idiotprufs

Read by four out five drunken monkeys–written by the fifth.

Archive for the tag “satire”

Physically Fit to be Tied

image credit: TMZ

image credit: TMZ

“Are you physically fit?” bellowed the man on the television screen as he jabbed a muscular finger in my direction.

“I don’t know,” I exclaimed, a bit startled by the suddenness of the question.

“Are you physically fit?” he persisted. This man was loud, muscle bound, and so deeply tanned that where ever he was, he must have been near the surface of the sun.

“You’re getting older,” he continued.

I am getting older, I thought, nearly every day.

“Do you even know what it means to be physically fit?”

I had to admit that I really didn’t.

“Of course you don’t know what it means, you’re a tiny pathetic weed of a man.”

I still didn’t know what it meant, was a little insulted, but wished that someone would tell me.

“Well I’m going to tell you.” He seemed to be reading my mind. “Physical fitness is the ability of the body to function with vigor and alertness, and with ample energy to engage in leisure activities. Endurance and cardio respiratory integrity are the overt signs of physical fitness.

Well this was absolutely no help at all.

My body functions with vigor and alertness, in as much as I seldom fall asleep when I don’t want to. I have endurance; I can run over one-hundred feet before the searing pain in my side renders my unconscious. As far as cardio respiratory integrity goes, my heart’s been beating for my entire life and hasn’t stopped yet, how much more integrity do you need?

Ample energy for leisure activities? Any activity that requires an amount of energy that can be characterized as ample, isn’t leisurely at all.

Here are a few activities that I don’t consider leisurely: running, jogging, speed walking, walking normally over long distances, walking slowly up an incline, lifting heavy objects, carrying heavy objects, lifting then subsequently carrying heavy objects, rock climbing. Rocks should never be climbed, if you’re trying to get somewhere and there is a rock in the way, go around it or blow it up. Why do think Alfred Nobel invented dynamite? They didn’t name that award after him because he wasted his time scrabbling up and down rocks.

It was at this point that the man on the screen began doing squat-thrusts. There has never been a time in the history of mankind that it was necessary to do a squat-thrust.

I decided to change the channel. Eventually I found a man reclined in a hammock, sipping a drink through a straw as waves washed a sun soaked beach in the background.

Now that’s a leisurely activity; one for which I have ample energy.

idiotpruf

Goofy has the idea.
image source: wondersofdisney.com

Don’t Swing a Dead Weasel if You’re Not Going to Use It

weasel as weapon

Weasel / Weapon

It is no coincidence that no language in human history has ever coined the phrase: as useful as a dead weasel.

In fact, if you’re on your way to do something and you think to yourself, I could really use a dead weasel for this, you’re probably about to do something that falls somewhere between foolish and a felony. How many times on “Cops” has the arresting officer commented, “this would have merely been foolish, but you were swinging a dead weasel.”

In fact, if you’re on your way to do anything, and you spot a dead animal and think to yourself “it’s my lucky day,” just turn around and go home.

There are certainly a few times when a dead weasel can be useful, but most of those occasions involve hillbilly wedding rituals, or hillbilly wedding dinner options.

Note: your best-man toast should never involve a dead weasel in any capacity, not within the toast itself, and certainly not as a prop. It’s a mistake that will haunt you forever, if the bride doesn’t kill you first.

Which brings me to the point of this post:

A man in Hoquiam, Washington confronted the current boyfriend of an ex-girlfriend.

Generally a bad idea.

He confronted him swinging a dead weasel.

Always a bad idea.

“Why do you have a dead weasel?” the boyfriend asked him.

“It’s not a weasel, it’s a marten,” he replied.

Note: it’s a small distinction but an important one. Ex-boyfriends who display the proclivity to swing dead animals, tend to be very pedantic.

He then punched the boyfriend in the nose and ran off. Begging the question: why in the world would you bother carrying a dead weasel to a confrontation if you’re not going to use it?

He was later tracked down and charged with assault and public stupidity.

When asked why he was carrying a dead weasel, he matter-of-factly replied, “what are you stupid, live weasels bite.”

