I Wouldn’t Change a Thing…

When I look back at my varied and checkered life and career, I find that, despite all my complaints, I wouldn’t change a thing.

chekered

Well…

Except for that time as a youngster when my dad was enlarging a hole with his power drill and I decided to stick my finger in the other side of the hole.

And except for that time that I went with friends into a construction site, fell and knocked out my front teeth.

And the time I rode my bicycle too fast, slipped and broke my foot.

And the time that I missed out on asking out that good-looking girl in high school because I knew she wouldn’t go out with me only to find out later that she liked me.

And not buying Berkshire-Hathaway stock when it was $50 a share, or Apple when it was $4.

Or not taking that acceptance at an Ivy League college because..  I don’t what idiocy kept me from that one.

Or deciding to change jobs because the offer was too good to be true and, as it turned out, WAS too good to be true.

When we think that one little change would make such a significant difference, we assume that it would be for the better. That shattered finger that kept you from being a concert pianist may, in fact, have kept you from being a miserable concert pianist and prevented you from having the success you did achieve (assuming that you did achieve a modicum of success.  If not, it kept you from greater failure.)  As George Bailey found out in It’s a Wonderful Life, even one little change has big consequences.

Dean Acheson took the title of his book Present at the Creation from a quote of Alphonso the Wise, a 13th century king of Spain, who said “Had I been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.” I doubt that the Almighty would ask a curmudgeon for useful hints on the better ordering of the universe but it would not be bad to ask for a rewind button.

Just a simple button to make no into yes.  Or take a right turn instead of a left.

But who knows what that one little change means.  No, no, I’ll leave things just as they are…

Except for that time as a youngster when my dad was enlarging a hole with his power drill and I decided to stick my finger in the other side of the hole.

And that time that I went with friends into a construction site, fell and knocked out my front teeth.

And the time I rode my bicycle too fast, slipped and broke my foot….

 

Junk Mail Confusion

There is no way to stop the onslaught of spam, telemarketers, junk mail, and robocallers from reaching us.

Telemarketers already have their own ring in hell but even the thought of eternal damnation does not daunt them. Their reach extends to any newly created electronic device – Smartphones, Kindles, iPads, iPods, whatever.

Yes, I used “whatever,” get over it.  Yes, I used “get over it,” get over that, too.

Although the overwhelming task of stopping all this crap is futile, it is made slightly less annoying by the fact that these devious callers get in the way of each other.

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As a result my junk mail gets confused and:

  • E-Harmony and the local auto repair shop want you to have dating calls during routine auto checkups.
  • Christian Mingle and Omega-K Heart Attack Fighter suggest that, before people give you CPR , ask if they are true believers.
  • First Premier Credit Card and Our Time Dating recommend a credit score appraisal before the second date.
  • Discount Gold Credit Cards and Pimslear Approach Language say “Koborowie karmiono obficie wystepuja jedynie podejrzana sprawa stala nie odnotowywano wiekszego komplementu z wytworzeniem.”
  • If you are over 65, no matter where you are, Gaylord Hotels and AARP want you safely in bed by 8:30 pm.
  • PayPal and Replacements Ltd will give you a ten percent discount on any organ purchased before July 31st.
  • Timeshare Facts, Check Your Credit and Tax Defense suggest that the best way to check your credit and lower your taxes is to do both while spending a week at one of their many, many once-in-a-lifetime timeshare vacations (50% off).  If that doesn’t work, then spend more time at one of their many, many once-in-a-lifetime timeshare vacations (50% off).
  • Regal Ecigs and Reverse Mortgage Planner have devised a program that assures you that your reverse mortgage payments will last longer than you do.
  • Garcinia Cambogia Slim and AHS Warranty have teamed up to guarantee your weight loss.  If your weight-loss comes back, simply send back the weight gain in a marked package to receive double your money back!
  • American Laser Skincare, Spray Your Way to Health and 1Ink have developed a new way to get that healthy tan using your laser jet printer.  Send in now for your thirty-day sample of Ink-Skin® cartridges.
  • LifeLine Screening, Reclaim Your Glory, Male Vitality, Cable TV and Blood Pressure Solutions have gotten together in one enormous wad of promotion that extends your life and love life while lowering your blood pressure and cable TV bills.
  • Restore My Vision, Lasik Vision Institute and Evite recommend an eye exam before you accept that next invitation, otherwise you may get…
  • Brazilian Shemales and Latin Ladyboys.
  •     Well, you are on your own with this one. Use your imagination.

When Nature Shouldn’t Call

 

“To what do you attribute this unexpected visit?”

This was the question posed to me by a clear but disembodied voice disturbing my reverie as I sat privately in my stall in the men’s room.

Well, other than it’s none of your business, nature would be my first response.  And it’s not really unexpected: it happens regularly all the time.  But before I could answer,  I got another intriguing question.

“Is there a way that you can prolong your stay?”

Now things were getting a little strange.  I wanted to point our that prolonging my stay was not in my, or other people’s, best interest.  I also wanted to stress that I did not extend my bathroom breaks as excuses to finish the New York Times crossword puzzle, for example.  Once again, before I could respond, the disembodied voice queried me once more.

“Is there some way that I can assist you in fulfilling your mission?”

Now we’ve gone from strange to terribly unsettling.  I had never considered nature’s call as a mission much less that I need the assistance of a total stranger to complete it.  Then suddenly, it all came clear:

“Okay then, we’ll convene a conference call tomorrow at 9 am sharp and look at all alternatives to keep our business with the new client.”

