The Long And Short Of It

Bank of Montreal

Playing Corporation Games, Changing Corporation Names

Once upon a time, long, long ago, before the internet, computers, tablets and smart phones, we had the time to use big words, and impressive speech and writing, and businesses had imposing names.  Then progress(?) brought us Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and all the rest, and our memory and attention span got carved up into little 140 character slices like cheap sushi.

Soon, we were so busy posting pictures of the baked beans we had for lunch that everything had to be shorter, faster, sooner!  The military especially, got into the business of acronyms.  SNAFU to you, too.  The government gave us FBI, CIA, DEA, IRS and NSA.  Companies began re-inventing themselves in sound-bites, or bytes.

The American Oil Company shortly became Amoco.  Standard Oil turned into Esso (S.O.).  Even the Off-Broadway Awards ended up as the Obies (O.B.s).

The record I think, belongs to the City of Los Angeles, which has truncated down from its original, Spanish name of “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula”, to the easily recognised L. A., a 98% reduction.

In Canada, it appeared most noticeable among the banks.  It seemed the larger the company, the smaller the name became.  A century ago, we had time to talk about The Canadian Imperial Bank, and The Bank of Commerce.  When they merged to become The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, they soon became known simply as C.I.B.C.

The Bank of Toronto seduced The Dominion Bank of Canada, and their married name, The Toronto Dominion Bank, was soon merely T.D.  When they almost went down the toilet with some American banks, they were White Knight rescued by Canada’s largest trust company, wisely named Canada Trust.  Strangely, there now seems to be time to say TD/Canada Trust – except by the Americans.

The financially re-invigorated corporation has now taken over a chain of 1300 small banks, east of the Mississippi.  They are known in the U.S. simply as TD Banks, so that Americans don’t think we’re stealing all their cash.

Nobody wanted to merge with poor little Bank of Montreal, and shortening its name to B.M. had unfortunate implications, so it became BMo – Bee-Moe.  When banks stopped being places that just stored and lent money and paid interest, BMo spun off BMo Financial.  To keep the banking separate from the gambling investment side of things, BMo Financial now owns The Bank of Montreal.  When they desperately try to drum up banking business with TV ads, they speak of ‘BMo-Bank of Montreal.’  They have come full circle, and the tail is now firmly wagging the dog.

Company names used to accurately and completely describe what a company did, made or sold.  You knew you were going to get greasy hash from ‘Bob’s Diner’, whereas ‘Roberto’s Food Emporium’ might be a wholesale warehouse, a grocery store or a restaurant.

I worked at Waterloo Metal Stamping, which made parts strictly for office furniture.  So many people approached them to make outside parts that they changed their name to Waterloo Furniture Components.

While not making them shorter, some companies hide behind silly names with no informational value.  If it hadn’t been for a class-action lawsuit, caused by allowing a Chinese company to make yoga pants so thin that the labels on panty liners were legible, I would never know what Lululemon was all about.

Likewise, what the hell does the company named Zulily do for a living??!  These two look like they were named by the smoked-up losers in a scrabble game, from leftover tiles.

Is there a literary copyright© on the name Ali Baba?  We have an Ali Baba Steakhouse locally.  I just hope those are beef steaks, not camel.  I think the company Alibaba, has a name which appears to have been formed by a rear-end collision.  What do they make/sell – camel saddles, sesame rolls, flying carpets, oil lamps??  Open says me – and tell all.  It would take a Genie-us to know.

I recently saw an online ad for a product called Lolo.  It came complete with a questionnaire.  Do you take Lolo?  Are you a doctor who prescribes Lolo?  Not without knowing what the Hell it is!  It turns out to be a new, cutesy birth-control pill.  Just what we needed.  It contains a heavy dose of obfuscation.

Do any of you have any silly name stories?  Don’t rush.  I’ve had enough for a while.   🙄

#474

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Serenity

 

MAY THE LORD GRANT ME:

THE SERENITY TO ACCEPT THOSE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE.

THE COURAGE TO CHANGE THOSE THINGS THAT I CAN CHANGE.

AND THE WISDOM TO HIDE THE BODIES OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT I HAD TO KILL,

BECAUSE THEY REALLY PISSED ME OFF!!

****

 

It Pays To Advertise

A woman about seven months pregnant got on a street car and sat down.  She noticed a man opposite her was smiling, so she indignantly moved.  This time, the man’s expression changed to a grin, so she moved again.  The man seemed even more amused.  When, on the fourth move, the man burst out laughing, she complained to the conductor, and had the man arrested.

