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Main Street

Groundhog Day revisited

You may have read here recently that Punxatawney Phil got laid off.  Now we’ve discovered the reason: it’s best not to make a big deal about your job dissatisfaction.

Valentine’s Day

Ah, love. We’re always looking for it or trying to improve it, and we feel lost without it. We have only one holiday about it, but it’s a biggie. Giving valentines is one of the great ideas of the western world. I never get cards for Labor Day, President’s Day, or the Fourth of July.

A question of taste

A ranger catches a guy eating a bald eagle. At the man’s trial, the judge asks, “Do you know that eating a bald eagle is a federal offense?”

“Yes,” says the man, “but let me explain. I got lost in the woods and hadn’t had anything to eat for a week. Next thing I see is a bald eagle swooping down at the lake for fish. I thought if I followed the eagle I could maybe steal a fish. Unfortunately, in the process of taking the fish, I killed the eagle. I figured I might as well eat it since it would be worse to let it rot on the ground.”

After considering the man’s answer, the judge says, “Due to the extreme circumstance and because you didn’t intend to kill the eagle, the court will dismiss the charges. But if you don’t mind the court asking, what does a bald eagle taste like?”

“Well, your honor,” says the man, “it’s hard to explain. The best I can describe it is maybe a combination between a California condor and a spotted owl.”

In due course

An out-of-towner in New York at the height of the tourist season decided to revisit an uptown restaurant he’d enjoyed on a previous trip to the city. Service was slow. Finally catching the eye of an overworked waiter, he began, “You know, it’s been over five years since I first came in here…”

“I’m sorry, but you’ll have to wait your turn, sir,” replied the waiter. “I can only serve one table at a time.”

Heads up

A little kid is flipping a coin while taking a true-false test. At the end of the test, he starts flipping the coin again.

“What are you doing?” asks the teacher.

The boy replies, “Checking my answers.”

Pig thoughts

If a pig is sold to the pawnshop, is it then called a ham-hock?

If you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, what can you make with it?

What do pigs say when they consider something that’s close to impossible? Would it be, “Sure, when humans can fly….”?

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Main Street

My opinion

Recently a Supreme Court opinion reversed the conviction of a drug dealer because of how he’d been caught: law officials had planted a GPS on his car. His privacy was violated, said the Court.

Our Constitution has a clause that protects our privacy. The Supreme Court has the duty to observe our Constitution, but I think it has a higher duty. The Constitution was adopted to protect the citizens of these United States. Letting a drug dealer go free on a legal technicality does not seem to protect the public.

Employment department

Just out of high school, Darla applied for her first job. When she returned home her mother asked how the interview went.

“Pretty good, I think,” said Darla, “but if I go to work there I won’t get a vacation until after I’m married.”

Her mother had never heard of such a thing. “Is that what they told you?”

“I saw it right on the application,” replied Darla. “‘Vacation time may not be taken until you’ve had your first anniversary.’”

Marriage department

A man and his wife are vacationing in the Middle East. A local approaches the husband and says, “I’ll give you 100 camels for your woman.”

After a long silence, the husband says, “She’s not for sale.”

The indignant wife says, “What took you so long to answer?”

The husband replies, “I was trying to figure out how to get 100 camels back home.”

Sex department

A six-year-old girl asks, “Daddy, what is sex?” The father reckons that if she’s old enough to ask the question then she’s old enough for a straight answer. So he delivers the whole explanation about the birds and the bees. The girl is wide-eyed in disbelief.

“By the way, why do you ask?” says the dad.

The girl replies, “Mommy told me to tell you that dinner would be ready in just a couple of secs.”

Sex department, cont.

A little boy, returning home from his first day at school, says, “Mom, what’s sex?” His mother believed in modern educational theories, so she gives him a detailed explanation that covers all aspects of the subject.

When she finishes, the boy produces an enrollment form that he’d brought home from school and says, “Yes, but how am I going to get all that into this one little square?”

Computer department

Stephanie decided to introduce her elderly mother to the magic of the Internet. Her first move was to access Google and tell her mom it could answer any question she had. Stephanie’s mother was skeptical.

“It’s true, Mom. Think of something to ask it,” she said, with fingers poised over the keyboard.

Steph’s mother thought a minute, then responded, “How is Aunt Helen feeling?”

Employment department again

Today is Ground Hog Day but we’ll never know about his shadow. Word has it that the ground hog has been laid off. It’s not easy to find work even with experience. Hope to see him next year.

