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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bluetooth Earpieces For Phones Don't Make You Invisible | We Can Still Hear You

We can see you and we can hear you.
Bluetooth technology has made it possible to drive and carry on a hands-free conversation on your cell phone. However, some people wear their Bluetooth earpiece day and night. Some of them are on the phone all the time and it makes sense. Others, I sense, are wearing it to look important. You may be one of them. Regardless of why these people wear their earpiece all the time, they need to know that Bluetooth earpieces for phones don't make you invisible.

I'm sure this has happened to you. Someone is standing behind you and you hear them say, "How are you?" Turning and saying at the same time, "Fine, how are you?" and then realizing they aren't even talking to you, they're talking on their snazzy Bluetooth earpiece.

What annoys me with these people is that they are even louder than the people who talk on their cell phones all over the place. For some reason, the Bluetooth users feel like they have to puff out their chest and blast their mindless conversation all over the place.

Whether they're using Bluetooth or not, I'm still in awe of the kinds of conversations that people have on their cell phones - right out where everyone can hear it.

I've heard people cuss out their kids, a nurse grieving over just finding out someone, maybe a relative, died, people that can't get their credit card to work talking to the credit card company, people talking about the sex they had last night with whoever it was they was doing it to and more.

These people must think they're invisible. Well, they're not. And someone should tap them on the shoulder and say, "Eh-em... do you know you're broadcasting all'a your stuff all over da place? You ain't invisible."

I used to have a phone with a Bluetooth earpiece. I only used it in when I was driving or the person on the phone wanted me to do something like use two hands to type on my computer or when I was required to write things down from the conversation.

Now, I have a cheap-o phone and it doesn't have Bluetooth, but I still have an earpiece. Just for fun, I put it on and walk around having fake conversations in public places, just to freak people out. I'll give you a few examples.


"Hey, glad you called."


"No kidding. What do you mean you couldn't find it?"


"Yeah, all the money is in the paper bag under the porch, right where I said it would be."


"The whole $10,000 is in the bag. Did you leave the dope?"


"What you mean you don't know where I stay at?"


"OK, my place is at 1275 E. 118th St., the big brown house with the unlocked Caddie in the drive."


"Alright, bro. Thanks for calling. I'll holler later."

That one usually gets a lot of eyeballs turned my way.


"Yo, Cletus."


"No, I don't do bank jobs."


"Kevin Morris is the one that knocks off banks. You want his number?"


"You got a pen?"


"His number is 216-555-7645. You got that? 216-555-7645."


"Yeah, if you short on cash, he's the man to call."


"Love you, too."

This type of call usually makes my exit from the bank rather lengthy, but it's fun to show them that my Bluetooth was toothless and not connected to a phone.


"Larry, so glad you called. Did you hear the news?"


"You ain't gonna believe this, but I hit the lottery yesterday."


"Yup, $12,000 big ones. I got the ticket right here. Gonna turn it in later today."


"Oh, I'm at Wal-Mart buying some Skoal."


"Yeah, we gotta have a party when I get back with the cash. Just hope I don't lose this ticket before I get to cash it in."


"You know I got you covered. Get some ice for the beer."


"No, you da man. Cya."

This usually gets me jumped in the parking lot. But it's fun.


"Sheila, so glad to hear from you. How you been, baby?"


"You are still hot for me, eh?"


"I got to take you out for some good food and a little after dinner desert, if you know what I mean."


"I'd take you to this place, but the food is nasty here. I found bugs in my salad."




"No, I'm pretty sure the bugs were dead. But I wasn't going to eat any more of them."


"I think they have rats in the kitchen here."


"What with you, girl? You got a bad connection? I SAID I THINK THEY HAVE RATS IN THE KITCHEN HERE."


"Don't worry, I'll take you to a nice place when we goes out."


"Ok, baby, keep that muffin warm for your daddy."


"Yeah, love you, too, baby."

This move usually gets me a free meal or an escorted exit from the restaurant. In either case, I never pay.


"Hi, Gloria. How's everything?"


"Oh, please don't tell me that. Please don't tell me that."


"I can't believe she's gone."


"How did she die?"


"Oh, that's awful. They was moving her piano with a crane out the second floor window and the cable broke?"


"And the piano just squashed granny like a bug?"


"Oh, Lord. Please let this not be true."


"You know granny was my whole life. OH, LORD, DON'T LET IT BE TRUE."


"How's the piano?"


"OK, I'll be at your house later to help make the arrangements."

Start crying uncontrollably. Put your head on your plate. Wail. You'll get a free meal and a gift certificate to hold the funeral dinner at the restaurant.

Now, it's up to you to have some fun fake conversations with your Bluetooth earpiece. Be creative. Just remember, Bluetooth earpieces for phones don't make you invisible.

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The Police Stopped Me For Blogging

"I swear officer, I'm only blogging."
When you don't have Internet access where you live, you have to become a WiFi Whore, getting it anyway you can. I spend a lot of my time in coffee shops or restaurants next to places with Wifi. But in this part of the country, things close at 9 or 10 pm and you have to look elsewhere. My favorite spot after hours is right outside the public library, which is two buildings away from the police station. This is based on a true story... but I have to add my own spices and seasonings to it. I hope you enjoy the tale about the day The Police Stopped Me For Blogging.

Several months ago, I was faced with a horrible quandary. After all the places I knew with WiFi closed, where could I go? I tried parking next to their buildings late a night when I had the urge to blog an idea that just had to come out, but no luck. They either shut their WiFi down or I couldn't get the signal outside of their building.

One of the places where I get access to the Internet is my sister's house. But she goes to bed to watch the news at 10 pm and I get kicked out. I've tried parking in front of her house in the street, where I pick up her signal perfectly, but her little dog barks and keeps them up. So, I had to search elsewhere.

Finally, it dawned on me that I go to the library during the day at times to write and they have an open network. On a cold, snowy night, I drove up to the parking lot closest to the door, opened my laptop and voila, I was on the Internet.

Now, I could go 24 hours, Vegas-style, if I had the ideas to keep me typing.

Since my discovery, I've spent countless hours in the library parking lot in the middle of the night. I chat with friends on the other side of the globe, write, tweet, all the good stuff you can do on the Internet in a normal setting - but I'm seated in the front seat of my 2005 Toyata Tacoma pickup truck.

I would stay until my laptop battery died, then go home, recharge the battery for a couple hours and go back to the library. Lately, though, my battery life has taken a turn for the worse. It dies within 15 to 30 minutes, and it doesn't make sense to go back and try to recharge it for two hours and come back for an Internet quickie.

Over the course of the first month or so, I did spent a lot of time using up my battery, which used to last for 90 minutes, and then charging it and returning to the library. One night, after my laptop went dark, I said, "Oh well, time to head home." I turned the key and my truck battery had died from listening to the radio and using the interior light. I had to walk the mile home to my house, without my truck and get my sister to jump it the next day.

About a month ago, I realized that I had bought a laptop charger several years ago to use in my truck. I had completely forgotten about it. It was in my glove box all along. But I was still in fear of burning up my truck battery - so I left the truck running. My mpg's were down to about 3.

Lately, though, I've been saving gas by using the charger for my laptop with the truck off and then running the truck for about 15 minutes every hour. I've seen the sunrise more than once, doing this on-off cycle.

For all the time I've spent in my truck, I notice night after night police cars coming from behind the library and heading over to the police station. There is a small access road that cuts behind the City Hall and library and goes to the night drop box. The police use it as a shortcut to race to their parking lot.

