Tag Archives: humor


Just picking my head out of the sand to relate a funny:

Many months ago — maybe more like a year ago — I followed a link to a survey asking “real Americans” for their input on Trump’s presidency. I filled it out, in detail. I seem to recall one of the questions reading:

As Commander-in-Chief, President Trump’s performance has been:

A. Amazing

B. Great

C. Good

D. Other

With lots more to that effect. Needless to say, I answered with a lot of “other” and had a good time venting a bit of my spleen, and I still do it every now and then.

What I didn’t consider was that filling out said survey apparently added me to a list of “real Americans” who might be interested in supporting our president’s cause, and more to the point, in supporting his cause with my dollars.

Nothing happened for a while, but in the past few months, I’ve gotten barraged with e-mails — literally sometimes six or seven a day — begging me for my contribution.

“Friend, is your name on the list?”

“Friend, will you count yourself among our ranks?”

“Friend, we need your support!”

I get a kick out of the fact that I’m assumed to be a “friend,” and I certainly get a kick out of the increasingly desperate tone of the letters. They’re “signed” from all members of the clan, from the big daddy himself to his non-security-clearanced in-law to the daughter he seems to have an unnatural attraction to. From the daughter he’d like us to forget he has to the one Trump son he cares about and even from the other Trump son. As if these people sat around typing out these pleas for cash (“just one dollar!”).

But what really makes me laugh is the big red banner at the bottom of each one:

Screenshot 2018-04-11 17.32.08

Deadline: 11:59 PM TONIGHT.

Every single e-mail for months (I open one every few weeks for giggles) has a deadline of 11:59 PM TONIGHT. As if at the stroke of midnight, like Cinderella’s carriage turning back into a pumpkin, I will lose my chance to support the orange one forever.

Maybe I’m too cynical, but I can’t help thinking that even if I did support this particular cause, the desperate language and the hyperbole would disincline me from giving them a dime. I mean, have some dignity. And even a two-year-old can figure out that when the “deadline” passes and a new deadline follows, and another one after that … that the deadline means nothing. If I were the cleverer sort, or if I had the time (or the extra fargoes to give in a day) I’m sure I could have a lot of fun responding to these e-mails and messing with some poor staffer about why my sizable donation won’t go through.

As it is, I’m just content to giggle to myself … while also feeling more than a little bit gross about the fact that my name is on a list of people who might potentially support this man.

But, you know, I hear things are going well for him lately — so I’m sure he’ll do just fine without my abuse.

Sigh. Never fill out a survey.


Time Traveling Road Trip Breakfast

The following exchange, or something like it, takes place around mile 200 of a 300-ish mile road trip. The husband is getting well and truly loopy and spending long stretches of rolling-hills highway venturing into the dark spaces in his brain.

The kids are napping in the backseat. It has been quiet for some time. He has had time to think and to zone out in the monotonous ebb and flow of interstate traffic.

They have just crossed several state lines in the space of less than an hour. (I-24 is weird.)


The conversation is fictional, and is not in any way related to actual conversations ever had between any husband and wife ever.

Please to enjoy.

Husband: Anybody hungry?

Wife: I don’t know. I think the kids are okay.

Husband: I could go for something. Not sure what. What time is it?

Wife: Eleven.

Husband: Local or home?

Wife: We agreed we were staying on Georgia time for the trip.

Husband: I just get confused. Every clock I see is on Central. Your phone switched over and you didn’t even want it to. The only thing I trust is my watch.

Wife: So why are you asking me?

Husband: (several miles pass in silence.)

Husband: (finally can’t stand the silence anymore) Know what I just realized? Suppose you lived in the right place — say right here by the state line. Suppose further that you wake up with a craving for a chicken biscuit and some hash browns, as one does.

Wife: (totally uninterested) Uh-huh.

Husband: And you get up and dress yourself, you know, go through the trouble of preparing yourself to go out into the world, and in you go. And you get to the counter and say, “I’d like a chicken biscuit and some hash browns, please.” And the kid at the counter tells you, “oh, sorry, man, we stopped serving breakfast at 10:30.” And you realize it’s 10:45 and going through the trouble of getting up to go out in the world is what made you late.

Wife: So you shouldn’t have gotten dressed?

Husband: What? No. Of course you got dressed. I’m not advocating nudism, here. Stay with me.

Wife: I’ll try.

Husband: You could kick and scream and throw a fit and demand to see the manager. Or you could, by dint of your geographical location, hop in your car, drive a stitch down the road in a westerly direction to the next fine fast-food establishment, and be there in plenty of time for your breakfast.

