It all started with a tea party

In 1773 a group of libertarians in Boston decided that the Republican Party was getting too uppity, so they formed a new party based on the premise that the colonies were paying way too much money for scones, increasing the national debt, and forcing local tea houses to serve cucumber sandwiches with their Darjeeling. They also objected to calling whipped cream “clotted cream” because it just sounded icky.

In retaliation for the scone scandal, they dressed as Indians, rowed their boats up to British merchant ships in Boston Harbor, (spelled “harbour” by those crafty Brits, who had also increased the tax on vowels), and tossed crates of tea overboard.

This led inexorably to the battle of Lexington and Concord and the shot heard around the world, or at least as far as Philadelphia, where the errant musket ball cracked the Liberty Bell.

In 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed, based on the premise that all men have inalienable abduction rights, officially putting the kibosh on anal probes in the new nation.

On July fourth, we celebrate these brave men, who risked their lives to give us freedom of speech, exponentially increasing the number of tabloids in the checkout lines at Ye Olde Shoppe. No longer wishing to be called colonists, the new nation experimented with the names, provincists, and general areaists, finally settling on stateists, giving rise to the United Ists of America, or UIA (later changed to USA, since people were still gun shy about the use of too many vowels).

The American Revolution sent the British packing, with the aid of the French and Indians (which would later come back to bite us in the butt, but that’s another war). Today we enjoy the liberties which were earned on the battlefield, at great personal cost. We honor these brave men with beer and weenie roasts, since we decided long ago that tea and scones were just too prissy.

Sorry, we can’t use funny

If you haven’t read Barry Parham’s work, you’re missing out on laughing till milk squirts out your nose. (Not altogether an unpleasant thing if you’re into nasal orgasms.) I stole the title for this blog from one of his books, which kind of says it all. It wasn’t until I went to a conference and cornered threatened spoke to an agent, that I finally got him to look at my humor book. Upshot: he loved it but knew that a publisher would be a hard sell.

I have the privilege of working with some very talented humorists, and counting many more as friends. It broke my heart to have to turn some folks away, lest our book reached biblical proportions.

Instead of regaling you with some of my tasteless mirth, I’ve posted a few quotes from our upcoming Valentine’s Day humor book on the Sneak Peeks page.

You can read Barry’s weekly blog at Associated Content. Here’s one of my favorites, from his new book The Middle Age of Aquarius.

Shorts + wicker = Chenille marks

Yesterday they were running a blood drive at the mall, so my impulsive nature ended me with a needle in my arm. I should have been nervous, but instead I was thinking ruefully that the mesh chair was going to leave waffle marks on my bare thighs. Since summer officially started one week ago, I thought I’d repeat a blog I wrote last year.

OK, I get it. As we get older our skin loses elasticity. You push two solid masses together, and the squishier one is going to give first, often oozing into each nook and cranny of the firmer surface. That was fine when I was a thirteen year old gymnast with thighs like granite—not as much 40 years later on those days when oxygen feels firmer than my thighs.

Shorts + Wicker = Chenille marks

Years ago, bathrobes and bedspreads were often made of a soft white material decorated with nubs, like little knots lined up into patterns. The problem with the chenille bedspread was that if you tried to sneak a nap, you’d wake up with drool on your pillow and telltale indentations on your face. Chenille may be a thing of the past, but sagging skin is not.

As we officially kick off summer, let us remember these simple senior fashion rules:

Be aware of the location of your thighs at all times. Grass, towels, and most lawn furniture is going to leave a mark. Resist the urge to sit down until after dark.

Sun + skin = Age spots

The same sun that used to give you a glowing tan will now give your face all the luster of a Guernsey cow (brown and white spots, for those of you not born in a barn). Once mother nature has blotched up your skin, it will take faithful use of sunscreen, expensive cosmetics, and the rest of your life to unblotch.

Bathing suit + middle age spread = disaster

I haven’t had the courage to go bathing suit shopping yet. I’m thinking that there is no day so hot that I am willing to bare that much doughy skin in public. Even trying on a one-piece is going to require panels, lycra, and a bottle of lighter fluid, so if necessary, I can set fire to the dressing room to draw the eye away from my trouble spots.

Hide your garden gnomes

We live in a “community”, which is to say that we could wallpaper our bathroom with the stack of paper containing the neighborhood covenants. They’ve got a rule for every possible contingency, in case you are considering hiring a goat to paint your house in bright orange polka dots. (page 379, section 870c, paragraph g).

