Spiritual Humor


Compiled by Timothy Conway

LAUGHTER AS MEDICINE

It is said that young children laugh as much as 100 to 200 times a day, compared to a large majority of adults who only get zero to several daily laughs. Yet laughter is good not only for the body but also for the soul and Spirit.

An Internet site advises this Wellness Tip: “Go on and laugh! Whether your preference is giggle, chuckle or guffaw, here are a dozen well-being benefits of laughter: Increases antibodies in saliva that combats upper respiratory infections. Secretes an enzyme that protects the stomach from forming ulcers. Conditions the abdominal muscles. Relaxes muscles throughout the body. Aids in reducing symptoms of neuralgia and rheumatism. Changes perspective. Has positive benefits on mental functions. Reduces blood pressure and heart-rate. Helps the body fight infection. Releases endorphins which provide natural pain relief. Tightens stomach muscles. Helps move nutrients and oxygen to body tissues. AND, it makes you feel good!”

So: given the above “license to laugh,” enjoy the following large selection of fun material, including humorous spiritual stories I’ve heard and read over the years, and various jokes and quips sent to me by friends from among the vast collection circulating in the ether and cyber-ether. It’s interesting how my Jewish friends send Jewish humor, my Protestant friends send Protestant humor, Catholic friends send Catholic humor, Zen friends send Zen humor… And note the recurrent, well-worn themes: God (usually the anthropomorphic "Guy in the sky"), Satan, heaven, hell, old age, death, money, men-women relationships, love, sex, mothers and fathers, children, the Bible, church, synagogue, gurus, monks, meditation, prayer, computers, and yes, road-crossing chickens, and light-bulbs needing or not needing to be screwed into their sockets by certain numbers of folks or none at all...

Catholic theologian G.K. Chesterton once stated: "Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly" --while devils and demons, we surmise, fell from Grace into the hell-states due to the "heaviness" of their pride, greed and anger.

Thus, as my dear Sufi-Zen poet friend Thomas Burns says: “May you be ridiculously happy!”—or, if you prefer, happily ridiculous!

P.S.—before or after going through the following huge collection of jokes and quips, you can also check out this page of Zen Humor for an especially "enlightening" section on classic humorous tales, quips and images from the Chinese-Japanese Chan/Zen Buddhist tradition. You might even fully awaken from the unfunny dream of "me" to Absolute Bliss!

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SUCCESSFUL SERMON
“The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending, and to have the two as close together as possible.” --George Burns

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GOD’S LAUGHTER
How do you make God laugh? Tell him your plans.

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DIVINE HUMOR
A quip from Robert Frost: "Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee, and I'll forgive Thy great big joke on me."

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THE TRUTH
Once Satan and his demon sidekick were walking down the street, closely watching a man 20 yards ahead who was on the verge of realizing the Supreme Truth. The demon grew worried, and began to nudge Satan, but Satan looked quite calm. Sure enough, the man did, in fact, soon realize the deepest spiritual Truth. Yet Satan still did nothing about it. With this, the demon nudged Satan harder and, getting no response, finally blurted out, “Satan! Don’t you see? That man has realized the Truth! And yet you are doing nothing to stop him!” With that, Satan cunningly smiled and announced, “Yes, he has realized the Truth. And now I am going to help him organize the Truth!” (--story heard years ago from Indian sage Jiddu Krishnamurti)

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BUMPER STICKERS

Dear Lord, protect me from your followers!

Oops, my karma ran over your dogma.

Minds are like parachutes. They only function when open.

Hermits unite.

(Slogan for proselytizers:) Let us prey.

Ignorance of the Law of Karma is No Excuse!
(--this one from Elliott Isenberg)

Wag more, bark less

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OVERHEARD… A toast given by a Hindu gentleman at a wedding: “A man not having a wife is incomplete. And once he has a wife, he’s finished!”

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HOW ENLIGHTENED ARE YOU?

IF....

If you can live without caffeine,

If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining,

If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

If you can ignore a friend's limited education and never correct him or her,

If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,

If you can face the world without lies and deceit,

If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without liquor,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

If you can honestly say that deep in your heart you have no prejudice against creed, color, religion, gender preference, or politics,

--Then you have almost reached the same level of spiritual development as your dog!

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MEDITATING MONKS

One Buddhist monk leaned over to another and quietly asked, "Are you not thinking what I'm not thinking?"

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GEORGE CARLIN, ON REVERSING LIFE'S SEQUENCE

I want to live my next life backwards:
You start out dead and get that out of the way.
Then you wake up in a nursing home feeling better every day.
Then you get kicked out for being too healthy.
You enjoy your retirement and collect your pension.
Then, when you start work, you get a gold watch on your first day.
You work 40 years until you're too young to work.
You get ready for High School: drink alcohol, party, and you're generally promiscuous.
Then you go to primary school, you become a kid, you play, and you have no responsibilities.
Then you become a baby, and then...
You spend your last 9 months floating peacefully in luxury, in spa-like conditions: central heating, room service on tap, and then...
You finish off as an orgasm. I rest my case.

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GENEALOGY
A little girl asked her mother, "How did the human race appear?" The mother answered, "God made Adam and Eve and they had children and so was all mankind made." Two days later the girl asked her father the same question. The father answered, "Many years ago there were monkeys from which the human race evolved." The confused girl returned to her mother and said, "Mom, how is it possible that you told me the human race was created by God, and Dad said they developed from monkeys?" The mother answered, "Well, dear, it is very simple: I told you about my side of the family and your father told you about his."

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GOD CREATES MAN AND WOMAN
God and Adam were walking through the Garden of Eden, discussing various things. At one point, Adam says, "Wow, God, you sure made Eve awfully beautiful, just amazingly beautiful!" Spoke the Lord: "Yes, my son, that is so you would love her very, very deeply." After a brief moment, Adam hesitatingly commented, "But Lord, you made Eve not too smart." "Ah, yes," said God, "that is so she would love you very, very deeply."

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GOD TELLS ADAM TO BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY
A few days after creation, the Lord called Adam and said, “It is time for you and Eve to begin the process of populating the earth, so I want you to kiss her.” Adam answered, “Yes Lord, but what is a kiss?” So the Lord gave a brief description to Adam who took Eve by the hand and took her over to a nearby bush.

A few minutes later, Adam emerged and said, “Thank you Lord, that was quite enjoyable.”

And the Lord replied, “Yes Adam, I thought you might enjoy that. Now, I’d like you to caress Eve.” And Adam asked, “What is a ‘caress’?” So the Lord again gave Adam a brief description and then Adam went behind the bush to caress Eve.

Quite a few minutes later, Adam returned, smiling, and said, “‘Lord, that was even better than the kiss.”

And the Lord said, “You’ve done well Adam. And now I want you to make love to Eve.”

And Adam asked, “What is ‘make love’ Lord?” So the Lord again gave Adam directions and Adam went again to Eve behind the bush. But this time he reappeared in five seconds and asked, “Lord, what is a ‘headache’?”

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WEDDING OFFER
During the wedding rehearsal, the groom approached the pastor with an unusual offer: "Look, I'll give you $100 if you'll change the wedding vows. When you get to the part where I'm supposed to promise to 'love, honor and obey' and 'be faithful to her forever,' well, I'd appreciate it if you'd just leave that out." He passed the minister a $100 bill and walked away satisfied.

On the day of the wedding, when it came time for the groom's vows, the pastor looked the young man in the eye and said: "Will you promise to prostrate yourself before her, obey her every command and wish, serve her breakfast in bed every morning of your life, and swear eternally before God and your lovely wife that you will not ever even look at another woman, as long as you both shall live?" The groom gulped and looked around, and said in a tiny voice, "Yes," then leaned toward the pastor and hissed: "I thought we had a deal." The pastor put a $100 bill into the groom's hand and whispered: "She made me a better offer."

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YOU THINK YOU ARE SOMETHING
“You may think you are something, but that something is nothing. You think you amount to something? —So do the dots on a dice! There's nothing but God! La ilaha illa Llah--thus say the Muslim Sufi saints.” (--Hakim Sana'i, Sufi poet-saint, d.1131; see Religion & Spirituality section for a long webpage on Sana'i and other spiritual masters.)

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THE SYNAGOGUE
A rabbi and a cantor are standing in the largely empty synagogue one day, talking mystically about how, given the awesome glory of God’s Infinite Divine Presence, they are each really “nothing.” “Yes,” says the rabbi, “I am nothing!” The cantor also affirms, looking up to the heavens, “O God, I am completely nothing!” And they go on like this for several rounds—”I am nothing… I am utterly nothing.”

Meanwhile, the synagogue’s janitor is off in the corner on his hands and knees, scrubbing the floor. Filled with piety and a fervent spirit, he has all the while been repeating in a gentle voice, “O Lord, You are everything and I am nothing… I am nothing.” The rabbi and cantor at one point listen in and, after a few moments, come to realize what he is saying. At this, the rabbi nudges the cantor and smugly says, “Look who thinks he’s nothing!”

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PEACE
Disciple: Oh wise and all knowing one, take me to the realm of perfect peace.
Master: If I take you to that realm, it will no longer be peaceful.

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BEGGING
At the entrance to a Hindu temple there was a beggar always stretching out his hand, asking and pleading for alms. One day he stretched out both of his hands. A passerby asked him: “All these days, you were stretching out only one hand—why are you today stretching out two hands?” To which the beggar replied: “Hari Om! Praise God! Business was so good that I opened another branch!”

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FUNERALS
According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy. --Jerry Seinfeld

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THE HOLY and UNHOLY PARROTS
A lady goes to see her priest one day and tells him, “Father, I have a problem. I have two female parrots, but they only know how to say one thing.” “What do they say?” the priest inquired. “They say, 'Hi, we’re hookers! Do you want to have some fun?' Isn't that awful?” the woman laments.

“That’s obscene!” the priest exclaimed. Then he thought for a moment. “You know,” he said, “I may have a solution to your problem. I have two male parrots who talk, and I have taught them to pray and read the Bible. Bring your two parrots over to my house, and we’ll put them in the cage with Francis and Job. My parrots can teach your parrots to praise and worship God, and your parrots are sure to stop saying... that... that indecent phrase...in no time.” “Thank you,” the woman responded, “this may very well be the solution!”

The next day, the woman brought her female parrots to the priest’s house. As he ushered the woman in, she saw that his two male parrots, Francis and Job, were inside their cage, holding rosary beads and actually praying, their pious little faces upturned toward heaven with beaks moving slightly as they prayed intently to the Lord.

Very impressed, the woman walked over and placed her parrots inside the cage with these very devout parrots. After a few minutes, sure enough, the female parrots cried out in unison: “Hi, we’re hookers! Do you want to have some fun?” A long moment of silence ensued. Shocked, one male parrot looked over at the other male parrot and exclaimed, “Put the beads away, Frank. Our prayers have been answered!”

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GRAFFITI
Seen on a restroom wall: “God is dead.”--Nietzsche.
Below that was written: “Nietzsche is dead.”--God.

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NOT GETTING THE JOKE
Voltaire: "God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh."

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TEXAN RELIGION
Butch Hancock remembers: "Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love."

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MISSIONARIES
Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner from Cape Town, South Africa, tells the following: "There is a story, fairly well known, about when the missionaries came to Africa. They had the Bible and we, the natives, had the land. They said 'Let us pray,' and we dutifully shut our eyes. When we opened them, why, they now had the land and we had the Bible."

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“GOD’S LAW”
[An old favorite, written by James Kauffman, Ed.D., Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education at the University of Virginia. This was originally addressed to conservative radio talk host Dr. Laura Schlesinger, who said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, she found that, according to Leviticus 18:22, homosexuality is an abomination and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. This piece more recently went around the Internet, re-addressed to President George W. Bush. We use this latter version, with one addition from myself (#10).]

Dear President Bush,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from you and understand why you would propose and support a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. As you said: “in the eyes of God marriage is based between a man and a woman.” I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness--Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women for some reason take offense at this.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord--Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there “degrees” of abomination?

7. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?

8. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

9. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton-polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev.24:10-16) Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

[And one more, newly submitted:] 10. Very shortly after my recent marriage, I learned from Deuteronomy 22:13-21 that "a marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed." Now, as a recent widower, my question is... do I get to keep her dowry and the wedding presents?

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

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MODERN ZEN HUMOR
from www.rudyh.org/zen_fun_humour_jokes_stories_funny-humor.htm

Q: How do you describe a schizophrenic Zen Buddhist?
A: A man who is at two with the universe

Q: How much "ego" do you need?
A: Just enough so that you don't step in front of a bus.
--Shunryu Suzuki

A student once asked Zen teacher Steve Allen, "If you were given a wish-fulfilling jewel, what would you wish for?" "To stop wishing," replied Allen.

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INEBRIATED MIRACLE
Time: 1960s, one early twilight evening. Place: A New York City street.
A man is walking down the fairly busy street and, unfortunately, has enjoyed himself a bit too much at the local bar’s “Happy Hour.” He’s in a fairly thick state of inebriation. Up ahead and oncoming are two Catholic nuns walking along, wearing the old-style long black dresses or “habits.” As always, they walk fairly close together, even sometimes arm in arm, as they talk quietly about their convent school’s activities and spiritual matters relating to prayer, thanksgiving and God.

Upon seeing the hapless, drunken man slowly coming their way, they decide not to stare at him and shame him, but to simply look down at the sidewalk pavement as they proceed, silently saying prayers to themselves for his well-being in the embrace of the good Lord. When the gracious women have drawn even nearer to where he is, he accidentally, awkwardly lurches to his left, right into their oncoming path. The nuns simply and deftly separate for a moment, one nun going around to his left, and the other nun going around to his right, before they come together again and proceed to walk down the street arm in arm.

Meanwhile the man isn’t quite sure what has just happened. He turns around in his drunken grogginess and finally exclaims to himself in an inebriated voice, “Lord save me! What a miracle! How in the world did she do that?

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RANDOM QUIPS (from various unknown sources)

As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in public schools.

I’ve taken a vow of poverty. To test me, please send money.

Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

I don’t have a problem with willpower. It’s won’t power I have a problem with.

My life has a superb cast, but I can’t figure out the plot.

Life is sexually transmitted.

I used to be indecisive; now I’m not sure.

My reality check just bounced.

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

No sense being pessimistic. It wouldn’t work anyway.

I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

You’re just jealous because the voices only talk to me.

Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.

If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

Clones are people two.

Always try to be modest, and be proud of it!

I can resist anything but temptation

God must love stupid people, he made so many.

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

What do they call Church pastors in Germany? German Shepherds.

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CHILDREN AND RELIGION

CHILDREN’S LETTERS TO GOD
These charming items are often circulated as an anonymously written piece; but they are actually excerpts from a lovely book by Stuart Hample & Eric Marshall, Children’s Letters to God (Workman Publishing, 1991 and reprints); here are a few sample messages:

Dear God, I read the Bible. What does begat mean? Nobody will tell me. Love, Allison.

Dear God, Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don’t You keep the ones You already have now? Jane.

Dear God, Maybe Cain and Abel would not have killed each other if they had their own rooms. That’s what my Mom did for me and my brother. Larry.

