Saturday, June 20, 2009

The one that got away

Comedy is, as Steve Martin observes, not pretty. An internal filter, while it may be an excellent social survival mechanism, is often death to perfectly good humor.

There is one straight line that I have always regretted passing up, a regret so deep that it has been slightly life altering.

Back several years ago, a friend typed a post on a discussion group, a post she called "A Purple Brassiere":

All my life, I have worn white, and beige, with the occasional black
for evening. Last shopping trip, I decided to chuck it all and go
PURPLE. It's bright, easter-egg purple. And I bought bright baby
blue just for fun too, but that doesn't have quite the same effect.

Ladies, let me tell you, it is amazing. No one can see it, of
course, with the type of stuff I wear (being 40 and saggy and all)
but I KNOW IT'S THERE. It has put a swagger in my step and a bounce
in my stride. I highly recommend it. I had me a red one once, but
it just made me feel slutty (not always a bad thing), but this
purple makes me feel marvelously . . . something. Can't find a
precise word. It's wonderful.

My immediate impulse was to write:

"Now you know what it's like to have a dick."

But of course I restrained myself. And I have regretted it often, 'cause that is some premium comedy right there. From that moment, I resolved to say whatever the hell that comes to my mind, consequences be damned. Sometimes I have regretted that too. And sometimes I cannot live up to such a high standard. But it is a noble aspiration.

Friday, June 12, 2009

On Having Children, Pt. 2

My older son today got an award on the last day of school - everyone in the whole school gets something, so some of the categories are distinctly weird.

But our credulity was strained to the limit when he reported the pin he received was for "Best Aggression." Not only would this be wildly out of character for my son, it seems like an utterly bizarre thing to reward outside the context of, say, football camp or the Marine Corps.

But then we figured out it was "best progression," based on his amazing progress in Math this year.

It makes a lot more sense, but I am strangely disappointed. "Best Aggression" is actually kind of a cool category, now that I think about it.

How cool would this be?

Usually, I am not fond of being injured, but I must say I am madly jealous of this little kid. How come I couldn't get hit by a space rock?

A 14-year old German boy was hit in the hand by a pea-sized meteorite that scared the bejeezus out of him and left a scar.

"When it hit me it knocked me flying and then was still going fast enough to bury itself into the road," Gerrit Blank said in a newspaper account. Astronomers have analyzed the object and conclude it was indeed a natural object from space, The Telegraph reports.


There are a handful of reports of homes and cars being struck by meteorites, and many cases of space rocks streaking to the surface and being found later.

But human strikes are rare. There are no known instances of humans being killed by space rocks.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Maybe I have changed my mind

I normally don't like practical jokes. In part this because I am susceptible to them - for a professional cynic, I am a surprisingly trusting guy. And also I seem to have an extra empathy gene - even when the joke is not on me, I simply cannot stand to see other people embarrassed. I begin to squirm at the mere idea that someone is embarrassed. This is why I have a hard time watching prank shows or game shows that involve public humiliation. I feel their distress just as keenly as if it were happening to me.

Except that I really must admit that this is the best prank of all time and I laughed until it hurt. To quote from The Smoking Gun:

A telephone prankster posing as a sprinkler company employee caused havoc Saturday morning at an Arkansas Holiday Inn when he convinced an employee to set off the hotel's fire alarm, smash windows, shut down electricity, and break a sprinkler head that flooded the building lobby. The bizarre incident is detailed in a report prepared by the Conway Police Department, which, as seen below, photographed the aftermath of the June 6 incident. According to police, Holiday Inn employee Christina Bergmann was at the front desk early Saturday when a male caller "identified himself as an employee of Grennel Fire Sprinkler service." The man told Bergmann that there was a problem with the hotel's fire sprinklers and that she "needed to pull the fire alarm to reset them," cops reported. "Bergmann proceeded to pull the fire alarm at this point, causing the audible alarm." Bergmann, aided by a hotel guest, would subsequently follow a series of directions from the caller that would result in about $50,000 in damages to the hotel's windows, carpets and electrical system.

That is what humor is all about. Inspired.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Wow, my control panel tells me I have 200 POSTS on my blog!

Do I, like, get an award or a pizza party or something?



Saturday, June 06, 2009

On Having Children

Having kids means hearing strings of words that do not normally go together in regular conversation.

This evening, after depositing the children in bed later than I had intended, I heard a mighty cry from the bedroom. I stormed in, with my best Scary Dad stomp, to see what was up, and my youngest cried out "Evan was licking my pillow."

What in the Hell am I supposed to say to that?

The Jolly Jeep of Doom

Small things make me happy - a good beer, a beautiful sunset, a perfectly cooked meal, comfy shoes. You get the idea.

But sometimes really big things make me happy, like a gigantic green four door Jeep Wrangler.

So when it became clear that my 2000 BMW was becoming prohibitively expensive to keep running (Like $11,000 in maintenance in four years), I knew we had to act.

Behold the Jolly Jeep of Doom:

Now all I want to do all day is go drive around in my Jeep. Even grocery shopping is more fun in a Jeep.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Things I had forgotten about until today

Saw this posted on a local website I like and I was briefly transported back. Did we all ever look this young?

Things I did not know until today

There is a town in Kentucky called "Sugartit."