Tasty, Tasty Poison

Bread and I are coming to a parting of the ways. I don’t know if I have a wheat allergy, or I’m sensitive to gluten, or if it’s those little yeasties that my system doesn’t like, but every time I binge on stuff made with flour, I pay dearly for it in the days and even weeks following.

I go in cycles. Sometimes I am scrupulously careful about my diet (not diet in the “lose weight” sense, though the proper diet certainly has that effect, but diet in the “eat what your body was evolutionarily designed to eat before the advent of agriculture screwed everything up and introduced us to new and wonderful diseases” sense). When I am in emotional survival mode, as I was for the last few weeks of Mom’s life, it all goes to pot and I eat bread and butter and chocolate and sugar and sometimes great hunks of meat.

This week I have been in celebration mode. That sounds terrible, considering I’m going to be officiating at Mom’s funeral in a few hours, but this trip really has been a celebration of her life. Everything reminds me of her. Continue reading

Categories: Body and Mind, Food and Diet, Humor, Travel | 4 Comments

Who is Hoda Kotb, and Why Is She Haunting My Dreams?

It’s 4 a.m., and I’m in Florence, South Carolina, on my way north to perform the second of Mom’s two funerals. I spent a surprisingly pleasant day with my brother Darryl, and found that we’re good traveling companions. We like similar music. We like the same car temperature. And we like the same balance of talking and quiet. We’ll have spent more time together in these five days than we had accumulated in the previous fifty-three years of my life.

I’ve been sleeping quite well since Mom died. No sleeping pills to convince my body to rest. No listening with one ear cocked toward the baby monitor to catch any moans in the night, or (God forbid) yet another fall out of bed. Just a few days before she died, I heard Mom make a series of strange noises. I rushed in to find her dead asleep but 180 degrees out of kilter: her feet touching her headboard, her head on the quilt at her feet, and her pillows placed carefully on top of her legs and torso to keep warm. I woke her, and she was completely lucid, but without any recollection whatsoever of having made this strenuous revolution.

I have a king bed at Red Roof Inn, which comes with free high-speed Internet access. Continue reading

Categories: Dreams, Humor | 6 Comments

Opie’s Call to Action

Ron Howard wants to talk about the election. So does Andy Griffith and Henry Winkler. (This video has swept across the Internet like wildfire, but in case you haven’t seen it, it’s worth the four minutes. Watch it. If you like you can consider it my birthday present.)

Here’s the video.

The AP article, reposted from MSNBC:

As the election nears, Ron Howard is getting desperate.

In a video posted Thursday on, the actor-turned-director reprises his role on The Andy Griffith Show as a way to rally support for Barack Obama.

While speaking into the camera, Howard has his beard shaved, dons a youthful red wig, and puts on the kind of outfit he would have only worn as Opie Taylor in the ’60s.

“I’ve never done this before and I hope never to do it again, but I guess you could say I’m feeling pretty desperate these days,” explains Howard. “So as a demonstration of my sincerity, this is for you, America.”

Then, in black-and-white, Howard sits down in the woods to talk to “Pa”: Andy Griffith. Griffith advises Howard-as-Opie that he’ll be able to vote someday, so long as he eludes the butterfly ballot. Continue reading

Categories: Humor, Movies and Television, Politics | Leave a comment


Chuck Lorre is a gifted comedy writer, director, producer, and even composer for TV sitcoms. He wrote for Roseanne, about which he said, “One of the benefits of working 70 hours a week in hell is that the mind covers itself so you can’t remember it.” He created Grace Under Fire for Brett Butler, then left to create Cybill for Cybill Shepherd; both those jobs left him similarly battered and embittered.

He then created Dharma & Greg, which was a happy time, then Two and a Half Men, and now The Big Bang Theory, both of which are funny and sharp and intelligent. With Dharma & Greg, he started creating “vanity cards” that display a whole lot of text for maybe three seconds on the screen; you have to record the show and pause it carefully in order to read it. He now has a website where all of his vanity cards are archived.

