Monthly Archives: December 2016

Friday Funny December 30, 2016 End the Year with a Groan


Happy Friday!  This brings us to the close of one year and the promise of a new one. Thank you for joining me on my weekly journey to bring a little laughter your way and I hope you will continue on the journey through 2017.  Here are a few groaners to close out 2016.


My New Year’s resolution is to lose weight.  One of the points of my diet is to stop eating poultry immediately, I am going cold turkey.

I was thinking about getting a nose job to kick off the new year, but I am not sure which one I should pick.

Did you know that Dr. Jekyll can’t drink his potion when he’s moving?  It would appear that he can run but he can’t Hyde.

Did you know that Shakespeare once sold camping gear at a reduced price during the off-season?  It seems it was his winter of discount tents.

Do you know which superhero has the most abstract thoughts?  It has to be Wonder Woman.

I made the mistake at a holiday party of getting into a discussion about perpetual motion, this guy just went on and on.

I have a wonderful pet penguin.  I was going to take him with me on an airplane, but they told me he couldn’t fly.

Last weekend I went to see a new horror movie about Legos, the suspense was building the whole time.

I went to the symphony and the conductor really wanted to look at the audience, but sometimes you just have to face the music.

Did you hear about the two florists who got married?  I heard it was arranged.

Did you hear about the two shoelaces that dated for years?  They finally decided that it was time to tie the knot.

I think one of the truly great inventions of my lifetime is the dry erase board, it really is remarkable.

Last year I decided I needed a new hobby, so I started studying moss.  It seems I’ve taken a lichen to it.

Thought for the Week

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,


It Is Shaping Up to be Just Another Auld Lang Syne


New Year’s Eve is almost here.  Do you have your plans in place to ring in 2017? Are you excited?  To be honest, I am not that excited and I really have no plans for when the big ball drops.  It is a safe bet that I will not be traveling to Times Square to watch it happen live and in person nor have I ever had the desire to do so.  Perhaps I was born at an old age, I do not think I have ever had much of a desire to do much of anything on New Year’s Eve.

I remember as a kid getting excited about New Year’s Eve because it meant that I was going to do three things that I did not do the rest of the year: 1) staying up until midnight, 2) watching Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians (something we did not especially want to do) and 3) eating Cassano’s Pizza in the living room while watching TV.  Number 3 was the most impressive part because eating pizza and watching TV at the same time was an infrequent experience reserved only for very special occasions.  

As I moved into my teens Guy Lombardo was replaced by the Watch Night Service at church where we gathered to watch movies about the Rapture and wondered if we would even be around for the start of the New Year.  Once I realized that the new year had arrived without any supernatural consequences, I returned home to watch Wolfman Jack on The Midnight Special.  One New Year’s that sticks out in my memory occurred during my senior year of high school when ended up at friend’s house where we sat around telling jokes and discussing the nuances of flavor between the various color of M&M’s.  When I headed home that night the temperature was well on its way to -20 degrees.  I recall the vinyl seats cracked when I got into the car.  I think it was that night that convinced me to enroll in a small university in Florida that next fall.

However, the college years did not bring any new excitement to my New Year’s celebrations.  It seemed I would convince myself during the semester that I did not have time to get sick and then invariably I would manage to come down with a throat infection over the Christmas break. One New Year’s Eve I could feel the fever coming and spent the early evening trying to find an open doctor’s office.  I finally did and the examination confirmed what I already knew, I had a throat infection.  It was bad enough that the treatment would not be pills, but a shot and even worse, the shot was not going to be in my arm.  The nurse attempted to administer said shot and then happily declared, “this needle is clogged” she left me there for several minutes while she went to find a new needle and returned to try the new needle on the other side.  

Becoming an adult and having children brought some changes to New Year’s Eve routines.  It was fun with the boys as they were excited to stay up to ring in the New Year.  Then off course there was Y2K with all the anticipation and buildup and then nothing happened, like almost every one of my New Year’s.  Now the boys are all out doing their own thing on New Year’s Eve and that just leaves the two of us at home with the odds being pretty good that at least one of us will not actually be awake at the stroke of midnight.

Just for old time’s sake maybe I’ll see if I can find a Cassano’s and bring home a pizza that I can eat in front of the TV, I bet I can even find Guy Lombardo on YouTube.  Of course, reliving my younger days might just bring back those old familiar pains like when I was back at school and, with my luck, as I turn to make my way back home the snow will turn into rain.  Another New Year’s Eve living on the edge!

