Category Archives: lying

When the Captain Came Calling… Canto 11

Canto Eleven – Clubhouse Craziness

Two days had passed since the magic cat had given Valerie the strange wooden statue.  Now, it sat on the crate that served as a table in the middle of the Ghost House.  The newly re-formed Pirates were all there.

“I think it’s called a Tiki idol,” said Pidney.

“How do you know that, Polack?” sneered Conrad Doble.

“It looks kinda like the ones in the Tiki Bird Show at Disneyland,” said Pidney sheepishly, “Mom and Dad took me there when I was twelve.”

“Didja like the show?” asked Doble.  “The singing birdies and everything?”

“Yeah,” said Pidney matter-of-factly, “I have always loved everything by Disney.”

Both Valerie and Mary Philips smiled at him.  Pidney was always gonna have a lot of the little boy he used to be in him.

“It reminds me of the book you were telling me about, Mary,” said Ray Zeffer.

“What book?” asked Pidney.

“Ray was there when I showed the book to Mr. Salcom.  He’s in my Modern Novel Class third period.  It’s the book about the last voyage to the South Seas.”

“The one your Uncle Noah gave you,” added Ray.

“Noah Dettbarn is NOT my uncle.  He’s just a family friend.”

“Did your Uncle come to visit you recently?” asked Danny Murphy.  “Since he came home again, I mean?”

“He’s NOT my…  Oh, never mind.   It came in the mail a month ago.  It’s where I got those stories I was telling you about, Pid.”

“Oh, yeah.   The stories that you’re gonna share with us to become the Merlin of the Pirates,” said Pidney.

Valerie admired the way Pidney’s eyes sparkled when he talked about stuff that excited him.  And Mary’s stories were always something that excited him, no matter where she got them from.  Mary’s eldest half-brother, Branch McMillan wrote lots of fantastic stories full of lies and jokes and other nonsense.  A lot of that had rubbed off on Mary.

“So, you have a magic book after all?  Like old Milt Morgan had?”  Conrad Doble looked at Mary with an accusing stare that made Val want to punch him in the ear.

“Well, it’s not a magic book.  It’s a ship’s log book.  It has latitudes and longitudes in it, sonar readings, and some stories about what Captain Noah Dettbarn has been up to that are either huge honking lies, or the most fantastic things that ever happened to someone from Iowa.”

“Cool.  You have the book with you?” asked Doble.

“Not yet.  I’ll bring it to the next meeting.  I have to read all the stories myself first,” Mary said.

Doble squinted at Mary.  Valerie thought that must either mean that old King Leer didn’t believe her, or that his tiny brain was being squeezed too tightly by all the information Mary had just given him.  Surely it was the latter thing.

“What are we gonna do with the Tiki-thing?” asked Pidney.

“You really got it from a magic cat?” Ray asked Valerie.

“Well, I don’t know if it’s a magic cat, exactly.  It’s that ugly white alley cat that lives behind the Main Street businesses, by the water tower.  Crazy old Miss Haire asked me to go talk to it.”

“And did it talk back?” sneered Conrad Doble.

Pidney and Ray both glared at Doble, apparently not liking the tone of voice he used with Valerie.   But it was pretty much the same ugly tone he used with everybody.

“Um… It talked to me… yes.”

“But I didn’t hear it,” said Danny.   “Only Val has the witch ears that crazy old Miss Haire was talking about.”

“Witch ears?” asked Mary.

“She calls it the knowing,” answered Valerie.  “She says it is using all your senses to tell you more than any one thing can tell you by itself.”

“That’s real dog poop!” growled Doble.

“Miss Haire is rather eccentric,” said Mary, “but I believe she’s a good person at heart.  Did she say anything about the Tiki idol?”

“We talked to her before we got the idol,” said Val.  “We didn’t see her or talk to her afterwards.”

“Well, I think we should look up more about it in the library,” said Mary.  “Val, isn’t your aunt the head librarian?”

“My Mom’s sister, Aunt Alice, yes.”

“Can you, Pidney, and I meet in the library tomorrow afternoon?”

