Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Can You Put A Dollar Amount On Integrity?

Times are tough and money is as short as George W. Bush’s attention span. So, what do we do? We sell stuff to those non-less fortunate than we are. Let’s face it… when the “have-nots” have a little, and the “have-lots” want more, they buy stuff from the “have-nots” at a reduced rate. That and prostitution keeps Craig’s List going.

So what do we sell? Do we sell our stuff that it took years and years of mindless impulse buying to accumulate? No. I like my furniture. I like my clothes. I like my collection of X-Files memorabilia that is absolutely worth nothing. Some day, I plan to hand it down to my grandchildren who will probably have to burn it for heat.

I could sell my plasma. I have an ample supply and as long as I’m not dead, my body will keep making more. From what I understand, a lot of people are doing that now since plasma-screen TVs have become much more popular than LCD.

After considerable thought, selling my plasma was a little too generic for me. So here’s a list of things I tried to sell: 

1. My Hair

I don’t have much left. When I get it cut short, my receding hairline and bald spot make me look like a poodle with mange. Comb-overs are a hassle. No matter how much gel or goop I put on my head, it will always dislodge and stick straight up. Not a good thing during springtime when birds are in mating season. Last year, I was dive-bombed by a sparrow that thought I was a rival.

My Trip to the Wig Shop


Me: I want to sell my hair so you can make it into a wig.

Wig-woman: It’s got gray in it. Nobody wants a gray wig. You ever see Dolly Pardon or Donald Trump with a gray wig?

Me: I thought Trump just had a comb-over?

Wig-woman: Think again.

Me: Can’t you just dye it?

Wig-woman: Why don’t you dye it red and try your luck tomorrow. No guarantees.

Me: But if you don’t buy my hair, I’ll look like a balding clown.

Wig-woman: Funny, that's the same thing I thought when you walked in. Now, get outta here. You’re scaring off my customers.

2. My sperm

No need to elaborate on this. I’m a guy. I have sperm. Why not make some money with it.

My Trip to the Sperm Bank

Me: I want to sell my sperm so you can make it into a person.

Sperm-woman: You don’t fit our profile.

Me: What’s your profile?

Sperm-woman: Six-four… Blue eyes… Ten percent body fat… and a college degree.

Me: How do you know I don’t have a college degree?

Sperm-woman: I saw your car.

Me: I think you’ve been watching too many soap operas.

Sperm-whale: I think if you don’t get outta here, I’m calling the cops. You’re scaring away my customers. 

3. My Body

I mentioned prostitution earlier. How about the world’s oldest profession? 

My Trip to an Out-of-the-way, Seedy, Low-lit Motel Lounge

Me: I want to sell you my body so you can make passionate love to it. Why are you laughing? That wasn’t a joke. Really, it’s not that funny!

Second Trip to an Out-of-the-way, Seedy, Low-lit Motel Lounge

Me: I want to sell you my body so you can—

Potential Jane: How much?

Me: Uh… what do you think is fair?

Potential Jane: For you… $5.00.

Me: Wow! I can buy a gallon of gas and a beef jerky. You gotta deal. Hey, don’t you think we should save the handcuffs for later?

Officer Jane: Not if you’re being arrested for solicitation.

4. Pyramids

Maybe I should try to sell something that’s not in any way related to my body or illegal in forty-eight states. 

My Trip Around the Neighborhood


Neighbor: Hello?

Me: I want to sell you some Amway so you can make lots of money with it.

Neighbor’s door: SLAM!

That endeavor led me to my next item up for sale.

5. A Punch In The Face

Nobody likes pyramid schemes, and even though they make a great concrete cleaner, nobody likes Amway anymore. I had better luck going door to door asking people if they would pay a dollar to punch me in the face. Turns out there are PLENTY of people in my neighborhood who wanted to punch me in the face. But, the more money I made, the more dental work I needed. And who has the money for a high-dollar deductible these days? So, I’m back where I started.

I guess I’ll just stick to selling my plasma. I hear it’s nice and they give you cookies and orange juice afterwards. But I don’t think I can ever watch my TV the same way again.

