Category Archives: jokes

Sewage jokes, limericks, and a song.

I ran for water commissioner (sewer commissioner) of Oakland county, Michigan last year, lost, but enjoyed my run. It’s a post that has a certain amount of humor built-in. If you can’t joke about yourself, you’ve got no place in the sewer. So here are some sewage jokes, and poems, beginning with an old favorite; one I used often in my campaign:3b37b9cab2d27693de2aa7004a3d90ef

Why was Piglet staring into the toilet?
He was looking for Poo.

Last week someone broke into the police station and stole all the toilets. The cops are still searching. So far, they have nothing to go on.paperwork

On administration: In life as on the toilet, the job isn’t done until the paperwork is finished.

Speaking of toilet paper: do you know why Star Trek is like toilet paper? They both go past Uranus and capture Klingons. I wrote an essay on Toilet paper — really. 

Here’s my campaign song and video. It’s sung by Art Carney (I’ve no rights, but figure they’ve expired). The pictures are of me, my daughter, and various people we met visiting sewage treatment plants around the county. Great men and a few great women who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. 


The Turd Burglar, We’re No.1 in the No. 2 business. What a motto!

And now for sewage Limericks:

There once was a man named McBride.
Who fell in the sewer and died.
The same day his brother
Fell in another,
And they were interred side by side.

There is a double intent in that Limerick, in case you missed it

By the sewer she lived, by the sewer she died. Some said t’was disease, but I say, Suicide

sewage treatment

sewage treatment plant in Pontiac, MI — the county’s largest.

How do you describe a jocular sewage joker? pun gent.

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it is what you put into it (Tom Lehrer). And sometimes it stinks.

Robert E. Buxbaum, June 4, 2017. There is just one more sewage joke I know, but I thought I’d leave it out. It concerns the sewage backup at the prom. Unfortunately, the punchline stinks.

Taxes and accounting jokes

A friend called the other day asking about a financial matter. It seems his wife bought some pictures for  pictures a few days ago for $2000, and after having them apprised, she finds they’re worth $2,000,000.

I started talking about un-realized profits, and mentioned that I never imagined that his wife had such an eye for art. He said, they’re not art pictures, exactly; they’re of you discussing business with the Russians. (It’s a joke — I thought you-all might depreciate it).taxation with representation


When I started my business, I found that you could deduct medical costs. I called the IRS and asked if I could deduct birth control. They told me: “only if it doesn’t work.”


I’m glad I learned about parallelograms in school, instead something mundane, like taxes. It’s really come in handy this parallelogram season.


I got a robo-call asking me to press “1” to hear about a government program for those who wanted to avoid paying back taxes. I did, and a voice said “Leavenworth.”   It wasn’t much of a program, more of a sentence.


Robert E. Buxbaum, April 5, 2017.  For jokes on other topics, click the jokes tag, here.

math jokes and cartoons

uo3wgcxeParallel lines have so much in common.

It’s a shame they never get to meet.



sometimes education is the removal of false notions.

sometimes education is the removal of false notions.

pi therapy

pi therapy

Robert E. Buxbaum, January 4, 2017. Aside from the beauty of math itself, I’ve previously noted that, if your child is interested in science, the best route for development is math. I’ve also noted that Einstein did not fail at math, and that calculus is taught wrong, and probably is.

Boy-Girl physics humor

Girl breaking up with her boyfriend: I just need two things, more space, and time.

Atoms try to understand themselves.

Atoms build physicists in an attempt to understand themselves. That’s also why physicists build physics societies and clubs.

Boyfriend: So, what’s the other thing?


Robert Buxbaum. And that, dear friend, is why science majors so rarely have normal boyfriends / girlfriends.

A female engineer friend of mine commented on the plight of dating in the department: “The odds are good, but the goods are odd.”

By the way, the solution to Einstein’s twin paradox resides in understanding that time is space. Both twins see the space ship moving at the same pace, but space shrinks for the moving twin in the space ship, not for the standing one. Thus, the moving twin finishes his (or her) journey in less time than the standing one observes.

Thinking the unthinkable

Do you know how you go about thinking the unthinkable?


With an ithberg, of course.


