Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Ghosties and Ghoulies Who Extort in the Night

NOTE:  As threatened, the following is a repeat.  But, it’s a repeat from 2014 so that’s something from like three years ago (I have mad math skills, yo).  Do any of you remember where you were three years ago?  Hell, Trump was still just a rich orange guy on TV back then (wasn’t he?  I didn’t watch much TV).  Anyway, as I said then and will say again: if they can play “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” every year, I can foist reruns upon an unsuspecting public every now and then.  Mostly now. 
Remember: if you haven’t read it, it’s new to you.
I haven’t changed all that much, because some things are still timely (e.g., Rosie in a thong) and I’ll put in new pictures.  So, it’s like new anyway.  Think Chevy Cavalier with a new paint job.

"You know, we've been doing this Great Pumpkin thing since 1966. 
Maybe we should change the title to
It's Time For a Colonoscopy, Charlie Brown
A little hair on the nut sack would be nice, too."
    Halloween.  What a hoot.

    Yes, I know, I know...it’s a day allegedly drenched in satanic roots and all manner of horrifying images meant to instill terror in mortals:  ghosts, goblins, witches, Anthony Weiner, Rosie O’Donnell in a thong, blah, blah, blah.

    Rather than surrender to the Dark Lord (who could be Steve Bannon, for all I know), the politically correct observe the holiday via nonsensical “Fall Parades”, “Harvest Festivals”, or “Insert-Festive-Name-Here” celebrations.

    Hand-wringing ninnies also prefer that children not dress up as
Or, the Richard Simmons
in Provincetown.
traditionally spooky characters.  Instead, they dress their tykes as non-threatening characters such as “Insurance Salesman”, “Foot Doctor”, or “Blue Man Group.”

    Oh, c’mon!  I took my kids to a Halloween celebration a few years ago (NOTE:  yeah, this post is that old) and not once did I feel the icy grip of Lucifer on pillowcases chock full of Snickers and Jolly Ranchers.  After all, I find it very hard to believe that the Devil resides in clowns, ballerinas, or SpongeBob Squarepants.

    The extortion element of Trick-Or-Treating aside, it’s just a fun day for kids to dress up and happily pander from door to door.  I’m not going to begrudge them a chance to have fun just because some simpering idiots think the day glorifies evil or offends the politically-correct sensitivities of the chronically butthurt.
    Halloween was a big deal when we were kids.  I remember
Parents who were too slow to buy their kids
good costumes wound up giving them
the sucky Green Hornet one.
planning what we were going to wear soon after school started in the Fall.  I even remember the costumes I wore:  Superman, Green Hornet, Spiderman (yes, even then), Hulk, Frankenstein, Mummy, “Glow-In-The-Dark Skeleton”, Underdog, “Criminally Insane Druggist,” and (the one that really never caught on) “Dr. Scholl’s Foot Pad Monster.”

    Unlike nowadays, we were never bird-dogged by our parents as we ran like scatterbrains through our neighborhoods, feasting on insane amounts of chocolate.

And never, EVER go to Mr. Mraz's house.
We knew the unwritten Halloween code: only go to houses with their lights on, be on the lookout for razor blades in the Milky Ways, don’t bother going to the convent (they only passed out mothball-flavored Butter Rum LifeSavers), and take only one piece of candy from the bowl of those too lazy to hand them out themselves (yeah, RIGHT, always followed THAT rule!). 

    Oh, and fling eggs at the houses of those who dared hand out:  apples, popcorn balls, candy corn, pennies, toothbrushes, ketchup packets, and pouches of Equal.

    My friends and I couldn’t get enough of a great deal.  So, from six o’clock (or dark-it HAD to be dark) until nine, we knocked on doors in the hope we’d score so much sugar that our arms would go numb from lugging around our sacks (Of CANDY!  Keep it clean, people!).

Our favorite was Christopher:
Patron Saint of the Most Holy Glazed.
A bonus was that, since we went to Catholic School, we could sleep in the next day, All Saints Day.  To those “in the club” (so to speak), November 1st is a “Holy Day of Obligation” and so, was a day off from school (a point rendered moot if it fell on the weekend.  In that case, we groused that we were ripped off by Jesus).

    This meant we could shove candy down our throats when we got home until we passed out, woke up, ate some Sugar Smacks, inhaled more Three Musketeers, watched cartoons, and made fun of the public school kids as they trudged off to class.

NOTE:  This was the best part of having the day off because the public school kids were beating us up the rest of the year.   Even the girls.

Eventually, though, we had to leave the house.

    My point is, what’s so wrong with a holiday that gives children a chance to play dress up, carve pumpkins, and gorge themselves on goodies doomed to eventually become petrified lumps of sugar on top of the refrigerator?


    You know why?

    Because, Satan doesn’t like Peanut M&Ms.

"Hey, I have wicked peanut allergies.  Get off my ass."

Sunday, October 29, 2017

There's No Accounting For Taste

    Since I had planned to do a little writing on my book (it's been a tough slog and I have only a
"PFFT, as if! 
HBO make any of your stupid books into a mini-series? 
Didn't think so. 
Move along, Penwasser."
vague idea when it will get done...I guess I'm like George R.R. Martin that way!), today was probably going to be a "repost" day. 

    This is usual for me this time of year.  Those of you who are unfortunate enough to have been my followers since the first year of the Obama Administration know that reruns at Penwasser Place are as common in the last few months of the year as doughnuts in the New Jersey Governor's mansion.

    But, after reading today's paper while suffering from the procrastination which has delayed St. Stan's: Tales of the Penguin Academy into next year, I felt compelled to write something new.
    Don't worry, you'll still get warmed-over hash Tuesday night for Halloween.  And Veterans Day.  And Thanksgiving.  And Christmas (whole lotta those).  And New Years.
    Oh, I'll sprinkle in a few new posts here and there.  Gotta do
"He thinks he gets paid!"
those so I can pay the bills.

    What prompted me to compose something new was not a threatened nuclear war with North Korea, a national opioid crisis, the quagmire in the Middle East, or the hurricane disaster in Puerto Rico.
Wrong Quagmire.
    No, I was inspired by the article about what Halloween candy Americans favor.  If you follow me on Facebook (you poor bastards lucky people), I'm sure you saw my take on the matter.  As is my wont, I went off on a long tangent of comments there in which I essentially talked to myself.  I think I may have a problem. 
"You've no idea."

    After reading this, I decided a blog post may be in order for those who luckily don't follow me on Facebook.  And, if you do suffer from enjoy my antics there, this may give you added information.

NOTE:  For those of you from the Detroit School System,
Alaska and Hawaii aren't actually located where Mexico should be. 
You're welcome.
    The above map shows which states favor which candy. 

    I know, I know, why didn't you take a picture of the entire map, Al?  Well, I snapped a quick picture of it and, since I no longer have the newspaper (I gave it to Mrs. Penwasser...who now lives a few miles away...I'm a nice guy that way...if any of you didn't know we no longer live together, my apologies...I really oughta get that newsletter out).

Take six and hurl.
    Anyway, while I expected to see a lot of chocolate, Skittles, Starburst, and Jolly Ranchers, you know, good candy, I was shocked that six states, SIX!, favor Candy Corn.  Now, if I had the choice between eating those gastronomic poison pills, a dog turd, or anything I cooked, I'd be following Fido with a spoon and napkin.

    That half a dozen states prefer these things is astounding to me.  I can think of no quicker way to have toilet paper hanging from your trees than to toss a bag of that confectionary vomit into a Trick-Or-Treat bag.
    Except in places like Idaho, I suppose.  Where, if you play your cards right, you may also get a Caramel-Coated Potato.

"There's not an 'e' in potato?"

"You can get caramel potatoes?"
    Rather than put children ("THINK OF THE CHILDREN!")
"It's Nature's Candy!"
NOTE:  This line is a rerun of a repost. 
See?  I snuck one in.
through the horror of Candy Corn, I'd just as soon not answer my door.  Hell, I'd even hand out ketchup packets.


As far as that Candy Corn mess is concerned?
Well, I have the perfect solution:

Works for me.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Captain Caption CL

"Hmm, that may be just the thing to cover my receding hairline. 
I wonder if the carnival is in town so I can grab me one....?"

Friday, October 13, 2017

Captain Caption CXLXIX

"Okay, Harv, you can take your thumb out of my ass now."

Monday, October 9, 2017

Goodbye Columbus

NOTE:  If it's near the end of the year, can a slew of reposts be far behind?  While the following is mostly a rerun of posts from years past, I did update it a little and threw in some new pictures.  Or new captions.  Or new pictures with new captions.  Whatever.  Leave me alone.  I'm late to watch a statue of Columbus being torn down somewhere.  

  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 to push that pigskin across the goal line, Christmas lights-incredibly-start going up, pumpkin spice infuses everything from coffee to toilet paper, and early-morning frosts warn of the coming winter.
Winter is coming.

"That guy is really a buzzkill.  Why do you keep inviting him over?"

   October also gives us a chance to 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).

    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 Chris and the boys only had these sheets!!”).

   As a holiday, though, Columbus Day 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.

    More times than not, we hardly know it’s happened until the evening news greets us with, “Happy Columbus Day!  Too bad you hadda go to work!  Ha, ha, ha!”

    My family has 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 convent.

    For some reason, though, we never did much to celebrate the day
"Look, it's an 'All-You-Can-Eat' buffet. 
HEY!  I said 'Sit the frik down!"
 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!?  And those are Indians, right?  See what they can do with my laptop.  I'm having a bitch of a time playing Angry Birds."


Wrong kind of Indian.
Or Pakistani.
Who can tell, really?

  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:

10.  Slash the tires of those obnoxious, know-it-all “Vikings were
Too bad for the Vikings they landed in the North. 
Northern Indians. 
Now those were some bad-ass Indians.
here first!” punks at the Leif Eriksson 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...oops.  That’s how to celebrate COLUMBO Day.
"That's okay, I'll let it slide for now. 
But, in the future, I'm gonna keep an eye out for you."

"Me, too."

6.   Grab some library books, cross out all references to ‘America’ and replace them with ‘Chrisville.’  Draw moustaches 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 Columbus, walk in, and
"Really, Penwasser?
Joke. It getting old. 
Why you no write something new?"
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.   Rip hearts from captives and kick their bodies down temple steps.  Oh, sorry. That's "Aztec Appreciation Day."

"No, that's cool.
At least you didn't confuse us with those pussies, the Mayans."


   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 and Celine Dion lookalikes.

  But...look on the bright side...


You win.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

This Is Getting Spooky

On my Twitter...

    Well, it would be nice to have someone watch Matlock marathons with me on the Hallmark Channel, after all.