Let’s say you’re a god. With a small g, because we all know you’re not the Big G. But, for educational purposes only, let’s continue to say you’re a lower case god like back in the day when they had sand and swords and the sheep looked nice if you squinted.

They also had multiple gods in those days, which goes back to the day when The Big G cut the ribbon at the opening of the Okefenokee swamp in Florida. Harold, a troublemaking angel, always up to no good, stayed behind in heaven as punishment for his role in a notorious wind-breaking incident, sometimes confused with Hurricane Jolene).

So, while the festivities played out in the Florida swamp, Harold promoted everybody back in heaven to lower-case god status. As a joke, of course. All in good fun. But you know what? When someone, no matter who, declares you are a god, it sounds just about the same as being declared God. After awhile, you’re drinking Bud Lite lime before lunch and pretty certain your stuff don’t stink.

When The Big G got back from the swamp and saw all the other gods running around acting like they were God, he just about went through the roof. Not such a hard thing to do, because as most people know, heaven has no roof. Still, he was beside himself, which was very unnerving because, with all the other gods, it was hard to tell if the god standing beside you was a little g or the big G. (Note: If you’re a god, all other gods look the same, which was never a problem when there was just the one God.)

GOD himself called all the new gods into a conference room. He then sent in a guy named Moe, whom he was grooming to be part of a semi-holy trinity called The Three Stooges. He had Moe walk around the room sticking his finger in eyes, bopping heads, jabbing bellies and pulling ears.  If anyone complained he said “Oh.  A wise guy,” and he tried to twist off their noses.

But I digress. That all happened a while back and you probably read all about it in the papers, when they had papers.  Look, the life of small g gods today leaves much to be desired. I mean, let’s say you’re a small god named Apollo. Your super power is correct grammar usage. Anytime you hear someone using bad grammar, you puff up into a blue nosed gopher and dig a long tunnel into that someone’s back yard. It’ll take some time, but sooner or later it will dawn on you that a backyard crisscrossed by gopher tunnels is not a big deterrent to keeping people from using the passive voice.

Really? Okay, I see the doubt in your ears. So listen up. Let’s say you hear someone say “The gopher crawled into the tunnel.” Of course, you have no trouble with that.

But then the gopher says (yes, yes, it’s a talking gopher; accept the premise, you’ll enjoy the bit.*)… So the gopher says “The tunnel was crawled into by Pete the gopher-hater who took his 12 gauge Mossberg into the past tense where the actual gopher, known as Ed the goofy gopher, was blown.”

Is there a lesson in this story? Why does every story have to have a lesson? More to the point, why does every lesson have to have a story? Can’t we all just get along?

Of course, the sharp eyed reader will immediately see the point I’m trying to make:  passive gophers stand not a chance against an armed copy editor.

Have a nice day.

*Stolen from David Letterman

©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 , , | 5 Comments

The Usually Better Business Bureau (TUBBB) has issued the following Consumer Warning:

The NLG corporation makes Nice Looking Gizmo knockoffs that do everything the more costly but less nice-looking gizmos do. Except they only work for about a week and then become nice looking gizmos that don’t do anything except maybe chirp or hum or emit the scent of burnt money.

Everyone in their customer service department has been trained to identify themselves as “Bob” and cheerfully pledge to resolve consumer issues. Callers are advised to put the offending gizmo in a box and ship it to an address in Mumbai where a technician named “Sanjay” will send out a brand new gizmo on the first steamer leaving port, C.O.D.

Because the cost of shipping is seven times the cost of the gizmo, our investigation showed half the complainants said “Do I have some kind of sign on my back that says ‘Sucker?’

“Bob” is instructed to say “I completely sympathize, but recently I was diagnosed with stage four Schwartzman’s Spalpeen. As you’re probably aware, it’s a disease that attacks, um… and… uh…withers the uh… the…um…er…”

“Bob” is instructed to patiently wait for the caller to say:

“The spalpeen?”

“Exactly. I’m hoping to avoid stage five.”

A full 100% of the callers say:

“What happens in stage five?”

“Bob” answers with one word: “Amp-uh, amp-uh Amputation.”

