My Picture Should Have Been On The Back Of A Milk Carton

incolors.club

incolors.club

I’m back!

Cue the crickets—chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp…etc.

Well as you probably know by now, I’ve been missing for the better part of the last two weeks, but it’s not my fault. I was abducted, lured away—clawing and scratching—out of my attic… by my wife.

“Snookums,” I said “we can’t go on vacation now. What about my blog, my readers?”

“Well, what about em?” she asked, innocently enough.

“They’re going to abandoned me like the plague!” I replied. “You don’t know these people like I do. They’re all about quality writing, and all I have to offer them is this absurd and ridiculous blog. I realize that’s a lousy option, but if you take me away, who will they turn to instead?”

Her response?

“Relax, they’ll barely notice you’re gone. Besides, you know what they say… absence makes the heart grow fonder.” That’s when I knew she was out of touch with reality—because you guys barely tolerate me as it is!

giphy.com

giphy.com

“You don’t understand,” I pleaded, “I have my stats to consider. Why, if it weren’t for that amateur course in hypnotism—the I took for no apparent reason other than to have something to write about for this paragraph—I fear my followers (all of whom can’t explain their love for me) would have left my blog in cobwebs months ago.”

Funny Looooooool, Misha Gif, Boys Gif, Gif It S, Funnt Posts, Candy Hypnosis, Gif Form

Funny Looooooool, Misha Gif, Boys Gif, Gif It S, Funnt Posts, Candy Hypnosis, Gif Form

However, between you and me; I don’t obsess over such things—for more than 14 hours a day anyway—because that would be shallow.

Instead, I protested… and vigorously. “Dumpling, we can’t leave for vacation, not during the height of the WordPress blogging season! Are you mad?”

Okay, so I twisted the truth about the WordPress blogging season—that’s not until next month—but remember, I was doing it for you guys.

Anyhow, after her face reached a bright crimson color—which was immediately followed by steam escaping from her ears—I decided I’d better move onto my next argument… forcefully.

“Dumpling, precious, sweetheart, cupcake… only a blogger with followers numbering in the millions—and capable of producing better material than myself—would ever consider going on a vacation at this time of the year!”

She was having none of it. I was about to be taken—AGAINST MY WILL—to some horribly comfortable resort… complete with swaying palm trees. Dragged there by some 110-pound petite brute.

You can imagine my terror.

“Help me, help me please!” I screamed as she pulled me across the busy airport terminal floor by my ankles onto an awaiting flight. “My wife is taking me away from my readers to go on a vacation.” I screamed, “FOR TWO WHOLE WEEKS!”

Nothing. Absolutely no one, not one single person (nor married couple) stepped out of any of those LONG TSA lines.

Thus, I became just another missing person.

It was then I realized—to my horror—that settling for that coach ticket instead of first class—probably did nothing to prevent my abduction to some far off place.

I should have known better. After all, the heavy chain—the one I latched to myself and my laptop—hadn’t work either.

If only I hadn’t left those bolt cutters out—and in plain sight.

Nope, I was doomed. Doomed to go to a place where—despite my vigorous (albeit, impassive) protest—I was forced to lay around a pool like a beached whale. Waited on hand and foot, while powerless to do absolutely nothing but eat, sleep, and go to shows.

It was all I could do to escape my captivity—which happened when the hotel told me that our two-week stay in paradise was over. That is when I learned that my picture had never made it onto the back of a milk carton.

Plus.google.com

Plus.google.com

Leaving me to assume that they felt my rather large nose would only serve to distract from the truth of my absence.

Naturally, I couldn’t believe how the milk companies could leave you—my loyal and faithful readers—sitting there in the dark about my sudden disappearance.

So this post about my abduction became necessary.

Oh, but anyway, Toto, we’re home—home! And this is my blog—and you’re all here (well two or three of you anyway—and I’m not going to ever leave here again (unless I’m offered a seven-figure contract)—because I love you all (except for those of you who failed to return)—And… Oh, Auntie Em, there’s no blog like my own!

My apologies to The Wizard of Oz. Which reminds me… did I tell you how this huge tornado came down and swept me up to this land they call Oz?

Well you see, it all started when I encountered this witch… and well…

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All The Good Subjects To Write About Were Gone

Nothing gets people talking, like what this blog talked about all week long. Nothing. As you probably noticed, no one said nothing about it either, and that’s nothing new. The problem was; I had nothing left to write about, all the good subjects were taken by other blogger’s.

I fear I’ll have nothing to write about for weeks.

Writer’s block can leave you with plenty of nothing to write about. There is nothing more terrifying for a writer to write about, than nothing. Particularly, when everyone else is writing about something. In fact, the only writing I did this last week, was when I wrote comments on other people’s blogs.

Writing comments on subjects other people have already written about is a lot easier, let me tell ya.

Brain-block is a terrible thing, especially when you take up writing a blog. Occasionally, followers come looking for something to read. Its not like when you wrote in some personal journal or a diary. Particularly one that didn’t belong to you.

In those cases no one cares except you, the snoopy mom, the dopey sister, or the ruthless dumb blackmailer who kidnapped your boss in hopes of extorting money from you, or he’d dump your boss in the river—which you let happen, because you didn’t get that Christmas bonus you were counting on.

But a blog…

A blog can open windows, telling you all about people and their personal lives—which is often better than eavesdropping on them. Or about their pets—and possibly more than you ever wanted to know about their personal lives…especially their sex lives.

