Good Morning – October 22nd

I stopped believing in the Tooth Fairy when he stopped paying my dental bills.

From my book – Good Morning: Your Guide to Utter Nonsense

Good Morning – October 21st

I returned from vacation a broken man. I left my 90 year old mother with instructions to fix my car and found her still working on the transmission. My spirits needed uplifting. Someone handed me a brochure of adult education lectures. This was my answer.
My first choice was “Yoga” but I arrived to class to find everyone making “Yogurt”. Obviously a typo. Next on the list was “Vegetarianism – How to Recognize a Vegetable When You See One”. I cancelled when I learned that I would also have to write a love poem to a cow.
As I procrastinated making a 3rd choice, friends spoke highly of the lectures they attended. One friend happily discovered at the “Right Brain/Left Brain” lecture that he had both halves.
Wednesday passed with still no decision. However I did notice a growth on my foot and scratched “Modern Dance” off the list.
I scanned the brochure one last time. One lecture jumped out at me, “Alien Addictions: Alcohol and Drug Abuse”. I sent in my check but it was returned stamped “not accepting earthlings”.
The series of lectures were coming to an end and I still hadn’t found something. Then I spotted the perfect one, “How to Fix Your Transmission – A Family Project”. Perfect! My Mom and my 95 year old Dad could finally get the job done.

From my book – Good Morning: Your Guide to Utter Nonsense

Returning home….

I returned from vacation a disappointed man. I left my 90 year old mother with instructions to fix my car and found her still working on the transmission. My spirits needed uplifting. Someone handed me a brochure of adult education lectures. This was my answer.

My first choice was “Yoga” but I arrived to class to find everyone making “Yogurt”. Obviously a typo. Next on the list was “Vegetarianism – How to Recognize a Vegetable When You See One”. I was tossed out of the class when I got into a brawl with the teacher when I told him that broccoli wasn’t a vegetable but a small tree.

As I procrastinated making a another choice, friends spoke highly of the lectures they attended. One friend happily discovered at the “Right Brain/Left Brain” lecture that he had both halves.

Wednesday passed with still no decision. However I did notice a growth on my foot and scratched “Modern Dance” off the list.

I scanned the brochure one last time. One lecture jumped out at me, “Alcohol and Drug Abuse – How to Get Started”. I wanted to do this with my Dad, but he wasn’t interested.

The series of lectures were coming to an end and I still hadn’t found something. Then I spotted the perfect one, “How to Fix Your Transmission”. Perfect! My Mom could finally get the job done.

Answers to the Mysteries

“Late in the evening in Arkansas, David Atkins was abducted by a UFO. He claimed that he was taken to the alien’s home world where archeologists were excavating and made a discovery. They found an object that resembled the Earth’s toilet. One of the aliens accidentally flushed it. Well, it was still in working order and it was also clogged, so it backed up and overflowed. And it continued overflowing for days. All work at the archaeology site ground to a halt. The aliens, not knowing what to do, traveled to the Earth to find a plumber. Upon reaching the planet they located Mr. Atkins. He owned a plumbing business.
Returning to the archaeology site, Mr. Atkins surveyed the damage. Since he didn’t have his tools with him, he drew a diagram for the aliens to show what he needed to make the repair. The aliens sent the diagram to a factory and 2 weeks later Mr. Atkins received the tool – a plunger. Immediately he went to work and the toilet was fixed.”

From my book (there are no) Answers to the Mysteries.

Forgotten World Records – The End

To read part one, click here – Forgotten World Records – The Beginning
To read part two, click here – Forgotten World Records – The Middle

My return was met with unbridled enthusiasm by Thomas. He produced a forgotten world record to get my interest rolling.

“On July 2, 1973, Julie Kravets became recognized as the world’s first woman to use her mouth as a food processor. She could slice, dice, mince, knead, chop and puree with her magic jaws. What did her husband say about her talent? ‘It’s exciting kissing her while she’s dicing carrots!'”

The matter concerning how to present these records to the public was still unresolved. I approached Thomas to say that I was thinking of writing a book when he announced, “I am leaving for Brazil.”
“Okay,” I said, “but what about the project?”
“It’s in your hands.” He paused, then said, “But don’t write a book.”
He must have been reading my mind. “Why not?!”
“We must film a movie about it! Do you think we could get Brad Pitt to star?” With that he ran out of the room and headed for Brazil.

