Friends “With Benefits”

Real life can be boring….really boring.  That’s where television swoops in with its more interesting version of existence.  With television, we are free from ugly people, needing patience with life’s difficulties, and good friends don’t have to knock or call first.   I’m going to try that with my neighbor later today – don’t worry, I’ll have a joke ready.

Since television’s purpose is entertainment, it’s difficult to quibble when the script is all roses and ignores reality’s thorns.  We accept a little “play” in the rules of real life but only to an extent.  Eventually the plot becomes hard to accept and we write off the show.  This is the why a lot of folks won’t even bother with sci-fi, fantasy, and MSNBC.

I’m ashamed to admit that Mrs. Teply and I have multiple seasons of the late 90s standard “Friends.”  You remember…single folks who enjoy coffee, wacky situations, and complete sexual freedom.  The show where a courtship works a bit like this…
 Step 1 – Introduce yourself
 Step 2 – Sex
 Step 3 – Comically fatal flaw or “I love you.”
 Step 4 – Shack up or go back to Step 1

Only on two occasions do we reach the rarefied Step 5 which is marriage.  Hey, it’s a television show…most folks know better than to buy what they’re selling.  Sexual jokes are easy to write.  It’s even easier to ignore the negative and dangerous aspects of this brand of courtship.  I sometimes wonder if the writers and actors ever feel any responsibility for the message (albeit a sitcom) that they are sending.

Anyway, about six months ago I decided to watch each episode and record how many sexual partners each character has during the show’s ten year run.  I tallied obvious sexual partners along with exact references to previous partners.  For instance, Rachel off-handedly asks when she’d ever given herself to a man on the first date (as she’d just done).  Monica rolls her eyes, offers a sideways grin, and lists three names – score four for Rachel.

Here are the totals…

 * Monica – 10 partners.  Her total was hurt by a couple of long term relationships.  In this game , that’s not how you win.  Curses!

 *Chandler (Mr. Can’t-Get-A-Date) – 8 partners.  He complained about his inability to find women but still managed 8 all of which were out of his league.  He married to Monica for the last few years of the show.

 *Ross – 10 partners. He was married three times…that’s not how you bag the most women! 

 *Rachel – 15 partners.  Miss Unattainable really wasn’t.

 *Phoebe – 17 partners.  We also learned that she likes it a little kinky…good to know.

 *Joey – Honestly, I lost count but the unofficial mark is 28.  You knew this guy was going to walk away with it.  We’ll have to wait until the ten year reunion show to find out how many STDs he picked up.

Lunch of Dodo Eggs

I’m sitting in an old home in Pulaski Tennessee that’s been converted to a restaurant.  The second you walk through the wide, wooden door you feel cramped by the old furniture stacked high with organic body butters and all-natural essential oils.  There are baked goods for sale as well – things like eucalyptus-oat-lemon loaf or something like that.  The paint is pastel and the music is being played by pixies on small xylophones.

That’s right, I’ve walked into a woman’s restaurant.  I glance over the menu and engage the two men I’m with in conversation.

Me:  “Well, whoever suggested this place gets to pick up the tab.  I’m not joking.”

Doug:  “It was this or McDonald’s.  So back off before I have the bouncer here cream your can.”

Me:  (Under my breath.)  “Cream my can?”

Waitress:  Walks up.  “Our special today is a rose hip housework salad with fresh ground potpourri and topped with a rich estrogen dressing.”

Me:  (After Marty and Doug order)  “Uh, I guess I’ll have the Deli Rose (NOT a joke.).”

The waitress leaves and all three of us squeeze the lemon into our waters and stir with our straws. 

Marty:  “So Matt, you teach huh?  What’s that like?”

Me:  “A loaded question.  How about I tell you only the stuff you’d be interested in.  For example, Friday after the kids were released from the bus room the first kid down the hall hands me a condom.  He says, ‘Here you go Mr. Teply.  Thought you might need it.”  (NOT a joke.)

Doug:  “You’re kidding me!”

