Creative Leisure News
306 Parker Circle
Lawrence, KS 66049
In each issue of Creative Leisure News we try to add a little smile
to your day, whether it's a joke, some fractured ads -- even a true
story or two. Below is a collection of items that have appeared in
CLN dating back to 1997.
Click on the title and it will take you to the specific item --
or scroll down at your leisure.
Want to share a joke, email us! firstname.lastname@example.org
God, Your Business, and Bankruptcy
A manufacturer was in trouble because one of his warehouses burned
down. Customers canceled orders and the insurance company wouldn't
cover the damages. He went to his minister and said, "I need
help! My warehouse burned down, my product is all gone, my customers
are leaving, and I'm losing everything!"
The minister told him, "You can find all the answers to your
problems in the Bible."
"Where should I start?" asked the manufacturer.
"If you don't know where to look," the minister said,
"just open the book and place your finger on the page, and
start right there. Sooner or later you will find your answers."
A few months later the minister ran into the manufacturer. It was
obvious he was very successful -- a new car, new clothes, several
rings and chains. The manufacturer says, "Thank you. The
answers I found turned my life around!"
The minister was curious and asked, "In what passage did you
find your answers?"
"I did just what you said," the man answered, "I
opened the Bible to a spot, looked down, and found my answer staring
me right in the face: Chapter 11." -- November, 1997
A Memo from Santa
The recent announcement that Donner and Blitzen have elected to take
the early reindeer retirement package has triggered concern about
whether they will be replaced, and about other restructuring
decisions at the North Pole.
Streamlining was appropriate considering that the North Pole no
longer dominates the season's gift distribution business. Home
shopping channels and mail order catalogs have diminished Santa's
market share and he could not sit idly by and permit further erosion
of the profit picture.
The reindeer downsizing was made possible through the purchase of a
Japanese sled for the CEO's annual trip. Improved productivity from
Dasher and Dancer, who summered at the Harvard Business School, is
anticipated and should take up the slack with no discernible loss of
service. Reduction in reindeer will also lessen airborne
environmental emissions for which the North Pole has been cited and
received unfavorable press.
I am pleased to report Rudolph's role will not be disturbed.
Tradition still counts for something at the North Pole. Management
denies, in the strongest possible language, the earlier leak that
Rudolph's nose got that way not from the cold, but from substance
abuse. Calling Rudolph "a lush who was into the sauce and never
did pull his share of the load" was an unfortunate comment,
made by one of Santa's helpers and taken out of context at a time of
year when he is known to be under executive stress.
As a further restructuring, today's global challenges require the
North Pole to continue to look for better, more competitive steps.
Effective immediately, the following economy measures are to take
place in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" subsidiary:
The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree never turned out
to be the cash crop forecasted. It will be replaced by a plastic
hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance. The
two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost
Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case
of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a
cutback on new music, and no uniforms will produce savings which
will drop to the bottom line. Plus, stretching deliveries over
twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one day, service
levels will be improved.
Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney's association seeking
expansion to include the legal profession ("thirteen
lawyers-a-suing") action is pending.
Lastly, deeper cuts may be necessary in the future to stay
competitive. Should that happen, management to scrutinize the Snow
White Division to see if seven dwarfs is the right number. -- December,
How To Deal with Bankers
A businessman asks a bank in New York to lend $5,000 for a trip to
Europe. When the loan officer asks for security, the businessman
hands over the keys to a Rolls-Royce parked in front of the bank.
Everything checks out and the bank accepts the car as collateral.
An employee drives the Rolls into the bank's underground garage and
parks it. Two weeks later, the businessman returns, repays the
$5,000 and the interest, which comes to $15.41.
The loan officer says, "We're happy to have had your business,
and this transaction worked out nicely, but we're confused. While
you were away, we checked and learned you're a multi-millionaire.
What puzzles us is, why would you bother to borrow $5,000?"