Dear God, If You watch me in church on Sunday, I’ll show You my new shoes. Mickey.

Dear God, I bet it is very hard to love everyone in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I’m having a hard time loving all of them. Nan.

Dear God, Are You really invisible or is it just a trick? Lucy.

Dear God, Did You mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident? Norma.

Dear God, I went to this wedding and they kissed right in the church. Is that OK? Neil.

Dear God, Did You really mean “do unto others as they do unto you”? Because if You did, then I’m going to get my brother good. Darla.

Dear God, Thank You for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy. Joyce.

Dear God, I think about You sometimes, even when I’m not praying. Elliot.

Dear God, My brother told me about being born but it doesn’t sound right. They’re just kidding, aren’t they? Marsha.

Dear God, I didn’t think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset You made on Tuesday. That was cool. Eugene.

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PRAYER
One little four-year-old boy was misbehaving so much in a church in the Southern USA that his father was compelled to pick up his son under one arm and carry him outside. On his way out, the little tyke called out, "Y'all please pray for me!"

CHILDREN’S DRAWINGS
A Kindergarten teacher was observing the children while they drew their art. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work. As she got to where one little girl was working diligently, the teacher asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, "I'm drawing God." The teacher paused and said, "But honey, no one knows what God looks like." Without missing a beat or looking up from her drawing, the little girl replied, "They will in a minute."

GOD CREATES EVERYONE
A little girl was sitting on her grandfather’s lap as he read her a bedtime story. From time to time, she would take her eyes off the book and reach up to touch his wrinkled cheek. She was alternately stroking her own cheek, then his again. Finally she spoke up, “Grandpa, did God make you?”
“Yes, sweetheart,” he answered, “God made me a long time ago”.
“Oh,” she paused, “Grandpa, did God make me too?”
“Yes, indeed, honey,” he said, “God made you just a little while ago.”
Feeling their respective faces again, she observed, “God’s getting better at it, isn’t he?”

WEDDING
Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, “Why is the bride dressed in white?” “Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life.” The child thought about this for a moment, then said, “So why is the groom wearing black?”

SCHOOL LUNCH
The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun had posted a note on the apple tray: "Take only ONE. God is watching." Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples."

MAKE HASTE
A little girl dressed in her Sunday best, was running as fast as she could, trying not to be late for Bible class. As she ran she prayed, “Dear Lord, please don’t let me be late! Please don’t let me be late!” While she was running and praying, she tripped on a curb and fell, getting her clothes dirty and tearing her dress. She got up, brushed herself off, and started again running while praying, “Dear Lord, please don’t let me be late...But please don’t shove me either!”

WORDS
Three little boys are in the schoolyard bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, “My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper. He calls it a poem and they give him $50.” The second boy says, “That’s nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper. He calls it a song and they give him $100.” The third boy says, “Hey, my Dad scribbles some words on a piece of paper, calls it a sermon, and it takes eight people to collect all the money!

COMMANDMENTS
A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to “honor thy father and thy mother,” she asked, “Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?” Without missing a beat, one little boy answered, “Thou shall not kill.”

CREATION OF MAN AND WOMAN
At Sunday School they were teaching how God created everything including human beings. Little Billy seemed especially intent when they told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam’s ribs. Later in the week his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill, and said, “Billy, what is the matter?” Little Billy responded, “I have pain in my side. I think I’m going to have a wife.”

BECOMING A MINISTER
After a church service on Sunday morning, a young boy suddenly announced to his mother, “Mom, I’ve decided to become a minister when I grow up.” “That’s okay with us, but what made you decide that?”
“Well,” said the little boy, “I’ll have to go to church on Sunday anyway, and I figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell than to sit and listen.”

THE AFTERLIFE
The pastor was talking to a group of young children about being good and going to heaven. At the end of his talk, he asked, “Where do you want to go?”
“Heaven!” cried out little Suzy.
“And what do you have to be to get there?” asked the preacher.
“Six feet under!” yelled little Tommy.

CHURCH CANDLES
A mother took her three-year-old daughter to church for the first time. The church lights were lowered, and then the choir came down the aisle, carrying lighted candles. All was quiet until the little one started singing in a loud voice, “Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you...”

SILENCE IN CHURCH
A Sunday school teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church service, “And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?” One bright little girl replied, “Because people are sleeping.”

FAMILY BIBLE
A little boy opened the big family bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. “Mama, look what I found”, the boy called out.” What have you got there, dear?” With astonishment he answered, “I think it’s Adam’s underwear!”

GRACE BEFORE MEALS
The Sunday School teacher asks, “Now, Johnny, tell me frankly: do you say prayers before eating?” “No sir,” little Johnny replies, “I don’t have to. My Mom is a good cook.”

DEATH
When the family's dog died, a mother tried to gently break the news to her little 5-year-old daughter. “We can all be happy now, that little Bo is up in heaven with God.” Replied the little girl: “But mom, what's God going to do with a dead dog?”

MORE DEATH
A father was at the beach with his children when the four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore, where a seagull lay dead in the sand. “Daddy, what happened to him?” the son asked. “He died and went to Heaven,” the dad replied. The boy thought for a moment and then asked, “Did God throw him back down?”

CATHOLIC SCHOOL
Little Zachary was doing very badly in math. His parents had tried everything: tutors, mentors, flash cards, special learning centers. In short, everything they could think of to help his math. Finally, in a last-ditch effort, they took Zachary down and enrolled him in the local Catholic school. After the first day, little Zachary came home with a very serious look on his face. He didn’t even kiss his mother or say “hello.” Instead, he went straight to his room and started studying. Books and papers were soon spread out all over the room while little Zachary applied himself, hard at work.

His mother was amazed. She called him down to dinner. To her shock, the minute he was done, he marched back to his room without a word, and in no time, he was back hitting the books as hard as before.

This went on for some time, day after day, while the mother tried to understand what made such a difference. Finally, little Zachary brought home his report card. He quietly laid it on the table, went up to his room to study even more. With great trepidation, his Mom looked at the report card and, to her great surprise, Zachary had received an “A” in math. She could no longer hold her curiosity.

She went to his room and said, “Son, what was it? Was it the nuns?” The little boy shook his head.

“Well, then,” she replied, “was it the books, the discipline, the structure, the uniforms?”

Zachary looked at his mother and said, “No. It was on the first day of school when I saw that guy nailed to the plus sign, I knew they weren’t fooling around.”

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* * * * *

CHILDREN
Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late. --Thomas Sowell

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MEDITATION
Two men meet on the street: “How are you?” one asks. The other replies: “I’m fine, thanks.” “And how’s your son? Is he still unemployed?” “Yes, he is. But he is meditating now.” “Meditating? What’s that?” “I don’t know. But it’s better than sitting around doing nothing!”

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THE POPE
The Pope arrives at JFK and he’s met at a baggage claim by a driver in a bad suit and a clip-on tie, holding a hand-lettered sign that says, “Pope.” After getting all the Pope’s luggage loaded in the limousine—and His Holiness does travel light—the driver notices that the Pope is still standing on the curb. “Hey, Mr. Pope,” says the driver in accented English, “why have you not seated yourself in the excellent limo?” “Well, to tell you the truth,” says the Pope, “they never let me drive at the Vatican, and I’d really like to drive.” “That is very much against the rules!” protested the driver, wishing he’d never left Calcutta. “There might be something extra in it for you,” said the Pope.

Reluctantly, the driver got in the back as the Pope got in behind the wheel. The driver quickly regretted his decision when, after clearing the airport, the Pope accelerated the limo to 105 mph. “Please be driving not so rapidly, Mr. Pope,” pleaded the worried driver, but the Pope kept the pedal to the metal. Then they heard the siren. “Oh, my Gods, now I am surely losing my license,” moaned the driver.

The Pope pulled over and rolled down the window as the patrolman approached, but the cop took one look at him, went back to his motorcycle, and got on the radio. “I need to talk to the Chief,” he said to the dispatcher.

When the Chief got on the radio, the cop told him that he’d stopped a limo going a hundred and five. “So bust him,” said the Chief. “I think the guy’s a big shot,” said the cop. “All the more reason.” “No, I mean really a big shot,” said the cop. “What’d ya got there, the Mayor?” “Bigger.” “Governor?” “Bigger than that.” “Well,” said the Chief, “who is it, then?”

“I don’t know,” said the cop. “But he’s got the Pope driving for him.”

* * * * *

A MILLION TO ONE
A man trying to understand the nature of God asked him: “God, how long is a million years to you?” God answered, “A million years is like a minute.” Then the man asked, “God, how much is a million dollars to you?” And God replied, “A million dollars is like a penny.” Finally the man asked, “ God, could you give me a penny?” And God said, “In a minute!

* * * * *

THE YOGI AND THE PIZZA
The Yogi walked into the Zen Pizza Parlor and said: “Make me one with everything.” When the Yogi got the pizza, he gave the proprietor a $20 bill. The proprietor pocketed the bill. The Yogi said “Don’t I get any change?” The proprietor said, “Change must come from within.”

* * * * *

SHARING
A little old couple walked slowly into a fast-food restaurant one cold winter evening. They looked out of place amidst the young families and young couples eating there that night. Some of the customers looked admiringly at them, and you could tell what the admirers were thinking: “Look, there is a couple who has been through so much together, probably for 60 years or more!” The little old man walked right up to the cash register, placed his order with no hesitation and then paid for their meal. The couple took a table near the back wall and started taking food off of the tray. There was one veggie burger, one order of French fries and one drink. The little old man unwrapped the plain veggie burger and carefully cut it in half. He placed one half in front of his wife. Then he carefully counted out the French fries, divided them in two piles and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife. He took a sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them.

As the man began to eat his few bites of veggie burger the crowd began to get restless. Again you could tell what they were thinking. “That poor old couple. All they can afford is one meal for the two of them.” As the man began to eat his French fries one young man stood and came over to the old couples’ table. He politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple to eat. The old man replied that they were just fine. They were used to sharing everything.

Then the crowd noticed that the little old lady hadn’t eaten a bite. She just sat there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink. Again the young man came over and begged them to let him buy them something to eat. This time the lady explained that no, they were used to sharing everything together.

As the little old man finished eating and was wiping his face neatly with a napkin, the young man could stand it no longer. Again he came over to their table and offered to buy some food. After being politely refused again he finally asked a question of the little old lady. “Ma’am, why aren’t you eating? You said that you share everything. What is it that you are waiting for?” After a long pause, she answered... “The teeth.” And within a few moments the old man gave her their one set of dentures.

* * * * *

A MODERN LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father, who shall be termed party of the first part, whose place of business is in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom, pursuant to terms and conditions, come. Thy will, duly uncontested, be done on earth, inasfar as existing statutes permit, as it is in Heaven. Give us this Thirty-first day of December, 2000, our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, notwithstanding claims, liens and legal costs, as we, who shall be termed party of the second part, forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, i.e. sin, corruption, greed, gluttony, etc., but deliver us from evil, the nature of which shall be determined by the court. For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and, pending appeal, the Glory forever. Amen.

* * * * *

THE LESSON
Then Jesus took his disciples up to the mountain and gathering them around him, he taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are they that mourn. Blessed are the merciful. Blessed are they that thirst for justice. Blessed are you when persecuted. Blessed are you when you suffer. Be glad and rejoice for your reward is great in heaven.”

Then Simon Peter said: “Do we have to write this down?”

And Andrew said: “Are we supposed to know this?”

And James said: “Will we have a test on this?”

And Phillip said: “I don’t have any paper!”

And Bartholomew said: “Do we have to turn this in?”

And John said: “The other disciples didn’t have to learn this!”

And Matthew said: “Can I go to the boys’ room?”

And Judas said: “What does this have to do with real life?”

Then one of the Pharisees who was present asked to see Jesus’ lesson plan and inquired of Jesus: “Where are your anticipatory set and objectives in the cognitive domain?”

And Jesus wept.

* * * * * *

A PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Dear God, so far today, I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossiped, and I haven’t lost my temper. I haven’t been grumpy, nasty or selfish, and I’m really glad of that! But in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out of bed, and from then on, I’m probably going to need a lot of help. Thank you! Amen.

* * * * *

SO I MARRIED AN ATHEIST
A young lady came home from a date, rather sad. She explained to her mother, “Anthony proposed to me an hour ago.” “Then why are you so sad?” her mother asked. “Because he also told me he is an atheist. Mom, he doesn't even believe there's a Hell!”

Her mother replied, “Marry him anyway. Between the two of us, we'll show him how wrong he is.”

* * * * *

TWO PRIESTS
Two priests decided to go to Hawaii on vacation. They determined to make this a real vacation by not wearing anything that would identify them as clergy. As soon as the plane landed, they headed for a store and bought some really outrageous shorts, shirts, sandals, sunglasses, etc.

The next morning, they went to the beach, dressed in their “tourist” garb. They were sitting on beach chairs, and enjoying a drink, the sunshine and the scenery when a great-looking blonde in a bikini came walking straight towards them. They couldn’t help but stare. As the blonde passed them, she smiled, nodded and said, “Good morning, Father,” “Good morning, Father,” addressing each of them individually, then passed on by. They were both stunned. “How in the world did she know we’re priests?” they asked each other.

The next day, they went back to the store, bought even more outrageous outfits. Once again the two priests in disguise settled on the beach in their chairs to enjoy the sunshine, etc. After a while, the same gorgeous blonde, taking her sweet time, came walking toward them and greeted them individually with “Good morning, Father,” and started to walk away.

One of the priests couldn’t stand it any longer and said, “Just a minute young lady.” “Yes?” she replied. “We are priests, and proud of it, but I have to know, how in the world did you know we are priests?” Replied the young woman: “Father, it’s me, Sister Angela.”

* * * * *

YOU WANT WHAT?
A man walking along a California beach was deep in prayer. All of a sudden he said out loud, “Lord, please grant me one wish.” Suddenly the sky clouded above his head and in a booming voice the Lord said, “Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish.” The man said, “Please, Lord, build a bridge to Hawaii, so I can drive over anytime I need to see beautiful sights and alleviate the stress in my life.” The Lord said, “Your request is very materialistic. Think of the logistics of that kind of undertaking. The supports required to reach the bottom of the Pacific! The concrete and steel it would take! I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify such an intervention just to satisfy your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of another wish, a wish you think would truly evoke my almighty power of blessing.”

The man thought about it for a long time. Finally he said, “Lord, I wish that I could understand women. I want to know how they really feel, what they are thinking when they give me the silent treatment, why they cry, what they mean when they say ‘oh, it’s nothing,’ and, most important, how I can make a woman truly happy.”

After a few moments, God said: “You want two lanes or four on that bridge?”

* * * * *

COMPUTERS
Q: What happens when a Buddhist becomes totally absorbed with the computer he is working with?
A: He enters Nerdvana.

* * * * *

JEWISH BUDDHISM

* The Tao has no expectations. The Tao demands nothing of others. The Tao does not speak. The Tao does not blame. The Tao does not take sides. The Tao is not Jewish.