Two thirds of the callers say, in a higher pitch than usual, “Not the spalpeen!?

“Leave me your number,” “Bob” is instructed to say, “and I’ll phone you from my hospital bed.”

As for the third who don’t say “The spalpeen?” they say “Oh, forget it.” But sales receipts show that when these people see an ad for a really nice looking, new and improved, second generation gizmo knockoff that costs half the price of the real thing, they rush online and contact “Gerald” in sales. He says “Oh, lucky day. We’ve still got a few in stock!”

That’s half of the original dissatisfied customers. Another third ships their broken gizmo to Mumbai, in care of “Sanjay.” At this point, one of two things occurs.

One, “Sanjay” sends a new gizmo out and the customer is happy as a gnat in hummus for about a week and then the doodad poops out and the slow grinding process begins again.

Two, nothing happens.

In either case, weeks go by. The customer gets upset and does one of two things.

One, the customer suffers some sort of stroke, seizure or, in many cases, Schwartzman’s Spalpeen. The NLG corporation quietly considers the case closed.

Two, a customer texts Sanjay asking “do you think I have nothing to do but wait for somebody named Sanjay in Mumbai to take his sweet time getting a new gizmo out to me?”

Here, one of two things happens.

One, nothing happens.

Two, an email bears the sad news that “Sanjay” was on a ferry—originally designed for 43 but carrying 2,738 pilgrims — when it overturned and sank like a stone while crossing the Straits of Mumbai. Meanwhile, people at the NLG factory tell unhappy customers they are sorting the mountain of returned, defective gizmos stacked “next to Sanjay’s desk beside the box fan he won for being employee of the month and which he treasured because it’s very hot in Mumbai, so please try to understand because Sanjay was well loved and left two wives and an elephant with serious trunk issues.”

A good half of the third of the disgruntled customers give up and are never heard from again.

Half of the other half of the third call and demand to speak to “Bob.”

Meanwhile “Bob,” recovering from surgery, has taken over for the late, beloved “Sanjay.” Half of the half of the other half of the third give up at this point. The other half asks to speak to “Bob’s” replacement who turns out to be a bubbly 19-year-old trainee named Honeynut.

After hearing her squeaky, air-leaking-from-the-stretched-thin-neck-of-a-balloon voice say “Hi, this is Honeynut. How may I help you on this beautiful morning?” almost everyone of the other half of the half of the other half of the third log off with very irritable bowels.

©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 , , | 7 Comments

You may feel a little pinch

Have you ever tried to walk a mile in somebody’s shoes and then got arrested for shoe theft?

Have you ever tried to follow the guidelines to life in the Good Book, like killing the fatted calf when your prodigal son spends your fortune drinking, dallying with different women every night and flunking out of college, only to come back home to live? Did the neighbors call the cops when you tried to kill the fatted calf in your backyard?

Did Dr. Phil’s advice that you’d better get your crap together backfire when thieves broke into your house and stole your crap? The good crap!

Have you ever noticed that you can barely walk fifteen feet without someone giving you advice on how to walk the next fifteen? Have you ever gone to the dentist and sat there in the chair as he drilled into your pain center with glee because he is a happy dentist. Only thing to take your mind off that glee was a large banner hanging from the wall right in front of you. It burbled with little bits of homey, corney advice and wisdom like “Stop blaming others,” and “Marry only for love,” and “Leave the toilet seat in the down position.”

Eyeing that list while someone’s hand is in your mouth and a voice says “You’ll feel a little pinch,” just before the voice says “Uh oh,” can make one a tad cynical about all the jolly good advice hanging on the dentist’s wall.

