Diversions: A funny thing happened …


    Photo courtesy of Ryan McGuire (https://gratisography.com)

    By Andy Sciarabba, P.E.

    I’m sitting in my favorite coffee shop on a gloomy Sunday, after a rainy Saturday, trying to come up with a good topic for an article. Behind me I hear someone say, “Something funny happened to me today.”

    Ah —light bulb! What’s the best way to change your mood? Enjoy a good laugh.

    They say that laughter is the best medicine. So, sit back and throw down a few funny pills. But be careful…these are For External Use Only. To control your blood pressure, take regularly. Do not discontinue unless directed by your physician or significant other.

    The man in a hot air balloon

    A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

    The woman below replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 59 and 60 degrees north latitude and between 107 and 108 degrees west longitude.”

    “You must be an engineer,” said the balloonist.

    “I am,” replied the woman. “How did you know?”

    “Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is, I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip.”

    The woman below responded, “You must be in management.”

    “I am,” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”

    “Well,” said the woman, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.”

    The job interview

    Reaching the end of a job interview, the HR manager asked the young engineer fresh out of university, “And what starting salary were you looking for?”

    The engineer said, “In the neighborhood of $100,000 a year, depending on the benefits package.”

    The HR Manager said, “Well, what would you say to a package of $200,000 a year, five weeks of vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50 percent of salary, and a company car leased every two years — say, a Mercedes?”

    The engineer sat up straight and said, “Wow!!! Are you joking?”

    And the HR Manager said, “Of course, but you started it.”

    Talking frog

    A boy was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and said, “If you kiss me, I’ll turn into a beautiful princess.” He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket.


    The frog spoke up again and said, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week.” The boy took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to his pocket.

    The frog then cried out, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I’ll stay with you and give you anything you want.” Again, the boy took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket.

    Finally, the frog asked, “What is the matter? Why won’t you kiss me?”

    The boy said, “Look, I’m an engineer. I don’t have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog is cool.”

    Auto malfunction

    Three engineers are driving in a car — an electrical engineer, a chemical engineer, and a software engineer. The car stops running and they pull off onto the shoulder of the road to inspect it.

    The electrical engineer suggests that they strip down the electronics of the car in an attempt to trace where a fault may have occurred.

    The chemical engineer suspects that the fuel is becoming emulsified and suggests that they focus on the fuel system.

    The software engineer suggests closing all the windows, getting out, getting back in, and opening all the windows again to see if that helps.

    To the store

    A wife asks her husband, a software engineer, “Could you please go shopping for me and buy one carton of milk, and if they have eggs, get six!” A short time later the husband comes back with six cartons of milk. The wife asks him, “Why did you buy six cartons of milk?”

    He replied, “They had eggs.”

    Golfing practicality

    A pastor, a doctor, and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed, “What’s with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!” The doctor chimed in, “I don’t know, but I’ve never seen such ineptitude! The pastor said, “Hey, here comes the greenskeeper. Let’s have a word with him.”

    “Hi George. Say, what’s with that group ahead of us? They’re rather slow, aren’t they?”

    The greenskeeper replied, “Oh, yes, that’s a group of blind firefighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime.”

    The group was silent for a moment. The pastor said, “That’s so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight.” The doctor said, “Good idea. And I’m going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there’s anything he can do for them.”

    The engineer said, “Why can’t these guys play at night?”

    If none of these did the trick, maybe a good dose of Dilbert will do. Check out this clip called “The Knack” — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8vHhgh6oM0.

    Know any good engineering jokes? If so, please send them along and I may just include them in a future post.

    Andy Sciarabba, P.E., is a principal with T.G. Miller, P.C., Engineers and Surveyors in Ithaca, N.Y. T.G. Miller, P.C. (www.tgmillerpc.com) is a consulting civil engineering and surveying firm that serves municipal, commercial, institutional, and private clients throughout central New York. He would like to know how you like “Diversions;” Please send him a note at ajs@tgmillerpc.com.