Oregon: All the Insanity of Florida, But Conveniently Located on the West Coast!

Oregon has a rich reputation for rain, recreation and rioting.  However, as a native Oregonian, I have never felt my state has been given credit for another richly deserved quality.  I am speaking, of course, about insanity. 

Let’s begin with its traffic laws.  Consider these two Oregon traffic laws currently being enforced  ̶ 

1. Oregon requires that a driver use his turn signal for a minimum of 100 feet before changing lanes.  If a driver makes a right turn and then needs to make a left turn 50 feet down the road – and uses his left turn signal THE ENTIRE 50 FEET – a police officer can lawful stop the driver for a violation of the turn signal law.  Yes, you read that correctly – Impossibility and the Newton’s Law of “God-given Common Sense,” are not a defense to Oregon’s 100-foot turn signal requirement.  Welcome to Oregon!

Now, add this –

2. Oregon traffic law considers moving from a parked position on the street into the lane of travel to be “changing lanes.”  Thus, getting into your parked car, and then pulling into the lane of travel requires you use a turn signal.

Here’s my point –

The logical implication of the above two laws is that every time an Oregon driver gets into his car, turns on his turn signal, and then pulls into the lane of travel – because he has not used his turn signal for 100 feet – HE IS VIOLATING OREGON’S TRAFFIC LAW!

Given the insanity of these Oregon laws, this next ditty may not come as any shocking surprise.  Oregon ALSO requires the use of a turn signal even if turning in that direction is the driver’s ONLY option.

You may be thinking, “Jack, I’m sure the police in Oregon would never stop a driver for failing to use a turn signal when he is turning in the only possible direction.”  And you would be wrong.  A bored officer at 2 a.m. on a Saturday morning is more than happy to enforce this FLAGRANT violation. 

Oregon appellate courts have interpreted our traffic laws EXACTLY as I explained above, with the exception of the “pulling into traffic” example, which, as I have explained, is a logical extrapolation of the other two laws. 

By now, you’re probably thinking, ‘Okay, but every state has it’s idiosyncrasies.’  This is true, however, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I submit Exhibits 1, 2 and 3:

1. Do other states blow up whales?  We did. Blubber flying through the sky landing on cars and spectators as far as the eye could see.  Google it. 

2. Did they name their major city using the flip of a coin?  Oregon did.  Portland had a 50/50 chance of being named Boston.  (Can Oregon come up with ANY original name?  It’s a miracle our state isn’t named West Massachusetts.)

And finally, I present –

Exhibit 3: Oregon didn’t have ANY laws against possessing, manufacturing or using dynamite until 1970.  Prior to that, it was “bombs away!” 

So, visit Oregon soon.  Just be sure to obey our laws, and by “obey our laws,” I mean never, under any circumstances, should you EVER pull your car into traffic.

The Last Undecided Voter in America Still Undecided on Whether to Watch the Debate

Bob Grossmeyer sat at his kitchen table in Akron, Ohio, last Tuesday morning discussing the presidential election with Senior Political Reporter for Jocularious.com, Mary Sandoval.  Grossmeyer, the last undecided voter in America, explained his dilemma over whether to watch the debate that night.

“Look,” he said to Sandoval, slowly and carefully choosing his words, “It’s a difficult decision.  Sure, watching the debate might help me decide.  But (he paused for effect), there are also several other entertaining programs on television tonight.  Then, of course, there’s the option of NOT watching television.  I could listen to music, or I could take a walk.  I could listen to music AND take a walk. I’m sure you understand my point.”

Sandoval sat pondering the balding, middle-aged man sipping on his decaf.  She left his home shortly thereafter shaking her head and praying she’d never have to spend another moment with the man.

Sandoval’s editor did not hear her prayer. He told her to follow up the next day. So, she phoned Grossmeyer to find out what he’d finally decided.

“I watched it.  I watched almost all of it.  Just as I was tying my shoe laces to go take a walk, I changed my mind and turned on the television.  I missed the first ten minutes.  Trump’s face was already red from screaming, and Biden was already repeating the phrase, ‘Come on, man!’ like a verbal Gatling gun.”

Sandoval asked Grossmeyer what he considered the most memorable moments.

“Number one has to be when Trump started making fun of Biden for wearing a mask the size of Nebraska everywhere he goes.  I laughed my a** off.  Hilarious.  I may not know who I’m voting for yet, but I’ll tell you one thing.  Love him or hate him, Trump’s fearless attitude toward the coronavirus is going to serve him well between now and the election.  Mark my words.”

“Number two has to be Biden’s snappy comeback when Trump pointed out that the wife of Moscow’s mayor gave Biden’s son, Hunter, 3 ½ million dollars.  Biden didn’t hesitate for a nanosecond. He fired right back: ‘Come on, man!  That’s been totally debunked!’  Point, set, match, Joe Biden.  Talk about putting an issue to rest.  He had probably been practicing that zinger in the basement all week.”

Sandoval ask Grossmeyer if the debate helped him move any closer to a decision.

“Not an inch.”

Grossmeyer hung up the phone and walked to the refrigerator.  He opened the door and stood staring intently at its contents.  He stood there motionless for ten minutes. What in the world to make for dinner?  If only, he could decide.

Oliver the Cat Officially Changes His Name to “The Gladiator”

When we think of combat sports, we think of MMA fighting and boxing.  The image of a cat fighting a roll of paper towels inside a bathtub isn’t often the first thing to come to mind. 

I had never seen or heard of such a thing myself until I was leaning over to start shaving recently.  All of a sudden, all hell broke loose behind me.  For a moment, I thought I was going to be the victim of a brutal home invasion.  Instead, I turned to see Oliver the Cat locked in an epic battle with a roll of paper towels inside our bathtub.  I have no idea why a roll of paper towels was in our bathroom, and I am unaware of any previous animosity between Oliver and any of our household paper products.  Nevertheless, they were going at it.  Flipping and twisting with Oliver inflicting savage bite after savage bite.  Intense “killer” bites!  The roll of paper towels was holding its own, but it had the unfortunate disadvantage of lacking teeth, claws, or any gripping appendages.  However, that roll could sure bounce back from a bite.  Throughout the battle, the roll displayed impressive fortitude in the face of Oliver’s savage onslaught. 

Alas, Oliver the Cat ultimately prevailed over his household commodity nemesis.  And in the aftermath, he lay in the glow of his victory next to the body of his grizzled opponent. 

I can’t help but be proud of Oliver’s ingenuity.  He’s invented an entertaining blood sport MINUS the blood, AND one that is unlikely to draw throngs of PETA activists protesting in the streets wearing cat costumes. 

Before COVID, I’m not sure how much money I’d pay to see a cat fight a roll of paper towels.  However, with so many sports still in hiatus, and ESPN relegated to broadcasting reruns of 1980’s professional bowling league quarterfinals, Oliver has a shot at the big time.  Don’t be surprised if the next time you tune into Fox Sports or ESPN 1, 2, 3 … ad infinitum, you see Oliver the Cat mixing it up with a roll of Bounty inside what appears to be a suburban bathtub.  (Insider tip: Put your money on the cat.)

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.


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.


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