Tag Archives: funny

So this blog story was originally written and published on 7/5/2012.  This is the first entry that I wrote that actually

Before you read the following, you have to promise not to tell anyone involved with PETA that I have the following train of thought.  And if you are actually part of PETA, I suggest you go find some other story to read.  I don’t need the “but that is animal cruelty” responses attached to this story.  If you choose to respond in that fashion anyway, please know that your words will not save even one goose and have no way of changing my feelings in the slightest.

I don’t like geese.  I don’t like anything about them.  You know the ones–those honking, noisy, dirty, hissing, road blocking, vile birds.  Do you have them passing through your neighborhood?  They’re nasty!  I’m declaring right here that if they were to go extinct tomorrow, the world would miss nothing.  If they had some sort of link to curing diseases it would be a shame, but I don’t think you’ll ever read a story of how the goose was used to develop the cure for cancer or botulism.  I don’t even know exactly what you go through with botulism, but if I had it I’m positive that I would not go running to a goose for the cure.

I lived in an apartment about three addresses ago.  The buildings were situated around a manmade lake and there was a walking trail that my wife and I would go strolling along hand in hand.  It was a beautiful picture, as you can imagine.  Beautiful that is, until the geese arrived.  After only a couple hours of them setting up camp, the path was effectively unusable.  Goose crap everywhere.  Everywhere you look you see little green logs of turds.  Holding hands was now completely out of the question.  At this point it was single-file only, keep your eyes downward, and try to find enough space to place your next step without squashing a green log or two.  A simple walk with my wife is what I was looking for, not a game of “walking poop puzzle”.  There aren’t too many winners in that game.

The first time they came to our lake, I remember thinking that the apartment management must have aerated the grass surrounding the pond.  Way to go apartment management–you do care about how our landscaping looks.  Not so much.  The management got a free fertilizer job–a nice thorough job at that.  Good job you slimy group of birds.  Why don’t you do me a favor?  Make your “V”, fly away from here, and don’t come back.

Even the plural form of the word goose kind of bugs me.  Why do we need to swap out the O’s for E’s?  Goose goes to geese.  Why?  The word “gooses” isn’t hard to pronounce.  Say it out loud–try it?  See, it’s no problem.  It’s easy.  How arrogant is that group of birds that they need a special word for “more than one” of them?  Screw you gooses!

Another thing that completely bugs me is how they walk.  Walk!  They walk slowly from one side of the road to the other.  If I’m not mistaken, they do have wings and the ability to fly.  We have all seen them fly, but they insist upon walking ever-so slowly across our streets blocking up traffic.  It irks me that people actually stop for these pompous birds.

“I could use my wings to cross the street, but these stupid humans driving in their very large vehicles will, in fact, stop for me.  I’m a goose.  I own the road.”

You’ve been there.  You’ve done it.  You’ve stopped and waited for the group to pass by.  Consider this: You are perpetuating the problem.  Yeah you!  You goose stopper.  You are training these birds to continue walking across the streets.

I’ll tell you what, I don’t stop any more.  When I’m not trapped behind the goose-stopping drivers, when I’m fortunate enough to be the first car to the pompous goose crossing event, I keep going.  I don’t stop.  You know how many gooses (yeah gooses, not geese) that I have actually run over?  Care to guess?  None!  Because just before I get the chance to flatten that last green log out of its slow-walking existence, it decides that its wings can be used to save its own life.  They actually will fly away when targeted with 2000 pounds of vehicle.  Strange how that works.

I think the best time to not stop for them is when they have that cute little line up of baby birds trailing along.  Let us all train them to fly over our roads when they are young.  This could be a young goose’s thought pattern:  “Mom said that the cars will stop for us as we cross.  So don’t worry about that car coming directly as us.  Oh no, he ain’t stopping!  Hey, did you see mom have to fly out of the way?  Crap, maybe we should learn to fly or simply stay off the roads.  And speaking of crap, have you noticed how the older geese crank out turds bigger than us?”

So forget the mexican border issues.  I think we need to move our resources to the Canadian border.  We should quadruple the number of hunters on the border and give them the green light to take out every single canadian goose that tries to migrate to the United States.  No more slow street crossings and decorated walking paths.  No more.

And then I wrote this response…

So on September 21st I received the following one liner from someone who remained anonymous by using the name “Someone”.

“Someone:  You should be put down for writing this.  I hope your children get hit by a car while crossing the street.”

Wow!  That’s harsh.

This comment was sent to me pertaining to a blog entry I wrote back in early July.  You can read it here for yourself.  The article was an attempt at humor (like almost all of my articles) in which the voices in my head starting yelling at me while I was observing my world.

