Archive for September, 2009

Kanye West’s Guide to a Kinder, Nicer YOU!

Kanye and TaylorA lot of ink has been spilled over Kanye West’s latest impromptu rant.  Allow me to spill more.  Unless you have been living in a cave in northern Afghanistan , you’ve no doubt heard about the rapper’s well-thought-out decision to join country music sensation Taylor Swift onstage to accept her MTV Best Female Video award.

On live TV, the ever-affable Kanye took center stage, overcoming his usual inherent shyness.  Grabbing the microphone from Taylor Swift, he cut her off in mid-sentence and blurted “I’m sorry, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time.” His eloquence was greeted by a chorus of boos from a surprisingly annoyed audience and a look of complete shock from Beyoncé herself. (Go figure).

What you may not recall is that this is not the first time Kanye has pulled such a stunt. He also took center stage at the American Music Awards in 2004, declaring he was robbed of the Best New Artist award. Boorish behavior? Perhaps. But on the bright side, at least he clearly has overcome his fear of public speaking.
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  • Published On Sep. 26, 2009 by TEJ
  • The Worst Marriage Proposal Ever

    [Editor’s note:This week’s Guest Post was written by Travis Ross, an aspiring humor blogger who chooses to share his stories with the world rather than just a therapist.  In this post, Travis discusses how he dumped the woman who would become his wife via e-mail and two years later proposed to her out of the back of his car. He relives these special moments in his blog, and is reminded of his classlessness every Valentine’s Day and anniversary by his wife. Read more of Travis’ creative humor writing at The Simple Man’s Survival Guide.  – TEJ ]

    My wife and I have vacillated between Happy and If you say one more word I’ll *&$%#@! punch you in the throat for just over two years. I once heard a guy say, “Sometimes you hug each other to show affection and sometimes you hug each other as a way to get a better grip so you can take a better swing.” That’s us in a nutshell. It’s a functional marriage, and from what I can tell, we’re not terribly different from everyone else. However, the process leading up to marriage was quite the circus.

    I asked my wife out on our first date to a Chinese restaurant that was promptly shut down a few months later for violating health codes and employing about 20 illegal immigrants via text message. I know what you’re thinking: “You stay classy, Travis.” I don’t remember much of the conversation, but she likes to recount how about 10 minutes into it I started doing some kind of stupid trick where I wave my hands in front of my face. My 6-month-old daughter is not amused with that trick now and her mother wasn’t amused with it then. If you were watching it happen on a reality dating show, you would have winced and said, “He isn’t going to… Oh God…oooooo” and then promptly turned off the television because you couldn’t deal with the pain of watching.

    But the drinks took hold and, because of my restaurant choice and the poor magic trick, the date had nowhere to go but up and the relationship lasted a few more weeks. Eventually, because I didn’t feel comfortable dating a woman six years older than me, I sent her an e-mail breaking up with her because she was “too old” and I was also interested in someone closer to my age. Yes, I broke up with my wife via e-mail, and yes, I told her she was too old. Again, I know what you’re thinking: “You stay classy, Travis.” If I can contribute one thing to the “Man’s Guide to Relationships,” it’s this: If you think there’s a cold chance in Hell that you will ever ask a woman out again, run into her in a dark alley or find yourself alone in an elevator with her, I strongly advise against ending a relationship on those grounds via e-mail. Tell her anything else. Tell her you’re bipolar, being transferred to China, have Typhoid or all three. I figured the worst-case scenario was that we had a few more classes together, a few awkward conversations and that would be the end of it. In retrospect, we got along really well, much better than the ex-boyfriend she literally tried to run over in her driveway.

    I wound up getting a job in St. Louis. Tori wrote a fantastic blog about her dating life that I continued to read and comment on, because it was so damned funny. The best story is when she got roped into a date with a midget, but that’s neither here nor there. She would occasionally note how she hated her job. I suggested that I was working for a great company in the St. Louis area and that she should apply for one of the open positions. She applied, got the job and started working a brisk two-minute walk from my desk.

    Not long after she started working we started hanging out, which grew into a relationship. Eventually, things were going well enough that I threw caution to the wind and bought a ring. The day after getting the ring, I pulled one of her work friends out to the car and had her take a look at it to see what she thought. She squeaked with glee and started twitching like a weasel on speed. I said, “Erin, this is very important. You can’t tell Tori. Whatever you do, you can’t tell Tori.” I added emphasis on the second “You can’t tell Tori” to hammer the point home with Shakes McGillicutty. She asked when I planned on proposing and I told her I was working on that, but it would be some time around Valentine’s Day. I threw the ring box back in the trunk of my car, we walked back into the building and Erin skipped her way back to her desk, right next to Tori’s, brimming with excitement.

