Roundheads

I’ve been thinking lately that Pythagoras, Aristotle and Sister Mary Funeral were wrong about the world being round.

Given my storied C– education, my abundant savoir faire and an overall jive that makes women — just ask K-Mac* – weep with relish (pickle), it took only the Simple-Simon-met-a-pie-man genius of basketball star Shaquille O’Neal to redefine my world view.

Shaq recently told an interviewer the earth is flat. Count me as one of the millions who laughed with relish (antipasto) at such ignorance.

Then Shaq offered a profoundly lucid and indisputable proof: He has driven across the country several times (traveling, in basketball parlance) and it dawned on him (the fourth or fifth time?) that everything out there was flat.

How flat?

Flatter than Bb. Try Bveryveryb to the 10th power ranger.

It’s hard to admit you were wrong sometimes/all the time, especially if a private detective’s video has gone viral on You Boob. But wasn’t it St. Francis who said “humility can be felt and displayed only by the truly humble — or those who have had their pants pulled down in front of a thousand people in Grand Central Station?” Don’t I know it.

As the song says “It’s a gift to be simple, it’s a gift to return; hope you have the receipt and original packaging.” Simplicity — despite its simplistic name — disguises subtle power. When I heard Shaq’s proof, my mind woke up and asked for a ham and cheese on flatbread.

Recalling the times I swore the world was orbiculate and not flatulate I want to cry out “Sorry everybody! Don’t fall off the edge!” For Shaq’s transparent observations are perhaps the most significant example ever of the trans community (parent, sylvania, fusion, ient, fer, mogrification, etc.) not being able to see the forest for the Wal-Mart that bulldozed it.

I do regret, though, not beating Shaq to the punch. You see, by crazy coincidence, I too have driven across country several times. Other than the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevadas, the great Central Valley of California and its wimpy coastal ranges like the Santa Cruz Mountains, I have to tell you, the terrain is flat.

How flat?

So flat, if you stand on a molehill you can see Putin in his driveway, waxing his horse.

Anyway, delusional “round heads” like to cite the pictures of earth taken from the moon showing a round planet. But have they never heard of pizza? A pizza is round and flat. Eh? Roll a hunk of sausage across your DiGiorno’s and watch it fall off the edge and into the mouth of Rover. Or, more likely, me.

Also, if the world is round like a ball, how come kangaroos in Australia don’t fall off while hopping down the billabong? As for everyone else in the land down under, wouldn’t you think the blood would rush to their heads and everybody would be called Red and they’d have to walk around with big stones in their pockets?

And don’t try to confuse the issue, or me, with fake science blather about quote, unquote “gravity.” You can fool some of the people some of the time, etc. etc.

I’m so reformed now that next I’d like to pick Shaq’s dribbling basketball brain about global warming. Does he agree that carbon dioxide has been slandered as the worst mixture of elements since silicon combined with valium to produce computer nerds?

I’d also like to ask if Shaq thinks John Wayne really was The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence. My money has always been on the Widow Prescott, in the library, with the blow gun.

*On second thought, better not.

©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2017, all rights reserved.

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

The funny thing is

The emperor has signed an order making it a crime to laugh at him. Because of the liklihood of confusion, we have posted this FAQ.

Q. Is that how you spell likelihood?
A. No, but it is how you spell liklihood, defined as the chance that someone will lick you while wearing a hood.

Q. Do you mean while the licker is wearing a hood? Or the lickee?
A. Are you trying to be funny with a member of the emperor’s staff?

Q. Well, it is a pretty funny staff. If you’d just stop being funny all the time…
A. Think of the emperor’s staff as an extension of the emperor.

Q. Hard not to laugh when thinking of the emperor walking around with an extension. Especially since he’s never wearing any clothes.
A. Laughing at the emperor for wearing no clothes is now classified as overkill, meaning you can be killed over it.

Q. You’re killing me right now.
A. Be careful. The law prohibits laughing while pointing at the emperor, laughing hysterically while pounding a table within 50 nautical miles of him and laughing at him while pretending to choke to death on a pretzel.

Q. What about laughing with the emperor?
A. If the emperor laughs you may laugh. In fact, you must laugh and each laugh must contain the words “Ho ho, hee hee,” or “har har hearty har har.” Laugher’s choice. Once the emperor stops laughing, if you don’t stop, it will constitute a prima facie case of laughing at the emperor (LATE).

Q. What happens then?
A. You take a laughalyzer test. It includes three jokes about the emperor’s hair and it measures your response on a laugh-o-meter. Anything but a 0.0 reading leads to a charge of LATE-ness, which requires you to sweep up after school every day for a year.

