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Main Street

North Korea, Syria and Iran represent a few more wars our country could stay out of.

If you’re in favor of war, skip down to the jokes.

My own low approval of war comes from a long life that goes back so far that for most people it’s only “history.” My military service was spent in Korea in 1946-1948, the handful of years between World War II and the full-blown Korean War.

None of America’s wars occurred on our soil in living memory. For that we should be thankful. But maybe it has made us, as a nation, more accepting of our going to war.

On the bright side, although America has many religions and sects, we seem to get along. That is a real blessing. Other countries have internal religious wars in which America should think long and hard before getting involved. Maybe we’re all agreed on that.

What I’m trying to say about war can be summed up in two words: Be skeptical.

 

Religious viewpoint

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her six- and seven-year- olds.

After explaining the commandment to “honor” their fathers and mothers, she asked, “Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?”

Without missing a beat, one boy, the eldest child in his family, answered, “Thou shalt not kill.”

 

Perfect viewpoint

At a local coffee bar, a young woman was expounding to her friends on her idea of the perfect mate: “It’s very important that the man I marry be musical with a decent singing voice. I consider a sense of humor to be essential, as well as knowing how to tell jokes. In other words, the man I marry has to be a shining light among company. But he also must be the kind who will stay home with me at night.”

A male listener at a nearby table overheard and spoke up: “Lady, what you really want is a television set!”

A blonde went to her doctor and showed him that both her ears were red and painful. The doctor asked her what had happened. “I was ironing a shirt and the phone rang,” she told him, “but, instead of picking up the phone, I accidentally grabbed the iron and stuck it up to my ear.”

“Oh, dear!” said the doctor in sympathy. ”But what happened to your other ear?”

“The jerk called back!”

 

Artistic viewpoint

After his divorce, Joe asked his best friend, Hank, to fix him up with a blind date. Hank obliged. The next day Joe phoned Hank and shouted angrily, “What kind of guy do you think I am? That girl you fixed me up with was cross-eyed. She was almost bald. Her nose was long and crooked. She had hair growing on her face. She was flat-chested and her ankles were as thick as her thighs.”

“Well,” answered Hank, “either you like Picasso, or you don’t like Picasso.”

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Main Street

Watch out for weather

Weather is always on our mind. Cold winters, hot summers, storms. The really bad ones are rare, but we have had tornadoes, windstorms, floods and ice storms.

On the national level we are recovering from the recession and changes due to the global economy.

The moral; We live in a moderate climate, and compared to some parts of the world, we live pretty well. Enjoy life. It’s all we have.

Speedy

A tourist was being led through the swamps of Florida. “Is it true,” he asked, “that an alligator won’t attack you if you carry a flashlight?”

“That depends,” replied the guide, “on how fast you carry the flashlight.”

Cozy

An old woman says to her friend: “You know, last night I was shivering all over from cold.”

Her friend: “Do you remember if your teeth chattered?”

The old woman: “I don’t think so. We haven’t slept together for ages.

Access

There were two buddies—one with a Doberman Pinscher and the other with a Chihuahua. The guy with the Doberman Pinscher says to his friend, “Let’s go and get something to eat.”

The guy with the Chihuahua says, “We can’t go in there. We’ve got dogs with us.”   The buddy with the Doberman Pinscher says, “Just follow my lead.” They walk over to the restaurant, the guy with the Doberman Pinscher puts on a pair of dark glasses, and he starts to walk in.

The bouncer at the door says, “Sorry, mac, no pets allowed.”

The man with the Doberman Pinscher says, “You don’t understand. This is my seeing-eye dog.”

The bouncer says, “A Doberman Pinscher?” He says, “Yes, they’re using them now.”

The man at the door says, “Come on in.”

The buddy with the Chihuahua figures, “What the heck,” so he puts on a pair of dark glasses and starts to walk in.

Once again the bouncer says, “Sorry, pal, no pets allowed.”

