Enigmas which can make us scratch our heads

A forest fire burns up a lot of trees, but a house fire burns down a house. I am a bit puzzled about that, because the flames always lick up the tree or the side of the house. I have never heard of flames licking down anything. However, whether the flames went up or down, the end result is the same, the tree is gone and so is the house.

Knut called the 911 emergency number, and the conversation went something like this: “What is your emergency?” asked the 911 operator.

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“My house is on fire!” yelled Knut.

“What’s the address?” asked the 911 operator.

“I’m too excited and confused,” said Knut. “I don’t remember it right now, but hurry!”

“How do you expect the fire department to get there?” asked the 911 operator.

“What do you mean how, don’t they still have those red trucks?” asked Knut.

“How stupid can you get?” is a phrase many of us have used when the other party does not comprehend what you’re trying to say. But the last I looked I could not find that stupidity was measured in either degrees nor any other increments. Intelligence is measurable as IQ but that doesn’t state that somebody is stupid. It states that somebody might not be as smart as you, or heaven forbid, somebody might be smarter than you. But I ask myself how stupid a person can get anyway, without the ability to get a proper answer.

It was a nice Saturday evening, and Olaf was having a shot of Akevitt at the Bottoms up Bar, while watching the football game. A nicely dressed woman he had not met before sat down beside him at the bar. She was looking at Olaf’s face and said, “Hi, my name is Kari, you have a nice face.”

“Thank you,” said Olaf, “my name is Olaf.”

“So, how many times a day do you shave?” asked Kari.

“Well, I guess about 15 or 20 times every day,” replied Olaf.

“My god,” said Kari, “are you some kind of crazy obsessive-compulsive person?”

“No, not at all,” answered Olaf. “I’m a barber.”

They sat there sipping their drinks and watching the game for a while. Then Kari said, “I’m a master of fast calculations, you should try me.”

“OK, what is 758 times 642 divided by 5?” said Olaf.

“25,” answered Kari.

“Ha, ha, that’s wrong!” retorted Olaf.

“That might be, but it was fast,” shot back Kari.

We drove to North Battleford to do some shopping, and the Dollar Store is one of Marion’s favorite stores. She parked by the store, stepped out of the truck and told me she would be back soon, not in an hour or half hour or even a couple of minutes, but soon. Soon is a safe statement for a woman, because you cannot hold her to any specific time, other than soon. So, there I sat with the engine running, reading my book. The mall security guard knocked on my window and asked me to kill the engine.

“Kill the engine?” I queried. I looked him straight in the eyes and told him that both as a Lutheran and a law-abiding citizen, I can not kill anything. One of the ten commandments states “Thou shall not kill,” and according to Canadian legal statutes killing is punishable by many years’ incarceration. He then strongly suggested that I turn off the motor, which I did.

Sven and Ole were sitting in the Bottoms Up bar, nursing a couple of shots of Akevitt.

“I was out playing golf,” said Sven, “when all of a sudden it started raining hard, followed by a bolt of lightning that struck the hole marker 20 feet away and scared me half to death.”

“Wow!” exclaimed Ole, “that was close.”

“Yeah, well, another bolt of greased lightning struck a tree 50 feet away and scared me half to death again!” continued Sven.

“Wait a minute,” demanded Ole. “Is a bolt of greased lightning faster than a regular bolt of lightning? And if you were scared half to death twice, shouldn’t you be in the morgue?”

They sat there in silence nursing their drinks, then Sven said, “I had a big argument with my ex- wife yesterday.”

“Oh, what happened?” asked Ole.

“I went to her house, you know, where I used to live,” said Sven, “rang the doorbell, but she wouldn’t let me in. ‘You can stand out there!’ she yelled.

“‘Well, if I’m standing out here, then that must mean that I’m outstanding!’ I yelled back.”

“I bet you didn’t score any points with that,” mused Ole.

“It gets better,” said Sven. “She yelled at me, ‘you’re not outstanding, you’re a nobody!’ ‘Thank you,’ I yelled back. ‘Everybody knows that nobody is perfect, so therefore you just confirmed that I’m perfect!’”

As we were walking through Walmart, I saw a large sign by the paper aisle, right above a display of toilet paper. The sign had an arrow pointing down and said, “You don’t know what you have until it is gone.”

I thought that the staff here obviously have a sense of humour, so when I saw the sign in the over the counter medical aisle that was promoting Imodium which said, “four out of five people suffer from diarrhea,” I had to stop a clerk and ask it that means that one person out of five enjoys it?

It started to snow as we were driving home, so I said to Marion, “don’t worry it could be worse.”

She stopped worrying and sure enough it got worse.