Very short Stories + MP3 Files

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مدیر انجمن: شوراي نظارت

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Bathtub Blues

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[align=left]Bathtub Blues

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A middle-aged man with a long beard was arrested by the police for disorderly conduct and property damage. “More charges might be added later,” said a police officer.

The man, identified as Bill Wild, checked into the Motel Five last night about an hour after sunset. Telling the clerk that he would be staying four nights, he paid cash in advance. He then asked her where a grocery store was. She said that the nearest grocery store was John-Johns, which was only two blocks away.

The police said that Wild went to John-Johns and purchased three gallons of honey and four gallons of chocolate syrup. The checker asked him what the occasion was. He replied, “I’m trying to become a sweeter person.” The checker smiled at the joke.

Wild drove back to the motel. He opened all seven containers and poured them into the bathtub. He added warm water to the mix. Then he placed his boom box on the bathroom floor next to the tub. He tuned the radio to an opera station. He got undressed, hopped into the tub, and started singing loudly with the music.

Fifteen minutes later, the lodgers in the room next door phoned the clerk. She banged on Wild’s door, but he kept singing. She phoned his room, but he didn’t answer. Then she called the police, who arrived quickly.

“Well, at least he paid in advance,” said the clerk. “That money will help pay for the plumber.” The bathtub drain was completely clogged. The tub remained full of chocolate and honey.

“You just never know about people,” said the clerk. “He seemed so nice and friendly. Who’d have thought he was a bathtub-singing nut?” The police said this was the third time that Wild had been arrested for this kind of behavior. 
No time like the present


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Blood Drive at Civic Center

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[align=left]Blood Drive at Civic Center

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The local university blood center had a blood drive today at the Civic Center auditorium. Almost 300 people showed up, but about 50 were turned away for various medical reasons. Fifty others left because the lines were moving so slowly. The event concluded at 6 p.m., three hours after the scheduled close. It was a long day for everyone—administrators, nurses, and donors. But there were plenty of chairs and tables, and many people brought their own books, magazines, or newspapers.

The first thing the donors had to do, of course, was fill out the donor registration and screening form. When they finished filling out the form, they waited until a nurse called them to her desk. The average adult body contains 8 to 12 pints of blood. Donors can give one pint at a time. It takes your body 2 to 4 weeks to replace this amount. Most donors filled up the pint bag within 5 to 10 minutes.

Before leaving, the donors received a sheet of instructions including: Do not lift any heavy objects for 12 hours. Leave your pressure bandage on for 2-3 hours. Do not smoke for at least 30 minutes. Avoid alcohol for the rest of the day. Do not do any strenuous activity for 24 hours.

"I wish I could hug and kiss all the volunteers that are here today," said Martha, the blood center donor recruiter. "Many donors underestimate the importance of what they're doing. They think it is no big deal, but it is a big deal. Their blood is actually saving lives, helping other people to live. We cannot thank them enough for that, nor can the recipients.” 
No time like the present


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City Hosts 42nd Art Fair

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[align=left]City Hosts 42nd Art Fair

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The Fernwood Library sponsored Fernwood’s 42nd Art Fair this weekend. The three-day event was held, as usual, at Memorial Park. Almost 100 artists showed up each day. More than 1,000 locals and visitors strolled through the shady park daily, as temperatures remained in the comfortable 70s all weekend.

All kinds of art were on display and for sale. Prices ranged from a couple of dollars to a couple of thousand dollars. Oscar, a native of Peru, was selling his beautiful paintings of the mountain village of Ayacucho, where he lives most of the year. “Every year I come to the United States to sell my paintings at about five different art shows. Then I return to my country. That is where I do all my paintings, in our beautiful mountains.”

Peter is a photographer. He travels throughout the southwest US. One of his favorite areas is northeast Arizona. “That’s where Spider Rock is,” he said, pointing to a beautiful color photograph of a towering sandstone spire about 800 feet high. This rock, according to Navajo Indian lore, was the home of Spider Woman, a goddess revered by the tribe.

A Navajo woman was selling her own rug weavings at the fair. She was busy creating a rug while visitors watched. When asked how long it took, she replied that her creations usually took months. She said that Navajo tradition was to always weave a slight flaw into an article so as not to offend Spider Woman, because only Spider Woman could create a perfect weave.

The exhibit areas were located throughout the park. Artists’ creations included jewelry, ceramics, bird houses, gourd art, furniture, pottery, handmade musical instruments, music CDs, and sculpture. Almost all the artists had their work displayed beneath shady canopies.