At the time of me writing this entry (the one you are reading right now), there have been two positive hey-that’s-funny comments attached to the “offensive” article and nine bloggers “liked” it.

I wrote that over two months ago.  This means that you have to dig through my blog archive in order to find it.  Or you have to actually search for the topic specifically.  Perhaps this person was wading through my archive before stumbling upon the entry that caused them mental peril.  I’m guessing that the offended person searched through my archive and read at least two other stories from my voices in my head.  I suspect that “Someone” would not enjoy my articles no matter what the subject.

“Well, those two articles were not funny, but I’ll bet the next one will make me smile.”  Click.  “Oh, now I’m completely pissed off.”

And who says “put down” when referring to a human?  Maybe that is some sort of legal mumbo jumbo to ensure deniable plausibility.  “I didn’t murder him.  I simply put him down.  He was getting heavy and I was growing tired of carrying him around.”

I went back and reread the entry twice.  Not a single bird was hurt during the writing of that entry.  In fact, through humor, I was suggesting that we humans work together in harmony (like that old Coke commercial) to train these creatures to stay off the streets.  Sort of.  Ok, at the end of the article I did suggest that hunting of these animals should be increased at the northern border of my country.  But, as implied in all hunting, the carcasses should be used to feed the needy and hungry.  How about a nice Christmas goose on your table this year?

Pertaining to Someone’s comment that wishes harm upon my children, I’ll say it again: Wow!  I’m raising good, caring boys and I am a loving father and husband.  To wish them harm because I don’t care for a particular type of bird is kind of crazy-go-nuts.  I don’t care for a whole bunch of insects, perhaps we should go after my neighbor’s children too.

Perhaps when I taught my boys street safety rules so long ago, I should have gone about it differently.

“Now boys, when crossing the street don’t bother to look both ways.  Just hiss like you’re completely irritated with the cars existence and then start walking.”

So my question for “Someone” is this:  Do you own a car?  How many ants, spiders, and caterpillars do you “put down” every time you go for a drive?   I wish all of your toenails would fall off.  No wait, I think that would be a good thing.  See here.  Ah, never mind.  Just live your life in peace and may God bless you.

I read the response from “Someone” to my family—including my boys.  One of my sons loves to read my blog and is always looking over my shoulder when I’m typing.  My wife and I have always treated them like actual real live members of this world.  He said, “Dad, you should write a response to that for your next blog entry.”

I said, “The last thing I want is a PETA war on my blog.”

He said, “Do you know how much publicity that will get you?”

Ah, the wisdom of twelve year old (who also knows how to look both ways when crossing the street).

My son says, “Buy my book or I’ll hit you with my car!

Jim the Bacon Man

In keeping with the spirit of this Era of Re-runs, here is a post that was first put up on 7-3-2012, even though I would rank it near the bottom of my amusing posts.

Everyone carries around a list of their ranked blog post based on level of amusement, right?

I bought my tickets to see Jim Gaffigan at the Taft theater in Cincinnati.  His shows are coming up in August.  I’m really looking forward to it.  I bought four tickets, but haven’t actually decided what to do with the third and fourth ticket.  Clearly, the first two are for my wife and I.  Jim’s comedy is not anywhere close to over-the-top with respect to adult material.  But do I bring my kids?  They have seen and heard many of Jim’s shows on television in the past.  Or do I invite a couple of friends?  I don’t know how to make this decision.  My boys already know that I have the tickets.

My wife has suggested that I check the Taft theater web site in order to determine if there is a minimum age requirement.  There sure is–with respect to visiting the bar.  Clearly 21 is the age required.  But the site is not very clear about taking a position on age pertaining to anything else.

taft

I’m a tall guy. I hope you weren’t behind me.

However, there are many other rules written out to clarify many different scenarios and restricted items.  There are typical things like video recording devices or audio recorders that make the “do not bring” list.  This makes sense for some performers that are trying to make additional money on CD/DVD sales and want to limit the boot-legging.   So let me share a few odd ones with you that landed in the “restricted items” list.

“Cameras with long or detachable lenses (cameras small enough to fit in a man’s shirt pocket are allowed)”

This just begs for me to create a pocket the full size of my torso and load it up with the basic inventory of a camera shop.

“Aerosol Spray Cans”

But what if my hair starts to droop in the middle of the performance?

“Weapons”

This seems obvious to me, but it helps me finalize the decision to leave my bazooka at home.

“Tools (wrenches, pliers, etc.)”

That is exactly how it is written out on the theater’s website.  What did someone do to make the theater management spell out the examples?  Does “etcetera” cover pipe-wrenches?  Cause I have a fear of dropping my ring into a sink drain, and I usually carry a pipe-wrench to dismantle the plumbing when I do that.

