Category Archives: Humor

And what is funny Phaedrus, and what is not funny — need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

Sex and Physics — According to Feynman

Physics goes through an age of complacency once in a while. Complacency originates from a sense of completeness, a feeling that we have discovered everything there is to know, the path is clear and the methods well-understood.

Historically, these bouts of complacency are followed by rapid developments that revolutionize the way physics is done, showing us how wrong we have been. This humbling lesson of history is probably what prompted Feynman to say:

Such an age of complacency existed at the turn of the 19th century. Famous personas like Kelvin remarked that all that was left to do was to make more precise measurements. Michelson, who played a crucial role in the revolution to follow, was advised not to enter a “dead” field like physics.

Who would have thought that in less than a decade into the 20th century, we would complete change the way we think of space and time? Who in their right mind would say now that we will again change our notions of space and time? I do. Then again, nobody has ever accused me of a right mind!

Another revolution took place during the course of the last century — Quantum Mechanics, which did away with our notion of determinism and dealt a serious blow to the system-observer paradigm of physics. Similar revolutions will happen again. Let’s not hold on to our concepts as immutable; they are not. Let’s not think of our old masters as infallible, for they are not. As Feynman himself would point out, physics alone holds more examples of the fallibility of its old masters. And I feel that a complete revolution in thought is overdue now.

You might be wondering what all this has to do with sex. Well, I just thought sex would sell better. I was right, wasn’t I? I mean, you are still here!

Feynman also said,

Photo by “Caveman Chuck” Coker cc

Are You a Malayali?

If you can fit four passengers in the front seat of an Ambassador taxi, while in the back there are eight passengers and two children with their heads sticking out the window, chances are, you are a Mallu going to attend your cousin’s wedding.

If you can run, ride a 100 cc motorbike without wearing a helmet and play football all while wearing a lungi tied halfmast, Malayali status!

If your late father left you a part of an old house as your inheritance, and you turned it into “chaya kada,” yes, you’re a Malayali.

If you have more than 5 relatives working in Gulf, Big Time Malayali…

If you have the words “Chinchu Mol + Jinchu Mol” written on the rear window of your Omni car, yes, you are a Malaayli.

If you refer to your husband as “Kettiyon, ithiyan, pillerude appan,” guess what — you’re a central Travancore Syrian Christian Malayali.

If you have a Tamilian parked in front of your house every Sunday, ironing your clothes, chances are a you are a Middle Class Malayali.

If you have more than three employee trade unions at your place of work, then ask no more, you are indeed a Malayali.

If you have voted into power a Chief Minister who has not passed the 4th grade then ask no further, YOU ARE A MALAYALI.

If you have at least two relatives working in the US in the health industry , yes! Malayali!

If you religiously buy a lottery ticket every week, then you’re in the Malayali Zone!

If you describe a woman as “charrakku,” yep, Malayali!

If you constantly refer to banana as “benana” or pizza as “pissa,” you’re a Malayali..

If you use coconut oil instead of refined vegetable oil and can’t figure out why people in your family have congenital heart problems, you might be a Malayali.

If you are going out to see a movie at the local theater with your wifey wearing all the gold jewellry gifted to her by her parents, you are a newly married Malayali.

If you and your wife and three children dress up in your Sunday best and go out to have biriyani at Kayikka’s on a 100 cc Bajaj mobike, you an upwardly mobile Malayali from Cochin.

If your idea of haute cuisine is kappa and meen curry, then, yes, you are a Malayali.

If you have beef puttu for breakfast, beef olathu for lunch, and beef curry with ‘borotta’ for dinner, yeah, definitely Malalyali.

If your name is Wislon, and your wife’s name is Baby, and you name your daughter Wilby, have no doubts at all, you are a standard Malayali.

If most of the houses on your block are painted puke yellow, fluorescent green, and bright pink, definitely Malappuram Malayali.

If you tie a towel around your head and burst into a raucous rendition of the song “Kuttanadan Punjayile” after having three glasses of toddy, then you are a hardcore Malayali.

If you call appetizers served with alcoholic beverages as “touchings,” then you are one helluva Malayali.

If the local toddy shop owner knows you by your pet name and you call him “Porinju Chetta” (kekekekekek), then you are true Malayali.

If you’re sick and your wifey rubs “Bicks” into your nostrils and gives you “kurumulaku rasam” with chakkara, (grandma’s recipe) to help relieve your symptoms, damn!! You’re Malayali.

IF YOU DON’T NEED ANY EXPLANATIONS FOR ANY OF THE ABOVE, YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE THE REAL McCOY, A BLUE BLOOD MALAYALI. LAAL SALAAM.

