IS THIS THE PARTY TO WHOM I’M SPEAKING?_CHAPTER THREE

(Please note: the following “opening” for this week’s post is being presented as a “probationary” piece, is in no way permanent, and as such is subject to recall and replacement at any time should the said “opening” fail to command the reader’s attention or bore the reader to tears. A determination will be made subsequent to the reading of the said “opening” as to its permanence in this post. All hail rock n’ roll. The Editor.)

And speaking of fertility, as many of you know, I am the proud father of a fine and beautiful daughter, Gunther, who has given our family two fine sons, my grandprogeny, as it were. (Zounds, I believe I just invented a word; Tammie, I know you’re there monitoring…please call Funk and Webster’s and tell them we intend to copyright the word “grandprogeny” and that we’ll sell them the rights of usage for a bajillion dollars, or rupees, or douchebags or whatever currency they prefer to use. Thanks.)

(Tammie Wetzel, my stalwart First Mate, monitors my posts as I’m writing them in real time for content/spelling, and most importantly to keep me from stepping on the ol’ crank too often; nice lady.)

Anyway, my two grandprogeny©, namely The Ballplayer and his kid brother, The Smaller Ballplayer, are of course the apples of their grandfather’s eye (which is a really dumb saying, by the way)…

(Over the intercom on the desk…)

“CAP’N?”

Excuse me…

‘Yes, Ms. Wetzel.’

“UH, SIR, FIRST, THAT’S ‘DRACHMAS’, NOT ‘DOUCHEBAGS’. SECOND, I CALLED ABERCROMBIE AND FITCH AND THEY DIDN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT I MEANT ABOUT COPYRIGHTS AND USAGES AND ALL THAT OTHER LEGAL SHIT.”

Tammie, being a sailor, is sometimes guilty of using “salty language”…she’s also sometimes guilty of being able to screw up a two house paper-route.

‘Ms. Wetzel, that was Funk and Webster’s, the dictionary company; Abercrombie and Fitch sells so-called “trendy clothing” and abuses their sales associates.’

“OH YES SIR, SORRY, SIR, I’LL CALL FRANKS AND BEANS IMMEDIATELY.”

‘First Mate?’

“YES, CAP’N?”

‘That’s Funk and Webster’s.’

“YES, SIR.”

‘Thank you, First Mate. And Ms. Wetzel?’

“YES, SIR.”

‘We need to work on your communication skills.’

“YES, SIR.”

Geez.

Now, all of the above came about because I couldn’t come up with an opening for this week’s post…I was sitting here completely stumped when for some reason an article I saw (didn’t read) in this morning’s Tampa Bay Times about “fertility” (not mine, someone else’s) popped into my head, there being PLENTY of room in there for things to just “pop in”. Being in an advanced state of “stumplativity” (holy Scrabble, Batman, I think I just invented another great word. Tam…whoops, bad idea; I’ll call them myself when I finish here), I thought “why not”, pulled my keyboard/revolver out of its holster and like the outlaw “Billy the Squid”, I just let fly.

And that, dear readers, is what you get when you approach writing a blog post using the “Get Your Scatter Guns, Boys, The Camshaft Rollers Are Baking Iron Oranges Again” Method of Writing Fine Literature.

And speaking of “communication” (boy, that is the segue of the century for me), did I mention I got a call from the White House the other day? No? Did I mention having grandprogeny©? Oh, I did…sorry.

Anyway, yeah, I got another call from our President, Donald “Tweety Bird” Trump; seems he had a few more things to tell me about since last we spoke (IS THIS THE PARTY TO WHOM I’M SPEAKING?_CONTINUED). And if you guys all pitch in and give me a hundred bucks, I’ll keep the story to myself…otherwise, here goes.

“It was a dark and stormy night…”

Skip that.

My phone was ringing (without my permission, I might add) as I walked into my office that day; when I went to pick it up I noticed the caller ID…it said “202-456-1111”.

Oh shit, the White House again.

Geez, the last time I heard from the WH, PTB had to be subdued by large security personnel with ginormous biceps to get the phone away from him, and then his psychia, sorry, his “personal” physician, Dr. Basil Leaves, came on the line and told me that His Eminence had taken ill and that he (PTB, not the doctor) would call me back (IS THIS THE PARTY TO WHOM I’M SPEAKING?_CONTINUED).

Oh, lucky me. First time I’ve heard from him since then…I was hoping he had forgotten me.

“Cap’n John…”

“This is the White House calling…please hold for the Supreme Commander, His Royal Awesomeness, the Second Coming of the Alien Messiah, Donald Trump…”

Oh gag me with a holy sepulcher.

Then that voice, that high-pitched, odd voice came on the line…

“Cap’n John? Can I call you Cap’n John? This is SCHRASCAM Donald Trump…we spoke back in April of 2, TE (Trump Era)…how you doin’?” he asked breathily.

“Pres, we had this conversation previously…you call me ‘Cap’n’ and I’ll call you ‘Satan’, sorry, ‘Pres’ and we’ll get along fine. Not.” Was that rude, do you think?

“YOU WILL BOW TO ME, CRETIN, OR I WILL RAIN DOWN FIRE AND BRIMSTONE AND HOCKEY PUCKS AND LAY WASTE TO YOUR HOME AND FAMILY, INCLUDING YOUR AUNT RALPH…uh, sorry, just a little joke there, you know? Heh-heh, just keeping things loose…”

“Pres, let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Why are you calling me?”

“Well, Mr. Impatient Cap’n, I’ll just tell you why. I recently sat down with my advisors…”

“Which ones?” I quickly broke in with.

“Well, Mr. Rude Blogger, even though you interrupted me, I’ll go ahead and answer your question anyway. There was my son-in-law Wretched, err, I mean Jared and my daughter Tonka, my wife Melonoma, that guy Pompous or Pompeii or whatever the hell his name is, the SecState guy, the little dude that sweeps up the in East Wing at night, a couple of other Cabinet people who are always hangin’ around here and not doing anything, KellyAnne Conway Twitty and of course my new Chief of Staff, uh, uh, shit…(puts his hand over the phone, muffling his voice, and speaks to someone there with him)…hey, Secret Service guy, what’s the name of the new ChiefStaff? What is it? Mulvaney, right, got it…who the hell hired that Mick asshole? Okay, you’re dismissed…(comes back online)…and yeah, Mulberry, my new and improved ChiefStaff, and I decided, with their agreement, that we needed to make more people aware of the dangers of an unprotected Southern border and the need for a |WALL| between us and all those small, brown drug-dealers and rapists down there in Meckizo or Humdinger or whatever they call those Third World shitholes they live in, and that the best way to do that was with a series of “in-depth” interviews with select media and blogging personalities, such as yourself, which would be so amazing, to more deeply explore and allow me to better explain why the building of my |WALL| is so imperative.”

“So, Pres, like I said, now that you’ve bored me to tears with your three minute explanation that explained nothing, why me?”

What did PTB REALLY want with me? Why was he calling to grant an “exclusive interview” to an insignificant but devastatingly good-looking blogger such as myself? What was he up to? What was he trying to gain? How the hell did the Bears manage to blow that game last Sunday against the Eagles? Is there no justice in the world? And who is John Galt?

You guys come back here next week and I’ll give you all the answers to those questions, except the one about the Bears…that was inexplicable.

I forgot to ask the grandprogeny© if they watched the game last weekend…note to me: text the boys and find out.

Further note to me; don’t take any more calls from 202-456-1111.