In a weird twist, the authorities reported that it wasn’t a weasel or a marten, but a mink.

I don’t know if fur is murder, but it’s definitely felony assault.

The man was eventually acquitted. Evidently the prosecutors “failed to prove a link to the mink.” The prosecutors reportedly failed to do several other things that rhyme.

When asked if he had learned any valuable lessons, the man replied, “yeah, if you see something dead on the side of the road, leave it be.”

Perhaps if he had brought his girlfriend a mink when they were together, she wouldn’t have broken-up with him.

The mink had no comment.

weasle jail

I swear, I just wanted to make her a stoll.

 

Idiotprufs’ Guide to Gifts not to Give

bad gift

You said you liked my armpits that way.

We all want to give the perfect gift for Christmas. The gift that will brighten a child’s face. The gift that show thoughtfulness and caring. The type of gift that will result in moments that will be cherished forever.

Well that’s not going to happen because frankly, you’re a moron; the best you can hope for is to not screw things up too badly.

Since I’m practically an expert at screwing things up badly–I mean, I am shockingly good at it–I am going to assist you in what gifts not to give.

Don’t give your goth cousin a bottle of skin bronzer. Just because she’s a goth doesn’t mean her flesh will burst into flames if it’s exposed to real sunlight. It’s Holy water that does that.

Don’t give your still single aunt, a copy of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, because the only way she’ll find a man, is if she constructs one herself. She will not find it as amusing as you do.

Don’t give your girlfriend, and I cannot stress this too strongly, a self-help book of any kind. Especially if that book had the phrase “for dummies” in the title. Just don’t.

Don’t give the guy your cousin is dating, this book, when what he really needs is a swift kick in the butt.

bad cousin

Come on man, open your eyes.

Don’t give your aunt a jar of anti-wrinkle cream and bottle of wart remover. Regardless of how badly she needs them, the gifts won’t be appreciated, and the resulting scowl on her face will only intensify the wrinkles.

Don’t give your uncle, who likes to hunt, that bottle of scent-masking spray he’s been asking for. The first thing he’ll do is try it out, and nobody wants to sip eggnog while they sit next to someone who wreaks of deer urine.

Note: Your uncle generally wreaks of some type of urine, but that stuff is just obnoxious, and he wears it like it’s cologne.

Don’t give your uncle that book of vegetarian recipes; he’s just going to use it’s pages to start the fire he uses to roast the woodchuck he hit with his pickup truck.

Don’t get your vegan cousin that Chia Pet. It looks entirely too much like bean sprouts growing out of tofu, and eventually he’s going to try to eat it. He’ll be rushed to hospital, and your entire family will blame you.

Don’t get your aunt and uncle that home drug testing kit. While it may be applicable, your cousin carries a blade, and she will catch up to you.

Don’t get your wife a rat trap.

Note: I have no joke for this; one year my uncle bought my aunt a rat trap for Christmas. True story.

Don’t give anybody, anything that has Justin Bieber on it. Why: because it has Justin Bieber on it. Enough said.

Don’t get your boss this mug; he may not have a sense of humor about it.

boss coffee cup

Why does everybody laugh at me when I drink coffee?

And finally, don’t give your grandmother that DVD of Deliverance; home movies can be so tedious.

Good luck, you’re going to need it.

gift

I don’t know what’s in here, but I’m certain it’s crap.

 

Purple Pilgrims

pilgrims

The way Pilgrims are supposed to look…if you have no creativity.

As a child you learn many lessons:

