Where Is The Good Greatsby?

Paul JohnsonOh where are you Paul Johnson? If you read the backs of milk cartons, study bulletin boards at your local post office, or are a fan of missing person reports on the news then you no doubt are aware that, “The Good Greatsby” has vanished.

My idol is missing. We all need our heroes and I am sure that if you’ve ever read a post from Paul Johnson, then you like myself are now frantic with worry. At this point I am almost out of fingernails.

Getting through a week is hard enough without having to do so by not having our good-humor man to guide me to the weekend. The tears shed by me alone have not been able to keep the drought here in California in check, but I like to think so.

Whenever a post would arrive from “The Good Greatsby” I would deny myself until Friday to eagerly devour the content. I would reason there’s no better way to start a magnificent weekend. Fool that was, I always assumed Greatsby would be there for me.

Since his disappearance, though, I have had to rely on reruns of previous post to get me through this horrible ordeal. Since having read “Hello my name is Intern” whereby Paul was asking for an assistant, there has been nothing. Leaving me to ask, “Did he find one, and if so, how bad must that assistant truly be?”

Maybe Paul became offended by not getting Freshly Pressed or Freshly Pegged as often as he would have liked. I find this highly unlikely since someone like Mr. Johnson probably prefers money to such adulation.

I could, of course, read other excellent blogs like “Ben’s Bitter Blog” where I have learned that it still rains in Seattle, fostering all kinds of negativity. Perhaps I could read “She’s a Maineiac” where I’ve learned Maine is conducive to better writing, or even continue reading “Athingirl.com” where I love reading Susannah’s insights into all things New York.

However, it has been nearly eight months since that last post by “The Good Greasby.” In fact, this coming February 22nd will mark the fourth anniversary of the blog that I’ve held up as an example of satirical excellence. That is, unless of course, you have a humor blog like myself, in which case, you’re probably self-absorbed.

But I don’t want to be that into myself, at least not at the expense of a blog that I had come to  begrudgingly accept as better than that of my own, after all none of us are “The Good Greatsby.”

the good greatsbyLet us face facts.

We will never have a smoking jacket—not one we would ever pay for anyway. Nor do we wear black-rimmed glasses—at least, not publicly—for fear of being laughed at… although that never seemed to bother Paul. And none of us write for the “Huffington Post”—not that we’d have an aversion to getting paid to write for them.

It is everything I can do just to crowd out the horrible thoughts of what might have happened to him.

Did we lose gravity, thereby forcing Paul to write for some great alien civilization on another planet out in the vast universe.

Was he shanghaied? But I have since come to doubt that scenario, as Paul and family already live in Shanghai, China, so what would be the point.

Or did he go all Edward Snowden on us, possibly stealing secret documents from WordPress.com, thus forcing him to go rogue.

All I do know is, I now sit in front of the warm glow of my computer screen hours at a time, waiting for a post. Or until my wife puts a pillow under my head and wheels me, swivel chair and all, into the bedroom.

If you or anyone does know what became of “The Good Greatsby”—alias Paul Johnson—please contact us…uh… me. That, or you can contact me personally here, “In My Cluttered Attic” so that I can selfishly read his post—before the rest of you do.


It’s All About The Benjamins


“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Well that explains that, now I know why I feel the way I do about my empty wallet. I miss my money, but nobody else does—because they have it all.

“Money is the root of all evil.” And who do you suppose started that ugly rumor? What do you wanna bet some numismatist felt his collection was incomplete. Forget I mentioned the bet, I can’t afford the wager.

“Brother can you spare a dime?” I can’t ask that question of any of my brothers. They would just race for their piggy-banks. Pennies they have, silver they don’t.

“Pennies from heaven.” Not much use for pennies up there, that might explain why we always find pennies on the ground down here, instead of stacks of cash. I’m storing that suggestion in the cloud, hopefully god takes that under advisement.

“A penny saved is a penny earned.” No wonder our savings account accrues so little interest.

“Another day, another dollar.” As good a reason as any for why we have to raise the minimum wage.

“Learn the value of a dollar.” With a global economy, parents are asking for the value of the Euro, Pound, and Yen as well.

“Don’t let money burn a hole in your pocket.” It doesn’t, as what little pocket change I did have fell through that hole because my trousers are a bit worn. Gee, I thought those Levis would give me at least another ten years.

