Friday, October 31, 2014

A Halloween Tale

Even though this is another dreadful repost, it's my favorite Halloween story.  One of the advantages of growing up in my family is that I have plenty of stories to tell.  While this is not a "growing up" story, it does involve my family.  I also don't like to follow a post with another post the next day.  But, it is Halloween today, after all.  Also, mostly no pictures (except the very last one).  I prefer to let the writing speak for itself (said the man not nearly as talented as Steve Hayes).

I promise you, this is 99% true.  


    The young wife pulled her sweater tight as a sudden gust whipped a handful of dead leaves past her ankles.  Sure was starting to get cold, she thought.

    Glancing down at the half-empty candy jar at her feet, she was thankful she’d bought enough goodies for the hordes of trick-or-treaters which continued to rampage through her neighborhood. 

    With only an hour to go, she breathed a sigh of relief.  At least she wouldn’t have to break into last year’s stash of petrified candy corn.  Or, worse, the spare change lodged in the back of the sofa.

    In a pinch, she wondered whether she’d be able to get away with handing out those ketchup packets stashed in the cupboard over the stove.    

    For some reason, though, she doubted the kids would buy her assurances that ketchup was “nature’s candy.”

    So, mercifully, her house would be spared the ravages wrought by pint-sized wrecking crews denied their sugar fixes.

    With a break in the action, she picked up a Fun-Size Milky Way bar.  No, check that.  TWO fun-size Milky Ways-more fun that way.  With a weary sigh and mouth full of chocolaty goodness, she plopped into the chair set by her open door.

    No sooner had she sat down then four miniature super heroes-Batman, Spiderman, and the unfortunately-named Captain Incontinence and his sidekick, Wet Nap Boy, came trooping up her driveway.

    Quickly hiding the empty candy wrappers in the pocket of her sweater, she stood to welcome her visitors.  They looked harmless enough, even the one kid-Captain Incontinence?-who held his trousers up with one hand while dragging a sack full of tooth decay with the other.

    Greeted by a cheery chorus of “Trick or Treats,” she smiled, extending the candy jar to the tiny defenders of truth, justice, the American way, and proper hygiene.

    Their needs sated, the junior crime fighters excitedly scampered towards her neighbor’s house.  Relieved her home continued to be spared, she noticed a lone figure standing at the end of her driveway.

    Her visitor was fairly large.  She figured he was one of those kids from the middle school-the kind who refused to let go of his childhood.  Usually those kids just grabbed a pillowcase and headed door-to-door, their menace masked only by a surly, “I’m an egg-thrower” when asked what their costume was.

    This kid was dressed up, though, but he gave her the willies.  He was sporting blue jeans and a red flannel shirt, which were innocuous enough.  But, what really creeped her out was that hockey mask he wore and...was that a knife in his right hand?  He looked just like that...Freddy?  Michael?  No, he looked like Jason!  Yeeks!

    With a trembling hand, she presented the jar to the motionless figure.  “Hey, there.  Do you want some candy?” 

    No answer.

    Hmm, she thought, not too crazy about this.  Why doesn’t he just toss a couple rolls of toilet paper in my trees and be done with it?

    She closed her door, frantically trying to figure out what to do.

    At that moment, her husband’s car pulled into the driveway.

    “Oh, look,” he thought as he parked, “one of those Halloween trick-or-treaters.  Kinda big, though.”

    He got out of his car and cheerfully called out to the kid, “Hey, howzit goin’?”


    “That’s weird,” he thought.

    Quickly turning his back, he entered the side-door and saw his wife.  She looked a little freaked-out.  “Hey, you see that nut out there?  What’s going on?”

    Wide-eyed, she shrugged her shoulders and whispered, “You got me.  He’s just been standing there for the past ten minutes. didn’t see if he had a knife or anything, did you?”

    His eyes went wide and he stepped to the closed door.  Glancing through the curtains, he said, “Yeah, sure looks like one.  Man, I don’t like this.  I’m turning off the outside light.”

