Try as she might, our granddaughter couldn’t grasp the concept of potty training. Then one day … Success! Jumping up and down, she threw her arms in the air and yelled in excitement, “I went potty all by myself, and now I can go to Harvard!”
Jan and Jack McCloskey, San Francisco, California
As if the declining health of my grandmother weren’t enough, my parents suddenly had to contend with an ant infestation. So I was glad to get a text from Mom updating me: “Exterminator was here; thinks she got the nest behind the microwave. She sprayed, and hundreds came out—dead and woozy. Grandma Marie the same.”
Jennifer Shafer, Durham, North Carolina
My husband was at a dinner with colleagues, and one of them had too much to drink. Feeling drowsy, the poor man sank back into his chair and said, “I don’t feel good. I’m going into screen saver mode.”
L. Y., via Internet
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 hard.”The next day, I received a letter addressed to Sgt. Gary Toohard.
G. C., via mail
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
My son and I were checking out a house he was interested in buying. When the owner came to the door, she looked at me and said, “Larry? I know you. We went to school together. I’m Elaine. Don’t you recognize me?” I drew a complete blank. She took out our old yearbook and showed me her graduation picture—still nothing. “Let’s look at your picture,” she said. She flipped the pages until she came to me. Under my photo I had written, “Elaine, I will never forget you.”
Lawrence I. Brant, Delray Beach, Florida
I was in a couple’s home trying to fix their Internet connection. The husband called out to his wife in the other room for the computer password. “Start with a capital S, then 123,” she shouted back.
We tried S123 several times, but it didn’t work. So we called the wife in. As she input the password, she muttered, “I really don’t know what’s so difficult about typing Start123.”
A. R., via Internet
Scene: I’m on the phone with a customer.
Me: Was the first letter of that name an F as in Frank or an S as in Sam?
Customer: It’s an S … as in Frank.
Jack Tolin, Salem, Missouri
My friend called me in hysterics. “I just saw a mouse in my kitchen!” she yelled. “I’m so grossed out! It’s so disgusting!”
“What are you going to do?” I asked.
“I’m not sure. But you can bet I’ll never eat the stuff I drop on the floor anymore.”
Kirsten Lauth, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
I spotted several pairs of men’s Levi’s at a garage sale. They were sizes 30, 31, and 32, but I was looking for size 33. So I asked the owner if he had a pair. He shook his head.
“I’m still wearing the 33s,” he said. “Come back next year.”
Sally Thorinson, Ferndale, Washington
My ESL (English as a second language) students try so hard and are so appreciative. One student paid me the ultimate compliment when she said, “You teach English good.” Another assured me, “I will always forget you.” And a third insisted, “I thank you from the heart of my bottom.”
Ellen Israel, Alamo, California
My young son ran to me, crying. “Daddy, I stubbed my toe,” he sobbed. “Let me kiss it and make it better,” I said. “Which toe was it?”
“The one that has no roast beef.”
Gary Neal, Clearwater, Florida
Scene: Me using the Siri app on my iPhone.
Me: Siri, call my wife.
Siri: Samantha McLaughlin is not in your contacts.
Me: Samantha Gibbs is my wife.
Siri: I’ve added Samantha Gibbs as your wife.
Me: Call my wife.
Siri: Which wife?
Taylor Gibbs, Visalia, California
“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 universities.” And that’s how she ended up here, at Western Carolina University.
Bill Spencer, Cullowhee, North Carolina
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,” he responded. “It’s where we park the helicopters.”
Angelo Giordano, Bellevue, Nebraska
For serving as flower girl for her aunt, three-year-old Sydney received a doll and bridal-themed gifts. Sydney was so thrilled, she ran to her aunt and announced, “I want this for all your weddings!”
Helen Thoen, Manly, Iowa
My son was born while I was serving abroad, so he was three before we met. When I got home, I decided it was time for a little father-son bonding time. I bought him a toy razor and invited him to “shave” with me. In the bathroom, I took up my razor and started shaving. I looked around to see how my son was doing. His foot was up on the side of the bathtub, and he was running the razor up and down his leg. So much for male bonding.
James F. Day, Prichard, West Virginia
When I bought beer at the grocery store, the clerk asked for my birthdate. I said, “10-3-60.”
Her next question: “Is that ‘19’ 60?”
David Phenix, Columbia, South Carolina
Scene: Inside a Best Buy store.
Customer: Can you help me? I’m looking for a shredder.
Coworker: We have all types of shredders. What will you be shredding primarily?
Customer: Collard greens.
Jessica Smith, Peachtree City, Georgia
When I spotted a Navy captain on the street, I saluted and bellowed, “LST 395,” which was the designation and number of the ship I served on during World War II. The captain returned my salute and responded, “LMD 67.”
“What’s an LMD?” I asked.
“Large mahogany desk.”
Michael Ciavolino, Bel Air, Maryland
Hanging up with my 90-year-old mother, I sighed, then said to my 96-year-old uncle, “She’s so stubborn.” He shook his head sympathetically and warned, “You’re going to have trouble with her when she gets old.”
Angie Kiem, Irwin, Iowa
A friend knew that she’d overdone it with the gifts and candy last Easter when her six-year-old woke up to all the booty and shouted, “This is the best Christmas ever!”
Chris McDonough, Wilmington, Delaware