Archive for the ‘Work’ Category


When she was young, my daughter Rachael had a pet hamster. She named him Wilbur. She would set Wilbur beside her while she watched cartoons on TV and play with him during the commercials. That is, if he didn’t sneak off while she wasn’t paying attention.

Now, hamsters are not known for their longevity. One day Rachael brought Wilbur to me and said something was wrong with him. He was stiff, cold and not breathing.

“Honey, I’m afraid Wilbur is dead.” I said softly.

“No, he isn’t!” she protested.

“I’m pretty sure he is.” I replied.

“No, we have to take him to the doctor, she cried.

So we took him to a veterinarian.

The vet broke the news to Rachael. “Rachael, Your father is correct. It was Wilbur’s time to go, and he is no longer with us.” Then he said to me, “That’ll be $10 for the visit.”

Amid Rachael’s sobbing and disbelief, I asked, “You’re absolutely sure he’s gone?”

“Well, just a minute,” he said, and brought in a calico tabby. The cat licked Wilbur from head to toe, then lowered her head and gave a soft, “meow.” The vet then brought in a Golden Retriever. The dog sniffed Wilbur, then lowered his head and gave a soft, “woof.” “That’s conclusive, said the vet. “He’s definitely dead,” and added, “that will be $250 for the visit.”

“Now wait a minute,” I said, “It was only a $10 visit a minute ago.”

“Well, yes,” said the vet. “That was before you ordered the cat scan and the lab test.”


A Word From Our Gov’ner:
   Welcome to Alabama. Whether you are a new ten-year-old driver moving up from farm tractors to automobiles, or a seventy-year-old driver with two cataracts and a slow response time, this online Alabama Driving Guide will help you to understand and follow Alabama’s traffic laws.

When driving in Alabama, it is important to always drive in the most unconventional and unpredictable manner possible. Doing this keeps the other drivers alert and reduces the chance of accidents. Remember, Alabama is the home of the Talladega Superspeedway, and just like your favorite NASCAR driver, the goal of every Alabama driver is to get to their end-point the fastest, by whatever means necessary.

Right-of-Way Rules:

   As an Alabama driver, you have the right-of-way in all situations.

If anyone infringes on your right-of-way, honk your horn, curse loudly, and gesture wildly to let them know. You may give up the right-of-way whenever it amuses you, or whenever you can’t remember the traffic laws.

Obtaining eye contact with another driver rescinds your right-of-way. It is also a good idea to yield the right-of-way to any vehicle that is bigger and has more steel than yours, especially if you feel like it will come out ahead in the event of an accident.

   Pedestrians do not have the right-of-way. Pedestrians should not be in the cross-walk when the light changes. Pedestrians in crosswalks are considered fair game. A little time in the hospital will remind them that you, as the owner of an Alabama-licensed vehicle, always have the right-of-way. Warning!! if you make eye contact with a pedestrian, you give up your right-of-way.

Safe Traveling Distance:

   Under no circumstances should you leave a distance greater than one-half car length between you and the car in front of you. "Share the Road" means leave plenty of space for cars to pull in behind you. If you leave too much space between you and the car in front of you, it will be filled by some other driver who will most likely be traveling slower than you are, putting you both in an even more dangerous situation.

Automotive Lighting

   The primary purpose of headlights are to remind other drivers that you have the right-of-way. Do not use headlights when driving during daylight hours – it just wastes energy. Unless absolutely necessary, do not use your headlights in towns or cities during hours of darkness. That’s what street lights are for. Also, flashing your high beams at other drivers is most effective when coming from an fast-traveling un-lit car.

In rural situations, headlights can be used to allow you to see the road ahead when it gets very dark. Modern cars and trucks do not come equipped with sufficient lighting for rural driving. The state of Alabama strongly recommends you purchase a light bar with at least four high beams if you will be doing any rural driving. During hours of darkness, you may use parking lights and spotlights on back roads, deer stands, and in residential neighborhoods.

Emergency Flashers

Turn on your emergency flashers whenever you:

  • drive in the rain
  • stop for a yard sale
  • haul hay or count cattle in the field
  • tow a disabled pickup
  • drive slower than the speed limit
  • drive faster than the speed limit
  • want cars on a highway to get out of the left lane
  • are not sure if you want to turn right or left
  • back down an exit ramp
  • back up on the interstate

Signaling Your Intentions:

Turn signals give other drivers clues as to your next move. Alabama drivers never use them.

