Some Neglected Luck (8)

Synopsis:  Roger Kiser has been slipped on a bus to an unknown location so that is bumpkin family could sell everything he owned.  This was hardly a tragic turn considering Roger was desperate to leave them.  But like a rubber ball down a storm drain, there was no way to know where he would end up.

Roger stared at the blue bus seat in front of him in profound disbelief.  He had imagined leaving the Boykin clan a hundred times but never like this.  In his mind, he would stride away from the house with two suitcases and a nice suit.  They would ask him to stay and he would gruffly refuse.  One rude gesture and a ride into Little Rock would cleave him from them forever.

Instead, they cleaved him.  He was freed in such a way that the road, both figuratively and literally, was sending Kiser in any direction.  Here was his opportunity for a strange start to a normal life.

The bus shook.  Almost immediately, it slid into a comfortable idle and finally a low roar as it slid away from the bus station.  That was it.  He was free.

Roger took a moment to politely greet an older woman in the seat next to him before placing his backpack on the floor.  After unzipping it, he rummaged through to remind himself of all he had left in the world.  It contained his origami book, plenty of paper, a package of granola bars (rhubarb and fig), his wallet, and a bottle of urine.

For some reason, he was always forced to carry the bottle used by the little boys on long road trips.  Mother had feared B.J. and Jud would fall through the hole in the back of the bus.  It was all Kiser had to remember his family and it seemed strangely suited to the task. 

After a period of quiet contemplation, which quickly became a nap, Roger began glancing about for something to occupy his attention.  Snow-covered landscapes were nice, but somehow repetitive.  Many of his fellow passengers sat either asleep or lost in their own thoughts.  He looked quickly away from anyone who purposefully returned his gaze.  To his surprise, there was a small brown travel bag just underneath the seat. 

“Huh, looks like someone left some of their baggage.” Roger thought.  “How convenient.”

Inside were a toothbrush, comb, a little cash, a tube of anti-fungal cream, and a few other items.  Kiser attempted the nose hair clipper with painful results.  He then noticed something vastly more interesting, a small mobile phone and an adaptable charger.

“My, my how convenient indeed.”

The phone and its accessories were all simple black except for a vaguely familiar corporate logo on the phone’s faceplate.  The liquid crystal display seemed to function well, and it subtly invited Roger to attempt a call.

There were few phone numbers that he could remember or believed worth dialing.  Instead, Roger decided to try a random number.  He quickly pecked in 1-800 before spelling out MON-TANA in what he considered his own personal joke.  Roger then pressed SEND, and raised the phone to one ear. 

After two rings, a woman with a smooth voice picked up, “Thanks for calling the Nole Hotline!  On behalf of myself, I would like to thank you and your corporation for making this call.  Please give me your name and pass phrase in order to set up or access your account.”

After pausing for thought, Roger followed the instructions.

The woman’s voice adopted a sarcastic tone.  “Ok the name on your company’s new account is ‘Honorable Roger Kiser, Esquire’, and your pass phrase is ‘Help me, I’m abandoned on a bus.” 

There was a brief pause before she continued.  “Thanks again for calling.  This is Nole, what can I help you with?”

Roger shrugged.  To what did he just sign up?  “Uh, yea.  I don’t know.  Do you know how to get to the Land of Oz? 

Her reply was surprising and not very professional, “Well, that depends on where you’re coming from.  In your case that would be Stupidsville or maybe Moronsboro.  Look, either way you need to head to south until you find the exit marked Gate of Hell.  Take it.

Do you have any other questions sir?”

“Well, no.” Roger admitted, “not after that.” 

Kilwein had thought all people who make their living on the phone understood that they were automatically required to observe a higher standard of conversational etiquette.  This understanding is much the same as the way a professional truck driver is extra courteous on the highway. 

In what he thought was a genuinely polite gesture; Roger asked if she had any questions.

To his surprise, she did, “Yeah, pal, I do.  Where and how do you get a title like esquire anyway?  Did you complete some sort of college class?  Do you have to make love a certain way?  Maybe you can’t have any bad habits except cigar smoking, right?” 

