My Life in Cebu: My email

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So I go away for 5 days, pretty deep in the Province of Samar, where there is no internet and no cell phone signal. And when I get back, I have 236 emails; absolutely, most of them junk. But, buried within the ads to increase my penis size, vitamins to extend my life, politicians asking for donations, and real estate offers that promise to make me wealthy beyond my dreams, I know that even though I am far away from my friends in other countries, they continue to send me funny stuff. Jokes and weird news stories, unusual photographs and general nonsense. I love it! This “batch o’ emails” was no different. Here are four that were stuck between the ads when I returned home to Cebu. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Life Lesson

According to a news report, a private Girls school in Manila was recently faced with a unique problem. A number of Grade 9 girls had begun to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. After they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the Mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints. Every night the maintenance man would remove them and the next day the girls would put them back.

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Finally the principal decided that something had to be done. She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the Maintenance man who had to clean the mirrors every night (you can just imagine the yawns from the little princesses).

To demonstrate how difficult it was to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required. He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror.

There are teachers…. and then there are educators.

The Obedient Filipino Wife!

There was a Filipino immigrant man who had worked all his life, had saved all of his money, and was a real “miser” when it came to his money.

Just before he died, he said to his Filipino wife…”When I die, I want you to take all my money and put it in the casket with me. I want to take my money to the after life with me.”

And so he got his wife to promise him, with all of her heart, that when he died, she would put all of the money into the casket with him.

Well, he died. He was stretched out in the casket, his wife was sitting there – dressed in black, and her best friend was sitting next to her.

When they finished the ceremony, and just before the undertaker got ready to close the casket, the wife said, “Wait just a moment!” She had a small metal box with her; she came over with the box and put it in the casket. Then the undertaker locked the casket down and they rolled it away.

So her friend said, “Girl, I know you were not fool enough to put all that money in there with your husband.”

The loyal wife replied, “Listen, I’m a Filipino Catholic & I cannot go back on my word. I promised him that I was going to put that money in the casket with him..”

You mean to tell me you put that money in the casket with him??”

“I sure did,” said the wife.

“I got it all together, and put it into my account and I wrote him a check….If he can cash it, he can spend it.” AMEN!

Irishman and Englishman

An Irishman and an Englishman walk into a bakery.
The Englishman steals 3 buns and puts them into his pockets and leaves. He says to the Irishman, “That took great skill and guile to steal those buns. The owner didn’t even see me.”

The Irishman replied, “That’s just simple thievery, I’ll show you how to do it the honest way and get the same results.”

The Irishman then proceeded to call out the owner of the bakery and says, “Sir, I want to show you a magic trick.” The owner was intrigued so he came over to see the magic trick.

The Irishman asked him for a bun and then he proceeded to eat it. He asked 2 more times and after eating them again the owner says, “Okay my friend, where’s the magic trick?”.

The Irishman then said, “Look in the Englishman’s pockets.”

Letter from the Smithsonian

The story behind the letter below is that there is this nutball in Newport, RI, named Scott Williams who digs things out of his backyard and sends the stuff he finds to the Smithsonian Institute, labeling them with scientific names, insisting that they are actual archaeological finds. This guy really exists and does this in his spare time!

Anyway… here’s the actual response from Smithsonian Institute. Bear this in mind next time you think you are challenged in your duty to respond to a difficult situation in writing.

Smithsonian Institute
207 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20078

Dear Mr. Williams:

Thank you for your latest submission to the Institute, labeled “93211-D, layer seven, next to the clothesline post… Hominid skull.” We have given this specimen a careful and detailed examination, and regret to inform you that we disagree with your theory that it represents conclusive proof of the presence of Early Man in Charleston County two million years ago.

Rather, it appears that what you have found is the head of a Barbie doll, of the variety that one of our staff, who has small children, believes to be “Malibu Barbie.” It is evident that you have given a great deal of thought to the analysis of this specimen, and you may be quite certain that those of us who are familiar with your prior work in the field were loathe to come to contradiction with your findings. However, we do feel that there are a number of physical attributes of the specimen which might have tipped you off to its modern origin:

The material is molded plastic. Ancient hominid remains are typically fossilized bone.
The cranial capacity of the specimen is approximately 9 cubic centimeters, well below the threshold of even the earliest identified proto-homonids.
The dentition pattern evident on the skull is more consistent with the common domesticated dog than it is with the ravenous man-eating Pliocene clams you speculate roamed the wetlands during that time.

