Posts by Dr. Boli


In Long Flat, Indiana, rain is illegal on Memorial Day and Labor Day.

In Twigg, West Virginia, raccoons are prohibited from driving tractors or other farm equipment in school zones during school hours.

An act of the Florida state legislature prohibits physicians from weighing their patients.

In East Aurora, New York, every citizen of military age is required to own an easel, a watercolor paint set, and no fewer than eight paintbrushes in varying sizes.

In Bent Pin, South Carolina, September 28 is legally designated as Be Polite to a Colored Person Day; the law, however, has not been enforced since 1958, when the entire voting population of the town was arrested by the young and eager sheriff.

In Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, residents are required by a town ordinance to maintain a cheerful disposition during the tourist season, under penalty of being declared tourists themselves.

In Cincinnati, it is illegal to speak the name “Cleveland” without spitting.

In Dormont, Pennsylvania, a law prohibited restaurants from serving “weird food, such as Thai or Cajun”; after a number of setbacks in court, however, the law was repealed and replaced by one that requires any restaurant in the borough to serve French fries upon request.


Dear Dr. Boli: My appointments clerk has informed me that today is, by declaration of the United Nations, World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. I was wondering what I ought to be doing. I tried asking the Secretary General of the United Nations, but it seems U Thant died some time ago, and no one could tell me who replaced him. —Sincerely, P. Hubert Stockswindler, President, Dubious Investments LLC.

Dear Sir: The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was instituted to encourage the people of the world to think about cultural diversity as a factor in economic development. On this day, UNESCO encourages everyone to “Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion.”

Now, if you were ambitious, you could do more than one thing for diversity and inclusion. But if you can do only one thing, you should obviously order food from a restaurant nearby representing a different culture from your own. Dr. Boli sent his secretary out for Ethiopian food last May 21, and this year he has a generous order prepared for a Peruvian restaurant just a short streetcar ride from the Boli mansion.

If every one of us did this one simple thing, we would be including a diverse selection of foods in our diet, and we would be encouraging dialogue by striking up conversations with the staff and owners at the restaurants, and above all we would encourage development by promoting the proliferation of restaurants in our neighborhoods serving foods from the four corners of the globe. UNESCO is counting on you to try every delicious cuisine within reasonable dining distance from your residence. You may even discover, having celebrated World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21, that you are in favor of culinary diversity and inclusion every day of the year.


Power gone out? Not to worry! You have a crank-powered radio that can also charge your phone! How much cranking will you have to do? Here’s what the manual says:

Wind the hand crank at a speed of 130-150 RMP/min for power to be generated. Unit will be fully charged in 7 hours.

How difficult this may be will depend mostly on what kind of measurement is expressed by “RMP/min.” But, at any rate, if your power goes out, now you have a hobby.


The De Fitte Motors Corporation has announced a recall of all De Fitte De Lay sedans, coupes, and station wagons for the years 1963 through 2024 inclusive. Consumer organizations have reported numerous incidents of brakes failing, axles rolling away, steering wheels breaking off at the stem, and rhinoceros attacks on De Lay vehicles. Owners of vehicles affected by the recall are instructed to return their vehicles to the nearest De Fitte dealer, where an interlock will be installed that will prevent drivers from operating the vehicles if they (either the drivers or the vehicles) have been in contact with a liability attorney.


Experienced henchmen wanted for up-and-coming supervillain. Starting rate above minimum wage, with benefits package including uniform, company vehicle of my own unique design, and room and board in my Fortress of Despair. Ideal candidates will have good martial-arts skills and a strong desire to change the world, though not necessarily for the better. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent fake credentials required. Get in on the ground floor of the next big thing, and you might find yourself Viceroy of New Brunswick someday. Apply in person, and no green clothing, as the Fortress of Despair is currently in the conceptual stage only and consists of a green-screen backdrop with a matte painting added in post-production. Dr. Calamity, Fortress of Despair, Pleasant Unity, Penna.


Announcer. And now Malt-O-Cod, the malt food drink that’s brain food, presents…

(Music: Fanfare.)

Space Chicken. Bwuck-bucbucbuc-buckabucbuck-buckAWP!

Announcer. The adventures of Space Chicken!

(Music: Theme, in and under for…)

Announcer. Yes, it’s Space Chicken, the avian ace whose skill and quick wit are matched only by her sheer stout-hearted pluck!

Space Chicken. BuckAWWWWP!

Announcer. Oh! Sorry. I won’t use that word.

(Music: In full, then fade under…)

Announcer. As you recall from last week’s episode, Space Chicken had been rocketing across the galaxy in her streamlined space racer, the Pullet Bullet, when suddenly her ship was entangled in a strange alien farce field.

Space Chicken. BuckAWWPbucbucbuck!

Announcer. Weird alien beings with green skin and long green robes materialize in the cockpit of the Pullet Bullet.

Space Chicken. Brawwwk!

Alien Being (reverberating voice). Greetings, earth traveler! We are beings from a distant star, and we demand information from you.

Space Chicken. BAWWKbucbucbuck!

Alien Being. No, not the disposition of your earth fleet. We have no interest in military matters. We have been studying your earth philosophy, and we want you to explain to us the difference between the Aristotelian and the Cartesian conception of the self.

Space Chicken. BucBAWWKbucbucbucbuck!

Alien Being. We have brought these persuasion devices to convince you if you are recalcitrant. It would be best to begin at once.

Space Chicken. Bwawwkbucbucbwawwk!

Alien Being. Well, of course, I am familiar with Descartes’ famous dictum. Everyone in the galaxy has heard that one.

Space Chicken. BucbucBAWKbuck!

Alien Being. Well, that’s ridiculous. You can’t just say that Aristotle meant the same thing when he said “I” that Descartes meant. That‘s avoiding the issue.

Space Chicken. BuckaBWAWKbucbucbuc!

Alien Being. Yes, I know, thinking animal. But there must be some substantial difference between them.

Space Chicken. BWAWK! BucbucbucBAWWWK!

Alien Being. Is that so? Well, perhaps you will not be so stubborn when we have applied our persuasion devices.

Space Chicken. BuckAWPbucbucbuc!

Alien Being. Yes, these are aqueous projection units. They emit a broad stream of water which will cause the uncomfortable and unpleasant sensation of being wet.

Space Chicken. BRAWWWWKbucbucbuck!

Alien Being. You still refuse to state the difference between the Cartesian and Aristotelian notions of the self? Then you leave us no alternative.

(Sound: Loud squirting and splashing and flapping.)


Alien Being. Look out! She’s mad as some sort of previously unknown life form that we have no proverbial expression to describe!


Announcer. Will the mysterious aliens survive their encounter with Space Chicken in her wet form? Don’t miss the surprising answer in the next thrilling episode of Space Chicken!

(Music: Theme, in and under for…)

Announcer. Kids, you can travel the length and breadth of the galaxy, but you’ll never find a better malt food drink than Malt-O-Cod. The secret is in the real cod-liver oil that goes into every satisfying glass. Nothing but the cream of the North Atlantic cod fisheries is good enough for Malt-O Cod, now with the official Space Chicken decoder mallet in every specially marked package. It’s the malt food drink that’s brain food—Malt-O-Cod!

(Music: In full, then out.)


Leader (noun).—Anyone who keeps his or her finger in the dike long enough for the rest of us to forget that there is a North Sea. When the leader retires, the ensuing flood is the fault of the incoming administration.