Category Archives: Humor

Newport Potatoes, Aziz Ansari & ‘Master of None’

 

 
This post will be of interest to those who cook or watch TV, and probably even those weirdos who cook while watching – and perhaps even Peeping Toms who watch those who do either or both. I think I’ve covered the potential fan base of this post adequately, except to remind you to stop cooking in the nude.

Comedian Aziz Ansari’s second season of “Master of None” is on Netflix. It’s one of the most genuinely comedic shows I’ve watched in a long time. It also connects on a deeper level, pinging a depth of emotion and shared experiences that’s difficult for most shows to approach. The nuances are clouded inside a veneer of comedy but I find this to be the case with most shows that I appreciate.

While watching the latest season, I laughed like a diseased jackal when I heard that they too had a recipe for “Newport Potatoes,” a recipe that my mom perfected through countless meals in my youth.

Here’s the recipe for Newport Potatoes: use the regular mashed potatoes recipe, except ensure that a careless and/or drinking chain smoker is in the room and involved in making the potatoes. They’re called “Newport Potatoes” due to the popular Newport cigarettes. My mom tended to make “Winston Potatoes,” though.

(Note: At one point, Newport cigarettes accounted for almost 1/2 of all African-American cigarette sales. I loathe including true facts in my posts, but this one was interesting enough to warrant a detour from my usual tomfoolery.)

So, as I often warn people, check your potatoes before eating, to ensure that it’s black pepper in the spuds instead of cigarette ash. (Not that cigarette ash tastes bad or causes gastric distress.)

“That’s Not His Name”

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“Good morning Officer Farva,” I jovially told the approaching security guard.

I won’t identify him by name, as his mustache alone would incriminate him. But that mustache – you know the cliché all too well, is one ripped from the upper lip of every stereotypical small-town cop. His short, cropped hair looks like it’s still mad at the owner for the haircut inflicted upon it. It is the sort of haircut that is intended to convey a Drill Sergeant’s seriousness but instead makes you wish you could weep for something so petty as another person’s hairstyle.

“That’s not my name,” he disapprovingly growled.

I don’t know what spirit of chicanery overcame me but I did something I never do: I started dancing rhythmically, much like Frankenstein might have when first electrocuted. I don’t dance like no one is watching – I dance like no one is paying me.

I also started chanting the lyrics to ‘That’s Not My Name’ by the Ting-Tings.

The look of incredulity on the security guard’s face can be best compared to that of a mechanic upon flinging open a customer’s hood and discovering a cadre of energetic squirrels powering the engine.

After a few seconds, I laughed and told him, “But your badge indicates that your name is Rod Farva.”

To my surprise, he looked down and folded his badge toward his gaze to read the name on it. He seemed both confused and relieved his actual name was in fact still on the badge.

I strutted away with a laugh as if I just won “Dancing With the Stars,” or, as would be more likely in my case, “Dancing With the Stares.”

“You are truly and irrevocably weird!” He said and then he laughed, begrudgingly, as humor is federally forbidden while on duty.
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PS: Rod Farva is the name of the annoying cop from “Super Troopers,” widely considered to be an actual documentary of how police behave.

Joe Kwon Do

Click link and button above to hear the latest ad I made for Joe, to compete with the Krav Maga system.

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Joe, a large friend of mine, someone who looks like a human Bigfoot, despises those Israeli Krav Maga self-defense courses. Not content with merely turning off the radio when a commercial comes on for the local version, my friend rips the entire radio out of the dashboard and hurls it across the freeway. Naturally, this costs him a lot of money. His point is that if he can yank the stereo out of his vehicle while driving, he doesn’t need a goofy martial arts course to show him how to pull a human arm from its socket.

If you know anything in life, other than “You do not talk about Fight Club,” the second rule is that you do not tell your friends what you despise, or you will see and/or hear it for the rest of your life, and probably nine times at your funeral.

Given my friend’s hatred for Krav Maga commercials, I had no choice  but to make 11 different versions of the same jokes for him.

You’re welcome Mr. Bigfoot. Stop ripping out your car stereos. Not everyone was born with arms that look like the back leg of a bull. PS: And if you try to whip my butt I will use those Krav Maga tactics I learned just from listening to the terrible ads on the radio.

 

Apocalypse +1

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“Make no mistake, if you sit at their table, you’re going to have to use their cards to play the game.”

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They promised me “chaos” everywhere today. I called him. He was already out there celebrating. Be like Captain * Chaos. Celebrate in victory or celebrate in loss because we are all still alive.

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I’m going to miss this election, like an old friend who spent a drunken night at my house, stole my wallet, and used my toothbrush to clean his motorcycle.

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The above picture describes the general consensus, after Hillary won the popular vote and lost the election.

