Author Archive: Christopher Waldrop

A little late for Mardi Gras…

February 21, 1996

Yes, it was yesterday, and it was during the weekend that we really saw the big parties in New Orleans. For those of you who don’t know, it is from those parties that the name "Mardi Gras" comes from, since it roughly translates as "Urinate anywhere you want".

I have vague memories of having once gone to Mardi Gras, but it’s like the sixties: if you really remember it, then you probably weren’t there.

On a totally unrelated note, here’s something to remind even those of us who don’t have children what finally having to take on responsibilities means.

Preparation for Parenthood

Preparation for parenthood is not just a matter of reading books and decorating the nursery. Here are 12 simple tests for expectant parents to take to prepare themselves for the real-life experience of being a mother or father.

1. Women: to prepare for maternity, put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front. Leave it there for 9 months. After 9 months, take out 10% of the beans. Men: to prepare for paternity, go to the local chemist, tip the contents of your wallet on the counter, and tell the pharmacist to help him- self. Then go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office. Go home. Pick up the paper. Read it for the last time.

2. Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels, and how they have allowed their children to run riot. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behavior. Enjoy it – it’ll be the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.

3. To discover how the nights will feel, walk around the living room from 5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 lbs. At 10pm put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, till 1am. Put the alarm on for 3am. As you can’t get back to sleep get up at 2am and make a drink. Go to bed at 2.45am. Get up again at 3am when the alarm goes off. Sing songs in the dark until 4am. Put the alarm on for 5am. Get up. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

4. Can you stand the mess children make? To find out, smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains. Hide a fish finger behind the stereo and leave it there all summer. Stick your fingers in the flowerbeds then rub them on the clean walls. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

5. Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems: first buy an octopus and a string bag. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this – all morning.

6. Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a pot of paint turn it into an alligator. Now take a toilet tube. Using only scotch tape and a piece of foil, turn it into a Christmas cracker. Last, take a milk container, a ping pong ball, and an empty packet of Coco Pops and make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower. Congratulations. You have just qualified for a place on the playgroup committee.

7. Forget the Miata and buy a Taurus. And don’t think you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don’t look like that. Buy a chocolate ice cream bar and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a quarter. Stick it in the cassette player. Take a family-size packet of chocolate cookies. Mash them down the back seats. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There. Perfect.

8. Get ready to go out. Wait outside the toilet for half an hour. Go out the front door. Come in again. Go out. Come back in. Go out again. Walk down the front path. Walk back up it. Walk down it again. Walk very slowly down the road for 5 minutes. Stop to inspect minutely every cigarette end, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect along the way. Retrace your steps. Scream that you’ve had as much as you can stand, until the neighbors come out and stare at you. Give up and go back into the house. You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

9. Always repeat everything you say at least five times.

10. Go to your local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child – a fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat. Buy your week’s groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goats eat or destroy. Until you can easily accomplish this do not even contemplate having children.

11. Hollow out a melon. Make a small hole in the side. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side. Now get a bowl of soggy Weetabix and attempt to spoon it into the swaying melon by pretending to be an aeroplane. Continue until half the Weetabix is gone. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it falls on the floor. You are now ready to feed a 12-month old baby.

12. Learn the names of every character from Postman Pat, Fireman Sam and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When you find yourself singing "Postman Pat" at work, you finally qualify as a parent.

Mondays can be your friend…

February 19, 1996

…if you’re lucky enough to not have to go in to work/class/whatever this morning. Otherwise, don’t they really suck?

Here’s a cute little story that really illustrates how I feel some Mondays. Days when I make it all the way through, only to find that everything I’d done could have been a lot easier. So, although my experience doesn’t exactly compare with that of a Pope, I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did.

There was a Pope who was greatly loved by all of his followers, a man who led with gentleness, faith and wisdom. His passing was grieved by the entire world, Catholic or not.

As the Pope approached the gates of heaven, it was Saint Peter who greeted him in a firm embrace.

"Welcome your holiness, your dedication and unselfishness in serving your fellow man during you life has earned you great stature in heaven. You may pass through the gates without delay and are granted free access to all parts of heaven."

