Wait, you ask, isn’t Life is a Fountain all Hijinks?


Yes, sort of. But we don’t like to joke about that.









A farmer looks up and sees his prized sheepdog running toward him.


The sheepdog is panting, and says, “Boss, I did it. It took me all morning, but I finally got all 100 sheep in the barn.”


The farmer says, “That’s great, but we only have 97 sheep.”


The sheepdog says, “Yeah, I know. I rounded them up.”





Also I really love this one below. Do you think it would still work orally?





A priest, an Imam, and a rabbit walk into a blood bank.


The rabbit says “I think I might be a Type-O.”












I recently heard a lecture that was talking about who most accurately judges the quality and promise of creative work. In a study they measured who was most correct in their determination on the value of creative work. First of all we have to suspend our disbelief in order to accept that they have some absolute way to measure this creative work in order to judge how others do in their own measuring. This seems pretty dicey, but I can suspend my disbelief. 

So this study found that managers, investors, and editors are really bad at measuring creative work. They’re scared of looking bad and down value everything. They down value it something like two levels too low. The creator of the work, though, is also bad at valuing the work. They’re so wrapped up in it, and interested in their own success, that they over value it at two levels better than it is. The people who are most accurate are peers. Peers value the creative work of other creators with fairly good accuracy.

Now this is all pretty interesting in its neat, Goldilocks way. But when I heard about all this I was most interested in the second evaluator. I was interested in how we evaluate our own creative work. And most particularly I was interested in how accurate my own evaluation is of my own work.

What, I wanted to know, does this study say about how good my own work is? How good, for instance, is this that I’m writing now? I was delighted to find it tells me how good through a simple mathematical analysis.

Assuming (remember our suspension of disbelief) there is an absolute quality to this piece of creative work, we know from the study that I am, because I am writing it, valuing it at two levels better than it actually is.

So demoting how good I think this is by two levels we come out with…

Oh my god, I’m a genius!








The Dalai Lama walks into a pizza shop and says ‘can you make me one with everything’.







I went to a beekeeper to get 12 bees. He counted and gave me 13.


“Sir, you gave me an extra.”


“That’s a freebie.”









8/12/21: Weird experiment day!

Today I am going through every page I have in Life is a Fountain and adding something hopefully relevant to it from the annals of Clerkmanifesto. It’s my desperate attempt to freshen up everything after being away for a couple weeks. So here you go:



There is some public display at my library right now about stereotyping. One of my managers is so enthusiastic about this display that he spends a fair amount of time lately working on it, augmenting it, displaying it, and trying to make it better. I’m not here to comment on all that.

I’m only here to tell you about how when he was putting together a bunch of signs in the backroom with “Stereotype” and “Stereotyping” in big letters on them it was my big moment to venture back there dramatically and say “That’s bad! You should use one typewriter with two hands and never two typewriters with one hand each!”

Once that was fully understood and appreciated in the paltry way it deserved, the conversation turned to how stereotyping is genuinely a problem, and not as well understood as it should be. I was happy to take up that banner.

“Kids in middle school nowadays,” I started to complain “Don’t even understand what the term stereotyping means!” 

Then I cleared out of the backroom before anyone could try and trick me into having a remotely serious discussion.









You may think you read this joke here previously, but, no, just variations of it…



I was at the funeral of a friend of mine, and his wife asked me if I could say a quick word.

I stood at the front of the church, cleared my throat, choked back the tears, and said, ‘Infinity.’


‘Thank you,’ his wife said as I sat back down. ‘That means more than you could ever know.’








Sometimes there are jokes I desperately want to make with library patrons, but I know I won’t be understood. Or that the jokes won’t “play”. They may even insult. So I bite my tongue, conduct the business of the front desk, and wait to tell you what happened.
A very old man brought to me at the desk a DVD of Gaslight. I still have this DVD with me as I write. It stars Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotton, and even Angela Lansbury as… someone. It doesn’t say on the case. Of course, Gaslight isn’t just a movie, it has importantly, aye terrifyingly, entered our lexicon. So when the old man told me that the DVD was damaged, and that it wouldn’t play properly, I really wanted to say:
“Oh, no, we check all our DVDs for functionality before we check them out. It’s probably something to do with your machine.”
That’s the whole joke.
I agree that it’s not that funny.
I think it’s because the joke is both too subtle and too perfect. 
Well, that and gaslighting is simply too cruel.







