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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Kiddie Litter


Yes, it’s Wednesday. I’m posting on Wednesday. I never post on Wednesday. Why am I posting on Wednesday? You don’t care? Then skip down two paragraphs. To those of you still reading, I have two things to say. First, you must have unusually boring lives to care why I’m posting on Wednesday, and second, I’m posting on Wednesday because I have a meeting of frustrated and impoverished writers tomorrow (being Thursday – not only the day I usually post (along with Monday,) but ALSO the day that customarily and reliably follows Wednesday.)

And now for the content of today’s prematurely e-publicated blog post. Following that line of thinking – some women might find this post unsatisfying.

Like many aspiring writers, I explore different genres. That’s what the Genre Series is about: Trouble in Taos is a Western, Volition Man is a superhero book, Dirk Destroyer’s Less Destructive Brother is a satire, and I’ve even began work on a mystery, and a romance novella. I’m hoping that a special muse slaps me across the face so I can make a novella of manufacturer’s assembly instructions – preferably translated from Chinese. Imagine the joy of reading instructions that not only helps you build something, but is also doesn’t lead to despair, depression, and abuse of sugary breakfast cereals on Christmas Eve.

Speaking of Christmas Eve, you might say - what about children’s stories? (As unhygienic as it sounds, I love putting words in your mouth.) Is the Genre Series planning a children’s book? I have to say at this point, it doesn’t look good. I put a perfectly good kid’s story, The Only Roach (sounds cuddly, doesn’t it?) in my chapbook, Headley Twists Some Tales. The book was ready a year ago, and it still hasn’t been released (like an e-chapbook is that hard to release?) I also sent them the story below, and they didn’t even comment on it.

Help me out here. Can’t you see this as a wonderful picture book? Isn’t it a perfect little tale for Timmy and Sally as they’re tucked in their beds?



I Think Mr. Adams is an Ax Murderer

By Headley Hauser

I like most people on our block. Mrs. Goerschel’s dog had puppies and she let me pet them. Mr. Greenlaw gave me a petunia from his garden. Mrs. Mason bakes brownies that are even better than Mom’s and she let me take two. Mr. Bostic cut down two dead trees in his back yard and yelled funny things like timber! even when just a little branch fell to the ground.

Mr. Adams doesn’t do anything. He doesn’t even say, hi. He just gets out of his car and goes into his house and doesn’t come out till the next day.

I think he’s an ax murderer.

After all, he has a poodle, but I never see him walk him. My Mom says his house smells like pipe tobacco, and last year he had workmen paint his shutters lime green.

I think he’s an ax murderer.

Mr. Greenlaw says that I would do better spending my time putting more mulch in our garden and less time making up stories about our neighbors. Mr. Greenlaw has plants on his brain. It’s OK though, much better than being an ax murderer.

After all, Mr. Adam’s car is an SUV and it’s a new one! Joe McPherson says he once saw him throw a rock at a squirrel, and he has one of those mustaches that reach all the way down to his chin.

I think he’s an ax murderer (even though I don’t always believe what Joe McPherson says)

Mrs. Goerschel says that when you tell a dog that he’s a bad dog all the time, he becomes a bad dog. She says I should say positive things instead. Mrs. Goerschel spends a lot more time with dogs than she does with her neighbors. It’s OK though, much better than being an ax murderer.

After all, Mr. Adams doesn’t have a bicycle, a basketball hoop or anything fun that I can see. Ricky Bacharach says when he was behind Mr. Adams in the checkout line, it took so long that Ricky’s ice cream melted, and Mr. Adams wears a NY Yankess baseball cap sometimes.

I think he’s an ax murderer.

Mrs. Mason says that you need some bitter with the sweet or you’ll never have a developed palate. I’m not sure what that means, but I think she was defending Mr. Adams. Mrs. Mason knows more about gingerbread men than bad men. It’s OK though, much better than being an ax murderer.

After all, Mr. Adams pays some guy with a tractor to mow his lawn when there’s a bunch of us kids who need the money. Jerry Green says that last year at Halloween Mr. Adams gave bubblegum and he only gave one piece. I wouldn’t know. I didn’t go to Mr. Adams house, cause…

I think he’s an ax murderer.

Mr. Bostic says an ax is a useful tool and that he uses an ax sometimes when he cuts down trees. He says that I should learn more about axes and forestry and then I wouldn’t fear Mr. Adams so much. Mr. Bostic knows a lot about trees and yelling funny things like timber, but not much about Mr. Adams and yelling things like, “help, he’s trying to murder me!” It’s OK though, much better than being an ax muderer.



Grow some understanding,” says Mr. Greenlaw.

Expect the best from every creature,” says Mrs. Goerschel.

Appreciate every taste,” says Mrs. Mason.

Don’t fear what you don’t understand,” says Mr. Bostic.



Well…

OK

Hello Mr. Adams. How are you today? What’s that you’re getting out of your new SUV? An ax? What do you plan to do with that?”

