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Llewtrah
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Over the last few years I've been collecting fool's errands (glass hammer, tartan paint etc) - last night I got a query about a possible fools errand. Has anyone heard of an Articulated Gyrogorphotor? Apparently it's an expensive tool (£10,000) which has "gone missing", except the "target" of the errand had no description of the item, no pictures and couldn't find it on the web so he doesn't know what he's looking for or whether someone is making a fool of him.

It sounds vaguely plausible: articulated = jointed/flexible; gyro = rotate; photor = to do with light (or possibly lenses); but the "gor" bit perplexes (unless it is to do with the series of male-dominant SF books by John Norman).

I'm tempted to say it's a wind-up or fools errand. Does anyone know any differently? I've asked at work and had the response "sounds like an early French ornithopter" [Roll Eyes] )

(My collection of fools errands is at Fools Errands strongly biased towards naval errands as I know a lot of ex-naval people and they are merciless towards fools)

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Llewtrah's Soapbox

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Casey, making hot chocolate
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Well, according to Google, a "Articulated Gyrogorphotor" doesn't exist. My personal favorites are a left-handed smokeshifter and a left-handed box-end wrench. (The necessary addition of Box-end makes it impossible.) [Smile]

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"To be or not to be! That is the question! Now, will you answer, dare, double dare, or take the Physical Challenge?" --Mark Summers as Hamlet
Countdown: 177 days and counting... or less. My blog. 14 keyboards owed.

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put it in writing
Xboxing Day


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In food service, it was always pot dividers. In car repair, I've seen people sent to find blinker fluid.

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and it's 1 - 2 - 3, what are we fighting for? don't ask me, I don't give a damn

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Llewtrah
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Well, according to Google, a "Articulated Gyrogorphotor" doesn't exist.
I couldn't find it on Google, though that doesn't mean something doesn't exist, it just means it hasn't been/can't indexed by Google. I also tried several online dictionaries and variant spellings. I can't add it to the list of fools errands until I'm sure it's bogus (or that it exists in a context unrelated to the business in which it is set as an errand).

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Messybeast Cat Resource Archive
Llewtrah's Soapbox

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Robigus, Frozen Mushroom
The First USA Noel


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In the Air Force, when working around C-130s, it was send the new guy to supply for a 5-gallon can of "prop wash". Or maybe 20 yards of "flight line".
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pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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My unit in Germany was on an airfield, though we weren't properly part of the squadron. 2 of our privates were sent to our company supply clerk for 200m of flightline. Our clerk replied that we were out and they'd have to go to the Squadron for some. While they were on their way our clerk called the squadron clerk and told him what was going on. When they showed up asking for flight line the Squadron supply sergeant said "Sure. What color?"

Horizontal tentpegs were a favorite of mine to send people after.

I've seen privates spend almost an hour with a ballpeen hammer checking for soft spots on armored vehicles.

Get me a can of squelch. A box of grid squares.

pinqy

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Don't Forget!
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Christopher
Peruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town


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My wife worked as a hot-walker for the Woodbine race track back in the '70s and she was sent to find the "post-hole key" which was apparently fairly traditional.

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"Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know." ~ Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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At the supermarket I frequent, the manager sent the new bagger back to make sure the salad dressing remainded shaken up since the customers didn't like to see them all seperated. She apparently lasted almost an hour before he let on that it was just a joke.

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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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Kel
The Red and the Green Stamps


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At the casino I work at, we often send rookie dealers to find left-handed shoes or shoe grease.
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Snafucated
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Years ago, at the print shop, we would send new pick-up/delivery drivers out to bing back the "paper-stretcher" from the other shop.
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Tom Accuosti
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I have a small manufacturing business, so every once in a while I like to check out the new crop of kids who "majored in shop class". Some of my favorites:

Metric adjustable wrenches
Left-handed "Vise Grip" pliers
Bar stretchers
Snew:
"Uh, what's that?"
"What's what?"
"Snew. What's snew?"
"Oh nothing. What's new with you?"
(Yeah, it's lame, but they gotta laugh at the boss' jokes, right?)

