Friday, December 30, 2022

Fahrenheit 365

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, 2022, 2023, New Year, Kathy, Fuck It, Year in Review

Unsurprisingly, I won't be doing my annual "year in review" for the blog this year. I haven't paid close attention to the news (although you didn't need to pay close attention to be aware of what a colossal fustercluck it was and is) and you sure as heck don't need to hear another recounting of my personal year.

I don't have much in the way of plans for New Year's Eve other than to go to my backyard at midnight, set fire to the 2022 calendar, and then create a cloud of urine-scented steam as I forcefully (and quite personally) extinguish the embers.

But hey, 2023 will be a brand new year! A tabula rasa! A Stayfree-fresh new beginning! And in that spirit, I heartily and sincerely wish you all the Least Painful New Year possible.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Just in the Saint Nick of Time (Free Book #2!)

johnny optimism, medical, humor, sick, jokes, boy, wheelchair, doctors, hospital, stilton jarlsberg, home for the horrid days, collection, free book, Christmas

If it's true that it's better to give than receive, that laughter is the best medicine, and that the best things in life are free, I'm knocking it out of the park by giving away the ebook version of Johnny Optimism's newly-released book "Home for the Horrid Days."

For three days only (Friday 12/16 - Sunday 12/18) you can download the book at this link to read on any computer, tablet, or phone using a free Kindle Reader app available here

Note: before ordering, be sure the price shows as free (and not just "Read for Free" with Kindle Unlimited)! Instead, you want to buy the book for $0.00.

Amazingly, reading a cartoon book on a smartphone is a perfectly pleasant experience because I fiddled around with the book's code to enable an "easy reading" mode: just turn your device sideways, tap on any page, and you'll suddenly see just one cartoon at a time at a size that won't make you go blind! Tap on the right to go to the next cartoon, or tap on the left to go backward.

There's also a beautiful paperback edition of this Holiday collection available for a ridiculous $3.59 with free Prime shipping. That means you're just a mouse-click away from being able to send a wonderful (and memorable) gift to family and friends for about the price of a big Hallmark card with glitter on it. And frankly, the recipients won't get as much quality bathroom reading time out of a Hallmark card, nor will they accidentally sprinkle glitter on their private regions. A phrase that I may turn into a Christmas song at some point.

Please feel free to share this link to the free Kindle book with family, friends, on social media, or with whoever is in the hospital bed next to yours. But remember to tell them to act fast, because the ebook is only free Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (12/16-12/18).

A Special Favor: after downloading the book, I'd really appreciate any reviews you'd care to post on Amazon. Amazon promotes (or demotes) books based on their popularity and reviews, so it really makes a huge difference. And reviews can be short and sweet - just a sentence or two! But please don't mention politics in your reviews - Johnny's got enough problems already!

Friday, December 9, 2022

The Skin Of A Hen's Teeth (Free Book!)

 Free at last, free at last! Thank Kathy and Stilton, it's free at last!

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, kathy, kathyisms, the skin of a hen's teeth, book, free book

I'm delighted to announce the publication of "The Skin Of A Hen's Teeth," a cartoon-filled humor book that I more or less co-wrote with my late wife, Kathy. 

A bit of backstory: Kathy had a wonderful gift for accidentally combining two or more idioms in ways that almost made sense...until they didn't. About taking a risk, she might say that a person is "sticking his neck out on a limb." Or referring to a very close race, she would say that someone "won by a nose-hair."

When I would point out these linguistic fender-benders, Kathy would laugh hardest of all and insist that I add it to her ever-growing list of "Kathyisms." 

After losing her, I desperately needed something to work on but my brain wasn't cooperating. While trying to think of a topic I could blog about, I remembered the list of "Kathyisms" and thought about turning it into a post. But to do that, I should really illustrate some of her sayings and...(ding!)... I had an idea: hire someone to illustrate all of her sayings and turn it into a funny book. A remembrance for family and friends that is about laughter rather than loss. And this is that book.

Inside, you'll find things like this...

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, kathy, kathyisms, the skin of a hen's teeth, book, free book
And this...

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, kathy, kathyisms, the skin of a hen's teeth, book, free book
And this...
stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, kathy, kathyisms, the skin of a hen's teeth, book, free book

Working on this book with Kathy has been a Godsend for me in these past months, and I'm delighted with the finished product- due in no small part to the fabulous illustrations by Richard Svensson. This guy knows how to draw funny and finding him felt like the Universe was helping this book come into being.

