I Love You, Daddy, But Not Enough to Give You My Snickers Bar

I Love You, Daddy, But Not Enough to Give You My Snickers Bar

Halloween was a special time for me and my girls. Here they are at ages 3 and 2, as a Kitty Cat and a Lady Bug. It would be 7 more years before they’d ask if they could dress up like Lady Gaga and Naughty Nurse. Sigh.

Halloween was a special time for me and my girls. Here they are at ages 3 and 2, as a Kitty Cat and a Lady Bug. It would be 7 more years before they’d ask if they could dress up like Lady Gaga and Naughty Nurse. Sigh.

It was a dark and stormy Halloween night. My two young daughters, Rachel and Emmy, could not wait to get started. Earlier that week I’d spent an evening helping them come up with their costumes. Emmy could not decide between a fairy princess or Barney the dinosaur or Hello Kitty. So naturally, the only solution was Barney the Hello Kitty dinosaur princess. Whatever makes you happy, my little angel, I mean, dinosaur kitty princess.

Rachel’s outfit was easier. She insisted on being Harry Potter wearing an invisibility cloak. So I drew a lightning bolt on her forehead, put a sliver of duct tape on a pair of my black-framed glasses and found a blanket to which I affixed a big sign that read: INVISIBILITY CLOAK.  YOU CAN’T SEE ME!

The girls kept asking, “Daddy, when can we go trick or treating?” To which I would respond, “It’s only Wednesday. Halloween is not for another three days. Be patient.” This went on every few hours until the big day, at which point, the incessant questioning accelerated to every 5 minutes.

Finally it was time for the main event. They looked so cute – Emmy in her princess tiara, sparkly gloves and Cinderella flowing gown, with the matching kitty ears, whiskers and a long purple dinosaur tail. Meanwhile Rachel was almost completely hidden underneath her Mighty Morphin Power Rangers invisibility blanket. Of course, once we ventured out into the 42-degree drizzling weather, it was actually hard to make out their costumes beneath their winter coats and Thomas the Tank Engine galoshes.

Everywhere I looked, there were pirates, super heroes, princesses and scary monsters – some of them in strollers – all in search of one thing: SUGAR! As soon as Emmy noticed all the other kids racing ahead for the same candy she was after, she started to panic, fearing all the good stuff would be gone by the time we got to the door, and people would be handing out pennies – or worse yet, toothbrushes. Like every year, we came upon a house with a sign next to a large wicker basket that read, “Please, take just one.” It was empty – of course. The time was 4:57 pm.

My girls rushed from door to door for what felt like three hours, but a check of my watch told me it had only been 35 minutes. It occurred to me that they might as well rename this Holiday “Disney’s Halloween”, because, as I looked around, it seemed that every girl under the age of eight was either Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Ariel from Little Mermaid, Jasmine from Aladdin, or Pocahontas. Although now that I think of it, there was that one seven-year-old girl dressed as a Zombie Princess / Egyptian Mummy carrying what looked to be a dead snake and a hula hoop. Not sure what her parents were thinking.

As we went from house to house, Rachel kept asking me to walk further away from her. She was only eight, but already she was embarrassed to be seen with her dad. I agreed to stay at the sidewalk while she took her sister by the hand to each door. Emmy got up the nerve to bravely demand, “Tick or Teat.” (She had not quite mastered the concept of the letter “R” yet.)

I looked at my watch again – and at their sagging, over-stuffed pillow cases. It was almost 7:30 pm. Over howling protests about me being a mean daddy – and their claims that all their friends’ parents let them stay out till dawn to trick or treat – I finally bribed them by promising not to eat all their candy after they went to sleep, if they agreed to come home now.

Then came the most important part of Halloween: The trade negotiations. Rachel and Emmy spent the next hour trying to outmaneuver their opponent.

Emmy: I’ll give you a Necco Wafers AND a Smarties for your Twix.

Rachel: Are you nuts? I’ll give you a box of Nerds if you give me your Nestlé Crunch.

Emmy: No way! My Nestlé Crunch is twice the size of that box of Nerds. I’ll give you all the candy corn in my bag for two Butterfinger bars.

Rachel: Nope. I’ll give you this box of Junior Mints for your Kit Kat Bar.