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Great new job idea
How about hiring real people to answer business phones?
Most big companies have computers answering their phones. Voice prompts may sound like real people, but we all know they aren’t. And when you push a button you just get a different computer.
Sometimes the computer says, “Our staff is busy with other calls. Please stay on the line and someone will help you soon.” Computers that lie to us should be fired (and real people hired to take their place).
Sometimes the computer at the other end of the phone line refers you to a web site. Web sites are on computers. It’s a vicious circle.
Not only should companies hire real people to answer phones, they should cast them in their TV commercials. I happen to know that the cartoon characters in ads are generated by (you guessed it) computers.
Replacing computers with real people may sound extreme, but, considering the country’s jobs situation, isn’t it worth a try?
Great advice
I read an article that said the typical symptoms of stress are: eating too much, impulse buying, and driving too fast. Are they kidding? That’s my idea of a perfect day.
If you think the holiday season is over, wait till you see February. First, it’s Black History Month. Then we also get Groundhog Day, Chinese New Year, Super Bowl Sunday, Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Valentines Day, President’s Day, Mardi Gras, and Ash Wednesday. This year February gets an extra day in order to fit everything in.
A visitor to a certain college paused to admire the new Hemingway Hall that had been built on campus.
“It’s a pleasure to see a building named for Ernest Hemingway,” said the visitor.
“Actually,” said his guide, “it’s named for Joshua Hemingway. No relation.”
The visitor was surprised. “Joshua Hemingway? Was he also a writer?”
“Yes, indeed,” said the guide. “He wrote the check.”
Ferry story
Tom loved living on Staten Island but wasn’t crazy about the ferry. If you missed a ferry late at night you had to spend the next hour or so wandering the deserted streets of lower Manhattan.
So, when he spotted a ferry no more than fifteen feet from the dock, he decided he wouldn’t risk an hour’s wait. He made a running leap and landed on his hands and knees—a little bruised maybe, but safe on deck.
He got up, brushed himself off, and announced proudly to a bystander, “Well, I made that one, didn’t I?”
“Sure did,” the bystander said, “but you should have waited a minute or two. This ferry is about to dock.”
This week’s lawyer
Two lawyers were walking along, negotiating a case.
“Look,” said one to the other, “let’s be honest with each other.”
“Okay, you first,” replied the other.
That was the end of the discussion.
Last words
Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now.

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Main Street

by Roger Allen

Good news
• Employment is up.
• Car buying is up.  So are retail sales.
• This recession (or depression), although deeper and more painful, is similar to many business cycles we have experienced. We’ll be out of this one soon.
• More people have become aware that we must have cleaner air and water. The same is true of global warming: it’s real. Most of the world is trying to deal with the reality because it’s our only planet.
• Only 10 months to go and the election will be over!
True Progress
Dave turns to his friend Kevin and asks for a cigarette.
“I thought you made a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking,” says Kevin.
“I’m in the process of quitting,” says Dave. “Right now I’m in the middle of phase one.”
“Phase one?” says Kevin.
“Yeah,” replies Dave, “I’ve quit buying.”
True Solutions
Three Pastors in the South were having lunch in a diner. One said, “Since summer started, I’ve been having trouble with bats in the church loft. I’ve tried everything—noise, spray, cats—nothing seems to scare them away.”
Another said, “Me, too. Hundreds are living in my belfry and the attic. I’ve even had the place fumigated and they won’t go away.”
The third said, “I baptized all mine and made them members of the church. Haven’t seen one back since.”
True Romance
A husband and wife in their early 60s were celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary in a romantic little restaurant. Suddenly a tiny, beautiful fairy appeared on their table and announced, “For being such an exemplary married couple, I will grant each of you a wish.”
“Ooh, I want to travel around the world with my darling husband,” said the wife. The fairy moved her magic wand, and two tickets for a deluxe cruise on a luxury liner appeared in her hand.
The husband thought for a moment and said, “Well, this is all very romantic. But an opportunity like this occurs once in a lifetime, so, I’m sorry, my love, but my wish is to have a wife thirty years younger than me.”
The wife and the fairy were both deeply disappointed, but a wish is a wish. So once again the fairy moved her magic wand and the husband became 92 years old.
Moral: Men might be ungrateful idiots, but fairies are women.
True life
A business owner tells her friend that she is desperately searching for an accountant. Her friend asks, “Didn’t your company hire an accountant a year or so ago?” The business owner replies, “That’s the accountant I’ve been searching for.”
True last words
God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway. And the good fortune to run into the ones that I do. And the eyesight to tell the difference.

