Bus Stopper

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Bob Elliott of the Bob and Ray comedy team tells of an extraordinary ride he took on a bus in New York City:

The driver greeted all the riders by saying, “No smiling, please!”  The passengers, some of them shoppers hefting packages up the steps, looked at the driver in amazement. Then they smiled. Even the sourest-looking people would smile.

As each of new group boarded, the announcement was repeated. “We don’t allow smiling on this bus,” the driver would say. “No smiling while bus in motion, please,” he might add, as the bus got under way.

The reaction to this psychology was infectious. After half a dozen blocks nearly everyone aboard was indeed smiling —even discussing the phenomenon with the passenger in the next seat. All the while they enjoyed the reaction of new riders as they got the same treatment.

When they reached their stops, many passengers exited by the forward door to thank the driver for the experience. They said, “Have a nice day.” Of course everybody says that; it’s kind of cornball to say it. But I really do believe it made everybody’s day.

—Glen Collins in New York Times

Labor Charges

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My feisty 70-year-old neighbor Frances had to call a furnace repairman. After a quick inspection the man put some oil into the motor and handed her a $70 bill for labor. “Labor charges!” Frances exclaimed. “It only took you five minutes.”

The repairman explained that his company had a minimum one-hour charge on every house call. “Well, I want my remaining 55 minutes of labor,” my neighbor responded and she handed him a rake. He spent the next 55 minutes in her back yard cleaning up the fallen leaves.

~Lisa Miller

It’s A Deal!

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At a gardening store, I told the young clerk I needed some potting soil.

“Over there,” she answered, “in 40-pound bags.”


Pursuing A Dream Isn’t Small

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“It’s no small matter pursuing a dream, but even the greatest dream starts from small matters.”

Manage Money

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“It is not how much money you make; it is how you manage the money you do make.”

-I.S., George, Iowa

Metaphor and Simile

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Definition: A figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them (as in drowning in money); broadly: figurative language.


Definition: a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as (as in cheeks like roses)


Metaphor: “She’s a tiger when she’s angry.”
Simile: “She’s as fierce as a tiger.”

-Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2011)


Choice of Where I Were To Die

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It was a lovely day, and I decided to sit on a park bench to enjoy the warmth and flowers. Two elderly men were sitting nearby. “You know, if I had a choice of where I were to die.” More

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