“Inflatables”

So when I told my inflatable woman that I couldn’t bring her to the show, she had this odd surprised look on her face.  Oh wait a minute, she always has that look.

And at the end of the list: “Any other item deemed unacceptable by Taft Theatre management.  Subject to change at the discretion of Taft Theatre or Tour management at any time.”

So they reserve the right to just look at you and say, “Hey buddy, you have to leave right now because we just added ‘brown hair’ to the list.  Totally unacceptable.  Have a nice night.”

Following the list of restricted items comes the list of behavioral reasons that will get thrown out.  Typical list leaders include intoxication, disruptive behavior, and the use of profanity (not including most of the stand-up comedians).

“Unacceptable or indecent dress”

So I have to wear my pants to the show?  Really?  Jim wouldn’t if he had the option.

“Participating in a fight”

I’ll need a bit of clarity on this one.  Is watching the fight considered ‘participating’?   I’ll need to know how to handle this in advance.  If a fight breaks out, do I need to close my  eyes?  That just seems dangerous to me.

“Entering or attempting to enter the restrooms of the opposite sex”

I’ve been down this road a few times in my life.  Each by accident–honestly.  Someone remind me to write the story of my college days incident of this mistake.  A mistake!  Not on purpose.

“Breaking the law”

This will get you ejected out to the streets where law breaking belongs–not in the theater.

“Any action that, in the opinion of the Taft Theatre management, places other guests in danger or reduces their enjoyment of the event”

There they go again.  “Hey you.  You’re blinking funny and people are starting to complain.  You’re out of here!”

I can’t wait for the show!  Especially now that I am fully aware of the rules.  Oh, and I just realized that the Taft ‘Theater’ is actually the Taft ‘Theatre’ (R before E).  I wonder if I’ll get thrown out for that gross oversight on my behalf.

Buy my book! (or wait for the play)

Dark Humor

This re-run was originally posted on 6/28/2012.

Several years ago I was initially reluctant to put this “out there”.  But this is what makes me tick.  This is the essence of Marcus.

Poop humor makes people smile.

Lights Out

This is one of those iffy subjects.  I am wondering if I can pull this off without offending and bothering you.  By you, I mean specifically you.  You know who you are.  If you don’t, that would be an odd thing.  Perhaps you are in a coma and don’t know you anymore.  Sad really.  But since you are reading this, I would guess that you are alive and well.

The topic pertains to the bathroom which is one of my favorite topics when I am trying to produce something that will make you smile.  Producing humor that is, not anything else that you may or may not have been thinking.

You have to understand that I am a man.  I’m a grown man–someone who is raising a family.  I have my fair share of responsibilities and I am a decent member of society.  However, you also have to understand that before all of my so called maturing happened, I was a little boy.  And after that, I was a male teenager.  And then for a while, I was a guy in college.  Poo-poo jokes and embarrassing situations revolving around the bathroom are something that I embrace.  I can’t not smile when I am confronted by a story that involves gas or someone caught with their pants down.  I have to admit and acknowledge that its part of me.  It makes me, me.  I’m ok with it.

So, that being said and understood, I’m entering a small public restroom the other day.  It’s a nicely constructed with all the newer no-touch devices—lights, toilet flusher, sink water, towel dispenser, etc.  I walk in the lights click on automatically.  I proceed to the stall, to do what people do in a stall.  No details needed there.  You get the picture.  (“Everyone Poops” is a great book.  Look for it if you have never seen it.)

Then some time passes.  I’m not known for being fast at this “particular activity”.  If a book or a magazine is handy, I’ll take in a few stories.  But honestly, who wants to be known for either outcome: fast or slow.

“Hey, isn’t that Marcus over there?”

“Yeah, man it is!  Boy, he can move fast.”

It’s a good compliment for a football player, baseball player, or a track star, but not for someone seeking to relieve their biology.

Anyway, time passes and the sensor and timer controlling the automatic lights conspire against me as they make the decision that there is no longer anyone in the bathroom.  Lights out!  All at once, I am subjected to total darkness.  It’s alarming and very hard to describe the feelings that rush over you in that small moment of time.  In an emergency, the battery back-up lights would kick on, but this is no emergency.  This is simply an energy saving piece of electronics doing its job.

I am an evil device. I can turn Marcus into a blind man!