The guy with the Chihuahua says, “You don’t understand. This is my seeing-eye dog.” The bouncer at the door says, “A Chihuahua?”

The man with the Chihuahua says, “A Chihuahua??? They gave me a Chihuahua?!”

Primary

John received a free ticket to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, John’s seat was in the last row in the corner of the stadium. He notices an empty seat 10 rows up from the 50-yard line. He decides to make his way to the empty seat. As he sits down he asks the man next to him if anyone is sitting there. The man told him no, it was empty. John is very excited to have a seat like this at a Super Bowl and asks why in the world no one is using it? The man replied that it was his wife’s seat but she passed away. He said this was the first Super Bowl that they have not attended together since they were married. John said that it was really sad and asked if he couldn’t find someone, a relative or a close friend to take the seat?

“No” replied the man. “They’re at her funeral!”

 

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Main Street

Annual Humor Banquet

As you all know, or should, the Squire’s annual Humor Banquet has come and gone. You weren’t there. Shame on you.

The Squire always holds its humor banquet at noon the Saturday before April Fools Day. Location: the sidewalk of The Corner Bar at Main and Courtland in Rockford. The rules: bring jokes to share and buy your own hotdog.

Okay, so I wasn’t at this year’s banquet, either, but I have a good excuse (don’t know about YOU).

Loaded with jokes, I stepped into the garage at 11:00. My car’s flat tire made me grab the bike. However, before even getting to the corner, I hit the neighborhood porcupine. The porcupine gave me a dirty look and waddled off, leaving me with two flat bike tires.

So: back to the house, on foot, wheeling the bike; called the flat tire fixer guys.

I was standing in the driveway next to their truck when a passing skate-boarder clipped me in the ankle. I suffered only a damaged sock but the skateboarder lost his balance and landed smack on that same accident-prone porcupine.

While I cussed out the porcupine and chased him up his tree, the flat tire guys called an ambulance for the skateboarder, who was unreasonably frantic about some quills sticking out of his backside.

While waiting for the ambulance, the skateboarder called his lawyer. The lawyer arrived while I was still in the tree pursuing the porcupine. I saw him taking notes about the tree and the porcupine being on my property. The ambulance arrived and took away the skateboarder.

Still determined to make it to the Humor Banquet on time, I headed off in a sprint down the street toward The Corner Bar. When I stepped on the left-behind skateboard, I knew it was a lost cause.

My next-door neighbor, Ken Platt, bandaged my injured hand while I tried to ignore the mean-spirited snorts and chortles of the porcupine up there in the tree.

It was disappointing to miss my most fun event the year. I attach a few jokes I tried to bring with me to the banquet:

Historical note

A busload of tourists arrives at Runnymede. They gather around the guide, who says, “This is the spot where the barons forced King John to sign the Magna Carta.”

“When did that happen?” asks a fellow at the front of the crowd.

The man looks at his watch and says, “Darn! Just missed it by a half hour!”

Kitchen note

Two confirmed bachelors sat talking. Their conversation drifted from sports to cooking.

“I got a cookbook once,” said the first, “but I could never do anything with it.”

“Too much fancy cooking in it, huh?” asked the second.

“You said it. Every one of the recipes began the same way: Take a clean dish and….”

Procrastinator’s note

I believe that if anything is worth doing, it would have been done already.

 

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Main Street

Watchful eyes

You may have noticed the little blue “police” cars on the streets of Rockford. Behind the wheels are some unpaid good guys, members of Rockford’s Volunteer Services Unit Chief David Jones came up with the useful (and cheap) idea six or seven years ago. The volunteers (about 16 of them) police handicapped parking spaces, check on vacant homes and on the disabled, and monitor the White Pine Trail. They also staff the Visitors Center much of the week.

Volunteers usually work one day a week. Although unarmed themselves, they keep an eye on things throughout the city and are in radio contact with headquarters if they see something that needs attention.