“This was another successful year for our art fair,” said the head librarian. “The artists sold enough of their work to encourage them to return next year, and the library raised almost $700 from sales of various items. We’ll use this money to purchase a few more tables and chairs.” 
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City and Crime

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[align=left]City and Crime

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Crime in the city of Clio hit a 30-year low last year. "This is absolutely wonderful for our citizens, our businesses, and our visitors," said Police Chief Louis Gates. Clio has a population of 28,000, but it has at least 30 gangs. The gangs make most of their money from dealing drugs and offering “protection.” They also commit violent crimes, such as murder, battery, and rape.

There were 1,486 thefts last year. Most of the thefts involved cars. Thieves also robbed the people at gunpoint or pickpocketed them. They broke into houses and businesses at the alarming rate of two a day two years ago, but that rate was down to only one a day last year. "That's a 50-percent decrease in one year," beamed Gates. "I think the officers deserve a big pat on the back. Even better, maybe they’ll get that 10-percent raise that they are all hoping for next fiscal year."

Citing an example of how the police force has helped reduce crime, Gates talked about bicycle thefts. "For years and years, kids were locking up their bikes at bike stands in front of schools, libraries, and malls. About 10 percent of the time, the kids would come out of the school or wherever and discover that their bike was no longer there. Someone had cut the lock and stolen their bike. We wracked our brains trying to find a solution to this problem. Finally, at the beginning of last year, we hit upon it. We simply removed most of the bike stands. Then the bicycle theft rate came down quickly.”

Most cities in the state have similar problems. They all involve too many people, too much crime, too few police, and too little funding. These problems are part and parcel of civilization everywhere. They might diminish, but they will probably never disappear. All people can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst. 
No time like the present


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Bank Robbery

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[align=left]Bank Robbery

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It was 80 degrees in the shade. A man wearing a heavy army jacket, a pullover wool cap, and dark sunglasses walked into the First American Bank at the corner of Maple and Main streets in downtown Short Beach.

The man walked up to the teller and held up a hand grenade for all to see. He said, “Give me all your money, all the money in this bank, right now!”

Everyone in the lobby screamed and started running, even the security guard. Nervously, the young female teller handed the man three big bags loaded with cash. He walked out the door. A second later, one of the money bags exploded, covering him with red dye. He yelled in pain and surprise, and started pacing around in circles because he couldn't see where he was going.

He couldn’t see, but he could hear. He heard the police siren get closer. Then he heard the police tell him to get down on his stomach on the sidewalk and put his hands behind his back. They handcuffed him and placed him in the back of the police car.

Seeing the hand grenade on the sidewalk, the police told everyone to get back. They sealed off the whole block and called the bomb squad. The bomb squad came and examined the hand grenade. Then they laughed. They told the police it was a fake. The hand grenade was actually a harmless dummy, something a 12-year-old might play with.

The police chuckled. The bank employees returned to work. The bank customers returned to their lines. The bank robber, hopefully, would never return. 
No time like the present


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Immigration Goes Online

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[align=left]Immigration Goes Online

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Thousands of immigrants who need to file papers related to immigration status, green cards, and resident cards no longer have to stand in line for hours on end. The immigration office now has a new system called Info Pass. Applicants simply schedule a time and a date to meet with an immigration officer using Info Pass. They don't even have to go to the immigration office. Info Pass is a website that they can access on their home computer or a library computer.

To beat the crowds, immigrants in Los Angeles used to get in line the night before. They would start lining up outside the building at 6:00 p.m. and spend the night in the cold or, occasionally, in the rain. By the following morning, there might be 200 people in line. This, of course, was an unpleasant surprise to people who thought they were early birds by arriving at 7:00 a.m. Sometimes people would sell their place in line to others for $50 or more.

Where there are lines, there are vendors. No one had to worry about going hungry in line because of the variety of hot and cold food and drinks being sold all night long. Occasionally the police received reports about people being pickpocketed while waiting in the overnight lines. But such reports were rare. Many immigrants prefer not to get involved with police for fear of being sent back to their native country.

With the new system, people with appointments are in and out of the building within an hour. Applicants show up 15 minutes before their appointment time. Things are so efficient now that about 120 applicants per hour can be processed through the immigration office. Before Info Pass, it was about 40 people an hour. 
No time like the present


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Jimmy Fixes His Door

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[align=left]Jimmy Fixes His Door

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Jimmy lives on the second floor of a six-unit apartment building. His front door has two locks -- a security deadbolt, and a regular door handle lock. The front door also has a peephole -- a tiny piece of glass through which Jimmy can look out his door at about eye-level to "preview" who is knocking on his door or ringing his doorbell.

The peephole is a security device, but Jimmy never uses it. When someone knocks, he just opens the door. First of all, he lives in a safe neighborhood, so security is not really a problem. Second, people rarely knock on Jimmy's door, so he is always eager to greet a visitor.

