Finally, someone asked, so…

*My blog is currently on hiatus, possibly because I couldn’t find a low-atus or middling-atus, but most likely because my time was drawn elsewhere when my life took a little turn toward the complicated. However, have no fear. One of these days–soon–my blog will likely resume as I’ll suddenly remember that I like to hear myself talk.*


Ye Olde Christmas Newsletter 2016

Jay Cole image

Humor is our most enjoyable form of truth.


Dear Friends and Relations,

The Yule Log is alight, and it’s time again to catch up on the McMurder clan’s accomplishments this past year.

You’ll be happy to know that, despite this season’s Artic chill, we made the trek down to the pound and adopted a lovely Yorkshire Terrier. The puppy is very well behaved. We each put a suggestion in a hat and my husband, grumpy Old Laz, won the blind drawing to select a name, and I can tell you that everyone already loves ‘Yappy Little Shit.’ (Yap, for short.)

Unfortunately, our eldest, Joey, will not be home for Christmas due to a minor disagreement with his employer. (Work issues never end, I suppose.) While I’ll miss him during the festivities, I take comfort in knowing that the FBI is very experienced at protecting mob informants, and our homeowners insurance covered the bullet damage to the front room.

Clementine, now twenty, will be joining us this holiday! We’re so very proud that she’s continuing her university education while still working full time. She’s a film major, and despite her very demanding schedule, she still finds time to write home and ask for money. Her first film (Haven’t seen it yet.) was just released, but Clementine says she won some sort of prestigious award for Boobalicious Bunnies #4.

Little Evelyn, our youngest, appears to be slowing her pursuit of all things Goth. She still wears that horribly dark eye makeup, but it’s been at least three days since she’s had something pierced. She has a boyfriend now! I think Vicious is a nice young man, but Old Laz eyes him suspiciously whenever he’s around Evie. I guess that’s a father’s natural instinct, but it’s driven a wedge between Evie and her dad—one argument after another. Frankly, I’m tired of reminding her not to throw my good china at her father’s head. There’s no reason a young person can’t express themselves with everyday crockery.

Speaking of Old Lazarus, he’s gardening again, and he won the county fair’s Blue Ribbon for his ginormous and genuinely delicious tomatoes. Wouldn’t you know, he flashes that damn ribbon in everyone’s face, and while I try to be supportive, it’s caused more than a few disagreements between us. I say his tomatoes grew so large and tasty because our backyard gets lots of sun, but Old Laz insists it was the stray cat fertilizer.

Quick update on my in-laws: Still dead.

My parents are much the same. Even with his new medication, dad’s dementia hasn’t improved. Still, his doctor insists that I report even minor changes, but the only thing I’ve noticed is that he no longer asks what happened to his Social Security check.

Mom is spry as ever. Her nymphomania has taken a Latin turn this year. I caught her at the Hilton in flagrante with the male membership of the Mexican American Caucus and an overly flamboyant Mariachi band. What a shocker! I was truly horrified at her liberal stance on immigration reform.

Ancient and feeble Uncle Mortimer is still disgustingly wealthy and a childless bachelor, thank God. I love my elderly uncle dearly, but, damnation, he’s a lot of work! We had an absolute panic when his day nurse arrived one morning driving a new Lexus, and our hidden microphone in his bedroom recorded several references to “very special sponge baths.” Hussy! I swear, professionalism in healthcare is dead. Naturally, it was left to me to protect dear Uncle Morty’s weak heart and the family’s inheritance. I fired the brazen gold-digger immediately, and Uncle Morty finally told me which temp agency was supplying these jezebels, so, as promised, I turned his oxygen back on.

I almost forgot myself! I’ve given up decorating the house ala Martha Stewart—so tiring! However, I did join The Kickapoo County Ladies Auxiliary on an impromptu pilgrimage to Martha’s grave. Boy! Were they angry when they found out the fastidious bitch isn’t dead! However, I remain optimistic since more and more overworked, over-stressed suburban housewives are packing and self-medicating. We’ll try again next year.

Well, that’s about all that’s new. As usual, please skip this year’s Christmas gifts and send cash.

