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Humor ;-)

No joke or funny story published here is intended to insult anyone. I will not publish any joke I feel is offensive, but if I miss the mark, please try to understand. It is important to note that when we laugh at others, we are really laughing at ourselves, and laughter is healthy (not to mention fun). So read these jokes with a lighthearted attitude. I don't want to make anybody feel badly, I simply want to put a smile on your face.

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Joke Index:

A Student's History of the World
Private Lessons at the Health Club
Three Couples Join A Church
Give Me A Raise
Lakeside Mall
Mink
The Cat Prince
Stake Out
How old are you, mommy?
Double Negative
Near Death Experience
How to Satisfy a Woman Every Time
One 'Hell' of a Joke
The English Language ... points to ponder
The Secret of Antigravity
Foul Mouthed Parrot
Specs and Bureaucracies Live Forever
A New Monk Arrives at the Monastery
The Parrot and the Magician

A Student's History of the World

as collected by Richard Lederer

(One of the fringe benefits of being an English or history professor is receiving the occasional jewel of a student blooper in an essay or report. Here is the history of the world, pasted together from genuine student bloopers, collected by teachers throughout the U.S.)

The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple. A snake was present at the time. God got tired of creating the world, so He took the Sabbath off.

Noah built an ark, which the animals came on to in pears. Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark. Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night. Samson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah.

Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies, and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.

The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with the unsympathetic Genitals. Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Amendments. Moses died before he ever reached Canada.

David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in Bibical times. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.

The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn't have history. They invented three kinds of columns - corinthian, ironic, and dorc. Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.

Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption.When Mary heard that she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta. When the three wise guys from the east side arrived, they found Jesus in the manager. St. John, the Blacksmith, dumped water on his head.

The people who followed the Lord were called the 12 decibels. One of the opossums was St.Matthew who was by profession a taximan. The epistles were the wives of the apostles. A Christian should have only one spouse. This is called monotony.

Then came the Middle Ages when King Alfred conquered the Dames. King Arthur lived then with brave knights on prancing horses and beautiful women and Joan of Arc was canonized by Bernard Shaw and victims of the blue-bonnet plaque grew boobs on their necks. Finally, Magna Carta provided that no man should be hanged twice for the same offense.

In midevil times people were alliterate. The greatest writer was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verses and literature. During this time, people put on morality plays about ghosts, goblins, virgins, and other mythical creatures.

The Renaissance was an age in which more individuals felt the value of their life. Martin Luther was nailed to the church door for selling papal indulgences. He died a horrible death, being excommunicated by a bull. It was painter Donatello's interest in the female nude that made him the father or the Renaissance.

It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of the blood. And Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper. Shakespeare was the greatest writer. In one of his plays, Hamlet rations out his situation by relieving himself in a long soliloquy.

Then came the enlightenment. Voltaire invented electricity and also wrote a book called Candy. Gravity was invented by Isaac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in autumn, when the apples are falling off trees. Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between, he practiced on an old spinster. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world, and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.

The nineteenth century was a time of a great many thoughts and inventions. People stopped reproducing by hand and began reproducing by machine. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers. Then came the first world war, which ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.

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Private Lessons At The Health Club

Submitted by: John Holliday

For a gift this year my wife purchased me a week of private lessons at the local health club. Though still in great shape from when I was on the varsity chess team in high school, I decided it was a good idea to go ahead and try it. I called and made reservations with someone named Tanya, who said she is a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and athletic clothing model. My wife seemed very pleased with how enthusiastic I was to get started.

Day 1

They suggest I keep this "exercise diary" to chart my progress this week. Started the morning at 6:00 AM. Tough to get up, but worth it when I arrived at the health club and Tanya was waiting for me. She's something of a goddess, with blond hair and a dazzling white smile. She showed me the machines and took my pulse after five minutes on the treadmill. She seemed a little alarmed that it was so high, but I think just standing next to her in that outfit of hers added about ten points. Enjoyed watching the aerobics class. Tanya was very encouraging as I did my sit ups, though my gut was already aching a little from holding it in the whole time I was talking to her. This is going to be GREAT.

