The Ixcanixian Interstellar Bad Poetry Challenge

A while back I transmitted a weird alien poetry contest through this blog to the people of Earth.  It was a contest for bad poetry.  And obviously we only write good poetry on this planet as no entries from the native clothes-wearing primates of this planet were submitted.  If you are unclear about the contest of which I speak, here is the link;

The Interstellar Bad Poetry Challenge

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While no Earth primate entries were actually submitted (Magilla Gorilla’s entry was disqualified as he is a cartoon character and copyrighted by Hanna Barbera) we did get some entries from illegal aliens.  Their contest entries are submitted here for your perusal.  However, it is bad poetry.  By definition, if you don’t have your Galaxian bad-poetry-reading glasses handy, you should proceed with extreme caution.

This first entry is from a random Space Goon.  It is exceptionally bad poetry, and apparently the Goon who wrote it has no individual name.  He appears to be one of many dumped on this planet by interstellar authorities in order to prevent them from doing any real damage to planets that matter.

Goon Verse

Goon-goon-goon

Goon is good

Goon will come

And live in your house

Goon will come

And eat your mouse

Goon-goon-goon

Why you no like Goon?

 

The second entry I intend to inflict on you is a very weird entry I got in container that was apparently filled with radio-active foof gas.  While foof gas is apparently a deadly poison in most of the Milky Way, it is non-toxic to humans from Earth.  The perpetrator of this poem would only identify himself (or herself… or itself) as Bing-bing the Laser Guy.

I Will Kill You

Bing-bing is hiding on Earth!

How can you not understand this?

If you publish my writings,

And allow the authorities to discover my presence,

I will come to your house and evaporate your head!

 

The rhythm of that poem is very poor, and the rhyme scheme is non-existent.  But it is supposed to be bad poetry, after all.  So I suppose it has just as much chance of winning as the rest of them.

The Mookian Space Elf submitted not only a bad poem, but 8 X 10 glossies of himself.  He watches endless hours of PBS kid shows, educational cartoons, and inexplicable Boo Bahs and Teletubbies.  I think he’s convinced himself that this contest is somehow an audition for a kids’ show.  He claims to be able to sing and dance, as well as be funny, educational, and relentlessly cute.

Hire Me!!!

Ain’t I cute?

Ain’t I sweet?

I’ll give you diabetes so bad,

It will surely eat your feet!

Love me!

Dove me!

And give me so much money

That I’ll laugh so hard I pee!

 

Yes, if that is poetry, it is really bad poetry.

The final entry is from Ralph the Inexplicable.  This amazing being has been on Earth since before there were dinosaurs, so it is possible he is more of an Earthling than we are.  He is reputed to be incredibly wise, but his poetry was also hard to translate into English since it was all in ones and zeros.  And I don’t speak binary code.  So my translation may be less of a bad poem by Ralph and more of a bad poem made up by me.

Song of Slortcherill

Mee tok funni

Mee tok sloe

Leesen two mee

Ann emjoiy da show

Wheen Slortcherill sings

Da winners all brayk

Da kidoinks all screem

Anna moofins all bayk

 

I was warned that if I translated that poem with proper English spelling, it would fill your head with so much “wisdom”, your brain would melt.  So I present it here according to Ralph’s specifications.  I did read two of the lines with proper English spellings and felt my head grow distinctly hotter.  So I wouldn’t risk thinking too hard about what the proper spellings are if I were you.

None of these entries will probably win the contest.   They are all certainly bad poetry.  But I am fairly certain that given the competition from this part of the Milky Way Galaxy worse does, in fact, exist out there… somewhere.  And may you never be unfortunate enough to find it.

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Because Rabbits Are People Too

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Today’s Paffooney paffoon cartoon is a puzzler.  I have this Rabbit People cartoon scene in my head with no punch line, no dialogue, and basically no idea.  It just popped into my head doodle fashion, and then flowed down through my pencil and pen onto paper.

