Category Archives: Uncategorized

Wednesday

Rarely do we get to see history and know it’s happening. I feel the irony of the pandemic as it creeps toward me. Even though I volunteered repeatedly to go first, I wasn’t offered the covid vaccine. Someone missed a PR opportunity.

.

.

I’m not supposed to admit to a low moment. Despite the pandemic and personal trouble, my optimism generally is higher than in a long time. For a time today, I got hit with a few waves of lonely anxiety. I walk in a strange, strange reality, in the region between who I am and who I used to be.

.

.

An Anecdote About Hair

When I passed, I noted her crazy hair color. Because I’m not a barbarian, I didn’t turn and take a long, lingering look. Not because I didn’t want to, though. On my return, I approached and made eye contact, something that’s become essential to me in the last few months. Her hair was raucously orange, approximating what would be called “safety orange.”

“Ma’am, societal norms require me to not mention your hair color or to stare. But, if you don’t mind, I’m going to take a look. Your hair is fabulous!” She laughed.

“Yeah, it’s okay. I know people look. I change the color frequently,” she said. “I expect people to look, yes.”

“Haven’t you noticed people trying to look without being obvious? It’s hard not to look.” I forgot all pretense about commenting on someone’s appearance.

She laughed again. “Do you think it’s too much?” she asked me. I could tell immediately she was asking for an honest opinion.

“Yes, it is. And it’s perfect.” I smiled at her. Even though she couldn’t see my smile through my mask, I know it reached my eyes. I could see the hidden smile on her face, too.

.

.

.

.

The Closed Fitting Room

I would have done such a thing before, but weighing less has given me wings, much like when I was younger, and would damn near do anything if it didn’t really hurt anyone. I’ve written before about my cousin Jimmy fearing that I would streak naked around the Thorncrown Chapel during his wedding.

Many places closed their dressing rooms. At one retailer, you’d think it was because of coronavirus fears. They have a sign to let us know that the dressing rooms are closed so that staff can clean in other areas. (Not because the rooms will be dirty.)

Although I own size 34 pants already, I wanted to try another brand. Lee, if you’re curious. I found some in size 34/30. The fitting rooms were still closed. Because I was in a mood, I pulled a cart over by the fitting room area. I blocked the alcove with the cart and then took my work pants off and then tried on the new pair. They fit perfectly. As I pulled them up, an employee walked by, looked at me, and then rolled her eyes at me. I laughed.

I bought the pants.

More importantly, I amused myself doing so. It’s probable that the security cameras caught me trying on pants in the closed fitting room area. As I walked up to check myself out at the kiosk registers, I half-hoped someone would approach me and question me about not using a fitting room to try on my pants. While I didn’t know what I might say, I knew that I wouldn’t be embarrassed, even if footage of me got aired on the nightly news.

There’s a pandemic going on. I don’t think seeing Danny DeVito, albeit thinner, in underwear is any more shocking than seeing someone in a bikini. Now that I’m thinking about it, your local retailer is full of life-size posters of people half-dressed. Take a look next time if you’ve grown accustomed to seeing it, especially in the women’s section. Just don’t take pictures or they will definitely escort you out of the place.

.

.

.

.

Dubious quotes by X: “If you can’t be kind, be kind of.”

.

.
.

Odd is just another way of saying “Still a suspect in an ongoing investigation.”

.

Nov. 24th

The universe blinked for me this morning. For the first time since the time change, I was running a little later than usual. I took a slightly different route to work as I often do. I found myself at a red light at Robinson and 71. As the cross traffic light turned yellow, I watched two cars speed up coming from the right. The first one was close. The second car fully ran the red light. At 4:13 a.m., I found myself waiting. As I lightly tapped the gas, another car approached going at least 70. Had I been going through instead of turning left, or had I not hesitated momentarily, the car would have t-boned me at 70mph. A bit further along 71, I amusedly noted that the car’s license plate had a vertical blue stripe across an Arkansas logo. Whoever was driving must have realized they almost killed all of us – because they drove 40 mph all the way to the Mall. And so, my Tuesday commenced.

.

“We often find ourselves in a locked room, only to later realize we always had the key.*

.

.

.

.

This morning everything was blanketed in a hard white frost. The fog set on top of it. As I crossed Old Missouri, a shooting star came overhead and streaked across. And the Mall looked like a massive hovering mothership, lights dimly blazing through the canopy of fog. I’m sorry y’all missed it. (Nov. 23rd)

.

.

While I ain’t driven to the certainty of this quote, it makes me think. That’s all I ask of wisdom, even if the sideroads to it and away from it leave me wondering if we know anything at all sometimes. X*

.

.

Though you may not like it, one of the best remix/mashups I’ve heard is “Buffalo MC – Stop And Bust a Move.” It’s funky and invasive. It also led me to hear the lyrics to Buffalo Springfield’s song “For What It’s Worth” with new ears. Anyone who reads the lyrics will surprise themselves. Adding the groove of “Bust A Move” is pure genius. I rarely post videos to my wall, in part because I didn’t create it. I challenge anyone to hear this remix/mashup and not feel a little more alive. Or old. You choose. Love and Lemons, X

.

Warning: Joke Alert

I guess I shouldn’t teach children valuable life lessons. In my defense, the logic was 100% legit. I bear no responsibility for the joke being told on Joke Day at school.

