Why you should not eavesdrop on your coworkers

If you overhear your coworkers talking about politics you are prone to learn the following:

  1. The Russian head of state is named Yetsin.
  2. Mr. Yetsin should not be bombing Grozny, because he tried the same thing in Afganistan.
  3. Mr. Yetsin is bombing Chechnya just because it is trying to succeed.

As a card-carrying elitist, I usually find such ignorant water-cooler talk to be amusing. Today, however, I was also treated to the following:

  1. There is a special provision of the U.S. Constitution which allows a state to succeed from the union if all of the neighboring state agree to it.

This one did not amuse me. Ordinary historical illiteracy just makes me chuckle, but I hate it when people make up totally new sections of the Constitution on the spot. How many copies of the Constitution are there? Just have a grownup teach you to read, pick up one of the 3.72 kazillion free copies of the U.S. Constitution, and thumb through it when discussing relevant issues.

So to all you people on the various secession / Civil War threads, you should just count yourself lucky that you’re not discussing the matter with my coworkers.

Now I open this thread to falderol, bulldinky, hogwash, horsehockey, and fractured facts you have picked up from your coworkers … preferably distinct from urban legends (I’m looking for new and different factoids, not so much the classics).

Any similarity in the above text to an English word or phrase is purely coincidental.

One of my former coworkers once told me that the best prime minister Canada ever had was Winston Churchill.

Another one asked me if British Columbia was located next to New Brunswick.

Some drink at the fountain of knowledge…others just gargle.

I overheard a couple of little old ladies in a restaurant talking about their recent trip to Pittsburgh PA.

One said that in Pittsburgh, the “Alabammy” and “Monogola” rivers come together to form the “Ohio.”

Well, they got one right.

I am not making this up; I actually heard a bus driver blame Princess Diana’s death “on all them Pavorattis that was chasin’ her on motorcycles.” The mental image nearly overwhelemed me.

Another one: a friend of mine was reading “Jane Eyre” on the subway a few years ago (at that time, the latest movie version had just been released). Someone said, “Wow, you mean there’s a book, too?”

I mentioned this in a prior thread a while ago, but it’s worth bringing up again. I know a woman who is a middle school history teacher who was pissed at her students because they didn’t know there are twelve justices on the U.S. Supreme Court and that the Speaker of the House breaks any ties.

You guys make me laugh.

Moosiegirl You reminded me of an incident a friend of mine recounts quite bitterly. She was recounting a trip through India, mentioned a visit to the Taj Mahal, and the reply was: “They have one of those in India? That’s so cool! I went to the one in Atlantic City and it was fabulous.”

KSO Aww, yeah. I once had a slow-witted teaching assistant in one of those Intro to American Hist classes that college freshman are required to take but seem more suited to junior high. This TA was upset at our lack of questions about the Judicial Branch, assuming this meant we had not done the reading, so I decided to cheer him up by asking an honest question. “Historically, have Presidents chosen to nominate a Chief Justice from outside the court, or to elevate sitting Associate Justices?” The reply: “No no no. The Chief Justice is elected by the other justices. The President has nothing to do with it.” It’s not exactly a fatal error, but coming from a pompous TA assuming all us undergrads needed to learn this remedial crap, it was just prescious.

Flora The mental image nearly made me laugh out loud. Little did you know that one of the three tenors is actually several people.

Was anyone here * NOT * on the losing end of an argument over the movie “Double Jeopardy”? I had five people arguing me, claiming that she couldn’t be arrested, not that I wasted much time with it…

Geography - Buy a friggen’ atlas, OK!

This one knocked the beer right out of my hand: I was discussing my trip last Spring to the cities of Amsterdam, Tilburg, Eindhoven, Breda, Antwerp & Brussels. I had just auditioned and accepted a new bass player for my band - he knew I was from the D.C. area. He has the nerve to ask me, deadpan, “Those are east coast cities, right?”

I was hoping that he meant the east coast of Europe, but then that’s really not much better, is it?

Hell is Other People.

Never saw “Double Jeopardy” and have no idea what it was about, so…yeah I was never in that argument.

Teeming Millions: http://fathom.org/teemingmillions
“Meat flaps, yellow!” - DrainBead, naked co-ed Twister chat
O p a l C a t

I’d like to pay tribute to the Christiansburg (VA) High School Geography teacher who sagely informed my class that the “Amazing” river is the longest in the world.

Life is full of curiosities when one is completely ignorant.

Sofa King,

Whoa! Small world–You’re from Christiansburg? I grew up just up the road from you–in Radford. What year did you graduate? (1988 here).

I was once informed that pirates pierced their ears by taking a pistol and shooting through the lobe. Can’t remember where I “learned” that from, though.

And then there are my fellow Canadians who think that you can take the fifth amendment in court so you can’t incriminate yourselves. Hello, thats the AMERICAN constitution, we are Canadians. Then they argue that they saw it on TV. Sheesh…
I was talking on ham radio to a gentleman in Northern California. He asked where I was located (Saskatchewan). I said about 1 1/2 hrs drive northwest of Minot, North Dakota.
There was silence on his end and he said " Uhh, I don’t know where that is."
I said “About six hours drive north of Minneapolis.”
He thought about it for four or five seconds and he said “Wow, I didn’t think anyone lived up there.”

You want brilliance BEFORE I’ve had my coffee!!!

My coworkers and I listened with glee to a conversation between several women in the bsuiness we share our space with (cheap start-up company that we are). They were discussing what the “k” in y2k stood for, and couldn’t figure it out. From there, their conversation wound towards what they would do when all systems failed on January 1st. One of them said, “I don’t care about other people. If my kids are starving, I’ll kill my neighbors and take their cereal to feed my kids.”

We were all aghast, needless to say. We now refer to it as “y2kill your neighbor.”

“It says, I choo-choo-choose you. And it’s got a picture of a train.”
– Ralph Wiggum

Overheard on office phone conversation (the build-up is that this woman’s daughter is going to visit New York, and that there are relatives in San Francisco):

‘Could you be a darling, and meet her at the airport? What do you mean, I should do it because I’m nearer?!’

Sake Samurai,

is there an East Coast of Europe?!

In the bathtub of history, the truth is harder to hold than the soap… (Pratchett)

Of course there’s an East Coast of Europe. Haven’t you seen those faaaabulous brochures advertising time shares on the glowing white beaches of Vladivostok?

I watched an episode of Red Dwarf this weekend where a character wanted to plead the 5th. I believe this phrase has become somewhat generic around the world. (Red Dwarf is a british show).

My girlfriend didn’t believe me when I told her that the United States has several territories still under its control due to imperialism. She was also unaware that when Pearl Harbor was attacked, Hawaii was not yet a state.

My co-worker thought Cuba was in the Middle East

Another co-worker of mine had no idea who Kissinger is.

“I guess one person can make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

I’ve worked with many of the challenged, but this thread reminds me of a woman that worked for us manny years ago. She was not stupid, but she was a product of local public education.

She was a sophomore @ UH and doing fine (marketing major). One day a conversation revealed that she had not yet heard about WWII! She was amazed to hear that we had fought a war with Japan, and won! After a few months of gradually filling her in on some basic history, she asked me one day, “In what order did Vietnam, Korea and WWII occur?” Ack! She’d lived through most of the last one!

Hmmm…, if I ever see her again, I’m going to ask her about the Gulf War.