Category Archives: Humor

Things that make you LOL

Twenty Hits of Viagra and a Bottle of Gin

Road Warrior, I  have travelled enough for work to earn that title. This may come as a surprise but the experience is not as exciting as the moniker may lead one to believe. I have never ridden in a hopped up Ford Falcon with an Aussie sidekick who strangely speaks with a dubbed in voice.

I have logged hundreds of thousands of air miles crisscrossing the country and sometimes the world. It is not glamorous but I have accumulated a large collection of stories to tell.    Add a stolen credit card number to the  pile. You never know the tastes of those stealing your credit card. Their purchase could stay on your permanent record.  If I had a choice it would be someone charitable or a person who would not be in need of anything embarrassing.  You can probably see where this is going but don’t spoil it for the others.

Now I have a theory as to how this came about,  in short it probably was the  result of an accidental credit card swap during a dinner with colleagues and a less than honest gas station attendant believing my card was already stolen. I returned to the home office a few days later and was greeted with a message from the credit card company on my voicemail. Calling them back I fully expected to have to explain some of my coworkers charges. It turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg.  According to the customer service rep there were some questionable charges on my card. “That’s interesting tell me more.”

The first charge was for a small amount incurred at a retirement community near where I was staying.  Strange I thought.The next charge was for $400 dollars at a drugstore again near where I had been staying.  I was on the edge of my seat, the plot was thickening and things were getting interesting.  Sorry, out of clichés.  The third item on my card  , and the one that tipped off the credit card company was another charge at the afore-mentioned drug store. This time for $200 and finally it was denied.

Initially I was at a loss for words, something that has not occurred with much frequency in my lifetime. Check with my friends and family they will concur that the longest time I have gone without speaking were times that I was under anesthesia during various medical procedures. No , a lobotomy was not one of them.

When I had gathered my thoughts they were as follows: “What the heck was a retiree doing with my credit card number and what could they buy for $400?” My first thought was antihistamines for meth production . Sure a little late in life for Grandpa to start climbing the ladder towards becoming a  drug lord but maybe it was on their  bucket list or perhaps they were supplementing their social security checks or even inspired by Breaking Bad.  It was then that I remembered that the real stuff took an ID and signature . That means they would have had to purchase in person and since it was only my number that was missing, that was not possible.  Then I thought ,” if I were in a retirement community what would make me  popular with the ladies?” A million dollars in cash and a bag on my head. Ok , now I was just being silly . Then I hit on the answer. Viagra. From what I hear*, it can be expensive. I also figure that by then I will have acquired a taste for gin, I don’t see how but it is probably cheaper than Single Malt Scotch.  Yea, that combination could ring up a $400 credit card charge.

So far I have not heard whether the authorities have caught up to this character but how hard could he be to find?  “…so and so retirement community can I help you?”  “Yes , this it the local police department. We are looking for an older guy, playa type , smelling of gin, may be showing signs of extreme fatigue but still manages to smile all of the time. Does this match any of your residents?”

* No really , word gets around, people talk, you hear things.

The Stick Figure of Uncle Bingo (with a nod to Oscar Wilde)

If you have followed my adventures here, you know that I kind of look like everyman *. What you may not know is that I have often been thought of as being much younger than I really am. I am about to reveal my secret, so keep it to yourself folks.

In the summer of 2000 my niece came into the world and a few years later she gave me the nickname of Uncle Bingo**. Her reasoning was “I don’t know just because”. Well who was I to argue. A while later, after it looked the nickname was going to stick, I received a picture from my niece. It was a wonderful rendition of Uncle Bingo in Colorado.  The mountain peaks were jagged , the grass was green and Uncle Bingo was stick like. It was beautiful and I proudly displayed it upon my refrigerator.

Over the years the picture has remained on my fridge but is in less than pristine condition. Through cooking sessions, yes I cook and quite well ladies, late night snack raids and early morning breakfasts without my glasses, the picture has become slightly stained, smudged and encrusted with barbecue sauce , juice and yogurt. Yes in that order , it documents my path to a healthy lifestyle.  Stick Figure Bingo did not fair well and could not avoid the “crustification”.