The businessman replied, "Where else in New York City can I
park my car two weeks for $15?" -- January, 1998
How Not To Impress the Chains
A story from Larry Fine, the Merchandising VP at Michaels:
The company has an "open vendor" day on the first Tuesday
of every month when any vendor, no matter how small, can show
his/her line to a Michaels buyer. Larry said one Tuesday a buyer
came into his office laughing and told this story:
A very small manufacturer showed his line and the buyer asked,
"Do you have EDI?"
The manufacturer answered proudly, "Not me! There isn't one
speck of pesticide in my product!" -- February, 1998
The Ultimate Shipwreck
An ambitious yuppie finally decided to take a vacation. He booked
himself on a Caribbean cruise and proceeded to have the time of his
life -- for a while. A hurricane came unexpectedly. The ship went
down and the man found himself swept up on the shore of an island
with no other people, no supplies, nothing. Only bananas and
Used to 5-star hotels, this guy had no idea what to do, so for the
next four months he ate bananas, drank coconut juice, longed for his
old life, and fixed his gaze on the sea, hoping to spot a rescue
ship. One day, as he was lying on the beach, he spotted movement out
of the corner of his eye. It was a rowboat, and in it was the most
gorgeous woman he had ever seen. She rowed up to him.
In disbelief, he asked her, "Where did you come from? How did
you get here?"
"I rowed from the other side of the island", she said.
"I landed here when my cruise ship sank."
"Amazing," he said. "I didn't know anyone else had
survived. How many are there? You were lucky to have a rowboat wash
up with you."
"It's only me," she said, "and the rowboat didn't
wash up; nothing did."
He was confused. "Then how did you get the rowboat?"
"Oh, simple," replied the woman. "I made the rowboat
out of materials that I found on the island. The oars were whittled
from gum tree branches. I wove the bottom from palm branches and the
sides and stem came from a eucalyptus tree."
"B-B-But that's impossible," stuttered the man. "You
had no tools or hardware. How did you manage?"
"Oh, that was no problem," replied the woman. "On the
other side of the island there is a very unusual stratum of aluvial
rock exposed. I found that if I fired it to a certain temperature in
my kiln, it melted into forgeable ductile iron. I used that for the
tools, and used the tools to make the hardware. But enough of
that," she said. "Where do you live?"
Sheepishly, he confessed that he had been sleeping on the beach the
"Well, let's row over to my place, then," she said.
After a few minutes of rowing she docked the boat at a small wharf.
As the man looked to the shore he nearly fell out of the boat.
Before him was a stone walk leading to an exquisite bungalow painted
in blue and white. While the woman tied up the rowboat with an
expertly woven hemp rope, the man could only stare ahead,
As they walked into the house, she said casually, "It's not
much, but I call it home. Sit down, please; would you like a
"No, no thank you," he said, still dazed. "I can't
take any more coconut juice."
"It's not coconut juice," the woman replied. "I have
a still. How about a Pina Colada?"
Trying to hide his amazement, the man accepted, and they sat down on
her couch to talk. After they had exchanged their stories, the woman
announced, "I'm going to slip into something comfortable. Would
you like to take a shower and shave? There is a razor upstairs in
the cabinet in the bathroom."
No longer questioning anything, the man went into the bathroom.
There in the cabinet was a razor made from a bone handle. Two shells
honed to a hollow ground edge were fastened onto its end inside a
"This woman is amazing," he mused. "What next?"
When he returned, she greeted him wearing nothing but vines
strategically positioned -- and smelling faintly of gardenias. She
beckoned for him to sit down next to her.
"Tell me," she began, suggestively, slithering closer to
him, "we've been out here for a very long time. You've been
lonely. There's something I'm sure you really feel like doing right
now, something you've been longing for all these months. You know
...." She stared into his eyes.
He couldn't believe what he was hearing. "You mean ..." he
replied, "I can check my email from here?" -- February,
How Not To Write Ad Copy
Ever have trouble writing the words for your next trade or consumer
ad? Here are some examples from actual retail ads, courtesy of the
1. "Our superstore -- unequaled in size, unmatched in
variety, unrivaled inconvenience."
2. "We will oil your sewing machine and adjust tension
in your home for $1.00."
3. "Illiterate? Write today for free help."
