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October 14, 2004

Current joke
Posted by Teresa at 06:29 PM * 149 comments

So George is doing yet another photo op at an elementary school, and this one’s been going pretty well, so he offers to take questions. A little boy raises his hand.

“Okay, you,” says George, smiling. “What’s your name?”

“Billy.”

“Billy. And what’s your question?”

“I have three questions,” Billy says. “First, why did you go to war without UN approval? Second, why are you president when Gore got more votes? Third, where’s Osama bin Laden?”

George is taken aback. “Uh, those are really hard questions,” he says.

Just then the bell rings. “Whoops, time for recess!” George says. “Guess I’ll have to answer your questions when recess is over.”

After recess, when the kids have settled back down again, George says “Okay, who’s got a question?”

A little kid raises his hand, and George calls on him.

“What’s your name?” George asks.

“Steve.”

“Okay, Steve. What’s your question?”

“I have five questions,” Steve says. “First, why did you go to war without UN approval? Second, why are you president when Gore got more votes? Third, where’s Osama bin Laden? Fourth, why did the bell for recess ring twenty minutes early? And fifth, what happened to Billy?”

Addendum: There’ve been some excellent jokes posted in the discussion thread, but this one from Stefan Jones was a general favorite:
Stefan: From BBC NewsNight, according to the guy who forwarded it to me:

[Tastelessness Alert]

George Bush has a heart attack and dies. He goes to hell where the devil is waiting for him.

“I don’t know what to do here,” says the devil. “You’re on my list but I have no room for you. But you definitely have to stay here, so I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’ve got three people here who weren’t quite as bad as you. I’ll let one of them go, but you have to take their place. I’ll even let YOU decide who leaves.”

George thought that sounded pretty good so he agreed.

The devil opened the first room. In it was Richard Nixon and a large pool of water. He kept diving in and surfacing empty handed over and over and over. Such was his fate in hell.

“No!” George said. “I don’t think so. I’m not a good swimmer and I don’t think I could do that all day long.”

The devil led him to the next room. In it was Tony Blair with a sledgehammer and a room full of rocks. All he did was swing that hammer, time after time after time.

“No! I’ve got this problem with my shoulder. I would be in constant agony if all I could do was break rocks all day!” commented George.

The devil opened a third door. In it, George saw Bill Clinton lying naked on the floor with his arms staked over his head and his legs staked in spread-eagle pose. Bent over him was Monica Lewinsky, doing what she does best.

George Bush looked at this in disbelief for a while and finally said, “Yeah, I can handle this.”

The devil smiled and said, “Monica, you’re free to go!”

[\Tastelessness Alert]
Comments on Current joke:
#1 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2004, 07:20 PM:

Heh.

#2 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2004, 08:52 PM:

And another one:

President Bush was visiting a primary school. One of the classes was in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings. The teacher asked the president if he would like to lead the discussion on the word "tragedy." So the illustrious leader asked the class for an example of a "tragedy."

One little boy stood up and offered, "If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a tractor runs him over and kills him, that would be a tragedy."

"No," said Bush, "that would be an accident."

A little girl raised her hand: "If a school bus carrying 50 children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy."

"I'm afraid not," explained the president. "That's what we would call a great loss."

The room went silent. No other children volunteered.

Bush searched the room. "Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of tragedy?"

Finally at the back of the room a small boy raised his hand. In a quiet voice he said: "If Air Force One carrying Mr. Bush was struck by a "friendly fire" missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy."

"Fantastic!" exclaimed Bush. "That's right. And can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?"

"Well," says the boy, "it has to be a tragedy, because it certainly wouldn't be a great loss and it probably wouldn't be an accident either."

#3 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2004, 09:30 PM:

Points, Fran. Yog and Patrick both laughed out loud at that one.

#4 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2004, 09:37 PM:

Go me!

Do I get a cookie now? :-)

#5 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2004, 09:48 PM:

Yes. You get a cookie.

#6 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2004, 09:52 PM:

Woo-hoo! Do I also get-- Nah. Better not be too greedy.
:-)

#7 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2004, 09:52 PM:

FranW, I recommend chocolate covered graham cracker cookies, which were formerly made by elves before their tree burned down at the beginning of the movie Elf.

#8 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2004, 09:55 PM:

Thanks, Andy, but I live in a country where no one has heard of graham crackers. They eat chocolate covered digestive biscuits instead.

_Digestive_. Is that an unappetising term, or what?

#9 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2004, 10:01 PM:

Question to Radio Bush: Is it possible to create an American style democracy in a randomly selected third-world country, for example, Botswana?

A. Yes, but what's Botswana ever done to you?

#10 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2004, 10:13 PM:

FranW: Digestive biscuits = graham crackers? I've heard of them, but I haven't got around to looking up the term.

For some reason, I picture a digestive biscuit as a hard gray salty lump. You would eat it with pine needles to prevent scurvy.

*wanders off to consult Bill Bryson's Notes from a Small Island*

#11 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2004, 10:18 PM:

They're not exactly the same -- I think maybe digestive biscuits are made with wheat rather than graham flour. They're round, flat, rather tasteless cookies, hence the need for chocolate on top.

Graham just doesn't seem to have made it across the pond to New Zealand, for some reason. But then, Kiwis don't appreciate bagels or pretzels, either. Alas!

#12 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2004, 10:19 PM:

Jim, good thing I was sitting down.

#13 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2004, 10:59 PM:

They're round, flat, rather tasteless cookies, hence the need for chocolate on top.

I could get to like that. The local tendency to apply massive amounts of sweetener is now so out of control that a company called Honest Tea (ho ho ho) put out a line of low-sugar iced teas for those who can't stand tea-flavored corn syrup. I drink gallons of the Jakharta Ginger Decaf each month.

#14 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2004, 11:23 PM:

Local to me, I meant.

#15 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2004, 11:26 PM:

So maybe a digestive biscuit is like the cookie part of a Bahlsen Hit cookie?

No bagels in New Zealand? Maybe there's a business opportunity if I suddenly need politcal asylum somewhere, even if my fellow asylees are the only customers.

#16 ::: Karen ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 04:16 AM:

*delurks*

Found an amusing joke along these lines in response to a grammar question about numbering of Prime Ministers, etc., at PainintheEnglish.com (url in my name link thingy)


speedwell Oct-1-04 2:09PM

Alternate take on this:

I was talking to some of my co-workers about this question today (using US Presidents as the example), and someone suggested:

"George Washington was the first President of the United States, and John Adams was the second; what is the current President?"


Jun-Dai Oct-2-04 3:20AM

And the correct answer to that question would be: "a moron."


*relurks*

#17 ::: cyclopatra ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 04:19 AM:

Andy: That was one of the most annoying things for me about living in Canada - the people there seemed to have no concept of unsweetened iced tea. You got presweetened crud or nothing.

I used to start lively discussions with my friends in Vancouver when I ordered a cup of regular orange pekoe, poured it into a cup of ice, and then added sugar. They seemed to think that gave me the same result as the crap coming out of the soda fountain.

#18 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 04:38 AM:

cyclopata grumbled:

That was one of the most annoying things for me about living in Canada - the people there seemed to have no concept of unsweetened iced tea. You got presweetened crud or nothing.

I used to start lively discussions with my friends in Vancouver when I ordered a cup of regular orange pekoe, poured it into a cup of ice, and then added sugar. They seemed to think that gave me the same result as the crap coming out of the soda fountain.

I think that's an equivalent to the near-impossible task of getting a decent cup of tea (hot tea, that is, not the various permutations of iced tea that appear) in the US.

I've bemused many friends by attempting to explain that I wanted boiling water poured over something other than the floor sweepings that pass for tea in most of the US.

#19 ::: Kevin Marks ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 05:10 AM:

It is prefectly possible for a teasthete to obtain good tea in the US, if you have a Peets nearby, or can use mail-order. I wrote on this a while ago.

Digestive biscuits are rather nice when dipped in tea, and also good for eating cheese with. The real English biscuit secret is the chocolate Hobnob, however, which is made from oats.

#20 ::: Aliosha ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 05:38 AM:

Strange, this joke has been going around here in Italy for ages (well, at least two years); I though it came from the States, actually.

#21 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 05:45 AM:

Kevin Marks wrote:

It is prefectly possible for a teasthete to obtain good tea in the US, if you have a Peets nearby, or can use mail-order.

The problem isn't being able to make a decent cuppa tea at home - it's being able to get something decent at a restaurant!

#22 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 07:22 AM:

Damn you, Kevin Marks. At irregular, widely-spaced intervals I get to indulge my passion for "plain" (dark) chocolate Hob Nobs. I used to carry a packet of them around with me during one college semester when I studied in England. Now I can occasionally find them in English shops, and when my mother and I went to London a few years ago, I welcomed the opportunity to jab the needle in her vein. I'm not sure she's forgiven me yet.

Mostly, though, I just try to forget...

#23 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 08:12 AM:

Eisenhower showed us how to govern.
Nixon showed us how not to to govern.
Reagan showed us any fool could govern.
George W showed us that not every fool can govern.

#24 ::: Adrian Turtle ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 09:13 AM:

Fran, I liked your joke.

My fellow Americans, (I hardly ever get to say that), digestive biscuits are a less-rich variation of shortbread cookies. The "digestive" part of the name isn't based on the idea that high fiber foods are good for the digestion, because they aren't high fiber or whole grain or anything like that. Plain digestive biscuits are a step up from tea and toast, but they're still pretty easy to digest if you aren't allergic to wheat. The chocolate-covered biscuits, like the nutella-covered toast, belong in a different category altogether.

