Recently in Humor Category



It’s just gravy (or not).

I was tired and hungry. As usual, there was nothing in the house.

A quick inventory of the refrigerator revealed some mushrooms in need of use. There were some potatoes on the top of the microwave. That’s it, I thought: mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy. That would work.

I started to sauté the mushrooms. Gravity increased. I really didn’t want to peel potatoes. I could just eat gravy.

Perhaps I’m just too linguistically bound. There’s just something not right about that. No one eats just gravy. Gravy implies a surfeit. A person has too many things— so the rest are just gravy.

It’s an addition, a side-dish, a garnish— not a meal.

My legs were nagging. I needed something simple, and the mushrooms were nearly browned.

Suddenly, in a flash of inspiration, my gravy became soup. Soup is okay— cream of mushroom soup, that’s it! A little pepper, some flour, some onion . . . Soup is the catch-all cleaning the refrigerator type meal.

It couldn’t be gravy!




Because the semester is starting in another ten days or so, I decided I had better do something about the compost heap in the floor. This is always a problem, and I’ve been putting off sorting out the articles and such that I really need to file— I noticed today that there were several essays on Chaucer. I haven’t studied Chaucer in at least four years. I suppose that goes to the sheer resistance I have to cleaning.

It isn’t unsanitary mind you, it’s just paper after all. No stale pizzas have surfaced, or unidentifiable sticky things, just paper. If I had a fireplace, I suppose I could bale it and keep myself warm for the winter.

Which reminds me of a story . . . There was a mailman in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains in California, who serviced the outlying areas of a town named Caliente. The town was oddly named, because it wasn’t really hot there, but I digress . . .

The winters were severe in Caliente, and one of the contract mail delivery route drivers who serviced the outlying areas came up with a plan. He saved everyone’s junk mail— failing to deliver it— and rolled it up into fireplace logs. He was saved from the jail term for this horrendous federal offense because the residents stepped forward to say that they really didn’t want that mail anyway.

Cleaning and creative thought don’t go together, and that is adding to the quiet around here. This should be obvious, given my complete lack of anything interesting to say.

Cereal Killers


Cereal Killers

I was standing in the kitchen and I couldn’t stop reading. Of course, the selection was limited. Looking at the back of a cereal box, I noticed this:

Kraft: Real Help in Real Time —

Real time help for dealing with cereal? Okay, I’ve just got to look. I saw no evidence of a help screen, let alone online help. I tried the search box:

Now that is downright irritating. People all over the world are looking for help, and yet no recipe contains it. I was finishing up writing my time-wasting blog post about the whole deal, and I decided I’d better comb the web page again more carefully, just to make sure. The closest thing to help I found on the page was A message from our lawyers:

Okay, now I’ve done it. I’m liable to get scary e-mails. I really do wonder though about the viability of preventing people from modifying publicly posted recipes. I’m sure that there are lots of cereal killers out there.

Straight Dope


The Straight Dope

It was a trip which began with many wrong turns. I avoided civilization completely, due to the holiday traffic, but it turned dark too soon. I kept turning down the wrong highway in the middle of nowhere. Within a couple of hundred feet, I knew I was going the wrong way. I’d double back and try again. When I got to Hackett, I looked at the bank thermometer and saw that it was 32 degrees— or zero, depending on your scale. It’s always a matter of scale, isn’t it?

I read more Hegel before I slept, but the nightmare didn’t start till the following morning. It began innocently enough. I walked outside to stare at a clear and crisp blue sky with remnants of the moon. I read Barthes and then an essay written by my cousin Wendy about growing up. My mom complained— “that may be the way Wendy remembers it, but I don’t remember it that way”— maybe it’s more a matter of perspective.

