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Jokes and Stories: Culture and Religion

We all live in groups and, deny it though we try, our groups have characteristics, sometimes funny ones. It is a time-honored form of humor, OK, so don't be too hard on me. Oh heck, these are just hilarious and I don't care what you think.

Note: I have no idea where these items originated, with the exceptions noted. If one of them came from your fertile mind or hapless life, then let me know and I'll say that you claimed credit for it. Also, please tell me if any of this information is subject to copyright limitations and I will remove it immediately.

The Doctrine of Feline Sedentation (Anonymous)
God's Total Quality Control Survey (Anonymous)
Actual Bloopers from Church Bulletins and Services (Anonymous)
Religious Light Bulb Jokes
(Anonymous)
Mahatma Gandhi
(Anonymous)
Priest and Rabbi Meet on a Plane
(Anonymous)
One of the Great Cultural Conflicts of our Time
(Anonymous)
Jewish and Chinese Calendars
(Anonymous)
Important Messages Need Important Messengers
(Anonymous)
Church on Fire
(Anonymous)
The Unofficial Anglican Cathechism
(Anonymous)
Preparing for Jewish New Year
(Anonymous)
Brides of Christ
(Anonymous)
The Pope Goes to Heaven
(Anonymous)
The Great Programming Contest
(Anonymous)
Church Humor
(Anonymous)
Progressing With Time
(Anonymous)
Traditional Values
(Anonymous)
Advertising Culture
(Anonymous)
Postmodernism Meets Talk-TV Culture
(Anonymous)
On the Golf Course
(Anonymous)
God and the Officials
(Anonymous)
Jesus Hears about Christology
(Anonymous)
Things you will never hear a Southerner say
(Anonymous)
The Irishman at the Pub
(Anonymous)
Amish Technology
(Anonymous)
URA Redneck if...
(Anonymous)
The Fight over the Engineer
(Anonymous)
Synagogue Dog
(Anonymous)
God Scandal
(Anonymous)
The New Robe (Anonymous)
Four Catholic Ladies (Anonymous)
Promotions (Anonymous)
Good Question (Anonymous)
Theology vs. Astronomy (Anonymous)
He Coulda Been a Doctor or a Lawyer (Anonymous)

Martha Stewart's Tips for Rednecks (Anonymous)
Ruth and Golda (Anonymous)
Funny Statistics (Anonymous)
You Might be a Methodist if... (Anonymous)
Irony Arrives in the USA (from herdofsheep.com)
Go Irish (Anonymous)
Jewish Haiku Brilliance (David M. Bader)
Good Answer (Anonymous)
Who says Rednecks aren't Real Bright?? (Anonymous)
Texas Versus Australia (Anonymous)
In the Beginning (Anonymous)
Presidential Election Bumper Stickers (Anonymous)
Patron Saint of Contested Elections (Anonymous)
Legal Ethics (Anonymous)
It's Debatable (Anonymous)
Water Anyone (Anonymous)

The Doctrine of the Feline Sedentation...

How would the Church of England deal with "the cat sat on the mat" if it appeared in the Bible?

The liberal theologians would point out that such a passage did not of course mean that the cat literally sat on the mat. Also, cat and mat had different meanings in those days from today, and anyway, the text should be interpreted according to the customs and practices of the period.

This would lead to an immediate backlash from the Evangelicals. They would make it an essential condition of faith that a real physical, living cat, being a domestic pet of the Felix Domesticus species, and having a whiskered head and furry body, four legs and a tail, did physically place its whole body on a floor covering, designed for that purpose, which is on the floor but not of the floor. The expression "on the floor but not of the floor" would be explained in a leaflet.

Meanwhile, the Catholics would have developed the Festival of the Sedentation of the Blessed Cat. This would teach that the cat was white and majestically reclined on a mat of gold thread before its assumption to the Great Cat Basket of Heaven. This would be commemorated by the singing of the Magnificat, lighting three candles, and ringing a bell five times. This would cause a schism withthe Orthodox Church which would believe that tradition would require Holy Cats Day [as it would be colloquially known] to be marked by lighting six candles and ringing the bell four times. This would be partly resolved by the Cuckoo Land Declaration recognising the traditional validity of each.

Eventually, the House of Bishops would issue a statement on the Doctrine of the Feline Sedentation. It would explain that traditionally the text describes a domestic feline quadruped superjacent to an unattached covering on a fundamental surface. For determining its salvific and eschatological significations, it would follow the heuristic analytical principles adopted in dealing with the Canine Fenestration Question [How much is that doggie in the window?] and the Affirmative Musaceous Paradox [Yes, we have no bananas]. And so on, for another 210 pages.

The General Synod would then commend this report as helpful resource material for clergy to explain to the man in the pew the difficult doctrine of the cat sat on the mat.

God's Total Quality Control Survey...

One of the marks of the truly religious God-believer is his or her willingness to speak their mind honestly to God, much as King David did in the Psalms. Well, whether everything in your family is going well, or disaster has struck again, here is a way to send God some feedback. (Delivery instructions not included.)

GOD'S TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT QUESTIONNAIRE

God would like to thank you for your belief and patronage. In order to better serve your needs, He asks that you take a few moments to answer the following questions. Please keep in mind that your responses will be kept completely confidential, and that you need not disclose your name or address unless you prefer a direct response to comments or suggestions.

1. How did you find out about God?
__Newspaper __Other Book __Television __Divine Inspiration __Word of mouth __Near Death Experience __Bible __Torah __Other

2. Are you currently using any other source of inspiration in addition to God? Please check all that apply.
__Tarot __Lottery __Horoscope __Television __Fortune cookies __Ann Landers __Self-help books __Sex __Biorythms __Alcohol or drugs __Insurance policies __Mantras __None __Other: _____________________

3. God employs a limited degree of Divine Intervention to preserve the balanced level of felt presence and blind faith. Which would you prefer (circle one)?
a. More Divine Intervention
b. Less Divine Intervention
c. Current level of Divine Intervention is just right
d. Don't know

4. God also attempts to maintain a balanced level of disasters and miracles. Please rate on a scale of 1-5 the divine handling of the following (1=unsatisfactory, 5=excellent):
a. Disasters (flood, famine, earthquake, war) 1 2 3 4 5
b. Miracles (rescues, spontaneous remission of disease, sports upsets) 1 2 3 4 5

5. Do you have any additional comments or suggestions for improving the quality of God's services? (Attach an additional sheet if necessary):
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

Actual Bloopers from Church Bulletins and Services...

Our next song is "Angels We Have Heard Get High".

Don't let worry kill you--let the church help.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.

For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

Weight Watchers will meet a 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

Jean will be leading a weight-management series Wednesday nights. She's used the program herself and has been growing like crazy!

The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan Belzer, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Julius Belzer.

This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.

Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk will please come early.

This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.

The service will close with Little Drops of Water. One of the ladies will start quietly and the rest of the congregation will join in.

Next Sunday a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the carpet should come forward and do so.

The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They can be seen in the church basement Saturday.

Thursday night--Potluck supper. Prayer and medication to follow.

Eight new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

The senior choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.

At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.

During the absence of our pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when A. B. Doe supplied our pulpit.

The Rev. Adams spoke briefly, much to the delight of his audience.

The church is glad to have with us today as our guest minister the Rev. Shirley Green, who has Mrs. Green with him. After the service we request that all remain in the sanctuary for the Hanging of the Greens.

The eighth graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet" in the church basement on Friday at 7 p.m. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

The 1991 Spring Council Retreat will be hell May 10 and 11.

Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to church secretary.

Please join us as we show our support for Amy and Alan in preparing for the girth of their first child.

Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

Religious Light Bulb Jokes...

How many Charismatics does it take to change a light bulb?

One to change the bulb and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

How many Calvinists does it take to change a light bulb?

None. God has predestined when the light will be on. Calvinists do not change light bulbs. They simply read the instructions and pray the light bulb will be one that has been chosen to be changed.

How many Baptists does it take to change a light bulb?

Change???

How many neo-orthodox does it take to change a bulb?

No one knows. They can't tell the difference between light and darkness.

How many TV evangelists does it take to change a light bulb?

One. But for the message of light to continue, send in your donation today.

How many independent fundamentalists does it take to change a light bulb?

Only one, because any more might result in too much cooperation.

How many liberals does it take to change a light bulb?

At least ten, as they need to hold a debate on whether or not the light bulb exists. Even if they can agree upon the existence of the light bulb, they still might not change it, to keep from alienating those who might use other forms of light.

How many Catholics does it take to change a light bulb?

None. They always use candles.

How many worship leaders who use guitars does it take to change a light bulb?

One. But soon all those around can warm up to its glowing.

How many members of an established Bible teaching church that is over 20 years old does it take to change a light bulb?

One to actually change the bulb, and nine to say how much they liked the old one.

How many United Methodists does it take to change a light bulb?

This statement was issued: "We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that a light bulb works for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relationship with your light bulb (or light source, or non-dark resource), and present it next month at our annual light bulb Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-life, and tinted-all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence."

How many Amish does it take to change a light bulb?

"What's a light bulb?"

How many youth pastors does it take to change a light bulb?

Youth pastors aren't around long enough for a light bulb to burn out.

How many Southern Baptists does it take to change a light bulb?

