SO WHO KNEW GROCERY STORES COULD BE THIS FUNNY?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FLASH! FLASH! FLASH!

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

Dateline Mar-Ma-Lardo Resort, Palm Beach FL

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

More on this breaking story as it becomes available.

We now return you to you regularly scheduled column.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Oh,” I said, “so which one are you?”

Hey, Julia, Nick says hi.

Love and Pulitzers,

Cap’n John

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

CHICKEN OF THE TREES…I GET LETTERS_VOL VI

My mission today here on the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog is to quell a persistent rumor I continue to hear/see on various social media platforms and news organs that the state song of Florida is Iron Butterfly’s 1968 hit In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida; this is incorrect. In fact, the state song of Florida is Stephen Foster’s Old Folks At Home, written back in 1851, or as it’s known by the more common name, Way Down Upon The Swanee River. And no, I didn’t know that until just a few moments ago, nor did I know that 4-1/2 years ago when I moved to the Gunshine State, as we affectionately refer to it down here.

Even had I known that Swanee River was Florida’s state song it probably wouldn’t have prohibited me from moving here; as far as I’m concerned, the state song of any state is not critical information to be used in determining where someone cares to live. Climate, services, taxes, cost of living, percentage of good-looking women in the state population, housing, yes, those were factors I considered before I relocated to FL, but no, not the state song. Didn’t even come up on my radar.

Florida at least had the good taste to make an officially-sanctioned change to Mr. Foster’s decidedly racist lyrics to a more acceptable version prior to declaring Swanee the state song. (Foster didn’t even get the spelling correct, the big doofus…it’s S-u-w-a-n-n-e-e.)

So we have guns up the butt, a generally agreeable climate, senior citizens by the bucketful, a state song with rather dubious lyrics, Weeki Wachee, Mickey and the gang, “snowbirds” and now, proceeding right to “Ludicrous Speed” unimpeded, citizens of Florida have to be concerned with falling iguanas.

Yes, that’s correct, exhaust fans, if you’re living in/visiting Florida right now and you walk under a tree, you need to be careful not to get conked on the noggin by a falling comatose herbivorous lizard. (Wouldn’t Comatose Lizard be a great name for a rock band? Or how about Falling Iguanas?)

Apparently, iguanas being cold-blooded, when the temperature drops into the 30s/40s, which it has over the past few days down here, they become immobilized and drop like, well, an immobilized iguana. They’re not dead, they’re just…immobilized. (“Cold-stunned” was the way one guy down here put it, which I thought was a great turn of a phrase.) And FYI, iguanas are not indigenous to Florida; considering how damn ugly the things are, they appear to me to be recent escapees of the Planet Zatox.

Some enterprising Floridians have taken to marketing/selling iguana meat recently during this crisis, calling it “Chicken of the Trees”, which you have to admit is also pretty clever. While I admire the entrepreneurial spirit, I’ll pass…yuck.

So there I was, avoiding any falling lizards and dreaming about being on the “Swanee River”, when the letters, emails, text messages, telegrams, smoke signals and secret decoder ring communiques starting pouring in, in response to my last two posts here on the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog.

You want to gauge readership? Say something you know a lot of people will want to smack you upside the head for and you’ll hear from them, believe me. Especially in this day and age of the instant gratification of social media and the Internet.

Being the generous and wonderfully warm person that I am, I thought, as a public service, that I would share some of the more pathetic, weepy, er, excuse me, interesting notes and letters I received…no, no, don’t thank me; it’s just my way of helping y’all to reach the path of enlightenment.

“Cap’n John:

                Hey, Coach Madden here. Thanks for quoting me in your post last week; I love your blog. But you got the quote wrong, buddy; instead of, “Don’t worry about the horse being blind, just load the wagon”, it should have been, “If the oleander is twice to the left, then the persimmon will be not transparent”. Just thought you might want to get it straight for the record. Keep up the good work, my man; I think the Cap’n is almost as funny as the idea that Jamis Winston will lead the Tampa Bay Bucs to a Super Bowl.

