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Posts from ‘May, 2006’

The Bronze Rat


I'll start today's iv off with a little story that will serve as a springboard for the rest of the iv.

A tourist wanders into a back-alley antique shop in San Francisco's Chinatown. Picking through the objects on display he discovers a detailed, life-sized bronze sculpture of a rat. The sculpture is so interesting and unique that he picks it up and asks the shop owner what it costs.

"Twelve dollars for the rat, sir," says the shop owner, "and a thousand dollars more for the story behind it."

"You can keep the story, old man," he replies, "but I'll take the rat."

The transaction complete, the tourist leaves the store with the bronze rat under his arm. As he crosses the street in front of the store, two live rats emerge from a sewer drain and fall into step behind him. Nervously looking over his shoulder, he begins to walk faster, but every time he passes another sewer drain, more rats come out and follow him. By the time he's walked two blocks, at least a hundred rats are at his heels, and people begin to point and shout. He walks even faster, and soon breaks into a trot as multitudes of rats swarm from sewers, basements, vacant lots, and abandoned cars. Rats by the thousands are at his heels, and as he sees the waterfront at the bottom of the hill, he panics and starts to run full tilt.

No matter how fast he runs, the rats keep up, squealing hideously, now not just thousands but millions, so that by the time he comes rushing up to the water's edge a trail of rats twelve city blocks long is behind him. Making a mighty leap, he jumps up onto a light post, grasping it with one arm while he hurls the bronze rat into San Francisco Bay with the other, as far as he can heave it. Pulling his legs up and clinging to the light post, he watches in amazement as the seething tide of rats surges over the breakwater into the sea, where they drown.

Shaken and mumbling, he makes his way back to the antique shop.

"Ah, so you've come back for the rest of the story," says the owner.

"No," says the tourist, "I was wondering if you have a bronze lawyer."

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Now for some of my other favorite lawyer jokes... (Some of these may be a little bit mean, but I think that even the lawyers on my mailing list will chuckle. I actually deleted the very meanest ones when I "tidied up".) Did you hear about the terrorist who hijacked a 747 full of lawyers? He threatened to release one every hour until his demands were met.

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A lawyer charged a man $500 for legal services. The man paid him with crisp new $100 bills. After the client left, the lawyer discovered that two bills had stuck together - he'd been overpaid by $100. The ethical dilemma for the lawyer: Should he tell his partner?

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Did you hear about the lawyer hurt in an accident? An ambulance backed up suddenly.

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A man walked into a lawyer's office and inquired about the lawyer's rates. "$50 for three questions", replied the lawyer. "Isn't that awfully steep?" asked the man. "Yes," the lawyer replied, "and what was your third question?"

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It was so cold last winter... (How cold was it?) ... It was so cold that I saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets.

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A law firm receptionist answered the phone the morning after the firm's senior partner had passed away unexpectedly. "Is Mr. Smith there?" asked the client on the phone. "I'm very sorry, but Mr. Smith passed away last night," the receptionist answered. "Is Mr. Smith there?" repeated the client. The receptionist was perplexed. "Perhaps you didn't understand me I'm afraid Mr. Smith passed away last night." "Is Mr. Smith there?" asked the client again. "Madam, do you understand what I'm saying?" said the exasperated receptionist. "Mr. Smith is dead." "I understand you perfectly," she replied. "I just can't hear it often enough."

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A lawyer named Strange was shopping for a tombstone. After he made his selection, the stonecutter asked him what inscription he would like on it. "Here lies an honest man and a lawyer," responded the lawyer. "Sorry, but I can't do that," replied the stonecutter. "In this state, it's against the law to bury two people in the same grave. However, I could put 'here lies an honest lawyer.'" "But that won't let people know who it is," protested the lawyer. "Certainly will," retorted the stonecutter. "People will read it and exclaim 'That's Strange!'"

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How does an attorney sleep at night? First he lies on one side, then he lies on the other.

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How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb? How many can you afford?

