Category Archives: Humor

A Note About a Good Burn

Due to the political nonsense from Trump of late, an evangelical commented that no one could say what really happened behind closed doors and that if we were discussing it, we were bearing false witness, because only eyewitnesses can talk.

Someone replied, “Well, that eliminates literally all of the Gospels, then, doesn’t it, duh?”

And I felt like no truer truth that burns had ever been written.
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P.S. This isn’t an anti-religion post. It’s an anti-stupidity post. As an expert on stupidity in the first-person, I’m allowed to discuss these things.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger

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Apparently, many Facebook users are unaware that they can easily block messages from a person WITHOUT also blocking them on Facebook.

Think of it as being able to go out and meet a friend without worrying about them calling you at midnight – or when their cat needs a taxi. Because they can’t. That’s how blocking on Messenger works. You choose. You don’t have to rip your phone out of the wall if you’re not giving people your phone number to call you.

Let’s face it, we all have a few friends who can’t resist sending the modern equivalent of chain emails via Messenger. They probably need to read the directions for a box of toothpicks. They just can’t help it. You can’t change them. Others, for whatever reason, seem to be prone to sending viruses to us, or getting hacked/cloned and sending malicious links with titles such as “Video Of You I Found!” or something politically charged like “Obama Killed Your Grandfather” to grab our attention and make us click the link before we turn on our brains.

Sidenote: for those of you who don’t know, it is always wise to start a new Messenger chat by using personal words that inform the recipient that it is from a ‘real’ person, rather than a bot or hacker. Something like, “Hey, this is X. I really like the idea of you wearing a sweater made of pink insulation” will do nicely.

There’s no reason you can’t use Messenger safely. It’s no different than being friends with crazy people. You don’t just yank open your mailbox without listening for a timer in there. Instead of throwing the baby out with the rose-scented bathwater, I suggest a more reasonable approach: block each offender as they send you nonsense, instead of punishing yourself and all your other friends. Get a suspicious message? Get 2,652 gifs that would give anyone a migraine or cause convulsions upon viewing them? Block the person who sent it.

I don’t know how many crazy and clueless friends you have, but I think it would take less time to block each person as they behave stupidly than it would to misuse the incredible communication platform that works on almost any platform or device, from anywhere in the world. We have our problems with social media, to be sure, but most of the consequences are our own fault, precisely because we aren’t using them as intended.

I could be wrong – but it seems like you might be over-reacting or not thinking clearly about how you’re dealing with this.

If you post “Stop sending me stupid messages on Messenger!” the idiots are not going to realize it is them you are referring to. That’s what being stupid does to us. It explains voting, comb-overs, and wearing tight clothing. They don’t get it. Stop preaching to everyone. Target each offender when they send you a message. It only takes once, and you’re done.

P.S. You can use Facebook to private message someone without using Messenger. All you need to do is post and set the privacy control to that specific person. Only that person will be able to see.

And if you’re going to say something ridiculous like, “But something could go wrong!” you’re already using the wrong platform. Something did go wrong. You’re making it hard for the rest of us to contact you when you should be only making it hard for the idiots to do so.

Signed, An Idiot

A Lot of Pickles In That Handbag

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Forget the original lyrics. Here’s my take on current events. You’re welcome, X

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I wish that we had one species of venomous birds. People would pay a lot more attention outside, look up more often, and probably sound more natural as they scream.
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If you say, “That’s the last straw!” there is probably a liberal who is happy but gets the wrong idea.
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I wonder if Napoleon had gone by the name “Leon” if he’d been as aggressive as he was.
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I was going to order a personal pizza, but because I was going to eat it, I instead ordered an impersonal pizza – because it was nothing personal.
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I frequent a bar that offers free peanuts because I loathe indentured foodstuffs.
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I bought a ticket in the nosebleed section, not realizing that the usher would punch me in the face. Bravo, for accuracy.
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I got into a fight with a flock of chickens. It’s a lot of exercise bending and throwing punches that low. So, I winged it.
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Once someone points it out, it’s hard to not think about the fact that each time you paint the inside of your house, the interior gets incrementally smaller.
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The patent office sent me a letter to advise me that no one had patented the idea of aardvarks in leotards.
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X’s rule of news site commentary: If you post comments on a news site, especially in anger, you’ve demonstrated the opposite of whatever intelligence is.