Sgt. Dave Robinson, who has been with the Rockford Police Department since 2000, is in charge of the unit. In 2011 Dave received the West Michigan Crime Prevention Practitioner of the Year Award.

Our sister city, Cedar Springs, does not have an official Neighborhood Watch. However, Chief of Police Roger Parent says the department encourages residents to notify the police 24/7 if they see anything that might be suspicious. Chief Parent emphasizes that the C.S. police are never too busy to handle these calls.

More watchful eyes

The radar installed in a police helicopter caught a speeding motorist.

Down below, a police officer pulled him over and began to issue a traffic ticket.

“How did you know I was speeding?” asked the frustrated driver.

The officer pointed somberly toward the sky.

“You mean,” said the motorist, “that even He is out to get me?”

Police department

From a State Policeman:

I once received a call from a woman who asked how to baste a turkey. After a stunned moment I, being the go-to cook in my family, described the procedure.

Then I thought to ask: “But why would you call the State Police to find out how to baste a turkey?”

There was only a slight hesitation before the lady replied, “Well, you knew, didn’t you?”

Paramedics department

As he came out his front door onto the porch, a man passed out in a dead faint. Someone called 911.

When the paramedics arrived, they helped him regain consciousness and then asked if he knew what caused him to faint.

“It was enough to make anybody faint,” said the man. “My son asked me for the keys to the garage and, instead of taking off in the car, he came out with the lawn mower!”

Art department

Tom goes to his first show at an art gallery and is looking at the paintings. One huge canvas has black with yellow blobs of paint splattered all over it. The next painting is a murky gray color with drips of purple paint streaked across it.

Tom walks over to the artist and says, “I don’t understand your paintings.”

“I paint what I feel inside me,” explains the artist.

Tom says, “Have you ever tried Alka-Seltzer?”

 

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Main Street

Good jokes

People sometimes ask, “Where do you get all those jokes? You don’t make them up, do you?”

Sometimes I tell the truth and admit that I don’t make them up. BUT, I always say, there’s an art to choosing good jokes.

Here’s where I reveal the secret: certain topics are funnier than average. Among them are religion, old age, blondes, little kids, and cowboys.

Religion

The new priest is nervous about hearing confessions, so he asks an older priest to sit in on his sessions. After the new priest hears a couple confessions, the old priest asks him to step out of the confessional to get a few suggestions.

“Cross your arms over your chest and rub your chin with one hand,” says the old priest.

The new priest tries it. The old priest nods. “Now try murmuring things like, ‘I see… yes…  go on… I understand…’ and ‘How did you feel about that?’ ”

The new priest says those things, trying them out. “Sounds good,” says the old priest. “Now, don’t you think that’s a little better than saying, ‘Whoa…! What happened next?’ ”

Old age

The football game was a yawner so a bored student starts talking to the senior citizen sitting next to him. It’s impossible for the older generation to understand the world, he informs the senior. “You grew up in a different time. Today we have television, jumbo jets, and space exploration. We have advanced weather forecasting, electric cars, computers with lightning speed processing, and cell phones that take pictures.”

“You’re right,” says the old guy. “We didn’t have those things when we were young, so we invented them, you little twit!”

Blonde joke

1) A blonde goes into work one morning, crying. “What’s the matter?” asks her boss.

“Early this morning,” replies the blonde, “I got a phone call saying that my mother had passed away.”

The boss feels sorry for her. “Why don’t you just go home for the day?” he says.

The blonde shakes her head. “No, I’d be better off here. I need to keep my mind occupied.”

The boss agrees, but tells her, “If you need anything, just let me know.”

A few hours pass and the boss decides to check on the blonde. He looks out through his office door and sees her sobbing hysterically. He rushes to her side and asks, “Are you going to be okay?”

“I can’t believe this!” cries the blonde. “I just got a call from my sister and she told me that her mom died, too!”

Another blonde joke

Two blondes go deep into the frozen woods searching for a Christmas tree. After hours of subzero temperatures and a few close calls with hungry wolves, one blonde turns to the other and says, “I’m chopping down the next tree I see. I don’t care whether it’s decorated or not!”