Before you can knock on the front door, you have to push the button on the black screen door to open the screen door. The screen door has an inside lock on it, but the lock has not worked since the screen door was installed more than two years ago. This has bothered Jimmy from day one. Today, Jimmy finally decided to do something about the lock on the screen door. It was a nice, warm sunny day. Jimmy was in his shorts -- no flip-flops, no shirt.

The lock was part of the screen door pushbutton handle. The outside and inside handles were held together with just two screws. Jimmy got a flathead screwdriver and loosened both screws. He kept adjusting the screws, and pushing on the outside button. Eventually he adjusted the screws enough to where the lever stayed in the locked position when he pushed on the outside button. Finally, he had made the right adjustment.

But now he needed to put a spacer on the inside handle to maintain that adjustment. He found a piece of plastic that was just the right thickness. He inserted the plastic between the handle and the doorframe itself, and then he tightened the two screws. Bingo! It worked perfectly. He could push on the outside button with all his might, and the lever would remain locked. Jimmy grinned. The screen door finally worked properly!

Jimmy had fixed a two-year-old problem in less than an hour. He was ecstatic. He returned the screwdriver to the toolbox, thinking “I'm a genius.” 
No time like the present


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Larry Needs a New Air-Conditioner

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[align=left]Larry Needs a New Air-Conditioner

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It had been another hot spring day. By ten o’clock in the evening, it had only cooled down to 87 degrees, according to Larry's thermometer in the living room. He rarely looked at his thermometer because he usually didn't care what the exact temperature was.

Larry had two table fans in his bedroom. Because of the high temperatures, the last three evenings had been “two-fan” nights. He used his air-conditioner only occasionally. During one month the previous summer, he had used the air-conditioner 10 days consecutively, day and night. His electric bill that July, normally about $30, was $77.

But Larry figured that, once in a while, using the AC wouldn't kill him. So that evening at 11:30, just before he went to bed, he turned on the AC. He set the thermostat to 72 degrees. He woke up four hours later when he heard a big bang, which sounded like two cars had run into each other on the street outside. But it wasn't two cars. It was the AC capacitor on the roof; it had just blown up. Larry's air-conditioner was officially dead.

Two circuit breakers had switched off, so he switched them back on. Larry had already suspected that there was something wrong with his air-conditioner. He called Jack, the repairman, but Jack didn't show up until four days later because he was so busy repairing all the other air-conditioners in the neighborhood.

When Jack finally came, he climbed up on the roof. Larry heard a lot of banging. Twenty minutes later Jack told Larry, "You need a new air-conditioner. Yours is the original model that came with this apartment building. All the other original AC units have been replaced. Yours lasted longest, but now it’s kicked the bucket. I'm going to call your landlady to see if she will approve a new AC unit for you. It’s going to cost $1200 parts and labor.”

“Wow,” said Larry.

Jack said that if everything went as planned, he'd install a new unit Monday morning. “Until then,” he said with a smile, “stay cool.”

Larry said, “No problem,” but he wondered if he should drive to the thrift store to look for a third fan for his bedroom. 
No time like the present


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Man Gets 12 Years for Fraud

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[align=left]Man Gets 12 Years for Fraud

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A federal judge sentenced Bruce Jones to 12 years in federal prison for fraud. Over a 10-year period, Jones had managed to swindle almost $10 million from thousands of gullible people throughout the state.

He advertised his fantastic ideas on TV. "For some reason," Jones said, "TV seems to break the ice. Even though you are a total stranger to the viewer, once he sees you on TV in his home, he feels like he knows you. You enter his living room and become a trusted friend."

Jones had an imagination that wouldn’t quit. One time he showed viewers an "official government" earthquake report which “proved” that the western half of California would collapse into the sea within three years. For $100, he said, Jones would insure your house and property for full value. Thousands of people who saw that TV ad sent him a hundred dollars each.

In another TV ad, Jones claimed that he had negotiated with the federal and state government for exclusive air rights. He told viewers that, for only $100, they could own the first 10 miles above all their property. You would be able to charge any commercial plane that flew over your property $100 per crossing. You would also be able to charge government rockets, satellites, space shuttles, and space stations $100 for each and every violation of your air rights.

Another time, Jones claimed to have invented a product that gets rid of calories. He showed the viewers a spray can of "NoCal." He said that by simply spraying NoCal on your food, a chemical interaction would cause all the calories in the food to simply evaporate within about 10 seconds. The NoCal was only $10 a can. As usual, Jones received thousands of checks in the mail.