And now, you can have it for free (in ebook form)! And you can tell your family and friends to get it free! But only for a limited time: Friday Dec 9 (today) thru Sunday Dec 11. Just go to the Amazon order page, make sure that the price of the Kindle ebook is free (and not just "free with Kindle Unlimited" which is a different thing), then click to get it at no cost. And here's the link: "The Skin of a Hen's Teeth."

Don't have a Kindle reader? Not a problem! You can read the book on any computer, tablet, or smart phone by using the free Kindle Reader app which you can download at this link.

If you prefer a beautiful paperback edition (a perfect holiday gift, hint-hint, and available for Prime shipping) which is really the best way to read the book, it's sale-priced just as low as I can make it at $3.59 and it will be moving to $4.99 after this introduction.

I really hope you'll download the book and spread the word online - because every time someone laughs at something in this book it's like Kathy getting another heartbeat. And you should know there's nothing sad or depressing in this book at all. You know and I know that this is a memorial of sorts, but there's not a hint about that in the book. The goal here is just laughter. So get it while it's free! And laugh!


Please do! The more reviews the book gets, the more Amazon is willing to promote it to other readers. But if you do choose to write a review, I'd like to ask you to consider these guidelines:

• Please don't mention anything about Kathy's illness or death.  

• Please don't mention this blog by name or anything political.

• Please don't mention the name "Stilton Jarlsberg,"
because despite the special "just for you" book cover at the top of this post, I'm using a different name on the cover of the actual book to avoid getting bad reviews from politically-minded trolls.

Thank you and ENJOY THE BOOK!


Amazon makes things a bit confusing with their "free to read on Kindle Unlimited" thing, so just to be clear, here's what you're looking for:

You need to click in the "Kindle" box right next to the book cover, then over on the right side DO NOT click the yellow "read for free" button, but DO click the orange "Buy now with 1-click" button to get your $0.00 ebook!

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

The Real Deal

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, hunter biden, laptop, lefty lucy, santa, hen's teeth

Once again, Lefty Lucy has come very, very close to having a "truth" breakthrough. But sadly her train of thought derailed, plowed into a small city, and multiple tankloads of chemicals exploded and leveled the sleepy community, killing everyone within three miles. Much the same happens whenever Lucy tries to use her brain to decide what to order at Starbucks.

But she does make a good point about there being a Santa Claus because on Friday I'll be posting details about how you (and everyone you know and love) can download a free copy of the delightfully funny book I co-wrote with Kathy, "The Skin of a Hen's Teeth."  If you don't already have a free Kindle reading app on your computer, tablet, or phone, this might be a good time to go ahead and download one so you can pounce on the upcoming opportunity.

The paperback version, which is a thing of beauty, will also be sale-priced at the lowest price I can offer (no profit for me, which is fine because I'm only doing this to spread laughter).

Full details on Friday!


The good folks at Google/Blogger have informed me that you may be seeing this before opening some of my blog posts (including ancient ones):

Have I changed my content by even a whit (or half-whit)? No. Has Google/Blogger changed their "community guidelines?" Apparently so. Or maybe they've just finally noticed me. 

Frankly, if you have a problem with "sensitive content" you're already in the wrong place. But as my insensitivity level has remained unchanged in the many years I've been doing this blog, I would suggest that if you encounter the warning above in the future just ignore it and the horse it rode in on.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Poop or Consequences

 spwotilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, elon musk, twitter, biden, laptop
Proving once again the time-honored adage that "no news is good news," major media outlets across the nation are eagerly reporting no news whatsoever about Elon Musk's recent and ongoing revelations that Twitter, other social media outlets, and alleged "news" media conspired with the Biden campaign and intelligence agencies in 2020 (and way before) to, um, oh shucks - what do they call it? Oh yeah - OVERTHROW THE FREAKING GOVERNMENT.

Because that's what happened. The 2020 presidential election was totally rigged, but not by messing with voting machines or counting procedures. That's so old-fashioned as to be almost quaint. Rather, the group of conspirators (technically insurrectionists and traitors) rigged the voters by feeding them a constant stream of lies and cutting off access to damaging truths.  

And...I have nothing else to say on the subject. Or more accurately, I don't have the energy to hyperventilate about what all of us have known forever. Moreover, the odds that anything will be done about this mess are about the same as those that Jeffrey Epstein had for living a nice long life in a totally secure facility. "Zip, zero, nada," as Rush used to say.

