Tag Archives: humor

How to Deal with Harassing Phone Calls

One of the most annoying things about modern day life is the constant bombardment of unwanted calls to our cell and home telephones.  Telephone solicitors call day and night.  They have little, if any regard, for personal privacy, but in today’s world, that is not surprising.  Our lives are anything but private.  In fact, most of us are guilty of privacy suicide.  Daily, we toss intimate details about ourselves to the wind via social media windows such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  As a society, we readily lay our lives open to the world, so why should a few invasive telephone calls bother us?  It’s simple – it is one thing to open your front door of your own free will and invite someone inside, but it is entirely different when someone uninvited tries to slip in your backdoor by hook, crook, sham, or scam.  When the phone rings at 8:00 p.m. and it is John from The Save a Duck Foundation, how do we know John is who he says he is or if he is just another jerk trying to separate us from our hard-earned money?

On average, I receive at least ten to twelve unsolicited phone calls daily.  Callers have informed me my home computer is sending malicious code, I have been threatened the IRS will arrest me for delinquent taxes if I do not go immediately to my bank and forward money to the caller, callers have asked for donations for WOWA (Worn Out Wrestlers of America) as well as every other charitable organization known to mankind, and it doesn’t stop there!  I cannot count the number of unsolicited calls I have received for insurance, medical relief, political surveys, and save the squirrel campaigns.  It is mind boggling the schemes these modern-day bandits devise to get my personal information or inside my pocketbook.  I have placed my name on a “No Call” list more than once, but I have come to believe the service is little more than a cruel hoax.   It does not provide relief!  If anything, the harassing calls seem to increase after I place my name on the list, so what is the use!  As a result, like so many people, I am terrified to answer my phone for fear of another dip wad scam. sales pitch, petition for donations to help aging poodles, or a thinly veiled political survey.  However, lately, I have started answering my phone again, especially if I am in the mood for a little fun.  Believe me, there is fun to be had if you know how to deal with telephone solicitors.

What to do When a Marketer or Scam Artist Calls:

  1. Answer the phone and get sucked into the sales pitch or scam: If you are this gullible, you are probably the benefactor of millions of dollars that a Nigerian prince reserved in your name in a bank vault off the coast of a lost South Pacific island, and you are too busy counting your money to be concerned about harassing phone calls;
  2. Rip out all telephone landlines, and drown cell phones in the toilet: This is probably the best solution of all, but few people in today’s world can survive without a phone glued to their ear;
  3. Don’t answer: Not a bad idea but be sure to change your ringtones to something you can tolerate since whatever ringtone you choose will be perpetually ringing, singing, and hooting.  In a “no answer home,” earplugs should be mandatory for all family members;
  4. Pick up the ringing phone, and if you do not recognize the number hang up: There is a bit of satisfaction and pleasure in doing this, but it doesn’t seem to reduce the number of harassing calls at all.  If anything, now that the caller knows you are home, he often calls back within minutes.  Also, any time you answer and hang-up, your phone number is placed on a “This is a Live One” list for eternity;
  5. Pick up the phone and start breathing heavily, make clucking sounds, or yell, “Mom, we are out of toilet paper! This is the third time we have used this roll!”  The unwanted caller usually hangs up immediately, but if not, add, “Can you hold a moment while I wipe?”
  6. Answer the phone and have a little fun by wasting the caller’s time. [SEE conversations at end of blog]: This is one of my favorites.  It seems to slow down the number of harassing calls, but more important, it is heart warming to know you have wasted the time of a shameless phone solicitor.  I encourage everyone to tape a list of worthless questions to ask phone marketers to your landline or to the back of your cell phone.  The goal is to make the call as unpleasant and unproductive for the caller as possible.  Waste the caller’s time like he is wasting yours.  Strive to make the time-bandit hang up first, which he will most certainly do if you follow these three simple guidelines:  (1) Answer anything a phone marketer says with a question, (2) Never give a straight answer or confirm anything, and (3) interrupt the marketer every chance you get.  Follow these simple guidelines, and you will be amazed at how fast you begin to look forward to answering harassing phone calls, so you can harass the caller; and
  7. Always play by these five rules:
    • Do NOT play the caller’s game – control the conversation;
    • Do NOT cooperate with the caller.  Remember, the caller is not your friend;
    • Do NOT lose your temper or curse. Losing your temper and/or cursing does nothing but raise your blood pressure.  If you get so annoyed or frustrated you must curse, hang up – you have lost control of the game;
    • Remember, they called you – you did not call them!  Your space has been invaded to enable a stranger to make a buck off you or manipulate your time.  Time is money for these people, so waste as much of it as possible; and
    • Never agree to payments of any kind over the phone. With charities, you never know who you are talking to, so ask them to mail you information if you are interested.  If they are legit, they will do so.  Even if a solicitor and his cause sounds legit, the chances are good he is a fraud, so beware.

I hope you find a way to turn the tables on the phone pests.  Better yet, I hope you have a little fun at their expense.  You might as well since it is doubtful they are going away anytime soon.  Give them hell but be nice!

