Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Warmed-Over Easter Rerun


FROM THE PROPRIETOR:  The reader is hereby cautioned that the below is a repeat of a repeat of a repeat ("My GOD, Penwasser, how many times are you going to make us read this crap!?").  Since it's late and I have a headache and Mrs. Penwasser is almost asleep, I don't have a lot of time on my hands (Meaning: if I don't hurry and Mrs. Penwasser actually falls asleep, all I'll have are my hands).  So, yeah, you've read this before.  But, I have read it again and...maybe...I put in some new lines.  Or not.  Mrs. P is looking mighty sleepy, ya know.  So, sit back and enjoy (even that line is recycled!).  And, if you're so inclined to comment, please feel free to recycle your 

comment from last year.


Begin the repost...NOW!:

  For the sharp-eyed, this is a repeat of my repeat of my Easter post from last year.
  Sorry, this is pretty long, but sit back and enjoy.  Or skim though it and pick out something innocuous upon which to comment.  Then it'll make it seem as if you took the entire time to read with no one the wiser.


Starring the Son of God, Moses, and Chocolate Bunny Heads
 Even though the countdown to Easter Sunday is supposed to start after Ash Wednesday, it really begins when unsold chocolate Cupids at Wal-Mart are exchanged for countless herds of chocolate rabbits.
  It’s the most sacred of Christian holidays...which is somehow associated with bunnies, ducks, and chicks.  In fact, I was amazed at how happy those little animals seemed, considering that giving baby ducks and chickens to my brothers and I was tantamount to a death sentence. 

"If you want really good luck,
it's not my foot you have to rub."
    I've always been mystified as to exactly when Easter Sunday falls.      
    Based on the last full moon during leap year when the vernal equinox is on a Wednesday and the moon is in its summer house and Jupiter aligns with Mars, I always knew exactly when it was: March or April. 
    In any event, Easter was a glorious time of year, which started off with the traditional coloring of the Easter Eggs.
    Beginning with stern admonitions from my father to make sure we didn’t get dye all over the $20 table he bought at Railroad Salvage, our dipping-of-hen-fruit-in-colored-vinegar-water rituals started out serenely enough.  Until they degenerated into sloppy free-for-alls where we got more dye on each other than on the hard-boiled eggs.

"Man, this blows!
Glad we don't have to do 

this crap for Christmas.  
But, we can take off our shirts. 
Then beat the women."
    Satisfied with our work (and out of dye), we then seeded our garish prizes throughout the house in preparation for a family hunt the next day.  Nothing was off-limits as we deposited eggs in the most obscure places, all the while listening to our father boast he'd find the most eggs and make the finest egg salad in all the land.

    Unfortunately, nobody kept track of how many eggs were hidden or where they were laid.  This resulted in an incomplete tally, but we didn’t mind.  We had loads of other goodies with which to stuff ourselves.

    No worries.  Until our dog found an especially pungent bearded egg behind the stereo on Labor Day.   

    Eggs scattered, our excitement reached fever pitch as we knew that, come the dawn, we’d tumble down the stairs to see what the Easter Bunny had brought us.  A sort of off-season reenactment of the Christmas frenzy, Easter morn was a candy gorge-fest which propelled us into a frenetic sugar buzz not seen since December 25th.

"Sure, that big frikkin' showoff, Santa,
gets a sleigh and reindeer.
But, I get to sodomize the family pet."
    I never figured out the Easter Bunny’s deal.  Unlike Santa Claus, who slid his chubby keister down a chimney, Mr. Bunny seemed content with your basic, garden-variety breaking and entering.  

    We never left cookies and milk  and we never tried to stay awake to watch him deliver our presents.  Like the milkman, we just figured he’d automatically come through.

    Hmm, come to think of it, did that mean we didn’t trust Santa, considering we always wanted to remain awake to see him place our toys under the tree?  But, I digress...

    Speaking of a tree, the occasion of Easter didn’t offer up a central location for the rabbit to dump his loot.  I guess my parents were content to let him drop them wherever he found room.

"You mean I don't have to go to Tehran?
Thank Christ!  No pun intended."
    As far as Easter baskets went, he had quite a haul to carry.  The good news is that he only had to worry about Christian kids unlike Santa, who pretty much had the whole shebang.  Except the Middle East.  And possibly the Mormons.

    My point is that, while Jolly Saint Nick had a reindeer-drawn sleigh, what’d the Easter Bunny have?  That’s right-nothing.  He couldn’t even rent a Pacer, so he had to haul everything around on his back.

