Category Archives: satire

Impossibly Positive

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Impossibly Positive

(a poem about positive people)

Oakie Doak was a positive man,

Who smiled as much as any man can,

And said nice things to girls and boys,

And sour-faced men he often annoys.

The whole Doak family always feel fine,

At tables all made with both oak and pine.

But scammers from Nigeria

Took every dime anywhere near ya,

And the IRS did charge him double

In fines they argued were for the trouble

He caused accountants in adding for

The many dollars he had no more,

Doak told his wife, “No problem, Honey,

We still have love, and it’s only money.”

And when the people he loved had died,

He simply said, “I’ve always tried

To make the best of the time we had,

And the memories will always make me glad.”

Oakie Doak is disgustingly happy

And decidedly stupid and also sappy.

But he lives his life on a positive whim,

And, of course, I really wish I was him.

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Filed under happiness, humor, poem, poetry, satire

In Defense of Corny Jokes

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It will probably be clear that I am writing this post because I am currently reading 1941 daily strips from Al Capp’s Li’l Abner.

But I am definitely going to talk about corny jokes, not cheesy jokes, because I grew up in Iowa, not Wisconsin.

And, yes, that is example number one.

There is a certain way of telling a joke or tall tale that is unique to the farmyard.   And it does not contain chicken poop, but rather, corn.

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Of course, as you can see by this corn-colored definition of what corny means according to Collins Online Dictionary, the word is supposed to be an insult to corniness in jokery.  That doesn’t sit well with the people of Iowa, where the tall corn grows.  We are also obvious, sentimental, and not at all original.  And we are proud of it.  Corny360_2017-06-19-17-17-44-339

To tell a corny joke right, you have to set a simple scene, and make it clear what happened, and give the audience a simple cue for when to laugh.

For instance, there was the time that Cudgel Murphy had a cat problem with his car, the 1954 Austin Hereford that he has driven since dinosaurs walked the earth.  It seems there was this time in 1988 when he kept having engine trouble.  The engine would sputter and cough and die, and when Cudgel opened it, he would find a half-eaten dead pigeon or other random bird carcass gumming up the works.  He couldn’t for the life of him figure out how dead birds were getting into his car engine.  But his grandson Danny happened to see the neighbor’s big tabby tomcat carrying a pigeon he had killed under the front of Grampy’s car, apparently enjoying a fowl meal in the dark with a nice warm engine to lay the food on.  Sure enough, when they checked the engine later, there was the half-eaten dead bird laying across one end of the fan belt.

So Cudgel set up a vigil, assigning times for himself, Danny, and his younger grandson Mike to watch for signs of that damned cat taking another bird under the hood of the Austin. With only two day’s worth of watching under their belts, Mike came running into the Murphy kitchen with the news.

“Grampy!  I seen that damned cat taking a dead bird under your car!  He’s in there right now!”

So Cudgel rushed out, turned the engine on, and stomped on the gas.

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There were some worrisome thumps and bangs under the hood, and then the cat shot out from under the front of the car spewing howls and cat curses all the way up the nearest tree.

Cudgel laughed hard and finally caught his breath to say, “How about that, Mike?  I’ll bet James Bond doesn’t have a car that can shoot angry cats out the front!”

Now, before you chastise me for enjoying cruelty to cats, I hope you will remember that Cudgel Murphy is a fictional character, and I am merely illustrating the idea behind corny jokes.  And, besides, that cat really had it coming to him.

 

 

 

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Filed under goofy thoughts, humor, Iowa, Paffooney, satire, Uncategorized, writing humor

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

The Secret Meaning of “Donuts”

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I am diabetic. I am not supposed to have donuts for breakfast any more.  Hence the obsession with donuts.  I am only guessing here, but I think it may have something to do with the fact that the very name of donuts tells you what to do.

“What?!” you say.  “What goofiness are you talking about now, Mickey?”

Well, I’ll tell you.  I had a donut for breakfast this morning… with nuts.

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The name “donuts” is literally a command.  It tells you to “Do nuts”.  So I had nuts with my donut this morning.  Peanuts to be precise.  Of course that’s what is wrong with the whole scenario.  It doesn’t mean “peanuts”.  It is commanding you to do something nutty.  Maybe more like eating a donut when you have diabetes.  No matter how good that particular donut tastes when you eat it, an hour later you are going to suffer.

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So here’s the result of my being nuts this morning.  I have come to the conclusion that the root of all evils in the modern world is “donuts”.  Especially when it is pronounced “doo nutz”.  Yes, eating a donut subjects you to the command, “Do nuts!”

