Thursday, November 30, 2023

They'll always be "Tweets" of the month to me


• That I can't recall ever having spent any quality time at a popsicle stand, yet have blown hundreds of them, leads me to believe I have some serious commitment issues. 

• The Irish word “bejesus” is a mildly profane expression of surprise and is not to be confused with “Bee Jesus,” the latter referring to a messianic insect who can turn honey into wine and struggles to reconcile how a noted pacifist was born with the ability to inflict painful stings.

• If you’d have told me 40 years ago that by 2023 every man, woman & child would hold in their hands a device that could answer any question, film & watch feature movies, instantly summon any song and that they were so simple to use a child could manipulate a photo so it appeared she was riding a winged unicorn, I’d have said, “Hallelujah! For that must mean humanity has conquered climate change, racial and class injustice, and the scourge of war in places like the Middle East. Because man would never pursue those utter trivialities knowing those issues that really matter were going ignored. Because, if nothing else, mankind understands the need to prioritize!”

• Today I’m troubled by the existence of a dairy product known as Half & Half creamer. How can two halves be inside one full carton? Neither half full, nor half empty, it’s a full mingle. In what mysterious realm does dairy exist where it can defy the laws of the most elemental fractions?

• Because it’s never been done, because the media will view it as a high-wire act of literary daring, and because the ideas that most appeal to me are the ones even a fool would realize it won’t happen, my next book will be a short story where every sentence concludes with either a question mark or and exclamation point. Something like this …

“It was a dark and stormy night, like really, really stormy! 

Didn’t anyone think to bring any umbrellas?

Umbrellas are feeble tools of the damned!



You’ve thought it through and that’s what you believe?

Aye, ’tis!


Really …

• I’m going to produce a travel/foodie show about a pair of itinerant dessert lovers who travel the countryside in search only the very best circular, crusted baked goods. One will be a great big guy whose tastes are insatiable. He’s consumed by thoughts of the circular sweets. The other will be a little, bossy guy who spends most of his time trying to prevent the big guy’s appetites from getting them both in trouble. I’m calling it, “Of Pies & Men.”

• Wild Bill Hickok was known as a steady hand with a gun, an old west lawman who neither rattled nor flinched. He was not to be confused with Wild Bill Hiccup.

• Pessimists say UN global climate change panelists doing little more than fiddling while Rome burns. Optimists cross our fingers and hope at the very least they're going to create an orchestra's worth of fireproof fiddles.

• I've previously thought the world was about to end and people would be fearful. Today, I'm again thinking the world is about to end, but this time I'm thinking there will be a countdown clock, confetti and throngs of drunken people will be cheering. How will I overcome this malaise? Tonight I'm watching "The Muppets!”

Until they clear up the obvious clerical error, do you think they'll let me take my Winnie The Pooh night light with me to Hell?

• Being a student of the promotional arts, I find myself wondering about what the character of the nation would be had, instead of puritanical church-goers celebrating Thanksgiving Day, America's founding settlers were swingers who celebrated (Sex Act) Giving Day.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Oct. '23 Tweets-of the month 9er whatever the heck they're al-calling them these days"


• Men who fantasize about giving themselves oral sex are chasing pipe dream

• Engaging a popular search engine just to find out if some former child star or other B-list celebrity is still alive ought to be called, “Ghoul-gling"

• When I was a young heathen, I feared my choices meant I’d be going to Hell. How naive. I read the news and realize my foolishness. I’m not going to Hell. Hell’s coming to I’ve pondered the meaning of life. I’ve wondered what it all means. Today, I wrestle with a question more enigmatic than either. In order to uphold PC guidelines regarding gender designation, which pronouns should I use to refer to a man whose name is Ben Hur?•• 

• Our car horns today have two emotions: anger and recognition. I predict car horns of the future will be able to signal joy, commiseration, sullenness, consternation, euphoria and will prove so popular, some patient drivers will master the ability to play tunes to serenade other drivers stuck in massive traffic jams caused by drivers too distracted by their creativity to bother paying even momentary attention to what’s happening on the road.