Traffic Lights:

   Alabama traffic lights have three colors: Tuscaloosa red, Auburn orange (some call it yellow), and green.

A red light means “stopping is permitted”. Right turns on red are permitted. If you are quick about it, a left turn on red is permitted. Straight through on red is always permitted. A U-turn on red is permitted.

A yellow light indicates the light is going to turn red, and that you should speed up, otherwise, a yellow light should be treated the same as a red light. Remember, the faster you drive through a yellow or red light, the smaller your chance of getting hit.

A green light simply lets you know that the red and yellow light are off. Never take a green light at face value. Always look right and left and right and left again before proceeding, unless you have side impact airbags and good insurance.

Traffic Signs:

   Traffic signs are purely for decoration of the roadside, they are like advertising; just ignore them.

The new electronic traffic warning system signs placed on the interstates are to make Alabama look high-tech and to distract your attention from the police car parked in the median.

Speed limits are arbitrary figures, given only as suggestions and usually not enforced except on vehicles with out-of-state tags.

Traffic Lanes:

   Crossing two or more lanes in a single lane change is called “going with the flow”. Never pass on the left if there is good paved surface you can use to pass on the right. Don’t worry about people entering the highway; remember, you have the right-of-way . Using the shoulder of the road, an on-ramp, or an off-ramp to pass is perfectly acceptable when when freeway traffic drops below 50 m.p.h.

Maneuvering Your Vehicle:

   When making a turn, announce your intention to turn by looking straight ahead. If turning right, swerve to the left side of the road. If turning left, move slightly on to the right shoulder. If any vehicles impede your turn, honk at them.

Braking Safely:

   Modern vehicles are equipped with Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS). ABS requires that you brake as hard and as late as possible, also called “stopping short”. Short-stopping insures your ABS system kicks in. What good is it to have the ABS system if you don’t use it? A side benefit to ABS is the nice, relaxing foot massage as the brake pedal pulsates If you are in the 80% who drive clunkers without ABS, short-stopping is a chance to strengthen your leg muscles.

   Learn to swerve abruptly. Alabama’s oyster-shell roads are a great place to learn high-speed slalom driving and drifting techniques thanks to their naturally slick surface, augmented by the infrequent rains and millions of Alabama cars that leak oil. Also, the Alabama Department of Transportation puts potholes in key locations to test your driver reflexes and keep you alert.

Always slow down and rubberneck whenever you see an accident, someone changing a tire, or a vehicle out of gas. It is perfectly alright to come to complete stop in the middle of a street to check an address, especially during rush-hour.


   Speed limits do not apply while passing other cars.

Before passing a car, tailgate to signal to the driver in front of you that they are going too slow.

During the hours of darkness, set your headlights to high beam to convey your intention to pass. Plan your passing move to overtake a slower vehicle at an intersection, highway on-ramp, or off-ramp. Ramps, shoulders, medians and sidewalks allow you extra room for passing.

Announce your intention to pass by looking straight ahead, swerving into the left lane, and pressing the accelerator pedal to the floor. If there is not enough room to pass in the left lane, or you face oncoming traffic, do not abort your passing maneuver as you will confuse other drivers. Lane markings are purely decorative, and you should make the most efficient use of the entire paved surface during passing. A two-lane road with shoulders will easily fit three cars side-by-side; that’s why the shoulders are there. Use the left shoulder to continue your passing maneuver. Remember, when passing a slower vehicle, you have the right-of-way.

Construction Zones:

   Construction Zone signs are set up to tell you about road closures ahead. They are typically set up immediately after you pass the last available exit, but before the traffic begins to back up. A lane closure is just a game used by the Department of Transportation to see how many vehicles can fit in a minimum amount of space.

Driving Practice:

   Female student drivers should practice putting on pantyhose and applying eye makeup at sixty-five miles per hour as well as in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Going Green:

   Throwing litter on the roads adds variety to the landscape, keeps existing litter from getting lonely and gives Adopt-a-highway crews and Alabama state prisoners something to do to build their self-esteem.

Weather Conditions:

   Heavy snows, ice, fog, or rain is no reason to modify any of the previously listed rules. These weather conditions are mother nature’s way of ensuring Alabama’s low jobless rate for body shop workers, junk yard owners and new and used vehicle sales staff. After all, we do have our priorities.