Emmy: Are you insane?

Halloween - bucket of candyIt went on like this for quite some time. In the end, I believe the only trade actually made was two pieces of bubble gum for a tootsie pop.

After they were asleep in their beds, I did what any loving father would do. I pilfered through their haul to collect my Dad Tax – you know, my fair payment for having spent almost three hours standing guard 30 feet away at the sidewalk when I could have been home watching the game. I doubt they’ll miss a couple boxes of Milk Duds or that Clark Bar. And don’t worry. I didn’t touch their Kit Kat or Twix bars. I would never do something so cruel. I settled for an Almond Joy because Emmy didn’t like coconut.

The next morning, I woke up to see my kids having breakfast together. Quietly. Calmly. No fighting. No name calling. I couldn’t believe my eyes. And then it became clear. They were too busy stuffing their pie holes with Gummy Bears and Reese’s Pieces.

I thought about intervening and shouting something about getting a healthy breakfast. And then I thought, why ruin this rare moment of tranquility. Emmy even gave me a Kit Kat bar (I think she stole it from Rachel) and invited me to join them. That breakfast with my two kids, scarfing down all that candy – yeah, that was the best breakfast I’d had in a long, long time.

Happy Halloween, everybody.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2015

Thank You for Losing My Luggage

Thank You for Losing My Luggage

[The following is a true story.]

This is the true story of the time a major airline accidentally lost my luggage. Both my luggage and I are still in therapy over the incident.

This is the true story of the time a major airline accidentally lost my luggage. Both my luggage and I are still in therapy over the incident.

Dear United Airlines Customer Severance Department,

I’m sorry. Did I write Customer Severance? Silly me. I meant “Customer Service.” Just like your airline meant to get my luggage from Seattle to Washington, D.C.

I hope I’m not catching you at an inconvenient time – though I have a nagging feeling you’re wading through a slew of letters just like this one. Perhaps you even have a whole department dedicated to lost luggage letters.

My boss was sending me to work a trade show. In preparing for my trip, I planned to take one small suitcase as carry-on, to avoid dealing with baggage claim – as much as I admire the delicate care always provided by your expert team of baggage handling professionals, mind you.

But then, the evening before my early morning flight, I received a most thoughtful robocall informing me that tomorrow’s flight would be quite full and advising me, due to limited storage capacity on board, to check my suitcase. Not wanting to be a disagreeable passenger, I dutifully complied.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that my obeisance to your airline’s directive to check my bag is totally on me. After all, this is a free country. I could have chosen to ignore your message and brought my carry-on onto the plane. But had I done that, I never would have experienced the joy and satisfaction of sharing with you the story of what happened next.

When I arrived in D.C. at 10:00 pm, I figured I’d be snug in my hotel room snoring by 11:15. Graciously, your airline had other plans for my evening. I went directly to the indicated baggage claim carousel. I was impressed that within minutes, luggage came cascading down the conveyor belt – one piece after another.

10 minutes later I was feeling less impressed. 25 minutes later, a funny thing happened. Let me rephrase that: A funny thing DID NOT happen. My suitcase never arrived. I am relieved to report that of the 275 people on my flight, only one person’s parcel failed to reach its intended destination. Spoiler alert: it was mine.

Of course, I had foolishly packed my blood pressure, cholesterol, and half a dozen other life-saving medications in that bag, along with the clothes I would need for the trade show. I totally should have FedExed the lot. What was I thinking?

It was surprisingly easy to find your lost luggage office. Less surprising was that I was the fourth person in line. Not unlike waiting in the queue at Disneyland’s Space Mountain during spring break, I eventually reached the counter – at 12:01 a.m. I will say, your agent was quite polite as he placed the “CLOSED” sign on the counter directly in front of me and informed me I could come back at 6:00 a.m. when they reopened.

I must have looked even more desperate than I felt – or more menacing – because your representative grudgingly agreed to help me out. Again, this was totally my fault for keeping him late, due to my blatantly misguided decision to follow your airline’s instructions to check my baggage. I just hope your agent can find it in his heart to forgive me.

In his professional opinion, he concluded that I probably checked in too close to departure and that my luggage simply missed the flight. No doubt your rep was right to pin the blame on me. My bad, deciding to check my bag a mere two hours before the plane’s scheduled departure rather than on the previous Thursday.