Still, Elon Musk is doing a tremendous public service (at great personal cost and considerable personal risk) to reveal how deep the rabbit hole goes. We need more like him.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Ketchup Day & Book Update

 stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, Kathy, birthday, Ketchup Day
Yes, I know that this is Stilton's Place and not Johnny Optimism, but there's enough overlap today that it didn't seem to make much difference.  Today is Kathy's birthday and I don't yet know how that's going to affect me today. Or to be more specific, I don't yet know if her birthday will make today suck even harder than usual.

So why the heck would I call today's post "Ketchup Day?" Because that's sort of how I'm thinking of it (admittedly, my thinking equipment is a bit the worse for wear these days). Because Kathy and I liked to joke about her being an "older woman" since she was one year older than me for nine months of the year. But today, her age isn't changing and I "catch up" (get it?) and will stay caught up until my next birthday, when I'll be older than she ever got to be. Dammit.

But there IS some good Kathy-related news today! The book project I've been talking about has come to fruition and is now a Real Thing. I'll be doing a full post about it soon; I'd hoped to do it today but couldn't quite pull it off. But in the interest of giving you a sneak preview, here's what I have in mind: probably within the next week, I'll set up a promotion on Amazon that will let all of you (and everyone else) download the ebook version for free for a limited time, and I'll also have the paperback on sale for the lowest price Amazon will allow ($3.58) which translates into $3.58 for them and $0 for me. Afterward, the price will likely be $4.99 (with any profits on my end going straight to Leukemia research and support).

Once I've gotten the book into your hands, I'll be requesting honest Amazon reviews so that the algorithms will have to concede that the book exists. But those details can wait - I just want you to know that this funny little celebration of Kathy has turned out great and will be available to you soon. So Happy Kathy's Birthday to us all!

Monday, November 21, 2022

The Old Man and The Sheesh

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, Joe Biden, 80, Birthday

Sunday, November 20th marked the 80th birthday of Joe Biden, the extremely oldest man to ever hold the office of president of the United States. Mr. Biden celebrated the occasion by sucking his wife's fingers, wandering aimlessly through the White House halls, then having an ice cream cake as balloons cascaded down on him. Balloons that had filled themselves to the bursting point thanks to inflation. 

And although I personally loathe the news these days, it's hard to ignore the fact that there has been a bunch of it lately - all of which I'm perfectly happy to be unclear on. 

One notable item is that Nancy Pelosi is stepping down from her Democrat leadership position in the House of Representatives, a role which she has held since the mid-Pleistocene Era. She is vacating her leadership responsibilities in order to spend more time with her family and definitely not in order to hire a less inept hammer-wielder than the one who klonked her husband on the noggin, nearly causing her to inherit the millions of dollars he's made through her illicit stock tips.

On a barely related note, I've been playing with some of the new Artificial Intelligence art generators because that keeps me off the streets and away from a life of crime (it's too cold to sell magazines door to door).  So if you were wondering what AI thinks a Norman Rockwell portrait of Nancy enjoying Thanksgiving with her very, very, very diverse group of friends would look like, here you go...

Also in the news (as far as I can tell from cultural osmosis), a major cryptocurrency, FTX, went bust making roughly gazillions of dollars disappear in a digital "poof!" This sudden poofery revealed a funny little scheme that went like this: Democrats sent billions of our tax dollars to Ukraine for "defense" (wink-wink, nudge-nudge). Ukraine then "invested" much of that money in FTX, making FTX's owner stinkingly rich. He, in turn, gave a significant part of this newfound fortune back to the Democrats (his donations were second only to those of George Soros) to help them defeat Republicans in the midterm elections. In other words, it was the traditional Washington circle-jerk kickback scheme but on an especially large and obvious scale.

Donald Trump announced that he was running for President again, because our national drug trip still appears to be a long way from over. Simultaneously, Merrick "I was told I'd get a robe" Garland has appointed a special investigator or prosecutor or interrogator or Witchfinder General or someone to persecute Donald Trump yet again. The media, and I use the term with revulsion and disdain, is absolutely sure that Trump will soon be indicted for his role in planning the nuclear explosion that leveled Washington DC on January 6th, killing millions and incinerating the paper records which tied Democrats to ownership stakes in FTX. Or maybe he'll be indicted for "using locker room language while not in a locker room," which has been unanimously ruled to be unprotected speech by the ladies of "The View."

