Saturday, June 24, 2017

When Dolls Meet Action Figures

    Mattel (they're swell) may want to reconsider their redesign of Barbie's "boy toy," Ken, into a wildly diverse collection of androgyny.  The spindly-legged girlie doll may not fare so well when "he" comes up against action figures...



"Hey, are those guys who I think they are?"
"They look like GI Joes."
"Gulp...I think they are."
"AND THEY HAVE KUNG FU GRIP!!!"

"DAMN you permanent smile....
SAFE SPACE! SAFE SPACE!!!"

"You twinkies better vamoose before we snap you like bread sticks!
Our beards may be glued-on, but we've got scars, plastic muscles,
a black guy, and someone who looks Asian.  Whadda you have?
Man buns and a Rachel Maddow lookalike.
Now, beat it!" 
"If it's all the same to you, Kens, we're going with the Joes.
They're dreamy!"

"Okay, Joes, we're ready!!"

"What the f...looks like my kung fu grip will come in handy, after all."

Epilogue....

"Sigh...maybe they'll let me guest host on The View."

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Funerals By George

    Okay, okay, I know.  I just got back and already I'm slamming you with a repost.  But, since today is Father's Day, I thought it would be appropriate to go ahead and hit you up with a rerun.  Hell, some of you may not have even read it.  Plus, I'm going to post this on Facebook and some of them may not have read it there, either.

     For those of you who have already been afflicted by this, feel free to move along to It's Rhyme Time by Pat Hatt.  He NEVER repeats himself.

    I sometimes do.  I sometimes do.

********

One of my favorite lines from a movie I just saw (in an effort to avoid revealing any potential spoilers,  I won't say which one.  I'm considerate that way.  You're welcome):  

"He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn't your daddy."

I'll adjust it somewhat to...
"The other guy may have been your daddy, boy, but he wasn't your father."
    

    I’d spent a considerable amount of time deciding whether to even write this.  On first blush, it seems disrespectful.  I mean, how could telling a funny story about my stepfather’s funeral be anything BUT in poor taste?

    The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that our final respects to “Poppy” weren’t contrived or phony.  Rather, they were a sincere goodbye to one of the family and the way I’d wanna go when I gotta go.

    Ray, or “Poppy” (as he came to be known), came into our lives when we were children.  Our mother, having grown tired of living with a man who resembled Ralph Kramden, acted like Archie Bunker, and possessed the social skills of Fred Flintstone, secured a divorce and somehow managed to convince this relatively young man that living with five kids really wasn’t much worse than a prostate exam from Edward Scissorhands.

    So it went through thick, thin, and adolescence until,  after the untimely death of our mother, it was Ray to whom we turned as head of the family.

    Even though he remarried a few years later, he was still the glue which held us together.

    He took us to ballgames, gave us advice, provided an anchor through tough times, and was a father to five kids when he didn’t have to be.  He may have thought onion dip with chips was high cuisine and Howard Stern was Masterpiece Theater, but he was our model for manhood.

    When he succumbed to cancer several years ago, we were overwhelmed with grief at the loss of someone who had guided us into adulthood and sadness that our own children wouldn’t get to know him as we had.

    As funeral preparations went into high gear, we didn’t have a lot of time to dwell on the person we had lost.  Concerned with the how and where (we definitely knew “why”), we began to lose our grip on the “who.”

    During the two-day viewing, my brothers, sister, and I took our proper places in the front row (the only place where being in the “front row” is not a good thing) and paid our respects to all who came to...uh...pay their respects.

    For two hours, we sat quiet as mummies, while mourners shuffled by the open casket.  As they finished, they turned to us, murmuring “I’m sorry,” “He looks so natural,” (one of the stupidest sayings known to man), or some other such platitude before rushing home to watch “Jake and the Fat Man.”

    Needless to say, it was kinda rough.  Enduring the parade of mourners while solemnly staring at someone who looked nowhere near “natural” took its toll.

    The second night was a little different.  Although prepared to be good soldiers throughout the duration, our solemn fa├žades began to break down after the arrival of one of my brother’s old girlfriends.

    I’ve always admired her for showing up.  She didn’t come to see my brother; she came to say goodbye.  This, of course, didn’t stop the smirks from me and my other brothers and sister.  Nor disapproving looks and hushed “tsk tsks” from some of the other, more distant, relatives.

    Through it all, though, we maintained our composure.

    Until another brother’s old girlfriend showed up.  More smirks.  Then, when one of MY old girlfriends arrived, smirks became giggles.

    Giggles became whispered jokes.  And whispered jokes became throwing our voices at the casket when elderly relatives showed up.  This (to us, anyway) was the very best in funeral home comedy.

FUN FACT:  Since it's now been nearly twenty-one years, my brothers, sister, and I are rapidly becoming the elderly relatives.

    As bad as our performances at the “home”, they were nothing compared to the actual funeral.

    Starting off with a service at the Episcopalian Church (what we refer to as “Catholic Light”) we ended up at the biggest cemetery in town.

    A military funeral (because he was in the Marines), the service was very dignified and steeped in an appropriate level of sadness.

    At its conclusion, everyone but the immediate family withdrew to a cold cuts, beer, and coffee fest at the Elks Lodge (something about a funeral makes me crave boiled ham on a little roll).

    My brothers, my sister, our spouses, and I stared quietly at the casket as it sat suspended over the open vault.  Festooned with an untold number of floral garlands, its mute presence reminded us of our loss.