Special Note to Harriot Milken-Heifer: I see from your Miami vacation pics that you found the ten pounds I lost. How nice!

Merry, Merry!!

Delightfully yours,

Wanda B. McMurder

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Move and You’re Dead!

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Humor is our most enjoyable form of truth.


Ah, moving day—that joyous equivalent of hell on Earth.

I actually enjoy apartment living. It’s nice to have a crew of illegal immigrants mow the lawn regularly, not to mention the amenities such as a treadmill that you can look at daily and know you never have to use. However, greed has invaded the apartment market. The landlord always wants more money, which he blames on the county tax board, the utility companies and market prices. The latter being what he can get away with in concert with all of the other greedy landlords
in the area.

Okay, I’m whining, but I’m also trying to conserve some of my income for me.

Then, a windfall came my way. I was offered a lovely, two-bedroom house that had been sitting vacant for over a year. Granted, it was an older house that needed a little work, but it offered more room and was significantly less expensive than paying for my landlord to send his kids to Harvard.

Packing My Stuff
When you really need one, cardboard boxes become more valuable to people than their children.

I briefly considered shelling out three to four dollars per box for new, single-use cardboard that I was going to recycle in a matter of days. While I don’t march on Earth Day, somehow such obvious waste nettled my conscience and promised karmic retribution. So, I collected free, used boxes from local businesses, and thanked the business owners profusely for their generosity. Unfortunately for the planet, I was unable to locate used tape.

Filling the boxes goes faster if you don’t bother to clean anything…Nah! At the very least, I dusted everything that went into a box, and avoided Styrofoam peanuts by cushioning fragile items with extra cardboard, old t-shirts and towels that I needed to pack anyway. Let me tell you, my environment-friendly karma was looking good! However, as I probed deeper into the dark, hidden recesses of my closets and drawers, I discovered a most unsettling fact of life. Frankly, I don’t have a problem storing things that I only use once a year or so—punch bowls, lockjaw pliers, first-date cologne, etc. However, moving day also uncovered items I couldn’t imagine using—ever. What was I thinking when I bought a doggie backscratcher and a battery-powered melon baller? Idiot!

The Move
The actual move is simple if you stick to basics:

  1. Load truck.
  2. Take ibuprofen.
  3. Drive to destination.
  4. Unload truck.
  5. Take more ibuprofen.

This Old House
Hardwood floors! Room for all my stuff! A shed in the backyard!

I was seriously impressed with my excellent decision until the hot water in my morning shower turned into the runoff from an Artic glacier. (That old joke about cold temperatures and the size of male genitalia is no joke.) I also learned that sudden shocks will make you rip down your shower curtain while escaping.

Two days! I had hot water for only two freakin’ days before…

I’m sorry, but your electric is not up to code for me to install a new hot water heater. You need to call an electrician first, so for this service call, I’ll only charge you one arm, two legs and maybe a kidney.

Fortunately, the electrician was able to diagnose the problem with the hot water heater as a fault in the wiring and not the heater itself. However, the age of the wiring and many, many years of jury-rigged circuitry made this old house a fire trap and, plainly, a bit dangerous for daily living.

Remind me, how did the previous owner die?

While the electricians upgraded my wiring and breaker panel, I busied myself with painting the house, interior and exterior. Admittedly, the electricians were fast and professional, and I was unbelievably grateful to have new, safe, ground-faulted wiring in the house when the toilet overflowed and I discovered that standing in raw sewage is a memorable experience for all the wrong reasons.

I now learned three things that everyone should know:

  1. Using a plunger is a dirty business.
  2. People who buy liquid drain cleaner always use the store’s restroom.
  3. Plumbers who work weekends require you to pay for their new Mercedes.

I’m fairly certain that he drives the same model as my old landlord.

Parting Funny: I have French doors in the bedroom. They don’t open unless I lick them.
Judy Gold
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Bad Equality For Women?

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Humor is our most enjoyable form of truth.


A recent article in the magazine, The Atlantic has reported a surprising and somewhat disturbing trend.

