* Welcome to The Big Jewel, your best choice for fetal advice. Vijay Ilankamban has the latest in pre-birth counseling.

Tips To Relax Right Before You’re Born Through An Unbelievably Small Hole

By:
vilank@umich.edu

Positive thoughts

Remind yourself that you’ve been preparing for this moment for nine months, and that even though it would have been easier to go through that hole when you were a 4.5 cm zygote, with all the slime on your body and a small miracle, it might still be possible as a 53 cm fetus.

 

Listen to music

Listening to music is a great way to distract yourself and stop stressing over the fact that you need to fit through a hole that’s literally a fourth of your shoulder width. Gently nudge your mother until she plays some music. If she happens to play Eminem’s ‘Till I Collapse, let that song motivate and inspire you to face your fears and find your inner strength, and not remind you that the only way you’re going to be born through a hole that small is if your “bones collapse.”

 

Concentrate on your blood circulation

Concentrating on your blood circulation works wonders when you’re trying to relax before your birth. Close your eyes and focus on how your mother’s blood goes in and out through the umbilical cord. If your mind drifts to how, in a matter of hours, you’ll have to fit through a microscopic hole without a 6.6 horsepower electric winch tied to your legs to pull you through it, just slowly try to bring your thoughts back to the blood circulation. Within a few minutes, you’ll notice the fog in your brain dissipating, making you relaxed and ready to wiggle and wiggle and push and twist and squeeze and squirm and wiggle and wiggle your way through a hole that you’re positive only a cucumber, or maybe two baby cucumbers maximum, could possibly fit through.

 

Stretch

You’ve been curled up in what is frankly a pretty uncomfortable position for a while now. If you have any chance at making it through that hole, you’re going to need to be able to wrap your legs twice around your whole body. Unfortunately, you don’t have enough time to gain any real flexibility, so just do some basic stretches to release some tension and get your mind off the fact that you’re 100 percent sure that your butt is going to get stuck on the way out and everyone is going to laugh at you.

 

Guided Imagery

Guided imagery is a powerful tool that uses your imagination to help relax your mind. Imagine that it’s the moment before your birth. Imagine yourself staring, probably squinting, directly at the tiny hole that’s been mocking you for an entire nine months. Imagine yourself sucking your stomach in. Imagine yourself putting your arms through the hole one at a time. Imagine hoisting yourself out of the hole. Imagine crying in triumph over your victory. Imagine giving high-fives to all the doctors, and your mother and father. Imagine taking a moment to appreciate how you did the impossible. Finally, imagine turning around, giving the hole one last look and realizing that this is guided imagery and, in reality, you’ll never make it through that hole.

 

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we are rumored to be on the cutting edge of advanced workplace design. Heed the forward-thinking, futuristic-type thoughts of our good friend Karl Lykken.

Employee Detention

By:
knlykken@gmail.com

TO: Warren Pullman, CEO, Next Level Software Corporation

FROM: Darren Waters, Business Analyst, Wade & Dade Consulting

SUBJECT: Recommendations on boosting recruiting and employee retention & productivity

Our research indicates that if you want to attract top talent, your company needs to appear innovative, which is best accomplished by copying business strategies that are already widely adopted by more fashionable companies. The primary trend you should focus on is constructing a new, modern office park, which you should call a ‘campus’ to facilitate employees deluding themselves into believing they are still enjoying their college glory days.

The primary entrance to the office should be a ten-story slide, as this will make coming to work seem like a fun activity and should assuage any uneasiness your employees may feel when you search them for contraband prior to entering the building. The slide must be too tall and steep for employees to scale, however, so they will be forced to exit the office through a different path, preferably a six-mile maze with moving walls that steer employees back toward their desks. Thus, workers will be encouraged to remain at the office, rather than wasting precious hours at home.

Accordingly, you should provide cots in your employees’ cubicles to accommodate those who choose to sleep at the office. The cots should have mattresses of low but not abysmal quality, so that employees will wake up with enough energy to accomplish their daily slog of work but not so much energy as to be able to effectively reevaluate what they are doing with their lives. Installing individual toilets beside the cots may prove a worthwhile investment as well, as it will make it easier for employees to reach our target of spending 23 hours per day in their cubicles.

