Category Archives: Humor

Literally, Christmas

federico-respini-314377-unsplash.jpg

 

“Surprise!” I shouted, taking the blindfold from my wife Dawn‘s eyes.

In front of us was a wide expanse of land, most of it marked by a series of red stakes driven into the ground in regular intervals. “For Sale” signs fronted the road. We were on the edge of Tontitown, near an expanse of evergreens and a county highway.

“What am I looking at?” my wife asked me with an odd look of consternation on her face.

“Land. I bought you a little piece of land for Christmas.” I smiled, demonstrating how proud I was of my surprise.

“What? Which part of it is mine?” she quizzed.

“That 15-feet wide parcel on the left is all yours.” I waved my arm.

“Why? What am I going to do with THAT?” Her voice rose an octave.

“Remember when I asked you what you wanted for Christmas a while back?”

She thought for a moment and said, “Yes, but I didn’t ask for land, much less such a small piece.”

“Aha! But you did. I asked you over and over what you might want for Christmas – and finally told me that you did not want a WHOLE lot for Christmas.”

Like Butter, Squirrel Edition

20181103_102653

As ordained in the rituals of life, I passed part of the early spring doing futile battle with the encroaching squirrels. Most of them trespass into this area and my yard without even obtaining tourist visas, as all the trees here are quite young. The bird feeders are stationed up front, where we can stare out the windows, amused by our offended cat firing himself at the glass like an artillery shell as he notes invaders there. I’m waiting to see what our cat Güino will do if and when he breaks through the glass and finds himself face to face with a tree rodent. My guess is that he’ll shriek and hurl himself back inside the safety of the house.

As the hummingbirds and wild birds diminished, I removed the feeders. Given the jungle-like state of the properties behind me, I can feed and enjoy the wild birds as they amass along the dense brush there. One day it occurred to me that I might tempt the squirrels on their own turf. I started by dumping cereal, popcorn, bread, and any other food item I thought the squirrels might enjoy.

When I bought this house, the builders foolishly tried to avoid clearing the trees along the property line. I insisted and they begrudgingly removed them, leaving one wide stump jutting from the fence line. That stump serves as an accessible table for the wildlife. The cardinals and finches sometimes swarm from the brush by the dozens. It always delights me. Instead of using a feeder, I sometimes scatter an entire bag of bird seed in the area.

In the 3 years, I’ve lived here, I’ve used the narrow sliver of the backyard by the fenceline to throw any food that could potentially be eaten. Whether for the birds, squirrels, or Sasquatch, the consumer wasn’t my concern. We have a couple of cats of undetermined ownership who visit us and say “Hello,” too.

One larger squirrel, one mistrustful of even his own bushy tail, began jumping down in huge leaps to observe me as I hurled food at the fence. I put out a mess of popcorn and an entire stick of butter as an offering of peace. After a few minutes, I peered through the slats in the kitchen door and noted that the reluctant squirrel had propped the entire stick of butter at an angle – and was busy chewing it with gusto. I could almost hear him smack his lips. The squirrel’s name is now Splat Albert due to the fact of his size and in the event of a fall, it’s going to be a quick demonstration in mass and gravity as he plummets to the ground. While I can’t testify that Splat Albert single-handedly consumed the entire stick of butter, I believe he did.

Over the next few weeks, I began to leave more sticks of butter, followed by entire jars of nuts. The place on the stump seemed to be our DMZ. I learned that Splat loves grapes, watermelon pieces, broccoli and a huge variety of other foods. I think I found an equal opportunity eater.

It seems that Splat Albert has forgotten our previous Feeder Wars. One possibility is that the butter has clogged his tiny arteries already. Another is that he is enjoying his adventure as he does the “Before vs. After” conversion in reverse; instead of becoming sleeker and healthy, he has surrendered himself to the diet I’ve prescribed. If he continues to eat entire jars of nuts and butter at this rate, I may need to climb up the tree and place him on the upper perches where his nest resides.

For now, Splat Albert is once again happy, as I poured another jar of nuts for him today, followed by a stick of butter. If I open the door, he’ll excitedly chirp at me to come no closer.