Gulp!
http://wswriters.org/

Monday, March 25, 2013

Dear Headley


Now that Just Plain Stupid has survived my first month of bloghood, It’s time to hear from you. Not only does that give you access to a multitude of readers (double figures!) but it also saves me from having to come up with my own crap or use up all the stuff in my archives in the first few months.

What? Did I not mention that I’m lazy?

So, you may ask, “what sort of questions should I ask Headley Hauser?” That’s not a particular original question, but it will do for a start. Let’s begin with questions you shouldn’t ask me.

1) I have a problem with my hard-drive run-thingy. How do I make it do computer stuff instead of large, useless paperweight stuff?

2) My two-year-old just refuses to be potty-trained. Should I feed him more prunes or is that just asking for trouble...?

(Actually, that might be an interesting question to field – go ahead and send that one in.)

3) My son is in the Army and says he’s in danger of a bad discharge – is that a medical problem?

4) How many triple field goals will the Lions need to convert to beat the Tiger-Bears in the coming Munchkin bowl?

(or other related sports questions.)

5) On form 1040RS the government asks me to divide my non-dairy food budget by the square root of the diameter of my big toe. Should I call the IRS for clarification, pick a number at random, or order pizza?

5A) If I order pizza, should I declare that as dairy, or non-dairy on form 1040RS?

5B) Is intentionally stubbing my big toe before measuring its diameter a violation or IRS law?

(Actually, I’ll answer these here – 5 – order pizza. 5A – If you order from Little Caesars, it’s non-dairy, because Little Caesar’s cheese is made of plastic. 5B – Don’t worry about it – breathing is a violation of IRS law.)

Here are some good sample questions you might want to send.

1) Is Trouble in Taos just too wonderful? Is that why it hasn’t made you rich?

2) Is it alright with you if I order a copy of Trouble in Taos for my kindle, download it, erase it, order again, and keep doing that until I reach my credit limit?

3) I’m a very wealthy one-hundred-and-twelve-year-old skydiver. May I make you my heir?

4) Why does Go Figure Reads treat you so badly? Would you please complain about them some more? They are very unfair.

5) I need help understanding my (mother, father, husband, wife, sister, brother, son, daughter, Rabbi, hamster, waffle.) Would you give me some personal advice?

(Yes – I am not completely self-centered. I would love to screw up your personal life.)

Email me at headleyh@hotmail.com. Make certain to put your legal name and credit card number on the subject line (for verification purposes.) There may be a small fee billed to your card for time and effort in answering your question. The fee will be determined by how boring your question is to read, how much research I need to do in order to answer it, how short of cash I am at the moment, and your credit limit.

And now – because that didn’t fill up a full post’s worth of space…

To the archives!!!!!!!!

To the archives is my battle cry, much like Batman’s, “to the bat cave,” though it doesn’t involve a creepy middle-aged man in spandex commanding an under-aged boy into vehicle that is clearly illegal to drive on public roads.

You ever see Batman standing in line at the DMV?

Here’s a little story I wrote some time ago, and Go Figure Reads GAVE IT AWAY to some web site for free use. (sigh.)



Toto in Munchkinland

By Headley Hauser



The house never used to move like that. At least Toto didn’t think it moved that way, but he spent all of his time with Dorothy, and she used to wander around outside singing so he couldn’t be sure. It felt a lot like being in the bad dog’s basket when she rode on her bicycle over the rocky hilly road except that now, there wasn’t any stable ground to jump out on.

Crash!

Well, there wasn’t till now.

“Oh Toto,” said Dorothy, “look at all the colors!”

What was a color? Dorothy was the love of his life, but Toto could never understand this thing she had about colors. Then she completely ignored the most interesting smells.

Dorothy was a very strange dog.

What was this? Toto ran out of the house and around to the side. There was something under the house – something either newly dead or just dying. It was the foulest, nastiest smell he’d ever smelled in his life. Was it food? Maybe he should roll in it.

He better check with Dorothy.

“Dorothy!” Toto barked, “you gotta come smell this dead thing!”

“Toto,” said Dorothy, “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”

Talk about changing the subject! Sometimes, it seemed like Dorothy just wasn’t listening.

Dorothy went around looking at flowers while Toto sniffed for interesting things. Of course the dead thing was pretty hard to ignore, but Toto wasn’t a puppy anymore. He knew how to sniff for small smells in the midst of big stench. There wasn’t that much to smell - no rabbits or squirrels or even those bags with all the hard kibble in them. Unless that dead thing was food, they might be in trouble.

But there were dogs – lots of them. They smelled different than Dorothy, but so did Toto. Dogs came in all kinds of scents. Dorothy was so busy looking for colors that she didn’t even smell the pack.

Toto wasn’t worried. The pack smelled like they were afraid. Toto gave a growl to show them that they had reason to fear. Three dogs smaller than Dorothy and a big bitch with white fur came out of the weeds so Dorothy could see them. Toto prepared for a fight.

