Is There a Santa Claus?
Laws of Nature
College Finals from Hell
God and Tenure
Prayer for the Stressed
Evil Overlord advice
Vomit vs. Dorm Food
Prison vs. Work
The fate of food
Twinkie Failure Testing
(reprinted from SPY magazine, July 1989) In an effort to clarify
questions about the purported durability and unusual physical characteristics
of Twinkies, we subjected the Hostess snack logs to the following
EXPOSURE: A Twinkie was left on a window ledge for four days, during
which time an inch and a half of rain fell. Many flies were observed
crawling across the Twinkie's surface, but contrary to hypothesis,
birds -- even pigeons -- avoided this potential source of sustenance.
Despite the rain and prolonged exposure to the sun, the Twinkie
retained its original color and form. When removed, the Twinkie
was found to be substantially dehydrated. Cracked open, it was observed
to have taken on the consistency of industrial foam insulation;
the filling, however, retained its advertised "creaminess."
RADIATION: A Twinkie was placed in a conventional microwave oven,
which was set for precisely 4 minutes -- the approximate cooking
time of bacon. After 20 seconds, the oven began to emit the Twinkie's
rich, characteristic aroma of artificial butter. After 1 minute,
this aroma began to resemble the acrid smell of burning rubber.
The experiment was aborted after 2 minutes, 10 seconds, when thick,
foul smoke began billowing from the top of the oven. A second Twinkie
was subjected to the same experiment. This Twinkie leaked molten
white filling. When cooled, this now epoxylike filling bonded the
Twinkie to its plate, defying gravity; it was removed only upon
application of a butter knife.
EXTREME FORCE: A Twinkie was dropped from a ninth-floor window,
a fall of approximately 120 feet. It landed right side up, then
bounced onto its back. The expected "splatter" effect was not observed.
Indeed, the only discernible damage to the Twinkie was a narrow
fissure on its underside. Otherwise, the Twinkie remained structurally
EXTREME COLD: A Twinkie was placed in a conventional freezer for
24 hours. Upon removal, the Twinkie was not found to be frozen solid,
but its physical properties had noticeably "slowed": the filling
was found to be the approximate consistency of acrylic paint, while
exhibiting the mercurylike property of not adhering to practically
any surface. It was noticed that the Twinkie had generously absorbed
EXTREME HEAT: A Twinkie was exposed to a gas flame for 2 minutes.
While the Twinkie smoked and blackened and the filling in one of
its "cream holes" boiled, the Twinkie did not catch fire. It did,
however, produce the same "burning rubber" aroma noticed during
the irradiation experiment.
IMMERSION: A Twinkie was dropped into a large beaker filled with
tap water. The Twinkie floated momentarily, began to list and sink,
and viscous yellow tendrils ran off its lower half, possibly consisting
of a water-soluble artificial coloring. After 2 hours, the Twinkie
had bloated substantially. Its coloring was now a very pale tan
-- in contrast to the yellow, urine-like water that surrounded it.
The Twinkie bobbed when touched, and had a gelatinous texture. After
72 hours, the Twinkie was found to have bloated to roughly 200 percent
of its original size, the water had turned opaque, and a small,
fan-shaped spray of filling had leaked from one of the "cream holes."
Unfortunately, efforts to remove the Twinkie for further analysis
were abandoned when, under light pressure, the Twinkie disintegrated
into an amorphous cloud of debris. A distinctly sour odor was noted.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS: The Twinkie's survival of a 120-foot drop,
along with some of the unusual phenomena associated with the "creamy
filling" and artificial coloring, should give pause to those observers
who would unequivocally categorize the Twinkie as "food." Further
clinical inquiry is required before any definite conclusions can
IS THERE A SANTA CLAUS?
As a result of an overwhelming lack of requests, and with research
help from that renown scientific journal SPY magazine (January,
1990) - I am pleased to present the annual scientific inquiry into
1) No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000
species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most
of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out
flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.
2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world.
BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish
and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total
- 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average
(census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million
homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.
3) Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the
different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he
travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6
visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household
with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop
out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute
the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have
been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and
move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million
stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course,
we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we
will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household,
a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what
most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and
etc. This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second,
3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the
fastest man- made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves
at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run,
tops, 15 miles per hour.
4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element.
Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego
set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting
Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional
reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying
reindeer" (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal ammount,
we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer.
This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the
sleigh - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times
the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.
5) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous
air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion
as spacecrafts re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair
of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second.
Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously,
exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms
in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within
4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected
to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound
Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back
of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.
In conclusion - If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas
Eve, he's dead now.
A retiring Physical Chemistry
professor was setting his last exam, for a graduate course in statistical
thermodynamics. Being a bit bored with it all, and with a well kept
and wry sense of humor, he set a single question on the sheet:
Is Hell endothermic or exothermic? Support your answer with a
He had little idea what to expect, or how to grade the results,
but decided to reward any student who was able to come up with a
reasonable and consistent reply to his query. One A was awarded.
Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's
Law or some variant. The top student, however, wrote the following:
"First, we postulate that if souls exist, then they must have some
mass. If they do, then a mole of souls can also have a mass. So,
at what rate are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls
leaving? I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets
to hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.
As for souls entering hell, lets look at the different religions
that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that
if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to hell.
Since there are more than one of these religions and people do not
belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people
and all souls go to hell. With birth and death rates as they are,
we can expect the number of souls in hell to increase exponentially.
Now, we look at the rate of change in volume in hell. Boyle's Law
states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to
stay the same, the ratio of the mass of souls and volume needs to
stay constant. There are two possible conditions.
One, if hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which
souls enter hell, then the temperature and pressure in hell will
increase exponentially until all hell breaks loose.
Conversely, if hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase
of souls in hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until
hell freezes over, condition two.
We can solve this with the 1990 postulation of Theresa LeClair,
the girl who lived across the hall from me in first year residence.
Since I have still not been successful in obtaining sexual relations
with her, condition two above has not been met, and thus it can
be concluded that condition one is true, and hell is exothermic."
Laws of Nature
Finagles' Laws First Law -- If anything can go wrong with the
experiment, it will.
Second Law -- No matter what result is anticipated, there is always
someone who is willing to fake it.
Third Law -- No matter what occurs, there is always someone who
believes it happened according to his pet theory.
Finagles' Creed -- Science is true. Don't be misled by facts.
Patrick's Theorems: If the experiment works you must be using the
Skinner's Constant: That quantity which, when added to, subtracted
from, divided by, or multiplied into the answer you got, gives the
Allen's Axiom: When all else fails, read the instructions.
Gumberson's Law: The probability of a given event occuring is inversely
proportional to its desirability.
Compensation Corollary: An experiment may be considered successful
if no more than half of the data must be discarded to obtain agreement
with your theory.
Carlson's Consolation: No experiment is a complete failure; it
can always be used as a bad example.
The story behind the letter below is
that there is this nutball in Newport,RI named Scott Williams who
digs things out of his backyard and sends the stuff he finds to
the Smithsonian Institute, labelling them with scientific names,
insisting that they are actual archaeological finds. This guy really
exists (ergo you got to love him) and does this in his spare time!
Anyway...here's the actual response from the Smithsonian Institution.
Bear this in mind next time you think you are challenged in your
duty to respond to a difficult situation in writing.
Smithsonian Institute, 207 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC
Dear Mr. Williams:
Thank you for your latest submission to the Institute, labelled
"93211-D, layer seven, next to the clothesline post... Hominid skull."
We have given this specimen a careful and detailed examination,
and regret to inform you that we disagree with your theory that
it represents conclusive proof of the presence of Early Man in Charleston
County two million years ago. Rather, it appears that what you have
found is the head of a Barbie doll, of the variety that one of our
staff, who has small children, believes to be "Malibu Barbie." It
is evident that you have given a great deal of thought to the analysis
of this specimen, and you may be quite certain that those of us
who are familiar with your prior work in the field were loathe to
come to contradiction with your findings. However, we do feel that
there are a number of physical attributes of the specimen which
might have tipped you off to its modern origin:
1. The material is moulded plastic. Ancient hominid remains are
typically fossilized bone.
