The Peanut Vendor’s Widow

Q. Excuse me. I lost my cell phone. Have you seen it?
A. Do I know you?

Q. If you knew me, you’d know you don’t know me.
A. Then how would I have seen your cell phone?

Q. That’s a good question. How would you?
A. I wouldn’t know, because I don’t know you.

Q. So, only if you know me will you tell me where my cell phone is?
A. But I don’t know you. And I haven’t seen where your cell phone went.

Q. By the way, a cell phone doesn’t went. It just remains wherever you left it.
A. I didn’t leave your cell phone anywhere.

Q. But if you knew me, maybe you borrowed it and forgot to give it back, even if I don’t know you.
A. How could I know you if I don’t know you ?

Q. I’m afraid it is what it is. 
A. You mean all in all?

Q. Look, let’s  say we’re both attending the same summer Banjo Camp, and…
A. But I don’t play the banjo. I don’t even like the banjo.

Q. Then what are you doing at the banjo camp?
A. Actually, I’m not there. I’m here.

Q. Where is here?
A. Very simple. Here is here and not there. Speaking of there, what planet are you from?

Q. Planet Zulon, of course. Aren’t we all?
A. Planet Zulon?

Q. You’re acting like you never heard of it.
A. Thanks for noticing. I did a bit of acting in Hollywood a while back. Maybe you saw me in “The Peanut Vendor’s Widow.” I played the coroner.

Q. I thought it was “The Peanut Vendor’s Window.”
A. That makes no sense. First of all, it implies the peanut vendor sold his peanuts through or behind a window. Second of all…

Q. Maybe it’s simply a reference to the metaphorical window of his soul through which he saw the world pass by everyday.
A. …second of all, the peanut vendor is dead. I pronounced him dead as the coroner. The movie is about his widow.

Q. That’s crazy. He wasn’t even married. In fact he was a robot. I mean, what planet are you on?
A. You’re standing on it. It’s called Earth.

Q. Earth?
A. You act like you never heard of it.

Q. No, I’ve heard of it. Everybody in the galaxy’s heard of it. The nice blue and green planet ruined by an obese bale of hay who likes to blow his own horn.
A. He’s not exactly an instrumentalist.

Q. But he was instrumental in ruining your planet, correct?
A. The jury is still out on that.

Q. Out? Who let the jury out?
A. See, when I say “the jury,” it’s a reference to the collective judgement of society as it comes to grips with a sensitive…

Q. Wait. You’re saying the horn blower is sensitive?
A. Well, no. In fact, just the opposite.

Q. You mean an out and out fart?
A. Fertilizer would probably be more accurate, but the jury…

Q. …is still out, right. But how far out?
A. The last time anyone checked it was in Manitoba.

Q. Hold on just a sec. I have to take this call from my mother. It’s her birthday.
A. Um, is that your cell phone?

Q. What?
A. Your cell phone. The one you were looking for. Looks like it was in your pocket all along.

Q. Wow, so it was. You know, sometimes life in the fast lane moves just a little too fast.
A. And sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know.

Q. Exactly. But you don’t even know it.
A. You took the words right out of your mouth.

Q. I hear you.
A. I think not.

Q. Hi Mom. Happy Birthday. You’re not going to believe where I’m calling from.

©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2020, all rights reserved.

Posted in Absurd and/or zany, News You Can Use (Sort of), The human comedy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gorilla suit protocol (applies also to grizzlies)

Q. I’m thinking of robbing a bank. Should I wear a mask?
A. You mean so nobody will describe you to a police artist for the wanted poster?

Q. I’ve got a gorilla mask leftover from Halloween. I wear that and the cops end up looking for a gorilla.
A. That’s all you have? The mask?

Q. Well, my mother made me a coronavirus mask and I thought I’d wear that too.
A. You mean on top of the gorilla mask?

Q. Hey, I know bank robbing is an anti-social thing. I figured a coronavirus mask might cancel that out. Thing is, I’m a little concerned my robbing friends will think I am caving to public pressure about Covid-19.
A. Reminds me of an old saying: if it looks like a gorilla, and smells like a gorilla wearing a Covid-19 mask, you’re having a bad dream. Wake up and go to the bathroom.

Q. That’s not very helpful.
A. Don’t you think your disguise would be more convincing if you were wearing the rest of the gorilla suit?

Q. Long story short – my mother sold my gorilla bottoms at a garage sale.
A. Why would anyone buy gorilla bottoms without the gorilla mask?

