TO MS. KATRINA

(Editor’s note: Today’s post by our regular (and only) contributor, Cap’n John Krissongs, is meant to be strictly personal and is of no entertainment value whatsoever. (Not the first time that’s ever happened.) For those of you who visit the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog periodically based on the fact that we were named one of the “Top 100 Humor Blogs” on the Internet back in 2019  need read no further…the Cap’n is too bummed today to be the bastion of hilarity that you have come to love and admire. Please accept our apology for any inconvenience this may have caused you.)

Now, to address the lady for whom this post is being written, through the good offices of my “muse”…

So listen up, Walter…

(Yes, my muse is named Walter…you can call yours anything you want.)

I feel like I’m about to write a eulogy, and given the reason I am compelled to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, more aptly), maybe that isn’t so far off-base. Although a little maudlin, I admit. (Eulogy?? Really? Geez, sometimes I am a pretentious asshole.)

I learned just this past Tuesday that my boss, a wonderful, sweet, bright, sexy, tough when she needs to be lady and one of the most patient and understanding human beings I’ve ever had the honor and privilege of knowing has been transferred to another store; she is leaving “the friendly confines” of the Chelsea Place Publix store where, as you know, I work part-time.

Katrina, we hardly knew ye.

(Okay, Walter, since I know that was WAY too esoteric for you, Google “Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye” so you’ll understand the cultural reference.)

(Geez…my next muse is going to be smarter, believe me.)

Katrina joined our happy little store back in 2017 and has been our Customer Service Manager, and my boss, ever since. (FYI Walter, Publix moves their managers around like chess pieces, without the movement restrictions.) I liked K from the first…hard not to, she’s a stone sweetie. She’s also easy to work for, always fair and quick to help.)

But as I got to know her, and her me, we began to share things, mostly business but sometimes personal, and I became aware that she was a lot more than the usual Publix drone, of which we have several in our store. She was warm, she listened very, very well, she was smart and she wasn’t afraid to tell me when she thought I was full of shit. I could go to her with problems and know that they would be addressed, unlike many of her fellow managers, who promise to do something for you one minute and then forget who you are as soon as they turn away.

Katrina has never forgotten who I am or ever failed to keep her promises to me…even if I didn’t like her so damn much I would still respect her to breakfast and back. She’s never said this to me, but I’m pretty sure she feels the same way I do about “respect and like”…I don’t give a fuck if you like me, but I demand and will have, because I have earned it, your respect.

She has my wholehearted and unfailing respect.

(Every time I write the word “respect” these days I get this mental image of Aretha Franklin dressed in a waitress uniform dancing around a greasy spoon diner singing, “R-e-s-p-e-c-t, find out what it means to me”.)

She also has my deepest admiration, because she has trusted me enough to share with me some of her personal burdens, and I gotta’ tell you, Walt, this women is strength and patience personified. I could not do what she does, day in and day out…not even close. Nor could most people.

“Ms. Katrina”, as I’ve always called her, has my undying affection as well…it has been easy for me, given that she’s about the same age as my daughter, to have these “paternal” feelings towards her. With no condescension intended, I’m proud as hell of her and what she has accomplished, and continues to accomplish, in her life.

So, Walter, let’s you and me lift our glasses in a toast to a fine, beautiful, fun lady who is also one of the best bosses I’ve ever had…I’m gonna’ miss her like crazy.

Here’s to you, Ms. Katrina…coming to work will be just a little more difficult from now on.

Love and “so longs”,

Cap’n John

Post Script…Hey, CSM Lady, just go ahead and ignore me down the road…I know where 1513 is, you stinker.

Oh, and FYI, that guy below…that’s Walter.

DECISIONS, DECISIONS

Please note…Our regular (and only) contributor, Cap’n John Krissongs, is taking the day off for personal reasons. Cap’n John has informed us that he will be taking some time over the next few weeks to consider whether or not to continue his ongoing relationship with the WATRUK blog. Apparently, “the Cap’n” is thinking about hanging it up forever.

We wish Cap’n John the best of luck in whatever endeavor he chooses to pursue. And if he quits writing posts for our blog, we hope he gets a bad case of crotch lice.

The Editors

 

1600 WORDS AND NOT ONE MORE…I PROMISE

 

My very good friend Robin, who is also my frequent partner in crime, is a big fan of sloths.

The animal, not the sin.

Robin and I both work part-time for Publix Super Markets here on the Left Coast of Floriduh, her as a Cashier, said job title being self-explanatory, and myself as a Front Service Clerk, said job title needing clarification due to it being another example of Publix’ rampant corporatese…I’m a  “bagger”. (I’m surprised the geniuses over in Lakeland FL, where the home office is located, haven’t decided to call our cashiers “Electronic Scanning and Payment Clerks” or some such nonsense.)

Anyway, Robin and I have been working together for over five years now, and we’ve become great friends, which I firmly believe is a testament to her patience, forbearance and somewhat questionable taste, so last year, knowing of her affinity for the South American mammal, I bought her a stuffed animal sloth for her birthday, which she thought was adorable. (It was, I have to admit…of course, she thinks I’m adorable, which supports my earlier assertion regarding her taste.) The real ones? Not so much, and despite my friend’s insistence that they’re “cute”, I think they’re creepy as hell. (She will from time to time text me little cartoon pics of the hideous damned things, apparently with the intent of convincing me of their massive cuteness…sorry, doesn’t work.)

If you’ve never seen one, look to your right…yeah, that hairy thing with the large, dark eyes, fur that grows backwards (per WikiPedia), a Mo Howard haircut and the dopey expression on its face is a sloth. (My brother, the Pompous Ass, once dated a girl that looked suspiciously like one…he learned after they split up that she had been seeing an alpaca on the side. And he was my mother’s favorite.)

Sloths are known for, among other things, the extreme slowness of their movements…in French, they’re called paresseux, which translates to English as “hideous hairy things that hang upside down from trees like overripe fruit”. (Okay, it actually means “lazy”.) Their couldn’t-win-a-100-yard-dash-with-a-glacier movements are creepy enough, but Holy Coke Nails, Batman, how about those two-feet long claws? Eeeeyeeeew.

Creepy, I don’t care what Robin says.

As stated above, sloths are indigenous to Central and South America, and by no means are ever found in Canada.

The other thing you never find in Canada is black basketball players, at least none that are natives of our frost-bitten neighbor to the north.

This all came to me last week when, on an evening of having nothing better to do, I decided to watch some of the exploits of the 1992 American Men’s Olympic Basketball Team, the “Dream Team” as they were called, as they did their “Sherman’s March To The Sea” plundering of all the other competing teams in both the Tournament of the Americas, the Olympic qualifying competition for this side of the world, and the Olympics themselves; the NBA guys won every game they played by an average margin of fifty gazillion points, give or take a few bajillion.

The game I chose to watch was their second game of the T of the A against the team from Canada.

Now none of the teams in the qualifying tourneys or the Olympics themselves were bad teams…some of them were pretty damn good, especially the teams from Croatia and Lithuania, but they weren’t the Dreamers. (If you’re not familiar with the ’92 games, imagine the hordes of Genghis Khan invading a city protected by a bunch of middle-school kids armed with BB guns or David and Goliath, where David fucks up and leaves his slingshot in his other pants.)

Midway through the first quarter, with the Americans up by 156, the Canadian coach started sending in his bench guys, to give the starters a breather from the onslaught, and wait, what?, in comes a young man at the shooting guard position who is black.

A black Canadian basketball player? Oh no, I don’t think so. (There were only two on the team.)

