How many blondes does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Need to know ASAP.
How many blondes does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Need to know ASAP.
A first-grade teacher can’t believe her student isn’t hepped up about the Super Bowl. “It’s a huge event. Why aren’t you excited?”
“Because I’m not a football fan. My parents love basketball, so I do too,” says the student.
“Well, that’s a lousy reason,” says the teacher. “What if your parents were morons? What would you be then?”
“Then I’d be a football fan.”
A Canadian psychologist is selling a video that teaches you how to test your dog’s IQ. Here’s how it works: If you spend $12.99 for the video, your dog is smarter than you.
After football fans in Philadelphia were treated to a particularly excruciating loss earlier in the season, a man phoned a sports-radio talk-show host to say, “Everyone should call in and give one word for that game.”
“What’s your word?” the host replied.
“Bored out of my mind,” said the caller.
From Sports Illustrated
Librarians may be shy, but their patrons aren’t. Look at their oddball requests:
A patron offered me $100 to steal a cactus from somebody’s yard.
A patron wanted me to find a book to teach her dog German.
A patron on his way to the casino asked to rub my red hair for luck.
A patron once asked me for my home phone number so she could call me with reference questions when I wasn’t at work.
Roz Warren, from womensvoicesforchange.org
Scene: A radio newsroom.
Caller: I just wanted to let you know you’re off the air.
Host: Yes, we know. The engineers are working on it.
Caller: It would be nice if you put something on the air that says that.
Source: Overheard in the RADIO Newsroom
While on patrol, I arrested a burglar who’d injured himself running from a home. He told me he’d broken in and unhooked the phone before searching for valuables. But he’d panicked when he heard a woman’s voice. I entered the house and heard the same voice: “If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and try your call again.”
Wilson Hsia, Temple City, California
My niece was dragged into court by a neighbor who complained about her barking dogs. At one point, the judge asked the neighbor a question. The neighbor didn’t reply. “Sir, are you going to answer me?”
The neighbor leaped to his feet. “Are you talking to me?” he asked. “Sorry; I can’t hear a darn thing.”
The case was dismissed.
Helen Reynolds, Missoula, Montana
A Twitter exchange between an angry customer and an apologetic Domino’s Pizza:
Customer: Yoooo I ordered a Pizza & Came with no Toppings on it or anything, Its Just Bread
Domino’s: We’re sorry to hear about this!
Customer (minutes later): Never mind, I opened the pizza upside down :/
Here’s a guide to American culture for Russians visiting the U.S., straight from Russian tour books:
“Women play a greater role in business. Often they insist to be treated exactly as an equal and not as a lady.”
“As a rule, the [social] invitation will be only on a weekend, and you don’t have to prepare for something extravagant. Everything is the same as ours, only with far less booze.”
“‘See you later’ should not be taken literally. That is a courtesy, and no more.”
Source: Mental Floss
A welsh politician asked the government for information about UFO sightings and if it might fund UFO research. Officials wrote back, “jang vIDa je due luq … ach ghotvam’e’ QI’yaH devolve qaS.” Which means, “The minister will reply in due course. However, this is a non-devolved matter,” in Klingon.
I sent a reminder to a client that it was time to visit the eye doctor. He called back to inform me that he would not be coming in because, as he put it, “I have a new obstetrician.”
Sarah Parchert, Hoschton, Georgia
A man called, furious about an Orlando, Florida, vacation package we had booked for him: He was expecting an ocean-view hotel room. I explained that was not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. “Don’t lie to me,” he said. “I looked on the map, and Florida is a very thin state.”
The James Bond film Spectre opens in November. Writer Peter Anspach explains how he’d improve his odds if he were a film villain.
• I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings me bad news just to illustrate how evil I am. Good messengers are hard to come by.
• My vats of hazardous chemicals will be covered when not in use. Also, I will not construct walkways above them.
• If I’m eating dinner with the hero, put poison in his goblet, then have to leave the table for any reason, I will order new drinks for both of us instead of trying to decide whether to switch with him.
• My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.
• When I’ve captured my adversary and he says, “Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?” I’ll say no and finish him off.
Scene: Horseback-riding stable.
Mom: Those horses are awfully big for my daughter.
Me: Our horses are very sweet …
Mom: Don’t you have something smaller? What about that one over there? It’s the perfect size for her!
Me: Um … that’s a goat.
Gauging from these exam excerpts, my college dance students had better stick with pliés.
“The costumes were vindictive of the style of dance.”
“I commend Bill T. Jones for his acts of true kindness and selfishness.”
“Dancers must have long limps.”
“At first, I had a hard time understanding and interrupting his movement.”
“Savion Glover’s purpose is to cross all racial and ethical barriers with his dance.”
Kathy Dubois, Onalaska, Wisconsin
What do you mean, I didn’t win? I ate more wet T-shirts than anyone else.
Client: The blue looks OK, but it would be great if it was a little more orange. Like “blorange.”
What are the wildest things national park guides contend with? Questions from tourists, like these:
• How much does Mount McKinley weigh?