#25 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 09:27 AM:

One sunny day in 2005 an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Ave, where he'd been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the US Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."

The Marine looked at the man and said, "Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here."

The old man said, "Okay" and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."

The Marine again told the man, "Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here."

The man thanked him and, again just walked away

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same US Marine, saying "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."

The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I've told you already that Mr. Bush is no longer the president and no longer resides here. Don't you understand?"

The old man looked at the Marine and said, "Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it."

The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "See you tomorrow, Sir."

#26 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 09:54 AM:

Ice Tea (yet another regional dialectical variation that fascinates me is "Ice" vs. "Iced") should be brewed, then chilled over ice, then sweetened to the point of sugar supersaturation. It cannot come out of a soda fountain and be worth drinking.

I prefer sweetening the tea with sugar syrup, though...it dissolves easier and thus doesn't require you to annoy your tablemates with a spoon clanking for several minutes.

#27 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 10:05 AM:

Julia, that goes on the office door beside the cartoon of Bush studying "The Geneva Conventions for Dummies"... snerk!

#28 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 10:15 AM:

What a lovely thread!
I've been battling a horrid cold all week. I think all the laughing I just did made me feel almost alive for a whole ten minutes. Thanks!

PS. Cyclopata ITA on the lack of unsweetened ice tea in Canada. That was my little culture shock moment on our Niagara Falls visit this summer. Healthier for me, I guess, as I just ended up drinking water.

#29 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 10:25 AM:

What happened to Billy?

I want to laugh, but I'm singing instead.

"I've seen this happen in other people's lives, and now it's happening in mine..."

#30 ::: Steve ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 10:51 AM:

The old man looked at the Marine and said, "Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it."

Buddy Rich for President!

#31 ::: Chryss ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 11:06 AM:

HobNob addiction? I completely understand. However, why despair when there's the Internet?

http://www.ukgoods.com

#32 ::: Elayne Riggs ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 11:08 AM:

I love chocolate Hobnobs. And the Billy joke has been making the rounds for awhile. Here's a bastardized version of it using Hillary Clinton, so you know by that time ('03) it had already been around for a bit. Just Google "fifth, what happened to Billy" to find lots more examples.

#33 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 12:33 PM:

Quoth xeger: The problem isn't being able to make a decent cuppa tea at home - it's being able to get something decent at a restaurant!

90% of the time, quite true. But, you can make a difference. Before you order tea, ask if it's loose tea. If they say no, sigh heavily and order something else. As you're leaving, speak to the maitre d' or manager about the joys of loose tea. You'll find that many will react with surprise that there is something better than their felt-lined box stuffed with varicolored bags of floor sweepings offered up with too-cool water.

Most restaurants have figured out the brewed iced tea thing. A little pressure can make them realize the value of real tea. From a marketing standpoint, seeing the rig that comes with the tea will encourage other tables to order it as well, and it can become a nice flourish to end a nice meal.

Just don't count on the corner diner to start serving loose tea. Too many extra things to wash, and dishwashing costs money.

#34 ::: Yoon Ha Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 12:42 PM:

I used to get chocolate-covered "digestive" crackers in Korea, and didn't think to question the name. Like "jossu" popsicles (I very later figured out that the cartoony shark on the wrapper meant "jossu" was a Korean bastardization of "Jaws") and the sports-drink Pocari Sweat (which I actually like better than Gatorade), it was something I took for granted until we returned to the US and the weirdness of the names, in that context, sank in.

You people with your jokes are evil. Why don't I know any good jokes? ^_^

#35 ::: Simon ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 01:08 PM:

Jon Carroll quoted this yesterday:

"The last time we listened to a Bush, we wandered in the desert for 40 years."

#36 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 01:12 PM:

I wonder if you can serve Social Teas and Hobnobs on the same plate. And if you did, would they engage in subtle forms of shunning one another to establish dominance?

#37 ::: Jon Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 01:36 PM:

Skwid remarked:
Ice Tea (yet another regional dialectical variation that fascinates me is "Ice" vs. "Iced") should be brewed, then chilled over ice, then sweetened to the point of sugar supersaturation...

However, you can add more sugar to a hot liquid than to a cold liquid, even if you then cool down the hot liquid. That is true supersaturation. And that's why in Canada and the southeastern US they serve sweet tea.

Also eliminates spoon clanking.

#38 ::: Nishiko Takeuchi ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 01:42 PM:

On iced tea: I live in Canada, and if I want iced tea, I make my own. The companies that market their stuff here just don't do anything for me. I very rarely add sugar to any tea I drink, hot or cold, because my palate is accustomed to subtler flavors and sugar tends to overwhelm the true taste of the tea for me. Lapsang souchang is an exception. :)

On the Shrub and the circus of American politics: This is all I have to say: http://www.525reasons.com/archives/000897.html

#39 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 01:45 PM:

Jon: However, you can add more sugar to a hot liquid than to a cold liquid, even if you then cool down the hot liquid.

Which is why clever folks make up a batch of simple syrup (2 pts sugar, 1 part water, heat until sugar dissolves) to serve on the side. The syrup can be infused with citrus for a nice touch.

I like a little sugar in my iced tea, but if the spoon can stand in it, it's too sweet.

#40 ::: Nishiko Takeuchi ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 01:58 PM:

Okay, maybe not all I have to say, but I'll let the Shrub say it for me. ;) Here's a clip from The Daily Show (which continues in the same vein as the flip-flops), and here's one from Camp Chaos (a very silly but carefully edited version of Shrubya's State of the Union address).

I am not responsible for any damage done to nearby electronics by virtue of violently-expectorated fluids. ;)

#41 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 02:17 PM:

Chryss: However, why despair when there's the Internet?

Because if I cease despairing over the lack of Hob Nobs, I start despairing over the state of my waistline!

#42 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 02:30 PM:

Extra points to anyone who can figure out how to integrate the tea & digestive biscuits thread with the political jokes.

Meanwhile, we've been translated into Italian.

#43 ::: Jon Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 03:14 PM:

I like a little sugar in my iced tea, but if the spoon can stand in it, it's too sweet.

Bah. Not any worse than Coke or Pepsi, and besides, if your teeth aren't screaming for mercy with each mouthful, it's not sweet enough.

#44 ::: Carrie ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 03:21 PM:

Extra points to anyone who can figure out how to integrate the tea & digestive biscuits thread with the political jokes.

It would have to involve Tony Blair, of course.

#45 ::: Jurie ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 03:53 PM:

So today I read my daily blogs. First I read Neil Gaiman's, who points to William Gibson's, who tells the EXACT SAME joke about Bush and Billy. I laugh. Then I come here.

Weird.

For what it's worth, Gibson claims it's an old Soviet joke. How they figured Bush would be US president now I'll never know.

#46 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 03:56 PM:

So, anyway, this guy walks into a little cafe in SoHo. There's no one in there but him, the waitress, and two guys over at a far table.

The waitress comes up and says, "What do you want?"

"Some tea and digestive biscuits," he says.

"That's funny," she says, "the two guys over there ordered the same thing."

The guy looks at them, and says, "That's funny, they look a lot like George Bush and Tony Blair!"

That's because they are George Bush and Tony Blair," the waitress says. "They're really friendly guys -- you know those politicians, always glandhanding -- why don't you go over and introduce yourself?"

So the guy goes over to the other table, and George waves a digestive biscuit in the air and says, "Hey! Pull up a chair!"

The guy sits down and says, "Hi, guys, what's up?"

"We're planning to start a war in the Middle East," George says.

"A war in the Middle East?" the guy says. "What's going to happen?"

Tony Blair takes a sip of tea and says, "We're going to kill a hundred thousand Iraqis and a mime."

"A mime!" the guy says. "Why would you want to kill a mime?"

"See?" George asks. "What did I tell you? No one cares about a hundred thousand Iraqis."


#47 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 04:09 PM:

Speaking of Tony Blair and Bush:

Bush goes over to England and meets with the Queen.

"I've always admired your foreign policy, Your Majesty," Bush says. "The way you handled that Falklands mess... that was great. What's your secret?"

"It's quite simple, really," the Queen says. "I surround myself with clever ministers. Here, let me show you."

She calls Tony Blair in, and says, "Tony, here's a riddle for you. Your father has a child, and your mother has a child. The child isn't your brother, and it isn't your sister. Who is it?"

"It's me, Your Majesty," Tony says.

"Quite right," the Queen says.

George thinks about this, on his way back to Washington. On his arrival, he calls Dick Cheney into his office. "Dick," he says, "I have a question for you. Your father has a child, and your mother has a child. The child isn't your brother, and it isn't your sister. Who is it?"

"I'll get back to you on that," Cheney says.

Cheney calls a meeting with Ashcroft and Rumsfeld, and says to them, "The president asked a question, and I'd like your help on finding the answer. 'Your father has a child, and your mother has a child. The child isn't your brother, and it isn't your sister. Who is it?' Any ideas?"

They think about this, and after a bit Ashcroft says, "Why don't we ask Colin Powell? He's pretty smart."

So Dick Cheney calls Colin Powell up on the phone and says, "Your father has a child, and your mother has a child. The child isn't your brother, and it isn't your sister. Who is it?"

"That's easy," Powell says, "It's me."

"Thanks, Colin," Cheney says, and goes immediately back to the Oval Office.

