Saturday, December 17, 2011

Me, Oh, and Cleo (Almost)

Actual headline on AOL's homepage: Simon Cowell 'almost slept with Paula'

Yeah, listen, greaseballs who pedal this nonsense and greaseballs who read this nonsense, it is not news when two celebrities sleep together ergo it is unquestionably not news when two celebrities almost sleep together. It is even less newsworthy when one of the alleged celebrities is a washed up late 80s pop tart and the other is a pimp of fake, manufactured music.

You know who I almost slept with? Cleopatra! If I'd been born a couple thousand years ago somewhere in the Roman Empire and had possessed the means and opportunity to meet Cleopatra and we had gotten along well and she hadn't been involved with one of her other lovers at the time and if I hadn't died young due to lead poisoning or any of the other numerous ailments that caused people to check out early in the ancient world, I could have slept with Cleopatra! So close.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Change the Menu

I hate the phrase "and all the trimmings." If the menu proclaims that a meal comes with "all the trimmings", I don't order it. It's pretentious in that down home sort of way, like a person who says "yee-ha". Don't ever say "yee-ha". Ever. "Y'all" is okay to say; that's a legitimate and very old contraction of plural "you". Granted, it does sound forced and artificial when it emerges from certain mouths, but that's true of many excellent words and phrases.

And what's worse than "all the trimmings"? Why, "all the trimmins", of course. The only thing more nauseating than a phoney baloney menu flourish calculatingly designed to convince people of authenticity is the same phrase deliberately misspelled to reflect pronunciation. Stop it!

Monday, December 12, 2011


If I had a time machine, I'd use it to go back and punch the three male cast members of "Friends" right in their grills during the intro of the show. I'd be there for them, all right.

This might seem like a trivial thing compared to the possibility of using a time machine to prevent the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks or stop the Holocaust or slavery, but tampering with history is such a risk. Disrupting an overrated, inane television show from the 1990s is where true satisfaction lies.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

No Kumquats in My Cole Slaw, Please

Is there a global citrus surplus? There has to be a reason every restaurant insists on putting lime in your soda and lemon in your water. At some establishments, you have to ask for the citrus not to be inserted in your beverage.

When exactly did asking for water mean you were also requesting fruit? This seems like a technique designed to get rid of unwanted items, such as, apparently, lemons and limes. You know what they say, if life gives you lemons, open a restaurant and give them to someone else.

With so much citrus available, why is anybody bothering with vitamin C pills? Has scurvy been eradicated? How long before they start adding unwanted citrus to food as well? Oranges in the spaghetti? That wasn't a meatball after all!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Cash Only

I took a long break from blogging and you know why? I'm greedy! I want to write for money because I'm good enough and after writing for free a certain amount of time, I got fed up. I fear this is a decidedly counterproductive approach so I have a solution: pay me. Wherever you are around the world, send me money. I won't pay it back. I won't use it for noble purposes. I won't be grateful for the rest of my (or your) life. But I will have more money.

Why is an amphibian running for President of the United States? Never mind, it's pretty obvious most decent humans don't want the job. If we must have an amphibian, I'd rather have a toad, really, because they're mostly terrestrial and therefore probably more aware of what's happening on Earth. That doesn't mean I object to an aquatic creature holding office, maybe as Vice President, because we need their input as well. But in the top office, I'd prefer something that walks the planet like me. Self-interest and all, you understand.

I want readers to massage my ego and praise me like the eternal child I am. "You're talented, RH, and you're such a good boy!" I don't even object to the occasional candy bar. Send one along with the money. Cash only!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Charles Edward Anderson Berry

Happy 85th birthday to Chuck Berry, one of the greatest performers and songwriters ever. One of the best things about Berry's songs is the ease of the rhymes. No doubt he worked very hard to write the lyrics, but every line comes out as though that's what Chuck was going to say anyway, and it just happened to rhyme with the previous line. Berry's no saint. He's been on the wrong side of the law more than once. But he created perhaps the most glorious American music that has ever been heard.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Punch a Drunk

There is now a prescription drug to increase eyelash length. At least they're working on the important stuff. Maybe someone can help me out with this uneven fingernail growth.

