come up with a workable plan to get rid of this yearly onus. But, it is spring and the time-honored ritual has come to our domestic den. Spring is in the air and spring-cleaning is on the agenda. I, on the other hand, had other plans, which did not include soap and water. So much for my plans. A husband’s plan is always subject to his wife’s rescheduling. Every year I asked the same question. How in the world does spring get so dirty? And, more important, why do I have to clean it? I didn’t mess it up. I believe Mother Nature ought to clean her own spring and not push this responsibility onto husbands like me who have better things to do with their time. One year I got confused and cleaned my spring in the fall, which screwed up my whole winter wondering what I would do when spring actually arrived and it was already cleaned. Spring-cleaning would not be so bad if I could use my definition of clean rather than my wife’s. One man’s clean is his wife’s “when are you going to clean that?” At the least, it would be helpful if spring-cleaning only came on leap year, which would give me an opportunity to hop out of the way before my good wife could spring into action. In our house, the annual spring cleaning focuses on the garage. When my wife gets it into her head to clean the garage, I get it into my head to get clean out of her way. In the scheme of things, how important is a clean garage anyway? It’s not as if Martha Stewart is going to make a surprise visit. As a veteran husband (with the scars to prove it), I have discovered one thing in my house. Behold, a greater than Martha Stewart lives at my lodgings. My philosophy is simply, a dirty garage is a happy garage. It just doesn’t make my wife happy and when she’s not happy neither am I — so I am willing to live with an unhappy garage. These are the compromises enabling husbands to survive generation after generation. At least, enabling this husband to survive spring-cleaning one more year. I have no idea what my garage does during the winter to get so dirty, but I wish it would stop it, or at least clean up after itself and not cause me so much grief. When the idea of spring-cleaning comes up, I take one gander at the object of the endeavor and try to duck out as quickly as possible. I usually run into my wife standing at the door and realize my goose is cooked, usually to a nice golden burnt. My idea of cleaning the garage is opening the garage door and the back door and let nature take its course. However, when I suggest this, an ill wind blows my way, if you know what I mean. Garage cleaning invariably leads to garage sales. Garage sales are amazing. Instead of donating my worthless junk to the neighborhood dump, I sell it to my neighbors, who will put it in their garage sale next year. This keeps neighborhood junk in circulation for years, and then some antique dealer buys it and starts the whole cycle again in New York City. One man’s junk is another man’s antique. My wife insists cleanliness is next to godliness. If that is so, why did God create so much dirt? God is also in the cleaning business and you can be sure His is the ultimate leaving nothing unclean. The Apostle Paul explains, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” (Titus 3:5 KJV.) When God says, “Let’s clean out your life today,” trust Him to do a thorough job.

         
    The party store

     

    Every now and then I like to frequent our local liquor store to stock my bar. Our neighborhood store is nothing special, but has what I need when I need it. I have never paid a whole lot of attention to the sign as I entered the establishment. The sign clearly states that not only do they sell beer and wine, they also sell party supplies. Great. You never know when a party may break out and having a store with party supplies at your disposal is nothing but a posititve thing. I walked into our neighborhood establishment and strolled through the isles. My bar was already stocked sufficiently, so alcohol was not on the list for this trip. Today's trip was for nothing but party supplies. I greeted the man behind the counter with a smile. "Hello" to him must mean,"please tell me every insignificant detail of yourself" as he proceeded to tell me about his day up to that point. Thanks. I care. This man was nothing but a distraction in my procurement of party supplies. I strolled through the isles, acknowledged the offer to help me find anything. I knew what I was looking for, I don't want Mr. Annoying's help. The store isn't that big, and I think I can find the party supplies I was looking for. A little time passed, and I continued my search for party supplies. Up and down every isle i looked for things that were necessary for a party (hence the name party supplies.) After thorough examination of the store three times over, I came to a startling conclusion. My idea of party supplies may be a little different than theirs. Here are the "party supplies" i found at the store. Ice. Yup, ice is needed for parties. Afterall, its what keeps the beverages cold. A great party supply indeed. Unfortunately, this was the only thing we agreed on. Porn. Racks and racks of all varieties of porn magazines lined one whole wall. I know some party people will tell you that a party isn't a party without the latest issue of Greasy Babes. I tend to disagree. In my experience, nothing breaks up a party like that one crazy guy with his pants down screamin, "wooooo, I got the latest issue of Swank...its PARTY TIME!!!" Lighters. Again, not my idea of a party supply. I gave up the lets burn things party a long time ago and I have think most normal adults have too. But what I seem to be learning here is that most normal adults are not buying their party supplies from a liquor store. Beef Jerky. Okay, I don't think I have to really expand on this. Anyone that EVER brings beef jerky to a party should be lit on fire with the lighter they most likely bought as well. If you must make a reference to beef jerky being the ultimate compliment to porn, you may do so. I'm not touching that one. That's it. That was all I could find that would even come close to being party supplies, no little parasols for drinks, not even a SOLO cup to be found. Needless to say, I was a little disappointed, educated and a little weirded out at the same time. I like to think of it as the trifecta of human experience.

