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Murder of Holly Bobo
At the End of the Century: The Stories. A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice Multilayered, subtle, insightful short stories from the inimitable Booker Prize—winning author, with an introduction by Anita DesaiNobody has written so powerfully of the relationship between and within India and the Western middle View Product. Free: Short Stories. In spare, elegant stories reminiscent of the writings of Harlem Renaissance writer Dorothy West, Anika In spare, elegant stories reminiscent of the writings of Harlem Renaissance writer Dorothy West, Anika Nailah illuminates the emotional, spiritual, and social realities that shape—and sometimes destroy—the lives and dreams of ordinary African Americans.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Newcastle, had certain objections, but when Pitt called on the Chancellor endeavouring to resolve the differences, he found the Chancellor distinctly unhappy in bed suffering with gout. The bedroom was freezing, and when Pitt remarked on this, Lord Newcastle replied that the cold weather would hinder the fleet movement, but more particularly that the combination of the cold conditions and the gout would prevent any further discussion of the issue at that time, which Pitt quickly judged to be at the root of the problem.
Begging the Chancellor's pardon, Pitt calmly removed his boots, climbed into bed and drew up the covers apparently there was another bed in the room.. Some years ago the following exchange was broadcast on an Open University sociology TV programme. An interviewer was talking to a female production-line worker in a biscuit factory.
The dialogue went like this:. Production Lady: I take packets of biscuits off the conveyor belt and put them into cardboard boxes. My thanks to Shirley Moon for this lovely story, who also points out the following lessons within it:. Of course this story is a bit far-fetched given that an egg timer lasts for three whole minutes.. The story goes that a prominent, married, philandering, wealthy politician took advantage of a young female Italian translator during an overseas visit.
Shortly after his return home he received a phone call at his office from the woman informing him that she was pregnant and that he was definitely the father. Seemingly experienced at dealing with such situations, the politician instructed the young woman, "I will arrange for you and the child to be provided for. Do not worry about money. I will pay ten times the typical Italian settlement, but this must be kept secret. He went on, "Don't ever call me again. Send me a postcard with some sort of coded message confirming date of birth, that the child is healthy and whether a boy or girl.
Use your imagination - you are a translator after all. A little under nine months later the politician's wife who was also his PA was opening his mail. When she came to a particular postcard the politician noticed and suddenly became attentive. One afternoon, an old lady, laden with shopping, noticed two small boys on the front step of a house.
With their bags and uniforms they were obviously going home after school. They were on tip-toe trying to reach the door-bell with a stick. The surprised boys turned around and screamed "Quick, run! A tale is told about the Buddha, Gautama BC , the Indian prince and spiritual leader whose teachings founded Buddhism. This short story illustrates that every one of us has the choice whether or not to take personal offence from another person's behaviour. It is said that on an occasion when the Buddha was teaching a group of people, he found himself on the receiving end of a fierce outburst of abuse from a bystander, who was for some reason very angry.
The Buddha listened patiently while the stranger vented his rage, and then the Buddha said to the group and to the stranger, "If someone gives a gift to another person, who then chooses to decline it, tell me, who would then own the gift? The giver or the person who refuses to accept the gift? By our personal response to the abuse from another, we can choose who owns and keeps the bad feelings. Mohandas [Mahatma] Karamchand Gandhi , the great Indian statesman and spiritual leader is noted for his unusual humanity and selflessness, which this story epitomises.
Gandhi was boarding a train one day with a number of companions and followers, when his shoe fell from his foot and disappeared in the gap between the train and platform. Unable to retrieve it, he took off his other shoe and threw it down by the first. Responding to the puzzlement of his fellow travellers, Gandhi explained that a poor person who finds a single shoe is no better off - what's really helpful is finding a pair.
Separately, Gandhi was once asked what he thought of Western Civilisation. Gandhi replied: "I think that it would be a very good idea. Great Garbo , the 's Swedish-born film star, demonstrated how to negotiate with a bullying adversary, and particularly the tactic of 'walking away'. After Garbo had become established as a major star, she decided to negotiate a contract that suitably reflected her considerable box-office value to the producers.
Garbo replied simply, in her Swedish-American accent, "I think I go home.. Garbo returned to her hotel and stayed there, not budging, while Mayer stewed - for seven months - at which Mayer eventually caved in and gave Garbo what she asked for. Interestingly Garbo never actually said, "I want to be alone". There phrase was in fact "I want to be left alone," which her character Grusinskaya said in Garbo's film Grand Hotel.
The resonance of the words with Garbo's real life didn't just extend to her negotiating style: she retired in with the world still at her feet, and lived the rest of her life an obsessive recluse in New York after becoming a US citizen in The notorious American Wild West bank robber Jesse James was hunted and demonised by the authorities, but was held in high regard by many ordinary folk. Here's an example of why:. The story goes that Jesse James and his gang had taken refuge for a few days in ramshackle farmhouse after one of their raids. The old widow who lived there fed the men, and apologised for her modest offerings and the poor state of the accommodation.
