Dear Dad,

    $chool i$ really great. I am making lot$ of friend$ and $tudying very
    hard. With all my $tuff, I $imply can't think of anything I need, $o if
    you would like, you can ju$t $end me a card, a$ I would love to hear
    from you.

    Your $on.

    Dear Son,

    I kNOw that astroNOmy, ecoNOmics, and oceaNOgraphy are eNOugh to keep
    even an hoNOr student busy. Do NOt forget that the pursuit of kNOwledge
    is a NOble task, and you can never study eNOugh.


    Seth Croston Barber <>
    Last modified: Wed Oct 06 13:29:35 PDT 1999


    At a recent open house at a suburban high school,
    a parent wandered into a teacher's office that was empty, and looked
    around the room. Posted on the bulletin board was a list of sentences
    that the teacher's students have written on exam papers through
    the years. Other teachers contributed to the collection, too. The
    parent couldn't resist copying the list of sentences, including these
    gems of creativity:
    By Peter B. Taub

    Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the Organ of the Spices.
    Benjamin Franklin produced electricity by rubbing cats backwards.
    The theory of evolution was greatly objected to because it made men think.
    Three kinds of blood vessels or the arteries, veins and caterpillars.
    The dodo is a bird that is nearly decent now.
    A thermometer is an instrument for rasing temperance.
    To remove air from a flask, fill the flask with water, tip the water out and put the cork in quick.
    A litre is a nest of young baby animals.
    A vacuum is a U-tube with a flask at one end.
    When you haven't got enough iodine in your blood, you'll get a glacier.
    It is a well-known fact that a deceased body warps the mind.
    The human is more intelligent than the beast because the human has more convulsions.
    To remove dust from the eye: Pull the eye over the nose.
    For head colds: Use an agonizer to spray nose until it drops into your throat.
    For snake bite: Bleed the wound and rape the victim in a blanket for shock.
    For asphyxiation: Apply artificial respiration until the patient is dead.
    The process of turning steam into water again is called conversation.
    A magnet is something you find in a bad apple.
    Ammonium chloride is also silly maniac.
    The school is ventilated by hot currents.
    To collect fumes of sulphur, hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube.
    Parallel lines never meet unless you bend one or both of them.
    Typhoid fever may be prevented by fascinations.
    Algebraic symbols are used when you don't know what you're talking about.
    Geometry teaches us to bisex angles.
    A circle is a line which meets its other end without ending.
    Sound is a rapid series of osculations.
    The moon is planet just like the earth only deader.
    The pistol of a flower is its only protection against insects.
    An example of animal breeding is the farmer who mated a bull that gave a great deal of milk with a bull with good meat.
    English sparrows and starlings eat the farmer's grain and soil his corpse.
    By self-pollination, a farmer may get a crop of long-haired sheep.
    If conditions are not favorable, bacteria go into a period of adolescence.
    Dew is formed on the leaves when the sun makes them perspire.
    Vegetative propagation is the precess by which one individual manufactures another individual by accident.
    Sea water is has the formula CH20
    A triangle which has an angle of 135 degrees is called an obscene triangle.
    The hydra gets its food by descending upon its pray and pushing it into its mouth with its testicles.
    Blood flows down one leg and up the other.
    The cerebrum is a cavity in the head.
    The hookworm larva enters the human body through the soul.

    Seth Croston Barber <>
    Last modified: Wed Oct 06 13:29:35 PDT 1999


    Dear Mother and Dad:

    Since I left for college I have been remiss in writing and I am sorry for my thoughtlessness in not having written before. I will bring you up to date now, but before you read on, please sit down. You are not to read any further unless you are sitting down, okay?

    Well, then, I am getting along pretty well now. The skull fracture and the concussion I got when I jumped out the window of my dormitory when it caught on fire shortly after my arrival here is pretty will healed now. I only spent two weeks in the hospital and now I can see almost normally and only get those sick headaches once a day. Fortunately, the fire in the dormitory, and my jump, was witnessed by an attendant at the gas station near the dorm, and he was the one who called the Fire Department and the ambulance. He also visited me in the hospital and since I had nowhere to live because of the burnout dormitory, he was kind enough to invite me to share his apartment with him. It's really a basement room, but it's kind of cute. He is a very fine boy and we have fallen deeply in love and are planning to get married. We haven't got the exact date yet, but it will be before my pregnancy begins to show.

