The Top 199
AUGUST 15, 2001--Gail Gregory and Marc Levine at their Point Breeze home.--
"The advantage is we're not locked into forever with each other, although
at the present, I'd have no qualms about that," says Levine.
Hernando CortÚs on Mexico City in 1527:
This noble city contains many fine and magnificent houses; which may be
accounted for from the fact, that all the nobility of the country, who are
the vassals of Muteczuma, have houses in the city, in which they reside a
certain part of the year; and besides, there are numerous wealthy citizens
who also possess fine houses. All these persons, in addition to the large
and spacious apartments for ordinary purposes, have others, both upper and
lower, that contain conservatories of flowers. Along one of these causeways
that lead into the city are laid two pipes, constructed of masonry, each of
which is two paces in width, and about five feet in height. An abundant
supply of excellent water, forming a volume equal in bulk to the human
body, is conveyed by one of these pipes, and distributed about the city,
where it is used by the inhabitants for drink and other purposes. The other
pipe, in the meantime, is kept empty until the former requires to be
cleansed, when the water is let into it and continues to be used till the
cleaning is finished. As the water is necessarily carried over bridges on
account of the salt water crossing its route, reservoirs resembling canals
are constructed on the bridges, through which the fresh water is conveyed.
These reservoirs are of the breadth of the body of an ox, and of the same
length as the bridges. The whole city is thus served with water, which they
carry in canoes through all the streets for sale, taking it from the
aqueduct in the following manner: the canoes pass under the bridges on
which the reservoirs are placed, when men stationed above fill them with
water, for which service they are paid. At all the entrances of the city,
and in those parts where the canoes are discharged, that is, where the
greatest quantity of provisions is brought in, huts are erected, and
persons stationed as guards, who receive a certain quid of everything that
enters. I know not whether the sovereign receives this duty or the city, as
I have not yet been informed; but I believe that it appertains to the
sovereign, as in the markets of other provinces a tax is collected for the
benefit of the cacique. In all the markets and public places of this city
are seen daily many laborers waiting for some one to hire them.
The inhabitants of this city pay a greater regard to style in their mode of
dress and politeness of manners than those of the other provinces and
cities; since, as the Cacique Muteczuma has his residence in the capital,
and all the nobility, his vassals, are in constant habit of meeting there,
a general courtesy of demeanor necessarily prevails. But not to be prolix
in describing what relates to the affairs of this great city, although it
is with difficulty I refrain from proceeding, I will say no more than that
the manners of the people, as shown in their intercourse with one another,
are marked by as great an attention to the proprieties of life as in Spain,
and good order is equally well observed; and considering that they are
barbarous people, without the knowledge of God, having no intercourse with
civilized nations, these traits of character are worthy of admiration.
Short Piano Player
A guy walks into a bar carrying a small suitcase. He
orders a drink and when he's been served opens the
suitcase and takes out a grand piano about 8 inches high,
then a correspondingly sized piano bench, and finally a
piano player about a foot high, who sits down and plays
"Smoke Gets In Your eyes".
The bartender is amazed and says to the patron, "That's
amazing, I've never seen anything like that, where did
you get him?"
The patron explains that he found an old oil lamp and
when he was cleaning it a genie appeared who said he
would grant him a wish."
I wish I could try that," says the bar tender, full of
I have it right here, " says the patron, who reaches
into the suitcase and puts the lamp on the bar. The
barkeep rubs it.
The genie appears and right after that the bar is filled
with ducks: ducks everywhere, waddling, quaking, flying,
Hey" says the barkeep, "I wished for a million bucks?"
"Did you think I wished for a 12-inch pianist?" the
Dirk van Nouhuys
813 San Diego Road
Berkeley, CA, 94707
pile of sandAn Italian, an Irishman and a Chinese fellow are hired at
a construction site. The foreman points out a huge pileof sand and says
to the Italian guy, "You're in charge ofsweeping". To the Irishman he
says "You're in charge ofshoveling." And to the Chinese guy he says,
"You're in charge of supplies".
He says, "Now, I have to leave fora little while. I expect you guys to
make a dent in that there pile".
The foreman goes away for a couple of hours, and when he returns, the
pile of sand is untouched. He says to the Italian, "Why didn't you sweep
any of it?" The Italian replies in a heavy accent, "I donna have-a no
broom-a. You said the Chinese-a guy was-a in a charge of supplies-a, but
he a disappeared-a and I couldnna find-ahiem."
Then the foreman turns to the Irishman and asks why he didn't shovel.
The Irishman replies in his heavy brogue, "Aye, ye did lad. But I dunna
get meself a shovel. Yeleft the Chinese guy in chairge of supplies, but
I counnafin' him."
The foreman is really angry now, and storms off toward the pile of sand
looking for the Chinese guy... Just then, the Chinese guy springs out
from behind the pile ofsand and yells.... "SUPPLIES!!!!!"
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