JL

©Jack Linton, August 18, 2018

 

The following conversations are examples of what a conversation with a phone solicitor might sound like if you decide to have some fun.  Ninety-percent of the times I engaged a phone solicitor in one these conversations, the caller hung up on me, and one-hundred percent of the time, I had a blast doing it:

CONVERSATION #1:           [Pretend you are a two-year-old, and ask “WHY?”]

Caller:             I call for Mr. Jack.

Me:                 This is he.

Caller:             Mr. Jack, can confirm you live at _________________?

Me:                 Why?

Caller:             Uh . . . Sir, I need confirm I talk to Mr. Jack.

Me:                 Why?

Caller:             Must confirm for security.

Me:                 Why?

Caller:             Both our security, Sir.

Me:                 Why?

Caller:             Must confirm. Law require.

Me:                 Why?

Caller:             Sir, must you say why?

Me:                 No.

Caller:             Thank you.  May we continue?

Me:                 Why?

Caller:             Uh . . . Sir, your computer send malicious signal.

Me:                 Why?

Caller:             Uh . . . uh . . . We identify malicious content.  If open computer and follow my instruction can correct problem.

Me:                 Why?

Caller:             Mr. Jack, you not cooperate?

Me:                 Why?

Caller:             Do you wish to speak to supervisor?

Me:                 Why?

Caller:             We may report to Microsoft authorities.

Me:                 Why?

Caller:             [muffled voices]

CLICK and dial tone  – YOU WIN!

 

CONVERSATION #2:           [Be uncooperative!]

Caller:             I call for Mr. Jack.

Me:                 This a Mr. Jack.

Caller:             Can confirm you live at _________________?

Me:                 No.

Caller:             Uh . . . Sir, I need confirm I talk to Mr. Jack.

Me:                 Who did you call?

Caller:             Mr. Jack.

Me:                 I answered, so you have confirmation.

Caller:             Uh . . . okay . . . Sir, your computer send malicious signal.

Me:                 Really!?  What kind of malicious signal?

Caller:             That why I call.  We identify malicious content.  Will correct if open                                         computer and follow instructions.

Me:                 I don’t have a computer.

Caller:             Uh . . . Yes Sir, you do.  We receive signal.

Me:                 Are you calling me a liar?

Caller:             No . . . no . . . I need fix computer.

Me:                 I don’t have a computer.

Caller:             You have computer.  We receive signal.

Me:                 You can’t.  I don’t have a computer.

Caller:             Sir, I try to help.

Me:                 If you want to help, hang up.

Caller:             First, we fix computer.

Me:                 I don’t have a computer.

Caller:             We get signal.

Me:                 Have you checked your computer?

Caller:             No.

Me:                 Maybe you should.  I don’t have a computer.

Caller:             Sir, would you like speak to supervisor?

Me:                 Yes, put him on.

Caller:             One moment please. [muffled voices]

                        CLICK and dial tone

[A couple of times a supervisor or someone playing the role of a supervisor has picked up the call]

Supervisor:     This is Bombo Ahlalli.  Mr. Jack, I understand you have problems.

Me:                    I don’t have problems.  You called me.

Supervisor:     Sir, your computer in violation of Microsoft policy.

Me:                    What policy is that?

Supervisor:     Policy against malicious virus or malware threats.

Me:                    Does that cover malicious phone calls as well?

Supervisor:     Sir, we are most legit.

Me:                    No, you are not.

Supervisor:     Yes, we are.

Me:                    Not.

Supervisor:     We are!

Me:                    Not.

Supervisor:     Why not cooperate?

Me:                    Why not hang up?

Supervisor:     Why not you hang up?

Me:                    You called me.  It would be rude if I hung up.

Supervisor:     Sir, you waste time.

Me:                   I am lonely.  I have plenty of time.

Supervisor:     [muffled voices]

Me:                   What would you like to talk about?  I have all day.

CLICK and dial tone   – YOU WIN!

 

PHONE CONVERSATION #3:        [Interrupt, Interrupt, Interrupt!]

Caller:             I call for Mr. Jack.

Me:                 This is he.

Caller:             Sir, I am . . . .

Me:                 I hate to interrupt, but how is the weather where you are?

Caller:             Sir?

Me:                 The weather.  It is hotter than Hades here.

Caller:             The weather hot here as well.  I would . . . .

Me:                 I feel your pain.  Have you seen any good movies lately?  That is a good way                          to stay out of the heat.

Caller:             No.  I call to . . . .

Me:                 I hate interrupting, but I am so glad you called.  My wife is shopping, and I                            don’t have a soul to talk to today.  I bet you make a million calls a day and                              don’t have that problem.

Caller:             Sir, may I say why call?

Me:                 You like harassing people.  That’s why you call.

Caller:             I no harass people.

Me:                 Is this the best job you can find?  I bet your mama is so proud.

Caller:             Sir?  [muffled voices]

Supervisor:     Mr. Jack, so sorry.  Our agent seems to have problem communicating.  We                           call about your computer?

Me:                   I bet you are calling on behalf of Microsoft?

Supervisor:     Yes, we . . . .

