If there was ever a time when simply being qualified for a position was enough to prevent you from being fired, this most certainly is not it. In fact, there are entire websites devoted to people telling their most ridiculous stories of being let go. From posting a comic strip to talking behind a coworker's back, here are six of the craziest reasons people have ended up on the unemployment line:

1. Posting a comic strip. Trying to lighten the mood at work may seem like a good idea, but you may want to think twice before taking this seemingly harmless route. In Iowa, a man who posted a "Dilbert" comic strip on an office bulletin board lost his job for supposedly implying that his bosses were a bunch of "drunken lemurs." David Steward had worked for Catfish Bend Casinos in Burlington for seven years, most recently as a security supervisor.

On October 27, 2007, shortly after company officials announced that the casino would be closing and as many as 170 workers could be laid off, Steward put up the comic because he found it funny and thought it might lift some spirits with the imminent layoffs; unfortunately members of upper management were not amused and proceeded to fire him. At the unemployment benefits hearing, however, Administrative Law Judge Lynette Donner sided with Steward, declaring it "a good-faith error in judgment," and not deliberate misconduct.

2. Laughing "inappropriately." A man hired to play Santa Claus in an Australian department store was fired in December 2007 for saying "ho ho ho" and singing Christmas songs to children. So, what was the problem exactly? The employment company Westaff, which provides stores with red-robed, white-bearded Father Christmases, had requested for all Santas to say "ha ha ha" because the word "ho," could be considered insulting or demeaning. John Oakes, a 70-year-old man who had been playing Santa for three years, protested that Westaff was trying to kill the spirit of Christmas. His employers didn't see his side and proceeded to give him the boot.

3. Writing about avoiding work. In January of 2007, an Iowa woman was fired and denied unemployment benefits for keeping a journal detailing her efforts to avoid work. Emmalee Bauer, 25, was employed by the Sheraton hotel company as a sales coordinator in Des Moines. While at work, she kept a handwritten journal until a supervisor told her to stop writing on company time. Instead, Bauer decided to type up all 300 single-spaced pages of her journal on her work computer.

The essential purpose of the journal? To avoid doing work. A sample excerpt included, "This typing thing seems to be doing the trick. It just looks like I am hard at work on something very important." She also wrote: "I am only here for the money and, lately, for the printer access. I haven't really accomplished anything in a long while ... and I am still getting paid more than I ever have at a job before....I can shop online, play games, read message boards, and still get paid for it."

She even mused that the journal might someday be published. Bauer was fired for misuse of company time after the journal was found by a supervisor. Administrative Law Judge Susan Ackerman denied Bauer's request for unemployment, ruling the journal showed not only a refusal to work, but also Bauer's "amusement at getting away with it."

4. Gossiping. Be careful. Big Brother may really be watching-and listening, even on your lunch breaks. In May 2007, four municipal workers in Hooksett, New Hampshire were fired for gossiping about their boss. Lawyer Lauren Irwin had been hired to investigate the office after its environment had been described as "toxic." Her task was to find out who gossiped, and-specifically-who referred to Town Administrator David Jodoin in "derogatory terms." Is this type of investigation legal? Yes. But can the information that's uncovered really get you fired? In some states, absolutely. And considering that New Hampshire law states an employer can fire an employee without giving a reason, the Hooksett Four (as they came to be known) soon found themselves jobless.

5. Playing solitaire. Playing computer games at work is a pretty common way to pass some extra time. However, if you ever find yourself working for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, you may want to consider curtailing your habit. Edward Greenwood IX was fired from his job as an assistant in the city's lobbying office in Albany on January 30, 2006 because the mayor had seen the solitaire game on Greenwood's computer screen during a January 4th visit to the state capital.

Greenwood, 39, said he was dismissed with no notice, and no severance pay, after being a dutiful employee there for six years. He said that he always completed his work in a sensible fashion, and that he played solitaire only when there was nothing left to be done, usually a few times a week or on his lunch breaks.

During his time at the lobbying office, Greenwood earned around $27,000 a year for duties including sending legislative bills to city agencies and copying and circulating office memos.

6. Presidential reproach. Cockroaches aren't usually held in the highest regard, but how did one cockroach cost about 30 people their jobs? In the country of Turkmenistan, the popular nightly news program, Vatan, was broadcasting a routine bulletin, but viewers across the country spotted something unusual-a large cockroach crawling across the studio table.

The cockroach covered an entire lap of the desk, seemingly unnoticed, before disappearing. The program showed at 9 P.M. and again at 11 P.M. Only on the following morning did officials from Turkmenistan's ministry of culture discover the cockroach's unwelcome spotlight on the program.

The consequences of this cockroach's unexpected and brief fame were both immediate and severe. The country's president, Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, responded by firing at least 30 employees from the main state TV channel, the news website Kronika Turkmenistan reported. Those fired included journalists, directors, camera operators, and technical staff.