4. "Auto Repair Service. Try us once, you'll never go
5. "Stock up and save. Limit: one."
6. "Semi-Annual after-Christmas Sale."
7. "Christmas tag-sale. Handmade gifts for the
8. Used Cars: Why go elsewhere to be cheated? Come here
9. "Now is your chance to have your ears pierced and get
an extra pair to take home, too."
How Not To Translate Your Message
Much can be lost, or changed, in the translation of brand names,
packaging, and advertising slogans into a different language. The
most famous example is the Chevy Nova, which did not sell well in
Mexico. (Nova in Spanish means "no go" -- not an appealing
name for a car.) Here are some more translation gems:
1. Coors put its slogan, "Turn it loose" into
Spanish, where it was read as "Suffer from diarrhea".
2. Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the
following in an American campaign: "Nothing sucks like an
3. Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick", a curling
iron, into German only to find out that "mist" is slang
4. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used
the same packaging as in the US, with the beautiful Caucasian baby
on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely
put pictures on the label of what's inside, since most people can't
5. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called
"Cue", the name of a notorious porno magazine.
6. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the
Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of "I
saw the Pope" (el Papa), the shirts read "I saw the
potato" (la papa).
7. Pepsi's "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation"
translated into "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the
grave", in Chinese.
8. Frank Perdue's chicken slogan, "It takes a strong man
to make a tender chicken" was translated into Spanish as
"it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate".
9. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Ke-kou-ke-la",
meaning "Bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse
stuffed with wax", depending on the dialect. Coke then
researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent "ko-kou-ko-le",
translating into "happiness in the mouth".
10. When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its
ads were supposed to have read, "It won't leak in your pocket
and embarrass you". Instead, the company thought that the word
"embarazar" (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad
read: "It won't leak in your pocket and make you
More Translation Troubles
Foreign companies have trouble, too, with translations:
LEIPZIG, GERMANY, ELEVATOR: "Do not enter the lift backwards,
and only when lit up."
ATHENS, HOTEL: "Visitors are expected to complain at the office
between the hours of 9 and 11 a.m. daily."
JAPANESE, HOTEL: "You are invited to take advantage of the
women who are employed to clean the rooms."
BANGKOK, DRY CLEANERS: "Drop your trousers here for best
PARIS, DRESS SHOP: "Elegant dresses designed for street
JAPANESE, HOTEL: "Cold and Heat: If you want to condition the
warm in your room, please control yourself."
GERMAN, CAMPING SITE: "It is strictly forbidden on our Black
Forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men
and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with
each other for that purpose."
SWISS, MOUNTAIN INN: "Special today -- no ice cream."
The Pearly Gates
Recently a teacher, a garbage collector, and a lawyer wound up
together at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter informed them that in order
get into heaven, they would each have to answer one question.
St. Peter addressed the teacher and asked, "What was the name
of the ship that crashed into the iceberg? They just made a movie
about it." The teacher answered quickly, "That would be
the Titanic." St. Peter let him through the gate.
St. Peter turned to the garbage man and, figuring heaven didn't
REALLY need all the odors that this guy would bring with him,
decided to make the question a little harder: "How many people
died on the ship?" Fortunately for him, the trash man had just
seen the movie and answered, "about 1,500." "That's
right!" said St. Peter. "You may enter."
St. Peter then turned to the lawyer. "Name them."
What To Do with a Dead Horse
Dakota tribal wisdom says when you discover you are riding a dead
horse, the best strategy is to dismount. However, in our business we
often try other strategies with dead horses, including the
1. Buy a stronger whip.
2. Change riders.
3. Say, "This is the way we always have ridden this
4. Appoint a committee to study the horse.
5. Hire a consultant to study the horse.
6. Hire a designer to create new uses for the horse.
7. Visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.
8. Appoint a team to revive the dead horse.
9. Create a training session to increse our riding ability.
10. Change the requirements and declare, "This horse is
11. Hire contractors to ride the dead horse.
12. Harness several dead horses together for increased speed.
13. Provide additional funding to increase the horse's
14. Purchase a product to make dead horses run faster.
15. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.