Me:                   I really appreciate the way you guys keep calling to remind me my                                          computer is doing awful things.  One of these days, I might have to take                                  you up on your offer, and I’d do it today, if I wasn’t so absolutely sure you                              are running a scam.

Supervisor:     This no scam.

Me:                    Sure, it is, and you should be ashamed.

Supervisor:     I may notify Microsoft authorities if no cooperation.

Me:                     Report away, but in the meantime, do you mind if we talk sports?  What                                do you know about sumo wrestling?

CLICK and dial tone – YOU WIN!

Choose a conversation and put it into action the next time you receive an unwanted telephone call.  It is time we start taking back our homes!

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Top 12 Attractions for Naps in Disney World

My wife and I are Disney World fanatics!  We go at every opportunity.  Although I have ridden Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain numerous times, we usually avoid the roller coaster type rides.  Low key attractions such as the Disney atmosphere and watching the magical expressions of awe on the faces of children when they meet the Disney characters are more our cup of tea.  However, recently, my oldest granddaughter and grandson, coaxed me – my wife is smarter – into riding two of Disney’s newest rides, Everest and Pandora.  OMG! I loved both!  Everest was a blast, and the exhilaration of Pandora is the epitome of the Disney ride experience.  Pandora completely blew me away, and almost justified the two-hour wait in line.

I felt like a kid riding Everest and Pandora – on top of the mountain; however, in Disney World you must literally be a kid if you hope to stay on top of the mountain, which unfortunately, I am not.  Disney boasts their parks are for the young and the young at heart.  Hogwash!  Physically young, absolutely!  Young at heart?  Not so much!  By the time my sixty plus year old heart spends a half day standing hours in line to ride a couple of gut wrenching heart attack inducing thrill rides and trekking an ungodly number of miles across sun baked bubbling asphalt between rides and shows, I am literally pooped – exhausted!  By midday, I could care less about Star War laser sword enactments, Mickie and Minnie song and dance routines, or surviving a dwarf driven runaway mine train.  I am interested in two things and two things only:  one, getting off my feet, and two, finding a place that is cool and dark to take a NAP!

I am convinced if Disney opened a NAP TIME themed park it would be filled 365 days a year to capacity.  It is truly discrimination against geriatrics that such a theme park does not exist in Disney.  To their credit, Disney provides for the needs of youngsters, teens, young adults, families, and service animals, but there is little to no attention given old people.  Where are the oxygen stations?  Where are the cots?

How hard would it be for a company with the resources of Disney to set up a park for exhausted adults – especially seniors and couch potatoes.  What would be so difficult about developing a park complete with air-conditioned MASH (Military Army Surgical Hospital) style tents and military barracks equipped with air condition, oxygen, and cots.  For added realism, medivac helicopters could be used to fly collapsing and delusional exhausted adults from other theme parks to the new park where they could recharge their batteries.  Now, that is a ride this old geezer could get behind!  If Disney truly wanted to show its humanity, this is the direction they would venture next.  It makes sense!

Unfortunately, such a park is not likely to be built any time soon, but during my many visits, I have discovered there can be relief when your feet hurt, the sun has zapped your last bit of energy, and your eyelids are dragging two feet behind you if you know where to look.  There was a time when I sat or curled on curbs in the various Disney World parks breathing laboriously while the little moisture remaining in my body gurgled and bubbled under the intensity of the Florida sun.  No more!  In every Disney park there are certain attractions that offer the weary a chance to get out of the sun, off their feet, and even time to catch a few Zzzzs.  The chart below offers twelve Disney attractions/sanctuaries the weary can seek out when they find themselves miserably exhausted on the streets of Disney World.  Visitors to Disney world, especially older ones, deserve a break or two, and this chart is the ticket.

Top 12 Attractions for Naps at Disney World

No.

Ride Location Length of Ride Air Cond. Dim Light Soft Seats Slow Moving
12 Pirates of the Caribbean

Magic Kingdom

8   minutes Yes Yes No

Yes

  POSTIVE:  The ride is out of the sun, slow moving, and dark!  Perfect for catching a few Zzzzs!

NEGATIVE:  The seat is hard and without a Fast Pass it can be a long wait to ride.

11 Beauty & the Beast Live

Epcot

25 minutes No No No

Yes

  POSITIVE:  This is a great place to get off your feet under a canopy that blocks the sun.

NEGATIVE:  The canopy blocks the sun, but it still gets very hot, but I dare you not to nod.

10 It’s a Small World

Magic Kingdom

14 minutes No No No

Yes

  POSITIVE:  289 animated dolls sing “It’s a small world” over and over; who can stay awake?

NEGATIVE:  The boat seats are hard, and without a Fast Pass the wait to ride can be very long.

9 Mickey’s PhilharMagic

Magic Kingdom

12 minutes Yes Yes Yes

Yes

  POSITIVE:  Air condition and cushioned seats on a hot Florida day is all that needs to be said.

NEGATIVE:  The only negative is the wait to get in can be very long without a Fast Pass!

8 Tomorrowland People Mover

Magic Kingdom

16 minutes No Slight No

Yes

  POSITIVE:  There is almost no wait, and you can stretch out and relax during this rolling tour!

