Tag Archives: hyperbole

Mickey is 561 & 1/2 Years Old

old mickey

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.




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

Sadder But Wiser


My car was only a few months away from being paid off.  Then, while I was at home lying in bed feeling ill, someone driving past blasted into the rear wheel, damaging the axle beyond repair.  Yes, it murdered his car.  But because of the limits of coverage, my parked car is now dead also.  I am doing the paperwork today to have it interred.  And I notice, of course, that the paperwork says at the bottom, “State law makes falsifying information on this application a third-degree felony.”  Oh, good.  If I get any of the answers wrong, I go to prison.  And worse, they could deny my claim and pay me nothing for the car.  Why am I worried?  Because when I asked the insurance company for help with verifying the information, they gave me a license plate number that doesn’t match the way my imperfect memory remembers it.  If I put down the information they gave me, will they throw me in prison?  I made him repeat it twice and verified that it was right according to their records.  So, my memory could be faulty.  But that won’t matter when the judge decides the death penalty for my error.  Am I using hyperbole here for comic effect?  Yes.  But I live in Texas.  I am going to worry anyway.


Filed under autobiography, humor, rants, Uncategorized

I Can’t Believe I Did That

I was a teacher, once upon a time.  I learned to do the job correctly.  I think I earned the pay they gave me.  I think I choose to believe at least a few of those kids who told me, “Mr. B, you were the best teacher I ever had.”  I’m not full of myself and conceited or anything.  But the world needs good teachers.  And I think I answered the call.

But I had to give it up.  I am not well enough to even be a substitute teacher.  I can’t breathe very well.  My body is wracked with arthritis pain.  I am subject to bouts of depression brought on by chronic pain.  And I am worried that it is a job which has become so very much harder to do.  Politics and people’s opinions of teachers and the sacrifices you have to make in pay for your work are all making teaching an impossibly hard job.  I fear that more and more it is being populated not by the best and brightest, the ones who love teaching kids, rather it is a place for losers.  A job held by people that were trapped by mistakes they made or lack of real choices.  A job that they don’t take up as “holy mission from God”, but as a way to get by.  Too many people are taking up teaching so they can fake it and pick up a paycheck.  They hate the job.  They hate the kids.  And there is no joy in Mudville.


So here is the best thing that I can say or do to try to help this problem.  Read this plea and seriously think about doing it.  Become a teacher!  It is the most important thing you could ever do.  And who, exactly am I talking to?  Well, you made the mistake of reading this far, didn’t you?  If you are young and have your life ahead of you, especially if you are brilliant enough to be reading my obscure little posts on my obscure little blog, you have to realize that becoming a teacher is about more than building your own personal career castle.  It is about guiding future generations in the pouring of concrete, the shoring up with strong wooden and stone pillars, and the laying of strong foundations for their own castles.  The castle you build will never be as grand as the castles you will help others to build.

Neuschwanstein castle will look like a sandcastle next to those.  I can testify that there is no more satisfying experience than seeing a child you taught grow and thrive and become a worthy citizen of the world.

And I know some of you are smugly thinking that, “He’s not talking to me.  He’s just talking to those young goobers headed to college or not sure what they want to do with their lives.”  Not at all.  I am talking to you too.  No adult is immune to the needs of the young.  Every act of every day can be used to show the way.  Read to a kid.  Tell them that story about that time your Uncle Everett learned the hard way that raising chinchillas was not the road to riches and easy money, that it came with numerous foul-tempered rodent bites. Spend time with them.  Get to know them.  And if you are like me and have lost your good health and your access to kids other than your own, then write it all down in your blog, all the stuff that you know.  It will help them and heal them and give them wisdom to grow.  If that sounds like Dr. Seuss stuff… well, that’s because it is.  Dr. Seuss was one of the best teachers ever had.

I can’t believe I did that.  I can’t believe I just told you all to be teachers.  I am alone during the school day, feeling ill and feeling depressed.  I strut and fret my hour upon the stage (of the front of the classroom) no more.  But what can I do about it?  I just did it.  And I feel better!


Filed under humor, Paffooney, teaching