Humor

Mom for President 2020

 

 

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My 82-year-old mother is running for POTUS. She figured she’d kick off her campaign immediately because, as she put it, “I might die in my sleep tonight.”

Also, The View is on at 2 pm.

I think she’ll win in a landslide. After all, she came up with a pretty sweet slogan:

Nagging We Can Believe In!

(It was either that or Well, I Guess The World Is Pumping A Handcart To Hell, Now Eat Your Damned Veggies Or You’ll Get Buttlogged)

Some of the things she promises to do once in office (and only if I take her shopping at the Christmas Tree Shop later this week):

  • Redecorate. The more doilies, cat knickknacks, and miniature Elvis figurines the better.
  • Require all thermostats to be set at 80 degrees. If the temperature falls to 79 degrees — Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock get blown up.
  • All state dinners will be gluten-free and served at 3:30 sharp.
  • Deport all of the “Karbuncles” unless they “for god’s sake, cover up!” Same goes for anyone else showing even a hint of “chest crack” in public.

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    Kim doing her part for a kinder, gentler, less chest-cracky nation.
  • Make sure every vending machine in the nation carries rice cakes, prune juice and Sanka.
  • Vice President: Oprah.
  • Surgeon General: Dr. Oz
  • Secretary of State: Tony Bennett
  • Supreme Court justice: Betty White
  • Foreign policy: Sit up straight.
  • Domestic policy: Get a real job.
  • New national holiday celebrated from January 1st through December 31st: Happy Call Your Mother, Because You Never Know She Might Be Choking On A Rice Cake And Lying On The Floor Unable To Turn Up The Heat And You Don’t Want That On Your Conscience, Now Do You? Day
  • At every meeting, all world leaders will be required to wear a cat sweater. Because how could you possibly argue about climate change with someone who is wearing a cat sweater?

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So please, vote for my mom in four years. And would it kill you to eat some broccoli? Jeez.

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Humor · TV Shows

Lost Seinfeld Episode: The Soap Suc (Part 2)

image: craveonline

Last time on Seinfeld, The Soap Suc Part 1: George is moaning about his injured foot, Jerry’s pouring himself another bowl of cereal, and Kramer is about to determine whether Elaine’s breasts are lopsided.

ELAINE (pushes Kramer’s hand away, looks down at her watch): Oh, would you look at the time? I gotta go. I’m late for Mr. Pitt’s emergency meeting.

JERRY: What about?

ELAINE (crams her unwashed bras into her coat pocket): Oh, I don’t know. He probably wants me to run out to buy him some sharper knives to cut his Snickers bar or something.

Elaine leaves. Kramer plunks down on the couch next to George.

KRAMER (double take): Whoa. You are a mess.

GEORGE: I know.  Thanks.

JERRY: Aw, what happened to you, Georgie boy?

GEORGE: I was taking a shower and the stupid bar of soap fell right onto my foot! Right on top of it! (sniffles) I think it’s broken. I might have a hairline fracture.

KRAMER: Man, do I hate when that happens.

JERRY: What — the soap dish in your shower doesn’t work?

GEORGE: It never works! The soap just slips off the little shelf there. My entire shower is me getting pummeled by the soap over and over again.

KRAMER: They should make a little suction gadget, you know, like a suction cup you can stick to the soap and the shower wall so it’s there whenever you need it.

JERRY: Why don’t you just use a loofah and some body wash instead?

GEORGE: A loofah? What am I, Cleopatra over here?

JERRY: Well, you could stop taking showers altogether. Just take baths. Less chance of being hit by the soap.

GEORGE: Nah, too much waiting involved.

JERRY: How often do you take a shower anyway? Every day?

GEORGE: Eh, I could go a day without one. Maybe two.

KRAMER: I’ve gone a month.

George and Jerry cringe.

KRAMER: What? It’s good for the skin, let’s it breathe. Besides, did you know that Howard Hughes had an extreme fear of bathing? I think he was onto something.

JERRY (to Kramer): Don’t you have to be somewhere?

KRAMER: Oh yeah! (snaps fingers) I’d better get going on that soap suction thing.

GEORGE: Hey, whatever happened to that last idea of yours? You know, the uh… cookie-pretzel-muffin combination?

KRAMER: Yeah, the muffzookie.

GEORGE: I liked that one. You should do that.

KRAMER: Too crumbly.

GEORGE: Oh.

KRAMER (stands): Well, boys, I’m off to see Bob Sacamano. He’s just the man to help with my idea.

JERRY: Yeah, good luck with that.

Next scene: Jerry and George are sitting in a booth at Monk’s Cafe.

image: NBC
image: NBC

GEORGE (slurping coffee): I’m so dehydrated, Jerry. I’m always so thirsty. (to waitress) I need more coffee here! MORE COFFEE! (to Jerry) I’m parched. I can’t quench my thirst. There’s no quenching!

