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A topologist is a man who doesn't know the difference between a coffee up and a doughnut.

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From: david_gonda#NoSpam.qm.yale.edu
Special Category: Definitions and terms

A student was doing miserably on his oral final exam in General Toplogy (yes, this guy _really_ did give oral finals in topology). Exasperated by the student's abysmal performance up to that point, the professor asked the student "So, what _do_ you know about topology?" The student replied, "I know the definition of a topologist." The professor asked him to state the definition, expecting to get the old saw about someone who can't tell the difference between a coffee cup and a doughnut. Instead, the student replied: "A topologist is someone who can't tell the difference between his ass and a hole in the ground, but who can tell the difference between his ass and _two_ holes in the ground."

The student passed.

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April 25
June 22
From: c1prasad#NoSpam.watson.ibm.com (prasad)

Klein bottle for rent -- inquire within.

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April 25
June 22
From: jusinkko#NoSpam.mail.freenet.hut.fi (jukka sinkko)

 In the topologic hell the beer is packed in Klein's bottles.

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From: wilson#NoSpam.condor.cs.jhu.edu (Dwight Wilson)

I saw the following in "The Knot Book" by Colin Adams (a very readable
introduction to Knot Theory).  The joke is attributed to Joel Haas.

A woman walks into a bar accompanied by a dog and a cow.  The bartender
says, "Hey, no animals are allowed in here."
The woman replies, "These are very special animals."
"How so?"
"They're knot theorists."
The bartender raises his eyebrows and says, "I've met a number of
knot theorists who I thought were animals, but never an animal that
was a knot theorist."
"Well, I'll prove it to you.  Ask them them anything you like."
So the bartender asks the dog, "Name a knot invariant."
"Arf, arf" barks the dog.
The bartender scowls and turns to the cow asking, "Name a topological
The cow says, "Mu, mu."
At this point the bartender turns to the woman, says, "Just what are
you trying to pull" and throws them out of the bar.

Outside, the dog turns to the woman and asks, "Do you think I should
have said the Jones polynomial?"

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From: Bill Taylor (mathwft#NoSpam.math.canterbury.ac.nz)
November 17
September 26
Mobius strip no-wear belt drive!  (Please see other side for warranty details.)

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From: fc3a501#NoSpam.rzaixsrv1.uni-hamburg.de (Hauke Reddmann)
November 17
September 26
cartoon ...stolen from the AMM.
A mathematican, standing puzzled at the Xerox machine and complaining to
the secretary (?) woman: "I set it to 'Single Sided Copy', and now it comes
out as a Moebius Strip!"

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November 17
September 26
cartoon ...stolen from the AMM.
From: planb#NoSpam.newsreaders.com (J.B. Moreno)

Moebius strippers only show you their back side. -- Unknown

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From: caj#NoSpam.baker.math.niu.edu (Xcott Craver)

Here's a new one, tell me what you think.

	A topologist comes home from work to find his wife and daughter
wailing and sobbing buckets.  A police officer, who was trying to console
them, greeted the topologist with a somber expression.  "I have terrible
news for you," he said.  "While at school, your son Dave was hit by
a steamroller and squashed flat.  We tried to contact you immediately,
but you had left your office before we could reach you."

	The mathematician spent a few minutes in horrified disbelief.
"Did he ... did he die instantly?  Was he taken to the hospital?"

 	"He died within the few seconds it took for the vehicle to run
him over,"  the officer said.  "He was in pain, but only for a short time.
We need you to come down to the morgue."

	So together they went to the city morgue.  The officer watched
as the mathematician was shown the body, a broken and flattened wreck.
"Can you identify him as your son?"  the police officer asked.

	"No," said the topologist, "but I think I can identify a pair
of antipodal points."

	Needs work?  Okay, needs work.

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A topologist walks into a bar and orders a drink.  The bartender,
being a number theorist, says, "I'm sorry, but we don't serve
topologists here."

The disgruntled topologist walks outside, but then gets an idea and
performs Dahn surgery upon herself.  She walks into the bar, and the
bartender, who does not recognize her since she is now a different
manifold, serves her a drink.  However, the bartender thinks she looks
familiar, or at least locally similar, and asks, "Aren't you that
topologist that just came in here?"