The case came up in court, and the judge asked the man if he had anything to say.  He said, “Well Your Honor, it was like this.  When the lady got on the street car, I could not help but notice her condition.  She sat under a sign that read ‘The Gold Dust Twins Are Coming Soon’, and I had to smile.  Then she sat under a sign that said ‘Sloan’s Liniment Will Reduce The Swelling’.

Then she placed herself under a sign that read ‘Williams Big Stick Did The Trick’, and I could hardly control myself.  When she moved the fourth time and sat under a sign that read ‘Goodyear Rubber Could Have Prevented This Accident’ I laughed out loud.”

THE JUDGE DISMISSED THE CASE!

***

 

Break Time

Four union workers were discussing how smart their dogs were.  The first was a United Auto Worker, who said his dog could do math calculation.  His dog was named T-Square, and the owner told him to go to the blackboard and draw a circle, a square, and a triangle, which the dog did with no sweat.

The United Steel Workers member thought his dog was better.  His dog, named Slide-rule, was told to fetch a dozen cookies and divide them into 4 piles of 3, which Slide-rule did with no problem.

The Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers member said, that was good, but he felt his dog was even better.  His dog, named Measure, was told to go get a quart of milk, and pour seven ounces into a ten-ounce glass.  The dog did this with no problem.  All three agreed that this was very good, and all the dogs were smart.

They all turned to the Teamsters member, and said, “What can your dog do?”  The Teamsters member called his dog, which was named Coffee Break, and said, “Show the fellows what you can do!”  Coffee Break went over and ate the cookies, drank the milk, and screwed the other three dogs.  Then he claimed he had injured his back, filed for Workers Compensation and went home on sick leave.

***

 

As we get older, we need to be more aware of medical terminology.

MEDICAL DICTIONARY

Anally – Occurring yearly

Artery – Study of paintings

Bacteria – The back door to the cafeteria

Barium – What doctors do when treatment fails

Bowel – Letters like A, E, I, O and U

Caesarean Section – An area in Rome

Cauterize – Made eye contact with her

Colic – A sheep dog

Congenital – Friendly

D & C – Where Washington is

Diarrhea – Journal of daily events

Dilate – To live long

Enema – Not a friend

Fester – Quicker

Fibula – A small lie

G.I. Series – Soldiers ball game

Grippe – Suitcase

Hangnail – Coat hook

Impotent – Distinguished, well known

Medical Staff – Doctor’s cane

Morbid – Higher offer

Nitrate – Cheaper than day rate

Node – Was aware of

Outpatient – Somebody who has fainted

Pap Smear – Fatherhood test

Pelvis – Cousin of Elvis

Placenta – Christmas flower

Post Operative – Letter carrier

Prostate – Flat on your back

Protein – Favoring young people

Recovery Room – Place to do upholstery

Rectum – Damn near killed ‘em

Rheumatic – Amorous

Sear – Rolled tobacco leaf

Secretion – Hiding anything

Seizure – Roman Emperor

Serology – Study of Knighthood

Tablet – Small table

Terminal Illness – Getting sick at the airport

Tibia – A country in North Africa

Tumor – An extra pair

Urine – Opposite of yer out

Varicose – Located nearby

Vein – Conceited

Some Atheist Thoughts

JESUS
Jesus wasn’t gay! He just hung around with twelve other guys. He was a radical, non-violent Revolutionary who hung around with lepers, hookers and crooks; wasn’t American and never spoke English; was anti-wealth, anti death penalty, anti-public prayer (M. 6-5); but was never anti-gay, anti-abortion or birth control, never called the poor lazy, never justified torture, never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes, never asked a leper for a co-pay, and was a long-haired, brown-skinned, homeless, community-organizing, anti-slut-shaming, Middle Eastern Jew.

***
A young truck-driver who regularly attends the Free Thinkers meetings is as aggressively Atheist as many Christians, to the point that, if someone were to bless him, a fist-fight might occur. He is religiously confrontational and wears a variety of printed tee-shirts, such as one which says, “Abortion just means babies’ souls get to meet God earlier.”

Tattoo

Like many truckers, he has several tattoos. He recently added this Atheist one, on the inside of his right forearm.

