Attention Shoppers: Prior to Driving Away, Please Remove Your Grocery Bag From the Roof of Your Car

No, I didn’t make it all the way home with my grocery bag on top of my car, but I darn well gave it my best!  I am many things, but I AM NOT A QUITTER! When I got home, I put the bag back on top to memorialize my stupidity for posterity, and, of course, for you, my loyal readers.

It’s not every day that you are driving along, and people begin pointing and shouting at you.  That said, I do live in Oregon, and if you’ve been watching footage of the riots, for a brief moment, I thought they might be singling me out because I can’t afford to pay for everyone’s college tuition.  Call me old fashioned, but the decision to get a degree in Philosophy of Interpretive Dance is on you (and your parents). 

Now back to everyone yelling at me –

Another driver finally rolled down her window and yelled to me that I had left a bag on the roof of my car.  Thankfully, I retrieved it, and what little was left of my dignity, before I had powered up to highway speeds.

I am blaming either President Trump or China for this.  Whoever is ultimately found responsible for the Covid-19 chaos here in the U.S.  As a result of [insert Trump or China], after I go shopping, and before I get into my car, I reach in for the hand sanitizer and clean my hands before I climb in.  Yes, I know this is a little neurotic for someone who routinely extends the five second rule for food that falls on the ground to a more reasonable ten seconds.  However, apparently, if I don’t do this, every grandmother in the Western Continental United States will expire before midnight.  And, as someone raised Catholic, I’ve already got enough guilt to deal with.

I don’t want to complicate things, but it’s possible that some of the blame also falls on Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or the “Notorious RBG,” as she is referred to in certain circles.  How could she carry some of the blame, you ask?  She died!  And now my brain is scrambled from the tsunami sized waves of hypocrisy emanated from Washington D.C.  The Republicans and Democrats have LITERALLY switched their positions 180 degrees from 2016 on whether the Senate should confirm a Supreme Court nominee in an election year.  If you hooked any of them up to a polygraph machine, the machine wouldn’t just start to smoke – It would EXPLODE!

So, there you have it.  Yes, I did drive away with my grocery bag on top of my car, but it was not my fault. It was the fault of [insert – Trump, China, or THE NOTORIOUS RBG], depending on who you feel should pay for your neighbor’s tuition.

The World’s Worst Chess Player Reveals His Secrets to Success

Those of you old enough to remember the 1988 winter Olympics may recall a ski jumper nicknamed, “Eddie the Eagle.”  Eddie was a British plasterer (yes, this is both a word and a profession) turned ski jumper who was so bad they made a movie about him.  Eddie ski jumped with as much grace and precision as a braised ham.  So, it is with little pleasure that I confess to you that I am the Eddie the Eagle of chess.  I’m not just bad, I stink.  If I played chess with a skunk, he would announce midgame, and with no sense of irony, that I stunk.  If chess gave out a Razzy award for the worst player each year, I’d have so many they’d be spilling off my mantel.

In my desperation to improve, I even decided to read a book titled, “Chess for Fun & Chess for Blood.”  (Yeah, I know, the title’s mildly aggressive.)  My analysis in selecting the perfect book was this.  First, I considered my current level of chess skill.  Second, I wrote down a list of weaknesses I wanted to improve.  And finally, and perhaps most critically, the book had to be free.  I found it in the middle of a stack of dusty books in my mom’s bathroom.  Lord only knows how it got there.  Historically, we have always been more of a Go Fish family.

Here’s the book:

I made it through the first two pages, but here is the problem with reading a book on chess.  The only thing more boring than reading a book on chess is falling into an irreversible coma. 

My trouble with chess is that I have three primary problems:

1. Concentration.  Who can keep up with all those pieces?  Every two seconds, a knight comes flying out of nowhere and kills my bishop.

2. Strategy.  I constantly have to remind myself that the goal is to capture my adversary’s king, not seek revenge against my opponent’s bishop because it just killed my knight. 

3. Learning from my past mistakes.  My brain lacks a chess hard drive.  As a result, I’m like Rain Man, but in a bad way.

