A little secret

Have you ever found yourself running down the dream and suddenly realized you’d lost your self-awareness? The answer is no, because, if so, you’d be self-aware and already know you’d lost it. See how that works? (The key there is “if so.”)

I mention this because I have just stumbled across a new favorite word that is oh so perfect for decorating the despair in our times: ladies and gentlemen, give it up for deindividuation.

Because I took Greek and Latin etymology in college in a previous geological epoch (Plasticscene) and because I did not have to cheat that much on the final, I am qualified to ease your understanding of deindividuation by hitting it with a hammer and breaking it into little bitty etymites:

De: “away from” or “out of it,” sometimes “out to lunch.” Alternately “the” or “de” as in “de feet dey hurty, oh dey doody do.”

indevid: short for “in de video” (Duh). Not to be confused with inna-godda-devita.

u: as in You Tube; alternately “u” as in u.

a: as the Canadians pronounce it, eh?

tion: a formal setting where you are required to dress up (to have de tie on) but not to look up de dress.

Put it all together and you have a word that literally means “a short movie about a natty, out-to-lunch Canadian haberdasher, looking for a lovely dress in all the wrong places, especially Guelph.”[1]

Of course, language is very elastic and sometimes if you stretch a word too far it will snap in your face like a pair of edible undies in a tug of war. Today, deindividuation has come to mean “You aint nothin’ but a hound dog,” with the full implication that “you aint never caught a rabbit and you aint no friend of mine.”[2]

What you’re probably thinking right now is “What is the meaning of this? I’m texting the cops.” To which, I reply “Keep your tion, pal.”

Because, look. Whether writing, painting, dancing or writing about a dancing painter, we artists don’t start out to make a point or send a message. For one thing we’d have to think up something sophisticated, punchy and glib. And it’s hard enough assembling the damn easel and getting the top off the paint cans without spilling. If you’re smelling me.

Besides, most artists don’t know how to use the message function on their device and they end up sending E-MAILS IN CAPITAL LETTERS which, as they are repeatedly warned by their sophisticated, punchy and glib nephews, nobody sends anymore, no how, no way, you geezing hashtag@whatthehellisahashtag.

Thus, in the grand scheme of things, just as Mr. Big planned it, we artists are required only to be artsy. Fartsy, however — finding meaning or beauty, or cooties — is like falling bird-do: totally on you.

So stop trying to figure out what the artist meant. He/she has no idea/idea. Your job is simply to check the box that says “Saw, read, heard, got down, got funky on art: □Yes □No □Um.”

And here’s a little secret. Whether the artist knows it or not, under the Constitution there are only a handful of things any piece of art can legally mean. Seriously. Clip this list and keep it in your sock for easy reference.

What art means:

  • Life Sucks
  • Death Sucks
  • Limbo sucks
  • See that guy over there? He sucks
  • Look in the mirror. Kinda reminds you of a Turbo-charged shop vac, no?

Meanwhile, good luck sucking up to your self-awareness.

1.Come on, everybody knows it’s in Ontario, (and not the one in California.)
2. Not quite Heartbreak Hotel, but then what is, eh E?

©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 , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Full disclosure

Are you a denier? If you’re not a denier and someone says you’re a denier and you deny it, does your lobotomy scar start to throb? Is it possible you’re in denial? Is it even possible you’ve misspelled your way into Alaska’s Denial National Park? Do you deny that Denali, the huge mountain at Denial, is named Denali since it still secretly answers to “Yo, McKinley?”

Speaking of the late President McKinley, do you deny he is late? Do you insist against all evidence — including an assassination that was in all the papers — that he is merely tardy?

Do you deny global warming? Deny that ice melts? That pigs who never sweat are now sweating their pants off? Do you deny that pigs wore pants in the first place? Second place?

Are you a truther? Do you believe former president Obama was born in Babylonia, moved to Arizona? That the moon landing was actually filmed on a sound stage on Mars? That 9/11 was an elaborate hoax perpetrated by 17,000 carefully chosen secret agents whose names are known only to a cigarette smoking man who vanished during a Mr. Clean commercial on a 2004 rerun of X-Files? (Full disclosure: I just took a Gas-X.)