While the gang laid low, they learned from the widow that she faced eviction from her landlord and was expecting a visit from his debt collector any day. Taking pity on the old lady, as they left, the gang gave her some of the spoils of their robbery to settle her debt - several hundred dollars, which was a small fortune in those days. The gang moved on, but only to a nearby copse, where for a couple more days they watched and waited for the arrival - and departure - of the debt collector, whom they promptly held up and robbed. A zoo had among its animals a female gorilla, whose mood was becoming increasingly difficult.
The vet concluded that she was on heat and that a mate should be found. The vet contacted some other nearby zoos to find a partner for the broody female, but to no avail. The female gorilla's behaviour continued to worsen, but the vet noticed that she grew calmer, and strangely responsive, whenever a particularly well-built and none-too-handsome keeper entered the enclosure. Being an unprincipled and adventurous fellow, the vet put an outrageous proposition to the keeper: For a fee of five hundred pounds would the keeper consider spending a little 'quality time' with the gorilla, purely in the interests of research of course?
The keeper, also an unprincipled and adventurous fellow, pondered the suggestion, and after a few minutes agreed to the offer, subject to three conditions. The vet, intrigued, listened to the keeper's demands:. After twenty-five years in the same parish, Father O'Shaunessey was saying his farewells at his retirement dinner. An eminent member of the congregation - a leading politician - had been asked to make a presentation and a short speech, but was late arriving. That first confession remains the worst I've ever heard.
The chap confessed that he'd stolen a TV set from a neighbour and lied to the police when questioned, successfully blaming it on a local scallywag. He said that he'd stolen money from his parents and from his employer; that he'd had affairs with several of his friends' wives; that he'd taken hard drugs, and had slept with his sister and given her VD. You can imagine what I thought However I'm pleased to say that as the days passed I soon realised that this sad fellow was a frightful exception and that this parish was indeed a wonderful place full of kind and decent people At this point the politician arrived and apologised for being late, and keen to take the stage, he immediately stepped up to the microphone and pulled his speech from his pocket:.
A school head was alerted by the caretaker to a persistent problem in the girls lavatories: some of the girl students were leaving lipstick kisses on the mirrors. The caretaker had left notices on the toilet walls asking for the practice to cease, but to no avail; every evening the caretaker would wipe away the kisses, and the next day lots more kisses would be planted on the mirror. It had become a bit of a game. The head teacher usually took a creative approach to problem solving, and so the next day she asked a few girl representatives from each class to meet with her in the lavatory.
We have therefore had to develop a special cleaning regime, and my hope is that when you see the effort involved you will help spread the word that we'd all be better off if those responsible for the kisses use tissue paper instead of the mirrors in future.. At this point the caretaker stepped forward with a sponge squeegee, which he took into one of the toilet cubicles, dipped into the toilet bowl, and then used to clean one of the lipstick-covered mirrors.
Three statisticians went hunting in the woods. Before long, one of them pointed to a plump pigeon in a tree, and the three of them stopped and took aim. The first fired, missing the bird by a couple of inches to the left. Immediately afterwards the second fired, but also missed, a couple of inches to the right. The third put down his gun exclaiming, "Great shooting lads, on average I reckon we got it At the same time, the main message and purpose of the story is to highlight tendencies of some people to show poor or no regard for the misfortunes or disabilities of others, and in this context the story has a value if used carefully.
Neverthess be very cautious how you use this story. A clergyman, a doctor and a business consultant were playing golf together one day and were waiting for a particularly slow group ahead. The business consultant exclaimed, "What's with these people? We've been waiting over half and hour! It's a complete disgrace. They're surely too slow and useless to be playing, aren't they?
They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime. The clergyman said, "Oh dear, that's so sad. I shall say some special prayers for them tonight. I'll get in touch with an ophthalmic surgeon friend of mine to see if there's anything that can be done for them. Other job-titles can be substituted instead of business consultant to suit the purpose of the story, for example, government advisor, venture capitalist, engineer, project manager, accountant, finance director, quality manager, etc. I am assured this is a true story.
A consultant was asked to give a talk at a sales conference.
The CEO asks him to focus on the importance of cooperation and teamwork between the sales and marketing teams, since neither group has a particularly high regard for the other, and the lack of cohesion and goodwill is hampering effectiveness and morale. The marketing staff constantly moan about the sales people 'doing their own thing' and 'failing to follow central strategy'; and the sales people say that the marketing people are all 'idle theorists who waste their time at exhibitions and agency lunches' and have 'never done a decent day's work in their lives'.
Being a lover of rugby, the consultant decides to use the analogy of a rugby team's forwards and backs working together to achieve the best team performance:. The audience seemed to respond positively, and the conference broke for lunch. At the bar the consultant asked one of the top sales-people what he'd thought of the analogy - had it given him food for thought? The sales people - the backs, yes? We work together as a team - each playing our own part - working as a team.