What is boy bunny Benjamin asking or saying to young buck about town Bernhopper Bunny?  And what is Bernhopper’s answer?

Maybe like this;

rabbit punch1

But that’s bathroom humor.  We all know the Easter Bunny lays chocolate eggs for Easter, so bunny bathroom humor gets you wondering about about chocolate chip cookies from the Easter Bunny.  And that’s just gross.

Maybe it should be more like this;

rabbit punch2

Now that’s downright bad citizenship advice.  Surely we can do better.  And does the story have to be about the fireplug?

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Okay, gotta squelch the sexual innuendo.  When it comes to rabbits, that kind of humor leads to lots more rabbits.  I’m not really sure how this comes out.  Maybe the story should involve fat Barry Bunny who secretly prefers bananas to carrots.  Or maybe it is about beautiful Bingolette Bunny who plays the bongos and writes monumentally horrible love songs in her spare time.  I just can’t figure out rabbit humor!  It is so frustrating!  Maybe you have suggestions in the comments.  (Is that a challenge to your creativity?  Just a test to see if you really read this junk?  Or am I just too lazy to write my own cartoons?  I’ll never tell.)

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Dramatis Personae D&D Style

One of the most fascinating things about Dungeons and Dragons, the story-telling adventure game with sword battles controlled by dice rolls, is the characters.  They are a creation by committee.  You take a blank character sheet, roll six basic numbers by complex rules on dice, and then decide who that character is; paladin, rogue, magician, archer, swordsman, etc… what that character is; human, elf, dwarf, hobbit… I mean halfling, orc, gnome, or Minotaur… and then do the complicated math that those choices entail.  But then you have to do the real work and give that character life in the form of hopes and dreams, likes and dislikes, personality quirks, and goals.  They have to become collaborative characters for a play that won’t actually be written until the players perform it.

These, you may recall if you are nutty enough to read Mickian regular features, are my children’s player characters.

Adventure1Ditty Bytcha who prefers to be called Fate is my number one son’s original character.  He is a fighter wearing magic armor who loves to make things as an artificer (one who builds devices with magic).  He eventually wants to cut his own arms off and replace them with mechanical ones.  He is also quick to leap into the fray and is fairly deadly with his chosen weapons.  He once made a crossbow that had explosive power enough to blast apart a ship and kill everyone on board, including the people he was trying to save.  He is also a good leader and is always ready with a joke that can even make the Dungeon Master laugh.

Adventure 3

And number two son’s character, Gandy Rumspot, is a food-loving halfling that also likes making ships.  No kidding, he likes being a shipwright and designing sailing vessels… and flying airships powered by captured air and fire elementals.  He likes riding pteradactyl-back and firing crossbows at the evil enemies from the air.  And he is good at making fun of other characters, even to the point of making some of them angry to the point of tantrums… especially his sister’s character.

Adventure2

And, of course, my daughter the Princess’s character, Mira Mirkestasia is a telekinetic Kalashtar who floats everywhere instead of walking.  She possesses an intelligent throwing knife that not only comes back to her hand after every throw, but seriously wants to kill Gandy for his sister-jokes.  She protects the whole group from those like the evil Dr. Zorgo who threaten to take over your mind and put your brain inside a stone golem.

And, of course, three people is probably not enough to actually survive in magic-rich and dragon-filled Eberron.  So additional characters are required to go on and actually survive dungeon-crawling adventures.  These are known as NPC’s, Non-Player Characters.  I will tell you more about them in another post, but here are the two most important ones;

Druaelia is a female wizard whose familiar is the owl Temper.  She was there for the very first level-one adventure killing rats and gnolls who were particularly weak and stupid.  She started as a magic user looking to be the fireball expert.  But her fire magic kept going astray (rolling a 2 or a 1 on a 20-sided dice is catastrophic failure and not a good thing to roll when fire is involved).  And she eventually learned she was much better with ice and snow magic.  She is naturally immune to cold and can wear bikinis in winter, a useful thing when more than half of your team is made up of adolescent boys.