Q. First, without asking me, she sold the guy my best grizzly bear mask from last year’s “Wear a Grizzly Bear Suit to Work Day.” She threw in the gorilla bottoms as a value-added bonus.
A. Why would someone want gorilla bottoms with a grizzly bear mask?

Q. A good salesmom, never asks why someone is buying something. She just smiles and says “That looks fabulous on you.”
A. Should I ask why your mother didn’t just give him the grizzly bear bottoms with the grizzly mask?

Q. You shouldn’t ask that. Try to remember I am the Q and you are the A. Eh?Don’t try to be Qute.
A. Look, I…

Q. All right, all right. It was a mix and match sale. Happy?
A Did the guy know he was matching the wrong bottoms with the wrong top?

Q. I think not.
A Reminds me of an old saying: There are none so blind as those who cannot see.

Q. He might have been a tad blind. My mother said he put the bear mask on backwards.
A She didn’t tell him it was on backwards?

Q. I think not.
A. Is your mother, um, blind, too?

Q. She’s been diagnosed with degenerative Venetian blinds. She’s very sensitive about it.
A. Then how did she know he’d put the bear mask on backwards?

Q. The guy’s dog barked.
A. He had a seeing eye dog?

Q. It was one of those bear-herding dogs. They bark a lot, especially during the annual bear drives.
A. What does that have to do with anything?

Q. The guy couldn’t get the mask off. He was pulling and screaming and he turned around and around in a tizzy. That’s when the dog barked. Ever since Trump, he hates tizzies. Then, in a way only possible with backward masks, the guy faced my mother.
A. So you’re saying that, even with Venetian blinds, she knew an ass when she saw one?

Q. You’re mocking my mother.
A. But what if witnesses don’t fall for the gorilla thing? Won’t they say the robber was just some idiot in a gorilla mask with some hilariously wrong bottoms?

Q. Now you’re calling me an idiot
A. You know what they say. If the foo sh***, wear it.

Q. You mean if the shoe fits, wear it?
A. Only an idiot would confuse a foo with a shoe.

©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2020, all rights reserved.

Posted in Absurd and/or zany, F.A.Q., Mockery and derision, News You Can Use (Sort of), The human comedy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eye-squinting

Some days I wake up to the melodies of smiling, chirping birds. They make me want to bound out of bed and sing the harmony parts, although K-Mac has a strict policy about singing in the bedroom while she is asleep. (Don’t even think about whistling.)

Still, the mood on such days is one of hope. As quickly as I can, I get myself to a room where singing is allowed and I sing, whistle, hum and croon. I would dance but I don’t dance.

On other mornings I am rudely thundered out of bed into a jarring state of gnarling awakeness forced on all of us, by the clunking and groaning of worn gears, the squealing of bad brakes, the wheezing and crashing of mechanical teeth as they digest the disgusting, rancid, festering, stinking contents of giant plastic tubs of smellbad, heaved into the enormous maw of a beastly, whining conveyance by society’s sainted devils, those garbologists without scented portfolio, whose entire language is a single, guttural, tortured, semi-word whose meaning changes by the minute with subtly mixed inflections to the sound of Yo, as in “Yo!” Or “YO!” Or sometimes just an exhausted “yo,” with the implied inflection “yo, what crap!”

Hard to keep one’s outlook on life from souring as you transmogrify from “That sweet old poop, Mr. McGuire,” into that cynical, grump “Old man McGuire.”

This morning as I sat down to my morning bowl of Cheerios, I read a message from Cheerio central on the box, explaining why the shape of their cereal changed from an O to a heart. Old Man McGuire frowned darkly as he read:

Our hearts are filled with joy knowing you’re about to sink… (that much I could believe) …your spoon into our new heart-shaped Cheerios.

Out came my down spout, spouting disdainfully in my outside voice: What crap!  It set my eye-squinting tone for the rest of the day with:

Telemarketers

  • This is a courtesy call (what crap!)
  • Congratulations. You’ve been selected to apply for our credit card (what crap!)

TV commercials

  • Expect more from your broth (Broth? Really? What crap!)
  • Everyone deserves the gift of more data (what crap!)

Door-to-door roofing salesman:

  • I’m terribly sorry to bother you but… (what crap!)

Politicians

  • Trade wars are easy to win (what crap!)
  • I’m like a stable genius (I’m like what crap!)

Meteorologists

  • I hate to rain on your parade, but…(what crap!)