Love and Gonadotropins (here, I’ll save you a Google, it’s a fertility drug),

Cap’n John

LEARNING MY LINES

I love the Internet.

I love all the information available online…me and Google are real buddies, and I’ve become close personal friends with WikiPedia and WikiDictionary as well. (Yes, I know it should be “Google and I”, but it sounded cooler my way.)

I always seem to be running into interesting little factoids when I’m perusing the headlines/news, and my education is growing by leaps and bounds. (Isn’t that a wonderful mental image?) So when I came across another of those “click-bait” thingies about “Greatest All-Time Movie Misquotes” or something like that, I was intrigued. I figured I could shove another few bits of random, unimportant info into my not-that-crowded-anyway brain, and clicked away. And off down the path to a higher enlightenment I went.

I’ll get to what I found in a moment but first a word from our sponsor…

I don’t know about you guys but I wouldn’t buy insurance (or anything else for that matter) from any company that uses that creepy-looking “Flo” character as their spokesperson. I’m sure Stephanie Courtney, the actress with two first names who portrays the over-lipsticked, 60’s bouffant hairdo-wearing Progressive Insurance lady is a very nice person, but her character just creeps me out completely. Almost as much as Macaulay Culkin or those repulsive Olson twins…those two look like the subjects of a PSA on the evils of drug addiction. (Of course, Mr. Totally Sophisticated has his auto coverage with the company that has a small, green reptile who speaks with an Aussie accent as their spokesanimal…yeah, I’m cool.)

(Announcer’s voice, with strong emphasis) “And now, from the deck of the R U Kidding, it’s the Cap’n John Comedy Hour, featuring our star, the Captain and Master of the Kidding, CAP’N JOHN KRISSONGS!” (Applause light comes on.)

Hey there, exhaust fans…here’s some of the examples of “movie misquotes” that I found recently…

~The line wasn’t “Mirror, mirror on the wall”…

                …it was “MAGIC mirror on the wall,”

~It wasn’t “Houston, we have a problem”…

                …it was “Houston, we are so fucked.”

~It wasn’t “If you build it, they will come”…

                …it was “If you build it, HE will come.”

~It wasn’t “You’re going to need a bigger boat”…

                …it was “You’re going to need a synthesized, gamma ray-generating 56mm harmonizing laser cannon to kill that big-ass fish.”

~It wasn’t “Hello, Clarice”…

                …it was “GOOD EVENING, Clarice”. (And speaking of creepy.)

~It wasn’t “Nobody puts Baby in the corner”…

                …it was “Did your other daughter REALLY sing that stupid Hawaiian song onstage? Geez”.

~It wasn’t “Luke, I am your father”…

                …it was “NO, I am your father”.

~It wasn’t “Luke, I am your father”…

                …it was “Luke, I’m really your long lost sister’s neighbor’s mailman, as well as your second cousin on your father’s starboard side”.

~It wasn’t “Luke, I am your father”…

                …it was “Scotty, beam us up”. (Sorry, sometimes I get Star Wars/Trek confused.)

~It wasn’t “Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn”…

                …it was “Frankly, MY DEAR, I don’t give a damn”.

We’ll have more Cap’n John and the Tale of the Three-Legged Burmese Hooker after these messages.

By show of hands, how many of you are as sick and tired of hearing about “the Royals” as I am? Geez already, Kate and Meghan and Goneril and Charles and William and Hortense and Camille and Liz and Oswald and Harry and Diana (the media still won’t leave that poor woman alone even though she’s been dead over twenty years) and Sarah (remember her?) and Phillip and Shaquille and shit, enough already. They’re not even AMERICAN royalty, they’re BRITISH for crissake, who cares? And even if they were American, THEY DON’T DO ANYTHING BUT MAKE HEADLINES FOR NOT DOING ANYTHING, WHO GIVES A SHIT? It’s like someone once said about that just-as-creepy-as-Flo Paris Hilton…”She’s famous for being famous.” Hey, if the people in the U.K. want to get all giddy and do the pee-pee dance over “the Queen”, more power to them…happy fish and chips or whatever.

We now return to Cap’n John Gets A Bikini Wax…

~It wasn’t “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too”…

                …it was “Kid, don’t screw with me, I got winged monkeys flying out of my butt”.

~It wasn’t “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore”…

                …it was “I’m AS mad as hell, and I’m not going to take THIS anymore”.

~It wasn’t “I’ll have what she’s having”…

                …it was “OMG, are you kidding me, that incredibly hot girl over there, beautifully faking an orgasm, is with that just-as-creepy-as-Flo-looking guy?” (I understand the actor that uttered that line was Billy Crystal’s mother in real life, just adding to BC’s basic creepiness quotient.)

And fade to black.

(Announcer’s voice, firm but sad) “Until next week, when the Cap’n rides the waves again…”)

Had enough? Yeah, me too…let’s talk about something else.

I’ve mentioned previously that, speaking of talking, I talk to myself, out loud, constantly, when I’m at home alone (BOY, THE WETTER YOU GET, THE OLDER IT WANTS). Whole conversations, back and forth. And I have this sardonic, mildly sarcastic “voice” that I answer myself with any time I’m being sardonic or mildly sarcastic.

Anyway, one evening last week I was working at my PC and listening to the Beach Boys Greatest Hits, specifically “L’il Deuce Coupe”, and at one point (WAY, WAY, WAY more than one…WAY, WAY more) I stopped what I was doing and started to sing along with the Boys. So we got to the part in the 2nd verse where it says, “…she’s ported and relieved and she’s stroked and bored…” and my sardonic, sarcastic voice kicked in before I could clap my hand over its mouth and said, “Yeah, I wouldn’t mind getting stroked and bored” and as soon as Mr. SarSar finished commenting, I mentally grimaced and thought, “OMG, was that disgusting or what? Geez.”

Okay, I have to stop now…I owe myself a 10% reduction in the number of words I write this week because my post last week (ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T GETTING ANY (AND I DON’T MEAN ADVICE)_VOL 6) was too long by about 33% (I try to keep my posts around 1200 words…I figure if I can’t bore you by then, I should quit) and last week’s was a whopping 1647. I was possessed by the ghost of Charles Dickens I guess. Anyway, I’m going to pay myself back over the next three weeks, 10% each week.

Hey, I would expect the same from you guys…it’s only fair.

Oh, and FYI (1), I got a call from 202-456-1111 the other day…more about that next week, in a slightly reduced (10%) post.

Love and Oscars, (It wasn’t “E.T. phone home”, it was…sorry.)

Cap’n John

Post Script…FYI (2), 202-456-1111 is the phone number for the White House, temporary (just not temporary enough) home of our current President, Donald “Tweety Bird” Trump. You will recall, I’ve had previous phone conversations with His Eminence, (IS THIS THE PARTY TO WHOM I’M SPEAKING?) (IS THIS THE PARTY TO WHOM I’M SPEAKING?_CONTINUED) and I am breathless, breathless with excitement to tell you what happened when we spoke recently.

Talk about doing the pee-pee dance.

Post Post Script…Please please, do yourselves a favor and click on this link and then listen to Creedence doing It Came Out Of The Sky; I absolutely guarantee you will feel better about things. It Came Out Of The Sky is also the name of the forthcoming book from author Frank Lee Scarlett, which explores the origins and early life of our President, Donald “Tweety Bird” Trump. Mr. Scarlett poses and attempts to answer such questions as, “Is PTB really the alien Second Coming of the Messiah (IS THIS THE PARTY TO WHOM I’M SPEAKING_CONTINUED) as he apparently believes?” as well as, “Why wasn’t a giant wall erected in outer space just outside the Earth’s atmosphere to keep these guys out?” and “Is there any way to trade him back to the aliens for a used synthesized, gamma ray-generating 56mm harmonizing laser cannon, a left-handed relief pitcher and a case Ex-Lax?”

