Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My medical bills, issues & the $10,000 DAT scan


Mary had a pleasant, patient phone voice, non-antagonistic and experienced in knowing if I got TOO testy she could always pass the buck.

Or bucks — $820 of ‘em to be precise. That’s how much anesthesia cost for the August removal of half my thyroid gland and a potato-sized (non-cancerous) lump.

I’m contesting the fee because I never asked for anesthesia and would never have dreamed of having any had I known they were going to charge me a whopping $820 for something I could do myself with salt, lime and a bottle of cheap tequila

“That’s not an approved reason for refusing payment,” she said.

Not approved, but perfectly reasonable.

Should I have to pay for something I didn’t ask for?

It’s a violation of what we can call the Pizza Delivery Code: If you order a large pizza with pepperoni and sausage, but they deliver you a pizza with pepperoni, sausage and green peppers you get to keep the mistake and eat it for free.

Shouldn’t we expect at least as much from our nation’s health care providers as we do from our nation’s pizza makers?

The poets say you never know how much you love something until it’s gone. I guess that means I loved the left lobe of my once-whole thyroid.

It’s taken five months for me to feel almost like my old self. That’s how long it’s taken to properly adjust the medications to eliminate a restless anxiety that was making sleep impossible.

At least I think the missing thyroid was to blame. It could very well be that restless anxiety is an obvious side effect of just me being me, a perpetually under-employed writer prone to sublime bouts of laziness.

I should have known I was in for a bad year when when I woke up in March with an engorged tick embedded near my right testicle. If waking up to a tick nibbling your nut’s not a bad omen, I’ll eat my Ouija board.

Besides the infernal tick bite and the thyroid removal, this year also saw the deaths of my Mom and Tom Petty, losses that affected me deeply. I miss Mom, but Petty was still so essentially vital, still headlining Bonnaroo. 

Mom? In the grand scheme of things, it was like she’d been consigned to doing Branson matinees. She’d stopped touring. Hadn't had a hit in years. We were prepared for her passing. Not Petty’s.

To top it all off, I now have a Jan. 30 appointment for a $10,000 nuclear MRI — don’t worry; it’s covered — to try and determine the cause of a vexing weakness that’s been plaguing my left arm for two years.

I have difficulty lifting a stack of plates onto the cupboard shelf. I have trouble buttoning my shirts and putting my deadened arm into winter coats. A limp in my left leg from hip pain may or may not be related.

It’s all mostly on the nuisance level of life’s annoyances, the biggest being the left hand is becoming near useless when it comes to crisp typing. That which was once second nature is now chore.

Because another symptom is an occasional mild shaking mostly when it’s cold (and right up to this morning it’s always been cold), a neurologist ordered a so-called DAT scan to see if it’s Parkinson’s Disease. I’m not exactly sure all that the $10,000 test with medicinal nuclear injections includes, but for $10,000 it had better include a complimentary hooker.

My doctors are all optimistic about the outcome. There’s no pain. It doesn’t seem to be getting worse. I’m otherwise fit and the symptoms are more annoying than troubling. A summer MRI and other anecdotal tests show nothing of concern, which leads me to wonder if we’d be better off using the $10,000 to make level the Fun House 3rd floor here at the Tin Lizzy where I come to type. 

My posture’s gone to hell since I started writing here in ‘15. The floor’s so damned uneven it’s like trying to type on the deck of a pitching ship.

So that’s some of why I was glad to see 2017 ebb. My fear, however, isn’t that I’ll look back on ’17 as a really bad year.

My fear is I’ll look back on it as my last really good year.

Please join me in being defiantly cheerful about the New Year.

I won’t back down.

Neither should you.



Related …











Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year! Best tweets of '17 ...

There’s a practical reason behind compiling my 8days2Amish tweets on a monthly/annual basis: makes it easy to harvest them for new “Crayons: Deluxe!” edition. That’s what I did in September. The ones that made it into the new book — 1,001 items — are in bold.

Happy New Year!


• I may be misjudging the man, but I suspect every time Trump leaves the White House he steals a towel or two.

• A pessimist dwells on the fact that Smallpox killed 15 million. An optimist says at least it wasn't Bigpox.

• If they gave the death sentence for killing time could you live forever? 

