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  #1  
Old 03-19-2003, 03:05 PM
Tars Tarkas Tars Tarkas is offline
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Cecil! Tell us about you smashing the building with the crane!

like you mentioned in this column!


Please?


I'll be your best friend!
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2003, 12:17 AM
Kat Kat is offline
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That's a story I want to hear.

Unca Cecil, tell us a story!
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  #3  
Old 03-20-2003, 06:13 AM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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Wait a sec, lemme build a campfire!
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  #4  
Old 03-20-2003, 07:35 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by AskNott
Wait a sec, lemme build a campfire!
Here, use these old Jack Chick Tracts, the Official Kindling of the SDMB.



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  #5  
Old 03-20-2003, 01:06 PM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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<< and possessed fish are telling us to repent in Hebrew on the front page of the New York Times.~~~sig by Kyla >>

I aint gonna repent on the front page of the New York Times, neither in English nor in Hebrew... and I doubt that they have a Hebrew font anyway.
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  #6  
Old 03-20-2003, 01:29 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by C K Dexter Haven
<< and possessed fish are telling us to repent in Hebrew on the front page of the New York Times.~~~sig by Kyla >>

I aint gonna repent on the front page of the New York Times, neither in English nor in Hebrew... and I doubt that they have a Hebrew font anyway.
Oh, DEX---ter!!!!!
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/15/nyregion/15FISH.html


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  #7  
Old 03-20-2003, 10:51 PM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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No, Bosda. Sigh. My comment was a joke about the misplaced modifier, namely the phrase "in Hebrew on the front page of the New York Times." See, the way the sentence is currently structured, that phrase modifies the verb "repent" rather than the noun "fish"... So, the fish is telling us that we should all go and repent in Hebrew on the front page of the NYT.

Crawling along a leaf, I saw a beetle. Misplaced descriptive pages.
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  #8  
Old 03-21-2003, 07:46 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by C K Dexter Haven
No, Bosda. Sigh. My comment was a joke about the misplaced modifier, namely the phrase "in Hebrew on the front page of the New York Times." See, the way the sentence is currently structured, that phrase modifies the verb "repent" rather than the noun "fish"... So, the fish is telling us that we should all go and repent in Hebrew on the front page of the NYT.

Crawling along a leaf, I saw a beetle. Misplaced descriptive pages.
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  #9  
Old 03-21-2003, 09:53 AM
Dr. Cobweb Dr. Cobweb is offline
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An' ze Frenchman, he say to me, "Throw my horse over the fence some hay."
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  #10  
Old 03-21-2003, 10:43 AM
Nametag Nametag is offline
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But Mr. Rosen said that when he approached the fish he heard it uttering warnings and commands in Hebrew.

"It said `Tzaruch shemirah' and `Hasof bah,' " he said, "which essentially means that everyone needs to account for themselves because the end is near."

Mr. Rosen panicked and tried to kill the fish with a machete-size knife. But the fish bucked so wildly that Mr. Rosen wound up cutting his own thumb and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. The fish flopped off the counter and back into the carp box and was butchered by Mr. Nivelo and sold.
Is anyone reminded of the Scotsman's pig? "Yes, it's a heroic and remarkable pig, but why does he have a leg missing?" "Man, ye don't eat a creature like that all at once!"
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  #11  
Old 03-21-2003, 08:10 PM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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Can we get back to topic on this? We want to hear about how Cecil nearly wrecked a building with a crane!
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  #12  
Old 03-21-2003, 08:12 PM
Tars Tarkas Tars Tarkas is offline
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I plead again, please illuminate us with a song of yesteryear, one involving Perfect Masters, cranes, and buildings....
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  #13  
Old 03-23-2003, 11:01 AM
Stentor Stentor is offline
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Yes Cecil, the children are gathered 'round and would ever so dearly love to hear a story from their beloved Uncle Cecil.
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  #14  
Old 03-23-2003, 05:52 PM
Cecil Adams Cecil Adams is offline
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OK, here's the deal. This takes a little setting up, so be patient.

When I was 18 or so I had a summer job at a railroad yard as a machinist helper at the diesel house. The diesel house was a big building where locomotives were serviced. Football field sized, maybe 30-40 feet high, made of brick.

