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According to Google, I am a Terrible Person

Google Tim - magnifying glassUntil about twenty minutes ago, I thought I was a decent person, a loving father and all in all, a fairly responsible citizen. But I am starting to have my doubts. You see, I recently published a humor book on parenting called YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE – Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time.

I sent out press releases and then did a quick online search to see whether any of my promotional activities were paying off. So, I googled my name – TIM JONES. Uh oh. The results were rather surprising.

On the positive side, I found several search results about the book and recent VFTB articles I’d written. But that’s not all I discovered. Turns out I’ve lived a far more interesting and varied life than I’d ever realized. And I have a dark side. A disturbingly dark side.

Apparently, despite what my kids have been saying about me for the past ten years, I am “highly intelligent.”Google Tim - IntelligentSo intelligent, in fact, that I earned a Ph.D. and joined the ranks of the faculty at Cardiff University in Wales.Google Tim - Cardiff UAccording to my profile in the Faculty Directory, my interests include “airborne particulate pollution” and “remote sensing in resource exploitation.” I have no idea what any of this means. I must have been drunk when I wrote my faculty profile. Had you asked me before today what my interests are, I would have listed football, sleeping and bacon.

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  • Hey,hold on! Youi're not all that bad, you were a 1973 graduate from the Albany Academy for boys!…
    dave driscoll
  • Published On Apr. 18, 2016 by TEJ
  • Please Accept My Heartfelt Apology If I’ve Offended You

    I apologize - Tim and PopeI want to apologize. Recently I’ve learned that remarks I’ve made in previous humor articles have offended some readers. To Mr. Arnold Halasz of Budapest, Hungary, whom I appear to have sent completely over the edge, I apologize for my snarky comment that in Hungary, the only three foods you’ll find are pickles, cabbage, and pickled cabbage. I completely failed to mention cauliflower, and that one is totally on me. Thank you, Mr. H., for all your letters. I should mention, however, that your most recent death threat came postage due. Don’t forget to use two 1st class stamps next time.

    So if I have offended any of you the way I appear to have done to the entire nation of Hungary, let me extend an olive branch by way of apology in the hopes that someday you might find it in your heart to forgive me.

    To Edna Weppler of Racine, WI, who was offended by my post A side by side comparison of our Savior vs. the Apple iPad, I apologize. I absolutely respect your deeply held religious convictions. I was not trying to imply the iPad is better than your Lord and Savior. I was simply trying to point out that it has a much faster operating system than Jesus, with more advanced graphics, comes with way more free apps, and has a more forgiving interface. 

    To Maria Solbein of Hornbeck, LA, who was offended by my post Women, help end discrimination against men. Get struck by lightning, I apologize. I appreciate that from your perspective it seemed I was arguing that men face more discrimination than women in our society. Your exhaustive list of 342 studies documenting longstanding patterns of discrimination against women in the workforce, politics, and society was, I must say impressive – not to mention exhausting. But I stand by my claim that far more men than women suffer from male pattern baldness. So let’s just agree to call it a tie, okay? 

    To Angus O’Shaughnessy of Halifax, Nova Scotia, who was offended by my post Seven myths about our neighbors to the north, I apologize for my insensitivity to your great nation and for my callous stereotypes about your country being totally ice-covered for 10 months of the year, along with my egregiously flippant comment that most Canadians live in igloos and leave their elderly to die alone on ice floes. In doing some additional research, I realize now I meant to say Norway, not Canada. I promise to print a correction in the next issue. Read More…


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  • Published On Mar. 14, 2016 by TEJ
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better) – Part 2 of 2

    Its a wonderful life - Happy family[From Part 1: I had the weirdest dream recently. A lot like the Jimmy Stewart classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. In the film, Stewart’s character, George Bailey, questions whether the people in his life would have been better off had he never been born. Then a guardian angel named Clarence shows him how their lives would have turned out much worse had George never existed. Well, my dream was a bit like that.  A bit…. 

    To read Part 1 of this 2-part series, click here. We pick up with my guardian angel named Tyrone continuing to show me what life would have been like for others if I had never been born.]

    Me: So where are you taking me to now, Tyrone?

    Tyrone: To see someone who was your best friend as a young child.

    Me: My childhood playmate Danny Scott?

    Tyrone: That’s right. Look out there. What do you see?

    Me: A baseball field – with a bunch of kids playing.

