This coming Monday I will be the principal participant in that wonderful procedure labeled a colonoscopy. That means that come Monday morning I should be at my lowest weight of the week. Also, don’t invite me over to any cookouts on Sunday. I may be predisposed making quick trips to the bathroom as I will be drinking my Miralax and Gatorade cocktail in order to chase down the Dulcolax tablets ingested earlier that day.

Just where do some of those sleuths names come from, one wonders? According to my “Uncle Johns Bathroom Reader,” I discovered a few of those answers.

Perry Mason. As a youngster, Erle Stanley Gardner subscribed to boys fiction magazine, The Youth’s Companion, and learned a lot about writing from the stories. The magazine was published by Perry Mason and Co. and Gardner had the name of his famous sleuth in his many writings.

Mike Hammer. Writer Mickey Spillane had been in and out of the comic book business for years when he tried to sell a new detective strip to some New York publishers in 1946. The character’s name was Mike Danger. When no one would buy, Spillane decided to turn it into a novel and changed the sleuth’s name to Mike Hammer, after one of his favorite haunts, Hammer’s Bar and Grill.

John Shaft. Ernest Tidyman was trying to sell the idea of his tough black detective to his publisher but was stymied when the publisher asked the detective’s name because Tidyman didn’t have one yet. He glanced out the window and saw a sign which said fire shaft. He looked back at the publisher and said: “Shaft. John Shaft.”

How many ways can one change a dollar using various combinations of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and half-dollars? 20, 50, maybe 100 ways?

Would you believe there are 292 ways and 40 of those combinations don’t even make use of any pennies? I recently found a computer program that I wrote years ago, listing the many ways it is possible. Do you want to see the various combinations? Contact me.

A man was leaving a convenience store with his espresso when he noticed a most unusual funeral procession approaching the nearby cemetery.

A black hearse was followed by a second black hearse about 50 feet behind the first one. Behind the second hearse was a solitary man walking a dog on a leash. Behind him, a short distance back, were about 200 men walking in single file.

The first man couldn’t stand the curiosity. He respectfully approached the second man walking the dog and said: “I am so sorry for your loss, and this may be a bad time to disturb you, but I’ve never seen a funeral like this. Whose funeral is it?”

“My wife’s.”

“What happened to her?”

“She yelled at me and my dog attacked and killed her.”

The first man inquired further, “But who is in the second hearse?”

“My mother-in-law. She came to help my wife and the dog turned on her and killed her also.”

A very poignant and touching moment of brotherhood and silence passed between the two men.

The first man then asked, “Can I borrow the dog?”

The second man replied, “Get in the line behind the 200 other men.”

Another chuckle from an old Readers Digest:

After ordering a box of men’s initialed H handkerchiefs from a large mail-order house, I received a box of handkerchiefs with the initial I and the following explanatory slip: Regret that we are at present out of the merchandise which you ordered. The enclosed is the nearest thing to it and we trust that the substitution will be satisfactory.

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I started at the Northwest Signal in 1994 and became editor in 2004. I graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1994.

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