* Let your mind be as a floating cloud. Let your stillness be as the wooded glen. And sit up straight. You’ll never meet the Buddha with posture like that.

* There is no escaping karma. In a previous life, you never called, you never wrote, you never visited. And whose fault was that?

* To practice Zen and the art of Jewish motorcycle maintenance, do the following: Get rid of the motorcycle. What were you thinking?

* The Buddha taught that one should practice loving kindness to all sentient beings. Still, would it kill you to find a nice sentient being who happens to be Jewish?

* Be aware of your body. Be aware of your perceptions. Keep in mind that not every physical sensation is a symptom of a terminal illness.

* If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?

* Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this, and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

* Drink tea and nourish life. With the first sip, joy. With the second, satisfaction. With the third, cheese danish.

* Be patient and achieve all things. Be impatient and achieve all things faster.

* To find the Buddha, look within. Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers. Each flower blossoms ten thousand times. Each blossom has ten thousand petals. You might want to see a specialist.

* Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated?

* The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single oy!

* Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkes (nobodies).

* Learn of the pine from the pine. Learn of the bamboo from the bamboo. Learn of the kugel from the kugel. (For the goyim: a kugel is a baked side-dish, a salty casserole or sweet pudding.)

* * * * *

MORE JEWISH HUMOR
(Just a few samplings from sites such as Harry Leichter’s huge Jewish Humor website, www.haruth.com/jhumorlink.htm)

An old Jew got a parrot from his sons after his wife died, to keep him company. Eventually he discovered that the parrot had heard him pray so often that it, too, had learned to pray. The old man was so thrilled that he took his parrot to the synagogue on Rosh Ha’shana (Jewish new year). When he entered with the bird, the rabbi tried to protest, but when the old man told them all that the parrot could pray, they got interested--though skeptical. People started betting on whether the parrot would pray, and the old man happily took all the bets. The prayer started--the bird was silent. The prayer continued--not a word from the bird. The prayer ended, and the old man, crestfallen, paid out the bets. On the way home he asked his parrot: “What did you do to me? I know you can pray, you know you can pray, and I bet you can pray--and you let me down!” Said the parrot: “Hey, look ahead--can you imagine what the odds will be like on Yom Kippur?”

* * * * *

A shadken (matchmaker) goes to see a poor man and says, “I want to arrange a marriage for your son.” The poor man replies, “I never interfere in my son’s life.” The shadken responds, “But the girl is Lord Rothschild’s daughter.” “Well, in that case...”

Next, the shadken approaches Lord Rothschild. “I have a husband for your daughter.” “But my daughter is too young to marry.” “But this young man is already a vice president of the World Bank.” “Ah, in that case...”

Finally, the shadken goes to see the president of the World Bank. “I have a young man to recommend to you as a vice president.” “But I already have more vice presidents than I need.” “But this young man is Lord Rothschild’s son-in-law.” “Ah, in that case....”

* * * * *

“I had the strangest dream last night,” a young Jewish man said to his psychiatrist. “I saw my mother but, when she turned around to look at me, I noticed that she had your face. As you can imagine, I found this very disturbing. In fact, I woke up immediately and couldn’t get back to sleep. I just lay there in bed waiting for morning to come. Then I got up, drank a Coke, and came right over here for my appointment. I thought you could help me explain the meaning of this strange dream.” The psychiatrist was silent for a full minute before responding: ”A Coke? That’s a breakfast? How do you expect to live very long doing such things?”

* * * * *

OLD AGE
A pious man who had reached the age of 105 suddenly stopped going to synagogue. Alarmed by the old fellow’s absence after so many years of faithful attendance the Rabbi went to see him. He found him in excellent health, so the Rabbi asked, “How come after all these years we don’t see you at services anymore?”
The old man looked around and lowered his voice. I’ll tell you, Rabbi,” he whispered. “When I got to be 90 I expected God to take me any day. But then I got to be 95, then 100, then 105. So I figured that God is very busy and must have forgotten about me... and I don’t want to remind Him.”

* * * * *

MOTHER AND FATHER
An elderly man in Miami calls his son in New York and says, "I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing. Forty-five years of misery is enough."

"Pop, what are you talking about?" the son screams.
"We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the old man says. "We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her." And he hangs up.

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone, "Like heck they're getting divorced," she shouts, "I'll take care of this."

She calls her father immediately and yells, "You are NOT getting divorced! Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don't do a thing. DO YOU HEAR ME?" And she hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. "Okay," he says, "They're both coming for Passover and paying their own airfares."

* * * * *

THE PHONE CALL
A Jewish man called his mother in Florida, “Mom, how are you?” “Not too good,” said the mother, “I’ve been very weak.” The son asked, “Mom, why are you so weak?” She replied, “Because I haven’t eaten in 27 days.” The son said, “That’s terrible. Why haven’t you eaten in 27 days?” The mother answered, “Because I didn’t want my mouth to be filled with food if you should call!”

* * * * *

EVEN MORE JEWISH HUMOR

Let me tell you the one thing I have against Moses. He took us forty years into the desert in order to bring us to the one place in the Middle East that has no oil! -- Golda Meir

I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up. They have no holidays. -- Henny Youngman

My father never lived to see his dream come true of an all-Yiddish-speaking Canada. -- David Steinberg

I’m not afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens. -- Woody Allen

I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

I’m astounded by people who want to “know” the universe when it’s hard enough to find your way around Chinatown. -- Woody Allen.

I'm Jewish. I don't work out athletically. If God had wanted us to bend over, He would have put diamonds on the floor. --Joan Rivers

“Genius” defined: a “C” student with a Jewish mother.

There is a big controversy on the Jewish view of when life begins. In Jewish tradition, the fetus is not considered viable until it graduates from medical school.

Q: How does a Jewish kid verbally abuse his playmates?
A: “Your Mother pays retail.”

Q: What is the name of a facial lotion made for Jewish women?
A: Oil of Oy Vey.

A little Jewish boy was telling his mother about how he had won a part in a play that was being done at school. His mother asked, “What is the part you will play, Saul?” Saul responded, “I shall play the Jewish husband,” to which the mother replied, “Well, you go right back to that teacher and tell her that you want a SPEAKING part!”

Hanna Bromfeld was hanging up her husband’s jacket when suddenly she became furious, for she had spotted a long grey hair on the shoulder. “I see,” she screeched, “you were at your mother’s to get sympathy again!”

Even a secret agent can’t lie to a Jewish mother. --Peter Malkin

Q: Why don’t Jewish mothers drink?
A: Alcohol interferes with their suffering.

Four Jewish mothers are sitting together playing bridge. The first one lets out a long sigh and heartfelt “Oy!” A few minutes later, the second bubbe also sighs deeply and says “Oy vey!” A few minutes after that, the third lady brushes away a tear and moans, “Oy veyizmir!” To which the fourth Jewish mother says: “I thought we agreed we weren’t going to talk about our children!”

Short summary of every Jewish holiday: They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.

A story is told of a Jewish man who was riding on the subway reading an Arab newspaper. A friend of his, riding in the same subway car, noticed this bizarre phenomenon. Very upset, he approached the newspaper reader. "Moshe, have you lost your mind? Why are you reading an Arab newspaper?" Moshe replied, "I used to read the Jewish newspaper, but what did I find? Jews being persecuted, Israel being attacked, Jews disappearing through assimilation and intermarriage, Jews living in poverty. So I switched over to the Arab newspaper. Now what do I find? Jews own all the banks, Jews control the media, Jews are all rich and powerful, Jews rule the world. The news here is so much better!"

* * * * *

CHIEF SAMURAI (with apologies to those who would “never hurt a fly”)
Once upon a time a powerful Emperor of the Rising Sun advertised for a new Chief Samurai. After a year, only three applied for the job: a Japanese, a Chinese and a Jewish Samurai. “Demonstrate your skills!” commanded the Emperor. The Japanese Samurai stepped forward, opened a tiny box and released a fly. He drew his samurai sword and Whoosh! the fly fell to the floor, neatly divided in two! “What a feat!” said the Emperor. “Number Two Samurai, show me what you can do.” The Chinese Samurai smiled confidently, stepped forward and opened a tiny box, releasing a fly. He drew his samurai sword and Whoosh! Whoosh! The fly fell to the floor neatly QUARTERED. “That is great skill!” nodded the Emperor. “How are you going to top that, Number Three Samurai?” Number Three Samurai, Obi-wan Rabinowitz, stepped forward, opened a tiny box releasing one fly, drew his samurai sword and Whoooosssh! flourished his sword so mightily that a gust of wind blew through the room. But the fly was still buzzing around. In disappointment, the Emperor asked, “What kind of skill is that? The fly isn’t even dead.” “Dead, shmed,” replied the Jewish Samurai. “Dead is easy. But circumcision...THAT takes skill!”

* * * * *

THE GAMBLING RAID
A rabbi, a minister, and a priest were playing poker when the police raided the game. Turning to the priest, the lead police officer said, “Father Murphy, were you gambling?” Turning his eyes to heaven, the priest whispered, “Lord, forgive me for what I am about to do.” To the police officer, he then said, “No, officer; I was not gambling.” The officer then asked the minister, “Pastor Johnson, were you gambling?” Again, after an appeal to heaven, the minister replied, “No, officer; I was not gambling.”

Turning to the rabbi, the officer again asked, “Rabbi Goldstein, were you gambling?” Shrugging his shoulders, the rabbi replied, “With whom could I be gambling?”

* * * * *

JUSTICE
Jesus came upon a small crowd who had surrounded a young woman they believed to be an adulteress. They were preparing to stone her to death. To calm the situation, Jesus said: “Whoever is without sin among you, let them cast the first stone.” Suddenly, an older lady at the back of the crowd picked up a fairly large rock and lobbed it at the young woman, scoring a direct hit on the head. The unfortunate young woman collapsed dead on the spot. Jesus looked over towards the older lady and sighed: “Mother…!”

* * * * *

BURIAL PLANS
A man and his ever-nagging wife went on vacation to Jerusalem. While they were there, the wife passed away. The undertaker told the husband, “You can have her shipped home for $5,000, or you can bury her here, in the Holy Land, for $150.” The man thought about it and told him he would just have her shipped home. The undertaker asked, “Why would you spend $5,000 to ship your wife home, when it would be wonderful to be buried here and you would spend only $150?” The man replied, “Long ago a man died here, was buried here, and three days later he rose from the dead. I just can't take that chance.”

* * * * *

THE OLD PRIEST AND YOUNG RABBI
An elderly priest invited a young rabbi over for dinner. During the meal, the young rabbi couldn’t help noticing how attractive and shapely the housekeeper was. Over the course of the evening he began to wonder if there might be more between the elderly priest and the housekeeper than met the eye. Reading the young rabbi’s thoughts, the elderly priest volunteered, “I know what you must be thinking, but I assure you my relationship with my housekeeper is purely professional.”

About a week later the housekeeper came to the elderly priest and said, “Father, ever since your young rabbi friend came to dinner, I’ve been unable to find the beautiful sterling silver gravy ladle. You don’t suppose he took it do you?” The priest said, “Well, I doubt it, but I’ll write him a letter just to be sure.” So he sat down and wrote: “Dear Rabbi: I’m not saying that you DID take a sterling silver gravy ladle from my house, and I’m not saying you DIDN’T take it. But the fact remains that one has been missing ever since you were here.”

Several days later the elderly priest received a letter from the young rabbi which read: “Dear Father: I’m not saying that you DO sleep with your housekeeper, and I’m not saying that you DON’T sleep with your housekeeper. But the fact remains that if you were sleeping in your own bed, you would have found the gravy ladle by now.”

* * * * *

CONVERSION
Two old Jewish men are strolling down the street one day when they happen to walk by a Catholic church. They see a big sign posted that says, "Convert to Catholicism and get $50."

One of the Jewish men stops walking and stares at the sign. His friend turns to him and says, "Murray, what's going on?" "Abe," replies Murray, "I'm thinking of doing it." Abe says, "What are you, crazy? Give up your precious religion for a price?"

Murray thinks for a minute and says, "Hey, fifty bucks is fifty bucks! I'm going to do it." With that, Murray strides purposefully into the church. Twenty minutes later he comes out with his head bowed. "So," asks Abe, a bit disgusted, "did you get your fifty dollars?" Murray looks up at him and says, "Is that all you people can ever think about?"

* * * * *

ON THE JOYS OF HOLY MATRIMONY
[Quips from Henny Youngman (or attributed to him):]

I’ve been in love with the same woman for 49 years. If my wife ever finds out, she’ll kill me!

My wife and I have the secret to making a marriage last. Two times a week, we go to a nice restaurant, a little wine, good food..... She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays.

We also sleep in separate beds. Hers is in New York and mine is in New Jersey.

Someone stole all my credit cards, but I won’t be reporting it. The thief spends less than my wife did.

I take my wife everywhere, but she keeps finding her way back.

We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.

My wife and I went to a hotel where we got a waterbed. My wife called it the Dead Sea.

A guy complains of a headache. Another guy says, “Do what I do. I put my head on my wife’s bosom, and the headache goes away.” The next day, the man says, “Did you do what I told you to?” “Yes, I sure did. By the way, you have a nice house!”

I just got back from a pleasure trip. I took my mother-in-law to the airport.

I married Miss Right. I just didn't know her first name was Always.

I haven't spoken to my wife for 18 months. I don't like to interrupt her.

The last fight was my fault. My wife asked, "What's on the TV?"....I said, "Dust!"

In the beginning, God created earth and rested. Then God created man and rested. Then God created woman. Since then, neither God nor man has rested.

The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret.

* * * * *

MORE QUIPS ON HOLY MATRIMONY

By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher... And that is a good thing for any man. --Socrates, d.399 BCE

Is not marriage an open question, when it is alleged, from the beginning of the world, that such persons as are in the institution wish to get out, and such as are out wish to get in? --Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1850

A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband. --Michel de Montaigne, d.1592

Marriage is a three-ring circus: engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering. --Anonymous

It may be just coincidence, but man’s best friend (the dog) cannot talk. --Anonymous

Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another. -H.L. Mencken, d.1956

The whole pleasure of marriage is that it is a perpetual crisis. --G.K. Chesterton, d.1936

Marriage is a duel to the death which no man of honour should decline. --G.K. Chesterton

In olden times, sacrifices were made at the altar, a practice that still continues. --Helen Rowland

I've sometimes thought of marrying, and then I've thought again. --Noel Coward

A girl must marry for love, and keep on marrying until she finds it. --Zsa Zsa Gabor (married nine times)

After marriage, husband and wife become like two sides of a coin: they can't face each other, but still they stay together. --Hemant Joshi

It was a perfect marriage. She didn't want to and he couldn't. --Spike Milligan

A man doesn't know what happiness is until he's married. By then it's too late. --Frank Sinatra

Many a man owes his success to his first wife and his second wife to his success. --Jim Backus

Marriage is give and take. You'd better give it to her or she'll take it anyway. --Joey Adams

My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met. --Rodney Dangerfield

Marriage has no guarantees. If that's what you're looking for, go live with a car battery. --Erma Bombeck

I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They've experienced pain and bought jewelry. --Rita Rudner

In life, it's not who you know that's important, it's how your wife found out. --Joey Adams

Marriage is a wonderful institution. But who wants to live in an institution? --Groucho Marx

Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same. --Oscar Wilde

There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 380SL. --Lynn Lavner

Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake a whole relationship. --Sharon Stone

Ah, yes, divorce, from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man's genitals through his wallet. --Robin Williams

See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time. --Robin Williams

[Two works of graffiti seen on a bathroom wall:]
Make love, not war.
Do both, get married.

