I was reading a thread on Facebook sometime back, although with today’s 24/7 Internet/media onslaught of our senses, it could have been yesterday around 3:30 for that matter, about the deterioration of good grammar/spelling/syntax in the world today…the various commenters were bemoaning how bad it’s gotten on social media, as well as in newspapers, advertising, day-to-day communications between people in their homes, in the workplace, in schools, in houses of ill-repute and mortuaries; if the consensus of opinion in the post was accurate, there are currently no more than 568 people in America who use proper grammar, correct spelling and the appropriate sized socket wrench for removing sparkplugs (which by the way would be either a 5/8” or 13/16” with an extension, unless the car came with the optional kanoonten valve booster for the inlet framitz, then the correct size would be 89mm).

The underlying theme of the thread was one we’ve all heard often in the past: the general “dumbing down” of America. Although I can offer no statistical evidence or empirical research to support this claim, I agree with the folks on the FB thread…it sure seems like Americans, when it comes to their ability to express themselves, either verbally or in writing, can’t find their butts with both hands and a map.

The incidents of no punctuation, abysmal spelling (I had a friend who always spelled it “frend”…always), poor or no use of paragraphs, 24-second violations, an utter lack of understanding/using the rules of proper syntax, run-on sentences, no capital letters and having 12 men on the field are rife in our culture today…you can hear it from folks when they speak and read it in their writing.

It’s ugly.

I, on the other hand, having absorbed all my grammar and punctuation rules by being on the receiving end of a ruler wielded by various and sundry of the Sisters of Corporal Punishment at Our Lady of Perpetual Motion grade school, to this day, MANY years later, still in fear, make sure I capitalize, use good grammar and punctuate properly at all times.

And yes, I have an anus the size of a BB. (Several years after I graduated from OLPM, the good Sisters of CP were replaced by a new order, the Sisters of the Blessed Fundament.)

Given this instructional background of proper English usage, I rarely hear complaints from my readers, all several of you, about my language or my manner of expression; however, I do get letters, emails, texts, telegrams, smoke-signals and notes in bottles (hey, I live a mile and a half from the Gulf of Mexico, okay?), praising or taking me to task for something I’ve said here on the WATRUK blog. And since I had virtually nothing else to do this morning (I was going to re-jet a couple of four-barrel carburetors for a buddy, but he called to tell me he wouldn’t need them until next week, so I decided to wait), I thought I would share a few of the more pathetic, err, sorry, interesting comments I’ve received from my fans recently.

Batten down the hatches, maties, there’s rough seas ahead.

“I’m a God-fearing Christian women that who been a proud member of the Nashinel Rifle Asociashun for over 200 years now, and I voted for Messiah Donald Trump for Supreme Ruler of the Planet, and I sure don’t cotton to sum of the things you’ve been sayin bout the Messiah on that flog or whatever ya call it of yours lately. You said that Our Master was crazy (IS THIS THE PARTY TO WHOM I’M SPEAKING?_CONTINUED_VER 4.0), talking about how his pursonal doctor was one of them head-shrinker guys, like he was nuts or sumthin. It ain’t funny to be speakin bout His Holynis like that, it don’t show no respect. Yur gonna burn in hell, Cap’n Shitbrain, and all yur famly and the rest of you liberel media shits.”

                                                           Tess Tickles, Deadhorse AK (as in 47)

“Cap’n John, I wrote to you previously (THE USPS…ON THE JOB, LIKE IT OR NOT) to complain about your poor treatment of the great state of Idaho (home of the one and only Grown in Idaho© potato) on your Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog, apparently to no effect. Only a disgusting, gross, despicable, degenerate, ugly, rotten, disgusting, repulsive, gross, degenerate low-life weiner-head like you would continue to mash, err, sorry, trash the Potato State, as you did in your post of 1/21 (THINGS YOU NEEDED TO KNOW THAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED TO KNOW), and I for one, as a loyal Idahoian, am getting damn sick and tired of being baked, excuse me, raked over the coals by repulsive, disgusting, degenerate, low-life cheeseballs like you. It’s an au graten, dammit, rotten thing to do and you’re a degenerate, gross, sickening, perverted slimewad and your mother dresses you funny.”

                                                             Jack Cheese, Santa ID

“As the President of the National Organization To Assist Lollipop Leaguers (NOTALL), I have been asked by our numerous members to address your seeming lack of regard for those of us who are considered to be “vertically challenged”. You have made several disrespectful comments about “midgets”, including a joke of seriously dubious taste in your post of 1/17 (IS THIS THE PARTY TO WHOM I’M SPEAKING?_CONTINUED_VER 4.0), and by so doing have shown utter contempt for the VC. My six brothers and I will be considering a campaign of boycotts and economic sanctions against you and the WATRUK blog should these demeaning remarks of yours continue. You are sick, disgusting, repulsive, gross, hideous, dirty and disgusting.

                                                              Dr. Forest (Doc) Fire, Pres, NOTALL

“Krissongs, John Cap’n: you’ve been pre-approved for up to $150 gazillion to be used to purchase a…”

Okay, never mind that one.