Monday, April 9, 2012

I Can Smell Your Dream From Here

I had a dream... I was an author at a book-signing event, waiting to give autographs and sitting next to a man who was obviously a successful writer. He appeared to be in his mid-fifties, tall, thin, and wore a close-cropped, peppered gray beard. He wore a cardigan sweater pulled over a button-down shirt and reading glasses perched at the end of his nose. His smile was warm and genuine.
The line of people waiting to get signed copies of our books spanned the entire length of the store and out into the parking lot. The first person in line was a petite, elderly woman who clutched both of our hard-bound books in her wrinkled hands. The book store attendant gave her permission to approach and she floated effortlessly to our table without moving a muscle (it's a dream, remember?).
She placed the author's book on the table, and asked what inspired him to write such a compelling and beautiful novel? He told a story of how he decided as a young boy to dedicate his life to the betterment of mankind. His voice captivated the audience as he described his journeys as a doctor, a lawyer, a professor, and an astronaut. The crowd hung on every word as he recalled his humanitarian work with Green Peace, Amnesty International, the Red Cross, and Save the Children.
"I wrote the book," he told her, "so that you could experience the joy and happiness that I found through selfless giving."
The audience erupted in thunderous applause. A tear ran down the elderly woman's face as he signed her copy of his book titled, The World Is A Better Place Because Of Me. The elderly woman thanked him graciously. She placed my book on the table and said, "I don't think I've ever heard of you, young man. What do you write about?" To which I replied...
"I write about farts."
That's when I woke up. That was my dream, or my nightmare, depending on how you look at it. It bothered me and I could not stop thinking about it. My wife noticed, and on the drive home from our Easter brunch, she said, "Why aren't you talking to me?"
"Huh?" I said, "I'm, uh... stuffed with food."
"You're always stuffed with food. And you usually talk, even while you're stuffing yourself with food."
"Sorry. I was thinking about a dream I had."
"Was I in it?"
"Then it's not worth thinking about."
"But, you don't even know what it's about--"
"I don't want to know what it's about if I'm not in it. I know what kind of sick perverted things you men dream about."
(Awkward pause, lasts about two miles)
"I had a dream about writing," I said. "That's what it was about."
"About writing?" she said. "Well, why didn't you tell me?"
"I... aw, never mind. Look, in my dream, I was sitting next to a guy who had practically saved the world with one arm tied behind his back and he wrote a book about it and everyone loved it. And there I was sitting next to him, and all I had to show for myself was fart jokes."
"So, in the dream, your book was about fart jokes?"
"You think it was a sign that you need to write a book about farts?"
"No. I don't want to write about farts."
"That's kind of limiting your material, isn't it?"
"I'm trying to be serious here."
"I think I know where you're going with this, and it reminds me of when my second-cousin Waylon brought home and married a Vietnamese girl from the war."
"How... how does that even compare?"
"Well, people back then weren't as open minded as they are now and Waylon and his wife used to get funny looks. I mean, nobody could pronounce her name and she couldn't speak a word of English. Made it real awkward around Christmas time. But Waylon didn't care, he loved her with all his heart. Eventually, everybody got to know Waylon's new bride and welcomed her with open arms."
"I'm missing your point and how it relates to my dream."
"My point is... fart jokes is a metaphor for your writing. Not everybody likes fart jokes, but some people do. And if you really love writing the things you write about, then all you have to do is give it time and everybody will love it."
"Okay... I kind of see what you mean. Thanks, I feel a little better. So, how come you never told me about your cousin Waylon and his wife before?"
"Oh, 'cause she divorced him and run off with her English teacher. Took every penny Waylon had. Made it real awkward around Christmas time."

Monday, April 2, 2012

How I Became A Writer

**This was meant to be my April Fools' Day post (yesterday) but the hard drive on my computer crashed on Saturday. After feverishly working to fix said dead computer and banging my head against the wall, I decide to improvise and get one of my older systems up and running, which required more banging of things that were not connected to my body. So, before you read this, pretend it's yesterday.**