The homeowner’s association (hereinafter referred to as “Evil Bloodsucking Tyrants” – or EBT) has a fleet of bright red golf carts equipped with search lights, sirens, and flashing lights. They frequently pass my house, camera at the ready, hoping to find a plastic pink flamingo in my garden. One neighbor was caught with a lawn jockey, and ended up doing an OJ pursuit. He was clocked on Maple Avenue going 5 MPH, followed by no less than six EBT-mobiles.

My daughter lives in a similar community. She recently had some Canadians (hereinafter referred to as Canucks) move in a few doors down. Even though they brought escargot to the neighborhood potluck, they seem like pretty nice folks. I’m not ashamed to say that some of my best friends are Canadians.

Now bear in mind that I’m not making this up, people.

A few weeks ago, Mr. and Mrs. Canuck stepped outside to find the president of the HOA dressed in camouflage and crouched in their bushes. He had a video camera, apparently trying to document them in some fiendish plot to take over the American maple syrup industry. He came up with some lame excuse about trying to catch people blowing the stop sign on the corner. Being Canadian, they were too polite to call the police or punch his lights out.

Speaking of voyeurs, the police finally caught the porta-potty peeper. He would hide out in a porta-potty (and there’s only one place to hide out in a porta-potty) and watch women pee. I’m trying to figure out how the judicial system is going to punish him. The man likes to crouch in shit. How can you get much worse than that?

But I digress.

The problem is that we want to park our motor home out front for a few days to do some repairs. This is the same motor home that we dropped into a septic tank last year, so the tailpipe is still being held on by a coat hanger and duct tape. Unlike my pink flamingo, it’s kind of hard to stash a motor home under the bed when the HOA drives by.

If you have some suggestions about how we can hide a twenty-eight foot RV in the driveway, I’m all ears. I’m probably going to spend the rest of the day trying to figure out how a grown man can squeeze down a toilet.

Time management from an underachiever

This is my typical day. You’ll notice that I spend about 17 hours a day on the computer. How do I do it? (Try to sound sincerely interested when you ask). I have insomnia, I don’t get out much, I rarely watch TV, and I wait till my leg hairs are curling before I shave.

My friend just published a book. He finds time to work two jobs, volunteer as a fireman, and write. All of us underachievers hate him (in the nicest possible way). Of course, he doesn’t have to shave his legs or pull down his pants to pee—definite time savers.

It’s obvious that I don’t get out much. Actual social interaction may be a necessary component of the human condition, kind of like watching American Idol, but I tend to eschew both. This gives me time to look up “eschew” in the dictionary.

My project for today is to learn to make a video book trailer. This would be easier if I could figure out how to a) paste a You Tube video on my website, b) find 3 midgets and a parrot to hum Wind Beneath my Wings. Maybe I need to set the bar a little lower.

Damn! Now I have that song stuck in my head.

I consider myself very fortunate that I can make my own schedule, be my own boss, and avoid spending eight hours a day swilling coffee and trying to look busy in a windowless cubicle. Also, I don’t have to change my underwear every day.

You wouldn’t know it to read my blogs, but I’m a very focused person. I just tend to focus on the number of pudding cups left in the box, and the length of my toenails. I haven’t found a job description yet to cover that.

Do what you must to make it through the day. I’ll just be over here contemplating how to paste a You Tube video and humming Wind Beneath my Wings.

I’m hot shit? Really?

So, I’m minding my own business, giving birth to a new company (8 centimeters and 90% effaced) when people start lining up at my door. Suddenly, every SEO guru and marketing consultant on the internet wants to be my best bud. C’mon people, I haven’t even pooped this one out yet! Continue reading

What are you not reading today?

I should run a contest. If you can successfully guess the number of magazines littering my coffee table, you win a one year subscription to Home and Dairy magazine. Adult content: the July issue has a centerfold of a Holstein in heat. Continue reading

A Norman Rockwell Father’s Day

“We’ll build our own kites!” my dad announced. How quaint! Three sets of eyes looked at him in disbelief, wishing for the seven plagues of Egypt as a distraction. A kit at the grocery store, with beautiful colored paper and balsa wood struts cost 25¢, but he was already feverishly sketching the design for his kite. Continue reading

Creative soup

I’m amazed at how many blogs fail. People get tired of blogging, but leave the website up, with nothing but a picture of an ugly baby, who has since graduated from medical school. Writers will always have periods of mental constipation, where their most brilliant thought of the day is “jerk can be used as either a noun or a verb.” Continue reading