Pokemon GO

Last night my son came through the living room while staring at his phone and simply walked out the front door. For the next half hour I caught glimpses of him wandering around the neighborhood, with his face welded to his phone. I thought, “Ok, well, the family insanity gene skipped my generation but showed up in my child.” I began Googling to see what I had to do to have him institutionalized. I found some interesting sites, but none of them condoned or even mentioned the need to taze your child. I’ve always wanted to use one.

As it turns out, he was playing something called Pokemon GO. Wikipedia says that it is a “free-to-play, GPS-based augmented reality mobile game…(that) allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual Pokemon who appear throughout the real world.”

There is nothing new about this. In my day we called that sort of thing LSD. Augmented reality was a lot cooler back then, I believe. Imagine playing the game while under the influence of LSD. People would be running around screaming, claiming to be chased by tiny monsters. Goodbye to good trips, folks.

I predict that this game is going to spread like wild fire, and will eventually prove to be calamitous. You think distracted driving is a problem now, wait until millions of Pokemon hunters cruise around with their nose buried in their smart phone. God help those other millions of players on foot. I can see accidental swimming pool incidents; I can see some trigger happy home owner who sees dozens of strangers roaming around his yard like zombies, and decides to go Pokemon hunter hunting. I can see – wait, let me just make a list of things that can, and will, go wrong because of Pokemon GO:

Someone will:

step in front of a moving vehicle;

fall into a fountain;

get robbed;

walk off a cliff;

get into a fight over the same Pokemon;

wreck their car;

get stuck in a drain pipe;

temporarily forget reality;

permanently forget reality;

fly into a rage when their smart phone battery runs out of juice;

go outside naked;

make a terrible witness to a crime;

develop what will be called ‘Pokemon neck syndrome’;

be late for their wedding;

become constipated;

miss the first episode of next season’s Walking Dead;

accidentally vote for Hillary;

create a music video about it;

write a blog about it;

go crazy;

find that they made a wrong turn in Albuquerque;

become addicted;

get sidetracked on the way to a court appointed Pokemon GO Anonymous meeting;

be mistaken as a deer by some hunter;

find themselves in a drug deal gone bad;

starve to death;

be the first person to walk across the country playing Pokemon GO;

be the first person to play Pokemon GO in every state;

get attacked by wild dogs;

get involved in a class action lawsuit against the makers of Pokemon GO;

step on a landmine;

walk into a stranger’s house;

become incontinent;

dream of finding a Pokemon;

have a nightmare about a Pokemon;

create a Pokemon GO dance;

discover cheat codes;

wander off the reservation;

hop the White House fence just to get a Pokemon;

choose the game over sex;

spark an international incident.


I’m sure there will be all kinds of interesting anecdotal stories to come, but I won’t provide the world with one. I’m too busy trying to beat the Pinball Wizard.

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Yo Mama So Fat


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June 6, 2016 · 4:55 pm

Lyric Woes

cat_writing 2

I was born in the Deep South. It’s so deep a fart will fly over your head. The Deep South is about five trillion miles closer to the sun, too. If you stand on the roof of the Walmart in Meridian, Mississippi, you can light your cigarette off it. This proximity to the sun makes it harder to think, too. That’s why Southerners speak slower than their Yankee neighbors. Words tend to melt before they get out of the mouth. Even the words that DO manage to survive end up like Velveeta in the microwave. Southerners usually speak their minds, too, because thoughts evaporate quicker than cotton candy in a fish tank. I could go on like this forever, but because I live in the Deep South, my attention span doesn’t make it past the medulla oblongata.

One of the consequences of the Southerner’s brain being deep fat fried is the existence of country music. Most of the stuff that’s labeled country music today isn’t. I’m not just stating my opinion. It’s a straight up fact. Let me give you an example: listen to “This Is How We Roll” by a group called the Florida Georgia Line. After you shower away all that Okefenokee swamp rock, sit back and let your soul feast on “Hello Darling” by Conway Twitty. The furthest real country music gets from it’s roots is “I’ve Got a Tiger By The Tail” by Buck Owens & His Buckaroos. Country music has drifted so far away from country music that it’s barely if at all recognizable. Kid Rock even fashions himself a country music artist. Listen to “Born Free” and tell me if it’s country or not. Now listen to the original “Born Free” as sung by Andy Williams, who, while not a country music artist, was a durn sight closer to one than some of today’s groups. The song doesn’t even sound as if it came from the same galaxy!