La chienne

[Another of my French “redactions,” this piece is a translation of a joke, which perhaps didn’t translate too well. I was told that the French version was in poor taste. Now, reading it again, I feel that the English version doesn’t fare much better. You be the judge!]

[In English first]

Once, an American was in England. In a public bus, he saw an English lady sitting with her little dog, occupying two seats. The bus was crowded and many passengers were standing. The smart American, inspired, asked the lady very nicely: “Ma’am, if we put your poodle on your lap, one of us standing could sit. Much appreciated.”

To his surprise, the lady didn’t pay any attention to him. A little miffed, he repeated his request. The lady ignored him with a disdainful look. Americans are men of action, and don’t waste words (where guns and bombs would suffice, as we know). Embarrassed, and being quite American, he picked up the dog and threw it out the window and sat down in its place.

An English gentleman across the aisle was watching the whole exchange. He tut-tutted disapprovingly and said, “You Americans! Whatever you do, you do it wrong. You drive on the wrong side of the street. You hold your fork in the wrong hand. Wrong habits, wrong clothes, wrong manners! Now see what you have done!”

The American was on the defensive. “I didn’t do anything wrong. It was her fault, and you know it.”

The English gent explained, “Yes my dear fellow, but you threw the wrong bitch out the window!”

Une fois, un Américain alla en Angleterre. Dans un bus de transport en commun, il aperçut une Anglaise et son petit chien assis, occupant deux sièges. Il y avait du monde dans le bus et des personnes qui se tenaient debout. L’Américain, étant malin, eut une bonne idée. Il demanda à l’Anglaise très poliment,
“Madame, si vous mettiez votre chien sur vos genoux, une des personnes debout pourrait s’asseoir.

À son grand étonnement, l’Anglaise ne tint aucun compte de sa demande. Gênè, il répéta sa demande. L’Anglaise le regarda avec dédain et resta toujours désagréable. Les américains ne perdent pas de mots, ils sont des hommes d’action. Embarrassé et étant assez américain, il prit le chien, le jeta dehors du bus et s’assit.

Il y avait un Anglais en face qui remarqua tout ce qui se passait. Il dit,
“Les Américains! Quoique vous fassiez, vous le faites mal! Dans la rue, vous conduisez du mauvais côté. Au diner, vous prenez la fourchette avec la mauvause main. Mauvaises habitudes, mauvaises coutumes, mauvaise morale! Et maintenant, regardez ce que vous avez fait.”

L’Américain était sur la défensive,
“Et qu’est-ce que j’ai fait? C’était sa faute, et vous le savez!”

L’Anglais lui répondit,
“Oui, oui. Mais vous avez jeté la mauvaise chienne du bus!”

La pauvre famille

[English version below]

Je connaissais une petite fille très riche. Un jour, son professeur lui a demandé de faire une rédaction sur une famille pauvre. La fille était étonnée:

“Une famille pauvre?! Qu’est-ce que c’est ça?”

Elle a demandé à sa mère:

“Maman, Maman, qu’est-ce que c’est une famille pauvre? Je n’arrive pas à faire ma rédaction.”

La mère lui a répondu:

“C’est simple, chérie. Une famille est pauvre quand tout le monde dans la famille est pauvre”

La petite fille a pensé:

“Ah! Ce n’est pas difficile”

et elle a fait sa rédaction. Le lendemain, le professeur lui a dit:

“Bon, lis-moi ta rédaction.”

Voici la réponse:

“Une famille pauvre. Il était une fois une famille pauvre. Le père était pauvre, la mère était pauvre, les enfants étaient pauvres, le jardinier était pauvre, le chauffeur était pauvre, les bonnes étaient pauvres. Voilà, la famille était très pauvre!”

In English

I once knew a rich girl. One day, her teacher at school asked her to write a piece on a poor family. The girl was shocked. “What in the world is a poor family?”

So she asked her mother, “Mummy, mummy, you’ve got to help me with my composition. What is a poor family?”

Her mother said, “That’s really simple, sweetheart. A family is poor when everybody in the family is poor.”

The rich girl thought, “Aha, that is not too difficult,” and she wrote up a piece.

The next day, her teacher asked her, “Well, let’s hear your composition.”

Here is what the girl said, “A Poor Family. Once upon a time, there was a poor family. The father was poor, the mother was poor, the children were poor, the gardener was poor, the driver was poor, the maids were poor. So the family was very poor!”

