I love stories like this:
I love stories like this:
In the wake of the recent “no” vote on the EU constitution by the French and the Dutch, the question arises about European efficiency. You’d think Europe, because of its adoption to of the highly efficient metric system, would have a higher productivity than the United States. But it doesn’t. No cigar. No cookie.
After much investigation, research, and employing the Olympic Committee to bribe every official in sight, I have been able to reach the following conclusions about why American productivity still trounces its European rivals:
* A4 paper and more
I don’t get why Europeans need to use bigger paper. Standard letter-sized paper seems fine — but this A4 paper that Europeans use is huge! All that paper being wasted surely decreases their efficiency.
European business cards are also much larger. What’s the deal? That not only means more paper but it also means larger wallets. More waste.
* Work, Siestas, Vacations, and Sabbaticals
Americans just work a lot harder than Europeans. And unlike Europeans, we don’t take as many vacations. We also don’t take a siesta at 2:00 pm every day. Nope — we work all the time (except when we are watching reality TV). When is the last time you saw a Frenchman check his voice mail while on vacation in Nice? Or an Italian who passes on wine during dinner because she has to be at work early the next day?
* Learning Different Spoken Languages
Americans generally know only one spoken language — English. All the energy that normally goes into learning other spoken languages can be focused on learning other useful things like computer languages or the language of Wall Street.
If you assume a brain can only hold a finite amount of memory before it runs out of storage, learning fewer spoken languages can be a huge advantage (especially if everyone else learns English).
I know what you are thinking — spoken like a true American.
Update: lest anyone think I’m serious … this was filed in the “humor” section …
I’m in love with SprintPCS Girl … you know who I’m talking about … don’t deny it …
She’s the one that chimes in right before you leave a message on someone’s voice mail. She has such a sultry voice: “To leave a voice message, press one or just wait for the tone …”
Wow. I’m breathless every time I hear that soft voice.
And sometimes I cannot decide what to do. All the options are so good. I could just wait for the tone. That’s always really nice. And I can try to go extra long and press “#” after my message to review my options. Or I can go for a quickie and just press “2” to send a numeric page.
So many choices … so little time
She’s got so much more class Verizon Girl. And T-Mobile Girl is just too easy. Cingular Girl is boring — too businesslike for me. SprintPCS Girl — just right …
(disclaimer: this blog was posted at 1am … after the censors have gone to bed …)
I’ve been thinking about the age of “30” recently – probably because my own 30th birthday is only a few weeks away.
Still being in my twenties, I feel society has not tempted me with any responsibilities. No one expects a twenty-something urban male to have kids — or even to cook … or take care of a plant for that matter. People always give me the benefit of the doubt — my faults are deemed as “youthful indiscretions” … it’s “cool” when I don’t wear a tie … and while my watch isn’t made by Fisher Price, I still love Curious George — and singing “Pour Some Sugar on Me!” while eating Mike & Ike’s and owning a freezer overflowing with frozen pizza.
I even have perfect eye sight. But maybe I’ll get fake glasses to play the part.
Once I turn 30, I’ll finally be an “adult.” Everyone will think of me differently. Single women will think “potential husband” rather than “potential babysitter.”
Even my mother might stop insisting that she pay for dinner (and maybe she’ll finally stop reminding me to brush my teeth).
I’ve noticed some grey hairs … that might help …
I plan to be dour, unenergetic, and utterly serious. I might even take up golf. I’m going to wear black socks with sandals … and lots and lots of plaid. Yeah … I’ll like plaid. I might even buy some tools and learn how to fix something besides my computer … like maybe I’ll fix the washer and dryer … make it faster … though now that I’ll be an adult, I’ll have to stop washing my neighbor’s cat.
In the ancient Jewish tradition, one becomes a man at age 13 … but now bar mitzvahs just mean consumer commercialism (and my first game of spin the bottle with Sally Shlipowitz). In today’s world, the entire idea of a bar mitzvah is a farce. I mean the only rights you get is the right to baby-sit your younger siblings, the right to take out the garbage, and the right to stay up to 11pm on a Friday night so you can watch JR Ewing on Dallas … but I digress …
And it’s not like at 13 you can tell your parents what to do. You can still get grounded and your mom is still driving you to the junior high school dance. I personally spent most of my time then perfecting lewd noises with my hand cupped under my armpits.
And 18 is the official “adult date” in American society. But what does that really mean? Sure, you can vote — but most 18 year olds don’t. They’re too busy IM’ing each other, watching Real World Performs Jesus Christ Superstar (or something like that), and selling their parents’ memorabilia on eBay to get proceeds to pay for EverQuest.