Blogger’s also write poetry, good and bad… and much worse than bad—”See Rex, see Rex run, see Rex run for fun. Run Rex, run, run, run.” Some blogs, are by unpublished authors talking about books they’re going to write—and never finish…or get published.

Then, they’re the blogs about traveling to places—you can’t afford to go see. Comics—by people with more talent than you; hobbies and crafts—again, by people with more talent than you; Photography—by photographers more gifted than you; and movies and television—by people with more money than you!

Then there’s me—the blogger with no post. Because, they’re no subjects left worth writing about.

Oh sure, the blogging community left me a few boring subjects I considered toying with. But, they’re the rejects. Subjects, that no other blogger would dare touch with a 12 inch keyboard. Riveting material that could lead to post titles like:

“Aunt Hester’s gall-stone surgery and her sister, Bertha’s, bunions.” How’s that for a Stephen King wanna-be’s poorly written horror novel post? “My work”—good for two or three words, maybe a complete sentence!

Or, I could write about, “Sleeping Habits of the Sandman deprived Narcoleptic.” Oh here’s a good one,  “Small Talk and the Weather…conversation starters that won’t get you noticed.” And finally, “How Facebook allowed—Big Jim Martin, my next door neighbor—into last nights nightmare.”

No…I think the good subjects are all gone folks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why New Year’s Resolutions Should Be A Thing Of The Past

Hello everyone, I’m back and busily working on my blog again. I’ve also started catching up on what you’ve all wrote while I was enjoying family and friends during the last two weeks.

So I began thinking about what usually happens to us all when we start a new year. That of resolutions and making for a fresh start.

Human-beings tend to feel that beginning a new year is a perfectly suitable time to start solving the problems that have nagged us since our last New Year’s resolutions. Animals… not so much.

'You chewed up my list of new years resolutions! Good boy! www.cartoonstock.com

‘www.cartoonstock.com

Here are some typical resolutions?

Promising to drink less during the coming year. However, when you think about it, that is one resolution doomed to failure right from the start. Consider this; who wants to get dehydrated? I believe that makes my wife’s resolution for me to stop drinking beer this year, kind of a silly request.

Water? What’s that?

Then there’s the resolution we make to spend more time with our families. Really though, with the whole family having just finished spending an entire Christmas break together, we have to ask ourselves, can we really improve on a good thing? I think not. Besides, there’s all those bowl games I have to watch.

Also, the family needs time to play all their new video games, plus show off the stylish fashions they received for Christmas.

Another resolution we have trouble keeping has been that of getting out of debt and saving money. That is one resolution that never makes sense. Can anyone truly get out of debt, especially when we start receiving credit card bills for Christmas shopping, in January.

Use cash you say? What’s that?

And then there’s that old standby of going on a diet and getting fit. How on earth can anyone possibly succeed at doing that, what with all those commercial breaks during football games suggesting we snack on chips and soda?

I seriously doubt any of us can truly resist such subliminal messaging for a Pepsi and some Doritos.

No, I think we better give up the whole idea of a New Year’s resolution. Instead, why don’t we consider making resolutions at any other time of the year… except New Year’s! Maybe then we won’t meet with so much failure.

Then we can say; a New Year’s resolution? What’s that?

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas To All, And To All—GET BUSY WRAPPING!

THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS - "The Year Without a Santa Claus" airs on MONDAY, DECEMBER 4 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET/PT) on ABC Family. (RANKIN/BASS PRODUCTIONS/ABC FAMILY) SANTA CLAUS, REINDEER

THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS -www.tvguide.com

Twas the night before Christmas, the last minute shopper had been out and about. Came home with his packages begging help from his spouse. Looking for tape and scissors and knowing not where, he had hoped to avoid the gift-wrapping nightmare.

Yes, Christmas Eve is finally here folks. But, we better watch out, and we better not cry, we better not pout I’m telling you why, Santa Claus has finally skipped town. And where you ask, is Jolly Old St. Nick?

Retired.

That’s right, you heard it here first. Kris Kringle has—like Elvis—left the building. He’s given up his North Pole distribution center for an extended stay in the Florida Keys. Sub-contracted the whole workshop out to the PUC—Parents Under Contract. You and I are the new CEO’s of Xmas-Inc. In charge of getting gifts under the tree in time for Christmas morning.

You, me, the Post Office, FedEx, UPS, DHL…etc.

yijenliu.com

yijenliu.com

And who gets the elves you ask? That would be the unemployment office. Bad break for the little guys.

And Santa? Well by downsizing and putting his annually lucrative gift-giving enterprise into receivership; with a deferred compensation arrangement including a 401K, rather generous pension plan, substantial benefit package, and executive stock compensations; plus the pending sale of his North Pole properties, he probably stands to make out like a bandit.

In addition to that, his Swiss Bank account is magically drawing 6%!

You wanna guess who’s left holding that bag? Bingo! Correct, you and I… the public. However, we do get the satisfaction of knowing that our children will have a Merry Christmas. Not to mention that we the adults, will have lighter hearts and wallets.

But, I saw this coming years ago.

Every Christmas Eve Santa would show up later and later. Then my parents would say, Well he’s not gonna show until you go to bed.” Who were they kidding? What did they have to hide? Who were they trying to protect?

That should have been my first clue that Santa was eyeing an early retirement.

Sometimes they’d say: “Kids, Santa Claus has way too many deliveries tonight, around the world trips take time.”—especially if you’re using a sleigh.

