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Dilbert Newsletter 52.0

daemon@ATHENA.MIT.EDU (scottadams@aol.com)
Wed Dec 10 16:55:46 2003

From: scottadams@aol.com
To: <dilbert-redist@mit.edu>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2003 14:13:40 -0500

            Dilbert Newsletter 52.0

       "A Little Ray of Bitter Sunshine"

**********  SPECIAL HOLIDAY EDITION   ***********

To:     Dogbert's New Ruling Class (DNRC)
From:   Scott Adams (scottadams@aol.com)
Date:   December 2003

DNRC Status

There are 674,953 members of DNRC. Non-members, the so-called In-duh-viduals, will someday be your domestic servants when Dogbert conquers the world. And that means each of you will have a dedicated Induhvidual who dresses as Sponge Bob and follows you until you look like you're about to sneeze. Then he'll fling himself in the expectorant's trajectory in the nick of time. He'll try to tuck and roll, but it won't work because he has square pants. You'll never get tired of watching it. You might even stop taking your allergy meds.

Holiday Thoughts

If you're following the news, you know that the major religions differ in their interpretation of the holy books. For example, one way to interpret God's will is that you should love your neighbor. An alternate reading of the holy books might lead you to rig a donkey cart with small mortar rockets and aim it at a hotel full of infidels. In summary, po-tay-to, poh-tah-to. Religions are very flexible, and that's a loophole that the DNRC should exploit, especially during the holiday season.

Imagine, if you will, that all DNRC members moved their holiday gift-buying from December to January to take advantage of the sales. Then imagine that the money saved on gifts is invested at 5% compounded interest for 80 years. You'll be dead by then, but your estates would be worth literally hundreds of dollars, maybe more. Anyway, the point is that it's easier to park at the mall in January, and that's something that Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha would all agree is a good thing. Especially Buddha, if you know what I mean.

Personally, I want a religion that says it's okay for me to RECEIVE gifts, while warning that I'll burn in hell forever if I try to GIVE any. Furthermore, if I open a gift that seems poorly thought-out, it would be my religious obligation to smash it against a wall while the giver watches in horror. Some people might say to me, "Hey, where did you get that religion? Did you pull it out of your @$$?" But people are polite and rarely ask that sort of question even when you think they should.

Quotes From Induhviduals

Observant DNRC members continue to send me true quotes of Induhviduals. As previously discovered, you can string them together in almost any order and they make an excellent story:


The phone was ringing off its hinges. I didn't want to stir the apple cart. It was so quiet you could hear a needle drop in a haystack. It was time to separate the wheat from the baby.

I usually don't put my chickens before the horse, but all is fair in horseshoes and hand-grenades. It was time to get the train out of the harbor because not everything that shines is baloney. I didn't have many bullets left in the tank and I was shooting at straws, running on exhaustion fumes, looking for a seed that would get it over the hump. I didn't want to sit in the hotbox with my fingers in my earballs. It was a huge incontinence for me, but it's water under the dam now, so I put the ball in the other shoe, and that took the steam out of my sails. No point in making a molehill out of an elephant. I mean, you can try, but it's like waiting for toast to boil. That's why I say you shouldn't let people get under your goat. If you do the legwork, you'll have all of your balls in the air. It's like six of one and two dozen of the other. Eventually the penny will come home to roost. You are the wind beneath my cheeks. 

                             The End


Make sure you get your Dilbert page-a-day calendar before they run out. Last year I got a zillion e-mails in January asking where to buy the sold-out calendar. 


Induhvidual Tales

Here are some inspirational tales of Induhviduals, submitted by DNRC members. As usual, I suspect that many of them are either urban legend or lifted from past Dilbert Newsletters that I've forgotten. But that doesn't make them less funny.


I once read an article about a person who was against daylight savings time.  She said that the extra hour of sunlight would kill the grass.  I mentioned this story to my sister, laughing while I did so, and my sister replied that there WAS extra sunlight during daylight savings.  I explained that congress couldn't legislate extra sunlight.  To this day my college-educated sister believes that daylight savings time gives us extra sunlight. 


One of our managers, in trying to explain how versatile he is, described himself as "multi-flaccid."


This morning while I was in our office kitchen, a co-worker walked up to me and asked when my birthday was. I told her November. She looked puzzled and asked if it was this coming November. 


Some colleagues and I were out to lunch when peers from a local competitor entered the restaurant with a young engineer who was obviously being interviewed. (We eavesdropped.)  When asked why he went to a local college rather than a nearby nationally ranked engineering school, the new guy said, "It's too competitive.  I can't take that kind of pressure."  

We hope they hired him.


My ex's mom took the written test to become a school bus driver.  She was explaining that the whole process was very difficult.  She kept talking about how hard the key-nah-low-gee test was.  When I realized she was talking about a "knowledge" test I had to leave the room to avoid hurting her feelings by "laughing like a banshee."