Little kids and cowboys

I’m sorry that we’re very low on jokes featuring little kids and cowboys. I wish you joke providers would quit slacking off.

 

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Main Street

Go green!

St. Patrick’s Day: It’s not the kind of holiday that gives us the day off work, but Americans seem to love it. Even those with no trace of Irish in their veins like it. Maybe it’s just the green beer.

St. Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland, stamping out the pagan practices of the natives. St. Patrick may be the one who first imported Christianity to Ireland or it may have been some other early priest, but Patrick is the one who caught on with the locals. This happened in the fifth century, so we’re not talking fleeting popularity.

The green flood

In the 19th century, America received a flood of Irish nationals fleeing poverty and the potato famine. Those immigrants are the forebears of a huge number of present-day Americans who tend to be proud of their ancestry. But during the 19th and early 20th centuries, Irish-Americans were regarded as lowlifes: pretty stupid and probably drunk. This led to a lot of Irish jokes.

Pretty stupid

1) Paddy was shaving when he knocked the mirror off the shelf and it fell to the floor where it cracked across the middle. Paddy gazed down in horror. “Bejabbers, I’ve cut me throat,” he gasped.

2) Paddy and Mick were nailing up the side of a wooden house. Mick noticed that Paddy was examining the nails and throwing away every other one.

“What’s wrong with the nails?” he asked.

“Sure and the heads are at the wrong end,” answered Paddy.

“You idiot,” said Mick. “Can’t you see they’re for the other side of the house?”

Probably drunk

1) Why did God invent whiskey? So the Irish would never rule the world.

2) An Irishman walks into a pub. “Give me three pints of Guinness, please.”

So the bartender brings him three pints and the man proceeds to alternately sip one, then the other, then the third, until they’re gone. He then orders three more.

The bartender says, “Sir, you probably like them cold. You don’t have to order three at a time. I can keep an eye on it, and when you get low I’ll bring you a fresh cold one.”

“You don’t understand,” said the customer. “I have two brothers, one in Australia and one back in the old country. We made a vow to each other that every Saturday night we’d still drink together. So right now, my brothers have three Guinness, too, and we’re drinking together.

The bartender thought that was a wonderful tradition.

Every week the man came in and ordered three beers. Then one week he came in and ordered only two. He drank them and then ordered two more.

The bartender said to him, “I know what your tradition is, and I’d just like to say that I’m sorry that one of your brothers died.”

The man said, “Oh, me brothers are fine, but I just quit drinking.”

Irish names

I’m one, are you? Happy St. Patrick’s Day! You can find a partial list of Irish last names at this website: http://www.st-patricks-day.com/irish-family-names.html

 

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Main Street

Foot in mouth

Rush Limbaugh has radio followers who like his style. The other day he overdid it, even for many of them.

Unless you live in outer space, you know about the college student who spoke out in the controversy about prescription insurance paying for birth control pills. She didn’t think that the prescription should be denied coverage. Limbaugh called her a “slut” who wanted to get paid for sex. He also called her a prostitute and said he wanted her to videotape her sexual activity and put it on the web so we all could watch.

He said all of this on the radio. His comments were generally condemned, including by several of his advertisers.

I read a comment online that I want to pass along: “…it is important to speak out against him so that his methods never become acceptable by acquiescence.”

And that’s what I’m doing: Rush Limbaugh is not funny, he is destructive. His comments are beneath contempt.

Teacher story

I was trying to get my seventh-grade history class to understand how the Native Americans must have felt when they first encountered the Spanish explorers.

“How would you feel,” I asked, “if someone showed up on your doorstep who looked very different, spoke a strange language, and wore unusual clothes? Wouldn’t you be a bit scared?”

“Nah,” one boy answered, “I’d just figure it was my sister’s date.”

