THINGS THAT STAY THE SAME, AS FAST AS THEY CHANGE

(Editor’s note: Today’s post is dedicated to my good friend and former partner-in-crime Joel, a/k/a DJ Chef Boyardee. He lives up in the wilds of rural (RURAL!) Central Pennsylvania on the family “estate” with his Mom, a pet hamster and a herd of indigenous elk that passes through their property daily, leaving in its wake a trail of floral destruction, a trampled lawn and elk poop in copious quantities. Joel is the one who told me the following story last week…well, he told me HIS version; this is mine.)

Once upon a time, up in the wild and woody land of Central PA USA, deep in the forest that stretches all the way across the state from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Philadelphia Phillies, there lived a family of groundhogs (distant relatives of Phil from Punxsutawney ), one of whom was a teenaged male named Tadfield. (Groundhogs are prone to giving their offspring grandiose names apparently.) Tadfield, or Tad as he was known to all his family and fellow ‘hogs, was young, curious, obnoxious in the way that most teenagers are but fundamentally a good guy.

One day he was out walking in the woods when he picked up the scent of a large carnivore somewhere upwind from him, but since he was a groundhog and didn’t speak English, he had no idea what a “carnivore” was; he just knew that his senses were telling him that there was a big-assed animal up the path a ways, probably an animal that would like to take him to lunch, table for one.

Tad proceeded cautiously ahead, even though he knew he really should double back and get away from his potential lunch date, but he could hear muffled noises, like the cries of an animal that’s hurt or in distress, and since he was more curious than cautious, he decided to very carefully find out from where the cries were coming.

He came to a big stand of oak trees, with a rushing creek right alongside, and Tad could hear the animal crying, the noise coming clearly from a depression that had been carved out at the base of one the big trees by the passing water…something was trapped or hurt. And not ten feet away from the hole in the bank of the creek was Mama Grizzly, anxiously walking back and forth in front of it, stopping now and then to reach into the hole with her massive paw. But she and her paw were too big and too short and she couldn’t reach what was in the hole.

(Yeah, I know, grizzlies aren’t native to Central PA…just go along with me on this one, all right? Geez.)

Being a groundhog, emphasis on “ground”, Tad was a lot smaller and closer to sea-level than the MG, and from his vantage point he could now see the problem…one of MG’s cubs had crawled up into the hole and somehow gotten stuck. The cub couldn’t get out, Mom Bear couldn’t reach it, the cub was crying in fear and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won Super Bowl LV, and how do you like those apples?

So Tad sent a non-verbal, animal ESP message to the grizzly matriarch, which roughly translated into English said the following…

TAD: MG, I can see your cub. If you promise not to eat me, I’ll crawl up into that hole and get him/her out for you, since I’m a groundhog and all.

MG: Oh, that would be wonderful, Mr. Hog, and no, if you save my cub, even though I’m very hungry, not having eaten anything since yesterday because I’ve been so worried about Chicago, I won’t eat you, I promise.

TAD: Cross your heart?

MG: Oh yes, cross my heart with anchovies on top. (Grizzlies are freaks for anchovies.)

TAD: Okay.

So the Mama Grizzly stepped back about ten paces, allowing Tad some operating room, and the brave groundhog crawled around to the front of the tree, got down into the hole where the grizzly cub was stuck, told the kid to stfu and stop squawking, dug the little furball out and shoved him up to the front of the hole, into the waiting arms of Mom.

And joy reigned supreme.

The cub was thrilled to back with his Mom, out of the dark of the hole, MG was delighted to have her cub back and Tad was pleased that he had done a good deed for a fellow denizen of the woods.

Mama Grizzly turned from soothing her still-sniffling-just-a-little child and said to the groundhog, oh, thank you, thank you for saving my baby. Thank you so, ever so much.

And then the huge grizzly suddenly reached down, grabbed Tad by the scruff of his neck and proceeded to devour the kindly groundhog in two massive bites.