Day 2

Took a whole pot of coffee to get me out the door, but I made it. Tanya had me lie on my back and push this heavy iron bar up into the air. Then she put weights on it, for heaven's sake! Legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made it the full mile. Her smile made it all worth it. Muscles feel GREAT.

Day 3

The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the tooth brush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I am certain that I have developed a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was okay as long as I didn't try to steer. I parked on top of a Volkswagen. Tanya was a little impatient with me and said my screaming was bothering the other club members. The treadmill hurt my chest so I did the stair monster. Why would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by the invention of elevators? Tanya told me regular exercise would make me live longer. I can't imagine anything worse.

Day 4

Tanya was waiting for me with her vampire teeth in a full snarl. I can't help it if I was half an hour late, it took me that long just to tie my shoes. She wanted me to lift dumbbells. Not a chance, Tanya. The word "dumb" must be in there for a reason. I hid in the men's room until she sent Lars looking for me. As punishment she made me try the rowing machine. It sank.

Day 5

I hate Tanya more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. If there was any part of my body not in extreme pain I would hit her with it. She thought it would be a good idea to work on my triceps. Well I have news for you Tanya I don't have triceps. And if you don't want dents in the floor don't hand me any barbells. I refuse to accept responsibility for the damage, YOU went to sadist school, YOU are to blame. The treadmill flung me back into a science teacher, which hurt like crazy. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like a music teacher, or social studies?

Day 6

Got Tanya's message on my answering machine, wondering where I am. I lacked the strength to use the TV remote so I watched eleven straight hours of the weather channel.

Day 7

Well, that's the week. Thank God that's over. Maybe next time my wife will give me something a little more fun, like a free root canal at the dentist's.

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Three couples join a church

Submitted by - dogbyte@netzone.com

Three couples, an older couple, a 40ish couple, and a young couple, go to priest to see about joining his church. After being properly instructed on everything that the couples should know, the priest informs them that they have completed all of the requirements for joining the church but one. They must now abstain from sex for the next 30 days.

30 days later the three couples come back to see the priest. He asks the older couple if they were able to abstain from sex as required. They inform him that they had no trouble doing so. He then welcomes them to the church.

The priest turns to the 40ish couple and asks them if they were also able to abstain from sex for the required 30 days. They tell the priest that they had some difficulty but that they did manage to abstain, whereupon the priest welcomes them to the church.

The priest now turns his attention to the young couple and asks them if they were able to abstain from sex for 30 days. The husband says, "We had a lot of trouble but managed to go without sex for 28 days. Then my wife bent over the freezer and I could not take it any longer so we made hot, passionate sex right there on the floor."

The priest says, "I'm sorry, but you were not able to abstain as required so I must ask you not to return to this church."

The husband responds, "We understand. That's what the grocery store manager said too!"

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Give Me A Raise

Submitted by 'Unknown'

Employee: "You'll have to give me a raise, sir. There are three companies after me."

Boss: "What three companies?"

Employee: "The Electric Company, The Telephone Company, and The Water Company."

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Lakeside Mall

Submitted by Lola Morales

A boy and his father visiting from an undeveloped country were at Lakeside Mall. They were amazed by almost everything they saw, but especially by two shiny, silver walls that could move apart and back together again.

The boy asked his father, "What is this Father?" The father responded, "Son I have never seen anything like this in my life, I do not know what it is!"

While the boy and his father were watching wide-eyed, an old lady in a wheel chair rolled up to the moving walls and pressed a button. The walls opened and the lady rolled between them into a small room. The walls closed and the boy and his father watched small circles of lights with numbers above the walls light up. They continued to watch the circles light up in the reverse direction. The walls opened up again and a voluptuous 24 year-old woman stepped out.

The Father said to his son, "Go get your Mother."