JERRY: Running those marathons again, George? You know, you really ought to pace yourself.

GEORGE (chuckles): Well, you could call it a marathon. (lowers voice) You know…with all the sex that I’m having.

JERRY: Ah, yes, with Shower Girl, right?

GEORGE: Yes! It’s nonstop! But she only wants to do it in the shower! You know, like the movies.

JERRY: What movies?

GEORGE: I don’t know, all the movies!

JERRY: So, what’s the problem?

GEORGE: What’s the problem? Have you ever had sex in the shower?

JERRY (chuckles): I don’t think that’s any of your business. (sips coffee)

GEORGE: Well, if you had you’d know that it’s terrible. Just sheer terror from start to finish. I mean, think about it. You’re in this cramped space, there’s water flowing everywhere, everything’s getting all sudsy. Elbows and knees are flying. It’s chaos!

JERRY: Well, at least you’re having sudsy sex.

GEORGE: Oh, so you broke up with Monica?

JERRY: Yeah. I just couldn’t do it anymore. She had this wonky eye.

GEORGE: You mean like she couldn’t see out of one eye? Now that I could work with. I like a girl who can’t see very well. I’ve often thought I should start dating a pirate.

JERRY: No, she could see fine, but it was like one eye was always wandering slightly to the side. It was very off-putting. I could never tell what she was looking at.

GEORGE (nods): Huh.

Kramer enters the restaurant and slides into the booth next to Jerry.

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KRAMER: Hey, guess who I just saw?

JERRY: Who?

KRAMER: Putin.

GEORGE: Vladimir Putin? The President of Russia?

KRAMER (clicks tongue): That’s the one.

JERRY (incredulous): You saw Putin. Here in New York.

KRAMER (steals a french fry off George’s plate): Yeah, he was buying Snowden a hot dog with extra sauerkraut down on 5th street.  Anyway, I’ve got big news, boys. Behold, the product that will blow your minds! (hands a couple pieces of plastic to George and Jerry)

JERRY: What am I supposed to do with this?

KRAMER: Stick it. See, they’re little suction cup holders I made. I need you guys to test them out. They have suction on both sides. You just slap them on whatever item you want, soap, shampoo, whatever, and (makes popping noise) stick ’em.

JERRY: Don’t they already have these?

KRAMER: Yeah, but Bob Sacamano got his hands on this new top-secret adhesive that doesn’t require a nonporous surface. So you can stick ’em all over the place. Use them for anything anywhere.

JERRY: Right. Just what the world needs — more useless plastic.

GEORGE: And what are you going to call these things? Stick-Its?

KRAMER: Well, we call those the Soap Sucs. S-U-C, short for ‘suction’.

JERRY: I think you forgot the K on the end there.

KRAMER: Soon we’ll roll out bigger suction cups for bigger items, like the TV Suc. Maybe even an Infant Suc. Need to put your child down for a second? (makes popping sound) Just stick ’em to the wall! I see a suction cup world, baby. (wiggles eyebrows)

GEORGE: All right, I’m sold. Look, I gotta go. (stands up and throws money on the table)

JERRY: More shower sex?

GEORGE: You’d think she’d wanna do it in the bed at least once in awhile. She’s killing me, Jerry. If there’s anything I’ve learned in all the years I’ve had sex it’s that I much prefer horizontal. It’s comfortable. I can rest when I need to. I’m just not built for stand-up sex. I never pictured myself doing it in the shower.

JERRY (cringes): I’ve never pictured you doing it period.

GEORGE (holds up the Soap Suc): Stick it, Jerry.

Theme music plays, commercial break

______________________________________________

Stay tuned for The Soap Suc Part 3…

This post is dedicated to my father who passed away in 1991. Not only is Seinfeld one of my all-time favorite sitcoms (along with Cheers, Friends and Roseanne) it holds a very special place in my heart. I remember watching the first few seasons with him back in 1989-90 when it was called The Seinfeld Chronicles. The ratings were terrible in the beginning. But my dad had a great sense of humor and he loved the show from the start. He thought Seinfeld was innovative and insisted it would go far. I still watch old Seinfeld episodes all the time and damn, was my dad right. 

 

 

 

Humor · TV Shows

Lost Seinfeld Episode: The Soap Suc (Part 1)

image: craveonline
 

Jerry’s alone in his apartment. He’s watching television and eating cereal.

JERRY (giggling): Man, I love The Three Stooges.

The door buzzer sounds. Jerry walks over and presses the intercom button.

JERRY: Yeah?

ELAINE (breathing heavily): Jerry! Jerry! It’s an emergency! Let me in quick! I need help!

JERRY: Who is this?

ELAINE: Jerry!

JERRY: Okay, okay, come on up.

Jerry cracks open the door, then sits down on the couch and resumes giggling at the TV.

