WOW #51

Mary Poppins

How to be serious, without getting serious.
A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

I have always liked humor and comedy for their own sakes. They raise spirits, lower blood pressure, dissipate anger and depression, and produce feel-good endorphins. I have lived with and among jokes, almost my entire life. I have found that the best way to deal with serious matters, is often to joke about them. “Your Grandpa died? I am so sorry! Let’s have a drunken wake, and make fun of Death.”

These are only a few of the reasons why you lovely readers find my blog-posts sprinkled with a liberal dusting of

Frivolity

triviality, abandon, levity, foolishness.

From the French word frivolité, dating back to 1790–1800. See frivolous, -ity

None of the four words above exactly define frivolity. It’s more like, add them up and divide by four. I don’t like to apply the word triviality, because very little of what I joke about is trivial.

Until recently, you could practice frivolity with gay abandon, but too many Bible Thumpers have lost their sense of humor (and reality, and acceptance, and forgiveness) over anything that is gay.

Levity isn’t bad. We don’t need to get too heavy, when we’re trying to be lighthearted. If any of my readers regard my joking as foolishness, that’s precisely the audience that I’m targeting. I often feel that the foolishness is on the other side.

If you are reading this, it means that my Muse, Erato, has failed to inspire me to compose a 100-word Flash Fiction. That means that there is a 50% chance that I will be publishing another Comedy post on Monday. Why don’t you stop back and find out? 😀

OLD JOKES FOR OLD (SOVIET) FOLKS

Kremlin

Jokes recently declassified by the CIA, that they got from intercepted Russian documents during the Cold War.  I’m old enough to get most of these, although some of you might need to get Wiki or Google to explain them to you.

A worker, standing in a liquor store line says, “I’ve had enough.  Save my place in line.  I’m going to shoot Gorbachev.”  Two hours later he returns.  His friend says, “Did you get him?”  “No!  The line there was longer than this one.”

What’s the difference between Gorbachev and Dubcek?
Nothing, but Gorbachev doesn’t know that yet.

Sentence from a schoolboy’s weekly composition, “My cat had seven kittens.  They are good Communists.”  A sentence from the next week’s composition says, “My cat’s seven kittens are all Capitalists.”  The teacher reminded him that the previous week, he had said that they were Communists.  He replied, “Yes, but their eyes are open now.”

A Chukchi is asked what he would do if the Russian border was opened.  “I’d climb the highest tree.”  When asked why, he replied, “So that I didn’t get trampled in the rush to get out of here.”  When he was asked what he would do if the American border was opened, he said, “I’d climb the highest tree, to see who was the first person crazy enough to come here.”

Somebody happened to call the KGB Headquarters just after a major fire.  “I’m sorry.  We can do nothing.  The KGB has just burned down.”  Five minutes later, he again called, and was told that the KGB had burned down.  When he called the third time, the telephone operator recognised his voice and said, “Why do you keep calling?  I told you that the KGB burned down.”  “I know,” he said, “I just like to hear it.”

A train bearing Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev stops suddenly because it runs out tracks.  Each leader applies his own unique solution to the problem.  Lenin gathers workers and peasants from miles around, and exhorts them to build more rails.  Stalin shoots the engineer and crew when the train still doesn’t move.  Khrushchev rehabilitates the dead crew and orders the tracks behind the train ripped up and laid down in front.  Brezhnev pulls down the window curtain, and rocks back and forth, pretending that the train is still moving.  Gorbachev calls a rally in front of the locomotive and leads a chant, “No tracks!  No tracks!  No tracks!”

Ivanov: Give me a medical example of perestroika.
Siderov: (Thinks) How about menopause?

An old lady goes to the Gorispolkom with a question, but by the time she gets to the head of the line, she’s forgotten the purpose of her visit.  “Was it about your pension?” the official asks.  “No, I get 20 rubles a month.  I’m fine.”  “Was it about your apartment?”  “No, I live with three other people in a one room apartment.  It’s fine.”  Suddenly, she remembers; “Who invented Communism – The Communists, or the scientists?”  The official responds proudly, “Why, the Communists, of course.”  “That’s what I thought.” she says, “If scientists had invented it, they’d have tested it on dogs first.”

An American tells a Russian that the United States is so free that he can stand in front of the White House, and yell, “To Hell with Ronald Reagan!”  “That’s nothing”, the Russian replies, “I can stand in front of the Kremlin and shout, ‘To Hell with Ronald Reagan’, too.”

A man goes into a shop and asks, “You don’t have any meat?”  “No,” the lady replies, “we don’t have any fish.  It’s the store across the street that doesn’t have any meat.”

