JANUARY 1, 2004
THE COUNTRY CORNER
The tribal wisdom of the Montana Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that: "When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount."
However, in government (and in the corporate world) more advanced strategies are often employed...such as:
1. Buying a stronger whip.
2. Changing riders.
3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride horses.
5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living impaired.
7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.
9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead horse's performance.
10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.
11. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than live horses.
12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.
13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.
Life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid.
COUNTRY PARTY WISDOM
1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's the Holiday Season!
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have
three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.
10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.
A lady walks into the welfare office, trailed by 15 kids. "Wow,"
the social worker exclaims, "Are they all yours?"
"Yes, they're all mine," the tired Mom sighs, having heard that
question a thousand times before.
"Well," says the social worker, "then you must be here to sign up.I'll need all their names,"
"This one is my oldest--he's Leroy."
"OK, and who's next?"
"Well, this one's Leroy, also."
The social worker raises an eyebrow but continues. One by one, through the oldest four, all boys, all named Leroy. Then she is introduced to the eldest girl, also named Leroy. "All right, I'm seeing a pattern here. Are they ALL named Leroy?"
"Well, yes--it's actually really convenient. When it's time for
dinner, I just yell 'Leroy!' and they all come running. And if I need to
stop the kid who's running into the street, I just yell 'Leroy' and the kid, whoever he is, stops in his tracks. It's the smartest idea ever
had, naming them all Leroy."
The social worker thinks this over for a bit, then wrinkles her
forehead and says tentatively, "But what if you just want ONE kid to come, and not the whole bunch?"
"Ah, that's easy," says the mother. "Then I call them by their last names."
Copyright 2000 Claude Dern, All Rights Reserved
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