MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE
Copyright 2018 Francis DiMenno
1. NOIR MISFORTUNE COOKIES: SECOND SERIES
401. Jobless one, the only skills you have mastered are no longer in demand.
402. The only advanced degree you have is in the third degree,
403. Blow, Crumb.. the Big man doesn’t need another squirrelly punk.
404. You were all thumbs–until the Big man had them broken.
405. Crazy Bohunk, your racial insensitivity offends sullen minorities.
406. Why don’t you get wise to yourself and get a haircut, old hippie.
407. No woman will ever marry an unemployed bass player.
408. You think you look sharp but you are actually very dull.
409. Your jokes are only understood by a very small minority.
410. Those goofballs you are gobbling will permanently addle your mind.
411. You are so frightened you keep 911 on speed dial, craven one.
412. What woman will ever love a midget with bad breath?
413. Fatty, your days of athletic glory are completely forgotten.
414. Too much brown acid at Woodstock has left you a gibbering wreck.
415. Your father taught you to trust no one. He isn’t even your real father.
416. Your wife is a natural beauty who does unnatural things.
417. Whores say you’re handsome but they only want your money, foolish one.
418. You should be grateful for anything th mob allows you, short of death.
419. Fifty dollars for a hat? When you owe the loan shark twenty large?
420. Fool, they will take your pension away and give it to worthless loafers.
421. People will learn from you–how not to live.
422. You are so lazy you would oversleep your own funeral day.
423. Your childhood friends were wrong. Sniffing glue does not give you super powers.
424. Pretty women can all tell you have a jailbird face, felon.
425. Sarcastic whore all laugh and call you “Pimp Hand Weak”.
426. Sometimes an outlaw is a noble man. But you are not.
427. The hard cons and new fish all call you “Fraidy-Cat O’Fear”.
428. You are weak flesh and weaker will. Your time has come.
429. You peaked at age five. It’s been all downhill ever since.
430. You are not who you say, or even who you think you are.
431. Bookie, you have pocketed the dough and the long shot has come in.
432. You are all thumbs. Soon, you will be no thumbs.
433. You are too fat to cut your own toenails. Soon infection will set in.
434. Your father pissed away your college fund on the ponies.
435. You are the last son of a long line of old fools.
436. You are growing numb. And your days are numbered.
437. A wiseacre in a Cadillac will seduce your youngest daughter.
438. Even your mongrel dog has more friends than you.
439. A benign cancer. Your diagnosis…and your social status.
440. You’ve fallen, and you can’t get up. You’re a felon, and you can’t get off.
441. You have had all the life lessons and have flunked every one.
442. Your agent cannot eat on ten per cent of nothing.
443. Even your nightmares are more pleasant than what you will awaken to.
444. You bring into every room the evil opposite of joy.
445. Your next General Tso’s chicken my be your last, obese one.
446. Proud one, you will lose your job to a servile robot.
447. The only person talking about love is the preacher–and he hates you.
448. Benjamin Franklin’s ghost is laughing at the money you squandered.
449. Once the voices are gone you’ll have no guidance at all, will you?
450. Card sharp, they will break your fingers. Then what will you do?
2. 15 things you really shouldn’t say after the judge tells you to swear on the Bible.
1) No, Judge Nazi!
2) You can’t handle the truth!
3) Where I come from a fat pig like you could never be a judge.
4) Viva la revolution!
5) I just do what the gun tells me to do.
6) I see you bear the mark of the beast. Truly, these are the end times.
7) Do you ever get a boner under that robe, or are you too old to have sex?
8) I am not subject to your petty laws.
9) What are you, on the pipe?
10) Bite my crank, baldy.
11) You don’t know it yet, but you’re dead.
12) You are one weird Mama Jamma.
13) Are you talkin’ to me?
14) It smells like pork in here.
3. HOWARD STERN
Radio impresario Howard Stern speaks his “mind” in the same way that
an incontinent sprat expresses itself by dribbling its ropey poppycock
onto a bare mattress.
How Stern chooses to express himself–as a sort of avatar of the moron
zeitgeist–places him in a long line of blabbering jackleg global
village idiots beginning with Jerry Lewis and devolving through Sammy
Petrillo, Soupy Sales, Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, and Rosie O’Donnell.
