An elderly woman died last month. Having never married, she requested no male pallbearers. In her handwritten instructions for her memorial service, she wrote, “They wouldn’t take me out while I was alive — I don’t want them to take me out when I’m dead.
Three boys are in the school yard bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, “My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper — he calls it a poem; they give him $50.”
The second boy says, “That’s nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper — he calls it a song; they give him $100.”
The third boy says, “I got you both beat. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper — he calls it a sermon, and it takes eight people to collect all the money!”
A little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, was running as fast as she could, trying not to be late for Bible class. As she ran she prayed, “Dear Lord, please don’t let me be late! Dear Lord, please don’t let me be late!” While she was running and praying, she tripped on a curb and fell — getting her clothes dirty and tearing her dress. She got up, brushed herself off, and started running again. As she ran she once again began to pray, “Dear Lord, please don’t let me be late . . . But please don’t shove me either!”
Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, “Why is the bride dressed in white?” “Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life.” The child thought about this for a moment, then said, “So why is the groom wearing black?”
Laws of Parenting
1. The later you stay up, the earlier your child will wake up the next morning.
2. For a child to become clean, something else must become dirty.
3. Toys multiply to fill any space available.
4. The longer it takes you to make a meal, the less your child will like it.
5. If the shoe fits…it’s expensive.
6. Backing the car out of the driveway causes your child to have to go to the bathroom.
My friend is always telling his wife that housekeeping would be a snap if only she would organize her time better. Recently he had a chance to put his theory into practice while his wife was away.
When I popped in one evening to see how he was managing, he crowed, “I made a cake, frosted it, washed the kitchen windows, cleaned all the cupboards, scrubbed the kitchen floor, walls and ceiling and even had a bath.”
I was about to concede that perhaps he was a better manager than his wife, when he added sheepishly,
“When I was making the chocolate frosting, I forgot to turn off the mixer before taking the beaters out of the bowl, so I had to do all the rest.”
When I was a mother’s helper, the mom of the family I worked for sat with her three oldest children and watched a PBS special showing the birth of a baby. The mom thought it would be a good starting point for answering questions about the facts of life.
As her five-year-old studied the baby coming out of the birth canal, he asked, “Mom, does that hurt?”
“Oh, yes, it does,” she said, remembering her difficult deliveries.
“Wow,” he continued in awe, “does it hurt the mother too?”
A minister told his congregation, “Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17.”
The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 17.
Every hand went up.
The minister smiled and said, “Mark has only 16 chapters.
I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying.”
1. Two blondes walk into a building………. you’d think at least one of them would have seen it.
2. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn’t find any.
3. I went to the butchers and I bet him $50 that he couldn’t reach the meat off the top shelf. He said: “No, the steaks are too high.”
4. My friend drowned in a bowl of muesli. A strong currant pulled him in.
5. I went to a seafood disco last week…… and pulled a muscle.
6. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly. They lit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving once and for all that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.
7. A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet. “My dog’s cross-eyed, is there anything you can do for him?” “Well,” says the vet, “let’s have a look at him”. So he picks the dog up and examines his eyes, then checks his teeth. Finally, he says: “I’m going to have to put him down.” “What? Because he’s cross-eyed?” “No, because he’s really heavy”.
8. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.
9. So I was getting into my car, and this bloke says to me “Can you give me a lift?”. I said “Sure, you look great, the world’s your oyster, go for it.”
10. Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid and the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other one off.
