The Winter Workout


Ramon woke up to discover a ten centimeter blanket of fresh snow covering the world. “Oh crap,” he exclaimed.


“What’s wrong?” groaned Bev from under the covers of her warm bed.


“It snowed again last night.”


“A lot?”


“Enough that I’ll have to shovel it before work,” sighed Ramon.


“At least you can start the day with some exercise.”


“I had enough shoveling the last snow storm,” complained Ramon.


“Winter can be cruel.”


“Not to mention exhausting,” said Ramon.
“That’s why they call it ‘the winter workout’,” said Bev.


“You know, you could start the day with exercise, too,” suggested Ramon.


Bev snuggled up in her comforter. “Listening to you complain is all the workout I need.”

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Accounting for Non-Accountants


“Net income minus dividends equals retained earnings. What does that mean?!? Aaah!” cried Marcus. He tossed up his pencil in frustration.


Rachel entered the kitchen and looked over his shoulder. “You’ll figure this out.”


“Don’t even get me started about cash flow statements. Did you know balance statements actually have to balance? I had no idea,” fumed Marcus.


“Well, the clue is in the name,” suggested Rachel.


Marcus ran his fingers through his hair. “I thought it was a figure of speech or something.”


“Stick with it. I’m sure it’ll get easier eventually.”


Marcus flipped to the cover of the textbook. “’Accounting for Non-Accountants’. If I wrote this, know what it’d say? Hire an accountant. Done. You don’t see books like, ‘Surgery for Non-Surgeons’, do you? No. So why do they have to subject us to this?”


“Someone thought it was important,” said Rachel.


Marcus shook his head. “It wasn’t me.”


“Well, I do know one thing,” concluded Rachel.


“What’s that?”


“If you want to make money,” she smiled, “You should know how to account for it.”


Marcus turned around and glared at Rachel. “You’re not funny.”


Rachel kissed him on the forehead. “I’m hilarious.”

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Referees in Real Life


Tom was ten minutes late for his meeting with Ben. As soon as he arrived, a yellow flag was tossed to the floor by a referee.


“Delay of game,” declared the ref.


Tom was flabbergasted. “What’s going on?”


“He’s with me,” said Ben.


“What do you need a ref for?”


“They use ’em in sports, so why not in real life?” asked Ben.


“They already exist. They’re called police officers,” snipped Tom.


“Sure, for people who break laws. What about for people who break rules?” asked Ben.


“What’re you talking about?”


“Rules for social behaviour. You know, like being late for a meeting,” scolded Ben.


“That’s stupid,” scoffed Tom.


The referee threw another flag. “Unsportsmanlike conduct.”


Tom threw down his bag. “You gotta be kidding me.”


“What can I tell ya? Attitude matters,” said Ben.


“So, what happens now?” Tom asked the referee.


“What do you mean?” replied the ref.


“Am I penalized ten yards? Do I spend two minutes in an imaginary penalty box? What?”


The referee and Ben looked at each other sheepishly. “Actually,” said Ben, “we haven’t worked that part out yet.”


“Are you saying this is nothing but a waste of time?” accused Tom. He was met with uncomfortable silence.


Tom turned to the referee. “Throw the flag, ref. Delay of Game. Offsetting penalties.”


The referee shrugged his shoulders and dropped the flag. Tom clapped in approval.


“What about the unsportsmanlike conduct?” asked Ben.


Tom rolled his eyes. “Fine. Lunch is on me.”

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The Informal Development of a Social Scientist


One day, as Michaela walked down the hallway with her friends, she reached out and pulled the fire alarm.


“What did you do that for?” demanded Amanda, over the piercing shriek of the siren. Her other friends covered their ears while Brandy fell to the floor and huddled in a ball.


“I wanted to see what’d happen,” replied Michaela.


“Now you know,” shouted Leann.


“You’re gonna get in big trouble for this,” warned Sasha.


“What’s wrong with Brandy?” asked Amanda.


“Fascinating,” whispered Michaela.


All around them people passed, quickly and quietly, to the emergency exits.


Looking around, Sasha grew concerned. “We need to go,” she said.


“We can’t leave Brandy like this,” replied Amanda.


“Why not?” asked Michaela.


“Yeah, why not?” Leann chimed in.


“She needs help. Anybody know why she’s doing this? Brandy, say something,” pleaded Amanda.


Michaela knelt down beside Brandy. “Have you been in a fire before?” she asked.


Brandy nodded.


Sasha threw up her hands. “Well, that explains it.”


“We have to go. Brandy, honey, you have to come with us,” said Amanda.


Brandy sniffled, then struggled to her feet.


Michaela watched as Brandy was led by her three friends to the stairwell. When they got to the door, Amanda looked back and saw Michaela writing in her notebook.