2. The cranial capacity of the specimen is approximately 9 cubic
centimetres, well below the threshold of even the earliest identified
3. The dentition pattern evident on the skull is more consistent
with the common domesticated dog than it is with the ravenous man-eating
Pliocene clams you speculate roamed the wetlands during that time.
This latter finding is certainly one of the most intriguing hypotheses
you have submitted in your history with this institution, but the
evidence seems to weigh rather heavily against it. Without going
into too much detail, let us say that:
A. The specimen looks like the head of a Barbie doll that a dog
has chewed on.
B. Clams don't have teeth.
It is with feelings tinged with melancholy that we must deny your
request to have the specimen carbon-dated. This is partially due
to the heavy load our lab must bear in its normal operation, and
partly due to carbon-dating's notorious inaccuracy in fossils of
recent geologic record. To the best of our knowledge, no Barbie
dolls were produced prior to 1956 AD, and carbon-dating is likely
to produce wildly inaccurate results.
Sadly, we must also deny your request that we approach the National
Science Foundation Phylogeny Department with the concept of assigning
your specimen the scientific name Australopithecus spiff-arino.
Speaking personally, I,for one, fought tenaciously for the acceptance
of your proposed taxonomy, but was ultimately voted down because
the species name you selected was hyphenated, and didn't really
sound like it might be Latin.
However, we gladly accept your generous donation of this fascinating
specimen to the museum. While it is undoubtedly not a Hominid fossil,
it is, nonetheless, yet another riveting example of the great body
of work you seem to accumulate here so effortlessly. You should
know that our Director has reserved a special shelf in his own office
for the display of the specimens you have previously submitted to
the Institution, and the entire staff speculates daily on what you
will happen upon next in your digs at the site you have discovered
in your Newport back yard.
We eagerly anticipate your trip to our nation's capital that you
proposed in your last letter, and several of us are pressing the
Director to pay for it. We are particularly interested in hearing
you expand on your theories surrounding the trans-positating fillifitation
of ferrous metal in a structural matrix that makes the excellent
juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex femur you recently discovered take on
the deceptive appearance of a rusty 9-mm Sears Craftsman automotive
Yours in Science, Harvey Rowe, Chief Curator-Antiquities
College finals from Hell
Instructions: Read each question carefully. Answer all questions.
Time Limit: 4 hours.
HISTORY Describe the history of the papacy from its origins to
the present day, concentrating especially, but not exclusively,
on its social, political, economic, religious, and philosophical
impact on Europe, Asia, America, and Africa. Be brief, concise,
LITERATURE Compose an epic poem based on the events of your own
life in which you see and footnote allusions from T.S. Eliot, Keats,
Chaucer, Dante, Norse mythology and the Marx Brothers. Critique
your poem with a full discussion of its metrics.
MEDICINE You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of
gauze, and a bottle of Scotch. Remove your appendix. Do not suture
until your work has been inspected. You have 15 minutes.
PUBLIC SPEAKING Twenty-five hundred riot-crazed aborigines are
storming the classroom. Calm them. You may use any ancient language
except Latin or Greek.
BIOLOGY Create life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human
culture if this form of life had developed 500 million years earlier,
with special attention to its probable effect on the English parliamentary
system. Prove your thesis.
MUSIC Write a piano concerto. Orchestrate and perform it with flute
and drum. You will find a piano under your seat.
PSYCHOLOGY Based on your degree of knowledge of their works, evaluate
the emotional stability, degree of adjustment, and repressed frustrations
of each of the following: Alexander of Aphrodisias, Rameses II,
Gregory of Nicea, Hammurabi. Support your evaluations with quotations
from each man's work, making appropriate references. It is not necessary
SOCIOLOGY Estimate the sociological problems which might accompany
the end of the world. Construct an experiment to test your theory.