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How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb? Three. One to climb the ladder. One to shake it. And one to sue the ladder company.

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Did you hear about the new sushi bar that caters exclusively to lawyers? It's called Sosumi.

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A man went into the Chamber of Commerce of a small town, obviously desperate. He asked the man at the counter, "Is there a criminal attorney in town?" The man replied, "Yes, but we can't prove it yet."

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A man who had been caught embezzling millions from his employer went to a lawyer seeking defense. He didn't want to go to jail. His lawyer told him, "Don't worry. You'll never have to go to jail with all that money." And the lawyer was right. When the man was finally sent to prison, he didn't have a dime to his name.

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A man meets a friend and sees that his friend's car is total loss and covered with leaves, grass, branches, dirt, and blood. He asks his friend, "What's happened to your car?" "Well," the friend responds, "I hit a lawyer". "OK," says the man, "that explains the blood ... but what about the leaves, the grass, the branches, and the dirt?" "Well, I had to chase him all through the park."

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A pair of lawyers had a jury trial in a very difficult business case. One of the lawyers was out of town when the jury came back with its decision, which was for the client. The lawyer immediately sent a telegram to his absent partner, reading, "Justice has triumphed!" The other lawyer wired back, "Appeal at once!"

quotation...

"The law is not bad. It just shows us how bad we are." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Q: How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Two. One to hold the giraffe and the other to fill the bathtub with brightly colored machine tools.


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Barbecuing


In preparation for the Memorial Day weekend, the tradition kick-off to summer, here's some humor for those who might be preparing to barbecue this weekend.

Outdoor Barbecuing: the only type of cooking some husbands will do.

When a husband volunteers to do such cooking, the following chain of events is put into motion.

1. The wife goes to the store.

2. The wife fixes the salad, vegetables, and dessert.

3. The wife prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils, and takes it to the man, who is lounging beside the grill, drinking a tall, cold beverage.

4. The husband places the meat on the grill.

5. The wife goes inside to set the table and check the vegetables.

6. The wife comes out to tell the husband that the meat is burning.

7. The husband takes the meat off the grill and hands it to the wife.

8. The wife prepares the plates and brings them to the table.

9. After eating, the wife clears the table and does the dishes.

10. The husband asks the wife how she enjoyed "her night off". And upon seeing her annoyed reaction concludes that it is just impossible to please some women!

quotation...

"I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress." - Ronald Reagan

=^..^= =^..^= =^..^=
Rob

I've heard that a woman has never shot a man while he was doing dishes.


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English or German?


Several times lately I've been in situations where people were having fun with "pseudo-German." As a French teacher and a former German teacher, I actually enjoy humor about the languages I love. One article I'm sending today pokes fun at English, and the other lampoons German - both are tongue-in-cheek.

The European Commission has announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU, rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had room for improvement and has therefore accepted a five-year for phasing in of "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make sivil servants jump for joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of the "k", Which should klear up some konfusion and also keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f", making words like "fotograf" 20% shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent "e" is disgrasful, and it should go away.

By the fourth yer, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters. After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and everivun vil find it ezi to understand ech ozer. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali com tru! Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German lik zey vunted us to in ze forst plas!

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Germany to Phase Out German
by William Grim

For the sake of those who don't know German (and you don't really need to to catch most of the humor), You'll find a little "glossary" at the beginning of the article to unlock a couple of the otherwise hidden elements of humor. The author himself glossed some of the terms in the article. I also did one minor tweak to the wording to make it more appropriate to my clientel.

GLOSSARY-- (the translations within the story itself were made by the author, William Grim, and not by ivman, and are not all completely accurate)

Lappenhund = lap dog
Pferdeloskarriage = horseless carriage
Fragenschlager = question slinger

Berlin - Citing the success of the new Euro currency, the members of the German Bundestag have voted unanimously to phase out German and to adopt English as the new official language.

"Let's face it," said German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. "German is one ugly language. I mean, the German word for butterfly is Schmetterling, for goodness sake. That sorta says it all."