NEGATIVE:  No negatives!  This is sort of a “mercy” ride created for bone weary adults.

7 County Bear Jamboree

Magic Kingdom

10 minutes Yes Yes Yes

Yes

  POSITIIVE:  Short lines, air condition, cushioned seats, and dim lighting – everything you need!

NEGATIVE:  The show is too short, but in Disney be thankful for any nap time you find.

6 Disney/Pixar Film Festival

Epcot

18 minutes Yes Yes Yes

Yes

  POSITIVE:  Short lines, air condition, cushioned seats, and dim lighting equals a great nap!

NEGATIVE:  If 15 minutes longer, it would be the perfect nap attraction, but no such luck.

5 Carousel of Progress

Magic Kingdom

21 minutes Yes Yes Yes

Yes

  POSITIVE:  No lines – walk in and find a cushioned chair to your liking!

NEGATIVE:  I feel bad when I wake up, and I have missed the show.  Oh well, maybe next time.

4 Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Magic Kingdom

No Limit Yes Slight No

Yes

  POSITIVE:  There is an air-conditioned activity room while you wait.  Smart adults stretch out on the benches for a short or even long nap!  If someone gets ahead of you in line, who cares!  Your nap time can be virtually unlimited!  I would have rated this ride higher, but I wasn’t sure if at some point you might get chased out.

NEGATIVE:  Honestly, I can’t think of a negative unless the loud squeals of children bother you.

3 The Hall of Presidents

Magic Kingdom

23 minutes Yes Yes Yes

Yes

  POSITIVE:  This attraction is a favorite for a nap.  It meets all the napping criteria plus it is dark!

NEGATIVE:  No negatives!  When it comes to a nap, the Hall of Presidents is a 5 Star Attraction!

2 The American Adventure

Epcot

29 minutes Yes Yes Yes

Yes

  POSITIVE:  The reason this attraction rates higher that the previous one is it is 6 minutes longer.

NEGATIVE:  No negatives!  This is another 5 Star Nap Attraction!

1 Finding Nemo – The Musical

Animal Kingdom

35 minutes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

POSITIVE:  It is a shame to doze in such a great show, but this attraction has 35 minutes of air conditioning, soft seats, and complete darkness.  What else does a napper need other than a cot?

NEGATIVE:  If you are late, you get locked out until the next show – bummer.

I am confident you will find this list helpful, regardless if you are an old geezer, or by the middle of a long Disney day, an old geezer at heart.  For my wife and I, these twelve attractions are always at the top of our list.  Over the years, we have logged many hours of Z time on these attractions, which helps keep our passion for Disney World alive.  We always feel rested and alert when we get our nap time.

JL

©Jack Linton, March 31, 2018

My Wife and I Shacked Up

This past week my wife and I did something we have never done – we shacked up!  We have been married forty-four years, so in a sense, we are old timer shacker uppers, but this time it was different.  We drove to North Mississippi and spent five nights at the Shack Up Inn located on the Hopson Plantation outside of Clarksdale on Highway 49.  The rustic stopover with authentic renovated tin roofed, rough wood-sided sharecropper houses as well as a cotton gin and grain bins reimagined and converted to overnight hotel apartments may not be for everyone, but it is certainly unique, and for us, a perfect getaway.  The whole complex is a historical marvel to behold, but at the same time, it is one of the most ironic places I have ever visited.  Over seventy-five years ago, families scrapping out a meager living farming another man’s land lived in these two maybe three-room shotgun style houses.  They spent their lives struggling, working from first light to sunset, to have a better life than living in a shack.  In contrast, today, people pay more money for a night’s stay in one of the shacks than most poor sharecroppers made in a year.  It is also sobering to think there are families across Mississippi still living in such poverty.

We stayed in the Crossroad Shack, relocated to the Inn from nearby Duncan, Mississippi.  The shack, although weathered and worn both inside and out was clean, warm on the cool nights we encountered, free of leaks from the rain that came later in the week, and peaceful and relaxing for a good night’s rest.  It would have been difficult to find a speck of paint anywhere, but it had all we needed for an enjoyable and comfortable stay.  The little two room building had indoor plumbing complete with a flushable toilet and hot water for a shower.  There was also a piano, a microwave oven, a coffee pot, a refrigerator, a gas wall heater, adequate lighting, and glory of glories NO TELEVISION!  The Internet was a bit sketchy, but that was okay.  Few people go to the Shack Up Inn to watch television or roam the Internet, but if that is your thing, some of the bins are equipped with television.  Like my wife and I, most people go to the Shack Up Inn to escape the everyday hustle of life, and relax away from Facebook, CNN, and Fox News.  The Inn is a place to put worries and trouble on hold and relax in a rocker on the screened back porch, read a book, take leisurely strolls around the grounds, and in the evenings kick back with a cold drink of choice and listen to the best Mississippi Blues you will find anywhere.  Of course, you can always jump in your car and head into Clarksdale to visit Ground Zero, The Blues Museum, Hambone’s, and Reds Lounge as well as many other local establishments and landmarks.  Despite being off the beaten path, there is no shortage of things to do at the Shack up Inn and in Clarksdale.