To which she responds, "No, I'm a frayed knot."

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From: jfunk#NoSpam.adams.net (jim funk)

A piece of string walked into a small town on a hot, dusty day.
He was thirsty, so he sauntered into the first establishment he
encountered and asked the waiter for a glass of water.

"Sorry", said the waiter, "we don't serve strings here."

Discouraged, the string walked out.  A little further down the
street, he met a stranger.

"You look hot," said the stranger.  "Why don't you go into that
cafe and get a drink of water?"

"I tried that," said the string, "but the waiter wouldn't serve
me anything because I'm just a string."

"No problem" said the stranger.  "I'll fix you up."  He grabbed
the string, tied him in a bowline and frayed his ends.  "Now try it."

The string slipped back into the cafe and asked the waiter for a
glass of water.  "Hey," said the waiter, "aren't you the piece of
string that was just in here?"

"Nope," retorted the string, "I'm a frayed knot."

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                            I AM A FRAYED KNOT
Subject: Life  5.6

Then there was the rope that fell into a vat of chocolate and came up

"Sometimes I fell like a knot, sometimes I don't". . . . .


And then there was this barge floating along at sea.
Ahead of it was this cruise ship.  The cruise ship, asked the barge,
"Hey, are you the Love Boat?"  To which the barge replied,

"No, I'm a freight yacht!"


A young private lived in a barracks infested with fleas and ticks, and
though he complained often to the sergeant of his platoon, nothing was
ever done about the problem.  However, one weekend he received a
weekend pass, and went to the nearby town to party it up with his
friends.  Unbeknownst to him, the barracks was disinfected and
fumigated while he was away.

Upon his return, he looked at his bed and said, "Oh, well, another
night of bug-bites and itching ahead..."

And the bed replied, "No, I'm a sprayed cot."


A young executive was working at her desk late one night, when she
accidentally knocked over a bottle of ink.  The ink began running
toward the project she was working on, and she hastily wiped at it
with a Kleenex.  Assuming she had eradicated the offensive substance,
she finished up what she was doing and left for the night.

When she arrived in the morning, she began leafing through her papers,
and discovered one sheet had a large ink stain on it.  She swore, then
turned to the ink bottle and said, "Ooh, I thought I wiped you up last

The spot on the page looked at her and said, "No, I'm a strayed blot."


So there was this guy in the old ages in shining armor, in Camelot.
He had been set-up by a nemesis, and was doing some time in the
dungeon, for a crime he didn't commit.  Another inmate asked,

You must have done something horrible to get in here."
And our hero said "No, I'm a framed knight."

He was able to prove his innocence, and was let go.
He ran into his nemesis who was surprised to see him loose.

"I thought you were locked up for good?"

"No," said our hero, "I'm a freed knight."


These three Australian Pecans went into a bar that only served
Peanuts.  As the first Pecan approached the bar, the bartender axed,
'Hey, what are you?  A Pecan?  We don't serve Pecans here, only
Peanuts.'  So the poor Pecan left.

As you may guess, the second Pecan attempted the same thing and was
also turned away.

The third Australian Pecan got a good idea.  He went outside and threw
himself on a barbie and rolled around in the coals for a bit.  He
returned to the bar and approached the bartender who axed, 'Hey,
aren't you one of them Pecans?'

To which our hero replied: 'No, I'm a fried nut.'


An old, arthritic, and exceptionally stupid dog was snoozing in the
middle of the road.  Alluva sudden a big street cleaning vehicle comes
by and maims the dogster, tossing him to the side of the road.  Some
time later, a yuppie couple stop in their BMW 535i and pull over to
see how the dog is. "Good Lord," sez the guy, "Are you all right?"
To which the dog replies,  "No, I'm a flayed mutt."


Sally's pen explodes and a large splat of black ink drops onto her
lapel.  After many bleachings and washings, the stain had faded but
showed no sign of coming out altogether.  She exclaimed one day, "You
are a pain!"
To which the stain replied:  "No, I'm a greyed blot."