One of my two bosses took the company credit card on a business trip.  Meanwhile we needed the credit card number to buy a server.  My other boss said, "We used to have a sheet of paper around the office that had all our company credit card numbers with their expiration dates and security codes. I wonder what happened to that. Maybe we should make another one."


I was working at an office supply store several years ago when I received a phone call.  The caller told me that someone had broken into his office and stolen his fax machine.  I sympathized.  Then he asked me "How do I keep the people who stole my fax machine from receiving my faxes?"

Dilbert Gift Ideas Under $20

If you're stuck with buying a gift under $20 and you're too lazy to walk to a store, you can order online Dilbert books, calendars, mugs, framed comics, PDA calendars for Palm OS, hats, posters, mouse covers, mouse pads, shirts, cell phone covers, and mints.


Also check out the latest Get Fuzzy book:


And the latest Pearls Before Swine book:


Holiday Story

In the tradition of the Dilbert Newsletter, here is my special holiday story -- the only non-cynical thing I write all year.

Recent True Story:

Midnight, Danville California, heart pounding, sound of sneakers on pavement, sockless, sweating, adrenaline pumping. Two minutes ago I was climbing into bed. Now I'm running down a pitch-black street, full speed, fearing the worst.

Neighbor's sidewalk, dark, don't trip. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. Doorbell too. DING-DONG-DING.  C'mon, c'mon, wake up! There he is. Open the door. I blurt:


Two houses alerted. The next one is the hardest. It's around the corner, nearest the blaze. Full sprint. Hope the fire hasn't reached them yet. No sirens. How long has it been since I called 911? Damn moonless night. I can't see anything but the fire, now only a patch of dry grass from the house. No lights. The occupants are oblivious, probably in bed. Front walkway is an obstacle course. Jump, guess, steps maybe. Got lucky, no sprains.



He's fast with the garden hose. Does that ever work? One more house, then I'll load the car for evacuation. Legs pump harder, pick it up a notch, sprint now, rest later, make a mental list of what to take, what to leave. Cats first, then unfinished Dilbert strips and art supplies. Computers. Photos. How much can the car hold? 

The firemen have my address. Have to meet them out front. Gotta hurry, but save some energy for the evacuation. Nah, forget saving energy. Full throttle. Adrenalin will compensate. Siren approaching. They're fast, maybe 5 minutes since I called. I wave my arms and point to the side street. The fire truck slows a beat, reads me and accelerates toward the fire. 

One truck. ONE TRUCK???? The whole hill is on fire. I should have sounded more worried on the phone. It's my fault if the neighborhood burns up. Okay, the arsonist's too.

I fly up my stairs, three at a time. Quickly, survey belongings. Might not see any of this again. Pam already put two angry cats in the car; her arms are bleeding. I throw possessions in empty bins. Look out the window. I could hit the flames with a golf ball. Nothing but dry underbrush separates us. Stay calm. There's still some room in the car. Think, think. What will I miss most? What am I forgetting?

The car is only half full. It's surprising how little I "need" when it comes down to it. I sprint toward the fire to see who's winning. A second fire truck passes me. Now it's a fair fight.

The neighbors gather on the street, a ragtag theater of bed- hair, pajamas, and gym clothes, chatting, comparing stories. We watch, impressed, as the two fire crews beat down the fire one square foot at a time. They don't even seem worried. A dozen dark shapes on the hill make quick work of the perimeter and methodically mop up the smaller pockets. My pulse slowly returns to normal. I unload the car and apologize to the cats.

I often think about that fire, and about the many ghosts that visited the neighborhood that summer night. I'm sure I felt the ghosts of engineers who created a technical miracle called the phone network, that later spawned the 911 system, so I could report the fire within 15 seconds of seeing it. And I know I saw the ghosts of engineers who designed the fire equipment that allowed two small teams of firefighters to conquer a burning hill. And there were the ghosts of all the firefighters who have lived before, having bequeathed their skills and traditions to each new generation. Most notably, that night I was also visited by the ghosts of September 11th, my old friends. Almost every day they visit to remind me to be more alert, to investigate strange smells, strange sounds, as I did that night, until finding one window view that revealed the flames. 

Philosophers have many views of the human soul. In the end, it's undefined, unfathomable. The only thing I know for sure is that no one really leaves.

Appreciate your ghosts, especially the ones you can still hug. Have a great holiday.

Scott Adams

Dilbert Fodder

What's bugging you about your job?  Let me know and you might see
it in a Dilbert comic or newsletter.  The best comic fodder
involves workplace peeves, devious strategies, frustrations of
dealing with others, conflicting objectives, unintended management
consequences, and of course my favorite - idiot bosses.

And I love True Tales of Induhviduals.

And if you're seeing any new management trends that need to be
mocked, I can help.  Send your (brief) suggestions to me at:

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                won't bounce it back.

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