“My name is I. Dontknow Howe, of the law firm Dewey Cheatem and Howe, and this letter is to inform you that our clients, the Funk and Webster Dictionary and Pizza Parlor Co., Inc. absolutely refuse to pay the totally scandalous sum of one gazillion dollars ($1,000,0000,00,0000000,0,000,00000) for the usage rights to the word you allegedly claim to have “invented”, grandprogeny© (IS THIS THE PARTY TO WHOM I’M SPEAKING?_CHAPTER THREE). Under no circumstances does F&W pay to use words in their publication, and I have been directed by my client to advise you to perform an unnatural act upon yourself with your demand. Have a nice day.”

                                                              I. Dontknow Howe, Atty At Law

“Any more I just can’t wait for Thursday to come around, knowing there’s going to be a new post on the WATRUK blog…I get so excited I just tingle. (Wait, I think I left my vibrator on…oops, yeah, there we go, that’s better.) I really liked how you talked about your “sardonic, mildly sarcastic voice” in your post of 1/3 (LEARNING MY LINES); I once had an acutely exasperated spleen, but never a sardonic, mildly sarcastic voice. That’s totally rad. And FYI, your writing makes me hot.”

                                                               Penny Stocks, Bald Knob VA

And on and on.

And since I don’t believe in segues, thinking them to be over-rated, I’ll just plow forward…one of the questions that I posed in my post of 1/10 (IS HIS THE PARTY TO WHOM I’M SPEAKING?_CHAPTER THREE) that remains unanswered is “Who is John Galt?”…so here we go. Galt was a philosopher, inventor, engineer and track laborer for a railroad who decided to “stop the motor of the world”; he owned a large library of books, including an atlas, and he shrugged frequently.

How was my grammar?

Love and prepositions,

Cap’n John

Post Script…here’s a link to the excellent song by Simon and Garfunkel (no relation to Funk and Websters of which I am aware) A Simple Desultory Philippic…




Amidst rumors of growing dissension among the various members of the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association, including the leaking of the above photo, taken during a garden break at the recent NRA National Convention and Flea Market, that shows several of the Board members having a heated exchange over which has more “stopping power”, a 9mm bullet or a .45? As can be seen from the picture, there is some obvious disagreement between these men.

But a much larger controversy has evolved from this photo since its release, as a formal and strongly worded protest was made to the same NRA Board, regarding the illegal poaching and indiscriminate wearing of exotic mattress covering, as depicted by the clothing of Peter Gunn, the Board member in the direct center of the picture wearing the disputed apparel.

The protest, sent not only to the NRA Board, but also to MSNBC and Rachel Maddox, was made by the Venerable Order of Mattress Inspectors and Testers (VOMIT), and had harsh words for the gun lobbyists in general and Mr. Gunn specifically, who is shown in the photo in a striped, vested suit made from an exotic mattress covering, which was rumored to have been hunted and shot by Mr. Gunn on a recent bedding safari to Cleveland.

“As it is widely recognized today that the exotic mattress covering is becoming increasingly rare in the wild with each passing year, it is absolutely imperative that this covering be protected in all ways to ensure its continued existence,” said VOMIT President Bradley Sussywoots. “We strongly protested, in the most emphatic language, our displeasure in seeing one of the NRA Board members wearing this rare, endangered covering. That’s criminal, or should be, in VOMIT’s opinion.”

When contacted for a response, Mr. Gunn said the following, “I would be happy to show Mr. Sussywoots the business end of my Glock 9 at his earliest convenience.” He then made an unkind remark, which will not be printed here, about the rather diminutive size of a certain part of Mr. Sussywoots’ male anatomy, and hung up.

And in the category of “Sentences I Never In My Wildest Dreams Thought I Would Ever Hear” comes this recent entry…

“As an obese male, his life expectancy can expect to be substantially reduced,” attorney Curtis Fallgatter wrote in a motion…”.

The above is a direct quote from an article in the 10/21/17 edition of the Tampa Bay Times (“All The News You Need Sometimes”); I neither edited, added or altered. (The lousy English is also not mine…I know better.)

Mr. Fallgatter’s (a name I know you would swear I made up, but I didn’t) client is some guy who is a) 5’9’ tall and weighs 273 pounds and has b) recently been convicted of selling a bogus “Business Protection Plan” to rich investors and business owners as a tax avoidance scheme by kicking back 85% of the Plan’s premiums to the holder, after the premiums had been deducted as a legitimate business expense. The attorney was seeking a reduction in his client’s sentence, which was set by the court at 4 years and 6 months…the judge denied the motion, made an unkind remark about what assholes all lawyers and fat guys are, and adjourned.

And finally today, I believe I stumbled onto, inadvertently, a sign of approaching Apocalypse…I was reading about still another of our President’s latest fiascos, and this thought popped in my head, quite unbidden…”By comparison, this Trump asshole is even starting to make ol’ “W” look good.”

I immediately retired to the bathroom for a vigorous session of yarking.

Love and boxsprings,

Cap’n John


Post Post Script…finally.

Post Toasties…and because I really like you guys, here’s Dickey Betts and Great Southern doing a Betts’ tune called “Bouganvillea”…it is one of the most beautiful rock songs I’ve ever heard, and Betts is superb with his playing.


Good night, and good hunting.