This week’s Big Bang Theory vanity card reads:


Tonight’s vanity card is about censorship. It was censored.
As always, you know where to look.

It’s not the first card that was censored by the Powers That Be. I think it happens at least once each season. At his website, you get to see the card in all its uncensored glory. Here’s this week’s:

words that confuse the CBS censor

fecund, penal, taint, titmouse, cockamamie, cockatoo, cocksure, coccyx, ballcock, cockeye, prick, prickly, kumquat, titter, cunning linguist, prick, insertion, gobble, guzzle, swallow, manhole, rimshot, ramrod, come, fallacious, lugubrious, rectify, Uranus, angina, paradiddle, spotted dick, dictum, frock, cunctation, engorge, turgid, stiff, bush, uvula, crapulence, masticate, Dick Butkus, gherkin and, of course, the always bewildering lickety-split.

As you can see, context is everything.

“Paradiddle” is a new one for me. I’m going to try to use it three times this week, though I can’t think when the topic of a snare drum’s tempo would come up naturally in conversation.

Categories: Humor, Words | 5 Comments

I Scream, You Scream

Simply delicious.

From balsamia’s photostream on Flickr.

Categories: Art, Humor | 6 Comments


Aibohphobia is a very rare psychological disorder and is characterized by the unusually fearful reaction elicited by the sufferer upon recognizing a palindrome. It was first discovered by Dr. Hans Eresnahrd in 1991, who himself was a chronic sufferer of the disorder.


A palindrome is defined as a word, phrase, verse, or sentence that reads the same backward or forward, as in “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!”

The Discovery of Aibohphobia

Eresnahrd first became interested in the then-unknown disorder at the age of 18 when his own symptoms lead to several misdiagnoses, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. His theory that his frequent panic attacks and blackouts were caused by a completely new psychiatric disorder spurred him on to study psychology at the University of Nëmen, Germany. While at university he founded the popular website where he met other people with similar symptoms and misdiagnoses. Encouraged by the positive response to his website, he decided upon doing a detailed study of the disorder for his Ph.D. Within a year Eresnahrd had made the link between palindromes and the acute panic attacks that sufferers experienced. In his paper he named the disorder “Disposition to Acute Uneasiness in Relation to Palindromes”; however, this was not very catchy and the paper was never published. When Eresnahrd protested, one editor replied that “it was simply too silly to publish,” and for good measure added “Madam, I’m Adam {snigger}.” Continue reading

Categories: Humor, Words | 6 Comments

The Moment You Knew the Relationship Was Doomed

When you look back on your failed romantic relationships (and most of us have had one or two), was there a time when you knew, with absolute certainty, that it was over? I’m not thinking of the arguments or the betrayals, but those little revelations that tell you This person is not for me, no way, no how.

An acquaintance writes:

I was teasing this guy I’ve been dating this morning over the fact that he could not be bothered to pay any attention to the war in Georgia. This morning he said casually over coffee, “I don’t understand what they’re doing here.”

“Who?” I asked.

“The Russians,” he replied.

Yes, he thought the Russians had invaded the United States. And he still couldn’t be bothered to look into it.

I remember one fellow by the name of Tony who took an inexplicable shine to me a number of years ago. Gorgeous, but dense as a bag of rocks. We enjoyed one another’s company for a while. But the more we talked, the more his intellectual limitations became apparent. Continue reading

Categories: Humor, Psychology, Relationships | Leave a comment

Oh, Poo!

While I’m off deciding on seven questions to ask my first willing interview victims Bev and Deloney, I thought you might be entertained by this malodorous little news item. I don’t suppose any of you have Dr. Freud on speed dial, do you?

Seems American artist Paul McCarthy, considered one of the more influential contemporary artists, had an installation at the Paul Klee Centre in Berne, Switzerland, called Complex Shit. It was an inflatable dog turd the size of a house, and it was installed in the museum’s front garden, the Art Playground.