When surprised to find out my age many people have remarked that they thought I was at least 10 years younger. If I were to estimate the age of the picture it would be around 10 years. A coincidence perhaps but it’s not as if I have lived a healthy lifestyle my entire life. I certainly had some misspent years during my youth and there was also my “pool hall “ period. No, I am sticking, no pun intended, with my story. My nieces picture has frozen me in time. It continues to “crustify” and I continue to appear ten years younger.

Go ahead, don’t believe me. You’ll change your mind when some time from now the blue, green and flesh-colored crayon succumbs to time and spillage and my physical appearance transforms from Uncle Bingo to stick figure Bingo. At least I won’t be confused with anyone else.

* see


Growing Up Catholic

I was raised Catholic in a Polish Neighborhood in Chicago. I also went to a parochial school of the Catholic variety. What occurred at the school was most of the major trauma that would shape the rest of my life.

I fell in love with reading from the minute I was exposed to the perils of Dick and Jane.  That series soon lost its luster due to the thin plot lines and it was not long before I graduated to reading more sophisticated material. When my reading level had reached to two years beyond my grade I was inducted into the Great Books Club. It was a national program designed to encourage excellence in reading. The club was like any other book club in that its activities consisted of reading assigned selections and then analyzing them. What was unique is that the reading material was purposefully beyond the traditional level of its participants. I was a member in my first year of eligibility as a second grader and the next year as a third grader.  I was looking forward to making it my fourth year.

Sister Leonard Ann* had been teaching fourth grade at my school since forever.  She had actually taught my father and his brothers.  I am not sure I ever heard a good story about her. She was a hateful soul from year 1 and by that I actually mean the first year after Christ died. She was that old. I think Jesus sensed she was on her way and feeling the futility of the future turned himself in.

I entered the fourth grade looking forward to the fifth grade. I just had to survive Sister Leonard Ann.  It soon became apparent that for that to happen I had to have luck on my side. It also became apparent that I was not lucky.

I had heard about the sister’s teaching technique from my father and uncles but nothing can really prepare you for the book throwing, knuckle smacking and ear pulling she employed. Well nothing short of a 3 Stooges marathon in 3D. The one thing I had not heard about her was her ability to psychologically break a kid down. I soon became convinced she must have been used to interrogate prisoners during the wars. Yes its plural, I meant all wars.

It was after the first month of school that the Great Books Club members for the year would be announced.  I expected this year to be no different. “.. Walter Praczek, Susan Shirzinski and Alan Vostek. Well congratulations children.”  My face matched the writing paper on my brand new Big Chief Notebook, pale and blank. I had no idea why my name was not called and I was losing a battle to prevent tears from flowing.  Glancing around the room the Sister’s shark like gaze fell upon me. “So tell me Mr. Szybinski.  Why did you not make the club this year?” “I, uh, I don’t know.” Then the dam broke and I could see nothing through the refraction of the tears. A few moments but what seemed like hours later the Sister announced that I had indeed made the Club. I first felt relief but that quickly morphed into anger.

Why had the bitch humiliated me? Well, I would have thought, “bitch”, if I used the word.  The vocabulary of a nine-year-old Catholic schoolboy in 1970 Chicago generally did not consist of the word bitch. The only word I had at my disposal was wench. A strange word for a nine year old boy but I read a lot. Maybe it was Nathaniel Hawthorne. The author did not matter; the point was she was a wench.

That experience has stayed with me all of my life but time has helped smooth that wound over. I had told this story to my mother a few years back and she was surprised I did not tell her and dad, “Your father would have marched right over to that school and straightened her out.” I bet he would have. I would have loved to have seen it. I had never considered telling my parents at the time. The “good” Sister was a nun and an authority figure and I just figured I had done something wrong.   The experience now is pretty much just a story to tell although from time to time I find when something good happens I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I guess this experience is not done with me or I it. I sense the need for a cathartic book in my future.

*The name has been changed to protect the innocent (me).

