Laughter Is Far More Than Mere Medicine

humor

 

 

J.T. Hilltop

It’s a running joke. No, I’m not talking about the potential candidates running for president constantly flaunting of their assholiness, what I mean is laughter being the best medicine. Although I must admit some of the ranting of those running for president are far more ridiculous than any slapstick routines I’ve seen. The bottom-line is more than just a venue in Greenwich Village with popular acts, the bottom line is that the most creative, concise, profound, and just plain sensible information about life, love, and politics have come by way of brilliant comedians.

 

It started with Lenny Bruce, although admittedly I’m too young to have seen his act live I certainly have learned much about censorship and abuse of power from Lenny. But the first comedian who really made sense as well as developing my sense of humor was a big fan and learned much of his craft from Mr. Bruce. George Carlin. From the Hippy Dippy weatherman to the brightest funnyman who ever shed light on social and political issues in a way in which we could all understand. George Carlin not only made me laugh, yes out loud long before lol was a thing, but he also helped put so much more into perspective in a way which I personally could relate to. George helped me to understand my nagging sense of spiritual emptiness as well as my frustration with authority figures, ie Washington DC. Through his brilliant use of comedic perspective George Carlin shed an enlightening perspective and helped me to sort out my life issues with a hint of sarcasm and a ton of laughter. Thank you for the medicine George, much of what you said still rings true in so many hearts.

 

When George passed away a deep chasm of a void needed filling. His humor was so sustainable because unlike many jokers who tell the same jokes in different ways (sort of like reporters asking a set of questions that sound eerily similar to the first one they asked) his humor had evolved. But the void remained, thankfully to be filled in from an alien from outer space, Mork from Ork. Robin Williams was the next comedian to enter my little world with a handful of laughter medicine. Different from George but equally as talented and funny. Robin taught me that living my life in an improv format was okay as long as I kept my perspectives. The main difference for me was that Robin was equally adept at playing dramatic roles, but none the less his humor not only comforted me but it also helped to validate the social and political issues I had developed from following Mr. Carlin. The recent tragedy of losing Robin hit hard on a number of levels not the least of which was his ability to rise above his inner demons for as long as he did through the use of laughter.

 

With Robin gone another huge void had been created. The next laugh man I latched onto for medicinal joking was Jon Stewart. Jon had transcended social issues to a completely new level, delving ever deeper into politics and the disgusting hypocrisy and corruption while brining it to light in a serious way via his brilliant comedic outlook on life. As a note of accomplisment Jon Stewart was incredibly significant in the passing of the 911 first responders bill to make sure they have medical coverage. It absolutely astounds me that a single person on Capitol Hill needed to be shamed into voting for the heroes that answered the call on the darkest days our country has see3n in modern history but then again, congress are humorless jokes. Jon went up and down the corridors of the building with some responders having to shame them into agreeing to even put the bill to a vote which only strengthens my position that comedians should have more influence on social and political issues. I compare Jon to Johnny Carson on two levels. One I remember my father, despite leaving early for work in the morning never missing The Tonight Show and laughing so loud it often woke me up. I would later learn that Johnny Carson was dishing out the daily social news stories with his own brand of humor. But more than that, Jon Stewart like John Carson before him kick started the careers of many a comedian, the most notable in Jon’s case Steven Cobare, or more pretentiously, Cobert pronounced Cobare. Using incredible wit combined with profound wisdom, both of these jokers are able to place today’s issues in an understandable if not always humorous way.

 

There have been other laugh makers that helped shape the social and political landscapes, Monty Python, Prime Time Players, Second City among others. All have helped us to not only make sense of a complicated world, but to be able to laugh at the same time. It’s ridiculously hard to remain sad or angry while we’re laughing. That’s why I stand by the statement laughter is the best medicine. I will however admit, that some substances make the laughter even funnier, but these are humor additives not humor itself even if they sometimes make us laugh without understanding why we are laughing.

 

In conclusion, in a recent election in Brazil an actual clown, not clown in the sense of those running for president in the US, Tiririca, was elected to Brazilian Congress. Notably he too is a Republican but perhaps its not the same in Brazil as it is here. In summation, maybe it’s time we form an independent political party and load it up with doctors of comedy who can administer the medicine we all need these day, laughter….

