I am overjoyed at how many people thought this really happened.
Tragedy struck at Erie’s Tall Ships Festival this morning when a cannon from the Niagara misfired and shot a cannonball into the world’s largest rubber duck, deflating it within minutes.
Witnesses say the giant duck was floating about 30 yards from the Niagara when the shot was fired. “It’s a shame,” said festival patron Ernie, no last name given. “I’m awfully fond of that rubber ducky.”
Repairs are already underway as workers have gathered over 100 rolls of duck tape to patch up the hole.
The owners of the duck, Big Duck LLC, plan on sending the bill to the Niagara League. They will also submit an invoice for damages.
“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 me 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.
There are those rare events in human history so extraordinary, they must be recorded for future generations.
Stories that must be told and retold.
Sometimes exaggerated, but mostly not.
The Great Mushroom Fiasco was such an event.
Brenda: Would you like to try some of the pasta sauce I just made?
Dan (with uncertainty): I don’t know.
Kirby (with certainty): Absolutely not.
Brenda (taken aback): Why not?
Dan: Sometimes your culinary creations (pausing to select his words judicially) don’t turn out quite right.
Kirby: The phrase “catastrophic failures” springs to mind.
Brenda: Maybe I’ve had a few minor set-backs.
Kirby: You’ve had minor set-backs, the way the maiden voyage of the Titanic was a minor set-back.
Brenda: Yes, I’ve had a few little accidents.
Kirby: You’ve had a few little accidents, the way Chernobyl was a little accident.
Brenda: Not all the things I make turn out badly.
Kirby: Not all of the Hindenburg’s flights turned out badly, but when things do go wrong–oh the humanity.
Brenda: Now you’re just being ridiculous.
Kirby: Remember the time you boiled eggs and forgot to put the water in?
Kirby: The eggs exploded all over the kitchen, and set off all the smoke alarms.
Brenda (grudgingly): I remember.
Kirby: You can’t boil things without the water; it’s the water that actually does the boiling.
Brenda: I understand how things boil.
Kirby: The evidence would suggest otherwise.
Dan (remembering): There were bits of egg on the ceiling.
Kirby: Do you recall the time you made the lasagna and forgot the noodles?
Brenda (defensively): It happens to people.
Kirby: But it doesn’t happen to people. The process of making a lasagna, requires that you construct it in layers, several of which are noodles.
Brenda: I know how to make a lasagna.
Kirby: Again, the evidence would suggest otherwise.
Dan (sighing): It was just a big pan of meat sauce and cheese.
Brenda: (glaring at Dan with disapproval.)
Kirby: Or the time you made potato salad and it made everyone’s tongue itch. I didn’t even know that was a thing that could happen.
Dan: The potato salad was weird.
Brenda: I don’t know why that happened.
Dan: What about the brownies? (Dan excitedly jumps into the fun.)
Kirby: That’s right. You made brownies and they fused to the pan. You broke a spatula and bent several forks before you finally threw the entire thing into the backyard.
Dan: Don’t forget, she also beat on it with a meat tenderizer.
Kirby (laughing): Yes she did. Even the raccoons wouldn’t touch those brownies.
Dan: Those brownies were like carbon steel; you could’ve patched asphalt…
Brenda (interrupting Dan): Enough! Are you going to try some or not?
Brenda: And what about you? (looking at Dan in a manner that indicated that he didn’t have a choice.)
Dan: Yes please.
Kirby: And that’s why I don’t have a girlfriend.
Brenda: I’m sure the reasons you don’t have a girlfriend are numerous.
Kirby: That hurts a little.
Brenda (turning to Dan): I promise you’re going to like this.
(Brenda serves up the pasta with a healthy helping of sauce. Dan spears some with his fork and carefully studies it.)
Kirby: It’s like taking off a bandage: you have to just go for it.
(Dan pokes the morsel into his mouth, chewing cautiously at first. A look of surprise spreads over his face as his chewing gains momentum.)
Dan: This is really good.
Brenda (addressing Kirby): See. Would you like to try some now?
Kirby: No thanks. I’ll just stand here and wait for the other shoe.
Brenda: What other shoe?
Kirby: The one that’s certain to drop.
Dan (innocently): What kind of mushrooms are these?
Brenda: They’re wild mushrooms. I know how much you like wild mushrooms; when I saw them, I immediately thought of you.
Dan (slight concern): I didn’t know you knew anything about wild mushrooms.
