Friday, January 30, 2015

Trading My Muse

The Muse
                                                 Decidedly Not Mine, However                                                 

Most writers have a muse that dwells within them and provides them with a host of new and exciting ideas to inspire and enhance their writing. I have a muse that dwells mostly within my refrigerator and provides me with a host of new and exciting ideas that would be rejected by My Weekly Reader.

"Muse! Muse!"  I hollered. "Where are you? I haven't had a post accepted by the Broad Street Review in months!"

"Yeah, I’m aware of that, Boss. You know, I’m kind of annoyed you're not living up to my high standards as a muse."

"Living up to your standards?  The best idea you've given me in the last six months was a television show featuring a panel of chefs who cook for senior citizens called The Gum."

“Shows about food are very popular, Boss."

“Yeah, I've noticed food is very popular with you too.  It flies out of this house like it's being chased by ISIS.”

"I'm a growing muse, Boss.  I'm only 2,420 years old.  That's 14 in Muse years."

"Well, good luck with puberty. And another thing: the idea you gave me about a spoof of a Facebook page for Director David Lynch tanked as badly as Chevy Chase's career.”

“What are you saying?  Are you telling me people on the internet don’t love posts about vomit and children who look like spermatozoa?” 

"It was my worst post since The Pure Joy of Macroeconomics, which by the way, you gave me as well."

"Boss, did it ever occur to you that you're not very copacetic to work for?"

"I'll remember that the next time I let you borrow the car and you turn up two weeks later in Tijuana hugging a donkey."

"Know what, Boss? That's it! I wanna be traded!"

"Traded?! They have trading in the muse world?"

"Of course they do.  I myself was formerly the muse to Lucy Maud Montgomery who wrote the Anne of Green Gables novels." 

"You were responsible for Anne of Green Gables?!!"

"Nah, I told her to write pornography.  Next day I was traded."

"Well, to whom do you want to be traded now?"

"James Michener, Jack London, or William Saroyan."

"But all those guys are dead!"

"Of course they are.  At this stage of the game, I really don't want to work all that hard."

"Okay, Muse,  I'm contact some of the writers I know on Facebook and Twitter and see if I can work out a deal."

"Fair enough.  Do you think you could  trade me to someone who uses the Oxford Comma. I hate it when a guy writes:  'I brought dinner, Grandmom and a turkey.'”

“Well, you may have to settle. Let's just hope Grandmom tastes half as good as the turkey!

"Okay, Boss.  And one more thing: please hurry!"

“Why's that, Muse?”

“Trading deadline is Monday."


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Grover the Electrician (FF)

Copyright - Ted Strutz

"Mrs. Koogel, I'm finished," said Grover the Electrician.  "Turn on some lights and let's check out the work."

"Grover," shouted Mrs. Koogel, "Mr. Koogel turned on the lights in the master bath and got an electric shock!"

"OMG!" exclaimed Grover.  “Try the hall bath."

"Grover," screamed Mrs. Koogel. "Mr. Koogel turned on the lights in the hall bath and got an even bigger electric shock!”

“This can't be!  Tell him to try the bedroom."

“Grover," yelled Mrs. Koogel, "Mr. Koogel turned on the lights in the bedroom and time traveled to the tenth century!”

"Mrs. Koogel, I'm sorry, it looks like I really screwed up!"

"No, you didn’t, Grover."

"But it was supposed to be the master bath and the ninth century!"

"No big deal.  Here, I'll write you a check."


I don't think I would have been quite so easy on Grover the Electrician. In the 9th century I could have met Charlemagne, one of the most intriguing figures in all of history, so I'm afraid we've got a  major time travel fail in my contribution this week to the Friday Fictioneers based on the picture prompt above. 

The other Fictioneers are ready and waiting to transport you to wherever you want to go, be it the ninth, tenth, or 21st centuries. Click here to be shocked and electrified by their offerings.