"I have an answer for you," Cheney says to Bush. "It's Colin Powell."

"No, no, you fool," Bush says. "It's Tony Blair."

#48 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 04:10 PM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden offers ...

Extra points to anyone who can figure out how to integrate the tea & digestive biscuits thread with the political jokes.

I'm reminded of Miss Manners' dictum against discussing money, religion or politics in polite company - but perhaps I'm having a ladies-who-lunch momment.

[Speaking of which, anybody interested in having a ladies-who-lunch excursion? Gender is irrelevant, but witty conversation, dresses, hats and gloves are required]

#49 ::: Simon ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 04:42 PM:

How they figured Bush would be US president now I'll never know.

Or how the elephant got into Bush's pajamas.

#50 ::: Seth Ellis ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 04:58 PM:

James McDonald wins with a double whammy for World's Most Depressing Funny Joke.

#51 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 05:11 PM:

Q. If Bush, Ashcroft, Cheney, and Rumsfeld were in a rowboat in the middle of the ocean, and the boat sprang a leak, who would be saved?

A. America.

#52 ::: Adina ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 05:25 PM:

Just don't count on the corner diner to start serving loose tea. Too many extra things to wash, and dishwashing costs money.

My local diner does serve loose tea. I had a very nice little pot of linden tea the last time I went there. (That one's technically a tisane, because it's made from herbs, but they did also have real teas on their list).

#53 ::: Mark Shawhan ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 07:03 PM:

If we're having a ladies-who-lunch excursion, do we have to bring along Elaine Stritch?

#54 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 08:02 PM:

One day during show & tell, a little girl stands up in front of her class and says, "My cat just had a litter of kittens, and every one of them is a Republican!"

Her teacher thinks this is just too cute for words, so a month later, when George is doing a photo op at the school, the teacher prompts the girl to talk about her pets.

"My cat had a litter of kittens," the girl says, "and every one of them is a Democrat."

"What?" says her teacher, horribly embarrassed. "Last month, you said they were all Republicans!"

"Well, yeah," says the little girl; "but since then, their eyes have opened."

#55 ::: Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 09:31 PM:

Bush and one of his Secret Service bodyguards have gone cycling in his ranch and suddenly Bush falls down and lies unmoving. The bodyguard panics and calls his Emergency number on his radio.

"Help! I think the President is dead!"

A calm voice drawls out: "OK, son, cool down. First things first. Make damn sure the President if really dead."

A shot rings out. The bodyguard comes on line again.

"Ok. Done. What now?"

#56 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 09:44 PM:

Mark wondered:

If we're having a ladies-who-lunch excursion, do we have to bring along Elaine Stritch?

If you can get her, by all means!

#57 ::: Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 09:54 PM:

One very rich guy decides to spring for the latest, greatest Ferrari creation the Ferrari Incanto, an amazingly sleek, fast, hi-tech car with a mean engine and looks to kill for. The car comes in three colors: China Red, Ferrari Red and Bright Red, but you can choose from a wide range of chrome color variation for the nifty prancing horse Ferrari logo on the front, which is the reason you're paying through your nose in the first place.

So the guy gets his car, drives away happy and fulfilled, but after a few minutes decides that he wants to test the Bang&Olufsen audio system of the car and starts groping the sleek dashboard in dark mahogany and real leather. But no matter how much he pushes little stylish indentations and twists what turn out to be decorative chrome elements, no sounds issues. Pissed off, he turns back to the dealer.

The dealer reassures him: "Sir, this is an extremely advanced car, equipped with the latest Turing-Grade Compact AutoOmni Unit, a computer so smart and so expensive that the NASA is still trying to put togheter the budget to have it installed in one of the Shuttles, and its main aim is to cater to the needs and wishes of the car owner. All you need to do is express what kind of music you want to hear, and the car will do the rest."

The guy goes away, somewhat skeptical, and as soon as he's out of earshot of the dealership he looks around, feeling a bit silly, and mumbles: "Blues".

Immediately the car is filled with the crystal-clear sound of a B.B. King concert at the Madison Square Garden, somehow electronically purified of all impurities, a sound so perfect, so deep, so harmonious that no mere existing physical concert hall could ever have hosted it. The guy is almost reduced to tears.

He says: "Bach!"

And the car's small (very small, and almost completely horizontal) interior space is filled with the majesty and complexity of the Second Branderburgh Concert, a rendition so perfect that immeditaly he perceives the beauty of the piece as he never has before.

While he is lost in the bliss of the great Meister music, a far lesser car zips in front without indicating, and were it not for the super intelligent car who automatically brakes, his life would be lost.

"Moron!" he shouts.

And the audio system issues an infinetly harmonious and very brief moment of white noise before switching to a voice that recites gravely: "And now, directly from the White House..."

#58 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 11:07 PM:

Jill Smith (re Hobnobs): have you looked in the appropriate ethnic neighborhoods? Just down the street from me is a store that carries Irish newspapers (English and Gaelic) and a wide assortment of edibles from the British Isles. Some of these are a matter of taste (reconstituted dried peas? Cadbury's milk chocolate?), but I specifically remember seeing the slogan "One nibble and you're nobbled!" The only problem is that they're a destination for local sports teams, so the packaging from the snacks frequently winds up on my lawn after a game.

TNH, Jim, et al:
"They use different words for things in America.
They say elevator, we say lift.
They say drapes, we say curtains.
They say president, we say brain-damaged git."
(a British comedian, quoted in the fortune file that Kevin and Kell draws on.)

This is beginning to sound like the Metropole hotel manager episode -- all the classic jokes that so easily morph to the current situation. Let's hope Bush doesn't have \that/ big an ownership stake.

#59 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 11:30 PM:

All right now listen, I am currently the world's authority on iced tea (based on the amount of it I consume) and you people making pronouncements are just asking for trouble. First of all, sweetening the tea while it is hot is evil unless you also make an equivalent amount of unsweetened tea for icing as well. BECAUSE NOT EVERY DAMN BODY IN THE UNITED STATES LIKES SWEET STUFF TO DRINK. I have gotten so tired of this nonsense -- I turn around and walk out of restaurants which do not offer unsweetened as well as sweetened tea. Yeah there are, too damn many of them.

And it's becoming increasingly difficult to find iced tea in airports. Starbucks, a place I can count on to always have iced tea, was out yesterday at Dulles. As was the only other place I could get to in the airport outside security. Mutter mutter mutter.

Oh, and this is a mildly interesting blog for tea and biscuit fans.

And for your information, Constant Comment makes wonderful iced tea, but it's better if you use the loose tea than the bags and the only place I can get that now is to order it directly from CC. Which I do, by the pound.

MKK--who has 5 different Christmas teas because she likes spicy flavors in her hot tea

#60 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2004, 11:48 PM:

MKK, I am in your fan club. By the transitive property of fan clubs, that means Randall is too, since he's in my fan club.

Up with spicy unsweetened tea!

#61 ::: Jonathan Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2004, 01:40 AM:

I am so grateful for the laughs. Some of the jokes I've read out loud to my beloved, changing the names to the recently re-elected reactionary Australian government leaders. John W Howard, our fourth-term prime minister, is a good friend of George W Bush and has a remarkably similar odour about him (just add a pathetic sycophancy to the POTUS and several actual wins at the polls). Since the election, alarmingly violent graffiti has been appearing. In this country we assume that such threats are tongue in cheek. I tremble for the results if Bush is returned next month.

#62 ::: Kevin Marks ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2004, 05:11 AM:

Can someone adapt the Douglas Adams biscuit story to be political?

#63 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2004, 09:26 AM:

MKK - why am I not surprised? You like dark choc, m'dear. Too-sweet = blech for those of us who are dark chocophiles.

I am a nonsweetened tea-drinker as well.

#64 ::: Vicki Rosenzweig ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2004, 11:00 AM:

I like sweets, and put sugar in my tea (hot or iced, though not Chinese oolong). And I prefer dark chocolate: it's not a sweetness thing for me, it's that I want the flavor of chocolate, not dairy, much of the time.

I also have a half gallon of chocolate ice cream in the freezer: I'm liberal about such matters.

#65 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2004, 11:04 AM:

Sorry, Vicki - shouldn't have made such an over-generalization!

;-)

#66 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2004, 11:21 AM:

I had a very odd and unsettling discussion last night with a number of people who declared they were voting for Bush. But I also learned three new things.

First, the Vietnam veterans who are sniping at Kerry's combat record cannot distinguish Kerry's testimony attacking the Vietnam war back in the 70's from an attack on their personal service to this country. For some, any attack on the vietnam war is viewed as an attack on the honor of the men and women who fought that war. I kind of knew this before, but it's a different sort of knowledge when you experience it directly.

Second, the idignation about Kerry mentioning Dick Cheney's daughter as a lesbian is out in voter land. "it was a deplorable political trick", apparently intended to nudge some of the fundamentalists who view homosexuality as a choice and drive them away from Bush. I replied that I considered Bush's proposal of the no-gay-marriage ammendment to be a more deplorable trick because he knew it would never pass, but he introduced it so that he could nudge the fundamentalists to his corner. Kerry's trick was part of a debate. Bush's trick was using the Constitution as a political toy.

Third, this brought up an odd response from another person who had earlier claimed they were voting for Bush because Bush respected the constitution more than Kerry did. When I mentioned the marriage ammendment, this person claimed that it wasn't Bush who introduced it. I told him Bush introduced that ammendment and the one to outlaw flag burning. He denied it again. At this point, the entire group, pro-Bush and pro-Kerry, chimed in that I was correct. The person who claimed Bush respected the constitution left immediately and went home.

