A little comic relief


Here are some signs and notices written in English -- more or less -- that were discovered throughout the world.

    In a Tokyo Hotel: Is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not a person to do such a thing is please not to read notis.

    In a Bucharest hotel lobby: The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.

    In a Leipzig elevator: Do not enter lift backwards, and only when lit up.

    In a Belgrade hotel elevator: To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order.

    In a Paris hotel elevator: Please leave your values at the front desk.

    In a hotel in Athens: Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily.

    In a Yugoslavian hotel: The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid.

    In a Japanese hotel: You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.

    In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from Russian Orthodox monastery: You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday.

    In an Austrian hotel catering to skiers: Not to perambulate the corriders during the hours of repose in the boots of ascension.

    On the menu of a Swiss restaurant: Our wines leave you nothing to hope for.

    On the menu of a Polish hotel: Salad a firmís own make; limpid red beet soup with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger; roasted duck let loose; beef rashers beaten up in the country peopleís fashion.

    Outside a Hong Kong tailor shop: Ladies may have a fit upstairs.

    In a Bangkok dry cleaners: Drop your trousers here for best results.

    Outside a Paris dress shop: Dresses for street walking.

    In a Rhodes tailor shop: Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.

    From the Soviet Weekly: There will be a Moscow Exhibition of Arts by 150,000 Soviet Republic painters and sculptors. These were executed over the past two years.

    A sign posted in Germanyís Black Forest: It is strictly forbidden on our black forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose.

    In a Zurich hotel: Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.

    In an advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist: Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists.

    In a Rome laundry: Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.

    In a Czechoslovakian tourist agency: Take one of our horse-driven city tours - we guarantee no miscarriages.

    Advertisement for donkey rides in Thailand: Would you like to ride on your own ass?

    In a Swiss mountain inn: Special today -- no ice cream.

    In a Bangkok temple: It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man.

    In a Tokyo bar: Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts.

    In a Copenhagen airline ticket office: We take your bags and send them in all directions.

    On the door of a Moscow hotel room: If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it.

    In a Norwegian cocktail lounge: Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.

    In a Budapest zoo: Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty.

    In the office of a Roman doctor: Specialist in women and other diseases.

    In an Acapulco hotel: The manager has personally passed all the water served here.

    In a Tokyo shop: Our nylons cost more than common, but youíll find they are best in the long run.

    From a Japanese information booklet about using a hotel air conditioner: Cooles and Heates: If you want just condition of warm in your room, please control yourself.

    From a brochure of a car rental firm in Tokyo: When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor.

    Two signs from a Majorcan shop entrance: English well speaking / Here speeching American.


Mary Louise Gilman, the venerable editor of the National Shorthand Reporter has collected many of the more hilarious courtroom bloopers in two books - Humor in the Court (1977) and More Humor in the Court. From Mrs. Gilmanís two volumes, here are some of my favorite transquips, all recorded by Americaís keepers of the word:

  • Q. Did you ever stay all night with this man in New York?
  • A. I refuse to answer that question.
  • Q. Did you ever stay all night with this man in Chicago?
  • A. I refuse to answer that question.
  • Q. Did you ever stay all night with this man in Miami?
  • A. No.

  • Q. Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?
  • A. By death.
  • Q. And by whose death was it terminated?

  • Q. Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?
  • A. No, I said he was shot in the lumbar region.

  • Q. What is your name?
  • A. Ernestine McDowell.
  • Q. And what is your marital status?
  • A. Fair.

  • Q. Are you married?
  • A. No, Iím divorced.
  • Q. And what did your husband do before you divorced him?
  • A. A lot of things I didnít know about.

  • Q. And who is this person you are speaking of?
  • A. My ex-widow said it.

  • Q. How did you happen to go to Dr. Cherney?
  • A. Well, a gal down the road had had several of her children by Dr. Cherney, and said he was really good.

  • Q. Do you know how far pregnant you are right now?
  • A. I will be three months November 8th.
  • Q. Apparently then, the date of conception was August 8th?
  • A. Yes.
  • Q. What were you and your husband doing at that time?

  • Q. Mrs. Smith, do you believe that you are emotionally unstable?
  • A. I should be.
  • Q. How many times have you committed suicide?
  • A. Four times.

  • Q. Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
  • A. All my autopsies have been performed on dead people.

  • Q. Were you acquainted with the deceased?
  • A. Yes, sir.
  • Q. Before or after he died?

