Tag Archives: humour

Coffee rings eternal

Now class, before I return the papers you turned in last week, I’d just like to make a few comments that apply to everyone. First of all, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to all of you for managing to stay on the topic that I assigned you for this paper. Of course, the topic ‘Magic in Harry Potter‘ was far less open to misinterpretation than the previous assignment: ‘What was great about The Great Gatsby?’. I’m still hoping that the majority of you who wrote at length on the topic of ‘nothing’ were doing so out of an exploitation of the openness of the prompt, and not because you didn’t read the novel.

But this time, everyone in the class did a superb job. In fact, only three of you didn’t get As on this assignment. For two of you, John and Marco, it was because you obviously started writing the paper the night before it was due and turned in papers that were about half as long as I had requested. “Just slap a conclusion on there and it’s good” — I’ve been there; I know. But please, would you put in a little more effort? The other non-A paper was just so horribly-written that I could not, in good conscience, award it anything above a B+. So, sorry Daisy. It’s OK to give up.

You may well ask: “Professor Lumberjacques, if we all got the same grade”—(aside from the three previously noted exceptions)—“if we all got the same grade, how will we be able to compare ourselves to one another? It is very important for me to be the best, but the honor is somewhat diminished when it is split thirty-seven ways.” I acknowledge your need to succeed, your drive to dominate, your hunger to have the upper hand — but I urge you to look at John, Marco and Daisy for guidance on this issue. They don’t need to be the best. They’re perfectly happy to hang out at the bottom of the barrel, quietly rotting away as the better apples rise to the top to be baked into pies of success. Theirs is an approach to life that does not hinge on personal achievement so much as it hinges on getting up in the morning, buttoning up your shirt, tying your shoe laces and putting one foot in front of the other. Ah, to be simple.

But for those of you for whom this is just not good enough, I have left you some clues as to how your grade-A papers stack up against one another. No, you will not find it scrawled in the margin in red ink. Instead, you will find it saturating the pages in coffee stains. Let me lay it out for you: the more coffee on your paper, the better it was. Why is this a valid measure? Because I am a tired and overworked man. The only time I can find to grade your papers is well into the night, when most sane and, yes Daisy, simple people are fast asleep in their beds. And I need coffee to fuel me through those hours. When your paper catches my attention, makes me want to keep reading, I grab a cup of coffee. If I couldn’t care any less about anything you’ve written, I’m happy to bluff my way through it in a half-tired state.

And I am a sloppy coffee drinker. I spill, I splash, I spit. I let rivulets of coffee run down the side of my mug until they pool around the bottom and leave a ring on whatever is below. So the more I like your paper, the more coffee I drink. And the more coffee I drink, the more of it ends up soaked into the pages of your paper. It’s like a handshake: you write a paper that gets my attention, and I’ll make sure that my attention is awake enough to be gotten.

So there’s no formal breakdown of how good your paper was as a function of the surface area covered in coffee. You’ll have to all hold up your papers next to one another to see who was the true victor on this assignment. And though that is not a thing that you can put on your resumé, it is certainly something that you can carry in your heart.

Just one final note: don’t compare your paper to Suzy’s. While it may look like hers has the most coffee marks of honor, I really just spilled a full cup of coffee on it while reading Roy’s paper. In fact, Suzy’s paper was so wet, I just waited for it to dry and gave it an A without reading it. Maybe it really was the best; but don’t count on it.

So once again, good job most of you. Now come collect your papers.

Scientists Baffled: Helicopters Don’t Have Wings

This is another humor piece that I wrote for the campus humor magazine back in college. My next post will be a new piece (rather than recycled), so get excited!

***

Everybody knows that to fly you need a good pair of wings, right? Wrong, apparently. This week, science has made another startling discovery that is sure to leave you quivering over your morning breakfast cereal: helicopters are able to fly without the use of wings!

“I was just sitting in the park, contemplating the geese, when a helicopter flew by overhead,” explained the scientist credited with the discovery, Dr. Hock E. Puck of the Montreal Institute of Classical Homeopathy. “I thought it was just a big, noisy goose, until I noticed that it was made out of metal and didn’t have a head. It was as I narrowed my eyes to better ponder this strange machine that I made my now-famous discovery: no wings!”

Dr. Puck claims he then rushed back to his laboratory, where he got Italian Ministress of Aviation, Ms. Vermi Celli, on the phone in minutes. In one huge, excited breath, he explained the entire situation to Ms. Celli.

“After he told me, I had to ask him to tell me again, because he kind of garbled the whole thing up the first time, trying to say as much as possible without breathing,” claims the aging, well-respected Ministress. “Once I understood what he was trying to tell me, I dropped the phone and ran to the window. I could see my helicopter in the parking lot and, sure enough, not a wing in sight! How could I not have found this odd before?”