To the best of my knowledge, there are no black people in Canada, anywhere. None…I looked. The kid was pretty good, made a couple of nice drives to the basket, played decent defense, but an African Canadian? Shit, that doesn’t even sound right for goodness sake.

Canada’s all-time greatest athlete is probably Wayne Gretzky, the Hall of Fame white guy hockey player, but as Michael Jordan remarked to comedian Bill Murray in the movie Space Jam, talking about Boston Celtic great Larry Bird, “Larry isn’t white, he’s transparent”. Thus Wayne Gretzky. I mean, people in Canada are WHITE. So I don’t know where this young man on the Canadian basketball team was REALLY from, but it wasn’t Toronto, believe me. (My thought is that the Maple Leaf Gang sent roundball spies south over the border into the United States to recruit players, and then gave each guy they signed to play a phony Canadian passport and a pet moose.)

Although the sloth is from the same family as the anteater, to the best of my knowledge they are not in any way related to moose.

!FLASH! !FLASH! !FLASH!

We interrupt this blog post to bring you a Breaking! News! Story! from the RUKME News Desk…

Dateline Planet Zatox

In a complete departure from anything that even begins to approach sanity, according to a recent opinion poll conducted by Politico/Morning Consult, 29% of Republican respondents believed that former and no longer President Donald Trump will be reinstated to the Presidency by August of this year. (In the State of Florida, pollers said this belief was to some degree predicated on the fact that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won Super Bowl XV back in January, proving conclusively that anything is possible.) 84% of the Democrats and just over 70% of independent respondents said that they thought the idea of Trump’s return to the White House was “nuts” or “bullshit”. In a follow-up question, 100% of the Republicans who believed in Trump’s reinstatement also said that the Dems and Indies were “stupid fucks” and that their opinions don’t count. When asked by RUKME Chief Political Correspondent Ben Tover about why the poll had a +/- accuracy factor of 10%, Politico President and CEO Count Em Again replied that “getting in and out of all those trailer parks safely hindered the accuracy of the poll results to some extent.”

More on this breaking story as it becomes available.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled column.

I am the frequent recipient of letters, emails, text messages, carrier pigeon notes and messages in a bottle, asking for advice and/or an opinion on any of a number of subjects, and I thought I would share with you some of the more pathetic, err, sorry, interesting of these missives.

 “deer scumbag:

                i hop yur prepard to dye you heathen asshole becus god is shirley gone to strike you ded very soon for yur pinko commy idees on that shitty blog thing you rite. yur a commy and a dickbrain and i hope you rott in hell, you shitbag. why don’t you move to canda or lithutia or one of thos other commy cuntrees? it’s riten in carpathians 15:52 that sloth is “the habitual disinclination to exertion” and you will be judgd harshly for yur actons. you prick we hatt you.

                som decnt god fering peepul in tenassee who luv donld trump”

Dear “Peepul”:

                Per Leviticus Chapter 18, Verse 23, Subsection 42(n), “Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it.” I hope this doesn’t mess up your love life. Or Mr. Trump’s, for that matter.

“Dear Cap’n John:

                Since you are the most intelligent and best-looking person in the known universe, I thought you might be able to answer this for me…is it true that your nickname is “Salami Boy”? No wait, that wasn’t my question…in attempting to determine the likelihood of Donald Trump being reinstated to the Presidency, is it true that the geometric probability density function builds upon the binominal distribution, thus making the value of x equal to pi R squared intrinsic? Or more easily stated, an ice-cube’s chance in hell? That sloths are cute? Please share your wisdom with us, Cap’n…is Donny on his way back to Washington?

                Mary the Mathematician From Maine”

Dear “Mary”:

                After much consideration and after consulting with the leading minds in American politics, I would have to say that the chances of Donald Trump being reinstated are two…no way and no how. Buh bye, Donny, you are seriously toast. And will he run in 2024? Well, he couldn’t win in ’20, so you wonder what makes him think he can win in ’24?

“Cap’n John:

               Is it true that you recently saw a panel truck parked in the lot at the Publix grocery where you work that had a sign on its side that said “Florida Keys” and then right underneath was painted, “Locksmith”?

                Connie From Underlocken Key FL”

Dear “Connie”:

               Yes, it’s true. (When questioned about the name, the owner of the vehicle/business said that he was surprised that no one else had ever thought of it previously as he incorporated in the State of Floriduh 15 years earlier when he started the company.)

“The habitual disinclination to exertion”? Boy, if that isn’t sinful it oughta’ be. Sounds like some of our fellow Publix associates, doesn’t it, Ms. Robin?

Love and capital sins,

Cap’n John

Post Script…I hope you folks are proud of me; I was under 1600 words this time (my self-imposed limit), unlike so many of my posts that seem to ramble on for days with no end in sight. I promise to do 

REMEMBERING

On this national holiday of Memorial Day, 2021…

In the Revolutionary War, it was:

                -Samuel Prescott, doctor

                -Andrew Sprole, merchant

                -Joseph Bowman, chandler

                -Simeon Wheelock, blacksmith

                -and 7,996 others.

In the War of 1812, it was:

                -Joseph Hamilton Daviess, attorney

                -William Sharp Bush, career Marine officer

                -Angus McDonald, farmer

                -William Whitley, farmer

                -and 2,256 others.

In the Civil War, it was:

                Charles Ellet Jr., civil engineer

                -Edward Dickinson Baker, attorney

                -Conrad Feger Jackson, businessman

                -Newton Spaulding Manross, engineer

                -Ormsby M. Mitchel, astronomer

                -and 214,933 others.

In the Spanish-American War, it was:

                -Dennis Mahan Michie, college instructor

                -Worth Bagley, mason

                -and 383 others.

In the First World War, it was:

                -Enoch Bagshaw, athlete

                -Robert S. Calvert, public official

                -Marshall Cornett, businessman

               -Abe Goff, attorney

               -Troy Houston Middleton, educator

               -William I. Traeger, policeman

               -Herbert Yardley, cryptologist

               -and 53,395 others.

In the Second World War, it was:

                -Michael Basca, football player

                -John Bushemi, photographer

                -George Lansing Fox, minister

                -Nelson Stuart Ray, actor

                -Ellen Ainsworth, nurse

               -Bernard Gavrin, machinist

               -and 291,551 others.

In the Korean War, it was:

                -Edward Clyde Benfold, grocery clerk

                -Jack Arden Davenport, boxer

                -Frances Hammond, nurse

                -Melvin C. Brown, mechanic

                -and 33,682 others.

In the Vietnam War, it was:

                -Loren D. Hagen, laborer

                -Robert W. Hartsock, career Army

                -Robert Carmody, athlete

                -Terrence Graves, teacher

                -and 47,420 others.

These thousands, these patriots, these American men and women, these soldiers, all died in the service of their country.

They died, they sacrificed their lives, so that the rest of us could enjoy the awesome beauty of freedom.

We are saddened, we are proud, we are grateful, we are humbled, as we should be.

We remember.

Love and thanks,

Cap’n John

 

ARE YOU THE OPPOSITE SEX OR AM I?

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!

For those readers of the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog who are squeamish about and/or uncomfortable with a frank and open discussion about, well, umm, sex, today’s post is all about, umm, sex.

And if recent activity is a criteria, than I am frankly not qualified to speak on this matter, not that I intend to let that stop me. I mean, if good taste and common sense aren’t enough to keep me from writing some of the shit that I write, then I see no reason to let forced-upon-me-by-circumstances celibacy be a deterrent either. Please be forewarned.

And much like the social media trolls that you frequently see and read online, screaming at the top of their lungs about subjects upon which they are “experts”, given their extensive “research” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I intend to expound largely, confident in my ignorance.