"You are also granted an open door policy and may at your own discretion meet with any heavenly leader, including the Father without prior appoint- ment. Is there anything which your holiness desires?"

"Well yes," the Pope replied. "I have often pondered some of the mysteries which have puzzled and confounded theologians through the ages. Are there perhaps any transcripts which recorded the actual conversations between God and the prophets of old? I would love to see what was actually said, without the dimming of memories over time."

Saint Peter immediately ushered the Pope to the heavenly library and explained how to retrieve the vaious documents. The Pope was thrilled and settled down to review the history of man’s relationship with God.

Two years later a scream of anguish pierced the stacks of the library. Immediately several of the Saints and angels came running to the Pope’s side to learn the cause of his dismay.

There they found the Pope pointing to a single word on the parchment, Repeating over and over, "There’s an ‘R’, There’s an ‘R’!!!"

"Look, the word is celibrate, not celibate!"

Happy Valentine’s Day.

February 14, 1996

Folks, I’m gonna bring the room down for a minute…NOT! Seriously, there’s a lot of mush and stuff like that going around on today of all days, and I personally don’t want to add any of it. I want to give you something to laugh about, and, although the piece that follows is a little out of date, I think you’ll still get a kick out of it anyway. First, though, from the home office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, I present a pirated Top Ten list from David Letterman. Enjoy it!

Signs Your Spouse Is Having An Affair By Computer

As presented on the 02/02/96 broadcast of LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN

10. Lately she sits at the computer naked
9. After signing off, he always has a cigarette
8. The giant rubber inflatable disk dive
7. In the morning, the computer screen is all fogged up
6. He’s gotten amazingly good at typing with one hand
5. She makes sarcastic remarks about your "software"
4. Lipstick on the mouse
3. During sex, she screams "A colon backslash enter insert!"
2. The jam in the laser printer is a pair of underpants
1. The fax file is filled with pictures of some guy’s ass

The Ballad of The Bobbit Hillbillies
(Sung to the tune of the Beverly Hillbillies)

Here’s s little story of a man named John A poor ex-marine with a little fraction gone It seems one night after gettin’ with the wife she lopped off his schlong with a swipe of a knife Pecker that is ,
Rodeoed, fillet food

Well, the next thing u know there’a ginsu by his side And Lorena’s in the car taking willie for a ride She soon got tired of her purple headed friend And tossed him out the window as she rounded the bend Curve , that is
Pricker shrubs , wheel hubs

She went to the cops and confessed to the attack And they called out the hounds just to get the weenie back they sniffed and they barked , then they pointed "over there" To John Wayne’s henry that was wavin’ in the air Found , that is
By a fence, evidence

Now peter and John couldn’t stay apart too long so a dick-doc said "Hey , I can fix your dong !" A needle and a thread ‘s just the thing you’re gonna need Then the world held it’s breath till they heard that John peed Whizzed , that is
Stitched seam , straight seam

Well he healed and he hardened and he took his case to court With a cock eyed lawyer (since his assets came up short ) They cleared him of assault and acquitted him of rape And his pecker was the only one they didn’t show on tape Video, that is
Unexposed , case closed

Are We Snowed In Yet?

February 2, 1996

All righty then–after the snow started falling yesterday, I immediately began making preparations just in case I should be unable to deliver Freethinkers Anonymous: The Friday Edition. So, for those of you in Sri Lanka who got your copy two days ahead of time (with the International Dateline in there to muck things up) just ignore it. I braved high winds, snow and sleet, slick streets, and, worst of all, Nashville drivers who think that driving on ice and snow is just like driving on dry pavement. This just goes to show that some of us are not easily daunted by little things like snowstorms or Tamil uprisings.

Before I let you read the following list of true quotes from various people, I thought I’d share with you a few from my own stock and store of hilarious and goofy quotes.