— Floor Tools —

— Hand Tools —

— Power Tools —

   One of the distinguishing features of small Southern towns is that everybody in town knows everyone else. This is especially true with the older generations who were not as mobile as their younger counterparts. In the courtroom of one of those small Southern towns, the prosecuting attorney called his first witness to the stand. She was an elderly, but spry woman, sharp as a tack and very vocal.

   The prosecuting attorney approached her and asked, “Mrs. Jones, do you know me?” She responded, “Why, yes, I know you, Billy Williams. I’ve known you since you were a young boy, and frankly, you’ve been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you’re a big shot driving your big fancy car and wearing your fancy clothes when you haven’t the brains to realize that everybody in town knows that you’re a fake and you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you, Billy Williams.”

   The prosecutor was stunned! Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room at the defense attorney and asked, “Well, Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?” She again replied, “Why, yes, I know Johnny. I’ve known Johnny Bradley since he was a youngster. He’s lazy, he’s bigoted, he’s boisterous and he has a drinking problem. He can’t build a normal relationship with anyone because he’s too arrogant. His law practice is one of the worst in the entire state, not to mention he cheated to pass the board. And speaking of cheating, he’s cheated on his wife with three different women, and one of them was your wife. Yes, I know Johnny Bradley all too well.”

   The defense attorney stood helpless. The prosecuting attorney was in shock. The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said, “If either one of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I’ll send you both to the electric chair.”

   Perhaps there is nothing in social relations that produces more terror than The Annual Office Christmas Party. There is reportedly no worse source of nightmares. yet every year, we dutifully shuffle off to endure this one night of expected torture.

   1. It’s a party and it’s supposed to be fun — yet it is precisely not fun. Indeed, anyone seeking fun would most probably and more likely find it almost anywhere else. But we are governed by items two and three:

   2: Everyone there appears as though they are there to see and socialize with other co-workers, when really they are there only to protect their precarious economic position. After all, if two co-workers really wanted to see each other, then why do they communicate by email when they sit in adjacent cubicles?

   3: In its apparently voluntary nature, it appears to make people welcome and to feel like they belong to the corporate whole, yet the discerning observer will notice exactly the opposite. Namely, the fellowship degrades into intimate gatherings of gossipy individuals who previously alienated themselves from the corporate whole.

The only thing I can think of that’s worse than having to attend the Annual Office Christmas Party, is having to host the annual office Christmas party.


DATE: December 1

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
SUBJECT: Office Christmas Party on December 23d

   I’m happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23, starting at noon in the banquet room at Luigi’s Italian Bistro. This gathering is only for employees! There will be a pay-as-you-go bar, but plenty of free eggnog! We’ll have a small band playing traditional Christmas carols… so feel free to sing along. And don’t be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus! The Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00 p.m. and we will exchange gifts among employees. However, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the gift-giving easy on everyone’s pocketbook. A special announcement will be made by our CEO at the end of the evening!

Merry Christmas to you and your families,



DATE: December 2

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
SUBJECT: Office Holiday Party

   In no way was yesterday’s memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. Christmas is an important holiday which often coincides with Hanukkah, though unfortunately not this year. The CEO has asked me to remind you that the company does not discriminate against any employees based on religious beliefs. However, to prevent this misconception, from now on we’re calling it our “Office Holiday Party.” This same policy applies for employees who will be celebrating “Kwanzaa” at this time. Also, there will be a “Holiday” tree present, and we will not be singing “Christmas” carols. However, we will have other types of music playing for your enjoyment.

Happy Holidays to you and your families,



DATE: December 5

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
SUBJECT: Office Holiday Party

   Regarding the note I received from a recovering member of Alcoholics Anonymous who was requesting a special “non-drinking table”… You didn’t sign your name. I’m happy to accommodate your request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, “Alcoholics Anonymous Table” you won’t be anonymous anymore.



DATE: December 6

FROM: Patty Lewis
TO: All Employees
SUBJECT: Office Holiday Party

   Forget about the gift exchange at the office holiday party. We will have no gift exchange since the Worker’s Union contacted me with a grievance that they are being forced to give gifts to management. Instead, the executive board has voted to add a $10.00 bonus to each employee’s paycheck. Again, NO GIFT EXCHANGES WILL BE ALLOWED. Remember, our own “little Santa in a red suit” will be making an important announcement at the end of the evening.