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“It’s hard explaining in another language that the candidate for liberalism won the popular vote and lost the election. It’s exactly how you would LIKE “The Voice” to decide the winner but never does.” – X

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As each of y’all know, each President gets his official portrait done. Trump, not wanting to waste a single minute, has already privately reached out to potential artists interested in a commission to do his White House portrait. Given my immense artistic ability (the best, the absolute best), my commitment to a prompt call for service, not to mention by huge admiration for con artists, I pondered for hours, agonizing on the best possible way to capture Trump’s essence. When I finished this, tears of joy ran down my liberal cheeks as I contemplated the likelihood of being chosen from the many for this honor. I’m hearing that mine’s the best. People from all over are saying it’s going to be huge.

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Boozman Salts His Ice Cream

 

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Remember when you could really pick on someone without mud slinging? Here’s my John Boozman joke.

Boozman goes to a dermatologist and tells him, “Doc, the skin on my face is peeling really bad! What can you do for me? My opponent Conner Eldridge is a great-looking guy and I can’t have something like this during a campaign. I already look like Steve Buscemi.”

The doctor examines him, frowns several times, and leaves the room for at least 30 minutes.

“Well?” asks Boozman as the dermatologist returned, obviously reluctant to give the senator bad news.

“John, the reason your facial skin is peeling off is that it’s trying to escape the ugly.”
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PS: I’m only kidding about John Boozman being ugly.
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But I have heard rumors that he salts his ice cream before eating it. And he hated the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act so badly that he won’t even attend a county fair for fear of a typographical mix-up. Also, when I went to buy a suit, I thought I saw him at Dillard’s, but it turned out to be a literal empty suit on the end of the aisle.
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This is the kind of political rhetoric needed in today’s climate of poison eye darts.

A Trivia/Break-In Story

The following is a true-ish account of events that took place in October, 7 years ago at the Hignite household. Although some literary license has been taken, the entirety of this story is true. (All the errors are mine.)

Mike Hignite was sitting in his living room, burning the midnight oil. The lights were dimmed to the point of invisibility, given Mike’s Batman-like ability to see in the dark. In Mike’s hands was the book, “Computational Calculus Meets Divine Interpolation.” (As you all know, Mike only sleeps 55 minutes a night.) Mike could hear the peaceful rhythm of Marjay’s infrequent and melodious snore from the bedroom not too far away. The sound reminded him of slightly upset magpies on an early spring morning.

At about 12:04 a.m. a sharp metallic sound interrupted Mike from his reading. He carefully placed his book on the table to his right, his right hand then feeling alongside his chair until his fingers encountered the miniature replica Babe Ruth baseball bat next to him.

A couple of minutes later, Mike observed a black work boot materialize at the edge of the dimly lit living room, inching its way into his field of vision. After a few seconds, he observed an entire leg follow it around, then an arm and the torso of a black-clad stranger. The intruder then crept along the wall, oblivious to Mike’s presence. Mike slowly stood upright and moved along the gap between the living room and the kitchen. In a few seconds, the intruder would literally run directly into Mike.

Instead of proceeding, the stranger fumbled around in his left pocket and found a small cylindrical object, clicking it. A beam of light shot from the flashlight and reflected on the concrete floor. Mike slowly lifted the replica Babe Ruth bat until it was high above his head. He waited. As the stranger moved the flashlight up, the beam of light shone directly on Mike’s head, bat raised above it.

Half-smiling, Mike whispered, “Boo!” in a soft voice.

At this point, the intruder screamed like a broken, strangled teakettle and froze. Mike reached over and flipped the overhead lights on. The intruder, for reasons not ascertained, screamed again.

“Have a seat over there.” Mike pointed casually at the intruder. After a moment, the intruder moved and carefully sat down in one of the dining room chairs. Mike walked over to the fridge and opened it, getting two bottles of water out. He opened one and handed it to the masked intruder. He knew the law-breaker was going to need to stay hydrated.

The intruder reached up and pulled his ski mask up and off his head, revealing a mass of curly red hair. He looked to be about 17 years old.

“How did you know I wasn’t armed?” asked the surprisingly high-pitched voice of the intruder.

“What makes you think it matters?” Mike replied.

At a loss for coherent words, the intruder simply muttered, “My name is Israel. Are you going to call the police?”

“Nah, I won’t call the police, only because they are already here.” Mike took a big gulp of water from his bottle, as Israel looked at him, confused, then around the kitchen to search for evidence that the police were, in fact, already there.

Mike reached behind his head and from literally nowhere that could be seen with the naked eye, pulled out a badge, showing it to Israel. Israel turned ashen. Mike laid his badge on the table, next to the huge stack of mail and personal items the family insisted on tossing there as they passed by.

“I’m not going to call MORE police, if that’s what you’re afraid of. But I will make you a deal. The same deal I make with everyone who breaks into my house, if you’re interested.”

“A deal?” Israel’s look of confusion only intensified. “What kind of a deal?”

