Fortune Bank Teller

March 27, 2018 at 10:27 pm 3 comments

One of the radio commercials in the GEICO “Surprising” campaign features a fortune bank teller who dispenses both greenbacks and prognostications. The commercial ends with the teller saying,

I see a yellow light serpent… and a low APR.

What you may also find surprising is that this commercial reminds me of my father-in-law, Julian Block, a nationally known tax expert. Julian used to work for a company that connected advisors to people seeking help. An operator would ask a few questions of each caller and then connect the advisee with an appropriate consultant. Sometimes, however, the advisee would be connected to the wrong expert. And the problem? The company specialized in dispensing two types of advice: tax and psychic.

You may now see why the GEICO commercial reminds me of my father-in-law. When calls were incorrectly routed to him, he would become a de facto psychic tax advisor. I imagine conversations like the following:

Young Woman: My boyfriend just proposed. Should I marry him?

Julian: That depends. What’s his tax bracket?

These combinations — fortune teller and bank teller; psychic advisor and tax advisor — yield rather whimsical new professions. It made me wonder if there were others. Sadly, an hour of brainstorming yielded only a handful of satisfactory results:

Super Hero Intendent, who still has time to fight crime after 8 hours of dealing with stopped-up toilets

Dog Street Walker, who thinks the oldest profession is picking up Spot’s poo

Antique Debt Collector, who will accept payment in Ming vases and pocket watches

Switchboard Lottery Operator, who has a 1-in-500 chance of connecting you to the right person

Social Construction Worker, who can strike up a conversation with anyone while shingling a roof

Foreign Language Flight Instructor, who will teach you how to land safely after you give her the declension for agricola

Got any others you’d add to the list? Post them in the comments.



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Stick Figure Math What Do They Think of RCV in Bah Hahba?

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. goldenoj  |  March 28, 2018 at 8:11 am

    On the new Black Lightning show, his secret identity is a HS principal. So close. Is there a name for this kind of mashup?

    I’ll add: presiaccident. That probably doesn’t count. House Portrait Painter? Chief Executive Police Officer? Bat Cave Man?

    • 2. venneblock  |  April 17, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      BTW, does Bat Cave Man stop prehistoric crimes? I love it!

  • 3. venneblock  |  March 28, 2018 at 8:35 am

    I think presiaccident would count as a portmanteau, like all the breeds of dogs: labradoodle, puggie, jackhuahua, and my personal favorite sheetzucacapoopoo (thanks, Joy Behar!). Those are single words resulting from a blend of two or more other words. I coined the term triggle, which is a blend of trig and giggle and is the type of laugh you might get from saying, “Math puns are the first sine of madness.”

    I don’t know if there’s a name for this kind of mashup, though. I don’t think it’d be called a portmanteau, because it’s not a blend. If there is a word for it, I’d love to hear it. It’s kind of a garden sentence, in the sense that it leads you one way then takes a turn to end up somewhere else… but that’s not exactly right, either.


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The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

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