Porpourri – Answers From Earlier ~ Very Late Night Thoughts

I realized that during my brief time away, I had forgotten neglected to give the answer to the puzzles I had posted. I have given myself twenty lashes with an old Games Magazine and here are the answers ~

First Puzzle ~ (sometimes called “The Vowels Holy Holiday”)

“In an old church in Westchester county, N.Y., the following consonants are written beside the altar, under the Ten Commandments. What vowel is to be placed between them, to make sense and rhyme of the couplet?”

P.R.S.V.R.Y.P.R.F.C.T.M.N.
V.R.K.P.T.H.S.P.R.C.P.T.S.T.N

This one is missing all the “E”‘s that would help it make sense.

PERSEVERE YE PERFECT MEN
EVER KEEP THESE PRECEPTS TEN.

Second Puzzle ~

A new bride was required by her husband to show him all her correspondence. She did manage to get important information to her best friend, with the following letter.

Revealing the Secret

“The key is to read every other line!!”

I cannot be satisfied, my dearest Friend,
blest as I am in the matrimonial state,
unless I pour into your friendly bosom,
which has ever beat in unison with mine,
the various sensations which swell
with the liveliest emotion of pleasure,
my almost bursting heart. I tell you my dear
husband is the most amiable of men,
I have now been married seven weeks, and
never have found the least reason to
repent the day that joined us. My husband is
both in person and manners far from resembling
ugly, cross, old, disagreeable, and jealous
monsters, who think by confining to secure –
a wife, it is his maxim to treat as a
bosom friend and confidant, and not as a
plaything, or menial slave, the woman
chosen to be his companion. Neither party
he says, should always obey implicitly;
but each yield to the other by turns.
An ancient maiden aunt, near seventy,
a cheerful, venerable, and pleasant old lady,
lives in the house with us; she is the de-
light of both young and old; she is ci-
vil to all the neighborhood round,
generous and charitable to the poor.
I am convinced my husband loves nothing more
than he does me; he flatters me more
than a glass; and his intoxication
(for so I must call the excess of his love)
often makes me blush for the unworthiness
of its object, and wish I could be more deserving
of the man whose name I bear. To
say all in one word, my dear, and to
crown the whole — my former gallant lover
is now my indulgent husband; my husband
is returned, and I might have had
a prince without the felicity I find in
him. Adieu! may you be as blest as I am un-
able to wish that I could be more
happy!

Third Puzzle ~ (probably already known to anyone who’s taken a training class!!)

Wood,
John,
Mass.

It was delivered to John Underwood – Andover, Mass.

Once A Pun A Time ~ Early Morning Thoughts

On May 19th, Austin, TX will play host to an annual event of non-earthshaking proportions.

THE O. HENRY PUN-OFF:
AUSTIN’S THIRTY LITTLE SECRET

A little history is in order – starting with the ISTPF -International Save The Pun Foundation (who knew??):

Founded by the late John Crosbie in 1979, the International Save The Pun Foundation has become the world’s largest and fastest-growing apocryphal society. Since one person in five in North America is a functional illiterate, and since everywhere the little red schoolhouse is full of too many little-read students, the Foundation exists to arouse a greater interest in reading by encouraging people to have fun with words.

To quote from their history:

The current chairman of the bored, Norman Gilbert, is a financial planner based in Toronto, Ontario. He first subscribed to the pundit in 1984, after hearing John Crosbie in a radio interview, and has never looked back. When John died in 1994, Norman acquired the rights to the Foundation from John’s estate, the transaction taking place, appropriately, on April Fool’s Day.

Under Norman’s leadership, the Foundation’s 1,600 members continue to stumble onward, spreading the good (and sometimes not-so-good) words, and scattering their gems of linguistic libertinism about them like Johnny Appleseed, although perhaps not always with the same level of appreciation. Hysterically screaming “Up the pun!”, this unruly band of rebels may be found waving tattered copies of the pundit, and storming the barricades of grammatical rules and regulations around the world. From Australia to Zimbabwe, wherever they are erected by the steadily retreating phalanxes of pedants and self-appointed guardians of our language, the barriers are falling, and people are having fun with the language, thanks to the unceasing efforts of Norman and his plucky crew.


