Archive for the ‘Humour’ Category

Thanks for the compliment!

Friday, January 20th, 2012

I’ve found little to write about since December, but I check all comments that my site gets. Nearly all are spam, but I really loved the following one, whose author and his/her (commercial) internet link I’ll spare you:

One thing I have realized in all your blog posts and I thought I’d compliment you on is how good your English and grammar are. How did you figure out how to write so well? It looks like you have a degree in writing from a University.

Here’s what I would have answered if I’d taken this seriously:

Thank you ever so much for that charming compliment. I have a university degree, but it’s in mathematics, so not related to writing per se. However, for the last three years I have been an Associate Editor for one of the largest online dictionaries, the OEDILF (Omnificient English Dictionary In Limerick Form).

Need I mention that this “comment” will be published in the OEDILF forum? I’m sure my collaborators will be impressed.

Well meant, I suppose …

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

I just received this message from a friend:

May the sun shine on you, Michael, and may your socks fit perfectly today. Not so loose that they bunch at your ankles, yet not so tight that they cut off the circulation. And may they keep your feet warm enough today without getting sweaty by the end of the day. Peace my brother.

It came too late, alas, as you can see for yourself:


No meta wish for YOU!

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Here’s a variation of a well-known story:

A man walks along a shore and finds a bottle. He opens it and out comes a strange being who says “Thank you ever so much, dear fisherman, for freeing me. I am a genie, and I’ve been locked up for centuries. As a sign of my gratitude, I offer you a wish. What would you like?”

“Thanks yourself,” says the man. “BTW, I’m not a fisher, but a professor of mathematical logic. And I’ve heard this story before. Some idiots ask for a million dollars or happiness or something similar. But I’ve dreamed of this moment for years and planned ahead. My wish is: I want you to grant me ten wishes.”

“Smartarse, eh?” says the genie. “We were warned about your kind in genie training. What you want isn’t a wish, but a ‘meta wish’, a wish about wishes. And that you can’t have. You must choose something material, like a ton of gold or a pink unicorn, or something immaterial, like intelligence or eternal life. If what you wish for doesn’t exist yet, I can create it for you. But meta wishes are out.”

“Okay,” replies the mathematician, “then I want ten bottles with genies like you inside.”

See that bridge?

Friday, December 16th, 2011

The mayor of a Greek town visited a town in Italy and was invited to dinner at the Italian mayor’s home. The Greek marveled at the splendour in which his colleague lived — a large house with a nice garden, both well tended, and so he asked “Dear colleague, how can you afford all this luxury on what must be quite a modest salary?”

The Italian took him to the window and said “Do you see that bridge over there? The EU gave us enough money to build a two-lane construction, but we made it single-lane, installing a set of traffic lights instead to prevent cars from driving over it from both ends at the same time. What we saved went into this house.”

The year after that, the Italian went to Greece to visit his new friend. He found his colleague living in a huge villa, surrounded by a park, with a large garage full of sports cars. At dinner, the Italian asked “How on earth did you get this much on your salary, which must be even less than mine?”

The Greek took him to the window and said “Do you see that bridge over there?”

“No,” said the Italian.

“That’s how.”