Birthday Guy

Nobody ever remembers Ted’s birthday.
Not even Ted.
You know how people say “Hey, when’s your birthday? It’s coming up soon, right?” as an icebreaker?
Nobody does that with Ted.
It’s not even on his driver’s license. Or birth certificate.
The subject just never comes up.
Ted doesn’t really mind that he’s never had a birthday party or cake.
He doesn’t like attention or a lot of noise.
And he really doesn’t like cake. Or ice cream.
Now, when it comes to party hats, well, he likes wearing those.
On his crotch. And nothing else.
Let’s not invite him, okay?


I grew up with coffee cans in the pantry.
This whole newfangled coffee pod craze makes no sense.
How the hell are you supposed to bury money in the back yard with those?
You can fit a few pennies in those things. Maybe a folded-up dollar or two.
But in order to bury your entire fortune, you’ll need to tear up your whole yard to plant a few thousand of these dinky little things.
Won’t the neighbors notice the mess?
And by the time you buy enough pods to fill up with your money, you won’t have any money left.


The escalator was invented long before there was an electric motor capable of powering it.
Elephants were used to power the demonstration models, but nobody wanted a basement filled with those things. They’re big, smelly, and expensive to feed.
Plus, elephant poop.
This made the escalator a really hard sell for the inventor, because building owners weren’t willing to pay so much for a heavy, ugly staircase.
“One day, those steps will move!” the inventor would shout.
People thought he was drunk. Or overdoing the medicinal cocaine and heroin.
He rode the elephants home and sold them to the circus.

The Gates

When Elvis died (if you believe the news, that is), he didn’t just walk through the Pearly Gates. He drove his big ol Cadillac right through them.
Problem is, those Gates were made a long time ago, and they weren’t meant to pass a Cadillac, so it was a tight fit.
And Elvis, well, he had a problem with the booze and the pills, so it was a miracle that he didn’t scratch a fender or side panel.
The Gates of Hell, on the other hand, are wide enough to fit any vehicle.
(Just try and find a parking space.)


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.


Some people are obsessive about washing their hands.
They wash their hands fifty or sixty times a day.
I’m obsessive about other people washing their hands.
Whenever I see someone, I get out a washbasin and soap so they can wash their hands.
When I went off to college, I was bunked with an obsessive who washed his hands constantly.
The dorm advisors thought that we would be a good match.
We weren’t. We both flunked out because we never made it to a single class.
You could say we both washed out, but I’d punch you in the nose.

The God

There’s a civilization of tiny people living in my scalp. They think I’m some sort of god.
An evil god.
I pick at them and scratch them out constantly. Then I flood and smother them every morning with shampoo in the shower.
Then I smother them in darkness when I put on my favorite ballcap. Which I never wash, so they are blanketed in the stench.
And yet, they still call me their god. And sing hymns and shout prayers and conduct rituals and sacrifice crops and livestock in my vaunted name.
Stupid noisy fuckers. Time to shave my head.


Ted is a lion-tamer with rage disorder.
So, every now and then, when he throws a tantrum, the ringmaster calls for the lion-tamer tamer.
No, he doesn’t come in with a chair and a whip. Nor is it some hot chick in a low-cut blouse.
It’s actually Gus, the security officer for the circus. He’s a good shot with a taser gun.
“You want to go get a coffee, Ted?” says Gus calmly.
Ted charges, and Gus is forced to zap him.
The crowd applauds and cheers, and then screams as the pack of lions tear Gus and Ted apart.


An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but I’ve found that a leather bullwhip is just as effective.
Especially when it’s one of those doctors that tries to avoid patients as much as possible, packing in way too many appointments for the day and having the nurses do all those blood pressure and height and weight things.
“The doctor will be with you in a moment,” is such a lie, as same as “This won’t hurt a bit.” and “You don’t need that bullwhip.”
Oh hell yes I do! I say, and I crack the whip, grinning wide.


People said that after all these years of writing and podcasting stories, I’d jumped the shark.
No, not me. I’d never just jump the shark.
I’d jump a hundred of them. A hundred live sharks, all jumped at once.
And I’m not going to jump them Fonzie-style. Boats and waterski jumps are so yesterday.
I’m going to freakin’ bungee jump the sharks.
My awesome plan involves lots of rigging of cables and pulleys and safety harnesses. I’ll write and podcast a perfect story, sail gracefully over all the sharks, and make a perfect landing.
Um, where does this bolt go?