Review of “A Life So Far” (a writing exercise)

Location: The set of a local access TV show 

Welcome to ”Back in the Stacks “the show that reviews books that are long forgotten or still in development. Yes I know we don’t get many books that meet that latter criteria but we’re on local access for a reason.

I’m William Parchemine the former book reviewer for  “Slush Pile”  the Semi-Periodic about lost books.  Joining me is Frederic Scribner the author of  “Dusty Stacks – The Reader’s Guide to Books you didn’t know you owned”. Today we are actually reviewing a  book still in development entitled “Tommy Szybinski – A Life So Far”.

“So Fred what is your take on “A Life So Far” so far?”

“Well William, as I have mentioned since the beginning of this show four years ago I prefer Frederick. As for the book, I think the beginning was predictable with the birth of Tommy Szybinski but it drew me in as it moved along.”

The early years showed lots of promise in priming him for the life of a Renaissance Man. It emphasizes Tommie’s Catholic upbringing on the Polish streets of Chicago. Now here is my first problem with the early chapters Bill.  It does not explain the difference between a Polish street or any other one in Chicago. Does that mean there is a Kielbasa vender on every street corner?”

“Fred , I think it  means the street he lived on was in a Polish neighborhood.”

“Could be Bill but I wish he would have explained that.”

“You say Its only been four years Fred? Sorry, please continue.”

“Well Bill, as I said the early years laid the groundwork for the pursuit of several interests in Tommie’s  life thus the term Renaissance Man.”

“Yes I think the audience got that Fred. Please go on.”

“Well after a period of Catholic schooling long enough to mess up any kid, his father is transferred to Topeka Kansas, talk about a culture shift Bill. The next few chapters deal with the effect of the move on Tommie’s later years. This is where I had another problem with the book Bill. There was no mention as to how Tommie’s life had been affected by the lack of Kielbasa in Topeka. I mean, I don’t know anything about Topeka but It doesn’t strike me as a place you can get good Kielbasa.”

“ I don’t know about that Fred but my take on your Kielbasa controversy is that it is not germane to the story.”

“Oh there you go with your fancy words Bill. I take it you mean it’s not important to the story but I disagree.  I kept wondering how Tommy was going to feed his polish sausage habit but that was never addressed.”

“Fred, there was no indication that Tommie had a Kielbasa habit and I would like to drop this line of discussion.”

“To each his own Bill. The book did address how Tommy dealt with being the only Polish kid in a Smith and Jones world. You liked how I put that?”

“I liked how you took that from the book.  This is the part of the show where I cut in to make a dramatic point.  Do you mind if I take over here Fred?”

“If you stop calling me Fred I wouldn’t mind if you dated my wife Bill”.

“Ha ha, Good to hear that Frederick,  really , I am.  We have come to my favorite part of the story, the moment when Tommy’s fifth grade teacher explains to him that projectile textbooks are not part of the approved methods of the Topeka school districts.”

“Projectile Textbooks Bill?”

“Yes, the technique of throwing books at the student to correct chalkboard math mistakes. This was a favorite technique of one of the Chicago nuns.”

“Oh yes, now I recall.”

“Yes Fred you should, that was also from the book. This comes as a relief to Tommy and he soon gets rid of the case of chalkboard shoulder he had developed in Chicago. “

“Yes Bill, I like that term he coined to describe the pain he developed from holding up his non writing arm to block incoming books”.

“I’m glad you liked it Fred. Where was I? Oh yes, now that Tommy has no reason to fear school, learning becomes enjoyable. It was at this point that his parents buy a set of encyclopedias. You remember those Fred?”

“Oh yes I do Bill.  Misty water-color memories.”

“That’s special Fred. Anyway this is convenient timing because Tommy is slow to make friends in Kansas. Instead of friends he turns to the encyclopedia set, all 26 volumes.”

“ I believe that was 28 including the yearbooks Bill.”

“Sharp as a tack Fred, sharp as a tack.  In lieu of friendships, Tommy reads all 28 volumes, including the yearbooks, to fill his time. This fuels a thirst for knowledge that drives him the rest of his life. It also makes him great at trivia games.”