I've always wondered why they never stopped and checked me out, even at 3 o'clock in the morning. It's got to be weird that I'm parked here with a light on inside my truck. Maybe they can see the laptop screen, resting on the steering wheel. Maybe I don't look like I'm causing any trouble. Maybe my black truck makes me invisible.

A week ago, a white patrol car slowed down at the east entrance to the parking lot, over to my right. It paused, then turned toward me, stopping a few feet from my truck with its lights pointed directly at me.

An officer got out and slowly approached my vehicle. He had his hand on his weapon, probably following standard police procedure. I quickly closed any windows on my browser with porn on them and opened my passenger window to speak with the officer. He leaned in my car and said, "So, what's going on?"

I told him I was blogging. He had a look on his face like he had never heard of a blog, which seemed odd. He was probably in his 30's and had a short marine style haircut. He certainly must know what a blog is. Well, I was wrong.

I tried to explain to him that I write stories, some funny, some informative, some insane, some just for my own amusement. He still didn't look like he was getting it. Finally, he said, "Ok, I want you to put the laptop down and put your hands up where I can see them," and he drew his weapon.

"I don't know what this blogging thing is, but it doesn't sound right to me. You're not in a terror group are you."

Like an idiot, I said, "Yes I am."

Now, he told me to get out of the truck and put my hands on the hood. "I'm going to check you for any weapons. Do you have any drugs on you?"

"Only my meds, which are controlled substances."

Not a good answer.

"Alright buddy, let me see the pills."

"I'm telling you officer, I have severe depression and I'm bipolar. I take these every day. A psychiatrist gets them for me."

"Oh, so your psychiatrist is in on the drug thing, too."

"No, he's not. He supplies me with these through the county program for low income people."

"So what's his name?"

"Dr. Cohen. He's about 4'8" tall, that's why they call him a shrink."

No laughs.

"Officer, I'm not a terrorist. I'm just a wiseguy."

"So, you're connected with organized crime?"

"No... I write funny stories."

"How do I know they're funny?"

"Can I get my laptop and show you. I think that will clear up a lot."

"OK, get your laptop."

I opened the truck door, unplugged my laptop from the charger and told the officer, "I'll show you a couple of my funny blog posts, but you only have about 15 minutes before the battery dies."

He starts reading with a very stern face. After a couple minutes, he started to smile, slyly - almost as if he didn't want to admit that he thought any of my meanderings were funny. When he finished the first post, he asked to see another. I pulled up another post that I thought he might like. Now, he started to chortle under his breath. By the end of the post, he actually let out a laugh. Another request came from the officer for more from my blog, "Here, hold my gun."

He was enjoying the posts so much. Then, the next thing I know, the screen goes black. Sadness came over his face. He looked like a kid that had just dropped his ice cream. I told him, "Get in the truck, I can hook it to the charger."

For the next half hour, my new public servant friend howled at post after post. Then, he glanced at the clock and quickly said, "I've got to get back to chasing criminals."

I asked him if there was anything he needed from me.

"No, you seem to be harmless. No, check that sir, you are actually dangerously funny," and he laughed heartily and headed back to his police car.

I'm just glad I live in a country where blogging isn't a crime. In some places it is, like China. God Bless America and our men and women in blue. And that's my story of when the police stopped me for blogging.

June 8, 2011 Update - I was heading into the drug store just after midnight to buy cigarettes when who comes walking in next to me but the Sargent who this fictional story was centered around. He spotted me and said, "Ah, the blogger." I introduced myself to him and he said his name was Joel.

What I always do when I meet a man or woman in uniform - police, firefighter, military - is I thank them for serving. I feel that I can never do that enough. You never know when they'll get a call that there is a shooting and they have to respond, and they answer that call, no matter what.

Inside, while waiting in line, I told him I wrote a silly story about the cops stopping me for blogging. He said, "I really didn't stop you for blogging. I interrupted your blogging."

To which I responded, "Officer, when you came to my vehicle, my fingers stopped moving. You had to question me. I WAS in the act of blogging. You wanted to know what I was up to. You stopped me for blogging in public."

Fortunately, he laughed.

When I was getting ready to drive off, he came up and knocked on my window and asked about the paint on the side of my truck. I told him vandalism. We chatted for a second, then his radio went off. "Gotta run. Shooting. Take care."

I'm glad I didn't wait to thank him for serving. He got the call and ran. I went to the library parking lot and blogged. 

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Why you need to thank those in uniform - 365 Day Memorial Day, Find The Cost Of Freedom
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

365 Day Memorial Day, Find The Cost Of Freedom

The cost of freedom. Priceless.
Memorial Day means a lot of things to Americans. It can mean: Case of beer $24.00, Hot dogs and buns for the gang $18.00, the freedom to do what you want - priceless - because you cannot put a price on the blood that was shed for our freedom. 365 Day Memorial Day, find the cost of freedom.

We take so much for granted in the United States. We move freely from one city to another in our cars without checkpoints. We shop at stores for food without waiting in line for two days. We don't have to kiss our children at night and hope that a rocket doesn't wake them up and we all have to run for cover. America is a blessed land.

During two World Wars, we were not guaranteed victory. But our fighting men and women, combined with incredible courage and leadership were able to defeat enemies that would have relished the chance to rule our land. Millions of lives were lost.

In other theaters around the world, our Armed Forces have fought oppressive regimes, communism and terrorists. But all of those battles had a price. A huge price.

Little towns and big cities had their sons and daughters sent back from the combat zones in a box. There were no hugs, no kisses, no smiles. Children never got to see their mother or father again. Parents lit candles next to the picture of their lost loved one in their military uniform.

On Memorial Day, beyond the beer and the burgers, our freedom came with a cost. We can be grateful to the soldier, who bravely fought for his or her country. But we cannot forget the injured, who carry the scars of their bravery until they die, far from combat. Some, have not been able to cope with the world after being in combat, and they turn to drugs, alcohol or even take their own lives. With all of these soldiers, there are families that have to go on. They share the long-term grief. The soldier is gone. But the family lives on and they hold tight to the memories of a child that smiled and laughed, drew pictures with crayons on the kitchen table, played sports in high school, went to prom, went to college and then went to war - and never came back.

Photos, videos and personal belongings are all that are left of the ones they loved so much. To those families, they may cook hamburgers and drink a few beers on Memorial Day, but they will live the memorial of Memorial Day. They know the cost of freedom - it's the empty chair on this holiday. A big price to pay. We should all salute our soldiers, dead and living. They do and have done things that most of us would not have the courage to do - they fought for freedom. We need to remember and thank them for that, not just on Memorial Day, but every day.

In 1970, Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young wrote a song, Find The Cost Of Freedom. It was released as the B side of Neil Young's hit, Ohio, memorializing the Kent State Massacre on May 4th, 1970. (See link below)

On several occasions, CSN&Y or CSN would perform only the haunting chorus of Find The Cost Of Freedom to close out concerts during that turbulent time. Here are the lyrics;

Daylight again, following me to bed
I think about a hundred years ago, how my fathers bled
I think I see a valley, covered with bones in blue
All the brave soldiers that cannot get older been askin' after you
Hear the past a callin', from Ar- -megeddon's side
When everyone's talkin' and noone is listenin', how can we decide?
(Do we) find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground

Mother earth will swallow you, lay your body down
Find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground
Mother earth will swallow you, lay your body down
(Find the cost of freedom buried in the ground)

The cost of freedom, waiting to be buried in the ground.

The next time you see a soldier in uniform, thank them. I do it all the time. "Thank you for serving," is all I say. I know that they greatly appreciate it, because they've told me so. It's a good habit to have. That soldier you thank today may not come back from the front alive. He or she may come home in a box, and their family will mourn.