    Yes, Mother and Dad, I am pregnant. I know how much you are looking forward to being grandparents and I know you will welcome the baby and give it the same love and devotion and tender care you gave me when I was a child. The reason for the delay in our marriage is that my boyfriend has a minor infection which prevents us from passing our premarital blood tests and I carelessly caught it from him. I know that you will welcome him into our family with open arms. He is kind and, although not well educated, he is ambitious. Although he is of a different race and religion than ours, I know your often express tolerance will not permit you to be bothered by that.

    Now that I have brought you up to date, I want to tell you that there was no dormitory fire, I did not have a concussion or skull fracture, I was not in the hospital, I am not pregnant, I am not engaged, I am not infected, and there is no boyfriend. However, I am getting a "D" in American History, and an "F" in Chemistry and I wanted you to see those marks in their proper perspective.

    Your loving daughter,

    Seth Croston Barber <>
    Last modified: Wed Oct 06 13:29:35 PDT 1999


    Every day, we are assaulted by stories of stupid people -- many of
    whom use their stupidity for personal gain.

    From time to time, though, we hear of those who strive to achieve new
    levels of stupidity *while* also breaking the law. To these brave
    men and women we present the highest possible honor: entry into the
    "Stupid-Criminal Hall of Shame."

    The following are their accounts . . . .

    Kentucky: Two men tried to pull the front off a
    cash machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of
    their pickup truck. Instead of pulling the front panel off the
    machine, though, they pulled the bumper off their truck. Scared,
    they left the scene and drove home. With the chain still attached
    to the machine. With their bumper still attached to the chain. With
    their vehicle's license plate still attached to the bumper.

    South Carolina: A man walked into a local police
    station, dropped a bag of cocaine on the counter, informed the desk
    sergeant that it was substandard cut, and asked that the person who sold
    it to him be arrested immediately.

    Indiana: A man walked up to a cashier at a grocery store and
    demanded all the money in the register. When the cashier handed him
    the loot, he fled -- leaving his wallet on the counter.

    England: A German "tourist," supposedly on a golf
    holiday, shows up at customs with his golf bag. While making idle
    chatter about golf, the customs official realizes that the tourist does
    not know what a "handicap" is. The customs official asks the tourist to
    demonstrate his swing, which he does -- backward! A substantial amount of
    narcotics was found in the golf bag.

    Germany: Oil of Olay no longer turning the trick for
    her, a woman decided that she would bathe in the milk of a camel (a
    modern-day Cleopatra). So she stole a camel from the local zoo (where
    *else* can you find a camel when you need one?) and transported it back
    to her house -- where she realized that the camel's name was "Otto."

    Arizona: A company called "Guns For Hire" stages
    gunfights for Western movies, etc. One day, they received a call from
    a 47-year- old woman, who wanted to have her husband killed. She got
    4-1/2 years in jail.

    Texas: A man convicted of robbery worked out a deal to
    pay $9600 in damages rather than serve a prison sentence. For payment,
    he provided the court a check -- a forged check. He got 10

    (Location Unknown): A man went into a drugstore, pulled
    a gun, announced a robbery, and pulled a Hefty-bag face mask over his
    head -- and realized that he'd forgotten to cut eye holes in the mask.

    (Location Unknown): A man successfully broke into a
    bank after hours and stole -- are you ready for this -- the bank's video
    camera. While it was recording. Remotely. (That is, the videotape
    recorder was located elsewhere in the bank, so he didn't get the
    videotape of himself stealing the camera.)

    (Location Unknown): A man successfully broke into a
    bank's basement through a street-level window, cutting himself up pretty
    badly in the process. He then realized that (1) he could not get to
    the money from where he was, (2) he could not climb back out the window
    through which he had entered, and (3) he was bleeding pretty badly. So
    he located a phone and dialed "911" for help...

    Virginia: Two men in a pickup truck went to a new-home
    site to steal a refrigerator. Banging up walls, floors, etc., they
    snatched a refrigerator from one of the houses, and loaded it onto
    the pickup. The truck promptly got stuck in the mud, so these brain
    surgeons decided that the refrigerator was too heavy. Banging up *more*
    walls, floors, etc., they put the refrigerator BACK into the house, and
    returned to the pickup truck, only to realize that they locked the keys
    in the truck -- so they abandoned it.

    (Location Unknown): A man walked into a Circle-K (a
    convenience store similar to a 7-11), put a $20 bill on the counter
    and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man
    pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk
    promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled --
    leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got
    from the drawer? Fifteen dollars.

    Seth Croston Barber <>
    Last modified: Wed Oct 06 13:29:36 PDT 1999