With great hesitancy, I bow to my love of words – and my admiration for the truly awful pun – and present two of last years winners of the pun-off.

There is a time-limit of 90 seconds for contestants…to which can be added 30 seconds making a total of 2 minutes. Quite long enough to listen to a string of puns I would say. There are two divisions: Punniest of Show and High-Lies & Low-Puns – and each division is limited to 32 participants.

AURAL SEX
(hint: read it carefully)

The graffiti on the PLATHroom wall was simple: “For hot one-on-one word play, call 1-800-WORDCORE.

And so I call, and she answers, and she jumps right into it.

She says, “Are you ready for some aural sex?”

And I say, “Oh, yes!”

And she says, “What are you drinking?”

And I say, “A tall tequila mockingbird, what are you drinking?”

And she said, “A nice vodka milkSHAKESPEARE. You sound so buff…have you been working out? I can tell you have tight vocabs. I’ll bet you have a huge dictionary.”

And I said, “Oh yes, indeed, it’s the Oxford English Language Dictionary. 151 pounds of pure…definition.”

And she said, “I want you to give me multiples right now!”

So, I purred, “Onomatopaea!”

And cried, “More! More!”

So, I moaned, “Supracalifragilisticespialidocious!”

And she said, “Don’t fake it. Give it to me RILKE.”

So, I whispered, “Antidisestablishmentarianism…”

And she screamed, “Affirmative! Affirmative! I want you to rap for me! Now!”

And I said, “What? Rap? I can’t rap!”

And she said, “But rappers are SO sexy!”

And I said, “I can’t rap! I was a Lit Major!”

And she said, “Oh, go PLATH yourself! I know you’ve got a superior WHIT, MAN, so just pull out your DICKENSON and start KEROUACKing now!”

So, I said:

“Uhm… Yo…

My words are warm wool slippers, put your poor, cold feets in
they’ll lock you up like Alexander Solzenitzen!

I’m cooking up lyrics like I was a chef, see?
I’ll give you Rhymes and Punishment like Dostoyevski!

Before you step to me, you better back the heck off,
‘cuz I’ve got more plays that Anton Chekov!”

She said, “You need to slow down, why you be Russian? By the way, you sound a little gay… Are you a homophone?”

And it was then that I realized this wasn’t really working for me. We were just two relationships passing wind in the night, crashing into the same GINSBURG.
–Eirik Ott (copyright 2006)

AN ANIMAL DICTIONARY

Four years ago I stood here and presented an ABC primer on animal puns. Since Richard Lederer and I now have a new book out (titled THE GIANT BOOK OF ANIMAL JOKES), I thought it would be appropriate to present an all-new alphabetical primer on animal puns, with completely different animals. Here I go:

I will not cast ASPersion on my previous performance, but I will BUCK the trend of not using the same theme. I just hope it doesn’t become a CATastrophe and I start DRAGON my feet. And I hope no one will feel any EEL will towards me, as I just want to have a lot of FAWN. In fact, I’ll GOAT to any length to keep these animal puns going forever and HEIFER. I’ll tow the line and try not to give up an INCHworm, as I dig for more animal puns. If I have to search for animal puns at night, I’ll use a JACKAL lantern. My goal, as always, is to keep up the KOALAty of these animal puns. If I can offer any tips to anyone, just LEMUR know. If you’re not sure, merely MULLET over for a while. But don’t be bashful; because, in this case, no news is bad NEWTs. If I’m ever in your neighborhood, I’ll stop by for a visit if OPOSSUM by your house. And I’ll drive carefully, since I don’t want to be accident PRAWN. If I come, I promise not to QUAHOG the conversation. You must think I’m a RAVEN lunatic to keep up this SHRIMPly awful animal punning, when in fact it actually makes me THRUSHed with delight and URCHIN to tell even more. So, are you VIXEN to invite me over? If so, I think WEEVIL have a good time. We could sit around and talk about the death of some skate and ray fish, commonly know as X-
RAYS. Or we could dress up, go out, and YAK it up. Finally though, if a female is invited, she should be sure to wear (as the French say) ZE BRA.
–Jim Ertner (copyright 2006)

Potpourri ~ Late Night Thoughts

I thought I would be able to move from a rather “silly” Saturday to a more sedate Sunday. However, a couple of friends decided I needed some puzzles and such to liven up my day. The first item, however, I found by myself …

From a science post I found:

This compound, C4H5As, is known as arsole.