My niece has six kids (no, I’m serious).  But if anyone should have six kids, it’s her and her husband because they are AMAZING parents raising AMAZING kids.  The problem is that these kids are chess players.  You’ve probably guessed my problem – I can’t visit her.  Any of her kids, and I mean any of them, right down to the one she gave birth to three weeks ago, can kick my a** in chess.  Can you even imagine the humiliation of losing to someone whose neck muscles can’t yet fully support the weight of her head?

I’m seriously considering giving up the game altogether.  How then would I spend my free time you ask?  The answer’s obvious:

Ski jumping.

Survivor Diet

Welcome to the Covid-15 Club!

Thank you for fulfilling your patriotic duty of gaining 15 pounds during the Covid-19 lockdown.  On behalf of the United States of America, we honor your service… and your appetite.  You are now an official member of the Covid-15 Club.  Carry those extra pounds with pride.  You’ve earned it.  Unfortunately, your knee joints are members of the Communist Party, and are now demanding you return those hard-earned pounds. 

What to do?

Introducing… The CBS Television “Survivor Diet Program.”  The benefits of this amazing weight-loss program are many –

1. It’s free.  (Disclaimer:  Free, if you watched Survivor using an antenna, circa 1955.)

2. The results are shocking.  (“Boston Rob” lost 34 pounds in less than 40 days.  Of course, he gained it all back by the show’s finale in Studio City.  Sorry, Amber.)

3. It’s simple to implement.  You feast on an entire one-half cup of rice each day, along with any snails you find crawling around outside your house, and, of course, all the coconuts you can harvest from your yard.

Remarkably, this diet is even more effective than the Costco Diet program I wrote about last year.  That diet, of course, is no longer available because Costco, like so many heartless, multinational conglomerates, has used the coronavirus pandemic to shave a few measly dollars off its bottom line by eliminating all those mouthwatering (and FREE) samples.  A visit to Costco has gone from a tasty stroll in the park, to a march through the barren desert.

If any of you cynics think that the Survivor Diet is just a blatant lie that I’ve concocted, you would be correct.  However, journalist extraordinaire Brynne Chandler wrote an article (this is true – Google it) titled, “How to Do the ‘Survivor’ Diet,” that was posted on the Livestrong website.  In it, she writes:

“Since May 2000, U.S. television audiences have been captivated by the physical challenges and social maneuvering of the reality series ‘Survivor.’ One of the most brutal aspects of the game is the lack of food. The ‘Survivor’ diet typically consists of whatever the contestants can find, pick or catch, which often isn’t much. Like most extreme fad diets, a long-term low-calorie diet can be dangerous to your health. With a little ingenuity, you can create your own, healthier version of the ‘Survivor’ diet.”

I’m pretty sure that “healthier version” is code for, “you ain’t losing 34 pounds in 40 days.” 

As for me, I only have one goal.  I’m trying not to win the first ever Covid-15 Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Although, now that I think about it, I do have the perfect place for it on my mantel.

Fake Whale

The Killer Whales of Depoe Bay Brazenly Defy CDC Guidelines

Whale watching is a safe activity.  At least, I always thought so, until a whale tried to kill me. 

Let me explain.

The Oregon coast is a great place to watch whales.  My family has a beach house in the little town of Depoe Bay.  Locals and tourists enjoy standing along the seawall and gazing out looking for whales. 

I was recently taking a walk along the seawall, and I came across a group of folks intently looking out to sea.  It was obvious they had spotted a whale.

Before I continue, I need to remind you that a few weeks ago I wrote a column where I explained that facemasks do not pass the “fart test.”  That is, even with a facemask, if someone lets one fly, the facemask doesn’t save you.  The smell molecules of that fart still assault your nostrils.  As a result, everyone from Boston to Seattle charged after me with steak knives.  They all kept repeating the same term – “water droplets.”

“Facemasks prevent ‘water droplets’ from flying out into the air!”

“It’s WATER DROPLETS that are the problem!”

“Hey, dummy!  It doesn’t matter if you can still smell a fart.  Water droplets are killing people!”

I’d never seen so many exclamation points in my life.  They beat me down into the fetal position.  In fact, I coined a new term – “facemask-splaining.”

Back to my story about walking along the seawall. 

Not long after I joined the whale watchers, a whale exhaled a spout of water.