The consultant beamed and nodded enthusiastically, only to be utterly dashed when the salesman added as an afterthought, "I still think our forwards are a bunch of wankers A British family were on holiday in a rented motor-home in the USA. Mid-afternoon, halfway through what was turning out to be a most enjoyable day at the park, Mum, Dad and the three kids came upon a particularly steep plummeting ride.
In the queue, the ride attendants strongly warned everyone about the risks of losing hats, spectacles, coins and keys, etc. During the ride, Dad lost the keys. Due to the fact that the motor-home was a replacement vehicle resulting from a breakdown earlier in the holiday, there were no spare keys. And there were six keys on the lost bunch: ignition, front doors, side door, fuel tank, propane tank, and storage cupboards.
The park attendants drove the family back to the motor-home, suggesting the least damaging ways to break into it. Fortunately a window had been left slightly open, enabling the middle son to be put in and to open the doors from the inside. Middle son all of six years old said he'd got a key - said he'd found it - but no-one was listening properly.
Not thinking for one second that little lad's key would fit, Dad tried it. Incredibly the key fitted the ignition - and the driver's door. Middle son is a hero. It seems he'd found the key in a cupboard when packing his clothes soon after the motor-homes were swapped after the first vehicle broke down. The locksmith looked at the motor-home, and said he'd try. The family went to the nearby shops and a coffee bar to pass the time. Dad returned to the locksmith to see how things were going.
The locksmith says he thought he could make new keys for all the locks, but it would be a long job. In fact the job took the locksmith most of the day. The family hung around the locksmiths, visited the shops again, and generally made a day of being at the little shopping centre. While working on the locks and the keys, the locksmith talked with the family about England, about America, about the rides at Las Vegas, about motor-homes, about business, about locks, about families and kids, about lots of things. Late on in the afternoon the locksmith said that he'd nearly done - "But you have time to go get something to eat if you want.
When you come back I'll be done. An hour later the family returned to the locksmith's shop. It was 4pm and they'd been at the shopping centre since When Dad entered the locksmith's shop the locksmith was smiling. He put two new gleaming bunches of keys on the counter. It happened over ten years ago. I still tell people about it now, like I'm telling you. This little company gave me and my family an experience that transcended customer service, and I was delighted when I found their business card in my kitchen drawer the other day, because it prompted me to share this story and to properly express my thanks.
Just a final note - I'm not suggesting that great customer service is about giving your products and services away. Obviously that's not a particularly sustainable business model. What I'm saying though, is that there are times when you'll see opportunity to do something really special for a customer, or for another human being, and when you do it, the ripples of your 'good pebble' can stretch around the world, and last for years and years. So, within the boundaries of what's possible and viable for you, drop in a good pebble whenever you can and make some ripples of your own.
At the airport after a tiring business trip a lady's return flight was delayed. She went to the airport shop, bought a book, a coffee and a small packet containing five gingernut biscuits. The airport was crowded and she found a seat in the lounge, next to a stranger. After a few minutes' reading she became absorbed in her book. She took a biscuit from the packet and began to drink her coffee.
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To her great surprise, the stranger in the next seat calmly took one of the biscuits and ate it. Stunned, she couldn't bring herself to say anything, nor even to look at the stranger. Nervously she continued reading. After a few minutes she slowly picked up and ate the third biscuit. Incredibly, the stranger took the fourth gingernut and ate it, then to the woman's amazement, he picked up the packet and offered her the last biscuit. This being too much to tolerate, the lady angrily picked up her belongings, gave the stranger an indignant scowl and marched off to the boarding gate, where her flight was now ready.
Flustered and enraged, she reached inside her bag for her boarding ticket, and found her unopened packet of gingernuts Adapted from a suggestion submitted by S Frost. Apparently the story appears in a variety of urban legends dating from at least 30 years ago, and is also described in Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, book four, , 'So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish'. Ack L Baldock.
When a business fails or struggles in some other way people commonly look for recent tactical or incidental causes, but the roots of failure are usually far deeper in foundational strategies, structures and philosophies. The poor performance of the England football team at the FIFA World Cup offers an example of a venture inflicted with fundamental problems, and therefore likely to fail.
Here are some indicators as at FIFA World Cup of foundational weakness and vulnerability in the basic organization and ethos of the England national football effort. Think of it like a business. Success is difficult when foundations are flaky and misaligned. The English Premiership England's top domestic league and effectively the pool from which the national team is selected is dominated by clubs which are:.
The leadership of the Football Association, guardian of England's national game, has for some years been chaotic and disjointed, indicators being:. A national football team is in many ways like a business. It needs solid strategic and philosophical foundations. Misalignment at a basic level eventually produces problems at the level of tactical or operational implementation.
Like a national football team, if a business fails at a tactical or operational level, the causes - and therefore the solutions - are generally much deeper than they seem. These allegedly true short stories provide amusing examples of lateral thinking and initiative, and staff training or lack of at the workplace. It is better to train people properly rather than assume that new starters have the necessary initiative to work out for themselves what they should be doing.. While transporting some unfortunate mental patients from one secure place to another, the newly appointed bus driver stopped at a roadside restaurant for natural break.