The diesel house was equipped with an overhead crane. This consisted of a winch suspended from a truss that ran the width of the building. The truss was on wheels than ran on tracks running the length of the building. You could move the winch to and fro on the truss, and the truss back and forth on the tracks, and thus move the crane to any point in the building. With me so far?

Periodically I had to use the crane to move parts around the diesel house. Cylinder heads for the diesels, wheel sets, stuff like that. Things that weighed hundreds, maybe thousands of pounds. So the crane mechanism was pretty massive. To operate the crane I used pushbuttons on a control box at the end of a long cable hanging down from the truss.

One day I was supposed to move the crane down to the far end of the diesel house to get a part. I had the idea that there were brakes and limit switches on the crane that would automatically stop it before the truss reached the end of the rails and ran into the end of the building. There were. They didn't work. I kept that button mashed down the whole time; the truss kept right on rolling.

There was a thunderous crash. The building shook. All work stopped. In retrospect I'm lucky - we were all lucky - that the crane didn't take out the end of the building, which conceivably might have caused the roof to cave in.

The diesel house superintendent ran over. His name, believe it or not, was Belcher. He was well named. I was petrified. He looked me in the eye and roared:

"Son, did you ever do that before?"

"No, sir."

"You ever going to do that again?"

"No, sir."

"Good." With that he turned on his heel and walked away. Nothing more was ever said about the incident. I have kept my word. To this day I have never crashed another crane into the end of a building, and I don't care what you ply me with in the way of money, liquor, and easy women, I never will. But I'll say this:

It was kinda fun to have done it once.
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  #15  
Old 03-23-2003, 06:51 PM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
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Now, that's a good story. Nice to see Cecil come visit the Teeming Millions. Bravo!
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  #16  
Old 03-23-2003, 08:26 PM
Blackeyes Blackeyes is offline
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That was a nice story.
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  #17  
Old 03-23-2003, 09:45 PM
Achernar Achernar is offline
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I agree, but I can also see how it would be hard to work that into a column.
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  #18  
Old 03-23-2003, 09:51 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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This pales in comparison, but at Villanova U., our main observatory was a normal-shaped rectangular room, but the whole roof could slide over to the side. The 15 inch telescope was long enough, though, that it had to be stowed horizontally while the roof was closed. When we were being introduced to the equipment, the department head asked us "Do any of you know what they call an astronomy major who runs the roof into the 'scope?"
"No."
"A liberal arts major."

I never did run the roof into the 'scope, but in retrospect, I see what Cecil means. It woulda been kinda fun to do it once.
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  #19  
Old 03-23-2003, 10:02 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Ha ha! Tars Tarkas has to be Cecil's best friend now. He promised.

sucker!
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  #20  
Old 03-23-2003, 10:34 PM
Davebear Davebear is offline
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[Blue M&M]He IS real![Blue M&M] *faint* THUD!
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  #21  
Old 03-24-2003, 01:09 AM
Smeghead Smeghead is offline
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I once, uh, ran my car into a concrete post outside a fast food drive-thru. Tore some of the chrome right off.
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  #22  
Old 03-24-2003, 05:22 AM
whitetho whitetho is online now
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I'm glad Unca Cece set the record straight, because the story I had heard was he wanted to knock down the building in order to impress Jody Foster.

But I still don't see how the talking fish fits in...
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  #23  
Old 03-24-2003, 07:43 AM
hawthorne hawthorne is offline
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It's a MacGuffin.
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  #24  
Old 03-24-2003, 02:41 PM
Casey1505 Casey1505 is offline
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How rude!

Not one person thanked the Perfect Master.

Allow me to be the first...

Thank you Cecil for favoring us with your tale. It was an honor to behold.

(is there a brown nose smiley??)
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  #25  
Old 03-24-2003, 02:46 PM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by hawthorne
It's a MacGuffin.
Or a red herring.
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  #26  
Old 03-24-2003, 03:00 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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Years ago, at the plant where I work, there was a forklift driver with a special affinity for concrete block walls. His name (I am not making this up) was Stan Back.
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  #27  
Old 03-24-2003, 03:37 PM
friedo friedo is online now
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Oh boy! That was great!

Now will you tell us about when you were held at gunpoint?

