Main Street

Main Street-April 23, 2009

April 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

Barbary Pirates For almost 1,000 years years, until the early nineteenth century, Islamic pirates from North Africa raided shipping vessels in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. They also destroyed villages and towns along the coasts, making some of them nearly uninhabitable. They took prisoners and sold many of them into slavery. Some accounts claim that more than a million people were taken as slaves.      Eventually, Europe and, finally, America, had had enough. The U.S. refused to continue to pay ransom for ships and crews and sent the Navy to attack the pirates, shelling the city of Tripoli. The combined pressure reduced piracy and eventually solved the problem. Wall Street Pirates      Now we have the Wall Street Pirates who got a bailout to allow our banking system to operate again. We paid them billions but don’t know who got a lot of it, or why. Although they accepted the money, we still have little credit available and a sick stock market. We paid the ransom; why can’t we get back to business? The economy is so bad… 1. CEOs are now playing miniature golf. 2. Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM. 3. McDonald’s is selling the 1/4 Ouncer. 4. People in rich neighborhoods have fired their nannies and learned their children’s names. 5. A truckload of Americans got caught sneaking into Mexico.   6. Jury duty pay is now a step up for millions of people. 7. Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting. 8. Mothers in Ethiopia are telling their kids, “Finish your plate, do you know how many kids are starving in the US?” 9. Motel Six won’t leave the light on. You can’t win #1      The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.      How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire? You can’t win #2      A carpet layer had just finished installing carpet for a lady. He stepped out for a smoke, only to realize that he had lost his cigarettes.      In the middle of the room, under the carpet, was a bump. “No sense pulling up the entire floor for one pack of […]

Main Street

April 15, 2009 // 0 Comments

Constantly confusing We’ve just enjoyed another Easter event with church services, goody baskets, and Easter egg hunts. We’re also enjoying some pretty nice weather compared with the last couple of months. Originally, Easter was a celebration of spring, although in these parts spring weather sometimes lags behind. At least we know the official date of spring’s arrival: the Earth moves, the seasons change. The date of Easter is elusive. If you can’t keep track, blame your confusion on Emperor Constantine. It was he who decreed that “Easter shall be celebrated on the first Sunday that occurs after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox.” Watch out, though. The “full moon” in the rule is the ecclesiastical full moon, which is defined as the fourteenth day of a tabular lunation, where day one corresponds to the ecclesiastical New Moon. It doesn’t always occur on the same date as the astronomical full moon. The ecclesiastical “vernal equinox” is always on March 21. Therefore, Easter must be celebrated on a Sunday between the dates of March 22 and April 25. Now you know everything about the date Easter falls on. You probably won’t even have to consult a calendar in the future. However, if you have any continuing confusion about when it will be Easter, watch for a pink bunny carrying eggs. Mysteriously transmitted Two guys are out hunting in the woods, and as they’re walking along they come upon a huge hole in the ground. They approach it and are amazed by its size. The first hunter says, “Wow, that’s some hole. I can’t even see the bottom. I wonder how deep it is.” The second hunter says, “I don’t know. Let’s throw something down there and listen to see how long it takes to hit bottom.” The first hunter says, “I see an old transmission over here. Give me a hand and we’ll throw it in.” So they pick up the transmission, carry it over, count one and two and three, and throw it in the hole. They’re standing there listening and looking over the edge when they hear a rustling in the brush behind them. As they turn around, they see a goat come crashing through the brush, run up to the […]

Main Street

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

“Where’s my paper?” It isn’t just mortgages and General Motors; the newspaper industry has its own crisis. Long-established papers everywhere are cutting staff, curtailing delivery, or even going out of business. Your hometown weekly newspaper (that’s us) is NOT going broke or cutting publication. Sure, the rotten economy presents us with the same kind of problems as everyone else, but we’re solvent and determined. Over the years, newspapers have faced big changes. Mark Twain once set type for a paper. It was done by hand, one letter at a time, backwards. This process was replaced in the late nineteenth century by the faster linotype – a machine that cast a whole line at a time in hot lead. Manual typesetters, of course, were out of work. A more efficient photographic system then became standard. When computerized printing came along, linotype operators and hot lead became history. Now, the changes affecting newspapers are radio, television, and the Internet. Advertisers have more choices and the Internet is economical. We who remain in print will have to live with reality. In recent years, advertisers have paid for free-distribution papers, such as this one. We may have to start charging readers again. That’s the way it worked for this paper for more than 100 years. The local weekly paper is still an advertising bargain for local merchants. It’s also the only source of much of our local news. We think our paper helps hold the community together. That’s what we do. And we’re going to keep on doing it.   Market section Helium was up. Feathers were down. Paper was stationery. Knives were up sharply. Pencils lost a few points. Elevators rose, while escalators continued their slow decline. Light switches were off. The market for raisins dried up. Mining equipment hit rock bottom. Diapers remained unchanged. Balloon prices were inflated. Caterpillars inched up. Scott Tissue touched a new bottom.   Education section Teacher: Maria, please go to the map and point to North America. Maria: Here it is. Teacher: Correct. Now, class, who discovered America? Class: Maria!   Teacher: Glenn, how do you spell “crocodile”? Glenn: K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L Teacher: No, that’s wrong. Glenn: Maybe it’s wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.   Teacher: Winnie, name one important […]