The last time I was there, with a pain in my neck, I mentally adjusted the rules to make them more realistic.*

  • Keep your promises (no matter what) Example: “No matter what I promised I promise I will forget it.”
  • Count your blessings. Don’t forget being out of prison.
  • Don’t be afraid to say I don’t know. I don’t know. That’s a hard one. 
  • Compliment even small improvements. I see you finally trimmed your nose hair.
  • Don’t be afraid to say “I made a mistake,” or “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
  • Drink champagne for no reason. Like, duh!
  • Never underestimate the power of love halitosis
  • Feed a stranger’s expired parking meter. Send a stranger’s child to college while you’re at it. Steal an expired stranger’s car and drive it past the stranger’s hearse, beeping the horn and waving while you’re at it. 
  • Stop blaming others. Start suing them.
  • Always accept an outstretched hand, assuming hand sanitizer is available.
  • Take responsibility for every area of your life, unless your lawyer gives you the silent, zip-it signal in court.
  • Plant flowers every spring, not winter. 
  • Use the good silver or steal some good silver and then use it.
  • Look people in the eye but not the one with the eye patch.
  • Commit yourself to constant improvement, then have yourself committed to an institution.
  • Avoid negative people. Like that’s even possible.
  • Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards. Pay in Monopoly money. (They’re kids.)
  • Overtip breakfast waitresses. Tip over breakfast waitresses who are slow with the coffee.
  • Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know unless you don’t know anybody like that, in which case, never mind.
  • Keep it simple. It lowers expectations.
  • Think big thoughts but relish small successes. Warning: using mustard sends the wrong message.
  • Leave everything a little better than you found it. Just a little; don’t go crazy.
  • Compliment three people every day. Make sure they are different people.
  • Learn three clean jokes. Keep them to yourself.
  • Return borrowed vehicles with the gas tank full. Return stolen vehicles with no body in the trunk.

©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2020, all rights reserved.
*Apologies to H. Jackson Brown, Jr., author of Life’s Little Instruction Book

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


…and  in conclusion, let me say if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t know what I know now. I might have taken a different path. I might not be here now. I might be over there where you are. And you might be dead or waiting in the car in the parking lot. Or both. What to make of it all? Hey, “It is what it is.”


(Disheveled man in 3rd row) You bet. Saying “It is what it is” leaves unanswered the basic question raised by Noodleman in “The Writings and Grocery Lists of Noodleman.” “What if it isn’t what it is?” By the way, those italics are mine.

(Red faced man in 15th row) Hold the phone, Jerome. If it really is what it is, okay, I get it. Fine. But way before Needleman ever said it, Prince Rastraprovitchy asked in his third Monad of the Igalorium “If it isn’t, then how come I say po-tah-toe but you say po-tay-toe?”

(Disheveled Man Rejoinder, 3rd row) Look, I said Noodleman, not Needleman. I’ve never heard of Needleman. Needlemeyer, yes. But not Needleman. And by the way, my name is not Jerome.

(Janitor, sweeping up) You all have violated the inviolable precept laid down by the viola player Toadman Ricky in his overture “Why The Itness of Cosmology is not the Isthmus of Panama.”

(Sheveled rejoinderist, 3rd row) Look, Mr. Janitor man, maybe you’re not aware but the so-called boy genius, Toadman “Picky” Ricky, traded in his viola for a 5-string banjo.

(Cardi B look-alike, shouted from the back.) Noodleman, Needleman, Who cares? When you ask “What if it isn’t what it is?” you have sadly misjudged a key isn’t in the itness of it. To wit: isn’t denies the very existence of a completely obvious it. I mean there it lay, or it lays, or it

(Hollered from the balcony) Layla! Give us Layla!

(Inebriate from last row). Lola! L-O-L-A, Lola.

(Insistent balconyist) It’s Layla, you idiot.

(Undersheveled man in 3rd row). Wait a second. Those look like my italics.

(Purple faced man in 15th row, being carried out on stretcher.) Hold the phone, Jerome. I’m just saying it cannot be denied because there it is. As the orator Marcus Tullius Cicero put it “Ipso facto, Jacko.”

(Resheveled man in 3rd row) My name is Jacko and I am quite offended by your purple face. Is he still breathing? Can we please substitute Whacko for Jacko?

(Bitter cry of Miley Cyrus impersonator [I said Billy Ray Cyrus.]) Siddown you fascist whacko.

(Dude dressed as Marie Antoinette, eating cake.) I am not a fascist. I’m a Ronald Reagan Bonzonist, you D-word head

(Oversheveled man, 3rd row) Okay, go ahead, call me Jerome. I actually like it better than Wendell.