While at the Shack Up Inn, I attended a songwriting workshop I have been wanting to attend for some time.  Songwriting is a passion of mine regardless of success or lack of it, and by writing my own stuff, I don’t mess up anyone else’s music.  The workshop exceeded all expectations!  I have never been made to feel more at ease and appreciated in a workshop, and I have attended many.  Songwriters from all over the country were there, and I can truthfully say, I learned something from each of them.  If you are a songwriter or would like to be, and you are interested in learning the nuts and bolts of the songwriting craft, Ralph Carter’s “Songs at the Shacks” workshop is a no brainer.  However, don’t go if you are not serious about your craft!  You will work your butt off writing and performing, but by the end of the week, you will be thankful of the blessings that allowed you to attend.  I found the workshop well worth the money, time, and effort.  Thank you, Ralph, I can’t wait to be a part of another of your workshops.  I left the Shacks, tired, renewed, and for the first time ever with confidence I am headed in the right direction.  As an important bonus, the friendships made during the week were worth the price of admission alone.

To say, we had a wonderful week at the Shacks would be a huge understatement.  We had a super week!  How can shacking up with a beautiful woman, writing music, singing your songs, listening to great music, and being around friends be anything but fantastic?  We will certainly do it again soon, but for now it is back to writing songs, writing my blog, and writing short stories.  I hear a song, “Mama, Take Your Teeth Out,” calling.

JL

©Jack Linton, March 16, 2018

First Love

“I remember my first love,” the man said, closed his eyes and sighed deeply.  “She was as sweet as dew at first light.  I have never met another like her.”  He knelt before the altar and worshiped First Love.

For most people, first love is a careless delicious surplus of sugary puffs of nostalgia.  They swoon in memories of white lace, tender moonlight strolls, skin as soft as silk floating on feather down, and a touch so smooth and delicate it speaks of a refreshing summer lemonade or a delicate red wine with floral undertones.  Over time, first love has a way of growing into a whimsical dream-like longing that paints it as more than a simple charity of nature.  For many, it morphs into a cosmic life event colored by all that is innocent, sweet, and righteous in the world – a lavish desert and entitlement of youth.

If man could negotiate time and the universe in a single breath and look upon the original blueprints for his existence, he would find first love was a gift, a charity, orchestrated by gods with nothing better to do.  They were spirits with no motive other than creating a smile and a warm place in the heart, who, to this day, toast one another with each first kiss of starry eyed first loves.  We should also toast first love and fall in love over and over with the honey scented nostalgia that cloaks it.  Yet, unlike those candied memories, we must take care not to place our first love on a wistful pedestal like a trophy.

First love is not an altar to kneel before.  It is not a stuffed panda, or fine wine to share openly as a prize, but a keepsake to fold into your wallet for safe keeping for fear it might sour with overexposure.  Like a mother’s womb, it is not intended as a warm cubby hole to hibernate forever.  Its sole purpose is to prepare for what is to come – to open eyes to the truth that two are better than one.  First love is training wheels on your first bicycle; the first cross you bear; the first callous on your heart.

Sweet as cherry blossoms in spring as it may be, nuzzling the fuzz on that first peach is meant as a personal curio to be placed on a sheltered shelf out of the way when done.  After all, it is charity, a gift, not intended for flaunting.  Unfortunately, human nature does not always allow first love to be treated as such; it will not permit it to be dignified by fading softly until vanquished respectfully and honestly.  No, we dig up the bones, cover them with wisps of Camelot and roses, regurgitate a surreal fleeting experience that never was as we wish to remember it.

Those first palpable pricks of the heart linger in a shadowy recess of the brain reserved for what might have been, what never was, and what we wish, want, and believe to be.  Its memory is the byproduct of an underdeveloped flap of grey tissue that utilizes spotting sparks of corkscrewed energy spitting from a humping brain stem to fabricate superficial intrigue and horny syrupy sweetness for a fleeting delusional moment in our lives.  We hold to that moment with a fondness reserved for high school pranks and fetching our own switch for Mama to tan our backside.  Those good old days and memories we sweeten with saccharin.

That most people are indebted to a name they only speak in moral seriousness is without question.  That they are ensnared deep within a constantly gentrifying lair of sugarcoated indulgence of half-truths is also without question.  In the name of first love, they allow themselves to be imprisoned by plain prose exuding romantic mediocrity blinded by sunlight caught in crystal windows.   Their reason is intermittently waxed incomprehensible; they are blinded or at least enveloped by a fantasy shrouded in essentialist qualities of love – a fantasy inseparable from reality.

A charity of nature designed to unlock hearts and open souls to the beauty of the human bond, first love should be smiled upon and thought of tenderly for its intended good.  It should not be allowed to fester into a gauzy distraction or a model holding all future love accountable.  It was never intended to be idolized or placed on a pedestal that might bring the adoration of future love into question, nor was it ever intended as a gauge for future romantic relationships.  First love is a foyer to a greater room; it is simply the beginning of the grandest adventure of all – love.  It is practice for the real thing to come; it was never intended as a prototype of the real game.