Leading German businessmen, like Deutscheseisenbahngesellschaftdirigent (German Railroad Company director) Guenther Lappenhund, say the language changeover will save the Germany economy billions. "We spend all this money on dual-language signage and for dubbing movies," said Herr Lappenhund from his Hamburg office. "What a waste. Who wants to watch 'Hey, Dude, Where's My Car?' ('Achtung, Duede, Wo Ist Meine Pferdeloskarriage?') in German anyway?"

German mental health experts don't think that the loss of their native tongue will be any more traumatic than the change from the Deutschmark to the Euro, which most Germans took in stride. "It's not like Germans have much to be proud of," said Dr. Renate Steinheimer, chairperson of the Psychology Department of Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. "You don't see swarms of young Germans painting themselves red, black and gold and running through Dachau chanting 'Ger-man-y!' over and over. You think Germany, you still think of ol' Schiklgruber and Sargeant Schultz of Hogan's Heroes. There hasn't been much positive news out of Germany since the Treaty of Westphalia ended the Thirty Year's War in 1648."

Although details of the changeover are still being finalized, the general plan appears to be a complete conversion to English by January 1, 2007 with a 20% reduction in German usage each year for the next five years. German words beginning with letters A to D are slated to be retired by January 1, 2003. A national party is scheduled for December 31, 2006 when at 11:59pm the entire country of Germany will yell out "zwischen" ("between") legally for the last time.

"It'll be kinda sad," said Bruenhilde Fragenschlager, a 10th grade student at the Hockenheimer Hochschule fuer Linguistik und Grammatik (Hockenheimer High School for Linguistics and Grammar), "But I understand the reasons for the change. Still, it's nice that "Gesundheit" and "Kindergarten" are going to be grandfathered in, but I guess that's because they're really English words now. Boy, the next time we start a war, I sure hope we wait to invade Russia until after we've defeated England."
___
by William Grim
© Copyright 2002

quotation...

"The gray areas of life are the dwelling place of the defiled conscience." - Dr. Randy Jaeggli

=^..^= =^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Change is constant, and the most dangerous place to be is inside your own comfort zone.


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What Do Moms Do?


This is a special iv in honor of Mother's Day. Thanks to all you moms out there for all you have done and continue to do for us, your offspring!

One afternoon a man came home from work to find total mayhem in his house. His three children were outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried that she may be ill, or that something else serious had happened. He found her lounging in the bedroom, still curled in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?"

She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from work and ask me what in the world I did today?"

"Yes...?" was his incredulous reply.

She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."

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Just a Mother? - Mother Reclassification

I had heard a story about a woman named Emily who was renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk's office and who was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation.

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

"What I mean is," explained the recorder, "do you have a job, or are you just a .....?"

"Of course I have a job," snapped Emily. "I'm a mother."

"We don't list 'mother' as an occupation...'housewife' covers it," said the recorder emphatically. I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall.

The clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."

"What is your occupation?" she probed.

What made me say it, I do not know... The words simply popped out.

"I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair, and looked up as though she had not heard right.

I repeated the title slowly, emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?"

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice,I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn't), in the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out).

I'm working for my Masters, (the whole family), and already have four credits, (all daughters).Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants - ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby), in the child-development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt triumphant! I had scored a beat on bureaucracy!

And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another mother."

Mother ... what a glorious career! Who needs a title on the door?!

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personal update...

We had a good planning session last night with the two other teachers who will be teaching with us this summer in Hainan. It's hard to believe that we'll be in Asia eight weeks from now! Lots to do yet, but we're headed in the right direction.

quotation...

"As frail human beings, we're often bewildered. But God never is. God never wrings His hands." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^= =^..^=
Rob

No day is over if it makes a memory.


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Still an Empty Nest


Well, after the initial almost incessant interest of the bluebirds in our bird house, they have hardly been back at all. So we'll just have to wait to see who discovers this "prime real estate" next.


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