Despite my warning (above), something tells me that none of you have stopped reading…sluts.

Now before I get too far into today’s post, I need to pause for a moment and give a big shout-out to the Two Bandits, the Pixie Girl and Boogerbutt, my four young friends from the Publix grocery store where I work part-time, also and better known as Janessa and Maggie, Sarah and Janessa’s hubby Sean, who are headed for Alaska on a cruise next week…have fun, kids, be safe and, if you think of it, bring me back a penguin or an elk or an Eskimo or whatever. (Leave the Aurora Borealis there.)

(FYI, Aurora Borealis comes from the Inuktitut language and means “multiple orgasms”.)

Back to the subject matter at hand.

It was simple when I was young and still in my prime, which was just a few weeks after fire was discovered, because there were only two genders…female and other, and there was little debate about a person’s membership in either category; “females” knew they were “females” by equipment and temperament, and those of us who were in the “other” category knew who we were because the “females” told us, just before they said to shut up and go stand in the corner.

(Listen, I have NEVER won an argument with a woman…never. Women are not only better-looking than men, they’re smarter, have WAY more common sense, smell better and are all-around nicer people than their “other” counterparts.)

Now the sex part was a little more complicated than that I admit; I mean, there’s always been a whole lot more than the “missionary position” going on between people. Sure, we knew that some guys liked other guys, and some girls liked other girls and some guys liked hamsters but once we got past the Sexual Revolution in the ‘60s and gays and lesbians and McHamsterHeads began to come out of the closet and live among us openly, the majority of people got used to the idea and were mostly okay with it. (That’s not to discount the “haters”…I just don’t think they’re in the majority. Oh, and I’ll explain “McHamsterHeads” another time.)

Certainly for me it was pretty much, oh, what’s her name is a lesbian, no shit, really, hey, who do the Bears play this weekend?

It’s called priorities. I mean, if the only way a person can get off is to dress in a latex nun’s habit, put Wagner’s The Ride of the Valkyries on the stereo at about “9” volume in the background while he/she does disgusting things to their cat with a salad fork, it’s none of my business. Unless you’re using MY latex nun’s habit, then I might have something to say about the matter.

But these days, much to the bewilderment of someone my age (think tortoises or redwood trees), there are suddenly a lot more classifications of “gender” than there used to be, and lemme’ tell you, folks, I am some sorely confused.

Believe me, all this confusion hasn’t diminished my interest in ”sex”, but sadly, when it comes to women, I suspect I’m much like a dog chasing a car…if I caught one I wouldn’t know what to do with it. But for me, being in my declining years (oh please), it’s truly a comfort to be able to admire a beautiful, sexy woman without all the compulsion and “drive to reproduce” that I had when I was younger. Hey, don’t get me wrong, I’m not declaring myself a monk…given opportunity, sure. I mean, I’m old, not dead, okay?

But these days, it’s enough to admire a beautiful lady and appreciate her various “assets” without having to “slobber a bibful” watching her. (I have never been one of those guys who stare…they’re assholes.)

Now being one of the Internet’s top humor bloggers (per myself) is lots of fun, but it has responsibilities as well, one of which is leadership…my loyal readers (all several of you) look to me for answers, for guidance, and it has come to pass that I have received a number of letters, texts, DMs, emails, pre-and postcards, etc., asking me to clarify all the various “genders” that have sprung into existence over the past few years. This of course is much like asking a four-year old to give a detailed explanation of quantum mechanics, but hey, I’m game if you guys are.

FLASH! FLASH! FLASH!

We interrupt this blog post to bring you a Breaking! News! Story! from the RUKME News Desk…

Dateline LaLaLand CA

In an announcement that surprised most of the known world, former Bruce, once husband of Kris, father of Kendell and Kylie, stepfather (mother?) to all those moron Karhootzians and winner of the 1976 Olympic Decathlon as a man, Caitlyn Jenner came out of her political closet today and said she is running for Guber of California in the 2021 gubernatorial recall race. Jenner, who is a conservative, Christian, right-wing Republican and who believes that all women should have the “XY“ chromosome and be subservient to their husbands, has said publicly that she voted for former and no longer President Donald Trump in 2016, although voting records showed her casting no vote in the election, but that she now thinks he’s a flaming asshole and that she further supports same-sex marriages but does not believe that transgender girls should be allowed to compete in woman’s sports. When asked by RUKME Senior Political Correspondent Boy George if he supported Jenner’s candidacy, Mr. Trump stated that he thought Jenner “should grow a pair”. Mr. Trump then suggested that Correspondent George perform an unnatural act upon him/herself and walked away.

More on this breaking story as it becomes available.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled column.

So I thought for your general edification and amusement that I would share with you some of the more inane, uh, excuse me, interesting missives that I’ve received on this subject and my responses thereto.

~~~~~~~~~~

“Dear Cap’n John:

I don’t get all this hetero-, gay-, cis-, dis-, mis-, Lebanese, queer, trans, binary (oh good, like I wasn’t confused before, now there’s math involved), regular, extra-crispy, unleaded, geez, this list seems endless and I’m still back at “boys and girls”. Give us a show of your massive intellect, Cap’n, and explain all this crazy shit, would you?

A Swiss Cis Miss From Geneva”

Dear “Miss”:

            Okay, here goes:

            ~hetero= boy/girl, all OEM parts

            ~gay= boy/boy, all OEM parts

            ~bi= a word to say when leaving, as in “doe, a deer, a female, non-binary hetero cis deer”

            ~trans= six-speed on the new Chevrolet C8 Corvette, a car for which I would sacrifice a testicle, making me an old, cranky, hetero, binary, incel one ball male

            ~queer= no idea

            ~incel= typically a male hetero who, due to circumstances, such as most of them being roving assholes, is celibate involuntarily

~Lebanese= female person from Lebanon

~Symbionese= female person from Symbion

~Manganese= female person from Manga 

~cis= if your birth certificate says you’re a “male”, you have the XY chromosomes, the appropriate male equipment amidships and you identify as a “male”, you’re a “cis” male (that whole concept is almost as stupid as Donald Trump telling people to ingest bleach as a way to combat the coronavirus)

~binary (not “bi”)= is a number expressed in the base-2 numeral system, or third-and-long from the Bucs 43-yard line, tax, title and license not included

Well, “Miss”, I certainly hope this cleared up any confusion there might have been on your part; if not, just go with what feels right, or as Steven Stills once so succinctly put it, love the one you’re with.

~~~~~~~~~~

“Cap’n John:

            I’m an early-30s, recently divorced, hetero, binary, translucent, cis male that does not want to slip into being an incel; I would like to start dating again, but I’m not sure about partners. Should I be looking for a helio, binary, XX chromo female with a tendency to Lebaneseism or would a Snap-On CDI 3/8s Drive 10-80# Torque Wrench be more appropriate? Do you think it’s okay if she doesn’t have all OEM parts, like What’shername Jenner? Would that make me a binary, cis, 3rd Degree Black Belt homosexual? (Caitlyn says she likes girls, and I didn’t even know she was from Lebanon.)

            Anyway, thanks, Cap’n…you’re a lot nicer than that Berkowitz humor guy says you are.

            Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places”

Dear “Looking”:

            What weighs six ounces, sits in a tree and is dangerous as hell?