  • Q. Officer, what led you to believe the defendant was under the influence?
  • A. Because he was argumentary and he couldnít pronunciate his words.

  • Q. What happened then?
  • A. He told me, he says, "I have to kill you because you can identify me."
  • Q. Did he kill you?
  • A. No.

  • Q. Mrs. Jones, is your appearance this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
  • A. No. This is how I dress when I go to work.

  • THE COURT: Now, as we begin, I must ask you to banish all present information and prejudice from your minds, if you have any.

  • Q. Did he pick the dog up by the ears?
  • A. No.
  • Q. What was he doing with the dogís ears?
  • A. Picking them up in the air.
  • Q. Where was the dog at this time?
  • A. Attached to the ears.

  • Q. When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to go, gone also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station?
  • MR. BROOKS: Objection. That question should be taken out and shot.

  • Q. And lastly, Jimmy, all your responses must be oral. O.K.? What school do you go to?
  • A. Oral.
  • Q. How old are you?
  • A. Oral.

  • Q. What is your relationship with the plaintiff?
  • A. She is my daughter.
  • Q. Was she your daughter on February 13, 1979?

  • Q. Now, you have investigated other murders, have you not, where there was a victim?

  • Q. ...and what did he do then?
  • A. He came home, and next morning he was dead.
  • Q. So when he woke up the next morning he was dead?

  • Q. Did you tell your lawyer that your husband had offered you indignities?
  • A. He didnít offer me nothing; he just said I could have the furniture.

  • Q. So, after the anesthesia, when you came out of it, what did you observe with respect to your scalp?
  • A. I didnít see my scalp the whole time I was in the hospital.
  • Q. It was covered?
  • A. Yes, bandaged.
  • Q. Then, later on.. what did you see?
  • A. I had a skin graft. My whole buttocks and leg were removed and put on top of my head.

  • Q. Could you see him from where you were standing?
  • A. I could see his head.
  • Q. And where was his head?
  • A. Just above his shoulders.

  • Q. What can you tell us about he truthfulness and veracity of this defendant?
  • A. Oh, she will tell the truth. She said sheíd kill that sonofabitch - and she did!

  • Q. Do you drink when youíre on duty?
  • A. I donít drink when Iím on duty, unless I come on duty drunk.

  • Q. ...any suggestions as to what prevented this from being a murder trial instead of an attempted murder trial?
  • A. The victim lived.

  • Q. Are you sexually active?
  • A. No, I just lie there.

  • Q. Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
  • A. Yes, I have been since early childhood.

  • Q. The truth of the matter is that you were not an unbiased, objective witness, isnít it. You too were shot in the fracas?
  • A. No, sir. I was shot midway between the fracas and the naval.

  • Q. What is the meaning of sperm being present?
  • A. It indicates intercourse.
  • Q. Male sperm?
  • A. That is the only kind I know.

  • Q. (Showing man picture.) Thatís you?
  • A. Yes, sir.
  • Q. And you were present when the picture was taken, right?
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  • Donít let worry kill you - let the church help.

  • Thursday night - Potluck Supper. Prayer and medication to follow.

  • Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.

  • For those of you who have children and donít know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

  • The rosebud on the alter this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan Belzer, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Julius Belzer.

  • This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.

  • Tuesday at 4:00 PM there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk will please come early.

  • Wednesday the Ladiesí Liturgy Group will meet. Mrs Johnson will sing, "Put Me in My Little Bed" accompanied by the Pastor.

  • Thursday at 5:00 PM, there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All ladies wishing to be "Little Mothers" will meet with the Pastor in his study.

  • This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.

  • The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They can be seen in the church basement Saturday.

  • At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What is hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.

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  • Q: How do you open the windows in an orthodox church?

  • A: Click on the icons.

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  • Man Run Over by Freight Train Dies [The Los Angeles Times, March 2]
  • Teen-age girls often have babies fathered by men [The Sunday Oregonian, September 24]
  • Man shoots neighbor with machete [The Miami Herald, July 3]
  • Clinton pledges restraint in use of nuclear weapons [Cedar Rapids Gazette, April 6]
  • How we feel about ourselves is the core of self-esteem, says author Louise Hart [Boulder, Colorado, Sunday Camera, February 5 ]
  • Fish lurk in streams [Rochester, New York, Democrat & Chronicle, January 29 ]
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"Response to a wildfire on the south of Franceís Cote díAzur was billed as a marvel of modern fire-fighting technology. Two specially-built flying boats zoomed in, skimmed the waters of the Mediterranean, scooping vast amounts of water into their belly tanks, and then dropped the water on the hillside fire. It worked beautifully and the fire was extinguished. All was jolly and the wine flowed freely until a body was found in the ashes.