         
    The perks of global warming

     

    Marya Mannes once wrote, “The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future.” Obviously Ms. Mannes preferred the status quo - health, sanity, logic, blah, blah, blah. Why? Green House Roulette is so much more intriguing. In the country, weather affects everything. For five years Western South Dakota has been gripped by drought. Water and hay are vanishing. Farms and ranches are blowing away. While the government bails out victims from hurricanes and says, ‘South Dawho?’ our cattle are pissing dust mites. Fortunately, things are looking up. There is some good news! Those pesky glaciers are finally melting off! Last year an eight-nation report estimated an area of Arctic icepack the size of Texas and Kansas is gone. For those who are geographically impaired, that is an area bigger than a breadbox. At first, news of devastating global climate change might seem a bit of a bummer. Then I read an LA Times article and had a change of heart. The article began with the usual gloom. Greenland’s ice cap is melting. Our coasts will flood from rising seawater. Inuit hunters are falling through thinning ice. Melting glaciers change ocean temperature and salinity contorting the jet stream, which results in altered weather patterns worldwide. Multitudes of species are dying off . . . It was disheartening. Then I got to the article’s final paragraph. Bam! My faith was restored. Here the Times pointed out the perks of global warming. Seriously, the article actually ended saying: “The report is not all gloomy. A warmer Arctic could increase the number of some species, such as Arctic char, a fish. It could extend the growing season for wheat in Canada and open up now-treacherous sea routes, such as the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route, which parallels Russia, for shipping and resource exploration.” Three cheers for the LA Times! It’s true! All is not gloomy. With that glorious bit of sunshine pumped straight up my ski bibs, I was able to see things in a whole new light. I started thinking of other advantages to global warming. Soon you will agree that people from all walks of life will benefit. For starters, Inuit Hunters will benefit! Once Inuit have nothing left to hunt there will be no need for them to risk falling through thin ice. Plus, by needing food they will be ripe for a floating (pontoons, not ice) Arctic Super Wal-Mart. “Go get ‘em, Sam.” Boat owners will benefit! Not only will there be smooth sailing through the formerly bothersome ice of the Northwest Passage, but each summer, cruise ships will be able to run tourists straight up Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Scuba Divers will benefit! There will be no more burning coral cuts. In fact there will be no more coral. Once all the reefs are gone, divers can pack away first aid kits and dive straight in. A little silt never cut anyone. Canadian Wheat Farmers will benefit! You see, there is a 10% decrease in yield of corn from Midwest crops for every degree of global warming. No worries though, now wheat can take the place of corn. Think about all those scrumptious Wheat Dogs at the ball game. How about popped wheat with butter at the movies or steaming wheat on the cob? All scream ‘yummy’ to me. While it is a bit ironic that ethanol is made from the corn crops global warming devastates, I am sure some aspiring chemist will rise to the challenge of developing ‘Wheatanol.’ Imagine Canuck Wheat Farmers having more influence than the Saudi Royal Family. Dune-Buggy enthusiasts will benefit! The Dakotas will soon reopen for your 4-wheelin’ pleasure. Join the Mount Rushmore Nose Climb on July 4th! It will be a bugger of a challenge! Eco-Tourism Operators will benefit! Companies could offer new “Emaciation Tour Packages.” Tourists get closer photos of polar bears and whales when they are too lethargic from starvation to meander away. In addition, long treks to Inuit villages can be avoided once they are forced to beg on the streets of Nome (or cashiering at Wal-Mart). Finally, the next generation of Bush family politicians will benefit! Once again they can avoid addressing campaign issues, this time by distracting dehydrated voters with witty campaign phrases like; “No Kyoto Pact-No Ice Pack,” or “Dead Seals Never Flip-Flop,” even promising “No Char Left Behind.” Not to mention offering new, SPF 800 tax credits. Well, by golly, I do feel better! Shall we spin the Rolette wheel some more?

         
    The power of humor

     

    What can you do with humor? Sure you can have fun with it—or else why do people pay for the comedy shows and those comedy channels? You can also use it reduce tension, find a great bargain, keep your children in their seats…you name it. There are a thousand and one use of humor, but it leads to an ultimate goal—laughter. Laughter is powerful, and much more powerful than most people think. You can make women laugh and fall in love with you. That sounds like a pretty bold claim doesn’t it? Let me explain. Human beings have an obsessive desire to remain consistent. It is physically impossible to dislike the person who has already made you genuinely laugh, as you can’t resolve the conflicts and incongruity between laughter (liking someone) and disliking someone. In other words, women tend to get closer to a guy who has consistently made them laugh! This not only occur at a logical level (“oh, being with him gives me so much joy and I want more”), but also at a subconscious level (maintaining consistency). Once you were made laugh by someone, it will be very inconsistent if you still maintain an antagonistic attitude towards that person. Therefore, I use laughter to make women fall in love with me. The more women I could make laugh, the better get. You see, love is derived from the feeling of happiness and happiness is directly associated with laughter. I’m sure in your entire life so far, you have made many, many, many women laugh, and sometimes you can get pretty good at it—sometimes with a particular woman or under some particular circumstances. Sure, all of us can crack a joke or two. Sometimes we can be quite funny for a whole night... Can we all do it time after time, night after night? Do we all know the secrets that will make humor a natural part of you so that it's effortless to be humorous and charming? Maybe not. Some guys talk about the "art" of making women laugh. Sure, they can call themselves "artists" as they like, but the problem is... once something becomes an art, you won't have rules to rely on and you can't measure the results. Making women laugh suddenly becomes an uncertain event. But the fact is...Making women laugh is a science. The fact is… human beings' reactions to different types of "humor stimuli" are predictable. And there are tested-and-proven methods to match a humorous line and a subject's education, personality, and cultural to create laughter. Any man, regardless of looks, intelligence, education, personality, can learn the mechanism of humor and laughter and develop his own style of humor. About the author