109. Seven on the Light Bulb Task Force Subcommittee, who report to the 12 on the Light Bulb Task Force, appointed by the 15 on the Trustee Board. Their recommendation is reviewed by the Finance Executive Committee of 5, who place it on the agenda of the 18 member Finance Committee. If they approve, they bring a motion to the 27 member Church Council, who appoint another 12 member review committee. If they recommend that the Church Council proceed, a resolution is brought to the Convention floor. They appoint another 8 member review committee. If their report to the next Convention supports the changing of a light bulb, and the Convention votes in favor, the responsibility to carry out the light bulb change is passed on to the Trustee Board, who in turn appoint a 7 member committee to find the best price in new light bulbs. Their recommendation of which hardware has the best buy must then be reviewed by the 23 member Ethics Committee to make certain that this hardware store has no connection to the Walt Disney Corporation. They report back to the Trustee Board who, then commissions the Trustee in charge of the Janitor to ask him to make the change. By then the janitor discovers that one more light bulb has burned out.

Mahatma Gandhi...

Mahatma Gandhi, the celebrated religious leader walked mostly in his bare feet, so his feet became very hard-skinned and gnarly. He also fasted a lot and when he did eat it was sparingly and often not very nutritious. This left him weak and with permanent bad breath. Causing one follower to remark 'Here comes the super callused fragile mystic, plagued with halitosis.'

Priest and Rabbi Meet on a Plane...

The Dali Lama once commented that we should look for what spiritual paths have in common rather than the differences. Case in point:

A Priest and a Rabbi are riding in a plane. After a while, the Priest turns to the Rabbi and asks, "Is it still a requirement of your faith that you not eat pork?"

The Rabbi responds, "Yes that is still one of our beliefs." The Priest then asks, "Have you ever eaten pork?" To which the Rabbi replies, "Yes on one occasion I did succumb to temptation and tasted pork." The Priest nodded in understanding and went on with his reading.

A while later, the Rabbi spoke up and asked the Priest, "Father, is it still a requirement of your church that you remain celibate?" The Priest replied, "Yes, that is still very much a part of our faith." The Rabbi then asked him, "Father, have you ever fallen to the temptations of :the flesh?" The Priest replied, "Yes Rabbi, on one occasion I was weak and broke with my faith."

The Rabbi nodded understandingly for a moment and then said, "A lot better than pork isn't it?"

One of the Great Cultural Conflicts of our Time...

WARNING: One of my otherwise enthusiastic readers asked me to remove this particular joke on the grounds that it is so cavalier about the suffering of the Iraqi people in recent years. I almost went along with the suggestion but then decided just to post this extra warning label. If this joke has to go, then virtually everything else on this page has to go too. 

Saddam Hussein and Bill Clinton meet up in Baghdad for the first round of talks in a new peace process. When Bill sits down, he notices three buttons on the side of Saddam's chair.

They begin talking. After about five minutes Saddam presses the first button. A boxing glove springs out of a box on the desk and punches Clinton in the face.

Confused, Clinton carries on talking as Saddam laughs. A few minutes later the second button is pressed. This time a big boot comes out and kicks Clinton in the shin. Again Saddam laughs, and again Clinton carries on talking, not wanting to put off the bigger issue of peace between the two countries.

But when the third button is pressed and another boot comes out and kicks Clinton in the privates, he's finally had enough, knowing that he can't do much without them functioning well.

"I'm going back home!" he tells the Iraqi. "We'll finish these talks in two weeks!"

A fortnight passes and Saddam flies to the United States for talks. As the two men sit down, Hussein notices three buttons on Clinton's chair and prepares himself for the Yank's revenge.

They begin talking and Bill presses the first button. Saddam ducks, but nothing happens. Clinton snickers. A few seconds later he presses the second button. Saddam jumps up, but again nothing happens. Clinton roars with laughter. When the third button is pressed, Saddam jumps up again, and again nothing happens. Clinton falls on the floor in a fit of hysterics.

"Forget this," says Saddam. "I'm going back to Baghdad!"

Clinton says through tears of laughter, "What Baghdad?"

Jewish and Chinese Calendars...

A Hebrew teacher stood in front of his classroom and said, "The Jewish people have observed their 5,759th year as a people. Consider that the Chinese, for example, have only observed their 4,692nd year as a people. What does that mean to you?"

After a moment of silence, one student raised his hand.

"Yes, David," the teacher said. "What does that mean?"

"It means that the Jews had to do without Chinese food for 1,063 years."

Important Messages Need Important Messengers...

Yeltsin, Clinton and Bill Gates are invited to have dinner with God. During dinner he tells them: "I need three important persons to send my message out to all people. My message is this: Tomorrow I will destroy the earth."

Yeltsin immediately calls together his cabinet and tells them: "I have two really bad news items for you: 1) God really exists and 2) Tomorrow He will destroy the earth".

Clinton calls an emergency meeting of the Senate and Congress and tells them: "I have good news and bad news: 1) The GOOD news is that God really does exist. 2) The BAD news, tomorrow He is going to destroy the earth."

Bill Gates goes back to Microsoft and very happily reports: "I have two fantastic announcements: 1) I am one of the three most important people on earth. 2) The Year 2000 problem is solved."

Church on Fire...

During a recent ecumenical gathering, a secretary rushed into the meeting shouting, The building is on fire!"

The Methodists immediately gathered in the corner and prayed.

The Baptists cried, "Where is the water?"

The Quakers quietly praised God for the blessings that fire brings.

The Lutherans posted a notice on the door, declaring the fire was evil.

The Roman Catholics passed the plate to cover the damage.

The Jews posted symbols on the doors, hoping the fire would pass.

The Congregationalists shouted, "Every man for himself!"

The Fundamentalists proclaimed, "It's the vengeance of God!"

The Episcopalians formed a procession and marched out.

The Christian Scientists concluded there was no fire.

The Presbyterians appointed a chairperson who was to appoint a committee to look into the matter and submit a written report.

The secretary grabbed the fire extinguisher and put the fire out.

The Unofficial Anglican Cathechism...

The Real Working Beliefs of Most Episcopalians (much of the same could be said for Presbyterians...)

Episcopalians occasionally believe in miracles and sometimes even expect them, particularly during stewardship canvasses or when electing bishops or vicars, or recruiting church school teachers.

Episcopalians believe in ecumenical dialogue because they are certain that after all is said and done, everyone else is bound to become Episcopalian.

Episcopalians strongly believe in Scripture, tradition and reason. While they aren't sure what they believe about these three things, there is almost universal agreement that that is hardly the point.

Episcopalians believe that everything in their life and faith is improved by the presence of good food and drink, not including lime-carrot jello, tropical punch koolaid, or canned tuna fish in any form.

Episcopalians believe that anything worth doing is especially worth doing if it has an obscure title attached to it (e.g. sexton, thurifer, suffragan, canon, dean).

Likewise, Episcopalians believe that any place worth visiting is greatly enhanced by a name that only obliquely describes it (e.g., nave, narthex, sacristy, undercroft, church school supply room).

Episcopalians firmly believe that coffee hour is the eighth sacrament, but only if the coffee is caffeinated.

Episcopalians believe that anthems are most efficacious if sung in Latin or German, especially during Lent.

Episcopalians generally believe that they are the only people God trusts enough to take the summers off from Church.

Some Episcopalians believe Rite I is the best expression of the liturgy. Some believe Rite II is better. Most Episcopalians haven't noticed the difference; they just hope the whole thing gets over before noon.

Preparing for Jewish New Year...

As prelude to the Jewish New Year—especially its Tashlich ceremony, which rids one of an entire prior year of sins—just taking a few crumbs from whatever old bread is in the house lacks subtlety and religious sensitivity. Consider these alternatives...

For ordinary sins, use White Bread

For erotic sins, French Bread

For particularly dark sins, Pumpernickel

For complex sins, Multigrain

For twisted sins, Pretzel

For tasteless sins, Rice Cakes

For sins of indecision, Waffles

For sins committed in haste, Matzo

For sins committed in less than 18 minutes, Shmura Matzo

For sins of Chutzpah, Fresh Bread

For substance abuse, Poppy Seed

For inhaling, Stoned Wheat

For committing arson, Toast

For committing auto theft, Caraway

For being ill/tempered, Sourdough

For silliness, Nut Bread

For not giving full value, Short Bread

For war/mongering, Kaiser Rolls

For immodest dressing, Tarts

For causing injury or damage to others, Torts

For promiscuity, Hot Buns

For davening off tune, Flat Bread

For being holier than thou, Bagels

For unfairly upbraiding another, Challa

For trashing the environment, Dumplings

For sins of laziness, Any Very Long loaf

For sins of pride, Puff Pastry

For sins of the righteous, Angel Food Cake

For selling your soul, Devil's Food Cake

For lust in your heart, Wonder Bread

Brides of Christ...

At a mass at which some young ladies were to take their finals vows to become nuns, the bishop presiding noticed two rabbis enter the church just before the mass began. They were seated at the back of the sanctuary and insisted on sitting on the right side of the center aisle.

The bishop wondered why they had come but didn't have time to inquire before the mass began. When it came time for some announcements, his curiousity got the best of him. He announced that he was delighted to see two rabbis in their midst at the mass but, was curious as to why they were present at this occasion where the young ladies were to become the "brides of Christ."

