Thursday, June 28, 2007

Nocturnal Knock Knock Jokes

Any one who has spent more than, say, 20 minutes with me has heard my favorite joke. Anyone who has lived with me has probably banned me from telling it because they have heard it so many times. I learned this joke from an enthusiastic 3 year old in one of the swimming classes I used to teach. It's a really good one:
Me: Knock Knock
You: Who's there?
Me: Impatient Cow
You: Impatient Cow Wh (Me: MOOOOOO!) o?

Now, until recently I thought this was the funniest knock knock joke ever but then, last night at approximately 12:15 AM the greatest knock knock joke of all time occurred to me (yes that's right I make up knock knock jokes). Chris was asleep but this was not important. I woke him up by shaking him vigorously.
Me: Chris! Pssssst! Wake up!
Chris: Mmmmph?
Me: Knock Knock (I am now shaking with anticipation and snickering)
Chris: You have got to be kidding me.
Dog: Loud groan
Chris: See even the dog doesn't want to hear the impatient cow joke. I am going to train him to groan just like that every time you say knock knock.
Me: actually that would be really funny, how do you think we would teach him to do that? I mean, we would have to somehow get him to associate the words knock knock wi...
Chris: Oh. My. God. It is 12:30. Is it *absolutely* critical that we discuss dog training right now?
Me: Yeah, sorry you are right.
Chris: Thank you . (Rolling over)
Me: I'll just tell you the joke and we can talk about teaching the dog to groan on command after that. Knock Knock
Chris: *loud dramatic sigh* Who is there?
Me: (with great zeal and taking care to clearly enunciate) exploding cow
Chris: exploding cow wh( Me: BOOM!) o?

There was a long pause, then he started to laugh.
Moments later:
Chris: Knock Knock
Me: (gleefully) woooo! Who is there??
Chris: Cow
Me: Cow who?
Chris: Cows don't say who they say moo!
Me: Hysterical laughter and then a loud thud
Chris: What was that?
Me: I fell out of bed.
Dog: Loud groan

Friday, June 22, 2007

Thread the needle

I have a cat. Specifically, an 18 lb, morbidly obese, narcoleptic, Houdini-imitating, tabby cat (Exhibit A). I also have a screen door, with an increasingly large hole (Exhibit B).

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket A Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket B

Recently my cat has become quite determined to escape this prison he calls home. To an outsider it would appear he is spoiled rotten, he gets to sleep at the foot of the bed, he spends all day napping in the lazy boy recliner and watching the birds at the 6 feeders outside. He gets eggs and fish as treats and try as I might I can't seem to keep him from eating copious amounts of dog food in addition to his daily allotment of cat food. But despite all this, the cat is compelled to escape.

It started as a small hole barely big enough for the cat to fit his nose into but he worked at it and pretty soon he could get his head through and then his front paws and shoulders. One day I found him stuck in the door his enormous behind lodged firmly in the opening mewing desperately and whacking his tail from side to side. I tried to block the screen off but he always seems to find a way around so I finally resigned myself to keeping the door shut.

The other day, I opened the door to go outside and heard an enormous thundering gallop from the other side of the house. I turned just in time to see the cat streak by me headed straight for the hole that he could only fit most of the way through. As he approached the door I grabbed for him but he slipped through my hands. He hit the screen full speed, his head shoulders and front legs all passed through the hole unhindered. Then his rear haunches got stuck but he had built up so much momentum that he was unable to stop. I watched as the cat hurtled forward, butt firmly lodged in the door on a arced trajectory until the springs on the screen door stretched to their limit and recoiled. With a wail of protest, the cat flew backwards and when the door slammed shut he was blasted, backwards out the hole in the screen. Stunned, he lumbered off clearly confused.

Next time you try to thread the needle Kitty, make sure the string will fit.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

This vacuum sucks!

The place: our driveway
The time: rapidly approaching dinner
The victim: my unsuspecting and curious husband

This evening just as we were getting ready to cook dinner, a clanker van stuffed to the gills with people came screaming into the driveway on two wheels and screeched to a halt. A woman, who could be described as nothing less than exuberant, leapt from the vehicle and informed Chris that he could get a "free gift" if he would give them a few minutes of his time. Before I knew what happened there was a Kirby vacuum sales person in our home, with her shoes off assembling a vacuum in the middle of the living room.

After a 60 minute demonstration of the $2,000.00 contraption which included vacuuming the entire living room, shampooing the carpet, and showing how the amazing Kirby vacuum could unclog a drain or function as an air compressor, we managed to get her out of the house. Only one problem, the van had disappeared and there seemed to be no sign that they were ever coming back to get her.

In the 90 minutes that followed we sat on the porch with her waiting for her ride to pick her up here are some of the highlights of the conversation:

Sales Lady: did you know that there are only, like, uhhh, 150 pediatricians in all of Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana combined? And none of them know anything.
Us: Wow.
SL: I'm going to Western Michigan University to be a pediatrician but I'm having a really tough time passing math. It is so hard!
Us: *utter silence*

SL: The Kalamazoo promise program is a fraud. I know this one lady who has 12 kids and triplets and twins (I think that would bring the grand total to 17 .... again, not so much with the math) they all went to school in Kalamazoo and none of them got free tuition, what a scam! They all had 4.0s and none of them even got kicked out!
Us: 17 kids huh?
SL: Yeah, she had them all in like 10 years.