         
    The superior mind man vs. mouse

     

    I’ve never thought of myself as a brave man, but it’s nice to know if you’ll be able to handle yourself in a dangerous situation. One morning on my drive to work such an occasion occurred. I was cruising down the road and singing off-key to the radio when I suddenly had the gut wrenching feeling that I wasn’t alone. I could sense the presence of evil even before I saw the black, beady eyes and the long, fang-like teeth that would have chilled the blood of a navy seal. I swerved the car like a madman, not caring about my own well-being or the safety of others as I tried to disgorge from my car this demonic creature from the depths of hell. But the brute held on! Clinging to my wiper blades like a trapeze artist was a mouse. And I’m not talking Mickey Mouse here, this mouse was mean, evil and cunning. I could see it in his eyes. Once I’d gotten over my initial panic I knew I had nothing to fear. I had the superior mind. Besides, he was on the outside while I was safe, entombed within a metal fortress. I locked the doors and prepared to do battle. If I couldn’t shake him off, perhaps I could flood him out. My fingers wrapped around the control to the window washer and I chuckled softly to myself, knowing that this mouse had met his match. I plunged the button down and water cascaded over him in a furious waterfall while I laughed the laugh of the victorious. But then the creature lifted first one leg and then the other, and I swear he slowly washed under each armpit. Then, with a final twist of his tail, which I knew in rodent language had to be an obscene gesture, he slithered under the hood and out of sight. My morning at work passed slowly as I waited for lunch to arrive so I could continue my bout with the creature. Armed with an ice scrapper and an umbrella, I popped the hood and prepared to do battle. The cowardly beast had fled. In his haste he had left behind a scattering of acorn shells, leaves and pine needles. I took great pleasure in brushing his meager possessions off of my engine and onto the cold, dark pavement. This rodent hotel was closed. We both knew who had the superior mind - until I got home that night and cast a final glance at the battlefield, that space between the hood and windshield where the wipers come to rest. There, staring up at me with demonic lust, were those black, beady eyes. We both knew he was looking for a fight. For him, it would be revenge; for me, vindication. Showing absolutely no concern for my own safety, I grabbed my weapons of choice, my trusty ice scrapper and umbrella, threw open the hood and prepared to confront the monstrous beast. Oh, how that ninja mouse led me on a merry chase! Jumping and scrambling from engine part to engine part, the cowardly fiend was afraid to stand still and fight me like a man. Meanwhile, I followed always a second behind, banging from air filter to carburetor, my weapons a blur of angry motion. I worked myself up into a frenzy and couldn’t have banged any faster had I been playing a drum solo in a rock concert. In desperation, the beast dove down a small crevice and disappeared into the bowels of my car. A lesser man might have gloated over his victory, but I had a more important task before me. In a total disregard for the Geneva Convention’s ban on chemical warfare, I forced mothballs into every crack and opening I could find. I crammed five pieces down the crevice into which the coward had fled. It’s been two days now and there has been no further sign of the evil beast. He has met his match and instinct has taken him to haunt a new location. I was free of the rodent, the only reminder the pungent smell of mothballs every time I turn on the heater. I didn’t mind, it was the smell of victory. This morning the little boy who lives next door came by to visit. He was sad. It seems that a couple of days ago his pet gerbil got loose and ran away.

         
    The top 50 ways to survive college for the first time off to college kid

     