“John, what can you share and always have the same amount?”

“I don’t know, X, what?”

“Herpes.”

I used that picture to get people’s attention. People like looking at attractive people so false advertising seemed fair. Also, this guy lives in the #hunkcloset. And I need humor to get through life. And yes, I laugh at some awfully suspect jokes.

.

.

.

.

.

.

“Every zoo is a petting zoo if you have the audacity.” – a funny cliché. If you read that and think to yourself that you see the logic and the possibility of having a good story afterward, mauling or not, you are one of my people.

.

.

.

“Sir, what did the robbers take?””Two TVs, a computer, my will to live, and a jewelry box.””Wait. What was that third thing?””Evidently something I can live without.”

.

If it is suddenly cold, it’s my fault. I made hell freeze over. I actually said these words today: “I’d really like to hear that one song by Luke Bryan.”

.

The Bill Qualls Rule: all dogs eventually bite – and especially corn dogs.

.

Maniac’s Musing #5: I hope that the Venn Diagram depicting the relationship comparing serial killers to a love of ice skating is mostly overlap.

.

Optimism is buying your first pair of 34″ pants in 12 years – without a fitting room.

.

A comedian once said that the worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of Charades. I disagree. I think the worst time is during your job as a defibrillator quality check technician.*

.

You know that the train is pulling into the station for you when you can stand in the laxative section of any pharmacy for 30 minutes without anyone thinking that you are acting suspiciously.

.

Nov. 13th

At 3:30 a.m., I drove across Don Tyson Parkway. Despite being 40 degrees, my windows were down. “Rise Above This” was playing on the stereo. As I crossed Old Missouri, I saw something dart across. Hoping it was my infrequent friend the coyote, I slowed down. The coyote sat about 20 feet from the road, near the vertical church sign on the roadside. He watched me as I stopped. Despite the absurdity of doing so, I waved and said, “Hello, Mr. Coyote,” He watched as I drove away toward my day.

.

Hilarious Method To End a Management Conversation (true story):Manager: “I don’t want a lot of people around. I don’t like crowds.Me: “Especially in the bedroom!”Hysterical laughing, followed by ensuing realization of the implications of my joke.

.

All seesaws are catapults if you have the element of surprise.

.

I thought they were selling the Gastroenterology Clinic. The sign said “Everything must go.”

.

A few years ago, I wrote this for someone facing an insurmountable loss. I’ve found that it echoes around the internet sometimes. May you too hear your high bell as needed. *

This picture takes on a life of its own each time I post it. It was the same this time – and with added meaning.

.

Yesterday, I took a Rorschach Test. If you can picture it.

.

Re: Accident Report. In my defense, I thought the plaque indicated, “…you must be trained and certifiable to operate this machinery.”

.

I might have worked in healthcare too long because I just accidentally said, “…he maketh me lie down beside distilled water.”

.

This one always gets a lot of laughs at work.

.

The old man card trick never fails to bring laughter.

.

.

.

Erudite Insults, Part 13 ☆ It occurs to me that one principal advantage of a zombie apocalypse is that everyone with a discernible brain will be eaten, leaving only middle managers to roam the Earth.

.

.

I consider it the highest praise that everyone except the perpetrator of the prank blamed me for the boss’ cell phone charger being in a Jell-O mold this morning.

.

.

.

.

.

“X, do you believe in Bigfoot?”

“No.”.

“Then why did you take him out for dinner and a movie?”

.

.

.

.

The woman in the last picture isn’t naked beneath the mosaic pattern.

Or is she? You get to choose the reality.

When Life Hands You a Lemon, Embrace It

This is a non-traditional post. I started with a different idea. Instead of discarding it, I’m posting it.

“Y el amor nunca es amor si no es idiota…” Ricardo Arjona.
(From “El Amor Que Me Tenía)
Loosely translated: “…and love is never love if it is not idiocy…”

“Love is the thing that compels you to do something stupid before you do something even stupider.” – X

“Love is the thing that compels you to do something stupid before being able to do something reasonable.” – X (alternate)

As Steven Wright said: “I bought one of those tapes to teach you Spanish in your sleep. During the night, the tape skipped. Now I can only stutter in Spanish.”

Likewise, I find myself stuttering in other regards, wondering where people find the confidence and ease to live the life they know they should be living. I’m increasingly sure most of them are winging it.

“My wife said to me last night, “You treat our relationship like some kind of game!” Which unfortunately cost her 12 points and a bonus chance.” – Unknown

“X, stupidity isn’t a crime, so you are free to go.” – Several people.

“Without a doubt, my favorite Robin Williams movie is Mrs. Fire.” – Internet

I was voted Most Humorous in Mortuary School. I need to use that more.

.

.

“Thank you for all your support,” I shouted to my work pants, acknowledging they had been tasked with the impossible.

.

.

The Family Dinner Rule: If it ain’t been said at least four times, then it ain’t been said.

.

.

My sister-in-law Darla’s bathroom had water all over the floor!

.

.

My director told me I could no longer dramatically do a puff of magic smoke every time I left the work area, so I switched to glitter capsules. He’s pissed. But kind of cute with his face covered in glitter.

.

.

.