Meanwhile, Thanksgiving is coming up on Thursday and I will be especially thankful once it's over. The holidays will be sheer torture for Daughter J and me this year. Kathy was the one who made the holiday magic around here and there's no "plan B." That being said, I'm nervously looking forward to doing Thanksgiving - for the first time since Covid hit - with my brother-in-law and his family. This will be the first time I've seen some of the family in years, as well as my first sit-down dinner with others while not wearing an N95 mask. And mind you, I DO wear an N95 in other public settings, but damn it - family is family. It is likely to be emotional.

I'll almost certainly not be posting again before Thanksgiving, so let me wish everyone the very best of meals, family, friends, and the spiritually nutritive practice of giving thanks.

After finishing this blog post, I need to dive back into working on the book project I've spoken about because it's really getting down to crunch time (I've promised copies to members of my grief support group on December 12th!) and time flies when night falls hours before you expect it to. But in the interim, here's a little sneak preview of the unfinished cover...

I'm looking forward to sharing the whole book (and Kathy's sense of humor) with you soon!

Friday, November 11, 2022

Poll Duncers

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, midterm elections, red wave, morons, mike lindell, veterans day

So the election results are in, sort of, in some places, allegedly, and the Big Red Wave that so many were predicting turned out to be just the same old crimson trickle of blood dripping from Planned Parenthood's dumpsters.

Americans had a chance to vote against inflation, skyrocketing energy prices, failing school systems, galloping sexual deviancy, discrimination by skin color, child mutilation, child murder, unsustainable spending, critical race theory ("White people are bad and should go into shallow graves right after they give us their wealth"), collapsing infrastructure, wide open borders, the destruction of personal responsibility, and so very much more - but instead, a preponderance was convinced by celebrities to, um, "vote Blue." Because they're morons.

None of this was a great shock. I never thought there would be a red wave because it required a willing suspension of disbelief that I just can't conjure anymore. Was there anything - anything - in our culture, media, or the national moment to suggest that great masses of people would suddenly become less ignorant, selfish, debauched, and debased? Nope! And so "more of the same" was obviously what was coming and, sadly, what is coming for the foreseeable future. And no, Trump can't change the equation no matter where he grabs it.

Instead, I'm thinking our nation (and quite a few others) is overdue for the Sodom and Gomorrah treatment. Mike Lindell should stop doing commercials about "My Pillow" and instead start evangelizing about the benefits of "My Pillar" and citizen-shaped stacks of salt, while Boston's "Don't Look Back" rings from stadium speakers. In the words of George W. Bush, "Bring it on."

And I apologize for being such a grumpy old downer today, but I can't help it. The Jarlsberg family has recently been shaken by another death (albeit not family), a succession of gray and gloomy days, and midnight now showing up outside daily at 6 pm.  Plus, I'm currently dancing with a couple of government agencies (Treasury and IRS) in minor but frustrating ways. 

Still, TGIF, a good weekend to all and, most importantly, Happy Veterans Day. Say "thank you" a few times today, in person or in your heart.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Triple Play Friday

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, fetterman, biden, brain damage, special olympics

Depressingly, this is the actual state of our nation as we head toward Election Day. A president who can't speak without lying, and a major Democrat candidate who often can't speak period. Which isn't Fetterman's fault - the man had a stroke, after all. And it's rare to see someone who has the strength of will to immediately get back on the election trail without taking time for his brain to effing heal. Which it likely won't since he's been literally abusing it during the most critical window for recovery. Still, I don't want to kick a man when he's down...

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, fetterman, biden, brain damage, special olympics

Okay, that probably LOOKS like I'm kicking a man when he's down, but I have a well-documented psychomotor condition that causes me to kick involuntarily from time to time and if you hold it against me you're an ableist and should be ashamed of yourself.

Of course, we're all looking at a brief period of disability following this weekend...

Some people may take exception to the cartoon above, saying "But Stilton, we get an extra hour of sleep so we'll be feeling great!" And I certainly respect your opinion and that of the horse you rode in on. But for me, personally, whether we're springing forward or falling back, I lose sleep and am out of sync with the world for at least a week or two while playing the "yeah, but what time is it really?" game in my head.

Nor does it help that suddenly it will be pitch black outside about the time I normally consider to be "late afternoon." But hey, I guess turning on all the lights for an extra hour a night won't kill me. It's not like anyone wants us to cut back on energy use to save the planet or anything, right?

