Classic Web Postings

1994’s MOST BIZARRE SUICIDE

At the 1994 annual awards dinner given by the American Association for Forensic Science, AAFS president Don Harper Mills astounded his audience in San Diego with the legal complications of a bizarre death.

Here is the story:

On 23 March 1994, the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound to the head. The decedent had jumped from the top of a ten-story building intending to commit suicide (he left a note indicating his despondency). As he fell past the ninth floor, his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast through a window, which killed him instantly. Neither the shooter nor the decedent was aware that a safety net had been erected at the eighth floor level to protect some window washers and that Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide anyway because of this.

Ordinarily, Dr. Mills continued, a person who sets out to commit suicide ultimately succeeds, even though the mechanism might not be what he intended. That Opus was shot on the way to certain death nine stories below probably would not have changed his mode of death from suicide to homicide. But the fact that his suicidal intent would not have been successful caused the medical examiner to feel that he had a homicide on his hands. The room on the ninth floor whence the shotgun blast emanated was occupied by and elderly man and his wife. They were arguing and he was threatening her with the shotgun. He was so upset that, when he pulled the trigger, he completely missed his wife and pellets went through the window striking Opus. When one intends to kill subject A but kills subject B in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject B.

When confronted with this charge, the old man and his wife were both adamant that neither knew that the shotgun was loaded. The old man said it was his long standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her - therefore, the killing of Opus appeared to be an accident. That is, the gun had been accidentally loaded.

The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple’s son loading the shotgun approximately six weeks prior to the fatal incident. It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son’s financial support and the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother. The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.

There was an exquisite twist. Further investigation revealed that the son, one Ronald Opus, had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother’s murder. This led him to jump off the ten- story building on March 23, only to be killed by a shotgun blast through a ninth story window.

The medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.

Headlines

58 Actual Newspaper Headlines (collected by actual journalists)

  • Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
  • Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
  • Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted
  • Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case
  • Survivor of Siamese Twins Joins Parents
  • Farmer Bill Dies in House
  • Iraqi Head Seeks Arms
  • Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?
  • Stud Tires Out
  • Prostitutes Appeal to Pope
  • Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
  • Soviet Virgin Lands Short of Goal Again
  • British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands
  • Lung Cancer in Women Mushrooms
  • Eye Drops off Shelf
  • Teacher Strikes Idle Kids
  • Reagan Wins on Budget, But More Lies Ahead
  • Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim
  • Shot Off Woman’s Leg Helps Nicklaus to 66
  • Enraged Cow Injures Farmer with Ax
  • Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told
  • Miners Refuse to Work after Death
  • Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
  • Stolen Painting Found by Tree
  • Two Soviet Ships Collide, One Dies
  • Two Sisters Reunited after 18 Years in Checkout Counter
  • Killer Sentenced to Die for Second Time in 10 Years
  • Never Withhold Herpes Infection from Loved One
  • Drunken Drivers Paid $1000 in ‘84
  • War Dims Hope for Peace
  • If Strike isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last a While
  • Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
  • Enfields Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
  • Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge
  • Deer Kill 17,000
  • Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
  • Man Struck by Lightning Faces Battery Charge
  • New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
  • Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
  • Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
  • Chef Throws His Heart into Helping Feed Needy
  • Arson Suspect is Held in Massachusetts Fire
  • British Union Finds Dwarfs in Short Supply
  • Ban On Soliciting Dead in Trotwood
  • Lansing Residents Can Drop Off Trees
  • Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
  • New Vaccine May Contain Rabies
  • Man Minus Ear Waives Hearing
  • Deaf College Opens Doors to Hearing
  • Air Head Fired
  • Steals Clock, Faces Time
  • Prosecutor Releases Probe into Undersheriff
  • Old School Pillars are Replaced by Alumni
  • Bank Drive-in Window Blocked by Board
  • Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
  • Some Pieces of Rock Hudson Sold at Auction
  • Sex Education Delayed, Teachers Request Training
  • Include your Children when Baking Cookies