The man in the stall next to me was a businessman who saw no reason to interrupt his business call with a bathroom break.  Ah, the modern inconvenience of the cell phone.  I’m uncertain what the individual at the other end of the call thought about the background sounds during this conversation but I, for one,  am not keen on mixing business calls with nature’s call.

If all of the participants followed the lead of this businessman, I can only imagine what the conference call the following morning sounded like:

[Organizer]:  “Are we all on the call?”

{Sounds of stall doors closing and locking on the other end}

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[Organizer]:  “Okay, let’s begin.  Do we have an opinion on how to handle our new client?”

{Pffffffffffffffft!!}

[Organizer]:  After a pregnant pause, “Would you please clarify you statement?”

{Disgusting sound} followed by “I’d prefer not to.”

[Organizer]: ” Okay then, does anyone else have an opinion on how we treat our new client?”

{Disgusting sounds numbers 2, 3 and 4}

[Organizer]:  “Uh, can we take that to a vote?  All in favor of number 2?”

{Sounds of toilets flushing}

[Organizer]:  “The ayes have it.  Let’s all follow up with number 2.  This concludes our meeting; thank you all for attending.”

{Various inaudible sounds and murmurs.}

Did I Read That Right? – Part 2

Once again, I am saved by a “friend of a friend” with a whole new set of weird newspaper headlines:

MESSIAH CLIMAXES IN CHORUS OF HALLELUJAHS

- The Anchorage, Alaska Times

THANKS TO PRESIDENT CLINTON, STAFF SGT. FRUER NOW HAS A SON

- The Arkansas Plainsman

CLINTON PLACES DICKEY IN GORE’S HANDS

- The Bangor, Maine News

STARR AGHAST AT FIRST LADY SEX POSITION

- The Washington Times

TEXTRON INC. MAKES OFFER TO SCREW COMPANY STOCKHOLDERS

-  The Miami Herald

MARRIED PRIESTS IN CATHOLIC CHURCH A LONG TIME COMING

- The New Haven, Connecticut Register

GOVERNOR CHILES OFFERS RARE OPPORTUNITY TO GOOSE HUNTERS

- The Tallahassee, Florida Democrat

EGG ROLL INCLUDES GAY PARENTS

- The Eugene, Oregon Register-Guard

(In that case, we’ll have the won-ton soup…)

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There are more but without attribution:

GRANDMOTHER OF EIGHT MAKES HOLE IN ONE

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TWO CONVICTS EVADE NOOSE, JURY HUNG

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SAFETY EXPERTS SAY SCHOOL BUS PASSENGERS SHOULD BE BELTED

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QUEEN MARY HAVING BOTTOM SCRAPED

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IS THERE A RING OF DEBRIS AROUND URANUS?

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DR. RUTH TALKS ABOUT SEX WITH NEWSPAPER EDITORS

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DEALERS WILL HEAR CAR TALK AT NOON

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NEVER WITHHOLD HERPES FROM YOUR LOVED ONE

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3-YEAR OLD TEACHER NEEDED FOR PRE-SCHOOL – EXPERIENCE PREFERRED

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DRUNK GETS NINE MONTHS IN VIOLIN CASE

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OLD SCHOOL PILLARS ARE REPLACED BY ALUMNI

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Did I read that right?

 

Did I Read That Right?

This assembly of signs and article headlines comes from a friend of a friend.  They are not new but too good to pass up.

Proofreaders, editors (or former proofreaders and editors), English teachers and writers may want to cover their eyes.  I’m not sure how you then read this post but you may not want to.

Did I read that sign right?

On the door of a restroom:

TOILET OUT OF ORDER. PLEASE USE FLOOR BELOW

In a Laundromat:

AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES: PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES WHEN THE LIGHT GOES OUT

In a London department store:

BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS

In an office:

WOULD THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE STEP LADDER YESTERDAY PLEASE BRING IT BACK OR FURTHER STEPS WILL BE TAKEN

In another office:

AFTER TEA BREAK STAFF SHOULD EMPTY THE TEAPOT AND STAND UPSIDE DOWN ON THE DRAINING BOARD

Outside a second hand shop:

WE EXCHANGE ANYTHING – BICYCLES, WASHING MACHINES, ETC. WHY NOT BRING YOUR WIFE ALONG AND GET A WONDERFUL BARGAIN?

Notice in health food shop window:

CLOSED DUE TO ILLNESS

Spotted in a safari park:

ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR

Seen during a conference:

FOR ANYONE WHO HAS CHILDREN AND DOESN’T KNOW IT, THERE IS A DAY CARE ON THE 1ST FLOOR

Notice in a farmer’s field:

THE FARMER ALLOWS WALKERS TO CROSS THE FIELD FOR FREE, BUT THE BULL CHARGES.

Message on a leaflet:

IF YOU CANNOT READ, THIS LEAFLET WILL TELL YOU HOW TO GET LESSONS

On a repair shop door:

WE CAN REPAIR ANYTHING. (PLEASE KNOCK HARD – THE BELL DOESN’T WORK)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Proofreading is a dying art, wouldn’t you say?

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Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter

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Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says

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Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

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Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over

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Miners Refuse to Work after Death

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Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

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War Dims Hope for Peace

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If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile

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Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

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Enfield ( London ) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide

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Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges

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Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge

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New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

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Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

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Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

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Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

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Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

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Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

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Did I read that right?