WAY more.

You didn’t really think I was going to quit early, did you?

ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T GETTING ANY (AND I DON’T MEAN ADVICE)_VOL 6

So here I am on the day after Christmas 2018, all the frivolity and the hilarious madcap fun from the holiday now receding into and mixing with all the other memories of so many other thrill-packed Hallmark moments from over the years…for me, holidays are like visits to a proctologist; a pain in the ass but necessary. (I always felt the same way, back before I retired, about working for a living.)

I was perusing the headline news on the ‘Net a little while ago when I stumbled across one of those silly “click-bait” thingies about the movie It’s A Wonderful Life; you know the ones I’m talking about…they portray such topics as “50 Things You Should Know About Peroxide”, or “The 25 Early Signs Of Rampant Mopery” or “10 Ways To Earn Money With Dryer Lint”. This one was catchy…”A Bunch Of Things You Didn’t Know About Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life”. Or some such nonsense.

Typically I ignore these things because either a) I don’t give a lusty crap about the subject (“Are My Labia Too Big? 10 Ways To Tell”) or b) I’m too busy at that point to stop and read the article, or c) I’m having a bad karma day and I don’t want to take the chance of offending the Internet gods (don’t ask).

But since I do care about the subject matter in this instance, It’s A Wonderful Life being one of my all-time fave movies, as well as Jimmy Stewart being one of my all-time fave actors, I clicked on the link to edify myself about this cinematic classic. (I always thought that Donna Reed, Mrs. George Bailey in the movie, and Gloria Grahame, the actor who played “Violet”, were totally hot. Especially Vi.)

As usual when I read one of these things, I learned something. (Aristotle once postulated “horror vacui”, which is Burmese for “your labia are too big”, as a way of expressing…)

(In the background, a phone begins ringing.)

Hang on, lemme’ see who this is…

“Cap’n John…”

“Hi, Tammie, what’s up?”

“I’m sorry, it means what?”

“Yeah, that would make a lot more sense…”

“Okay, thanks for the heads-up.”

That was Tammie Wetzel, my First Mate here on the R U Kidding…she spell-checks/monitors my posts in real time to keep me from stepping on my johnson too badly; she says Aristotle’s “horror vacui” is actually Latin and really means “nature abhors a vacuum”; I’m not sure why Nature gives a shit one way or the other about a vacuum, but if Aristotle said it, then it’s good enough for me.

Anyway, I was saying that, since Nature apparently has a problem with a vacuum, which in physics is described as a “true empty space”, I’m not surprised that I constantly learn new things, given the plethora of space in between my ears. Nature fulfilling her primal urges or whatever.

I learned from the article on Wonderful Life that many people, probably supporters of President Donald “Tweety Bird” Trump, didn’t understand that the term “Buffalo gals”, from the song that George sang to Mary (Donna Reed’s character), referred to women from Buffalo NY, and as a popular vaudeville tune of the era was oftentimes edited to coincide with the town in which a show was playing, such as “Chicago gals” or “New York gals” or “Climax gals”, named after the town in Georgia. Apparently many people thought the “Buffalo gals” were akin to werewolves or other anthropomorphic creatures that shape-change at will, another characteristic of our President.

From deep, deep down in the well of my memory I recalled a cartoon from many years ago by one of my all-time fave cartoonists, Gary Larson, about “Buffalo gals” and of course had to go looking on the ‘Net for it. (See above, up there.)

Yes, I have dated women who resemble Ms. Buffalo.

Which of course brings me to the subject of today’s post…all the letters, emails, texts, telegrams, smoke-signals, secret decoder ring messages and carrier-pigeon notes that I receive, re my readers love-lives, or the obvious lack of “Buffalo Gals/Guys” or anything else remotely like “romance” in their squalid, pathetic existences.

I thought I would share a few with you, my loyal readers…

“Cap’n John:

I’m a fairly young Holstein Friesian steer living in Australia, and because of my immense size (6’4” at the shoulders, weighing well in excess of 3000 pounds) I have a hard time attracting hot bovine chicks; okay, that should be “calves” but I figure you’d get my meaning. I’ve heard about these “Buffalo gals” and knowing that buffalo are WAY bigger than domestic cattle, I thought, given all your weird, ahh, excuse me, extensive contacts in the field of animal husbandry that you might be able to connect me up with one of these beauties. I could really use your help, Cap’n…wait, what am I thinking, I’m a steer, I don’t have any balls, why would I need to hook-up with a Buffalo gal or a hot Hereford for that matter? Never mind.

                                                                Confused in Canberra”

Dear “Confused”:

                According to the magazine New Scientist, and I’m quoting here, “Breathing in Moon dust could kill you”. Now I don’t know about you guys, but despite the fact that I’m grateful for the heads-up, I’m actually not that afraid of inadvertently breathing in Moon dust; given that the Moon is approximately 235,000 miles from Earth, has no oxygen and no Uber service, the threat seems minimal. However, I understand that NASA has discussed establishing a colony of Buffalo gals on the Moon, but to date that plan is still in the talking stages.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/breathing-in-moon-dust-could-kill-you/ar-BBR6oiV?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=mailsignout

“Dear Cap’n John:

                I have had it! I have tried every way I can think of, every way suggested by those dopey articles that trumpet “100 Ways To Attract A Woman That Isn’t A Beast”, done all the due diligence, read all the self-help books and nothing, nada, zero, bupkis has come from all my efforts; I can’t seem to find a decent woman who desires a relationship with a nice-looking, intelligent, early 30’s hetero (mostly) male who happens to make his living as a shepherd. Bah! Enough with all this sheep dip; tell me what to do, Cap’n, where are all the awesome, sexy women hiding out?

                                                       The Abominable NoMan (see Genesis 46:34)”

Dear “Abominable”:

                Boy, I hope you’re not one of those “shepherds” that Leviticus warned us about in Chapter 18, Verse 23, KPV (King Of Pop version). That’s disgusting. (Little known factoid…Michael Jackson was a part-time shepherd.)

“Dear Cap’n:

                Did you hear the one about the lady who took her pet dog to the vet because he (the dog, not the vet) was having a hard time hearing? Yeah, the vet examined the dog, put some Nair on a Q-tip, swabbed the dog’s ears, which were full of dog hair (well, d’uh), let it set for a few minutes and then rubbed it out. The dog immediately began hearing small noises and other sounds he had missed before. The vet suggested the lady apply the Nair every few weeks, and she went on her way. She stopped at a pharmacy to get some Nair, couldn’t find it and eventually asked the druggist for help. He went and got her Nair, and asked her if she had ever used the product before. When she answered no, he proceeded to explain that if she used it on her legs, that she shouldn’t then shave them for three-four days after. When she said she wasn’t going to use the Nair on her lags, the pharmacist then said, well, if you’re using it on your underarms, same thing. No, she said, I’m going to use it on my Schnauzer. The Pharmacy guy looked at her, blinked and said, well, in that case, better stay off your bike for at least a week. Sorry, I’m a stand-up comedian in my late 30’s and my luck with women is a joke. Please help me, Cap’n, otherwise I’m afraid I’ll do something distasteful at the next CA (Celibates Anonymous) meeting.

