The metalworker was very proud when his son went off to college. He came to tour the school on Parents’ Day, and observed his son hard at work in the chemistry lab. “What are you working on?” he asked.
“A universal solvent,” explained the son, “a solvent that’ll dissolve anything.”
The metalworker whistled, clearly impressed, and asked, “What’ll you keep it in?”
How do you explain counterclockwise to a kid who grew up with a digital watch?
The young woman fresh out of agricultural college looked the whole farm over and then pronounced the farmer’s methods of cultivation hopelessly out-of-date and inefficient. “Why, I’d be amazed if you got even ten pounds of apples off that tree,” she concluded decisively, pointing at a gnarled old fruit tree.
“It’d sure surprise me too,” commented the old farmer. “It’s a pear tree.”
A sad thing happened at the museum the other day. They replaced that statue The Thinkerwith a computer.
It was considered a great step forward in civil aviation when the first fully automated flight was ready for its maiden transcontinental journey. Bigwigs of every sort were shown to their seats and served champagne cocktails by cyborg hostesses, while hundreds of airline employees waved from the runway. Suddenly, the engine snapped on and the plane made a perfect takeoff into the cloudless sky.
A silky, mechanical voice came over the plan’s speaker system a few minutes later. “Welcome aboard this historic flight, ladies and gentlemen, and simply press the call button if you would like more champagne to be served by one of our robot attendants. Even those of you who may have been anxious about flying in the past can now relax in the knowledge that this flight is free from the possibility of human error. Every aspectaltitude, air pressure, course setting, weather conditionsis being continuously monitored by state of-the-art computer circuitry, so virtually nothing can go wrong . . . go wrong . . . go wrong. . .”
When the phone rang at the small electronics manufacturer at 7:30 in the morning, the only person there was the night watchman. It was Commander Ratchet at the naval base, who barked, “I need some information and I need it ASAP. What’s the resistance rating and total inverse payload of your model RS476-KY-4719 unit?”
Silence on the line.
“You there,” bellowed the officer, “don’t you know anything about your own equipment?”
“Listen, Commander,” the guard responded at last, “you found out everything I know about electronics when I picked up the phone.”
Mrs. Jenkins prided herself on being an innovative, progressive mother, and one of her daughter’s particularly annoying habits was to request the same goodnight story, night after night after night. So she was delighted by a sudden brainstorm. That night she recorded her rendition of “Cinderella,” and the following night simply directed her daughter’s attention to the Play switch.
This worked for several nights, but then Lindsay thrust the storybook firmly into her mother’s hands.
“Now sweetheart, you know how to work the tape recorder,” Mrs. Jenkins reminded her.
“Yes I do,” said Lindsay, “but I can’s sit on its lap.”