Humor Selections for August 1st, 2008

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A few years ago the battery in my beat-up VW Beetle...

... had died because I left the lights on overnight. I was in a hurry to get to work on time so I ran into the house to get my wife to give me a hand to start the car. I told her to get into our second car, a prehistoric oversized gas guzzler, and use it to push my car fast enough to start it.

I pointed out to her that because the VW had an automatic transmission, it needed to be pushed at least 20 mph for it to start.

She said fine, hopped into her car and drove off. I sat there fuming wondering what she could be doing.

A minute passed by and when I saw her in the rear-view mirror coming at me at about 30 mph, I realized that I should have been a bit clearer with my directions.

Submitted by Kenneth, Shropshire, England

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2008 Stella Awards

It's time again for the annual Stella Awards! For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck, who spilled hot coffee on herself, and successfully sued the McDonald's in New Mexico where she purchased the coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right?

5th Place

Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the

garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count them, EIGHT days on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental Anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish. Keep scratching. There are more.

4th Place

Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stella's when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the

butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence in to the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.

3rd Place

A jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor, Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. Whatever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?

2nd Place

Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware, sued the owner of a nightclub in a nearby

city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies' room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the nightclub had to pay her $12,000, oh, yeah, plus dental expenses.

1st Place (May we have a fanfare played on 50 kazoos, please.)

This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home.

On her first trip home, from a football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the free way, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down,

$1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

Submitted by Bill, Ardmore, Pa.

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A friend of mine, who worked away from home all week...

..., always made a special effort with his family on the weekends. Every Sunday afternoon he would take his 7-year old granddaughter out for a drive in the car for some bonding time. Just he and his granddaughter. And of course they always stopped at the Dairy Queen for an ice cream cone.

One particular Sunday however, he had a bad cold and really didn't feel like being up at all. Luckily, his wife came to the rescue and said that she would take their granddaughter out.

When they returned, the little girl anxiously ran upstairs to see her grandfather.

"Well, did you enjoy your ride with grandma?"

"Oh yes, PaPa," the girl replied, "and do you know what? We didn't see a single dumb bastard anywhere we went today!"

Submitted by Bob, Rockville, Md.

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Memory is a funny thing. It's a great example of 'use it or lose it'...

..., and research at the University of NSW has now shown that part of the brain's memory storage facility, called the hippocampus, (because it looks a bit like a seahorse), is larger in people who have been mentally and physically active from an early age. The hippocampus controls short-term memory and navigational skills, and those who have exercised it by study and other challenges over many years have a much-reduced liklihood of developing Alzheimer's disease and similar dementias in later life than those who let their hippo be lazy.

Even more surprising, and of greater relevance to most bridge players, is that other research has shown that you do not have to start when you're an adolescent to train your hippo - it can be prodded into activity at any age, given the right stimuli. The more complex the stimulus, the greater the challenge, the quicker the rewards are achieved. Many examples are given, from taking up crosswords to learning a new language - and that one is a beaut. Bridge, above all things, is the learning of a new, multi-faceted language, and proof of it's efficacy is the observation that eventually all bridge players die of many ailments, but rarely of demetia-related illness.

And here's another fact: you don't have to be clever to see the benefits. Bridge is not just for intellectuals, but for pretty well anyone who is prepared to make the effort, take the time, and train their hippo to be a good defender against the Alzheimer enemy.

So, if you have never thought of bridge as anything more than an old fuddy-duddy game, think again. There's clubs all over, most have courses at which you can learn a socially orineted, inexpensive yet challenging mental exercise, where you continually improve your performance, and where your hippo will trumpet victory. Well, your memory will improve, anyway.

And for long-term players: your memory has to be good - so remember the time you started learning, and treat newcomers with kindness and encouragement. They too want a happy hippo.

Submitted by Lindsay, Melbourne, Australia

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A man was just waking up from anesthesia after surgery, and his wife was sitting by his side.

His eyes fluttered open and he said, "You’re beautiful." Then he fell asleep again.

His wife had never heard him say that before, so she stayed by his side. A few minutes later his eyes fluttered open and he said," You’re cute." The wife was disappointed because instead of "beautiful," it was now "cute."

She asked, "What happened to beautiful?"

The man replied, "The drugs are wearing off."

Submitted by Dick, Williamsport, Md.

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When the wife doesn't listen - Download video

Submitted by Andy, Gettysburg, Pa

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2008 Best Construction Awards

Submitted by my carpenter brother Bill, Ardmore, Pa.

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July 30th Humor Page