Oh, and Hi everybody. Long time listener, first time caller.

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"They told me that I was getting a sweater for my birthday.
Too bad, I was hoping for a screamer or a moaner..."

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I Am 6-Ironsman
Deck the Malls


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There are all sorts of these. Another of my favorites from camp was a "Can of Steam". What is funny is that people have actually made smokeshifters out of steel drums or bent sheet metal. Think of it as a semi-around stovepipe. It actually works on windy days if you are cooking with coals.

And don't forget the Snipe Hunts, too where on a hike, usually at night, you get people to fill up bags with rocks and walk back to camp with them. The joke is complete when they have to open the bag in front of everybody and the rocks come rolling out.

In my firehouse, part of the good-natured "initiation" of probies, besides the requisite "Probie Baptism" (get in a circle and get sprayed with fog-stream hand lines) is to find the "Water Hammer" on the pumpers. For those who don't know, a water hammer is not a tool at all, but a potentially damaging backpressure caused by too rapidly shutting down a nozzle. What they do bring back is often the mallet used to knock tight couplings loose. Some have actually been convinced that this is a water hammer and have been embarrassed when they refer to it as that to a more senior member.

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Atlanta Jake
Xboxing Day


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This is a long-held tradition at the Fire Department... I have personally sent rookies looking for:

Hose Stretchers
Water Hammers
Siren Winders

The first station that I was assigned to had a very ornate brass "key" that had been used to wind a big ornate mechanical gong. Rookies would be given the key and sent out to the fire engine to "wind the siren" (which is electrical). I have seen rookies spend 20 to 30 minutes trying to figure out how to wind the siren.

Atlanta "And a left-handed spanner" Jake

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Remember Kids, Don't try this at home!

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by pinqy:
I've seen privates spend almost an hour with a ballpeen hammer checking for soft spots on armored vehicles.

Get me a can of squelch. A box of grid squares.

pinqy

Oh Pinq!! Seeing a private with a ballpeen hammer in one hand and a piece of chalk in the other... with lots of little white circles on the vehicle.

I once almost got a medal for quick thinking. We had a private that was catching on to the can of squelch thing. I finally laughed and patted him on the back like I was letting him in on the joke. I told him he would never find it - because the Army went to aerosol cans a couple years ago, and now it is only found in spray cans.

Off he went for another two hours...

In a related note, military radios are known by their nomenclature... a PRC-77 is a standard radio (Personal radio carriage or something like that). It is pronounced "Prick seventy seven".

We would send privates to the platoon sergeant looking for a PRC-E-7. The joke was, that most platoon sergeants were sergeants first class, or an E-7 on the pay scale. Kinda like asking for the "prick assistant manager".

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Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

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Zang
The Red and the Green Stamps


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keys to the Drop Zone
winter air for tires
canopy lights
Chem-Light ® batteries

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Auntie Witch
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Welcome, Zang!

I once spent a few hours looking for where to put the water in the industrial coffee pot when I worked food service. (for those who don't know, they have a water line, thus no reservoir)

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"Feel my head! I feel like a puppy!" -My mother
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
Myspace about my mom, kids

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pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Malruhn:
We would send privates to the platoon sergeant looking for a PRC-E-7. The joke was, that most platoon sergeants were sergeants first class, or an E-7 on the pay scale. Kinda like asking for the "prick assistant manager".

Unfortunately, that one would no longer work since we don't use the PRC anymore. We did once get a female lieutenant to request an EMHO (Early Morning Hard On) report on our radio net. She dutifully wrote down "Time up: 0605 Time Down: 0615, 6 inches."

pinqy

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Don't Forget!
Winter Solstice Hanukkah Christmas Kwanzaa & Gurnenthar's Ascendance Are Coming!

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JR
We Three Blings


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Don't forget the 2x4 stretcher.

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Semper ubi sub ubi

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Luckia
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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We used to send our new shop helpers to collect "Spark Samples" from the welder's booths.

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If the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.