I could point out that, to judge from the covers of countless women's magazines, the two topics most interesting to women are (1) Why men are all disgusting pigs, and (2) How to attract men. --Dave Barry

* * * * *

HOW TO BE MISERABLE
See yourself as the center of the universe. Focus attention on yourself. Think about yourself. Talk about yourself. Use “I” and “me” as often as possible. Mirror yourself continually in the opinion of others. Listen greedily to what people say about you. Expect to be appreciated. Be suspicious. Be jealous and envious. Be sensitive to slights. Never forgive a criticism. Trust nobody but yourself. Demand agreement with your own views on everything. Sulk if people are not grateful to you for favors shown them. Never forget a service you have rendered someone. Shirk your duties if you can. Do as little as possible for others. (Author unknown)

* * * * *

QUIPS FROM MARK TWAIN
(Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1835-1901)

From www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Mark_Twain/

If you tell the truth you won’t have to remember anything.

Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.

Do something every day that you don’t want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.

In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress.

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them.

The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.

It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.

It is easier to stay out than get out.

Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.

Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.

The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.

Who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.

A man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.

It is wiser to find out than suppose.

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.

The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself.

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.

I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.

I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won’t.

[On fundamentalists' barbaric idea of God:] Strange... a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied seventy times seven and invented Hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!

Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion-– several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat, if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven.

Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.

The report of my death was an exaggeration.

* * * * *

QUIPS FROM G.K. CHESTERTON
(Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)

Mostly from www.chesterton.org/discover/quotations.html

Mysticism is a transcendental form of common sense.

Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.

There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there.

Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.

From time to time, as we all know, a sect appears in our midst announcing that the world will very soon come to an end. Generally, by some slight confusion or miscalculation, it is the sect that comes to an end.

Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance.

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice.

It is ludicrous to suppose that the more sceptical we are the more we see good in everything. It is clear that the more we are certain what good is, the more we shall see good in everything.

No sceptical philosopher can ask any questions that may not equally be asked by a tired child on a hot afternoon.

It is assumed that the sceptic has no bias; whereas he has a very obvious bias in favour of scepticism.

Pride consists in a man making his personality the only test, instead of making truth the test. The sceptic feels himself too large to measure life by the largest things; and ends by measuring it by the smallest thing of all.

If there were no God, there would be no atheists.

A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.

Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.

When learned men begin to use their reason, then I generally discover that they haven't got any.

[On so many rich men:] To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it.

He is a [sane] man who can have tragedy in his heart and comedy in his head.

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.

A detective story generally describes six living men discussing how it is that a man is dead. A modern philosophic story generally describes six dead men discussing how any man can possibly be alive.

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.

The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.

It's not that we don't have enough scoundrels to curse; it's that we don't have enough good men to curse them.

The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice.

It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong.

There'd be a lot less scandal if people didn't idealize sin and pose as sinners.

There are some desires that are not desirable.

The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.

* * * * *

MORE WISE & ZANY QUIPS

Man is certainly stark mad. He cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens. --Michel de Montaigne, essayist (1553-1592)

The man who doesn’t know what the universe is doesn’t know where he lives. --Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor and stoic philosopher (121-180)

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. --Galileo Galilei, scientist (1564-1642)

It is a profitable thing, if one is wise, to seem foolish. --Aeschylus, Greek playwright (525-455 BCE)

He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.--Thomas Jefferson, most influential Founding Father of USA and 3rd President (1743-1826)

The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank. --Dante Rossetti, painter (1828-1882)

Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is. --Sir Francis Bacon, British scientist-philosopher-essayist-statesman (1561-1626)

It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. --James Thurber, author (1894-1961)

Ageing isn't that bad if you consider the alternatives.--Maurice Chevalier, actor (1888-1972)

The average man does not know what to do with his life, yet wants another one which will last forever. --Anatole France, author (1844-1924)

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.--Jonathan Swift, novelist (1667-1745)

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. --Blaise Pascal, Catholic mystic (1623-62)

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. --Voltaire, French Enlightenment essayist, deist philosopher (1694-1778)

How many observe Christ's birthday! How few his precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.--Benjamin Franklin, statesman, inventor (1706-90)

Men will wrangle for religion; write for it; fight for it; die for it; anything but live for it. --Charles Caleb Colton, English cleric-writer (1780-1832)

I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows. --Susan B. Anthony, women's rights leader (1820-1906)

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg. --Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President (1809-1865)

It’s better to be silent and thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt. --Abe Lincoln

Philosophy consists very largely of one philosopher arguing that all other philosophers are jackasses. He usually proves it, and I should add that he also usually proves that he is one himself. --H.L. Mencken, American journalist, essayist, satirist (1880-1956)

It’s not so much what folks don’t know that causes problems; it’s what they do know that ain’t so. --Artemus Ward / C.F. Browne, American humorist (1834-67)

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. --Andre Gide, French author (1869-1951)

A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject. --Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister (1874-1965)

The secret of success is this: there is no secret of success.... Life is just one damned thing after another. --Elbert Hubbard, American author-artist-philosopher (1856-1915)

Only barbarians are not curious about where they come from, how they came to be where they are, where they appear to be going, whether they wish to go there, and if so, why, and if not, why not.--Isaiah Berlin, Latvian-British political philosopher (1909-97)

Don't be so humble; you are not that great. --Golda Meir, Israeli Prime Minister (1898-1978)

Humor distorts nothing, and only false gods are laughed off their earthly pedestals. --Agnes Repplier, American essayist (1855-1950)

"Egotist," noun: A person more interested in himself than in me.
"Philosophy," noun: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. --Ambrose Bierce, American author-journalist (1842-1914)

I have a new philosophy. I'm only going to dread one day at a time. --Charles Schulz, American cartoonist (1922-2000)

Life is what happens while you are making other plans. --John Lennon, Beatles singer-composer (1940-1980)

The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory. --Paul Fix, American actor (1901-83)

Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor. --Robert A. Heinlein, science fiction author (1907-88)

A long and wicked life followed by five minutes of perfect grace gets you into Heaven. An equally long life of decent living and good works followed by one outburst of taking the name of the Lord in vain-- then have a heart attack at that moment and be damned for eternity. Is that the system? --Robert A. Heinlein

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. --sci-fi author Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

An Inuit hunter asked the local missionary priest: "If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?" "No," said the priest, "not if you did not know." "Then why," asked the Inuit earnestly, "did you tell me?" --Annie Dillard, American author (b.1945)

I think it's ironic that the only people who claim that humans are too advanced to have evolved naturally are the ones who demonstrate the least advanced mode of thinking.--John Petrie (see his huge collection of quips at jpetrie.myweb.uga.edu/Miscellaneous_Quotes.html)

Religious belief is a fine guide around which a person might organize his own life, but an awful instrument around which to organize someone else's life.--Richard D. Mohr

The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with a good deal of rubbish.--Robert Jackson

Philosophy is a set of questions that may never be answered. Religion (for most people) is a set of answers that may never be questioned. --anonymous

We seem to have enough youth. How about a fountain of smart? --The Vent

Right now I’m having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before. --Steven Wright

There is only one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him. If he says yes, you know he is crooked. --Groucho Marx

Add a few drops of malice to a half truth and you have an abso-lute truth. --Eric Hoffer, American social writer (1902-83)

God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts. --anonymous

Lord: Lead me not into temptation. I can find it myself. --anonymous

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car. --anonymous

A wise man never knows all; only fools know everything. --Unknown

It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help. --Miss Manners

People who think they know everything are very irritating to those of us who do. --Unknown

* * * * *

CHANGING A LIGHTBULB

How many different Christians does it take to change a light bulb?

Charismatics - Only one: Hands are already in the air, Praise Jesus!

Roman Catholics - None. They use candles.

Pentecostals - Ten. One to change, nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

Presbyterians - None. God has predestined when the lights will be on and off.

Episcopalians - Ten. One to call the electrician, and nine to say how much they like the old one better.

Mormons - Ten. One man to change the bulb, and nine wives to tell him how to do it.

United Methodists - We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey, you have found that light bulbs work for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your relationship with your light bulb, and present it next month at our annual light bulb Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.

Southern Baptists - Change?!?!? We’re not going to change anything, praise the Lord!

* * * * *

Q: How many egotists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: One. He holds onto the light bulb and waits for the world to revolve around him.

Q: How many Marxists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: None. The lightbulb contains the seeds of its own revolution.

Q: How many Zen Buddhists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None, they are the light bulb.

* * * * *

ON THE SIN OF GLUTTONY (and trying to lose weight!)

I keep trying to lose weight... but it keeps finding me!

I have a weight problem: I can't wait to start eating!!!

I'm not overweight, I'm undertall.

I'm on a seafood diet. I see food and I eat it.

Some people are afraid of heights. I'm afraid of widths.--Steven Wright

Never tell your mom her diet's not working.--Joel, 14, Advice from Kids

Another good weight reducing exercise consists in placing both hands against the table edge and pushing back. -Robert Quillen

I'm a light eater. When it gets light, I start eating.--Tommy John

Relish today. Catchup tomorrow.

I'm in shape. Round is a shape, isn't it?

I'm on a 90-day wonder diet. Thus far, I've lost 45 days.

Isn't it weird that 'Stressed' is 'Desserts' spelled backwards?

A woman's favorite three words aren't "I love you" but rather: "You've lost weight!"

How do these celebrities stay so impossibly thin? Simple: They have full-time personal trainers, who advise them on nutrition, give them pep talks, and shoot them with tranquilizer darts whenever they try to crawl, on hunger-weakened limbs, toward the packet of rice cakes that constitutes the entire food supply in their 37,000-square-foot mansions. For most celebrities, the biggest meal of the day is toothpaste. --Dave Barry

* * * * *

CHICKEN CROSSING
Why did the Chicken cross the road? (Anonymous, from various sources, with some additions by Timothy, noted with an asterisk*; a double asterisk** is my elaboration of an original item in the anonymous version.)

Taoist sage Lao Tzu:*
The road that can be crossed is not the true Road. (Tao Te Ching, ch. 1)

Also from Lao Tzu:
Those who cluck do not know. Those who know do not cluck.

Buddha:
If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken nature.

Star Trek’s Captain Kirk:
To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

Plato:**
To know her true self, for the greater good of all.

Zeno of Elea:
To prove she could never reach the other side, given that, before she can get there, she must get halfway there; and before she can get halfway there, she must get a quarter of the way there; and before traveling a quarter, she must travel one-eighth; and ...

John Lennon:**
Imagine all the world’s chickens, crossing every road in peace…

Colonel Sanders (of KFC—Kentucky Fried Chicken):
I missed one?

Hugh Hefner (the “Colonel Sanders of Hot Chicks”):*
To fully expose her delightful body. Maybe she would like to come live with me... and dress up as a bunny.

Dr. Seuss:
Did the chicken cross the road?
Did she cross it with a toad?
Yes, the chicken crossed the road,
But why it crossed, I’ve not been told!

Ernest Hemingway:
To die. In the rain. Alone.

Martin Luther King Jr.:**
I have a dream that one day all of God’s chickens, chickens of every color and faith, from every village and every hamlet, will be free--thank God Almighty, free at last!--to cross any road without their motives called into question.

Louis Farrakhan:
The road, you will see, represents the black man. The white chicken crossed the “black man” in order to trample him and keep him down.

Grandpa:**
Well now, listen here, my young friend. In my day, we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken crossed the road, and, by golly, that was good enough for us. Those were simpler times, and we were simpler folks.

Barbara Walters:
Isn’t that interesting? In a few moments we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart-warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting and went on to accomplish its life-long dream of crossing the road. We’ll have all the details you want to hear, right after this break.

Oprah Winfrey:
Well, I understand that this chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so badly. So, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not have to live his life like the rest of the chickens.

Dr. Phil:
The problem we have here is that our chicken friend won't realize he must first deal with the big problem on THIS side of the road before he goes after the problem on the OTHER SIDE of the road. He needs HELP realizing just how STUPID he is for not taking on his CURRENT problems before adding NEW problems!

George Bush:**
We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is with us or against us. No middle ground here. In fact, Vice President Cheney tells me there’s evidence this chicken is a terrorist in collusionation with the enemies of our freedom. Dick, do you have your gun handy? Wait a minute now, Dick! Make sure that thing's pointed in the right direction, okay?

Colin Powell:
Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road...

Ralph Nader:
The chicken’s habitat on the original side of the road had been polluted by unchecked industrialist greed. The chicken did not reach the unspoiled habitat on other side of the road because it was crushed by the monstrous wheels of a gas-guzzling SUV.

Pat Buchanan:
To steal a job from a decent, hard-working American.

Jerry Falwell:
Because the chicken was gay! Isn’t it obvious? Can’t you people see the plain truth? The chicken was going to the other side. That’s what they call it: “the other side.” Yes, my friends, that chicken is GAY. And, if you eat that chicken, you will become gay, too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like “the other side.”

Ronald Reagan:**
As with the Iran-Contra matter and Nicaragua, I don’t remember. But I’m sure it was in our great country’s best interests.

Bill Clinton:
I did not cross the road with THAT chicken.

Sigmund Freud:**
The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed the road clearly reveals your underlying sexual insecurity. What were your feelings about your mother?

Carl Jung:*
How synchronous, Herr Freud, that this chicken should cross this road at exactly this moment on the way to its full individuation!

H.P. Lovecraft:
To escape the crawling horror lurking on this side of the road, a nameless and foetid monstrosity that cannot be conceived save in the dreams of madness.

Howard Cosell (sportscaster):
It may very well have been one of the most astonishing events to grace the annals of sports history. An historic, unprecedented avian biped with the temerity to attempt such an herculean achievement formerly relegated to homo sapien pedestrians is truly a remarkable occurrence.

Bill Gates:
To lead the other chickens across the Info Superhighway and into a world where there’s a computer in every home.

William Blake:
Little chicken, who set thee free
To wander here on Highway Three?
“Oh, sir, your question’s very odd;
He is called the Lamb of God.”

Weekly World News:
Nostradamus predicted chicken/Bigfoot horror!

Thomas Jefferson:
All hens are endowed by Nature and Nature’s God with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of the other side.

Karl Marx:
Driven by the lash of economic necessity, it was historically inevitable.

Voltaire:
I may not agree with what the chicken did, but I will defend to the death its right to do it!

Che Guevara:*
I am in solidarity with all chickens! Viva el pollo!

X-Files’ Fox Mulder:
You saw it cross the road with your own eyes! How many more chickens have to cross before you believe it?

X-Files’ Scully:
Mulder, calm down, it was a simple bio-mechanical reflex commonly found in chickens.