• I was taught we’re all inhabitants of Planet Earth. But I took a good look around. What did I see? Over-crowded conditions. Cries of injustice. Unspeakable violence. Gangs rule. People who swear they don’t belong here. This isn’t a planet, it’s a prison. And we’re not inhabitants, we’re inmates. And we’re all born with life sentences. No escape. No parole. Now, I’m just doin’ my time, man. Just doin’ my time.

 • Calling money the root of all evil sells evil short. Money is the trunk, the bark, the branches, the buds, leaves and mother pollen of ALL evil. Given my understanding of this insidious truth makes what I’m about to ask all the more awkward. Uh, can you gimme some? I’ve been a little light lately, impoverished as I am by my fiscal purity.

• Doomsday AI report says in 15 years the technology will be the dominant force on the planet, impervious to even the most mighty armies. Most dominant? Don't believe it. There's no way they'll ever subdue the pickleballers.

• It'døIt's like the whole world is choking on a great big hate cookie so chunky there ain't no one with loving arms long enough to Heimlich the sucker loose.

• I’m not exactly bragging and I’d be mortified if it is brought up at my funeral, but more and more it’s looking like one of my life’s greatest achievements is I’ve never once dunked my phone in the toilet — and I drink a Lot of bourbon. Heck, I know some bourbon drinkers whose phones never leave the toilet.

 • We’re all at least a little leery of Artificial Intelligence, but I’d really like to see what the most advanced AI program comes up with after it’s been asked: “How do we end the Middle East wars?” I’ll be very disappointed if the AI answer is, “Kill everyone who disagrees with you.”

• Light pollution is becoming so glaring soon one of the major sources of light pollution will be from a vast earth-bound network of artificial lights  projected into the heavens and used to simulate what stars looked like before all this light pollution stole true starlight from the skies.

• I have a vague understanding that the phrase “the worm has turned” means things have changed. Given that, I wish I didn’t automatically begin hearing the GPS voice in my head saying that the worm is re-routing

• Telling a male contortionist to go eff himself is pointless. Your insult is their bucket-list. 

• How can we with a straight face allow a field of study known as “Political Science” be taught in schools when about 50 percent of the country supports a party that doesn’t believe in science. Politics, with its characters, plot twists, theatrics, etc. is more art than science. Of course, that same party burns books and sneers at art so what are you gonna do?

• Think you’re invested in the big game today? I foresee a day in the very near future where we’ll be glued to our sets watching armies of AI robots engineered to preserve humanity vs. armies of AI robots engineered to annihilate us. Incredibly with the stakes being what they are, the conflict will find time to televise a mind-numbing number of truck, beer & Male ED ads. “Here We Go, Robbies! Here We Go!” 

• Some people react to insult by responding in kind. Others resort to violence. These people say they don't get mad, they get even. What do I do?  I usually sneak up behind my antagonist and make goofy faces behind their backs. So I don't get mad. I don't get even.  I get oddSome people react to insult by responding in kind. Others resort to violence. These people say they don't get mad, they get even. What do I do?  I usually sneak up behind my antagonist and make goofy faces behind their backs. So I don't get mad. I don't get even.  I get odd.

• I’ll probably need ti have it explained to me by someone with puppets, but isn’t doing something “behind someone’s back” doing it to their front?

• Revenge, it is said, is a dish best served cold. And that’s the only thing revenge will ever have in common with ice cream.

• ˆI wonder if deer meteorologists ever feel frustrated. You know, "I correctly forecast it was going to be cold and I didn't see any deer wearing coats, gloves or scarves. I told 'em it was going to rain and I didn't see a single deer carrying an umbrella. I'm just not getting through. Where is the disconnect?”

• There are just 130 known original photographs of Abraham Lincoln, one of the most consequential humans in history. For perspective, some pet lovers will take that many of their cat sleeping this one weekend.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Biting the hand that feeds me


I don’t know if it’s a latent burst of proper manners or just another condition of my condition, but in the last five or so years nothing infuriates me more than a cold rejection of my offers of good cheer.

It happens anytime I reach out with simple humanity to a stranger and my gesture is rebuffed.

I wonder if I’m taking to heart too literally the lessons of “Lonesome Dove,” the 1989 cowboy saga that is arguably the greatest Western ever filmed.

