Naomi has become quite the artist; much like Isaac, she loves to draw.
Once upon a time the government had a scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said, “Someone may steal it at night.” So they created a night watchman position and hired a person at $18,000 a year for the job.
Then Congress said, “How does the watchman do his job without instruction?” So they created a planning department and hired two people—one person to write the instructions for $22,000 and one person to do time studies for an additional $22,000 per year.
Then congress said, “How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?” So they created a quality control department and hired two people. One to do the studies for $31,000 and one to write the reports for an additional $31,000 per year.
Then Congress said, “How are these people going to get paid?” So they created the following positions: a timekeeper for a $35,000 annual salary and a payroll officer for an additional $35,000. Then they created an administrative section and hired three more people—an Administrative Officer at $155,000 per year, an Assistant Administrative Officer at $125,000 and a Legal Secretary at $100,000 per year.
Then Congress said, “We have had this operating for one year with a budget cost of $574,000 and we are $18,000 over budget. We must cut back costs.”
So they laid off the night watchman.
(Contributed by Paul Anderson, via e-mail.)
While I was getting ready to go to work this morning, Naomi stood in front of the refrigerator, and said, “Dad, watch what I have learned.” She opened the refrigerator, and demonstrated how she could press the switch in the front to turn the refrigerator light off. She proudly announced, “I figured out how this works. See,” she closed the refrigerator door slowly, “when you close the door, it presses this switch, and the light goes off.”
“Good investigation, Naomi,” I praised. “My little engineer.”
“Just like her daddy,” she responded, with her usual smile.
Unusually, I fooled him. “Yes,” he replied, “Wait! NOOOOOO!”
Courtesy of Netflix streaming over our Xbox 360, my son David (primarily) and I have been enjoying watching Adam-12, the police television series that started the year I was born, and ran for seven years thereafter, and much longer in syndication. Adam-12 was one of my favorite televisions programs when I was a kid, and I remain impressed by its lasting quality, straightforward, honest characters, and clear moral implications. (Director Jack Webb, of Dragnet fame, was clearly not an “everybody’s-doing-it” kind of guy, even in the ’60s.)
In 1978, I was in Mrs. Lovell’s third grade class at Parkview Elementary School, in Easton, Massachusetts.
One day we were reviewing vocabulary with a small reading group after a multiple-choice exercise. The vocabulary word in discussion was heroine, and, among the possible definitions was a medicine.
When the correct answer was given by another student, I suggested, a medicine, getting me quite a troubled look from Mrs. Lovell, who then asked, “Do any of you know what he is referring to?” “Drugs,” answered Dennis, with an implication of disgust.
I’d never heard the female version of hero, but Adam-12 had provided me with an excellent education in the dangers of illegal drug use. In my eight-year-old mind, heroin was a drug, and one obtained medicines at the drugstore, so a drug such as heroin perhaps could be classified as a medicine.
I was too embarrassed by the reactions of my teacher and peers to explain this logic, and the incident eventually became eclipsed by even worse incidents of faux pas that we shall consign to the horrible depths of “the junior high years.”
Adam-12 photograph courtesy of http://www.kentmccord.com.
Today is Nichelle’s birthday. Generally, for reasons which have never been clear to me, it is considered impolite to ask or tell a woman’s age, so I won’t do that here.