In March, 1992, a man living in Newtown near Boston, Massachusetts received a bill for his as-yet unused credit card stating that he owed $0.00. He ignored it and threw it away. In April he received another and threw that one away too. The following month the credit card company sent him a very nasty note stating they were going to cancel his card if he didn't send them $0.00 by return of post. He called them, talked to them, they said it was a computer error and told him they'd take care of it.
The following month he decided that it was about time that he tried out the troublesome credit card figuring that if there were purchases on his account it would put an end to his ridiculous predicament. However, in the first store that he produced his credit card in payment for his purchases he found that his card had been cancelled. He called the credit card company who apologized for the computer error once again and said that they would take care of it.
The next day he got a bill for $0.00 stating that payment was now overdue. Assuming that having spoken to the credit card company only the previous day the latest bill was yet another mistake he ignored it, trusting that the company would be as good as their word and sort the problem out.
The next month he got a bill for $0.00 stating that he had 10 days to pay his account or the company would have to take steps to recover the debt. Finally giving in he thought he would play the company at their own game and mailed them a check for $0.00. The computer duly processed his account and returned a statement to the effect that he now owed the credit card company nothing at all.
A week later, the man's bank called him asking him what he was doing writing a check for $0.00. After a lengthy explanation the bank replied that the $0.00 check had caused their check processing software to fail. The bank could not now process ANY checks from ANY of their customers that day because the check for $0.00 was causing the computer to crash.
The following month the man received a letter from the credit card company claiming that his check had bounced and that he now owed them $0.00 and unless he sent a check by return of post they would be taking steps to recover the debt.
The man, who had been considering buying his wife a computer for her birthday, bought her a typewriter instead. From a reader of Western Legislatures magazine:
It is time to elect a world leader, and your vote counts. Here's the scoop on the three leading candidates.
Candidate A associates with ward heelers and consults with astrologists. He's had two mistresses. He chain smokes and drinks 8 to 10 martinis a day.
Candidate B was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college and drinks a quart of brandy every evening.
Candidate C is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks an occasional beer and hasn't had any illicit affairs.
Which of these candidates is your choice?? Candidate A is Franklin D. Roosevelt, Candidate B is Winston Churchill, Candidate C is Adolph Hitler. Will the real dummy please stand up?
AT&T fired President John Walter after nine months, saying he "lacked intellectual leadership."
He received a $26 million severance package. Perhaps it's not Walter who's lacking intelligence.
A 9-year-old boy in Manassas, Virginia received a one-day suspension under his elementary school's drug policy last week for Certs! Joey Hoeffer allegedly told a classmate that the mints would make him "jump higher."
A student in Belle, West Virginia was suspended for three days for giving a classmate a cough drop. School principal Forest Mann reiterated the school's "zero-tolerance" policy... not to be confused with the "zero-intelligence" policy. SOME DAYS, IT JUST DOESN'T PAY TO GNAW THROUGH THE STRAPS!
Fire investigators on Maui have determined the cause of a blaze that destroyed a $127,000 home last month - a short in the homeowner's newly installed fire alarm system.
"This is even worse than last year," said the distraught homeowner, "when someone broke in and stole my new security system..."
In Medford, Oregon, a 27-year-old jobless man with an MBA blamed his college degree for his murder of three people. "There are too many business grads out there," he said. "If I had chosen another field, all this may not have happened."
A man spoke frantically into the phone, "My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!"
"Is this her first child?" the doctor asked.
"No, you idiot!" the man shouted. "This is her husband!" NOT THE SHARPEST KNIFE IN THE DRAWER!
In Modesto, CA, Steven Richard King was arrested for trying to hold up a Bank of America branch without a weapon. He used a thumb and a finger to simulate a gun, but unfortunately, he failed to keep his hand in his pocket.
A telephonic exchange between a hotel guest and room-service, at a hotel in Asia, which was recorded and published in the Far East Economic Review...
G: "You're welcome"
During the course of World War II, many people gained fame in one way or another. One man was Butch O'Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. One time his entire squadron was assigned to fly a particular mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. Because of this, he would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader told him to leave formation and return.
As he was returning to the mothership, he could see a squadron of Japanese Zeroes heading toward the fleet to attack. And with all the fighter planes gone, the fleet was almost defenseless. His was the only opportunity to distract and divert them. Single-handedly, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes and attacked them. The American fighter planes were rigged with cameras, so that as they flew and fought, pictures were taken so pilots could learn more about the terrain, enemy maneuvers, etc. Butch dove at them and shot until all his ammunition was gone, then he would dive and try to clip off a wing or tail or anything that would make the enemy planes unfit to fly. He did anything he could to keep them from reaching the American ships. Finally, the Japanese squadron took off in another direction, and Butch O'Hare and his fighter, both badly shot up, limped back to the carrier. He told his story, but not until the film from the camera on his plane was developed, did they realize the extent he really went to, to protect his fleet.
He was recognized as a hero and given one of the nation's highest military honors. And as you know, the O'Hare Airport was also named After him.