In one compelling scene Capt. Woodrow Call of the Texas Rangers sees some ruffians trying to steal a horse belonging to one of his men. Call, in a righteous fury, wheels his mount and races down a crowded street right into the altercation.

And he proceeds to kick ass. And ribs. And balls. His powerful boot neglects no part of the human anatomy.

Then, to the onlookers’ horror, he grabs a blacksmith’s stout branding iron and gives it a tap on the anvil. His intention is clear.

“He’s killing him!” shouts one alarmed observer.

Call’s amigos reign him in in the nick of time. His sanity resumes and he recognizes the crowd’s mortification. He straightens his cowboy hat and explains without a hint of remorse, “I hate rude behavior in a man. I won’t tolerate it.”

And then, adios, it’s back to the herd.

That’s just how Capt. Woodrow Call rolls. Some men get mad. Some get even.

All day yesterday, I felt the Call in me rising. I hate rude behavior. Won’t tolerate it.

So what happened?  Someone try to steal my horse?

No, they ignored my chummy email.

And because I’ll not lower myself to target small game, this was an executive editor for the prestigious publisher that has bought my book on Parkinson’s, “The Art of Living Suddenly: How to Deal with a Parkinson’s Diagnosis (and other things that suck).”

It had taken a literary agent three years to cajole the deal.

So this is me biting the hand that feeds me. Me being hyper-sensitive to a perceived slight. Me not seeing the big picture.

It’s me being me!

But once the contracts were signed, I felt entitled to a call from an editor welcoming me aboard. Just maybe a 90-second howdy-doo that would let me puzzle out if I was dealing with a human or a robot programmed to subsist on fancy lattes.

Clearly, I’d have been better off with the robot. No robot could be so rude.

I’ll spare you the details of the back and forth, but things so quickly escalated between me and this powerful editor that I could no longer contain my inner Woodrow Call.

I decided I would rather deep six the opportunity than have to deal with this woman.

I decided to burn the bridge it had taken years to construct.

Here’s what I wrote:

—  <<  >>  —

“I think it’s useful to recall that what led us to this testiness are two letters of introductory good cheer from me to you. The first you ignored, the second you mocked. I don’t know what would happen if I wrote a third. Maybe you’d hop on a plane, come to my house and spit on me.

“I was seeking just a hint of collegial encouragement to let me know my approach to this highly personal story was working. I was hoping to have this reassurance before immersing myself for the next eight or so weeks in a project from which I’d receive only a pittance for perhaps a year (Note: advance is $1,500. Just $1500).

“Understand, those parameters would have been challenging if this were a book about the highs and lows about my Tuesday evening bowling league (Note: I made this up for color; there is no bowling league).

“But, no, this is a book about me battling a disease that leads many to commit suicide. That’s not in my playbook. Not yet. No, I’ve chosen to look at the rosy side of things and exalt how the human spirit can revive even in the most bleak and despairing of circumstances.

“And from my innocuous introductory letters all I get from you is brusque sarcasm.

“So, no, I won’t be doing this book with you.

“But you’ve unwittingly made a key contribution to the story.

“I can now write a chapter declaring I now find Parkinson’s less fearsome than before.

“How bad can it be?

“Can’t be much worse than trying to be friendly with Melissa Smith (Note: not her real name).”

—  <<  >>  —

I never hit send on the note. Two influentials persuaded me it would be a mistake.

But, fear not,  I’ll exact my revenge. I hate rude behavior in an editor. I won’t tolerate it.

So anytime I’m forced to read an e-mail or talk to her on the phone, I’ll mockingly prance around the room pretending I’m her and she’s a real crabby old bitch.

It’s jut how I roll. 

Some men get mad. Some men get even.

I get odd.

We’re talking downright peculiar.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Best tweets of October (rough)

I was railing against the world of woe to some friends who advised me to embrace the wisdom of the Serenity Prayer -- "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference." I considered it, but decided instead to pray that God grant me God-like powers for just 12 hours. Goodbye war in Ukraine! Goodbye climate change! Goodbye credit card debt! Hello my name on the best seller lists and the return of $4 beers at the baseball games!

