Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy Kwanzaa!

Seven Days.  Not just one, like Christmas.
Of course, we get Xbox's on Christmas, not corn and fruit.

    In the spirit of other made-up holidays such as Valentines Day, Festivus, and Boxing Day, I thought I'd devote today's post to Kwanzaa, a celebration of Family, Community, and Culture.
"Did you know that 'Boxing Day' was made up?
On the other hand, I'm dead, so I don't give a crap."
    Created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga as a way for African-Americans to fully appreciate their heritage, Kwanzaa is a week long observance which revolves around the following seven core principles:

Unity:  Unity of family, community, and race
Self-Determination:  Define and name ourselves
Collective Work and Responsibility:  Build and maintain our communities together
Cooperative Economics:  Build and maintain our shops, stores, and other other businesses
Purpose:  Build our communities up so we can restore our people to their former greatness.
Creativity:  Always do as much as we can in order to leave our communities more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited.
Faith:  Believe in our family, friends, parents, teachers, leaders, and in the righteousness of our victory and struggle.

    Even though in its initial years, Karenga meant for Kwanzaa to be an "oppositional alternative" to Christmas, it has come to be more accepted by Christians and take its place in the "Happy Holidays" lexicon of American culture.

    Bottom line, made up or not, if someone wants to celebrate something, I couldn't care less if it was made up.  If it makes you happy, go crazy.
"Hey, did you make Penwasser write a serious post?
Well, cut it out!"
    Sigh...okay...while I could have gone crazy mocking this thing, I resisted.  I guess the spirit of the season made me more of a benevolent "mocker of the mockable."

    But, in order not to disappoint those who come here expecting high-quality comedy (NOTE:  those people have low standards), I've learned that "Kwanzaa" is a word from the Swahili language which means "Something to do after Christmas."

    That's all I'm going to say.

    This will be my last post for 2016.  I may comment on some of your blogs, I may not.  But I won't be writing anything new until the new year.

    So, until then, be kind to each other.  And, for goodness sake, don't juggle with knives, play with matches, or make fun of Trump supporters on Twitter or Facebook.
"Hear that, 'Runs With Scissors'?  He probably means you, too.  
You'll have to leave.  
And you can take that eel pie while you're at it, too."

NOTE:  Yes, this is a recycled joke.  But, it's the holidays.
Cut me some slack.
Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Finally, I know 'Boxing Day' is a real thing and has nothing to do with boxing, despite the name being the same.  I actually think it has something to do with FedEx or UPS or some other such shit.  Hey, I was first going to go with Canadian Thanksgiving, but I didn't want to tick Pat Hatt off.  

You're welcome.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

    As you're reading this, I'm probably sleeping off wild Christmas Eve celebrations.  Oh, who am I kidding?
    I'm probably sleeping, though.

"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

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Silent Night

Even though this is Silent Night...
I'd like to wish all my Jewish friends Happy Hanukkah!

"No sense letting that little elf putz have all the fun."

Friday, December 23, 2016

I Thought He Was Born in Bethlehem

Not Outer Space

Who knew?

NOTE:  Makes turning water into wine sounds a little less remarkable now, doesn't it?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Captain Caption CXXXIV

"And, believe me, Christmas is one of the worst deals of the Obama Administration!  He deliberately failed to...oh, Christmas has been around for a couple thousand years?  Well, it doesn't matter, because Crooked Hillary and her boss were unable to stop the mass, let's face it, just giving away millions of presents to undeserving kids who only, maybe, left a plate of cookies and glass of milk for an obviously obese Rosie O-Donnell lookalike dressed as Kris Kringle, that fat cow!  Which is clearly an alias, can I be frank?  Socialism folks, pure socialism!  In my administration, this practice will come to a screeching halt!  But, if absolutely necessary, I will direct the head of the Department of Homeland Security to enact a regulation that Santa only visit AMERICAN children.  He will not go to Mexico or...[wait for it]...CHINA!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Happy [Insert Name Here]!

The following is a repost from several years ago.  Well, I wrote it several years ago.  And I put it on Blogger last year and...the year before that.  And before that.  I think.  As is my wont, though, I updated it a little bit (just to see if anyone was paying attention).

Incidentally, I just checked my audience statistics.  As of right now:
Russia:  41
United States:  5

I really may have to do something about this after the first of the year.

But, until then, on with the reruns!

Incidentally, I gotta think this guy would be
on some kind of list somewhere nowadays.

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 the undocumented  (who have every right to live and get free college).
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 Warren, that Bernie Sanders 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 Republican 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, but rather as equals in the mutual exchange of commerce).

