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For my 50th birthday, my husband purchased a week of personal training . . .

. . . at the local health club for me. Although I am still in great shape since playing on my high school softball team, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try. I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer I'll call Bruce, who identified himself as a 26 year old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear. My husband seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started. The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.

Monday: Started my day at 6:00am. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Bruce waiting for me. He is something of a Greek God - with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!! Bruce gave me a tour and showed me the machines. He took my pulse after five minutes on the treadmill. He was alarmed that my pulse was so fast, but I attribute it to standing next to him in his Lycra aerobic outfit. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring. Bruce was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time he was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!

Tuesday: I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Bruce made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air - then he put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Bruce's rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT!! It's a whole new life for me.

Wednesday: The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying on the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot. Bruce was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. His voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Bruce put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Bruce told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. He said some other junk too.

Thursday: Bruce was waiting for me with his vampire-like teeth exposed as his thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late, it took me that long to tie my shoes. Bruce took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in the men's room. He sent Lars to find me, then, as punishment, put me on the rowing machine - which I sank.

Friday: I hate that bastard Bruce more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world Stupid, skinny, anemic little cheerleader wanna-be bastard. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat him with it. Bruce wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the &*@*#$ barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich. (Which I am sure you learned in the sadist school you attended and graduated magna cum laude from, you Nazi bastard.) The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?

Saturday: Bruce left a message on my answering machine in his grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing him made me want to smash the machine with my planner. However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the *$@#&& Weather Channel.

Sunday: I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my husband will choose a gift for me that is fun - like a root canal or a hysterectomy.

Submitted by Vicki, Kennett Square, Pa.

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Travel Agent's Worst Nightmares . . .
  • I had someone ask for an aisle seat on the plane so that her hair wouldn't get messed up by being near the window.
  • A client called in inquiring about a package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost info, she asked, "Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii?"
  • I got a call from a woman who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information when she interrupted me with "I'm not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts." Without trying to make HER look like the stupid one, I calmly explained, "Cape Cod is in Massachusetts, Capetown is in Africa." Her response; . . . click.
  • A man called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that is not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. He replied, "Don't lie to me. I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state."
  • I got a call from a man who asked, "Is it possible to see England from Canada?" I said, "No." He said "But they look so close on the map."
  • Another man called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. When I pulled up the reservation, I noticed he had a 1-hour lay-over in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, "I heard Dallas was a big airport, and I need a car to drive between the gates to save time."
  • A nice lady just called. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:20am and got into Chicago at 8:33am. I tried to explain that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois, but she could not understand the concept of time zones. Finally, I told her the plane went very fast, and she bought that!
  • I just got off the phone with a man who asked, "How do I know which plane to get on?" I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, "I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these darn planes have numbers on them.
  • A woman called and said, "I need to fly to Pepsi-cola on one of those computer planes." I asked if she meant to fly to Pensacola on a commuter plane. She said, "Yeah, whatever."
  • A man called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him he needed a visa. "Oh no I don't, I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those." I double checked and sure enough, his stay definitely required a visa. When I told him this he said, "Look, I've been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express."
  • A woman called to make reservations, "I want to go from Chicago to Hippopotamus, New York." The agent was at a loss for words. Finally, the agent asks: "Are you sure that's the name of the town?" "Yes, what flights do you have?" replied the customer. After some searching, the agent came back with, "I'm sorry, ma'am, I've looked up every airport code in the country and can't find a Hippopotamus anywhere." The customer retorted, "Oh don't be silly. Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!" The agent scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, "You don't mean Buffalo, do you?" "That's it! I knew it was a big animal!"

Submitted by Larry, Hillsboro, Oh.

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Christmas with Louise

This article is true and was submitted to a 1999 Louisville Sentinel contest to find out who had the wildest Christmas dinner. It won first prize.

As a joke, my brother used to hang a pair of panty hose over his fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to fill them. What they say about Santa checking the list twice must be true because every Christmas morning, although Jay's kids' stockings were overflowed, his poor pantyhose hung sadly empty.