You get a choice between two different morals for this story…

Moral #1- As the old saying tells us…no good deed ever goes unpunished; or,

Moral #2- Stay away from grizzlies when they’re a tad hungry.

Your choice.

Now this is an old joke which, being a collector of jokes and being old, I have heard previously, in several variations, one of which in fact was the basis for a post here on the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog (AS I WAS SAYING…), back in July of last year in the form of the ancient story of the nice man who removes a small stake from an elephant’s paw, elephant is grateful, man meets elephant many years later, thinks how grateful the elephant once was, approaches elephant and elephant stomps man into a bunch of little mini-nice guys.

Same old general story, same old ending.

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

Ex-, former and thankfully now gone First Lady Melanoma Trump has been “bitter and chilly” towards husband Donald “Tweety Bird” Trump since leaving Washington in January, according to a report from CNN, based on the way she departed the White House. The wife of the loser of the November 2016 Presidential election feels that her husband’s incessant, ongoing and proven baseless claims of a “rigged” election and his incitement of his followers for the deadly January 6th attack on the Capital building has “tarnished” her reputation. Chief Sunshine State Correspondent Coral Gables sent an email enquiry to Mrs. Loser asking how, considering that she once plagiarized another First Lady, lied about her educational background, lied about her parent’s background to get them into the United States, once wore a coat with the message “I Really Don’t Care, Do You?” written on the back, complained about having to deal with the “fucking” Christmas decorations in the White House and POSED NUDE FOR SEVERAL MAGAZINES, did she feel her reputation could be any worse than what it already is? The only reply from Ms. Trump was a message that had a “selfie” of her giving the camera the finger.

More on this breaking story as it becomes available.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled column.

I got to thinking about “old jokes” like the one above (the groundhog/bear story, not Melanoma) and how we see this pattern repeated over and over again…things seem to change, and yet they really don’t.

We’ve been fighting the “culture wars” in this country for time out of mind, but just in my lifetime, I’ve seen the left/right, liberal/conservative battle that started in the late 1950s and blew up the decade of the ‘60s, with the “Love It Or Leave It”, America First, God, Guns and Glory crowd vs. the pot-smoking, hair growing, 1-2-3-4, we don’t want your fucking war hippie counter-culture. It continued through the ‘70s with the ongoing racism controversy and the Roe v Wade and the bra-burning feminists against the “it’s life at the moment of conception” gang, got a boost from the HIV plague being called “heaven-sent” as retribution for our sinful ways by the Christian folks and Ronald Reagan’s now infamous “trickle-down” theory of economics getting called-out by “libs” as “discriminatory to Black Americans”, continued through the ‘90s with the rise of Newt Gingrich and his band of merry asshole buddies, the emergence of conservative stars like Rush Limbaugh and Jerry Fawell competing with a burgeoning sense of “we need to accept people of different sexual orientations”, into the 21st century where we’re still arguing about race, women’s rights, abortion, immigration, guns and all the same stupid shit we’ve been arguing about, in one form or another, for practically my entire lifetime.

And it started long before I came along, but that’s BCJ…Before Cap’n John. I can only comment on that which I’ve seen personally and that’s enough, believe me.

That silence you hear? That’s the sound of an audience of one-armed people, clapping, giving Americans a Standing O for their intelligent and thoughtful approach to the problems that beset our country.

We could let a group of first-graders run the United States and get better results.

You know, if Tad had stuck to the family business of weather forecasting, rather than trying to be one of those cupcake, do-gooder libtards, he might have lived longer.

Hopefully long enough to collect his Social Security…which depending on the way you lean, is either a socialistic entitlement program that’s sapping the financial strength of American industry or a guaranteed way to ensure senior citizens don’t have to live on cat food and moldy buns from the dumpster out behind the Panera Bread store in their golden years.

Okay, by show of hands, how many of you thought naming Mama Grizzly’s cub Chicago was pretty funny?

Boy, tough crowd.