Thoughts about Aging

When you get to a certain age, these things are hilarious. If you need to, clip out this column and read it when you’re older.

• You’re getting old when you wake up with that morning-after feeling and you didn’t do anything the night before.

• You know you’re getting old when you stop buying green bananas.

• When you lean over to pick something up off the floor, you ask yourself if there is anything else you need to do while you’re down there.

• It starts in middle age  – work is a lot less fun and fun is a lot more work. That’s also when it takes longer to rest than to get tired. It’s also when a man is cautioned to slow down by his doctor instead of by the police. Maybe it’s true that life begins at 50, but everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.

• You know you’re getting old when you find yourself in the middle of the stairway and you can’t remember if you were downstairs going up or upstairs going down.

• You’re getting old when you don’t care where your spouse goes, just as long as you don’t have to go along.

• There are three signs of old age. The first is your loss of memory. I forget the other two.

• The cardiologist’s diet: if it tastes good, spit it out.

Last thoughts, almost

Last Will and Testament: Being of sound mind, I spent all my money.

Very last thoughts

The aging process could be slowed down if it had to work its way through Congress.

 

 

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Main Street

Our species

Although America has a massive war machine, there isn’t enough money for us to solve all the world’s problems. And even unlimited money couldn’t buy enough troops.

After ten-plus years in Afghanistan and Iraq, we have not bought the kind of peace or stability for those countries that we claimed we intended. In some ways they’re worse off (and WE are worse off) because of the destruction and side effects of those wars. In Afghanistan, the recent murderous conflict over the Koran-burning is sickening.

It is disturbing to hear some of the candidates for president talk about starting a war with Iran. One of them, however, Ron Paul, seemed to detect something amiss when he said, “I’m afraid what’s going on right now is similar to the war propaganda that went on against Iraq.” (The Pentagon and the CIA, by the way, do not see Iran as the kind of threat that justifies war.)

What’s wrong with our species that candidates figure going to war is a selling point for election?

Back to the jokes

A woman went to a Florida lemon grove to apply for a job, but the foreman thought she seemed far too qualified for the position. “Do you even have any actual experience picking lemons?” he asked.

“Well, I think I do,” she replied. “I’ve been divorced three times.”

Another joke

When Smith learned that he was being fired, he went to see the head of Human Resources. “Since I’ve been with the firm for so long,” he said, “I think I deserve at least a letter of recommendation.”

The Human Resources director agreed and said he’d have the letter ready the next day. The following morning, Smith found the letter on his desk. It read, “John Smith worked for our company for eleven years. When he left us, we were very satisfied.”

Love joke

A young man bought an expensive piece of jewelry as a present for his girlfriend. “Don’t you want her name engraved on it?” asked the clerk. The young man thought for a moment and then, ever the realist, replied, “No, just engrave it, To My One and Only Love. That way, when she gets mad and throws it at me, I can use it again.”

Marriage thoughts

Some men who speak with authority at work know enough to bow to a higher authority at home.

Marriage brings music to a man’s life. He learns to play second fiddle.

Good advice: Before criticizing your wife’s faults, remember that it may have been these very defects that kept her from getting a better husband than the one she married.

Last thought

Does the person who inventories sheep usually fall asleep on the job?

 

 

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Main Street with Roger Allen

Go green!

Peter Skyllberg was dug out of his car a few days ago. The car, in a seldom-traveled location, had become buried in deep snow. That occurred in December. His rescuers and doctors are surprised he’s alive. Apparently, warm clothes, melted snow, and “the hibernation effect” saved him.

This news item is out of Sweden. I mention it only because you may have noticed that WE aren’t having our normal winter. It’s February and that’s grass we see on the lawns. Global warming doesn’t distribute its effects evenly. I can manage, thank you, with our version of winter this year—no hibernation necessary!

Go away!

Are you tired of the deluge of election ads that misquote, fudge the truth, and paint opponents as a danger to America? Hang in there. Once the primaries move on to other states, we’ll get a temporary break from the political carnival.