Monday, October 31, 2022

The Breather and the Haunted Hand

Last week, I gave you a little taste of spooky fiction. Today being Halloween, I'm offering up some spooky (and funny) non-fiction from my own life. To the best of my recollection, every word is true...

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, halloween, Pa, the Breather, ghost story

When I was a kid, it wasn’t unusual for my siblings and me to have weekend sleepover visits from other kids who we’d known our whole lives and considered extended family. We’d play board games, run around outside, and watch scary movies hosted by the ghoulish “Sammy Terry” on TV.

And sometimes, if the conditions were just right on an eerie, inky black night, my Dad would tell us ghost stories. And these were no ordinary, over-told ghost stories. No cub scout campfire tales about the young couple who encountered “The Hook” in lover’s lane, no plaintive voice in the darkness calling “who’s got my hairy toe?” while drawing unstoppably closer.

No, my Dad told us real ghost stories. Things that had happened to him and to the generations of family members who came before him. Poltergeist activity. Prophetic dreams of death. Sounds in the night. Ghosts.

On the night in question, my Dad was telling his rapt audience the chilling story of “The Breather.” We all sat in the living room with all the lights off and only a flickering candle or two for creepy, shadow-casting illumination. My siblings and our guests were seated on our large, L-shaped sectional sofa. At one end of the sofa, there was a rectangular table and chair, from which my Dad was spinning his dark tale while facing his audience.

“The Breather” was a presence that had followed my Dad throughout his childhood years. At night, alone in his bed, sharing the old house only with his grandmother, he would become aware of someone or something else breathing in the room with him. Something coming closer. And when he pulled the blankets over his face and held his own breath in fright, The Breather would draw near. Inhaling, exhaling, inhaling, exhaling…

As my Dad wove his story, I excused myself for a bathroom trip. Or at least, that’s what I said I was doing. In reality, once I was out of sight in the darkness I dropped to my hands and knees and very slowly crept back into the living room and under the table where my Dad was sitting. My younger sister, seated next to the table, was the only person who could see me. I met her questioning look with a “shush” finger held to my lips and she nodded.

As my Dad notched the suspense in the room ever higher, I slowly slipped my hand up over the side of the table and left it directly next to my father. Bent at the wrist, it would have looked like a detached human hand. And then I waited.

The moments which followed are among the greatest memories in my life. Every nerve in the room was stretched taut at the moment my father paused in his narrative for a moment and put his hand down on mine. For the briefest of seconds, I could feel his fingertips exploring and trying to identify what he had encountered. And then came the scream.

My Dad shouted in true horror while leaping out of his chair. And of course, everyone else in the room screamed too. Panic, pandemonium, and confusion reigned until I crawled out from under the table, laughing my young rear end off.  And after a suitable cool-down period, everyone else laughed while sharing how terrified they were at that exquisite moment. 

And The Breather? My Dad speculated that the entity was perhaps someone who had died in the old house where he was raised (now a historical site in Indiana) or a deceased relative just paying a visit. Indeed, he wondered if the somewhat raspy breath, not unlike his own in his later years, had been coming from his own ghost who was returning to keep an eye on his younger self.

It was an interesting and somewhat comforting theory. So that’s the one I choose to believe now, in the dark of night...

...when The Breather visits me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

You Are Now Entering...The Stilton Zone

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I'd do a little change of pace and present a very short story that hopefully has an appropriate amount of fun seasonal creepiness.

About a week ago, this story just told me that it wanted to be written. I didn't feel like writing a story, nor had I done so in years. I wasn't aware of thinking about anything even vaguely related to the story's subject matter. And why bother to write a story anyway? 

Because I had to. 

A favorite saying of mine is "people become writers because they can't help it." So here's a story I couldn't help writing. The setting is small town America back in the 1950's, and the story is about...

          THE MAN WHO BOUGHT SPIDERS          

Stilton Jarlsberg, Halloween, story, spiders

The screen door slammed behind him as Davy Thompson exploded into the house.

“Mom! Hey, Mom!” he shouted, looking around eagerly.

“Not here!” called a male voice.


“I said she’s not here,” Davy’s dad repeated over the sound of rushing water. He was washing his hands in the bathroom sink. “Gone to the grocery store.”

“Nooooo,” Davy moaned theatrically as he rushed into the bathroom. “I need to ask her if we’ve got any empty jars!”