A man is driving with his wife and small child.  A Militia man pulls them over, and makes the man take a breathalyser test.  The Militia says, “See, you’re drunk.”  The man protests that the breathalyser machine must be broken, and invites the officer to test his wife.  She also shows as drunk.  Exasperated, the man invites the officer to test the child, and even the kid registers as drunk as well.  “You must be right.  I guess it is broken.” The officer says, and lets them go.  Out of earshot the man says to his wife, “See, I told you it wouldn’t hurt to give the kid 5 grams of vodka.”

***

This comedic blast from the past has been brought to you by the Old Dude, who isn’t quite as Grumpy, because he got a chuckle from these outdated jokes.  Stop by later, and I’ll try to make fun of Trump, before he becomes a joke all by himself.  😆

HUBRIS

Pride

Most people, at least at one time or another, want to feel good about themselves, to feel special, perhaps to feel that they are a bit better at something than another person or group.  So it is with me.  I often want to feel that I am a bit more than merely ordinary.

Since my only strong points are a limited knowledge of language, and a head full of useless trivia, my chances are not frequent, but I’ll take my ‘Attaboys’ whenever I can get them.

It’s not hard to feel superior to someone who composes something like this;

Well then. Here’s the first blog! I ain’t no english culinary quesenart so bare with this innufrensious. How do you spell quesenart? HUH. No idea. I forgot what it’s like to be part of something new and have new people be fascinated with you. Haven’t felt that in a very long time. Starting this blog thang reminded me of this feeling. And, well, it’s an amazing feeling! Something I long for. Or something i’m long for? Hmmm. Well, nonethelessless. I feel I have no outlet anymore to speak my mind. And IT AIN’T FACEBOOK. That’s from a civilian though. 

To really feel good about myself, I need to outpoint a professional – a newspaper or magazine writer, or a television or movie professional, someone who is paid to be smart.  This does not include the closed-captioner who recently wrote, “Fists of steal.”

I was upstairs, working on the computer, while the wife was watching a documentary about, “The Secrets Of Ancient Rome.” The hosts are a ‘professor’ (Yeah, right!  As if!), and his well-endowed female air-head eye-candy assistant.

Out of the corner of my ear, I heard him talking about a Roman senator who was famous for his banquets, and he described these Lucullian feasts.  A couple of keystrokes assured me that they were Lucullan, as I remembered.

I went downstairs just in time to hear him talking about the baniality of something, rather than banality.  Then he claimed that the word ‘tribulations’ came from a defensive battleground weapon called a “tribulum,”  and showed a six-inch cube of timber, with six-inch nails protruding from each face.  These were strewn on a battlefield to prevent a charge by horses or infantry.

These things existed, but the Latin prefix ‘tri’ means ‘three,’ not six-sided. A ‘tribulum’ was a threshing sledge.  Then he spoke of a Roman Senator who had his throat slit, and lay on the ground, ‘chortling’ his life out.  ‘Chortling’ means to chuckle or laugh gleefully.  I can’t remember the last time someone chortled about getting his throat cut.  Maybe it was….NEVER!

The show was almost over.  There was only enough time to talk about the Coliseum.  Apparently the name had nothing to do with the “Colossal” Greek statue out front.  It fell into disrepair and was taken over by a band of witches who locked it up (all 23 doors, and nobody objected?), and wouldn’t let anyone in unless they said “colle seum,” which meant “Do you know Him?”, ‘Him’ referring to the Devil.

This is a European, Christian concept that even didn’t come into existence until almost a thousand years after “Ancient” Rome. Colle means hill, and the suffix seum means ‘referring to.’  Perhaps Google was having a company picnic the day the writers did their research.

Recently, I read an MSN quiz. If you can answer this question, you may be a psychopath.  I was hoping.

A woman who has moved away from her home town, returns for her mother’s funeral. She meets and talks to a nice man.  He is intelligent, charming and kind.  In the crush and confusion she doesn’t get his name or phone number.  She doesn’t know who he came with, or how he knows her mother.

She feels that he is the man for her, the one that she wants to spend the rest of her life with.  Three days later, she murders her sister. WHY? Apparently, only a psychopath would casually sacrifice a sister, in the hope that this man would attend another funeral.

My mind grinds fine, but exceeding slow. The next day, I said, “Wait a minute?!” Psychopaths don’t care about ‘charming,’ or ‘kind.’  They are the center and the sum total of their own existence.  They don’t need or want anyone else to ‘complete them.’  No wonder I didn’t figure this one out right away.

In previous searches of song-lyric sites, one site showed Jefferson Starship’s line, “Who rides the wrecking ball into our guitar?” as ‘in two hard guitars,’ and another gave it as ‘in two fast guitars.’  I recently searched for the lyrics to Gene Autrey’s ‘I’m Back In The Saddle Again,’ and found a reference to ‘the lowly gypsum weed.’

Apparently, out West, they’ve got plants made out of wall-board. City-slicker Wiki-providers have never heard of Jimson Weed.  I feel so superior.  I’ll feel even better if you pat my widdle head, and tell me how astute I am.  No references to OCD or nit-picking, please.