“Cash or credit?” That’s a loaded question, what with cash being in short supply, most people are forced to use credit cards. Or at least … they try to use them.

Great news! Your credit line has just been extended. That is good news, given your cards were nearly maxed out.

Bad news … your identity has been stolen, and someone applied for credit cards with your name. Now the credit agencies want their money back. Guess who?

On the way out of the store you pass a Salvation Army station. Wracked with guilt you fumble around for something to give. You discover a buck in one of your coat pockets. Upon leaving you whisper, “Please hold onto that for me, I may be back for it.”

It is at this point you decide to ask your family if they might not advance you a small loan? They decide they might not. You launch into a tirade about the economy. They respond, “Write your congressman.”

You reply, “I would, but I can’t afford the postage.”

Repeat After Me, Yeah I’m Bad

I'm  Bad

Yes, it’s another really bad post, but don’t hate me because I’m bad. Like you, I work all day too, and then come home to family. Why sometimes, I even come home to my own family, but I don’t let that stop me from adding a bad post.

I know you all work very hard on your blogs, and I’m sure a lot of effort goes into every post. That’s a problem to be sure, but don’t let it get you down. I know it must be difficult to slave away skillfully typing over those keys, while I easily post all kinds of tripe in my blog. What can I say, I have a gift.

Now you’re probably saying,”Gosh Paul, that takes no effort at all!” Fair enough, but with little, or no practice at all, you can be just as bad as me in no time. I can show you how.

Right now many of you are thinking, “I’ll never be like you.” Well, don’t let it bother you, because it’s impossible anyway. There’s no one like me. it doesn’t mean you can’t try. On the other hand, it is possible for anybody to be bad at not trying, I’m living proof of that, and look at how bad I am. The secret?  Learning to post effortlessly.

Look, your not bad.

However…what do you expect, especially when you put time and research into every single post. You have to understand, that’s a waste of energy. However, you can use that to your advantage. Hell, using spell checking, Google, editing, and re-writes will lead you to a perfectly exhausting post

And that’s when you slap one together.

When you cave-in and start all over, after hours of fruitful work, you’ll be amazed just how quickly you can post a piece of crap. You’ll be screaming, “To hell with that ‘Save Draft’ button I’m so done with this!” Next thing you know, your pressing the “Publish” button with an awfully bad post for the whole world to read.

Think of all those responses you’ll receive from a grateful public.

Like Melvin from Ohio, “Gee, I thought I was bad, but you take the cake.”

If you follow my instructions to the letter, why after your first post, don’t be surprised if someone like a Mary Sue Ellen from say, Louisiana, writes you saying something like, “My god that was bad, but don’t you worry…you’re only going to get worse.”

After two Advils, a bottle of Nyquil, and a shot of Jack Daniels you’ll wake up feeling bad. I promise.

So whether your new, or old to the blogosphere, if you follow my advice you won’t be sad, you’ll be bad.

We’re Going To Measleyland!


Hey mom and dad, you’ve just decided not to give your kids the vaccination, what’ya gonna do next? “We’re going to Measleyland!”

Oh boy a vacation to Measleyland. Planning a vacation doesn’t always require planning and coordination. Spontaneity can be loads of fun too.

Weather is usually not a problem in Southern California. Still, might be a good idea to pack for cool nights, or possible rain. Always best to be prepared, even if you can’t prepare for everything.

On occasions getting food-poisoning from Mac’s Greasy spoon could happen. Diarrhea … well what can you do? A cold? Always possible, especially when flying with all that re-circulated air, but you have to admit, that beats no air?

Oh, and then there is worshiping the porcelain god, but hey, a little praying never hurt anybody.

Nevertheless a trip to the happiest place on earth need not become a trip to the crappiest place in the world, right?

So away you go.

Upon arriving at Measleyland you are met with all kinds of decisions to make, in particularly if you didn’t plan in advance. Do you stay in a motel, hotel, or sleep in a car. Measeleyland, A California Adventure, or watching others eat and shop in Downtown Measleys.

And then there is where to eat? In Measleyland, outside the park at Denny’s, McDonalds, or at a food kitchen?

Finally there is entry into the parks. Do we buy a one, two, or three day pass before totally going broke, or has that already happened?

There is going to be lots of walking and standing involved. Good thing you avoided workouts at the fitness center, wouldn’t want to be exhausted from getting in shape. And lines, bound to be a few of those, why its practically a pastime at Measleyland.