Look, there's Mr. Koogel and Charlemagne!  So Grover the Electrician pulled it off after all.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Facebook Page of David Lynch

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David Lynch
(Note: This is a parody. This is not actually written by David Lynch or it would be weirder.  Probably way weirder.)

Hi!  I'm famed director David Lynch and this is my Facebook page.  I'm glad you decided to stop by and spend some time.  Contrary to what you might think, I'm just a regular guy like all the rest of you.  I mow my lawn on a Saturday, take the kids to the mall on a Sunday, and subvert all that's human and decent in the world the rest of the week. Come join me.

I do love me my cat videos, but it's so hard to find good ones anymore. Here's one that I'm sure will warm your heart and leave you with a smile.  It's a video of a little kitty being swallowed whole by a snake with a surprisingly huge unhingeable jaw. Enjoy, Facebook Friends!    


Nothing is more fun than looking at posts of the breakfast, lunch, and dinners of my Facebook Friends.  Anywho, here's the lunch I was privileged to enjoy this afternoon --- honey baked ham, swiss cheese, selected vermin, and ammonium nitrate, all cooked to perfection. I had two helpings and then puked my guts out.  Woo-hoo! 


BTW,  I've loved puke ever since my days living in Philadelphia, no comparison intended. Here's a quick pic below. Wanna see more? A Comprehensive Retrospective of David Lynch Vomit, 1974-2003 is just a click away on my website ... 


If there's one American entertainer I truly adore, it's the Polish Prince himself, Mr. Bobby Vinton!  I've been privileged to catch the ageless Mr. Vinton's act a number of time in beautiful Branson Missouri.  Here he is beltin' out the ever lovely "Blue Velvet," the song that has made him an American favorite with folks of all ages. Afterwards Frank Booth and I went backstage and the three of us engaged in a wide variety of sadomasochistic acts.

WOOT! I'm delighted to share with you the news that I have been tapped to direct my very first Rom Com entitled "When Larvae Met Sally." Not to tip off too much here, but get this:  it's New Year's Eve and Larvae realizes for the first time he loves Sally, but she's leaving on a plane to England to marry the Elephant Man. Can Larvae slither after her in time? I'm melting hearts here!


Here's a lovely shot of Isabella Rossellini at a fun picnic the two of us went on together during the filming of Blue Velvet.  What a beautiful afternoon! We went to a nearby park where we ate sandwiches and drank ice tea, nuzzled together on a blanket, and smeared fresh blood all over each other to see if we could attract savage man-eating bears. No such luck. Phooey!



To her, I'm just "the Hubs."  I call her the "bi-i-i-t-c-h."  Know why? Frankly I've been married so many times I don't remember my wife's actual name!  Here the bi-i-i-t-c-h" and I are posing with BFFs Russell Brand and some random guy. Following the taking of this picture I performed an emergency frontal lobotomy on Russell and afterwards he seemed much more normal, and way funnier.


 You may want to take this Buzzfeed quiz, especially if your life is so impoverished you have no earthly better thing to do which is likely since you're sitting in the house on a nice day like this huddled over my Facebook page. Which David Lynch character are you?

a) Frank Booth (even I hope not)
b) Some character or other from Dune, nobody's seen it anyway
c) Henry Spencer (but only his hair)
d) The Elephant Man
e) Actress Laura Elena Herring's prodigious left boob


Here I am with fave gal pals Betty Elms, Rita, Diane Selwyn, and Camilla Rhodes.  Now if you're wondering why there are only two women in the picture and four names in the post, you need to watch Mulholland Drive another half dozen times or so.  Maybe even more. If you still don't get it, don't worry. There's always Adam Sandler movies.


Did you know that just like Agent Cooper, I give myself a present every day of two cups of good, hot, back coffee?  I even have my own special blend, possessed of just a hint of a secret ingredient which provides it with a distinctive richness, aroma, and flavor. Delicious! You can order by clicking below.  Drink up, my Facebook Friends!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Disgrace in the Sun (FF)

copyright Georgia Koch

It was a nice day to row on the lake, Montgomery Clift had convinced Shelley Winters, and although she was uneasy about it, she agreed to go.

