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My Sinkin’ Lincoln

When it comes to car ownership, I’m a Hyundai kind of guy. I’ve always purchased safe, practical, mid-priced, somewhat boring cars. I’d never driven anything remotely top-end in my life. But on a recent Florida vacation, the rental company gave me a free upgrade to a luxury car. Not just any luxury car. Oh no. I’m talking an elite LINCOLN!

What a sweet ride it was. Smooth, gorgeous lines, spacious leather seats, rocket ship acceleration, and more dashboard buttons than you’d find in the cockpit of a 747. There was enough room in the trunk to easily stow both of our kids – not that I would seriously consider such a thing – unless they were acting horribly, of course. It was the most incredible driving experience of my life.

Everything was going along swimmingly. My wife was speaking to me for a change. The weather was 75 degrees and sunny every day. And people I drove past were giving me that “what makes you think you’re better than me?” look. Answer: “I’m driving a Lincoln – You’re driving a Ford Fiesta.”

Maybe I was getting a little too full of myself driving around with that smug expression on my face. I guess it was just a matter of time before God weighed in to teach me a lesson in humility. And that happened right after I went to church. Technically I wasn’t there for a church service. That just happened to be where a classical guitar concert was taking place. The church parking lot was full – of Chevys and Priuses and such. But not a single Lincoln – until I made my grand entrance, with my smokin’ sunglasses. I was seriously stylin’ in my Linc. (I’ll bet that’s what cool dudes call their Lincolns. But I’m just guessin’.)

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  • Matthew McConaughey doesn't mention anything about this in his Lincoln commercials, although he does fall backward into a swimming pool…
    Drew Fisher
  • Published On Mar. 05, 2017 by TEJ
  • My Treasure Trove Revealed on Antiques Roadshow

    Antiques - trunkI’m the proud owner of an extensive collection of priceless one-of-a-kind heirlooms, some of which I’ve owned since early childhood. Recently I decided to find out what they were worth. No doubt hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, when I heard that Antiques Roadshow was coming to Seattle, I knew this was my chance to determine conclusively just how valuable my rare compilation of artifacts was. The following is a transcript of my conversation with the appraiser on Antiques Roadshow.

    Antiques Roadshow (ARS): Welcome to another episode of Antiques Roadshow. Good afternoon, sir. What do we have here?

    Tim: Love your show. Big fan. By the way, I recently wrote this book called YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LI-

    ARS: We really don’t have time for you to shamelessly plug your book.

    Tim: Why not? After all, this is my humor blog.

    ARS: Pardon me? Okay, what is it you have to show me, sir?

    Tim: I have this rare coin my father gave to me when I was five years old. I think it might be ancient Mesopotamian, probably from the 5th century BC. It appears to be in really good condition. What would you say it’s worth?

    ARS: Well, sir. I agree this coin is in excellent condition. However, on closer inspection, it appears that it does not date quite as far back as the 5th century before Christ. I would date it, instead, to sometime around 1960. It appears to be a New York City subway token. Notice here, where it reads “Good for one fare” – in plain English.

    Tim: Well, that’s disappointing. Okay, well, how about this item, then? I think it might be a rare impressionist painting. I can’t really make out what it’s supposed to be about. But my mom had it posted on our kitchen wall when I was very young. It looks to me it could be an early Monet or maybe a Van Gogh. Do you recognize the artist?

    ARS: Hmmm, I’m sorry to say, I don’t, sir. But look here on the back – there appears to be some sort of signature. I glean the letters “T-I-M-M-Y” scrawled in reddish orange crayon. Does that name mean anything to you?

    Tim: That’s funny. That’s my name.

    ARS: Intriguing. You don’t think by any chance this might be one of your childhood finger paintings, do you? Perhaps from when you were, say, two or three years old?

    Tim: Hah! I had not thought of that. But how can you be so sure it’s not something by one of the early Impressionists? Read More…


    • I've often wondered, Tim, what happens to the "out-takes" from episodes of Antiques Roadshow. Now I know. My greatest disappointment…
      Drew Fisher
  • Published On Jan. 15, 2017 by TEJ
  • My Fifty First Dates

    first-date-young-manWhen I look back at my youth, I sometimes cringe about all those first dates and how awkward I was. A lot of men worry about making a bad first impression, fearing they might do something stupid like forget to bring their wallet or accidentally show their date pictures of their wife and kids. Bad form.

    I’ve been out of the dating scene for a few decades, but I doubt it’s changed much. The last time I asked out a woman other than my wife, Margaret Thatcher was the newly elected prime minister of Great Britain, Christopher Cross had just topped the music charts with Sailing, and a surefire way to pick up chicks was to impress them by riding the bar’s mechanical bull. Um, okay, maybe things have changed a bit since I was making my moves.