The pratings of this self-styled Peck(er)’s Bad Boy constitute a
veritable olla podrida of dreck.
He combines an intimate examination of the contents of a moral sewer
with the turgidly decadent maunderings of an unusually precocious and
uncommonly depraved adolescent, and tops it all off with the
mercifully hitherto unexamined Id of a mongoloid adult child.
The sounds that gratingly emanate form his ceaselessly churning maw
may well provide soothing lip music to appease the burning infantile
longings of hemorrhoidic fatsos and lacklustre constable-manques, but,
for anyone with any appreciation of the subtle workings of wit, Stern
is a painful spectacle.
Whenever I feel the urge to listen to Stern I simply draw up a mental
picture of a baboon with a shiny red erection pleasuring himself amid
the blare and sawdust of a satanic circus entirely populated by
flouncing, mincing, singing and bawling devils.
4. SPIRIT LIFTING THOUGHTS FOR EVERY DAY OF THE MONTH!
I must keep a travel diary. Soon Messiah will come.
No! I am not worthy! When we stand before God we are all Judas!
The Joy of the Lord is my strength.
When I picture what God looks like, I see a tall, Galactic feller.
God sees all. Even the dark side. Especially the dark side.
Jesus is the number one fella in my life, and I am nothing but
worthless number two.
From now on I must laugh. A lot.
The Lord tastes good.
Without God my life is a lonely whistle-stop on the way to nowheres.
Who will rid me of these turbulent thoughts?
Consider the ant. The audacity of that creature. We are that creature!
Use me, Lord.
Idolatry is the idleness of idiots!
Yesterday I prayed for the courage to live. Tomorrow I will pray for
the courage to….
Lord, recharge my thoughts like a teeny tiny battery.
God is my rose. Lack of faith is my thorn.
A man is what he chooses and I chose to be a man.
I don’t feel cold when I pray to My Lord.
Whenever I want one of Daddy’s hugs I think of Our Father In Heaven.
My hands may be frozen and bleeding, but HIS Wrists were nailed upon a cross.
Lord, free me of memories from my profane past that keep me from
thinking of You.
I’m coming up rich in my search for Jesus, and I didn’t even know I
was digging for treasure!
Even a ten dollar chicken dinner feast without Jesus is like ashes in the mouth.
Only God is perfect. I can be less than perfect and still get God’s work done.
The Lord God is with me wherever I go. Even the bathroom!
Give the program thirty days to work! Christ was resurrected after three.
How am I? I am how God wants me to be.
The geography of heaven is a strange land.
God loves us all, even the rough old bullies living next to a
The Lord restores antique people.
God’s work is manifest, even in a football game. Especially football!
Job one is that I get along well with the man I call Mr. Jesus.
God, like time, will work His Healing Wonder.
On earth, no. In heaven, maybe. In paradise!
Lord, point the way, and when You walk away, I will follow.
I have kissed the lips of hell and they are cold.
I distinctly heard the boiler laughing at me as I said my daily prayer.
Whenever you check off the items on your list of things to do, make
sure The Captain is on board.
The voice of the universe is warning me that this is my final chance!
Trust that God the Comforter has a delightful Rest in store for all of us.
5. CHICKETTE’S DAY OFF
At precisely 8:59 AM Chickette called in sick to work, even though she wasn’t. As she hung up the phone, she looked up and admired her framed G.E.D. It hung haphazardly from a coathook attached to the wall of her closet-sized living space. She shared a cramped studio apartment with four girls (one of whom slept in the kitchen). She then went back to sleep and awoke at 2PM.
Upon waking, Chickette hugged herself into an ecstasy contemplating the December 26th sale at Wal-Mart. After talking to her Bonsai Tree (How is ‘oo, pitty Mistah Twee?””) she did half an hour of Jazzercise to Chick Mangione’s “Feels So Good.” She then thumbed through her scrapbook for awhile while sucking on a zinc lozenge and sipping Coke Zero (‘so much better than Diet Coke!”).
After scribbling for awhile in her Transformers Coloring Book, she
debated whether she should read the latest Holocaust memoir, but
instead decided to watch the Very Special Episode of “Life Goes On” in which Corky wrecks the Driver’s ed car.