“Now Twerker! Now Grandma!
John Kasich and Nixon!
Obama! Joe Biden!
Paul Ryan! Bill Clinton!
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 heaves after the frat party fly,
(and that one in the Girls Room is really a guy),
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 Sandusky 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/Rosie/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 to work
at McDonalds for less than fifteen an hour.

Before he/she left, he/she scratched his/her head.
Were the children herein American, born and bred?
He/she smiled, he/she wasn’t stumped.
There’d surely be no trouble from President Trump.

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!? 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, Poems, in 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.  A 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” reference.  You’re welcome.

****Is “twerking” even timely anymore?

By the way, this is the 1,000th post from Penwasser Place.  And it's a rerun.  I guess I should pay closer attention to these kind of things, huh?

Friday, December 16, 2016

An Icelandic Christmas

    Okay, sure, this is a repost.  But, don't most of us expect reruns during the holiday season (I'm talking to you, Charlie Brown)?  
    If you haven't read this, by all means enjoy.  Or visit some of the other fine blogs out there.  Like the japing ape.
    If you have read it, by all means, delight in rereading this sure-to-be-a-holiday-classic to the kiddies.

    And tell the little bastards to STFU because that effin' freak Rudolph won't be on until tomorrow.

"No, seriously, if you pull on that string, my legs and arms will fly up.
And I'll get a chubby."

    For those who haven’t paid attention (or only visit Penwasser Place for the kick-ass pictures), my family and I lived at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Keflavik, Iceland from 2003-2004.

    The base, opened during World War II, has
"Well, that blows.
What are we going to do
with all these shields now?"
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. 

    During the short 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.

"Feliz Navidad.
    Except for that holiday where they ate rotted sheep heads.  We gave that one a pass.

    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 homes are visited by the mischievous gnomes known as the Yule Lads.

    From Sheep Worrier to Candle Beggar, each
"Sorry, Butt-Sniffer,
you didn't make
the planning meeting."
Lad has his own specific identity.  Never malicious or harboring ill-intent, they play tricks on each household, whether by drinking all the milk or rearranging the furniture.  Revealing their softer sides, they also leave presents in children’s shoes, unless they’d been naughty that year.  In that case, they leave potatoes.

    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.

"Yule Lads?
Oh, I thought this
was 'Evil Clown Under the Bed.'
My bad."
   Several hours after the sun went down (at 3:30-this was Iceland, after all) 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.

    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.

    One child down, I told my wife I’d place
"If Governor Christie is coming,
we'll need a whole  bag."
a “Family Size” Snickers (if the 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.

2016 Update: 
He's buying his own damn presents now

    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.

    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.”
Keflavik in December.
No snow.
It's a Christmas miracle.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Captain Caption CXXXIII

And now?  A little bit of blasphemy...

"You're not my real dad!"

"Actually, truth be told, neither am I."

Monday, December 12, 2016

Is Funny, Da?

    Unless you've been living under a rock, you'd know there have been allegations about Russian interference in the US presidential election.  Spurred on by a CIA report (the same CIA whose intelligence led us to war in Iraq...but I digress), more than a few people are convinced that Vladimir Putin meddled to deny Grandma the presidency.

    I've no interest in debating this issue.  All I'll say is that it disturbs me to the same degree I've been disturbed this entire election cycle.

We'll leave it at that.

"He thinks this is 'hilarious'?
That's what's really hilarious."
What is exponentially more bothersome is that, after an intense perusal of the "Audience Stats" for Penwasser Place, it appears that somebody in Russia is more than a little interested in the goings on around here.  While this is a hilarious site, I still have to wonder why.

Take, for example, the audience numbers below:
United States-46

Things get a little better with...
the past week:
United States-529

United States-1943

United States-107122
Incidentally. Canada is #5 with 6555 (c'mon Patt and Birgit, time to up your game!).

    My point is that Russia, with the exception of today, is number #2 in each category.  And a very close #2, at that. 

Wrong #2

    And, while their citizens are nowhere near as destitute as those in
"Hey, what you think he mean by that crack?
We have coorest hats."
North Korea, I've got to wonder why.  Especially, since no other blog I follow has a Russian author.  Which is good, because I can't read Cyrillic.

    Could it be that maybe Vlad and the Boys hope to gain some real intelligence here?  

    After all, I was a Cold War warrior.  Maybe they hope to get something by an inadvertent slip of the tongue?
Slip of the tongue?
    If so, they're barking up the wrong tree, because I'll take what I know to my grave.