A lot of people have asked me, "How did you become a writer?"
It all started in Tibet. I was a spiritual advisor for the Dalai Lama and had taken a solemn vow of silence. One day in the temple, while in deep meditation, a mischievous monk gave me a hotfoot. Who says monks don't have a sense of humor? Not only did I break my vow of silence, the words I shouted in anguish got me excommunicated.
Distraught, I set out searching for a new meaning to my life. I ended up in Thailand where I made a meager living shoveling snake poop. I lived on the streets and what little money I made went for food, but try as I may, I never got used to the taste of cat.
I came back to the states and got a job as a roadie for Aerosmith. During a concert in Albuquerque, as I ran out to switch one of Joe Perry's guitars, I tripped and fell off the stage. My face hit the floor of the arena, causing my lips to swell immediately. With my hair past my shoulders in typical "Rock & Roll" fashion, the crowd thought I was Steven Tyler, and groped and clawed me until my flowing locks and every stitch of clothing were ripped from my body. When the trucks pulled out for the next gig in Santa Fe, they left me behind. Naked.
Bald, dehydrated, and sunburned beyond recognition, I somehow made it through the desert to the town of Roswell, New Mexico, where I was rescued by a group of UFO watchers. Due to my physical appearance, they mistakenly thought I was an alien from another planet. They offered to give me food and shelter at their UFO commune if I taught them the secrets of the universe.
Life was good at the commune, which I renamed "Ronnieverse." I wanted for nothing and every night I would counsel one of my female followers on the various methods of alien probe techniques. I had a good thing going until the FBI showed up with guns, tear-gas and armor-plated ATVs.
Incarceration was not as bad as I thought it would be. It was kind of like high school, but no girls. I knew I could only hold off the butt pirates for so long, so I called the FBI guys and rolled on a group of bikers who I knew from my days as a roadie. "Satan's Hemorrhoids" were a mean bunch, whose interest in do-it-yourself chemistry was frowned upon by the G-men.
After my release from custody, I came back to Dayton and, once again, contemplated life. I came to the conclusion that I had not yet lived to my full potential, so I decided to drink heavily. That's when I met my wife.
She was entering the Federal Building to sign up for the Peace Corps. I was inebriated, and had drawn the attention of two of Dayton's finest, who had yet to test out their recently issued Tazers and expandable batons. As I lay convulsing and bleeding on the sidewalk, the woman who would be my wife stopped to look at me. In her mind, she weighed out which would be her greatest mission of mercy: feeding pigmies in the Congo, or marrying me.
And that's how I became a writer.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It's For A Good Cause

When bad things happen to good people, there are those who will rally together and provide assistance, who will go out of their way to help others, who will donate their time, money and professional experience to lend a hand, and no matter how hard they work, no matter how much of their time or money they spend, or how aggravating some situations may become, the thing that keeps them going is…

It’s for a good cause.

So, when I found out that two of my high school buddies were helping with a tornado relief effort for the town of West Liberty, Kentucky, I decided to donate my time. This would entail riding down to West Liberty from Germantown, Ohio, helping to unload the truck full of donated items, riding back to Germantown to have a few beers, and call it a day.

Or so I thought.

For the purpose of protecting their identities, I will call my friends Sam and Dave, not because they may be shy about receiving recognition for helping people in need, but because, if I use their names in this blog, they will renounce all association with me.That is not a joke.

I rode down with Dave and we met Sam just outside of West Liberty around noon. Sam has family living there, and he is the one who organized a relief effort in Germantown by asking for donations of bottled water, non-perishable food items, clothing, and everything else you might need when your house is blown away. He also purchased a used 24-foot box truck to collect those donations, which he drove there, followed by his family in a minivan.

Dave and I greeted Sam in typical man fashion, with forceful handshakes and grunts. Sam grunts a little too much, due to a painful back injury he sustained a few years ago. This led him to ask me the following question: “Hey, man. You think you can drive that truck back? My back is killing me.”

Sure. Why not? I agreed without hesitation. Here’s a guy who single handedly organized a relief drive for homeless tornado victims. So, what kind of person would I be to turn down the request of a guy with a bad back and a heart of gold? I looked at the truck and thought, no problem. After all…

It’s for a good cause.

Dave and I followed Sam to the drop-off point at a church in West Liberty. Sam’s truck was filled almost to the top, and Dave and I helped the local volunteers who worked relentlessly to unload all the donations sent by the good people of my hometown. Except for the bags of used clothing. Apparently, this particular location did not accept used clothing.