    Tyrone: And notice who’s playing short stop?

    Me: Is that Danny? It can’t be. He could barely walk for most of his childhood on account of a bad fall off a swing set.

    Tyrone: No, he didn’t have a bad fall.

    Me: Are we going to start this again, Tyrone? Yes, he did. I know. Because I was the kid who pushed him too hard from behind, and he flew 12 feet into the air before landing hard, breaking his leg. He never walked the same after that.

    Tyrone: You didn’t push Danny off the swing. Because you were never born, remember?

    Me: Oh right. That It’s a Wonderful Life thing. I almost forgot. So what happened to him?

    Tyrone: Well, because Danny never had that terrible fall, he never injured his leg. He played little league and went on to play high school ball, then college ball. He got so good the Chicago Cubs recruited him as a pitcher in 1977. He became a Major League all-star. He went on to earn millions. Technically, hundreds of millions. All those Nike endorsement deals added up. Read More…


    • Thanks for their perspective Tim. Course in miracles says, "the smallest pin point of light can light the darkest room."
      Davie
  • Published On Dec. 13, 2015 by TEJ
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better) – Part 1 of 2

    Its a wonderful life - Happy familyI had the weirdest dream the other night. Remember the Jimmy Stewart classic, It’s a Wonderful Life? In the film, Stewart’s character, George Bailey, questions whether the people in his life would have been better off had he never been born. Then a guardian angel named Clarence shows him how their lives would have turned out if he had never existed. Well, my dream was a bit like that. A bit….

    Me (in my dream, thinking to myself): Today was a crappy day. Nothing went right. My boss chewed me out for botching an important deal. My wife is upset with me too, for – um, to be honest, I have no idea why. Something about my buying a pet yak without consulting her. Who knows? Even my kids were pissed at me again – although in fairness, that’s been their normal feeling about me since puberty. Gosh, I’m depressed. Sometimes I wonder if everybody in my life would have been better off if I’d never been born.

    Angel Tyrone: Why do you say that, Tim?

    Me: WHA??? WHO THE HELL ARE YOU!!!!???? AND HOW DID YOU GET IN MY BEDROOM!!!!????

    Tyrone: Nice to meet you, Tim. I’m your guardian angel – Tyrone.

    Me: The Hell you are. Who ARE you and how did you get in here!!?? I have a pistol under my pillow, and I’m not afraid to use it.

    Tyrone: No, you don’t.

    Me: Oh, yeah? Just try me. And how would you know anyway, TY-RELL, if that’s even your real name?

    Tyrone: It’s Tyrone. As I said, I’m your guardian angel. So I know you don’t have a gun under there. I’ve known you your entire life, Tim. For example, I know where you stashed the Playboy magazines you stole from your brother when you were 11.

    Me: Oh, you do, eh? Well, why don’t you just tell me, Tyson? Read More…


    • Great Photoshop work Tim. If you were never born - the world would be a much sadder place without our…
      Janice Strong
  • Published On Dec. 07, 2015 by TEJ
  • Alexander Graham Bell’s first phone call – using Skype

    Alexander Graham Bell - historic callOn March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made perhaps the most famous phone call in history, from his Boston laboratory, summoning his assistant, Thomas A. Watson, who was in the next room, with the following words: “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.” A phrase so short, the entirety of the message could have fit into a tweet.

    Little could the Scottish-born scientist know that less than 130 years later men and women the world over would be using an iteration of his primitive device to play Words with Friends when they should be working and teenagers would use it to type random letters like LOL to their best friend Meagan for no apparent reason.

    Bell was a pioneer of the greatest societal-changing bleeding-edge technology of his era. One can only imagine, then, what his very first phone call might have been like, had he had the advanced technology of Skype internet video calling available for this momentous occasion. The following is a dramatic reenactment of how many scholars believe the call might have gone.

    BELL: Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.

    WATSON: What?

    BELL: I said, Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.

    WATSON: I’m sorry, Mr. Bell. I can see your lips moving, but I’m not hearing anything. 

    BELL: Oh, dear. I can see you, Mr. Watson, but I cannot make out a word of which you speak.

    WATSON: What?

    BELL: I can see that you’re trying to impart a message, but alas, I am not able to detect the sounds emanating from your lips.

    WATSON: Still nothing. Sorry, sir. By George, I’ve an idea. Perhaps you’re muted. Might that be the problem?