PEACE

 

DIVIDED HOME

divide

 

 

My mom always hoped I’d make something of myself and had her “list of idea’s” of what I could be. I doubt being an inmate at Rikers Island was even on the list yet it was a remarkably easy goal to achieve. Sorry Mom. But anyway I’m a product of my old boy, my Dad, a working class martini drinking, advice giving, home owner with a white picket fence and a two car garage used for storage. Most families had 2.5 kids which, if my algebra and biology lessons are correct is actually impossible, but my old man bucked the odds by having six kids all of which it turned out were boys. The starting lineup for a hockey team if we could skate. However, I would never make it in any sport. I guess you could say I’m the typical suburban failure. I was the youngest off those boys and my destiny was laid out at birth. I was mom and dads last hope at having a daughter so I came out of my womb a prepaid disappointment. An unwanted middle class kid in a town built on the hopes of a generation that survived World Wars and the great depression and were required to remind us about that at every opportunity. They fled the concrete jungles for a promise of a utopian society. Suburbia, the enchanted land just outside the reach of urban decay my parents grew up in where they could dream of an ideal future. They dreamed of having a girl and I totally fucked up their dream.

I didn’t have to be a constant source of disappointment if they just let me be who I was from the beginning. I’m a cook at a restaurant and love it which the folks could never understand. I did far better in school than my dumb ass older brothers so mom decided I would be a doctor or a lawyer. Dad wanted me to be a football star because I played with the older kids on account of my brothers but I hated sports. Maybe I hated them on purpose to further add to pops disillusionments for me but I would never attain any of the goals they set for me. I wanted to be a romantic, a poet, maybe an actor, or even just a chef. But I fell in with a crowd of buddies who only wanted to be rebel outlaw bikers so all the hopes and dreams mommy and daddy had for me went floating down the sewer system on two wheels where rats are king. That’s me, King Rat, the badass boy from Levittown. I earned my street stripes from shoplifting at the mall, smoking cigarettes and drinking beer, and being ready to rumble at the drop of a hat. Ready to fight over just about anything, even making up reasons to kick some ass. If you looked up teenage angst in the dictionary you’d find a picture of me and my crew. Suburban heroes, rebels without causes. But in truth we were suburban hoods, wannabes, not bona fide outlaws, just angry young teens looking to make sense of this so called utopian land that treated us so unfair. The suburbs, the new frontier of the fifties. Land of conformity. So all I can say is why me? Why the fuck am I sitting in a cell at Rikers Island feeling sorry for myself just because I grew up in a divided home?

Let me clear that up a bit, when I say divided home I don’t mean my parents split up, no no no. They had a fine marriage, but we had little money and one shitty loaf of bread and a pound of bologna had to be divided up between six kids and two parents. Yea, Pops wasn’t the thickest branch on his family tree, probably because he spent more time screwing mom and having kids than climbing any corporate ladders, so he only brought home enough bacon for a family of four that Moms had to stretch for a family of eight. So with Dad’s mediocre salary and a bunch of hungry kids we had to divide absolutely everything. There was never any seconds at dinner, sometimes I didn’t even get firsts. Being the youngest of six overactive boys I was at the bottom of the food chain. The wildebeest of the dinner table hoping to have enough time to graze a few morsels before the stampede. That’s how shit got divided. I ate dinner in like five minutes, wolfing it down before any of the older wolves finished and started to pick from my plate. We weren’t poor, just divided. I lived in a room divided by imaginary boundary lines set up by three older brothers, leaving me trapped in the crappiest real estate of a four bed suite the same size as a normal kids single room. Maybe that helped me cope with my current situation of sharing tight quarters with three other guys. Or maybe Mom and Dad were preparing me for my destiny but that’s what I mean by divided family.