JL

©Jack Linton, February 9, 2018

Henny Chicken’s Escort Service:  A Story with a Moral

Henny Chicken left her job after working nineteen years for KFC corporate.  She had thought of leaving many times, but each time she was about to pull the plug, she moved up the pecking order, and edged a little closer to the proverbial wire ceiling.  It was different this time though!  She had endured her tail feathers being stroked for the last time, and hush promotions to ease her squawking no longer mattered.  Just once, she would like to move up the corporate ladder for what happened from the neck up, rather than the neck down.  The paper promotions resulted in slight improvement, but in some ways set her up for even more harassment.  The bosses looked at her as willing to do whatever to get a promotion, and the rest of the employees looked at her as a chicken lipped Jezebel sleeping her way to the top.  She loved her job, and did not want to leave, but what else could a hen do?  Being treated and thought of as less than a chicken stuck in her craw, and made her miserable.  All she wanted was to work and live in a place where a chick could cross the road and not have her motives or gender questioned.

The cutesy office breast and leg jokes grew old even if breasts were the foundation for the company and her pension.  She simply could not take being considered a piece of meat any longer.   Scratching out a living for chicken feed instead of living off her fluffy corporate paycheck would be difficult, but for a new life, she knew she was up to the challenge.  Besides, she couldn’t wait to see the company struggle without her; after all, the rooster may crow but the hen delivers the goods.  KFC would be a chicken with its head cut off without her.  So, Henny built up her nest egg, and flew the coop to set out on her own.

The first morning after leaving her job was the best.  She slept until noon, dressed like a stinking sloppy crow, and relaxed all day on her balcony.  Wrapped in the warmth of sunshine and her new life, she couldn’t believe how free and renewed she felt.  It was an incredible feeling!  No roosters interested more in what was under her feathers than what was between her ears; no obligatory seductive cackles to massage rooster egos; and no constant greasing the skillet to keep peace!  The only time her tail feathers were ruffled was when she scratched.  What more could she ask for; her new life was simply heaven.

Unfortunately, outside her modest coop, the same was not true.  To her surprise, the outside world was more twisted than the corporate world.  She could not walk past a street corner without hearing a breast, thigh, or leg joke.  Unlike the office, on the street there was no pretentious cutesiness, it was strictly hard core, and there was no promotion if she was offended, which of course she was.  At least the roosters at work engaged in a certain amount of quality control, and treated her to her beak like a real chicken.  All the cock-a-doodle-doos she met now were interested in was tenderness, juiciness, and flavor as if she was a USDA commodity.   Bottom line, they were only interested in the amount of usable lean meat on her carcass.  The cool cat raccoons and possums were the worst of the lot.

Her social life also suffered.  Engaging in hen parties with friends from her old job was not fun anymore since she was no longer privy to the latest greatest gossip from around the feeding and water troughs and had little to share.   Even the chick flicks she at first attended twice a week left her feeling violated and used since they were nothing more than a banty rooster on a June bug story.  She also found going to the Cock of the Walk with her girl-hens for cocktails was no longer as much fun.  She had nothing in common with her old friends, and new friends were as hard to find as hen teeth.  The only bright side was she no longer had to put up with the cock and bull of the workplace.

One morning, after a less than fun night out, Henny woke and went for a long walk.  She had to admit that her new life had turned out to be egg on her face, she was still miserable, and KFC was doing wonderfully without her, which left her with little to do but brood.  After a while, she noticed a possum and armadillo following her.  From the look in their eyes there was little doubt they thought she looked finger licking good, so Henny picked up her pace.  She walked around the block several times hoping to lose them, but with each lap they gained ground until they were virtually parting her back feathers with their breaths.  But, she was not hatched yesterday; she knew exactly what to do.  She crossed the street.  Not thinking, the possum and armadillo followed her, and were immediately flattened by a Sanderson Farms chicken truck, proving once again that unlike a chicken some creatures indeed cannot cross the road.

Roadkill always made her feel safe and at ease, but there was also a slight tinge of sadness.  She couldn’t imagine living a life confined to one side of the road.  Being so cooped up would have driven her crazy.  At that moment a light clicked on in her head.  There was no time draining incubation period; the most marvelous idea of her life merely hatched!  It was a made from scratch idea that would allow her to finally come home to roost.  Instead of being subjected to constant poppycock as she was in her old job, she would rule the roost.  She might have to wing it at first, but the more she thought about it, the better she liked her idea.

Two years later, Henny was the talk of Egg Street.  She not only manipulated her idea into a multibillion dollar enterprise, but she bought KFC and opened a line of fleece and feather lined lingerie as well.  However, the kingpin of her financial kingdom remained embedded in that one brilliant roadkill inspired idea known to investors as HES and globally as Henny’s Escort Service for Potential Road Kill Victims.  For the first time in the history of the world, raccoons, possums, and armadillos could travel anywhere they chose safely.  Henny’s only stipulation other than getting paid was raccoons, possums, and armadillos had to swear off ruffling tail feathers, breast and thigh jokes, and other obnoxious behavior toward hens.  As for, boastful strutting harassing roosters, the business world followed Henny’s lead and stripped them of their management positions and relegated them to assist at diaper changing stations in public restrooms.  As for Henny, she slept until noon every day, dressed like a stinking sloppy crow, and relaxed all day on her penthouse balcony reading, For Whom the Chicken Crows, which of course she wrote.

