Category Archives: irony

So Tired of Tires

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The wheels on my car, the wheels I rely on for the most important functions remaining in my retired, sick-all-the-time, but still-a-father-with-kids-in-school days, have recently been under assault once again.   The back right tire has had a slow leak in it for three months because of some piece of metal embedded in the treads.  And last week the front driver’s-side tire was cruelly popped by a piece of road debris, a hubcap that was left on the road to be run over repeatedly.  Number two son and I had to be rescued from the roadside by AAA (and that is Triple A, not Alcoholics Anonymous… a fairly important distinction).

It meant I had to drive around on an emergency spare for a while and spend the majority of my Memorial Day holiday at Sam’s Club’s tire repair center getting two tires fixed.

And how do you deal with tires being damaged and needing to be fixed so often?  Satire of course.  After all, it has the word “tire” in it, doesn’t it?

The piece from Vox points out that satire is the way comedians are dealing with Trump news and Trump fake news and Trumpian self-satire usually administered to claim innocence over a truly horrible and self-damaging something he said.  They are using satire to cut the crap and get to the center of the ridiculous dog-and-pony show Trump puts on and Trump supporters are constantly dazzled by.  I point this all out because I satirically believe no one who looks at my posts on this goofy-danged blog ever watches the videos.  And it probably is true, that thing you are thinking at the moment, that Mickey only adds videos to fill up space.

But if satire can be used to pop the tires on the political clown car, then why can’t it also be used to fix the tires on my little gray errand-wagon?

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Of course, you will say, “You can’t fix a tire with satire!  You have to have tools and patches and rubber cement for that.  And you would be right.

But I have had three major tire-related disruptions to my little retired life in the last two years.  A careless driver ran into the back tire of my little pony last spring and not only wrecked the tire, but bent the back axle and totaled the entire car.  Then I hit a pothole on a carefully unrepaired Dallas street and not only destroyed the tire, but dented the entire rim.  And now the new tire disaster fills my holiday with more sit-and-wait-and-pay-lots-of-money woes at a time when I really don’t appreciate such a long run of bad tire-luck.  It drives me to satire.

So maybe satire can’t fix a tire, but it can make me laugh about it.  And isn’t that better than crying, or a long string of cuss words so foul they would’ve gotten me fired before I retired three years ago?  Besides, I already tried those.  They didn’t work either.  But satire makes me laugh about it and feel a little better.  And, after all, it has the word “tire” embedded in it.  And that has to count for something.

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Filed under angry rant, autobiography, humor, irony, photo paffoonies, satire

Novel Ways to Make a Portrait

As both an artist and a writer I portray people I have known. I can also say that I have portrayed people I love, but that is rather redundantly repetitive because I basically love all people, even the really nasty ones who hate me in return.  It’s a teacher thing.  But portraits as a writer/artist/cartoonist/fool is not a straightforward thing.  Let me start by unpacking my portraits of the Cobble Sisters.  Sherry and Shelly Cobble are twin sisters.  They are in several of my YA novels about the little town in rural Iowa where I grew up.

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They are nudists.  That means their family believes there are health benefits to not wearing any clothes when they are at home or spending private time with the rest of their family and friends.  I can claim that they are based on real people, because they are, but that takes considerable explaining.

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                                                                                                                                                                             Sherry Cobble

I have a pair of identical twin cousins who I grew up with and learned about the unique things twin share from them.  But the Cobble Sisters are not a direct portrait of them.  They are not nudists.  And they would probably beat me to a pulp if I dared to insist that they were.

The nudist/naturists I once knew and lived near were in Iowa City where I went to grad school (and where I found the original model for the picture), and in Austin, Texas where my girlfriend’s sister was living in a clothing-optional apartment complex.  My parents lived in an Austin suburb and when my girlfriend and I visited the area in the 80’s, I stayed at my parents’ home and she stayed at the crazy communal resort for naked people where her sister lived.  This situation provided the background for the embarrassment humor in my novel Superchicken.   That’s the story that includes an episode where the main character is tricked into going to a nudist camp as a guest with the Cobble family.  Poor Superchicken didn’t realize until he got there that it was a place where you have to take off all your clothes to blend in.

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Which leads quite naturally into the second portrait I want to talk about.  Edward-Andrew Campbell is called “the Superchicken” by his friends in Norwall, Iowa.  That nickname is actually my nickname from high school.  It comes from part of the George of the Jungle Saturday morning cartoon show by Jay Ward (Rocky and Bullwinkle’s creator).

