MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE
NOIR MISFORTUNE COOKIES
1001. It’s your moment in the sun–and you’ll get burned.
1002. You act as if there’s no tomorrow–and there isn’t.
1003. You’ll stake your life on it–and you’ll lose that bet.
1004. They’ll lock up the key–and throw you away.
1005. You are a gold mine of information–Fool’s Gold.
1006. You can’t put your finger on it–They broke them all.
1007. You can’t win them all–but you can lose them all.
1008. It’s too late to keep a civil tongue in YOUR head.
1009. They’ll roll out a red carpet–soaked in your blood.
1010. Two heads are better than one, except in your satchel.
1011. Very soon you’ll literally be tickled to death.
1012. The cat’s got your tongue–and very soon, the rest of you.
1013. A chip on your shoulder–a monkey on your back.
1014. Your American Dream is now three hots and a cot.
1015. They have crossed out your name in the family Bible.
1016. You are old and in the way–but not for long.
1017. You have nothing to lose–you are already half dead.
1018. If you weren’t perpetually angry you’d feel nothing at all.
1019. It’s a long way to be happy–you haven’t even started.
1020. The suspense isn’t the only thing that’s killing you.
1021. You will be killed on the very day the conflict ends.
1022. They won’t even put pennies on your cold dead eyes.
1023. Very few know your pain and fewer still would even care.
1024. They’ll arrest you from stealing pennies from a public fountain.
1025. The policeman decides he must seriously chastise you.
1026. Your body is willing, but your mind is in the way.
1027. She’s a two-timing tramp; you’re the last one to know.
1028. Even in the quietest moments they are plotting your downfall.
1029. They will stick a fork in you until you’re completely done.
1030. Poker face? Not for long. They’re warming up a hot poker.
1031. You are anything but family friendly.
1032. You proudly bear the flag of hectic mania.
1033. Your enemy is everywhere at once, for it is anyone.
1034. You brag about yourself as though you matter. You don’t.
1035. You have yet to realize the world is cold and harsh.
1036. You’re curiously blind to the duplicity of your “benefactors”.
1037. You are a hopeless dust mite swept up in The Process.
1038. Your comforting illusions will be serially destroyed.
1039. Excuses? The Big Boss has no time for excuses.
1040. It won’t do any good, but pray. Pray as hard as you can.
1041. You’re like fat-free cream–thick, but not rich.
1042. Your low motives are exceeded by your nonexistent morals.
1043. You may worship God–but He doesn’t much like you.
1044. You got it backwards–the Boss asks the questions. You listen.
1045. The old folks say that you were Born to Hang.
1046. The odds have already beaten you–a long time ago.
1047. The Universe teems with life which plots your demise.
1048. Normal people wish you’d get out of their way.
1049. You have a real knack for making people nervous.
1050. People like you only survive by pretending to be stupid.
1051. Idiots have loud voices–yours is the loudest of all.
1052. It’s you against the world; you’re punching above your weight.
1053. The Wheel of Life is ready to crush you flat.
1054. The Devil says he’s a big fan of your recent work.
1055. You’re too dumb to grift and too weak for the Heavy Rackets.
1056. Where is Riddle? Who is Ransom? The world may never know.
1057. You’re down to nothing… and you deserve even less.
1058. Everywhere you go you spread a contagious psychosis.
1059. You’re a hit and run victim–only you ran over yourself.
1060. You will become an unsuccessful beggar in a Mexican border town.
1061. Comeback? First minute of Round One your chin will kiss the mat.
1062. Your friends are wild animals who will devour you. Run!
1063. Even the mosquitoes are repelled by your funky aroma.
1064. You’re guilty as hell. It’s written all over your face. Literally.
1065. You’ve been blacklisted, Chump. Better light out for the Territory.
1066. No medicine will cure the bite of that two-timing dame.
1067. All your High School friends know where you are–in jail.
1068. Do nothing, be nothing, and get it over with.
1069. You are well known for throwing gasoline onto fires. Literally.
1070. You will find neither Fame nor Fortune, but Famine.
1071. You love the spotlight because you fear your own shadow.
1072. Secretary? Lookee–no touchee. She belongs to the Big Man.
1073. Jealousy, greed and lust–and those are your good qualities.
