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Posts Tagged ‘humour’

I know this is a question that has been burning deep within us all. Why did the dinosaurs leave Europe? As you all know, over 200 million years ago some of the dinosaurs packed up and migrated from Europe. A few points of interest here. 1. They moved after Pangaea (The earths super continent) broke apart . 2 Immigration laws were just as lax then as they are now. 3. Scientists know they migrated because of Facebook. No my wonderful but silly followers the dinosaurs did not document every single aspect of their lives by posting on Facebook, their fingers were far too clumsy to type. Instead scientists used Network theory, the same process used to track and study internet data like how we connect and move through Facebook. Because I value the readers of this blog I went to all the trouble to look up network theory so I could explain it to you. Unfortunately it requires a lot of words and graphs and all sorts of stuff.  I got rather sleepy after the first few words. So if you really want to know about network theory I suggest google, and please feel free to post your findings in the comment section below.

You may be wondering why I’m discussing this? You are not alone as I often wonder why I talk about certain things. Actually what caught my attention was the more specific question of, How did they cross the great waters? After all the super continent had broken up and I doubt T-Rex would have taken a boat even with an all you can eat buffet, I just don’t see it.  And air travel is out, their carry on would never fit in that little compartment above the seat.  If you have not traveled by air as of late, let me tell you the airlines have become very picky about that sort of thing.

The answers are two fold. 1. Land bridges of course. The second was more interesting. One scientist decided that they swam across the great waters. And how did he come up with this scientific theory? Through great research? No? Through fossil evidence? No, he surmised that elephants can swim, therefore dinosaurs should have been able to swim. Makes perfect scientific sense to me.

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I enjoy words.  How words mean something.  How hard they are to take back.  The impression they make on people.  The impression you make on people using your words.  Often one hears the expression, ‘Actions speak louder than words’ the problem is there is usually more words than action (which says something in and of itself) but often times words are all a person has to judge by.

Here are some interesting words or expressions I have come across since moving to Central Pennsylvania.  I’m not saying that they are exclusive to Central Pa or even originated here.  I’m saying that this is where I’ve heard them.  Don’t judge my spelling I’m sounding them out so if you are reading them out loud the pronunciations should be correct.  My spell check is going to have a cow!

REDUP:

 A co-worker at the bank said to me, “I’ve got things to do, I really have to redup”

“Excuse me?” I said.

 “I’ve got things to do” She replied. 

“No, I understood that, it is the other part.”

“Redup?”

“That would be the part”

Redup equals get ready.

Yes, that day I hugged my Canadian citizenship.

LEFT:

Left, what is so odd about the word ‘left’?  Well, try this on for size;

“I caught a rabbit, but I left it go.”

GUYSES:

“Excuse me, I found this, does it belong to one of your guyses?”

BORROWED:

Nice normal word, usually.

“He didn’t have a drill, so I borrowed him mine.” 

Yes, I still cling to my Canadian citizenship, eh.

Heard this on the local news:

A tanker truck turned over, the newscaster looked into the camera and said: “Hazmat has been called because the roads are very slippy.”

Youins:

Texas has ya’ll but we have Youins.

Anyway I have a busy night. I have to left the dog out but I have to be careful because the driveway is awful slippy and I borrowed my flashlight to my neighbour.   I hope youins is enjoying my blog, but now I gotta go and redup.  Oh I found a set of keys the other day, does it belong to any of you guyses?

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Hit By A Truck

Okay the title is a little misleading.  My friend Richard drove into a truck.  With his bicycle, the truck was not moving.  He didn’t really even hit the truck.  In fact he drove up the ramp and right into the back of a moving van.  No, he did not do this on purpose.  We were riding down the street side by side talking about whatever we happened to be talking about.  Parked on the side of the road was a large moving van.  Rich, did. not. see. it.  All I am saying is good thing there was a ramp otherwise he would have smashed right into the back-end of the truck and the outcome probably would have been a trip to the hospital.