When I asked if it might be on a later flight, I had to respect the fellow’s candor when he said, and I quote, “I have no idea where in the Hell your bag is.”  Perhaps he was feeling a little hangry. 

Naturally I was hoping he would offer me a voucher to purchase clothes, since all I had were the T-shirt, shorts and Birkenstocks I wore onto the plane. He indulgently explained that my luggage should arrive the next day, and as a result, he was not authorized to issue me a clothing allowance.

I asked your charmingly helpful agent what impression he thought I might make at our trade show booth wearing my shorts and a T-shirt that read “People say I have A.D.D. but they don’t know what – Hey, look! A Squirrel.” He deferred to his supervisor, who was just getting off duty as well. The latter reluctantly okayed the clothing allowance. Then your baggage claim agent politely added, “Don’t go buying expensive Florsheim shoes or Calvin Klein shirts, as high-end clothing will not be covered.” I had no idea Calvin Klein made shirts.

The actual route my suitcase took is apparently classified. But here is my best guestimate of its whirlwind world tour. All those sites in only three days!

The actual route my suitcase took is apparently classified. But here is my best guestimate of its whirlwind world tour. All those sites in only three days!

The next morning at precisely 7:02 am, the most amazing thing happened. A customer service manager, no less, called to provide a most helpful status update. “We’re still looking for your luggage. We’ve not been able to locate it yet. All we know is it’s not in Seattle.” 

In the interim, I was able to find a Marshall’s department store, which, in case you’re not familiar with their luxury brand, makes the clothes at Walmart look like a Paris fashion show. I purchased a shirt and slacks that were vaguely close to the required colors of our booth attire – and only two sizes too large, because that’s all they had in stock. On the plus side, people wondered if I had lost weight. Sweet.

Your crack team of Sherlock Holmes detectives finally traced the location of my luggage only two days later. It had apparently been loaded onto a plane bound for Rio or was it Buenos Aires? The good news is that the moment they finally found my precious cargo, they quickly re-routed it… to Atlanta. Did I mention my trade show was in D.C.? But hey, at least my clothes, meds, and I were now in the same time zone, so that’s progress.

I finally received my stuff just in time for my flight home to Seattle. I opted not to check my suitcase for that trip. I hope your ticket agent wasn’t offended by my insistence.

So, there you go. You can count on me to share my great appreciation on Twitter, Facebook and 11 other social media sites. Please pass along to your baggage handlers and everyone else involved in re-routing my luggage to South America, my heartfelt appreciation for everything they’ve done to restore my confidence in –  my decision never ever to fly “the friendly skies” of United Airlines again.

Sincerely,

Tim Jones

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2019

In Defense of Facebook – by Barney Likezitt

In Defense of Facebook – by Barney Likezitt

This week’s View From The Bleachers guest commentator is Barney Likezitt, from Dayton, Ohio. Barney loves America and he really loves Facebook – oh, and beer!

This week’s View From The Bleachers guest commentator is Barney Likezitt, from Dayton, Ohio. Barney loves America and he really loves Facebook – oh, and beer!

[Note from the Staff of VFTB: Tim Jones is on vacation this week, so in his place, we invite you to enjoy this guest commentary by Barney Likezitt, an ardent Facebook advocate who would like to defend this social media site against its detractors. The views expressed by Mr. Likezitt do not necessarily reflect the views of Tim Jones or the staff of VFTB or any of its readers.]

Sometimes, I wonder how I survived life prior to 2004 – the year that the modern world’s greatest invention was created. No, not the beer helmet. I’m talking about Facebook. It’s hard for me to recall how I spent those nine hours a day before Facebook entered my life. Oh, now I remember. I was raising a family.

Since its inception, the number of Facebook users has grown to 2.4 billion. That means on any given day, roughly one out of every three people on the planet is updating their Facebook status while pretending to work. Some Negative Nellies consider Facebook a waste of time. But if you ask me, showering, shaving and putting on pants are much bigger time wasters. Watching hilarious videos of people falling into wedding cakes makes me laugh. And we all know laughter is the best medicine. Besides, Facebook’s also a great way to keep tabs on my kids’ activities. Why should I put myself through the annoyance of interacting with my brooding, self-absorbed 15-year-old daughter Megan when I can covertly scroll down her Facebook timeline?