    Which is really easy because I've forgotten everything I know.

    In any event, I'll really have to keep my eyes open.

    And find good hiding places for that moose and squirrel in my backyard.

    This will be the last "non-holiday" post for the rest of the year.  
    While most of the remaining will be repeats, I'm thinking of writing an original one for Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.  Maybe...maybe not...we'll see.

"Come on!  I love that Kwanzaa shit."


    I just wonder if they'll meet with the Kremlin's approval.
"It doesn't matters.
I'm for loving the Bidens pictures.
And Chris Christie making loves with the doughnuts?
Is screams!"

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Captain Caption CXXXII

"Okay, Donald, well, sure you won.
But you had Clinton, while I had Obama.
So, you suck.
Not for nothin', but is the weasel to my left gonna
pick up the check?
 By the way, this crow is to die for."

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Schoolyard 101

    You may find it a surprise that I was bullied as a child.  This may have had something to do with me having a big mouth (yeah, I
Incredibly, still available on
Get your copy now for Christmas, Hanukkah,
Kwanzaa, or people you don't like!
know.  Shocking).  For those of you who wasted a few dollars on Shag Carpet Toilet, you may recall a couple of neighborhood terrors named Zowine.  Out of all the characters in a book which is largely a case of fiction, these two were based on actual people and I use their actual names.  

    I figure I'm safe from any potential lawsuit, though.  Those mouth breathers are either dead or in jail.  

    Or killed in jail.  Whatever.  I don't care.

    Yes, those psychological scars are profound and deep.

   NOTE:  Speaking of deep psychological scars, you should check out my girlfriend in It's An Adventure.  She is also based on a real person, but I don't use her real name.  Because I don't want her to know about said psychological scars.

   My point in bringing this up?  I understand what it's like to be a wiseguy and being too slow to escape the consequences of what I thought were clever barbs.

I may have had a small weight problem.
    I also know that if you whine and complain that someone is picking on you, they will continue to pick on you.  And delight in the pain that you acknowledge is causing you.

    So I was amused to read a tweet from President-Elect Orange Julius complaining about the treatment the cast of Saturday Night Live, specifically Alec Baldwin, is causing him.  

    It's not the first time he called the skits mocking him unfunny. Mr. Trump displays what I firmly believe is a thin skin when it comes to ridicule and this is a trait which does not bode well for the future.  Because, I think this childish behavior will only continue.

I'm afraid this kind of nonsense will continue for four years.
Note to the Democratic National Committee:
DAMN YOU for giving us Hillary Clinton!

    Because, does anyone honestly think the writers at Saturday Night Live are going to hold a "Creative Planning Conference" that will go like this?

    "Hey, ya know, the President-Elect is having some serious issues concerning Alec's imitation of him."
    "Wow, I had no idea.  You think we should cut back on those?"
    "How about we just eliminate them altogether?"

    "Yeah, we really should.  No sense hurting anyone's feelings.  What say we do one of those 'Androgynous Pat' bits?"
    "Ummmmmmmmmm....probably not a good idea.  Caitlyn Jenner, transgender and all that."
    "You're probably right.  Maybe bring back Mr. Bill?"
    "Please don't tell me you forgot that Play-Doh anti-defamation suit?"

    "Oops, silly me.  Church lady?"
    "Steve Martin doing King Tut?"

Because she was played by Gilda Radner.
Too soon?
    "Mr. Robinson's neighborhood?"

    "Roseanne Roseannadana?"
    "Dead people."
    "Jews.  And black people."

    "Well, screw it.  Put a live feed from MSNBC on then.  Nobody watches that."

    Of course you'll never see that.  Saturday Night Live is going to continue to make fun of Donald Trump.  The best advice I could give the Orange One is to just shut the frik up about it.

     I bet he doesn't, though.

    He should just realize that SNL is in the business of making fun of people.  Mostly people in the public eye.  To whine about it or complain that they didn't make fun of Slappy and Idiot Joe as much is stupid and childish.

    Maybe they did make fun of Obama a lot.  Maybe they didn't.  I don't know and I don't care.  Jug Ears comes in for a lot of ribbing at Penwasser Place is what I do know.

"Boy, you can say that again."

    Hey, at least Alec Baldwin won't hang him by his underwear from a Stop sign.
    Like the Zowines.

Final observation:  the comedian in me is overjoyed that we have Trump for the next four years.  Even though we lose Biden, we've gained an orange baboon.
"Of course he lost me.
I'm hiding behind this window.  Duh."