Winners of the “worst analogies ever written in a high school essay” contest

He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again. (Rich Murphy, Fairfax Station)

The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty Bag filled with vegetable soup. (Paul Sabourin, Silver Spring)

From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and “Jeopardy” comes on at 7 p.m. instead of 7:30. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Bob was as perplexed as a hacker who means to access T:flw.quid55328.comaaakk/ch@ung but gets T:flw.quidaaakk/ch@ung by mistake (Ken Krattenmaker, Landover Hills)

Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever. (Unknown)

He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree. (Jack Bross, Chevy Chase)

The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease. (Gary F. Hevel, Silver Spring)

Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a movie this guy would be buried in the credits as something like “Second Tall Man.” (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr. on a Dr Pepper can. (Wayne Goode, Madison, Ala.)

They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)

John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play. (Barbara Fetherolf, Alexandria)

His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

For Your Next Cookout

By hooking into the World Wide Web, you can look at a variety of electronic “pages”, consisting of documents, pictures, and videos created by people all over the world. One of these is a guy named (really) George Goble, a computer person in the Purdue University engineering department. Each year, Goble and a bunch of other engineers hold a picnic in West Lafayette, Indiana, at which they cook hamburgers on a big grill. Being engineers, they began looking for practical ways to speed up the charcoal-lighting process. “We started by blowing the charcoal with a hair dryer,” Goble told me in a telephone interview “Then we figured out that it would light faster if we used a vacuum cleaner.”

If you know anything about (1) engineers and (2) guys in general, you know what happened. The purpose of the charcoal-lighting shifted from cooking hamburgers to seeing how fast they could light the charcoal. From the vacuum cleaner, they escalated to using a propane torch, then an acetylene torch. Then Goble started using compressed pure oxygen, which caused the charcoal to burn much faster. By this point, Goble was getting pretty good times. But in the world of competitive charcoal-lighting, “pretty good” does not cut the mustard. Thus, Goble hit upon the idea of using - get ready - liquid oxygen. This is the form of oxygen used in rocket engines; it’s 295 degrees below zero and 600 times as dense as regular oxygen. In terms of releasing energy, pouring liquid oxygen on charcoal is the equivalent of throwing a live squirrel into a room containing 50 million Labrador retrievers. On Goble’s World Wide Web page (the address is http://ghg.ecn.purdue.edu/), you can see actual photographs and a video of Goble using a bucket attached to a 10 foot long wooden handle to dump 3 gallons of liquid oxygen (not sold in stores) onto a grill containing 60 pounds of charcoal and a lit cigarette for ignition. What follows is the most impressive charcoal-lighting I have ever seen, featuring a large fireball that, according to Goble, reached 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The charcoal was ready for cooking in - this has to be a world record - 3 seconds.

There’s also a photo of what happened when Goble used the same technique on a flimsy $2.88 discount store grill. All that’s left is a circle of charcoal with a few shreds of metal in it. “Basically, the grill vaporized,” said Goble. “We were thinking of returning it to the store for a refund.”

Looking at Goble’s video and photos, I became, as an American, all choked up with gratitude at the fact that I do not live anywhere near the engineers picnic site. But also, I was proud of my country for producing guys who can be ready to barbecue in less time than it takes for guys in less-advanced nations, such a France, to spit.

Will the 3-second barrier ever be broken? Will engineers come up with a new, more powerful charcoal-lighting technology? It’s something for all of us to ponder this Summer as we sit outside, chewing our hamburgers, every now and then glancing in the direction of West Lafayette, Indiana, looking for a mushroom cloud.

Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe

My daughter & I had just finished a salad at Neiman-Marcus Cafe in Dallas & decided to have a small dessert. Because both of us are such cookie lovers, we decided to try the “Neiman-Marcus Cookie.”

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Neiman’s is a VERY EXPENSIVE department store in the States.

It was so excellent that I asked if they would give me the recipe and the waitress said with a small frown, “I’m afraid not.”