I’m not sure why this is a pick on Rich post, but it is.

Rich, Steve, (Richards brother) and I spent a lot of time riding around on our bicycles.  Often times we experienced technical issues.  I was hit by a car, (nothing serious), Steve lost his front wheel, it just kind of rolled on ahead of us.  On this particular excursion we were headed to Mt. Royal.  Before the journey even began Richard proclaimed; “He who gets a flat tire walks!’  Richard got a flat half way down the mountain.  Steve and I were the ones that ended up walking.

Richard and I survived high school together, I honestly don’t think I ever would have survived if he wasn’t there.  People would look at us in an odd sense of wonder as we would argue and bitch at each other most of the day, yet we always walked home together.  We were in a lot of ways opposite. Richard is a blue-eyed blond german.  His father is direct from ‘The Mother Land’  he was not a nazi, not even close but he did fight in the regular army.  If I remember correctly Richards grandmother was pretty close to Hitler possibly a secretary.  I don’t know it was never really talked about.  Richard will correct me if I am wrong.

I on the other hand am Jewish,  not hard-core, but jewish enough. My great-aunt had the numbers tattooed on her arm.  I don’t like to think about the holocaust I don’t like to think about that particular war.  I’ve never seen Schindler’s List.  It is a sore subject with me and I can’t honestly say why, enough said. Regardless Rich and I were/are very close.  But we had our moments. 

Richard: “Bri, let’s go to McDonalds”

“Okay”  We would get there, order the food.

Richard: “I forgot my wallet, I’ll pay you back”

Richard currently owes me $2,723.36.  I’m starting to think he left his wallet at home on purpose.  I also have come to the realization that I’ll never see that money again.  I did get even.  Richard and I built an HO scale railroad in his garage.  While Rich would work on a particular part I would plug the track in at the exact right moment.  It is amazing how much electricity runs through a model railroad track.  It was kind of fun to watch the sparks fly from his fillings.

Richard built a model rocket, okay we both built model rockets.  The difference is Richard launched his INSIDE his basement.  His reasoning?  He didn’t think it would fly.  Man was his father pissed when he saw the ceiling.  Of course we do have Steve to thank as he sat there staring at the ceiling until his father looked up.

Richard and I purchased some lumber for a deck we were building onto his folks house, (it is a great deck) we strapped the wood to the roof of the car.  How does one secure wood to the roof of a car?  Why rope of course!  The employees at the lumber yard had a good laugh as we looped the rope through the windows and over the roof (and the wood) in the process we tied the doors to the frame of the car.  Of course we only realized this when we tried to get into the car.  Eventually we did the dukes of hazard thing and went through the windows.  unfortunately there was no Daisy Mae waiting for us when we got home.

I think that ends my little walk down memory lane.  Rich we will have to do the Skype thing one of these days.

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Picking up from my last post,  Vancouver, like everywhere else has its share of characters.

The Sweeper:  he was an odd dude, nobody was sure about him.  He would just stand there. Now and again he would put his hand out.  Occasionally he would get upset if you didn’t give him money,  I call him The Sweeper because I was in my office and I heard the manager of the video store ask him if he would like to earn a little cash by sweeping up the sidewalk in front of his shop.   “No” came his response, “I really don’t want to work”.  I guess begging pays.

Braveheart: I was in the shop one day cleaning the display cabinet and this guy walks in.  I knew he was schizophrenic the moment I saw him.  It was a cool cloudy day and he was wearing really dark wrap around shades, when he walked his knees hardly bent, his arms did not swing, his back ramrod straight.  Not only was he schizophrenic he was off his meds.  We had the following conversation:

Me: “Hey, how you doing?”
Him: “I am Braveheart and I’m afraid of no man”

 Shit

“Well Braveheart, that is good to know.  Can I help you with anything?”

All I could think of was my cousin who works with schizophrenics I really could have used a little help. I also remember the bandage on my cousins face when one of his patients punched him in the nose.