The eldest of the rabbis slowly rose to his feet and explained, "Family of the Groom."

The Pope Goes to Heaven...

An enormously popular and beloved Pope, after a long reign, dies and, naturally, goes to heaven. He's met by the reception committee, and after a whirlwind tour he is told that he can enjoy any of the myriad of recreations available.

The pope, having always loved the bible, decides that he wants to read all of the original records of God's communications with humanity before they were received and written down by human beings. He spends the next eon or so learning languages.

After becoming a linguistic master, he sits down in the library and begins to pour over every version of the Bible, working back from the most recent "Easy Reading" to the original records of divine communication.

All of a sudden there is a scream in the library that echos throughout the gold-paved streets of the heavenly city. The angels come running in only to find the Pope huddled in his chair, crying to himself and muttering, "An 'R'! The scribes left out the 'R'."

A particularly concerned Angel takes him aside, offering comfort, asks him what the problem is and what does he mean. After collecting his wits, the Pope sobs again, "It's the letter 'R'. They left out the 'R'. The word was supposed to be CELEBRATE!"

The Great Programming Contest...

Jesus and Satan have a discussion as to who is the better programmer. This goes on for a few hours until they come to an agreement to hold a contest, with God as the judge. They set themselves before their computers and begin. They type furiously, lines of code streaming up the screen, for several hours straight.

Seconds before the end of the competition, a bolt of lightning strikes, taking out the electricity. Moments later, the power is restored, and God announces that the contest is over.

He asks Satan to show what he has come up with. Satan is visibly upset, and cries, "I have nothing. I lost it all when the power went out."

"Very well, then," says God, "let us see if Jesus fared any better."

Jesus enters a command, and the screen comes to life in vivid display, the voices of an angelic choir pour forth from the speakers.

Satan is astonished. He stutters, "B-b-but how?! I lost everything, yet Jesus' program is intact! How did he do it?"

God chuckles, "Everybody knows... Jesus saves."

Church Humor...

A Woman went to the Post Office to buy stamps for her Christmas  cards. "What denomination?" Asked the clerk. "Oh, good heavens!  Have we come to this?" said the woman. "Well give me 50 Baptist and 50 Catholic ones."

On a very cold, snowy Sunday in February, only the pastor and one  farmer arrived at the village church. The pastor said, "Well, I  guess we won't have a service today." The farmer replied: "Heck, if even only one cow shows up at feeding time, I feed it."

During a children's sermon, Rev. Larry Eisenberg asked the children  what "Amen" means. A little boy raised his hand and said: "It means 'Tha-tha-tha-that's all folks!' "

A student was asked to list the 10 Commandments in any order. His answer? "3, 6, 1, 8, 4, 5, 9, 2, 10, 7".

I was at the beach with my children when my four-year-old son ran up to me, grabbed my hand, and led me to the shore, where a sea gull lay dead in the sand. "Mommy, what happened to him?" the little boy asked. "He died and went to Heaven," I replied. My son thought a moment and then said, "And God threw him back down?"

Bill Keane, creator of the Family Circus cartoon strip tells of a time when he was penciling one of his cartoons and his son Jeffy said, "Daddy, how do you know what to draw?" I said, "God tells me." Jeffy said, "Then why do you keep erasing parts of it?"

After the church service, a little boy told the pastor: "When I grow up, I'm going to give you some money." "Well, thank you," the pastor replied, "but why?" "Because my daddy says you're one of the poorest preachers we've ever had."

My wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to our six-year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?" I wouldn't know what to say," she replied. "Just say what you ear Mommy say," my wife said. Our daughter bowed her head and said: "Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"

Progressing With Time...

2000 B.C. - Here, eat this root.

1000 A.D. - That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.

1850 A.D. - That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.

1940 A.D. - That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.

1985 A.D. - That pill is ineffective. Here, take this antibiotic.

2000 A.D. - That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root.

Traditional Values...

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- NASA engineers and mathematicians in this high-tech city are stunned and infuriated after the Alabama state legislature narrowly passed a law yesterday redefining pi, a mathematical constant used in the aerospace industry. The bill to change the value of pi to exactly three was introduced without fanfare by Leonard Lee Lawson (R, Crossville), and rapidly gained support after a letter-writing campaign by members of the Solomon Society, a traditional values group. Governor Fob James says he will sign it into law on Wednesday.

The law took the state's engineering community by surprise. "It would have been nice if they had consulted with someone who actually uses pi," said Marshall Bergman, a manager at the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization. According to Bergman, pi is a Greek letter that signifies the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It is often used by engineers to calculate missile trajectories.

Prof. Kim Johanson, a mathematician from University of Alabama, said that pi is a universal constant, and cannot arbitrarily be changed by lawmakers. Johanson explained that pi is an irrational number, which means that it has an infinite number of digits after the decimal point and can never be known exactly. Nevertheless, she said, pi is precisely defined by mathematics to be "3.14159, plus as many more digits as you have time to calculate".

"I think that it is the mathematicians that are being irrational, and it is time for them to admit it," said Lawson. "The Bible very clearly says in I Kings 7:23 that the alter font of Solomon's Temple was ten cubits across and thirty cubits in diameter, and that it was round in compass."

Lawson called into question the usefulness of any number that cannot be calculated exactly, and suggested that never knowing the exact answer could harm students' self-esteem. "We need to return to some absolutes in our society," he said, "the Bible does not say that the font was thirty-something cubits. Plain reading says thirty cubits. Period."

Science supports Lawson, explains Russell Humbleys, a propulsion technician at the Marshall Spaceflight Center who testified in support of the bill before the legislature in Montgomery on Monday. "Pi is merely an artifact of Euclidean geometry."

Humbleys is working on a theory which he says will prove that pi is determined by the geometry of three-dimensional space, which is assumed by physicists to be "isotropic", or the same in all directions. "There are other geometries, and pi is different in every one of them," says Humbleys. Scientists have arbitrarily assumed that space is Euclidean, he says. He points out that a circle drawn on a spherical surface has a different value for the ratio of circumference to diameter. "Anyone with a compass, flexible ruler, and globe can see for themselves," suggests Humbleys, "it's not exactly rocket science."

Roger Learned, a Solomon Society member who was in Montgomery to support the bill, agrees. He said that pi is nothing more than an assumption by the mathematicians and engineers who were there to argue against the bill. "These nabobs waltzed into the capital with an arrogance that was breathtaking," Learned said. "Their prefatorial deficit resulted in a polemical stance at absolute contraposition to the legislature's puissance."

Some education experts believe that the legislation will affect the way math is taught to Alabama's children. One member of the state school board, Lily Ponja, is anxious to get the new value of pi into the state's math textbooks, but thinks that the old value should be retained as an alternative. She said, "As far as I am concerned, the value of pi is only a theory, and we should be open to all interpretations." She looks forward to students having the freedom to decide for themselves what value pi should have.

Robert S. Dietz, a professor at Arizona State University who has followed the controversy, wrote that this is not the first time a state legislature has attempted to redefine the value of pi. A legislator in the state of Indiana unsuccessfully attempted to have that state set the value of pi to three. According to Dietz, the lawmaker was exasperated by the calculations of a mathematician who carried pi to four hundred decimal places and still could not achieve a rational number.

Many experts are warning that this is just the beginning of a national battle over pi between traditional values supporters and the technical elite. Solomon Society member Lawson agrees. "We just want to return pi to its traditional value," he said, "which, according to the Bible, is three."

Advertising Culture...

There once was an advertising exec who lived his whole life without ever taking advantage of any of the people he dealt with. In fact, he made sure that every account he worked on was a win-win situation.

One day, while walking down the street, he was tragically hit by a bus, and he died. His soul arrived up in heaven, where he was met at the Pearly Gates by St. Peter himself.

"Welcome to Heaven," said St. Peter. "Before you get settled in, though, it seems we have a problem. You see, strangely enough, we've never once had an advertising exec make it this far, and we're not really sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in." said the ad exec.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have higher orders. What we're going to do is let you have a day in Hell and a day in Heaven, and then you can choose whichever one you want to spend an eternity."

"Actually, I think I've made up my mind ... I prefer to stay in Heaven."

"Sorry, we have rules .."

And with that St. Peter put the ad exec in an elevator, and it went down-down-down to hell. The doors opened and the ad exec found himself stepping out onto the putting green of a beautiful golf course. In the distance was a country club, and standing in front of him were all his friends - fellow ad execs that he had worked with and they were all dressed in tuxedos and cheering for him. They ran up and slapped him on his back, and they talked about old times. They played an excellent round of golf and at night went to the country club, where he enjoyed an excellent steak and lobster dinner. He met the Devil, who was actually a really nice guy and he had a great time telling jokes and dancing. The ad exec was having such a good time that before he knew it, it was time to leave. Everybody shook his hand and waved goodbye as he got on the elevator.

The elevator went up-up-up and opened back up at the Pearly Gates, and St. Peter was waiting for him.

"Now it's time to spend a day in heaven." So the ad exec spent the next 24 hours lounging around on clouds and playing the harp and singing. He had a great time, and before he knew it, his 24 hours were up and St. Peter came and got him.

"So, you've spent a day in hell, and you've spent a day in heaven. Now you must choose your eternity."

The ad exec paused for a second and then replied, "Well, I never thought I'd say this, I mean, Heaven has been really great and all, but I think I had a better time in Hell."