Be thankful that you won't be going to a grave site to place an American Flag on Memorial Day. Be thankful for the freedom you have. Yes, we need a 365 Day Memorial Day, find the cost of freedom. It's priceless.

Related article:
Remembering Kent State Massacre On May 4, 1970 and The Vietnam War

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Online Prostitutes Moved To Other Sites After Being Banned From Craigslist

Online Prostitutes simply moved after CL ban.
The oldest profession has moved from the streets to the Internet. And it's not different than when the girls walked the street. If they were kicked off of one corner, they'd find a new corner and set up shop there. The same thing happens on the Internet. Online prostitutes moved to other sites after being banned from Craigslist

For a long time, Craigslist was the home of all the online prostitutes. And Craigslist made a lot of money by them being there. Each person selling sexual services was charged around $25/month or more to have their bodies only a click away.

After a high-profile murder of a prostitute from Craigslist, the world's largest listing site came under intense heat from users, law enforcement and the community. A year or so ago, Craigslist Adult Services link went black and was removed from the site.

Well, that won't stop a male or female prostitute. They still have to eat and they'll find a way to sell themselves, somewhere, anywhere on the web. Other sites that are similar to Craigslist are the new homes of the online sex trade. And not much has changed.

I spoke with a man we'll call Jim who regularly uses hookers from the web. He told me that online prostitutes have a couple trademarks to their ads. First, the picture is usually not them. It may be, but it is usually slightly better than they look in real life. Or the picture could be someone completely different. "The picture may be a 10, but you usually wind up with an 8. And depending on the town, sometimes a 6," said Jim.

Another tactic used by the prostitutes online is that they try to disguise their phone numbers. A number like 702-555-1234 will appear in the ad as 7025551234 - we're not exactly sure why they do this, but the theory is that if they've been busted before and the police have their cell phone on record, vice cops can do a search for it online. By adding the characters to the phone number, it's impossible to find them through a regular search. They will vary the amount of characters between the numbers, too, just to add another twist to keep themselves out of the reach of the law.

What services they offer are creatively or suggestively described, but never anything too graphic because many sites have obscenity filters that will block posts with obscene language.

The last trait is that prostitution isn't a crime until a request for money is made or money changes hands. So, the online prostitutes will say.... "I'll make every fantasy of yours come true for 50 roses" Or 50 kisses. They do it the same way a drug dealer says on the phone, "I'll have the 25 circus tickets you ordered later." Circus tickets? They're home free because it is not illegal to sell circus tickets.

Jim has always had "out-call" service, which means they come to you. If you go to them, you save a few dollars, but you're also taking the risk of going to unknown turf. Jim said he's never waited more than an hour for his "date" to show up.

Ironically, most people outside of Nevada think that Las Vegas has legalized prostitution. Brothels are only allowed to operate in Nevada's rural counties. The closest county to Las Vegas is Nye county, which is the home of the famous Chicken Ranch and the Bunny Ranch. Both houses of ill repute are only an hour drive from Las Vegas and some offer limousine service, shuttling johns back and forth from Sin City to the sex centers.

Don't be mistaken, prostitutes are all over Las Vegas, working the casinos. I've been hit on several times by a girl working the slot machine area or the bar, looking for a "date".

I had a chat with one gorgeous girl that wanted me to go up to her room. For a split second, I thought she was actually interested in me. Then, I asked, "Are you working?" She nodded, yes."Well, I'm not interested. Sorry. Not my style."

We did discuss her business for a minute or so. She lived in British Columbia, had a young daughter, a nice condo, a new car and a wonderful life. She flew into Vegas each weekend and turned enough tricks working the higher end casinos to support her daughter and her lifestyle back in BC.

If you're looking for love at a price in Las Vegas, be forewarned that there are little purple domes all over the ceilings of the casinos, restaurants, sidewalks, parking garages, you name it - and they are watching. Casino security knows a lot of the regular girls, but they tend to turn a blind eye to them. However, the casino also knows their high end players and will do everything to protect them. If you're a nobody, you may be caught up in the criminal act. You don't want to literally get caught with your pants around your ankles with a really dumb look on your face. Or worse, you could get rolled by a prostitute and lose more than your virginity - your money, credit cards, valuables or even your life. In Las Vegas, prostitution and solicitation are crimes.

For the blue collar men and women that want to pay for sex and spend under $500, they go online. Now, they have to make a few more clicks because the online prostitutes moved to other sites after being banned from Craigslist

Related article:
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Stop Executions. Kill Prisoners With KFC And Mickey D.

Kill prisoners with fast food. We shouldn't die alone.
America has struggled with the Death Penalty for the last several decades. Some feel that it is the best resolution for heinous crimes. However, others wonder how we have the right to kill people for their offenses. I think it's time to stop executions and kill prisoners with KFC and Mickey D.

People that support the Death Penalty, generally have no idea what the long-term cost is to our already strapped public systems. On average, with appeals or retrials, it will cost over a million to several million dollars to put a condemned prisoner to death. This process will take over 20 years.

Currently, the national average cost to house a prisoner is around $30,000 per year. If the prisoner is incarcerated for 30 years, the total cost will not exceed $1 Million. Yet, the people we are trying to terminate will cost us two to four times as much, and spend less time in prison.

To me, there is something barbaric about killing a person. Seeing a body on the table in the death chamber and knowing that the state is going to willfully cease this person's life gives me the creeps in a weird way, regardless of their crime.

Let's look at two facts.

1) All prisoners complain that the food is awful in prison.

2) Americans are killing themselves with obesity and heart disease and fast food has a lot to do with that. Fast Food is Heart Disease Public Enemy #1.

My suggestion that creates a win-win-win situation across the board is to stop executing prisoners. Morally, I feel better about that. Then, we start feeding prisoners a strict diet of KFC and McDonald's fast food. The prisoners will be happier about losing the tasteless food. Take away their weight rooms, too. Then, let bad nutrition take over. Prisoners will die at a faster rate from heart disease and obesity - it's a proven medical fact. All prisoners should get free cigarettes, too. Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in the USA.

It is so much cheaper for us to keep prisoners alive and let them die of natural causes, than to kill them through the Death Penalty system, as it exists today.

I'd also like to see prisons built on Greenland. Nothing goes on up there. I don't even know if anyone lives there. Escape would be pointless. All we need is a few wind turbines to power the plant. We could have 3-month rotating staff and guards and plenty of fast food, which can be made right on the spot. You can teach the prisoners how to make Happy Meals, so they have a skill if they ever make it to the outside world.

If you get a life sentence, why keep them here in the United States? Every foreign country in the world could contribute to and use the Greenland prison. If the prisoner wants an appeal, they have to take a cargo ship to the country where they committed the crime. This will string out the process.

Individuals that cannot function in a civil society need to be removed from it. But putting them in a box somewhere in your state and having the threat of them escaping into the community is unnecessary. I can get some brochures on Greenland by this afternoon. It won't take long and it will be worth it. We will save millions and millions of dollars in each state in the country. You could be talking about some Obama, Billion here and there, money. You need to forward this post to your Congressional Representative today.

Aside from the frivolity, you have to dig deep and ask the question, "What if we're wrong? What if the person on Death Row is innocent?" And if you kill that person, who's head is it on then? It won't be the first time a needle went in the arm of the wrong man or woman.

I'd much rather make a person on Death Row get fat and clog their arteries than to willfully end their life. Keep repeating, "What if we're wrong? What if we're wrong?" I'm sure there are many condemned inmates that there is no doubt as to their guilt. However, the small fraction that are innocent is who we should think about in the bigger picture. I'm currently researching a story about a wrongfully accused man who is on Death Row in California. Once I have collected all of the information, read his story - then tell me if it is worth spending millions of dollars to kill him the way we do now. I'd rather send him a KFC 10-piece combo bucket and let the Colonel kill him over time.