Two weeks after his departure, Thomas sent me a telegram. “COME DOWN IMMEDIATELY!” I called him in Brazil.
“I got your tele-” I started to say but he interrupted.
“Then why aren’t you on a plane down here already?!”
“Because I’m trying to organize the world records. And, besides, I don’t know why you’re in Brazil and nor do I want to go there.”
“I’m trying to sell some property that’s been in my family for generations. The money will be needed to pay Brad Pitt when he stars in our movie.”
“You have property in Brazil?” You never knew what Thomas would say.
“Yes. I own the Amazon River,” he said.
“How could you possibly own the Amazon River?!”
“That’s just what the Brazilian authorities said to me. So I showed them my deed, and they still didn’t believe me. So when are you coming down?”
“Look, Thomas. I don’t know how I could help you. Besides, even if you do own the Amazon River and could sell it, I don’t think Brad Pitt is going to star in your movie.”
“Yes he is. I spoke to his agent and got a call from Brad asking about a start date. I told him that I was still organizing the material and he said that he wants to be included in that process. He’ll be calling you soon.”
“What?” I said, meekly.
“And you know what? He’s as annoying as you are, always concerned about the details. I told him, don’t worry! We’ll get it done. And he wants a part for Angelina in the movie. I don’t know though. I don’t think she’s box-office material anymore.
“Anyway, I want you to bring me down some Amazon River papers I have in my safe. Do it today!”

I grabbed the papers and hopped a plane. When I arrived I found Thomas imprisoned for abusive behavior. The police let me bail him out on the condition that we both left the country immediately.

The return flight was filled with arguments. Thomas was still screaming at Brazil and I was shouting at Thomas. When we were over Florida, the airline stewardesses strapped parachutes on us and we were tossed out over the Everglades. Arriving home, I got back to work.

“Alexander Ludworthy, a geologist, made the world’s most unusual discovery when he, on an expedition in Antarctica, unearthed a Neanderthal man dressed in a 3 piece suit holding a brief case. It was further reported that the man’s tie did not match the color of his suit.”

I felt that I was making progress. I even started writing the first draft of the movie screenplay. (Brad Pitt did call, making suggestions.) I presented my efforts to Thomas but he pushed them aside complaining of an illness. Unbeknownst to us, it would be only a matter of months for him.

The end of the year approached and so did my first draft. Thomas reviewed it and wondered why there were no “gladiator-type” of scenes. I answered, “Maybe because there are no “gladiator-type” of world records?”
“Then make one up! There’s gotta be a scene with Brad Pitt chopping off somebody’s head!”

I tried to be polite, due to his illness, but his erratic behavior eventually wore me down. I took a break and left for a month. Upon my return, Thomas threw me out for another month, complaining that he refused to work with a man who didn’t look like Brad Pitt. After another month, he asked me to return.

We resumed work on the screenplay. With daily calls from Brad Pitt demanding more scenes for Angelina, and Thomas actively resisting, the pressure was on. I could hear screaming matches from them and I was stuck in the middle.

When the screenplay neared completion, rehearsals had started. Thomas was flying out to Hollywood on a weekly basis to confront Brad Pitt about the “Angelina problem”. At one point I heard Thomas had approached Bruce Willis to star, but Bruce was committed to another project at the time.

Everything seemed perfect when, without warning, Thomas passed away. We both underestimated the severity of his illness. At this point, everything evaporated. Brad Pitt pulled out, and no one else in Hollywood was interested.

The wake and funeral for Thomas were swift as I was “almost” the only one attending. I don’t understand the connection, but Steven Spielberg showed up for the wake.

It took a few months but eventually I got back to work. Thomas left everything to me – the world records, all of his property which included the Amazon River. I returned to my original plan, to write a book on the subject. I did receive one call from Martin Scorcese but it never went anywhere.

“George Peters developed the world’s first line of ‘gasoline clothes’. Produced in a variety of styles and colors, ranging from suits to dresses to blue jeans, these clothes can power a car. ‘So if you ever run out of gas on the highway,’ Mr. Peters said, ‘you simply take off your shirt, put it in the gas tank and drive off.'”

I can’t wait for the book!

Forgotten World Records – The Beginning

A world record represents an achievement of superiority. Questing for one deserves praise. Forgotten ones should be remembered.

My first discovery came while thumbing through the magazine “Glue*Magic”, May 1962. There was a picture and story of Vernon Helmtswat, the world’s most-glued man. Vernon was shown gluing himself to the bottom of a jet plane moments before take off.

