“Funnies” from My Files

Cleaning out files and boxes often yields treasures.

I’ve been going through boxes and drawer full of old files lately in preparation for my move later this spring. What I’m finding is an amazing collection of paper that I thought worth saving — and a bunch of stuff I can only classify as junk.


Beekman CartoonWhat I want to share today is what I found in folder labeled “funnies.” They were mostly the kind of jokes that get distributed by email these days. But back in the 1980s, there wasn’t any email — at least not to speak of. Instead, we used copy machines to share the humor with other friends throughout the office. This cartoon is a good example. Someone — maybe even me — whited out the caption and typed in one more appropriate for the workplace. I was a Field Supervisor and I had several whiney people working for me. Beekman was the nearest hospital.

Work ArtOne of the guys I worked with was a bit of an artist and he would sketch out cartoon characters and scenes of coworkers and workplaces. I found a legal sized sheet of paper covered with his doodles. I recognize Larry, Jim, Seymour, and Frank (the big boss) on this sheet. Can’t remember the names of the others.

Also in that folder were a series of cartoons I created when I worked at ADP as an internal auditor in the late 1980s. I started creating these cartoons when we were out on an audit in Mt. Laurel, NJ. There were four of us assigned — twice the usual number. It was too far to drive every day, so we all stayed in the Mt. Laurel Hilton, which was a pit. Joe was our boss. Most of us had nicknames; mine was Spike, because of my hair. The office we were auditing was so screwed up that we couldn’t look at anything without finding problems. After a while, we were worn out and simply didn’t want to keep at it. These two cartoons illustrate the situation. They’re full of inside jokes I can barely remember.

Joe Sent Me

Fishing with Spike

The last cartoon of the series was done a while later, when members of the audit staff were getting jobs elsewhere faster than they could be replaced. It documents the first two to depart.

Joe Sent Me, 2

I wound up going to a different part of the company, where I worked as a financial analyst until I resigned to become a freelance writer. I found my resignation letter, too.


DiskettesA box in the garage was full of outdated computer media, including complete installation diskette sets for Microsoft Word 6 for Mac, Microsoft Office 4.2 for Mac, and Microsoft Office 95 for Windows. I also found (and discarded about 20 100MB ZIP disks, countless diskettes, and even a SCSI cable for an old PowerBook computer. I threw 95% of it away; I just saved a box of data diskettes on the off chance that I can find a device that can read them.

As George Carlin says, “Your house is a pile stuff with a cover on it.”

Throwing away junk is good. It means I’ll have less to unpack when I set up my new home. It also means it’ll be cheaper to move.

I just can’t believe how much stuff I saved — and forgot about — over the years.

A Third Party Worth Considering in 2012

Now this is a third-party candidate that makes sense for America.

Thank to Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station for sharing a link to this great video on YouTube. Really gives you some food for thought, eh?

Hello, My F-ing Name is Maria

My submission to “Hello, My Fucking Name Is…”

Today I discovered Hello, My Fucking Name Is…, a website that offers people a chance to explain what their name is and how people get it wrong. From the Why This Site page:

This site is a joke, but the topic is serious

Crafting our personal identities is a lifelong process on which we spend quite a lot of time and attention. So then why is it that people can be so damn casual about paying attention to people’s names? In my four decades of living, I’ve been called more than 11 different names—and I’m sorry to say that not one of them is an ACTUAL variation on my name…

Submitting your story is as easy as clicking a button and filling in a form. Your submission is moderated — probably for spam, certainly not for language. The stories there are pretty funny expressions of people’s frustration of other people getting their name wrong.

You may think it odd, but people get my name wrong all the time. Seriously. So I decided to write up my own submission. It’s in moderation there now, but here’s what I submitted.

My name is Maria. Not Marie. Not Mary. And, for Pete’s sake clean out your f-ing ears, not Gloria.

My name is not Marie. The only Marie in my family was my uncle’s wife. They got divorced. She stole heirloom items from my grandparents estate that should have gone to my sister, brother, and me. She has liens against her that come up every time I try to buy or sell a property. I hate her, I hate her name. When you call me Marie, you remind me of her and that pisses me off. I’ll allow you to do it one time — because most people do — and if you do it again, I will correct you. Firmly. If you do it a third time, after being corrected, I will ignore you since you so obviously ignored me. My name is not Marie.

