Thursday, November 20, 2008


Dyslexics probably think the martial arts include kissing, negotiating who will do which household chores, and arguing effectively without mentioning those good-for-nuttin' in-laws. But of course, the martial arts are actually about self-defense and fitness, and they're a part of our world now, with Maddy taking classes for the past two months.

The highlight of the interminable tae kwon do awards ceremony tonight, besides seeing Maddy all aglow over her first "promotion," from a white belt to a yellow one, was a little red-headed girl who was called up front to be awarded her black belt. That's a pretty big deal.

She bowed courteously to the crowd and looked solemn as they tied on her new black belt. Then, as her family came onstage to take the mike and wish her well in her big moment, her hands suddenly shot up to her head . . . and whisked off her red headband, revealing a BLACK one!

Then she danced around jubilantly, very little girl-like, and not so samurai-like any more. Her mom said she had been waiting to do that for weeks; it was a plan.

That's martial arts, American style: we've got the chops technically, but the fun is in the pageantry.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


During the service, the pastor asked if anyone would like to offer up prayers of thanksgiving.

A lady stood up, came forward and said, "I have a reason to thank the Lord. Two months ago, my husband Jim had a terrible bicycle wreck and his scrotum was completely crushed. The pain was excruciating and the doctors didn't know if they could help him."

You could hear an audible gasp from the men in the congregation, as she continued, "Every move caused him terrible pain, and we prayed as the doctors performed a series of delicate operations. They were able to piece together the crushed remnants of Jim's scrotum and wrap wire around it to hold it in place."

The men in the congregation squirmed uncomfortably as she went on: "Jim is out of the hospital now, and the doctors say, with time, his scrotum should recover completely."

All the men sighed with relief, and the pastor rose and tentatively asked if anyone else had anything to offer. A man rose and walked slowly to the podium.

He said, "I'm Jim and I would like to tell my wife, the word is 'sternum.'"

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Sunday's story on detailed the hilarious practical jokes of a family friend, Dick "Crazy" Worrall. Comes now some of his "victims" who reveal how they got him back:

After the Chicken Delight chicken-tossing incident, two couples put heads together and came up with a revenge plan. First, they placed an ad in the local newspaper as if his house were for sale, listing it, of course, at a ridiculously low price.

Then they bought feather pillows at the second-hand store, and, one dark and stormy night, snuck into Worrall's garage, and filled his beautiful Porsche with feathers.

Next morning, Worrall awoke to find feathers in his car, an ad in the morning paper advertising his house, and "FOR SALE" signs in his front yard. For days, would-be buyers stalked the house and attempted to buy it.

Worrall stomped downtown to the newspaper to demand to know who had placed the false ad. Turns out that's how he discovered the culprit: the beleaguered clerk had just given the prankster's money back for the real estate ad.

It seems the paper had placed the ad in the wrong neighborhood section. It was a less desirable section that didn't draw as many would-be buyers as the pranksters had hoped. So minutes before, the PRANKSTER had stomped downtown to get a refund from the paper, which the clerk gave. Therefore, she was able to describe the prankster to Worrall so that he knew who had done the dirty deeds.

Worrall claimed that until the Fourth of July the next year, every time he braked his car, a feather flew out.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Trickiest Trick-or-Treaters
Come in Pairs

Faves this Halloween:

-- Two late-elementary school girls came to our door as Salt and Pepper. They had matching dimestore gowns with the Pepper one dyed gray, and foil with holes poked in the top for crazy headdresses. Their pillowcases were nearly full of candy; they must have been working for hours. Call them "movers and shakers."

-- Another duo showed up as Laurel & Hardy, one tall and thin, and the other cute and rotund.

-- A married couple went to a party as a cross-dressing Sonny & Cher. The wife said it was really weird to put makeup on her longtime husband. She put it on thick and cheap, she said, and nobody could tell who he was. That, probably, was a good thing.