 
That’s what it looks like on the skin. The picture below is clearer, taken right from the online tattoo catalog. Like the brands in Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons book, it is an ambigram, reading the same thing, both right side up, and upside down. You can prove this by standing on your head, but I want photos of you doing it. He says it means that, coming or going, he’s a good Atheist.
atheist tattoo
The following is another, more triangular ambigram version of the word atheist.
triangle-atheist

 

 

This picture is of a two-word ambigram. One way, it says Atheist, the other, it reads Godless.
godless-atheist
Many Good Christians, consciously or unconsciously, hypocritically believe that, simply by dint of being Christian, everything atheist-i-amthey do is somehow Good and Honorable. Ergo, they also believe that anything done by non-Christians, is Mean and Evil. I am much tempted to purchase this tee-shirt to remind them they may be wrong, but I don’t go out enough to justify the expense. Maybe the trucker has one – or would like one. Hmmm, must talk to him about it.

There’s No Excuse

To save everyone’s time, post this list near your desk or workspace, and everybody can just take a number.

 

TABLE OF EXCUSES

 

  1.  That’s the way we’ve always done it.
  2. I didn’t know you were in a hurry for it.
  3. That’s not in my department.
  4. No-one told me to go ahead with it.
  5. I’m waiting for an OK on it.
  6. That’s his job – not mine!
  7. Wait till the boss comes back and ask him.
  8. I forgot.
  9. I didn’t think it was that important.
  10. I’m so busy I just didn’t get around to it.
  11. I thought I told you.
  12. I wasn’t hired to do that

 

NOT KIDDING AROUND

 

Dear Doctor;

 

I wish to apply for a Vasectomy operation to endure my sterility.  The reasons for this are numerous, and after being married for 7 years and having 7 children, I have come to the conclusion that most of the methods of contraception amd are absolutely useless.

After I got married, I was told to use the rhythm method.  Despite trying the Tango, and the Samba, my wife became pregnant, and I suffered a hernia while doing the Cha-Cha.  Apart from the obvious deficiencies, where in the Hell can you get a dance band at 5 o’clock in the morning?

Another doctor suggested that we use the “Safe Period” after this, but at the time we were living with the in-laws, and we had to wait for three weeks for the house to be empty for a “Skag Safe Period.”  Needless to say, this didn’t work either.

A lady of several years experience informed us that if we made love while breast feeding it would be all right.  It’s hardly Jack Daniels, but I did end up with silky hair, a clear skin, and my wife pregnant again.

Another old wives tale was if my wife jumped up and down after intercourse it would prevent pregnancy.  After the constant breast feeding from our earlier attempts, if my wife were to jump up and down, she would finish up with two black eyes and eventually knock herself unconcuous.

I asked a pharmacist about the sheath.  He demonstrated how easy it was to use, so I bought a packet.  My wife became pregnant again, which didn’t surprise me.  I fail to see how stretching a rubber over a thumb, as the pharmacist showed me, can prevent pregnancy.

My wife was then supplied with a coil, and after several unsuccessful attempts to fit it, we realized that we had one with a left-hand thread, and my wife is definitely a right-hand screw.

The diaphragm, or “Dutch Cap” came next.  We were very hopeful about this method, and it didn’t interfere with our sex life at all.  Alas, it gave my wife a number of headaches.  Even though we got the largest size available, it was just too tight across her forehead.

Finally, and in desperation, we tried the pill.  At first it kept falling out.  Then we realized we were doing it wrong.   My wife started putting it between her knees, thus preventing me from getting anywhere near her at all.

You must appreciate my problem.  If this operation is not a success, we will have to resort to oral sex, and just sitting around, talking about it, can never be a substitute for the real thing.

 

Yours hopefully

John Smith

 

CORPORATE IMPROVEMENT

 

To:  ALL EMPLOYEES

From:  PERSONNEL  DEPARTMENT

As a result of new “effective management programming” and a declining work load, management must, of necessity, take steps to reduce our work force.

Arrangements have been developed which appear to be the most equitable, under the circumstances.

Under the plan, older employees will be placed on retirement, thus permitting the retention of younger workers, who represent the future of the company.

Therefore, a program to phase out older personnel, by the end of the year, via early retirement, will be placed into effect immediately.  This programme will be known as RAPE (Retire Aged Personnel Early)

Employees who are RAPEd, will be given an opportunity to seek other jobs within the company, provided that, while being RAPEd, they request a review of their employment records, before actual retirement takes place.  This phase of the operation is called SCREW. (Survey of Capabilities of Retired Early Workers)

All employees who have been RAPEd and SCREWed, may also apply for a final review.  This will be called SHAFT. (Study of Higher Authority Following Termination)

“Effective Management Programming” dictates that employees may be RAPEd once, and SCREWed twice, but may get the SHAFT as many times as the company deems appropriate.