  • Regardless of how far your garden hose sprays, you’re still too close to the hornet’s nest.
  • You don’t want to discover the quantitative value for the phrase “mad as a hornet” at any point in time.
  • Regardless of how sturdy it seems, an umbrella is not an adequate substitute for a parachute.
  • Your cousins lie.
  •  You can be lying in a crumpled heap, several bones broken, some of them relatively important, and the first thing any adult will think to say is: “look at what you did to my umbrella.”
  • Even though most varieties of snakes are not venomous, you still don’t want them to bite you.
  • Convincing your cousin to let a snake bite him so that you find out whether or not it’s venomous, seems like a good idea, but it will really piss-off your aunt.
  • Did I mention cousins lie.
  • Never utter the phrase “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me,” to someone who is in possession of sticks or stones. In the jungle that is playground justice, you will be pelted with a barrage of sticks and stones.
  • When adults say cheaters never prosper, they’re full of it. Cheaters prosper all of the time, mostly because they’re cheating.
  • Do not ever, under any circumstance, ask a girl if she’s going to be as fat as her mother when she grows up.
  • Definitely don’t ask her that question if she’s holding sticks or stones.
  • Don’t melt play-doh on the stove. (What seems like a scientific experiment to you, is just wanton destruction to your mother.)
  • Ditto with crayons.
  • Don’t purposely try to set off the smoke alarm just to see how loud it is. It’s loud.
  • Thinking your mother won’t hear the smoke alarm because she’s in the shower, is a big mistake.
  • Artistic creativity is not always welcomed.

It happened when I was a first-grader at R.R. Rogers Elementary School in Jamestown, NY.

Our class was making a Thanksgiving Day mural from construction paper. We were broken into groups, my group was tasked with making the Pilgrims.

We immediately found there to be a dearth of orange construction paper, the color used to make the Pilgrims’ faces and hands.

I made a command decision: we’ll use purple construction paper for the Pilgrims faces and hands. “It’ll be avant-garde,” I said.

Note: I’ll bet you don’t think a six-year old would use the word avant-garde. It’s my story and I’ll tell it the way I want.

Tracy the tattletale strongly objected and ran to inform the teacher, (Tracy was such a conformist) but as a renown tattletale, the teacher simply told her to hush, and just work with the others.

Note: not only was our group saddled with Tracy the tattletale, we also had Keith the paste-eater. It was a nightmare.

We completed our project and handed it in with a great sense of pride and accomplishment.

Our teacher was displeased. It’s difficult to overemphasize just how displeased she was.

“They’re purple,” she shrieked, as if we were a bunch of colorblind idiots.

“We know they’re purple,” we told her, “we’re not kindergarteners.”

It turned out the mural was going up on the wall for a big parent-teacher thing that night. She’d left that bit of information out of the instructions.

Note: on the heels of Halloween, and our pumpkin making spree, she should have known we’d be low on orange construction paper, which brings me to another important lesson learned: when at all possible, deflect blame.

In the end the parents were simply amused by the purple Pilgrims; it seems adults really don’t expect a lot from six-year old children.

Addendum:

I wonder if Salvador Dali’s teacher criticized him for drawing everything all floppy.

floppy watches

At least he didn’t have the gall to make Pilgrims purple.

My Top Ten Previous Lives and Other Nonsense

Napolean

I may have been Napoleon in a previous life.

I’ve noticed when people talk about reincarnation or previous lives, they’ve always been someone famous or influential or important. They’re always Napoleon or George Washington or the guy who invented the ShamWow.

Why is it that no one has ever been a fifth century banana slug or Igor the twelfth century serf who mucked out stables, and was killed by a runaway manure cart?

After much deliberation I’ve come up with my top ten previous lives:

TEN

Big stupid dinosaur–Jurassic Period.

NINE

Small clever dinosaur, eaten by a big stupid dinosaur–Jurassic Period.

EIGHT

Big stupid dodo bird that jumped from a cliff in a fruitless attempt to fly–whenever the hell we lived.

dodo bird

Look at those tiny ineffectual wings, no wonder we’re extinct.

SEVEN

Mayan who first met Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, and thought to himself: these Spaniards seem nice, I’ll introduce them to my people, nothing bad could come from that–sixteenth century, near the time of the fall of the Mayan Empire.

SIX

Wendall Newton, Sir Isaac Newton’s stupid cousin who laughed when the apple fell on Isaac’s head. Later ate the apple and choked, it had a worm in it–seventeenth century.

FIVE

Pierre, Marie Antoinette’s advisor and later headless corpse. He advised her: just tell them to eat cake–eighteenth century.

FOUR

Adolph Hitler, but not the infamous one; just another boy born in Germany with a very unfortunate name–early twentieth century.