Love and lunch dates,

Cap’n John

Post Script…did you guys know that Punxsutawney Phil lives in Gobbler’s Knob PA? Yeah, me neither.

 

 

IS THAT YOUR PET, PEEVES?

(Editor’s note: The following comments on “posters” was a Facebook item found on Cap’n John Krissongs’ home page, and was deemed worthy by the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding editors to be included in today’s column…we can do that, you know.)

In this unsettled time of political foment, debate and discontent, the national awakening to systemic racism and the resulting upheaval, the Covid-19 pandemic and all its attendant horrors, natural disasters such as Hurricane Melania, err, excuse me, Laura, and a general feeling of, geez, what the hell is next?, I have an issue that I feel needs our immediate attention and scrutiny, despite all of the cacophony going on around us. This is something that must be recognized and, in my opinion, eradicated from our midst, right now, today.

I’m talking about what I call “posters”…you may call them other things, or maybe you are totally unaware of their existence, but they’re out there, and they’re undermining the integrity of our social media. (Oh brother, that’s an oxymoron for sure. And I hope you’re all impressed with the fact that I was able to use the words “their”, “they’re” and “there”, all in one sentence, all correctly and I might add, completely inadvertently.)

These are people who spend endless hours “posting” myriad items on their personal page for the perusal and edification of the rest of us. News reports, commentary, points of view from a million sources, videos and GIFs, every conceivable type of observation of life in today’s America (and elsewhere in some cases), flow from their fingers on their keyboards in a constant barrage of unsolicited information. And yet never once, not once, not one stinkin’ time, do they ever make a comment or a remark or even give you a “Like” on something that you posted on your page.

NOT ONE DAMN TIME.

I have several “friends” who are guilty of this social media faux pas, people who never engage in a dialogue with others, but assume that the media platform they’re on (in this case I’m talking about Facebook) is like a stage in a comedy club, where they have the mic and it’s their monologue. Blahdey fucking blah blah blah. (I spend very little time on Twitter, but from what I hear, it’s pretty much the same.)

I don’t mind their posts; hell, I read a lot of them, but these days, I never comment on them. Hey, if you can’t comment on the brilliant and erudite piece that I posted earlier, poop on you, I’ll be petty and petulant and do the same. (A little known law was passed recently by Congress allowing people over 65 to be petty and petulant any damn time they please, so there.)

I’m calling my Congressman today to demand that legislation be introduced and passed immediately banning anyone from posting endless remarks, comments and articles on their social media page without engaging in dialogue with others on theirs. This scourge of our social media platforms must cease…before it’s too late and we elect a President that frequently misuses social media as well.

________________________FLASH! FLASH! FLASH!_________________________

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

-Dateline Rome Italy

*Pope Francis Announces Excommunication For Cardinal, Nun*

In a letter to the Roman Catholic Cardinal Secretary of State and the College of Cardinals, Pope Francis today announced that he has initiated proceedings to excommunicate Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the arch-bishop of New York, as well as Sister Deirdre “Dede” Byrne for their roles as shills for President Donald “Tweety Bird” Trump at the recent Republican National Convention. Although the entire text of the letter has yet to be released, a Vatican source, who spoke anonymously for fear the Pope would have him burned at the stake, said Francis was “incensed” at the appearances of both Dolan and Byrne at the RNC, and that “both of them should be taken out and flogged for supporting that horse’s rear end Donald Trump”. Francis was further quoted as saying that he “would have thought a Cardinal and a doctor wouldn’t be so stupid as to fall for Trump’s bullshit”. (Sister Byrne is a surgeon as well as a big-mouthed idiot.) When asked about the Pope’s letter, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin had no comment, but sources in the Cardinal’s office said Parolin would lobby to have “both of them boiled in oil if he could”. Dolan and Byrne have been notified of their ouster from the Church and Dolan is said to be seeking employment as a maintenance engineer and Byrne as a nurse’s aide in a home for chronically unwed mothers.