Believe or not (I would prefer you don’t believe me just so you can return later to apologize), I’m not here to disparage the state of country music today. That would require my writing a ten volume series. I can’t sit that long without my sciatica kicking in. I want to share with you this strange quirk in my creative nature. If you’ve followed my writing, you would know that I’ve wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember. I practiced the alphabet on the wall of my mother’s uterus. As soon as I was old enough to hold a pencil I wrote whatever came to mind. I quickly developed a fascination with rhyme, and among the reams of poetry I cranked out came a natural inclination for lyrics. It’s always been a fantasy of mine that a famous musician would someday put my words to music, and then soon the whole world would sing along, and I’d end up more well known than Burt Bacharach. I would be the embodiment of Barry Manilow‘s 1975 smash hit “I Write The Songs.” The only problem was and still that even though I don’t really care for country music (I’m a classic rock kinda guy), it’s the only lyrics that comes out of me. No matter how hard I try to write rock n roll, it always comes out with a piece of straw poking out between it’s teeth. I’ve even tried my hand with Reggae, Pop, Opera, Grunge, Lullabies, Dubstep, Gospel and Hip Hop, to name a few, but my lyrics without fail end up wearing overalls and chewing tobacco. Here, let me show you an example:


I come home tired from work each day,

I want to rest my bones without delay.

Your friends hang out the whole night through,

I’m in the makin’ of a headache over you.


You spend all of our money like we’re rich,

You drove our brand new car into a ditch.

Here any day the landlord’s gonna sue,

I’m in the makin’ of a headache over you.



I’m in the makin’ of a headache over you,

I’ve had it up to here with all you do.

The house looks like a stinkin’ zoo,

I’m in the makin’ of a headache over you.


The school just called, the kids are never there,

I look but I can’t find them anywhere.

You shipped them in a box to Timbuktu,

I’m in the makin’ of a headache over you.



I’m in the makin’ of a headache over you,

I’ve had it up to here with all you do.

If you don’t straighten up I think we’re through,

I’m in the makin’ of a headache over you.


See what I mean? Could you imagine Rob Zombie singing this? I tried my hand at writing country song lyrics once, but it came out gangsta rap. I might just stick to the blues.

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12-28-15 Diets for the New Years Resoluter


Every year people are making New Years Resolutions as if it actually means anything. Oh, I won’t begrudge someone’s sincere intentions, but what is it about January 1st that empowers folks to make promises they wouldn’t make any other time of the year? Personally, I believe this whole resolution-making thing is nothing more than a vast left-wing conspiracy to humiliate and disparage the population. Maybe it’s the right-wingers. Perhaps it’s both. In any case, the only thing that’s going to fly is your promises right out the window.

Now to be fair, some actually keep their resolutions. They represent the human being’s propensity to defy us naysayers. You know who those guys are. They’re the ones you can manipulate by being oppositional. Whatever they propose to undertake, tell them emphatically and with great certainty that they will fail. Then silently cheer them on as they prove you wrong. Great manipulators can make people do things they would never ordinarily do, just by telling them they should not or would not do. The only difference between oppositional manipulators and politicians is that the politician will promise to give you everything you want and need – until they get reelected.

But I’m not writing today to throw a wet blanket over your New Year’s Resolution. Who knows? You may be that one in a billion who actually sticks to it all year. Let me know how that goes, huh? But I’m actually here to give you some great ideas on losing weight, because next to making resolutions to quit smoking and swearing off of Facebook, the desire to get rid of all those extra pounds is pretty popular. If you’re adamant on giving it the old college try for the New Year, listen up. I’ve consulted the greatest minds in the world and compiled some surefire diets that are guaranteed to make those fat pockets take up residence elsewhere. By the way, you have probably figured this out by now, but fat doesn’t really disappear. It finds another victim – usually someone living with the dieter. How many times have you heard of a married person losing thirty pounds, only to be discovered within days on the body of their spouse? Doctors really should stick a morbidly obese person in an anorexic treatment center and then put the fatty on a power diet. Again, why do I have to be the one coming up with all the great ideas? Is there any way to get compensated?