Please!

please please please please pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease

Thanks.
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  #28  
Old 03-24-2003, 07:41 PM
Lucretia Lucretia is offline
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Oh yes, please, Unca Cecil? I'm not tired, I wannanother story!
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  #29  
Old 03-24-2003, 07:49 PM
Kat Kat is offline
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Thank you, Cecil. That was a wonderful story. You're my favorite poster. Even more than John Corrado.
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  #30  
Old 03-24-2003, 07:53 PM
Tars Tarkas Tars Tarkas is offline
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Thank You, Cecil!!!!!! ::bows before the Perfect Master::
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  #31  
Old 03-24-2003, 09:24 PM
Tony Montana Tony Montana is offline
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::snif:: That was beautiful man ::snif:: I got something in my eye ::snif::...
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  #32  
Old 03-24-2003, 10:40 PM
clayton_e clayton_e is offline
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Cecil, thank you for the amusing story...

I do wonder if your boss would have ever thought that the kid he was talking sternly to would be the Cecil Adams.

Now could you please inform us of the name of your former boss and the address of your former employer?



But seriously, I'd love to hear about the being held at gunpoint.
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  #33  
Old 03-24-2003, 10:41 PM
Princhester Princhester is offline
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What a pathetic load of arse-lickers!
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  #34  
Old 03-25-2003, 12:14 AM
Nametag Nametag is offline
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Yeah! Show 'em how arse-licking is really done, Princhester!

Or isn't that what you meant?
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  #35  
Old 03-25-2003, 12:24 AM
kniz kniz is offline
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  • Cecil Who?
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  #36  
Old 03-25-2003, 04:01 AM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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You know...Cecil...His Purple Holiness...

I wonder if Cecil will see my name and know that I exist...
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  #37  
Old 03-25-2003, 06:32 AM
Princhester Princhester is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nametag
Yeah! Show 'em how arse-licking is really done, Princhester!

Or isn't that what you meant?
Clap, clap, I deserved that.
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  #38  
Old 03-25-2003, 09:13 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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<< Clap, clap, I deserved that. >>

Naw, nobody deserves the clap, it's very painful, but there is treatment, see a doctor right away. And use protection next time.
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  #39  
Old 03-25-2003, 09:26 AM
PunditLisa PunditLisa is offline
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Am I the only one here wondering how the hell they got the crane back up on the trusses?

Back to the fish story:

Okay, so he's got God striking up a conversation with him, albeit through a fish, and his first inclination is to butcher the thing*? He stabbed to death the messenger of God? Man! In the grand scale of morality, that's got to be right up there with blasphemy and heresy.

Being the good catholic that I am, I'd toss that (live) blessed fish into a garage sale aquarium and call the local t.v. station so that the legions of faithful could flock to the site of the piscatory miracle. And in the true American spirit, I'd have vendors walking around selling tasteful "The Miracle Bass of Cincinnati" t-shirts, so that my brothers and sisters could memorialize their pilgrimage. The t-shirts would be modestly priced, of course, because one mustn't *exploit* being a "chosen one."



*Speaking of butchering the fish, what does one ask per pound for a linguistically blessed vessel-of-God carp? If that ain't an item that SCREAMS e-bay, I don't know what is.
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  #40  
Old 03-25-2003, 07:15 PM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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The rails on most gantry cranes I've seen end at the walls - they sorta need to be attached to, if not into, the walls to support the tonnage they carry. The limit switches are usually a foot or two from the, shall we say, hard stops. Sometimes, the hard stops may be some sort of big springs or rubber bumpers, and sometimes, they're just the wall.

At any rate, I doubt Cecil's mistrust in limit switches caused anything to come undone.
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  #41  
Old 03-26-2003, 02:34 AM
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How come Belcher wasn't vaporized immediately by Cecil's Perfect Radiance? Hadn't he been transfigured yet?
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  #42  
Old 03-26-2003, 06:31 AM
friedo friedo is online now
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I don't think Cecil evolved into a higher lifeform until some time in his mid-thirties.

You know, kinda like Jesus.
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  #43  
Old 03-26-2003, 09:09 AM
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You mean all those stories about the infant Cecil strangling snakes and aspiring editors are fabrications?
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  #44  
Old 03-27-2003, 08:54 AM
Dragline Dragline is offline
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Hey - I used to work in a locomotive shop - Union Pacific in Omaha. It was my summer job during college, and I had to walk under (and slightly ahead of) the damn overhead crane when it was moving large objects, like cylinder heads or engines, shouting "overhead, overhead", above the din in the shop, so that nobody else would walk under it. I always wondered what would happen if the crane operator didn't stop.