Prior to this time in Chicago, there was a man named Easy Eddie. He was working for a man you've all heard about, Al Capone. Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic, but he was notorious for the murders he'd committed and the illegal thing's he'd done. Easy Eddie was Capone's lawyer and he was very good. In fact, because of his skill, he was able to keep Capone out of jail.
To show his appreciation, Al Capone paid him very well. He not only earned big money, he would get extra things, like a residence that filled an entire Chicago city block. The house was fenced, and he had live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day.
Easy Eddie had a son. He loved his son and gave him all the best things while he was growing up; clothes, cars, and a good education. And because he loved his son he tried to teach him right from wrong. But one thing he couldn't give his son was a good name, and a good example. Easy Eddie decided that this was much more important than all the riches he had given him. So, he went to the authorities in order to rectify the wrong he had done. In order to tell the truth, it meant he must testify against Capone, and he knew that Capone would do his best to have him killed. But he wanted most of all to try to be an example and to do the best he could to give back to his son, a good name. So he testified. Within the year, he was shot and killed on a lonely street in Chicago.
This sounds like two unrelated stories, but Butch O'Hare was Easy Eddie's son.
Reprinted in The Winneconne (WI) News. Originally attributed to Byron McNutt of the Vilas County News Review:
A van carrying a dozen movie stuntmen on the way to a film location in the mountains spun out of control on the icy road, crashed through a guardrail, rolled down a 90-foot embankment, turned over, and burst into flames. There were no injuries.
Real stories from flight attendants apologizing for rough transport on the airlines
Upon landing hard, the pilot gets on the PA system, "Sorry folks for the hard landing. It wasn't the pilot's fault, and it wasn't the plane's fault. It was the asphalt."
An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, give a smile, and a "Thanks for flying XYZ airline." He said that in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for this little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sonny, mind if I ask you a question?"
"Why no, Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land or were we shot down?"
Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Southwest Airlines."
United Airlines FA: "Ladies and Gentlemen, as you are all now painfully aware, our Captain has landed in Seattle. From all of us at United Airlines we'd like to thank you for flying with us today and please be very careful as you open the overhead bins as you may be killed by falling luggage that shifted during our so called "touchdown."
About 5 or 6 years ago I was on an American Airlines flight into Amarillo, Texas on a particularly windy and bumpy day. I could tell during the final approach that the Captain was really having to fight it, and after an extremely hard landing, the flight attendant came on the PA and announced, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Amarillo. Please remain in your seats with your seatbelt fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"
While in line at the bank one afternoon, my toddler decided to release some pent-up energy and ran amok. I was finally able to grab hold of her after receiving looks of disgust and annoyance from other patrons. I told her that if she did not start behaving "right now", she would be punished.
To my horror, she looked me in the eye and said in a voice just as threatening, "If you don't let me go right now, I will tell Grandma that I saw you kissing Daddy's pee-pee last night!"
The silence was deafening after this enlightening exchange. Even the tellers stopped what they were doing.
I mustered up the last of my dignity and walked out of the bank with my daughter in tow. The last thing I heard when the door closed behind me were screams of laughter.
It was the day before my eighteenth birthday. I was living at home, but my parents had gone out for the evening, so I invited my girlfriend over for a romantic night alone. As we lay in bed after making love, we heard the telephone ring downstairs. I suggested to my girlfriend that I give her a piggyback ride to the phone. Since we didn't want to miss the call, we didn't have time to get dressed. When we got to the bottom of the stairs, the lights suddenly came on and a whole crowd of people yelled, "SURPRISE !!!"
My entire family, aunts, uncles, Grandparents, cousins and all my friends were standing there. My girlfriend and I were frozen in a state of shock and embarrassment for what seemed like an eternity.
Since then, no one in my family has planned a surprise party again ...
A lady picked up several items at a discount store. When she finally got up to the checker, she learned that one of her items had no price tag. Imagine her embarrassment when the checker got on the intercom and boomed out for all the store to hear, "PRICE CHECK ON LANE THIRTEEN, TAMPAX, SUPERSIZE."
That was bad enough, but somebody at the rear of the store apparently misunderstood the word "tampax" for "THUMBTACKS."
In a business-like tone, a voice boomed back over the intercom.
"DO YOU WANT THE KIND YOU PUSH IN WITH YOUR THUMB OR THE KIND YOU POUND IN WITH A HAMMER?"
NAME: Greg Bulmash
DESIRED POSITION: Reclining. HA But seriously, whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place.
DESIRED SALARY: $185,000 a year plus stock options and a Michael Ovitz style severance package. If that's not possible, make an offer and we can haggle.
LAST POSITION HELD: Target for middle management hostility.
SALARY: Less than I'm worth.
MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT: My incredible collection of stolen pens and post-it notes.
REASON FOR LEAVING: It sucked.
HOURS AVAILABLE TO WORK: Any.
PREFERRED HOURS: 1:30-3:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS?: Yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment.
MAY WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER?: If I had one, would I be here?
DO YOU HAVE ANY PHYSICAL CONDITIONS THAT WOULD PROHIBIT YOU FROM LIFTING UP TO 50 LBS?: Of what?
DO YOU HAVE A CAR?: I think the more appropriate question here would be "Do you have a car that runs?"
HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY SPECIAL AWARDS OR RECOGNITION?: I may already be a winner of the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes.
DO YOU SMOKE?: Only when set on fire.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS?: Living in the Bahamas with a fabulously wealthy super model who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I'd like to be doing that now.
DO YOU CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE IS TRUE AND COMPLETE TO THE BEST OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE?: No, but I dare you to prove otherwise.
SIGN HERE: Scorpio with Libra rising.
Article in the California Examiner, March 20, 1998
Fire Authorities in California found a corpse in a burnt-out section of forest while assessing the damage done by a forest fire. The deceased male was dressed in a full wetsuit complete with a tank and regulator, fins, and mask. A post-mortem examination revealed that the person died not from burns but from massive internal injuries. Dental records provided a positive identification. Investigators then set about determining how a fully equipped diver ended up in the middle of a forest fire. It was revealed that, on the day of the fire, the person went for a diving trip off the coast---some 20 miles away from the forest. The firefighters, seeking to control the fire as quickly as possible, called in a fleet of helicopters with very large buckets.
The buckets were dropped into the ocean for rapid filling, then flown to the forest fire and emptied. You guessed it. One minute our diver was making like Flipper in the Pacific, the next he was doing a breaststroke in a fire bucket 300 feet in the air. Apparently, he extinguished exactly 5'10" of the fire. Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed.
Occasionally, airline attendants make an effort to make the "in-flight safety lecture" and their other announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported: From a Southwest Airlines employee: "Welcome aboard Southwest Flight XXX to YYY. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt, and if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."
"In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with two small children, decide now which one you love more.
"Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Southwest Airlines."
"Your seat cushions can be used for flotation, and in the event of an emergency water landing, please take them with our compliments." Once on a Southwest flight, the pilot said, "We've reached our cruising altitude now, and I'm turning off the seat belt sign. I'm switching to autopilot, too, so I can come back there and visit with all of you for the rest of the flight."
"Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the bag over your own mouth and nose before assisting children or adults acting like children."
"As you exit the plane, please make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses." And from the pilot during his welcome message: "We are pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry... Unfortunately none of them are on this flight! Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City: "That was quite a bump and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendants' fault... it was the asphalt!" An airline pilot wrote that on a particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying XYZ airline." He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally, everyone had gotten off except for this little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sonny, mind if I ask you a question?"
"Why, no, Ma'am," said the pilot, "what is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land or were we shot down?"
"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane."
"We do feature a smoking section on this flight; if you must smoke, contact a member of the flight crew and we will escort you to the wing of the airplane."
"Smoking in the lavatories is prohibited. Any person caught smoking in the lavatories will be asked to leave the plane immediately." Pilot - "Folks, we have reached our cruising altitude now, so I am going to switch the seat belt sign off. Feel free to move about as you wish, but please stay inside the plane till we land ... it's a bit cold outside, and if you walk on the wings it affects the performance and speed of the airplane." And, after landing: "Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride." As we waited just off the runway for another airliner to cross in front of us, some of the passengers were beginning to retrieve luggage from the overhead bins. The head attendant announced on the intercom, "This aircraft is equipped with a video surveillance system that monitors the cabin during taxiing. Any passengers not remaining in their seats until the aircraft comes to a full and complete stop at the gate will be strip-searched as they leave the aircraft." As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Washington National, a lone voice comes over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella, WHOA!" Overheard on an American Airlines flight into Amarillo, Texas, on a particularly windy and bumpy day. During the final approach the Captain was really having to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the flight attendant came on the PA and announced, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Amarillo. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate! Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal." After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced: "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted." After a real crusher of a landing in Phoenix, the flight attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt up against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silent, we'll open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal." Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of us here at US Airways." Overheard from a young pilot: "Sorry about the rough landing, folks I'm practicing for a job at USAir. Next time, I'll try to lose your luggage." I was on a Southwest flight once that was delayed at the gate after everyone boarded. The flight attendant said over the intercom, "We're sorry for the delay. The machine that normally rips the handles off your luggage is broken, so we're having to do it by hand. We should be finished and on our way shortly.
Creative Family History Work
An amateur genealogical researcher discovered that his great-great uncle, Remus Starr, a fellow lacking in character, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889. The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows. On the back of the picture is this inscription: "Remus Starr; horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, Escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged 1889."
In a Family History subsequently written by the researcher, Remus's picture is cropped, scanned in as an enlarged image, and edited with image processing software so that all that's seen is a head shot. The accompanying biographical sketch is as follows: "Remus Starr was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to service at a government facility, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed."
Paradox Of Our Time
A High School student wrote:
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less. We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness; We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values. we talk too much, love too seldom and hate too often. we've learned how to make a living but not a life; we've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but we have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. we've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we've split the atom, but not our prejudice. We have higher incomes and lower morals; we've become long on quantity, but short on quality. These are the times of tall men and short character; steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kind of food, but less nutrition. These are the days of two incomes, but more divorce; More of fancier houses, but broken homes. it is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to forward this message and make a difference... or just hit delete.