My interest was born when I met Thomas Swielzel, the forgotten champion of forgotten world records. Thomas was a loner, and for good reason. People were uncomfortable around a man who dry-cleaned his fruits and vegetables instead of washing them. Not me.

We met in a coffee shop. He was dressed in a grey suit complimented by a grey complexion. He began the conversation. “I know that I may sound like a dreamer, but I have a theory. The theory is, is that our planet earth has another small planet circling it at a distance of about 250,000 miles.”
“Are you talking about the moon?” I asked.
“WHAT? he cried. “Do you mean somebody has discovered it before me?! There goes another Nobel Prize!”
Thomas stormed out and it was 6 months before I saw him again.

I was at a flea market when I spotted a crowd of people listening to someone. Curious, I approached. It was Thomas.
“And may I remind you,” he said, “Edward Corbon holds the record for forgetting what he looks like. Mr. Corbin has been shown many pictures of himself but everytime he looks in the mirror, he says the same thing, ‘Hello, Mr. President.'”

Inspired, my search for those elusive records began anew. I searched bookstores and laundromats. It was tough going. Finally I found something in an old newspaper.
“Yesterday, Howard Muller captured a world record by becoming the first man ever to make future predictions and have 98% of them come true. Mr. Muller claims that he can predict the future if he is within 5 feet of a goat. ‘It has something to do with the aura surrounding our two species,’ he was quoted saying. ‘When they combine it enables me to see into the future!'” A photo showed Mr. Muller and a goat in Las Vegas playing cards.

My search continued but it was difficult. Relief came when I spotted an ad in a magazine. Thomas would be sponsoring a talk on “Forgotten World Records”.
I attended. Only I attended. He had an audience of just one. Me. He didn’t seem to notice though, carrying on as if all 250 sears were occupied. And he was fascinating!
“Lawrence Canaby holds the world record for disappearing socks in the Bermuda Triangle,” he said. “A fisherman by trade, Mr. Canaby has traveled the area thousands of times with his socks vanishing on each trip.”
“LuAnne Kramer hold the record as the world’s most misidentified woman. For years, thousands of people have mistaken her some somebody else with the biggest error coming when a supermarket shopper grabbed Mrs. Kramer thinking she was a loaf of bread.”

At the end of the conference Thomas gave me the key to his house. “I know that you are fascinated by this subject,” he said. “Go to my house and search. I have hundreds of boxes all containing these forgotten records! And while you’re there, paint the living room. I like the color blue. It needs a fresh coat.”
I was in heaven. Or at least, I thought that I was.

To be continued…

And Now For Something Completely Different…

(Read this article written by John Cleese from Monty Python on a friend’s FB post and thought it was hilarious. Wanted to share…)

And now for something completely written by John Cleese.

ALERTS TO THREATS IN 2013 EUROPE

From JOHN CLEESE

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose.”

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels ..

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be right, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is cancelled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.

Regards,
John Cleese
British writer, actor, and tall person

And as a final thought – Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC.

Life is too short…

Disappearing…

Lawrence Canaby holds the “dubious” record for
vanishing socks in the Bermuda Triangle.
A cruise ship captain, Mr. Canaby has sailed
through the Triangle thousands of times
with his socks disappearing* on each trip.

*They vanish while he is wearing them.
(A crew member suggested that he simply stop wearing socks.
When he did, his underwear then vanished.)

It’s a Holdup!

