A Wise Guy Meets His Match!

My Long Lost Cousin, in his younger days, was a telephone installer. He related this story to me:

“I was with another installer in a high rise building on the 20th floor. We were putting in several telephones on that floor. A fat lady came out of a flat and said:

“Are you the telephone man?”

Now, I was carrying a few new phones and I thought that was a dumb question.

So, I said: “No lady, we’re plumbers!”

The fat lady smiled and said: “I have a dripping facet, can you come in and fix it?” She had a new washer to install.

She offered me $10, so I had a few minutes to spare and the money would buy the drinks after work.

I proceeded to unscrew the facet and the water suddenly was spurting out all over the bathroom!

“Where’s the stop cock?”

The fat lady said: “I don’t know, I just moved in!”

The water is now coming out of the bathroom into the hallway!

I ran through the apartment looking for the stop cock. I finally found it in the kitchen. I turned the water off!

But now, the water has leaked to the downstairs flat. A big burley guy comes up and grabs me. He shakes me violently!

“Don’t you know your business?” he shouts.

“I’m the telephone man,” I whispered.

“He told me he was the plumber,” said the fat lady.

The burley guy gave me a right hook to the jaw! I ran to the elevator and got out of the building, never to return again!

Well, my cousin’s partner finished the installations that day.

My LLC vowed he would never be a SMART ASS again!

Contemplating the Navel

My Long Lost Cousin came to my house the other night in a state of panic!

“What’s wrong, Cousin?”

My Cousin’s face was as white as a ghost’s!

“I put myself in a hypnotic trance and I almost didn’t get out of it!”

“Relax, and tell your Cousin Dave all about it. Do you want a beer or a whiskey-Seven?”

“I think I need a double whiskey-Seven!”

I got myself a beer and my Cousin his whiskey.

“Okay, let’s hear the story and see if I can help.”

“You know I’ve been having problems with insomnia and over-eating.”


“Well, I bought a book on Self-Hypnosis because I thought it could help me without drugs or therapy.”

“Sounds sensible, your inner resources needed a boost.”

LLC continued: “First, I tried the Navel Technique for calmness and peace of mind, to relax me before the main event.”

“What happened?”

“I laid down on the floor of my study and looked up at the oil painting of the bikini-clad girl. She has a wonderful navel!”

“I don’t remember that picture, is it new?”

“I bought it a couple of weeks ago.”

“Oh! Please go on.”

“Well, I started breathing deeply, with my stomach pushed out, then I inhaled through my nose. Then I exhaled through my mouth with my stomach held in. Then I contemplated the navel.”

“Whose navel, yours or the oil painting?”

“The oil painting!”

“I think you’re supposed to be contemplating your navel.”

“I can’t see my navel!”

“In your imagination, Cousin, after all it’s only a hole in your belly!”

“Okay, okay, after a few minutes of navel gazing I felt relaxed. So I could use this technique to get to sleep.”

“That’s one problem solved,” I said, hopefully.

“Now, I went on to the main event, the technique to cure my over-eating.”

“Is this the one you almost didn’t get out of?”

“Yes, it was very scary. You know when you’re in a dream, and you want to get out of it, but you can’t move, complete muscle weakness. Sleep Paralysis!”

“Describe the technique, please.”

“I did my deep breathing and navel gazing, then I started to rub my feet and legs to stimulate blood circulation. They warmed up nicely. Then I put a blanket over my feet, legs and thighs. The warmth felt good.”

“It was relaxing also, wasn’t it?”

“Yes, it was. Then I imagined I was buried up to the waist in quicksand! There were two figures standing on the hard ground looking at me. One held out a stick and the other held out a plate of delicious fattening food.”

“Oh, oh, decision time!”

“Right! If I took the stick I would be saved and I would realize I can conquer my over-eating. But I grabbed the plate of food and every time I ate a goody, I sunk down farther in the sand!”

My Cousin was a sad case, indeed.

“So you were swallowing food and the quicksand was swallowing you!”

“Yes. I had to exert all my strength to push myself out of the trance! Coming out I felt extremely tired.”

“But why did you take the plate of food?”

“I think it was because the person offering me the food was the “wonderful navel lady” in my oil painting!!!”


Talking To Yourself!

I was having a refreshing beer with my Long Lost Cousin, when he said:

“Lately, I’m talking to myself constantly. Sometimes I wonder if I’m going nuts!”

“Is your self-talk negative or positive?”

My cousin went silent. He was lost in his thoughts.

“Mostly negative, I’m afraid.”

“Relax cousin, I’ll try to sort you out. Bartender, give us two more beers, please.”

“We all talk to ourselves, it’s our internal monologue. What we say to ourselves in response to external situations determines our moods and makes us feel good or miserable!”

“I get so up tight over daily events, I could spit nails!”

“Give me an example, cousin.”

“Well, the other day, I was giving my opinion on some subject, I can’t remember what it was, now. But the bloke I was talking to started telling me how wrong I was, etc. He was nice about it, but I got up tight. How dare he make me out as an idiot. It stopped me from expressing my opinions for a while. I would panic and get anxious and think I’m an idiot!”

“You see cousin, your self-talk reacted negatively to his criticism. It could have been interpreted as constructive criticism. You took it as destructive. It was your interpretation that was giving you anxiety.”

My cousin smiled, and said:

“I even went to a fortune teller and asked about my bad thinking habits and anxiety. She said, it will continue for a year.”

“Then what, you’ll learn to control your self-talk?”

“No, she said, after a year, I’ll just get used to it!”

“Very funny! But the fact is people who suffer from panic attacks and anxiety are prone to engage in negative self-talk.”

My cousin drained his glass of beer very quickly. I still had half a glass left.

“Bartender, give my cousin another beer.”

He stared at the refilled glass of froth and said:

“Sometimes, I feel so powerless and helpless in situations. Almost like I’m a victim of external events. It’s a disturbing feeling. I feel like life is a terrible struggle!”

“My friend, you have some very destructive beliefs. And you keep telling yourself these negative things.”

LLC took a long swig of beer.

“I feel I can’t control my life.”

“See cousin, it’s your wrong interpretation of your human condition. You have to see things differently!”

“What can I do to change my negative beliefs?”

“You need to use some affirmations that counter your mistaken ideas about things.”

“Examples, please!”

Now, I needed another beer!

“Well, lets see, counter “I feel powerless.” By “I’m responsible and in control of my life.” Counter “ I am a victim of externals”. By “Circumstances are just what they are, but I  can choose my attitude toward them.”

“I think I’m getting it now. It’s all in the interpretation and my reaction to events.”

“You’ve got it, my friend, you’ve got it!”

Then, a beautiful woman sat on the stool next to my cousin and whispered in his ear. “I’ll do anything you want for 50 bucks!”

He gave her the 50 dollars and said:

“Here…go paint my house!”