“You bet!”  Val liked the idea of looking stuff up with Pidney.  Using his football muscles to pull books off shelves and turn encyclopedia pages really appealed to a girl who liked to see football muscles in use and up close.

So, it was settled.  The Captain’s log book would be the magic book that sealed the New Norwall Pirates, and Valerie would get to do research with two of her favorite people on Earth all because of a silly little wooden-headed man in a grass skirt and a very ugly mask.

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Filed under humor, lying, magic, novel, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney

Dump the Trumpy Grump

This is the best Trump cartoon I have done of him so far, so I will use it multiple times.

The current President of the United States initially seemed to me to be a gift from the gods of comedy.  I figured it would be easy to make humorous blog posts about a clown who wears orange face paint, wears super-long red ties, and is more cartoonish behavior-wise than Yogi Bear.

But the Grumpy Trump leadership style is more depressing than even that of Rodeo Clown in Chief, George W. Bush, though Trump has managed to be accused of fewer war crimes by international tribunals.  He is so relentlessly inhuman in his every deed that you can’t use exaggeration humor against him.  The reality is too far over the top for that.  And you can’t rely on insult humor, because he does it so much more often himself than any comedian can,  and he really MEANS it.  He doesn’t tell or comprehend jokes unless it makes a good excuse to claim he was only joking.

One of the things he does that bothers me the most is the use of criminals in his cabinet and departments that do all the dirty work.

Sleepy McBoing-Boing, the HUD secretary seems to be in his job to screw things up for poor people who were barely hanging on and turn them into homeless people while he commits crimes to put an expensive dining table in the HUD office for his personal use.  “Let ’em eat cake,” right, Ben?

Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke, heads of the EPA and Department of the Interior are so busy spending Federal budget monies on personal uses that their departments are falling apart, and so the air we breath and the water we drink are now more at risk than they were under Obama, where it was a very real crisis having very real effects.

I think I am through posting criticisms about Trump.  Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, and Seth Meyers do so much better at skewering the pumpkinhead than I ever could, so look to them for actual political humor of the thoughtful kind.

The only thing I want from Trump now… Now that his tax cut has cost me extra money and his healthcare meddling has made the price of insulin out of my reach… Is for the whole thing to end.  He won’t resign.  You can’t expect Ebola Fever or brain tumors will go away on their own.  But it is so obvious that he has committed impeachable crimes that, for the good of us all, the Congress needs to get rid of him.  The Dark Lord with White Hair, Mike Pence, though deeply evil, would be better.

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If I’m Being Honest…

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If I’m being honest, I am a liar.  And that is not really a paradox, because I don’t always lie.  In fact, I often lie in order to reveal a deeper truth.  (I know, I know… rationalizations are simply another kind of lie.)  I lie because I used to be a school teacher.  You know that teachers have to be liars because you can’t say to a parent, “Your kid is ugly and stupid, and I have documented proof.”  You especially can’t say that if it really is provable.  Instead, you have to tell the lie that any kid can learn and do and be anything they want if only they are willing to work hard enough.  And you have to tell that lie often enough that the kid, the parent, and even you, the teacher, believe it to the point that it becomes true.

And now that I am retired and not telling the school teacher’s lie any longer, I have become a novelist, and I have now made it my business to make up fiction stories and compile lies into book form.  And though the people or characters are based loosely on real people I have known, they are really only a narrative trick to make the reader think about and possibly accept as truth the themes my writing puts forward.

(Boy!  I sure am an ugly old hairy nut-job, ain’t I? = a lie in question form.)

But if I’m being honest today, there are a few things I need to say truthfully, straight out without irony or falsehood or exaggeration.  Let me offer these truths.