“ I’ll take it from here if you don’t mind Bill. Well there are events that fuel Tommie’s interest in science but I will leave those for the reader. Lets skip to the college years where Tommy has no particular major in mind.  I like the foreshadowing that occurred when a writing instructor suggests that he has the talent to become a writer. We get a nice view into his mindset at this point when he says “not until I have lived enough”.  Tommy, influenced by his dads work in data processing, decides to major in computer science. This is a perfect outlet for Tommie’s scientific propensities.”

“Oh now who’s talking fancy Fred”.

“I’m just try to keep up Bill. Upon graduation Tommy gets a dream job writing real-time operating systems. The problem I had here Bill is that I have no idea what that means.”

“No surprise there Fred.”

“Anyway, at this point in Tommie’s life his career is going along nicely.”

“And this is where I have a problem with the book Fred.”

“How so Bill.”

“Well his love life at this point has not set the world on fire let alone causing smoke anywhere.”

“I disagree with that Bill. There were mentions of a few girlfriends along the way. There was also the reference to the girl who Tommy let get away in college and the occasional allusion to regret.”

“That’s true but I would have loved to have seen things end differently with that one.”

“Yes but Tommy let that go Bill. Why can’t you?”

“Well put.  So what do you think of how the books third act is shaping up Fred?”

“Well Bill , I had hoped the growth that Tommy had shown in the previous chapters would  set him up for a rousing third act. Being honest though , I just don’t see it. He relocates from the east coast to Colorado and while this change has made him much happier his love life is still an empty wasteland”.

“Ok Fred I hate to cut you off here but I am not really sure you really payed attention to the last part of the book.”

“You caught me Bill. I admit it . It just looked like an intellectual type book that would impress the ladies at the pool.”

“I thought so Fred,  let’s get back to Tommy who has rediscovered writing. Finding it quite fulfilling he takes classes and eventually begins writing a book of fiction”.

“How does it turn out Bill?”

“Well Fred this is where the book leaves off”

“Leaves off?”

“Yes Fred. That’s why we called it an unfinished story”

“Oh, that makes sense. If you were to ask me, I would say I don’t think it’s going to end well.”

“Good thing I didn’t ask you Fred. Unlike you, Tommy is a glass half full kind of guy. I think his positive outlook will carry him through life. If he continues his dedication to becoming a good writer I have to believe his story is only going to get better.”

“I hope you’re right Bill, In the meantime this is Frederick Scribner”

“And this is William Parchemine hoping you find a few treasures in your book stacks”

“Book Stacks?”

“Its a figure of speech. Say good night Fred”.

“Good night Fred.”

My Funny Factor had been Functified

“She had heard good things about him including ,“ he just did not have any luck in the love department.” She could buy that. Life was like that for some people.”  I stared at that last sentence for hours before giving up and going to bed.

I couldn’t finish the story, it was going nowhere. It had no edge and it was not amusing. It was official, my funny factor had been functified.  Someone had stolen my platform shoes with the goldfish in them. I hope they were getting fed because my funny factor was starving.

I was up before the crack of dawn as usual  to do some writing*. I stared at the story I had started a few days earlier and thought ,“where is this going? How can pull something funny out of this? My funny factor has done been functified baby.“ In the past no matter where the story was going I was always able to pull some grins out of it. I considered myself the Houdini of humor. No matter how bleak the topic looked I could pull out a funny ending. This time however, things looked grim.  The goldfish were locked in tight, there was no food in sight and a water escape looked impossible. Not giving up yet I plodded onward and continued typing.

“He was getting ready for one more shot at love. His track record up to this point was less than stellar. The problem as he saw it was that he ..”  “Auchentoshan,” I screamed nonsensically. “Where did that come from ? Well other than the sound of frustration it also is the name of a nice single malt scotch,”  I thought. It also was the sound of defeat. This story had taken the bullet train to nowhere.

I was becoming desperate. How could I get my funny factor back. “Ab Ripper X**,” I thought. I threw in a DVD and was soon grunting like an oldie. Fifteen minutes and a possible hernia later I planted myself in front of the laptop and still nothing. While the endorphins surging through my body made me feel better , my humor  was still missing and the APB I had just put out for it failed. My funny factory was still functified.