One year I decided to make his dream come true. I put on sunglasses and went in search of an inflatable love doll. They don't sell those things at Wal-Mart. I had to go to an adult bookstore downtown. If you've never been in an X-rated store, don't go. You'll only confuse yourself. I was there an hour saying things like, "What does this do?" "You're kidding me!" "Who would buy that?" Finally, I made it to the inflatable doll section. 

I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll that could also substitute as a passenger in my truck so I could use the car pool lane during rush hour. Finding what I wanted was difficult. Love dolls come in many different models. The top of the line, according to the side of the box, could do things I'd only seen in a book on animal husbandry. I settled for 'Lovable Louise." She was at the bottom of the price scale. To call Louise a "doll" took a huge leap of imagination.

On Christmas Eve, with the help of an old bicycle pump, Louise came to life. My sister-in-law was in on the plan and let me in during the wee morning hours, long after Santa had come and gone, I filled the dangling pantyhose with Louise's pliant legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies and drank what remained of a glass of milk on a nearby tray. I went home, and giggled for a couple of hours. The next morning my brother called to say that Santa had been to his house and left a present that had made him VERY happy but had left the dog confused. She would bark, start to walk away, then come back and bark some more.

We all agreed that Louise should remain in her panty hose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for the traditional Christmas dinner. My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door. "What the hell is that?" she asked. My brother quickly explained, "It's a doll." "Who would play with something like that?" Granny snapped. I had several candidates in mind, but kept my mouth shut. "Where are her clothes?" Granny continued. "Boy, that turkey sure smells nice, Gran," Jay said, trying to steer her into the dining room. But Granny was relentless. "Why doesn't she have any teeth?" Again, I could have answered, but why would I? It was Christmas and no one wanted to ride in the back of the ambulance saying, "Hang on Granny! Hang on!" 

My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to me and said, " Hey, who's the naked gal by the fireplace?" I told him she was Jay's friend.  A few minutes later I noticed Grandpa by the mantel, talking to Louise. Not just talking, but actually flirting. It was then that we realized this might be Grandpa's last Christmas at home. 

The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Louise made a noise that sounded a lot like my father in the bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the panty hose, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the sofa. The cat screamed. I passed cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran across the room, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth to mouth resuscitation. My brother fell back over his chair and wet his pants and Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the room, and sat in the car.

It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember. Later in my brother's garage, we conducted a thorough examination and found the cause of Louise's collapse. We discovered that Louise had suffered from a hot amber to the back of her right thigh. Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her to perfect health. Louise went on to star in several bachelor party movies. I think Grandpa still calls her whenever he can get out of the house.

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We'll Fight to the Last 50 + -Year-old! 

By: Jeff Ackerman

A couple of weeks ago I indicated that if I could, I'd enlist today and help my country track down those responsible for killing thousands of innocent people in New York City and Washington, D.C. But I'm 50 + now and the Armed Forces says I'm too old to track down terrorists. You can't be older than 35 to join the Army.

They've got the whole thing backwards. Instead of sending 18-year-olds off to the fight, they ought to take us old guys. You shouldn't be able to join until you're at least 35-years-old. For starters:

Researchers say 18-year-olds think about sex every 10-seconds. Old guys think about sex every 15-seconds, leaving us more than 28,000 additional seconds per day to concentrate on the enemy. Young guys haven't lived long enough to be cranky and grumpy. A cranky and grumpy soldier is a dangerous soldier. If we can't kill the enemy we'll complain them into submission or surrender. "My back hurts!" "I'm hungry!" "Where's the remote control?"

An 18-year-old hasn't had a legal bottle of beer yet, and you shouldn't go to war until you're at least old enough to legally drink beer. An average old guy, on the other hand, has probably consumed at least 126,000 gallons of beer by the time he's 35, and a jaunt through the desert heat with a backpack on and an M-60 over your shoulder would do wonders for a beer belly.