I was named after my grandmother. Her legal name was Maria. Just because people called her Mary don’t think you can call me Mary. You can’t. My name is not Mary.

If you think I introduced myself as Gloria, you should see a doctor about your obvious hearing problem. My name is not Gloria.

Yes, I realize that when you meet me for the first time, you might have an uncontrollable urge to sing, “I just met a girl named Maria.” Control that urge. I’ve heard it too many times for it to be even remotely funny anymore. All it does is make you sound like an asshole. Especially if you have a crappy singing voice.

You can also skip singing My Maria, Ave Maria, Take a Letter Maria, and How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria. Give it a rest already.

And one more thing. Just because my name is Maria and I live in Arizona, don’t look so surprised when you meet me in person and I don’t look the least bit Mexican. I’m not Mexican. My mother’s side of my family immigrated from Italy — not Mexico — in a time when it was still socially acceptable to immigrate into the United States from another country. Deal with it.

The other entries might be shorter, but they’re mostly in the same vein. Check them out. I think you’ll find them amusing. I did.

Internet Trolls Impress NOBODY

Sound familiar?

I think the second and fourth panels on this excellent comic strip by Scott Meyer can easily be applied to Internet trolls — you know, the dickwads who always have something nasty to say in online forums and in comment threads. Do read the whole thing to get the full message.

How to Impress NOBODY

Image embedded with the author’s permission.

An April Fools Joke

Well, maybe it wasn’t April Fool’s day, but it was a good joke.

All the April Fools stuff going around the Internet today got me thinking about some of the jokes I’ve played on people in the past. This one came to mind and I thought I’d share it.

Municipal Building (from Wikipedia)Back in the mid 1980s, I worked for the New York City Comptroller’s Office, Bureau of Financial Audit. I was a Field Audit Supervisor, with a cubicle on the 22nd floor of the Municipal Building.

In my cubicle, I had a small basket filled with hard candies. I didn’t eat them very often and didn’t recall seeing any of my cubicle visitors eat them very often. Yet the supply of candies was steadily declining. I realized that someone was pinching candies when I wasn’t around.

That made the culprit eligible to be a victim.

CandiesI went to a gag shop in Queens, NY, where I lived at the time. I bought a small package containing four garlic-filled hard candies. They were individually wrapped with shiny gold paper and cellophane — very easy to distinguish from my other candies. I brought them to the office and dropped them in the bowl.

Time went by. Every morning, I’d peek into the bowl and count the gold-wrapped candies. Four. Four. Four. More time passed. Four. Four. Three.

The day I arrived and found only three candies in the basket, I knew the trap had been sprung.

I never did find out who was pinching the candies…but they did stop disappearing.

Computer Gender

Start the New Year with a laugh.

I got this from a relative of mine who occasionally sends funnies in e-mail. I thought I’d reproduce it here. I have no idea what the source is, but if you know or if it’s yours, let me know. I’ll either properly attribute it or remove it as required. (Unlike other Web site owners out there, I comply with copyright law.)

A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.

House for instance, is feminine: la casa. Pencil, however, is masculine: el lapiz.

A student asked, “What gender is computer?”

Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether computer’ should be a masculine or a feminine noun.  Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.

The men’s group decided that computer should definitely be of the feminine gender (la computadora), because:

  1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;
  2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;
  3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and
  4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

The women’s group, however, concluded that computers should be Masculine (el computador), because:

  1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;
  2. They have a lot of data but still can’t think for themselves;  
  3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and
  4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

The women won.

Apologies to the men out there.

And to keep thing straight, I need to point out that my computer’s built-in translator claims computer, in Spanish, is el ordenador.

What the Grand Canyon Sees

A look up from below the rim.

On my most recent trip to the Grand Canyon, I did a little bit of climbing around below the rim. Some of the lookout points have places where it’s relatively safe to climb in for different views.

At one of these places, I looked back at all the people behind me, at the lookout and slightly below it. Most of them had cameras pointed into the canyon. I snapped this shot as a sort of humorous reminder of what the Grand Canyon sees when it looks out at us.

What the Grand Canyon Sees