“Functified ,“ I repeated. It was a Eureka moment. I  ran to my aging sound system and threw in a few CDs. From DVD to APB to CD. The acronyms were running hot now. Cranking up the volume introduced the neighbors to the sounds of the seventies. Bootsy Collins and The Ohio Players meet the neighbors. Neighbors meet some righteous dudes wielding some wicked bass lines. My platform-less feet began tapping and soon one right after another the rest of my body parts joined in. It was official , I was in a groove now. The temptation to break dance was suppressed by the imagery of broken bones. Butt shaking would have to suffice. Dancing around the room I soon noticed a pair of shoes had appeared in one corner, platform style, complete with goldfish. It was coming together now.

I danced over to my laptop and began typing furiously. I could feel it now, a brand new story was taking shape. A scant thirty minutes later and my story had come to its conclusion. I had gotten my groove back . My funny factor was no longer functified.

The secret I thought lay in music: James Brown, Bootsy Collins, Aretha Franklin, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club , Son Volt, Johnny Cash.  It didn’t matter what the genre was but it had to have a soul. “Music with some soul,”  that is the secret. That and to stop writing love stories. They have to write themselves.

* Yes cliché but apropos and no comments from the gallery.

* *No not a promotion but if that Tony guy wants to throw some coinage my way I won’t complain.

From The Case Files of Grok, The Original Detective: Something Wicked This Way Lurches.

The glowing shards of rock started out as a large asteroid between Mars and Jupiter.*  The journey had whittled down the parent rock  but it was still of significance size when it broke up in earths atmosphere spawning hundreds of meteorites.  The destination of some had given birth to the Grok we met in the first chapter of this saga. The final destination of the rest had been unknown, until now.

Grok stared placidly out over the field of flowers that filled his view. Despite all of the beauty surrounding him he felt that something was amiss.  Oh sure , he had managed to either drive out or suppress the criminal element at his end of Cave Town. He was also slowly educating the local males in forms of seduction more sophisticated than the “club and drag”. This was no easy task. He was finding it impossible to come up with a smooth monosyllabic pick up line so in the meantime he turned his efforts into creating better cocktails and this was reaping rewards. He had recently concocted some fruity alcoholic punch that could be kept down long enough to create a buzz.

His current feelings of trepidation had nothing to do with business. The success he had on his end of town did not mean he would be running out of cases soon. His reputation had started to reach outside his community and he would have work for a long time to come. What bothered him was a feeling of impending doom that did not seem tethered to anything current in his life. Grok shook his head in an attempt to ignore the feeling for now and go on about his day.


The trajectory that marked the path of the wayward meteorites had painted a streak beginning at the east end of Cave Town and continued across the bordering swamp to land upon Cave Town’s nearest neighbor Unibrow Village. Unibrow Village was much like Cave Town other than the latter’s discovery that two brows are better than one.

Throg had tracked down the beast that would be his lunch, dinner and tomorrows breakfast to the edge of the swamp. Once the beast had mated, Throg would merely wait for it to sleep and then he would pounce. Throg was expected to share his bounty with the rest of the neighborhood but he was not a guy that shared, nurtured or cared about anyone else. That was the second to last thing that he remembered. The last was seeing some large glowing rocks coming towards him.

Throg woke up a few sunsets later at the edge of the swamp. He appeared not to have moved at all. No one in his village would have had the courage let alone the compassion to move him to shelter. He was not surprised nor did he care. What did surprise him was all of the new thoughts running through his brain. None of them were of the good variety and he liked it. It was as if the stagnant swamp water had seeped into his brain overnight bringing with it tiny microscopic life. His brain was now full of evil little cells teaching him new ways to get more for himself. They were screaming “organize”. Throg was beginning to get excited about newfound possibilities. Too bad none of those possibilities included the idea of  turning one eyebrow into two. It would do a lot for his self-image and perhaps he wouldn’t be so mean.