ENGINEERING The disassembled parts of a high-powered rifle have
been placed in a box on your desk. You will also find an instruction
manual, printed in Swahili. In ten minutes a hungry Bengal tiger
will be admitted to the room. Take whatever action you feel is appropriate.
Be prepared to justify your decision.
ECONOMICS Develop a realistic plan for refinancing the national
debt. Trace the possible effects of your plan in the following areas:
Cubism, the Donatist controversy, the wave theory of light. Outline
a method for preventing these effects. Criticize this method from
all possible points of view. Point out the deficiencies in your
point of view, as demonstrated in your answer to the last question.
POLITICAL SCIENCE There is a red telephone on the desk beside you.
Start World War III. Report at length on its socio-political effects,
EPISTEMOLOGY Take a position for or against truth. Prove the validity
of your position.
PHYSICS Explain the nature of matter. Include in your answer an
evaluation of the impact of the development of mathematics on science.
PHILOSOPHY Sketch the development of human thought; estimate its
significance. Compare with the development of any other kind of
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE Describe in detail. Be objective and specific.
*** EXTRA CREDIT *** Define the universe; give three examples.
Why God Did not Receive Tenure
-He had only one publication.
-And it was in hebrew.
-And it had no references.
-And it wasn't published in a refereed journal.
-And some even doubt if he wrote it himself.
-It may be true that he created the world, but what has he done/published
-His cooperative efforts have been quite limited.
-The scientific community has had a very rough time trying to repeat
-He never applied to the Ethics Board for permission to use human
-He expelled his first two students for learning.
-Although there were only ten requirements, most students failed
-His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountaintop.
-It's rumored that he drowned nearly the entire sample group to
cover up a failed experiment.
A Prayer for the Stressed
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I cannot accept,
And the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people
I had to kill today because they pissed me off.
And also, help me to be careful of the toes I step on today as
They may be connected to the ass that I may have to kiss tomorrow.
Help me to always give 100% at work.
12% on Monday, 23% on Tuesday, 40% on Wednesday, 20% on Thursday,
and 5% on Friday.
And help me to remember that...
When I'm having a really bad day,
And it seems that people are trying to piss me off,
That it takes 42 muscles to frown,
And only 4 to extend my middle finger and tell them to bite me.
If I ever become an Evil Overlord:
1. My legions of terror will have helmets with clear plexiglass
visors, not face-concealing ones.
2. My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.
3. My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed,
not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.
4. Shooting is _not_ too good for my enemies.
5. The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept
on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the
Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box.
6. I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament before killing
7. When the rebel leader challenges me to fight one-on-one and
asks, "Or are you afraid without your armies to back you up?" My
reply will be, "No, just sensible."
8. When I've captured my adversary and he says, "Look, before you
kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?" I'll
shoot him, and then say "No".
9. After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married immediately
in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in three weeks
time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.
10. I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely
necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be' a large red button
labelled "Danger: Do Not Push".
11. I will not order my trusted lieutenant to kill the infant who
is destined to overthrow me-I'll do it myself.
12. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum-a small
hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.
13. I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel
no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving
my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.
14. I will not waste time making my enemy's death look like an
accident: I'm not accountable to anyone and my other enemies wouldn't
15. I will make it clear that I _do_ know the meaning of the word
"mercy"; I simply choose not show them any.
16. One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child.
Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before
17. All slain enemies will be cremated, not left for dead at the
bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as
any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the aforementioned
18. My undercover agents will not have tattoos identifying them
as members of my organization, nor will they be required to wear
military boots or adhere to any other dress codes.
19. The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette,
or any other form of last request.
20. I will never employ any device with a digital countdown. If
I find that such a device is absolutely unavoidable, I will set
it to activate when the counter reaches 117 and the hero is just
putting his plan into operation.