THREE

Raccoon who was shot, but later gained fame as Fess Parker’s hat–mid twentieth century.

TWO

Big stupid tuna fish caught in a net. Later became part of a casserole that Edwina Fornwaller took to a pot-luck dinner. It was dry and not well received–late twentieth century.

ONE

Bigfoot. Spent time lurking just out of sight, and being captured in grainy indistinguishable photographs–whenever.

fess parker

Here I am on Fess Parker’s head. Don’t I look awesome?

Poop Flinging Monkeys and Origami Condoms

monkey throwing poop

He’s right-handed–make a note of that.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post entitled, What the Hell is Going on, detailing the National Institute of Health’s spending of $3.8 million to make monkeys alcoholic. (The amount spent on monkey rehab is still unreported.)

The Daily Mail has now reported another list of bizarre NIH spending:

$2.4 million dollars to develop an ‘origami’ condom.

I’ve always felt the biggest problem with condoms is that they’re not in the shape of a swan. They’re just too easy to use; stopping to remove the condom from its package, and apply it without losing the ‘moment’ is just too simple; why not also have to fold it into shape of dragon.

$939,000 dollars to determine that male fruit flies prefer younger female fruit flies.

Researchers have determined that this is caused by drop in hormone levels as female fruit flies age, but we know that’s a load of crap.

When you have a 24 hour lifespan, that midlife crisis hits you fast and hits you hard. It’s about noon, you’re flying around a waste basket containing discarded apple cores, when it hits you: my life is half over and I haven’t even had lunch yet.

You buy an unpractical sports car, start dressing inappropriately for your age, you get a couple of piercings and a tattoo that reads: forever young.

You dump your twelve-hour old wife for a nubile six-hour old.

You’re balding, you have a paunch, your behavior is embarrassing, and tomorrow you’ll be dead.

I believe my assessment to be more accurate, and it cost $939,000 less.

$592,000 dollars to determine that chimpanzees with the best poop flinging skills are also the best communicators.

I think I can write without fear of contradiction: if you address someone by slapping a fistful of your feces in their face, you will have effectively gained their undivided attention.

However, be prepared for that person to subsequently communicate their feelings…violently.

$117,000 to learn that most chimps are right-handed.

Couldn’t the researchers from the previous study have just made of note of which hand the chimps were throwing their feces with; if you’re going to do something as important as throwing your feces, you’re not going to do it off-handed.

$325,000 to learn that marriages are happier when wives calm down more quickly during arguments with their husbands.

This is like doing a study to determine that fire is hot.

The real question is why do wives in some marriages calm down more quickly during arguments. I’m willing to bet it’s because husbands in those marriages, during arguments, don’t say things like:

  • I don’t know why you’re acting so crazy.
  • I think you’re overreacting to that remark about your acting crazy.
  • Can’t this wait until the game’s over.
  • Who cares what your friends think; it’s my opinion that matters.
  • Who care if those jeans make you look fat, if I wanted a skinny wife, I would have married your sister.

This study also showed that marriages were completely unaffected when the husbands were the ones who became calm more quickly. This just proves two things that everybody already knew:

  1. Women just want men to understand why they’re upset and empathize with them.
  2. Men don’t care; we just want to drink beer and watch football without all the noise.

$832,000 went to learn if it was possible to get uncircumcised South African tribesmen into the habit of washing their genitals after having sex.

Note: is this what the couples in the previous study were arguing about? Because that would make sense to me.

Let’s be clear about this.

This wasn’t an attempt to get uncircumcised South African tribesmen into the habit of washing their genitals after having sex.

This was a study to learn if it was ‘possible’ to get uncircumcised South African tribesmen into the habit of washing their genitals after having sex.

Let me save you $832,000: yes it’s possible.

Anything is possible. It’s possible to be struck by lightning. It’s possible or win the lottery. It’s possible that I’ll grow to like mimes.

Note: You’re thinking that last one isn’t possible. If you gave me $832,000 to like mimes; I would like me some mimes.

And how do they know uncircumcised South African tribesmen don’t wash their genitals after sex? It feels like something creepy has been going on there.