Elaine bursts through the door with a bunch of bras in her hands.

ELAINE (gasping): Quick! Where’s your washing machine?

JERRY: What? I don’t have one.

ELAINE (exasperated): You don’t have one?

JERRY: I dry clean everything.

ELAINE: Ah! God! I’m doomed!

Elaine throws her bras onto the kitchen counter and plunks herself down on the couch. She wiggles around, clearly uncomfortable as she frantically pulls on her blouse.

JERRY (clicks off TV): What’s with you?

ELAINE (cries): I’ve run out of bras! They’re all dirty!

JERRY: Well, don’t you clean them?

ELAINE: Yes, Jerry, I clean them. Occasionally.  But all the washers were being used in my building so I had to put on my stupid sports bra this morning. (pushes her breasts together) Now they’re all squished!

JERRY: Wait a second … since when do you play sports?

ELAINE (smirks): Ha, ha, ha. Very funny, Jerry. And I have a meeting with Mr. Pitt in an hour. Ah! How can I live like this all day? (thrashes around) Dumb boobs!

JERRY: I don’t know how you guys walk around with those things.

Kramer bursts through the door. He slides across the floor, spins around, and points a finger at Elaine.

KRAMER: You guys talking boobs?

JERRY: I’ve got to remember to lock my door.

ELAINE (dejectedly): I suppose I could just wear one of my dirty bras. (gestures sadly toward bras on counter)

JERRY (picks up the bras with salad tongs and deposits them onto Elaine’s lap): Yes. Well, how many bras do you own?

ELAINE: I don’t know… four, maybe five?

JERRY: Five? That’s it?

ELAINE: Yeah … well, really only two good ones that actually fit. (thinks intently) One. (nods) I have one bra that I like.

KRAMER (bites into an apple): You’ve got lopsided boobs. (clicks tongue, wags eyebrows)

ELAINE: I don’t have lopsided boobs. Okay, well … I guess one is a little smaller than the other, (scoffs) but I certainly wouldn’t call it lopsided.

JERRY: Actually, that’s the very definition of lopsided.

KRAMER (slurps from a Snapple, wipes his mouth with his sleeve): I like lopsided boobs. Makes it interesting. Always a surprise. (winks at Jerry)

Door buzzes. It’s George. Jerry buzzes him up.

ELAINE: I don’t have lopsided — okay, here! You guys wanna check?

JERRY: Check?

ELAINE: Yeah, feel ’em. Go ahead.

JERRY (chuckles): I’ve already had the distinct pleasure so I don’t think I need to–

KRAMER (raises hand and approaches Elaine): I will!

Elaine stands up and heaves her chest in Kramer’s direction. Kramer reaches forward.

George enters panting. He slowly limps over to the couch.

GEORGE (moans as he sits down): I’ve injured my foot, Jerry. It’s bad. I may never walk again!

George glances over at Kramer and Elaine.

GEORGE: Did I miss something here?

JERRY: Nah, Kramer’s just feeling Elaine’s boobs. It’s nothing.

Seinfeld theme music plays. Commercial break.

~ Stay tuned next time for Part 2 of The Soap Suc ~

Homz--Selfix-2239-Gripper-Soap-Holder--Set-of-2

*********

This post is dedicated to my father who passed away in 1991. Not only is Seinfeld one of my all-time favorite sitcoms (along with Cheers, Friends and Roseanne) it holds a very special place in my heart. I remember watching the first few seasons with him back in 1989-90 when it was called The Seinfeld Chronicles. The ratings were terrible in the beginning. But my dad had a great sense of humor and he loved the show from the start. He thought Seinfeld was innovative and insisted it would go far. I still watch old Seinfeld episodes all the time and damn, was my dad right. 

 

 

 

 

 

Humor

Keeping Up With My Mom

I live next door to my 82-year-old mother. She has never driven a car, loves to read New Age books, and lives for the moment her mail is delivered. Five other notable things about her:

  1. She eats her hamburger in between two toasted (burnt to a crisp) rice cakes because she’s “probably allergic to gluten”.
  2. She once thought my late dad was communicating to her through her smoke detector.
  3. She firmly believes in the afterlife and brings up her own imminent death at least once a day.  (Then why bother with the rice cakes?)

