Thursday, October 31, 2013

Captain Caption XVIII

"The good news?  50 Shades of Grey now has pictures.
The bad news?  They're using Danny DeVito and Oprah.
No wonder the jihadis in GITMO want to kill us."

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What'd He Say?

    Did you ever stop to think that what you say can sometimes last forever?

    Even though you may have no earthly recollection what it was (hell, you probably have no earthly recollection that you need to put on pants, you old bastard) you may be reminded one day when an adult walks into the rest home and says, “Hey, remember me?  I was the one with a face that could stop time.”

    And then he unplugs the ventilator.

    Obviously, some things hurt.  Even though you made a comment in jest, the recipient of your oh-so-clever jibe may not have thought it was terribly funny.

Surprisingly, I was teased unmercifully.
What?  They made fun of my carnation.
What did you think I meant?
    I’m sure, if I asked, all of you could give me such an example.

    Luckily, there are also times when something someone said was a good thing.  Whether a sincere congratulations or approving word, I recall them as if they happened yesterday.

    There are even those sayings which I’ve unknowingly adopted as my own.

    Such it is from something said to me more than forty years ago.

    When I was twelve, I was a stockboy, delivery boy, salesboy (apparently, the requirement of the job was to be a ‘boy.’) at the Thompson Food Market in Stratford, Connecticut.
Not really.
But close.
    SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION:  The chapter “Gold As Gold,” from my mega-thriller (in my mind at least) Shag Carpet Toilet, is based on these experiences.

Seriously, this is what Gladys looked like.
Although not as attractive.
And a woman.
    My bosses, Max and Gladys, were made for each other.  He was a balding butcher who punctuated his opinions with a frightening flourish of his cleaver.  She was a woman whose dimensions were such that she taped wooden blocks on her car’s brake and accelerator because she had to slide her seat all the way back.  Yet, she swore she was a dancer in her youth.

    Together, they were made for each other. 
Banned by the Catholic League of Decency.
Along with Rosemary's Baby, hippies,
and Richard Nixon.
If only because no one would have been able to live with them.  However, I learned many things while working for them.  Gladys taught me how to make the cover of Land O’ Lakes butter into something you wouldn't want your mother to see.  Max taught me that pimento loaf is just as tasty as boiled ham, if not cheaper.

    His speech was peppered with little sayings, most of which were directed at the former dancer crafting pornography from butter cartons.

    However, he always had a kind word for his customers, especially children.  No matter how small our purchase, he made us feel that we were buying an entire side of brontosaurus, when in reality we were just getting penny candy.

    Even though he’s long since passed, I still remember him.  Even more, I hear the same words which came out of Max’s mouth whenever we handed over some of our allowance for a couple pieces of Bazooka Bubble Gum.

    It’s the same thing I say whenever a student with whom I’m working has helped me out with something:  “Thank you, sir, you’re a real gentleman.”

    So be mindful of what you say to others, especially children.  Kids quite often repeat things they heard from decades before, good or bad.

    Or they could give the Land O’ Lakes lady boobs.

    And no one needs that.

Oh, yeah.
Gladys would so get arrested nowadays.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Poser

    A friend of mine (yes, I do have a few) posited this on Facebook this past weekend:

"I am confused over the inconsistent message...It is ok for a kid to have a costume with a sword, like a pirate or ninja and wave it around like they are going to chop you up....but, if the same kid had a water pistol or dressed like a cowboy with a toy rifle....he/she would be condemned. Isn't simulated violence the same regardless of the weapon?"
"Who's scarier?
Me?  Or Woody the Cowboy?
That pussy."

    I pondered his query, wondering why this is apparently so.  Ditto for kids dressed as Freddy Krueger,  Jason from Friday the 13th, or Xerxes (although that kid would probably undergo a psychiatric evaluation for something completely different).  Each of these characters have an implied violent streak.  And, in the case of Xerxes, a propensity to wear makeup and molest guys in loincloths.

"Hey, I could be one of those 72 virgins you hear about.
Or a dude.
Or a virgin dude.
In any case, you won't know for sure
until you take me home.
You big jihadi brute, you."
    Or you could throw a burka on and go as one of the devout.  Or a penguin.