Speaking of Sculder and Mully, do you deny that the truth is out there? If not, where? Way out there? Or, like, oh wow, man, far out? How far in miles (millimeters, for our friends the millipedes).

If you answered yes to any of the above, please accept our condolences and commitment papers. (Sign and date all, then step into the rubber room.)

If you answered no or probably not, ask yourself: if it’s true you’re not an idiot but you believe it’s not true because nothing is true (which, ironically, is not true) then what kind of idiot are you?

Take this quiz: (Last chance for condolences)

A bear walks into a bar in the midst of remodeling. You’re seated on one of a sampling of bar stools the owners are trying out with the new decor. Do you

1.Throw yourself at the bear to save others.

2.Throw yourself in front of the bartender’s shotgun, shouting “Wait! Let’s hear what he has to say!”

3.Have a beer sent over to the bear. When he takes a sip, shout “It’s not gluten-free, you bear-head. Haw!”

4.Get the bartender’s attention. Hand him a bag. Tell him it’s a holdup. Put all the money in the bag and no one will get eaten by the bear. Take the bag and leave the bar. Tell the bear you’ll beep when you bring the getaway car around. You forget to beep.

5.Deny it’s a bear, with a disgusted “C’mon, it’s just the band.”

6.Ask the bear if he came in for a beer or to use the remodeled uni-species rest room or to eat people. If he says “Did you say meet people?”  introduce him around, but avoid the open carry dopes who like to shoot bears without getting to know them. When the moment is right, ask him if he has an agent.

Bonus answer: Dial 9-1-1. Tell them a mare has walked into a czar. When they ask “Did you say a bear walked into a bar?”  say “Why would I say something crazy like that?” When they say “Sorry. Um, which czar?” say “The one who looks like a bear.” Hang up and go back to your stool sample.

If you chose any of the above, congratulations. You’ve won a two-week vacation to sunny Bering Strait beach. All expenses paid, plus a free, short-sleeve strait jacket.

©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

Unraveled pants

Need some quick fame? Verrrry simple: Rewrite famous sayings (see below for examples) and claim them as your own. Alert the media. Bask in glory. Good luck avoiding paparazzi.

I think, therefore I am. (Descartes)
I think. Okay, been there, done that. When do we eat?

To be or not to be, that is the question. (Hamlet)
2B or not 2B? That is a middle seat and I specifically asked for 2A or 2C.

Many hands make light work. (Heywood)
Many feet make scary bug.

Life’s too short to borrow sorrow. (The Delmore brothers)
Death is too long to borrow anything.

Sleep knits up the raveled sleeve of care.(Macbeth)
Beer unravels the legs of your pants.

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. (Aristotle)
The roots of education are bitter because the tree with the sweet fruit has been chopped down to build a wall around Mexico.

Sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I don’t. (Leon Carr)
Sometimes I feel like taking off my clothes before I shower. Sometimes I don’t.

You only get one chance to make a good first impression. (Old adage)
If you make a bad first impression, your only hope is to blame it on your evil twin. If that fails, there’s always the “Evil Triplet” defense, but it does require some tap dancing.

Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by. (Frost)
Two roads diverged in a wood and I said “What the fork? This isn’t on Google maps.” Anyway, I took the one less traveled and now I need a tow.

Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet. (Emerson)
Beware when the great God lets loose a stinker on this planet.

As a cure for worrying, work is better than whisky. (Edison)
As a cure for worrying, not worrying is better with whisky.

A short saying oft contains much wisdom. (Sophocles)
Piss Oft.

Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. (Sign at Vince Lombardi rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike.)
Getting a rest room on the Jersey Turnpike named after you when dead is neither everything nor the only thing. It’s one of those inexplicably stupid things. Get in there, wash your hands, and get out of New Jersey as fast as you can.

