Making his first appearance in 1910, Tom Swift is a young lad who is the central character in more than 100 books of American juvenile science fiction and adventure novels that emphasize science, invention and technology.
Several prominent figures, including Steve Wozniak and Isaac Asimov, have cited "Tom Swift" as an inspiration. Of particular interest is the fact that several inventions, including the taser, have been directly inspired by the fictional inventions ("TASER" is an acronym for "Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle")
The reason I’m blathering on about this now is my recent Truck-less Tracker Trucker Max column, which included a number of “What do you call a man who…” type jokes (and I use the word “joke” in its loosest sense). This reminded me of something called Tom Swifties. The idea was that the way in which Tom said things was often qualified, along the lines of "’The radio reception is much better now,’ said Tom ecstatically.”
This prompted a whole spate of spoof sayings along the lines of "’Pass me that saw,’ said Tom woodenly.” You can find a bunch of these on various websites, but where’s the fun in that? I was wondering if we could come up with any Programmable Logic or Microcontroller-related equivalents of our own…hint... hint...
Meanwhile, here’s a bunch more “What do you call a man…”-type jokes (some of which are in very questionable taste):
Q: What do you call a man with a seagull on his head?
Q: What do you call a man with no arms and no legs in a swimming pool?
Q: What do you call a man with no arms and no legs floating in the middle of a harbor?
A: Boy ("Buoy")
Q: What do you call a man with no arms and no legs in a hole?
A: Phil ("Fill")
Q: What do you call a man with no arms and no legs in a pile of leaves?
A: Russell ("Rustle")
Q: What do you call the same man six months later?
A: Pete ("Peat")
Q: What do you call a man with no arms and no legs in a mailbox?
Q: What do you call a man with no arms and no legs on your doorstep?
Q: What do you call a man with no arms and no legs hanging on your wall?
Q: What do you call a man with no arms and no legs water skiing?
Q: What do you call two men standing by a window?
A: Curt 'n' Rod
Q: What do you call a girl with one leg shorter than the other?
Q: What do you call a Chinese girl with one leg shorter than the other?
Q: What do you call a cow with two legs shorter than the others?
A: Lean beef
Q: What do you call a cow with no legs?
A: Ground beef
Q: What do you call a fish with two knees?
A: A tuna fish ("Two-knee fish")
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