Or, “There’s too many holiday travelers in the air and that’s causing flight delay’s. So Santa’s probably in a holding pattern with other air-traffic.”

But my all-time favorite excuse for his being late came the year of the big snow storm; “He’s probably going to need the help of a red-nosed reindeer this year.” That’s a good one.

Over the years—ever so gradually—the job of Christmas delivery began falling to us. At first, I’d just put on a red suit and fake beard. But then I started adding inches to my waist-line with those darn cookies. Then one year, I stuck in the darn chimney.

Where my oldest son found me on Christmas morning. stock-photo-three-of-santa-s-reindeer-on-a-snowy-rooftop-looking-to-see-if-he-s-down-in-a-chimney-2256936

Of course, there was the expected blubbering when he realized I wasn’t really Santa Claus. However, the tears soon dried up when I told him it didn’t mean any interruption in the flow of high-priced goods for his Christmas holiday.

I carefully explained to him there might even be some hush money in it for him.

Naturally, my son was excited by this prospect and immediately initiated a notarized contract—I was astounded to find him a notary public, too! He encouraged me to sign on the threat of exposure to the other kids. I did as directed and was surprised to find the contract stipulated—among other things—that lots and lots of toys were still part of the deal.

So—fellow board members—Santa Claus has made it official; he’s no longer the front man for Christmas—something we’ve all known for quite some time now, anyway

Nevertheless, that leaves us with a very perplexing question to answer. If Santa Claus hasn’t been doing all that frequent flyer on Christmas Eve…

Then who’s the fraud Norad’s been tracking all these years?

AND WITH THAT PUZZLING CONUNDRUM, A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL, A GOOD NIGHT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uh Oh—A Greeting Card From The North Pole?

 

Ordinarily, I’d love this festive time of year. Twinkling lights hanging from all the trees on a cold, breezy, winter night.

Never mind that you can’t see their reflection on the wet streets below because of all the bumper-to-bumper holiday traffic, butI expect that sort of thing at Christmas time.

epa03970663 Christmas lights on Regent Street in London, Britain, 29 November 2013. EPA/ANDY RAIN ** Usable by LA, CT and MoD ONLY **

epa03970663 Christmas lights on Regent Street in London, Britain, 29 November 2013. EPA/ANDY RAIN ** Usable by LA, CT and MoD ONLY **

Along with all the holiday shoppers in the malls. Pushing, shoving, jockeying for position creating those long lines I always seem to get stuck in.

But, like I said, it’s Christmas time and I expect it—ATCHOO! Uh…I tink I’ve caught anutter nasty code in my dose. (Honk!)

Yet, I’ve come to expect that sort of thing too, during the season of…of…of—ATCHOO!—giving.

Honk, Pfft, and Sniffle. Speaking of which, I’d sure love to find out who gave me this miserable code—SO I COULD GIVE IT BACK TO THEM!

All I do know is, is I better get a stocking full of NyQuil this year—you know, the nighttime cold and flu medicine—along with lots of chicken soup too.

Wanna know what didn’t I expect, though? A Christmas card from the North Pole.

My wife and I arrived home from a pleasant evening out at a little Christmas soiree. She went to check the mailbox and came back with a pile of mail that even Santa Claus would find overwhelming.

“Hey…there’s a Christmas card in here for you dear” my wife said, “and it’s from the North Pole! Who do you know at the North Pole?” she asked.

Poor woman. Guess she never heard of Mr. Narwhal.

All the same, I dropped my Airborne tablet—completely missing my glass of water in the process—and exclaimed, “Silly girl, don’t you know I have connections everywhere?”

Oh I make no secret of the fact I’d hoped Santa Claus would write me again. But in my wildest dreams I never truly believed he would. I mean, not after the infamous blowtorch incident. But we won’t go there… I was only nine at the time, anyway.

Besides, I think there should be an expiration date on that kind of thing, don’t you?

Back to the card. Naturally I was excited. I’d felt my massive letter write-in campaign to Santa over the past year, called—PROTEST 2014—helped the ‘Big Guy’ to see the error of his ways.

This, for not giving me my Christmas wish last year. Or any other year for that matter.

Oh, the wish?

For one million dollars in unmarked bills—to be dropped down a chimney of my own choosing on Christmas Eve.

I could have asked for two million dollars, but I felt why push it and have him think me greedy. So I told him I’d settle for ONE. After all, I’m not the extortionist Mrs. Claus and all those horribly pathetic, itsy bitsy, teenie weenie, tiny, little minded elves have made me out to be. I’m just an ordinary guy whose name is etched in stone on the naughty list, trying to get what’s coming to me.

Who do those elves think they are anyway? His legal counsel!

So, what did fatso send me last year? A buck, that’s what! Oh no, not a full grown deer, but a WHOLE ONE DOLLAR BILL! I found it at the bottom of my Christmas stocking along with a note stating “Son, you made the list again. Love; Santa.” And he wants me to love him for that?

And at the bottom of the page—IN VERY FINE PRINT—it said…

THE NAUGHTY LIST!

Well that was the last straw. I just knew this year was gonna be different. So I lunged for the card my wife was holding— practically knocking her onto our corner table. Fortunately,  her incredible sense of balance helped her find the floor, instead.

Now, with envelope in hand, I eagerly read…

“Greetings from the North POLL!”

(A side note here. One of my friends, Sarah Ferguson (no, not the Duchess of York), she caught this misspelling. Check out her funny response in the comment section below. Though, I’m sure it was because someone spiked my eggnog—which by the way, I don’t drink.)