Enter Sam’s aunt: a sweet, lovable, Kentucky born and raised woman, who reminded me of my dearly departed grandmother, who was also Kentucky born and raised. She told Sam that her church was taking donations, and that they would take anything. Sam looked at me and handed over his truck keys. As soon as the keys touched my hand, Sam said, “Oh, you need to watch the brake.”


“The brake. It’s a little touchy.”

“Define… touchy.”

“Don’t worry. You’ll be fine. Just try to avoid hills.”

I don’t know if any of you have ever been to the state of Kentucky, but avoiding hills in that state is like trying to avoid women in tube-tops at Wal-Mart.

I looked at my cell phone and saw that I had just two bars. I decided, while I still had the chance and the reception, to call my two sons back home in Germantown to tell them that my imminent and untimely death by box-truck, while tragic, should only be remembered by one thing...

It’s for a good cause.

Sam’s aunt, or rather, Sam’s uncle with Sam’s aunt in the car, took off out of the parking lot like somebody had told him another tornado was coming. I started the truck and gave chase, forgetting about the brake. I was reminded at the first red light.

If a “touchy” brake meant, that when the brake pedal is applied, the truck careens into the oncoming lane of traffic, Sam was right on the money. The trip to his aunt’s church became a constant battle between me, the steering wheel, and a punch-button AM radio that only picked up Gospel Stations.

On the way to the church, we traveled through the destruction that was West Liberty. It literally looked like a war zone. More on that later.

I followed Sam's uncle at breakneck speed, through hills and dips, curves and roads that may or may not have been intended for motorized travel. I looked at my cell phone. The bars were replaced by the word, “Extended.” Extended what? Luck?

We kept going… and going, and going. At one point, I saw a buzzard sitting on a guardrail, waiting. I looked in the truck’s side-view mirror. Sam and Dave, who were supposed to be following me, were nowhere in sight. It became apparent that I was in danger of being stranded in a land where buzzards don’t fly. The just sit by the side of the road and wait for hopeless travelers to perish.

In a panic, I tried to call Dave. I looked at my cell phone and the word “Extended” was replaced with “Turn around!”

Finally, I saw a church on a hill to the left, and in a cloud of dust and screeching tires, Sam’s uncle pulled in to the church with a maneuver that would have made Burt Reynolds load his pants.

I’m not sure if I can recall the exact name of the church, but it was something like, Mount Zion Episcopal Church of the Brethren and 24-hour Laundry Mat, which explained why they didn’t have a problem with the used clothing.

I parked the truck and walked over to Sam’s aunt. She smiled and asked me where I was from, how long I had known her nephew, and if I had accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior?

I answered: Germantown, since high school, and no… but if the brake goes out in that truck, I’ll have a chance to talk with JC about it one-on-one. I’m sure He will ask what I'm doing in heaven, and I'll just say…

It’s for a good cause.

She gave me a funny look, which I usually get from everybody I meet, and said, “If the church won’t take these clothes, we’ll just take them on to my house.”

“How far away is your house?” I asked.

“About five or ten miles down in the holler.”

“Is it five, or is it ten?”

“Yeah, five or ten.”

“I need to know how to get outta here.”

“You know how to get to Owl Creek?”

“Ma’am, I wouldn’t know how to get to Owl Creek if I was an owl. My ancestors are from Kentucky, and I’m pretty sure they’ve never heard of this place. So, I’d like to get back to Ohio before the bears come out of hibernation.”

A young man ran up and showed me where to park the truck for unloading and I cried tears of joy. I had a strange feeling that “five or ten miles down in the holler” would have turned into ten or twenty.

As soon as the truck was unloaded, Sam and Dave showed up in their respective vehicles. Obviously, Sam knew how to get to Owl Creek. All I had to do now was follow them back to the highway.

Before hitting the highway, we stopped for a bathroom break at a small gas station called the J & J Carry Out. I’m not sure what the two J’s meant, but I’ll wager that one of them stood for Jesus and the other one stood for Justice, because some of the locals were having a gun show in the parking lot… or, forming a posse. I did my best to avoid eye contact.

There’s no easy way to explain what happened next, except that it was God’s way of telling me that I shouldn’t make jokes about His son in front of sweet old ladies who reminded me of my grandmother.