"You can observe a lot by watching." -Yogi Berra

"Steve? You can’t call your main character in this script Steve! Every Tom, Dick, and Harry is named Steve!" -Samuel Goldwyn

"Denial is simply the indulgence of a propensity to forego."–Ambrose Bierce

"Your wife and I are in love, man, and if you don’t like it, I’m gonna come over there and haul your ass out of bed because I’m right around the corner right now." –Lenny Bruce speaking over the phone to a complete stranger called at random

And, my personal favorite:

"I long for the touch of your lips, my dear, But much more for the touch of your whips, my dear." –Tom Lehrer

Editor’s Note: These are apparently true quotes (I say apparently because I haven’t personally verified them), by famous people, most of whom, scarily enough, hold public office. Be afraid…be very afraid.]

"I haven’t committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law." –David Dinkins, New York City Mayor, answering accusations that he failed to pay his taxes.

"They gave me a book of checks. They didn’t ask for any deposits." — Congressman Joe Early (D-Mass) at a press conference to answer questions about the House Bank Scandal.

"He didn’t say that. He was reading what was given to him in a speech." — Richard Darman, director of OMB, explaining why President Bush wasn’t following up on his campaign pledge that there would be no loss of wetlands.

"It depends on your definition of asleep. They were not stretched out. They had their eyes closed. They were seated at their desks with their heads in a nodding position." — John Hogan, Commonwealth Edison Supervisor of News Information, responding to a charge by a Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspector that two Dresden Nuclear Plant operators were sleeping on the job.

"I didn’t accept it. I received it." — Richard Allen, National Security Advisor to President Reagan, explaining the $1000 in cash and two watches he was given by two Japanese journalists after he helped arrange a private interview for them with First Lady Nancy Reagan.

"I was a pilot flying an airplane and it just so happened that where I was flying made what I was doing spying." — Francis Gary Power, U-2 reconnaissance pilot held by the Soviets for spying, in an interview after he was returned to the US.

"I was under medication when I made the decision not to burn the tapes." — President Richard Nixon

"Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life." — Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for a federal anti-smoking campaign.

"I’ve never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body." — Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward.

"I support efforts to limit the terms of members of Congress, especially members of the House and members of the Senate." — Vice-President Dan Quayle

"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country." — Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, DC

"Sure, it’s going to kill a lot of people, but they may be dying of something else anyway." — Othal Brand, member of a Texas pesticide review board, on chlordane.

"Are you any relation to your brother Marv?" — Leon Wood, New Jersey Nets guard, to Steve Albert, Nets TV commentator.

"Beginning in February 1976 your assistance benefits will be discontinued… Reason: it has been reported to our office that you expired on January 1, 1976." — Letter from the Illinois Department of Public Aid

"The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation’s history… this century’s history…. We all lived in this century. I didn’t live in this century." — Dan Quayle, then Indiana senator and Republican vice-presidential candidate during a news conference in which he was asked his opinion of the Holocaust.

"In the early sixties, we were strong, we were virulent…" — John Connally, Secretary of Treasury under Richard Nixon, in an early seventies speech, as reported in a contemporary "American Scholar".

"Rotarians, be patriotic! Learn to shoot yourself." — Chicago Rotary Club journal, "Gyrator".

"The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It’s only the people who make them unsafe." — Frank Rizzo, ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia.

"I’ve always thought that underpopulated countries in Africa are vastly underpolluted." — Lawrence Summers, chief economist of the World Bank, explaining why we should export toxic wastes to Third World countries.

"The crime bill passed by the Senate would reinstate the Federal death penalty for certain violent crimes: assassinating the President; hijacking an airliner; and murdering a government poultry inspector." — Knight Ridder News Service dispatch

"After finding no qualified candidates for the position of principal, the school board is extremely pleased to announce the ppointment of David Steele to the post." – Philip Streifer, Superintendent of Schools, Barrington Rhode Island.

"The doctors X-rayed my head and found nothing." — Dizzy Dean explaining how he felt after being hit on the head by a ball in the 1934 World Series.

Friday Freethinking (part 2)

January 26, 1996

Hey, that little bit this morning was just an appetizer. After the week from Hades, you don’t think I’d let you guys off that easily, do you? I’ve actually been told by quite a few of you out there that you enjoy these "Stress Busters", so let me take this opportunity to say that if you’re ever threatened by excessive stress, stress so bad you think you’ll never survive it, who ya gonna call?

