from
Outswimming the Sharks
by
Harvey MacKay

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Outswimming the Sharks

Category:

Newspaper items

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Outswimming the Sharks
“Company’s holiday party can be death for a career”

published in the
Star Tribune,
December 7, 2006

There is a story of a man who woke up with a huge hangover after his company’s holiday party. Jack was not normally a drinker, but the drinks didn’t taste like alcohol. After forcing himself to open his eyes, the first thing he saw was a couple of aspirin next to a glass of water on the side table. And, next to them, a single red rose.

Jack saw that the room was in perfect order, spotless. On the corner of the mirror was a note saying breakfast was on the stove. Jack stumbled to the kitchen and sure enough, there was his breakfast, coffee, the morning newspaper and his son. He asked what happened last night.

“Well, you came home after 3 a.m., drunk and out of your mind,” the son said. “You fell over the coffee table and broke it, and then you got sick.”

Confused, the man asked: “So, why is everything so nice? Isn’t Mom furious with me?”

His son replied, “Mom dragged you to the bedroom, and when she tried to take off your clothes, you screamed, ‘Leave me alone, lady, I’m married!’ ”

Topics:

Drink

Marriage

“There’s good reason to act as if your mom is watching”

published in the
Star Tribune,
December 6, 2007

Reading his mom’s thoughts, Brian volunteered, “I know what you must be thinking, but I assure you Jennifer and I are just roommates.”

About a week later, Jennifer came to Brian saying, “Ever since your mother came to dinner, I’ve been unable to find the beautiful silver gravy ladle. You don’t suppose she took it, do you?” Brian said, “I doubt it, but I’ll send her an e-mail just to be sure.”

He wrote: “Dear Mom: I’m not saying that you ‘did’ take the gravy ladle from the house, I’m not saying that you ‘did not’ take the gravy ladle. But the fact remains that one has been missing ever since you were here for dinner. Love, Brian.”

Brian received a reply from his mother that read: “Dear Son: I’m not saying that you ‘do’ sleep with Jennifer, I’m not saying that you ‘do not’ sleep with Jennifer. But the fact remains that if Jennifer were sleeping in her own bed, she would have found the ladle by now. Love, Mom.”

Mackay’s Moral: Never lie to your mother ... or anyone else.

Topic:

Lies

“Good things happen to those who can imagine”

published in the
Star Tribune,
October 12, 2009

A mother once asked Albert Einstein how to raise a child to become a genius. Einstein advised her to read fairy tales to the child.

“And after that?” the mother asked.

“Read the child more fairy tales,” Einstein replied, adding that what a scientist needs most is a curious imagination.

Topic:

Genius

“When it comes to business, it is OK to have a little fun”

published in the
Star Tribune,
May 24, 2021

A father decided his daughter was old enough to learn about helping others, so he took her to help an older neighbor — raking the leaves, organizing his garage, putting the trash out and performing other small jobs around his house. The child had not really seen the elderly neighbor up close, but on this day she was going to meet him for the first time.

She asked him how old he was. The father was flabbergasted by his child’s question and attempted to apologize. The neighbor laughed and said he was 92 years old.

The child had a look of disbelief and asked the neighbor, “Did you start at No. 1?”

Topic:

Age

text checked (see note) Dec 2006; Dec 2007; Oct 2009; May 2021

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Background graphic copyright © 2003 by Hal Keen