?Many people love the sweet confection called Milk Duds. It was, however, the product of a mistake. The Hoffman Company of Chicago, the original producers of the product, was trying to make a perfectly round chocolate-covered caramel. They did not succeed and called the mistakes “duds.” Not wanting a total loss, the company decided to sell the duds anyway. The name and the candy have been popular ever since. Sometimes you can bring victory out of defeat and success out of failure.
A new building was opening, and one of the owner’s friends wanted to send flowers for the occasion. They arrived at the new business site and the owner read the card. It said, “Rest in Peace.” The owner was angry and called the florist to complain.
After he told the florist of the obvious mistake and how angry he was, the florist said, “Sir, I’m really sorry for the mistake, but rather than getting angry you should imagine this: somewhere there is a funeral taking place today, and they have flowers with the note saying, ‘Congratulations on your new location.'” (from Internet to Christians newsletter, July 21, 1998)
-Preaching, September/October 1999
to the book, The Twentieth Century, the invention of typing correction
fluid was the product of necessity. Betty Nesmith (incidentally, the mother
of former “Monkee” Michael Nesmith) had made so many typing mistakes she created
a concoction that would cover the mistakes without smudging the paper. She
mixed the first batch herself and applied it with her eyebrow pencil. She started
mixing it for friends and eventually turned her enterprise into a 47 million
dollar business. When selling her Liquid Paper to Gillette, she negotiated
a deal that gave her and her son royalties on each bottle sold until the end
of the century.
Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati,
A young executive
was leaving the office late one evening when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.
said the CEO, “this is a very sensitive and important document here, and my secretary has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work?”
said the young executive.
He turned the machine
on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.
excellent!” said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine. “I just need one copy.”
– from Mikey’s Funnies
Most people would affirm the genius of Thomas Jefferson. He was an eloquent
writer, an inquisitive thinker and a great inventor. Those who visit the
Jefferson home, Monticello, are amazed at his many innovations and inventions.
One invention, however, is an inspiration for a different reason. Jefferson
designed a concept for a calendar clock. He began installing the clock and in
the middle of installation discovered he had made an error. There was not
enough space in his main room to accommodate all of the clock’s works. Rather
than give up, Jefferson cut holes in his floor and ran part of the clock’s
works into the basement, even part of the clock that was to identify the days
of the week. To fully read the clock, you would have to go into the basement.
This could be seen as a monument to perseverance and so it is, but it is also a
reminder that even geniuses make mistakes.
Illustration by J. Michael Shannon, Professor of Preaching, Cincinnati Bible
College & Seminary, Cincinnati, OH.
A new business was opening, and one of the owner’s friends wanted to send
flowers for the occasion. They arrived at the new business site and the owner
read the card. It said, “Rest in Peace.” The owner was angry and
called the florist to complain.
After he told the florist of the obvious mistake and how angry he was, the
florist said, “Sir, I’m really sorry for the mistake, but rather than
getting angry you should imagine this: somewhere there is a funeral taking
place today, and they have flowers with a note saying, ‘Congratulations on your
from Internet for Christians newsletter, July 21, 1998
Here are some classified ads that needed a bit more editing before publication:
– For sale: Antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers.
– Dog for sale: eats anything and is fond of children.
– Used cars: why go elsewhere to be cheated? Come here first!
– Wanted: man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink.
– Illiterate? Write today for free help.