Breck Carter
Last modified: December 6, 1996
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The fRiDaY File, for December 6


The Millenium Watch


Leon Kappelman, writing in the November 25

issue of ComputerWorld, estimates

that the average company will spend

10 to 50 million

dollars fixing the "Year 2000 problem".


Leon also estimates, however,

that the same average company saved

$160 to $240 million

in 1995 dollars over the past 30 years by

not storing those two century digits in

all their dates.


This is sure to make the CEO feel better.



A Dictionary of MenSpeak


"I'll call you"


"I'm sorry, it hasn't worked out."


"Do you mind if I go out for a drink

with the boys?"


"I forgot to tell you..."


"Honey, we don't need material things

to prove our love"


"I forgot our anniversary...



"I don't need a map,

I can find this place no problem"


"I'll drive around in a circle

for thirty minutes,

growing increasingly irritable,

until you force me to stop and

ask for directions."


"Let's take your car"


"My car is full of empty beer cans

and burger wrappers and it is almost

out of gas."


"Hunting season is almost here"


"My hunter/gatherer friends and I

will be spending a week in a tent

passing gas

and handling firearms."


"I love you"


"I want to have sex with you."



And while we're on the subject...

The 5 Hardest Questions Women Ask:

1. What are you thinking?

2. Do you love me?

3. Do I look fat?

4. Do you think she is prettier than me?

5. What would you do if I died?


What makes these questions so hard?

Every one is guaranteed to start a

major argument and/or divorce proceedings

if the man does not answer properly,

which is to say dishonestly.


1. What are you thinking?

The proper answer to this question, of

course, is, "I'm sorry if I've been

pensive, dear. I was just reflecting on

what a warm, wonderful, caring, thoughtful,

intelligent, beautiful woman you are and

what a lucky guy I am to have met you."

Obviously, this statement bears no

resemblance whatsoever to what the guy was

really thinking at the time, which was most

likely one of five things:

(a) Baseball

(b) Football

(c) How fat you are.

(d) How much prettier she is than you.

(e) How you would spend the insurance money

if she died.

The best answer to this question came from

Al Bundy

of Married With Children, who told his wife


"If I wanted you to know,

I'd be talking instead of thinking."


2. Do you love me?

The correct answer to this question is,


For those guys who feel the need to be more

elaborate, you may answer,

"Yes, dear."

Wrong answers include:

(a) I suppose so.

(b) Would it make you feel better if I said yes?

(c) That depends on what you mean by "love".

(d) Does it matter?

(e) Who, me?


3. Do I look fat?

The correct male response to this question is

to confidently and emphatically state,

"No, of course not"

and then quickly leave the room.

Wrong answers include:

(a) I wouldn't call you fat,

but I wouldn't call you thin either.

(b) Compared to what?

(c) A little extra weight looks good on you.

(d) I've seen fatter.

(e) Could you repeat the question?

I was thinking about your insurance policy.


4. Do you think she is prettier than me?

The "she" in the question could be an

ex-girlfriend, a passer-by you were staring

at so hard that you almost cause a traffic

accident or an actress in a movie you just

saw. In any case, the correct response is,

"No, you are much prettier."

Wrong answers include:

(a) Not prettier, just pretty in a

different way.

(b) I don't know how one goes about

rating such things.

(c) Yes, but I bet you have a better


(d) Only in the sense that she's

younger and thinner.

(e) Could you repeat the question?

I was thinking about your insurance policy.


5. What would you do if I died?

The correct answer is "Dearest love, in the

event of your untimely demise, life would

cease to have meaning for me and I would

perforce hurl myself under the

front tires

of the first Domino's Pizza truck that came

my way."

This might be the hardest question of the

lot, as illustrated by the following



"Dear," said the wife,

"what would you do if I died?"

"Why, dear, I would be extremely upset,"

said the husband,

"Why do you ask such a question?"

"Would you remarry?" persevered the wife.

"No, of course not, dear" said the husband.

"Don't you like being married?" said the wife.

"Of course I do, dear" he said.

"Then why wouldn't you remarry?"

"Alright," said the husband, "I'd remarry."

"You would?" said the wife, looking

vaguely hurt.

"Yes" said the husband.

"Would you sleep with her in our bed?"

said the wife after a long pause.

"Well yes, I suppose I would."

replied the husband.

"I see," said the wife indignantly.

"And would you let her wear my

old clothes?"

"I suppose, if she wanted to" said the husband.

"Really," said the wife icily.

"And would you take down the pictures of me

and replace them with pictures of her?"

"Yes. I think that would be the

correct thing to do."

"Is that so?" said the wife,

leaping to her feet.

"And I suppose you'd let her play with my

golf clubs, too!"

"Of course not, dear," said the husband.

"She's left-handed."



Human Resources Secrets...


If you can't get your work done

in the first 24 hours,

work nights.


A pat on the back is only a

few inches

from a kick in the butt.


Don't be irreplaceable.

If you can't be replaced, you can't be



It doesn't matter what you do,

it only matters what you say you've done

and what you're going to do.


After any salary raise, you will have less

money at the end of the month

than you did before.


The more crap you put up with,

the more crap you are going to get.


You can go anywhere you want if you

look serious

and carry a clipboard.


Eat a live toad first thing in the morning

and nothing worse will happen to you

the rest of the day.


When the bosses talk about improving


they are never talking about



If at first you don't succeed, try again.

Then quit.

No use being a damn fool about it.


There will always be beer cans rolling on

the floor of your car when the boss asks for

a ride home from the office.


Everything can be filed under



Never delay the ending of a meeting or the

beginning of a cocktail hour.


Anyone can do any amount of work

provided it isn't the work he/she is

supposed to be doing.


Important letters that contain no errors

will develop errors in the mail.


If you are good, you will be assigned

all the work.

If you are really good,

you will get out of it.


You are always doing something marginal

when the boss drops by your desk.


People who go to conferences

are the ones who shouldn't.


If it wasn't for the last minute

nothing would get done.


At work, the authority of a person is

inversely proportional to the number of


that person is carrying.


When you don't know what to do,

walk fast and look worried.


Following the rules will not

get the job done.


Getting the job done is no excuse for

not following the rules.


When confronted by a difficult problem you

can solve it more easily by reducing it to

the question,

"How would the Lone Ranger handle this?"


No matter how much you do, you never do



The last person that quit or was fired will

be held responsible for everything that

goes wrong.


Breck Carter can be reached by phone at (416) 763-5200 or via email at