The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Yahhhrg roush, garble-foo, innit?

How does the notion of Sir Ozzy Osborne grab you?  A 45-year-old Black Sabbath fan in the UK is petitioning the gummint to knight him.  According to a UPI story, one has to have made “... significant contributions to national life” in order to qualify.  Dunno if Mr. Osborne qualifies, depending on what nationality they're talking about. The nation of Great Britain? The empire of Rock n' Roll? The state of confusion?

I actually know next to nothing about the man, but I think the UK should go for it. How many knights of the realm do they have, anyway, who are rumored to bite the heads off bats? Who have had their own lexically incomprehensible reality show?(1)  Who have appeared briefly in a commercial, saying "What's a Bieber?"  I mean, if this doesn't constitute significant contributions to something or other, what does?

(1) Now if we had knighthoods over here in the US, there'd be plenty of those to choose from.

Remarkably astute ...

... considering the source

Headline: Archdiocese of Detroit has advice for drivers annoyed by I-96 closure: Pray.

No word yet on advice for drivers annoyed by the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

It's May First: National day of Reason

I'm never sure how much good things like this do -- I mean, public displays of non-support for things you don't believe -- but here it is, anyway.  The National Day of Reason.

"Be reasonable. Do it your way."

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Yet another list

A national organization of people who know about such things has placed two Detroit freeway bridges on their list of Most Structurally Deficient, ah, things. The Free Press noted it in a recent story.

They omitted mentioning that the list also includes:
  • Rob Ford's weltanschaung
  • The foreign policy of King George III
  • Me
Just setting the record straight.

A few notebook items

Time to clean off the note-taking application on the Wood-Charles reasonably-smart phone.

Overheard ...
  • "How can you be religious and have a tattoo?" -- Ravens Club, Ann Arbor
  • "Those Europe guys just wanna take over!" -- Detroit Metro Airport
  • "Is that your teeth making that noise?" -- Dental Tech, Ann Arbor
  • "We need a new definition of what we call water. We gots orange water, lemon water, blue water, green water ..." -- Target employee, Ann Arbor
  • Camper A: "You goin' out in the kayak?" Camper B: "But it's all uphill!" -- Onaway State Park, Michigan
  • Fisherman A: "How deep is it?" Fisherman B: "Well, it varies. It depends on the water level." -- Young State Park, Michigan
  • Husband objects to the cost of renting a beach chair. Wife: "Well, whataya  gonna do, sit on the floor?" -- Trunk Bay, St. John, USVI
  • The motto of the fourteenth century rebellious Hussite sect, after arming their peasant followers with pots of burning oil: Try to set the Knight on fire.
  • In a war between Michigan and Wisconsin, Michigan would win because we would field mechanized infantry, whereas they would only have pasteurized. But this would be offset by Milwaukee's fearsome fleet of gravy boats.
  • An entire story devoted to funny toponymics: the little Wyoming town of Gender Gap. The tiny Vietnamese hamlet, Mee Sum Too.  A sister-city arrangement between Phukhet, Thailand and Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Ah, much better. Plenty of room now.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Long lost deer hunting camp found underwater

Archaeologists announced that they had been able to locate the remains of an ancient deer camp, drowned in the waters of Lake Huron.  Dating back to at least the 1950s, it has already yielded a collection of beautifully preserved artifacts, including several pristine cans of Blatz, a plaid flannel ceremonial shirt, and "miscellaneous auto or truck parts." Asked how he knew the camp was underwater, a spokesman said that bank records show the tribe still owing $15,340 on the property, and ...

It is said to be the most significant find since last year's discovery of a pre-Internet Elk's Club, found while excavating for a new Buffalo Wild Wings cafe.

Monday, April 28, 2014

US Cities Scramble to Attract Hot Sauce Maker

Huy Fong Foods, Inc., maker of the famous and beloved Sriracha hot sauce, has been forced to relocate from its home in California. Neighbors object to the stinging cloud of hot pepper essence that wafts from the factory. However, other cities are running campaigns to get the factory relocated in their back yards.  One city, somewhere on the ocean, is running an ad with a Sriracha bottle water skiing in what, presumably, is their sunny clime.

As part of our on-going support for Governor Snyder's attempts to seduce attract new business into Michigan, Wood-Charles is running a campaign of its own, the theme being "Michigan: things could be hotter here." 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Insensitive humor via literal translation

It's not polite to mock entire language groups, simply because their terminology, literally translated into ours, is funny. But if you demonstrate empathy by showing a self-effacing sense of humor, you can nullify the hurtfulness to some extent.  In that vein, then, we report that a literal translation of Beijing subway stop names reported by the Wall Street Journal included, among others, these amusing stations:
  • Cholera Camp
  • Safe Chastity Gate
  • Safe Neighborhood (which is right next to South Gong and Drum Alley)
You can travel from Mud Depression on the south-west, all the way to Salary Uncle on the north-east, or if you prefer somewhere closer in, there's Magnetic Implement Intersection or Puddle of Accumulated Water.

To be fair, though, we asked some colleagues in the PRC for their take on New York City place names, and they supplied us with these.
  • Corner of the Bonus-earning Hot Dog Vendors
  • Ludex (aka Ludicrous Excess Wallow)
  • Gun Packing District
  • Kosher Pork Butcher Alley
  • Madman Noodle Street
  • Ever-curious Policeman
The Beijing map is here. We're still working on the NYC version.