My neighbors installed security cameras yesterday. I’m obsessed with doing puppet or character shows above the fenceline now. I’m letting you know in case they don’t find my idea as funny and brilliant as it seems to be to me.

.

.

“You’re running for President – not Sheriff of Cracker Barrel.” – X

.

.

IF YOU SEE A LINK THAT SAYS “DONALD TRUMP NUDE,” DON’T CLICK ON IT. IT’S A VIRUS AND MAKES EVERYTHING YOU TYPE APPEAR IN ALL CAPS. – X

.

.

Springdale is having its Demolition Derby at the end of the month. Good news: AAF and Car-Mart, as always, are selling cars perfect for just such an event. #satire

.

.

I wonder if anyone doing genealogy found out they had a great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather who was a Sheriff – and then found out they lost their job for failing to fire a warning arrow at a suspect.

.

.

If I were in a gang, I wouldn’t carry a traditional weapon. I’d carry a violin. No one would see that coming until it splintered all over their head. Also, the police would have to start frisking people for violins.

.

.

This Joke Works For Any Profession

Verne and Fern were sitting in the living room talking.

Fern said, “I’d like to win the lottery!”

Verne replied, “Why do you want to win the lottery? “Well,” Fern said, “I’d like to do nothing all day.”

Verne frowned. “You don’t need to win the lottery to do nothing all day! All you need to do is become a Maintenance Person.”

.

.

Springdale experienced a massively thick fog last night, one that made the trees sound like a slowly running creek as they became drenched and heavy, highlighted the work of the surrounding spiders, and gave me an opportunity to make an unedited gif from the moisture blanketing the air.

.

.

Untested truth: you COULD be bulletproof.

.

.

In the way that so often happens to all of us, I had leftover Pitchfork Creeper pictures from my last birthday wrapping gift surprise. Because it’s been too long since I’ve done so, I took my extras with me to the grocery store and strategically placed them around the store.As always, I find myself laughing and wondering what people think as they encounter them in their mundane shopping experiences.*

.

.

If you find yourself in a situation in which you are driving around behind random trucks to evaluate the scent and desirability of each vehicle’s exhaust, the truth is that there is someone out there who is thinking the same thing. That thought either liberates or confines.

.

.

No one can convince me that flipping the overhead lights off as you exit a bathroom, knowing that someone is seated in a stall, isn’t funny. Not even the shrieks of my last victim dissuade me from this laughter.

.

.

“I left nothing unsaid” can be either a reflection of personal authenticity or a sign you’re talking so much that the O2 masks may drop at any moment.

.

.

The psychic I want to see is one who can tell me what lies are ahead. – x

.

.

Though I am reluctant to admit it, I watched the new Borat movie. The movie? Terrible. Some of the jokes? Both surreal and hilarious. I’m informing you so that you can remind me of this when I try to use words such as “style” or “wit” without looking like a hypocrite. This movie is unintentionally a cross-section of so much that we imagine ourselves to be in the world, using satire and cringe so viciously that I wanted to file a police report.

.

.

Any horror movie with the soundtrack sped up becomes a comedy. Any life remembered with nostalgia becomes too bittersweet to narrate.

.

.

Masks are the minimum cost all of us should pay in public to acknowledge that we’re connected and reciprocally responsible for one another. – X

.

.

My sister-in-law recently got diagnosed as a kleptomaniac. We were relieved to hear it. It explained why she took things literally.

.

.

“Today is a full tomorrow, if you know what I mean!”

.

.

Several hundred full-size candy bars doesn’t look like much now. Will there be little ghouls to rescue us from this hoard? *

The answer was “Yes!”

So many kids danced. laughed, and were incredulous to see me shoving handfuls of full-size candy into their hands and bags. I did my best to get the chaperones and adults to choose something, too.

At the end, I walked down the block with a full bin of bars. I gave the bin to the children at the door. Screaming and fits of joy ensued. I have to say it was one of those moments that I’ll probably remember forever.

.

.

“Perfume as marinade” is a terrible way to get ready in the morning.

.

.

I tried contactless delivery but the driver ended up in the backyard.

.

.

For reasons I’ll explain in more detail if you need it, you should never mumble when ordering at a Taqueria.

.

.

He didn’t just look a gift horse in the mouth but always took a long piercing look at the other end too.

.

.

“X, I see that you’ve noted ‘Z’ in the blank for blood. That’s supposed to be your blood type.” The nurse looked at me expectantly. “It’s my blood typo, yes.” I smiled.”What does that mean?” She said.”Well, I wasn’t planned,” I said and looked away to give her a minute to figure out my humor.

.

.

This is some of the weirdest, nastiest, and most delicious plant-based meat alternative I’ve ever tried. The texture is akin to alien epidermis. But I LOVE it!

.

.

My voting anecdote squashes all others. For several elections, the Rodeo Grounds was my nirvana. I thought it couldn’t get any better. For this election, I of course voted in person. Having a stupid name amplifies the possibility of shenanigans, both giving and receiving. I waited zero seconds to get in. Zero to be identified. Zero to get to the kiosk to vote. And zero seconds to put the ballot in the final collection slot. My apologies to everyone who didn’t wait zero seconds, like me.

.

.

Totally It

pxfuel.com(1)

.

.