(Second Janitor. Looks a lot like first Janitor. Possibly the same guy?) I’d just like to say “It is what it is” is a meaningless statement that insults all of us. On the other hand…

(Captain Hook, Perth Amboy) What if I only have one hand?

Q: (First or second Janitor) As I was saying, on the same hand but with a different finger, the saying “it is what it is” perfectly captures the painful conundrum that those of us afflicted with “existentialist” angst…

Q.(First or second Janitor.) Wait. You have existential angst?

Q. (First or Second Janitor.) To the max.

Q. (First or Second Janitor.) What do you take for it?

Q. (First or Second Janitor.) A lot of crap

Q. (Third Janitor.) The police are here. They found a body in a car in the parking lot. Somebody may have waited too long.

Q. (Vladimir Putin look-alike [without shirt] ) If that isn’t what it isn’t, I don’t know what isn’t.

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

Posted in Absurd and/or zany, funny, Mockery and derision, The human comedy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The written test-19

This coronavirus written test is for those too squeamish to have a goal post stuck up their noses and twirled like a swizzle stick. (That’s right, some people have more than one nose. Your point?)

In 500 words or less, explain why you, of all people, for crap’s sake, will never get the coronavirus and shouldn’t have to wear a mask or stay six feet away from grave diggers. Avoid using gratuitous scientific references such as coronavirus, Covid 19, germs, kornteen, breathing, Rav 4, banjo rasgueado, science, nostril insurance, Indy 500, sand hanitizer, lungs.

 Some helpful examples:

  • So, my mother said I didn’t have to get tested if I didn’t want to. And I don’t want to. And you can’t make me, because this is America and I can grab women by the crotch if that’s what I want. By the way, just so you know, I like ketchup on my steak and  mustard in my hair.
  • I don’t think I should have to take a test. Everyday, I look very hard at the air around me and I don’t see anything that looks like those little circles floating around people’s heads. Here’s a question: why are they always circles? How about squares or rhombuses? When you think about it, wouldn’t triangle-shaped circles be harder to get inside your nose?
  • The last time I took a test to see if I had a disease, you weren’t allowed to brag about the size of your testing kit. I did anyway and all the doctors were amazed. I’m now in the Guinness Book of World Records. The hard back.
  • Last night I had 19 Coronavirus Lites and I specifically asked them 19 times to hold the damn limes. But they don’t listen. Hey, nobody wants fruit in their beer, just like nobody wants a burrito grande for dessert. How can you confuse a burrito with a sopaipilla? And don’t tell me it has something to do with drinking 19 Coronavirus Lites (hold the farouking limes!)
  • Okay, I’m a make this short. That Covid-19 is phony as a five dollar bill (I only like money with pictures of presidents who didn’t get assassinated.) The whole thing is a plot cooked up by the all powerful Armed Robbery lobbery. If everybody’s wearing a mask, it’s hard to tell the good guy with a gun anything. Advantage robber.
  • Hey, this is America. I have rights, you know. I can go where I want I can breathe on anybody I want. And they can breathe on me (as long as they use mouth wash.) If I get sick and spread it to someone else they have a right to sue. If I get sued, I get sued — although you should know I have a kick-ass lawyer whose mother calls him The Kracken. If I get sick, I get sick. If I die, I die.  If I get buried, I get buried. If I get buried alive, I get buried alive. If I get cremated I get cremated. If I get cremated alive, well jeezy weezy, I guess I get cremated alive. If I go to hell, I mean what the hell, I just got cremated alive how much worse can it get? (Note: the only benefit of anything getting worse is it can’t get any worse.)If I go to heaven (very doubtful) I go to heaven and I head for the nearest all-you-can-eat meth lab. If it turns out there is no meth lab in heaven, no heaven, no God, no hell below us, well, I am screwed. If I’m screwed, I’m not a happy camper. Look, there’s only so much you can put up with. That’s the one drawback of the American way. Too often, it is what it is. Which means before it’s too late to make America great again, let loose the Kracken.

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


Posted in Absurd and/or zany, Mockery and derision, The human comedy | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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