So with all that being said, let me give you the top 10 great ideas on how to lose weight. I truly and sincerely hope you find one that works for you, and am confidant that if you stick to one of them, you will succeed.

      1. THE PLACENTA DIET: Yep, that’s what it is. Just like the guy with the magic mushrooms says, don’t knock it if you ain’t tried it. Placentas are rich in all sorts of great nutrients. It can be encapsulated and taken as a pill, turned into a tasty slushie, made into edible treats or simply fried, baked, broiled or crocked. I promise you just thinking about going on a placenta diet will make those pounds run away screaming. I recommend the book “25 Placenta Recipes” by Robin Cook. Personally, I like my placentas right out of the womb. It’s kind of like eating a large Arby’s Beef and Cheddar with extra everything. If the visual makes you want to throw up, go ahead. Let the toilet absorb those unwanted pounds.
      1. THE GANDHI DIET: Probably the most efficient way to lose weight, especially if you’re not in a hurry. If you don’t know who Gandhi was, I’ll tell you. He was this really smart, very skinny guy living in India a few decades ago who helped end religious and political violence by telling everyone that he wasn’t going to eat until the fighting stopped. Some people were like “Hey, one less mouth to feed,” but most others started feeling guilty as they watched him waste away until he was as light as a hummingbird. He was so well loved both sides of the conflict gave up fighting – at least until he had put a good thirty pounds back on, then they were after each other again. Just announce to your friends and family that you won’t taste another morsel of food until all the brutality and bloodshed stops. I promise you the weight will just slide off in search of someone with a weaker will.
      1. THE SURVIVOR DIET: If you’re a TV junkie like me, you’re well aware of that reality show Survivor. That’s where they put a bunch of people in the middle of some jungle island, give them nothing but rice to eat and make them go through intensely physical competitions for things like a piece of flint or a tarp or a native massage, and for immunity, which means the winner can’t be voted off the island until the next draining contest two days later. You should see the last three players after 39 days. You would swear they had been liberated from Auschwitz. Apply for the show if you’re serious about losing weight. Who knows, you might even win the million dollar prize – which you should immediately give to some poor schmuck (like me) because you know one million dollars can buy a LOT of cookies and ice cream.
      1. THE VINEGAR DIET: This is an actual diet concocted by the 18th century poet Lord Byron who actually made it quite popular in the 1820s. All you have to do is drink plenty of vinegar (you can mix it with water, thank God) daily. The only side effect is vomiting and diarrhea. There ya go.
      1. THE MASTICATION DIET: This is one of my favorite diets. It’s really quite simple. You can eat anything you want – just don’t swallow it. The diet’s motto is “Nature will castigate those who don’t masticate.” According to the diet’s logic, your body will absorb the nutrients it needs without packing on the pounds. This diet works best if you have a partner who is dieting also, because you both can participate in the BABY BIRD DIET, in which you chew your food without swallowing it, and then spit it out into the other dieter’s mouth. The recipient of the masticated food can swallow it, as all the nasty fat and carbs have been thoroughly spooged on, rendering it safe to eat.
      1. THE REVERSE ENEMA DIET: You can find plenty of YouTube videos illustrating the technique of this diet. Basically, it involves shoving food up your butt and then holding it there for about half an hour to absorb all the good stuff. I would not recommend having someone try the BABY BIRD DIET in conjunction with this, although it is possible. I find that the REVERSE ENEMA DIET works best if you debone your meat, decob your corn and slice your fruit pretty thin. I’ve known people who puree their food before indulging in this diet, and I really think this is the best way to go.
      1. THE SLEEPING BEAUTY DIET: It’s difficult to eat when you’re sleeping, so this is a wonderful diet for the more laid-back among us. The King of Rock, Elvis, actually swore by this diet. It helps tremendously if you heavily sedate yourself. The only trick is to not wake up until you’ve reached your weight loss goal. I promise you if you awaken during this diet you will eat furniture if need be. Sleep well, and set your alarm for a size 2.
      1. THE APPLICATION DIET: This diet is actually the brainchild of my very own child Andy, who isn’t actually a child, but is indeed a brain. Chip off the ole block. The only thing you’ll need is a goodly supply of duct tape. Prepare a meal – the more decadent the better – and instead of eating it, just tape it to your abdomen, thighs and upper arms. I mean, think about it. That’s where your food will end up anyway, right?If you have a waddle, you can tape your dinner there as well. Andy loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and loves them taped to his butt cheeks even better. I’m not sure of the actual logistics of this type of diet, but would imagine you would have to take off the last meal before applying the next meal. If you are the hirsute sort, I would probably suggest you stay away from this one.
      1. THE COTTON BALL DIET: Believe it or not, the COTTON BALL DIET is legitimate. Who needs real food when you can chow down on zero-calorie cotton balls? Most folks eat them dry, but I recommend dipping them in water or gelatin. You can absolutely stuff yourself with them, and they will naturally reduce your desire to eat fattening foods. They are extremely high in fiber, also. This diet won’t work if you soak them in barbecue sauce or Mountain Dew. Diet Mountain Dew is fine, though. Just do it. If you’re on this diet and have to poop while in public, don’t flush the remains. The next person at the toilet will be amazed.
      1. THE TAPEWORM DIET: I saved this diet for last because it is so special. I know folks who swear by this diet. They are the swearing sort anyway, but I won’t hold it against them. All you have to do is eat a tapeworm (don’t chew because you need it to live) and let it grow in your body. The tapeworm will attach itself to your intestines and absorb nutrients from the food you eat. Feel free to eat anything, by the way. Once the tapeworm grows so large that it begins sticking it’s head out your anus, just grab it and yank it out. Advocates of the TAPEWORM DIET swear that you will lose 2-3 pounds per week using this method. Here is an actual advertisement for the TAPEWORM DIET: fatbanished

