All together now, one, two, three: 'Groan'

Neighbor Grover sez life is much simpler when you plow around the stump.

Story of the week is a groaner. When you get to the end, I want to hear you groan.

A couple lived near the ocean and walked on the beach a lot. One summer they noticed a girl at the beach almost every day. She wasn't unusual, nor was the travel bag she carried. But she would approach people, glance around and then speak to them.

Generally, the people would respond negatively and she would leave. But occasionally someone would nod and there would be a quick exchange of money for something in her bag.

The couple assumed she was selling drugs and debated calling the cops, but since they didn't know for sure, they decided to just continue watching her.

After a couple of weeks the wife said, "Honey, have you ever noticed that she only goes up to people with boom boxes?"

He hadn't and said so.

Then she said, "Tomorrow I want you to get a towel and our big radio and go sit on the beach. Maybe we can find out what she's really doing."

The plan went off without a hitch and the wife was hopping up and down with anticipation when she saw the girl talk to her husband and then leave. The man then walked up the beach and met his wife.

"Well, is she selling drugs?" she asked excitedly.

"No, she's not," he said with a coy smile.

"Well, what is it then? What does she do?" his wife fairly shrieked.

The man said, "She's a battery salesperson."

"Batteries?" cried the wife.

"Yes," he replied, "batteries."

And then he added (take a deep breath for this one):

"She sells C Cells by the seashore!"


Daughter-in-law Noelia continues her busy schedule, parenting Kevin and Agustin (Augie), teaching two Spanish classes at UT-Austin and working on her PhD dissertation. She spoke no English when she came from Mexico to UT-El Paso on a workstudy program to get her master's degree in Spanish. She learned English quickly, out of necessity.

Whenever I run across one of those epistles about how screwy our English language really is, I dedicate it to her. Here's one:

• The bandage was wound around the wound.

• The farm was used to produce produce.

• The dump was so full that it had to refuse refuse.

• We must polish the Polish furniture.

• He could lead if he'd get the lead out.

• Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present her the present.

• A bass was painted on the bass drum.

• When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

• I did not object to the object.

• The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

• There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

• The buck does funny things when does are present.

• A seamstress and a sewer fell into a sewer line.

• The farmer taught his sow to sow.

• The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

• Upon seeing the tear in the painting, the artist shed a tear.

• I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

Yes, we have a crazy language.

Hey Lee Jenkins, why doesn't Buick rhyme with quick?

There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. Quicksand works slowly, boxing rings are square. A guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor a pig.

Why is it that writers write but grocers don't groce? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? People recite at a play and play at a recital? We ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell.

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

Go Big Blue!

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2009-11-19 digital edition

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