• Campus motto: Bottoms up, Mac!
  • Do geese see God?
  • Dennis sinned.
  • Name now one man’s sensuousness. Name now one man.
  • Never odd or even.
  • Plan no damn Madonna LP!
  • Rotary gyrator
  • Roy, am I mayor?
  • Sex at noon taxes.
  • Ten animals I slam in a net.
  • Was it Eliot’s toilet I saw?
  • Tarzan raised a Desi Arnaz rat.
  • Norma is as selfless as I am, Ron.
  • Sums are not set as a test on Erasmus.
  • Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas.
  • Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?
  • Rettebs, I flahd noces, eh? Ttu, but the second half is better. (Stephen Fry)
  • Rats drown in WordStar.
  • “Sit on a potato pan, Otis!”
  • “Do nine men interpret?” “Nine men,” I nod.
  • A slut nixes sex in Tulsa.

And “Gnu dung, sides reversed, is gnu dung.”

Edmund Trebus

As a packrat, Edmund Trebus took the cake. He also took washing machines, rotting clothes, wood, motorcycles, windowpanes, and old refrigerators. Before the Polish émigré died in 2002, at age 83, he had filled his four-story London house with mountains of garbage collected at local junk shops and building sites. One room was full of vacuum cleaners, another with cameras. He collected Elvis Presley recordings maniacally.

In their garden, his wife used to sit in a deck chair among towers of crap. When she left in 1981, he filled in the hole. In the end Trebus was living in one corner of the kitchen, with only a Jack Russell terrier for company. He needed ladders to get in and out of the house, which had no running water, working bathroom or electricity.

In 1997, after being buried under one of his own “litter traps,” designed to catch burglars, he was hospitalized for gangrene. When he got out, he found that the town council had finally got a court order declaring the house unfit for human habitation. Six men and five trucks took 30 days to remove 515 cubic yards of waste.

He’d filled it up again by 2001.

Not Raising Hogs

March 20, 1963

The Honorable Ed Foreman
House of Representatives
Congressional District #16
Washington 25, D.C.

Dear Sir:

My friend over in Terebone Parish received a $1,000 check from the government this year for not raising hogs. So I am going into the not-raising hogs business next year.

What I want to know is, in your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to raise hogs on and the best kind of hogs not to raise? I would prefer not to raise Razorbacks, but if that is not a good breed not to raise, I will just as gladly not raise any Berkshires or Durocs.

The hardest work in this business is going to be in keeping an inventory on how many hogs I haven’t raised.

My friend is very joyful about the future of his business. He has been raising hogs for more than 20 years and the best he ever made was $400, until this year, when he got $1,000 for not raising hogs.

If I can get $1,000 for not raising 50 hogs, then I will get $2,000 for not raising 100 hogs. I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to 4,000 hogs which means that I will have $80,000 coming from the government.

Now, another thing: these hogs I will not raise will not eat 100,000 bushels of corn. So will you pay me anything for not raising 100,000 bushels of corn to feed the hogs I am not raising?

I want to get started as soon as possible as this seems to be a good time of year for not raising hogs.

One more thing, can I raise 10 or 12 hogs on the side while I am in the not-raising-hog business just enough to get a few sides of bacon to eat?

Very truly yours,

J.B. Lee, Jr.
Potential Hog Raiser

Odds of Dying

Your lifetime odds of dying

  • on a streetcar: 1 in 1,230,975
  • through burning or melting of nightwear: 1 in 738,585
  • in a discharge of fireworks: 1 in 615,488
  • in an earthquake: 1 in 131,890
  • through contact with hornets, wasps, or bees: 1 in 85,882
  • by lightning: 1 in 83,930
  • due to a cave-in or falling earth: 1 in 65,945
  • through contact with hot tap water: 1 in 64,788
  • in a legal execution: 1 in 58,618
  • by falling, jumping, or being pushed from a high place: 1 in 47,960
  • while riding an animal: 1 in 31,836
  • by drowning in the bathtub: 1 in 11,469
  • in a fall involving a bed, a chair, or other furniture: 1 in 5,031

Chance of dying in an assault by firearm: 1 in 325. Of shooting yourself: 1 in 219.

Backhanded Letters of Reference

What to write in a slacker’s letter of reference:

  • “You would be fortunate to get this person to work for you.”
  • “No one would be better for this position.”
  • “He doesn’t care how many hours he must put in.”
  • “There is nothing you can teach him.”
  • “I refer him with no qualifications whatsoever.”
  • “Waste no time in making him an offer.”

“All in all, I cannot say enough good things about this candidate or recommend him too highly.”

Spring Heeled Jack

A villain worthy of DC Comics, Spring Heeled Jack leapt liberally around England between 1837 and 1904, attacking isolated victims who described him as a muscular devil in an oilskin.

If he was the devil, he wasn’t a very ambitious criminal, generally just crashing carriages and groping women. But he could jump 9-foot walls, perhaps using spring-loaded footgear, judging from some ill-preserved prints.

An anonymous letter implied that a human prankster was terrorizing London on a bet, and incidental reports began to mount. In 1838 four witnesses saw him breathe fire and jump to the roof of a house, and in 1845 he threw a 13-year-old prostitute from a bridge, his first killing. On the night of Feb. 8, 1855, long trails of hooflike prints were seen in the snow throughout Devon, crossing roofs, walls, and haystacks. By 1873 thousands were gathering each night to hunt the ghost.

Nothing seemed to stop him, including bullets, and he even attacked a group of soldiers at Aldershot Barracks in 1877. He was last spotted in 1904 in Liverpool, leaping over a crowd of witnesses and disappearing behind some neighboring houses.

There’s no good explanation. Some suspected the Marquess of Waterford, who was known to spring on travelers to amuse himself, but the attacks continued after his death. Others have suggested a stranded extraterrestrial, a visitor from another dimension, or a real demon. We’ll never know.