There is no better panacea for sorrow, no better reviving tonic, and no greater beauty than a genuine smile. Paramhansa Yogananda.


Anger or Exasperation?
(Told by Catherine Kairavi)

A little boy came home from school with new vocabulary words that he’d been asked to study.  He worked on the assignments, and when he got to the word “exasperation” he went to his father and said, “Dad, I know the word ‘anger,’ and it seems to me like this word means the same thing as ‘exasperation.’ What’s the difference between anger and exasperation?”

His father decided to illustrate the difference in a concrete way. So he picked up the phone and dialed a number at random. A voice answered, and the father said, “Hello, is Milton there?”

The man on the line replied through gritted teeth, “No, Milton is not here. There is no Milton here, and in fact you have the wrong number.” And he hung up.

The father turned to his son and said, “Now watch.”

And he dialed the same number again. When the man answered, he said in his brightest voice, “Hi, is Milton there?”

The man barked, “No! Milton’s not here, I told you! You’ve reached the same number again. For heaven’s sake, look up the number, get it right, and don’t call me again!”  And he slammed the phone down.

The father said, “That was anger.”

Now listen again.” He picked up the phone, dialed the same number, and when the man answered he inquired innocently, “Hello, this is Milton, have there been any calls for me?”

The son listened while the poor man gurgled and spluttered with barely controlled rage. The father hung up the phone and said, “Now, that’s exasperation.”


True Love

Steven, age 3, hugged and kissed his Mom good night. He said, “I love you so much that when you die, I’m going to bury you outside my bedroom window.”


How Does It Know What You Want?
(Told by Peter Van Houten)

One of my favorite stories is about three old men who were arguing about what should rank as the most amazing discovery ever made.

The first said it was electricity and he began listing the reasons why.

The second disagreed and said it had to be the airplane.

But before he could say any more, the third old man interrupted to announce that the most amazing discovery ever made was the thermos bottle.

The first two were surprised at this and said, “That’s ridiculous! Why the thermos bottle?!!!

The third man said, “No, really, think about it! In the summer time you want the thermos bottle to keep things cold, and it keeps them cold. And in the winter you want it to keep things hot, and it keeps them hot. And the amazing thing is, how does it know what you want?”


“What Happened to the Flea?”

James, age 4, was listening to a Bible story. His dad read: “The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city but his wife looked back and was turned to salt.” Concerned, James asked: “What happened to the flea?”


Christmas Shopping

In the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping in downtown San Francisco, Moira lost her handbag.

A small boy found it and returned it to her. Looking in her bag, Moira thought, “That’s strange. When I lost my bag there was a 20-dollar bill in it.  Now there are four five-dollar bills.

“That’s right,” the boy quickly replied, “The last time I found a lady’s purse, she didn’t have any change for a reward.”


The Red Wagon

On the Sunday after Christmas, Father John was packing away the Church’s nativity scene when he noticed the baby Jesus was missing.

Immediately, he decided to call the police. But on his way to the rectory, he saw a neighbor boy with a new red wagon, and in it the little infant, Jesus.

Father John walked up to him and said, “Well, son, where did you get the little infant?”

The boy replied honestly, “I took him from the church, Father.”

“And why did you take him?” he asked, sternly.

“About a week before Christmas,” he said sheepishly, “I prayed to Jesus. I told him if he would bring me a red wagon for Christmas, I would give him a ride around the block.”


Modern Day Nativity

Did you hear about the elementary school Nativity Play?

Two children, dressed as Mary and Joseph, are on their way to the inn in Bethlehem.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the stage, a lad in a shepherd’s outfit is calling ahead on a cell phone to make a reservation.



Seen on a subway wall: “God is dead.”–Nietzsche.

Below was written: “Nietzsche is dead.”–God.

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