    1004967_10152271173837873_92569745_n
    My mom asking the waitress, “Yes, I’d like the hamburger but without the bun. Do you have any rice cakes? And could you turn this music down? How am I supposed to think about what I can’t eat with all this racket!”
  4. There is nothing she hates more than when I try to assist her in any way, especially when I try to help bring her groceries inside.  If I pick up her bag, I’d better be prepared for an onslaught of dirty looks and her yelling, “Jeezum crow, Darla! I’m not THAT old for Chrissakes! GOOD LORD! GIVE ME THAT BAG! GIVE IT TO ME!” Her normal speaking voice has the ability to cut through steel. So when she starts screaming at me, and wrestling the bag out of my hands, every neighbor within a five mile radius must assume I’m accosting a poor old lady in an attempt to steal her rice cakes. And she is always fixated on the location and condition of the eggs. Apparently, all hell would break loose if one were cracked in transit.  “Did you get my eggs, Darla? Did you bring them in the house? Which one is the eggs? Be careful with that bag! That might be my eggs!” I often reply with, “Oh, the eggs? I slammed that bag against the house a couple of times on my way in. Then swung it around like a windmill while pounding it onto the floor before I gave it a good stomping. I think they’ll be fine.” She never laughs at that bit of sarcasm.
  5. She thinks most female celebrities are cursed with “chests that are too big”. To her, this is something to hide not flaunt.

Celebrity chests and death were (once again) the main topics of conversation when she called me on the phone yesterday to chat about the typical stuff: politics, TV shows, whether we’re a ball of light after we die.

My mom is a huge talker, so all conversations are one-sided. She’s been known to interrupt herself. She could break the world record for speaking the longest nonstop without pausing for even a single breath.

The great thing about my mom is she honestly has no clue that what she says is funny. I’m barely able to enjoy a good guffaw in response because she’s already onto the next zinger. She’s also gifted at dropping a funny observation, then following it up with a heavy topic about the nature of our universe and the afterlife some philosophers spend their entire lives contemplating.

Mom: And you know what show I can’t stand? That Karbuncles crap.

Me: The what?

Mom (exasperated): Keeping Up with the Karbuncles!
Slide1Everyone just LOVES that show! And you know why? It’s all about their big chests! Yes! And because it’s illegal to show the nipple area, they have to show the crack instead. I’d rather see the nipple. And there’s a whole bunch of chest crack on that show. The bigger the crack, the better. On some of those girls, that’s all you see! This long crack hanging down to their stomachs! It’s because they don’t wear bras, Darla. Remember: always wear your bra or you’ll turn into a Karbuncle.

Me (laughing): I’ll keep that in mind–

Mom (without pausing): I just finished another book on what happens after we die. What do you think?

Me: Well, I–

Mom: Do you think we’re just a ball of light? What do you think I’ll look like on the other side? Will I be myself or someone else? I’d better not be a Karbuncle! I think I must have lived lots of lives before. And once I’m dead, do you think I can I split up my energy? Be in more than one place at a time? I was thinking, I might stay on the other side, but I might come down here to haunt you. I’ll talk to you all the time from the other side!

Me: Uh…I don’t know if that’s a good idea-

Mom: The mail’s here! (hangs up)

I know I should come up with a clever closing line to this post that neatly ties up the Karbuncles chest crack phenomenon with the afterlife, but my mom has me stumped yet again.

And I have no clue where I get my sense of humor from.

 

Book Reviews · Giveaway

Book Giveaway: The Todd Glass Situation

 

image: Simon & Schuster
image: Simon & Schuster

Growing up and trying to navigate your way through this big scary world is tough for any kid.  But what if you’re also challenged with having ADD and dyslexia? And happen to be gay? Veteran comedian Todd Glass understands what it’s like to feel different and experience the pain of hiding a true identity for years.

In his funny, honest and heartfelt memoir, The Todd Glass Situation, he details his quick rise to stand-up comedy fame and the struggle he endured for decades keeping his life as a gay man secret.

It took the recent spike of suicides among young gay people and a close brush with death to give Todd that extra push to finally be true to himself and everyone else. One night he was finishing up the closing set alongside other comedian friends including Sarah Silverman, when he suddenly felt short of breath and nauseous. Soon the medics arrived.

“Sir, I don’t want to alarm you,” the EMT says, “but you’re having a heart attack.”

I don’t want to alarm you? If he didn’t want to alarm me he should have told me I was fine. Telling someone they’re having a heart attack is very goddamn alarming. “We’re going to take you to Cedars,” he continues. “Is there anyone we should call?”

Right. If I’m dying — which is suddenly starting to feel like a real possibility — I should probably tell the person I’ve been sharing a life with for the last fourteen years. I look through the faces around me until I find Sarah’s. “Call Andrea for me, ” I say, trying to wink. At this point it looks more like an involuntary facial tic.

Sarah winks back. “Don’t worry, I’ll call…Andrea.”

We both knew that “Andrea” is actually Chris, my boyfriend. But there’s no way in hell I’m going to say his name in front of everyone.

I mean, that might make people think that I was gay or something.

Here I am, forty-five years old, possibly at death’s door, surrounded by friends–and I still can’t be honest about who I am.

How the fuck did I get here?

Todd’s book successfully explores these serious issues with keen insight and humor. He details his childhood years and how he discovered at an early age he had a knack for making people laugh.  As a teen he was already a professional stand-up, opening for musical acts such as Patti LaBelle and comedians like Jay Leno. I was intrigued to learn how he climbed the stand-up comedian ladder to success, honing his act over the years while picking up valuable advice from other comedians along the way.