Doesn’t matter, you play the hand your dealt and make the best of it. I was dealt the lowest card on the totem pole so I did whatever I had to do to get noticed, to be heard over the raging hormones of my big brothers. Johnny was the oldest so he got the benefit of being first in line. The newest clothes, the biggest dinner portions, and a monopoly on Dads time. Brian, or Legs was the next in line, the tall athletic son who used up whatever pride Pops had leftover from Johnny because he played sports. Jimmy, Bob, and Danny shared the middle child status where they existed in relative obscurity and devoted much of their time to teasing me or kicking my ass just for kicks. And holy shit could they kick! They happily and democratically divided that chore up pretty evenly. And then at the end of the line, at the bottom of the barrel came me, a virtual omnipresent bruise. Apparently when I was born the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck so I came out of the womb all blue. It earned me the envious nickname “Blueboy” which everyone called me for so long I’m not sure if anyone remembered my real name, Thomas. But that’s me with a nickname that stuck like Beaver Cleaver. Blueboy O’Brian, destined to a life of crime for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just glad they didn’t call me O’Blueboy.

 

Levittown wasn’t a particularly tough town as far as suburban towns go, but it was a town where appearance was everything. Parents spent more money on giving the appearance of being well off than they did feeding or clothing their kids. Like half the kids around town we starved so the family could drive around in a new big Chrysler and dress in high suburb fashion. Us angry teens on the other hand didn’t give a shit about looking rich we only cared about how tough we were, like the street gangs of the big city. Another disadvantage for me, Blueboy was not the toughest nickname around but what could I do, it has always stuck. One benefit was having a nickname, because everyone who was anyone had a nickname. My best friends were Red, Snots, and Digger. Red with a full head of bright orange curls, Snots with his ever runny nose, and Digger, the braniac who tried top dig a whole in his back yard all the way to China so he could run away. When I really think about it none of them that much better than Blueboy, but no matter, we were who we were and we were four young lads with tough ass nicknames preparing for an island adventure. Rikers Island.

We started out our lives of crime on a small scale, just selling a little weed here and there and reselling some stolen items from the mall. But we were hungry for more. Digger had a BB gun and Red had an idea. We planned to rob a Dairy Barn Store in Bayside Queens. It sounded brilliant, Dairy Barns were isolated drive up stores that sold basically dairy items, but you could also buy cigarettes, soda’s, just about anything you might find at a 7/11 store. We would drive up in Slots Rambler and Red would hold the BB gun on the dude inside the store. Me and Digger would run into the store and grab anything we could sell while the unsuspecting cashier would relieve the cash register of its contents into a bag and casually hand it to Red. I sensed trouble right at the start. The Cashier looked at Red and said, “That ain’t nothing but a damn BB gun boy.” Red was quick on his feet, “Oh yea? You want I should shoot out one of your eyes with this high powered BB gun? Why don’t you just shut the fuck up and put the money from the cash register in a bag there and hand it over.” The cashier didn’t look very impressed as he pointed to a sign that said “Store under surveillance” about the same time Slott’s Rambler stalled out. I tripped as I entered the store and Digger fell on top of me. “There’s a camera right here you assholes. Who the fuck thinks robbing a Dairy Barn is a smart idea? You assholes are going down.”

Slotts tried in vain to get his car running, Digger and I scrambled to our feet and the dark of evening soon became drenched in flashing red and blue lighting. About that time I thought I probably shouldn’t have brought the bag of weed with me while committing a crime. “Put your weapon down and your hands up!” Red dropped the BB gun to the ground, Digger peed his pants, and Slotts finally got his car started and in a panic hit the accelerator while putting it in drive slamming into the fence four feet in front of him. We would eventually be tagged as “The gang that couldn’t drive straight” by the local newspapers but for now we just learned a few new legal terms. Intent, transference, and armed robbery

 

So anyway, that’s how I landed this all expense paid trip to the Island to include housing. I have three roommates. They look mean and nasty but I think they’re all nice guys deep down. Theres Shredder here who I assume works in an office, and Knuckles, who I’m a bit unsure of. The real big guy over there calls himself “Hammer” and he calls me Blue Balls instead of Blueboy which he thinks is hilarious. Tell you the truth I don’t really mind that…..”YO BLUE BALLS. GET ON OVER HERE ITS HAMMER TIME!”…oh, gotta go, that’s Hammer now. My culinary knowledge and training suggests he wants me to teach him how to make pie crust. Why else would he have brought such a large jar of Crisco with him? Until next time guys, peace out.

