Snowflakes, in solidarity
With Canadian truckers,
Clog my driveway
After endless marching
Through cruel and barren desert
An oasis appears: Friday
Junior lives in our basement
Though he's almost old enough
To draw Social Security
(More about Junior: click here.)
An apology to haiku purists: yes, tradition calls for a five/seven/five syllable format. I'm just not very good with math.
Many of my friends hang cutesy signs in their houses. The signs say things like “Live, Laugh, Love” or “Make today a great day.” It’s stressing me out. Do I need to follow these rules even after I leave their homes?
Those aren’t the Ten Commandments, sweetheart. Some people simply don’t like bare walls, but they do like ordering others around.
We must all take a stand against bossy signs. Memorize these alternatives to help you keep things in perspective when someone’s sign is hounding you.
For instance, instead of “You can never have too much happy,” think “You can easily have too much hokey.”
Welcome, please remove your shoes, thank you * Ugh, take your shoes off, you derelict
Live, Laugh, Love * Lie, Lurch, Leave
Always be humble and kind * Always be kind of hyper
This is our happy place * This is our battleground
Life is too short to drink bad wine * What kind of cheap wine did you bring?
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain * Life isn’t about standing outside in the rain, it’s about going indoors to watch Netflix
Blessed * Stressed
The best is yet to come * The bubble is about to burst
I love you to the moon and back * I love you to the end of the driveway
Family gathers here * Pet hair gathers here
Relax * Revenge
Let your faith be bigger than your fear * Let your gut be bigger than your beer
A dream is a wish your heart makes * A poop is the squish your dog makes
Grateful * Forgetful
Make today a great day * Get this day over with
We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails * We cannot sail a boat, but we can rent a JetSki
It is what it is * What the heck is it?
[Excerpted from Smartass Answers to Dumbass Questions, available for just $3.99 Kindle / $7.99 paperback at Amazon: click here.]
The royals may be a dysfunctional family, but there aren't that many of them. How do they manage to soak up obscene amounts of taxpayer money?
They own many lavish households, including Buckingham Palace in London, Balmoral Castle in Scotland, a lake cottage up north in Hayward, Wisconsin, and a condo in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, which is pretty much of a dump but they keep it anyway for sentimental reasons.
Each residence requires specialized staff. In Balmoral there’s the Washer of the Wellies, who hoses down the queen’s boots after she goes mucking about on muddy pathways. Buckingham Palace’s Royal Roller keeps all 642 bathrooms supplied with Windsor-crested toilet paper. Someone has to keep track of their priceless china and silverware, then order more after a state dinner, because invariably some pieces get “borrowed” by ambassadors from certain nations we won’t mention.
Members of the royal family also maintain extensive wardrobes. It wouldn’t do for the queen to be seen in a bright blue chemise in Warsaw on Tuesday and the same chemise in Johannesburg on Wednesday. Even when closer to home, she changes clothes several times daily: a tapa-cloth wrap for breakfast with the delegation from Papua New Guinea, a fluffy frock for touring a denture-manufacturing facility in the posh part of Birmingham, and a glittering gown for a gala honoring The Poor Old Sods Who Lost Their Family Inheritance When We Got Kicked Out of India. Once a dress is worn in public, the queen must never wear it again – so local women queue up at charity shops every Thursday hoping for the bargain of a lifetime when the queen’s discarded dresses get dropped off.
As for the Windsor men, the Royal Medal-Maker constantly invents new categories to keep them from feeling useless. Each requires expensive precious metals and stones. Prince Philip’s medal for the Royal Order of the Garter Snake has green emerald eyes and a 14-karat-gold tongue. Prince Charles has nine medals, including one commissioned by the queen “on the occasion of hanging in there 53 years waiting for me to die so you could ascend to the throne.”
You might have noticed that the queen has a thing about hats. Some are inspired by Dr. Suess’s “The Cat in the Hat,” others by the Mad Hatter of “Alice in Wonderland,” and still others by Kentucky Derby hats seen on socialites who’ve had too many mint juleps. The queen’s hats are festooned with ribbons, feathers, pompoms, flowers made of folded Kleenex, scraps of vintage wallpaper, random pieces from old games of Clue, Stone Age arrowheads, marbles, and Silly Putty. None of these come cheap. The Royal Milliner sources her material from all over the world, and the moment a seller realizes that the Windsors are involved, the asking price (even for marbles) rises exponentially.
[Excerpted from Smartass Answers to Dumbass Questions, available at Amazon: click HERE.]
