Tag Archives: humor
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.
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.
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?
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!
Somebody has stolen my sense of humor, and I won’t give up until I get it back.
At first I thought I had lost it. We all do from time to time, right? You tell a joke and it flops. Your friend sends you a funny picture but it makes you cry. Someone farts in a public toilet and you don’t scream out “EEEEEEWWWWWEEEEEE!!!” Yes, sometimes we wake up and forget where we put it the night before. I strap mine around my groin before I go to bed at night because, frankly, it’s a joke down there. Then, when I wake up the next morning and go to the bathroom (I think it’s required by law in most states) it’s right there when I pull my underwear down so I can start my day with a big laugh. I’ve always had a heightened sense of humor when I first wake up. Once upon a time I had a heart catheter test, and they gave me some really awesome bye-bye medicine. I don’t remember the procedure at all, but when I finally came to, my wife was crying and the doctor was laughing. Seems the instant they injected some kind of dye into my heart it quit beating, so they had to do the ole two-paddle shock to bring me back to life. Evidently the instant they legally electrocuted me, I sat up on the table and yelled “Hey, what happened to the dancing girls?” Since then I’ve had absolutely no fear of death.
Yesterday morning though, I went to find my sense of humor and couldn’t find it. I checked everywhere, and I mean everywhere. The neighbors didn’t appreciate me waking them up by rummaging through their closet, but I just had to be sure. I couldn’t remember being in their closet the day before, but at my age you can never be certain. Blame the 70’s. Well, you can imagine how grumpy it made me, not finding anything funny. The neighbors must have lost their sense of humor, too, because they didn’t find it funny either. Neither did the cops. That was when I suspected there was a humor thief out there somewhere. When I announced my suspicions to law enforcement hoping I’d be proven wrong, they laughed like crazy for about three seconds and then gave me their meanest stares as they handcuffed me. When I called my wife from the hoosegow and told her to look around the house for my sense of humor, she answered, “Not funny, you idiot.” They got hers, too! The only person with a sense of humor was my lawyer. You should have seen his outrageous bill. Had I a sense of humor I would have laughed right in his face. Unfortunate for me, because for that little misunderstanding in my neighbor’s bedroom closet (and NO, I don’t know how the woman’s pink two-piece bathing suit came to be on me) , it will be the lawyer who laughs every month for the next thirty-eight years when the postman drops by. Needless to say, those shenanigans cost me most of the day, so I spent what was left of it searching for my funny bone (except those places designated by my neighbor’s restraining order) to no avail. It turned out to be a pretty serious day.
I prayed that I’d wake up this morning with my buffoonery solidly attached so that I could pretend the day before had just been a horrid dream, but I knew the instant I opened my eyes today that it was still gone, as gone as yesterday. Still no sense of humor. I instantly (after the legally required unloading of the bladder, of course) turned the TV on to the Comedy Channel, hoping to hit the chuckle lottery. After a couple of minutes of I Love Lucy and not even a weak grin, I tuned to MSNBC, the gold standard of comedy. Nothing.
So now I’m going around this part of town and even the internet (still obeying the court order) putting LOST fliers wherever I can in hopes of regaining any semblance of my former wit. The cops are still no help (they do have great donuts, though), but what do you expect, right? It’s not like I could just go to the doctors and get a cackle reattached, either. Woe is me!
I found it. My sense of humor had slipped around back and was stuck in my guffaw. Being fat I couldn’t reach far enough to extract it manually, so I tried pushing it out using my abominable muscles. That caused me to toot out my hoot so hard a knee-slapper slung around and hit me upside my face. The first thing that came to mind once my sense of humor kicked back in was the joke I’m about to tell you. I laughed so hard I cried and peed myself and cried again because I realized I’d forgotten my Depends, then laughed about that. It is all the proof I need to demonstrate the return of my phenomenal humor. Here goes:
Do you know when two singing lovers are at their best?
When they duet.
There is a new smart phone application that has the techies of the world wetting themselves in excitement. It’s called Spritz, a program that streams words at speeds up to 1,000 words per minute. The creators are utilizing something called the “Optimal Recognition Point,” the exact moment when the brain recognizes a single word. The app flashes text at you one word at a time, and the center of the word is colored red to help the mind focus at that point. Theoretically, a person who trains their reading speed using Spritz can in time read an entire novel in just a couple of hours. Evidently the average person reads around 220 words per minute. They must not have timed someone trying to read while their spouse is watching a TV show with the volume cranked to ear bleed levels, and their child in the next room (door open, of course) playing Modern Warfare online with a whole platoon of friends with the speakers wide open. I’m lucky to get 5 words a minute (8 words a minute during commercials – unless it’s for food, which brings all reading to a stop).