•There ought to be a weather person museum with one wall dedicated to the memory of early meteorologists who used rudimentary science to explain to the primitives that lightning was the result of atmospheric conditions — and not the wrath of a vengeful God. Nearby there should be a scholarly presentation of the many times mobs of religious fanatics disagreed and tried to settle the dispute once and for all by burning the sassy heretic at the stake.


• Inhumanity results anytime man opts to wage war. "Wage" is too commanding a verb to cede exclusively to war. You never hear of anyone waging anything but war. Let the change begin with me. On this beautiful day, I shall wage golf. Our children will wage school. And Val will wage pickleball! And we can all hope someone, somewhere is trying to wage peace.

• I’d like to see what would happen if we really sealed the borders. Not with Mexico. I'm talking Burning Man. No one gets in or out. It would be fascinating to see what kind of society this group of nihilists would create, How would they worship? Care for their sick? How would their Olympic team perform? Then let's try the same experiment with people who really like cats.

• If your child is attending the Greater Latrobe Senior Sunrise ceremony, be sure to advise them to be looking East. Not West. Tell them to ignore any fellow students who tell them to look West. And don’t worry. I’m already reaching out to school administrators about contingency plans should  today be the day the sun chooses not to rise.

• People who say they’re flat broke as if it’s the very worst financial situation are wrong. Let me tell you: some of us aspire to being flat broke, which implies a certain leveling. We not only lack dough, but every where we look we see disheartening divots of debt. Flat broke? Try being concave broke.

• If I’ve ever even seen one then I did not know what I was looking at, but when a pigeon is in its pigeon hole is it facing forward or backward? I mean, are we seeing the pigeon’s face or the pigeon’s hole?

• Woke bolt upright in a cold sweat. dreamt I’d had an accident on a busy city intersection. No one was hurt, but my car burst into flames. I escaped in the nick of time. I was standing there grateful to be alive when I realized everyone was staring at me. I’d forgotten. It was “Don’t Wear Pants While You’re Driving Friday!” How embarrassing. Oh, well. Happy “Don’t Wear Pants While You’re Driving Friday!”

• Because I’m all for removing violence from the language I will henceforth no longer use the term “bullet points” to describe punchy ideas. I’ll instead call those breakout ideas “Levitating Conclusionary Punctuation.” I gotta tell you, something in my gut tells me this one won’t be catching on …

• It is estimated that 52 percent of Americans will die in hospital beds. I hope I die on a battlefield — not as a warrior, certainly, but as a guy who made a wrong turn and wound up in lethal crossfire while asking for directions to the nearest Appleby’s 

• Just dawned on me that I never heard the old man drop an f-bomb. He’d use profanity, say, on the golf course, but never the f-bomb. Now, I’m not willing to cede he was a better father. After all, the man raised me and I use two f-bombs when I ask someone at the supper table to pass the salt so he went wrong somewhere.

• Friend at the gym said she just made her goal weight. “And that was with my shoes on!” she said, alluding to a tactic with which many of us are aware: Do not step on the scale wearing shoes, heavy clothes, etc., lest the result be tainted by extraneous factors. I know some who won’t step on a scale until they’ve evacuated their bowels. To me, they’re all pikers. I don’t step on the scale until I’ve aggressively trimmed my nose hairs.

• I used to mock the excessively tattooed, but as I age and my appearance becomes less and less appealing, I see at vivid tattoo as a way of distracting observers from examining all the flaws. Or I could just save the dough and stop wearing pants in public. 

• Just read India, pop. 1.4 billion, may change its name to Bharat. I doubt anyone there would pay any mind to me, but I’d like them to instead consider changing it to the Republic of Fred. I’ve known a number of Freds in my life and not a one of them ever started any trouble. Just easy-going guys. Maybe if you named a nation Fred then Freds would follow. But what do I know? I’m the guy who whenever he sets foot in Murrysville, pop. 21,738, is always reminded I’ve never met a single Murry in Murrysville.

• He’s one of history’s most revered orators and his is one of mankind’s most monumental speeches, but if Abe Lincoln returned and began a live broadcast with the words, “Four score and 7 years ago …” every viewer would immediately tune him out and begin poking at their phones to figure out just what the hell he was talking about.’