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Thinking for a minute, I looked at her and said, "Two."
She thought about this for a moment and then asked, "Me, and who else?"
PLEASE WAIT HERE FOR SERVICE. WE REALIZE YOUR PHONE CALL IS IMPORTANT TO YOU, SO WE WILL NOT INTERRUPT BY SERVING YOU WHILE YOU ARE ON THE PHONE.
Finally the IRS agent looked up and commented, "You must have been a tremendous fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle."
"Why would you say that?" wondered the broker.
"Because you've made more brilliant deductions on your last three returns than Sherlock Holmes made in his entire career."
"Well, my boyfriend just lost all his money and life savings in the stock market," she explained.
"Oh, that's too bad," the other girl sympathized. "I'm sure you're feeling sorry for him."
"Yeah, I am," she said. "He'll miss me."
You'd think, as many times as I've been up this creek, that I'd remember a paddle!
"Religions and Fire"
During a recent ecumenical gathering, a secretary rushed in shouting, "The building is on fire!"
The METHODISTS gathered in the corner and prayed.
The BAPTISTS cried, "Where is the water?"
The QUAKERS quietly praised God for the blessings that fire bring.
The LUTHERANS posted a notice on the door declaring the fire was evil.
The ROMAN CATHOLICS passed the plate to cover the damage.
The JEWS posted symbols on the doors hoping the fire would pass.
The CONGREGATIONALISTS shouted, "Every man for himself!"
The FUNDAMENTALISTS proclaimed, "It's the vengeance of God.
The EPISCOPALIANS formed a procession and marched out.
The CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS concluded that there was no fire.
The PRESBYTERIANS appointed a chairperson who was to appoint a committee to look into the matter and submit a written report.
The secretary grabbed the fire extinguisher and put the fire out.
And the Mormons, having arrived fifteen minutes late, missed the fire completely!
"Why, I'd put all the men on one island and all the women on another." replied Paddy.
"And what would they be doing then?"
Are you old enough to remember the Burma Shave signs beside the road? Here's the message told by one group of them.
Computer Term - Texas Translation MOUSE:
God and St. Francis Discussing Lawns
GOD: St. Francis, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there in the USA? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect, no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honeybees and flocks of songbirds.
I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles.
ST. FRANCIS: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers weeds and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.
GOD: Grass? But it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It's temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it, sometimes twice a week.
GOD: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?
ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.
GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?
ST. FRANCIS: No, sir -- just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.
GOD: Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?
ST. FRANCIS: Yes, sir.
GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.
ST. FRANCIS: You aren't going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.
GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stoke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of life.
ST. FRANCIS: You'd better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.
GOD: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose?
ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.
GOD: And where do they get this mulch?
ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.
GOD: Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?
ST. CATHERINE: Dumb and Dumber, Lord. It's a real stupid movie about ...
GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.
What is up to this week?
A Press Release -
WASHINGTON D.C. The House Appropriations subcommittee on NASA oversight, in another effort to reduce the NASA budget, passed a resolution today to downsize the solar system. According to an unnamed congressional staffer, House Republicans felt there has been "too much redundancy in the solar system" and that streamlining the 4.5 billion year old planetary system is long overdue. Such action would give NASA fewer places to go and this would allow the agency to carry out its space exploration goals within the funding profile that the House proposed earlier this summer.
"Look, we have three terrestrial planets" said Congressman Rip U. Apart (R, Del.), "and only one of them really works! So why not get rid of the other two and clean up the neighborhood?" Most subcommittee members felt that while downsizing was definitely in the cards, eliminating both Mars and Venus was going too far. "We have too many international commitments to Mars." said Rush N. Hater (R, Calif.). "So I think we should keep Mars and dump Venus. Its too hot to live on, and liberal Democrats keep using it as an example of what global warming can do. So from a political and practical point of view, Venus has got to go."
Also at risk is the planet Mercury which lacks support because of its small size and poor visibility from Earth. "Who needs it?" asked Congressman Newt Onian (R, N.C.). "Have you ever seen it? I haven't. So what good is it? We just don't need useless planets. And speaking of useless planets, what about the asteroids? If you've seen one, you've seen them all. So I say we ought to get rid of the little boogers once and for all."
However, the downsizing recommendations do not stop with the terrestrial planets. The resolution also calls for a reduction in the number of gas giants which contain most of the planetary mass in the solar system. Most subcommittee members favor retaining Jupiter and Saturn, and eliminating Uranus and Neptune. "Jupiter employs the most molecules, and Saturn has those pretty little rings everyone likes." said Rep. Con Mann (R, Fla.). "On the other hand, Uranus is a bore and its rings are dirty. And Neptune, for God's sake, is just too far away. So begone with those ugly bruisers."
But the influential Wright I.M. Fornow from South Carolina has publicly announced he will fight to eliminate Saturn. Fornow is especially miffed by NASA's success thus far in keeping Cassini, the next mission to Saturn, alive which he feels is waste of taxpayers money. "If there ain't no Saturn, then there ain't no Cassini" he exclaimed. The congressman also expressed concern about sending back-to-back spacecraft bearing Italian surnames to the outer planets (The Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter this December).
The subcommittee was unanimous in its views towards Pluto which they deemed a moral misfit. "Now here's a planet we can definitely do without." continued Fornow. "A few years ago, it was farthest from the sun. Now its not. Its just too confusing. And now they tell me its really two planets instead of one. What the hell is going on here?"
The resolution must now be presented to the entire House, where it is expected to pass easily since only a minority of Representatives have constituents on the affected planets. NASA Administrator Golden has vowed to resist any further reductions to the solar system, saying that "NASA has expended considerable effort to make the planets cheaper, faster, and better. Much of this work would be wasted if the solar system were downsized" stated Golden.
Critics say, however, that reducing the number of planets will not produce the expected savings to taxpayers. Textbooks, they note, would have to be revised to reflect the new arrangement, and facilities would need to be constructed to remove the planets themselves. The resolution is also likely to draw strong opposition from religious fundamentalists who have long opposed the elimination of any of the biblical planets. Thus, the matter is far from resolved.
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