More Anecdotes Not Taken


According to their website, Reader’s Digest receives a quarter of a million humor submissions each year but prints only about one out of a thousand. Below are items I submitted that were among the 999.

How Long IS a Boyfriend?

“I’ve learned that boyfriends are a unit of time now,” my co-worker announced. “When I asked my daughter something, she indicated how out of touch I was by saying, ‘Oh, Dad, that was three boyfriends ago.'”

Too Hot to Handle

When my 80-year-old mother was evaluating job applications, she bragged she had immediately rejected one since the applicant wasn’t of good character. When I asked her how she knew, she said, “His email address is @hotmail. I’m not naive. I know what that means.”

Foiled Again

One of my freshmen asked me, “Would you please print the notes you put on the board? I can’t read curses.”

Strange Coincidence?

One of my struggling high school classmates, musing on an upcoming move, announced, “I came here two years ago, and now after two years I’m leaving. Seems like everything’s happening in two years.”

Into the Mouth of Babes

When my niece, aged two, swallowed her gum, she announced, “Mommy, my gum went down my drain!”

Son to the Rescue

Some years ago my wife was mortified when in response to her asking about room availability, a hotel clerk dismissively said, “Our rooms start at $200 a night. Then her techie son stepped in: “Do your rooms have Wi-Fi?” The clerk’s expression brightened, and he gushed, “No, but we’re getting it soon.”

“Let’s go, Mom,” her champion said. “We don’t want to stay here.”

I Upped MY Translation Skills

When my wife noticed the Chinese calligraphy artwork on a friend’s wall, he told her the three characters translated as “When the sun rises over the beautiful mountain, it casts a long shadow.” My wife, who’s studied Chinese, had to disagree: “What it actually says is “Up you (possessive)”or, in other words, “Up yours.”


(To see more of my rejected anecdotes, click on

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8 thoughts on “More Anecdotes Not Taken”

  1. Using a Hotmail address is the equivalent of sending letters by snail mail. Wait a min…

  2. I am shocked Reader’s Digest passed on these. No accounting for good humor taste. Not the ice cream taste, funny stuff taste. I love the one with your 80-year-old mother. I truly think that is who is left on Hotmail too!

    1. Thank you for commenting, Donna. If I had applied for that job, I guess my mother would have assumed I was a yahoo.

  3. Apparently, Reader’s Digest doesn’t know a good anecdote when it sees one. I especially liked “Foiled again.” And boyfriends as a measure of time.

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