Me:  “Nope that’s not a joke.  Didn’t I just say that?  Anyway, that’s not all.  During class, we were going over area and volume.  I showed them the formula for volume of a cylinder then off-handedly asked what city department would have a use for that information.  The first kid who raises his hand says, ‘The shape department.”

Doug:  “That’s a good one.”

Me:  “Still not kidding.  Ok, one more – this one happened last week – we were doing unit conversations and I mentioned that your skin completely replaces itself every 45 days.  The idea was for them to find out how many skins they go through in a year.  A kid raises his hand and asked if there was any chance he would be a different color in a month and a half.”  (NOT a joke.)

Doug and Martin chortle  into thier salads.

Bull Rider

 Career Avalanche is a handy service provided by’s experts to assist you in selecting and exceeding in the career of your choice.  Each entry in Career Avalanche inundates the reader with valuable information concerning education, licenses, and potential contacts.  You can depend on the information you’ll find in Career Avalanche.

 Today’s fascinating career….Professional Bull Rider.

 There’s no mystery why so many young men and women are flocking to this enticing field!  Let’s hear from one eager future professional bull rider…Tommy Felixson.

 “Dear Career Avalanche,

 Hi, how are you?  I am fine.  My name is Tommy Felixson and I would like to be a professional bull rider when I decide to move out of my parents place.  I’ve purchased a pair of boots, tight jeans, and a ten liter hat from some European guy on Ebay.  I’m ready to start riding professionally but I can’t seem to locate a good place to buy a bull.  Where will I find a lot of bull?”

 Right here Tommy!  It sounds like you’re on the right track.  They won’t let you ride a bull wearing baggy jeans and an over sized sweatshirt.  (One of our staff members, Eugene, tried riding a bull wearing baggy jeans.  After he was bucked, the pants fell to his ankles and he was trampled – but don’t worry he stocked the jelly bean bowl on his desk just before he left!  He’s gone but not forgotten!)  Keep wearing those tight jeans and boots!

 Next, check to see if you have a right arm.  Does it work properly?  A simple test developed by Career Avalanche should help you find out.  Start a car.  Then grab the tail pipe (Careful!  It may be hot!  Remember, Safety First!)  Have a friend slam on the gas.  If you manage to hold on a block or more, you’ve got what it takes!  You have (had) a functioning arm!

 Professional Bull Riding can be a bit technical for the uninitiated.  We’ll try to break it down. 

Step One:  Several men with sadistic sesnes of humor will strap you to the back of an angry bull.  You may hear them snicker or say things like, “This never gets old.” or “Happy trails, sucker.”  Ignore them – they ride goats. 

Step Two:  A gate will open and you may find yourself a bit disorientated like you are caught riding a pogo stick during an earthquake.  Relax, this is normal.

Step Three:  Hold the #$%%@ on!

Step Four:    At some point, you may come in contact with the ground.  Relax, this is normal.  Please locate an emergency exit found anyplace you can get your butt over. 

 The contributions you’ll make to society as a Professional Bull Rider will allow you to sleep soundly at night.  You’ve created purpose and meaning to hundreds of listless bulls who would otherwise be forced to lay around all day eating and checking out the heifers.  What a grind!  Speaking off that…you help delay these bulls being turned into Grade D Edible or Grade F Taco Bell meat!  The inability to use your arm when you’re older is well worth it!

In Summation…
Job: Professional Bull Rider
Average Salary: Varies with whatever the bull is willing to pay.
Required Education:  Actually, the less you know, the better.
Required Certifications & Licenses: Bovine Biology Certificate (Horn Emphasis)
Average Length of Career:  Four to seven seasons.  Those born with three or more arms have longer careers.

Grab Bag

Like the arms and legs of broken action figures, the following ideas have rattled around the bottom of the toy box for a long time. Clumsily, I’ve tried to expand them, fix them, make them workable. For this reason, the only “whole” these ideas will form is a complete pile of nonsense. But by all means, enjoy!