• Scientists say earth is 4.543 billion years old. Wikipedia says "Catwoman" actress Eartha Kitt died in 2008 at the age of 81.

• I used to pretend I was too sick to go to school. Now, I pretend I'm not hungover nights after I swore to wife I wouldn't drink too much.

• I wonder if clever HVAC men ever entertain themselves at conduit installations by asking, "Tubey or not tubey?”

• Photos of even unpatriotic chefs making soup are often stirring.

• “London Bridges Falling Down" is a popular nursery rhyme. London britches falling down is a sartorial scandal of epic proportions.

• Try and do at least one thing each week that will blow your hair back and allow you to scream, “Wheeeeeeee!!!"

• I’d like to attend a church where the pastor says, "Spoiler alert!" before even familiar Bible stories like the crucifixion.

• Any time anyone tells me I'm good listener I want to say, really, I'm just good at smiling and nodding, but all I do is smile and nod.

• I’m tickled by the irony that a story about golden showers was the result of leaks. 

• We now have ability to forever preserve things that 10 years ago we would have destroyed as being too stupid for anyone else to ever see.

• I haven't gazed closely enough, but I wonder if among the heavens there's a star named Ringo.

• Divided country meant no matter who won election, Friday's swearing-in was destined to become a swearing-at.

• Reckless abandon is redundant. Anyone ever heard of careful abandon?

• The self-loathing true conservatives feel at supporting Trump must be akin to what dying vegetarians feel when they realize they’re about to turn zombie.

• All you need to know about man is 1st match was invented in 1836; 1st smoke detector, 1956. Don't get me started on birth control.

• May not be in our lifetimes but at some point some high school band'll road trip to the moon. They're going to have to sell lots of hoagies.

• Looking in the mirror when you wake up can ruin your psyche for the whole day. Me, I try not to look until I've had at least three beers.

• Trying to justify value of writing to people who don't read is like trying to justify the value of fresh air to fish.

• Single apple seed weighs 700 mg but sinks. A battleship weighs 45k tons, but does not. What would happen to battleship full of apple seeds?

• The idea behind "pursuit of happiness" misleads. Find a comfy enough chair & pursuit becomes unnecessary. Happiness'll finds you.

• I vow to continue saying 'Happy New Year!' right up thru July 5 when it'll become seasonally appropriate to resume saying "Merry Christmas!”

• We live in a time when many people aren't truly happy unless they're truly angry.

• People in an uproar over Trump's actions during his first hundred days. Not me. I'm terrified about what'll happen his last 100 days.

• The entirety of human history can be summed up thusly: One great, big over-reaction to one great, big over-reaction.

• The entirety of human history can be summed up thusly: One great, big over-reaction to one great, big over-reaction.

• Just to see if it'll catch on, I think I'm going to begin referring to the big toe as "foot thumb.”

• Every perfect parent understands the need to impart some daily imperfection so kids'll have someone to blame for their future flaws.

• What would we call men named Miles if we convert to the metric system?

• Realize even the most successful vegetable farmers are doomed to live in the seediest parts of town.

• ”Titanic" spoiler alert!: A girl whose name is pronounced “ROWS” is deemed save-worthy by lifeboat passengers.

• I’m going to name our next dog, "Gusto" so I can spend my days lounging on my couching drinking beer and still contend I'm living with gusto.

• ”Spare the rod, spoil the child" responsible for more Biblically-justified violence against innocents than any 6 words in history.

• What kind of emoji will you ask them to put on your tombstone when that becomes customary?

• I’m on fire to find a U.S. town named Heaven because I sense blazing opportunity to set up a match factory. #MatchMadeInHeaven

• As of today, I vow to no longer demonize those with whom I disagree. But be warned: I reserve the right to rascalize.

• Which of these two colossal oxymorons is more endangered of becoming extinct: common sense or common decency?

• Long as changing channels is easier than changing minds, watching TV will always be preferable to FB philosophizing.


• Charles Manson, 82, said to be near death. I'd like to hear if he thinks Paul McCarney jumped shark with "Having a Wonderful Christmastime.”

• We spend $ on salt to keep roads safe. Salt degrades roads. We spend $ to repair. Possible solution: Make roads out of salt. Needs study.