Moral of the Story:

With a cool head and imagination, it is possible to make chicken salad out of chicken poop.

JL

©Jack Linton, January 6, 2018

 

Santa’s Grossest Christmas List:  Real Toys My Grandkids Want

When my grandkids handed me their Christmas lists, I was shocked!  Each list is filled with gross and obnoxious toys.  I am not lying – boogers and pooh headline their Christmas Lists.  I have grown to expect inherited poor taste from the boys, but this year, the girls are just as bad.  I am not a prude or stick-in-the-mud when it comes to gross; I enjoy a good juicy fart joke book or as a boy, shooting dripping spit balls and other bits and pieces of grossness with a rubber band.  To me, the whole toy poopoo fad is funny and highly reflective of our society, but when my granddaughters ask for “turd launchers” and dolls that poo their pants for Christmas, that surpasses even my tolerance for gross.  Why are kids so fascinated with toys devoted to body excretions?  Do parents and grandparents buy their children and grandchildren such disgusting toys?  Of course, we do, or the store shelves would not be stacked to the ceiling with such disgusting games and stuffed caricatures.

When my kids were growing up, my wife often chastised me for sharing what I considered to be a high quality dirty diaper or tasteful fart joke with my boys.  My daughter, like her mama, was too classy to dabble in the sewer, but even she would sometimes cringe and laugh with us.  Other than the boys absorbing my weird sense of humor, no harm that I am aware of was done.  Heck, the uncouth things I subjected my kids to were tame compared to the crudeness of toys today.  My best gross-outs pale in comparison to the toys found on Amazon.com or on Walmart toy shelves.

Apparently, there is a race among toy makers for the “Gross-out” title.  There are toys galore that feature snot, boogers, farting, peeing, and even pooping!  What is the deal with the obsession with crap?  I am not talking about cheap, poorly made, waste of money toys although most of these toys certainly are, I am referring to toys that look and feel like real crap, number two, poo, poop, feces, manure, cow-pies, dung, and doo-doo.  Who would have ever thought a “sack of poopoo” would have a major niche in the toy market?  Take a stroll down the toy aisle in Walmart, Toys “R” Us, or shop for toys on Amazon.com, and you will be greeted by dolls that not only pee, but poop; giant noses with finger picking boogers; stuffed pigs that fart; and dogs that  poo and come with pooper scooper accessories.  I am not completely naïve; I fully understand boys twelve and under have always been fascinated with anything gross, but when did sweet little girls take up that banner?  I can’t imagine why anyone, parents, grandparents, or toy makers, would want to teach our sweet little darlings that cleaning poop is fun!

There are those who claim lifelike dolls with life functions teach children to be responsible caring adults and parents.  According to their reasoning, such toys provide children with life experiences.  That is all well and good, but some life experiences are better left for later in life.  Maybe, it’s my weak stomach, but in my opinion, cleaning poop from a baby’s bottom is one of those life experiences we can spare nine and ten-year-old girls without fear of psychological scarring.  I don’t think I am wrong when I say cleaning a dirty diaper is a shitty experience regardless how devoted and loving you are as a parent.  While I don’t totally disagree with the responsibility angle, for me, a pooping doll is like putting anatomically correct parts on Ken and Barbie.  Ken doesn’t need a penis, nor does Barbie need a vagina for boys and girls to pretend they are boyfriend and girlfriend or husband and wife.  Why teach children love is dependent on physical grappling?  Likewise, why teach children cleaning poop is one of the pleasures of parenthood?  The imagination is a wonderful place for boys and girls to dwell, so why destroy it with too much realism?

With many of the toys on the shelf this Christmas, there is a thin line between being an educational toy and a toy simply geared to rectal sensationalism.   The grosser the toy the more popular!  If it hangs from the nose or pops out the bottom, it is fun stuff.  Unfortunately, gross appears to have no boundaries.  There are also poo shaped and colored pillows for those who have always had a hankering to cuddle next to or lay their heads on an incredibly plush fiber or down filled turd.  What will they come up with next?  Poo shaped highway signage?

I don’t know where this trend goes from here, but I am sure, the grosser it gets, the better kids will like it.  But, as a grandparent, that is not my problem.  It is not grandpa and grandma’s responsibility to dig the grandkids out of the gutter; that’s mom and dad’s job.  A grandparent’s job is to spoil them rotten, which includes buying them all the slime, guts, and rubber poo they think they need.  Therefore, this Christmas, I plan to visit Amazon.com, Toys “R” Us, and Walmart, and buy the grossest games and toys I can find for my grandkids.  I don’t care about the life experience the game provides, or if it has educational value, as long as it makes them laugh.  I might not get grandparent of the year, but hearing them laugh is all the reward I need.  Laughter is what childhood is all about even if it takes a little plastic fecal matter and nasal slime to help it happen.