11. You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, ‘Parking Fine’. So that was nice.
12. A man walked into the doctors, he said, “I’ve hurt my arm in several places”. The doctor said, “Well don’t go there anymore”
13. Ireland’s worst air disaster occurred early this morning when a small two-seater Cessna plane crashed into a cemetery. Irish search and rescue workers have recovered 1826 bodies so far and expect that number to climb as digging continues into the night.
|Artery||The study of paintings.|
|Bacteria||Back door to cafeteria.|
|Barium||What doctors do when patients die.|
|Benign||What you be after you be eight.|
|Catscan||Searching for Kitty.|
|Cauterize||Made eye contact with her.|
|Cesarean Section||A neighborhood in Rome.|
|Colic||A sheep dog.|
|Coma||A punctuation mark.|
|D&C||Where Washington is.|
|Dilate||To live long.|
|Enema||Not a friend.|
|Fester||Quicker than someone else.|
|Fibula||A small lie.|
|G.I.Series||World Series of military baseball.|
|Hangnail||What you hang your coat on.|
|Impotent||Distinguished, well known.|
|Labor Pain||Getting hurt at work.|
|Medical Staff||A Doctor’s cane.|
|Morbid||A higher offer than I bid.|
|Nitrates||Cheaper than day rates.|
|Node||I knew it.|
|Outpatient||A person who has fainted.|
|Ovaries||You get to try again.|
|Pap Smear||A fatherhood test.|
|Pelvis||Second cousin to Elvis.|
|Post Operative||A letter carrier.|
|Recovery Room||Place to do upholstery.|
|Rectum||Pretty near killed him.|
|Tablet||A small table.|
|Terminal Illness||Getting sick at the airport.|
|Tumor||More than one.|
|Urine||Opposite of you’re out.|
|Varicose||Near by/close by.|
Richard Lederer, Anguished English (NY: Dell Publishing, 1987), 177 pages.
Those of you who are logolepts will be familiar with verbivore Richard Lederer. He has been contributing to the addiction of wordaholics for decades. His name is familiar to many after having written more that 30 books about language, served as host of the radio program A Way With Words for nearly a decade, written a syndicated column Looking At Language that appears in numerous magazines and newspapers, — and all while teaching English and Media at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire. In recent years, he has become known to millions more as the father of Howard and Annie.
I love Lederer’s books, and recently went to his book Anguished English to pull out “The World According to Student Bloopers” which I plan to use as an introduction to one of my lectures for a class I am teaching this Spring. I should have known that once I had the book in hand I would not be able to resist reading the whole thing once again (for about the bjillionth time).
Anguished English is appropriately subtitled, “An Anthology of Accidental Assaults Upon Our Language.” When Jacques Barzun has nightmares they must certainly be about the contents of this book. However, for those of us who aren’t quite as possessed obsessed passionate, this book is rolling-on-the-floor funny.
In addition to student bloopers, Lederer shares malapropisms, mixed metaphors, unusual translations, quips, mispellings, signs, and headlines that will have you pleading for mercy. But no mercy will be forthcoming, for like me, you will not be able to put this book down until you have finished it. And, even then you will not be able to escape it because you will find yourself reading portions to your family, congregation, students, and strangers that you meet on the street.
I recommend this book to EVERYBODY. Tolle Lege!
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Below are some excerpts from the Student Bloopers portion of the book to whet your appetite.
— Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.
— Having one wife is called monotony. When a man has more than one wife, he is a pigamist.
— Many an inmate in the house of correction (of composition) knows the one variously attributed to William Lyon Pehlps of Yale University, Tubby Rogers of M.I.T., and others, who allegedly found this sentence gleaming out of a student essay: “The girl tumbled down the stairs and lay prostitute at the bottom.” In the margin of the paper the professor commented: “My dear sir, you must learn to distinguish between a fallen woman and one who has merely slipped.”
— Heredity means that if your grandfather didn’t have any children, then your father probably wouldn’t have any, and neither would you, probably.
— Abstinence is a good thing if practiced in moderation.
— Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.
— The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West.
— To collect sulphur, hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube.
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Want more? You can read Lederer’s collection of non sequiturs culled from actual insurance forms at Wes Kenney’s blog.
Or, check out these spelling mistakes.
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Now, go buy the book. It is about the price of lunch but will give you a whole lot more enjoyment.
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