• How can it be that George Harrison is my favorite Beatle but isn't even my third favorite Wilbury?

• I was thinking how interesting these days will be to historians in 30 years. Then I realized in 30 years we may all BE history.

• Wonder if guys in heaven talk about earth bodies the way they talk about old cars: "It was bald, had a great big ass, tiny li’l pecker but, man, the thing got great mileage.”

• My desire to live a long time is at odds with my eagerness to donate all my still-healthy organs to needy less fortunates.

• We live in a time when being right or being wrong matters less than always having someone to blame when it all goes to hell. 

• Many of the people who are opposed to building physical walls along the Mexican border are more than happy to construct truly ugly mental ones between themselves and the neighbors they see every day.

• Insane too broad a term for rampant madness we see in society. Insane should be for people who are quietly crazy. Rest of us are outsane.

• Given the trajectory of human intellect, the only time everyone will be correct is when we're all wearing "I'm With Stupid" shirts.

• Saying anyone is a "real bitch" is real redundant. No one sets out to be a fake bitch.

• I’m one of those guys who loves the sound of leaves blowing along the ground, but hates the sound of leaf blowers.

• You can say obnoxious things about politics, criticize my character. But it won't be over 'til you offer me a pizza with pineapple on it.

• If "All You Need is Love" were re-written to your needs what would it be? Mine: "All You Need is Cadbury Eggs.”

• Only thing that eases my terrors at thought of robots taking over world is the realization that it will have to involve monkey robots, too.

• Like the pessimist, the optimist is wrong about 50 percent of the time. The difference? Optimist is cheerful 100 percent of the time.

• I’ve been a complete idiot for so long the adjective has lost all its effectiveness. I've become a mature idiot

• Where on the sacred/secular scale does the chocolate cross belong?

• People who want to appear more interesting get new tattoos. People who want to become more interesting get library cards.

• There are 310 million people in America. That means a million-to-one-shot happens 310 times every day. Maybe today 1 will happen to you.

• I’d like to see a play about a demonic woman who works at an evil candle factory. I'd call it "Wicked."

• People complaining new Facebook pop-up tab is distracting fail to appreciate that Facebook is nothing but one big distraction.

• Billy Idol selling tickets to multiple spring Vegas shows thus ensuring he'll not become idle Billy.

• Irony of living in these uncertain times is how so much uncertainty could produce so many who are absolutely certain they're never wrong.

• I’m growing nostalgic for the days when I could tell nasty bald jokes without appearing truly hypocritical. 

• Reading newspapers on-line is to reading actual newspapers what phone sex is to lovemaking. Gone is the soul, the serendipity and chance to get your hands good and dirty during the touchy endeavor.

• Some say I may be one of those writers who doesn't become success 'til dead. Good/bad news is I'm so stressed could happen Tuesday.

• Given the current trajectory of social media trends, in four years everyone will know everyone and no one will get along with anyone.

• Our world will be a better place when all those scheming to find the means to an end instead work on finding an end to the means.

• I’m going to spend the rest of the day concocting a story about  an unscrupulous masseuse who was arrested for armed rubbery.

• Does heaven have Casual Fridays and if they do, pray tell, what do they wear?

• I wonder how long it'll be before the number of earthlings living in space outnumber the number of earthlings living on earth.

• Beer drinkers who believe their bladders are half empty should be called pissimists.

• The name Ivanka Trump sounds like a punchline to one of the prank calls Bart makes to Moe on "The Simpsons.”

• Does it make me practical or cheap when I take wife, daughters, 16 & 10, to Olive Garden and ask the waitress for separate checks?

• News that airline service "going down hill" feels like prophesy. I worry to save money, planes will soon travel on the ground.

• Given their cost-cutting insistence on ridding flights of all frills, planes will soon be plains. 

• It’d be charming news if archeologists were to reveal today they found a cave drawing emblazoned with the motto, "Cave Sweet Cave.”

• So Bob Dylan releases a bunch of Sinatra covers and it's "tribute." I release "Grapes of Wrath" under my name and it's "plagiarism." #UNFAIR

• Which is the greater cultural irony: Roger Daltry still singing, "Hope I die before I get old," or Madonna still singing, "Like a Virgin.”