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One disadvantage of being a twin is that you can never convince someone that you forgot your sibling’s birthday.
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For us old folks: In a very short time, 2060 will be closer than 1980.
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The world would be much more musical if people’s heads sounded like marimbas when you punch them. Especially at boxing matches.

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The Elder Observation: The world isn’t fundamentally different; your focus, attention, and energy, however, is more likely to be concentrated on the extremes, especially as you grow older. Choices in clothing, food, music, and opinion dwindle; use this tendency as a warning sign that you’ve grown rigid.

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I wrote a movie about a dyslexic hacker. Unfortunately, it was 789 minutes long.

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“Go Tell It On The Mountain” sounds like prank advice.

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It’s not relevant, but I wonder if Bigfoot’s cellphone plan has roaming charges.

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Thanks! Panache, wit, and an actual laugh – all without even opening the envelope. While I certainly appreciate anyone with the nerve, time, and interest to send me a card of any kind, I confess that I’m often surprised by the lack of reciprocity of my admittedly weird efforts to keep life interesting. When it comes, I gain a little hope that not everything I do falls on deaf ears, dim eyes, or uninterested v̶i̶c̶t̶i̶m̶s̶ people in my life.
Signed, The King.

Card-giving is a declining art form. It’s okay to kill tradition and even stick your tongue out while you’re doing it.

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While getting dressed for the formal event, I suddenly realized where the cliché “the ties that bind” originated.

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I can’t help but feel a little put out when the pastor announces that “almost everyone” should join him in song.

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Some doubt that Bigfoot is real. As for me, I doubt he’s a Baptist.

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A Stolen Joke, Personalized

My friend Casey in Batesville was out shopping for Christmas on Thursday. After a couple of hours of yuletide surprise shopping, she left the UPS store and turned off Harrison Street. Her SUV began making a horrid, loud noise.

Casey drove immediately to the Stanley Wood dealership on Batesville Boulevard.

She pulled in to the service bay. The technician standing by the service counter grimaced at the loud noise that Casey’s SUV was still making.

Casey hollered above the noise. “It’s making the worst noise I’ve ever heard in my life!”

Without a pause, the tech said, “Have you tried turning off that Luke Bryan CD?”

Insulin Available On Request

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I was shopping and entered an actual Photo Shop.
It changed me.

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It is a sublime pleasure to order a cafe mocha – and after the options are presented, to inquire whether ketchup is available.

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Just as I was about to check the “I am not a robot” box, it occurred to me that if I had been built carefully enough, I couldn’t possibly be sure.

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Whatever “the worst thing in the world to see” might be, I bet #2 is “Worst papercut in human history.”

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That guy was so efficient that even during Christmas he insists on taking a ride in a two-horse open sleigh.

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To the guy with the world’s longest arms, all shirts are short-sleeved.

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I went to the Photo Studio at the mall. I asked if they had a prison photo package.

“What do you need a prison photo package for?” the owner asked.

“I feel like I’m definitely going to murder someone and want to be prepared.”

As the security guards threw me out, it dawned on me that not everyone appreciates honesty.

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Part of the reason they don’t invite me with greater frequency?

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Evidently, I like antiques. I base that solely on the company I keep.

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The sign above the door indicates JCPenney but I’m pretty sure I’m in hell.

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While waiting for a root canal in the waiting room at the dentist, I fell asleep. I woke up, screaming, after dreaming I was actually at the DMV.

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He suddenly realized he might be crazy after all. Someone had done bunny ears in all of his selfies.

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While “more cowbell” is a cultural phrase, shoppers at Walmart do not enjoy me ringing one directly behind them. #truestory – Me holding a megaphone in the other hand as they turn to see me is probably worse.

