A professor at the Michigan State University was known for giving boring, cliche-ridden lectures.
At the beginning of one semester, an innovative class breathed new life into the course by assigning baseball plays to each hackneyed phrase.
For example, when the professor said, "On the other hand," that counted as a base hit. "By the same token" was a strike out; "and so on" counted as a stolen base. Divided into two teams by the center aisle of the lecture hall, the students played inning after inning of silent but vigorous baseball.
On the last day of class, the impossible happened: the score was tied and bases were loaded. Then the batter hit a home run! The winning team stood and cheered wildly.
Though deeply appreciative, the professor later was quoted as wondering why only half of the students had been enthusiastic about his lectures.
Eye-examination charts vary according to the manufacturer, but one thing they have in common is that they don't spell anything.
One day a patient came into my office for an ophthalmological exam. I asked him to read the 20/40 line of the eye chart, but obviously the letters FZBDE were mostly a blur to him. Finally he ventured a guess.
"I can't pronounce his name," the man said, "but I think he played football for Cape Town Spurs."
A crew of highway maintenance workers were sent to repair some road signs that vandals had knocked down in a forested area. The first one they put back up was a symbol warning of a deer crossing.
As they moved down the road to repair the next sign, one member, of the crew looked back and spotted a deer running across the highway. She turned to a co-worker and said, "I wonder how long he's been waiting to cross?"
An applicant was being interviewed for admission to a pro- minent medical school.
"Tell me," inquired the interviewer, "where do you expect to be five years from now?"
"Well, let's see," replied the student. "It's Wednesday afternoon. I guess I'll be on the golf course by now."