Before You Hit That "Forward" Button. . . Plus: What a Tool! & Puns
The joke's on us (USAF
division). . . With
a salute to our men and women in uniform, CrownWest passes
along this favorite funny:
"A US Air Force C-141 is scheduled to leave
Thule Air Base, Greenland, at midnight. During the pilot's preflight
check, he discovers that the latrine holding tank is still full from
the last flight. So a message is sent to the base and an airman who
was off duty is called out to take care of it.
"The young man finally gets to the air base
and makes his way to the aircraft, only to find that the latrine
pump truck has been left outdoors and is frozen solid, so he must
find another one in the hangar, which takes even more time. He returns
to the aircraft and is less than enthusiastic about what he has to
do. Nevertheless, he goes about the pumping job deliberately and
carefully (and slowly), so as to not risk criticism later.
"As he's leaving the plane, the pilot stops
him and says, 'Son, your attitude and performance has caused this
flight to be late and I'm going to personally see to it that you
are not just reprimanded but punished.'
"Shivering in the cold, his task finished,
the young airman takes a deep breath, stands up tall and replies,
'Sir, with all due respect, I'm not your son; I'm an airman in the
United States Air Force. I've been in Thule, Greenland, for 11 months
without any leave, and reindeer are beginning to look pretty good
to me. I have one stripe, it's 2:30 in the morning, the temperature
is 40 degrees below zero, and my job here is to pump crap from your
aircraft. Now just exactly what form of punishment did you have in
Modern inconveniences. . . Resuming,
at last, our ongoing rant about the downsides of today's technology,
of the Burros shares his thoughts about "Computer
"There are many things that bug me about
computers. One major one is that I can't seem to be able to live
without mine. But another that has reared its ugly head is the dreaded
'Forward' function on email. Like the proverbial Christmas fruitcake,
this feature allows many messages to have infinite lives, as they
are relayed around the world from computer to computer. While my
security systems have essentially stopped spam, spyware and the like,
most of the remaining messages seem to contain forwards. I receive
so many of them that I have been able to categorize them (and their
senders) as follows:
"Category 1—These are usually close friends who, upon receiving
a forward, and knowing my inclinations, decide whether the forward
may be of interest to me BEFORE sending it. Bless them!
"Category 2—This category also consists of friends, but they think
everything they like, I should see. The problem is telling them I am
not their clone.
"Category 3—This is the serious forwarder. No jokes here, but every
'write your congressman' issue, every religious chain letter, every
fund-raising issue, and every tear-inducing story of sorrow, pain and misery
just has to be sent out to everyone.
"Category 4—The complicated forward. This one forces me to open
an attachment, only to find it too was forwarded and, several openings
later, you find out it wasn't worth the effort.
"Category 5—The mass mailer. This acquaintance
must not have much to do, but has a massive mailing list, to which
he/she sends everything that comes in, usually without even looking
at some of them.
"Category 6—The mystery mailer. This is an occasional forward from
someone I don't even recognize, on a subject I care nothing about,
asking me to send it to eveyone I know.
"So what is the solution? Give away my computer?
Not an option as long as e-shopping exists. Shut down email? My family
around the country would object. Change my email address/server?
I'm going wireless soon so this could be it. Selectively block senders?
Also an option. Tell specific forwarders to knock it off? Make anonymous
"I think I'll just send this little tirade
to my entire email address list and see what happens."
File what follows under "great minds think alike." Hardly
had Bert of the Burros' tirade about email forwarding finished reverberating
in our inbox when the following arrived, from Gigi:
"My heartfelt appreciation goes out to all
of you who have taken the time and trouble to send me 'forwards'
over the past 12 months. Thank you for making me feel safe, secure,
blessed and wealthy.
"Extra thanks to whoever sent me the one about
rat crap in the glue on envelopes, because I now have to go get a
wet towel every time I need to seal an envelope. Also, I scrub the
top of every can I open for the same reason.
"Because of your concern I no longer drink
Coca-Cola because it can remove toilet stains. I no longer drink
Pepsi or Dr. Pepper, since the people who make these products are
atheists who refuse to put 'Under God' on their cans.
"I no longer use Saran Wrap in the microwave
because it causes cancer.
"I no longer check the coin return on pay
phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.
"I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants
even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.
"I no longer go to shopping malls because someone
might drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.
"I no longer receive packages from nor send
packages by UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.
"I no longer answer the phone because someone
will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with
calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore and Uzbekistan.
"I no longer eat KFC because their 'chickens'
are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.
"I no longer have any sneakers—but that will
change once I receive my free replacement pair from Nike.
"I no longer have to buy expensive cookies
from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.
"I no longer worry about my soul because at
last count I have 363,214 angels looking out for me.