Another Freethinker out there asked me, after my diatribe on Mentos, if I had seen the commercials for Riesen chews, which are obviously made by the same advertising company. (A company that, by the way, proves that one of the dangers of mass communication is that it can allow a single individual to multiply an innocuous and potentially annoying message through others.) Yes, I have seen these commercials in which people happily eat candies that must be something other than Riesen chews. I know: I’ve eaten the damn things, and I’m amazed that the FDA allows anyone to sell hardened asphalt coated with chocolate as candy. To make it even worse, the chocolate coating becomes a thick brown liquid as soon as it hits your tongue, so while you’re pulling at your jaw to separate it from something which the packaging claims is a chewy center, this stuff dribbles out of your mouth and leaves a stain that nothing short of battery acid will take out.

Following my earlier theme of communication problems, the following is advice to be heeded by men everywhere. And women, read this carefully so next time you’ll understand why your significant others sometimes sound like complete idiots.

The 5 toughest questions women ask – and their answers

The five questions are:

1 – "What are you thinking?"
2 – "Do you love me?"
3 – "Do I look fat?"
4 – "Do you think she is prettier than me?"
5 – "What would you do if I died?"

What makes these questions so bad is that every one is guaranteed to explode into a major argument and/or divorce if the man does not answer properly, which is to say dishonestly. For example:

1 – "What are you thinking?" The proper answer to this question, of course, is, "I’m sorry if I’ve been pensive, dear. I was just reflecting on what a warm, wonderful, caring, thoughtful, intelligent, beautiful woman you are and what a lucky guy I am to have met you." Obviously, this statement bears no resemblance whatsoever to what the guy was really thinking at the time, which was most likely one of five things:

a – Baseball
b – Football
c – How fat you are.
d – How much prettier she is than you.
e – How he would spend the insurance money if you died.

According to the Sassy article, the best answer to this stupid question came from Al Bundy, of Married With Children, who was asked it by his wife, Peg. "If I wanted you to know," Al said, "I’d be talking instead of thinking."

The other questions also have only one right answer but many wrong answers:

2 – "Do you love me?" The correct answer to this question is, "Yes." For those guys who feel the need to be more elaborate, you may answer, "Yes, dear." Wrong answers include:

a – I suppose so.
b – Would it make you feel better if I said yes.
c – That depends on what you mean by "love".
d – How about those Lakers?
e – Who, me?

3 – "Do I look fat?" The correct male response to this question is to confidently and emphatically state, "No, of course not" and then quickly leave the room. Wrong answers include:

a – I wouldn’t call you fat, but I wouldn’t call you thin either.
b – Compared to what?
c – A little extra weight looks good on you.
d – I’ve seen fatter.
e – Could you repeat the question? I was thinking about your insurance policy.

4 – "Do you think she’s prettier than me?" The "she" in the question could be an ex-girlfriend, a passer-by you were starring at so hard thay you almost cause a traffic accident or an actress in a movie you just saw. In any case, the correct response is, "No, you are much prettier." Wrong answers include:

a – Not prettier, just pretty in a different way.
b – I don’t know how one goes about rating such things.
c – Yes, but I bet you have a better personality.
d – Only in the sense that she’s younger and thinner.
e – Could you repeat the question? I was thinking about your insurance policy.

5 – "What would you do if I died?" Correct answer: "Dearest love, in the event of your untimely demise, life would cease to have meaning for me and I would perforce hurl myself under the front tires of the first Domino’s Pizza truck that came my way." This might be the stupidest question of the lot, as is illustrated by the following stupid joke:

"Dear," said the wife. "What would you do if I died?"
"Why, dear, I would be extremely upset," said the husband. "Why do you ask such a question?"
"Would you remarry?" persevered the wife.
"No, of couse not, dear" said the husband.
"Don’t you like being married?" said the wife.
"Of course I do, dear" he said.
"Then why wouldn’t you remarry?"
"Alright," said the husband, "I’d remarry." "You would?" said the wife, looking vaguely hurt.
"Yes" said the husband.
"Would you sleep with her in our bed?" said the wife after a long pause.
"Well yes, I suppose I would." replied the husband.
"I see," said the wife indignantly." And would you let her wear my old clothes?"
"Of course not dear. They wouldn’t fit Sandra anyway."