Brenda: Oh, I don’t know anything about wild mushrooms.
Dan (more than slight concern): Then…how did you know that these mushrooms weren’t poisonous?
Brenda: Because they were growing in a field.
Dan (very concerned): So?
Brenda: Mushrooms that grow in a field are never poisonous…right?
Dan (sarcastically): Absolutely you’re right. And if you find mushrooms in a field, and a crow flies overhead at noon and caws three times, the mushrooms aren’t poisonous either.
Dan: No you idiot! There are a lot of poisonous mushrooms that grow in fields.
Kirby: And there it is.
Brenda: There’s what?!
Kirby: The other shoe clunking to the floor.
Dan (ignoring Kirby): Where exactly did you find them growing.
Brenda: In a pasture on a…
Dan: On a what?
Brenda: On a big pile of cow poop.
Kirby: That is fantastic.
Dan: That is not fantastic. In fact, it’s not good at all. What did they look like?
Brenda: I don’t know, I’m not a mushroom expert.
Dan: And that is why you don’t go around all willy-nilly, picking wild mushrooms and dumping them into pasta sauce.
Brenda: But you use wild mushrooms all the time.
Dan: I AM AN EXPERT! Now what did they look like?
Brenda (flustered): I don’t know, Dan. I guess they looked like tiny penises.
Kirby: May I point out something very important?
Dan (impatiently): What?
Kirby: The alarming frequency with which your name seem to crop up in the midst of the words tiny and penis.
Dan: No it doesn’t.
Kirby: It just did twice. In fact, Brenda said she immediately thought of you when she saw the tiny penis-shaped mushrooms?
Brenda: Because he likes wild mushrooms.
Dan: Yeah. Because I like wild mushrooms.
Kirby: I’m just saying it’s a little peculiar.
Brenda: You’re not being helpful.
Kirby: It wasn’t my intention to be helpful. It seldom ever is.
Brenda: Then try to be helpful.
Kirby: Okay. Dan, have you given any thought to what you’d like on your gravestone?
Brenda: Really? That’s you being helpful?
Kirby: How is that not being helpful?
Brenda (turning back to Dan): You could have your stomach pumped.
Kirby: Ooh. Having your stomach pumped is really unpleasant.
Brenda: And how do you know That?
Kirby: It has to be.
Brenda: Have you ever had your stomach pumped?
Brenda: How can you say that something is unpleasant, if it’s never happened to you?
Kirby: I’ve never been hit in the face with a brick, but I can say with a relative degree of certainty, that the experience would not be pleasant.
Dan (agitated): Is having your stomach pumped more unpleasant than dying? Is it? Is it more unpleasant that dying?
Kirby: Calm down, you don’t need to have your stomach pumped. All you have to do is make yourself throw-up.
Dan: That’s a good idea.
Kirby (turning to Brenda): See. Helpful.
Brenda: You think you know everything.
Kirby: I know not to eat penis shaped poop mushrooms. (Quickly changing gears.) You know, you could wind-up in the Weird Stories section of the Sunday paper: Person Poisoned By Penis Shaped Poop Mushrooms. It has built-in alliteration.
Brenda: That isn’t funny.
Kirby: Not for you.
Brenda (dialing her phone): I’m going to call my friend Linda, she’s a nurse, she’ll know what to do. (Talking into her phone.) Linda. It’s Brenda. I think I just poisoned Dan. (Indistinct chatter from the phone.) No. Not on purpose. (More indistinct chatter.) I made pasta sauce with wild mushrooms (More chatter.) No. I didn’t forget the pasta again. (A lot of chatter.) It does happen to people. (Even more chatter.) They looked liked tiny penises. (laughter followed by indistinct chatter) His name does not crop up around the words tiny and penis all the time. (Chatter.) Well, after he ate it, he went to the bathroom to throw-up. (More laughter followed by more chatter.) What do mean, more than usual? (Final chatter.) Okay. Bye.
(Sounds of vomiting emanating from the bathroom.)
Brenda: She said if he throws-up he’ll be fine.
Kirby: Physically maybe, but the psychological scars: they’re going to linger.
(Dan emerges from the bathroom, covered in sweat, eyes bloodshot, and face ashen.)
Dan (hoarsely): It’s done. I need a drink to get this taste out of my mouth.
(Dan walks to the refrigerator, opens the door, pulls something out, and stares at it in silence for a moment.)
Dan (puzzled): What’s this?
Kirby: Wow. That appears to be to be a bowl full of tiny penis shaped mushrooms.
