Thursday, December 25, 2014

Captain Caption LIII


From the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future

P.S.  Hope you got your Kwanzaa shopping done!

See you all in 2015!

I'm probably going to do a little drinking for the next week.  
After seeing my picture, do you really have to ask?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

La Vigilia di Natale

"Hey, if you don't mind, I'm gonna head over to the Scarperelli's.
They're putting on this huge feast over there.
All the kid's gonna do is holler, anyway.
Besides, that dude with the beard is really creeping me out.
I'll bring you some lobster if you like.
It's all good.  I think we're Catholic now."
    I know you were all expecting reposts and reruns this holiday season.  For the most part, that's exactly what you're going to get, tough guy.  But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized I should throw up (ooh, now there's an unfortunate term) something new for 2014.  That way, next year, I'll have an even more extensive trove of leftovers from from to pick...uh...over.

    After all, aren't classic holiday specials routinely joined by new
Not necessarily better.
KnowhutImean, Vern?
offerings which are every bit as good as they are?  Yessiree, for every Charlie Brown Christmas or Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, you have Ernest Saves Christmas.

    So, why not something new?

    As you can see by this post's title, we're going to talk about something foreign.  And, since the title isn't in French, you know this won't be pornographic.  Or involve Jerry Lewis in any way-interestingly enough, there was such a thing as The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Christmas Show.  Yeah, makes you want to reconsider that Ernest thing, huh?
Usually followed by Dean throwing up and then passing out on Jerry.
NOTE:  There was a Jerry Lee Lewis Christmas special.  But, that had to be cancelled after he married the producer's nine-year old daughter.

  Anyway, La Vigilia Natale refers to an Italian custom that occurs on Christmas Eve.  Each year, on December 24th (that would be Christmas Eve, for those of you who just want to talk Kwanzaa), Southern Italians and  Italian-Americans gather together to maintain a vigil (i.e., vigilia) for the birth (i.e., natale) of the little baby Jesus.
Wrong Jesus
    NOTE:  Never let it be said you can't learn anything new at Penwasser Place.  You've now learned two Italian words.  Hey, you're on your own with "La" and "di."  But, I really think you can figure those out on your own.
"You should be so lucky,
Mr. Al F**kface Penwasser?"

    Since waiting around for a kid to be born can get tedious, these same folks use the occasion to look at dirty pictures of Snooki eat, primarily seafood.  Although, in a pinch, cousin Francesca....oh, I am not going there.  Penwasser Place is a family-friendly blog.  Well, not really, but there is a line.

    Accompanied by other dishes and alcohol (naturally), a variety of fish is served:  baccala (i.e., salted cod.  When I learned this was fish, my stepfather's old saying, "Something smells fishy and it ain't baccala" made sense), smelts, eels (again with the eels), whitefish, squids, mussels, sardines, anchovies, clams, and lobsters (which I am convinced is an "Up yours!" to their Jewish friends because lobster isn't kosher).

    NOTE:  See related, "Ham At Easter."

    The number of courses vary from 13, for the fat bastards, to 7 for those who are more tradition-bound.

    NOTE:  The legend has it that "7" is used because '7" is repeated something like over 700 times in the Bible (someone counted?  Talk about a boring Saturday night!) to "on the 7th day God rested" to 7 sacraments to 7 hills of Rome to "3" being the number for the Trinity added to "4" which is the number used for the Earth to give you "7."  Frankly, I think this last one is a HUGE stretch.

"And the number of the counting shall be 'three.'"
"Seven, sir."
NOTE:  Not an accurate quotation.  Go with it.

    In any event, this holiday observance is also known as the "Feast of the Seven Fishes."
"It's not "Feast of Seven Sleeps With the Fishes, idiota!!
What the hell am I going to tell Snow White now!?"
    And, now you know.

    Here you thought I was going to make fun of Charlie Brown's Christmas, didn't you? 

