We actuaries do seem to have a certain reputation to live up to. Here is a sampling of the mostly politically incorrect humor with which actuaries occasionally amuse themselves. Submit your favorite actuary joke to firstname.lastname@example.org and (if it's free of sex, violence, and obscenity) I'll add it to the list below, and credit you as the source including your email address . I know these jokes are politically incorrect. No flame messages please.
The famous surgeon is reassuring his patient prior to a heart transplant. "So, Mr. Smith, what kind of a heart shall we give you tomorrow."
"Well, you know Doc, I'd just as soon have the heart of an actuary, because I'll know it's never been used."
How can you tell when you meet an actuary who is an extrovert?
He is the one who looks at YOUR shoes when he talks to you!
"Mr. Smith, why did you become an actuary?"
"Well, I didn't have enough personality to become an accountant."
The difference between accountants and actuaries may be illustrated by the following (hopefully apocryphal) story:
An accountant and an actuary were passing a field of cows. The accountant said, "Look at that herd of black cows." The actuary replied "Well, they're black on this side anyway."
If someone laid all the actuaries in New Jersey end to end, no one would care.
An actuary is a professional who can solve a problem you didn't know you had in a way that you can't understand.
My mother regarded me with a puzzled frown when I told her I wanted to be an actuary. "Isn't that where they put dead actors?"
A peasant was struggling to return to his small mountain village in the face of the worst blizzard in many years. As he struggled upward, he nearly stepped on a small bird which had fallen onto the path. He could see the bird was too exhausted to survive the storm. Being a kindly peasant, he picked up the bird and looked around for some safe place where it could shelter and rest. Not far off the path, he discovered a "road apple" still warm from the body of a passing cow.
"The very thing!" he thought to himself, and carefully nestled the bird into the warmest part of the pattie, mounding it around him for protection. Then he resumed his trip up the mountain path to his home.
Another peasant from the same village struggled up the path a few minutes later. He heard a strange sound near the path, and looked around. There he saw the bird, singing in the cow pattie.
"What a terrible thing! That poor bird!" said the peasant. He took the bird out of the cow pattie, cleaned it up the best he could, and placed it carefully on the path so it could fly away. Then he resumed his trip home.
The bird promptly froze to death.
Now there are at least three lessons to learn from this story: