MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE
I maintain that guns are not the problem. The problem is actually guns in the hands of homicidal maniacs who hear voices saying “Kill kill kill for the love of killing kill for the love of Kali look out black helicopter black helicopter oh Dear Jesus truly these are the end times don’t worry dear Messiah is coming they will take my gun away when they pry it from my cold dead fist I’m not crazy you’re the one who’s crazy, read my file let it flow red river.”
NOIR MISFORTUNE COOKIES
701. The world doesn’t stop for an investigation. But yours does.
702. Your friends are like one big family–the Manson family.
- 703. The innocent must also suffer, starting with you.
704. Problem? Simply ask yourself–What Would Satan Do?
705. You are not a “boulevardier” but merely a filthy-minded creep.
706. Your High School guidance counselor was a junkie, like you.
707. Everyone can hear you scream; nobody gives a damn.
708. Spanish is the loving tongue; yours is the lying tongue.
709. Curb your paranoia or something terrible will happen.
710. Soon the FBI will subpoena your library records.
711. You are condemned to ceaselessly lament the unchangeable past.
712. You are the reincarnation of a filthy Egyptian slave.
713. You will waste your remaining existence tilting at windmills.
714. You’re a disease for which the police have found a cure.
715. Your schizophrenia proves Two can live as cheaply as One.
716. Their appeals to reason are merely a prelude to thuggery.
717. Everything you do falls under the heading ‘Stupid Alcoholic Tricks’.
718. You’re God’s little joke–and he has billions of them.
719. You are not only literally, but figuratively, a Garbage Man.
720. Your life has been a slaughterhouse of moral integrity.
721. Now that you mention it, No, You Haven’t Suffered Enough.
722. You’ve nothing to write home about–because you’re Nothing.
723. The black helicopters ARE following you–just for fun.
724. When they call you ‘Sir’, what they really mean is ‘Fatso’.
725. Your life: You Broke It; Now You Pay For It.
726. They can see right through your insincere politeness.
727. You have nothing on your mind–what’s left of it.
728. God DOES make trash, and you’re the living proof.
729. You are a slave to errors you will never escape.
730. They will discuss your humiliation until the end of time.
731. Your strong pimp hand will soon be paralyzed.
732. You will step up and be beat down for all eternity.
733. Growing opium poppies on your property was a big mistake.
734. Don’t bother saving for retirement–you won’t live that long.
735. You showed your secret hideout to the wrong “friends”.
736. That innocent-looking hotel bellboy is a baby-faced detective.
737. You’ll finally finish that ship in the bottle–in jail.
738. You’ll fight molestation charges until you begin to doubt yourself.
739. That jewelry you stole from Grandma is mostly paste.
740. They will discover human remains near your vacation home.
741. You just couldn’t turn down that little snort of heroin.
742. Your new prison pen pal, “Cindy,” is a man.
743. Those strange flashing lights are not UFOs, but policemen.
744. They hate you for being Jewish, even though you’re not.
745. You’ll have your first vacation in five years–in jail.
746. Your boss will search your desk and find planted narcotics.
747. That swampland you sold for pennies will gush oil.
748. Your new gun moll belongs to a sinister cult.
749. Local children terrorize your son–but he’s 30 years old.
750. Your spurned secretary is spreading evil rumors about you.
751. The Big Boss is not amused by your candid jokes.
752. Police know you’re the last one who saw the missing girl.
753. Your stolen car alarm was worth far more than your car.
754. Your neighbor shoots at life-size targets which resemble you.
755. The Feds will investigate your so-called “modeling agency”.
756. Anonymous emails accuse you of hideous crimes.
757. You’ll beg them for your life, then you’ll wish you hadn’t.
758. People will find your broken face offensive.
759. You found out new photocopiers are rigged to detect counterfeiting.
760. They’ll arrest you for breaking into your own home.
761. That gun your neighbor’s child is pointing is no toy.
762. Your pension plan–dusty cases of empty soda bottles.
763. Your neighbor’s meth lab is killing all the songbirds.
764. You have the heart of a small boy–the police arrest you.
765. That dark tavern you frequent isn’t nearly dark enough.
766. You hated leaving her arms, so you cut them off.
767. Investigative reporters will rummage through your garbage.
768. One of your personalities will rat out all the other ones.
769. Clever Hobos will stumble across your cache of hidden loot.
770. You shouldn’t have drunkenly pissed on that policeman.
771. That hitchhiker you’ll stop for is a giggling maniac.
772. You shouldn’t have listened to that barking dog’s lies.
773. The insulted carnival freaks are plotting a ghastly revenge.
774. Everybody in the neighborhood has got it in for you.
775. You are compelled to announce your grandiose plans to passerby.
776. The neighborhood kiddies call you “Uncle Weirdo.”
777. Your estranged wife will post your tax returns on the internet.
778. You’ll get into a gun battle with a man named ‘Deadeye’.
779. Your wife will learn about your other family in Bermuda.
780. They’ll never believe your lookalike committed all the crimes.
781. Your brilliant idea is beginning to yield diminishing returns.
782. Even hipsters will jeer at your faded leather jacket.
783. Your hairless child’s school was built on contaminated soil.
784. You will fail the drug test–too many poppy-seed rolls.
785. New sword cane? You will stab your own foot.
786. Your drunken antics offend a spiteful county judge.
787. Your youngest daughter’s new job? “Erotic massage”.
788. Your ex-wife bribes your kids to lie to the police.
789. Health inspectors close down your child’s lemonade stand.
790. Your kids learn the facts of life from drunken hobos.
791. Extortion by ethnic gangs will eat up all your profits.
792. That new identity you adopted will soon be exposed.
793. Forget going to the cops–you’re already in way too deep.
794. Milestone! Soon you will be wanted in all 50 states.
795. Your teenage son is going to need two high-priced lawyers.
796. Your stolen demo tape’s a hit–no credit for you.
797. You’ll wake up in a bathtub with a missing kidney.
798. Your new girlfriend is the wrong side of barely legal.
799. The police offered you a deal; the D.A. won’t buy it.
800. Your bravado with the loan shark will soon prove fatal.
- I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER WITH A CLEAR HEAD I’M SURE THAT MAYBE SOMEDAY YOU’LL SEE WHAT I MEAN
Ever since I stopped drinking–lessee, it was four years, three months, and…six days ago, I’ve had so much more energy and–waiter! can you bring me another cup of coffee?–get up and go; in fact sometimes my wife used to say maybe I ought to get back on the sauce again, because ever since I quit for good I’ve become “unsufferable” she said (I think what she meant was “INsufferable”) and that I “never stopped talking” but you know what I say? I say behind every player there’s a hundred haters and I’ll tell you again that I never felt better in my life but now here’s the sad part, all my sad ole drunken pals say I’m no “fun” anymore, and say all I ever want to talk about is how they’re fucking up their liver and their brain cells but I swear to God I never mentioned it more than once or twice a week because it was my DUTY and besides, they weren’t really my friends anyway, they just loved the funny drunk but that wasn’t me, that was the alcohol. HEY, WHERE’S THAT COFFEE!
Sheesh, you just can’t get any good service anymore these days and HEY! WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO GET SOME SERVICE AROUND HERE?
Finally! Hey, thanks, I know you’re busy, I appreciate it, I really do. (But we’re all busy, aren’t we? God damn lazy….)
Hyper? Me? Well, maybe, just a wee little bit, but… can’t yuh see?–that’s the OLD me, and that…that’s because about three, three-and-a-half years ago for the very first time since I STARTED drinking I’m back in touch with my true feelings again, I mean most people don’t have the COURAGE to feel their own pain they have to mask it behind something or other but I say it takes a real man to face up to EXCUSE ME THIS COFFEE’S TOO HOT I NEED TWO CREAMS AND THREE SUGARS AND SNAP IT UP WILL YOU?
Thanks, I really do appreciate it.
No, I don’t miss it, not much, I mean I’m not exactly a brain surgeon and I haven’t really studied it very much but clinical trials have shown an increase in the binding sites for dizocilpine in neurons chronically exposed to alcohol. In other words, in layman’s terms, it’s a vicious cycle! And I’ve gotten OFF that train!
You know, it’s really great to wake up in the morning and not have to worry about making it through an entire day with a hangover or where I’m going to get my next drink or the vomit on my shirt, oh now I’m exaggerating a little I was never that bad, except maybe about the vomit part, and I have no problem with social drinkers although studies have shown that even so-called social drinkers who in my opinion are well on their way to becoming full-blown lushes experience brain shrinkage which is why I think so many of those people who say to me, you know, you really should start drinking again or at least not talk so much about it all this while clinking the ice in their cool cool glasses of white wine on a hot summer day and the way the water sort of sweats down the glass? You know? Brain damage. that’s what makes them talk like that, brain damage, pure and simple. More specifically, shrinkage of cortical gray matter, meaning the alcohol has made them unable to tell just how ridiculous they sound to a clear headed individual like HEY, WHERE’S THAT WAITER, I NEED ANOTHER REFILL HERE!
Actually, I, sometimes I feel like saying to them, Hey, if it was heroin or something you wouldn’t be talking like that, like, “You were so much fun back when you were STRUNG OUT ON HEROIN and scrounging in a filthy alley ready to cut somebody’s throat just to get the money for an wonderful fix.” Would you? I mean, why do you think they call it inTOXICation, it’s because it’s toxic, and no, I don’t need to smoke a reefer and mellow up, or out, or whatever, what I tell ’em is listen, what I need to do and what I suggest you do is YO, CHIEF! I’M GROWING A BEARD WAITING FOR THAT COFFEE HERE is feel your own pain. And grow the fuck UP!
What the fuck is that waiter DOING back there? Huffing a dong?
Hey–the Greeks had a word for it. Sapere Aude. “Don’t be a sap.”
But then again…how smart could THEY have been? I mean, I hear they drank an awful lot of wine.
FINALLY! Thanks. Shall we go? Can we have the check please? Thanks. No, I got it. I have lots of money these days. Hey–did you know that booze actually SHRINKS grey matter? Yeah! They used a 1.5 Tesla GE Signa machine to take MRI brain scans! I’ve got pictures!
Yeah, me too. Guess we’d both get back to work. Gotta pay that alimony!
HEY! Nice seein’ ya! We’ll have to do this again sometime…REAL SOON!
- THE SEMIOTICS OF FRIENDLY’S
Friendly’s is the opposite of a sacred space.
In its cuisine Friendly’s is like unto a truck stop diner for people who can no longer drive a truck owing to the heebie jeebies, the whim-whams, the screaming habdabs, and/or the inside meemies.
It is a venue for gluttony almost as sad and creepy as a haunted Howard Johnson’s. Like Hojo’s, and Arby’s, it’s a place that I suspect may well have been purpose-built for people whose youthful idealism was shattered by a tragic love affair and/or some horrendous career setback.
Perhaps at one time, during the Pleistocene era, it was, in fact, staffed by helpful and cheery waitstaff who shuffled and grinned as they placed the cherry atop the blushing maiden’s hot fudge sundae.
My theory is that nowadays its superannuated and reechy patrons, recalling those halcyon days, may well continue to patronize the venue under the mistaken apprehension that such gladsome conditions yet prevail.
However, the staff in Friendly’s is uniformly hostile.
Not that I blame them.
What if you worked in a place called Friendly’s and were forced to smile?
How would you feel?
I dearly love the law of unintended consequences.
- MORE FUN THAN A BARREL OF MONKEYS
“One monkey arouses a great deal of amusement. Two more than double the interest and amusement. If one were to release a barrel full of monkeys, we must suppose that their antics would become hilariously comical.”–Sadie Chezenko
Following the reasoniong of Ms.Chezenko, does not an infinitude of monkeys (given the infinite barrel of the cosmos) imply, then, an infinitude of fun?
So much fun as to become, not hilariously comical, but hideously tragic?
What do captive monkeys have to be happy about anyway? Forced to ride unicycles and smoke cigars while wearing humiliating costumes, and treated, at best, as second-class citizens, by wise men and deep thinkers alike their antics are regarded, not as occasions for jocosity, but as monitory. They are seen, not as gleefully free-wheeling individualists, but as manic-depressive proto-cavemen addicted to banana-flavored pellets and enormously fond of playing handball with their own shit.
A chimp in a circus is like a beatnik at a Nobel prize ceremony. Something is not…quite…right.
I would much rather see a monkey at a Nobel Prize ceremony…and a beatnik in a circus ring.
6. IT WAS A BAD NEIGHBORHOOD
How bad? You see as you cross the border a sketchy concrete bunker bodega with Manga-style graffiti spray-painted on three sides. Behold the barred windows in the front. And the WIC ACCEPTED signs are on prominent display in the flyblown window.
Up the street are torn-up tenement-style houses with broken windows in which the occupants have hung frayed bathtowels on curtain rods in lieu of draperies. Many of these facades feature visible bullet holes. Mattresses are left outside these domiciles and stay there for weeks on end. All the cars parked in front are about 17 years old and held together by bondo and luck. And yet, somehow, many of their owners can afford brand new chrome 22 inch wheels.
You’re driving down the street and the residents cross in front of your car super-slow, on a diagonal bias. They either glare at you or pretend you don’t exist. You will hope for the latter.
When you go to pick up a take-out order, it’s through a bullet-proof plexiglas wall. It’s an Asian restaurant, but french fries are on the menu owing to popular demand. There are many other Asian restaurants that of the All You Can Eat. Note: Never eat in these places, but, if by ill fortune you find you must, never ever eat what they call “Sushi.”
Thirsty? you’ll have no trouble quenching your thirst. However, you might want to hold your nose. For handwritten signs in all the taverns say: “Rest Rooms for Customer Use Only”. Therefore, people take shits in the alleyway behind the bar. In the parking lot, if you look hard enough, you might find several spent 9mm shell casings. There are also little vials with residues of white powder scattered about.
These little vials, originally sold with a tiny rose inside, are purchased at the local convenience store. On the window of said establishment is a sign: “No hundred dollar bills accepted.” A fat woman sans bra sits on the curb in front of the store, fanning herself with a menu from the Asian take-out joint.
Meanwhile, ragged children rattle tin cans at the intersection and solicit coins, but for what purpose it is never divulged.
Just down the street, auto parts litter the cracked and weed-strewn parking lot of the local superette, called something like “Price Choppr” or “Food Center”. Plastic shopping bags forlornly hang like ghostly apparitions in the highest branches of the weary overgrown trees. Other mercantile establishments in the timeworn plaza include: a murky drug store, an establishment specializing in the sale of pre-paid cell phones, a discount mattress place, a pawn shop, a check-cashing establishment, a bail bondsman operating out of a storefront, a Rent-A-Center, and an extremely prosperous and heavily fortified structure called something like “Liqr Warehouse”.
If, when you get back into your car, you are foolish enough to slow down to 15 miles per hour and ask some people who are randomly milling about the street how to get back to the freeway they may very well try to haul you out of the car. So don’t do it.
And don’t even get me started on the projects….
- PENFORT STREET
It’s three o’clock in the morning, and there’s a baby standing on the corner.
Don’t worry; it’s a big baby. And it’s a well-lighted street. Corner of Penfort and East.
It’s what the realtors once called “a friendly neighborhood”. Now it’s guard-gated. Residents-only in rows of grim red-brick blocks on rocky dirt and brown scrub grass.
The guard shack black necktie white-shirt ofay is propped on his wooden stool, stomps on his desk.Rattling snores. Dreamland.
Smoke-widow purple car oozes on by the dozey cracker, scrapes past the crunked-in ankle-high guard rail.
Twin-cam. Front-wheel drive with rear-spoilers; flashing rims. Sugah at the wheel. Big man. Takes up half an elevator. Just knocked over a two-bit bodega, solo. Leaper sweats. Uppers grinding on granite jaw lowers. Those inside meemies. Needs him a drink.
Sugah drinks and fingers and snaps his good luck red wrist string. Drinks. Again. Harder. Needs. Music. Loud. Sugah…got a mean glow on. He cranks the soundtrack.
I’LL CUT A FOOL
Sugah be cool now. Cameras on the lamp-posts.
I’ll cut a fool
Crawling up Penfort Street. Dog moon.
I’ll cut a fool
Wired rozzers prowl on nearby Mount Pleasant. Garbage cans brattle. Tomcats scamper. Scary XXXL rats. Back off, moggies, muy pronto.
The baby’s mother is on the corner telling Sugah she CAN’T get in the car; she’s wearing an ankle monitor. Sugah laughs, says he’ll pay extra. Flashes his show backroll. Tells her to read the number on the money.
I’ll cut a fool
Attracted by a greasy smoldering light, the baby has wandered up Penfort Street and around to the trail back of the row of three-story projects.
Some enterprising small boys have fanned out down from the high dirt trail and are firing the grassy hill. Flames dovetail. Baby drops his teething ring.
I’ll cut a fool
I’ll cut a fool
I’ll cut a fool
And his bitch
Some sixth scene sense kicks in. Sugar guns it and splits.
Sure enough, see: blue lights. Pin-eyed rozzers rump up to the baby mom. And listen: Wailing fire engines. Brushfires burn. Somewhere a hoarse bum hollars stop.
- ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I was raised on purple prose. My stupid old dad barely farted out word one, but drunken Grandpaw interminably wheezed and yawped like Major fucking Hoople, combining boozy pronunciatos with a cocksure casserole of asseverations and negations. There came a point where I’m sure that even he didn’t know what in hell he was talking about.
I swear to God, the man must have been weaned on a Thesaurus. Alackaday, such anomalous behavior frequently skips a generation, and so I too was accursed with the euphuistic urge to utilize six syllables where simply one would do.
I couldn’t merely refer to “shit”; I had to comment that the aforementioned effluvia constituted “brown monuments to a healthy appetite.”
Nor could I simply boast to my credulous compadres vis a vis my sexual prowess; instead, I would maintain against all logic that intellectuals such as myself exert a peculiar fascination which enables us to create an environment more conducive to pleasurable coitus.
Consequently, I have spent many a long and dark hour between midnight and the dawn essaying to eradicate all trace of sophistic internal bloviation from what should have been my still silent inner voice–in vain.
When but a tot, I displayed all the worst symptoms of a meretricious rhetorician to such a degree that the family matriarchs were appalled–“Jesu Christu! With that mouth of his, he’ll come to no good end!”
O tempora! O mores! Were they but capable of reading here what I cannot help but to regard as my mea culpa, I think they would be wholly affirmed in their portentous plaints.
- AM I VERBOSE?
Am I verbose? Too verbose? Too too verbose? Like, do I talk too much? Remember that quote by Hamlet (or Amleth, as he is more correctly called)? Oh, only now I forgot. It had something to do with “I could an I would…” O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space!
In the 1950s, television shows were rated with a “Mr. Magoo” cartoon as a benchmark. A show rated higher than the animated short had a “High Magoo”. Incidentally, those shorts were a UPA product. Not Disney or Warner’s or Hanna Barbara (founded, icidentally by members of the OSS).
I am more boring than Mr. Magoo.
Sam Goldwyn’s criterion for a bad movie: “Does it make my ass squirm?”
I tend to make people’s ass squirm. Even when they’re standing up.
Every schoolboy, of course, is familiar with the immortal lines:
“Learned Magitian, skild in hidden Artes,
As well in prior as posterior parts,
I see thou kennist the secrets of all sorts,
Of sharpe siringues and salacious sports.”
But less familiar is the concluding couplet:
Venerall Bubous, Tubers Vicerous,
And Iannes De fisticanckers venomous.
I am, I fear, that fisticanckers venomous.
Perhaps the American philosopher Joe Jones should have the last word:
You talk too much, you worry me to death. You talk too much, you even worry my pet….
- STONER HUMOR
Watching humor intended for people who are stoned is like watching a fornicating ball of garter snakes.
Initially, fascinating in a horrible way.
1) Too much Bolivian marching powder.
2) Way too much kind herb.
Admittedly, stoner humor is funnier than:
A glass eating carnival geek in the terminal throes of alcoholic delirium.
But not as funny as:
A Lightning Rod Made of Petrified Shit.
We speak of stoner humor in the same way that we might fondly ruffle the hair of our idiot nephew. However, we would hardly trust him with the keys to the yacht.
Some say it’s funny.
Question: Funny as in ugly and trite, or funny as in blinded by the stench of its own sweet brand of flatulence?
Marijuana is narcissism tinder. Cocaine stokes the fire.
Uh wow look–an orange!
Dude! That is hilarious! I-it’s the same color as it’s NAME, maan!
Uh wow HEY! Hot Pockets! Dude! That is hilarious! Hot Pockets are INTRINSICALLY funny! You know what else is funny?
Unfortunately, 99 times out of 100, the stoner comic ends up as a quasi-autistic Tom o’ Bedlam who hugs himself while sporadically chanting nah yeah uh the je huh uh huh le from an idiot’s syllabary of gobbledygook, viz:
I was in stand-up…pfft…it was a tough gig, man…pfft…the man in the arena, bashing his head in…pfft…that’s the way to go…pfft…success is another word for sell-out…pfft…pass that joint…huh? What? No more reefer? Fuck this shit! I know you got more! Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it?
How I do despise this brand of mush-mouthed dazed-pothead style of showboating. It’s not over our heads; it’s beneath our notice.
Flibbertigibbet I pray: do not ceaselessly weave your cocksure comic incantations though a fug of cannabis and blather. We do not benefit from your addled verbal pyrotechnics. They ultimately amount to a damp squib.
- DEAD LAUGHTER
What’s horrifying about laugh tracks is that, until about maybe 30 years ago, they were pretty much all the same–based on laughter captured by primitive recording technology, reproduced by a rudimentary sampler, and manipulated via a soundboard. You just know that toward the end, many of the people whose laughter was being so manipulated were LONG DEAD. So what, in essence, we were listening to was the laughter of GHOSTS. If you really think about it, most of the animals you see in old movies are also long dead. Somehow, this bothers me more than the thought of being haunted by the superannuated hoots and chortles of boneyard fodder.
- THE HIERARCHY OF EVIL
BASELINE: JIMMY BUFFET
THE CHURCH OF SATAN