16. Blame the chain stores for killing the horse.
17. Blame the trade associations for killing the horse.
18. Blame the sales reps for killing the horse.
19. Sell the dead horse to a group of outside investors.
Signs You're Being Stalked by
10. Mysterious late-night phone calls: "I can't stop
thinking about you ... and that's a good thing!"
9. Contents of your curbside recycling tub are stolen and
replaced with juice can pencil holders and milk carton flower vases.
8. You get a threatening note made from letters cut from a
magazine with memory-book scissors.
7. The unmistakable aroma of potpourri follows you
6. Annoying crank phone calls begin with, "Hold, please,
5. Twice this week you've been the victim of a drive-by
4. That telltale lemon slice in the dog's water bowl.
3. You can't see them, but you know you're being watched by
2. You discover the insides of your lampshades -- and parts
of your body -- have been gold leafed.
1. You awaken one morning with a glue gun pointed squarely at
Examples of Employee Evaluations
Following are reportedly some comments made by federal government
supervisors on evaluations of some individual staff members:
1. "Since my last report, this employee has reached rock
bottom and has started to dig."
2. "His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of
3. "When he opens his mouth, it seems that it is only to
4. "He would be out of his depth in a parking lot
5. "This young lady has delusions of adequacy."
6. "He sets low personal standards and then consistently
fails to achieve them."
7. "This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an
8. "This employee should go far, and the sooner he
starts, the better."
9. "He doesn't have ulcers, but he's a carrier."
10. "He would argue with a signpost."
Is Our Industry Going to the Dogs?
The July 8th edition of USA Today included a story about the
rise of day care centers for busy people's pets. The article
included this -- and we swear we're not making this up: "At
Doggy Do and Pussycats, Too, a doggie center on New York's Third
Avenue, they even read to the dogs. That's when they're not doing
crafts, like making Father's Day cards. Cost: $30 a day."
Retailing Trick of the Month
Unless Reuters made a little typo in its report on Wal-Mart's
quarterly report, the discounter is an even better retailer than we
thought. According to an early Reuters report, later corrected,
Wal-Mart had profits of just over $1 billion, on sales of only $33.5
Martha's Fall Advice
If you go to Martha Stewart's webpage (www.marthastewart.com) and
sign up, you'll receive little email notes from Martha. The
following is her advice for from a recent email:
"Slip a sweet-smelling cedar or lavender sachet made with our
Sachet Kit into a closet or drawer -- it's a natural, effective way
to keep moths out of your favorite woolens. Our one-gallon Pressed
Glass Jars come in sets of two; use them to hold detergent in the
laundry room or buttons and spools of thread in your sewing room.
And don't miss our new Herringbone Laundry bags in sturdy cotton
fabric -- their subtle ivory stripes are so elegant you won't want
to hide them in a hamper."
Now we know what's been missing from our lives: herringbone laundry
The Top 10 Signs You Work in the
10. You lecture the neighborhood kids selling lemonade on
ways to improve their process.
9. You get excited when it's Saturday so you can wear sweats
8. You refer to the tomatoes grown in your garden as
7. You find you really need PowerPoint to explain what you do
for a living.
6. You normally eat out of vending machines and at expensive
restaurants within the same week.
5. You think that "progressing an action plan" and
"calendarizing a project" are acceptable English phrases.
4. You know the people at the airport hotels better than your
next door neighbors.
3. You ask your friends to "think out of the box"
when making Friday night plans.
2. Your think Einstein would have been more effective had he
put his ideas into a matrix.
1. You think a "half-day" means leaving at 5
Ooops! So Much for That Promo Idea
A promotional event at a New Jersey Wal-Mart turned into a
brawl last week, leaving 48 children and several adults bloodied and
bruised, Reuters reported. Seven children and one adult were taken
to a local hospital for treatment. According to police, customers
trampled and fought each other grabbing balloons falling from the
store's ceiling containing cash, gift certificates, and other
The event was to promote the store's new toy department and the
grand prize was a two-minute free shopping spree in the store. Those
in attendance paid $2 each, which was donated to the Children's
Miracle Network. "Some unruly adults ruined it," store
manager Joe Herron told Reuters.
