Category > Funny

Adventures in Phone Menus

14 October 2005 » In Funny, Rants » 7 Comments

I am not a violent man. I’d much rather sip a latte in a café than engage in broken bottle bar fights. But exchanges like the following make me want to use the Chinese water torture (or vice grips) on the designers of said systems:

Andrei is calling Comcast to change some services. 1-800-COMCAST.
Phone Voice: Thank you for calling COMCAST. Please enter the telephone number including area code for where you have or want service.
Andrei: (enters the phone number)
Phone Voice: For English press 1, para español oprima el dos.
Andrei: (dutifully selects 1 as he doesn’t know Spanish)
The phone system waits for an inordinate amount of time all the making sounds like someone trying to quitely pass a kidney stone.
Phone Voice: (cheerfully) To continue this call in English press 1, para español oprima el dos.
Andrei: (jamming finger into 1 again)
The phone system passes another, but smaller, kidney stone.
Phone Voice: Please enter the phone number of your account.
Andrei: the hell ? (enters phone number again)
Phone Voice: I will connect you to the customer service representative now.
CSR comes on line.
CSR: How can I help you?
Andrei: I need to change some of my services. (but really wanting to say “by fixing your damn phone menu”)
CSR: Can I have your phone number please?
Andrei: (head explodes)

In Vancouver

10 October 2005 » In Funny, Travel » 5 Comments

I gave a PHP and Unicode talk to the PHP Users group in Vancouver last week. The turn out was decent considering it was a holiday weekend, and I got to see more of the city than the last time I visited. Apparently, the bars and clubs on Granville street can now stay open and sell alcohol until 4 am. Now, take that and add the fact that the drinking age in Canada is 19 years. Got the picture yet? Walking up and down Granville sidewalks, you practically have to shove your way through the throngs of people waiting in lines for their turn at the “drink and hit on anything with a pulse” contest. Scene:

Peter, Shane, and I are weaving our way through the crowds on the way home. Turning onto a much less crowded Davie St:
Peter: It gets easier from here on.
Just as he says this, he runs into some girl.
The girl (indignant): Hell no, you’re not touching me!

Punctuation Matters

06 October 2005 » In Funny » 17 Comments

Saw a headline today – Bush: Militants Seek to Establish Empire. I think the editorial process didn’t catch the mistake: the colon should have been a comma.

How to Sell a Bulldozer

28 September 2005 » In Funny, Work » 7 Comments

Yahoo! has an internal mailing list that started off as a way for employees to buy from and sell things to fellow coworkers. However, over the years it has evolved into a much more diverse tool used for recommendations, rides, advice, offers of services, and general venting and ranting. People even try to sell their houses on it.
Being in a mischievous mood on a slow Friday, I decided to see exactly what one could get away with:

Subject: SALE: Caterpillar 814F Wheeldozer
One Caterpillar 814F Wheel Dozer for sale. Only used once. Picked it up new on eBay, but doctor says I shouldn’t operate heavy machinery. This dozer will be perfect for you all your earth moving needs.
* Redo your backyard in no time, or annex the neighbor’s.
* Build a sledding hill.
* Turn it into an armored fortress. Because you know the end of days is coming, and there is nothing like an armor-plated dozer to help you through the crunch.
* Use it as a prop for your political campaign photos.
Benefits & features:
* Ginormous Engine
* Straight Blade
* Air Suspension Contour Seat – comfy!
* Fast Fuel Fill Adapter (up to 100 gallons per minute)
* Built-in storage space for cups, lunch box, insulated bottle and personal items
Disclaimer: might not fit into a full-size parking spot on Yahoo! campus.
Asking $22K OBO. Will throw in a hood ornament.

My goal was to make it just plausible enough for people to wonder whether I had a real bulldozer or was simply looking for laughs. Apparently, I made it too authentic, because in about 15 minutes I got a reply from someone (let’s call them Bob):

Bob: Is this serious? If you really have this thing let me know.
Andrei: (speechless)

By this time other replies were rolling in: commenting on the hilarity and absurdity of the ad, offering submarines and space stations for sale in paltry imitation, and complaining about list pollution (losers). I noticed that Bob posted his own ad for a tricked-out RV, which coincidentally was priced at $22,000 as well.

Andrei: I’ll swap you for the RV.

And soon:

Bob: Would be happy to… Amazingly, I really have use for a bulldozer. I also really have said RV.
Andrei: (deciding not to ask questions, but to gently let Bob know that the ad is fake)

Just to mess with their minds a little more, that afternoon I sent another email to the list:

Sold – thanks, this list is really useful.

One of the replies:

U really had a bulldozer for sale? I thought it was a Fri joke. And you really sold it too??!! This list rocks!


Truth or Onion?

27 September 2005 » In Funny » 1 Comment

Donald Rumsfeld is giving the president his daily briefing. He concludes by saying:
– “Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed.”
– “OH NO!” the president exclaims. “That’s terrible!”
His staff is stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the president sits, head in hands. Finally, the president looks up and asks,
– “How many is a brazillion?”


27 September 2005 » In Funny » 1 Comment

Vernon is a friend of mine at Yahoo!, who invariably comes up with things that stick in your head for a while. He’s funny, to say the least. The latest:

Vernon: If you ever need to kick an old grandma to death, Slayer is the music to do it to.. No wait, Ministry is better.

Soup du Jour

21 September 2005 » In Food, Funny » 5 Comments

Seen on the cafeteria lunch menu at work:

Stockpot: Scarlet Runner Bean Soup with Ham Hocks

I hesitate to ask what “scarlet runner” means in this context. And in general, to think of it. Although, mmmm, ham hocks.

UPS or Oops?

19 September 2005 » In Funny » 11 Comments

I got home after work and noticed the red message light blinking on the house phone. The voicemail was from UPS, “Please call us, we think we might have a package for you”. How tentative, I thought. The call went something like this:

Andrei: “I got a message that you might have a package for me?”
UPSer: “Yes, we have one with half of its label torn off. It’s addressed to your street and apartment number, but we have no building number. Are you expecting a package?”
Andrei: (trying to recall) “Maybe. Where is it from?”
UPSer: “New England.”
Andrei: (boggles) “New England? Can you be more specific?”
UPSer: “No, that’s all it says: NE.”
Andrei: (wishing one could smack people over the phone) “Yes, it’s mine.”

I was in fact expecting a package. From Nebraska. Clearly UPS has superior training for its associates.

Ask Jeeves Interview

19 July 2005 » In Funny, Tech » 2 Comments

I didn’t know that SatireWire was back until Jeremy mention it on his blog. Anyways, this interview with Ask Jeeves is one of the funniest things I have laid my eyes on lately. <wiping tears> Thanks, guys.
P.S. Maybe it’s not really back. Oh, how easily dreams are crushed.

Time for Vogons to Arrive?

12 February 2004 » In Funny » 4 Comments

Oh, the inanity of this culture… Douglas Adams was so right:

There is a theory which states that if anyone discovers just exactly what the universe is for and why we are here, that it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. Then there is a theory which states that this has already happened.