Q. What if he’s so funny I forgot to laugh?
A. Very unlikly. By the way, laughs that sound like Bwwaaahaaaaahaaaa are unacceptable. Thigh slapping, however, is always welcome as long as the thigh you slap is your own. This does not apply to laughing while reaching for female grabbables because, as the emperor has pointed out, they let you.

Q. How can we know when he stops laughing?
A. Cameras will be installed at intersections and outside any house occupied by funny-looking people.

Q. Define funny-looking.
A. People who don’t look like the emperor, including Mexicans, Muslims and Media. We call it the M&M&Ms rule, which, of course, includes both plain and peanut.

Q. How do the lights work?
A. When the emperor laughs, the light turns green and you can laugh. When it turns red, the camera will photograph anyone still laughing and a nun will show up and wipe the smile right off their face.

Q. You mean, you can’t even smile?
A. Smiling is frowned upon because it’s considered to be alternative laughing. Example: The emperor says when he was a disadvantaged young man just starting out, he had to borrow $14 million from his father just to be a millionaire. Outwardly you smile but inwardly you think to yourself, “That is funny. Quite hysterical. What do you know, I’ve wet my pants.”

Q. Can the emperor laugh at himself?
A. No. It’s against the law.

Q. A well-unknown blogger says that a man who can’t laugh at himself has never looked in a mirror.
A. With that hair? Trust me, he looks in the mirror every day. The funny thing is, that’s when he does all his tweeting.

Q. The funny thing? Uh, oh. The red light just came on. And here comes a nun.
A. What do you know, I’ve wet my pants.

©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2017, all rights reserved.

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

Lost and flounder

K-Mac drops a pill and it rolls under the washer. What is the etiquette here? The handbook suggests these standard options.

• Offer an empathetic “It sucks to be you.”

• Go into the garage, get the back brace, the knee pads and the Blue Tooth pill grabber, hand them to K-Mac and wish her luck.

• Find out how much the pill cost and if it’s less than the mortgage payment, move on to the next pill in the bottle.

• If it’s one of those pills that can save your life in a pinch, stop pinching.

• Spend fifteen minutes finding the flashlight, get down on hands and knees and turn it on and realize the batteries are dead as a door nail.

• Spend 20 minutes searching for batteries, finding none but locating the long-lost foot to your gorilla suit, hiding next to a small box of tiny nails. Door nails. Hmm. Coincidence?

• Dig out the old gorilla suit from your 20th century collection (mountain) of things you knew you might need someday, put it on, zip on the lost foot, sigh with satisfaction.

• With the gorilla claws, fumble the box of tiny nails which explodes on contact with the floor.

• Shout “Stupid gorilla suit.” K-Mac can’t hear you through the mask and thinks you want polluted Manila soup. She demurs.

• Trying to remove the gorilla suit, the zipper gets stuck. Sweating heavily, you get out your smart phone, get down on hands and knees and hit the flashlight app.

• Pound the floor when you realize you forgot to charge your smart phone.

• Remove 17 tiny nails from your gorilla fist.

• Retrieve an old car aerial from your 20th century collection (mountain) of things you knew you might need someday.

• Stick the aerial under the washer and push out a dust-covered, dried-up Easter Bunny peep from the first Easter.

• Restrain yourself from eating the peep.

• Look at K-Mac and say “Are you sure it went under here?”

• She thinks you said “Sure, get me another beer.” She re-demurs.

•Throw a gorilla-esque tantrum, then grab hold of the front of the washer as if you were planning on throwing it out the window.

• Begin carrying it toward window.

• Stop and whimper “I think I hurt myself.”

• K-Mac posts to Facebook a soon-to-go-viral photo of a gorilla trying to steal her washer. Lots of likes.

• Go on the internet and Google “How to get a pill out from under the washer.”

• Grind one-eighth inch of enamel from teeth, noting article “Why do washing machines pill clothing?”

• Ask very mucho aloud why the firetrucking Mr. Google thinks the next article “Can’t get the fish smell out of clothing?” is relevant.

• Begin sniffing gorilla suit.

• Ask K-Mac “Do you smell flounder?”

• She thinks you said “Do you smell flounder?” She says she will get back to you. In your mask it sounds like she will get back at you.

• Note ad alongside Google list: “Three signs you may have a fatty liver.”

• Start worrying about your liver.

• Find no article that says “Three ways to get a stupid pill out from under your stupid washing machine without weeping in fatty liver despair.”