            A sparrow with a machine gun. (Gleefully stolen from the 1960s Batman movie.)

~~~~~~~~~~

“Doe a Deer Cap’n John:

            I’m a single, hetero, trapezoidal, binary cis female turret lathe operator in my late 20s, never married, but not a virgin, having had previous relationships with hetero binary males with OEM equipment, and I’ve always thought that was what I wanted. Lately though I’ve been getting these “urges” to seek out Lebanese, binary, lemon-flavored, cis females for some “girl on girl” action. I’m feeling a little guilty about this…I don’t want to betray my sister cisters and not be true to my real sexual identity, but there’s this really hot girl with a great butt in Accounting that I’d like to explore the Mariana Trenches with, if you get my drift.

            So here’s my question…does this make me Lebanese, or worse yet, a Republican?

            I Can Lick My Own Eyebrows Edna”

Dear “Eyebrows”:

            I once played in a band with a guy, our guitar player, who was convinced that if one of us would sit on the back of his neck, very gently but firmly, he would be able to bend down far enough to perform fellatio on himself.

            I’m not sure if that qualifies as “an unnatural act” but it’s gotta’ be in the ballpark. (I told him once that his problem wasn’t a lack of limberness but a deficiency in size…he didn’t think that was humorous.)

Well gang, I see from the word-counter thingie down in the lower left-hand corner of my monitor that I have, once again, blown right by my self-imposed limit of “x” words, rambling on like coked-up magpie on speed.

Tell the truth, it would have been okay with me if we had left this whole subject right where the little kid in the movie Kindergarten Cop left it…”Boys have a penis and girls have a Virginia”.

Unless they’re from Lebanon.

Love and hamsters,

Cap’n John

Post Script…I don’t know is this means anything, but a friend of mine tells me that he knows of an “adult toys” website that sells “personal lubricant” by the 55-gallon drum…I checked it out and he was right. Fifteen hundred bucks.

Order now and have it in time for Memorial Day picnics and 4th of July cookouts.

 

THANK YOU FOR COMING, OR HOWEVER IT WAS YOU REACTED

“Testing…testing…(turns away from microphone and speaks to person behind him sotto voce…yeah, and now we’ve got the Dumb and Dumber Roadshow going on with those two morons Greene and Gaetz)…testing, one (turns away again as the PA system lets out a loud squeal of feedback), two, three, ah, ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, I’d like to get started, so if you would, please find your seats, please, if you would, please find your seats, everyone, everyone please, can you please take your seats so we can get going, I have quite a number of items to cover today, please find your seats…thank you. Thank you. We have a full agenda of department reports today that I wasn’t able to get to during our last meeting, so without any further ado, I’ll get started.” (Sotto voce to the guy behind him again)…”Geez, what a bunch of douchebags…”

~From the An Explanation For My Readers In FL Department…

Just an FYI, but contrary to what some of you folks here in the Gunshine State might believe, sotto voce is actually Burmese for “alpaca spleens”; it is not some Liberal left-wing conspiracy motto endorsing pre-marital sex, gay marriage, defunding the police, blatant abuse of the welfare system, coming for your guns and/or rampant mopery.

And what an amazing happenstance, that FL (pronounced “fluh”, as in “duh”) is now home to both ex-, former and no longer President Donald Trump, and his Mini Me, Ron DeSantis; Governor DeSantis recently extended an invitation, to further enhance our great State’s reputation as a bastion of right-wing, conservative, god-fearing redneckness, to both William F. Buckley and Senator Joe McCarthy to move to FL and join in the festivities. According to several people in the capital at Tallahassee, Governor De was quite disappointed to learn that both Buckley and McCarthy are deceased. As in dead.

~From the My, What An Unusual Design That Is On Your Wall, Cap’n Department…

I made an interesting discovery the other day while I was eating dinner at my dining room table in my humble flat (average people have “apartments”; writers have “flats”) here on the Left Coast of Fluh, this while having a nice piece of filet of blobfish, some delicious homemade potato salad (not made by me, but by a friend…I cook like old people fornicate) and a very nice fresh ear of corn. To wit, if you have a mouthful of partially masticated corn kernels and suddenly have to sneeze, and for some reason my sneezes have become WAY more thunderous as I grow older, the resultant spray pattern can be quite decorative.

~From the Some Of Those Who Wander Are Not Lost Just Deeply Confused Department…

Am I the only one in the Universe that is concerned about a “wandering black hole” that was recently discovered by astronomers at the Center For Astrophysics and Other Totally Confusing Science Shit and reported in an article in the Astrophysical Journal? The apparently confused-about-where-it-lives region of compacted spacetime was spotted meandering through galaxy J0437+2456 (the name “Snickers” was suggested and rejected by scientists, saying that we have enough galaxies named for candy bars with the “Milky Way”…so was “Ford”, but that was vetoed as being too obvious) by astrophysicist Dominic Pesce, who was quoted in the article as saying, when questioned about just exactly where the hell Billy the Black Hole was headed, “The damn thing acts like a drunken Republican who can’t find his car in the parking lot of the strip joint he just left…it’s just wandering all over the place.”

Mr. Pesce went on to add that while most black holes are stationary, due to their size, weight and general lack of interest, this one, described as being “like a bowling ball that is several million times the mass of our Sun”, just seems to be “conflicted about where it wants to settle”. Fortunately for inhabitants of Planet Earth, Billy is over 230 million light-years away and is not likely to pose a threat to life here…at least not for another few weeks.

Governor DeSantis is said to be considering extending an invitation to Billy to move to Fluh and “join the festivities”.

~From the It’s A Way Better Name Than The 1910 Fruit Gum Company Department…

I recently went back and re-read author Dan Brown’s 2003 massive bestseller The Da Vinci Code (hey, even sea captains occasionally need some “light” entertainment, and despite the very improbable storyline, it is a great tale) and re-discovered the scene where the assistant Bad Guy, an albino quasi-Catholic monk named Silas (oh sure, Dan, that’s not improbable) has removed his cowled robe in the privacy of his cubicle for the purposes of self-flagellation as penance for his earlier in the evening cold-blooded murder of FIVE innocent people (Holy Grail, Batman) and is now clad only, in Mr. Brown’s words, in a “loin swaddle”. (Apparently Opus Dei, a Roman Catholic sect of which Silas is a member and is described in real life by many as a “bunch of right-wing religious conservative nutjobs” has banned their “monks” from wearing either a thong or bikini briefs under their robes.)

And it struck me, like Muhammad Ali partying with Sonny Liston, that “Loin Swaddle” would be a great name for a rock band.

As an addendum to the above, The Da Vinci Code is not considered appropriate reading for Republicans, as Da Vinci was gay. In an inadvertent nod to the “cancel culture” people, Fluh Governor DeSantis recently asked the State Legislature to introduce, consider and pass a bill naming Bronwyn R. Peabody as the true artist responsible for painting the Mona Lisa.

FLASH! FLASH! FLASH!

We interrupt this blog post to bring you a Breaking! News! Story! from the RUKME News Desk…

Dateline Menlo Park CA

In a flip-the-bird gesture to both ex-, former and no longer President Donald Trump and Facebook founder and chief gutless coward Mark Zuckertoots, the Facebook Oversight Board for Rubber-Stamping Everything Mark Does actually grew a pair recently and upheld the ban from the social media platform that was imposed on Trump for inciting the January 6th insurrection and attempted seizure of our nation’s Capital. The Board gave Mr. Zuckertoots six months to respond and either lift the ban or have Mr. Trump permanently banished. (One Board member suggested having Mr. Trump taken out and flogged.) When asked by Chief Fluh Correspondent Coral Gables about the decision, Governor Ron DeSantis said that it “was an affront to Mr. Trump’s 1st Amendment rights”. When further questioned by Ms. Gables about his own flouting of the 1st Amendment by his excluding all media other than the Trump fave Fox & Friends program from a recent bill-signing event, the governor glared at Ms. Gables, gave her the finger and stormed off the podium.