    BELL: Oh, that’s much better, Watson. Can you hear me?

    WATSON: Yes, Mr. Bell. I hear you ju$% fi# $#(%$ $%!  Um, as I was say- [The audio drops suddenly.]  Like I … unable to #$&% …you’re … &$##(*!@

    BELL: What in the Lord’s name are you trying to impart, my dear Watson? I am hearing all sorts of ruckus, and I am barely able to comprehend a word you utter! Read More…


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  • Published On Oct. 06, 2015 by TEJ
  • WARNING: IMPROPER USE OF THIS PRODUCT COULD INDICATE YOU’RE AN IDIOT

    American idiots - hangerAmerica is the greatest melting pot on earth, welcoming people of all backgrounds and beliefs. It does not matter if you’re black or white, Christian or Jew, tall or short, young or old, wealthy or poor. And all of these groups have something in common: None of them has any shortage of idiots.

    Based on my extensive research on the explosive growth of knuckleheads in our country, I’ve concluded that our great nation leads the world in idiots per capita. If you don’t believe we live in a nation of nitwits, how else can you explain some of the warning labels our manufacturers feel compelled to put on their products?

    For example, there is actually a warning label on an iPod shuffle that reads, and I quote: “Do not eat iPod Shuffle.” (Honest to God.)  I, for one, am so glad they added that warning because, I was just about to spread jam on mine and eat it with scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast.

    In fairness, companies are only adding these product warning labels because they don’t want to get sued for millions in bogus liability lawsuits, as might happen if, say, a large gathering of people came together for an iPod Shuffle pot luck dinner party and failed to heed this important safety warning. God knows how many panicked trips to the emergency room this warning has helped to avoid over the last decade. I’m guessing zero (but I am just rounding).

    The more research I’ve done on warning labels, the more I’ve become convinced that half the people in this country probably should not be allowed to use electrical appliances of any kind – or vote – or date my daughters. Here is a tiny sampling of actual warning labels for the American consumer (I swear I am not making any of this up):

    On an iron: Caution: Do not iron while wearing article of clothing. I will remind my wife the next time she irons my dress shirt that she needs to do it in the nude – because I worry about her safety.  (Why is my wife doing my ironing?  That’s a blog for another day). Read More…


    • Now I have a new site to follow! I saw this post in the Funny Times.…
      Meg Winters
  • Published On Sep. 22, 2015 by TEJ
  • Help your town. Become a criminal

    Become a criminal - lineupIf your city is like most others in this great country, it is no doubt struggling to pay its bills and balance its budget – unless your town is Beverly Hills, in which case you can stop reading now.

    No one knows how our cities have fallen into such financial distress. Could it be that for decades tax rates have steadily declined while we citizens have relentlessly demanded safer bridges, better schools, and daycare centers for our pets?

    As we all prepare to march on our state legislature with our latest referendum to demand lower taxes, how can our cities build the libraries, community centers and skate board parks with oxygen bars that are guaranteed for free by the Bill of Rights?

    I’ve given this issue a great deal of thought because, as a humor writer, I have a lot of time on my hands. The solution to this perplexing fiscal crisis is clear: If you love your town, start committing crimes.

    Because municipalities make big money on tickets for infractions, all you have to do as a patriotic resident is pick the violation you fancy most and go for it. Do you like running stop signs? Back up and run it again. That will bring in $300+ to the city coffers. Prefer public acts of indecency? Try streaking down Main Street. That’s probably good for $500 easy. Your city council will thank you (and probably offer you a free bath towel).

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  • Published On Aug. 03, 2015 by TEJ
  • Support my new Kickstarter campaign to become a millionaire

    Kickstarter - man on boatMy plan to become a millionaire and retire by the age of 40 is a little behind schedule. Personally, I blame it on a combination of factors: the recent volatility of the stock market, global warming, and the shrinking market in publishing for humor writers who are paid $500,000 / year for working eight hours a week. But mostly I blame my financial situation on China. Those ruthless bastards.

    I tried starting my own business, with dreams of launching the next Facebook or Instagram. But after several weeks, I‘ve concluded that my mail-order business, Rent-a-Snake.com, is probably doomed.

    Turns out being an entrepreneur is way harder than it looks. It requires a clear vision, years of hard work, unyielding persistence, and a willingness to take intelligent risks. My train pretty much left the tracks at “a clear vision.” Besides, who has the energy for all this hard work? There must be an easier way to become a multi-millionaire – and it’s called “Kickstarter.”

