Category Archives: funny

Wanted: Crocodile Hunters


Thailand, where I live, is suffering from the worst flooding in over 50 years.  My home in Chiang Mai flooded a few weeks ago, but now the floods are in Bangkok, and most of the city is under water.

An unfortunate side effect of the flooding is the escape of man-eating reptiles.  This from the New York Times World a few days ago:

Thailand is one of the world’s chief exporters of crocodile products, and farms some 200,000 of the animals at 30 farms and 900 small breeding operations, according to the Fishery Department. About 100 were reported to be on the loose in Ayuttthaya, to the north of Bangkok…authorities have put out a call for crocodile hunters offering a reported bounty of 3,000 baht, or about $100 dollars each. (Seth Mydans – New York Times World http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/26/world/asia/flood-waters-in-bangkok-shut-domestic-airport.html?_r=1)

“Don’t worry,” they say later in the article, “these are friendly crocodiles who move slowly and willingly submit themselves to capture.” (…or something to that effect.)

The three men in this photo apparently believed it, and maybe it was true.  The crocodile might have willingly slipped into their restraining system.  But I doubt it.  He looks really uncomfortable.  And he was free!  Surely the gastronomic choices outside the breeding farm were much better than the slop he was fed inside.

So, assuming that he put up a bit of a fight, do you think the approximately $33 apiece that each of these men earned for risking life and limb was sufficient compensation?  Not for this crocodile hunter.

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Filed under Challenges, culture, funny, humor, motivation, overcoming obstacles, Rewards, Thailand

I Don’t Know Whether to Laugh or Cry


Feeling a little stressed lately?  Time for a science lesson.

According to Dr. William Frey of the Dry Eye and Tear Research Center in Minneapolis, 85% of women and 73% of men reported feeling better after crying while under emotional stress.  The lacrimal gland in the eyes regulates tear secretion.  It also concentrates manganese, a necessary mineral related to moods, and tears remove this concentrated mineral from the body.

Dr. Frey’s research shows that the concentration of manganese is 30 times greater in tears than what is found in the blood.  The reason that is interesting is that autopsies of chronic depressives have revealed heavy concentrations of manganese in the brain that don’t appear in the brains of non-depressives.  As a result, manganese is believed to have a direct link to depression.  Tears clean the mineral out of the body, so tears are thought to be an effective, natural way of preventing depression from occurring.

Other studies have found that healthy people are more likely to cry and have a positive attitude toward tears than those with ulcers or colitis, two conditions thought to be stress-related.  And children who suffer from an inherited disease called familial dysautonomia have two things in common: they can’t produce tears, and they have an extremely low tolerance for emotional stress.

But if you don’t feel much like crying, try a good laugh.

Laughter helps to lower the potent stress hormone cortisol, which can cause bone loss and suppress the immune system.  Laughter also increases the production of endorphins, which combat fatigue and depression. Laughter can in the long-term reduce blood pressure and slow heart rate, as well, leaving you feeling calm and peaceful.

Adults tend to take things (and themselves) too seriously.  How often do you hear of a child with stress-related disorders?  Hopefully not too often.  Laughter may be the reason.  Studies show that children laugh on the average 400 times per day. Adults, by contrast, only laugh an average of fifteen times per day!  We’ve got some catching up to do!

So, if you want to reduce your stress level, run to the video store tonight and check out a movie that will make you laugh until you cry.

(S – Center for Traditional Medicine, 560 First Street, Suite 204, Lake Oswego, Oregon 97034, 503-636-2734, http://www.myctm.org/NP08.html)

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Filed under Attitude, brain, discomfort, emotions, fatigue, funny, health, humor, pressure, Sharpening the Saw, Suffering

There’s a WOMAN in my bathroom!


One of the most difficult challenges of living in Asia for me?  There is always a woman in the men’s public restrooms.  I appreciate that she is there to make the place as clean and comfortable as possible, but why is she always inside?

And she doesn’t leave when I come in.  She sticks around while all the men do their business, sometimes mopping around our feet while we go.

I think it’s because women don’t know about the male code related to bathrooms.  We have certain unwritten rules that all men observe.  I don’t know if we learn them from our dads or from inconspicuous observation, but we all know them:

  • Always skip at least one urinal between men.
  • If the only open urinal is between two men, use the stall.
  • Don’t talk to the guy next to you unless you know each other well.
  • Eyes to the front, elevated approximately 110 degrees.
  • Never shake hands in the restroom.

But the most important rule is….Don’t hang around if you are done with your business.  It’s creepy.  Get in and get out.  Quickly.  That’s the rule.  I don’t even like it when there is a male custodian in the restroom.

