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Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Not Much

Ask any guy with a mustache and he’ll tell you, “watch out for POP-TOP cans!”

The other day I grabbed a cold beer out of the fridge, popped the top, took a huge swig. In the process, about 1/4 of my mustache wedged in the crease of the aluminum pull-tab. Normally, only a hair or two is snared. Not this time.

Trying to hold back my laughter, I stepped into my backyard and sat down in a lawn-chair. Everything was as it should be: hummingbirds swooped to and from the feeder like planes at a busy airport; a dragonfly waited nervously on the tip of a cattail; some weird guy was sitting on a lawn chair with a cold beer stuck firmly upside his nose. Someone knocked at my gate.

“Hey,” shouted Jim, my next door neighbor. “You in there?”

“Yes!” I hollered, the word hooting inside the beer can. “Come on in!” Not wanting to look like a total idiot, I tugged the beer can free from my face, a tuft of mustache hair jammed in the beer can’s popper ring. A tear trickled down the side of my face.

“What’s happening?”

I took a sip of beer. “Oh, not much.”

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I was in a Mom & Pop fast food joint the other day. When the cashier was making my change, he noticed an off-color penny sitting in the change drawer. He fished the penny out of the penny compartment and examined the coin. “Wow, this is OLD!” he exclaimed, showing it excitedly to a fellow worker. He put the penny back in the drawer. After a while, he handed me my bag of burgers and fries. I couldn’t stand it.

“Uh — just how old is that penny?” I asked.

“Nineteen eighty-five,” he said. “It’s older than I am!”

I sat down with my meal at a very tiny table, feeling a little less hungry and a whole lot older.

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Sometimes, when I wake up in the middle of the night, my brain begins to think rather than falling back to sleep. Like last night, when I woke up puzzling over a Dean Koontz novel I had been reading immediately before nodding off. Reading often puts me to sleep. No offense, Dean. One of the characters had just died of a heart attack.  A sputter here, a synapse there, and — bingo!  I began wondering where the story would go next.

Too late. I was wide awake.

At times like these I have often found that taking a very, very hot shower helps prepare me for a re-visit by the Sandman. Something about the influx of heat and the sound of the shower striking my skull is what does it. My master shower happens to have one of those shower-chairs (with armrests and a back) sitting in the bathtub, which makes taking a shower a lazy and comfortable experience.

“Pssssssst”, went the hot water. INnnnn went the heat. Pitter-Patterrrr went the friendly little water-sounds on my naked scalp. So pleasant. So nice. “AHhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” I awoke about an hour later, screaming — eyes wide open — within a very cold, 50-degree rush of well water. I had fallen asleep in the shower chair.

Man, oh man, I was so totally AWAKE even Dean Koontz couldn’t help.

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(from 1999)

Last week I purchased a golf “driving net” and set it up in my back yard. With it, I will hone my golfing skills to the brink of perfection and beyond. My fingers were trembling as I teed up my first golf ball.

“Whack!”

The ball careened wildly off the top of the net and shot straight up over my backyard fence at a little over 400 miles per hour. About ten seconds later (and two blocks away), I heard a distinct “TWOP!” as the ball landed on a distant neighbor’s roof. Then, a “CLANK!” as it tumbled into an aluminum gutter.

Somewhere in the distance, a bird chirped.

I decided to move the tee box closer to the net.

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(originally from 2001)

Is that a Duck?

I received a phone call last week from a creditor who was inquiring about my recent change of address. It seems I had forgotten to inform the Texaco credit card folks of my move to Lake Gaston, and they were politely wondering if the current North Carolina charges were, in fact, my own doing.

On that particular morning I had taken the call on a wireless phone. I was sitting on the dock enjoying a cup of coffee.

“Excuse me… but is that a DUCK I hear in the background?” asked the account representative.

“Yes, it is,” I replied, heading to the house in order to examine my most recent Texaco credit card statement. “I’m now living on a lake,” I explained. When I got to my office I sat down next to my computer, where I had left a Microsoft Golf game program running. Several of the MS Golf course holes often use a life-like “RrrriBBit!” sound effect to distract you (usually during a back-swing).

“Excuse me,” the voice interrupted again, this time hesitantly. “Is that a FROG I hear in the background?”

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(gleaned from the preview guide)

Tim says: it’s time once again to flush out wacky preview guide snippets. Based purely on these plot lines, it’d be fun to have been a fly on the wall during the hype and subsequent pitch to whichever movie producers finally decided these screenplays were destined for box office greatness. Or not.

VALERIE FLAKE 1999
“A nice guy with an ill-tempered mother pursues an embittered widow who drinks, bed-hops, and demeans sympathizers.”

I particularly like the “demeans sympathizers” phrase. Not sure, though, what it means.

+ + + + +

RETURN OF THE SWAMP THING 1989
“A mad scientist’s vegetarian stepdaughter falls in love with one of his leafy failures.”

I watched this movie for about twenty minutes just because I wanted to see Heather Locklear eating salad.

+ + + + +

RATZ 2000

“A woman from Indiana uses a magic ring to turn two rats into dates for her teen friends.”

Why pick on Indiana? Why not a woman from Iowa, or Kansas, or – – just “A woman uses a magic ring to turn two rats into dates for her teen friends.” Never mind. I still wouldn’t have watched it.

+ + + + +

BLOOD AND DONUTS 1995

“Stuck in an all night doughnut shop, a vampire hunts a rat, saves a cab driver from things, and deals with an ex-girlfriend.”

I used to dive a cab. My things were never saved. Not even by vampires. Of course, maybe the rat was in the cab while the vampire was being driven to the doughnut shop. Naw. More importantly — how come “donuts” can also be spelled “doughnuts”?

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While covering the news as a television cameraman, often a story required traveling a great distance. Such it was one day on the back roads of Louisiana. For those unfamiliar with Louisiana’s back roads, let’s just say it is an easy place to get lost. Straight cut roads run for miles and miles, flanked only by non-diminishing rows of sugar cane and Cypress tree-lined bayous, or bridges that lead nowhere.

Upon such occasions roadside bathrooms can be hard to find. Purged by cups and cups of Louisiana’s incredible Community Coffee, it was sometimes necessary to stop frequently along the way. During one such pit stop, and while in the process of taking care of business, I found myself standing on a small chunk of land that separated two bayous from each other. A moment later, a huge alligator crawled up onto the same patch of ground upon which I was intently concentrating.

The fat alligator was no more than 7 feet away.

Who's that peeing in my living room?

I had heard that one should never attempt to run away from a curious bear, but I must admit I was somewhat unsure how I should handle a brooding, ten feet long alligator. I selected to stand perfectly still.

Well, ALMOST perfectly still.

The slow-witted creature watched me fulfilling my mission, then ambled off, unimpressed. It slipped silently into the dark bayou on the other side, swished its powerful tail once, and was gone.

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