It card continued…

“You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen. Comet and Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. But do you recall… the most famous reindeer of all?”

I looked up and thought, “Where’s the old fart going with this?”

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, he has a very shiny nose, tells me there’s a guy impersonating him, also has A RED SHINY NOSE. Now all of the other reindeer, tend to laugh and shout out a name. And it isn’t Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer, care to play the guessing game?—Hint, hint…his picture is on your blog, and he has a Red Nose, too! Fancy that—MAYBE IT EVEN GROWS!”

Then he asked, “Do you know who he might be—donkey brain? WELL… DO YOU PUNK?”

I looked at my wife… still seated on the carpet.

Slowly, she came to her feet, “Honey, what is it?” she asked “You look as white as snow!” I turned towards her with my eyes, as wide as saucers. My words barely escaped my lips…

“I’m not sure, but I think it’s just possible Santa Claus is, CLINT EASTWOOD!”

I dropped the card in shock, and continued.

“And you know what else?” I think Santa and Rudolph are out to get me!”

Laughing (skeptically), my wife nervously replied “Oh… that’s nonsense, honey.”

I picked up the card and asked “Really? Well feast your eyes on this! She stared at the card for a moment. Then I asked, “Whad’ya say now?”

“They take a nice picture?” she responded.

But what really concerns me is; I can’t shake this nasty feeling that I might not get my million dollars—AGAIN! I just pray none of you ever make THE NAUGHTY LIST like I have.

You might never make parole! (ATCHOO!)

“Honey! Can I have another cup of NyQuil! On second thought—JUST BRING THE WHOLE BOTTLE!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Christmas Carol—No, Not The Dickens One

Schmoesknow.com

Schmoesknow.com

There had never been a more miserly man than John Q. Consumer—better known as, GOUGED. He adopted his nickname for he felt Christmas was no more than another excuse for retailers to pick a man’s pocket.

“Season of giving? Bah, humbug!” he was often heard to say.

His abrasive personality and manner of being were forged out of his disdain for the holiday—and for not spending money in general.

Every year—starting around June—he found himself being bombarded with Christmas deals offering holiday sales on everything—from cars to… EVEN MORE CARS!

Oh sure, advertisers still offered the cheaply made goods as well—those that would fall apart after only three or four uses, but GOUGED, had discovered something more devious.

Retailers marking goods up in price in advance of the holidays only to reduce prices back down to their original OVERPRICED amount just in time for Christmas holiday shopping.

Naturally, GOUGED, became as bitter as the cold that accompanied the festive holiday season.

Finding items failed to work after he got them home, he was further frustrated by having to go back and stand in long lines to get his money back. Many times, only to be told of the retailers no return policy.

He felt preyed upon by the mercantile for his hard earned… MINIMUM WAGE.

During the holiday season the “Ladies and gentleman of charity” could be found standing by their little red kettles in front of the many retailers places of business.

They would ask him to contribute to those in need of common necessities. Hoping, that he might be willing to give to the less fortunate, and thus offering provisions for the poor and destitute—of which he felt he was one.

Being part of what was formerly known as, The Middle Class, his answer was always the same. “Bah, humbug.”

Though, no one ever had the slightest clue what that meant, they figured as long as the old fool cracked loose with some cold hard cash—preferably tens and twenties—let the old geezer babble and speak all the gibberish he wants.

For the record; Bah, humbug actually translated into, “Hey, when are you dummies going to start contributing to my needs?”

So this Christmas Eve, GOUGED, decided things were going to be different.

He launched into a tirade, asking his detractors why there weren’t more unionized workhouses in operation that paid a living wage to their workers?

Why bankers never considered lowering interest rates? Why unemployment offices never honestly tried to provide for those in debtors prison—better known as credit card holders?

“Right.” they would reply, “Well, you see sir, there are many unscrupulous employers, banking institutions, and corporations operating and each is corrupt as all get out.

They’re always wanting to pay less while raking in more. Bankers are always raising interest rates constantly trying to remain highly profitable. All this comes at the expense of the suckers… uh… we mean the labourer’s and shopper’s.”

TheDailyBeast.com

TheDailyBeast.com

“And why do they do this?” GOUGED asked. “I’ll tell you why. They want to ‘decrease the surplus population’ that’s why! Then you’ll only have the wealthy to fill your little red kettles at this time of the year.”

They were all too aware of how the tightfisted wealthy seldom did that.

His rant had caught them off guard. GOUGED sounded inexplicably like he was from the United Kingdom, but they knew him to be American?

Realizing his slip of the tongue, as he had recently become an Anglophile—no doubt because he had seen far too many remakes of A Christmas Carol—he decided to pause for effect.

Then—now in broken American English—he continued his rant.

“Employers don’t like having to pay health benefits for what is left of their overworked, underpaid employees. So, in order to increase their hefty profit margin—and still reluctantly pay the health care cost—they slash the wages of the laborer’s who helped make them that tidy profit.”

Oh, it should be noted, that many a labourer hadn’t seen a cost of living increase, in about fifteen years.

GOUGED, further knew that those who lost their jobs would likely find themselves navigating a never ending call tree over the phone with the unemployment office.

Those few who did manage to get through, would likely be dismissed as unwilling to work. And this was because they were going to be paid far less than what an illegal alien (immigrant, or is that an emigrant) could possibly scrape by on.

The “Ladies and gentleman of charity” warned, GOUGED, that the merchants might be angry if they ever heard his views on the state of the economy.

