Recently I wore a very bright-orange “Christmas gift” shirt to work … That was a mistake!
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I expected my coworkers to be kind, considerate and supportive of my very bright shirt … I was wrong!
• The following coworkers’ comments were not solicited, but gladly offered:
— “It’s nice to see the county jail inmates have improved their shirt style.”
— “Somebody call the sheriff and tell him we have their recent escapee.”
— “Bob, don’t you realize that Halloween is over?”
— “Why is there a Caltrans worker at Bob’s desk?”
— “You need a beeper on your back so people will know when you are backing up.”
— “Bob, you could pose as a highway cone-marker.”
— “Bob’s too fat to be a cone-marker.”
— “We need a tougher dress code.”
— “Bob, you are welcome to go home early if you want to.”
• “John’s Bathroom Reader” calendar noted the following two examples of when you gotta go, you gotta go:
— “In 1993 a French mountain climber named Gerard Hommel — who’d conquered Mount Everest six times — died in his kitchen. Cause of death: He fell off a step ladder while changing a light bulb.”
— “At a 1992 chess tournament in Moscow, Grand Chess Master Nikolai Gudkov beat a computer three times in a row. When he touched the electronic board for a fourth game, the computer electrocuted him.”
• The Los Angeles Times reported that “1,058 survived first cut in Mars colony contest.” The article noted that more than 200,000 people applied for a one-way ticket to Mars. That’s right, I said a “one-way” ticket. I wonder if the 200,000 applicants were mostly Denver Broncos fans?
• Eventually the goal, in the next four years, is to select 40 people to start the Mars colony. These 40 people will train for seven years and eventually go to Mars in 2025.
• I’m not sure I would want to be around 40 people for seven years, whose goal in life is to take a one-way trip to Mars.
• The estimated cost for this little Mars colony venture is $6 billion.
• To save a lot of money, I would eliminate all the costs related to selecting the final 40. My plan would allow the Republicans to select 20 Democrats in Congress who they want to send to Mars, one way. Of course, to be fair, the Democrats in Congress would be allowed to send 20 Republicans to a one-way trip to Mars.
• Perhaps if their hope of surviving on Mars were at stake, the two parties could work together and reach reasonable compromises … but I wouldn’t bet on it!
• There is something kind of final about a one-way ticket to anywhere. When I was a probation officer in Livermore, the judge told a defendant that he, the judge, would pay for a one-way ticket for the defendant to return to Redding, or he could serve six months in jail. Of course, the defendant choose the one-way ticket.
• The judge asked me to escort the defendant to the bus station. When I returned to court, I told the judge that I had his change after I bought the round-trip ticket. The judge said, “I said a one-way ticket!” I grinned and told the judge, “Just kidding, your Honor.”
• The judge made me buy the coffee — after court was over.
Bob Billingsley is a columnist at the Mountain Democrat. His column appears bi-weekly.