  • In this political environment where partisan politics divide us to the point of attempted assassinations with bombs, I do not hate the other side of the argument.  I don’t hate Republicans and conservatives.  Some of my old friends in Iowa and some of my good friends in Texas are conservative enough to have voted for Trump.  I do not reject them as my friends because of their politics.  They are good people and worthy in too many ways to list.  And though they may be sympathetic to someone who threatens me because I have looney liberal ideas, I don’t expect any of them to send me bombs in the mail.  That kind of division is the opposite of what we need.
  • I know what statistics say about kids and learning potential.  I have worked hard during my lifetime to create educational achievement in places where it is nearly impossible.  I believe in the value of every student, and some of the worst behavioral problems and some of the most difficult learning disabilities helped me really get to know some of my all-time favorite kids.
  • I will continue to tell lies for the sake of education and art and all the things that matter to me.  Lies can be used for good as much as the truth can be used for injury and evil.  But my lies will always be soap-bubble hoo-haws, easily popped and seen through for what they really are meant to accomplish, never big black cannonball lies meant to rip people apart and destroy the fortresses they live in.
  • If I’m being honest, even though I am a liar, you can believe in me.

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Filed under autobiography, commentary, education, goofy thoughts, humor, lying, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life, teaching, telling lies

Mickey is 561 & 1/2 Years Old

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Notice the white beard?  No, it is not really made of yarn and paste.  It means Mickey is old.

I was born in November of 1456.  That year Vlad the Impaler (yes, the guy who inspired Dracula) killed the Prince of Wallachia  and took over his throne, ruling the part of Eastern Europe that includes Transylvania.

Halley’s Comet made an appearance that year, just as it did the year Mark Twain was born, and well before Donald Trump became President of the United States.  Before even the comet itself was named by the Astronomer Halley.  So if it was truly an omen of the end of the world, it came more than 500 years too early.  Maybe that’s why it has to keep coming back around

The Ottoman Empire tried to march into Albania and take it over, but the outnumbered forces of Skanderbeg defeated them at the Battle of Oronichea, proving that bullies don’t always win.

And codpieces were in fashion, proving that men lack any sort of fashion-sense whether it was back then or even now, more than 500 years later.

 

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But, of course, you knew all of that without me telling you.  It was an eventful year.

So Mickey is now 561 and 1/2 years old.  You’d think by that age he’d have learned not to tell lies or exaggerate things by 500.  No such luck.  But perhaps I can explain how this particular purple hoo-haw came to be.

You see it began in a classroom back when I was about 40 years of age.  That’s right, in 1496.  I was lecturing young Will Shakespeare about not putting his name on other people’s writing (which was doubly ironic, because the plagiaristic lad would not be born himself until 1564).

Young Will responded, “You are old, Schoolmaster Mickey. Shouldn’t you have retired already?”

“Just how old do you think I am?” I responded.

“I dunno, seventy or eighty maybe.”

I practically wet myself from shock.  I have long looked older than my actual years.  But I never let a chance for a good comeback with a slow burning sizzle added to it.

“Well, actually, I am 540 years old.  I have been considering retirement for quite some time.”

“Really?” He looked shocked.  So, either he really believed me, as thirteen-year-old English students readily will, or he was a much better actor than he was an original author of school essays.

And ever since that fateful day, I have always exaggerated my age to sound truly impressive.  I even went back in time and did the math, figuring out what my birthday had to have been to make what I said to the class sound true.

Now, be warned, this is a story full of lies.  But as with any work of fiction, it does bear significant relationships to the truth.  I will leave it to you to try to discern what those relationships are.

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Filed under autobiography, conspiracy theory, goofiness, humor, lying, old art, satire, surrealism, telling lies

Dawn in Iowa, Sunset in Texas

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The recent Iowa trip has been more or less a metaphor for my life as a whole.  I don’t mean to be funny but… wait just a minute!  Yes I do.  This is corn-shucking humor blog, after all!  But the metaphor is still there.  I was born in Iowa.

Dawn broke over the farm yesterday where Uncle Harry used to live with his wife, Aunt Jean, and their three kids, Karen, Bob, and Tom.  Bob was in my class at school.  We got into a fight once over who should be Robin Hood when we were playing with all the cousins in the old brooder house on Grandpa Aldrich’s farm, the farm where mom and dad now live.  It was a fight that got so intense that we were throwing broke flower-pot shards at each other in anger.  Bob’s hand got cut so badly that he had to go to Belmond and get stitches.  Dang, was I in trouble after that.  Bob’s version, the shard I threw hit him right in the hand, directly between his thumb and pointer finger and cut him.  My version, he cut himself as he threw a pot shard at me, and it cut him leaving his hand.  Everyone believed Bob, of course.  I’m the nutty kid that always told the stories that gave the girls nightmares.  And those stories were never true… mostly.  So they couldn’t believe my version.