21. I will design all doomsday machines myself. If I must hire
a mad scientist to assist me, I will make sure that he is sufficiently
twisted to never regret his evil ways and seek to undo the damage
22. I will never utter the sentence "But before I kill you, there's
just one thing I want to know." - ''
23. When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen
to their advice.
The Best and Worst Course Evaluations of
1. "This class was a religious experience for me...I had to take
it all on faith."
2. "Text makes a satisfying 'thud' when dropped on the floor."
3. "The class is worthwhile because I need it for the degree."
4. "His blackboard technique puts Rembrandt to shame."
5. "Textbook is confusing...Someone with a knowledge of English
should proofread it."
6. "Have you ever fallen asleep in class and awoke in another?
That's the way I felt all term."
7. "In class I learn that I can fudge answers and get away with
8. "Keep lecturer or tenure board will be shot."
9. "The recitation instructor would make a good parking lot attendant.
Tries to tell you where to go, but you can never understand him."
10. "Text is almost useless. I use it to kill roaches in my room."
11. "In class the syllabus is more important than you are."
12. "I am convinced that you can learn by osmosis by just sitting
in his class."
13. "Help! I've fallen asleep and I can't wake up!"
14. "Problem sets are a decoy to lure you away from potential exam
15. "Recitation was great. It was so confusing that I forgot who
I was, where I was, and what I was doing - It's a great stress reliever."
16. "He is one of the best teachers I have had...He is well-organized,
presents good lectures, and creates interest in the subject. I hope
my comments don't hurt his chances of getting tenure."
17. "I would sit in class and stare out the window at the squirrels.
They've got a cool nest in the tree."
18. "He teaches like Speedy Gonzalez on a caffeine high."
19. "This course kept me out of trouble from 2-4:30 on Tuesdays
20. "Most of us spent the 1st 3 weeks terrified of the class. Then
solidarity kicked in."
21. "Bogus number crunching. My HP is exhausted."
22. "The absolute value of the TA was less than epsilon."
23. "TA steadily improved throughout the course...I think he started
drinking and it really loosened him up."
24. "Information was presented like a ruptured fire hose--spraying
in all directions--no way to stop it."
25. "I never bought the text. My $60 was better spent on the Led
Zeppelin tapes that I used more while doing the problem sets than
I would have used the text."
26. "What's the quality of the text? 'Text is printed on high quality
You just might be a graduate student if...
...you can analyze the significance of appliances you cannot operate.
...your carrel is better decorated than your apartment.
...you have ever, as a folklore project, attempted to track the
progress of your own joke across the Internet.
...you are startled to meet people who neither need nor want to
...you have ever brought a scholarly article to a bar.
...you rate coffee shops by the availability of outlets for your
...everything reminds you of something in your discipline.
...you have ever discussed academic matters at a sporting event.
...you have ever spent more than $50 on photocopying while researching
a single paper.
...there is a microfilm reader in the library that you consider
...you actually have a preference between microfilm and microfiche.
...you can tell the time of day by looking at the traffic flow
at the library.
...you look forward to summers because you're more productive without
the distraction of classes.
...you regard ibuprofen as a vitamin.
...you consider all papers to be works in progress.
...professors don't really care when you turn in work anymore.
...you find the bibliographies of books more interesting than the
...you have given up trying to keep your books organized and are
now just trying to keep them all in the same general area.
...you have accepted guilt as an inherent feature of relaxation.
...you reflexively start analyzing those greek letters before you
realize that it's a sorority sweatshirt, not an equation.
...you find yourself explaining to children that you are in "20th
...you start refering to stories like "Snow White et al."
