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Ellie Grossman


Jogging through the woods on Sunday, Dan kept thinking about the $90 he left lying on his desk on Friday. He'd been counting it out to see how much he had with him, when the fire alarm went off.Then no one was allowed back in (because it was an actual fire), but those dollars on his desk were supposed to see Dan through the weekend.Bummer. Dan was looking forward to a pizz…

EITHER/NEITHER AND VERBS Every now and then, Pat and Mildred, who had been married for years, would take pity on their single neighbor, Peter, and ask him to go to the movies with them. Either one or the other would extend the invitation and then tell the other about it.As they left the theater, Peter opined on the film: "Neither of the leads was especially good, a…

Saturday, June 12, a severe hail storm kept everyone inside. It wasn't until Tuesday, June 15, in fact, that the skies cleared and people could get out.Main Street, the prime thoroughfare, was full of people and traffic, and things were fine until a stranger presented himself at Lenny's Hardware Store."Good morning," said the stranger to Lenny. "I need a hammer, a …

Uncle Bertie had a cabin in the woods that he visited on holidays and weekends. It was near a small town outside Philadelphia.Only a few hundred people lived there, and they all knew each other. The general practitioner, Dr. Graves, had delivered every single one of them, from the postmaster to the grocery store owner to the dentist. Many of them, in fact, were rel…

Fred and Justina arrived at Fred's parents' house an hour early.Fred's mother said, "My, you're early! Did you take a shortcut?""Actually, yes," said Fred. "Our neighbor suggested we take the intrastate road from our house to the state border, and then pick up the interstate that runs between our state and yours. It really worked.""That means you can visit more often…

Mitchell liked to go to work on Fridays. Mondays, however, were always a problem for him. He never felt like going to work on Mondays, and the weather didn't make any difference. However nice it was, he was disinclined to get up, get dressed and get out.Once he did, he worked as a fare collector on the turnpike. For hours, he sat in his booth, making change, answer…

It isn't well known, but once a month in ancient Greece, all the gods met on top of Mount Olympus to catch up on things.One time, Zeus, their leader, announced that someone had stolen one of his thunderbolts, which he used to fling at anyone who upset him.His brother, Hades, cried, "You think I did it, don't you!? Whenever anything goes wrong, it's me first! Just b…

Lynette was always asking questions that made people think she was a mad, crazy old woman.One day, when she and her friend, Dora, were having lunch, she said, "I've always wondered how some nicknames came about. It's strange, if you think about it. For example, 'Bob' is short for 'Robert.' 'Rob' I can understand, but 'Bob'? And why 'Bill' for 'William,' and 'Jack…

SOME NUMBERS Thirty-three wagons were backed up on the road to the West. All those behind the first few were unaware that twenty-four buffalo were blocking the way, grazing and making it impossible for the wagons to pass.Margaret, seated in the first wagon with her husband, Bertram, cried, "Do something! We can't sit here like this all day!"Bertram chuckled and sai…

Felice banged the gavel on the lectern, and the audience of concerned citizens quieted down."I want to thank everyone for coming," she said, "and I promise we won't be long."A man in the second row raised his hand.Felice said, "Yes?""I was told Walt Whiteman would be here and that he'd sign his books for us. I have every one of them." He held up a carton.Felice flush…

Al Dente was meeting a colleague for dinner at the diner. He got there early, ordered some coffee and began reading a letter from his son, a senior in college.After a moment, he slapped the paper down on the table, rubbed his eyes and sighed. Here he was spending thousands of hard-earned bucks to put Stuie through college, and this was the result? The boy couldn'…

At the beginning of class, Mrs. Marmon returned the students' essays. On Simon's, she'd written, "You need to flesh this out. It's only four sentences long."Simon made a face. What did she mean "flesh out"? He'd said all he had to say about the American Revolution. We fought. They fought. They lost. We won.To calm himself, Simon began thinking about "The Justice Ma…

TURN/TERN A flock of terns was coasting above a beach when one told the one beside him, "You have a really nice way of flying. You don't flap raucously. You just let your wings do their job.""Why, thank you.""You're welcome.""You know," said the first bird, named Warren, "I was wondering. Do you think your sister would take a turn with me sometime? We could fly aro…

Who/whom "I was so amused by Jay Leno's opening monologue last night that I was still laughing after the commercials came on," Jean told Ray."Really? I don't find him as amusing as David Letterman, who has better material," said Ray."You're joking. I've never laughed at Letterman. That's why I watch Leno, for whom I have great regard."The two were at lunch. They wo…

COMMAS AND DATES Cave Boy decided to get married in September 0001. The fact that there were no available cave girls didn't bother him. He just asked his mother, "How about I get hooked up with someone?"Cave Woman said, "Well, we have to go around and tell everybody and clean out the cave for the party. That'll take some time. Besides, which girl will you get hitch…