They just talked. They didn’t even growl. They gave Dorothy respect. Clearly Toto’s growls had impressed them.

The pack showed Dorothy the dead thing under the house. They didn’t say it was food, so Toto lost interest and went around marking the small trees that didn’t smell like real trees at all.

It was too easy. No dogs had marked any of them.

“What’s wrong with you dogs!” Toto barked.

Dorothy giggled like Toto had made a joke and held out her arms. Toto jumped up. She never understood the things he tried to tell her, but she was nice and warm.

They talked some more – not about food or territory or anything useful. They talked about witches and a wizard. Unless they were the witches and wizards of food, Toto didn’t care.

Then it got weird.

Everybody started saying, “follow the yellow brick road.” They said it over and over again. Even Dorothy said it. Dorothy started walking while saying, “follow the yellow brick road.” She motioned for Toto to follow her.

Toto followed. He always followed Dorothy. He loved Dorothy.

“But when do we eat?” barked Toto.

“And what’s yellow?”


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Basketball, BWG, but no Little Debbie Twinkie


It’s the NCAA tournament time and though I really don’t care, I’ll look for anything to exploit. Of course writing a blog is much easier if I have something already written that I can, “repurpose” here. I search through the archives to see if I’ve ever written something about the tournament.

I have!

I’m very excited – mostly because I’m lazy, and who wants to use up all those hard-earned junk-food fueled calories in coming up with something new. I prepare to cut and paste the article, A Spouse’s Guide to March Madness.

“Nope,” say the beneficent SOBs at Go Figure Reads dot com (gofigurereads.com)

“What-a-ya-mean, No?” I ask, both miffed and pleased that I got a chance to use that Brooklyn accent obligatory whenever you say the phrase ‘what-a-ya-mean’ but entirely inappropriate otherwise (except in Brooklyn by Brooklyners… Brooklynites?...Brooklyafers… dose guys.)

“It’s taken,” say the Go Figure Reads muckety-mucks (also an appropriate word to use a Brooklyn accent with… also appropriate with which to use a Brooklyn accent? Who made these stupid grammatical rules about prepositions, anyway?)

Was I saying something? Oh yeah, they tell me that A Spouse’s Guide to March Madness is taken. “You sold it?” I asked with my hand out in an expectant manner.

Instead of money, I get a smug, negative, and non-negotiable shake of the head. “It will appear in an anthology from BWG, Once Around the Sun.”

BWG – Bethlehem Writer’s Group.

It’s a group of the most hateful type of people in the world – people who write better than I do. One of their leaders must have owed someone at Go Figure Reads a favor, and they included my essay, Christmas Single Holiday in their Christmas anthology, A Christmas Sampler, a few years ago.

“Sampler won an award, and it’s your best selling book,” the muckety-muck tells me. “Having A Spouse’s Guide to March Madness in Once Around will be great exposure.”

“You mean good exposure for Go Figure Reads!” I snap back in a far less clever or even biting way than I intended. I should have made some comment on what anatomically he liked exposing, and to who, but you never think of such comments until afterwards.

Life is so unfair.

The muckety-muck just smiles, and I get nothing – as in, no money in my hand, and no article to flesh out this blog post.

That’s when I decided to go commercial. The blog’s too new to sell any advertising, but I figured I could seed the… (what do you seed, anyway – the field? the waters? What is that supposed to mean? ) with a little promotional promotion – a demo for all those deep pocket types that will happily fill my hand with cash, and my cupboards with junk food.

Today’s post is brought to you by:

Little Debbie makes great snack cakes that taste consistently good because in addition to the unpronounceable stuff, they are made out of mostly sugar and fat – mmmmmm – good! There’s nothing like that teeth-stinging feeling of sugar crystals bonding to your enamel when you bite into a Little Debbie cake. You can eat three, or sometimes even four before you start to feel sick to your stomach!

Try this trick – eat a box of Little Debbie oatmeal cakes right before you go in to have your blood tested. It’s a great way to con a health clinic out of free insulin, or maybe even a heart bypass!

And you’re supporting America when you buy Little Debbie. I don’t know where they’re made, but even if they’re made North Korea, Iran, or… France, you can be sure that Little Debbie is sending campaign money to senators and congress-people in order to keep their darling baked and processed sugary fat balls on the market.

Surely, at this point in my presentation, the fine folks at McKee Foods are pricking up their collective ears. “This is REAL marketing!” says Little Debbie, now 62. (She’s looking svelte after losing 125 pounds thanks largely to a leg amputation due to gangrene during her last diabetic coma.)

That’s right, Little Debbie, and I’m just getting started! Send me your sweet and fat advertising money and I’ll do a little work (or get others to do work if they’re cheap) to help you produce your own webcast, much like Headley and the Rug (and Cral) that had such a wonderful run on public access TV in the summer of 2002. I’ll even ask the stars of Headley and the Rug (that I haven’t borrowed money from) to be celebrity guests on your show - The Little Deb Web!