Note: perhaps uncircumcised South African tribesman would be more conscientious of genital hygiene if they didn’t have to fold their condoms into the shape of a chrysanthemum. Chrysanthemums are freaking hard. Read more…

Just to Reiterate: Get the Hell Out of the Way

waiting in line

Is she talking about her gout again? Kill me now.

I know I’ve touched on the subject of checkout line etiquette on more than one occasion.

And I know what you’re thinking: why are you beating a dead horse?

It’s dead.

It’s been dead.

Just stop it.

You’re embarrassing yourself.

Would you beat Seabiscuit?

Seabiscuit’s a dead horse.

Seabiscuit was an underdog that overcame adversity.

Seabiscuit’s story was inspirational and heartwarming.

How dare you.

I’d wager that you didn’t even cry at the end of the Old Yeller.

Are you made of stone?

Old Yeller was a faithful and trusted companion.

Monster.

Anyway, recent events have led me to believe that I need to revisit the subject of checkout line etiquette. First generally and then specifically.

Just a few thing you shouldn’t do in a check-out line, generally:

  • Haggle over the validity of a ten cent coupon for meatless vegan sausage. I mean what’s the point, it’s just awful. Go put it back on the shelf and calmly leave the store.
  • Suddenly realize, moments after the cashier has rung up your total, that you’ve forgotten something vital; something that you absolutely mustn’t leave the store without or your wife will give you that “how useless are you” speech. Retreat to the back of the store to retrieve the overlooked item. Take an eternity because you have trouble locating the item. Return fifteen minutes later with your item and an apologetic grin. (If the item you return with is meatless vegan sausage, you will be beaten sadistically.)
  • Try to pay with a personal check if don’t have any identification. How long have you been alive on this planet?
  • Try to pay with cash only to find you’re a little bit short. Then instead of putting something back (because everything you’re getting is absolutely vital, even the meatless vegan sausage) you rummage through all your jacket pockets to find that all you have are some loose Tic Tacs and an assortment of Canadian coins. (Obviously if you’re in Canada this is not a problem; Tic Tacs are widely used as currency there.)
  • Juggle running chain saws.
  • Lick the face of the person next to you and scream, “I have Ebola.”
  • Get in the express line with a cart full of items. Then lick the face of the person next to you and scream, “I have Ebola.”
  • Mime. (Miming should never be done anywhere for any reason.)
  • Loudly sing Justin Bieber songs.
  • Quietly sing Justin Bieber songs.
  • Be Justin Bieber.
  • Punch a mime in the face. (Sorry. This one’s acceptable and sometimes necessary.)

And now, something you shouldn’t do in a check-out line, specifically:

Don’t wait until you’ve been completely checked out, and all your items bagged, to start a personal conversation with the cashier.

We don’t care that your gout has been acting up.

We don’t care that your child’s soccer coach won’t put him in the game. Your kid sucks-deal with it.

We don’t care that your niece is in a loveless marriage. She shouldn’t have married her second cousin; we know it’s legal, but still.

We don’t care that your gynecologist was arrested. He should have never been in that opium den to begin with. Do you really want a gynecologist who frequents opium dens anyway.

But mostly, we couldn’t give a rodent’s behind who you think should have been eliminated from Dancing With The Stars. There was a brief fleeting moment when we cared, but that was just a mass hallucination, and it passed.

If you believe the people in your general sphere of being, so desperately need to know your opinion, then call them later. Text them. Instant message them. Hell, open up your kitchen window and scream as loudly as you can in their general direction-I don’t care. Just get the hell out of the way.

Thank you.

Addendum:

If you’re upset because you’ve never seen Old Yeller, and now I’ve ruined it for you, I have only one thing to say: Rosebud was a sled.

rosebud

At least I didn’t reveal that Bruce Willis’ character in Sixth Sense was dead the entire time.

Smoking: What are You Waiting For?

Recently I jokingly asked someone if they could recommend a brand of cigarettes, because I needed a hobby, and I planned to take up smoking. This was met with a glassy-eyed stare, and an earnest lecture against the evils of smoking.