                Regards,

                John Madden”

“Dear Cap’n Krissongs:

                In response to the remarks in your blog post of 1/9/20, Mr. Crane has asked me to clarify his position, in an attempt to help you and your readers better understand his recent actions. While it is true that Mr. Crane is an “unprincipled bucket of warm spit”, he vigorously denies that he had prior knowledge of the sign-stealing scheme that his team, the Houston Assholes, er, excuse me, Astros, were recently found guilty of employing during the 2017 and 2018 baseball seasons, after an extensive investigation by Major League Baseball. Although Mr. Crane is aware that by denying his involvement and thereby avoiding his responsibility in this matter that he is also confirming to the public that he is not only a total moron but a lying sack of fetid llama parts as well, nevertheless he insists, should you persist in your defamations and libelous accusations towards him, that he will be forced to bring suit against yourself and the WATRUK blog to address damages to his reputation, even though said reputation is now totally and completely in the toilet since it was learned what a no-class dirtbag he is. We hope that this letter will be sufficient in stopping your continued attacks on Mr. Crane, since it is not his desire to bring this matter into open court, knowing what a laughing stock it would make him.

                Sincerely,

                I.M. Pane, Attorney At Law

                Law Offices of Moore Pane Enagony LLC”

“Cap’n John Krissongs:

                The kids asked me to let you know how much everyone in the band appreciated your recent great review of our concert (Prism 2019) and to show our gratitude, we would be happy to take you up on your idea to assemble all 200 members, complete with instruments, of the J. W. Mitchell High School Debating Iguanas Marching Band at your apartment some morning around 3:00am to serenade your idiot neighbor downstairs…we thought we could do our version of the state song of Florida, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. Already looking forward to next year’s concert.

                Yours musically,

                Juan Atatime, Director”

“Mr. Cap’n John Krissongs:

                I represent Her Grace the Most Wonderful Ms. Lori Loughlin and I was directed by HGTMW Ms. Loughlin to assure you and your readers that the recent news report on RUKME that she had undergone ego-reduction surgery in the past is false and that HGTMW Ms. Loughlin emphatically denies the report. HGTMW Ms. Loughlin demands an immediate apology and a retraction from you. Also, HGTMW Ms. Loughlin will be available to all peasants for ring-kissing and other modes of worship every day next week from 10:00am to 2:00pm, by appointment only.

                Sue Perficial, Publicist for Her Grace The Most Wonderful Ms. Lori Loughlin”

“cppn Joohn guy:

                Snot true didnnt kidnap guy only wanted to be frend thought him cute tell man me sorry if hurt man ask man come back will not try to mate again honnest man was sexxy studmuffin love man

                tell man plese com back plese

                a b dominalsnowman

ps you funny guy make a b laugh much”

Please note: no iguanas were harmed during the writing of this column…

Love and Florida oranges,

Cap’n John

Post Script…yeah, okay, there was that one little guy that wanted me to tie him up and spank his little lizard butt, but I wasn’t having any of it; none of that preevert shit here on the WATRUK blog, no sir. I don’t need those PETA nutjobs or the ASPCA folks busting my chops for abusing a comatose herbivorous lizard.

Falling iguanas…boy, what the hell is next, low-flying alligators?

Geez.

Post Post Script…another great quote from Coach Madden, back in 1985, talking about Chicago Bears free safety Gary Fencik, who played football at and graduated from Yale University and had an “All-American clean-cut youth” image: “Fencik played football at Yale…that’s like saying ‘clean dirt’.”

Post Cereal…coming next week, to a blog near you…THE RETURN OF THE CAP’N JOHN FOR PRESIDENT 2020 TOUR. Exciting, huh? I know I almost peed my pants just writing it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

CJK

 

OF BRASSIERES AND BIBLE STORIES

I am constantly reminded these days of “age”…my own in particular.