• Notice pop-up ad that says “Get the best design ideas free.” Click on “No Thanks.” When ad remains, click on “No thanks” again. Once again. Harder. I said harder. NO THANKS!

• Weeping and bleeding from door-nail punctures, you begin speaking in Shakespearean tongues with a gorilla-mask-filtered Mel Gibson accent:

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying NOTHING!

• Take a chill pill.

• Don’t drop it.

• Seriously, dude, do not drop it.

©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2017, all rights reserved.

Posted in Absurd and/or zany, News You Can Use (Sort of), The human comedy | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Enemy of the peeps

Q. How long have you been an enemy of the people?
A. Just a few days. Ever since the Hair Master labeled the news media “The enemy of the people.” But, in fact, I’ve been a reporter since way back when people who played the banjo were sex symbols.

Q. They had news media that long ago?
A. Back then “news media” was a new term, referring mostly to TV and radio types. I was part of an ancient tribe called newspaper reporters. We reported actual news and attributed everything to named sources or documents.

Q. Why would you go to so much trouble?
A. This was long before facts were outlawed and alternative facts became the norm. If you think about it, when you outlaw facts, then only outlaws have facts. Over the years newspaper reporters evolved from outlaws to enemies of the people.

Q. Newspaper. I’ve heard that term, but have never seen one.
A. They were printed everyday in most towns and cities. They were very carefully thrown onto your porch roof or into the azaleas every day by someone called a paperboy. They were also used to line the bottoms of bird cages and to swat door-to-door roofing salesmen.

Q. You made that up.
A. Well, I was once one of the most dishonest people on earth — in fact, until just last week when I was officially promoted to enemy of the people.

Q. What does an enemy of the people do every day?
A. Since I’m new to the job, I can only follow the example of the Hair Master, the patron saint of enemies of the people. I imagine I’ll lie, cheat, steal and grab crotches that don’t belong to me.

Q. So. An enemy of the people. But which people?
A. We, the people.

Q. Oui? You mean the French?
A. No, I mean “We the people,” as the founding fathers wrote it in the Constitution.

Q. But aren’t those people all dead by now?
A. It’s beginning to look like it.

Q. So you’re talking about we the living people? That we?
A. Yes.

Q. Or, as the French would say “Oui we?”
A. Comedy is such a painful affliction. By the way, “the people” refers to people like you and me.

Q. You mean you’re the enemy of the people but you’re also one of the people?
A. One of the Hair Master’s key rules is that before you can become an enemy of everybody, you first have to become your own worst enemy. He is leading by example.

Q. I once heard someone say “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” If an enemy of the people is his own worst enemy, doesn’t that mean…
A. Yes, the Hair Master is also his own best friend.

Q. Isn’t that like the cosmic forces of the Ying and the Yang joining as one?
A. Yes, and because of that, we the people are up the Yingyang.

Q. But wait a minute. Wasn’t it the people who elected the Hair Master?
A. No. That was the electoral college.

Q. What exactly is the electrical college again?
A. The enemy of the people.

Q. I thought that was the news media.
A. The people have more than one enemy. That’s why there are mimes and billionaires.*

Q. Wow, why haven’t I heard about this before?
A. It’s classified.

Q. You mean like a Help Wanted ad? Or, like, if I want to sell a used bassoon?
A. Why am I not surprised that you are a bassoonist?

Q. You sound like an enemy of the bassoon.
A. Or, as the French would say ‘Sacre bassooning bleu.’

*Although, ironically, no billionaire mimes.

©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2017, all rights reserved.

Posted in Absurd and/or zany, Mockery and derision, News You Can Use (Sort of) | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Nopeski

So, I was sitting there in my official thinking mode when suddenly I’m thinking two thoughts simultaneously at once. It’s a premium feature I opted for the last time I had my thinking mode in for an oil change. (What the hey, I had a 25 % off coupon).

I figured simulti-thinking would be a great exercise for staying young and sharp and the kind of man who is rich in ways other than having lots of foldos.

For example, consider the richness of having friends. If I had any, they also would be the non-foldo type, because I’ve already asked a number of well-off foldonians to befold me, but so far, none has welcomed me to the foldo.

Speaking of double-thought mode, it seems especially appropriate as we now seem to be living in a dualistic society.

Consciously or not, we reduce everything to just two possibilities – good or bad; black or white; Bud Lite or Bud Lite Lime; neurons or morons; sociopathic or patheosochic; cool or puh-leeeze; Lebron James or Lebron James; DH or no DH; dead or undead; gots foldos, or no gots foldos.

