HUMOR


They started out as a 431-pound man and 13 baby geese walking down the sidewalk in Missouri Valley, Iowa.

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Now, six years later, Paul Messerschmidt is down to 241 pounds, and his 11 geese are trained with voice commands and hand signals to follow him through the crowds at the Nebraska State Fair.

In 2003, Messerschmidt’s doctor told him he needed to start walking for his health.

His kids, who were 15 and 18 at the time, were supposed to help him get his exercise, but they weren’t.

“I had these babies,” Messerschmidt said of the geese. “I took them down the street to embarrass my kids.

“It worked,” he said with a laugh. “Amanda (his daughter) came home one day and said, People are talking about a fat man walking baby geese down the sidewalk.'”

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When he first started walking with the geese, he could only make it about a half-block at a time. The next week, they made it a block, and they kept increasing the distance.

“It keeps me out of the hospital,” Messerschmidt said of all the walking. He said he suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic pneumonia.

That first year, Messerschmidt took the geese in a parade, just to see if he could win some prize money. He actually planned on having goose meat at the end of that year. But people took to them and him.

More and more people started asking him to bring his geese places. He has taken them to nursing homes, day care centers and schools.

Most of his appearances are generated by word of mouth. About three years ago, the poultry division at the Nebraska State Fair hired him to come by in hopes that he could become a main fair attraction. This year, he is walking around the grounds with his geese as one of many strolling acts.

Messerschmidt guides his geese through a series of nine voice commands, telling them to turn right or left, come or stop. They also know five hand commands, including one finger up as a warning if they are being contrary, and two fingers mean the “woodshed.” And, yes, they have gotten “spanked” in public.

“Actually, they obey better than most children,” he said.

He and his geese have walked 711 miles in six years, traveling to 417 towns for fairs, festivals or parades.

At the Nebraska State Fair, they walk about one and a half miles every day, so he figures they will have added 20 miles by the end of the fair.

This year, he will be going to 117 shows, which is less than the 168 last year because he has more multi-day fairs.

Messerschmidt often gets questions about “messes” the geese may make, but he said it is not a problem.

“If you don’t feed them for six hours before, you don’t have to clean up after them,” he said. The geese get fed overnight, then usually don’t go out walking until at least 11 a.m.

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They do get treats during the day and are particularly fond of soda pop. Mountain Dew is their favorite, followed by Pepsi. They don’t like Coke or 7UP.

“They also like Mike’s Hard Lemonade,” Messerschmidt said with a laugh. “But they don’t get drunk on it. It doesn’t affect them.”

The geese also occasionally get treats of Skittles, M&Ms and cotton candy.

It is the same group of geese that he started with. They are 6 years old now. He started with 13 geese but has lost two to illness and accidents.

“They imprinted together,” he said, adding that he couldn’t add in another goose at this point because they would attack it. “Although they have some sibling rivalry, they protect each other.”

Messerschmidt said the protectiveness gets stronger when they are not “on duty.” They seem to know that, when they get their outfits on, it means they are “on.”

The geese are each dressed in a themed outfit, which changes each day. Monday was a baseball theme, but the geese also have outfits for NASCAR, evening gowns and tuxedos, and cowboys.

He saw the movie “Fly Away Home” and saw a scene where the birds were dressed up. Messerschmidt decided that he could do that, too.

The geese were only 6 months old when he started putting the little outfits on them, so they mostly stand still and let him. All except Crybaby, he still protests the clothes occasionally.

Besides Crybaby, there is Wrongway, Flyby, Petey, Little Droops, Mr. Books, George, C.C., Little Frankie, James Dean and Rocks.

For more information on Paul Messerschmidt, visit his website at  http://paulgooseman.tripod.com.

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Laughter is very good medicine. Don’t forget to include in your diet.

In an office:
TOILET OUT OF ORDER. PLEASE USE FLOOR BELOW.

In a Laundromat:

AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES: PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES WHEN THE LIGHT GOES OUT.

In a London department store:


BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS.

In an office:


WOULD THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE STEP LADDER YESTERDAY PLEASE BRING IT BACK OR FURTHER STEPS WILL BE TAKEN.