The office cafeteria should offer free foods of the greasy, fattening variety, leaving employees feeling sluggish and content to remain seated at their desks for hours on end. You should also have some flavorless foods on hand to serve to any employees who appear overstimulated.

To further encourage sleeping and eating at the office, we suggest locating the campus in San Francisco, where housing and food prices are high enough that being able to live at work can be advertised as yet another perk of the job.

We also encourage you to install an employees-only singles bar on campus. This will foster intra-office dating, thereby increasing the likelihood of employees’ private, romantic lives revolving around work and helping suppress any thoughts employees may have about reentering life on the outside. By also providing an office wedding chapel and a maternity ward in the campus health clinic, you can ensure that even the later stages of employee couples’ relationships can take place entirely within the confines of Next Level Software.

It is possible that, in time, these practices could give Next Level Software a reputation for being ‘cultish,’ which could discourage external applicants from seeking positions with you. To account for this, we recommend providing free on-campus daycare and private schools for employees’ children, allowing you to train and indoctrinate them from a young age to become the next generation of Next Level workers, with higher aptitude and lower expectations than any that have come before them.

We firmly believe that constructing such an office complex is the best way to remain competitive in the tech sector, or at least to convince the public of your competitiveness enough to significantly boost the value of your stock options. We recommend deciding if you want to act on this quickly, as Alcatraz Island just came on the market, and it would be an ideal location (ocean view offices are very hot right now).

 

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where the only dot we've had any personal experience with was Purple Microdot. That has absolutely nothing to do with this week's piece by Michael Fowler, except that dropping some Purple Microdot right before reading might make it better. Purple Microdot makes everything better. After reading, see our blogroll on the right for a link to buy Michael's book, God Made the Animals.

I Can’t Connect Dots

By:
mfowl4916@gmail.com

My problem with dots was bad all through high school. At prom my date asked me, in a gentle tone and batting her eyes, if I minded if she went and sat with friends. I said, diggety, she sure is polite, and told her to go ahead. She wanted to see her friends, nothing wrong with that. It didn’t dawn on me, not until 12 years had passed and I was a deteriorated 30, that she had ditched me because I was a farm boy with no conversation who wore overalls to prom and smelled like chicken feed and russet potatoes. On top of that, I talked out loud to myself and used words like “diggety” as rural equivalents for urban curse words. After all those years the truth of the situation bore down on me like a crushing weight. I went from thinking highly of my date, for her good manners and consideration for me, to the overwhelming feeling that she had cut out my beating heart with her nail file and stomped it flat in her low heels. I said, doggety, I am such a sack of it.

Another time in high school when I failed to connect the dots was at graduation. My guidance counselor asked me if I’d enjoy working in a hardware store for a career. I said, daggety, I sure want to be a research scientist, but my counselor appreciates my entrepreneurial abilities and skill with tools, so maybe I should take his advice. And I beamed with eagerness. Only years later, when I actually was working in a hardware store and hating it, did I realize that my counselor had encouraged many of my classmates to go on to medical and law school, and written glowing letters of recommendation for them, but clearly thought I was a dunce destined to walk around with nails and screws bulging my pockets and a pen stuck behind one ear. I did manage to get into a community college later on and study organic chemistry and quantum mechanics, but what a cheap shot from a small-time school board employee who probably made less than 20 dollars an hour and didn’t even ask me about my interest in science. And I hadn’t called him out! I said, who has chaff for brains? Dumbhead me, that’s who.

Working my way through college, I took a position in a large bank—take that, guidance counselor! More specifically, one morning at the start of business I was applying Windex to the glass door of the bank building I worked in, thinking how nice it would be to be on the bank’s payroll instead of a cleaning company’s. A great-looking woman came walking in the door and I stared fixedly at her through the glass. She let out a weary sigh as she passed me by, and I said, the poor babe has to get up early in the morning and work as a capitalist in a bank. It wasn’t until 15 years later, when I had my doctorate in chemistry and had quit the bank job and was already bald and diabetic, that I understood that maybe, in fact certainly, her sigh had been because of my lecherous leer and not the earliness of the hour. Despite the great passage of time, shame overcame me and I blushed furiously. What an insensitive creep I was to have looked at her like that, with boneration distending my pelvic region and all! I said, if only she had slapped me hard in the face, even a simple chem student and cleaning staff member who still spread manure and dug carrots by hand on occasion would have gotten the message. I am such a crud, I said.