As they took to the small boat and Clift began rowing, Clift had a dark secret. He had met Elizabeth Taylor and nothing would ever be the same. He hated himself for what he planned to do, but he had no choice.  

Elizabeth was waiting for him.

As they reached the center of the lake, Clift brandished the oar overhead. He saw the look of terror in Shelley's eyes. 

"Shel," said Clift, "I know these are your favorite oars, but Elizabeth Taylor wants to buy them.  Sorry, but we'll make a bundle!"


No, this isn't exactly the way it plays out in "A Place in the Sun," but it's much nicer I think. And it allows me to pay homage to this great movie as my Friday Fictioneers' response to the picture prompt above.

I always thought Montgomery Clift was a fascinating actor.  I would have liked to have been just like him except for the dying young part. Then again, it's kind of impossible for me to die young at this stage of the game.

I hope those oars fetch the price Clift and Winters are hoping for because from the picture above,  the two of them sure as hell could use a better boat!

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Prohibition of Birthdays

It was America's second major attempt at Prohibition. It was indeed a noble experiment, but one which ultimately was doomed to fail. 

It was the Prohibition of Birthdays Act. 

In the early part of  the 21st Century, the practice of observing  birthdays had fallen out of favor.  Facebookers were  sick to death  of wishing "Happy  Birthday" to people they didn’t actually know, the price of streamers had risen alarmingly due to the poor construction paper crop of 2017, and everybody was continuing to grow older, despite the fact that most people didn't want to.  

Anti-Birthday leagues began forming.  Radical Anti-Birthday activist Carrie Nationstate brandishing a hatchet raided birthday parties, chopping her way through Barbies, Kens, Hot Wheels, and all manner of pointy party hats.  Baby Boomers were especially militant in calling for an end to birthdays;  in Cleveland a mob of 64 year olds attacked a contingent of party clowns, beating them so severely that the clowns never again needed to paint tears under either eye  to be seen to cry. 

With pressure mounting, Congress drafted The Prohibition of Birthdays Act or PBA,  proposed by Senators Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Grassley, and Orrin Hatch, whose combined ages equaled 241, which all three thought was enough already! Support grew swiftly and in the end only conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer remained opposed, primarily because he hated anything that might cause him to smile on Fox News.

On January 15, 2017, birthdays were outlawed throughout the United States and all its possessions including Guam, even though nobody in the United States knows where Guam is or if they even have birthdays there. Under the law, it became illegal to celebrate a birthday, send a birthday card, or even utter the words "pin" and "donkey" in the same sentence.  

The beneficial effect of the end of  birthdays was swift and immediate;  with age no longer a factor,  Abe Vigota and Scarlett Johansson announced their engagement.  All around the nation fat, balding, and wrinkled Baby Boomers gathered together and created the slogan "Don't Trust Anyone Over 75," content in knowing they could never be 75, no matter how much they came to look like Wilford Brimley. 

The new law, however, soon began to show its flaws.   Those with an on-going desire for birthdays soon sparked a wholly new illegal business industry ruled by organized crime --- the Speak Cheesy!

“My Joel is going to have the best 8th birthday ever, isn’t he, Mr. Calebresse?”

“Of course!  All da pizza he and his friends can eat."

"Oh, Mr. Calebresse?  Will we have noisemakers and giftbags too?"

"Sorry, Mrs. Grossman.  They're too hot.  But we do got bathtub ice cream!"

Soon violence erupted as shootouts between rival Speak Cheesy gangs armed with super soakers and well aimed water balloons left dozens drenched and hundreds more with water shriveled finger tips.  A public outcry followed the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, in which two birthday magicians and one balloon twisting guy caught their deaths a cold following a water pistol ambush.

powerful repeal movement formed consisting of a coalition  of cake bakeries, the guy who holds the copyright to "Happy Birthday to You," and millions of 12 year old Jewish boys afraid they'd never get their Bar Mitzvah presents.  Finally on  January 1, 2018, a decidedly sadder but wiser nation  declared  the Prohibition of Birthdays Act repealed.