    Not five minutes after Erin got back, Tori asked her a question about work to which Erin promptly responded, “You know Travis doesn’t want to get married, right?” Tori’s happy face comes with an expiration date, and once you pull the pin on the grenade, her anger has a blast radius that, if it goes off in the center of the contiguous 48 states will rattle the teeth of people in Australia. I don’t know how the rest of her work day went or how many people were killed because she didn’t say anything to me on her way out the door, but I definitely felt her wrath later.

    I was scheduled to look at a house that night and Tori said she would go with me. I pulled up in front of her apartment and she walked out, looking angry as Hell. She usually gave me a chance to talk before she got pissed off, but not this time. No sooner than she got in the car her guns were drawn. She teared up and started talking about how Erin told her that I didn’t want to get married and started carrying on about how I was wasting her time. For a proper frame of reference, it’s about one week from Valentine’s Day and I still have this ring in the back of my car. By the time we get to the house I’ve made countless wrong turns, each one marked with “YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO GO THAT WAY YOU *^$%#& MORON YOU DON’T WANT TO GET MARRIED ERIN SAID SO I HATE YOU!!!!!” By this time, I’ve got a thousand different things rolling through my mind: How the *&%$ do I get to this house? Is cyanide traceable and will Erin smell it when I put it in her drink? Is this what marriage is like? And if it is, why don’t more men kill themselves? What will happen on Lost tonight? After what felt the same amount of time it took Odysseus to get to Troy or the government to solve the debt problem, we finally got to the house. I opened the car door and sucked in the sweet air of freedom. I decided then and there that I didn’t want to listen to this crap for another week, popped open the trunk, grabbed the box, poked my head around the trunk and, with her stomping in my direction, said “Marry me.” She shut up and turned white.

    For the next hour I enjoyed the soothing tones of our realtor while Tori didn’t say a word. We eventually bought the house and got married in Las Vegas and had the world’s most beautiful baby. The only downside is that every argument eventually ends in her saying, “Oh yeah, well you dumped me by e-mail,” after which point I generally just shut my mouth and walk away. Everything has worked out well, we just took the long way.

    – Travis Ross, The Simple Man’s Survival Guide

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  • Published On Sep. 23, 2009 by TEJ
  • Little Johnny Lenten Special

    [The following guest post is by “Little Johnny – All Grown Up.”  You can catch his humor blog at – tej]

    For soooo many years there have been jokes about “Little Johnny.”  I am Little Johnny (all grown up) and I tell the REAL stories behind the jokes!

    Lent is to help Catholics cleanse their minds, hearts and souls of inequities so that they can focus on the resurrection of Jesus which is celebrated Easter Sunday.  So here’s a time line: (note: I survived Catholic School)

    Fat Tuesday: This is the day before Ash Wednesday (which we will explain next).  Basically it is a day to go out, drink, stuff your grocery hole as much as possible and get crazeeee with yer friends cuz for the NEXT 40 days, you gotta be good.

    Ash Wednesday: If yer not hung-over or sick from your pig-out and you wake up in yer own bed, you find a way to go to church and get ashes put on yer forehead.  Most folks search for the church that gives JUST ashes as opposed to the churches that make you sit through a whole mass to get them.  Also, if yer ashamed, you kind of find a way at work to say you ACCIDENTALLY wiped them off while THINKING AT YER DESK!

    Lent: For the next 40 days you decide to give up some vice. You do this to repent for all of the sins you committed since LAST EASTER!  If yer smart, this is a chance to RENEW that “failed” New Years commitment of losing weight by giving up eating in between meals or late-night snacks.  One other note, if yer SMART, you realize that the Catholic rules allow you to go off the wagon on Sundays and go back to yer vice for a day.

    Holy Friday: If yer in Catholic School you love this day cuz you get the day off.  If yer a public school kid, you hope that Easter Break starts before this but your “SOAPWORD” MAD that yer Catholic buddies get the day off no matter what to go skiing or play hoops.

    Easter Sunday: You are done FASTING or SACRIFICING and you get back to yer old habits!!!  You stuff yerself with chocolate and jelly beans  – cuz what BETTER way to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus then to gorge yerself with buttered-popcorn-flavored jelly beans and breaking apart a solid chocolate Easter Bunny – just like they did back in Jerusalem when they found the stone rolled back and the tomb empty!

    By the way, you had to figure that there is a Little Johnny joke about this stuff!

