ALL OF THE NEWS, SOME OF THE TIME, OCCASIONALLY_VOL XII

Now one thing you have to understand about Florida, or as I like to call it Floriduh, is that it’s the retirement capital of the known universe (aside from being the Covid-19 capital of the world as well, and thank you, Governor DeSantis), maybe only superseded in its number of “senior citizens” by Arizona and Lower Botswana. Truth is, we are up to our gunwales (armed crustaceans) in old people, awash in wrinkles, skin tags, walkers and hearing aids. I was 64 when I first came to the Gunshine State a few years ago, and my arrival down here lowered the state median age by a considerable margin.

Think old people…lots and lots and lots of old people. A place where if you could land an exclusive Ensure franchise you’d make a fortune.

I see lots of my fellow “seniors” every day at my part-time job as a bagger at a Publix grocery store here in the wilds of West Central Floriduh, so I get a first-hand view of this phenomena. I was standing at the back of the checkout line one day recently, waiting for the next item going up for bid, when this elderly couple toddled up with their basket of carefully chosen groceries. (I had noticed them when they first walked in the store, and it had only taken these two octogenarians 45 minutes to pick out eleven items.)

We weren’t particularly busy that day, and one of the little courtesies we do for our customers, especially the ones that look like they voted in the ’64 election (1864), is when we have time we walk down to the unload area and help them get their groceries up on the conveyor. It gives the baggers a chance to shoot the shit with the customer a bit before we check’em out, get’em bagged, load’em up and toss’em out. Besides which, these two looked like the strain of moving the few things they had from their cart to the belt might cause one or both of them to have some kind of unpleasant medical incident.

So I approached Mr. and Mrs. Old Person and gave them my usual greeting.

“How you folks doin’ today?” I said with a smile.

“We’re just fine,” says Female Old Person, apparently having authority to speak for both of them.

“And how you doin’, young man?” I said, addressing the Male Old Person, as I put their groceries up on the conveyor. (FYI, they’re all “young man” and “young lady” to me, even the ones that are demonstrably within spitting distance of being the same age as a redwood tree or a large tortoise.)

“I’m doin’ fine,’ he croaked, “I just had my 92nd birthday last week.” His smile was warm and missing several teeth.

“Is that right?” I replied. “Boy, you sure don’t look it.” He didn’t…I wouldn’t have guessed him to be a day over 106.

“Yep,” he says, “she calls me the old fart,” pointing to the Female Old Person.

I started laughing, and he gave me another of his gap-toothed grins.

“So what do you call her?” I asked him in between chuckles.

He dropped his smile, looked me dead in the eye and said quite seriously, “Honey.”

Welcome to a day in the life of a bagger at Publix.

But what I really want to talk about today is the news, which brings me to a bunch of recent reports from the crack Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding Investigative Team, which operates under the good offices of RUKME. That’s right, exhaust fans, the infamous, excuse me, famous RUKME team of reporters has been out scanning the globe for the stories we know YOU want to hear.

We hope.

So without any further ado…

-Dateline Washington D.C.:

“President Names Witch Doctor New Surgeon General”

In a stunning but not uncommon reversal for President Donald “Tweety Bird” Trump, who routinely says and does things that wouldn’t make any sense at all unless you understand that he apparently has the IQ level of room temperature, today ousted U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams from his post and named Dr. (using the term loosely) Stella Immanuel to the post. Dr. Adams, a celebrated Vice-Admiral in the U. S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and who holds a BS in Biochemistry degree, a BA in Biopsychology degree and a Masters in Public Health degree, was replaced by Witch Dr. Immanuel, who has stated that…

“The Magic 8-Ball toy is psychic and a part of a scheme to get children used to witchcraft.”

“Hydroxychloroquine cures Covid-19 and protective face masks aren’t necessary.”

“The Illuminati has a plan hatched by a witch to destroy the world using abortion, gay marriage and children’s toys.”

“Gay marriage will lead to adults marrying children, and gay Americans are practicing homosexual terrorism.”

“Jesus Christ will destroy Facebook’s servers if my videos aren’t restored to the platform.”

“Sex with night demons causes gynecological problems.”

President Trump stated upon the elevation of Witch Dr. Immanuel to the prestigious post that he did disagree with her statement about the Magic-8 Ball toy, saying that he had been using one for years with no discernable negative effect.

(Editor’s note: as is common knowledge among our readers, the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog is meant to humorous and is satire, or at least we hope for at least one or the other of them most of the time. However, all of the above comments attributed to Dr. Immanuel are quotes and in no way a fabrication of this site. And if that doesn’t scare the living crap out of you, it should, ‘cause even I can’t make up shit that crazy.)

-Dateline Washington D.C. (again):

“NOAA Publishes Study Showing Largest Anus”

In a study commissioned and published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Dr. Phyliss Navidad, a distant cousin to newly appointed U.S. Surgeon General Witch Dr. Stella Immanuel, reported that, after an exhaustive study and painstaking measurements, it can now be stated that the anus of the blue whale can stretch up to as much as 40 inches, thus making it the 2nd largest asshole in the world, just after American President Donald “Tweety Bird” Trump. Dr. Navidad was quoted in the study as saying that, “Although the anus of a blue whale is, much like the animal itself, enormous, it pales in comparison to that asshole in the White House by at least an order of magnitude.” Trump campaign manager U. B. Quiet immediately issued a press release stating that, “As so often happens, President Trump is the world leader in so many areas, and this is just one more example of that leadership and how he continues to improve conditions for all Americans.”

-Dateline New York NY:

“Fox News Anchor Tucker Carlson To Sue NOAA”

In a statement released earlier today, Fox News anchorman and lapdog to President Donald “Tweety Bird” Trump Tucker Carlson angrily dismissed the findings of a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study that stated that, despite the enormous size of the anus of a blue whale, President Trump was still the largest asshole in the world. Carlson said that due to his being headquartered in New York rather than in Washington D.C., he was not given proper consideration by Dr. Phyliss Navidad’s extensive examination of anuses around the world and would have easily placed second on the list, had Dr. Navidad done a “fair and impartial” study of all candidates and that he intends to bring suit against the NOAA to claim his rightful spot on the list. The Fox News celebrity was quoted as saying that, “Although I don’t pretend to be near the asshole that our great President is, I am a much bigger asshole than anyone or anything else. This study is obviously ‘fake news’ and it’s a well-known fact that Dr. Navidad is a left-wing Democrat, as well as a member of antifa and a cancel culture Black Lives Matter thug that will soon be replaced by Witch Dr. Stella Immanuel at the NOAA.” Mr. Carlson didn’t respond to questions from RUKME Investigative Reporter Ben Tover to elaborate on just how he became such an enormous asshole.

-Dateline Crazyfuck CO:

“Did Jesus Smoke Weed?”

In an email message recently received by RUKME Investigative Reporter Anna Rexia, conservative pastor Reverend Alfredo Sauce, of this small but totally batshit community high (yes) in the Colorado Rockies claims that, among other things, Jesus Christ did in fact smoke cannabis regularly during his time on Earth. Reverend Sauce goes on to state that “cannabis was an integral part of religious ceremonies of the time and was even mixed into the holy anointed oil used by Mary Magdelene on the Savior’s forehead and feet”, in the famous scene from the Bible. Reverend Sauce was very emphatic in further stating that this combination of holy anointed oil and weed “has amazing curative powers and has been successful in treating all types of diseases, including Covid-19. In fact, we’ve forwarded our evidence to U.S. Surgeon General Witch Dr. Stella Immanuel for her consideration”. When asked by return email what this evidence was, Reverend Sauce replied with a number of quotes from the Bible, including such passages as Excretions Chapter 56 Verse 25, which says, “The ephod is to have two shoulder pieces attached to two of its corners, so it can be fastened to the phenoltart with holy oil,” as well as Dalmatians Chapter 61 Verse 22, which says, “There are some that only chews the cud or only have a divided hoof, but you must not eat them without the proper ephod.” Reverend Sauce is pastor of the Divine Temple of the Holy Doobie in Crazyfuck CO.

(Editor’s note: Most of the information above was contained in an email I received recently from some organization called “The Exodus Effect”, with a little creative editing by the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding staff.)

Do you think Tucker Carlson has dream sex with witches and demons? Because I’m thinking that if he does, someone should report him to the new Surgeon General, who obviously doesn’t approve of such things.

Love and stethoscopes,

Cap’n John

 

AS I WAS SAYING…

There’s an old saying we’ve all heard…“no good deed goes unpunished”…

These days, in this time of social upheaval, discontent and unrest, when folks are outraged and angry over such issues as the Covid-19 pandemic that is ravaging the world and our country, of the renewed awakening to systemic racism and the gross mistreatment of African Americans over the years in America, of the sickening and callous jailing of immigrants at our borders, of rancorous debate over the symbols and statuary of the Confederacy, of the demise of Strawberry Cheese Danish Pop Tarts (yes, they have been discontinued), I have come to a point where I pretty much don’t like anybody. Good deeds? Yeah, fuck you, I gave at the office.

But stories about good deeds are typically uplifting, so I have one to tell you. (FYI, I’m told that push-up bras are uplifting as well, although I have no personal experience with them, having never worn one…okay, there was that one time, but alcohol and illicit drugs were involved so that shouldn’t count.)