    Casting the porch in darkness, he motioned for her to join him.  Together, they peered at the motionless form bathed in the yellow light of the streetlamp.

    “Maybe he’ll get the idea we’re done for the night,” she hoped.

    “Yeah, I-hey!  He’s starting to walk this way.”

    His wife shrieked.  Clapping her hands to the side of her head, she dropped to the kitchen floor.  “Oh, my God!  What’re we going to do!?”

    He joined her.  “I don’t know.  I’d better call the cops!”

    They heard shuffling footsteps as their visitor scraped along the loose rocks of their driveway.

    Starting to lose it, she begged, “No, don’t leave me!”

    Her husband scrambled on his knees to the kitchen island.  Maybe he’d find a knife or....ladle!!??  What the-that won’t do!  He kept rifling through the drawer.  Cheese grater...potato peeler...garlic press...ah, here was a knife!

    As he turned toward his almost-catatonic wife, he heard the footsteps suddenly stop.

    And the doorbell ring.

    The two of them inched their way to the window and gingerly peeked through the bottom of the curtain.

    They heard low snickers of laughter behind a hockey mask which bounced up and down.

    Standing bolt upright, the husband flung open the door and shouted, “You idiot!  You gave us both heart attacks!”

    The Moral of the Story:  It’s a good thing my brother has a sense of humor.  Otherwise, I mighta got stabbed that night.  Or bludgeoned with a cheese grater.

Happy Halloween!

"And, don't be forgetting that tomorrow is All Saints Day, you cheeky little bastard.
I'd best be seeing you in church tomorrow, Penwasser.
By the way, I'm loving me some Milky Ways."


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Captain Caption LV

"Hey, you know you're right? 
A BLT without bacon would be just an LT. 
But, we're still in agreement, though...?  Death to America."

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ghosties and Ghoulies Who Extort in the Night

    It's beginning to look a lot like the reposting season!

    I love the last few months of the year, because like my old decorations, I get to trot out some of my old blog posts.  But, you've heard this before.

   Wait, wait!!!   Before you say "Screw this, I'm going over to Pat Hatt's place.  He's talented and never repeats himself."  (NOTE:  helpful link included, if so inclined.  You're welcome), let me say that I've included new pictures.  So, this isn't a complete rerun.  Consider it a freshly polished turd, if you will (well, that was an unfortunate term).

    Anyway, expect some more of these for Veterans Day, Thanksgiving (the American one.  You Canadians have had yours), Christmas, and New Years.  I may write something new for Kwanzaa, but who knows?  I may be exhausted from all that madcap Kwanzaa celebrating.
    So, please sit back and enjoy.
    And then go see Pat (hey, I'm only including the link once).  

"You know, Charlie Brown, we've been around for over fifty years.
Maybe it shouldn't be It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown anymore.
Maybe it should be Time for a Colonoscopy, Charlie Brown.

A little hair on the nut sack would be nice, too."

    Halloween.  What a hoot.

    Yes, I know, I’s a day allegedly
Wait, I already said
witches, didn't I?

drenched in satanic roots and all manner of horrifying images meant to instill terror in mortals: ghosts, goblins, Rosie O’Donnell in a thong, witches, blah, blah, blah.


     Rather than surrender to the Dark Lord,
Or Dick Cheney.
He's kinda scary.

the politically correct observe the holiday via nonsensical “Fall Parades”, “Autumn Parties”, or goofy “Insert-Festive-Name-Here” celebrations.

Hand-wringing ninnies
Or Hugh Grant.
Not like he's a
real guy or anything.
prefer that children not dress up as traditionally spooky characters; instead, they dress their tykes as non-threatening characters such as “Insurance Salesman”, “Foot Doctor”, or “Blue Man Group.”

   Oh, c’mon!  I used to take my kids to Halloween celebrations  and never did I perceive the icy grip of Lucifer on pillowcases chock full of Snickers and Jolly Ranchers.  After all, I find it very hard to believe that the Devil resides in clowns, ballerinas, or SpongeBob Squarepants.