    I’ve had lots of experience with first dates – and even a few isolated experiences with second dates. I won’t sit here and brag that I’m God’s gift to women – and I’m pretty confident neither would any of my first dates. But I can vividly recall how some of those entrées into the dating world went. I’d like to share my wisdom around this important mating ritual, in the hopes it may help some of you single guys out there have a better chance at a second date. (I swear I’m not making up any of the following examples).

    If you’re in say, middle school, and you’re on the very first date of your life, don’t put your arm around the girl during the movie unless you pick up clear signals she’s into you. Subtle signs she may not be into you include:

    • She stares at the screen the entire time, refusing to make eye contact with you
    • After five minutes, she discreetly removes your arm from her shoulder – and does it again five minutes later
    • When your older brother picks you up after the movie, she asks you to sit in the front seat instead of the back seat with her
    • When you attempt to walk her to her door (as your father told you was the gentlemanly thing to do), she sprints

    These all happened to me on my very first date. I felt so crushed that I briefly considered the merits of changing my sexual orientation.

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  • Published On Dec. 04, 2016 by TEJ
  • A Night at the Opera

    opera-viking-ladyMy wife always complains we don’t do enough things to expand our cultural awareness. Somehow she does not consider The Big Bang Theory enough of an expansion – I keep telling her she’d learn some interesting factoids about particle physics if she just listened to a few Sheldon Cooper rants. Her needling me about my lack of cultural curiosity offends me deeply because I’m an extremely sophisticated, erudite person. As proof, I would point out my usage of the word “erudite” in the previous sentence (which I found on a Google search of obscure, smart-sounding words).

    Last summer, my wife and I went to one of those fancy pants, highbrow movie theaters where we saw a Danish film with English sub-titles. Not trying to brag, but I made it almost two thirds of the way through. I even went to a snobby, avant-garde modern art gallery opening once for an exhibit that turned out to be a collection of wooden furniture covered in thousands of nails (I’m not making this up, I swear).

    I can endure boring, elitist, over-priced entertainment as well as the next beaten down husband. I’ve gone to the ballet. I’ve stayed awake through several Shakespeare plays – and had a vague idea of who the bad guys were in a couple of them. I even survived a modern dance recital my wife roped me into in which each dancer represented a different vegetable. (I’m pretty sure the guy in the green leotards was a zucchini, but he might have been a cucumber.)

    So, don’t tell me I’m not willing to expand my artistic horizons. But every man has a line he won’t cross. And for me, that line is OPERA – that is, until last night, when my wife told me, “Turn off CSI Miami. We’re going to the opera tonight.” Fortunately, I was already wearing my dress shorts.

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    • Bobblehead night sounds perfect, let me know and I'll be there.
      Bob
  • Published On Nov. 14, 2016 by TEJ
  • The Old Farts Tennis Club

    old farts tennis club - group photoRecently I joined an extremely exclusive club here on Camano Island – the swank Royal Racquet and Earl Grey Tea Society. They play on the only public tennis courts on the island. In order to be considered for membership you must live on the island, be male (sorry ladies, get your own club), be at least 60 years old (at 61, I barely made the cut) and be able to ambulate without any help from your grandchildren.

    I was inducted into this fashionable club in a formal private ceremony which involved my walking onto the courts and asking, “Hey, mind if I join you guys for some tennis?” Apparently that was the correct secret phrase because somehow they let me in on my very first try, without any background check or body cavity search.

    The posh Royal Racquet and Earl Grey Tea Society, more commonly known by its members as the Old Farts Tennis Club (OFT for short) is 25 members strong plus 11 more who are admittedly weak.

    The rules of play for the Old Farts Tennis Club are rigorous:

    • All games are played in a classic doubles format.
    • Play must go on regardless of inclement weather conditions – unless it rains or looks like it eventually might.
    • Players must hit the ball such that it lands within the boundaries of the tennis court, as designated by white lines around the perimeter – except for Ernie, in which case if his shot lands within a foot of the line, that’s close enough. Members have suggested to Ernie it’s probably time he got his eyes checked.
    • Members must remember to wear their pants when they show up to play – this rule was created specifically for a member named “Barney.” (Not his real name. His real name is Ned.)

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    • Congratulations Tim. You finally admit that you're an Old Fart, on and off the court. As a new member,…
      Eleanor Rushworh
  • Published On Sep. 11, 2016 by TEJ
  • How I Got Crabs

    crabbing - crab potNot long ago, my wife and I moved to Camano Island, a tranquil, semi-rural community with lots of retirees. People here love four things: God, country, family and crabbing – but if they could only pick one, for sure it would have to be crabbing. People here are seriously into this activity. Just how serious? As you arrive on Camano Island, you’re greeted by a giant metal crab sculpture. The local newspaper is called The Crab Cracker. And if you confide in someone, “I’ve got crabs”, they won’t recoil in disgust. They’ll reply with, “Fantastic! Mind giving me some?” 