But your at Measleyland, that’s all that matters.

Wow, look at those crowds. Everywhere you look there are people from all over. From Asia, Mexico, Canada, and Europe. Why Main Street U.S.A practically resembles America as a melting-pot of cultures, all talking, coughing, sneezing, and breathing on one-another. Good thing you’re not a hypochondriac.

Oh look there’s Measles the Mouse. Be sure to duck Donald when they start talking in your direction, lets not get too goofy about catching those crazy viruses though.

What a great trip that was, and everyone had a wonderful time. Its sure going to be hard getting back to work after this adventure, but you need to, after-all, you broke the bank.

But wait, your wife is yelling at you about something on the news. Seems somebody else went to Measleyland without getting the measles vaccination. Looks like that 104 degree temperature one of your children was running, has just turned to red spots before your eyes.
















The Time Is 3 Minutes To Midnight


Is it that late already? When you’re writing a blog you just lose track of all time. Fortunately, or unfortunately, we have people who do keep track of time for us. I think we refer to them as … bosses.

But there is another clock that I had completely forgot about which yesterday jumped three whole minutes. Damn time flies when you’re running late, but it sure as hell drags butt after you get to work.

If one of our clocks did that, we might consult somebody in Switzerland to fix it. That, or check with the folks at the Greenwich Observatory in Greenwich, England, where time seems to be something of an obsession with them.

Anyway, the clock in question here is in Chicago, being watched by a group of Nobel laureates, who look suspiciously like Atomic Scientists. Maybe what gave them away was the white lab-jackets, or possibly, there were little mushroom clouds rising above their heads, because they are a little frustrated.

Now, I am known as a procrastinator of the first order, I know because my wife told me so. I just wanted you to know that you’re not alone. Yet as frustrating as we all can be, there are some people who think they are pretty important, and they exasperate the hell out of these clock-watching scientist.

These self-important people are called world leaders, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out how they earned their name. They don’t appear to lead or follow, but they are excellent at watching and waiting.

Since 1947 this clock — which scientists gave the quaint little name of “Doomsday Clock” to — has been ticking. Actually I don’t think its gears work real well, as these scientists move the hands manually.

Sometimes they move the hands forward, and occasionally they move them backwards — just like our kindergarten teachers did when teaching us how to tell time. This worries the scientist though. See, these big important people who call themselves “world leaders” act as if they don’t know how to tell time.

Who is acting!

The clock movements are based on serious potential danger to the citizens of earth. Unless I miss my guess … I think that might be us.

These dangers include, but are not exclusive to, weapons of mass destruction, unstable governments (rather broad in scope don’t you think, when you consider that is just about all of them), terrorist running amok with knives and automatic weapons, and climate change.

Up until this week, the Republican stance had been that climate change was nothing more than a hoax. On Wednesday they took off their blindfolds, and for the first time opened their eyes and saw that glaciers were melting, and that their socks were under water.

All of them except, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss). He apparently chose to continue wearing a black hood over his head, perhaps as a fashion statement.

I guess if you can’t see the “Doomsday Clock” it probably is nothing more than a Cuckoo Clock to you.







Footballgate: All The Commissioners Men


The parking garage was very dark, but behind the light of the lit cigarette, I could just make out the silhouette of a man of stocky build in a hoody.

When we first received the call at the offices of “My Cluttered Attic”  which is actually nothing more than a desk in a corner, we surmised that the voice on the other end of the phone was that of a chronic mumbler.

I thoughtlessly asked the voice how he got our number, “Speed Dialer” was his terse response.

He went on to say, that he had read where I had suggested the New England Patriots had deflated footballs for the AFC Championship game. We agreed to meet at a parking garage just outside of Boston. I was instructed not to call the Washington Post, or Bob Woodward.

It was then that I realized that my investigation had only scratched the service. Obviously this story went higher than someone as important as say, the President of the United States. If all the dots were connected, it could quite possibly lead all the way up to the offices of the NFL!

When we met in that cold, dark, and damp parking garage, the man in the hoody, tried desperately to disguise his voice to sound like that of actor Hal Holbrook, but all that came out were mumbles.

He started by asking, “You don’t know what you have here, do you?” Then he coughed after he had inhaled and continued, “By the way, I don’t smoke, or as far as you know I don’t, got that? I replied, “Okay.”

