Thursday, July 28, 2011

Paraprosdokians and other fun stuff

7/27/11 Chatterbox
Betty Kaiser

Frivolous reading for a summer day

I’m always learning things from reader emails. But my email buddy in Newport, Oregon, really had me stumped with a missive title "Paraprosdokian." That was a new word to me. So I looked it up and my compiled sources define it as follows:

"Paraprosdokians are a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected. It’s basically, wordplay where the second part of the statement changes the entire meaning of the sentence in a humorous way.”

"Where there's a will, I want to be in it," is a type of paraprosdokian. Reading through these really tickled my fancy and I hope they will yours too. After all, it’s summer! So sit back and enjoy a moment of mindless humor and fun:

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

War does not determine who is right — only who is left.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Evening news is where they begin with 'Good Evening,' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.

Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, 'In case of emergency, notify …' I put 'DOCTOR.'

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.

I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

You're never too old to learn something stupid.

To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

She got her good looks from her father; he’s a plastic surgeon.

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

If I could just say a few words, I’d be a better public speaker. (Attributed to Homer Simpson)

Hospitality is making your guests feel at home even when you wish they were.

I always take life with a grain of salt. Plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.

When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

Now, if these “paraprosdokians” aren’t to your liking, readers have also been sending me “dumb criminal” anecdotes. Check out the following scenarios. I double dog dare you not to at least smirk!

1. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, "Yes, officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from.

2. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 5 am, flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away.

3. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street by sucking on a hose, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline, but he plugged his siphon hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.

And finally, if you’re feeling discouraged today, another reader sent me this the following morsel of encouragement. Check out how little Jamie Scott responded to tryouts for the school play.

Jamie was trying out for a part in the school play. His mother knew that he had his set his heart on being in it but she was afraid that he wouldn’t be chosen.

On the day the parts were awarded, mom went to pick him up from school, dreading what she was going to hear. But Jamie rushed up to her, beaming with pride and excitement. “Guess what, Mom,” he shouted, “I've been chosen to clap and cheer!'

A wise teacher said, “and a little child will lead them.” I think Jamie’s a leader we ought to follow.

Betty Kaiser’s Chatterbox is about people, places, family, and other matters of the heart.

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