JeffR Archives

June 3, 2008

Jeff R.:Stop Me If...

"I'm sorry, but you can't tell that joke."

"What? Why?"

"Potentially offensive to Skanturians."



"There aren't any Skanturians. It's just a made-up word."



"Well, I mean, for all we know tomorrow some folks might declare themselves the new Skanturians, and demand equal rights to frommit their slivvixes in peace, and then where'd we be?"

"That doesn't seem very likely."

"Nonetheless. Also, is that a talking dog there?"

"What? No, just an ordinary dog."

"That won't do either. Sorry, friend, if you want to tell that joke in this country, you'd better just make it three rabbis."

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June 23, 2008

Jeff R.: The Advancing Frontiers of Science

Franklin couldn't care less. By which I mean it would be clinically impossible for him to be even one unit less concerned, about the test topic (Global Warming), the positive control (Kitten Trapped in Burning Building), or the negative control (Price of Watermelons in Tibet). I've got the electrode readouts to prove it.

I made the research assistant check, twice, to make sure Franklin wasn't actually dead, having slipped through the normal checks for that sort of thing in prospective subjects, but he was in fact breathing. So I instituted a new rule.

From now on, no more law students.

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June 26, 2008

Jeff R.: Grounds For Punishment

Captain Randolph was disgusted. He called over his first mate. The little man scurried across the deck.

"Yes, Keptin?"

"Do you know what's wrong with this ship?"

The mate stared at him, blankly. Eventually Captain Randolph had to begin again.

"No, of course I'll have to spell it out for you. In fact, I can sum it up in a single word."

"What word is dat, Keptin?"


The mate stared, blankly, for a few seconds. Then he spoke. "No, no, dis a ship, Keptin." He waved up at the sky, at a distant contrail. "Now dat, dat a plin."

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July 23, 2008

Jeff R.:Stirring the Ashes

"Look what I found, granpa! It's a kitty!"

"Yes it is, dear. And it's a black one. Did you know that back in my day, people thought those were bad luck?"


"It's true. We believed all kinds of things back then. Like that we'd never see a war on our own soil. Like the march of progress, and world peace, and freedom and dignity and grace and redemption and a loving God..."

"And that black kitties were bad luck."

"That too, yes."

"That's silly."

"I know. There's just as much good eating on them as on the tabby ones."

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March 11, 2009

Jeff R.: By Any Other Name

"So, you can eat from any tree in the garden except for these two-"

"Wait, trees?"

"Yes. What of it?"

"Well, wouldn't that make it more an orchard than a garden per se?"

"It's not only trees."

"And trees need lots of water. How do you irrigate this thing?"

"Ah. There's four rivers, from the north, south, east and west-"

"Wait, so not just two rivers crossing, but four different ones, all flowing in
and none flowing out?"


"I see. So it's really not so much a garden or an orchard nearly so much as it is a swamp."

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March 12, 2009

Jeff R: Unspoken

Katie's mom didn't finish the sentence. She didn't have to.

They both knew the story by heart: the post-exams party. The walk home.

The rape.

The months of denial, of trying to go on as though nothing had happened until the most obvious form of contrary evidence appeared. The trip to the clinic, and the day spent waiting outside, unable to bring herself to walk in the doors. Dropping out, the bankruptcy and the chain of welfare checks and crap jobs that brought them both here, fifteen years on.

"Maybe you should have," whispered Katie, as she turned her back.

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March 16, 2009

Jeff R.: Her Only Hope

"It's really good of you to be comin' here. Mio be tryin' to keep the farm going, but it's tough, even before she fell sick."

"Oh? What exactly is the problem?"

"Well, it's our prize bull, Obidiah. He be gettin' arthritic in his old age and can't mount the cows the old fashioned way. Last time around, we were having an electric gadget to help, but it broke down and I threw out my back hauling it off to the dump. So it's up to you, son."

"What do you want me to do, exactly?"

"Help Mio. Be wankin' Obi."

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March 18, 2009

Jeff R.: Not Just a Temple in Egypt

He carries his broom into the darkened stage. It looks like it hasn't been cleaned in quite some time. Something catches his eye. He bends down to pick up the discarded piece of pale blue cardboard. He sees writing on it, but while he can read the words, he can't make heads or tails of it.

'The answer is: One point twenty-one jigawatts of electricity, Eric Dickerson, and Dan Quayle.'

He shakes his head, then lets the card fall back to where he had found it. 'If that was the answer,' he thinks, 'What could the question have possibly been?'

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March 23, 2009

Jeff R.: Mistaken

"What do you mean? It is a costume party, after all."

"No, I mean that particular mask. I thought you were going as Betty."

"Oh, that. Me and Rita decided to switch at the last minute."



"Yes. You see, Johnny and Red switched masks too."



"Oh, you thought that there might be some comedy of errors involving mutually unwitting infidelity going on? As if everyone involved were totally deaf, and somehow capable of making out wearing a plastic mask?"

"Actually, I was just hoping for a single spectacularly inappropriate flirtation. But your way is much better."

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March 26, 2009

Jeff R.: The Pitch

"Some string? Now where's the point in that? What kind of person would take a perfectly good stringless yo-yo and add string?"

"Well, I-"

"A totally boring person, sir, and I see you're not one of them. String! The very idea!"

"But, without string, how does-"

"Now that, my friend, is a trade secret. Why, I could get fired for uttering one single syllable of it, and be out on the street. I can tell you this, though: it's only fools who think it's done with magnets. Now, how much would you pay for this marvel of modern technological prowess?"

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