Friday Funny December 23, 2016 Guess the Christmas Song


Happy Friday!   This Friday brings us to the very cusp of Christmas, so here is a little exercise I found on several internet sites – see if you can guess the song.  Merry Christmas!


Example: Bleached Yule = White Christmas

1. Boulder of the Tinkling Metal Spheres

2. Castaneous-colored Seed Vesicated in a Conflagration

3. Singular Yearning for the Twin Anterior Incisors

4. Righteous Darkness

5. Arrival Time: 2400 hrs – Weather: Cloudless

6. Loyal Followers Advance

7. Far Off in a Feeder

8. Array the Corridor

9. Bantam Male Percussionist

10. Monarchial Triad

11. Nocturnal Noiselessness

12. Jehovah Deactivate Blithe Chevaliers

13. Red Man En Route to Borough

14. Frozen Precipitation Commence

15. Proceed and Enlighten on the Pinnacle

16. The Quadruped with the Vermilion Proboscis

17. Query Regarding Identity of Descendant

18. Delight for this Planet

19. Give Attention to the Melodious Celestial Beings

20. The Dozen Festive 24 Hour Intervals


  1. Jingle Bell Rock
  2. Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire
  3. All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth
  4. 0 Holy Night
  5. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
  6. 0 Come, All Ye Faithful
  7. Away in a Manger
  8. Deck the Hall
  9. Little Drummer Boy
  10. We Three Kings
  11. Silent Night
  12. God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen
  13. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  14. Let it Snow
  15. Go, Tell It on the Mountain
  16. Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer
  17. What Child is This?
  18. Joy to the World
  19. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  20. The Twelve Days of Christmas

Thought for the Week

Christmas is built upon a beautiful and intentional paradox; that the birth of the homeless should be celebrated in every home. ~ G.K. Chesterton


My Not Quite Traditional Christmases


Another Christmas Day is almost upon us.  I imagine that I will enjoy spending the day with family and reflecting on the meaning of Christmas.  However, it has occurred to me as I ponder Christmas Days past that apparently I have been doing Christmas wrong for quite a long time.  I think about all the “traditions” we hear sung about this time of the year and I have realized that my celebrations of Christmas are not like everyone else’s.

According to the weather forecast, this year will not bring a White Christmas nor have the majority of my Christmases been white.  There will not be treetops glistening nor children listening to hear sleigh bells in the snow.  I do not roast chestnuts on an open fire nor do I ever recall doing so.  I am pretty confident that I have never demanded that someone bring me figgy pudding or refused to go until some was provided.  In fact I am not a big fan of figs, I am not sure I would eat the pudding if someone did, in fact, bring me some right now.  I have not gone wassailing among the leaves so green – all the leaves are long gone from the trees in my yard and I am not sure what a wassail is.  My halls have never been  decked with boughs of holly.

As a child I don’t remember asking for my two front teeth for Christmas nor did I ever want a hippopotamus.  I do not believe I ever saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus underneath the mistletoe.  As a teenager I never went to a Christmas party or any other kind of “hop” to rock around the Christmas tree.  I have never been in a one horse open sleigh; I have never conspired while dreaming by the fire, I do not know Parson Brown.  I don’t think I have ever jingled even part of the way home and it is very seldom that I bring some corn for poppin’.  I don’t ever recall wanting to live in a marshmallow world which sounds like a very sticky situation.  I’ve never been to the feast of Stephen and I am not sure what country Good King Wenceslas was king of.

Christmas at my house was never celebrated for twelve days and my true love never gave me drummers, pipers, leaping lords, dancing ladies, milking maids, swans, geese, rings, birds, hens, doves, or even a partridge or a pair tree.  Have you ever tried returning maids a milking without a receipt?  

I guess I have it all wrong and just do not have the proper Christmas traditions.  I  was not there for that first Noel where angels were heard from on high. But like Longfellow, I have heard the bells on Christmas day and I have heard the old familiar carols play.  Also I have seen, sadly, that hate is strong and indeed mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men.  Longfellow did have some optimism and did not end the poem there.  Which brings us to Christmas Day 2016 where if we listen we can still hear the bells peal loud and deep to proclaim that “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep.”  I still have hope that eventually the wrong shall fail and the right will prevail, that one day there will be peace on earth, good will to men. So with Christmas just a few days away, the world will continue to revolve from night to day and if I strain my ear, I can heat a voice, a chime, a chant sublime, of peace on earth, good will to men.