Crooks Without Portfolio

  • Sorry, but this coupon expired yesterday (what crap!)
  • Unfortunately, your bumper to bumper warranty doesn’t cover bumpers (what crap!)

Generalized insincerity

  • Have a nice day (what crap!)
  • You look marvelous (what crap!)
  • Your safety is our number-one priority (what crap!)

Snot

  • Your dog snarled at my wife which is against the covenants of the Homeowner’s Association (what crap!). Also, the ding-ding from your fit bit is over the limits of the Homeowner’s sound quotient. Here is our audio quotient report. By the way, you repainted your house an off-white which is a little too off according to the covenants color czar (what crap!)

Apology

  • Dope: If I have offended anyone, I sincerely apologize (while he is sneering in a silent, mentally mental voice “Eat me.”) (what total crapola!)

Consultants

  • If you get a lemon, make lemonade (what crap!)
  • If you get a turkey, make lemonade (what crap!)
    (By the way, if you get lemonade, you’re doing something wrong.)

Love

  • But I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more…(what crap!)

WARNING: Stand back! Grab the dog and the children! Here comes Old Man McGuire.

©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2020, all rights reserved.

Posted in Absurd and/or zany, funny, Mockery and derision, News You Can Use (Sort of) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

From the hair down

Q. I heard the lieutenant-governor of Texas say there are more important things in life than living.
A. Like what?

Q. That’s what I wanted to ask. What’s more important than living?
A. Hockey?

Q. No. Because, see, hockey falls into the living category. You have to be alive to play it or watch it or to hit someone in the Oh No Zone with your stick.
A. Does that include driving the Zamboni?

Q. So I tried to make a list of things more important than living.
A. I hope drinking beer is on that list.

Q. Again, you can’t drink beer if you’re not living.
A. You mean if you’re not living right.

Q. Not even if you’re living left.
A. You mean like communists?

Q. Communists, Nazis, Circus clowns. I hate to say they’re all the same, but the one thing they all have in common is the need to be alive when acting like A-frames.
A. A-frames?

Q. Use your imagination
A. I would, but I lent it to my brother and he took it on a magical mystery trip.

Q. Have you ever taken a magical mystery trip that wasn’t so magical?
A. Like when I got arrested that time at an Orioles game for impersonating a nudnik?

Q. Uh, not really.
A. Yeah, you’re right. That was a whole different ballgame.

Q. So, back to my list of things more important than living.
A. You have a list?

Q. It’s a pretty short list. The only thing left other than living is dying.
A. Wait a sec. What about living large?

Q. And then croaking because you get too large?
A. You are a killjoy, aren’t you?

Q. Speaking of being killed, have you ever been dead?
A. That’s kind of a personal question.

Q. Not if you’re dead.
A. All right. Every now and then I’ll wake up feeling dead from the hair down. If you know what I mean.

Q. Sorry. I don’t have any hair left
A. You should get some.

Q. Gee, what a great idea.
A. Sarcasm?

Q. Let’s get back to being dead
A. It’s not one of my favorite topics.

Q. So, if being dead is more important than living…
A. I hope that’s not true because I’ve got a lot stuff going on this weekend. You’re making me worried.

Q. I would say the best argument that being dead is better than being alive is if you’re dead you don’t ever have to worry about getting dead.
A. Hadn’t thought of that.

Q. Because, to be dead, you first have to get dead. And that is the sticking point for so many people.
A. It’s a whole different popsicle.

Q. I’d like to hear what the Lt. Governor of Texas says about that.
A. I’ll bet he was just kidding

Q. I’ll bet it’s hard to convince the guy with the black robe and hood and sickle that you were “Just kidding.”
A. A whole different kettle of underwear.

©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2020, all rights reserved.

Posted in Absurd and/or zany, F.A.Q., Mockery and derision, News You Can Use (Sort of), The human comedy | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Chisel-headed communist

I was signing into some website and it asked for my password. I admit I am one of those complete and troublesome idiots who can never remember any of the 1,271 passwords for my 1,271 most important websites.

Over the years, I have entrusted to one website or another every piece of data that comprises my life. But I also constructed a series of clever passwords no one can ever break.

When I tried to log onto that website, they demanded I identify myself with my secret password. I quickly typed in 1234abcd. (Hackers never expect something so simple. Maybe 1234 or even abcd but never together.)

But that website’s chief of security (a retired nun from Ashtabula) texted me they had no record of my name ever being connected to that password. Ever. And ever. Amen.

Okay, I thought. I got the site confused with another. It happens. I am not perfect. Let he who is without gas get a horse.