May even hire some peasant to go plaster his car windshield (LITERALLY), with thousands of flyers in an attempt to promote one of their sales.

“Bah, humbug!” he shouted at them, and off he went into the bitterly cold winter night seeking out his car in a poorly lit parking lot, only to uncover its windshield—WITH A CHISEL AND A SCRAPER!

GOUGED, finally arrived home close to midnight. Sitting down to a cup of Campbell’s Beef and Barley soup, someone came crashing through his front door. It was one, Jacob Marley, his former used car salesman, who had only recently lost his job at the local Carfax dealership.

Hubpages.com

Hubpages.com

Hardly a ghost, but a shell of a human-being all the same, GOUGED, didn’t feel this excused Marley’s driving through his front door—WHILE INTOXICATED!

It made for a very uncomfortable encounter.

“Take heed, GOUGED, Marley began, “for I have it on good authority—I think it was a guy down in front of Macy’s ringing some sleigh bells—that you have forged in life a chain of debt, far less than that of my own!”

GOUGED, cowered over his checkbook—surrogate to his empty bank account.

“Beware GOUGED” Marley intoned, “beware, for you will soon be visited by The 3 Spirits of Madison Avenue over the course of the next 72 to 96 hours. “Beware!” he warbled.

Then he faded from view—handcuffed in the back seat of a squad car as he was taken off to jail for a DUI.

GOUGED, thinking Marley a man given to drink and suffering from the DT’s, decided to ignore the whole incident.

But, not before he called his State Farm Insurance agent about the damage to his front door.

His agent, wearing Khaki’s at the time and sitting at his desk at 1:00 AM in the morning, was waiting for the call—not that any of that is important to the story.

Nevertheless, a few hours later the first spirit of Madison Avenue appeared.

“GOUGED!” it bellowed from the glimmering light of the television screen.

“Who is it?” asked GOUGED, grabbing his 12 gauge shotgun.

“I am the ghost of Black Fridays past.” replied the voice from the TV. The spirit now floated through another disrupted cable signal (which GOUGED paid through the nose for on a monthly basis) and into his living room.

Fearsome indeed was she. Battered of face with clothing torn asunder, the ghost was the full embodiment of a Black Friday shopper. A real live Walking Dead zombie! She implored GOUGED—screaming at the top of her lungs…

“Remember… anything for the deal, anything for the deal!”

The thirty second million dollar spot—paid for by advertisers—was over. The spirit vanished, but not before GOUGED had emptied his 12 gauge shotgun into his flat-screen television in a blind panic.

“Now I’m going to need a new Samsung 110 inch TV for Christmas.” he frustratingly thought to himself—a sad price to pay for being a gun-toting ARA member.

Now, left with only being able to watch YouTube on his desktop, he gradually nodded off to sleep again.

24 hours passed, when suddenly a voice echoed from the monitor in front of him. “GOUGED” the voice asked searchingly, “are you there?” He sought refuge under his pegged together IKEA desk.

“I am the ghost of Small Business Saturday.” it continued. GOUGED,  recognized the voice.

“Bob, Bob Cratchet? Is that you?” GOUGED asked.

Bob was the owner of The Rug Emporium just down the street. Always going out of business for one reason or another, Bob would somehow always reopen a month or so later—usually with a relative taking over as the new owner.

However, old Mr. Fizziwig recently bought him out, or so Bob claimed.

“You have never seen the likes of me, have you GOUGED? For you’ve never shopped locally on Small Business Saturday, have you? In fact, you never shop at all, do you, GOUGED?” asked, Bob.

GOUGED replied “True. In fact, I can’t see you now either, but I recently WINDOW SHOPPED your former stor! Which I believe is now under new management by old man Fizziwig, is it not?”

“Window shopping doesn’t count, GOUGED. Ignorance and want, that’s what counts these days. But, I tell you what, my son Tiny Tim (who stood 25 stone), has bought the store back from old man Fizziwig, and he’ll make you a right fine deal on some new Persian rugs. Whad’ya say?”

GOUGED, thought for a moment and replied…

“Okay… I promise to buy some rugs—NOT! Look, I’m going to need a new computer monitor more than those stupid rugs. See, my monitor is shot!” (and another bang rang out)

And with that, GOUGED, was out of ammo.

Another 24 hours went by. Soon, GOUGED (who practically overdosed on sleeping pills), heard a buzz on his cell phone. He picked it up and clicked on the smart phone only to be met with a reminder that the third spirit would soon arrive.

The ghost of Cyber Monday.

“Am I in the presence of the ghost of Cyber Monday yet to come?” asked, GOUGED?

His smart phone beeped in the affirmative. “Oh spirit” GOUGED continued, “I fear you most of all. For I am technologically challenged and do not have a PayPal account. Should I Google how to get one?”

The phone beeped and an image appeared. It was the photo of an H&R Block followed by the words…

“Spend…or else!”

GOUGED thought for a moment, and then asked, “Or else…what?” Another beep, and a picture of Tiny Tim’s Rug Emporium appeared with the words “Closing, everything must go. Going out of business!”

Columbiaclosings.com

Columbiaclosings.com

Gouged asked…

“Spirit, are these the shadowy signs of what might be, or what has actually happened? Because, Cratchet is always claiming he’s going out of business.”

The phone beeped once again and the screen on his phone read…

“GOUGED, I fear if you do not start spending money—LOT’S AND LOT’S OF MONEY, then Tiny Tim’s Rug Emporium will be no more. I even surmise a visit from the IRS might be in order.”