Look – I’ve even written you a theme song! (with apologies to Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley, Willie Wonka, and the ghost of Sammy Davis Jr.)

The Little Deb Web
 
Who can make your fat rise?
Like Winnie of the Poo
As if you swallowed Tigger, long with Kanga and her Roo?
The Little Deb – In her Little Deb Web
In the Little Deb Web your triglycerides go wild
And then your brain becomes goo


Who can make your glucose
Replace most of your blood
Till your red cells and your white cells form a candy cane flood?
The Little Deb – In her Little Deb Web
In the Little Deb Web you won’t find no fruits and veggies
She don’t believe in that crud.


The Little Deb makes all those tiny cakes
From ingredients obscurious
Reading them you would be curious
(If they) hadn’t rendered you delirious.

(rinse and repeat)

On the first show, Little Debbie could talk about her acquisition of Drake’s Cakes, the makers of Devil Dogs – my FAVORITE snack food! (after Pop Tarts, and Doritos… and whatever those free mints are they leave on the counter at the Lighthouse Diner… and maybe some other stuff I can’t remember right now.)
But why just the Drakes brand? Why not all Hostess snack cakes?

I did some research and it seems like the leading suitor for Twinkies et al is the same company that makes Pabst Beer. PBR and Twinkies – sounds like a recipe for a coma right there. Do we want our fellow junk-food obsessed Americans pre-mortally embalmed by this dangerous combination?

I say NO! (largely because I’m hoping for money from McKee Foods, but if anyone else offers to pay me, I’m flexible on this point.) Little Debbie is the obvious lair from which to raise the Twinkie Frankenstein from the depths of bankrupt oblivion.

Rise! Rise!

How can Little Deb Bake
All those cakes from Drake
A feat that’s hardly rinky-dinky?
She barely even lifts her pinky

(spoken) Hey Hostess!

She’s the girl to bring back Twinkie!


That oughta bring the money rolling in. I sure hope Little Debbie doesn’t pay me in Cosmic Brownies – I don’t need the flashbacks.

Oh, and my pick for the tournament? Go with the Great Danes. They have a high number next to their name (15) which must mean they are really strong, and they’re facing some team named Duke in the first round.

Duke kind of sounds like a name for a Great Dane.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Man Rules by Joseph Tremblay


This post is a total rip-off of somebody else’s FB post.

Joseph Tremblay is a long term FOH (friend of Headley,) going back to the days when we sought out academic help from the HS resource department together, and then wasted the time there playing Yatzee. I suspect (though I can’t prove) that Joseph heard many of the rules below from me. I tended to rant about unrelated subjects whenever he threw five sixes on the first role. I can’t prove he was cheating then any more than I can prove that he’s plagiarizing me now. All I can say is that he suspiciously moved 2500 miles away…



MAN RULES



AT LAST A GUY HAS TAKEN THE TIME TO WRITE THIS ALL DOWN
FINALLY, the guys' side of the story. (I MUST ADMIT, IT'S PRETTY GOOD.)

... WE ALWAYS HEAR 'THE RULES' FROM THE FEMALE SIDE
NOW HERE ARE THE RULES FROM THE MALE SIDE

THESE ARE OUR RULES!

PLEASE NOTE. THESE ARE ALL NUMBERED #1 ON PURPOSE!

1. MEN ARE NOT MIND READERS.

1. LEARN TO WORK THE TOILET SEAT. YOU'RE A BIG GIRL. IF IT'S UP, PUT IT DOWN. WE NEED IT UP, YOU NEED IT DOWN. YOU DON'T HEAR US COMPLAINING ABOUT YOU LEAVING IT DOWN.

1. CRYING IS BLACKMAIL.

1. ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT. LET US BE CLEAR ON THIS ONE:

SUBTLE HINTS DO NOT WORK!
STRONG HINTS DO NOT WORK!
OBVIOUS HINTS DO NOT WORK!
JUST SAY IT!

1. YES AND NO ARE PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE ANSWERS TO ALMOST EVERY QUESTION.

1. COME TO US WITH A PROBLEM ONLY IF YOU WANT HELP SOLVING IT. THAT'S WHAT WE DO. SYMPATHY IS WHAT YOUR GIRLFRIENDS ARE FOR.

1. ANYTHING WE SAID 6 MONTHS AGO IS INADMISSIBLE IN AN ARGUMENT. IN FACT, ALL COMMENTS BECOME NULL AND VOID AFTER 7 DAYS.

1. IF YOU THINK YOU'RE FAT, YOU PROBABLY ARE. DON'T ASK US.

1. IF SOMETHING WE SAID CAN BE INTERPRETED TWO WAYS AND ONE OF THE WAYS MAKES YOU SAD OR ANGRY, WE MEANT THE OTHER ONE.

1. YOU CAN EITHER ASK US TO DO SOMETHING OR TELL US HOW YOU WANT IT DONE. NOT BOTH.
IF YOU ALREADY KNOW BEST HOW TO DO IT, JUST DO IT YOURSELF.