(Dan and Kirby look at Brenda for an explanation.)
Brenda (confused): I guess I didn’t use those after-all. I must have used regular mushrooms. That’s good news right?
Dan (agitated): It’s just freaking fantastic.
Kirby: This is like the gift that just keeps on giving.
Brenda: This better not wind-up in some blog post that makes me look like an idiot.
Kirby: Don’t worry–that would never happen.
“Don’t worry, it’ll be refreshing,” my friend assured me. I had strong doubts as I stood on the shore and watched the river’s water heave and surge past. My trepidation fueled less by the tenacity of the water, more by the fact that what I did in the water could be described less as swimming and more as a labored attempt to avoid drowning. In pit of my stomach, I could feel that this rafting trip was about to turn ugly.
Rivers that are used for rafting are separated into five classifications. Class one rivers are basically flat, smooth waters that can be easily navigated. Class five rivers are rapidly descending, treacherous waters that require considerable experience to navigate.
Class one rivers are for tiny little girls and wimps. Class five rivers are for studly men who like to the laugh in the face of the Grim Reaper. We chose a class three river, we were average men who like the laugh in the face of the Grim Reaper but only when the Grim Reaper is at a distance and busy with somebody else at the time.
The trip was going well, we had successfully navigated our way through several sets of rapids without major incident. It was then that the guide told us to bring our rafts to shore where he informed us that this was the part of the trip where we could walk back upstream and go back through the last set of rapids.
“What,” I asked casually, attempting to mask the alarm in my voice, “do you mean without the raft?”
“That’s right, you’re just going to jump in the water and go,” the guide said with an annoying amount of confidence.
“Are you certain that’s safe?”
“Absolutely, these are very deep rapids.”
“It’s safe because deep water is harder to drown in?”
“Yes…I mean, no. When it comes to rapids, deeper is safer.” I could detect a timbre of irritation creeping into his voice.
“Okay, I understand…I’m curious, what are your thoughts concerning skydiving without the parachute?”
I could tell by the dagger filled stare that was shooting my way, that is was time to stop asking questions. This was the man whom I would depend upon to pull semiconscious body from the water should the need arise.
One by one, like lemmings, we climbed onto the top of a small boulder and leapt into the river.
I made through the first two mini-rapids without a problem. It was the third set of rapids where a sudden surge of water lifted my body for a moment then pulled me under the surface. Murky river water shot up my nose at approximately 2000 mph, ricocheted off the bottom of my brain, then poured into my lungs.
Not wanting to be filled with murky river water, my lungs immediately expelled the water back through my mouth and nose with considerable force. My eyes, feeling left out, began to water profusely. I was now spinning out of control and my arms were flailing around like a crazed marionette.
This was the moment I chose to invent a new game. I call the game “Whack your face against the rock.” I invented this game approximately two seconds after the guide yelled, “Hey, don’t whack your face against the rock.”
“Are you okay?” the guide chortled, unable to mask his amusement. I signaled to him with a thumbs up…well, it was a single digit.
As I slowly spun out of the rapids and crawled to shore, gasping for air and coughing simultaneously (something that I had previously thought to be physically impossible) my friend asked, “Are you going to go again?”
“No,” I replied. “I think that I’m refreshed enough.”
I have been made to realize that previous “Meet the New Neighbors” list was woefully incomplete. So here it is: more things that you just don’t want to hear come out of your new neighbor’s mouth.
Accidents happen. Things explode. Things catch on fire –it’s inevitable really.
It shouldn’t be a big deal.
But evidently it is a big deal to some people.
It’s a big deal to people who have no sense of humor.
It’s a big deal to people who have a tendency to be ill-tempered.
It’s a big deal to people who have a tendency to say angry hurtful things.
It’s a big deal to people who have no sense of humor, a tendency to be ill-tempered, and to say angry hurtful things.
It’s a big deal to people who have high-pitched, squeaky, cartoon-rodent voices.
It’s a big deal.
There were valuable lessons learned the day of the exploding vacuüm cleaner and the great carpet fire:
Squeaky-voiced Owner: Why is my smoke alarm going off?
Fire-starter: Probably because of all the smoke in the room.
Squeaky-voiced Owner: Why is the room full of smoke?
Fire-starter: It probably came from the carpet fire.
Squeaky-voiced Owner: Why is the carpet on fire?
Fire-starter: It must have spread from the vacuüm cleaner.