So, the odd and unsettling thing I learned, besides the three points above, is that this election is SO not about facts.

It is more and more a game of "Thing" where truth is not so nearly as important as persuasion.

#67 ::: Adina ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2004, 11:31 AM:

All of this talk about tea is making me think that I ought to give a tea party at Boskone. The difficult part would probably be deciding which dozen varieties of loose tea to bring.

#68 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2004, 11:37 AM:

Adina considers:

All of this talk about tea is making me think that I ought to give a tea party at Boskone. The difficult part would probably be deciding which dozen varieties of loose tea to bring.

I suspect that I'd be caught between a dragon pearl tea and a robust black tea of some sort - although Earl Grey [and Lady Grey for that matter] remains one of my long standing favourites.

#69 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2004, 11:54 AM:

I vote we test Bush to see if he's a Thing!

BTW, has everyone seen this video? It's ... wow.

#70 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2004, 01:16 PM:

Goodness, he is wearing an earpiece. Check his right ear. (This was pointed out in the Kos comments section.) Also, he always nods in such a way as to obscure that ear.

#71 ::: Jon Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2004, 04:40 PM:

MKK - where do you live that only sweet tea is your only choice? In Atlanta, once reliable home of only sweet tea, I keep running into more and more restaurants serving only unsweetened.

And if you ask for sweet tea outside of the Southeast or Canada, your waitress will give you a puzzled look and say, "We don't have that." [pause] "What is that, anyway?"

---

One night, George W. Bush is awakened by George Washington's ghost in the White House. Bush asks: "George, what is the best thing I could do to help the country?"

"Set an honest and honorable example, just as I did," Washington advises.

The next night, the ghost of Thomas Jefferson moves through the dark bedroom. "Tom," W asks, "what is the best thing I could do to help the country?"

"Cut taxes and reduce the size of government," Jefferson advises.

Bush isn't sleeping well the next night, and sees another figure moving in the shadows. It's Abraham Lincoln's ghost. "Abe, what is the best thing I could do to help the country?" Bush asks.

Abe answers: "Go see a play."

#72 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2004, 05:08 PM:

John H.: West Coast. It's mostly a problem in smaller places who have gone to bottled teas. With 2 exceptions, all bottled teas are presweetened.

MKK

#73 ::: Jon Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2004, 05:38 PM:

Ah, I can see that. Don't touch bottled tea myself, but I'm not surprised to hear that it's all presweetened.

#74 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2004, 06:24 PM:

CHip: whereabouts is this? We're always looking for sources of British Isles foods....

#75 ::: Yonmei ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2004, 07:06 PM:

I hadn't heard Julia's joke before, and it made me laugh out loud.

Chocolate-covered graham crackers (the sort Starbucks used to sell) are the best chocolate biscuits in the world. The chocolate enrobing the biscuit is thick enough that when you dip it in a hot cup of tea, it's only melty on top: you bite into solid chocolate and then graham cracker underneath.

Alas, the country that manufactures these fabulous biscuits cannot make a nice cup of tea to save its life. So I buy them, take them home, and eat them here. mmmmmmmm.

I recommend to your attention the fabulous nice cup of tea and a sit down website. Lots of biscuit reviews. And this month's main post is about Sensible Kettles.

#76 ::: Tayefeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2004, 12:44 AM:

But, Jon, if Dubya goes to see a play, Dick will be President (for at least the next few months).

#77 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2004, 11:13 AM:

Dick Cheney? Damn straight--before he dicks me.

#78 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2004, 12:58 PM:

I'd like to post this thoughtful item by Forrest Bishop, Chairman, Institute of Atomic-Scale Engineering

Sometimes I'm asked why I'm not politically active. Sometimes I reply -- for the the same reason I'm not active in the mafia -- it's destructive behavior. Instead of taking a few minutes to stuff a ballot box, I prefer to
invest hours and years studying the System: what makes it tick? Why do we do what we do? How does this change? A vote is evidence of consent to the existence of the status quo: secretly balloting for how a gang of career bureaucrats should divvy up the spoils of their depredations (after taking a nice fat slice for themselves, of course). Once elected, or otherwise, the politician is free to break every promise he or she made, and usually does. This is not representation by any stretch of the imagination.

It's more comfortable in the short run to just go along to get along, not rock the boat and nod like we understand. I don't do this, though I usually keep to myself. The present case is reason to withdraw consent, now more than ever. There is still the possibility for a velvet revolution in the US.

The online article links to other thinkers with additional wisdom to offer on this
topic:

A Vote For Not Voting
by Ira Katz

#79 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2004, 01:10 PM:

So that's what prompted what Bush said?

Texas voted for Bush to get him out of state for selling out the Rangers.

Sexual differences among the Bush Brothers: Hurricanes blow Jeb, George W blows Iraq, and Neil gets blown in Thailand.

Bush is a puppet whose brain went a-Roving a long time ago.

Bush doesn't read newspapers or watch TV news, he says he has other people tell him what they read or saw. In other words, he gets third party translations.. He claims he reads the Bible--but I wonder if he realizes that even there, what he's reading is third party translations out of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Maybe he thinks it was written in English?



#80 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2004, 01:16 PM:

Paula Lieberman:

What? The Bible wasn't written in Texan? Dang!

Oh yeah, that's right. Abraham and Mohammed and Krishna were shepherds and cowboys. But they wore the wrong hats and boots.

#81 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2004, 01:23 PM:

> Oh yeah, that's right. Abraham and Mohammed
> and Krishna were shepherds and cowboys. But
> they wore the wrong hats and boots.

They weren't Texans. Bush will allow as not everyone can be a Genuwine Texan, and there are some folks who were important who haven't been Texans. Now, as for Bush being an import, when confronted with that he'd just evade it probably, probably has himself fully convinced he was never from anywhere else....

#82 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2004, 01:49 PM:

JVP - That tract on not voting was one of the most cynical things I've ever read. It's based on a fundamental assumption that the system is not only broken, but that it's almost irreparable and that nothing short of delegitimizing the government can set things right.

I beg to differ. Our system is still supple enough that movements can have an impact, witness the growth and rise to power of the GOP over the last three decades. How did they achieve this? Not entirely through corruption - they created a grassroots base. Admittedly, I find their base distasteful and wouldn't care to dine with them. But the point is, we can do the same.

If you want hope, all you have to look at is how Howard Dean revitalized the Democrats. Sure, the media (a tool of the status quo, whatever it may be at the time) was determined to destroy him, but they couldn't destroy the passion he awakened in what will become the new Democratic base.

Is Kerry a product of the new base? No, of course not. But supporting him will make it possible for the new base, which will probably adopt the lable progressive rather than try to reclaim the word liberal, to grow in influence and become the movement that sets the agenda for a real new American century. A century marked by a globalism that raises all boats, here and abroad. A century where we exploit our diversity and reclaim the mantle of "the last best hope of Earth."

Whew, no more coffee for me today. And wasn't this supposed to be a thread about biscuits and tea?

#83 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2004, 03:10 PM:

I'll go for the biscuits (or cookies, to me) side of things - may I promote a local Irish thing called chocolate-covered Kimberlys? They are ginger biscuits, sandwiching a marshmellow filling. I think they sell a chocolate-free version, but you can understand if I don't manifest any interest in that. The true Kimberly is chocolate-covered.

Anyone not in this part of the world want to try some?

Crazy(about chocolate, considered apart from politics...)Soph

#84 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2004, 04:59 PM:

I figure I can not-vote for Kerry or not-vote for Bush.

I keep hearing talk of "bringing the system down". I wonder, always, when I hear it, what people think they are going to do after the system is destroyed.

#85 ::: Magenta ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2004, 05:37 PM:

I believe the orginal joke, which was from the Soviet days, was that there was a rally at which (Stalin) (Krushchev) (whomever) appeared and answered questions. Boris stands up and says, "I have two questions, when will we defeat capitalism, and when will there no longer be lines for meat?". The leader says, "I will find out, and answer your questions tomorrow". The next day, the leader is answering questions again. Ivan stands up and says, "I have three questions, when will we defeat capitalism, when will there no longer be lines for meat, and where is Boris?"

And there is always, if you were trapped in a room with a rattlesnake, a cobra and George Bush, and you had a gun with only two bullets, what would you do?
Shoot Bush twice.

(The first time I heard that, it was a lawyer joke.)

#86 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2004, 06:45 PM:

Ooooh. Careful Magenta. If they're arresting people for wearing certain shirts at Bush rallies, I'd be very careful about saying anything that puts "shoot" in the same sentence as the Shrubster.

#87 ::: Jesurgislac ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2004, 07:37 PM:

In honor of Matthew Yglesias:

It's 2020. President Edwards is coming to the end of his second term, and for the first time in two decades a Republican candidate looks like she has a chance of gaining office. Eloise Anderson is speaking at a meeting about the bad old days of the Bush administration, where no one dared speak their mind, and how it's important that, if she gains office, the new Republican administration should prove itself to have made a clean break from the last, unbelievably corrupt Bush administration. There must be honesty and fair dealing. Eloise Anderson got her start in politics as one of Bush's staffers, as is well known, though she was never connected to any of the scandals, and never indicted in any of the 2005 trials.

A heckler at the back pipes up "What were you doing then?"

