Monday, March 10, 2008

Stump the Norm

Okay, you folks are in for a real treat. I sporadically edit a company newsletter and once challenged the employees to try and stump me on some questions. I've decided to share some of it with you and as you will see, they rose to the challenge ... but so did I.

These are actual questions sent in by real employees in a real company and responded to in a real newsletter by the real me. I may have picked on salespeople a bit, but be assured that no salesperson was hurt in the making of this blog.

· Question: If nothing sticks to Teflon, how does Teflon stick to the pan?

· Answer: C’mon, give me a hard one!! You don’t have to go far to get the answer to this seemingly impossible answer. The remarkable properties of Teflon are easily explained when you look at the scientific roots of this remarkable mineral. As you undoubtedly remember from high school physics class, Teflon is a natural element that is secreted from the adrenal glands of a salesperson. When applied to any hard surface, this mineral transfers to the surface the same qualities that salespeople use to give out work, even while work given to them is naturally repelled.

· Question: When snow melts, where does the white go?

· Answer: Only a monkey could answer this question, which has puzzled people for many years. Back n the old days, snow white simply went to sleep, to be stared at by dwarfs until kissed by a prince and awakened the following winter. Then one day, a Monkey, named Mike Nesmith, discovered a way to bottle it, and spread it on paper to cover mistakes.

· Question: Why do customers prefer to come in ten minutes before closing?

· Answer: Excellent question, and one that required considerable research. I conducted an in-depth scientific study (by sitting back in a chair and staring at the ceiling for forty-five seconds), and fathomed that all people want to be either the first at something, or the last at something. For instance, the baseball Mark McGuire hit for his 70th home run was auctioned for over one million dollars. However, if he hadn’t hit numbers 1 through 69, number 70, by itself, wouldn’t have been worth much at all. So each baseball he hit for a homerun during 1998 should be worth the same amount of money. But they aren’t! Only the last one is! So I reasoned that people figure they get more value if they are the last one coming in the store to buy something. Proof of this can be seen the next morning when you see debris cluttering your parking lot. This is from people waiting in the parking lot for the last instant that they can conceivably squeeze into the store. As far as McGuire, though, since Bonds came around and broke his record, McGuire’s home run balls aren’t worth anything anymore.

· Question: What direction should a ceiling fan rotate in summer and winter?

· Answer: In a circular direction, in both summer and in winter. Sheesh, c’mon, give me a hard one.

· Question: Why do kangaroos have their babies in their pouches … and how do they stay there when the mama is bouncing around?

· Answer: I’ll handle the second part of this question first, and with just one word … Velcro. As far as the first part, a kangaroo baby is called a joey, short for Joseph, who should have his own church. These marsupials are part of the macropod family (meaning big foot), which includes over 55 species, including certain NBA basketball players; and they keep their joeys in their pouches for two reasons: First, because a mother kangaroo is extremely organized. She is very creative at storing and packing items, like extra lipstick, napkins, and spare underwear. Because she is so economical, there is additional room for her joey. Also, it keeps them safe from their natural predators, the dingoes, since kangaroos really hate it when Elaine Benis (Seinfeld) says, “The dingo done got your baby.”

· Question: Why is lettuce crunchy?

· Answer: I went to expert, Captain Crunch, for the answer to this sound-related question. The answer has its roots in cellular biology, where we learn that the cellular structure of plants is rectangular, rather than oval, like the ones in animals, humans, water, and allegedly, salespeople. The physics of ripping these cells apart results in a wave-like physical reaction, that moves linearly through the air, and vibrates our eardrums. Our brains recognize these vibrations as noise. When lettuce begins to decay and wilt, the weakened cellular structure produces less vibration. However, some argue that if you rip lettuce in the woods, and no one is around to hear, it will make no noise.

· Question: What’s the difference between a reindeer and a deer?

· Answer: As most people already know, a reindeer is actually a member of the deer family, Cervidae, subspecies Rangifer Tarandus, which means, “a deer in which Santa Claus controls by using reins.” What fewer people know, though, is the female reindeer is the only female deer other than Caribou to have antlers, or horns. The purpose of these horns, of course, is so that reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh can honk at any airplanes that come too close.

· Question: What’s an armilary (we know what it is. Do you)?

Answer: Pa-shaw. Of course I do. I also know that the correct spelling is 'armillary'. This word dates back to the first King Larry (the Lion-Livered) of Armilia back in 1422. King Larry, as everyone knows, was the first to wear a prosthesis (fake) arm, after losing his right one in a tragic mishap involving a family of irate, but polite gophers. Being a king, he was able to put together a large collection of wonderful arms to sit every occasion. Originally he kept the arms in th armory, but this confused his soldiers when they were looking for weapons and armor. So they made up a new name for the room where larry's arms were stored called the Armillary (short for arm-of-Larry). I'd spend a little more time on this but I can tell by my sundial that it's getting close to lunch.

· Question: Do the engineers at the downtown hotels use the same boxes the Christmas lights come in to put them away?

· Answer: Yeah, right. And they believe in Santa, too.


Let me know if you want more of this next week.

Norm

www.normcowie.com
The Adventures of Guy ... written by a guy (probably)
The Next Adventures of Guy ... more wackiness
The Heat of the Moment

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