So, stop executions and kill prisoners with KFC and Mickey D.

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Harold Camping Really Blew It. Rapture Rescheduled For October 21st.

Harold Camping's followers waiting for the Rapture.
The whole world watched and waited for the Rapture to occur on Saturday, May 21st, 2011, predicted by Harold Camping. Tick, tick, tick... No Rapture. Everyone was asking, "What happened?" The truth is: Harold Camping really blew it. But he says that the Rapture will happen on October 21st of this year

Since the Rapture did not go off at 6 pm PDT as Harold Camping had predicted, he and his family have been inundated by media inquiries. His phone rings all day long. There is such a cacophony of questions bombarding him, he took his family to a motel where they have access to a TV and 24-hour porn.

We did get a chance to speak with Camping for just a minute.

"Why didn't the Rapture go off as predicted?"

"Well, our calculations were off."

"Why is that?"

"We used a bunch of Bible College math students to work up the numbers from the Bible and those dummies don't know how to add or subtract. All they can do is repeat Bible verses all day. I thought one of them had the May 21st date nailed, but it was his birthday and he kept repeating it during our brainless sessions."

"Don't you mean brainstorming sessions?"

"No, brainless is what I said and what I meant. We try to suck all of the reasoning out of people before we can fully teach them the truths buried in the Bible."

"Interesting tack.... So why do you think the Rapture will commence on October 21st?"

"We found we could do some cross-promotion with Oktoberfest. And who wouldn't enjoy a fat bratwurst and a cold stein of beer right before the Lord comes and takes us away?"

"You know, a lot of people are highly disappointed that there was no Rapture. In fact, a lot are suffering from Post-No Rapture Depression. How should people prepare for the Rapture in October?"

"Oh, you can't prepare. I declared all churches in the world the work of Satan in 1994. Only people who were saved before 1994 can be taken up by the Rapture."

"But what about all the people that were born since then? They don't have a chance?"

"Nope. God is not merciful. That's all marketing rubbish by the Christian mega-churches - the ones that don't wear people out with guilt about sin."

"Sounds quite depressing."

"I don't make the rules. God does."

"But you're the nutcase that predicted the Rapture TWICE and you were wrong both times."

"God and I have a margin of error. He knows. I know. That's enough for me."

"Sounds rather theocratic?"

"Whatever that word means, I'm not that, because I think you were trying to make fun of me."

"I don't need to try and make fun of you, you are really good at making an ass out of yourself all on your own."

"You'll see. Come October, I'll be there wearing my Lederhosen, munching on a brat, swilling a beer and praising the Lord. I might even get some potato pancakes and a little sauerkraut."

"This all sounds so warped and twisted. I don't think God has any connection to you and I think He'd be happy to squash you like a bug."

"Can't hear you. Can't hear you. Can't hear you."

"Now, that is a mature response."

"Can't hear you. Can't hear you. Can't hear you."

"I guess we're done with our interview with Harold Camping. We'll all be doing something different next time the Rapture is supposed to happen. Although, those brats sound real good."
So, Harold Camping really blew it. But Rapture is rescheduled for October 21st, 2011.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

A Funny Look At How To Survive Writer's Block - A Journal

This writer suffers from writer's block, too.
All writers at some point find themselves staring at a blank page or a blank screen and have no thought as to what to do next. Writing's soul is creativity and imagination. However, there are times writers are not inspired, their muse has gone on holiday, their minds seem to fill with mud. It can be a painful process when hours of staring create absolutely no results. I, too, get stumped every now and then, but not often. Here is a funny look at how to survive writer's block - A Journal.

[My thoughts will appear bracketed and in italics]


10 am - Today I will write an inspirational piece on the heartbreak of psoriasis.

[Hmmmm. 10:20 am. I think I need to clean my monitor.]

[Psoriasis, psoriasis. Hmmmm. Should I do some research? Let me give it some thought.]

[Let me try something....]

12:35pm - The Enter/Return key works.

So does the    s  p   a   c   e       b   a   r   .

[All this thinking and sitting is giving me a rash on my behind. Maybe tomorrow, I'll use that as a launching point for my piece on psoriasis.]


2pm - Maybe working in the afternoon will help.

[2:45 pm Sure looks nice outside today.]



[4:17 pm Maybe I'll check out The Onion. A laugh will do me good.]

[5:14 pm Psoriasis, psoriasis... I'm going to try Google to see what I can find on it......OK... type in p-s-o-r..... how do I spell psoriasis? Where's my dictionary app? ......  OK.... there it is.... I'll copy and paste it into Google....... I am just fogged today. What were the shortcuts for copy and paste?...... I guess I can just type it in...... p-s-o-r-i-a-s-i-s ......ENTER.....  OH, CRAP.... look at that stuff! It's hideous. Why did I pick this topic?....  I'll have to get a new topic, this is too gross.]

6:45 pm - I'm exhausted. Time for dinner. I'll have a new topic tomorrow.


7:30 pm - The dusk and darkness might inspire me. I've decided to write about the effect of whale flatulence on greenhouse gases and climate change.

[7:34 pm I'll get right to work. Whale flatulence, whale flatulence? There must be some papers published on it somewhere. I'll try Google again....  w-h-a-l-e  f-l-a-t-u-l-e-n-c-e..... ENTER.... Damn, the only thing that comes up are articles from and The Onion using whale flatulence as an adjective regarding the president's last speech. Maybe, I'll phone a friend.]

8:05 pm - Call to Bill at library.

"Hey Bill, do you know anything about whale flatulence?"

"Why would I know anything about that?"

"You work at a library."

"I got this job because I dropped out of college and I was a sociology major."

"Got any ideas for a good topic? I'm trying to write something for my blog."

"Why don't you just copy and paste something from The Onion?"

"I can't do that, that's stealing."

"Sorry, can't help you. I have to finish putting books away until the library closes."

"Thanks anyway."

[8:48 pm I never noticed that my left baby toe is larger than my right baby toe. Hmmmmm.... I need an idea.]

[9:30 pm I type better if I clip my nails. I think I'll do that.]

9:55 pm - Clipped nails.

10:30 pm - Checking TV Guide. To possibly write about a popular show.

10:45 pm - Spell check test...

dandelion  or  dandylion   (second one is wrong)

[11:15 pm - The Tonight Show comes on shortly.]


10:07 am - Coffee, good breakfast, ready to write today. Still need a topic.

[10:45 am There sure is a lot of dust around my computer and the keys are dirty. I'll clean everything up, that will give me time to think.]

[1:38 pm....Let me try this....]


1:46 pm - All the keys work.

[3:49 pm .... I think I need to check something else.... ]



[4:22 pm.... Maybe I'll open up Google Adwords and check out some keywords.... .... ENTER..... Keyword Tool.... Now... let's try a few words....  Chocolate.... Hmmmm, 20,400,000 global searches a month. Kinda broad. Ha... look at the related keywords...there are just as many people typing in chocolate chocolate and the same number for chocolate on chocolate ...... must be suicidal diabetics looking for those subjects.... Maybe I'll check trending..... That's odd. You'd think Valentine's Day was the most popular time for chocolate searches, but it's Christmas. There could be a story there....  But it's May.... too late for Valentine's day.... too early for Christmas....  Time for a new keyword..... Hmmmm..... TIRES.... ENTER.... same thing. Idiots are typing in tire tire and tire tire tire .... over 9,000,000 searches. Don't these people know that Google gets it the first time. Like repeating it gives them better info..... OH.... look at this.... discoutn tires has 1,000,000 searches, globally. DISCOUTN ????? We have 1,000,000 dummies out there that duplicated the same typo? Some people shouldn't have computers..... OH, well..... tires seem boring.... I'll find something tomorrow.]

