Two Factory Workers and A Young Monk

Two factory workers are talking.

The woman says, “I can make the boss give me the day off.”

The man replies, “And how would you do that?”

The woman says, “Just wait and see.”

She then hangs upside-down from the ceiling.

The boss comes in and says, “What are you doing?”

The woman replies, “I’m a light bulb.”

The boss then says, “You’ve been working so much that you’ve gone crazy. I think you need to take the day off.”

The man starts to follow her and the boss says, “Where are you going?”

The man says, “I’m going home, too. I can’t work in the dark.”

 

A Young Monk Arrives at a Monastery

He is assigned to helping the other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church by hand. He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript.

So, the new monk goes to the head abbot to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up. In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.

The head monk says, “We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son.”

So, he goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscripts are held as archives in a locked vault that hasn’t been opened for hundreds of years.

Hours go by and nobody sees the old abbot.

So, the young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him. He sees him banging his head against the wall and wailing, “We missed the “R”, we missed the “R”. His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably.

The young monk asks the old abbot, “What’s wrong, father?”

The old abbot replies, “The word was CELEBRATE!”

 

A Traveler’s Complaint

A man is enjoying a holiday in Jamaica, but suddenly develops terrible constipation! He gets directions to a local clinic from the front desk, and makes a rush appointment to see the doctor: “I’ve got this terrible constipation; could you administer an enema for me?”

“Hoho! We don’t use enemas here!” the doc’ says with a big smile, and steps over to potted palm. “Just chew an inch of this” – and he snaps off a leaf – “every hour and check with me tomorrow.”

Dubious, the traveler takes the little strip of leaf and heads back to the hotel.

The next morning he bursts into the doctor’s in absolute glee! “It worked!” he says, “with fronds like these, you don’t need enemas!”

Snowy and Rainy Days and Full Freezers

I wanted pizza.  Instead, some people get more than a foot of snow.

When that big front comes into the Northeastern US, it trails a long tail.  The classic shape of it on Radar is a comma.  It starts as a storm in the middle of the country, then works its way across basically driving I-10 to the ocean.  Then it gains strength as it hits the warmer waters of the Atlantic and comes up North to visit you people.

But as it’s doing that, that front works its way down to visit me.

It was a wet weekend.  Oh sure, an inch of rain plus can be dealt with in South Florida, we are used to it.  The grounds are basically a Swiss Cheese of Limestone from “The I-4 Line” of Daytona to Orlando to Tampa.  In reality North of that as well, but everyone down here talks about the bad weather being up above the I-Four-Line and ignores it until it gets closer.

That Swiss Cheese flavored Limestone soaks up all the ground water and eventually it’s a memory.  But it did keep us indoors.

After all, it’s January, the pool has cooled down to 59, and it isn’t a good beach day.  It also got a good 20 degrees colder than the high the day before and the house isn’t designed for a high below 70.  We get miserable when it is colder than 70, and if it is raining, you’ll be giving me some fine cheese to go with that fine Port Wine.

So what do you do.

I know!  Lets cook!  In other words, I filled the freezer.  To the point where next week’s plans are shot.  Can’t even make a pizza here because there is so much food stuffed in every nook and cranny.

I remember when the older generation had these fridges with a suitcase sized freezer and they were always crammed.   We’ve got a side by side fridge and I’m complaining that I want a chest freezer.  I’d just fill that too.

But it started with Saturday raining and our deciding that it was a perfect time to make a Roast Chicken.  I will say it turned out great, but that also meant a run to the stores.  Why?

 

Soup Kit.

Prepacked and wrapped in plastic, this had all the vegetables for you to make a proper Chicken Soup.  I’d suspect that with a few more ingredients you could make a proper Vegetable Soup, or stew.  Turnips, Rutabaga, Carrots, Dill Weed, Onion.  Something that looked like a carrot but white.  It all went into the “Lobster Pot”.  By the time we were done, there was two gallons plus of Stock bubbling happily on the stove.

Two gallons.  That would be about 8 litres of soup stock.

The chicken roasting in the oven, we would have a good meal.  Stuffing was made and put in the little bird, and a baking dish, and this all wasn’t going to get dealt with until dinner.  Lunch had to be made.

All of that eventually hit the table, and the extra chicken got pulled from the bone.  Bones into the stock pot to boil another two hours.  Made up a wonderful stew with the addition of another half pound of carrots and two potatoes.

The next morning getting up I realized I needed to make English Muffins.  I got out all the gear, made up some beer bread batter from 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, a bottle of room temp Presidente beer, and a tablespoon of sugar.