Grok lay awake in his cave unable to fall back to sleep. His day was long and somewhat fulfilling. He had ventured over to the west portion of Cave Town to mingle and make new contacts since he had helped most of the women on his side of town with their wayward men. In many of the cases the couple stayed together. In the cases where they had not, the women left town for a fresh start somewhere else.

Grok had hoped that at least one of the dames would have been impressed enough to spend some time with the hero detective. He was not sure where he got that crazy idea. He also wasn’t sure where he got the term “dames” or the term “detective”. It wasn’t as if there were any unrealistic stories out there full of dames falling all over the detective, yet.  He had an idea though that stories like that could be popular. Maybe when he was ready to give up his career he could pick up cave painting some detective stories. He was starting to like that word “detective” and it fit. It was better than “finder”.

His attempts  to flirt with some of the women he met on the west side were foiled by  his lack of smooth monosyllabic “come on” lines. That’s what he told himself anyway. Apparently the west side women still liked the bad boy silent type. Grok was confident that once they were introduced to the full awesomeness that was his charm and intellect they would warm up to him like a cup of joe on a hot fire. If only he knew what a cup of joe was.  Here, in his cave at two in the morning, Grok was hoping that the warm up process would not be too long. It was a bit cold. Suddenly a shiver ran down his spine and thoughts of loneliness were replaced by the feeling of impending doom. Grok did not fret too much about it though, he understood  fear. When it came to women , he had no clue.   He would deal with whatever doom lay ahead tomorrow. He began to relax and was soon welcoming the arrival of a deep sleep.

*Not that this information is of any benefit to the dwellers of Cave Town. They think stars are fireflies without wings. It does however give some nice background information for the reader.

I’m That Guy From That Thing

I am that Guy from that thing. I am the guy that you know from somewhere. I am the guy that you see on the street that looks like he knows where he’s going and can give you directions.   I used to think it was my charm and good looks but I quit deluding myself. The charm could still be a factor though.

Everywhere I go people seem to think they either know me or someone who looks like me or I remind them of someone they can trust. Well I hope I remind them of someone they can trust. The day I remind someone of somebody that “done them wrong” I am toast.

It doesn’t matter where I am at,  I appear approachable. I am the guy that you can ask where the rental cars are at the Kansas City Airport. I am the guy you can ask for directions wherever I happen to be. If you’re lucky I might know what the hell I’m talking about.  I have been stopped in every city I have ever been in by people asking me where the heck they’re going. Most of the time I am lucky I know where I am going. But usually when asked, somehow I will know where you are going. As for my destination,  it’s a crapshoot. Apparently I also look like a responsible family man , or a man who could be one. I  was once asked by a complete stranger who happened to be pregnant whether I  had a girlfriend. Ok some would say that is not the everyman part of me but the every psycho chick magnet in me.

If you are bar flies of a certain pub in Edinburgh, I am not Mike. I am the guy your drunk girlfriend will think is your friend Mike. I am also the guy in that same pub that two sober patrons  will also think is Mike. Mike must also be a bar fly of that pub. Fortunately Mike must have been a nice guy. No one ever tried to teach me a lesson for the time that Mike “done them wrong”.

I am the guy that you think frequents your Starbucks often, even though I never set foot in your Starbucks. I am the guy that is grateful the other guy is not a jerk.

Apparently I am also the guy that really needs to always have an alibi. I have been confused for so many other people across the world it frightens me to think I am just one “ wrong place at the wrong time” away from being “their guy”.  I was seriously working on being the guy that came up with that thing that lets you know where he is always at. The cell phone with GPS came along and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. GPS tracking bugs some people . I consider it a blessing. It saves me from being confused for “their guy “ by authorities everywhere.

The one constant that remains is that I will always be that guy you can ask for directions or for assistance. I may not know where you are going but I won’t be the guy that “does you wrong”.

Airline Delay Jeopardy.

“Welcome to Airline Delay Jeopardy the game that costs you time , patience and maybe a few years of your life.

“Lets welcome our next contestant Dan. He is an engineer from Colorado. Welcome to Airline Delay Jeopardy Dan.”

“Thanks Alex but they know who I am, I was just here.”