I went to their website and tried it. By golly, it worked! I sat right here in my computer chair and read for fifteen minutes as they increased the speed. By the time I was finished , I not only was reading at 1,000 wpm, I wet myself three times and didn’t know it. The only problem I had with the program was that I had no freaking idea what it was I read. That in itself is no big deal. I mean, as a writer I’m always being plied with offers from new authors wanting me to check out their novels, and I’m always happy to do so. Most of the novels I read are excellent all the way around, and I have no qualms about giving a glowing review. Sometimes, though, a novice writer cranks out something that reads like a psychopathic thesaurus has gone on an English language killing spree. Over the years I’ve read so many of these ‘experiments in literature’ (I’m being nice, ok?) that I’ve started thinking of taking their words apart and selling them back to the dictionary people. Of course, I’m much too nice a guy to tell another writer that their work makes me air my reading room out, so that officially makes me a terrible critic. I’ll respond to a writer’s query that they have ‘unique and challenging character development’ when in reality I never could determine who the protagonist was. When I say their novel has ‘unexpected plot twists,’ that means I expected there to be plot twists, but the story was so predictable it was like guessing what a baby would do when pinched. When I say I enjoyed their use of dialogue, that means everything else should be shoveled out. Now, I want to say something to all the authors who have asked me to review their books. I’m not talking about you. Trust me. Your book was incredible and inventive. Seriously.
Look, I’m the last person in the world to be all holier-than-thou in the realm of writing. There are some writers who are so awesome they make me want to break my keyboard over my knee and swear to never write another word out of respect and humility. There is a brigade of incredible young talent out there just waiting to take your imagination on a journey you’ll always cherish (I was going to say ‘a journey you’ll never forget,’ but that can cut both ways). You may have to wade through a haystack full of blunt straws in order to find that one sharp piece of writing, but thank goodness for Spritz. Now you can find out in record time if a certain book is worth your time.
Just do me a favor, though, ok? Don’t tell me my work has unexpected plot twists, ok. Let me know up front if my book sucks. I’ll respect you more for it. Actually, I’ll suggest you read the same book backwards using Spritz, just so you can get my words out of your system quicker. Who know? It might make more sense that way.
I think it’s about time we have an honest discussion about one of the most taboo subjects in the history of civilization. I’m talking about boogers. Snot rockets. Nuggets. Roly-Polies. Nose candy. Crusty cake. I promise you, dear reader, that there are a number of folks stabbing their keyboards this very moment trying to get away from this article. That’s fine. That means there’s more information for the rest of us to digest.
‘Booger’ is just a fancy way of referring to dried nasal mucus. Let me tell you how a booger is born. Throughout our day we breathe in copious amounts of tiny dust particles that get trapped by mucus-covered nasal hairs called cilia. A good portion of these dust particles happen to host a wide variety of pollen, bacteria and other such microscopic matter such as dried urine, floating feces and dead skin cells from about every part of both human and animal bodies. There’s no need to freak out and plug your nose. If you breathe through your mouth you actually inhale 1000% more of the particles mentioned above. In this sense, mouth breathers really are stupid. Be healthy and keep your trap shut.
The reason why some boogers are sticky and slimy while others are crusty and slightly salty is quite simple. As we breathe through our nose (I would use the word ‘nasal cavity’, but that sounds creepy and painful), the mucus dries out and begins to petrify the material that at one time was minding its own business, happily floating in the air. If you happen to be prospecting for gold and run across a booger, you’ll be able to tell in an instant what its consistency is. Personally, I prefer dry over wet. They flick farther.
But all this talk about boogers would be incomplete without the controversial discussion on whether they can be consumed. I’m sure you’ve seen a little child sitting in church or in the bleachers during a soccer game or just watching TV, and they bury half of their forefinger up their nose, retrieve a big honker and then casually pop it in their mouth. If boogers were deadly, society would have never made it past the Mesopotamian era. If boogers killed, you wouldn’t be reading this and I wouldn’t have written it. You would like the world to believe boogers have never passed your lips, but we all know different, don’t we? That’s alright. We’ll just call it our dirty little secret, my holy roller friend. Stop gagging. You’re making it difficult to continue reading.