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I must be in the Xmas spirit.

A particular person has been evil all week. After giving the benefit of the doubt several times, someone became really angry at him/her. I intervened and said, “Let me handle it.”

A while later, he/she spouted off again, so I stopped and stared.

“What the eff are you looking at,” the loudmouth asked.

Not missing a beat, I said, “I really admire assholes!”

I high-fived the previous victim so hard I might have left actual skin.

It’s tough out here in the world, where assholes run free and often unencumbered.

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Today I Learned: “Turning the other cheek” and “mooning” someone who has aggrieved you are NOT the same thing. Sorry, shoppers.

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I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus under the mistletoe. Better than last year, when Donald Trump was under there.
-From the yuletide songbook, “Non-Consensual Xmas”

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“Saying you went to Buffalo Wild Wings because you’re hungry is like jumping off a 100-story building because you need to air-dry your hair.” – X

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“Take a hike,” she said, although not out of any concern for my health.

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A co-worker questioned the amount of gray in my hair. Thanks to White-Out, there is now no doubt.  ( “White-Out – Not Just For Paper” )

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*Breaking news: a man was seen in an East Springdale cemetery, armed with a gun. Hundreds reported dead.


(No one was injured, though. My apologies if this joke offends someone – or everyone. I edited it to avoid the overactive social media police.)

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Cursed Crossed Crosswalk

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Due to a medical condition known as laziness, I didn’t take a bona fide pre-dawn walk this morning, as is my custom when I’m out of town.

I did take one later. It was coolly fresh and the riverwalk was mostly devoid of the pests otherwise identified as “other people.” It was divine. I listened to music and noted a few clever hiding places that homeless people had managed to find and use in the chilly weather.

Having miscalculated how far down I walked, I traversed an expanse of wet grass and exited onto a busy arterial street. Due to construction on the right, the entire swath of the sidewalk was gone.

Given that the road was marked with substantial 4-foot white letters, a series of bright white perpendicular lines, as well as signs on all sides indicating “Crosswalk” for both sides of traffic, I thought it would work like I’m accustomed to. The Indy 500 roar of engines proved me wrong. I waited. I waited some more. Because I’m brilliant, it dawned on me that I might have to dash to the middle and then proceed the remainder of the way if traffic abated. It was obvious no one was going to stop, despite the multitude of indicators they were supposed to.

I waited for a couple of minutes. As a considerable gap appeared ahead, I waited and stepped from the curb. Just as my foot hit the pavement, a car miraculously zoomed out of a parking lot on the left and took the right turn onto the arterial street, going at least 30 mph. It was very close when it popped out. The driver of the compact and ornately decorated Honda hit the horn and brakes. He came to a complete stop, a little inside both lanes.

As expected, his morning cup was filled with angst and cow manure. He opened the driver’s door and stepped out. He looked like his car if you can imagine what I mean. His hat was on backward. He, of course, wore a bright blue sports jersey advertising an unknown athlete.

“What the f you doing, man? This ain’t a crosswalk!” He seemed excited to see me – except for all the wrong reasons.

I pointed at the markings literally at my feet and then the diamond-shaped “Crosswalk” sign.

“Whatever. I got places to be. Get the f out of the road!” He started to get back in the car.

As he did, my mouth did what it does best: it overpowered me. I’m proud of it, though, if only because it didn’t get me killed this time.

“Jesus loves you!” I shouted.

“Yeah. And?” He asked. It was perfection.

“And everyone else thinks you’re an asshole!” I shouted as he stood there, shocked I had one-upped him.

Behind him, a driver honked his horn, which ratcheted up the man’s obvious anger issues. I hot-footed it across to the median as the Honda driver slammed his door and hit the gas, screeching away.

I’m going to miss him. Jesus misses him, too.

But really.

Everyone else assuredly thinks he’s an asshole.
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P.S. I’m glad this happened because it resulted in a great story. Plus, the Honda jerk will live forever on the internet. I sure hope he figures out what those strange lines on the pavement mean, though, if not those weird signs dotted along all the roads. It’ll save him some trouble.

