A few observations from the grocery store:- As companies take the fat out of products, they often add salt. - "Low Salt" soy sauce is nothing of the kind. - Kikkoman's "Low Salt" Soy Sauce claims to have 50% less saltthan regular soy sauce. Reading the label, however, reveals that itmerely has 36% less salt, which really isn't even close. - Buying a liquid hand soap without an active "antibacterial"agent is nearly impossible. In fact, regular non-antibacterial handsoaps are now more expensive than soaps with an "active agent." - Some cereals have more salt in a "serving" thancrackers. For instance, one serving of Wheat Chex has more sodium thana serving of regular Triscuits. The situation is reasonably commonplace: You're at a party with agood number of people you may not know, like, or understand. Mostoften, the situation could be best described as some combination of theabove. Rather than feigning your own death to escape from meaninglesssmall talk, drive away potential boredom-inducing party goers with awfuljokes and puns. If your own reservoir of such verbal fodder is runninglow, I suggest getting a copy of A Prairie Home Companion: Pretty Good Joke Book. This book is chock full of party-boredom smart weapons like: This guy goes into a bar and orders three separate shot glasses of Irishwhiskey.

He drinks all three. He does this day after day afterday, and finally the bartender says, "You know, I can put all three ofthose shots into one glass for you."The guy says, "No, I preferit this way. See, I have two brothers--they're over in Ireland, and Ilove them. This glass right here is for Finnian and this one here isfor Fergus, and this one is for me. This way, I can feel like we'reall here together having a drink."And the guy continues to come inday after day after day, and the bartender continues to set up three shotglasses. Then one day, the guy says, "Give me two shotstoday.""What happened? Did something happen to one ofyour brothers?" the bartender asks."No, no, no," the guysays. "They're okay. It's just that I decided to quitdrinking."Beyond the usual "man goes into a bar" jokes, the book has NorthDakotan jokes:What is a seven course meal in North Dakota?

A hamburger anda six-pack.

Yo' Mama jokes:Yo' mama is so short, you can see her feet on her driver's license.

Yo' mama is so fat, she can't even jump to a conclusion.

Yo' mana is is so fat, when her beeper goes off, people think she'sbacking up.

Ole and Lena jokes:Ole came home from work one day and found Lena sitting on the edge of thebed, naked. He asked her, "Lena, why are you sitting therewithout any clothes on?" And Lena said, "I don't have noclothes to wear." Ole said, "Don't be silly--you got lots ofclothes." And he went over to the closet, flung open the door,and said, " Lena, look--here's a blue dress, here's a yellow dress,here's Sven, here's a flowered dress..."And plenty of lightbulb jokes:How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?

To get to the other side.

In short, this book may save you from hours and hours of painful small talkat your next gathering as your reputation as a joke-spewing machine makesthe rounds of the party.