Being funny requires allowing yourself to be vulnerable. You must be fearless when putting your true self out there. At its center this book is about one thing: Being yourself no matter what the bastards say.

Other Things I Learned From Todd Glass:

  • Always embrace all aspects of yourself and let them shine.
  • Screw what other people might think of you.
  • If you’re gay and someone asks you, “How did you know you were gay?” ask them how or when they knew they were straight.
  • I sincerely hope one day there will be no “closet” for anyone gay or bisexual to “come out of”. Because it’s dark and stuffy in there, and smells like mothballs and needless repression.
  • Humor is incredibly powerful and the greatest comedians, like Todd’s idol George Carlin, are truth-seekers. As Todd pointed out in the book, Oscar Wilde once said, “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.”
  • If you’re having a heart attack, always make sure Sarah Silverman is in the room.
Getting Doug with High
image: Getting Doug with High

________________________________________________________________

182940_446039868823211_1482428845_nTodd Glass is a stand-up comedian who has performed on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Lately, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and The Jimmy Kimmel Show, among many other programs. He’s also the host of The Todd Glass Show, a popular podcast on the Nerdist Network.
–Simon & Schuster

________________________________________________________________

I was given a copy of the book, The Todd Glass Situation, by Simon & Schuster in exchange for writing this review. All opinions in this post are my own and not Todd’s, Simon’s nor even Schuster’s.

BOOK GIVEAWAY!

Dearest Maineiacs — YOU can win a copy of this book simply by responding with a comment below.  Yes, it’s just that easy! Did you ever feel different as a kid? Do you like humor? Do you know what a book is? Are you also good friends with Sarah Silverman? Let me know!

I will pick a winner by random.  All valid entries must reside in the US or Canada (sorry to my one reader from Uzbekistan)

*Deadline to enter is noon EST July 4th*

UPDATE: Congrats to Debbie Harbeson! She was randomly chosen to win this book. Hope you enjoy it, Debbie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Reviews · Humor

What’s so funny?

photo credit: hbo.com
photo credit: hbo.com

Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

I wanna live. I don’t wanna die. That’s the whole meaning of life: Not dying! I figured that shit out by myself in the third grade.

People who say they don’t care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don’t care what people think.

The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.

Swimming is not a sport. Swimming is a way to keep from drowning. That’s just common sense!

What year did Jesus think it was?

I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.

–George Carlin

To me, George Carlin was the funniest person on the planet. What made him so funny? Was it his word choice? The way he delivered a punch line? His body language or his tone of voice? Why is it I find him funny, but other people might find him offensive? At its purest form, humor is highly subjective.

There are two main things I do know for sure about comedy: it’s hard to be funny, and there will always be someone who thinks you suck at being funny.

To me? So not funny.
To me? So not funny.

There is a new book out next week, The Humor Code, that tries to attempt the impossible — analyze comedy. Two authors travel the world and the stand-up stage trying to figure out what makes a joke zing and what causes it to fall flat. Along the way, they investigate some pretty bold assumptions about funny people. They wonder if comedians are by nature:

  • Grumpy.
  • Assholes.
  • Introverted grumpy assholes.

I’ve been accused of being a little funny from time to time, although I have to admit, sometimes it’s not intentional. I can only speak for myself when I say that yes, being a slightly grumpy introverted asshole seems to be the foundation of a good humorist. Throw in sharp observational skills and a huge dose of honesty and you’ve got yourself all the ingredients to make a joke.

So what do you think is funny? What type of jokes fall flat for you?  Who is your favorite comedian? Who are the comedians you don’t like? Tell me in the comments below and you’ll be entered into a giveaway with a chance to win the book, The Humor Code. Maybe you’ll read it and finally figure out what’s so funny. Personally, I look forward to reading the books analyzing what is love, death and the meaning behind the existence of cellulite.

The deadline to enter this book giveaway is Monday, March 31. I will pick a name out of a hat at random. I will pick the hat I use at random. I will add my own name a random number of times in the hope I can keep this book. If you are chosen, you must tell me where you live in an email, otherwise it would be hard to mail you this book and then you’d never know what’s so funny.

book-cover-home

Humor · rant

Stand Up Saturday: Parenting

Welcome to another installment of no holds barred, profanity-laced, semi-comedic rants straight from my rambling mind.

stand-up

Today’s Topic: Parenting

Being a parent these days is such a drag. You try to stick to rules like no glue-sniffing, no shoving kids off the slide and for god’s sake, how many damned boogers have you eaten today?

As if this wasn’t draining enough, then I’m expected to teach my kids this stuff too? And for what?