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fyregirl
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by Atlanta Jake in the conservatory:

Atlanta "And a left-handed spanner" Jake

The left-handed spanner wrench was always one of my favorites - AFTER the guys in my company sent me for one the day after I finished training.

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And I never want to see your rodentish faces again!

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bufungla
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Michael:
And don't forget the Snipe Hunts, too where on a hike, usually at night, you get people to fill up bags with rocks and walk back to camp with them. The joke is complete when they have to open the bag in front of everybody and the rocks come rolling out.

You had a different snipe hunt - ours involved the people standing out in the woods in the dark with the paper bags on the ground between their feet (for catching the snipes, which love to run between narrow gaps in tress, which they would mistake one's legs and feet for). Everybody in on the joke goes out to "drive the snipe" towards them (which really involves heading back to camp and leaving them to find their way back in the dark).

Also not really a fool's errand, but a buddy of mine on the IG team told me about reviewing a set of particularly screwed up files for some office. Prior to taking on the chore of enumerating all the various things that were screwed up, the IG team proceeded to confuse the hell out of the poor sergeant by telling her "This should be classified 'Top Secret FUBAR'. In fact, all of these files should be classified 'Top Secret FUBAR'". They gave her a while to worry about trying to remember what the hell the FUBAR compartment was supposed to contain before telling her what it really stood for.

buf 'the files really were FUBARed' ungla

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"Pardon him. Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature."

George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra

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Elwood
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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At the local McDonald's, new crew members are sent to the walk-in freezer to find "Filet-Steam," which is said to come in a can. Most seem confused at the idea, but at least make an attempt to find it before turning blue and giving up.

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"If I didn't see it and didn't know it was a real news report, I wouldn't believe it. I mean, how nutty can you get?"-Pat Robertson Oct 26, 2006.

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Chimera
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Working in the planetarium gave us too much free time on our hands so a friend of mine and I started a search for "the (insert muesum's name here) cormorant". We asked everyone where it was. Not only did we not have a cormorant but no one would admit that they didn't know what a cormorant was. We were given all sorts of directions to all sorts of places. All of which we inspected on this self inflicted snipe hunt because we had nothing better to do with our time (we had almost two hours every morning before the first show which took about 10 minutes to set up unless something went wrong). Even the director of the muesum was clueless. She said she thought it was in the great hall. The great hall did not have a comorant in sight. Her response "well, someone probably moved it". Indeed.

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"The question for joining the protected forum for real magicians should be:

What is the use of women?"
Steve W. from JREF's 'This is no fun'

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Morrigan
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by bufungla:
quote:
Originally posted by Michael:
And don't forget the Snipe Hunts, too where on a hike, usually at night, you get people to fill up bags with rocks and walk back to camp with them. The joke is complete when they have to open the bag in front of everybody and the rocks come rolling out.

You had a different snipe hunt - ours involved the people standing out in the woods in the dark with the paper bags on the ground between their feet (for catching the snipes, which love to run between narrow gaps in tress, which they would mistake one's legs and feet for). Everybody in on the joke goes out to "drive the snipe" towards them (which really involves heading back to camp and leaving them to find their way back in the dark).

Also not really a fool's errand, but a buddy of mine on the IG team told me about reviewing a set of particularly screwed up files for some office. Prior to taking on the chore of enumerating all the various things that were screwed up, the IG team proceeded to confuse the hell out of the poor sergeant by telling her "This should be classified 'Top Secret FUBAR'. In fact, all of these files should be classified 'Top Secret FUBAR'". They gave her a while to worry about trying to remember what the hell the FUBAR compartment was supposed to contain before telling her what it really stood for.

buf 'the files really were FUBARed' ungla

A little off topic, but a couple of years ago, I found a nice hunk of white-tailed deer fur in my woods. It was white with a bit of tan, so I grabbed it an took it up to the house, where I proceeded to show it to my little brother (who was aroung 14 at that time) and tell him that it was snipe fur. He believed me until a week later, when my dad told him the truth...