The pair decided to go public with the discovery immediately, rather than sitting on the knowledge with the hopes of leveraging it for power at some later date.

“I’m a huge fan of the free dissemination of information to the public,” justified Dr. Puck. “Knowledge is power, and as a flower child of the 1960’s, I believe in ‘Power to the People!’”

Though our magazine was lucky enough to get the scoop on this story for general release, certain important government figures and scientists were brought into the loop early to discuss the possible implications of the discovery.

“My main concern is that the helicopters themselves don’t find out,” stated Air Force Sergeant Lou Ftwaffe. “Maybe the only reason they’ve worked all these years is that they were tricked into believing that they had wings. As soon as their delusions come crashing down to earth, so might they.” He added, “This really is a groundbreaking discovery; but hopefully not literally.”

However, others seem less impressed with the news. “It’s not actually a new discovery,” opined Soviet Physicist Rube Ixcube. “The physical basis for helicopter flight has been very well understood for years. See, you just need some duct tape, some WD-40 and a boatload of pixie dust. First you lure the pixies onto the duct tape and squirt them with the WD-40 to stop them from squeaking. Next, you form the duct tape into a wing-like shape and use the pixie dust to render it invisible. Stop shaking your head and walking away and I’ll finish explaining it to you.”

Not all doubters are as ill-informed and attention-craving as Professor Ixcube. Little Jimmy, the boy I was babysitting last Friday, said he could think of “tons of things that fly without wings.” When pressed, he said “I don’t know – dragonflies?” However, upon further review, dragonflies do, in fact, have wings.

Dogegorization Dogastrophe

This is a piece I wrote for my college humor magazine. If you don’t like corny jokes, then you may want to blacklist this entire blog immediately in your search engine.

***

While on a routine rock-gathering expedition into the ancient Roman aqueducts, amateur geologists Sydney Stone and Ricky Rockwell inadvertently unearthed a secret bigger than any single scientific discovery in the history of man. At least, as far as written history goes back.

What they stumbled upon one night (stubbing several toes in the darkness) was a single etching into the wall that said simply:

Cats are dogs
-God

“I just exhaled a breath and breathed in another,” whispered Rockwell like a man who has seen into the eternal void and returned to tell the tale. “There was nothing else I could do.”

The implication of this weighty statement brought to us directly from our Lord and Eternal Savior is that we’ve been doing it wrong all these years. And if we messed up on such a fundamental categorization as cats and dogs, what else could we have just plain screwed up these last few millennia?

“On an everyday basis, we don’t go around thinking about how much of our lives have been constructed based on our definitions of what is a dog and what is a cat,” explained Dr. Duncan Diddles, senior professor of etymology and veterinary sciences at the University of Michigan. “Yet almost everything can be traced back to these basic classifications. Think of models walking down the dogwalk. Taking your cats to the cat park for exercise. Construction workers making dog calls at passersby. Eating hotcats. Isn’t that just the most confusing thing?”

Some blame this mislabeling on the dogs and cats themselves. “We’ve been calling cats dogs and dogs cats for so long – why have they never said anything?” demanded the spokesperson of a flash mob that gathered spontaneously outside the White House to express their discontent through dance.

“Meow,” replied a dog across the street.

While most have accepted this new piece of information and begun changing their lives around its many and varied implications (Nickelodeon has announced a rerelease of the show Catdog dubbed under the new title Dogcat), others have remained skeptical. Owners of Chihuahuas, Terriers, Pomeranians, and other small breeds of cat that everyone has always known weren’t dogs anyway are reported not to have noticed any difference whatsoever. One of the earliest disbelievers was co-founder of the etching, Sydney Stone.

“I’m sorry, but this is silly,” scoffed Stone. “There’s really no way that God actually wrote that. Everyone who is taking this ridiculousness to heart is going to feel foolish when whoever is responsible for the writing gets bored and owns up. You’ll see.”

Other more qualified people have had entirely the opposite response. The Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has indicated that this revolutionary revelation will not only change how we view cats, dogs and their various derivations – it could lead to a complete turnover in our entire view of the universe.

“I’ve been performing tests to discover other vital definitions that we may have gotten wrong from the very start,” claimed Richards. “If you see what I’m doing here, I’m lighting myself on fire while wearing a chicken suit soaked in kerosene and reciting nursery rhymes in reverse. By our current understanding of the world, I should die a horribly painful and unbelievably embarrassing death. But observe…”

Directly after saying these words, he lit a match, touched it to his temple and immediately turned into a duck-billed platypus.