His name was Phil Harmonic, and he was by profession a door-to-door vibrator salesman and by avocation a nature photographer. As a young man, through being frugal with his earnings and lying on his 1040 tax form, Phil was able to save enough money to realize one of his most cherished dreams…a photography “safari” to the Serengeti in Africa. (“Serengeti” is derived from the Maasai language and means “push-up bra”.)

After months of planning, preparation and great anticipation, Phil finally arrived one momentous day on the African plains, where he met his guide, collected his equipment and together they embarked on their journey to record the beauty and mystery of that portion of “the plateau continent” and especially of the denizens that populate the area, the wildebeests, the cheetah, the cantaloupes, the various types of monkeys, the Chevrolet Impala, the majestic lions, the hyena, and of course, the noble African elephant.

It was truly a dream come true for him.

Phil and his guide were out early one morning, driving down a rutted dirt track deep in the African veldt when they spotted a lone bull elephant, standing some distance from the road, his left front foot lifted off the ground; they stopped their truck on the roadside, got out and carefully approached the monstrous animal, who would now and again place the obviously wounded foot down on the ground and immediately bring it up again; as they got closer, it seemed they could even see the pachyderm wince in pain as he did.

Our hero handed his camera to his guide, a local man named Fred (what? you were expecting Swintua or Mbetwee?) and began walking ever so slowly towards the elephant, barely listening to the warnings of the guide to be very, very careful. As humans always seem to do, he began to talk baby talk to the animal to calm the beast and make his friendly intentions known. Are you hurt, big guy? You okay? I won’t hurt you, just be calm, I just want to see what’s wrong with your foot, it’s okay, there you go, it’s all right, etc., etc. (African elephants, despite being unable to articulate speech, are known for their ability to understand gibberish.)

Phil was able to get close enough to the animal to see the problem…a large sliver of wood had become embedded in the elephant’s foot.  He began to stroke the mighty beast’s trunk, calming the animal he hoped, and then, so as not give the elephant any warning of what he was about to do, reached down slowly and then with a strong jerk, yanked the offending piece of wood from the animal’s foot.

The elephant started a bit, but then gingerly placed the wounded foot on the ground, testing it to determine the level of pain. When it realized the sliver had been removed, it turned its giant head and gave Phil what seemed to be a gentle caress with its trunk, a gesture of gratitude and appreciation for the good deed the man had just performed. As the elephant turned to leave, Phil noticed a scar on the left ear of the animal, a lightning shaped disfiguration right at the crease where the ear joins the head.

The elephant gave a small trumpet of thanks and swiftly, though limping, walked back into the jungle.

Many years later, Phil was visiting the local zoo, still taking photos of nature and its residents, when he came to the elephant enclosure. He was using a long “zoom” lens that day, and as he was focusing in closely on one large male, he noticed with a start that the animal had a lightning shaped scar on its left ear, and Phil was sure, in the most amazing of coincidences, that this was the very animal that he had once encountered on the African plain. The giant beast walked over more closely to where Phil was standing, and it seemed to the erstwhile photographer that, yes, this was “his” elephant.

With hardly a thought, Phil set down his Nikon, carefully climbed the fence that separated the enclosure from the people watching, managed to cross the protecting moat and approached the animal, using mostly the same silly, hopefully soothing gibberish he had used to calm the animal all those years before. The elephant watched impassively as Phil came closer and then, with a mighty roar, he turned to Phil and proceeded to stomp the living crap out of the salesman/photographer, ending his career as a purveyor of pleasure and a taker of photographs.

And the old saying about the punishment of good deeds was again proven to be true.

                                                         ######

So isn’t it about time we reexamined some of these “old sayings” and gave them a more modern interpretation?

Sure, why not?

> “There’s no accounting for taste”:

                Well of course there isn’t; there’s accounting for such thing as expenditures, accounts receivable, accounts payable, expenses, inventory, scrotums, interest, dugouts and other such financial items, but taste, sorry, not really.

                Wouldn’t it be better to say: “There’s no understanding why anyone with an IQ higher than room temperature would vote for Donald Trump.”

> “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”:

                Well of course you can’t; you can’t make the horse bathe or swim the 200 meter backstroke either for that matter.

                Wouldn’t it be better to say: “You can lead a horse to water, but it might prefer Swedish vodka for all you know”.

> “You can’t judge a book by its cover”:

                Well of course can’t; you can judge it by how many pages it has, or by the type of font the printer used (FYI, this is Calibri I’m using) or even by the copyright date, but not by the cover.

                Wouldn’t it be better to say: “You can lead a horse…”, no wait, that was the last one, sorry. “You can’t judge a book by its cover, but if it’s a “tell-all” piece by Dr. Mary Trump, most of what it says about her uncle being a lying, perverted, narcissistic, fucktard sociopath with delusions of grandeur is probably true.”

> “He was asleep at the wheel”:

                Well of course he was; he couldn’t be asleep under the hood in the engine compartment, unless he was a squirrel or a spark plug, or for that matter in the glove box, unless he was the size of a box of Kleenex tissues, which are currently on special at Publix, 2 for $3.99.

                Wouldn’t it be better to say: “He was being pursued by aliens from the planet Zatox at the time of the accident and was rendered unconscious by their anti-matter ray-guns.”

> “The early bird catches the worm”:

                Well of course it does; everyone knows that no self-respecting worm is outside any later than 5:30am, due to the fact that worms have extremely sensitive skin to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, and as yet have not discovered sunscreen with a sufficient PFS that will protect their little slimy, disgusting tubular bodies.

                Wouldn’t it be better to say: “The early bird may catch worms but later in the day will be reduced to eating baloney and Clorox sandwiches, unless it drives over to the local Publix and gets an Italian sub with Genoa salami, tavern ham, cappacola, a kanooten valve, provolone cheese, a raincoat, veggie toppings and your choice of either multi-grain, white, moldy or whole grain bread.”

> “You don’t miss your water until your well runs dry”:

                Well of course you don’t; you don’t miss your desk chair until you go to sit down one day and it’s not there and you wind up breaking your coccyx when you fall spang on your ass in front of the entire Marketing Department. (I was going to say “tailbone” but “coccyx” sounds vaguely dirty, like uvula or nipples.

                Wouldn’t it be better to say: “You don’t miss your water if you use a synthesized, gamma ray-generating 56mm harmonizing laser cannon to shoot at it.”

Well, speaking of old sayings, “tempus fugit” (that’s Latin for “push-up bra”) and I can see by the word counter thingie down in the left-hand corner of my monitor that, indeed, tempus has fugited.

And remember…”Good friends never say goodbye, the simply say alpaca saliva.”

Love and undergarments,

Cap’n John

Post Script…Publix better cough up some cash for all the free advertising I’ve given them.

DYSTOPIAN NIGHTMARES…I GET LETTERS_VOL VI

It was a cold, gray and gloomy early November morning, with gun-metal dark clouds scudding past overhead and just a hint of clammy dampness in the air, the kind that, as soon as you look out the window for your first glimpse of the just out of bed world, is immediately depressing, giving Rocky a sense the day was going to be a rough one. Ever have that feeling? Little things get out of whack quickly…you stub your toe on the leg of the bedframe as you walk past barefooted on your way to the kitchen for your coffee and pickled muskrat; you nick yourself shaving and the damn cut won’t stop bleeding, making you look like the survivor of a botched murder attempt; you’re halfway to your car when you remember you left your lunch sitting on your dining room table and you have to walk back to get it.

Little shit that makes you nuts and tells you, uh-oh, this is going to be “one of THOSE days”.

Traffic of course was worse than usual that morning; an accident up ahead, causing the morons to slow down to check for any dead bodies, hoping to see something bloody and gruesome to talk about when they got to work, and to put the cherry on top of the barbeque pork sundae, he had forgotten he needed to stop for gas, which of course would now make him late punching in.

Geez, he thought to himself, since there was no one else in the car with him at the time, how much worse can it get today?

The answer to that question, he should have known, would be forthcoming very soon.

And oh gee, what a surprise, guess who was standing by the timeclock when he walked in at 8:03am? Mr. Thehun, first name Attila, giving Rocky the “ol’ stink eye” while making a great show of looking at his watch pointedly at the same time.

“Late again, Roads,” he said with a sour tone in his voice and an equally sour look on his face. “That’s the third time in five years, isn’t it?”

“Sorry, Mr. Thehun, I forgot I had to stop to get gas,” Rocky replied, in what he hoped was a repentant manner.

“Well punch in and get to your bench. There’s a new batch of Thins that needs to be processed right away.”

“Yes, sir,” Rocky said. I’d like to shove your stinking carcass in the trash compactor and watch it reduce you to a small rectangular cube of asshole, he muttered under his breath.

Rocky worked for Church and Dwight, makers of Trojan condoms (“from Magnum to Ecstasy”), as a condom tester. If he could have tested them in person it would have been one thing, but he did it eight hours a day on a machine that looked like a stainless steel dildo at a work bench in a cavernous warehouse, which lowered the fun quotient down considerably.

When he got to his work station, his mood darkened even further; the overnight crew had left him 28 pallets of Ultra Thins (“40% thinner!”) to be gone through and checked randomly for tears, seams, fit, for any type of imperfection that might cause one of them to fail at the wrong moment and induce a dramatic increase in the birth rate.

