Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from MY BUNNY and me!

I won't keep you here very long.

Please head over to the Boston Herald website and read what I have to say about Easter and pizza.

You know you want to find out why those two things are in the same sentence, right? Sure you do.

And I thank you for your curiosity.

Soon, with more better stuff.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday

What follows is a repeat from many a Good Friday at this blog. I've always given serious thought when putting this out here again and this year is no exception. In the end, I still believe every word in it. Whether I put it out here or not, the sentiments expressed in the piece are still in my heart. So, if God is omnipotent and likes a joke as well - both of which I believe wholeheartedly - I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by re-publishing.

The only other thing nagging at me is whether or not it's self-serving to publish it again. After all, I just said "I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by re-publishing" and that sure sounds self-serving.

Nah. As I say, God knows what's in my heart. I might be misguided - I'd say it's 7 to 5 in favor of that proposition - but I have to believe He would find my intentions to be good. And, as everyone knows, the road to heaven is paved with good intentions (or something like that; I may be mistaken.)

Anyway, enough blathering! Enjoy. Or, if you don't enjoy it, be a better Christian than me and say a prayer for my forgiveness.


It may be Good Friday as you read this. If you're late getting here, it could be Easter. If you're really late, maybe it's Christmas. In any case, what in hell are you doing reading this crap, you heathen? You couldn't possibly believe anything I have to say is divinely inspired. Get your ass to church.

OK, now that the easily-guilted holy rollers are gone, let’s get down to business.

Jesus is hanging on the cross. He looks down and sees Mary Magdelene crying.

Jesus says, “Mary...”

Mary looks up, still crying, and says, “What is it, Lord?”

Jesus says, “Mary, it’s... amazing.”

Mary says, “What, Lord? What is it? What’s amazing?”

“I can see your house from up here!”

Whoa, Pilgrim! Don’t go away mad. You may think it’s just a crummy blasphemous joke, but I can justify almost anything. Nothing up my sleeve... PRESTO!

See, Jesus is closer to heaven and he can see Mary’s house IN HEAVEN. He’s telling her that her faith has saved her and that she will spend eternity in paradise. Hah!

And I guess that’s today’s lesson: It all depends upon your point of view. This is "Good" Friday, right? Why? Why do Christians call this "Good" Friday, when this is the anniversary of the day when their savior was murdered, the day He was nailed to a tree and died a miserable, painful death?

It's because without the cross – without that death - none of us can ever see our house in heaven, no matter how high up we are here on earth.

Hey! That was pretty good! Quick! Are the easily-guilted holy rollers still within shouting distance? Call them back. Maybe this is divinely inspired.

Let’s see if I can wriggle out of another one.

So, see the painting up above, of Jesus on the cross? There’s a plaque nailed to the cross, just above His head. The plaque reads "INRI." Want to know what it means?

I’m Nailed Right In.

Well, what it really means is lightning bolts should be coming any minute now, and I’ll be going to hell immediately, IF God doesn't have a sense of humor. However, I believe that God has an amazing sense of humor. My belief is that, when we die, we’re going to find out that this whole thing was one long and involved joke. And we’ll laugh and laugh and laugh when we hear the punch line.

Or, if you don’t find that terribly convincing, try this on for size. If God doesn’t have a sense of humor, what can we expect in the afterlife? An eternity without laughter? Hey, kill me now and leave me dead. None of that resurrection shit for me, thanks.

Or are some jokes theologically sound and others not? Maybe. We all have subjective senses of humor, I guess. Maybe God does, too. If so, the only way to know for sure is if we can hear God laugh. Then we’d know what He finds funny. Let's try it. Everybody be very quiet for a minute. Here goes.

Two nuns cycling down a cobbled street. The first one says "I've never come this way before."

The second one replies "Must be the cobbles."

So, I don’t hear God laughing. I’m assuming you don’t hear anything, either, right? Well, that's OK, it wasn't a great joke. Maybe we'll try again later.