There are those who will say, “You can’t feed squirrels THAT!” To be clear, I’m not feeding them anything, nor setting the table for them as they choose their own menu. I’ll admit I’ve had many laughs, watching the squirrels (and Splat in particular) slowly grow in girth. I’ve put away my pink Daisy BB gun, the one previously used to frighten the squirrels as they slithered up and down my bird feeders. Splat fails to see the butter as a weapon. Perhaps he knows that a domestic food supply and absence of a road will lengthen his lifespan considerably, even if he becomes too fat to enjoy it. Regardless, I’m letting Splat choose his own diet, one free of BBs.

The picture is of one of Splat’s neighborhood encroachers, a squirrel which squeals in terror if Splat jumps from the trees above. It’s a “Before” picture.

20181103_113624.jpg

This is one of our feline visitors. You’ll note that Splat made a hasty exit from the stump. He’s hiding in the top of the bush, although it’s impossible to see him perched there, watching the cat.

Go Ahead And Roll Your Eyes Now

mikael-cho-344275-unsplash

My friend Jake moved to a new apartment. As part of his move, some of his friends bought him some kitchen pans and gadgets. I went over to visit him last week and we chose to make taco chili soup.

As I sorted the cans to open, I asked Jake where he put his can opener.

“Hey, it’s still in the unopened box by the kitchen window,” he shouted from the living room.

I immediately found the new box among the other kitchen utensils and opened it, removing a new electric opener box.

I put the first can of black beans under the spinner and pressed the activator to start it. The can turned but the machine didn’t cut into the metal rim at all. I pulled it out and tried again. Nothing. I picked up the can of corn and tried in vain to open it.

As Jake came around the pantry door into the kitchen, I told him, “Your can opener doesn’t work!”

Jake looked at me, then at the opened box from which the can opener had emerged and laughed.

“Duh. You mistakenly opened the box containing the can’t opener.”

.

.

.

 

20181128_152309.jpg

.

.

“I learned to drive in the snow by eating donuts in the parking lot” is an accurate description of how I do things.

.

.

Being in a hospital during the frigid weather evokes memories of my favorite musical: “The Sound of Mucus.”

.

.

As I exited the parking lot I accidentally stepped on a miniature Snickers bar. I got a small laugh out of it.

.

.

Christmas gift idea for the math nerd who has it all: a paint-by-the-irrational-numbers paint set.

.

.

IMG_1573

I owe a social media favor to someone. This is my boss. It’s not photoshopped, which is both the weird and true part of the story. Just looking at this picture evokes an immediate urge to contact the FBI.

.

.

My new indoor deer hunting range is off to an explosive start.

.

.

Due to the blustery wind, I opted to walk on the treadmill earlier this morning. Not wishing to sacrifice the scenic advantages of being outside, I micro-dosed with LSD. An hour later – and I can’t get the skis out of the bathtub.

.

.

draft6

Sepia memories…

.

.

dawn darla santa redone

Christmas, 1970, 48 years ago. my wife and her sister lying to Santa about how good they’d been throughout the year.

.

.

46521386_10157906119539115_4186929708656492544_o

.

.

 

 

Crazy But Untrue

 

alex-iby-455484-unsplash

 

*This story is literally true. I’m not exactly proud of it, but as the cliché goes, you had to be there.

Today, a woman unexpectedly lashed out at me. “Are you stupid? Can’t you read?” She half-shouted at me. She pointed at a sign written in a font so small that only Donald Trump’s hands could have scribbled it. For a second, I thought she might actually strike me – or worse, hand me some MLM brochures.

Instead of engaging, I pointed at my ear and made a signal that I couldn’t hear her and then faked a couple of words using sign language.

“Oh!” she said. Her face reddened.

“Sorry that you thought I was deaf? But not that you completely lost your temper over something inconsequential? Up the dosage, ma’am.” And I smiled, showing her my teeth.

It rained f-bombs, despite the forecast indicating it would be dry today.

“I can’t hear you, ma’am.”
.

.

 

 

20181109_062841

.

.