“You can choose to either go to jail tonight. Or you can play a game of trivia. If you win, I let you go and you take all the money I have in the house with you. If you lose, you go to jail.” Mike smiled in that secret way that only he and 6 unidentified CIA officials would understand. This is the point where Israel should have flung himself headfirst through the nearest window to take his chances. But he didn’t, ignorant and oblivious to what would soon face him.

“Okay, I’ll play you,” Israel said with mock confidence.

“Slow down, pardner. You’re not playing me. I’m going to wake my oldest son up. Oh – and don’t thank me. I’m not doing you any favors.” Mike downed the remainder of his water and went to wake up the genius of the house.

So, that’s how it came to pass that at 6:32 a.m. on a Tuesday morning the residents of ______ Avenue in Springdale saw the strangest of sights: a large, red-haired man dressed in black ran crying and screaming from the Hignite household. Some witnesses claim that the unknown person fleeing was whimpering, “Stay in school! Stay in school and make good choices,” as he ran away. At the door of the Hignite house stood Jackson and Mike, howling with laughter.

“Dad, I sure hope someone else breaks in soon. I love these moments!” Jackson turned and looked at his dad and winked. They laughed one last time as they shut the door, going back inside just in time to see Marjay emerge from the kitchen and exclaim, “Not again!”

 

PS: Mike is a friend of mine who is actually a police officer. Every member of the family is a genius and the scenario I describe above is what I would like to imagine occurs frequently at the Hignite Household.

A Story Which Ends Unexpectedly and Well

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My friend John and I went to watch a BMX and skateboarding exhibition, the first Springdale has hosted in years. It’s not normally my thing (because a good outing always involves copious food in my book) but John once daringly participated in both sports and insisted that I accompany him to relive old memories. It was much more fun than I had anticipated, in part due to John knowing several of the professionals participating. After the main event, John and I were invited to a private riding park outside of Tontitown.

I sat and drank lemonade while John experimented with a couple of his old moves, doing reverses and flips. With reluctance, John did small moves. As his confidence returned, he moved faster and with more agility. After a few minutes of tomfoolery, a younger rider unexpectedly fell in front of John as he was about to exit a ramp. John attempted to avoid crushing him by yanking his bike to the right, jumping away from it and the fallen rider. Unfortunately for him, he went across the barrier fence, tumbled and fell. He didn’t move. As always, my first thought was that he was milking the situation as a prank. After several seconds, however, I knew that something terrible had happened.

I climbed over the fence and kneeled next to John. When he landed, his helmet partially protected him but a long, narrow bolt used to anchor posts pierced John’s right temple. Blood was everywhere. I couldn’t gauge how much of the anchor bolt protruded from the concrete and into John’s head. I heard mumbled shouts of “Call 9-1-1” and disorganized shouts of disbelief. The paramedics arrived in less than 10 minutes and expertly got him out. The bolt had penetrated at least 3 inches into John’s brain. I feared the worst, as the blood dried on my arms.

I spent half the night waiting in the hospital as doctors and nurses came and went, machines were wheeled in and out, and hurried, nervous people whirled around me. About 6:45 the next morning, a nurse broke the rules and let me enter John’s room. As I walked up to the bed, counting the numerous cables, tubes and paraphernalia coming out of John’s body, I opened the blinds to allow the coming sunrise to illuminate the room. I pulled up the usual uncomfortable hospital chair designed for no one to sit in for long. Just as I was about to sit down, John’s eyes opened.

I could tell he was about to speak, so I hit the nurse’s button. About 15 times, as from experience I knew the room would have to be on fire to get immediate help.

Hours later, John was sitting up in his bed, alert and joking about the accident. One of the paramedics who had helped him came in to see if he was okay, after hearing the incredible news he had survived and was awake. John’s eyes grew wide as the paramedic took a moment to show John how deeply the bolt had entered his brain. John reached up to lightly touch his temple where it had entered.

John, like most typical guys, wanted to know when he could get out of the hospital. Even though he had survived being impaled through the head, the only thing that interested him was a pizza and some television watching. He spent the day asking everyone when he could go home.

The primary doctor returned around 8:30 p.m. He told John how lucky he was to be alive, much less awake and aware of his surroundings.

The doctor took out his computer tablet and dragged some images around, turning it so that both John and I could see it. It was an image of John’s pierced skull, with a dark tunnel angling in from the skull and into John’s brain.

“You don’t know how lucky you are, John,” Dr. Marcos said. “It could have been much, much worse.” I could tell he meant it.

“How bad?” John timidly asked.

After a moment’s hesitation, Dr. Marcos pointed to another image on the tablet and said with great solemnity, “One millimeter in either direction, and you would have been voting for Donald Trump.”
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(It seemed worthwhile to not limit myself to the same tired joke, so I wrote the story just for the punchline. Imaginary John is safe, sleeping on his imaginary couch in my mind…. PS: You can change the last line of my joke to pick on Hillary, if you want…)