Anyway, I quickly typed in abcd1234.

Website: Nope.

Me: How about ab12cd34

Website: Nope.

Me: BringBackFirefly

Website: Nopers

Me: How about: Openupyouchiselheadedcommunisttoepickingdickweed

Website: Sorry. That password has already been taken.

Me: Look. Do you have even the slightest idea who you are trucking with?

Website: Your password should include at least one number, one upper case letter, one lower case letter, one thank you letter to your grandmother for your lovely birthday socks and something that is neither a number nor a letter. How about a rune? Something in Elvish or Pig Latin for example, or, if pressed for time (or pants) a simple semicolon would be okay. Surprise us.

At this point I felt frustrated the way Biblical Job was frustrated when the locusts and the frogs and the armadillos fell out of the sky. (Job 16: 2-4 Then Job answered and said ‘Really? Armadillos? Come on, man!’)

It was the worst possible moment to find myself humiliated. Although, the more I thought about it, there actually was no good time to be humiliated. Hmm. I felt chagrined not knowing that. I checked and, to my continuing humiliation,  I found my chagrin tank empty. I badly needed a nap. But I sucked it up and clicked on the humiliation button that taunted “Forgot your password, hee hee?”

I was taken immediately to the page of the Spanish Inquisition. Nobody expects that. The tone on this exchange of texts was spare and intimidating. Almost Jesuit.

Website: Why did you forget your password? Do you think we have nothing to do all day but think up new passwords for you?

Me: Er…

Website: You want a new password? First, prove you’re not a robot.

Me: Wait. What’s wrong with robots? Some of my best friends are robots. In fact, my only friend is a robot.

Website: We don’t allow robots to set foot on our website. They get grease on the virtual carpeting and think they know everything. Plus they need constant oiling. So we need proof you’re human. At the very least an elf.

Me: What kind of proof? How about my American Bowling Congress membership card? Show me a robot who has one of those.

Website. Hold on, nimrod. Congress is full of robots. Everyone knows that.

Me: I believe you’re thinking of the U.S. Congress. A common mistake.

Later, I spoke to Minoochin my number-crunching robot neighbor. He had me buy a software password vault. You enter all your passwords and lock them away with one single password. Only you know it, so only you can sign in. The key, of course: don’t forget that one password.

So, I came up with a doozy. In fact, it’s

d-O-o-Z-y IV-3-II-1

The Minooch warned me again to give my new password to no one.

“You give away your belt,” he said, “and your pants fall down.”

©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2020, all rights reserved.

 

Posted in Absurd and/or zany, Mockery and derision, News You Can Use (Sort of), The human comedy | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Evil, evil bo beevil

To many these days, there’s nothing more satisfying than making fun of something or someone they don’t understand, without realizing how very much they misunderstand that “those people” do, in fact, understand, but are too polite, or Canadian, to say anything — which the original misunderstanders probably won’t understand, but then, after an eye-blink of thinking they will tell big fat lies and allow that they have been misunderstood because, yes, of course they understand perfectly, very perfectly, and to prove it they begin to boil down their understandings and misunderstandings into great bubbles of understandably evil off-gassing.

Can I get an Amen, here?

Take, for instance, evil.  How hard is evil to understand? Evil is bad, nothing else to say, right? In fact, one might expand one’s understanding of evil to cover all bases and say evil is bad and bad is evil. But be careful, because bad evil is a whole different style of banjo.

Let’s just say you are bad or evil – not both. You will likely be pulled out of line at the airport for a full bad-or-evil cavity search and then asked to swear never to be bad or evil again. When you agree, the frisker says “Well, okay then.” You can scurry back into line without ever being asked about being bad evil. Which, ironically, is bad or evil but — because of Obamacare — never both.

Yes, it can get confusing. Take this simple test that will help you sort out bad from evil

The monster hiding under your bed is

  1. Sad
  2. Bad
  3. Evil
  4. Dusty
  5. A dusty bastard.

Bad bad Leroy Brown is

  1. Bad
  2. Bad bad
  3. Meanest man in the whole damn town
  4. Badder than old King Kong
  5. He wants you to believe King Kong is just bad or just evil, hoping you won’t notice his bad-evil accent.

If you grab someone’s erogenous zone in public you are

  1. Erroneous
  2. Elected president
  3. Accused by Evil men of being Evil, you sly dog, you
  4. Evil, evil bo beevil, banana panna po peevil, fee fi mo mevil, E-vil.
  5. Dramatically ironic

A libertarian, a Gelusil tablet and a depressed bear walk into the path of a speeding bus. Which one suffers most in death?