He covers the sky with clouds, He supplies the earth with rain, and maketh the grass grow on the hills. (Psalms 147:8)
He sprinkles the land with bugs because they’re driving himeth crazy upeth there.

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things but their inward significance. (Aristotle)
The aim of the artist is always improved by standing as close to the canvas as possible.

The best way to predict the future is to create it. (Peter Drucker)
The worst way to predict the future is to take a poll, which is pretty much what Drucker said.

Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted. (Einstein)
Everything that can be pickled does not necessarily pickle; everything that pickles cannot necessarily be pickled. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers because he was in a pickle and, necessarily, pickled.

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone. (Wilcox)
Laugh and everybody laughs with you but the nun. Weep and you weep alone in the principal’s office, mister.

God gave Noah the rainbow sign: No more water but the fire next time. (Negro spiritual)
God gave Noah the rainbow sign: No more water but The Donald next time.

©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 , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Train of fools

This is going to sound crazy, I know, but before you judge me, remember: things that sound crazy often started out as things that didn’t sound crazy, just preposterous or stupid.

Or hey, maybe even crazy good, like chocolate chip brownies. Or the pizza delivery guy pulling into your driveway. Or not losing that much blood while being dragged off a United flight.

Keep in mind (if blown, keep in fanny pack) if your internal sound card is outdated — i.e., a Yamaha YM3812, aka OPL2, aka Felix the Flatulent — you’re going to misinterpret tons of auditory input. Like when a drunk collapses onto a bagpipe and you think you hear music. Or when a Zen master talks about the sound of one hand clapping and you think he said the sound of one hand clapping.

Remember also that more than 90 per cent of the craziness we hear daily is beamed in from the planet Mar-a-lago. But that’s not the craziest sound to which I refer.  Here it comes. Brace yourself, or stand way over there if you don’t want to hear me.

Yes. Way over there. Right. Keep going. Right. Keep…Okay, stop. I said stop. STOP! DO YOU HAVE BEANS IN YOUR EARS?

Now I’ve lost my train of thought. My train…

Train, train, train. Train of fools.

Aretha Franklin, if I’m not mistaken. (Which I’m not.)

You idiot, you’re thinking of:

Chain, chain, chain. Chain of fools.

Hey, don’t tell me what I’m thinking. Jeezy weezy, it’s an easy mistake to make. Chain. Train.

Lame. Brain.

Wow. I hope you never get old.

Anyhow, I was on the verge of saying something crazy sounding, and now I’ve forgotten it. I need a chocolate chip brownie immediately. Chocolate is good for you and it helps you think. I think. Unless I’m thinking of something else. Because sometimes after eating a whole plate of brownies I get the, uh, you know, the Leon Trotskys.

Man, how’d you like your name to be a synonym for…um…well…speaking of which, aren’t you glad you’re not a stink bug? Because if you were, I’d have to throw you in the toilet.

What do you mean I couldn’t lift you up? You’re a stink bug, remember? They weigh, like, nothing. And, unfortunately, nothing is what I remember about what I was going to say. Although, make no mistake, it’s not nothing. It’s something.

Speaking of which, something has been bothering me and I’m not sure exactly what it is. You probably can’t tell because I have a very high tolerance for bother. I can be bothered inside — as I am now — but never show it on the outside (unless I’m outside naked.)

People don’t like to play poker with me because my face is unreadable. They can’t tell if I have a royal flush or a pair of twelves. (I would play more poker if I didn’t have to keep rushing into the bathroom to peek at my notes about whether a flush beats a full house —  or the importance of flushing when you have a full house.)

I’m pretty embarrassed about forgetting what I was going to say that sounds crazy. Maybe I’ll just relax a little, clear my mind of everything but stuff that sounds crazy. I’ve done it before and it works like crazy.

Speaking of which, aren’t you glad you’re not Leon Trotsky? Not just because he’s a Communist, but because he’s dead. Unless I’m thinking of somebody else who’s dead. Hmm. Lemme think. Who all is dead so far? This may take a minute.

©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 , , , , , , | 2 Comments


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