 “What type of magic do you have?”
“Magic tricks, for entertainment.  Here let me show you.”

I showed him a trick, there was no response his face never showed any emotion. He didn’t move, when he spoke only the lower part of his face moved. It was spooky.
 
“Is that a trick?”
“Yes, did you like it?”
“Has anyone been bothering you?”
“No, everything is fine.”
“Well if anybody does, I am braveheart and I am afraid of no man”
“Thanks”
“You do good magic”
“Thanks”

Months later this guy comes into the shop he introduces himself as Steve, he looks familiar, but not.  He tells me he just came in to say hello and to say he was sorry if he scared me.  He then explained that he came in earlier in the year calling himself Braveheart!

The Con:  Once again in the magic shop. This time there were two other magicians with me.  This scruffy guy who hangs around the mall comes in. 

“Do you have a fiver for five loonies?” 

Loonies, for my non-Canadian friends are Canadian dollar coins

“Yup” as I reached for the cash register I noticed he was holding his loonies like they were poker chips so I couldn’t really see them. I held out my hand for the loonies but he refused to part with them.

Him: “Give me the fiver and I’ll give you the loonies?”

“I don’t think so!” but I was curious, so I held the fiver just in front of him where he made a grab for it, at which time I pulled the fiver back and knocked his hand that held the loonies, four loonies and a washer fell to the counter. I looked at him, scooped up his money and his washer and handed it back to him while motioning him towards the door.  The other customers began to chuckle, “Dude, look around, you are in a magic shop!  Did you actually believe that was going to work?”

Of course I can’t leave good old State College out of the picture, after all, State College is called the Happy Valley.

Table Thrower:  Early in my short lived banking nightmare career I had to go stand outside the bank at a table we had set up with giveaways for returning students.  This greasy long haired freak of nature, complete with tattoos, bad body odour, scars and more than a few needle marks comes weaving up the street and of course he is heading straight for little ole’ me.

“Hey, you have to do this shit for your job?”
“Yeah pretty much”
“Wouldn’t catch me doing this shit!”
“Ahh, well, bills to pay family to feed, gotta do what I gotta do.”
“You get paid extra for standing out here with this shit, you should you know’
“Well, it just goes along with the territory, it is not so bad.”
“I’m telling you, this is just shit, shit work, shit pay, you should quit! Lets throw this table and all this shit into the street.”
“No really its fine thanks”
“Whatever but I’m telling you its shit!”

 In the end he was right.

Benny:  I know we already had a Benny, but this guys name was Benny. Everyone in downtown State College knows about Benny.  He has an orange jumper and is harmless, but crazy.  So he walks up to the teller next to me, “Miss, do you have 4 quarters?”  Katy, being new, young and naive gives Benny the quarters. Benny thanks her and walks out of the bank.  The rest of us are busy laughing.  Katy, looking at the empty lobby with that bewildered look in her eye, “But…b…but he didn’t give me a dollar!”  Yes Katy that’s why you get the money before you give the change, especially to the staggering, swill smelling homeless guy!

 And then there was David. David and I were buddies. David is also the topic of my next installment. Street Urchins: The Saga Continues.

 Thanks for reading.

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I don’t play a lot of jokes on people I think practical jokes are stupid, mean and usually don’t end well.  But in this instance I couldn’t help myself.

Back in my banking days a co-worker, (Kim) was given a betta (Siamese fighting fish) from one of our customers.  Kim kept the fish (who we will call ‘fish’) on her desk and grew quite attached.  One fateful day Kim asked me to look after Fish while she went on vacation.  I don’t know what came over me.  Two days before Kim was to come back to work I found a fish bowl exactly like Kim’s, I found the same blue gravel the same plant the same everything.  Then I got a fish, Kim’s fish was red, I purchased a blue one.  On the day of kim’s return I exchanged the red one with the blue one.  Kim went right to fish as I pretended to count the money in my teller drawer.  It took about 15 minutes before Kim came running across the bank;

“Brian what happened to Fish?”  