More importantly – oh wait…. Someone just uploaded the funniest GIF where Hilary’s face was CGI’d onto a donkey. LOL. I have to share that one….

Anyhoo, where was I? Oh, right, Facebook is a great way to reconnect with people. Talk about blasts from the past! This very morning, I received a friend invitation from Ned Lumpkin, who I vaguely recall might have been in my ninth grade algebra class. Or perhaps it was a bot (I am so hip with the FB lingo). So, naturally, I accepted his / its friend invitation. I also reconnected with a former college flame named Brenda. She has definitely NOT aged well. I have no idea how Brenda is doing these days, but her Schnauzer Butch posts the most hilarious cat videos.

Don’t try to argue that Facebook isn’t educational. That’s fake news. Why, in the last hour, I learned that most alien abductions occur in Bluff, Alaska, climate change is a hoax, Brexit is going to save Great Britain, Brexit is going to ruin Great Britain, and I can buy a cool new litter box that will solve all my pet’s excretory issues for only three easy payments of $19.95.

Sometimes I wonder: What if the Founding Fathers had had access to Facebook? They could have saved so much time – and parchment – if they’d merely shared the Declaration of Independence on Facebook.

And when it came to voting on the various Articles of the Constitution, each delegate to the Constitutional Convention could have simply indicated either  or . Admittedly, there would probably have been a few snarky comments from defenders of King George, but Madison, Jefferson and their cronies could have unfriended them. Easier and more targeted than a musket shot.

I’m very politically active on Facebook because I love my country. I will thoughtfully react with a  to all Fox News articles. And I have signed every petition to deport anyone with black hair (which covers most questionable minorities). Now you might say, “Hey, Barney, if you’re so concerned about our nation’s future, how about doing some fundraising calls to stop gun violence, or knocking on doors for signatures on a petition to end inequality in the workforce?” And of course I would, but It takes forever just to type “Send her back” in response to the latest insightful MAGA rant. I can’t do everything, ya’ know!

Unlike TV, where the commercials are constantly in your face, Facebook allows me to choose which intriguing teaser ads I want to look at, like “Famous Musicians who are Serving Time in Prison” and “5 Foods to Burn Away that Belly Fat” and ”Whatever Happened to Calista Flockhart?” and “Poll: What Would You Sell Your Soul to the Devil For?” There are life lessons to be learned here.

Some detractors express concern that Facebook is collecting tons of data about every user without their permission. Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg’s company makes billions by sharing this info with marketers, Russian hackers, and “attractive single women” in Turkmenistan who are looking to meet me. What’s wrong with that? Besides, did I mention I’m single?

Why all the fuss? If you ask me, sharing my most personal data about my political leanings, how I looked in 4th grade, and my online purchase history for the past six years (I can explain the inflatable doll if you’d give me a chance) is a small price to pay to find out the latest news in the celebrity feud between Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. Personally, I’m on Miley’s side. Taylor can be such a prima donna.

Thomas Jefferson’s latest Facebook status update: “Congrats to Luis and Clark on their awesome Exploration” – HA! Jefferson misspelled “Lewis.” LOL.

Thomas Jefferson’s latest Facebook status update: “Congrats to Luis and Clark on their awesome Exploration” – HA! Jefferson misspelled “Lewis.” LOL.

I know what you’re thinking. But I’m not addicted to Facebook. It’s not like I sit around all day compulsively checking my  feed. Sometimes I do it lying down. And I take plenty of walks – to the bathroom, the fridge (to get another beer) and back to the couch. So don’t tell me I’m missing out on life.

For you arrogant neo-luddites who self-righteously point out that you’ve never been on Facebook, you can wipe that smug, superior expression off your faces. Go walk in the park with your family or read that riveting new novel by J.K. Rowling, or…or… climb Mount Everest. Meanwhile, I’ll be checking out what my very dear old friend Ned Lumpkin is up to. Unlike me, you would have missed the video he shared of a golfer who drove his cart into a lake. LOL.