“Why don’t you ask me if we have any empty jars?”

“You don’t never know that kind of stuff,” Davy argued as he handed his father a towel.

“I don’t ever know that kind of stuff,” Dad corrected. “But maybe this time I do.”

“Do we have any empty jars?” Davy asked.

“I don’t know,” Dad shrugged - then chuckled at his son’s look of dismay. “Kidding. I’ve got a few of them on my workbench to put screws and nails in.”

“Thanks!” shouted Davy, already racing for the basement steps.

“Hold on, hold on! What’s all the excitement about empty jars, anyway?”

“I’m making money,” Davy explained impatiently, “and I need empty jars with lids on ‘em!”

“Well, I guess you can’t use them for begging if they’ve got lids on,” mused Dad, “so what’s your scheme?”

“I’m selling spiders to Old Man Haberman. All the guys are! That’s why I’m in a hurry!”

Dad settled into his chair in the living room, amused and curious.

“Mr. Haberman, the henpecked guy down the street?”

“What’s ‘henpecked?’”

“Doesn’t matter. You say he’s buying spiders?”

“All he can get and a dime apiece!” Davy’s eyes glowed with the anticipation of great wealth. “And we must have a million spiders around here!”

“Quite likely,” Dad agreed. “But why would Haberman be buying spiders…?”

“Dad, I gotta get going!”

“Hold your horses, we’re having a conversation here. Why is Mr. Haberman buying spiders?”

“Heck, I don’t know. I guess he just likes ‘em!”

“Is he killing them? Putting them in his garden?” Dad prompted.

“No, he puts ‘em in his house!” The exasperation was clear in Davy’s voice. “Jar after jar. Shakes ‘em out and off they skedaddle. They’re all over the place and I’ve got to catch more spiders before he stops buying ‘em!”

Dad’s brow furrowed and he leaned in toward Davy, perplexed. 

“So he’s filling his house with spiders? Did you see this?”

“Sure did! I saw Nick running over there with a couple of jars and followed him to see what was going on. All the guys were over there on Old Man Haberman’s porch and he was passing out money to beat the band and dumping spiders inside his house!”

“Well, I can’t imagine Mrs. Haberman is going to like that. Not that she likes much of anything.”

“She ain’t there,” Davy pointed out.

“She isn’t there,” Dad corrected. “Where is she?”

“Old Man Haberman said she ran off a few days ago and won’t be coming back.”

“Ran off where?”

“I asked and he thought for a minute, then he said she ran off to join the circus.”

“What, like a clown?”

“That’s what I asked! He said she’d be more like a Ringmaster so she could stand in a spotlight with a big megaphone and tell people what to do all the time!”

Dad leaned back in his chair, genuinely puzzled.

“That would fit her personality,” he conceded, “but it just doesn’t make any sense.”

“Dad!” Davy barked, “I’m gonna miss out if I don’t get going!”

“Okay, okay - help yourself to the jars and every spider you can find!”

Davy wheeled on his heels and again bolted for the basement steps.

“Davy,” Dad called.

His son’s shoulders drooped in frustration. “What now?!”

“What kind of spiders is he buying?”

“See, I asked him that too, and he said it didn’t matter!”

Davy dashed down the steps to the basement, his voice echoing up the stairwell.

“Didn’t matter at all as long as they can eat a lot of flies!”

Friday, October 21, 2022

Boston Baked Beings

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, Covid, Boston University, nukes, meat hat, stand-up comedy

By now, it's pretty safe to say that anyone who doesn't believe that the Covid virus came straight out of the poorly run, unmonitored, US taxpayer-backed Wuhan Institute of Virology is a godforsaken idiot. A towering icon of ignorance. A person whose IQ is expressed in negative numbers because other people get dumber just standing near them.  But remarkably, they are not the stupidest people on Earth.

No, that would be the researchers at Boston University who playfully wondered what would happen if they took the original Covid virus and the more recent, more communicable variants and combined them in a laboratory. It turns out you get a peachy new virus with an 80% kill rate, as opposed to the approximately 3% kill rate that the unmodified virus had.

The researchers did not inform authorities of their Frankensteinian experiments because they "didn't think they had to." They also pointed out that their enhancement of bat virus to bat-out-of-hell virus wasn't actually forbidden "gain of function" research because hey look over there a squirrel! No, no - they said it wasn't gain of function because it was just a combination of functions which, more or less coincidentally, are unfathomably lethal.