He asked me if I had bothered to look at the laundry hamper in the Patriots locker room after the game? I said, “Why, was I suppose to, besides I couldn’t get a media-pass last Sunday?”

He responded by saying, “What do I have to do here, spell it out for you?” He must have taken the stupid look on my face to mean yes.

He proceeded to describe an elaborate plot whereby, NFL officials had rigged the game on Sunday by deflating—by 16 ounces—all of the balls used by the Patriots. The officials then made sure that the Indianapolis Colts had footballs filled to regulation.

After doing this, the officials (who suspiciously checked every ball during the game), then dumped all the needles, under the Patriots dirty uniforms, which were in that hamper.

I asked why would they do a thing like that?

He became incredulous and said, “Look, even a dull bulb like you should be able to read between the lines. The NFL wanted a true East/West contest, for better ratings. And in any event, the Patriots playing Seattle in the Super Bowl, would be a far more attractive match-up, as opposed to the Colts and Seahawks.”

He concluded, “The lopsided score tells you all you need to know.” So I asked, “Who would orchestrate such a thing?” His answer, “Follow the money. Only one man has the power to pull off a stunt like this, and make it look like the Patriots were behind it all.”

A phone rang in the offices of the NFL. They went into to wake the Commissioner, and found him fast asleep on his mattress filled with millions of dollars. They carefully shook his pillow-cases, stuffed with tens and twenty’s, and informed him the press had a few question for him.

Bleary eyed, he responded, we did an in-house investigation and found the Patriots guilty of tampering, as of now the investigation is on-going.

However despite the findings, we will only slap them with a measly $25,000 dollar fine. In any event, this will not prevent them from playing in the Super Bowl, as corruption…I mean games, are settled on the field.

When last seen the Commissioner had turned to wave to all his supporters, all 7 of them, while standing on the top stair before entering his helicopter.

As to the identity of “Deep Mumbles” know one knows.

Tonight’s State Of The Union Preview

The whole nation is a twitter. I’ve  got goose-bumps myself, and I’ll bet your delirious too, all because tonight’s the annual—wait for it and take a deep breath…Presidents State of the Union Address.

What’s that sound?

Honey…I’m trying to work on my blog in here, do you think you could get those crickets to keep it down.

Now folks there’s no need to thank me or anything like that.

For what? For the warning silly’s. You know…to set your DVRs for must see TV.

Just think of it, every network—with the exception of course of the WB, and all those hundreds of cable channels, like Disney and the Weather Channel etc., will be carrying the Presidents address to the nation tonight.

This is a big deal folks, a chance for the whole family to gather around the set and see our government at WORK. I mean come on, this only happens ONCE a year!

You wouldn’t wanna miss a thing like that, “United we stand, divided we fall” you know stuff like that. This speech oddly has nothing to do with unity, despite its namesake, because everyone say’s we’re a country in gridlock, which must mean, don’t worry its great to be American.

And then, as if that wasn’t enough excitement for one evening, everybody makes nice—ah…yes, even Republicans, because the President enters before both houses of the Congress, and we all know who is in charge there. You can’t help thinking, what a brave man.

Oh, there will be smiles, shaking of hands and plenty of good old boy back-slapping all around as well. Then the speech by our President begins. From this point forward Republicans show great politeness as they sit continuously, mildly applaud, and even sometimes smile. I wonder why it always looks so forced though?

While the few Democrats left, will stand on occasion and applaud wildly, often for minutes on end. Must be terribly uncomfortable seats.

During all of this the Vice-President (a Democrat), and the Speaker of the House (another Republican), sit immediately behind the President. The Vice-President will usually smile broadly throughout, while the speaker of the House is no doubt sucking on a lemon, how else do explain the dour expression.

Seems like an awfully odd custom, but that’s the Congress for you. And from the looks of the House during the speech, the Republican Party must hand them out by the ton. Oh its high drama, I tell you.

Finally at the end, when the President leaves the chamber, and the news-media offers their evaluation of his many points, we get the Republican rebuttal.

Now this usually has nothing positive to offer in the way of praise for the President. But it always gives a great spin on everything Republican, with a big toothy grin at the end.

This lets us know that the Congress, and the President are still friends, and that they are really both working TOGETHER for all Americans…Just SEPARATELY.

Makes you feel like all of Capitol Hill works for Allstate, doesn’t it.