“Nothing, why? is everything okay?”

“He is blue!”

I didn’t really have a plan.  I figured she would assume Fish had died and I tried to cover it by replacing it with an imposter only I was too stupid to buy another red one.  But something in the way Kim looked and sounded told me that Kim thought it was still Fish, so…

Me, “Yeah, and?”

“When I left he was red!”

“Really? how long have you been gone, two weeks?”

“Brian, Fish was red! is there something wrong with him?”

Blink! “Uhm no, I thought he changed while you were still here, I guess he changed colour after you left.”

“He changed colour, why is he sick or is that normal?”

Now I have to be fair, Kim is an extremely intelligent woman and somebody I greatly respect.  Clearly however this was not her strong suit. “Kim, Fish is fine all Betta’s are blue I thought you knew that.  They start out red but turn blue almost overnight when they reach a certain age.”

I noticed that the rest of the tellers vanished into the vault, they obviously couldn’t keep it together as the conversation progressed, I also realized I had nowhere for this scenario to go and it had to come to an end.  Kim had bought the story hook line and sinker and the look of relief on her face was priceless.  But all I could think of was how to back out of the situation without making Kim look stupid. Making her look stupid was the furthest thing from my mind.  I figured she was going to be mad at me for trying to cover up the fact that Fish had died, I could live with that as Fish was fine but this reaction while even more funny, had the potential to cause some hurt feelings. 

“Fish is fine Kim”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, I am sure, wait one second I will prove fish is just fine.”

At which point I got the real fish and showed Kim.  The next line was spectacular.

“Brian! You also got a fish!”

“Well yes I guess I did, this however is your fish, the blue one your desk is an imposter”  There was a pregnant pause while Kim’s brain kicked into gear and the gales of laughter that came from her was music to my ears.  She laughed till the tears were pouring from her eyes, she saw it all,  she saw the funny part of the joke, she saw how stupid she must have sounded and how funny that must have been.  She took it the way it was given a humours, harmless joke among friends. 

I write this for a few reasons.  1) is I think it is funny.  2) I watched a YouTube video of a magician making a fool out of his audience and was reminded of why there are people who don’t like magicians.  To my magic friends, please respect your audience, they are there for you, shouldn’t you be there for them? 3) We would all be better off if we didn’t take ourselves so seriously.

By the end of the week each teller had a fish at their window.  We loved them, we looked after them made sure the bowls were always clean, they gave the bank a really nice atmosphere.  The customers loved them and the regulars would come in and check on each fish.  Some of the tellers allowed the customers to name the fish.  I however named mine ‘Stick’. People would ask me why his name was stick.  I just told them to think about it.  Usually as they were leaving the bank they would start to laugh.  They got it! ‘fish stick’

We had the fish for about 6 months or more when the powers that be told us we could not keep the fish at the bank.  We tried to fight the decision,  customers called the manager and district manager telling them how much they liked the fish, but those in power were not hearing any of it, and in the end we each took one home.  Stick, like all our pets became part of the family and lived for a good three years.  Today, a good four years after his passing my wife and I still fondly remember Stick.

 

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Today we started re-decorating our bedroom.  We are putting a new treatment on the walls its a really thick textured wall paper like product that covers up the existing paneling. Once we get it on the walls we will paint it and it should, in theory look like venetian plaster.  We are also  putting up crown molding and custom book cases.  I thought this project would give me some interesting blogging material.  So far, nada.  Everything is going smooth.  We took down some molding from around the closet door and ceiling and put up some of heavy-duty wall paper-like stuff in one corner of the room.   Even figuring out how to get the stuff around the window went smoothly.

It really sucks when my wife and I don’t argue enough in these ventures for good blogging material, but this is an ongoing project and this was day one, so I’ll keep you posted.

