SELF-DEFENSE INSTRUCTOR: What do you do if someone comes at you with a banana?
STUDENT 1: Oi!
STUDENT 3: It’s a pandemic!
STUDENT 2: Put a condom on that thing!
INSTRUCTOR: A condom? On a banana?
STUDENT 2: Fancies ‘imself an instructor.
STUDENT 3: An’ ‘e’s never put a condom on a banana.
STUDENT 2: It’s all I remember from secondary school.
Happy 126th birthday to R. Buckminster Fuller!
TED (counselor): Architecture Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER (caller): Everything you’ve learned in school as “obvious” becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe.
TED: Maybe that could inspire you to come up with new ideas.
FULLER: For example, there are no solids in the universe.
TED: That would make it hard to do construction.
FULLER: There’s not even a suggestion of a solid.
TED: Is there a suggestion box? Maybe you can write one in.
FULLER: There are no absolute continuums.
TED: Are there pens?
FULLER: There are no surfaces.
TED: Right. Maybe you can put the suggestion card on your knee to fill it out?
FULLER: There are no straight lines.
TED: Don’t be embarrassed about your handwriting. I’m sure somebody will be able to read it.
ROSIE (COUNSELOR): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
D.H. RUMSFELD (CALLER): As we know, / There are known knowns.
ROSIE: I see.
D.H. RUMSFELD: There are things we know we know.
ROSIE: But can we truly know anything?
D.H. RUMSFELD: We also know / There are known unknowns.
ROSIE: You’re tripping me out, man.
D.H. RUMSFELD: That is to say / We know there are some things / We do not know.
ROSIE: I know!
D.H. RUMSFELD: But there are also unknown unknowns,
ROSIE: Wow, that’s deep.
D.H. RUMSFELD: The ones we don’t know
ROSIE: Like the sound of one hand clapping.
D.H. RUMSFELD: We don’t know.
ROSIE: Namaste, my brother. Namaste.
KIM (COWORKER): Who was that?
ROSIE: I don’t know. Some hippie.
COUNSELOR: Folk Rock Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
JULIE, MIKE, EDDIE, AND ROBBIE (Eddie from Ohio [callers]): It’s the fifth of July.
COUNSELOR: And how does that make you feel?
JULIE: Feelin’ Independent.
COUNSELOR: Yes, you do sound more uh…singular than a moment ago.
Happy birthday to Debbie Harry, who is 76 today.
HARRY (counselor): Rock & Roll Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
DEBBIE HARRY (caller): One way or another I’m gonna find you, I’m gonna get you get you get you get you.
HARRY: Uh…are you sure that’s not my emergency?
Happy birthday to Luigi Pirandello, who is 154 years old today, and Mel Brooks, who is holding steady at 2000.
LUIGI PIRANDELLO: Life is full of infinite absurdities, which, strangely enough, do not even need to appear plausible, since they are true.
MEL BROOKS: Humor is just another defense against the universe.
PIRANDELLO: Each of us, face to face with other men, is clothed with some sort of dignity,
BROOKS: But I have bad taste with a deep fount of intellectuality.
PIRANDELLO: but we know only too well the unspeakable things that go on in the heart.
BROOKS: Everything we do is based on fear, especially love.
PIRANDELLO: If only we could see in advance all the harm that can come from the good we think we are doing.
BROOKS: As long as the world is turning and spinning, we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes.
CERBERUS (1): Or, hear me out…
What if you removed
in the ship of Theseus
and replaced them with
from the ship of Sisyphus?
CERBERUS (3): Is this going somewhere?
CERBERUS (2): Obviously not.
click here to listen to “Sisyphus” by Andrew Bird. Just because.
Lesser-Known Mythical Waterfowl
- Ammut the Duckvourer
Happy 78th birthday to Barry Manilow
COUNSELOR: Easy Listening Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
BARRY MANILOW (caller): You know, I can’t smile without you.
COUNSELOR: I did not know that.
MANILOW: I can’t smile without you.
COUNSELOR: Thank you for telling me.
MANILOW: I can’t laugh, and I can’t sing.
COUNSELOR: Can you breathe OK?
MANILOW: I’m finding it hard to do anything.
COUNSELOR: Hold on, sir. I’m dispatching an ambulance to your location.
VERGIL: Here, Cerberus, with triple-throated roar, / Made all the region ring, and there he lay—
CERBERUS (1): Excuse me
CERBERUS (2): And me
CERBERUS (3): And me
CERBERUS: Our pronouns are
CERBERUS (1): They/
CERBERUS (2): Them/
CERBERUS (3): Their.
VERGIL: Here, Cerberus, with triple throated roar, / Made all the region ring, and there they lay.
CERBERUS: Good boy.