It was a noble experiment but in the end it was doomed to failure.  It failed because people --- despite the noblest of their aspirations --- want and need bland yellow cake with white icing adorned with the words "Happy Birthday, Hubert," especially if their name is Hubert. 

But not me.  Not this Boomer.   I don't need any of it at all!  

I'm not giving up.  Ms. Nationstate, hand me that hatchet!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Asian Misbehavin'

When it comes to discussions of favorite foods, mine always starts and stops with Asian.  Love the sauces, love the vegetables, love the rice, love the MSG and the accompanying runny nose, verily there's little I don't love.  Until now.

Perhaps you saw the recent article about a Brooklyn-based food supplier to Chinese restaurants named New Yung Wah that was cited for its alleged wanton disregard for sanitary codes after rodent carcasses, feces, and urine were found in its warehouse. Now that's just one supplier and I know most suppliers certainly Asian misbehavin', but still I can't help but wonder ....

"Hi Perry, nice to see you back here at the Lucky Dragon."

"Hullo, Victor, how are you?  Still ... still in business, I see."

"Of course, why wouldn't I be?  Want some General Tsos tonight?"

'Maybe.  But first I have sort of a question ... umm ... do you ..."

"Yes, Perry?"

"Do you ... you ... uh ... ever go up to Brooklyn?"


"Yeah. Y'know,  Brooklyn, New York.  Near Manhattan, kind of trendy. Used to be the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jackie Robinson, No. 42, that Brooklyn."

"Of course I know Brooklyn.  I go there quite a lot."

"YOU DO?!  I mean: you do, how nice!  What do you do up there?"

"I have a lot of relatives there."  

"OH, THANK GOD!! Nothing like family, I always say. So you never buy any food up there, do you, Victor?"

"Oh, yes, I do sometimes.  Got a great long term supplier there."

"But there's great long term suppliers right here in Philadelphia!" 

"Why so upset about Brooklyn, Perry?"

"Oh, nothing, nothing.  I just prefer when people buy local is all; so much fresher and all."  

"Perry, you're turning as green as a Jade statue!"

"No,no, I'm just ...  Out of curiosity, what's the name of your supplier in Brooklyn?"

"Sure. My supplier in Brooklyn is New ... why do you have your hands over your ears, Perry?"

"Tinnitus, big problem!  Have to keep noise out sometimes."

"Oh. Well, as I was saying my supplier is New ... why do you have your hands over your ears, Perry?"

"Too much exposure to rock music 30 years ago, cleaning out that pesky waxy ear buildup, and ... uhh ... abject fear of hearing you say the words Yung and Wah in the rest of that sentence."

"You look as green as sauteed string beans, Perry!  Would you like to sit down? By the way, did you know Chinese New Year is coming up?" 

"I didn't. What year is it now?  I hope it's not the Year of the Rat.""

"No, Perry, it's not."


"It's the Year of the Horse."

"The Horse! I'm eating someone I might have bet on?!!!"

"Perry, now you're as green as the meat I get from my supplier in Brooklyn." 

"Sorry, sorry, Victor, think I feel like a different kind of food tonight." 

"What kind of food?"

"Maybe I'll try some Indian."

"Indian!  No!  No!"

"Why not, Victor?"

"Didn't you hear about the supplier of Indian food in Brooklyn whose warehouse was cited for rodent carcasses, feces, urine and ..."


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Gold Leaf Setting (FF)

Copyright – Jan Wayne Fields

I cannot understand where the Duke and Duchess are. This is the third time they have stood me up for supper!

Once more I have put out my finest gold leaf table setting and crystal glasses. Everything is ready. Yet again they confound me.

True, I am but a humble American writer here in my small courtyard apartment in the Via Dinomartino, but the Duke said he admired my first novel, Perfection Don't Suck, and was happy to foster my acquaintance. 