Morrigan

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"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

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Llewtrah
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
A little off topic, but a couple of years ago, I found a nice hunk of white-tailed deer fur in my woods. It was white with a bit of tan, so I grabbed it an took it up to the house, where I proceeded to show it to my little brother (who was aroung 14 at that time) and tell him that it was snipe fur. He believed me until a week later, when my dad told him the truth...
Snipe fur? Hereabouts, snipe are longbilled shorebirds similar to woodcocks.

More errands:

a metre of bee-line
bird food for the cuckoo in the cuckoo clock
a learning curve

I particularly liked the "learning curve"; the guy who told me this (a draughtsman) added "apprentices should beware the booby traps on the learning curve".

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Messybeast Cat Resource Archive
Llewtrah's Soapbox

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Morrigan
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah:
quote:
A little off topic, but a couple of years ago, I found a nice hunk of white-tailed deer fur in my woods. It was white with a bit of tan, so I grabbed it an took it up to the house, where I proceeded to show it to my little brother (who was aroung 14 at that time) and tell him that it was snipe fur. He believed me until a week later, when my dad told him the truth...
Snipe fur? Hereabouts, snipe are longbilled shorebirds similar to woodcocks.

More errands:

a metre of bee-line
bird food for the cuckoo in the cuckoo clock
a learning curve

I particularly liked the "learning curve"; the guy who told me this (a draughtsman) added "apprentices should beware the booby traps on the learning curve".

That's what they are here, too, but the point is is that he believed me.

Morrigan

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"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

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oh pleeze
It's So Cheesy (to Fall in Love)


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quote:
We did once get a female lieutenant to request an EMHO (Early Morning Hard On) report on our radio net. She dutifully wrote down "Time up: 0605 Time Down: 0615, 6 inches."

pinqy [/QB]

OMG!!! i know about EMHO reports! too funny, we used to ask the jeeps to do those! where were you stationed?

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op

i'm taking the afternoon off to stalk my previous boss who fired me for taking afternoons off.

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WonderWoman
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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One of my husband's friends once prank-called an auto supply store and asked for "muffler bearings."
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Sliceable Kitty
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Where's the left-handed bacon-stretcher?

That bacon curls up too much when you cook it!

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Holly Golightly
Happy Holly Days


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Sparks for the grinder

A long weight

Holly

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Schizm
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I used to like to give new servers a hard time by making them round up the convex spoons or sending one off with a container of blue cheese dressing and have them tell the kitchen manager that it was moldy.
When I was a baker, we used to have fun with some patrons asking if something was low cal. We would tell them not usually, but we could bake off a batch with the calorie damper open.

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pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by oh pleeze:
quote:
We did once get a female lieutenant to request an EMHO (Early Morning Hard On) report on our radio net. She dutifully wrote down "Time up: 0605 Time Down: 0615, 6 inches."

pinqy

OMG!!! i know about EMHO reports! too funny, we used to ask the jeeps to do those! where were you stationed? [/QB]
Fulda, Germany and Ft Carson, Colorado. Looking at it again, I can't believe I got the report format wrong. It should be Time Up, Time Down, Length, Angle (in degrees).

pinqy

--------------------
Don't Forget!
Winter Solstice Hanukkah Christmas Kwanzaa & Gurnenthar's Ascendance Are Coming!

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Bongedone
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Hi all,

Been reading the forums for a while but this is my 1st post.

When I was manager at a shop we sent the new assistant to the local butchers for a leg of mince on account number 007. He actually ended up coming back with lots of mince. Needless to say we had to send him back as he had his uniform on.

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Welcome Bong, thank you for the first entry! We Snopesters tend to be a happy lot, sprinkled heavily with sarcasm and even a bit of moral indignation on occasion.

It is good to see a new face!

--------------------
Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

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MedicDVG
The Red and the Green Stamps


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In the medical arena we would send newbies off to find "fallopian tubes" or "bile-duct adapters" from the central supplies lockers. Usually it was the new EMT with a know it all attitude we would pick on. What fun
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