“If love is a burning thing,” I recommend a visit to the doctor.

.

.

I got excited when I was invited to a photoshoot. Surprise ending: despite the name of the event, guns were NOT welcome.

.

.

I thought he was crazy when he told me that all his bees had individual names. Then I realized that there was absolutely no way to confirm this to be true or not.

.

.

My wife’s lipstick and mascara package stated that the makeup hadn’t been tested on animals. Can you imagine how ridiculous squirrels, monkeys, and rabbits would look with makeup?

.

.

For people with snake phobias, don’t google “python climbing coconut tree” unless you want a fresh level of hell in your life. For people who know people with snake phobias, google it on the big screen in the living room.

.

.

“Do you carry both salted and unsalted crayons?” is just weird enough of a question to confound anyone working retail.

.

.

In a ritual only a cousin would understand, I bought a packet of beet seeds at Lowe’s and threw them in the trash.

.

.

Concrete Wall and Cement Floor for Copy Space

The Procrastination Redux
(Also a good rule of thumb…)

.

.

When someone says, “I’m all ears,” I immediately calculate the fact that they have 5.6 lbs of earwax if that were true.

.

.

I’m stealing one of Linda’s ideas from “Better Off Ted.” I’m going to put a piece of tape on my rear end that reads: “If you’re reading this, you’re NOT being PROFESSIONAL.”

.

.

“Let’s begin the charade!” – Evidently not something management encourages us to say at the beginning of each workday like a chanted mantra.

.

.

It’s time to be insulted when you realize that people yelling at you to put a mask on are motivated by issues of beauty rather than public safety.

.

.

The anger management counselor told me to walk a mile in her shoes. Size 7 didn’t teach me anything except I get blistered easily.

.

.

I wrote a book of a compilation of typos. Now, I can’t read the title.

.

.

I kidnapped Jim Gaffigan. I let him call the police. “Nice try, comedian,” they said, laughed, and hung up.

.

.

.

.

When someone says, “I’m all ears,” I immediately calculate the fact that they have 5.6 lbs of earwax if that were true.

.

.

“Sarge, what do we have here? You said it was a hostage situation.” The Lieutenant looked over at him as he spoke, while trying to find her binoculars.

“Yeah, he’s standing next to the window in there with a gun at his head,” Sarge said, as he pointed toward the house as the Lieutenant raised her binoculars.

“I only see one guy. Where are the hostages?”

“It’s just the one guy – but he has multiple personalities – and they didn’t do anything wrong.”

.

.

I’ve always wanted to write a book titled “The Truth About Chickens” and have the marketing team make the book sound really ominous.

.

.

In a peaceful world without violence and war, “Dueling Banjos” would be a song about consensual bro love in the woods.

.

.

“Sling Blade: The Musical” would be awesome – especially if each audience member were given a lawn mower blade upon arrival.

.

.

Worst Disney Movie Ever:

.

.

If you need to subtly reduce the dining visits of your in-laws, one of the best ways is to leave the popular book, “7 Ways To Easily And Inconspicuously Incorporate Insects Into Your Meals” on your coffee table.

.

.

“X, look at this!” My friend Carl was pointing to a turd near the fence. “This is the biggest turd I’ve ever seen! Do you know what this means?”I answered. “Yes, it means that I was wrong. Trump is the SECOND biggest turd in the United States.”

.

.

I took an introductory course for becoming a police sketch artist. We worked with real-life people. I got kicked out because no matter what the victims told me, I drew the Chief of Police.

.

.

Listen folks: if you’re going to kill someone, use a wooden stake. At least your defense attorney can use the “Vampire Defense.”

.

.

I grilled a chicken really hard last night. But it gave me no information.

.

.

I served pork chops and karate chops for supper. It’s a tough crowd at Casa X.

.

.

Denial is the first sign of illness. That, and the fact that the doctor keeps staring at your wallet.

.

.

“Tell me something that is reassuring, X,” he said.”Oh, that’s easy. About 6.5 million people in the United States currently walk around with an unruptured brain aneurysm.””What? That isn’t reassuring at all!” He seemed irritated. “Well, it reassures ME. Also, don’t think of it as 6.5 million people. Think of it as a 1 in 50 chance for you.”

.

.

Fact: Jeffrey Dahmer’s favorite dessert was jerry cobbler.

.

.

Sign Language captioning isn’t what it used to be. I turned it on to watch the news and it consisted only of a small, older lady.giving me the finger.

.

.

Trial By Food Court

5eb95a4742278d6e5a740b48

 

“It’s called a Food “Court,” because if you eat at one, it feels like you’ve been to trial and sentenced to eat prison food.”  – X

It was once a thriving place, one that thousands of people a day visited. It’s heyday arrived before the virus. I rarely go there anymore. Looking at the bricks on the outside evokes a “Walking Dead” vibe that is difficult to shake.

Before entering, I noticed the mask signs everywhere. “We proudly require our employees to appropriately wear their masks at all times for your safety” indicated one such sign. I knew well that this couldn’t possibly be true. Even medical professionals start doing stupid things with their masks and protective gear if given enough time to get sloppy.

Like many places, this place added security to ensure that people coming in would wear their masks. If you’re interested in this sort of thing, such public places provide great and literal ‘security theater’ that you can watch from a casual distance. It always provides something to enjoy.