1. WHENEVER POSSIBLE, PLEASE SAY WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO SAY DURING COMMERCIALS.

1. CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS DID NOT NEED DIRECTIONS AND NEITHER DO WE...

1. ALL MEN SEE IN ONLY 16 COLORS, LIKE WINDOWS DEFAULT SETTINGS...
PEACH, FOR EXAMPLE, IS A FRUIT, NOT A COLOR. PUMPKIN IS ALSO A FRUIT. WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT MAUVE IS.

1. IF WE ASK WHAT IS WRONG AND YOU SAY 'NOTHING,' WE WILL ACT LIKE NOTHING'S WRONG. WE KNOW YOU ARE LYING, BUT IT IS JUST NOT WORTH THE HASSLE.

1. IF YOU ASK A QUESTION YOU DON'T WANT AN ANSWER TO, EXPECT AN ANSWER YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR..

1. WHEN WE HAVE TO GO SOMEWHERE, ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING YOU WEAR IS FINE...REALLY.

1. DON'T ASK US WHAT WE'RE THINKING ABOUT UNLESS YOU ARE PREPARED TO DISCUSS SUCH TOPICS AS FOOTBALL OR MOTOR SPORTS.

1. YOU HAVE ENOUGH CLOTHES.

1. YOU HAVE TOO MANY SHOES.

1. I AM IN SHAPE. ROUND IS A SHAPE!

1. THANK YOU FOR READING THIS. YES, I KNOW, I HAVE TO SLEEP ON THE COUCH TONIGHT.. BUT DID YOU KNOW MEN REALLY DON'T MIND THAT? IT'S LIKE CAMPING...

PASS THIS TO AS MANY MEN AS YOU CAN - TO GIVE THEM A LAUGH...

PASS THIS TO AS MANY WOMEN AS YOU CAN - TO GIVE THEM A BIGGER LAUGH, BECAUSE IT’S TRUE!

See More Felix Guapo, Salvador Quezada, Jonathan Hernandez, and Sandra Saldana

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Popefying of Francis


Welcome Pope Frank!

I guess Pope Benedict was too pooped to continue popeing.

Like so many things, religious, the choosing of a pope is shrouded in mystery, requiring mental imagery, rather than broadcast-ready action and drama.

At the same time, it’s an ancient spectator sport – a bit sedate, but far less deadly than most of the games from the late Roman Empire. We join together and focus on a port-a-chimney placed atop the Sistine Chapel, and wait to see what 100 guys in red hats are smoking. We cheer for the white smoke (usually Jamaican, but maybe this time, Argentinean.) I’m never disappointed by the black smoke though. It means OVERTIME, and the secondary high keeps on going.

Of course, I’m not in Rome, and as my buddy didn’t order the hi-def smell feature on his new flat-screen, all my hopes of rockin’ with the Vatican went up without smoke.

(Children – Headley Hauser in no way endorses the use of illegal substances for recreational purposes, be it marijuana, papal ballots, or shiitake mushrooms, diced fine, dried with chive, oregano, and a light vinaigrette.)

(First time I’ve ever written ‘shiitake’ in anything – pretty disgusting mental imagery)


Forty-odd (or even) years ago, Tom Lehrer wrote a song, The Vatican Rag.

 
Make a cross on your abdomen

When in Rome, do like a Roman

Ave Maria

Gee it’s good to see ya.

Doin’ the Vatican Rag

 
(copyright Vatican Rag by Tom Lehrer MCML something-something)

Professor Lehrer offered his paean to Catholic propagation in a time of significant change for the Holy Roman Catholic Church. His thinking (as he said on his album,) was that if the church really wanted to sell the product, it needed to appeal to the people in the modern vernacular. He then presented a song in a musical style that was a generation and a half out-of-date.

These are different times for the Rome team. People aren’t talking Vatican 2 anymore (so good – you’ll forget all about Vatican 1.)

They’re pissed.

They’re pissed about discrimination, gay rights, birth control, abortion, the price of gas (which I’m told has nothing to do with Church, but it’s bugging me, so I’m including it.)

They’ve also just about had enough of ‘celibate’ priests instructing the youth in ways not found in the catechism. Of course priests have been doing this as long as Cardinals have been smoking papal ballots, and reformers have repeatedly discussed putting an end to it. Maybe we’ve reached the two millennia procrastination limit.

Recent popes have been firm, but apologetic in their response to this growing dissatisfaction. Pope John Paul 2 (who hung out nearly thirty years in the funny hat to make up for the first John Paul, who skipped the mortal coil before the lacquer on his ruby slippers was dry,) was so sweet and endearing that people almost forgot why they’d been genuflecting with middle finger extended.

That was not going to work long-term. How many guys in Cardinal University (or is it still just a college?) remind you of your favorite childhood teddy-bear?



I think the blessed Tom Lehrer – may he rest on his couch (‘cause I think he’s still alive – though freaky old. If he’s dead, the couch might not be the best place for him.) had the right idea in bringing out-dated musical forms to the church issues of the day. Using his of out-of-date algorithm (he did teach math,) our generation and a half interval leaves us with a wonderful selection of music from the late 60s through the early 80s.