Blueboy O’Brian

 

 

 

 

In Praise Of Punnery

pun

 

 

I just want to profess my love for one of humors most clever yet looked down of art forms. People say that puns are the lowest form of humor you could buy. That makes no cents. It seams (A hem) to me the higher a person is, the funnier the pun appears to be and the harder they laugh. You’ll get no boo’s if you give then booze. Or whatever else will raise the level of the pun to cause the funny bones to be so humerus. I for one am a huge oscillating air blower of punnery. It takes a clever use of word twisting, timing, and structure to create a successful pun play. There is an art to doing it correctly, if a pun is too loose it won’t fit in to your punch line and if it’s to tight you won’t be able to pull it off. (Ahem)

So next time you hear someone say that puns are the lowest form of humor, get them high. Then maybe they can take their hang ups out of the closet and give a few chuckles. Some good home groan will make them grown and shake their head for sure. In the meantime, keep punning and keep laughing, humor comes in all shapes and sizes and its all good…PEACE

 

Oh Captain My Captain

captain

I laughed till I cried while you cried inside
Oh Captain my Captain
Poet laureate of comedic expression
Voice of reason of our topical consciousness
Standing high above the glen atop the desktop mountains
Alongside poets of yore on the cliffs by the sea
Prey tell dear free thinker believeth you this
If our revered dead poets had lived life eternal
Would the words of the prophets still wax relevant?
Wouldst the embrace of the writers still warm our souls
Shine beauty on the sights too often unseen?
Or is it in death we finally come to understand
The true context of words spoken direct to our heart?
In posthumous praise now we regale their true genius

Did destiny lure you from the desktops of Dover
Oh Captain my Captain
Teasing you the promise of a life or a death
One comes inching constant precarious to the ledge
The other flees emphatic floods of fleeting memories
Yet both amble beside us through all of our days
Chiseling away at the center of mindful thought
Until the chunks of the soul like the heart become heavy
No longer able to hold them we toss them both aside
Crumbling apart down across the cliffs of insanity
Boulders of depression crush our souls and our spirit
You at the helm steering our hearts with your laughter
The smile on your face not revealing your agonies
Nor the scorched battlefields full of ashes unseen

The alien outside was the alien within
Oh Captain my Captain
Helping us laugh through the uncertainty of living
Mocking from inside that which would never be viewed
The showering saline of sorrow concealed deep inside
Where raging rapids of confusion reside undefeated
Away from the visage of the many who cared
But couldn’t see the torture you tried to endure
Your legend inscribed in our hearts and our minds
Torn pages from The Dead Poets Society in your name
So you can walk the deck eternal oh captain my captain
Thank you Robin
There are no more promises to keep
No more miles until you sleep
Close your eyes oh Captain my Captain
Let the world sing you a song as you sleep

-Rock In Peace-

OH WHAT A NIGHT!