More on the breaking story as it becomes available.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled column.

~From the They Must Have An “11” on Their Volume Knob Department…

For the entirety of my misspent youth, our family resided in Northern Illinois, home of Al Capone, the Chicago Bears (“Da Bears”), one of America’s first amusement parks, Riverview Park, built in 1904, at that time the world’s tallest building, the Sears Tower, Chicago-style hot dogs (NO KETCHUP!) and periodic visitations, every 17 years to be precise, of the Cicadoidea, or as they’re more commonly referred to, those noisy little fuckers. (In a parody of the state slogan “Land of Lincoln”, my old man always called Illinois the “Land of Gangsters”…I was never really sure exactly what he meant by that, but Dad’s good sense could always be called into question for having married my mother, which did keep me from being a bastard, so there’s that.)

My first experience with cicadas was in 1956 (full disclosure…I was five) and even at that tender age, I can still recall the mess and the ungodly cacophony produced by their arrival. Again in ’73 another “brood”, as they’re called, hatched in Illinois, and I clearly remember that fiasco. In addition to shedding their “nymphal skin” (see photo) which produces an incredible mess on the ground, considering that each brood consists of gazillions of the little fuckers, the males also “sing” to the females in an attempt to convince the ladies to engage in making whoopee with them. And always at night, and believe me, you get several BILLION of the things all singing “Let’s Get Physical” at the same time…well, according to the article in today’s Tampa Bay Times, the noise level at its loudest has been measured at 105 decibels, or dB; to put that in perspective, a 747 taking off right over your head is about 110 dB, give or take a chirp or two.

So here we are in the Year of Our Ford 2021 and my old friends the cicadas are due back across the Mid-Atlantic states this summer (thankfully not in Fluh), bringing with them used exoskeletons, those hideous red eyes and that awful noise.

To all my readers in that area, a note of caution…don’t stand still outside; cicadas climb anything vertical.

~From the Did You Know That Republicans Backwards Is Snacilbupers Department…

I saw an advertisement featuring LPGA golfer Paige Spiranac the other day on the Sports page of Yahoo.com, and it struck me (see Ali/Liston above) that if you read her last name backwards, it’s Canarips, and then for a devastating right/left combo, if her last name was Nroconac, it would be Canocorn backwards. (I wonder if Paige has ever sneezed a big mouthful of corn all over her dining room wall…me neither. Oh wait…)

~From the Happy Mother’s Day 2021 Department…

To all my fans who indulge in this pastime, Happy Mother’s Day. And to my mother, who is no longer with us, due to an untimely demise, as I suspect it was in her mind at least, thank you for the outstanding job you did raising me…I turned out awesome.

Ladies and gentlemen, and that stretches either term in some cases, thank you for your attendance and your attention today.

Love and blobfish,

Cap’n John

MEETING OF THE MIND

“Testing…testing…(turns away from microphone and speaks to person behind him sotto voce…yeah, and thank you DOJ for finally going after that roving asshole Rudy Giuliani)…testing, one (turns away again as the PA system lets out a loud squeal of feedback), two, three, ah, ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, I’d like to get started, so if you would, please find your seats, please, if you would, please find your seats, everyone, everyone please, can you please take your seats so we can get going, I have quite a number of items to cover today, please find your seats…thank you. Thank you. We have a full agenda of department reports today that I need to share with all of you, so without any further ado, I’ll get started.” (Sotto voce to the guy behind him again)…”Geez, what a bunch of douchebags…”

~From the Where’s the Little Blonde Girl from Poltergeist When You Need Her? Department…

For the three or four of you who read the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog regularly, you might recall that back on March 21st of this year I notified all of you that “your Cap’n” was taking a vacation, and would return, tentatively, on April 1st. Good thing I made it tentative, because I blew right through 4/1 on the calendar, it being at once too soon to return, due to “writer burnout”, as well as April Fool’s Day, which by the way is now a state-wide holiday in GA, SC, AL, KY (home of the famed Jelly) and my home state, FL. (“FL” is pronounced “fluh” as in “duh”.)

(FYI, I’m aware that saying that I was afflicted with “writer’s burnout” credits me with considerably more talent than that to which I am entitled.)

Anyway, “I’m baaaack…”.

(I just discovered that the actual quote was “They’re HERE“, not “They’re back.”)

(Shit.)

~From the Or Maybe Eustace Department…

I did a lot of pondering during my hiatus, having no other really pressing matters to which I needed to attend, and one of the things I pondered on was how much more interesting my life might have been if my given name had been “Lalo” rather than “Cap’n”. (For the people in the above-mentioned states, that was a play on words…see, my first name is really John, but since my title comes before my name, some people, like you folks, might think that the name my parents gave me was actually “Cap’n”, which it wasn’t. I hope this clears up any confusion on your part. And yes, my parents were married, to each other.)

~From the Too Bad She Forgot the Pepto Department…

Recently I was standing at the back end of Checkout Lane #2 at the Publix Super Market located here on the Left Coast of Fluh where I am employed part-time as a Front Service Clerk (translation from Publix Corporatese: “bagger”), chatting with my cashier bud Rita during a brief lull in the hostilities, when I look up and see this women coming down the main cross-aisle with a full head of steam and a look of determination on her face, headed for the checkouts. When she gets to #2, she hangs a hard left into the lane and promptly deposits two items on the conveyor belt…a large can of Hormel’s Hot Chili and a four-pack of Charmin toilet paper.

Although Rita and her hubby Dennis (another Publix associate of ours and a great guy) have lived here in Fluh since ’89, she has never lost her NYC Brooklyn accent, or attitude. Best way to describe it? Picture Marisa Tomei in her role as Mona Lisa Vito in the movie My Cousin Vinny, thirty years later…sounds exactly like her. She is about as tall as a fourth-grader, has an impudent little smile that breaks me up whenever she flashes it and might weigh 100 pounds with a full meal in her stomach.

So Rita/Lisa and I exchange “looks”, and I can tell she’s thinking the exact same thing I’m thinking, which is, geez, lady, if you know it’s going to be so bad that you need a quad of TP to handle the aftermath, maybe you should just skip the Hormel’s and go for something a little less explosive.

What made it even funnier was the nonchalant way she approached the whole transaction, like, hey, I’m gonna’ head home, suck down this big can of intestinal rocket fuel and then wait a couple of hours and see what develops.

I live for bagging groceries.

~From the Adventures From the World of the Hearing-Challenged or Sorry, That’s the Wrong End Department…

And speaking of names (go back a couple of departments), I’ve been thinking for some time now about changing mine to Deafasa Post, which I am. Being “hearing-challenged” is a major pain in the ass, let me tell you; that said, it’s no big deal. It is embarrassing sometimes, but It’s not painful, it’s not debilitating, it’s not fascist, it’s just an effing nuisance. I mean, I’m ashamed to be considered as having a “disability” when I think of all the poor folks out there dealing with blindness or being wheelchair-bound or whatever. Yeah, it sucks, but compared to Stage Four cancer of the uvula, things could be a lot worse.

Despite the obvious drawbacks to being Deafasa Post, my hearing limitations have caused me to chuckle ruefully (oh my) from time to time.

Case in point: the other night I was watching the movie IT! The Terror From Beyond Space (oh yeah, LUV the old ‘50s sci-fi flicks, the really awful ones, like I Was A Teen-Aged Werewolf or I Was A Teen-aged Frankenstein or I Was A Teen-aged Turret Lathe Operator…after a bowl or two and a big glass of wine, they’re so camp they’re hilarious) and in that early part of the movie where they’re making you hate the bad guy by telling you all the shitty things he/she has done, there’s this scene where one of the “good guy” characters shows the “Bad Guy” a skull with an obvious bullet-hole in the temporal lobe. (Don’t ask about how the bullet-hole got there or how I knew it was the temporal lobe…it’s not important.) So of course the Bad Guy character has to say, just in case anyone in the audience wasn’t perceptive enough to know what it was, “It’s a bullet hole”.