I think to myself for a plan.  This is a problem I can solve.  I’ll stand up and wave my hands around in order to make the lights click back on.  I do just that.  Nothing.  I’m in the stall with my pants at my ankles flapping my arms so hard I nearly took flight.  Nothing.  Still total darkness—like complete total darkness.  Ok.  I’ll open and close the stall door real fast.  Nothing.  No effect.  Darkness continues.  I can’t believe that the sensor isn’t covering the entire room, but it makes sense.  The sensor is designed to watch the door only, not the entire bathroom.  Despite my situation, I can actually appreciate this design.  I have issues when it comes to devices that “watch” humans in the bathroom.  I’m not a fan of the auto flusher.  First off, it’s watching me sit there.  It sees me.  Creepy.  Secondly, I always cover that “eyeball” with a piece of toilet paper so as to avoid the premature flush.  Nothing worse.

I have a friend on Facebook that posted one of those one-liner jokes that makes its rounds on the internet every so often.  “How does a blind person know when he is done wiping?”  It’s a great question.  Great question.  Well the memory of reading that really hit home just then.

This is the touchy part that might cause you to never return to my reading ever again.  I’ll do my best not to lose you.

I do what I can in total darkness to clean up my… situation.  I am, at this moment, in every aspect of the description, a blind man.  Ok, moving on.  I raise my pants and fix my belt.  I then do the mad dash out of the stall toward the door.  The lights click back on and I reverse the mad dash back into the stall.  In fact, if you had the chance to see me, you would have said, “Wow, that Marcus really moves fast.”

I realize that since no one actually saw me dealing with this whole incident, the story becomes somewhat anti-climatic.  But there I was, back in the stall.  (This is the part where losing you really concerns me).  I return to the seated position in order to check my work.    Let’s just say, as a blind man, I did good work.  Although I still don’t know the answer to that great question—how do they know?

While washing my hands, I had one more flashback.  A long time ago when I was just a little punk, probably somewhere around nine years old, I had a friend named Dave (no last name given in order to protect his identity).  We found it amusing to kill the lights in public bathrooms as we ran out the door when we observed someone’s feet occupying a stall.  We would hear these people’s shocked voices echoing out, “Hey, turn the lights on I’m still in here!” as we were running out the door casting them into total darkness.  We would laugh so hard.

Now, it is so clear that I must apologize to those unknown peoples that we tormented so long ago.  I understand now exactly what they were feeling.  Exactly.  What goes around comes around.

I am sorry.

I wonder if they ever wrote out their story.  Probably not.

Oh, and if I offended any blind people actually reading this story… oh wait, never mind.

Buy my book for the back of your toilet!

The Era of the Rerun

Hey, it’s been far too long since I added to this blog.

I know, I know.  You missed me.  I’m awesome.  All that.

Here’s the thing.  Life is busy.  You know it.  Your life is probably busy too.  I know it.

Am I sorry that I haven’t posted for a great time?  Sure.

Am I sorry that I have two teenage boys that chew up all of my time?  Nope.

To be honest here in a vulnerable kind of way, I should report to you that I was in an accident and it left me with only one arm and only three fingers, so it has become a tedious process to type into this blog.

To be even more honest, that previous line is a complete lie.

Look, I’ve been lazy.  There!  I said it!  You happy now?

My original goal for this blog was to promote my book.  I did that.  Success!  And along the way I managed to reach 100 blog entries.  True story.  The entry just before this one was number 100.  So I’m proud of that.

But guess what my new plan is?

Did you even try to guess?

Disappointing.

My new plan is to re-run every entry from the very first one all the way back to this one, which will be weird when that actually happens and you are reading this particular explanation again.  Probably one or so per week.

But listen, this isn’t a bad thing.  You didn’t read all 100 of these stories anyway.  And if you did, I’m sure you don’t remember how much awesomeness is contained in each one.

Without further ado.

Actually, if you want to maintain you current level of ado, you have that right.

So without altering you current level of ado, let’s remember how this all started…

10,000 Foot View (Original date 6/23/2012)

I’m flying home from across the country after a week of work away from home.  Flying out of this particular area offers incredible views at a most amazing part of our country.  The scenery is amazing with the rocky mountains standing in the background.  My flight had to circle around after lift off, so everyone on board had the opportunity to observe the incredible landscape all around.  Everyone, that is, except me.  It never fails that I get the seat with the perfect view of the wing. The wing!  It’s beautiful.  The way the sun reflects off of the rows of screws, the way those flaps move in and out, and the way the message “do not walk here” captures your eye and doesn’t let go.  Breathtaking.  Simply breathtaking.

It seems to me that the wing is always just outside my window.  It doesn’t matter which seat is assigned to me, the wing will be there blocking my view.  In previous flights, I have heard people gawking at the splendor of the Grand Canyon, or the view of the Washington monument, and all I can think is how it looks a lot like an airplane wing. My seat can be in row one, five, twenty-two –it does not matter, the wing will be there.  I honestly think that if I were to be the pilot of the aircraft, the wing would still be there obstructing my view, sticking out of the front of the plane.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain, if you look out of left side of the plane you’ll get a great view of Yellowstone National Park, and since we will be turning around in order to correct our flight path, those of you on the right will also have the opportunity.  Oh, except you Marcus, if you’ll notice please, that’s our wing.”

