Fun Stuff

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The Real Meaning of Labor Day

Labor Day is really a holiday in disguise. At best, it's somewhat of a nebulous holiday. For example, some people (usually politicians and academic types) know it is a day to recognize and honor the American Labor Movement. While other people think of it as extra day off from work with pay. Still others (and you know who you are) have absolutely no idea what they are supposed to be celebrating, but think it might have something to do with a groundhog coming out of a hole to look for it's shadow.

But, let's face it, to mothers of school aged children, Labor Day means only one thing: the end of summer vacation.

Frankly, by the beginning of September I'm tired of spending my days with a group of people who drip blue slushy on the good sofa and argue over who is breathing more air.

Labor Day is my cue to drain the wading pool and rescue my good lipstick from the bottom of the sandbox for the very last time. It serves as a wake up call to get the children back on a regular schedule and off to bed at a decent hour in this time zone.

Another thing about Labor Day is that, unlike any other time of the year, I'm at the peak of my game. My children haven't been late for school yet or missed any homework assignments. And I'm still considered a reliable member of the carpool.

Plus, I no longer have to care about what I look like in a bathing suit. I can go back to my old pre-summer ways of wearing long pants with elastic waistbands over my pasty white legs. The world will no longer see that my stomach is pale and flabby and that the backs of my thighs have the same texture as Play Doh that's been run over by a waffle iron.

Let me tell you, Labor Day isn't just a holiday, it's a declaration of freedom.

If you don't believe me just ask my friend Julie, a loving, doting mother, who celebrates Labor Day by singing "Hallelujah!" and shoving her three children into the backseat of the car and speeding off to the nearest store for school supplies.

And it's not just Julie. My friend Linda catapults out of bed on Labor Day morning and immediately begins sifting her children's sandbox for all of her good silverware.

Of course people without children can't really understand this. They don't see how we can celebrate the end of long, lazy days of nice weather, swimming, and trips to the beach.

But I have a feeling it's because they didn't spend the last three months playing cruise director for a group of energetic tourists with the attention span of, say, four seconds.

However, on top of marking the end of summer vacation, Labor Day also causes me slow down and savor the summer days that are left. There is something about it that adds a certain joie de vive to barbecues and swim meets that just wasn't there in mid June.

I'm not sure why this is. Maybe it's human nature to want things you can't have. Or perhaps the end of summer makes people more introspective. Or maybe it's because I know relief is in sight.

No matter what the reason is, there will always be some people who treat Labor Day as an opportunity to honor the American Labor Movement and others who consider it just another excuse to stay home from work.

But, between you and me, if you ever want to know the true meaning of the holiday, just ask a mother of a school-aged child.

By Debbie Farmer

Need a Day Off?

Two factory workers were talking. "I think I'll take some time off from work." said the man. "How do you think you'll do that?" said the blonde.

He proceeded to show her... by climbing up to the rafters, and hanging upside down.

The boss walked in, saw the worker hanging from the ceiling, and asked him what on earth he was doing?

"I'm a light bulb" answered the guy.

"I think you need some time off," said the boss.

So, the man jumped down and walked out of the factory. The blonde began walking out too.

The boss asked her where did she think she was going?

The blonde answered, "Home, I can't work in the dark".

Office Call

A woman went to the doctor's office where she was seen by one of the new doctors, but after about 4 minutes in the examination room, she burst out, screaming as she ran down the hall.

An older doctor stopped her and asked what the problem was, and she told Him her story. After listening, he had her sit down and relax in another room.

The older doctor marched down the hallway to the back where the first Doctor was and demanded, "What's the matter with you? Mrs. Terry is 63 years old, she has four grown children and seven grandchildren, and you told her she was pregnant?!"

The new doctor continued to write on his clipboard and without looking up said, "Does she still have the hiccups?"

Monday, September 20, 2004

Thought for the day. . .

You sound reasonable...Time to up my medication.

Spontaneous Combustion

God has a sense of humor.