    Maybe it's because guns are seen as capable of much more wide-ranging destruction, especially in this age of the mass shootings?  Guns and gun violence hold a stranglehold on our national psyche (see, I can use big words) and, thus, catalyze a more visceral (oh yeah, I'm on fire with the thesaurus now) reaction than a cartoonish pirate?

   And don't confuse me with the fact that box cutters and three airliners killed thousands of people in 2001.'s more politically motivated?

After all....

WICKED cowboy

BAD cowboy

NAUGHTY cowboy
But, he's gay so it'd be totally cool to dress like him

EVIL cowboy

Okay, this one doesn't necessarily fit.

GOOD ninja.
Notice how you never see him and that burka chick in the same room at the same time?
Yeah.  I may be over-thinking.

GOOD pirate.
And just so damn adorable
NOTE:  he also wears makeup

GOOD pirates.
Plus, their team made the playoffs and the Yankees didn't.
So, piss off.

BAD pirate.
Uh, oh, didn't think this one through.
Plus, he's black.
Oh, crap.

Better you should go as Xerxes.

"Betcher ass."
Did someone say 'ass?'"

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Captain Caption XVII

"Pinch me in the ass one more time and it's the back of my hand.
You know I don't go that way, you dopey bastard."

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Tale of Heel Piss Cream

    A couple weeks ago, Elsie from Mock Turtle's Musings commented that she hadn't read my description of "Heel Piss Cream."  I promised her  I would repost it soon.  Of course, since my Columbus Day post was a rerun, I needed to write some original stuff before I did so.  I didn't want anyone to think that my "comedy well" was running dangerously low.  Of course, there's probably some of you who are thinking, "Geez-a-lou, Al, get over yourself.  If you were that funny, somebody would be paying you."  To those people I say, "Well put."
    So, by all means, continue to enjoy comedy for free.  Especially since it's too much trouble to put on a pair of pants to go to a Comedy Club which has a two drink minimum.
    Besides, it's not like Penwasser Place is a Blog of Note or anything.  By the way, does Blogger even do that anymore?

    Anyway, this is from February, 2011.  Although, if I hadn't told you that, none of you (apart from Robyn and dbs) would even know that.  It's as written.  Except I added captions to the pictures.  See?  It may be warmed-over leftovers, but it's warmed-over leftovers over with pizazz!


    Elsie, this is for you.  


Modern Medicine

Or a really chapped scrotum.
With an odd dark space between the "boys."

    I realize that age is a relative thing.  But, since I'm the oldest of all my relatives (the ones still alive, anyway), it does impact my view on life (which, in addition to being a family board game, is also a snappy breakfast cereal.  And defunct picture magazine).

   Anyway, like Joan Rivers, I think my body is slowly starting to dry up.  I first noticed this phenomenon as it manifested itself on my heels (come to think of it, is 'manifest' even a medical term? Like 'piles'?).   As they lose their precious moisture, they start to crack, thus causing me pain (golly, I bet I'm painting quite an attractive picture for you, huh?).  Since I'm pretty attached to walking, this pain can be a bit...uh...painful.

  To alleviate this discomfort, I've come to rubbing them with something called "Heel Balm," a noxious cream which has the consistency of wood putty.  And is as about as hard to get off my hands as Lindsey at last call.
CAUTION:  Not for consumption or for use as a suppository.
Probably didn't need to mention that.

   It actually kind of works.  My heels feel as silky smooth as a baby's bottom.  If a baby's rear end was attached to the bottom of a 52 year-old man, that is.  

NOTE from 2013 Al:  I'm now 55.  

   Impressed at the results, I turned the tube over to examine what its ingredients were.  Among a drugstore-size list of chemicals, I noticed that it contained "Urea."
And that really pissed me off.
    Even though I had a pretty good idea what "urea" is I looked it up in the dictionary.  Yep, I was right.

Urea: n.  1. A white crystalline or powdery compound found in mammalian urine.

  In essence, I've been rubbing PEE on my feet!  Without wearing gloves!  How positively medieval.  Good thing my feet are the farthest thing on my body away from my nose.