A century ago, men were three times as likely as women to have a drinking problem. Among people born in the 1990s, the odds are essentially the same for men and women.

You just gotta love scientists with an inordinate interest in our bad habits.

Frankly, I have no objection to any adult having a drink. America’s flirtation with Prohibition was, at best, an abysmal failure. You can’t stop people from drinking alcohol when anyone with half a brain and a willingness to kill brain cells can whip up a batch of gin in their bathtub.

That’s not the right kind of full-bodied flavor, Ethel. You forgot to clean the tub.

If an individual wants to turn their liver into a charcoal briquette, while that’s not in any way commendable, it is somewhat traditional in the US and many other civilized nations. In most Western countries, having a cocktail or seven is a freedom protected by law in order to maintain an acceptable national birthrate.


The equality between the sexes of alcohol abuse may or may not become a problem of national proportions in America, however the article reporting on this trend has obviously overlooked another very murky aspect of this issue with even greater significance: Such studies show that women are now competing with men in the area of stupidity.

Facing facts, equal rights between the sexes is wholly an excellent idea, but the exercise of one’s rights is not unlimited, nor should it be. Yes, any adult, male or female, is entitled to
act a fool if they’ve a mind. However, a female’s desire to compete with men should also have reasonable self-enforced limitations.

Sweetheart, what do you use for jock itch?

On the other hand, as adults living in a free country, women are entitled to compete fairly and equally with men in all aspects of our society. Who are we to say that their decision is foolish, not recommended, or banned? Along with alcohol abuse, consider a few other male habits that our females might adopt in the name of equality.

Shouldn’t women be entitled to give themselves repeated concussions and bone-breaking injuries on the gridiron? I say, yes. Causing oneself grievous bodily harm and early onset dementia in the pursuit of fame and fortune should not necessarily be a male-only, or even a male-dominated pursuit.

(And succumbing for a moment to my testosterone, I for one am thankful that the
female uniforms …er…uh…require more sunscreen.)

By nature, men have more upper body strength, but this does not preclude women from working their muscles to the bone and competing. It’s a completely unfair, sexist myth that building muscle will make a woman less feminine or less attractive. There are a lot of men who genuinely appreciate a woman who can lift their car into a tight parking space.

Note also, with an approximately equal number of men and women receiving PhDs in chemistry, women should easily have equal access to undetectable steroids.

Book Cover image


Women with guns have traditionally been pinups at the local redneck garage, however if Hollywood can embrace women as both white and black hats, there’s no reason real life women can’t play the hero or the villain. Granted, we now have many brave women working diligently in law enforcement, but where are the criminals—the truly despicable, sociopathic women running heinously bloody drug cartels, or shooting innocent pedestrians from a clock tower? Statistically, women are way, way, WAY behind as serial murderers, and women will never achieve equality in murderous psychosis unless a lot more sadistic bitches step up.

These recent alcohol studies simply highlight a long hidden problem. If modern women wish to compete with men in foolishness, lunacy, and just plain stupidity, there is no logical justification for our society to exclude them from fair competition. In fact, to emulate the male’s truly reprehensible behavior, and embrace his well-documented, self-destructive habits, alcohol abuse probably helps.

So, ladies, can I buy you a drink?

Parting Funny: I wanted to make it really special on Valentine’s Day, so I tied my boyfriend up. And for three solid hours I watched whatever I wanted on TV.Tracy Smith
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No Choice 2016

Jay Cole image

Humor is our most enjoyable form of truth.


A day has passed. I watched the final presidential debate, listened to the after-action pundits, and I took the time to seriously examine my thoughts and feelings about the upcoming election.

With the exception of that disorderly portion of the Republican Party that has been deservedly called “Deplorables,” I believe that the majority of American voters will cast a ballot for
Hillary Clinton. No amount of whining about imaginary “voter fraud” or “biased media” will convince thinking voters that Donald Trump is the right man for the Oval Office. “Tempermentally unfit” is simply polite phrasing for a laundry list of character flaws that Mr. Trump would bring to the presidency. He’s narcissistic, hateful, crude, mercurial and abusive, certainly not the qualities that American citizens want in their most visible and powerful representative.