• Would the lightning be faster if it didn’t zigzag?
• What do you do with the snow when it melts?
• Q: What’s the name of a six-sided polygon?
• Q: What part of the body is affected by glandular fever?
A: The glandular.
• Q: In The Tempest, why does Ariel sing in Gonzalo’s ear?
A: She’s a mermaid and wants to be human.
• Q: In comparison with large hydrocarbons, how would you describe small hydrocarbons?
A: They’re smaller.
• Q: Who were the Bolsheviks?
A: A Russian ballet company.
From F in Exams: Pop Quiz, by Richard Benson (Chronicle Books)
• “I have to make payments on my BMW and iPhones.”
• “You are too wrapped up in the whole concept of ‘money. ’ ”
• “So … you’re talking to me only because the rent’s not paid? Is that all I am to you? A tenant?”
Source: the Landlord Protection Agency (thelpa.com)
After an impromptu song, our pastor asked the church pianist, “What key did I sing that in?”
The pianist replied, “Most of them.”
Judy Scheffel, Alpharetta, Georgia
My sister didn’t do as well on her driver’s-ed test as she’d hoped. It might have had something to do with how she completed this sentence: “When the ______ is dead, the car won’t start.”
She wrote: “Driver.”
Nathan Hellman, Brooklyn, New York
Student: I don’t understand why my grade was so low. How did I do on my research paper?
Teacher: Actually, you didn’t turn in a research paper. You turned in a random assemblage of sentences. In fact, the sentences you apparently… Read More
If you were an auto insurer, would you have paid these actual claims?
“In an attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole.”
“I didn’t think the speed limit applied after midnight.”
“The car in front hit the … Read More
While teaching at a veterinary college, I ordered a few books for our library. One was George Orwell’s Animal Farm. When I went to take it out, I discovered that the librarian had placed the book in the section for dairy and poultry.
Jacob Cheeran, Thrissur, India
A friend of mine works at a tattoo shop. A client walked in and got a sentence tattooed on his back. A few hours later, the customer called, demanding a refund.
Client: You did my tattoo backward!
Tattoo artist: It’s backward?
… Read More
My boss was watching a video of his son. I heard a voice in the background and asked if it was Elmo. It was his wife.
When my husband, James Rowles, was in the seminary, he was invited to preach at a small rural church. However, the man who was to introduce him to the congregation had trouble pronouncing his name. So James offered this verbal clue: “… Read More
My friend, an Air Force officer, was riding his scooter when he passed an airman who didn’t salute. My friend stopped, turned around, and glared at the airman.
“Thanks for coming back for me,” the airman said, jumping on the back of … Read More
I was working in Army security when a VIP from another base called to ask to whom he should address an important letter. Knowing my tough-to-spell last name would give him fits, I said, “Just put down Sergeant Gary, as my last name is too… Read More
A Scottish mother visits her son in his New York City apartment and asks, “How do you find the Americans, Donald?”
“Mother,” says Donald, “they’re such noisy people. One neighbor won’t stop banging his head against the … Read More
While taking stock of our products, I read aloud the final numbers to my boss. As he entered each one into a calculator, I deleted it off my mobile device. Only after I’d finished did we realize that he had entered the numbers on… Read More
A few years back, a woman wanted to use the word acorns. What she wrote instead was egg corns, and ever since, linguists have had a new toy: eggcorns, words and phrases that people screw up:
• Social leopard (social leper… Read More
Food blogs are rife with pressing questions, helpful hints, and caustic comments from readers. One site took a jaundiced look at what one might expect to find on such boards.
• “I don’t eat white flour, so I tried making it with raw … Read More
A military base commander called to complain that the weather-forecasting software our company created for them kept reporting unexplainable wind shifts.
“Do you know where the sensor is located?” my coworker asked.
“Of course… Read More
Employee #1: I wouldn’t eat caviar. That’s fish eggs!
Employee #2: I’d try it. After all, I eat chicken eggs.
Employee #3: You eat chicken eggs?!
Thinking of skipping work? Don’t try these real excuses—they didn’t work the first time.
• My false teeth flew out the window while I was driving down the highway.
• I quit smoking and I’m grouchy.
• My favorite football … Read More
My teenage patient’s mother was concerned. “He must have a temperature,” she said. “He hasn’t taken our motorcycle out all day.”
“Let me ask you,” I said. “Do you have a thermometer?”
“No,” she said. “A Kawasaki… Read More
“Why did you choose a college so far from home?” I asked my British student.
She explained that she’d fallen in love with the American West by watching Westerns. So when it came time to apply for colleges, she Googled “Western … Read More
Professionals at the staffing agency Robert Half International have seen a lot of peculiar résumés. Here are some favorite gaffes, followed by wisecracks from the pros:
• Education: “I have a bachelorette degree in computers.” (The… Read More
A friend was ordering her meal at a drive-through when she noticed she could get a side dish gratis.
“And I’ll take the free wiffie also,” she said.