Squeaky-voiced Owner: Why is the vacuüm cleaner on fire?
Fire-starter: It caught on fire after it exploded.
Squeaky-voiced Owner: Why did it exploded?
Fire-starter: Act of God?
Squeaky-voiced Owner: It sounds more the act of an idiot.
Fire-Starter: I turned it on and it just burst into flames.
Squeaky-voiced Owner: It just burst into flames?
Fire-starter: Crazy isn’t it? There should be a clearly defined label that reads: Warning, use may cause detonation.
Squeaky-voiced owner: You must think I’m the biggest moron on the face of the planet.
Fire-starter: Not the whole planet.
Squeaky-voiced owner: (Silent staring, and in a really creepy frightening way.)
Fire-starter: You know, if you cleaned more often, I wouldn’t have to…
Squeaky-voiced owner: (Censored for filth and because it was really hurtful.)
Fire-starter: That’s not a real word, and a human isn’t physically capable of doing it.
Squeaky-voiced owner: Let’s find out.
There was one more important lesson learned: the phrase “some day we’ll look back at this and laugh” does not always apply.
Golden Valley, Minnesota–In a shocking turn of events, longtime mascot of Lucky Charms cereal, Lucky the Leprechaun, was charged with driving while under the influence, resisting arrest and attempted bribery, according to Minnesota state police.
Upon pulling him over, he was found with several empty bottles of Irish whiskey, and a half-eaten box of Lucky Charms cereal. “I guess Lucky Charms cereal is like crack to leprechauns,” the arresting officer said, “no wonder they’re ‘magically delicious.”
“Don’t you know who I am?” The leprechaun kept yelling according to the arresting officer. Then he offered the officer three wishes and ‘all the Lucky Charms he Could snort’ if he would let him go.
It would seem that it was Lucky’s trouble had started with his pot of gold and an ill-advised wager. Apparently he had bet his entire pot of gold on the Carolina Panthers to win the Superbowl.
Police said it was a colleague who had prodded Lucky into the wager.
“That idiot Cap’N Crunch,” Lucky would rant. “It’s all about Cam Newton, It’s all about Cam Newton, he kept telling me.”
“He was a lot of trouble,” one of the booking officers reported. “Every time we tried to take his mug shot, he would disappear right before the camera flashed, then he would reappear and laugh hysterically…it was really annoying.”
At the bail hearing Lucky plead his case before the judge. “There’s so much pressure being an internationally known cereal mascot. Everyone expects you to keep up a certain image: clean cut and wholesome. But have you read the literature? That’s not how leprechauns are. We’re tricksters who like to smoke and drink and tell stories. Honestly, I hate kids: they’re loud and annoying and for some reason, they’re always sticky. Why the hell are they always so damn sticky?”
He paused for a moment to compose himself.
“And the other cereal mascots really get on my nerves. That wimp the Trix Rabbit is always popping in unannounced, griping that he never gets any Trix because Trix are for kids. Just take some you pathetic fur ball, they’re just kids, what are they gonna do? That giant nosed freak Toucan Sam, flying around and crapping all over my carpet…you shouldn’t have to lay down newspaper when friend comes around. And don’t get me started on Tony The Tiger; he’s obnoxious, he smells and I’m pretty sure he has chiggers…does any of this sound “lucky” to you?” He then began to weep uncontrollably. His tears were green.
The judge released Lucky into the custody of General Mills pending trial.
A spokesman for General Mills said, “We certainly hope Lucky can straighten out his personal life. If not, were looking into gnomes.”
Note: Authorities are still unclear as to how a naked Justin Bieber wound up in the trunk of Lucky’s car; they both claim to have no memory of what happened the night before.
I’ve recently discovered I’m a soulless monster. My children are doomed to be soulless monsters. My children’s children are doomed to be soulless monsters. In fact, all of my descendants have a bleak soulless future.
All of this was pointed out to me by a woman who was quite certain I was pure evil.
What did I do to incur such condemnation–such wrath?
Did I murder someone?
Did I steal from anyone?
Did I punch a mime in the face at a child’s birthday party?
No–and he really had it coming.
Did I harm any person in any manner?
Did I club a baby seal?
Of course not.
Did I club Seal the singer?
Never. His music brings such joy to the world.
Did I smash a neighbor’s garden gnome with a shovel then pee on its remains?
Not that the authorities can prove.
Did I get in the 12 items or less line with more than 12 items?
Did I use the word less when the word fewer applied?
