Category Archives: Humor

A Little Humor

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I was in an unfamiliar office building near Pinnacle in Rogers. One thing about Pinnacle is that it caters to almost every taste and whim, given the amount of money concentrated around its epicenter. It has a reputation for being a great place to shop, eat, and work.

Since I had deviated from my normal early-morning ritual, the scent of fresh coffee from somewhere within the structure sent me on a quest to find the coffee shop or kiosk selling it.

I went down to level one and across the connecting bridge inside. About ten feet away, I noticed a row of coffee bean containers inverted across a horizontal bar. The smell of java was incredibly strong. As I neared it, I thought I heard a small shout but couldn’t discern its origin. I stepped across a stainless steel strip across the floor and almost immediately a woman wearing a leather vest walked up and slapped me across the face. As I recoiled, I heard a snap and then a sharp pain traveled across my rear. I turned to see a riding crop being drawn back for another strike across my backside.

“Hey!” I shouted. “What the hell do you guys think you’re doing?”

Almost immediately, I felt another sharp pain across my rear. “Ouch!”

I ran backward, nearly tripping across the row of modern chairs aligned across the wall. Weirdly enough, each chair seat was adorned with multiple studs on top.

As I did, I noticed the sign across the top of the entrance of the coffee shop:
S C A R B U C K S Coffee and S&M Shop: We’ll Definitely Wake You Up!

This niche marketing is definitely getting out of hand.

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A Funny Burial Anecdote

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This is a truish story and names have been changed to confuse the guilty.

A famous writer, an author of at least 20 books, died in Springdale a few days ago. He was well-known for his sense of humor and dry wit. At my recommendation, his family went to a funeral home of which I speak highly. Although he usually doesn’t do so, the funeral director Scott offered to view potential cemetery plots with the family, even though he hadn’t yet met them and didn’t know the recently deceased. His dedication to customer service is quite legendary. I doubt he would have helped me had he not owed me a huge favor – but that’s a story for another day.

The family chose to visit Bluff Cemetery in Springdale. The place is known for its beauty and proximity to the creek running through downtown. Scott pulled in behind the new Cadillac the family of the deceased arrived in. The Springdale Parks worker had already arrived in a white pickup, his camera and clipboard in hand.

After the family exited the car and straightened their respective ties and dresses, Scott accompanied them to the periphery of the cemetery, situated below the overhanging trees. It was certainly a beautiful spot.

To make small talk, Scott nervously asked the family about the deceased. “What did your loved one do for a living?” he asked.

The youngest son answered, “Our dad was a famous writer. You’ve never heard of him?” He seemed surprised. “In fact, all of us are writers.”

“No, I’m so sorry, I didn’t know him or know of him. I read a lot, though.” Scott wasn’t sure what else to say.

The parks employee pointed out the available spots and mentioned that the price was adjusted, based on the reduced size of the plots. “We can dig with much more accuracy than we once could,” he added.

After a moment of silence, the youngest daughter looked along the edge of the cemetery where there were remaining spots available, seemingly measuring their size by her careful steps. She immediately started shaking her head.

“This simply won’t do. Not at all. Dad was too important of a writer to tolerate this kind of mistake.” She seemed agitated.

“How so?” Scott immediately asked.

“The plot’s too thin!” The daughter said, and then laughed loudly.

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PS Writers always get the last laugh.

Adventure In Marketing

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Adventure In Marketing

As many of you know, I often do work for other websites, usually satirical, and often hare-brained. Most of it I do without credit, which works out favorably for all concerned.

Recently, I had the chance to apply for an unpaid ‘think tank’ for an unnamed major U.S. pizza chain. When I first interviewed, I was certain I wouldn’t be chosen – as one of the hurdles was an IQ test. Since anyone who knows me knows that I find these things to be ridiculous and without merit, I finished mine in less than 4 minutes, using a system I call ‘random.’

When I slid it back across the oak table to the person conducting the IQ tests, she said, “Sir, you have 25 minutes to complete it all.” Without missing a beat, I replied that I already knew my IQ score.

“Really? What’s your score?” she sneered.

“Low oxygen level,” I replied, without daring to crack a smile.

I went home and almost forgot about the application process. Three weeks later, a welcome packet arrived in the mail, along with a website login and a credentialing packet. I had been accepted despite my interview antics.

By sheer coincidence, I had recently tried to treat myself by ordering home delivery pizza. I had eaten healthy for a week and thought that a celebration was needed to keep my motivation.