About three miles outside of Flemingsburg, Kentucky, the exhaust system disconnected itself from the truck. I knew this because it sounded like Tony Stewart was passing me on the inside lane. I called Dave to tell him what had happened, but of course, he couldn’t hear me because the exhaust had disconnected itself from the truck, and I couldn’t hear him because I was quickly going deaf.

When we got to Flemingsburg, we pulled into a gas station to assess the damage. The exhaust, disconnected right in front of the catalytic converter, was hanging forward toward the front of the truck, and had surely been throwing sparks out the back for the last several miles.

At this point, I made a command decision to abort. I called Sam and explained to him what happened, and that I didn’t feel comfortable driving the truck back to Ohio, because I wasn’t sure what other valuable part God would decide the truck didn’t need anymore. Sam understood. I think.

Sam said he would call his uncle to pick up the truck, so I pulled the truck to the side and gave the key to the nice lady behind the counter at the gas station, telling her that a guy who drives like a tornado is chasing him would pick up the truck.

Dave and I made it back to Ohio later that night. During the drive back, I had time to ponder about the things I learned that day:

Kentucky is full of nice ladies, but the terrain is hard on used trucks.

God has a sense of humor, but he doesn’t like some of my jokes.

In some parts of Kentucky, smart phones become expensive paperweights.

If it looks like an impromptu gun show… it probably isn’t.

All kidding aside. I make fun of a lot of things, mostly myself. But there is nothing funny about the aftermath of the tornado that literally destroyed most of West Liberty, Kentucky. You see the pictures in the news, or the videos on YouTube, but you cannot fully comprehend the brutality of Mother Nature unless you witness it first hand.

A few people lost their lives, and dozens were left homeless. The only thing that outweighed the devastation was the spirit and devotion of the volunteers who worked non-stop to help their neighbors in need.

There may be idiots running this country now, and even bigger ones who want to run it in the future, but I am confident that it will be the people of this country who keep this nation strong.

For obvious reasons that are not my own, I hope I never have to volunteer for another relief effort ever again… but if someone asks me to help out. Sure. Why not?

It’s for a good cause.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

3 Ways To Keep Your Home Project X Proof

I know… two weeks in a row about movies. But I’m compelled to write this and represent the parents of teenagers across America. It concerns the imminent fallout from the movie Project X.

In a nutshell, here is the premise for Project X: Three teenage losers decide throw a party while their parents are away, in an attempt to achieve “cool” status and, of course, get laid. One of the losers advertises the party on the Internet, and hordes of people show up. Chaos, mayhem, debauchery and hedonism ensue. Somewhere along the way the house and the neighborhood is set on fire, dad’s BMW is driven into the pool, and the three main characters are punched in the nuts by a dwarf (the only part of the trailer I liked).

I only saw the trailer. I will not see the movie. I don’t need to. I read the reviews, and they all said the same thing in so many words: Terrible. Besides, I don’t want to get arrested for standing up in a fit of rage and throwing the small beverage I purchased for $7.50 at the screen.

Of course Project X got terrible reviews. Movie critics are adults. If teenagers were movie critics, they would say Project X is “…the most epic motion picture of all time.” That’s what my youngest son said, and he’s 20. But he’s almost 21, so his common sense muscle has developed enough for him to say, “high school kids who see that movie will want to have a party just like it.”

And that’s my point. You see… I know what teenage boys are like. We raised three. And yeah, I was a teenager once myself. In fact, I made my kids look like those Mormons riding bicycles. If YouTube and Facebook were around when I was a teenager, rest assured, I would be scratching these words on a cell wall in Lucasville.

But I’m not.

Today, I fight for YOU, parents of teenage boys, whose minds are filled with thoughts of sex, and beer, and loud music, and sex, and booze, and sex, and parties, and sex…

Wait, I gotta catch my breath.

… every waking moment of their lives!

Today, I am your champion.

Never Leave the House
Kids don’t want to have parties with you there. You’re old. It cramps their style. Sure, it’s boring, never leaving the confines of your humble abode, but it’s better than getting a call from the FAA while you’re on vacation because your kids got drunk and tried to shoot down a jetliner with a homemade bazooka made from beer kegs.