An 18-year-old doesn't like to get up before 10 a.m. Old guys get up early just to show we can [and to steal the neighbors newspaper.] If old guys got captured we couldn't spill the beans because we'd probably forget where we put them. In fact, name, rank and serial number would be a real brain teaser. If it wasn't for the age barrier, I'd pretty much be able to get into the Army without a hitch. According to the Army Internet site, I'd need to pass an entrance exam [officially called an ASVAB], but the simple questions I saw weren't exactly headache material. For example:

A magnet will attract: (a) water (b) a flower (c) a cloth rag (d) a nail

I took a wild stab at it and guessed, "nail," knowing they'd probably stick me in some desk job with Army Intelligence after Boot Camp.

If 12 workers are needed to run 4 machines, how many workers are needed to run 20 machines? (a) 16 (b) 18 (c) 3 (d) 60

Well, let's see now.....three workers per machine times 20 machines .... err .... 60?

Finally, they wanted to know if I had command of the English language, just in case I had to describe an enemy camp from memory.

Now you know where the first questions come from for the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" game show. Boot Camp would actually be easier for old guys. We're used to getting screamed and yelled at, and we actually like soft food. We've also developed a deep appreciation for guns and rifles. We like them almost better than naps. The Army could lighten up on the obstacle course, however. I've been to the desert and didn't see a single 20-foot wall with a rope hanging over the side. I can hear the Drill Sergeant now. "Get down and give!" And the running part seems to be a hell of a waste of good energy. I've never seen anyone outrun a bullet. I'm reminded of the story of the young bull and the old bull standing on a hill looking down at the cows. "Let's run down there and make love to one of those cows," says the young bull. "How about we WALK down there and make love to ALL those cows," replies the old bull.

Patience is something most 18-year-olds simply do not have. For good reason too. An 18-year-old has the whole world ahead of him. He's still learning to shave. To actually carry on a conversation. To learn that a pierced tongue catches food particles. And that a 200-watt speaker in the back seat of a Honda Accord can rupture an eardrum. All great reasons to keep our sons at home to learn a little more about life before sending them off to a possible death.

Let us old guys track down those dirty, rotten, filthy, cowards who attacked our country.

The last thing they'd want to see right now would be a couple of million old guys with attitudes!

Submitted by Mike, Broomfield, Co.

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And you thought you where having a bad day . . .
  1. The average cost of rehabilitating a seal after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska was $80,000. At a special ceremony, two of the most expensively saved animals were released back into the wild amid cheers and applause from onlookers. A minute later, in full view, they were both eaten by a killer whale.
  2. A psychology student in New York rented out her spare room to a carpenter in order to nag him constantly and study his reactions. After weeks of needling, he snapped and beat her repeatedly with an axe leaving her mentally retarded.
  3. In 1992, Frank Perkins of Los Angeles made an attempt on the world flagpole-sitting record. Suffering from the flu he came down eight hours short of the 400 day record, his sponsor had gone bust, his girlfriend had left him and his phone and electricity had been cut off.
  4. A woman came home to find her husband in the kitchen, shaking frantically with what looked like a wire running from his waist towards the electric kettle. Intending to jolt him away from the deadly current she whacked him with a handy plank of wood by the back door, breaking his arm in two places. Until that moment he had been happily listening to his Walkman.
  5. Two animal rights protesters were protesting at the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn. Suddenly the pigs, all two thousand of them, escaped through a broken fence and stampeded, trampling the two hapless protesters to death.

And finally.......

Iraqi terrorist, Khay Rahnajet, didn't pay enough postage on a letter bomb. It came back with "return to sender" stamped on it. Forgetting it was the bomb, he opened it and was blown to bits.

There now! Your day's not so bad, is it?

Submitted by Marianne, Columbia, MD.

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My name is Billy Evans. I am a very sick little boy.

My mother is typing this for me, because I can't. She is crying. The reason she is so sad is because I'm so sick. I was born without a body.