On his return to the bus, all twenty patients were gone. Being a resourceful fellow and fearing the consequences of his negligence, he drove to the next bus stop, where he claimed to be a replacement for the usual service. Allowing twenty people aboard, the driver made straight for his destination, where he warned staff at the gates that the 'patients' were deluded and extremely volatile.
The angry 'patients' were duly removed, sedated and incarcerated, and remained in detention for three days, until staff were able to check the records and confirm their true identities. The actual patients were never found. A new hotel employee was asked to clean the elevators and report back to the supervisor when the task was completed. When the employee failed to appear at the end of the day the supervisor assumed that like many others he had simply not liked the job and left. However, after four days the supervisor bumped into the new employee.
He was cleaning in one of the elevators. A man and his wife had been arguing all night, and as bedtime approached neither was speaking to the other. It was not unusual for the pair to continue this war of silence for two or three days, however, on this occasion the man was concerned; he needed to be awake at am the next morning to catch an important flight, and being a very heavy sleeper he normally relied on his wife to wake him. Cleverly, so he thought, while his wife was in the bathroom, he wrote on a piece of paper: 'Please wake me at am - I have an important flight to catch'.
He put the note on his wife's pillow, then turned over and went to sleep. The man awoke the next morning and looked at the clock. It was am. Enraged that he'd missed his flight, he was about to go in search of his errant wife to give her a piece of his mind, when he spotted a hand-written note on his bedside cabinet. A retired sergeant major inherited a talking parrot from a recently departed relative who had run a busy dockside pub. For the first few days in his new home the normally talkative parrot was distinctly shy.
The old major, despite his stern and disciplined ways, felt sorry for the bird, and gently encouraged it with soft words and pieces of fruit. After a week or so the parrot began to find its voice - a little at first - and then more so. Responding to the kind treatment, the parrot's vocabulary continued to recover, including particularly the many colourful expressions it had been taught in the dockside pub.
The old sergeant major began to be quite irritated by the parrot's incessant rudeness, and after a few more days of worsening profanities, decided action was required to bring the bird under control. The sergeant major tried at first to incentivise the parrot with the promise of reward for good behaviour, but to no avail. He next tried to teach the bird a lesson by withdrawing its privileges, again to no avail; the parrot remained stubbornly rude.
Finally the old major flipped into battleground management mode; he grabbed the bird, clamped his hands around its beak, and thrust the struggling, swearing parrot, into the top drawer of the freezer, slamming the door tightly shut. The swearing and struggling noises continued inside the freezer for a few seconds and then abruptly stopped. The sergeant major listened for a while and then, concerned that the parrot's shock might have been terminal, carefully opened the freezer door and opened the drawer to look.
The parrot slowly clambered out of the drawer and perched on its edge. And by the way, what did the turkey do? This widely used story is often told as if it's a true story. It is most certainly not. It is an urban legend, but even as such, the story contains great lessons and is very inspirational. Fleming was a poor Scottish farmer. One day at work in a field he heard a cry for help. Following the sound, Fleming came to a deep bog, in which a boy was stuck up to his chest, screaming and sinking.
Farmer Fleming tied a rope around his own waist and the other end to a tree, and waded into the bog. After a mighty struggle in which it seemed they would both perish, the exhausted farmer pulled himself and the boy to safety. He took the lad back to the farmhouse, where Mrs Fleming fed him, dried his clothes, and when satisfied he had recovered, sent him on his way home.
The next day a carriage arrived at the Fleming's humble farmhouse. An well-dressed man stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy whom Fleming had saved. Let me pay for his education. If he's like his father, he'll grow to be a man we'll both be proud of.
There's a Hole in the Bucket | The University of Alberta Press Community Web
And so he did. The farmer's son attended the very best schools, graduated medical college, and later became the world-renowned nobel prize-winning scientist and discoverer of penicillin, Sir Alexander Fleming. It is said that many years later, the grown man who'd been saved from the bog as a boy, was stricken with pneumonia.
I repeat this is an urban legend - it is not a true story - so I recommend you present it as such when you tell it. Ack B McFarlane. It has been suggested to me that this is a true story: A very old traditional brewery decided to install a new canning line, so as to enable its beer products to be marketed through the supermarket sector. This represented a major change for the little company, and local dignitaries and past employees were invited to witness the first running of the new canning line, which was followed by an buffet and drinks. After the new line had been switched on successfully, and the formalities completed, the guests relaxed in small groups to chat and enjoy the buffet.
In a quiet corner stood three men discussing trucks and transport and distribution, since one was the present distribution manager, and the other two were past holders of the post, having retired many years ago. The three men represented three generations of company distribution management, spanning over sixty years. The present distribution manager confessed that his job was becoming more stressful because company policy required long deliveries be made on Monday and Tuesday, short deliveries on Fridays, and all other deliveries mid-week.