Speaking of carnivals

A carnival truck and a revival preacher’s truck collide head-on, and everyone gets killed. The next thing anyone knows, Saint Peter is interrogating the revival preacher very thoroughly. Suddenly, the carnival crew arrives at the Pearly Gates, noisy and reeking of beer. Saint Peter waves them all through as he continues questioning the preacher. The Reverend splutters indignantly and asks, “How can you let those filthy, unrighteous hooligans into heaven while you give me the third degree?”

“Take it easy,” Saint Peter says. “They’re only going to be here a week.”

Speaking of computers

Well, we weren’t, but I’m writing this on one. So here’s a computer story.

New customer to Tech Support: It says hit any key, and when I do that nothing happens.

Tech Support: Can you try again and tell me what happens?

Customer: Tried, but nothing.

Tech Support: What key did you hit?

After a moment and some ching-aling sounds, the customer replies: Well, first I tried my car key and just now my office key.

Senior wisdom

The best way to forget all your troubles is to wear tight shoes.

The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don’t know what you’re doing, someone else does.

The older you get the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat are really good friends. (Amazing! You hang something in your closet for a while and it shrinks two sizes!)

I know what Victoria’s Secret is. The secret is that nobody older than 30 can fit into their stuff.

Time to retire

Three elderly airline pilots are walking on the ramp. First one says, “Windy, isn’t it?” Second says, “No, it’s Thursday.” Third one says, “So am I. Let’s go get a beer.”

Last words

The argument you just won with your wife isn’t over yet. “And lastly…”

 

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Main Street

Our choice: democracy

We are pretty used to our form of government. The current storm of political rhetoric might make us roll our eyes, but, don’t forget, we still get to choose the people in charge. It’s not that way everywhere: Syria, for example.

We may not be entirely happy with our government, but it sure beats some of the others.

Along with our freedom to choose, comes the responsibility to know fact from fiction in that political rhetoric. As Thomas Jefferson said, “An informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will.”

More on choice

Otis passed away. His will provided $30,000 for an elaborate funeral. As the last guests departed the affair, his wife turned to her oldest friend. “Well, I’m sure Otie would be pleased,” she said.

“I’m sure you’re right,” replied the lady. She lowered her voice and leaned in close. “How much did this really cost?”

“All of it,” said the widow. “$30,000.”

“No!” said the friend. “I mean, it was very nice, but $30,000?”

“Well,” said the widow, “The funeral was $6,500. I donated $500 to the church in Otie’s name. The wake, food, and drinks were another $500. The rest went for the memorial stone.”

The friend computed quickly. “$22,500 for a memorial stone? Good heavens! How big is it?”

“Two and a half carats.”

Fairly good joke

A young man goes to a girl’s house for the first time. She shows him into the living room then excuses herself to go to the kitchen to make drinks. As he’s standing there alone, he notices a cute little vase on the mantel. He picks it up, and as he’s looking at it she walks back in. He says, “What’s this?”

“Oh, my father’s ashes are in there.”

“Jeez… oooh… I…,” he stammers, embarrassed.

She says, “Yeah, he’s too lazy to go to the kitchen to get an ashtray.”

Another one

A grocer put up a sign that read, “Eggplants, 25¢ each—3 for a dollar.” All day long customers came in saying, “Shouldn’t I get four for a dollar?”

Meekly the grocer would capitulate and package four eggplants. The tailor next door had been watching this and finally asked the grocer, “Aren’t you going to fix the mistake on your sign?”

“What mistake?” the grocer asked. “Before I put up that sign no one ever bought more than one eggplant.”

And another

A mother explained to her young daughter how children are created. She used the expression “carrying a child” alternately with the term “pregnant.”  The little girl seemed satisfied.

Sometime later, a big fire broke out down the street and the girl watched through the window. Here is how she described the scene to her parents: “There was this big fire, and a fireman ran into the house, and when he came out he was pregnant!”

 

 

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