    Okay.  Maybe a little.
Talk about your basic White Christmas

"Okay, Charlie Brown, your friend Franklin can come for Thanksgiving,
 but he has to sit on his own side of the table.
You blockhead."

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Yule Dad Cometh

Continued from An Iceland Christmas (really, you didn't figure that out?).  I'd provide a link, but that's too much work.  If you really want to know what's going on, please select "Older Posts"  below.
In the running for the role of Yule Lads.
Until the government of Iceland realized they were all dead.
    Our daughter was snoring away-no doubt dreaming of what kind of “loot” she’d get from the little troll that night (and I don’t mean me).  A precocious fourth-grader, she made sure to tell us at dinner that she’d been a great girl that year.  Hopefully, Stekkjarstaur would be able to fit a puppy in her sneaker.
Type II Diabetes-Starring Eddie Murphy

    One child down, I told my wife I’d place a “Family Size” Snickers (if that family was the Klumps) in my son’s shoe.

    The base’s apartments weren’t like the typical ones back in America.  Everything was so small, I didn’t have room to walk around his bed.  This being the case, I had to stretch clear across where he slept just to reach the windowsill.          

    As I neared his shoe, I heard a voice from out of the darkness, “That’s okay, Dad.  You can turn on the light if you can’t see.”

    Busted, I quickly dropped the candy into his shoe and departed without a word.

    The next morning at breakfast, I asked my eleven year old about the night before.

    “Oh, that,” he said with a wave of his hand, “I’m too old for that stuff anymore.  I’ll tell you what, just save yourself the trouble and give me my present before I go to bed.”

    Mildly depressed that my little boy was growing up, I said nothing as he headed off to school.

    Before he walked through the door, he called over his shoulder, “Oh, hey, I left something for you and Mom on your nightstand.  See you this afternoon.”

    Shaking off my gloominess, I shuffled into my dollhouse bedroom and saw a piece of paper next to the alarm clock.  It was my son’s Christmas list.
What the frik is an iPod Docking Station?
Maybe I should just give the Penwasser kid a potato.
    Starting off with “Dear Santa,” it went on to list, by color, size, and memory storage, everything he wanted to see under the tree come Christmas morning.
    At the bottom, he closed with, “Oh, yeah, just in case, Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad.”
    Or, as they say in Iceland, “Gleδileg Jól.”

2014 Update:  We returned from Iceland in 2005 (well, I returned in 2005.  They returned in 2004.  Sucks to be them that I knew my way home).  Our son is a college graduate who now lives in Norfolk, Virginia.  I guess he got tired of me skulking around in the middle of the night putting things in shoes.  Our daughter is a college junior. She goes to school close enough that she can do her laundry here.  She checks her shoes every time she comes home.

Monday, December 15, 2014

An Iceland Christmas

Sorry, it's another tiresome rerun.  But, hey, GOOD NEWS!  It's from 2012.  That means that most of you are new here and haven't read this.  For those of you who have been around a while (I'm talking to you, Pat Hatt) first let me say, you poor bastards.  Second, it may look familiar.  If so, you may want to take a few shots of egg nog.  Make sure you put whiskey in it, though, because a few snorts make anything look better.  At least that's what Mrs. Penwasser says about me before our weekly maritals.

    For those of you who haven’t paid attention (or who’ve visited Penwasser Place solely for the kick-ass pictures), my family and I lived at the U.S. Navy air station in Keflavik, Iceland from 2003-2004.
"This whole pillaging Europe thing has gotten boring. Whaddya say we go over to what'll be called Canada and kick some Indian ass? Plus, it'll really piss off those Columbus groupies."
    The base, opened during World War II, has since shut down and returned to the Icelandic government.  I suppose it was felt the money to keep it operating could be better spent elsewhere.  After all, the threat of Viking raids has pretty much petered out. 
Permits!?  Permits are for pussies.
And Americans.