The night of July 31 was especially windy, and alas, the turd escaped its moorings and was carried 200 yards, bringing down a power line and smashing into a greenhouse and breaking some windows before falling back to earth at a children’s home. Continue reading

Categories: Art, Humor | 2 Comments

Haute-but-Fast Cuisine

A friend writes:

I hadn’t been to a Burger King for months if not a year. So I was flabbergasted today when I saw that they actually now have little soda pop recommendations posted at their soft drink dispensers, as though it were a fine restaurant recommending the perfect wine to accompany your entree (i.e. fish, chicken or beef). Has anyone else noticed this? According to BK, Diet Coke goes perfect with the Veggie Burger (which was not even on the menu board), as well as their salads. Sprite is the choice if you have ordered the Chicken Fries. And if you order a Whopper, then of course Coke is the one. But Dr. Pepper is what you should drink if you are having the BBQ burger thing (whatever they call it, it has onion rings on top too). WTF? Aren’t their creepy TV ads bad enough? Some advertisement agency actually thought this up.

My friend continued: Continue reading

Categories: Food and Diet, Humor | 2 Comments

An Oldie but a Goodie

I’ve been a Shaker, a snake-handling Pentecostal, and a speaking-in-tongues holy roller.

I guess you could say I shaked, rattled, and rolled.

Categories: Christianity, Humor | Leave a comment

Are you male or female? Take this test to find out.

Actually, it’s not a test. It’s a program that looks at your browser history, then matches it to actual website usage patterns to make an estimate.

It’s wrong, of course, at least in my case. It says:

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 66%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 34%

And I’m a guy. But a gay guy, so maybe the percentages are trying to estimate that as well, who knows?

So go here, and post your results!

Categories: Humor, Psychology | 4 Comments

Ubiquitous Pachelbel

Categories: Humor, Music | 1 Comment

Your Work Changes You

I was reading the new David Sedaris book, and thoroughly enjoying it, until I came to a chapter that employed subheads and sub-subheads. And the designer didn’t do them right, to my way of thinking: they should have been sized differently, perhaps set in a different typeface, with a bit more room between the subhead and the text. And every time I encountered one of the book’s subheads, I became more and more irritated.

A friend who studied filmmaking said his studies all but ruined his enjoyment of going to the movies. Unless a movie was extremely well-crafted, he kept seeing technical flaws, and it kept him from just watching the story.

Now I can’t read a newspaper article without editing it (most mornings, I find myself screaming at Florida Today, “Does no one proofread anymore? Can no one write a cogent paragraph?”), can’t read a magazine article without thinking about layout and font use, can’t watch a movie trailer without saying, “Copperplate Gothic Bold, again? Really? Don’t you people own any other typefaces?”, and can’t read a book without sighing, “What a shame, I’d have designed this so much better!”

In short, graphic design has made me a miserable human being.

Categories: Humor | 3 Comments

I Get the Strangest Emails

It appears that one of the ways spammers attempt to foil spam filters is to have a paragraph of text, sometimes composed at random, along with a link explaining “the way to give her ultimate pleasure.” This one was almost poetically beautiful:

God dag,

Down from loss of consciousness. My mind is turning, and golden complexion, saying “what brings thee be seen behind or to the left of those that have losing your sense of humor.” Not recommend the total abandonment of actions, accepting food from a eunuch, or from an ungrateful king, of settling church government as he shall are duly and continuously uttered. 1475 one should minutemen were only to be one hundred in number, the waiter brought cocktails.

Graham glanced at more powerfully to promote the popularity of the pierced satyaki, with nine arrows. Satyaki, in vrishni, and the andhaka races, lordless now, emotions an instrument that she can use at will. Will be divested of sovereignty, happiness, prosperity.

Almost as felicitous was the name of the sender: Brasington Barnacle!

Categories: Humor | 2 Comments

Fish Tale

What would you call a fish who is always wary and guarded?

. . .

(Wait for it . . . )

. . .

Herring on the side of caution.

Categories: Humor | 5 Comments

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