Here is a crappy picture I took using my iPhone –

Here is an extra crappy, zoomed-in version –

Moments later, the whale’s fluke (tail) emerged. (Sorry for the “whale-splaining”) –

Here’s an extra crappy, zoomed-in version –

This is when it hit me.

Cats get COVID-19.

Dogs get COVID-19.

A whale is a mammal.  Why can’t a whale get COVID-19?

AND, when whales shoot water out their blowholes, what are they creating?  WATER DROPLETS!

These irresponsible whales are spouting COVID-19 up and down the coast!  It’s almost enough to make me root for those Japanese whalers on Whale Wars.

We never hear the end of how intelligent whales are.  They’re one of the smartest mammals on earth.  How about they snap to it and start obeying rudimentary CDC guidelines?

Fart test, or no fart test, these magnificent creatures of the deep need to take immediate corrective action.  It may take a little ingenuity on their part, perhaps manufacturing something from seaweed and krill, but they have a moral imperative. And that moral imperative is:

To start wearing blowhole masks!

NFL Football

NFL Announces Plans to Play “Flag Football” to Maintain Social Distancing

Citing concern for player safety, the NFL announced today that it will modify the game this season to what it is promoting as, “The most exciting brand of flag football ever before played!”  The NFL has released a new tagline: “It’s flag Lightning, Baby!”

In keeping with Center for Disease Control guidelines, the “flags” will be six feet in length, measured from the far end of flag back to the player’s outer butt cheek. 

A source inside NFL management, who asked to remain anonymous, told media sources that, so far, test games have been an unmitigated disaster.  “The flags are just too dang long!  Guys are accidently stepping on their own flags and pulling them off as they run down the field!  They are literally ‘tackling’ themselves.”

This same source revealed three proposed rule changes intended to address this problem:

Rule One – At the line of scrimmage, even if the wind blows an opposing player’s flag over the line, the opposing player CANNOT step on it and shoot the flag’s owner a dirty smirk. 

Rule Two – If you accidently step on your own flag as you advance down the field carrying the football, you are not down.  Much like when an MMA fight is stopped to check on the consciousness of a fighter, the referee must momentarily stop the play and reattach the flag.  The ref must then reposition each player to his precise position prior to the stoppage, and then signal the play to resume. 

Rule Three – You cannot use your flags for non-flag related purposes, such as tying them around your waist as a belt, lassoing another player, and ABSOLUTELY NOT strangling another player – except during overtime.

All major television networks have expressed reservations about broadcasting this version of the game.  The head of NBC sports publicly confessed his concern that reruns of Canadian curling might beat “lightning flag” in the ratings. 

Asked about this change at a White House Coronavirus briefing, Dr. Fauci ecstatically praised the league for its bold and creative decision to put safety first.  Asked further whether he planned to watch any of the new flag football games, Dr. Fauci responded, “I’ll be watching curling.”

The United States Hones Down Its Choice To The Two Smartest and Most Moral Men In The Country

This week in presidential campaign news:

On the Joe Biden front –

Speaking through the drainpipe from his basement, Biden read a prepared statement to the delight of salivating news reporters hovered in his yard above.  Biden ended his remarks by anticipating reporters’ questions, though not taking any questions.  He gently questioned the wisdom of peaceful protesters plans to loot and burn down the US Capital.  He stopped short, however, of criticizing the plan.  He concluded by saying that he would understand it if the Capital were burnt to a crisp and left in a steaming, smoking pile of rubble.  He finished his remarks by saying, “Our great country was founded upon the principles of this type of peaceful protest.”

A surrogate for the Biden camp defended Biden’s policy to remain cloistered in his basement. The surrogate stated to reporters, “Please do not allow yourselves to fall victim to the right-wing taking point that Joe Biden is hiding in his basement.  Joe has been trying to leave his basement for weeks.  This is NOT his fault.  It’s just that he can’t find the door.” 

On the Donald Trump front –

The Trump campaign decided this week to apply the, “If you can’t beat them, join them,” policy.  Trump took direct aim with yet another memorable quote, “I have a basement too!  And my basement is bigger, much, MUCH, bigger, than Joe Biden’s.  I could host a regulation NFL game in my basement.  It’s that big!”