When it’s fused to a benzene ring, it’s called benzarsole.

And yes, the poster and I DID go there.

“In an old church in Westchester county, N.Y., the following consonants are written beside the altar, under the Ten Commandments. What vowel is to be placed between them, to make sense and rhyme of the couplet?”

P.R.S.V.R.Y.P.R.F.C.T.M.N.
V.R.K.P.T.H.S.P.R.C.P.T.S.T.N

(And you thought I would automatically post the solution? – I’ll post it tomorrow)

Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfe­schlegelstein­hausen- berger­dorffvoraltern­waren­gewissenhaft­schaferswessen­schafewaren­wohlgepflege­und­sorgfaltigkeit­beschutzen- ­von­angreifen­durch­ihrraubgierigfeinde­welche­voraltern­zwolftausend­jahres­vorandieerscheinen­wander­ersteer- ­dem­enschderraumschiff­gebrauchlicht­als­sein­ursprung­von­kraftgestart­sein­lange­fahrt­hinzwischen­sternartigraum- ­auf­der­suchenach­diestern­welche­gehabt­bewohnbar­planeten­kreise­drehen­sich­und­wohin­derneurasse­von­ver- standigmen­schlichkeit­konnte­fortplanzen­und­sicher­freuen­anlebens­langlich­freude­und­ruhe­mit­nicht­ein­furcht-­ vor­angreifen­von­anderer­intelligent­geschopfs­von­hinzwischen­sternartigraum, Senior, was born in Hamburg in 1904.

It’s not known whether he worked at the Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeam- tengesellschaft —
(the office that governed steamboat passage on the Danube)—
but he certainly should have.


A new bride was required by her husband to show him all her correspondence. She did manage to get important information to her best friend, with the following letter.

Revealing the Secret

I cannot be satisfied, my dearest Friend,
blest as I am in the matrimonial state,
unless I pour into your friendly bosom,
which has ever beat in unison with mine,
the various sensations which swell
with the liveliest emotion of pleasure,
my almost bursting heart. I tell you my dear
husband is the most amiable of men,
I have now been married seven weeks, and
never have found the least reason to
repent the day that joined us. My husband is
both in person and manners far from resembling
ugly, cross, old, disagreeable, and jealous
monsters, who think by confining to secure –
a wife, it is his maxim to treat as a
bosom friend and confidant, and not as a
plaything, or menial slave, the woman
chosen to be his companion. Neither party
he says, should always obey implicitly;
but each yield to the other by turns.
An ancient maiden aunt, near seventy,
a cheerful, venerable, and pleasant old lady,
lives in the house with us; she is the de-
light of both young and old; she is ci-
vil to all the neighborhood round,
generous and charitable to the poor.
I am convinced my husband loves nothing more
than he does me; he flatters me more
than a glass; and his intoxication
(for so I must call the excess of his love)
often makes me blush for the unworthiness
of its object, and wish I could be more deserving
of the man whose name I bear. To
say all in one word, my dear, and to
crown the whole — my former gallant lover
is now my indulgent husband; my husband
is returned, and I might have had
a prince without the felicity I find in
him. Adieu! may you be as blest as I am un-
able to wish that I could be more
happy!

“The key ____________________”
(Oh dear, I’ll have to post this solution to this tomorrow also.)
– Charles Bombaugh, Facts and Fancies for the Curious From the Harvest-Fields of Literature, 1860

In The Queer, the Quaint and the Quizzical (1882), Frank H. Stauffer describes a letter with the following puzzling address:

Wood,
John,
Mass.

It was delivered to ____________________.
(Ah, once again the answer posted tomorrow!)

Microsoft And Poetry ~ Haiku’s For The Day

It’s not often that Microsoft and poetry appear in the same sentence, but I was sent these yesterday by a dear friend and immediately fell in love with them. I have no way to verify the truth of them, but even if they are not (which is highly likely) the time someone spent to create them makes it worthwhile.