                                                                                Standing Up and Alone”

Dear “Alone”:

                What was it Rodney Dangerfield said? “Now I know why some species eat their young.”

“Mr. Cap’n Krissongs John:

                This is your last notice; if this matter isn’t settled by close of business tomorrow…”

Okay, never mind that one.

“Cap’n John:

                I’m a moderately attractive, but very sexy woman in my late 20’s who works at an animal hospital as a veterinary technician; I get along great with the puppies and the kitties and the hamsters and the gerbils and the llamas and the hyenas but I have absolutely no luck with men. There’s a guy in the office next to our clinic, a nice guy who brings his pet skink (no, I didn’t misspell “skunk”; Google it) in from time to time, who looks interesting. When he was in last week, I was holding a client’s dog on my lap, and when I asked Mr. Next Door Man if he wanted to pet my Schnauzer, he said that would be great, but not until I got that dog off my lap. Yes, I like to scratch my ears with my feet, but hey, that doesn’t make me a “barker”, does it? What can I do to get something going romantically with our neighbor?

                                                                                Puppy Patty”

Dear “Patty”:

                They covered that “sexual relations with your neighbor” thing in Leviticus 18:20…see also “Abominations For Fun And Profit”, by Dr. Beth LaHem (BuffaloGal Press, 2018).

Well, that’s all the time I have today to answer all your questions about abominations, uh, sorry, your love-lives.

Oh, and FYI, the cabdriver and the local cop in It’s A Wonderful Life were named Bert and Ernie.

By show of hands, how many of you think the Bert and Ernie characters from Sesame Street are gay? Or at least more interested in each other than any Buffalo Gal?

Love and Bedford Falls,

Cap’n John

Post Script…if all you guys send me $5 each, I promise to never quote from the Bible again. Cross my heart.

Post Post Script…thanks to comedian Bill Engvall for the joke about the Schnauzer.

 

DEAR SANTA: DEFINE “NAUGHTY”…

Dear Santa:

I can explain…

Remember the scene in the original Blues Brothers movie where Carrie Fisher has John Belushi trapped in the tunnel under the highway and is holding an automatic weapon on him, preparing to shoot his lying, betraying butt for standing her up at the altar? JB is on his knees, begging her not to kill him.

“I swear”, he cries, “it wasn’t my fault”.

“My car ran out of gas…”

“I had a flat tire…”

“I didn’t have any money for cab fare…”

“My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners…”

“An old friend came in from out of town…”

“Someone stole my car…”

“We had an earthquake…” (In Illinois?)

“There was a flood…”

“~…locusts…”

“IT WASN’T MY FAULT!”

Impressive list.

Just to set the tone here, I still believe in Santa Claus. Yes, it’s true, I still believe in the whole Santa and the elves and Mrs. Santa and Rudolph and the other reindeer and the toy factory and the sliding down the chimney, leaving presents and eating the milk and cookies schtick.

And don’t tell me about fantasies and impossibilities, okay? ‘Cause as far as I’m concerned, Funk and Webster’s should have taken the word “impossible” right out of their forking dictionary on November 9th 2016, the day after Donald “Tweety Bird” Trump got elected President of the United States.

Impossible? Shit, that was double-secret probation unbelievable.

I can still remember clearly watching all the election night/political analyst dweebs on CNN fumble-fucking all over themselves that evening, trying to wrap their minds around and then explain how in the world Donald Trump got elected, despite all their analysis and predictions that he didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of beating Hillary “Lock Her Up” Clinton. (I didn’t think he did either.) The visages and verbal expressions of incredulity were everywhere. From the way their faces looked, you would have thought Wolf Blitzer had suddenly run on-camera stark naked from the wings offstage, yelling that he was the Emperor of Spleens and that he would sprout angel wings, fly off the roof of the CNN building there in Hotlanta and swoop down on Jane Fonda to prove it. (Yeah, I know, Jane and Ted aren’t together anymore, but who was Wolf gonna’ swoop down on, Hank Aaron?)

Stunned. Like a bovine hit with a cattle prod, right between the eyes stunned.

Impossible? Don’t tell me about impossible after that fiasco.

So yeah, I still believe in Santa. And the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny and the Great Pumpkin and the check is in the mail. As far as I’m concerned, all bets are off since that November night, just over two years ago.

Anyway, I was in the middle of writing my annual letter to Santa Claus…

It wasn’t my fault, Santa, because I was led astray by evil, wanton women, who forced me to pursue sins of the flesh (repeatedly), to drink “likker” (repeatedly), to indulge myself with illegal drugs (repeatedly), to get a nipple ring (not repeatedly), to boldly go where no man has gone before and to party on, Wayne.

Party on, Garth.

So given my complete lack of culpability here (just like certain folks of the “liberal” persuasion…it’s always someone else’s fault), I’m going to give you my “wish list”, Santa, and hope you can see your way clear to bring me these things. At least one or two anyway.

Here we go…

~An electric train set. Not one of those little baby, roundy-round things, but one of those huge, fills up the whole basement monster sets with buildings and mountains and bridges and bushes and trees and tiny towns and little crossing barriers that go up and down and all kinds of cool-looking little railroad cars and engines in G or HO or BS scale or whatever the hell they are, chugging around the tracks making little “whoo-whoo” noises and blowing real smoke out the smokestacks. I’ll build it, I just need a place to keep it and the money to pay for it…that’s where you come in.

~A synthesized, gamma ray-generating 56mm harmonizing laser cannon.

~Some new underwear.

~Eight maids a-milkin’.

~A Pagani Huayra. (Please, oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please. A Porsche 718 Boxster would be okay too, but the Pagani would be way cool.)

~Every album ever recorded by the 1910 Fruit Gum Company.

~A Taylor 858ce twelve-string acoustic.

~And just like Sandra Bullock and all the contestants in the Miss United States beauty pageant (“It’s a scholarship program!”) in the movie Miss Congeniality, world peace.

~Oh, and free beer.

Yeah, I know, it seems like a lot, but honest SC, I truly have been good, other than those one or two moments of indiscretion I alluded to above. Certainly getting the nipple ring wasn’t really a “bad” thing to do, and it was way better than doing what Kelsey Grammer did in the movie Down Periscope…he had “Welcome Aboard” tattooed on his johnson, which now that I think of it, maybe wouldn’t be such a bad thing to have, being the Captain and Master of the R U Kidding and all.

Well, maybe just a decal (a very small one) at first, just to see how it looks.

Tell you what, Santa, I’ve got a better idea…instead of bringing me or anyone else all the material crap on their lists that, quite probably, they don’t need anyway, how about you take all the money and effort you would usually expend and build new places for those poor folks down in Puerto Rico? Or help out all the Floridians who lost everything they owned after Hurricane Michael? Or give a hand to all those poor people out there in Paradise and the rest of the California? In fact, how about if you just shut down the toyworks completely and put the elves to work on these types of projects all year round from now on?

I mean, I don’t really need a Huayra, and I can buy my own underwear. And how many more buildings and resorts and golf courses does Donald Trump need anyway?

Besides, it would save me having to write one of these dopey letters every December if you did.

Love and mistletoe,

Cap’n John

Post Script…full disclosure here: I didn’t really get a nipple ring.

I got two.

THE USPS…ON THE JOB, LIKE IT OR NOT

Unlike today’s younger generation, the so-called “millennials” in particular, I grasp the arcane concept of a “newspaper” in the old-fashioned sense of a news organ that has a form (ink on paper) other than digital pixels on a screen; I have been an inveterate daily newspaper reader since back in my college days.