“Not really.  I just thought it was…”

Roger’s answer wasn’t satisfactory.   Nole’s harangue continued, “Yeah, I bet I know!  You just have to somehow convince others that that’s what you are right?  I’m on to you!”

Faced with an increasingly threatening situation, Kiser hit END.  He then wrapped the wire around the charger and placed the charger and the phone in his backpack.


Roger’s days riding the bus progressed without event.  He would use the restroom when presented the opportunity and finding a fountain was never too difficult.  Inside the restrooms were electric sockets he would use to charge Nole. 

On several occasions, usually during the middle of the night, or whenever he was especially bored, Roger would whip out the mobile phone and call Nole.  She always had a monologue of some sort prepared.  To be honest, Roger was never really sure if her speeches were prepared just for him or this was her job.  Whenever he would ask her, she would crank her ever-present ambivalence to new levels.

“So I’ve been thinking Nole,” Roger was slouched in his seat with his feet against the back of the seat in front of him.  “How many foods can you name that cannot be conceivably eaten with either cheese or chocolate?” 

He paused, it was the middle of the night and Roger was thinking in drowsy circles.  “You know what?  I cannot think of any!  You might consider breakfast cereal but they have chocolate kid’s cereal right?  Well, mark that off the list.”

It took a second for Nole to respond.  “If I had a pickle right now, I would shove it through this phone and ram it down your throat.” 
With Nole to keep him company and the country laying out for him in endless miles, Roger should have been content, yet this was not the case.  His stomach had been without food for sometime, and, after spending what money he had, there was no way of attaining any more.  At first, he thought this would be a major problem but after the first few days his stomach’s grumbling eased. 

Also, his clothing was becoming as stale his bus seat.  Roger was tired of turning his underwear inside out and washing it with hand soap from rest stops.  When it was wet, he had to go without and drape it over his backpack to dry.  The old lady beside him didn’t care for this method.     

Dumbknuckle – Lesson 4

Congratulations!  You’ve now completed three lessons and the abstract concepts of the DumbKnuckle may be starting to take hold but don’t get too confident.  Sometimes DumbKnucles aren’t belligerent just confounding.  Your interaction with them will have you scratching your head for days or months after you’ve entered the afterlife.   

Remember that it isn’t always distinct plumage that identifies the wild DumbKnuckle.  (Although anything paisley is usually a good sign.)  It is a person’s behavior that marks a well thought human from the mind splitting actions of the DumbKnuckle.  As we speak, there’s a one with a pyramid scheme, time-share, or ticket to a professional wrestling event just waiting to find you.

Scenario Four

The school day was over and I was enjoying the flushing sound of middle school students exiting the building.    

After the last one left the building, I ambled back into my room and over the beaten body of the educational ideal.  I saw it riddled with pencils and pens.  Bleeding words from the science text all over my floor, I could only shake my head and plan for it’s survival tomorrow. 

“Mr. Teply! Mr. Tutter’s little boy is here.  Come say hello.”

I walked into the hallway and coming down the hall was my coworker pushing a three-wheeled stroller with his son strapped inside.  Most of the female teachers had already gathered around.  They were waving, smiling, and speaking in voices almost three and a half octaves higher than normal.

Meandering up, I offered, “You know ladies, I’ll bet the boy can hear lower tones as well.”

“Shut up, Mr. Teply.  We’re showing excitement over little Josh’s arrival.”

I went to one knee and waved at the child.  Josh was almost two and really didn’t care about anything except the bit of chocolate he was haphazardly smearing around but not necessarily in his mouth.

Then my expression hardened.  Josh’s hair was a mess, his shirt had at least two different stains, his nose was covered with crusty, dried snot, and in the duct of his left eye was a goober almost the size of a dime.

Mr. Tutter was showing his little boy around and it was hard to see the kid past the mess. 