“What?” asked the clerk.
“The free wiffie,” she said, pointing to the sign… Read More
Recently, I woke up to find that two of my car’s tires had been stolen. When the police officer arrived, he asked, “When were you last driving the car?”
“Last night at 11:00,” I said.
“And the tires were on it then?”
Jeremy Rice, Englewood, Florida
Scene: A secondhand movie exchange …
Me: Do you have the DVD of Sharknado?
Clerk: Is that a documentary?
Lynette Combs, Norfolk, Virginia
My husband and I were relaxing on lounge chairs on a Jamaica beach, half listening to a couple walking ankle deep in the clear water. The woman was extolling the beauty of the island when suddenly she let out a scream.
“Oh!” she … Read More
A student seeking a job at our university was handed an application. He dutifully filled out his name and address. When it came to the entry “length of residence,” he wrote: “Approximately 30 feet.”
Fred Karn, Kearney, Missouri
Scene: My client telling me what was required for the project.
Client: “We want a total of eight languages—English, French, Spanish, Canadian …”
Recently I heard the former mayor of Reading, Pennsylvania, recount some funny stories about his time in office. One happened while he was running for reelection; he was in a bar and paid for a woman’s drink. She thanked him but … Read More
A woman called the Colorado State Division of Wildlife regarding a snake in her backyard. “Can you tell me what kind it is?” she asked.
“Can you describe it?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said. “It’s long and thin.”
Charles Loeffler, Monument, Colorado
One of our interns asked another if she was planning to sign up for the company’s 401(k).
“I’m considering it,” replied the second intern.
Later, the first intern approached me looking concerned.
“I did the math,” she said… Read More
“I hate audio correct.”
Aaron Fernando, Richmond Hill, New York
“Time heals all wombs.”
“The seizure salad … is so good.”
“I have no clue why people don’t like hammy downs … Who doesn’t like free clothes?”
We were stocking up on green beans at the farmers’ market when we asked the young girl helping us for 15 pounds’ worth.
“I can only sell you ten pounds of beans,” she said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because my scale only goes … Read More
I don’t want to brag or make anybody jealous or anything, but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school.
The British foreign office helps Brits traveling abroad. Here are some odder requests they’ve fielded:
• A man who was hospitalized in Cambodia when a monkey hit him with a stone wanted assurance that it would not happen again… Read More
We all make mistakes. Some are just more public than others, like these real newspaper typos:
“Here the bridal couple stood, facing the floral setting, and exchanged cows.” Modesto News-Herald (California)
“It took … Read More
Scene: Me driving by a Taco Bell.
Sign: Now Hiring Managers.
[Two weeks later …]
Sign: Now Hiring Managers. Background Checks Required.
Our boss asked the new mail-room guy to make three copies of an office key. The guy returned ten minutes later with the copies … which he’d made on the Xerox machine.
Gordon Knight, Stamford, Connecticut
Think the comments on Internet posts are tough? See what happened when the Washington Post asked its readers to write intentionally angry letters to actual headlines:
Headline: 20,000 Pound Pavement to Help Homeless
Response: “Are you … Read More
While he was visiting, my father asked for the password to our Wi-Fi.
“It’s taped under the modem,” I told him.
After three failed attempts to log on, he asked, “Am I spelling this right? T-A-P-E-D-U-N-D-E-R-T-H-E-M-O-D-E-M?”
Sharon McGinley, Talbott, Tennessee
We’ve been over this before:
Stupid doesn’t play well on job interviews. Hiring managers wish these
job seekers had gotten the memo.
• Applicant acted out a Star Trek role.
• Applicant asked for a hug.
• Applicant popped out… Read More
The topic of my student’s essay was the importance of trust, camaraderie, and toughness among football players. “After all,” he wrote, “you don’t want a bunch of pre-Madonnas out there on the field.”
Michele Metcalf, Louisville, Kentucky
It’s important that soldiers
learn from their mistakes; otherwise, they’re bound to repeat them at
inopportune moments. Here soldiers share what they’ve gleaned from
• “I was cold” is not a sufficient … Read More
On Facebook, the English language has few friends. Three examples:
Post: I can’t stand people
that don’t know the difference between your and you’re. There so dumb.
Response: Their, their, calm down.
Post: Is it me or does … Read More
An irate patient called our pathology group, demanding that I explain every lab test on her statement. “Of course,” I said. I brought up her bill: “Number one, urinalysis …”
She interrupted me: “I’m a what?!”
When my customer ordered iced tea, I asked, “Sweetened or unsweetened?”
Her answer: “What’s the difference?”
Ruth Anne Pluckhorn, Moorestown, New Jersey
“Can I safely look at a picture of the sun?”
“How can I be sure I’m the real mom of my kid?”
“How do you get spaghetti
stains out of underwear?”
At the supermarket checkout, the cashier was having trouble finding the price for my cucumber.
“Maybe the list is alphabetical,” I offered.