Robert Buxbaum. April 12, 2016. I thought it was time for another “dad joke.” Besides, the Titanic sank on April 14th. I spend a fair about of time thinking the unthinkable. On a vaguely similar note:

After Boris died, everyone gathered at his funeral.

The minister started to speak: “He was a model husband, a decent man, a terrific father..”

The widow then makes a motion for her son to come to her.

“What is it mother?” he whispers.

“Dear, go check the casket, I think we’re at the wrong funeral…”

Stories of Jewish charity

Before Passover this year, an individual went to the rabbi of our town for a private meeting to tell him about the problems facing various people. He said, there was one particularly pathetic case where a family could lose their house. They had borrowed $5000 from a particularly nasty lender who would throw them out in the cold if they didn’t pay up soon.

Our rabbi was touched, and said he would do what he could to raise the sum. He would even contribute $100 of his own. As the fellow left, he had just one question, ‘How do you come to know this is going on? Are you a relative, or particularly close friend?” “No,” said the guest, “I’m the lender.”


Another story of Jewish charity: a neighbor of ours takes incredible care of her husband, She spends quite a lot, regularly to get his nails done professionally. She says it’s worth it to know that his coffin is secure.

Finally, I must admit that I’d wanted to marry my ex-wife, who I had divorced previously — sort of an act of kindness. But she would have none of it. My ex said I was only marrying her for my money.

Robert E. Buxbaum. October 23, 2015

Chemical engineers and boilers, ‘I do anything’

One of the problems I run into trying to hire chemical engineers is that their background is so varied that they imagine they can do anything. Combine this with a willingness to try to do anything, and the job interview can go like this.

Me: You have a great resume. I suppose you know that our company is a leader in hydrogen engineering (in my case). Tell me, what do you see yourself doing at our company?

Engineer: I don’t know. I do anything and everything.

Me: That covers a lot of ground. Is there something that you do particularly well, or that you would particularly like to do here?

Engineer.: Anything, really.

Me: Do you see yourself making coffee?

Engineer: I could do that, but was thinking of something with more … responsibility.

Me: OK. Could you design and build a 5 kW, gas-fired boiler?

Engineer: Himm. How much coffee did you say you guys drink?

Current version of our H2 generators (simplified) and the combustion-heated modification I'm working on.

Current version of our H2 generators (simplified) and the combustion-heated modification I’m working on.

Not quite where I was going with that. The relevance of this joke is that I’m finally getting around to redesigning our hydrogen generators so that they are heated by waste-gas combustion instead of electricity. That was the plan originally, and it appears in almost all of my patents. But electricity is so easy to deal with and control that all REB generators have been heated this way, even the largest.

The current and revised processes are shown in the figure at right. Our general process is to make ultra pure hydrogen from methanol and water in one step by the following reaction:

CH3OH + H2O –> CO2  + 3 H2.

done in a membrane reactor (see advantages). My current thought is to make the first combustion heated hydrogen generator have an output about 2/3 as large as our largest. That is, to produce 100 scfh, or 50 slpm, or 6 kg of H2/ day. This could be advantageous for people trying to fuel fork lifts or a hybrid, fuel cell car; a car could easily carry 12 kg of hydrogen, allowing it to go an extra 300 miles.

The generator with this output will need a methanol-water feed rate of about 2/3 gal per hour (about 80¢/worth pre hour), and will need a heat rate of 2.5 to 3 kW. A key design issue is that I have to be sure not to extract too much energy value from the feed because, if there’s not enough energy in the waste gas, the fire could go out. That is, nearly pure CO2 doesn’t burn. Alternately, if there is too much flow to the flame or too much energy content, there might be over-heating. In order to avoid the flame going out, I have a pilot flame that turns off the flow if it goes out. I also plan to provide 30% or so of the reactor heat about 800 W, by burning non-wast gas, natural gas in this iteration. My plan is to use this flow to provide most of the temperature control, but to provide secondary control by (and safety) by venting some of the off-gas if the reactor gets hotter than a set limit. Early experiments suggest it should work.

The business side of this is still unknown. Perhaps this would provide military power or cabins in the woods. Perhaps ship-board auxiliary power or balloons, or hydrogen fueling stations, or perhaps it will be used for chemical applicationsWith luck, it’ll sell to someone who needs hydrogen.

Robert E. Buxbaum. December 4, 2015. By the way, hydrogen isn’t as flammable as you might think.