Pay Off the Neighbors
If you absolutely have to leave, pay your neighbors to stay at your house while you are gone. The best neighbors to thwart teenage parties are old, cranky and need lots of medication for gastrointestinal issues. They are always spying on you anyway, so bring them in your home so they can rummage through your stuff. That will give them more things to gossip about during their morning mall walks. And if you don’t have any old cranky, flatulent neighbors, maybe you can rent some for the weekend at the local nursing home. Just walk in, and follow your nose.

Buy Some Goats
Yes, buy goats… about ten of them. Goats are cute, especially when they are babies, but they grow into filthy, disgusting, foul smelling creatures that eat anything, and don’t care where they relieve themselves or procreate… kind of like teenagers. Kids don’t want to party with a bunch of goats. Your house will get smelly, and you will have to get used to the constant sound of BAAAH, but it’s better than coming home and finding your bass boat in your living room and a note from the U.S. Department of Energy that says, “We have your kids and their nuclear reactor in custody. Please call.”

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Does This Mattress Make Me Look Fat?

**4th-place winner in HumorPress.com's America's Funniest Humor (TM) Writing Contest**

You come home from a hard day’s work. You kick off your shoes, grab a cold one from the fridge and plop down in your recliner. You grab the remote, turn the TV to ESPN… and the inevitable happens. Your wife steps right in front of you, modeling some new article of clothing she bought on sale at some discount clothing store, where the only men who work there are in the back unloading semis full of discount clothing. And then she says…

“Does this make me look fat?”

Time starts to slow down. You can’t even hear Sports Center anymore because the blood rushing to your brain has drowned out all possible sound. You sit there, trying to remember what the beer tasted like, because you know that no matter what words come out of your mouth… you are going to die. And this will be your last beer.

You stand a better chance of survival in a gladiator arena.

In the flash of an instant, possible scenarios play out in your mind:

Me: “You look great. Now, can I finish watching the scores?”

Wife: “Great? You mean like… great big? Is that what you mean?”

Me: “No, no. I mean… you look wonderful. Can I just drink my beer and finish—“

Wife: “Wonder-full? Like full-figured? I’ll show you full! How about a face full of sutures?!”

It doesn’t matter how you play it out… it still ends the same:

Sincere me: “Honey, you look like a goddess! You’re a pure vision of love and beauty. Now, if it’s not too much trouble, can I please finish watching—“

Not fooled wife: “You’re being over dramatic again. You do that every time you don’t tell the truth. You think I look fat, don’t you? I’ll show you fat! How about a fat lip?!

I’m a lot older and a lot wiser now. Older means, my cat-like reflexes are not what they used to be. Wiser means, I try to take a step or two toward the door before I give her my answer.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, and no… my wife is not that bad. But I’ll be willing to wager, there is not a man on this planet with a wife or a girlfriend, who has not been in that situation.

Where am I going with all this? I’m going to a conversation I had with my vision of love and beauty, where the shoe was on the other foot:

Wife: “You need to flip the mattress.”

Me: “Huh? We just bought it. We can’t make any money on it now.”

Wife: “No. I mean turn it over.”

Me: “What for? It’s comfortable the way it is.”

Wife: “It has a divot on your side.”

Me: “A divot?”

Wife: “Actually, it’s more like a crevice, or a crater.”

Me: “What are you trying to say?”

Wife: “Nothing. The mattress needs flipped. That’s all.”

Me: “You’re saying I’m fat.”

Wife: “No. I’m not.”

Me: “You’re saying… my fat ass has put a crater in the mattress.”

Flustered wife: “No. I just—“

On a roll me: “You’re saying… I’m so fat, I make memory foam forget.”

Out of options wife: “UGGH!”

She stomps out of the room, and I stand… victorious, in the gladiator arena, raising my imaginary sword to the emperor as the throngs of spectators chant my name…

Ronicus Gluteus Maximus!

I go to the fridge, grab a cold one and make my way to the recliner. Half way through Sports Center, I realize that I’m going to need some help flipping that mattress. It’s a king size, and kind of heavy. Hey, where else would a fat-ass like me sleep?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Beware the Gang Text

Since my wife bought her new text-friendly cell phone, she has been the queen of text messaging. She's always texting with her friends about this or that (mostly about soap operas) and sending pictures back and fourth (mostly puppies and kittens, but I'm sure there is a beefcake in there somewhere).