Just last week I was talking to a customer at the Publix store where I work part-time as a Front Service Clerk, which by the bye is corporate jargon for what has been known pretty much universally as a “bagger”; I’m fairly sure that the HR people working for large companies like Publix get bonuses for coming up with vague, semi-confusing gibberish that, in their fevered little brains, describes something/someone in a concise, definite manner, when in reality, the simpler form is the more descriptive and more readily understood; making up fancy-sounding titles like “FSC” is mere tautology.

Anyway, the lady I was speaking with and I are “of an age” as it were, and we were bemoaning the rapid passage of time these days, which we both agreed seems to be exacerbated by the fact that, as seniors, we’re a lot closer to the end of things than to the beginning. I mean, wasn’t it just New Year’s last week? How the hell can it already be Easter? Geez.

Since the nice lady was a customer, I refrained from reciting for her my Old Age Rules, which go thusly:

  • Never pass a toilet if you think the next one is well down the road;
  • Never waste a boner;
  • Never trust a fart.

Despite all appearances to the contrary, I do have the good sense to know when to keep my big, dumb mouth shut.

I stumbled onto an article on the Internet the other day that got me to doing the old “stream of consciousness” thing, and following the flow, led me back to some memories of my now long-past youth, and specifically, to bras.

That’s right, exhaust fans, brassieres.

Bras date back to ancient Greece and have evolved over the centuries from support garments to fashion statements; Roman women wore “breast-bands” while competing in sporting events, as an example. Today’s bra is colorful, more comfortable (so I’m told by wearers of same), often times more obvious when worn and, I suspect, just as hard to remove by the male of our species as it has always been…more on that in a moment.

The article that started this trip down mammary lane was entitled How Do You Put On A Bra? New Debate Proves It’s Not That Simple. Now I freely admit that my experiences with brassieres has been from the taking off point of view, rather than the putting on, other than that one time and excess Jack Daniels was involved then. (Apparently, I’m a 38 A-, which I suspect looks like some kind of half-assed sling-shot with two thimbles attached to the front.) Various methods for putting on a bra were discussed in the piece, with women weighing in on their preferred method (one women said she steps into hers, like a skirt, and pulls it up…hard to see how this would work for the lady with an “hour-glass” figure where the sands of time have all run to the bottom) without any consensus being reached.

So how did this article take me back in time? Simple; I may not have any relevant input regarding donning a “boulder-holder” (as they have been indelicately described by comedian Larry the Cable Guy) but as I said above, I do have some experience in removing them, and can still recall the agony of trying to get one off of a person of the female persuasion when deep in the throes of teenage lust.

For those of you who have never tried it, believe me, it ain’t easy…I refer you to this clip from the movie Animal House as evidence of this.

(I once made, and won, a two-beer bet, this being much too esoteric a skill for a mere “one-beer” wager, with a very well-endowed young woman in a bar one evening, that I could reach around her, using only one hand, and unclasp her bra, which as is common, she was wearing underneath a blouse of very thin material. The trick is to grasp the back-strap of the garment between your thumb and index finger, being careful to lift it away from the back of the wearer, and then pinch the ends together so the hook thingie slides out of the loop thingie…trust me, it works.)

I learned and then honed this technique as an adult, in direct response to the difficulties I had experienced on rare occasions in my youth; in high school, most of the girls I knew were bi-sexual…any time I tried to get sexual they said bye.

Ah, sweet bird of youth. (And thank you, Mr. Williams.)

I had another reminder of my now long-lamented youth and the rapidly passing years recently when, in the spirit of the Easter holiday, I dug through my CD collection to find my well-used version of the Andrew Lloyd Weber/Tim Rice rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. The album was recorded and released in 1970, when I was 19.

I am not a believer in the traditional Christian concept of “God”, and since it isn’t relevant to this post, I’ll refrain from expounding on just what I do believe in…suffice to say, and contrary to the cast in concrete stance of most “religious” types, whose idea of their “imaginary friend” is unassailable, after many years of deep contemplation, I have no idea whether or not God exists. (I remember a character from a book I once read stating that “if God exists, he should be sued for malpractice”.)