“Are you coming?” asked Amanda.


“Why should I? There’s no fire,” replied Michaela.


“What’re you doing?” demanded Sasha.


“Recording the observations of my experiment. There’s a lot to think about,” explained Michaela.


Her friends groaned and complained.


“Mickey, you’re my best friend, so I say this with love,” said Amanda. “You’re one messed up human being.”


Michaela smiled at her friends. “True, but I live for the advancement of science.”

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Worm Stampede


“Final question, okay?” asked the clinical interviewer. She glanced at her clipboard. “What would you say you are most afraid of?”


Phil clicked his tongue. “That’s easy. A worm stampede.”


The interviewer rechecked her notes and frowned. “Is that really your answer?”


Phil noticed her displeasure. “Ever seen one?”


“I can’t say that I have.”


“Let me tell you, they’ll shake you down to your boots. Those wrigglin’ critters don’t miss a chance to make their own worm food. I work at a worm farm, so I know,” said Phil.


The interview paused for a second, then wrote something down.


“A buddy o’ mine died in one back in ’08. Left behind a wife and baby girl. I was the one who found his body. I still get nightmares,” shuddered Phil.


The shoulders of the interviewer shook, but she was able to hold it together. “How does that work exactly?”


Phil’s eyes drifted off into space. “It’s kinda like spaghetti coming alive. But much worse.”


“I can’t visualise that,” replied the interviewer. Shaking her head, she suppressed a laugh.


“There’s a lot of slime. And screaming. Oh, the screaming.”


“Who screams? The worms?”


Phil glared at the interviewer. “Worms can’t scream. Are you makin’ fun of me?”


“No,” stammered the interviewer.


“Then why are you laughin’?”


“It’s not that. It’s just, well, not exactly a common occurrence. I’ve never even heard of this before.”


Phil was visibly shaken. “Look, I know it’s not as glamourous as meal cricket farming, but it’s just as dangerous as farming cockroaches.”


“I’m sorry. It caught me off guard.”


“That’s how it happens. You take ‘em for granted one second, next thing you know it’s nightcrawler hell.”


The interviewer did her best to keep a straight face. “That certainly sounds terrifying.”


“Believe it, lady,” warned Phil. “Just ‘cause you never heard of it before doesn’t make it any less deadly.”


“That’s good advice,” admitted the interviewer.


Phil poked at the ground with his toe. “There’s danger everywhere.”


The interviewer gathered her notes,  then started swatting at a passing bee. “I’m allergic to bee stings.”


Phil nodded his head. “Told ya.”

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The Physics of Sibling Torment


As soon as Greg got home, he was confronted by Beverly. “We have a problem,” she announced. Her expression was grave.


“What now?” sighed Greg.


“Your son has been studying quantum physics at school.”


“First of all, he’s your son, too. Is he failing?”


Beverly shook her head. “Jeremy’s loving it. That’s the problem.”


Greg frowned. “Is he building a nuclear reactor in the basement?”


“Listen, this is serious. He learned that protons, neutrons and electrons are made up of quarks, and quarks are made up of energy,” explained Beverly.




“He also discovered that since everything is fundamentally made up of energy, in theory we should be able to walk through walls.”


“That’s interesting,” admitted Greg.


“James thought so, too. Jeremy convinced his little brother to do an experiment.”


Greg rolled his eyes. “I shudder to think.”


“He’s got James running into the wall over and over to see if he can pass through it,” said Beverly.


Greg rubbed his eyes and snickered.


“James nearly broke his nose twice.”


Greg sighed again. “Only our kids could turn physics into a full contact sport.”

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The Most (Very) Useless Word in the English Language


“I can’t tell you how very angry I was when Rachel called my idea stupid. Very insulted,” fumed Scott.


“Were you very insulted? Very?” asked Fred.


Fred’s apparent smugness annoyed Scott. When it comes to being very offended, Scott was as close to being an expert there could be.


“I was. Very offended,” said Scott.


“Very, you say?” asked Fred.


Creases decorated the landscape of Scott’s brow. “Are you trying to be very annoying?”


“No. Just annoying.”


“That’s what I said,” said Scott.


“You said ‘very annoying’. I was just trying to be annoying,” explained Fred.

“What’s the difference?” Demanded Scott. He threw up his hands in exasperation.


“You’re the one who made the distinction. Isn’t annoying enough without having to preface it by saying ‘very’? Maybe if you stopped using redundant words, you wouldn’t have this problem.”


The creases on Scott’s brow grew, resembling a mountain range across the northern expanse of his eyebrows. “You’re being such an idiot right now.”


Fred smiled. “Such?”


Scott shook his head. “The only thing redundant around here is you.”

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