What percentage of home video recordings are ever watched again? You know what I’m talking about. Aunte Pearl videoing the entire dance recital even though her niece has fallen over twice. There’s the Christmas program that Sandie may or may not be in…we know she’s one of the shepherd’s sheep. And who can forget Billy-Bob’s third birthday! It needed to be recorded since BB is only three once. (Let me remind you – you only get the chicken pox once but that doesn’t need to be recorded forever now does it. Yes, it’s the same thing!)

Here are the facts as researched by’s Fact-Checker-Upper Department.

Fact #1 – 82% of respondents have never rewatched their wedding video after the honeymoon.

Fact #2 – If given the option, 98% of respondents would rather watch an old episode of Magnum P.I. than watch grainy footage of their nephew’s bar mitzvah.

Fact #3 – 100% of men will one day throw out or record over Frankie’s kindergarten graduation. 99% of wives will be angry about this for no good reason.


After garage saleing with my wife (for the LAST time), we stopped into a KFC for a quick lunch. Chicken isn’t really my favorite so it’s a rare thing for me to eat there. Melissa ordered some fried chicken and I ordered a chicken sandwich.

“Surely,” thought I. “A restaurant that specializes in fried chicken can piece together a decent chicken sandwich.”  I put two and two together and came up with four. The reward for my assumption? A limp, white bun, a spot of mayo, pickle, and a chicken piece seasoned with leather. It was a sandwich perfect for a starving refuge with all the flair of a funeral.

If a chicken place can’t make a decent chicken sandwich then what are McDonald’s chances with a burrito?


My sister approached me over Christmas break and asked if I wanted to invest on the ground floor of an exciting new chain of restaurants called “Peckers.” It would feature the bill of a woodpecker as the P in the name and feature men in tank tops and skin colored tights.

As she explains, “It’ll be great. We can even have themed days. Tall and thin guys will serve on Mondays when we discount the fat free menu. Tuesdays can be short but cute guys and the kitchen special will be on shrimp. Hamburgers half off on Beefcake Wednesdays!”

 I should note that she’s still looking for inverters…if you’re interested.

Learning Graffiti

 From driving down big city streets in a purple Impala, trunk full of spray paint, to etching your  identity into a simple school desk, graffiti has always been a key part of our great American culture.  For the graffiti enthusiast, wherever the common man’s eye is allowed its sight should be filled with the art that springs forth freely from the miscreant heart.  Each display of graffiti is a wildflower in bloom amidst the wash of urban drab. 

 If coddling your inner artist and simultaneously breaking laws appeals to you, then we would like to welcome you to the world of graffiti!  There’s no need to study the Old World masters when we prefer keeping it “old school.”  We’ve been working for years to push the archaic term graffiti into the twenty-first century with updated terms such as, “spontaneous art” or “unleashed expression.”  You feel me?

 So grab a few cans of non-earth tones spray paint and prepare for life where you proudly proclaim to all your fellow citizens that “YoU wAs HEre!”

 Tips for better graffiti~~

 ~~Excessive shaking of spray paint can make enough noise to alert narrow-minded neighbors who will then contact equally short sighted policemen.  For better coverage and less attention be sure to always pre-shake your paint.

 ~~You might be inclined to fat, jumbled letters that slump the same way you do…sure go ahead but that’s armature hour.  Real spontaneous art involves gang symbols.

 ~~Dating your work isn’t necessary but putting your address allows fan mail.

 ~~Place your art in places where there are many common passers.  Anything viable from the Interstate is a good bet.  Some of our more creative artists use green and white paint to amend the signs and subtlety change their messages.  This is great fun but make sure you have your copy of the Profane Thesaurus with you. 
 ~~If arrested, tell the police officers that your mother said it was OK.  This worked once.  Offer to decorate their squad car.

 ~~Understand that your work will probably be quickly covered by city employees.  One way to delay this is to create spontaneous art that glorifies city workers: garbage men flashing gang signs is a good place to start.

 ~~Your love interest will always appreciate having their first name proudly emblazoned under overpasses and bridges for the pigeons and homeless to admire.  Make her birthday or Valentine’s Day special with a hastily worded act of vandalism. 

