That’s So Darwin ~ Late Evening Thoughts …

Absolutely one of my favorite awards to read about are the Darwin Awards:

“Darwin Awards: We watch the watchman watch the watchmen.”
Natural selection deems that some individuals
serve as a warning to others. 
  Who are we to disagree?
The next generation, ever and anon, is descended from the survivors.

Here’s the link to their site  …. for sheer enjoyment ….

The problem with these awards, they are awarded posthumously.  You know, for those who have [thankfully] removed themselves from the gene pool.

As I was wandering around the internet … I discovered some folks that I think I’ll keep and eye on to see if they … um … show up in the awards.

darwin award nominee1 darwin award nominee2 darwin award nominee3 darwin award nominee4 darwin award nominee5 darwin award nominee6 darwin award nominee7These should be fun to follow right???



Early Afternoon Thoughts ~ Male or Female

One of the more difficult parts of learning a language is what is a female item and what is a male item.  It’s important to know this as it makes a big difference in the sentence structure.  I’d always assumed that English was devoid of “this item is male, this item is female” until today …. and so, hot off the “intertubes”, where everything on the “net” has to be true right?

Male or Female?   

You might not have known this,

but a lot of non-living objects

are actually either male or female. 

Here are some examples:  

They are male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

These are female, because once turned off; it takes a while to warm them up again. They are an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can also wreak havoc if you push the wrong Buttons.

Tires are male, because they go bald easily and are often over inflated.

Also a male object, because to get them to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under their butt. 

These are female, because they are soft, squeezable and retain water.  

Female, because they’re constantly being looked at and frequently getting hit on.

Definitely male, because they always use the same old lines for picking up people.

Male, because in the last 5000 years, they’ve hardly changed at all, and are occasionally handy to have around.

Female. Ha! You probably thought it would be male, but                 consider this: It easily gives a man pleasure, he’d be lost without it, and while he doesn’t always know which buttons to push, he just keeps                 trying….


It’s the time for serious thought, heavy reflection and … who am I kidding?

It’s time for a few good laughs …

Suppose Twitter had been available 233 years ago??? (click on picture to enlarge)

(that was from

And let’s not forget the e-cards just waiting to be sent (to everyone we know!)

And when all else fails …. Cue the Muppets!!!

Have a wonderful day everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You Can’t Make These Up!! ~ Early Morning Thoughts

My dear friend EB sent me these pictures w/commentary in an e-mail recently. I just have to share them. These articles/headlines say it all . . . .

I would have guessed about 20
That’s a GREAT paint job I say . . .
Good going Captain Obvious!!
Who elected these people?
And they were expecting – what?

What goes around, comes around!!!
That is just mean ~

If you see him PLEASE call ~
Let me know how that works out for you ~

An Elegant Time Waster ~ Late Evening Thoughts

With this month marking seven months of sobriety, I was invited to attend a rehearsal for a production number of a club show – and possibly offer help. This involved going to a country-western club here in Houston. After some thought, I decided that as I had a purpose in being there ~ I would be alright. And I was … uh … except for one tiny problem. In order to smoke in Houston, there has to be a porch. This club had one, so out I went to have a cigarette. (Nasty habit, I know!) They even had two tents with seating under them. I am heading to the seats under one of the tents, which should have been no problem ~ right?

Alas and alack… I didn’t see the cinder blocks that were holding up the supports. I, stone cold sober, sprawled flat on my face, after hitting my knees. Fortunately, the only thing hurt was my pride … and sipping on my cold sprite made me feel even better. Note to self: watch for obstacles on floors!

Tonight I am posting a wonderful – elegant time waster for the mathematicians in all of us. Well, the mathematicians in you — I have NO math skill.

The object is to convert the numbers of PI to musical notes …

This is the 2nd screen you will see ….

A truly lovely time waster ….


Oh and some of the other time wasters listed there are quite fun as well!!!

Erin Go . . . ~ Late Evening Thoughts

To say that last week was interesting would be an understatement. It was a wild, intense and one where a lot was accomplished. Not easily ~ not always with charm ~ not always without some stress. But then the weekend had arrived and I was “good to go.” Little did I know it should have gotten up and gone!

I was especially looking forward to Sunday when someone that I have gotten to know quite well and I were going to have a quick sandwich and coffee at a small streetside cafe and then spend the afternoon exploring Half Price Books. We had arranged to meet at the cafe around 1:30 in the afternoon. This would still give plenty of time for enjoying the book store. Around 10:00 in the morning I began to get text messages and then phone calls changing the time and location of where we were to meet. Finally I told that the place we would meet would be La Strada. (cue mournful music here.) This establishment was an attempt at an upscale Italian restaurant. Fortunately, they managed the upscale and the upscale price part. Unfortunately, (as far as I was concerned) they didn’t manage the food part.

