Ten Lame, Hardly-Helpful Life Hacks Inspired by My Own Laziness and Stupidity

Posted in Gags, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2015 by Mike

1. Split your everything bagel in half in the bag to avoid getting spices all over the kitchen. If you look at an everything bagel the wrong way, poppy seeds will fly off it and roll into kitchen grooves never to be seen again.


2. After a shower, dry your body from the head down so drops of water don’t run down and rewet what you’ve already dried. Who has 15 minutes to dry himself?

 3. Wrap a big yard leaf around dog poo (I like to think of it as poo-shi) to pick it up and toss it in the woods when you don’t want to retrieve the scooper. A leaf also works well to cover up turds your dog leaves in the neighbor’s yard when you’ve forgotten a baggie.


4. Put items in your backpack before strapping it onto your back to avoid contorting and pulling arm muscles as you try to stuff the bag while it’s on you. This also prevents you from putting on your backpack and taking it right back off, which is something a moron would do.


5. If your workplace has a one-person shower and only a curtain separates you from the rest of the bathroom, give a courtesy cough or five to keep people from walking in on you. They will know that it’s occupied, and maybe even occupied by someone with emphysema. This also works well in toilet stalls with no locks.


6. Take your medications one at a time rather than in a giant Pill Gulp to avoid having them lodge in your throat, dam-like, forcing you to chug water and choke down bread to unclog your own gullet.


7. Crawl up stairs like a chimpanzee to spread out your body weight and to minimize strain on your aging knees. You did it when you were two, why should adulthood be any different?


8. Stop fighting back with your wife. Even if you’re right and she’s being illogical, crazy, moody, temperamental, or hormonal – stop defending yourself. It will only make things worse.


9. Keep your windshield wipers on at fast speed all of the time so you’re prepared for any sudden rain showers. Even if it doesn’t rain, the whipping metronome effect will put you in a state of deep hypnosis which is useful while you drive.


10. Resist holding your phone near an open toilet because the phone may jump out of your hand like a slippery fish and into the disgusting toilet water. Though you may dry it and pretend that you didn’t just drop your phone into the toilet (you did, twice), the phone will never work right again.

iPhone in a Toilet 2


In Case You Missed It

Posted in Gags, Verse, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2015 by Mike

Over the past few months I’ve published and posted a number of pieces outside of this blog. I’ve experimented with audio and been lucky to share some of my work through The Good Men Project.

Please click The Good Men Project logo below to find my personal archives, including pieces on running at the local high school, the randomness of having a boring name, and how listlicles capture our interest (and sound like testicles).

And click on the Soundcloud icon to access my menu of audio tracks. There you will find a parody car commercial, lullaby, a number of poems, and a fake stand-up comedy set.

good men project


Come on Down to Johnson Suzuki

Posted in Gags, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on April 24, 2015 by Mike

What if a cheesy radio car commercial focused on one piece of crap car and ran for a few minutes, covering all the junky elements and pitched them like features?

j suzuki ad-01


Click here for audio file on SoundCloud



Come on down to Johnson’s Suzuki! It’s parked in the driveway of our house in Leland, North Carolina. It’s a 2005 Suzuki Forenza, wagon. Faded black, now with a fresh coat of pollen. Hey! But it’s a good car! It will get you from Point A to Point B and even gives you the option of taking the shortcut at Point C and bypassing Point D altogether. And if you drive around a beat-up car that you don’t tend to at all, you have the right of way wherever you go. Other cars know that you ain’t gonna stop ‘cause you don’t care that much about the upkeep of your vehicle.

Some of the features include:

A check engine light that stays on all the time. It will keep you alert. Also, the light for the passenger seat airbag is always on. Does the light mean it’s on or does the light mean it’s off? You may never know. Only a crash will answer the question. So you have those two extra lights coming out of your dashboard, and the glow is remarkable. Those two lights are like friends after a while. They’re always there for you.

Additional features include:

Smeared and dirty windows add privacy and value – you will never need to pay top dollar for a tint job.

There is an ice scraper on the floorboard on the passenger side. It’s still in the car even though it’s almost Summer. You will not need it but it is there just in case you decide to drive far north into the icy tundra and your…glass…gets icy and needs scraping. It’s there in case that happens.

Listen to the steady sound of cassette tapes bouncing together with every turn of the wheel. Yes, cassette tapes! Though you may never play them, they are still in the door compartments and bang against each other all of the time. Cassettes include such classics as The Temptations Give Love at Christmas and Peter Gabriel’s Security album, which came out in 1982, and you dubbed it on tape so long ago that you don’t even remember doing it.

There are two, yes two, kids seats in the back. Underneath those seats you will find old food – Cheetohs, Goldfish, countless mystery crumbs. If you wreck your car on a remote road and end up in the woods and need to wait for rescue, you will be able to survive on crumbs. And you will find toys. There is always something to play with in the Johnson Suzuki. You’ve got dolls, action figures, books, you’ve got untold treasure under the seats. In that wreck scenario, you will have dolls to talk to and eat crumbs with while you listen for the helicopters and search party.

Come down to the Johnson Suzuki TODAY!