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Seriously looking ahead
Republican infighting can be either entertaining or depressing. However, retired people remain especially aware that the President and the Congress we elect this year will deal with Social Security.
Our Social Security program was enacted about 77 years ago. Few are left to remember how financially grim getting old used to be for most people.
Essentially, the Social Security Act required enforced retirement savings. Most Americans don’t get rich by a lifetime of working and don’t save a lot of money otherwise.
For 2011, Congress cut individual payroll taxes from 6.2% to 4.2% in order to beef up the spending power of working people. The cost of government didn’t get reduced, however; unfortunately, Congress let the Social Security Trust Fund absorb the shortfall.
A great country like ours should not need “poor farms” for the destitute elderly. Let’s hope that when you arrive at age 67, the Social Security Trust Fund will be there. The Congress we elect must have the guts to raise the money to restore the Fund.
Social Security is one of the best programs our government ever embarked upon. But, personally, I don’t take it for granted.
They grow up so fast
Two storks were sitting in their nest—father and baby. The little one was crying. “Don’t worry, son,” said the dad. “Your mother will be back soon. She’s out delivering brand-new babies.”
The next night, it was the father’s turn to do the job. Again the baby stork was crying. “Son,” said mom stork, “your father will be back soon, but right now he’s out bringing joy to new mommies and daddies.”
A few days later the parent storks were alarmed: Sonny had been gone from the nest all night. Shortly before dawn, however, he returned. “Where,” demanded the parents, “have you been?”
“Nowhere much,” said the youngster. “Just scaring the heck out of college students.”
Turkey story
From a contributor:
One year my mom went to my sister’s house for the traditional Christmas feast. My sister tends to be quite gullible and my mom decided to play a trick. She sent my sister to the drugstore on some kind of errand. In her absence, Mom took the turkey out of the oven, spooned out the stuffing, stuffed a Cornish hen and inserted it into the turkey, and then re-stuffed the turkey. She placed the bird(s) back in the oven.
When it was time for dinner, my sister put the turkey on a platter and prepared to remove the stuffing. When her serving spoon hit something solid, she reached in and pulled out the little bird.
With a look of shock on her face, my mother exclaimed, “Margie, you’ve cooked a pregnant bird!” At this horrifying news, my sister started to cry.
It took the family quite a while to remind her that turkeys lay eggs.
(Yes, Margie is a blonde.)
A question
Why is it that you need a driver’s license to buy liquor when it’s against the law to drink and drive?

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Time travel

Samoa skipped last Friday entirely, and landed on the other side of the International Date Line.  They are only about 10 miles from it.  They wanted to be in sync with Australia and other populated areas closer to them.
On February 29, 1948, I was on a ship heading home from Korea. It was leap year, so we had an extra day. That night we crossed the date line and it was February 29 all over again. So, 30 days hath February. My first and only.

Out of tune

Submitted by a correspondent:
As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently a funeral director asked me to play at the graveside service for a homeless man with no family. It was to be held at a paupers’ cemetery way out in the country. Not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost.
An hour late, I finally arrived and saw that evidently the funeral guy had gone. The hearse was nowhere in sight. Only the diggers and crew were left, and they were eating lunch.
I felt bad and called out an apology to the men for being late. I walked over to the graveside, looked down, and saw the vault lid already in place. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play.
The workers put down their lunches. I played heart and soul for that man with no family or friends. As I played “Amazing Grace,” the workers started to weep. In fact, we all wept together. Finally I packed up my bagpipes and headed for my car with a full heart.
As I opened the car door, I heard one of the workers say, “I never seen nothing like that before, and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”

Sweet stop

Another reader contribution:
Returning from a trip to visit my grandmother in California, I was stopped in Kansas by a state trooper for exceeding the speed limit. Grateful to have received a warning instead of a ticket, I gave him a small bag of my grandma’s delicious chocolate chip cookies and proceeded on my way.
Later, I was stopped by another trooper. “What have I done?” I asked.
“Nothing,” the trooper said.  “I heard you were passing out great chocolate chip cookies.”


