Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

What Did I Miss?

Posted: May 6, 2012 in Education, Humor
Tags: , ,

I finally found a citation, via Google, that gives me some information about my favorite college professor, Dr. Franz Schneider. It is in the citation from the url:

I found out that Dr. Schneider was the “…professor of English and honors program director…”. I think I can resolve the connection between Fr. Leary and Fr. McCluskey by referring to the dedication page of my 1962 Spires yearbook from G. U. It seems that from the time Fr. Leary probably sat dumbfounded at the sheer stupidity of a certain freshman who declined to accept the invitation to join the honors society because he didn’t “much care about literature”. His reason for asking him to join was his score on a certain test he took upon applying for admissions. However, the best he could get from Dr. Schneider was a “C” in his class (Interpretation of Prose or Interpretation of Poetry). So, I doubt if he could have done much good in the honors program. But, you are your own worst analyst, so what do I know.

In the aforementioned dedication it revealed that Fr. Leary was “Dean of Education, Academic Vice President, initiator and guide of the Honors Program…” So, Fr. Leary was guide to Dr. Schneider’s program director. I would have to query somebody about the exact relationship between the two.

So, this is my groundhog day moment; wondering how I would have fared if I had gladly, with all humility, accepted the invitation. Am I a genius (as in James Joyce’s “A man of genius makes no mistakes; his errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.”), or an idiot? Or, am I somewhere in between? I look back at certain key moments and wonder what would have happened if…


… Please

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I am all wrapped up in thought about politics as I read today’s edition of The Kitsap Sun. My thoughts turn to a truly momentous occasion that happened earlier this morning; as my wife read a letter to the editor published on the opinion page. A couple of years ago I doubt if she would have even stopped to read anything on the opinion page because she was just put off by politics. But, I believe she was dragged, kicking and screaming, into the political fray by her sister who engages her in an argument about politics every time they talk on the phone.

Now, I have to include some observations about my wife’s sister, who I have had lustful thoughts about over the years after we moved to places some 1000+ miles apart. If I had had these thoughts when we lived near each other our lives might have been different. But, politically, I think my sister-in-law is a putz (look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls). She is a proud ditto-head and her thinking is influenced by Rush Limbaugh. But, as is always the case “…when one discusses issues with someone with a different perspective, we grow”. And my wife has certainly grown in her approach to politics… big time! The last time I overheard her respond to something her sister said over the phone she asked “And which of those (Republican candidates for President) losers are you for?” Her sister responded, according to my wife, with “Never mind, you’ve already made up your mind.”

Even though my sister-in-law is usually drunk (to be fair she is probably still trying to get over her husband and son dying close to the same time) that response was articulate to the point of exposing her reticence to divulge her choice; if she has one. Even though, when my wife lets lose on a subject we entirely agree with, she recites ideas I’ve held for quite some time. I don’t try to either refute or agree with her… too much. I either grunt in agreement or I might say something short like “that’s for sure.” Actually I don’t remember saying those exact words; so I probably should the next time she utters a relatively profound politicism.

Now if I could just get her to read an entire column…

Way back when I was a hot-shot 4th class Petty Officer serving on a submarine in Hawaii, I and some of my shipmates found ourselves at a hootchy-kootchy bar that featured strippers. We were seated at a tiny table that was not more than about two feet in diameter. The pitcher of beer was placed in the center and our glasses were on the table at uneven intervals around it. As we emptied our glasses I picked up the pitcher and began replenishing them. My attention was on the girls on the stage who, by this time, were stripped down to nothing more than pasties and a tiny covering in the shape of a red heart over their most private part. The results was my closest shipmate – one Byrd Bernard Gossett – suddenly shifted positions and exclaimed, “Vermeers, watch where you are pouring!” I was pouring beer on his leg much to his considerable discomfort.
Fast forward some 40+ years to this morning when I was reading an article in the local paper about the political realities (if you can assume what is printed in the newspaper is reality) of “Brainbridge (sic.) Island”. I was working on a dilute bowl of oatmeal in front of me; and I had it tipped up so as to get a fuller spoonful for each bite. My concentration on the article’s minutia resulted in my spilling the soupy serving onto the table and its running over the edge of the table onto my lap and the floor. This event made me recall the former one that occurred many years ago.
Juxtaposing the two mishaps reveals a quantum leap in the directions of my passions. Where lust governed much of my orientation then, (my phone call to my girlfriend living some 5,000 miles away to ask her to embark with me on an ill-fated marriage probably happened that very evening) now I am fascinated by the mechanisms of politics.
If I am careful to avoid the trap of running for office higher than Precinct Committee Officer by remembering the Peter Principle that everyone tends to rise to their level of incompetence then I can put my efforts behind campaigns of people brave enough to go a-politicking.
Would use of a Christmas carol’s “Here We Go A wassailing” tune thusly: “Here we go a politicking among the electorate; to get their ideas and brave their icy slate. Joy and fun comes to you when you go a-politicking too; bless your trials on this campaign and a happy new year” elicit either groans or cheers?