Anderson walks down the room between the rows of chairs, looking about her at the staffers. She looks terrifyingly angry. "Who said that?" she snaps.

Everyone keeps their head down. No one meets anyone else's eyes. Their careers depend on Anderson's goodwill. No one says anything.

Anderson walks back up to the front of the room. Everyone is watching her now, wondering what she's going to say.

She stands in front of them all and nods. "Yes. That's exactly what I did, too."

#88 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2004, 09:29 PM:

Christopher: Faneuil Market, on Faneuil St. (Brighton) at the 'y' with Arlington.

#89 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2004, 10:04 PM:

Christopher Davis, another place to reliably get British Isles food is to contact Brits, a Lawrence-based business owned by my sister. She always has lots of stuff, mostly groceries, in stock and is getting merchandise all the time.

If you look up Brits on Yahoo.com, her site comes up near the top two or three answers....

http://www.britsusa.com/

She doesn't pay me to advertise for her, I go spend money there too. I get a family discount (small).

#90 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2004, 11:38 PM:

The Stop & Shop in Woburn on the northwest corner of the intersection of 128 (I-95) and route 38 has a British Food section in an aisle with lemon curd and other British preserves and British foods, and I think the Shaw's in Burlington at the intersection of Winn Street and Cambridge Street (3A) does also, or maybe I'm confusing the latter with the Roche Brother's a half-mile south of the intersection of US 3/Cambridge Street (I think it's still Cambridge street south of 128--oh, Cambridge Street is also the street that the 128 (I-95) exit closest to the Readercon hotel is, get off the limited access highway in Burlington heading north on 3A/Cambridge Street and go west on Mall Road (go north under the highway and take the first left, as the traffic light, onto Mall Road, heading towards the ocean, or if heading "south" on 128, take the 3A North exit and drive -through- the traffic light intersection onto Mall Road when the light is green [unless you LIKE being in traffic accidents....] and turn at the next traffic light into the hotel driveway].

Readercon Note: the three supermarkets are within about two miles of one another. The Roche Brothers and the Shaw's both have in-store hot food bars, the Stop & Shop's is limited to mostly fried chicken and pizza. It's got the longest hours, though, the other two close at either 10 or 11 PM most nights (earlier Sunday I think) , the Stop and Shop closes for few hours when Saturday night become Sunday at midnight, and at 9 PM on Sunday night.

#91 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2004, 03:21 AM:

Paula - Thanks, you made my evening. I love hearing people give driving directions in metro Boston. True to local form, you pointed out at least one place where traffic accidents seek out the unwary.

I actually know the area you describe, having stayed at the Woburn Marriott far too many times.

#92 ::: Amy Thomson ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2004, 09:22 AM:

This joke I first heard when I was growing up in Miami, and Nixon was president. I've updated it a bit.

There are these three boys from Crawford, Texas out walking by the lake. They see an overturned boat and a man floating face down in the water. They swim out and rescue him. It's President Bush. He turns to the three boys and says,"Thank you for saving my life, boys. If there's anything you want, anything at all, just name it, and it's yours."

The first boy says, "I want a new bike!"

"Done!" says Bush, "You'll have the finest mountain bike money can buy."

The second boy is a little more far-seeing. "I'd like to go to West Point when I grow up."

"Of course, son. I'll make sure a place is ready for you."

The third boy thinks for a while, and then says, "Mr. President, I'd like to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery."

"Well young man, if that's what you really want. But it's an odd request for someone such as yourself to make. Why would you want to be buried in Arlington National Cemetary."

"Because my daddy edits The Lone Star Iconoclast, and he's gonna kill me when he finds out what I've done!"

#93 ::: Amy Thomson ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2004, 10:01 AM:

I read Jonathan Post's post about not voting and became quite angry. Being an American and not voting is like being a surgeon who won't operate to save someone's life because they think blood is icky. Sorry Jonathan. That statement won't wash.

Democracy is imperfect. Life is suffering. Get over your damned self.

#94 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2004, 12:00 PM:

After numerous rounds of "We don't even know if Osama is still alive", Osama himself decided to send George W. a letter in his own handwriting to let him know he was still in the game.

Bush opened the letter and it appeared to contain a coded message:

"370HSSV-0773H".

Bush was baffled, so he e-mailed it to Colin Powell.

Colin and his aides had no clue either so they sent it to the FBI.

No one could solve it so it went to the CIA, on then to the NSA, then to the Secret Service.

With no clue as to its meaning, they eventually sked Australias ASIO for help.

ASIO cabled the White House as follows: "Tell the President he is looking at the message upside down!"

#95 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2004, 01:17 PM:

Let me take a stab in the dark here, but Stefan...you wouldn't happen to be from Australia, now, would you?

#96 ::: A.R.Yngve ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2004, 01:19 PM:

In the spirit of current American humor, here is another anecdote:

25 Chechen terrorists sneak across the U.S.-Mexican border, and make their way to a large public school during the night. They break into the school, shoot the guards, throw grenades into the parking-lot and take several hundred teenagers and children hostage.

After attempts at negotiation fail, the Chechens start executing first teachers, then children. Some are beheaded.

Desperate schoolchildren try to escape through the windows. The kids are shot in the back while fleeing, the police storm the buildings but too late: the terrorists, crying "Allah is great!" set off the explosives and kill themselves plus a large number of children.

After the carnage has ended, bereaved Americans start blaming each other, the government, the police, the children, the teachers, the military, the political parties...

And the punchline is: Al-Qaida members think this story is really funny.

-A.R.Yngve
http://yngve.bravehost.com

#97 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2004, 01:37 PM:

Skwid: Nope, a co-worker forwarded it to me.

#98 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2004, 01:42 PM:

Paula: apparently there's a Trader Joe's going in to Burlington RSN, too. Good news for you I suspect.

#99 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2004, 03:10 PM:

RE: Not voting as a protest.

In a game of "Thing", when a scientist doesn't vote, the game moves in favor of the Things.

not voting has consequences, generally bad.

And complaining that the rules of the game are not fair does not stop the game from being played.


#100 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2004, 04:12 PM:

Greg, you're right: JvP is clearly a Thing. I call for a test on JvP!

#101 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2004, 04:25 PM:

He could also be a scientist whose decision making process is illogical.

But, hey, we get two tests this turn, so why not.

I also call for a Thing-test on Cheney.
I'd like to see the alien slug that's using
his body as a host come out screaming as it
whithers away and dies.

#102 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2004, 06:04 PM:

Myers of Keswick on Jane St. in Manhattan has everything english that is food.

Even Cadbury Flake.

#103 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2004, 08:30 AM:

I also call for a Thing-test on Cheney.
I'd like to see the alien slug that's using
his body as a host come out screaming as it
whithers away and dies.

Indeed. But have we found someone who can Tune strongly enough to stand against the reality-bending powers of Mr. Dick?

#104 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2004, 09:20 AM:

Q. What's two hundred yards long, has 800 legs, and coughs and sneezes?

A. The line for flu shots.

#105 ::: Amy Thomson ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2004, 10:05 AM:

Non Sequitur of the day:

There is no Chocolate but Dark Chocolate, and Jon Singer is it's prophet!

#106 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2004, 12:28 PM:

Q: Do you know the difference between a Christian who thinks he can get to heaven by killing for Jesus and a Muslim who thinks he can get to paradise by killing for Allah?

A: No.

Q: Me either.

#107 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2004, 01:22 PM:

From "BBC NewsNight," according to the guy who forwarded it to me:

[Tastelessness Alert]

George Bush has a heart attack and dies. He goes to hell where the devil is waiting for him.

"I don't know what to do here," says the devil. "You're on my list but I have no room for you. But you definitely have to stay here, so I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I've got three people here who weren't quite as bad as you. I'll let one of them go, but you have to take their place. I'll even let YOU decide who leaves."

George thought that sounded pretty good so he agreed.

The devil opened the first room. In it was Richard Nixon and a large pool of water. He kept diving in and surfacing empty handed over and over and over. Such was his fate in hell.

"No!" George said. "I don't think so. I'm not a good swimmer and I don't think I could do that all day long."

The devil led him to the next room. In it was Tony Blair with a sledgehammer and a room full of rocks. All he did was swing that hammer, time after time after time.


"No! I've got this problem with my shoulder. I would be in constant agony if all I could do was break rocks all day!" commented George.

The devil opened a third door. In it, George saw Bill Clinton lying naked on the floor with his arms staked over his head and his legs staked in spread-eagle pose. Bent over him was Monica Lewinsky, doing what she does best.

George Bush looked at this in disbelief for a while and finally said, "Yeah, I can handle this."

The devil smiled and said, "Monica, you're free to go!"

[\Tastelessness Alert]

#108 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2004, 02:05 PM:

Stefan: Thank you for that bit of tastelessness. I'm sitting here grinning and picturing it. I am a Bad Person.

MKK

#109 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2004, 02:38 PM:

Stafan, I think I just broke my speed record for copy-paste-mail to my husband....

#110 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2004, 02:40 PM:

That is a wonderful "tasteless" joke! [ROFLMAOSTC]

=======

The Shaw's has Jacob's Digestive Biscuits, and I think it also has Cadbury Drinking Chocolate. I haven't been in the Roche store lately.


The Woburn Marriott? It's in Burlington! There's some other hotel in Woburn, there's the one at 128 and 38, on the way to a cinema complex.