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Mink

Submitted by * (name omitted by request)

A man and a woman walk into a very posh Rodeo Drive furrier. "Show the lady your finest mink!" the fellow exclaims. So the owner of the shop goes in back and comes out with an absolutely gorgeous full-length coat. As the lady tries it on, the furrier sidles up to the guy and discreetly whispers, "Ah, sir, that particular fur goes for $65,000."

"No problem! I'll write you a check!"

"Very good, sir." says the shop owner. "Today is Saturday. You may come by on Monday to pick it up, after the check has cleared."

So the man and the woman leave. On Monday, the fellow returns. The store owner is outraged: "How dare you show your face in here?! There wasn't a single penny in your checking account!!"

"I just had to come by," grinned the guy, "to thank you for the most wonderful weekend of my life!"

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The Cat Prince

Submitted by (Name withheld by request)

An old lady is rocking away the last of her days on her front porch, reflecting on her  long life, when -- all of a sudden -- a fairy godmother appears in front ofher and informs her that she will be granted three wishes.

"Well, now," says the old  lady, "I guess I would like to be really rich."

*** POOF *** her rocking chair turns to solid gold.

"And, gee, I guess I wouldn't mind being a young, beautiful princess."

*** POOF *** she turns into a beautiful young woman and her house turns into a castle.

"Your third wish?" asked the fairy godmother.

Just then the old woman's cat wanders across the porch in front of them. "Ooh -- can you change him into my handsome prince?" she asks.

*** POOF *** there before her stands a young man more handsome than anyone could possibly imagine.

She stares at him, smitten. With a smile that makes her knees weak, he saunters across the porch and whispers in her ear, "I'll bet now you're sorry you had me neutered."

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Stake Out

Submitted by kberger@doitnow.com

A cop is staking out a bar for drunk drivers. At closing time, he sees a guy stumble out of the bar, trip on the curb, and fumble for his keys for five minutes.

When he finally gets in, it takes him another five minutes to get the key in the ignition. Meanwhile, everybody else leaves the bar and drives off.

When he finally pulls away, the cop is waiting for him, pulls him over, and gives him a Breathalyzer test. The test shows he has a blood alcohol level of 0.0.

The cop says, "How is this possible?"

The guy says, "Tonight I'm the designated decoy."

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How old are you, mommy?

submitted by Ron Finn

A little girl and her mother were out and about. The girl, out of the blue, asked her mother, "How old are you?" The Mother responded, "Honey, women don't talk about their age. You'll learn this as you get older."

The girl then asked, "Mommy. How much do you weigh?" Her Mother responded again, "That's another thing women don't talk about. You'll learn this, too, as you grow up".

The girl, still wanting to know about her mother, then fires off another question, "Mommy? Why did you and daddy get a divorce?" The Mother, a little annoyed by the questions, responded, "Honey, that is a subject that hurts me very much, and I don't want to talk about it now."

The little girl, frustrated, sulks until she is dropped off at a friend's house to play. She consults with her girlfriend about her and her mother's conversation. The girlfriend says, "All you have to do is sneak a look at your mother's drivers license. It's just like a report card. It tells you everything."

Later, the little girl and her mother are out and about again. The little girl starts off with, "Mommy, I know how old you are. You're 32 years old."

The Mother is very shocked. She asks, "Sweetheart how do you know that?" The little girl shrugs and says, "I just know. And I know how much you weigh. You weigh 130 pounds."

"Where did you learn that?" The little girl says, "I just know. And I know why you and daddy got a divorce. You got an 'F' in sex."

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Double Negative

submitted by: wizard@communique.net

A linguistics professor was lecturing to his class one day. "In English," he said, "A double negative forms a positive."

"In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative."

A voice from the back of the room piped up,

"Yeah, right."

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Near Death Experience

submitted by: wizard@communique.net

A middle aged woman has a heart attack. While on the operating table she has a near death experience, she sees God, and asks, "Is this it?." God says, "No.", and tells her that she has another 30-40 years to live.

