OCCAM'S RAZOR: The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most
likely to be correct.
Wm. of Occam - 14th century scholar.
When the 1960s ended, San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district reverted to high rent,
and many hippies moved down the coast to Santa Cruz. They had children and got married,
too, though in no particular sequence. But they didn't name their children Melissa or
Brett. People in the mountains around Santa Cruz grew accustomed to their children playing
Frisbee with little Time Warp or Spring Fever. And eventually Moonbeam, Earth, Love and
Precious Promise all ended up in public school. That's when the kindergarten teachers
first met Fruit Stand. Every fall, according to tradition, parents bravely apply name tags
to their children, kiss them good-bye and send them off to school on the bus. So it was
for Fruit Stand. The teachers thought the boy's name was odd, but they tried to make the
best of it.
"Would you like to play with the blocks, Fruit Stand?" they offered. And
later, "Fruit Stand, how about a snack?" He accepted hesitantly. By the end of
the day, his name didn't seem much odder than Heather's or Sun Ray's. At dismissal time,
the teachers led the children out to the buses. "Fruit Stand, do you know which one
is your bus?" He didn't answer. That wasn't strange. He hadn't answered them all day.
Lots of children are shy on the first day of school. It didn't matter. The teachers had
instructed the parents to write the names of their children's bus stops on the reverse
side of their name tags. The teacher simply turned over the tag. There, neatly printed,
was the word "Anthony."
Luanne Oleas in Salinas, Calif., Reader's Digest.
On one of his European tours, the master magician and locksmith Harry Houdini found
himself locked in by his own thinking. After he had been searched and manacled in a
Scottish town jail, the old turnkey shut him in a cell and walked away. Houdini quickly
freed himself from his shackles and then tackled the cell lock. But despite all his
efforts, the lock wouldn't open. Finally, ever more desperate but completely exhausted, he
leaned against the door--and it swung open so unexpectedly that he nearly fell headlong
into the corridor. The turnkey had not locked it.
Harold Kellock, Houdini.
A family of five was rushed to the hospital to have their stomachs washed out after the
cat with whom they had shared a meal of mushrooms suddenly began to have stomach
contractions. While members of the family showed no signs of illness, the doctor still had
them rushed to the hospital. When they returned home they found the cat feeling well,
after having produced five kittens.
England Post, in Homemade, April, 1989.
The photographer for a national magazine was assigned to get photos of a great forest
fire. Smoke at the scene hampered him and he asked his home office to hire a plane.
Arrangements were made and he was told to go at once to a nearby airport, where the plane
would be waiting. When he arrived at the airport, a plane was warming up near the runway.
He jumped in with his equipment and yelled, "Let's go! Let's go!" The pilot
swung the plane into the wind and they soon were in the air. "Fly over the north side
of the fire," yelled the photographer, "and make three or four low level
passes." "Why?" asked the pilot. "Because I'm going to take
pictures," cried the photographer. "I'm a photographer and photographers take
pictures!" After a pause the pilot said, "You mean you're not the
A violinist noticed that his playing had a hypnotic effect on his audiences. They sat
motionless, as though they were in a trance. He found he had the same effect on his
friends' pets. Dogs and cats would sit spellbound while he played. Wondering if he could
cast the same spell over wild beasts, he went to a jungle clearing in Africa, took out his
violin and began to play. A lion, an elephant, and a gorilla charged into the clearing,
stopped to listen, and sat mesmerized by the music. Soon the clearing was filled with
every kind of ferocious animal, each one listening intently. Suddenly another lion charged
out of the jungle, pounced on the violinist, and killed him instantly. The first lion,
bewildered, asked, "Why did you do that?" the second lion cupped his paw behind
his ear. "What?"
Bits & Pieces, July, 1991.