I felt it was time to revisit an old post extolling the many reasons people should start smoking.

Note: so many of my jokes are met with glassy-eyed stares, I could use them to hypnotize people.    

smoking face

See how happy you could be.
(image source: wpclipart.com)

The plight of tobacco executives in our country.

With the combination of class action lawsuits and the implementation of restrictive legislation, the poor tobacco executives in our country have taken a terrible beating over the past several years. It has resulted in a precipitous tumble in their social standing; they have gone from being filthy stinking rich, to being only extremely well off. If we don’t take immediate action, where will it end?

The fate of our tobacco executives if we don't take immediate action.image source: andertoons.com

The fate of our tobacco executives if we don’t take immediate action.
(image source: andertoons.com)

The word emphysema is really fun to say.

It’s a word that just rolls off your tongue.  Em-phy-se-ma: one syllable just flows into the next. Try saying it once. Try saying it several times in a row. Try saying it quickly. Try saying it quickly several times in a row (unless you have emphysema: you might pass out).

The great thing about emphysema is that once you have it, it never goes away. And emphysema will affect nearly every aspect of your life; so you will have no trouble working it into daily conversation:

  • The doctor diagnosed me with emphysema.
  • I’m taking this medicine for my emphysema.
  • I’d love to play with my grandchildren more, but I can’t because of my emphysema.
  • I climbed two flights of stairs and collapsed in a sweaty quivering mass due to my emphysema.
  • I won at scrabble when I played the word emphysema. Thank goodness I can still play board games.

Not only will you have fun with the word emphysema, but so will your friends and family, long after you’re gone:

  • What a nice funeral. I guess the doctor said he would have survived the pneumonia if hadn’t been for the emphysema.
  • He certainly died young, but his quality of life wasn’t very good with the emphysema.
  • Remember that time he coughed up a piece of lung and we all laughed for hours; crazy thing that emphysema.
In a twist of irony, you win a scrabble tournament playing the words healthy alveola.image source: snapdesign.com

In a twist of irony, you won a scrabble tournament playing the words, healthy alveoli.
(image source: snapdesign.com)

You need to know what they’re talking about.

You’ve seen them huddled together, enjoying their cigarettes, with their furtive glances and secretive whispers.

They’re outside of the bar, the restaurant, the bank. They’re outside any and every place of business. They assemble in the wind, the rain, and the snow. They assemble regardless of scorching heat or an F5 tornado. Nothing deters them.

What can they be talking about? It must be of incredible importance. They must be solving the puzzles of the universe.

You’ve tried approaching them, but without a cigarette in your hand, they just regard you with disdain and disgust.

It’s been eating at you; you need to know what they’re talking about.

Note: It’s a little known fact that Albert Einstein developed both special and general relativity, while huddled with a bunch of coworkers outside of a patent office, in a brutal German snowstorm.

Get lost, we're doing something important. We're developing a cure for cancer or emphysema. Hey, emphysema, that's fun to say.image source: sodahead.com

“Get lost, we’re discussing important things. We’re discussing a possible cure for cancer or emphysema. Hey, emphysema, that’s fun to say.”
(image source: sodahead.com)

To stick it to that know-it-all the Surgeon General

You’re a rebel and you don’t appreciate anybody telling you how to live your life. You certainly don’t need some preachy Surgeon General constantly yapping at you about lung cancer, heart disease, or 32 known carcinogens.

There are tons of dangerous activities out there that the Surgeon General has said absolutely nothing about:

  • Poking yourself in the eye with a stick.
  • Dropping a brick on your toes.
  • Insulting the wife of a tattoo laden biker dude.
  • Juggling knives.
  • Attempting to re-attach your fingers with a sewing needle and some thread following some ill-advised knife juggling.
  • Hitting yourself repeatedly in the face with a hammer.

Why don’t hammers come with an explicate warning from the Surgeon General; you don’t have to hit yourself in the face more than five or six times with a hammer, to do some real damage.

If we’re going to make any real changes, it’s up to all of you out there to light up and start puffing away.

I’d start smoking today if my jaw wasn’t wired shut.