6:03 pm - I'm hungry. I'll get this going Friday. Friday is always good.


12:14 pm - I'm ready to go. I'll start with some free association...





Need to try phrases...

Lifting heavy weights

Riding a bike off a cliff

Guns are loaded in the house

Sarah Palin naked


[I wonder if Osama bin Laden is really dead? What if his body floats ashore. Did he wear conventional underwear?]

3:33 pm - Need a break.


8:22 am - Fell asleep yesterday. Weekends are good for me. I need to just feel the keys on my fingers.

adfa;kljalf aj;ldkfjaeia ehwhklahhkldasf eioadh aoean;n; ayey3y3 234827qwenno adpasbxcxl; 'alkju slaindls .lorem ipsum ahahahaha... I almost had it.... alfaja;l euysl paiie;; .... hjl;sokennsy.l

[Oh yeah, baby, that feels so good. Give me more. Let me stroke you some more.]

auaaen asdfoas;l;dlem dkop'ipczmmepo904 a4ej aew4jkus9s elajsdfh;a 3a8alsldlh ckhja jalshasna;lkejr ahsivlklzc;lkjvaklk adaien;al apaej'ajnha

[9:45 am Wonder what the Option key does?]


[9:56 am That's interesting. May have a use for that stuff.]

5:31 pm - OK... I've had enough. I'm going to steal an article from The Onion and just paste it on my blog. My readers won't know. I've worked hard and I'll call it a week.

If you work on doing the work, you'll get through the block. I hope you enjoyed a funny look at how to survive writer's block and my Journal.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Moms - Take Control Of Your Young Kids In Public Or I'll Squash Them

Screw you Mom. I'll do what I want!!!
I'm into my eighth hour of working on my blog and some marketing at a dumpy coffee shop with WiFi near my house. It was nice and peaceful all day. Then, three women showed up with their kids. Two of the girls are teens and look bored to death. The other two kids, a boy and a girl about five years old are busting my eardrums. Moms - Take control of your young kids in public or I'll squash them. 

This is driving me especially crazy because I'm tired and hungry. What you do at home is your business. If you want to let your kids run around, climb the walls, stick the cat in the toilet, pitch salami slices like Frisbees, pee on your carpet or spit on their food, then go for it. But when you go to a public place, IT'S NOT YOUR DAMN HOUSE!

The kids are running back and forth the entire length of the coffee shop. They're spitting on their hands and touching the stacks of cups that will be used to serve customers over the next couple days. GROSS. Their dimwit moms are just chatting away like everything is just fine. IT'S NOT!

I grew up in a generation that said, "Children should be seen and not heard." When we went out in public, we were like little soldiers, until we got the green light to let loose. But in public places, the light was always red and we were told to "BE QUIET or I'll give you something to cry about."

We ran around the homes of my aunts and uncles. We were family. But in a coffee shop, you're freakin' annoying strangers. Have some respect for the people around you.

I don't dare say a word because I'm outnumbered. There are four mindless women and two teenage girls. I'd be eaten alive if I said something. Women are dangerous when they run in packs. There would only be pieces of me on the sidewalk if I let out a peep and said, "Could your kids tone it down, just a tad?" Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....

I'd rather jump in a shark tank wearing Lady Gaga's Meat Dress.

It's hard to keep kids quiet for a long time. I know, I have a daughter that is 10 now.

Her mother and I always made sure she had an activity to keep her occupied, when we went out in public places - a doll, a coloring book, a book to read or be read to her, a small craft project - something. We never turned a blind eye to her and let her take over the iHop and run around like a wild child, screaming and touching everything in sight.

We had our rough moments. On a plane ride, her ears must have popped or not popped and she cried for a long time. We got a lot of angry looks for that. Hey, it's what kids do and we were helpless to change the situation until she was ready to calm down.

Another time on a plane, when she was a baby, as soon as we sat down in our seat up against the bulkhead, she launched a gallon of projectile vomit over bother her mom and me. We had to sit through a five hour plane ride covered in barf. When we landed, the flight attendants removed the seat from the plane.

In both cases, we're talking about a baby, not a kindergarten aged child without restraints.

There are games at this coffee shop. There are puzzles. There are coloring books. But running around without anyone even looking at them is what seems to be the choice of the parents. People like this shouldn't be allowed to breed.

I'm not against kids playing. They should be able to run and scream and laugh all they want. That's why God created parks with swings and things that they can fall off of.

But parents need to understand that they live in a world with other people. They can't transfer the mindless chaos they allow at home to public places and have everyone endure their lack of child discipline. I bet their homes look like dumpsters inside - at least, I hope they do. There kids shouldn't be allowed to trash a public place and then go home to a clean house. I want them to wallow in their own waste. Sorry, I'm TIRED... and I'm HUNGRY.

Here, I'm stuck at the mercy of a bunch of dumbass parents. Fortunately, I'm going to leave very soon and leave these dopey women and their screeching kids.

Running around I can tolerate, to a degree. But the little girl lets out screams that make my ears feel like they are going to crack into a thousand pieces. And she's been doing it over and over and over for about 90 minutes. What fun.

I wish I had an air horn to go up to these women and blast in each of their ears until the canister ran out. 

This is the price I have to pay when I use free WiFi access. But none of the other places are like this, ever.

All I can say is, Moms - Take control of your young kids in public or I'll squash them. Where's the air horn?

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Native Americans Want Borders Redrawn To Before English Pinheads Showed Up

Chief Burning White House. Go. Get out!
World events are often influenced by preceding events. We have seen this across Africa and the Middle East - the marches for political freedom. In the wake of President Obama telling Israel that they should move their borders back to where they were before the 1967 war, an idea was sparked on our own soil. Native Americans want borders redrawn to 1621 level, before the English pinheads showed up

We had a chance to speak with a member of the Native American Rights Fund who was only identified by his Native American name - Chief Burning White House.

"How do you wish to be addressed? Burning White House, Chief, Burning or House."

"Mr. House to you, pale face."

"Mr. House, this seems like a dramatic request, to redraw the borders all the way back to when the Mayflower arrived."

"Yes, those English pinheads came here, settled and then started taking our land away from us. It hasn't stopped in almost 400 years."

"Don't you mean Pilgrims?"

"No... I had it right. Pinheads. Those English were not right, coming here with their tea and their scones. Who eats scones? Scones make poop painful."

"What do you suggest we do with all the rest of the people in the country, just ask them to leave?"

"Yes, and how. They can start the March of Never-ending Tears toward the east or west coast. When they get to the beaches, they must swim away to their homelands."

"You want everyone to leave?"

"No, the Jews can stay. Mel Brooks played one of us in Blazing Saddles. Plus, once the Jews took over Hollywood, they stopped making all those horrible B-Movies with us getting killed by white men that could not shoot."

"So, you, the Native Americans and the Jews will be all that will be left in the United States?"

"Yes, the white black man in the White House had many balls to tell Israel to move their borders. We empathize with their plight and we want the same. Move the borders back to where they were before March 21, 1621. We should have sunk that boat the second we saw it coming to Plymouth Rock."

"But I thought you got along with the Pilgrims. Didn't you have the first Thanksgiving with them?"