But the tone has to change as well as the form. The Vatican Rag was upbeat, optimistic – you could almost see the dancing altar boys, glad-hands flashing (careful with those mental images, Friar.) The firm but apologetic approach won’t work either, not only is it unworkable, it severely limits the music available.

Remember the classic Ali-Forman fight years before George started selling hamburger makers?

Well, it looks like the Cardinals decided they’ve been riding the ropes long enough – no more pope-a-dope. They picked a Jesuit. Time to kick some acolytes!

So what theme can we create for our new Pope Frank?

I’d eliminate Barry Manilow off the top – his music doesn’t fit, and everybody out there secretly wants to eliminate Barry Manilow.

(Mental image of B.M. being eliminated – is he gone? Don’t forget to flush.)

Even without Barry’s one hundred and sixty-seven identical chants, we still have a number of potential anthems for our pleasantly pugilistic Pope.

What about (Every) Mother’s Son Bites the Dust?

(Bit of a stretch? What was I going to change it to – Another Nun Bites the Dust? No, I don’t like hate mail unless it’s from people giving me money.) All you need is to add a few smells and bells, and it sounds aggressively liturgical.

Play That Funky Music, Padre would have the dual effect of intimidation, and getting congregants groovin’ on those kneelers instead of scooting to the front of their seats and faking it.

There has to be a way to adapt Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting. You like that one Papa Frank? I’ll work on it for you.

Maybe you could even turn around that back-room altar-boy problem with a little James Brown - Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Monsignor.

?

Maybe not? Just throwing it out there.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Work, Death, and Light Bulbs




I don’t plan to work a day after I die – I don’t care how many times my boss calls me.

I’m dead – that’s it – no notice, except the one in the obits. Please say something nice. Lie if you have to. Don’t make me haunt you.

No, no work days, after I’ve gone to the great (fill in the blank) in the (fill in the blank.)

Especially as I’ll probably be cremated.
 

“Sift him into the working clothes boys.”

“Whew! We’re gonna have to start calling this guy, Dusty.”

That’s no way to urn a living.

By the way, puns are allowed after you’re dead.


As is the proud tradition among males in my family, I didn’t figure I’d live long enough to retire. The tradition probably began because a whole bunch of us never did.

Now I’ve lived past that heart issue at 50 that all Hausers get, so I’m starting to see life from a whole new perspective. Now instead of a sudden death in the prime of life, I’m looking at years of old age, eating cat food, and starving in the cold.

Quite a comfort.

And now they’re taking away my incandescent bulbs. How are you supposed to stay warm on a winter night cozying up to a compact florescent light? You can stick your finger right into that coil thing, and not even warm the rest of your hand.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m ready to love the CFL. I’m already fond of gloomy days and Cheerios without the milk, why shouldn’t I love CFLs?



Of Course, I would like CFLs better if any of the following were true.



1) They were the most efficient form of light bulb.

2) They worked reliably and well.

3) They worked in my 3-way lamp.

4) They weren’t a major cause of migraine headaches.
 

5) They didn’t pose a deadly toxin threat (mercury) to all living beings – I gotta admire ambitious toxins.
Maybe this reason is not so important.

6) They weren’t pushed on us by government.

7) They weren’t pushed on government by a huge corporation in bed with politicians.

8) They didn’t look so stupid (Okay, I’m ready to let that one go.)

9) My power bill wasn’t higher because somebody decided to pack up cases of these toxic, inefficient boondoggles, and ship them free-of-charge, to poison the far-too-nearby homes of wastrel (like that word – even when it doesn’t fit,) neighbors who make more money than me.



They’re also hard to cuddle up to. Can you imagine little Cindy-Lou Whoo down in Whooville, staring wistfully at a Christmas tree full of curly-queued, migraine-causing, occasionally dimming, mercury-wheezing, Big-government-and-corporate-mandated lights?

Who needs a Grinch?

Who, by-the-way never seemed to have a job, in spite of his posh mountain-side villa, monster sled, and all-purpose, reindeer-impersonating dog.

And the Grinch didn’t have to die, get cremated, nothing!

Hey, I can be a mean one!


 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Gripping, not Griping


Headley again. As this is my third blog entry, Just Plain Stupid now ranks among the top 10% of blogs for endurance. If I do a fifth, I qualify for the blogger’s hall of fame.

The reason for my amazing persistence is that I recycle things I have in print. That’s always a good sign of blossoming creativity. The following rip-off of the Dave Barry style of saying nothing, is from my enormously needy e-book, Headley Makes Cents. Of course Go Figure Reads has not released the book yet, which is part of the reason it’s enormously needy. It needs readers. I need money. Once the… (breathing deeply) wonderfully generous and helpful people of Go Figure Reads (gofigurereads.com) release the book, please purchase several dozen.