After being raised with two sisters I obviously know more about girlie things (like fixing broken fingernails and color-coordinating shirts and socks) than boy stuff (like emitting loud bodily eruptions and wrestling). So of course God blessed me with three boys, all who are currently under 11 years of age. Before you send me condolences, you should know that I also have a daughter - a thirteen-going-on-twenty-five-know-it-all sweet thing of a princess.

While I impart my feminine wisdom to my daughter, I don't quite know what I'm teaching to my boys because all they want to do is fight, wrestle, pass wind, and then giggle hysterically while fighting some more. I asked my pediatrician if this was normal and he just laughed at me.

When my sisters and I fought we did it subtly with Indian burns, pulling hair, and pinching so that Momma rarely got involved and our punishment was minimum. Boys, however, skip the pleasantries and go all out hoping for an audience.

While the tyranny of the War Between the Siblings rages on, most battles are between my oldest two boys, Josh and Nick, or as I like to call them, "Matches" and "Gasoline." As soon as they get close to each other, they ignite and make me go ballistic.

A typical fight usually starts with Gasoline watching his favorite cartoon with Matches. Matches gets right next to Gasoline - so close that you could barely put a saltshaker between them. Obviously, Matches is in Gasoline's space, so Gasoline cracks his knuckles and scoots a few inches away from Matches. Matches hates cracking knuckles, so he stretches and yawns, lightly touching Gasoline's leg (on purpose) in the process.

Gasoline's retaliates with cracking his neck and a stern, "Stop it, Josh."

Matches smirks, "Whut?"

Gasoline goes back to his cartoon and Matches tries another tack - he starts his nerve-grating high-pitched giggle. (I hate this wicked laugh of his, it's the equivalent to Chinese water torture and if Matches is ever drafted into the army, I'll recommend that he be put in some kind of special unit so that his shrill chuckle can be used for good instead of evil.)

Gasoline glares, cracks his toes and grunts, "Stop it, freak!"

Matches crosses his eyes at Gasoline and continues giggling ... louder. Gasoline ignites and starts pounding Matches who begins running through the house (giggling of course).

By now, preschooler Jake, or "Lucky Strike," joins the tussle. He doesn't take sides, but just enjoys squealing like a pig and landing a few lucky punches here and there. As usual, Lucky Strike will be struck; he'll land on his fanny and the happy squeals become hurt howls.

Enter stage left, my daughter Ashley, AKA, "Princess Punches." She's upset because the bellowing baby is interfering with her 47-way phone call. She hands Lucky Strike a sucker, puts him at a safe distance, and then smacks Matches upside his head with the edge of her foot. Next, she backhands Gasoline with the cordless phone - never breaking stride on her way to the computer to text chat with the other souls that she couldn't reach on the telephone. It's like watching a live kung fu tournament.

The boys are momentarily put off by their sister's anger (and strength), but since there's nothing else to do, Matches starts his giggling again and Gasoline pounces, bashing Matches into Princess Punches and … horror of horrors … knocking the batteries out of the phone. Lucky Strike flings his sucker and then his tiny fat fists into the fray. It's a wriggling mass of body parts.

Now I get involved, grabbing the closest things available, an over-ripe banana and paper plate for weapons. I deflect blows with my paper plate shield and threaten the kids with the banana, "Y'all stop it! Don't make me use this!"

Everyone freezes and looks questioningly at the banana in my trembling hand. Afraid of my fruity wrath, they stop the hostilities, for the moment. I've learned to bring my own weapons of mass destruction to a forced ceasefire because the last time I approached the mighty warriors unarmed, I sprained my wrist during one spontaneous combustion.

When everyone calms down, I'll be the only one that's still upset. When I sit back down to write - I get even more angrier because a) my train of thought derailed and b) there's no way to write humor when I'm spittin' mad.

Like breathing, fighting with siblings is a natural thing. When my two sisters and I argued, my mom - an only child - would cry, "Why can't you girls get along? I wish that I would've had a sister, we never would've fought!"

Yeah right. She never experienced the agony of catching a younger sister wearing her favorite shirt or the frustration of a big sister using all the hot water. Don't even get me started on sharing telephone time with two sisters.