One of his co-workers walked by just then, on his way to his bench. “Morning, Rocky. Attila climb up your ass again?”

“I hate that fucker.”

“So,” said Co-worker, “what did you think of the results last night?”

Rocky’s cable box had been on the fritz for several days and he hadn’t heard the news of the election the previous evening. “Shit, my cable is fried and I didn’t hear. How much did Hillary win by?”

Co-worker laughed. “Oh no, buddy boy, not Hillary…Donald. Trump won.”

“WHAT?!? That roving asshole won the election?”

“Yep, the pussy-grabbing reality show host pulled it out in the end and we have a new President. Sorry to be the one to tell you.” As Co-worker was talking, Rocky could hear his supervisor’s phone ringing in the Production office over in the corner.

“Please tell me you’re kidding,” Rocky pleaded with Co-worker. No, it can’t be, he thought. Meanwhile, the phone kept ringing in the office behind him and Rocky wondered why no one was answering. Ring…ring…ring…

And that’s when he snapped awake, bolting straight up in bed, his alarm clock screaming on the nightstand next to him. What a nightmare, he thought groggily, shaking his head…a condom tester? No wait, the nightmare wasn’t the job, it was Trump winning…now that’s scary, he thought, laughing uneasily to himself.

He sat down at the desk in his bedroom, logged onto the Internet, and clicked on CNN.

And that’s when he realized the nightmare was real…Donald Trump had indeed won. And while the network talking heads prattled on about the huge upset, all he could think was, Costa Rice…I’m moving to Costa Rica ASAP.

But what Rocky didn’t know was that the nightmare had actually just begun.

                                                           ######

So lemme’ stop here and ask a question…when something “goes viral”, where the hell does it go?

(Great segue, huh?)

As one of the premier humor bloggers on the ‘Net and a legend in my own mind, hardly a day goes by when I don’t receive a passel, which is slightly less than a shitload, of letters, texts, emails, secret decoder ring messages and notes attached to a rock and thrown through my living room window, commenting in one manner or another about something I have written here on the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog. And from time to time, typically when I can’t think of anything else to write about, I like to share these messages with you, my loyal and extremely good-looking readers, all four of you.

And so, to proceed…

“Dear Captin shitface:

                Fuk you and all your libtard buddies, sayin all those awful things about His emmenance Presidint Trump on that desgustin blog you rite. all of you lyin sinners are Going strate to Hell for your blasfa, for the eval things you say, and good Rittance. I hopp you get a bad case of crotch lice, you asshole. Youll get yurs when Saintly Donald asends to Heaven and then returns in 3 days to smit the wikked.

                Makkin Amurica Grate Agin”

“Cap’n John:

                I’m so sick and fucking tired of being shamed by you liberal assholes for not wearing a mask when I go out in public. It’s ridiculous. Everyone with any good sense knows that this Corona thing is bullshit, it’s just a cold, and a plot started in China and now being used by the criminal left wing antifa BLT cancel movement to tear down President Trump and keep him from getting reelected and leading this country in the great manner that he has since back in ’16 when he beat that monkey Barrack Obama, excuse me, that bitch Hillary “Lock Her Up” Clinton. I hope you get crotch lice, you sickening asshole.

                The Unmasked Avenger”

“Dead Meat:

                Donald Trump has done more for 2nd Amendment rights than any President in the history of our great nation, and believe me, when he gets reelected in November, you and all your liberal pussy buddies are going to wish you had never opened your big mouths, because President Trump is going to issue hunting licenses to all armed, right-thinking persons in America to hunt you fuckers down and FINALLY stop you from tearing down our American values any further. I hope you get crotch lice while you’re waiting for one of us to show up at your door with an AR-15 to render Trump’s justice on you.

                Nothing Says Hate Like An Automatic Weapon”

“Dear Captain Butthole:

               The Grand Exalted Majestic Secret Nation of the Organic Pretentious Order of the Ku Klux Klan stands ready to assert the rights of all decent, law-abiding WHITE people in this country by ridding America of not only the Africans who don’t know their place, but all their disgusting, repulsive, perverted, sickening, gross, disgusting, retarded, perverted, gross liberal sympathizers like you who encourage the Colored race to revolt and wreak havoc in the streets of our cities and in our trailer parks, currency exchanges, laundromats, Walmarts, flea markets, tire stores, Cracker Barrels and everywhere else that decent WHITE people should reign supreme as well. I hope you’re infested with crotch lice, you left-wing asswipe.

                N.B. Forrester, Grand Wazoo of the Florida Chapter

                Knights of the Grand Exalted Majestic Secret Nation of the Pretentious                    Organic Order of the Ku Klux Klan”

“You Hell bound sinner:

                It is written in the Holey Bible, in the Book of Excretions, Chapter #2, Verse #2 that, “If the man with the discharge spits on anyone who is clean, they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.” It further says in Dalmations Chapter 15, Verse 69 that, “Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere.” And again, in Crustaceans Chapter 23, Verse 45 that, “Take the finest flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah for each loaf; arrange them in two stacks, six in each stack, on the table of pure gold.” Examining these passages, and others similar, it is completely clear that President Trump has been sent by God Almighty to rule and lead this troubled nation out of the den of sin and degradation into which it has been led. Those that choose to oppose him will feel his mighty wrath, be stricken with crotch lice and then be thrown into the fiery pit of Perdition.

                Jesus Was White, You Scumbag”

I’ll just bet President Trump is thrilled to have such loyal supporters.

Love and jammies,

Cap’n John

Post Script…all of the Bible quotes (above) are real…obviously I made up the Books, chapters and verses, but the words came right from various passages in the Old Testament.

Truth.

SCHTICKS OF ONE AND A COUPLE THREE OF THE OTHER

“Testing…testing…(turns away from microphone and speaks to person behind him sotto voce…yeah, and if we didn’t test so much we’d have fewer cases, according to that idiot in the White House)…testing, one (turns away again as the PA system lets out a 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, please, can everyone have a seat so we can get going, I have quite a number of items to cover today, please take your seats…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 again to the guy behind him)…”Geez, what a bunch of maroons…”

FYI, sotto voce is Latin for “marmot testicles”.

>From the I Guess The Next Step Is To TP All The Trees In Seoul Department…Earlier this week, Supreme Leader, Marshall of the State and Chief Notary Public of the People’s State of North Korea, Kim “Rocket Man” Jong Un, threatened to “pour leaflets of punishment” all over his South Korean neighbors, apparently in retaliation for their existing. SLMSCNP Kim was quoted as saying that, if the people of the Republic of Korea continued to irritate him merely by being, he would escalate the already high tensions between the two countries by directing the North Korean Army to begin shooting spitballs over their common border. ROK President Moon Jae-in angrily responded that if Kim persisted in his provocations that he would tell the teacher and have Kim taken to the Principal’s office to get his peenie whacked.

>From the Damned Good Thing There Isn’t A Minimum Height Requirement To Be A Guitar Player Department…Did you guys know that Paul Simon, one half of the singing duo of Simon and Bullwinkle (wait, weren’t they cartoon characters?), is only 5’3” tall? According to WikiPedia, my go-to source for information, not only is the diminutive Simon a gifted singer/songwriter but also an aspiring actor; the article on the Internet encyclopedia points out that Simon at one time intended to audition for a part as a Munchkin in the movie The Wizard of Oz, but was thwarted in his attempt to break onto the silver screen by the fact that the movie was made in 1939, while Simon wasn’t born until 1941. When asked about his desire to be a thespian, Simon said that at no time has he ever been bi-sexual, but that you can call him Al. (Well, WikiPedia doesn’t really say all that stuff…I made up the part about Bullwinkle.)

>From the I’m Surprised They Didn’t Call It Dueling Tubas For Crissake Department…Okay, someone please explain this to me like I’m a five year old…I have listened to dozens of versions of the song Dueling Banjos and I can only find one version where it was one banjo in conflict with another banjo, per the title of the tune. (I remember the first time I heard the title, I thought to myself, I wonder if they stand back to back, take ten paces and then turn and play.) I’ve seen banjos battling guitars, fiddles, mandolins, a zither, a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and a Cuisinart, but no banjo y banjo. On this YouTube video about the origins of the song, at 5:56 there’s a thing between comedian Steve Martin, who is by the way a fabulous banjo player, and a young man who won first place in the Steve Martin Prize For Excellence in Banjo competition, and even then they only play the first few measures before Noam Pikelny, the guy who won the $50,000 prize, takes off on an unbelievable riff that has little to do with the actual tune. Even the original was played with a banjo and a mandolin. So why the hell did they call it Dueling BANJOS? Shit, the composer could have called it Song For A Marmot and it would have been just as descriptive. Geez…

>From the Now That’s A Special Kind Of Stoopid Department…A megachurch (what criteria exactly does a church have to meet to become MEGA?) in Phoenix AZ, the site of the next rally for President Donald “Tweety Bird” Trump, has declared that it has “solved the pandemic problem” in its auditorium due to the efforts of one of its members. Senior Pastor Luke Barnett and Operations Officer Brandon Zastrow have stated that the revolutionary air-purification system recently installed in the building removes “99.9% of the coronavirus and none of our bullshit” from the air, making it safe for all the Make America Great Again nut-cases to attend the rally. The church was apparently chosen for the gathering because it only seats 3,000 persons, which given the debacle at the BOK Arena in Tulsa OK last week, in which the President was only able to fill approximately 6,000 of the 19,000 seats in the venue with his rabid followers in his first political rally in months, would seem to make it much easier for our rather rotund, verbose President to fill. ***BREAKING NEWS***…this just in from our news room: the rally for President Trump at the Phoenix AZ Dream City MegaChurch may have to be postponed when it was learned today by church officials that the member who invented the miracle air filtration system, Bea L. Zebub, made a deal with the Devil to perfect her invention and has since left the church in disgrace. (FYI, I’m writing this on 6/23, the day of the scheduled event, so I apologize for all the weird tenses.) Anyway, here’s a Cap’n John quote you can write down and stick on your ‘fridge…”Faith is often times ignoring the obvious to embrace the absurd.” You’re welcome.

