Don't Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before

In the spirit of full and complete disclosure, I need to let you know that I am on vacation this week.  In fact, as I type this, I am sitting at a timeshare in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Yes, I know it’s off-season. Yes, I know it’s cold.  (Well, to me it’s cold. I’m from Phoenix.  Almost everywhere I travel is cold to me.) Yes, I know I shouldn’t even have a computer turned on. But, at the start of the year I started this experiment (a description of which can be found here) where I would try to follow the schedule - come hell, high water, or timeshare - listed at the top of this blog. 

This is me still trying to see if that little experiment will work.
So, I am sitting here on Tuesday night (which is when a Wednesday blog needs to be completed) with a number of ideas on something funny to write. And every one of them is coming to a dead end.  (There are also a couple of shots of tequila waiting for me when I get done – not that such a promise would have any bearing on my wanting to get done quicker.)  Which means that I am going to have to dig deeper to see what else I might write about.
(Rustle, rustle. Dig, dig. Curse, curse. Stub toe on virtual shelf within computer.  Curse louder. Rustle. Dig. Curse. Aha! Aha?  Better than nothing??)
Eureka!  What I have found is an old joke; I’m betting you’ve heard it before.  However, it is worth repeating (particularly when I am having trouble coming up with anything funny.)  Joke follows:
The CEO of a company was given tickets to a performance of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. Since he was unable to go (and, in actuality, made sure he was unable to go because he and classical music had an agreement – he didn’t listen to classical music, and classical music didn’t listen to him), he passed the invitation to the company's Chief Audit Executive.
The next morning, the CEO asked the CAE if he enjoyed the performance. The CAE paused and then handed over an audit report with the following points:
1. For a considerable period, the oboe players had nothing to do. Their number should be reduced, and their work spread over the whole orchestra, thus avoiding peaks of inactivity.
2. All twelve violins were playing identical notes. This seems unnecessarily duplicative, and the staff of this section should be drastically cut. If a large volume of sound is really required, this could be obtained through the use of an amplifier.
3. Much effort was involved in playing sixteenth and thirty-second notes. This seems an excessive refinement, and it is recommended that all notes should be rounded up to eighth notes. If this were done, it would be possible to use trainees instead of craftsmen.
4. No useful purpose is served by repeating with horns the passage that has already been handled by the strings. If all such redundant passages were eliminated, the concert could be reduced from two hours to twenty minutes.
In light of the above, one can only conclude that had Schubert given proper attention to these matters, he probably would have had the time to finish his symphony.
Okay. Odds are (as I already warned you) you’ve heard this one before. However, it is really worth hearing again. First, it’s a pretty good joke.  Second, every auditor needs to ask him or herself, “Am I too busy looking at the details to understand the big picture music the company is playing.”
(Shoot. Not only did I tell an old joke. I tried to make sure it had a moral attached. Oh well, let’s see anyone else do as well with visions of vacation dancing in their heads.  Where is that shot?)
Next week: Why did the auditor cross the road?  What is black and white and audited all over? And “A travelling auditor stopped at the Farmers’ office…”

Posted on Feb 8, 2011 by Mike Jacka

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