"It's safe to say we won't do anything like this again," a
Wal-Mart spokesperson told the Associated Press.
Business-Speak, 2000 Style
Falling asleep in meetings? Here's a strategy to keep awake. At the
next meeting you're forced to attend, play this little game with
your colleagues: Listen for the following examples of modern
business-speak. The winner is the first person to hear five
words/phrases and shouts "Bingo".
* Synergy * Take that offline * Strategic fit * At the end of the
day * Gap analysis * Best practice * The bottom line * Core business
* Lessons learned * Touch base * Revisit * Game plan * Bandwidth *
Hardball * Out of the loop * Go the extra mile * Benchmark * The big
picture * Value-added * Movers and shakers * Ball park * Proactive,
not reactive * Win-win situation * Think outside the box * Fast
track * Empower employees * No blame * Stretch the envelope *
Knowledge base * Results-driven * Total quality * Slippery slope *
Mindset * Put this one to bed * Client-focused * Quality-driven *
Move the goal post * At this stage of the game.
TESTIMONIALS FROM OTHER PLAYERS: "I had only been in the
meeting for five minutes when I yelled bingo." ... "My
attention span at meetings has improved dramatically." ...
"It's a wheeze, meetings will never be the same for me after my
first outright win." ... "The atmosphere was tense at the
last process workshop as 32 of us listened intently for the elusive
How To Make Stores More Profit
I've heard numerous stories in twenty years, but this is one of my
Standing in the lunch line at a Herr's open house years ago,
I overhead this conversation by two retailers. One was young -- new
and enthusiastic about her business. The other had run her store for
a number of years and was a tad more cynical.
New Retailer: "My husband's a doctor and wants me to operate my
store at a loss, so every time I start to make a profit I have to
hire another employee."
Old Retailer: "Listen honey, my husband's a doctor, too, and
wanted me to run my store the same way. But one day I caught him
fooling around with one of his nurses and by god I've made a profit
Only in America
Some semi-philosophical musings from an E-mail friend:
Only in America ... can a pizza get to your house faster than
Only in America ... are there handicap parking places in
front of a skating rink.
Only in America ... do drugstores make the sick walk all the
way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while
healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.
Only in America ... do people order double cheeseburgers,
large fries, and a diet coke.
Only in America ... do banks leave the doors open and then
chain the pens to the counters.
Only in America ... do we leave cars worth thousands of
dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.
Only in America ... do we use answering machines to screen
calls and then have call waiting so we won't miss a call from
someone we didn't want to talk to in the first place.
Only in America ... do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and
buns in packages of eight.
Only in America ... do we use the word "politics"
to describe the process so well: "Poli" in Latin meaning
"many" and "tics" meaning "bloodsucking
Only in America ... do they have drive-up ATM machines with
lettering in Braille.
Signs You've Had Too Much of the
1. You just tried to enter your password on the microwave.
2. You now think of three espressos as "getting
3. You haven't played solitaire with a real deck of cards in
4. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family
5. You call your son's beeper to let him know it's time to
eat. He emails you back from his bedroom, "What's for
6. Your daughter sells Girl Scout cookies via her web site.
7. You chat several times a day with a stranger from South
Africa, but you haven't yet spoken with your next door neighbor this
8. You didn't give your valentine a card this year, but you
posted one for your e-mail buddies via a web page.
9. Your daughter just bought a CD of all the records your
college roommate used to play.
10. You check your blow-dryer to see if it's Y2K compliant.
11. Your grandmother clogs your email inbox, asking for a
JPEG file of your newborn so she can create a screen saver.
12. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone
to see if anyone is home.
13. A week after you buy your computer it is out of date and
sells for half the price you paid.
14. Cleaning up the dining room means getting the fast food
bags out of the back seat of your car.
15. Your reason for not staying in touch with family is that
they do not have email.