1074. Inspiring your every action is a dead man’s soul.
1075. You will drown in a river of your own tears.
1076. You’ll go to sleep dreaming and wake up screaming.
1077. Stay, Go–All the same. Nothing matters. No way out.
1078. You’ll only find yourself at the moment of your death.
1079. You have thrown your life into a soundless well.
1080. You are an animal. And you know what they do to animals.
1081. You weren’t made for these times–or for any others.
1082. Your mind’s an empty vessel on a dying sea.
1083. Stop your blubbering, Lard–they will have absolutely no mercy.
1084. She thought you were a man–you are only a boy.
1085. It’s no wonder you love money, for you have none.
1086. You will deeply offend a man who has frightening tattoos.
1087. Even the Devil doesn’t want a soul like yours.
1088. You’re not a man for all seasons but for all treasons.
1089. Some animals actually live quite well–until the axe falls.
1090. Only one man could exonerate you–and you killed him.
1091. You don’t give a damn–and now you are damned.
1092. You live in the House of Murder–rent is overdue.
1093. Everyone knows that all of your motives are wicked.
1094. You’ll live on canned spaghetti and Muscatel in a welfare hotel.
1095. Not one of your grandiose schemes will ever bear fruit.
1096. She’ll treat you to dinner then announce she’s dumping you.
1097. You think you’re insanely talented. You got the first part right.
1098. Love’s hard to come by; hatred’s two for a penny.
1099. Nobody’ll look you in the eye–not even the one good one.
1100. It’s your life. Dive in. There’s no bottom.
2.DOGS TURN ON YOU
You know how sometimes dogs, they turn on you? My dog turned on me. He started smoking a pipe, growing an ironic beard, and shopping at Trader Joe’s.
I had to put him down.
So I said to him,”You’re nothing but a goddamn hipster!”
I HEART LEVIATHAN
I love leviathan. It’s so fun to watch leviathans fighting it out. The
best leviathans are those with leviathan coaches and a leviathan work
ethic. I enjoy watching leviathan. Good hits and good defense. There’s
nothing better than watching leviathan. A hard-hitting contest of
leviathans. It’s such a pleasure to watch leviathan. Two leviathans
marching up the field. It’s even better leviathan when the two
leviathans are really leviathans. The leviathans in the booth always
do a good job of describing leviathans.
- TERRORISM: THE PEOPLE SPEAK
THINKS COMPLAINTS IGNORED
I personally find it appalling that in spite of all the legitimate and
well-reasoned comments that people have made regarding killing
all the terrorists, some people still persist in
referring to it as “murder.”–Mr. Reuben Baneberry
Since TERRORISTS want so badly to kill someone I say we kill them.
–Mr. Andrew Jellywhopper
FRIENDS OF TERRORISTS
I am one proud American
who supported President Bush and not President Hussein. And I say people who cry
about the Bill of Rights are the best friends the Terrorists ever had.
PROPAGANDA FOR TERRORISTS
Regarding the bill of so-called rights, I expect to see
this kind of crummy terrorist propaganda in Al Jazeera, not in your
otherwise fine paper. What’s got into you? I dare you to print this.
—Mr. Brian Redshaw
DESERVE TO ROT
Terrorists who think they can frighten me? These are the
sorts of people whose souls deserve to rot in hell forever. –Mr. Carl
WILL WRITE TO DC
Surprised there are no laws to stop
terrorism. Intend to write to Washington to see if
something can be done.—Miss Connie Welkin
WHY THE FUSS?
I am frankly surprised at
all the vehemence directed at terrorists. Although, one the
one hand, I abhor violence, I still fail to see what all the
fuss is about.–Mr. David Quitten
SEND THEM TO RED CHINA
Maybe our government should offer
these terrorist creeps a one-way ticket to Red China. I wonder how
long they would put up with them there. –Mrs. D. D.Evans
NO PAKI SUBSIDY
Who in Pakistan or India or Towelheadistan is paying you to print such
rot, and how much? I hope for your sake you are raking in lots of
Rupees, heathens, for I will no longer pay good American money to
bring pro-terrorist propaganda into my home. Cancel my subscription at
once.–Mrs. Hazel Gabble
NIX ON TOMMYROT
I say bad enough that on the radio
instead of soft music they play the Communistic jungle music by greasy
big-lipped Zigaboos morning noon and night, but when they start
talking up terrorist tommyrot in the newspapers, I want to know why.