So he started searching from the bottom of the list: “Q … Q … Q …”
Charity McTarsney, Deltona, Florida
A man won an $8,000 settlement from Disneyland after he got stuck on the It’s a Small World ride. He said he’ll use the money to cut out the part of his brain that won’t stop playing “It’s a Small World After All.”
Three prisoners broke out of their cells and incited a riot. After they were caught, the warden asked why they had revolted.
“Warden,” said one of the men, “we rebelled because the food is awful.”
“I see,” said the … Read More
• Waitress wanted. Must be 18 years old with 20 years’ experience.
• Piano player wanted. Must have knowledge of opening clams.
• Now hiring cashier. Cannot look like “Skeletor” from “He-Man.”
• Cab drivers wanted. Must… Read More
Question: Now, to the best of your knowledge, did your internal bleeding stop?
Answer: I hope so.
Diane McElwee, Norfolk, Massachusetts
The China National Tourism Administration has created tips for its citizens when traveling abroad, including:
• Don’t steal life vests from airplanes to give as gifts.
• Don’t leave footprints on the toilet.
• Don’t dry your … Read More
My daughter-in-law was driving on the freeway when the sight of flashing lights in her rearview mirror made her pull over.
“Do you know why I stopped you?” asked the state trooper. “You were going 85 miles per hour.”
“Impossible… Read More
We had just finished tucking our five kids into bed when three-year-old Billy began to wail. Turns out, he had accidentally swallowed a penny and was sure he was going to die. Desperate to calm him, my husband palmed a penny that he had in … Read More
A woman went up to the roof-deck of her hotel to sunbathe. No one else was there, so she slipped out of her swimsuit to get an overall tan. A few minutes later, she heard someone running up the stairs.
“Excuse me, miss,” said the hotel… Read More
Here are the best tried-and-failed excuses British businesses gave for not paying their taxes on time.
• My pet goldfish died. —Self-employed builder
• Our business doesn’t really do anything. —Financial … Read More
A medical student was told to remove the spleen from a cadaver. After he did, he kept poking around.
“What are you doing?” asked the professor.
The student answered, “I’m looking for the other one.”
—Alexandr Placar, Czech Republic
Who wouldn’t be inspired to hire this young man? If his cover letter is to be believed, he’s eager to light a fire under the most recalcitrant colleague:
“I am a motivated, self-igniting person.”
Scene: The office
Me: We have to submit a form to every state.
Coworker: All 51?
Coworker: Whatever. I’m not good at geometry.
—Jill Lloyd, Bexley, Ohio
Scene: office cafeteria line
Friend: May I have pepper and salt?
(Counter guy looks confused.)
Friend: Sir? Pepper and salt?
(Counter guy grabs a bell pepper.)
Friend: No! Not that pepper. The pepper and salt …
Me: You know, like … Read More
A client walked into my design studio with a black-and-white flyer.
Client: Can you make a color copy?
Me: Do you have the original?
Client: No. Just this one.
Me: Sorry, I can’t make color copies unless I have the original color … Read More
Misadventures in headline writing from around the world:
City Unsure Why the Sewer Smells —The Herald-Palladium (St. Joseph, Michigan)
Case of Innocent Man Freed After Spending 18 Years in Prison Proves Texas System Works —Lubbock … Read More
• “Hi. Just thought you might like to know that I think your pet elephants have been bowling while you’re out. —Your Downstairs Neighbor.”
• “Good morning! We hope your exorcism was successful last night. We do ask as a … Read More
Penn Jillette, the chatty half of the magic duo Penn & Teller, shared with us his favorite clean joke:
Two racehorses are in a stable. One says to the other, “You know, before that last race …”
“The one that you won?” … Read More
It doesn’t take much to ruin a film. Sometimes all you have to do is add a word to the title, such as:
• The Girl with the Washable
• Game of Porcelain Thrones
• The KFC Bucket List
A police officer pulled over a guy for weaving across two lanes of traffic. He walked up to the driver’s window and asked, “You drinkin’?”
The driver said, “You buyin’?”
On February 4, we’ll celebrate ten years of people posting unintentionally funny status updates from their office cubicles when they should be working. Here are some of the crazier ones:
• STATUS: My baby boy is officially one year old… Read More
A Saudi prince goes to America to study. A month later, he e-mails his father: “New York is wonderful, but I’m ashamed to go to school in my gold Mercedes because all my teachers travel by subway.”
A few minutes later, his dad … Read More
Sick of having to go to two different huts to buy pizza and sunglasses.
A surveyor drops by Will’s farm in eastern Minnesota and announces that he has some bad news. “I discovered that your farm isn’t in Minnesota,” he says. “It’s actually in Wisconsin.”
Will lets out a sigh of relief. “That’… Read More
In New York City, if you have a complaint or a question, dial the city’s 311 hotline and you might get it solved. We doubt these callers did.
“Who won American Idol?”
“Can you check to see if my boyfriend is married?”
“… Read More
Two hunters fly to Kenya, where they bag six gazelles. As the crew is loading the small plane to return, the pilot says the aircraft can take only four gazelles back.