Disney’s Star Wars seven: muppets in space

I just bought tickets for opening night of the new Star Wars movie, “The force Awakens,” now produced by Disney instead of Lucas Film. While the original films were not family unfriendly, Disney has a peculiar wholesome reputation to uphold and a peculiar taste for cross marketing. As Disney now owns the Muppets, too, and the muppets 30 years ago made some cross-promotional photos with Kermit and Piggy, I now propose the following plot to integrate the photos into the saga as it stands.

We know that the main characters from SW6 (Empire Strikes Back) are back. Harrison Ford appeared on an entertainment magazine wearing a peculiar black vest. I expect to see them on sale, as the Indiana Jones hat was on sale, and maybe still is (I nearly bought one). In a preview he’s shown handing a blaster to a young girl dressed vaguely like a Jedi. My guess is this is an orphan he’s found, and that she’s going to become a Jedi. Han’s personality never changes in the earlier movies, and neither did Leah’s, so my expectation is they’re still the same here. I see Leah leading the free rebels, making pompous comments about uncle Luke, or about the kids (I expect they have at least one child). Han remains a grumpy fly-boy, with perhaps some depreciating humor about his age. I expect Leah to plan the winning air battle, and expect Han to pick the kids up at the end of the movie, and to fly off in the old Millennium Falcon station as the credits roll. Han and Leah are not main characters; mostly there for reference and continuity.

This is a meme on Facebook, don't know who did it, but clearly relevant to Star Wars 7.

I saw this on Facebook; don’t know who did it.

In the preview, the girl enters a wrecked star ship and hears a voice saying, “who are you?” The girl answers “nobody.” I’ll guess this is a new female companion, who is, like the girl a castaway. All the key people enter Star Wars as castaways of one sort or another (Han, Luke, Chewie, Obiwan, Yoda, Anakin, Qui Gon, Jar Jar Binks…) It’s a pattern found with the baby Moses, or the young Oedipus found by Polybus. Finding such castaways is rarely good luck for the finder’s clan. As the castaway is unseen, I’ll assume it’s a certain muppet, a voluptuous pig who dresses like Leah. We’ll call her Lola. My guess is that Luke will be taken by her. Is it love? Can Luke be true to her and to the force? The Ghost of Yoda will appear to claim she’s trouble, and will remind them that control of feelings is of utmost importance. (Yoda’s a creeper, as was Obi Wan: teaches emotion control and pacifism; helps Luke blow up a death star).

The previews also show a handsome black ex-storm trooper, perhaps he’ll be a love interest for the girl, and perhaps the next generation of Jedi: the force has to awaken in someone. Either way, he too is a castaway. There’s also a bad guy in black. I don’t expect another castaway, so I’ll guess this finally is the biological son of Han and Leah, and that he’s the first student of Luke.

I see a new love interest: Lola, the she pig. Can she be trusted? Can Luke keep true to her and to The Force?

I see a new love interest: Lola, the she pig. Can she be trusted? Can Luke be true to her and The Force?

The bad guy is shown at the head of an army of Imperial storm troopers. He’s been turned bad, perhaps by the skull of Vader? Luke, dressed in black, is still on the good side and will try to teach the girl and storm-trooper, dressed in white, but without much success. He’s lost his nerve. Someone is shown in black, with a cross- shaped light-saber; my guess is it’s Luke. Disney would not put a cross in the hands of a villain (just saying). The red cross shape flickers suggests anguish. My guess is there is a foreshadowing that Luke will eventually perform an act of self-sacrifice, like Christ or Obi Wan; can’t let the cat out of the bag.

Not knowing otherwise, I’ll assume that the ex-storm trooper is the McGuffin, or has it. It’s he that attracts the bad guys. He conveniently crash-lands on a desert planet where we also find Han, the mystery girl, and the mystery pig (the force is strong with him). Perhaps he’s been turned to the good side by the mystery pig. The Empire attacks and Han takes them all to the Rebel base where we meet Leah and Luke. Luke sees something in the trio and (I’ll guess) takes them to Degoba, the planet where Luke was trained. Why? Luke won’t say. I picked Degoba because that’s where the muppet shoot was. I expect one robot to go, and the other robot to stay behind with Han and Leah. Robots always accompany people in SW, like valets.