She's also learned the fine art of sending out the same text message to multiple contacts in her phone, or as I like to call it... the "gang text." 

Yeah, I know. You all thought a "gang text" was something like, "Yo, dog! That drive-by made me LMFAO!" 

Not the case. 

Friends, I'm here to tell you that I fell victim to the "gang text" in the worst way possible. 

Valentine's Day morning, I awake to the friendly sound of my cell phone's text message tone (it's the theme to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly). Normally, I wait until about a half hour after I wake up before checking my phone because, these days, I just can't see that well in the mornings. I'm pretty much like a ground mole until I soak my head in a sink full of water and drink two, sometimes three cups of coffee. That's just one of the perks of getting older. 

But, not on this day, because I know that it has to be a text from my wife and I'm still trying to remember if I bought her anything for Valentine's Day (not only does age blur the vision, it fogs the mind as well). 

As I rub eye-boogers the size of golf balls from my eyelids, I can barely make out that the text is indeed from my loving wife. So, I type up a romantic Valentine's response, and hit "reply." Now, I won't disclose everything I said in my return text, but it did contain the words "velvet" and "marathon." Use your imagination. 

I put my phone back on the nightstand and start my morning ritual of coffee, coffee, and more coffee. A half hour later, as I make my way to the shower, I notice that my cell phone has almost vibrated off the nightstand.

Puzzled, and with a little better vision than a half hour earlier, I pick up my phone to find multiple text messages from numbers that I do not recognize, all asking things like, "Who is this?" "Who are you?" "What's your name?" 

Extremely puzzled, I check my text message log and discover that the message I replied to from my wife was part of a "gang text" that she sent out to 38 of her female friends and relatives, wishing them, along with me, a happy Valentine's Day. Boy, am I special. 

Now, I know most of her friends and almost all of her relatives, but they don't all know ME. By this time, the caffeine had kicked in from all the coffee I drank and I decided to have a little fun. I picked a "Who is this?" text at random... and texted away: 

That fun was short lived. 

By the way... please feel free to leave comments on any of my posts.


Monday, February 13, 2012

A Poem: My Valentine's Day Massacre

Question: What's Valentine’s Day without a special card, chocolates, beautiful flowers, or a romantic poem? 
Answer: Tuesday 
You would think that after more than 20 years of marriage, just being together, and not falling victim to the commercialism and capitalistic influences of “Big Candy” would be enough. 
In my case, I’m lucky to have a decent health insurance plan.  
Enjoy, and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

My Valentine’s Day Massacre

by Ron Clyburn

I bought my love a valentine
Down at the Dollar Store
A cardboard heart for ninety-nine cents
I couldn’t afford anything more

I could have bought her diamonds or pearls
I could have bought flowers or sweets
But hey, times are tough these days
It’s hard to make ends meets

I knew she would love her valentine
Our love isn’t measured in amounts
So what if it’s the size of a quarter
After all, it’s the thought that counts

When my love saw her valentine
The look that was on her face
Was like that of a screaming banshee
Who got sprayed with pepper mace

The doctor said I would walk again
The dentist can fix my smile
My coughing fits from smoke inhalation
Only hurt for a little while

So men, when you shop for a valentine
And you want to save your riches
Come visit me in the ICU
And help me count my stitches

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I Popped My Culture

I like to stay current with today’s popular culture. Clothes, music, hairstyles… I live to know about the latest craze. Why? So I can stay away from it. If everybody’s doing it, it must be bad for you.

I will make an exception for one popular activity I heard about recently. It’s the “Paddle” auction. Paddle auctions are popular with women who get together at predetermined meeting places and bid on things that women like to have, like cosmetics and other girly stuff. I believe that Mary Kay Cosmetics are the main items up for bid at the Paddle auctions. You know, it used to be that a pink Cadillac was all a Mary Kay sales rep needed. Then the pimps started driving them, and… well, pimpin’ ain’t easy.

I guess selling Mary Kay ain’t easy either… hence, the Paddle auction. But, why call it that? Why not just call it a “Make-up” auction, or an “I Want to be Pretty” auction? Or better yet, call it a “No Dudes Allowed” auction. I’ll tell you why… because Paddle auctions don’t involve cash.