 

ali-yahya-636068-unsplash.jpg

It was a proud moment for me, and a painful one for Justin’s shoes, given how he stomped off in disgusted anger.

“Not everyone should have a gun,” Justin said. “Some people can’t be trusted.”

“Hey Justin, didn’t you get a DWI a couple of years ago?” I replied. “Should you own a car?”
.

.

In July, I attended a Native American festival.

As I watched a group of celebrants practice the dying art of smoke signals, I couldn’t help but wonder how they might make a semicolon.

.

.

Due to the blustery wind, I opted to walk on the treadmill earlier this morning. Not wishing to sacrifice the scenic advantages of being outside, I micro-dosed with LSD. An hour later – and I can’t get the skis out of the bathtub.

.

.

“I don’t think the waiter likes me,” I told my wife as ate our meal.

“Why do you say that?” she asked me, turning to look toward me.

“The fact that he used my head to open the bottle of wine was the first clue,” I replied.
.

.

20181121_084914

I’m not sure that the Purchasing Supervisor appreciated that I bought the new Amazon book, “Yes Or No Guide: For Those Instances In Which You Ask Leigh Davis For A Simple Answer.” 80 pages long. She needs a burn cream now, I think.

.

.

 

 

Cleanliness Is Next To What?

gratisography-297H.jpg

 

It’s never a great idea to make a grown man cry.

I called a mobile car detail service. The young gentleman exited his van and shook my hand. I pointed to my allegedly white Ford Focus in the driveway. The man’s face immediately wrinkled as he inspected the outside. (The DMV added ‘allegedly white’ to its list of approved colors last year, thanks to me.)

“We do all variety of vehicles,” he told me proudly. “We’ve seen everything, X!”

He opened the driver’s door and leaned inside. He immediately stepped back out, his face suddenly blanched and tight.

After he returned from running down the block and realizing he needed his van to get out of my neighborhood, I handed him a kleenex. He dutifully wiped away the tears and just shook his head.

“Sorry, X. Apparently, we haven’t seen EVERYTHING.”

Pitchforkkreeper Lives On: A Note of Thanks

20181118_083849

 

Since my friend Casey surprised me with a pitchforkkreeper-themed pair of socks, this will inevitably require me to wear shoes with greater frequency. She signed the attached note: “Merry Thanksgiving Christmas etc etc etc Love Casey.” I now have proof that not only does she know me, but that she shares a deep affection for me. Much like our ancestor’s decision to create credit cards, this might ultimately become one of the great missteps in her life.

Additionally, she used one of the tricks from my repertoire: she adorned the packing envelope with lovely pictures of me, ones which reflect the solemnity with which I live my life. I’m certain that the mail carrier enjoyed the spectacle of someone so handsome being ridiculed via the postal system. The picture on the front is noted as “Drunken Hula Dancer,” while the one on the obverse side endearingly indicates “The Pink Dreamer.” The former picture was taken after Tracy, Casey, and Dawn attempted to out-drink me at the Hot Springs Invitational Prune Juice Festival in 2014, while the latter was snapped by a photographer as I sat opposite of Casey at Karaoke night, enamored by her choice of hairstyles. (For those of you wondering, my wife didn’t get jealous.) Note: once you start putting people’s pictures on stamps or the mail, it becomes a frivolous and fun addiction.

As for the Pitchforkkreeper picture, if you’re unfamiliar with the lore and mythology of this picture, suffice it to say it is one which has forged a deep and unsettling bond for many of us. The original picture is one taken by someone’s trail camera in the middle of nowhere – and the person was never identified. Pitchforkkreeper abides in us, always, a symbol and beacon of untethered hilarity. I have a 16 X 20 plaque of him in my living room (which is true) to remind me that it’s more important to be weird than to be understood.

 

20181118_090609

Casey, thanks for much for the socks. I would have never guessed. (I’m surprised your husband permitted you to buy socks for another man. Socks are ‘the lingerie for middle-aged men.’)

May Pitchforkkreeper keep your Christmas safe and filled with laughter; the kind associated with shared times, not the kind you usually share with me when you note my fashion choices.