Oh, I didn't mention that the intersetion of 128 and 38 is where part of the Middlesex Canal used to be. "Baldwin Park," names for Col Baldwin, whom the Baldwin apple is also names for, is a small greenswath with a statue of Col Baldwin and such, to the right when turning left at the traffic light going north on 38 from the traffic circle (yep, there is a large traffic circle underneath 128 where the intersection with 38 is) to go into the parking lot for the Stop & Shop and the other stores in the stripmall there). There is also an office building labelled "Baldwin Park" or some such, on the east side of 38 when just north of 128, and the Baldwin House Restaurant, which had been Col Baldwin's house. Bits of ditch which are residual from the canal go from the road (into the strip mall parking lot) until deadending apparently at 128 (the construction of 128 filled in the canal there, I think there is more wet ditch on the other side of 128), and over by the Baldwin House. Col Baldwin was one of the people whose vision created the Middlesex Canal and the first stock company in the United States, which funded the construction and operaton and reaped the profits of the canal, which was in operation from 1803 to 1853. He had a boat and canal tie-up by his house, people came by water to his parties. For a while there was a wooden canal barge on the greenswath on the eastern side of 38 west of the canal remnants, with a commemorative marker and commentary, but between damage from weather without much upkeep and considerable worse damage from vandals, including I think burning, its time was limited there as an exhibit.

==================

Trader Joe's coming to Burlington? YAY!

====================================

Picture this: George Bush driving at evening rush hour in the winter on 128 in a snowstorm....

============================

My all-time favorite bumper sticker still remains, "Let Teddy take Dickie for a ride." ....

Let's see, Bush has abused alcohol, cocaine, but he's using his latest addiction, religion to instead abuse everyone else. Guess he did learn something after all....

#111 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2004, 03:19 PM:

Paula, I doubt that Bush is addicted to religion. He doesn't belong to a congregation in D.C., and he doesn't attend services. Granted, one can be religious without doing so; but I've cherished doubts about Bush's religious convictions ever since the announcement that the war in Iraq would be called Operation Infinite Justice. They changed the name after protests, but it still got all the way to the announcement stage. In every religion I know of, Infinite Justice is an attribute of divinity. How religious can the Bush Administration be, if nobody recognized that that was an inappropriate name?

#112 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2004, 03:46 PM:

Paula - you're right about the Marriott being in Burlington, of course. I just think of it being in Woburn because I usually found myself either walking or driving over to a friend's house in Woburn if I had a free evening.

Ahh, the Mall Road and Cambridge St. pedestrian experience!

#113 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2004, 05:07 PM:

He doesn't belong to a congregation in D.C., and he doesn't attend services. Granted, one can be religious without doing so

Yeah, but one cannot be a fervent advocate of government-mandated ceremonial religion and blow off the ceremonies.

Fair's fair.

#114 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2004, 07:26 PM:

> Paula - you're right about the Marriott being
>in Burlington, of course. I just think of it
> being in Woburn because I usually found myself
> either walking or driving over to a friend's
> house in Woburn if I had a free evening.

> Ahh, the Mall Road and Cambridge St.
> pedestrian experience!

Er. Um. Ugh. Er. Um.

There ARE worse placed to walk. Coming home from Boskone, when it was out in Framingham, at 2 or 3 AM on 128 north of route 9 and the Mass Pike in a SNOWSTORM, and some suicidal MORON had to pick MY CAR to cross 128, all four northbound snowfalling treacherous poorly plowed SLIPPERY lanes and presumable the four SOUTHBOUND lanes, too, plus breakdown land and median strip, in front of! I safely evaded the obstacle, but I was not the SLIGHTEST bit -happy- about having had to deal with the situation, and it left me very shaken up.

I emphatically do not appreciate it when someone takes it into their head to play Road Pizza Chicken in FRONT of ME!

================

Meanwhile, another Bush joke.... -- REALLY bad taste.

Teddy vs Laura: Teddy missed the bridge, Laura missed the stop sign, but she got to the White House. But then again, the person -she- killed was in a -different car. Plausible deniability? George can always threaten to send his wife after people in a car....

#115 ::: Joshua Bregman ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2004, 11:49 AM:

a little long, but here goes:

Bush on a state visit to London is behind Tony Blair in the Queen's receiving line:

Queen: Tony! So good to see you! I have a riddle for you!

TB: Your majesty! Ask me anything!

Queen: I am my father's son, but am not my brother, who am I?

TB: Oh! Your Highness! You are droll! The answer is: Me!

Queen: Tony, you are so clever!

Bush laughs heartily at this thinking it quite clever. On his way back on Air Force One he rings Cheney:

GWB: Dick, you're smart, got a riddle for ya.

DC: Bring it on.

GWB: I am my father's son, but am not my brother, who am I?

DC: (thinking: I wonder what he wants me to say) Hmm, that's a good one Mr. President, let me get back to you.

Cheney calls Rice and tells her the riddle. She doesn't know either and punts saying, "Why don't you call Colin Powell, he's the smartest guy in the Cabinet?"

So Cheney lays it on Colin Powell who replies, "That's easy Dick, the answer is: Me." Cheney thanks him and calls back the Prez.

DC: Mr. President, I think I have the answer!

GWB: Alright, Dick, shoot.

DC: The answer is: Colin Powell!

and Bush says gleefully, "Wrong! It's Tony Blair!"

#116 ::: J Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2004, 12:41 PM:

"He doesn't belong to a congregation in D.C., and he doesn't attend services. Granted, one can be religious without doing so"

Yeah, but one cannot be a fervent advocate of government-mandated ceremonial religion and blow off the ceremonies.

Why not? He can be a fervent advocate of government-funded invasions of other nations without participating in any of the invasions.

#117 ::: JamesG ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2004, 07:45 PM:

I recieved the following in my email, and all I could think as I began to read it was: "I can't wait to get this bastard out of office." Then I hit the big groan. So, of course I had to pass it on! :)

Subject: senior citizen
>
>
> I am a senior citizen.
>
> During the Clinton Administration I had an extremely good and well
> paid job.
>
> I took numerous vacations and had several vacation homes.
>
> Since President Bush took office, I have watched my entire life change
> for
> the worse.
>
> I lost my job.
>
> I lost my two sons in that terrible Iraqi War.
>
> I lost my all my homes.
>
> I lost my health insurance.
>
> As a matter of fact I lost virtually everything and became homeless.
>
> Adding insult to injury, when the authorities found me living like an
> animal, instead of helping me, they arrested me.
>
> I will do anything that Senator Kerry wants to insure that a Democrat
> is
> back in the White House come next year.
>
> Bush has to go!
>
> Sincerely yours,
> Saddam Hussein

#118 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2004, 07:56 PM:

So George W. Bush is driving the presidential tour bus to a campaign whistlestop, with Colin Powell riding shotgun.

As they approach an underpass, Powell suddenly sits up very straight and says: "Mr. President, you've got to stop! That sign says 'maximum height twelve feet', and this bus is thirteen feet tall!"

Bush shrugs and says, "I don't see any cops."

#120 ::: Jordin Kare ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 12:25 AM:

"...and this bus is thirteen feet tall!"

"So what? Rove will fix it."

"But at the last overpass, the sign said fourteen feet. You can't trust a flip-flopping sign."

"Get Tom DeLay to lean on the bus. It'll go thru."

"We must stay the course! If we turn back, the terrorists will win!"

"The cross street has turned the corner and is clearly on an upward slope. If we just stay to the right, I am confident that the overpass will be above 16 feet before we reach it."

"Yes, but according to my economic advisors, 12 is bigger than 13."

"I have faith."

And after the bus has smashed into the overpass:

"No one could have predicted this!"

#121 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 10:48 AM:

In every religion I know of, Infinite Justice is an attribute of divinity. How religious can the Bush Administration be, if nobody recognized that that was an inappropriate name?

Well, they're doing God's Will, right? So it's okay.

There was a woman on the bus this morning talking about her craving for HobNobs. It wasn't anybody here, was it?

Then she said that Cheney has been arrested twice for drunk driving. Does that mean we have two alcoholics running the country?

#122 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2004, 09:24 PM:

Q. How can you tell that Iraq is not like Vietnam?

A. Bush avoided Vietnam.

#123 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2004, 12:02 AM:

There's always a game, with Mr. T, Hulk Hogan, and He-Man trying to save America from George Bush and Voltron.

#124 ::: Barbara ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2004, 10:10 PM:

This one came in my mail yesterday:

How many members of the Bush Administration are needed to change a lightbulb?

The Answer is TEN:

1. One to deny that a light bulb needs to be changed.

2. One to attack the patriotism of anyone who says the light bulb needs to be changed.

3. One to blame Clinton for burning out the light bulb.

4. One to tell the nations of the world that they are either: "For changing the light bulb or for darkness."

5. One to give a billion dollar no-bid contract to Halliburton for the new light bulb .

6. One to arrange a photograph of Bush, dressed as a janitor, standing on a stepladder under the banner "Light Bulb Change Accomplished."

7. One administration insider to resign and write a book documenting in detail how Bush was literally "in the dark."

8. One to viciously smear #7.

9. One surrogate to campaign on TV and at rallies on how George Bush has had a strong light bulb-changing policy all along.

10. And finally one to confuse Americans about the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country.

#125 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2004, 03:42 AM:

I found out where the Trader Joe's is going in in Burlington.... it's on Middlesex Turnpike a bit south of 128. To get there from the Readercon hotel, there are the following possible routes:

1. Go left out of the hotel's parking lot onto Mall Road heading west. Turn left at the intersection (might be the next intersection) which has a street that heads southeast and goes under 128 (do not pass the building which I think HP is in, it is on the southeast corner I think of that intersection.