Robin Hood of the Retailers, Version Aldi

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I’m not going to share the ‘why’ of my previous oath to avoid Aldi grocery stores. Suffice it to say that they earned my dislike. Unfortunately, I carried the prejudice forward for years. Once bitten, twice shy, at least for this guy. It’s for the same reason I don’t buy meat products at a Dollar General. Russian Roulette is a game I like to watch in action movies – not participate in when my gastronomical choices are at play.

Aldi has many fans. People like blood sausage, too, as well as watching baseball on television, so popularity doesn’t equate to sensible. The store chain does have a few things going for it. It’s like the “Frugal Hoosiers” made famous in the tv show “The Middle.” The chain does have the “Twice As Nice Guarantee.” I’ll take the expectation of a safe, quality product or my money back. You don’t have to sing and dance for me – just meet expectations. Anything else strikes me as a means to acknowledge that you’re cutting corners on a square house.

“There’s a sense of discovery at Aldi that you don’t find in a traditional grocery store,” say many fans.

Yeah, like discovering the off-brand version of the mustard I had to buy tastes like a chicken fart.

I don’t mind that an Aldi store doesn’t have staff answer the phone. I don’t need to talk to a head of lettuce before I shop. It’s stupid, though. Just my opinion. Any corporation which reduces a customer’s ability to interact isn’t customer-focused, no matter how prettily they paint such an arrangement.

Location quality varies, as is the case for many retailers. Even I often forget that it’s unwise to compare one location of a business with another. There’s too much volatility between managers, cleanliness, and adherence to quality standards. Sometimes, a great manager can rescue an otherwise failed store. The Kroger Superstore in Hot Springs, for example, is spectacular, while the Kroger in my original hometown is… not. One of the Springdale Neighborhood markets is operated as if it’s a psychological experiment geared to determine how much people hate themselves. Harps Foods is so inconsistent in quality that I’m still incredulous that the individual stores are operated by the same system. I dare anyone who visits the Gutensohn and Lowell locations to challenge me to a pie-eating contest to decide the truth of my opinion.

On a whim, I stopped at a local Aldi earlier in the year. I went home a different way, and Aldi was locationally convenient. It didn’t hurt that I had recently suffered blunt-force head trauma. I don’t know what came over me, but the urge to eat a bowl of fish aquarium pebbles and stop at Aldi penetrated my reptilian brainstem.

The smaller footprint of the stores and parking lots of an Aldi store make a trip less invasive than a similar trip to the airfields found at Walmart. The smaller footprint of the stores means you might not find everything you need, either. Like your sanity.

I didn’t have a quarter, so I did the hands-full shuffle. I found some interesting items. One of the items I bought was inedible. (No, I didn’t attempt to return it.) On the next visit, I had a quarter. I stuck it in the slot for the cart, and it literally stuck. None of the carts would come out. I went inside and waited a couple of minutes for an employee to make eye contact. I told them the cart corral was needing attention, and I couldn’t get a cart. Eye roll. “There’s no one to deal with it.” Back to checking. Aldi’s employees often must do multiple jobs simultaneously. It’s not their fault: it’s corporate’s fault. Like Walmart, they ‘save’ money by eliminating jobs. Many of those jobs lost would have allowed for attentive customer service and real-time listening when things go awry. I didn’t get irritated at the cashier.

I can only hope that this attitude of cost-cutting doesn’t one day find me in the O.R. needing a suture to sew up my own abdomen.

For my next trip to Aldi, I withdrew $20 from an ATM and then stopped by the car wash and made change for quarters. I drove back to Aldi and parked on the outer perimeter of the parking lot.

I then went to the cart corral nine times. Each time, I inserted a quarter and ‘rented’ a cart. I took each cart to the edge of the parking lot and used the nine carts to make a large arrow facing the store. I’m no Banksy, but I did feel a twinge of stupid pride when I finished my artwork with the shopping carts.

