The mayonnaise jar and the miniskirt


 By Gerry Moran

A professor stood before his philosophy class with some items in front of him. When the class began, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. The sand, understandably, filled up everything else. Once more he asked if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’ The professor then produced two glasses of wine from under the table and poured the contents into the jar filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognise that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things, your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favourite passions and, if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

“The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else, the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Enjoy a movie together. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the plumbing. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine represented. The professor smiled and said: “I’m glad you asked. The wine just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of glasses of wine with a friend.”


Mary Quant, iconic fashion designer of the ‘60s, who popularised the miniskirt, died on April 13 in her 93rd year. Dame Barbara Mary Quant had a huge impact on the fashion industry. She also had a huge impact on the minds, and bodies (and souls) of Irish Catholic boys in the throes of puberty (I know, I was one). Mary Quant featured regularly in my monthly trips to confession, oh not by name, but she, thanks to the miniskirt, was responsible for what we young men confessed as ‘impure thoughts’ (the most natural thoughts in the world!). Meanwhile. here are two short (they would have to be short) ditties re Mary ‘s miniskirt (and no impure thoughts, please)

The Mini

There was a young lady called Quant

Who gave us a skirt, short and scant

Female thighs looked alluring

Men looked; men were drooling

Thought: I would if I could, but I can’t!


Women in Minis

Women in minis aren’t ninnies

They know the score

When they bend that bit more

And a flash of thigh

Baits the male eye

Reeling him in

To thoughts of sin

‘Till he starts to drool

Bloody big fool!

Stop men, I beg

It’s only a leg

Still and all, ladies please

I beg you – don’t tease

‘Cause when it comes to minis

Men are right ninnies

And think with their thingies!




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