    Having lived here for two years, I’d never bothered to find out what all the fuss was about. But after relentless pressure from neighbors whose constant nagging included questioning my patriotism, in the end I caved. Last week I finally went crabbing.

    Most “crabbers” own their own crab boat and equipment. To get started you need the following essentials:

    • A motorboat – or if you’re cheap, then a rowboat
    • At least one, and ideally two or three crab pots
    • A buoy marker and approximately 100 feet of rope for each crab pot
    • Bait – typically chicken or turkey legs, or if you’re in a pinch, Lifesavers candies – the crabs grab onto the little hole in the middle and get stuck. Let me know how that works, dude. (This last bait option should only be used if you’re a complete idiot.)
    • A case of beer, to dull your senses and help you forget about what in the hell possessed you to take a rowboat instead of a motorboat with 25 mph headwinds out there
    • A sharp knife to kill your small crustacean victims in cold blood – or to take your own life if you have rowed out too far and you suddenly realize you’ll never make it back to shore before nightfall

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    • Tim, you have awakened the memory of a truly emotional day - from the anticipation of doing something "out-of-my-comfort-zone", learning…
      Eleanor Rushworh
  • Published On Aug. 08, 2016 by TEJ
  • An American Tourist’s Guide to Vacationing in Italy

    Italy - coastal townPeople often ask me, “Tim, how do you know so much about other countries?” It’s true. I consider myself an authority on world geography. For example, did you know that Africa is not actually a country? Don’t worry. Donald Trump didn’t know either – and soon he’ll be our overlord, er, I mean, president.

    I don’t like to brag, but I know many important things about the world’s nations, primarily from consistently losing in the board game RISK during college. (I always went for Australia. Bad strategy.) So this week, let’s discuss what you need to know about what is arguably the most popular vacation destination for Americans – that is, if you don’t count the country of North America. I am, of course, talking about Italy.

    Let’s face it. You’re way too busy binge-watching Game of Thrones to read Rick Steves’ 874-page guide book on Italy that your wife asked you to read. So, I have done the work for you by highlighting everything you need to know. Follow my advice to the letter and you’ll have a wonderful time – and probably won’t get arrested. On a completely unrelated topic, Italian policemen have no sense of humor. This I discovered when I offered one 5,000 liras to try out his riot gear and Taser. [Travel Tip: When attempting to bribe a “poliziotto” do NOT offer liras. Seems they’re not appreciated ever since Italy transitioned over to the euro.]

    History: Italy is an extremely old country. I mean seriously old. It’s amazing it can still stand after all these centuries. If Italy were a pet, it would have been put down decades ago. But it has an amazing history that dates back to well before the American Civil War. Its history can be divided into four periods:

    The Roman Empire: The country was ruled by emperors called Caesars, who loved salad (in fact, a staple of every household was the Caesar salad). They wore amusing wreaths on their heads and long, flowing togas – just like the ones worn in the acclaimed film Animal House. They built elaborate marble temples to a bunch of pagan gods they stole from Greece without paying for them. And if you did not believe in these gods, you’d be executed. Read More…


    • Bon giorno Timicus. Nos appreciato voci visitat e Vaticano. Per cortesia retourni di corpus petrifica da Papa Clementus V, i…
      Marcus
  • Published On Aug. 02, 2016 by TEJ
  • I’ve Survived Hell – Or as My Kids Call It, Disney World

    disney world - familyRemember way back when, before you had kids, how you and your spouse would go on romantic getaways to exotic destinations like Cancun or Paris or maybe Santorini? Ah, such relaxing vacations. But then you screwed up everything by deciding to start a family. Oh sure, having young kids doesn’t mean you can no longer go on vacations. It just means you can’t enjoy them.

    By the time your kids turn seven, as summer vacation season approaches, they’ll begin the longstanding family ritual: complaining that every other child in the free world has been to Disney World – twice – “except for us! It’s no fair!” This is an excellent time to invite your kids to ask the Millers down the street if they might consider adopting them, since apparently “the Millers are way more fun parents than your mom and me.” I never particularly liked the Millers. I suspect the husband may be a metrosexual. But that’s a story for another post.

    As surely as my Seattle Mariners will never win the World Series in my lifetime, it’s an equal certainty that sooner or later, you will buckle under the pressure of the relentless nagging and offer to take your kids to Disney World. And for that you have my deepest sympathy.