The third man nodded, and was thinking hard, struggling to recall the policy's roots many years ago when he'd have been a junior in the despatch department. After a pause, the third man smiled and then ventured a suggestion. During the Second World War fuel rationing was introduced. So we mothballed the trucks and went back to using the horses. On Mondays the horses were well-rested after the weekend - hence the long deliveries. By Friday the horses so tired they could only handle the short local drops The boards of the two fiercely competitive companies decided to organize a rowing match to challenge each other's organisational and sporting abilities.
The second company was more 'theory y': a culture of developing people, devolved responsibility and decision-making. Race day arrived. The Y company's boat appeared from the boat-house first, with its crew: eight rowers and a helmsman the cox. Next followed the X company boat and its crew - eight helmsmen and a single rower.
The next day the X company board of directors held an inquest with the crew, to review what had been learned from the embarrassing defeat, which might be of benefit to the organization as a whole, and any future re-match. After a long and wearing meeting the X company board finally came came to their decision. They concluded that the rower should be replaced immediately because clearly he had not listened well enough to the instructions he'd been given. Following a poor first-half year performance the board of Company X tasked a senior manager to investigate what was happening on the factory floor, since the directors believed poor productivity was at the root of the problem.
While walking around the plant, the investigating manager came upon a large warehouse area where a man stood next to a pillar. The manager introduced himself as the person investigating performance on the factory floor, appointed by the board, and then asked the man by the pillar what he was doing.
The investigator thanked the man for his cooperation and encouraged him to keep up the good work. The investigator next walked into a large packing area, where he saw another man standing next to a pillar. The investigator again introduced himself and asked the man what he was doing. Two weeks later the investigator completed his report and duly presented his findings to the board, who held a brief meeting to decide remedial action.
The board called the investigator back into the room, thanked him for his work, and then instructed him to sack one of the men he'd found standing by pillars, since obviously this was a duplication of effort. Five minutes later he called the reception desk and said: "You've given me a room with no exit.
How do I leave? The man said, "Well, there's one door that leads to the bathroom.
There's a second door that goes into the closet. And there's a door I haven't tried, but it has a 'do not disturb' sign on it. An elderly couple, married for sixty years, took a rare vacation. They were not well-off but were in good health, perhaps because the wife had insisted on a strict diet of healthy foods, no alcohol, no smoking, and lots of gym exercise for most of their lives. Sadly their plane crashed however, and duly they both entered heaven, where St Peter escorted them through the Pearly Gates, and into a waiting limousine.
Driving through beautiful countryside they drew up at a beautiful mansion and were shown inside. It was furnished in gold and fine silks, with a splendid kitchen and a sumptuous lounge stocked with wonderful food and drink - there was even a waterfall in the master bathroom. A maid was hanging beautiful designer clothes in the walk-in wardrobes. They gasped in astonishment when St Peter said, "Welcome to heaven. This will be your home now.
The old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost. Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch, with every imaginable cuisine laid out before them. Anticipating the old man's next question, St Peter said, "Don't ask, this is heaven, it is all free for you to enjoy.
The old man looked around and glanced nervously at his wife. The old man glared at his wife, "You and your bloody bran muffins. We could have been here ten years ago! Two sons work for their father on the family's farm. The younger brother had for some years been given more responsibility and reward, and one day the older brother asks his father to explain why. The father says, "First, go to the Kelly's farm and see if they have any geese for sale - we need to add to our stock.
The father asks the older brother to wait and listen, and then calls to the younger brother in a nearby field, "Go to the Davidson's Farm and see if they have any geese for sale - we need to add to our stock. The father turned to the older son, who nodded his head in appreciation - he now realised why his brother was given more responsibility and reward. A mother wished to encourage her small girl's interest in the piano and so took her a local concert featuring an excellent pianist. In the entrance foyer the mother met an old friend and the two stopped to talk.
The little girl was keen to see inside the hall and so wandered off, unnoticed by her mother. The girl's mother became concerned when she entered the hall and could see no sign of her daughter. Staff were notified and an announcement was made asking the audience to look out for the little lost girl. With the concert due to start, the little girl had still not been found.
In preparation for the pianist's entrance, the curtains drew aside, to reveal the little girl sitting at the great piano, focused in concentration, quietly picking out the notes of 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'. The audience's amusement turned to curiosity when the pianist entered the stage, walked up to the little girl, and said "Keep playing. The pianist sat down beside her, listened for a few seconds, and whispered some more words of encouragement. He then began quietly to play a bass accompaniment, and then a few bars later reached around the little girl to add more accompaniment.
At the end of the impromptu performance the audience applauded loudly as the pianist took the little girl back to her seat to be reunited with her mother. The experience was inspirational for everyone, not least the small girl. It takes just a few moments to make somebody's day, to help someone with their own personal aims and dreams - especially someone who looks up to you for encouragement and support.