Punch a Drunk

When a drunk commits assault,
He always says it's not his fault
The trash he utters isn't true;
That's the liquor talking too.
If you ain't sober, nothing counts
So keep guzzling every ounce.
Why is it when you wreck the car
You still end up in the ER?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Same Nameness

Flipping through channels the other day, I saw Erik Erikson commenting on Chris Christie's decision not to run for President of the United States. And I thought, if anyone can offer up insight on a guy named Chris Christie, it's a guy named Erik Erikson. Next week, I want Sirhan Sirhan's observations on whether or not--you have to work a little for this one--Billy Dee Williams will run for President.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Goodbye, Homies

All my enemies withdrew yesterday,
Said they'd find someplace else to play.
My friends followed them right out the door,
No point hanging with me anymore.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tiny God?

What makes people--especially, but not exclusively, songwriters--so sure that God is enormous? "100 Pounds of Clay", "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands", Touchdown Jesus, Oral Roberts' bizzare tale of the enormous Jesus who insisted he raise tons of cash; all these indicate that the Creator of the universe must be extremely large. Just because God created big things doesn't mean God is physically imposing. God could be 5'4" and timid-looking, the type who wants to prove to everyone size is no limitation to vision.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Salmonella is one of the best weight loss programs out there and it's free. Well, there's no monetary cost.

All summer there was an ad blitz about a treatment for shift work disorder. The side effects included vomiting, blistering, peeling, red skin rash, hallucinations, mouth sores, depression, anxiety, and irregular heartbeat. All of which begs the question: wouldn't you rather live with shift work disorder?

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Last night, I had a one night stand. I met with old friends and we stood around. They're nice people, but not very interesting. Or maybe they are interesting and just don't reveal much of themselves in conversation, preferring instead to focus on the mundane for whatever reason. We probably all do this. My old friends are very likely to have withdrawn from the evening saying of me, "Nice person, but boring."

But I'm not boring, you backbiting jerks! I've been to twenty countries, more if East Germany--an ex-country--counts. So why are you running your mouths about how dull I am? Some old friends you turned out to be!

Seriously, though, they weren't interesting.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Condi and Chelle at the Canterbury, Circa mid 90s

Does anybody care if Sarah Palin had a one night stand with Glen Rice a quarter of a century ago? Larry Flynt, maybe. If it's true, I wonder when exactly Glen Rice recognized her as the same woman he'd had a fling with all those years ago. Was it when she became Governor of Alaska? Before then? Or was it not until she rose to prominence as a Vice Presidential candidate? What went through his mind the first time he saw her standing at a podium preparing to address the nation?

Otherwise, who cares? Don't we have any better gossip than this? Okay, I've got some. In 1994, I ran into Michelle Bachmann and Condoleeza Rice at the Canterbury Inn in Indianapolis. I said I was a road manager for After 7 and asked them to meet me in my room after seven, but they showed up at 6:52 and I wouldn't let them in. I wasn't really a road manager for After 7 though, so the joke was on them.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cut These Remakes Loose

Oh good, they remade "Footloose"! Remember when it came out and you kept thinking, "Good movie and all, but they need to remake it in 25 or 30 years so they can take advantage of the many technological developments sure to transpire over the next three decades." Hopefully they'll simplify that terribly complex and intricate plot, too!

Monday, September 5, 2011


I have now worked for two different organizations that held Efficiency Meetings. Is there a more self-contradictory phrase than “efficiency meeting”? What two words are less suited to be neighbors than “efficiency” and “meeting”? Any (oxy)moron who organizes an Efficiency Meeting ought to be fired outright. In fact, anybody who attends an Efficiency Meeting is probably someone the company can do without. So go ahead and have that Efficiency Meeting; you won’t be missed.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Why isn't anyone said to have a "wet" sense of humor? Maybe Gallagher, what with all those melons. On the other hand, someone with a "damp" sense of humor might be similar to a "wet blanket", a kind of sourpuss who doesn't laugh at anything, even a watermelon being smashed.