    A trip to Disney World is the perfect vacation – if you like standing in line for hours at a time in sweltering 96-degree heat with 97% humidity, listening to your young children whining endlessly about how long all the waits for rides are. Usually by about 1pm on Day One you’re starting to seriously regret your decision to spend thousands of dollars that could have been much better spent on a brand new red Camaro instead. If this sounds like your idea of fun, then pack your bags and head to the airport for your very own Disney adventure. Then turn around and go back home. You forgot your four-year old, Ashley. Then strap Ashley and her adorable Disney-branded Lilo and Stitch backpack into her car seat and get ready for a not-so-memorable trip to visit Mickey and his pals.

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    • Here are some alternative lyrics to the "Song that Shall Not Be Named" It's a world of…
      Ellen Webber
  • Published On Jul. 26, 2016 by TEJ
  • Flying Coach vs. First Class

    first class vs coach - seatingI have flown all over the world – to Europe, to China, and against my better judgment, once to Scranton, PA. But I’ve never flown first class. I had a boss who flew first class all the time. Recently we exchanged notes about our passenger experiences on a flight to Dallas – hers in first class versus mine in cargo, er, I mean coach (same difference). Here is a side-by-side comparison, as documented by the flight attendant announcements.

    FIRST CLASS FLIGHT ATTENDANT PASSENGER ANNOUNCEMENT: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome aboard Delta Airlines Flight #427 for Dallas. It will be our pleasure to serve you this morning. You will all receive a case of Omaha Steaks simply for listening to this announcement.

    COACH CLASS FLIGHT ATTENDANT PASSENGER ANNOUNCEMENT: This is Delta Flight #427 for Dallas. Everybody, listen up. If you weren’t planning to fly to Dallas today, then you’re on the wrong plane. You’ve got sixty seconds to get the heck off. Hey, bald guy in the third row, listen to me when I’m talking to you!

    First Class: As you take your seat, if you have any difficulty stowing your carry-on luggage, we’ll be more than happy to assist. Ma’am, let me help you with your ostrich. No trouble at all.

    Coach:  As you take your seat, put your carry-on luggage in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you that your knees are currently pressed up against. Anything larger than a child’s backpack will be confiscated and tossed into a pile of luggage bound for Saskatchewan.

    first class vs coach - diningFirst Class: Now that you’re comfortably seated, please note that your seat can recline a full 180 degrees. If you do not prefer a cotton eye pillow, we’re happy to provide a silk one. Can I interest you in a free Apple Watch? Read More…


    • Here's an option, Tim: I'm working my way up to First Class. The first time I got married,…
      Drew Fisher
  • Published On Jun. 20, 2016 by TEJ
  • Swingin’ in the Rain

    swingin in the rain - tee shotRecently, I played a round of golf with my longtime golfing buddy Kevin. Kevin hates it when I refer to him by his actual name in my posts, so that’s how I will refer to him – because I just like to piss Kevin off. We were scheduled to play a round, but I called him an hour before our tee time to report that it was raining cats and dogs at my house. “Really? Well, it’s sunny and clear here,” he said. So against my better judgment – which judgment is shaky at the best of times – I decided to go ahead and play.

    We were met at the course by the rest of our foursome, Ron and John. And just like Kevin had predicted, it was clear and dry – conditions that were going to change dramatically about fifteen minutes after we teed off.

    Kevin and I have been playing golf together for 17 years. It has evolved into something of a rivalry. It often comes down to the final hole before Kevin knows for sure whether he beat me by double digits or just single. You see, Kevin is a really good golfer and, with rare exceptions, I allow him to beat me – mostly to placate his fragile male ego, which shatters like broken glass if he loses to me in anything. And also because he is the far superior golfer.

    Ron, John, Kevin and I teed off at the first tee. Kevin hit a gorgeous drive 270 yards straight down the middle of the fairway. Then it was my turn. I smiled as my ball landed eerily close to Kevin’s – by which I mean 100 yards closer to the tee box and banana-sliced 40 yards into the right-side woods. Oh yeah. The game was officially on.

    As we reached the second hole, I noticed a few gentle droplets of rain. Kevin shook it off. He was sure it would pass. His smart phone’s weather app said it was going to be mostly sunny by afternoon. But at 8:15am, the sky was looking foreboding, like the skies over Mordor. As Kevin headed up the second fairway and I headed due east into the right-side forest, I noticed the raindrops were coming down harder. Wisely, I had decided to bring a jacket. Unwisely, I’d soon discover it repelled water about as effectively as toilet paper. And I forgot my golf cap.

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  • Published On May. 02, 2016 by TEJ