• Do the females who make Elmer's Glue consider themselves Bond girls or would that make them stuck up?

• I used to believe politics was a pendulum that swung back and forth. Now, I realize it's a ping pong ball getting the shit relentlessly smashed out of it.

• Technology is the willful and agreed-upon demolition of charm and all that was once beloved as quaint.

• I wonder if any of the men from the Lewis & Clark expedition ever complained about things like lactose intolerance or peanut allergies.

• Let the early bird have the worm. Sleep in and take the Pop Tart.

• Climate change, lousy air quality, unsightly rubbish piles ... if Earth were an apartment we'd be at risk of losing our deposit.

• Many viewers cranky and gloomy now that Bill O'Reilly is no longer around to make them feeling cranky and gloomy.

• Used to feel bad I didn't know more about the faiths of my friends. That was before I realized how little I know about my own faith.

• I enjoy calling angry acquaintances assholes and then watching them react as I advise they should be more open to constructive criticism.

No good pun goes unpunished.

• Because tiny Crabtree, Pa., pop 320, is home to not one, but two GREAT Italian restaurants (Rizzo's & Carbones) I propose we rename Crabtree Spaghettysburg.

• Fearful over the repercussions Ann Coulter is canceling her May 2 speech in Berkeley. Praying she doesn't decide to come to Tin Lizzy.

• Most know of the demise of the dodo bird, but few recall it was preceded by another tragic extinction. I'm talking about the dododo bird.

• The last time I so simultaneously relied upon and resented something like Facebook was when I was 27 and was compelled to move back in with my folks.

• Some men dream of riches. Some of solvency. Me, I dream of a day when I’ve vanquished caring one way or the other.

I’m going to be famous! I just taught Snickers how to sing/bark "I Want You To Want Me!" Yes! I taught an old dog Cheap Trick!

• Some men dream of riches. Some of solvency. Me, I dream of a day when I’ve vanquished caring in the least one way or the other.

• Can’t believe I'm 54, lived the life I've lived, been where I've been and I've not even once had to duck bullets fired in my direction.

• Did your Mom ever write your name on your undershirt tag? She was years ahead of her time. Mom: inventor of the original Collar ID.

• Where any of the apostles married and if yes what did they do at their bachelor parties?

• I enjoy asking waitress if she has chicken fingers & when she says yes saying, "You're too hard on yourself. They're ugly but they still appear human.”

• I so dislike being vertical I'm thinking of having a surgically-inserted kick stand so I can always lean without fear of falling over.

• One benefit about being carefree is serious people never look at you and say, "Hon, let's go sit next to that guy. He looks real serious, too.”

• In support of Pens vs. Preds game tonight, I propose all area Italian restaurants dump meatballs in favor of meatpucks.

• Leaders of most major religions preach peace and the breaking of breads; many congregants choose hate and the breaking of heads.

• I wonder how much it'll dismay future historians to have to type the phrase, "... then President Trump tweeted …"

• I’ll bet the Angels are heaven's home team and their record is like the Harlem Globetrotters vs. the Washington Generals.

• The literalist in me was furious to visit the Air & Space Museum and see it has both walls and ceilings.

• Stephen Hawking sez Artificial Intelligence could wipe out man by 2050. Imagine theological ramifications if Jesus returns in 2051.

• Which is older: Earth or Sun? Trick question: Earth is 4.5 bil yrs old. Sun only 1 day old. Sun cannot have another day til it has a night.

• Friend turned 40 fears he's over the hill. Told him to fear not. Going downhill is always the most exhilarating part of the ride.

• I wonder how many times when other foreign leaders were talking Trump was thinking, "Man, I wish I were right now judging a beauty contest.”

• If Matthew 6:12 were rewritten to conform to our current tastes, it would read, "... give us this day our daily bacon.”

• Facebook is like a high school yearbook that is updated every 30 seconds, but with food porn and cat videos.

• There are evident flaws in the language when I can enjoy engrossing films, but disdain gross ones.

• Because they never not even once toured I propose we rename this heirloom band the Stationary Wilburys.

• My great fear isn't that the Fascists will come to burn all the books. My great fear is that when the Fascists come to burn all the books our collective indifference will have rendered all the books irrelevant.