Friday, August 26, 2011

If You Don't Know, Now You Know

You can read excerpts from the novel at my companion website:

I could post the whole book there but, you know, that would be self-defeating.

This is an old title of mine, but one of my better short works.

Hope Sinks

You know what they say
About the minister's daughter.
But today she walks the aisle,
Stepping silently toward matrimony.
And all the fellows whose back seats
She has not yet graced
Sigh in despondent resignation.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Young Enemies

"The Oogum Boogum Song" by Brenton Wood is really underrated.

Want to buy a book? I know where you can get one.

I ran into an old friend today. Then I realized we weren't friends and he wasn't old. So I hit him.

I would never want to be a critic and I hope no one ever calls me one. It isn’t because the work of a critic might not be fun, it’s the name. The moniker implies perpetual dissatisfaction. I’d never be happy with that.

Some outdoor types say they love sleeping under the stars. That’s fine, but we don’t really have a choice. All of us sleep under the stars. I just prefer to have a roof between me and the stars.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Not Sylvia Plath

Hands toil, hearts roil,
Sickness settles in.
Lips spit, ears split,
Reeling from the din.
Legs splay, bones decay,
Tender ankles roll.
Time binds, fries minds,
Worry rots the soul.

Sometimes I use miserable poems like the one above to discard negative feelings. This didn't seem to work for Sylvia Plath, who killed herself anyway. But I'm not Sylvia Plath. I've never even been accused of it, in fact.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Real Kids Voting For Oven-Baked Cheese

Today I saw a bumper sticker that read, "I'm Voting For Kids". I didn't quite know how to break it to the motorist that kids can't run for office due to age restrictions. Unless it's a school election, in which case adults can't vote.

A banner displayed at a local filling station trumpeted its "oven-baked pizza." This didn't seem like much to boast about, as the typical preparation technique for pizza is to bake it in an oven. This is similar to the package of cheese puffs claiming to be made from "real cheese." Well, yeah, they're cheese puffs!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Guy and I

Everyday life tackles from behind
While approaching crises flood the mind,
Look straight ahead, but walk around blind.

If your complaint is that people complain too much, should you stop complaining?

Last week, I hitchhiked from Bobo-Dioulasso to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. Not only was it blisteringly hot, but I walked all the way from Bobo to Boromo without getting a lift even once. At Boromo, Guy Fieri picked me up and we stopped at a dive on the outskirts of Ougadougou before dropping me off at the taxi rank.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Literary Famine

My credit rating got downgraded a few years back and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I learned to be smarter and more sensible with my money. I also learned that credit card companies are, by and large, ruthless swindlers.

So I have become a ruthless swindler myself. Send me money. Now. If you need a reason, tell yourself it's to buy my book.

Which brings me to the topic of self-promotion again. Please, please, please buy my book. I'm not a ruthless swindler now, I'm a starving artist.

Thank you.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

That's Not Reich

You know who the Nazis were really mean to? Jehovah's Witnesses. Who else? Homosexuals. Communists. The disabled. So the next time you want to compare your political opponent to a Nazi, measure your words, checkity check yourself. There is no comparison and it's a cheap, juvenile move.

Meanwhile, I don't have an iPhone. But I do have my thumb and forefinger. With the T&F phone, I can talk to anyone, including God and the dead.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


The correct responses to the General Knowledge Test were C, D, A, C, B. The bonus question could have been answered in a variety of ways but probably the best combination of correctness and brevity would be "You wouldn't." However, more creative answers to both the multiple choice and essay portions are sought just for the sake of interest.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

General Knowledge Test

1. As of July 2011, the Vice President of the United States is:

A) Joe the Plumber
B) Joe the Electrician
C) Joe Biden
D) Justin Beiber

2. A supernova is:

A) A turbocharged Chevy
B) An especially good episode of a popular PBS program
C) The unreliable drunk who looks after your apartment complex
D) The cataclysmic explosion of a large star

3. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the latter portion of the First World War was:

A) David Lloyd George
B) Linda Day George
C) George of the Jungle
D) Gromit

4. Sudan is:

A) What you'll do when Daniel doesn't pay back the money he owes you
B) Another of those ridiculous celebrity combo names like Bennifer and Brangelina that the press has pre-selected in case Danny DeVito marries Susan Sarandon
C) An arid country in North Africa recently divided into two separate nations
D) A delicious lunch meat

5. Howard Holt lost the position of Prime Minister of Australia because:

A) He was defeated in a free and fair election
B) He vanished at Cheviot Beach and was never seen again
C) He popularized the phrase "G'day, mate", forever stigmatizing Australians as a One Greeting People
D) Howard Holt is still Prime Minister of Australia

Bonus Essay Question:

Why Would You Put Pork In Your Own Food?

Answers will appear tomorrow.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Two Billion Peas In A Pod

During a recent trek on an Interstate in a major city, I happened across a truck carrying podded peas in an enormous trailer surrounded by mesh. The vegetables were piled loose in enormous heaps with no cover. I had never seen anything like it before. If the vehicle had made a sudden stop, I would have gotten a free lunch.

Why did someone have to pick on Norway? Okay, so it turned out to be a Norwegian, but that doesn't alter the bizarreness of it. Norway, we love you, we support you, and we hate what's happened to you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Originality Summer

What an embarrassing passel of summer movies! Talking apes, retreads, sequels, Smurfs. Smurfs? That was a bad idea 25 years ago and a worse one now. Why bother with Captain American at this point? It's apparently no mystery why I haven't been to a theater since last year.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Retirement Unlikely

Book sales have so far not yielded enough for me to quit my job and move to the Carribean. You can fix that.

If you don't care about that--and why should you?--just concentrate on the fact it's a good read by a writer looking to make his mark in the literary world. Thanks for your support.

Mood Swing

For self-control, he had no peers,
His emotionlessness exquisite.
A box of tissues would last for years
Unless his grandma came to visit.
But when his friends stopped talking to him,
Islandized him like Madagascar,
His mood grew dark, his prospects grim.
Saw more saltwater than a lascar.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Short Personal Indulgence

Today would have been my Great-Grandfather's 98th birthday. He was born the same day and year as former President Gerald Ford. My Great-Grandfather taught me to walk, ride a bicycle, and drive a car, so without him I couldn't get anywhere. He also perfected use of the phrase "hell of a lookin' thing", ordinarily reserved for people with a particularly strange or haggard appearance. Lady Gaga, for instance, would probably have been "a hell of a lookin' thing" to him.

Not much for content, but hey, it's a sentimental day.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Welcome To the World, South Sudan

Don't know what you're going to make of this place, considering the crises that spawned your nation to start with, but best of luck to you. Keep rocking the streets of Juba.

One more African note: the city of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso has one month--August--during which the high temperature does not average more than ninety degrees Fahrenheit. One. The other eleven month offer average highs of at least ninety and sometimes in the hundreds. Africa is perceived by many as a mercilessly hot continent, but many locales belie this stereotype and offer quite temperate conditions. Not so for Ouagadougou! Oh, and the average high in August is a chilly eighty-eight. Brrr!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Saturn Site For Balls and Biden's Burmese Bat Bash

It's too bad News of the World is ceasing operations because I was about to scoop them on a juicy sex scandal involving US Vice President Joseph Biden, British politician Ed Balls, Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, a cricket bat, and the planet Saturn. I just needed a few more days to verify sources and come up with a headline. :SIGH:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Jones the Froad

Today marks the 42nd anniversary of Brian Jones' alleged death by drowning in a swimming pool. Actually, the former Rolling Stones guitarist never died at all. Due to an inadvertent gene splice with a tadpole at the time of his birth, he is one of the rare individuals who can breathe underwater for several weeks.

Speaking from his favorite lily pad near Cotchford Farm, Jones told me he had no regrets about leaving the Rolling Stones and becoming a froad. I knew by the name that this meant a cross between a toad and a frog, but I asked for further details.

