My stepfather, God bless his crusty old heart, loves to send me chain mail. You know, the kind of crap people find mildly humorous, somewhat witty and/or otherwise worthy of wasting their employer's money passing around the office. People have been doing this since the "office" as we know it today was first invented by engineers from IBM in 1885 shortly after the erection of the first skyscraper, Chicago's long-demolished Home Insurance Building, in 1884. This, along with the mimeograph machines and typewriters already in existence, gave ordinary people a vastly more efficient method of spreading their stupid jokes around. Now, thanks to email, this can happen at damn near the speed of light. And I'm tired of receiving this crap, the detritus of human thought at which people smile & nod and then send on to others with a thoughtless click of a "forward" button. Here's a small sample of what's out there, along with a few notes and/or observations I made while actually thinking about what I was reading.
- Why do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front? This is largely due to government regulations. The drugs sold at the back are designated as controlled substances which must be sold from a highly secured location. Cigarettes, however, suffer from no such designation and may be sold from mere 'secured' locations. Those old enough ought to remember the days when cigarettes were a) promoted in advertisements by doctors as completely and totally harmless, and b) sold in purpose-built vending machines which could be found in nearly every lobby in America. Given current trends, they'll soon likely be sold in the back as well, and everyone in the store will give you dirty looks while twelve-year-olds buying condoms won't even merit a cursory glance.
- Why do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters? Because banks are businesses. Businesses, by definition, need a steady flow of paying customers in order to turn a profit and thus stay in business. Locked doors tend to inhibit customer traffic. No, really: Just try walking through a locked door. Providing each and every customer with a brand new pen each and every time they visit, however, eventually costs a whole helluva lot of money, thus impacting bank's ability to turn a profit and stay in business. Besides, taking the pen is just petty theft, so why do you do it?
- Why do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage?
- If you think it's worthless why do you keep it around, numbnuts?
- Take all your junk outside, put your car in your garage and see how long your stuff lasts sitting outside exposed to the elements. And thieves. Your car is designed to be exposed to said elements and/or thieves; I'm willing to bet the rest of your stuff isn't.
- Why do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight? Because that's how they're packaged and sold. If you had a brain, you would've asked, "Why are hot dogs sold in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight?" Then I would be able to tell you that this is because hot dogs are made out of meat, meat byproducts and/or animal matter of some kind. This means they (the hot dogs) were made by butchers, and butchers like to sell the stuff they make by the pound. Ten hot dogs equal one pound, which keeps the math pretty easy because, let's face it, if they were good at math they wouldn't be making a living by chopping living creatures into meal-sized portions.
Bakers, however, are evil bastards who hate multiples of ten.
- Why do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering? This, too, is due largely to government regulations. Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is now a federal crime to discriminate against the "differently-abled" in any way, shape or form, including but not limited to making them feel discriminated against. This is why wherever you go all the good parking spaces are a) painted blue, and b) almost always empty, because there just aren't that many handicapped people around. This is also why drive-up ATMs have Braille keypads. Because they (ATMs) must be accessible to and by the blind, ATM manufacturers have two choices: 1) Make two different types of keypads for walk-up and drive-up machines, or 2) Make only one kind of keypad, which would be cheaper.
Alternatively, you could drive your blind friend to the bank and make use of the drive-through ATM. That is, of course, if you were kind enough to do such a thing. Instead, you spend your time thinking up things like this.
- Why does the sun lighten our hair, but darkens our skin? Your hair is dead, therefore it can't produce more pigment to replace the pigment bleached by sunlight. Your skin, however, is quite alive and the tanning process is a positive defensive reaction to keep your body from absorbing too much sunlight, which can give you cancer. And wicked sunburns.
- Why don't you ever see the headline 'Psychic Wins Lottery'?
- Because most psychics are frauds.
- Even if they weren't and could predict the winning numbers and told everybody, the lotteries would collapse; they don't actually have all that money just lying around to give to the winners, and if everybody had a winning ticket then everybody would have to share the jackpot with, well, everybody.
- If I was a psychic and knew the winning numbers, why would I want to tell anybody else?
- Why is 'abbreviated' such a long word? Here's another long word for you, genius: etymology. Find a dictionary. Look it up. If you can.
- Why is it that doctors call what they do 'practice'? See above. That means the answer to your previous brilliant question also applies to this one.
- Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons? Been drinking your Palmolive again, have you? That explains a lot.
- Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker? Again, see no. 8.
- Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour? See above. If you can.
- Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food? Once you're done with the Palmolive, go right ahead and start licking mice. I hope you enjoy hemorrhagic fevers.
- Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes? Because he was saving life, not destroying it. Besides, we invented DDT, which is entirely harmless to humans. Now if only we could actually use the stuff . . .
- Why don't sheep shrink when it rains? Wool doesn't shrink, it felts. And sheep aren't made out of wool, they're made mostly out of meat. Wool just grows on them.
- Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together? See no. 8 and blame the Italians. Or the French. Or anybody who speaks a Romance language.
- If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress? Yes. And what progress Congress manages to make is usually in the wrong direction. This is why our Founding Fathers gave Congress specific and limited powers so that they wouldn't be able to muck everything up the way they do now. They can muck everything up now thanks to American Progressivism, a 19th century political movement which sought to do away with limited constitutional government and replace it with unlimited constitutional government. This has been the guiding philosophy of American politics and governance for pert-near a century now, and you can see how well that's worked out. Remember this the next time you meet someone who self-identifies as a "progressive."
- If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal? The airport is not the terminal; the building within the airport where you board and exit the plane is called the terminal. And the terminal is where your flight ends, brainiac, not your life. To find out why the term "terminal" is used, get a clue and see no. 8.
And Pappy, you're good at math, so stop sending me this shit.
P.S.: Send this to ten people and then there'll be ten more people in this world who have documented proof that you're an idiot.