It doesn't hurt, except when I try to breathe. The doctors gave me an artificial body. It is a burlap bag filled with leaves. The doctors said that was the best they could do on account of us having no money or insurance. I would like to have a body transplant, but we need more money.

Mommy doesn't work because she said nobody hires crying people. I said, "Don't cry, Mommy," and she hugged my burlap bag. Mommy always gives me hugs, even though she's allergic to burlap and it makes her sneeze and chafes her real bad.

I hope you will help me. You can help me if you forward this email to everyone you know. Forward it to people you don't know, too. Dr. Johansen said that for every person you forward this email to, Bill Gates will team up with AOL and send a nickel to! ! NASA. 

With that funding, NASA will collect prayers from school children all over America and have the astronauts take them up into space so that the angels can hear them better. Then they will come back to earth and go to the Pope, and he will take up a collection in church and send all the money to the doctors. The doctors could help me get better then.

Maybe one day I will be able to play baseball. Right now I can only be third base.

Every time you forward this letter, the astronauts can take more prayers to the angels and my dream will be closer to coming true.

Please help me. Mommy is so sad, and I want a body. I don't want my leaves to rot before I turn ten. If you don't forward this email, that's okay.

Mommy says you're a mean and heartless nasty person who doesn't care about a poor little boy with only a head. She says that if you don't stew in the raw pit of your own guilt-ridden stomach, she hopes you die a long slow horrible death and then burn forever in hell.

What kind of cruel person are you that you can't take five minutes to forward this to all your friends so that they can feel guilt and shame about ignoring a poor, bodiless nine-year-old boy?

Please help me. I try to be happy, but it's hard.

I wish I had a kitty.

I wish I could hold a kitty.

I wish I could hold a kitty that wouldn't chew on me and try to bury its poo in the leaves of my burlap body. I wish that very much.

Thank You,

Billy "Smiley" Evans

Submitted by Julie, Middleburg, Va.

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April 30th: Florida is fantastic! Just got here and love it already. . .

. . . Now this is a state that knows how to live!! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings. What a place! Watched the sunset from a park lying on a blanket. It was beautiful. I've finally found my home. I love it here.

May 14th:

Really heating up. Got to 89 today. Not a problem, live in an air conditioned home, drive an air conditioned car. What a pleasure to see so many sunny days.

June 5th:

Had the backyard landscaped with tropical plants today. Lots of palms and rocks. What a breeze to maintain. No more mowing for me. NO MORE SHOVELING SNOW EITHER! Another scorcher today, but I love it here.

July 1st:

The temperature hasn't been below 90 all week, not even at night. Where are those ocean breezes we heard about, still seems hot. Getting used to it will take a while, I guess. I sure miss my LP collection, though. I'll have to remember not to leave anything made out of plastic in my car. Got one of those fuzzy steering wheel covers Cheaper than the burn ointment for my hands. I always wondered what burnt flesh smelled like.

July 15th:

Fell asleep by the pool. (Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body.) Missed two days of work. What a dumb thing to do. I learned my lesson though: got to respect the ole sun in a climate like this.

July 20th:

I miss our cat, Tabby. He snuck into the car when I left this morning. By the time I got out to the hot car for lunch, he'd swollen up to the size of a shopping bag and just as I opened the door he exploded all over $2,000 worth of leather upholstery. I told the kids he ran away. The car now smells like Kibbles and poop. No more pets in this heat!

July 25th:

Ocean breezes, my ass. Hot is hot!! The home air conditioner is on the fritz and AC repairman charged $200 just to drive by and tell me he needed to order parts. Only hope for a break in the heat would be a hurricane.

July 30th:

Been sleeping outside by the pool for three nights now. Swatting the swamp mosquitoes that are as big as B-52's. $1,500 in darn house payments and we can't even go inside. Why did I ever come here?

Aug 4th:

100 degrees. Finally got the air conditioner fixed today. It cost $500 and gets the temperature down to about 90. The electric bill is almost as much as the house payment. And two old lady drivers almost ran me off the road. I hate this state.