I decided that I would have some dessert and let that be that.
I headed out on the adventure of the day. (cue Psycho violins here.)

When I arrived at the place, I realized even before I got to the door, there had been a change. The place was very noisy…very noisy. I though maybe it was because the windows on the street were open but then as I approached the door I had the reality hit me ~ this was not the case at all.

The upscale restaurant had become (on Sundays) a 21 (barely) and up (barely) party central location. It’s a little hard to remain upscale when all the drinks are being served in plastic glasses – coffee in foam cups!! And the place was packed. I realized that probably 80% of the boys “guy’s” voices hadn’t changed (21??) and NONE of the women’s voiced had progressed beyond grade school. It was as if I were at a Hanna Montana concert that was never going to start.

My friend? He was at the bar trying very hard to get under it – I think. To say that he had been drinking his lunch would have been been an understatement. He had used all the breakfast, dinners AND lunches for three weeks or more. I am now surrounded by people in high-pitched shriek(s) and a very intoxicated friend who is pawing me and giving me bone crushing bear hugs inbetween telling me what I was going to do and asking me for money. Great conversation points there!!

And, of course, Monday was St. Patrick’s Day . . . I found something very interesting and decided to end tonight’s post with these VERY clever cell phone charms from Japan. They are called the 6 stages of drunkenness ~

the first stage is the lecture stage: “Let me tell you something … over and over and over…

The rest and the conclusion tomorrow …

Out Of The Pun, Into The Fire ~ Early Evening Thoughts

(update 8-19-2007) I received a delightful e-mail giving me authorship information on the 2003 winner Gary Roma of He will be publishing a book soon of his stories, including Love Letters. Thanks Gary for bringing me up to speed.

Each year, in Austin TX. there is an O.Henry “pun-off” where contestants compete to win the best of that years puns. While this years winners have yet to be punsted posted I did find some rather delightful puns and stories from previous years.

I posted some winners of the actual contest before, but these were voted on by the Save The Pun Foundation members as best stressed puns.

from Best Stressed Puns of 2004.

Ascent..An aroma.
Brisket..To speed something up.
Castrate..To evaluate all the actors in a movie or play.
Dollop..To dress up attractively.
Exposed..A retired model.
Forthcoming..Three visits weren’t enough.
Germination..The birthplace of Beethoven.
Hi-fidelity..A devoted couple.
Institute..A spontaneous session of wind and brass instruments.
Logarithm..Tapping out the beat of a tune on a tree trunk.

From 2003: Love Letters by Gary Roma – see updated version —>HERE<—

Words are just lucky letters. How do letters get lucky? They go to bars. Let’s listen:

A consonant goes into a bar and sits down next to a vowel.
“Hi!” he says, “Have you ever been here before?”
“Of cursive,” she replies, “I come here, like, all the time”
He can tell from her accent (which is kind acute) that she is a Vowelly Girl. He looks her over. She’s short and has a nice assonance.
She sure is a cipher sore I’s, thinks this consonantal dude. He remains stationery, enveloped by her charm. “And what an uppercase!” His initial reaction is so pronounced, he doesn’t know what to say. He is, at present, tense. Admiring her figure of speech, he falls into a fantasy.
He pictures a perfect wedding: They exchange wedding vowels.
The minister says, “I now pronouns you man and wife.”
They kiss each other on the ellipsis. “I love you, noun forever,” he whispers. The conjugation is in tiers. In a word, they are wed.
He awakens from his daydream and proposes a dance, but she declines.
Ferment there, she looks like she’s going to bee [sic].
“Gee, are you okay?” he asks her.
“I’m, like, under a lot of stress … I’ve got a yeast inflection.”
“I knew something was brewing.”
He calls the bartender. “Listen, bud, my beer is warm.”
The bartender takes the bottle and empties it in the sink.
The dude watches as his hops go down the drain.
“Let’s go outside,” he says to her. “I’d like to have a word with you.”
“Are you prepositioning me?”
“I won’t be indirect. You are the object of my preposition.”
“Oh my God, you’re, like, such a boldfaced character!”
“I see your point. But I’m font of you. C’mon let’s go.”
“Do I have to spell it out? You’re not my type, so get off my case.
Reluctantly, he decides to letter B. “Now my evening lies in runes,” he laments. He leaves, hoping to have letter luck next time.

And last (but not least) from 2001:

The Peter Pan club? Never. Never.

The quarterback club? I’ll pass.

The compulsive rhymers club? Okey‑dokey.

The Spanish optometrists club? Si.

The pregnancy club? That’s conceivable.

The Self‑Esteem Builders club? They probably won’t accept me.

The Agoraphobics Society? Only if they meet at my house.

Once A Pun A Time ~ Early Morning Thoughts

On May 19th, Austin, TX will play host to an annual event of non-earthshaking proportions.


