NO, it’s not about basketball–it’s crazy/funny stuff.
Some of these have previously appeared on John Maberry’s Writings or Views from Eagle Peak. Others are brand new, never having been published in print or the web. Let’s start with a recent one from John’s Writings.
The Thief with a Bellyache
From John Maberry’s Writing, February 2017. The hungry thief made the most of the slim pickings he found in the remote cabin. He made a sandwich to go with stale bread and some dubious leftovers from the nearly empty refrigerator. He hadn’t targeted the dwelling in the woods; it came as a chance encounter while fleeing the police. His last heist came at a home with a sophisticated alarm system. One that sent a silent alert to the security company, which immediately notified the police. Exiting through the backdoor, he barely eluded the cops coming in the front door. He’d made a good haul there too–that he had to drop in order to run. He didn’t even have time to get into his car, parked around the corner and down the block.
Fortunately for him, the small town cops were on the portly side. They ran after him into the woods but soon tired of the chase. He kept going, eventually getting into the secluded site of the cabin. Nothing worth stealing here that could be carried on foot. He rested a bit after the food. As he prepared to leave, his stomach began churning. At least he had managed to take his bag of burglar tools when he evaded the police. Along with the picks, knives, pry bar and what he used to enter homes, he had the cure for what ailed him–a bottle of Klepto Bismol.
The Power of a Sneeze
I’ve tried levitating now and then, but found it difficult rising to the occasion. Still, I’ve been known to leave my chair and sometimes even my feet through the power of a robust sneeze. Does that count, I wonder. Perhaps it’s proof of Newton’s Third Law—an equal and opposite reaction. Suppose I were able to sneeze continuously, without losing too many brain cells in the process. As a result, I might levitate some distance into the sky. Alas, the return to earth would surely be most painful—possibly injurious. Best to give this proposition no further thought.
Pope on a Rope
From Views from Eagle Peak, April 2008. In this odd, but true story, some strange products came to market when the Pope visited Washington, DC in 2008. How strange? Well, how about bobblehead Popes and soap in the form of Pope-on-a-Rope? Perhaps this is a way to wash away your sins. Not a “Midnight Confession” but a “Bathtub Confession.” Yes, there really were such mementoes available from enterprising vendors. But you had better watch out where you put that soap!
I have not heard of any similar products for the Dalai Lama. Maybe it’s just a Catholic thing. Of course, to really push the religious/politico envelope, how many of such products are made in China and distributed or sold by Jewish merchants I wonder. OK, not politically correct, I confess–sort of.
NOTE: No offense is intended at the beliefs of the two remaining members, of this predominantly 19th century religious group. It’s something that came to me in a college history class, discussing 19th century utopian communities.
At the height of their popularity, in the 1840s, there were nearly 6,000 members of the Shaker faith living in 23 villages in the US. The formal name of the group is The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing. They were an offshoot of the Quakers and hence called the Shaking Quakers for their movements during worship. Eventually they were simply referred to as Shakers. They’re known for their simple furniture, which sometimes may be seen on Antiques Roadshow or found in antique shops. Because a core principle of their belief is celibacy, only two apparently remain—and those obviously include some converts.
They were early believers in equality of men and women. They also were fervent abolitionists. Apparently, there were some communities of Shakers that had both black and white members. To outsiders, who had less reverence for the radical religious beliefs of the group, these communities were referred to as the Salt and Pepper Shakers.
Three Little-Known Phobias
From Views from Eagle Peak, June 2014. So many phobias, so many odd names for them. Everyone knows about triskaidekaphobia (the fear of the number 13), acrophobia (the fear of heights) and agoraphobia the fear of open spaces or crowds. But what about the really odd ones?
- The fear or avoidance of replacing the empty roll of paper in the bathroom. Do you know the name for this one? While the wives out there may not know the name, they know the symptom, eh?
- What about the fear of peanut butter? Hah, what’s to fear with that, you ask. Well, what if you munch into a thick, sticky hunk of the aromatic spread and your jaws get stuck–the adhesive qualities of the nut butter sticking to roof and floor of your mouth? Scary? Not to most people, but to some it’s real. Although here as humor, research shows there actually is a name for this: Arachibutyrophobia. Truth can be stranger than humor—as well as fiction.
- “Step on a crack; break your mother’s back”–you remember that one, right? You don’t believe it though, do you? No, but what about the fear of stepping in a puddle? Lots of children love to step into them, to the consternation of mothers everywhere. But for those who worry about the depth of the puddle, it’s no messy matter. Oh no, what if it’s really deep? The water’s dark, you can’t see the bottom; it could be over your ankle, maybe even half way up your shin! Now isn’t that something to worry about?
A Few Shorter Items
- She keeps checking, but the new body to replace the one broken down by age is still on backorder.
- Living in the Southwest, I sometimes wonder, how does one exorcise a dust devil?
- “Herd up”—a commonly heard phrase among cowboy rappers.
- Here’s an update to an old saying: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to tweet and remove all doubt.”
- She was out of sorts, but after looking in one store aisle after another, he couldn’t find them anywhere.
- For authors out there, have you considered writing an “Idiot’s Guide to Writing a ‘For Dummies Book’ ”? Or perhaps vice-versa? Who knows, there may be a market for this helpful manual.
- Now that marijuana is becoming legal in so many states, look for cannabis-infused coffee to prevent that hyper-perkiness that comes from too much caffeine in the morning.
- Motorpause: something that happens to older vehicles—leads to alternating hot and cold temperatures in the cabin, hard starting, and difficulty accelerating from time to time.
- What do you get when take the hole out of “manhole cover”? A variation on the 15th/16th century clothing item called a codpiece. If you attend the ballet, you may see some mancovers.
- Ever stop and think about the connection between “lug” and “luggage”? No matter whether it’s two-wheeled or four-wheeled, at some point you have to lift it into a trunk or an overhead bin on a plane. That’s where the lugging comes in.
- Have you ever noticed how metal hangers multiply, unseen, in your closet—but when you need one, there’s never an unused one to be found?
- Do you suppose that washing machines or dryers feed on socks? If not, where do the missing socks go? They can’t be found on the closet floor, the laundry room or basket—nowhere. The appliances must be eating them.
- He ordered a home DNA repair kit but misread the directions; now he hears through his nose and sneezes from his ears.
- The kid asked his mother, “Mom, what religion was Uncle Ben’s rice before it got converted?”
A Few Hints that You May Have OCD
- You never understood why people thought Adrian Monk was funny
- You believe a piece of lint on your jacket is glaring at you
- You remember fondly and proudly how the NCOs at your military units always used your lockers as examples during inspection
- After watching your favorite TV shows, you rerun them until you are certain you missed nothing before sharing them with friends—who soon begin avoiding you
- You sort your unread magazines alphabetically by name and in reverse chronological order—oh, no wait, that’s actually a practical organizational methodology
From John’s Writings, December 2015. Long, lonely months had passed since Karsh had last lain with Druna. His mottled crest rose stiffly as he darted to her side, claws poised to meet any playful resistance with faux force. With nostrils flaring, Karsh nipped her neck, holding Druna steady as he swung his golden tail beneath her. As much as she wanted to act the lizard that she was, she surrendered without a fight—she too had missed their passion. Yet, something was missing from the flail of his tail. Nothing was happening.
Suddenly, Karsh rolled free, releasing her neck with a loud “damn!”“What is it my love?” Druna asked, her brilliant blue scales dulling. “I thought you wanted this as much as I do.”
“I do, I do. But …”
“I just can’t do it. It must be that damn scale medication—I am way too young for a reptile dysfunction!”