Monday, November 30, 2009

A Heapin' Helpin' of Leftovers

Every once in a while, the staff here at Knucklehead! (okay, it's just me . . . play along) come up with a few ideas or witticisms that just don't fit into the context of a regular post.  Instead of letting these leftovers go to waste, we'll share them here.  Just scrape off the mold and enjoy!

Charlie Brown and the gang are sitting in their junior high school history class.  The teacher has just assigned each student a country to write a report on.

Linus: I got Switzerland.
Schroeder: I got Portugal.
Lucy: I got Norway.
Charlie Brown: I got Iraq.

This morning I noticed a gray hair growing out of my ear.  I'm not sure which part of that sentence troubles me more.

I was at Denny's the other day, and I ordered synonym toast.  The waitress said, "Don't you mean cinnamon toast?"  I said, "No, I don't.  I mean synonym toast, because I like my toast with jam and jelly on it."

Speaking of food, I've figured out a great diet.  Every day for lunch, I'm going to eat a half-pound of pasta.  Then, for dinner, I'm going to eat a half-pound of antipasta.  They'll cancel each other out, right?

Back in medieval times, the king's army would travel from village to village, conquering new territory.  While in the village, the soldiers would often find a fair maiden to "conquer" as well.  Hence the term "One knight stand."

Whoever wrote the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears clearly had no understanding of physics.  If the porridge was the same temperature to start with, there's no way that the medium-sized Mama's bowl would be "too cold" when the larger Papa's bowl was "too hot" and Baby Bear's was "just right".

The NFL would be a lot more exciting if each team were allowed to have an actual one of whatever their mascot is on the team.  The Chicago Bears, for example, could have a 700-pound grizzly playing linebacker.  The Dallas Cowboys could have a dude named El Paso Slim running an incredibly literal version of the shotgun offense.   There's be no stopping the New York Giants' ten-foot tall running back.  It would be awesome.  Unless you're the Arizona Cardinals.

More on team names: Given the prevalence of corporations buying the naming rights of stadiums and arenas (ie. Coors Field, Honda Center), I think we're about ten years or so away from teams actually being named for companies instead of the cities they play in.  Don't be surprised to see teams like the Pepsi Cowboys or the Labatt's Maple Leafs.  Of course, with some teams, the marketing tie-in would be perfect.  We could see a World Series between the Fruit of the Loom White Sox and the Miller Lite Brewers, or an AFC West battle between the MasterCard Chargers and the Ford Broncos.  You heard it here first, people.

The only difference between clairvoyance and paranoia is the degree of accuracy.

I always take the phrase "with the great taste dogs love" with a certain amount of skepticism.  My dog eats his own poop.

I think that any NFL quarterback who "slides" to avoid contact should be forced to play the rest of that game wearing a skirt and lipstick.  I'm looking at YOU, Tom Brady.

Do players on losing teams blame Jesus?  I mean, if you're gonna give Him credit when you win . . .

Show me someone who thinks that kids don't understand the value of things, and I'll show you someone who has never been inside a school cafeteria.  "No way!  I'm not giving you my Hostess apple pie for your baggie of carrot sticks!"

The terms "self-explanatory" and "common sense" have no business being in the English language.

A pamphlet on "nutrition facts" at McDonalds?  What's next, safety instructions on the electric chair?

I'm really glad that my last name isn't an actual word.  I doubt that I could resist the temptation to name my kids something like Candy Caine or Sandy Beech.

Writers who struggle to come up with witty metaphors are like elephants without surfboards.

I think someone should rewrite the Ten Commandments as haiku:

Thou shalt not covet
Thy neighbor's smokin' hot wife
Thou shall fry in hell

Hope you got at least a few chuckles here . . . now if you'll excuse me, I think there's still a Tupperware container of potato salad in the back of the fridge.


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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What Ever Happened To . . . Curious George?

Bozi Kima was abducted from the jungles of Africa in the early 1940’s, and brought to the United States by a man named Steve Durango (aka. The Man in the Yellow Hat). Durango changed Bozi’s name to George, and attempted to raise the monkey as a pet. Forced to adapt to the hazards of New York City, George’s childhood was filled with adventure. He learned to fly a kite, visited a farm, and even worked part-time as a paperboy. More often, however, his cultural disorientation and the lack of proper supervision led to trouble. One morning, in the autumn of 1941, Durango left the apartment leaving George all alone. George found a puzzle that Durango had carelessly left on his desk, opened the box, and swallowed a puzzle piece. This resulted in a visit to the emergency room to have his stomach pumped.