“No not an audit!” cried GOUGED.

“Please spirit, I promise I’ll exhaust my savings (all two cents worth), I’ll even spend money I don’t have, max out my credit cards, get a lone from the bank—well at least exhaust my savings, spend money I don’t have, and max out all my credit cards.”

“Can’t do much about the bank loan thing though…banks don’t loan money anymore. But, I swear on my former used car salesman’s liver that I’ll do the rest!”

The phone beeps stopped. GOUGED, figured he’d better sell out to the spirit of Cyber Monday—but FAST!

“Hey… I don’t mind being gouged for the money, honest I don’t!” he screamed, “I promise, I’ll do all the other stuff just like I said. Just please… don’t send the IRS to my door to conduct an audit. I can’t afford a law firm!”

GOUGED, dropped to his hands and knees—and reached under his bed for an an old shoe box full of receipts—just in case. Then he rushed outside and practically drove over a jaywalker carrying a small turkey to get to the closest ATM and withdraw his savings.

GOUGED, proved to be better than his word. He gave all his cash until the little red kettles swelled with money. He bought Persian rugs, just like he promised he would, and from Tiny Tim’s Carpet Emporium.

Of course… he eventually was arrested and put in prison for embezzling funds, writing bad checks, and committing grand larceny.

But, he kept Tiny Tim’s Rug Emporium from going out of business. Plus, he kept Tim out of debt, all while keeping the Rug Emporium flush with cash.

After all, isn’t that what the true spirit of Christmas is all about? The spirit of giving—until it hurts?

(Soon to be a Major Motion Picture from some big name studio starring—my… quarter brother—Tom Hanks)

 

 

 

 

Tis The Season To Nitpick

There was once a time when we didn’t seem to worry so much about every little thing. We didn’t always sweat the small stuff. It was more like, “Sticks and stones will break our bones but names will never hurt us.” Like ducks, we’d just kind of let the water roll off our backs and then moved on. Who cared if we weren’t always politically correct?

But, that’s all changed now. Goodness, we can’t even let sleeping dogs lie.

Not that my neighbors dog ever was much for barking the truth anyway. I can’t even remember the last time he repeatedly barked in order to alert the neighborhood that a dangerous intruder was nearby. Of late, he only barks (incessantly) to inform us of stray cats, wayward dogs, and old Mr. Jenkins somewhat questionable attire. Some watchdog!

But, I digress.

Today, we will nitpick anything to pieces, even when it comes to nitpicking lice out of our children’s hair. Not that I’d ever want to draw undue attention to the fact, that our barber suggested I may have done irreparable harm to my sons hair the last time he had head lice. But, he forgave me…sort of.

But, as I was saying; have we really become overly sensitive to everything as a society?

Take retailer, Target, for example. Last week they became a real topic for conversation when they introduced a new holiday sweater. The sweaters say, “OCD, and then directly underneath “Obsessive Christmas Disorder.” Cute. Not the sweater… it’s downright ugly! But, I thought the idea clever.

twitter.com

twitter.com

Now I think most of us know what OCD really stands for, and obviously Target does, otherwise, they wouldn’t have counted on the general public immediately recognizing the play on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I know I did, saw the clever play on words and enjoyed the humor in it.

But, then I suffer from the problem and try not to take myself too seriously. But, then what do I know?

However, some mental health advocates, and more than a few consumer groups, apparently took offense to the whole thing. They pointed out how sufferer’s of the disorder would not see the humor in the sweaters and would be deeply offended by them. Their concern for us sufferer’s of OCD is admirable.

But, I think some of us can see the humor in our tics, and recognize no malice was intended.

And if that were not enough, last week offered us a second helping of overly sensitive people being critical of, Starbucks, and this years holiday coffee cups. The cups are simply red and green and lacking the usual christian symbols of the season. Like snowmen, flying reindeer, and Santa’s little helpers.

Yes, I could possibly understand Madison Avenue types being deeply offended by this horrid turn of events. What with the big money to be made by encouraging a more festive holiday season, this might be misconstrued as sacrilegious. Heaven forbid!

However, with so many more serious issues occurring in the world this holiday season, don’t you feel that the son of god—patient, tolerant, and understanding soul that he is—might not cut Starbucks just a little bit more slack this time around?

 

 

 

 

The Weary Writer Returns To His Blog

Ladyclever.com

Ladyclever.com

So here we are in the midst of November—better known as National Novel Writing Month—or as some writers like to affectionately call it, http://nanowrimo.org/. Not me of course, I have yet to master the art of speaking URL fluently.

Grammarly.com

Grammarly.com

Yet, there may still be other writers out there who no longer speak of the challenge with love and affection. These might be writers who now sense that feverishly trying to produce a 50,000 word novel by 11:59 on Tuesday November 30th, may be a challenge unworthy of real affection.

However, maybe some of them are excelling in producing language that would make a sailor blush. Nah!

But, some of these fine folks may be stressing out over having to finish their unfinished novel on time at the expense of sleep, a Thanksgiving family dinner, and an existing income called… a job. And it’s all in the name of imagination, creativity, and maybe in some cases… wishful financial independence.

And yet, I wish I could claim to be counted among these wretched writers and their perceived folly to produce that 50,000 word novel in one months time. Why you ask?

Well, you may have noticed—those of you who frequent this weird, wild, and wacky blog of mine, better known as the poor unfortunate souls called my followers who have ACCIDENTALLY been sucked into this swirling vortex of a black hole in the blogging world—that there has been a void here since Halloween.