Of course, I know what my wife will say when she reads this post.  The woman is there to supervise the men, because no matter how old we get or how much practice we’ve had, we still miss the bowl.

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Filed under accountability, Challenges, culture, Culture Shock, discomfort, funny, humor

Pakistan – Day 4


Today was the day to set up the games for tomorrow.  One of the games requires a semi-large flat surface, and the organizers of the event picked this plot of grass.

It was almost perfect, but it hadn’t been mowed in some time.  That’s why this gentleman was out there.  He was assigned the unwelcome task of mowing the lawn.

As you may notice, there is an old-fashioned lawn mower in the yard, but it didn’t work properly, so the poor man was left no choice but to mow the lawn with this:

I felt really bad for him and tried several times to communicate that it would be just fine if he just cut the really tall grass and plants.  I think I was making progress when the second mower showed up.

This mower needed a little bit of work, and then it was put into service….or….not.  It didn’t work, either.  So, after 15-20 minutes of fiddling with it, the original “lawn mower” (the man with the knife) went back to work.  I tried again to convince him that he didn’t need to cut all the grass.  This time, he understood me and just cut the highest parts.  Then, he swept up all the clippings and put them on a large tarp so that he could carry them to a place where he could dump them.

Unfortunately, by the time he got back, the third mower had arrived.

These guys were fully committed to making one of these mowers work!

The third mower was called a “Weed Eater,” but it didn’t look like any Weed Eater I had ever seen.  It worked better than the previous two mowers, but it required an incredible amount of force and momentum to get the blades to turn.  I suppose the original “lawn mower” man felt guilty watching the man push the Weed Eater around in his business suit, so he went back to work cutting with his knife.

Between the two of them, this is what the lawn looked like a few hours later (after we had laid out the rope for the game I had planned).

All-in-all, it was sooooo much more effort than I needed or expected out of these guys, but they take such pride in doing the job well, that it’s impossible to talk them out of it.

The game went really well the next day, and not a single person complained about the grass

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Filed under culture, Culture Shock, funny, humor

Pakistan – Day 3


To market, to market, to buy some fat rope…

I needed rope for a game that I’m facilitating on the fourth day of the conference, so we made a trip into the local market.  I don’t know why anyone would willingly escort me into town.  I attract a lot of attention, and I’m not sure all of it is positive.

But, I found one brave soul who was willing to go (and a driver, but the driver would just drop us off places and then go hide until we were ready to go someplace else).  We visited the local rope store, which as really cool – every kind of rope you can think of in all the colors of the rainbow.

I needed 40 meters.  Unfortunately, they don’t sell it by length; they sell it by weight.  They put it on one side of a balance scale (you know, the kind that Lady Justice holds) and then put weights on the other side of the scale.

So, I’m really not sure how much rope I purchased – about 10 kilos, I think.  Hope it does the trick.

Then, we visited the local hardware store.  It wasn’t Home Depot, but it still got the testosterone flowing.  Something deep inside me stirred, and I realized that men everywhere have a common bond in our love for tools.  (Ruh, ruh, ruh!)

We bought a few kilos of hook-screw-thingies (man-talk, ladies – you wouldn’t understand) and then waited for our driver to come out from hiding.  During this time, several children surrounded me and just stared, grinning and nudging each other.  They didn’t seem to want anything more than an opportunity to experience a large, white man out of his natural habitat, so I just smiled and took their photos.

Side note: when visiting a foreign country, a camera is a child-magnet, a trust-building mechanism, an icebreaker of the highest nature.  Take a child’s photo, and then show it to him, and you will have a friend for life.  Scratch that – you will have two dozen friends for life.  Because as soon as the other children hear the shutter click, they will come running from all directions and provinces to get into the photo.

We finished our trip with a visit to the local paper-seller, who didn’t seem too interested in our business but managed to round up what we needed.  Unfortunately, he didn’t weigh it out on the scales.  Instead, he typed out the price on his calculator.  A disappointment, I have to admit, but I suppose progress is inevitable.  Next thing you know, the Rattanabad market will become a Walmart with 200 checkout aisles and laser scanners.  I miss the olden days already.

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Don’t Be Jealous, Ladies


I’m traveling through the Singapore airport today and noticed in the men’s restroom that the urinals (manufactured by Laufen) all have pictures of a fly painted in them to give the men something to aim at.

fly-urinal

After some research, I learned that this seems to have originated in Amsterdam and that the fly in the urinal reduces “spillage” somewhere between 80%-85%.

Don’t know about you, but I’m getting out the paint and putting one in the boys’ bathrooms as soon as I get home.

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Filed under funny, humor, Just for fun, parenting