Friday Freethinking (part 1)

January 26, 1996

It was once said that one of the dangers of technology and mass communication was that it could potentially allow a single individual to spread insanity like a disease, to not only maintain but to multiply a dangerous and potentially destructive vision through others. The man who said that was very astute and perceptive, and had remarkable foresight. That is why I had to kill him.

Sometimes, though, communication is not hindered by technology, sometimes it can actually be helped, and can prevent catastrophe. What follows is not an example of that.

From a radio conversation recently released by the U.S. Navy

#1: Object on radar, please divert your course 15 degrees to the north to avoid a collision.

#2: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees south to avoid a collision.

#1: This is the captain of a United States Navy ship. I say again, divert your course!

#2: No. I say again, divert YOUR course.

#1: This is the aircraft carrier Enterprise, we are a large warship of the U.S. Navy. Divert your course NOW!

#2: This is a lighthouse. Your call.

Coming Soon–Late Night With Chris Waldrop!

January 24, 1996

Folks, it has been one helluva week. Ever have one of those mornings when you think that nuclear holocaust would be an improvement?

That’s a depressing train of thought. Let’s get off that and go on with some funny stuff. Even at the worst times, we can find something good about civilisation, right? Admittedly when the first ape used a club and changed the course of evolution forever, the last thing he probably had in mind was strawberry Yoo-Hoo and Yugos.

I really meant somehow to lead up to something about society driving us to occasionally drink heavily (although I personally have cut way back on my drinking and sometimes a six-pack will last me as long as two days) because that’s what today’s bit is about. Enjoy it!

Drinker’s Fault Finding Guide

Symptom: Drinking fails to give satisfaction and taste; shirt front is wet.
Fault: Mouth not open when drinking or glass being applied to wrong part of face.
Solution: Buy another pint and practice in front of a mirror. Continue with as many pints as necessary until drinking technique is perfect.

Symptom: Drinking fails to give satisfaction and taste; beer unusually pale and clear.
Fault: Glass is empty.
Solution: Find someone who will buy you another pint.

Symptom: Room is spinning.
Fault: Somebody is spinning your barstool.
Solution: Vomit on person doing the spinning.

Symptom: Feet cold and wet.
Fault: Glass being held at incorrect angle.
Solution: Turn glass so that open end is pointing at ceiling.

Symptom: Feet warm and wet.
Fault: Loss of self-control.
Solution: Go and stand beside nearest dog. After a while complain to its owner about its lack of house training.

Symptom: Lap cool and wet.
Fault: Drooling on yourself.
Solution: Change position so that you are drooling on someone else.

Symptom: Bar blurred.
Fault: You are looking through the bottom of your empty glass.
Solution: Find someone who will buy you another pint.

Symptom: Bar moving.
Fault: You are being carried out.
Solution: Find out if you are being taken to another bar. If not, complain loudly that you are being hijacked.

Symptom: Bar looks like a circus.
Fault: You’re at a circus.
Solution: Go to a bar.

Symptom: Bar blurred.
Fault: You are looking through the bottom of your empty glass.
Solution: Find someone who will buy you another pint.

Symptom: The opposite wall is covered with ceiling tiles and has a fluorescent strip across it.
Fault: You have fallen over backwards.
Solution: If glass is still full, and no one is standing on your drinking arm, stay put. If not, get someone to lift you up and lash you to the bar.

Symptom: Everything has gone dim and you have a mouth full of teeth and dog-ends.
Fault: You have fallen over forwards.
Solution: Same as for falling over backwards.

Symptom: Everything has gone dim.
Fault: The pub is closing.
Solution: PANIC!

Freethinking: The Friday Edition

January 19, 1996

Have you felt neglected this week? Before you answer, ask yourself if you’re one of the people who works in the same office with me. If you are, then you’re probably not being neglected; you’re being avoided.

I mean it. I’ve got the restraining order to prove it. Oh, you may ask, "What restraining order?" Just make sure you’re standing at least two-hundred feet away when you do it.