If you are serious about keeping your New Years Resolution to lose weight, you’ll try one or more of these diets. I don’t want to hear about you falling off the wagon or wimping out. Only skinny people have that option.

Bon appetit!

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When You Absolutely, Positively Can’t Go Outside

mail slot

I’ve been meaning to write an article on the ethics and etiquette of sleeping with your pets, er I mean your pets sleeping in the same bed as you, but due to an overwhelming amount of email demanding I write another humorous article (ok, it was some lady in Wisconsin that messaged me on Facebook, and there ain’t nothing funny about a cold, wet nose touching your lower back at 2 o’clock in the morning), I’ve decided to reveal my humanitarian side and offer up some unique jobs for those poor souls afflicted with agoraphobia.

I have to admit that I’ve heard the term agoraphobia before but have been too embarrassed to ask what it means. I seriously thought it was an irrational fear of being stabbed by a bull. Either that or a fear of rabbit fur. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it means fear of leaving one’s house. I used to get agoraphobia whenever I couldn’t pay the paperboy, or back in the day whenever there was a warrant out on me. I’d get it BAD. But I’ve learned that some people really have a serious condition in which they are terrified of leaving their home. I mean for like DAYS and DAYS and WEEKS and MONTHS and YEARS and – well, I don’t know about decades. I just can’t imagine someone going a whole decade without going to a Chinese buffet. I mean, come on.

But I got to thinking about how terrible it must be to be stuck in your house 24/7 without any real means of making an income. In the old days shut-ins (that’s what we used to call agoraphobics back then) were consigned to stuffing envelopes or transcribing dictation. Now with the advent of the internet, the world is their oyster. One BIG oyster that’s clammed shut to prevent people from spinning off into outer space. However, I’m not going to bore you with the obvious jobs an agoraphobe can do nowadays, like sex modeling online, or selling homemade pot holders through Ebay, or data entry or anything of that sort. I’ve thought long and hard about some fascinating new income generating ideas, and would like to throw them by you.