I then went back to the cart corral and took out ten more carts, one at a time, by paying a quarter. I left them loose to the left side of the return corral. Because I always carry white index cards, I left a card on the first few indicating, “Free Cart. Please leave loose.” People observed me doing all this but didn’t comment.

Was it petty? Yes. Worth it? Yes. I was also paying it forward, though, even as I entertained myself.

One of the women shopping exited the store and told me she had watched me assemble the arrow on the other end of the parking lot. “It’s stupid, isn’t it? Just hire a person and keep the store tidy.” Due to her appearance, I was sure she was going to scold me. Her face was pulled back so tight I could hear her ears yelling in pain. She was nice, in any case.

People saw the loose carts with the cards on them, and each smiled and grabbed their free cart.

I felt like Robin Hood of the Retailers.

Imagine. Free carts, with each of us leaving them for the next person. Like a typical store not corraling us into doing their jobs for them.

If I can enter a store and not worry about expired food or being unable to shop easily, I’ll pay for the entirely reasonable expectation of a normal shopping experience.

When people ask me, “What do you like best about Aldi,” the only thing I can tell them is, “I don’t have to go there.” The second-best thing is, of course, the feeling of walking out of one of them.

If I have to choose between Aldi and Walmart, I’ll choose a lobotomy.

If I make the mistake of going to Aldi again, I plan to take 500 quarters with me. I’ll let you imagine what I might do with such a quantity of quarters.
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P.S. If you’re a fan of Aldi, I’m not worried about you reading all of this. It’s a lot of words.
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Secret Snark

 

 

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I have a standing request with my wife that if I do something idiotic, I’d rather everyone know, immediately. Whether I’ve downed six beers and driven my car through the window of a convenience store while not wearing pants, accidentally shot my big toe with a revolver, or erroneously voted for a Republican, I’d rather the information be shouted from the rooftops than whispered in secrecy. If any of my idiocy results in my untimely demise, put it on social media, with pictures. People need visuals to admire while their eyes go wide in surprise, especially if I’m wearing clown shoes and holding a can of Schlitz as I lie in a pile of broken glass and covered in frozen, individually packaged frozen burritos. (Yes, that is an awfully specific scenario, isn’t it?)

Likewise, when I keel over from a massive coronary event, I don’t ask that people say only good things about me in public and whisper, “What a jerk that guy was” in private. Go ahead and load up the insult cannon and fire away. If you know me well, you have permission to share the stupid things I’ve said and done. The truth doesn’t get cremated simply because the sand ran out in my hourglass. If someone asks what killed me, it’s okay to answer, “Definitely pizza and Mexican food.” We all know it won’t be a jealous husband or from jogging too far on a sunny Saturday morning.

If I permit you or don’t, the truth is that you’re going to say those things anyway. You might carefully curate who you say them to, but they’ll come out in small bursts of sharing. It’s what we all do. I ask that you at least be creative. Don’t say, “Man, he could be a real a%%.” Instead say, “Did you know that Preparation H once considered using him as their spokesperson due to his familiarity with the subject matter?” That’s the kind of joyous snark that’s worthy of a person’s life.

No matter how good of a person you are, people have commentary about you, your life, and choices. All of us are misunderstood, and each person in our circle has a different idea in their heads about who we are. We often forget that much of our lives isn’t a result of conscious choice; rather, we’ve careened along in life and allowed circumstance, luck, and chance to shape the sum of our lives. That might be comforting, but it is a conclusion with merit.

Along the same lines, many of us have a closet full of guarded secrets. We think that we’ve managed to conceal them from the world. We may have succeeded to a degree, but people likely know. They might snicker, judge, or even revel at those things. It’s better to stop guarding them and move past them as quickly as possible. We’ve all done some bone-headed things. (Except maybe Josh, but we’ll leave him out of this.)

I would write more, but I have to go pick up my clown shoes from the Novelty Shop.

If I see you drive through any windows, I’ll stop and take some fantastic pictures of you lying there. They don’t call it ‘social’ for no reason.