Go under the underpass. Take the second right after the underpass--do not turn onto the street which I think is Van de Graff Road--yes, it and the high voltage equipment of that name were both named after the inventor, and Van de Graff accelerators once upon a time were made there, in a building which had the name "High Voltage Engineeering" on the faciliy. The building is long gone, torn down and replaced by the building which had been occupied by Genuity, the dead ISP/dotcom spun out from when Bell Atlantic bought out/merged with GTE which had bought out Bolt, Beranekt, and Newman (BBN), the company which essentially designed the ARPAnet networking system and built the original nodes for it.

Anway, take the second right, and head east on it until it comes to the Middlesex Turnpike, passing hotel on the right and Tweeter (I think Tweeter is still there) on the right, and on the left a package store. Turn left onto the Middlesex Turnpike minding that light, this is another very heavily trafficked road, and north of this road is are exits and entrances onto 128.... (This is still south of 128). Go past the package store and gas station and Daddy's Junky Music (I think it;s part Daddy's Junky Music), and turn left into the driveway that goes to something like the Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and the Trader Joe's, and PETCO. If you get to a traffic light where Lexington Road, is it? comes in at an acute angle from the southwest, with a gas station in the acute angle and an lumberyard beyond it, and across from the lumberyard another traffic light with a left turn available into a mall-like edifice, you've gone too far.

Option #2a -- after turning right at the second traffic light after going through the underpass, turn left when there is a road on the the left to take, it's a bit obscure to catch, even though there is a tiny traffic island I think there. The road comes in at an angle, and runs southeast (this is New England, "straight and level" are direction for airplanes, not -roads-!!). There will eventuall, before you get to the Middlesex Turnpike, be a back entrance on the right to the mall-like facility. Turn right into the back entrance, and cut through the parking lot coming out at the northwest entrance to the parking area, which has a traffic intersction with the Middlesex Turnpike, go right when the traffic situation allows (right is allowed on red there, I think, and sometimes the traffic is light enough to do so without risk of collision. Otherwise, wait for the green light! Then turn right shortly thereafter, into the parking lots and region for Trader Joe's.

2b. Instead of turning right into the back entrance to the former mall, stay on the road and turn right at the traffic light which is the intersection with the Middlesex Turnpike (which happens I think to have the name "Lowell Street" there, I think...--this is an example of why true Bay Staters are not fond of using street -names-, because you can be going driving along on what you THINK is the same road, but it isn't, not if you're navigating by street names. E.g, if instead of turning left from the hotel parking lot you turn right, and then head north, you will be on Cambridge Street--for the next two to three miles. As soon as you drive past the sign that says "Billerica" to tell you you're in a different town, you're not on Cambridge Street anymore, you're on Boston Road. It's still state route 3A, and you haven't veered off in a different direction or made a turn, but the street name has changed.

However, having turned north on Lowell/Middlesex Turnpike, continue on it past the traffic light at the former-mall north parking lot entrance (as opposed to the south entrance you drove past, probably not even noticing it until past it) and turn right when seeing the Bed Bath and Beyond etc.

Option 3:

Turn left from the hotel parking lot onto Mall Road, going west. Stay on Mall Road going west until at the Middlesex Turnpike -- go past Lahey Clinic on the left. Go past a bunch of office buildings, go through a number of traffic lights minding the colors they are showing and obeying the laws regarding red lights. Go past the Burlington Mall on the left and on the right Kohl's and then the back end of a stripmall with Newbury Comics. At the intersection with the Middlesex Turnpike on the northeast corner, with the entrance only from the Middlesex Pike, is an Eastern Mountain Sport store (which housed the Barnes and Noble before it had the two story building its in built), a Lindt Chocolate store which doesn't seem to have management which believes it should be open evening suburban mall hours, and a few other stores. The northwest corner has a Victoria Station restaurant. The southwest corner is Burlington Mall parking lots and an Auto Center which originally was owned and operated by Sears. The two left most lanes allow left turns--this is a hint that is is another very heavily trafficked intersection.

Turn left at the light. Get into a middle lane, otherwise you will discover that the left lanes--note the plural-- are for turning, in order, 1. into the Burlington Mall, 2. into the southbound entrance ramp onto 128/I-95, 3 (after going under the underpass under the highway--literally highway), into the northbound entrance for the highway. Once past the 126 ramps, there's that additional traffic light for the street discussed in Option 1, and then it's time to start looking for the Trader Joe's on the left... but beware of getting into the leftmost lane too soon.

Option 4 -- yes, there is an option 4, and a note about this stuff below-- from the hotel parking lot, turn right onto Mall Road, and stay in the right lane on Cambridge Street/3A because there is a ramp that's immediately on the right that goes up onto 128 South. Go up the ramp. Drive a mile staying in the right lane unless there is a moron or large truck which is doing 40 or below when all the other traffic is doing at least 55... at the end of the mile is the start of an exit which actually has two exit ramps for three exits off it -- the second ramp goes up to US 3 North, the first ramp goes down to the Middlesex Pike. Stay to the left on the ramp, to go -south-, and under the highway and follow the instructions for option 3 with respect to going under the highway and past the entrance to 128 north and such.

(As for what about US 3, US 3 coming down from the border with Canada wends its way through scenic New Hamphire with lots of stoplights for much of its length, goes through the middle of Manchester, and becomes a true limited access road in Nashua, sought of the limited access toll road I can't think of the name of, and then proceed for the next 20+ miles in Masachusetts, until it meets with 128. It then proceeds eastward along 128 for a mile, and goes south on Cambridge Street! Cambridge Street in Burlington north of 128 is state road 3A, but as soon as you get on the south side of 128, you're on US 3 coincident with Cambridge Street... see above, Do Not Trust Street names! US 3 continues south down into Woburn and then Winchester and then Arlington...

Option 5 (yes, there is an option 5, even..) Instead of going up onto 128, continue Cambridge Street past the 128 and past the ramps to/from 128 on the south side of the intersection. Take the first possible right that isn't a 128 ramp--its at a traffic light (there is a traffic light for the 128 ramps. There MIGHT be another traffic light in between, to go left onto Wall Street, to a strip mall, and office building, and another part of Lahey Clinic, or it might the same traffic light at the street to go right onto.) Take the right and got up the hill. Turn left at the traffic light, which puts you on the street headed south, that is the street discussed in option 1, that heading north on, would take you back under the highway and to Mall Road on the other side.

Process as in Option 1 or 2 above.

Now for the note. When I worked in Waltham, I would use not only any of those routes, but several OTHERS, depending on the time, the traffic situation, the weather, and how I felt that day, to head to work from north of where the hotel is. I also had the option of going down 128, which was longer, but limited access, if I thought that the surface street traffic were worse that day, or I was looking for mininum time and 128 and 2 didn't have snarls on them. It also depended on my level of alertness, in peeling off for Mall Road, or for the 128 south exit.... and it depends on the instantaneous traffic, and if the light for Mall Road were red (if the right for turning onto it was clear of traffic and there were cars backed up waiting for the light, I would turn right onto Mall Road. If not, I would either go up the ramp for 128, if 128 had freely flowing traffic, or proceed to the street described above, if the 128 traffic were slow. I was headed to go south on Lowell Street, and all of the options describe above, were available to me. Or, I also had the option to, as noted, go on 128....

#126 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2004, 05:03 AM:

Oy vey - more Boston driving directions.

Wenn man Trader Joe's moecheten finden, fahren sie von X nach Y...

I truly love Boston driving directions, although these lack a Dunkin' Donuts... As I understand it, Metro Boston is the only place in the US where DD has a higher density than Starbuck's.

#127 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2004, 08:17 AM:

Another variation of that lightbulb joke includes "20,000 US Troops to invade a nation rumored to have lightbulbs."

#128 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2004, 11:14 AM:
Oy vey - more Boston driving directions.

This is a pretty simple route, actually - it reads more complicated than it is. However, I note that in Option 3:

The southwest corner is Burlington Mall parking lots and an Auto Center which originally was owned and operated by Sears.

That's actually the southEAST corner. The southwest corner has a Men's Wearhouse and a jewelry store that I've seen hundreds of times but can't recall the name of (begins with an "L").

#129 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2004, 11:22 PM:

Yeah, that's the southeast corner. Sigh.

=======

And now to the almost ridiculous, regarding, "how many Dunkin' Donuts can you find in a straight line?"

Start point, the Readercon hotel.

Dunkin' Donuts, you want Dunkin' Donuts? Go out Mall Road east to Cambridge St/3A north (that is, go right onto Mall Road out of the parking lot of the Burlington Woods [not really that much woods there, actually...] Marriott and turn left at the next light onto Cambridge St heading north. Keep going about two miles, past the football field on the laft, through the town center (the town green or common will be on the right, and a baseball field and beyond it town graveyard on the left), go past the Building 19 1/2 on the right, going downhill, do not turn right at the light at the bottom of the slope onto Winn Street, however, after going through the traffic intersection look for the Dunkin Donuts freestanding building on the right.