"It's just what they call any amphibian-human hybrid," he explained, "whether you share DNA with a frog or toad or newt, you get the same moniker."

I asked if his death had been planned.

"No, definitely not," he croaked, "I was doing a lot of drugs at the time and when I sank to the bottom of that pool for a swim, I made an impulsive decision. I knew I could stay down there and convince them I was dead and start over."

And so he did. Ironically, for a man whose claim to fame is dying young, he has lived longer than any other known human-amphibian cross.

"Some bloke in Indonesia supposedly made it into his seventies," Jones said," but that was back in the early 20th Century and it was never properly verified."

But how has Jones spent the last four decades?

"I was going to do a solo album, but I kind of got addicted to flies," he admitted.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

That's the Way It Lagos

Sometimes I think it's a shame that people don't follow international affairs very well, but on other occasions it isn't so disappointing. After all, if the President of Nigeria's name were widely known, how many bad jokes would it invite? Not to mention his wife. Their names will appear below, but you have to wait:

(won't be long now)

Goodluck Jonathan and Dame Patience.

Seriously. If you are reading this, you're probably googling the names now to make sure there's no mistake. Go ahead. I'll give you a moment.

You see? Instant fact check.

I used to hang out with Dame Patience when we were both students at Port Harcourt University. Or was it the University of Port Harcourt? A nice young lady, but her elaborate hats used to block my view of the chalkboard. And for the person behind me, it was even worse, because my elaborate hat blocked his view of Dame Patience's elaborate hat and the chalkboard. College!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I Slaved Over a Hot Stove For Hours, Fido!

Pet owners can now purchase a product referred to as a homestyle dog treat. Has anyone ever made dog treats at home? Seems like an awful lot of trouble for perhaps the least picky eaters this side of goats.

"Last night we canned tomatoes and whipped up some homemade dog treats."

Know what a homestyle dog treat is? A bone!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Your Mistake: Being Born

If you go by conventional wisdom, things have been getting worse ever since you were born. It doesn't matter when you were born, either, just know that the time before then was better. Way better. People had respect. Kids ate their vegetables and got the right amount of sleep. Parents lived up to their responsibilities and politicians exhibited a measure of honesty and grace.

Again, this was before you were born, so you don't remember. Or, it might have been during your early childhood years, about which you are definitely not idealizing or recalling in a fond, nostalgic--and therefore skewed--manner. Sunsets were prettier, without all that superfluous gamboge. Full moons occurred more often than they do now because it was before the moon realized it drove people insane when it came out in all its glory. People ruin everything!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bad Hand Gestures

Politicians exhibit the worst, most embarrassing gesticulations when speaking. President Obama's mostly stationary fist that he occasionally waggles slightly is actually one of the better ones and it isn't all that great. Heretofore, the lamest, most cringeworthy hand movement was probably that of Michael Dukakis, the benign, milquetoast former Governor of Massachusetts who lost to George H. W. Bush in the 1988 Presidential Election.

But Dukakis has now been trumped by GOP Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Perhaps a little fittingly, her hand motions make it appear she's simultaneously screwing in two wing nuts or maybe smoking two cigarettes at once, but not in the workmanlike way, the index and middle finger combo used by almost everyone, but in the utterly pretentious, Albert Camus style, between the thumb and forefinger.

Things have gotten so bad that it's about time we brought in the world's leading experts on hand gestures: rappers. Old school or new school, doesn't matter, just get get every Presidential candidate a rapper consultant to teach him/her some decent handwork!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Companion Site

Please view this site for links to purchase my upcoming novel, which is available for pre-order now. I don't adore self-promotion but at the moment it's the only kind I have at my disposal. Thanks very much!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Not Yet Read

Don't you worry because I
Like it when you don't reply,
Don't care if your inbox creaks
From all the mail you've left for weeks.
But when it comes your time of need,
Don't use a stopwatch to track my speed.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fat to Chew

Commercials for prescription medication often say things like "tell your doctor if you have asthma or heart disease". Such statements are intended to alert patients of possible side effects associated with taking the advertised drug when one also suffers from a particular medical condition. But it doesn't make a lot of sense. After all, shouldn't your doctor be telling you that you have asthma or heart disease and not the other way around? What's a doctor for, anyway?