It was a fun read though, because of the scene where my brother Steve came up with the idea of painting her sister Julie’s fingernails with Tabasco sauce while she slept to help cure her from chewing on them. That sounded right to me. The trouble usually begins right when Steve gets involved. I haven’t played family mediator for a while, but those skills came back just before dinner when Steve arrived. My mom made a dry comment about Steve not caring about family history when I brought up the story. Steve got insulted and walked outside. I brought the story outside to him and tried to calm things down. I thought it was pretty funny. Wendy calls herself the “flower” of the family — “the blooming idiot.” This is the role I think I usually play in my branch of the clan.

After he read the story, his first comment was “I don’t remember things quite that way.” Wendy had made a big deal about how pious Julie was. “Uh, Julie was the first person to ever show me a Playboy magazine!” Steve said. It blew him away that a girl would read Playboy, let alone share it with him. Needless to say, he was impressed. After we all had a good laugh over the story, things smoothed out. It was a happy Thanksgiving.

The road back was smooth, other than some occasional dips. The temperature on the Hackett bank sign was of a higher caliber tonight— it read 45. Passing through Harmony, Arkansas, I looked at the display board of a church. It read: “The road to Heaven is in front of you— stay straight and keep to the right.” I followed those directions and made it home. I didn’t make any more wrong turns. However, instead of taking me to Heaven, it just took me home.

There was something I’d been meaning to research, and I looked it up tonight— the history of the word dope. It didn’t surprise me that it was stolen from the Dutch— from doop (dipping, sauce, etc.) and doopen— to dip. The oldest usage seems to date to 1851, as a synonym for simpleton. Given the etymology, dipshit also makes more sense now. In 1872, it refers to a preparation, a mixture— and not much later, an unspecified drug. This helps explain the dual usage for preparations like thread dope and pipe dope as well as intoxicating substances. It doesn’t really explain to the latest rap twist on the word as being good though. Surely they’ve been following the public service announcements.

At least now I have an answer for the old anti-drug commercial: “Why do you think they call it dope?”— Because you either dip into it, or dip things in it? Or, perhaps because it is a way of getting sauced?

Yes, I confess. I am easily amused. I’m all for Luke’s movie idea. Lest anyone cares, I’m a straight dope these days.

Nuns with guns

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Nuns with guns— World Wide News Photo



goo goo g’joob

It might likewise deserve our most serious Consideration, how far, in a well-regulated city, those Humourists are to be tolerated who not contented with the traditional Cries of their Fore-fathers, have invented particular Songs and Tunes of their own: Such was, not many Years since, the Pastry-man, commonly known by the name of Colly-Molly-Puff, and such as is this Day the Vender of Powder and Washballs, who, if I am rightly informed, goes under the Name of Powder-Watt.

I must not here omit one particular Absurdity which runs through this whole vociferous Generation, and which renders their Cries very often not only incommodious, but altogether useless to the Publick. I mean that idle Accomplishment which they all of them aim at, of Crying so not to be understood.

Joseph Addison, Spectator #251

I am the eggman, indeed. This puts a new twist on the DIY “start your own band” thing. Though, perhaps, as Addison suggests and REM affirmed, there is something to be said for enunciating clearly to garner the big hit.

It’s incredibly difficult not to join in the conversation regarding Jim Hart’s best albums of the 80s. I’m trying to get my focus back. But I was positively amazed to see Let’s Active and a number of the more obscure choices on his list. However, I certainly miss the presence of The Minutemen, and would have chosen Zen Arcade over New Day Rising to represent Husker Du. No Meat Puppets either . . . such a shame. But at least Days of Wine and Roses made it. Far too many REM albums for my taste as well. Hmm, I've got this strange urge to revisit Wall of Voodoo’s Call of the West now that I've removed the huge stack of CDs from the top of my turntable.

One of these days, I may just have to write more about music, but for now, I’m still contemplating the idea of a pastryman named Colly-Molly-Puff, and wondering if I need some powder and washballs.

I must also extract my head from it’s usual location to wish Shauny a happy birthday.

Souvenir From Utopia

Museum Catalogue Title: The Duchess of Sardonicism Relinquishes Any Claim To A Personal Childhood By Desecrating The Embodiment Of Young Girls Dreams
The Unicorn Poacher — Robert Williams