"Thanks to you, I have learned that God only
answers my prayers if I forward an email to seven of my friends and
make a wish within five minutes.
"I no longer have any savings because I gave
it all to a sick girl who is about to die in the hospital (for the
"I no longer have any money at all—but that
will change once I receive the $15,000 that Microsoft and AOL are
sending me for participating in their special email program.
"Yes, I want to thank you so much for looking
out for me that I will now return the favor! If you don't send this
e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next seven minutes, a large
pigeon with a wicked case of diarrhea will land on your head at 5
p.m. this afternoon. I know this will occur because it actually happened
to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second
husband's cousin's beautician."
Need we add that all the above examples are NOT repeat NOT factual,
so KFC and UPS and the rest can please call off their attorneys? (Though
we ARE still waiting for our $15,000 from Microsoft. . . .) Need we
further add that we here at Desert Diary World Headquarters LOVE, simply
LOVE forwarded emails—as long as they're funny? Send them along to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your rants about technological troubles are of course also welcome,
via the aforementioned email or by postal mail (just don't lick that
envelope, for gosh sakes!) to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City,
Life in a state of nature. . . Departing
from her usual habit of sending us jokes, Aironot shares
instead this meditation on life in the Mimbres:
"Winter and I'm still at it, wrapped in the
awe of wild things here in the Mimbres. Just yesterday morning when
I checked the birdbath water, it was frozen. Then I saw something
unusual. There was in the ice a very clear hoof print of a deer that
had stomped out a hole to get a sip of water. Alone here at this
window, I smiled at the smart little critters.
"Later on, I was again hanging over my kitchen
sink feasting my eyes on the irresistible view of the mountains.
Then I noticed the back door of a house down the way was standing
wide open on this cold day. In the same split second that I spotted
that, a big jackrabbit—and I mean one of those giant ones with great
long ears—went racing across the neighbor's yard as if pursued by
invisible and unknown demons. Leaping and bounding, he went hippity-hopping
right up onto the neighbor's back porch like a pogo stick, sliding
right through her doorway. Mr. Jackrabbit disappeared into the darkness.
"Amazed, I laughed, and even as I guffawed,
my wild-eyed neighbor came rushing out the back door—chased, so
it seemed, by an equally terrified rabbit. Once outside, one of them
went north and the other went south in a matter of seconds. The old
house dog just sat and observed this strange affair, same as I. Then,
noting the rabbit was gone, the neighbor hightailed it back inside
the house, shutting the door behind her, the lock's click echoing
across this valley.
"Mimbres. You gotta love it."
Welcome to Home Despot. . . And
now, for the handymen and -women out there, JC hammers
out this helpful tool guide:
"Drill Press: A tall upright machine useful
for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so
that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room,
splattering it against that freshly painted part you were drying.
"Wire Wheel: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws the bolts somewhere
under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprint
whorls and hard-earned guitar calluses in about the time it takes
you to say 'ouch.'
"Electric Hand Drill: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their
holes until you die of old age.
"Pliers: Used to round off bolt heads.
"Hacksaw: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board
principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable
motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more
dismal your future becomes.
"Vise Grips: Used to round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available,
they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm
of your hand.
"Oxyacetylene Torch: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable
objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease
inside the wheel hub you want the bearing race out of.
"Whitworth Sockets: Once used for working on older British cars
and motorcycles, they are now used mainly for impersonating that
9/16 or 1/2 socket you've been searching for the last 15 minutes.
"Hydraulic Floor Jack: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground
after you have installed your new disk brake pads, trapping the jack
handle firmly under the bumper.
"Eight-Foot Long Douglas
Fir 2x4: Used for levering an automobile
upward off a hydraulic jack handle.
"Phone: Tool for calling your neighbor to see if he has another
hydraulic floor jack.
"Tweezers: A tool for removing wood splinters.
"Craftsman 1/2 X 16
Inch Screwdriver: A large pry bar that inexplicably
has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end for spreading
mayonnaise; used mainly for getting dog droppings off your boot.
"E-Z Out Bolt and Stud
Extractor: A tool 10 times harder than any
known drill bit that snaps off in bolt holes you couldn't use anyway.
"Two-Ton Engine Hoist: A tool for testing
the tensile strength of everything opposite the handle.
"Aviation Metal Snips: See Hacksaw.
"Trouble Light: The home mechanic's own tanning booth. Sometimes
called a drop light, it is a good source of vitamin D, 'the sunshine
vitamin,' which is not otherwise found under cars at night. Health
benefits aside, its main purpose is to consume 40-watt light bulbs
at about the same rate that 105-mm howitzer shells might be used during, say,
the first few hours of the Battle of the Bulge. More often dark than light,
its name is somewhat misleading.