Television executives appear to have learned by now that fat, annoying guys who act stupid all the time can't stay married to intelligent, beautiful women. Not long ago, we were apparently supposed to believe this but the litany of programs purporting such a premise has diminished. Now we're merely expected to believe that in those roaring late Nineties and Early Noughties, corpulent dopes could not only attract a smart beauty with a great personality but remain married to her throughout the course of an seven or eight season run.

Of course a clever, attractive woman might dig an overweight guy. She might like a dopey guy. She might carry a torch for a guy who was supremely irritating and always screwed things up. But combine all of those traits and the notion that she would get married--and more critically, stay married--to such a person. Well, no wonder Reality TV did so well during that period. It was canned, contrived, forced, boring, reveled in ignorance, but it was easier to swallow than the fiction.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Child, Please

Following a discussion with a couple of friends, it seems the ruling on the less vs. fewer mashed potatoes question is: irrelevant. Everybody wants more mashed potatoes, not less or fewer.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

One Less/Fewer Grammatical Question to Worry About

As many amateur grammarians know, it is traditionally incorrect to say "less people" or "less dollars". Public usage appears to be rendering this guideline obsolete, but there are still stubborn individuals who cling to the past.

"Less" and "amount" can be used to describe things like money and time. "You'll get less money if you work that amount of time." This is because you can't count time and although you can count money, you have to know how many dollars/pounds/euros/Pula it is. So it's "less" money and "fewer" dollars. It's an "amount" of time but a "number" of minutes. This gets abused all the time, even by professional broadcasters, who say "amount of people".

So okay, this might be a losing battle and not worth ruffling one's feathers, but even if one adheres to the traditional rules, there remains the subject of mashed potatoes!

If you want a smaller portion of starchy succulence, do you say you want fewer mashed potatoes or less mashed potatoes? Frankly, neither sounds right. The first seems wrong because potatoes in that form can't actually be counted. What does one mashed potato look like? The second sounds dumb for the same reason "less minutes" does.

So who can answer this?

Monday, June 6, 2011

If You Buy My Book, I Promise To Stop Blogging

Seriously, is blogging getting to be old hat now? I'm not really sure. Probably depends on whom you ask (hint: don't ask bloggers).

I may have to revoke my promise, depending on how many people actually like the blog. But it won't be much of a contest if fans of the blog are measured against non-fans.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


There's no way you can convince me that professional child actors aren't taught to enunciate and pronounce things properly. And yet, when the little freaks get on camera, directors ask them to lisp and pronounce their Rs like Ws. What's the point of nurturing a young performer's language skills when they're just going to make him talk like the three year old across the street? Did I mention it is not at all cute?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Don't Say Gay, Hottie

Splendid steam rises from the sidewalk.
At last, the heat, cleared for takeoff,
Tears through the air as though chased by God,
All the hotter for waiting so long to explode.

The first hot day of the year is always really exhausting. A month later, 90 degrees feels almost normal.

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard recently issued a public appeal for the team to acquire more talent. At the same time, veteran point guard Steve Nash stated that an openly gay NBA athlete would not generate as much controversy and strife among teammates and opponents as many people suspect. While neither of these stories is uninteresting, it's better for all concerned to juxtapose them and conceive the following sensational headline:

Howard Says Get Me Gayer Players

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Subtlety Is, You Know... (:wink:)

I suspect Julian Assange is not the real name of the WikiLeaks founder. It sounds more like a moniker made up in the heat of the moment to avoid revealing one's true identity. I imagine the "Julian" part is legit; it's the surname I doubt.

"Whats your name?"
"Julian what?"
"Julian Ahhh...san..juh, Assange!"
"How do you spell that?"
"I don't know."

