Re: Pyramids & papyrus - HUMOR (but true nonetheless)

Subject: Re: Pyramids & papyrus - HUMOR (but true nonetheless)
From: Steve English <ink -at- MICROS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 17:34:24 -0500

Robert Morrisette writes,

Most of us who have seen and/or climbed the pyramids believe
that humans alone could not have floated blocks weighing tons
90 miles down the Nile and then put them together at tolerances
of fractions of an inch. And then there are the 20-ton blocks raised
100 feet high in the temples.

Well, in the immortal words of Dave Barry, I am not making this up...

When my ex moved out of the house we had bought together, I promised her,
the real estate agent, and the new owners that I would get the old oil-
burning furnace out of the cellar before we went to settlement.

The old furnace was a huge, ancient mass of iron, ceramic, and granite.
It was so old it had a sticker on the side that said "Buy war bonds-- beat
the Kaiser". Ha-ha! I'm just kidding, of course. The sticker said "Buy war
bonds-- beat the Visigoths."

The furnace was 5 feet tall, three feet wide, and 7-and-a-half feet long.
It was an early model for the megalith in the movie "2001, A Space
Odyssey", and many of its closest relatives are still on display at a place
called Stonehenge. I think it weighed at least a quarter of a ton.

When the workmen installed the new furnace months before, five of them had
wrestled this behemoth into a corner of the cellar. They offered to dispose
of it for a sum equal to the gross national product of several European
countries. We would have taken them up on it, but we were already out
several grand and were eating a lot of peanut butter and crackers.

I arranged for four of my co-workers, and the real estate agent (who was
a friend of mine) to meet me at the house on the last Saturday before
settlement. I figured that six of us could probably handle the job. We only
had to go across forty feet of cellar, up a flight of stairs, around a
corner that sloped sharply, then across twenty feet of lawn, and up into
the truck I rented to haul the old furnace to an approved disposal site.

Early on Saturday morning, the phone rang. A little while later, it rang
again. You can probably guess this part of the story. Suffice to say that
by 11 a.m., I was standing alone in the pouring rain, at the bottom of the
cellar stairs, staring over at the furnace and wondering how I was going
to solve this problem. A cart, or an automotive crawler, or something on
wheels would have helped a lot (at least until I got outside to the mud),
but that was a luxury I didn't have. Disassembling it would have cut the
workload, too, but the bolts that held it together had long ago fused into
immovable lumps of metal.

The guys I had recruited for the job, who had by now all backed out, had
been chosen on the basis of their family history. They were all large,
robust descendants of proud warrior races, used to muscling their way
through life's little problems. I, on the other hand, at 6'1 and 170 lbs.,
am apparantly descended from a genotype that specialized in running like
hell when the invaders' longboats were sighted.

I walked over to where the furnace sat smirking at me. I leaned on it and
pushed with all my might. It moved an inch and a half, and my lower back
murmured, "Don't even THINK about trying that again."

I sat down in the rain for half and hour and thought dark thoughts. Then I
stood up again and walked into the cellar...

I was home by 3:00. And I wasn't even sore the next day.

I still play poker with the real estate agent, and he still asks me how I,
working alone, removed the furnace.

Well, there are a lot of Sherlock Holmes stories in which the detective is
asked by a stunned client how he arrived at a given conclusion. After Holmes
explains the mechanics behind his work, the client invariably says something
like, "Oh, of course. Now that you explain it, I see that anybody could have
done it." This invariably pisses off Mr. Holmes, and with good reason.

So I smile over my pair of deuces at the real estate agent, and I reply,
"The same way they built the pyramids."

He usually folds.

Steve English "Any sufficiently advanced technology
ink -at- micros -dot- com is indistinguishable from magic."
-- Arthur C. Clarke

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