Not to my hearing-challenged ears it wasn’t; I would have sworn on my autographed copy of Hamlet (alas, poor Yorick) that the Bad Guy said “butthole”…honest.

Having a totally and typically “guy” sense of humor, of course I thought that was hysterical.

!FLASH !FLASH !FLASH

We interrupt this blog post to bring you a Breaking! News! Story! from the RUKME News Desk…

Dateline New York NY

In response to the service and execution of several Department of Justice Federal warrants to search both his home and his office, Attorney (using the term very loosely) Rudy Giuliani said in a press conference today that since former and no longer President Donald Trump was actually re-elected last November and therefore still President and since he was in fact still Mayor of New York City as well, that he was not subject to the jurisdiction of the DOJ and that they could take their warrants and have them probated and notarized for all he gave a shit, just after Federal Marshalls were seen leaving his residence and office with wheelbarrows full of evidence. Before Senior RUKME Correspondent Forest Fire, who is the head of RUKME’s Granola Department (Fruits/Nuts/Flakes), was able to question Mr. Giuliani further, the former chief Trump lickspittle (good word, huh?) lurched ahead and continued, saying that he was merely tucking his pants back in and was in no way getting ready to release his Italian Stallion on the allegedly 15-year old young lady in the hotel room with him in that movie. And that we should beware of alien abduction. Mr. Giuliani then turned from the podium, muttering something that sounded to Correspondent Fire like “truck pew”, and walked off.

More on this breaking story as it becomes available.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled column.

~From the Thank You Very Little Department…

Big THANK YOU SHOUT OUT to all the citizens of the great state of KY, for first of all giving us your great Jelly, although I have little cause to use it these days, given my forced-upon-me-by-circumstance celibacy, unless I’m lubing a stuck zipper that I can’t get up. (Did that sound mildly disgusting, or was it just me?) And second, for being the state that sent two of the most reprehensible douche-bags in this country to our national Senate, Mitch “Lickspittle #2” McConnell and Rand “I Am The Lord of All I Survey” Paul. Boy, I thought the people in Fluh were stupid, but that takes the word to another stratosphere altogether.

Lubing a zipper that is stuck open (or closed for that matter) with KY Jelly is a company-tested and approved “alternative” usage for this product. Please read the label for further company propaganda.

~From the Cheer Up, Things Could Be Worse, So I Cheered Up and Sure Enough, They Got Worse Department…

How do I know when things have gone from bad to ballistically stupid? Give you an example…

I was watching a video on YouTube on my desktop the other evening (1958’s I Was A Teen-aged Hog Farmer), leaning back comfortably in my recently purchased high-back office chair, feet up on the little foot-rest I have under my desk, sipping a beverage and mostly content with the world, when my stomach starting giving little (not so) signs of imminent rebellion and I thought to myself, since I can’t think to you because I’m not telegenic, uh-oh, this might be ugly, given the Hormel Chili, broccoli and frijoles casserole I had earlier in the evening for dinner, and sure enough, just like night after day or asshole after Republican, here it comes, a 20-megaton blast of such intensity that I felt my eyes watering and my olfactory nerves leaving immediately on vacation…it was Hello Boys, Damn the Torpedos, Full Speed Effluvium, so bad in fact that after about 30 seconds, I had to leave the room to seek oxygen in a larger supply elsewhere and then I started sputtering from the horrible odor now swirling about my entire apartment which of course turned into a coughing fit and I started to choke and I couldn’t get my breath so I stumbled over to the front door and somehow managed to get the chain-lock off and the deadbolt opened, threw open the door and stumbled out on the porch that I share with my neighbor, who heard me dying through his door and came out to see what was going on and he says, seeing my extreme distress, maybe I should call an ambalance (his term) for you to which I thought, oh, thank you, Mr. Obvious Man, for clearing that up for me and yes, please call an ambalance immediately so he did and the EMS guys arrived in a few minutes but by then I was pretty much done coughing other than some small fits and starts so the one EMS guy, who I knew from my bagger’s job at Publix says do you still want to go to the hospital and I said no, I’m fine, no need and he says well, okay, but we still have to charge for the call and I grimaced and asked stupidly, how bad? and he says, well, since I know you I’ll give you our Guy We Know Discount of 25% which will knock it down to just under the national debt of Uruguay and I said geez, I hope my insurance will cover that and he laughed derisively and responded good luck, bagger boy so they left and the next day I called my insurance company and they laughed too so now I’m out the all that money for the ambalance call and, well, buttholes.

Ladies and gentlemen, and that should cover most of you, thank you for your attention today.

Love and Maalox,

Cap’n John

Post Script…Sorry, I was a little long today, a phrase I have never had occasion to use previously, in any manner whatsoever.

RUNNIN’ ON EMPTY

Well, maybe not right down on “E”, but gettin’ close.

Effective immediately, your favorite Cap’n, namely yours truly, is on vacation. 

I need a break.

Current planned return date is April 1, or April Fool’s Day, whichever comes first.

In the meantime, so as not to disappoint my loyal readers (all several of you), here’s a recent post from the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog that should tide you over until I return. (Also please note that there are over 140 previous posts listed under “Sailing The High Seas With The Cap’n” that you can peruse as well…the collected wisdom and wit of Cap’n John Krissongs.)

From 11/20 of last year, here is I WHY WHY WHY WHY WONDER.

See you soon…

Love and time off,

Cap’n John

SO WHO KNEW GROCERY STORES COULD BE THIS FUNNY?

(Editor’s note: Today’s post is dedicated to what I hope is a new fan for Cap’n John, a smart, savvy, hard-working young associate of mine at a Publix grocery store here on the West Central coast of Floriduh, home of the Super Bowl LV winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers and frozen iguanas that fall out of trees and bonk you on the head (see CHICKEN OF THE TREES…I GET LETTERS_VOL VI). In addition to all the above smart, savvy stuff, she’s also a Major Cutie. Ms. Julia, this one is for you.)

So there I was, deep in the throes of summer in the Year of Our Covid 2020, with time on my hands and thoughts of literary fame (and riches) on my mind, when I said to myself, there being on one else here at the time, self, you should write a book. (On a personal note, being a) old, b) almost 90% deaf, c) a person who lives alone and d) old, I not only talk to myself at home, I answer myself…oh yeah, I have whole conversations about shit, and you know what? I’m a really interesting person to talk to.)

Anyway, last summer I thought that I would write a book about my experiences at the Publix Super Market where I have my other part-time job (aside from being the Captain and Master of the R U Kidding) as a Front Service Clerk. (Not sure who does Rear Service, and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know.) Now “FSC” is nothing more than Publix’ corporate jargon for “bagger”…27 bucks worth of title for a three dollar job. And in the process of bagging people’s groceries, and no, most of us don’t ask “paper or plastic” anymore (although every now and again one of our cashiers will ask a customer “Is plastic okay?” and mostly they say yes, to which I always mutter under my breath, down at the far end of the conveyor/checkout lane, good, ‘cause that’s what you’re getting), helping them out to their car, bringing in carts off the lot and running errands around the store, I hear a lot of funny stories and see a lot of things that make me laugh. (We have a lady who comes in frequently who has a third eye in the middle of her forehead…she always makes me laugh. NOT BECAUSE OF HER THIRD EYE, FOR CRISSAKE, SHE’S A LOCAL COMEDIAN…YOU GUYS ARE AWFUL.)