"Phillips Screwdriver: Normally used to stab the lids of old-style
paper-and-tin oil cans and splash oil on your shirt, but can also
be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.
"Air Compressor: A machine that takes energy produced in a coal-burning
power plant 800 miles away and transforms it into compressed air
that travels by hose to a pneumatic impact wrench that grips rusty bolts
last over-tightened 58 years ago by someone at ERCO, and neatly rounds
off their heads.
"Pry Bar: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip
or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50-cent part.
"Hose Cutter: A tool used to cut hoses too short.
"Hammer: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays
is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts
not far from the object we are trying to hit.
"Mechanic's Knife: Used to open and slice through the contents of
cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly
well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic
bottles, collector magazines, refund checks and rubber or plastic parts.
"Dammit Tool: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the
garage while yelling 'DAMMIT' at the top of your lungs. It is also
the next tool that you will need."
Your own advice for handyfolks or helpful definitions
are of course welcome at Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver
City, NM 88062, email email@example.com or fax 534-4134.
Kids say the darnedest things.
. . As all those
fun tax forms start arriving in the mail, this from Doctor
Diane seems particularly appropriate:
"A little boy wanted $100 very badly and prayed
for weeks, but nothing happened. Then he decided to write God a letter
requesting the $100. When the postal authorities received the letter
to 'God, USA,' they decided to send it to the president. The president
was so amused that he instructed his secretary to send the little
boy a $5 bill. The president thought this would appear to be a lot
of money to a little boy.
"The little boy was delighted with the $5 bill
and sat down to write a thank-you note to God, which read: 'Dear
God: Thank you very much for sending the money. However, I noticed
that for some reason you sent it through Washington, DC, and those
bastards deducted $95 in taxes.'"
. . Responding to our (admittedly
ill-conceived) call for your favorite puns, Ned
along these "Puns for Intellectuals," which we share with sincere
"A vulture boarded a plane, carrying two dead
raccoons. The stewardess stopped him and said, 'Sorry sir, only one
carrion per passenger.'
"NASA recently sent a number of Holsteins
into orbit for experimental purposes. They called it the herd shot
round the world.
"Two boll weevils grew up in South Carolina.
One took off to Hollywood and became a rich star. The other stayed
in Carolina and never amounted to much—and naturally became known
as the lesser of two weevils.
"Two Eskimos in a kayak were chilly, so they
started a fire, which sank the craft, proving the old adage you can't
have your kayak and heat it too.
"A three-legged dog walks into an old West
saloon, slides up to the bar and announces, 'I'm looking for the
man who shot my paw.'
"Did you hear about the Buddhist who went to
the dentist and refused to take Novocain? He wanted to transcend
"A woman has twins, gives them up for adoption.
One goes to an Egyptian family and is named 'Ahmal.' The other is
sent to a Spanish family and is named 'Juan.' Years later, Juan sends
his birth mother a picture of himself. Upon receiving the picture,
she tells her husband she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal.
He replies, 'They're twins, for Pete's sake! If you've seen Juan,
you've seen Ahmal!'
"A group of friars opened a florist shop to
help with their belfry payments. Everyone liked to buy flowers from
the men of God, so their business flourished. A rival florist became
upset that his business was suffering because people felt compelled
to buy from the friars, so he asked the friars to cut back hours
or close down. The friars refused. So the florist then hired Hugh
McTaggert, the biggest, meanest thug in town. He went to the friars'
shop, beat them up, destroyed their flowers, trashed their shop,
and said that if they didn't close, he'd be back. Totally terrified,
the friars closed up shop and hid in their rooms. This proved only
Hugh can prevent florist friars.
"Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot
his whole life, which created an impressive set of calluses on his
feet. He also ate very little, which made him frail, and with his
odd diet, he suffered from very bad breath. This made him, of course,
a super-callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis."
the imponderables. . . Finally, we put
things into perspective a bit with this via Writer
Charles Schulz Philosophy Quiz," as in the creator of the Peanuts
comic strip (who taught us that "Happiness is a warm puppy"):
"1. Name the five wealthiest people in the
"2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
"3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.
"4. Name 10 people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.
"5. Name the last half-dozen Academy Award winners for best
actor and actress.
"6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.
"How did you do? The point is, none of us remembers the headliners
of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers; they are the best
in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements
are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
"Here's the second half of the quiz. See how you do on this part.
"1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
"2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult
"3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
"4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated
"5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
"6. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.
"Scoring the quiz: The people who make a difference in your
life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money,
or the most awards. They are the ones who care."
Send your deep thoughts, rants,
jokes, anecdotes and other fodder to Desert Diary, PO Box 191,
Silver City, NM 88062, fax
534-4134 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, the best submission each month gets a piece of spiffy Desert