Getting A Grip




If it’s not true, don’t tell me differently. I heard years ago that the way they catch monkeys in the jungle is to put a nut in a shell. The hole in the shell is big enough for the nut to slip out if you tip it right but too small for a monkey’s hand (while holding the nut) to pull it out. They tell me the monkeys refuse to let go of their prize, and kept working at it until the catchers come by and gather them up.

Most people who hear that story think:

Stupid monkey.

I think…

Hu Zha!

I guess it’s a thing I have about gripping.

It all started because of coaster brakes.



When I was eight years old, I got a new bike for my birthday. It was a lovely banana bike that managed to sparkle magically, while still being wicked macho. I only owned it a few weeks because my sister borrowed it when I told her she couldn’t… and it got stolen.

Maybe that story should wait for another time.

I loved everything about this banana bike except the brakes. Instead of just moving my feet backwards to stop, I had to squeeze two unmovable hand brakes. If my tires were wet (and I still consider mud puddles the ultimate in water-based recreation) the calipers slipped, and my wheels kept turning. At this point I had a choice between a neato smashup with a parked car, or I looking like a sissy dragging my feet to get my blue macho beauty under control. I had a typical boy-child appreciation for crashes, but no eight-year-old wants to look like a sissy.

After my bike was stolen, my father replaced it with a bike that was so ugly that I rode it through the woods just to avoid being seen on the street. Though the ugly bike had coaster brakes, my father also gave me two things that were so weird looking, that I didn’t know what they were, and still don’t know what they’re called.

Thanks Dad?”

You don’t know what they are, do you?” Dad always seemed to know what was going on when that slack-jawed blank stare came over my face. I think he cued in my third grade teacher, cause she picked up on it too.

Um, plastic nut crackers?” I guessed. “They feel a little tight.”

They’re things to help you build up your grip,” said my Dad who must not have known what they were called either, unless they really are called – things to help you build up your grip. “It’s so you can use hand brakes.”

But I have coaster brakes now.”

But you’ll have hand brakes again someday. You need to build up your grip so you don’t crash into so many parked cars.” (Turns out, the neighbors didn’t like seeing me crashing into their car. Who woulda guessed? Some people grow up too much.)

Here.” My dad grabbed the things to help you build up your grip (tthybuyg?) and squeezed them together until the plastic handles touched. “Now you try it.”

I took the tthybuygs and squeezed until the plastic diamond grip pattern made my palm and fingers look like pink waffles. Finally, I was able to bring them together.

Good,” said Dad. “Now, whenever you watch TV, keep squeezing these…things, and when your hands are too tired to continue, turn off the TV and go out to play.”

“…OK?”

The year was 1966. It was the period of time when television discovered a salient fact. Adults born during the depression were too serious to watch TV in the afternoon. The children of these serious responsible parents were mostly knuckleheads like me! In television marketing terms, I believe that’s called ‘a softer target audience.’

I grit my teeth and gripped my way through episodes of Batman, F-Troop, The Brady Bunch, Gilligan’s Island, Get Smart, not to mention a Saturday morning cartoon line-up that was just teaming with superheroes! (who had no need for tthybuygs.) Then I discovered that there were stations beyond channel 13. There was a station in the thirties and another in the fifties that played nothing but programs designed to keep me watching and wincing as sweat and blood dripped from my palms.

The connection between pain and pleasure is something most people don’t learn about until their college years. I learned about it clenching my tenderized fists as Julie Newmar purred and pranced in her Catwoman leather unitard.

The payoff came at recess when we played my favorite game: Red Rover. Red Rover is one among the panoply of delightfully sadistic games children played at recess back when parents and educators cared more about character than safety. The point of Red Rover was to establish team spirit, co-operation, and to separate a few shoulders.

The class divides into two teams; each holding hands and forming opposing lines. One team chants, Red Rover, Red Rover, send Edgar right over. As Edgar disengages from his line, he pumps up whatever testosterone resides in his prepubescent body. His mission is to hit the opposing line, break through, and return to his team in victory. If Edgar fails to break through, he becomes a member of the team that just vanquished him.

Back then we were all such good sports. We always welcomed our newly captured teammate with handshakes and raspberries.

The wise and perceptive Red Rover combatant scans the battlefield, searches out, and attacks the weakest link. Of course Edgar, being a nine-year-old boy, does no such thing. He attacks the strongest point.

That would mean he tries to go through me, Headley, the crimson-handed god of Red Rover.

There I stood, handclasped with Patty on my right and Bobbie-Jeanne on my left. I impassively listened as their delicate bones crumbled beneath my tightening grip. Their return grip was irrelevant. Edgar’s only chance of getting through was by severing an arm. (Assuming Bobbie-Jeanne’s hand didn’t coagulate into such useless goo that it sifted through my mighty fingers.)

Ah memories. Modern schools have banned Red Rover. Fear not! Libertarians and fine bone surgeons lobby for its return.