    During the time we were there, we experienced a rich culture.  From ogling New Year’s fireworks displays which were truly “shock and awe” to lolling about geothermal spas in sub-freezing temperatures, we immersed ourselves in all that was Icelandic.

    Except for that holiday where they ate rotted sheep heads.  We gave that one a pass.
Sorta makes you appreciate
fruitcake a little more, huh?
    One of our favorite traditions happened at Christmas.  Readily acknowledging Santa Claus as the favorite of children worldwide, Icelanders add their own unique way of celebrating the run-up to December 25th.  For the thirteen nights prior to Christmas morning, legend has it that they are visited by the Yule Lads.
Disappointed he didn't get 
that Butt Sniffer gig
It's been a while so...
Barney Frank

Former Massachusetts Congressman.
Present Massachusetts homosexual.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
But...imagine this dude naked.
    From Sheep Worrier to Candle Beggar, each Lad has his own specific identity (luckily, Butt Sniffer didn’t pass the audition).  Never malicious, they play tricks on each household, whether by drinking all the milk, or rearranging the furniture.  They also leave presents in children’s shoes, unless they’d been naughty that year.  In that case, they leave potatoes.
Al-Qaeda playtoy
Seriously, if I was that sheep,
I'd be worried, too.
  Enchanted by this charming bit of folklore, my wife and I played up the fable of the Yule Lads to our two children.  As December 12th approached, we told them that Stekkjarstaur, the Sheep Worrier, would surely pay a visit that night.  To be ready, they needed to place one of their shoes on their windowsills so that he could leave them a present.
    Or a potato, I kidded my son.
    Several hours after the sun went down and the kids had gone to bed, my wife and I set the stage for the first of the Yule Lads’ visits.  Since the military didn’t allow us to transfer our sheep from the States, we opted for the modern tradition of placing empty milk cartons in the fridge.
    Certain the kids were asleep, we stole into their rooms to place small presents in their shoes.

To be continued (really, what did you expect?  This has gone on long enough)...

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Have a Politically Correct Christmas

The following is a repost from last year.  Which was a repost from the year before that.  Which was a repost fro...good grief, how long have I been doing this?  Well, anyway, I wrote it several years ago.  I did update it a little bit (for those of you who may have read it last year and the year before that and the...well, you get the picture).  See if you can find where).
"I trip on one of these dogs, I'm suing the batcrap out of somebody.
Liposuction ain't gonna pay for itself, ya know.
Plus, I'm on that effin' Obamacare now.
And why am I walking around in my long johns?"

Have a Holly Jolly, Politically Correct Christmas Holiday
C. Clement Moore (?)

With apologies to Major Henry Livingston, Jr.:*

Twas the Night Before December 25th

‘Twas the night before December 25th, when all through the place of residence (be it house, teepee, shopping cart, or refrigerator carton).
Not a creature was stirring, not even a sentient life form known as a rodent (which has every right to live wherever it chooses).
The government-issued condoms were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that a federal official soon would be there.

The children of the multi-diverse family unit were nestled by Family Services all snug in their beds,
while visions of non-dairy, non-sugar, non-peanut, non-caffeine, non-fat, non-transfats, non-threatening tofu plums danced “With the Stars” in their heads.
And my life partner in a hyperbaric chamber and I in my neoprene bubble
had drifted to sleep, with nary any trouble.

When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed (which I selfishly bought at IKEA while millions slept on grates), to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I feared that I’d spy
A Weiner, a Biden, a Rush Limbaugh guy.

The moon, on the Miley Cyrus breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the luster of midday to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a “little people” sleigh and eight height-challenged reindeer.

With a stature-limited seasoned-citizen driver, so lively and quick,
I knew it must be that Person of Androgynous Reknown, Nikita, Nick...
or some other such prick.
More rapid than endangered eagles, her/his coursers they came
and she/he whistled and shouted and called them by name (though not as subservients; rather as equals in the mutual exchange of commerce).