what a night 1

(Time to get up, if you can)
The sun was scratching at my eyes an my head was pounding out a thunderous redundant painful beat. Over an over, boom, boom,boom boom, echoing dully through my skull. In the throes of confusion I tried to make sense of my situation. Where the fuck am I? Am I like dead or something? I looked down. Oh shit, I’m alive, and I’m naked in an unfamiliar bed. Naked? Could be a good thing, think back, think back. I remember Me and Miles were at a bar, his favorite biker bar and…. Wait! Jesus shit something moved! Holy fuck there someone else in bed with me. I looked at myself again, buck bone naked, matted pubic hair region, some sort of secretion has occurred… Oh my God! Oh Jesus shit in Hell please don’t let it be Miles laying next to me! I squinted through the powerful streaks of sunrays reaching through the window. I felt some large breasts on my back. Okay, okay, it’s a female, at least there’s that, but who the hell is she? I looked at myself again, naked and seemingly spent. I must have had a lot of sex last night because my normal morning wood is a morning wouldn’t. Or couldn’t. But who’s in bed with me?
An unfamiliar voice in a groggy hoarse tone.“ Well hey there Myron, you ready for a fifth time?” There was a hint of a schoolgirl giggle when she asked me if I wanted to… Wait, did she call me Myron? The only time I use Myron is when I need an alias. Why would I need tell her my name was Myron? “Ah, um, what do you mean?” Uh man my head was pounding, what the fuck did I drink last night? “You two went at it all night, hahaha. You gonna do it again for us to watch? Oh yea do it!” Another strange female voice from across the room. Okay, two beds, me and Miles, this must be a no tell motel room we’re in. Miles is over in the other bed with a chick too. I attempted to remove the fog from my mind but the defroster wasn’t working yet so I rubbed my eyes extra hard as if it would help me remember but it only made matters worse.
I must have taken something last night, a pill or something because I’ve had a million hangovers before but this is like a fugue, I haven’t a clue where I am, who’s in be with me, how I got here, or even what day it is. There was a bottle of water on the nightstand so I took a big mouthful and long swallow to remove the stale shitty taste in my mouth. I peeked over to Miles who was still sleeping but his apparent partner was sitting up in bed naked as a jaybird with her breasts just hanging out in the open. I forced my eyes away from her breasts an looked at her face. She was pretty although the heavy make up she must have worn last night was now making her look like a raccoon. But a pretty raccoon, with real long full blond hair and an obvious well endowed chest. Hard to tell from that vantage point but she appeared rather short, maybe five foot but then again she was sitting cross-legged on a bed and her breasts were like magnets to my eyes, blurred as my vision was. I glanced closer noticing her blond hair was platinum blond that screamed give me peroxide or give me death. But it did look sexy on her and I assumed we had double dated ending up in a hotel. I took a chance, “You two were pretty loud yourselves.” She let out a half laugh, half giggle, “I guess so but I never heard Jenny screaming like that before, I‘d love to see what you did to get her to scream so loud.” The woman next to me blushed, “You’re just jealous Nance, but he is a real tease this one” Jenny! At least I have a name now, but I still don‘t remember anything. The stranger named Jenny, unless she used an alias too, was coming to life herself offering me a good view of her naked body. Not so tiny, she was maybe five and a half foot, but much larger than her counterpart in Miles bed. She also had blond hair but dirty blond, I couldn’t tell how long but there was an incredible amount of hair. Jenny was no stranger to tattoo’s having several small inkings along her arms which seemed somewhat scattered and disorganized. Not the flow of ink like I have, each arm telling a story with the Grim Reaper chest tattoo guarding my heart. But it wasn’t horrible, they could be fixed with some new ink. Her body was stout having a fair amount of meat on her bones but her most striking attribute by far was her enormous mammary glands. I have never seen such huge breasts, at least not in person. Those beauties could have their own area code they were so big. The truth is I’m more of what they call a leg man, I love long muscular legs but I also have no problem exploring new area’s, especially if they have their own area code. I estimated the mountainous melons to weigh a good twenty pounds a piece.
“Hehe, I know what’s for breakfast.” She bent down and took my spent member in her mouth. Fully engulfed I was… how do you say it? Flaccid. I stopped her, “Not right now Jenny, I need to shower and some coffee.” What the Hell was I thinking? I just opted out of getting morning head! Well first I really need to figure out what’s going on, maybe later. Platinum blond from across the room chimed in, “Ohhh, that’s a great idea JT, lets all go shower together.” Fuck! How come she knows my real name but her friend thinks I’m….My thought was cut off by the confused Jenny, “I though your name was Myron?” Jenny squeezed my balls, so I knew I better have the right answer, “So what is your name stud muffin?” Think quick. “My name is Myron but most people, like Miles there call me JT. It’s short for, um, Justin Time, you know because I always seem to get where I need to be just in time…..
I damn near ran into the shower to attempt to collect my rational but was instantly joined by two naked women. A beautiful fantasy had it not been for the fact that one of these ladies, a very hot and sexy lady, was my best friend Miles girlfriend and the other, a slightly overweight tattoo laden lady with mammary glands that require a summit to fully appreciate was apparently my girlfriend. Nevertheless, I was showering with two women, one which was soaping me up, which at this point was possible again. Nancy seductively and teasingly soaped her own body up while watching and commentating on how we were performing. “oh yea Jenny, I think you have his full attention.” The hot water was helping clear my head a bit so within seconds I was standing at soapy attention. Who am I to pass up such a golden opportunity. I gave in and we lathered each other into frenzied states of passion and made love standing in the shower as Nancy commented on our every move. After having been afforded the opportunity to explore the humongous appendages I can confirm the twenty pound estimate, adding that they require almost a half bar of soap just for each. But more importantly I sensed we had made some sort of connection that I can’t seem to recall. Not sure if this is bad or good, I hope when Miles wakes up he can shed some light on how I got here, and more importantly, Where the fuck are we and what day is it!!!