Years later, Bobbie-Jeanne and I went on a date. She was strangely reluctant to hold my hand.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Federally-Funded School for Nudist Zombies


My beloved abusive masters at Go Figure Reads dot com (gofigurereads.com) tell me that marketing is all about using key words and phrases that catch search engine interest. They suggested that I use a provocative title like FREE NUDE MONEY for my posts in order to gain readership. I told them I was above such things, and phrases like BEASTS GO WILD VIDEO, or SUPREME COURT JUSTICE EATS BABY, would not find its way onto my blog.

Integrity is its own reward…

Though I’d rather have money.

Speaking of money – I got a check from Time Warner Cable on Thursday. It was my refund for service not used when I shut down my account almost three months ago. At first they conveniently forgot that my account was closed and billed me for December and January – even got a little snooty about how delinquent I was. Finally, I sent them a certified letter, and six weeks later, they send me this check.

The whole thing felt familiar when I thought about it. It turns out that Time Warner has done this to me twice in the past. Billing a single ex-customer three times after the account was closed has to be a co-incidence. If a company like Time Warner made it a PRACTICE to bill ex-customers for service they weren’t providing, they might make millions of dollars from unwary bill-payers. They would never want to take money that wasn’t theirs by right, would they?

And wouldn’t that constitute mail-fraud?

It must be my imagination.

With the money theme in mind, I looked through my archives for something from that blissful time when I had money – when I was self-sufficient, secure, could afford cable TV, and mostly dry when it rained.

I was a smug SOB, but I can live with smug if it comes with a supply of unexpired Pop-Tarts in the cupboard.





Tell Me Again




This morning I woke to soothing music. I had my choice of many selections. I had control of the volume and the time it began.

I rose from a bed, clean of lice and vermin, covered with fine-spun cloths of many colors. A bed as soft as anything King Solomon might have owned

I stepped upon thick carpet, clean and new and pleasing to my toes

The air had a slight chill to it. I turned a knob on the wall, not doubting a moment that the room would soon be perfectly comfortable.

I walked to the next room where warm water cascaded over my body. I voided my wastes in a chair that sent them rushing cheerily out of sight and smell. I groomed myself with a variety of implements specifically designed for the care of hair, teeth, skin and nails, using cleansers formulated for pleasant smell, feel and taste. I dried my body with a great expanse of softened cotton.

I returned to my sleeping room and pulled from a voluminous closet, items from a large selection of shirts, pants, undergarments and shoes.

I walked to yet another room to prepare my morning meal. In this room was a large appliance that will both cool and freeze food. Next to it, an appliance that bakes, broils, fries or boils up to five foods at once at a variety of temperatures. Nearby sat a device designed to toast pre-sliced bread. Below that was a box to cook or thaw any food in a matter of minutes. A number of other devices that I rarely use cluttered the clean spacious counter.

I ate more than my body required.

I warned myself to stop.

Such abundance leads to obesity.

I left for work in a heated vehicle, enclosed from the elements, with a spring-cushioned seat. Though there were four seats, I traveled alone at a speed faster than any horse owned by Alexander the Great or locomotive used by John D. Rockefeller.

Though it was already two hours past dawn, I was on-time for work. I stopped work an hour before sunset. I didn’t sweat in all my labors. Most of the time, I sat in a soft chair adjusting both height and angle for comfort.

On the way home, I stopped at a beautiful marble building. In the building were rooms full of books on every subject. In one room were hundreds of musical and theatrical performances by the world’s finest performers stored in small packages. I selected a book, a package of music and 2 packages of theatre. I showed the attendant a card and took these items with me without cost.

They even said thank you.

I stopped again at a large market.

Fresh fruits and vegetables lined one wall. Most were out of season or not even grown in my region. They had been brought in from hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

There were milk products, pasteurized and tightly sealed in plastic or waxed cardboard. There were meats carefully wrapped in sanitized containers. There were prepared meals, soups, stews, salads, seasoned vegetables, cheeses, cakes and sweet drinks of many varieties. There were even items designed so that a person could eat or drink larger quantities without becoming obese.

I gathered what appealed to me. Though some items were expensive, most of the items were within my means.

Once home, I put a theatrical performance in a device located in a room I had not yet used that day. I sat in a chair that reclines, and viewed the performance while popcorn popped in an expanding enclosure in the appliance room.

When the popcorn was prepared, I commanded the performers to pause by pushing a button beside me.

Returning with my popcorn and fizzy non-fattening sweet drink, I sat, placing an electrically heated blanket across my legs and pushed two buttons beside me. The performers resumed but at a reduced volume. They showed not the least sigh of resentment.

Could Queen Elizabeth the first have commanded such attendance from Shakespeare’s players?

I yawned in my satisfaction and indolence.



Twenty percent of the world’s population would love to pick through my dumpster.

Census figures show that my income falls in the bottom twenty percent of American households.



Even the mighty hear only one song at a time.



Tell me again how poor we are.





Oh, I never did get to talking about that Nudist Zombie School. I meant to but it seems this post has closed. I blame Time Warner.