Not because I chose to attempt the 50,000 word masterpiece. Oh no, I truly wished I had. No, but because I had to go out of town and forage for real money. Oddly enough, for some strange reason that didn’t include me making money by writing in my blog. Which, as you may know, has still failed to put me on the Forbes 500 list.

But hey, I’m back from Los Angeles now and with a nasty head cold to prove it, which has left me in a fog. This has left me consuming large quantities of chicken noodle soup, NyQuil, and forcing my wife into singing to me, “Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty ” all the while rubbing Vick’s vapor Rub on my chest. This in an effort to help me recover so that I might rejoin the human race.

Viralfactory.com

Viralfactory.com

Just ask, Sandi, or is it, Sarah, and Mike, or is it, George? She/they vaguely know all about it.

I suspect the cold was courtesy of the airlines and their lovely recycled air. But, I’m having little problem trying to prove that. So that big lawsuit I was planning to file against them? I guess it’s going to have to wait—at least until there’s a cure for the common cold.

I realize this revelation about my recent whereabouts comes as little more than back page news to the John Grisham’s and Mary Higgins Clark’s of the larger narcissistic blogging community—usually located somewhere near the center of the WordPress hurricane of attention.

You know, where Freshly Pressed is located.

But, that’s no doubt due to they’re being too self-absorbed with their own UNPAID writing on their own blogs—unlike you kind folks, who at least take time out of your busy schedule to read mine, and other friends blogs. Makes you wonder what compels those pompous writing windbags to ignore the rest of us, doesn’t it?

This could not possibly be because they erroneously believe that their own blogs feature superior writing to that of our own, surely not. Otherwise, they’d be admitting that they see us as less than serious writers, which would explain why they never come to visit our blogs.

funny-bathroom-artNaturally, such diluted reasoning would only lend itself to the idea, that they couldn’t possibly be bothered with looking at our blogs, as nothing more than exploits consisting of grocery list, love notes to our soul mates, and scribblers of fine graffiti on inner bathroom stalls.

Oh come on, where else would I write?

Anyway, it’s nice to be missed, and I’ve missed you all too. That’s why I’ve been slowly catching up on what you’ve all wrote, and not because of some failed attempt at writing a 50,000 page novel, or desperately trying to compose a Freshly Pressed Post because I see you as unworthy writers of my (currently) comatose attention.

No, I’ve just been sick and tired of having to go earn money, that’s all. A necessary evil, to be sure.

“I Got A Rock!”

And this is it!

And this is it!

Oh, this is just great. Here it is, Halloween, and our youngest son told us he was in need of a new costume for going out to Trick or Treat tonight.

screamWasn’t the Scream costume we bought him five years ago, good enough? At the time, he begged for it—on his hands and knees while clutching my leg as I left the store—it WAS top of the line then. It’s only been five years… surely it’s top of the line now, I thought.

spiritI mean I’ve been to the local Halloween Spirit store, and there are tons of plastic faced Frankenstein, Werewolf, and Dracula costumes hanging there from the 1940’s—all just under $9.95. Obviously, still as popular today as they were 75 years ago—why else would they still be hanging around?

So, SCREAM, must still be a scream after only five years…right?

But, that was not the worst of it… oh no. He further informed us that the neighborhood kids deliberately started avoiding our house on Halloween, not because it looked so scary—even though I did put a small fortune and many hour’s of work into making it look EXPENSIVELY spooky—just ask my protesting wife!

No, he said, instead, they are avoiding our house annually because we only hand out a piece of fruit and one piece of candy per Trick or Treater. He then mentioned how the kids all claim that the candy we give out is always the assorted Jolly Rancher kind.

Well, I can’t deny it, they are the best—smallest candy you can buy, that’s cheap!

Also, he mumbled something about how the kids pointed out that we always make sure to tuck into their trick or treat bags, a cost assessment breakdown of every bag of candy we buy for them.

This, along with an explanation that because of the increased cost in candy, we’ve had to cut back on our Halloween candy handouts. Can’t have ill-informed marauding Trick or Treaters now, can we? trick or treat

After all, while the kids count their candy, we parents have to count the cost.

But now my son has warned us that the little urchins are planning an attack on our house—so devastating—that it would put to shame, any house teepeeing, rotten egg tossing, splattered window fiasco’s, they’ve ever done in the past.

And, that it involves the launching of a rock… the size of an asteroid, with the face of a skull no less!

And he said that they told him, that the only thing that could save us; would be if we bought him the best Halloween costume of his choice. And also, forking over the best candy money can buy when they show up at our door on October 31st.

Naturally, being nobody’s fool, I required proof of such a threat.

He produced the picture above. I asked him, “What’s this?” He told me it was the proof I demanded. When I told him I’d need more than just a picture, he said, “Call NASA and ask them if I doubt that a giant skull faced Rock is heading our way on Halloween?”

Naturally, I scoffed at him and called, NASA. Well, as it turns out; he telling the truth!

NASA, confirmed that there is an asteroid size rock hurdling our way for tonight, and that it does have a skull shaped face.

Of course, I immediately broke down and went out and bought my youngest son a new super deluxe Ironman suit, complete with all the fire power he could possibly need to defend our home against marauding ghouls and goblins—and big skull shaped rocks.

Plus, just in case trick or treat attackers were to get by him while he was out trick or treating, I took the added precaution of shelling out thousands of dollars for hundreds of boxes of See’s candies to hand out. You know, just in case.