Marketing that shoots for a male audience never aims very high intellectually. Maybe there aren't enough intelligent men to make up a target market or maybe they know smart men couldn't be persuaded by any tactic advertisers attempted. Here's an example of advertising intended for a male audience:


Hey, why be subtle?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Suppose They Gave An Armageddon and Nobody Came

What a dud! That's the last time I donate my body to charity and give all my money to medical science. Or was it the other way around?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Lush World

According to data gathered in 2010, the drunkest country in the world is Moldova. Somewhere on the planet, an Irishman and a Russian are sharing a bottle of vodkey, consoling one another over this embarrassing state of affairs. Later on, they’ll get into a fight, with some Moldovans if any are around, or with each other if no Moldovans can be located.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

God's Friends

There’s a lot of talk about certain men believing they are God’s gift to women, but no man is a gift from God. God’s gift to women is the ability, on average, to outlive men but even this took a long time to develop, what with infant mortality, consumption, spousal abuse, and gross ignorance among medical personnel of female anatomy, hormones, and metabolism up until the 20th Century. God’s pre-1900 gift to women is not entirely clear. Maybe it just took a long time to pick out. Come to think of it, God probably owes women one of those belated cards: “Sorry it took thousands of years to give you this, but I hope the additional longevity makes up for it.” And it might.  

One tell-tale sign of a pathetic human being involves anyone who’s deliberately and persistently obstinate and disagreeable at work and when questioned about it sneers, “I’m not here to make friends.” You know what that means? This person has no friends.  

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hey, Hey, Hey, It's the Fifth of May (well, it was)

Try to imagine Fat Albert emerging from bariatric surgery. He looks good, still overweight but less roly-poly. You approach him to shake hands, to wish him well, and he opens his mouth to greet you. Does he sound like Fat Albert, the real Fat Albert, or has his voice changed with the reduced weight?

After that, you drive across town to a different hospital to visit Mush Mouth, who has just had his speech impediment corrected. It’s a bittersweet day for the animated disabled. Hey, hey, hey!

Happy belated Cinco De Mayo to everyone. It's a more significant date in United States history than many suspect, marking a Mexican victory over the French in 1862 (In the long run, Mexico lost the war). Had France prevailed, it might have impacted the outcome of the US Civil War, although at this point all we can do is speculate.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Nash Your Teeth

     Nash Your Teeth

Every now and againses
Before I come to my senses
I desire a life without consequences. 

I would hose down drunks,
Teach atheism to monks, 
Breed lilac-scented skunks. 

I would punch politicians
And use carbon emissions
To steal hats from magicians. 

I'd topple ancient runes,
Bound over Sahara's dunes,
And tour Jupiter's moons. 

And when I was done
With compunctionless fun
I'd dive into the sun.

I dedicate this to Ogden Nash, based chiefly on the non-word "againses"; the content does not particularly echo Nash, although he did delve into absurdities from time to time. Before anyone reminds me, I realize how "gnash" is spelled.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

So Long, Suckas

The time for caring about whom the song "You're So Vain" is about has long since passed. 

The time for caring about what all the allusions mean in the song "American Pie" has even longer since passed. 

So bye, bye, "bye bye, Miss American Pie"
Heard your rhymes so many times
Now they just make me sigh.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Cross Whisp

I don’t know what Christopher Cross looks like. I’ve never seen a photograph of him. People who have seen him perform live probably know—or think they know—better than I do, but I suspect Christopher Cross, much like Voldemort before he regained human form in the third or fourth or fifth Harry Potter book, has no body. He’s nothing more than a whisp capable of crooning listenable soft pop numbers, unable to assume corporeal form. Any alleged concert footage of him is probably just an anonymous actor hired to lip sync while the Cross Whisp does the actual singing. I’m not accusing him of being a fraud because I think he’s actually present at his performances. And people who pay for a ticket at least want to see a human appear to sing songs, so I don’t even begrudge him for hiring the actor. In a way, I’m sorry to expose him but sometimes the truth has to come out. In his defense, when you’re a disembodied whisp with a pleasant singing voice, hiring someone to impersonate you is probably the best that you can do.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Stop Making A Spectacle

Why did Harry Potter wear glasses? So did Dumbledore. Muggles can get laser surgery while magical beings still rely on antiquated optical aids. Weird. 