Aug 8th:

If another jerk cracks, "Hot enough for you today?" I'm going to tear his head off. Damn heat. By the time I get to work the radiator is boiling over, my clothes are soaking wet, and I smell like roasted pig.

Aug. 10th:

The weather report might as well be a damn recording: Hot and sunny. It's been too hot two #@*& months and the weatherman says it might really warm up next week. And who came up with the statement "it maybe hot, but at least you don't have to shovel it" should die from heat exhaustion. Doesn't it ever rain in this God forsaken place??

Aug. 14th:

Welcome to Hell!!! Temperature got to 102 today. Forgot to crack the window and blew the windshield out of the Lincoln. The installer came to fix it and said, "Hot enough for you today?" My wife had to spend the $1,500 house payment to bail me out of jail.

Aug. 30th:

Worst day of the summer. I'm not leaving the house. The monsoon rains finally came and all they did is to make it muggier than hell and drove the damned roaches out of the ground. I wasn't aware they could fly! The Lincoln is now floating somewhere in the Caribbean with its new $500 windshield. That does it, we're moving back to New York where all you have to worry about is getting mugged, I hope this state breaks in half and floats down to Cuba.

Submitted by Marianne, Columbia, Md.

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Stories that make you wonder how the human race ever made it out of the stone ages
  • When his .38-caliber revolver failed to fire at its intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California, robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder: he peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. Happily for most concerned, this time it worked.
  • Laborer Alexander Robinson of Mobile, Alabama, redefined the limits of tactlessness when he opened his eyes after surgery to restore his sight and said agreeably to his wife: "Boy, you sure have got fat in four years".
  • The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat-cutting machine and, after a little hopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company, suspecting negligence, sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine out and lost a finger. The chef's claim was approved.
  • Mourners at the funeral of Anna Bochinsky in Moinesti, Rumania, were naturally somewhat taken aback when she abruptly leapt from her coffin as it was being carried to the grave. Before they could react to this unexpected outburst, the woman bounded into the nearest road, where she was run over and killed by a passing car.
  • An American tourist in South America had the misfortune to be attacked by killer bees as he stood on the bank of the Amazon. Seeking refuge, he leapt into the river - and was devoured by piranha fish.
  • A Malaysian monkey that had been trained to gather coconuts from trees demonstrated a pressing need for a refresher course when it leapt onto the shoulders of a passer-by in Kuala Lumpur and tried to twist his head off. The man was treated at a local hospital for a sprained neck.
  • In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a sixteen-year-old youth was charged with beating up his fifteen-year-old wife after the latter hid the caps to his toy pistol. (I would have guessed Panama City and not Fort Lauderdale!!!)
  • A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space [Understandably,] he shot her dead.
  • One of the criteria by which Miss Nude USA was chosen in 1979 was taste in clothing.
  • After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus-stop and offered everyone in the queue a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn't discovered for 3 days.
  • In Minneapolis, USA, 28 year old Derrick L Richardson has been charged with third-degree murder of his much loved cousin, Ken E. Richardson. According to local police, Derrick had suggested to Ken that they play a game of Russian Roulette, but, having no revolver, instead put a semi-automatic pistol to his cousin's head. Apparently, he did not realize that one bullet always loads into the firing chamber of a semi-automatic.
  • Texan prisons have banned convicts on death row from having a last cigarette, on the grounds that it is bad for their health.
  • An American teenager was in a hospital yesterday recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked about how he received the injuries, the lad told the police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.
  • Thrash-happy judges in Saudi Arabia have sentenced a Filipino man to 75 lashes for possession of alcohol - after he was caught with two chocolate liqueurs at an airport.
  • Following the initiatives of the Afghan Taliban government-which has banned kite-flying, TV watching and wearing white socks - Iran is also cracking down on its more decadent citizens. Ayatollah Mohammed Yadzi has decreed that dog walking is to be made illegal, saying that taking dogs out onto the streets was 'a public insult', as it was a blind imitation of Westerners.

Submitted by Marianne, Columbia, Md.

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