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COW SWALLOWS 1722 DIAMONDS
Hindustan Times

A diamond merchant in western India whose cow swallowed a small bag of diamonds has laboured for three days to make the animal pass dung so that he can recover the precious stones.

Dilubhai Rajput has been able to retrieve 310 of the 1,722 small diamonds, worth about £492, which the cow ate up after the bag containing it was left in a haystack.

The businessman and his staff fed the cow lots of grass, grain and fruit and with the help of a veterinary doctor gave it lots of laxatives to extract the stones.

They were rewarded with some success after they had groped in the dung with their bare hands for three days.

Hindustan Times reports the resident of Limbudi town, 70 km from Ahmedabad told the Indo Asian News Service: "For three days I tried hard to retrieve my precious gems. But killing the cow would have angered animal lovers, so I tried a different way.

"I am sure within a week I will retrieve all my diamonds from the cow," he said.



WOULD-BE THIEF GETS BUN STEER
Wetzlar, Germany (ABC News)

A German baker thwarted an armed robber by bombarding him with bread rolls and cakes, a police spokesman near the small western town of Wetzlar said.

The masked offender got a pasting after bursting into the bakery and demanding money at knifepoint.

Instead of handing over the dough, the baker, 47, unloaded a barrage of bread rolls and pastries sending the robber scurrying out the door.

"He was surprised there was any resistance and ran away," said the spokesman.

No one was hurt in the incident, but police said the robber escaped.



A VERY SAD BIT OF NEWS THAT ARRIVED IN OUR EMAIL

The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71.

Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The gravesite was piled high with flours. Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded.

Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very 'smart' cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes.

Despite being a little flaky at times, he still was considered a roll model for millions.

Doughboy is survived by his wife, Play-Dough; two children, John Dough and Jane Dough; plus they had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart.

The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.



STREAKERS' RESTAURANT PRANK BACKFIRES
Spokane, Washington

Three men who went streaking through a restaurant watched in horror as a thief drove off in their getaway car. Naked in minus 7 degree temperatures, the three youngsters huddled behind cars in a car park in Spokane, Washington state until police arrived.

"I don't think they were hiding. I think they were just concealing themselves," police spokesman Dick Cottam said.

The three entered the restaurant early on Wednesday morning wearing only shoes and hats. They left their car running so they could make a quick escape. But the streakers watched as a man who had been eating inside the restaurant drove off in their car. No charges were brought against the streakers.

"I think it was just three kids who decided to fool around," Cottam said.

He added: "We always tell people to not leave their car running."



THAI MAN STUCK WITH HIS GERMAN HUSBAND
Berlin (Reuters)

A Thai man who masqueraded as a woman to wed a German man has failed to get the marriage annulled, and now seems saddled with his husband. A German court dismissed the Thai's request for an annulment because same-sex marriages are not recognized in Germany, and therefore cannot be reversed.

"I don't know why they got married, whether it was love or the desire for a residence permit," said Ulrich Skwirblies, a spokesman for the court in the western town of Celle.

The 42-year-old Thai married the man in Denmark under a false name in 1994 and was later granted German residency.



MORON OF THE WEEK
Thanks to This is True

Kevin Barnes, 20, made a pipe bomb with gunpowder from fireworks.

Apparently trying to shock his friends -- and his girlfriend -- in his flat in Daventry, Northamptonshire, England, Barnes stuck the bomb in his mouth and repeatedly flicked his lighter near the fuse.

What happened to him next was ruled by the coroner "accidental death." . . . And was ruled by his girlfriend's parents "significantly preferable to marrying our daughter."



FUNNY MONEY
Des Moines, Iowa (AP)

Charles Lee was asleep in his Des Moines, Iowa, home when he heard his 87-year-old mother screaming in her bedroom. He rushed in to find a burglar had come in through the window.

"I snatched him and was dragging him through the house to take him outside and [whip] him a little," Lee said, when the burglar offered him $100 to let him go. Lee looked at the $100 bill and noticed its portrait depicted president George W. Bush.

"Yeah, the guy was trying to bribe me with fake money," Lee says. Police charged Michael Castiglione, 37, with second-degree burglary.

And first degree . . . chutzpah.



POLICE NAB NAPPING BURGLAR
Amsterdam (Reuters)

A burglar who took a nap after breaking into an elderly woman's house in Amsterdam was arrested Sunday after she found him asleep on her couch.

The burglar slipped in through a window and combed the house for valuables before settling down for a snooze, police said. He was rumbled at about 6 a.m. when the woman found him in her living room and called the police.

"The police came and he was still asleep. They woke him up," Amsterdam police spokesman Rob van der Veen said.

The drowsy burglar, who was found with some of the woman's jewelry, admitted to police he had broken into the house.



SANTA'S SIDEKICKS ATTEMPT HOLD-UP
Amsterdam (Reuters)

Santa Claus may be known for generous gift-giving, but people had to chase two of his helpers out of an Amsterdam post office after they staged a failed heist, a Dutch newspaper said Monday.

Two people dressed up as "Black Pete" — a ubiquitous symbol of the Christmas season in the Netherlands — had lined up patiently, but when their turn came, one ducked behind the post office counter while the other waved "something that looked like a weapon," the De Telegraaf newspaper reported.

"It isn't clear if they were really armed, but they did have a sack with them," a police spokesman said.

The heist failed when outraged clients chased off the would-be robbers, who escaped by bicycle.

The Dutch Santa, Sinterklaas, is usually accompanied by helpers dressed as "Black Pete" -- often seen as a Moorish figure like the servants who might have accompanied the real-life Saint Nicholas, a wealthy bishop from an area that is today part of Turkey.



FOX STEALS GOLF BALLS. NO HELP FROM RULE BOOK
Stockholm, Sweden (Reuters)

A fox snapped up two balls hit from the seventh tee on to the fairway by players in a tournament at Gronhagen golf course on the island of Oland off Sweden's southeastern coast.

The players saw the fox run off into the nearby woods and when tournament director, Bo Rodensjo consulted the rule book he found no guidance about how to proceed.

He chose to allow the players to drop new balls near where they had stopped. The fox, hoarding food for the winter, had apparently mistaken the golf balls for bird eggs.


a bonus poem
Do you remember?
author unknown
A computer was something on TV
From a science-fiction show of note.
A window was something
you hated to clean
And ram was the cousin of a goat

Meg was the name of my girlfriend
And gig was a job for the nights.
Now they all mean different things
And that really mega bytes.

An application was for employment.
A program was a TV show.
A cursor used profanity.
A keyboard was a piano.

Memory was something
that you lost with age.
A CD was a bank account.
If you had a 3-1/2 inch floppy
You hoped nobody found out.
Compress was something
you did to the garbage,
Not something you did to a file.
And if you unzipped anything in public
You'd be in jail for a while.

Log on was adding wood to the fire.
Hard drive was a long trip on the road.
A mouse pad was where a mouse lived.
And a backup happened to your commode.

Cut you did with a pocket knife.
Paste you did with glue.
A web was a spider's home.
And a virus was the flu.

I guess I'll stick to my pad and paper
And the memory in my head.
I hear nobody's been killed
in a computer crash,
But when it happens they wish they were dead.