>From the I Bet It Was Due To Irreconcilable Differences Department…Florida just finished going through its annual “lovebug season”, where literally gazillions of the small, black and completely disgusting Piecia nearctica invade the Gunshine State, wearing outlandish costumes and swarming all over everything and generally making a fucking mess everywhere. The term “lovebug” stems from the fact the male and female of the species, apparently awash in post-coital bliss, stay stuck together end to end after mating, until the female has had enough and tosses his lazy ass out, telling him not to return until he has found a job and can remember to put the seat down. I mention this because just last week I saw a single bug, sans mate, on my screen door, and I thought to myself, because no one else ever listens to me, that the poor thing must have been the victim of a conniving partner and a sleazy divorce attorney. FYI, sans is Burmese for “marmot testicles”.

>From the I Guess Wilma and The Nimrods Was Already Taken Department…It is a rare time indeed that I am (mostly) speechless, but I have no comment on this YouTube video (see link below), other than to say that I love the dog as well as the banjo player’s nose ring. Spoon Lady and the Tater Boys. (Oh yeah, and you gotta’ love it when the “bass” player does that four-note “walking bass” run that takes the song into a new verse…it’s all the same note, instead of a progression of four ascending notes, but it still sounds pretty cool.)

>From the Was This Why My Mother Always Said To Make Sure I Was Wearing Clean Underwear? Department…I recently set up an Instagram account for myself and the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding website (@capnjohnk) so I could shamelessly and frequently self-promote the WATRUK blog and my deathless prose as well. Once I learned the ins and outs of posting, put up a few notices of new columns and checked out a few friends, I got to thinking that, and I know this would be a long shot, but that it was just possible, just barely, if you weren’t paying attention when you were creating a new entry, that you could, if you happened to have some naughty pics of yourself and your pet marmot on your phone, with you dressed in your favorite Little Red Riding Hood costume (complete with frilly panties), accidently use the wrong pic and, whoops, oh well, there it is for the amusement of all the world. Sure, you could delete it, but what if you didn’t realize you’d done it? Like living in a state that was carried by Donald Trump in the 2016 election isn’t embarrassing enough, right?

>From the I Bet Walter Kent Wishes He Would Have Thought Of This Department…I was talking to a friend (I have two) the other day about Christmas (don’t ask why we were discussing this in late June, we just were, okay?) and somehow we got on the subject of Christmas song lyrics, and I casually mentioned that it was my humble opinion that changing that line in I’ll Be Home For Christmas, written by the aforementioned Mr. Kent, from “presents under the tree” to “PEASANTS under the tree” would make the song a lot funnier. PHEASANTS works too, but it’s not as funny.

I want to thank you all for your being here today and for your attention…if there is no other business (geez, I hope not), I’ll adjourn the meeting.

Love and quorums,

Cap’n John

I DREAM OF JEANIE AND BEING WELL HUNG

So here I am in the midst of an unscheduled “vacation” from my part-time job at the Publix grocery store where I work as a Front Service Clerk, which is corporate Publixese for a “bagger”, a true case of a $27 title for a three-dollar job, brought about by an unpleasant run-in I had last week with one of our customers who, despite the fact that she wasn’t wearing a mask or even remotely attempting to observe the rules of “social distancing”, felt it was her unalienable right and duty to stand RIGHTNEXT to where I was working, face within inches of mine, to closely supervise the bagging/loading of her groceries into her cart. (Bagging groceries, although there is an art to it, is nevertheless by no means rocket science…the close scrutiny was unnecessary.)

At any rate, apparently she took exception to my tone of voice the SECOND time I asked her to please step back behind the green line on the floor (full disclosure: I was having a bad morning and I handled it poorly, walking right up to Mr. Rude without quite shaking his hand…I was wrong), causing her to complain to management before she left the store that, although I was the best-looking bagger she had ever run across, I was also very rude, had a poor attitude, was most likely a liberal Democrat and that I should be chastised mightily and then taken out behind the store and beaten with a blunt instrument. Management, with a real and somewhat surprising empathy for the stress all the associates have been under during the pandemic, decided that I should take the rest of the day off, told me to go home and regroup, get my head out of my butt and come back for my next shift with my attitude re-adjusted. Upon arriving at Chez Cap’n I decided that I was going instead to take a couple weeks off and determine my future with Publix while I decompressed.

That decision is TBD.

Anyway, having some time on my hands and nothing particularly better to do this past week, I’ve been catching up with old friends with whom I haven’t spoken for a while, to see how they’re dealing with life these days.

I have a buddy named Bob (not his real name…the names in this story have been changed to confuse the uninitiated) who I hadn’t heard from in a while, so I sent him an email to inquire to his health and well-being; he also lives here in Florida, south of me near Port Charlotte (elevation: 7 feet), where he works as a bartender and part-time condom tester. (For Trojan in a lab, for pete’s sake…you people are disgusting.)

So Bob called me the next day and we chatted on the phone for a bit, swapping lies and laughs, when I asked him what was new in the bartending world.

Well, he says, you know I haven’t worked since back in April when the lockdown started, but I had an unusual incident take place back just before shit got crazy and everything started going to hell in a grocery cart. Oh yeah, I rejoined, what was that?

He then proceeded to tell me the following story…

This guy he had never seen before walked in one afternoon, carrying a cardboard box under his arm. He sat down at the bar, put the box on the stool next to him, reached down and pulled out, first, a miniature grand piano, about the size of a serving platter and complete with a small stool, set them on the bar, reached down into the box again and brought out a tiny little man, dressed in white tie and tails, who according to my friend, then sat down at the piano and proceeded to give a beautiful rendition of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, to the great surprise of both my friend and the other patrons in the bar. When he finished he stood, took a small bow as acknowledgement for the applause from everyone there, sat back down and launched into Chopin’s Nocturne in Eb, opus 9, again playing beautifully.

When the tiny performer was done once again, the man picked him up and put him back in the box; if I don’t stop him occasionally, the guy told Bob, he just keeps playing…gimme’ a double shot of Jack, would you?

Where the hell did you get this little guy, my friend asked.

Well, the man says, I have a place down on Manasota Key; I was out walking on the beach one morning a few months ago, you know, enjoying the breeze off the Gulf and watching the sand crabs run sideways all over the place, just minding my own business, when I saw something sticking up out the sand about 20 yards up ahead of me, like something someone left behind after a picnic, except that hardly anyone ever uses this stretch of beach ‘cause it’s kinda hard to get to. Anyway, I walked over to it, and boy, what a surprise I got, he says…it was this ornate, jewel-encrusted bottle, just the neck sticking out of the sand, the rest buried. I leaned down and pulled it out and whoa, it was like something out of the Arabian Nights, I mean, it was beautiful. So I starting wiping the sand off of it, and when I did it started to vibrate like in my hand, and suddenly the top falls out and this mist starts coming out of the bottle and, Holy I Dream of Jeanie, Batman, out pops this, I don’t know, apparition, ghost, shit I had no idea what it was but it was like a man and it scared the crap outta’ me. I dropped the bottle and the mist starts getting solid and, whoa, there stands this guy, all dressed in a turban and these flowing robes, who says not to be afraid because he’s a Djinn, you know, a genie. He says he was imprisoned in the bottle by an evil vizier for dallying with the guy’s daughter, has been in there for thousands of years, thanks me profusely for freeing him and says, as a reward, that he will grant me one wish, whatever I want.

Beach guy says he was so surprised that he just blurted out, anything I want?

I’m sorry, the genie replied, I didn’t understand you.

Anything I want, the guy repeated.

I’m sorry, says the Djinn, looking puzzled, I didn’t quite get that, putting a hand behind his ear.

So the beach guy, deciding to take a different approach, asks the genie, where are you from? No, says the genie, I don’t play the drums; no, no, says BG, what land are you from? And the genie gets this quizzical look on his face and replies, ham and rum, what the hell is that? and I realized right then, the beach guy said, that the genie must have had sand or salt water in his ears because he didn’t understand a thing I was saying.

So BG says to the genie, raising his voice, I get one wish? and the genie says, a crumb dish, what the fuck are you talking about, and the guy says he then screamed at the genie, ONE WISH? And he said, oh yeah, sorry, yeah, I can grant you one wish, anything you want.

So the beach guy tells me he thought about it for a moment and says to the Djinn, okay, I want a 12-inch penis. Really? says the genie. Well, okay.