If you’re an agoraphobe looking for income, you can:

Teach sign language to the blind via Skype.

Hire yourself out as a party clown – except the party has to come to you.

Put a sign up that says “Fake Psychiatrist” but make the word “Fake” minuscule.

Be a professional curmudgeon that specializes in passing on bad news.

Eat ALOT of beans and sell your farts as a low-cost conventional energy source.

Be a Tech support specialist that wears cheerleading outfits and pom-poms.

Be a pet psychic that can also channel dead critters.

Subcontract with Charmin as a toilet paper roller.

Teach piano lessons from home (no need to be a pianist, as your students know less than you)

Babysit the dead.

Call in sick for the weak-minded.

Give air guitar lessons. Well, I mean sell them.

Provide alibis by the minute.

Sell clean urine, fecal and hair follicle samples. (That means NO partying)

There are a host of other things you can do to make a buck here or there, like harvest your organs, or better yet, offer free housing to undocumented workers (illegal aliens) and harvest THEIR organs. Who’s going to know? If you’re the more spiritual sort, tithe.

I hope I’ve been able to help some of you who just can’t seem to make it outside. If you need me to get anything at the store for you, I charge by the mile and item. Delivering it to you in Speedos and a sombrero is free.

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Close Encounters of the Furred Kind

   black and white

    Yesterday while reclining in a chair on the front porch in the moon-lit dark with my favorite alley cat (whom I call) Percy, I noticed his ears go up and then looked in the direction he was staring. It isn’t uncommon for one of the half dozen stray kitties in the neighborhood to stop by unannounced, thinking they can get a few kibbles from the supply I leave for Percy on the glass table. If the porch light is on they clearly see me, and hang out on the edge of darkness to outwait me (cats are the very pajamas of patience). In the darkness, however – depending on how still I am – a couple of them have even jumped in my lap thinking I was the chair. It doesn’t sit well with any of the strays finding themselves on my lap (except Percy, who rubs and drools all over me), and they immediately exit stage left, even. But it wasn’t Percy’s barbarian brethren that put him on alert. It was a skunk.
    It took me about three seconds longer than Percy to spot it, and by then it was waddling past the front door right toward us. I replaced the immediate urge to run with the primeval instinct to become a statue. Percy slid out of my lap and climbed to the far end of the table, as quiet as a look. Smart cat. The skunk tottered right under my chair as calm as can be, then turned and shuffled right between my feet. I was petrified, literally. But at the same time I was fascinated and in awe. From his tiny nose to the tip of his fuzzy tail he was about a meter long, with a pronounced white streak down the back of his jet black fur. I so wanted to just reach down and find out if his luscious coat was as silky as it looked, but had I done so, I’m sure I would be taking a tomato bath right about now.
    Pepe (there, I’ve named him, but that doesn’t make him family) either didn’t know I was there even with streams of sweat cascading off me, or he had so much confidence that he wasn’t afraid of anything on the planet except a moving car. He went right up to the large plastic recycling bin full of all our glass, plastic and metal, and sniffed on and around every square inch at least three times. My eyes were glued on him and I started praying (silently) that he wouldn’t notice me. Having seen something promising in the bin, Pepe stretched his stubby clawed arms to the top of the bin, but they were far too weak to pull his long-bodied bulk up. He tried though, and it looked like he was doing mini pull ups or standing crunches. I remember thinking “O my God there’s a real-life skunk rooting around right next to my foot! This can go sooo bad!” All my other thoughts were just terrified ramblings. I felt absolutely helpless. Any second Pepe could have seen me from a different angle in the moonlight and introduced me to his sticky stink. That experience is so far off my bucket list it has it’s own zip code.
    It seemed about half an hour by the time Pepe realized there was nothing around to scavenge and finally faded back into the deep darkness. I didn’t move an atom while he rummaged about; you could have beaned me with a crowbar right then and I still wouldn’t have budged for fear of startling him. It took another ten minutes for me to gather my wits about me and slink inside, trembling and wide-eyed. As I passed Percy his eyes told me “welcome to the club.” Gee, thanks.
I don’t care if Percy complains or not. I’ve installed fifteen 200 watt Full Spectrum flood lights on the front porch (on 24/7) and keep a two year supply of replacement lights in the pantry. At night our porch can be seen by satellites. I’ve turned the front porch into a discotheque complete with spinning mirror globes and musical dance tiles, and play Electronica music at 195 decibels. Yep. Satellites can hear me, too, on a quiet night. The Helen Keller of skunks would run away by the seismic activity alone.
I hope Pepe finds what he’s looking for, far, far away.