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Elytharra, more commonly referred to as El, is the cleric and healer of the group.  She is much more modest and devout, being a worshipper of the blue dragon Aureon, god of wisdom and magical knowledge.  She is the one charged with learning how to heal boo-boos (and re-attach heads and raise the dead) because hunting for treasure in dragon caves is a dangerous business and dice rolls can make really bad things happen.  She was also part of the very first adventure, and the rats almost ate her.

So the main reason we have enjoyed D&D adventures so much is the fact that the characters are so surprisingly real.  We learn to care deeply what happens to them, and want them to prosper in the face of evil, no matter what comes.  And the real secret behind them is… in truth they are really us.

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Hurtful Words

Yesterday’s post got me thinking about how words and the power behind words can actually hurt people.  They can you know.  Words like “brainiac”, “bookworm”, “nerd”, “spaz”, “geek”, and “absent-minded professor” were used as weapons against me to make me cry and warp my self-image when I was a mere unformed boy.  I do not deny that I was smarter than the average kid.  I also recognize that my lot in life was probably better than that of people assaulted with words like “fatty”, “moron”, “loser”, and “queer”.  Being skinny as a child, there was actually only one of those deadly words that was never flung my direction.  Words like that have the power, not only to hurt, but even to cripple and kill.

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We all stand naked at times before a jury of our peers, and often they decide to throw stones.

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I try to commit acts of humor in this blog.  Or, at least, acts of verbal nit-witted goofiness that make at least me laugh.  I have been told by readers and students and those forced to listen that I only think I am funny, and I am a hopelessly silly and pointless old man (a special thank you to Miss Angela for that last example, used to tell me off in front of a science class I was substitute teaching years ago.)  But those words do not hurt me.  I am immune to their power because I know what the words mean and I am wizard enough to shape, direct, and control their power.

I have stated before that I don’t approve of insult humor (usually right before calling Trump a pumpkin-head, or otherwise insulting other members of the ruling Empire of Evil Idiots).   And I don’t mean to shame others or make them feel belittled by my writing.  But sometimes it happens and can’t be helped.

This blog isn’t about entertainment.  I am not a stand-up comedian working on joke material.  I use this blog as a laboratory for creating words and ideas.  It is mostly raw material that I mean to shape into gemstones that can be used to decorate or structurally support my crown jewel novels.  I use it to piece ideas together… stitch metaphors and bake gooseberry pies of unusual thinking. I use it to reflect on what I have written and what I have been working on.  And sometimes, like today, I use it to reflect on how readers take what I have written and respond or use it for ideas of their own.  That’s why I never reject or delete comments.  They are useful, even when they are barbed and stinging.  I made an entire post out of them yesterday.

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I try hard myself to be tough in the face of hurtful words.  You have to learn that essential Superman skill to be a middle school and high school teacher.  It is there in those foundries for word-bullets that the most hurtful words are regularly wielded.  The skill is useful for when you need the word bullets to bounce off you, especially if you are standing between the shooter and someone else.  But I can never feel completely safe.  Some words are kryptonite and will harm me no matter what I do.  Some words you simply must avoid.

Anyway, there is my essay on hurtful words.  If you want to consider all of that being my two cents on the matter… well, I probably owe you a dollar fifty-five.

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Filed under angry rant, blog posting, commentary, humor, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life, William Shakespeare, wisdom, word games, wordplay, writing humor

The Muffin Man… the Sequel

I have been decidedly miserable today with sinus headaches, arthritic back attacks, little sleep, and lots of political proddings from friends who are just sure that I have everything wrong about politics.  But I did do one thing right.

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Yes, that’s the ticket!  Cranberry orange muffins, baked by little old me, the Muffin Man.