“Now Twerker! Now Holder!
Elton, you Prancer and Jesse!
Ebola! Al Sharpton!
Obama, Pelosi!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now, dash away, but only if you’re physically able and don’t feel threatened by it all!”

As dry leaves before the hurricane fly,
which plugs up the levees because Bush wants you to die,
so to the subsidized housing the hoofed business partners
with a sleigh full of capitalist loot stolen from me and from you!

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, I turned and I saw
Nikita/Nick and her/his attorney-at-law.

She/he was dressed in synthetic fur, from her/his head to her/his foot,
and her/his clothes were all tarnished with the tracings of soot on her/his tush,
a carcinogen and by-product of the evil exploitation of majestic trees by Bush.
A bundle of toys she/he had tossed in a sack
and I KNEW I was liable if she/he busted her/his back!

But, there was no worry, I had not a care!
Oh, crap, what did you say?
She/he had Obamacare!?

Her/his eyes--how they twinkled!  Her/his dimples, how merry!
Her/his cheeks like BOTOX balloons, her/his nose like a cherry!
It was obvious with him/her I should not be alone
this creepy, suspicious Chris Christie clone.
Her/his droll little mouth was drawn up no, not in a frown
from some anonymous, “tsk-tsking” government clown.
The stump of a pipe she/he had just for effect
as she/he showed me her/his nicotine patch on her/his neck.
She/he had a broad face and a little round belly
that shook when she/he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

(NOTE: the American Medical Association strongly urges a lifestyle which eliminates the existence of “little round bellies”, as they may lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, tourettes, heart attack, an “unfresh” feeling, stroke, erectile dysfunction, skin rashes, halitosis, driving heavy equipment while drowsy, and rickets.)

She/he was chubby and plump (see NOTE above), a right jolly old fairy/troll/forest nymph/dwarf/Michael Moore/multi-diverse personage of varying-yet valuable-ethnic persuasion/wood sprite/Oprah/elf,
and I laughed when I saw her/him, in spite of myself (although, to avoid being sued, I said I was laughing “with”, not “at”, her/him).
A wink of her/his eye and a twist of her/his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

She/he spoke not a word, but went straight to her/his work
and filled all the condoms, when allowed by her/his attorney-the aforementioned jerk.
The gifts, she/he explained, were crafted by midgets
Err...”little people” those over-sensitive fidgets.
To insult them, she/he knew, will just make them sour
When, after New Years, they return back to work
at McDonalds for $15.00 an hour.

And laying her/his finger on the side (not in) of her/his nose,
and giving a nod, up the chimney/window/teepee smoke hole she/he rose.
She/he sprang to her/his sleigh, to her/his team gave a whistle,
and they mutually agreed in committee to fly as equals away like the down of a thistle.
But, I heard her/him exclaim, ‘ere she/he drove out of sight.

“Happy Non-Sectarian Day-of-Observance-Which-Has-Nothing-To-Do-With-An-Established-Creed-Or-Dogma-of-Faith-Because-That-Would-Be-a-Heinous-Violation-of-the-Sanctity-of-the-Separation-of-Church-and-State-Because-What-About-the-Children-Dammit-You-Racist-Bastards!? and to all a mutually-satisfying (as agreed upon in writing. In triplicate. By the ACLU.) night!”    

    *Evidently, Clement Clark Moore is the 19th century equivalent of the New York Times’ Jayson Blair**.  A classic since its 1823 appearance in the Troy Sentinel, ‘A Visit From St. Nicholas’ (as it was alternately known) was claimed by Moore as his own in 1837, conveniently after Livingston had passed away.  In fact, Moore, who wasn’t known by any other poem, incorporated the work into one of his own books,Poemsin 1844!  So, the next time you’re tempted to fret and bemoan our lack of journalistic scruples, just remember Moore’s response when asked if he had, indeed, written this most-famous of Yuletide poems:  “Uh, yeah, whatever.”
    Or, so I’ve read on the Internet.  Because, after all, if it’s there, it must be true! 
**Like I said, this is a repost, so the inclusion of Jayson Blair may leave you scratching your head.  Mr. Blair was pinched several years ago for being a plagiarist.  plagiarist, of course, is someone who tries to pawn off someone else’s work as his own without giving credit to the actual author.  You know, a lot like Joe Biden.  There, how ‘bout that?  Timely and funny.