Before the anecdote to follow, I’d like to mention that I did my double-order maneuver. I chose the eatery at the food court and ordered. I stood to the side. Known for its very rapid service, I waited patiently for about five minutes. People picked up their orders. I began to notice that people who ordered after me were getting served. Still, I waited. After ten minutes, I walked up to the counter again. I ordered the same meal I already purchased and paid for. I paid for the second order, too.

As I finished, the cashier who helped me with my first order said, “Hey, did you get your order?” I leaned in and said, “No, so I gave up and just ordered again.” He looked confused. “And you paid again?” I nodded in affirmation. The other two people in front looked at me and then each other, knowing they’d messed fairly spectacularly. A whirlwind of activity then commenced, with each looking at the order-up screen, previous orders, etc. They decided that they’d given my order to another guest. The other guest had said nothing when given the extra order. All the possible guests guilty of such a thing were seated in the food court. I interceded: “While they should have said something, they are blameless. One of you combined the orders and handed it to them. It’s not their fault. I paid twice because I wasn’t upset. Mistakes happen. I don’t want a refund. Just give me my food. By the way, that’s why I call it the Double-Order-Maneuver.” Because this particular thing had obviously never happened to any of them, they were clueless about how to proceed. A minute later, the cashier handed me my bag. “Thanks, Fred,” he said. “My name isn’t Fred. I used a fake name when I order in these places to cut down on communication problems. Obviously, I need to reconsider that tactic. Y’all have a good day and don’t worry about all this.”

I imagine someone had to figure out a way to explain to the manager that a customer gladly paid for the same meal twice.

I sat at a table for two in the food court, watching. There were more people than one would imagine. Several of the eateries in the food court were closed, with a couple barricades permanently. Covid keeps pounding coffin nails into the ones that attempt to survive there.

The kiosk of gumball machines sat forlornly to one side, it’s inventory inaccessible due to the ropes and tape. The piano, once attended by a cheesy but talented pianist, sat covered and forgotten.

A security guard and cleaning tech walked past me on my right. The cleaning tech was furiously gossiping to the security guard, who walked a foot away from her, leaning toward her to catch each word. The cleaning tech’s mask was already below her nose. As they stopped to wipe a table, the cleaning tech pulled her mask down to her chin. Though it seems like an exaggeration, I could see the spittle from her mouth arcing toward the female security guard.

People walked past. The two moved around, still standing close to one another. Whatever vexed the cleaning tech must have been very important. As I was about to circumspectly snap a picture, they moved to another table. The tech angrily pointed at a dropped straw wrapper as she snatched it. I took a picture anyway.

I took out my marker and wrote on a napkin, “Having a mask below your nose, much less below your mouth, is like having no mask at all.” I laid the napkin in the center of the table as I collected my trash. Doubling back, I walked the long way around the food court. By then, two more security people walked up and joined the two gossipers. Another food service worker joined them. Three of them had their masks on incorrectly. I took a picture of the group as they moved along. I noticed a few people were looking at the group with differing amounts of “What are you doing?” written on their faces.

I stood on the other side of a kiosk in the middle of the indoor hallway, watching. In less than a minute, the original security guard and the cleaning tech made their way back to my table. The security guard leaned over and read what I inscribed on the napkin. Her head snapped immediately back up, scanning around her. She then looked incredulously at the cleaning tech next to her, who still had her mask down. I didn’t need to know what was said. The body language might as well have been expressed using nautical flags.

I burst out laughing at the over-reaction. Instinctively, I moved all the way around the kiosk.

I waited fifteen seconds and when I emerged on the opposite side, the female security guard clutched my napkin. Her frenzied gait communicated that she was about to catch the other loitering security people and show them the napkin.

Her time would have been better served to tell the cleaning tech and her fellow security guards to stop walking around without their masks on their faces. This is especially true since it is the essential function of their presence. Barney Fife could keep the potential mayhem at bay without assistance; no one needs multiple security guards milling around asking for trouble.

The security guard pulled her mask completely down as she aggressively explained that someone had left an unwelcome napkin on the table. Naturally, the other guard pulled his mask down, too, possibly in an effort to hear better. It’s a common and stupid tactic that many of us are guilty of when wearing a mask for long periods. (Like we do when we turn down the radio when we’re driving and looking for something.)

In a move that should be noted for posterity, a man standing with the other two guards leaned over and read the napkin. Although I couldn’t hear what he said, he pointed at each of the guard’s faces, then up, then around. I’m sure he was mentioning cameras and people watching. As if on cue, both guards grabbed their masks and yanked them up above their noses.

The original security guard said something angry and crumpled the napkin in disgust.

I laughed again. She crumpled the napkin so theatrically that I couldn’t help myself.

While no one looked toward me, at that point I didn’t care. What were they going to accuse me of? Writing truths on a napkin?

 

 

How Long Is A Piece Of String?

pxfuel.com

A lot of thought and solutions are ridiculous. I sometimes get caught up in either the details or see the issue from too far away, so much so that complexity becomes obvious simplicity. In my case, though, I’m not in charge and not being paid to weigh the complexities of moving social issues.

It’s possible to give a completely accurate answer to a question – and sometimes such an answer follows a logical route. It might still avoid addressing the fundamental question, though.