Greed is

Posted: September 15, 2010 in Humor

Greed is

            wanting much more than you need.

Needs are

            whatever your heart may desire.

Desire is

            emotionally coveting goods.

Goods are

            heavenly sent to acquire.

Acquire is

            any way you can imagine.

Imagine is

            creatively crushing your foes.

Foes are

            whoever is stifling your greed.

I Dreamed I Sang

Posted: April 24, 2010 in Humor

I was in a crowd that started to sing “The Star Spangled Banner”. We sang to the end of the phrase “…Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.” Then everybody quit singing. After a long pause I felt they were waiting for me to finish. So I began, in a rich baritone voice, “O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave…” Then I forgot the rest. After another long pause I still couldn’t remember the rest of the lyrics. But people were starting to look at me. I was expected to sing to the end. So I made up the lyrics, “from high on high, and for ever more.” Afterwards somebody commented “Nice extemporary finish.”

To Scam a Mark

Posted: March 2, 2010 in Humor

So, this young man stops at our home and knocks at the door. I answer to “Excuse me, sir; I noticed your car has some dings on it and is in need of repair… I can do that.” When I said I needed two estimates, he said he could do that too.

“Oh, yeah? Well, let’s go take a look at it and I’ll tell you a short story about one of the smallest dings.” I showed him the 2 inch ding, almost indiscernible by all the other scratches, dents and gouges; and related to him how it got there. “A county mower did that. I was driving along and a county mower was working the other side of the road, coming the other direction. Just when I got abreast of him I heard a loud bang on the side of my car. I immediately pulled over and saw that a large (or small, depending on your definition of the two qualities) limb had assaulted my auto, begetting the blasted blemish, a veritable cursed cut. I continued the story of how I stopped the mower driver and told him that his mower had propelled the limb into my car and caused that damage. The driver pulled over and we exchanged information including how I could get hold of the official who would help me make out a claim. I contacted the county and they sent out a guy to look at the car and take pictures. I procrastinated about making the claim and the young man showed up at the door before I could do it.

I told the young man to go ahead and do the body work and it took him just a half an hour or so to do a not so bad of a job; except it needed to have the repair places buffed and painted. But, not to worry; he had a friend that owed him a favor so I could get a free paint job.

Then it was time to settle the account (from the young man’s perspective). He wanted to follow me to the bank to withdraw the cash and pay him. “Uh”, I said, “I had to have the two estimates!”

“But I can’t get the estimates until tonight; and I have to have the money today to pay my rent!”

“Or what?”

“I’ll get kicked out of my place.”

“No! You can’t be evicted that fast. It takes months to go through that process.”

“It’s that late.”

“I’m sorry; I just can’t give you the money until I get the estimates and the check from the county!”

“If I’d known that I wouldn’t have started. Have a good day.” And he started towards his car.

“Wait a minute! Just bring me the estimate and we’ll finish the deal!”

He just continued to his car, got in and left.

Elmer and the Bear

Posted: July 17, 2009 in Humor

As recorded by the late Phil Harris


Here comes Elmer; Elmer’s got his gun.

Here comes Elmer; Run Bear Run.


Elmer Jones arose at dawn

Put his huntin’ britches on;

And looked up at the shot-gun on the wall.


He made his mind up, then and there,

To pack himself a hunk of bear.

And, huntin’ he had plenty on the ball.


He milked the cow, fed the hog,

Kissed his wife, called the dog,

Picked up his gun and started on his quest.


He crossed the creek into the trees,

Looked around, sniffed the breeze,

Let out a yell and pounded on his chest.




He hunted all the morning, through;

But not a bear came into view

As Elmer’s mind was on the kitchen range.


He was sick as he could be

Of lamb and chicken fricassee;

He craved a mess of bear meat for a change.


Poor Elmer’s mind was in a fog;

He paused to sit down on a log

To get his faculties back into grove.


He heard a noise and standing there

Was a great big old grizzly bear

And Elmer figured it was time he made his move.




He picked up his gun and turned around;

But, Mr. Bear just stood his ground

And Elmer said, “It’s either me or thou.”


The gun refused to go

Elmer knew somebody would have to go

So, Elmer said, “Farewell, I’m leaving as of now.”


Elmer’s shoulders sprouted wings;

His feet developed inner-springs

To linger longer he was not inclined.


He ran so fast oh Mother, my

His ankles set his socks afire

But still that bear kept commin’ on behind.




A deer with antlers six-feet wide

Got in the way of Elmer’s stride;

And both of them went headin’ for the brush.