So I sat down and starting making notes about all the funny shit I’ve seen at the store or things I’ve learned about the company in the almost five years I’ve been working there, the stories of knocked-down midgets (sorry, Vertically Challenged Persons), lost hearing aids, chicken pot pie being three of my favorite things, Bird’s Eye Frozen Llama Spleens, pitchforks on Aisle 9, three-legged pigs, the reason why the Diary Department is always at the back of a grocery store (pretty simple really…they keep the cows in back), what the term “BOGO” REALLY means, and it’s not anatomically impossible, believe me, ESOP’s Fables and lots of other amusing anecdotes about life on the cutting edge of canned corn. (No, I didn’t misspell Aesop…Employee Stock Ownership Plan.)

I did a bunch of research and learned tons of interesting things about Publix, its origins, their corporate structure, their management and their claim of being “a great place to work” (to which, every time I hear this bit of propaganda around the store, I typically think to myself, yeah, compared to the salt mines in Siberia or being the guy at the zoo who has to give the hippos an enema, yeah, for sure) and other fascinating bits of trivia, to further enhance the stories and tales of Shoppers Gone Wild in the Meat Department.

I also expose to the world for the first time stories of Publix managers who sell and use drugs, dangerous chemicals like STP and AARP, orgies back in the Produce Department (“hand me a cuke, Farmer Bob, I’m going back to the farm”), of corporate corruption and malicious mopery, of multiple charges of senior abuse, of which I personally have been a victim (I asked the Store Manager the other day if he felt bad about making an old guy like me work so damn hard, and he said no, then I asked the Customer Service Manager and our Team Leader the same question, and they both said no) and other reports of fuckery so dire as to defy description.

Of course, none of these claims are even remotely true (well, I did ask my bosses about the “hard work” thing and that is how they answered) nor in any way accurate; I’d call them “bare-faced lies” but I’m wearing my mask right at the moment. No, I was just emulating our former President…

FLASH! FLASH! FLASH!

We interrupt this blog post to bring you a Breaking! News! Story! from the RUKME News Desk…

Dateline Mar-Ma-Lardo Resort, Palm Beach FL

At a bizarre press conference held in the ornate and completely tasteless Men’s Room of this posh resort, a spokesperson for the loser of the November 2020 Presidential election, Donald “No Longer Tweety Bird” Trump, today announced that a new foundation dedicated to political chicanery and named for the country’s Big Liar will soon open its doors here in Florida. The Donald Trump Memorial Home for Chronic Liars and School of Spin and Hype will begin operations just as soon as a few wealthy suckers, sorry, donors can be found to pony up the necessary money to establish the foundation, said CEO Jay Walke, and that the DTMHCLSSH should be profitable immediately, given all the goofs that will rush to part with their money in return for the bragging rights of having an affiliation with the former President. When asked by RUKME Florida Correspondent Coral Gables if the now ex-President would be teaching at the school, given his complete and utter inability to ever tell the truth about anything, Mr. Walke gave Ms. Gables the finger and ended the press conference.

More on this breaking story as it becomes available.

We now return you to you regularly scheduled column.

I haven’t actually decided if I’m going to publish “Paper Or Plastic: Tales From the Checkout Lanes” or not, since it’s going to cost some money to produce and promote, but I’m giving the idea careful consideration. (The R U Kidding is currently suffering from a severe case of pecuniary strangulation.) If some wealthy sucker, excuse me, “patron of the arts” would like to “donate” the money to cover the start-up/advertising costs in return for a miniscule percentage of the profits (like .25%), or I could get lucky and catch a publishing house in a weak moment, that would be great…contact me at your convenience.

So without any further ado, here’s a brief excerpt from “Tales”, taken from Chapter Three, “IF THEY’RE ISLES, HOW COME THEY’RE NOT SURROUNDED BY WATER? OH, AISLES, SORRY.”

Please let me know what you think…about the excerpt, I mean.

“Being a very neat and organized person (anal retentive), I find myself almost constantly picking up things and returning them to their proper place in and around the store; it’s something I got from my old man, who always told me that I was welcome to use his tools any time I wanted, but heaven help me if I didn’t put them back where they belonged. (My parents moved our family several times when I was a kid…it was only the last time that they didn’t tell me where they were going.)

I was walking through the store one day recently when I saw an “abandoned” cart sitting, alone and forlorn, in the middle of one the aisles…some customer had probably left it and departed the store without buying anything or one of our stock guys had been using it and had forgotten to return it to the lobby just inside the front door where they’re kept. No big deal, but it looks, I don’t know, unorganized and it blocks easy passage up and down the lane (anal retentive). As I always do when I find one of these misplaced carriages, I grabbed it and began rolling it back up where it belongs, like Jennifer Warnes and Joe Cocker did in “An Officer and A Nuclear Physicist”.

As I was walking down #3 (canned goods, International items, pasta and chain saws), I heard someone behind me call my name. (Surprised I heard them.) I was just at the end of the aisle and about to come to the “T” with the main aisle that runs across the width of the store just in front of the checkout lines and, since there aren’t any stoplights to govern the flow of traffic at that intersection and since I was looking behind me to see who had called my name, I bumped into something moving crossways to me. I quickly jerked my head back around to see what I had hit, but there wasn’t anyone there, just a cart half-full of groceries.

Then I looked a little closer and realized what I had done…I had bumped into this little guy that was, well, let’s just say he was “vertically challenged”, shall we? (Back in the days before we all became so incredibly PC, he would have been referred to as a “midget” or “dwarf”.) I had knocked him spang onto the floor, and there he was, struggling to get back on his feet.

I hurried around the carts to help him up, apologizing profusely as I did.

“Sir, sir, I am sooo sorry; are you hurt? Are you okay?” I asked the tiny man. I felt really terrible.

“Well,” he says, looking up at me, “I’m not happy.”

“Oh,” I said, “so which one are you?”

Hey, Julia, Nick says hi.

Love and Pulitzers,

Cap’n John

Post Script…the “tiny man” story (above) was gleefully stolen from comedian Larry the Cable Guy.

ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T GETTING ANY, AND I DON’T MEAN ADVICE_VOL XVI: THE MARTIAN EDITION

Back in the mid-60s, when I was still a mere lad, spending my days learning to play the drums, trying to keep my head above the sucking quagmire that was an all-boys Catholic high school, pursuing carnally any number of nubile young ladies with little (no) success, much like a dog chasing a car, knowing that if I caught one, I wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway, somewhere along the line I stumbled onto the wide, diverse and fascinating world of science-fiction, specifically in the person of author Robert Heinlein and his opus, Stranger In A Strange Land.

This brilliant, wonderful, incredible book told the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human being born of human parents while they were enroute onboard the torchship Envoy with three other married couples to the planet Mars, to start and populate history’s first Earth colony on the Red Planet. Smith’s mother dies in childbirth and his father is killed soon after his birth (no, I’m not going to give you details…read the book) and VMS was subsequently raised by Martians, in the Martian tradition and in Martian customs, and believe me, according to Heinlein, the Martians didn’t do ANYTHING like Earth people do. Hell, they didn’t even have sex, although if a celibate life was the only criteria, I would have been declared an extraterrestrial years ago. (Life indeed seems to come full circle…I wasn’t getting any back then, and I’m still not.)

My all-time favorite fictional character came from SIASL, Dr. Jubal Harshaw, who was at once a medical doctor, a lawyer, a best-selling author of “pulp fiction”, a bon vivant, an “old-fashioned gentleman, which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-bitch when it suits me”, and one of the most logical persons to ever draw imaginary breath. The lessons I learned from Heinlien via the good Doctor are manifest, and after all these many years, still abide with me today.