Look, it’s a known fact that ingested boogers can actually boost the immune system and prolong life. You actually can’t help but suck a few loosy-juicies into your stomach. The average human swallows about a quart of mucus a day. In fact, your sinuses produce about 2 liters of mucous a day. Think about that next the time you get a 2 liter bottle of your favorite beverage. It’s completely natural. When your allergies act up or you get a full-fledged cold, you can really become a snot factory. During these times you don’t always have a tissue handy, so you have no choice but to suck it up. No one’s judging you. He who is without mucus may cast the first booger. Wait a minute. Without mucus, he wouldn’t have a booger. Never mind. I say we should embrace our boogers, we should love them for what they do, we should include them in our food like croutons or tofu. If you really love someone, you’ll eat their booger. I know you’ve thought about it late at night when no one else is around. I mean, we share pretty much every other bodily fluid, don’t we? Why not the occasional boogie? Ok. Here’s a test question: Would you eat your best friend’s juicy, drippy booger for one million tax free dollars? Move over; I’m salivating just thinking about the first thing I’d buy with the money: mouthwash.
If you think boogers aren’t very sophisticated, you’d be wrong. The scientific term for enthusiastically picking one’s booger is Rhinotillexomania. If boogers were the trailer trash of body parts, they certainly wouldn’t have a name like that, now would they? Actually, my dog doesn’t care one whit about names or phobias or taboos. She’ll gobble a goober in a heartbeat and not think twice about it. She’s actually quite handy to have around if I’m too engrossed to get up, retrieve a hankie or tissue and tackle the mucus mountain myself. She thinks they’re treats. The cat is too finicky for such cuisine, though. He doesn’t know what he’s missing.
Ok, even I have my limits. It’s not easy typing while retching. I just had to stand up for those little guys, those poor outcasts of anatomy, those misfits of modern conversation. I don’t think they deserve to be shunned. In fact, I’ve just fired off an impassioned letter to the White House asking the President to designate one day in August as National Booger Day. Why August? It’s the most neglected month of the year when it comes to holidays. What better place to venerate nose nuggets? I mean, it’snot rocket science.
I don’t see why people are going nutso on the roads. Where did all this road rage come from? Maybe we’ve gotten so crowded with overpopulation that we’re losing our personal space and getting upset about it. Me, I rent my personal space out. Hey, it’s a living, ok? Besides, nature abhors a vacuum, right? Maybe the car companies should install force fields around their products. It works for the USS Enterprise. You never heard Captain Kirk screaming “They’re getting too close!” I’d like for us to keep a respectable distance from each other – some of us just aren’t into the ‘up-close-and-personal’ thing – but humans, being the way they are with free will and all, they sometimes want to break the rules of courtesy. Try eating at a diner between two bikers. You’re lucky if you’ve got room to even look at your plate.
Sometimes we get behind on our schedule and try to make it up while on the road. This is a perfect formula for disaster. One of Murphy’s laws is that the hurrier you go, the behinder you get. Folks tend to forget that gem of logic and get all bent out of shape when the Clampetts decide to pick the precise moment you’re in a rush to go sightseeing on a two lane road. I’ve overslept, and on the way to work encountered tractors, herds of sheep, funerals and washed out bridges (I even got behind the original little old lady from Pasedena once). If I leave five minutes early on my schedule I could get to my destination blind and not hit anything. Believe me, I’ve done it. Blind driving can be so fun.
My wife gets steamed up whenever someone gets too close to her back bumper. She swears at them while doing her death gaze in the rearview mirror, immediately slows down to about 2 miles per hour, and even threatens to slam on her brakes (which is somehow a form of justice to her, but would end up really complicating her day). She gets so angry I feel sorry for the poor guy behind us. Ignorant fool has no idea he’s driving close behind Godzilla. I’ve been known to turn around and beg them in sign language to back off, trying to save their life. Never works. Now for myself, I could care less how close someone drives behind me. Heck, I’d appreciate it if they went ahead and pushed me. I’d put it in neutral and let them do all the work. I figure if someone’s willing to pay for personal space, they can have all they want.
Most road rage is caused by someone getting cut off in traffic. There’s no law saying a complete bimbo can’t drive, so we just have to watch out for them. They’re always in the wrong lane until the last possible second, or they can’t read the huge orange sign saying MERGE, or they’re lost and aren’t aware of the other thousand and twelve drivers around them. When I first got married in the seventies, being cut off meant something entirely different, but that’s the subject of a completely different essay. Back then, the bimbo switching lanes two inches in front of you were simply plowed over by traffic. Our cars were built for demolition derbies, made with thick steel and sharp edges. Bimbos didn’t last too long back in the day. Now cars are made of paper mache and tape. If some idiot cuts you off in traffic, don’t get angry. Get a ’57 Chevy Bel Air.
