There Was A Crooked Man

Who walked a crooked mile
And when I tell his tale
We get a crooked smile.

Facepalm

The Back-to-Jail Special

Two men decided a back-to-school event at an office supply store would be the perfect time to do some shoplifting. After all, store clerks would be busy helping an influx of shoppers. The sale happened to coincide with the annual ‘Shop with a Cop’ day, when about 60 police officers show up to help children pick out school supplies.

Burrito Patrol

Adan Juarez Ramirez had it all figured out—he could be a cop without having to take the boring test. But he was arrested in Grapevine, Texas, after pulling over a driver in his pickup truck, outfitted with flashing lights. He even had an ID badge, which he’d made by blacking out a restaurant gift card and etching in the word ‘POLICE.’ However, he’d kept the restaurant’s logo, a jalapeño pepper surrounded by the words ‘Chipotle Mexican Grill.’

The Case of the Returned Merchandise

A Target store in Augusta, Georgia, agreed to take back a printer from a dissatisfied customer. Then the clerk noticed some work the customer forgot to remove from the machine: Counterfeit bills.

You Mean It’s Not Scout Night?

Two machete-wielding men barged into a Sydney, Australia, bar demanding money. They didn’t know the club was hosting a bikers’ meeting at the time. One of the robbers ended up in the hospital, the other hog-tied with electrical wire.

Hampered by Stupidity

In Mesa, Arizona, a home break-in was foiled when the burglar jumped through the bedroom window—and got trapped in a clothes hamper. Cops took it from there. (That definitely wasn’t the kind of clean getaway he had planned.)

Worst Customer Service Ever!

Joseph Goetz’s alleged attempt to rob a York, Pennsylvania, bank met with some snags. Cops say the first teller he tried to rob fainted and the next two had no more cash in their drawers. Fed up, Goetz stormed out, threatening to write an angry letter to the bank.

To: idiot@jail.com

A German bank robber sent mocking emails to local police, ridiculing their efforts to arrest him. First he let them know they had his age, build, and accent wrong. Then he corrected their announcement that he’d escaped on foot; no, he had a getaway car! The cops got the last word in, though, when they arrested the guy a few hours later. They used his email to trace him.

The Case of the Clean Intruder

After a man kicked in the front door of a Texas home at 3:30 a.m., the resident fled and called police. When cops arrived, they were surprised to find that the intruder hadn’t stolen a thing. Police found the man in the bathroom, enjoying a warm bath.

Fish Tales

Robby Rose lost his first-place medal and was charged with a felony after it was discovered that he’d cheated in a Texas fishing tournament by stuffing a one-pound weight down the throat of a bass he’d caught. Officials became suspicious when they placed Rose’s fish in a tank and it sank to the bottom.

Banana attack

According to the bus driver, it was a brutal, unprovoked attack. A woman got on his bus and assaulted him with a half-eaten banana. ‘I had banana all over me,’ he insisted. ‘On my tie, my shirt, and my eye.’ The woman explained that the driver had almost hit her car and that when she entered the bus to rationally discuss the matter, the banana slipped … right into his tie, his shirt, his eye … The court may not have believed that, but it did believe her when she argued that it was ‘unreasonable that a banana could cause this much damage.’ They slapped her with a fine of only about $100.

You are gonna regret that tattoo

Police in Pico Rivera, California, had an easy time pinning a four-year-old murder on Anthony Garcia. That’s because he pinned it on himself—with an elaborate tattoo on his chest, depicting the killing. Cops noticed the incriminating ink when taking Garcia’s mug shot for a petty crime. The tattoo revealed all the details of the night, from the Christmas lights and bent streetlamp near the liquor store where the body was found to the image of an angry helicopter—Garcia’s nickname was Chopper—machine-gunning the victim.

Lincoln on the money

James Rhyne of Memphis was charged with forgery after he handed a waitress a $100 bill. The waitress knew something was funny with the money: Instead of the portly visage of Ben Franklin, it was the star of the $5 bill, Abe Lincoln, who was staring back at her.

Complete And Correct

Calipers

Used properly, the English language is one of nuance and precision.  Used as many of the great unwashed do….it’s a wonder that even the pizza order is correct.

I have quoted Mark Twain’s admonition that “There’s a mighty difference between lightning, and a lightning bug.”

I recently stumbled across a blog post about euphemisms;

Euphemisms are generally used to change something icky into something more palatable. As George Carlin said, “Sometime in my life—no one asked me about this—toilet paper became bathroom tissue. The dump became the landfill. And partly cloudy became partly sunny.”

I heard Carlin’s debut album, shortly after it came out.  It was funny.  His later work – not so much.  It’s difficult to be funny for 40 years.  He began to make fun of the English language.  I didn’t find it terribly funny, because it was neither complete nor correct.

None of the above are euphemisms.  Early toilet paper was paper….like pages from a Sears catalog.  It beat using a corn cob. Soon, it was transformed into soft, absorbent tissue, used all through the bathroom, for applying skin cream, removing makeup, blotting lipstick, (a single square is faster and cheaper than an entire Kleenex) blowing your nose, or as emergency feminine hygiene material.  It is no longer paper, used only on the toilet.