I WILL KILL THEM ALL.–Mr. Jeffrey Feist
READY TO HELP
The dirty beatnicks who support drugs and terrorism ought to be hanged
then drawn and quartered then boiled in oil. Then please burn them alive
and scatter their ashes to the four winds. If you need help, I am at the
ready to lend a hand. I mean it. —Mr. John Mangrove
SAYS WE ANSWER TO BIG MONEY
I think your rotten rag is owned and run by the big money boys who support terrorism
because they want to see this country go to hell so they can take
it over. I bet you won’t print this.–Mr. K. Oldhook
I’d rather see my babies snack on paint
chips than become terrorists.–Mona Mauger
PRESENT FOR EDITOR
If I ever run into your editor he’s going to need a
steak to rub on his eye after I get through with him. What kind of
smart aleck thinks it’s clever to defend terrorism? —Mr. Peter Newground
WHIP NEWSIES AND KIN
You are a bunch of terrorist rats and you ought to be horse whipped and your
families ought to be horse whipped and your newsboys ought to be horse
whipped. Good G-d, I could say much much more, but I won’t.—Mr. Steve
Terrorists “innocent until proven guilty?” This is just the sort of logic you might expect a negro
shoeshine boy to be impressed by.–Mr. Walter Oilbean
WANTS MORE SNIPERS
If only I still had my sniper’s rifle
and lived in the Wild West, where instant justice by strong-minded
vigilantes was still legal, you can bet your bottom dollar I would put
one right smack between the eyes of any terrorist what so much as said boo
to me.–Mr. Frank Deerplum
WANTS IMMIGRANTS SENT BACK
Why do they let in immigrants?
I am an AMERICAN that has insurance and pays his taxes. I don’t
buy codeine cough syrup at twenty different drug stores in Moochburg
then turn around and sell the bottles in Old Town for 20 bucks a pop.
As I’m sure you’re aware most foreigners are not here legally, are
paid under the table, don’t pay taxes, and are draining our economy by
using up our schools, hospitals, housing, and abusing systems that
were set up to help the tax paying legal citizens. This country is
falling apart because of these people. NO MORE IMMIGRANTS!
–Mr. G. McClellan
5. ATTENTION: PEOPLE I DO NOT KNOW. PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE TO REPEAT THE PRAYER POSTED BELOW AND SEND IT TO AT LEAST FIFTY PEOPLE.
Dear God, I pray my worries will be small
I pray for parking when I go to the mall.
I pray for Dick Clark as he lowers the ball.
I pray that this year the Cubs will take it all.
I pray for the baby in her little crib
I hope that I’m never caught out in a fib.
I hope that I’m given a clean lobster bib.
I hope that Bosso likes the cut of my jib.
For all this I pray. In every way.
God, please send positive energies today.
WARNING: THE LAST PERSON WHO FAILED TO DO SO WAS REINCARNATED AS A FIELD MOUSE AND EATEN IN A LIGHT BATTER BY FRANCIS TREVELYAN BUCKLAND.
6. THE MAGNIFICENT TRAVESTY
Purson was desolate. They were after him. A cold host of Gorgon smiles, headed by his Aunt Busybody Lucifer, from whom no enlightenment upon the riffraff ever deigned to shine.
He knew that it would distress him to be marred and be tried and found insufficiently vehement, in the final big dimly lit life-after-death. “Oh! Only suppose I were younger.” he thought, “And that my time had not yet come.”
Suddenly Adderson Adderton, his superior, loomed near–and behind him lay twenty-thousand of the inhabitants of cold hell.
Adderton’s chief assistant, the demon Hungry Johnson, interrupted. Icicles clung in his mouth. The low light of a fiendish laugh cast a quick cold glow over Major’s frozen mane. Johnson silently pointed at a glum devil named Gorge Satan.
Gorge Satan was standing at the edge of a precipice and thinking of dropping to the bottom. “But just what then would I do?” he exclaimed.
His sin? He had laughed at God.
Purson burst upon his thoughts and shouted after him from a steep white outlying step.
“Little spirit, quite dim, stay away from the hard run!”
Following an infinitely extended interval, that evening Purson was received by his Aunt Hell, whom mortals hear in the sound of winter wind on resounding windows.
“I have noticed,” said she, “that some sob upon hearing that howl.”
Purson was immured in adolescent declensions of the word “sob” and did not hear the rest of what she had to say.
Aunt Hell at last cuffed him on the head and Purson stood, inconsequential, drawing his conclusion regarding his own fate from the disposition of hell’s anteroom, full of the lurching splendid throat-rumbling roar of cold fire. Where he had little to think about except the dead.
There was no great physical presence in this country. That he knew. Only the violet blue indifference of the cold fire that never burned.
Purson’s mind wandered back to the life he had once led on earth.
Purson’s town affairs.
Purson’s way of saying out loud that which most folks never dared to even think.
His betrothed, squeaking out her unknown worries from eight a.m. to forty-five o’clock.
It’s wretched, thought Purson, to watch two weep, when one of them is pledged to be yours and the other one is you.
You can put on a nice front but begin to fall apart once you see such a serenade.
He remembered entirely his wishing to follow his betrothed into heaven and ultimately knowing he could not. “What’s fact, does not suit me,” said he. “Go and let it be known to one and all that it amounts to too much, to stir the souls of those who have already died.”