Next thing I knew, says BG, all this mist starts coming out of the bottle, the air around me got all murky and weird and suddenly there was this big flash of light, knocked me spang on my butt and when the mist started to clear, there was this box sitting on the sand next to me, and when I looked inside, there was this guy, pointing to the box sitting on the stool next to him.

He reached out, took the double Jack off the bar, downed it and said, that’s when I started drinking.

He took the little guy out of the box again, placed him on the bar, and we watched as the foot tall pianist walked over to the piano, flipped his tails out behind him and then sat down and proceeded to start playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto #20.

I bought him the next round, said my friend.

Love and sheet music,

Cap’n John

Post Script…yes, I know you can’t play a concerto without an accompanying orchestra…call it artistic license.

ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T GETTING ANY, AND I DON’T MEAN ADVICE_VOL XII

I’m anticipating an outcry of protest and indignation from all my Liberal readers (all several of you) by my next pronouncement…

I am a fan of Ayn Rand’s books.

(Ducks down under desk to avoid flying verbal and written brickbats of anger and outrage)

Lemme’ know when it’s safe to come back up…

FYI, a “brickbat” is defined as “a remark or comment that is highly critical and typically insulting”. (Sounds like my ex-wife.) For years I thought a brickbat was what the coach made me swing back when I played Little League baseball, ‘cause that’s what it felt like…most seasons, I was lucky if my batting average equaled my weight. I had an arm like a cannon, a glove like a vacuum cleaner and a bat like a fly swatter.

For those of you who are residents of LiberalLand, give me a moment to explain why I am a reader of the late Ms. Rand…she mostly wrote really big, fat books that took like a gazillion years to read, which for me meant that I could stay involved in one book for an extended period of time and not have to change subjects, figure out new plots or learn about any new characters that I might not like. (My copy of her 1943 novel The Fountainhead is 726 pages long and my “large mass-market” paperback version of Atlas Shrugged is well over a thousand.)

She obviously had a lot to say.

Okay, that wasn’t the real reason I was a fan of Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum (her real name)…actually, I just liked what she had to say about self-reliance and egoism.

I freely admit that I’m not sophisticated enough politically to comprehend all her ideas about opposing collectivism and statism and favoring laissez-faire capitalism and non-stick cookware; she sometimes gets all esoteric and deep with her philosophy of Objectivism, the general idea of which I understood, the details of which went past me in a great gust of literary hot air.

Objectivism, her own personal philosophy of how to live a clean, moral and thoroughly boring life, is explained by WikiPedia as “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity and reason as his only absolute”.

Let’s dissect that statement, shall we?

“Man as a heroic being”: yeah, I can see men as heroic…any husband who has ever had to answer the dreaded “does this dress make my butt look big?” question from his wife/partner without stepping all over his manhood is heroic in my book.

“…with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life…”: I know a shitload of people out there whose ONLY and EXPRESS purpose for living is the pursuit of their own happiness, so yeah, I get that. (See Donald Trump.)

“…with productive achievement as his noblest activity…”: now this concept I have some minor problems with…if “productive achievement” is at the top of the heap of noble activities, where does that put compassion, love, working for the betterment of humanity and trombone playing? Besides, if this is the criteria, then I personally know a boatload of my fellow Publix associates who are destined to live lives of utter failure, given the amount of time and effort they spend trying desperately not to do any more work than absolutely necessary. (We have an employee at the Publix grocery store where I work part-time who has made an art of the above; she wanders the parking lot playing around on her cellphone feverishly when she is supposed to be gathering shopping carts, she ducks into the ladies room with a frequency that is shameless doing what in there I couldn’t say, you see her going upstairs to the breakroom several times a day when she has no business being up there, or just wandering the store with a vapid look on her face when she’s supposed to be working, and the worst of it, she does these things right in front of the rest of us, like we’re too stupid to see and understand what she’s (not) doing. She wouldn’t know productivity if it walked up and kicked her in her big butt. I won’t mention her first name, but it rhymes with the state that has Annapolis as its capital.)

“…and reason as his only absolute.”: sorry, Alisa Zinovyevna, but we’re talking America here, right? Reason? Really? 62,984,828 people voted for Donald Trump in 2016…reason? You mean like common sense? You gotta’ be kidding me.

More on Ms. Rand and her books next week; now it’s time to use one of my copyrighted and famed “non-segue segues” and move right along to the real subject of today’s post…advise on dating in the time of coronavirus.

You see, I get letters and texts and emails and PMs on FB and smoke signals and secret decoder-ring messages from my readers (both Liberals and Conservatives, although the questions I get from Conservatives often seem to involve sheep, vibraphones and 55-gallon drums of Lime Jello), seeking advice on how best to navigate the swirling rapids of dating and relationships in this era of lockdowns, masks, social distancing and a disease that makes gonorrhea look like a hangnail.

And so, to proceed…

“Cap’n John:

                I’ve penned essays, articles, books and an occasional thank-you note but I’ve never written to a sea captain who puts out an “advice to the lovelorn” column before; I grew up in post-Revolution Russia, and the Commies didn’t believe in love. Sex, yes, but love? No, no way, too bourgeois. So I’m now living in America, land of the free (lunch) and home of the Atlanta Braves, and I am having no luck whatsoever finding a reasonable, heroic man with whom I can settle down and raise a family of Libertarians. I’ve tried dating services, hanging around at the local John Birch Society chapter meetings and I even thought about attending the “Singles Nights” at the local church, but I’m an atheist and I don’t think “believers” are objective. Can you give me any ideas on where I can find the Conservative of my dreams? I looked at the atlas, shrugged in frustration and decided to write to you…please help me, Cap’n John.

                I Sure Hope Fountainhead Is Some Kind of Unusual Oral Sex Involving Water”

Dear “Head”:

                I just hope you’re never as disappointed as I was when I streamed the movie Babes In Toyland on the Internet recently, thinking it was a, err, you know, a porno. Well, hey, given the title, what would you think? “Babes” in “Toy”land? WTF? If that’s not the definition of “false advertising” than I don’t know what…it’s an animated Disney movie, for the love of vibrators. Geez. (Insert winky-face here.)

“Dear Cap’n John Krissongs:

                I’m a single woman in my late 20s and an editor for a book publishing firm; I lead an active life, am better than average looking and have no visible warts. (Keyword…visible.) I’ve had some experience with relationships in the past, all unpleasant. I’m in the market, but the choices seem so poor; where are all the attractive, heroic studs that I read about in the “romance” novels I edit? Where the hell are the Caleb Burlys or the Justin Hairychesteds in real life? I’m tired of living in a fantasy world populated by men that are handsome, loving, considerate, moderately clean and a figment of someone’s else’s imagination. The author Ayn Rand once said that “A creative (wo)man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others”, and believe me, I don’t want to beat anybody, although if some studly dude out there wanted to give me a light spanking because I’d been “naughty”, that would be okay. Where do I find the man of my fantasies, Cap’n John?

                Ellie the Editor, Manstarved in Manhattan”

Dear “Ellie”:

                Two words, Ellie…”deuterium oxide”, also known as “heavy water”, which because it contains both a proton AND a neutron, makes it twice as heavy as regular water. I realize this information probably won’t help you find the “man of your fantasies”, but if you ever hook-up with a nuclear physicist, it’s a good starting point. (I assume when you mentioned “a light spanking” that it didn’t include a hairbrush or a cane, otherwise I would have to edit out that part of your letter, this being a family blog.)

“John Krissongs Cap’n:

                We are frankly puzzled as to why you refuse to honor this debt we’re trying to collect…”

Okay, never mind that one.

“Dear Cap’n John:

                I have a friend named Justin Hairychested (not his real name, which is actually Al Catraz…oh, I wasn’t supposed to tell you that, sorry), anyway, my friend suggested that I write to you about a problem I’m having with finding and attracting women of the opposite sex…where the hell are they? I’ve had blind dates (one was a real nice girl, but the dog kept getting in the way) and I’ve done some Internet dating, I’ve been to all the “singles’ bars” in the area, I’ve even tried Singles’ Bronco Riding Night at the local rodeo, all to no avail. I’m a hetero male in my early 30s, have all my own hair and teeth and no physical deformities (that show), I’m financially okay and I believe in productive achievement as the defining point of my life, well, other than my weekly “coffee enema”, which lately has become the real focal point of my life, and I need some advice: how do I find Ms. Right, when all I keep running into is Ms. Take?

                Just Call Me Freddie Folgers”

Dear “Freddie”:

                You’re kind of a sick fuck, aren’t you?

Okay, according to the clock down in the corner of my computer monitor, it’s 162 words past my being done, since I typically try to keep my posts at or below 1500 words total…I’m allowing for attention span, both mine and my readers.

I sincerely hope that this open and frank discussion of problems that single folks face in today’s world has given you some meaningful insight into your own relationships.

Yeah, right.

Love and bookmarks,

Cap’n John

Post Script…1704. Geez, no wonder I’m tired…

WE NOW RESUME OUR REGULAR PROGRAMMING, EVEN IF YOU’D RATHER WE DIDN’T

(Editor’s note…my last two posts here on the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog were so serious in nature, so dark, so foreboding, so chilling, so perverse, so, oh, sorry, that I decided to write a SPECIAL EDITION post that is actually humorous (I hope), in keeping with our comedy tradition. Oh, and this one is dedicated to Sarah K, the pixie girl.)