Well, I said, would you let me buy the recipe? With a cute smile, she said, “Yes.” I asked how much, and she responded, “Only two fifty, it’s a great deal!” I said with approval, just add it to my tab.

Thirty days later, I received my VISA statement from Neiman-Marcus and it was $285.00. I looked again and I remembered I had only spent $9.95 for two salads and about $20.00 for a scarf. As I glanced at the bottom of the statement, it said, “Cookie Recipe - $250.00”.

That’s outrageous!!

I called Neiman’s Accounting Dept. and told them the waitress said it was “two-fifty,” which clearly does not mean “two hundred and fifty dollars” by any *POSSIBLE* interpretation of the phrase. Neiman-Marcus refused to budge. They would not refund my money, because according to them, “What the waitress told you is not our problem. You have already seen the recipe - we absolutely will not refund your money at this point.”

I explained to her the criminal statues which govern fraud in Texas, I threatened to refer them to the Better Business Bureau and the State’s Attorney General for engaging in fraud. I was basically told, “Do what you want, we don’t give a crap, and we’re not refunding your money.”

I waited, thinking of how I could get even, or even try and get any of my money back. I just said, “Okay, you folks got my $250, and now I’m going to have $250.00 worth of fun.” I told her that I was going to see to it that every cookie lover in the United States with an e-mail account has a $250.00 cookie recipe from Neiman-Marcus...for free.

She replied, “I wish you wouldn’t do this.” I said, “Well, you should have thought of that before you ripped me off,” and slammed down the phone on her.

So here it is!!! Please, please, please pass it on to everyone you can possible think of. I paid $250 for this...I don’t want Neiman-Marcus to *ever* get another penny off of this recipe....

(Recipe may be halved)

2   cups butter
4   cups flour
2   tsp. soda
2   cups sugar
5   cups blended oatmeal**
24  oz. chocolate chips
2   cups brown sugar
1   tsp. salt
1   8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)
4   eggs
2   tsp. baking powder
2   tsp. vanilla
3   cups chopped nuts (your choice)

** Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder.

Cream the butter and both sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla; mix together  with
flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda.  Add chocolate chips, Hershey
Bar and nuts.  Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.  Makes 112 cookies.

Have fun!!! This is not a joke — this is a true story. Ride free citizens!

LIST OF BART’S BLACKBOARD QUOTATIONS FROM THE INTRO TO “THE SIMPSONS”