Regarding Trump’s statement that he may not concede the election if the vote goes against him, “unfit” is grossly inadequate to describe such disrespect for American voters and values.

The Republican Party has only themselves to blame for being unable to stop a damaged and dangerous outsider from co-opting the candidacy for president. The party truly had no one better to offer, nor did they. The backlash from their own constituency should be telling Republican office holders that inaction, belligerence, and right wing fanaticism is not a substitute for progress, or more simply, doing the job that they were elected to perform. If the Republican Party is facing its demise, it will not be a murder, but a suicide.

On the other hand, Hillary, burdened with baggage, is arguably one of the most disliked presidential candidates since Richard Nixon. However, she’s well-qualified, experienced, stable, studious, hardworking, and believably interested in positive change. She can do the job, and do it well.

Regardless, Hillary will enter the Oval Office with one of the lowest approval ratings of any president in recent memory. Baggage must be carried, and it’s never easy. More troubling, she has still not learned that being secretive about information and actions that should be shared publicly will continue to foment voter distrust, and may cripple her ability to get congressional support for her political agenda. Her presidency may be short-lived (no second term) if she does not comprehend that, excepting national security concerns, America only trusts verifiably open government.

Hillary will not be the first president to begin an administration at a disadvantage (Gerald Ford, one easy example). However, her first hundred days may be a wash unless the Democrats take control of the US Senate. The Republicans are desperately, desperately, DESPERATELY hoping that on November 8th, ticket-splitting ballots will prevent this from happening.

We’ll see.

Regardless, the description “deplorable” has been undeniably misused by both the candidates and the media. It applies to this entire presidential campaign, and honest voters know in their hearts that this is a self-inflicted injury. We have done this to ourselves.

I have no qualms about voting for competence versus crass showmanship, but I will do so taking no pride in this presidential campaign or our political parties. I will cast my ballot knowing that with a combination of laxity toward civic responsibility and a failure to compromise for the common good, We the People have failed ourselves, and
We deserve better.

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Compare This!

Jay Cole image

Humor is our most enjoyable form of truth.


Let’s agree that comparisons are indeed a basic literary device, but that’s exactly why they are so often overlooked.

Humorist have, or certainly should develop, a knack for comparing things to… Well, damn near anything. And that’s the point. The average fiction writer strives for comparisons that are novel, emotionally evocative, or impressive to literary critics. (Although frankly, if a literary critic is nitpicking individual similes, he\she needs their dosage adjusted.)

The sunset used a palette that left mortal artists found wanting.

Comparisons for a humorist have no such limitations. Or, any limitations.

LSD invented: 1938. The Wizard of Oz flying monkeys: 1939.

To Compare or Not to Compare
It’s true, comparisons can be considered trite, and there are some fairly good arguments supporting that belief. However, comparisons can also be very effective, which is why they have survived as a literary device, and as jokes. If a comparison is trite, it’s not the fault of the device, but the writer.

Ooh, that hurts!

The problem with comparisons is that, although they offer a fabulous opportunity to stretch one’s imagination, many humorists—particularly beginners—bypass the opportunity or settle for the patently obvious. On the other hand, stretching one’s imagination—really pushing the envelope—when using a comparison offers your audience exactly what they’re looking for: a great laugh.

Ah yes, divorce, from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man’s genitals through his wallet. – Robin Williams

Simile Smiles
The simile is in its simplest, purest, and totally unadulterated form: this is like that.

She welcomed me like E. coli in the mayonnaise.

Or, one of my personal favorites from Judy Rose’s post, The 25 Funniest Analogies (Collected by High School English Teachers):

Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

A true artiste that one!

The lowly simile is probably the first comparison that most us learned in grade school English class. Used well, it is also the most effective. With no exaggeration, millions of jokes are based on similes. The funniest, by far, are those where the writer refused to settle for his first idea and kept pushing until he had a great gag tickling hell out of his audience.