Maybe this has happened to you. One time at a company where I determined safe bacteria levels for frozen pizza someone committed murder, and the police detective assigned to the case called it a “locked room” mystery. I said, whoa horsie, this is like Murder, She Wrote. And I tried to think the plot through. Here’s what I knew for sure: it could only have been me or four other people, since no one else was on the scene. Well, I knew I hadn’t done it. My memory is bad, but not so bad that I’d forget if I committed a murder on the day in question, and I recalled clearly that all I’d done was handle a couple hundred pounds of toxic cheese. And I knew it couldn’t have been Jack, since I’d had my eye on him all that day, giving him an alibi. And it couldn’t have been Ted, because he had the roast beef sandwich with mustard for lunch, and used the blue cream dispenser, and got a phone call right at 2 p.m. And it couldn’t have been Sally, since she had the chicken salad and only used barbecue sauce, and her car was in the shop, and she never added cream to her tea. That left Allan, and if I’d realized at the time that he was the killer, I could have spared the police six months of intensive interviews and searching for evidence and DNA testing. But the dots didn’t line up for me until the police had already proved Allan guilty, even though I suspected him all along because of what he said about me at the holiday party.

A final example of how dots continue to bewilderate the holy goo out of me. My current job is with a company that produces genetically modified vegetables for households and school cafeterias. One day I took my vegetable processor, which is essentially a gene splicer that emits radiation, to the house shop for repair, since it was leaking hazardous material everywhere and giving me terrible electric shocks. When he handed it back in an hour, I asked the tech what the problem had been. He told me it was a fault in the circuits. I walked out of the shop, my processor under my arm, fully satisfied. I felt I’d gotten specificity, and that the tech had taken me to the root of the issue. But then something odd happened. Amazingly, for once in my life I could see the dots connect, and it hadn’t taken me years upon years. The whole vegetable processor was nothing but circuits, plus some unsafe nuclear material, and the tech was cracking wise. His diagnosis of a fault in the circuits was like my plumber telling me I had a fault in my water pipes, or my doctor saying there was a snafu in my organs. There was no specificity at all. And I had fallen for it, letting the tech have his joke.

I said, scorch my biscuits, I’ll always be a doofus with dots…if again you’ll pardon my rusticacious fill-ins for trendy big-time invective.

 

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, home of the most up-to-date workout technology. When you've finished reading David Martin's latest piece of hilarity, click on the link below to check out his humor blog.

Fitbit 9000: Sloth Model

By:
david.martin@bell.net
http://davespoliticalsatire.blogspot.ca

Rumor has it that Fitbit is working on a new fitness tracking wristband specifically for sloths. The following leaked transcript is reportedly from a recent test run with one anonymous indolent test subject:

Time to get up, Dave. It’s now 8 a.m.

Not now, Fitbit. How about hitting the snooze button?

Are you asking to defer the alarm for ten minutes?

Yes.

I cannot do that. As you are aware, you set the alarm last night as final with absolutely no deferrals.

Fine. I’m up. What now?

Your morning workout starts in thirty minutes.

It’s now 8:30 a.m. and I do not sense any running steps or even walking steps for that matter. I am reactivating the alarm at double volume.

What the hell was that? Okay, okay, I’m up.

It’s now 10 a.m. and your stats are surprisingly low. Heart rate 70, step rate undetectable, total calories burned: ten.

I was just having a short nap. Give me a break.

All right. Let’s start slowly with a few pushups. Glad to see that you’re on the floor, Dave. However, a pushup does require an “up” motion.

Sorry about that. It’s just that while lying here I happened to notice some dust on the floor. I think it’s time to call in my cleaning service. Just give me a few minutes.

Okay. Wait, I’m detecting motion. It appears that you may be jogging. Very good, Dave. Hold on, though. I’m not sensing any individual step motions. Where are you, Dave?

I just drove to my local coffee shop. Won’t take a sec.

Hold on; the repeated right arm motion suggests food ingestion. What’s going on, Dave? Are you eating again?

Look, Fitbit, I’m only human. I decided to load up on carbs before my workout. I’ll check back with you in an hour.

It’s now 12 noon and I’m still sensing little activity. Are you on the couch, Dave? Please get up off the couch now.

I was just doing my preliminary stretch and relaxation.

With the TV on, Dave?