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Getting the Last Word

last words

I’m thinking of making the following my last words:

My nose is cold

my toes got mold

Don’t be worried, or worse, jealous. If you want to say them, be my guest. I can always think of something else.

It’s actually quite difficult to carry out specific last words. If you try it, and then let me know how it went. Most of the time we’ve got no idea that moment has come. Just ask the late great poet Louisa May Alcott, who died March 6, 1888. She probably could have picked a couplet from any one of the thousands of poems she penned, and no doubt had a few of them in mind to say if given the chance. She was having the stroke that killed her, but evidently she wasn’t sure what was happening because she asked “Is it not meningitis?” I suppose she could have said a lot worse, but that’s what she said and that’s what it was. Louisa, if no one else has answered your question, let me say no, it wasn’t meningitis.

I’d love it if my last words could be heard by all my children around me: “There’s 30 million dollars hidden in the -” Oh, what joy to see the look on their faces as I fade away! When my kids were little and they were in the car with me (ask them, it’s true) I would tell them “If we’re about to be in a horrible accident, make a funny face!” I told them that face would live on in the memory of everyone that survived. “Officer, my brother Moab and I were jus’ going’ down the road and allasudden this car with a man and kids comes at us from the side like a rocket, and I SWEAR them kids had the goofiest faces I’d ever seen! It was kinda spooky, if you ask me.”

Last words are always remembered, even if it’s “B-b-b-b-UTTER!” Oscar Wilde made sure his last words would be immortalized when he said “My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go!” Way to go, Oscar!

There is a tradition, originally oriental, in which a literate person writes a poem on their deathbed. It’s called, appropriately, death poems. That’s why I penned that little ditty at the beginning of the article. Now, I use the word literate quite loosely. Look, if you’re kicking the bucket and all you can do is make an ‘X’, go ahead and X away, my friend.

Here are some pretty interesting last words spoken by folks who may or may not have been famous:

Louise-Marie-Therese de Saint Maurice, Comtesse de Vercellis let one rip while she was dying, and she said “Good. A Woman who can fart is not dead.” It’s a wonder she didn’t die every time she had to spell her name.

The late great Buddy Rich died after surgery in 1987. As he was being prepped for surgery, a nurse asked him, “Is there anything you can’t take?” Buddy replied, “Yeah, country music.”

Murderer James W. Rodgers was standing in front of a firing squad in Utah and was asked if he had a last request. He answered, “Bring me a bullet-proof vest.” He deserved at least another day for that one.

Groucho Marx was famous for his one-liners. His last words were “This is no way to live!”

If you happen to be reading this while you’re taking your last breath I feel sorry for you. I would have recommended the Bible. If I happen to be taking my last breath while writing this, I won’t be able to finish my sentence. Guess I’m still around.

If you could chose your last words, what would they be?

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It’s All in the Touch


I came across this story about a doctor who suffers from ‘mirror touch synesthesia,’ a rare condition in which a person feels the same discomforts as another. If there is any occupation an empath should avoid, I would think it would be a doctor, especially a surgeon. “Hi, I’m Doctor Empath, I’m just going to administer some anesthesia now . . . wellll, Iyeeeeeeee zzzzzzzz,” or “Scalpel…scalpel…nurse, hand me the damned scalpel! I’m going to make my first incision AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Could you imagine being the scrub tech to an empath surgeon with a bad memory? “Naw, you ain’t gittin this scalpel, doc. You really don’t want it, trust me. It’s bad enough hearin you scream when you make the first incision, but ya gotta keep the bloody noise up all through surgery!”