Well, I have to go. A moment ago, I noticed an important FB post: “Proof that Princess Meghan Markle isn’t a very nice person.” I always suspected…. – By Barney Likezitt*

[* VFTB Staff Note: You may be asking yourself, ‘Where did you guys find this Barney Likezitt fellow?’ Um, the photo above of Barney is a random stock photo. Barney is not a real person.]

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time 

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2019

Tim’s Home Office News

Tim’s Home Office News

[Author’s note: Ever since I moved from Seattle to Camano Island, I’ve worked from home, by myself, as an independent contractor / consultant. Recently, in order to feel a little less isolated, I instituted my own company newsletter, which I call Tim’s Home Office News. I thought you might like to read the latest installment. – TEJ]

Welcome to this edition of Tim’s Home Office News – your most reliable source about what’s happening at Tim’s Home Office. (This month’s issue was written by our new VP of Public Relations, Tim, seen above.)

Welcome to this edition of Tim’s Home Office News – your most reliable source about what’s happening at Tim’s Home Office. (This month’s issue was written by our new VP of Public Relations, Tim, seen above.)

TIM’S HOME OFFICE NEWS – September Edition

Welcome to Tim’s Home Office News, our monthly bulletin aimed at keeping everyone working here at Tim’s Home Office up to date on the latest happenings around the company. There’s lots to report, so let’s get started!

First of all, a tip of the hat to Tim for winning our Employee of the Month award for the 47th straight month. Way to go, big guy! Thanks to your outstanding performance, you will once again earn your very own parking space in the corporate garage. We would mail you your engraved plaque to proudly display on your cubicle wall for all to see – but our records indicate you already have it.

Also, congratulations are in order for our Facility Manager, Tim, on completing the renovation of the employee lounge (also known as Tim’s Man Cave) at a cost of only 260% over budget. We think all who work here will agree the new 55” hi-def flat screen TV and PlayStation 4 video game console were long overdue enhancements, which will no doubt pay for themselves in increased productivity and improved morale.

In other Tim’s Home Office news, you’ve probably noticed the state-of-the-art smoothie maker in our staff kitchen. A big shout out of appreciation goes to our Office Administrator, Tim. And thanks also to our Intern Tim for all those delicious smoothie recipes (except for the one with Kale. Not a big hit with the staff, buddy).

As happens from time to time, the corporation decided to implement a much-needed staff re-organization to improve efficiencies and reduce waste. It comes as no surprise that Tim has been appointed Senior Vice President of Operations, effective immediately. He will continue to oversee his previous responsibilities in the areas of facilities management, marketing, finance and human resources, until further notice. We wish Tim the best of luck in his new role.

Tim’s Home Office has released its latest Profit & Loss statement. We regret to report that for the ninth consecutive month, we’ve had had to dip into the employee retirement plan to meet cash flow requirements and cover critical operational costs. Included are the lease on our home office, insurance, utilities and maintenance on the company fleet of vehicles (make that “vehicle”).

One insider (known only by the initials T.I.M.) criticized our Transportation Director Tim’s decision to acquire an unbudgeted new SUV as “an unnecessary impulse purchase of questionable timing.” On a related note, we regret to report that the company retreat originally scheduled for this fall in Cabo San Lucas has been postponed indefinitely.

In related news, which may come as a relief to some, despite missing revenue projections for the third straight quarter, the senior leadership of Tim’s Home Office has decided not to lay off a single employee. In an internal memo to the staff, CEO Tim wrote, “I care about every employee. Before I would fire any of them, I would fire myself!”

This past weekend was the always fun annual employee golf outing. Unfortunately, attendance was light again this year, perhaps due to the unusually cold temperatures. In the end, only our Sales Manager, Tim, was able to attend the event. Tim is excited to share that he won the “Closest to the Pin” competition on three of the four par threes. Next time, how about a hole in one, eh, Tim?

In these stressful times, we know that morale is everything. So, the Executive Steering Committee, led by Tim, is installing a state-of-the-art hot tub – the enjoyment of which will be limited to employees and guests of Tim’s Home Office. Please refer to your Employee Handbook for details about its use and our clothing-optional policy.

Congratulations to Tim on being named Employee of the Month. Tim was the unanimous pick of all the employees. Atta boy, Tim. We knew you could do it!