• In ongoing quest to prepare you and I for the afterlife, I will now devote the next hour to resolving if Heaven has time zones.

• There will still be traffic in heaven, but there will be no more road rage.

• Those eager to see a hyphen in this sentence will suffer from dashed hopes.

• If violence is never the answer then what's wrong with us that we must again and again keep asking the question?

• Eternity means having all the time all the time …

• Families are God's way of proving we're incapable of helping even those we love the very most.

• Daughter, 16, said she wants to have a big family. What she means is she wants to choose who's in her family.

• ”Eve of Destruction" is most harrowing protest song ever. Lyrics remain relevant. I'd like to hear a current re-release but sung by Muppets.

• William Shakespeare is a famous writer. William Shakesbeer is a guy you don't want to be next to at the party.

• I like that a man whose name is pronounced COMBy has really great hair. 

• Something expert Egyptologists are reluctant to admit: Most mummies were daddies.

• There’s no church in heaven. Purpose of church is to get people to be good so they go to heaven. In heaven, people already good & in heaven.

• I can look at any woman and know instantly whether or not their daddy was a tickler. 

• McCartney was an optimist, cheerfully convinced it would all work out. Lennon a pessimist, grimly sure of eventual doom. Who was right?

• I lied when I said I'd never disdain a prez the way opponents disdained Obama. Difference? My antipathy is based on character, not color.

• The whole arc of human history is bent on turning every luxury into a necessity.

• Always amused when officials at mass shooting du jour rule out terrorism. Like we're supposed to be relieved it's just some white dude.

• There are 310,800 hip replacements per year. Question: what do they do with bones. I fear I'm not as hip as I used to be and, well, you know.

• It must have been difficult for cartoonists to animate a bombastic character named Foghorn Leghorn & not show him cranking out a single fart.

• I wonder if parents of boys born above the Arctic Circle ever struggle with the illogic of naming the fair-skinned lads Tanner.

• Was feeling bad about not taking family to the ocean this summer when I realized no biggie. Oceans are coming to us. #climatechange

• In my quest to find people whose names make them perfectly suited for their occupations, I'm now searching for a farmer named Doug Root.

• This is bound to sound naive but couldn't we stall disastrous results of rising oceans by simultaneously lifting all big boats out of water?

• What if you get to heaven & find they were serious about  forgiveness & it's full of folks you with whom you got into Facebook fights over Trump?

• Am disappointed to learn Asheville, NC, was named after Gov. Sam Ashe and not piles of ash. Next question: Was Ashe a tobacco farmer?

• Cosby planning on holding "town halls" on sexual abuse. Now that sounds like it's bound to be a forum for reasoned debate.

• Given temp trends, I predict within 10 years, our idea of an "adventure vacation" will be anything outdoors & above ground.

• In order to lend cerebral precision to your putdowns, descending order of IQ stupidity is Moron (50-69), Imbecile (20-49) & Idiot (below 20)

• It’s an interesting fact that the more we acknowledge our own human flaws the more slight become our actual flaws.

I wonder what Socrates used to say when people asked him if he was ever going to get a real job.

 Many fret over keeping up with the Joneses. Me, I've been lapped so many times by so many Joneses, I just stay the hell out of their way, hand them cups of water and hope they'll mention me from the podium as they give their acceptance speeches.

• Considered leaving my piece of crap jalopy unlocked because only thing of value in it is stack of free beer chips from various Latrobe clubs and taverns. Decided against it when I realized how sad I'll be if they're taken. #LockHerUp!

When I was young, I imagined my life's line would be a straight consistent rise to great literary success. I never dreamed my line would be so squiggly with so many zigs, zags, advances and retreats or that for years at a time my line would come to complete halt whenever it came upon a friendly tavern.

• Hearing reports of increased solar flare activity always makes me want to grab a marshmallow & a really long stick & make solar s’mores.

• I encourage women considering breast enhancement to get just one side so it'll appeal to shallow men fond of before/after comparison.

• As way of both meeting potentially friendly ETs & getting while getting's good, I propose Earth erect a really big For Sale sign.

• I’m going to submit to publishers a book proposal called "Profiles in Courage" about today's leaders just to see if anyone gets the joke.

• Recognizing the blatant fraud has made enjoying this breakfast staple impossible: hash browns aren't brown!