    I’m excited to announce my own Kickstarter campaign to make yours truly a mega-millionaire. What is Kickstarter, you ask? It’s a web-based fundraising service intended to help bring projects to life by means of “crowdsourcing” the financing. What is crowdsourcing, you ask? Well, it’s the process of using the internet to get a “crowd” of people to help produce a project collaboratively, like Wikipedia. What’s Wikipedia, you ask? Stop reading right now. Just stop. You’ll never get the rest of this piece. I suggest you go online and Google it. Oh wait. Never mind. You’ve probably never heard of Google either.

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    • Tim I had pen and check book in hand prepared to write a $10,000 check out to you to…
      Jim Hayden
  • Published On Jun. 16, 2015 by TEJ
  • The Interrogation

    THE SCENE: Pre-dawn on a rainy Sunday in the disheveled office of Detective Drake Marlboro of the Seattle Police Department, 9th Precinct. For the past 3 hours, Marlboro, a chain-smoking, grizzled, no-nonsense gumshoe has been interrogating a middle-aged man with no fashion sense by the name of Tim Jones. Jones was picked up on suspicion of maliciously harassing innocent civilians by posting offensive commentary on the web about parenting, politics and other topics. Detective Marlboro suspects that Jones is holding back the truth. And so our story begins…

    Interrogation - cop and suspectIt was another dark and stormy night in Seattle. The clock on the wall read 3:04 am. And there Tim Jones sat – if that’s even his real name – sticking to his story that all he could be guilty of might be hackneyed writing. But there was a problem. The guy’s story just didn’t add up. I’ve been a detective for 30 years. I knew it was just a matter of time before he would spill the beans. I was going to crack this case before that snake Lieutenant Jaworski in Homicide could spell “collar.” I was sure I was close.

    Jones was fidgeting with his plastic Casio watch – the guy had as much class as a cubic zirconium unicorn. He was looking confused and anxious, wanting desperately to flee the confines of the cold, windowless interrogation room so he could return to the cushy comfort of his suburban living room recliner and watch another episode of The Big Bang Theory he’d TIVO’d. Not tonight, fella. Not ‘til I get some answers.

    I offered him a cup of coffee. “Thanks, but I don’t drink coffee. Do you happen to have any Diet Mountain Dew?” he asked a little too eagerly. What law-abiding adult in Seattle doesn’t drink coffee – and asks for a teenager’s soft drink instead? Now I knew he was a two-faced liar. I was done playing “good cop,” waiting for his innocent, deer-in-the-headlights façade to crack. This had gone on long enough. It was time to tighten the screws. I lit another smoke.

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    • Scoop: Detective Marlboro's real name is Thomas Black or it could be J.P. Beaumont.
      Rey Carr
  • Published On Mar. 24, 2015 by TEJ
  • How to be more spiritual than your friends

    Competitive spirituality - man on mountain topIn order to succeed in life, you have to compete. Some say life is a zero-sum game. And they’re right, of course. There are winners and there are losers. And nowhere is this truer than in the game of your spiritual quest. It’s not enough anymore to be “good.” You have to be the best.

    I am widely regarded as an expert on competitive spirituality. Not to brag, but it’s just a matter of time before I overtake the Dalai Lama on the footpath to enlightenment. The Dalai Lama once told me over a latte at Starbucks, “My religion is kindness.”  Well, I’m here to tell you:  My kindness is better than yours, Dalaiman.

    In order to achieve spiritual supremacy, you have to demonstrate your supremacy. Oh sure, it can sound arduous. You’re probably asking yourself, “What do I have to do? Go on a 2,000 mile trek across the Gobi Desert? Fast for a month in a cave? Climb Mount Everest wearing nothing but a toga and sandals?”  Slow down, Skippy. Those journeys are way more hassle than they’re worth – plus you’d almost certainly miss out on Opening Day of Baseball.

    No, my tactics for achieving spiritual superiority are far less taxing. Many can be achieved while lying on the couch. You see, most people behave passive-aggressively. Outsmart them by being aggressively passive. They won’t know what hit ’em.

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    • Another laugh-out-loud column for me! Thanks, Tim.
      Tracy T.
  • Published On Feb. 19, 2015 by TEJ