    Once I got over my initial disgust, though, I felt a little better.  Especially after I consulted the entrails of an owl.
"Yeah, you try shitting through feathers
and see how you fe...hey, what the frik are you doing with that knife!?"

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Well That Explains It

I always wondered what those things were.

I just thought they were called 'thingamajigs.'

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Captain Caption XVI

"Boy, gosh golly, this Obama costume is a real scream!  Says here I
can get lots of great candy at Rush Limbaugh's house!"

NOTE:  The proprietor of Penwasser Place does not wish to imply that all black people look alike.

Clearly, that is not the case.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Technology-It's a Wonderful Thing

    My camping trip to Rhode Island was wonderful (thankfully, Burlingame is a STATE park and
Did someone say 'Cornhole'?"
wasn't shut down by a spiteful "Up Yours!" federal government).  We drank, ate, told stories, built a campfire, drank a little more, made rude noises, shot some golf, drank on the course, played a game called 'Cornhole,' had some chips, peed in the woods, sharpened sticks, laughed, switched from 'Coors Lite' to 'Bud Lite' (I'm watching my weight), incinerated Jiffy Pop, and just had a great time among family, some of whom are still talking to me.
"'Alcohol Strictly Prohibited.'  
Huh.  Well, whaddya know?"
Anyway, on the way back home, I needed to use one of those "Oh-So-Delightful" Rest Stops on the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut.  After asking the attendant (whose native language couldn't possibly be English) where the rest rooms were, I availed myself of the facilities to use the...uh...facilities.  While I have no trouble wetting down a tree in the woods, there was no way I was going to "drop trou" and lay a Lincoln Log in the middle of what I'm sure is poison ivy.  

    Meaning, Al had to do a wicked "Number Two."

    I noticed, as I walked in, that the Mens Room looked to be fully automatic.  There was a "Hands Free" soap dispenser, faucet, and paper towel machine available.  What's more (WARNING:  probably a case of "TMI" ahead), the urinals and toilets were automatic flushers.

I actually felt like a Jedi Knight with this thing.
"Give me a paper towel"
It was that crappy, foamy soap (unlike this picture).
I would have used my cel phone camera to take actual shots of everything,
but I didn't want Sanjay to call the cops
on "that creepy infidel taking pictures in the crapper." 
Hot.  Cold.  How does it know?

    As I marveled at all these "Gee Whiz" items, I couldn't help but ponder on what would be the next step in the "Lavatorial Revolution."  Hey, I had to do something.  I left my reading material in the truck.  And I didn't want to take a chance on dropping my cel phone in the bowl while playing Words With Friends.

    Now that I think of it, I wonder how many points I could get for "shit?"

What about toilets that not only flush, but automatically wipe before you're ready to go (after you've gone, of course.  Isn't English a remarkably versatile language?).  However, that seemed skeevy to me.  Plus, what if the robotic arm got a little too aggressive in its ministrations?
Yep, I'd have to change which rest room I used.
On the other hand, my prostate would be good to go.
There's that word 'go' again.

But, on the other hand?

A urinal which automatically shakes?  Now there's a concept I can get behind.
Did someone say 'behind'?

Except I'd probably never leave the bathroom. 

There are worse things, I suppose.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Goodbye Columbus-A Repost

Now I just know most of you have read this.  But, it's either this or nothing because I've gone camping this weekend.  Yep, my brothers and I went to the same place we went to in August. Another chance to commune with nature, enjoy good-natured tales around a campfire, and pee in the woods.  Until next week, enjoy!!


The following is a repost from last 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.  (NOTE from 2013 Al:  Actually, I'm camping.  But I think you knew that).
  Better than a sleeping pill.

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.
     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 crap
what the school district says.
My kids get the frikkin' day off.
    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 ‘Chrisville.’ 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 people were all hiding!”

3. Forward a petition to the city council demanding equal time with Labor 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.
Martin Frobisher
Canada is more than Celine Dion, Michael J. Fox, and Leonard Nimoy.
“Sure, our Thanksgiving makes more sense than eating outside in Massachusetts in November, but you'd think those cheap bastards in Ottawa would've thrown us a four-day weekend, eh?"