So St. Peter escorted him to the elevator and again the ad exec went down-down-down back to Hell. When the doors of the elevator opened, he found himself standing in a desolate wasteland covered in garbage and filth. He saw his friends were dressed in rags and were picking up the garbage and putting it in sacks.

The Devil came up to him and put his arm around him. "I don't understand," stammered the ad exec. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a country club, and we ate lobster, and we danced and had a great time. Now all there is is a wasteland of garbage, and all my friends look miserable."

The Devil looked at him and smiled. "That's because yesterday you were a prospect, today you're a client."

Postmodernism Meets Talk-TV Culture...

Postmodernism meets Jenny Jones...

JENNY JONES: Boy, we have a show for you today! Recently, the University   of Virginia philosopher Richard Rorty made the stunning declaration that nobody has "the foggiest idea" what postmodernism means. "It would be nice to get rid of it," he said. "It isn't exactly an idea; it's a word that pretends to stand for an idea." This shocking admission that there is no such thing as postmodernism has produced a firestorm of protest around the country. Thousands of authors, critics and graduate students who'd considered themselves postmodernists are outraged at the betrayal.

Today we have with us a writer-a recovering postmodernist-who believes that his literary career and personal life have been irreparably damaged by the theory, and who feels defrauded by the academics who promulgated it. He wishes to remain anonymous, so we'll call him "Alex."

JENNY JONES TO ALEX: Alex, as an adolescent, before you began experimenting with postmodernism, you considered yourself-what?

[Close shot of ALEX. An electronic blob obscures his face. Words appear at bottom of screen: "Says he was traumatized by postmodernism and blames academics."]

ALEX (his voice electronically altered): A high modernist. Y'know, Pound, Eliot, Georges Braque, Wallace Stevens, Arnold Schoenberg, Mies van der Rohe. I had all of Schoenberg's 78's.

JENNY JONES: And then you started reading people like Jean-Francois Lyotard and Jean Baudrillard-how did that change your feelings about your modernist heroes?

ALEX: I suddenly felt that they were, like, stifling and canonical.

JENNY JONES: That is so sad, such a waste. How old were you when you first read Fredric Jameson?

ALEX: Nine, I think. [The AUDIENCE gasps.]

JENNY JONES: We have some pictures of young Alex. ...[We see snapshots of 14-year-old ALEX reading Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's "Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia." The AUDIENCE oohs and ahs.]

ALEX: We used to go to a friend's house after school-y'know, his parents were never home-and we'd read, like, Paul Virilio and Julia Kristeva.

JENNY JONES: So you're only 14, and you're already skeptical toward the "grand narratives" of modernity, you're questioning any belief system that claims universality or transcendence. Why?

ALEX: I guess-to be cool.

JENNY JONES: So, peer pressure?

ALEX: I guess.

JENNY JONES: And do you remember how you felt the very first time you entertained the notion that you and your universe are constituted by language-that reality is a cultural construct, a "text" whose meaning is determined by infinite associations with other "texts"?

ALEX: Uh, it felt, like, good. I wanted to do it again.

[The AUDIENCE groans.]

JENNY JONES: You were arrested at about this time?

ALEX: For spray-painting "The Hermeneutics of Indeterminacy" on an overpass.

JENNY JONES: You're the child of a mixed marriage-right?

ALEX: My father was a de Stijl Wittgensteinian and my mom was a neo-pre-Raphaelite.

JENNY JONES: Do you think that growing up in a mixed marriage made you more vulnerable to postmodernism?

ALEX: Absolutely. It's hard when you're a little kid not to be able to just come right out and say (sniffles), y'know, I'm an Imagist or I'm a phenomenologist or I'm a post-painterly abstractionist. It's really hard-especially around the holidays. (He cries.)

JENNY JONES: I hear you. Was your wife a postmodernist?

ALEX: Yes. She was raised avant-pop, which is a fundamentalist offshoot of postmodernism.

JENNY JONES: How did she react to Rorty's admission that postmodernism was essentially a hoax?

ALEX: She was devastated. I mean, she's got all the John Zorn albums and the entire Semiotext(e) series. She was crushed.

[We see ALEX'S WIFE in the audience, weeping softly, her hands covering her face.]

JENNY JONES: And you were raising your daughter as a postmodernist?

ALEX: Of course. That's what makes this particularly tragic. I mean, how do you explain to a 5-year-old that self-consciously recycling cultural detritus is suddenly no longer a valid art form?

JENNY JONES: Tell us how you think postmodernism affected your career as a novelist.

ALEX: I disavowed writing that contained real ideas or any real passion. My work became disjunctive, facetious and nihilistic. It was all metastatic irony, a pernicious banality palimpsest of media pastiche. I found myself indiscriminately incorporating any and all kinds of pop kitsch and shlock. (He begins to weep again.)

JENNY JONES: And this spilled over into your personal life?

ALEX: It was impossible for me to experience life with any emotional intensity. I couldn't control the irony anymore. I perceived my own feelings as if they were in quotes. I italicized everything and everyone. It became impossible for me to appraise the quality of anything. To me everything was equivalent-the Brandenburg Concertos and the Lysol jingle had the same value.... (He breaks down, sobbing.)

JENNY JONES: Now, you're involved in a lawsuit, aren't you?

ALEX: Yes. I'm suing the Modern Language Association.

JENNY JONES: How confident are you about winning?

ALEX: We need to prove that, while they were actively propounding it, academics knew all along that postmodernism was a specious theory. If we can unearth some intradepartmental memos-y'know, a paper trail-any corroboration that they knew postmodernism was worthless cant at the same time they were teaching it, then I think we have an excellent shot.

JENNY JONES wades into audience and proffers microphone to a woman.

WOMAN (with lateral head-bobbing): It's ironic that Barry Scheck is representing the M.L.A. in this litigation because Scheck is the postmodern attorney par excellence. This is the guy who's made a career of volatilizing truth in the simulacrum of exculpation!

VOICE FROM AUDIENCE: You go, girl!

WOMAN: Scheck is the guy who came up with the quintessentially postmodern re-bleed defense for O.J., which claims that O.J. merely vigorously shook Ron and Nicole, thereby re-aggravating pre-existing knife wounds. I'd just like to say to any client of Barry-lose that zero and get a hero!

The AUDIENCE cheers wildly.

[Dissolve to message on screen: If you believe that mathematician Andrew Wiles's proof of Fermat's last theorem has caused you or a member of your family to dress too provocatively, call (800) 555-9455.]

Postmodernism meets Jerry Springer...

SPRINGER: Boy, we have a show for you today! Recently, the University of Virginia philosopher Richard Rorty made the stunning declaration that nobody has "the foggiest idea" what postmodernism means. "It would be nice to get rid of it," he said. "It isn't exactly an idea; it's a word that pretends to stand for an idea." This shocking admission that there is no such thing as postmodernism has produced a firestorm of protest around the country. Thousands of authors, critics and graduate students who'd considered themselves postmodernists are outraged at the betrayal.

Today we have with us a writer-a recovering postmodernist-who believes that his literary career and personal life have been irreparably damaged by the theory, and who feels defrauded by the academics who promulgated it. He wishes to remain anonymous, so we'll call him "Alex."

SPRINGER TO ALEX: Alex, as an adolescent, before you began experimenting with postmodernism, you considered yourself-what?

ALEX (his voice electronically altered): Enough with the questions you modernist, capitalist, opportunist pig. [Grabs chair and throws it at Jerry]

[Springer's goons lunge at the young angst-in-chair. The crowd goes wild. Springer deflects the chair with his nose and goes down in a heap. Alex's postmodern friends in the audience start kicking and beating Springer with their copies of Feyerabend's Against Method. They chant in unison "Down with modernity ... structuralism will fall." Alex freeing himself from the grasp of Springer's hired necks fires off a battle cry to all viewing postmodernists before the show is pulled off air--"We must unite and storm Virginia. We must show Rorty the power that is postmodernity!"]

[45 minutes of darkness]

On the Golf Course...

Moses, Jesus, and one other are out playing golf one day. Moses pulls up to the tee and drives a long one. It lands in the fairway but rolls directly toward a water trap. Quickly Moses raises his club, the water parts and it rolls to the other side safe and sound.

Next, Jesus strolls up to the tee and hits a nice long one directly toward the same water trap. It lands directly in the center of the pond and kind of hovers over the water. Jesus casually walks out on the pond and chipps it up onto the green.

The third individual gets up and sort of randomly whacks the ball. It heads out over the fence and into oncoming traffic on a nearby street. It bounces off a truck and hits a nearby tree. From there it bounces onto the roof of a nearby shack and rolls down into the gutter, down the downspout, out onto the fairway and right toward the forementioned pond. On the way to the pond, it hits a little stone and bounces out over the water and onto a lily pad where it rests quietly. Suddenly, a very large bullfrog jumps up on the lily pad and snatches the ball into his mouth. Just then, an eagle swoops down and grabbs the frog and flies away. As they pass over the green, the frog squeals with fright and drops the ball which bounces right into the hole for a beautiful hole in one.

Moses turns to Jesus and says, "I hate playing with your Dad."

God and the Officials...

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Quickly, God was faced with a class action suit for failure to file an environmental impact statement. God was granted a temporary permit for the project, but was stymied with the cease and desist order for the earthly part.

