The Ecphorizer

There's No Book Like the Phone Book
Barry Leff

Issue #17 (January 1983)



Some of my more cultured friends in Mensa like to peruse esoteric old dictionaries as a source of fun and amusement. For me, it's hard to beat an evening with the local yellow pages if you're hard up for entertainment. The pairing of headings at the top of facing pages can yield some truly fascinating businesses that I would dearly love to call. Some examples from this evening's perusal of the San Mateo County Yellow Pages:

[quoteright'/>How about a "Screw-Secretarial" to start your evening off with a bang? On the other hand, if music is more your thing, you might prefer to have a listen to some "Singing-Skateboards." That's a skateboard with a built-in Walkman. I spend so much time eating out on business trips, I sometimes feel like a "Restaurant-Retirement." Another delightful-sounding place to visit is the old "Mufflers-Museums" - "and over here, ladies and gentlemen, we have a fine old set of muffler bearings out of a '38 Mercedes." If it's a nice day, and you feel like enjoying the view, why not try some "Roofing-Riding."

Some of the products available also sound quite useful. I didn't realize there were places that specialized in "Baby-Backpacking." "Sauna-Savings" sounds like a hot place to keep your money. (Or is that where they keep "hot" money?) Along the lines of specializations, if your cat has a cold, you could try a "Pet-Pharmacy." "Ceramic-Cheese" and "Cheese-Chemicals" are two products I think I'll avoid. Somehow, "Yogurt-Zippers" don't sound very effective. (Makes it easy to get in someone's pants, however.)

Professional services are another area of great interest. "Chiropractic-Churches" is the latest thing in the over enthusiastic Baptist revivals. If you're remodeling a kitchen, you'll be certain to acquire the services of a specialist in "Cabinet-Calculating." "Asphalt-Astrologers" of course are the ones who work the sidewalk. If some of them get picked up on loitering, vagrancy, pandering, or charlatan charges, they can be defended by another set of quacks, the "Astrologers-Attorneys." Defense strategy is determined by consulting the I-Ching. Alas, we have all too many "Artificial-Artists" today.

For transportation that's a real steal, you might try riding the "Burglar-Buses." And last but not least, I will be watching the National Transportation Safety Board pronouncements to see if any aviation accidents are attributed to "Aircraft-Alcoholism." 

Contributor Profile

Barry Leff

Barry Leff was active in San Francisco Regional Mensa in the 1980s and early 1990s. After 20 years of slaving away in high-tech he saw the light, got God, and went back to school to become a rabbi. Leff is now a member of Maumee Valley Mensa in the Toledo, Ohio area, where he serves as a pulpit rabbi. Leff and family are busily preparing to move to Israel in the summer of 2007. A certified flight instructor, Leff tells his flight students hell get them closer to God (or at least hell get them praying) one way or the other.




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Green Grow the Gringos
submitted by Carolyn Simon

Issue #17 (January 1983)

Around the middle of the 19th century, when there were some squabbles going on along the border between Texas and Mexico, the most popular song on the northern side, often sung around the campfire, was "Green Grow the Lilacs." That's how the norteamericanos came to be called "gringos." 

Contributor Profile

Barry Leff

Barry Leff was active in San Francisco Regional Mensa in the 1980s and early 1990s. After 20 years of slaving away in high-tech he saw the light, got God, and went back to school to become a rabbi. Leff is now a member of Maumee Valley Mensa in the Toledo, Ohio area, where he serves as a pulpit rabbi. Leff and family are busily preparing to move to Israel in the summer of 2007. A certified flight instructor, Leff tells his flight students hell get them closer to God (or at least hell get them praying) one way or the other.




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