For dinner she decided to eat a Reduced-fat muffin, then, as a treat,
resolved to pop in her favorite movie, Fran Drescher starring in ‘The Beautician And The Beast’, during the course of which she devoured an entire large bag of ranch-flavored Doritos, half a bag of Lay’s salt-and-vinegar flavored potato chips, six ounces of wasabi peas, a pint of Americone Dream ice cream, and three Soy Joy snack bars.
At the end of the film, she exclaimed, “I just love that wisecracking
Fran! What a pity ‘The Nanny’ was cancelled!”
Hugging her scrapbook, Chickette lay on her puffy quilt (which
she had nicknamed “Mr. Velvet”) and dozed off
to visions of Timothy Dalton tickling her no-no place with his
Stalinesque mustache, then, forthwith, fell directly asleep to dreams
of unicorns, carnivals, cotton candy, and Weezer.
6. JOKES ABOUT CANCER
But, you know, there is a fertile field of humor to be found, even there.
I once made a joke about how, since Happy Rockefeller and Betty Ford
both had had mastectomies, they were “an interlocking directorate.”
And a girl I’d known for a long time ran crying out of the room.
Her Mom, you see….
Cancer is intrinsically absurd.
Only there aren’t very many lepers nowadays.
Conclusion: Comedy = tragedy plus time.
In 1963 you could joke about the Lincoln assassination, but JFK was off-limits.
As both Lenny Bruce and Malcolm X discovered….
“Jackie hauled ass”
“Chickens Come Home to Roost”
7. WORST ITALIAN RESTAURANTS EVER
Penguins Go Pasta in Hyannis, MA was a top contender. (I am assured
that it is long gone, though it morphed into Penguins Sea Grill after
The food was fine.
I mean, some places just give you an…ooky feeling, OK?
And WHAT KIND OF MANIAC WOULD CALL A RESTAURANT PENGUINS GO PASTA?
What do penguins have to do with Pasta? WHAT?
What was the logic behind this?
Pasta is white. Antarctica is white. Penguins live in Antarctica.
Penguins Go Pasta!
There was an Italian Restaurant in Pittsburgh called Penguini’s.
Not half bad.
That I can almost understand.
The Pittsburgh Penguins.
Then there’s this report about the late Augustine’s on Route One in Saugus, MA.
“Augustine’s, also now closed, sported the world’s oldest woman
playing modern pop songs on an out of tune organ. Her playing Beatles
songs on that decrepit keyboard set music back many years, and perhaps
helped create what we now know as acid reflux. Augustine’s had some
excellent Italian food until they started featuring a buffet table
about five times the size of that stupid lime green dinosaur and with
every known tv dinner specialty. Like the dinosaur, Augustine’s and
the organ player soon became extinct.”
Another now-closed establishment was the awful chain known as East
Side Mario’s, with the faked-out faux-L’il Italy decor and the
all-you-can’t-possibly-eat salad. It’s the sort of place your
non-Italian friends figure you’ll probably like, but to me, it’s like
inviting your black friends to a place called “Fried Chic’m ‘n’
Hog-maw Tyrone’s”. What self-respecting Italian would choose to eat
there? It would be like a Black man who voluntarily patronized “Uncle
Buck’s Shuck ‘n’ Jive Jook Joint”.
Now, Black folks love our Italian food.
I only know this anecdotally, from having worked at Del’s on Liberty
Avenue in the Bloomfield section of Pittsburgh.
Liberty Avenue hooks up at 40th Street in Lawrenceville, and the Black
folk lived below 35th, so they had to come quite a ways to get there.
Well, apparently, Del’s has seen better days….
If one must patronize an Italian chain, I suppose Vinny Testa’s is not
as bad as some (though they used to be better).
I sometimes go to the one in Seekonk, MA.
It’s better than The Olive Garden and East Side Mario’s.
But not by much.
And mostly because they give you a whole head of roasted garlic.
I’d much prefer to eat at home.
Legend to the contrary, the best pasta sauce does not take two days to make.
12 hours, maybe. Tops. I’d say more like six or eight.