Sometimes people complain that immigrants are taking their jobs, but that’s usually not true. Most of the time, it’s the opposite. These people who are griping want to take the immigrants’ jobs from them, but the problem is they didn’t know they wanted those jobs until someone else got hired.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Depths of the Shallow

            Depths of the Shallow

It plummets hard and sudden like the hooting, hard-hatted pig
Crowing lecherously from atop a girder perch,
Every bit as crude but less honest.
They hated you all along but never said.
He did, the one who handed down your grades,
So did she, the one who pretended to listen,
Her mother did too; she smiled in your face.
And you didn’t know enough to hate back.

It’s time for the plunge, the fall, the descent
Into the depths of the shallow with a lurch.
They had their reasons, all niggling,
Small and dark like a musty closet
In a cramped, Depression-era flat.
And it’s too late for vengeance, for redress,
For forgiveness, for anything but
Resignation. And you’ve got plenty of that.

I can’t decide if the fact the above poem sort of rhymes—but not quite—represents a failure or a triumph.
    I can’t wait for the day when Lady Gaga becomes a candidate for School Board in Stamford, Connecticut. You know it’s coming, right? Busta Rhymes appeared in a film with Sean Connery. Basil Rathbone’s last movie was (seriously!) entitled “Hillbillies In A Haunted House.” Ice Cube recorded “When Will They Shoot,” one of the fiercest, most bellicose rap songs ever; now he’s involved in family-friendly visual entertainment. Past performance is not always indicative of future results. Bear that in mind when Stamford’s next School Board election rolls around.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Whatcha Gonna Doofus?

In about 3986 BC, near the city of Uruk in Sumeria, present day Iraq, human beings witnessed the first ever verified instance of a complete doofus surviving past the age of fifteen. Almost certainly it had happened before, but this represented the first time history noted the incident. Though the name of the individual is not known, the doofus is believed to have been male. Subsequent examples of doofuses making it into adulthood occurred independently in Egypt, China, and Central America, ensuring that most, if not all, early human societies were doofus-endowed. For many years, early Hebrew societies seemed to have been an exception, with no doofus appearances reported until centuries later, but scientists now realize this was merely a linguistic quirk, the term “Jewfus” having been employed to describe the same type of person.

This milestone represented both a great advance in civilization and a major setback. On one hand, it indicated life had become not quite so fraught with hazard and peril and raised the curtain on the possibility for long, reasonably happy existences among large groups of people rather than merely the fastest, strongest, and cleverest. On the other hand, it meant the species would have to learn to cope with doofuses! We put them in management because they can’t do work. We elect them to political office so they can speak only in the platitudes they understand since they have no appreciation for nuance. We give them reality television programs and talk shows. And ultimately, they acquire power.

Maybe this wasn’t inevitable. Perhaps slightly better planning or recognition could have altered the course of history, but now instead of having to tolerate and understand the doofus, the doofus barely tolerates and scarcely understands us. The doofus has become the rule rather than the exception. And bear in mind, this isn’t new. It only seems that way because of global media, because the population is now vast enough that a sufficient supply of smart and productive people is generated among the deluge of doofuses. One need only analyze history to realize doofuses have been influential for a very long time. 

Attempts to eradicate the doofus—sometimes called eugenics—have typically proved destructive. For one thing, the process gets corrupted because doofuses inevitably become involved in determining who the doofuses are, but more than that, anti-doofus extremists adopt unworkable plans that have to do with selective breeding, genetics, genocide, and so on. We don’t need to eliminate the doofus; in fact, we need the doofus around. A doofus can serve many useful purposes, such as protecting jobs created by bad companies that produce shoddy products only a doofus would purchase. No, all we need is to make the world safe and liveable for the non-doofus. It’s a modest, achievable goal, at least until doofuses get involved.