I always lean forward in my seat to note the person across the way on the opposite side of the aircraft with the prime view of the other wing.  I feel a special connection to this other poor soul who shares the equally unimpressive view of the aircraft wing.  On today’s flight, my wing-observing partner is actually a blind man.

Buy my high flying book.

Growing Hair

So sure, I’m a middle-aged man with a forehead that has never been larger.  I find myself at the beginning stages of sporting a bald spot in the age of magic hair growing drugs.  But will you find me using hair drugs, hair foams, or spray on hair?  Nope, because I can grow back my hair anytime I want to.  It’s true.  I am choosing to progress into that middle-aged balding man without a fight.  How could I possibly start my midlife crisis with a full head of hair?  Forty-six states have laws on the books prohibiting middle-aged men from driving convertibles with a full head of hair.  Look it up.

I can grow hair whenever I want to.  In fact, I have developed the power to sprout hair located anywhere on my body.  Every day that goes by I am perfecting this talent.  I am not losing my hair, but rather, I am repositioning it to areas all around my body.

You want to see hair growing on my little finger?  Done.  You want to see hair on my ear lobes?  Done.  You want to see hair coming out of the soles of my feet?  I’ll bet I can pull it off in the next couple of years.

Recently I have been exerting my hair growing powers in an attempt to refill my receding hair-line.  My efforts are starting to pay off because there are a few hairs sprouting out where my hairline used to be.  I currently have these awesome racing stripes of rather smooth skin on both sides of my forehead.  This area once was not only filled with thick brown beautiful hair, but was also altogether closer to my eyebrows.  But now, through the use of my hair growing powers, I have started to grow a handful of hairs where I once had them.  Just a few.  Never more than three to five at a time so far.  It’s a slow start.

I know this is going to sound weird, but along with my hair growing powers I also can hear the thoughts of my new mid-forehead hairs.  I think it is some sort of side effect from my hair growing powers.

“Hey, hairline up there!  Remember when we used to hang out down here?  Man, those were good times.  Hey guys, you should stop being such old farts and come on down here with us.  Remember the time when we were flirting with the eyebrow hairs?  Dude, that was so much fun.  We should do that again.”

“No way.  Get out of here.  We are way too old to be messing around in that part of the forehead.  And besides, have you seen how the eyebrows look these days?  They haven’t had an easy life.  They’ve let themselves go.”

Unfortunately, I had to pluck the renegade forehead hairs when they started harassing the older hairs.  That, and they kept me up at night with all their stories from long ago.

You readers should know that I typed all these paragraphs using only my left eyebrow.

Harry says, “Buy my books.”

PS- That was my 100th post.  I didn’t see it coming.  Self deprecating…go figure.

Laughable Security

The wife and I are considering refinancing our home to save a little cash each month while the rates still remain low.  It’s not the first time we have refinanced.  We have been down this road with success in the past.  When deciding if the cost of refinancing will be worth it, one of the first questions you have to ask is “Do you enjoy banging your head against a brick wall?”

Why yes! Yes I do.

This is the story of very first step of the refinancing process.  In fact, its step zero—maybe even step minus one.

To begin, you’ll need to know how much you owe on your current mortgage so that you can tell the refinance guy how much you’re asking to borrow during this refinancing process.  Simple, right?

I have no idea.  Perhaps that’s foolish of me, but I got nothing.  No clue at all.  I just allow my current bank to auto withdraw from my savings account whatever amount they see fit to pay my bill and not start a foreclosure process.  A hundred dollars you ask for?  Sure.  Two thousand dollars?  Sure.  A half million?  Sure, take it.

You see, I have not received a paper statement for the last several years because I decided to go green.  Somewhere in the distant past, I can picture myself cancelling the paper statements to make a difference in the world.  Do yourself a favor and breathe in real slow and real deep.  Fresh, right?  Yeah, that’s thanks to me.

So I call my bank to determine the current outstanding loan amount.  That’s when the banking operator hits me with the “security” questions.  Which is cool.  I get it.  I don’t need every Tom, Dick, and Harry probing the details of my account.  In fact, I don’t need the three of those guys probing anything.

“What are the last four digits of your social security number?”  Easy one.

“What city where you born in?”  I got this.  Although I have no memory of the event.

“What date did your dog first crap on your carpet?”  Seriously, I have no idea?