    No wonder he never went “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

    Our baskets overflowed with all manner of sweets.  Sure, there were the proverbial candy Easter eggs (also known as chocolate “footballs” at Christmas) and jelly beans, but my favorite had to be the chocolate bunnies.

Even little Jeffy Dahmer loved Easter
    What kid didn’t delight in first lopping off the hapless candy rabbit’s ears-“Look, Mom, a squirrel!”?  This confectionary mutilation was then followed by the rabbit’s ritual decapitation, leaving only a headless lump.  What a sad end for a creature whose only crime was being placed in a drugstore candy aisle a few days before.

    I remember being disappointed that my bunnies were hollow.  I would have much preferred they’d be solid, although I probably would have broken my teeth gnawing on a fifteen pound hunk of chocolate.  But, on the bright side, I’d have had enough sugar to keep me buzzing until Columbus Day.

4 out of 5 dentists
recommend Peeps
    Licking our lips as we finished savaging our Brer Rabbits (or the equally delicious Lucky Ducks), we then turned our attention to little chocolate-covered rabbit/duck/chick marshmallows and the yellow sugar balls known as Peeps.  
  As we sadly hit the bottom of our baskets, we knew exactly what to do with the black licorice jelly beans and candy-coated almonds:  fling them at our little brother, Gary.
  Our mouths ringed in melted chocolate, our teeth encrusted with Peeps detritus, and our vision blurred, we blearily glanced at the clock above the television.  Wow, not even eight o’clock.

  In other words, as our mother cheerfully announced from the kitchen, “Okay, kids, time for church!”

  The real reason for the day, we dutifully trooped off-usually through snow-to the nine o’clock Mass at Saint Stanislaus.
  It was here we came crashing down from our candy rush as we struggled to stay awake during Father Karl’s sermon, Peter Cottontail, Satan With Cottonballs.  The good news is this was one of the two times (the other being Christmas) that Mom was successful in forcing our father into church.

"Once this is over, 
I'm going to totally rock 
that Lily Munster gig."
    Usually, he was content to watch The Ten Commandments or Ben Hur and call it even.
NOTE:  The Ten Commandments pulled double-duty as it was good for Easter and Passover.  That Cecil B. DeMille was a marketing genius!
    As he liked to say, “I used to be a practicing Catholic, but I got good at it.  The ‘Lord’ doesn’t need me anymore."

  Even so, I bet the Lord would have still wanted him to put on some pants while watching TV.

    After an hour’s worth of guilt, we headed back home to finish off any candy we had so carelessly missed earlier that morning.

    Mom, meanwhile, began intense preparations for the Easter “feast.”

    For some reason, ham was always the meat of choice to celebrate Easter.  Unlike the pterodactyl-sized turkey we devoured at Christmas, it seemed appropriate to give equal time to eating the flesh of another barnyard animal.
"No, you tell the old lady
with the babushka that this isn't her bus stop."
  Of course, it could also have been a subconscious “up yours!” to our Jewish friends.      

  But, I thought it had more to do with the fact that my mother didn’t have to defrost a ham for three days, pull its gizzards out, stuff any available cavity she found with Wonder Bread, and start cooking it before the sun came up.

    After all, that was only for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    No, cooking ham and potatoes from a box was a whole lot easier.  In fact, it wasn’t until I grew up that I realized ham didn’t even come in a can.

"Whaddya mean, I'm Jewish? 
I thought I was Catholic. 
This is Easter, isn't it?"
    Eventually, the joy which is Easter drew to a close.  As we sat transfixed by the litter of candy corpses and the sight of Charlton Heston shoving a stick at the Red Sea, a sad thought struck us like a lightning bolt from the blue:

    No more chocolate bunnies for another year.     

    Whew.  Thank goodness for Halloween.

Happy Easter!


Tomorrow:  The A-Z Challenge starts!  At press time, I have no idea what my post will be.  Presumably 
something to do with the letter 'A.'


Okay, since I'm posting this on Saturday and not Sunday, the challenge does NOT start tomorrow.  And I know what my 'A' post will be about now:  Afghanistan.  Hope you have a great holiday.  And, to my Jewish friends, you still have a couple days of Passover.  You lucky chosen ones, you.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Facebook Funnies XLI

"You mean, that wasn't Barack Obama with me at that basketball
game?  And, while we're at it...seriously, dudes, you can let go of my hands now.  I think I got my hangover under control.  And, by the way,
where do you get those hats?  They're wicked awesome!!"

