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Mercy Hospital in Chicago is run by a group of nuns who came from Australia. Through the years the years they have gone out of their way to maintain ties with their native land — putting up a large map of the country in the recpetion area, and serving Australian tea from tins decorated with koala bears.

One night a patient calls a nun into his room and tells her how much he likes the hospital and the care. But he has one small complaint: he found some leaves in his tea.

“Oh,” the nun says, “the koala tea of Mercy is not strained.”

Three explorers had arrived in Africa to explore territory that had never been seen by Europeans before. Immediately upon arrival, they enlisted the services of a native to translate for them and another native to act as a guide. After a few days, they had organized their supplies and secured trhe services of porters. They were ready at last!

Off they went into the jungle! They had a few days of travel before they got to the area they wished to explore. The travel went smoothly and uneventfully.

The day dawned when they began to travel into the unknown jungle. After a few hours travel, their guide got very excited upon seeing something on the ground. The three explorers and their translator hurried over to see what was the matter. The translator explained, “He says that this is the mark of the Fabulous Foo Bird! They are very rarely seen! They are very lucky!”

The explorers chuckled to themselves at the natives’ superstitions and the safari moved on. After awhile, they heard a horrible squawking from the air above them. As they looked up to see what it was, the sun was briefly hidden as an enormous bird flew overhead. As they were staring, there was a loud squelching sound, followed by cries of disgust from the senior explorer. The other turned to see that he was covered with bird poop. The guide got even more excited when he saw this and began gesturing frantically at the explorer. The translator said, “That was the Fabulous Foo Bird! He says you must not wipe this off! If you leave it on and do not wash it off, you will receive untold wealth and fortune. But he says if you wipe it off, you will die horribly!”

“Nonsense!” said the explorer. He disgustedly cleaned himself up, all the while grumbling about superstitions. The natives began murmuring. They were very nervous. A short time later, the senior explorer was clean and still very much alive. “There! You see? Nothing to worry about!” he said. Three steps later he fell over dead, his body rotting away.

After the shock died down, the guide looked somewhat smug.

The next day, the same squawking was heard, followed by the appearance of the bird. This time, the second explorer was coated in gunk. Once again, the guide issued his hysterical warning. “Poppycock!” said the second explorer. “That was a coincidence. I am not going to trek through Africa coated in bird droppings becuase of some silly superstition!” He proceeded to clean himself off, but wasn’t even finished before he collapsed dead into a pile of dust.

After the shock died down, the guide again looked somewhat smug.

The next day, the same squawking was heard, followed by the appearance of the bird. This time, the youngest (and only remaining) explorer was coated in gunk. Once again, the guide issued his hysterical warning. The nervouse young explorer decided to play it safe and continue the exploration in his filthy state. This met with great approval by the natives.

The expedition continued and proved to be a smashing success, with great discoveries. The young explorer recived incredible accolades and lived a very long and wealthy life.

From then on, enterprising explorers were always given this sage advice: if the foo shits, wear it.

A giant panda escaped from the zoo in New York. Eventually, he found his way downtown and walked into a restaurant, where he found a seat at an emptey table. The maitre d’, being a native New Yorker figures he’s seen stranger things than this so he sends over a waiter to take the panda’s order. In due course the panda’s meal arrives and he eats.

After he finishes his dinner he stands up, calmly pulls out a gun from God-knows-where he had it hidden, and blows away several customers and a couple of the waiters. Then he turns around and walks toward the door.

Naturally, the maitre d’ is horrified. He stops the panda and demands an explanation, at the very least.

The panda says to him, “What do I look like to you”?

The maitre d’ answers, “Well, a giant panda, of course.”

“That’s right,” says the panda, “Look it up,” and he walks out.

The maitre d’ calls the police. When they arrive the maitre d’ relates the whole story to them, including the panda’s comment about looking it up. So the chief detective sends a rookie out to get an encyclopedia.

He eventually returns with the Encyclopedia Brittanica, Volume P. The detective looks up “panda”, and there’s the answer: “Giant panda, lives in China, eats shoots and leaves.”

Ghandi walked barefoot everywhere, to the point that his feet became quite thick and hard. Even when he wasn’t on a hunger strike, he did not eat much and became quite thin and frail. He also was quite a spiritual person. Furthermore, due to his diet, he ended up with very bad breath. He became known as a super-calloused fragile mystic plagued with halitosis.

An old man lived with his hound-dog, Mace, in a run-down shack on the outskirts of town. He had no family and only a few meager possessions: a table and chair, a bed, a bag of hand tools, and his dog. He used the tools to do odd jobs in town, for which he usually would be paid enough to get food for the next day. Mace and his master lived from one day to the next on what little these jobs would bring in. The dog was just a normal hound, with one exception: while most dogs like to chew on grass occasionally, Mace loved it. When the old man was in town, Mace would spend the day in the yard in front of the house, chewing away on the lawn.

One bright, sunny day the old man said goodbye to his dog and headed into town to work. He had a plumbing repair job in one of the homes there that would take him most of the day and would probably pay enough for food for the remainder of the week, if he managed the money carefully. He headed for town with a spring in his step and a whistle on his lips. Inside the house and ready to start, the old man reached in the bag for his wrench. To his surprise, he didn’t feel it. He dug around again, but there didn’t seem to be any wrench. He looked in the bag, then dumped its contents on the floor, but still no wrench. Reality set in. Without a wrench he couldn’t finish the job, and without the pay he couldn’t even buy food for that night’s supper, let alone for tomorrow. When he finally came to grips with reality, he told the lady who hired him what the situation was. While she sympathized with his situation, the job needed to be done. If the old man couldn’t do it, she would have to hire someone else.

The old man packed up his tools and headed home, head bowed and shoulders stooped. The whistle was gone and no longer was there a spring in his step. A walk that normally took 15 minutes seemed to last forever. But finally the old shack came into view, and there was Mace in the distance, munching away as usual on the lawn. When the dog saw his master, he came running, tail wagging, telling the old man how glad he was to see him. Kneeling beside the hound, the man began to pet him, and through tear-filled eyes told the dog that there would be no supper tonight and no food for tomorrow. What’s more, without money to buy a new wrench, he had no idea what the future held. It was the loneliest, most helpless feeling he ever had! Then he caught a glimpse of something shining in the grass. As the old man went over to see what this piece of shining material was, his despair turned in an instant to joy! It was the wrench! The old man had dropped it on his way out that morning, and it would have been lost forever had Mace not been eating farther away from the house than he usually did! The old man grabbed the dog, gave him a hug that almost suffocated him, and ran into the house. Reaching for a stub of pencil and the only piece of paper he had, he wrote a moving tribute to his canine companion. Few people have ever heard these words…until now, that is. One man who did happen to read them changed them a bit and has his name recorded in music history. The old man never did get the credit he deserved. But now you are privileged to read the beginning line of his original poem, which went:

“A grazing Mace, how sweet the hound that saved a wrench for me.”



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