She recovers, and decides to stay in the hospital and have a face lift, liposuction, breast augmentation, tummy tuck, hair dyed, etc. She figures since she's got another 30 or 40 years she might as well make the most of it. She walks out of the hospital after the last operation and immediately gets hit by an ambulance and dies.

She arrives in front of God and asks, "I thought you said I had another 30 or 40 years?"

God replies, "Sorry, I didn't recognize you."

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How to Satisfy a Woman Every Time

submitted by: dogbyte@netzone.com

HOW TO SATISFY A WOMAN EVERY TIME:

Caress, praise, pamper, relish, savor, massage, make plans, fix, empathize, serenade, compliment, support, feed, tantalize, bathe, humor, placate, stimulate, jiffylube, stroke, console, purr, hug, coddle, excite, pacify, protect, phone, correspond, anticipate, nuzzle, smooch, toast, minister to, forgive, sacrifice, ply, accessorize, leave, return, beseech, sublimate, entertain, charm, lug, drag, crawl, show equality for, foster, spackle, oblige, fascinate, send flowers to, tend, attend, nurture, implore, bawl, shower, shave, trust, grovel, ignore, defend, coax, clothe, brag about, acquiesce, aromate, fuse, fizz, rationalize, detoxify, sanctify, help, acknowledge, polish, upgrade, spoil, embrace, accept, butter-up, hear, understand, jitterbug, locomote, beg, plead, borrow, steal, climb, swim, nurse, resuscitate, repair, patch, crazy-glue, respect, entertain, calm, allay, kill for, die for, dream of, promise, deliver, tease, flirt, commit, enlist, pine, cajole, angelicize, murmur, snuggle, snoozle, snurfle, elevate, enervate, alleviate, spotweld, serve, rub, rib, salve, bite, taste, nibble, gratify, take her places, scuttle like a crab on the ocean floor of her existence, diddle, doodle, hokey-pokey, hanky-panky, crystal blue persuade, flip, flop, fly, don't care if I die, swing, slip, slide, slather, mollycoddle, squeeze, moisturize, humidify, lather, tingle, slam-dunk, keep on rockin' in the free world, wet, slicken, undulate, gelatinize, brush, tingle, dribble, drip, dry, knead, fluff, fold, blue-coral wax, ingratiate, indulge, wow, dazzle, amaze, flabbergast, enchant, idolize, worship, and then go back, Jack, and do it again.

HOW TO SATISFY A MAN EVERY TIME:

Show up naked.

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One 'Hell' of a Joke

Submitted by John Carlile

One "hell" of a joke

This was originally forwarded by a University of Oklahoma graduate, citing one of Dr. Schlambaugh's test questions for his final exam of 1997. Dr.Schlambaugh of the University of Oklahoma, Chemical Engineering Department, is known for asking questions on his finals like: "Why do airplanes fly?"
- - - - - -
In May 1997, the "Momentum, Heat, and Mass Transfer II" final exam question was: "Is Hell exothermic or endothermic? Support your answer with proof." Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we postulate that if souls exist, they must have some mass. If they do, then a mole of souls also must have a mass. So, at what rate are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls leaving?

I think we can safely assume that once a soul gets to hell, it does not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for souls entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some religions say that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions, and people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to Hell.

With the birth and death rates what they are, we can expect the number of souls in hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change in the volume of Hell. Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay the same, the ratio of the mass of the souls and volume needs to stay constant.

[A1] So, if Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

[A2] Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase in souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Theresa Banyan during freshman year, that, "It'll be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you," and taking into account that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then [A2] cannot be true. . . . Thus, Hell is exothermic.

The student, Tim Graham, got the only A.

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The English Language ... points to ponder

Submitted by: seyler@wavecom.net

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

There's no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; there is neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England nor French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth? One goose, two geese. So one moose, two meese? One index, two indices?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb through the annals of history but not a single annal? How can you can refurbish a house that was never furbished in the first place?

If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?