This was my intro into the fictional world of the our next-store neighbor in the solar system, the fourth planet from the Sun, and in subsequent years, Planet Mars managed to come up on my ”art” radar with some frequency. Edgar Rice Burroughs and his brilliant if rather overwrought Barsoom series of Captain John Carter, the Warlord of Mars. Issac Asimov’s The Martian Way, Ray Bradbury and his Martian Chronicles, an earlier Heinlein novella called Double Star, which was amazing, a page-turner and way too short in my opinion. In the movies Flash Gordon went to Mars to fight the evil Emperor, Ming the Merciless (which was how I referred to my mother any time she was on my case for whatever stupid shit I was up to), Arnold Schwarzenpoopen had a fantasy trip to the Red Planet go ALL sideways on him, Matt Damon was stranded and lonely there, the lone survivor of the first manned mission to Mars returned to Earth with IT! The Terror From Beyond Space secretly stowed away onboard the rescue ship and John Carter befriended an eight-foot tall green guy with six arms, tusks and a very poor attitude and they proceed to clout the bejeezus out of the alien bad guys who were Republicans and trying to take over the planet. I thought the Warner Brothers cartoon character Marvin the Martian and the “ack-ack” leader of the Martian hordes in Mars Attacks were hilarious and that Mars: Bringer of War from Gustav Holst’s jaw-dropping suite The Planets was dark, foreboding, martial in the extreme and beautiful (listening as I’m writing this).

I’ve been up to my gunwales (armed crustaceans) with Mars and its referents for lo these many years, and now, for the second time in my life, humans have done the unbelievable and have landed a vehicle on Mars. Like the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel, the light bulb, the microchip, pizza and apple fritters, our first manned trip to the moon and Viagra, getting to Mars is one of those events in human history that is really too large, too impactful and just too mind-boggling to comprehend completely.

It is earth-shaking (or Mars-shaking if you rather), astounding, awe-inspiring and as amazing as, to quote the imminent Dr. Harshaw again, “the time my two-headed uncle came out in favor of the gold standard and then refuted himself”.

Mars rover Perseverance (which I learned just now was nicknamed by the NASA/Jet Propulsion Lab folks “Percy”) landed on the 4th Planet on February 18th of this year, the second rover to do so, after its predecessor Curiosity blazed the trail back in 2012, and the resulting photographs and videos from the surface of Mars are some of the most fantastic images I have ever seen…think of it: those photos and movies came to us from ANOTHER PLANET. I keep trying to wrap my mind around this fact and I struggle. (All comments about that being a function of a feeble brain rather than the enormity of the event will not be tolerated by management.)

I mean, watching those guys from Apollo 11 take “giant steps” and prance around the surface of the Moon was a once-in-a-lifetime happening, but the Moon is a mere 237,000 miles away; I saw that monster outfielder from the Yankees, Aaron Judge, hit a home run outta’ Yankee Stadium last year that I’m pretty sure got real close to lunar orbit.

But this, this is MARS! No Aaron Judge homer, no chip-shot by Tiger Woods (hope he’s okay), no Washington throwing a rock across the Delaware River, no baby, this was 136,890,000 miles from Terra, and that’s no trip down to the corner 7-11 for a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread and a six-pack of condoms, believe me.

FLASH! FLASH! FLASH!

We interrupt this blog post to bring you a Breaking! News! Story! from the RUKME News Desk…

~Dateline Mar-Ma-Lardo Resort, Palm Beach FL

In a stunning display of ineptitude and self-delusion, former and no longer President Donald “Tweety Bird” Trump today signed and released a series of executive orders to the Vice Chief of Space Operations of the United States Space Farce, er, sorry, Force, General David S. Thompson, involving troop movements, strategic issues, contingency plans and how to properly use the Flash Gordon Secret Message Decoder Ring that is issued to all troops upon sign-up with the elite force, and further named Mr. Trump’s new BFF, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, as the Head Space Cadet. When asked via email by Sunshine State Correspondent Talla Hassee by what authority he took this action, ex-President Trump responded that since he had actually won the election back in November of 2020, a lie that only those persons with the IQ of room temperature still believe, he felt that it was his duty to act to protect the people of Earth from the eminent danger from invading hordes of native Martians. He further promised to build a wall around the planet and make the Martians pay for it. He then signed the massage as the Supreme Commander of the Universe and attached a photo of himself in his spiffy SCofU uniform (see above).

More on this breaking story as it becomes available.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled column.

As my devotees have increased from three to four and my fame as one of the most-followed humor bloggers on the Internet and lifelong Mars enthusiast spreads, I frequently receive letters, emails, texts, smoke signals and Flash Gordon Secret Message Decoder Ring messages from entities all over outer space, asking for advise on that solar system-wide problem of how to deal with the opposite sex, even when there’s more than one. I thought to share a number of the more pathetic, excuse me, interesting of them with you, my loyal readers…

“Rt5j TT 56{{hx RRRRRj:

                Cq<tftftf g57& wf**, oh sorry, I forgot, you don’t speak Martian. Anyway, I’m Commander of Flying Saucer X-2, and despite my lofty position in the Martian Air Force, I’m having trouble finding a suitable mate with whom I can cohabitate and ultimately have and hatch dozens of little Martianettes. The naggrets (that’s Martian for “female”) that I seek must be short, dark, possess no mouth as I do, be no more than 91.44 centimeters tall and have all the requisite naggrets parts arranged nicely, if you get my drift. I’ve tried interstellar singles bars, Church of Two Moons socialables, I even went to a banth roast that was thrown by my local Burroughs Society chapter, but nothing. Any ideas on where in the system the only guy in the MAF that has made the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs can find a Princess Leia?

                Marvin the Martian, Commander, FS X-2”

Dear “Marvin”:

                There’s a place called Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine that is supposed to have some hot action, or so I hear. I mean, I don’t know that personally, never been there…I’m still nursing a crush on Carrie Fisher in that curly metallic bikini thing she wore in Star Wars: Cosmic Beach.

“Dear Cap’n John:

                Captain John Carter here…need some man-to-Warlord advice; what the hell do I need to do to impress Princess Dejah Thoris that I’m the Earthling she needs? Geez, this woman is like a rock…I’ve fought the Tharkian hordes to save her butt not once, but TWICE, I’m devilishly handsome, I can leap 50 feet in the thin air of Barsoom and have the largest “sword” on the planet. I need some ideas on how to soften up Ms. Daddy Is The Ruler of the Planet and maybe become the Royal Consort; whatta’ think, Cap’n?

                Captain John Carter, CSA”

Dear “Captain Carter”:

                Hey, if the Martian Ice Queen isn’t receiving your deep-space transmissions, forget her…I hear Sola the Thark has a MAJOR crush on you, and sure, she has six arms, but she’s hot like a solar flare.

“Dear John Cap’n Krissongs:

                We can’t understand why you continue to ignore our requests for payment on this debt…”

Ahh, never mind that one.

I’m all out of space (get it, “space”, bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha) for any more letters today, according to the atomic word-counter thingie down in the left-hand corner of my monitor.

I’ll leave you with one more quote from Dr. Harshaw…

“Human bipolarity is both the binding force and driving energy for all human behavior, from sonnets to nuclear equations. If any being thinks that human psychologists exaggerate on this point, let it search Terran patent offices, libraries and art galleries for creations of eunuchs.”

“…to boldly go where no man has gone before…”

Love and rockets,

Cap’n John

Post Script…hey, Han, I hate to break your heart, but a “parsec’ is a measurement of distance, not time, you space-dweeb. Geez, how did Leia ever manage to fall for you?