During this pandemic, I encounter several such scenarios on a daily basis. When well-meaning people are involved, it isn’t difficult to point out that the objective and the solution aren’t compatible. With authoritarian or toxic people, we get bogged down into sublimely ridiculous situations, like a Seinfeld episode written by sociopaths.

This pandemic has consistently beaten into my head that adults are not in charge and the ones who make many of the decisions are winging it, often for personal gain.

Completely random and incompatible directives and rules are issued. We collectively scratch our heads, trying to figure out the objective to determine whether the rule is a 10mph speed limit sign on a 6-lane highway at noon on a summer day. Eventually, someone will insist on clarification. Inevitably, we regret it because we’ll get an inscrutable non-answer that helps no one. This leads many people to choose malicious compliance or to continue to do whatever they want to.

Years ago, someone hit me with the riddle of “How long is a rope?”

Given no more information, I surrendered and said insufficient information was provided.

I knew it was going to be a trick answer. The smug look of victory on the guy’s face asking me was evidence of it.

“It’s twice the length from the middle,” he replied. “Gotcha!” He proclaimed.

“Does a fart smell or stink?” I asked him, as I walked away. Because I gave him the same condescending and smug look as he gave me, the question tortured him for a day.

Which leads me to the look of confusion on an expert’s face today. He gave me a stupid non-answer. I immediately reverted to my tried-and-true, “Does a fart smell or does it stink?” I bowed and walked away.

Nothing New

20200523_084225

.

.

*I’m going to name my new insurance business “Asterisks,” because then everyone will read the fine print on my signs, no matter how small.
.
Note: this post started with an * because there is a business named Asterisk.

.

.

philipp-berndt-5i0GnoTTjSE-unsplash

I decided to do an OnlyFans account which features me wearing a variety of sundresses. So far, 328 people have paid me NOT to do it. For my part-time job, I’m going to be a lounge singer, hopefully with similar results. Lack of talent, ambition, and looks sometimes pays.

.

.

“She said she was going to slip into something more comfortable. Little did I know it was a coma…” – X

.

.

Two things:
First, it’s a sublime thing to go to Tractor Supply to get an ax. Social distancing suddenly isn’t a problem.

Second, I changed my brake light and discovered that my car has an external trunk latch.

Anyone tempted to mock me for admitting my ignorance should review point #1.

.

.

…Wouldn’t it be better if microwaves counted down like a bomb timer on a tv show? And in 1 in 25,000 uses, a huge plume of smoke would emit from a secret slot at the top?

If you stand in the bathroom with the lights off and say “Michael Jackson” eleven times, you have a LOT of patience for delayed results.

Have you ever been in a room with zero doors?
.

.

…A bolt of lightning contains enough energy to toast 100,000 slices of bread, but evidently not enough to give a teenager enough willpower to pick up all his towels.

You can hear a blue whale’s heartbeat from two miles away and smell whether everyone’s bathed from the same distance.

The inventor of the frisbee was turned into a frisbee after he died. As for the inventor of the boomerang, he hasn’t gotten back to us yet.

Instead of saying “cheese” before taking a picture, Victorians said “prunes.” Smiling for photos was frowned upon. Note: that last bit was a joke that you probably missed.

Useful bit: cold water cleans as effectively as hot in the laundry with modern detergent. 75% of the energy used in a modern washer is from the heat of the water rather than the mechanics. Almost no one believes this, even those who attend Bigfoot Is Real conferences and people who think Beth didn’t make a million dollars from the Cadbury Egg marketing.

.

.

“How long are you going to spend NOT making supper?” This seems like it might be something to avoid saying inside the house.
(From the book, “Conway Wisdom”)

.

.

*If you want to feel like life is too short and flying by, go through the Whataburger Drive-Thru while on hold with Walmart Customer Service.

.

.

I watched the most recent remake of “The Invisible Man.” For jumps, it was well worth watching. I couldn’t be an invisible man. At my age and given both my fiber and probiotic intake, they’d hear me from 20 feet.

.

.

34,000,000 Americans smoke. That’s not statistical data. It’s how many people I counted outside the Dollar General today.

.

.

I thought my sister-in-law Darla was outside. My bad. Someone was using a blower on the sidewalk.

.

.

Fall. Boom. Ouch. The new single by Luke Bryan, geared to older fans.

.

.

Weird that people give noise warnings. My Mom could produce 120dB just griping.

.

.

From my book of inscrutable text humor…

107381921_10159916687064115_8528825061403169330_o

.

.

You’re right, he was a real heart-braker.
And no, I didn’t misspell that.

.

.

“Springdale Gives Away 10,000 Masks,” said the headline. The 50 people who wear them in Springdale will be very appreciative.

.

.

I laid awake last night, my mind racing with this question: how many vampires confusedly and excitedly signed up to work for Bite Squad?

.

.

If the United States is the world’s Florida, then Arkansas is Daytona Beach at 1 a.m. – and Springdale is the urinal closest to the men’s room door at Margaritaville Resort.

.

.

I’ve never been in favor of the death penalty – then I found out he was rooting for the preacher in Footloose.

.

.

In my remake of Dirty Dancing, as Baby runs to jump into Johnny Castle’s upraised arms, he’ll bend over to tie his shoe as she crashes over him. It’ll be the romantic comedy all craven-hearted men will applaud.