When that finished I realized I had to stop.  There was just enough room for the extra English Muffins to fit in the door.

But … wait, there’s more!  Or rather, there can’t be more.  I can’t make the Cream Biscuits I wanted to have with some sausage gravy because there simply is no more room in the freezer.  Every square inch was crammed with covered dishes, cooling, and waiting to be eaten.  The Gallon Jug that I keep in there to freeze in case of emergencies had to come out.  The blue blocks of ice were out.  Still no more room.

Damn, no biscuits and gravy, I’ll have to have cereal.
How about Pizza again?   Nope?   No room for the extra rolls.  I’m toast.

Oh and it’s Sunday and cold.  We’re baking again.  You see, it’s Fruitcake season.  None of that rubbish that you get from the shops.  Claxton fruitcake?  No, that’s too cloyingly sweet.  Ours is home made from a Welsh recipe from the 1800s.   Each cake is a heavy block that is soaked in Spiced Rum to allow it to absorb the flavor, and is usually best after sitting in the freezer for 1 to 3 months.  We eat fruitcake in the summer because the candied fruits we need to make it are only available from Halloween to mid January – if you are lucky.

So we got enough for 8 fruitcakes.  Each cake being the size and weight of a Belgian Block from a street in an older city, and you know we are going to have a lot of baking to do.

“Hey, our plans got changed, no fruitcake next week!”

There won’t be enough room in the freezer for us to make more since there are the better part of two gallons of soup in there.

Still no pizza.  Did I tell you I make the second best pizza on the island, in my own little kitchen?  It’s just that that makes 3 large hoagie rolls as well.  You guessed it, no room in the freezer.

So while you are still digging out from your 12 to 36 inches of snow in the Northeastern US, I’m digging my freezer out of homemade food.  If you stop by, I may even give you a slice of fruitcake.

Don’t laugh, this stuff is good!  If they sold this in the stores, people wouldn’t turn their noses up at it.

But it is, still, fruitcake.

A Cowboy Comes Riding Into Town

…. He pulls into the saloon says to the bartender “pour me a mans drink.”

So the bartender pours him some tequilas the Cowboy pours it on the floor and says “I told you I wanted a mans drink.”

So the bartender pours him some whiskey the cowboy pours it out and says ” I’m getting angry now damn it I want a mans drink.”

The bartender says “ok” he goes in the back mixes whiskey tequila pours gunpowder in it then drops in a bullet he comes back out the cowboy finally drinks it and leaves.

One week later the cowboy returns and says ” give me the same thing as last week but leave out the bullet cause I farted and killed my horse.”

Practical Alternatives to Plastic Surgery

This lady hits 60 and starts to feel a bit down as all her bodily parts are starting to sag a bit. She goes to see a plastic surgeon and asks if she can have a bit of a lift and tuck, not too much, just take 5-10 optical years off her body.

The surgeon explains that it’s really minor surgery she is asking for and she should rather explore some practical alternatives to surgery and avoid the possible risks and side effects that go along with it. He suggests she take a prune pip and fold it into the back of her scalp so as to collectively gather the skin around her body. That way, he explains each day she feels low, she can just turn it a bit and lift everything around her body, evenly. She can hide the ever increasing knot of skin under a bun or hairpiece, too.

She goes with this…

Three months later, this lady returns to the surgeons office, angry as a bag of snakes.

“I don’t know what you set me up for,” she says loudly, ” look at the size of these bags under my eyes!”

“My dear,” says the surgeon “you’ve overdone it, those aren’t bags under your eyes. They’re your breasts!”

“Well,” she quips, ” that explains my goatee.”

Cooler Weather, Exploding Breakfasts. Yeah, that’s my life.

I guess it started the day before the front came through.

We went shopping and I picked up some capicola.  If you have no idea what that is, or have never seen it, it’s also called Spiced Ham.  I remember stopping off at a small town supermarket once looking for some cold cuts to make a sandwich and saw it called that.

I like the stuff on a Hoagie.  A proper Italian Hoagie.  Capicola, Prosciutto, Sopressatta, Sharp Provolone, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, all on a proper Italian Roll.

Maybe a little oregano and basil on top.

Now you know what I’m thinking for for lunch.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.com

But I think the capicola was a little “off”.  I had an upset stomach that evening and gave it little thought.

The next morning I remembered that though and decided to use the stuff one last time.  I microwaved the daylights out of it and turned it into a basically spicy bacon like substance.