A Hunting I Won’t Go

dead-jerry-rifle

Any Time The Hunter Gets Captured By The game

If I had to hunt for my food I would starve. My whole family would starve because the closest I ever came to capturing a meal was the time I dropped a can of Pringles and chased it down a hill. Perhaps it’s a morality thing, I mean its not like I’m a flatulent oozing vegetarian I love a good steak, but I don’t need to see it slaughtered. I’m still haunted by the one time I had to chose my own lobster only to have it sentenced to death and served to me with a plastic bib on. Why a lobster would wear a plastic bib is anybody’s guess, but back to the point. At the time I couldn’t help thinking what a shit I was for pointing out an innocent lobster to have it sent mercilessly to its death to satisfy my eating urges. One of those things that just kind of stays with you from childhood through older childhood.
Basically I’m saying I’m anti-hunting. I get that some people feel the need to sneak up on and slaughter animals because they have antlers but personally I don’t get it. I‘m not just being a tree hugging liberal about it, although I have hugged my share of tree‘s, but I walked the walked before talking this talk. That’s right, this peacenik hippie freak has walked the wild hills of Loch Sheldrake NY, up in the Catskill mountains, with a loaded rifle in his hand and lived to tell about it. I had mentally prepared myself to use it before leaving, but by the end of the weekend I was mentally prepared to use it on the drunken rifle toting deer killers. How does a long haired hippie freak in a bright colored ski sweater end up hunting wild animals you ask? A trade off.
I had forged a friendship with a dude my age at work named George. George was an avid hunter, going into the hills stealthily in camouflage during bow and arrow season only to return a week later with heat seeking shotgun shells for the opening of gun hunting season. He had been soliciting me for a week to come and join him as I stood my ground until one day he proposed an offer hard to refuse. “JT seriously dude, hunting is the best thing ever. There is nothing like it.” Now that I took as a challenge. Being a confirmed Deadhead I knew for a fact the actual quote is “There is nothing like a Grateful Dead Concert” and I let him know that in no uncertain terms. His response caught me off guard. “I tell you what, I’ll go to one of your Grateful Dead concerts if you come with me next week.” Hmmm, another challenge. I have brought four people already to their first Dead shows and have made for converts. If I go hunting next week it will force him to go to a show and he will also try weed for the first time. Irresistible offer. “Cool”
So it was set that next week I would travel up into the mountains with a loaded weapon in my hands and as a consolation prize turn a friend on to The Dead and get him stoned. For my part I went out and bought a few magazines, Field and Stream, Outdoor Life, and Sports Afield to get myself familiar with all the latest on hunting protocols. What I learned only made me think I was making a huge mistake. But a deals a deal so I called George to find out what to bring. “Just make sure you dress in bright clothes, warm and in layers, and don’t wear that deer musk cologne you use.” Got it! “Okay, and its not cologne, its patchouli oil. But okay, I won’t bring it. I’ll be ready.” I went through my clothes noting a black leather jacket would not be appropriate and opted for a bright red yellow and blue ski sweater and of course layers. Off we went.
The plan was to drive up Friday night and stay at a motel in town, get up early an hit out into the forest is search of some helpless animals to brutally slay. Back in the seventies drinking responsibly meant wearing a seatbelt while guzzling so we drank a few beers on the way up. By the time we got to the motel the only thing we were sporting was a slight buzz. But the bar at the motel took care of that. It was like some kind of frat party or something, a ton and a half of guys getting drunk and doing shots. Pool table, jukebox, all the comforts of a local dive bar. Guys kept coming over to buy George a drink, and when he introduced me bought one for me as well. I’m not a carpenter but I got hammered that night. 2AM and I still had 2 coasters in front of me so we did two shots of Jack Daniels and called it a night. Tomorrow is the big day, the first day of hunting season and I can only assume the only advantage the deer will have is all of us having killer hangovers.