Question #1- Multiple Choice
The best compliment I could offer would have been…
A. (falsetto) Yea, I could just clean you up.  Yes, I could.
B.  If I had a daughter the same age and a jumbo container of wet wipes…
C. Finally, a baby that’s not caught up in being cute all the time!
D. It takes most kids all day to work up this kind of mess!

Question #2- Multiple Choice
An appropriate departing comment would have been…
A. You’ve got a real angel there!  One with just a heavenly hint of mucus.
B. Hey!  Next time you change his diaper, try cleaning the other end too!
C. Eye boogers normally fall out by 10 but you’ve hung onto that one all day!
D. My grandmother would have run him through a car wash already.

Question #3- True or False
 Mr. Tutter didn’t clean Josh up because his son could “ooze” no wrong.

Question #4- True or False
 Josh’s daycare is at the Centers for Disease Control.

Question #5- True or False
 If Mr. Tutter sees fit to show off his kid when Josh is a mess…then the Tutter home and car must look like the seventh level of Hell.

Word Play

I have a boss that has officially eliminated the word “problem” from his vocabulary.  Instead he has substituted the near-synonym “opportunity.”  (He fooled some of the new teachers but the old gears will still squeak.)  I’ve contacted twelve of the leading wordsmiths at the’s Manhattan headquarters and they all agree that these two words are not to be interchanged. 

One diplomatically replied, “You’re interrupting my game of Tetris and if you interrupt me again I’m giving you a five fingered opportunity sandwich.”

Anther quipped, “I’ll have to think twice the next time opportunity knocks.”

Personally, I don’t have a problem at all with retooling my use of the English language.  In the face of English’s constantly growing lexicon, I’ve decided to reverse the tide.  Mayonnaise, cottage cheese, and sour cream have been completely eradicated from my vocabulary and replaced them with the handy phrase, “white yuck.”

Switching gears a bit…

Tom and I were throwing the football on a cool fall day.  There was a breeze and a sun three inches above the horizon.  The ball flew threw the air like a well-thrown dart and if one of us missed the catch the sunlight was blamed.  The park grass had just recently been mowed and before long our socks were flecked with bits of cut grass.

That was before calamity’s hammer struck where it hurt.

In order to keep our game interesting, our catches became more and more theatric.  We started catching the footballs with ever escalating style and machismo.  Then the ball slipped through my hands and struck me in the groin.  I immediately sat down on the grass and waited for the ache to subside.

“What’s wrong?  I didn’t see you catch the ball.”  Tom said as he ran up to me.

“Well,” I groaned.  “The ball kind of hit me in my gazangas.”

Tom offered a mocking grin.  “Your what?”

“I said my ham hocks, ok?  You know what I mean.”

“Not really.  I don’t think gazangas is in the dictionary and ham hocks is defiantly not something you’d find the your anatomy book.  If you have ham hocks, maybe you should see a doctor.”

“Tom?”  The discomfort was clear in my voice.  “You and I both know that under the circumstances you can plug any word real or made up in there and people would know what you’re talking about.”

“Oh, I understand now.  You’re talking about your secret agents, your ying-yang, your mach two point two, your…hey!  Be careful!”

Tom jumped aside just as I threw the football toward his two-point conversion.

Intrest Occupation (The 100th Post)

Whenever I stroll down the street from’s corporate headquarters in Manhattan, fans seem to bombard me.  Many want an autograph (which is good for free condiments from the hot dog vendor on Wall Street) and others want to ask me questions. 

Yet I prefer to direct their inquaries to the three foundations I chair.  All three buy land in the Central African Republic as an extinct bird sanctuary where we hope the dodo will make a full recovery.

One question I field all the time is why I run  Why would I quit my highly respected position as a seventh grade math teacher to take the dirty, high stress job running  After all, our customers demand a high quality product everyday.

Often I mumble some irrelevant answer about the state of the Internet and the lack of high quality daily sites.  I compare it to a pet, a diary, and the comic strips.  All of this is true to a small degree.