 Never forget the enrichment to our cultural fabric that is spontaneous art.  It’s not just a hobby!  Many of those who participate in this art form go on to run successful tattoo parlors.  Add color to your life!  Just make sure you don’t do it in my neighborhood.


NEWS FLASH!  Breast cancer research makes huge strides thanks to millions of women posting the color of their bras on popular websites such as FaceBook and MySpace. 

“The correlation was obvious and yet we somehow missed it.”  Blurbs Dr. Twain Tetons, head researcher at the world famous Mayonnaise Clinic in Sandwich, Massachusetts.  “As women around the world began posting exciting colors such as black, lavender, red, and sweat stain, we were able to finally put the pieces together.  Especially helpful were those who admitted they didn’t wear any.”

For years, breast cancer has taken he lives of beloved mothers, sisters, and daughters.  Rates for men remain surprisingly low. 

“Considering men’s fixation with the breast we find this surprising.”  Continues Dr. Tetons.  “We realize now that men’s keen interest in the color of women’s undergarments has helped stave off the disease for years!  The key has always been there!”

Researchers now turn their attention to prostate cancer.  Again, Dr. Tetons, “We are encouraging all men to get online and begin posting what color thier underwear is or was when they first purchased it.”   

Matt Teply of Wood Vegas, Tennessee added, “I’ll be honest with you…I understand the seriousness of the cancer and the heartbreak it has caused but the “awareness” created by posting bra colors is lost on me.  How does this help again?  Wouldn’t we all feel a bit silly listing what we were having for lunch each day to bring awareness to diabetes?”  Mr. Teply looks around and begins to feel uncomfortable.  “Ok, wait, let’s not use my real name…ok?”

Finding a Good Woman

Dear Doctor Pokorny,

 I’m dating this girl right now and I really like her but something has been bothering me lately.  I’m worried about how she might look when we get old – like mid-thirties.  Geesh, I like pretty women just like the next guy and I really don’t want the one I hitch my wagon to become…less pretty

 I guess my question is…how do you know she’ll be pretty even after we reach middle age, you know, late twenties?  She doesn’t have to look like she’s eighteen forever as long as she looks at least ten years younger that she actually is.  Yea, I could live with that.

      Your fan,
      Homer Humdinger

 As we age some things begin to lose their sweetness.  I’ll use sleep as an example.  When my son was four years old, I would go up and check on him at night before going to bed myself.  If he was uncovered, had limbs hanging off the bed, or was awkwardly placed I’d reposition him.  Most of the time I was gentle.  On other occasions, I’d pick him up and spin him in mid air like an unbaked pizza crust!  He would land on the bed and never come to – I’m not kidding. 

 Now imagine what you would feel like if you woke up after sleeping like that!  The quality of a person’s sleep erodes over time until your like me – up every hour with a prostate that forces you to pee constantly.  Barking dogs three blocks away can wake me up!  Now nothing short of a medically induced coma can make me sleep like my son did.

 So how does this answer your question? 

 Love making will unfortunately mean less to you as you age.  Eventually you come to value your lover for the friendship you share.  You find meaning in your relationship through common experiences and a rich reservoir of memories.  You’ll walk through the park on a cool but sunny autumn day looking at each leaf as a day you have spent together – innumerable and each one beautiful.

 In other words, you’ll become a woman.

 Since you’re still a man, here are a few tips on selecting a female that’s going to look good for the long haul.

 #1 – Don’t underestimate the value of a little self-consciousness.  You don’t want anyone too obsessive here but if she comes home one day with clothing that is sized a little bigger than you’d like innocently ask, “So, who are the maternity clothes for? (pause)  Is your mom expecting?!”

 #2 –   Tell her you’re going on a health food kick and that you’re giving up fast food completely.  (You don’t have to – just don’t let her see you with any.)  If she doesn’t offer to give it up too, you’re in trouble.

 #3 – Ask her to do a little grocery shopping with you.  Tell her you need help finding things.  Give her this list for the grocery store:  bananas, celery, zucchini, cottage cheese, and tuna.  If she pushes the cart straight to the Doritoes or Oreos then says, “What were you looking for again?”  Run.

