H.L Mencken said that Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy.
As first, I thought that this was Cherophobia, the fear of happiness and gaity, but H.L Mencken was very specific about the happiness being in others, not the Puritans themselves, which is quite an understandable mistake if you know any Puritans.
Sure, they’ll deny it, but Puritans are a very unhappy bunch. And they want to share that unhappiness.
At least they’re nice enough to share, right?
If only they were willing to share ice cream and bubblegum like that.
Those unhappy jerks.


Superstitious Bob constantly struck matches for good luck.
The casinos didn’t like the idea of a guy striking matches all the time, like some kind of arsonist goon from the mafia, so they threw him out.
Same with the horse track. And the nearby dog track.
The dog fighting pit regulars threatened to let their dogs at him. Dogs don’t like the sulfur from matches.
He was down to the high school snail races.
And you know what? He got along fine with those guys.
Until he spilled some salt and tossed it over his shoulder. On to the racers.


Just as the Leprechaun guards his pot of gold from rainbow-chasers, the Leperchaun flees the people who follow his trail of rotted-off appendages.
Why people would follow a trail of bloody fingers… toes… or worse, I have no idea.
Sometimes, it’s the police, After that John Wayne Bobbit incident, anything’s possible, really.
The dogs sniff out a trail, which leads to the miserable creature, hunched over a pot of glue.
With antibiotics, he can be cured of the horrible affliction. But the disfigurement is permanent.
With prosthetics and a 3D printed half-mask, he’ll still look like a goddamned Irish midget.

Misnaming Rights

The baseball team threatened to move to another city, so the city agreed to give the team more tax breaks and financed a new stadium.
A national insurance company headquartered in the city bought the naming rights of the stadium, but the team went with another insurance company.
Sure enough, the team cut corners when they constructed the new stadium, and a deck collapsed during a game.
Even though the insurance company on the stadium wasn’t involved, they got the bad publicity when the lawsuits piled up and victims complained about the settlement.
The team moved to another city anyway.

Trash Talk

Some players have a reputation in the league for trash talk. And the league is trying to clean things up.
So, instead of trash-talking, players are being encouraged to recycle-talk.
The greener the words, the better. Sustainability is key. Renewable is all the rage. Because nobody wants to waste words.
Especially when the game is on the line, and you’re running out of fouls to give, time outs, and words.
Nothing’s worse than a team that’s run out of words, left only with facial gestures and hand signals to finish out the game.
Choose your words wisely, guys.
Speak green.

The Sparrow

He called himself usfur duri, the sparrow.
He tried to set off a bomb on a school bus.
It took six men to bring him down. He was still trying to trigger it.
To murder. To kill.
He sat in his cell and didn’t say a word.
FREE THE SPARROW, the Amnesty International posters said.
No mention of the bomb. The children.
He called us evil during the trial.
Guilty. Thirty life sentences.
Years later, he was on the prisoner exchange list. A “goodwill gesture.”
He laughed at us.
We wrapped him in a poster and beat him to death.

Glad Max

Glad Max guides his oxcart along the well-worn trails of Nepal, smiling and greeting his neighbors and countrymen.
Before the collapse of civilization, Nepal had been socially backward. Mostly subsistence farmers with poor access to technology, advanced medicine, and education.
There were a lot less annoying tourists and drugs and other crap that came with modernization. The old ways were back and here to stay. Nice and quiet.
Which made Max glad.
Every now and then, post-apocalyptic weirdos in leather BSDM gear drove up form Australia and caused headaches. And eventually drove off of cliffs.
Which made Max even gladder.