Friday Funny December 16, 2016 How to Confuse Santa

Sanata and Sleigh

Happy Friday!  Are you stuck in the same old holiday routine?  How about shaking things up a little this year by trying to confuse the old guy in the red suit?  Here are some ideas you might use to throw Santa off his game. 


Nail the Christmas Tree and everything else in the room to the ceiling.

Throw a surprise party for Santa when he comes down the chimney. Refuse to let him leave until everyone else arrives.

Build a moat around your Christmas Tree, put a few hungry alligators in it.

Instead of milk and cookies, leave him a salad and a note explaining that according to his BMI numbers he needs to shed about 150 pounds. 

Instead of milk and cookies, leave him a plate of brightly colored hard-boiled eggs.

While he’s in your house, sneak up to the roof and leave a speeding ticket on his sleigh. 

Leave him a note, explaining that you’ve gone away for the holidays. Ask if he would mind watering your plants and feeding the dog.

Leave a note by the telephone, telling Santa that Mrs. Claus called and wanted to remind him to pick up some milk and a loaf of bread on his way home. 

Leave out a copy of your Christmas list with last-minute changes and corrections. 

Leave Santa a note, explaining that you’ve moved. Include a map with unclear and hard-to-read directions to your new house. 

Paint “hoof-prints” all over your face and clothes. While he’s in the house, go out on the roof. When he comes back up, act like you’ve been “trampled.” 

While he’s on the roof, yell up to Santa, asking if he’d mind adjusting your satellite dish. 

Thought for the Week

“There is no more dangerous or disgusting habit than that of celebrating Christmas before it comes, as I am doing in this article. It is the very essence of a festival that it breaks upon one brilliantly and abruptly, that at one moment the great day is not and the next moment the great day is.” ~ G. K. Chesterton

I Have Always Been a Little Claus-trophobic


This time of year,  it seems like the most popular guy around is Santa Claus.  However, if I am honest I have never been one of his biggest fans, in fact I might even be a little Claus-trophobic.  I do not really know why, but even as a child I found him rather disconcerting.  To my knowledge there exists no childhood picture of me with jolly old St. Nick.  In the deep recesses of my mind I can recall an instance or two of standing in line to go sit on Santa’s lap to have my picture taken, but while in line I had time to ponder the upcoming encounter and complained, squirmed, even cried my way out of actually spending time with him.  I do recall; however, that I was not beyond extending a quick “hello” to the man in red in exchange for a candy cane as he made his way through the department store with his red bag of treats.  I suppose that was a price I was willing to pay for a little peppermint.

If you stop and think about it Santa does present a bit of a conundrum to a small child.  Throughout the rest of the year, parents tell their children, “Don’t talk to strangers!” “Don’t take candy from strangers!” “Don’t let strangers into the house!”  Then Christmas rolls around and parents tell their children, “Don’t be afraid of Santa.”  “Tell Santa what you want for Christmas and he will give you candy!”  Then they encourage you to leave out a plate of cookies and milk for Santa so he can have a snack after he sneaks into the house in the middle of the night while everyone is asleep and the doors have been locked!  Perhaps my simple childlike mind just could not handle the inherent incongruity that this man brought to the otherwise consistent advice I received from my parents.

On the other hand, perhaps I was just intimidated by this god-like person.  I was told that he had a list that had been cross-checked, that he actually knew who had been naughty and who had been nice.  I was told that he could see me when I was sleeping, he could see me when I was awake and that he really knew if I had been bad of good.  I was admonished that I better watch out, I better not cry and I better not pout simply because Santa Clause was coming to town.  While this seemed to be a cause of rejoicing for others, I found the whole thing a bit troubling especially when another song about Santa instructed me to jump in bed and cover my head because Santa Claus comes tonight!  We sang about him arriving on the rooftop to bring gifts for all the good little boys and girls. For little Nell he brought a dolly that laughs and cries, one that will open and shut her eyes which seemed well enough.   However, for little Will, he brings a hammer and lots of tacks and a ball and a whip that cracks, these sound a bit dangerous in the hands of a young lad.

The whole Santa thing just seemed a bit too reciprocal for my tastes.  It seemed like the usual portrayal of Santa was vis-à-vis, tit for tat, pay to play.  If I was good and Santa saw me being good, I would receive a present. Perhaps I always knew that deep down I really was not all that good, even when nobody was watching.  I am not bashing Santa and he has made his appearance at my house through the years as my children grew.  But I realized long ago that I prefer the story of a baby who came to a manger who really knows me and knows that there is little in me that is good, but in spite of that, he brings me his presence on Christmas and throughout the year.