Something For Nothing

Damn, am I ever a cheap-ass old skinflint.  The lessons of childhood were well learned and, now in old age, not easily forgotten or ignored.

I was born just as the rationing of the Second World War was ending, to parents who had lived through the Great Depression of the ‘30s, with a mother who was Scottish.  You know how copper wire was invented??  Two Scotsmen, fighting over a penny!

Most of the men in my hometown worked at one of the four factories.  Most of the women stayed home to care for the kids.  My mother became an exception, but, most families had just about the same income.  Sure, there were merchants, and real estate and insurance brokers.  The preachers at six Protestant churches did better than most of their flock.

We weren’t dirt-poor, as many other families in town were, because my mother practiced some basic birth control.  We only had two kids in our family.  On one of the paper routes I had, there were two families, living side-by-side in two shack-y houses, much smaller than ours.  One house had seven kids and five dogs.  The one next door had seven dogs and five kids.  There’s not a lot of disposable income left after feeding and clothing a mob like that.

I’ve written that I keep my eye open in places where people might drop money.  The hundred-dollar bill I picked up at a Meijer store was an exception, but I find bits of money all the time.  I had to take a bus the other day, to pick up the car from a repair garage.  The bill for the car was almost $350, but I was thrilled to pick up 20 cents off the floor of the bus.  A bill like that only happens every six months or a year, but I find money all the time.  By the next time the car needs to go in, I will have found a good chunk of what the next bill will be.

I am not exactly embarrassed, but still somewhat surreptitious about checking payphone coin returns.  It’s really interesting how many times people try to place a call, get no answer, and rush away without retrieving their quarter.  About coins lying in coin-return slots of pop machines, or snack vending machines – I can’t be the only one who notices them, but I’m often the first to notice them.

I don’t walk or bike-ride as much as I used to, but still pick up any beer bottles or cans that I see.  Not only do I clean the neighborhood, but I make a dime apiece refund on them.  Liquor and wine bottles are also worth 10 cents each, but, with the usual bureaucratic genius, you buy them at the Liquor Control Board store, but have to take them back to the Beer Store for refund.

The daughter watches when she’s out on her power wheel chair, as does the grandson.  I recently cleaned off the shelf I use in the basement to store them.  More than a year’s accumulation yielded $8.00.  I’ll add it into the fund to buy more American cash from the bank, towards our next trip south.

The supermarket a mile to my north has been selling the Toronto Sun newspaper as a loss-leader for 4 or 5 years.  $1.50 paper for 50 cents Monday to Thursday and $1 on Friday.  Recently that went to a buck, every day.  If we’re out for a doctor’s appointment or other shopping, it’s well worth stopping in.  If we’re not, does it cost 50 cents in gas to save on the paper?

The head-office of the store three blocks to the south used to give cash rebates to charities who collected cash-register receipts.  About a year ago, with great fanfare, they stopped, cutting off Boy Scouts, the Library, and seniors square-dance groups, but quietly continued for selected groups, including the Humane Society.

About once a week, I put a harness on the dog, and walk him over to pick up a paper.  I tie him to the outer of two garbage containers on one side of the entrance, and check inside it.  People often exit the store, and immediately throw away their receipt.  Then I check the one right beside the door, and enter the store.  I check under, and in the return chute of the coin-counting machine in the entryway.  Coins often drop and roll just under.  One day I got 40 pennies that were fed in too fast.

I buy my paper at the newspaper/cigarette/lottery kiosk at the front.  Cash register amounts can be significant, but these customers are often in a hurry.  I check for receipts in the waste-paper basket where dead lotto tickets are thrown.  On my way out, I often go through the opposite doors, and check the big garbage pail over there.  On my walk today, I brought home $245 worth of receipts….and another beer bottle.

Then the daughter phoned.  They have a Blu-Ray player on sale.  Would I go over and pick up the last one in stock?  By the time I got home, I had picked up another $250 worth of receipts.  The rebate is 1/5th of 1%, so that’s one can of food for an abandoned cat.  I have a wad of several thousand dollars worth, which we’ll turn in at the pet-food store, the next time we go in.

We have five rain-barrels from which we water shrubs and flowers, when we have a hot, dry spell in the summer.  The cost of 250 gallons of water from the hose is probably pennies, even if Canada doesn’t officially have pennies anymore, but there’s more nutrients, and less harmful chlorine in rainwater – usually.  A local woman also waters her plants from rain barrels, but had all her pretty flowers die.  Turns out, her busy-body neighbor was worried about mosquitoes breeding, so she poured in chlorine bleach.  Toting the water around gives me something to fill my time, and some exercise to keep me (relatively) strong and limber.

