I'm on vacation this week, so I decided to rerun a couple of
stories from previous Funnies. Quite a few of you have seen
these before, but they will be new for about half of you on the
SUNFUN list. Funnies is still doing better than television; most
people don't realize that there are only around 20 new episodes
per year for most entertainment shows these days. That means
that some shows have to be rerun TWICE. I'll try not to do that
here. I'll try not to do that here. - Ooops!
Anyway, hope that all of you are having a great summer and
that you have been able to enjoy at least a little vacation time.
SUNFUN Thanks this week to: Jerry Taff, Peter Adler and Beth
Butler for their contributions. Hope you enjoy revisiting a few
of last year's funniest Funnies.
Have a great week,
THE CHICKEN GUN
(From: Party Animals Department - 10/06/96)
The US Federal Aviation Administration has a unique tool for
testing the strength of airplane windshields. The device is an
air gun that launches a dead chicken at a plane's windshield at
approximately the speed the plane flies.
The theory is that if the windshield doesn't crack from the
carcass impact, it'll survive a collision with a real bird during
flight. The British government was very interested in this
device, wanting to test a windshield on a brand new, high-speed
locomotive they were developing.
They borrowed the FAA's chicken launcher, and used the US
calculations to set up the test conditions. The researchers
obtained the specified two-pound chicken from the nearest
supermarket, then they loaded up the chicken gun and fired.
To their horror, the ballistic bird shattered the
windshield, went through the engineer's chair, broke an
instrument panel and finally embedded itself in the back wall of
the engine cab. The British researchers were stunned and asked
the FAA to recheck the test to see if everything had been done
The FAA reviewed the test results thoroughly and had one
recommendation: "Next time, use a thawed chicken."
MOST UNUSUAL EXPERIENCES DURING JOB INTERVIEWS -
(From: On the Job - 12/15/97)
- A job applicant challenged the interviewer to arm wrestle.
- The interviewee wore a Walkman, explaining that she could
listen to the interviewer and the music at the same time.
- One candidate fell and broke arm during interview.
- Candidate announced she hadn't had lunch and proceeded to
eat a hamburger and french fries in the interviewer's
- A balding candidate excused himself and returned to the
office a few minutes later wearing a hairpiece.
- An Applicant said if he was hired he would demonstrate his
loyalty by having the corporate logo tattooed on his
- Applicant interrupted interview to phone her therapist for
advice on how to answer each interview question.
- One applicant refused to sit down and insisted on being
interviewed standing up.
- Candidate fell asleep during interview.
UNDER A SPELL...
(From: The King's English - 01/19/97)
In a letter to 'The Economist', M. J. Shields, of Jarrow,
England, points out that George Bernard Shaw, among others,
urged spelling reform, suggesting that one letter be altered
or deleted each year, thus giving the populace time to absorb
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
"For example, in Year 1 that useless letter 'c' would be
dropped to be replased either by 'k' or 's', and likewise 'x'
would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which
'c' would be retained would be the 'ch' formation, which will be
dealt with later. Year 2 might reform 'w' spelling, so that
'which' and 'one' would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3
might well abolish 'y' replasing it with 'i' and Iear 4 might
fiks the 'g-j' anomali wonse and for all.
"Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai
iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and
Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and
unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl
tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez 'c', 'y' and 'x' - bai now
jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez - tu riplais 'ch',
'sh', and 'th' rispektivli.
"Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi
wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe
ONE-EYED JACKS DEPARTMENT...
(From: Pandamonium - 02/02/97)
Sign in Sandia National Lab's Physics Department:
"Do not look directly into laser beam with
REMEMBER TO TAKE YOUR QUOTE AND HAT DEPARTMENT
(From: Government Writings - 02/23/97)
- "The President doesn't want any yes-men and yes-women around
him. When he says no, we all say no."
- Elizabeth Dole, then assistant for public liaison to
President Reagan, later Secretary of Labor under
- "I think the free-enterprise system is absolutely too
important to be left to the voluntary action of the
- Congressman Richard Kelly (R-Fla)
- "I will ignore all ideas for new works on engines of war,
the invention of which has reached it's limits and for whose
improvements I see no further hope."
- Sextus Julius Frontinus, Roman Engineer, about 50 A.D.
- "I'm not indecisive. Am I indecisive?"
- Jim Seibel, mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota
- "China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese."
- Charles deGalle, French President
[ He was expecting Lithuanians maybe? ]
THE PRINTS OF WHALES...
Or, How NOT to Remove a Dead Whale.
(From: Party Animals Department - 10/06/96)
The authorities near Portland, Oregon had a serious health
problem; a 45 foot (14 meter) long whale had beached itself and
died on a popular beach, and they had no easy way to remove it.
Since a whale of that size weighs about 8 tons, they couldn't
just pick it up, especially since it was on sand too soft for
construction equipment. Cutting up the decomposing carcass would
have been a long and expensive job as well as being a pretty
nasty week's work. So, as the whale began to smell worse and
worse, they searched for a cheap way out. The solution they
tried has become pretty famous - Dave Barry even wrote an article
about it a while back.
For now, though, it was the classic large smelly problem
that no one wanted. Finally, the Oregon State Highway Division
proposed just dynamiting the remains. Their analysis of the
problem showed that the one big slab of whale wasn't being eaten
by the sea gulls fast enough. The Highway Department's plan was
to use high explosives to blow the whale remains into Moby
McNuggets so the sea gulls would feast on the remains and clean
up the beach quickly. That way, it would be a fast and simple
job using very little manpower, and cheap too.
Unfortunately, no one took into account that the highway
department uses dynamite mostly to get rid of large boulders that
end up as navigational hazards on highways. They are used to
dealing with large crunchy objects, but not large squishy ones.
They had never tried this before. So, to make doubly sure the
job was done thoroughly, the highway workers packed a half a ton
of dynamite under the dead whale. Under normal conditions, this
should have been enough explosive to put the whale carcass into a
low orbit. Around Jupiter. A local TV station in Portland heard
about this little project, and thought that a nice big explosion
would make for a fun feature story, so they sent a crew to cover
the big blast.
As demolition time approached, the police moved the
gathering crowd back away from the beach. Everyone was in a
party mood, laughing and cheering. They watched patiently while
the highway folks unloaded case after case of explosive, and
arranged it carefully around the dead whale. They counted out
loud along with the countdown, and then, **** BLAMMO!! ****. The
whale remains disappeared in a tremendous pinkish cloud of dust
and sand that shot hundreds of feet in the air. Everyone was
cheering and applauding, just like they do for fireworks on the
4th of July.
They kept on cheering until the sky darkened and started
raining dirt, sand and softball-sized chunks of flying whale.
People ran for cover as the ballistic blubber broke windshields,
damaged buildings and caved in car roofs as much as a quarter
mile (1/2 km) away. A number of people suffered minor injuries
from being hit by the meaty missiles.
As the dust settled, a pile of dead whale about the size of
a beer truck still remained on the beach. Instead of one large
glob of whale, the authorities were faced with several tons of
whale steaks scattered over a couple of square miles of terrain.
And the sea gulls? As soon as they heard the blast, they took
off for a quieter stretch of beach in, say, Honduras. Who wants
a lunch buffet that explodes, even if it is free?
Always a bad idea to clean up one mess by making a larger
one! But the Oregon Highway Department did learn one important
lesson. Next time they should sell tickets.
[ By the way - some people still believe that this
story is an urban legend. Not so! I have seen the
pictures... If you have web access, you can view
pictures and even a Quicktime movie of Portland
reporter Paul Linnman covering the event at:
© 1997 by Bill Becwar. All Rights Reserved.