“How many fingers am I holding up?”  You’re on the other end of a phone!

Actually, joking aside, the questions were straight forward and easy for me to recall for my ever-so-pleasant banking operator.  That is, until she asked, “What was the original amount of the loan?”

Oh no!  I have no idea.  You see, the wife and I refinanced once already.  I remember the original loan amount from when I originally purchased the home, but the first refinancing amount?  I can’t remember that at all.  I explained that I don’t have that information any more.  She then said, “We cannot give you information about your current loan amount without first answering that particular security question.  However, you can log on to your account from our website to see you current account balance.  Why don’t you try that approach?”

Fine.  I like working with people better, but off to the web I go.

I haven’t logged in since I went “green”.  I think I remember my log in ID, but my password?  No idea.  So I now have to click the “I’m a moron and need to reset my forgotten password” link.  Click.  I feel yucky.

Great news!  The automatic web site people will happy to e-mail me a temporary password to the e-mail address I have on file.

Not so great news!  That e-mail account has been disabled for years.  No help there.

So I had to call back into my bank.  Of course I got a different bank operator this time and I had re-explained to her that I was looking for my current outstanding loan amount and that I am having trouble logging into the web site to retrieve it.

Her next move, you ask?  Security questions.  The exact same ones.

I grit my teeth and say, “I don’t know the original loan amount.  I will never know the original loan amount.  I have no way of learning my original loan amount.  That is, unless you reset my password.”

“I’m sorry.  But without answering all of the security questions, I do not know how I can help you.”

After a brief fruitless debate, I hang up on her—wishing I could slam the phone down, but not doing so, because it’s my cell phone and that destroying it in of spite her would suck.  So, “boop” (the noise of disconnecting the call).  Take that!

I need a new approach.  With my thinking cap firmly in place, I formulate a new plan of attack.  Planning level: Genius.  I feel like one of those Scooby Doo “meddling kids” that always stopped the bad guy from “getting away with it.”  I’m more of the Shaggy type.  Not so much the Fred type because I don’t even own an ascot.  Velma and Daphne?  No, I don’t see me in either of them.  And Scooby, well he’s a dog.  I am not.  Let’s not be silly here.

With my new plan in mind, I called back.  I got yet another different bank operator which is exactly what I needed for my glorious plan.  “Thank you for calling (insert my banks name here).  How may I help you?”  I don’t wish to throw my bank under the bus for this story.  But let’s just say it’s an American bank located in America.  In fact, you could say it is a Bank of America, that is, if you felt like saying that.

“Yes, hello!  I’m calling about my mortgage account that I have with your fine banking establishment.  My social security number is (insert my number here—no clues for you).  My wife and I are considering refinancing and we need to determine the value of the original loan amount of our current mortgage.  Can you give me that value, please?”

And she did!  Just like that.

Now I should have declared victory and hung up, but I couldn’t help myself.  “Do you realize that you just gave me the answer to one of my own security questions?  I’ve been trying to reset my online password and couldn’t do it without knowing the original loan amount!  So can I please have my password reset now?”

She was flustered—probably in some sort of trouble because “this call may be recorded for training purposes”.  Evidently, training that didn’t go far enough.

Without another second of delay, “Umm, ok. Well.  Let me transfer you to our online help department.”

Nice!

The story ends there.  Finally.  I now know the exact amount of our outstanding balance of our current mortgage.  I can now move to the next step of the refinancing process.

By the way, the lesson I learned is that I probably should fire up the delivery of the monthly paper statements.  Going green simply leads to security breaches.  Breathe in real slow and real deep.  Not as fresh anymore, is it?

Buy my books, no questions asked.

My Super Bowl Recap 2014

If you are a Peyton Manning fan, then that Super Bowl was not for you.

If you are a funny commercial fan, then that Super Bowl was not for you.

If you are a Phillip Seymore Hoffman fan, then that Sunday was not for you (along with some of the writing that follows here).

So I was with my family watching the Broncos completely fall apart.  But at least the commercials were amusing—not so much.  In years passed, I typically update my Facebook status while watching the Super Bowl and its commercials.  This year was no different.  This morning, when I reviewed my posted statuses, I noticed that not a single one singled out the “funny” commercials.

Without further ado, here is a Super Bowl recap via my Facebook status updates:

Wait a minute.  I still have a little “ado” left.  I had to look up the word “ado” to make sure I was using it properly.  Ado is defined as “bustling activity; fuss; bother; delay”.  So yes, all is well.  I now have no more “ado” so we can, in fact, continue.

The morning of Super Bowl Sunday brought us the news of the death of a Hollywood actor.