Have you noticed that we talk about certain things only when they are absent? Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown? Met a sung hero or experienced requited love?

Have you ever run into someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly, couth or peccable? And where are all those people who ARE spring chickens or who actually WOULD hurt a fly?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm clock goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn't a race at all).

That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it!

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The Secret of Antigravity

Submitted by: dogbyte@netzone.com

If you drop a buttered piece of bread, it will fall on the floor butter-side down. If a cat is dropped from a window or other high and towering place, it will land on its feet.

But what if you attach a buttered piece of bread, butter-side up to a cat's back and toss them both out the window? Will the cat land on its feet? Or will the butter splat on the ground?

----------------------------------------------

Even if you are too lazy to do the experiment yourself you should be able to deduce the obvious result. The laws of butterology demand that the butter must hit the ground, and the equally strict laws of feline aerodynamics demand that the cat can not smash its furry back. If the combined construct were to land, nature would have no way to resolve this paradox. Therefore it simply does not fall.

That's right you clever mortal (well, as clever as a mortal can get), you have discovered the secret of antigravity! A buttered cat will, when released, quickly move to a height where the forces of cat-twisting and butter repulsion are in equilibrium. This equilibrium point can be modified by scraping off some of the butter, providing lift, or removing some of the cat's limbs, allowing descent.

Most of the civilized species of the Universe already use this principle to drive their ships while within a planetary system. The loud humming heard by most sighters of UFOs is, in fact, the purring of several hundred tabbies.

The one obvious danger is, of course, if the cats manage to eat the bread off their backs they will instantly plummet. Of course the cats will land on their feet, but this usually doesn't do them much good, since right after they make their graceful landing several tons of red-hot starship and highly perturbed aliens crash on top of them.

And now a few words on solving the problem of creating a ship using the aforementioned anti-gravity device:
One could power a ship by means of cats held in suspended animation (say, about -190 degrees Celsius) with buttered bread strapped to their backs, thus avoiding the possibility of collisions due to tempermental felines. More importantly, how do you steer, once the cats are all held in stasis?

I offer a modest proposal:
We all know that wearing a white shirt at an Italian restaurant is a guaranteed way to take a trip to the laudromat. Plaster the outside of your ship with white shirts. Place four nozzles symmetrically around the ship, which is, of course, saucer shaped. Fire tomato sauce out in proportion to the directions you want to go. The ship, drawn by the shirts, will automatically follow the sauce. If you use t-shirts, you won't go as fast as you would by using, say, expensive dress shirts. This does not work as well in deep gravity wells, since the tomato sauce (now falling down a black hole, perhaps) will drag the ship with it, despite the counter force of the anti-gravity cat/butter machine. Your only hope at that point is to jettison enormous quantities of Tide. This will create the well-known Gravitational Tidal Force.

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Foul Mouthed Parrot

Submitted by JRStevens@worldnet.att.net (Judie Reither Stevens)

One day, a man received a gift from a friend: a Parrot. This parrot talked all the time, but the parrot only could say curse words. The man who received him as a gift tried and tried to retrain the parrot, because, you see, he was a Christian man, and did not appreciate the bird's vocabulary.

Patiently, the man tried to train the bird, but the parrot kept squawking phrase after phrase of horrible language. One day, it became unbearable. He grabbed the parrot by the neck, and said to the bird, "Stop that foul language, or I'll have to do something drastic!" But, the bird's language became worse and worse.

He picked up the bird and threw him into a kitchen cupboard, and latched it shut! For a time, he heard squawking and scratching coming from the cupboard. Then silence. He felt bad for the bird, and began worrying about the poor little thing. When he opened the cupboard, the parrot came out flapping, and, of course, cursing.

The man could take it no more - he was at the end of his rope! He took the bird and threw him into the freezer. Perhaps a "cooling off" period was in order. There was squawking for a time, then complete silence. The man thought he had killed the parrot! He felt so sorry for the poor parrot that he opened the freezer door, and to his amazement, the parrot came out very gently and lighted on the man's hand. The parrot said, "Sir, I apologize. My language is inexcuseable! You will never again hear a foul word coming from my beak ... By the way, what did the chicken do?"