“Last time, the pilot let us take all six, and he had the same … Read More
Joe and Dave are hunting when Dave keels over. Frantic, Joe dials 911 on his cell phone and blurts, “My friend just dropped dead! What should I do?”
A soothing voice at the other end says, “Don’t worry, I can help. First, let’s make sure … Read More
A fortune-teller advised me, “Do everything your boss says.” Sage advice, I thought, as I was working on an important project. As if I needed more proof of just how good the psychic was, that night, as I read the newspaper, I noticed my… Read More
A business executive visits his Chinese friend in the hospital. “Li kai yang qi guan,” says the sick man feebly. The executive desperately wants to help him, but he doesn’t speak Mandarin. “Li kai yang qi guan!” says the patient, as… Read More
Washington tourist on cell: “I found the house I want to live in when I move to DC, but then I found out it was the Smithsonian.”
I stayed in a hotel where the towels were so thick, I could hardly close my suitcase.
Adam Joshua Smargon, Newark, Delaware
Lenny tells the psychiatrist, “Every time I get into bed, I think there’s somebody under it.”
“Come to me three times a week for two years, and I’ll cure your fears,” says the shrink. “And I’ll charge you only $200 a visit… Read More
Howard dies and waits in line for judgment. He notices that some souls go right into heaven, while Satan throws others into a burning pit. But every so often, instead of hurling a poor soul into the fire, the devil tosses it aside. Curious… Read More
A man walks into a rooftop bar and takes a seat next to another guy. “What are you drinking?” he asks the guy.
“Magic beer,” he says.
“Oh, yeah? What’s so magical about it?” The guy proceeds to show him: He drinks some beer… Read More
Ad from a printer I will not be doing business with: “We offer a full line of pricing options that will meet or exceed your printing budget.”
—Rachel Wagner, Bixby, Oklahoma
Customer: Hey, you lost a lot of weight.
Barista: No, I gave birth two weeks ago.
Customer: To a baby?
My friend was working at an amusement park when a couple stopped him. “Excuse me,” said the woman, pointing to a pond. “What is that water made out of?”
Bemused, my friend replied, “Two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen.”
“See?” she said… Read More
Sometimes men don’t date women for their IQs. Here are some examples:
Today, my girlfriend asked me if my grandmother had any kids.
My girlfriend and I went out to dinner. We were going to get there 30 minutes early, so I told her to call… Read More
An old farmer is inconsolable after his dog goes missing. His wife suggests he take out an ad in the newspaper, which he does. But two weeks later, there’s still no sign of the mutt.
“What did you write in the ad?” his wife asks… Read More
Shortly after the FAA announced the ban on fluids, my husband was stopped by airport security because they found a bottle of water in one of his carry-on bags.
“Sorry,” the officer said, tossing the bottle into a bin of confiscated items… Read More
You didn’t have to be a brain surgeon to figure out that a customer at our post office was an off-duty mail clerk from another plant. He’d written on his package, “Fragile: Toss Underhand.”
When our client’s dog lapped up anti-freeze, the veterinarian I work for ordered a unique treatment: an IV drip mixing fluids with vodka. “Go buy the cheapest bottle you can find,” he told me.
At the liquor store, I was uneasy buying cheap… Read More
Dating is complicated. You don’t believe us? Here are some examples:
Right after we broke up, my ex-girlfriend called to ask how to change her relationship status on Facebook.
I got into a 90-minute argument with my girlfriend because… Read More
As I quizzed my driver’s-education students about road signs, the one for Slow Moving Vehicle stumped them. So I offered them a hint by lifting the sign above my head and slowly parading up and down the room. One student thought he had it… Read More
A customer called our service line demanding help with her TV set, which wouldn’t come on. "I’m sorry, but we can’t send a technician out today due to the blizzard," I told her. Unsatisfied, she barked, "I… Read More
Mark Twain warned: “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” The same can be said for these English-challenged notes doctors wrote on patient charts:
“The patient is married but sexually active.”
“When … Read More
Experience is a great teacher, especially if it’s someone else who’s learning from his mistakes. These examples were sent to learnfrommyfail.failblog.org:
“When holding a DVD in one hand and food in the other, remember which hand has… Read More
I’d just sat down at a Manhattan diner when I noticed schav on the menu. Since I hadn’t had a bowl of the cold, sour soup in quite a while, I ordered some. "We don’t have it today," said the waitress. "Oh… Read More
As we pulled into the parking lot, we saw a couple of people looking under the hood of their car. Concerned, Mom wondered aloud, "Do you think they have a flat tire?"
A job applicant’s polygraph test for the Washington State Patrol came to an abrupt end after officers discovered an interesting piece of literature on the front seat of his car. The title of the book: How to Beat a Lie Detector Test.