For the truth, I open my wallet and pull out a sheet of paper with my life’s To-Do list scribbled in smeared black ink.  It was written when I was fifteen and looks a little like this…(the parenthesis are my modern additions).
Job #1 – Meet girl and communicate successfully.  This would be your first love. (CHECK)

Job #2 – Marry the first available female. (CHECK myself into the psych ward!  What I meant to say is, marry finest available female.)

Job #3 – Find a career that gives me basically zero tangible results. (BIG RED CHECK)

Job #4 – Buy a home with historic value and little previous upkeep. (write another big repair CHECK)

Job #5 – Have a child and make sure he/she never embarrasses you publicly. (CHECK out cloning as an option)

Job #6 – Retire  (May my CHECKerboard board never gather dust.)

Look at the space between Job #5 and Job #6!  Holy Cow!  Something interesting needed to happen besides buying a new (used) car every six or seven years.  I cannot slip into obscurity so easily. 

Ergo, is my Job #5.5.  It’s the next mountain.  It’s a fresh breath of air.  It’s the promise of one day having the clout of ten and a half readers. 

To put it plainly, “The site scratches were I inch and you need not know where.”

Application for Employment

Due to a lack of quality applicants for employment at we are simplifying the application process.  Our new form utilizes built in assistance for prospective employees who have the ability to read.  Look for the ( ).
Scrambled Thoughts from Fried Thinkers
Application for Employment (Desperation Version)

Name (Optional, We have nicknames available.) ______________________

Address(Optional, Our new Cubical-topia office furniture allows you to sleep under your desk.  Filing wardrobes are also available.)

Street ___________________________________  City ____________________ 

State ________  Zip (5 numbers only please)_______________ 

Date of Birth  5 – 14 – 2001  (Note: All employee birthdays are celebrated on the same day to decrease unproductive time on semi-festive office parties)

Social Security Number(Under 60?  You know you’re not getting this money back, right?  Need a number?  Try using your weight, IQ, then the balance on your credit card.  Done!)  __ __ __ – __ __ – __ __ __ __

Reasons for Seeking Employment(We accept honest answers!  Improved solitaire times are ok!  Stealing office supplies is commendable.  Our trend setting casual Wednesdays, hobo Thursdays, and unwashed Fridays may be attractive to you.)


Department of Interest  (Product Development and Quality Control could really use some help.  Write one of those.  Use the previous sentences for spelling assistance.)

Education  ___N A _____  (None of us are working in the field we got our degree in so what’s the point?)

Previous Employment  (Use the following word bank to construct three previous professions.  Just put two or three together!)

Caregiver            Professional            Wrestler            Hazardous

Supervisor               Gofer                   Marine                Biologist

Stunt                         Adult             Entertainment         Computer

Mechanical               Money              Homeless             Panhandler

   1) _________________________________     Dates__________ to _________

2) ___________________________________     Dates__________ to _________

3) ___________________________________     Dates__________ to _________

References  (Honestly, we’ve forgotten why we do this.  Just put some of the names you wish your parents had given you.  Do you have any imaginary friends we could contact?  Any pets that can vouch for you?)
Name ________________  Phone _____ – _____ – ______ Relation ____________

Name ________________  Phone _____ – _____ – ______ Relation ____________

Name ________________  Phone _____ – _____ – ______ Relation ____________

Expected Salary  (We will submit this to Payroll when they return from their three year long conference along the Yucatan coast.  Until then, just submit all you personal expenses in the form of purchase orders.)

Signature (The more indecipherable the better.) _________________________

The-Been-Long-Wed Game

Sad facts:  68% of married American adults have learned more in the last year about their favorite celebrity than about their spouses.  (Source: The TV Bride – August, 2003)

54% of married American adults wouldn’t notice if their spouses were more than an hour late returning from work. (Source: The National Perspirer – January, 1998)

63% of married Americans do not consider their spouses to be their best friends.  (Source:  A used napkin I found under the table. – Yesterday)

99% of married Americans pass gas around their spouses without a second thought.  (Source: my rear.  By the way, I do not pass gas around Mrs. Teply.  I’m serious.)