Monday, March 25, 2013

The A-Z Challenge Starts Next Week

    So, consider yourselves lucky you're getting this.  
    Even though it's a repost.  
    So...maybe you're not so lucky, after all.
    Robyn, Julie, and all my Jewish friends, HAPPY PASSOVER!

    The holiday of Pesach, or Passover, falls on the Hebrew calendar dates of Nissan 15-22.

   Nissan, huh?  I didn't know the Hebrews had Japanese cars.  The things you can learn on Google. 
In case you didn't know, here it is.
Orange line confuses the hell out of the fish, though.
    In case you have no idea when Nissan is, Passover starts tonight at dusk.  Or whenever the Matzoh truck backs up in your driveway.  The merriment lasts until April 2nd.  This means that, chocolate bunnies notwithstanding, Passover kicks Easter right in the latkes, holiday-wise.  Say what you will about Jewish holidays, but...

Christmas:  1 day
Hannukah:  8 crazy nights
Easter:  1 day (Mass included at no charge)
Passover: 8 crazy nights of unleavened bread
    For those west of the International Date Line, add a day.  I'm almost positive.  If I'm wrong, sue me.
NOTE:  Last year's joke about the International Date Line included because I didn't feel like deleting the picture of the globe.  Which still makes me giggle.

    They tell me Passover is a most solemn Jewish holiday.  They also tell me that Easter is the most solemn Christian holiday.  But, these are the same folks who tell me Adam Sandler is a comic genius.  So...
    As a test of how much I learned in school, I’m not going to consult a book, Google, the entrails of an owl, or Mr. Fineman from across the street.  I’m also too lazy to open a book.

    ANOTHER NOTE (these frikkin' things are like Lays potato chips):  The following could be considered wildly irreverent.  Could be?  Please accept my apologies in advance.  I just hope that Hell has visiting hours so you can come see me.   

    Passover is a Jewish (I think we got that) celebration which commemorates the exodus (so THAT explains the book) of the Hebrews from Egypt, way back when Betty White was just a teenager.

"Once I become Pharaoh,
I'm cutting this dumbass hair thing off."

    They were led by Charlton Heston, who if he had only kept his mouth shut, could have eventually become Pharaoh and freed the slaves.  Along the way, he could also have bagged the hot Nefertiri (not to be confused with ‘Nefertiti.’  Who was in The Mummy.  And was hot, too).  Then, Ramses (aka Yul Brynner), wouldn’t have donned the royal loincloth and bedded Anne Baxter.
See what I'm saying?
She's been dead for almost 30 years now, though.
Which kinda sucks.

Especially for her.
     But, noooooo, he had to go out into 
the desert, raise some sheep, marry Lily Munster, open the Midian chapter of the NRA, and meet God (who did not look like George Burns).

    If he hadn’t, though, Cecil B. DeMille wouldn’t have known what type of movie to make.

    Moses, heeding a divine call, decided to go back to Egypt to free the slaves.  Imagine Ramses’ chagrin (i.e., hacked-off) when the “Big Mo” barged into meetings of the Pyramid Planning Commission, waved his stick around, and turned goats into chickens.  Or grass stains into dazzling whites.
Boils.  Snooki. 
Wonder how they were 
able to tell the difference. 
    Moses directed (well, God actually.  Moses was the middleman) that a series of plagues be visited on Egypt: frogs, locusts, boils (eww), bloody water, Snooki, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.  All meant to convince Pharaoh to “let the people go.”  
NOTE:  Very few people realize that Pharaoh was confused about what it meant to "let the people go."  He didn't want to seriously funk the desert up.  Thanks, Wikipedia!  
    The scourges were actually starting to work, too, until Ramses looked at the latest Gallup poll numbers.  Figuring he had to satisfy his “slavery” base, his heart was hardened and he called the whole deal off.

    Well, Moses eventually had enough of this crap (NOTE:  not to be confused with "letting people go.").  He told Ramses that the first-born of Egypt would be slain in punishment for enslaving his people.  This included (cue dramatic music) the Pharaoh’s own son!
"Hey, whaddya know?
Monkeys can fly!"

    NOTE:  I think this was true, at least according to the movie.  Hollywood was pretty truthful sixty years ago.  Except I don’t think monkeys could fly.

    The Hebrews, feeling pretty damned cocky, painted goat (or sheep?) blood over their doors.  They felt quite safe that death would “pass” them “over.”  (Get it now?).  If only because Death got wicked skeeved at the sight of blood.