.

.

Getting old and losing one’s hearing causes awkward situations. When management announced the “New Mascara Policy,” I wore my heaviest shade. Bedroom eyes result in weird meetings. But I got two phone numbers from Steve and Bill.

.

.

I read an amusing thing today. Someone speculated that people living in the “A Quiet Place” universe probably died violently and needlessly while complaining that being quiet violated their rights. I think the fictional invisible killer has a lot in common with our current situation.

.

.

Practical adult wisdom: Don’t swim in a sea of despair; the lake of misery is a shorter drive.

.

.

For reasons I don’t understand, church membership dropped significantly after the installation of the new Baptismal Diving Board.

.

.

tttttttt

From my book of snark. I left the comment up briefly. After investigating the commenter’s social media profile, I felt bad, as he fell somewhere on the preliterate end of the spectrum. I removed the comment due to a suspicion that the person commenting wouldn’t appreciate the barb of humor – and that the person posting might regard it as hostile. What might have been…

.

.

“Noah get the boat” is a phrase that somehow escaped me until today. I’m going to use it often from now on.

.

.

“They were trained to spot stupidity by looking into the mirror.” I scrawled this recently somewhere and I am still amused greatly by my own wit. I probably should not have used my permanent marker to immortalize it, though.

.

.

I thought my sister-in-law Darla was outside. My bad. Someone was using a blower on the sidewalk.

.

.

 

Premonition

noaa-Led9c1SSNFo-unsplash

Earlier, the sky opened momentarily and dropped a few minutes of light rain. Given that the temperature was hovering at ninety, the humidity increased. Despite being fatigued from work, I stopped and picked up a few things at Lowes. Yesterday, the heavy rain prevented me from going outside. The truth is that I could barely move by the time I finished work. As I exited the store on the way home, the rain drenched me with its pendulous drops.

Today, I went out in the backyard, working on my infinite project. I painted a few stepping stones and reseated a few others. While I was on my hands and knees trying to position other heavy stones for the planter, I smelled the intense and overwhelming odor or tires that have skidded on pavement for several seconds. When I looked up at the dark sky, I heard someone shout. In my mind, I saw someone being sideswiped by another driver who had fallen asleep. The smell of burned tires persisted for another couple of seconds.

Whether I experienced a strange and momentary daydream or something else, I’m not sure. I’m not superstitious, though. I finished working outside and came inside and took a shower as cold as the water would go. When I passed through the living room, I saw my copy of the “The Stand” on the little table by the couch. For a brief second, the smell of burning tires hit me again.

Maybe I need to stay out of the heat or perhaps I should stop drinking so much diet tonic water. Whatever the daydream or hallucination was, it is thankfully receding, like a dream that won’t let go.

 

The Never-Ending Yard Project

 

Screenshot_20200626-211658_Video Player

*

20200304_155412

Using only hand tools, I cut down several trailers of trees, brush, and nonsense the neighbor behind me allowed to encroach. I paid a nice Latinx gentleman I found on social media to haul the mess away. He, among several others, said he’d throw it all over the fence if it was his property. Despite making a living off doing such jobs, he told me he is constantly annoyed by how many people leave it to others to clean up their messes.

20200304_155442

The above two pictures of the back fence ‘before’ actually look better than they should. The condition we received the property was actually much worse. These are after I did a considerable amount of cleaning, cutting, and hauling. That’s a shame, considering none of the mess belonged to me. It’s typical for many areas of Springdale, though.

08112015 3497 vanleer (40)

08112015 3497 vanleer (53)

The above two accurately represent the way I received the property, despite what the builder promised. The City of Springdale doesn’t really do much to property owners who fail to maintain their lots, even when utility access is involved. That’s a great thing if you’re accustomed to living in an unkempt jungle but not so joyous if you’re trying to enjoy what you have. It was this way at my last house on Cottonwood. We paid several thousand dollars to improve it, especially so for those who don’t maintain their property.

The ax I bought recently at Tractor Supply nearly took my head off. I have one remaining stump along the slovenly neighbor’s back fence. Because I wanted to make a sunflower box in that area, I have been waging war with the stump a little bit each day. It’s winning but I’m incrementally reducing its width, depth, and strength. I was counting down the number of swings I’d give it that afternoon. When I reached the penultimate swing, the ax split and the head surprisingly came up several feet. I’d like to say I dodged it. However, it was over before I realized what happened. (Which is often true in life as well.)

broken ax

The next day, I decided to put the sunflower box almost all the way to the left end of the back fence instead of waiting to buy another ax or stick of dynamite to eradicate the stump. I did buy another ax yesterday, though, one that is almost unbreakable. We’ll see if that holds true. I’m still surprised that I was using enough force to break a rugged ax like the one I bought at Tractor Supply.

This morning was cool and windy. Unlike most days, I didn’t go out until after 7. Despite the haze of the Sahara dust, I spent a few hours adding more 12 x 12 painted stepping stones, installing a whiskey barrel planter for daisies, another birdhouse, as well as a couple of other miscellaneous things. I also climbed up to one of the previous birdhouses and stuck a finger inside. The nest therein felt a bit odd to my finger. I didn’t fall off the ladder, though.

cat in window

My cat Güino enjoys sitting in the kitchen window, both to watch me as I continue to add things to the back yard, as well as to twitch at the dozens of birds and squirrels that now visit us daily.