In spite of all this saintly parenting, they defy you by growing up and discovering Facebook. Suddenly being popular is more important than making me dinner.

Whatever happened to solid parenting? Whatever happened to raising our kids to be respectful? Whatever happened to having your kids take out the trash so you won’t have to?

I grew up in the 1970s, a time when parents were just shadowy blobs off in the distance that occasionally grunted or barked orders your way.

I try to remember what my dad was like when I was a kid and all that comes to mind is a fuzzy image of him smoking a cigarette in his recliner. Sometimes he’d lower his eyeglasses and shoot me a look of disapproval. That was his parenting style.

Go on. Make. My. Day.
Go on. Make. My. Day.

My mom was merely a swish of apron rushing around the kitchen.  Sometimes she’d look down at me, shake her head with disgust and yell, “Darla!” This was her parenting style.

It wasn’t their mission to entertain me. It wasn’t their mission to teach me about life. They just lived their lives and I watched them. The single best way to learn anything.

My parents didn’t read a parenting book informing them how to raise a child. Back then it was all about one thing: Keeping you alive.

Here we all are, still alive. Good job, Mom and Dad.
Here we all are, still alive. Good job, Mom and Dad.

Mom and Dad taught us to follow four simple rules:

  1. Don’t eat shit you find on the ground.
  2. Don’t beat up your brother.
  3. Don’t beat up your sister.
  4. Don’t run into traffic.

That was it.

Welcome to Parenting in the 1970s.

images (2)

So I’ve made it my mission to not be a helicopter parent but more a recliner parent. I strive every day to adopt a parenting style that uses much less time or energy.

I’m myself.

I just go about my day and do my thing. My kids watch how I act, then they figure out what are the right or wrong things to do in life.

Of course, this puts a lot of pressure on a parent to actually be a good person and show it to their kids through their actions. (And I admit, it’s a lot harder to sustain this illusion when they catch me wearing my bathrobe and tunneling through my third block of cookie dough while binge-watching The Big Bang Theory.)

But face it, kids are much smarter than us. We need to give them more credit.

Need help with your homework? Figure it out on your own. Fighting over a toy? Figure it out on your own. Your brother’s stuck upside down in the toilet? Don’t flush.

My main rule? Unless there’s blood, don’t bother me with it.

Is this lazy parenting? Hell yeah! But in the long run it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. Less is more, people.

We all need to get our priorities straight, stop concentrating only on our kids’ academic achievement and more on simple social rules of respect and kindness. I worked at an elementary school for years and it was all about one thing: How the kids hold their scissors. Hey, I’m a big fan of improving our fine motor skills, but what about modeling good behavior?

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Oh, crap! He’s not holding them right! His pinky’s all screwy! He’s not cutting straight! We must rectify this immediately! Sure, now he’s trying to stab Timmy’s leg with the scissors, but is it in a straight line?  We have to make sure he can cut paper or Timmy’s leg properly! If we don’t teach him now, how will he survive out on the streets?

Naturally, the teachers think showing our kids how to behave should be the parents’ responsibility. And the parents pass the buck onto the teachers. This world is filling up with people who don’t know how to treat other people. It’s all about statistics and standardized test scores and landing a sweet job and making enough money so you can hire someone to cut paper for you.

But why even bother going to school anymore? Ever notice that nowadays everybody’s kid is ‘brilliant’? Last week, my new neighbor dropped by and introduced me to her 6-year-old son.

“This is Liam. He’s a genius. I homeschool him to give him the attention he needs because he’s WAY too smart for public school.”  The words ‘public school’ dripped out of her mouth like she was saying ‘genital herpes’.

So I leaned down to his level and asked, “Hey, kid? What’s the square root of I don’t give a shit?”

Not really, my parents taught me manners. But I almost asked him because I really wanted to know the answer.

My guess is bullshit times infinity.

Instead I said, “Hey, buddy! What’s up? You like Hot Wheels? Or Super Mario?”

Liam responded by kicking his mom in the shin then sticking his pinky in her face and whining, “My finger hurts! Kiss it! Kiss my boo-boo! It hurts! I’m gonna dieeeeeee! Get me a Band-Aid! IT HURTS, MOMMY!! GET ME A BAND-AID! RIGHT NOW!”

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Oh, he’s a genius all right.

I wonder if he knows how to cut in a straight line.

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Like this? Here’s more:

Stand Up Saturday: Pain

Stand Up Saturday: Marriage

Humor · rant

Stand-Up Saturday: Marriage

stand-up

Welcome to the first installment of weekly no holds barred, profanity-laced, semi-comedic rants straight from the rambling mind of the Supreme Destroyer of Bullshit — The Maineiac.

Today’s topic: Marriage

I remember a few years ago when Al and Tipper Gore dropped the big bomb on us. Apparently, it was top news that after 40 years of wedded bliss — after popping out several kids, rockin’ the robot dance at the inaugural ball to Aerosmith’s Dude Looks Like A Lady and displaying one chillingly awkward public kiss — their marriage was over.