Here’s a fun activity for you and your significant other.  In fact, you have a guarantee that the fun you will have beats the snot out of a half hour of television.  It’s a take on an old game show you probably know well.

The following twenty questions regard a medley of simple facts and deeper insights.  Look over them and see how many you can answer about your love interest then take them home and see just how many they can answer about you.  If you thought about it, you could probably come up with about a billion more.  

1. Who is their favorite author?
2. If given $500 dollars, what would he/she spend it on?
3. Who was their first kiss?
4. What was their most embarrassing moment?
5. Who was their best friend growing up?
6. What were they disciplined for most often as a child?
7. How did their parents meet?
8. What is their favorite flavor of ice cream?
9. Name a favorite song of theirs from high school.
10. How many speeding tickets have they earned?
11. If they could visit one place, where would they go?
12. What would be their realistic dream job?
13. What makes them angry the quickest?
14. What is their least favorite vegetable?
15. In a fire, what item would they be sure to rescue?
16. What was their favorite subject in school?
17. Quick, name their first car, favorite movie, and first pet.
18. What do they find most attractive about you?
19. If you died, how long would they wait before dating again?
20. How much did they weigh when they were born OR what color was their hair?

By the way, my money is on you and your love interest getting only half of these correct and that’s if you actually love each other.

A Ticket To Departing (7)

Synopsis:  Roger Kiser is traveling with his crude country family from Arkansas to the state of Montana, which they mistakenly call Mount Anna.  They are traveling in an old school bus(the Ark) that’s seen much better days.  Roger is miserable and would love nothing more than to escape them forever.  Roger takes some time to reminisce on his history with the Boykin family.  

From somewhere to his right, Roger could just hear Cecil shouting for his snuff can.  It reminded him of the first time he met the Boykin family.

Mother was rendered infertile sometime after her seventh or eighth child.  Father’s laziness determined that the labor force these parents had bred would be insufficient to maintain the homestead.  Roger was added to the family census count to ease the work and further lower Father’s income taxes.  To avoid wayward glances from the sisters, Roger professed complete relation.

Nevertheless, it was apparent that he was developing differently from the rest of the family.  The parent’s behavior reinforced this fact.  Affection afforded to the brothers and sisters flowed like spilt beer, while Roger was relatively shunned.

The Ark either hit a large animal or Father switched gears.  The resulting jars forced Kiser back into the present.

Father was speaking, “The way I imagine it, we will buy a mobile home.  Then, when you kids are old enough, you can buy mobile homes, and move next to your mom and me.  Soon, when we have enough mobile homes, I can open a bar.  Then we will be real town, and I will be the mayor.  Let’s chose a name for our town.”

One of the spawn said, “How about Armpit?”

They all agreed that Armpit is a name no one has used yet, would attract tourists from all over the world, and make great bumper stickers like, “Sweat Happens”. 

“Yea, that’s right, Armpit, Mount Anna here we come!”


Disaster struck in the snow-covered land of what might have been Michigan. 

Previously, the second youngest child had torn up the map.  A team of the three oldest repaired it by matching a few of the interstates together.  If some of the roads didn’t match up, they used a pen to bring them together. 

Father had been swatting hopeful fingers from his unrefrigerated jumbo pack of baloney, when the view before him became awash in darkness.  The bus, having borrowed its last second, began billowing thick pillars of smoke from both ends.  Father brought it to a halt at a bus stop in nearest small town.

The family’s arrival garnered the attention of just about everyone.  People with backpacks and carry-ons froze or at least slowed their walk.  Their chilled breaths rose and spread much like the exhaust coming from the idling gray buses.  Several homeless men reclining next to a dumpster jeered as the Ark’s momentum expired and it came to a stop in the parking lot.

Father was less amused.  “It’s (bad word) impossible to drive with all this (potty mouth) smoke!  The (evil speech) wipers don’t even help!”