A to Z Challenge – M

april-challenge

IN THE MOOD

I’m in the mood to write about things that relate to

letter-m

I may be in the mood, but I’m mired in uncertainty.  I’m like a method actor. What is my motivation?  I should play some inspirational music.  What shall I play?

one-half

Jethro Tull can be quite minstrel.  AC/DC is mayhem and chaos.  I know; I’ll put on some Moody Blues.  They bring back some nice memories.  Their tunes are just a creative metaphor.

one-half

I think I’m often influenced by the moon.  I know I’ve been called a lunatic more than once.  I’m in a miasma of misgivings here.  This will be the least meaty of my A to Z compositions.  (I desperately hope.)

one-half-decimal

If you’ve been muddling along, trying to figure the meaning of the images I’ve inserted, it’s easy. M is the 13th of the 26 letters.  The end of this post is the middle.  Ain’t that marvelous?  See you next month.  😀

Flash Fiction Redux

I am taking advantage of our Fairy Blogmother, Rochelle’s kind offer of a respite from composing Flash Fictions.  Hopefully, some of you missed this one the first time.

Fishing boat

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Georgia Koch

Walking On Water

Mischa had made his living fishing this little inland sea all his life, and his ancestors had done so for untold generations, back into the mists of time.

First the water had got thick, and saltier, then the fish had all but disappeared. Now it was the sea itself which was disappearing.  The little cottage where his parents had raised him was now half a kilometer from the new shoreline.  His fishing boat sat stranded on the mud flats.

He recently met a group of outsiders, “scientists”, studying the Aral Sea. One had taught him a new term – Global Warming.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Flash Fiction # 106

Monkey Bar

PHOTO PROMPT- ©Ted Strutz

MONKEY BARS

I took a day off to get my car fixed, but it still needed a part. My boss, the bar owner, picked me up and drove me to work.  While he unloaded some things from the van, I proceeded inside.

I’ve never opened before. Where are the light switches?  I took another step in, and suddenly…IT lunged at me from the dark.

Slamming the door shut I asked, “How could you leave your pet Chimpanzee loose?”

“Chimpanzee??!” He flicked on the lights.

“What’s that mirror doing there?”

“Just reflecting I guess. I put it up yesterday.  Do you like it?”

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story

Poetry In Motion

Poetry

I am a Philistine. I don’t know what great art is, but I know what I like.  The same applies to poetry.  I have been exposed to some of the ‘Great Poetry’, The Rime of The Ancient Mariner, The Twa Sisters O’ Binorrie, La Belle Dame sans Merci, William Blake’s, The Tyger, and many of Shakespeare’s sonnets.  I still like the poems that begin, “There was a young man from Kent.”

I express myself on this site though prose. When I check to ‘see what others are writing about,’ I find an interesting number of bloggers who express themselves in – poetry(?).  Some of the poems are actually quite good.  Others….are more a pretentious stream of unconsciousness.

Song lyrics, written out, should make sense. I feel the same should apply to poetry, even if it’s only published on WordPress.  Here’s an example.  See if you agree with me.  The first is how it would look/sound, if it were simply written as prose.

writing

The morning adrenaline in class essay exam detailing the ways to restore lost dynamic to man. Caffeine fumes, school bus, Drive, write your heart out!  With speed, with force, believe, you were born for this thrill of academics.

Speaking scholars and students inspired. This is my arena, my work, brain on display.  Bare, stuttering, but speaking again.  Grasping at straws, texts, engaging in every aspect.

The parkway was packed by 4:30 and given recent attacks, at night, plus rush hour fears from the kid who sped into my lane last year as evident by 3 bulging cervical discs. Thought it best, surely, safer to wait out traffic elsewhere.

***

The following is how it was actually published. Does it make any more sense?  Is it significant?  Artistic?

***

writing

The morning adrenaline
in class essay exam
detailing the ways
to restore lost dynamic to man.

Caffeine fumes, school bus,
Drive, write your heart out!
With speed, with force,
believe, you were born for this
thrill of academics.

Speaking scholars
and students inspired.
This is my arena, my work,
brain on display.
Bare, stuttering, but
speaking again.
Grasping at straws,
texts, engaging
in every aspect.

The parkway was packed by 4:30
and given recent attacks, at night,
plus rush hour fears
from the kid who sped into my lane
last year
as evident by 3 bulging cervical discs.

Thought it best, surely, safer
to wait
out
traffic elsewhere..

When ‘an artist’ throws paint-soaked sponges at a sheet of plywood, the resulting mess on the wood is not the Art.  The action, the process, is the art – performance art – like 12 clowns getting out of a tiny car at the circus.

I’m sure that many of these blog-poets are serious, and are struggling, as I do, to get their feelings out. When I come across something like the above, I just get the feeling that I’ve missed the real performance, and my only reaction is, “Huh!”  How about you?  😕