Friday Funny December 9, 2016 What Not to Buy This Christmas


Happy Friday!  The holiday season is in full swing, folks are out searching for that perfect Christmas gift.  But as you go down your gift list this year, here are a few things you just might want to pass on.


Ugly Christmas Sweater – By the time the next opportunity comes around to wear it, you have probably forgotten where you stored it.  Plus this fad has to end soon, right?  Please!??

Doormat – you may think a holiday doormat is festive, but you will be wrong.

Socks – calf-length or ankle high, five little toes or not, holiday or not, no one – no one will be excited to receive socks.

Belly Button Brush – I learn something every day.  I did not know such a product existed, nor can I ever recall an occasion when I needed one. So, I am pretty certain I would not be thrilled to receive one.

Tissues – nothing says, “I was too busy to go shopping, so I just looked in the closet for a gift like a box of tissues.”  Don’t think finding a box decorated with a holiday theme makes this “gift” any better.

Toothbrush – it is a pretty safe bet to just refrain from giving anything that resides in the bathroom for a Christmas gift, refrain from toothbrushes even electric ones or ones with Marvel Super Heroes on them.

Glowing Toilet Seat – again refrain from bathroom gifts.  If you honestly would consider purchasing this as a gift for someone, I suggest you seek counseling.

The Eternal Ice Cube from Rox – is it really that difficult to make some new ice cubes?  What happened did you lose the family recipe?

Beard Bells from The Gruff Beard Company – while it may allow the recipient to happily jingle all the way, I just have a hunch they would never be used.

Realistic Cat Handbag from Pico Cat – it looks just like you are carrying around a real cat…..without any legs.

Stress Buster Desktop Punching Ball – two issues 1) being seen using it in the office is probably not good for your career and 2) the little suction thingy at the bottom will not hold sustain more than a tap thus creating a comical moment for your coworkers who see you the desktop punching ball go flying off the desktop the first time it is used.

World Market Desktop Drum Set – who doesn’t want a co-worker playing drums on his or her desk?  It would be likely to increase the use of Stress Buster Desktop Punching Balls.

For that hard to buy person in your life, the one who has everything – how about A Bag of Nothing, literally.  A company called IWOOT has these and, according to their website, the are currently sold out. I can hear the conversation: Company President, “Business has been great, we are sold out of nothing! The shelves are empty of nothing!”  Customer, “When do you expect to get in more nothing?” Company President, “We are not sure nothing is currently on back order.”

Thought for the Week

An Achievement of a Lifetime


I was going through some things in the basement last weekend and I came across my bowling trophy.  (I promise I will spare you any bad bowling puns, well any more bad bowling puns) While I firmly believe that this should be proudly and prominently displayed in my home, my lovely wife does not share this belief.  So, this trophy along with the paltry few trophies I have been awarded in my life resides in a box in the basement.

I think everyone should have a bowling trophy or, at least, something similar.  We all go through life looking for affirmation of achievement.  If we are fortunate we are able to realize an accomplishment and if we are really fortunate, we are allowed the opportunity to look back and reflect on achievements in our past.  So I consider myself fortunate that I have a bowling trophy to remind me of success in my youth, in the days before everyone received a “participation” trophy.  It was during the winter of 1976 – 1977, the Saturday morning high school bowling league at Bowlero Lanes in Dayton, Ohio.  We came in second place. 

You may think that a bowling trophy is not the typical mark of achievement that one would relish in, but we then this was not exactly your typical bowling team.  While the competition had bowling apropos names like “The Pin Blasters” or “The Five Aces”, I was part of “The Spanish Inquisition” and our rallying cry was “Purge Those Pins.”  But what as the most impressive part of that team was not how we bowled, but what those team members went  onto achieve.  The Spanish Inquisition included young men who would find success in careers in medicine, civil engineering, rocket science, and county government.

While a first place trophy might have been more impressive, coming in second has always spurred me to, like the old Avis commercials would say, just try harder. But it was a fun way to spend Saturday mornings with good friends.  So, last weekend as I unwrapped that trophy I was reminded about the little modicum of success we had as a team.  But much more importantly, I was reminded that success comes not from the baubles we collect in life but from the relationships we build along the way.

I have not bowled in a league since then.  In fact it has been a couple of years since the last time I bowled.  But once upon a time long, long ago I bowled on a pretty good team with some even better guys and I still have the trophy to prove it.