‘If you are waiting for Philip Seymour Hoffman to come to your Super Bowl party, umm, well this is awkward…’

I posted that because Mr. Hoffman apparently accidentally killed himself with drugs.  Perhaps this was insensitive to his surviving loved ones.  It probably was.  But really, I was just trying to look out for those Super-Bowl-partying people who were counting on him to bring his crock-pot filled with that awesome chicken-cheese dip that he was known for.  I mean, those poor people.  How dry their mouths must have been after eating dipless chips.

Besides, his loved loves don’t read my blog.  If they do, they never bother to push like or leave a comment.  So, whatever.

The game was kicked off by Phil Sims escorting Joe Namath to the coin flip to determine who would be declared the winner of the Super Bowl.  Seriously, using the coin flip to determine the winner would have been far less painful for the broncos.

‘”Phil, I want to kiss you.”, Joe.’

If you don’t understand this reference, just Google “Joe Namath I want to kiss you” and you will no doubt find a clip of a drunken Mr. Namath hitting on a sideline reporter while being interviewed on national television.  Priceless.  I’ll never be able to see Joe without recalling that video segment with sharp clarity in my head.  Completely more entertaining than Sherman’s rant.

The Super Bowl half time show was being advertised weeks in advance to showcase Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

“Get ready for the oil and water half time show.”

Can this arrangement be anymore mismatched?  I couldn’t wait…

“Bruno is moving more than Denver’s offense.”

I have to say, Mr. Mars opened with an entertaining number that was enjoyable.  He banged on the drums for awhile and then welcomed the members of Sha-Na-Na onto stage.  They all sung and danced.  It was pleasant.

If you understand the Sha-Na-Na reference, you are old.  To be honest I thought they were all dead by now.  Although, I didn’t see Bowser anywhere?

And then the Red Hot Chili Peppers dropped in on the scene.  I like the Chili Pepper’s music, but trying to mix them in with Bruno’s class and style—not possible.

“I just ate a mars bar with a red hot chili pepper.  It was gross.”

Once again, I’ll note that the commercials this year were basically all forgettable.  Apparently Prince (the old pop star of the 1930’s) was guest starring on some sitcom that I don’t watch.  Many plugs for this comedy show were paid for—each highlighting Prince’s non-balding big hair.  Rogaine has treated him well.

“My 15 year old son just asked, “Who is Prince?”

So now I’m feeling old.  Apparently the sitcom show is not geared toward the 15 year old high school student demographic.

So the Super Bowl game was a one-sided flop with Peyton Manning’s offense struggling to get anything done.  So I signed off of my Facebook time line with one last parting shot.

“Phillip Seymore Hoffman is having a better day than Peyton Manning.  Just saying.”

Note: If you add, “Just saying.”  It can’t be considered inconsiderate.

Buy my book (very popular with the 15 year old high school students).

Maturity for Sale

I like being witty, being that funny guy, and getting people to laugh.  I really enjoy making people smile.  My teenage children recently asked me if I will ever mature into an adult.  “Come on Dad, are you ever going to grow up?  Are you sure you’re even an adult?”  I took it is a complement, but I could be wrong.  They would be totally bummed out if my humor dried up just because I turned into a mature grown man.

The scenario was still on my mind as I was on my way home from work.  I have just under an hour drive to place of employment.  I was buzzing down the highway watching the exits fly; my mind contemplating deep thoughts about what needs to happen to become a mature responsible adult.  And that is when I saw it.

I saw the sign.

I saw what I needed to do.

There was hope for me.

There was a place for me to go to increase my maturity and hang on to my sense of humor at the same time.

Did you know that there is a business that sells items designed to increase your maturity level?  I didn’t.  I was amazed at what I had found.  I stumbled across this little place that I was completely confident that it would change my world.

The owners of this place weren’t being too creative when they selected their name for this extraordinarily helpful little road side shop.  They called their store simply “Adult”.

Yes, it was the perfect store for me and my new desire to become a grownup.  A place where I can purchase products that will increase my maturity.  I pulled my car up to the door.  Already I can feel an excitement in the pit of my stomach.  Is this what mature people feel all the time?  I have to be careful here.  If my goal is to enhance my maturity while maintaining my sense of humor, I must proceed with caution and not to buy too much “Adult” product at one time.

Well I threw the car into park and charged into the shop.  I was a little surprised at what I saw.  I meandered up and down the aisles checking out the items for sale that would help change me into a mature adult.  I really couldn’t understand how these products were going to help me become a more serious adult, but this was an “Adult” store.  So clearly, they know what they are doing here.  I kept an open mind and continue to browse.

So, you want me to put this in where?  I really don’t think that will help my goals.  Are you sure?

I didn’t try that approach.  Instead I looked into their self-help DVDs.