Al and Tipper Gore Dancing at Inaugural Ball

“But it can’t be!” people cried. “How is this possible?” people gasped. “Oh! But it’s so sad! They were married 100 years! And to end it after all that time? It just doesn’t make any sense! Such a shame!”

Shame? I’ll tell you what’s a shame — that we aren’t admitting what really happened to their relationship.

We all know one day Al was lounging in his silk bathrobe in his king-sized bed, smoking a cigar and writing his upcoming book, Hanging Chads, Climate Change & Other Big-Ass Bummers, when he turned to look at Tipper’s green mud-mask-caked face and said:

“Hey, honey? …we’ve been together what…forty-odd years? Well, for forty goddamned years I have had to wake up and see your goddamn fucking face every goddamn fucking morning. And you know what? I am sick of this shit. I am tired of watching your mouth flap on and on and on. I have finally fucking had it. It’s over. This shit is done. Finito. Peace out, dude.”

Then he carefully took off his reading glasses and shuffled into the kitchen to knock back a shot of Metamucil and call his lawyers.

It’s true. This is definitely what went down in their marriage.

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At the beginning of every relationship, we all manage to hide our own deep personal shit. Stuff we cram down and try to bury with either sex or booze or chocolate. Stuff we bring to the marriage from our own bad childhoods. Most of us are basically more than a little screwed up from the get-go.

Then we bring this shit to the table. We show it to our spouse, but slowly over time so they won’t run away in horror.

But you can’t hide it forever can you?  That’s when your spouse realizes, Hot damn! You have some serious messed-up shit!

The longer your relationship,  the more you reveal. Then your spouse starts to think, Oh no! HELL no. This is WAY too much shit to deal with! I got my OWN shit! I can’t handle YOUR shit too!

This is often why people get divorced. It’s not just because someone cheated. It’s not because of arguments about money or parenting or crack habits. It’s simply “Hey, y’know what, honey? I’ve been thinking things over and….um…I have come to the realization that I am officially bone-ass sick and tired of you and your shit.”

For some couples this takes a few decades. Others, only a few months. It’s that moment of clarity when it hits: I am sick of you. There’s no shame in this. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s only natural. And very likely your significant other feels the same way.

It’s really not a question about love. Do you love your spouse? Of course you love them! This is why marriage can suck the life blood out of you.  It’s all the little daily annoyances that build up over time. It’s more a question of “how much shit can I stand and for how long?”

It’s your sanity versus loving your partner. One chips a little bit away from the other. You have to ask yourself the hard questions:

  • Does your love override the fact that they leave nasty shitty food in the sink?
  • Does your love overcome the fact that they fart in their sleep?
  • Does your love trump the fact that you have to sit there and watch the same M*A*S*H episode for the 1,500th time?
  • Can you just once get out of the fucking shower, Hunnicutt?
  • For the love of God, can you for once stop sucking down that martini, Pierce?
  • Can we finally admit that’s all M*A*S*H is — people wearing various drab shades of green standing in outdoor showers drinking martinis?

But I love my husband, so I suffer on through it.

And he puts up with my severe, unpredictable hormone-fueled mood swings and extreme hatred of Alan Alda.

I think it’s a fair trade.

People that have been married 50-60 years — we celebrate them. We think, “Wow! they must really have their shit together!” We are in awe of these couples, we hold them up as a high standard that we one day hope to achieve. “Damn! They must really love each other! They must be soul mates!”

Oh no. Sure, they love each other. But y’know what it is, really? Why good ol’ Martha and Frank are still together after slogging it out day after day, year after year, decade after soul-sucking decade?

Because those two can really put up with a whooooole lotta shit.

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Humor

The Post Where I Explain Humor, Life, the Universe and Everything

What’s funny? What do you find amusing? What makes something hilarious? How does someone get to be so humorous?

No, really. I’m asking you. (And it seems I’ve run out of synonyms for ‘funny’)

Anyone…?

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Recently, I was posed these questions and more by Michelle, a WordPress Editor over at The Daily Post blog.

Along with a roundtable of other fantastically humorous bloggers — like one of my faves, Fear No Weebles–we explore what’s so damned funny. Thank god, because I had no solid answers.  Well, I had one, but it involved headlocks and farts. Hey, she asked.
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So if you’re into the funny, please meet me over there today at
Make ‘Em Laugh: Five Funny Favorites on the Art of Humor Writing to see if we can figure out this humor business together.

And feel free to leave a comment. Ask me and the other bloggers a question, preferably a funny one.

C’mon, make me laugh! Right now! What, you think I’m funny? Funny how? Like I’m a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh? I’m here to frickin’ amuse you? Is that it?

Yeah, that’s it.