• I remain surprised some creative hand sanitizer company hasn't used image of Pontius Pilot as a celebrity spokesperson.

• I hope in heaven -- fingers crossed -- I become blessed with ability to fix things. But I worry in heaven nothing'll ever break.

• Hearing reports of increased solar flare activity always makes me want to grab a marshmallow & a really long stick & make solar s’mores.

• Guaranteed some enterprising DUI lawyer right now working on defense claiming self-driving car was drunk & occupant was mere drinking buddy.

• PETA must on some level feel conflicted knowing their hard line positions are red meat to staunch vegetarians.

• Yes, I get angry about racial injustice, inequality and rampant poverty, but nothing makes me angrier than having to eat crappy pizza.

• I don't give a dang about the half-full/half-empty philosophical puzzler as long as the glass contains some bourbon & it'll be replenished. And if you’re so concerned about your glass being half-empty, I suggest you need a bigger glass.

• Our lives are like Mad Libs where key words aren't filled in until the composition of our obituaries.

• Be so at peace with the world the only thing left to get off your chest are your nipples.

• I used to think I had a brain but it was all in my head.

• In 10 hrs this Columbus meeting hall will be filled w/ 200 people who'll be looking at me & thinking, “Geez, is this guy ever going to shut up?”

• I’m so pissed. I just heard they're canceling the eclipse until Comcast can figure out a way to charge us peons to see it. Is this true?

• It’s impossible to calculate how much income I've sacrificed to spend time with my kids. Now I have to impress upon them the need to forever bust their asses so they can afford to take care of me.

• Nearly reached peak internet boredom. Yes, I was thisclose to clicking on a link that promised to inform me of the identity of the one guest Johnny Carson couldn’t stand.

• Spent evening with daughter, 11, at Westmoreland Co. fair. Highlight? While visiting rabbit exhibit, she begged me to quit singing, "Can ... anybody ... find me ... some bunny to love?”

• Optimists understand phrase "familiarity breeds contempt" is not absolute. Sometimes familiarity breeds family.

• The science behind the theory may be flawed, but the 5-second rule is to me the greatest parenting advance in my lifetime. 

• Rumors of centipede infestations have real legs.

• How you aspire to live is your bucket list. How you aspire to die is your kick the bucket list.

• I have no idea what it'll be about but because it's bound to help sales, I vow to name my next book, "The No. 1 New York Times Bestseller!

• Reports say we're now spending $200 mil/year freeze-removing fat cells. Imagine how much better off we'll be if spent same on stupid cells.

• Woke up bolt upright with a terrifying premonition I'd die a bloody death in New Orleans. Don't care. I'll go back in a heartbeat.

• How many additional calories would you burn each day if every time you had to change channel you had to rise from the couch and just do it?

• What percentage of malevolent Irma viewers are actively rooting to see an on-air storm chaser get beheaded by a flying pizza box?

• I wonder if the men who nailed Jesus to the cross felt any sense of irony that they were doing it to a carpenter.

• This may sound inconceivable but one day, guaranteed, there will be a McDonald's at the North Pole.

• To be clear, whenever I post anything that says my kids are great what I'm really saying is I'M great and, boy, are my kids great. Handsome 2!

Mor
• Amazing new shampoo promises to re-grow hair on bald heads. What happens when you pour some on your palms?

• Teaching a kid to swim by throwing it in the water is like teaching them to fly by throwing them out of an airplane.

• When Satan really gives someone hell is it considered a real estate deal?

• I remain mystified how something called American quarter horses don't have only one leg.

• Some great writers awake & think about writing something people will either enjoy or purchase. I awake & think about what I'll have for lunch

• No one should be allowed to run for public office unless they can prove they once held a job that required a name tag.

• Exploding toilets cause plumbers' lives to flush before their eyes.

• Of all the euphemisms birthed by the Industrial Age, one of the most precious is the locomotive "cow catcher." Right. It "catches" cows.

• Even well-prepared demolition derby students must resign themselves to at least one or two crash courses.

• Here’s a little secret as to why I'm so confident I can write the 60,000-word Palmer book in just 5 weeks: I'm using a bunch of 'em twice.

• I wonder what Jesus said when some jerk said, "So you think you're better than me?”

