Celebrity switches airplane seats with Marine, gets 6-month deployment to Kandahar Province

Posted in Gags, Loose News with tags , , , on July 7, 2014 by Mike

plane switch

Are You My Supper? Rewriting a Classic

Posted in Gags, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on June 18, 2014 by Mike

Any parent of a toddler is a connoisseur of children’s books. Some of the books are painful, most are enjoyable, and a few spin magic and become part of the nightly routine. Both of my young kids enjoy story time, and that makes me very happy, but even the most brilliant words and delightful illustrations can get tiresome after dozens and dozens of readings.

One of our favorites is P.D. Eastman’s “Are You My Mother?” It’s a sweet story about a newly hatched bird trying to find it’s mom after leaving the empty nest. I love this book and think the creative execution was flawless.

However, it intrigued me to consider what the book would be like if you stripped out the existing text and made up a new story with new words. The pictures and flow would have to remain unchanged–basically, it would be a rewrite but using the same visual context as a guide.

The result is captured in the following panels. Thanks for the inspiration, Mr. Eastman. A link to the original story is at the bottom of this post. If you’ve never read it, perhaps you want to start there and come back to my silly rewrite!

supper cover
















Below is a link to a reading of the original book. Pick up a copy for yourself. Both of my kids love it! Thank you, P.D. Eastman.







What’s in the Oven?

Posted in Family, Music with tags , , , , , , on June 12, 2014 by Mike

Before I even thought of myself as a father, I was a man with a pregnant wife. Somehow it didn’t become real until my son came out and I held him in my arms and felt the world shift.  Before that moment, I had to ponder what was in there. I wrote a silly song about it back then and maybe some of you dads out there will remember the curious wait.

Happy Father’s Day weekend!

watermelon baby

What’s in the Oven sound file

What’s in the Oven?

My precious wife is now with child

And baby stuff is our new style

It’s so wild to watch the pile grow

Our six doctors help us out

They tell us what will happen now

They give us books that show us what to know

There is one that thing I have come to realize

It’s a cheesy way they estimate the baby’s size

First it’s a peanut, a kumquat, a lime, then a lemon

What’s with all these fruit-bearing women

I want a baby not something down the produce aisle

I want arms and legs and true genitalia

Eyes and ears and a nose that can smell you

I want a baby but I guess it’s gonna be a while

So I watch her belly rise

Like she’s baking baby pies

There’s a growing sense of wonder in the air

We’re thumbing through the guides

To see what’s going on inside

And find out just what’s rooted down in there

Before the useful information can begin

They put you back into the grocery store again

It’s a tomato, potato, banana, now a carrot

Dream up any food and they’ll compare it

So glad the sonogram shows something vaguely humanoid

It’s got arms and legs and true genitalia

We’ve got some photographs to email you

We’ve got a baby

We’ve got a little baby boy

2014 Makobranch Music
All rights reserved

Free Lullaby

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , on May 30, 2014 by Mike

Sleepy sound file



It’s time to go to bed, Sleepy

When the daylight is gone

And your brain is all wrong

And the covers are calling your name

It’s time to go to bed, Sleepy

Kick off your clothes

And stretch out your toes

Because tomorrow is more of the same


When the great big world

Is closed for the night

And you’ve done all you needed to do

Lay right down

Don’t make a sound

Let the dream guys come see you

Sleepy, why ain’t you sleepy?


It’s time to go to bed, Sleepy

Cut off the TV

There’s no more to see

Four hours is more than enough

It’s time to go to bed, Sleepy

Put down the book

Don’t give me that look

There’s no time for educational stuff


When the sun rolls over

And faces the wall

And the clocks all start to yawn

Lay right down

Don’t make a sound

Hail the dream train and hop on

Sleepy, why ain’t you sleepy?


 2014 Makobranch Music
All Rights Reserved


Buzzfeed Runs Out of Quiz Ideas

Posted in Gags with tags , , , , on April 8, 2014 by Mike


Jake from State Farm Investigated in Phone Sex Scandal

Posted in Loose News, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on March 23, 2014 by Mike

State Farm

The Huffington Post has reported that from 2011 through 2013, Jake from State Farm (full name Jake Silverman) had 13 disciplinary infractions involving inappropriate communication with State Farm customers. Hugh Jassol, Human Resources Vice President for State Farm, recently addressed these violations in a press conference. Jassol said, “It is true that Jake had these negative marks on his performance evaluations, but frankly, we saw a significant increase in policy upgrades so we decided to keep him in that position.”

Findings of an internal investigation reveal that Jake would search State Farm customer databases for men that met certain demographic criteria (married, 32-46 years of age, primary policy holder, criminal background) and would lure them via email with better insurance coverage at lower premiums. In the messages, the targeted men would be instructed to call Jake back in the early morning hours to limit interference by third parties.

Surveillance footage (which inexplicably made its way into the national commercial campaign that features Jake) shows Robert Callahan having phone sex with Jake at 3 a.m. on Thursday, November 13, 2012. Mr. Callahan, a known pervert and suspected sex offender, had called Jake on four consecutive evenings. On the fifth night, after finding their marital bed empty again, suspicious Louise Callahan descended the stairs and confronted her husband who was breathing heavily into the telephone. Local sources reveal that the wife was arrested for spousal battery and the husband is now seeking treatment for sex and methamphetamine addiction. The couple have since separated and their three children are in foster care.

At the time of publication, Jake Silverman is still with State Farm and has been promoted to Assistant Director of Public Relations.

Under the Pillow Art Gallery

Posted in Toons, Writing with tags , , , , on March 15, 2014 by Mike

For the past several weeks, our nightly routine has taken an artistic detour. After I help him brush his teeth and tuck him in, my young son tells me what he wants on his drawing. Sometimes it’s something extremely specific and random–“draw me and Ben Loper eating construction worker cupcakes”–but when his mind is tired and his eyes are heavy, he relinquishes control and tells me to think of something to draw. Not only am I to produce a small original piece of artwork every night, I’m also expected to tape coins to the picture for him to peel off and place into the zippered part of his wallet. My son is five.

I don’t recall how or why this even started, but it is now an expectation. Sometime between the newspaper puzzles and the commercial breaks, I lie on the floor and create a little picture. I use a black pen and a scrap of recycled office paper. No matter how ridiculous it looks in the early stages, I don’t start over and I try not to obsess over the imperfections. When I’ve sufficiently filled up the little piece of paper, I tape on the “metal money” and place the drawing under his pillow.

I like to doodle but am by no means a professional illustrator, so on most mornings the first words I hear from my son revolve around his disappointment over the previous night’s artistic offering. This always stings a little (even bad artists need constant validation) but I listen to his complaints and try to use his criticism to help shape my future work.

The first few selections were very simple and uninspired, my wife sat in one night as resident artist, and one note consisted of only a written message, a well-intentioned incident that was meant to transform the frivolous activity into a learning opportunity. That approach was abandoned immediately. Not every exchange between parent and child needs to be laced with purpose. Sometimes magic resides in the oddball ritual, in the messy stuff, in the shading of crude domestic art, in the persistent push against your own limitations.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 36 other followers