While attending an open house, my wife was taken with the home’s modern features, especially the central vacuum system installed within the walls. But she had a practical question: "What do you do when all the walls fill up?"… Read More
After setting off the alarms at airport security, I was escorted behind a curtain. As two female officials "wanded" me, the senior officer gave instructions to the trainee on proper technique: first down the front of my body, then… Read More
The U.S. Army Ranger School was more arduous than my nephew had expected. He had to subsist on meager rations, hike for miles carrying heavy packs and equipment, and survive treacherous conditions in swamps, deserts, heat, and cold. I told … Read More
Louie and his wife are listening to the radio when they hear the weather report: "A snow emergency has been declared. You must park your cars on the odd-numbered side of the street.” So Louie gets up and moves his car. Two days … Read More
Q: What word is always spelled incorrectly? A: Incorrectly!
It’s tough enough selling a home nowadays. Don’t make the mistakes that turned off these readers on the City Room blog of The New York Times:
• “It was a good house, well-maintained. But the bed with the person in it was off-… Read More
I was driving when I saw the flash of a traffic camera. I figured that my picture had been taken for speeding, even though I knew I wasn’t. Just to be sure, I went around the block and passed the same spot, driving even more slowly. … Read More
A newspaper editor missed this headline: “State population to double by 2040; babies to blame.”
Dad passed away recently, and among the messages received by my mother was this e-mail from a great-niece: “Our thoughts are with you, Lucy. You and Chas are the last of an error.”
I answered a 911 call at our emergency dispatch center from a woman who said her water broke. "Stay calm," I advised. "Now, how far apart are your contractions?" "No contractions," she said breathlessly. &… Read More
A motorist was driving down a rural dirt road when he came upon a stream. He called out to a man walking by, "Do you think I can drive my car through the stream?" "I suppose you can," said the man. So the driver … Read More
"Police were called to Market Square for a report about a ‘suspicious coin.’ Investigating officer reported it was a quarter." "The Learning Center reports a man stands at his window watching the center, making parents… Read More
When my friend spotted a blind man and his guide dog at a crosswalk, she stopped her car and waved them on. "Uh, Cynthia," I said, "he can’t see you." "I know that," she said indignantly. "I’m waving the… Read More
13 things we’re saying, doing and naming our kids that are now totally uncool.
When my father ran out of gas, he called my mother to pick him up in her car. They went to a gas station, filled a gas can, and returned to his car. After a few minutes, he got into her car again. “We need to go back to the gas station,” he… Read More
On his way to perform at a graveside service, the bagpiper gets lost. After many wrong turns, he finally arrives, but the minister and mourners have already gone. Only the grave diggers remain, and they’re eating lunch. Not knowing what … Read More
The Godfather: “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse. Well, he can refuse it, of course. I just know that if someone were to make me an offer like this, I’d jump all over it. But who am I to impose my feelings on someone else… Read More
Tourists say some odd things when they charter my boat in Key West. "How many sunset sails do you have at night?" asked one. Another wondered, "Does the water go around the island?" But the most interesting came when I … Read More
The Department of Defense has a Contact Us link on its website inviting readers to pose any question they want. One guy did just that: "So do you have any top secret information you would like to tell me? I am doing a project for my … Read More
While I was planning a trip to Nova Scotia, a Titanic-related tour caught my eye. The description: “Learn of the Titanic tragedy along with a guided visit to the Fairview Lawn Cemetery, where 121 victims are still buried on a deluxe air-… Read More
When I took my Weed Eater back to the home-and-garden store to get it fixed, I was asked if I wanted to wait until the job was done. "How long will it take?" I asked. The clerk answered, "A day or two."
The pay for this gig is whatever you can haul away: “Need someone to sit with elderly man. Must have excellent references and current police record.”
What’s the toughest part about writing a book? It’s deciding what to call it, as these finalists for the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year prove.
Afterthoughts of a Worm Hunter
An Intellectual History of Cannibalism
… Read More
A coworker stormed into my friend’s office, yelling, "Did you tell Joan I was a witch?!" Stunned, my friend sputtered, "No! I don’t know how she found out."
Anyone can eavesdrop, but not everyone thinks to record conversations for posterity. We thank those snoopers who alerted overheardinnewyork.com to these:
Guy: Your glasses can’t be bad—you just got them!
Girl: Yeah, but I cheated on … Read More
One of our visiting Italian students at Sheppard Air Force Base said he wouldn’t be able to fly that day. "Why?" his teacher asked. Marshaling all the English he knew, the student pointed to his ears and explained, "It’s my… Read More
When a body was brought to her funeral home, my friend contacted the next of kin. Per previous instructions, the deceased would be cremated, she told him, so he needed to come in to identify the body. Considering the task at hand, the … Read More
Medical transcription requires a keen ear for technical jargon. But one applicant insisted she was singularly qualified for the position. After all, she wrote in her cover letter, "both of my sisters are nurses, and I watch the cable … Read More
Learn how they pull insane hoaxes and outrageous stunts in the name of good comedy.
After finishing his meal, my grandfather, a retired Marine captain, asked the waitress for the 15 percent discount the restaurant offered veterans. "Do you need to see my military ID?" he asked. "That’s all right," she… Read More
One of our hotel guests complained to me about a spraying showerhead: "I can’t get in the shower without getting wet!"