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My last post got me to thinking about good old INS.  I had one unpleasant experience with them, I won’t go into details but lets just say I paid for a travel visa which they never gave me, and they never give money back, it is simply chalked up to a ‘processing fee’.  Eventually I did get a travel visa but that was part of a whole other process. 

I like INS they are a major player in keeping this country as safe as it is from countries that really don’t like the USA.  obviously I don’t know the inner workings but from what I’ve learned and observed  they have incredibly difficult jobs with limited resources (although they do wield a ridiculous amount of power) they seem to do their jobs well and have always been polite and courteous to me.

As in my last post about INS, this post is not really about INS and it’s not about Sequoia, it’s not even about animals.  It’s about stupid people.

To get the full impact I have to guide you through some of the steps involved with going to an INS services building.  You just don’t ‘show up’  You go online with your issue and fill out the proper forms you find out exactly what documentation you will be needing and you hit send.  Then you wait, and when you are done waiting you wait a little more.  Eventually, in the mail you will get a letter telling you exactly when and where your appointment is and a reminder of what documents you will need and how much it is all going to cost. 

For those of you going through this, or may be going through this in the future here is a tip.  Make an INS file and keep up with it, and bring it every time you go to INS,  even though you may have submitted everything, and they acknowledge that they have it, if you get there and they don’t have it you are screwed.  Doesn’t matter why or who, simple fact is if for any reason it’s not in the file it is your problem not theirs.

If you show up at the INS office without the appointment letter you are not getting in the front door.   I’ve been there in the cold and they don’t care.  You wait in a line outside and they walk down the line and ask to see id and the letter.   They let a few people at a time into the front lobby where you empty your pockets take off your jacket and head through the scanners.  No backpacks, strollers, food nothing extra. 

Once inside you hand your letter to the check in person and they hand you a number and point you to the chairs where all the other cattle sit.  And sit is what you do.  So you may have number 17 and they call 15, alright two away you can already smell home but surprise the next number called is 125. WTF? so you go to the little window woman and before you even open your mouth she says,

“Was your number called”

“No but…”

“Please sit in the chairs till your number is called”

“But they called number 15 and….”

“Please Sir, sit down and wait until your number is called”

“but…”

“Sir, we are doing everything we can to move this along, now please sit down and wait for your number to be called”

“Bu…”

“Sir!”  At this time one usually notices at least one the two officer’s  easing over to you from opposite directions with their gun hand resting on the butt of their pistol.  Most people manage to sit down without any further problems, most people.

The thing is,  while they give out the numbers sequentially in order of arrival, each number is then registered with the department  you need to see.  So you may have number 17 you don’t know which department the other numbers are for. The guy holding  15 may be in for green card renewal, but lets say the 17th guy through the door is in for a travel visa and the 125th person through the door is also in for a green card renewal.  Well  they may be done with 15 so that department has a space open now so 125 gets called before 17.   INS doesn’t tell you this, but it doesn’t take long to figure out and when you do its clear as mud.

Keep in mind if an INS agent thinks for any reason that you are a threat of any kind they can make your life miserable, they can make it so deportation is the least of your problems. 

So there I sat counting the ceiling tiles when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a gentleman stand up and walk towards the counter, but no number had been called, collective gasp!  We watched as he made his way to the check in clerk.  unfortunately I have to say this was after 9/11 and this gentleman happen to be from the middle east, complete with turban.  I couldn’t hear what he was saying but I have a pretty good idea as the check in woman said, ‘Sir, please take your seat” he didn’t, instead he started to argue, again I heard the check in woman “Sir take a seat and wait for your number to be called”  Again this guy argued, clearly he was not about to sit down.  I don’t know if he saw the agents approaching,   I don’t know if he saw two more coming through the door with their fingers wrapped around their holstered pistols.  What I do know is that in less than a minute he was quietly being ushered through some heavy doors and nobody involved looked very happy.

So I ask, how stupid do you really need to be?

 

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