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Published by: dreamer_ishu on Dec 25, 2010
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51. Trash Truck Misses Pick-upEvery Monday night, Felix checked the big blue container in the carport behind hisapartment building. If the container was at least a third full, he would take it out to thestreet for pick-up. Monday night, it was two-thirds full. He rolled it out into the street.The next day, he checked the container. It was still almost full of recyclables. That wasodd, because all the other blue containers across the street were empty. He could tell because a couple of lids were open. He walked across the street to double-check. Hmm,he wondered. Then he looked up his side of the street. There were two blue containersstanding there. He walked about 120 feet up the street and lifted each lid. Both containerswere empty. How could the truck have missed his container?He went upstairs to his apartment and called city hall. They connected him to the publicworks department. Susan said she would call Acme Trash to let them know about themissed container. On Wednesday, Felix checked the container again. It was still full. But,the big green dumpster in the carport was missing. Apparently, the message that Susansent to Acme Trash had been misunderstood. Acme picked up the big green dumpster,which had already been emptied on Tuesday, instead of the blue container.Felix left a message on Susan’s answer machine, saying to forget it. Then he wentdownstairs and pulled the almost full container back into its space in the carport. Let it sitthere till next Tuesday, he told himself. Had he left another message, he was worried thathis building would accidentally get dropped permanently off Acme’s pick-up list.52. Her First Driving AccidentColleen was in a hurry, which made her driving even more careless than usual. Her  boyfriend Simon had already criticized her many times for failing to stop completely atstop signs. That’s what they call a “California, or rolling, stop,” he told her.“If the cops catch you sliding through a stop sign like that,” he said, wagging a finger ather, “they’ll give you a ticket for running a stop sign. That’s a moving violation. Thatmeans at least a $100 ticket, plus eight hours of driving school for another $30.”“I know, I know,” she replied. “But I never do it when they’re around, so how can theycatch me?” Simon was about to tell her that cops have a habit of suddenly appearing outof nowhere, but Colleen told him to stop thinking so negatively. “You are bad luck,” shesaid. “When you talk like that, you make bad things happen.” He told her that life doesn’twork that way.Colleen was in a hurry because she needed to drop off a package at the post office. It hadto get to New York by Wednesday. She exited the freeway and pulled up at the stop sign.One car was in front of her. Colleen looked to the right and to the left. No cars werecoming. It was safe to pull out. She hit the gas pedal. Bang! The car in front of her wasstill sitting there. The driver was a young woman, who got out of her car, walked back tolook at the damage to her new car, and started yelling at Colleen.“What were you waiting for?” Colleen demanded.53. Maybe You’re Not a Good Principal
 
Tina was going back to school for her third master’s degree. She was a Special Educationteacher, but she couldn’t take her job anymore, so she had quit. The kids were out of control. There were too many of them in one classroom for her to manage effectively.The school administration ignored her pleas to add teacher assistants. They ignored her complaints that some of the kids were simply little monsters. They were discipline problems that other teachers had shunted off to Special Education.The administration didn’t even respond to her complaint that one oversized young studenthad pushed her down one day onto the floor. Tina wanted to call the police, but theschool principal talked her out of it with promises to improve things. Two weeks later,not one promise had been fulfilled.Tina angrily visited the principal, who told her that if she didn’t have the patience to waitfor things to improve, maybe she wasn’t cut out to be a teacher.“How dare you! The issue is not whether I’m cut out to be a teacher,” she angrily replied.“I am a teacher, and a damn good one. But no teacher can get along forever withinadequate supplies, with overcrowded classrooms, with students who are dumped intoher class, and with students who attack her. And especially,” she growled, “with idiotslike you in charge who continually ignore the needs of Special Education students andteachers.”54. I’ve Got You CoveredAbigail and Jeremy got divorced about 10 years ago. Abigail did not want to see alawyer, worried that it might turn ugly. So she talked to Jeremy, who agreed that it was agood idea to not use lawyers. He said not to worry, he would take care of her. She saidshe wasn’t looking for a free ride—she could take care of herself. But, Jeremy insisted,he would help her out, then or whenever she needed money. It was the least he could dofor her, since she was not taking 50 percent of his income and property.So, Jeremy gave her $10,000 before they got divorced, because Abigail said that would be all she would need to finish getting her master’s degree and start teaching. And thatwas it. For the next 10 years after getting her degree, Abigail worked as a teacher. Sheliked her job and the people she worked with. Unfortunately, a tornado wiped out theentire school and half the town. Many teachers got laid off. Abigail spent a monthvisiting family and friends, but then had to find a new job.She decided to change careers. To do so, she needed to go back to school for two years.Her tuition and living expenses would cost her $25,000. She called Jeremy. She andJeremy had remained friendly over the years.“Jeremy, I need a big favor,” she said over the phone.“Sure, Abi, you name it,” Jeremy replied agreeably. Jeremy had a great job and a goodlife. She told him that she had been laid off, and she needed $25,000 for a degree and anew career. The friendliness left Jeremy’s voice. She reminded him of his promise tenyears ago to help her out whenever she needed it.“Yeah, Abi, but that was ten years ago. That’s history now, right? Have you tried your local bank?”55. Paris Goes to Jail in LA
 