7G02   I will not waste chalk
7G03   I will not skateboard in the halls
7G04   I will not burp in class
7G06   I will not instigate revolution
7G09   I will not draw naked ladies in class
7G07   I did not see Elvis
7G10   I will not call my teacher "Hot Cakes"
7G13   Garlic gum is not funny
7G12   They are laughing at me, not with me
7G01   I will not yell "Fire" in a crowded classroom
7F03   I will not encourage others to fly
7F03   I will not fake my way through life
7F02   Tar is not a play thing
7F01   I will not Xerox my butt
7F01*  It's potato, not potatoe (This was used for the second airing, a
           reference to Dan Quayle's gaff while visiting a school)
7F05   I will not trade pants with others
7F08*  I am not a 32 year old woman (To put it another way, Nancy
          Cartwright is not a 10-year-old boy)
7F07   I will not do that thing with my tongue
7F06   I will not drive the principal's car
7F09   I will not pledge allegiance to Bart
7F10*  I will not sell school property (Also used in 7F14 - the only episode
          so far to use a "repeated" blackboard opening in its first showing)
7F11*  I will not cut corners (It actually looks like this:
7F12   I will not get very far with this attitude
7F13   I will not make flatulent noises in class
7F15   I will not belch the National Anthem
7F16   I will not sell land in Florida
7F17   I will not grease the monkey bars
7F18   I will not hide behind the Fifth Amendment
7F20   I will not do anything bad ever again
7F21*  I will not show off (This was written in an "Olde English"-style font)
7F22   I will not sleep through my education
7F24   I am not a dentist
8F01   Spitwads are not free speech
7F23   Nobody likes sunburn slappers
8F03   High explosives and school don't mix
8F03x  I will not bribe Principal Skinner
8F04*  I will not squeak chalk (Bart squeaks the chalk while writing this)
8F05*  I will finish what I star (This appears on one line; the rest is blank)
8F06   "Bart Bucks" are not legal tender
8F08   Underwear should be worn on the inside
8F09   The Christmas Pageant does not stink
8F10   I will not torment the emotionally frail
8F11   I will not carve gods
8F14   I will not spank others
8F13   I will not aim for the head
8F15*  I will not barf unless I'm sick (Lisa has a blackboard punishment of sorts
          during the episode; she has to clap erasers)
8F15x  I will not expose the ignorance of the faculty
8F17   I saw nothing unusual in the teacher's lounge
8F19   I will not conduct my own fire drills
8F20   Funny noises are not funny
8F22   I will not  snap bras
8F23   I will not fake seizures
8F24   This punishment is not boring and pointless
8F18   My name is not Dr. Death
9F01*  I will not defame New Orleans (New Orleans complained about the opening
           song in "Oh, Streetcar!")
9F02   I will not prescribe medication
9F03*  I will not bury the new kid (During the episode, Marge wrote "I will try to
           raise a better child")
9F05   I will not teach others to fly
9F06   I will not bring sheep to class
9F07   A burp is not an answer
9F08   Teacher is not a leper
9F09*  Coffee is not for kids (Each line becomes less and less legible; the
           last line is a scrawl)
9F10   I will not eat things for money
9F11   I will not yell "She's Dead" at roll call
9F12   The principal's toupee is not a Frisbee
9F13   I will not call the principal "spud head"
9F14   Goldfish don't bounce

Bulwer-Lytton Grand Prize Winners

Lyttony of Grand Prize Winners

The camel died quite suddenly on the second day, and Selena fretted sulkily and, buffing her already impeccable nails–not for the first time since the journey began–pondered snidely if this would dissolve into a vignette of minor inconveniences like all the other holidays spent with Basil.

–Gail Cain, San Francisco, California (1983 Winner)

The lovely woman-child Kaa was mercilessly chained to the cruel post of the warrior-chief Beast, with his barbarous tribe now stacking wood at her nubile feet, when the strong, clear voice of the poetic and heroic Handsomas roared, “Flick your Bic, crisp that chick, and you’ll feel my steel through your last meal.”

–Steven Garman, Pensacola, Florida (1984 Winner)

The countdown had stalled at T minus 69 seconds when Desiree, the first female ape to go up in space, winked at me slyly and pouted her thick, rubbery lips unmistakably–the first of many such advances during what would prove to be the longest, and most memorable, space voyage of my career.

–Martha Simpson, Glastonbury, Connecticut (1985 Winner)

The bone-chilling scream split the warm summer night in two, the first half being before the scream when it was fairly balmy and calm and pleasant for those who hadn’t heard the scream at all, but not calm or balmy or even very nice for those who did hear the scream, discounting the little period of time during the actual scream itself when your ears might have been hearing it but your brain wasn’t reacting yet to let you know.

–Patricia E. Presutti, Lewiston, New York (1986 Winner)

The notes blatted skyward as the sun rose over the Canada geese, feathered rumps mooning the day, webbed appendages frantically peddling unseen bicycles in their search for sustenance, driven by Nature’s maxim, “Ya wanna eat, ya gotta work,” and at last I knew Pittsburgh.

–Sheila B. Richter, Minneapolis, Minnesota (1987 Winner)

Like an expensive sports car, fine-tuned and well-built, Portia was sleek, shapely, and gorgeous, her red jumpsuit molding her body, which was as warm as the seatcovers in July, her hair as dark as new tires, her eyes flashing like bright hubcaps, and her lips as dewy as the beads of fresh rain on the hood; she was a woman driven–fueled by a single accelerant–and she needed a man, a man who wouldn’t shift from his views, a man to steer her along the right road, a man like Alf Romeo.