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Here’s what was left after breakfast of a dozen muffins fresh from the oven.  And this was just Henry, me, and the Princess eating them for breakfast.  (I wonder who got two?)

They were extremely good.  And as I write this, none are left for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Oh well, another morning, another muffin mix.  Tomorrow… double chocolate.

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I Have No Idea

Yesterday I posted a weird picture that I haven’t used before and made myself cry gushers of tears again for the boy the picture is a portrait of.  I suppose it is a catharsis I didn’t really need.  I woke up today with a blistering headache to keep my perpetual backache company.  Could that have been caused by the crying and the blues that ensued?  Probably.

So, I have no idea for today.  My brain hurts and my heart is burned out.

I checked Facebook where I had posted this quote from Malala ;

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I wasn’t really prepared for controversy.  I should’ve been.  It is obvious from the guns versus books graphics that it would stir emotions in my liberal author and teacher friends, as well as my conservative cracker anti-Muslim friends.

My aunt, a former career teacher, responded first.  She wrote, “Like the thought.”  She was a great third grade teacher in Iowa for many years.  She loved all kids then and still does today.  I want to be like that in retirement too.

But the next response was from a former high school friend who voted for Trump and hates all the people the Republican Party orders him to hate.

“Sounds great like most sound bites. Much harder to explain and implement.”  My friend, Ali Hassenbutter (not his real name, but this will make him angry as well as protect his actual identity), likes to take jabs at me for being a liberal, and the subtext here is that, even though I was a teacher for many years, I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to education.  So, I answered him with some heartfelt teacher-ism.

“I had Egyptian and Lebanese and Arab students in my classes at Garland ISD. They are people just like us. You help them learn English. They make American friends. Americans learn that most Muslims are not terrorists. What’s so complicated about that? Unless you start slamming doors in their faces and treating them as less valuable than you are.”   I admit to maybe being a bit snarky in that last line, but sometimes he gets my goat.  (I know I should just let him have it.  I have never liked my goat that much anyway.  It smells bad.)

A fellow ESL teacher from Garland chimed in even though she doesn’t know Ali.  “And these students added spice in our classroom…  Just like they do in the USA.”  She knows all the students I was referencing.

Then one of my other Belmond classmates who knows and probably detests us both as heathens added his words of wisdom, “The real concept here is that we are in fact ALL HUMAN.”  See there?  The Bible banger gets it.  And I really appreciate when he steps in and tries to make peace.  He’s somewhat nutty at times, but his new-found religion allows him to believe like I do that we should choose love over hate as our default response, even to terrorism.

But Ali comes back with;   It takes both approaches to this problem. But then there is Berkley as a shining example of education gone off the rail.”  He’s at least trying to sound like he is listening to our comments, but then he pulls this old red hot chestnut out of the fireplace.  He offers it like the opinion of the crazy, racist uncle at Thanksgiving Dinner.

“Yes, because it was the teachers’ fault at Berkley. That poor young racist agitator from Breitbart was supposed to have a peaceful forum for spewing his hateful mouth garbage at young liberal college students, and the college administrators who granted him that right didn’t bend over backwards far enough to prevent a violent reaction.”  I know, sarcasm is the resort of the defeated.  I should be championing love over hate and freedom of speech over my personal revulsion to Milo.

My teacher friend had this to add;  “I understand the “right” instigated that incident.”

“Yes, but they wore masks to hide their identity. That makes them automatically liberals, doesn’t it? If I am able to follow Fox News Logic, anyway.”  Sez I.

And so, there we stand, at the very beginning of a month-long Facebook love/hate debate.  And I will lose.  You can argue with brick walls and score more debate points than you can arguing anything political with Ali.  And the frustrating thing is, he’s an ordinary decent human being and stand-up guy too.  Not just a dismiss-able deplorable because he voted for Trump.

