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I took some clients out to dinner last week, and I noticed a spoon in the
shirt pocket of our waiter as he handed us the menus. It seemed a little odd,
but I dismissed it as a random thing. Until our busboy came with water and
tableware; he too, sported a spoon in his breast pocket. I looked around the
room, and all the waiters and busboys had spoons in their pockets. When our
waiter returned to take our order, I just had to ask, Why the spoons?

Well, he explained, our parent company recently hired some Andersen
Consulting efficiency experts to review all our procedures, and after months of
statistical analyses, they concluded that our patrons drop spoons on the floor
73% more often than any other utensil, at a frequency of 3 spoons per hour per
workstation. By preparing our workers for this contingency in advance, we can
cut our trips to the kitchen down and save time... nearly 1.5 extra man-hours
per shift. Just as he concluded, a ch-ching came from the table behind him,
and he quickly replaced the fallen spoon with the one from his pocket.I'll grab
another spoon the next time I'm in the kitchen instead of making a special
trip, he proudly explained.

I was impressed. Thanks, I had to ask.

No problem, he answered. Then he continued to take our orders. As the
members of our dinner party took their turns, my eyes darted back and forth from
each person ordering and my menu. That's when, out of the corner of my eye, I
spotted a thin black thread protruding from our waiter's fly. Again, I dismissed
it; yet I had to scan the room and, sure enough, there were other waiters and
busboys with strings hanging out of their trousers. My curiosity overrode
discretion at this point, so before he could leave I had to ask. Excuse me,
but...uh...why, or what about that string?

Oh, yeah, he began, in a quieter tone, not many people are that observant.
That same efficiency group found we could save time in the Men's Room, too.

How's that? I asked.

You see, by tying a string to the end of our, uh, selves, we can pull it out
at the urinals literally hands-free and thereby eliminate the need to wash our
hands, cutting time spent in the washroom by over 93%!

Hey, wait a minute. If the string helps you pull it out, how do you get it
back in?

Well, he whispered, I don't know about the other guys, but I use the
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