16. You consider second-day air delivery painfully slow.
17. Your dining room table is now your flat filing cabinet.
18. Your idea of being organized is multiple-colored Post-it
19. You hear most of your jokes via email instead of in
20. You're reading this.
The True Test of a Trade Show
Trade associations, like everyone else, brag about their products.
After each trade show they issue press releases that make the most
recent show sound wonderful (whether it was or it wasn't). As a
result, journalists tend to become a bit cynical.
But now we have conclusive proof the recent HIA show was a
good one: The Economic Pretzel Indicator!
It turns out Walnut Hill always gives out pretzels at its
booth. This year the attendees consumed a record 45 pounds.
Forget the Dow Jones Index, the government's economic indicators,
and the Gross National Product. The Economic Pretzel Indicator says
it will be a good year!
Mergers for the New Century
The last few years have seen many mergers, and the possibility of
more becomes stronger and stronger. First it was banks, now it's
automobiles. Volkswagen-Rolls Royce, Mercedes Benz-Chrysler, and
Ford-Hyundai have already occured. Getting in on the ground floor
could mean excellent capital gains, stock splits, and appreciation.
These look like some likely mergers:
Xerox and Wurlitzer: They're going to make reproductive organs.
Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers: New company will be
called Fairwell Honeychild.
Polygram Records, Warner Bros., and Nabisco: New company will be
Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush, and W. R.
Grace: New company will be called Hale Mary Fuller Grace.
Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M) & Goodyear: mmmGood
Honeywell, Imasco, and Home Oil: Honey, I'm Home
3M, J.C. Penney, Canadian Opera Company: 3 Penney Opera
Knott's Berry Farm & National Organization of Women: Knott NOW!
Zippo Manufacturing, Audi, Dofasco, Dakota Mining: Zip Audi Do-Da
Some Fractured Ads
Our email friends tell us these ads actually appeared in newspaper
classified ad sections:
1. "Our experienced Mom will care for your child. Fenced
yard, meals, and smacks included."
2. "Dog for sale: eats anything and is fond of
3. "3-year old teacher needed for pre-school. Experience
4. "Mixing bowl set designed to please a cook with round
bottom for efficient beating."
5. "Girl wanted to assist magician in cutting-off-head
illusion. Blue Cross and salary."
6. "Dinner Special -- Turkey $2.35; Chicken or Beef
$2.25; Children $2.00."
7. "For sale: antique desk suitable for lady with thick
legs and large drawers."
8. "We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We do
it carefully by hand."
9. "Great Dames for sale."
10. "Have several very old dresses from grandmother in
11. "Tired of cleaning yourself? Let me do it."
12. "Vacation Special: have your home
13. "Get rid of aunts. Zap does the job in 24
14. "Toaster: A gift every member of the family
appreciates. Automatically burns toast."
15. "For Rent: 6-room hated apartment."
16. "Man, honest. Will take anything."
17. "Wanted. Man to take care of cow that does not smoke
18. "Wanted. Widower with school age children requires
person to assume general housekeeping duties. Must be capable of
contributing to growth of family."
More Fractured Ads and Signs
TOKYO HOTEL: "It is forbidden to steal hotel towels. If you are
not a person to do such a thing, please do not read this
PARIS HOTEL ELEVATOR: "Please leave your values at the front
desk. If you lose them in your room, we are not responsible."
MOSCOW HOTEL: "You are welcome to visit the cemetery where
famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried
daily except Thursday."
HONG KONG TAILOR SHOP: "Ladies may have a fit upstairs."
RHODES, GREECE, TAILOR SHOP: "Order your summer suit. Because
of the big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation."
COPENHAGEN AIRLINE: "We take your bags and send them in all
MOSCOW HOTEL: "If this is your first visit to the U.S.S.R., you
are welcome to it."
NORWEGIAN LOUNGE: "Ladies are requested not to have children in
TOKYO CAR RENTAL FIRM: "When passenger with heavy foot is in
sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously, but if he still
obstacles your passage, tootle him with vigor."
ACAPULCO HOTEL: "We are pleased to announce that the manager
has personally passed all the water served here."
ROME LAUNDRY: "Ladies, please leave your clothes here and spend
the afternoon having a good time."