    1. Never miss a meal – you might regret it later that hour. 2. Park your car accessibly close. 3. Don’t park in timed zones (2 hour, etc.) – parking overtime adds up. 4. Don’t park in No Parking zones – parking tickets add up and have to be paid before next semester’s registration. 5. Don’t park in Tow Away zones – towing fees are hard to come by. 6. Take the bus. 7. A fine-point Sharpie is the best thing to use for signing autographs. 8. A fine-point Sharpie is the best thing to use for signing casts. 9. A fine-point Sharpie is the best thing to use for signing “I’m a friend when you need one” cards. 10. Staplers can be used to repair the hem on your jeans. 11. Staplers can NOT be used to repair a torn dress or bra strap. 12. Staple removers make great ice tongs for tiny ice cubes. 13. Staple removers are almost worthless for removing heavy-duty staples, whether they are in paper or your drunk roommate’s eyeball. 14. The smell of the contents of a laundry bag is proportional to the height of the guest you just brought in your dorm room compared to where the bag is hanging. The shorter the guest, the higher the bag needs to hang (fumes rise). 15. The smell of the contents of a laundry bag gets worse as the contents get higher in the bag. 16. There are two alternatives to the smell of the contents of the laundry bag: a. Wash the clothes. b. Buy new clothes. c. Taking the clothes home for the weekend for Mama to wash is not an option!! 17. When you have to produce a chart for Geography class, make it color-coded. 18. The extra expense and time of a color-coded chart will be well worth the effort when you see the “A” on the paper. 19. RoseArt makes the cheapest markers and colored pencils for making charts for Geography class. 20. Crayola markers last longer and are probably darker, but since they all dry out eventually and you’ll have to buy another set next semester for the Anthropology charts, why waste the money now? 21. Wal-Mart is the best place to buy school supplies, towels with the University logo, and sweatshirts with the school emblem on them. 22. Prices for EVERYTHING at the college bookstore are seriously inflated to show a profit to the Board of Regents. 23. The Board of Regents really does not care how much you spent on markers. 24. Wal-Mart was the first store on the moon and on Mars, so there will be one in your college town. Find it. Patronize it. Get to know its manager. 25. Wal-Mart and Waffle House are case studies in your Marketing classes textbooks. 26. Waffle House is open 24 hours a day. 27. Waffle House coffee will hold open your eyes, fill an empty tummy that has no other money, and warm a tired student who needed a place to come in out of the rain. 28. Waffle House waitresses LIKE tips. 29. Waffle House waitresses love college kids who tip. 30. Waffle House waitresses will listen with interest when you are professor bashing – just make sure he’s not her brother before you start berating him. 31. Waffle House waitresses will come to your graduation and look on you with pride as their “rent-a-kid” if you’ve tipped often enough. 32. Use a corkboard, not the wall, as your bulletin board. 33. Push pins leave little holes in the wall. 34. Push pins leave little holes in your bank account when you have to pay to have the holes filled in at the end of the semester. Staples do, too. 35. Staples are hard to remove from a bulletin board. Use push pins. 36. Push pins can not be used to deflate your roommate’s boy(or girl)friend’s tires. Except when inserted into the sidewall of the tire (near the rim). 37. Taking 12 pairs of shoes to college is a bit excessive, especially since you’ll wear OUT your favorite tennis shoes, sandals, and loafers, but the others have to be transported to school and back home. 38. Dr. Scholl’s makes great gel inserts for worn-out favorite tennis shoes. 39. If you share a room/bath with several other roommates or hallmates, set the guidelines, nicely, on the first day: a. Don’t use my ________ (insert soap, shampoo, crиme rinse, deodorant, towel, washcloth, loofah, etc. as needed) and I’ll try not to use yours but once or twice. b. Don’t bring your girlfriend (or boyfriend) to the room without warning me first. If you do, bring me earplugs and eyeshades so I won’t have to watch what you’re doing. c. Don’t take my last pencil/pen/paper without warning me first. If you do, I might have to use the back of your term paper for my class notes. d. Keep your dirty, smelly laundry on your side of the room. My side will be full of my own. e. Be nice to me. Otherwise, my overly large primate friends might trash your side of the room one night while I’m out for the night and have conveniently left the door unlocked. f. Let me know when you’re going to spend the night out so I can make use of your side of the room. 40. Hole punchers only work if you keep them aligned. 41. Hole punchers only work if you keep them emptied of the little dots they create from punching holes in your papers. 42. Little dots from the hole-puncher hopper make great confetti. 43. Little dots from the hole-puncher hopper are REALLY hard to get out of carpet. 44. The cheap, shag carpet in older rental trailers that your older college friends are renting holds a ton of little dots from the hole-puncher hopper. 45. Use the appropriate size binder clip for the project. 46. Binder clips come in several sizes: a. Teensy (holds 1 sheet of notebook paper or 2 kisses) b. Tiny (holds 4 sheets of notebook paper or 1 folded dollar for the Waffle House waitress). c. Small (holds 8 sheets of notebook paper or 2 quarters for a bad Waffle House tip). d. Medium (holds 20-40 sheets of notebook paper or for attaching 1 small magazine to your roommate’s pillowcase). e. Large (holds 100 sheets of notebook paper or a split seam of a fairly loose garment until you can get back to your dorm room; a split seam of a tight garment needs a coat or garbage to cover it up – repairing it is a waste of time). f. Excessive (holds 4 books and takes 3 people to press it open; if you get your finger caught in its jaws of death, have someone else dial 911). 47. Sticky-do’s (commonly referred to as “post-it notes) come in several flavors: a. 1.5” x 2” (Small. Worthless for anything but reminding yourself to buy larger sticky-do’s). b. 3” x 3” (Medium. Don’t use this size to leave notes on your roommate’s pillow like “We’re all out of cornflakes. FU” [quote from Felix Unger, played by Jack Lemmon, in “The Odd Couple,” a GREAT movie about roommates]). c. 4” x 6” (Large. More expensive, but in the louder colors, make great backgrounds for your roommate’s dull bulletin board). 48. Gem clips, whether plastic or metal, are worthless. Unless you need to hold used tissues together while your drunken roommate spills the beans at IHOP about the frat party bash/orgy/sleepover. 49. IHOP waitresses like tips, too. 50. Academic pursuits in college are for your spare time. Pursue them sparingly. Next: How to survive your first semester academically.