(Full disclosure…these days I read the online version of the daily Tampa Bay Times; I miss the tactile feel of the paper in my hands, but I got sick of walking out in the morning to find it drenched and unreadable from the overnight rain.)

Back then, living in the medium-sized town of Joliet IL (yes, the same Joliet made famous in the original Blues Brothers movie, population approximately 75,000 in the 1970’s), I read the local paper, the Joliet Herald News. Most of the residents of the area read the “Snooze”, as we called it, along with one of the Chicago dailies, either the Chicago Sun Times, which was the Democratic, more liberal news source, or the mighty Chicago Tribune, a Republican powerhouse of international scope and national prominence and influence.

It was the Tribune for me, from back in the mid-70’s through the mid-90’s when I moved from Chicago to Los Angeles, where I then got the daily Los Angeles Times, which in those days was owned by the Tribune Company and considered a “sister” paper to the Trib, all the way through to this morning’s TB Times; I read it all, every morning, the front page, the national news, the local news, the sports section, the “funnies” (still my fave part of the paper) and of course, the editorial page, or “op-ed” page as we savvy media veterans refer to it.

Pretty much all the papers I’ve ever seen in this country print, alongside the opinions of the editors on the “op-ed” page, letters they receive from readers, allowing the authors of said letters the opportunity to sound off about this, that and the other subject; it’s been my experience that the “Letters To The Editor”, along with the opinions contained therein, are much like assholes…a) everyone seems to have one and b) most of them stink.

As the Captain and Master of the R U Kidding, as well as the editor of this blog, like newspapers, I often receive letters from my readers, either complaining that I have in one of my posts maligned one of their personal sacred cows or that I have made some comment to which they feel compelled to respond. Since the only things I was contemplating doing this evening were either a) watching reruns of The Beverly Hillbillies in Burmese (with subtitles), b) rewriting Article Two of the United States Constitution and reducing the term of the Presidency down to one week, retroactive back to January 19th, 2017 or c) publishing some of the letters I mentioned above, I decided to take the high road and share some of the more colorful and sophomoric, excuse me, interesting missives that I have received here at the WATRUK blog.

To wit, here are some excerpts that I thought you might enjoy (or that might make you yark into your azaleas)…

“As President of the Society for the Lovers of Pond Scum (SLOPS), I must take serious umbrage with your post of 4/12/18 (IS THIS THE PARTY TO WHOM I’M SPEAKING?) in which you compare President Donald Trump to one of nature’s most misunderstood substances, the great American pond scum. It is a grievous and uncalled-for malignment of this most precious of our native algaes to make this invidious comparison, and I can assure you that, should you continue this foul defamation in future columns, SLOPS will be compelled to mount a boycott of your blog and to suggest to your readers that they not only discontinue their readership, but to also seek you out and whack your peenie. This vile durance will not be tolerated.”

                                                Dan DeLyon, President, SLOPS”

“In your post of 11/29/18 (THOUGHTS ON THE BLOGGER AS AUTHOR) you mention the cruel and frankly sick act of the shaving of a gerbil, perpetrated by a character in one of your sick, twisted stories, and we here at the Society for the Prevention of Animal Zoomorphism (SPAZ) are sickened and angered by this disgusting mistreatment of one of these adorable little rodents. You are a repulsive, sick, despicable, degenerate, twisted, sick, repulsive, gross, nasty, deplorable, twisted, reprehensible, disgusting, sick individual and we most sincerely hope that you contract an advanced case of crotch lice and then die from sclerosis of the blowhole, a lonely and broken man. Thank you.”

                                                Patty Melt, Secretary, SPAZ

“Re your column of 11/14/18 (ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T GETTING ANY (AND I DON’T MEAN ADVICE)_VERSION 5.0) wherein you state that you and your daughter were “doing disgusting things to our cat with a salad fork”; this is the kind of flagrant abuse of an innocent feline that sick, disgusting, perverted, gross, horrible, degenerate, filthy, lying, sick, degenerate, perverted asswipes such as yourself find amusing. You are disgusting and perverted.”

                                                Laurel Enhardy, Hippo KY

“As the President of the 1910 FruitGum Company Fan Club, and their Number One Fan, I want to thank you for mentioning this most influential and yet sadly now mostly forgotten American rock band in your recent post of 11/14/18 (ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T GETTING ANY (AND I DON’T MEAN ADVICE)_VERSION 5.0). “Simon Says” rock on, and we “Gummers” agree!”

                                                April Showers, Butt (excuse me) Butte MT

“People here in Idaho (home of the great Grown In Idaho® potato and sister state to Wisconsin, home of sour cream) are frankly damn sick and tired of being made fun of by disgusting, gross, lying, despicable, lying, nasty, gross, disgusting shitwads such as yourself just because we appear russet, sorry, rustic and backwards to you. To imply that Idaho has no universities or institutions of higher learning, as you did in your post of 5/11/18 (A YOUNG MAN AND THE SEA-THE SAGA OF LEAK POHLUPS, BABY SAILOR) is an au graten, excuse me, rotten thing to say, and I think you should be French fried, damn it, vilified for saying it. You are sick, disgusting and reprehensible, and you obviously have no respect for the peelings, shit, feelings of others.”

                                                Jack Cheese, Idaho Falls (down) ID

“I can’t believe you ordered your First Mate Tammie Wetzel thrown overboard 4/1/18 (HOW LONG? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?). You are really a sick, repulsive, gross, unfeeling swine. But hey, I loved your post about the mule who wouldn’t plow (ANYBODY GOT A 2X4 I CAN BORROW 4/24/18). Keep up the good work, you freak.”

                                                Sue Perficial, Pee Pee OH

“Cap’n John, you rock. Love your blog.”

                                                The Behind Bars Reading Group, Stateville                                                                  Penitentiary, Joliet IL

“Cap’n John Krissongs, your application to become a resident of the Home for the Chronically Bewildered has been processed and we are happy to let you know that you have been accepted. Please contact me at your earliest convenience to discuss the details of your residency.”

                                                Juan Atatime, Director

And a big thank you goes out to our Founding Fathers for the wisdom and foresight to ensure that Americans have a free press and freedom of expression…Ben and James and Thomas and all the guys must be spinning in their graves these days.

Love and newsprint,

Cap’n John

SPREAD THE WORD, SPREAD THE JOY

In the spirit of the season (holiday, not NFL), I would like to talk about giving back for just a brief moment; no, I won’t bore you with a long monologue about how my Uncle Mortimer once gave $27 gazillion dollars to the Me-Wuk Native American tribe of California to save their dying culture (with which of course they then built a resort/spa/gambling casino on the reservation and made each of the remaining 21 tribe members bajillionaires), but I am going to ask a favor of you, my loyal readers.

Bear with me a moment if you would…

“At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished…it’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.” Denzel Washington

Yes.

I’m a somewhat poor man, with just sufficient financial resources to keep myself going; I don’t say that by way of complaint, but merely to set the table. This the reality of my life.

I donate what I can to the various causes that I believe in, in small amounts…would that I could do more. Like my Uncle Mortimer.

But I’ve come to realize over the passing years that the one thing I can “give back” is to bring some measure of joy or even healing, by virtue of my being a person who can make others laugh, into people’s lives. It’s a small thing, but it’s what I have.

So here’s the favor.