Congratulations to Tim on being named Employee of the Month. Tim was the unanimous pick of all the employees. Atta boy, Tim. We knew you could do it!

It will soon be time to celebrate Tim’s Home Office annual company Christmas party – to be held, as is the tradition, at our headquarters. Newly announced Senior VP of Operations Tim will be looking for volunteers to spearhead the planning, including food, decorations, and musical entertainment. Employees interested in joining the steering committee are encouraged to look for the sign-up sheet in the employee lounge.

We would like to address rumors that have been circulating about a possible acquisition of Tim’s Home Office by a potential suitor. While it is true that the company was in discussions about merging with a nearby competitor, Brad’s Home Office, negotiations broke down when their CEO (named Brad) was unwilling to absorb the accumulated debt position of Tim’s Home Office.

There is no word yet on the timetable for publishing the company’s annual report – or for that matter, hiring a Board of Directors or replacing the Senior Leadership Team. But according to our Director of Communications, Tim, the annual report, when completed, will provide a rich and full disclosure of the company’s finances and bright projections for a successful fiscal year ahead – just as soon as our Chief Financial Officer, Tim, can locate someone who knows how to use a calculator and a spreadsheet.

That’s it for this month’s edition of Tim’s Home Office News. And remember, next Friday is the deadline to submit your nomination for next month’s Employee of the Month. I’m talking to you, Tim!

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

[Author’s Note: This week’s post was inspired by my dear friend and fellow humorist, Steve Fisher, at right, who came up with the premise and invited me to run with it. – TEJ] 

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2019

Ten Years of Silliness – A Look Back on a Decade of View from the Bleachers (Part 2 of 2)

Ten Years of Silliness – A Look Back on a Decade of View from the Bleachers (Part 2 of 2)

So, you’ve come back for Part 2 of the most popular View from the Bleachers columns from the past ten years. You seriously have nothing better to do with your day? If you don’t know what I’m talking about because you missed Part 1, you can check out Part 1 here. At the bottom of this post, you’ll see a TOP TEN LIST of my own personal favorites.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Health and Fitness 

Getting a Colonoscopy is Better Than Having Sex… with elephants, that is. And not by much. Read my true embarrassing story of my recent colonoscopy procedure. Warning: This post may not be suitable for people with weak colons. And kids, don’t try this at home.

Important Health Safety Warning: These Foods Will Kill You! – Turns out that a lot of foods are really, really bad for you. Even a 32-ounce bottle of water can kill you, if it falls on your head from a height of 5,000 feet. Read this week’s important health scare, er, alert, about some foods that can kill. Spoiler alert: Brussels sprouts are actually not harmful, unless stuffed up one’s nose. 

My Private Workout with Obama – People routinely accuse me of telling over-the-top fabricated stories, like having had a private workout with former President Obama. No, wait, that actually happened. This is the 100% partially true story of the time I pumped iron with Obama. Why would I make this up?

The Amazing Happiness Diet – Recently, I lost a lot of weight. No, I did not do one of those crazy fad diets. I created my own. I call it the Happiness Diet. There are only two steps involved. Easy-Peasy. Read how simple it is to lose weight – and friends – with my proven diet formula.

Computers and Technology 

Alexander Graham Bell’s First Phone Call – Using Skype – Imagine if Bell’s first phone call – the famous one he placed with Thomas Watson – was done via Skype. Read this dramatic reenactment of how it might have sounded and looked. 

The latest innovation from Google – Google Translate – Family Edition – The brilliant technologists at Google have improved their Translate service to help families understand each other better than ever. Now husbands can decipher what their wives are nattering on about into plain English. Our lives may never be the same.

My Love Letter to My Internet Help Desk – Read my THANK YOU letter to my Internet Service Provider, detailing my gratitude for my 19-hour ordeal in which their tech support call center was unable to fix a problem that corrupted my computer that resulted from installing their internet security software to prevent internet security threats from corrupting my computer. 

Business and the Workplace 

Business Lesson #39: Awlays Proffread Yoru Wrok – If there is one thing that separates the winners from the losers in business it’s the ability to compose persuasive, articulate, error-free emails, memos and presentations.  That and being the offspring of the CEO. 