         
    The topless cpa

     

    Todd, out of town on business and looking for a bit of comfort, knew he was in trouble when the topless dancer he just couldn’t say no to slipped his next twenty into her silver garter, and, with a twinkle in her green eyes, asked, “Would you like to go to the champagne room? It’s more private in there.” Although this was Todd’s first visit to this particular club, he had been trapped into that expensive intimacy once before at another topless spot in New York and knew, legally, she could offer him little more than he was enjoying in the crowded main room, except higher prices. “Sure,” he replied, unable to put wisdom before attraction, as straightforward men have been unable to do from time immemorial. Lila took his hand and led him toward the blue neon sign that heralded The Champagne Room. She pushed aside the black curtain and led him past it. There, in the dim light, were about a dozen small tables, with topless dancers at work on their eager attendees. She looked toward an unoccupied table that was promisingly back in the right corner, offering what might be considered a little more privacy, and winked at him, as she said, “How ‘bout that one?” He smiled and followed along, like a happy male puppy with the woman who supplies his every need. When they arrived at the table, he took his seat, and Lila, to afford herself a rest from her physically demanding occupation, as well as to present the illusion of enhanced intimacy, took a seat beside him. Moments later, a waitress showed up, in her own scant black outfit, obviously with aspirations to join the big earners in topless entertainment, should the occasion arise. “What would you like to drink?” she asked, cleverly taking their thirst for granted and looking at both of them, just so Todd would know that Lila also obviously had the right to a beverage. He decided to make a show of his capacity for foolish extravagance, and asked, “Would you like champagne?” “Love it,” Lila replied. “Do you want to see the list?” the indulgent waitress asked. “Yes,” Todd said, wary of the usual overpricing and hopeful of finding a halfway decent deal. “Be right back,” the waitress told him, and off she went. “I could use some champagne,” he said with bravado. “I’m tired of drinking beer.” “I love champagne,” she replied, seeming distracted, and slid a little toward him. “We can be so much closer back here.” Todd gulped. “I like it.” “Me, too,” she told him. Just then the waitress returned with the champagne list. Todd looked it over and noted that, as expected, each bottle was marked up about five times over retail. He avoided the cheapest bottle, a California brand with a tenuous French heritage, lest he take some glitter off the festivities, and ordered the second least expensive bottle, which was authentically French and had some credibility toward extravagance. Obviously, California “champagne” has not made as big a dent as California wine in French claims to being superior custodians of the grape. Price: just over a hundred dollars. “We’ll have some Moet Chandon Brut Imperial,” he said. “Very good,” the waitress replied, and off she went to get the valuable bubbly. Todd reached down to hold Lila’s hand, feeling he had, by his unspoken agreement to overpay for the champagne, earned the intimacy. She looked down at the sudden conjunction of flesh, and then, smiling, said, “You know we have a different way of charging back here?” “You do?” Todd asked. “Yes,” she said. “I’m sorry but I have to charge you for holding my hand.” “You do?” he asked. “Yes,” she said. “It’s part of our Intimacy Price List. Would you like to see it?” “Naw,” he replied bravely. “You keep track.” Then, looking down at their irresistibly joined hands, he said, “But, tell me, how much am I spending?” “Ten dollars,” she told him. “Is there a time limit?” he asked warily. “No,” she smiled. “Once you pay, you can hold it all night. Holding hands is one of our better values.” “Great,” he said, and, feeling he had copped a bargain, took out ten dollars. She tucked it in her garter. The waitress returned with the champagne and held the label toward him. He smiled, and soon he and Lila were toasting like a voluntarily enchanted couple. “To a great night,” he said. “With you,” she replied, and flicked her tongue at him, as if to intimate the possibility of more than the law allows. He looked at her lovely, long blonde hair and couldn’t resist stroking it lightly. “You’re very pretty,” he said, catching his breath. “Thank you,” she breathed back. “You don’t mind if I bill you for that, do you?” “For what?” the poor soul wanted to know. “Caressing my hair.” “Oh,” he said, and withdrew his hand. “How much is that?” “Only ten dollars.” “Is everything ten dollars?” he asked. “No,” she replied, smiling as if to indicate that more intimate things would rightly cost far more. He took out another ten and handed it to her. As she tucked it, he was unable to resist giving her a little peck on the cheek, breathing, “Lila, tonight money is no object.” “Thank you so much,” she said, “twenty dollars.” “Twenty? For what?” Wagging her finger at him charmingly, she replied, “Kissing my cheek.” “Oh,” he said, “I should have known.” Then, feeling just a tad upset, he reached out and pinched her arm. “How much is that?” “Thirty,” she said. “For pinching you?” “It would usually be only fifteen dollars, because it comes under Innocent Contact. But, since I could get a bruise due to its intensity, it comes with a fifteen-dollar surcharge.” “I see,” he said, and took out his wallet. “Kind of inflationary, isn’t it?” “Isn’t everything?” she asked cannily, and then added, “On my last job, I had to give them away.” “You did?” he replied, wishing he had known her then. “Why?” “I was a stewardess.” “Oh,” he said, with understanding but certain that by now women’s advocacy groups would have overcome such a flagrant incursion into an unsuspecting lady’s space. He paid her for stroking her hair and pinching