"Whaddya mean, no Canadian Ham?
Well, I'll just have to give this
to the Catholics down the street.
Catholics haven't been invented yet?
Or baseball caps?
Or baseball?
Oh, F!!"
    So, they hung out while the “Destroyer” (or "Galactus") went from door to door seeking out the Egyptians, accompanied by a couple of Mormons who figured “hey, it couldn’t hurt.”  They sang songs, prayed prayers, played “Old Testament Yahtzee”, and ate unleavened bread (because Dominos stopped delivering at 10).
Not bad with peanut butter,
jelly...and wine.

    When the day dawned and Ramses saw the mess (“Now, we’ll never get that blood out!”), he ordered Moses to pack up his shit and get the hell out.

    NOTE:  Ramses may not have actually said ‘shit.’  I think I've gotten carried away with the "letting people go" part.

    So, Moses jumped for Joy (his sister-in-law) and convinced everybody to head out (“So, where is it we’re going exactly, Mr. Fancy Pants Big Shot?”).  He wasn’t exactly sure where, though.  His BFF, Aaron, had gotten Trip-Tiks from the Cairo AAA.  And those people sucked.
"Yeah, see? Moses is a punk, see?
This hat is squeezin' my frikkin'
head like a grape, see?"
    Bottom line, the Hebrews finally left Egypt.  Along the way, the Egyptian Army went for a one-way dip in the Red Sea, Edward G. Robinson talked a lot of smack, Aaron was forced to make some seriously effed-up looking calf, they got all jiggy with their bad selves at the base of Mount Sinai, Moses saw a wicked cool light show on the mountain, and had bread fall out of the sky for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (“So we couldn’t maybe get a nice brisket instead?”). 
    They were finally allowed to enter the Promised Land after 40 years (the prior tenants had a wicked long-term lease).

    Since I’m over 1,000 words, let me finish by saying that Moses wasn’t even allowed to enter with the rest of his people (he didn’t get his wrist stamped). 
"Is it any wonder Bo thought I was hot?
Can someone untie me now?"

    He had to watch while Joshua (played by John Derek.  Before he got fat, married Bo, and died) led his people into...Canaan?  Or somewhere the Iranians would get all hacked off about.

    I think it had something to do with smacking a rock to get water.  Which was a mistake.

    Because, as we all know, paper, not water, covers rock.  

    Now, go ahead, get ready for Easter.

    There's a chocolate bunny in it for you.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

We'll Be Right Back

Well, the time has come for Penwasser Place to close its cyber-shutters for a week.  As most of you know, the A-Z Challenge (2013 edition) starts on April 1st and I need to get a few things in order.  Mostly, I need to get my articles written so I can put them on delayed post.  This way, I'll have the luxury of reading each of your posts, those of you who are participating and those of you who are not (these I call, "sane people").

  My priority when reading and commenting will be given to those who have read and commented on my hideous stuff.  Then, I'll get to you sane people.  Then, after that, I may go after those of you who I haven't heard from in a while.  Don't worry, I pester my family this way.

  I'll also answer anyone from Russia.  Because I seriously don't want to hack those people off.  If James Bond movies have taught us anything, it's that they can seriously eff you up.

  At any rate, the place will be kinda dark for the next few days.  Oh sure, there will be some posts during the last week of March.  But, those will be Passover and Easter reposts.  Because, let's face it, they've already been written.  Plus, I'll have a Facebook Funny on Thursday.  Because, let's face it, how hard is it to get a picture from the Drudge Report and throw a caption under it?  I mean it's not like I'm Dave Barry or anything.

  But, I'm not planning on doing any reading or commenting.  So, I guess you have that going for you.

  So, until April Fool's Day (wow, ain't that appropriate?), this is Al Penwasser signing off.

  Hope to see you in a week. 

Penwasser 2013
Now with more wrinkles

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Art Appreciation

A truly beautiful expression of one of the world's great religions.
And kick-ass spot to hold bingo and casino nights.
July, 1996
A tour of Saint Peter's Basilica.  
In Vatican City.  
Which is in the middle of Rome.  
Which is in Italy.  
You're welcome.

So, with all that money, you'd think they'd be able to afford
something better to announce selection of the Pope
than what you'd see on top of a crackhouse.
Tour guide:  "As you can see, Saint Peter's is not only the spiritual home to millions of the world's Roman Catholics, it is also repository of many priceless works of art.  For instance, if you look above your heads, you'll see works which highlight many famous Biblical scenes. Also, please note the larger-than-life size renditions of the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  The little known fifth evangelist, Norman, was not painted, but his likeness in macaroni is available in our gift shop along with many terra-cotta and cheese statues of his holiness,  John Paul II.

