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Plumb Crazy

Two of my readers sent me e-mails in recent weeks with pictures of some atrocities committed mostly by plumbers. Those pictures, added to some in my files, had all the makings of a blog post.

I'll start off with a picture where it's hard to know whether to fault the plumber or the electrician.

Plumber of Year 19

In the next one, it's clearly the plumber's fault.
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It’s a Sign of Something

This is exam week at the university, and ain't nobody got time to make or read a long blog post. So this will be short and sweet — three sign-related pictures.

This past weekend a friend was telling my wife and me about his recent mailbox dilemma. He needed to replace the post for his mailbox, but he wasn't going to be able to do it before the mail truck was to arrive. Their mail carrier won't deliver if the mailbox is just sitting on the ground. He sent me a picture of his "quick fix" to that day's problem.

Redneckish Mailbox

My friend was accused of being a redneck, of all things! I say that necessity is the mother of invention.

Recently my wife and I explored a little town we have not been to in a long time, Saluda NC. One of the shops that was not open that day had an interesting sign in the window.
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Sunrise, Sunset

picture of anti-aging cream

This week is a tough one for me. The other two teachers in our French department are in their final week as teachers. Both Dr. Bruce Byers and Mme Jackie Eaves will retire at the end of this school year. I wrote about that in a recent post called Changing Times in Teaching. If you missed that news, you can learn more in that post. As this school year ends I am also anticipating attending the 40th reunion of the students who were my first French 2 class the year I began teaching high school in 1973. They were the class of '75. It will be strange to see "my kids" as people in their upper 50's! I'm feeling slightly ancient right now.

Since it's often best to laugh about things that are uncomfortable and that you can't change, I thought I'd post several bits of humor about aging.

An elderly gentleman had had serious hearing problems for a number of years. He went to the doctor who was able to fit him with a set of hearing aids that allowed him to hear 100%. The elderly gentleman went back in a month to the doctor and was told, "Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again."

The gentleman replied, "Oh, I haven't told my family yet. I just sit around and listen to the conversations. I've changed my will three times!"


Ray had just reached his 150th birthday. Surrounded by reporters, he was asked, "Excuse me, sir, but how did you come to live to be 150?"

Ray answered, "It was easy. I just never argue with anyone."

One reporter shot back, "That's crazy! It had to be something else — diet, exercise, or something. Just not arguing won't keep you alive for 150 years!"

The old fella stared hard at the reporter for several seconds. Then he shrugged and said, "Hmm. Maybe you're right."
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Favorite Children’s Books

Do your kids or grandkids love it when you read to them? Our kids always did, and now we have the joy of reading to our grandkids. (Remember that picture a few weeks ago of me reading to Ryan and Avery from a seed catalog? :-) Here's a picture I've posted before — me reading to our children when all three could still fit on my lap.

picture of whatever

In this post I will share some of our all-time favorites, several recent books we've discovered, and for those who mostly just want the humor, a short list of children's books that never saw the light of day.

I'll start off with a couple books that we have loved for decades.

We all loved Harry the Dirty Dog, the story of a white dog with black spots. He hated baths and got so dirty that he became a black dog with white spots. I won't tell you the rest of the story in case you want to read it yourself. There are several other books in that series — Harry and the Lady Next Door, Harry by the Sea, and No Roses for Harry.

Harry Dirty Dog

Another favorite in our house is Never Tease a Weasel.
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Good, Clean Humor


One thing that my readers appreciate about my blog is that it is good, clean humor. This week's post is an old routine done by comedian Shelley Berman. It is reminiscent of some of Bob Newhart's one-sided phone conversations, except that we get to read the other side(s) of the "conversation." Mr. Berman related this as something he experienced in some of his travels. I am not familiar with the whole of Berman's work, but I do enjoy what I'm posting today.

Dear Maid,

Please do not leave any more of those little bars of soap in my bathroom since I have brought my own bath-sized Dial. Please remove the six unopened little bars from the shelf under the medicine chest and another three in the shower soap dish. They are in my way.

Thank you,
S. Berman


Dear Room 635,

I am not your regular maid. She will be back tomorrow, Thursday, from her day off. I took the 3 hotel soaps out of the shower soap dish as you requested. The 6 bars on your shelf I took out of your way and put on top of your Kleenex dispenser in case you should change your mind. This leaves only the 3 bars I left today which my instructions from the management is to leave 3 soaps daily. I hope this is satisfactory.

Relief Maid


Dear Maid - I hope you are my regular maid.

Apparently Kathy did not tell you about my note to her concerning the little bars of soap. When I got back to my room this evening I found you had added 3 little Camays to the shelf under my medicine cabinet. I am going to be here in the hotel for two weeks and have brought my own bath-size Dial so I won't need those 6 little Camays which are on the shelf. They are in my way when shaving, brushing teeth, etc. Please remove them.

S. Berman


Dear Mr. Berman,

My day off was last Wed. so the relief maid left 3 hotel soaps which we are instructed by the management. I took the 6 soaps which were in your way on the shelf and put them in the soap dish where your Dial was. I put the Dial in the medicine cabinet for your convenience. I didn't remove the 3 complimentary soaps which are always placed inside the medicine cabinet for all new check-ins and which you did not object to when you checked in last Monday. Please let me know if I can of further assistance.

Your regular maid,


Dear Mr. Berman,

The assistant manager, Mr. Kensedder, informed me this morning that you called him last evening and said you were unhappy with your maid service. I have assigned a new girl to your room. I hope you will accept my apologies for any past inconvenience. If you have any future complaints please contact me so I can give it my personal attention. Call extension 1108 between 8AM and 5PM. Thank you.

Elaine Carmen
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