On another occasion, once again while left completely unsupervised, George escaped from the apartment and frolicked around Manhattan, somewhat at random. An inexplicable chain of events led to his employment with a window washing company and while climbing down the outside of a 38-story building, George plummeted to the ground and snapped his leg.

Clearly, Steve Durango didn’t have sense enough to raise a goldfish, much less a rambunctious primate, but we’ll get back to that shortly.

George simply did not possess the experience, training, or instincts to survive in the most dangerous city in the world and this, combined with Durango’s lackadaisical attitude toward parenting, left the poor monkey at the mercy of the streets.

“You know, I picked up that ‘Curious’ label early on,” recalls George. “But curiosity had nothing to do with it. I had no idea what was going on. I mean, one day I was swinging in trees and eating bananas, the next day I was dodging taxicabs. Maybe they should’ve called me ‘Confused George’ or ‘Displaced George’. ‘Scared Out of His Fucking Mind George’ probably says it best.”

By the mid-40’s, the terrified monkey had become a weird sort of New York City icon. He was a renegade monkey on the loose, and every couple months the papers would scream out a new headline:




In 1949, George was taken by ambulance to Lenox Hill Hospital after getting his tail severed by the uptown D train. Thanks to the quick work of surgeon Dr. Sidney Fishman, George’s tail was reattached and steps were taken to ensure his future safety. After the subway incident, Dr. Fishman placed a call to the New York Department of Public Safety.

“We’d seen a lot of that poor little monkey,” Dr. Fishman explained to the police. “Concussions, broken bones, stab wounds, the works. Every time we treated him, we’d contact his guardian Mr. Durango, and it was always, ‘Oh, I don’t know how he got out this time,’ or ‘I’ll be down to pick him up after work.’ He didn’t seem concerned at all. It got to the point where I felt the need to report him to the authorities.”

Durango was arrested, and eventually convicted for child endangerment, cruelty to animals, and kidnapping. As he left the courthouse after sentencing, animal rights activists pelted him with banana peels and monkey shit. Durango served a 20-year sentence at Bayview Correctional Facility, where he was known simply as The Man in the Orange Jumpsuit.  He was released in 1971, and lived in Rochester, New York until passing away in 1988.

Dr. Fishman escorted George back to his native Africa in 1955, reuniting him with his brothers and sisters. George went back to using his given name of Bozi Kima and lived a peaceful and injury-free life. He found a mate, fathered seven young monkeys of his own, and died of natural causes on April 2, 1967. He was 29.

Universal Pictures purchased the rights to Bozi Kima's story, and the resulting motion picture, The Abduction of Bozi Kima is scheduled for release in 2011.  Mel Gibson has signed on to play Steve Durango, and Matt Damon will star as Bozi/George.


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Sunday, November 15, 2009

This One Time, at Band Camp . . .

There was trouble at band camp.  Ray Flack had gotten himself into a bind, but the rest of us freshmen didn't feel all too sorry for him.  In fact, we thought that he kinda had it coming to him.

Let me tell you why.

One of the universal truths about band camp is that the freshman boys are going to take a sousaphone-load of crap from the upperclassmen.  During rehearsals, the aforementioned crap was limited to innocent tasks like carrying the bass drums for the senior percussionists, being the last ones dismissed for water breaks and lunch, and having to address the seniors as "sir".  This was the natural pecking order of high school hazing rituals, simplified for us freshman as follows:

Seniors haze, juniors help, sophomores laugh, and freshmen, well, receive.  Being forced to schlep equipment and pay the proper respect was one part of it.

The extra-curricular torment was another.

It started the first day, following the afternoon rehearsal.  The seniors, led by Phil Cleary and Andy Gallardo (tuba and bass drum, respectively), burst into our cabin and hauled us out into the woods.  We became the victims of a modern-day tarring and feathering.  Only instead of tar, they had Barbasol shaving cream.  Instead of feathers, they had grass and leaves.

The shaving cream came first.  They lined up all the freshmen and pretty much covered us from head to toe.  Then, once the first coat had congealed, they pelted us with the leaves and grass.

But the fun didn't stop there, oh no.  The upperclassmen weren't content to keep our embarrassment to themselves.  They paraded us through the girls' camp.

Once our walk of shame was complete and the seniors went about their business, we showered up and reconvened in our cabin.  Most of us just wanted to forget about the humiliation and move on.  But not Ray.

"This is bullshit!  They can't do this to us!"

"Um, Ray," said Eddie.  "I don't know if you've been paying attention, but they just did."

"Yeah, well, we gotta get back at them."

"Sure, Ray," I said.  "We'll just go over there and trash their cabin and maybe rough them up a bit.  Let me go get some bass drum mallets and we'll pummel the shit outta those bastards."

Ray bitched and complained a little while longer, and we figured that was the end of it.  But during dinner, Ray got up and started to leave.

"Um, where are you going, Ray?" asked Eddie.

"I'm gonna get even with those assholes.  You coming with me?"


He looked at me.  "What about you?"


"Fine, you pussies.  I'll do it myself."

"Ray, come on.  It's just the initiation thing.  It happens to freshmen every year.  Next time, we'll be on the other side."  Eddie's last shot at reasoning with the guy.

"I'm not just gonna sit and take that crap.  See you guys later."  He left.

After dinner, we headed over to the rec hall to play video games and shoot some pool.  At first it was just the freshmen and sophomores hanging out, but after a while Phil and Andy and the rest of the seniors and juniors showed up.

"Some freshmen just can't deal with the fact that they're freshmen," we overheard someone saying.

"Man, what a dick that guy was."

That sure didn't sound good.  We looked around and came to the obvious conclusion that since Ray was the only freshman not at the rec hall, he must be the dick in question.

"We better go check on him," said Eddie.

We hiked back up to our cabin, where we found Ray blindfolded and duct-taped to a tree.

"Hey, who's there?" he called out.  "Guys, is that you?"

"Jesus, Ray, what happened?" I asked.

"The seniors caught me in their cabin."

"What the hell were you doing in the seniors' cabin?"

"Filling their bunks with shaving cream."

"You filled all their bunks with shaving cream, Ray?"

"Well, no, actually.  They caught me in the middle of the second one, and then they dragged me out here.  Get me down!"

As much as we wanted to leave Ray up there for a while longer (he did ask for this, remember), we peeled off the tape and got him down.  We probably should've thanked Ray for his stupidity because, while we all still had to deal with various initiation rituals for the rest of the week, the seniors saved the worst of it for Ray.  They stole his shoes and put dirt in his shampoo.  They stripped him down to his underwear, wrapped him in a blanket and carried him down to the lake at midnight and then took the blanket away.

It was a long, cold walk back for the poor schmuck.

I'd like to be able to say that Ray learned a valuable lesson from this experience, that he came to the realization that sometimes your station in life requires you to take some shit from those higher up on the social food chain.  But he learned nothing.  Every time he took crap from the seniors, he tried to exact his revenge.  Even after the mile long semi-nude hike back from the lake, he tried to even the score.

He failed every time, and the torment continued.  In fact, the upperclassmen made a special exception for Ray.

The next year at band camp, he was the only sophomore to go through the initiation process all over again.

The rest of us sophomores, enjoying our new place in the pecking order, did exactly what we were supposed to do.

We laughed.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lazlo Riddle, Episode 1: Another Tequila Sunrise

I don’t remember eating chili dogs, thought Lazlo as he examined the vomit dripping from the dashboard of his 1988 Ford Pinto. He looked at his watch. Five-thirty in the morning. Slept in the car again, but at least this time he'd managed to get the thing parked before he nodded off. He peeled off his Red Hot Chili Peppers t-shirt, cleaned the puke off the gauges, and started the engine.

That’s when he realized he was parked in his usual space at his apartment complex.

“How ‘bout that,” he mumbled. “I made it home.”

It was Monday morning. Laz had made the three-hour drive home from Vegas on Sunday evening. It had been an exceptional weekend for him, as he managed to lose five hundred dollars and his girlfriend. He entered his apartment, and found it just as he’d left it. Beer cans strewn about, dirty laundry piled on the couch, the lingering scent of marijuana. The phone rang.

“This is Laz.”

He listened to the voice on the other end.

“Yeah, okay,” he said. “I’ll be there.”

He slept for about an hour, dragged his ass out of bed, and took a quick shower. The hot water made him feel somewhat human again, though the hangover hadn’t completely dissipated. He dried off, popped four Advil, shaved, and did what he could with his hair. He put on a reasonably clean pair of cotton slacks and a rugby shirt. All things considered, he cleaned up pretty well.

Laz was on the short side, barely five-seven, and thin as a rail. With his blond hair and devilish smile, friends often told him he looked like the actor David Spade. He didn’t know if he should take that as a compliment. He’d always thought that Spade was probably an asshole.

His roommate Brad had woken up, and was at the computer. “What time’d you get home, man?”

“Just rolled in,” said Laz, popping open a Monster energy drink.

"How was Vegas?"

"Shitty. Got my ass kicked at the tables, and Angie dumped me again."

“Ah, she’ll get over it. What’d you do this time?”

“Best I can remember, it was something about hookers in the hotel room.”

“Unreasonable bitch.”

“I know, huh? I’m runnin’ a little late for work, can I borrow your Harley?”

“Sure," said Brad. "What's wrong with your car?”

“I yakked all over the dashboard. I’ll clean it up later, but I gotta roll, man.”

Brad tossed him the keys to his motorcycle. “Helmet’s in the closet.”

“Thanks, see ya.”

Now that the sun was up and Laz was conscious, it was turning into a pretty nice Southern California morning. Temperature in the mid-seventies, cloudless sky, hint of a breeze. He enjoyed riding Brad’s Harley, especially when you compared it to his piece of shit Pinto. Even when puke-free, that car was a heap. He made it to work with about ten minutes to spare, parked the Harley, and walked into the office.

The secretary, Leslie, greeted him with a scowl. “Well, well, if it isn't Mr. Riddle," she said. "I didn't think you were going to make it in."

“Yeah, well, here I am. Elsa said it's a kindergarten class today?”

“Yep, you're subbing for Mrs. Livingston in room three. Good luck."

Laz hated it when the secretaries said "good luck". It just meant that the class was full of juvenile delinquents or borderline psychos. For a hundred and fifty bucks a day, though, he could plod his way through. A couple shots of Jack at recess often helped. And really, these were kindergarteners. How bad could it possibly be?

Famous last words . . .

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Justice For Jim Varney!

This month, Humor Bloggers Dot Com is sponsoring a fight against injustice in the world, wherever it may be found. And let's face it, my friends, it can be found everywhere. If the world were "just", ice cream would be a health food while radishes would be chock full of bad carbs and carcinogens. If the world were "just", America's Next Top Model would be banned from the airwaves as "unhealthy viewing for human beings". And if the world were "just", Hollywood would immediately lift its unfair treatment of blackballed actor Jim Varney and start giving him meaningful movie roles again.

Mr. Varney’s body of work is unparalleled in cinematic history, and his talent is boundless. His characters range from the goofy, off-beat Ernest P. Worrell in Ernest Goes to Camp to the hilarious and zany Ernest P. Worrell in Ernest in the Army. And if that doesn’t convince you that this master thespian is truly a man of a thousand faces, you also have his dramatic performance in the Oscar-snubbed classic Ernest Saves Christmas.

Due to widespread jealousy in the motion picture industry, Varney hasn’t appeared in a movie since he provided the voice for Slinky Dog in Disney’s Toy Story 2. It’s not like there haven’t been opportunities. He would’ve been outstanding as John Nash in A Beautiful Mind. Screw Russell Crowe. And what about The Dark Knight? Varney could’ve acted circles around the utterly miscast Heath Ledger in the role of the Joker.

That’s not even taking into account the untapped potential of the Ernest series. Forcing the world to settle for a mere ten movies featuring Varney's defining character is akin to Harper Lee publishing nothing after To Kill a Mockingbird. There was just so much ground left to cover. I, for one, am truly saddened that we never got to see Ernest Overturns Roe v. Wade or Ernest Finds Bin Laden. The continued boycotting of the man's talents is beyond shameful.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Didn’t Jim Varney die about ten years ago?” Yes he did, but since when is death an excuse for preventing a talented actor from earning a living? Hell, Betty White’s been dead since 1992 and she turned in a remarkable performance in the Sandra Bullock film The Proposal. It can be done, and Varney deserves the chance.

Please join me in my campaign to revive the career of Mr. Jim Varney. Write your local film director or make a donation to the Give Ernest Another Chance Foundation by visiting It’s a cause worth fighting for.

Know whut I mean, Vern?

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Friday, November 6, 2009

What Ever Happened To . . . Cookie Monster?

Cookie Monster lived on Sesame Street in New York City for many years, helping kids learn the alphabet and teaching other valuable life lessons. But as he grew older, Cookie lost his way and it would be years before he could get his life on track again.

It was the cookies that did it.

As his name would indicate, Cookie Monster loved cookies. All kinds of cookies. Chocolate chip. Oreos. Fig Newtons. And for a long time, it was just a cute little quirk that endeared him to his friends.

But in the early 90's, the whole culture of Sesame Street changed. Bert and Ernie moved to San Francisco. Big Bird flew the coop. Maria and Luis were deported. And that's when Cookie Monster hit rock bottom.

"Sesame Street not the same once Big Bird left," Cookie Monster said during an appearance on Dr. Phil. "Neighborhood really went downhill. Me get depressed, and cookie habit got worse and worse. Instead of 'me want cookie,' it was 'me need cookie.' One night, me set fur on fire while free-basing a snickerdoodle. That's when me realize me need help."

On the advice of his friend Grover, Cookie Monster checked himself into the Betty Crocker Clinic in May of 1992. But the road to recovery was long, and there were many bumps along the way.

"To beat an addiction like Cookie's, the addict has to admit that he has a problem," recalls Betty Crocker Clinic attendant Rob Davis. "And while Cookie did check himself into our program voluntarily, he wasn't really committed to his recovery. The first month, we caught him placing phone orders with his regular dealer Famous Amos, having friends sneak in packages of Keebler Fudge Stripes, even making marijuana-like doobies out of raw cookie dough. The guy had it bad."

After about six months in rehab, Cookie finally turned the corner. It helped that the Betty Crocker administration placed him on what amounted to total lock-down, banning phone calls, screening packages, and doing random blood-sugar testing to keep Cookie on track.

"For whatever reason, me made decision to take control of life," said Cookie. "Me understand that me an addict. No can have one cookie, two cookies, hundred cookies. Me must have NO cookies. Sad but true fact. Change eating habits, change life. Now me been cookie-free for seventeen years, and life is good. Me happy."

On his program, Dr. Phil asked Cookie Monster to sum up his battle with cookie addiction and his new life. The response was truly poignant.

"For long time, C was for cookie, but that not good enough for me. While cookie, cookie, cookie start with C, to an addict, sobriety start with 'me'."

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

And All Was Right With the World

That's really all I have for today. Be back tomorrow with the usual nonsense.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tomato, To-mah-to

Like many men my age, I fight a constant battle with my weight. For the past decade or so, I've had a round-trip ticket between 195 and 24o pounds, and it's been tough to keep it on the low end. If I'm diligent about my diet and exercise, I can get the weight off pretty easily, but the minute I stop working at it? The swallows come back to Fat-ass-trano.

Maybe it's self-delusion, but even though I'm on the high side of the scale right now, I don't think I'd quite qualify as "fat". Overweight, certainly. Out of shape? Guilty. To keep myself in the right frame of mind, I've developed a standard of measurement that I find to be fairly foolproof.

I call it the "Bald Guy/Fat Guy Scale".

If you were to see me walking down the street . . . okay, unlikely . . . if you were to see me sitting on my ass at Dairy Queen scarfing a Thin Mint Blizzard, your first thought would most likely be, "Hey, look at the bald guy eating ice cream." As long as you're thinking, "That's a bald guy who's a little chubby" rather than "That fat guy is bald", I'm in the clear.

Let's look at a couple examples. First, we have George Costanza. A bald guy who's a tad overweight.

On the other hand, there's boxer Eric "Butterbean" Esch. Butterbean is a big fat guy who also happens to be bald.

A fine line, perhaps, but I find that it works.

As long as I'm on the subject, here's something else I've had to come to grips with. I've started buying shirts at Casual Male XL which is, for all intents and purposes, a big-and-tall store. But it's not because I'm a "Fat Guy". It's because I'm 6'3" and I have a long torso. This means that shirts that are XXL will fit me just fine, but due to the torso thing, they'll be a little short. It's not because the excess belly and love handles require a larger garment.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

When I last visited Casual Male XL, I made the mistake of taking my teenage son with me. He took a look around, sized up the situation, and said, "You know, Dad, I'm not trying to be rude here, but not only have you moved up a size, you've moved up a whole store."

I've altered my will accordingly.

But really, the store carries sizes all the way up to 7X. So as far as I'm concerned, 2XL(Extra Long) is the equivalent of "small".

Self-delusion is a beautiful thing, isn't it?

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