Recently when I broke up a fight between Princess and the Flammable Brothers, I started to give Ashley the brothers-ain't-that-bad-and-I-would-never-have-fought-with-my-brother spiel, but I stopped myself when I heard Josh start his evil giggling. It's possible that if I'd had brothers, my momma would've run away from home to live in a nice padded room.

There's another lesson I learned about siblings of all kinds, they might fight, argue, slap, pinch, pull hair, and blow wind at each other, but by golly, nobody else can! They'll fight to the death if anyone dares to cross their sister or brother.

God has a great sense of humor and I know that He also has great sense!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Hindsight is 20/20

Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.
-- "Popular Mechanics," forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.
-- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.
-- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

This "telephone" has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.
-- Western Union internal memo, 1876.

The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?
-- David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a "C," the idea must be feasible.
-- A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.

I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary Cooper.
-- Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in "Gone With The Wind."

We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.
-- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.
-- Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

So we went to Atari and said, "Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you." And they said, "No." So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, "Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet."
-- Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.

This fellow Charles Lindbergh will never make it. He's doomed.
-- Harry Guggenheim, millionaire aviation enthusiast.

Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.
-- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.
-- Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.

Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances.
-- Dr. Lee De Forest, inventor of the vacuum tube and father of television.

Everything that can be invented has been invented.
-- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

Sign in Coffee Shop....

"Unattended children will be given a double shot of espresso and a puppy"

Mom Just Can't Be Sick!

(Notes pinned to the pillow of a mother who has the flu by her well-meaning husband.)

Monday A.M.
Dearest: Sleep late. Everything under control. Lunches packed. Kids off to school. Menu for dinner planned. Your lunch is on a tray in refrigerator: fruit cup, finger-sandwiches. Thermos of hot tea by bedside. See you around six.

Tuesday A.M.
Honey: Sorry about the egg rack in the refrigerator. Hope you got back to sleep. Did the kids tell you about the Coke I put in the Thermoses? The school might call you on this. Dinner may be a little late. I'm doing your door-to-door canvas for liver research. Your lunch is in refrigerator. Hope you like leftover chili.

Wednesday A.M.
Dear Doris: Why in the name of all that is sane would you put soap powder in the flour canister! If you have time, could you please come up with a likely spot for Chris's missing shoes? We've checked the clothes hamper, garage, back seat of the car and wood box. Did you know the school has a ruling on bedroom slippers? There's some cold pizza for you on a napkin in the oven drawer. Will be late tonight. Driving eight Girl Scouts to tour meatpacking house.

Thursday A.M.
Doris: Don't panic over water in hallway. It crested last night at 9 P.M. Will finish laundry tonight. Please pencil in answers to following:
1. How do you turn on the garbage disposal?
2. Why would that rotten kid leave his shoes in his boots?
3. How do you remove a Confederate flag inked on the palm of a small boy's hand?
4. What do you do with leftovers when they begin to snap at you when you open the door? I don't know what you're having for lunch! Surprise me!

Friday A.M.
Hey: Don't drink from pitcher by the sink. Am trying to restore pink dress shirt to original white. Take heart. Tonight, the ironing will be folded, the house cleaned and the dinner on time. I called your mother.

A Vet Funny

A man runs into the vet's office carrying his dog, screaming for help. The vet rushes him back to an examination room and has him put his dog down on the examination table. The vet examines the still, limp body and after a few moments tells the man that his dog, regrettably, is dead. The man, clearly agitated and not willing to accept this, demands a second opinion.

The vet goes into the back room and comes out with a cat and puts the cat down next to the dog's body. The cat sniffs the body, walks from head to tail poking and sniffing the dog's body and finally looks at the vet and meows. The vet looks at the man and says, "I'm sorry, but the cat thinks that your dog is dead too."

The man is still unwilling to accept that his dog is dead.

The vet brings in a black Labrador. The lab sniffs the body, walks from head to tail, and finally looks at the vet and barks. The vet looks at the man and says, "I'm sorry, but the lab thinks your dog is dead too."

The man, finally resigned to the diagnosis, thanks the vet and asks how much he owes. The vet answers, "$650."

"$650 to tell me my dog is dead?" exclaimed the man....

"Well," the vet replies, "I would only have charged you $50 for my initial diagnosis. The additional $600 was for the cat scan and lab test."