After all, the last thing you’d ever want to say on Halloween is—wait for it—”I GOT A ROCK.”

The Trick Of Eating Treats—Filled With Halloween Woe

black cat

Imagine if you will; it’s just past midnight on Halloween and the little ghost and goblins have completely avoided your house again… for the umpteenth year. You start upstairs—candle in hand—munching on all those leftover sweets.

But, as you are about to drift off to sleep suddenly, A GHASTLY TALE OF WOE begins to emerge from the darkened shadows of your cluttered attic—yes, we’re talking about your mind… it’s alive… it’s Alive… IT’S  A-L-I-V-E! Too dramatic?

ghostAlright, but lying there for centuries—just gathering dust—was this idea for a ghostly story, and now IT SEIZES upon your imagination. (achoo!)

Okay granted… perhaps your attic’s not all that old, gray, and dusty (like mine), but trust me it sounds creepier that way.

And guess what? As luck would have it—while I was rummaging about the cobwebs of my own cluttered attic—I just happened to stumble across such a manuscript.

Hmm, how do you suppose that got there—you wonder? Ahem.

Yes, I know. But, who else do you know goes stumbling about in the darker recesses of their own mind looking for ghost stories—with only a candle and a completely eaten bowl of candy? Exactly… so I don’t know why you’re so surprised?

Why did I stumble over it? Because its dark up there that’s why! No, I don’t remember why I was carrying a candle around inside my head instead of a flashlight, but that’s not important.

What is important, is the fact that I didn’t drop the candle. Because then… POOF! And up I’d go in spontaneous human combustion. I can just see myself trying to explain that to the coroner during the autopsy.   human combustion

Anyway, as I said, I found this tale of woe. Are you scared yet? Okay… well whatever you do… don’t move. I’ll be right back with the smelling salts.

Here, take a whiff… feel any better? Okay, well I’m sorry you’re scared of me and not my post. But, you’re laying there now, so you might as well hear the whole story.

From here on out it just gets weird.

Whad’ya mean it’s been pretty weird up to now? I told you, the weird part hasn’t come yet. Here, you better take another whiff of smelling salts… I don’t think you’re all there. Any improvement? No? Well, I don’t have any sleeping pills, and no… you’re not going to get out of this that easily.

So, do you remember Walt Disney’s, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow? Good, because this has nothing to do with it.

sleepy hollowUnless; you can remember the end of the story with the voice of Bing Crosby (as the voice of Brom Bones) weaving a tale of terror concerning The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in song? Then you might want to sing along.

Shall we begin? Well too bad, were going to begin anyway…

You squirm in bed and hallucinate, about what’s in your closet when it gets late. Come about midnight the ghost and banshees, gather in their nighties and their bed time jammies. They’re not in costume, but they let out big cries, about the clothes in your closet and their humongous size.

They call you fat saying you’re not thin, and that you’re overly stretching out your skin! Ha, ha I’m telling you dude avoid the light, cause’ you won’t fit your costume come Halloween night.

Your costumes a tight fit on Halloween night! (ignore them… they’re just a ghostly chorus dressed up as sheep)

And when the girls have a jamma’ party on All Hollows Eve, they’ll all consume and eat lots of candy. Yeah ghost are bad but you’re the worst, especially if the headless horseman drives your hearse.

He drives a hearse on Halloween night??? (again… that’s just the ghostly chorus if you happen to be singing along)  horse drawn hearse

Now go a joggin’ across the land and drop those pounds off if you can. Then you’ll confront those demons and moan… I’M LOOKING IN THE MIRROR MY HOW I’VE GROWN!

Beware, be scared, its too late. You ate all the candy in exchange for weight! (clever chorus, huh?)

Yes the Horseman’s out for a spin… trying to see who he can drag in. Now don’t be like him and lose your head, stop eating so much before going to bed.

They say he’s tired of the whole lot, particularly those who eat lollipops. So he trick or treats one night a year, driving that hearse while striking fear.

He hates weight watchers and folks too thin, FOLLOWERS OF JENNY CRAIG who don’t food binge. Don’t try to hide if you pounds to shed, the Headless Horseman seeks a fat head.

(ALL TOGETHER CHORUS!)

So dip into your dip and chompity-chomp, keep on consuming all that soda pop. If you lose your figure not eating bran, it’s for you he comes—that headless man.

Now if your not one who’s in the know, take a tip from me, you were thinner one year ago. But you avoided the mirror and failed to look, and now my friend YOUR GOOSE IS COOKED!.

If you cross his hearse come round the bend, don’t pretend it’s not the end. It’s not a black and white but it’s cursed, with the headless horseman driving in first.

Now, while you eat your candies with delight, remember you’re in for quite a fright. You should keep a look out—and beware—the horseman comes for more than just hair.

(AGAIN, ALTOGETHER NOW GHOSTLY CHORUS)

So dip into your dip and chompity-chomp, keep on consuming all that soda pop. If you lose your figure not eating bran, it’s for you he comes—that   H-E-A-D-L-E-S-S   M-A-N! (and fade out) headless hession

“The Headless Horseman” was written by Don Rage and Gene De Paul for the film, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and performed by Bing Crosby and the Rythmaires. Not in this post of course, that would just be too weird-er.

I seriously doubt, however, that they would have ever wanted to take credit for my horrific spin on their Halloween masterpiece. But, I think November 1st is about to become a new getting in shape day.

BOO!  boo hoo