The worst ad campaign ever, spotted at a Mexican fast-food restaurant: A sign behind the counter read “It’s a fact tacos is brain food.”
Today, while playing "20 Questions" with my friend, I asked, "Monsters or aliens?" She gave it some thought, then responded, "Well, I’ve never actually met a monster, so I’m going to have to go with aliens."
Three dolts are in the forest when they spot a set of tracks. Dolt No. 1 says, "Hey, deer tracks!" Dolt No. 2 says, "No, dog tracks!" Dolt No. 3 says, "You’re both crazy—they’re cow tracks!"… Read More
As he trained troops at Fort Dix, New Jersey, my brother-in-law noticed that one medic was hopeless on the firing range. "You better learn how to fire your weapon," he told her. "All soldiers have to qualify on the range … Read More
Driving in Ohio, we spotted a sign that said "Wildlife Refuge." Seeing a dead deer lying in front of it, my husband shook his head. "He almost made it."
On a nighttime visit to his brother’s base, my son Joe was impressed by the large airplane hangar in which Billy worked. But when Billy led him through another door, Joe was absolutely astounded by the massive, darkened room. "… Read More
A man is on trial for armed robbery. The jury comes back with the verdict. The foreman stands, clears his throat, and announces, "Not guilty." The defendant leaps to his feet. "Awesome!" he shouts. "Does that mean … Read More
After I applied for jobs at both a library and a shoe store, my husband said he hoped that I’d get the one at the store. "It would be nice to have employee discounts on shoes," he explained. Then, without thinking, he added, "… Read More
Frank Ferri … is standing over a patient in the operating room, scalpel in hand, wishing he hadn’t lied on his résumé about being a surgeon. Here goes nothing … Frank Ferri … is in a marriage-counseling … Read More
Some people might object to filling out the part of our company’s job application form that asks "Race." Not one guy. He responded, "Only on the interstate."
I was leading a tour through Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico when a woman asked, "How many miles of undiscovered passageways are there in this cave?"
With a party going full bore in the apartment above his, my friend could forget about getting any sleep. The next day, he spotted the offending party giver. "Didn’t you hear me pounding on the ceiling?" he asked. The woman … Read More
Despite his low opinion of lieutenants, the sergeant kept a respectful tone as he taught us how to bail out of a plane in an emergency. "Sirs, to open the hatch," he began, "turn this lever to the right, then pull that … Read More
Suspicious person: Officer made contact with a man walking backward down a street. When asked, the man told the officer he did not want anyone sneaking up on him.
Waiting my turn to enter a rotary intersection, I noticed a guy drive around twice, then leave by the same road he’d entered. His vanity license plate read "GENIUS."
During a conference, I was pleasantly surprised to be seated next to a very handsome man. We flirted casually through dinner, then grew restless as the dignitaries gave speeches. During one particularly long-winded lecture, my new friend … Read More
During a job interview at my granddaughter’s pharmacy, an applicant was asked, "Have you ever been convicted of a felony?" "No," he answered. "My hearing is scheduled for next week."
When his drink arrived, my brother-in-law Keith asked the waitress for a straw. "Sorry, I’m out," she said, sounding irritated. "The customers won’t stop asking for them." "Well," joked Keith, "they must… Read More
Fog forced our Puerto Rico-to-New York plane to be diverted to Washington, D.C. As I left the cockpit, a passenger complained, "A little bit of fog never stopped a train from getting to its destination." I was about to respond, … Read More
“Baby born 10 months premature”
A middle school in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, encourages freethinking. A sign outside the school reads, “You are unique—just like everyone else.”
A teenager brings her new boyfriend home to meet her parents. They’re appalled by his haircut, his tattoos, his piercings. Later, the girl’s mom says, "Dear, he doesn’t seem to be a very nice boy." "Oh, please, Mom!" … Read More
One time, I had to tell a candidate that we would not be able to offer him a job because his drug test had come back positive and ours was a drug-free environment. After a minute he asked, "Can you tell me which one showed up?"
A tour bus stops in Runnymede, England, and the guide says it was here that the Magna Carta was signed. "When did they sign it?" one passenger asks. "1215," the guide responds. "Dang! We missed it by 20 minutes.&… Read More
Driving along a country road, I ignored a Bridge Out sign and continued on. But in a few miles I came to a stop: The road was completely barricaded. So I turned around and retraced my route. That’s when I saw this sign on the back of the … Read More
Trying to do my share to help the environment, I set up a trash basket at my church and posted above it this suggestion: "Empty water bottles here." I should have been a little more specific, because when I went to check it later… Read More
A woman walked into the elevator tossing her keys up in the air and catching them. After one too many tosses, she dropped the keys, and we watched as they disappeared into the crack between the open doors and the floor. I felt terrible for … Read More
My niece was thrilled to hear that a new car wash was opening up in her neighborhood."How convenient," she said."I can walk to it."
