“Testing…testing…(turns away from microphone and speaks to person behind him sotto voce…yeah, and if we didn’t test so much we’d have fewer cases, according to that idiot in the White House)…testing, one (turns away again as the PA system lets out a squeal of feedback), two, three, ah, ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, I’d like to get started, so if you would, please find your seats, please, if you would, please find your seats, everyone, please, can everyone have a seat so we can get going, I have quite a number of items to cover today, please take your seats…thank you. We have a full agenda of department reports today that I need to share with all of you, so without any further ado, I’ll get started.” (Sotto voce again to the guy behind him)…”Geez, what a bunch of maroons…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love and quorums,

Cap’n John