A typical auction involves an auctioneer who stands up in front of a crowd spitting out syllables at 100 miles an hour, taking cash bids on different items from the people in the audience. If a person is lucky, they will get the top bid and the auctioneer’s lips won’t go numb before the next item goes up for sale.

Paddle auctions are different, in that… items are put up for bid, but instead of cash, the women declare how many whacks with a paddle they can stand in order to own that item.

“I can take that mascara for… two whacks.”

“I’ll take it for three!”

“Four whacks. I’ll take that mascara for four whacks!”

(The crowd gasps) “Take that mascara.”

Sounds like loads of fun. What I want to know is… how do I apply to be the auctioneer?

This takes me back to the days of corporal punishment when I was in junior high. Corporal punishment, or simply “whacks” as they were know to us heathens, forced me to don several pairs of underwear covered by two pairs of jeans every Friday, because that’s when they gave out whacks. You couldn’t look forward to the weekend without a reminder of how bad you were at school that week. 

At the end of the day on Fridays, I’d walk stiff-legged into the gymnasium (or as my fellow hooligans and I called it… the whack-a-torium) and wait in line to receive our due punishment, administered by the calloused and burly hands of our gym teacher. 

She was a hulk of a woman who had immigrated to this country from Norway. Gunda was once favored to win the women’s shot-put event in the 1968 Summer Olympics, but was disqualified for testing positive for Rhino spleen. Angry and bitter, (and more hair on her arms than Joe, the custodian) she wielded a wooden paddle like a mighty hammer of justice. A whack from Gunda was like a whack from Thor… the God of Thunder.

So, if you hear of any openings for “Paddle Auction Auctioneer,” send me a line. I need some payback.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dirty Words

Happy Groundhog Day!

When I decided to start a weekly blog, I announced it on a certain social media site (that’s worth about 5 billion dollars) and a friend of mine asked what the blog’s rating would be (as in “R” rating). Asking me about my blog’s rating is just like saying, “I’m not going to read your blog if it’s got dirty words in it.” I know she didn’t specifically say that, but I could feel it through my computer screen.

It reminded me of a time long ago when I invented my own dirty word that I could say in front of anybody and not get in trouble. I thought it up with a friend of mine that I used to work with. We shared a similar sense of humor, and he thought the idea was great. The word was “dingus.”

You could use dingus for anything:

“That guy’s a real dingus.”

 “Shut up, dingus!”

“Hey, look at my dingus.”

You get the idea. I don’t know why we liked it so much. Maybe because it started with the letter “D” or because it ended in “gus.” We used it all the time in front of other people we worked with, and they would just laugh and laugh. That confused us because… it was our inside joke.

It turned out there was a guy who worked at that same place (over 2,500 employees, three shifts spread across 20 buildings, chances were good you’re not going to meet everybody) whose last name was Dingus.

So much for our dirty little secret word. We decided to quit using it before the joke (and HR) was on us. I finally ran into the guy. He kind of looked like a dingus.

This brings me to a reality TV show that I know you’ve all watched: “Finding Bigfoot” on Animal Planet.

My opinion of reality TV shows is this: they are NOT REAL. They are all scripted one way or another. But not “Finding Bigfoot.” That show is real… because those stupid bastards are actually searching for Bigfoot.

Those brilliant Bigfoot hunters have invented a word they use quite liberally throughout the show. The word is “Squatch” (derived from Sasquatch… get it?). They use it as a noun, an adjective, an adverb, you name it.

“There’s a Squatch in these woods!”

“These woods are very squatchy.”

“He was walking squatchly.”

“I’ll be back, I gotta take a squatch.”

If there is a Bigfoot, or if there are many, many Bigfoots across the United States as they claim (would a herd of Bigfoots be called Bigfeet?) you would think they would be finding and stepping in big piles of squatch. But they don’t.

Last, but not least, I want to give a big shout out and a rousing “Hellfire!” to my buddy, Carl Bach, from New Lebanon, OH. He used to run the now defunct www.newlebanonohio.com back in the day when I was an anti-establishment hipster before it was hip. He made me infamous and gave me my start with a weekly humor column. Carl, this Bud’s for you!

Happy Groundhog Day!

When I decided to start a weekly blog, I announced…

Okay, lame “Groundhog Day” movie reference.