But the story of Christ is to me compelling, no matter your thoughts on the existence of a “god”; there is intrigue, politics, betrayal, personal agony, joy and even some sluts thrown into the mix. (FYI, I have done research on this…there is no mention anywhere in the New Testament that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute; none. Author Dan Brown takes a fair stab at how she came to be portrayed as such in his book The Da Vinci Codes. Frankly, I think the lady was hosed by Matt, Mark, Luke and John.)

What a story…here’s this young man, by all accounts a person of unapproachable integrity and an all-around good guy, who rises to such a position of prominence in turn-of-the-millennia Palestine through his preaching of the “Gospel” and as such so threatens the existing power structure of the time that the head priest of the ruling religious council, a man named Caiaphas, declares, as he says in the play, that “Jesus must die”, thus greatly abetting the rise of Christianity throughout the world by making a martyr of Jesus and thoroughly ruining Christ’s Passover that year.

The opera is a towering achievement; the lyrics, the music, the musicians and mostly the cast, led by one of my all-time fave front-men, Ian Gillan of Deep Purple, singing the role of Jesus in a stunning display of his amazing prowess as a vocalist, are breathtaking.

To me, it makes no difference if you believe or not, because as Caiaphas also says, “Jesus is cool”.

Jesus was indeed cool.

I am not inclined by my nature to be serious for any extended length of time, and in so keeping with the usual tone of my articles here on the WATURK blog, I’ll bring today’s post to a close with this…according to a report from local TV station WKYC, a man entered a Painesville OH restaurant and attempted an assault on the manager of the establishment by taking an iguana from under his shirt, grasping the animal by the tail and then swinging it over his head and launching it at the man.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/man-arrested-in-painesville-for-trying-to-commit-assault-with-iguana/ar-BBW0hzg?li=BBnbcA1&ocid=mailsignout

The attacker was apprehended by local police and charged with disorderly conduct, general mopery and assault with a herbivorous lizard. When asked what prompted his attack, the iguana-wielding culprit stated that he was moved by the passage in the Christian Bible from Mark 16:18, which says, in reference to persons who “believe in Jesus” that “they will pick up snakes with their hands”. When told that he was confusing iguandae with reptiles, the man further stated that he didn’t have a snake available and he figured that “you filthy, unbelieving heathens wouldn’t know the difference anyway”.

It was further learned in subsequent interrogations of the man that he had been raised a Roman Catholic back in the ‘60s and had become increasingly frustrated by his inability to successfully unclasp a woman’s bra, and was merely acting out his anger.

Love and birthday cakes,

Cap’n John

 

 

I WAS ABDUCTED BY SPACE ALIEN SLUTS…THINGS I DID/DIDN’T DO ON MY SUMMER VACATION

One day back in June of this year, I was standing in front of the counter in my kitchen early one morning, a plastic container of orange juice sitting there in front of me, shaking my entire body as vigorously as I could…hey, that’s what it said to do on the label.

What do I know?

So anyway, I was just about to pour myself a big glass of OJ (now that the preliminaries were complete), when suddenly every light in my apartment popped on and began to glow intensely, bright as the sun it seemed. I could hear a murmur of sound from outside, low at first; it immediately started to build in intensity, like I was standing at the end of an airport runway, waiting for a distant oncoming 747 to race towards me and lift off just over my head. The sound seemed to be coming from all around me, and as it grew, I turned towards the window and peered out, hoping to see what the source of this strange phenomena was.

I didn’t have to wait long to get my answer.

I could see huge billows of cumulus clouds, still well off in the east but moving rapidly towards me, building in size and range, boiling over themselves raggedly as they approached. As I watched, standing there in my undies and my fave “I look better online” tee-shirt, the front continued to move right at me, getting larger and more turbulent as it came. It raced forward, covering the sky in all directions and blotting out the sun, and came to an abrupt stop just above my apartment. The clouds were still raging all over themselves, but more slowly, less raggedly, becoming stationary.

