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Readers' Digest Humor Collection


When my sister Betsy was a waitress, she was asked by a customer if she'd like to meet him after work. She explained that it would be rather late, but he said that'd be fine and he gave her his phone number: "555-the Battle of Hastings." After her shift was over, Betsy went to the phone and, forgetting her history, dialed 555-1588 instead of 555-1066. A groggy voice answered and my sister exclaimed, "Oh, you're not the Battle of Hastings!" "Certainly not," the man replied, "I'm the Spanish Armada."



My niece, after living in several apartments, found one in the area where she had grown up. "The best thing about this apartment," she said to her sister, "is that it's within walking distance of the grocery store." "What grocery store?" her sister asked. "You know," my niece said. "Mom's house."

I am a building contractor and live alone. My daughter gave me a recipe file containing some of her favorites, and -- knowing my ignorance of cooking terms -- she had written these instructions for one dish: "Mix to the consistency of concrete." The recipe turned out perfectly!



During a visit to my parents, my mother began to quiz me on my current boyfriends. "Just what kind of man are you interested in?" she finally asked. I pointed to my father and said, "Like him with a few minor modifications." Dad grinned triumphantly. "It's taken me thirty years to modify that one," Mom responded. "It doesn't come in a twenty-six-year-old model!"


When my son got his first job, he moved into his own apartment. Soon he was complaining about how difficult it was to pay the rent and utilities. "I understand," I murmured. "But how would you know, Mom?" my son retorted. "You live at home!"

After I had purchased movie tickets for my girlfriend and me, she went inside to find seats while I got the popcorn. By the time I was served, the previews were being shown. I stumbled my way through the dark, sat down and gave my girlfriend a kiss. Then I heard a familiar voice say, "John, I'm back here."  


A widow, my friend Martha was dating again at age 62. Once, she was sitting in a golf cart when her escort reached over, patted her leg and said, "Now I suppose you're going to tell me I can look but don't touch." "Robert," Martha quipped, "at my age you can touch -- but don't look!"



A young woman in our office received a dozen roses from her fiancee -- eleven yellow roses and one red. Thinking there was some romantic symbolism to the single red rose, I asked my secretary what the arrangement meant. "Well," she replied, "if they were from my husband, it would mean that the yellow roses were on sale because they didn't have a full dozen."  

While chatting with a woman on the bus, I happened to notice that she was wearing a key on a chain around her neck. "What's that?" I asked. "Oh, this," she replied. "My boyfriend gave it to me and told me it was the key to his heart." "How sweet!" I said. "Not really," she answered. "It's the extra key to his car."  



When the young waitress in the cafe in my building started waving hello every day, I was flattered. She was at least 15 years younger than I. One day she waved and beckoned to me. When I strolled over, she asked, "Are you single?" "Why, yes," I replied, smiling at her broadly. "So is my mom," she said. "Would you like to meet her?"

Source: Readers' Digest Humor Collection


shift: the time period during which you are at work (turno)
groggy: confused
grown up: become an adult (crecido)
within walking distanc
e: very near (a un paso)
grocery store: a store where groceries are sold
(almacén, tienda de comestibles)
recipe file: file containing directions for cooking (archivo de recetas)
concrete: building material (cemento)
turned out: proved to be (resultó)

quiz: test, ask questions (averiguar, preguntarme)
grinned: smiled
utilities: public services (impuestos y expensas)
retorted: answered back
(respondió rápidamente)
purchased: bought (comprado)
previews: advertisements at a cinema
(avances publicitarios)
stumbled: missed a step
back here: at the back (aquí atrás
widow: a woman whose husband is dead (viuda)
: have a relationship with someone
(saliendo en pareja)

escort: a person who accompanies someone (acompañante)
patted: chucked, touch playfully someone's body
(acarició, palmeó)
quipped: made a joke
fiancee: boyfriend (novio, prometido)
arrangement: (in this context) bunch of flowers
(arreglo floral)

chatting: having a chat, talking (conversando)
I happened to notice: I saw by chance
(observé por casualidad)
chain: a series of links (cadena)
extra key: duplicate key (llave de repuesto)

waving: moving her hand (a saludar con la mano)
flattered: praised (adulado, halagado)
beckoned to me: called me with a gesture (me hizo señas)
strolled over: walked towards her
(me acerqué a ella)
single: unmarried
broadly: in a wide fashion
(con una sonrisa amplia)