If I Ruled the World

If I Ruled the World

If I ruled the world - misspelled namesThe world is falling apart. People are oblivious to the needs of others. It seems nobody ever holds the door open for the next person anymore. We’re all in a rush. We blame others for our problems. Politicians talk about building 50-foot walls to keep out Mexicans. North Korea is launching missiles at South Korea. And my Mariners are on another five-game losing streak. What has this world come to?

If I’m ever given the chance to rule the world, things will be different. Way different. I’d implement long-overdue legislation that will make life way better for everyone (well, at least the people I like). When I rule the world…

  • I’ll declare Cookie Dough ice cream the official junk food of the United States – and I will use my presidential authority to veto any attempt by Congress to pass a Constitutional Amendment changing it to Pistachio.
  • People will get ticketed for being obnoxiously rude. Failure to hold the door open for the person behind you will be subject to a $25 fine. Talk on your cell phone in a movie theater? That’ll be a mandatory 10-day jail sentence – with no cell phone privileges.
  • People who nab my parking space, even though they could clearly see I was there first, waiting for the other car to leave, will lose all driving privileges for a year. Enjoy taking the bus, dude.
  • I will ban Twitter. It’s been ten years now, and I still don’t get the appeal. #banTwitter.
  • If my computer becomes infected with malware simply because I clicked on a Facebook link that reads “25 celebrities who have aged badly”, the perpetrator of that malware will be sentenced to six months in jail – and their job 16 hours a day will be to remove malware and viruses on laptops worldwide.

Continue reading “If I Ruled the World” »

According to Google, I am a Terrible Person

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.

Continue reading “According to Google, I am a Terrible Person” »

Please Accept My Heartfelt Apology If I’ve Offended You

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. Continue reading “Please Accept My Heartfelt Apology If I’ve Offended You” »

It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better) – Part 2 of 2

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. Continue reading “It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better) – Part 2 of 2” »

It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better) – Part 2 of 2

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? Continue reading “It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better) – Part 1 of 2” »

Alexander Graham Bell’s first phone call – using Skype

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! Continue reading “Alexander Graham Bell’s first phone call – using Skype” »