Suddenly, an enormous airship appeared through the clouds, as if the huge gathering of cumulus was giving birth, an alien object in its appearance and in its non-earthliness. It was ancient-looking, gray and old, weathered it seemed by the billions of miles it had most likely traversed through space, shaped like a saucer with a row of small, pulsing lights along its flank, like celestial turn-signals, signaling its intent to turn left onto Earth Boulevard.

It hovered for a moment or two, then sank slowly with a sigh of rato jets, and softly came down behind my building. Several huge appendages, like landing gear, abruptly popped out of the underside of the ship and settled into the grass, and after a few minutes, time I spent staring out my window in a stupor of amazement, a hatch opened on the side of the ship, and a long row of steps descended, stopping when they reached the ground.

What happened next was right out of a Robert Heinlein novel.

Three long, greenish, multi-jointed limbs appeared at the top of the steps; for lack of a better description, they were obviously the “legs” of an alien creature that would slowly expose itself as it climbed down the ramp. I was at once terrified and fascinated by what I was seeing. It began its descent, and by some intuition I can’t explain, I knew it was there for me.

I ran to my closet to find my synthesized, gamma-ray generating 56mm harmonized laser cannon, determined to defend myself to the death if need be from the alien threat. (Florida has the infamously stupid “stand your ground” law don’t forget.)

Okay, none of the above happened…I lied. Hey, if Donald Trump can tell 6042 lies since he became President (see the link below), I can tell a fat one occasionally as well.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/11/02/president-trump-has-made-false-or-misleading-claims-over-days/?utm_term=.2fa1fd6a5b90

I know it’s rather late in the year to be talking about what I did/didn’t do on my summer vacation, but hey, I’ve always been a late bloomer…like my mother always said, better late than Republican.

Anyway, here goes…

~I wrote my Christmas letter REAL early this year…”Dear Santa: I can explain”;

~I swore I would never use Bumble Bee tuna again…it said on the can “Since 1899”, and for my money, that’s WAY too long of a “Use By” date;

~I achieved my one millionth time in my life for putting on a tee-shirt;

~I learned that the Miami Marlins have a relief pitcher on their staff named Cloyd, and I just knew that I had FINALLY learned the missing tense in the progression “cloy, CLOYD, cloying”. (Hey, it made sense to me at the time);

~For the first time in my life I uttered the phrase, “I need a 5/16ths socket, Mindy, Mayor McCheese is up on the 10-meter board again”;

~I learned that scientists have decided that octopusseses came from outer space (probably on that same ship that landed outside my apartment building), but now I can’t find the link so you’ll have to take my word for it;

~I further learned that Pat Venditte, a pitcher in the major leagues who throws both right- and left-handed, according to the Associated Press, is “amphibious”…the gills should have been the dead give-away I suppose;

https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/shop-smartphones/25-funniest-newspaper-headlines-of-all-time/ss-AAvGznt?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout#image=3

~I also found out that iguanas are out of control in South Florida, and have threatened to move north to Tallahassee and take over the Florida legislature (see link down there);

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/out-of-control-iguanas-infesting-south-florida/ar-AAz1s9m?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=mailsignout

(Reminds me of those ugly dudes from that scene in “Journey To The Center Of The Earth”…great movie. Definitely space aliens…wait, that was the octpusseses.)

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052948/?ref_=nv_sr_1

(Would someone please explain to me where Florida comes up with all these weird-ass names…Tallahassee, Thonotosassa, Okeechobee, Weeki Wachee, Kanoottensandwich, Kissimmee, Marco Rubio, geez, the list just goes on and on.)

I did a bunch of other stuff as well this past summer, things that I can’t discuss in a family forum such as this, but suffice to say they involved a horse collar, a xylophone, a case of Crest toothpaste and a 55-gallon drum of lime Jello. (There’s always room for Jello, right?)

I have to end this now; I’m going to go out in the kitchen, get the OJ container out of the fridge and think real hard…hey, it says “concentrate” on the label.

Love and the Summertime Blues,

Cap’n John

Post Script…do you guys know what Winnie the Pooh and Alexander the Great have in common? Same middle name.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nU5uDozoSSM

And for those of you who didn’t like the Blue Cheer version…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC4S13jcki4