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Is There a Santa Claus?


Laws of Nature


College Finals from Hell

God and Tenure

Prayer for the Stressed

Evil Overlord advice

Course Evaluations

Grad Students

Vomit vs. Dorm Food

Prison vs. Work


Blasphemous Allegations

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 experiments:

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 intact.

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 freezer odors.

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 be drawn.


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 Santa Claus.

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 proof.

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 wrong equipment.

Skinner's Constant: That quantity which, when added to, subtracted from, divided by, or multiplied into the answer you got, gives the correct answer.

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!'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 20078

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 proto-homonids.

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 crescent wrench.

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, and specific.

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 to translate.

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, if any.

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 thought.

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 since then?

-His cooperative efforts have been quite limited.

-The scientific community has had a very rough time trying to repeat his results.

-He never applied to the Ethics Board for permission to use human subjects.

-He expelled his first two students for learning.

-Although there were only ten requirements, most students failed his tests.

-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 them.

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 believe it.

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 implementation.

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 disposal.

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 he's caused.

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 All Time

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 it."

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 material."

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 and Thursdays."

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 paper.'"

You just might be a graduate student if... can analyze the significance of appliances you cannot operate.

...your carrel is better decorated than your apartment. have ever, as a folklore project, attempted to track the progress of your own joke across the Internet. are startled to meet people who neither need nor want to read. have ever brought a scholarly article to a bar. rate coffee shops by the availability of outlets for your laptop.

...everything reminds you of something in your discipline. have ever discussed academic matters at a sporting event. have ever spent more than $50 on photocopying while researching a single paper.

...there is a microfilm reader in the library that you consider "yours." actually have a preference between microfilm and microfiche. can tell the time of day by looking at the traffic flow at the library. look forward to summers because you're more productive without the distraction of classes. regard ibuprofen as a vitamin. consider all papers to be works in progress.

...professors don't really care when you turn in work anymore. find the bibliographies of books more interesting than the actual text. have given up trying to keep your books organized and are now just trying to keep them all in the same general area. have accepted guilt as an inherent feature of relaxation. reflexively start analyzing those greek letters before you realize that it's a sorority sweatshirt, not an equation. find yourself explaining to children that you are in "20th grade". start refering to stories like "Snow White et al." frequently wonder how long you can live on pasta without getting scurvy look forward to taking some time off to do laundry have more photocopy cards than credit cards wonder if APA style allows you to cite talking to yourself as "personal communication"

20 Reasons Why Vomit is Better Than Dorm Food

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 it.

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 bars.

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 no recourse.

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 on.

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.

Blasphemous Allegations

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 contributions.

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 Other Things)."

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 tasteless society.

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.