  #4 – Examine Mom.  Babies turn the woman’s body into a construction site.  What happens after the buildings complete?  For too many women, the extra materials go into her landfill / hindquarters.

 #5 – Have you seen her without make-up and her hair wet?  If not, you may be in for a surprise.  End your next date by hitting her in the face with a five gallon bucket of water.  This might set your relationship back a bit, but you’ll sleep better.

       Dr. Pokorny  

Rodney Bovine Interview

 Miss Nomer enters a long narrow pub.  She was shoved in by a lash of winter wind and the bits of snow that ride it.  Night fell sometime ago but this evening isn’t like most others.  It’s Friday which means The Sour Note, a trendy bar on the city’s historic square, has a full parking lot.  Neon beer lights change the windows into miniature billboards.  The interviewer opens the heavy door and shuffles in.  The air outside was cold but at least it was clean – now there’s a smoky haze clinging to the ceiling..

 The Sour Note is busy but not overly crowded.  All the chairs are full with people trickling to the bar and then back to their seats.  This where the Don Juan of Murfreesboro, TN – the orneriest horn-dog this side of the interstate– a Mr. Rodney Bovine is said to await his prey.  It doesn’t take long to spot him.  Mr. Bovine is as easy to find as a peacock in full display.  He’s wearing a brightly colored western shirt, a bolo tie shaped with Elvis Presley’s TCB lightning bolt, and tight jeans.  The jeans are especially nauseating with bright stitching along the front and sides designed to look like a pair of chaps. 

 Miss Nomer saddles up to the bar and grunts a bit as she hefts her voluptuous hide quarters onto a bar stool.  It’s hard for a girl her size to get on those high stools  “Uh, hello, Mr. Bovine, I presume?”   

Bovine is older with hairline that’s been in full retreat for many years.  He has blue eyes with a crop of gray stubble framing his face.  He might be five foot six – Miss Nomer could crush him if she had the inclination. 
He notices her right away offering her a sideways grin.  “Why hello apple dumpling!  What brings a happy hen like yourself to the fox’s den?”
Miss Nomer sets her satchel onto the water speckled bar.  Her notepad and recorder are pulled out.  “I’m here because a friend of mine couldn’t figure out how a has-been like yourself ever winds up with a girl on his arm.  She’s been in this bar on a few occasions and has had to turn you down every time.”

Rodney Bovine smiles as if he’s missed the indictment in Nomer’s words.  “Really?  Well, tell me now, what’s the sweet tart’s name?”
“Is that really important?”

Still smiling, he responds.  “Mmmm, she’s not here now so no, I guess it’s not.  OK then, my little donut princess, what’s your name?”
“I’m Miss Nomer an investigative reporter for the geographic center of the Internet –  I’m really just doing this for my resume.  As soon as one of the serious investigative websites comes calling I’m out of there.”

Mr. Bovine leans over to the recorder and speaks directly into the device.  Miss Nomer smells a heavy dose of “Steer For Men.”  He speaks slowly and with a ridiculously low voice. “Do girls read this”

A snort escapes Miss Nomer.  “I don’t know.  Maybe.”

Bovine straightens and slaps the bar.  “Then what do you want to know, sugar cookies!”

Miss Nomer raises her notepad to hide her wince.  “Ok here’s the first question.  How is it that you almost never waste a Friday evening by yourself?  I mean you’re short, not particularly attractive, it’s obvious you’re older than almost everyone here.  And your outfit says, ‘I let my subscription to GQ expire.”

 Another smile – Miss Nomer considers possibility that Mr. Bovine doesn’t understand English.

 Finally he replies, “I’m not picky.  I usually look for pairs of girls that are sitting along the walls.  On my napkin here, I keep tally marks on how many times each set of girls has been approached by the guys in the room.  If a set of girls doesn’t get any nibbles in an hour and a half, I step in.”

 “You mean some women will just sit here for an hour and a half?”

 “If they’re lonely.”  Bovine whispers a bit.   “And all that time gives them the opportunity to drink a little too much.  Beer goggles aren’t just for men you know.”