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And we all know how bad Trump’s diet is.  Could he be imbibing donuts?  Horrors!  That explains Twitter, cabinet firings, tariffs for the fun of it, random protestations of “No collusion!”, and even “Covfefe”.  Although Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary is an evil beyond even the power of donuts.

And how did Trump even get elected?  Do people in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan glory in eating donuts before voting?  How about disgruntled Bernie Bros?  And one also suspects that middle-aged white women can’t resist a good donut… or an evil one either.

Could it be that I am down on donuts because I ate one and now I am writing this with a pounding high-blood-sugar headache?  Well, yes.  Eating one inspired this post.  It was a chocolate donut with green, mint-flavored frosting.  And it was evil.  It is taking out its evil revenge on the blood vessels in my brain.

So, I implore you if you are reading this… no, I’m not going to tell you not to “Do nuts”… I am going to tell you, “Please, for the love of God, keep donuts away from me!  Eat them yourself if you have to.  But be warned!  They have a secret meaning.”

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Filed under angry rant, conspiracy theory, feeling sorry for myself, goofiness, humor, satire, self pity, wordplay

How Computers Actually Work

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This is how computers actually work.  I swear that it is true.  I know, I know… I have on occasion stretched the truth just a bit… like down the block and around the corner where I tied it around a lamp post.  But in my defense, I write fiction.  This is not fiction.  This is a narrative of actual experiences that I managed to live through and learn from.

You see, as I was working on my writing, I underwent a plethora of computer malfunctions that made me really, really mad.  I took my rubber stress ball and threw it at the far wall.  It bounced back directly into my left temple, making me see stars, and then, apparently, summoning a genii.  He was standing there grinning at me.

“How can I be of service, master?” he said with magical sparkles in his white teeth.

“Oh, I just wish I could see inside the computer to know why it does these terrible things to me every time I press a key.”

“Your wish is my command, master.”  He poofed me in a pink and blue cloud of genii magic, and suddenly I was tiny and digital, able to walk inside my computer and take a look.”

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“What makes you the most mad, master?” the genii, whose name I learned was Computus, asked me.

“When it deletes stuff for no apparent reason…” I began.

“Ahh!  You need to see the Desert of the Deletion Dervishes.”

So he took me to a digital field of file flowers, where all the files that contained my best saved work were growing peacefully.  There were all the maniacal digital dervishes on digital horses, busy slashing the stems of my file flowers with their digital scimitars.

“Aagh!  No!” I cried.  “Why are they deleting my stuff?”

“Oh, do not worry.  They are focusing on the files you use most and deleting only those.  They are very efficient in carrying out their orders.”

“And who gives them these orders?”

“Why you do, sir.  When you give the computer orders from a drop down menu, you are rarely clicking on the order you intended to.  And “Save” is close enough to “Delete” to make our work simple.”

“And why do I keep having new windows opening up randomly where I don’t want them to?”

“Ah, the Public Pool of Pop-up Peris!  Let us go see that too!”

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So he poofed me into a pit of electrical fire filled with electrical fire beings who were busy crafting evil pop-up windows to plague me.

“So, these creatures are filling my screen with ads for hemorrhoid creams and Asian dating sites?”

“Yes, and surveys about why you love President Trump and thought Obama was terrible.”

“And why when I click on the X’s to get rid of them, do two more appear?”

“Oh that’s simple.  They purposefully make the X’s so tiny and the surrounding area so sensitive that if you don’t hit the exact center of the X precisely, then it knows you want to see two more ads chosen specifically for you by the mind-reading genii.”

“But the ads are always the opposite of what I actually want to see!”

“Well, of course they are.  Computer genii are the kind made entirely of fire.  We call them Efrits, and they are the most powerful evil jinn we have available.”

So then I awoke with a painful knot on my forehead and a new understanding of why this post was so difficult to write.   The computer treats me so evilly because that is precisely what it was designed to do.

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Filed under angry rant, autobiography, humor, Paffooney, satire, strange and wonderful ideas about life

How the Smurfs Averted Fascism

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Trumpy Smurf and General Kelly Smurf, his chief of staff

Right now I think this country needs a good lesson in how to avoid a fascist dictatorship.  And we can’t look to 1930’s Germany to get an example.  They didn’t avoid it.  They got Hitler even though he did not have a Twitter account to use for making himself der Fuhrer.

So let’s tell a story about fascists and infringe on copyrights at the same time by telling you a Smurf story.

There was a time in Smurf village when their local politics became entirely too polarized into only two factions.  One side was made up of the good-time Smurfs who had all the money.  They called themselves the Pub-Lickins because they liked to win elections by cheating and through massive donations from the richest Smurfs among them, and also because they loved to lick up all the liquor at the local pub.  The other side was called the Dumb-o-crats because they let the Pub-Lickins get away with every dirty trick they tried.  When Papa Smurf finally retired from running the government as a benevolent Dumb-o-crat, the Pub-lickins cheated their way into control of the government with help from Gargamel, who would later be accused of collusion to help Trumpy Smurf win the Smurf Presidency.

It didn’t take long for Trumpy Smurf to prove to be a potential Fascist dictator. The first warning sign was the way he constantly lied about everything.  He claimed Gargamel was a friend to the Smurfs.  He also said he was the biggest winner in Smurf election history, and everybody would benefit bigly from his highly profitable rule.

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Brainy Smurf, who started out as a Pub-lickin supporter of Trumpy, began to question the Trumpy ties to Gargamel.  He opened an investigation.  Trumpy then fired him.  Later Brainy was mysteriously killed and eaten by Azrael, Gargamel’s cat.

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Jokey Smurf, voiced by Stephen Colbert

Then Jokey Smurf began making fun of Trumpy relentlessly on his late night talk show.  He made fun of him mostly by accurately repeating the news about what Trumpy’s administration did and said every single day.  Azrael, Gargamel’s cat, mysteriously killed and ate Jokey too.  And Trumpy successfully proved the allegations against him false by shouting “Fake News!” very loudly and very often.

Clumsy_Smurf_2017MovieAt long last, Robert Mueller Smurf began investigating the election hack by Gargamel and the subsequent obstruction of justice committed by Trumpy with the aid of Azrael, Gargamel’s very hungry cat.  He revealed that Gargamel had secretly intercepted the ballot boxes and removed all the votes for Smurfette.  Thus Trumpy won by a margin of one vote to nothing.  Clumsy Smurf had been the only one stupid enough to vote for Trumpy.

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So, the election was nullified.  A new, fairer election was set up.  Hefty Smurf belted Azrael the cat in the head with a rock before anyone tried to vote.  Then, the election was re-done with Hefty Smurf running against Smurfette.  Gargamel was kept totally in the dark about everything having to do with the Smurf election.  Robert Mueller Smurf put Trumpy Smurf in prison for the rest of his life.  And Hefty Smurf won the election, because his backers in the Pub-Lickin Party had more money, and Hefty promised the biggest tax breaks, even though the tax relief would not help the average Smurf living paycheck to paycheck.

But at least the Smurfs managed to keep their democracy from becoming a fascist government for perpetuity.  And Gargamel eventually master-minded a plot to break Trumpy Smurf out of the mushroom penitentiary, after which Azrael, Gargamel’s cat, ate Trumpy, not so mysteriously.  Shortly thereafter, Azrael died of food poisoning.   And the Smurfs then had no more fascist dictatorship because Hefty called his rule “compassionate conservatism” which Jokey Smurf would’ve pointed out is an oxymoron, except that Jokey Smurf was dead at that point.

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

Our Cartoon President

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I may have expressed this sentiment once or twice before, but I am really tired of Donald Trump.  His march toward fascist dictatorship and becoming a really incompetent Hitler 2.0 has only made me learn new bad words to shout at the TV news that I never knew I already knew before.

So, I am not going to complain about him in this essay.  Instead, I am going to praise another group of artists for complaining about him in a really well-done manner.  Yes, I am about to laud Stephen Colbert’s new Showtime Cartoon Show, Our Cartoon President.

 

Animated cast of OUR CARTOON PRESIDENT. Photo: Courtesy of SHOWTIME

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The idea for this show began on Stephen Colbert’s Late Night on CBS talk show.  He did extremely popular segments there where he interviewed Donald Trump as a cartoon character.  Colbert’s show is on TV past my bedtime, so I only manage to catch these segments on YouTube.  But I sincerely appreciate every single one I watched on computer when it made me late for wherever else I was really supposed to be and do.  It gave me chuckles and smiles about some the darkest, dirtiest things the human cartoon has done to disrupt my life in retirement.

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The characterizations as well as the cartoon caricatures couldn’t be more spot on.  The series really nails Ted Cruz as the Zodiac Killer invading the White House to steal toothpaste and use the President’s toothbrush.  Eric Trump is portrayed with a disturbing amount of politically incorrect accuracy.  The pilot episode, offered online for free, captures the killer clowns of the Trump administration so well, you really begin to wish it were these cartoon people running the country instead of the real collection of Bond villains, peanut-heads, and malevolent mooks we actually have.

 

Now, the bad news is… I can’t afford Showtime.  So the chances of watching this show are limited to watching whatever snippets get illegally uploaded on YouTube.  But I intend to appreciate the heck out of this cartoon show, and watch the free episode 1 many times.

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Filed under artists I admire, cartoons, politics, review of television, satire