The DiMennos and the Giulianos would take tough cuts of meat and
simmer them in the sauce for six to eight hours. Nothing quite like
But for a marinara, as opposed to a meat sauce, less is more.
Not one of them would ever put sugar in a marinara sauce.
The whole point of a marinara is that it should be cooked quickly. No
more than half an hour. If it’s bitter, it’s because you didn’t strain
the tomato seeds out.
Every member of my family has their own culinary peculiarities.
Aunt Lucille still uses only canned tomatoes.
Uncle Joe and Uncle Phil still eat tomato sandwiches. (White bread,
tomato, a little salt.)
My father says add onion to the tomato salad, never vinegar.
I don’t add vinegar, but I still prefer it without the onion.
Four fresh tomatoes sliced into cubes. (Peel them if you like. I
don’t. Some do.)
Two fresh cloves of garlic, sliced fine.
1/8 to 1/4 cup good olive oil, to taste.
Two pinches of salt.
Refrigerate 1 hour or freeze 1/2 hour.
Dip bread into it.
“We used to fight over the juice,” says Paw.
Anyway, my point is, finally, that taking an Italian to a mediocre
Italian restaurant is like inviting an Irishman to try the Lucky
Charms cocktail at Trotty McBogtrotter’s “Genuine” Irish Pub.
Don’t do it!
8. THE INTERNET RUMOR MILL HAZ IT
I hear Ubama is a Wasabi Muslim who stings the soft palate of elderly Gringos.
I hear Ubangi is an Araphoe whose ancestors took pioneers captive and reared them in the ways of the Aborigine.
I hear Yomama is so old he gave caveman lessons to Fred Flintstone.
I hear Jumanji is so low he was butt boy for Robin Williams.
I hear Hussein Bin Laden gave a buffet in his warren for the Russian Castronauts.
I hear the phrase “the content of their character” was plagiarized from the incitelopedia by Doc Marten and Lucifer King.
Let me pull your coat, my brother: I hear Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance is an coded esoteric text of the end of the whole world in 2012 as predicted by my oracular pal Quetzalcoatl.
Let’s get somethin’ straight here, Panama Red: Marion Barry, Barry Obama and Oprah throw annual crack parties in Great Barrington in honor of W.E.B. DuBois under the aegis of the AIER.
Snap out your Obamamania and lend me your ears: Who’s sane? Not Barrack. Rumor has it he inhales quart-size blobs of quiescent industrial solvents from a glad garbage bag wrapped around a whitewash-contaminated pannier.
I hear BHO is actually the chemical symbol for Boron Hydrogen and Oxygen, and that his presidency is a plot to supplant and eventually destroy all petroleum based fuels, in the process creating global financial chaos, and all plotted from the aerie of the ACLU and the CIO.
I hear Ohusma Solo is a Japanese Secret Agent provacateur dedicated to the destruction of the cosmos under the sponsorship of the decadent old Gods worshipped in Ninevah and Tyre.
I hear Ojama sprinkles sofrito on his favorite Loisaida delicacies and was actually there with me and Julio down by the schoolyard.
I know for a fact that in every one of his speeches Osama transmits double-tracked husky whispers in double-dutch Amharic so his boys in Giza and Kabul can manipulate pork futures, with the ultimate aim of driving Piggly-Wiggly out of business. I heard it in the media and my father says that if it’s in the Times it must be so.
Barry O’Bama? Sure and ’tis a foine Oirish name. Sure and any b’hoy who can scare the bejasus out of Senors and Senoritias must be A-OK with the Pope, and a likely Laad. “We love him not for the friends he has won, but for THE ENEMIES HE HAS MADE!” Ye may speak all ye wish o’ chaotic tramps and the criminal element, but t’wasn’t so wurra long ago, me fine bucko, that there were signs that said NO DOGS AND IRISHMEN ALLOWED. Mark well!
The rumors that Obama is pussywhipped and addicted to Peruvian marching powder; that he geezed white horse with Sammy Davis Junior and Sonny Listen in a sleazy Reno no-tell motel; that he downed hot sterno grog with Boxcar Willie and hypnotized Donna Douglas to be his pliant and complaisant sex slave–all of these tales either have absolutely no foundation in fact OR they are based on lies, half-truths, and exaggerations, and, futhermore, whatever his sordid past, ever since he found Muhammed and was saved Barack Obama has, in fact, been clean, and, currently, he even abstains from Pork, fried chicken, razor blades, dice, watermelon, and other insidious tokens of white devil tricknology. FACT!