More on this breaking story as it becomes available…

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post…

I learned recently that Democratic Vice-president nominee Kamala Harris pronounces her first name, “COMMAla”, like the punctuation, rather than the more common, “KaMALa”, which is what I thought it was until I found out differently. Frankly, I don’t give a shit if she pronounces her name “Sigmund”, that’s her business, but it does bring to mind the fact that a lot of Americans, be they Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives, Catholic, Protestants, Jews, atheists or heathens, black, white, brown, green, tiger-striped or whatever, male, female or “other”, wealthy or poor, in sickness and in health, haven’t got a clue when/where to use a comma or not, as the case may be.

Now I don’t want to say that a lot of Americans are stoopid necessarily, but we did elect Donald Trump as President back in ’16, so that should tell you something.

Misuse of commas, or for that matter, any punctuation in general, isn’t near the “pet peeve”, at least to me, that those asshats (above) are, the ones that can’t find it in their hearts to engage in a little “social discourse”, to bother with dignifying something that someone else said on Facebook with a response, as if they’re just too aloof, just too cool, just too well-informed, educated, in-the-know, or just too fucking arrogant and vastly superior to the rest of the social media hoi polloi to lower themselves.

Actually, not only do the common misuses or exclusions of commas not upset me, frankly I think many of them are pretty damned funny.

It’s no pet peeve, believe me.

(No one will ever be able to accuse me of not using commas…in fact I have been told by readers, apparently because they think I seem to believe myself to be erudite and pithy as hell, that I use too many of the “sentence separators” and that I should cut it the hell out immediately. Like our fine President I pay no attention to critics, deeming them to be envious of my great skills as a writer and of my prowess with women of the opposite gender. (Full disclosure…actually, ever since a certain very nice lady and good friend from Texas pointed out to me that I use commas like they’re going to become extinct in the near future, I’ve been a lot more careful about “over-punctuating”. She also told me my frequent jokes about woman’s breasts were childish and immature, and that I was a serious male oinker sometimes, so I now only think about woman’s breasts incessantly but rarely write comments about them. Men are indeed pigs. And yes, I am a BIG supporter of the “Free the Nipple” movement, and free mine at every opportunity.)

Do I have any examples of the misuse of commas or the dreaded “neglecting to insert a comma at an appropriate place in a sentence” mistake? Why, I thought you’d never ask…

“Is that a Tyrannosaurus, Rex?” (The Latin translation of that sentence is “Qui est de tyrannosaurus, King?”, which isn’t as funny but a lot haughtier.)

“Is that your Austin, Healey?” (Maybe even better…”Have you seen Austin, Texas?”, assuming you know someone who goes by the name “Texas”, which I do.)

“I’d like to take a moment to thank my parents John and God…”

From the annals of being a bagger at a Publix grocery store, which I am…”Would you like everything in this, bag?”

“It’s time to eat Grandma…”

“Don’t let your worries kill you let the Church help.”

On a recent resume I received, applying for the position of Dungeon Master, Lower Hold…”My interests include cooking dogs and running…” This was in response to my ad, “Help, Wanted.”

One of my favorites…I’m sorry I love you.”

I have a friend who teaches 2nd grade who sent me this one…”We’re going to learn to cut and paste children…”

Frequently seen road sign (speaking of kids)…”Slow children playing.”

“I had to help my Uncle Jack off his horse.”

From a text message I saw recently…”You better call me bitch”

“It was a summer’s, Eve.” (Which doesn’t really make much sense, but I still thought it was funny. Shit, it was better than “Have you seen Austin, Texas?”)

I love this one…”The panda eats, shoots and leaves.” (I’ve had women accuse me of that.)

“She was known as Calamity, Jane.”

“Have you seen Sponge Bob, Square Pants?”

Obviously, judging from all of the above, proper sentence construction is greatly impacted by knowing when and when not to insert, commas.

Love and “Is that a Harley, Davidson?”,

Cap’n John