There were a few moments of quiet peace while each considered how to repair the wipers, and what this delay meant.  Roger groaned and looked out his window for a Help Wanted sign in any of the nearby establishments.  One of the younger siblings started to cry.

“Paw, are we going to make it to Armpit by Christmas?”

Father scratched himself for a moment and spoke to the mother in hushed tones.  She turned, and waddled into the bus terminal.  During her absence, father tried to entertain his children by spreading assurances and wasting time flipping unlabeled switches on the bus’s dash.  Roger rubbed his arms in an effort to stay warm.

Soon, mother returned with boxes wrapped in a seasonal fashion.  Large bows of red and green brought joy to the offspring’s faces.  The older children received six packs of their favorite ale, while the younger set acquired jumbo cartons of night crawlers. Noticing that each gift was case specific, Roger held hope that she had purchased something that was geared towards his own wants and desires.
Roger’s gift was the only one to bear his name, but that was not the singular factor in its being unique.  While the other gifts issued happiness from every obnoxious, inexpensive ribbon and foil wrapping, his was far less festive.  In fact, it was wrapped in nothing but toilet paper and used paper towels.

“Well, open it Oatmeal.”

Kiser lifted his fist overhead, and punched through the exterior to the treasure within.  For a moment, he felt nothing.  Then, he found the prize, and his clinched hand drew forth a blank bus ticket and an impressive set of executive pens. 

The pens were encased in one of the most beautiful plastic enclosures yet observed.  It was clear as crystal with sharp edges and a taped enclosure.  Each pen appeared to be covered in different precious metal.  One pen resembled silver the other held a strong likeness to gold.

Mother seemed exceptionally eager. “The pens will help write where you are going.”

She snatched the pen case from a now confused Roger, and unsheathed the one similar to gold.  Utilizing the full extent of her second grade education she began to print a location on the surface of the ticket. 

She prompted herself, “Let’s see … one consonant…. A vowel here…. Two more consonants… another vowel… done.”

With just a bus ticket in hand and the backpack he had been carrying since Arkansas, Roger was pushed onto the nearest bus.  He had wanted to take his crate with him or at least secure it against his siblings but mother would not hear of it.  She assured him that the contents of the crate would be fine. 

Kiser turned and glanced at the ticket.  It was difficult to read what she had written but this was not uncommon.  He could only guess that she had written in a random location in Montana.

Roger was still confused, “But why was I chosen to ride the bus, and how would they complete the trip?  They hate me.”

The answers did not hide long.  Roger peered out of a window to surmise their strategy.  The family had gathered to raise beers, presumably his honor.  The toast was brief, and then they shuffled to the rear of the bus where the Ark had been parked. 

This behavior gave Roger a hint of their latest, asinine plot.  He guessed they planned on hitching their bus to the rear of the bus he was riding in.  Soon, they would find themselves in Montana at a fraction of the cost, but why had he been chosen to ride in relative comfort?

Roger turned an surveyed the half full bus.  The variety of people was somewhat surprising.  It appeared that someone from every corner of the globe was present.  Their only common trait was the look of impatience directed at him. 

“Uh, can I see your ticket please?”  Roger awoke from his induced stupor.  The driver was standing in the isle directly behind Kiser. 

The driver stared at it sometime before grunting, and giving Kiser an odd look.   “Uh, yeah, I know where that is.”  He returned the ticket.  “Ok, you just be sure to pay close attention in case I forget.”

Roger was still standing as the bus pulled away from the bus stop. As quickly as he could, Kiser moved to the bus’s rear.  He grabbed the nearest seat in order to keep from losing his balance.

The bus’s rear most windows were slightly coated in frost and haze, but after wiping the inside with his sleeve, it became clear enough to see through. 

Regrettably, Roger then discovered what plan had really been hatched.  A sheet had been spread across the parking lot with all the contents of his crate laid out for sale.  There was his stereo and his wristwatch and everything else that he owned that might have some worth. 