Sleepless Everywhere But In Seattle

If you are an NFL fan—whoops just lost most of my female readership (all 2 of you), well then watching Seattle, AGAIN, and New England for the sixth time in thirteen years, play in a Super Bowl, may be coma inducing.

For anyone sleeping under a rock, the so called 12th man roared with delight yesterday at that winning touchdown in overtime against the Packers. Who would have thought just one guy could have caused such a seismic event? Yet I’m willing to bet Seahawk fans slept soundly around the Puget Sound last night.

Now I’m not a Packer backer, but my wife wears a cheese head—which must have been shear torture for her. No not the hat, the loss. And if you’re a 49er fan—as yours truly—then you’ve already been sleepless for well, in fact, over a year now, because beating the Seahawks has proved to be a baffling puzzle for the 49er’s.

Okay, I grant you New England Patriots fans slept way too well last night, because of a 45 to 7 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game. But this one-sided affair may have been somewhat tainted by under-inflated footballs.

Hey was everyone snoozing in the NFL office? I wonder who was watching the Patriots just to make sure they were not tampering with the footballs? But for the record, if the pigskins were under-inflated, how come New England benefited more than the Colts? Well…just asking.

NFL teams and their fans are not sleeping at night, and here are just some of the reasons why.

Let’s start with the good commissioner Roger Goodell—now there’s an oxymoron for you, and pleading ignorance too—at least he’s honest. The brilliant way in which he handled that Ray Rice case.

Contributing to our lack of sleep, worries by the fans over how unbalanced judgements are being handed down by the office of the NFL when it comes to all those criminal off-field actions by certain players—likely they’re too busy counting all that money.

We suffer through sleepless late nights with Jimmy Fallon (high ratings) over the problem of how the NFL plans to put games on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. The NFL only has games on… wait for it—four days out of the week.

Finally, what is with all those atrocious calls being made by the zebras during games this year? My god its a zoo out there.

This illustrates not only the need to define the rules more clearly, and realistically, but also why they need professional officials to call games, and not wealthy bankers and such who do it for kicks.

Why its enough to make fans go sleepwalking out of stadiums all over the country. Fan apathy, where’s the sandman when you need him?

No pictures please, that flash, I’m trying to sleep here!

You Have A Blog, Now What?


When you look around in your attic you never know what you might stumble across. Things you’ve forgotten about are bound to get uncovered.

So this is where my old antenna ball from Jack In The Box went! I can’t believe I still have that old thing. Not having a car with an exterior antenna anymore, I wonder how it got in here—between my ears?

Oh well.

Anyway, recently I started reviewing some old thoughts I’d stored up overhead—and aside from getting a headache—I managed to dust off that old notion of starting a blog.

That’s when I discovered WordPress has well over 100 million blogs already, and yes, their bloggers have probably written everything that’s worth posting.

Got me thinking: what can I hope to gain from such a folly as starting blog number 1,986,789-in section 12A of the WordPress Blogroll, other than just a chance to humiliate myself?

Financial reward?

Unlikely, especially when you consider so few bloggers make money from writing a blog—not even chump-change. Maybe I could claim momentary insanity for embarking on such a reckless undertaking as writing a blog—but I fear momentary probably has nothing to do with it.

With monetary gain now out of the question, what other possible reason could I have to start a blog?

I know!

A little article here and there, perhaps helping to put a smile on someones face after a very long day. Or possibly giving them a nightmare later tonight?

Wait! What if I attract one of those trolling grammarians—should I attract anyone at all—after posting an article with a dangling participial, run-on-sentence, or poor punctuation…etc?

Well, I suppose that could make the troll happy, but it might leave me contemplating possible suicide over the criticism. And me not getting paid for it!

Better not risk it?. But I’m committed—or I should be.

I know… I’ll share my opinion on matters of the world! But then again, what if someone disagrees with me, or takes um-bridge with my opinion—not to mention my using the word um-bridge?

What if they ask me what the word, um-bridge, means? I’d have to go and purchase a thesaurus, thus spending all my time looking up definitions and never writing a thing!

Gee-whiz, here I am at the keyboard wondering what to write about. God help me, and he probably doesn’t care either. Or is he… a she?

Controversy… everybody loves that subject. Do I really want to go there though?

So my blog will not make money, improve on the English language, or offer an opinion… and I’m hoping to avoid controversy.

What’s left to write about?

I think I now have a handle on the challenge every blogger faces. It’s called… the blank page—and boy is it daunting.