To discourage future attempts by researchers to poke Armageddon with a sharp stick, it would seem prudent to visit a disciplinary action on Boston University. Which we're thinking should be several kilotons at the very least. 

Not that we're suggesting America nuke one of its own universities! We're just suggesting that somebody put the bug in Putin's ear that Boston University has huge strategic value and a surprise multiple warhead strike would certainly prove to the world that Vlad needs to be taken seriously.

But for now, nobody seems to be doing diddly squat to stop this existential madness and life goes on as usual. Which in Boston means going to the University wet market to buy used lab rats with which to make chowder.

It's funny because it's true

I reported a few weeks ago that I've enrolled in an online course (via Zoom) in stand-up comedy, and Monday marked my first two-minute performance for the class. And I think they likely see me as the next Rodney Dangerfield because they gave me no respect at all. Or laughs.

To be fair, both my material and delivery were on the eccentric side: "Introverts like me only attend the Introverts Anonymous meetings because it feels so good when we can finally go home."

Plus, if you're doing comedy what you want is an audience of relaxed people who are already having fun and are likely intoxicated. For our class, what each of us had was an audience of about five people on Zoom, all of whom were tasting stomach acid while nervously anticipating their own two-minute set.

And they were nervous for good reason, as it turns out that their material was even sketchier than mine. But hey, that's why we're all taking the class - so we can have our dreams dashed now without years of hecklers throwing beer bottles at us.

Fortunately, I have no desire to pursue a career (or even a hobby) in stand-up. But as a lifelong humorist,  I'm academically interested in the inner workings of stand-up as an art form. So I'm genuinely enjoying the class and, for the sake of verisimilitude, instituting a two-drink minimum at my house for future performances.


Amazon, in its infinite algorithmic wisdom, frequently suggests things it thinks I should buy based on my taste, discernment, and overall sense of elegance. And they may have nailed it with this recommendation:

Oh yeah, baby! That's me all over! Or maybe just meat all over!

When I see products like this I always have the same scenario run through my head; somewhere in the world, in a darkened bedroom, a man suddenly sits bolt upright and shouts "Eureka!"
"Wha...?" his wife, Eureka, will yawn. "Is everything okay?"
"Better than okay, baby! The future is ours! We're about to have it all! Unlimited wealth and a life of extravagance and joy!"
"Oh," the sleepy wife mumbles. "Another idea...?"
"THE idea, honey! THE idea!"
"What is it...?"
"A SUMMER HAT THAT LOOKS LIKE RAGGED CHUNKS OF RAW MEAT! I'll start production tomorrow with our life savings and the kids' college money!"

But say this for the dreamer, he got his hat made. I honestly have no idea what this would be good for, other than gifting it to some a**hole in your life along with a season pass to this place:

Nature Trivia: These guys never prosper

Monday, October 10, 2022

Goodbye Columbus Day

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I had planned to wish everyone a Happy Columbus Day today, but then I remembered that only a privileged, genocidal, imperialistic a**hole would celebrate such a historical calamity. So instead, I'm wishing you a politically correct but not-so-happy Indigenous Peoples Day. You can buy greeting cards at any Hallmark display under the category "White Guilt."

On Indigenous Peoples Day, we celebrate those who lived on this land before we did and honor them by observing traditional native customs such as not delivering mail and snacking on holiday foods like free-range gluten-free pemmican. 

And this year, more than ever, it might be good for us to take some time to seriously consider the simple, basic, hand-to-mouth, back-to-Earth lifestyles of our North American progenitors. Because with Joe "I'm a member of the Puerto Rico tribe" Biden as point man in our current game of nuclear chicken with Russia, we might all be living at a subsistence level soon...

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, joe biden, star wars, bad feeling, armageddon, russia, nuclear, putin

Monday, October 3, 2022

Baby BOOMers

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, Russia, Putin, Biden, nuclear war, baby boomers, duck and cover

There is a popular misconception that "Baby Boomers" got their name because they were born in the population explosion following the return of manly men from World War II. In reality, members of my generation are called "Baby Boomers" because we had it drilled into us that "boom" was the last freaking sound we'd ever hear after our eyeballs were melted and our skin was fried like bacon by a nuclear detonation that could happen at any moment

Although it never happened, those lessons stuck with us - greatly reinforced by the Cuban Missile Crisis - and we've been in a state of anxiety ever since. This perhaps explains why we seem to be the only ones really worrying about the possibility of a nuclear war that could happen at any moment. 

