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19 January, 2016

Banking On Check

Below is an actual letter sent to a bank. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New York Times.


Dear Sir:

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month.

By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it.

I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire salary, an arrangement which, I admit, has only been in place for eight years.

You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $50 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, prerecorded faceless entity which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person.

My mortgage and loan repayments will, therefore and hereafter, no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.

Be aware that it is an OFFENSE under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.

Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I require your chosen employee to complete.

I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative.

Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me.

I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required to access my account balance on your phone bank service.

As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further. Press buttons as follows:


1.- To make an appointment to see me.

2.- To query a missing payment.

3.- To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.

4.- To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.

5. -To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.

6.- To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.

7.- To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required. Password will be communicated at a later date to the Authorized Contact.

8. – To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.

9. – To make a general complaint or inquiry.

The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service. While on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.

10.- This is a second reminder to press * for English

While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever-so-slightly less prosperous New Year?

Your Humble Client

And remember:
Don’t make old people mad.
We don’t like being old in the first place, so doesn’t take much to p**s us off.


Gramatically Speaking

A consonant walks into a bar and sits down next to a vowelly girl. "Hi!" he says. "I'll alphabet that you've never been here before."

"Of cursive I have," she replies. "I come here, like, all the time. For me, it's parse for the course."

The consonant remains stationery, enveloped by the vowelly girl's letter-perfect charm.

"Here's a cute joke" he states declaratively. "Up at the North Pole, St. Nicholas is the main Claus. His wife is a relative Claus. His children are dependent Clauses. Their Dutch uncle is a restrictive Claus. And Santa's elves are subordinate Clauses. As a group, they're all renoun Clauses."

Then he lays on some more dashes of humor: "Have you heard about the fellow who had half his digestive tract removed? He walked around with a semi-colon."

"Are you like prepositioning me?" asks the vowelly girl.

"I won't be indirect. You are the object of my preposition. Your beauty phrase my nerves. Won't you come up to my place for a coordinating conjunction?"

"I don't want to be diacritical of you, but you're like, such a boldfaced character!" replies the vowelly girl. "Like do I have to spell it out to you, or are you just plain comma-tose? You're not my type, so get off my case!"

Despite his past perfect, he is, at present, tense.

"Puhleeze, gag me with a spoonerism!" she objects. "As my Grammar and other correlatives used to say, your mind is in the guttural. I resent your umlautish behavior. You should know what the wages of syntax are. I nominative absolutely decline to conjugate with you fer sure!"

"You get high quotation marks for that one," he smiles, "even if I think you're being rather subjunctive and moody about all this. I so admire your figure of speech that I would like to predicate my life on yours." So he gets himself into an indicative mood and says, "It would be appreciated by me if you would be married to me."

"Are you being passive aggressive?" she asks interrogatively.

"No, I'm speaking in the active voice. Please don't have a vowel movement about this. I simile want to say to you, 'Metaphors be with you!' I would never want to change you and become a misplaced modifier. It's imperative that you understand that I'm very, very font of you and want us to spend infinitive together."

"That's quite a compliment," she blushes, and gives him appositive response.

At the ceremonies they exchange wedding vowels about the compound subject of marriage.

Finally, they say, "I do," which is actually the longest and most complex of sentences, a run-on sentence, actually one that we all hope won't turn out to be a sentence fragment.

Then the minister diagrams that sentence and says, "I now pronouns you consonant and vowel."

They kiss each other on the ellipsis and whisper to each other, "I love you, noun forever."

Throughout their marriage, their structure is perfectly parallel and their verbs never disagree with their subjects.

After many a linking verve, comma splice and interjection, they conceive the perfect parent thesis. Then come some missing periods and powerful contractions, and into the world is born their beautiful little boy. They know it is a boy because of its dangling participle.

09 January, 2016

The Four Goats

It all started one lazy Sunday afternoon in my school once.  Two school-going friends had a crazy idea.  They rounded up three goats from the neighborhood and painted the number 1, 2 and 4 on their sides. That night they let the goats loose inside their school building.

The next morning, when the authorities entered the school, they could smell something was wrong. They soon saw goat droppings on the stairs and near the entrance and realized that some goats had entered the building. A search was immediately launched and very soon, the three goats were found. But the authorities were worried, where was goat No. 3?  They spent the rest of the day looking for goat No.3. There was panic and frustration. The school declared a holiday for the students. The teachers, helpers and the canteen boy were all busy looking for the goat No. 3, which, of course, was never found.   Simply because it did not exist.

We are all like those folks in the school - we may have our own goats, but are obviously looking for the elusive, missing, non-existent goat No.3.  So instead of making the most of what we have and focusing on our strengths, we worry about the missing piece - our shortcomings. Our mind is so programmed to see the things to completion, a continuity and a carry forwardness. If this is denied then the program gets messed up. An absence of something is always larger than presence of something.  Let us do the best we can with what we have and be grateful for what we get. Success and happiness will come our way.  And.....Stop worrying about goat No. 3!