Especially when you yourself are already dead.
Time stands miraculously still in hell. “My sole regret,” thought Purson, “Is that when I lived I did not live constantly. And now–everything is constant, and nobody lives.”
A bald cowboy devil on a pale horse looked down upon him, took off his black cowboy hat and slowly shook his white mane for infinite sad seconds.
In life Purson had had an audience with no older head and so dead he remained only in want.
And then though only after an eternity he began to hear the dismayingly buoyant voice of a crowd of demons calling for his scalp.
His final thought, before he died again and again?
“If only I could have back that time I had before! I should choose acceleration, not regret!”
7.THE META METAMORPHOSIS
One day a loathesome insect woke up in a crawlspace behind an
old-fashioned gas range located on the fourth floor of a slum
apartment and found himself transformed into a neurasthenic
Czechoslovakian Jew named Gregor Samsa.
Where do I want to go with with this? thought Gregor, whom some might
have mistaken for the narrator of this tale, though they would be
Certainly the single mother and her twelve-year old son who played
inadvertant host to the naked, German-speaking, and very confused
Gregor wanted no part of him.
It was the dead of winter, however, and he was stark naked, and the
mother did not have the heart to turn out the young and not unhandsome
Consequently, she borrowed some gaudy cast-off clothing from the pimp
who lived downstairs.
This was a man for whom she sometimes turned freelance tricks when the
welfare check was late and the Johns were streaming into his domicile
too quickly for him to accomodate with his regular stable of foul,
albeit foxy, whores.
You would surely like to know what happened next, but Gregor, which is
not to say I myself, was having to make this up as he–or I–went
In that way this story is very much like a memory that never occurred.
Let us assume that a man with the intelligence of a cockroach–because
he was, in fact, once a cockroach (or perhaps “dung beetle” is a more
appropriate approximation) was compelled at first to speak with a
strange gurgling sound.
Let us also assume, at least for the sake of story interest, that
Gregor eventually grew able to make sounds that vaguely, at least,
resembled human ones.
And now we introduce another character. The welfare worker.
She came around from time to time to check on the family, mother and son.
And on this occasion–conveniently, for the sake of our story–mere
hours after Gregor first revealed himself–she wanted to know what the
stange man was doing there anyway.
The mother was hard-pressed to give a satisfactory answer.
The police were called and Gregor was taken to the local precinct
station. The kindly patrolman offered him coffee and a doughnut. The
taste of coffee was loathesome to him, though he eagerly devoured the
doughnut, for it was slightly stale.
Because he was able to give no satisfactory account of himself, Gregor
was eventually confined in the county jail.
Another character is now introduced–a psychiatrist.
After three hours of questioning, the doctor of mind medicine was
unable to coax any identifying information from the prisoner, and so
about two weeks after Gregor Samsa first made his appearance, he was
confined to an institution for the mentally insane.
There he was dosed with chlorpromazine hydrochloride and subjected to
electroshock. Thereafter, he languished for fifty years and,
It is not the grandson of the twelve year old boy of whom earlier we
spoke who is writing this story. Nor the mother. Certainly not the
pimp, or any of his whores, all of whom were barely literate at best.
As for the psychiatrist–he drew up a few case notes regarding the
curious case of the amnesiac who was discovered in the cold-water
tenement dwelling of a incorrigible floozie.
Upon his death, alas, those notes were destroyed.
Therefore, by rights, this story should never have been written.
This “Gregor Samsa” of whom we speak exists merely as a sort of
spectacle, fit only to be pointed at. Surely nobody with any sense
could find very much that is noteworthy about the tale of an admirable
beetle transformed into a useless man.
More properly, this “Gregor Samsa” –is he not merely a memory that
never occurred? Yes. Therefore, let us conclude, then, with a quote by
the immortal Bard most appropriate to this circumstance.
“O God, O God, how weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all
the uses of this world!”
8. LIBERAL CONSERVATIVES AND CONSERVATIVE LIBERALS
Liberal Conservatives believe any wild conspiracy theory they hear and
adduce it as proof that “they” control everything. Conservative
Liberals parrot every liberal piety unquestioningly, all the while
buffing their ‘question authority’ buttons to a high sheen.
9. VOX POPULI
I’ve not been long upon the world
To know of all the wonders of the earth
But I must offer up a question
Consider it for what it’s worth.
The voice of those who sell us of our birthright
The thoughtless words of men of ill-repute;
Why do we fail to put them in their places?
Why no philosophies to offer them refute?
Why do we cheer the cant of blowhards
And thus entice the bastards on?
This question begs but one precise solution:
We have no thoughts our own to lean upon.
10. OUR DEITIES
We create our Deities around our wounds.