Or, if you feel like going further, keep driving on 3A north, another two miles or so, past the strip malls on the right, past where route 62 splits off west onto I think it is Hartwell Avenue or Street, named for a long-dead relative of David G., across the Town Line into Billerica now on Boston Road, and noting the house on the left with the junkyard and vehicle repair garage which has the Kitsch of the Quarter Gawdy Decorations, past the 880 Plaza or whatever it's called small strip mall on the right, past a couple churches, pass the Masalaa restaurant and cross over the Shawsheen River (which is not a very large river) in a relatively flat area, past a Chinese restaurant on the right and a gas station on the left, and then there is an area on the right with trucks in it, Allen Road after there, and a gas station; across the street from the gas station is a small stripmall which contains a Dunkin Donuts.

But wait, you don't have to stop -there-, either, stay on Boston Road headed north, go less than mile--go up the slope and through the traffic light intersection (minding the light, this is one where before there was a light, my car got smashed by someone making a left turn as I was driving north.... the bushes at the entrance hadn't helped any....) to the south entrance to the Towne Plaza strip mall, which is on the right and downhill from the road. A few hundred feet ahead is a second entrance to the strip mall, and across the street from it is another Dunkin' Donuts!

But wait, you don't have to stop -there-, either! Keep going north on Boston Road, less than another mile, past Griggs' Farm on the left, past the Salt Box I think the name of it is garden center on the right, past a Midas Muffler shop or some such on right, and somewhere before the center of town in Billerica is a joint Dunkin' Donuts and some fast food joint (Taco Bell or something like that?) in the same freestanding building on the left.

Don't worry if you go past that one, though, because just by driving another mile or so, through the center of Billerica Post Office just before the Town Common, then a strip mall to the right, the Town Common on the left and the public library on the farther side of the Common, keep going north past the Town Hall and fire and police stations on the left in what had been old high school buildings (the high school is behind that, I wonder what it feels like to be in high school that has the police station right next to it??). The town buildings then end but keep going, keep going past the traffic intersection where route 129 goes eastward off to the right, and cross over the Concord River, keep going past the Ford dealership on the left, the town sewage treatment system on the right, and just past the entrance to a strip mall with a Market Basket, a JoAnn's store, sundry other business, AND Dante Confection's storefront, which has chocolate truffles made in the production area which is behind the store, is ANOTHER Dunkin' Donuts!

#130 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2004, 11:52 PM:

"Pass the Dunkin' Donuts, turn left just after the Dunkin' Donuts, and it's right after the third Dunkin' Donuts."

Gotta love Boston.

#131 ::: Connie H. ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2004, 10:11 AM:

I knew I had a donut problem the day I realized that I could think of the location of over 20 Dunkin' Donuts (and other donut shops) without any real effort.

Meanwhile, to the south of us, Tim Horton's has taken over an RI donut chain....

#132 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2004, 10:39 AM:

Jewellers in Boston starting with "L": Landau; L & N; Leavitt; Lee; Little Russia; Longs; Lux, Bond & Green

#133 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2004, 10:59 AM:

That's -five Dunkin' Donuts on the -same- road within a stretch of six or so miles, and all of them with enough business to stay open. And the one across from the Allen Road intersection (I forgot to mention that there's a small traffic island there) makes the traffic at the intersection a whole lot -worse-... caffeine and coffee addicts so desperate for a fix that the same road has five Dunkin' Donuts in six miles.... and the populations of Burlington and Billerica put together might be 80,000 people in something like 72 square miles [but 3a does get quite a bit of traffic. It's north-south and doesn't end in a T somewhere or do lots of twistings and turnings like so many other streets.]

When someone asked about Dunkin' Donuts, I couldn't resist. When the Dunkin' Donuts count got to four and then five within the same stretch of road, it seemed very over the top to me...not that I doubted the business was there, but still, five donut/coffee shops on the same road! as opposed to three Market Baskets all on Boston Road, within four or five miles, that's only -three-. And then south of them over the next six miies or so comes the Shaw's behind the Dunkin Donuts by Winn Street (the Dunkin Donuts has been there a lot longer, the Shaw's is where a strip mall used to be that had Filene's Basement, a dentists' office, a party goods store, China Merchandise, and a pet goods store, the Shaw's replaced the Star Market that used to be at the corner of the Middlesex Turnpike and route 62, Shaw's bought Star a few years ago and converted most Star Market stores to Shaw's. The Star in Burlington closed before Shaw's took over-- the traffic at the intersection had dropped precipitously with the defense industry rolling up most of its carpet in the area and the replacement businesses falling by the wayside--RCA had had a facility there and RCA got eaten by GE, and that facility closed down. Then one or both of GCC which was best known for opening up the original Mac was in that area, and a semiconductor processing equipment manufacturer, GCA, were there, and both of them went down the tubes. There were other industries in that area that tanked, driving further south on Middlesex Turnpike is sign after sign in front of office/light manufacturing buildings saying "For Sale..." or "For Lease..." until arriving at the mall and retail sales and AMC theatre district. Anyway, I suspect that the Star's traffic dropped off with the drop in employment--BIG drop--in the area, and the parent corporation went looking for a different site in Burlington to put a Star. Filene's Basement going bankrupt freed the space that it had occupied in Burlington, which had been a sizeable store. Then I suppose it was a matter of waiting for the other store leases to run out, and then get building permits, knock down all the old stripmall except for the part occupied by the package store at the easten end, and building a giant new Shaw's superstore (by that time Shaw's had bought out Star.

A halfmile south of 128 there's the Roche Brothers, and further south, after going into Woburn, there's a name-unchanged Star.

#134 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2004, 03:36 PM:

For a while, I was worried about my coffe fix; as in, where I would get it. Asheville's only Starbuck's was within a Barnes & Noble bookstore.

Since I've moved here (a year and a half ago), they've opened three that I'm aware of. There's also a Pannera where there used to be an empty lot next to the drugstore.

Still no Dunkin' Donuts. But that's okay. Krispy Kremes are better.

And I get my coffee from a fair trade vendor (at cost, no less) called Common Ground. Good stuff.

So I no longer miss having a Dunkin' Donuts just around the corner, no matter where I was.

The strangest thing about moving to Asheville, though, was the fact that I now live within walking distance from a Boston Market. That's closer to a Boston Market than I've ever lived by about 60 miles.

#135 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2004, 04:14 PM:

Alice - You must have found them by now, but my favorite places in Asheville are Malaprop's bookstore and Beanstreet's cafe. I also like the Laughing Seed, but it wasn't quite up to its usual standard the last time I ate there (about 18 months ago.)

One of my best friends is from Leicester (sp?), which is how I know the area. In fact, this evening I'm picking him up at the airport from a trip back home. He reported that he was shocked at the number of Kerry/Edwards signs and decried the attack ads for the local congressional race as the worst he's ever seen.

#136 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2004, 05:58 PM:

I've found Malaprop's, but my limited budget prevents many visits. I've found Beanstreets as well, but can't afford eating out, either. I find the number of used bookstores boggling but helpful.

That is how you spell Leicester, but how to pronounce it is another matter. I've pronounced it all three ways I can think of, and been corrected every time.

The librarians at the South Buncombe Library call it 'Lester,' so Lester it is. That's what I wanted to call it from the start.

#137 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2004, 06:43 PM:

Alice - AFAIK, Leicester is always pronounced Lester. That's how my friend's family say it, and they've lived there for generations.

And I've spent my share of money on used books in Asheville. It is odd how many good used bookstores there are in such a small city. Maybe it has something to do with its relative poverty and isolation until fairly recently.

#138 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2004, 07:11 PM:

I'd credit the number of writers attracted to Asheville. They buy a lot of books when they first arrive, and then, as the money runs out and they have yet to write The Next Bestseller, the books are the first to go.

I'm sure the colleges help, though I'm not sure where they fit into my equation.

#139 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2004, 08:28 PM:

Responding to something Elizabeth Moon wrote in in her sff.net newsgroup, I suddenly realized,

"Bush/Cheney is Bizarro land... Now if only the pair of them, Karl Rove, and Rumsfeld would all say their names backwards and Go Back to the Alternate Universe that inflicted them on this world.... "

#140 ::: Eric Sadoyama ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2004, 09:24 PM:

No, if they have to say their names backwards to be sent home, then they would be from the 5th dimension, not Bizarro Land.

Dear God, I knew that.

#141 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2004, 01:47 AM:

Doesn't the Leicester/Lester thing come from the original English pronunciation of the word?

#142 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2004, 05:12 AM:

Yep, that's how we Brits say it, too. :)

#143 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2004, 01:18 PM:

I suspect it has a lot to do with it.

I get it from living near Worcester (pron. "Wuhstah," "Woostah," "Whuster," or any variation thereof, depending on where one is from and how thick the accent - but always 2 syllables) in Massachusetts.

#144 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2004, 11:41 PM:

"Whistuh" or with a hint of an r at the end, depending.

#145 ::: JM Kagan sees drek here ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2004, 02:00 AM:

Some days, I wonder who these people are and why they spam us all this way. Most days I just wish they'd go away and leave us all alone.

#146 ::: adamsj sees comment spammers kicking us while we're down ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2004, 07:30 AM:

At least this thread was pleasant to revisit.

#147 ::: ruchik ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2006, 07:58 AM:

Q: what's the difference between people who pray in church and those who pray in the casino?

Ans: those in the casino are serious

#148 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2011, 08:10 PM:

This spammer has been skulking in the shrubbery for far too long.

#149 ::: LMM sees spammishness here. ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2011, 07:01 PM:

First-time poster with a link to nowhere? Yeah.

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