When I finally shook off all the fog from last nights alcohol I realized that all the guys I was watching head out into the woods were the same guys that were so smashed last night. And every last one of them had a bright orange vest, bright orange skullcap, and at least three quarter of them had orange pants as well. Either this was a prison break or hunters wear a lot of orange. All except me of course, who was in the height of winter style with my fleece lined red Nordic ski hat and my bright multi color stylish ski sweater looking like Jean-Claude Killy leaving the slopes of the alps to join a group of murderous hungover Orangemen into the Catskills. That was when the paranoia began to settle in, and I had gone from fierce hunter to frightened sheep following the crowd in two seconds. George sensed my apprehension and led me to a spot halfway down a mountain, “You stay here JT and if you see a deer shoot it. I’ll be around seeing if I can spook one out” He left and I was alone wondering what I will do once I really do see a deer. I kept thinking about Bambi and I decided I better not look the animal in the eye or there I no way I’ll shoot. The opportunity never came up, although I did see a cute bear cub off in the distance, and I watched a group of beavers working in the stream. Dam they were good!
George came back and collected me for lunch. We went back to the bar at the motel to get some chili con carne and when we walked in half the crew from last night were there and drinking already. The paranoia quickly returned as I listened to them talk about a kill, a shot, or something called a “sound shot” George came over with the chili, “You okay JT?” “Yeah I’m okay, little cold and I wish I had something orange to wear. By the way George, that dude over there was talking about ‘nuthin but a sound shot‘. What’s a sound shot?” George looked a tad concerned, “When you don’t actually see the animal but you hear it making a sound.” I was floored. Holy shit, what if I was sounding like a deer? I ate my chili in silence but all I could think about was these drunken fools taking sound shots after lunch.
The rest of the trip was uneventful and I basically hid in the woods trying not to sound like a deer. Along with the other hunters we got drunk at night and they kept talking about how they will “sacrifice the animal” if they have a decent shot. Luckily the weather took a bad turn and it was snowing too hard to hunt effectively. George got off one shot but missed but I never even raised the rifle to my shoulder once. I was okay with that. I said I would try hunting, knew it was not for me but found out I was understating how wrong much it wasn‘t for me. To this day I have never killed another animal, and I never plan to kill one. I eat meat, I’ll even eat venison, although I think its bullshit they call them deer when they kill (or sacrifice) it but venison when they eat it, but I guess it eases their conscience after slaughtering an unarmed animal. I did take George to a Grateful Dead concert and got him stoned, and he had a great time but didn’t convert. He was and always will be a “Rolling Stones Guy” but as long as he digs it that’s cool. He did smoke weed with me a lot more after that so I did make a bit of progress. I lost touch with George, as is usually does life got in the way and we both moved on and I’m sure he still hunts and that’s okay, because I still indulge in my passions as well. I used to wonder what I would have done if I was face with the opportunity to shoot an animal, would I have taken the shot. But as time has passed I have come to realize there is no way I would have pulled the trigger. I’m proud of that fact but in the end if I couldn’t buy food I’d be dead and wouldn’t be here to write these twisted stories. It is what it is…..PEACE