“Oh contraire Dan. It may look like the same set as our other game “Airline Fee Jeopardy”  but the stakes are quite different. You will be risking your precious time , patience and perhaps your entire trip.”

“I suppose you want me to be excited about that also Alex?”

“ Of course Dan. What could be more invigorating than the apprehension you feel from your first flight delay to finally boarding, perhaps hours and even days in the future.”

“Yea , be still my beating heart Alex”.

“Are you ready to play Dan?”
“ Do I have a choice Alex?”

“No , No you don’t Dan so put on your big boy pants and lets play “Airline Delay Jeopardy.”
“Um, yeah they’re on, my pants that is. Oh yea, lets play”.

“Now you’re talking Dan. So pick a category.”
“Lets go with “What Else Could Go Wrong “ for 50 Alex.”

“Good Choice Dan.”
“It’s the only category Alex.”

“Yes but none the less, here is your question”. “Dan you are traveling from Washington Dulles and your plane has changed gates. What obstacles await you”

“The new gate is not near a bar Alex?”
“Funny Dan but that is not the correct form or answer. Remember to answer in the form of a question.

The correct answer Dan would be “What is to get to the new gate you must either go back through security or take a shuttle that will take you to the new gate.  Once you get there you will find that the gate assignment has been changed back to the original gate. I hope you like shuttle busses Dan”.

“But I am not going to DC Alex.”
“Well lets face it, your final destination is a crapshoot Dan.”

“Quickly choose your next question Dan, we have more people to delay.”

“God forbid I get in the way of that Alex. I will choose , hmm, how about the next question in the same category for 100 Alex.”

“I sense sarcasm Dan.”
“Who me? Of course not, it’s more closer to smarminess”.

“Dan you are flying out of Kansas City. What exciting reason for a delay could be headed your way?”

“Your definition of exciting is different from mine Alex so I have no clue.”
“ Now you’re not even trying Dan.”
“Yea I’m sorry Alex, when it comes to airport delays I’m an underachiever.”

“Well Dan in this case your delay is due to your plane has no potable water. You can’t go anywhere when your bathrooms are out-of-order Dan.”

“Apparently  you also have a different definition of potable Alex, unless you are traveling with your dog.”
Now that you mention it Dan, it really is more smarminess than sarcasm. Choose your last question Dan. “

“Oh goody Alex. I choose……the next question for 150.”

“Dan you are traveling from Denver to Kansas City ,what uncomfortable situation could you be in?” “Well Alex, the fact that we are finally following my flight plan tells me that I am in for another delay. I hope it’s just a slight one”

“Well Dan you would be kind of, sort of, wrong. When you get to the airport you discover that your plane has changed gates. This in itself is just a minor inconvenience. When you get to the gate you find out that the plane has been delayed by 15 minutes.”

“So I was right Alex.”
“Dan haven’t you learned by now? It’s the old bait and switch. Once you get on the plane , runway delays will cause it to increase to 40 minutes.”

“Well that is still not too bad.”
“Your a half full kind of guy aren’t you Dan. There is one more part to this answer. There is no cool air flowing through the cabin and your plane is waiting with the sun shining on your side of the plane and from what I hear you’re a human furnace.”

“Oh swell Alex. That’s sarcasm by the way. I am having a hard time trying to fill the glass on this one Alex.”

“Let me help you with that Dan. This is a great chance to enjoy a sauna that you would normally pay for.” 

“ I am paying for it Alex. Believe me , I’m paying for it.”

For Mothers Day, Something Completely Different (Glaring Omission)

One the right side of my blog there is a list of tags entitled “Where I Get My Grins”. These are to indicate what my posts are about , what makes me laugh  and the sources of my humor. The one glaring omission is the tag “Mother”. She is definitely a source of humor for me. Not that she makes me laugh though she does. Not that I laugh at her, I do and visa versa. It’s in the sense that I have learned how to approach life, by laughing through it all, from her. When life give you lemons laugh , besides we like our lemonade sweet and too much sugar is not good for you.