Elmer said, “Now, listen son;

If that’s as fast as you can run

Move over ‘cause I’m really in a rush.


The bear was gaining inch by inch

And finally reached out for the clinch

As Elmer saw the fence around his place.


He leapt the fence, landed hard,

Jumped sixty feet across the yard

And slammed the door in the bruin’s face.




The bear was trying to get inside

As Elmer sought a place to hide

And Mrs. Jones began to pull her hair.


She said, “This fuss has got to stop

Why don’t you let the matter drop?”

He said, “You go tell it to the bear.”


She said, “Now listen goon,

I thought you said you was Daniel Boone

Whose appetite on bear meat you’d supply.”


He said, “I’m sure that you’re aware

That Daniel’ll always kill his bear;

But, honey, I done brought this baby home alive.”



Yes Joe There is a Connection

Posted: October 3, 2007 in Humor

Editor, The News York Times,

My friends are telling me there is no connection between 9/11 and Iraq. I ask my sergeant if there was a connection and he said to write to you and ask you because if it is in the Times it’s true. Please tell me the truth. Is there a connection?

Pfc. Joe Six-pack

803rd Sand-borne division, Excited States Army


Joe, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the liberal media. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Joe, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.


Yes, Joe, there is a connection between 9/11 and Iraq. It exists as certainly as hate and greed and the lust for oil exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its misery and angst. Alas! How terrible would be the world if there were no connection between 9/11 and Iraq. It would be as terrible as if there were no DUBYA. There would be no fantasizing then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this invasion and occupation. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which manhood fills the world would be extinguished.


Not believe in the connection between 9/11 and Iraq! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your sergeant to tell his troops to listen to Rush Limbaugh to catch whether there is a connection. But even if they did not hear Rush say there is a connection between 9/11 and Iraq what would that prove? Nobody listens to Rush Limbaugh in Seattle, but that is no sign that there is no connection. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.


You may tear apart the M16 and see what makes the son-of-a-bitch jam, but there is no veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the smartest men that ever lived, could figure out. Only imagination can push aside that firing pin and view and picture the supernatural beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Joe, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.


No connection between 9/11 and Iraq! Thank George! It lives, and it lives forever. A thousand years from now, Joe, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, it will make glad the hearts of childhood.


Dear reader,

I would hope that I wouldn’t have to point out to you where I got the idea for this. If you google “Yes Virginia There is a Santa Claus” you will find it. I picked on a fictitious soldier because it has been said that a full 70% of soldiers in Iraq believe there is a connection between 9/11 and Iraq.

A Pencil in the Eye

Posted: September 12, 2007 in Humor

Okay, here’s one more metaphor for the mess in Iraq. When we were given an advanced first-aid course when I was teaching the man conducting the course told us that if you get a pencil lodged into your eye-ball you never remove it. Supposedly, if you do your eye will be forever useless and you will be blind out of that eye. You stabilize it and get yourself (smirk) to the doctor. (I lie: he didn’t say get yourself to the doctor). No, you – the one administering first-aid – get the patient to the doctor. Supposedly, a doctor could save your eye by removing the pencil properly.

I almost quit writing this with the last paragraph; because I believe the quick reader could get the comparison with the assessment of our inability to withdraw from Iraq precipitously. It seems we have a consensus among the members elite of the powers that be that Iraq would be an untenable caldron of something-or-other if we withdraw with the situation as unstable as it is. Instead we are supposed to trust the members elite of the powers that be that we must stay until we can leave with a relatively stable government and military in Iraq.

I think it only fair to specify who I am referring to as the members elite of the powers that be. That would be General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. Both have stellar credentials according to a news piece in today’s (September 10, 2007) edition of the Washington Post. So, it is incumbent on us to accept the word of this August body of 2.

Oh, did I mention that their report isn’t even due until the 15th. At least that’s what I was led to believe. In one news item the paper is calling the timing “today” when the report is due. Or, it could be tomorrow. Nah, it couldn’t be tomorrow; that’s the anniversary of 9-11. Anyway the report is so widely reported on it’s hard to believe there will be any surprises after all the leaks are covered.

Wouldn’t it be great if both Petraeus and Crocker slipped us some zingers?

Please Excuse my Tardiness

Posted: July 27, 2007 in Humor

How many times I’ve started a message with these feeble words. Was it procrastination? Or, was it just my continuous prioritizing the many tasks I have sitting and waiting for my attention?

If its procrastination, then there is no excuse. I firmly agree with whatever sage said about it. It is a weakness; and a thief of time. I wish I had kept the article that offered suggestions for overcoming it.

If it is really just my having to continuously prioritize tasks, then that is no weakness; only a necessary function of daily living. This is a legitimate excuse to offer when one is forced to apologize for tardiness.