Can you suggest a quick and easy main dish for the holidays?
Can you suggest a difficult, strange and stressful main dish?
Yes! Heaven forbid you should settle for a traditional (borrrinngg!) family feast. Decades from now, your guests will still be talking about this weird main course.
Eternity Roast Turkey
Active time: 21 hours
Total time: 47 hours (includes three freak-out periods)
Serves: all dinner guests who become overnight guests while waiting for the meal to be served
Begin placing turkey pieces across three wire racks. Realize you have only one wire rack. Frantically phone neighbors and friends; drive across town and borrow two more.
Explain to guests that turkey is still eons away from doneness. Convert sleeper sofa to bed. Serve them eggnog spiked with absinthe.
Mix seasonings with brown sugar, using your fingers. Lick fingers frequently as a reward for running all over town to borrow wire racks. Sprinkle remaining sugar over the turkey pieces on wire racks. Place each rack over a cookie baking pan.
Attempt to refrigerate overnight. Realize there’s not enough room in the fridge. Place two racks in the freezer. Set alarm to wake you twice during the night to rotate all three racks of turkey.
Wake up in a panic at dawn when your alarm goes off for the third time.
Remove turkey from refrigerator / freezer. Let stand for one hour, someplace where the cat can’t get at it.
Pick cat hair off turkey pieces.
Pour toxic raw-turkey liquid from each cookie sheet down the drain.
Pat turkey with paper towel and murmur “Sorry about this.”
Stare at turnip and wonder what you were thinking, since you’ve always hated turnips. Shove turnip down garbage disposal. Realize the drain is clogged with turkey fat; scream for your spouse to fix it. Take a sedative and lie down for 30 minutes.
Realize you should have preheated oven to 350 degrees half an hour ago. Set oven at 700 degrees to compensate.
Brush melted butter over turkey pieces with a baking brush, craft-paint brush or lightly used toothbrush.
Awaken your overnight guests and announce that it’s cocktail hour. Serve leftover eggnog.
Roast turkey until a relatively clean finger inserted into the breast bone comes out with second-degree burns.
Sprinkle jimmies over all pieces of turkey so this main dish doubles as the dessert course.
And that’s all there is to it. Bon appetit!
Copyright (c) 2021 by Leah Carson
Excerpted from Smartass Answers to Dumbass Questions, available from Amazon for the incredibly cheap price of $3.99 for Kindle and $7.99 for paperback: HERE
America’s top musicologists recently discovered a rare case among blind musicians: one who is “not very good.”
“Frankly, we’re baffled,” said Dr. Largo Zhivago, editor-in-chief of Just Music & More. “This guy ticks all the boxes: born into poverty, playing soul music before he was toilet-trained, dropping out of kindergarten, busking for tips on street corners. And, of course, the blindness thing.”
For years, Dr. Zhivago had heard rumors of a “not very good” blind musician whose earnings never exceeded $10 per year. Then, finally, fellow street performers on the south side of Chicago forcibly expelled him from their block, claiming he was driving away business. The Chicago Tribune ran a brief story on the man, whose name has been withheld pending notification of his family.
“I finally heard him play last month. Man, he’s awful,” Zhivago said. “Off-key, poor sense of rhythm, lousy arrangements.
“Maybe if he was writing anything but barbershop quartet numbers, he’d have a chance,” Zhivago concluded.
Ask the Pet Psychic
By guest columnist Rona Ronaditsy
Our pet giraffes, Harold and Maude, have expressed interest in becoming therapy animals. I’m not so sure. Could we make this work?
Absolutely! Your giraffes told me they want to greet people in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and minimum-security prisons. This isn’t as impractical as you might think. Harold and Maude explained that they can interact with any humans standing near an open window on the second or third floor. Even a prison meet-and-greet should be okay; just clear it with the warden so nobody gets shot leaning through a barred window to pet them. Take it from me: jaded people who are bored with visits from therapy dogs and therapy cats will perk up at the sight of a giraffe’s skyscraper neck, ossicones (antlers), and weird blue tongue.
Excerpted from Smartass Answers to Dumbass Questions, available in Kindle and paperback format. Click here for more info. Copyright (c) 2021 by Leah Carson
We watch the stupid movies, so you won’t have to. Today’s target: “For Those Who Want Their Money Back”
For Those Who Want Their Money Back
Rated L for lame
Back in the olden days (five months ago), potential box-office bombs went straight to video. Likewise, Angelina Jolie’s new release “For Those Who Wish Me Dead” is available simultaneously in theaters and streaming mode so the producers can hedge their bets.