DATE: December 7

FROM: Patty Lewis
TO: All Employees
SUBJECT: Office Holiday Party

   What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20 begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees’ beliefs. Luigi’s has agreed to hold off on serving the meals until the end of the party — after the planned events — or else they can package everything for take-home. Will that work?

   Meanwhile, I’ve arranged for members of Over-eaters Anonymous to sit the farthest from the dessert buffet and the two pregnant women will get a table closest to the restrooms. Gay male employees do not have to sit at the ‘Singles’ table, they will be allowed to sit with each other as a couple, and the lesbians do not have to sit at the table with the single gay men, unless they want to. Yes, there will be a take-home flower centerpiece on the ‘Single Gay Men’s’ table.

   To the person who asked if they can cross-dress, no cross-dressing is allowed. This is a Holiday party, not a costume party. Also, we will have three booster seats on hand for our ‘little’ people. Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet and a cheese-and-bean dish will be substituted for the meat entrée for the vegetarians. We cannot control the amount of salt used in the food, so we suggest for those people with high blood pressure to taste their food first before loading up a plate. the restaurant does not serve “sugar-free” desserts, but there will be a limited quantity of fresh fruits for the Diabetics. Sorry!

Did I miss anything?


DATE: December 8

FROM: Patty
TO: All Employees
SUBJECT: Office Holiday Party

   I have just been informed that December 22 marks the Winter Solstice. However, fire regulations at Luigi’s prohibit the open burning of sage by our “Earth-Goddess-worshiping” employees, but we’ll try to accommodate your shamanic drumming circle during the band’s breaks. Okay???… I don’t know what else you can expect me to do, maybe tap-dance naked on the tables?



DATE: December 11

FROM: Patty
TO: All Employees
SUBJECT: Office Holiday Party

   People, people! I was joking about the naked tap-dancing . I realize NOBODY wants to see that!.

   Also, there was nothing sinister intended by my referral of the CEO as “our own little Santa in a red suit,” even though some employees pointed out the anagram of “Santa” happens to be “Satan” and Satan wears red. And there is no evil connotation to my earlier remark, “that he’ll be making a special announcement.” No one is losing their jobs! It’s a flippin’ tradition, folks! Like sugar shock at Halloween or family feuds over the Thanksgiving turkey, or broken hearts on Valentine’s Day. Get over it! Could we all just lighten up? Please?????????
Regardless, the company has changed their mind about making the special announcement at the gathering. You will instead get a notification in the mail sent to your home.



DATE: December 12

FROM: Patty
TO: All you #%&$**@ Employees
SUBJECT:The %#*&^%@*% Office Holiday Party

   I have NO FREAKIN’ idea what the G*&#&p;8^ announcement is all about. What the %#&^??? I DO NOT KNOW if it is about a “Christmas-” or “Holiday-” or “Kwanzaa-” or “Ramadan-” or “Earth-goddess-worshiper” bonus! I DO NOT KNOW how or if the $10 bonus gift will affect your end-of-year paycheck! I work in HUMAN resources — NOT FINANCIAL Resources. As such, I do not control your stinking financial situation!!!! I KNOW WHAT I AM GOING TO GET and that’s all I need to know!!!!!!!!!!!!

   And about the address changes for the ‘special announcement’: I have been asking FOR MONTHS for everyone to update their mailing address. If ONE MORE IDIOT comes to me now to update their Fr#*#*$ address, they’re going to take one in the gut! You come to my office and try to change your address now, and you are dead!!!!!!!!!!!! NO MORE CHANGE OF ADDRESSES!!!!!! Any one who tries… I will have you hung from the ceiling in the warehouse!!!!!!!!!!!



DATE: December 13

FROM: Patty
TO: All YOU A$$H*Le5
SUBJECT:The F******* Office Holiday Party

    BIO-SUSTAINABLE ORGANIC-VEGANS!?!?!? I’ve had it with you people!!! We’re going to keep this party at Luigi’s Italian Restaurant whether you like it or not. If you don’t like it, you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the “grill of death,” as you so quaintly put it, and you’ll eat from the #$%^&*! salad bar, including hydroponic tomatoes. — But you know, tomatoes have feelings, too. Tomatoes SCREAM when you slice them! I’ve heard them scream! I’m hearing them scream right now! HOW MANY INNOCENT TOMATOES HAVE


I hope you ALL have a rotten, lousy, stinking, depressing, joyless holiday! Drive drunk and DIE!!!!! You HEAR ME????????