I bet an empath has a very satisfying sex life. There’s children around, so we won’t say anything more about it. But satisfying indeed! If you think about it though, an empath would make the perfect spouse. A woman would know what it feels like to live without a brain, and a man would know what it feels like to be a bitch. An empathic wife lets her husband watch football all the time, and am empathic husband provides LOTS of chocolate ice cream. Nirvana.

Were I an empath I would stay away from everyone. If for any reason a person needed to see me face-to-face, they would have to fill out a simple four page health screening form, no ifs, ands or buts. Don’t be alarmed should you meet me, though. The full plate armor I’m wearing is for your safety, not mine.  I’d really like for you to sign a document swearing you’ll take full responsibility for any injury sustained while in my presence. No, it doesn’t mean I’ve got the right to beat the snot out of you, either. Well, it kinda does, technically, but I give you my word I won’t. I have no desire to liberate your mucous.

Usually I carry on like this for miles, but here’s your stop.  I’d like to leave you with a limerick in tribute to that poor physician:

There is a young doctor named Joel
When touched shares your pain and soul.
Empath or not,
He mirrors distraught:
May he never meet kidney stones while on a stroll.

Nah, I don’t shake hands. Thanks, anyway. Hope you have a great day!


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An Old Hipster


One fine morning last November when I went to get out of bed, I had a pain in my left hip so intense it made me curse in fifteen different languages. The medical community loves to ask what level your pain is on a scale of 1 to 10. Mine required a calculator and a degree in differential equations.  I tried everything to reduce the pain – sitting, lying down, head stand, horseback, Yahtzee, you name it. Nothing worked. That is until I bent over to pick up an eyeball that had popped out by my screaming. Suddenly the pain disappeared. For the next two weeks until I saw my doctor, I spent night and day looking like a carpet inspector with a vision problem. He told me he thought it was bursitis and stabbed me a dozen times with needles full of steroids. It didn’t take the pain away, but I did turn into the Hulk for about three days. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen the Hulk bent over crying like an old Jewish woman.

When I didn’t get better (the doctor very well knew it, too, because I called every 3 minutes to update him) I had to get a CAT Scan. I never saw any cats, but was told I had a condition called Avascular Necrosis. The length of the name itself made me poop my pants in fear, and after they cleaned me up they explained that the head of both my femurs were crumbling and that I would need total hip replacements, one at a time. Well, I used to work in an Operating Room twenty-five years ago, and I knew what the heck that was. Orthopedic Doctors are the really big, bulked up guys that walk around with chain saws and mallets. The mallets are for anesthesia. A total hip replacement is this: one of these behemoths come in, knock you out with their mallet, use the chain saw to cut your hip open, pop your leg out of joint, knock you out again because that last step usually drags you out of unconsciousness and you immediately confess to every sin and give up State secrets, saw the head of your femur off, and then drive a stake into the bloody stump of your femur with the mallet and pop the leg back into place, leaving the nurses to sew you up and call in the priest for last rites. So I knew what I was facing and it didn’t faze me a bit, because I’ve been married four times and NOTHING is worse than that.

I was scheduled for surgery. This excited me. Surgeries always do, because it gives me an opportunity to sleep, plus they give you awesome drugs afterwards. The operation itself was uneventful because I don’t remember a thing about it. I’m sure my brain was blogging about it in all caps, but it won’t give me it’s website address. Reminds me of an eye surgery I had about thirty years ago. They knocked me out for that one, too, but you know full good and well during the whole procedure the eyeball was showing the brain what was happening. I don’t remember anything, thanks to the anesthesia, but ever since then I tend to freak out whenever someone tries to poke me in the eyeball with a needle. I think it’s a repressed memory.