In Search Of Truth

Some people claim that they’re in search of truth.  Others don’t even bother to make the claim.  All too often, the impetus and the result are the same.  Most folks don’t want the truth.  As Jack Nicholson said, “You can’t handle the truth.”  What they really want, is for their opinions to be validated and for others to agree with them and make them feel good.  Even when the truth is presented to them, they keep denying it and pushing it away, because, that’s not what they want to see.

At my daughter’s housing complex, they’ve had some incidents occur which led the board to decide to install electronic security cameras, around the office area.  One of the cameras was to be trained on the children’s playground, right beside the office.  Most reasonable people would agree that, protection of the kids would be a good idea.  A secondary reason for that camera was that, one of the male teens from the complex, and two or three of his non-resident friends are thought to be climbing over the playground fence, and dropping out of sight into the tiny yard behind the office.  They’re probably smoking dope, and the camera can’t see them, but would provide evidence if a fire started, or damage was done.

A female living across the driveway high-jacked a board meeting last week.  She found out that the cameras were going up and started ranting about spying on the children and looking in her windows.  She went around to many of the residents and told them that they must attend the important meeting.  She just didn’t tell them what it was all about.  When most of them found out what the issue was, they shrugged and left.  One woman, who she thought would support her, stated that she felt the security was a good idea, especially for the kids.  That led to a loud, nasty confrontation.  Even when she was told that the cameras would only be turned on from 6 P.M. to 6 A.M. and was offered to view the feed from the “offending” camera, she refused the offer, and continued her rant.  Purely coincidentally, the next day, the camera was damaged, when it wasn’t turned on.

In a minor grandstanding play, to seem as if he’s doing something when he’s really not, the Premier of Ontario instructed the Minister of Education, to order the individual boards of education, to facilitate the formation of gay/straight alliance groups in all high-schools.  The bullying of gays is a serious subject, but it is not the only aspect of school bullying, nor, perhaps, is it the most important facet of the problem.  It is, however, the one the Premier wants to champion.

The public school boards quietly, efficiently, obediently went along with the directive.  They know which way the wind is blowing, and when the photo-ops arrive, they want to be seen to be on the side of goodness and right.  The Catholic school boards, however, have been more of a problem.  Some of them are reluctantly willing to have the groups formed.  It’s just that they can’t have a name which includes the word gay.  They can have a mix of straights and gays.  They just can’t say they have gays in them.

The local Catholic board has still not got around to authorizing formation, largely due to one particular male board member.  He was interviewed by a reporter for the local paper to give his reasons for the foot-dragging.  His response was, that if these groups were allowed to form, they would just devolve into giant gay sex orgies.  That’s right, groups that would prevent bullying by ignorant, prejudiced individuals, are prevented from forming by an ignorant, prejudiced individual in a position of power.  It seems that someone might have pointed out his baseless, paranoid position, because the next sentence in his quote was, “Even if they don’t, there’ll be talk about perverted stuff, like anal and oral sex, and I don’t want my kids hearing about that kind of thing.”  Fine, then tell your kids not to join the groups that others wish to form.

The Catholic Church vs. Girl Scouts.  Over the past several years, there has been friction between the Church and tween girls.  The Church has, on several occasions, claimed that the organization supports birth control and abortion.  These charges have been vigorously denied.  Despite being shown that these charges are false, in several dioceses and instances, representatives of the Catholic Church continue to fling the same old mud.  Recently a Bishop in Indiana has called for denunciation of the group under the same baseless charges.  The attacks themselves are difficult enough to fend off and maintain dignity.  The membership of Girl Scouts has declined from 3.3 million, to 2.6 million young girls in America.

Many Girl Scout troops are currently using rooms in Catholic churches for meeting halls.  If The Church divorces them, (Oops!  Can’t say divorce and Catholic Church in the same sentence!) they will have to try to find alternative meeting places.  Also, a million of the girls left in troops are Catholic.  They will be forced to decide whether to leave their religion, or their uplifting group of friends.  I know which one I would choose, but then, I’m an old and greatly experienced curmudgeon.

It is sad that people like these, choose to practice and enforce their mindless dogma, rather than deal with imperfect, undesirable facts.  There’s an adage that, “If your cat has kittens in the barn, you can call them horses.  Just don’t try to ride them.”  These folks already have out the boots, spurs, Stetsons and lassoes, but it’s us they’re riding.  It’s time for us to tell them to get off our backs.