Then God said, "Let there be light!"

Immediately, the officials demanded to know how the light would be made. Would there be strip mining? What about thermal pollution? God explained that the light would come from a large ball of fire. God was granted provisional permission to make light, assuming that no smoke would result from the ball of fire, and that he would obtain a building permit and to conserve energy, He would have the light out half the time. God agreed and offered to call the light "Day" and the darkness "Night". The officials replied that they were not interested in semantics.

God said, "Let the earth put forth vegetation, plant yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit."

The EPA agreed, so long as only native seed was used.

Then God said, "Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth."

The officials pointed out that this would require approval from the Department of Game coordinated with the Heavenly Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. Everything was okay until God said the project would be completed in six days. The officials said it would take at least two hundred days to review the applications and the impact statement. After that there would be a public hearing. Then there would be ten to twelve months before...

At this point God created Hell.

Jesus Hears about Christology...

Jesus said, Whom do men say that I am?

And his disciples answered and said, Some say you are John the Baptist returned from the dead; others say Elias, or other of the old prophets.

And Jesus answered and said, But whom do you say that I am?

Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Logos, existing in the Father as His rationality and then, by an act of His will, being generated, in consideration of the various functions by which God is related to his creation, but only on the fact that Scripture speaks of a Father, and a Son, and a Holy Spirit, each member of the Trinity being co-equal with every other member, and each acting inseparably with and interpenetrating every other member, with only an economic subordination within God, but causing no division which would make the substance no longer simple."

And Jesus, answering, said, "What?"

Things you will never hear a Southerner say...

I’ll take Shakespeare for 1000, Alex.

Duct tape won’t fix that.

Lisa Marie was lucky to catch Michael.

Come to think of it I’ll have a Heineken’s.

We don’t keep firearms in this house.

Has anybody seen the sideburn trimmer?

You can’t feed that to the dog.

I thought Graceland was tacky.

No kids in the back of the pick-up, it’s not safe.

Wrasslin’s fake.

Honey, did you mail that donation to Greenpeace?

We’re vegetarians.

Do you think my hair is too big?

I’ll have grapefruit instead of biscuits and gravy.

Honey, these bonsai trees need watering?

Who’s Richard Petty?

Give me the small bag of pork rinds.

Deer heads detract from the decor.

Spitting is such a nasty habit.

I just couldn’t find a thing at Wal-Mart today.

Trim the fat off that steak.

Cappuccino tastes better than espresso.

The tires on that truck are too big.

I’ll have the arugula and radicchio salad.

I’ve got it all on a floppy disk.

Unsweetened tea tastes better.

Would you like your fish poached or broiled?

My fiancee, Paula Jo, is registered at Tiffany’s.

I’ve got two cases of Zima for the Super Bowl.

Little Debbie snack cakes have too many fat grams.

Checkmate.

She’s too old to be wearing that bikini.

Does the salad bar have bean sprouts?

Hey, here’s an episode of "Hee Haw" that we haven’t seen.

I don’t have a favorite college team.

Be sure to bring my salad dressing on the side.

I believe you cooked those green beans too long.

Those shorts ought to be a little longer, Darla.

Elvis who?

The Irishman at the Pub...

An Irishman walks into a bar in Dublin, orders three pints of Guinness and sits in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders Three more.

The bartender says, "You know, a pint goes flat after I draw it; it would taste better if you bought one at a time." The Irishman replies, "Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in America, the other in Australia, and I’m here in Dublin. When we all left home, we promised that we’d drink this way to remember the days when we drank together." The bartender admits that this is a nice custom, and leaves it at that. The Irishman becomes a regular in the bar, and always drinks the same way: He orders three pints and drinks them in turn.

One day, he comes in and orders two pints. All the other regulars notice and fall silent. When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, "I don’t want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your great loss." The Irishman looks confused for a moment, then a light dawns in his eye and he laughs. "Oh, no," he says, "everyone’s fine. I’ve just quit drinking."

Amish Technology...

An Amish boy and his father were visiting a mall for the first time. 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 (never having seen an elevator) responded "Son, I have never seen anything like this in my life, I don’t 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 beautiful 24-year-old woman stepped out.

The father said to his son, "Go get your mother."

URA Redneck if...

URA Redneck if: You think "loading the dishwasher" means getting your wife drunk.

URA Redneck if: You ever cut your grass and found a car.

URA Redneck if: You own a home that is mobile and 5 cars that aren't.

URA Redneck if: You think the stock market has a fence around it.

URA Redneck if: Your stereo speakers used to belong to the Drive-in Theater.

URA Redneck if: Your boat has not left the driveway in 15 years.

URA Redneck if: You own a homemade fur coat.

URA Redneck if: Chiggers are included on your list of top 5 hygiene concerns.

URA Redneck if: You burn your yard rather than mow it.

URA Redneck if: Your wife has ever said, "Come move this transmission so I can take a bath."

URA Redneck if: You read the Auto Trader with a highlight pen.

URA Redneck if: The Salvation Army declines your mattress.

URA Redneck if: You've ever raked leaves in your kitchen.

URA Redneck if: Birds are attracted to your beard.

URA Redneck if: Your wife's job requires her to wear an orange vest.

URA Redneck if: You were shooting pool when any of your kids were born.

URA Redneck if: You have the local taxidermist's number on speed dial.

URA Redneck if: You've ever hit a deer with your car...deliberately.

URA Redneck if: Your school fight song was "Dueling Banjos".

URA Redneck if: You think a chain saw is a musical instrument.

URA Redneck if: You've ever given rat traps as gifts.

URA Redneck if: You clean your fingernails with a stick.

URA Redneck if: Your coffee table used to be a cable spool.

URA Redneck if: You keep a can of RAID on the kitchen table.

URA Redneck if: Your wife can climb a tree faster than your cat.

URA Redneck if: Your mother has "ammo" on her Christmas list.

URA Redneck if: Every socket in your house breaks a fire code.

URA Redneck if: You've totaled every car you've ever owned.

URA Redneck if: There are more than five McDonald's bags in your car.

URA Redneck if: The Home Shopping operator recognizes your voice.

URA Redneck if: There has ever been crime-scene tape on your bathroom door.

URA Redneck if: You've ever been kicked out of the zoo for heckling the monkeys.

URA Redneck if: The taillight covers of your car are made of red tape.

URA Redneck if: You think a subdivision is part of a math problem.

URA Redneck if: You've ever bathed with flea and tick soap.

URA Redneck if: You think "taking out the trash" means taking your in-laws to a movie.

URA Redneck if: You have every episode of Hee-Haw on tape.

URA Redneck if: You've ever been involved in a custody fight over a hunting dog.

URA Redneck if: Your considered an expert on wormbeds.

URA Redneck if: Your kids take a siphon hose to "Show and Tell."

URA Redneck if: The dog catcher calls for a backup unit when visiting your house.

URA Redneck if: You've ever bought a used cap.

URA Redneck if: Your CB antenna is a danger to low-flying planes.

URA Redneck if: You pick your teeth from a catalog.

URA Redneck if: You've ever financed a tattoo.

URA Redneck if: You've ever stolen toilet paper.

URA Redneck if: You think a hot tub is a stolen bathroom fixture.

URA Redneck if: People hear your car a long time before they see it.

URA Redneck if: The gas pedal on your car is shaped like a bare foot.

URA Redneck if: You prefer car keys to Q-tips.

URA Redneck if: You take a fishing pole into Sea World.

URA Redneck if: You think a turtleneck is key ingredient for soup.

URA Redneck if: You've ever stood in line to have your picture taken with a freak of nature.

URA Redneck if: You think the French Riviera is foreign car.

URA Redneck if: You go to a stock car race and don't need a program.

URA Redneck if: You've ever filled your deer tag on the golf course.

URA Redneck if: you have ever used lard in bed.

URA Redneck if: you own more than 3 shirts with cut off sleeves.

URA Redneck if: you have ever spray-painted your girlfriends name on an overpass.

URA Redneck if: you consider a six pack of beer and a bug zapper entertainment.

URA Redneck if: your lifetime goal is to own a fireworks stand.

URA Redneck if: someone asks to see your ID and you show them your belt buckle.

URA Redneck if: the primary color of your car is bondo.

URA Redneck if: directions to your house include "Turn off the paved road."

URA Redneck if: your dog and your wallet are both on a chain.

URA Redneck if: you owe the taxidermist more than your annual income.

URA Redneck if: you ever lost a tooth opening a beer bottle.

URA Redneck if: Jack Daniels makes you list of most admired people.

URA Redneck if: your wife's hairdo has ever been ruined by a ceiling fan.

URA Redneck if: you see no need to stop at a rest stop 'cause you have an empty milk jug.

URA Redneck if: you consider the fifth grade you senior year.

URA Redneck if: you have a rag for a gas cap.

URA Redneck if: the dog can't watch you eat without gagging.

URA Redneck if: you have a hefty bag where the window of your car should be.

URA Redneck if: you have ever bar-b-qued Spam on the grill.

URA Redneck if: your brother-in-law is also your uncle.

URA Redneck if: Redman Chewing Tobacco sends you a Christmas card.

URA Redneck if: you bought a VCR because wrestling comes on while you're at work.

URA Redneck if: your dad walks you to school because you're in the same grade.