On the move

A young man was a slow worker and found it hard to hold down a job. On one of his visits to the employment office, he was offered work at the local zoo. When he arrived for his first day, the keeper, aware of his reputation, told him to take care of the tortoise section.
Later in the day the keeper dropped by to see how the young man was doing. He found him standing by an empty enclosure with the gate open.
“Where are the tortoises?” he asked.
“I can’t believe it,” said the new employee. “I just opened the door and whooooosh, they were gone!”

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Happy New Year!
I intend that to mean for the whole year, not just January 1. May 2012 be a year of blessings for all of us.
Our first day of the year is related to the Gregorian calendar, named after Pope Gregory. If you don’t like this one, the Julian calendar places New Year’s Day on Jan. 14. Throughout the world, people observe other dates, mostly related to religion. Pope Gregory picked this date based on Jesus’ birth on Dec. 25 and baptism on Jan. 1. It could get complicated.
I think Adam and Eve celebrated because they saw the days getting longer and the sun coming back.

Antique story
A little boy opened the big family Bible with fascination, looking at the old pages, one after another. As he turned them, something fell out. He picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old tree leaf that had been pressed between the pages.
“Mom, look what I found!” he called out.
“What do you have there, dear?” his mother asked. With excitement the boy exclaimed, “It’s Adam’s suit!”

Church story
Six-year old Angie and her four-year old brother, Joel, were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang, and talked out loud.
Finally his big sister had had enough and gave him the elbow. “You’re not supposed to talk out loud in church!”
“Why? Who’s going to stop me?’ Joel answered.
Angie pointed to the back of the church. “See those two men standing by the door? They’re hushers!”

Sew-sew story
A pretty girl stepped up to the fabric counter and said, “I’d like to buy this material for a new dress. How much does it cost?”
“Only one kiss per yard,” replied the young male clerk.
“Fine,” replied the girl. “I’ll take ten yards.”
Smirking, the clerk measured out the cloth and wrapped it. Then he held it out teasingly.
The girl smiled, took the package, pointed to a little old man standing beside her, and said, “Grandpa, pay the man.”

Deer Tick Warning
I hate it when people forward bogus warnings, but this one is real, and it’s important. So, please send this warning to everyone on your e-mail list:
If someone comes to your front door saying they are conducting a survey on deer ticks and asks you to take your clothes off and dance around with your arms up, Do not do it! It is a scam. They only want to see you naked.
I wish I’d gotten this information yesterday. I feel so stupid now.

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Main Street

Merry Christmas!
How many dozens of people have you heard that from lately?  It comes in handy this time of year when you can’t think of anything else to say.

Robo calls
I get several every day, so I don’t answer until seven rings. And now there’s talk of allowing robo calls to cell phones. I may have to stop answering that one, too. You can get in touch with me by knocking on my front door.

“Completed,” finally
The President has withdrawn our troops from Iraq, although we’ll still be spending money there. Nine years is way too long, especially for an optional war with inadequate planning ahead of time.  And we’re still at war in Afghanistan. And while Pakistan purports to be our ally, we seem to be at war there, too.
I think it’s time to let them settle their own affairs. It’s obvious we can’t do it, and it only makes us poorer. Just think of all the other things we could have bought with that $1trillion+ spent on the Iraq war. Yes, that’s $1,000,000,000,000. Plus.

Cat story
A friend writes:
Last Saturday night we were dressed and ready to go out to a Christmas party. We turned on a nightlight, turned the answering machine on, covered our pet parakeet and put the cat in the backyard.
Because we knew we’d be having a few drinks, we phoned a cab company and requested a taxi. The taxi arrived and we opened the front door to leave the house. As we walked out the door, the cat we had put out in the yard scooted back into the house. We didn’t want the cat shut in the house because she always tries to eat the bird.
My wife went on out to the taxi, while I went back inside to get the cat. The cat ran upstairs, with me in hot pursuit.
Waiting in the cab, my wife didn’t want the driver to know that the house would be empty for the night. So she explained to the taxi driver that I’d be out soon. “He’s just going upstairs to say goodbye to my mother.”
A few minutes later I got into the cab. “Sorry I took so long,” I said as we drove away. “That stupid thing was hiding under the bed. I had to poke her with a coat hanger to get her to come out. She tried to take off, so I grabbed her by the neck. Then I had to wrap her in a blanket to keep her from scratching me. But it worked! I hauled her fat bottom downstairs and threw her out into the back yard! Hope she doesn’t use the vegetable garden for a toilet again.”
The silence in the cab was deafening.