Sir Isaac Newton:
Chickens at rest tend to stay at rest. Chickens in motion tend to cross the road.

Albert Einstein:**
It depends on the chicken’s frame of reference as to whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed the chicken. Moreover, given our curved universe, if the chicken keeps moving in the same direction, it winds up coming once again to the same road!

Physicist Werner Heisenberg:
Because the chicken is moving sufficiently fast, you can either observe the chicken or you can measure the chicken, but you cannot do both.

Timothy Leary (smiling):**
Because it was the only far-out trip the Establishment would let this groovy little chicken take.

Jean Paul Sartre (not smiling):**
To impose a meaning upon her accidental existence... Do you think you could sit with that chicken in a small room for eternity?

Albert Camus:**
The chicken crossed the road. My mother died today. Nothing matters. The world is absurd. Chicken’s actions have no meaning, except, possibly, to her.

Jacques Derrida:*
These are just language games in the logocentric strategy of discourse. What is a “chicken”? What is the “road”? In the reappropriation of the original text of this phenomenon, and being utterly open to its subtext of emptiness and the many, as part of our ongoing postmodernist deconstructionist project, we are interested here only in the actual feathers, tissue, beak, claws, and asphault.

Jacques Derrida (asked the same Q on another occasion):
Any number of contending discourses may be discovered within the act of the chicken crossing the road, and each interpretation is equally valid as the authorial intent can never be discerned, because structuralism is DEAD, DAMMIT, DEAD!

Vito Corleone:
We made her an offer she couldn’t refuse.

Rogue cops in the L.A.P.D. (Los Angeles Police Dept.):
Give us ten minutes with the chicken and we’ll find out.

Nancy Grace:
That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

O.J. Simpson:
It didn’t cross the road. I was playing golf with it at the time.

Mark Twain:
The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated.

Steven Wright:
Yesterday I told a chicken to cross the road. It said, “What for?”

* * * * *

GOLF
Once Moses and Jesus came down from heaven to play a round of golf on the most challenging course in the world. On the monster first hole of play, a par-five fully 630 yards long, Moses hit his drive a whopping 370 yards, right down the fairway's center. Jesus then hit his drive even further, an amazing 380 yards, also right down the middle. As they approached the area where their golf balls had come to rest, each contemplated their second shot: Moses saw that a large pond lay tucked just before the putting green, making a second shot directly to the green over the water well-nigh impossible. So he took out a mid-iron club and, playing it safely to insure a good third shot, he laid up a nice soft shot ten yards before the pond, leaving him an easy 60-yard pitch-shot to the green.

Jesus however, still fully 250 yards away from the hole, pulled out a two-iron and declared, “I’m going for it, I’m shooting directly for the hole.” Moses said, “Jesus, that’s ridiculous. You can’t hit a two-iron 250 yards.” And Jesus replied, “I once saw Jack Nicklaus do it, and if he could do it, I can do it.” And with that, he hits a tremendous shot toward the green. But, sure enough, it’s a case of “not enough club,” and his ball doesn’t quite reach the putting green but instead plops into the water just a few feet from the far end of the pond.

As they walk further down the fairway, Moses can’t suppress an “I-told-you-so” grin. Jesus looks nonchalant. Moses then plays his third shot beautifully, the ball drawing to within a foot of the hole. Jesus then walks out onto the pond and, miraculously, hits the shallowly submerged ball right up out of the pond, and onto the green, where it then rolls to within just 6 inches away from the hole.

Meanwhile, a party of golfers that has teed off behind them and is coming up the fairway sees what has just happened. One of them yells out, “Hey—who does that guy think he is, Jesus Christ?” To which Moses yells back in response, “He is Jesus Christ. He thinks he’s Jack Nicklaus!”

* * * * *

SACRED RELIGIOUS TRUTHS (We’ve probably all heard or seen that crude bumper-sticker saying, “Shit happens.” Someone—or, more likely, a group of different folks—then wrote it up in the early 1990s as a humor piece involving the different major religions and denominations. There were about a dozen items in the original version, some of them not so funny. One wild and crazy night, in a bizarre channeling of some demented humor angel in a combination with my own knowledge of world religions and new religious movements, many elaborations on the theme burst forth. So, as with a previous humor item, my creations are noted with an asterisk*; a double asterisk** is my elaboration of an already-existing item from the original anonymous version. The newer items on this list were drafted in 1992 by Timothy Conway, Ph.D. [Piled Higher and Deeper]. And if the use of this term “shit” offends your sense of piety—it was, after all, one of those “seven words you can’t say on TV” as immortalized in a famous George Carlin routine from the late 1970s—then please skip over this humor section and go on to the next section. We'll leave it to Freud and his followers to determine whether the following better expresses an “anal retentive” or “anal explosive” psychosexual fixation!)

CONVENTIONAL SAYING:
Shit happens.

ATHEISM:
I don’t believe this shit!

CATHOLICISM:
If shit happens, you deserve it. Say 100 Hail Marys as penance.

PROTESTANTISM:
Let shit happen to someone else.

JUDAISM:
Why does shit always happen to us?

FUNDAMENTALISM:*
If you don’t belieeeve in Jeeeesus, Satan will make terrible shit happen on you, arranged in the sign of the beast: 666.

ISLAM:**
If shit happens, it is the Will of Allah! We pray that no more shit will happen, Inshallah! (God Willing)

CONFUCIANISM:
Kung-fu-tzu say: “shit happen.”

TAOISM:*
Shit spontaneously happens of itself, soft, yielding, one with the Tao.

HINDUISM:
This shit happened before.

NONDUAL VEDANTA:*
This is all a dream. No shit ever really happened.

HATHA YOGA:*
Do not let shit happen when you are standing on your head!

BUDDHISM:*
Whatever shit happens—don’t cling to it. Let it arise and pass away.

MAHAYANA BUDDHISM:*
Emptiness = shit. Shit = emptiness.

TIBETAN BUDDHISM:*
Visualize tantric shit happening 100,000 times.

ZEN BUDDHISM:**
What is the sound of one shit happening? Where were you 1,000 years before the First Big Shit?

GREEK DELPHIC ORACLE:*
Know thy shit. (And Heraclitus warns: don't step in it twice, even if it's not exactly the same shit.)

NATIVE AMERICAN:*
Our medicine power make lot of shit happen for white man.

WICCA PAGANISM:*
Shit is a sacred happening, an offering back to Mother Earth. Let’s make a magic circle of it.

SPIRITUALISM:*
The spirit guides say: “Shit doth happen to us, too. This is why we channel so much of it through you.”

NEW AGE:*
Repeat the affirmation: “I am shitless. I am so beautifully free of shit. Shit cannot happen to me!” (If it does happen, let’s use crystals on it and become prosperous in our abundance!)

COURSE IN MIRACLES:*
It’s your illusory ego that says shit is happening. So—you have a choice: Fear shit or Love shit.

SHIRLEY MACLAINE-ISM:*
In a past life, I made so much cosmic shit happen! (with all my chakras open!)

SCIENTOLOGY:*
For only $60,000, we’ll clear you of all shit happening. Then you can experience L. Ron Hubbard’s very special kind of shit.

UFO CULTS:*
I saw the Space Brothers make the most beautiful, interdimensional shit happen! (plentiful Pleiadian poop)

RASTAFARIAN:**
Shit happen, mon. Roll it up. Smoke it up!

EXISTENTIALISM:*
Shit is a strange and absurd happening. The question is: to be, or not to be, shitty?

PATRIARCHALISM:*
Women are shit.

FEMINISM:*
Men are shit.

THE FINAL TRUTH:*
And God sayeth unto them: “I like shit. Let there be shit.” And S/he saw that it was GOOD.

THE REALLY FINAL TRUTH:*
When we realize Who We Really Are, then shift happens.

* * * * *

GENDER WARS:
The feminist retort to patriarchalism:
“My Goddess gave birth to your God.”

* * * * *

BIRTHDAY PRESENT
What did one Zen meditator give to another for her birthday? Nothing.
What did the birthday girl say in response?
“You are so really thoughtless for giving me this meaningless gift.”
To which the giver replied, “Thank you!”

* * * * *

WISDOM FROM SWAMI BEYONDANANDA (Steve Bhaerman, author of several books and also a famous "answer man" column, with recommendations such as remedying "humorroids" by taking a "laughsitive" to enjoy "regular-hilarity")

The Declaration of “All-Out Peace”

Swami Beyondananda, spiritual leader to millions of FUNdamentalists (accent on “fun”) has launched a worldwide “blisskrieg” in a declaration of “all out peace!” Speaking from a platform at his new virtual address at www.wakeuplaughing.com, the Swami said, “We’ve been holding our peace for far too long. It’s time to let it out! Why should peacekeepers keep the peace for themselves when the world needs it so badly nowadays?”

The Swami was interrupted numerous times by gleeful supporters shouting the peace mantra, “Ah ... peace on it!” and waving banners reading “Our World: Love It Or Leave It!” “Play For Nonjudgment Day” and Disarmaggedon Is Near!” “It’s a fight to the life!” Swami told his minions, vowing to open the floodgates of love, light and laughter to cleanse the body politic of cultural, economic and political toxins that have caused folks to “take things poisonally” -- and perpetuate war.

“These are challenging times,” said the Swami, “which call for Emerge-n-See measures. It is time for us to emerge from our fearful and powerless hiding places and see the big picture. We have met the Savior and He is Us. I see all these Children of God praying for Jesus to intervene, but we cannot expect to be fed intervenously forever. Time for Children of God to grow up, for Christ’s sake, and become Adults of God for a change. Playful adults, that is.”

“Because the key to lasting peace is laughter,” he told the crowd. “Do you know what the leading cause of war and terrorism is? I will tell you. It is seriousness. Seriousness is the most serious problem we face on the planet today. I’m serious. Think about it. Every terrorist act -- not to mention terror itself -- begins with seriousness. Everywhere we look, we are faced with laugh-threatening seriousness.” The Swami called on his supporters to “report any serious behavior to the Department of Omland Security.”

“Levity, on the other hand, helps us rise above whatever’s been bringing us down,” the Swami continued. “Did you know that one Youngman of laughter -- approximately the mirth contained in the average one-liner -- can release up to a megahurt of emotional pain?”

Finally, the Swami outlined his plan for conducting the Blisskrieg and waging all out peace. “It is very simple indeed. While it makes no sense to take up arms against warfare, it makes all the sense in the world to lift up arms and embrace anything that nourishes peace.” Whereupon Swami offered the following 5-point plan to spark outbreaks of peace all across the planet:

1. Create A Department of Emerge-n-See Planning Now. If war is a necessary evil, why not seek peace as a necessary good? We should be putting at least as much energy and money into secretly plotting peace-- sneaking food and clothing into war-torn nations under the cover of darkness, sending tanks to drought-stricken areas so that they can capture rainwater, sending in comedy troops in an all-out amfunniest assault-- and an even more controversial measure, dropping canisters of laughing gas on persistent pockets of seriousness.

2. Enlist the World Religions to Do Something Useful. Prayer works. According to Dr. Larry Dossey and others who have studied the healing power of prayer, surgery patients who were prayed for tended to heal more quickly. Not only that, but if the people who were doing the praying were also prayed for, results were even better! And it worked regardless of the language or religion they were praying in. Instead of engaging in that childish and destructive game, “My dogma’s better than your dogma,” the major religions would do better to organize a worldwide prayer calm-petition-- it could be called the God Will Games-- and donate the proceeds to ending spiritual hunger on the planet. Regardless of who wins the pray-offs, everyone will benefit.

3. Support the Alter Native Economy. If we’re going to aggressively wage peace, we want to spend more of our wages peacefully. So support the alter native economy-- whatever alters the natives for the better. Our lives are byproducts of what we buy. So if you want to counteract the profits of doom, only buy products with healthful and helpful byproducts. And consider trading in your old Dodge for an Evolvo and running your karma on esteem. Rising esteem can actually improve the overall atmosphere by causing the heart to warm, and the head to cool. This may be the answer to global warming!

4. Support the Peace Effort on the Om Front. We’ve heard the experts say nothing will bring peace, so I say let’s prove ‘em right. Our lives are so filled up with somethings that we have no room for nothing anymore! That’s why my ultimate meditation tape, Sounds of Silence, is completely blank. Think about it. Our minds are filled up with information everywhere we go. After a busy day thinking of everything, what a welcome relief it is to think of nothing. So as part of my work on behalf of inner peace, you can now come to my Om Page and download as much healing silence as you need-- absolutely free! And you can do your part for world inner peace by sending some peaceful silence to a friend. Sure this is a peacemeal approach, but it works. A little peace here, a little peace there, and pretty soon you have one big peaceful meal everywhere.

5. Spread Contagious Laughter Wherever You Go. If we truly want to bring about Nonjudgment Day, we need to do whatever we can to increase the laugh force on the planet. Take the funniest jokes from the internet, and share them on the outernet. Commit random acts of harmless comedy. Practice Fun-Shui by creating playful beauty everywhere. Make sure you spend some time each week laughing with friends and loved ones. Remember that when it comes to laughter, the more the merrier. And remember too, what goes around comes around. In other words, the laugh you save may be your own.

* * * * *

TWO STORIES FROM MICHAEL BROOME (author of Be a Liver of Life Not a Gall Bladder: An Encouraging, Insightful and Humorous Perspective on Personal & Professional Growth, 2006)

After the funeral (for a close elder relative), my wife and children stayed home while I had to leave town for three days. As I was driving to the airport, I got really depressed. Getting onto the plane, I was so depressed, I said a prayer: “Lord, I’m so down; you’ve got to send me someone to inspire me or give me encouragement.” Well, I kid you not, just 30 seconds after saying that prayer, as I get onto that plane and get back to my seat, there seated right beside me is a priest!—I could tell, he was wearing one of those white collars. I don’t know about you folks, but wow! Goose bumps appeared on my arms. I knew I was in the presence of a miraculous event. And I sat down and I looked him right in the eye and said to him, “I can’t tell you how glad I am to see you!” And he looked back at me and this is what he said to me: “Sorry… no speak English.”

Don’t let your home become a negative environment. I’ll give you two statements that will do more than anything to heal your conflicts with loved ones. Learn to say, “I’m sorry” and learn to say, “I love you.” And I don’t think a day doesn’t go by that my wife says, “I’m sorry I love you.”

* * * * *

LONG LIFE
Toward the end of the services, the Minister asked the congregation, “How many of you have forgiven your enemies?” 80% held up their hands. The Minister then repeated his question. All responded this time, except one small elderly lady. “Mrs. Jones? Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?” “I don’t have any.” She replied, smiling sweetly. “Mrs. Jones, that is very unusual. How old are you?” “Ninety-eight.” she replied. “Oh Mrs. Jones, would you please come down in front and tell us all how a person can live ninety-eight years and not have an enemy in the world?” The little sweetheart of a lady tottered down the aisle, faced the congregation, and said: “It’s easy. I just outlived them all.”

* * * * *

TURBULENT TIMES
A plane hit a patch of severe turbulence and the passengers were holding on tight as it rocked and reeled through the night. A lady turned to a minister who was sitting behind her and said, “You’re a man of God. Can’t you do something about this?” He replied, “Sorry, I can’t. I’m in sales, not management.”