The B—- from HELL!!!!!!!!


DATE: December 13

FROM: Terri Bishop, Executive Director and Acting Human Resources Director
RE: Patty Lewis and the Holiday Party

   I’m sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy recovery from her stress-related illness and hospitalization and I’ll continue to forward your get-well cards to her at Covenant Mental Health. In the meantime, company management has decided to cancel our annual Holiday Party to give everyone paid time off the afternoon of December the 23rd to spend time with their family and loved ones.

Happy Holidays! and enjoy your family time,


When listening to a college-level professor speak, there is likely to be an air of distinguishment, an aloofness, a specificity in the selection of words that can mask the true meaning. In other words, there is more to what they are saying than what you hear. To explain this phenomiina, here is a table of what the professor says versus what the professor means.

What the Professor says: What the Professor means:
If you follow my simple rules, you’ll do fine in this class. If you can read and comprehend over 200 pages a night and survive without sleep, you’ll do fine in this class.
You’ll be using one of the finest textbooks in the field. You’ll be using a textbook that I’ve written.
Before we begin, are there any questions over the prerequisite reading material? Does anyone have any idea what this class is about?
Today, we will let a member of the class lead the discussion. It will be a good educational experience. I haven’t prepared a lesson, so I’m going to use one of you as a scapegoat to cover my shortfall.
Today, we’re discussing a very important topic in the field. Today, we’re discussing my dissertation.
What’s most important is to understand the gist of what the author is saying. I don’t understand the details of this author’s theory.
Various authorities agree… I have a hunch…
Unfortunately, we do not have the time to consider the works of all the people who made a contribution in this field. I totally disagree with roughly half the people who have done work in this field.
According to my sources… According to the guy who taught me this subject…
But I digress… But I’m starting to talk about something interesting…
The implications are clear… I don’t know what all this means, but there will be a question on the test about it.
The final exam will be a 50 question multiple-choice, so everyone should make 100%. The final exam will have 35 multiple-guess questions, 5 trick questions, and 5, 200-word essay questions. No one will score above 75%.
Your test scores were generally good. Some of you managed to get a ‘B’.
Your test scores were slightly below my expectations. Where was the party last night?
Some of you could have done better. No one got a passing grade.
The answer to your question is beyond the scope of this class. I don’t know the answer.
You’ll need to see me during office hours for the answer to your question. I don’t know the answer.
In answer to your question, you must realize there are various disparate points of view… I really don’t know the answer.
We can continue this discussion outside of class. I don’t know the answer, and you’re starting to embarrass me.
Any questions? Are you ready to go?
It’s been very rewarding, teaching this class. I hope they find someone else to teach this class next year.

   This letter is written from a farm kid going through boot camp at Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot


Dear Ma and Pa: 

   I am well. Hope y’all are too. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps is easy and beats working for old man Minch by a country mile. They really ought to join up quick before all the places are filled.

   I was restless at first because they make you stay in bed till nearly 5:00 a.m., but I am getting so I like to sleepin in late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you has to do before breakfast is smooth your cot and shine your boots and buckles. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, hay to lay… practically nothing. Men gots to shave but it is not so bad, they’ve even got warm water.

   Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on the pork chops, fried potatoes, salt cured ham, steak, sausage, gravy and biscuits and other regular breakfast foods, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by some city boys that live on coffee and doughnuts. Their food plus yours holds you till noon when you get fed again. It’s no wonder these city boys can’t walk far.

   Speakin of walkin; we go on “route marches” which the Platoon Sergeant says are long walks to toughen us up. If he thinks so, it’s not my place to tell him different. A “route march” is about as far as to our mailbox at home. The countryside is nice but awfully flat. We don’t climb hills or nothin. Them city guys get sore feet and we all get to ride back in trucks. The Sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags us a lot. The Captain is like the school board. Majors and Colonels just ride around and frown. They don’t bother you none.

   This next part will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting! I don’t know why. The bulls-eye is purt-ear as big as a chipmunk’s head and it don’t move, and it ain’t shooting back at you like the Higgett boys do at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don’t even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.

   Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain’t like fighting with that ole bull at home. I’m about the best they got in this except for that guy Jordan from over in Silver Lake. I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I’m only 5’6″ and 130 pounds, and he’s 6’8″ and weighs near 300 pounds dry.

   Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,



Letter from a hillbilly mom

Letter from a college friend