P.S. I included a picture of my cat Güino, in honor of Casey’s unfathomable love for all things feline. If you’re a friend of Casey’s, it’s important that you make an effort to adorn her life and house with as many feline knick-knacks as humanly possible. She’ll thank you, just as I thank her. The gift took some thought and effort.

 

20181116_075952.jpg

Our Elf On The Shelf Is a Dexter Fan

mistertoe11202018.jpg

Our Elf on the Shelf wants to be just like us. Knowing how much we have enjoyed watching “Dexter” again (America’s favorite fictional serial killer), Mistertoe created a crime scene tableau for us last night. (He’s learned the police lingo too, it seems.)

Weirdly enough, we don’t own a Barbie doll, so I’m not sure how he got to the store to procure one.

I hope my wife doesn’t have a stroke when she discovers the mischief Mistertoe got into last night!

A Christmas Parable

erin-walker-462490-unsplash.jpg

 

“Your cheese done slid off your cracker, hasn’t it?” The recruiter stared across the table at me with a mix of contempt and bewilderment. “Say that again,” he yelled at me, his fists clenched.

“I was just wanting to know where I could enlist in the War On Christmas. I love elves and ornaments, not to mention Santa. And it’s only a day long, so that’s good.” I smiled, adjusting the new winter coat I had recently purchased in case I was drafted for the upcoming winter war, the one I’d heard so much about.

“First, we don’t fight it just on Christmas Day. It’s fought against Christmas, for a couple of months per year.” The recruiter seemed as if that explained everything.

“So, YOU are fighting Christmas, or someone else is? I’m not getting it.”

“No, we are NOT fighting Christmas. THEY are. Are you stupid?”

“Yes, I’m beginning to suspect that I am,” I said. “But what are they fighting against, exactly? Do they hate trees? Elves? Presents? Jesus?”

“They want to stop us from celebrating Christmas,” he added.

“So why do you call it a ‘War on Christmas’ then? Shouldn’t you call it a ‘War Against Christmas?'” I think I perfectly explained it. “I expected a one-day war, judging by the name of it.”

“No, they want to take away Christmas!” He was shouting again.

“I don’t think that’s what is going on here, sir, but I guess I’ll take your word for it. So, where do I enlist, for either side?” I was ready to strike a blow for yuletide merrymaking.

“You don’t enlist. You either celebrate or you don’t,” the recruiter sneered at me.

“So, we all just do our own thing? Isn’t that what we are doing already?”

I had never been thrown through a window before. Luckily, the snow was deep on that side of the building – and the window was only on the second floor. While I lay on the ground, I made a snow angel, because each of us is supposed to always find a way to relish all our moments, even the ones following being thrown from a high window.

I guess I was already fighting FOR Christmas, in whatever manner I wanted to celebrate it. It turns out the war was entirely imaginary and that each of us, in our own way, gets to celebrate, or not, exactly as we choose. Good people don’t tell other people how to express their joy and happiness, no matter how it is motivated.

If Christmas is indeed a celebration of spirit, then each of us should be open and free, with love in our hearts and a soft tongue for those who don’t agree with however we express our holiday.

Wherever you are, make a snow angel with me. Whatever we call it, it lies within each of us.
.

The Opposite of L’esprit de l’escalier

alex-iby-455484-unsplash

*This story is literally true. I’m not exactly proud of it, but as the cliché goes, you had to be there.

Today, a woman unexpectedly lashed out at me. “Are you stupid? Can’t you read?” She half-shouted at me. She pointed at a sign written in a font so small that only Donald Trump’s hands could have scribbled it. For a second, I thought she might actually strike me – or worse, hand me some MLM brochures.

Instead of engaging, I pointed at my ear and made a signal that I couldn’t hear her and then faked a couple of words using sign language.

“Oh!” she said. Her face reddened.

“Sorry that you thought I was deaf? But not that you completely lost your temper over something inconsequential? Up the dosage, ma’am.” And I smiled, showing her my teeth.

It rained f-bombs, despite the forecast indicating it would be dry today.

“I can’t hear you, ma’am.”