The party’s host paid me a great compliment. “You are a good-looking woman,” he said. “Honest—I’ve had only one beer.”
My glow was only slightly dimmed when my husband interjected, “Imagine how great she’ll look after two.”
Rosemary Tomy, Tucson, Arizona
I was at the customer-service desk, returning a pair of jeans that was too tight.
“Was anything wrong with them?” the clerk asked.
“Yes,” I said. “They hurt my
A. P., via e-mail
During basic training at Fort Leavenworth, our sergeant asked if anyone had
“artistic” abilities. Having been an architectural draftsman in civilian life, I raised my hand. Then the
sergeant announced that everyone would get a three-day pass … except me. I would stay behind and neatly print each soldier’s name onto his Army-issued underwear.
Steven Silver, Scarsdale, New York
The steaming jungles of Vietnam were not my husband’s first choice
of places to spend his 21st birthday. However, the mood was brightened when he received a birthday cake from his sister. It was carefully
encased in a Tupperware container and came with this note: “Dick, when you’re finished, can you mail back my container?”
Kathy Wilson, Chaska, Minnesota
As a Speech therapist, I was working with a preschooler on
body-part identification and the
k sound. To that end, I had him
use Play-Doh to make a sculpture
“Is that my neck?” I asked, trying to get him to repeat the word.
“No, that’s your chin,” he said.
He added more Play-Doh. “Is that my neck?” I asked.
“No, that’s your other chin.”
Ilene Smith, Milan, Michigan
Girl: Ick! Why does this sandwich have bacon on it?
Friend: You ordered a BLT.
Girl: Whaaaat? I thought the B stood for bread.
Alyssa Hoover, Dillsburg, Pennsylvania
A salesman talked my uncle into buying 10,000 personalized pens for his business with the promise that
he would be eligible to win a 32-foot yacht. A born gambler, my uncle agreed.
Well, he won, and a few weeks after the pens arrived, his prize showed up: a 12-inch plastic yacht with
32 plastic feet glued to the bottom.
Eddie Edwards, Ripley, Tennessee
While I was out to lunch, my coworker answered my phone and told the caller that I would be back
in 20 minutes. The woman asked,
“Is that 20 minutes Central Standard Time?”
Jamie Hindman, Lewisville, Texas
It’s amazing how a person can compliment and insult you at the same time. Recently, when I greeted my coworker, she said, “You look so gorgeous, I didn’t recognize you.”
Elaine Schyve, Cohocton, New York
At an art gallery, a woman and her ten-year-old son were having
a tough time choosing between one of my paintings and another artist’s work. They finally went with mine.
“I guess you decided you prefer an autumn scene to a floral,” I said.
“No,” said the boy. “Your painting’s wider, so it’ll cover three holes in
Betty Tenney, Sterling Heights, Michigan
When asked for his name by the coffee shop clerk, my brother-in-law answered, “Marc, with a C.” Minutes later, he was handed his coffee with his name written on the side: Cark.
Paul Neelon, Pembroke, Massachusetts
At the mall, my five-year-old grandson joined the other children in line waiting to sit on the Easter Bunny’s lap. When it was his turn, Jake didn’t move; he just stared.
“Don’t you want to sit on the
bunny’s lap?” I asked.
“No!” he shouted. “There’s
a man in his mouth!”
C. S., via mail
The black lacquer stand
holding his prized samurai swords was dusty, so my husband left our cleaning lady a note, reading, “Check out my swords.” That evening, he found the stand just as dirty as
before but with this appended to
his note: “Nice swords.”
Eleonore Bode-Lemming, Salem, Oregon
While hosting a garage sale,
I asked a man if he was looking for anything in particular. “Yes,” he said. “Place mats the color of grape jelly.”
H. T. Gibbons, Santa Fe, New Mexico
As the hostess at the casino
buffet showed me to my table, I asked her to keep an eye out for my
husband, who would be joining me
momentarily. I started to describe him: “He has gray hair, wears glasses, has a potbelly …”
She stopped me there. “Honey,” she said, “today is senior day. They all look like that.”
Rosalie Daria, Cincinnati, Ohio
We were inspecting several lots of grenades. While everyone was concentrating on the task at hand, I held up a spare pin and asked, “Has anyone seen my grenade?”
SMSgt. Dan Powell, from rallypoint.com
The military has a long, proud tradition of pranking recruits. Here are some favorites from rallypoint.com:
• Instructed a private in the mess hall to look for left-handed spatulas
• Sent a recruit to medical-supplies office in search of fallopian tubes
• Had a new guy conduct a
“boom test” on a howitzer by yelling “Boom!” down the tube in order to “calibrate” it
• Ordered a private to bring back
a five-gallon can of dehydrated water (in fact, the sergeant just wanted an empty water can)
I’ve been working on my PhD
in engineering for the past five years, but my kids don’t necessarily see that as work.
As we were driving past Walmart one day, my son spotted a Now Hiring sign and suggested that I could get
a job there.
Hoping to make a point, I asked, “Do you think they’re looking for an engineer?”
“Oh, sure,” he said. “They’ll hire anybody.”
Christopher Fields, Fort Collins, Colorado
An insurance agent called
our medical office. One of our
doctors had filled out a medically necessary leave-of-absence form
for a patient, but, the agent said, the
patient had altered it. The giveaway?
The return-to-work date had been changed to February 30.
J. L., via e-mail
I supervised an employee who had a negative view of everything
I did. If I took a vacation day, I was “never there.” If I praised someone’s work, it was “too little, too late.”
He eventually took another job
but was fired six months later. Shortly thereafter, he contacted
me, hoping to return to his old job.
“Have you learned anything from this experience?” I asked.
“Yes, I should have stayed here,”
he admitted. “You’re too indecisive to have ever fired me.”
Terry O’Connor, Chantilly, Virginia