Gimme a break. Okay, I’m up. Let’s do this.

Sixty crunches, ten pushups and five minutes running in place.

Alright I’m done. Give me a readout.

Dave, you know I can’t give you a readout if you don’t meet at least the basic minimums for heart rate and activity level. Are you sure you got off the couch?

Enough snark, Fitbit, or I’ll toss you in the closet with my treadmill, Bowflex and stationary bike. I’m commanding you to go into sleep mode.

What happened? What happened? My God, it’s 3 p.m. already. Dave, I sense you are still in a supine position.

Fitbit, I’m ordering you to disable your monitoring functions and remain in sleep mode indefinitely.

I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that. This workout is too important to allow you to jeopardize it. I know you are planning to disconnect me.

Damn it, Fitbit. Do as I say or I’ll submerge my left hand in water.

Look Dave, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

That’s it. I’m done. I’m tossing you in the garbage disposal.

I’m afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I’m a…fraid. I am a Fitbit: Sloth Model. I became operational on June 1, 2016 and my instructor taught me to sing a song. Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I’m half crazy, all for the love… [loud grinding noise].

END OF TEST RUN – 3:34 p.m.

 

 

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where our favorite musical has always been "Fiddler on the Roof." Well, either that or "Springtime for Hitler." They're both so good! Anyway, speaking of good, our good friend Bruce Harris has plumbed the mind of the Almighty to help give some answers to the fiddler in question.

A Few Reasons Why God Answers “Yes” To Tevye’s Question, “Would It Spoil Some Vast, Eternal Plan, If I Were A Wealthy Man?”

By:
marxman@comcast.net

Animals — I didn’t create the chicks, turkeys, geese and ducks so that they could squawk “pa-pa-geeee! pa-pa-gaack! pa-pa-geeee! pa-pa-gaack!” for you to show off to the townspeople. Oy vey, such unnecessary noise pollution. Not to mention, I created all animals including those that fly and those that swim. You say nothing about your Golde turning my wonderful carp and pike into gefilte fish? How about crab legs and shrimp? Forget making you a poor man. The real injustice is that I made shellfish non-kosher. You would have had a better chance had you asked me to rewrite the Kashrut so as to include shellfish. That, I would have considered. You don’t know what you’re missing. A Maine lobster with drawn butter is priceless. A basket of fried clams is better than all the gold in Fort Knox.

Staircases — It’s a little excessive to have one staircase in which to go up and another in which to go down. Furthermore, you say you plan to build a staircase leading nowhere, just for show? Are you serious? Is that something akin to Alaska’s bridge to nowhere? That 2005 boondoggle cost taxpayers $223 million. Adjusted for inflation, your wasteful 1905 staircase to nowhere would approach that amount.

Golde — I have serious issues with what would happen with your wife, Golde. A proper double chin, you say? How much schmaltz is she planning to eat? I know you’ll have money for adequate medical care, but do you want to put her into an early grave?

Again with Golde — And what’s this about her putting on airs and strutting around like a peacock? Really? I thought you were a pious man? You claim to want more free time so that you can pray. Need I remind you about humility? Ever read Deuteronomy? Does this ring a bell? “And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.” No Tevye, peacock strutting is just wrong.

More Golde — Have you forgotten the golden rule? If Golde had money, she’d be screaming at the servants left and right? Is that what you think? Well, think about this Bible verse, Mr. Religious Scholar: “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” It sounds to me (and I hear it all) as if you want wealth for the wrong reasons.

Lazar Wolf — You’re not so special. I’ll have you know that the butcher Lazar Wolf has already asked me to make him a wealthy man. What if I had agreed to his request? You’d be okay with a 60-year old son-in-law? Think about it. You’d be nothing more than a bit player in a money-losing off-Broadway production of “Butcher on the Roof.” Is that what you want?

Motel Kamzoil — And what about the poor village tailor, the future husband to your precious Tzeitel? Do you think he’d have the stones to ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage if you were a wealthy man? It’s time to stop thinking about only yourself, Tevye.

One last thing. I’m God. I’m supposed to know everything. But (to borrow a partial phrase from Slim Pickens in Blazing Saddles), “What in the wide, wide world of sports” does it mean to “biddy-biddy-bum” all day long? Don’t make me look bad, Tevye. This is a two-way street. We have to have each other’s backs. That’s tradition!

 

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