–Rachel E. Sheeley, Williamsburg, Indiana (1988 Winner)

Professor Frobisher couldn’t believe he had missed seeing it for so long–it was, after all, right there under his nose–but in all his years of research into the intricate and mysterious ways of the universe, he had never noticed that the freckles on his upper lip, just below and to the left of the nostril, partially hidden until now by a hairy mole he had just removed a week before, exactly matched the pattern of the stars in the Pleides, down to the angry red zit that had just popped up where he and his colleagues had only today discovered an exploding nova.

–Ray C. Gainey, Indianapolis, Indiana (1989 Winner)

Dolores breezed along the surface of her life like a flat stone forever skipping across smooth water, rippling reality sporadically but oblivious to it consistently, until she finally lost momentum, sank, and due to an overdose of fluoride as a child which caused her to lie forever on the floor of her life as useless as an appendix and as lonely as a five-hundred-pound barbell in a steroid-free fitness center.

–Linda Vernon, Newark, California (1990 Winner)

Sultry it was and humid, but no whisper of air caused the plump, laden spears of golden grain to nod their burdened heads as they unheedingly awaited the cyclic rape of their gleaming treasure, while overhead the burning orb of luminescence ascended its ever-upward path toward a sweltering celestial apex, for although it is not in Kansas that our story takes place, it looks godawful like it.

–Judy Frazier, Lathrop, Missouri (1991 Winner)

As the newest Lady Turnpot descended into the kitchen wrapped only in her celery-green dressing gown, her creamy bosom rising and falling like a temperamental souffle, her tart mouth pursed in distaste, the sous-chef whispered to the scullery boy, “I don’t know what to make of her.”

–Laurel Fortuner, Montendre, France (1992 Winner)

She wasn’t really my type, a hard-looking but untalented reporter from the local cat box liner, but the first second that the third-rate representative of the fourth estate cracked open a new fifth of old Scotch, my sixth sense said seventh heaven was as close as an eighth note from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, so, nervous as a tenth grader drowning in eleventh-hour cramming for a physics exam, I swept her into my longing arms, and, humming “The Twelfth of Never,” I got lucky on Friday the thirteenth.

–Wm. W. “Buddy” Ocheltree, Port Townsend, Washington (1993 Winner)

As the fading light of a dying day filtered through the window blinds, Roger stood over his victim with a smoking .45, surprised at the serenity that filled him after pumping six slugs into the bloodless tyrant that mocked him day after day, and then he shuffled out of the office with one last look back at the shattered computer terminal lying there like a silicon armadillo left to rot on the information superhighway.

–Larry Brill, Austin, Texas (1994 Winner)

Paul Revere had just discovered that someone in Boston was a spy for the British, and when he saw the young woman believed to be the spy’s girlfriend in an Italian restaurant he said to the waiter, “Hold the spumoni–I’m going to follow the chick an’ catch a Tory.”

–John L. Ashman, Houston, Texas (1995 Winner)

“Ace, watch your head!” hissed Wanda urgently, yet somehow provocatively, through red, full, sensuous lips, but he couldn’t you know, since nobody can actually watch more than part of his nose or a little cheek or lips if he really tries, but he appreciated her warning.

–Janice Estey, Aspen, Colorado (1996 Winner)

Maintenance Problems and Solutions

Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by US Air Force pilots and the replies from the maintenance crews.

Problem: “Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.”
Solution: “Almost replaced left inside main tire.”
Problem: “Dead bugs on windshield.”
Solution: “Live bugs on order.”
Problem: “Test flight OK, except autoland very rough.”
Solution: “Autoland not installed on this aircraft.”
Problem: “Evidence of hydraulic leak on right main landing gear.”
Solution: “Evidence removed.”
Problem: “Autopilot in altitude hold mode produces a 200 fpm descent.”
Solution: “Cannot reproduce problem on ground.”
Problem: “Number three engine missing.”
Solution: “Engine found on right wing after brief search.”