The nickname was hung on me by a girl I had a huge crush on from grade school through junior high.  Superchicken in the cartoon show was this mild-mannered chicken who could gain super powers by drinking super sauce and then fight crime.  She obviously thought I was full of hidden talents just like him.

So Superchicken is a me character.

But the picture is not me drawing myself as a boy.  It is modeled on my young second cousin who was my little buddy for the last two years of high school and during my first couple of years in college.  The portrait in the novel, however, is part me and part a student from my early years as a teacher.  The Anita Jones portrait is drawn from a Sears catalog model, while the real girl was the most popular girl in my grade at school,  I wasn’t the only boy hopelessly in love with her.

Finally, since I am well over the word-count target already, I want to talk about the portrait of the main character in my novel about to be published, Miss Francis Morgan.

On the left you see who Francis really was.  Mother Mendocino was born to be a teacher, and it is her natural-born love of teaching and rapport with kids that I am portraying in the novel.  In the novel, though, everything that happens in that classroom was really something that happened in my classroom, not hers.  Especially the invasion of the classroom by three-inch tall fairies.  But it should also be obvious that Miss Morgan is not a portrait of me.  I am not female.  I could never respond to and touch kids the way she does because our society frowns on that from male teachers.  And further, she is not Hispanic because the novel is set in 1990’s Iowa rather than the deep South Texas town where these things happened.  So I based the drawing on another teacher I knew from Iowa, one that had always been the next door neighbor girl when I was a kid.  She babysat me and was older than me.

So, my portrait art that I am mangling the discussion of in this post is made up mostly of amalgamated portraits.  A little of this person added to a lot of that one, with a sprinkle of me mixed in for goof-factor effect.  The novel Magical Miss Morgan is being edited by Page Publishing as I write this and will be available soon.  I am hoping that a few of you may be foolish enough to buy one and read it.   I truly believe in my goofy old heart that you will like it.

 

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Filed under artwork, characters, goofy thoughts, humor, irony, novel plans, Paffooney

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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Classroom Clownery (Not to be confused with Sean Clownery… He’s James Blond)

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See Dick?

See Jane?

See Sally?

See Dick run?

See Jane run?

See Sally…?   Wait a minute!  Why don’t I remember Sally?

Did Dick forget to feed Spot and Spot was forced to kill and eat Sally?

No…  I had Dick and Jane books in Kiddy-garter and they did have Sally in them.  And Spot never killed anyone.  But with all the running she did, Sally did not do anything memorable.  If my teacher, Miss Ketchum, had told the Spot eats Sally story, I’m sure I would’ve remembered Sally better and learned to read faster.

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But I actually did learn to read faster because there was a Cat in the Hat, and a Yertle the Turtle, and because Horton the elephant heard a Who, and a Grinch stole Christmas.  Yes, humor is what always did it for me in the classroom.  Dr. Seuss taught me to read.  Miss Mennenga taught me to read out loud.  And in seventh grade, Mr. Hickman taught me to appreciate really really terrible jokes.    And those are the people who twisted my arm… er, actually my brain… enough to make me be a teacher who taught by making things funny.  There were kids who really loved me, and principals who really hated me.  But I had students come back to me years later and say… “I don’t remember anything at all from my classes in junior high except when you read The Outsiders out loud and did all those voices, and played the Greek myth game where we had to kill the giants with magic arrows, and the stupid jokes you told.”  High praise indeed!

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I think that teaching kids to laugh in the classroom was a big part of teaching them how to use the language and how to think critically.    You find what’s funny in what you learn, and you have accidentally examined it carefully… and probably etched it on the stone part of your brain more memorably than any other way you could do it.  And once it’s etched in stone, you’re not getting that out again any time soon.

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Humor makes you look at things from another point of view, if for no other reason, then simply because you are trying to make somebody laugh.  For instance, do you wonder like I do why the Cat in the Hat is trying to pluck the wig off of Yelling Yolanda who is perched on the back of yellow yawning yak?  I bet you can’t look at those two pictures positioned like that and not see what I am talking about.  Of course, I am not betting money on it.  I am simply talking Iowegian… a totally different post.

But the point is, humor and learning go hand in hand.  It takes intelligence to get the joke.  Joking makes you smarter.  And that is why the class clowns in the past… the good and funny ones… not the stupid and clueless ones… were always my favorite students.