"The coroner found that the gentleman had apparently fallen from a great height, suffering serious injuries before being burned to death. The report further noted that the victim was wearing a bathing suit, snorkel, and swim fins."

Okay, so this turns out to be an urban legend... but itís still funny!

John invited his mother over for dinner.† During the meal, his mother couldnít help noticing how handsome Johnís roommate was.† She had long been suspicious of Johnís sexuality and this only made her more curious.† Over the course of the evening, while watching the two men interact, she started to wonder if there was more between John and the roommate than met the eye. Reading his† momís thoughts, John volunteered,† ďI know what you must be thinking, but I assure you,† Mike and I are just roommates.Ē

About a week later, Mike came to John and said, ďEver since your mother came to dinner, Iíve been unable to find the beautiful silver gravy ladle.† You donít† suppose she took it, do you?Ē† John said, ďWell, I doubt it, but Iíll write her a letter just to be sure.Ē

So he sat down and wrote:† ďDear Mother, Iím not saying you ídidí take a gravy ladle from my house, and Iím not saying you ídid notí take a gravy ladle.† But the fact remains that one has been missing ever since you were here for dinner.Ē

Several days later, John received a letter from his mother which read: ďDear Son, Iím not saying that you ídoí sleep with Mike, and Iím not saying that you ídonítí sleep with Mike.† But the fact remains that if he was sleeping in his own bed, he would have found the gravy ladle by now. Love, MomĒ


Dear GOD, I read the Bible.† What does íbegatí mean?† Nobody will tell me. Love, Alison.

Dear GOD, Are you really invisible or is that just a trick?† -Lucy

Dear GOD, Is it true my father wonít get in Heaven if he uses his bowling words in the house?† -Anita

Dear GOD, Did you mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident? Norma

Dear GOD, Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why donít You just keep the ones You have now?† -Jane

Dear GOD, Who draws the lines around the countries?† -Nan

Dear GOD, I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay?†† -Neil

Dear GOD, What does it mean You are a Jealous God?† I thought You had everything. -Jane

Dear GOD, Did you really mean "do unto others as they do unto you?" Because if you did, then Iím going to fix my brother.† -Darla

Dear GOD, Thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy. -Joyce

Dear GOD, It rained for our whole vacation and is my father mad! He said some things about You that people are not supposed to say, but I hope You will not hurt him anyway. Your friend (But I am not going to tell you who I am)

Dear GOD, Why is Sunday school on Sunday?† I thought it was supposed to be our day of rest.† -Tom L.

Dear GOD, Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before, You can look it up.† -Bruce

Dear GOD, If we come back as something - please donít let me be Jennifer Horton because I hate her.† -Denise

Dear GOD, If You give me a genie lamp like Aladin, I will give you anything you want, except my money or my chess set.† -Raphael

Dear GOD, My brother is a rat.† You should give him a tail.† Ha ha. -Danny

Dear GOD,† Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms.† It works with my brother.† -Larry

Dear GOD, I want to be just like my Daddy when I get big, but not with so much hair all over.† -Sam

Dear GOD, You donít have to worry about me.† I always look both ways. -Dean

Dear GOD, I think the stapler is one of your greatest inventions. -Ruth M.

Dear GOD, I bet it is very hard for You to love all of everybody in the whole world.† There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it.† -Nan

Dear GOD, My brother told me about being born but it doesnít sound right. Theyíre just kidding, arenít they?† -Marsha

Dear GOD, If You watch me in church Sunday, Iíll show You my new shoes. -Mickey D.

Dear GOD, I would like to live 900 years like the guy in the Bible. Love, Chris

Dear GOD, We read Thomas Edison made light.† But in Sunday school they said You did it.† So I bet he stoled your idea. Sincerely, Donna

Dear GOD: The bad people laughed at Noah - "You made an ark on dry land you fool."† But he was smart, he stuck with You. Thatís what I would do. -Eddie

Dear GOD, I do not think anybody could be a better GOD.†† Well, I just want You to know, but I am not just saying that because You are GOD already. -Charles

Dear GOD, I didnít think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday.† That was cool!† -Eugene

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