So, for those adults who have a touch of a child in their heart, a spark of the rebel in their soul, and love to hear children laugh, I invite you to look at my grandkids’ Christmas list.  It might not be wholesome; it may even be the grossest Christmas list ever compiled by kids, but if a doll with a greasy runny diaper will get me a hug and laughter for Christmas, you can bet a roll of toilet paper, I am all in!  There is little doubt, the toys on the list will bring smiles and laughter to the little ones, but I would not be surprised if those toys, as gross as they are, tickle the kid in adults as well.  Even the clogged hearts of constipated Grinches and Scrooges stand to be softened by the sight of a stuffed turd ornament on a Christmas tree; after all, it seems miracles come in brown this year.

Merry Christmas, and happy shopping!  Remember, the grossest thing of all is a world, especially a Christmas, without laughter.

Santa’s Grossest Christmas List

The perfect Christmas gift list for kids and adults who love to laugh.

Doggie Doo                Best Price:      $25.89 at Amazon.com

The perfect game to train your kids to clean up after the family dog that you can’t house-break!

 Who Tooted               Best Price:      $29.99 at Amazon.com

Great practice for those long family trips in the car!

Gooey Louie              Best Price:       $19.59 at Amazon.com

This game is the perfect consolation for those people who were disappointed to discover the History Channel’s “American Pickers” was not about booger harvesting.

Poopyhead                 Best Price:      $16.95 at Amazon.com

As in real life, everyone gets crapped on, but the winner is the one who gets pooped on the least.

Gas Out                      Best Price:      $10.49 at Amazon.com

Fast action farting fun!  The perfect tooting game without the smell.

Lalaloopsy Babies Diaper Surprise             Best Price:      $149.99 at Amazon.com

There are probably much cheaper ways to play with pooping babies, but for those folks who go to sleep at night dreaming of finding surprises in dirty diapers, this doll is a sure bet to tickle their fancy.

Baby Alive Super Snacks Snackin Sara     Best Price:      $49.99 at Amazon.com

This baby poops in her diaper after she is fed!  Just like a real baby the cycle never ends – feed and poop and clean mess, feed and poop and clean mess, feed and poop and clean mess.  What fun!

PooPen                       Best Price:      $4.68 at Amazon.com

Adds new meaning to crappy writing.

The Farting Animal Coloring Activity Book       Best Price:    $5.95 at Amazon.com

Kids learn all things toot even fuzzy kittens and mom!

Farting Santa            Best Price:      $14.99 at Amazon.com

This little guy is in my personal collection!  Pull his finger and it is easy to see how Santa is propelled up a chimney.

Poop Christmas Tree Hanging Ornament          Best Price:     $11.95 at Amazon.com

A smiling pile of poo for your Christmas tree!  Nothing says Christmas like a poo ornament on your tree.

Happy shopping!  This Christmas brown is the new green.

Merry Christmas!

JL

©Jack Linton, December 9, 2017

The Great Halloween Sleepover

One of my favorite days of the year is finally here – THE GREAT HALLOWEEN SLEEPOVER!  Every Halloween Wicked Mawmaw and Diabolical Pawpaw (yours truly!) host the grandgoblins for a night of food, candy, scary movies, food, candy, and more candy.  The goal is to deprive them of sleep by showing scary movies all night, stuff them with pizza and hot dogs, let them eat all the candy and popcorn they want, and come morning, send them home to their parents sleep deprived and cranked up on sugar.  Could a night be more fun and diabolical?

It’s an all night rug-rat party!  From 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. the grandgoblins rule the roost.  The rules are simple.  They are forbidden to bite or maim each other, they cannot sit in Diabolical Pawpaw’s chair unless they are curled up in his lap, they cannot go outside and torture the animals, they are forbidden to tinkle on the floor in the bath of horrors, but most of all, they are required to have a good time.  Parents can come, but they are not welcome if they are picky about how much pizza, hot dogs, and candy their child eats; worried about their child getting sticky, wet, or egged; or they are a stickler for their child getting a good night’s rest.  This night belongs to the kids and the grandparents.  However, Wicked Mawmaw and I are not insensitive to the parents; we do provide each child with a barf bag.

The event kicks off with the Witches Pit of Fire complete with ghost stories and roasted ghost droppings.  From there, it is twelve hours of non-stop mayhem.  Movies to make your flesh crawl, things that go crash in the night, boogeymen hiding behind doors, and bloated tummies are the norm.  There is plenty of Diabolical Pawpaw’s Atomic Fallout Popcorn to munch on during the movies, and in between there is the highlight of the evening – Wicked Mawmaw’s Oven Dung Cookies!  She was lucky to get them baked this year before the yellow tape went up around the oven.  We are not sure if the tape marks a crime scene for another half-baked goblin, or if it simply restricts access to the oven as it undergoes conversion to a crematorium.

I can’t wait until Friday night!  I have filed the dog’s toenails, painted the cat black, invited the most detestable goons and goblins, sawdust has been poured on the floor, and special guest appearances by childhood’s greatest nightmares have been arranged.  The setting is set for the perfect night of fright.  I can already hear the screams – oh what music to my ears!

Halloween Sleepover Announcement-1

©Jack Linton, October 26, 2017