TOP SECRET Humor Formula #7826: Pushing your imagination is not time consuming after a modest bit of practice. It quite easily becomes second nature, and the speed with which you will be able to formulate a great gag regularly increases.

Metaphor, My Love
A metaphor is a hidden comparison not using like or as. However, it’s the same soup, just a different flavor.

All the world’s a stage and men and women merely players.
– William Shakespeare

Olde Will could certainly turn a phrase, and he was screaming funny at times, even in his tragedies. Of course, there’s still plenty of humor fodder in more modern views:

Obstetricians aren’t real doctors; not once did mine say, ‘This won’t hurt a bit.’

Oh, So Familiar Analogy
An analogy explains something unfamiliar by comparing it to something familiar, which is particularly useful in topical humor when something esoteric makes headlines.

Scientist have discovered that electrons are spherical. If an electron was the size of the solar system, any imperfection would be less than the width of a human hair or the dust that your mother-in-law can see on your countertop.

Welcome to George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Cover image: "Sexual Evolution"Allegory uses symbols and symbolism to compare people, things or even all of society to abstract ideas or events. As allegories are generally longer works, I’ll skip posting an example, but you can find a list of popular allegorical books at Goodreads. Note, longer forms are not immune to humor. The theme, entire plots, and bits and pieces of any book can be both humorous and allegorical.

Comparative literary devices are practically straight-lines for humorists. And for those humorists with lots of imagination and no fear, one final comparison: Use them like you know what you’re doing.

Parting Funny: The best way to get most husbands to do something is to suggest that perhaps they’re too old to do it.Ann Bancroft
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The Weenies Are Winning America

Author’s Note: I’m back. Naturally, there is an entirely rational explanation for my long absence, and fortunately, I have the maturity to keep it to myself. Let’s start off with a rant that I recently shared with Goodreads’ The Humour Club:

Jay Cole image

Humor is our most enjoyable form of truth.


A recent Washington Post article entitled, People are so stressed by this election that the American Psychological Association has coping tips, brings to light a disturbing trend in America’s social consciousness: We are losing our toughness.

It’s unfortunate, but true.

How can anyone rational be stressed by a presidential election just because the candidates are unquestionably defective? Let’s face reality, the candidates are always defective! (Some significantly more defective and groping than others.) I’m not stressed by this at all. In fact, I am fully cognizant of the fact that just to enter into the political arena a person must have a screw loose and be as ethically-challenged as a pickpocket after milk money in a daycare center.

On the other hand, if politicians aren’t carrying any baggage, they’ve never done a damn thing. No one in politics accomplishes anything without making enemies, making mistakes, and screwing taxpayers. That’s the job!

Granted, blatant criminal behavior is not in the job description, but then neither was Climate Change denial, and we should just thank our lucky stars that planet Earth does not wear a short skirt and a clingy top.

Understanding even a little about politics in general, how can anyone claim that America’s Standard Political Modus Operandi causes stress?

It’s because we are turning into a nation of weenies.

The American Psychological Association can find “weenie” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). It’s listed under Miscellaneous Disorders between ‘Fear of a stubbed toe’ and ‘Skinned-knee phobias.’

Today, American college students want a “safe space” to avoid opinions that offend them. American women want equal rights and freedoms without having to emulate Mary McCauley in a hot combat zone. Men want girlfriends without having to grovel. I tell you the weenies are winning in America!

Now, I’m no Chuck Norris, but I don’t hide in a “safe space” when someone disagrees with me, or expresses an opinion that I believe deserves to be flushed forthwith. I can also claim that, in my younger days, I did serve in the military and I have walked through active combat zones. While I readily admit my knees were knocking, there was nothing wrong with my spine.

Perhaps, that’s the key. “Safe space” must be a euphamism for undiagnosed spine damage.


That’s probably covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Let me think…

Okay, since I don’t want to be prosecuted and end up in federal prison, it appears that I’m forced to relent. Ergo, let election stress abound. Let the entire population seek coping tips and hide ignobly in a safe space. Let the weenies win.

Anybody know the lyrics to O Canada.

Parting Funny: I like how we say “vegan” now instead of “eating disorder”.Alex Baze

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