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Specs and Bureaucracies Live Forever

Think of this next time you feel restricted by a legacy design:

The US Standard railroad gauge is 4 feet, 8.5 inches.

4 feet, 8.5 inches??? That is an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used?

Because, that's the way they built them in England, and the US railroads were built by English expatriates.

Why did the English people build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did the people who built pre-railroad tramways use that gauge? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Okay! Why did the wagons use that odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing the wagons would break on some of the centuries old, long distance roads, because that's the spacing of the old wheel ruts.

So who built these old rutted roads?

The first long distance roads in Europe were built by Imperial Rome for the benefit of their legions. The roads have been used ever since. And the ruts? The initial ruts, (which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagons) were first made by Roman war chariots. The chariots made for or by Imperial Rome were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing (interchangeable parts long before Henry Ford did it).

Thus, we have the answer to the original question. The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives from the original specification for an Imperial Roman army war chariot. So, the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse's ass came up with it, you may be exactly right -- because the Imperial Roman chariots were made to be just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses.

Specs and Bureaucracies live forever.

There's an interesting extension of the story about railroad gauge and horses' behinds. When we see a Space Shuttle sitting on the launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main Fuel tank. These are the solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at a factory in Utah.

The engineers who designed the SRBs might have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line to the factory runs through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than a railroad track, and the railroad track is about as wide as two horses' behinds.

So we now see a major design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined by the width of a horse's ass!

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A New Monk Arrives at the Monastery

A new monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to help the other monks in copying the old texts by hand. He notices, however, that they are copying copies, not the original books. So the new monk goes to the head monk to ask him about this. He points out that if there was an error in the first copy, that error would be continued in all of the other copies.

The head monk says "We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son." He goes down into the cellar with one of the copies to check it against the original.

Hours later, nobody has seen the old, head monk. Finally one of the young monks goes downstairs to look for him. He hears a sobbing coming from the back of the cellar, and finds the old monk leaning over one of the original books crying.

He young monk asks what's wrong.

"The word is celebrate," says the old monk.

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The Parrot and the Magician

Submitted by Dean Thomas

Seems that there was a cruise ship that hired a wide variety of entertainers. For the fourth consecutive year, a magician of good skill and reputation had been hired to do three shows a week for the summer of week long cruises. Since the crowd was in continual change, he did the same acts over and over.

He enjoyed the good life in this sinecure, spending most his time out on the Promenade Deck working on his tan, not new tricks.

But this year, something was new among the crew: the Captain has purchased a parrot. A very bright and attentive parrot. Over the course of the season, Cap brought the parrot with him to see the every one of the magician's performances.

Being a smart parrot, the bird learned all the tricks offered by the magician in his act. The bird would say, "The card is up his left sleeve, the flower is under the table, he hid the money under his shoe..." Because the parrot would only take a few shows to catch on to his magic tricks, the magician was forced to continually learn new ones, which was getting harder and harder by the day, and really cramping his "sun time." To put it mildly, he began to really HATE this @@%$#%^$# Parrot, but since it was the Captain's "baby", he couldn't just weigh the bird down, tape its beak and deep six it.

One night, late in the season, the engine room exploded, blowing a huge hole in the middle of the ship. It sank within minutes. Miraculously, the magician found himself clinging to a timber, floating in the water at 0200, early, wet and dark in the morning. No one answered his shouts. Alas, he seemed to be the only one left alive!

As the sun came up the next morning and he turned around what should be sitting 20 feet away on the opposite end of the timber - his arch nemesis, the Parrot!

They glared at each other and said nothing. This went on for three days and three nights. Neither said a word, just the constant glaring.

On the fourth day, Polly finally broke the silence and said, "OK! I give up! What did you do with the ship?!"

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