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Mom and my sister Nancy designed and executed the painted barn quilt on the work shed that used to be the chicken house.

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Bucolic farm scene to represent my Iowegian past.

But life, like days and car trips, moves on.  We had to pack up the little Ford Escort that brought me home and take off once more for Texas.  I was a little bit worried about the dog.  She didn’t poop as much in Iowa as she normally does in Texas.  Well, we figured that out on the way back.  She pooped a lot of funny colors at every rest-stop dog park on the way back to Texas because of all the people food she had eaten.  She got fed better in Iowa apparently.  And it was stuff like stolen Doritos and other stuff that is so not-good-for-her.

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But going back to Texas with two kids and a dog is a lot like me after college, moving to Texas via Trailways bus in order to become a teacher.  I got a job in Cotulla, Texas, the place where LBJ taught way back when he was a young Texan and still working at being good at telling the REALLY BIG LIES.  I think I mentioned this before, but all the kids in the painting above were real kids I taught in my first year teaching (except for the kid sleeping.,, nobody did anything but hop around and yell at me my first year as a teacher… including the principal).  Oh, and the window is imaginary.  I taught for three years in a windowless concrete box with only buzzing fluorescent lights to keep the monsters from killing and eating me… or each other.  Within a decade of that first class, two of the boys had been to prison, three were already dead, and one became a star lineman for the Texas A&M football team.

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And over time I got closer and closer to my goal.  My skills became bigger and better as a teacher.  I grew in wisdom and power.  Honestly, the grass in the picture was closer to the camera than I was, so I am looming in the sky above the photographer, not tiny and smaller than the grass.  So maybe I better claim the picture was taken by fairies.  Yeah, that’s it.  Down there in the grass.  Iowegian fairies got a hold of my camera and took the picture.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  (See.  I never really learned to get away with the REALLY BIG LIES.  A teacher, as a storyteller, has to also be a truth-teller.)

fulldance  So we returned to Texas, and that is probably where the sunset of my life will take place.  I am retired from teaching now.  I am blogging and telling lies instead… well, writing fiction.  I should have another book published soon.  And it has fairies in it.  So maybe there is still time to pull off the REALLY BIG LIES.

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Filed under art my Grandpa loved, artwork, autobiography, commentary, humor, lying, nostalgia, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

All the Fake News Going Around is Fake (Believe Me)

The malignant mango we have inexplicably put in charge of our country is calling everything that hits the headlines “Fake News”.  But that is basically because if he says to his true believers that anything bad that is reported is not true, they will believe it and continue to support him even though it goes against everything they have stated they believe for the  course of their entire lifetime.  So our orangutan in chief is reporting that news is “Fake News”, and that report is “Fake News”.    So the “Fake News” about “Fake News” is provably FAKE.  Damn!

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Perhaps the Republican Overlords who now rule the Evil Empire get away with warping reality like that because we, as the news-consuming public are simply not paying attention.

Now, I can’t claim that I am hard to fool.  I believe, after all, that aliens have been visiting the Earth for millennia.  I believe that Area 51 is where the U.S.  back-engineered the crashed UFOs from Roswell, and I believe that Bob Lazar is a real human being.  I am almost like a Trumpkin in my devotion to such commonly debunked conspiracy theories.

But I can research my way out of cardboard boxes and confusing bubbles of misinformation.  I recently caught a whiff of alien uproar from a former student’s Facebook post about an article on DiscloseTV.com.  (click here for article)  It’s the kind of thing I want to know about if it turns out to be true.  I read there that a NASA spokeswoman, Trish Chamberson, had publicly admitted that the US government is in contact with at least four different alien species, and has been since the Truman administration.  This would, of course, confirm what I have feverishly believed for over half of my sixty year lifetime.

But I made the mistake of Googling Trish Chamberson.  Soap bubbles of Fake News pop easily.

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I think we should also be considering the question, “Is there intelligent life living here?” 

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Oopsie!

It turns out the conspiracy website had taken information from a site clearly marked satire and published it as fact.

 

Waterford Whispers is largely recognized as an Irish counterpart to The Onion among its primary reader base (in the UK and Ireland). However, previous items from the site have been confused for real news, including reports that the Pope commissioned J.K. Rowling to rewrite the Bible, the Muppet known as “Animal” had died, and that the Vatican decreed Jesus was not returning. Disclose.tv has passed on a decent share of fake news items, including claims a baby in the Philippines was born with Stigmata and Edward Snowden had been “reported dead by his girlfriend.”-quoted from Snopes.com

But it is also true that the pile of horse poop given to us to sift through on a daily basis by the rusty orange mouth-poop factory that dominates the nightly news is incredibly vast and mostly unsiftable.  So his tactic of saying real news is “Fake News” which is in itself “Fake News” is almost guaranteed to work.  It is FAKE after all.  Dang!
(And on a side note, the best proof we have that aliens really are visiting the Earth is now sitting in the White House.  Surely you didn’t think anything that orange and awful and full of horse poop was actually human in origin, did you?)

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Filed under aliens, angry rant, foolishness, humor, lying, politics, telling lies

Nicknames, Insults, and Epithets

He won by hanging nicknames like millstones around the necks of his opponents.

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He called this fellow “Lyin’ Ted”.

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And he berated her as “Crooked Hillary”

Insults, nicknames, and politics seem to work better together than anything else when you are trying to win over the fat, lazy white folks with too much money who gather at the Cracker Barrel in Lewisville, Texas to decide who will be President of the U. S.  After all, they are the only ones whose voice still counts in politics.  Voter I.D. laws, gerrymandering of voting districts, and vilification of Muslims has pretty much seen to that.

But I have always felt that insulting your opponent in a debate was not only uncivil, but actually cheating.  I would much prefer to see ideas and policies and political positions be ridiculed.  Still, that is not the way the world works now that the semi-stupid people have taken control.  Vicious and personal is the preferred way of the modern day.

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It was certainly awkward, stupid, and bad the way a certain Texas Grandpa Munster look-alike exploited his own children during his GOP nomination campaign.  But that paled in comparison with how the Great Orange Face accused his father of killing J.F.K. and called his wife ugly in comparison to the plastic Barbie doll that Pumpkinhead currently keeps on leash number three for himself.  Grampy Munster was right, when he said family should be off limits.

If you must vilify the un-TrusTED One, and we certainly must,  it should be for the selfish, stupid policies and agendas that he would enact if he wins the golden ticket.

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And how do we know what he would do if the “Ultimate Power of Castle Grayskull” actually became his?  Well, he did spend a lot of time telling us what he would do.  His message was not all Green Eggs and Ham.  Though there was a lot of leftover ham even after the Dr. Seuss Filibuster.

So what is the proper way to talk about the Orangutan King we made the mistake of electing?

He has gone to considerable effort to place doubt in everyone’s mind about the truth in every reported story from the media.

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Although, he seems to really like Fox News.

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He has hammered it into the brains of his true believers that anything CNN says about the Russian hacking scandal is absolutely “WRONG!”  Though I am inclined to believe that everything that comes out of his mouth truly means that the opposite of what he says is true.3-1

And I think we all have to work a little harder to deny him control over what is defined as “True” and what he can be allowed to call “Fake.”

So, even though I realize I have a certain talent for insulting others myself, and have used it generously here, I do not think insults are the right way to go.  You should talk about the ideas and the prejudices, and how those things lead to evil befalling us.  Insults are a waste of time.  But did you notice?  While composing this piece, the cartoonists whose work I am sharing with you may have labeled them with names, I never once  in my own writing named any of the ones I was insulting by name.

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And I’ll bet you knew who I meant anyway.

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