I expect Luke’s ship to be blown up on Degoba, stranding them. They get stranded in every movie, so why not. But who did it: Luke? Lola? One of the kids? Something’s not kosher about the pig. Is she a sith with a snout (say that five times fast). I imagine Luke teaching the kids some Jedi stuff, but growing frustrated. He tells them to control their feelings; that fear leads to hate, etc. His niece will say she’s already heard that from Yoda, and will add, What are you doing with the pig? Don’t you see the danger? Luke will try to explain: “You’ll understand when you’re older,” and will walk off with the pig into the woods.

Star Wars, green with envy.

You make me feel like I’m 500 again, but my place is with Kermie. It’s another awkward family reunion photo.

The kids will meet another green, wise one. A frog, named Kermit, who will train them using music and laughter. The kids will then try to explore the woods with Kermit in tow.

Meanwhile Luke, will fire up his cross-shaped light saber and raise up a hoard of dark assistants (or assassins?). Who are they? They are phantasms of Luke’s wayward student, and of other’s he’s injured. Luke will fight a phantasm and kill it; again it’s himself. The girl will show up and he’ll nearly kill her, but Lola will stop them, and tell Luke not to feel bad about the bad guy, his student.

The ghost of Yoda appears, and Lola says, “It’s about time, sonny-boy..”  Yoda will say, “Yes, mommy.” Luke says, “She’s your mother?!”. Lola will look up at Luke and say, “yes, and a very troublesome lad he’s been. “He’s told you all wrong about feelings. “Feelings are good.” The ex-storm trooper and the girl look at each other. Lola will look at Luke and say, “you make me feel like I’m 500 again, but my place is with Kermie.” Kermit  looks lovingly at Yoda.

There’s a space attack from the Empire. Rescuers appear, with Han at the lead in the falcon. The two youths turn out to be excellent flyers. Everyone flies off. Inside the ship, Lola turns to Kermis, “Feelings, Kermie, I’ve been in that prison ship for 800 years, get behind the seats, and I’ll show you feelings.”… Kermis makes a face. Han hits the hyper drive. Ship vanishes, Music swells, and the credits roll.

Buxbaum, Yes, that’s a winning combination script, written. November 23, 2015.

Chinese jokes

At college, my chinese room-mate wanted to make a surprise birthday dinner for his girlfriend.

….. But someone let the cat out of the bag.


Then there was the fellow who broke into the Fortune Cookie Factory with a hammer and broke virtually all the fortune cookies — as many as he could find — in an act of wonton destruction.


And finally,


I don’t believe racial jokes are evil, but suppose it all comes down on your idea of good humor. Comedy always involves odd people, or people doing things differently. The difference doesn’t have to be insulting, just different, and all good jokes provide some new insight.

Robert E. Buxbaum, October 29, 2015. Every now and again I post jokes– and then I analyze them to death (it’s funny because ….). Recent ones include an Italian Funeral joke, a fetish lawyer joke, and things on, engineers, dentists, piratessurrealism. Just click the “jokes” tab at right for the whole, unsightly assortment.

Pelham G. Wodehouse would like to acknowledge

Here is the acknowledgement page of P. G. Wodehouse’s autobiography, “Over Seventy”, published 1957. Wouldn’t we all like to be able to write an acknowledgement like this (and have enough of an oeuvre to make it funny)?

Wouldn't we all like to write one like this.

You have to have a lot of hits — or an imaginary Frisby –to get away with an acknowledgement like this.

For those who don’t know, P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975)  was the author of some 150 books and plays, plus a hundred or so short stories, radio-sketches and songs. He is best known as the creator of one of the great bromance relationships: carefree Bertram Wooster and his super-competent valet, Jeeves. Wodehouse collaborated on two dozen Broadway musicals including with Jerome Kern (Showboat), Cole Porter (Anything Goes), Guy Bolton, and George Gershwin, and once had 5 running simultaneously. But, to my knowledge, he has never sold an eel, jellied or otherwise.

Robert E. Buxbaum, September 1, 2015. “It was one of those cases where you approve the broad, general principle of an idea but can’t help being in a bit of a twitter at the prospect of putting it into practical effect. I explained this to Jeeves, and he said much the same thing had bothered Hamlet.”  (Jeeves in the Morning).