her arm and decided that for convenience, he would leave his wallet on the table. There didn’t seem to be anybody nearby who would run away with it while he had his eyes on her. “What else do you offer?” he asked with wily charm. “Oh, lots of things,” she said, visibly excited. “Like what?” “Well, intelligent conversation.” “You offer that?” “Yes, a lot of men seem to want it. So we have to take a course in it. Pick any topic – philosophy, politics, literature, finances. I got a Pink Pussycat in finances.” “You did?” “Yes. It’s the highest grade.” “Good for you,” Todd told her. Being a bit of a literary buff himself and eager to dwell on romance, he said, “Let’s talk about Romeo and Juliet.” “Sure,” Lila said, and, looking into the distance, as if reciting from something she had memorized, she went on, “Romeo and Juliet is a play by William Shakespeare. It is based on the timeless theme, ‘The course of true love never runs smooth.’” Her recitation complete, she turned to him, and said, “My personal choice for Romeo would be Brad Pitt.” “Excellent,” Todd said. “Would you like to continue our literary discussion?” “No, that’s enough for tonight.” “Good,” she told him, and held out her hand. “Ten dollars, please.” “For what?” he asked. “I didn’t touch you.” “The intelligent conversation,” she let him know. “I had to study hard to learn that.” “Oh, well, that’s understandable,” he told her, and slipped a ten out of his wallet, which, he noticed, was quite a bit thinner than it was when he arrived, fresh from a nearby ATM. “I seem to be running a little low on cash,” he confessed. “Would you like to buy some funny money?” “Sure,” he told her. Lila waved her hand at the waitress, who happened to be nearby. She was at the table in a flash. “He needs to buy some funny money,” Lila told her. “How much?” the waitress asked. Uncertain of how expenses would mount and wishing to present the impression of throwing caution to the wind, he said, “Three-hundred dollars.” “Would you like me to put it on your credit card?” the waitress asked. “Please,” he said, pretty certain he had enough credit left on it to cover that amount. When he had arrived, the club, being punctilious about matters such as money and identity, demanded custody of a credit card and his driver’s license, with assurances that both would be returned when he departed. He turned to Lila, and, with a slight indication of passion, which he felt he had by now earned the privilege of displaying free of charge, and said, “What else do you offer?” “Thanks for asking,” she replied. “This week we have a sale on games.” “Games? Like what?” “Oh, you know, scrabble, monopoly.” “What about video games?” “We don’t allow those. They’re much too distracting.” “Then how about kissing games?” “You want to kiss me?” “Sure, why not?” he asked. “Where? My hand, cheek or my lips?” “I’ll take the lips.” “For how long?” “What do you mean, for how long?” “Rates vary, according to location, duration, and tongue placement.” “Tongue placement?” “Oh, you know. Regular kissing or French kissing.” “This place is amazing,” he said. “Is there anything you don’t charge for?” “Not very many,” she joked. “How’d it get that way?” he wanted to know. “It was started by a dancer who saved up and got her CPA.” “Really?” “Yes. She worked her way through college by dancing. Someday I hope to go to college myself.” “Going for your CPA, too?” he couldn’t resist asking. “No,” she said, “I expect to be retired by then and just enjoy life. Maybe I’ll study art and paint.” “That’s a nice dream. I hope you achieve it. But, please, don’t try to earn your entire retirement package tonight.” “I won’t, you silly man. Now, back to business. Where did you want to kiss me?” “The lips,” he said. “For how long?” “As long as I feel like it.” “I’m sorry, Todd, I need a number. What if we say thirty seconds?” “How much is that?” “Tongue in or tongue out?” “Out.” “Oh, you are so sexy.” “So how much did I spend?” She added the figures in her mind assiduously. “Thirty dollars,” she told him. “For one kiss? That’s a dollar a second.” “Well, it is me.” “You’re right,” he said. J ust then the waitress returned and held out her hand. “Here’s your funny money, Mr. Watson,” she told him. “Thanks,” he replied, and, as a token of his appreciation, he gave her back a twenty. “Thank you,” she said, and off she went, to leave them to their extravagant privacy. Clutching the funny money, as a moment of self-reflection intruded to incriminate his intellectual self-respect, he nevertheless resolved to proceed and leaned forward to give Lila the most passionate kiss he could manage. She returned the lip-pressing interlude, with only an occasional glance at her watch. When thirty seconds had passed, she tapped his back. But he did not stop kissing her. She attempted to tell him his time was up but could not free her lips to do anymore than make an indefinite noise. She whacked his back again. “What’s wrong?” he asked, breathless. “Your thirty seconds are up.” “Do you want me to stop?” “No, but I have to abide by the rules. Or I could get penalized, even fired.” “Oh,” he said. “If you got fired, does that mean I could date you for free?” “You’re too funny,” she said. “You know the saying? The best things in life are free.” “But not here,” she told him. “Maybe we should go back to lap dancing. It’s cheaper.” “OK,” she said. “Oh, come on,” he informed her, “that’s not even foreplay. It’s before-play.” “I never thought of it that way,” she replied. “And now that I’ve had you in my arms, how can I settle for just seeing you naked? I want to kiss you and hold you and – you know.” “We can do everything except, you know.” He held up his funny money. “I have $250 left. How much can I get for that?” “Oh, Todd, you say the nicest things,” she effervesced. “I mean it,” he confirmed. “You can kiss me – and I won’t even watch the clock.” “Take it,” he said, handing her the funny money, “take it all.” She did, and he became lost in her wildly extravagant arms.