* * * * *

GRANDMA’S DRIVING
A Grandma reported: The other day I went up to a local Christian bookstore and saw a “honk if you love Jesus” bumper sticker. I was feeling particularly sassy that day because I had just come from a thrilling church choir performance, followed by a thunderous prayer meeting, so I bought the sticker and put in on my bumper.

So today I was sitting in my car at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost in thought about the Lord and how good He is and I didn’t notice that the light had changed. It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn’t honked, I’d never have noticed. I found that LOTS of people love Jesus. Why, while I was sitting there, the guy behind started honking like crazy, and when he leaned out of his window and screamed, “for the love of God, GO! GO!” What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus.

Everyone started honking! I just leaned out of my window and started waving and smiling at all these loving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love. There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling something about a sunny beach...

I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air. When I asked my teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant, he said that it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign or something.

Well, I’ve never met anyone from Hawaii, so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign back. My grandson burst out laughing, why even he was enjoying this religious experience.

A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me. I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed. So, I waved to all my sisters and brothers grinning, and drove on through the intersection.

I noticed I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again and I felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared, so I slowed the car down, leaned out of the window and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away. Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!

* * * * *

DENOMINATIONS
Q: What happens if you cross a Unitarian with a Jehovah's Witness?
A: Someone who goes around knocking on doors—without having anything in particular to say!

* * * * *

TEN COMMANDMENTS
The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments in a Courthouse: You cannot post “Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,” and “Thou Shalt Not Lie” in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians! It creates a hostile work environment!

* * * * *

POLITICAL PARTIES
Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions. Conservatives feel they deserve everything they’ve stolen. -- Mort Sahl

* * * * *

MONEY
What is money?!! It is a piece of paper that draws the illusion of all mankind. It can buy a House--but not a Home. It can buy a Bed--but not Sleep. It can buy a Clock--but not Time. It can buy you a Book--but not Knowledge. It can buy you a Position--but not Respect. It can buy you Medicine--but not Health. It can buy you Blood--but not Life. It can buy you Sex--but not Love.

So you see money isn’t everything, it doesn’t buy you happiness. And it often causes pain and suffering. I tell you all this because I am your Friend, and as your Friend I want to take away your pain and suffering... So send me all your money and I will suffer for you. CASH ONLY PLEASE!

* * * * *

POWER OF AFFIRMATIONS
One night around midnight, feeling the urge to urinate, a 7 year-old boy wakes up and walks down the hallway toward the bathroom. Along the way, he peers into his widowed mother's bedroom and there, in the dim light, he sees her lying naked on her back, sensuously caressing her thighs, abdomen and breasts with her fingers, moaning, "I want a man! Oh! I want a man!"

The little boy is puzzled, but continues down the hallway to go relieve himself at the toilet.

The next night, during the wee hours, the little boy again is feeling the urge to go urinate. Walking down the hallway, he hears some sounds emanating from his mom's bedroom, and he looks inside to see that his mother is playing amorously with a man. The little boy does not know what to make of this....

Then, while urinating, the little boy suddenly gets an inspired idea. Finishing off his business, he quickly runs back to his own bedroom, peels off his pajamas, jumps onto his bed, and begins running his fingers along his naked body, moaning: "Oh, I want a bicycle! Oh, I want a bicycle!!"

* * * * *

CONFESSION
[In Ireland, a boy in his teens goes to see the Catholic priest for the rite of confession:]

“Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose woman.” The priest asks, “Is that you, little Tommy Shaughnessy?” “Ah, yes, Father, it is.” “And, who was the woman you were with?” “Sure and I can’t be tellin’ you, Father! I don’t want to ruin her reputation.” “Well, Tommy, I’m sure to find out sooner or later, so you may as well tell me now. Was it Brenda O’Malley?” “I cannot say.” “Was it Patricia Kelly?” “I’ll never tell.” “Was it Liz Shannon?” “I’m sorry, Father but I can’t name her.” “Was it Cathy Morgan?” “My lips are sealed.” “Was it Fiona McDonald, then?” “Please, Father, I cannot tell you.”

The priest sighs in frustration. “You’re a steadfast lad, Tommy Shaughnessy, and I admire that. But you’ve sinned, and you must atone. You cannot attend church for 4 weeks. Be off with you now.”

Tommy walks back to his pew. His friend Sean slides over and whispers, “What’d you get?” Says Tommy: “A month’s vacation and five good leads!”

* * * * *

CONFESSION
An old man walks into a confessional. The following conversation ensues:

Old Man: I am 92 years old, have a wonderful wife of 70 years, many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Yesterday I picked up two college girls hitchhiking. We went to a motel where I had sex with each of them three times.
Priest: Are you sorry for your sins?
Old Man: What sins?
Priest: What kind of a Catholic are you?
Old Man: I’m Jewish.
Priest: Why are you telling me all this?
Old Man: I’m telling everybody!!

* * * * *

A WEE SCOTTISH TALE
A Scottish lad and lass in their early twenties, both shy and from very religious homes, were sitting on a low stone wall, holding hands, gazing out over the loch (lake). For several minutes they sat silently, then finally the girl looked at the boy and said, "A penny for your thoughts, Ian."

"Well, uh, I was thinkin'...perhaps it's aboot time for a wee kiss." The girl blushed, then leaned over and kissed him lightly on the cheek. Then he blushed.

The two turned once again to gaze out over the loch. Minutes passed, then the girl spoke again. "Another penny for your thoughts, Ian." "Well, uh I was thinkin'...perhaps its noow aboot time for a wee cuddle." The girl blushed, then leaned over and cuddled him for a few seconds. Then he blushed.

Then the two turned once again to gaze out over the loch. After a while, she again said, "Another penny for your thoughts, Ian." "Well, uh I was thinkin'...perhaps its aboot time you let me pewt ma hand on yer leg. " The girl blushed, then took his hand and put it on her knee. Then he blushed.

Then the two turned once again to gaze out over the loch before the girl spoke again. "Another penny for your thoughts, Ian."

The young man glanced down with a furled brow. "Well, noo," he said, "My thoughts are a wee bit more serious this time."

"Really?" said the girl in a whisper, filled with anticipation.

"Aye," said the lad, nodding. The girl looked away in shyness, began to blush, and bit her lip in anticipation of the ultimate request.

And he said, "Din'na ye think it's aboot time ye paid me the first three pennies?"

* * * * *

HEAVEN
The couple was 85 years old, married for sixty years. Though they were far from rich, they managed to get by because they watched their pennies. Though not young, they were both in very good health, largely due to the wife’s insistence on healthy foods and exercise for the last decade.

One day, their good health didn’t help when they went on an exotic vacation and their little plane crashed, sending them off to Heaven. They reached the pearly gates, and St. Peter escorted them inside. He took them to a beautiful mansion, furnished in gold and fine silks, with a fully stocked kitchen and a waterfall in the master bath. A maid could be seen hanging their favorite clothes in the closet.

They gasped in astonishment when St. Peter said, “Welcome to Heaven. This will be your home now.” The old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost. “Why, nothing,” Peter replied, “for this is your reward in Heaven.” The old man looked out the window and saw a championship golf course, more beautiful than any ever seen on Earth. “What are the greens fees?” grumbled the old man. “This is heaven,” St. Peter replied. “You can play for free, every day.” Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch, with every imaginable cuisine laid out before them, from rich entrees with thick sauces to exotic deserts. “Don’t even ask,” said St. Peter to the man. “This is Heaven, it is all free for you to enjoy.”

The old man looked around and glanced nervously at his wife. “Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods?” he asked. “That’s the best part,” St. Peter replied. “You can eat and drink as much as you like of whatever you like, and you’ll never get fat or sick. After all, this is Heaven!” The old man pushed, “No gym to work out at?” “Not unless you want to,” said St. Peter. “No testing my blood pressure or...?” “Never again. All you do here is enjoy yourself.”

The old man glared at his wife and said, “You and your damn bran muffins. We could have been here ten years ago already!”

* * * * *

SKINNY DIPPING
A minister, a priest and a rabbi went for a hike one very hot day. They were perspiring and exhausted when they came upon a small lake. Since it was fairly secluded, they took off all their clothes and jumped in the water. Feeling refreshed, the trio decided to pick a few berries while enjoying their “natural freedom.” As they were crossing an open area, who should come along but a group of ladies from town. Unable to get to their clothes in time, the minister and the priest covered their privates and the rabbi covered his face while they ran for cover.

After the ladies had left and the men got their clothes back on, the minister and the priest both asked the rabbi why he covered his face rather than his privates. The rabbi replied, “I don’t know about you, but in MY congregation, it’s my face they would recognize.”

* * * * *

WEDDING PLANS
Jacob, age 92, and Rebecca, age 89, living in Florida, are all excited about their decision to get married. They go for a stroll to discuss the wedding, and on the way they pass a drugstore. Jacob suggests they go in, and he then addresses the pharmacist behind the counter: “We’re about to get married. Do you sell heart medication?” Pharmacist: “Yes we do.” Jacob: “How about medicine for circulation?” Pharmacist: “All kinds.” Jacob: “Medicine for rheumatism and scoliosis?” “Definitely.” Jacob: “How about Viagra?” Pharmacist: “Of course.” Jacob: “Medicine for memory problems and arthritis?” “Sure!” Jacob: “What about vitamins, sleeping pills, and Geritol?” “Quite a large variety.” Jacob: “You sell wheelchairs and walkers?” Pharmacist: “All speeds and sizes.”

Jacob: “We’d like to use this store as our Bridal Registry.”

* * * * *

CHURCH BULLETINS
Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences, with their typos or slips of tongue, actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services:

The sermon this morning: “Jesus Walks on Water.” The sermon tonight: “Searching for Jesus.”

Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don’t forget to bring your husbands.

The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community.

For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.

Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack’s sermons.

The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing: “Break Forth Into Joy.”

A rice-and-bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What Is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice.

The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.

Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM--prayer and medication to follow.

The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

This evening at 7 PM there will be hymn-singing in the park across from the Church. So bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.

Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.

The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this great tragedy.

The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan Belzer, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Julius Belzer.

This afternoon there will be a meeting in the south and north ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.

Tuesday at 4 p.m. there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk will please come early.

Wednesday, the Ladies Liturgy Society will meet. Mrs. Jones will sing “Put Me In My Little Bed” accompanied by the pastor.

Thursday at 5:00 p.m. there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All wishing to become little mothers, please see the minister in his study.

This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.

The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: “I Upped My Pledge--Up Yours”

Don’t let worries kill you. Let the Church help.

* * * * *

AT A SPIRITUALIST CHURCH:
ANNOUNCEMENT: The regular meeting of the Clairvoyant Society will not take place this month, due to unforeseen circumstances.

* * * * *

ARTHRITIS
A drunk man who smelled like beer sat down on a subway seat next to a priest. The man’s tie was stained his face was plastered with red lipstick, and a half empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his torn coat pocket. He opened his newspaper and began reading.

After a few minutes the man turned to the priest and asked, “Say, Father, what causes arthritis?” “My Son, it’s caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol and a contempt for your fellow man.” Well, I’ll be damned,” the drunk muttered, returning to his paper. The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized. “I’m very sorry. I didn’t mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?”

“I don’t have it, Father. I was just reading here that the Pope does”.

* * * * *

MONKS
A man’s car broke down as he was driving past a beautiful old monastery. He walked up the drive and knocked on the front door. A monk answered, listened to the man’s story and graciously invited him to spend the night. The monks fed the man and led him to a tiny chamber in which to sleep. The man thanked the monks and slept serenely until he was awakened by a strange and beautiful sound.

The next morning, as the monks were repairing his car, he asked about the sound that had awakened him. “We’re sorry,” the monks said. “We can’t tell you about the sound. You’re not a monk.”

The man was disappointed, but eager to be gone, so he thanked the monks for their kindness and went on his way. During a quiet moment afterward, the man pondered the source of the alluring sound. Several years later the man happened to be driving in the same area. He stopped at the monastery on a whim and asked admittance. He explained to the monks that he had so enjoyed his previous stay, he wondered if he might be permitted to spend another night under their peaceful roof. The monks agreed, and so the man stayed with them again.

Late that night, he again heard the strangely beautiful, unearthly sound. The following morning he begged the monks to explain the sound. The monks gave him the same answer as before. “We’re sorry. We can’t tell you about the sound. You’re not a monk.”

By now the man’s curiosity had turned to obsession. He decided to give up everything and become a monk, for that was the only way he could learn about the sound. He informed the monks of his decision and began the long and arduous task of becoming a monk. Seven years later, the man was finally established as a true member of the order.

When the celebration ended, he humbly went to the leader of the order and asked to be told the source of the wonderful sound. Silently, the old monk led the new monk to a huge wooden door. He opened the door with a golden key. That door swung open to reveal a second door of silver, then a third door of gold, and so on until they had passed through twelve doors, each more magnificent than the last. The new monk’s face was awash with tears of joy as he finally beheld the wondrous source of the beautiful mysterious sound he had heard so many years before....

Ah, but, I can’t tell you what it was. You’re not a monk.

* * * * *

TOP 10 BEST THINGS TO SAY IF YOU GET CAUGHT SLEEPING AT YOUR DESK AT WORK:

10. “I wasn’t sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement.”

9. “This is just a 15 minute power-nap like they raved about in that time management course you sent me to.”

8. “Whew! Guess I left the top off the White-Out. You probably got here just in time!”

7. “They told me at the blood bank this might happen.”

6. “I was testing my keyboard for drool resistance.”

5. “I was doing a highly specific Yoga exercise to relieve work-related stress. Are you discriminatory toward people who practice Yoga?”

4. “Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem.”

3. “The coffee machine is broken...”

2. “Someone must’ve put decaf in the wrong pot...”

And the #1 best thing to say if caught sleeping at your desk:

1. “ ... in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

* * * * *

WHICH DOOR DO YOU PREFER?
Did you see the old cartoon depicting the doorways to two adjacent auditoriums? One auditorium had a long line of people before it, and the sign over the entrance read: "Lecture on Heaven." But no one was lined up before the other auditorium doorway, whose sign read: "Heaven."

* * * * *

TEMPERATURE OF HELL
[The following is supposedly an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so interesting that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now can enjoy it as well.]

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

[Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:]

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added. This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, “it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,” and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct... leaving only Heaven—thereby proving the existence of a divine being. Which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting “Oh my God!

[This student received the only “A” grade.]

* * * * *

HOLIDAYS

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone RE: Christmas Party DATE: December 1
I’m happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23, starting at noon in the banquet room at Luigi’s Open Pit Barbecue. No-host bar, but plenty of eggnog! We’ll have a small band playing traditional carols...feel free to sing along. And don’t be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus!

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
DATE: December 2 RE: Christmas Party
In no way was yesterday’s memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Chanukah is an important holiday that often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on we’re calling it our “Holiday Party.” The same policy applies to employees who are celebrating Kwanzaa at this time. Happy now?