It was a disaster. The cardboard box tasted better than the pizza. I was hoping to throw up, just to get the taste of that pizza out of my mouth.

The next day, I logged in to the marketing website to start an assignment. Lo and behold, the subject was the very same company which had reminded me how low the bar could be set for edibles.

I weighed the pros and cons of each option: submit great work and possibly be rewarded OR write the best food review possible.

This is the result: the new logo and motto for Pizza Hurt. Look for it at a location hopefully very far from where you are.

Drive-By Day

 

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Caution: although humorous, this story isn’t for those of weak stomach…

Dawn and I ate a majestic meal at Jason’s Deli. When we went inside, I almost suffered a technology stroke because of the complexity of the self-serve kiosk. It’s my new favorite thing now, of course. I had a bowl of tomato basil soup which made my mouth sing the national anthem of Yugoslavia, followed by an eclectic selection of culinary oddness. There was a salad involved, but only in the vaguest sense. The cucumber dill dressing was so delicious that I found myself down on one knee proposing matrimony with the salad bar. I couldn’t find a straw; otherwise, I had intended to plunge one deep within the bin of cucumber dill dressing and drain it like a starved vampire might.

We went to Shoe Carnival. It’s a carnival, I’ll agree. The sales associates all graduated from the “Who, me? School of Helpfulness,” most of them with honors. Dawn found the perfect pair of shoes by accident. I kept myself busy by reorganizing the shoes under a system invented by a drunken Klingon.

We followed up the quest for the perfect shoe by going to Lowes, where ideas of home improvement slowly strangle themselves amidst the melee of price versus ability. What started as a simple desire to buy a projection display devolved into a debacle involving QR codes, Venn diagrams of overlapping lights, and 5 quarts of outright guesswork. By coincidence, we decided which display to purchase at the exact moment I said the magic words “I’m done,” as a wave of consumer apathy overload hit me in the head.

We finished our trifecta of activities by going to the grocery store, after a lengthy negotiation of back-and-forth ‘what-are-we-going-to-buy’ between us, some of it so detailed that we almost had to call a UN secretary in to take notes and mediate the discussion. All married people tasked with joint grocery expedition duties will understand the implications of this statement.

As we walked toward the front of the store, Dawn said, “Look at that girl throwing up!” It confused me because Dawn used her higher voice of wonder and amazement to tell me this. I was expecting to see a woman dressed as a Disney princess standing atop a glittering mechanical carousel, puking her guts out. Instead, just as I looked to my left, a blond-haired younger woman ejected her head out of the rear passenger window of an older green vehicle. Her shoulders exited the window and as she crossed the threshold, a stream of vomit cascaded from her mouth. It was so startling that time slowed to a crawl and the fountain of half-digested food seemed to arc upward like the highlighted basketball of the final shot of a championship game. (I’m pretty sure that if we were to watch it again on the parking lot security camera that even the footage would replay in slow motion.)

The vehicle she was in didn’t slow down as it turned, causing the arc of faux oatmeal and detritus to bend as it traveled. As distasteful as the image was, I couldn’t look away. I’ve not seen action that graceful since my early years watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. There were now two small creeks of vomit on the parking lot. If I failed to mention it, this happened within a few feet of where we were standing.

While we felt bad for the woman, Dawn looked at me, and we laughed, in part due to the absurdity of what happened. There was no way to help the woman as she sped away. It seemed ridiculous that whoever was driving took off after the first round of sickness, much less as the poor girl continued to be sick. The entire moment caught us off guard and the dissonance of how quickly it happened caused Dawn to lose her usual sense of decorum and good taste. We were still laughing as we made our way through produce and the dairy aisle. It’s difficult to explain the hilarity of the moment, except to compare it t to the unnatural urge to laugh like a fool at funerals, or the inability to control a snicker when confronted with someone angrily telling you to “be serious.” Dawn usually can’t even stand the image of anyone throwing up, even on television. This woman had just provided an anatomical demonstration in 3-D, within a few feet of us, sound and visual on full display.

Surprisingly, my appetite for an entire bin of cucumber dill dressing has vanished.

Roll Out the Carpet!

A couple of afternoons ago I realized I had taken a serpentine detour just to follow a white van in front of me. Whatever instinct controls my brain caused me to reach up and turn off the radio, too, as if my interest would be dissipated by music. In fascination, I observed the van precariously careening around corners, the driver undoubtedly unaware how precipitously close he was to losing most of his cargo. The van was well-used; even the logo of its previous owner was barely perceptible along its flanks.