Ack PC. Allegedly a true story from the old airport in Denver: a major airline had cancelled a very busy flight and a lone check-in agent is busy trying to sort out all the displaced passengers. A very angry and aggressive man barges his way to the front of the queue to confront her. He says says that he is flying first class and demands to go on the flight. The agent politely explains the situation and asks that people take their place in the queue. The man bellows at her, "Do you know who I am? If anyone can come and identify him please do so. A small boy was auditioning with his classmates for a school play.
His mother knew that he'd set his heart on being in the play - just like all the other children hoped too - and she feared how he would react if he was not chosen. On the day the parts were awarded, the little boy's mother went to the school gates to collect her son. The little lad rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. I am assured this is a true story from a UK bank. The bank concerned had introduced a charge to be levied when people paid in money to be credited to an account held by a different bank.
The charge was 50p and had been in force for about 6 months or so. A well to do, upper-class lady enters the bank and presents the cashier a cheque check which she asks to be paid into an account held by a different bank. The cashier duly tells the lady that there will be a charge of 50p. Indignantly, she tells him, "I wasn't charged the last time. A little girl was watching her mother prepare a fish for dinner. Her mother cut the head and tail off the fish and then placed it into a baking pan. The little girl asked her mother why she cut the head and tail off the fish.
Her mother thought for a while and then said, "I've always done it that way - that's how babicka Czech for grandma did it. Not satisfied with the answer, the little girl went to visit her grandma to find out why she cut the head and tail off the fish before baking it. So the little girl and the grandma went to visit great grandma to find ask if she knew the answer. One day a farmer's donkey fell into a well. The farmer frantically thought what to do as the stricken animal cried out to be rescued.
With no obvious solution, the farmer regretfully concluded that as the donkey was old, and as the well needed to be filled in anyway, he should give up the idea of rescuing the beast, and simply fill in the well. Hopefully the poor animal would not suffer too much, he tried to persuade himself. The farmer asked his neighbours help, and before long they all began to shovel earth quickly into the well.
When the donkey realised what was happening he wailed and struggled, but then, to everyone's relief, the noise stopped. After a while the farmer looked down into the well and was astonished by what he saw. The donkey was still alive, and progressing towards the top of the well.
The donkey had discovered that by shaking off the dirt instead of letting it cover him, he could keep stepping on top of the earth as the level rose. Soon the donkey was able to step up over the edge of the well, and he happily trotted off. Life tends to shovel dirt on top of each of us from time to time. The trick is to shake it off and take a step up.
A shepherd was tending his flock in a field, when a new sports car screeched to a stop on the road nearby in a cloud of dust. The driver, a young man in expensive designer clothes and sunglasses, leans out of the window and shouts over to the shepherd, "If I tell you exactly how many sheep you have here, can I take one? The shepherd looks up slowly up at the young man, then looks at his peaceful flock, and calmly answers, "Sure, why not?
The young man steps out of his car holding a state-of-the-art palmtop pda, with which he proceeds to connects to a series of websites, first calling up satellite navigation system to pinpoint his location, then keying in the location to generate an ultra-high resolution picture of the field. After emailing the photo to an image processing facility, the processed data is returned, which he then feeds into an online database, and enters the parameters for a report.
Within another few seconds a miniature printer in the car produces a full colour report containing several pages of analysis and results. The young man studies the data for a few more seconds and returns to the shepherd. The young man makes his choice and loads the animal onto the back seat of his car, at which the shepherd says, almost as an afterthought, "Hey there, if I can tell you what your business is, will you give me back my sheep?
You took a fee for giving me an answer that already know, to a question I never asked, and you know nothing about my business. Now give me back my dog. This allegedly true story, supposedly leaked by the Australian Department of Transport, concerns four Australian young men and a mobile speed camera police van.
Three of the four lads engaged the speed camera operators in conversation about the camera equipment, and the number of cars caught, etc. Bidding the police farewell, the lads returned home, screwed the registration plate to their own car and proceeded to complete 17 very fast round trips through the speed camera's radar. The traffic penalties department subsequently issued 17 speeding tickets to itself. A mechanical engineer, a systems engineer, and a software engineer are in a car driving down a steep mountain road when the brakes fail.
The driver desperately pumps the brake pedal, trying to control the speeding vehicle around cliff-edge bends, while the passengers do their best not to panic. As the car hurtles towards an impossible corner the driver spots an escape route into a hedge and a haystack beyond, where the car eventually grinds to a surprisingly safe stop. The three engineers all get out, shaken, relieved, and take turns to assess the situation. The systems engineer thinks for a while and says, "Maybe we need to contact the manufacturer and the dealer to confirm exactly what the problem is The software engineer slowly climbs into the driver's seat and, gesturing for the others to join him, says, "How about we get back on the road and see if it happens again?..