Oh, and if you happen to be one of those people who does not work here in the same office with me, enjoy the following list. For some of us, it’s a real eye-opener. I always wondered why everyone looked at me funny when I did number 12…

(and other social catastrophes)

1. At dinner, guard your plate with fork and steak knife, so as to give the impression that you’ll stab anyone, including the waiter, who reaches for it.

2. Collect the salt shakers from all of the tables in the restaurant, and balance them in a tower on your table.

3. Wipe your nose on your date’s sleeve. Twice.

4. Make funny faces at other patrons, then sneer at their reactions.

5. Repeat every third third word you say say.

6. Give your claim to fame as being voted "Most Festerous" for your high school yearbook.

7. Read a newspaper or book during the meal. Ignore your date.

8. Stare at your date’s neck, and grind your teeth audibly.

9. Twitch spastically. If asked about it, pretend you don’t know what they are talking about.

10. Stand up every five minutes, circle your table with your arms outstretched, and make airplane sounds.

11. Order a bucket of lard.

12. Ask for crayons to color the placemat. This works very well in fancier venues that use linen tablecloths.

13. Howl and whistle at womens’ legs, especially if you are female.

14. Recite your dating history. Improvise. Include pets.

15. Pull out a harmonica and play blues songs when your date begins talking about themselves.

16. Sacrifice French fries to the great deity, Pomme.

17. When ordering, inquire whether the restaurant has any live food.

18. Without asking, eat off your date’s plate. Eat more from their plate than they do.

19. Drool.

20. Chew with your mouth open, talk with your mouth full and spray crumbs.

21. Eat everything on your plate within 30 seconds of it being placed in front of you.

22. Excuse yourself to use the restroom. Go back to the head waiter/hostess and ask for another table in a different part of the restaurant. Order another meal. When your date finally finds you, ask him/her "What in the hell took you so long in the restroom?!?"

23. Recite graphic limericks to the people at the table next to you.

24. Ask the people at the neighboring table for food from their plates.

25. Beg your date to tattoo your name on their derriere. Keep bringing the subject up.

26. Ask your date how much money they have with them.

27. Order for your date. Order something nasty.

28. Communicate in mime the entire evening.

29. Upon entering the restaurant, ask for a seat away from the windows, where you have a you have a good view of all exits, and where you can keep your back to the wall. Act nervous.

30. Lick your plate. Offer to lick theirs.

31. Hum. Loudly. In monotone.

32. Fill your pockets with sugar packets, as well as salt and pepper shakers, silverware, floral arrangements… i.e anything on the table that isn’t bolted down.

33. Hold a debate. Take both sides.

34. Undress your date verbally. Use a bullhorn.

35. Auction your date off for silverware.

36. Slide under the table. Take your plate with you.

37. Order a baked potato for a side dish. When the waiter brings your food, hide the potato, wait a few minutes, and ask the waiter for the potato you "never got". When the waiter returns with another potato for you, have the first one back up on the plate. Repeat later in the meal.

38. Order beef tongue. Make lewd comparisons or comments.

39. Get your date drunk. Talk about their philosophy. Get it on tape, and use good judgment in editing to twist their words around.

40. Discuss boils and lesions, as if from personal experience.

41. Speak in pig Latin throughout the meal (Or ubber-dubber language, or just nonsense).

42. Take a break, and go into the restroom. When you return to the table, throw a spare pair of underwear on the back of one of the chairs. Insist that they just need airing out.

43. If they are paying, order the most expensive thing on the menu. Take one bite.

44. Bring 20 or so candles you, and during the meal get up and arrange them around the table in a circle. Chant.

45. Save the bones from your meal, and explain that you’re taking them home to your invalid, senile old mother, because it’s a lot cheaper than actually feeding her.

46. Order your food by colors and textures. Sculpt.

47. Take a thermos along, and hide it under the table. Order coffee, and fill the thermos one cup at a time, taking advantage of the free refills.

48. Insist that the waiter cuts your food into little pieces. In a similar vein, insist that he take a bite of everything on the plate, to make sure no one poisoned it.