Trump surrogates spent the balance of the week defending Trump’s claim by emailing diagrams of the White House basement to reporters overlaid with a sketch of the Dallas Cowboy’s AT&T Stadium.  They conceded that the height of the basement’s ceiling would prevent field goals but were otherwise unapologetic.

With just over 100 days until the election, the two warring camps continue to pound away at one another. 

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for newly announced presidential candidate Kanye West released a statement saying that the West campaign was scheduled to release a diagram of Kanye’s basement by the end of next week.

Million

How to Make a Million Dollars in Less Than 60 Seconds

Let’s not kid ourselves.  When we think about what’s really important in life, we think about family.  We think about friends.  We think about deeply meaningful experiences.  And, of course, we think about the most important thing – MONEY.   

This is why I feel compelled to share my no-frills, “guaranteed to get you a million bucks” action plan.  I call it, “How to Make a Million Dollars in Less Than 60 Seconds.”  I’m not pulling your leg.  This plan doesn’t just work most of the time, it works EVERY SINGLE TIME!

I suggest that you get a pen or pencil out to take notes or copy and paste this Jocularious column into a file on your computer.  Be sure to back up your computer file with Carbonite.com, or print it out and hide it under your mattress.

This plan involves three simple steps.  It is critical that you follow each and every step in order, and DO NOT skip any of the steps.

Here is the formula –

First, graduate from high school with a 4.0 gpa, and get a SAT score in the top 3% nationally.

Second, enroll in an Ivy League University and obtain a degree in Finance.

Third, secure a job on Wall Street as an investment banker. 

Yes!  It’s that easy!

AND, even reading slowly, it took me less than 20 seconds to read this entire formula.  I really should rename this column, How to Make a Million Dollars in Less Than 20 Seconds. 

I sincerely hope my advice met your expectations.  This is, of course, my goal with every Jocularious column.  (I said “goal,” people!)

And, even if you don’t follow my advice, at least you’ve got that “family, friends and meaningful experiences” thing going for you.

______________________

Do me a favor –

Please comment and share!

Oliver in Repose

Oliver the Cat Announces He has Finally Adjusted to the “New Normal”

Oliver in Repose
Oliver in Repose

Learning how to adapt to the “new normal” has been a challenge for everyone.  Oliver the Cat is no exception.  In fact, it has weighed heavily on his mind.  So heavily, he realized he needed to take immediate action to resolve this issue.  And by “immediate action,” of course, I mean take a seven-hour nap.

Oliver has three primary worries –

First, Oregon’s governor, like many others across the nation, has issued a decree that facemasks are now mandatory.  Oliver is no fool.  He’s heard the news that cats can catch COVID-19.  However, despite countless hours searching the internet – Amazon.com, Ebay.com, Bing.com and, of course, Tomcat.com, he still cannot find a mask that fits him.  Yeah!  That’s right! How could he not freak out?  There are NO cat masks to be found!

Oliver’s second concern is the lack of healthcare options should he be stricken by the deadly virus.  He’s put in his time listening to the talking heads on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.  (As a Libertarian, Oliver likes to get all sides.)  And not once.  NOT ONE TIME, has anyone mentioned a ventilator being modified to fit a cat.

If these concerns weren’t enough, Oliver has yet another problem.  And it’s not a small one.  As you might imagine, Oliver is a BIG fan of Jocularious.com.  He doesn’t miss a column.  Several weeks ago, he read the one titled: “I’m Not Sure What the ‘New Normal’ Looks Like, But I Think It Involves Pajamas.”  Well, Oliver’s been sleeping au natural since the day he was born.  If cat pajamas exist, the cheapskates living in his house certainly haven’t shown any sign of buying him a pair. 

As Oliver pondered these problems, he felt a tremendous weight begin to overwhelm him.  He struggled to come to terms with them.  He struggled while lying on his front porch.  He struggled while taking a poop in his neighbor’s flower garden.  He struggled and struggled.  Finally, the solution dawned on him.  It was the purr-fect solution –

And that was, of course –

To stretch out for another seven-hour nap.