SL: I fell *through* the stairs at my apartment complex.
Us: Oh my gosh, were you hurt?
SL: Yes but I got better real fast so cut my cast off early and went back to work selling vacuums. Do you know any good lawyers? I want to sue my land lord and my boss said not to take less than 20 grand.
Us: We don't know any lawyers.

SL:It is so hot out here it is off the chain!
Us: Um yes, off the chain.

Us: Is your boss on her way?
SL: Oh, she is probably lost, she always gets lost. Can I use your phone to call her?

When the van FINALLY pulled into the driveway, we bolted into the house, locked the doors and shut the drapes. Apparently we aren't the only ones who had a bad experience; check out these consumer horror stories! I can not emphasize this point enough: do not let these people into your home! Our free gift? A roll of paper towels and some off brand cleaning wipes.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"Are you experiencing any confusion or disorientation?"

About a year ago I was diagnosed with a corneal ulcer. It was unbelievably painful and I have no idea how I got it. After a lot of eye drops and multiple exams by zealous Dutch ophthalmologist I was pronounced healed.

Today, while sitting in a meeting, I inadvertently rubbed my eye (the same one). Instantly I experienced a searing, blinding pain. Tears started squirting straight out from my eye in a decidedly horizontal trajectory. I stumbled out of the meeting and after carefully examining my eye in the bathroom mirror I determined the following:
1. I have no idea what happened.
2. It freakin hurts! Perhaps if I dig the eyeball out with a spoon it will stop hurting.
3. It is very red.
4. The words "cry me a river" are really overused, but seem to apply here.
5. I am going to have to go back to the zealous Dutch ophthalmologist.

After several hours, and much angst, I was sitting in the exam room. The doctor then produced a spot light approximately 2 feet in diameter and turned it on. " You aren't experiencing any light sensitivity are you?" he asked rhetorically.

"Uhhhh, not yet" I thought to myself. Thankfully, the exam didn't hurt, the doctor used florescent dye and a special light to make the affected area on my cornea appear visible. It was like something you would see on CSI, only I wasn't dead.

The diagnosis he informed me was a condition know as corneal erosion. "Good one!" I laughed and slapped my knee remembering how during my last visit we had briefly discussed my work as a soil erosion control inspector. He must have remembered this and was now making a joke to lift my spirits. "Perhaps I should install a silt fence around my cornea so that it doesn't erode any further. I wouldn't want to have to send myself a violation notice." Ha ha ha.

The doctor looked at me perplexed. "Are you experiencing any confusion or disorientation?" I instantly stopped laughing. He thought I had gone nuts! As he explained that the condition, I thought to myself: this has got to be the ultimate cosmic retribution. The soil erosion inspector's eyeball is eroding away. If that isn't irony, I don't know what is. And as for all you contractors out there sticking pins into the eyes of your Voodoo dolls, you can stop anytime.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Service with a smile

The plotter where I work broke on Friday. This morning, a repairman arrived to fix it. The plotter is a very large printer that we use to produce large format maps and engineering drawings. It is big and loud and expensive and old. When you load the paper you have to remember to say please don't get a paper jam, and then you must bow down before the plotter while providing burnt offerings and incense. If this doesn't work, you must then call a repairman who will do the following to fix the plotter at $225.00 per hour:

1. Scratch head
2. Sniff the plotter (Yes I said sniff, according to him, the plotter smelled like "burnt fire")
3. Completely disassemble the machine
4. Using a manila envelope folded to a point to poke the interior while squinting and shaking head

At this point, I left the room I could not watch anymore. Sitting at my desk I heard several loud thuds followed by a crash and then utter silence. I struggled not to laugh since the plotter is in a room across the hall and I'm certain the repairman would be able to hear me snickering.

Moments later, the man poked his head into my office and asked if there was a sink nearby. I directed him to the bathroom down the hall. I then saw him parade past my office no less than 7 times with parts of the plotter. I thought to myself, "Is he washing them in the skink?"

After the cleansing ceremony was completed, he must have decided the plotter was dusty because I could hear him using a can of compressed air to clean out the interior but between intermittent sprays I kept hearing fits of sputtering and coughing. I couldn't see what was going on in there but I suspect that it was like that scene in dumb and dumber when Jim Carey sprays that guy in the eye with the Binaca because the nozzle is facing the wrong way. I also suspect that he was using the compressed air to "blow-dry" the parts of the plotter that he had washed in the sink.

Next, he reassembled the plotter. I definitely heard crashing, banging, clanking and grunting. Later, when I thought I heard growling noises, I got up and nonchalantly walked by the doorway. When I turned my head to look in I saw the repairman holding a gigantic wrench up in the air behind his head with both hands. I could almost hear the theme from psycho playing in the background "reeeet, reeeet, reeeet, reeeet". Poised to attack the plotter, he turned to see me and slowly lowered the wrench. I am virtually certain that when he saw me he could not have been anymore surprised to be caught brandishing the wrench. In fact, if his eyebrows had gone any higher on his head, they would have been indistinguishable from his hairline.

"Well, I'm about done here he mumbled. After signing the service sheet, I examined the graphic logo at the top, which depicted a printer and a wrench. Nice.