    It was then I felt a little guilty over our hijinks from the night before.

    As we began to move toward our cars, we heard an almost imperceptible “psst!”  Quickly scanning the cemetery, I didn’t see anything or anyone.  Still looking, we heard it again and spotted a head peering around the side of a tree.

    What the-?

    Suddenly, we spotted one of the people we went to high school with, George, as he stepped from behind the tree, a 30-pack of Budweiser in his hand.  “Everybody gone?”  he called.

    When we told him we were the only ones left, he came over to the site and placed the case of beer on the ground.  “Well, here you are.”

    Sensing we had no clue what he was talking about it, he said, “When Ray knew he was going to die, he told me to get a case of beer and go to his gravesite and hide.  Then,” he went on, “when everybody but the kids left, he told me to come on out and let you have a beer on him.”

    Stunned, we stared at George, the beer, and the grave.   

    Nobody said a word for a few minutes.  Then one of us-I don’t remember who-grabbed a can.  The rest of us immediately followed.

    Popping our tops, we raised our cans to Poppy in toast.

    Before we drank, though, my brother said, “Wait!”  Opening  a can, he set it on top of the casket and said, “Well, here you go, cheaper than you can get at Yankee Stadium.”

    With that, we all had a beer to the memory of our father.

    Needless to say, we finished that case and, despite the “These people are nuts” looks from the cemetery workers, stayed until the casket was finally lowered into the ground.

    It may have been a strange way to act at a funeral, but we knew that was the way Poppy would have preferred it.  Why else would he have had the presence of mind to contract the services of “Funerals By George”?

    Epilogue:  At the post-service "Deviled Eggs and Macaroni Salad Fest", we were discussing how we’d like to be remembered when it was our turn to shuffle off this mortal coil.  We all agreed that nobody should be sad; while “have fun with it” sounds morbid, it pretty much sums up our philosophies.

    Then, we “handicapped” who would go next.  After focusing on who had the most hazardous profession, the discussions finally centered on our most serious health problems.  While none of us have any medical issues to speak of, my brother and I DO have high blood pressure.  Since we couldn’t decide who was more likely to die next, we flipped a coin.

    I lost. 

    Wonder if George is in the phone book?
   










Captain Caption CXXXXVIII

New Advertising Campaign for CITI Field:
"Have a Coke and an Up Yours!"

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Captain Caption CXXXVII

From the
"I Don't Give a Rat's Ass What You Think"
Department

Thursday, June 8, 2017

In Case You're Not Following Me on Twitter


    First, lucky you.

    Second, here's the type of quick-witted (some would say "nit-witted"), edgy comedy you're missing.



    Robyn, of the aptly titled Life By Chocolate: Robyn Alana Engel's Blog  blog suggested I get a Twitter account a few years ago.  She said it would be perfect for my snarky "hit and runs."  I hesitated at first (I was afraid of what "runs" meant), but finally relented.

    Obviously.

    But, Twitter has the disadvantage of limiting me to 140 characters, so I can't indulge the type of literary "runs" I can flourish here on Blogger.
Hmmmm....so that's what she meant by runs.

    Never fear, though!  Occasionally, I'll copy some of my wittier zingers (there really aren't many) here.  Along with maybe some additional fillers.

    Like...

"Hey, Doug, you hear that?"
"Yeah, that batshit Dean can go scratch."
"No kidding.  We have better things to do than power cars."
"Yeah, like look for nuts."
"Why doesn't he give the job to gerbils?"
"No kidding, they're frikkin' idiots."

"Hey, you guys hear that?  That sounds like fun."


"Gerbils?"

"I can help out with that 'nuts' thing.
Gotta couple I don't need anymore."


Take that, Twitter.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Captain Caption CXXXVI

"Hey...HEY!  Can you tell me where the head is?
This ex-president's gotta piss like a racehorse!"  

Friday, June 2, 2017

Like a Bad Penny

 
Wrong Penny.
"Always lookin' for spare change."


  I’m back.

   Well, I never really left in the first place.  For those who follow me on Facebook and Twitter, you know what I mean (don’t worry, I don’t equate ‘following’ with ‘stalking.’ It’s the only way I can get friends).

   
"Huh.  Assclown isn't a real word.
Should be."
Plus, a couple of you have played Words With Friends with me.  To you I say, trust me, I do not use a dictionary.

    As far as you know.
     
    No, I mean that I’ve kinda returned to Blogger.  


    After all, I would still like to win Blog of Note.

    Incidentally, do they still do that anymore?  Blogger has stopped returning my calls.
Penwasser File
at Blogger Headquarters

    And, by ‘stopped,’ I mean ‘never have.’

    Anyway, as I’ve already mentioned, I’ve been quite active on Facebook and Twitter.  It’s been fun (as long as I ignore the often hateful rhetoric) mocking our “mockable” (I’m not sure that’s a real word) world, but I missed this venue, as well.  And the chance to interact with people from around the world.  And New Jersey.

     So, yes, I’ve returned (I may have mentioned that).

"So, he's not leaving Facebook?
DISLIKE, DISLIKE, DISLIKE!"
     The problem (if it is a problem...yeah, probably) is that you’ll probably get duplicates of Facebook nonsense (which I also sometimes repeat on Twitter). 

      


    I probably won’t post as many boring, longwinded essays (you know, like this), but I'm back.

"Eff."