         
    Theory of evolution challenged by french chef cites role of food and wine

     

    While The Theory of Evolution has received numerous challenges since Darwin proposed it, none seems to have taken the scientific community with such devastating surprise as the theory recently proposed by a French Chef from Bordeaux. The Chef, Andre Dumier, who operates a One Star Michelin restaurant just outside the city of Bordeaux, advanced the theory after contemplating what he considers the first requirement in the various stages of evolution – the availability of food. We were fortunate in being able to arrange an exclusive Newslaugh interview. The complete text follows. NewsLaugh: We understand you have proposed a radical revision of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Would you please explain your theory? Dumier: But, of course, monsieur. The great flaw in Darwin’s Theory is that he puts Natural Selection before the existence of food to select. NewsLaugh: Say, that’s interesting. Can you elaborate? Dumier: It is my pleasure to do so. To me his Theory of Evolution does not make a primary place for the absolute necessity of food. Let me explain. Do you think the fish evolved in the ocean before there was plankton for them to dine on? Of course, not. They would have starved! And, if they could not survive, how could you have Survival of the Fittest? NewsLaugh: Do you have an alternate theory to propose? Dumier: Oui, monsieur. Survival of the Fullest. To my mind, it is the more correct idea. NewsLaugh: Yes, we can see your point. How do you account for the fact that animals eventually emerged from the sea and populated the land? Dumier: Think for yourself! Do you suppose they would have crawled out onto the land if there was no food waiting for them? No, no! They went up onto the land because they knew there was food there, just waiting for them to bite into and enjoy! NewsLaugh: May we ask how they found out it was there? Dumier: Well, I wasn’t present at the time, but I will tell you my thought. Some food got blown into the water, no doubt a delectable plant or so. Perhaps a legume. Maybe during a rainstorm a truffle got washed in. These primitive fish took a taste. They liked it and wanted more. But they couldn’t go get it. NewsLaugh: Why is that? Dumier: Why else? They had no legs, a deficiency that brings us to how such things really evolved. NewsLaugh: How is that? Dumier: Think, monsieur! Since they needed legs to get to the food, they grew them. Then they walked out and chowed down. NewsLaugh: How do you think they eventually became exclusively land-based animals? Dumier: For the same reason that you go to the grocery store every week. There is a lot of food and you can pick it up without having to be concerned that somebody else will snatch it out of your hand. They noticed they were the only diners on land, whereas in the primal ocean, there were millions of fish, competing for every morsel and a big one might even dine on you. But on the land? No, such worries. There they beheld, not only the plentiful food, but, at least for the short term, the absence of competition for it. NewsLaugh: So your theory is that evolution was originally driven by the availability of food? Dumier: But, of course! Look even at the world today. Wherever there is a speck of food, for example, even lichen in the tiniest crack in a rock, some little bug or bird evolves to eat it. But first must come the food! NewsLaugh: How do you account for the evolution of homo sapiens? Dumier: My good man, look for yourself! The proof is right before your eyes. You have seen the famous cave paintings at Lascaux? NewsLaugh: Yes, we’re familiar with them. Dumier: Well, then, think about the famous Hall of the Bulls. Why do you think those primitive inhabitants were drawing bulls? Because they like bulls? No, because they were thinking about steak for dinner! But, actually, food is only the more primitive aspect of my theory. NewsLaugh: Please, elaborate. Dumier: When the Neanderthals or some earlier hominids discovered fire, what do you think is the first thing they thought of, eh? Voila! Now we can cook our food! No more raw meat for us. So they began to roast and broil! Do you know how different that is? Homo sapiens is the only creature who cooks his food! Fish can’t cook in the water, because if they try to boil it they get poached. And can you imagine, for example, foxes gathered around a fire, roasting a rack of lamb? No, cooking is purely an aspect of human behavior. NewsLaugh: Yes, that’s true. But certainly there’s more to the evolution of man – and woman – than food? Dumier: Of course, of course. And that brings us to the big question? The final step toward homo sapies. These primitives asked, ‘What next?’ At this point, they were ready, in Hegelian terms, to make the next big leap in self-realization. NewsLaugh: What was that? Dumier: They noticed grapes. They liked to eat them and savor the juice, but there is, after all, so little of the delectable nectar in a single grape. So they decided to squeeze a batch of them to have more. Then a female – or perhaps a less-warlike male who was tending the cave while the strong guys were out hunting for dinner - accidentally, or perhaps as an inspiration, dropped in some yeast. And what do you think? Voila again! Only this time vin! They discovered wine. NewsLaugh: Hmm, I suppose it might well have happened that way. Dumier: Yes, yes, why do you think we still age wine in a cave? But now you see the entire picture, do you not? There they are, these ancestors of ours, sitting in a cave around a fire, roasting steaks and drinking wine. How much of a step do you think it is beyond these nascent gourmets to homo sapiens as we know and feed him today? NewsLaugh: Yes, of course. But now that you have propounded your theory, what do you propose to do about the controversy you have created? Dumier: The best thing I can do. Just keep cooking and serving wine at my wonderful Michelin-rated restaurant. I must leave the scientific soufflй I have whipped up at the Sorbonne and elsewhere to the scientists. NewsLaugh: What if your theory is refuted? Dumier: Refuted for whom, monsieur? Never for me! Whatever the experts decide, I will continue to believe that you cannot have a proper Theory of Evolution unless you make a primary place for the necessity of food and, later, for the delights of wine. NewsLaugh: Thank you, Chef Dumier. It has been a pleasure talking with you. Dumier: You’re most welcome. But, my good man, talk about pleasure, may I invite you to stay for dinner? This evening I am making some of my exquisite roti du boef, which will go quite well with an elegant Bordeaux.