...you frequently wonder how long you can live on pasta without
...you look forward to taking some time off to do laundry
...you have more photocopy cards than credit cards
...you wonder if APA style allows you to cite talking to yourself
as "personal communication"
20 Reasons Why Vomit is Better Than Dorm
1. After you vomit, you feel better.
2. You can vomit whenever you want.
3. When you vomit, you don't have to wait in line.
4. Vomit is always warm.
5. You don't have to sneak vomit out of the cafeteria.
6. When you're vomiting, a bent spoon is an advantage.
7. You can lose weight vomiting.
8. You don't have to pay to vomit.
9. Vomit is SUPPOSED to look like that.
10. When you vomit, you don't have to come back for seconds.
11. You don't have to vomit everyday.
12. Vomiting can never cause you to eat dorm food afterward.
13. You can vomit without a photo ID.
14. Vomit is organic and biodegradable.
15. They don't ration vomit.
16. After you vomit, at least you know what you've eaten.
17. Plastic vomit is funny; plastic dorm food is redundant.
18. You don't have to vomit the same thing five days in a row.
19. A dog will eat vomit.
20. After you vomit, at least there's some taste in your mouth.
Prison and work life
IN PRISON you spend the majority of your time in an 8x10 cell.
AT WORK you spend most of your time in a 6x8 cubicle.
IN PRISON you get three meals a day.
AT WORK you only get a break for 1 meal and you have to pay for
IN PRISON you get time off for good behavior.
AT WORK you get rewarded for good behavior with more work.
IN PRISON a guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you.
AT WORK you must carry around a security card and unlock and open
all the doors yourself.
IN PRISON you can watch TV and play games.
AT WORK you get fired for watching TV and playing games.
IN PRISON you get your own toilet.
AT WORK you have to share.
IN PRISON they allow your family and friends to visit.
AT WORK you cannot even speak to your family and friends.
IN PRISON all expenses are paid by taxpayers with no work required.
AT WORK you get to pay all the expenses to go to work and then
they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners.
IN PRISON you spend most of your life looking through bars from
the inside wanting to get out.
AT WORK you spend most of your time wanting to get out and inside
IN PRISON there are wardens who are often sadistic.
AT WORK they are called managers.
From "Is This Where I Was Going?" by Natasha Josefowitz.
Screwin With the IRS
During my short employment tour with the IRS in the mail room,
I've found serveral harmless ways to screw with them and receive
Always put staples in the right hand corner. Go ahead and put a
bunch down the whole right side. The extractors who remove the mail
from the envelopes have to take out any staples in the right side.
Never arrange paperwork in the right order, or even facing the
right way. Put a few upside down and backwards. That way they have
to remove all your staples, rearrange your paperwork, and restaple
it (on the left side).
Line the bottom of your envelope with elmer's glue and let it dry
before you put in you forms, so that the automated opener doesn't
open it and the extractor has to open it by hand.
If you're very unfortunate and have to pay taxes, use a two or
three party check.
On top of paying with a three party check pay one of the dollars
you owe in cash. When an extractor recieves cash, no matter how
small an amount, he has to take it to a special desk and fill out
a few nasty forms.
Write a little letter of appreciation. Any letter received has
to be read and stamped regardless of what it is or what it is written
Write your letter on something unshapely and unconventional. Like
on the back of a Kroger sack.
When you mail it, mail it in a big envelope (even if its just a
single EZ form). Big envelopes have to be torn and sorted differntly
than regular business size ones. An added bonus to the big envelope
is that they take priority over other mail, so the workers can hurry
up and deal with your mess.
If you send 2 checks they'll have to staple your unsightly envelope
to your half destroyed form.
Always put extra paperclips on your forms. Any foreign fasteners
or the like have to be removed and put away.
Sign your name in ink on every page. Any signature has to verified
and then date stamped.
These are just a few of the fun and exciting things you can do
with the man. These methods are only recommended when you owe money.
Turmoil rocked Heaven this morning as allegations arose that God
had had an affair with a former worshipper. The scandal was begun
when a 21 year old woman, known only as Mary, claimed that she had
given birth to God's "only son" last week in a barn in the hamlet
of Bethlehem. Sources close to Mary claim that she "had loved God
for a long time, was constantly talking about her relationship with
God, and that she was "thrilled to have had his child."
In a press conference this morning, God issued a vehement denial,
saying that "No sexual relationship existed", and that "the facts
of this story will come out in time, verily".