***I’m not so sure this is very timely anymore.  But, I managed to include a “twerking” and "Ebola" reference.  You’re welcome.
"Seriously?  Nobody's gonna get that Biden reference, dumbass.
You really oughta write new stuff already."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Captain Caption LXI

"Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping night watch over their flock.  The angel of the Lord shone around them...and said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For today in the city of David, a Savior...hey!!  What the frik is that guy doing tying his shoe in the stable??'"
-Luke, Chapter 2, Verses 8-10

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It's Happened

No, that's not what I meant.  That won't happen until Sunday night, whether Mrs. Penwasser likes it or not.
"Huh...'Just For Men.'  That sounds legit."

  The long awaited story of my first nine months in the Navy is finished and is ready to be ignored by millions at Create Space.

NOTE:  I have no idea who was "long awaiting" this thing.

  Titled It's Not Just A Job (I gotta think that was obvious by the picture above), it's the culmination of over a year of work and finding an excuse to lay around and drink.  For those who read the first bit of this book over at my other blog (which has since shut down), you'll recognize quite a bit.  
Mission Accomplished

  I've updated it a bit, though, so what you read last year will more than likely be a little different.  But, it remains the true story of my first nine months in the Navy when I went by Ken Lynch (which-surprise!-I still do).  
"This also should be obvious."
  I plan on writing at least two more sequels, which will be available over the next two years.  The follow-on, It's An Adventure is 1/4, 1/3, 1/5? done (I'm not very good with fractions) and will cover the three years I was aboard the aircraft carrier America.
Long before this happened, though
  Why Create Space, you might ask, if you feigned interest?  Well, Create Space is a self-publishing platform which doesn't cost a cent.  The downside to that is that they keep most of the money collected from sales and the author (that would be me-my, don't I sound frikkin' pretentious?) only gets a royalty check when profits reach $100.

  For instance, I still have yet to receive any royalties from Shag Carpet Toilet, despite it being one putrid piece of crap laugh-out-loud funny.
"Yeah, seriously, what's up with that?
I have a girl falling face-first into elephant poop.
Let's see that Navy book top that."
  In essence, it's more important to me if people laugh than if I got wealthy.
But, I would like to be able to keep paying for my therapy.

    So, if you'd like to laugh and keep paying for my therapy,  you could do a whole lot worse than buy It's Not Just A Job.  You could live with me.
  It's available right now at

  Or, if you prefer, you can download the Kindle version.  Just go to Amazon and type in It's Not Just A Job.
"Do I need to say anything?"

    Just be warned, there is VERY harsh language in this book.  It, after all, is about the 1970s.
  One word, in particular (yes, that word) is used frequently.  However, there is ZERO violence and very little sex, besides topless dancers in Milwaukee and a recruit waving his erection around proving that the ardor-dampening effects of saltpeter is a myth.  

  There will also be very little sex in the sequels, because this, after all, is about my experiences in the Navy.
Which is kind of hard to believe, considering I was such a hunk.
  If you order now, you can have It's Not Just A Job in time for Christmas.  Then, instead of a fruitcake, you can give this hideous bit of nonsense to people you don't like.
"Ya know, I'd really order a copy,
but Barack told me to keep an eye out for Santa.
And I can't read."