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
DATE: December 3 RE: Holiday Party
Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table ... you didn’t sign your name. I’m happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads “AA Only” you wouldn’t be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle this? Somebody?

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
DATE: December 7 RE: Holiday Party
What a diverse company we are! I had no idea that December 2 begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating, drinking and sex during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees’ beliefs. Perhaps Luigi’s can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party - the days are so short this time of year - or else package everything for take-home in little foil swans. Will that work? Meanwhile, I’ve arranged for members of Overeaters Anonymous to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms. Did I miss anything?

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
DATE: December 8 RE: Holiday Party
So December 22 marks the Winter Solstice...what do you expect me to do, a tap-dance on your heads? Fire regulations at Luigi’s prohibit the burning of sage by our “earth-based Goddess-worshipping” employees, but we’ll try to accommodate your shamanic drumming circle during the band’s breaks. Ok?

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
Date: December 9 RE: Holiday Party
People, people, nothing sinister was intended by having our CEO dress up like Santa Claus! Even if the anagram of “Santa” does happen to be “Satan,” there is no evil connotation to our own “little man in a red suit.” It’s a tradition, folks, like sugar shock at Halloween or family feuds over the Thanksgiving turkey or broken hearts on Valentine’s Day. Could we lighten up?

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
DATE: December 10 RE: Holiday Party
Vegetarians!?!?!? I’ve had it with you people!! We’re going to keep this party at Luigi’s Open Pit Barbecue whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the “grill of death,” as you so quaintly put it, and you’ll get your freaking salad bar, including hydroponic tomatoes. But you know, they have feelings, too. Tomatoes scream when you slice them. I’ve heard them scream. I’m hearing them scream right now!

FROM: Teri Bishops, Acting Human Resources Director
DATE: December 14 RE: Pat Lewis and Holiday Party
I’m sure I speak for all of us in wishing Pat Lewis a speedy recovery from her stress-related illness and I’ll continue to forward your cards to her at the sanatorium. In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and work will resume as normal. The CEO and management will be spending the holidays in Hawaii.

* * * * *

SPELLING (note: only veteran English-speakers will get this:)

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a word are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt!

* * * * *

NUMBERS
111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

* * * * *

EXISTENTIALISM TO THE RESCUE!
By Michael Kelly (View original document at www.michaelkelly.fsnet.co.uk/exis.htm)

Paris (Le Monde)

French Intellectuals to be Deployed in Afghanistan To Convince Taliban of Non-Existence of a Deity

The ground war in Afghanistan heated up yesterday when the Allies revealed plans to airdrop a platoon of crack French existentialist philosophers into the country to destroy the morale of the remaining Taliban zealots by proving the non-existence of God.

Elements from the feared Jean-Paul Sartre Brigade, or ‘Black Berets’, will be parachuted into the combat zones to spread doubt, despondency and existential anomie among the enemy. Hardened by numerous intellectual battles fought during their long occupation of Paris’s Left Bank, their first action will be to establish a number of pavement cafes at strategic points near the front lines. There they will drink coffee and talk animatedly about the absurd nature of life and man’s lonely isolation in the universe. They will be accompanied by a number of heartbreakingly beautiful girlfriends who will further spread dismay by sticking their tongues in the philosophers’ ears every five minutes and looking remote and unattainable to everyone else.

Their leader, Colonel Marc-Ange Belmondo, spoke yesterday of his confidence in the success of their mission. Sorbonne graduate Belmondo, a very intense and unshaven young man in a black pullover, gesticulated wildly and said, “The Taliban are caught in a logical fallacy of the most ridiculous. There is no deity despite the Koran and I can prove it. Take your tongue out of my ear, Juliet, I am talking.”

Marc-Ange plans to deliver an impassioned thesis on man’s nauseating freedom of action with special reference to the work of Foucault and the films of Alfred Hitchcock.

However, humanitarian agencies have been quick to condemn the operation as inhumane, pointing out that the effects of passive smoking from the Frenchmen’s endless Gitanes could wreak a terrible toll on civilians in the area.

* * * * *

PHILOSOPHER J.P. SARTRE'S COOKBOOK
[This pointedly funny piece, written by Marty Smith, of Portland, Oregon, comes from Free Agent, March 1987 (a Portland, OR, alternative newspaper), republished, with deletions, in the Utne Reader Nov./Dec. 1993. I reproduce it here, with inclusions of some of the material Utne deleted, but also with a few deletions of my own. Note: This piece may only be “funny” for those who’ve had to suffer through angst-ridden classes in French existentialist literature.]

-----

We have been lucky to discover several previously lost diaries of French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre [d.1981] stuck in between the cushions of our office sofa. These diaries reveal a young Sartre obsessed not with the void, but with food. Apparently Sartre, before discovering philosophy, had hoped to write “a cookbook that will put to rest all notions of flavor forever.” The diaries are excerpted here for your perusal:

-----

October 3: Spoke with Camus today about my cookbook. Though he has never actually eaten, he gave me much encouragement. I rushed home immediately to begin work. How excited I am! I have begun my formula for a Denver omelet.

October 4: Still working on the omelet. There have been stumbling blocks. I keep creating omelets one after another, like soldiers marching into the sea, but each one seems empty, hollow, like stone. I want to create an omelet that expresses the meaninglessness of existence, and instead they taste like cheese. I look at them on the plate, but they do not look back. Tried eating them with the lights off. It did not help. Malraux suggested paprika.

October 6: I have realized that the traditional omelet form (eggs and cheese) is bourgeois. Today I tried making one out of cigarette, some coffee, and four tiny stones. I fed it to Malraux, who puked. I am encouraged, but my journey is still long.

October 7: Today I again modified my omelet recipe. While my previous attempts had expressed my own bitterness, they communicated only illness to the eater. In an attempt to reach the bourgeoisie, I taped two fried eggs over my eyes and walked the streets of Paris for an hour.

October 10: I find myself trying ever more radical interpretations of traditional dishes, in an effort to somehow express the void I feel so acutely. Today I tried this recipe:

Tuna Casserole Recipe: Ingredients: 1 large casserole dish. Place the casserole dish in a cold oven. Place a chair facing the oven and sit in it for forever. Think about how hungry you are. When night falls, do not turn on the light. While a void is expressed in this recipe, I am struck by its inapplicability to the bourgeois lifestyle. How can the eater recognize that the food denied him is a tuna casserole and not some other dish? I am becoming more and more frustrated.

October 25: I have been forced to abandon the project of producing an entire cookbook. Rather, I now seek a single recipe which will, by itself, embody the plight of man in a world ruled by an unfeeling God, as well as providing the eater with at least one ingredient from each of the four basic food groups. To this end, I purchased six hundred pounds of foodstuffs from the corner grocery and locked myself in the kitchen, refusing to admit anyone. After several weeks of work, I produced a recipe calling for two eggs, half a cup of flour, four tons of beef, and a leek. While this is a start, I am afraid I still have much work ahead.

November 13: I feel that I may be very close to a great breakthrough. I had been creating meal after meal, but none seemed to express the futility of existence any better than would ordering a pizza. I left the house this morning in a most depressed state, and wandered aimlessly through the streets. Suddenly, it was as if the heavens had opened. My brain was electrified with an influx of new ideas. “Juice, toast, milk” I muttered aloud. I realized with a start that I was one ingredient away from creating the nutritious breakfast. Loathsome, true, but filled with existential authenticity I rushed home to begin work anew.

November 18: Today I tried yet another variation: Juice, toast, milk and Cheetos. Again, a dismal failure. I have tried everything. Juice, toast, milk and whiskey, juice, toast, milk and chicken fat, juice, toast, milk and someone else’s spit. Nothing helps. I am in agony. Juice, toast, milk, they race about my fevered brain like fire, like an unholy trinity of cruel denial. And the fourth ingredient! What could it be? It eludes me like the lost chord, the Holy Grail. I must see the completion of my task, but I have no more money to spend on food. Perhaps man is not meant to know... […]

November 23: Ran into some opposition at the restaurant. Some of the patrons complained that my breakfast special (a page out of Remembrance of Things Past and a blowtorch with which to set it on fire) did not satisfy their hunger. As if their hunger was of any consequence! But we’re starving, they say. So what? They’re going to die eventually anyway. They make me want to puke. I have quit the job. It is stupid for Jean- Paul Sartre to sling hash. I have enough money to continue my work for a little while.

November 24: Last night I had a dream. In it, I am standing, alone, on a beach. A great storm is raging all about me. It begins to rain. Night falls. I am struck by how small and insignificant I am, how the entire race of Man is but a speck in the eye of God, and I am but a speck of humanity. […]

November 26: Today I made a Black Forest cake out of five pounds of cherries and a live beaver, challenging the very definition of the word cake. I was very pleased. Malraux said he admired it greatly, but could not stay for dessert. Still, I feel that this may be my most profound achievement yet, and have resolved to enter it in the Betty Crocker Bake-Off.

November 30: Today was the day of the Bake-Off. Alas, things did not go as I had hoped. During the judging, the beaver became agitated and bit Betty Crocker on the wrist. The beaver’s powerful jaws are capable of felling blue spruce in less than ten minutes and proved, needless to say, more than a match for the tender limbs of America’s favorite homemaker. I only got third place. Moreover, I am now the subject of a rather nasty lawsuit.

December 1: I have been gaining twenty-five pounds a week for two months, and I am now experiencing light tides. It is stupid to be so fat. My pain and ultimate solitude are still as authentic as they were when I was thin, but seem to impress girls far less. From now on, I will live on cigarettes and black coffee.

* * * * *

IN THE BEGINNING--CORPORATE STYLE
There was the plan; but the plan was without form; and man created the procedure.

Darkness was upon the face of the employees; and they were sore afraid; and they looked upon their supervisors and cried: “It is a crock of dung and stinks to High Heaven!”

And the supervisors spake unto the project supervisors, saying: “It is a bucket of manure and intolerably malodorous.”

And the project administrators spake unto the section managers, saying: “It is a vessel of fertilizer and exceedingly strong.”

And the section managers spake unto the department directors, saying: “It promoteth growth and is very powerful.”

And the department directors spake unto the company president, saying: “It augmenteth development and productivity.”

And the company president looked down on the procedure and declared: “AND IT WAS GOOD!”

* * * * *

THE HIGH SCANDAL
Turmoil rocked Heaven this morning as allegations arose that God had had an affair with a former worshipper. The scandal was begun when a 21 year old woman, known only as Mary, claimed that she had given birth to God’s “only son” last week in a barn in the hamlet of Bethlehem. Sources close to Mary claim that she “had loved God for a long time,” that she was constantly talking about her relationship with God, and that she was “thrilled to have had his child.”

In a press conference this morning, God issued a vehement denial, saying that “No sexual relationship existed,” and that “the facts of this story will come out in time, verily.”

Independent counsel Kenneth Beelzebub (spelling not confirmed) immediately filed a brief with the Justice department to expand his investigation to cover questions of whether any commandments may have been broken, and whether God had illegaly funnelled laundered money to his illegitimate child through three foreign operatives known only as the “Wise Men.”

Beelzebub has issued subpoenas to several angels who are rumored to have acted as go-betweens in the affair. Critics have pointed out that these allegations have little to do with the charges that Beelzebub was originally appointed to investigate, that God had created large-scale flooding in order to cover up evidence of a failed land deal.

In recent months, Beelzebub investigation has already been expanded to cover questions surrounding the large number of locusts that plagued God’s political opponents in the last election, as well as to claims that the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gommorah was to divert attention away from a scandal involving whether the giveaway of a parcel of public land in Promised County to a Jewish special interest group was quid pro quo for political contributions.

If these allegations prove to be true, then this could be a huge blow to God’s career, much of which has been spent crusading for stricter moral standards and harsher punishments for wrongdoers.

Indeed, God recently outlined a “tough-on-crime” plan consisting of a series of 10 “Commandments,” which has been introduced in Congress in a bill by Rep. Moses. Critics of the bill have pointed out that it lacks any provisions for the rehabilitation of criminals, and lawyers for the ACLU are planning to fight the “Name in Vain” Commandment as being an unconstitutional restriction on free speech.

* * * * *

CLAIM YOUR HEALING
An elderly couple are watching one of those televangelist preachers on TV one night. At one point, the preacher faces the camera and announces, “My friends, I want to share my healing powers with everyone watching this program. Place one hand on top of your TV and the other hand on the body-part that ails you, and I will heal you.” The old woman has been having terrible stomach problems, so she places one hand on the TV, and her other hand on her stomach. Meanwhile, her husband approaches the TV, placing one hand on top of it and the other hand on his groin. With a frown his wife says to him, “Ernest, he’s talking about healing the sick, not raising the dead.”

* * * * *

HELP IS HARD TO FIND
An engineer dies and reports to the pearly gates. St. Peter checks his dossier and says, “Ah, you’re an engineer—you’re in the wrong place.” So the engineer reports to the gates of hell and is let in. Pretty soon, the engineer gets dissatisfied with the comfort-level in hell and starts designing and building improvements. After a while, they’ve got air conditioning, escalators and various useful gizmos, and the engineer is a pretty popular guy.

One day God calls Satan up on the telephone and says, “So, how’s it going down there in hell?” Satan replies, “Hey, things are going great. We’ve got air conditioning and escalators, and there’s no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next.” God replies, “What??? You’ve got an engineer? That’s a mistake—he should never have gotten down there. Send him up here.” Satan says, “No way. I like having an engineer on the staff, and I’m keeping him.” God says, “Send him back up here or I’ll sue.”

Satan laughs uproariously and answers, “Yeah, right! And just where are YOU going to get a lawyer?”

* * * * *

FOUR KINDS OF MEN (An Arabic Apothegm)
He who knows and knows that he knows,
He is wise - follow him.

He who knows and knows not that he knows,
He is asleep - awaken him.

He who knows not and knows that he knows not,
He is simple - teach him.

He who knows not and knows not that he knows not,
He is a fool - shun him.

* * * * *

PRIEST AND THE BUS DRIVER
A priest and bus driver lived together and one day they also together died. They go to St. Peter standing before heaven gate. He allows the bus driver to go to one of the highest heavens but the priest has to wait. He waits for long time and finally goes to St. Peter and asks: “Why could that bus driver go to the highest heaven and I, who all my life spoke about God, have to wait for such a long time?” St. Peter said: “When you were speaking to the people at your church everybody was sleeping, but when that bus driver was driving everybody prayed!”

* * * * *

VOW OF SILENCE
An aspiring Yogi wanted to find a Guru. He went to an Ashram and his preceptor told him: You can stay here but we have one important rule--all students observe a vow of silence. You will be allowed to speak one sentence only after 12 years. After practicing for 12 long years, the day came when the student could say his one sentence. He said: “The bed is too hard.” He kept going for another 12 years of hard spiritual practices and austere discipline; then came his opportunity to speak again. He commented: “The food is not very good.” Twelve more years of hard work and he got the chance to speak once again. This time, after 36 years of practice, he announced: “I quit.” His Guru retorted: “Good! all you’ve done the whole time is complain, complain, complain.”