Humor

Stand Up and Let that Sh*t Out!

Winters in Maine are famous for being long and brutal. When I was growing up, we lived a few blocks away from my junior high and high schools, so I never took the bus; I was always a ‘Walker’. Fine in warm weather, pure hell during the frozen tundra months.

One early morning, I started out on my trek across thirty acres of school athletic fields to reach my classes. The fields were covered in thick sheets of ice so I didn’t walk so much as slid across like a drunk Bambi on a frozen pond. I fell dozens of times, but it didn’t phase me as I was resigned to face the day suffering through another Chemistry class with a soggy, frostbitten ass. Several times I tried to put my trusty L.L. Bean backpack to good use, being careful to land on top of it and not my ass, instead sacrificing my mom’s greasy tunafish sandwich bomb.  But in one particular spectacular fall,  I missed and landed hard on my side. The ache in my hip already pulsing, I laid there on the ice for a moment, breathing hard in the minus 10 degree temps. Just long enough for my still damp hair to freeze right to the ground. (Back then we didn’t bother with such frivolous things like a blow dryer. Hell, we didn’t even have a shower. I had to wash my hair in the kitchen sink.) When I heaved myself off the ice, a huge chunk of hair was ripped right out of my head. I remember looking down at the tuft of hair still stuck to the ice, fluttering in the wind, and I did what Mainers do best: I laughed. Then I dragged my frozen ass and patchy ice-crusted freakshow of a hairdo to Chemistry.

Yeah, growing up in Maine in the ’70s certainly built a kid’s character. I had character coming out my frosty eyeballs. I would venture to say this is what shaped my sense of humor all my life: Life sucks sometimes. Okay…actually, it sucks most of the time. So what.  Deal with it. Might as well make fun of it. Between the eternal soul-killing winters and the fact that most days I would find myself underneath a pig pile of five brothers all trying to fart on my head in unison–I developed my sense of funny real friggin quick. It was a survival mechanism.  What other choice did I have? It’s almost like God is saying to you, “Uh…yeah…sorry about your shitty life. But now you can find just about ANYthing funny! Isn’t it great? You’re welcome!” I think most humor is the ability to find the comedic silver lining in the shitcloud of your life.

Most stand-up comedians I admire have made it their mission to bring to audiences their special take on life’s crap and the general absurdities of things. And they’re not afraid. They’re in your face. They take chances. Some of my favorites are: George Carlin (still sad about his passing), Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes, Denis Leary and recently, I’ve discovered Louis C.K. (brilliant, somewhat depressing, but always truthful)

When I first saw Eddie Murphy’s Raw back in the early ’80s, I was sitting on the floor with my brothers and we were dying laughing about his childhood stories–like growing up with a mom who made him these nasty hamburgers with peppers hanging out the sides and trying to pass them off as McDonald’s. I remember watching Eddie in that skin-tight leather suit and thinking: This is freakin amazing! He’s telling it like it is! He’s telling us the truth! He doesn’t care! He’s just coming right out and saying these crazy things that are true! How in the hell is he able to walk around stage in that leather suit?! Isn’t he chafing?

George Carlin was a genius at cutting through all the extraneous bullshit in life and giving it to you straight. Hey, I see the same bullshit you do! He’d point out the ridiculousness in human behavior, always with masterful timing and brilliant words.

To me, that’s what comedy is in a nutshell–serving up the bleak truth and still making you laugh at it. I love a stand-up who can not only push the envelope, but can rip it to shreds and swallow it. I could listen to Wanda Sykes read her grocery list, because she comes off as so real; she cuts through the BS. And she makes me laugh so hard I hyperventilate and weep.

Sometimes this sense of humor isn’t appreciated. Sometimes people find it offensive. We all have our own personal line we don’t like to cross. But in general, I’ve always found it to be simply exposing the truth. Growing up, I was a quiet, shy child; always observing, taking in the finer details of human behavior. Then I’d inevitably blurt something out at the dinner table, sometimes just to see the reaction. I called these gems, ‘Fork-Droppers’ because one or both of my parents would always drop their fork to their plate in shock. Normally, my brothers would laugh, but my mom? My mom would narrow her eyes and give me the ‘I’m Disappointed in You’ look and say, “Darla Jo!” using my middle name to let me know that I had really crossed some line.

Who could blame me? I was living with five brothers who teased me relentlessly in a frozen landscape of hell. Stepping over the line was all I had.

And besides, I think most things are funny. (Sorry, Mom) It’s gotten me pretty far in life. Like most people, I’ve had my share of tragedies, but laughter has this magical ability to heal wounds. Humor has saved me during some of the darkest times. I will always be grateful for my (sometimes warped) sense of humor.

Who are some of your favorite comedians? What is your sense of humor like? Do you find me funny? Funny like a f****ing clown? What…am I here to amuse you? Is that what I am to you?!