CZECH TOURIST AGENCY: "Take one of our horse-driven city tours.
We guarantee no miscarriages."
A Slogan for the Holiday Season
"Veni, Vedi, VISA" (Translation: " I came, I saw, I
did a little shopping."
More Job Evaluations
More examples of job evaluations by federal government supervisors
1. "I would not allow this employee to breed."
2. "A gross ignoramus--144 times worse that an ordinary
3. "He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the
4. "Takes him 1-1/2 hours to watch 60 Minutes."
5. "When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell."
6. "If you see two people talking and one looks bored,
he's the other one."
7. "A photographic memory, but with the lens cover glued
8. "It's hard to believe that he beat out 1,000,000
9. "Some drink from the fountain of knowledge, he only
10. "The wheel is turning, but the hamster is
Always Check All Your Inventory!
Toys R Us found itself in the middle of a public relations furor
recently. It seems a vendor, McFarlane Toys, made two versions of a
talking doll based on the movie, Austin Powers: The Spy Who
Shagged Me. One version, for children, spoke innocuous lines;
the other used much racier language.
You guessed it;, shipments to Toys R Us were mixed up and no one
noticed that the adult version was being sold to kids -- until
parents started complaining. Then the Associated Press wrote about
it, and the snafu was reported by newspapers throughout the country.
Years ago a floral importer brought into the States thousands of
small plaques that were supposed to say, "Home Sweet Home"
in a style that looked like cross stitch. The shipment arrived, the
importer checked a box or two, then sent the products to retailers.
One florist received his order, checked one box, then gave a couple
of unchecked boxes to a clerk and told him to use the plaques to
decorate the Christmas tree in the front window. The clerk obeyed,
without really looking at the plaques as he hung them on the tree.
When numerous irate consumers told the florist they didn't think his
joke was the least bit funny and would never shop in his store
again, he looked at the decorations in the front window and realized
a slight spelling mistake.
Instead of "Home Sweet Home", the Christmas ornaments
said, "Home Sweet Homo."
Some Holy Bloopers
It's not just mis-written ad copy that can raise a few eyebrows.
Apparently having God on your side doesn't make you immune from
humorous mistakes. Here's a compilation of actual items in church
bulletins, emailed from a friend:
1. "Our next song will be 'Angels We Have Heard Get
2. "Don't let worry kill you. Let the church help."
3. "Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our
church and community."
4. "For those of you who have children and don't know
it, we have a nursery downstairs."
5. "Weight Watchers will meet at 7 p.m. at the First
Presbyterian Church. Please use the large double door at the side
6. "Jean will be leading a weight-management series
Wednesday nights. She's used the program herself and has been
growing like crazy!"
7. "The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce
the birth of David Alan Belzer, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Julius
8. "This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South
and North ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both
9. "Tuesday at 4 pm there will be an ice cream social.
All ladies giving milk will please come early."
10. "This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to
come forward and lay an egg on the altar."
11. "The Rev. Adams spoke briefly, much to the delight
of his audience."
Emailed from a well known industry sales rep:
I hereby tender my resignation as an adult. I have decided to accept
the responsibilities of an 8-year-old again.
I want to go to McDonald's and think that it's a four-star
restaurant. I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make
ripples with rocks. I want to think M&Ms are better than money
because you can eat them. I want to lie under a big oak tree and run
a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer day.
I want to return to a time when life was simple. When all you knew
were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes, but that
didn't bother you because you didn't know what you didn't know and
you didn't care.
I want to think the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good,
that anything is possible. I want to be oblivious to the
complexities of life and excited by the little things again.
I don't want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of
paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month
than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness, and
loss of loved ones.
I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth,
justice, peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels
in the snow.
So ... here's my checkbook and my car keys, my credit card bills,
and my 401K statements. I am officially resigning from adulthood.
And if you want to discuss this further, you'll have to catch me
first, because, "Tag! You're It!"
