Monday, June 19, 2006

And on the subject of puns...

Lunchroom conversations at my plant can (and do) take wild and unexpected turns.

They can start out on any subject imaginable, from work topics to television shows and series, from golf stories to why my spouse is leaving me, and lots more. (NO, NOT CAROL!! I meant somebody else’s spouse leaving him/her! Sheesh!)

Last week our Production Engineer (a chemical engineer by education) and a technician were discussing the failure of a trial fix to a recent small problem. The engineer had theorized the reason for the problem, completed some calculations based on his assumptions, and applied the “solution.”

His comment to the technician was, “Well, it should have worked, but those were just ‘paper numbers’.”

In the 5-second pause that followed, my fertile brain (“full of fertilizer,” is how most co-workers describe it) came up with the following. Unable to resist (rarely can I resist an opportunity like this one), I swallowed my food, stood, held out one arm and crooned:

(To the tune of “Paper Roses”)

“Paper numbers, paper numbers,
Oh, how real those numbers seemed to me.
But they’re only, calculations,
With no basis in real-i-ty.”

I sat down. The dumbfounded looks on everyone’s face changed to smiles. Applause followed.

I stood, took a bow, and sat again.

That verse has now been posted in the engineer’s office above his computer.

5 comments:

Shesawriter said...

Bravo, John. Very clever. LOL!

Oh! I had a "machine" moment today. The TV cut on by itself and I couldn't turn it off at first. My little boy came up and said, "What's wrong, Mommy? Tv won't let you turn it off?"

They are taking over!

kenju said...

Encore! Encore!

You should be taking bows - that was very clever (I am not surprised at all!)

Karyn Lyndon said...

Good thing you sing well or you could have ended up with a plate of spaghetti on your head...

Christina said...

Oh. my. god. You actually did that, didn't you? Pretty funny, although the joke would have gone over my head as i don't know the song you refer to. I would have thought you were just losing it.

On another note, a couple weeks ago, Johnny and I were awakened at about 3:30 AM by our bedroom TV suddenly coming on by itself at full volume. Also, our fridge keeps turning its thermostat up to max cold so evrything in there freezes solid. I swear we are not touching it! Also, the Honda Helix (motor scooter) worked fine on Saturday, but Johnny went out to go to the store on Sunday and the thing wouldn't start, wouldn't even turn over, no display on the digital dash, must be something electrical. This is getting scary.

Duke_of_Earle said...

Karyn:
Sing well? That's a matter of (deeply) divided opinion, but your point is well taken. "Stepping out" like that can result in either bouquets or rotten tomatoes being tossed your way.

Christina:
Of COURSE I actually did that. You know your father. I'll send you a copy of that original song so you'll know, but it's been done by Anita Bryant, Marie Osmond, and others. Written in 1955. A real oldie. Like your father.