Wife: Uh-huh.

Husband: Because time zones.

Wife: Mm.

Husband: Isn’t that interesting?

Wife: Why didn’t you just go to the one that’s an hour behind to begin with?

Husband: Because, I dunno. You prefer the first one.

Wife: But it’s the same restaurant, right?

Husband: Well, yeah.

Wife: So what’s the difference?

Husband: It’s like Publix and Kroger. They sell the same things, but you prefer to go to Publix, why?

Wife: Because it’s a superior shopping experience.

Husband: Even though it’s more expensive.

Wife: It’s not just about the money.

Husband: And it’s not just about what’s on the menu.

Wife: So … you’re going to a Kroger when you would rather be going to a Publix?

Husband: More like you’re going to a slightly less-nice Kroger instead of the Kroger you wanted to go to.

Wife: Because of the time zones.

Husband: Right.

Wife: And you didn’t check the time before you left the house, because …?

Husband: Because you weren’t thinking about it. You just wanted to get your biscuit and figured you were in time for breakfast.

Wife: Well, that’s where you made your first mistake, isn’t it?

Husband: Right, sure, but we’re getting off the point, here. The point is that if you made this mistake — for whatever reason — you could rectify it by crossing the state line and, in effect, going back in time.

Wife: Uh-huh.

Husband: I just think that’s interesting.

Wife: Right.

Husband: Because it’s arbitrary, you know? Oh, because we decided there’s an imaginary line right here that marks a boundary between this state and that one, we’re also going to say it’s a totally different time on the other side of the line?

Wife: (making a concerted effort, by now, not to engage, stays silent.)

Husband: It’s just weird, is what I’m saying.

Wife: You know, McDonald’s has breakfast 24 hours a day. You could just go there.

Husband: But I don’t like McDonald’s.

Wife: Or you could make your own hash browns.

Husband: Let’s go ahead and assume for the sake of the exercise that if I wanted to make my own hash browns, I wouldn’t be going to a fast-food joint to begin with.

Wife: But after you waste all this time driving back and forth from one place to the other, you could easily have made all the hash browns you wanted.

Husband: Right, but that’s not the point.

Wife: So the point is you want to be lazy enough to sleep in until the last minute, fail to notice the time on your watch, or your phone, or on your car’s dashboard, or anywhere else, miss the cutoff for breakfast at restaurant A, but still have time to cross state lines to be in time for breakfast at restaurant B?

Husband: Well … I’m not saying I want to. I’m just saying you could.

Wife: (takes a long pause.) We can stop for breakfast, if you want.

Husband: CAN WE, THOUGH?

Wife: There’s a McDonald’s at the next exit.

Husband: Yeah, I guess I’m not that hungry.

driving chris farley GIF-source


We’re out of town the past few days, but a quickie here:

I have a tendency to over-vocabulate. (Big words are fun, especially in conversation — why reach for a five-cent word when there are perfectly good words to be had for a quarter, as the old expression goes? I’m pretty sure that’s how the expression goes.) So when the check-in attendant at the hotel informed me that the side door, while functional, was not totally reliable for entry to the building (card reader acting up), I told my wife that the side door was a “dicey proposition.”

And because my son, who is in kindergarten, soaks up every new word he hears like a black sweater collecting cat fur off the sofa, he immediately pulled me over. “Dad, what’s a dicey proposition?”

Being loaded down with luggage and a soon-to-be-shattered bottle of smuggled wine that I was trying to shoehorn into said luggage, I answered offhandedly: “uh, well, it’s something that’s kind of scary. You know, something you wouldn’t want to use.”

He responded with two words I am learning to dread, because they either mean he has misunderstood me completely or he has understood me perfectly: “oh, okay.”

Later, at dinner, I overheard him leaning in close to his 3-year-old sister to give her a surreptitious warning: “watch out, those green beans are a dicey proposition.”

So, as usual, he’s not wrong, he’s maybe just too blunt.

Which is to say that as usual, I could probably stand to learn a lot from the little bugger. The beans did need salt.

But what really made me laugh was picturing him having the same conversations when he gets back to school in a week. At the lunchroom table, or perhaps in gym. With his classmates who, perhaps, don’t have the affinity and curiosity for language that he does.

“You’ll want to stay away from the mashed potatoes, Tyler. They’re a dicey proposition today.”

“Dodgeball? No thanks. That’s a dicey proposition on a good day.”

My wife keeps asking me what I’m laughing at, and this stuff is really hard to explain.


In related news, since we’re on vacation, I currently smell of Coconut Mint Drop, which is altogether crisp- and creamy-smelling.

