Saturday, August 13, 2011

Preface To Confusion: Humid Pub Diagram

Humid Pub Diagram is a natural science presentation prepared by the children of P.S. 4 To The 8th Power from downtown You-Know-Where. While we the undersigned understand that children should not be allowed in any drinking establishment, we did make sure they had no fake IDs and shook each other's hands for a job well done.

Most of the children, it should be noted, had no concept of "death" & only a limited concept of "forever." This is why the choice of magic markers is so important to today's "education" crowd. But the children got lost in the sad, milling crowd of laid-off teachers and we feared for their - & our - safety.

There were too many butterflies & not enough nets, which (it turns out) suited the butterflies fine. Most of the children has enough sense not to stick the fluttering insects in their mouths. Oh, but not Charles! Charles was exhibiting the same traits that serial killers do in television shows. Oh that Charles!

The judges were on loan from different organizations - half from the Miss Sarasota Beauty Pageant, half from the National Science Foundation. While they found the children adorable, it is not hyperbole to say that their poster presentations were shabby, amateurish, and often utterly illegible. Two judges quit in protest!

As the survey ceased & the parents were released from lock-up, two patterns quickly emerged. The first suggested that alcoholic children managed to be only slightly more delightful than alcoholic adults. The second showed with some certainty that humid pubs are never desirable, not even in the driest of climates.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Have I talked about Sam Harris before? I think the guy's amazing. Here he is answering questions in the second installment of the series "Ask Sam Harris Anything." I don't know what I'd ask him. Actually I do. But I won't ask it here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Joke A Day A Week, Episode Seven

I confess I didn't read many of the A Joke A Day jokes this week. I may be experiencing a kind of burnout. A couple of them were a little longish, so I just pasted them into a file to access them when I wrote about them, & read maybe the first couple of lines. Half of them were short riddles or one-liners, about as funny as you'd expect. One of them was one of those lists that begins "You know you're a fill-in-the-blank when..." that appears to have been recycled from 1995. But here's one of the long ones I didn't read; enjoy it for the first time with me, will you?

An Accident Report

I am writing in response to your request for “additional information.” In block number 30 of the accident report form, I put “poor planning” as the cause for my accident. You said in your last letter that I should explain more fully. I trust that the following detail will be sufficient.

I am an amateur radio operator. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the top section of my new 80-foot antenna tower. When I completed my work, I discovered that I had, over the course of several trips up the tower, brought about 300 lbs. of tools and spare hardware. Rather than carry the now unneeded tools and materials down by hand, I decided to lower the items in a small barrel by using a pulley, which fortunately was attached to the pole at the tip of the tower. Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the top of the tower and loaded the tools and materials into the barrel. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 300 lbs. of tools.

You will note in block number 11 of the accident report form that I weigh 155 lbs. Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the tower. In the vicinity of the 40-foot level, I met the barrel coming down. This explains my fractured skull and broken clavicle.

Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly on the rope in spite of the pain. At about the same time however, the barrel hit the ground. The bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the tools, the barrel now weighed 20 pounds.
I refer you again to my weight in block number 11. As you might guess, I began a rapid descent down the side of the tower. In the vicinity of the 40-foot level, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles and the lacerations or my legs and lower body.

The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of tools, and fortunately only three vertebras were cracked. I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the tools in pain, unable to stand, and watching the empty barrel 80 feet above me, I again lost my presence of mind.

I let go of the rope…

Is that a joke, or is someone reporting the blow-by-blow of a slapstick scene from a silent movie? How odd.

I felt quite guilty having wasted you time with that strangely detailed attempt at some kind of humor, so I will make matters worse by reprinting yesterday's A Joke A Day, which is shorter, but which I also didn't read. You can go at anytime, you know.

Little Johnny comes downstairs crying.

His mother asked, “What’s the matter now?”

“Dad was hanging pictures, and just hit his thumb with hammer,” said little Johnny through his tears.

“That’s not so serious,” soothed his mother. “I know you are upset, but a big boy like you shouldn’t cry at something like that. Why didn’t you just laugh?