"There are many myths about the first Thanksgiving. The food is not like what you prepare today. Have you eaten English food? It is horrible, scones being a perfect example. Plus, the English boil everything. Have you ever had a boiled turkey? It's awful, an insult to the bird and an insult to the spirit of the bird. A turkey should be shoved up the behind of every Englishman that has ever walked on our soil for bringing such horrible culinary traditions to our pristine land."

"But I thought you got along with the English settlers?"

"At first we thought we could cash in by putting them in rental properties. But we didn't understand or have any use for their currency, so that idea backfired on us. Then, they started building houses of wood. And they never stopped. They kept spreading out and taking more of our land. The Manhattan deal was the worst."

"What was so bad about that, at the time it was a fair deal, wasn't it?"

"Get serious. Our people sent my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great cousin, Chief Raging Drunk Ass down to the island to make the deal. He was so loaded, he was happy to get wampum and beads. Fool. He could have gotten that stuff at a carnival. That was the biggest real estate scam in history. Donald, man with funny hair, Trump could not top that."

"What if the government won't agree to this?"

"Then I will live up to my name, Burning White House."

"You're going to torch the White House?"

"Yes. It will burn to the ground and then we will push over the Washington Monument. After that, we build big statue of General Custer to remind the white man what will come next if he does not leave."

"Why are you so upset?"

"Look what the white man has done to us, our land and our animals. He has killed without mercy many animals into extinction. He took our lands and built large polluting cities. He cut up our grazing land with roads and mindless attractions along the way. Then, he thinks he does the Native peoples a favor by sticking us on a reservation in the middle of nowhere. We're not even close to any places we could get jobs. No wonder my people drink so much."

"But people just can't go to the seas and swim away."

"Build an Ark. Your God told your white man Noah to do so and he did. Do it again. I'm sure the technology of the thieving white man can build an Ark that will take everyone back to where they came from."

"What about the Mexicans that migrated north?"

"We still have lawns to mow and our casinos need attendants and valet parkers."

"Will you treat the Mexican people as equals?"

"Of course. Their traditional music is much better than ours. I think it will add some zip to our war dances that will begin right away if our demands are not met."

"So, you are willing to go to war over this?"

"Yes, we have a bomb."

"You have an atomic bomb?"

"No, but we can strap together 950 Islamic terrorists and send them all to the 82,650 virgins waiting for them. It will brown many shorts across the country."

"Did you do the math on that number in your head?"

"Yes. Our schools are not as bad as your public schools. We know how to count. That is why we have so many casinos."

"Well, I wish you luck with your quest to get the borders redrawn."

"Brave natives need no luck. We have the great spirit in the sky that will come to our rescue and not fake everyone out."

"What do you mean by faking everyone out?"

"We know how to make Rapture work. You will all be sucked away unless you leave now."

"Well, strong words for the U.S. from its native people. Anything else you like to say?"

"Yes, my cousin looks just like Chief Wahoo - Go Tribe!!!!!"

There you have it. Native Americans want U.S. borders redrawn to 1621 level, before the English pinheads showed up. And I hate scones, too.

Related link:
Native American Rights Fund

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How To Make Friends In A Black Neighborhood When You're White

Andrew, Willie and Fred, my new friends.
Living in a black neighborhood takes some adjusting, especially when you're white. But it's been over a year since I wound up in the old neighborhood where I grew up, which is mostly black and I've been doing just fine. That's because I know how to make friends in a black neighborhood when you're white.

After freezing to death at Dunkin Dunuts and their Internet going out three times in an hour, I moved over to Mr. Wonderful's Chicken and Waffles, a black owned business. They don't have WiFi, but the dumpy coffee shop next door does and I can get their signal.

I arrived at Mr. Wonderful's about 8:28. Floyd, the chef, came to the back door to unlock it and let me in. I said, "Gee, Floyd, I'm making you go to work 2 minutes early today."

He replied, "You can come 10 minutes early and I'd let YOU in."

I'm already a legendary customer at Mr. Wonderful's. I've eaten the food several times, spent hours and hours using the Internet from the coffee shop next door and I even posted a review of their breakfast special on the Internet. Most importantly, I made friends with the Pastor that owns the restaurant, his wife, the cook, and all the help - all of them are black.

Part of the reason I get along so well in an urban environment is that I'm fluent in Black. My Spanish sucks, but I'm down with Black and can chat some shit with jes 'bout any body.

Knowing how to talk is a big part of the battle. I still think that some black people are afraid of white people, but I do my best to make conversation and be ranked, "This dude's alright" as often as possible - the street equivalent of someone clicking on your LIKE button.

You also have to know who you're talking to. Most of the people in this neighborhood have messed up lives. They're either looking for a job, on disability, on food stamps, hustling something on the side, driving a $50 car, been kicked out of a place within the last year or some other crazy thing. So, you have to tell them that you're in the same boat and you get it. And I am in the same boat in a lot of ways. 

After putzing around on my laptop at Mr. Wonderful's for a while, I decided to step outside for a smoke. Just outside the restaurant door, parked along the curb was a beaten up tan Crown Victoria. Inside were two older black men, one in the front seat, one in the back seat. A common conversation starter in a black neighborhood when you are about to light up a smoke is the black person nearest you will say, "Hey buddy, can you spare a smoke?" Since I was low on cash and couldn't afford to buy more cigarettes until later, I didn't want to give up any of my stash. I said, "Hey brother, all I gots is two and that's my whole day's supply."

"But I pay you. For real. I pay you." The man in the drivers seat with sunglasses and a scruff of white curly hairs around his chin pulled out a handful of change.

Immediately, I responded, "Well look aaa choo... wavin' all that big money 'round like yooz rich." I reached in my pocket and pulled out two quarters and said, "This is MY money. This is MY money. That's right. All day, I got dis money." The two guys in the car broke out laughing. "Hey, you alright. Ain't he?" said the guy in the front to the guy in the back. "Yeah, he alright." They kept laughing.

I went on. "Earlier, I gave the cook a dollar for a soda. That was MY dollar. Yeah. He says, you want food now or later? I told him. That dollar I gave you was MY dollar." Now, the two guys that reeked of alcohol were howling. Both of them repeating over and over, "This dude's alright. This dude is all-right, man." Which translates to: We just met a white person that isn't a jerk.

They 'bout fell out when I told them about the crack-ho I used to date. Translated, that means they were laughing, doubled-over and slapping their thighs; and they knew I had a black woman in my life that was draining me of all my money. "Damn hoes take every damn thing from ya," they both said.

By this time, I had heard them tell me that I was alright and "This dude is cool, for real," so many times that it was time for introductions. First, the slouched driver said, "My name is Fred. Nuthin' to be A-Fred of." The big lighter skinned man with sunglasses in the back seat shook my hand and said, "You cool. I'm Andrew." Fred mentioned that they were brothers, although, there was no family resemblance at all. Then they both started laughing again. I began to wonder if I was that funny or if the liquor was helping me along.

Fred's Crown Victoria with the bike in the trunk.
I told them about my two ex-wives. "Ain't that a bitch. I'm tellin' ya, those hoes will mess you up every time." They both chimed in.

We continued to discuss the adverse effects of hoes in our lives and then we got talkin' 'bout how nasty crack is. I told Fred, "I've been clean and sober for five years." He gave me a fist knock for that. Then I added, "But I need weed." Everybody fell out over that one. "Seriously, I need weed. My medication don't do shit and I know weed would set me right." More laughter.

Fred told me when he got out of Vietnam in 1968 he bought 24 kilos of weed for $20. "Nobody believes me, but I ain't got no reason to lie. It be the God's honest truth. Twenty bucks, 24 kilos. Now that was some shit." Then, he pointed to two cups filled with brown liquid in the cup holders on the front dash, "Ain't nuthin' but ice tea in there." Yeah, right.

