A wise old Indian responded this way when told the reason for daylight saving time, ‘Only a white man would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket.’
About 90 sixth-graders piled into the airliner I was flying, on their way home from a school trip. Once we were in the air and the crew began trying to serve soft drinks, I could hear them pleading with the children to settle down so the beverages could be served and the other passengers could get some sleep.
No amount of reasoning seemed to help, until, as the pilot, I thought of the solution that actually worked: I picked up the PA mike in the cockpit and announced, “Children, this is the captain speaking. Don’t make me stop this airplane and come back there.”
A first-grader came to the eye doctor’s office where I work to have his vision checked. He sat down and I turned off the lights. Then I switched on a projector that flashed the letters F, Z and B on a screen. I asked the boy what he saw.
Without hesitation he replied, “Consonants.”
A little rural town had one of the highest birth rates in the country and this phenomenon attracted the attention of the sociologists at the state university.
They wrote a grant proposal; got a huge chunk of money; moved to town; set up their computers; got squared away; and began designing their questionnaires and such.
While the staff was busy getting ready for their big research effort, the project director decided to go to the local drugstore for a cup of coffee. He sat down at the counter, ordered his coffee, and while he was drinking it, he told the druggist what his purpose was in town, then asked him if he had any idea why the birth rate was so high.
“Sure,” said the druggist. “Every morning the six o’clock train comes through here and blows for the crossing. It wakes everybody up, and, well, it’s too late to go back to sleep, and it’s too early to get up.”