La Pieta.
If you came expecting a sacrilegious wisecrack, forget it.  
My Easter post will be bad enough.
No sense pushing my luck.
  As you came into the church, you no doubt saw one of the world's most beautiful masterpieces, apart from Dogs Playing Poker, Michelangelo's Pieta.  Unfortunately, this statue of the Blessed Virgin and our Savior was attacked by a madman, purported to be George W. Bush.  Since that time, a sheet of plexiglas had been in place to protect it.  And the Vatican Death Ray.

  Off to the side, please take note of a truly wonderful statue of Saint Peter imparting his blessing.  Sculpted, we believe, in the 13th century, its right foot has been worn down by the countless thousands of pilgrims who have rubbed it to gain a blessing from the saint.  Or in the vain hope of getting three wishes.  But, that only works with genies who sound like Robin Williams.  But, please refrain from doing do yourselves.  Unless you want to be part of the continued desecration of this priceless work of art.

  Now, if we continue on, we'll see the banks of the Vatican's Protestant Detectors..."
I did.  
Seriously, are you surprised?

Epilogue:  On the bright side of my visit, I learned that the Pope is Catholic.  Now, if I could only find out whether a bear shits in the woods....

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Facebook Funnies XL

"Simon says, 'Hands on your knees.'  Stand up!
Hey!!  You by the door!!  Simon didn't say, 'Stand up.'
You're out, dumbass.
One guess who gets to wear the bomb vest next."

Monday, March 18, 2013

CAUTION-Repost Ahead

  If you want to give this a pass, I certainly understand.  After all, why read warmed-over reruns when you can watch warmed-over reruns on TV?  I hesitated to do this, but decided to go ahead since the A-Z Challenge is so close that I don't want to use what little brainpower I have writing something original.  Look on the bright side, next week,  Penwasser Place will go completely dark as I get ready for April.  So this is better than nothing.  Maybe.  Well, next week will have...uh...reruns of the Passover and Easter posts.  And a Facebook Funny.  
  But, don't worry, April will feature 26 new posts.  I just don't know what they are yet. 
  So, sit back and enjoy this little underwear bon-mot from 2011.
  Or not.
  Your call. 

The Underwear Wars
NOTE:  Picture taken before Christian Bale became Batman.
BONUS NOTE:  Sharp-eyed readers will notice that this has been used several times.
Because it makes me laugh.
And it has Gary Coleman in it before he became dead.
BONUS BONUS NOTE:  None of the above is true.  Except it does make me laugh.
  Come, listen, my children, from everywhere
to the epic battles of underwear.
  Commenced first over briefs, called tighty-whiteys,
that were liked by men both weak and mighty.

  But, soon, a young woman began to fret
and wonder why she wasn’t pregnant yet.
  For, you see, the problem lay in the fit
of briefs which pulled the sack near where he’d sit.

  Thus cooked, the sperm all had no place to hide.
Victims of body temperature, boiled and died.
  No happy eggs and no mother-to-be
Just a man and his wife and their color TV
(NOTE: Hey, it rhymed.  Sue me.)

  A doctor’s care being her last resort,
she bought him some boxers, just like gym shorts.
  She told him their loose, casual fit
will keep his “boys” far from where he sits.

  With them cooled, his swimmers will be able
to find a place at the “Mommy Table.”
  But, he whined and moaned, “I hate the big hole.
  It’s a big inconvenient ‘Whack-A-Mole’.”

  So, to shut up her husband and give her relief
She then thought to buy him some boxer briefs.
  Not quite as snug as the white linen sacks
they gave him the comfort that boxers lacked.

  Excited over this underwear kind
The wife hustled home, but only to find.
  Her man, at the doorway, happily bare
He grinned.  No shirt, no pants, no underwear.

  “Honey,” he said, “I’ve got a great plan
that I’m happy to say you’ll understand.
  “For, just like Kramer or Marlon Brando,
No undies for me.  I’m going commando.”

Epilogue:  In a coma, the wife is not expected to live.  Her living will stipulates that her eggs be harvested for the local in-vitro fertilization clinic.

(NOTE:  Okay, so I’m no Shakespeare.  But, I couldn’t think of anything else that rhymed with ‘commando’)