What it comes down to is having faith. One way or another, you've got to have faith. If you don't, you're screwed. My faith lives in the belief that everything is for the best and that everything will be revealed in the end. Now, if what's revealed in the end is that God has absolutely no sense of humor at all, and He's royally pissed off at me for this, then that's the way it goes; I'm doomed. But, if God has no sense of humor, I've been doomed for a long, long time now. You, too - so at least we'll all fry together.

(The following will seem totally unconnected, but wait for it.)

I remember watching The Mike Douglas Show one day when I was a kid, and he had this comedy troupe on. For the life of me, I can't remember their name. However, the bit they did has stuck with me forever. It was a parody of Moby Dick.

Ahab and Ishmael are standing on the deck of the Pequod. Ahab is looking through a telescope. Suddenly, he sees something and gets all excited.

Ishmael: "What is it? What do you see?"


Ishmael: "Give me a look."

Ahab hands him the telescope. Ishmael puts it up to his eye and looks out at the sea. After a little while, he takes the telescope down from his eye and hands it back to Ahab. He says:

"Eh. It's a good white whale..."

I know why it's called Good Friday. It's because people were saying, "What a horrible day! They've croaked Jesus!" And so it had to be explained, over and over, that this was actually not a bad thing when you consider how it plays out in the end. So, "Good" Friday.

But why not really get the point across? Why not go all the way and call it Great Friday? Or even Super-Duper Amazingly Fantastic Friday - All Sins Forgiven Or Your Money Back? A little salesmanship wouldn't hurt.

Well, that's about it for me. I'm doomed, right? Eternal damnation; fire and brimstone; some guy with horns, in a red union suit, poking me with a pitchfork.

Nah. See, Jesus died for our sins and that even includes crummy jokes, Thank God. And, if you're an atheist or otherwise not a believer in Christianity, I got you to actually consider this stuff for five minutes. I got you to read the name - Jesus - 12 or 13 times. I figure that's got to count for something.

Have a joyous Easter and I'll see you Sunday, when I'll direct you to a totally non-blasphemous Easter column in the Boston Herald - unless I've been struck by lightning (in which case, I still might see you but only if you die, too. Best of luck!)

(By the way, I would consider it proof positive that God has a sense of humor if we both get struck by lightning, although personally I'd find it much funnier if He did it to the producers of Real Housewives of Orange County.)

ADDENDUM: Hilary believes it was The Ace Trucking Company who did the Moby Dick routine, and I do believe she's correct.

Soon, with more better stuff.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Yeah, I know it's not March 17th, but the Boston Herald doesn't, so shhhhhhh!

No, actually they're right on top of things. They know this isn't really Saint Patrick's Day. But they were kind enough to print MY Saint Patrick's Day column today, so it's MY time for the wearin' o' the green. Or, more accurately, the makin' o' the green, since I always appreciate being paid.

So, why not go to the Boston Herald website and see why in hell they're running a Saint Patrick's Day column on March 20th?

(I won't keep you in suspense. Today is the day for Boston's annual Saint Patrick's Day parade in South Boston, so that's why my column is running today. Don't let my divulging of this information stop you from heading over there to read me, though. I give away that information in the first few sentences and the rest of the column isn't about the parade, per se.)

As always, I thank the five or six of you who still come around here in hopes of finding something that doesn't send you elsewhere to read. Despite how I keep sending you away, I truly do appreciate you coming here.

Soon, with more better stuff.

P.S. The cartoon above is mine. Don't let it deter you from going to the Herald website. The column is better (as it would just about have to be, of course.)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Senior Planet

I was given an assignment by a website called Senior Planet a little while back. The focus of the website is to provide older folks - like me - with valuable tips for better living. The piece I was asked to write concerns driverless vehicles.

I wrote something in a comic vein, on the same subject, with a Massachusetts-specific slant, for the Boston Herald a few weeks back. This is a more serious piece, but still has a few light moments. Why not head on over and give it a read? I'm sure you'll enjoy it. As a plus, there is some video embedded showing a test drive (well, since there's no driver, that's not exactly correct, but you'll see what I mean...)