I was born and raised a Roman Catholic, and by no choice of my own on either account I might add, and when I was a kid (back in the Jurassic Era, but before the Park), I attended a Catholic parochial school in my neighborhood, Our Lady of Perpetual Motion, where I learned, interspersed with studying things like Arithmetic, English, Geography, Psychiatry, Phrenology and Medieval Sewing, that certain activities and actions perpetrated by humans are sinful.

Oh yes, Holy Mother Church had a real laundry list of sins back in those days, in the late 50’s and early 60’s.

Like all good organized religions, the Catholics are “people of the Book”, so we used the Ten Commandments that are found in the Bible in the Book of Amphibians, err, sorry, Book of Genesis, as our template for “what constitutes sin”. (Actually, it was my experience that “sin” was whatever the nuns said it was, including such activities as nose-picking, late assignments, pulling the hair of the girl that sat in front of you and calling your 7th grade teacher “Leadbelly” behind her back. Yeah, I almost got busted for that one; her name was Sister Mary Agnes of the Holy Ruler (her favorite weapon) and she was, at once, fat…and ugly. Sorry, but she was. Hands down she became a nun because she realized that her chances of finding a halfway decent guy/gal with that face and build were pretty slim. (Her chances were slim, her build…not so much.) She drags me out into the hall and says, what do you know about Leadbelly, and I looked at her with these wide, innocent eyes and said, nothing Stir, why? She said never mind and gave me a shot upside my head, just for good measure, and then sent me back inside.)

Okay, so here’s the Big Ten, paraphrased:

#1- No side gods…one is enough

#2- Don’t screw over Mom and Dad

#3- Church on Sunday, heathens

#4- No golden calves (see #1)

#5- No swearing using god’s name…say “shit” instead

#6- No killing

#7- No funny business with Mrs. WhatsHerFace next door

#8- No stealing…if it ain’t yours, leave it alone

#9- No lying (even if you are, especially if you are, the President of the United States)

#10- Don’t be looking greedily at Mrs. WhatsHerFace or her new BMW

Beyond the above, which we heard about frequently (daily), there were three other really heavy hitters for the nuns…”having impure thoughts”, “touching yourself impurely” and “eating meat on Fridays”. Pre-age 12 or so, the two “impures” were no big deal; by the time I was in 7th grade, however, pretty much all I did was have impure thoughts and then touch myself impurely. Hell, by the time I was 13, all I had to do was have a slight breeze blow past me and I got a hard-on; nowadays I can’t wake up my johnson with a trombone and a hand grenade.

These things were *MORTAL* sins, not to be confused with lesser transgressions, known as venial sins, as we learned from the sin arbiters, but the worst of all, we were told repeatedly, was EATING MEAT ON FRIDAYS. (Actually, the “impures” were way worse, but the nuns always got all mystical and vague when referring to them, due I’m sure to lack of practical experience on their part.)

For some reason the nuns at OLOPM had a real thing for meat-eating on the last working day of the week. AND WE WERE TO REMEMBER THAT A) IT WAS A BLACK, BLACK *MORTAL SIN* AND B) IF YOU DIED WITH THIS SIN UNCONFESSED ON YOUR SOUL, YOU WOULD GO STRAIGHT TO HELL, WITH NO DETOURS TO MIAMI OR THE CAYMANS. (Of course, we drove the pastor, Father Heftybags, nuts with our hypothetical questions during his weekly visit to our classroom to teach that day’s “Religion” class. “So Father,” says Steve Taylor, one of the “slower” (moron) kids in the class, “if I start to eat a baloney and sour cream sandwich at 11:56 on Thursday night, and the barometric pressure is 30.59 and I’m using a left-handed framitz wrench, if I don’t finish my sandwich until after midnight, which is then Friday in the Northern Hemisphere, is that a sin?”)

Be gone, Satan, get thee behind me.

Then it happened.

Back in 1995, Pope John Paul George and Ringo quietly decreed that, whoa, it was now all right to eat meat on Fridays, unless you didn’t have any of your own and had to steal some from Mrs. WhatsHerFace next door, which was a violation of both #8 and #10 (above), although by the new Papal decree at least you were okay on the Friday meat-eating sin.

Wait, are you kidding me?

Boy, I gotta’ tell you, if I’m some poor SOB languishing in the fires of Hades, parched and in despair, begging for just a drop of cool water but still having impure thoughts and I suddenly found out that I had been railroaded like this by the Church, I’d be some pretty pissed off. All I did was stop off at Mickey D’s for a Big Mac on the way home from work, totally forgetting it was Friday, I get home, eat my burger and then I have this major coronary event and bite the big one, hasta yo’ mama, senor, and next thing I know, there I am in front of St. Peter on the way through, who tells me, hey, special sauce lettuce cheese, you’re on your way to Perdition, have a nice trip, say hello to Lucy Fur for me when you see her.

And now all those Earthbound jerks still walking around up there can eat porterhouse steaks, lamb chops, burgers, the firm, up-turned young breasts of chickens, llama spleens, pork roast, gizzards, filets and carburetors on Fridays and it’s okay? Friday meat-eating is no longer a MORTAL sin? And I’m still stuck down here with Hitler, that roving asshole Jeffery Epstein, the guys from the 1919 Chicago Black Sox, my ex-mother-in-law and Richard Nixon? What the hell is that all about?

And worst, there’s no recourse, no higher Court of Appeals to hear your case, you’re hosed, happy fiery eternity, loser.

To say that I would not be a 100% completely satisfied customer under these circumstances would be the understatement of the millennia.

So the Catholics gave us no/no, wait, it’s okay on Friday meat-eating, the Mormons wear “magic underwear” and an have Italian angel as their patron saint, Martin Luther was probably certifiable and the Amish think they’re still living in pre-Civil War rural America and organized religion is surprised it has a credibility problem? Really? The same organized religion that gave us the Spanish Inquisition back in the 1500’s, flame-broiled “witches” in Massachusetts during the infamous Salem trials of 1692 and has a cadre of pedophile priests that have been giving “special dispensations” to young altar boys since who knows when, that the organized religion you’re talking about?

You have to figure that Satan is probably not happy with no longer getting new inmates from the ranks of the Friday Meat-Eaters Society, all the while he’s laughing like crazy at the poor assholes already in his custody on a First Degree Friday Hamburger conviction.

If you’re one of those assholes, that sucks, even worse than having Donald Trump as President, although not much.

I miss being a Catholic, about the way I’d miss root-canal surgery or having my car repossessed.

BREAKING NEWS!! THIS JUST IN FROM OUR NEWS DESK…

Dateline Rome…Pope Francis today announced that, due to frustration, depression and anxiety over the Covid-19 pandemic, all of the Ten Commandments have been temporarily suspended until further notice, and then further declared Donald Trump to be the Anti-Christ.

Francis also reaffirmed that eating meat on Fridays is still not a sin, but that being a Republican is.

Love and holy water,

Cap’n John

Post Script…speaking of the pandemic, I saw this headline on a news website the other day…

“How States Rank in Coronavirus Cases”

And I thought to myself, since no one else was there at the time, can I get a further clarification of the word “rank”? What was the criteria, best looking? Largest? Loudest? Best smelling? Most disgusting? What?

Hey, I just wanted to know, it might be important someday, all right?

Post Post Script…more Covid-19. So a bunch of cities got “flyovers” recently from various precision flying squadrons like the U. S. Navy Blue Angels, who fly the F/A-18, or the U. S. Air Force Thunderbirds, flying the F-16C, as recognition for all the folks out there on the front lines busting their butts and risking their lives during the pandemic…nice gesture.

So what did the Tampa area get as recognition from our good President and his Armed Forces for its “essential workers”? MacDill AFB, our local military base, gave us a flyover by a single KC-135 Stratotanker.

Tanker…a flying gas station.

Gee thanks, guys, what a thrill…I think I might have wet myself a little.

 

BBIA…BEING BLACK IN AMERICA

(Editor’s note: As with the most recent entry of 5/20 here on the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog, the following was a letter posted on the Facebook page of Cap’n John Krissongs on 5/25 and once again the content, style and “voice” displayed in the piece was deemed worthy of inclusion by our editors. It should be further noted here that the opinions and viewpoints expressed in this letter and in the subsequent commentary absolutely represent the opinions of the editors.)

The Facebook Letter

“I was driving home from work earlier today, down my usual street, when I saw walking along the sidewalk coming towards me a young black man, jeans and a tee, maybe 22-23, headphones in place and living his life, minding his business.

And it hit me right then, as I drove past him…I have no idea, nor ever had, what it must be like to be an African American male in this country.

No fucking clue, but tell you what, it sure as hell can’t be much fun these days, if the events of the past few weeks are any indicator. Shit, past few weeks? Try in the history of America.

Now I’m not going to waste my breath and your time with the usual, “Oh dear, what is this country coming to?” bleeding-heart bullshit…we already know where this country is at, and it ain’t a good place. We are a racist society, simple as that. Black lives apparently don’t matter.

A cop in Minnesota knelt on some poor man’s neck for FIVE FUCKING MINUTES to subdue him, which eventually killed the man? Because he allegedly was trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill? I’d hate like hell to know what those jerks in Minneapolis do to someone who jaywalks. Jesus wept in his hot chocolate, are you kidding me?