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Facebooking and Birdwalking

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This is my bird-walking illustration.  I know that it is totally the wrong picture for the job, but it is a bird walking, isn’t it.  

It is not a stretch to suggest that most of what you find on Facebook is not real.  Especially when it comes to the endless posting and sharing of topical political memes.  I had thought when Facebook came out with their reaction-emoji thingies, that there was at least one I would never find a use for.  15622475_1183729518385094_5552623989556758950_n

Boy!  Was I ever wrong about that.  Now that the gold-plated pumpkinhead that got himself elected somehow is busy with his markers and crayons making executive orders, it is about the only one that really fits anywhere.

We made a big mistake allowing Trump to play Prexy and be the one in charge of making the rules of the game.  You all knew he was gonna cheat before the game even started, didn’t you?  And it won’t last long.  He is making allies like Australia into offended enemies.  He is banning burn victims, heroic Iraqi translators, doctors, and researchers from coming into the country with their entry visas and green cards and other proof that they have a right to be here.  He is burning up any goodwill and patience and level-headedness  that we have tried to afford him.  He will be impeached, or worse, sooner rather than later.  And then we will have to live with the irreparable damage he has done. 15871838_1523005324380940_7699241610958871006_n

And we probably deserve it.  We have made mistakes before, and if we live long enough, we will make more in the future.  But this was a big one.  And I don’t have to feel happy about it.  No matter what my conservative friends on Facebook tell me… or what names they call me.

So that’s where the bird-walking comes in.  The mind has to wander away down paths of lesser resistance.  We need to go where the sandpiper would go, walking down the beach to look for new and interesting-looking seeds to eat.

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You really should add this to your Bob Ross Bible if you haven’t already.

All of my illustrations in this article, except for the walking bird, which I drew myself, are clipped directly from Facebook.    Facebook is sometimes the soul source of wisdom for Village Idiots, and I should probably make an effort to be one less of the time.  But it is also an excellent source of bird-walking topics that get my mind off the terrible things and onto free-floating tangents that take me to places my mind would really rather be.

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I would’ve liked to have attended Pillsbury’s funeral, but the meme only gave the time and length of the service, not the date.  I fear that by now I have missed it.  But I am sure the service was well done.15747477_1364363353622793_9185361677508015682_n

Nostalgia memes on Facebook are great.  They make me feel all squishy and sad again about the times long gone and how terrifyingly horrible they were compared to how terrible they are now.

Remember John Wayne Gacy?  Or reports on television about the Viet Nam War?  With pictures?  Full color pictures of the My Lai Massacre in living color on NBC, with all the blood in bright red.  Yeah, that stuff on TV kept us outdoors quite a lot.

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But Facebook bird-walking is a dangerous sport.  If you let it, it will eat up your whole life, minute by minute, hour by hour.  And I’m not sure it makes you smarter in any way.  I know some pretty stupid people who are on Facebook quite a lot.

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Bird-walking at its best, though, is to coddiwomple.  And though you don’t know where you are going, you will get there sooner or later, so you might as well look at the scenery and appreciate the irony along the way.  Life should be a leisurely stroll, not a rush to get away from gold-plated pumpinheads with executive orders in their tiny, tiny hands.

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Filed under angry rant, battling depression, clowns, commentary, feeling sorry for myself, foolishness, humor, irony, memes, Paffooney

A Shakespearean Celebration of Trump

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Yes, I am well aware that I am in the middle of an epic Shakespeare rant this week, explaining in the goofiest of terms the reason I believe Shakespeare is not Shaksper.  But you have to mark a solemn occasion like the onset of the end-times.  So I thought I might pay dissembling dreary lip service to the inauguration of a man who, if he appeared in the middle of a Dick Tracy episode, would be known as the villainous Cheeto-head.122p7s

You see, I don’t recognize this villain as the legitimate head of my government.  So I won’t be using the title of “President” with this villain’s name.  Instead, I intend to practice Shakespearian insults to get the bad taste out of my mouth on this horrible day resulting from the malfeasance of certain bad actors, a concerted effort to suppress the vote in key States like Florida, an inebriated campaign run by a dissolute, dissembling mountebank with a talent for misdirection, and a very unfortunate ill-timed collective brain fart on the part of masses of angry but somewhat intellectually limited white people.  (No, I am not worried that they will get me for that last one.  They don’t know what most of the words mean, and none of them would take the time to read this far through this post.)