Main Street

April 1, 2009 // 0 Comments

Power! Hooked on oil? Want alternative energy? We’re all overlooking something that’s right in our back yards. The neighborhoods are full of squirrels looking for food and even risking their lives darting across streets. We should harness this power source. Here’s my plan: We buy a bunch of live traps and catch those little devils. Then we put each squirrel into a cage with an exercise wheel. Like hamsters, they’ll run on those wheels all day. We’ll also need electric generators, very small ones, to attach to the wheels. Our neighborhood squirrels will spend all day generating power for our houses. We should arrange an automatic system that drops a peanut into the cage with, say, every 300 revolutions of the wheel so the squirrels are encouraged to keep running. We wouldn’t have to feed them otherwise, just keep the hopper filled. Peanuts are cheap. The shells can be used as mulch for growing our own vegetables. Sadly, we know nothing lasts forever, even hard-working squirrels. After their efforts to power our microwaves, fax machines and other electronics, some will eventually pass on. The remedy for their earthly remains is also simple. The bodies can go in our backyard composting bins where they will continue with their usefulness. I see no drawbacks to this plan. I’m online right now, looking up the number of the Patent Office. Trouble on the job …Your accountant’s letter of resignation is post- marked Zurich. …Your suggestion box starts ticking. …Your secretary tells you the FBI is on line 1, the DA on line 2, and CBS on line 3. …You make more than you ever made, owe more than you ever owed, and have less than you’ve ever had. Trouble at home …People send your wife sympathy cards on your anniversary. …You spot your wife and your girlfriend having lunch together. …The plumber floats by on your kitchen table. Classifieds from elsewhere FREE YORKSHIRE TERRIER. 8 years old. Hateful little dog. Bites! FREE PUPPIES. Mother, AKC German Shepherd. Father, Super Dog. Able to leap tall fences in a single bound. GEORGIA PEACHES California grown – 89 cents/lb. JOINING NUDIST COLONY! Must sell washer and dryer, $300. WEDDING DRESS FOR SALE Worn once by mistake. Call Stephanie. FOR SALE BY […]

Main Street – March 26, 2009

March 26, 2009 // 0 Comments

Debt solution We’re all a bit nervous about the billions of federal dollars being shelled out to the investment and credit industries and the trillions of national debt that will follow. Well, I have a solution to America’s problem of raising money: sin. This idea isn’t new with me. “Sin tax” is the fun name for the extra taxes we pay on liquor and tobacco. Liquor and tobacco consumption doesn’t seem to be affected by taxes. I say, crank up those taxes and look for additional popular sins. Here’s one: Native Americans have managed to find a way to get back at the immigrants who stole their country from them: gambling casinos. They are popping up all over the country and paying off like crazy. (Build them and they will come.) I’ll give you three-to-one odds that casino clients would hardly notice bigger taxes on gambling. The state of Michigan also does well with its various lotteries. People enjoy gambling so much that I’m proposing a new “Deficit Lottery.” Ticket holders may win big bucks, but half the money would go to reduce the federal deficit. How about that combination: feeling patriotic while feeding your urge to gamble. Let’s get started! April 1 might be an appropriate day to kick off the big push for more sin. Help at hand When you go to casinos, the most ridiculous sign you see is the one that says: “If you have a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER.” A friend of mine noticed the sign and thought about it for a moment. Then he dialed the number. When they answered he said, “I have an ace and a six. The dealer has a seven. What do I do?” Daddy’s girl Another tale from a friend: One day my mother was out and my dad was in charge of me. I was maybe a little over 2. Someone had given me a little tea set and it was one of my favorite toys. Daddy was in the living room engrossed in a ball game on TV when I brought him a little cup of tea, which was just water. After several more cups and lots of praise from Daddy for such yummy tea, my mom came home. Daddy made her […]

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