Bacon.  I don’t get it.  Why eat a slab of fat when you can have a proper piece of ham that has been seasoned to perfection, then cooked up … oh never mind, go eat your nitrites!

I put the Capicola on a Flour Tortilla.  Add a quarter ounce of cheese.  I had leftover cheese from the weekend’s cooking.

All was well, this concoction with one egg is a rather nice sandwich that clocks in around 200 calories each.

See I forgot to mention something.  Winter.  Oh sure, you folks Up North are used to storms where the temperatures drop to ranges where soap bubbles freeze solid when they hit the air, then shatter on the ground.

Go ahead, try it, I’ll wait.

Fun wasn’t it?  Great trick to amuse the kids with.  Just make sure the temperatures are well below freezing or else the bubble will shrivel up into a raisin which has its own charm.

If it gets to “raisin” temperatures here, South Florida is in shock.

 

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

 

 

It didn’t get quite that cold, but it was 49F/9C.  Enough of a change so that we’re complaining and cranky.   We’re also hiding inside the houses and using electricity to heat them.  The heating unit for the house is never quite enough because we only use it for a week or three and then it’s forgotten like the comforters we have hiding in the back of the closet.  They all get washed in November or December for the year, and put away before March hits.

Coming back into the house, I noticed that it was colder than normal.  Trying not to convert too many old dead dinosaurs into Carbon Dioxide, we keep the place warm in the summer, cool in the winter by our standards.  I keep turning it cooler, and someone else magically turns it back up when they get home.  That particular morning, it was sitting at 69F.  20C plus a wee bit.

Laughable in Europe to keep a place “That Warm” but this is Florida.

What I missed was that it changed my recipes.  I made some bread later that day and had to give it extra time to rise.  The yeast was shocked by what we call “cold” here, even in the “warmest” room in the house.

But breakfast was looming, I still needed to add an egg to that Tortilla, Capicola, and Cheese.

We’ve got a lot of glassware here.   When I moved in to the house, I noticed a lot of it laying in the shrubs here.  Apparently they liked to have parties, and didn’t care that the drink glasses were disappearing.  Nice sturdy glassware, it went into the dishwasher and was a bonus.  You may find old lights or books tucked in nooks in your attic or a discarded doll under the shrubs, with me it was glasses.

Picture from Wikipedia.com

Oh and a rather nice “resin” white rabbit.  I’m still trying to get that back to white, having been discolored by the ground water in our irrigation system to a rusty tan.

I grabbed a drink glass.  A perfect size for a gin and tonic, I knew that two eggs cracked in the glass would cook perfectly in the microwave.  40 seconds at first, wait, then 30 seconds.

Nope.  The glass was too cold when I put the eggs in it.  The second time in the microwave I looked down at what looked like a yellow eye covered in tears – it wasn’t completely cooked yet.

Fine.  Back in the microwave.  Ten seconds.

I turned my back and BANG!

The glass had been lifted off its place on the glass plate on the turntable and slammed back down onto it, knocking it off its moorings.

*BEEP!* *BEEP!* *BEEP!* it sounded as I opened the door.

You folks Up North have snow, I had something that looked like it.  Two eggs had exploded in the glass and shot egg white all over the inside of the microwave to a depth of about “A Coating To An Inch” as the weathermen say.

DAMNIT! I sweared.

Breakfast would be late I said as I looked between the egg and the microwave and my Tortillas.

I mopped up the mess and gave the portion that was leftover to my dog, Rack, who came in to see what the excitement was.

Now mind you, you would think I’d know better, right?

Nope.

You know the saying “Don’t go back to the well when you know it’s dry!”?

I went back to the well.

I cracked two more eggs into the cup, put them inside the newly clean and shiny microwave.

40 seconds.  Safe!  Great!  Lets try that again…  as I shook the glass and replacing it for the final 30 seconds.

I reached the door handle when the timer changed from two to one.  Opening that door I sighed a relief…

All too soon.  Built up pressure had to go somewhere.

I watched a beautiful sight.  A Yellow Fountain of Egg Yolk lifted out of the glass, still semi-liquid and perked like something out of a hot spring.  It reached just shy of the top of the microwave.  Just missed going back into the cup completely and a tablespoon of yolk landed right next to it.

“I guess the microwave is slightly tilted toward the back.”  I said as I reached in to the machine.

I did finally have my breakfast, but that’s it for eggs for a while.  I’ll switch to cereal.  Pollo Pyrotechnics in the morning may be tasty but I truly would prefer to have my eggs on the plate, not on the roof of the microwave.

Does anyone have a scraper?