If you have followed my stories here you have noticed that for a blog in the category of humor it has a tale or two that at first glance would not seem to warrant the tag of “Humor” or “Humour” for those more worldly than I.  Those postings stand out a bit because they cover topics of loved ones lost. If you have read them you realize they are not really about death but of how to celebrate life and to laugh through it all . This lesson I learned from my mother and consider the most valuable of all that she has taught me.

Thank you Mom. Happy Mothers Day*.

*Go out and enjoy the strange weather we’re having. I’m sure it has nothing to do with global climate change. (An inside joke we share).

It’s Time to Play Travel Fee Jeopardy

Welcome to  Travel Fee Jeopardy, the game that tests your patience and your wallet.

Let us welcome our contestant Dan. He is an engineer from Colorado and he lists his hobbies as writing and outdoor recreation and he is on his way to his nephew’s graduation.  Welcome to Travel Fee Jeopardy Dan. Are you ready to play? “Yes Alex I suppose so”.

Camera Cuts to Commercial.

“Come on Dan show some excitement will you?”

“Correct me if I’m wrong Alex but basically the point of this game is to find out what travel fees I will be paying for on my upcoming trip. Correct?”.

“That’s correct. My Dan is a sharp one isn’t he.”

“Well how is that exciting?”, asked Dan.

“Well Dan that’s a good question. The excitement comes from the trepidation of what unusual and perhaps unreasonable fee could be levied. It is possible in some rare instances that the feelings you experience will be ones of relief. Now don’t you find that exciting?

“Yes, In the way that I find filing my taxes exciting,” replied Dan.

“Now your getting it Dan.”

”Glad I could make you happy Alex, it’s all about you”.

Back from Commercial:

“Well folks we just had a lively discussion with our contestant and now it’s time to play the game.”

“I’ll take Would You believe for 50 Alex”.

“Good choice Dan.  Dan your flying in to Kansas City and renting a car. What additional tax will you be required to pay?”

“Um, I don’t know a Barbecue Tax Alex?”

“Well that’s an interesting answer but it is not in the form of a question now is it Dan?”

“Um, What is no Alex.”

“You have the idea but you’re still wrong Dan.  The tax we are looking for is assessed by the car rental company that goes towards the new Sprint Center in Kansas City.”

“Are you kidding me?”

“ Sorry Dan , That is not a category but you are getting the whole form of a question theme.”

“But I am not going to use the Sprint Center Alex.”

“But how do we know you won’t change your mind Dan. Lets move along now. Choose your next category Dan and remember “Are Kidding Me?” is not a category. Ha Ha.”

“You’re a stitch Alex. I will take “Would You Believe for 100.”

“Feeling lucky in that category aren’t you Dan?”

“No but the sooner I get this over the quicker I can end this charade and get my reservations .”

“See I told you this was exciting.”

“Yea, it’s a thrill a minute Alex. Can you give me my next question?”

“Glad to see your anxious now Dan.”

“Dan your flying out of Denver International Airport. What fee is added to your ticket when you fly out of Denver?”

“What is the Snowball Tax Alex?”

“Ha Ha . I can see our contestant has a sense of humor but no the fee is not a Snowball Tax.   The tax you will be paying is the Denver Airport Tax which pays for the building and operation of the Airport.”

“Are you kidding me?”

“Ha Ha, I guess Dan wants us to rename the category. We’ll take that into consideration. But, no I am not kidding you. The Denver Airport does not get tax dollars from the city or the county.”

“But doesn’t the city and county get funds from taxes on tourists Alex?” “ Oh come on Dan it doesn’t work that way. If it did you wouldn’t have to pay the Sprint Tax in Kansas City and then where would you be?”

“I would more likely to be in Kansas City Alex.”

“Ha Ha, my our Dan has a sense of humor now doesn’t he.  So Dan would you like to choose your next category?”

“What is Can I say no Alex?”

“Well that is in the form of a question so I will allow it. Besides I can see that you will be checking in a couple of bags and we make out like bandits on those.”

“ Yea I’m happy for you Alex.”

“Well Dan thanks for playing our game and being a good sport. Drop by again and play the game when you are in the area.”

“Snowballs chance in heck Alex, Snowballs chance in heck.”

“Ha Ha, You are a card Dan.”