I'm launching a law suit; those irresponsible executives at Black & Decker, need to learn.image source: wpclipart.com

I’m launching a lawsuit; those irresponsible executives at Black & Decker, need to learn.
(image source: wpclipart.com)

How to Appreciate Poetry in a Right and Proper Way

 

bullwinkle

Bullwinkle, appreciating the hell out some poetry.
image source: eclbake.com

Every now and again, when I’m feeling intellectually illiterate or a bit lowbrow (anyone who has read this blog to any extent can understand how frequently that may be) I will resolve the feeling by appreciating poetry.

I just head to my closet, yank out my poetry sack, pull out a big wad of poetry, and appreciate the hell out of it.

Note: my poetry sack also serves as a repository for random unmatched socks.

When appreciating poetry in a right and proper way, there are a few things that are key:

Comprehension

If you can even remotely understand the meaning of a poem, it isn’t a proper poem. Poems tend to be vague or nebulous. Poets like to throw around a dizzying menagerie of random imagery, designed to confuse and disorient. If you’ve just finished reading a poem and you haven’t vomited in your mouth a bit, it isn’t proper poetry.

Symbolism

When a poet writes a poem about a leaf being blown from a tree, falling to the ground, and being trampled underfoot, he’s not actually writing about a leaf being blown from a tree, falling to the ground, and being trampled underfoot.

The leaf represents hopelessness, and the futility of a life marred by series of tragic events. The leaf being blown from the tree represents a life spiralling into an alcohol fueled abyss of despair. The leaf being trampled underfoot represents the crushing weight of an uncaring world and inevitable grip of death.

A morbid bunch–poets.

Emotional Response

Poems are written to evoke an emotional response from its readers. Once after reading a collection of poems by Sylvia Plath, I spent hours curled-up on the floor in the fetal position as I sobbed uncontrollably.

An excerpt from Daddy, one of Sylvia Plath’s best known poems:

If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two——
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.
There’s a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.

Holy Crap! Right?

Note: I don’t want to paint the picture that all poets are emotionally distressed alcoholics with father issues– but the really good ones are.

But Limericks Are Fun
Limericks are short humorous poems with a strict meter and A-A-B-B-A rhyme scheme. They tend to revolve around a man with an odd ability, from a small island off the coast of Massachusetts.
Sonnets
Sonnets are fourteen line poems that rose to popularity in the 13th century. They tend to be written by William Shakespeare and lovelorn teenage boys who are trying to impress teenage girls who are way out of their league.
Haiku
Haiku is not proper poetry, let’s all just stop pretending that it is.
Epic Poems
These are lengthy poems that generally involve deeds of heroism. A few examples of epic poems: Divine Comedy by Dante, Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Horton Hears a Who by Theodor Seuss Geisel.
Dr. Seuss
Don’t be fooled by this charlatan, while he may be the brilliant author of dozens of classic children’s books, he is not and has never been a medical professional.
Emily Dickinson vs. Angie Dickinson
Be sure that you know the difference. You don’t want to be chatting up a girl who is gushing over her love of Emily Dickinson when you say, “I know, she was smoking hot in Big Bad Mama.” Seriously– it ends badly.

angie Dickinson

This is not Emily Dickinson.
Image source: Tao of Poker

Interesting Fact
The Baltimore Ravens, the NFL franchise in Baltimore, is named after Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven.
Note: if I had named the NFL franchise in Baltimore after an Edgar Allan Poe poem, I would have called them the Baltimore Conquering Worms. How much cooler would that have been?
A Moment of Braggadocio
On an essay I wrote in college, explicating The Tyger by William Blake, I received a grade of 99 percentile. Take that doubters who question my literary chops. (And that came on the heels of my high school English teacher openly doubting if I could successfully write my own name. True story.)
You Are Now Ready
You are now ready to pull out your own poetry sack, and start appreciating the hell out of poetry.
Final Note
I don’t want any whiny comments from people who love Haiku, write Haiku, read Haiku, or though the certifying of some bizarre clerical error at the hospital, have been named Haiku. It was just a joke…mostly.