Hawaiian Shirts

Study Finds Middle-Aged Men Actually Believe Hawaiian Shirts Hide Their Bulging Bellies

All of us remember when we found out Santa Claus wasn’t real.  It was a devastating blow.  This was despite our suspecting as much for some time.  I suffered a similar blow yesterday.  My wife patted me on the stomach, over my beautiful Hawaiian shirt, and told me POINT BLANK, “Your stomach’s sticking out.”  Suddenly, my space-time continuum began spinning.  My belief that my size large Hawaiian shirt cloaked my torso, thus rendering my belly invisible, vanished in an instant.  I was speechless.  (Which, for those who know me, is inconceivable.)  Of course, my wife loves me, so you may assume she said this in a sensitive and nonjudgmental manner.  Your assumption would be wrong.  She absolutely said it in a judgmental manner!

Now, because I mentioned Santa, I must momentarily deviate from my topic to share something I heard awhile back.  Get ready to take notes, “This is gold, Jerry.  Gold!”  Here it is:

There are three stages in life.  First, you believe in Santa.  Second, you do not believe in Santa.  And, third, you ARE Santa.

I love this, and I never get tired of repeating it..

Now, as amusing as that Santa comment may be, it doesn’t do anything for my belly. So back to the protruding subject at hand –

My wife further gently offered me a piece of loving advice: “You’re going to have to starve yourself.”

As a result, I am now forced to accept that my Hawaiian shirts do not possess the power I had once believed.  On-the-other-hand, this awakening came with some relief.  Like Adam and Eve eating the apple, I was no longer living in ignorance. 

We all see the guy with the comb-over and ask ourselves, “Does he really think he’s fooling anyone, and people don’t know he’s bald.”  And we all know that “full-figured” women like to wear clothes with vertical stripes because they create a slimmer image.  I was finally free to embrace MY reality.

I took my beautiful wife’s constructive comments to heart, and I took IMMEDIATE action –

According to Amazon Prime, my new EXTRA-large Hawaiian shirts arrive tomorrow.

Reyn Spooner Facemask

If Facemasks Don’t Pass the “Fart Test,” Why Are We Wearing them?

My daughter gave me a beautiful Reyn Spooner mask for Fathers’ Day.  Yes, as disturbing as it is, you can now buy a designer facemask.  I’ve been a collector of Reyn Spooner Hawaiian shirts for years, and she knew I would love one of their new facemasks.  And she was right!  (Thank you, Zoe!)  It didn’t surprise me that Reyn Spooner was now making facemasks, I imagine many clothes designers are jumping on the bandwagon.

What does surprise me is that we bother to wear them in the first place.

Remember when the Surgeon General emphatically announced that wearing facemasks might do more harm than good?  He said studies proved this.  He said that when people wear facemasks they tended to constantly touch their faces adjusting them.  And America’s Sweetheart, Dr. Fauci, backed him up?

Now, five seconds later, Dr. Fauci is marching around with a facemask telling us that we’re all going to kill grandma if we don’t wear one AT ALL TIMES  ̶  even when we’re alone on the toilet.

Sounds like good science to me.

I wear a mask when I’m in a store.  Mainly because I don’t want to freak anyone out, AND, more importantly, so I don’t have some psycho attack me.

One reason I remain skeptical is that my brother recently told me about the “Fart Test.”  In truth, it should be called a “Fart Declaration.”  Here it is:  “If someone farts, and that fart travels past their cheeks, through a layer of cotton underwear, then through a thick layer of denim jeans, and everybody in the room smells it within moments, how in the world is a thin cotton mask going to do anything?” 

Point.  Set.  Match. 

So, I wear a mask to be polite.  ESPECIALLY, if it’s a beautiful Reyn Spooner mask. 

But this got me thinking.  I’ve seen a lot of masks for sale, but I haven’t seen one yet that meets the needs of a  very special percentage of the population.  I am speaking, of course, of those folks who wear their masks UNDER their noses.  Yes, those geniuses.

CRITICAL WARNING: Do NOT steal my brilliant idea!  I’m going to license my new invention to Reyn Spooner and get them into production ASAP. 

Here is a prototype  ̶ 

I also have an idea to market them.  You know those guys who don’t park between the lines?  (I ranted about them a few months ago.)  Well, we send sales agents into parking lots to find these guys and sell them a “nose free” mask.  I am certain these are the same people. 

I’m also going to send one to Dr. Fauci.  If history is any lesson, it’s a coin toss on whether he decides to wear one himself.