Archive - February 2005

Professor Chuckles

      The United States of America has the finest education system in the world.  Wouldn’t it be great if that were true?  Don’t get me wrong, we do all right I suppose.  We do, after all, allow everyone an equal opportunity to never, ever understand what a dangling participle is.  That may have been one, I have no idea.  And only immigrants fresh from the citizenship exam can name all forty-seven states.  But, I do know that we have a superior post-secondary education system (you may know it as college). 

      Why, in most American cities, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a college.  Not that I’ve actually tried that, or think that anyone should.  I don’t condone that. (Swinging cats, dead or otherwise.  In fact, I frown on most antics performed with, or against, almost all creatures, regardless of their “life state.”   Except maybe hippies.)  It’s just an expression, like “I swear I didn’t even see that stop sign, Officer.”  Or “Sorry I ran over your Mom, Ricky.”  It means there are a lot of them - colleges, not dead cats waiting to be swung.  Some of these colleges are designated Community Colleges.  And these are the best kinds of colleges.  They are where you go to take classes in arc welding, floral arranging, or Magician’s Apprentice.  They are wondrous places, where no two people you see have anything in common, not even the language they speak. 

      I have threatened on numerous occasions to take some classes at the nearby community college, but have yet to live up to it.  Though I do constantly peruse their catalog.  Which is where I ran into this little gem, under Business Courses.  Humor For Success.  No, I am NOT kidding and no, I will not stop.  I have not taken the class, nor do I intend to.  Not because I wish to deride it, but because it cannot possibly live up to what I have imagined it to be.

      Every time I think about that class I envision a middle management go-getter screaming out of the office parking lot every Tuesday and Thursday for six weeks, sitting in the very front of the class, furiously taking notes as his mini-recorder whirs on the desk.  If I went to this class, and he weren’t there, I’d be very disappointed. 

      What does this class do for you, you ask?  Well, according to the course description, you will “Develop your ability to think and share funny thoughts more effectively.”  And you will also “Explore humor-strengthening techniques” and “Experience professional techniques for creating your own humor, remembering jokes . . . “ and so on.  But best of all: “Text required.” 

“Humor-strengthening techniques?”  I can only assume this means they make you watch “Life of Brian” until you get it.  “Experience professional techniques?”  That one’s got me stumped.  Is a local comedian going to show you some mnemonic devices for remembering jokes?  Or do they give you a small but alarming electric shock every time you tell a joke wrong?

      “Knock Knock”

      “Who’s there?”

      “Moo.  No!  Interrupting cow!!”



      They need to show you how to joke your way out of the awkward situations you always seem to find yourself in.  Like asking the boss how his wife and kids are just as you remember that he lost them to some Canadian fur traders in a poker game.  Or an alternate punchline for a particularly ribald quip that you are in the middle of when you realize the vice-president of human resources is standing behind and you know for a fact she doesn’t find blonde jokes at all amusing.  That would be helpful.

      So go forth, my comedically impaired friends.  March straight to your Community College and ask, nay, demand that they make you funny. 

Hey Grumpy,

My mate hates llamas and I am always talking about them cause they rule.
What should I do? 

I am So confused



Dear Freddrick,

Define "mate."  That may help your confusion.  Or, it may make it worse.  Either way, llama's won't be the problem.

Hope that helps, 


Dear Grumpy,

I have a ten year old daughter who is really into music.  I went to her room and listened to several cd's to see what she was listening to and was very shocked by what I heard.  How can I keep this out of my home?

Alarmed in Alberta


Dear Alarmed,

This is easy.  Sit her down and scream at the top of your lungs that you will not allow it and then break all of her cd's.  Follow that by sending her to her room and grounding her for 6 months.

When she runs away from home, you'll have the peace and quiet you desire.

And a craft room.

Hope that helps,


Dear Grumpy,

There is a customer who comes into the restaurant where I work several times a week.  She thinks that because she comes so frequently she can ask very personal questions, and I find them a bit off-putting.  How can I politely tell her that I'm uncomfortable with all this.

Hash Slinger


Dear Slinger,

No need to tell her.  The better way is to offer too much information.  Tell her about your newest rash, or your horrible dandruff - preferably when your serving her the meal.  Sit down and tell her how your boyfriend keeps wanting to "put it in your butt." 

You get the drift.  She'll quickly stop asking.

Hope that helps,


Dear Grumpy,

My sister-in-law is coming up to visit my husband and our kids in a few weeks.  The problem is that she started smoking, thinking that it would help her lose weight.  Now she is smelly and fat.  What can I do?

Gasping for Air


Dear Gasping,

That's a toughie.  Try to put it very nicely.  Maybe you could say something like because of your concerns about the health of your impressionable children, you simply can't allow fat people in your house.

Hope that helps,


©  2005

All Rights Reserved.