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Life in America 2

EsaJii kirjoitti noin 18 vuotta sitten (0 kommenttia)
These stories and "news" items have been collected from several columns published elsewhere. The dates indicate when first published.

Des Peres, MO--Two 11 year olds discover pocket knives.
11 year olds Brian and Lesley discovered they can do something with pocket knives. Every day they go behind Lesley's house to the creek and look for suitable walking sticks. Not too fresh but not rotten. They have removed bark from five sticks each. Knots are sawed off with hack saw or small saw in Brian's knife. "This is way more fun than Legos or Nintendo," both claim.

Indianapolis, IN – Inexperienced garbage collector too interested in garbage.
Robert Johnson and Luther Allison were assigned as a team on garbage truck for Waste Containment Inc. Robert was a 20-year veteran of the garbage collection industry, and preferred not to talk much. Luther had signed up a few weeks back, but everybody knew he was going to community college in September. Robert had sized up Luther the very first week, when Luther asked questions about all trash that was not in a can or bag. "What do think them white folks made this for?" was his usual question. Robert looked at the pile of pressure treated lumber with nails in it. He knew that outside stuff like that was either for kids’ amusement or something to do with a yard or garden. He had seen every possible attempt at home made projects by these suburban guys. "Beats me, but watch out for them nails," he said to Luther.

"This must have been some kind of kids’ playhouse,""Luther said at the next house, holding a piece of wood with a colorful cloth attached. "Wonder if these Nintendo controllers still work" he asked at the next, but the wires were obviously in bad shape at the plug end. "Hey, there is a box of CDs here. But they are all relaxation CDs. You want these." The answer was blunt. " No Luther, I never bring home trash, only money if I find it in the trash."
On the positive side, Robert got to drive the truck and never had to get out, as Luther was looking for "useful stuff" as he worked at the back, emptying cans.

Boise, ID --Area Christian names child Luke.
Moses Schmidt, 48, father of Matthew(18), Mark(17), John(16), Rachel(15), Thea(13), Mary(11) and Tiffany(9) decided that their new child was the answer to his prayers for Luke, to complete the Gospel theme. The girl, Luke Catherine Schmidt, was baptized Sunday in a private ceremony at the Schmidt ranch.

Fort de Chartres, IL -- Rooster has no clue!
The unnamed rooster at the chicken coop behind the reconstructed French fort crows cock-a-doodle-doo every morning, but has no clue about other roostering duties. Living History weekends take place frequently at the fort, with a Rendezvous scheduled in June. The rooster is aware of great crowds of people outside the coop. On regular week ends Marilyn lets him run around in the yard. However, re-enactors have not even thought of providing the rooster a chicken for his amusement. After the last chicken, mother of the unnamed rooster, died a while back, nobody even discussed the matter. However, since the rooster has only one job, his cock-a-doodle-doos take place like clockwork every morning, long before the human living history reenactors have had their coffee at their homes.

Tallahassee, FL – Teenager forced to listen to burned CD’s.Fred Lamphrey, 18, was forced to take a portable CD player and start listening to the 300 CDR’s he burned over the last two semesters from friends and down-loads. This came about when his CD burner quit working. "Some of these starting out bands give out free songs, and most of them are crap. But I have all this cool stuff from the 60s, like the Dead, Yes, Cream and even bands that sing like in French or something. One is Russian, I think. But the 60s were really cool, psychedelic. My dad just had The Monkees and Beach Boys and the usual Stones and Beatles. I burned those too, over Christmas break."

Nashville, TN – Teenager donates $100 to Bush campaign.
Dwight Zachary, 19, put aside $100 from his first paycheck at a full time job for donating to President Bush’s future presidential campaign. "Before, politics was just talk. With Bush, I will be getting some bang for my buck. I can’t wait to see what evil doer’s ass we are going to kick next. Plus, he already is president, so I know what I’m getting for my dollar. No way would I donate to some democratic bozos like Gephardt, even if they support the war." Dwight was going to spend a few days finding where to send the money.