    The extortion element of Trick-Or-Treating aside, it’s just a fun day for kids to dress up and happily pander.  I’m not going to begrudge them a chance to have fun just because some simpering idiots think the day glorifies evil.

    Halloween was a big deal when we were kids.

    I remember planning what we were going to wear soon after school started in the Fall.  I even recall the costumes I wore:  Superman, Green Hornet, Spiderman (yes, even then), Hulk, Frankenstein, Mummy, “Glow-In-The-Dark Skeleton”, Underdog, “Criminally Insane Druggist,” and (the one that really never caught on) “Dr. Scholl’s Foot Pad Monster.”
The cool Green Hornet.
Not the sucky Seth Rogen Green Hornet.
NOTE:  Asian sold separately.
    Unlike nowadays, we were never bird-dogged by our parents as we ran like scatterbrains through our neighborhoods, feasting on truly insane amounts of chocolate.

    We knew the unwritten Halloween codes:
"And yer lucky ya got those,
you cheeky little bastard!
I don't care if you are dressed
as the Green Hornet, Penwasser!
I know it's you!""
only go to houses with their lights on, be on the lookout for razor blades in the Milky Ways, the convent only passed out mothball-flavored Butter Rum LifeSavers, and take only one piece of candy from the bowl of those too lazy to hand them out themselves (yeah, RIGHT, always followed THAT rule!). 

And Mr. Mraz.
We avoided Mr. Mraz's house.
    Oh, and fling eggs at the houses of those who dared hand out:  apples, popcorn balls, pennies, toothbrushes, ketchup packets, and packets of Equal.

    My friends and I couldn’t get enough of what we saw as a great deal.  So, from six o’clock until nine, we went knocking on doors in the hope we’d score so much sugar that our arms would go numb from lugging around our sacks (Of CANDY!  Keep it clean, people).

    A bonus was that, since we went to Catholic School, we could sleep in the next day, All Saints Day.  To those “in the club” (so to speak), November 1st is a “Holy Day of Obligation” and so, was a day off from school, but you were obligated to go to church instead (i.e., hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahaha!  Yeah, that’s a good one).

NOTE:  In 2014, November 1st IS a Saturday, so basically Catholic School kids are getting screwed by Jesus.  Or George Bush.
"And that'll teach you to have parents who vote for Gore.
Ya little mackerel snappers!"
    This meant we could shove candy down our throats when we got home until we passed out, wake up, eat some Sugar Smacks, inhale more Three Musketeers, watch cartoons, and make fun of the public school kids as they trudged off to class.

    This was the best part of having the day off because, the rest of the year, the public school kids were beating us up.   Even the girls.

    My point is, what’s so wrong with a holiday that gives children a chance to play dress up, carve pumpkins, and gorge themselves on goodies doomed to eventually become petrified lumps of sugar on top of the refrigerator?


    You know why?

    Because, Satan doesn’t like Peanut M&Ms.
"Why?  I'll tell you why.  The little bastards melt in my hands.
And, when I go to take a dump, those peanuts
make me into a frikkin' Gatling gun."

"Vlad, hey, listen man, whatever you did worked
because Penwasser didn't mention me once.
Now, if we could onl...Barack Obama.  Yes, I'll hold."

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Captain Caption LIV

"Guys?  Hey, guys?  Are we going to be able to take off on time?
  I got this sweet three day all-inclusive trip to Disney World for
the family and I don...uh...this isn't the plane to Orlando, is it?
Uh, oh."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dear Steve: Yes, It IS a Small World

  Don't adjust your computer  You're still at Penwasser Place.  I know.  Damn.

Okay, well I'M sitting on a toilet.
That's gotta count for something, huh?