Thanks for stopping by! I truly appreciate it.

Soon, with more better stuff.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

More About Me

Well, what else did you expect?

Actually, yes, this IS about me, but it's also about Donald Trump.

Yeah, I know.

Anyway, my piece in the Boston Herald today is about Donald Trump. This piece, right here in this place, is just about getting you to go there. I apologize for that, but it's my job, kind of.

I hope you enjoy it. If you like Donald Trump, you probably won't.

Here it is, one way or another.

Thanks for stopping by. Even though this wasn't anything but a way to get you to go somewhere else, I truly do like you.

Soon, with more (what would almost assuredly have to be) better stuff.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Tips For A Happy Marriage

[You may have seen this already -OR- you may not have seen this already. According to figures from Google, there were TWO views from 2/28 until now. I am re-publishing to see if those numbers change. If not, I guess I've just become horribly unpopular. In any case, if you've seen this already, my apologies for inflicting it upon you again.]

Before I tell you how to be happily married, here's something completely different. I'm in the Boston Herald today (if today is Sunday in your neck of the woods; if not, I'll still be there, but I'll be looking at my watch and wondering where the hell you've been.) I'm pre-scheduling this post, so I'm unable to give you a direct link. However, if you go to the Boston Herald Op-Ed page, I'm sure you'll be able to find me (and then make a wonderful comment, as you sometimes are wont to do.).

Now on to what the title of this piece promises - handy tips for a happy marriage.

Recently, a story made the news about the longest-married couple in America, John and Ann Betar. Providing – and God willing - they’re both still alive as you read this, he’s 104 and she’s a relative child bride at 100. They’ve been married 83 years. Of course, they were asked about ways to keep such a long marriage happy. They replied, “It’s just important to be content with what you have”, and other similar statements.

Theirs is a sweet story, but my wife and I will be celebrating our sixth anniversary on Monday and I think we have more concrete advice to offer. For us, the less conventional married stuff we do, the more successful our marriage is.

First off, we have separate bedrooms. This may make you think we don’t do that thing most married couples do as often as some other married couples do it, and that may or may not be true – I haven’t taken a survey – but I’ll tell you the advantage: We both get a good night’s sleep. She doesn’t listen to me snoring like an asthmatic lion and I don’t have to contend with her using a television set as a night light. Maybe you have a mate who hogs the covers or you like the air conditioner on while she wants to turn up the heat. There are no two people in the world who enjoy exactly the same way of sleeping and one of you is getting a worse night’s sleep if you share a bed. Keep the beds in different rooms. You can always get together when the urge strikes.

When one of us wants to watch something dreadful on TV – my wife likes Judge Judy and Dance Moms; for me, it’s The Three Stooges and boxing matches – instead of arguing, one of us goes to our very own separate bedroom and reads until something we both like comes on. We maintain our love and, despite our hideous tastes in television programming, we’ve also become more erudite.

It’s nice to share mealtime, but there’s no rule saying you have to eat the same things. I can count on the fingers of one greasy hand the number of times I’ve had to share my lobster sauce, fried rice and chicken wings, while my wife has never been compelled to give me a bite of her liver (and I mean that in a non-Silence of the Lambs way.)

We have hobbies that take us out of the house and give our partner some alone time. I’ve played fast-pitch softball at least twice a week since we’ve been married; sometimes it’s been twenty games a month. My wife has been more civic-minded in her solo efforts, as a member of various public committees and such, but it’s all good. We do something we love, which the other person doesn’t, and we love each other more when we’re together as a result.

Finally, we make it easy to remember special occasions. For instance, I never forget our anniversary. As I said earlier, it’s our sixth on Monday. We’ve been married twenty-four years, though. That's Leap Day.

And before you accuse me of being a cheapskate on anniversary presents, it was my wife who suggested we be married on that day. Therefore, maybe the most important tip of all is to marry someone whose serendipity matches your own general sloth.

Soon, with more better stuff.