Last words
Years ago, my kids believed in Santa Claus. Now they think I’m Santa Claus.

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Main Street

A personal thanks
…to all the people who have put up pretty Christmas decorations. No, I don’t have any myself yet, but the rest of you make the town look beautiful.
Lacking in smarts
I’ve been noticing all those squirrels around town and how they keep running into the roads. They’re fearless. Sometimes they stop in the middle and stare at me. Given that living creatures, over time, develop ways of surviving, I’d think that the smart ones would be afraid of cars. All the others, the dumb ones, would have been crow food by now. Apparently brain evolution evolves slower than the combustion engine.
Not so smart
A couple of newspaper bloopers (not ours):
“Chairman Billings asked Board members to muster support from parent-teacher groups to support the governor on driving while intoxicated.”
“He hasn’t even had his day in court yet, but Simon Wynne has been kicked off the ESU basketball team after being arrested and accused of driving a parked car while intoxicated.”
On her way back from the concession stand, the girl asked a man at the end of the row, “Pardon me, but did I step on your foot a few minutes ago?” Expecting an apology, the man said, “Indeed you did.”  The girl smiled. “Oh good,” she said, “then this is my row.”
Very smart
Kenny, a city boy, moved to the country and bought a donkey from an old farmer for $100. The farmer pocketed the money and agreed to deliver the donkey the next day.
“Sorry, son,” said the farmer when he got to Kenny’s house the next morning. “I have some bad news. The donkey died.”
Kenny: “Well then, just give me my money back.”
Farmer: “Can’t do that. I already went and spent it.”
Kenny: “Okay then, just unload the donkey.”
Farmer: What ya gonna do with him?”
Kenny: “I’m going to raffle him off.”
Farmer: “You can’t raffle off a dead donkey!”
Kenny: “Sure I can. Watch me. I just won’t tell anybody he’s dead.”
A month later the farmer met up with Kenny again. “What happened with that dead donkey?” he asked.
Kenny: “Like I said, I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars each and made a profit of $898.00.”
Farmer: “Didn’t anybody complain?”
Kenny: “Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back.”
Kenneth Lay grew up and eventually became founder, chairman, and CEO of Enron Corporation.
Last words
Save the whales. Collect the whole set.

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Main Street

XXX rated
The Republican presidential field has been slimming down as the candidates dig up dirt on each other. Herman Cain was shot down with surprising speed. Do you suppose that a few of the others have their fingers crossed, hoping that embarrassing episodes don’t surface?
American politics has almost become free adult entertainment. The process does increase the chances that we’ll get the cleanest candidate. But remember, it doesn’t always follow that he/she will be the most competent.
So far, so good
We missed the big storm on the east coast that put out the lights for weeks. Now we seem to have missed the windstorm on the west coast. I have my fingers crossed. (No, not for that.)
Speaking of …
Speaking of the war between the sexes, here’s a woman’s point of view: “Men are like fine wine. They all start out like grapes and it’s our job to stomp on them and keep them in the dark until they mature into something you’d like to have dinner with.”
Logic question
A fourth-grade teacher was giving her pupils a lesson in logic. “Here’s the situation,” she says. “A man is standing up in a boat in the middle of a river, fishing. He loses his balance, falls in, and begins splashing and yelling for help. His wife hears the commotion, knows he can’t swim, and runs down to the riverbank. Why do you think she ran to the bank?” A girl raised her hand and responded, “To draw out all his savings?”
More logic questions
• Did Roman paramedics refer to IV’s as “4’s”?
• If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?
• When someone says, “A penny for your thoughts” and you put your two cents worth in, what happens to the other penny?
• Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It’s stale bread to begin with.
• If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
Critical analysis
A retired man in New York volunteers to entertain patients in nursing homes and hospitals. Recently he went through his act at a Brooklyn hospital. He told some jokes, played his portable keyboard, and sang funny songs.
In farewell, he waved and said, “I hope you get better.”
One elderly patient (a woman, of course) replied, “I hope you get better, too.”
Logical assumption
Two police officers respond to a crime scene behind a grocery store. The homicide detective is already there.
“What happened?” asks the first officer.
“Male, about 25, covered in Raisin Bran and dead as a doornail.”
“Good grief,” says the second officer. “Didn’t we have one covered in Frosted Flakes yesterday? And Captain Crunch last week?”
“You’re right,” says the detective, taking drag on his cigar. “I’m afraid that this is the work of a cereal killer.”

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