This latter finding is certainly one of the most intriguing hypotheses you have submitted in your history with this institution, but the evidence seems to weigh rather heavily against it. Without going into too much detail, let us say that:

A. The specimen looks like the head of a Barbie doll that a dog has chewed on.
B. Clams don’t have teeth.

It is with feelings tinged with melancholy that we must deny your request to have the specimen carbon-dated. This is partially due to the heavy load our lab must bear in its normal operation, and partly due to carbon-dating’s notorious inaccuracy in fossils of recent geologic record. To the best of our knowledge, no Barbie dolls were produced prior to 1956 AD, and carbon-dating is likely to produce wildly inaccurate results.

Sadly, we must also deny your request that we approach the National Science Foundation Phylogeny Department with the concept of assigning your specimen the scientific name Australopithecus spiff-arino. Speaking personally, I, for one, fought tenaciously for the acceptance of your proposed taxonomy, but was ultimately voted down because the species name you selected was hyphenated, and didn’t really sound like it might be Latin.

However, we gladly accept your generous donation of this this fascinating specimen to the museum. While it is undoubtedly not a Hominid fossil, it is, nonetheless, yet another riveting example of the great body of work you seem to accumulate here so effortlessly. You should know that our Director has reserved a special shelf in his own office for the display of the specimens you have previously submitted to the Institution, and the entire staff speculates daily on what you will happen upon next in your digs at the site you have discovered in your Newport back yard.

We eagerly anticipate your trip to our nation’s capital that you proposed in your last letter, and several of us are pressing the Director to pay for it. We are particularly interested in hearing you expand on your theories surrounding the trans-positating fillifitation of ferrous ions in a structural matrix that makes the excellent juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex femur you recently discovered take on the deceptive appearance of a rusty 9-mm Sears Craftsman automotive crescent wrench.

Yours in Science,

Harvey Rowe
Chief Curator-Antiquities

Rob Ashley

After travelling to the Philippines and SE Asia perhaps 15 times between 2007-2011, I decided to retire in Cebu and moved here in August 2011. Things changed fast. A month after I was here I met my wife Rachel; In 6 months I decided I was bored after having taught high school English and in a graduate school of education at a Portland, Oregon university for 30+ years; I looked around; I was hired as the Head of the English Department at a Cebu international school. Rachel and I got married; we bought a condo in Cebu City; we got two cats. After 3 years here I was offered a similar position at a Japanese international school, so we went to Japan. After two years there I was offered another position of Coordinator of Languages at a Vienna, Austria international school. Living in Europe was nice, but Rachel said, “It’s too cold here.” So, finally last August, we returned to Cebu for good, and I really am retired. I have learned that you pretty much take your life with you wherever you go. I have a PhD from the University of Oregon and I’m a diehard Oregon Ducks fan. Likewise an NBA Portland Trailblazers fan, so I am often up at 3 am on Sundays or Mondays to watch football and basketball games. Cebu is home now and many thanks to Bob Martin for LIP and the services and opportunities he offers us Expats.

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Jerry HeroldRob AshleyKrista MatiasRob BarryS Davis Recent comment authors
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S Davis
S Davis

Thanks Rob,

I needed a good chuckle today!
The first one reminded me of sign above the urinal of one of my favorite watering holes…”Please do not throw cigarette butts in the urinal…
The hands that pick them out, are the same hands that put ice cubes in your drinks!”

Keep smiling, it makes everyone else wonder what you’re up to… 😉

Rob Barry
Rob Barry

SD: Good one. Sometimes I read these jokes or the news stories old friends send me and I have to just shake my head at the human condition. I always like a good joke, so send them along. be well. -Rob

Krista Matias

These are really good touches of humor. The lipstick problem really got me. I remembered that similar situation also happened in my high school. It’s really funny remembering it, and will truly serve them a lesson :D. Your blog is really entertaining and, thank you for loving the PHILIPPINES.

Rob Ashley
Rob Ashley

Krista: Thank you for reading and your compliments. I do try to have fun with whatever I write about. I do love the Philippines; it is home. All the best. -Rob

Jerry Herold

Bob, I did not want to live in a crowded city, like Cebu City. I could live in a condo, but then when you are out, you face the traffic. so, no jail-like conditions in a condo. So, I took a look around Cebu, Dumaguete, and other places. I took a quick look at Camotes Island, less then 1.5 hours by ferry from Cebu City, and found what I was looking for. So, I bought land, 1,600 sq meters, near but not at the beach, a short walk. I found out that land is going fast, since the major island… Read more »


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