    Little Johnny was in front of the church one day and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands. The preacher grabbed Little Johnny by the hand and pulled him aside.

    The Pastor said to him, “You need to join the Army of the Lord!”

    Little Johnny replied, “I’m already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor.”

    The Pastor questioned, “How come I don’t see you except at Christmas and Easter?”

    Little Johnny whispered back, “I’m in the secret service.”

    I gotta tell ya, out of all the Little Johnny jokes out there – THIS ONE is a good one and TRULY original.  However, NOT TRUE.  But here IS a true story about those Easter  once-a-year “church-ins.”

    When me and Dirty Kurty were in Catholic School – public high-school kids would ask us about what to wear at church for Easter cuz they only went once-a-year.  We used to tell’em that the Church “changed the rules” and expected all adolescents to wear BRIGHT ORANGE SPORT COATS and LIME GREEN PANTS.  We told them that was the ONLY way they would fit in or look “normal.”  We would charg’em $5 for the advice.

    Me and Dirty Kurty happily sat through ALL FOUR Easter Sunday masses each year just to be ENTERTAINED by who would show up in BRIGHT ORANGE COATS and LIME GREEN PANTS!!!!  Even better, we charged them $1 for a church bulletin on the way out cuz they didn’t know they were free!

    So guess what I’m doing for lent?  I gave up snacking after 6pm cuz I am STILL feelin’ the guilt over the 401K account me and Dirty Kurty built on taking money from those once-a-year Easter Churchins!!!!!

    – Little Johnny – All Grown Up

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  • Published On Sep. 22, 2009 by TEJ
  • Teenagers: We Don’t Deserve Our Bad Rep – by Phil DaBlogger

    [Editor’s note: This week’s guest post is by a high school student who goes by his blogger name of “Phi DaBlogger.” Remarkably, Phil is only in ninth grade (well, for a couple more days, anyway) and he has his own humor blog. Check it out at]

    I’m not biased.  I promise.  I am a teen, but that doesn’t mean I can’t see things objectively when it comes to my ‘age group.’  For instance, I completely understand the reason people feel teens are bad drivers.  It’s because you’re trying to cover up the fact that you changed into a lane 100 yards ahead of a teen driver without properly signaling.  If you can’t remember to use your siren/firecrackers/neon helium balloons to signal, it is not, in any way, the teen’s fault for hitting you.

    But that’s just one example.  There are loads of things that people falsely credit teens for, and, while I appreciate that you want to blame us for something, you’re blaming us for all the wrong things.

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    • Thanks, Terra Cafe. I'm so happy that you liked it. Oh, and by the way, it is 100%…
  • Published On Sep. 14, 2009 by TEJ
  • Confessions of a Reformed Bleeding-Heart Liberal

    palin vw bus

    I have to get something off my chest.  This is my open confession to the world that for years, I was – and I am ashamed to admit it – a bleeding-heart liberal of the worst kind.  And for this I want to publicly apologize.  Oh, sure, my father was a staunch Richard Nixon Republican. But did I listen? Like any rebellious teen, I had to go “find my own path.” So I voted for Clinton, Gore, Kerry, and yes, even that charismatic young man who “claims” to have been born in Hawaii, Barack Obama.  The closest thing I came to voting Republican was in 1980 when I voted for the Independent, John Anderson, for President.
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    • You are lying. :)
      Verna Studer
  • Published On Sep. 13, 2009 by TEJ
  • Hey, this blogging thing is a snap!

    angryatcomputerFor ages friends have told me that I should start writing.  Other than the occasional annual holiday letter or a surprise 50th birthday tribute, I admit I’ve not done nearly as much writing as I know I should. So after years and years of annoying, relentless, “you’ll regret not having ever done this when you look back on your life” pain-in-the-ass nagging (author’s note to self: Be sure to change the preceding tosupportive encouragement” before you publish – Do NOT forget!) from my wife, I decided to finally try my hand at blogging.

    And all I have to say is what took me so long!! This blogging thing is a SNAP.  You do not need to have five years of html programming experience or be an expert in RSS feeds, tagging, and php.  And you don’t need to know about plug-ins, widgets or feed burners. You don’t need to understand the meaning of .css style sheets or header-footer dpi upload specifications. You don’t need to know ANY of that stuff -unless you want to have a blog site, that is. Then, yeah, it’s a pretty good idea to know what some of this stuff actually means.
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    • Umm, Tim? Shouldn't it be "View from the Parking Lot," or perhaps "View from the Traffic Jam on the…
      Seth Greenblatt
  • Published On Sep. 07, 2009 by TEJ