  I follow quite a few of you (this is probably unsettling).  One of the many blogs I enjoy reading is The Chubby Chatterbox, written by the very talented Steve Hayes.  Steve, a gifted artist, is also a master storyteller.  So, he's two up on me.  But, I can juggle.  Okay, that was a lie.

  A couple weeks ago, Steve penned (because, while technically accurate, "computered" sounds stupid) one of his many engaging posts.  Titled Small World, it related a story when he and Mrs. Chatterbox traveled to Polynesia (NOTE:  Polynesia has nothing to do with parrots).

"No?  Well...eff!!"
  Among the many things they did there (for which I am jealous), he told us how he met a woman from Portland, Oregon, a half mile from where he lived.

  Even though my story doesn't have near the "cool factor" as his, I also have a small world story and I mentioned this in the comments.  The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized I should share this with you, my faithful followers and all you hackers in Eastern Europe.

  Well, that and I really have nothing else to write about.


    Some of my most favorite trips when I served in the Navy were those to Belize.

   Belize is a country in Central America formerly known as British Honduras.  I've written a post somewhere along the way which tells all about the country, but I won't go into that here.  That's not really the point of this.  Besides, my two fingers are already sore from typing and I haven't gotten to the "small world" part yet.

  Anyway, when we were off shift, we'd travel around the
These jaguars don't scare nobody.
countryside.  We visited the jaguar zoo (I was disappointed it had nothing to do with football), go shopping for statues made of mud and monkey skulls, and take in the "Mayan Heart Ripping" exhibitions.

  We also took a trip to the Belize National Forest which was pretty much in the middle of nowhere.  It had a nature trail, but we avoided it mostly because Belize had nature which could actually kill you (NOTE:  the zoo didn't catch all the jaguars, you know).

The Belize Blue Hole
The one off the coast.
Where rich people go.
We didn't go to this one.
  Instead, we settled for what was called the "Blue Hole," a supposedly bottomless freshwater spring.  The day was hot and we were all sweaty from lugging our mud and monkey skull statues around (the guy at the market said they were good luck.  I think he lied).  We figured the water would really refresh us, especially since we didn't know that jaguars could swim. 

  A few other people were swimming in the water when we got
The other Blue Hole.
In the Blue Hole National Park.
Where poor people go.
And thirsty jaguars.
there and we started chatting.  They were from Philadelphia (NOTE:  this is the "small world" part.  Please keep up).  One of the ladies smiled and said how beautiful the water was and how cold it was where she was swimming.

  I smiled back and said, "Not where I am."

  Well, wouldn't you know it, they all shrieked and immediately got out of the water.

  Silly Belizeans.  Didn't they know that blue dye doesn't work at a place called "The Blue Hole?"

EPILOGUE:  Come on, how many of you clicked on that link above?  You really should.  Or at least read some of Steve's other works (now, if THAT doesn't sound pretentious).  You owe it to yourself.  Plus, if you do, I'll send you that mud and monkey skull statue I still have.  Thing's starting to give me the creeps.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Caption Caption LIII

"Kerry?  Really?  You had to put me next to Herman Munster?
  At least Biden would say something stupid to make me laugh.
By the way, who do you have to blow to get a drink around here?
Anyone see Clinton?  Bill always knows this sort of thing."

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Goodbye Columbus - A...SIGH...Repost

The following is a repost from last year which was a repost from the previous year.  Which was probably a repost from the year before.  Anyway, like I've said in previous bouts of laziness, holidays (or Columbus Day which is kinda like a holiday.  Like Flag Day) are perfect excuses for reruns.  If you don't believe me, how many times have you seen A Charlie Brown Christmas?  That thing is almost as old as I am. 
Plus, I'm watching the baseball playoffs.   
Seriously, who needs baseball to put you to sleep when you can drink heavily?

So, without further adieu, may I present the tale of the first, but certainly not last, despoiler of the Americas. 

My hair is such a frikkin' mess-thank God this goofy hat covers it.  We didn't have the Hair Cuttery in the 15th Century, ya know.  But we had the plague and the Inquisition.
Of course, you have Ebola and Charlie Sheen, so I'd call us even.