The local newspaper reporter was covering the catastrophic fire at the
psychiatric ward of the hospital.  Wanting to get his story straight
about who and how many were injured he question many of the people at
the scene.  So far everyone of the injured was a member of the staff.
Coming to a man who had been seriously burned when the oil furnace
exploded he asked, "Are you a doctor or a nurse too?"  "No," came the
reply, "I'm a fried nut."


There once was a magical kingdom where the princess of the castle was
turned into a small amphibian by an evil witch.  She was held prisoner
by the witch for many years, until one day a handsome prince rescued
her from the witch's cottage in the woods.  The prince asked, "Excuse
me, but are you a princess that was turned into a salamander and that
I have now released?"

"No," she replied, "I'm a freed newt."


Actually, this musician was melting butter in a pan on the stove not
far from where he had been composing music at his workbench.  With
much punk, an ink blot jumps off the staff paper and leaps into the
frying pan, dancing and singing around.  The musician asks:
"Hey, dotted quarter!  Are you nuts, or what?"  "No!" replies the dot.
"I'm a fried note."


After Alexander (the Great) applied his famous solution to the Gordian
knot, he and his soldiers continued on their merry way leaving the
severed knot to lie on the ground in two tangled piles.  One soldier,
who was quite far back in the column and had not seen the action
earlier, had this to say:

Look at the size of those two piles of worms!!!

To which the knot replied, as all good knots will,

  No, I'm a filleted knot.


And overloaded a logic inverter, causing it to go up in a puff of smoke:

"Are you OK?"

"No, I'm a fried NOT!"


It was the late 1950's, and actor Don Knotts was temporarily out of
work.  He happened to hear that Hanna-Barbera was looking for voices
for the characters in its new animated series, "The Flintstones".
After his first audition, he was told that he had a good shot at the
voice of Barney Rubble, but in the meantime he should go out into the
front lounge to wait for further news.  The lounge turned out to be
filled with actors and actresses who were there to audition for the
voices of Fred, Barney, Wilma and Betty.  Don noticed an old friend of
his across the room, a Mr. Chisteviejo.  Don walked up to his friend,
slapped him on the back, and said, "Say, Chisteviejo, are you a 'Fred'
or a 'Barney'?"  Without hesitation, Chisteviejo replied:

"I'm a 'Fred', Knotts . . . "


So these two acorns were dangling side-by-side on a branch of their
mighty oak, when a starling landed.  The larger of the acorns dropped
to the ground below.  The fallen acorn surveyed the situation, and
excitedly reported back to its once-neighbor, "What a feeling of
freedom down here!  With each rustle of wind, I can roll, the ground
is cool and damp, and when a dog or person strolls by, the whole earth
seems to vibrate.  This is great.  Do you want'a come down?"
To which the still suspended acorn just HAD to reply, "No, I'm a treed nut."

A massive lightning strike hit a pond near my house one day, and
boiled all the water out.  The next day, I went back to the blasted
mudhole (nee pond) and noticed a large number of amphibian bodies
strewn in the area.  I picked up one charred specimen, wondering aloud
if it had been a frog, when I heard it reply...
   "No, I'm a fried newt!"


A cargo train hits a rough spot and a nut flies out of one of the
cars.  It lands in a parts box in an electronics firm, right next to a
shiny bolt.  The bolt says "Hey, gorgeous!  Are you from around here?
I was *made* for guys who look like you."
Our hero turns despondently to her and says "No, I'm a freight nut."


A jungle explorer was sitting in the woods when a bizarre insect
landed on his arm.  The tiny beast sported a goatee and a little bitty
pipe which blue little bitty smoke rings.  It began to tell the
neighboring insects as to the analysis of dreams.  "Heavens!"
exclaimed the explorer.  "What are you, a new species?"  To which the
creature replied, "No, I'm a Freud gnat."


A dog is sleeping outside one night, and sleeps well into the next
day.  By the time she awakes, the sun is already high in the sky.
Naturally, the dog develops is very hot and is looking for a drink.

Another dog sees her, and asks, "Are you okay?"

Our heroine responds, "No, I'm a fried mutt."