“I did!” sobbed Johnny.

To me, the funniest thing about this joke is not the predictable punchline, but it's this line:

His mother asked, “What’s the matter now?”

I love the implication that Johnny is such a whiny little shit that his mother's first reaction, when he shows up in tears before her, is to ask, "What's the matter NOW?"

At least that's how I read it. That's funny!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Signs Of Following

Self Help Radio today featured the theme "follow me" in which a lowly deejay made a desperate attempt to rally a group of like-minded folks to his cause!

Er. Not really. It was mainly a show about "following," with an expert reading (from a book about leadership) on how to be a good follower, & also a brief discussion of when following goes bad, which is called by law enforcement professionals everywhere by the trademarked name of "stalking."

The show - which has few followers - is available on the following website: self help radio dot net. I split the show in two the better to follow you: part one is here, & part two is here. Following this paragraph & a closing, there are two related lists containing the songs played in each part. I hope you are following this!

(part one)
"Follow Me" Gainors _The Best Of Red Top Records_
"Follow Me" Lyme & Cybelle _Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era, Vol. 3_
"(Hey Babe) Follow Me" Grumbleweeds _The Electric Asylum, Vol. 3_

"Follow Me" The Fruit Machine _Circus Days UK Pop-Sike Obscurities 1966-1970_
"Follow Me Home" Crumb _Evenings & Weekends_
"Follow Me Away" Jasmine Minks _Another Age_
"Follow Me Follow" The Idle Race _Back To The Story_
"Follow Me" Jumprope _Just For A Day_
"Follow Me" The Softies _It's Love_

"Baby, Let Me Follow You Down" Bob Dylan _Biograph_
"You're Following Me" Perry Como _The Essential 60's Singles Collection_
"I Will Follow Him" Little Peggy March _The Very Best Of Little Peggy March: The Essential Singles Collection 1962-1968_
"Being Followed" Eugene Mirman _The Absurd Nightclub Comedy Of Eugene Mirman_

(part two)
"I Will Follow" U2 _Boy_
"The Follower" PragVEC _PragVEC_
"Following Her Around" Sprites _Starlings, Spiders, Tigers & Sprites_

"I'm Following You" Jimmie Noone _1929-1930_
"You I'll Be Following" Love _Love_
"Following" The Bangles _Different Light_
"Following You" Chumbawamba _Un_
"Follow Me Into The Hills" Kathryn Calder _Are You My Mother?_

"Dedicated Follower Of Fashion" The Kinks _Greatest Hits_
"My Love Will Follow Me" Vivian Girls _My Love Will Follow Me_
"Follow" Eric's Trip _Love Tara_
"Of All The Lost Followers" Department S _Is Vic There?_

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Whither Follow Me?

There are three kinds of people:

The leader leads. The follower follows. The loner is alone.

There are maybe more kinds of people:

The sneak pretends to be one of the above but is really another, though mostly a sneak. The fool thinks he or she is one category he or she finds "superior" or "better" but really, it turns out, is exactly what he or she fears most. The hypocrite is just a hypocrite, of course.

There are even more kinds of people:

The dreamer forgot to wake up to be put into the above category. The junkie was probably one of the above, but is now somewhere enjoying some grade-A Afghani heroin. The blogger is mainly a follower but spends a lot of time writing about different kinds of people in a mad attempt to be relevant.

There are even different kinds of radio shows:

The commercial radio show is created by robots who are fed by dollars & sadness. The non-commercial radio show is made with the actual blood of its programmer, unless it's a non-commercial public radio show, in which case it's the blood of that guy who does Prairie Home Companion mixed with genetically modified blood from Archer Daniels Midland.

Self Help Radio pretends to be a loner but actually is a devout follower of the great WRFL. You can listen to the Self Help Radio show entitled "follow me" tomorrow morning at 7:30 am on that station, which is at 88.1 fm on the dial in Lexington, & is online at wrfl dot fm all over the world. If you miss it, you can listen later at self help radio dot net.

Did you follow all of that?