49. Accuse your date of espionage.

50. Make odd allusions to dangerous religious cults.

51. Don’t use any verbs during the entire meal.

52. Pass the hat in the restaurant. Use the proceeds (if any) to pay the bill.

53. Break wind loudly. Add color commentary. Bow.

54. Feed imaginary friends, or toy dolls you’ve brought along.

55. Bring a bucket along. Explain that you frequently get ill.

Greetings, greetings…

January 2, 1996

I hope this installment finds everyone well and happy and probably a little heavier after the holidays, but now we can look forward to returning to more or less normal living for the next ten months and breaking all those New Year’s Resolutions we made.

Actually, I’m keeping one Resolution, one which I made while making the owners of that restaurant sorry they’d offered all-you-can-drink complimentary champagne. I resolved to send out something humorous to you guys as soon as I got back to work. Now that I’ve been here for four hours, I’m starting to feel guilty and thinking maybe this is one resolution I could keep.

I hope everyone had a happy holiday–and enjoy this guide to inter-generational conflict.

Generation X, Y, etc. Which are you?

If you answer mostly A, you’re a pre-boomer.
If you answer mostly B, you’re a Baby-Boomer.
If you answer mostly C, you’re in Generation X.
If you answer mostly D, you’re in Generation Y.

1) Who is the ideal figure of motherhood?
A – Eleanor Roosevelt.
B – Donna Reed.
C – Mrs. Brady.
D – Roseanne.

2) What did you want to be when you grew up?
A – Part of a nuclear family.
B – Someone who makes lots of money.
C – Living with your parents.
D – Living with your parents.

3) Music should be…
A – Melodic and romantic.
B – Annoying to your parents.
C – Annoying to your parents.
D – Annoying to your parents.

4) Sex is for…
A – Married couples who want to start families.
B – Anybody who wants to start a party.
C – Latex-clad partners in a labratory setting.
D – Watching on TV.

5) The scariest moment in film history was…
A – When the mummy rose from his tomb.
B – When the Blob chased Steve McQueen.
C – When the alien burst from the man’s chest.
D – When Freddy still would not die.

6) The most inspiring American is…
A – John Wayne.
B – John F. Kennedy.
C – John F. Kennedy Jr.
D – Beavis or Butt-head

7) I expect my retirement to be…
A – The golden years when I can look back on a happy, fulfilling life.
B – An opportunity to finally write my novel.
C – An agonizing slide into abject poverty.
D – A daily struggle to survive in a horribly polluted world.

8) America is becoming…
A – More impersonal.
B – More frightening.
C – More expensive.
D – More bogus.

9) The American Dream is…
A – A house with a two-car garage.
B – A healthy family.
C – Winning the lottery.
D – Touring with Metallica.

10) My college major was…
A – Business.
B – Liberal arts.
C – Secondary to my bartending job.
D – Something far, far away.

11) A good meal would be…
A – Meat and potatoes.
B – Vegetarian macrobiotic.
C – From a drive-up window.
D – Microwaveable.

12) My favorite footwear is…
A – Sensible shoes.
B – Earth shoes.
C – Converse high-tops.
D – Doc Martens.

13) I learned to drive behind the wheel of a…
A – ’53 Packard.
B – ’61 VW.
C – ’78 Pinto.
D – Sega.

14) The "woman"…
A – Marilyn Monroe.
B – Raquel Welch.
C – Julia Roberts.
D – Sheryl Crow.

15) The "man"…
A – Cary Grant.
B – Paul McCartney.
C – Eddie Vedder.
D – Bart Simpson.

16) Lost idol…
A – James Dean.
B – Jim Morrison.
C – Kurt Cobain.
D – Mario Bros.

17) My generation’s most unhealthy habit…
A – Smoking.
B – Smoking pot.
C – Smoking crack.
D – Moshing.

18) Fashion accessory best forgotten…
A – Double knit.
B – Bell bottoms.
C – Skinny ties.
D – Ridiculiously baggy pants.

19) The best way to spend a weekend is…
A – Playing golf.
B – Conciousness raising.
C – Mountain biking.
D – Internet surfing.