Or that poor guy there in Georgia, black kid (sorry, I’m 69, he was 25…he’s a kid to me, I don’t care what color his skin was), out jogging, when three redneck, racist assholes start chasing him in a pick-up truck, armed to the teeth, supposedly because they thought he had been involved in some neighborhood burglaries; at one point two of them, while buddy Jim Bob was filming the whole thing, confronted this young man with loaded weapons, and then, because he didn’t drop to his knees and immediately beg their pardon for being black and alive, executed him. And it took the local district attorney EIGHT WEEKS to charge them? Really? Really?

Or how about the other bajillion instances here in this country where an African American male has been rousted, roughed up and busted (and worse) by police or vigilantes for nothing more than existing?

And here’s where it all grinds together for me in an ugly mesh of cosmic noise…I have no conclusion for this piece.

What’s the message, don’t hate/murder black people? Well, d’uh, no shit. Hey, don’t crap your pants either or you’ll stink the place up.

Love thy neighbor, a little Christian preaching maybe? Bet you 10 bucks all three of those yoyos in Georgia were god-fearing churchgoers…any takers?

No matter what I say next, it sounds pithy to me, a cliché or a “nugget of wisdom”. (Given the treatment of African Americans in this country over the centuries, if I were black and had to listen to one more liberal goof spew forth another misguided, patronizing remark about how he/she can “feel your pain” or “we’re with you, bro”, I’d consider moving off-planet.)

But there’s one thing I can say, maybe to that young man I saw walking down the street this afternoon, certainly to the black community in general…I am truly, truly sorry.”

                                                               #######

The Commentary…

Now let’s take a little stroll down this primrose path and consider something as we walk from one point to another…follow me please.

A man is walking/jogging/sitting on a bench/playing with his dog in the park/riding the bus/shopping in a store/whatever in a public place, breaking no laws and minding his own business.

He is not “suspicious looking” nor is he doing anything in a “threatening manner” to anyone; he isn’t being “loud and abusive” nor is he engaging other people in an “aggressive fashion”…he merely is, alive in his place in the world and living his life, exercising his constitutionally guaranteed rights to do as he damn pleases, when he pleases, where he pleases, well within the framework of the laws of this country.

And then, for whatever reason, he is suddenly confronted by the authorities or by parties who feel they have the right and responsibility to question him, and subjected to an interrogation as to his recent activities and whereabouts; he is told that this is being done based on a) his suspicious actions, even if there were none or b) a report (legitimate or fabricated) from some other concerned citizen about him or c) just general fuckery on the part of his confronters.

At some point the confrontation becomes physical…angry words are exchanged, accusations fly, resistance follows and the man is now involved in a situation that in his mind, if it continues to escalate, could have serious, disastrous results. Literally, he fears for his life and/or well-being.

His confronters, being several of them, manage to subdue him and place him in a position that in theory precludes him from further struggle…usually handcuffed or restrained in some fashion or threatened with a weapon; however, in his fear, he continues to fight to regain his freedom.

He has, in that fear and in his efforts to extricate himself from this nightmare situation, threatened his confronters with his response; they now feel compelled to further restrain the man, with the intent to “arrest” him and incarcerate him or to otherwise put an end to this ugly and totally unnecessary confrontation. And in their efforts to stop and/or punish this man for whatever illicit activity of which they suspected him, they become overzealous or indifferent to his struggles and, maybe inadvertently, maybe not, manage to harm or, horrifically, kill the man.

This fictional citizen was accused, tried, sentenced and executed by nothing remotely resembling “a jury of his peers”. This is, in my way of thinking, the textbook definition of “injustice”; any proper-thinking, morally upright person should agree with me.

So for the final stop on our stroll…

Up until now, as you’ve read what I’ve written above, you were probably thinking that I was using the incidents involving Ahmaud Arbery or George Floyd or Eric Garner or Trayvon Martin or Walter Scott, black men all, or any of a number of similar historic assaults as my template.

African American men killed senselessly for nothing more than “BBIA”…Being Black In America.

Now consider this…and read slowly here please: suppose the “confronters” in the above scenarios were black and the victim white?

Take a moment to think that over…

If with that revelation you are now outraged where you were not before, then with all due respect, you need to deeply reexamine your moral code. (If you feel no outrage at all, then you’re probably a hopeless oxygen-thief.)

And I absolutely promise you that, if this unhappy event ever actually occurred, the hue and cry for “bringing these animals/thugs to justice” from certain segments of the populace would be deafening.

Remember what I said at the closing of my Facebook letter (above), about any ending I came up with being “pithy” or a “cliché” or a “nugget of wisdom”? Sorry guys, I’m still there; I have no great, earth-shaking ideas on how to convince people that killing/harming/hating someone just because that person is of a different color or ethnicity or religion or sexual orientation then you is morally bankrupt…if you think that way, you’re an asshole.

How do we, as a society, fix this problem? Sadly, I’m convinced that no matter how much people like myself and others speak out against injustice and hatred, racism is here to stay…there will always be some insecure, down-trodden, hate-filled jerk out there who thinks that the only way he can boost his self-esteem is by belittling/harming/hating others that are “different”. Beats the shit outta’ me how to fix it, but I know this…the first step to rectifying a problem is acknowledging its existence.

And calling out the assholes that perpetrate the problem in the first place.

I hope, with everything I am as a person, that my grandchildren grow up to live in a better world.

Love and tears,

Cap’n John

5/28/20

A LETTER TO COVID-19, BUT FIRST, YOU CAN TUNE A GUITAR BUT YOU CAN’T TUNA FISH

(Editor’s note: The following letter was posted by Cap’n John Krissongs on his Facebook page back on May 7th; the editors felt that the message and style were of the same high quality of writing for which the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog has become renowned throughout the blogosphere and decided to make it a permanent part of the WATRUK experience.)

But before we get to the letter…

Now I want to clear up a few things about seafood…first and foremost, eating creatures from our rivers, lakes and oceans is, well, how can I say it best, ah, gross? Yeah, gross works fine. No, I’ll pass, sorry, I’m okay without most seafood.

I’m no vegan/vegetarian goofball advocating for the rights of animals or deploring the slaughter of innocent wombats or whatever, although for my money, if you mistreat an animal, you oughtta’ be hung up by your balls. No, I’m okay with oink-oink piggies and moo-cows and the firm, supple and up-turned young breasts of chickens, but no, not most seafood. Hey, I have a couple of pieces of catfish in the freezer as we speak, purchased in a nice container from the store, and I’m all for an occasional piece of blackened orange roughy from one of those seafood places that sit right on the shore and serve whatever they can hook off the back porch with a rod and reel, drag it in, smack it on the head a good one before they toss it in a big, black cast-iron skillet. That’s all fine, but for the most part generally, eating seafood is, as I said…gross.

Okay, you want examples?

I’m reading again (for the umpteenth time) the excellent novel Straight Man by world-class author Richard Russo; in it there’s a scene in a bar where two of the minor characters are eating oysters, her for the first time with instructions from him. Let it slide down your throat, he tells her, after a three minute dissertation on the proper preparation of the oyster sauce. Down they go, slurped up by the dozen by these two drunken oyster-slurpers in between copious amounts of beer.

Eeeeyeew…yeah, sure, I’m going to let something that looks the result of a sea lion sneeze slide down my throat. Sea lion expectoration. (After seven years of college with a Bachelors in Social Distancing, I refuse to write the phrase “sea lion boogers”.) You don’t even chew the damn things, you just swallow…bleah.

Or crab legs…oh, like I’m really going to eat the legs from an animal that looks suspiciously like something that should live on a web. No, no fucking way, no. We sell fresh crab legs from the Seafood Department of the Publix grocery where I work part-time, and every time I bag up a bunch, all I can think is, those were carrying a large spider-like creature down the beach sideways just last week. Creeps me the fuck out. And yeah okay, ground beef was “on the hoof” once upon a time as well, but there’s a BIG visceral difference between a pound of ground chuck in a celluloid package and a plastic bag of what looks like the hacked-off legs of an arachnoid that has been eating nuclear waste.

And lobsters? Really? You want me to have as my dinner an animal that was alive and ambulatory until right before you tossed his innocent little butt into a POT OF BOILING WATER, YOU SADISTIC FUCK?!? Are you kidding me? I mean, couldn’t you at least give them a quick one to the noggin with a meat tenderizing mallet and knock’em cold first? Geez.

Or eels…there are no words descriptive enough, at least not in my vocabulary, to even begin to do justice to the grossosity of an eel. (Yes, grossosity…look it up.)

I am literally getting goose-bumps sitting here writing this…creepy, slimy disgusting damn things.

I’m thinking pizza.

Okay, time for the letter.

                                                             ######

An open letter to Covid-19:

Let me state here at the outset that, sir or madam, I don’t like you. (If you’re male, you’re a jerk, and if you’re female, you’re still a jerk.)