We used to just dump and abandon garbage – hence, DUMP.  Nowadays, waste is shredded, some is incinerated, compost starter and soil is added and mixed, and the lot is bulldozed and landscaped into a re-usable landfill.

Media weather language is precise.  There are seven words to describe skies – from overcast, to cloudy, to partly sunny, to scattered (clouds), to partly cloudy, to sunny, to clear.  Partly sunny is 10% open sky.  Partly cloudy is 10% cloud.  They are not even vaguely the same.  One did not turn into the other, no matter what George falsely claims.

George lost me as a customer when he claimed that there were 3 words – flammable, inflammable, and non-flammable.  “Why 3??  Either it flams, or it doesn’t flam.”  Just a minute George, flammable means that something will burn.  Inflammable means that it will immediately, vigorously burst into flame.  A block of wood is flammable.  An open pail of gasoline is inflammable, so, there are 4 words, flammable – non-flammable, inflammable – non-inflammable.  If you’re going to bitch about something, even for comedy, it really helps your credibility if you know what you’re talking about.

I was in a medical center the other day, where an information station was set up under an umbrella. Emblazoned on the umbrella were the words SERVICE AMBASSADOR. I find nothing distasteful about the word INFORMATION, but I am entertained by the thought of a group meeting to find a supposedly better (and definitely more pompous) description of the services offered under that umbrella. SERVICE AMBASSADOR: Do you suppose the, ahem, ambassadors who staff that desk need congressional confirmation?

Like ‘toilet paper’, above, ‘Information desks’ have developed to provide far more services than mere information.  Every English-speaking country in the world has Ambassadors.  I can only hope that it was a vain attempt at humor, and not narrow-minded American provincialism that she felt any of them require U S Congressional confirmation.

Loblaw’s food chain came forward, and admitted to price-fixing on bread.  A letter to a newspaper complained that their fraud conviction was ironic.  1 – By voluntarily admitting wrong-doing, they received immunity from prosecution – so, no conviction.  2 – The bread was exactly as advertised, just too expensive.  What they did, was price-fixing, not fraud.  3 – What is ironic, is that the guy who complained, hasn’t got a clue what he’s talking about.

Come on people, Stop, Think, Understand!  English is a beautiful, accurate, expressive language.  Please learn to use it correctly.  That’s what I ask for.  What I’ll probably get….is that guy’s Hawaiian pizza.  😯

HOT-DAMN HOT ROD

Mustang

Once upon a long time ago, shortly after the invention of the wheel….

One day I had to take my car in to a garage to have some work done. Back when ‘Customer Service’ was still a proven fact, and not a forgotten myth, the apprentice mechanic drove me to work and took my car back to the shop.  He, or someone else, was supposed to pick me up at 5:00 PM, when both our firms were finished for the day.

About 3 o’clock, my phone rang. They had dismantled the car, but a couple of necessary parts wouldn’t arrive till early the next morning.  I would have to leave it overnight, and find a way home and back in the next morning.

Home was almost 10 miles across town on a hot August afternoon. Walking was unthinkable.  Transit would mean over an hour, three buses, and still a good walk to the house.  I approached DORIS, a ditzy clerk, old enough to be my mother.  She lived on the same side of town, but normally took a road parallel to mine.

Sure! She could drive me home.  She was also taking Ethel, who lives near me.  At 5:00, we all left the office, and headed for the parking lot.  Doris handed me a key chain, and said, “When I’m in the car with a man, he drives.”  A little strange, but, Okay.

I know she drives a crappy Dodge Dart. The keychain she handed me was quite masculine – a blue rabbit’s foot, one die (dice), and a Ford key.  She saw me looking at it questioningly, and said, “I had to take my car in too.  I’m driving the son’s car.”

When we got to her spot, there was a new(ish) Mustang. I climbed in and fired it up, and saw a couple of reasons why she wanted me to drive.  Gearhead son bought the ‘Tang with the stock 283 cubic inch motor, but had got ahold of, and shoehorned in, a gigantic seven liter (427 C.I.) engine with 4-on-the-floor transmission.  I was raised on standards, so I was good to go.

As I backed up and pulled out, I found yet another reason. While son had installed the big motor and tranny, he hadn’t (yet) put in power steering or heavy-duty front suspension.  Here was an engine as big as Mount Rushmore, sitting over extra-wide front tires. It was like trying to steer the Titanic with a canoe paddle.

Once I got it going more or less straight, on the road home, the conversation turned to language. How could it not? I was in the car.  I mentioned that the first thing I had learned about German when I arrived, was that there are no silent letters.

I had asked a German-speaker about an Amish dish called ‘schnitz und knepp.’ I confused her by pronouncing it ‘nepp.’  This is when she told me it should be ‘kenepp.’  We had recently hired a new, young engineer, named George Kniseley.  When he came around to introduce himself, he pronounced it ‘nizely.’  I told them that, properly, it should be pronounced ‘kenizely.’

Doris said, “Who??”
“George Kniseley!”
“Who??!”
“The young engineer we just hired.  He sits upstairs, across from Bill, our chief engineer.”
“Oh, him!?  I’ve been calling him Kinsley (kins-lee) for six months, and nobody’s said a thing.”

That’s okay, Boris….uh, Doris, I’m sure he doesn’t mind.   😕