But that’s neither here nor there. Or, as traditionalists might say, that’s neither here.

Anyway thought number one: I saw a photograph of a moose and started thinking about a mouse. Why? I noticed that big, honking mooses have stubby little tails. More like a chocolate eclair or a botched moosehood implant.

Yet mouses, small and not as photogenic — nor as appropriate for taxidermy — have decent-sized tails. Doesn’t that seem completely backwards? Shouldn’t mooses have the big tails and mouses the fake or alternative tails?

You have to wonder: Was that an art thing? Perhaps a production error during the seven days of creation? Or was it more a post-production issue, such as the embarrassing llama incident — thankfully caught in enough time to prevent llambs and llions from happening, although too late for Illinois.

While juggling that mindbender, I started wondering simultaneously about something completely different. For some reason I thought of the word deceased. Probably prompted by my recent reading of Steinbeck’s “Of Moose and Men,” in which a guy carries a moose around in his cargo pocket and the moose ends up getting deceased to death.

Don’t know why I didn’t notice this before but the word deceased, which essentially means croaked, contains two conflicting elements.

The first is ceased, which seems to imply all you need to know about an end to something, as in a stilled heart or a deflated football, or a kicked keg of Blatz.

But then we have the prefix de — which translates very lloosely to not or nil or nopeski. In other words ceased should mean “croakers” and de-ceased should mean “Hey, look who’s back.”

Oddly, a third thought then intruded — rare, but covered under my warranty. I think it happened because I woke up that morning feeling very out of sorts.

I guess all that thinking about deceased mooses and meeses made me feel guilty. I mean, with all the serious crap going down in this country, shouldn’t I knock off the comedy and think more serious multi-thoughts like Bowling Green? Sweden? WTF?

Oddly – did I already say oddly? Well, this is oddlier — here’s what came next from my dual exhausts:

First, I’d be willing to bet that at some point in recorded history somebody, somewhere, woke up feeling out of sorts because he was out of shorts?

I found the second thought even more life-affirming: As the Big Banger, who created the llama and everything else continues to show us, there is no end to the comedy.

©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2017, all rights reserved.

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

A mouthful of tapenade

Let’s suppose your mother thinks of you as “Nuts.” But let’s also pretend you’re really just a harmless goof who occasionally acts a little nutty. To wit:

You ran naked through a wheat field once because the wheat told you to. You’d rather have a peanut butter and pickle sandwich than peanut butter and bacon. You ran for president because the wheat told you to. Ever since you accidentally won, the wheat won’t return your calls.

A lot of people can’t see the subtle distinction between “peanut butter and pickle” nuts and a 24/7 coconut. Try telling them you’re just nutty and they’ll say “Yeah, nutty as a seared rack of lamb with pistachio tapenade!”*

Until recently, your only response if called a nut was to scream “Am not!” Trouble is, if you speak too quickly or with a mouthful of tapenade, it sounds like “Am nut!”

So, is it surprising that every year thousands of people avoid a mental health emissions test for fear of being branded a nut (N)? This, even though research shows that fewer than 493 in a thousand “Nuts” (Ns) are totally nuts.

That’s why one of the most important advances in mental health in recent years has been the diagnosis of “Half-Nuts” (HN). What is the difference between N and HN? It may sound simple, almost silly in fact, but it’s the letter H.

Under the new HN diagnosis, if you are called a nut you can respond triumphantly “You’re only half-right,” or “I’m half not-nuts.” Some HNs even fall back on the old reliable “I’m rubber and you’re glue. Everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, you finger-sniffing loser.”

One caution: There’s been an alarming tendency in the Shrink Wrap community to carelessly refer to HNs (HNs) as “Sorta Kinda Nuts.” (SKNs). This can cause humiliation and great anxiety among pre-Ns which is a clear symptom of early onset peanut brittle.

In connection with this, I’ve remembered something I learned in seventh grade when Sister St. Fistus introduced us to the German geologist, Friedrich Mohs. In 1812 Mohs devised a system for rating the manliness of the world’s minerals. Thus, in Mohs Scale of Hardness, talc, the pussy, sits at the very bottom, while at the top — and still harder than a nun’s noogie — sits the diamond.

Sister St. Fistus had a special Mohs kit that contained a sample of each mineral. She passed the box up and down the rows for us to gawk and fondle. By the time it got to me, the diamond was missing. Guess who got blamed?

Anyway, in honor of Mohs, who is now 237 years old and hard as feldspar, I have created a nut scale — from least to most — to help find your place on the spectrum of crunchy legumes.

