Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Beware of the dwarf: Not the first time Mike Pence has caused trouble

Why is everyone so surprised that Mike Pence is a giant a-hole? I knew this cat was evil the first time I saw him, when he tried to strangle Goldie Hawn in the library in "Foul Play" back in '78. In the library, people!!!

Good to see you're still in league with midgets, Pence...er, Whitey Jackson...

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Day to Celebrate Bird Poop and Cheap Furniture

Today is Presidents' Day. That time of year when we come together as a nation to celebrate our leaders and their ability to bring to us amazing deals on patio furniture. Oh, sure, we've got Abe Lincoln and George Washington -- whose birthdays have been neatly combined into one big two-fer-one blowout extravaganza. But what about the rest of the presidents? Those long-forgotten mediocrities like Grover Cleveland and William Howard Taft, AKA Uncle Jumbo -- whose primary achievement as chief executive was to give us perhaps the wackiest bit of presidential slapstick in our nation's history, when he -- all 332 pounds of him -- got stuck in the White House bathtub and had to be extricated by six plumbers and a gallon of butter.

And then there's Millard Fillmore, our 13th -- and perhaps most irrelevant -- president, who is best known (at least by me!) for successfully negotiating a treaty with Peru for the use of -- wait for it -- guano.

So move over, George and Abe. You’re going to have to share today with the Millard Fillmores and Franklin Pierces, the failures and flops. Because I've written a really bad poem celebrating them and their, uhh, achievements. So for all you Arthurians and Fillmorons out there, this bad poem is for you:

You ended up a Know-Nothing,
After starting out a Whig
But about Millard Fillmore
Now no one gives a fig.
Still, your picture hangs in the White House hall
Though you’re Presidential detritus
But you’d never have gotten there at all
If not for Zach Taylor’s gastroenteritis.

When it comes to mediocrity
Millard, you’re number one
You’re less memorable than Franklin Pierce
Who, while Prez, got nothing done
John Tyler and James Buchanan
Bow to your mediocre ways
And when measuring accomplishments
You’re no Rutherford B. Hayes

Compared to you Cal Coolidge was full of pep,
and Grover Cleveland was the bomb
At least Andrew Johnson was a roaring drunk
and Ford got shot at by Squeaky Fromme.
Warren Harding had the teapot dome
and gambled away the White House china
Martin Van Buren had awesome muttonchops
Why, even Benjamin Harrison was finer.

Herbert Hoover was not mediocre, he was bad
And so he cannot challenge you
And if Hoover was the worst president
Then Bush Junior smells like number two
That leaves just one inconsequential gent
To battle you, mano-a-mano,
But even Chester Alan Arthur can’t
Knock you off your pile of guano.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Johnny Jingleballs, North Pole Detective in "Farewell, My Portly"

     “So that’s how you want to play it, huh?” yelled Santa. “You wanta play rough?” He leaned down and picked up a tommy gun from the floor. “You wanta play games? Let’s play! Say hello-ho-ho to my little friend!”
     I sprinted for the bank of windows along the far wall as he swung the big gun around at me and pulled the trigger, screaming. Santa’s machine gun belched flame as he cut a jagged swath of death across the room: rat-a-tat-tat...

     Grandma got run over by a reindeer. Or did she? There's only one man tough enough to take on the Santa syndicate and get to the truth: Johnny Jingleballs, North Pole P.I. But Santa's midget goons aren't about to let Johnny just walk in and bust up the Kringle gang. Can Johnny lick the fat man and his dinky Dillingers? Find out in "Farewell, My Portly," a gooey, raisin-filled fruitcake of a mystery. 

Click here to read "Farewell, My Portly"

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Hipster's Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
No one was stirring, except for old Klaus,
Who wasn’t as old as he first appeared.
It’s just that he wore a bushy Civil War-era beard.

The stockings -- knit with wool from free-range, grass-fed sheep --
Were hung by the chimney cleaned by a local, fair trade chimney sweep,
Next to natural soy wax, sea moss-scented candles, 
By the fire of reclaimed wood cut with an axe with an old growth Douglas Fir handle.

The kids – Piper and Bowie – nestled in their futons ‘neath old vintage sheets,
With Urban Outfitters tube socks covering their feet.
And Mama in her Christmas sweater, which was ironically ugly,
Waited for the professional cuddler to come over and hug her so snugly.

‘Cause Klaus was busy blogging about organic vegan soup,
While sipping egg nog in a mason jar (made from free range eggs from   backyard chicken coop).
When out in the street there arose such a melee,
Klaus leapt from his chair, dropping his ukulele.

Away to the window he flew, quite dismayed,
And snapped up the vintage yellow window shade.
“OMG! It looks like an elf or some giant pixie
Just crashed his hybrid sleigh right into my fixie!”

Then from the fireplace came a sudden whooshing sound,
And down the chimney Hipster Santa came tumbling down.
He had pasty white skin, and a beard white as snow,
And a red fedora, perched atop his head just so. 

A pair of black-frame glasses sat high on his nose,
And he wore red skinny jeans that fit like panty hose.
On his neck was an artisanal star tattoo,
And he wore a cardigan from American Apparel, or possibly J. Crew. 

Said Klaus: “But where are your reindeer? Have they all gone lame?”
Hipster Santa just shrugged. “They were harming the planet with all their methane.
Dude, I’d love to stay and talk about fighting The Man,
But I’ve got to review the snack you left me: gluten-free macaroons and PBR in a can.”

“Here,” he said, handing Klaus a gift from his messenger bag.
“You were naughty this year, so your gift is a drag.
No ironic t-shirt, no thrift-store deep-v.
Instead -- ‘cause coal’s bad for the planet -- you get a Nickelback cd.”

And then, with a whoosh, Hipster Santa was gone,
Back up the chimney, and out onto the lawn.
But I heard him exclaim, as he started his sleigh,
“Merry Christmas to all, in an ironic way.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It's a Wonderful Police Blotter

The movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” as told in the police log of The Bedford Falls Sentinel:

May 20, 1928

     1:37 p.m. Police were called to the 600 block of Main Street, where a caller said a pedestrian was causing traffic to back up. Violet Bick, 21, was cited for causing a public disturbance.

     11:28 p.m. A caller reported a male and female singing loudly and throwing rocks at the windows of an abandoned building in the 300 block of Sycamore Street. When police arrived, they found only a female, naked and hiding in some hydrangea bushes. Mary Hatch, 18, was arrested and charged with indecent exposure.

June 1, 1932

     9:16 p.m. A caller reported an intoxicated man creating a loud disturbance on New England Street. Officers investigated and found William Bailey, 60, passed out next to some garbage cans. Bailey was arrested and charged with public drunkenness.

     10:01 p.m. A caller reported a large crowd gathered in the 200 block of Genesee Street. Violet Bick, 25, was cited for causing a public disturbance. 

October 25, 1932

     11:25 a.m.  Police responded to a report of an unruly mob gathering at the bank. The mob was dispersed with tear gas. No arrests were made.

     8:37 p.m. A caller reported trespassers in the Old Granville House, 320 Sycamore Street. Police arrived to find a newly married couple, George and Mary Bailey, had taken up residence in the building, which had been condemned in 1925. The couple were cited for trespassing and warned to vacate the premises immediately. 

December 24, 1945

     5:12 p.m. A woman in the 300 block of Sycamore Street called police and reported that her husband was being verbally abusive to her and her children.

     6:02 p.m. Henry F. Potter, President of the Bank, swore out a warrant for the arrest of George Bailey on charges of misappropriation of funds, manipulation and malfeasance in connection with $8000 in missing funds from the Bailey Bros. Building & Loan.

     7:15 p.m. Nick, the bartender at Martini’s Bar, called police to report a fight. An arrest warrant was issued for Mr. Welch on charges of assault and battery.

     7:23 p.m. A caller reported that an intoxicated man had crashed his car into a tree which his grandfather had planted, on Bridge Street, and then fled on foot in the direction of the toll bridge.

     7:29 p.m. A woman in the 300 block of Sycamore Street called police and reported that her husband was missing.

     7:45 p.m. A caller reported seeing two men jump into the canal from the toll bridge.

     9:02 p.m. Police were called to a disturbance at the Dreamland Dance Club. Violet Bick, 38, was arrested and charged with soliciting.

     9:21 p.m. A cab driver, Ernie Bishop, reported that a man “who was bats” and claimed he had gotten some bad liquor had run off without paying his fare in the 300 block of Sycamore Street. Bert the Cop responded and followed the man into an abandoned building. An altercation ensued, during which a second suspect, who claimed he was “an angel, second class,” bit the officer on the wrist. The two suspects escaped on foot.

     9:39 p.m. A caller reported that a “loony” had come to her residence on New England Street  and claimed that she was his mother. The woman told the man to leave.

     9:50 p.m. A caller reported that a disturbed man, possibly intoxicated, had accosted an old maid outside the public library. The man had claimed that the old maid was his wife, then chased her down Genesee Street and into a nearby establishment, where she fainted. Bert the Cop responded and attempted to apprehend the suspect, but the man punched the officer and fled on foot. The officer then fired several shots across the crowded street at the fleeing suspect, wounding two bystanders before pursuing the suspect in his squad car. 

     10:20 p.m. Several business owners reported a man running down Main Street cheering and yelling, “Merry Christmas” at various buildings.

     10:22 p.m. Henry F. Potter reported seeing fugitive George Bailey running past his office at the bank. He said that Bailey yelled “Merry Christmas” to him before running off in the direction of Sycamore Street.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Message From a Pardoned Turkey

Hey, Mac, ya got a nickel? Buy me a drink and I’ll tell you my tale. It goes like this: Why me? Why am I so lucky? Lucky. That’s a laugh. Millions of turkeys, carved up and served for Thanksgiving dinner from Weeki Wachee to Wabasha, and here I sit. Alive. Pardoned by the President. He picked me, pal. Me! Not Rhode Island Red or Wishbone Jones. They were my friends. I saw ‘em get the axe out behind the woodshed, heard Jonesy’s cries for help, and I did nothing! He got it right in the gizzard. I coulda done something. I coulda pecked that crazed farmer’s blasted eyes out, but no! I just stood there, gobbling like an idiot, while my friends were murdered. Every one of them. Tommy. Gobbler. Gravy Train. Kowalski. Even Sergeant McStuffing. Dead. All dead. Except me.

(He slams the empty shot glass down on the bar).

Sure, I’ll have another. I’ll always have another. But not Butterball Johnson. He’ll never have another, or peck at another speck of cornmeal. He was my friend, and he’s dead. They took his giblets, Mac. His giblets! What kind of sick bastard does that?

So, why am I here? What’s so special about me? Is it the color of my snood? The shape of my wattle? I need to know why that’s not me up on the table, all greased up like a Kardashian with my butt stuffed full of breadcrumbs. They got the axe and I got the golden ticket. Sent to live on a farm in Virginia, with all the other pardoned turkeys. Living our days in luxury, all the feed we could eat, acres and acres of soybean as far as the eye can see. I should be grateful, right? Content. But at night, when I close my eyes, I can still hear Wishbone screaming. I tell ya, I couldn’t take it! So I flew the coop, hopped a freight west and I been lammin’ it ever since. Ridin’ the rails.

They called me lucky. That’s a laugh. Fate sneaks up and puts the finger on you, and that’s it, brother. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, why Kowalski’s on the table floatin’ in gravy with his drumsticks hangin’ out, while I’m alive and free. Yeah, I’m free all right. Free bird! 

Hey, where ya goin’, Mac? Don’t you wanna hear the rest of my story? Mac? Ah, screw it. Bartender! Gimme another.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Ballad of Thomas Crapper

Today is World Toilet Day, which was created by the World Toilet Organization to draw attention to the fact that 2.5 billion people around the world are still pottying like it's 999. That's right -- they're looless. Which stinks, in more ways than one. It's actually a very serious public health matter. So, to celebrate this flushtastic day and the work of the WTO, we've composed a little ditty honoring one of our heroes, Thomas Crapper, the 19th century English plumber who was instrumental in bringing the flush toilet to the masses.

Contrary to popular belief, Mr. Crapper did not invent the flush toilet. This is crushing news for humor columnists and third graders everywhere. So, as much as we’d love to make wisecracks about Crapper inventing the toilet, we’ll have to settle for the other toilet-related stuff he actually did develop, like the ballcock. Nothing to work with there! But even though Mr. Crapper didn’t invent the flusher, he did much to increase its popularity and to promote sanitary plumbing. He was even hired to supply royal privies for Prince Edward (later King Edward VII), and George V. So Crapper fans have reason to be flushed with pride after all.   

A toast to Mr. Crapper on World Toilet Day, sung to the tune of The Beverly Hillbillies theme song. Enjoy!  

The Ballad of Thomas Crapper

Come and listen to a story about a man named Tom
A poor plumber’s apprentice who could barely get along
Then one day he was sittin’ on his can
And up from his brain come a genius plan.

Idea that is. Automatic valve. Ballcock!

Well the first thing you know ol Tom’s a sanitary engineer,
Started selling toilets with a seat for your rear
Said, “Crapper’s Valveless Water Waste Preventer’s where you oughta pee,”
Then he got a job making toilets for the Royal Family.

Windsors, that is. Royal thrones. Majesties.   

Now it’s World War I and the Yanks are over there
And in old London town, the whiz kid’s name was everywhere
Printed on the toilet tanks for everyone to see
Was the name T. Crapper from the town of Chelsea.

England, that is. Jolly good. Bad teeth.

When the doughboys returned to the land of all their kin
They brought somethin’ back from the place where they’d just been
Anyone who had to go, gentleman or flapper
If you asked where they went, the answer was, “the Crapper.”

Thomas, that is. Set a spell. Take your shoes off.

Y’all come back now, y’hear?