Customer Service That's Out of
This holiday season, stores and shopping malls are fighting back
against the onslaught of ecommerce. Some malls are offering a modern
version of a wedding registry, where a consumer can fill out a
"wish list" which would then be made available to friends
One upscale mall in St. Louis has ordered its retail tenants to stop
displaying their web addresses in their stores. (The stores are
ignoring the order, reports the Associated Press.)
But perhaps the most interesting strategy is a new customer service
reported in the N.Y. Times. It seems a mall has employed a
psychic to tell you what to buy for your mother-in-law!
Holiday Greetings from a
Politically Correct Lawyer...
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best
wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low
stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter
solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of
the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of
your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions
and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice
religious or secular traditions at all.
And a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically
uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted
calendar year 2000, but not without due respect for the calendars of
choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped
make America great, (not to imply that America is necessarily
greater than any other country or is the only "AMERICA" in
the western hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed,
color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer
platform, or sexual preference of the wishee.
By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This
greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely
transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies
no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for
her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is
revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is
warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of
good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a
subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is
limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the
sole discretion of the wisher.
Best Newspaper Headlines of the
Year - 1999
1. Include Your Children When Baking Cookies
2. Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Experts Say
3. Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
4. Drunks Get Nine Months in Violin Case
5. Iraqi Head Seeks Arms
6. Prostitutes Appeal to Pope
7. Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
8. Teacher Strikes Idle Kids
9. Clinton Wins Budget; More Lies Ahead
10. Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told
11. Miners Refuse to Work After Death
12. Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
13. Stolen Painting Found by Tree
14. Two Sisters Reunited after 18 Years in Checkout Counter
15. If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last a While
16. Man Struck by Lightning Faces Battery Charge
17. New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
18. Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
19. Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
20. Typhoon Rips through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
New Barbie SKU's for Baby Boomers
At long last, here are some new Barbie dolls to coincide with her --
and our -- aging gracefully. These are a bit more realistic:
1. Bifocals Barbie. Comes with her set of blended-lens
fashion frames in six wild colors (half-frames too!), neck chain,
and large-print editions of Vogue and Martha Stewart Living.
2. Hot Flash Barbie. Press Barbie's bellybutton and
watch her face turn beet red while tiny drops of perspiration appear
on her forehead. Comes with hand-held fan and tiny tissues.
3. Flabby Arms Barbie. Hide Barbie's droopy triceps
with these roomier-sleeved gowns. Good news on the tummy front, too
- muumuus with tummy-support panels are included.
4. Bunion Barbie. Years of disco dancing in stiletto
heels have definitely taken their toll on Barbie's dainty arched
5. Soccer Mom Barbie. All that experience as a
cheerleader is really paying off as Barbie dusts off her old high
school megaphone to root for Babs and Ken, Jr. Comes with minivan in
robin-egg blue or white.
6. Mid-life Crisis Barbie. It's time to ditch Ken.
Barbie needs a change, and Fred (her personal trainer) is just what
the doctor ordered, along with Prozac. They're hopping in her new
red Miata and heading for the Napa Valley to open a B&B.
7. Divorced Barbie. Sells for $199.99. Comes with
Ken's house, Ken's car, and Ken's boat.
8. Recovery Barbie. Too many parties have finally
caught up with the ultimate party girl. Now she does Twelve Steps
instead of dance steps.
Obituary for Mark Down
This sad (?) news came to us from a vendor: Mark Down, the
ten-year-old son of Adda Lowance, passed away suddenly this week.
Mark had no father. Although quite young, Mark Down had resided
throughout the land.
His grandfather, Quan "Titi" Discount, taught the young
lad very well. His aunt, Perce N. Tage, is well known in the U.S.
for an unusual glandular disease causing extreme growth. Mark Down
is also survived by his close cousin, Day Ting. Day Ting was born
with a genetic defect giving her only 180 days to live, but quite
amazingly she's still alive and well 30 years later.
The close knit family has sown its seeds within almost every major
retailer in the U.S. The retail industry has supported this family
and is now praying for new offspring to carry on the vigil.
Although Mark Down really didn't pass to the ever-after, he
certainly has left his mark on the vendors of America in a short