If anyone would like to make the argument that the world is a saner place now than back in the 50's, I'm willing to listen - but your odds of convincing me aren't peachy. So I'm pretty uncomfortable with Putin's escalating nuclear saber-rattling, even if he IS a pal of Barack "Tell Vlad I'll Be More Flexible" Obama.

Maybe it's just me, but there's just something in the air that feels like Putin is determined to put at least one nuke into play soon, which might immediately trigger the world's shortest and most final game of dominoes.

Fortunately for our national security, we've got Joe Biden at the helm...

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, Russia, Putin, Biden, nuclear war, baby boomers, duck and cover

Hopefully, nothing will come of this. But just to be on the safe side, I'm laying in some extra food and water (and by "water" I mean Clan MacGregor). And on Ebay, I've found the one and only thing that can protect a human from a nuclear blast - and it's a bargain at just $100 plus shipping!

I just hope it gets here in time.

Friday, September 23, 2022

The Molar Report

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, Ladybug, dentist, tooth, extraction, pulled, stand-up, daffodils, Kathy

Last Friday I had to drive Ladybug, our face-eating pitbull, to a dental appointment where she was to have two canine teeth extracted. "Aren't they ALL canine teeth?" I asked in that fun-loving way I have. The veterinary assistant stared at me and assured me that not all of them are canine teeth. Even Ladybug failed to see the humor in my bon mot, preferring to express her opinion by taking a truly massive dump on the linoleum floor. 

She survived the procedure just fine and didn't even hold a grudge very long, no doubt because she had an inkling that hard justice was in the air. Because Monday I went to the human dentist where they popped off a couple of ancient crowns (Mesopotamian, I believe) and drilled extravagantly before deciding that one tooth was pining for the fjords and had to go. At which point I took a massive dump on their linoleum floor.

No, no, I didn't do that - because the dentist preferred that I see a dental surgeon for the actual excavation. And so I found myself in a dental chair yet again on Tuesday looking at a tray full of disturbing, pewter-colored hardware which made me wish with all my heart that I had important state secrets to reveal.

I was asked to sign a few "informed consent" forms which noted that the dental firm was in no way liable if my jaw happened to snap like dry wood when things got violent. But fortunately, that didn't happen. The snapping, that is. Because they sure as Hell got violent in pretty short order.

After about 5 really deep shots of anesthetic, the nice lady dental surgeon fiddle-diddled my lower lip up and down to check if it was numb, then went in guns a-blazin'. I remember large-bore drills, a hammer and chisel, and a lot of unbelievably hard pulling that truly had me wondering about the tensile strength of my jaw bone.  The entire process took about 40 minutes, which even the dentist noted was an unusually long time. 

But now that tooth is gone and, because it was all the way in the back, it's being replaced by nothing at all. So I've got a stitched-up hole back there, prescription painkillers, anti-microbial mouthwash, a "soft foods only" diet for about 5 more days, and a smug pitbull whose every look says "Not so funny now, is it a**hole?"

In other general updates, Daughter J and I keep plugging along, doing our best to heal and reinvent ourselves (spoiler alert: there's a long way to go). I've finally been able to move a nice framed photo of Kathy to my desktop for frequent, loving looks. Until now, it was too painful to do anything but steal a quick glance and then look away. So that's probably a degree of healing in progress. Or so I hope.

Despite wearing an ice bag on my jaw (no, really) I managed to plant daffodil bulbs in Kathy's little memorial garden at the side of our house, so hopefully, we'll be enjoying some Spring blooms from those if the critters don't dig them up and eat them. 

Work on my fun Kathy-related writing project proceeds apace as I continue taking delivery of commissioned artwork, and I'm pretty confident that it's going to end up being a pretty nice final product. And of course, I'll let you know when it debuts and how to get it cheaply and/or free.

Just to have something new and different to try out, beginning Monday I'll be taking an online course in stand-up comedy. And do I want to be a 70-year-old stand-up comic? Well no, not particularly. But it seems like a fun thing to try and will also be a nice social event that I can enjoy without fretting about Covid, monkeypox, or drunken hecklers. Theoretically, I'll have my very own 5-minute stand-up comedy routine in about 10 weeks. Whether or not I inflict it on the world remains to be seen.

And finally, here's something (no longer very timely) that I posted on Facebook...

See you in the comments section!