URA Redneck if: you view the next family reunion as a chance to meet girls.

URA Redneck if: your wife has a beer belly and you find it attractive.

URA Redneck if: your front porch collapses and kills more than five dogs.

URA Redneck if: the main course at potluck dinners is roadkill.

URA Redneck if: your other truck is made by John Deere.

URA Redneck if: you think suspenders are a type of shirt.

URA Redneck if: going to the bathroom at night involves shoes and a flashlight.

URA Redneck if: you keep a spit cup on the ironing board.

URA Redneck if: you ever got too drunk to fish.

The Fight over the Engineer...

An engineer dies and reports to the pearly gates. St. Peter checks his dossier and says, "Ah, you're an engineer -- you're in the wrong place."

So the engineer reports to the gates of hell and is let in. Pretty soon, the engineer gets dissatisfied with the level of comfort in hell and starts designing and building improvements. After a while, they've got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and the engineer is a pretty popular guy.

One day God calls Satan up on the telephone and says with a sneer, "So, how's it going down there in hell?"

Satan replies, "Hey, things are going great. We've got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and there's no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next."

God replies, "What??? You've got an engineer? That's a mistake -- he should never have gotten down there; send him up here."

Satan says, "No way. I like having an engineer on the staff, and I'm keeping him."

God says, "Send him back up here or I'll sue."

Satan laughs uproariously and answers, "Yeah, right. And just where are YOU going to get a lawyer?"

Synagogue Dog...

While leading the Friday evening services, the Rabbi noticed a member of the congregation, Bernie, walk in with a St. Bernard dog. The Rabbi, horrified, asked the Cantor to continue the service and went to talk to Bernie.

Rabbi: "What are doing here with a dog?"

Bernie: "The dog came here to pray."

"Oh, come on." says the Rabbi.

"YES!" says Bernie.

Rabbi: "I don’t believe you. You are just fooling around; that’s not a proper thing to do in temple."

Bernie: "Its true!"..

"Ok", says the Rabbi (thinking he would call Bernie’s bluff), "then show me what the dog can do."

"OK" says Bernie nodding to the dog...The dog proceeds to open up the barrel under his neck and removes a yarmulke, a tallis, and prayer book and actually starts saying prayers... in Hebrew! The Rabbi is so shocked he listens for a full 15 minutes.

When the Rabbi regains his composure, he is so impressed with the quality of the praying he says to Bernie. "Do you think your dog would consider going to Rabbinical school????"

Bernie, throwing up his hands in disgust says, "YOU talk to him !!! He wants to be a doctor!"

God Scandal...

Turmoil rocked Heaven this morning as allegations arose that God had had an affair with a former worshipper. The scandal was begun when a 21 year old woman, known only as Mary, claimed that she had given birth to God’s "only son" last week in a barn in the hamlet of Bethlehem.

Sources close to Mary claim that she "had loved God for a long time", that she was constantly talking about her relationship with God, and that she was "thrilled to have had his child." In a press conference this morning, God issued a vehement denial, saying that "No sexual relationship existed", and that "the facts of this story will come out in time, verily".

Independent counsel Kenneth Beelzebub immediately filed a brief with the Justice department to expand his investigation to cover questions of whether any commandments may have been broken, and whether God had illegally funneled laundered money to his illegitimate child through three foreign operatives know only as the "Wise Men". Beelzebub has issued subpoenas to several angels who are rumored to have acted as go-betweens in the affair.

Critics have pointed out that these allegations have little to do with the charges that Beelzebub was originally appointed to investigate, that God had created large-scale flooding in order to cover up evidence of a failed land deal.

In recent months, Beelzebub’s investigation has already been expanded to cover questions surrounding the large number of locusts that plagued God’s political opponents in the last election, as well as to claims that the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah was to divert attention away from a scandal involving whether the giveaway of a parcel of public land in Promised County to a Jewish special interest group was quid pro quo for political contributions.

If these allegations prove to be true, then this could be a huge blow to God’s career, much of which has been spent crusading for stricter moral standards and harsher punishments for wrongdoers. Indeed, God recently outlined a "tough-on-crime" plan consisting of a series of 10 "Commandments", which has been introduced in Congress in a bill by Rep. Moses. Critics of the bill have pointed out that it lacks any provisions for the rehabilitation of criminals, and lawyers for the ACLU are planning to fight the "Name in Vain" Commandment as being an unconstitutional restriction on free speech.

The New Robe...

Jesus is wandering around Jerusalem when he decides he really needs a new robe. After looking around, he sees a sign for  "Mandelbaum, the Tailor."

He goes in and Mandelbaum prepares a new robe for him which is a perfect fit.

When he asks how much he owes, Mandelbaum brushes him off:  "No, no, there's no charge. But, may I ask a small favor? Maybe whenever  you give a sermon you could just mention a little something about how your nice robe was made by Mandelbaum the Tailor."

Jesus readily agrees and, as promised, plugs Mandelbaum's robes every time he preaches.

Some months later, he is walking through Jerusalem and happens by Mandelbaum's shop. There is a huge line of people waiting for Mandelbaum's robes. He pushes his way through the crowd to speak to Mandelbaum.

"Jesus, Jesus, look what a marvel you've been for business," gushes Mandelbaum. "Would you consider a partnership?"  "Sure, sure," replies Jesus.  "Jesus and  Mandelbaum it is."

"Uh,  no, no",  says Mandelbaum. "Mandelbaum and Jesus. After all I am the craftsman."

The two of them debate this and many other topics for some time.  Finally, they come to a compromise decision.

The new sign went up: Lord & Taylor.

Four Catholic Ladies...

Four Catholic ladies were having coffee. The first Catholic woman tells her friends "My son is a priest. When he walks into a room, everyone calls him 'Father'." The second Catholic woman chirps, "My son is a bishop. Whenever he walks into a room, the people call him 'Your Grace'." This third Catholic crone says, "My son is a cardinal. Whenever he walks into a room, people say 'Your Eminence'." Since the fourth Catholic woman sips her coffee in silence, the first three women give her this subtle "Well...?" And she said "My son is a gorgeous, 6' 2" hard bodied stripper. When he walks into a room, people say, "Oh, my God..."

Promotions...

A Catholic priest and a Rabbi are talking about job prospects:

"Well," says the priest, "there's a good chance that I'll be the next Bishop - maybe within the next couple of years."

"Bishop!" marvels the Rabbi, "very nice. And after that?"

"Oh, I don't know, I suppose it's possible I could become Archbishop... given luck, and God's blessing."

"Very nice, very nice; and after Archbishop?"

"Ha! Well, you know, it's Cardinal after that, but it's really very unlikely. But in theory, I could become a Cardinal."

"Lovely!" enthuses the Rabbi, "the scarlet would suit your complexion. So what's after Cardinal?"

The priest smiles: "After Cardinal? Well, it's Pope - but I'm hardly likely to become... hmmm, oh I suppose it's just possible. If a Pole why not an Englishman again? Yes, I could just become Pope."

"Splendid! And after Pope?"

The priest looks at him in surprise: "After Pope? There's nothing after Pope! I mean, there's just God above the Pope - I can't become God."

"So why not? One of our boys made it."

Good Question...

Moses made a third pilgrimage to Mount Sinai. After much climbing he arrived at the burning bush and removed his sandals. Kneeling down, he said a prayer of entreaty:

"Oh mighty God, your people have sent me back to ask you a question about the Ten Commandments."

"What question do they have?" roared the deity above.

"They want to know, are they listed by priority?"

Theology vs. Astronomy...

A theologian and an astronomer were talking together one day. The astronomer said that after reading widely in the field of religion, he had concluded that all religion could be summed up in a single phrase.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," he said, with a bit of smugness, knowing that his field is so much more complex.

After a brief pause, the theologian replied that after reading widely in the area of astronomy he had concluded that all of it could be summed up in a single phrase also.

"Oh, and what is that?" the astronomer inquired.

"Twinkle, twinkle, little star; how I wonder what you are!"

He Coulda Been a Doctor or a Lawyer...

A Jewish father was troubled by the way his son turned out, and went to see his Rabbi about it.

"I brought him up in the faith, gave him a very expensive bar mitzvah, cost me a fortune to educate him. Then he tells me last week he has decided to be a Christian! Rabbi, where did I go wrong?"

"Funny you should come to me," said the Rabbi. "Like you I, too, brought my boy up in the faith, put him through University, cost me a fortune, then one day he, too, tells me he has decided to become a Christian."

"What did you do?" asked the father.

"I turned to God for the answer," replied the Rabbi.

"And what did he say?" pressed the father.

"God said, 'Funny you should come to me...' "

Martha Stewart's Tips for Rednecks

GENERAL
1. Never take a beer to a job interview.
2. Always identify people in your yard before shooting at them.
3. It's considered tacky to take a cooler to church.
4. If you have to vacuum the bed, it is time to change the sheets.
5. Even if you're certain that you are in the will, it is still considered tacky to drive a U-Haul to the funeral.

DINING OUT
1. When decanting the wine, make sure that you tilt the paper cup, and pour slowly so as not to "bruise" the fruit of the vine.
2. If drinking directly from the bottle, always hold it with your fingers so not to cover the label.

ENTERTAINING IN YOUR HOME
1. A centerpiece for the table should never be anything prepared by a taxidermist.
2. Do not allow your dog to eat at the table... no matter how good his manners are.

