Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
September 3, 2003

Christmas is officially over. Today I dragged the tree with its fifteen remaining needles out to the curb, tied the Christmas lights into one great big ball like I found them, and dumped the odd remains of two ham-a-ramas and a jalapeño cheese log into the cat’s dish, which caused him to immediately jump up onto the telephone stand and look up the address for the Humane Society’s self-admittance wing.

But it’s done. Kaput. Finé. The yuletide has ebbed. And not a moment too soon, because now it’s time for . . . Valentine’s Day. Not to worry though, because this year I’m ready.

Last February I was fooled by the pact my wife and I made that we weren’t going to bother with Valentine’s Day. What I thought she meant was that she didn’t expect a gift. What she really meant was that only a chump would think it was okay not to get his wife (who was put on this earth for no greater reason than to serve her husband’s every need, although said husband could count on serving certain needs himself until further notice) a gift.

And even though it was quite a bonding experience camping out in my backyard in February with my brother-in-law, who had wondered why everyone was buying flowers on Washington’s birthday, I think I’d rather spend the rainy season inside this year.

So I grabbed the garbage bag full of Christmas cards and wrapping paper to drop off at the local landfill and headed off to the Hallmark store, that magical place full of those beautiful poetic musings that women love.

I settled on a card with a romantic, soft-focus photograph of a young couple laughing and hugging in a wooded glen, taken no doubt just seconds before they realized they were standing waist deep in poison oak. Then I headed across the mall to the lingerie store.

The place was mobbed with guys all holding intimate apparel, trying to picture their wives in them. One guy was holding his selection upside down wondering, I suspect, why the thing had snaps at the neck.

I was about to explain when a saleslady approached wearing a button that said “All Our Bras Are Half Off.” She looked frazzled. Her hair was mussed. Her makeup was smeared, and she had bags under her eyes. “Let me guess,” she said. “Gift for the wife?” Before I could compliment her on such a quick assessment of the situation, she moved me to one side and yelled over my shoulder. “Please don’t mix the satin panties up with the silk ones.” Two guys, who were each holding a dozen pair of panties, smiled sheepishly, like they just got caught during a midnight raid at the female dorms.

“I hate Valentine’s Day,” she muttered. Then with a forced smile she asked, “So, what did you have in mind?” “I dunno. Something sexy, I guess.” “Novel idea. What’s her favorite color?” “Uhh . . . brown?” “Brown? Brown’s her favorite color?” “Green?” “You don’t know, do you?” “Well, our cat is gray and white and she likes him a lot.”

I thought briefly about the cat and wondered if he’d still be there when I got home. Meanwhile, the saleslady moved me to one side again. “Sir. Siiirrrr.” A large, bald man in a three-piece suit glanced up. “It’s Velcro,” she said. “As you have no doubt observed, it will make that same sound over and over.”

She shook her head, turned her attention back to me and was about to speak when a tall, thin guy approached us wearing a teddy over his T-shirt and boxer shorts. “Whaddya think?” he asked. I thought the red was a little too bright for his complexion and was about to say so when the saleslady jumped up onto a clearance counter and addressed the entire store.

“Okay. Here’s what we are going to do. I want every one of you to take out the amount of money you want to spend and step up to the counter. I will hand you an item that costs that amount of money. Do not worry about the color or size. Your wives will be in here to exchange your gifts tomorrow. Now, who’s first?” We all hesitated.

She held up her watch. “The mall closes in fifteen minutes, gentlemen, and they are predicting a particularly cold February this year.” I thought I caught a whiff of damp tent. Then I quickly took out my wallet and got in line.

Ernie Witham (c) 1996
From Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
December 18, 2009

An atheist created a case in court against the upcoming Easter and Passover holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians, Jews and observances of their holy days. The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days.

The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring, “Case dismissed!”

The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, “Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday.”

The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, “But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant. The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day. Psalm 14:1 states, ‘The fool says in his heart, there is no God.’ Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned.”

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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
March 17, 1997

A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children
while they drew. She would occasionally walk around to see each
child’s work.

As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she
asked what the drawing was? The girl replied, “I’m drawing God.”
The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks
like.” Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing,
the girl replied, “They will in a minute.”