345345

Though the above picture is from a previous stage of my project, the top arrow indicates the picnic table feeder that the squirrels love sitting on. The bottom arrow points to a bird caught in the picture as I snapped it. I’ve discovered that there are unobserved animals in several of my pictures. No Sasquatch or Godzilla appearances yet, though.

20200627_115457

 

A closer view of the picnic table feeder. I used a horizontal board to allow me to screw the table to the 4 x 4 post in more than one location. I’m not a fan of the ornate birdhouse on top of the blue pole. My wife took this picture this morning and cropped it. We throw a combination of shelled bird peanuts and human peanuts out, as well as putting them in the picnic table feeder.

20200627_120144

The above picture shows the whiskey barrel crate planter on the right, as well as few more stepping stones I placed going left to right. We discovered that a couple of the squirrels sometimes dangle upside down from the upper board to drink from the birdbath.

20200627_120210

Normally, I’d say I’m not a fan of these kinds of planters. My wife got it, so I decided I’d better find a place for it. I put a decent amount of lava rock in the bottom to both reduce the weight and the amount of soil needed to fill it.

20200602_142734
From the back left corner of my yard. I took this picture after a great deal of cleanup on my part, especially removing the horrible barbed wire and chainlink that languished there for a couple of decades.

20200607_080759
Another picture from when I had initially started adding color to the yard.

20200610_164927
Another one from when I barely started.

20200616_171755

This little bird flew into the window one morning. I coaxed him back around the house and finally up to the top of the fence. He finally flew into the safety of the trees, but inexpertly, like an over-sized plane struggling to get aloft.

20200617_180153
I bought an orb for my wife. The cat watched in amazement as it transitioned through the colors.

20200621_194453

The hibiscus has done well. Dawn was reluctant to spend so much on something for a plant. It’s flourished, though, and blossomed at least once a day since we repotted it.

20200627_142337

Coming home this afternoon, I put the components of a gag gift on the bed. He pounced on it, preventing me from assembling the gift box. I could have used the rubber mallet on him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Condition

takahiro-taguchi-_SKIDRiIEtk-unsplash

Not all my posts make me look good. Here’s one…

I was driving on Crossover, on my way to Lowes to purchase completely pointless items, not too far from the marijuana farm. Some people call it “The Botanical Gardens,” but that is EXACTLY the type of fake name a weed farm would use, isn’t it?

I suddenly had to brake harshly to avoid hitting someone who failed to stop while approaching the main road. Because I was unsure I wouldn’t hit them as they entered the road without stopping, I veered to the left slightly. I don’t always do the ‘veer’ thing if I’m in my Ford Focus. It’s led to meeting some interesting people. It’s hard to say “Hello” when the air is filled with screeching brakes and shouting drivers.

A honk startled me. A white van had swerved to the further left to avoid hitting me from behind. I slowed and pulled over for a second. The white van with an interesting business logo on the side pulled ahead in front of me on the shoulder. I was expecting a giant, angry redneck to emerge. Instead, a woman about my age exited the van and stood about ten feet away from the front of my car. People don’t exit their vehicles unless they are very angry, have bees chasing them, or are in the vehicle with more than one teenager.

“What’s wrong with you?” She asked.

Given that she probably didn’t connect the car running through a stop sign and entering the road in front of me to my swerve, I knew it was pointless. I assumed she was crazy, anyway.

“I have a medical condition! You should be ashamed of yourself” I shouted at her.

“Oh! I’m sorry. What’s wrong with you?”

“Stupidity!” I yelled back at her.

Expecting a tirade or curse, I was surprised when she turned and went back to her van, got in, and drove away. She didn’t even give me a laugh.

I was proud of my impromptu answer.

It is possible to live 20 years without coming up with a rapid-fire quip that both delights and defuses the situation.

PSA For Today, You Say?

nathan-dumlao-sFnEXmx8uYs-unsplash

 

Note: I’m using PSA in this post to indicate “Public Service Announcement,” rather than “Prostate-Specific Antigen.” If you googled that and ended up here accidentally, you are really going to be disappointed.

I have two pieces of actually useful advice today.

First, don’t spit on the carpet, even if it is on fire. And even if you live in a trailer. And it is rented. (Unless you have a double first name.)

Second, almost all Facebook accounts that get cloned are because the victim has his or her friends list visible. There is no viable reason to have your settings permit other people to see your friends list. This is doubly true for women and those who are prone to buying things “As Seen On TV.” If you’re unsure if you are one of those two categories, look at your left foot. Not because it will help resolve your doubt, but because you listen to directions.

Today, I accepted a friend request from just such a cloner/hacker. The person attempted to get me to take the bait regarding the 2020 MUSL grant. I assume that’s something I’m dying to get in on the ground floor. Naturally, I wrote them an increasingly bizarre cascade of replies.

I’m certain that by the time the person read them all, they themselves had become MY victim.

I have two-factor authentication turned on. And I changed my password from ‘password1’ to ‘passwrod1.’ They’ll never figure it out!

This PSA brought to you by Asa Hutchinson’s gardener.