Have you not pondered the similarity of the initials BHO…to that of the dreaded HOBO? Although bleeding hearts insist upon croaking that these gap-toothed refugees and urban campesanos be referred to by pity-inducing cognomens such as “the homeless”, such sententious sentimentality has no place in our modern polity and I simply must persist in maintaining that a President Hobo is utterly unacceptable to 98.6 per cent of Klansmen, Mormons, former alcoholics, and Shriners; that criminal writs should be written out posthaste contra vagabondage; and that even those unacquainted with the extreme seriousness of the hobo menace should lobby the national government to attempt the solving of the tramp problem, ere the nation’s most powerful agency will be forced to acknowledge that the stamping out of voluntary vagabondage, or at least the elimination of the undesirables from the ranks of our floating population, has assumed the status of a hopeless undertaking. How likely is PRESIDENT HOBO to accomplish such a deed? The probabilities are so insubstantial as to be floccinaucical.
9. RESPONSE TO A JAGOFF
I have long suspected that those who cannot respond in kind often resort to vague threats.
Thank you for validating my suspicions.
You respond to a hydrogen bomb with a damp squib.
You remind me of a booking agent who decides that following Hendrix playing “The Star Spangled Banner” is best accomplished by fronting a Mongoloid essaying “Three Blind Mice” on a broken toy piano.
You and your idiotic friends and allies who refuse to identify themselves merely show that they do not even have the courage of their convictions.
When it comes to intelligence and breeding, such fanatics as yourselves skew towards…let us be charitable…the sub-par. I can tell from the ice cream stains on your foreheads. From the roseate hue of the bite marks on your arms which you inflict with your own teeth whenever you are frustrated in your desires. And most of all, from the gurgling, insouciant chortle you emit after satisfying yourselves in a gents room stall.
Contemplating your behavior actually encourages me to conceive of a surprising new respect for residents of the Juggalo belt.
The best you can do by way of rejoinder is to merely mock my own resume of your mental qualities, evident to all, with a biased summation of my physical and financial situation, apparent only to you. Rife, furthermore, with spelling errors and a syntactic structure which indicates that you gave up on English prosody after the eighth grade.
You are, indeed, an autochthonous rube micturating in a gutter of your own finding and fouling.
You write like your name is General Zod, and your first language is Kryptonese.
Put down the TV Guide and take a course in expository writing, witling, then get back to me. For the time being, I’m done with you.
Of course, if you’d prefer to persist in playing handball with your own shit, that’s entirely up to you.
I am painting here a portrait of a vindictive soi-disant oracular quasi-literate. You remind me of a spiteful monkey ladling down hot pitch upon hapless passersby from a high tree occupied by a rabble of similarly autocoprophagous baboons of your despicable tribe. Apparently my assessment of your intellectual capabilities (slender) and accomplishments (none) have so addled your already fevered brain that, like a garden-variety sneak who stands at the edge of an unsuspecting crowd, hurls a bottle, then calmly walks away, you continue to decline to make your name or avocations known to the world at large. And fittingly. For, judging by your recent behavior, you are as fond of depraved and corrupt practices as the devil himself is fond of snatching away from God’s ultimate mercy theoretically repentant sinners.
By now, an intelligent person with a bare modicum of self-respect would have realized just how very outclassed they are. Or would have at least attempted to respond in kind.
Never fear. I quite understand your inanition.
Let’s face it, small fry. You come from a world where ugly illogic is a way of life. In your vile atelier, the soup du jour is happy horseshit, the main course is inarticulate ad hominem blustering, and for dessert you dish up a heaping helping of inexplicable rodomontade.
Because I just rolled a seven.
Result: You’re faded, fucked and forgotten.
10. DYING IS EASY; COMEDY IS HARD
I just got hold of a book titled Execution: The Guillotine, the
Pendulum, the Thousand Cuts, the Spanish Donkey, and 66 Other Ways of
Putting Someone to Death, by Geoffrey Abbott.