The biggest news in the whole world occurred two weeks ago when Paris Hilton wassentenced to 23 days in a Los Angeles jail. The heiress to the Hilton hotel fortune, whowas a favorite of the paparazzi, had been cited for driving on a suspended license, amongother things.When the judge decided that she must go to jail, people everywhere voiced their approvalor disapproval. The news was on the radio, TV, and the Internet. Why her situation wassuch worldwide news mystified almost everyone. After all, her only known value tosociety thus far had been her ability to party with one boyfriend after another, one week after another. As many said, she was famous for being famous—nothing more.When she finally went to jail, there must have been 100 photographers taking pictures of her. At first, the jail officials put her in a private cell, but her claustrophobia caused her tohave panic attacks. They released her the next day. The following day, however, the judge ordered her back to jail to finish her sentence.The sheriff said she was treated like all the other prisoners. She ate baloney sandwichesand other nutritious food, just like the others. When she finally was released from jail, at12:01 a.m. on a Tuesday night, dozens of photographers again congregated around her tosnap the “perfect” photo. She spent the first day relaxing—and recovering—at home inher parents’ mansion.Then she went on the Larry King radio show and talked about her experience. She hadn’tliked being in jail, she said, but it had turned her life around. She had found God, andnow she was going to do all she could to help needy people improve their lives.56. A Year with No TVStarting in February 2009, broadcasts of all TV signals will be digital, replacing currentanalog signals. For people who have cable or satellite TV, this is a non-issue, becausetheir reception will not be affected. But people who use rabbit ears or outside antennaswon’t be able to receive the new digital signals. They’ll have to buy a converter for eachTV, which will cost about $50 each. For Chris, that was too much.Instead, Chris was simply going to give his two TVs away to a thrift shop. Then he wouldwait until the prices went way down on digital tuner TVs, and buy one when the pricewas right. He loaded the TVs into his car.The lady at the thrift shop wasn’t interested at first. She changed her mind when he saidthat they were only 13” TVs, and that they worked perfectly. He was relieved when sheaccepted them. Had she not, he would have had to deposit them at a hazardous wastefacility, which meant waiting in line, in his car, for hours on end.Chris got home feeling good. Now he was going to enjoy at least a year of no TV. The“idiot box” was a good name for that waste of electricity. He felt like a new man for having got rid of his two TVs. When Donna called that night, he proudly told her thenews. Donna, whose native language was Chinese, was not happy.“What do you mean, you have no TV?” she yelled over the phone. “How are you goingto teach me anything when I call to ask you about new vocabulary on the 11 o’clock news?” She had a few more things to say. Chris sighed. When she finished, he promisedher he would buy a new digital TV the very next day.

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