  1. The depressed bear (Just when I realize I can walk and talk, I get run over by a bus)
  2. The libertarian (I kept getting myself confused with a librarian and now this.)
  3. The Gelusil tablet (When they tell you to chill and chew a couple Gelusil, they mean a couple, not just a singleton, and so then I have to explain to the media why I’m alone and how my Gelusil partner was eaten by a depressed bear, which, 10 times out of ten gives me pre-death heartburn.)
  4. The bear claw, formerly attached to the arm of a depressed bear. (Look, I saw it in the street and went for it. How was I supposed to know the claw belonged to an actual bear who got very depressed over losing his claw. But look, if it helps, I have to say it was one of the better bear claws I have eaten.)

The basketball team of the electoral college is playing round ball with the men from the college of cardinals in Madison Square Garden. To many observers this is a classic matchup of Bad-Idea-Evil versus Evil With A Red Dress On. Discuss.

©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2020, all rights reserved.

Posted in Absurd and/or zany, Mockery and derision, News You Can Use (Sort of), The human comedy | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Attention: people in white coats

A bear walks into a bar…

Okay, hold it right there…

I don’t know about you, but it’s been quite a while since a bear last walked into a bar in my town. Some blame it on the liberals, those communist bastards who have scared all the bears into writing existential novels or acting in low budget art movies. Others blame it on conservatives, those nazi bastards, who have rounded up bears, forced them into tutus and six months of ballet lessons, down payment non-refundable.

Some people say it’s the fault of global warming which is the fault of man, while others argue over exactly which man, his known associates, street address, cell number, etc. Others say it has nothing to do with global warming, which makes no sense. Global warming is why bears go into bars in the first place – for the air conditioning and the cold beer.

Some blame the sudden drop in bear-bar sightings on the rise of craft beers which bears find a little too bitter. They’ve seen too many times what happens when a bear chugs an IPA. It always comes out their noses.

Over on the subcontinent, however, in places like Mumbai, it’s not any odder that an Indian sloth bear should be in an Indian bar in the first place than he should order an India Pale Ale. Interesting but unprovable fact: India’s Sloth Bears can run faster than humans, but they are also very tame-able, and often trained as performing pets (see “tutus” above). They can even do some lap dancing (as long as the word some is clearly defined beforehand.)

Why is it, in these reports, we hear only about oddball patrons who walk into a bar (i.e., a rabbi, a priest and a wallabee-wannabee walk into a bar; a zombie, a whale and an ordained banjo player, walk into a bar, etc.) Don’t weirdos ever go anywhere else? (Wine spillings? Hard boiled egg peelings? The Medical Examiner’s Gift Shop? Wal-Mart?)

Also, the idea of seeing a bear in a bar isn’t as thrilling as it used to be. Think of your friends or even family members who have had a bear sit down next to them in a bar. How many times have they forgotten to bring it up at home at the dinner table when the sergeant major asks “What’s new out there in the real world today?”

Maybe you’ve been out there yourself and answered “Yeah, I did see a sloth bear guzzling a wheat beer at lunch, but, you know, it was a sloth bear. Other than that, just the same old crap, a normal day of eroding manners, sanity crises, lying liars lying like rugs and the odd hatchet thrown at the odd hatchet-deserver.”

Most recently, while in a bar, drinking a beer, I was surprised to see a bear suddenly sitting on the bar stool beside me. The surprise changed to boredom as he started doing bird impressions in between his burps (although the more I think about it, the more I wonder: It’s quite possible that his burps were also his bird impressions.)

“Shouldn’t you be hibernating somewhere?” I asked.

The bear looked my way and said “Are you talking to me?”

“No,” I said, “I’m talking to the bear sitting next to you.”

He looked to the stool on his right, which was empty. He looked to the seat on his left, which also was empty. Except for me, of course.

“So,” he said, “either you are the bear sitting next to me, or I am the bear sitting next to you.”

“Hey, pal,” said the bartender “you’re talkin’ to yourself again.”

In perfect unison, we responded “Are you talking to me?”

Five minutes later, a large white van pulled up and men in white coats and nets got out and walked into the bar.

So. Will someone please explain to all the white-coat people out there that you can’t fit a bear into a butterfly net?

©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2020, all rights reserved.

 

Posted in Absurd and/or zany, funny, Mockery and derision, News You Can Use (Sort of) | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments