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?