The conflagration of Trumpkin Trolls on the internet have been telling me that they have endured eight years of Obama, and now I should just shut up and endure eight years of the Great Orange Face.  But, swaggering lackwits, I say thee nay!  This will not be an eight year reign.  It will either be a zero-year tragedy extravaganza or a permanent reign until the bedeviled Fenris Wolf consumes poor over-wrought Thor on the terrible day know as Ragnarok.  The spoiled bag of figgy pudding that is our new leader and golden king will have a lot to answer to St. Peter for.  Um, or is that Mephistopheles?

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I intend to hold the vicarious viscount of villainy accountable with my words and wit, meager as they may be.  And I will decry everything he and the harpy DeVos will do to my beloved system of public education.  I will probably also expire from the villainy of the wretched Republican pizzle drinkers who are busy disemboweling the health care system that has so recently kept me alive, but I will continue to testify to their perfidy until my last breath expires.

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So, I guess I can bring an end to this venomous epistle satisfied that I have lectured ass-headed Bottom about having a donkey’s head on his shoulders in the most roundly Shakespearean way I could wrangle.  Shakespeare, if he gave us anything of value, gave us to understand the true power of words.  And it is by the application of powerful and true words we must battle this sanguine, self-satisfied snollygoster who can barely read and is crippled with a dysfunctional slow-working pate which he more often sits on than uses to think with.

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Filed under angry rant, humor, irony, Liberal ideas, memes, monsters, pessimism, the road ahead, William Shakespeare, wisdom

Bittersweet Irony

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“Mickey, you nerd!  Your jokes are not funny!

You’re not clever, you’re stupid, and not even punny!”

 

 

wisdom from a Twitter troll who admires Dr. Seuss

I will admit, I was not joking when I said the world ended when Trump won the election.  I believe climate change is beyond our control when stupid, vicious, greedy people control 100% of our government.  They are busy already, before Obama even left office, with sealing our doom.  They recently passed the REINS Act, which is intended to not only curb but roll back government regulations.  The Republicans will no longer simply allow regulatory agencies like the EPA to control which toxic chemicals go into our food and drinking water when it might cost the taxpayers (especially RICH taxpayers) money.  They passed a rule that if corporations want to inject batrachotoxin into hamburger meat to increase profits short term, the FDA can’t regulate and prevent that without first having a congressional committee in each of the houses of congress voting their approval of the ban.  This with the aid of Tea Party sandbagging and temper tantrums to grease the gears toward refusal to turn.  Batrachotoxin as every congressman surely understands is the chemical in poison dart frogs that will will kill you if you kiss them.  We certainly need more of that in hamburgers to make the meat look tastier.  So, they will quickly and efficiently ignore the issue and fail to allow the regulation.  We are doomed, dear ones.

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Turtle-boy, pictured here, shows off his favorite flat iron of visual-sarcastic irony which he uses to throw at the heads of dumbnutz who don’t get what irony is.

Irony is when everything you held in your heart as an expectation and looked forward to as something you could depend on for the rest of your life comes abruptly to an end and the opposite is what actually occurs.

Republicans now hold all power in the US government.  Again!  Eight years of Lonesome George the Rodeo Clown, a Wall-Street meltdown and resulting Great Recession, two nearly-endless wars fought over false intelligence about WMDs, and eight years of obstructing everything the other side tried to do to fix their mess was not enough to satisfy Lucretia Borgia’s party of poison and greed.

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Senator Turtle-man McConnell doesn’t get irony.  He doesn’t understand now why Democrats don’t get on board with all the legislation and confirmation hearings that the GOP wants to push through right away.  Why would they want to obstruct legislation that helps people by reducing their social security benefits and ending not only the Affordable Care Act, but doing away with medicare as well?  It’s what the people voted for, isn’t it?

I have instructed Turtle-boy to throw the flat iron of visual-sarcastic irony at Turtle-man’s head.  But he must do it quickly and accurately, or the slow-talking Kentucky Senator will pull that big turtle head back inside his shell, as he has done so many times before.  And even if the flat iron hits squarely, it will not change anything.  We have lost and the future is lost to us and all our offspring.

I do still have some hope of survival of the human race and life on Earth.  Ironically that is because I am just as soft-brained and hopelessly stupid as the rest of my kind.  And I believe in savoring the time we have left.  I intend to cast off political worries into a sea of forgetfulness.  We shall have to see what sharks that attracts.  But hopefully, the sharks that actually eat us will die of food poisoning.

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Filed under angry rant, humor, irony, Paffooney, politics, satire