No, Mr./Ms. Covid, I don’t like you at all; you’re vile and you’re deadly and you’re creepy and your mother dresses you funny. You snuck into all of our lives a few months ago and things have pretty much sucked ever since you showed up. You’re making folks sick, you’re killing all kinds of innocent people, you kicked the economy in the nuts so hard that all it can do now is sit in the corner and make little mewling noises, you’re making those of us who you haven’t infected a little (a lot) nuts, you’re causing ALL kinds of angry arguments and debates over shit that, prior to your arrival, we wouldn’t have given a second thought to. (Wearing a mask in public? Only if it was Halloween or I was robbing a bank.) You’ve got some of the people in charge so paranoid that they’re telling everyone to stay home and remain in their bathrooms, cowering in fear while they spray disinfectant over their morning bagel, and then some other leader types saying, hey, fuck it, it’s time for full tilt boogey, the cure is worse than the problem, let’s go get a burger.

For me, and I suspect this is pretty much universal for most folks, I’m scared because I don’t know who to believe, I’m stressed out from the worry (am I going to die without getting laid at least once more?), I’m frustrated, I’m kind of dopey looking (okay, that one isn’t your fault) I’m confused about how to stay safe and I want my life back like it was before you came up on everyone’s radar.

And damn soon, thank you.

There’s been much speculation over the years among humans as to whether or not there’s intelligent life on other planets (there’s been some debate from time to time as to whether there’s any on our planet); if there are others out there, couldn’t you have landed somewhere else in the Galaxy and bothered them, like the Planet Zatox maybe? I mean, shit, I hate to wish any ill on the Zatoxians, but you know, hey, that’s their lookout.

I’m pretty sure I could get everyone on Earth to kick in five bucks (or rubles or francs or pilasters or douche-bags, you know, the German thing) and give the proceeds to you just so you would go away. Hell, I’ll kick in ten if you’ll take President Trump with you when you go. (You don’t have to make him sick, just drag his big butt out the door with you as you vacate the premises.)

It’s been so long since I shook someone’s hand that I’m not sure I remember how. (Yeah, I suppose it’s like sex, you know, a bike-riding thing. I hope anyhow.) And hugs? Not on your coronavirus, you prick, not these days.

You’ve made me angry, and I hate that; you’ve made me experience stress, and I hate that as well. You’ve made me afraid, and I REALLY hate that. Tell the truth, you’re not scoring a lot of points with me at all right now.

So, tell you what, Mr./Ms. Covid, do us all a favor and make like Apple stock and split, okay? Pack your bags, say your goodbyes and get on down the road. ‘Cause I’ve got several friends out there that owe me lunch and I’m getting tired of baloney and Clorox sandwiches. And I’d sell my kid sister to a band of itinerate nomads to be able to go to Walmart once again and make fun of all the rednecks. (Okay, I don’t have a kid sister, but you know what I mean.)

Go away, Mr./Ms. Covid, please…oh, if I make it $20 would take Mitch McConnell with you too?

Love and tartar sauce,

Cap’n John

CONSISTENCY IS THE PRODUCT OF A SICK MIND

There’s an old (please pardon the redundancy here) saying that’s been around for years that goes, there’s no fool like an old fool.

And as a good friend of mine is wont to say, I resemble that remark.

Okay, story time…be patient, children, I’m going somewhere with all this.

A couple of weeks ago, April 23rd to be precise, in a fit of rampant despondency, the result of spending a few hours/days/weeks wallowing in a slime-pit of self-pity, I posted a brief item here on the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog (since taken down) that said, basically, I quit.

No mas, that’s the ballgame, sayonara, turn in your badge and squirt-gun as you leave, hasta yo’ mama, I am already gone, on the road full-blast and top down, I quit.

I gave the middle finger salute to the whole thing and walked.

I was depressed (depressed my ass, I was irritated) about the “metrics” (stats…metrics just sounds like I know what I’m talking about) of the WATRUK website…they never seemed to go up (i.e., more visitors to the site, more readers), even after doing several months of Facebook advertising and constantly self-promoting on FB, Twitter and Instagram to the point that I feel like a shill for myself, the daily/monthly page views and visits just haven’t increased, and in fact occasionally have dropped a bit. (It was like watching the trading on a new stock you plunged your life’s savings into last year that’s now going nowhere, praying with your fingers, eyes and toes crossed.) And I got discouraged.

Now I’m not looking to be Dave Barry or even that Hershowitz guy here, but shit, come on already.

So I said fuck it and decided that, huffing and puffing and bloviating all over myself, I can find better things to do than bust my ass writing a blog that has, maybe, two dozen regular readers.

Good-looking readers, too, I will add, not like those ugly oinkers that read other humor bloggers.

In the meantime when all of this self-pity wallowing was going on, a curious thing began to happen.

I’ve gotten to be friends with one of kids that works with me at the Publix grocery store down in Trinity FL where I’m a part-time “bagger”; I helped her through a rough patch in her life last year and she laughs at my dumb jokes. Out of the blue one day recently, I get a Facebook “friend request” from her. I laughed at the idea, because most of my FB friends are contemporaries of mine, namely, old people. (Think tortoises and redwood trees.) But she’s a great kid (about 20), so I thought, why not?

Next thing I know, through that miracle of social media, like ripples on a pond, I now have this little group-cluster of 20-somethings, all fellow workers at Publix, all as my new FB BFF’s.

They remind me a little of those kids in the movie The Goonies.

So last week, again out of the blue and into the Black Sabbath, I get another FB “friend request”…

…and this one was from another co-worker, a young lady named Raneem, who is a friend of Sarah’s, a little pixie with a sweet, silly smile who is a member in good standing of the above-mentioned fellow workers/FB friends/Goonies groups (above).

Really? Really?

Now let explain about Raneem, best I can…I believe she’s about 20, college student, works part-time for Publix as a cashier, good worker, beautiful young woman, seems like a nice kid…and one I was pretty sure didn’t particularly like me. (It must run in her family, because her older brother works as a part-time cashier with us as well, and he hates my guts, which is okay, ‘cause I ain’t all that crazy about him either.) I mean, she and I haven’t passed six words to each other in the last year, never had a conversation about work or politics or what assholes some of our customers are or the Dodgers or anything. We’re like Tow Mater and Sally Carrera in the movie Cars…they’re both cars and they both live in Radiator Springs. And that’s it. Ditto Ms. R and myself.

Now I’m not well-versed in the fine art of subtlety, so the next time Raneem and I worked together, I walked over and asked her, point-blank and quote, why the hell would you want to be FB friends with an old fart like me? (I would have accepted the “because you’re obviously a pathetic, lonely old man with no life and a rather prominent nose, and I just felt so sorry for you” answer, albeit reluctantly.)

So this beautiful young woman looks at me and says, well Sarah told me about your blog and I read it and I liked it.

I immediately went in the office and called the local Sheriff’s Department, to come and arrest this girl for Assault with a Friendly Weapon.

I. Was. Stunned. Wash, rinse, repeat…I. Was. Stunned. I had absolutely no idea that she even knew about “the Cap’n” and/or the WATRUK blog and, bigger surprise, that, Holy Compliment, Batman, she liked it.

And it hit me, just like that, oh, Cap’n, you screwed up big.

I thanked her genuinely, telling her how flattered I was by what she said. Twice.

Oh, that thing that hit me? The realization of what I had done when I quit being “the Cap’n”.

I’ve said many times that I would write this blog even if no one read it, and despite my abrupt departure on 4/23, I still believe that. I am also not a believer in false humility…in my own stumbling way, I know I can write and that I’m funny; moreover, I like what I write, and I know some others that do as well. But being my own biggest fan should be enough.

All that I ever intended for the WATRUK blog to be is a place where my readers could go from time to time and a have a laugh or two in the face of all the horror and the fears and the worrying and the cruelty and the insaneness of our daily lives. (Yes, I know, you think I should have used the word “insanity” there, but I thought that “insaneness” portrayed what I was trying to convey more better.) A brief bit of levity to bring some cheer to someone’s passing hours, an oasis in a desert of everydayness. (Poetic, huh?)

Raneem isn’t the only person who has ever complimented me on the WATRUK blog; I’ve had a number of them over the past two-and-a-half years that I have been editor-in-chief. (Her’s just came as such a surprise.) So if you know that people (a few anyway) enjoy what you say here, that it brings them a moment or two of happiness from time to time, then aren’t you being a bit of an asshole, Mr. Selfish Pants Cap’n John, to decide to take your ball and bat and go home, just because The Huffington Post isn’t banging on your door, begging you to write a regular column? And I’m pretty sure she wasn’t just blowing smoke up my skirt, although if she had been, I would rather she had waited until I had my Little Bo Peep costume on, the one with the bonnet and the, well, never mind that now.

Anyway, I changed my mind…the Cap’n, after a short-lived and mostly below average retirement, has returned.

And the crowd went wild.

Maybe not every week like I’ve been doing for some time now…biggest problem with weekly posting is, as I like to call it, the disease of “writerius blockosis”; sometimes I just don’t have any idea what to talk about, and I’m bright enough to know to keep my big yap shut when I have nothing pertinent to say, unlike our President, who’s never had a thought he didn’t just blurt right out with a regularity that is astonishing. Hey, Mr. Trump, speaking of quitting, any possibility you’ll just get tired of the whole mess and go back to being a mendacious, obnoxious, woman-groping reality-show host and let America go find a real President? Huh? That likely?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Love and a woman’s prerogative to change her mind,

Cap’n John

Post Script…hey, Raneem, thanks again. Much appreciated.

You’re a lot nicer than Sarah says you are. (Please insert winky-face here.)