Frankfurt, Germany -- Two teenagers really into blues
Jurgen Meinhof and Detlev Bader, gymnasium students, spend most of their after school time playing old blues CDs and LPs, and playing along with acoustic guitars. Jokingly, they refer to themselves as the Bader-Meinhof Blues Band. Jurgen spent his childhood in Atlanta until his mother's divorce, so he is fluent in English, helping Detlev interpret the lyrics. Detlev is the better guitarist and both attempt to sing. "When the train left the station", Jurgen immediately associated the song with his baby leaving, though it was for an exchange year in the US by plane. Jurgen sent her presents and a short list of blues records for her to find. Instead, she "done him wrong" and apparently lost her virginity to an high school foot ball player. Detlev feels empathy to the blues songs as well, as Uschi, girl friend for three weeks, left him when "he was not serious about his future". Detlev felt he could just "lay down and die." Instead, the boys obtained some beer and jammed until 3 AM Friday, when Jurgen's mom went to spend a week end with a new boyfriend. Jurgen tried earlier to play some blues records for mom, but the new boyfriend was apparently only into modern dance music.

Springfield, MO -- Game sits on shelf since Christmas.
The Davenport family received a Sponge Bob Square Pants "Splash and Roll" gave for Christmas. Dad Bob was still sleepy and did not get thru the instructions. Mom Sheila came and looked at the six cute Sponge Bobs, used as dice, and commented "this reminds me of Pigout." Nobody else knew what that was. The game was laid out, and Roy and Barbara made a few moves with the octupuses, but had no idea what to do with Gary on his own little track. That evening, Sheila collected the pieces and placed it on the shelf, where it moved to the bottom of the stack in a few weeks, and has not been touched. Sheila thought it would make a $2 yard sale item.

Baghdad, Irak -- Weapons of mass destruction flushed.
Saddam Hussein personnally supervised, gas mask on, as three of his assistants flushed down the four remaining gallons of anthrax and other toxins from two of the palace toilets. Bleach was sprayed in the entire area, and then the four men took showers in other bath rooms.

April 21, 2003, Baghdad, Iraq -- First Taco Bell opens.
Store manager Ed Billings said that "we came as soon as the looting stopped. We took over a former kebab and falafel shop. We have our own security and armed guards for our food shipments." On further questioning he stated that they wanted to be early, as they missed the boat by two months in Belgrad. "The big issue here is Coke vs. Pepsi for the next months."

Springville, UT – Mayor Francis Michelsen foils atheist plan.
The local atheists, with Edna Valhalla as the behind the scenes force, have attempted five times to register a group to take care of collecting trash along Interstate 15. "They have attempted to disguise themselves as Rainbow Scouts, Birdwatchers, High School band boosters, history buffs, you name it. I always see through their plan. We can’t have them infiltrating our community with some atheist agenda as the ultimate goal." The atheist spokesman, Brian Loki, stated that "we just wanted to find some meaningful activity for our youth. But the mayor wants them to continue throwing beer bottles and cans out car windows."

Eureka, MO – Expecting couple reject key-chain-name.
Ross and Michelle McDaniel rejected their current favorite name for a daughter to be born in two weeks. They had just finished the afternoon at the local 6 Flags amusement park, where Ross’s employer, The Anderson Financial Group, had one picnic grove reserved for the annual company picnic. On their way out, they stopped at a Warner Brothers themed gift shop. Michelle was only looking for some nice baby clothes with colorful cartoon characters, when she saw the key-chain stand. "Ross honey, come right here", she said, holding up a key chain with the name Gabrielle on it. Ross was speechless, as they wanted an unusual name, such as Gabrielle. Previously, several months ago, Hannah and Abigail were rejected for the same reason. "We’ll think of something. I’m not approving Fiona or Bjork. We don’t even use umlauts here." Ross was unable to pronounce Björk correctly.

Calgary, Alberta-- Midwest family ends up at Canada Olympic Park "because it was there".
Dad Thaddeus thinks he may have seen some winter sports once while flipping thru channels. Thelma likes figure skaters, not highlighted there. Bud(6) and Rick(5) had no clue about these funny skis (only water skis) "but the chair lift ride was cool." Thaddeus picked the attraction because it was next to the KOA where they parked their small RV for most of the stay.

Drumheller, Alberta -- Ed McDonald, hardware store proprietor, reluctantly put up a poster of dinosaurs and prehistoric life. "All that Cambrian and Mesozoic stuff. I know some of that stuff and my kids used to do that museum stuff in school. But I run a hardware store here. I will move the poster as needed to put my real products on display."
Drumheller gets a good part of its income from tourists coming to see the Tyrell dinosaur museum.