“Do you have a gun?” she asked.
“Do I have a gun? Why do I need a gun?” he said.
“Because you do.”
“I can’t rob a bank without a gun?”
“Not the one we’re going to,” she said.
“They won’t give me any money if I don’t have a gun?” he asked.
“That’s right.”
“You mean that I have to have a gun in order to rob that bank?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“I got a knife.”
“Doesn’t matter,” she said. “And it’s only a penknife anyway.”
“It looks threatening.”
“You need a gun.”
“How do you know that?” he asked.
“It’s in the employee handbook. I had a friend who worked there and she told me.”
“How about my note. Is it good?”
“Let me read it,” she said.
He handed it to her.
“This is not good.”
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Holdup is spelled wrong. Money is too. Didn’t you spell-check this?”
“No, I didn’t think it was necessary.”
She shook her head in disbelief.
“Forget the note then!”
“You can’t forget it. You need the note.”
“Why? I’ll just tell them that it’s a holdup,” he said.
“It’s in the employee handbook too.”
“Do you have a copy of the handbook?”
“Yes,” she said, handing it to him.
He did a quick read through the chapter on robberies.
“It doesn’t say anything here about needing a gun.”
“On page 57 it says-“
“The perpetrator must have a weapon,” he said, interrupting her.
“That’s right,” she nodded her head in agreement.
“It doesn’t say gun.”
“Not specifically, but my friend at the bank says that’s how the employees interpret that. That the robber has to have a gun.”
“And the requirement of a note isn’t even mentioned,” he said.
“Yes it does. At the top of page 59 it says,” taking the book from him and reading, “’a note produced by a computer printer is preferable over a hand written one when demands are made.’”
“And further down the page,” he said, grabbing the book back and reading, “’if no note is provided, verbal instructions are acceptable.’”
“I’m telling you, they won’t give you any money without a gun and a note. And the note can’t have any spelling errors. It would also help if you provided them with a resume.”
“What?” he said, surprised.
“The resume should list your past robberies, how much you made, what you accomplished, etc. And don’t forget to include references and people to contact in the event of an emergency.”
“Why can’t we just rob a different bank?”
“No.”
“Why not?”
“Because they’re expecting us,” she said.
“I’m confused. It’s a robbery. It’s supposed to be a surprise.”
“That’s why I picked this place. They’re very accommodating. They scheduled us for a 2 o’clock robbery.”
“You’re kidding.”
“I’m not. I called and asked.”
“When you could rob the place?” he said.
“Yes, and they were nice enough to give us a timeslot on a busy day and you can’t even follow the rules in the employee handbook and have a gun and a properly written note.”
“This has gotta be a dream.”

The Chapter 9 opening in my book 5 Pumpkins & a Head.

another another another Passage

“My dog died,” she said.
“No!” he replied. “You loved that animal. How long did you have him?”
“About 15 years.”
“What will you do? Bury him in the backyard?”
“No. In a pet cemetery.”
“That’s nice,” he said.
“But I ran into problems.”
“Oh?”
“It started at the wake.”
“What happened?”
“I lit some candles and had a CD playing his favorite song, Elvis singing ‘Hound Dog’.”
“Who attended?”
“There must’ve been about 20 cats and dogs and a bunch of parakeets there. I tried training one parakeet to deliver the eulogy. My dog loved birds and I thought it would’ve been nice but the bird just kept saying, ‘You’re going to hell! You’re going to hell!’ It belonged to a minister.
“The next day I called the pet cemetery and made arrangements for burial but the place couldn’t accept delivery for 2 days. In the meantime, I wrapped my dog in aluminum foil and put him in the freezer. However, I forgot to tell my Mom.”
“That doesn’t sound good.”
“No, it wasn’t. She reached into the freezer and pulled him out thinking it was a steak all ready for the oven. Two hours later he was cooked. Luckily I stopped my Mom before she took a bite.”
“I agree.”
“So I decided to put my dog in a safety deposit box in a bank. When Friday came and it was time to take him to the cemetery, I went to the bank to discover that the IRS had a court order to open up box 163 but mistakenly opened up 164, which was mine. Well, they were pretty surprised to find a cooked dog inside.
“The bank employees disposed of my dog by putting him into a trash compactor. I explained the situation and he was returned, but not before he had been squeezed down to half his former size.
“So I took my dog, put him in a bag, and returned to my car. When I got there a thief robbed me at gunpoint taking my wallet and the bag. I tried telling the thief that there was nothing but a dead dog inside but he didn’t believe me and took it anyway.
“After I got home the police called and said they got the thief and I could pickup my stuff. I rushed over, grabbed the bag with my dog and headed to the pet cemetery.
“The man at the cemetery asked me a lot of questions why the dog was cooked, compacted and wrapped in foil and I explained.”
“What did he say?”
“Nothing. Just gave me a look.”
“And the burial?” he asked.
“It was arranged for Sunday so I went home happy. However, on Saturday, I got a call from the manager of the cemetery. They had made a mistake and cremated my dog, but the mistake was discovered in time so only half the dog was cremated.
“When Sunday arrived, I was getting ready to leave for the burial service and I got another call from the manager. This time he said my dog had somehow got mixed in with some paper documents that were headed for an industrial shredder and, well, my dog had been shredded. At that point, I was in tears.”
“Why didn’t you call me?” he asked.
“I didn’t want to bother you.”
“Did they finally bury the dog?” she asked.
“Yes, in pieces. I never made it to the service. I was too grief stricken.”

The Chapter 7 opening in my book 5 Pumpkins & a Head.