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

Nothing more to be said, folks.
Except the human race hasn't gotten a whole lot better.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Brick Club USA

    NOTE:  This could easily be the last “original programming” for the rest of the year.  My plan is to post repeats (I can hear the complaints now) from now until Christmas.  Then, not even that much the last week of December.  The only new stuff will probably be a few Captain Captions since they’re easy to do.  Who knows?  Something may catch my eye which will inspire me to write.  Don’t hold your breath though.  For now...

    I’ve found myself involved in a new business undertaking.  Oh no, I’m not the boss.  Can you imagine me actually in charge of anything (those who worked for me in the Navy are probably wondering, “What does that crack mean?”)?

    I am working with someone of far more intelligence on a venture called “Brick Club USA.”  I’m, get this, the “creative engine.”  I know, huh?  Well, we’re on a budget.

    Anyway, Brick Club USA is an organization for those enthusiasts devoted to building blocks (you may know them as “Legos,” but I can’t write that because I don’t know how to insert the “Copyright” symbol.  So, you’ll just have to be content with “building block.”

    NOTE FROM SOMEONE PRETENDING TO NOT BE AL (IT COULD BE KEN LYNCH, BUT WHO AM I TO SAY?):  Hey...Al?  Here it is:  Legos®.  Geez, how simple is that?  No wonder you’re not in charge.

    NOTE TO EXPLAIN THE PREVIOUS NOTE:  If you don’t know by now, I’m prone to argue with myself.  I’m quite schizophrenic that way.

    Now, you may not like playing with building blocks, but I bet you know someone who does.  If you do, there’s good news to be had.  There will be regular contests with cash prizes (or beaver pelts, if that’s your thing).

    NOTE:  The offer of “beaver pelts” for entertainment use only.  Because the first rule of Brick Club USA is “Do not harm small animals.”  Okay, that’s the second rule.  The first is, “Never let Al be in charge.”
"Ya got that right, Buster."
    What am I asking?  Oh, that’s simple.  I would ask that you visit Brick Club USA’s website, for more information.

    Once there, you’ll find an array (NOTE: Fancy word for “a bunch”) of information concerning how you, a loved one, or a member of your family (NOTE:  yeah, I saw what I did there) can get involved.

    The rules for the contests are simple and are open to everyone (not just those in the United States, despite the name which was forced on us by the Republicans).  There is a small cost to enter ($10 USD), but First-Place winners can win $500!  Or beaver pelts.

    NOTE FROM SOMEONE PRETENDI...OH, YOU GET THE PICTURE:  What did we say about beavers??

Wrong Amazon
    Plus, there’s a feature which will allow you to shop for...uh...building blocks on Amazon.  And here’s the best don’t even have to get...uh...building blocks.  By clicking on the Amazon link, you can shop for anything and Brick Club USA gets credit.  Or beave...well, credit.  I’m not sure exactly how.  Remember, I’m not the boss.

Sigh...try again
That's better.
Hey, wait, don't they have to pay me for this plug?

    NOTE:  You can also avoid the holiday rush by clicking on that link to purchase your very own copy of Shag Carpet Toilet!  Or, if your bird cage is already lined, give it to someone you don’t like.  Win, win, win!!
WARNING:  Shameless plug ahead
Shag Carpet Toilet 
Sure to be ignored by millions this holiday season!
     Finally (sheesh, Al, aren’t you done!?), visit Brick Club USA’s Facebook site.  Go to Facebook (this, I would think, is self-explanatory) and type “Brick Club USA” in the ‘Search’ window (once again, self-explanatory).

    You’ll find more info there and we would really appreciate it if you would “Like” us (this, in a nutshell is how junior high school was for me).  I think this is a good thing.  Once more, not the brains of the outfit.

    So, let’s get the word out about Brick Club!  I know you all can do it.  I tell you, you tell a few, they tell a few more...

    Before you know it, we go viral.

    And you won’t need to get the CDC involved.

    Thank you.  Now continue on with the rest of your holiday season!