Sunburned Eggs (or, Atheists at Easter)

My son and I were in the toy aisle at Wal-Mart today.

Okay, so mistakes were made (never enter the toy aisle at Wal-Mart with your kid — better yet, never enter the toy aisle at ANY store with your kid — better still, never enter Wal-Mart) but it led to this interesting tidbit:

Me: Hey, bud, you like this one? Looks like he does magic.

Sprout: Magic isn’t real, daddy.

Me: Oh, really? It’s not?

Sprout: Well (he prefaces all his profundities with “well”), magic tricks are real, but real magic isn’t real.


Me: (the militant skeptic, hoping that this, right here, standing in the toy aisle, is the end of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy and all manner of insufferable BS that parents pretend at for the “benefit” of their kids, but not wanting to come on too strong) oh, really?

Sprout: Yeah. Nobody has real magic.

Me: I see. Well — do you think the Easter Bunny is magic?

Sprout: Well, he only brings eggs filled with candy. That’s not magic.

So, you know. His skeptical instincts are apparently well-formed but still developing.

None of which kept me (a staunch atheist) and my wife (a wobbly atheist) from taking the kids to a local church for an Easter Egg Hunt (what gets capitalized there, really? Easter is the holiday, but Easter Eggs are specific things, and Hunts for Easter Eggs are certainly specific things too, though eggs and hunts are not typically specific things, and sometimes I hate the the fact that I taught English). This was not a purely cynical exercise, mind you. We were invited by one of my wife’s co-workers who, I think, thinks she can “snap us out of it.” And because we apparently think these kinds of things are good for the kids to take part in — as a cultural phenomenon, if not as a religious one — we went.


At said hunt, the organizers were dropping eggs from a helicopter, which is a thing that’s become more of a thing in recent years at your bigger Easter events. Of course, this is all flash without substance — it doesn’t change the intrinsic sugar-frenzy of the kids scrambling to get all the eggs before their peers, it just hypes them up and instills a good, solid bloodlust beforehand. But at this particular event (which was the first helo-drop), all the bugs had not yet been ironed out. So the helicopter circled the field once or twice, with the anticipation building, landed nearby to collect the eggs, then descended and dropped (apparently) thousands of eggs in a single spot on the field.

Thanks to all the rigmarole with the helicopter, the waiting for the “hunt” to begin (and the field in question was a literal soccer field, so it was less “hunt” and more “frenzied Thunderdome for all the clearly visible eggs in the grass”) took over an hour. Which resulted in a lot of cranky toddlers, frustrated parents, and at least one seriously sunburned bald atheist.

Which left my wife and I wondering why we went through it all.

Of course, the kids had a ball.


I want you to note how really, thoroughly, unimpressed my kids are by all this.

So I guess there’s that.

This post is part of Stream-of-Consciousness Saturday.

My Cats Live in an Action Movie

What is it like to be a house cat? We will probably never know, any more than we can know what it’s like to be a bat, or a beetle, or an elephant. Yet for whatever reason, some of us allow them to live in our homes with us, as if this isn’t a disruption in the natural order of things.

Cats are not meant to live indoors. They cannot be controlled or tamed or broken. Every cat has an insatiable need to run and hunt and play and do things it can never fully experience in your living room, no matter how many dangly toys or how much catnip you keep on hand.

Every cat is a Walter Mitty in its own mind.

And my cats live in an action movie.

Let me paint a picture for you:

Every night, they go off into exile. (The cats have a habit of jumping on the bed and pawing or licking my wife’s face, which wakes her up, so … nope.) They do not like it in exile. So they wait.

They know not exactly when their keepers will return, but they know we will come just before the sun. So they bide their time and gather their strength, until that critical moment, when — through the walls — they hear my feet hit the floor.

They know my pattern. They know what I must do when I first rise. I will leave the bedroom, go to the kitchen for a glass of water, collect the clothes by the stairs, head downstairs to the bathroom, then suit up for the day. All this I will do alone. All this, I will do while groggy and disoriented.

This is their moment.

They position themselves strategically: behind furniture, around corners, under chairs.

The door opens.

And as I pass, they dart into my path, weaving around my plodding feet like rebel speeders through the legs of an imperial AT-AT. They know that if they time it just right, they can do the unthinkable: they can bring me down. (Bonus points, apparently, if they get me going down the stairs — this is their favorite place to attack.)

They didn’t get me this morning.

But the Empire cannot keep them down forever.


So they will pretend to be my friends again until tomorrow morning, when they attack again.


This post is part of Stream-of-Consciousness Saturday.

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