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I have no ideas today.  I have a headache.  If I can’t defend Malala’s heroic logic, then I can’t even argue my way out of a bowl of chicken soup.  Doomed to drown in chicken broth.  At least I will die healthy at the bottom of that mixed metaphor.  That should be worth a laugh.

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One Thing That is True…

Satyrico

I was once a teacher.

This Paffooney is a picture of Nandito done in colored pencil.  I call the picture Satyrico. Explaining it is a difficult and complicated thing.  He was a complicated and difficult child.

He was in my fourth period English class in 1981, my first year as a teacher.  Fourth period was probably the hardest class I ever had to teach.  Twenty-eight kids, all of them Spanish speakers, six of them were Special Edwards with learning disabilities.  Fifty percent of the entire disciplinary case file from the previous school year were in that one eighth grade classroom.  Class in fourth period was completely shut down one September day by spitwad wars in which even the girls who were normally well-behaved were throwing wicked little wet ones at the backs of everyone else’s heads. I had to stand at the door to make sure none of the lunatics escaped and wait for them to get tired of flinging hastily chewed paper at each other.  The principal was a big help.  He called me into his office later for a tongue lashing about why I let it happen. Of course, he was not brave enough to try to stop it himself when it was happening.  So, Nando was in the worst possible class for anyone to be in.  And, looking back on it now, he needed me desperately.

There is no doubt that teachers would lump him in with the “bad kids”.  He was routinely disruptive.  He stole things whenever he could.  He was rude to everyone.  And he really couldn’t handle being around girls, except for two of them who were both his cousins, one that had the the muscles to beat him to a bloody pulp, and one who was generally sweet to everybody and looked upon him as her personal protection project.  Really, Sweet Thing actually defended him from bullies because she knew none of them could ever even say a harsh word to her.

Well, one of the best things I did my first year as a teacher was learn how to actually talk to kids in my classes.  I was careful.  I didn’t expose their secrets either in the classroom or in the teachers’ lounge.  I didn’t embarrass them in front of their peers the way other teachers did.  I learned to give them time to respond to questions and patiently waited for them to get things right on the second, third, or even fifteenth try.  It got so even the bad ones would tell me their regrets, their hopes, and their dreams.

My boy Nando started hanging out around my classroom at every opportunity.  And he found out where I lived and sought me out at home.  It was there, in private, I learned about the most terrible things in his life.  He was being sexually abused by his older cousin, a Vato Loco in that same fourth period class.  He even offered to become my lover in order to get away from what was happening.  That was a tense, dangerous situation.  I explained to him that I was not a homosexual.  We discussed it enough that he admitted he was not either.  And between implied threats of revelation and reasoned discussions with the perpetrator, we got things stopped without going to the authorities.  I was never able to tell Nando that I had once been a sexual assault victim too, but he knew that I cared about him.  He and some other boys began playing Dungeons and Dragons at my place on weekends.  He began to really blossom and become a more sociable and outgoing young man because of the story-telling games and the friendships I helped him form.

He was in my classes for two years  because he failed the 8th grade the first time.  He was the first child to treat me like a surrogate father.  He would become only the first of many.

He would not pose for a picture to be made of him.  I couldn’t even get him to hold still for a photograph.  So I had to draw this Paffooney mostly from memory.  He wanted me to promise I would never write or tell stories about him.  I told him there was no way I could ever promise that.  I did promise not to use his real name.  Actually, it probably is a promise that doesn’t really matter any more.  The last I heard of him, he had lobotomized himself with hard drugs.  If he is even still alive now, he wouldn’t be able to read this and understand it, or even remember me, let alone be embarrassed by anything I have revealed.

But I do know one thing that is true. Nando was a wonderful, valuable human being.  I was a better, more effective teacher because of what I learned from him.  And I deeply regret that his life was wasted the way it ultimately was. But to this very day, I will still go well out of my way and take risks to help wicked and wild little satyrs like he was, all dimple-faced and rude and not good with girls, because somebody needs to care.

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