A little history is in order – starting with the ISTPF -International Save The Pun Foundation (who knew??):

Founded by the late John Crosbie in 1979, the International Save The Pun Foundation has become the world’s largest and fastest-growing apocryphal society. Since one person in five in North America is a functional illiterate, and since everywhere the little red schoolhouse is full of too many little-read students, the Foundation exists to arouse a greater interest in reading by encouraging people to have fun with words.

To quote from their history:

The current chairman of the bored, Norman Gilbert, is a financial planner based in Toronto, Ontario. He first subscribed to the pundit in 1984, after hearing John Crosbie in a radio interview, and has never looked back. When John died in 1994, Norman acquired the rights to the Foundation from John’s estate, the transaction taking place, appropriately, on April Fool’s Day.

Under Norman’s leadership, the Foundation’s 1,600 members continue to stumble onward, spreading the good (and sometimes not-so-good) words, and scattering their gems of linguistic libertinism about them like Johnny Appleseed, although perhaps not always with the same level of appreciation. Hysterically screaming “Up the pun!”, this unruly band of rebels may be found waving tattered copies of the pundit, and storming the barricades of grammatical rules and regulations around the world. From Australia to Zimbabwe, wherever they are erected by the steadily retreating phalanxes of pedants and self-appointed guardians of our language, the barriers are falling, and people are having fun with the language, thanks to the unceasing efforts of Norman and his plucky crew.

With great hesitancy, I bow to my love of words – and my admiration for the truly awful pun – and present two of last years winners of the pun-off.

There is a time-limit of 90 seconds for contestants…to which can be added 30 seconds making a total of 2 minutes. Quite long enough to listen to a string of puns I would say. There are two divisions: Punniest of Show and High-Lies & Low-Puns – and each division is limited to 32 participants.

(hint: read it carefully)

The graffiti on the PLATHroom wall was simple: “For hot one-on-one word play, call 1-800-WORDCORE.

And so I call, and she answers, and she jumps right into it.

She says, “Are you ready for some aural sex?”

And I say, “Oh, yes!”

And she says, “What are you drinking?”

And I say, “A tall tequila mockingbird, what are you drinking?”

And she said, “A nice vodka milkSHAKESPEARE. You sound so buff…have you been working out? I can tell you have tight vocabs. I’ll bet you have a huge dictionary.”

And I said, “Oh yes, indeed, it’s the Oxford English Language Dictionary. 151 pounds of pure…definition.”

And she said, “I want you to give me multiples right now!”

So, I purred, “Onomatopaea!”

And cried, “More! More!”

So, I moaned, “Supracalifragilisticespialidocious!”

And she said, “Don’t fake it. Give it to me RILKE.”

So, I whispered, “Antidisestablishmentarianism…”

And she screamed, “Affirmative! Affirmative! I want you to rap for me! Now!”

And I said, “What? Rap? I can’t rap!”

And she said, “But rappers are SO sexy!”

And I said, “I can’t rap! I was a Lit Major!”

And she said, “Oh, go PLATH yourself! I know you’ve got a superior WHIT, MAN, so just pull out your DICKENSON and start KEROUACKing now!”

So, I said:

“Uhm… Yo…

My words are warm wool slippers, put your poor, cold feets in
they’ll lock you up like Alexander Solzenitzen!

I’m cooking up lyrics like I was a chef, see?
I’ll give you Rhymes and Punishment like Dostoyevski!

Before you step to me, you better back the heck off,
‘cuz I’ve got more plays that Anton Chekov!”

She said, “You need to slow down, why you be Russian? By the way, you sound a little gay… Are you a homophone?”

And it was then that I realized this wasn’t really working for me. We were just two relationships passing wind in the night, crashing into the same GINSBURG.
–Eirik Ott (copyright 2006)


Four years ago I stood here and presented an ABC primer on animal puns. Since Richard Lederer and I now have a new book out (titled THE GIANT BOOK OF ANIMAL JOKES), I thought it would be appropriate to present an all-new alphabetical primer on animal puns, with completely different animals. Here I go:

I will not cast ASPersion on my previous performance, but I will BUCK the trend of not using the same theme. I just hope it doesn’t become a CATastrophe and I start DRAGON my feet. And I hope no one will feel any EEL will towards me, as I just want to have a lot of FAWN. In fact, I’ll GOAT to any length to keep these animal puns going forever and HEIFER. I’ll tow the line and try not to give up an INCHworm, as I dig for more animal puns. If I have to search for animal puns at night, I’ll use a JACKAL lantern. My goal, as always, is to keep up the KOALAty of these animal puns. If I can offer any tips to anyone, just LEMUR know. If you’re not sure, merely MULLET over for a while. But don’t be bashful; because, in this case, no news is bad NEWTs. If I’m ever in your neighborhood, I’ll stop by for a visit if OPOSSUM by your house. And I’ll drive carefully, since I don’t want to be accident PRAWN. If I come, I promise not to QUAHOG the conversation. You must think I’m a RAVEN lunatic to keep up this SHRIMPly awful animal punning, when in fact it actually makes me THRUSHed with delight and URCHIN to tell even more. So, are you VIXEN to invite me over? If so, I think WEEVIL have a good time. We could sit around and talk about the death of some skate and ray fish, commonly know as X-
RAYS. Or we could dress up, go out, and YAK it up. Finally though, if a female is invited, she should be sure to wear (as the French say) ZE BRA.
–Jim Ertner (copyright 2006)