In an office:

AFTER TEA BREAK STAFF SHOULD EMPTY THE TEAPOT AND STAND UPSIDE DOWN ON THE DRAINING BOARD.

Outside a secondhand shop:


WE EXCHANGE ANYTHING – BICYCLES, WASHING MACHINES, ETC. WHY NOT BRING YOUR WIFE ALONG.AND GET A WONDERFUL BARGAIN?

Notice in health food shop window:


CLOSED DUE TO ILLNESS.

Spotted in a safari park:


ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR.

Seen during a conference:


FOR ANYONE WHO HAS CHILDREN AND DOESN’T KNOW IT, THERE IS A DAY CARE ON THE 1ST FLOOR.

Notice in a farmer’s field:


THE FARMER ALLOWS WALKERS TO CROSS THE FIELD FOR FREE, BUT THE BULL CHARGES.

On a repair shop door:


WE CAN REPAIR ANYTHING. (PLEASE KNOCK HARD ON THE DOOR – THE BELL DOESN’T WORK).

Noah’s Ark… hehehehe… write something about this later…

I challenge you not to laugh

… shared by Shammy

  1. I hate hemming.
  2. My bobbin winder hates me.
    Lisa Ashton’s Corollary:
    Don’t try to talk on the phone and sew a straight seam unless you intend for your finger to be included. Blood on white fabric is frustrating, and the screaming scares the cat.
  3. The more you try to fix the hem, the more you will screw it up.
    Lisa Ashton’s Corollary:
    If you have just sewn the same seam inside out or right side to wrong side TWICE, it’s time for a break.
  4. I need a serger.
  5. Don’t use red chalk to draw the pattern on white fabric when you need the garb the next day.
  6. If the neck hole was too little the first time, only cut a little bit off at a time. There’s no going back. I now have an off-the-shoulder undertunic.
  7. If you’re trying on the garb you’re sewing over and over to get the right fit, it’s easier just to sew nekkid. Someone please tell me I’m not alone.
  8. The first time you sew it together, use a big stitch. They’re easier to pull out.
  9. Trying to convince yourself that no one will notice that the sleeves are two different lengths gets easier as the night goes on.
  10. They play really crappy music on the radio at 2:00 a.m.
  11. Ignore the “Buy 1 more yard than you think you’ll need” rule. Replace it with the “Buy 7 more yards than you think you’ll need” rule.
  12. Get $1/yard fabric. Then you won’t swear at yourself so much.
  13. You can see a black bra through $1/yard white cotton.
  14. You can see a white bra through $1/yard white cotton.
  15. You can see you’re not wearing a bra through $1/yard white cotton.
  16. The warning on cold medicine that says you shouldn’t operate heavy machinery while on this drug should state sewing machines specifically.
  17. If you’re going to be trying on something that’s pinned, and have to pull it over your head, remember to wear protective eye gear.
  18. The numbers on my tape measure move. They must. I’ve measured 3 times, and it’s still not working.
  19. You really do have to match plaids or your butt looks funny.
  20. Remember Rule 6? Don’t do that again on the over tunic. Next time, try a key hole.
  21. At 4:00 AM, leaving the garb too big sounds perfectly acceptable.
  22. No matter what you learned from your last 2:00 a.m. sewathon, you’re gonna do it all again.
  23. Never cut fabric strips in the middle of the night!
    Michele Sol – ask her about her belly dancing outfit experience.
  24. It is best not to continue the project once the cat decides that you are still sitting at their night time sleeping area.
    Alix Jordan
  25. For the spouses of the 2:00 a.m. sewer: Learn to duplicate their “Are you still on the computer?” phrase and tone of voice. They may not be happy to hear it, but it gets the message through.
    John O’Halloran – Who had to do it on the eve of his wedding.
  26. If a costume needs machine sewing, and it is not done the day before leaving for an event, it stays home.
    Betsy R. Delaney

    Stephanie Carrigg’s Corollary:
    If a costume is not done three days before the convention, it doesn’t go.
  27. Allow plenty of time for bead work – complex bead work can require a year to do. Do your beadwork before the major construction.
    Lisa Ashton