The judge told Jones that he should be ashamed of himself. Jones responded that he was very ashamed of himself, and that when he got out of prison he hoped to become a TV consultant to help people avoid getting scammed. He told the judge that he was already developing an instructional CD that, for merely $100, would save people thousands of dollars in scams. The judge nodded, and then changed Jones’s sentence from 10 years to 12 years. 
No time like the present


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Re: Very short Stories + MP3 Files

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 Man Shoots Up Post Office

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A 36-year-old man stormed into the Ramona post office yelling at everyone to get out of his way. Carrying a shotgun, he climbed up onto the countertop and told everyone to lie on the floor. Then he pulled the trigger and fired a round into the ceiling. Plaster splattered onto the floor and the customers.

The man ordered all the customers and employees to sit up and look at him. He said, "Repeat after me: I hate the post office!" Everyone repeated the words. He fired another round, but this one he aimed at the front plate glass window. Shattered glass went everywhere.

Three minutes later, five police cars pulled up in front of the post office, lights flashing and sirens wailing. Using a bullhorn, a police officer told the man to walk out backwards with his hands up. The man fired another blast out the shattered window. The police officer and his bullhorn were uninjured. However, one police car had three little pit marks in it.

The man yelled, "I'm not coming out until the post office pays me for pain and suffering. A postal truck ran into my car two years ago. My back is killing me. I can't work anymore. My wife left me. I can't take it anymore."

After a while, the man calmed down. He released all the people inside. At 7:00 p.m., the man walked out backwards with his hands up. The police handcuffed him, put him in the back seat of the car, and drove him to the police station.

A post office official said that they had tried to settle with the man out of court, but he refused anything less than a million dollars. "So the whole thing went to court," he said. "I guess he got tired of waiting for the trial to begin. He'll probably go to jail for a few years because of this stunt." 
No time like the present


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Re: Very short Stories + MP3 Files

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 Murals Are Over 200 Years Old

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Two men chanced upon a trap door in a back room of a historic church near San Francisco. They discovered 23 religious murals painted by Native Americans more than 200 years ago. The murals record scenes from the Bible. Arthur Anderson, an artist, and Eric Bush, a painter, had been to the church many times before. But they were not aware of any trap doors in the building.

The only reason they discovered it was that Arthur dropped a coin onto the floor while pulling a small knife out of his pants pocket. He heard the coin hit the floor and roll. He started searching. A minute later, he found his dime. “Gotcha!” he said proudly. But then he saw what looked like an unusual gap in the floor board. With his knife, he began digging around the gap.

The floor board suddenly loosened. Arthur felt that he was onto something. He removed the floor board and saw a rope handle attached to what looked like a trap door. Eric helped Arthur remove four more floor boards. Then Arthur slid open the trap door.

Beneath it was a hole in the ground about 15 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 2 feet deep. They shined a flashlight into the hole and saw the murals. They were not wrapped, covered, or otherwise protected. Yet they were in wonderful condition, according to Eric.

“God truly does work in mysterious ways,” said Arthur. The murals use only the colors black, red, and yellow. The smallest are about 12 by 12 inches, and the biggest are about 24 by 24 inches. Digital photographs were taken of all the murals before they were loaded onto a truck.

All 23 murals, created about 1791, are now at the Museum of Native American Art. They will be inspected, cleaned, archived, and examined by experts. They will not be put on public display until early next year. Museum officials expect a huge turnout when that day occurs. “This is truly rare,” said one official. “I wonder how many more treasures are out there waiting for someone to drop a dime on them.” 
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Pier Collapses

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 Pier Collapses

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The Oakville pier collapsed Saturday afternoon at 3:30. Although hundreds of people were on the pier at the time of the collapse, no one was killed and only 15 people were injured. One person was seriously injured. That person was a 43-year-old man who suffered two broken legs, eight broken ribs, and a punctured lung.

Hundreds of people gathered around to watch the rescue efforts. Three local television stations and two radio stations broadcast live from the pier. The collapse occurred after a big rig went out of control Saturday morning and slammed into one of the main supports for the pier.

For public safety reasons, a city council member wanted to close the pier immediately. However, local businesses on the pier and nearby protested. Oakville officials decided to wait until tomorrow before sending out a structural engineer to investigate the damage.

“The driver reeked of booze,” said a police officer who had written the truck driver a ticket for driving under the influence. “He was so drunk that he didn't even apply his brakes before he crashed into the support. It's a miracle that he didn’t kill someone,” said the officer, who took the driver to jail.

City officials said it was too early to get a complete damage estimate, but that repairs to the pier would probably cost at least $500,000 and take a month or more. The local business people are very unhappy because the repair process will significantly reduce consumer purchases for the summer season.

“We make 80 percent of our annual profits from June through September,” noted one T-shirt vendor. “This is going to hurt.” 
No time like the present


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