Their self-help DVDs really took a strange approach.  Sure, the people in these videos had an interesting grasp on “self help”, but the methodology just didn’t seem like a match for my objective.

I left the so-called “Adult” store without finding what I needed, disappointed, and confused.  I went in looking for a new level of maturity, a new sense of wisdom, and I exited the store with nothing that would help.

But you should see my new wardrobe.

Buy my mature books.

On Being Dental Floss

When I count my blessings, I never forget to note that I am not a piece of dental floss.  There are a tremendous amount of “things” in this world.  I could have been any of them.  Fortunately, I became a human—master of the floss.

Can you imagine being a piece of dental floss?

First, the most obvious point, is that it would be gross to live out your existence with the sole purpose of  removing un-swallowed bits of nearly completely chewed food from in-between the cramped quarters of a couple of teeth.  However, since that is the only purpose for your existence, maybe that’s what would bring you the most joy.  You would have an amazing sense of accomplishment as you pull off the “flick the food bit onto the bathroom mirror” move.  You would be praised by generations of dental flosses to come.  Songs would be written.  Stories would be exaggerated.

“Your great-great-grandfather once catapulted a piece of corn on the cob so far and so high onto the bathroom mirror, that the human being controlling the string of your floss ancestors had to get the bathroom stool to reach the once stuck food crud.”

So the other reason why I’m grateful that I am not dental floss is that there is little possibility of being the hero or of even being productive.  Only a very small percentage of pieces of dental floss actually get to journey in-between the teeth to do the job of food extraction.  The rest of the floss pieces either get wrapped around the human’s finger or stuck out in never-never land between the finger and the ever-so-lucky piece of dental floss that gets jammed into the tooth crack.

“I was so close!  I was right next to the floss piece that reached into the abyss and pulled the popcorn kernel out.  I saw everything from the front row.  I was right there.  It should have been me.  I could have been a contender.  Instead of a bum, which is what I am.”  Said a piece of floss named Marlon.

“Dude, relax.  At least you were there.  I was wrapped around a finger, crushed up against other loser pieces of floss that didn’t even stand a chance of contributing.  And besides, the ever-so-great food flicker ended up in the same trash can as the rest of us.”

Oh, and I’m thankful that I am not toilet paper too.

Buy my books (no strings attached).

Seasonal Monsters

Here comes Halloween!  My favorite holiday!

Every year I set up a haunted front yard.  And every year it gets more elaborate.  My boys participate with their scary masks and blood stained shirts.  We take pride in making the little ones scream.  I warn all the parents that bring their children into my yard, “if you enter, your child probably will have nightmares.”  Several years back, my boys were happy to tell everyone they saw the next day that “we made an adorable little Scooby Doo cry!”  Ah, good times, good memories.

scary

My monsters in my haunted yard.

I got to thinking about some of the various monsters of Halloween.  You have your werewolves, demons, vampires, and mummies.  What makes these monsters scary?

Glad you asked.  You did ask that, right?

Werewolves:  They are basically overgrown dogs that will eat your flesh.  Sure, scary.

Demons:  Supernatural craziness.  They go through walls and from time to time they will put your body on pause and cause black smoke to come out of your wide open mouth.  It’s kind of a coalminer’s black lung thing without the years of mining.  (Maybe that was aliens, not demons.  Whatever.)

Black smoke is about to come out of my mouth and perhaps a nasty nose bleed.

Black smoke is about to come out of my mouth and perhaps a nasty nose bleed.

Vampires:  They suck your blood and turn you into one of their kind—which apparently leads to immortality.  That’s not really scary unless you get a really hungry vampire that drinks 100% of your blood.  Momma vampire barks out, “Listen here you little blood sucker.  You’re not leaving the table until you finish all the blood from your human!  There are vampires in this world that only get to suck blood from the necks of small animals—some of which don’t even have necks.  You should be grateful for your full human dinner!”

Mummies:  Seriously, what is scary about a mummy?  Even the way you spell the plural form of mummy makes it look cute with that “drop the Y and add I E S” thing.  “Ah, look at all the little mummies!  So adorable!”  So, mummies are long dead people wrapped up in several layers of toilet paper.  Yeah, not scary.  “Oh no!  Look out!  That mummy is wrapped in un-quilted single ply toilet paper!  Run for your life!”  He isn’t going to bite you without first choking on a wad of toilet paper.  I suppose that it might be scary if they all banded together, stormed your neighborhood, and toilet-papered every tree, top to bottom, on your street.  What a nightmare that would be!  Oh, worse if it was drizzling outside.

Buy my horror novel (wrap it in toilet paper)*
*must supply your own toilet paper