A stunned Roger could only conclude, “ I guess it is now presumable that a mother’s love is indeed conditional.”

Male Studies – Letter 10

From the Desk of Norm dePlume
Lead Researcher and Author, “Colleges with the Hottest Girl’s Softball Teams” Published in Men’s Mind Magazine (October 2006 Issue)
Winner, Leopard’s Club Bingo Night (September 16th, 1984)

Dear Colleagues,

This is the second installment regarding testing the maternal effects on our test males Binko and Zits.  Both males are between 18 and 22.  This is an age we have designated as the “pupa” stage of the modern male development as they are stupendously maladjusted socially.  To gather the necessary data, we have wired their college dorm with the best equipment we could afford from 

Our goal was simple: to speed the process where these males can couple thinking as well as acting.  Until now, standard stimulus models (a siren goes off when their BO reaches 500,000 parts per million) and reward models (a six pack of cream soda is lowered into the room for a successful shower) have failed completely. 

My team now hopes their mother’s token presence will generate adult, responsible behavior patterns.  The full sized posters of alluring, desirable woman were all replaced with equally large pictures of their mothers. 

Most depictions feature their mothers performing duties that would make Binko and Zits most comfortable.  Mother Binko was featured on the telephone with a doctor’s business card calling in another plastic surgery and begging her son to date women with self-esteem problems.  Mother Zits was coming home from the grocery store with bags full of ramen noodles and orange drink.  Anther representation featured her in the ever attractive, over sized sweat pant and T-shirt promoting a monster truck show from 1998. 

Specimen Zits arrived at the dorm room first.  Like the inevitable tide, he reached over and activated his computer before scanning his environment.  When he did notice the images of his mother plastered over his posters of Miss Western North Dakota, he became viably upset.

Zits reached up to take down his mother’s pictures and discovered my team of grad students had used the strongest of adhesives (It’s called Teflock and it was developed to keep plastic hula dancers securely anchored to dashboards).  After five minutes of work, Zits stepped back and came to a different resolution.

He took a wide tipped black marker and drew artistic contributions to the pictures of Binko’s mom.  This crude vandalism included long, straight underarm hair.  Zits also drew curly chest hair along with, missing teeth, black eyes, moles in odd places, and a vulgar tattoo.

One of my team members in mission control leaned over and ominously said, “This isn’t going as planned.  He was supposed to make his bed.”

Then Zits glanced at his watch and realized he was late for work.  He grabbed his bag making a straight path for the door.

Specimen Binko then entered the room.  At first, he laughed at the vandalized depictions of his mother.  That is, until he realized it was his mom.

Binko studied the clean images of Zits’ mother before finally coming up with what he saw as a reasonable response.  He took a pair of scissors and brought them up to a lock of his hair.  His hand trembled as the blades began to close on the greasy locks. 

At the last moment, he pulled the scissors way.  He then removed his shirt and began trimming his back hair.  Binko also took large samples of the hair growing from his chest.

A half hour later, Binko stepped away from his work.  Wads of nearly dried glue still stuck to his hands.  He had carefully glued hair to the images of Zit’s mother blessing her with a multi-textured beard.  He also sculpted Zit’s real name using chest hair over the mother’s shoulders. 

Zits returned and both males exchanged looks of outrage. 

Having lost complete control of the experiment I issued the order to tranquilize our subjects.  Drug laden darts flew from two secret observation holes hidden behind bottles of diswashing detergent.  When both Binko and Zits were rendered unconscious, my team used hand held propane torches to remove the posters. 

When Binko and Zits returned to consciousness two days later, they had lost memory of the event.  Additionally, they had both soiled themselves creating an additionally awkward situation. 

As all good scientists say… Oops.”

Norm dePlume

Baby Pander

*Work is underway on my second child.  I’m sure you know about the nausea, aches, pains, and the forcible effects pregnancy has on a woman’s body but you may not be fully aware of the man’s responsibilities.