I’d like to think, judging from the comments and feedback I get from folks who read the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog, that my readers, all several of you, gain a certain amount of pleasure from the things I write; although I have minimal ego, this does give me great satisfaction. Moreover, I’m pleased that I am able to make people forget, for a brief time at least, all the unhappy crap that’s going on in the world and in their personal lives.

But I need your help to spread the happy message of the Kidding further, to reach a larger audience of folks who might be impacted favorably by the humor contained herein (such as it is).

If you agree with me that the antics of your Cap’n and the “crew” of the Kidding are pretty funny, and thereby entertaining, then here’s what I need you to do…

Share the Cap’n.

Yep, that simple…just share the Cap’n with your friends, your buds on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and all the other many social media sites of which I have little clue, your fellow workers, the members of your church, people you interact with in the course of your daily life, your fellow inmates, whomever. Tell them about the WATRUK website, send them the link, open it up on your cellphone and then hand to them, however you want, but please let people know about it.

You see, this is all I have to “give back”…I can make people laugh.

Please, share the Cap’n; introduce him to folks who haven’t had the pleasure of his acquaintance. Spread the joy.

If you do, you’ll be contributing to, hopefully, making the world a little better place, a little less manic, a little happier.

Please help me…and if you do, maybe I can come up with some free beer for everyone.

Not.

Thanks in advance…you guys are awesome.

Love and laughter.

Cap’n John

THOUGHTS ON THE BLOGGER AS AUTHOR

(This is for my buddy Katrina, a sweet lady and a good boss…she got me thinking about “writing” the other day.)

It occurs to me that, as a writer, I’d make a fine truck driver.

Unlike a lot of my fellow bloggers who are wannabe authors (at least I suspect this is the case), there’s no epic novel percolating around in the back of my fevered brain, no saga of the open plains with strutting cowboys, voluptuous cowgirls and large, smelly animals, no hard-boiled noir detective drama involving a stolen diamond, a beautiful women and a cadre of vertically-challenged pursuers (previously known, prior to the advent of being “PC”, as midgets), no sci-fi tale of three-legged, chartreuse striped space aliens from the planet Rgh6%kkTl3.ty22 blasting their way across the outer rings of the Clystron Nebulae with synthesized, gamma ray-generating 56mm harmonizing laser cannons, intent on mayhem and dominance of the Ford Galaxy, no meaningful yet melancholy tale of two sisters on a journey of self-discovery as they search for their long-lost Uncle Clarence in the Outback of Australia or for that matter even a tale of love lost and/or love unrequited with repeated scenes between two people deep in the throes of serious lust, copulating on a bearskin rug like two minks run amok…sorry, there just isn’t any of that in my mind anywhere.

Good thing too; there’s enough silly shit going in there already that I don’t need all the distractions. 

Once upon a time, I considered authorship, and still do periodically, but after due and careful (and brief) consideration, I reached a conclusion…see the second paragraph above.

I do try to be a good story-teller however, which to my way of thinking is a fine quality for which to strive…a well-told story is like a beautiful, sexy woman, something to admire, to cherish, to return to over and over again, that makes you feel satisfied and content with the world.

Problem for me, I just have a hard time being serious for any extended length of time, say more than 10 seconds at a crack.

Some examples of beginnings to “books” that I’ve contemplated over the years…

~ “She was a tall woman, supple and slender yet possessed of an inner strength that shone through to the people she met like a beacon from a lighthouse, at once a guiding light to the safe harbors of who she was and a warning of dangers concealed in the darkness. She walked through life with a calm that was reassuring to others, and she made you feel like she knew intrinsically the secrets that the rest of us could only dimly perceive. Her face was open and inviting; she had long, chestnut hair and eyes deep and blue, except for the one in the middle of her forehead, which was the shade of seafoam made by waves rushing across the sandy shore.”

Or this one…

~ “There was never a moment in Albert’s life when he wasn’t aware of the passing of time; he lived and died a thousand deaths in the minutes and seconds of each hour, each sixty minute block an agony of anxiety. Time passed too swiftly for him, too rapidly to grasp, to arrest somehow, to stop the ceaseless ticking of the eternal clock, to bring to an abrupt halt for just a brief respite its relentless passage. Albert also knew that butterbeans were evil, and that he would never have enough Saran Wrap to finish the snare drum project.”

Here’s a non-starter…

` “There was no one there the spring day that Sheila decided to change her life around; it was a solitary decision, after much deliberation and careful thought. She was a careful and thoughtful woman, the kind of person who only took a step down off the curb after she had looked both ways twice, thus ensuring her safety. So it was only in keeping with her nature that she had finally, resolutely, made up her mind to shave her pet gerbil Constance; the weather was warming now and Connie would no longer need the comfort of hair, and she felt that possessing a naked gerbil would her bring the celebrity and fame that she so craved.”

See what I mean?

Here’s another…

~ “Rocky peered up at the Lieutenant from his perch on the fo’c’sle, his legs dangling over the side of the ship where he had been sitting, staring out at the whitecaps on the ocean.

“Hey, Lieutenant”, he said in greeting.

“How long have you been sitting here, sailor?” the Lieutenant asked.

“Ever since I got off mid-watch, sir”.

“Thinking of that girl, what was her name, back in Singapore?”

“Bronwyn. Yeah, I was,” Rocky sighed, taking a deep breath and letting it out all at once in resignation. “At least, I was at first. Then I started thinking about what I would get if I crossed a gazelle with a can of peas; I can’t decide if it would be a really fast legume or a really small green bovidae.”

“Well,” said the Lieutenant in reply, “you’d need an enlarged thistleclanger and three vertical kanooten valves to do that, wouldn’t you?”

“Only if you didn’t want a simulated glacker.”

It’s hopeless…Hemingway or Dickens or Steinbeck or any of those other Greek guys will never be threatened by me. Shit, Harvey the Zealous Wombat would probably have better luck writing a serious novel than I’ll ever have.

I am verklempt. (To all my Jewish readers, my apologies for the unauthorized usage of a Yiddish word by a person not of the Jewish persuasion…it is a really good word, like gerbil or gonorrhea. And I think the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s “Messiah” would be a lot more interesting if you substituted the word “gonorrhea” for the word “hallelujah”. Just in time for the holiday season.)

Oh well, it’s probably for the best; if I wrote a really deep-with-meaning serious novel, with my crappy luck it would become an instant best-seller, receive nothing but rave reviews, sell millions of copies and make me a gazillion dollars, causing me to become rich, pretentious asshole. I suppose it’s better that I should stay a struggling pretentious asshole who writes a silly but devastatingly funny blog about shaving gerbils, finding iguanas in your toilet and being abducted by space alien sluts.

I’m pretty sure that’s how Stephen King got started, wasn’t it?

Love and The Grapes Of Wrath,

Cap’n John

Post Script…One of my fellow Front Service Clerks at Publix, where I work part-time, was walking around the store one day last week all smiles and happy, like he had won the blueberry pie Lotto at a Marie Callendar’s restaurant; his name is Ed, and recently when I heard a customer call him “Mr. Ed”, all I could think of “Oh, Wiiilllburrr.” Anyway, I said to him, hey buddy, what’s up with all the grins and cheerful? Oh, he says, I just finished a really tough jigsaw puzzle yesterday. Uh, okay, I rejoined, perplexed. Yeah, he goes on, it said 2 to 9 years on the box lid, and it only took me 6 months to do it.”

(Insert rim-shot here.)

Post Post Script…you guys should be proud of me; I didn’t use the word “fuck” once in this entire column. Except for just now, thereby ruining my perfect record.