Punny You Should Say That (An Owed To Joy)

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I heard someone say that puns are the slowest form of humor yet it takes a remarkably quick wit. Actually I think I may have heard slowest wrong but after being stalked by corny jokes for so long my ears hear colonel when its really kernel. I get it, they really said it’s the lowest form of humor but I’m still in limbo as to how low to set that bar. At any rate, puns are a play on words that can make a kid kid another kid or make a grown man groan so I want to pay my respect. I normally write in my boxers but I’ll try to keep this in brief.
When I was all of six years old I discovered the power of a pun. We had a gas station named Citgo and one day in the car, with Dad driving, Mom in the front, my little sister between them in babyseat and me squished in between my four older brothers and I made a bold statement. I said “Hmmm, Citgo, where you can sit and go.” Meaning getting gas I raised my arms to pantomime driving. Apparently my driving imitation looked more like someone moving their bowels and the family roared with laughter. That’s when I realized I could use English language to get noticed by pretending to have irritable vowel syndrome if I really pumped up the the puns I could keep them giggling consonantly. I had discovered the lowest form of humor and it lifted me up.
If puns are low its because they are the foundation of clever of humor. They’re black and white and read all over, they’re the reason the chicken crossed the road having its intentions come into question, It’s why it takes three pole dancers to erect a light bulb, and the basis of the omnipresent schoolyard knock knock jokes. All great comedians are pun practioners and are adept at sailing double entendres at triple warped mind speed leaving us land lubbers rolling in the Isles. Whether it’s a three act play on words, a homophone, which as it turns out is not a gay cellular device, or just a simple unmarried Miss direction puns take sharp and fast tongues to verbalize a stream of consciousness quick as a lick. Many punsters, myself included become almost obsessed, trying to twist everything they hear. Someone introduces me to Isabelle and I hear is a bell and feel combelled to chime in with a ringing endorsement about jingle jangling word association. A Pavlonian response that has me salivating at the a peal of making someone smile. If there is a low form of puns it cums from the perverse endless sexual innuendo punster. Those who chuckle and plan at the mention of such easy target words like woody, erect, hole, or the mention of Master Bates. It’s a favorite of that uncle who continues to play pull my finger well past its age appropriateness. For me sexual in your endo jokes are just too easy, like your mom was last night. But it will always have a place in punditry because like splinter religions, sects sells. A truly great pun takes an extraordinary amount of cleverness and thought using one ability to instantly see verbal connections where others see mere words and plugging the pun in before it sinks in. Great puns are like hand grenades because you pull the pin and wait for it to blow up. That’s why I pay homage. That and the fact that I still owe Homage a lot of money. I’m a self proclaimed lover of all things punny. Puns are a part of everyone’s daily life these days and no news story is complete without slinging some puntastic zingers.. Here’s a somewhat exaggerated example:
This just in from Know News is Good noose:
FRUIT LOOPY
A cereal killer is believed on the loose in General Mills campgrounds and campers experiencing in tents fear. Police canvassing their tented community in search of the frosted wheat whacker who is making the campers snap, crackle, and pop. They believe the perp is Cuckoo for Cocoa puffs so The Cap’n is putting the crunch on by running background Chex on all adults using hare brained tricks because every bunny knows that Trix are for kids….

But news stations really do use puns to make their point as in headlines such as “Chickens Cry Fowl” or “Locksmith Plays Key Roll In Bakery Break In.” Another area often engaging in punnery is just about every TV show and movie ever made. The best bantering between actors are scripted with artistic puns. It takes an artist to draw laughs from sketches. Without puns the artist draws a blank but looking around in a room packed with punsters the artist can draw a crowd. So much for a low form, it takes a highly evolved mind to come up with such clever comedy. Dimwitted humor pales in comparison. Slap stick falls flat, bathroom humor smells, and I suck at self deprecation. Sarcasm can be a little bitter, but not much better.

Today puns are significantly more evolved than the early days. I grew up with lines like “Take my wife. Please!” or “I just flew in from Baltimore and boy are my arms tired.” Today it takes much deeper thought because once jokes are use they become less funny. Ten years ago we had Bob Hope, Johnny Cash, Eddie Money, and Steve Jobs, and today all we have this worn out and tired old joke format. Take my wife is now I married Miss right, but I didn’t know at the time her first name was always, and flying in from Baltimore gets morphed to I can’t leave because I was on the third floor of the airport with someone else’s stuff and came down with something. There are a lot of people in the airport so I hope its not terminal or the only thing flying out of here will be rumors. Anyway, IMHO, like rock and roll the puns colors are true so punnery will never dye.
Thanks for taking the time to read this pun praising piece. This thoroughly enjoyable (for me) excursion was inspired by a high school English teacher of mine whom I have had the fortune of reconnecting with on social media. Professor Jim Zeitler shares my profound love of the English Language and our abilities to twist, invert, dissect, misdirect, turn inside out or upside down the words that make up our language to make others smile, laugh, or most important, to think. Jim sent me a book by John Pollack called “The Pun Also Rises” which delves into the history of puns and its impressive how deep and rich the history of witty wordplay is and how long it has been an art form. I dedicate this post to him because while my high school daze are way behind me his dedication to instructing and constructing minds is still going strong and I assume he will forever teach many of us new things. He has once again taught me things dispelling the age old cliché “You can’t teach and old dog new tricks.” And trust me, this old hound dog learned things he can sink his canines in and I’m not peeling the bark off the wrong tree. Okay no more, I’ll stop, I’m bushed anyway! Thank you Jim Zeitler, your wit an wisdom continues to reach out and inspire minds both young and old. … PEACE