1. Destroy all scales in the house.  No one is to know what anyone weighs.

2. Sufficiently show remorse for not equally carrying the growing child.

3. Compulsively reinforce her self-image.

4.   Fully express your disgust regarding any girl who’s “just too skinny.”

*I must admit that the excitement over the arrival of our second child fails to compete with the enthusiasm we held for our first child.  The first time we discovered a new life had been created, phone calls were made immediately and the news related in eager tones. 

When Melissa told me we were expecting number two, I said, “Alright, is there anyone you want to call?”  

There’s no better example of this than the pregnancy test.  With our first child, the plastic stick hung out on our mantle for almost two months before being filed into some dusty drawer.  We may still have it.  I honestly have no idea.  In fact, it sounds a little gross by now.  The second test was simply thrown away.

*I was in the nursery closet the other day amazed by the literal bushels of infant and toddler clothes we have.  That’s not counting the millions of outfits we’ve sold at garage sales.  All the extra clothes we’ve kept are folded into carefully labeled boxes such as, “Three to four mouths – Winter” and, “Outgrew as we were putting it on.

Stepping out of the closet, I noticed that we’ve no plans to update the nursery either. 

“Well,” I told Melissa.  “If the second one is also a boy, then I’m guessing his first phrase will probably be ‘hand-me-down.”

Melissa grinned.  “Don’t worry.  He or she may wind up with a second hand nursery and old clothes but we’ll whip up a fresh batch of love for him.  Kinda sweet, right?”   

Inside the GHC

Minutes from the December 3rd, 1984 meeting of the GHC
Gorgeous Hunks Club

Members in Attendance at the Playhouse:
Matt Teply (Chairman), Greg Kramer (Clerk), and Jon Sugarman (Member)

Greg opens the meeting with our salute to the Retardo Entertainment System.
“A digital princess?  It’s all we got.
The dragons have been slain.
Mighty joysticks don’t win girls,
Our high scores equal no gain.

A pretty face says, “Game over.”
Rejection is our greatest dread.
Have no fear!  An idea is here!
Reset buttons on a girl’s forehead.

“Going out?”  We’re not real sure.
But the game guide has a cheat.
We’ve beat the game in record time!
But our bike has no second seat!

All have a seat.  Chairman Matt begins formal proceedings by recognizing Jon Sugarman.  “The GHC would like to formally thank your mother, Mrs. Sugarman, for bringing you over for the meeting.  We understand you are still in trouble for kicking that Brian kid in the head while he was walking in front while you were swinging.”

Jon stands and is recognized.  “Yea, let’s get started with old business right away.  I thought the GHC was going to back me up with some legal representation!  After all, witnesses put Courtney Haskell on the monkey bars nearby and I had to earn her attention!  That stupid Brian chased a ball right into my path  Neither of us was paying attention but I’m the one who got in trouble. 

I thought you guys were going to fabricate someone pushing Brian into the way?!  Were are you guys?”

Chairman Matt coughs and motions to Greg.  “Clerk Greg, do you have the paperwork we need to assist our member?”

Clerk Greg begins flipping through the tattered three ring binder that serves as the GHC’s formal record.  “Uh, Mr. Chairman it would appear that I left the paperwork in my lunch box.  I would immediately draft another resolution but I cannot find my black crayon and we all know any affidavit we write needs to be done as professionally as possible.”

“What!?  I’ll have already cleaned the bathroom and kitchen by then!  I’ve done everything I can to commute the sentence until after school tomorrow and I needed GHC’s help!  I knew I should have joined a group that meets in a tree house!”

Clerk Greg raises his hand and is recognized by Chairman Matt.  “If I may, it is Gorgeous Hunks Club official policy that video games are the answer to all difficulties.  Mr. Sugarman, if I may, would your grievance be settled if we gave you first play on Yodel Brothers?”

Jon tarries for a minute as he weighs a counter offer.  “Two first plays and any free guys I get I get to play.”

Chairman Matt offers a shrug and Clerk Greg nods.  “Very well, meeting adjourned.”