In Japan, they have replaced the impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft error messages with Haiku poetry messages. They’re used to communicate a timeless message, often achieving a wistful, yearning and powerful insight through extreme brevity. Here are 13 error messages from Japan [in the original English]

The Web site you seek
Cannot be located, but
Countless more exist.

Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

Program aborting:
Close all that you have worked on.
You ask far too much.

Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.

Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.

Your file was so big.
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.

A crash reduces
Your expensive computer
To a simple stone.

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
This page is not here.

Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.

Having been erased,
The document you’re seeking
Must now be retyped.

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

Truth Or … What The ~ Late Night Thoughts

I’ll be the first to admit it … I’ve needed some good laughs over the last couple of days. And along with a couple of dear friends sending me some good solid belly laughs, I also found some “true” stories. I put the true in quotations, not to say I question their accuracy – but rather to accent the word. After all, truth is almost always stranger than fiction. (A famous writer stated the difference as: Fiction has to make sense.

Guns have been banned in Britain for years, so now swords are getting to be a menace. “Imitation” samurai swords have been identified as a weapon of choice in various attacks, so the Home Office has announced it wants to ban the weapons by the end of the year as part of a “wider crackdown” on knives and other bladed weapons. “Samurai sword crime is low in volume but high in profile,” a Home Office spokesman said. “It is already illegal to have a samurai sword in a public place but I want to restrict the number of dangerous weapons in circulation.” Those caught with swords, whether used in an assault or not, would face up to six months in jail and a 5,000-pound(US$9,800) fine. (London Telegraph) …The ultimate conclusion: half of all Brits will be sentenced to break rocks into sand so the other half can’t throw them.

Lawyer Balthazar Napoleon de Bourbon, 48, of Bhopal, India, has always loved France, and even gave his children French names. And, he has recently learned, he may be first in line as king of France. His lineage has been traced to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, and apparently also the Bourbon king of Spain. He is willing to take a DNA test to confirm the link. (London Guardian) …You know, this “outsourcing” thing is really getting out of hand

Students from rival campus organizations at the Dawood Engineering College in Karachi, Pakistan, had fistfights and threw furniture at each other in a January confrontation over which group should get credit for putting up posters urging students not to fight on campus…sounds as if reading class had gotten a little behind.

Two Bulgarian nationals were arrested in San Marcos, Texas, in January after being caught allegedly robbing coin-change machines at an apartment complex, and police subsequently found apartment guides for several cities in their van, along with a half-ton of quarters ($18,700)…Now there’s a commercial in the making!!

And last, but not least – from California Driver education Exam (where else and what else?)

Q: Do you yield when a blind pedestrian is crossing the road?
A: What for? He can’t see my license plate.


Q: Who has the right of way when four cars approach a four-way stop at the same time?
A: The pick up truck with the gun rack and the bumper sticker saying, “Guns don’t kill people. I do.”

Q: What are the important safety tips to remember when backing your car?
A: Always wear a condom.

Q: When driving through fog, what should you use?
A: Your car.

Q: How can you reduce the possibility of having an accident?
A: Be too drunk to find your keys.

Q: What problems would you face if you were arrested for drunk driving?
A: I’d probably lose my buzz a lot faster.

Q: What changes would occur in your lifestyle if you could no longer drive lawfully?
A: I would be forced to drive unlawfully.

Q: What are some points to remember when passing or being passed?
A: Make eye contact and wave “hello” if he/she is cute.

Q: What is the difference between a flashing red traffic light and a flashing yellow traffic light?
A: The color.

Q: How do you deal with heavy traffic?
A: Heavy psychedelics.

But The Map Says ~ Afternoon Laughter

There have been several stories recently about people who take their GPS directions ahead of common sense. The latest I read was about someone who drove into a canal, simply because the direction finder said “turn left, now.” However, I have always believed that Google maps are accurate.

It appears they are a little too accurate. Someone was wondering what would happen if you planned a trip from Chicago to London.

Part of the resulting itinerary shows that Google not only has a sense of humor but is either very interested in physical fitness, or only wants Olympic swimmers to use their directions.


To prove to all the doubters that this is real … Here is the link to the actual itinerary. (Just make sure to print the directions on waterproof paper!)