McG’s Scale of Nutness™
1. Am Nut
2. Fluffernutter
3. Nutball
4. Tony chestnut
5. Beer Nuts
6. Zagnut
7. Trout almondine
8. Half-Nuts
9. Nuts
10. Totally nuts
11. Kung Pao Chicken with peanuts
12. Coconuts

*True fact: Pistachios are one of only two nuts mentioned in the Bible. The other is Ed the Baptist who filled in for John the Baptist on weekends at the Jordan River. Baptizees complained that when they dunked their head in the river, Ed insisted on holding their nose, sometimes tweaking it or just refusing to let go. On the upside, everyone baptized by Ed got a souvenir duck carved out of soap, prompting the Bible’s only reference to an acronym: WTD?

©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2017, all rights reserved.

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

Larry’s Corolla

Spoiler alert: this article contains the answer to an unsolved mystery of science. Please avert your eyes while reading so you don’t give anything away to your Walter ego.

Have you ever wondered why there is matter in the universe, but no anti-matter? (I’ll give you a moment to jog your joggables.)

Hmm, I do see matter there on my shoes. And—oh no, on the carpet as well. Let me just have K-Mac grab the spray bottle of…what? We have no anti-matter? They don’t make it anymore? They never made it? Hmm. I wonder…no, wait. I’m pretty sure this is on the Great List Of Things Not Worth Wondering About. So, no.

Yeah, I haven’t either.

But, apparently, there are astrophysicists who do wonder and who lose sleep over it and who think it’s just as serious a question as “What’s the deal with darkness?”

To be precise, let’s define our terms. Matter is, essentially, stuff. Either the kind floating out in space or in your basement whenever the creek rises. We’ve all got plenty of stuff, whether floating, nailed down or set out on the curb in cans every Monday night.

Because the word stuff is so low-brow, the American Academy of Wrong Words (AAWW) warned scientists that no one would take them seriously unless they started calling stuff that matters matter.

Scientists not only took the cue, they took the chalk, the twenty yards of green felt, the chuck nurse (not Chuck, the nurse), and racked their balls onto a slab of Peach Bottom slate – metaphorically, of course.*

They ran everything through your basic astrophysics meat-grinder: a gas chromatograph, mass spectrometer (aka: gasmass. Hurry! Only two left, still-in-shrink.) On the seventh day the physicists rested — although somebody out in the rec room called an eight ball in the side pocket, missed the shot and ripped a hole in the felt.  The duck tape repair is barely noticeable when you leave the room.

One night, scientists working late decided they needed a word to distinguish matter from stuff that doesn’t matter. The guy who answered the phone at the AAWW suggested anti-matter. (Turns out that guy was just Sammy, the night wordman. The next day the AAWW fired him without so much as an indefinite pronoun.)

Anyway, your scientific types then got a little too cute — forgetting there is no cute in astrophysics (although still plenty of boisterous debate in bistrophysics.) Scientists cutely announced to the media their major discovery of anti-matter before actually discovering anti-matter. (Note: The World Italics Council unanimously approved this italicization.)

Cackling reporters noted that, unlike matter — which comes in every color of the rainbow (including orc blood); almost every geometric shape, (obtuse triangles, yes, but dopey triangles, no); and every size from Petite to Mobius Dickius XXL – anti-matter is invisible, dude.

“If you can’t see it, how do you know it’s really there?” cackled one. “And if it isn’t there,” copy-cackled another, “how do you know it isn’t?”

Other than “Ummawumuh wibbly woobly,” scientists had no answer.

But, look. Many things in science are invisible: fun, natural gas, pi (square, not round), Schroedinger’s Cat, Doodleman’s Dog, Garibaldi’s Groundhog, and the sixth sense for finding the fastest possible route to Intercourse, Pennsylvania.

Problematically, after declaring anti-matter anti-matter, scientists not only spent years trying to prove it really exists, but that (Irony off the starboard bow! Dive! Dive!) it matters. Geezy weezy, science dudes. You already told us matter is what matters.

The way I see it (and I see it a lot), the answer is stupidly simple: Some stuff matters, some stuff don’t. Personally, I think most stuff falls into the don’t column and is not worth worrying over. Instead, we should take comfort in the universally accepted don’t-matter corollary (aka: Larry’s Corolla): It’s all good.

*No actual balls were injured during the making of this metaphor.

©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2017, all rights reserved.

Posted in Absurd and/or zany, Mockery and derision, News You Can Use (Sort of), The human comedy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments