"...it's like Will Rogers, Jean Shepherd and some grumpy Jewish man all rolled into one."

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Twenty-two signs I am not aging as gracefully as I'd like

1. More and more frequently, when I come out from the grocery store I can't remember where I parked the car.

2. When I use the trimmer to clean out my ear and nose hair, the battery dies before I can finish.

3. The default volume for the television is set to "27."

4. I still watch television.

5. It sometimes takes me two tries to get up from the couch.

6. After cutting the grass, I have to take a nap.

7. After my second beer, I have to take a nap.

8. I've started to drive in the passing lane on the highway in order to keep those behind me at what I consider a reasonable speed.

9. I'm hungry for dinner at 4:30.

10. I submit a letter to the editor of my local newspaper about some issue or other at least once a week.

11. I still get a newspaper.

12. I know who the Doobie Brothers are, and have seen them in concert within the last year.

13. Now that Jane Pauley has taken over as host of CBS Sunday Morning, I'm concerned the show is starting to skew too "young."

14. I can't distinguish among the various Kardashian sisters.

15. I recall when a tablet was something you took, versus something you read a book on.

16. I recently became friends with someone -- IRL.

17. Grocery store brands are "good enough."

18. I remember seeing Susan Sarandon in her film debut.

19. I take ibuprofen before anything even starts hurting.

20. If you offer me a Budweiser -- instead of turning up my nose and insisting on a craft brew, I will drink it.

21. I remember when there was no 3-point shot in the NBA.

22. If I can't get up from the couch after two tries, I just stay put and turn the TV back on.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

I'm A Groan-up

I heated up some alphabet soup for lunch today but quickly lost my appetite -- it had a vowel smell.

Did you know there's a medical term for someone who calls in sick to work and instead goes shopping? It's called mall-lingering.

I told my wife I was polyamorous, and she said fine -- Polly could have me.

Yesterday, upon the stair / I met a man who wasn't there / He wasn't there again today /  I wish, I wish my building had an elevator.

A triangle with the sum of its angles exceeding 180 degrees is described as "obese."

I bought a cantaloupe and was very disappointed after tasting it. This made me feel meloncholy.

A group of alligators is called a "congregation." I guess that's because they're Chewish.

Is an actor who auditions for the role of "Courtroom Transcriptionist" hoping to be typecast?

I accidentally fell into a vat of brine and found myself in quite a pickle.

I seem to be interested in lovemaking only when I feel sleep coming on. I guess that makes me a trance-sexual.

Recently I wasn't feeling well but couldn't decide whether I should go to my doctor's office or the emergency room for treatment. So I called 911 and asked them to dispatch an ambivalence.

Ever since falling into an open sewer, I've been antiseptic.

I tried to hike through a swamp in the woods and managed to get stuck in the mud, making a real morass of myself.

I got knocked out during my first boxing match, but that's because I was a neofight.

My eighth-grade English teacher asked me to define "obstreperous" and I shouted, "NO WAY!"

If a psychiatrist ran for political office, could he be accused of voter Freud?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The ‘complicated’ subject of healthcare, explained in nursery rhymes

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And sold his iPhone to pay for the emergency room visit.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All of his idiot congressmen
Failed at passing single-payer again.

Jack Spratt could eat no fat;
His wife could eat no lean.
And so, between the two of them,
They still didn’t qualify for Medicaid since LePage said, “Not for able-bodied adults!”

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed.
One fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the doctor, and the doctor said,
“Sorry, I won’t see him unless you pay the deductible up front.”

Little baby! Little baby!
Why are you cryin’?
Things could be worse –
You could be Paul Ryan.

It’s raining, it’s pouring.
The old man is snoring.
Went to bed, his head went “bump.”
Premium’s 5x higher now due to Donald Trump.

Mommy and Daddy and baby makes three.
Once qualified for a subsidy.
No longer under the GOP.
Now they have to wait and see
How much their health care’s gonna be.
Daddy said, “Stop trying to spin this.
What do you mean by ‘coverage must be continuous?’
You made me set up an HSA,
But I have no money to put in there today.
Obama got us healthcare, man!”
But Republicans didn’t like that plan.
They said, “Repeal and then replace.”
Now they’re just trying to save face.
Why can’t we cover everyone?
That effort should be bipartisan.
On one side, you’ve got Price and Pence.
Schumer’s there across the fence.
The left and right will not agree,
So they stick it to the bourgeoisie.
But whether you are poor or wealthy,
Everyone deserves to be healthy.
There shouldn’t be a barrier
Due to insurance carrier.
If the government can’t get this right
Then we have just begun to fight.
Unless something comprehensive passes
We’ll kick ‘em all out on their asses.

Clutter Nonsense

I straightened up in the bathroom the other day and placed a clean throw rug in front of the sink. When Carol came home that evening, she saw the rug and told me: "I don't want that on the floor." My response: "Where else would it go?"

I knew she meant she didn't want that particular rug on display, but I have so few opportunities to zing her that I had to jump on the non-sequitur. More importantly -- why, then, were we holding onto something we no longer had any use for?  We recently bought another storage shed to join the one we already have in the yard; the new one serves as a place for all the furniture we continue to keep that does not fit into our current home. When we moved to our lovely but modest lake house in Maine, instead of downsizing our possessions, we brought everything with us and just gerrymandered the boundaries within which they are legally permitted to reside.

When company comes, we offer a comfortable guest room with a few tastefully arranged family heirlooms on display. However, we're able to do that only by relocating an insane amount of stuff into our bedroom for the duration of their stay -- several barrels' worth of family photographs and craft supplies, stacks of books and magazines, assorted folding chairs, two sewing machines, and my exercise bicycle (which is actually a full-sized bike with the rear wheel sitting on a treadmill-like stand so I can peddle furiously without actually going anywhere, much like when I ride the bike outside). We can't show overnight visitors the master bedroom on the house tour since we have to put a shoulder to our door to force it open.

Once in a great while when we are house cleaning (and by this, I mean that we house clean only once in a great while), Carol will look at me and say, "I'm in a mood to get rid of things." This is a rare event, like a visit from Halley's Comet, or a truthful statement under oath from a member of the Trump administration. We immediately jump into action once those words leave her lips; we fill box after box with no-longer-worn clothing, no-longer-used kitchen appliances, no-longer-functioning electronic devices and other redundant possessions, and rush them to Goodwill before regret has time to take hold. We unload so much during these trips that the IRS dispatches an agent to supervise the donations. Once everything is accounted for, we receive a completed Form 8283, and to express our thanks we offer a bottle of wine (valued at $20 or less, as per federal guidelines), throwing in a few sticker books if the agent happens to mention there are small children at home.

Some people find it hard to give up things they rarely (if ever) use because of emotional connections to those items. That extra set of china that's sitting in a box up in the attic? It belonged to your grandparents. That collection of Instamatic cameras, which they don't make film for anymore? You've held on to them since adolescence, when your life's ambition was to become a photographer for National Geographic. The dress you wore to your senior prom? That's the night you lost your... contact lenses. These keepsakes remind you of connections to family, or special events, or a time when your vision of the future excited you more than it might right now. I tend to be less sentimental than my wife, so it often falls on me in these moments to remain objective and ask that perfectly rational question: "Why do you want to hold onto something you no longer have any use for?"

Lately, I notice Carol staring at me for a long, long time before answering.