I turn to a page at random.
Torn Apart by Boats.
Then there is the Cave of Roses. (Victim confined to a cave full of
“snakes and poisonous reptiles.”)
Sewn in an Animal’s belly.
Broken on the Wheel. (Invented 202 A.D.)
Hanged at the Yard-Arm and keel-hauled. (Yarr!)
Necklacing (Pere Lebrun). Aristide said, “If you catch one, give him
what he deserves. What a beautiful tool! It’s lovely, it’s cute, it’s
pretty, it has a good smell; wherever you go you want to inhale it!”
He was referring to a car tire set alight around a victim’s neck. I
think Mrs. Mandela was also fond of this practice….
Infalistation. Thrown from a cliff.
Defenestration. Thrown from a window.
Torn apart by two trees. AKA “The Pine Bender.”
The Spanish Donkey. (Victim seated atop a “V” wall with weights,
slowly increses, attached to the angles until victim’s body splits in
Iron Chair. (Victim tied to iron armchair which is pushed closer and
closer to a blazing fire.)
Under “Miscellaneous.” Forced to walk over glowing coals while molten
lead was poured over their heads. (That’s gotta hurt. That’s
definitely going to leave a mark.)
“Literally, there is no end to man’s fiendish imagination.”
Then there’s the section on criminal slang.
“He’ll piss when he can’t whistle.” (He’ll be hanged.)
“He Danced the Newgate hornpipe.” (He was hung.)
“He’ll have an artichoke (hearty choke) and caper sauce for last meal.”
(He was sentenced to be hung and will convulsively twitch as he is dying.)
And lest the English have all the fun, there’s “National Razor” (The
I think the worst death, one not described in the book, would be torn
apart by mules. Or tortoises. Or snails.
And the greatest happiness would be not born at all. Into this vale of
tears! This feast of fools!
No, I like to kid life. But seriously.
Hey, wait. This’ll kill ya!
When’s the best time to meet Dracula?
Suppertime. So you can treat him to a hot stake dinner.
11. LETTER TO THE EDITOR
(Reprinted from THE WEBSTER (MA) TIMES.
I couldn’t believe what I read in Monday’s paper. They are taking all
the good heroin out of the clubs.
If they would let the musicians play outdoors instead of
sitting in the clubs for eight hours a day, they wouldn’t be dope-starved.
Let musicians snort whatever they want. I would rather snort no-doz
than be without.
There are reasons that musicians ought to pack heat. So they don’t get
burned in a dope deal!
You know, I wish the government and the licensing board would mind
their own business.
The club owners will have more hypes skipping out on gigs to score
some real dope instead of this methadone crap.
Did you ever taste methadone? There’s no buzz. The department of health
better let us musicians know before they substitute anything
that has to do with my buzz.
They say to take two doses a day. I snort heroin seven or eight time a
day, and I’m not an addict!!!
I am really upset because they test for drugs. I didn’t
say they could do that. That is between my God and me.
Doctors don’t even know what addicts are because they have no experience.
When I was little, I drank codeine cough syrup for breakfast, which is codeine,
syrup, water and food coloring. That was a swell breakfast and I felt great.
There is nothing wrong with a musician taking codeine, dilaudid,
morphine or heroin, unless the scene says otherwise. Doctors need to
shut up and write scripts.
I think an emaciated musician is hip. When I hug someone, I like some
bones to hug, not fat.
12. CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE
MY WHITE POWDER
(To the tune of my blue heaven)
Life is ending, bats are wending
Back to the belfry of
My little head they love
Deadly nightshade, quaaludes calling
What makes me leave my bed
Nothing but drugs
When the pusher man calls
And evening is high
I hurry to my White Powder
I dodge all the heat
A little black light
Will lead you to my White Powder
An open vein, a hit of smack, oblivion,
A little rest from living here or living there
A junkie, that’s me
I’m happy with my white powder
13. JAPANESE MONSTER MOVIE TAPS
Day is done.
Gone are the gorillas.
Gone the monsters.
From over the hills.
Death from the sky.
All must die.
Judgment is Nigh.