• Top baby name sites say "Christian" is 54th most popular. I'll let you know when I get to “Atheist."

• If I'm a disaffected youthful loner, I'm not joining any group unless member chair says, "And here's how joining us'll help you get laid…"

• People are so sarcastic these days I'm surprised more of us don't hurt our heads bumping into dense storms of air quotes.

• We live in such porn-drenched times I fully expect to soon see Valentine's cards that say, "I'd give my left nut if you'd tickle my right!”

• Rubbermade, Sterilite, Leaktite, Encore Plastics -- you have your bucket list and I have mine.

• It says something about human nature that all know what it means to belittle someone, but we can't imagine bebigging anyone.

• Thought about taking my watch apart to count all the pieces, but figure I don't have the time to kill.

• The purpose of commercial advertising used to be to cajole readers into considering purchasing a product. It's now there to punish for trying to read.

• It’s unfathomable to imagine how much better off the world would be if every time we felt moved by a good intention we acted on it.

• Trump 1st lady kerfuffle ratifies wisdom of Willie Nelson who said, "There are no ex-wives. There are only additional wives" 

• I’m on a quest to read the nutrition label on communion wafer package to learn calorie count for body of Christ.

• What did the Kansas vulture say when his long lost son came home and asked what’s for dinner? “Carrion, my wayward son!”

• My most earnest wish is to impress upon my daughters the devout importance of being empathetic for the struggles of our fellow man. Instead, all I've done is to impress upon them the devout importance of trying new items on pizza. #WorldsBestDad

• Paul McCartney must be confused. When I was young and my heart was an open book, I never said live and let live.

• Those who prophesize celeb deaths come in 3s can rest easy. Tom Petty's greatness qualifies in triplicate.

• Our dreams of ever seeing a Traveling Wilbury's reunion tour have suddenly become even more remote.

• Ever since his April death, any time a celeb like Petty dies find myself wondering "So, what'll Don Rickles have to say to him?”

• An AK-47 is capable of shooting 600 bullets per minute and right now someone is in the name of progress working to develop the AK-48.

• I wonder how many clever headline writers from the '60s included the word "unhinged" when describing Jim Morrison & The Doors.

• Reason Mick Jagger sometimes seems bitchy is coz while he's 1 of 10 coolest people on planet, he realizes he's only the 3rd coolest Stone.

• I’ll no longer tolerate so much social media ignorance from so-called "friends" who should know better. They're not cookies. They're bakies.

• If you're livin' in New Orleans and your nickname ain't Fats then you ain't really livin'. #RIPFatsDomino

• I’m not saying I believe in ghosts, but I no longer go on the 3rd floor of the Tin Lizzy after dark.

• I’m pioneering a new parenting technique where I only love child being nicest to me at the time. I call it "Conditional Love.”

• Peace will remain elusive until humans recognize the ironic folly of calling most intensively defended regions "De-Militarized Zones.”

• Good morning, Facebook! Looking forward to another day of you bringing the world closer together while simultaneously tearing it apart.

• Harvey Weinstein reportedly in sex rehab. It'd be funny if all the counselors were smokin’ hot.

• I know we're raised to believe when we die we go down to hell or up to heaven. Me? I hope when I die I get to where I'm going by waterslide.

• I hope Harvey Weinstein is around to see the movie they make about Harvey Weinstein & I hope it stars Paul Giamatti & wins a bunch of Oscars.

• In order to lend precision to your putdowns, descending order of IQ stupidity is Moron (50-69), Imbecile (20-49) & Idiot (below 20) #moron 

• Dallas has a grassy knoll. St. Vincent College Bearcats in Latrobe have Noll-y grass. #ChuckNollField.

• New York strong. Boston strong. Vegas strong. Orlando strong. How come all this strength leaves me feeling so weak?

• My annual dilemma: Do I watch last baseball games or record it and watch 2 pitches every night 'til spring training?

• How much more revelatory would Gospels be today had Jesus been subjected to the scrutiny of a Biblical times Facebook?

• If I played guitar I'd right now be forming a band I'd call The Mamas & The Papa Doupolisis.

• We are born free & spend the rest of our lives constructing prisons around ourselves. My prison has zero security, but lots & lots of bars.

• Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Repeatedly being exposed to opinionated people who enjoy smugly pointing that out is the cause of it.

• I know it'll make me feel ancient, but I'm eager for the day I can tell some young whippersnapper, "I remember the days when tweets were just 140-characters!" 

• Offering a small child a dollar for every leaf he or she can catch falling from a tree on a windy day is as exciting as any professional sport I've ever watched and the beer is way cheaper. It ought to be an Olympic event.

• I know we're getting ahead of ourselves, but what will they call Louis CK's eventual return to performing without using the phrase "Come Back.”

• On this day in 1851, Herman Melville's epic novel was published forever more leaving the curious among us to wonder if fans of the Grateful Dead are called Deadheads what does that make those of us who revere Moby Dick? 

• I wish media would cease referring to mass murders as shooting "sprees." Sprees connote something joyful, happy. These are rampages.

• A fool enters every room determined to be noticed. A wise person enters every room determined to put even the lonely at ease. I enter rooms determined to become chummy with the bartender.

• I welcome the conversation we're having about harassment and sexual abuse while being chagrined over all the mixed feelings men like me are bound to have when we watch movies like "Animal House.”

• I’ll respect craven NFL greed-meisters more if one day they promote a throw-back uni day where the Baltimore Ravens dress as the Cleveland Browns and play a game against the Tennessee Titans dressed as the Houston Oilers.

• My Thanksgiving prayer this year included a request that God please tell Tom Petty we really miss him.

• In my on-going attempt to help America confront her homophobia, my next book will be an unauthorized sequel to where Andy & Red take their relationship to its logical conclusion, marry & adopt children who help them run an artisanal Mexican goat farm.

• I enjoy the reactions of bus stop strangers when I rush up and desperately ask if any of them have change for a nickel.

• I’m on the verge of proving my two office plants are talking to one another. But every time I get close enough to record the conversation the bully ficus says, "Shut up! Here he comes again!"

• I wonder if discerning customers would appreciate a top soil salesman who promised prices guaranteed dirt cheap.

• Because our most reliable conversation starters -- state of weather/health -- will be moot, I imagine heaven will be full of awkward silence. Our health in heaven will be perfect and the weather heavenly so what ice breakers will be left? 

• My concern is if Jesus were born today rampant light pollution would make locating the star of Bethlehem impossible. And don't get me started on the odds of finding on this Earth one, let alone 3, wise men. 

• If I were God, there'd be no war, no injustice, no want and every snowflake would be an identical little smiley face. Who am I kidding? If I were God, there wouldn't be any snow!

• The city of Nice on the French Riviera is renown as one of the most lovely places on Earth. They may dismiss it as too obviously lowbrow, but I'm going to propose a promotional advertising campaign based on the slogan, "Nice is Nice!”

• This is the time of year to remind friends the perfect stocking stuffers will always be feet. 

• Q: What does it mean when you hear, "Hoot! Hoot!" coming from a nearby tree this time of year? 
A: Owl be home for Christmas.

• If, like me, you enjoy a really great fish-out-of-water story then you'll have to agree the greatest fish-out-of-water story ever told is the story of man's evolution. 

• I wonder how many takes it took for Madonna to nail her version of "Santa Baby" or does she just make appalling look easy.

• All America will benefit when we all realize, yes, we have the 1st Amendment and the Right to Free Speech, but we also each have the Miranda, the Right to Remain SILENT. So how about today everyone just shut the hell up!

• ”Oh, there's no place like phone for the holidays!”

• I’m aware of the inherent contradictions of wanting to become rich and famous by preaching on how corrosive wanton greed has become to our national soul. 

• Oh, the little town of Bethlehem shares many of small town characteristics as many neighboring Pennsylvania towns but for reasons of tradition and melody I'm glad Jesus wasn't born in the little town of Altoona.

• Conservative whites livid when wished Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas think blacks over-reacting about unarmed blacks getting killed by conservative whites.

• I envision a Vegas lounge act composed of tiny sideburned toymakers singing "Heartbreak Hotel,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” etc. Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Elves Presley!

• Given the dietary challenges Paleolithic cavemen faced, I'm surprised Fred & Barney were tubby. I'm surprised they found time to bowl, too.


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