And you can enter into a legally binding contract when you are 18 … but honestly, how many 18 year olds ever enter into a contract and are held to it? Even Britney Spears was allowed to annul her marriage. And yeah, you can smoke when you’re 18 … but no one actually starts smoking when their 18 (they usually start at 14) … and who cares! Because it is illegal to smoke as an adult everywhere except for that disgusting glass-enclosed jail in airports … and, kids don’t smoke anymore anyway … at least not tobacco.
And you can legally drink when you’re 21. but that just gives you the right to stop buying fake IDs. Most people I know consumed more alcohol before they were 21 then they will during the rest of their life. Now the one huge plus about turning 21 is being able to rent a car, but you still have to pay that $15/day under-25 age-discrimination charge (have you noticed that there is no over-95 rental car charge??? Now who do you think is more likely to get into accidents?).
Yes, you really become an adult at 30. you’ve probably just paid off your undergrad student loans and you might even be thinking about retirement planning …
and we all celebrate it. These days, 30th birthday parties are bigger than New Year’s celebrations — and often bigger than weddings. I know a person (his name rhymes with “Auren Hoffman”) that is having a 30th bday party both in San Francisco and New York — one always needs the East Coast party to ring in adulthood.
Unlike my 1987 Bar Mitzvah of old, my 2004 30th Bday Celebration might not feature wheelbarrow races or Ricky Klein trying to spike the punch. But some things (like continuously playing songs from “Kool & the Gang” and trying to play spin the bottle with Sally Shlipowitz) will never change.
Everyone is talking of boycotts nowadays. It seems like every organization over 20 people has a boycott list. I guess everyone needs something to boycott — but I’ve been without one ever since New Kids on the Block faded away.
I’ve been thinking long and hard and I finally came up with my cause — leap year. Leap year is an extreme annoyance. It is too confusing. Next February 29, 2004 should be March 1!
Leap year was authorized by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C., because it was assumed that the year had 365 1/4 days, with a 366-day leap year added every fourth year.
My thoughts — who cares if we are 0.25 days out of alignment each year — it will take generations to make any difference. And the weather in San Francisco is so screwy that it really won’t matter.
To make matters more complicated, an Anglo-Saxon monk in A.D. 730, the Venerable Bede, calculated that the Julian year was 11 minutes and 14 seconds too long, an error of about one day every 128 years. You’re probably saying — who cares? My thoughts exactly — and no one did care until the end of 16th Century. In 1582, the accumulated error was estimated at 10 days, and Pope Gregory XIII defied all logic and made a universal announcement that the day following Oct. 4 would be Oct. 15.
To make future adjustments for the error (about three days every 400 years), it was decided by the powers that be that years ending in “00” would be common years rather than leap years — except those divisible by 400. Makes sense? So 1600 was a leap year and so was 2000, but 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not — and neither will 2100.
So I’m going to boycott the next leap year. I’m leading a delegation to the United Nations to force the world to treat 2/29 as 3/1 and I will send “Happy Normal Year” card to everyone I know.
Then we’ll add a minute at the end of every day — which will give us about 365 extra minutes a year — or about 1/4 of the day. And then the world will rejoice as we can start boycotting new and exciting things – like shaving.
You’ve heard of the tons of lawsuits against tobacco because of cancer, gun manufacturers because of unwanted deaths, McDonald’s because of hot coffee burns, dot-coms because of stock price fluctuations, Cosmo because of the complex it gives to all women who are not models. So I’ve taken my lead from all these incredibly worthy lawsuits and launched my own.
That’s right, I’m suing big mayonnaise — and not just because I can’t stand mayo. I mean, what is mayo anyway? It is basically just a big swab of fat originally designed to hide the taste of rotten and disgusting French food. Heinz and Hellmann’s watch out! You’ll probably be paying me and other people like me billions of dollars (though it will likely amount to a 25%-off coupon on mustard after we deduct taxes and lawyer fees).
Ever notice there is no label on bottles of mayo saying “if you eat me, you’ll get fat?” You think that’s a coincidence? You think that Mayo producers don’t know you’ll get fat from eating mayo? I think the executives at Heinz and Hellmann’s are conspiring to create a world of fat mayo eaters — and the only people that will be able to compete are the poor in third world countries (who can’t afford mayo) and the vegans (see tofu mayonnaise).
I put on 4 pounds this summer! I used all my intuition (flipped a coin) to come to a complete scientific determination (a pure guess) that mayonnaise was behind my new largeness. Wow, someone call the cops. Those four pounds did irrevocable harm on me — it made it harder for me to pick up girls at the beach this summer which means I am single longer and might traumatize me for life (or at least having to hear my mother’s nagging about not having grandkids that much more).
Makes you wonder what else mayonnaise might be responsible for … hmmmmmm … where there’s smoke, there’s fire … I suggest that a global mayo corporate conspiracy is angling to destroy the rain forests, in cahoots with international bankers to create war in Iraq, and convince us that Gerard Depardieu is a good actor.