Shit.

BOY, ABOUT THE ONLY CAPTAIN I LEFT OUT WAS THAT GUY WITH TENILLE

Being a prominent member of the media/blogger world (ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha…that’s assuming you equate “prominent” with the phrase “infinitesimally small and thoroughly insignificant”), as well as a former resident of the entertainment and totally lacking in any concept of reality capital of the universe Los Angeles CA, I am the recipient of frequent tips and “leaks” from others of my brother and sister media slut/blogger fraternity, giving me an in-advance heads-up on upcoming events and projects in the television and movie industries.

(…”and the Oscar for the Most Convoluted Paragraph Ever Written By A Blogger Of Questionable Talent In A Comedy goes to…Cap’n John Krissongs for the above disaster!”)

Notice however that I didn’t change it…going down once again in a blaze of hyperbole.

Anyway, I recently received an email from my buddy and fellow laborer in the above-described fraternity, Harry N. Disgusting, warning, sorry, telling me about some new shows and movies that are currently either in pre-production or at least in the development stages.

You’re breathless with anticipation, right?

FYI, the original caption for this pic was “TV Helmet”…beats me.

Harry N. tells me that his sources are talking excitedly of a TV show being proposed for the White House by execs at Fox Entertainment as a vehicle for President Donald “Tweety Bird” Trump, to be an “after the Presidency” project for His Eminence, and that the talk is pretty serious about the chances of this happening. Fox is proposing that the Pres star in a redux of the old “Captain Kangaroo” kids show, in the role of the venerable Captain; the working title is “Captain Tweety Bird”.

The idea would be for PTB to reprise a number of the original show’s features, such as the “Good Morning Captain” segment where he would be greeted by various celebrities, just as Bob Keeshan, who played the original Captain for so many years, was by such luminaries as William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy in their roles as Captain (one Captain to another) Kirk and Spock, as well as celebs like comedian Bob Newhart, actor Alan Alda and felon Bill Cosby. (Hillary Clinton volunteered to be a “greeter” for the new show, but only on the condition that they would be able to somehow slip “fuck you” past the censors.) Guests being discussed to wish PTB a good morning include hip-hop artist (boy, there’s an oxymoron for you) Kanye West, stripper and former PTB one-night amour Stormy Daniels and Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren.

Other segments from the original show that are being considered for the reboot are “Reading Stories”, where PTB will read some of his more hilarious and incoherent tweets and Presidential messages, various hand puppets dancing in a black light theatre to current hit songs such as “God Is A Woman and Trump Is A Fucktard” by Rio Grande as well as a remake of the running gag “Ping Pong Ball Drop”, where one of the cast members tells PTB a “knock-knock” joke that always ends with the phrase “ping pong balls”, at which time a slew of same are dumped on the Captain. (Someone involved in the production said that HRC suggested using bowling balls for this segment.)

Speaking of the supporting cast, there’s further talk that several members of the WH staff, as well as various Congressional hacks, er, sorry, Congresspersons will be featured as well…

~Playing the role of “Dancing Bear” would be Press Secretary Sarah Huckleberry Sanders…the costume should fit her perfectly, and she wouldn’t need the mask;

~In the role of “Bunny Rabbit” would be FLATUS, sorry, FLOTUS Melanoma Trump…if you recall, Bunny didn’t speak much but was kinda’ cute (at least BR kept his clothes on);

~Playing the role of “Grandfather Clock” would be Presidential Advisor KellyAnne Conway Twitty, given her ability to sound off regularly just to remind us of her presence;

~The role of “Mr. Moose”, the hand puppet, would be played by Senator Mitch McConnell, based on his experience…McConnell is said to be okay with having someone’s hand up his backside and being directed on what to do/say;

~And finally, the Captain’s sidekick and occasional foil “Mr. Green Jeans” would be played by Chief of Staff John Kelly, who is said to look good in green, apparently a holdover from his days in the Marine Corp.

New segments being discussed for the show include “Hangin’ With The Bird”, where PTB shows kids how to become a gazillionaire on their father’s money; or “The Blame Game”, an audience-participation thing where the Captain accuses kids in the studio of fictitious misdeeds that are really his fault and the accused gets prizes for the best/quickest comeback; or “Slam A Libtard”, a daily segment where PTB picks a different Democrat each show to demean and allows the kids at home to vote, via digital tally, for the most slanderous, disgusting nickname for that day’s target.

Production will begin, we all pray fervently, on January 21, 2021.

I further hear some other rumors from HND, such as a proposal to make a sequel to the excellent adaptation of John Grisham’s thriller “The Firm”, which you will recall starred Tom Cruise as the hero, attorney Mitch McDeere; the new movie will star Cruise again in the McDeere role, this time playing an attorney for a mattress manufacturer who encounters corruption in the bedding industry…title for the new movie is to be “The Extra Firm”.

(Insert rim-shot here.)

Another idea being talked of with great enthusiasm in LaLaLand (Los Angeles, not Washington), according to Harry, is a new soap opera to be entitled “The Young and The Bewildered”. It will tell the story of a group of “millennials” and their continuing day-to-day struggles to function as real adults in a world of which they have little actual comprehension.

Personally, I’m hoping for a remake of “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show”; by show of hands, how many of you think R and B were WAY smarter, funnier and totally more sophisticated than any of those morons on “Keeping Up With The Karpathians” or whatever the hell their name is?

Love and video tape,

Cap’n John

ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T GETTING ANY (AND I DON’T MEAN ADVICE)_VERSION 5.0

Step into the WayBack machine for a moment if you would, and set the dial for 1977, the year my daughter, Bronwyn the Flatulent (you didn’t know we were royalty, did you?) was born.

(Full disclosure: Bronwyn is not her real name…the name has been changed to protect the bewildered.)

I always enjoyed being a “hands-on” Dad…the dressing, the bathing, the hair-fixing, the diaper changing (although that would fall well to the bottom of the list of my fave baby activities, believe me), the shoe tying, the cruel and vicious beatings using weapons of brass construction, the playing on the floor together, I really loved it all; she was a good baby with a sunny disposition and a sweet little laugh.

(Phone rings in the background)

Excuse me…lemme’ get rid, sorry, see who this is…

“Cap’n John…”

“Hey, Tammie, wassup?”

“I’m sorry, it’s what?”

“Oh, okay, I guess I got that one wrong. Thanks for the heads-up.”

That was my First Mate, Tammie Wetzel; she monitors/spell-checks my posts in real time and tries to keep me from stepping on my johnson too often. Apparently, that’s “mass destruction”. Thank you, Tammie.

Anyway, I recall one warm spring afternoon when B the F was just a few months old and I was giving her a bath in the kitchen sink: I really hated it when my ex- gave her a bath…she wanted to get in with Bronny and it always made a helluva mess in the kitchen.

So there we were, the sink full of water, soap suds and a small naked baby; I was responsible for the bathing and rinsing, and Her Royal Babyness was responsible for the splashing, giggling and the soaking of Daddy’s shirt, an activity she approached with great diligence.

After a period of minimum bathing and maximum laughing and splashing, by both parties, it was time to end all the frivolity and get on to more serious matters such as cleaning up the mess we’d made in the kitchen and doing disgusting things to our cat with a salad fork.

I reached down and pulled the plug to drain the water and then picked up Her Babyness under both her armpits, holding her up facing me, getting ready to put her down on the towel I had stretched out on the counter next to the sink. As I held her up, eyeball to eyeball with me, I started making faces at her, which usually got her laughing and silly, which it did this time as well.