Feeling masochistic? Spring for expensive opening-week movie tickets. Or take advantage of your HBO Max subscription and watch from your couch. Either way, the illogical plot and unintentional humor will have you yearning for a refund.
--A man and his son (whom he constantly addresses as “son,” lest we forget) flee the bad guys by driving 2500+ miles from Florida to Montana with just one overnight stop at a motel and no stops for meals, not even McDonald’s drive-through.
--Jolie portrays a professional fire jumper who parachutes into back-country wildfires. Yeah, right. In full makeup and salon blowout hair.
--Gratuitous topless bit when Jolie removes her sweatshirt to reveal a Frederick’s of Hollywood underwire bra. Come to think of it, for some of you this is worth the price of admission.
--With magical anti-lightning powers, Jolie shrugs off a direct strike while rapelling off a metal tower, then navigates through an open field with more cloud-to-ground action than the Fourth of July.
--One of the bad guys carries on as usual despite third-degree burns over half his face.
--A protagonist about to ride to the rescue can choose between a big ATV, a bigger ATV, and a horse. Guess which one she chooses.
By Guest Columnist Maria Tatonka
I’d like to get organized, but – folding socks and underwear? Really? That’s ridiculous! Can’t I just pile them in the drawer?
Yes, that would be the lazy way out, but it leads to utter chaos: underwear not sorted by color, style or width, thongs scattered among old-lady white-balloon undies – or, in extreme cases, a woman’s underwear mingled with her husband’s boxer shorts. These “undies in a bundle” will bring dishonor upon your house. You will be forced to publicly apologize to your family, your friends, your neighbors, and your dead ancestors.
I tried folding my shirts and pants, but they don’t stand up properly in the drawer.
You must show them who’s boss, or soon they will spark anarchy. Say: “Look here, clothes! Straighten up and lie right! Square your edges, stiffen your zippers, and get your hems together.”
Conclude this lecture with a stern glance. Then shut the drawer. The next time you peek at the wayward clothes, they should be much tidier. If not, reinforce your commands with a few hard raps from a yardstick. It may seem cruel, but a quick correction now will save you and your rebellious clothing years of grief down the road.
Excerpted from "Smartass Answers to Dumbass Questions," available in paperback and Kindle. Click HERE to view it on Amazon.
Copyright (c) 2021 by Leah Carson
The Shape of Water (2017)
Rated P for preposterous
Two parts “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” one part “E.T.,” this B movie makes us nostalgic for the snarky series Mystery Science Theater 3000. Tom Servo’s gang would pick it cleaner than a boardinghouse turkey.
And what a turkey it is. An alien lizard-man gets hauled in during a deep-sea fishing trip…or something like that…we fell asleep at various points during the screening. The bad guys hold him captive in a wading pool. Only the humble deaf-mute cleaning woman sees past his scales to his inherent dignity. So she brings him hard-boiled eggs every day. Ah-yup.
Luckily, Lizard Man’s warehouse prison is patrolled by just one inept guard, a la “Austin Powers.” The cleaning woman & friends help him escape and find him a job at Sea World.
The only reason this piece of dreck won an Academy Award: two of its characters are hooked on classic black and white films. Hollywood types adore movies within movies, like chimps staring at their own reflection in a mirror.
And what exactly is “the shape of water”? We’re never told, but the plot is leaky and the premise is all wet. Somebody oughta mop it up.
Rated D for Dumb. Parental guidance: drug use, sunburned children, remarkably boring nudity
Four absurd storylines. You be the judge of which is most contrived.
(1) An American couple try to revive their floundering marriage by taking a motorcoach trip with other privileged white tourists through some godforsaken Middle Eastern desert.
(2) A young goat herder with a high-powered rifle takes a pot-shot at the bus, unintentionally striking the woman – an amazing feat of marksmanship, since she’s sitting on the far side of the bus.
(3) The couple’s nanny takes their kids to a family wedding in Mexico, where things go from good to not-so-good to bad to worse to oh my gawd those kids are gonna die.
(4) A rebellious deaf Japanese teen acts out her angst by removing her underpants and kissing a dentist, then taking off all her clothes to seduce a police detective.
And the Wasted Talent trophy goes to:
The American wife played by Cate Blanchett, who bleeds a lot and pees in a makeshift bedpan.
I hope you weren't expecting anything profound.
If I ever need to plead insanity, this blog will provide valuable evidence.
Copyright (c) 2022 by Leah Carson, d/b/a Excellent Words, LLC