There is one thing that drives me nuts, though. It never fails that when I’m in a line in the turning lane and the green light is only on for 30 seconds, the bozo in front is either doing an inventory of their glove box or tying their shoes or taking a nap, and when they finally hear the forty three guys behind them honking their horns and giving them the middle finger salute, they get through the light as it’s turning yellow. I’ve been known to outflank a turn signal by driving through pastures and warehouses.
So hey, I guess what I’m trying to say here is that it doesn’t do any good getting irate with someone’s careless, thoughtless, bubbleheaded, insane, idiotic driving. Wait. You know, now that I think about it, it might be better if we could install machineguns and rocket launchers on the front of our cars. The heat from the weapons would probably catch our paper mache cars on fire, but at least we’d feel better knowing there’s one less bimbo on the road.
My son called his mother the other day and they talked for awhile. When it came time to wrap the conversation up he said “Talk to you later,” and just hung up the phone. My wife’s ‘bye-bye’ was spoken into the disconnected emptiness and she stared at her phone in disbelief. “I hate it when he does that!” she said, annoyed. Well, lady, I’ve got news for you. There’s going to be a lot more of that kind of junk going around, just wait and see.
I’m not just talking about phone etiquette here. It’s everywhere. People have gotten so used to ending chats abruptly on their smart phones, tablets and other electronic devices that they don’t even think twice about using some of the old-fashioned common courtesies we were taught in our youth. Not only is ‘buh-bye’ gone from our vernacular, so is ‘hello’, ‘how are you’ and ‘I’ll pay for this call’. Is there even such a thing as collect calls anymore? I bet there’s only one ‘0’ operator left in the world, picking her nose and saving the nuggets between the pages of last year’s Cosmo magazine. She should meet the Maytag man. If you don’t know what I mean, you’re too young. We’ve gotten into the habit of just dropping the ball of our conversations and moving on. It’s absolutely sinister.
In the old days of TV and movies, only the bad guys didn’t say goodbye to each other.
Rat Fink: Meet you at the corner of 5th and Main.
Toe Jam: Don’t forget to bring the gun. CLICK. (the international sound of hanging up.) That’s because only the bad guys were rude enough to do that. They didn’t care. It was all about spreading evil, so forget the niceties. Now everyone does it! It’s a slippery slope to complete and utter anarchy, I tell you.
My grandfather taught me how to be polite. When he answered the phone he’d say “Harding residence. Jay speaking.” Honestly. Now days you know who’s calling you when the phone rings, and the caller knows they’re calling you. There’s no mystery any more. That’s why folks just answer the phone with “Wazzup?” I love it when I get a call from an unknown number. I’ll answer and say in a forced whisper “I did the job, but there’s blood EVERYWHERE,” and then hang up. It’s better than joining the Do Not Call Registry. Try it sometime, and just hope it’s not the police department benevolent society asking for donations.
Back in the days of party lines and rotary phones, courtesy was demanded. There was none of this “Hold on” and then sitting in silence while the person you were talking to has a half hour conversation with their homey. Hey, people were even considerate while watching TV. My grandfather was watching a murder mystery one time, and the good guy was standing around the corner leaned up against the wall with a gun in his hand, ready to jump out and take down the bad guy. The good guy didn’t know that the bad guy was sneaking up on him from behind. Not until my grandfather yelled “Look out! He’s sneaking up behind you!” Sometimes they heard, sometimes they didn’t. These days people just let the bad guy get the jump on the good guy. Pure Anarchy.
Do society a favor and start being polite on the phone and internet, ok? I could ramble and rave all day on the moral decline of the civilized world. Remember to say ‘Hello’ and ‘goodbye’. Just don’t be like some of the first-time-in-love kids from my day who would say ‘bye’ but wait for the other person to hang up. That was just stupid. I still haven’t hung up from my first girlfriend. She’s married now with five kids and eight grandkids. I heard every second of her life, and let me tell you, some of it wasn’t pretty. But by God I won’t be the one to hang up first. It’s just a matter of who lives the longest now. Just stupid. But I digress.
Be polite, say ‘goodnight’. Be a good guy and say ‘goodbye’. Just don’t forget to look behind you from time to time, because there’s nobody out there anymore to give you a head’s up.
Talk to you later…