Of course the old timers in the shop were always sending the smart ass college boy after tools like 'sky hooks', 'board stretchers', and 'virgin oil', in various tool rooms at the far ends of the rail yard. I never could find any of that stuff!
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  #45  
Old 03-28-2003, 07:29 PM
Cecil Adams Cecil Adams is offline
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friedo writes:
Quote:
Now will you tell us about when you were held at gunpoint?
Last personal story. Then I gotta get some work done.

It happened in 1976 or 1977. I had just attended the early show at a well-known jazz club off Rush Street in Chicago. As we filed out, the crowd for the late show was waiting to file in. I noticed two young guys in the late show crowd dressed in, if not tuxedos, then fancy dinner dress--obviously it was a big night out. As I passed them, the two started swinging at each other. This wasn't just chest-butting, shoving, etc.; they were going at each other big time.

For some reason I decided I was going to break up this fight. Don't ask me why; all I can say is that in my younger days the struggle against ignorance sometimes took physical form. I waded in and said something along the lines of, "OK, you guys, let's knock this--" At this point a third party intervened. He was a big black guy built like a fricking truck, probably weighed 240, 250 pounds, dressed in (I think) a sport coat and tie. I have no idea who this guy was. Possibly a bouncer, although it seems unlikely you'd put an excitable guy with a gun at the entrance to your club. Maybe a bodyguard. Maybe just a fellow freelance peacekeeper.

Anyway, he's pissed. He starts screaming at me, "OK, motherf*cker, get your motherf*cking ass out of here," or words to that effect. He's pointing a revolver at me, either gold- or brass-plated. I did not have an opportunity to do a detailed metallurgical analysis. I also did not count the chambers and thus cannot definitively state that it was a "six-shooter." I had a lot on my mind at the time. Be that as it may, there was no question that my departing the premises was a priority concern for this individual.

So I'm thinking: This is a fine how-do-you-do. I decide we need to discuss the situation. Without moving from the spot, I put up one hand and state, "Now, come on, let's not get excited here." The little color commentator in my mind is saying, "Whoa, young Cecil is showing exceptional calmness here."

However, Big George is not in the mood for chatter. Seeing that I am not cooperating, he picks me up bodily and throws me through the doors of the club into the street. (I don't recall what became of the gun during this process.) I was not in a position to put up much resistance; he outweighed me by a good 80 pounds.

The club doors close. I pick myself up off the sidewalk. "Well," I think, "I have done what I can." My date has been watching in horror the entire time. "Are you all right?" she asks. "I could use a drink," I say.

We go to a little bar down the street. After a minute or two the adrenalin wears off and I get the violent, uncontrollable shakes. My teeth are chattering, I don't dare pick up the glass. It takes me a good five minutes to calm down. Then we went home.

No, I didn't get lucky. Some women are impossible to impress.
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  #46  
Old 03-28-2003, 08:06 PM
Kat Kat is offline
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That would've impressed me.
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  #47  
Old 03-28-2003, 08:59 PM
CuriousCanuck CuriousCanuck is offline
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Cecil, let me buy you a drink.
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  #48  
Old 03-29-2003, 03:58 PM
Lucretia Lucretia is offline
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*Swoon*
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  #49  
Old 03-29-2003, 04:26 PM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Smeghead
I once, uh, ran my car into a concrete post outside a fast food drive-thru. Tore some of the chrome right off.
But were you high on dope? And was there a little girl riding a bicycle in front of the post?
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  #50  
Old 03-31-2003, 10:37 PM
stypticus stypticus is offline
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Thank you, Cecil Adams. I greatly enjoyed both of your stories, as well as the clumsy ingratiating fools who insist on hijacking these threads with their pitiful attempts at out-brown-nosing each other. Very entertaining.

Now that I have your attention, though, let me compliment you on your excellent taste in music; jazz is often underappreciated by the Teeming Millions. Let me also say how I admire your commitment to honour. I'm sure it's taken a great deal of dedication on your part to avoid repeating your performance with the crane, but you've kept to it because you gave your word. While I could go on about how wonderful a role model you are, I'm sure you have a lot of ignorance to fight, so I'll let you get right back to it.

Keep up the good fight, sir.
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