Did I keep a library book overdue for an extended period of time?
Was the library book I kept overdue for an extended period of time, a self-help book titled: How to be Prompt, responsible, and Stop Compulsively Lying About not Keeping Library Books Overdue for Extended Periods of Time?
Did I casually comment that I didn’t care for the movie Dances with Wolves?
Evidently this is the worst thing a human can do. Not only does it reveal a horribly flawed taste in cinema, but it is also a mark of disrespect for the Native American culture.
Ridiculous! Did you realize the director’s cut of the movie is four hours long? If it were an erection, I would have had to call a doctor. And I can have a lot more fun with an erection than I can with a DVD of Dance with Wolves.
I quite enjoyed Braveheart, does that mean I don’t like the English?
Of course not. I love the English and their delicious muffins that perfectly hold in the buttery goodness.
I liked King Kong, does that mean I don’t like giant apes, and want to drop them from skyscrapers?
I love giant apes in every incarnation, from Mighty Joe Young to Grape Ape.
I really enjoyed Mississippi Burning, does that mean don’t like the KKK?
Okay…that was a bad example.
I thought The Children of the Corn was creepy and disturbing, does that mean I think children and corn are creepy and disturbing?
Corn isn’t creepy and disturbing.
I liked Roadhouse, does that mean I have a flawed taste in cinema?
Probably, but what are you gonna do?
I didn’t like Out of Africa, does that mean I don’t like…
I have no idea what that movie is about; it was so dreadfully boring, I quit paying attention early on.
I think Lawrence of Arabia is one of the greatest movies ever made, does that mean I don’t like the Turks?
To be honest, I spend precious little time contemplating the Turks.
I liked The Road Warrior, does that mean I want cataclysmic events to wipe out the majority of the world’s population?
I’ll get back to you on this one.
The point is, I didn’t like Dances with Wolves because I didn’t like it. It’s just an opinion, and I’m allowed to have it.
If you’ve read this blog to any extent, (and if you have–I apologize) you understand my personal preferences are a little off in many regards.
I’ve had many people express their distaste for this blog, and I’m perfectly fine with it. (They’re all stupid-heads anyway.)
Dear Mr. Idiotprufs,
Here at Happy Fun Time Children’s Stories, we gain no greater satisfaction than when we create new and fresh children’s literature. So believe me when I express to you, we empathize with and appreciate your desire to write children’s stories. That being said, please stop it.
We believe that your talents lie in a genre away from children’s literature, very far away from children’s literature.
Take for example the first story you sent us, Little Timmy’s First Kite and the High Voltage Power Lines. A little boy’s first kite is a good idea for a children’s story. A little boy’s first experience with radical skin grafting: not so much.
Similarly, your story, The Poorly Constructed and Precariously High Treehouse, starts out with a treehouse–a good subject for a children’s story. It ends with a full body cast, and an addiction to painkillers–a bad subject for a children’s story.
And for the love of all that is good and merciful, please stop sending us stories that involve diseased chimpanzees.
For your reference, here is list of topics unsuitable for children’s stories:
- A diseased chimp that has escaped from the zoo.
- A diseased chimp that has escaped from the circus.
- A diseased chimp that has escaped from a research lab.
- A diseased chimp that has escaped from a secret underground facility run by evil albino Nazis.
- A diseased chimp that has escaped from a secret underground facility under Bill Gates home.
- A diseased chimp that has escaped from a secret underground facility run by evil albino Nazis, under Bill Gates home.
- A diseased chimp that has escaped from Martha Stewart’s house. (If Miss Stewart were to ever have a chimp, we are certain it would not be diseased.)
- A diseased chimp that has escaped from a one-eyed organ grinder.
- A one-eyed organ grinder.
- A diseased chimp with intestinal parasites.
- Intestinal parasites.
- Parasites. (Tapeworms are not lovable, and are seldom named Henry.)
- Virtually any idea that has ever popped into your head.
In regards to your proposal for a series of books based on the ghost of mischievous monkey that haunts children who won’t eat their vegetables: it’s not a good idea. That doesn’t even take into consideration the certain legal difficulties that would arise from your main character: Mysterious George.
We hope that you will heed our advice and take to heart the following suggestions:
- Seek professional help.
- Whatever medications that are certain to be prescribed, take them.
- Stay as far away from children’s literature as you possibly can.
Happy Fun Time Children’s Stories
P.S. In retrospect, stay as far away from actual children as possible.