 Miss Nomer bites her pencil eraser in disgust.  “I suppose you lie about your income, too, don’t you?”

 “Standard procedure!”  His eyes lock on her pencil.  “Nibbling on the end of your pencil huh?  Intrigued by the sent your nostrils picked up.  Am I right?  My real ace in the hole is the pheromones that I bought off this Indonesian company.  I heard their ad on the radio and realized that it could only help me.”

 “How so?”

 “Well it comes in this lotion like paste that I rub on my chest after a shower.  The pheromones proactive molecules seep through my shirt and attack the woman’s nostrils.  Then they travel through her blood steam to her brain where they tell her I’m interested in making out.  I always spray a heavy dose of “Steer for Men” on my shirt to add to my potency.  I can’t help but notice that you eyes are watering.”

 “Do you even know what a steer is?!”

“A type of wild buffalo right?”

Miss Nomer released a sharp breath.  “Let’s back up.  You said the pheromones let prospective ladies know you’re interested in getting together.  Does it really take a chemical to let these women know that some bar fly is interested?!  Isn’t it just safe to say that any guy propped against a bar on a Friday night is interested?”

“Listen my peppermint pretty, I think it’s important to make it plain.  I don’t like beating around the bush.  In fact, I always let a girl know what I’m willing to spend on her before I expect some smooch time.  She can order as much off the value menu she wants but I expect to make out later.”

Miss Nomer couldn’t believe her ears.  “What?!  Is there a girl out there that would go for that?”

Here Mr. Bovine appears a bit exasperated.  He reverts to his low voice and speaks slowly.  “Lonely.  Tipsy.  Wealthy older man.  Fast food after midnight.  Indonesian pheromones.  For a reporter, you’re a little slow on the pick up.”

Miss Nomer scribbles a bit of profanity on her notepad.  “Next question.  What’s your success rate?  Be clear, what are your chances of walking out of here tonight with a girl on your arm?”

Randy Bovine brings a hand up to his face rubbing his graying stubble.  A second later, he gives Miss Nomer a heavy look.  “Well, my little strawberry parfait, you look like a girl who knows her way around the extra value menu.  Care to split a McSteamy with me?”

 “Are you serious?” 

 “Hey, just like me, they’re only available for…”  He makes quotation marks in the air.  “…a limited time.” 

 “Well, I prefer a McBeefy but I suppose a McSteamy will do and I do have a few more questions.”  She pauses and studies Rodney Bovine.  The combination of “Steer for Men” and foreign pheromones must be very potent –  the image of Rodney Bovine handing her a McSteamy didin’t seem so bad.  “Alright, but if you call me another desert, I’ll pound you.”

Corporate Perspective for 2010

Dear Diary,

It’s Chief Dodo here, of course. 

Another year has escaped and is still lagging behind in Internet traffic.  (The problem may be me.  I wear a lot of polyester and’s prices are unbeatable.)  Our stupid sponsors don’t seem to notice.  Like last year, I had Eugene come up with a few false reports and goofy charts then we sent along a few free pens and an entire box of PEZ candy.  Now that’s leadership.

There are other changes I’d like to make so I’ve crafted a list of New Year’s resolutions.  I’m going to be successful in keeping them because I’ve promised myself I’d cut off a finger for each one I didn’t keep.  That would make it difficult to do my favorite thing…craft new corporate policies!

1) Develop banana juice.  (We could sell this.)

2) Turn down at least three doughnuts this year.  (One in March, September, and uh…To Be Announced)
3) Enjoy life…eat more ice cream. 
4) Explore alternative pen colors…green, purple, infrared.
5) Find a long lost, estranged friend and bury the hatchet…in their back.
6) Buy software that will teach me how to crochet, to speak Finnish, and to ice sculpt.
7) Scientifically prove no two snowflakes are alike.
8) Rearrange my calendar to create more Saturdays.
9) Keep all my teeth.
10) Avoid soft drinks…and hard ones.




That’s ten – one for each of my fingers.  This is such a good idea I may make it mandatory for all my employees.  How does Four-Finger Fridays sound to you?

~Chief Dodo