PERSONAL HYGIENE
1. While ears need to be cleaned regularly, this is a job that should be done in private, using one's own truck keys.
2. Proper use of toiletries can forestall bathing for several days. However, if you live alone, deodorant is a waste of good money.
3. Dirt and grease under the fingernails is a social no-no as they tend to detract from a women's jewelry and alter the taste of finger foods.

DATING (OUTSIDE THE FAMILY)
1. Always offer to bait your date's hook, especially on the first date.
2. Be aggressive. Let her know you're interested: "I've been waiting to go out with you since I read that stuff on the bathroom wall two years ago."
3. Establish with her parents what time she is expected back. Some will say 10:00PM; others might say "Monday" If the later is the answer, it is the man's responsibility to get her to school on time.

THEATER ETIQUETTE
1. Crying babies should be taken to the lobby and picked up immediately after the movie has ended.
2. Refrain from talking to characters on the screen. Tests have proven that they can't hear you.

WEDDINGS
1. Livestock usually is a poor choice for a wedding gift.
2. Kissing the bride for more than 5 seconds may get you shot.
3. For the groom, at least, rent a tux. A leisure suit with a cummerbund and clean bowling shirt can create a tacky appearance.
4. Though uncomfortable, say "yes" to socks and shoes for this special occasion.

DRIVING ETIQUETTE
1. Dim your headlights for approaching vehicles; even if the gun is loaded, and the deer is in the light.
2. When approaching a four way stop, the vehicle with the largest tires always has the right of way.
3. Never tow another car using panty hose and duct tape.
4. When sending your wife down the road with a gas can, it is impolite to ask her to bring back beer. 5. Do not lay rubber while traveling in a funeral procession.

Ruth and Golda

Two Jewish women, Ruth and Golda, were walking along the street.

Ruth says to Golda, "My son, Irving, is finally getting married. He tells me he is engaged to a wonderful girl, but ... he thinks she may have a disease called herpes."

Golda says to Ruth, "Do you have any idea what this herpes is, and can he catch it?"

Ruth answers, "No, but I am just so thrilled to hear about Irving's engagement. It's past time he's settled. As far as the herpes goes...who knows?"

"Well," Golda says, "I have a very fine medical dictionary at home -- I'll look it up and call you."

So, Golda goes home, looks it up, and calls Ruth...

"Ruth, keinahurra (thank goodness!), I found it. Not to worry! It says herpes is a disease of the gentiles!"

Funny Statistics

Apparently, 1 in 5 people in the world is Chinese. And there are 5 people in my family, so it must be that one of us is Chinese.

It's either my mom or my dad, my older brother Colin, me or my youngest brother Chong-Li. I think it's Colin.

You Might be a Methodist if...

You might be a Methodist if...

...you don't take Rolaids when your heart is strangely warmed

...you know that a circuit rider is not an electrical device

...The Upper Room is as essential to your bathroom as the toilet paper

...you felt that the NCAA penalties against SMU football were too harsh

...you've ever owned a pair of cross and flame boxer shorts

...you sit while singing "Stand up, stand up for Jesus"

...you've ever sung a gender-inclusive hymn

...tithing is encouraged but widely ignored

...half the people sitting in your pew lip-sync the words to the hymns

...the word "apportionment" sends a chill down your spine

...you realize pluralism isn't a communicable disease

...your! pastor has a hyphenated last name

...names like Aldersgate, Asbury, and Epworth are vaguely familiar

...you consider the monthly potluck a sacrament

...the only church camp song you know by heart is "Kum ba yah"

...you've ever attended an Annual Conference and actually enjoyed it

...you have an unexplained yearning to visit Wesley's Chapel in London

...your church is named for a geographical location rather than for a saint

...you've never heard a sermon on Hell and don't feel you're missing out

...you realize that VBS isn't a sexually transmitted disease

...your pastor moves every four or five years and you like it that way

...there's at least one person in every church meeting who says, "But we've never done it that way before"

...your congregation's Christmas pageant includes both boy and girl wise men

...you accept the fact that the hymn "O, for a thousand tongues to sing" has almost as many stanzas as tongues

...you know that the Wesleyan Quadrilateral isn't a trick football play involving four lateral passes

...you realize that the Book of Discipline is not a guide to getting your child to behave

...you understand that an "appointment" has nothing to do with keeping a lunch date

...you think "UMW" stands for United Methodist Women rather than the United Mine Workers

...you know the difference between a "diagonal" minister and a "Diaconal" minister

..."Good morning" has the status of a liturgical greeting in the worship service

...you say "trespasses" instead of "debts" in the Lord's Prayer and have no idea why

...your annual conference spends most of its time debating resolutions that nobody reads

...you'd rather be branded with a hot iron than serve on the Nominating Committee

...you've ever sipped Welch's grape juice out of a plastic shot glass during Communion

...you're asked to donate money to a "special offering" every other Sunday

...you pore over the Conference Journal with the same intensity you would read a John Grisham novel

...you have to fight through a cadre of greeters to get into the sanctuary

...when the worship service lasts for more than one hour, the beeping of watch alarms drowns out the final hymn

Irony Arrives in the USA

(amended version of joke from herdofsheep.com).

SAN FRANSISCO MAN BECOMES FIRST AMERICAN TO GRASP SIGNIFICANCE OF IRONY

SAN FRANSISCO -- Herdofsheep spoke to Jay Fullmer, 38, who became the first American to get to grips with the concept of irony yesterday.

"It was wierd," Fullmer said, "I was in London and, like, talking to this guy and it was raining hard and he said, like, great weather, or something like that."

Said Fullmer: "And I thought -- wait a minute, it's like, no way is it great weather."

Fullmer soon realized that the other man's 'mistake' was deliberate.

"This guy was pretty cool about it," Fullmer said.

Fullmer, who is 39 next month and married with two children, aged 8 and 3, planned to use irony himself in future.

"I'm like saying it all the time." he said. "Weekend last I was like grilling steaks and I like burned them to shit and I said 'great weather'."

Go Irish...

After digging to a depth of 100m last year, Russian scientists found traces of copper wiring dating back 1000 years, and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network one thousand years ago.

So as not to be outdone, in the weeks that followed, American scientists dug 200m, and headlines in the US newspapers read: "US scientists have found traces of 2000 year old optical fibers, and have concluded that their ancestors already had advanced high-tech digital telephone 1000 years earlier than the Russians."

One week later, the Irish press reported the following: "After digging as deep as 500m, Irish scientists have found absolutely nothing. They have concluded that 5000 years ago, their ancestors were already using mobile phones."

Jewish Haiku Brilliance

From Haikus for Jews: For You a Little Wisdom  by David M. Bader. 1999 (Harmony Books),  used by permission.

No fins, no flippers,
      the gefilte fish swims
           with some difficulty.

In the ice sculpture
      reflected bar mitzvah guests
           nosh on chopped liver.

The sparkling blue sea
      beckons me to wait one hour
           after my sandwich.

Cherry blossoms bloom.
      Sure, it's beautiful, but is
           it good for the Jews?

Is one Nobel Prize
      so much to ask from a child
           after all I've done?

Monarch butterfly,
      I know your name used to be
           Caterpillarstein.

Five thousand years a
      wandering people -- then we
           found the cabanas.

Jewish triathlon --
      gin rummy, then contract bridge,
            followed by a nap.

The frost-withered fields
      flecked with white chrysanthemums --
            Bubbeleh, your scarf.

Shatner and Nimoy
      observing Shabbos -- "Scotty,
            beam up a minyan."

Shedding its wet skin,
      the spritzing seltzer bubble
            becomes a Buddha.

SJF seeking
      eternal soul mate -- must be
            a professional.

Like a bonsai tree,
      your terrible posture at
            my dinner table.

Lonely mantra of
      the Buddhist monk -- "They never
            call, they never write."

Sorry I'm not home
      to take your call. At the tone
            please state your bad news.

Good Answer

The teacher said, "I'll give $2 to the child who can tell me who was the most famous man who ever lived."

An Irish boy put his hand up and said, "It was St. Patrick." The teacher said, "Sorry Sean, that's not correct."

Then a French boy put his hand up and said, "It was Napoleon." The teacher replied, "I'm sorry, Pierre, that's not right either."

Finally, a Jewish boy raised his hand and said, "It was Jesus Christ." The teacher said, "That's absolutely right, Maurice, come up here and I'll give you the $2."

As the teacher was giving Maurice his money, she said, "You know Maurice, you being Jewish, I was very surprised you said Jesus Christ."

Maurice replied, "Yeah. In my heart I knew it was Moses, but business is business."

Who says Rednecks aren't Real Bright??

"Hello, is this the FBI?"

"Yes. What do you want?"

"I'm calling to report about my neighbor Billy Bob Smith! He is hiding marijuana inside his firewood."

"Thank you very much for the call, sir."

The next day, the FBI agents descend on Billy Bob's house.

They search the shed where the firewood is kept. Using axes, they bust open every piece of wood, but find no marijuana. They swore at Billy Bob and left.

The phone rings at Billy Bob's house.

"Hey, Billy Bob! Did the FBI come?"

"Yeah!"

"Did they chop your firewood?"

"Yep."

"Merry Christmas, Buddy."