Easy Quiz (?)

  1. How long did the Hundred Years War last?
  2. Which country makes Panama hats?
  3. From which animal do we get catgut?
  4. In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?
  5. What is a camel’s hair brush made of?
  6. The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?
  7. What was King George VI’s first name?
  8. What color is a purple finch?
  9. Where are Chinese gooseberries from?
  10. How long did the Thirty Years War last?

Answers

  1. 116 years, from 1337 to 1453.
  2. Ecuador.
  3. From sheep and horses.
  4. November. The Russian calendar was 13 days behind ours.
  5. Squirrel fur.
  6. The Latin name was Insularia Canaria - Island of the Dogs.
  7. Albert. When he came to the throne in 1936 he respected the wish of Queen Victoria that no future king should ever be called Albert.
  8. Distinctively crimson.
  9. New Zealand.
  10. Thirty years, of course. From 1618 to 1648.

Spell Check

Eye halve a spelling chequer,
It came with my pea sea,
It plainly marques four my review,
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a ward,
And weight four it two say,
Weather eye am wrong oar write,
It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid,
It nose bee fore two long,
And eye can put the error rite,
Its rare lea ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it,
I am shore your pleased two no,
Its letter purr fit awl the weigh,
My checquer tolled me sew.

English Pronunciation

English is Tough Stuff

Dearest creature in creation
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I: Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar.
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamor
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and droll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangor.
Soul but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, knob, bosom, transom, oath.
Through the differences seem little,
We say actual, but also victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, Conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succor, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye.
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, brass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging.
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here, but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation - think of Psyche!
Is it paling, stout and spiky?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough -
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advise is to give it up!!!

Mom’s Sign for the Bathroom Door

ATTENTION CHILDREN:

  • The bathroom door is closed. Please do not stand there and talk, whine, or ask questions. Wait until I get out.
  • Yes, it is locked. I want it that way.
  • It is not broken, I am not trapped.
  • I know I have left it unlocked, and even open at times, since you were born, because I was afraid some horrible tragedy might occur while I was in there, but it’s been 10 years and I want some PRIVACY.
  • Do not ask me how long I will be.
  • I will come out when I am done.
  • Do not bring the phone to the bathroom door.
  • Do not go running back to the phone yelling, “She’s in the BATHROOM!”
  • Do not begin to fight as soon as I go in.
  • Do not stick your little fingers under the door and wiggle them. This was funny when you were two.
  • Do not slide pennies, Legos, or notes under the door. Even when you were two this got a little tiresome.
  • If you have followed me down the hall talking, and are still talking as you face this closed door, please turn around, walk away, and wait for me in another room. I will be glad to listen to you when I am done.
  • And yes, I still love you.

PS: This goes for you too, dear husband.

~Mom~

New Definitions

The Washington Post recently published a contest for readers in which they were asked to supply alternate meanings for various words. The following were some of the winning entries:

Abdicate (v.):to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
Balderdash (n.):
 a rapidly receding hairline.
Circumvent (n.):
 the opening in the front of boxer shorts.
Coffee (n.):a person who is coughed upon.
Esplanade (v.):to attempt an explanation while drunk.
Flabbergasted (adj.):
 appalled over how much weight you have gained.
Flatulence (n.):
 the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
Frisbatarianism (n.):
 The belief that, when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there.
Gargoyle (n.):an olive-flavored mouthwash.
Lymph (v.):to walk with a lisp.
Negligent (adj.):
 describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightie.
Oyster (n.):a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.
Rectitude (n.):the formal, dignified demeanor assumed by a proctologist mmediately before he examines you.
Semantics (n.):pranks conducted by young men studying for the priesthood, including such things as gluing the pages of the priest’s prayer book together just before vespers.
Willy-nilly (adj.):
 impotent.

Useful for Business Phrases

See Business Phrase Generator when your stuck for something trite.

version:2
date:2/37/02