A fishing vessel is dragging its net through an area rich with fish.
Unexpectedly, a rat chews the main line through and the net goes
sinking into the deep, much to the dismay of the crew.  At the ocean
floor, an octopus and a squid look at the strange thing that has
fallen upon them.  The octopus, irritated, looks at it and says, "What
the hell are you, some kind of strange fish?

     It replies, "No, I'm a freed net."


A group of planter's peanuts were out for a stroll one day in the
kitchen. Unsalted thought that it might be fun to go for a stroll on
the big deep-fryer that was sitting on the counter.  They climbed up a
wooden spoon that was leaning against the vat, and began to walk
around the edge.  Honey-roasted lost her balance and fell in.
Unsalted, quite alarmed, looked down into the vat and shouted, "Are
you alright, Honey?"

      Honey surfaced, looked at him, and replied,
	 "No, I'm a fried nut."


An ignorant fool posted some anti-homosexual blathering over all of
the newsgroups on USENET, in order to gain complete recognition by all
of its members.  For months the flames soared and the poor little
homophobe had to unsubscribe to most of them.  One day FIDONET
happened by and looked at the weary USENET.  "You look pretty bad.
Are you OK?" he asked.
The reply from the weary network was, "No, I'm a fried net."


When I was in boot camp at Parris Island, one young marine was
extremely clumsy, dropping his rifle several times during the daily
drills.  A rather excitable drill sergeant soon became angry and asked
the recruit "Son, are you as clumsy with your rifle on the shooting
range as you are on the field?"
To which was replied, "No sir, I'm a great shot."


And if Usenetters had written "Monty Python & the Holy Grail" ...

	How do you know she's a witch?
	I'm a freed newt.


"Ginger" MacTavish had lived Down South (London), away from his family
and friends, for many years.  One day, a boyhood chum of his happened
to be passing through town, and called him up for a chat.  In the
course of the conversation, his friend asked Ginger if his hair was
still bright red, as it had been when they were boys.

"Och, ye maun weel know", Ginger replied ...

		" ... I'm a grayed Scot ..."


Two zeros are walking down the street.  One zero is coughing very
badly.  The coughing is getting severe, so his buddy asks him: "Are
you all right?"
The second zero responds: "No, I'm a phlegmed naught."


These three zeroes were travelling through some cold weather and
became thirsty, so they stopped in at a local bar for some warmth &
refreshments.  When the first zero approached the bar, the bartender
(whose mathematical skill didn't quite reach the level of familiarity
with single-digit numbers, asked, "Say, aren't you a zero?  We don't
serve zeros here."

The second zero tried to order and the bartender said "You're a zero
too, aren't you?  I already told your friend, no zeros allowed!"

The last zero, before approaching the bar, stepped outside & rolled in
the snow for several minutes until he was quite cold.  When he
re-entered the building and walked up to the bar, the bartender said
"Not again!  You'd better not be another zero!"

To which the cold number replied, "No, I'm a frigid naught!"


The president of the Flintstones Fan Club walked into a bar, and the
bartender, recognizing the man but not quite remembering from where,
asked, "Say, aren't you the guy that's so crazy about watching the
The Flintstone fan's reply was, "No, I'm a Fred nut."


A small lizard was minding its own business when a knight rode up and,
thinking the lizard to be a dragon, attacked it and bashed it over its
head with a heavy ball-and-chain.
Not much later, another knight (a former bartender) spotted the hurt
lizard and asked, "Say, are you a wounded dragon?"
The lizard, still dizzy from the blow, replied, "No, I'm a flailed newt."


There once was a Leprechaun fascinated by insects, which he caged and
kept as pets.  There were hundreds of the cages throughout his home,
each containing a single insect.  As it happened one day, he had
forgotten to close his window while cleaning the cage of one of the
smaller insects, and it escaped.

The little bug was enjoying it's new found capability of unhindered
flight when it chanced upon a gnome, who recognized it as his friend's
pet.  "Are you on your way home, little one?" the gnome asked.  And
the insect replied "No, I'm a freed gnat."

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From: "Abdullah" <gtech#NoSpam.batelco.com.bh>
Q:What does a topologist call a vergin?
A:Simply connected

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April 25
June 22
From: Ed Green

Q:  What does a topologist call a cow that's swallowed itself?
A:  A kine bottle.

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