Texas Versus Australia

A Texan farmer goes to Australia for a vacation. There he meets an Aussie farmer and gets talking. The Aussie shows off his big wheat field and the Texan says, "Oh!  We have wheat fields that are at least twice as large".

Then they walk around the ranch a little, and the Aussie shows off his herd of cattle.  The Texan immediately says, "We have longhorns that are at least twice as large as your cows".

The conversation has, meanwhile, almost died when the Texan sees a herd of kangaroos hopping through the field. He asks, "And what are those"?

The Aussie replies with an incredulous look, "Don't you have any grasshoppers in Texas"?

In the Beginning...

In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.  And the Earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And Satan said, "It doesn't get any better than this."

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. And God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit," and God saw that it was good.

And Satan said, "There goes the neighborhood."

And God said, "Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air and over the cattle, and over all the Earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the Earth. And so God created Man in his own image; male and female created he them. And God looked upon Man and Woman and saw that they were lean and fit.

And Satan said, "I know how I can get back in this game."

And God populated the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

And Satan created McDonald's. And McDonald's brought forth the 99-cent double cheeseburger. And Satan said to Man, "You want fries with that?"

And Man said, "Supersize them." And Man gained 5 pounds.

And God created the healthful yogurt, that woman might keep her figure that man found so fair.

And Satan brought forth chocolate. And Woman gained 5 pounds.

And God said, "Try my crispy fresh salad."

And Satan brought forth Ben and Jerry's. And Woman gained 10 pounds.

And God said, "I have sent thee heart-healthy vegetables and olive oil with which to cook them."

And Satan brought forth chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter.

And Man gained 10 pounds and his bad cholesterol went through the roof.

And God brought forth running shoes and Man resolved to lose those extra pounds.

And Satan brought forth cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil to change channels between ESPN and ESPN2. And Man gained another 20 pounds.

And God said, "You're running up the score, Devil."

And God brought forth the potato, a vegetable naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition.

And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fat fried them. And he created sour cream dip also. And Man clutched his remote control and ate the potato chips swaddled in cholesterol. And Satan saw and said, "It is good."

And Man went into cardiac arrest.

And God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

And Satan created HMO's.

Presidential Election Bumper Stickers

"Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." --Joseph Stalin

Don't Blame Me - I voted for Gore... I Think

UNPRESIDENTED!

If God Meant Us to Vote, He Would Have Given Us Candidates

What popular vote? I voted - Didn't matter

My parents retired to Florida and all I got was this lousy President

Disney gave us Mickey, Florida gave us Dumbo

DON'T THROW AWAY YOUR VOTE... LET KATHERINE HARRIS DO IT FOR YOU

Bush trusts the people, but not if it involves counting.

Now do you understand the importance of user-testing?

To you I'm a drunk driver; to my friends, I'm presidential material!

One person, one vote (may not apply in certain states)

I DIDN'T VOTE FOR HIS DADDY EITHER

IT AIN'T OVER 'TIL YOUR BROTHER COUNTS THE VOTES

The election can't be broken. We just fixed it.

The skies (wheeze) of Texas (cough) are upon you! (choke)

Banana Republicans

George W. Bush: The President Quayle We Never Had

The last time somebody listened to a Bush, folks wandered in the desert for 40 years

Campaign spending: $184,000,000. Having your little brother rig the election for you: Priceless.

Patron Saint of Contested Elections

What we need, I said to myself, is to find out who the patron saint for contested elections is, and ask his or her intercession.

Well, it turns out there is one. And you're not going to believe what follows, but it's true: his name is St. Chad.

No, I am NOT making this up.

Chad was born in ancient Britain, probably about 620, to Saxon parents. His people had been pagan, but his parents were baptized by St. Aidan. Thus he represents the Celtic, rather than the Roman stream of Christianity.

As a youngster he was sent to the bishop of Northumbria to be educated. Later, he seems to have gone to the Irish monastery-schools established by St. Patrick, and then to Iona, where he was ordained priest, and, after the death of two of his brothers in a plague, eventually became head of a small abbey near Whitby.

Chad is perhaps best known for NOT being Archbishop of York.

In mid-life he returned to Northumbria, being called by its king to be chief bishop there (and thus, Archbishop of York).

He was elected and duly installed, but various persons raised objections on the grounds that his consecrators were bishops who followed the Celtic church calendar and customs rather than the customs then being imported from the continent and from Rome.

Not wishing to cause division in the Church, Chad withdrew (nota bene!) in favor of another candidate! The Archbishop of Canterbury, who was greatly impressed by Chad's humility, subsequently consecrated him bishop of Litchfield, in Mercia, where he worked for the remainder of his life.

Legal Ethics

A lawyer was talking to his teenage son one night, explaining ethical dilemmas within his legal practice and tests his son's ethics with the following question:

A client comes into your office, and pays you $100 cash for the services you've provided. After the client leaves, you realize you actually received two $100 bills stuck together. So, do you tell your partners or not?

It's Debatable...

Jim Lehrer: Welcome to the second presidential debate between Vice President Al Gore and Gov. George W. Bush. The candidates have agreed on these rules:

I will ask a question. The candidate will ignore the question and deliver rehearsed remarks designed to appeal to undecided women voters. The opponent will then have one minute to respond by trying to frighten senior citizens into voting for him. When a speaker's time has expired, I will whimper softly while he continues to spew incomprehensible statistics for three more minutes.

Let's start with the vice president. Mr. Gore, can you give us the name of a downtrodden citizen and then tell us his or her story in a way that strains the bounds of common sense?

Gore: As I was saying to Tipper last night after we tenderly made love the way we have so often during the 30 years of our rock-solid marriage, the downtrodden have a clear choice in this election. My opponent wants to cut taxes for the richest 1 percent of Americans. I, on the other hand, want to put the richest 1 percent in an ironclad lockbox so they can't hurt old people like Roberta Frampinhamper, who is here tonight. Mrs. Frampinhamper has been selling her internal organs, one by one, to pay for gas so that she can travel to these debates and personify problems for me. Also, her poodle has arthritis.

Lehrer: Gov. Bush, your rebuttal.

Bush: Governors are on the front lines every day, hugging people, crying with them, relieving suffering anywhere a photo opportunity exists. I want to empower those crying people to make their own decisions, unlike my opponent, whose mother is not Barbara Bush.

Lehrer: Let's turn to foreign affairs. Gov. Bush, if Slobodan Milosevic were to launch a bid to return to power in Yugoslavia, would you be able to pronounce his name?

Bush: The current administration had eight years to deal with that guy and didn't get it done. If I'm elected, the first thing I would do about that guy is have Dick Cheney confer with our allies. And then Dick would present me several options for dealing with that guy. And then Dick would tell me which one to choose. You know, as governor of Texas, I have to make tough foreign policy decisions every day about how we're going to deal with New Mexico.

Lehrer: Mr. Gore, your rebuttal.

Gore: Foreign policy is something I've always been keenly interested in. I served my country in Vietnam. I had an uncle who was a victim of poison gas in World War I. I myself lost a leg in the Franco-Prussian War. And when that war was over, I came home and tenderly made love to Tipper in a way that any undecided woman voter would find romantic. If I'm entrusted with the office of president, I pledge to deal knowledgeably with any threat, foreign or domestic, by putting it in an ironclad lockbox. Because the American people deserve a president who can comfort them with simple metaphors.

Lehrer: Vice President Gore, how would you reform the Social Security system?

Gore: It's a vital issue, Jim. That's why Joe Lieberman and I have proposed changing the laws of mathematics to allow us to give $50,000 to every senior citizen without having it cost the federal treasury a single penny until the year 2250. In addition, my budget commits $60 trillion over the next 10 years to guarantee that all senior citizens can have drugs delivered free to their homes every Monday by a federal employee who will also help them with the child-proof cap.

Lehrer: Gov. Bush?

Bush: That's fuzzy math. I know, because as governor of Texas, I have to do math every day. I have to add up the numbers and decide whether I'm going to fill potholes out on Rt. 36 east of Abilene or commit funds to reroof the sheep barn at the Texas state fairgrounds.

Lehrer: It's time for closing statements.

Gore: I'm my own man. I may not be the most exciting politician, but I will fight for the working families of America, in addition to turning the White House into a lusty pit of marital love for Tipper and me.

Bush: It's time to put aside the partisanship of the past by electing no one but Republicans.

Lehrer: Good night.

Water Anyone?

An Arab was walking through the Sahara desert, desperate for water, when he saw something, far off in the distance. Hoping to find water, he walked towards the image, only to find a little old Jewish man sitting at a card table with a bunch of neckties laid out on it.

The Arab asked "Please, I'm dying of thirst, can I have some water?"

The man replied "I don't have any water, but why don't you buy a tie? Here's one that goes nicely with your robes."

The Arab shouted, "I don't want a tie, you idiot, I need water!"

"OK, don't buy a tie. But to show you what a nice guy I am, I'll tell you that over that hill there, about 4 miles, is a nice restaurant. Walk that way, they'll give you all the water you want."

The Arab thanked him and walked away towards the hill and eventually disappeared.

Three hours later the Arab came crawling back to where the man was sitting behind his card table. He said "I told you, about 4 miles over that hill. Couldn't you find it?"

The Arab rasped "I found it alright. They wouldn't let me in without a tie."