My Short-lived Career as a BINGO Announcer – After all these years, I thought I had finally found the job of my dreams – BINGO announcer at the county fair. I rocketed to stardom, and then just as quickly, crashed and burned like a meteorite. Read my heartbreaking story of the dream job that got away. 

How to Blow a Job Interview – There is no shortage of self-help books with practical strategies on how to make a good impression in a job interview. So boring. But there are no experts doling out advice on how to totally blow up your job interview – until now, that is. 

Click on the image to read another one of my favorites the story of what life for others would have been like had I never been born, in It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better).

Click on the image to read another one of my favorites the story of what life for others would have been like had I never been born, in It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better).

TIM’S TOP TEN LIST OF PERSONAL ALL-TIME FAVORITES

In no particular order, here are my own personal favorite VFTB articles from the past ten years.

I Just Found Out I’m Related to Jesus – On My Mother’s Side – A recently deciphered ancient Coptic Christian papyrus text reveals that Jesus was probably married. It’s not too big a leap of logic from that revelation to the conclusion that I must be the savior’s direct descendant. I mean, just look at any 15th century painting of Christ. I totally have his chin.

According to Google I am a terrible person – I used to think I was a pretty good person – a decent husband and a parent who tried to set a good model for my kids. All that changed when I did a Google search on my name. Wow, from what I found out about myself, I appear to have done some horrible things.

My Fleeting Friendship with an Internet Scammer – This is part one of my actual email exchange with the nicest man from Latvia wanting to purchase bleachers.  I thought I had made a new friend across cyberspace, only to learn that the scammer did not really want to be my friend after all. What a shock! (This is a two-part piece.)

Have You Heard About Dyzastra? – If you haven’t, where have you been? It’s the latest miracle pill that cures everything. But there may be just a few teensy weensy unpleasant side effects.

Humor Writer Admits to Using Banned Substances and Lying to Everybody – In a stunning revelation, Tim Jones admits publicly that he used banned performance-enhancing substances to gain a competitive edge against other humor writers. Based on writing samples we have tested, it apparently hasn’t helped.

Kids, Ask Me About God – By Reverend Tornquist – This week’s special guest tackles the tough questions about God and Heaven that kids need to know, like In heaven, do I still have to eat my peas? And Will my daddy get all his hair back when he meets God and Jesus?

It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better) – I had a dream, much like that Jimmy Stewart film, It’s a Wonderful Life. In my dream, my guardian angel showed me what life would have been like had I never been born, in order to show me the impact I’ve had on so many people’s lives. Turns out, um, not much impact after all, really. (This is a two-part piece.)

An Important Message From Your Cat – There are a couple items of business that your cat needs to discuss with you, starting with some apparent confusion over whose house this is. Your cat sets the record straight in this guest commentary.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent – My Recent Run-in with the Law – The true retelling of the time I got caught by the police in a major criminal act – er, well, I violated the speed limit, sort of. It’s hard to explain.

My Open Letter to the Guy Crossing the Street Against Traffic Without Looking Up – We have all seen this person – the one who is completely oblivious to everyone around them, as they walk into traffic glued to their phone. This is my open letter to that person on behalf of all of the rest of us they’ve kept waiting all these years.

Thank you to all who have accompanied me on this slightly misguided journey over the years. I appreciate you giving me a chance to mess with your minds and perhaps brighten your day. I apologize if I inspired a bemused smile that caused your partner to wonder what you’ve been up to. Thank you for clicking the LIKE button and adding your own comments, humor, and wisdom. A particular shout out to Garth Nesmith of Duluth, Minnesota, who claims to have read every single one of my 360+ posts since September 2009. All I can say is, Garth, seriously dude, you really need to get your priorities in order.

If you have a personal favorite that is not included here, I’d love it if you shared which one it is in the COMMENTS section.

If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here. Or check out VFTB’s TOPIC DIRECTORY, which lists all of these posts – and hundreds more- by topic category.

This blog would not be possible without you, my readers. Thank you for putting up with my sophomoric jokes and crazy stories. Finally, a special word of appreciation to my enormously talented sister, Betsy Jones, who, for the past ten years has been my incredible editor. Unlike most of you, she has had to read every single post I have ever written. Talk about a glutton for punishment.

Tim Jones

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2019