In the rear of the van were several huge rolls of carpet and padding. One solitary and tired bungee cord stretched across the rusty hinges about halfway up the doors. As the weight inside shifted, the carpet would push against the doors, each one slightly bulging outward, almost palpitating. I’m not sure whether the driver slept at a Holiday Inn Express the night before or not, but how anyone could believe that a single bungee cord would be a safe method to secure all the carpet behind it was a question for the ages. (Picture your Uncle after Thanksgiving dinner, belly stretched across the rim of his pants, an explosion just waiting for one button to yield and explode loose.)

I tend to take strange paths both to and from work, most of the time without any observable motive. If the CIA or FBI is surveilling me, I’m sure that several meetings have contained the words, “What in the devil is he DOING? Does he know he’s being followed?” If such is the case, I hope there’s also an angry bald man, smoking and shouting, ignoring the “No Smoking” signs literally above his head, demanding that his minions do a better job at guessing what craziness I might try next on the roadways.

If you’ve ever gotten angry at a driver in front of you for failing to signal, it’s probably me. Using the blinker only gives the person behind you a clear sign of what you’re doing. If you’re being followed, this is the sort of normal behavior that will only lead to further trouble. Likewise, acquired paranoia demands that all drivers are considered to be members of the alphabet agencies and that they are watching you specifically. It’s my duty at times to pretend I’m fleeing from some unseen force. (Other than those guys handing out pamphlets at the airport, I mean.)

I had turned off Zion Road without realizing it, just to stay close to the van. Across from the Botanical Gardens, the carpet rolls had protruded so far from the rear of the van that I laughed when the driver accelerated and the rolls miraculously avoided spilling out. Had they fallen, Crossover Road would have been carpeted for a brief moment in history.

As I followed, I realized that perhaps my sense of adventure was getting the better of me. I’m not sure how quickly my reaction time would have jumped up to meet the challenge had the carpet been flung out the back of the van and directly in front of me as I watched. It seemed to be a risk I was willing to accept because the image of me running over the carpet and careening into the edge of the urban wilderness at the edge of the road made me laugh. My wife will tell you that when I’m driving by myself I tend to be much less likely use the thing that allegedly slows my vehicle if a surprise befalls me. I’ve caused more than a few people to suddenly turn white-headed or to crack their knuckles in abject terror as they gripped the steering wheel too tightly. To all those people: You’re welcome.

The van finally turned off without spilling the rolls of carpet. I could feel the disappointment wash over me. It felt like I had been robbed of some essential experience. For a brief moment, I thought about tailing the driver and to wait for him outside the convenience store. There’s no way he made it to wherever he was going without losing his cargo. He, too, undoubtedly has an angry, smoking, bald man to berate him in case of an accident.

I had even envisioned what I would tell the reporting officer, as he pulled on his 80s-style mustache, surveying the hundreds of square feet of carpet flung all over the roadway: “It was a carpet bombing!”

A Higher Dosage of Nothing

 

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Announcement: I am accepting appointments for my new R&B / Urban door singing service, just in time for the yuletide festivities. It’s called GIFT RAP.

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Time-saving tip #24: If you are sufficiently lazy, anywhere in the house can technically become a fireplace pretty quickly.

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Now that my mother-in-law Julia’s 82nd birthday has passed, she’s decided to have her eye surgery. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that we switched one of her 2 “cats” with a raccoon last year.

We’ve decided to wait until after the surgery to tell her unless she figures it out sooner. We assume she will announce the discovery with a high, piercing scream, similar to the one which woke Darla from her 22-hour nap on Nov. 8th last year.

Once her eyesight improves following her surgery, she’s going to be surprised by a few other things, too. Those surprises though I will leave for another day.

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My mother-in-law’s cataract doctor, Dr. Marty Feldman, gives each patient of his a personal guarantee that their eyes will not only have improved vision but will also look as good as his once the procedure is completed.

Don’t be nervous, Julia!

We are all behind you. Hiding, but still – we’re behind you.

PS: How much do you know about raccoons?
Love, X

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I’m starting a hybrid fast-food place: Taco Bill. It fuses bbq and tex-mex, and the fabulous punchline I wrote for the end of this joke is unbearably insensitive.

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I too worked as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher for the City of Springdale.

…at least until some guy identifying himself as “The Captain” ran in and yanked my headset off my and reminded me that I didn’t work there.

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Life can be such a startling slap in the face.