Independent counsel Kenneth Bealzebub immediately filed a brief
with the Justice department to expand his investigation to cover
questions of whether any commandments may have been broken, and
whether God had illegally funneled laundered money to his illegitimate
child through three foreign operatives known only as the "Wise Men".
Bealzebub has issued subpoenas to several angels who are rumored
to have acted as go-betweens in the affair. Critics have pointed
out that these allegations have little to do with the charges that
Bealzebub was originally appointed to investigate: that God had
created large-scale flooding in order to cover up evidence of a
failed land deal. In recent months, Bealzebub's investigation has
already been expanded to cover questions surrounding the large number
of locusts that plagued God's political opponents in the last election,
as well as to claims that the destruction of the cities of Sodom
and Gomorrah was to divert attention away from a scandal involving
whether the giveaway of a parcel of public land in Promised Country
to a Jewish special interest group was a quid pro quo for political
If these allegations prove to be true, then this could be a huge
blow to God's career, much of which has been spent crusading for
stricter moral standards and harsher punishments for wrongdoers.
Indeed, God recently outlined a "tough-on-crime" plan consisting
of a series of 10 "Commandments", which has been introduced in Congress
in a bill by Rep. Moses(R). Critics of the bill have pointed out
that it lacks any provisions for the rehabilitation of criminals,
and lawyers for the ACLU are planning to fight the "Name in Vain"
Commandment as being an unconstitutional restriction on free speech.
Upon organizing my E-mail, I stumbled upon
this amusing and terrifying account of technocracy in action. The
following is an excerpt from Dr. Nordenhaug's NEH lecture, "The
Complete Idiot's Millennial Guide to Liberal Education (and Some
Some years ago at a large and famous university, agricultural engineers
developed a machine to harvest tomatoes more efficiently. But their
new invention turned out to have a problem. Not only did it pick
tomatoes at the rate of three acres an hour, it also squashed them
to a pulp at the rate of three acres an hour. Now you might think
that the tomato-picker would be written off as a failure, and the
engineers would have to go back to the drawing board. But economic
efficiency dictated that it was much easier to redesign the tomato
than to scrap years of research and government support that had
been invested in building the machine. So the engineers set out
to remake the disgustingly inefficient tomato which could not adapt
to the demands of contemporary life. Eventually they bred a tomato
with a skin so tough that one could drop it on a concrete floor
from a height of five feet and it would not break open. Indeed,
it had twice the impact resistance pound for pound than the government's
safety standards for car bumpers require!
The new species was called the MH-1. Needless to say, the tomato
harvester could not squash the MH-I at the rate of three acres an
hour. It could not even dent it at the rate of three acres an hour.
So we progressed by solving the tomato problem. But it is the way
of solutions to beget new problems. For one thing, the MH-I would
not turn red on the vine. Even when it was fully ripe it had an
eerie greenish color. For another, it lacked essential vitamins
and food value. And for still another, it did not taste like a tomato,
nor, for that matter, like anything else ever grown in the rich
soil of the earth. But these minor problems were not to elude solution.
A machine was designed to turn the MH-I red, so that even if it
did not glisten red on the vine, it would glisten red in the supermarket.
Next came a machine to inject vitamins and nutrients into the new
improved tomato as it rolled down the conveyor to be packed. Finally,
the problem of taste is not much of a problem in an essentially
The packers, shippers, and retailers were delighted to have the
new toughskin tomato, because it vastly reduced losses in shipping.
That left only the customers. And they soon forgot about the old
antiquated tomatoes that glistened red on the vine, as they bought
the new improved model that glistened red in the supermarket. They
were helped to adjust to this progress perhaps by the fact that
there was soon no other kind of tomatoes to buy.
Nevertheless, the MH-I still has a tragic flaw. It resembles its
hapless ancestor in being round. Unfortunately for it, however,
the packages in which it is packed are rectangular. Round tomatoes
waste space in oblong packages. Now the lights burn late in the
agricultural lab in the quest for the square tomato. And so the
means ate the end, and God knows what we are eating in our salads.