     I love October.  

    The air is redolent with the sweet aroma of burning leaves, high school gridirons thunder with the sound of fiercely-waged contests, Christmas lights-incredibly-start going up, and early-morning frosts warn of the coming winter. 

    October also lets us celebrate the exploits of an intrepid band of explorers who set sail from Barcelona in search of a western route to the fabulous wealth of the East (yeah, going west to get east doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, either).

"I said 'Sit the F down!"
    In other words, the tenth month gives us a chance to bemoan the rape and pillage of a pristine wilderness by evil, white, European males who wouldn’t know a bar of soap if it smacked them in the heads.

     So, in recognition of their accomplishments, mailmen get the day off and shopping malls trot out their very best Columbus Day displays of bed linen (“Just imagine how comfy the Santa Maria would have been if they only had these sheets!!”).

     As a holiday, though, Columbus Day really doesn’t rank up there with the Big Four of Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, and Boxing Day.  It doesn’t draw in the romantics like Valentines Day, the patriots like the 4th of July, or even the corned beef and Guinness crowd like St. Patrick’s Day.
"Hey, I don't give a frik what the school district says.
My kids get the day off, capiche?"

NOTE From 2014 Al:  'The Sopranos' is no longer on the air.
And not just because James Gandolfini is dead.
The others may be, too.  But, who cares?

     More times than not, we hardly know it’s happened until the evening news greets us with, “Happy Columbus Day! Too bad you hadda  work! Ha, ha, ha!”

     My family for many years celebrated each holiday, no matter how innocuous. For example, on Presidents’ Day, we used to dress up as our favorite Commanders in Chief until my brother spoiled it for everyone a few years ago when, dressed as Bill Clinton, he got arrested for having his pants down in front of a nursing school.

     For some reason, though, we never did much to celebrate the day in 1492 when Ferdinand and Isabella’s favorite Genoan set foot in the New World and proclaimed, “What the frik you mean this isn’t China!?"

     In order to make it easier for everyone to properly observe one of the most significant accomplishments in world history right behind invention of “The Clapper,” might I offer the following ways to celebrate Columbus Day:

Apparently, Northern Indians were more
bad ass than the ones down south

10. Slash the tires of those obnoxious, know-it-all “Vikings were here first!” punks at the Leif Eiriksson Community Center.

9. Try to convince anyone that parrots, monkeys, and coconuts are just as valuable as jewels, gold, and silk.

8. Go to the local tribal casino, extend a heartfelt apology, drop a bundle at the craps table.

7. Put on a wrinkled raincoat, chew on a cigar, try to figure out who put the poison in Miss Van Dyver’s highball...oh, I’m sorry, that’s how to celebrateCOLUMBO Day.

6. Grab some library books, cross out all references to ‘America’ and replace them with ‘Christopopolis.’ Draw moustaches and bucked teeth on pictures of Amerigo Vespucci.

5. Bring Christianity to your neighbors at the point of a gun before selling them into slavery, claim your street for your family, pass out blankets riddled with smallpox to the homeless, and shake down passers-by, insisting they tell you where their gold is.

4. Go to a Chinese restaurant dressed as 
General Tso.
The big chicken.
Columbus, walk in, and shout, “So, HERE’s where you were all hiding!”

3. Forward a petition to the city council demanding equal time with Bastille Day.

2. With your friends, build a scaled-down replica of Columbus’s fleet, drift aimlessly on the town pond, claim YWCA summer camp for Spain.

1. Once more dressed as Columbus, visit a deforested national park (or strip mine), issue “Ooops, my bad!” statement to the press.

There now, I hope this list inspires you to do something other than complain when you can’t use the drive-up window at the bank.

     But, if it’ll make you feel better, go get yourself a cannoli.

     Chris would’ve wanted it that way.

To my good friends north of the border: Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! May your harvest tables be blessed with bountiful feasts and happily free of moose pies.