As I walked around a building this morning, I heard screaming. I ran through the dark to find a woman being thrown out of a vehicle. As she vainly tried to extricate a bag from the back the car tore away. The woman sobbed. It was a heart-wrenching sound.

It was one I heard too often in my youth.

I calmed her down and listened to her. Another person walked by and I told her it was okay and motioned for her to get help while I listened. After a couple of minutes someone did come out and I wished the sobbing woman well.

But the sound of her scream will linger in my day. I’m sure of it.

Her life will need a lot of supoort in the coming months.

That man, whoever he was, he might not realize how closely he came to feeling the wrath bubbling from my youth.

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My colleague Jake Elliot just finished the course requirements for his Early Soviet Economics degree. He’s finally a Lenin-grad.

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I heard that the new guy James Covert was starting work today. But I can’t find him anywhere.

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I invented a new hybrid breakfast decongestant cereal: Halls and Oats.

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I walked a mile in his shoes because the parable instructed me to do so.

He had a lot of questions, such as “How did you get in my house?” and “Why do your feet smell like rotten avocados?”

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At work today, I pondered the Kennedy assassination – but only because my supervisor made me feel like I was with him on the gassy knoll.

(This joke won’t work if you misread it….)

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As you may have heard my good friend Chip Mhoon was in a collision on N. College.

He was exiting Whole Foods and hit an accountant head-on.

He is okay but his car was sub-totalled.

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Time-saving tip #24: If you are sufficiently lazy, anywhere in the house can technically become a fireplace pretty quickly.

Don’t Take Notes! A Cautionary Tale

When I attended the University of Toledo I took 4 semesters of music theory. It’s a world-renowned musical arts university, eclipsing even that of the famed Cincinnati Arts College. As part of the curriculum, I was required to attend several lectures by prominent composers and music composition experts. I considered opting out for religious reasons, as the university adopted a policy that stipulated that music theory was just a theory, like evolution, and if you wanted to pretend it wasn’t a real thing, no one would stop you. Even percussionists were allowed to invoke the rule but due to their chronic lateness, we couldn’t be sure they ever heard about the exemption.

Before each outing, the professor would always look at the students sitting in front of him and insist that we take notes. It was a refrain we heard as often as “good morning.” I knew he was going to be a pain in the ass the first time I heard him speak, right after he told us that he started learning music on the clarinet. Reed instruments are the byproduct of devilish design – a fact well-known in music circles but seldom expressed so as to not harm the delicate feelings of those unlucky enough to have been cursed with reed instrument afflictions.

In my last semester of music theory, I was lucky enough to get an invitation to Fred Winnebago’s solo performance at the Nancy Drew Arts Project. Fred had just had his 6th major symphony recorded and was doing musical presentations around the country. Interestingly, his prosthetic leg didn’t slow him down very much.

Before the performance, Fred Winnebago took 30 minutes to lecture the audience about his musical methods. My professor had already done the introduction and once again reminded us to “Take notes!”

As the curtain opened, Fred sat at an ornate piano. The lights dimmed. As Fred’s fingers began to press the ivories, no sound emerged. Fred seemed confused and removed his hands from the keyboard. After a moment, he once again dropped his fingers lightly to the keys and began to move his fingertips over them. No sound whatsoever.

The professor stepped out from backstage, tentatively, holding a microphone up so that he could speak.

“It seems as if we are having technical difficulties,” the music professor began.

“Yes, you shouldn’t have told us to take notes – now there aren’t any left to play,” someone shouted from the back.

After a long, loud collective groan of mock disgust from the audience, we broke out in applause.

Even the professor, who now seemed uninterested in anyone taking more notes.

 

A Humorous Anecdote

My cousin Linda went to college for two years and then dropped out when she had her child. Years later, she went to Cosmetology School and acquired her license to practice. A few months after she started doing hair, another family member died, leaving Linda with more than enough money to open her own shop.

After renovating the storefront for her new hair salon, Linda had several of us over to finish moving a few things and to have an impromptu celebration lunch there.

As we were standing around chatting, Linda approached me and asked if she could pick my brain.

“X, you love this sort of thing. Given the type of person who will visit my shop, I need some ideas to name it.” She asked me to go outside on the street-side and pointed up to the mostly white sign.

On it were the words B E A U T Y S H O P in evenly-spaced black letters.

I went around back and retrieved a 6′ ladder. I climbed up to reach the sign and made my changes to her current sign.

It now read “B E A U T Y” S H O P

The black eye will heal sometime in the next few days.