Where are you, Duke and Duchess? I have food prepared that well befits the table setting I  have chosen --- Big Macs all around, super size fries, and large cokes.

Why you never arrive remains a mystery.


It's no mystery what lies above the squiggly line --- my contribution to this week's Friday Fictioneers based on the picture prompt above. Hope you enjoy the Big Macs.

The other Fictioneers entries this week, all of gold leaf and crystal quality,  will be served to you by clicking here. (BTW, another mystery was how to find the link this week.)

See you on the Via Dinomartino!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ring In The Not-So-New

In the style of  the Onion*

Speaking publicly today, area man Lance Goldberg stated that to his dismay he cannot ascertain that anything whatsoever has changed since 2014 ended and 2015 began.

"It's uncanny!" exclaimed Mr. Goldberg. "I was at a party recently where people were drinking and celebrating because the year 2014 was expiring and being replaced by new year 2015, and we watched throngs in Times Square in New York City cheering wildly as an enormous festively lit and decorated ball dropped through the night sky to signify the event."

"Naturally after all that hoopla, you'd expect all kinds of things to immediately change," said Goldberg, "but not a damn thing is different!"

"So what the hell were we celebrating? An arbitrary blip on the calendar?" 

According to Goldberg, the same scandals, corruption, and shootings are in the news in 2015 as in 2014. Kim Kardashian is still considered hot copy in 2015, just as in 2014. And most people are still saying "expresso" instead of "espresso" in 2015, just as in 2014.

"I am especially amazed that that those stupid quizzes like What Kind of Furball Are You? are still on Buzzfeed and other websites in 2015, just as in 2014," noted Goldberg.

Mr. Goldberg has painstakingly compiled a list of over 9,000 things that have remained the same in 2015 as in 2014, which includes the difficulty of pronouncing and spelling the name "Benedict Cumberbatch," Mr. Goldberg's own wife's highly disagreeable disposition, and how tricky it is to get lasagna stains out of crushed velvet.

"It's unbelievable but I have yet to find anything that has changed," commented Goldberg.  "Best I can determine is that maybe the normal massive annual changes sometimes skip a year and that when 2015 makes way for 2016, hold on to your hats!"


 *I didn't say as good as the Onion, just in the style of. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Let's Move Before They Raise The Parking Rate (FF)

© Copyright Jean L. Hays

"So, Jason, did you get a closer look at the parking sign?"

"Yeah, I did. Took me a minute or so to psych it out."

"Well, what did it say?"

"Behind the sign, there’s two hour parking from Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM.  Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, you can park four hours until 7:00 PM, then one hour until 8:00 AM."

"What about in front of the sign?"

"No parking Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM through 1:00PM, then 1/2 hour parking through 2:00 AM, with unlimited parking on Saturday and Sunday until 5:00 PM except on leap year, when it’s 15 minute parking 3:00 PM through 11:50 PM on Saturday and 11:55 PM Sunday."

"So should we park in front of the sign or behind the sign?"


"Neither?  Why?"

"Because, dude, we're on foot!"


I've never been known as a particularly good automobile parker.  In fact, I'm so bad at parking I refer to parallel parking as perpendicular parking. So I'd never relish having to decipher and act upon the sign featured in my Friday Fictioneers' offering this week as based on the picture prompt above.

However, you can park it yourself right here if you want to read this week's posts of the other Friday Fictioneers. I wouldn't steer you wrong.

Then again if I'm trying to park a car, I could be steering you anywhere!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Must Love Dogs

Most of us love dogs and I am no exception. But I haven’t owned a dog in quite some time and I'm not always sure how to behave around them.

And frankly, whenever I encounter someone else's dog these days, I'm not even sure I want to be around them!

Take the case of Sophie, the poodle owned by my friend Ellen. Whenever I go to visit Ellen, Sophie barks, jumps up and down frenetically, and wraps her paws around my legs like she's begging me not to foreclose on her mortgage.