Johnson Suzuki is a subsidiary of Johnson Mazda. FDIC-approved. Not to be combined with other offers or coupons. Shirt and shoes required. No need to play to win. Odds of winning are zero. Call the help line at 910-703-7636 if you need counseling.

Where Does the Thyme Go?

Posted in Toons with tags , , , on April 20, 2015 by Mike


The Labyrinth

Posted in Family, Verse, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2015 by Mike

Go walk The Labyrinth.

It’s on the lawn of the Laughing Heart Lodge,

just a 10-minute stroll from your house.

Though your heart is seldom laughing these days,

the Labyrinth may bring it some passing amusement.


Resist the dirty building or cabin detour.

You don’t need it.

The swig may briefly numb your new reality

but liquor is a deceitful mistress,

picking your pocket while stroking your hair.


During your walk to the lodge, you will talk to someone you know,

or meet a stranger, maybe a through-hiker or retreat guest

that you will befriend through your playful sociability.

And you both will need that exchange, a moment that is

reproduced 50 times a day in Hot Springs,

maybe more if you’re walking the streets.


The Labyrinth is a spiral stone pathway with a single entry designed

for pedestrians to meander their way to the center.

Of course you could walk right over the rocks and save yourself

some time, high-stepping to the center of the spiral–

but that would be missing the point.

You’re supposed to walk the whole thing.

And there are times when you think,

“Why am I even bothering to do this?”

It does seem pointless.

But it’s like grief: It’s long, painful, sometimes hardly worth the trouble,

with a questionable ending.

Will it even be worth it? What is the payoff?

But you have to do the steps.

You have to make the journey and do the work.

You need to pay attention to the walk and trust

that at the end you will be centered

and somehow more at peace.


There’s likely a good description of the Labyrinth in the lodge’s brochure,

a deeper meaning, a more convincing why,

but the fact that someone arranged all those rocks into that dwindling orbit

is reason enough to go mosey down the path.


I walked over with the kids and they both took the shortcut–

they stepped right over the stones in a beeline to the middle,

bored with the long circular stroll, unimpressed with the design

and unaware of any underlying point.


They are new to all this–just beginning their own walks–

and it’s impossible to guess where their paths will lead them.

And I know we both want to watch them

find their way as long as we can.

All we can do is go until we stop

and encourage each other’s shaky progress.

I still toast our efforts.


Oh, The Ways I Could Go

Posted in Gags, Verse, Writing with tags , , , , , on March 20, 2015 by Mike

This is for all of the people that ponder their own demise –

and why not reflect on it while paying homage to the great Dr. Seuss?

ways i could go

Am I the only one to stop and dwell

on how I’ll die and how I fell

and where it was and who could see

and if the end was on TV?


A shark could bite me right in half

or I could O.D. in the bath–

or freeze to death while stuck outside

or get derailed on a subway ride.


Or I could burn up in a crash

or get compacted with the trash–

a falling tree could squish me flat,

I could catch a virus from a rat.


Terrorists could blow me up

or dump some poison in my cup;

my flight to Rome may get shot down–

I may get stabbed to death downtown.


Or I could just fall down some stairs.

A random man would find me there–

he’d lean in close and check for life.

Authorities would call my wife.


I could get run over, choke on steak,

or drown like Jason in Crystal Lake.

A lightning bolt, malignant tumor,

a crazed colleague with no sense of humor.


Or maybe I’ll just fall down dead.

That’s the scene stuck in my head.

Just like that, my heart will stop–

no real sign and there I’ll drop.


I hope if that’s the way I go

that everyone will always know

the last thing that I ever did

was something fit to tell a kid.


Not reading smut or driving drunk

or with a strange man in a trunk–

no time to squirm or sugar coat

or write “you caught me” on a note.

The Third Thing

Posted in Verse with tags , , , , , , on March 3, 2015 by Mike

Why can’t I ever remember the third thing in a series?

My wife told me to bring three things

to the party and I can’t remember the third thing.

I was supposed to bring the diaper bag,

the USB-speakers,

and the blaahhh.

What was it? What the hell?

I can never remember.


Where does it go?

Must be a problem with my input network.

The information receptors are only running

at 40% functionality since those mental resources

are being routed to more important

tasks like remembering passwords and kids’ birth dates.

Or maybe it’s a faulty filing system in my head.

The misfiring floret of neurons is like a file clerk

that has died at his desk

and his assignments have piled up in disarray

and no one’s coming behind him

to put everything where it belongs.

I’m a malfunctioning Task Machine,

the Vonnegutian 3000 way past its warranty.


Two things are fine. Three things are just too much.

Crosby, Stills and hhmmm

Earth, Wind and guuuh

Maybe it’s ADD or an early sign of dementia?

Or maybe remembering two things is good enough

and my brain is automatically

sorting the items and putting the least important

thing at the end.


But in the wee hours, the third thing comes dancing

across the stage in my mind with jazz hands–

Here I am!! How could you forget?

It’s me, the new camera! Of course you need me at the party, dummy.

Then it gloats and I feel stupid and shown up

by a harmless piece of data.


I hope the third thing is never so important

that its omission is life or death–

never a time when I’m engulfed in flame

and I stop

and drop


squint blankly up into space,

waiting for the connection

that never comes.



Thing No 3


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