I was at the funeral of a friend of mine, and his wife asked me if I could say a quick word.

I stood at the front of the church, cleared my throat, choked back the tears, and said, ‘Bargain.’

‘Thank you,’ his wife said as I sat back down. ‘That means a great deal.’












Yesterday I bought a pair of shoes from my drug dealer. I don’t know what he laced them with but I’ve been trippin all day..






Oh, I used to make cartoons! Check out that copyright, 24 years ago now!



Oops, mysteriously eaten, will fix later! 


OH, fixing later to find it has been eaten everywhere. IT WAS THE FUNNIEST CARTOON EVER! It was about the devil going grocery shopping and everyone is all stressed out about what he’s up to. But he leaves and it all seems okay. Then, suddenly from the back, a grocer cries out “Oh my god! He’s deviled all the eggs!!”


It was better even as a cartoon and I mourn the loss for all humanity etc. etc.



Here’s another cartoon from the era. Funny that I was so long ago stealing art already for my own nefarious purposes:










As I am fond of telling celebrity stories, usually about Bob Dylan, I especially enjoy a good one when I come across it. I particularly enjoy Mel Brooks frantic comic energy telling this following tale, something I share sometimes when I tell a comic story, though with me it might be from the sense I better hurry it along or people will lose interest.

Although who knows, maybe Mel Brooks feels the same way.

Try to disregard the low quality of this clip.







Annual Performance Review


Department: Library

Position: Library Clerk III

Years of Service: 24

This employee’s performance has been stellar, and he is a wonderful asset to our library.

He is punctual, well-groomed, and conscientious. He performs his duties efficiently and positively and is always willing to step up when things get hectic around here, as they so often do. He is knowledgeable about library policy and yet creatively and effectively solves problems that fall outside the purview of our policy. He is attentive to our patrons and works well with his co-workers. He is a hard worker with excellent attention to detail. He is an employee here who I can fully count on to get the job done. I have nothing but positive things to say about this dedicated library employee.

However I do have one small request I would like to make of him in this space. When signing the condolence and farewell cards left in the employee break room, I would like him to please stop using the phrase “Good riddance to bad rubbish”.

That said we look forward to another year with this fine library employee!





The First Good Knock Knock Joke



In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, when the school of Hogwarts wants to reach young, oppressed Harry, it sends an ever increasing flood of mail. It pours in through the mail slots, it comes down the fireplace, and so on. So it has been around here as I am flooded with queries as to the identity of the two known “good” knock knock jokes. I cannot run, I cannot hide from this interest. I may take a leaky rowboat to some rough stone island in the middle of the sea, but I will still be tracked down. So, I will relent. I will share the first of the known, “good” knock knock jokes right here, on blog, today!

To help with the knock knock joke, which would invariably flatten and lose power written merely in text, I am employing the assistance of two friends of mine, Doris and Clive, both super intelligent aliens from a distant, far more advanced planet. Doris will be performing the “Call” portion of the knock knock joke, Clive the “Response.”  Doris has a good deal of experience with our planet and some understanding of our culture and idioms. Clive, however, has a more sketchy experience with humans and our world, and so I ask your forbearance if, despite being instructed in knock knock joke etiquette, he struggles a bit.

Without further ado here is the first of the two known “Good” knock knock jokes:










Okay, so that didn’t work ideally, but I think you get the idea, and if you try it out for yourself you will find it is very funny! Everyone will laugh and want to try it out for themselves because it is a “good” knock knock joke. Trust me.
Tomorrow I think it will go better with Doris and Clive and the second “good” knock knock joke, I mean, now that they’ve had some practice and such. Until then…
















I was at the funeral of a Spanish friend of mine, and his wife asked me if I could say a quick word.

I stood at the front of the church, cleared my throat, choked back the tears, and said, ‘El Mundo.’


‘Thank you,’ his wife said as I sat back down. ‘That means the world to me.’







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