Road Warriors
Image: Wikimedia Commons

If you think your commute is bad, check out the Kinetic Sculpture Race, held every Memorial Day weekend in Ferndale, Calif. In three days, participants must cover 42 miles of mud, sand, water, gravel and pavement in vehicles powered only by people (“and friendly extraterrestrials”). Arrows, anchors and grappling hooks are strictly disallowed.

The race’s slogan is “adults having fun so children want to get older.”

“The Marriage Was Illegible”

Excerpts from student exams in the 19th century:

  • “He enjoys riding on a philosopher.”
  • “The leopard is watching his sheep.”
  • “They had a strawberry vestibule.”
  • “The men employed by the Gas Company go around and speculate the meter.”
  • “Her hat is contiguous because she wears it on one side.”
  • “He preached to an egregious congregation.”
  • “The captain eliminated a bullet through the man’s heart.”
  • “You should take caution and be precarious.”
  • “We should endeavor to avoid extremes–like those of wasps and bees.”
  • “There are a good many donkeys in theological gardens.”
  • “A verb is something to eat.”
  • “A circle is a round straight line with a hole in the middle.”
  • “Things which are equal to each other are equal to anything else.”
  • “North America is separated by Spain.”
  • “The principal products of the U.S. is earthquakes and volcanoes.”
  • “The Rocky Mountains are on the western side of Philadelphia.”
  • “One of the leading industries of the United States is mollasses, book-covers, numbers, gas, teaching, lumber, manufacturers, paper-making, publishers, coal.”
  • “Russia is very cold and tyrannical.”
  • “Hindoostan flows through the Ganges and empties into the Mediterranean Sea.”
  • “Ireland is called the Emigrant Isle because it is so beautiful and green.”

— From Mark Twain, “English as She Is Taught: Being Genuine Answers to Examination Questions in Our Public Schools,” 1887


A decrepit old gas man named Peter,
While hunting around for the meter,
Touched a leak with his light.
He arose out of sight,
And, as anyone can see by reading this, he also destroyed the meter.

— Anonymous

Irish Bulls

Three “Irish bulls” cited in Henry B. Wheatley’s Literary Blunders (1893). “We know what the writer means, although he does not exactly say it”:

  • From the report of an Irish Benevolent Society: “Notwithstanding the large amount paid for medicine and medical attendance, very few deaths occurred during the year.”
  • A country editor’s correspondent wrote: “Will you please to insert this obituary notice? I make bold to ask it, because I know the deceased had a great many friends who would be glad to hear of his death.”
  • Quoted in the Greville Memoirs: “He abjured the errors of the Romish Church, and embraced those of the Protestant.”

“From the errors of others,” wrote Publilius Syrus, “a wise man corrects his own.”

“Apocalypse Hoboken”

Best entries in The Canonical List of Weird Band Names:

  • Alcoholocaust
  • The Ass Baboons of Venus
  • The Couch Slugs
  • The Dancing French Liberals of 1848
  • Dick Duck and the Dorks
  • Ed’s Redeeming Qualities
  • Ethyl Meatplow
  • Hell Camino
  • Individual Fruit Pie
  • Lavay Smith and The Red Hot Skillet Lickers
  • Lawnsmell
  • Mussolini Headkick
  • Rash of Stabbings
  • Stukas Over Bedrock
  • Technosquid Eats Parliament

A few are designed to look good on a marquee, like FREE BEER AND CHICKEN and HORNETS ATTACK VICTOR MATURE.

Good Point

A samurai once asked Zen master Hakuin where he would go after he died. Hakuin answered, “How am I supposed to know?”

“How do you know? You’re a Zen master!” exclaimed the samurai.

“Yes, but not a dead one,” Hakuin answered.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

A guy is sitting at home when there’s a knock at the door.

He opens it and there’s a snail sitting on the doorstep.

He picks up the snail and throws it as far as he can.

Three years later the guy is sitting at home and there’s a knock at the door.

He opens it and the same snail is sitting on the doorstep.

The snail says, “What the hell was that about?”


Epitaphs, proposed by their owners:

Mel Blanc: “That’s all, folks!”
Jack Lemmon: “In”
Jackie Gleason: “And away we go!”
Spike Milligan: “I told you I was ill.”
Peter Ustinov: “Do not walk on the grass.”