A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with
her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to
“honor” thy Father and thy mother,” she asked, “is there a
commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and
sisters?” Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of
a family) answered, “Thou shalt not kill.”


An honest seven-year-old admitted calmly to her parents that
Billy Brown had kissed her after class. “How did that happen?”
gasped her mother.

“It wasn’t easy,” admitted the young lady, “but three girls
helped me catch him.”


One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the
dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother
has several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her
brunette head.

She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, “Why are some
of your hairs white, Mom?” Her mother replied, “Well, every time
that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of
my hairs turns white.”

The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and
then said, “Momma, how come ALL of grandma’s hairs are white?”


A three-year-old went with his dad to see a litter of kittens.
On returning home, he breathlessly informed his mother that
there were two boy kittens and two girl kittens. “How did you
know?” his mother asked.

“Daddy picked them up and looked underneath,” he replied. “I
think it’s printed on the bottom.”

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
March 4, 1994

I made a traffic stop on an elderly lady the other day for speeding on U.S. 166 Eastbound at Mile Marker 73 just East of Sedan, KS.

I asked for her driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.

The lady took out the required information and handed it to me.

In with the cards I was somewhat surprised (due to her advanced age) to see she had a conceal carry permit. I looked at her and ask if she had a weapon in her possession at this time.

She responded that she indeed had a .45 automatic in her glove box.

Something—body language, or the way she said it—made me want to ask if she had any other firearms. She did admit to also having a 9mm Glock in her center console. Now I had to ask one more
time if that was all.

She responded once again that she did have just one more, a .38 special in her purse. I then asked her what was she so afraid of.

She looked me right in the eye and said, “Not a thing!”

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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
February 23, 1995

A couple in their nineties are both having problems remembering things.

They decide to go to the doctor for a checkup. The doctor tells them that they’re physically okay, but they might want to start writing things down to help them remember.

Later that night while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair.

His wife asks, “Where are you going?”

“To the kitchen,” he replies.

“Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?”


“Don’t you think you should write it down so you can remember it?” she asks.

“No, I can remember it.”

“Well, I’d like some strawberries on top, too. You’d better write it down, because you know you’ll forget it.”

He says, “I can remember that! You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries.”

“I’d also like whipped cream. I’m certain you’ll forget that, so you’d better write it down!” she retorts.

Irritated, he says, “I don’t need to write it down, I can remember it! Leave me alone! Ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream — I got it, for goodness sake!” Then he grumbles into the kitchen.

After about 20 minutes the old man returns from the kitchen and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs.

She stares at the plate for a moment and says… “Where’s my toast?

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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
February 14, 2015

Does the statement, “Because we’ve always done it that way”… ring any bells?

The U.S. standard railroad gauge (the distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used?

Because that’s the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US Railroads.

Why did the English build them like that?

Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.

Why did they use that gauge then?

Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?

Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that’s the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So who built those old rutted roads?

Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads?

Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.

The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. And bureaucracies live forever.

So, the next time you are handed a spec and told we have always done it that way and wonder what horse’s ass came up with that, you may be exactly right, because the Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses.

Now, here’s the twist to the story…

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.

The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses’ behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world’s most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse’s tail.

And you thought being a horse’s tail wasn’t important.

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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
February 9, 2009

The local news station was interviewing an 80-year-old lady because she had just gotten married — for the fourth time.

The interviewer asked her questions about her life.  About what it felt like to be marrying again at 80.  Then about her new husband’s occupation.

“He’s a funeral director,” she answered.

“Interesting,” the newsman thought.  He then asked her if she wouldn’t mind telling him a little about her first three husbands and what they did for a living.

She paused for a few moments, needing time to reflect on all those years.

After a short time, a smile came to her face and she answered proudly, explaining that:
She’d first married a banker when she was in her early 20’s.
Then a circus ringmaster when in her 40’s.
Later on a preacher when in her 60’s.
And now, in her 80’s, a funeral director.

The interviewer looked at her, quite astonished, and asked why she had married four men with such diverse careers.

She smiled and explained…… “I married one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go.”

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