Salt Lake City, UT -- Prog fan truck driver very lonely in Super 8 Motel.
Trucker Moe Richardson is a progressive rock fan big time. He hits as many shows by the 70s bands as possible on the road. However, he keeps his musical tastes hidden from other truckers. When he picks up hitch hikers, he lets them tune the radio. But driving alone, he plays Yes, Tull, Genesis and the like. "If I just have the tractor I'll stop at a Borders store. I managed to buy a cappucino for a woman my age, and have a nice discussion, but when she saw my rig...she was gone." Moe says he isn't that much in need of sex, just stimulating company. "I have no wife, girl friend and waitress waiting for me. And for you Zappa fans, I'm not delivering string beans to Utah, just tires."

Cambridge, MA – Gas-station attendant supports Bush 100%.
Ken Illig, 53, a long time employee of the Kwik-E-Mart convenience store chain stated his 100% support for President Bush in a recent phone survey of 1500 Americans. "I don’t get how you can be 67% behind him, how could a person say that? It's for or against America." Ken explained.
Illig, a smoker with a large selection and supply on hand, is confident that Bush will ensure his future in the convenience store business. A father of three, he is also optimistic about his children achieving similar success in the cigarette, snack and gas trade. "They are free to smoke when they are 21. Ain’t no terrorist stopping that. Some of these Massachusetts liberals might, though."

Singapore – Stuck in Singapore due to SARS in China, Rolling Stones Jagger
and Watts turn into twitchers.
Hopping into limos with binoculars, scopes, global position finders and cell phones, the novice bird watchers managed to get ticks on their life lists for these birds: Striated Yuhina, Blue-Winged Minla, Clamorous Reed Warbler and Goldcrest. "I must have Goldcrest in my yard back home, but you see we just started this," explained Jagger. "We know Mick is after the birds, but this is ridiculous," stated bandmate Richards. "I could come and look at some owls, though, if you find any," he added. [twitcher=highly mobile bird watcher after rarities]

Dec 7, 2003, Washington, D.C. -- It's the economy, stupid!
Last year president Bush failed to jump start the national economy. The photo op had included a symbolic National Humvee, to which the cables were attached, with Bush making the final connection. This year, ready for the State of The Union address, the symbolic Humvee vehicle will be running 24 hours a day. The vehicle was already running at Fort Meade prior to it being driven to the White House. President Bush drove the Humvee for a few minutes on White House grounds and parked it by his podium for the press. "During this season, America's families are planning for the year ahead, and they have reason to be optimistic," Bush said in his weekly radio address. "The American economy continues on a solid path of recovery. With strong sales and improving profits, companies will continue to hire new workers in the coming year."
Democrats were quick to point out that no new jobs were created this week, and the lift to the economy has been a boon mainly to corporations and management stock options.

Kirkwood, MO -- Mom washes clean shirts after camping. Scott Tanenbaum, 12, had no idea which were the clean socks or underwear, but he was sure he did not wear the two plain t-shirts on a scout camping trip over the week end. Mom Kathy washed all the clotrhes found in Scott's day pack, and they smelled of smoke and generally "outdoorsy". Besides, they were in the same pack with a pair of soggy, muddy socks.
Scott had planned to wear the plain red one to school. He has a complicated color scheme he follows through the week, depending on the occasion.

Oshkosh, WI—Area man attracts House Sparrows.
Area man Mike "Moose" Allison has been unable to attract "wild birds" with his bird feeder. "I buy bottles of Supreme Wild Bird Mix, with Chickadees and Tufted Titmouse pictures on the cover, I get House Sparrows. I buy sunflower seeds especially selected for Cardinals, I get House Sparrows. I buy Gold Finch food, I get House Sparrows. I hear that Mocking Bird and put out feed on the ground where it sings, I get House Sparrows. I’m convinced the sparrows have claimed my house, so I’m buying the cheap seeds now," Moose explains. "maybe I need suet, they like that fat stuff in winter, the wild birds," he added. [suet=tali]

Malvern, PA – Company president visits one of his 200 plants, takes tie off for tour. Conglomerated Material Enterprises president Glyn Masterson was too busy for comment.

Columbus, OH – In a related story, Patricia Stein has been named head of human resources at the Conglomerated Material Enterprises plant here. She comes from the Knoxville plant, which she recently helped downsize.
Patricia has been HR director at various locations since 1999. All of these have, unfortunately been closed down, but we have complete confidence in Patricia in these matters. Many former employees at these locations have been able to pursue opportunities at others Conglomerated locations. For example, Chuck Stein from the Knoxville plant will be starting in Columbus on Monday as forklift operator. Chuck has solid experience in his field from five Conglomerated locations.
Patricia and Chuck have relocated to Columbus, where they have settled into church and preschool activities with their children Lisa, 1, and Patrick, 3.

Copyright Esa Järvi 2001, 2003

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