An alternative final line, suggested kindly and brilliantly by David Shiell, is: "How about if we close all the windows and try again.. And an equally brilliant suggestion for an alternative final line, contributed kindly by Nancy Falcon, is: "Did you turn the car off and then back on again?.. A little old couple walked into a fast food restaurant. The little old man walked up to the counter, ordered the food, paid, and took the tray back to the table where the little old lady sat.
On the tray was a hamburger, a small bag of fries and a drink. Carefully the old man cut the hamburger in two, and divided the fries into two neat piles. He sipped the drink and passed it to the little old lady, who took a sip and passed it back. A young man on a nearby table had watched the old couple and felt sorry for them. He offered to buy them another meal, but the old man politely declined, saying that they were used to sharing everything. The old man began to eat his food, but his wife sat still, not eating. The young continued to watch the couple.
He still felt he should be offering to help. As the little old man finished eating, the old lady had still not started on her food. I received the e-mail originally back in , with around 20 reasons why it's good to be a bloke I spent most of the following 3 days making the number up to A teacher told her young class to ask their parents for a family story with a moral at the end of it, and to return the next day to tell their stories.
In the classroom the next day, Joe gave his example first, "My dad is a farmer and we have chickens. One day we were taking lots of eggs to market in a basket on the front seat of the truck when we hit a big bump in the road; the basket fell off the seat and all the eggs broke. The moral of the story is not to put all your eggs in one basket.. Next, Mary said, "We are farmers too. We had twenty eggs waiting to hatch, but when they did we only got ten chicks.
The moral of this story is not to count your chickens before they're hatched.. Next it was Barney's turn to tell his story: "My dad told me this story about my Aunt Karen Aunt Karen was a flight engineer in the war and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory and all she had was a bottle of whisky, a machine gun and a machete. She killed seventy of them with the machine gun until she ran out of bullets. Then she killed twenty more with the machete till the blade broke. And then she killed the last ten with her bare hands. This allegedly took place in a factory in the USA which manufactured the 'Tickle Me Elmo' toys, a children's plush cuddly toy which laughs when tickled under the arm.
The legend has is it that a new employee was hired at the Tickle Me Elmo factory and she duly reported for her first day's induction training, prior to being allocated a job on the production line. At the next day the personnel manager received a visit from an excited assembly line foreman who was not best pleased about the performance of the new recruit. The foreman explained that she was far too slow, and that she was causing the entire line to back-up, delaying the whole production schedule.
The personnel manager asked to see what was happening, so both men proceeded to the factory floor. On arrival they saw that the line was indeed badly backed-up - there were hundreds of Tickle Me Elmos strewn all over the factory floor, and they were still piling up. Virtually buried in a mountain of toys sat the new employee earnestly focused on her work. She had a roll of red plush fabric and a bag of marbles. The two men watched amazed as she cut a little piece of fabric, wrapped it around a pair of marbles and carefully began sewing the little package between Elmo's legs.
The personnel manager began to laugh, and it was some while before he could compose himself, at which he approached the trainee. Your job is to give Elmo two test tickles. The story goes: upon completing a highly dangerous tightrope walk over Niagara Falls in appalling wind and rain, 'The Great Zumbrati' was met by an enthusiastic supporter, who urged him to make a return trip, this time pushing a wheelbarrow, which the spectator had thoughtfully brought along.
The Great Zumbrati was reluctant, given the terrible conditions, but the supporter pressed him, "You can do it - I know you can," he urged. Charles Plumb was a navy jet pilot. On his seventy-sixth combat mission, he was shot down and parachuted into enemy territory.
He was captured and spent six years in prison. He survived and now lectures on the lessons he learned from his experiences. One day, a man in approached Plumb and his wife in a restaurant, and said, "Are you Plumb the navy pilot? Plumb was amazed - and grateful: "If the chute you packed hadn't worked I wouldn't be here today Plumb refers to this in his lectures: his realisation that the anonymous sailors who packed the parachutes held the pilots' lives in their hands, and yet the pilots never gave these sailors a second thought; never even said hello, let alone said thanks.
Now Plumb asks his audiences, "Who packs your parachutes? Who helps you through your life? Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually? Think about who helps you; recognise them and say thanks. Ack JK, and thanks to the person who wrote to confirm that Charles Plum still speaks and lectures. This is allegedly a true story. Engineers at a major aerospace company were instructed to test the effects of bird-strikes notably geese on the windshields of airliners and military jets. To simulate the effect of a goose colliding with an aircraft travelling at high speed, the test engineers built a powerful gun, with which they fired dead chickens at the windshields.
The simulations using the gun and the dead chickens worked extremely effectively, happily proving the suitability of the windshields, and several articles about the project appeared in the testing industry press.
It so happened that another test laboratory in a different part of the world was involved in assessing bird-strikes - in this case on the windshields and drivers' cabs of new very high speed trains. The train test engineers had read about the pioneering test developed by the aerospace team, and so they approached them to ask for specifications of the gun and the testing methods. The aerospace engineers duly gave them details, and the train engineers set about building their own simulation.