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

The Gunfighters

A Cowboy sitting in a saloon one Saturday night recognized an elderly man standing at the bar who in his day had the reputation of being the fastest gun in the West. The young cowboy took a place next to the old timer, bought him a drink and told him the story of his great ambition. “Do you think you could give me some tips?” he asked.

The old man looked him up and down and said, “Well, for one thing, you’re wearing your gun too high. Tie the holster a little lower down on your leg.” “Will that make me a better gunfighter?” asked the young man.

“Sure will,” replied the old timer. The young man did as he was told, stood up, whipped out his .44 and shot the bow tie off the piano player. “That’s terrific!” said the hot shot. “Got any more tips for me?” “Yep,” said the old man. “Cut a notch out of your holster where the hammer hits it. That’ll give you a smoother draw.” “Will that make me a better gunfighter?” asked the younger man.

“You bet it will,” said the old timer.

The young man took out his knife, cut the notch, stood up, drew his gun in a blur, and then shot a cufflink off the piano player. “Wow!” exclaimed the cowboy. “I’m learnin’ somethin’ here. Got any more tips?” The old man pointed to a large can in a corner of the saloon. “See that axle grease over there? Coat your gun with it.” The young man went over to the can and smeared some of the grease on the barrel of his gun.

“No,” said the old timer, “I mean, smear it all over the gun, handle and all.” “Will that make me a better gunfighter?” asked the young man.

“No,” said the old timer, “but when Wyatt Earp gets done playing the piano, he’s gonna shove that gun up your butt and it won’t hurt as much.”

Golfing with the Boss

A guy goes for a round of golf with his boss but the day is a bit stressed as there is constantly two women playing ahead and taking their sweet time on the fairways and greens.

After a few holes of this nonsense, the boss asks the guy to go ask the ladies to step aside so they can play through.

The employee walks down the fairway and about halfway there, he turns abruptly and comes back.

“Are they gonna move or what?” asks his boss.

“I couldn’t ask,” explains the employee, “one of those women is my wife and the other is my mistress!”

“Damn it! I’ll go sort this out,” says the boss and he heads down the fairway, but halfway there, he too turns back.

When he gets back he looks the employee in the eye and says: “It’s a small world.”

Roxanne and the Fire Station Re-dedication

Really, there are some very nice things about living in a small town.  Even if that small town is wrapped by a rather large monster called Fort Lauderdale, our little enclave of 12,800 or so good people and a few stinkers can be a nice place to be.

When I moved here, I was looking forward to being in a place you could wrap your mind around.  Not Too Big And Not Too Small.  Having lived in Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, happily, I started to see that sort of community, but it was diluted by being in the city limits of Philly.

I now know that if I leave the house, I have to double the time that some of you folks out in the Suburbs would take to walk to the corner – if you ever left your car behind.

South Florida is famous for being a place that a car is required.  You have to drive everywhere, and since they’re trying to convince people to take the buses, it’s only going to get worse.  You can widen the roads to add a bus lane, but without adding a bus lane you will make certain that there will be people out there who will make it a point to vote against the politicians in charge of that decision wherever possible.

County of Broward is a good case in point.  The county government infrastructure exists, but I am hard pressed to see any point to it or any good at all done by them.  Most Florida counties, I would wager, are the same.

However I’m lucky.  I’m in the enclave of Wilton Manors.  You see, I don’t need a car.  I can walk within a half mile to anything that I would require, and add more distance up to a mile and I’m pretty well suited.

So I walk.

Everywhere.

It works out that I have a herding breed dog, a Mc Nab Dog, that requires exercise.  Generally as a result I’m walking two miles a day, some days as much as 5.

Now, my own walking pace with the dog is about 3 miles in an hour.  One of those three dog walks should take about 20 minutes.  Bags in hand, looking for a safe place to dispose of them.

But it doesn’t happen that way.

Over the weekend we were notified by The City that there was a ceremony at the Fire Station.  Apparently every decade or so they have a celebration, and talk about what the building means and what it does for the community.

Great.  Lets go.   We made a mental note of it and decided to go.  After all, being even slightly interested in the goings on in a Small Town, you get to know The City.

 

Yes, in capital letters.

In our case, we know practically everyone in The City government of Wilton Manors by at least face, and know the management structure by name.  It’s not a brag, it’s a part of living here.  They’re good people and certainly worth getting to know as they do their jobs and get things done.

I’ve been waved at by most of them, even had one of the Police higher ups (no, I won’t say who) stop traffic, set off the sirens and horns and lights, just to say hi.