Friday Funny December 2, 2016 For Your Holiday Viewing Pleasure


Happy Friday!  The Thanksgiving turkey is probably still living on as leftovers of some sort. Perhaps the tree is up and the shopping is underway – ’tis the Season!!


With the advent of the age of television, holiday traditions have changed to include gathering around the television or computer or tablet to watch Christmas movies and television specials.  There are a many classic,  memorable ones as well as a lot of not so classic, quite forgettable ones.  Some of my favorites, not necessarily in any order, are: It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. 

Even some of the holiday commercials were classic.  I still insist that Charlie Brown is not the same without the Dolly Madison commercials.  I also miss the Norelco commercial with Santa sledding on the electric razor – “Noelco – even our name says Merry Christmas.”

We are just one week removed from Thanksgiving and already the holiday specials are in full force.  This Christmastime, look beyond the old standards.  Take a few moments to study your channel guide you might uncover some new gems or you might stumble across some of those specials that are better left buried.  Here are a few that many have tried to forget:

A Very Brady Christmas (1988) – They managed to get everyone back from the original cast except for Cindy and Sam the Butcher (actually a butcher not a deranged killer in a hockey mask). Apparently Mr. & Mrs. Brady cannot agree on a vacation plan, so they decide to use the money to bring everyone together for Christmas.  Unfortunately they have all grown up and their adult problems can no longer be resolved neatly within a half hour.   The plot thickens more than Alice’s Thanksgiving gravy when Mr. Brady learns that a ruthless businessman he designed a building for has cut corners resulting in the building collapsing and trapping two security guards.  Mr Brady, of course, manages to free but the trapped guards but becomes trapped himself.  But these are the Brady’s so eventually everything works out, only now it takes two hours.  The joyful end has them all singing “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

A Claymation Christmas Celebration (1987) – the special is co-hosted by Rex, an intellectual tyrannosaurus and Herb, a dimwitted styracosaurus with a voracious appetite.  The dynamically opposed duo carry on a running gag about wassailing while we are entertained by walruses singing “Angels We Have Heard on High” as well as Wise Men and their doo-wopping camels singing “We Three Kings.”  All this leads up a crescendo as The California Raisins present their rendition of “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer.”

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer (2000) – would we really expect much from a thirty minute cartoon based on this song?  Somehow Santa is still a good guy even though he does run over Grandma and abducts because he doesn’t know who she is (pretty much destroys your confidence in accuracy of the naughty/nice list).

Christmas Comes to Pac-Land (1982) – If you can make Christmas specials based on songs, why not try a Christmas special based on a TV Show which was based on an arcade video game! Perhaps the not so veiled message of this one was just go out and purchase Pac-Man related merchandise as gifts for everyone.

Instead, Santa crash lands in Pac-Land, and Pac-Man and his friends have to help Santa get back on the road (the sky?) to deliver those all-important presents. The ghost monsters obviously make an appearance, there’s lots of snow, presents are mentioned over and over, and we get to see Pac-Man in a winter scarf and hat.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) – If you are looking for the holiday equivalent of Plan 9 From Outer Space, this is the movie for you!  When Kimar and the other members of Mars’ ruling council can’t make their children happy they have a meeting with the ancient, mysterious wise man, Chochem who provides a solution, kidnap Santa Claus from Earth.  Not only do you get Santa and Martians, but it has a groovy soundtrack – hurray for Santy Claus!  You will want to look away, but it is so bad you will watch it to the very end.

Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) – With renewed interest in the Star Wars franchise and a new movie coming out this month, one might think it would be a good time to dust this one off and air it again.  Don’t count on it.  This one was so long ago and far away that some will question that it ever existed – which is exactly what George Lucas is wishing for.  The show was broadcast in its entirety only once and somehow I managed to miss it during my freshman year in college.  Chewbacca and Han Solo visit Kashyyyk, which is Chewbacca’s home world, to celebrate Life Day. We get to meet Chewbacca’s family (did you ever wonder if he had a family?): his father Itchy (no, really), his wife Malla, and his son Lumpy.  Of course any Star Wars special has to include some trouble caused by the Empire.  But the “highlight” has to be the poor acting and bad singing from the original Star Wars cast.  Yoda might say, “Search the web and find it, you will.”

Thought for the Week

Whatever else be lost among the years,
Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing;
Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears,
Let us hold close one day, remembering
Its poignant meaning for the hearts of men.
Let us get back our childlike faith again.
~Grace Noll Crowell