Les fermier

[English version in pink below]

Les fermiers aux États Unis ont de la chance – ils ont de grandes fermes. Ce n’est pas le cas en Mexique. Mais, le Mexicain de qui je vais vous parler, était assez content de sa ferme. Une fois, un fermier texan est venu chez notre Mexicain. Ils ont commencé à discuter de leur ferme. Le Mexicain a dit :

“Vous voyez, Señor, ma ferme, elle est assez grande. Au-delà de la maison jusqu’à la rue, et jusqu’à cette maison-là.”

Le Texan l’a trouvé drôle.

“Tu penses qu’elle est grande?”

Notre Mexicain le pensait. A-t-il dit :

Si Señor, et la vôtre, est-elle si grande?”

Le Texan lui a expliqué :

“Cher ami, viens chez moi un de ces jours. Prends ma bagnole après le petit déjeuner et conduis-la toute la journée – dans n’importe quelle direction. Tu n’arriveras pas à sortir de ma ferme. Tu piges?”

Le Mexicain a pigé.

Si Señor, je comprends. J’avais une voiture comme ça, il y a deux ans. Heureusement, un stupido l’a achetée!”

In English now:

American farmers are lucky. They have huge ranches, unlike their Mexican counterparts. But this Mexican farmer of our little story is quite pleased with his farm.

Once, a Texan rancher visited our Mexican and they started talking about their farms.

The Mexican said, “You see, Señor, I got a rather big farm. From that house over there all the way to the street and up to that house.”

The Texan found this funny. “So you think your farm is big, aye?”

Clearly, our Mexian thought so. So he siad, “Si , how about you, you got such a big farm?”

The Texan decided to get pedantic. “My dear friend,” he said, “you come to my ranch one day. Have a nice little breakfast in the morning, take my car, and drive. Whichever way you like. Till evening. You will still be within my farm. You get it now?”

The Mexican got it.

Si Señor, I understand. I had a car like that once. Luckily I managed to sell it to one stupido!”

Les chapatis

[English Version below]

En Inde, on mange ce qui s’appelle des “chapatis”. C’est un peu comme les baguettes en France.

Une fois en Inde, deux amis se sont rencontrés. L’un a dit à l’autre :

“Dis-moi, combien de chapatis tu peux manger quand ton estomac est vide?”

L’autre (qui s’appalait Ramu) a réfléchi un peu. Et puis, il a répondu : “Boff, je dirais six.”

“Tu parles! Non, tu ne peux pas en manger six!”

“Si, je peux. On parie? Cent roupies?”

Marché conclu. Le soir, ils sont allés au restaurant. Ils ont commandé des chapatis. Notre ami Ramu, avec un peu de difficulté, a réussi à en manger six. Et il a dit : “Voilà, donne-moi mes cent roupies.”

L’autre lui a répondu : “Mais non! Tu n’as pas mangé les six chapatis quand ton estomac était vide. Après le premier, il n’était plus vide!”

Ramu était un peu bête, mais il avait un bon sens de l’humour et cette blague lui a bien plu. Il est rentré chez lui et il a appelé tout le monde : “Venez écouter ce qui m’est arrivé aujourd’hui. Je vais vous raconter une super blague.”

Il a demandé a son frère : “Dis-moi, combien de chapatis est-ce que tu peux manger quand ton estomac est vide.”

Son frère a dit : “Boff, dix.”

Ramu était très deçu.

“Ah! raté! Si tu m’avais dit six, j’avais une super blague pour vous!”

In English:

Indians eat a bread known as Chapatis, much like the ubiquitous baguettes in France.

Once, two Indian friends ran into each other. By way of conversation, one of them asked the other, “Tell me, how many chapatis do you think you can eat on an empty stomach?”

The other friend, Ramu, thought for a moment and said, “Well, I would say six.”

The first guy was incredulous. “No way man!” he said, “no way you can eat six.”

“Of course I can! Want to put some money on it? One hundred rupees?”

With the deal struck, our friends went to a restaurant in the evening. Ramu started putting away chapatis. With a bit a trouble, he managed to eat six. He then said triumphantly, “Pay up sucker, gimme my hundred rupees”

The other guy replied, “Hold your horses, cowboy! You didn’t eat all six of them on an empty stomach. After the first one, your stomach wasn’t empty!”

Ramu had a good sense of humor and enjoyed the joke although it was on him. He hurried back home and called everybody. “Listen guys, something really funny happened today. I’m going to tell you the best joke you ever heard!”

He then asked his brother, “Tell me, how many chapatis can you eat on an empty stomach?”

The brother said, “Well, ten.”

Ramu was crestfallen. He said, “Dammit, if you had just told me six, I had such a great joke for you!”