Like I said, one of the perks.

That’s when my own bad timing got in the way.  You see, I have to plan that when I go anywhere, that 20 minute mile with the dog is always doubled.  I allow an extra 20 minutes minimum to say hello to this shop keeper or that barback, or the guy who makes  the excellent ice cream on the shop over in the lofts just a short way on the other side of the Drive.

It is definitely like the movie Roxanne’s first scene.  Steve Martin walking to his fire house as the fire chief saying hello to people, sticking his rather large nose into shops, and I think he even saved a cat.

Fun movie, well worth the watch, it’s a retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac’s tale set in a rather beautiful Oregon seaside town.

I’m not a fire chief, but that is pretty similar to my own experience here.

You see I missed the dedication of the Fire Station.  I think I blitzed.  I didn’t put Two and Two together.

You can’t say I wasn’t warned.

I was walking East on Wilton Drive, trying to get home with the dog pulling me towards things.  He thought he was going to visit with the owner of the art gallery, get attention, get cookies, and get on with things.

I was in a rush when I heard it.  A Chorus of City Management.

I heard my name called out over the five lanes of traffic.  “BILL!!!  THAT’S HIM!  BILL!!!”

I’m thinking who on earth could that be.

Then in the twilight I saw them.  It was a cluster of about 10 to 15 of the people who I consider my own friends, the majority of the City Mangement structure of our town.  Calling out my name.  Really quite nice to have that kind of a greeting.

I looked over at them and waved.   Rack got spooked by the fire truck and pulled me off my balance.  I even heard a chuckle from across the street.

But I didn’t figure it all out.  Even though I was invited, I didn’t think that this was the night of the ceremony.  I thought it was some sort of night out and the truck was going off to fight a fire.  After all, it was the cooking hour and this was the time where most kitchen fires start – 6 to 7 pm.

I’m getting pulled away, waving at the folks across five lanes of too fast traffic and walking toward the house.  Eventually I get pulled into the house and close the door smiling at the situation.

I was still a bit clueless until I spoke with Kevin about the details.  He reminded me that “We had that ceremony to go to but I was late in a meeting and you didn’t realize what was going on”.

I was disappointed that I missed the little ceremony at our fire station, after all, these were the people who I know the best here in town, those who I am most comfortable with.

We get notifications about every other month.  The city holds get-togethers for things like this.  Holiday celebrations, re-dedications, breakfasts for the Veterans, and the like.  I get the notices, and really do have to make it a point to go to the next one.

After all, why not spend time with those who you know.  Even if it will take me 20 minutes to walk the half mile to city hall, it’s well worth it.

Even if my nose isn’t huge like Cyrano’s.

Opporknockity – And A Jamaican at a Job Interview

A family in the suburbs of Connecticut had a young daughter who loved to play the piano.

One day, her parents listened and thought, “We’d better get that piano tuned.” So they called up a famous piano tuner named Opporknockity, who came over right away and their piano was good as new.

The very next day, the girl’s little brother sat on the bench and banged on the keys and the strings so hard that the piano went right out of tune again.

So their dad got on the phone and asked the piano tuner to please come back over. He sighed and said,

“Opporknockity tunes but once.”

 

A Jamaican at a Job Interview

A Jamaican man wants a job, but the boss won’t hire him until he passes a little math test.

Here is your first question, the boss said. “Without using numbers, represent the number 9.”

“Without numbers?” the man says, “Dats easy.”

And proceeds to draw three trees.

“What’s this?” the boss asks.

“Tree and tree, plus tree makes 9” says the man.

“Fair enough,” says the boss. “Here’s your second question. Use the same rules, but this time the number is 99.”

The man stares into space for a while, then picks up the picture that he has just drawn and makes a smudge on each tree… “Ere ye go.”

The boss scratches his head and says, “How on earth do you get that to represent 99?”

“Each of them trees is dirty now. So, it’s dirty tree, and dirty tree, plus dirty tree. Dat makes 99.”

The boss is getting worried that he’s going to actually have to hire the guy, so he says, “All right, last question. Same rules again, but represent the number 100.”

The man stares into space some more, then he picks up the picture again and makes a little mark at the base of each tree and says, “Ere ye go. One hundred.”

The boss looks at the attempt and says, “You must be nuts if you think that represents a hundred!”

The man leans forward and points to the marks at the base of each tree and whispers, “A little dog came along and pooped by each tree…so now you got dirty tree and a turd, dirty tree and a turd, and dirty tree and a turd, which makes one hundred!”