         
    Things i have learned

     

    Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night. But if you do, sleep in the bathtub ... If you are extremely drunk and swear you will never drink too much again, you will forget this when you are sober. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "Government." There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness." If you don't understand this, try putting up your own blog. You'd better get all your sex here on earth because there won't be any in heaven. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them. You should not confuse your career with your life. Or, work to life not live to work ... but if you can't follow this, email me your ladies phone number and I'll keep her occupied while you are busy. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. We all need something to laugh about... Never lick a steak knife, or a frozen metal object. But, if you are dying of curiosity, go for it and get ready for some incredible fun. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip. Next would be women's talk shows... You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time. Even if you don't follow it, you'll be back in sync with everybody eventually. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven. I have nothing against the institution of marriage ... I'm just not ready for an institution yet. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above-average drivers. A rich man's joke is always funny. A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails). Always forgive your enemies. It will drive them nuts. The trouble with being punctual is that usually, nobody is there to appreciate it. Your friends love you anyway. But if you have none, I will be your friend for a small phenomenal fee... Thought for the day: Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic, and politicians run our government.

         
    Things that go bump in the night

     

    Last night my wife, Nancy, and I were alone in the house. We were just falling asleep when we were startled by a thunderous thump and a loud, drawn-out dragging sound coming from somewhere within our house. We both sat up in bed and Nancy whispered, “What was that?” Now how am I supposed to know what’s going on in the rest of the house? I’m not clairvoyant, I’m scared. I’m the only person I know who’s childhood hero was the Cowardly Lion from ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ The problem is, if I tell her the truth she’ll want me to investigate. Apparently, during our wedding vows I agreed to take out the trash and investigate psychotic murderers crawling around our house in the middle of the night. I decide not to panic her. “It was just the wind,” I assure her, my voice quivering with fear. “Oh, okay,” she says and believes me! “Thank goodness you’re here or I’d be frightened to death.” Then she rolls over, closes her eyes and immediately falls back to sleep. How in the world can she fall back to sleep? Does she really believe I’d be capable of defending her from the evil fiend that could make a noise like that? She falls back to sleep and I have to lie there waiting for some monster to break down the bedroom door. Naturally I suddenly have to go to the bathroom. Bad, but not nearly bad enough for me to climb out from under the covers. It’s not that I’m really afraid, I know those things only happen in the movies and the Grim Reaper is not wandering around my living room looking for his next victim. The only reason I don’t investigate the noise is because I know it really was just the wind. And I don’t have to go to the bathroom that badly, it can wait until morning. Everything always seems better in the daylight. Besides, Nancy always gets up before I do.

         
    Thought for the day why doing a task twice is better than planning and doing it once

     

    Yesterday, I was repairing part of the eaves on my house. It had sustained some water damage, and I needed to add a two-by-four piece of wood for some extra support. I had already cut another, thinner piece. But I decided a more substantial piece was needed. And making it a little longer would give a nice, tight fit. The thought occurred to me to measure the place where I would put the two-by-four. But that meant finding my measuring tape and climbing the ladder around the corner. What a hassle. So I lay the thinner piece along the two-by-four, added a little extra for the nice, tight fit, and ran my handsaw back and forth over the wood. Within a couple minutes I had my custom-sized support. As you have probably already guessed, the fit was very tight -- much too tight -- in fact, too tight by about half an inch. Do you know what it's like to cut half an inch from a two-by-four -- with a hand saw? When "slicing" a piece that thin, the edge of the wood keeps breaking off. This makes it hard to keep the saw in place. This makes the cut take about 17 times as long as the original. But this is a better way than measuring first. It's gotta be. Otherwise, I wouldn't do it so often. Now, I have noticed that, as I've aged, I don't engage in the "do it twice" game as often as I used to. More and more I find myself doing the "plan it first" game. So I guess the advantage to the "do it twice" game is this: it proves that you're still young. And stupid. At least now I know why old people are slow: - Because they can be. - Because they plan first. - Because they only do things once. So it might take them 30 minutes to do something that I can do in six. But since I have to do it 12 times, I have to rush to do 72 minutes of work. That's 72 minutes for a task that takes old people only 30. That leaves them 42 minutes to walk slow, enjoy their food, and take naps. I used to think that old people had to take naps, because they were -- well -- old. Now I see that old people get to take naps, because they're -- well -- smart. Unfortunately, even though I've just learned a valuable lesson, I'm sure of one thing. There are at least eleventeen hundred more "do it twice" game moves looming in my future. Well ... gotta get going. I've some more measuring to skip.

         
     
         
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