* * * * *

COMPUTER HAIKU
In Japan, they have replaced the impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft Error messages with Haiku poetry messages. Haiku poetry has strict construction rules. Each poem has only three lines, 17 syllables: 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second, 5 syllables in the third line. Haiku is used to communicate a timeless message often achieving a wistful, yearning, and powerful insight through extreme brevity.

First snow, then silence.
This thousand dollar screen dies
so beautifully.

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

A file that big?
It might be very useful,
but now it is gone.

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

The code was willing.
It considered your request,
but the chips were weak.

ABORTED effort:
Close all that you have.
You ask way too much.

The Web site you seek
cannot be located but
endless others exist.

A crash reduces
your expensive computer
to a simple stone.

Server's poor response
Not quick enough for browser.
Timed out, plum blossom.

Seeing my great fault
Through darkening blue windows
I begin again.

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

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

--From: http://archive.salon.com/21st/chal/1998/02/10chal2.html; see that archive for more haiku and the names of the various contributors]

* * * * *

DUMB BLONDE JOKE

(Okay—i've received dozens of "dumb blonde" jokes over the years from—guess who?—a blonde woman friend of our family. This joke gives a whole new meaning to the Buddhist idea of "Emptiness" and the Christian idea of "self-emptying.")

A blonde hurried into the emergency room late one night with the tip of her index finger shot off.

"How did this happen?" the emergency room doctor asked her. "Well, I was trying to commit suicide," the blonde replied. "What?" sputtered the doctor. "You tried to commit suicide by shooting off your finger?"

"No, Silly," the blonde said. "First I put the gun to my chest, and then I thought, I just paid $6, 000.00 for these implants. I'm not shooting myself in the chest. Then I put the gun in my mouth, and I thought, I just paid $3,000.00 to get my teeth straightened. I'm not shooting myself in the mouth."

"So then?" asked the ER doctor. "Then I put the gun to my ear, and I thought: This is going to make a loud noise. So I put my finger in my other ear before I pulled the trigger."

* * * * *

GOD’S INQUIRY ABOUT LAWNS
Imagine the conversation The Creator might have had with St. Francis on the subject of lawns:

GOD: Francis, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there in the Midwest 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, honey bees 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 stroke 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 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. Saint Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have they scheduled for us tonight?

St. Catherine: “Dumb and Dumber,” Lord. It’s a really stupid movie about...

God: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

* * * * *

OLD AGE
Old age is when former classmates are so gray and wrinkled and bald, they don't recognize you.

* * * * *

GOD, THE DEVIL, & CHOLESTEROL
In the beginning.... God created the heavens and the Earth. And the Earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And Satan said, “It doesn’t get any better than this.” And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit,” and God saw that it was good. And Satan said, “There goes the neighborhood.”

And God said, “Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air and over the cattle, and over all the Earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the Earth.” And so God created Man in his own image; male and female created he them. And God looked upon Man and Woman and saw that they were lean and fit. And Satan said, “I know how I can get back in this game.”

And God populated the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives. And Satan created McDonald’s. And McDonald’s brought forth the 99-cent double cheeseburger. And Satan said to Man, “You want fries with that?” And Man said, “Supersize them.” And Man gained 5 pounds.

And God created the healthful yogurt, that woman might keep her figure that man found so fair. And Satan brought forth chocolate. And Woman gained 5 pounds.

And God said, “Try my crispy fresh salad.” And Satan brought forth Ben and Jerry’s. And Woman gained 10 pounds.

And God said, “I have sent the heart-healthy vegetables and olive oil with which to cook them.” And Satan brought forth chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter... And Man gained 10 pounds and his bad cholesterol went through the roof.

And God brought forth running shoes and Man resolved to lose those extra pounds. And Satan brought forth cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil to change channels between ESPN and ESPN2. And Man gained another 20 pounds.

And God said, “You’re running up the score, Devil.” And God brought forth the potato, a vegetable naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition. And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fat fried them. And he created sour cream dip also. And Man clutched his remote control and ate the potato chips swathed in cholesterol. And Satan saw it and said, “It is good.” And Man went into cardiac arrest.

And God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

And Satan created HMOs.

* * * * *

IRISH HUMOR
Paddy sat in the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, "Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey". Miraculously, a parking place appeared. Paddy looked up again and said, "Never mind, I found one."

* * * * *

THE WORKMAN
A workman is doing work inside a church. He sees a little old Italian lady kneel down in front of a statue of Mary and start to pray. The workman decides to have a little fun. He gets behind the statue of Jesus and, in a commanding voice, says, “Woman, get off your knees. Don’t pray to her, pray to me!” The little old Italian lady looks up at the statue of Jesus and says, “Shut your mouth, I’m talking to your mother!”

* * * * *

BAPTIST DOG
A Baptist preacher and his wife decided to get a new dog. Ever mindful of the congregation, they knew the dog must also be a Baptist. They visited kennel after kennel and explained their needs. Finally, they found a kennel whose owner assured them he had just the dog they wanted. The owner brought the dog to meet the pastor and his wife. “Fetch the Bible,” the owner commanded. The dog bounded to the bookshelf, scrutinized the books, located the Bible, and brought it to the owner. “Now find Psalm 23,” he ordered. The dog dropped the Bible to the floor, and showing marvelous dexterity with his paws, leafed through and, finding the correct passage, pointed to it with his paw. The pastor and his wife were very impressed and purchased the dog.

That evening, a group of church members came to visit. The pastor and his wife began to show off the dog, having him locate several Bible verses. The visitors were quite impressed. One man asked, “Can he do regular dog tricks, too?” “I haven’t tried yet,” the pastor replied. He pointed his finger at the dog and said, “Heel!” The dog jumped onto a chair, placed one paw on the pastor’s forehead and began to howl. The pastor looked at his wife in shock and said, “Good Lord! He’s not a Baptist, he’s a Pentecostal!”

* * * * *

BEST COUNTRY SONG TITLES

(Anonymous. These are evidently the actual titles for real songs that were recorded and released over the decades in the country music world.)

[Recite the following in a heavy country accent:]

1. I've Got Tears in My Ears from Lyin' on My Back and Cryin' Over You

2. If the Phone Don't Ring, You'll Know It's Me

3. She's Looking Better After Every Beer

4. You're the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly

5. I Liked You Better Before I Got to Know You So Well

6. It's Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chewed Your Ass All Day Long

7. She's Actin' Single and I'm Drinkin' Doubles

8. My Wife Ran Off with My Best Friend, and I Sure Do Miss Him

9. She Got the Ring and I Got the Finger

10. Please Bypass this Heart

11. My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, and I Don't Love You

12. If I Can't Be Number One in Your Life, Then Number Two on You

13. I'm So Miserable without You, It's Like Having You Here

14. I'll Marry You Tomorrow, But Let's Honeymoon Tonight

15. I Still Miss You, Baby, But My Aim's Gettin' Better

16. If I Had Shot You When I First Wanted To, I'd Be Out Of Prison By Now

17. I Keep Forgettin' I Forgot About You

18. I Don't Know Whether to Kill Myself or Go Bowling

19. How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?

20. Get Your Tongue Outta My Mouth 'Cause I'm Kissin' You Goodbye

* * * * *

HOW TO SING THE BLUES: A PRIMER
--submitted by Charles Johnston

1. Most Blues begin with: "Woke up this morning...."

2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, unless you stick something nasty in the next line like, "I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town."

3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes... sort of: "Got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher, and she weigh 500 pound."

4. The Blues is not about choice. You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch--ain't no way out.

5. Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs and broken-down trucks. Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft and state-sponsored motor pools ain't even in the running. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does "fixin' to die."

6. Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin' to die yet. Adults sing the Blues. In Blues, "adulthood" means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

7. Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or any place in Canada. Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle is probably just clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City are still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the blues in any place that don't get rain.

8. A man with male pattern baldness ain't the blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg 'cause you were skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg 'cause a alligator be chomping on it is.

9. You can't have no Blues in a office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.

10. Good places for the Blues:
a. highway
b. jailhouse
c. empty bed
d. bottom of a whiskey glass

Bad places for the Blues:
a. Nordstrom's
b. gallery openings
c. Ivy League institutions
d. golf courses

11. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, 'less you happen to be a old ethnic person, and you slept in it.

12. Do you have the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if:
a. you older than dirt
b. you blind
c. you shot a man in Memphis
d. you can't be satisfied

No, if:
a. you have all your teeth
b. you were once blind but now can see
c. the man in Memphis lived
d. you have a 401K or trust fund

13. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues. Sonny Liston could. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues.

14. If you ask for water and your darlin' give you gasoline, it's the Blues. Other acceptable Blues beverages are:
a. cheap wine
b. whiskey or bourbon
c. muddy water
d. nasty black coffee

The following are NOT Blues beverages:
a. Perrier
b. Chardonnay
c. Snapple
d. Slim Fast

15. If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die. So are the electric chair, substance abuse and dying lonely on a broken-down cot. You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match or while getting liposuction.

16. Some Blues names for women:
a. Sadie
b. Big Mama
c. Bessie
d. Fat River Dumpling

17. Some Blues names for men:
a. Joe
b. Willie
c. Little Willie
d. Big Willie

18. Persons with names like Michelle, Amber, Jennifer, Debbie, and Heather can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

19. Make your own Blues name Starter Kit:
a. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.)
b. first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, etc.)
c. last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)
For example: Blind Lime Jefferson, Jakeleg Lemon Johnson or Cripple Kiwi Fillmore, etc. (Well, maybe not "Kiwi.")

20. I don't care how tragic your life: if you own a computer, you cannot sing the blues.

* * * * *

FUNERAL WISHES
An elderly woman died. Having never married, she had requested no male pallbearers. In her handwritten instructions for her memorial service, she wrote, “They wouldn’t take me out while I was alive, I don’t want them to take me out when I’m dead.”

* * * * *

EPITAPHS
In a Thurmont, Maryland, cemetery: “Here lies an Atheist / All dressed up and no place to go.”

In a cemetery in England: “Remember man, as you walk by, / As you are now, so once was I. / As I am now, you soon will be. / Prepare yourself and follow me.” To which someone replied by writing on the tombstone: “To follow you I’ll not consent / Until I know which way you went.”

* * * * *

DIVIDING SOULS
On the outskirts of town stood a big old pecan tree by the cemetery fence. One day two boys filled up a bucket with pecans and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts. "One for you, and one for me. One for you, one for me," said one boy. Several were dropped and rolled down toward the fence.

Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me." He just knew what it was. "Oh my," he shuddered, "It's Satan and the Lord dividing the souls at the cemetery." He jumped back on his bike and rode off. Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along. "Come here quick," said the boy, "You won't believe what I just heard. Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up souls." The man said. "Beat it, kid, can't you see it's hard for me to walk?" When the boy insisted, the man hobbled to the cemetery.

Standing by the fence they heard, "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me. The old man whispered, "Boy, you, you've been tellin' the truth! Let's see the devil himself." Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of Satan. At last they heard, "One for you, one for me. And one last one for you. That's all. Now let's go get those nuts by the fence, and we'll be done." They say the old guy made it back to town 5 minutes before the boy.

* * * * *

GOD'S SAVING POWER
A pious man was caught in a flood and the water was creeping upwards as he sat in his house. He prayed that God would save him. When the water was approaching the porch, someone in a truck drove up, and invited him to get in. He said, "No, God will save me." As the water crept over the porch, a boat came by and a young man shouted for him to get in. Once again, the pious man said, "No, God will save me." A short while later, now perched atop his roof, he saw a helicopter fly by, trying to rescue him. Once again, he refused, saying, "No, God will save me." Alas, he then drowned. Arriving in heaven, he met the glorious God Almighty. The man's first question of God was, "Lord, why didn't You save me?" And God replied, "My son, I tried saving you three times with that truck, boat, and helicopter!"

* * * * *

THE MONK
A new monk arrives at the old Italian monastery for his celibate life of shared poverty and prayer, and is assigned to help the other monks in copying the old texts by hand. He notices, however, that they are copying from copies, not the original manuscripts. So, the new monk goes to the head monk to ask him about this, pointing out that if there were an error in the first copy, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies. The head monk says, “We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son.” So, he goes down into the cellar with one of the copies to check it against the original. Hours go by and nobody sees him. So, one of the monks goes downstairs to look for him. Hearing sobbing coming from the back of the cellar, he finds the old monk leaning over one of the original books crying, and muttering between tears: “There’s an R! There’s an R!” He asks the old monk what’s wrong, and in a choked voice came the reply, “The original word isn’t “celibate” but “celebrate.”

* * * * *

REINCARNATION
There were two lovers, who were really into spiritualism and reincarnation. They vowed that if either died, the other one remaining would try to contact the partner in the other world exactly 30 days after their death. Unfortunately, a few weeks later, the young man died in a car wreck. True to her word, his sweetheart tried to contact him in the spirit world exactly 30 days later.

At the seance, she called out, "John, John, this is Martha. Do you hear me?" A ghostly voice answered her, "Yes Martha, this is John. I can hear you." Martha tearfully asked, "Oh John, what is it like where you are?" "It's beautiful. There are azure skies, a soft breeze, sunshine most of the time." "What do you do all day?" asked Martha. "Well, Martha, we get up before sunrise, eat some good breakfast, and there's nothing but making love until noon. After lunch, we nap until two and then make love again until about five. After dinner, we go at it again until we fall asleep about 11 p.m."

Martha was somewhat taken aback. "Is that what heaven really is like?" "Heaven? I'm not in heaven, Martha." "Well, then, where are you?" "I don't know, but I'm a rabbit."

* * * * *

POLISH WOMEN

An elderly Polish man lay dying in his bed. While suffering the agonies of impending death, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite pierogi with fried onions wafting up the stairs.

He gathered his remaining strength, and lifted himself from the bed. Gripping the railing with both hands, he crawled downstairs. There, he leaned against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen, where if not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven, for there, spread out upon waxed paper on the kitchen table were hundreds of his favorite pierogi.

Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of love from his wife of sixty years, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?

He threw himself towards the table, landing on his knees in a crumpled posture. His parched lips parted, the wondrous taste of the pierogi was already in his mouth. With a trembling hand he reached up to the edge of the table, when suddenly he was smacked with a wooden spoon by his wife.

"Back off!" she said. "Those are for the funeral."

* * * * *

TRANSFORMATION
The great French Catholic saint John Baptiste Vianney, the Curé of Ars (1786-1859), known for his "tough love" approach to awakening people spiritually, said: "When people flatter you, they're probably lying. When they criticize you, they're likely telling the truth."

Famous for his clairvoyant knowing of people's inmost hearts while hearing them confess their sins in the confessional, he told one woman that she gossiped least in February because it is three days shorter than other months.

He also wrote: "The saints did not all begin well, but they all ended well. We have begun badly; let us end well, and we shall go one day and all meet in Heaven."

* * * * *

NOTHING
In the beginning there was nothing and God said "Let there be light," and there was still nothing but everybody thought for sure that they could see and feel something.

* * * * *

POWERFUL WORDS
The phrase that is guaranteed to wake up a congregation during a sermon: “And in conclusion...”