The simulated bird-strike tests on the train windshields and cabs produced shocking results. The supposed state-of-the-art shatter-proof high speed train windshields offered little resistance to the high-speed chickens; in fact every single windshield that was submitted for testing was smashed to pieces, along with a number of train cabs and much of the test booth itself.
The horrified train engineers were concerned that the new high speed trains required a safety technology that was beyond their experience, so they contacted the aerospace team for advice and suggestions, sending them an extensive report of the tests and failures.
Like most great stories, this one exists in different versions, although the meaning is the same. Many feature a poodle, or another small breed of dog instead of a chihuahua. A lady takes her pet chihuahua with her on a safari holiday. Wandering too far one day the chihuahua gets lost in the bush, and soon encounters a very hungry looking leopard. The chihuahua realises he's in trouble, but, noticing some fresh bones on the ground, he settles down to chew on them, with his back to the big cat. As the leopard is about to leap, the chihuahua smacks his lips and exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard.
I wonder if there are any more around here. A monkey nearby sees everything and thinks he'll win a favour by putting the stupid leopard straight. The chihuahua sees the monkey go after the leopard, and guesses he might be up to no good. When the leopard hears the monkey's story he feels angry at being made a fool, and offers the monkey a ride back to see him exact his revenge. Thinking quickly, the little dog turns his back, pretends not to notice them, and when the pair are within earshot says aloud, "Now where's that monkey got to?
I sent him ages ago to bring me another leopard A big corporation hired several cannibals. A few weeks later the cannibals' boss remarked, "You're all working very hard, and I'm satisfied with you. However, one of our secretaries has disappeared. Do any of you know what happened to her? After the boss left, the leader of the cannibals said to the others angrily, "Right, which one of you idiots ate the secretary? A hand rose hesitantly in admission. A dog held a juicy bone in his jaws as he crossed a bridge over a brook. When he looked down into the water he saw a another dog below with what appeared to be a bigger juicier bone.
He jumped into the brook to snatch the bigger bone, letting go his own bone, He quickly learned of course that the bigger bone was just a reflection, and so he ended up with nothing. Apparently this is based on a true incident. A quality management consultant was visiting a small and somewhat antiquated English manufacturing company, to advise on improving general operating efficiency. The advisor was reviewing a particular daily report which dealt with aspects of productivity, absentee rates, machine failure, down-time, etc. The report was completed manually onto a photocopied proforma that was several generations away from the original master-copy, so its headings and descriptions were quite difficult to understand.
The photocopied forms were particularly fuzzy at the top-right corner, where a small box had a heading that was not clear at all. The advisor was interested to note that the figure '0' had been written in every daily report for the past year. On questioning the members of staff who completed the report, they told him that they always put a zero in that box, and when he asked them why they looked at each other blankly.
Intrigued, the consultant visited the archives to see if he could find a clearer form, to discover what was originally being reported and whether it actually held any significance. When he found the old reports, he saw that the zero return had continued uninterrupted for as far back as the records extended - at least the past thirty years - but none of the forms was any clearer than those presently in use. A little frustrated, he packed away the old papers and turned to leave the room, but something caught his eye.
In another box he noticed a folder, promisingly titled 'master forms'.
- The Fundamental Operations in Bead Arithmetic - How to Use the Chinese Abacus.
- Peter Ibbetson;
- 5 Stories From “Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark” That Were Pure Childhood Nightmare Fuel?
- 5 Stories From “Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark” That Were Pure Childhood Nightmare Fuel.
- 1434: The Year a Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance.
Sure enough inside it he found the original daily report proforma master-copy, in pristine condition. In the top right corner was the mysterious box, with the heading clearly shown Here are two letters, according to the story both real, the first allegedly sent to a man named Ryan DeVries by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, State of Michigan; the second is Mr DeVries' amusing response. The letters provide a great example of the dangers of making assumptions and jumping to conclusions, and also how to reply to a false accusation with humour and style.
It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued. The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations.
We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that our staff may schedule a follow-up site inspection.
Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action. We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at Dagget, Pierson, Michigan. A couple of beavers are in the process State unauthorized of constructing and maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond.
While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials "debris". As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity. My first dam question to you is: 1 are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers or 2 do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request?
If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued. I have several concerns. My first concern is: aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation, so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer. The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event causing flooding is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect.
In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling them dam names. If you want the stream "restored" to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers, but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being unable to read English. In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond.
If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources Beavers and the environment Beavers' Dams. So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality health problem in the area.
It is the bears! Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! The bears are not careful where they dump! Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office. Footnote: I'm grateful to J DeKorne for pointing out that these letters are in fact based on real correspondence involving Stephen Tvedten of Marne, Michigan.
The original letters are here. Nevertheless be careful how you use this story. There are various versions of the story of the blind visually impaired men and the elephant. The 'blind men and the elephant' is a legend that appears in different cultures - notably China, Africa and India - and the tale dates back thousands of years. Some versions of the story feature three blind men, others five or six, but the message is always the same.