Real Books – Real Titles – Real Award

I do love interesting awards – and this annual event will become one I follow – imagine a book contest where the content doesn’t matter – only the title. Some of the titles make me want to go explore the non-fiction section of Half-Price Books!!

LONDON (AFP) – Industry magazine The Bookseller has opened voting for the oddest book title of the year, some of which suggest that nothing is stranger than non-fiction.

Readers of the magazine’s website www.thebookseller.com are being invited to vote on a shortlist of six non-fiction books in its annual Diagram Prize for the Oddest Title of the Year.

The nominations are made by publishers, booksellers and librarians from around the world.

The nominees are:

— “Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan

— “How Green Were the Nazis?

— “D. Di Mascio’s Delicious Ice Cream: D. Di Mascio of Coventry — An Ice Cream Company of Repute, with an Interesting and Varied Fleet of Ice Cream Vans

— “The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification

— “Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Seaweed Symposium

— “Better Never To Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence”

Joel Rickert, deputy editor of The Bookseller, told BBC radio Friday: “It’s the only literary prize where the content of the book doesn’t matter a jot.

“So, there’s still hope for Salman Rushdie or Martin Amis if they’re worried about the Booker (prize). All they’ve got to do is give their books an odd title and they’re in with a shot.”

Last year’s winner was “People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves To Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About it” by Gary Leon Hill.

The competition has been running since 1978, when the winner was “Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice

Beyond Bumper Stickers ~ Mid-Day Thoughts

Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

Drive carefully. It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.

Eat a live toad in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.

If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

Never buy a car you can’t push.

Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you don’t
have a leg to stand on.

Nobody cares if you can’t dance well.
Just get up and dance.

The early worm gets eaten by the bird, so sleep late.

When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.

Birthdays are good for you; the more you have, the longer you live.

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.

We could learn a lot from crayons:
some are sharp,
some are pretty,
some are dull,
some have weird names,
and all are different colors;
but they all have to learn to live in the same box.

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Happiness comes through doors you didn’t even know you left open.

–detour from collage by L. Michelle Johnson
http://www.grownmencry.com/art/collage1.html

Found Buried In The Paper ~

You know how newspapers sometimes have very interesting items buried in the depths? Here’s a couple of interesting articles I ran across on the web, that I could imagine finding where I least expected.

Successful Politician
(or someone with a grasp of “make-em love me” theory)

Germany’s RPR1 radio station received some 12,000 answers to its question “What would you do for 100,000 euros?” But it was Marko Hilgert’s answer that stuck out from the rest: Throw it out the window.

“”It was just a crazy idea,” Hilgert said. “I never thought I’d actually win.”

But enough listeners liked the idea and voted for him, and probably for their own chances at collecting some of cash as well, the radio station said.

The 49-year-old trailer truck driver had the chance to make the dreams of free money come true in the western German city of Kaiserslautern, when he climbed into a bucket truck and showered the town’s square with 75,000 euros ($97,222.97) in 5-euro bills over the course of several hours.
He’ll be keeping the remaining 25,000($32,407.53) euros to pay off part of his mortgage.

The Next President Will Protect Us From Mind-control Weapons
( an “all your base are belong to us”** press release)

U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is a well-known “congressional irregular” and 2008 presidential candidate. In 2001, he proposed legislation to ban space weapons. Such bills are regularly floated and shot down in Congress. However, Kucinich’s bill was slightly different. He added a special section aimed at those of his ..uh.. irregular(?) constituents perhaps receiving radio transmission in their fillings:

(2)(A) The terms `weapon’ and `weapons system’ mean a device capable of any of the following:

(ii) Inflicting death or injury on, or damaging or destroying, a person (or the biological life, bodily health, mental health, or physical and economic well-being of a person)–

(II) through the use of land-based, sea-based, or space-based systems using radiation, electromagnetic, psychotronic, sonic, laser, or other energies directed at individual persons or targeted populations for the purpose of information war, mood management, or mind control of such persons or populations…

Please remember to vote Kucinich for president.
This message was brought to you by the Mind Control Division via psychotroic means

**from the opening cut scene of the English version of the 1989 Japanese video game Zero Wing by Toaplan…it quickly became part of the language of gamers and non-gamers alike.

both stories from abelard.org