Best seller

After years of trying to write The Great American Novel and failing, Fred gave up writing.
“Why?” asked Joe, Fred’s agent. “I know you have it in you.”
“No, I don’t,” said Fred. “But you do.”
Fred became Joe’s agent, and when Fred finished writing his novel, Joe shopped it around and got it published.
Best seller. Fifteen weeks.
Joe’s next nine novels were also best-sellers.
Joe got famous, and Fred booked him on talk shows and book tours.
They both made a good living.
These days, you’ll catch them on the golf course.
Joe lets Fred keep score.

George the Talent Scout

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
He could spot good talent, though.
Several of the cabin boys he’d found at local schools had grown up to become great pirates.
George was proud of them, even though they weren’t exactly proud of owing their careers to George.
George would send them birthday and Christmas cards, out of genuine fondness, not out of some selfish attempt to network.
And those pirates would open the envelope, read the card, and know that someone cared and remembered them.
Even if that someone was an incompetent, bumbling screw-up like George.

Diseased solution

When you go to an amusement park or public event, do it when you’re sick.
That way, you immune system is already active and working on fighting illness and infection.
Otherwise, when you’re fine and healthy, your defenses aren’t ready for the many illnesses from around the world.
Would you rather have a simple cold, or a full-blown tropical virus that makes your eyes, ass, and ears bleed?
It’s like measles parties, but instead of exposing kids to an infected kid to build immunity, you gather adults to Disneyland or a Rolling Stones concert.
Biological warfare is so much fun!

O Disneyland

Disneyland is Disneyland.
Getting in the park early will let you ride a few rides before the long lines take over. And thank God for the purse checks and metal detectors doing their security theater routine.
Those guys slow down the rush of fresh meat long enough to keep the lines good until ten or ten-thirty, maybe eleven on a weekday.
All the restaurants fill up quickly, and unless you have a reservation, it’s corn dogs and cokes again.
Line up for the light show and fireworks, stand behind a family of Watusi with big hair and hats.
Goodnight, Mickey.

Jerry’s boat

Jerry counted down the days to retirement.
“I plan to build a boat and sail it over as much water as I can before I die,” he said.
We tried to convince him that he should just buy a boat or lease one instead. But Jerry had a dream, and you can’t talk a man out of his dream.
The doctors couldn’t talk him out of his dream even after he sawed off three fingers.
So, Jerry had another accident.
We rented a boat to hold his funeral on, and spread his ashes over as much water as we could.

And dead men tell no tales

Dead men tell no tales! warns the pirate’s skull as our boat tips down the slide and we float past scene after scene of skeletons, treasure, and wreckage.
Not if you depose them first, I mumble.
The trial is four days away. To get my mind off of this, I went down to Disneyland, like I always do.
New name. New face. New credit cards.
What do I have to worry about?
As I key in my access code to Club 33, a fat man in tourist clothes puts a knife in my back.
My E Ticket just got punched.

George the Camper

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
On paper, he was really good.
His certificate from Pirate Summer Camp.
A sash full of Pirate Scout Merit Badges.
Several bronze medals from the Pirate Olympics.
And a degree in piracy from a well-respected correspondence college.
But on the ship, he was a complete disaster.
He wet the bunk, he broke his cutlass, and his bandanna kept coming loose at the worst times.
“Tie it in the back, you idiot,” said the captain.
Despite repeated attempts to sneak him with hostages, the British Navy kept sending him back.

George the Receipt Guy

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
Whenever he pillaged, he gave out receipts so the homeowner could claim the loss on their insurance.
And he was too much of a gentleman to do the whole raping thing.
As for plundering, well, isn’t that just another word for pillaging?
“There’s a difference,” said the captain, pulling out a pair of dictionaries. “One of these, I pillaged. The other, I plundered.”
George pulled out a thesaurus. “Pillage. Plunder, Ransack. Loot.” He snapped the book shut. “They’re all the same thing.”
The captain growled, and threw George overboard.

George the Extortionist

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
At the local school’s Career Day, George stood alongside a fireman, policeman, a doctor, and a lawyer.
George would try to recruit new cabin boys, but he also sold kidnapping insurance.
“You know, in case pirates take your children hostage,” he said.
He was arrested by the policeman and charged with extortion.
But when George came to trial, the judge dismissed the case.
“Can I have my children back now?” asked the judge.
George shrugged. “I didn’t take them,” he said.
The lawyer grinned. “Oh, that was my idea.”

George the Highwayman

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
He spent a lot of time cleaning the mile of freeway that his crew had sponsored as part of the Adopt A Highway Program.
And he was pretty good at keeping it clean.
He posted pictures of the highway on Instagram and Snapchat, gathering lots of followers and fans.
People drove from miles away to litter on that stretch of freeway, only to have it cleaned up by the time they circled back.
Never mind that George was just sweeping everything to the other side of the mile marker.