For a moment anyway, until she stopped, screwed her face up and proceeded to poop, one of those soft, yellowish baby poops that come from the consumption of nothing but strained marmets and apple/turnipsauce, all over herself, the sink, the counter, most of the kitchen, a good part of our backyard and the street out in front of the house.

Finished, she resumed laughing; she was, however, the only one in the kitchen who saw the humor in this.

A classic case of wash, rinse and repeat.

I told her mother later that evening that I was convinced the child would not see her 1st birthday, and if by some miracle she did, that I was further convinced she would have a solitary life as an adult.

It seems that a number of my loyal readers also lead solitary lives these days, by no choice of their own apparently, and they occasionally send me letters and emails and texts and telegraph messages, asking for my advice on how to meet that “special someone”.

Like I would have a clue.

Anyway, I thought I would share a few of these pathetic, err, sad tales of woe with the rest of you…

“Dear Cap’n John:

                I’m a mid-30ish hetero male and I make my living as a freelance fortune cookie writer; I’m fairly good-looking, have all my teeth and am the proud owner of all the albums ever recorded by the 1910 Fruit Gum Company. Problem is, I can’t get a decent (or indecent for that matter) women to go out with me, no matter what I do. I’ve tried online dating sites, church groups, singles bars, tree-prunings, makes no difference, nothing works. I need some new ideas on how to meet “a sweet thing”.

                                               Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, My Love Life Is Crummy”

Dear Crummy:

                According to the State of Florida Wildlife Commission, there is only 1 chance in 3.2 million of being seriously injured during an unprovoked alligator attack; however, if you deliberately provoke one of those big fuckers, the ‘gator will be happy to assist you with your weight loss program.

“Dear CJK:

                Where does a smart, funny, attractive, 40-years old and totally hot professional dumpster diver find a great guy who would make a great partner? The only eligible guy I’ve met lately was some mope who wrote fortune cookies for a living and had all the albums ever recorded by the 1910 Fruit Gum Company. I need some help here, Cap’n.

                                                   Diver Down”

Dear Diver:

                Well, for one thing you could stop hanging out in Chinese restaurants, and if the rank aroma wafting off the envelope and letter you sent is any indication, you may want to rethink the “dumpster diving” work as well; either that or provide any men you meet with personalized gas masks. As characterized by the late, great Richard Pryor, “She had ohDER!”

“Krissongs Cap’n John:

                This is your final notice before we begin proceedings…”

Okay, never mind that one.

“Dear Cap’n John:

                I apologize for the carrier pigeon, but I’ve had a lot of problems with emails over the last few years. I’m a short, dumpy married woman in my early 70s and I’m planning to leave my philandering husband soon since he can’t keep it in his pants; I’m sick and tired of Mr. “I Didn’t Have Sex With That Sheep” and all his crap. Bad enough I had to suffer the ignominy of being beaten by a misogynous asshole who once said he grabbed women by their pussies, although he never tried to grab mine, thank heaven. (Sorry, I got off the subject there.) Anyway, I’m getting ready to start all over and I’m wondering if you can help me find a new mate, either romantic or running; any suggestions? (FYI, I’m straight…ignore all that crap about “crooked”, okay?)

                                                 I Thought Monica Was My Friend”

Dear Friend:

                Repeat these words…klaatu barada nikto. Now go away, please.

Well, that’s all I have the time for today, boys and girls; I hope you’ll all consider me when you have problems with your love life. Because my advice on “matters of romance” is about as good as the advice I give people about treating a common cold…try Jack Daniels, applied liberally; it won’t cure the cold, but you won’t care.

And in the immortal words of yours truly…

“Living alone means never being able to leave one ice cube in the tray so the next person has to fill it.”

Love and marital aids,

Cap’n John

STEVEN AND ERIC AND ME

Two points I need to make here at the outset: one, unlike my usual posts, there will be no attempts at levity or humor today. Two, there is no moral to this story, no “teaching moment” as it were.

Maybe the only message here is that of hope…as Mr. Shakespeare once said, “The miserable have no other medicine but only hope”.

As you may recall, for the last 2-1/2 years I’ve been working part-time for Florida’s largest grocery chain, Publix Supermarkets, as a Front Service Clerk, a bit of Publixese for, as comedian Bill Engvall puts it, Bobby the Bagger. And it was at my job week before last when the following occurred.

I was sitting in the break/conference room upstairs off the sales floor, answering some texts and perusing the Internet news on my cellphone, when my buddy and fellow Publix toiler Eric strolled in, lunch bag in hand and a smile on his face. Eric works as a stock clerk in the Grocery department, and although we don’t work directly together, our paths cross frequently and in doing so, we have found that affinity that so often obtains between two human beings that is at once indefinable yet very real. We fist-bump a lot, laugh often and like each other a great deal.

He is a good man.

He put his bag down on the table to my right, went and threw something in the microwave and then sat down next to me. We started talking about the local NFL representatives, the Tampa Bay Sucs, as I call them, and as we bemoaned the current status of the team (lousy) and their staring QB Jameis Winston (even lousier), another of our brother Publixians, Steven, a fellow bagger, walked in and joined us at the table.

The three of us sat in studied conversation, berating the Buccaneers and speculating on the fate of the team and other topics for about twenty minutes, and then I had to get back to work. It was a pleasant interlude in another mundane day of selling groceries to the denizens of New Port Richey FL.

My day was shattered however, when I got home and learned of the killings at the Tree of Hope Synagogue in Pittsburgh; like so many, I was sickened and dismayed at the story of the senseless carnage that some nutcase asshole named Robert Bowers had inflicted on that congregation and community. I know I am no different from most decent folks who experience the frustration and anger that these ongoing random attacks generate. It’s the feeling of helplessness that I think is most disheartening.

As I was making dinner a bit later that evening, my break-time conversation with my two co-workers popped in my mind, and it occurred to me, as it hadn’t before, what the three of us had done that day.

Steven is about 40 and developmentally challenged; I would say that he functions about at the level of a middle-school boy. He isn’t stupid, just slow, but he tries hard and uses the skill-set he has as best he can and he’s a good guy.

He’s also a Jew.

My buddy Eric is about 50, a married man who works two jobs to support his family.

He’s also African-American.

A Jew, and black man and an old white guy sat in a common room, eating and talking and laughing and enjoying each other, and I believe I can say with no fear of repudiation that neither of these men considered the dynamics of what we were doing that day any more than I did at the time. It was only later, upon reflection, that it occurred to me.

It didn’t occur to any of us because it didn’t seem significant. And yet it was.

Steven’s religion wasn’t an issue, nor his afflictions; the color of Eric’s skin wasn’t an issue; the fact that I’m an old fart wasn’t an issue. It was just three guys shooting the shit on a Saturday afternoon during their breaks at work.

I refuse to devolve into the old 60’s hippie nonsense of love, peace and the Utopian paradise we can all get to if we only come together, right now; the world, sadly, will always be filled, to one degree or another, with animals like Robert Bowers.

But in my distress and horror over the events of that sad day, I was heartened by the presence of my two friends, as I hope they were by mine.

There’s that word again…hope.

Desmond Tutu, a black man, once said that “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness”.

It occurs to me that when three ordinary people, of completely diverse backgrounds, can sit together peacefully and see past race, religion, creed, nationality, gender or whatever, and give these differences no credence, then there is hope.

I will cling to that thought, and go on with my life.

Cap’n John