20) I remember where I was when…
A – The Japanese surrendered.
B – John F. Kennedy was shot.
C – John Lennon was shot.
D – O.J. took a drive.

21) Life changing movie…
A – East of Eden.
B – Easy Rider.
C – Heathers.
D – Home Alone.

22) Life-changing novel…
A – Catcher in the Rye.
B – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
C – Bright Lights Big City.
D – TV Guide.

23) Sports hero…
A – Mickey Mantle.
B – O.J. Simpson.
C – Michael Jordan.
D – O.J. Simpson.

24) Celebrity my generation would rather not claim…
A – Joe McCarthy.
B – Barry Manilow.
C – Vanilla Ice.
D – Barney.

25) Computers are…
A – Frightening and disconcerning.
B – Complicated.
C – Part of life.
D – My only link to the outside world.

26) The father is the one who…
A – Brings home the bacon.
B – Is attuned to his sensitive side.
C – Left years ago.
D – Holds the remote control.

27) My after-college plans…
A – Work hard to help build a strong America.
B – Take my pick of many job oportunities.
C – Take my pick of many low-paying temp services.
D – Would you like fries with that?

28) My generation’s most annoying fad is…
A – Nuclear testing.
B – Hula hoops.
C – Body piercing.
D – Unemployment.

29) The voice of my generation…
A – Walter Cronkite.
B – Bob Dylan.
C – Madonna.
D – MTV VJ Kennedy.

30) My generation’s biggest fear is…
A – Heart disease.
B – Getting older.
C – Collection agencies.
D – Things that suck

Bonus: Which generation said "Never trust anyone over 30"?
A – A
B – B
C – X
D – All of them.

Christmas Suggestions

December 20, 1995

Greetings fellow Freethinkers!

For those of you who are still reading, Merry Christmas! For those of you who will read this when you return, I hope you had a merry Christmas. Welcome to the new year. To my operatives in Sri Lanka, enjoy the Festival of Lights.

Are you having trouble finding the right book for that special someone on your list? Do you have trouble with people like me who’s birthdays come right at the worst part of the holiday season? (Pardon the shameless personal plug, but I officially hit the quarter-century mark at 11:53 today.) Or do you have children who have a hard time grasping concepts like "the Hood"? For the socially illiterate, for the gloriously politically incorrect, or for the people for whom the bargain book counter at "Everything’s A Dollar" is just too intellectual, I present the following list of suggestions. Enjoy it!

Top 26 Children’s Books *Not* recommended by the National Library Association

26. Bob the Germ’s Wonderous Journey Into and Back Out of Your Digestive System.
25. The Little Engine that Could Becomes intoxicated and Kills Civillians.
24. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’s Games of Revenge.
23. Peter Rabbit’s Frisky Adventures.
22. Dick, Jane, and Spot Wander into The ‘Hood’.
21. Clifford the Big Red Dog Accidently Eats his Masters and is Put to Sleep.
20. Valuable Protein and Other Nutritional Benefits of Things from your Nose.
19. The Hardy Boys, the Barbie Twins, and the Vice Squad.
18. The Tickling Babysitter
17. A Pictoral History of Circus Freak Suicides.
16. Charles Manson Bedtime Stories.
15. Daddy Loses His Job and Finds the Bottle.
14. Babar Meets the Taxedermist and Becomes a Piano.
13. Controlling the playground: Respect through Fear.
12. David Duke’s World of Imagination.
11. Curious George and the High-Voltage Fence.
10. The Boy Who Died from Eating All His Vegetables.
9. Legends of Scab Football.
8. Teddy: the Elf with the Detached Retina.
7. Tommy Tune: Boy Choreographer.
6. Joe Garagiola Retells Favorite Fairy Tales But Can’t Remember the Endings to All of them.
5. Ed Beckley’s Start a Real-Estate Empire with the change from your Mom’s Purse.
4. The Pop-up Book of Human Anatomy.
3. Things Rich Kids Have, but you never will.
2. Let’s Draw Betty and Veronica without their clothes on.
1. The Care Bears Maul Some Campers and are Shot Dead.