There’s just one problem.

When I first walk through the door of Ellen's house, I'm nowhere near ready for this level of affection. And I'm certainly nowhere near ready for the slobbery sticky face licking of the sort Sophie dispenses, not even if Sophie were somehow magically transformed into Scarlett Johansson.

"Hello, Sophie, how are you?"  I say stiffly.  "Ever so nice to see you."

That's the best I can muster this early on in my interaction with a pooch - anybody’s pooch - man’s or woman’s best friend or not. Sophie meanwhile is jumping ever higher and more excitedly on her hind legs, the better to unleash a full frontal doggy smooching assault on my face and body.

"No, no, Sophie, please I've just washed my face,” I plead.  “And hands too!  And this is a new cashmere sweater!”

Meanwhile Sophie's owner, flush with affection for her four-legged pride and joy, is intent on imbuing that very same affection into my canine curmudgeonly psyche.

"Sophie-kins, give some lovey-wovey to Perry.  Isn't she a good girl, isn't she a good girl?  You make kissy face with Perry!"

Oh, that unique quality in all of humanity to think every one of us must love their pets almost as much as they do! Were that trait not to exist, there would be three cat videos on Facebook and the rest political diatribes and people changing their profile picture.

But then as I settle into visiting my friend, a curious thing happens.  As I'm having coffee with Ellen, a more calmed down Sophie nuzzles against my leg.

No humping. No licking. Just snuggling.

"That's a good girl, Sophie," I said, rubbing her head softly. "Yes, you are a nice puppy, you are."

One hour goes by.

"Yes, you are a pretty girl, aren't you, Sophie! Aren't you, Sophie?" I coo in a voice I haven't used since I was five. "Yes, you are the sweetest little Sophie-kins in all the world!”

Oh, that unique quality in all of humanity to, after a short while, come to love someone else's pets almost as much as they do.

No wonder there are so many cat videos on Facebook.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Fine Bromance

“Sorry to hear things aren’t going well in your marriage, Mark.”

“That's an understatement, Perry. My wife is never home anymore. She’s always out shopping.”

 “Well, that’s not unusual. Many women like to go shopping.”

“For small arms weaponry?” 

“Oh. So what do you want to do? Get a divorce? Look for a woman on the side?” 

No, I can't afford either.

“What then?”

“I want a bromance! A close friendship with another man to fill the void.”

“I've heard of bromances. But where do you go to meet another guy to have bromance with?”

“Perry, there are bromance bars all over town! Ben Affleck and Matt Damon just opened a string of them. Sometimes they show “I Love You, Man” on continuous loop.” 

“So you're going to frequent bromance bars and hit on guys to have bromance with?”

“Yeah, baby! I'm gonna be out at night cruisin' the bars looking for hot bromance!”

“Well, do you have any idea how to hit on guys in a bromance bar?”

“I think I'll pick out a sensitive looking guy who seems like he'd be swell to discuss the Eagles or Flyers with, and then pitch him a slick line.”  

“Something like ‘Where have you been all my life? Shopping at Home Depot?’    

“Yeah, or maybe ‘Come here to watch televised sports often?’ or ‘Buy you a drink, tall, dark, and platonic?’"  

“So let's say you start connecting with a dude and you're finding you have a lot in common, how do you then ‘move the party’ elsewhere, if you catch my drift?”

“ I think you ask the fella if he wants to go hit some golf balls. Then if all goes well you invite him back to your place for a nightcap and when the timing is right, you pop the question: ‘Would you be my bromance!’" 

  "I think you'd better wait on that.”

“ Why?”
“ You want to make good and sure it's true bromance, not just puppy bromance.”

“Oh, right. Well, I'm off to hit some bromance bars. Care to come with?”

“No, thanks.” 

  "How come?”

“ Call me old-fashioned, but I’m still looking for romance.” 

“I understand.”

      “But, Mark, just in case …”


“Save me a seat.”