A customer at our bookstore asked me, "Do you have the original book Romeo and Juliet? My daughter needs it for school, and all I can find is the play."
A garden center customer picks up a container of insecticide and asks the salesperson, "Is this good for red ants?" "No," says the salesperson. "It’ll kill ’em!"
Two American tourists are driving through Wales. They decide to stop for a bite to eat in the village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogo-
Baffled by the name, one of them turns to a local and asks, “Would you … Read More
When hiring new staff at her public library, my daughter always asks applicants what sort of supervision they’d be most comfortable with. One genius answered, "I’ve always thought Superman’s X-ray vision would be cool."
Seen on a marquee outside the Clinton Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Dannemora, New York: The Dannemora fire department reminds you it’s fire prevention week. Practice your escape plan.”
A customer walked into our insurance office looking for a quote. But first I had to lead her through a litany of questions, including: "Marital status?" "Well," she began, "I guess you could say we’re happy-as … Read More
When my coworker Donsa was promoted, we decided to celebrate. Her boss called the baker and ordered a cake. "Two questions," said the baker. "Is Donsa a man or a woman? And what do you want the cake to say?" "The … Read More
Try as I might, I just couldn’t get in sync with my insurance customer. When I asked if he lived in the Eastern or Central time zone, he answered, "We’re normal time." Not sure what that meant, I continued. "Let me put it … Read More
Anyone traveling on business for our company must fill out an expense report. A field on the form asks for "name on credit card." One Einstein entered "MasterCard."
Fresh from a visit to the dentist, I decided to stop at my bank. Barely able to enunciate, I told the teller, “I’m sorry about not speaking more clearly. I’ve had Novocaine.”
“You should have used the drive-through,” she said.
“Why… Read More
After inflating the playground balls, our school custodian, a classical music fanatic, had an odd habit of writing the names of famous composers on them. No one seemed particularly bothered by this behavior except for one parent volunteer.&… Read More
Spanish never came easily to my sister. Still, she did her best to communicate with the Spanish-speaking staff at the restaurant she managed. But when she made mistakes—and she made a lot—she’d apologize by saying, "Me est… Read More
The day before exams, four college roommates decided to stay up late drinking. Needless to say, they were late for class the next morning. But they thought they had a good alibi. “We blew a tire on the way here,” said one of … Read More
A woman walked into our copy shop to pick up a large order. While there, she asked me to make a copy of her driver’s license, birth certificate and passport. When I gave her the total price, she asked if she could pay with a personal check… Read More
Heading down the interstate, our car passed through a huge swarm of gnats so dense that their bodies made popping noises as they hit the windshield. "I can’t get over how loud they are," my wife said."Well, we are … Read More
My friend was flabbergasted. She’d read that in a recent survey, our home state of California was ranked 47 in a list of the nation’s smartest states."Can you believe that?" she fumed. "We’re 47 out of 52!"
First I had to work late. Then I discovered that I’d locked my keys in the car. But the last straw was learning that roadside service couldn’t get a locksmith to me for at least two hours. Finally the guy showed, looking exhausted.As he … Read More
An aching back sent me stumbling to the drugstore for relief. After a search I found what I was looking for: a selection of heating pads specifically for people with back pain—all on the bottom shelf.
My friend John and I, determined to see the world, signed on a Norwegian freighter as deckhands. We were being trained as helmsmen, and John’s first lesson was given by the mate, a seasoned but gentle white-haired seafarer. John was holding… Read More
Hal’s handyman wasn’t the swiftest guy on earth. But he was cheap, and so was Hal, which is why he hired the guy to paint his porch for $50. “You tightwad,” scolded Hal’s wife. “Our porch covers half of the house! He’ll be there for days.” … Read More
Hoss drove over to the next county to buy a new bull for the farm. It cost more than expected, and he was left with only one dollar. This was a problem, since he needed to let his wife, Sue, know that he’d bought the bull so she could come … Read More
As a freelance secretary, I type story manuscripts. When an author pays me, I print the name of the story across the top of his check. Once when I took a check to the bank, the teller suddenly froze. Only after I had explained my procedure … Read More
A man is pulled over by a police officer for a broken headlight. The cop looks in the car and sees a collection of knives on the backseat. “Sir,” he says. “Why do you have all those knives?”
“They’re for my juggling act,” the man replies… Read More
I had just pulled over someone for driving under the influence when another car pulled up behind us. I stopped what I was doing and ventured back to see if the driver needed assistance.
“No, I don’t need any help,” he said, reeking of … Read More
When the skipper of an Icelandic trawler accidentally rammed Englishman Jim Hughes’s yacht, he caused $30,000 worth of damage. Exactly a year and a day before, reported the London Times, the skipper, Eriker Olafsson, had hit the same boat, … Read More
During a business trip to Boeing’s Everett, Wash., factory, I noticed several 747 and 777 airliners being assembled. Before the engines were installed, huge weights were hung from the wings to keep the planes balanced. The solid-steel … Read More