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


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:


  • 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!)


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


  • 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!)


  • 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!)


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


  • 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.)


  • 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