"Where you stay at?" Translated: Where do you sleep? It could be your place or a temporary place.  This does not imply ownership or a current rental agreement.

"Two blocks that way."

"Damn, you right here. We's 'round here all da time. When you see us, holler."

While we were chatting, a white man in shorts walking an all white dog walked by. Fred started yelling, "What kind is it? What kind is it?"

The man shouted back, "A Sheppard and Lab mix."

I told Fred, "Vice dog. Undercover vice."

"You right, man. You right. Man, yooz a funny dude."

More silliness continued for a few minutes and then I excused myself and went back into the restaurant. I wanted to write about my new friends, but I wanted a picture, too. So I grabbed my digital camera and headed back out to the old Crown Victoria. Now, there was a third passenger, Willie - a dark skinned man with white hair and beard, sitting in the front seat, next to Fred. He had put his bicycle in the trunk of the car. Don't know why, but it was there and the trunk lid was not secured. I knew it would bounce up and down on that poor bike until they got to wherever they were going.

My first shot was going to be a wide view of the car. All three of them started yelling, "You gotta get closer, man. Get closer. Ca'mere."

I told them I wanted a long shot of the car, then I'll do a close up. After snapping the car, I moved closer to the passenger side to get a shot of everyone. They all straighten up, took off their sunglasses and smiled. It was suddenly like they were at church and taking a family picture.

Once I took the first picture, I clicked the camera so they could all see it. Fred said, "I can't see 'nuthin."

I said, "Well, it's a good thing you're the driver." Everybody laughed, again.

After passing the camera around and everyone taking turns using Andrew's cheaters to see the picture, Andrew remarks, "That picture is kinda dark."

I quickly replied. "If you haven't noticed, all you guys are BLACK." They fell out for 'bout a minute before I could take the next picture to see if I could get more nature light. Everyone liked picture #2 better.

"You is allll-right, man," they kept saying. Everybody made a point to say, "If you see me, holler."And they drove off.

And that's how to make friends in a black neighborhood when you're white.

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How To Publish Poetry? Start By Using Complete Sentences That Make Sense.

How to get your poetry published? Use complete sentences.
As I strolled through my local public library the other day, I noticed that there are thousands and thousands of books. Some are prose, some are self-help, some are informational. There is a tiny section in a dark corner labeled POETRY. In writing forums, I see constant queries on How To Publish Poetry? Start by using complete sentences that make sense. 

For as long as the written word has existed, there has been poetry - phrases strung together that make us think, touch our hearts, bring us joy or churn our emotions.

Judging from the overwhelming books that contain complete sentences compared to the books containing poetry, I've come to a conclusion that the marketplace prefers complete sentences that make sense to cleverly constructed phrases that you have to sit and analyze for days to figure out the meaning.

I also think that poets are just too lazy to write complete sentences. They come up with a pile of really cool metaphoric phrases or emotional words and then have to sit there and assemble them into something that seems to make sense. If they just wrote complete sentences, and hid their poetic phrases between a capitalized first word and a culminating punctuation mark, they'd do a lot better.

Poets have been revered throughout time. Maybe it is because they challenge themselves to work in a world without sensible sentences. People dig the fact that they can cobble together words that actually convey an idea and don't flow like the words do on this page. Ingenious!

I still think the whole sentence accomplishes more.

Poetry, however, is the soul of music - specifically song. Music is just poetry with a chorus and a really cool guitar solo in the middle of it.

Writers and poets have conventions and they're both wondering, How do I get my book published? Or How do I get my poetry published? For some reason, the book writers have a greater success ratio - and they sell more books.

What is unique to poetry, though, are the poetry slams or poetry reading nights. They're like comedy open mic nights, but no one will be funny. These occur at coffee shops and usually draw six or eight people who have androgynous appearances or wild, artsy attire involving braided hair and feathers. Many of the poems deal with their uncertainty about their sexuality, their pain, their hatred of their parents, their pain, their femininity, politics, their pain or their inability to pay their bills after choosing poetry writing as a career. FULL SENTENCES.... I'm telling you... this could catch on.

Maybe I don't understand poetry. I've tried to write it. My last missive goes like this:


I am a cow depressed in a field.
Udder disgust milks my countenance.
My black and white,
only belies the gray.

My cud could use gum,
and bubble less.

I dine on grass.
No complaints about the menu.
My pies bring life to plants.

Moo is heard from a passing car.
Marginalization and mocking
before I wind up in the meat department

I moo not for you.
I moo because it is what I do.
My soul cries moo,
tears taint my milk.

A bell around my neck
rings of my slavery to the farmer.
He only thinks of profit.
I think of the bull.

OK... this is not a classic. I probably broke a bunch of poetry rules, which have nothing to do with grammar. But I sure could spout this to a group of angry lesbians at a poetry slam. It's as rich and as deep as some of the stuff I've heard. (There are some really, really great poets, and I don't want to diminish their work.)

How do you get your poetry published? Start by using complete sentences that make sense. 

Best of My Funny Blog Posts - Read one and laugh for Gerald

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A Short Story: A Clown Without A Circus

A Clown Without A Circus.
Gerald always thought of himself as a normal kid, however, many of the children at the playground shunned him. Maybe it was the glasses or the fact that he was a bit pudgy or that he wasn’t very athletic.

He tried sports, but always wound up spending more time on the sidelines than in the game. Even when he had the chance to show his skills, he failed. He became the first kid in T-Ball to strike out, twice. The only hits he got that season were from the bats thrown at him as he played the lowest of low positions in T-Ball, catcher.

Over time, he learned to play on the teeter-totter by himself, shoot baskets alone, and hit tennis balls against the elementary school building.

One day, however, a miracle occurred. Gerald was sitting near a group of other kids. The oldest boy in the group was telling a story. When the story came to an uneventful conclusion, Gerald made a remark. Not just any remark, but a remark that made everyone sitting on the ground laugh. A clown was born.

As the days and weeks went by, the distance Gerald sat from the other kids at the playground grew smaller. He continued to make remarks, which were rewarded with more laughs. Eventually, the other kids would turn their gaze toward Gerald after another child had completed a haplessly boring story and waited for Gerald to comment, quip, baste, or just scrunch his face in an odd way that made everyone chuckle, chortle and guffaw.

In school, Gerald was still an outsider, but he continued to make his witty remarks. Laughs and detentions followed.

He tried sports again, but every sport ended with a crippling injury that put an immediate halt to any future involvement in the games.

Through it all, Gerald joked his way around heartbreak, letdowns and abuse. Wit was a weapon that had saved his life many times in the world of school parking lot politics.

After graduation, Gerald went off to college. However, there was nothing funny about his major. He felt lost. So he quit.

After struggling and sweating in the blue collar workforce for a couple years, he returned to college and signed up for another unfunny major. Confusion became his companion, and he again quit his pursuit of higher education.

It was time to find a job. Gerald’s wit propelled him into radio, although, the audiences did not always agree ear-to-ear with his sense of humor. But enough mirth came from his mouth to keep him employed behind a microphone for several years.

Love came to the clown and he needed a real job. Radio wages were only suited to keep a hobbyist happy. Gerald went into sales.

Like sports, Gerald floundered in sales. There were moments of brilliance when his wit helped close a big deal or keep him from being fired. But he longed for more.