Woefully Inadequate Preparation

 

pythagorean theorem

Useless knowledge when you’re about to be cut.

This occurred while I was working as a quality control inspector at a steel coating plant near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was sitting at my desk filling out paperwork–paperwork that I’m sure was vital to the daily functioning of the plant, and not be interrupted–when the crane operator, Jim, burst into the office.

“We have a problem,” he barked.

Jim tended to have problems more days than not. Urgent problems. Urgent problems of all varieties. (I could tell it was urgent because Jim was using his urgent voice. His urgent voice was similar to his whiny voice, but an octave higher.)

I looked around the office to discover I was the only one there. Crap.

“Houston,” I said to him.

“What?”

“When you burst into a room to exclaim that you have a problem, you’re supposed to say, ‘Houston, we have a problem.'”

“But we’re not in Houston.”

Note: nobody gets me.

“Never mind. What’s the problem?” I asked with genuinely feigned interest.

“Look at this,” he said as he shoved his phone at me. It was a picture of some temp workers standing outside on a smoke break.

“It’s a picture of some temp workers standing outside on a smoke break.” I said.

“You don’t see the problem?” He was incredulous.

“The threat of emphysema?”

“Look closer.” He shoved the phone at me again.

“Okay. They’re all smoking cigarettes, except for that little guy who seems to be holding…a crack pipe.”

“So you understand the problem now?”

“He’s not sharing with the others?”

“This is serious,” he snapped.

“Selfishness is a serious problem, Jim,” I admonished him.

“I can’t be operating a crane out there with people running around all hopped up on drugs.”

“Do people still use the phrase hopped up?”

“Are you going to do something or not?”

“Where’s Rick?” I asked. “He’s loud and obnoxious and loves to yell at people.”

Rick was the foreman, he was loud and obnoxious and loved to yell at people.

“He called off today,” Jim told me.

Note: It’s so rare that you’re in want of a person who is loud and obnoxious and loves to yell at people, but one time that you are, he’s not around. I once asked the owner why he made Rick the foreman. He told me that Rick was too stupid to do anything useful, but he was good at yelling at people, so he made him the foreman. Just another reason the Pittsburgh steel industry is thriving, in Japan.

I got on the radio and called the paint supervisor, to inform him of the situation.

“Deal with it, I’m in the truck yard,” he said tersely.

I reminded him that I mainly dealt with readings, measurements, recording data and that type of thing. What I didn’t deal with were problems that could lead to me being stabbed in the side of head.

“Deal with it, I’m in the truck yard,” He said again. My abilities of persuasion were obviously lacking.

I approached the person in question. He was a little guy with glasses. He looked like Mr. Peabody, if Mr. Peabody were a crackhead and not a cartoon dog. He was sweating profusely and his eyes were darting back and forth.

Mr. Peabody (probably not on crack)

“We won’t be needing you for the rest of the day, so you can go home now,” I told him, hoping that he would just acquiesce and leave.

“Why?” He demanded.

“We just don’t need you.”

He leaned into me, and growled in a slow deep voice, “is it because of the leprechauns?”

I gaped like an idiot.

“It’s the leprechauns isn’t it?” He persisted.

“No. It has nothing to do with the leprechauns.” I spoke slowly. “It’s more that you smoked crack on your break.” I felt at that point that honesty wasn’t going to make the situation any worse.

“Is that what the leprechauns told you?” He screamed. “The leprechauns lie!” Then he produced a razor blade from his pocket.

Evidently honesty could make things much worse.

He then gave me a very strange look and asked in a near whisper, “are you a leprechaun?”

You’re never really prepared for the first time someone asks you if you’re leprechaun. The public schools are woefully inadequate in such preparation. Knowing how to diagram a sentence or use the Pythagorean theorem, are useless abilities when you’re about to be cut.

So I said the only thing my agile brain could produce: “I’m not even wearing green.”

Luckily for me, by this time attention had been drawn to the situation, and there were several guys that had gathered around to help.

The police arrived shortly and took the guy away without incident.

But the next time someone asks me if I’m a leprechaun, I’ll be prepared.

My true identity.

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