Flung From The Tree Into Life ~ Early Morning Thoughts

Today I became very angry. A delivery that was supposed to happen yesterday … with the companies precise scheduling “sometime between 8:30am and 5:00pm.” It didn’t happen, in spite of several phone calls to find out what was going on. It didn’t happen. It was scheduled today, supposedly before 12 noon – or shortly thereafter. Again, several phone calls later – no one really had a good answer as to what happened. The mysterious delivery is supposed to happen tomorrow. Perhaps it will – but what I gained today is going to make tomorrow a lot easier.

I started to become quite angry. I was not irritated (that might have been justified). I was becoming very angry. The kind of anger that would have translated into outward behavior, I have no doubt. When it was finally determined that the delivery wasn’t going to occur – unless someone waived a magic wand, or sprinkled fairy dust – I headed to catch a bus to get some errands done. As I was sitting on the bus with the rain coming down (Oh, just great! … mutter, mutter, mutter), there was another problem. One that really caught my attention. A gentleman got on the bus who had obviously had a very bad day – no, make that a week (at least). Nothing was going right, everything was wrong and everything was everyone else’s fault. No one could meet his standards for breathing, let alone living. When he got off the bus, there was almost a collective sigh of relief – but one from me of awareness. As much as I don’t want to admit it, his outward expression was somewhat matching my own inward feelings.

Had I continued with my thoughts and mental complaints, things would have been very different. And I wouldn’t have begun to notice things around me again. The beauty of the clouds as they moved, the various expressions of people as they moved through existence. I wouldn’t have noticed something I thought went out of style when I was a “young-un.” There was actually a child with folded paper sailing a “boat” in the water of the gutter.

I want to borrow a story from a wonderful teacher/actress that I have the privilege to know personally. She has an amazing outlook on life and living.

My cousins live in Asheville, North Carolina, where Jesse is a prominent surgeon. He is a fine man, a very gracious man, a very loving man, but a man who doesn’t like cats. His wife, Frances, is a delightful person who loves cats.

One day a little neighbor girl ran crying to their house. Her cat had climbed up in a tall, slender tree and couldn’t get down. Jesse thought that was a very good place for a cat to be, but following Frances’s gentle persuasion, he said, “Let’s see what we can do to help.”

The two of them decided that Frances, who is of diminutive stature, would grab the lower part of the tree and work it down until the topmost branches reached Jesse. Then Jesse, who is quite tall, would scoop the frightened cat from the top of the tree to safety. Their plan worked well at first. Frances grabbed the part of the tree within her reach and pulled it toward her. The tree tipped down like a thirsty giraffe, bearing a tiny passenger on its head. The branches were almost to Jesse when Frances lost her grip!

Whoom! The tree slipped from Frances’s hands and sprang away with such great force that the cat was flung into space! Catapulted! Claws out! Eyes wide! Approaching a certain but unknown destiny.

The little girl was crushed, but the shock of her beloved cat’s mode of departure stopped her sobbing. Frances was overcome by guilt because she and Jesse had lost the little girl’s cat. Jesse tried not to laugh. They all accepted the foiled rescue attempt. What else could they do?

A few days later, Frances was in the grocery store and noticed a friend pushing a grocery cart with cat food in it. She knew that her friends’ husband didn’t like cats any more than Jesse did. “I see you have cat food. Do you have a cat?” she asked.

Her friend stopped, looked around to be sure no one else could hear, and said, “Frances, the strangest thing happened. My husband and I were sitting in out backyard when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, this cat landed at our feet! My husband looked at the cat and then at me. He said, “Maude, the Lord has sent us a cat!”

My cousins’ story gives me new insight into the dilemmas of traveling and the bewilderments I often find in life. I identify with that cat! Often flung out into uncharted space. I’m not sure where I’m going, but I’m going there very rapidly. Clashing priorities, scrambled agenda, sudden assignments, unexpected incidents catapult me into areas and activities for which I have no comfortable preparation. Sometimes, I even look like that cat. Claws out! Eyes wide! Grasping for breath and trying unsuccessfully to get my act together before I land.
–Jeannette Clift George
Travel Tips From A Reluctant Traveler

–angry cat

–angry kitten by Yiannis Pavlis