The worst part of the whole experience was the first five days after surgery. I was flat on my back, and my whole life revolved around what I could reach. Let’s not even talk about the horrors of using a urinal. All I have to say is that the urinal manufacturer really should consider making some for left-handed people. Thank GOD for Handi-Wipes. Once they had me captive, the doctor told me that I would be kept at the hospital until I had a bowel movement. Great. They had pumped me full of anesthesia which, among other things, acts like a roofie to the bowels. They also had me hooked up to a morphine pump, which renders the bowels comatose. It looked like I wasn’t going anywhere for the next twenty years. On Day 4 I determined that if my bowels didn’t move on their own, I’d have to take matters into my own hands. Those of you who know my history with feces get the picture. The rest of you don’t want to know the details. Trust me. My only problem was that I was flat on my back, and the nurse said I had to use a bedpan. Whoopie. I knew that once I kick started my bowels there wouldn’t be room enough for a mere mortal bedpan. I would in effect be forced to create a huge poop pancake. Once I relayed this information to the nurse, she called in a couple of goons who airlifted me to a toilet, and there I stayed a couple more days. Hey, no one said manual stimulation was easy.

Ultimately I did pass the excretion obligation, and after they hosed me down, shipped me off to rehab where I not only recovered use of my leg, but earned a thirty day chip. Now I’m at home, and the only time I use my cane is when I’m soliciting sympathy. The doc has called wanting to hack on my other hip, but I think I’ll wait until it rots off – or until the pain pills run out. Just to be safe, though, I’ve replaced all my doors and windows with half inch steel. There isn’t a chainsaw in the world that can cut through that.

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Oh, Baby!


The world population has grown by 1.2 billion since I blogged here last.

First of all, I just made that number up out of my head. I could claim to be a SWAG master (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) and sometimes do, but not now. I could care less how many people have been born since my last blog, really. Why? They can’t read yet. Let them get a little tough around the edges before they pick up this drivel. If they laugh it will be AT me, not TO me, and that’s ok because I feel the same. If they don’t laugh that means they’re smarter than me.

Secondly, I actually know (roughly) how many babies have come into this world since the last time I blogged. Don’t ask me how I came about that figure, and don’t expect me to replicate my formula. I mean, how can someone actually KNOW anything? I’m not a nihilist by any means, mind you. I’m just saying that as I write this some woman somewhere on this planet has her legs spread trying to push a little human out of her womb. Let me state for the record that I’m glad I don’t have to be in the same room with her right now. I’ve seen enough of them for a lifetime.

Humor is hard work. Especially in written form. I used to laugh my butt off listening to Erma Bombeck on the radio or watching her on TV, but I’d read a book of hers and sit stone-faced throughout. It’s not easy being stone-faced, either. I know all you dopers are snickering at the word ‘stone-face’, and you can keep on snickering because that’s an acceptable form of laughing. Not as good as chortling, but better than a grin. But yes, written humor is much more difficult than the spoken word, and has to rely on the elephant – er, element of surprise. See how I gave you a visual out of the blue like that? Now I can’t get that stupid elephant out of my head. That should give you an indication how big my head is. The visuals just keep on coming. Hold on. Another baby just popped into the world, and she looks like Cujo’s been slobbering on her. Gross but beautiful. I have to say ‘beautiful’ or else millions of women will email me with photos of their newborn reptilian-like offspring claiming this is the epitome of beauty.

But I’m not writing today about babies. At least I’m not doing it on purpose. They just keep coming, like pickled egg and beer farts. Today’s missive is about the difficulties most writers have when it comes to humor. Personally, I’d prefer to skip humor all together and go straight into irony. Irony is when you don’t want to go there but you end up there anyway. I’ve always thought of myself as not the marrying type, yet I’ve gone down the chute – um, aisle four times. I’ve always tried to avoid going to hell, but now I could be a tour guide there. I’ve always wanted to be a famous writer, but God had different plans for me. Oh, yes, I’m a writer, but I’ll never be able to go into the Promised Land (the New York Times Best Seller List). At least not while I live. Here comes another bundle of joy. Welcome to the jungle.

How many writers do you know that has an elephant in his head and is still able to put nouns and verbs and those stinking adjectives together into a coherent stream of sentences? Ironically, this entire article has successfully lacked any semblance of cohesion, thanks to all these babies. They always steal the show. Twins!

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