Handey Warrants

Identify/Generate the principle
Time: 15-30 minutes

Each of these words of wisdom from Jack Handey includes a claim and a reason. Ask students to identify the warrant that links them. (This is essentially a variation on Claim and Reason, Where's the Warrant? It's probably best to do at least a few of those first, since they're more straightforward.)

The worksheet and answer key follow.


Identify the claim and reason in each sentence. Then figure out what warrant connects the two.

1. I wish I had a Kryptonite cross, because then you could keep both Dracula AND Superman away.

2. If you ever fall off the Sears Tower, just go real limp, because maybe you'll look like a dummy and people will try to catch you because, hey, free dummy.

3. I wish outer space guys would conquer the Earth and make people their pets, because I'd like to have one of those little beds with my name on it.

4. I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

5. To me, it's a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when you walk around. That way, if anybody says, "Hey, can you give me a hand?" You can say, "Sorry, got these sacks."

6. If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let'em go, because, man, they're gone.

7. I wish I could have a real tragic love affair and get so bummed out that I'd just quit my job and become a bum for a few years, because I was thinking about doing that anyway.

8. Whenever you read a good book, it's like the author is right there in the room talking to you, which is why I don't like to read good books.

9. I wish scientists would come up with a way to make dogs a lot bigger, but with smaller heads. That way, they'd still be good as watchdogs, but they'd eat a lot less.

10. You can't tell me that cowboys, when they're branding cattle, don't sort of "accidentally" brand each other every once in a while. It's their way of letting off stress.
Answer Key

1. Superman is afraid of Kryptonite and Dracula is afraid of crosses. Or, Superman and Dracula exist.

2. People want dummies.

3. Once someone makes you a pet, they give you cute furniture.

4. The best response to innocence and vulnerability is aggression. Or, war is good.

5. You should try to get out of work whenever you can.

6. Volcanoes are hot.

7. Tragic love affairs are good excuses to indulge our own sloth.

8. It's creepy to have be too close to an author.

9. Dogs are good for protection, but a drain on the household economy.

10. Cowboys feel stress. Or, inflicting pain lets off stress.