An involuntary audience formed at the end of each workday at a local bar. All of the staff from his job would sit around large tables and tell tales from the frontlines of the sales wars. Gerald, with courage fueled by copious amounts of alcohol would emerge almost daily as the headliner from the front lines. His cohorts in quota attainment choked as he described the simplest of activities in his odd, twisted, humorous way. Gerald didn’t see the world like everyone else. His stories proved that. What he thought was a normal way to explain a situation, extracted rousing laughter that went on for hours.

Gerald’s ineptness at sales eventually caught up with him. But opportunity arrived the day he was fired. The circus came to town.

Gerald auditioned and was finally made a genuine clown; not just some rambling drunk in the corner of a dark bar anymore, but a spotlight garnering funny man that performed in front of paying customers on a nightly basis.

The circus was where Gerald belonged. His soul was complete. However, the loneliness of the road and its constant blur of nameless towns wore him down. His wife left him. He was barely getting by. Only the spotlight could revive his soul. He found little support for his career choice from friends and even his family.

His father would say, “Look at you, you’re a worthless clown. What future is there in that?”

“But father, I make people smile. I make people laugh. I bring joy for a moment into their sullen lives.”

“You’ll see, the street corners are full of clowns. That will be your destiny, too.”

Persisting on pure will and desire, Gerald continued. As time went on, the Big Tops became bigger. The crowds grew larger. The laughs were louder. He applied his face paint daily with extreme enthusiasm for the revelry that was to come.

However, as the curtain closed each night, he felt alone. In the backstage darkness, a tear or two would trickle down his face. Being a clown was a lonely life. People used clowns for momentary stimulation, but then set them aside. Hour upon hour between shows, he sat in solitude, waiting for the clock to say, “It’s time to put on the makeup.”

Then, Gerald got a big break. He was going to perform for the biggest circus in the world. His name would even appear on the glowing marquees, scrolling from right to left for everyone to see.

Gerald flourished. He found love again.

A national television show asked Gerald to be a guest. They asked him, “What do clowns really do in society?”

“They are medical specialists. People’s lives have become so over-whelming. Stress is killing more people than ever before. Domestic violence and abuse ravage our homes. Children are treated in unspeakable ways. Hope is reduced to a four-letter word. But a clown has the ability to stand before a room full of patients, otherwise known as an audience, and surgically remove laughter from them. He can cut through the pain of an ordinary, mundane life and make it joyful and precious for a short period. Yes, we are specialists at extracting laughter from the hardest hearts and the most closed of minds. We heal society with laughter, the best medicine.”

Then, something happened. Gerald was no longer funny. Crowds stared. Boos replaced laughs. Insults replaced compliments. Bookings began to dry up. Was it too much time in the spotlight that burned the laughter from his soul? Gerald could only wonder.

In the years that followed, Gerald regained some of his inborn humor and worked children’s parties. He loved kids. Most of the children were excited and received him well, yet others shuddered in horror at his sight. The trembling kids in the corner killed Gerald’s ability to create smiles and laughter, once again.

Daily, he sill put on his face paint, yet he stayed indoors a lot and rarely sought an audience. His melancholy moods worsened with each passing day. Maybe his father was right. The street corners are full of clowns. If only he could find an audience.

One day, his wish came true. And this was an audience that was like no other. Gerald performed for it daily. He was invigorated. He was alive. Immediately, he booked as many shows as possible. He seemed to perform from sunup to sundown. The laughter he heard was sweeter than any from the past. He lived for this audience. He was never happier.

His repertoire grew. He learned to make balloon animals and made balloons a part of his act. He sucked helium and spoke in squeaky voices or simply covered the floor knee deep in balloons and dove fearlessly into them, regardless of the chance of injury.

Gerald incorporated a unique cast of shadow puppets into his act. He employed whimsical feats like stacking hundreds of cups as high as a ladder would take him. His audience gleefully responded to his every move. His heart was full and he never wanted a performance to end.

Then, one day, tragedy struck him with two blows. Love left him and Gerald was diagnosed with a rare disease. He was told he would have to move away from his audience to an island where specialists had assembled to treat him. Gerald was crestfallen. His heart had turned to glass and it was dropped from the world’s tallest building. On the ground, it was unrecognizable. 

Against his will, he made the trip to the island and began his treatment.

Each day, Gerald put on his face paint and spent the hours staring at his reflection in the mirror. He hoped that ghosts would appear in the background and he could perform and make them laugh. Hour after hour, the mirror let him down.

Some days, Gerald spent the day simply trying to amuse no one but himself. By the end of the day, tears had streaked his makeup and he shouted obscenities at the mirror. “Why? Why did the circus have to end? Why did I have to leave my audience?”

Nothing took Gerald’s pain away – not drink or drugs or the piles of medications his treatment team prescribed for him. His heart ached.

Gerald’s mirror became an obsession for him. For some reason, he thought the mirror was his pathway to a new circus, a new audience. He continued to spend what he could on face paint and put little cheerful points on the red ring around his unsmiling mouth.

At night, Gerald would lie awake, wondering if he’d ever get back to that magical audience again. He would gladly trade all the other shows, the money, the fame, the cars, the homes for just one more chance to perform for the audience that loved him like no other. But years passed and Gerald’s dream never came true.

He became more reclusive. Only the mirror saw his reddened eyes. Life seemed more unfair than he could ever imagined. Dried fruit had more plumpness than his heart.

Where do clowns go when the audience is gone and the circus won’t have you? He’d ask himself. Street corners began to take on a new appeal to him.

Without a way to support himself or a channel to revive his soul, Gerald packed up what was left of his world. He had containers of face paint, a small mirror, a gold watch and a few changes of clothes. What was left of a once full life that occupied large homes and had investments and cars and friends and parties, was dumped into a black plastic bag and slung over his shoulder.

He closed the door with the eviction notice on it, left the island and headed for a busy street corner.

Over the next year, Gerald’s face paint hardened and cracked. He hung on to them like baby teeth from a beloved child. His clothes attracted the soil of the metropolis and he smelled like the fumes of an industrialized society.

On a frigidly cold January night, Gerald assumed a fetal position on a heating grate and tried to fend off the cold. Another man in a similar social state asked if he could share the grate with him. They struck up a conversation. Gerald’s new friend told him a story of woe. Gerald had a similar story to tell, but for some reason his new companion began laughing, just as they had done in the bars and taverns decades earlier. Gerald felt energized. He continued to tell his sad story, which received side-splitting laughter from his new audience.

When all the stories had been told, Gerald felt his body failing. He thought that this might be his last night. Not knowing the name of this stranger that chuckled so heartily at his stories, Gerald told him he needed to tell a secret.

His new friend propped himself up against the side of the brick building caked with snow and looked Gerald directly in his eyes. Gerald paused, collecting his thoughts so that he could reveal this secret in the clearest terms possible. He did not want any ambiguity to follow his revelation.

“A long time ago, I realized I was a clown. I’ve had my ups and downs. I rose from obscurity to performing on the greatest stages of the world and with the greatest circus of the world, yet here I sit, on the verge of passing away without a sole knowing where I am. But there was a stretch in my career that gave me more joy than at any period of my life. I had the greatest audience I could have ever imagined. I was willing to perform twenty shows a day, if I could. I never felt so much acceptance and gratitude from an audience in my life. I never felt so much love. I never before wanted to be better and better with every single performance. My heart aches over having lost that audience.

“How many people were in the audience that loved you so much?” asked his broken down friend.

“Only one. My daughter.”

By the time the man leaning against the snow-covered building could respond, Gerald was gone.

It’s not the size of the crowd that makes life so great. It’s the spirit of the crowd that makes it all worthwhile. 

 Best of My Funny Blog Posts - Read one and laugh for Gerald

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You Just Have To Watch It. Absolutely Incredible !!!!!