How to go Camping with Children.

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It’s not easy camping with children.  Most of us, if given a choice, would rather swallow carpet tacks.  But if you’re a parent or Scout leader you may not have a choice.

Hikingware.com is aware of this dilemma and has put together some practical solutions to the problem of “What do we do with Junior and Missy in the Great Outdoors that won’t get us convicted of manslaughter?”

  • Remember that all children are at heart pyromaniacs.  They lose all self-control when there is a blazing campfire crackling nearby.  The smaller children inevitably want to fall right into it, and the older ones cannot resist throwing things, such as pine cones, plastic utensils and perhaps a stray stick of dynamite, into the flames just to see what will happen.  The best way to keep your campfire unsullied with the stench of burning flesh and uncontaminated by a possible hand grenade is to have plenty of distractions available for the children while the fire is burning.  This would include a Moon Bounce, a guest appearance by Big Foot, and, for the older ones, a Bathing Beauty Contest.  Sure these are all expensive and may be impossible, but so what?  We’re just writing this stuff; we don’t have to do it!  That’s YOUR lookout.
  • A child’s appetite increases in direct proportion to how far they are from their refrigerator back home.  If you go on a two-mile hike at a nearby state park your kids may get a little frisky around discarded food wrappers, but, on the whole, they will manage to contain their hunger pangs until you are driving out of the park and pass a McDonald’s.  You should have inserted earplugs by this juncture, lest their caterwauling punctures an eardrum.  But should you venture farther afield, say another state five hundred miles away, you can be sure the kiddies will become ravening and feral fiends – ready to snack on their own grandmother if she happens to fall asleep at an inopportune time.  So have plenty of power snacks ready for them.  We recommend baking up a large batch of sawdust bars prior to the camping trip.  They are very easy to make; just mix sawdust with egg whites and lots of sugar, then bake in an oven at 350 for an hour.  The bars can be sawed into slabs that the children can gnaw on for hours to satiate their inordinate appetites until you can skewer a buffalo or moose for dinner.
  • If you ask them to pack something really, really important they are going to forget all about it.

“Where’s the tent?” you may ask your teenage son, as he lolls insolently against a Ponderosa pine with his iPad.  “I specifically told you to pack it in first!”  The only answer you’ll get is a contemptuous shrug.  This is when most family murders take place.  What you need to do is hide the iPad inside the tent and then tell Junior or Missy that their iPad is inside ONE of the camping items spread out on the lawn.  If he or she wants to ever see it again they’d better get cracking and pack everything into the van, pronto.  You’ll be amazed at the speed which young people can bring to anything they set their minds to!

 

Eight Ways to Take Advantage of the Next Black Hole to Appear in Your Back Yard.

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Things are going along pretty nicely when suddenly you wake up one morning to find a Black Hole in your backyard.  There’s no need to panic or call 911; this is a common, everyday occurrence around the world.  People have been dealing with Black Holes in their back yards for many years without turning so much as a hair, and you can too.  Now if it was a Black Hole in your FRONT yard that would be a true catastrophe.  But, as we say, most Black Holes pop up overnight in the backyard, and here are 8 tips on what to do with them.

  1. No more recycling worries! Just toss everything you don’t want or need any more into your convenient Black Hole.  We do suggest you put a fence around it, to keep anything (or anyone) from falling into it by “accident”.  Ha.
  2. Troll for Captain Janeway. She’s still in there somewhere, despite the Hollywood happy ending they tried to fob off on us!  Rig up some 20 lb fishing line and bait it with a thermos of strong black coffee –she always did like her java that way!
  3. Nasturtiums do very well as a border for Black Holes. You won’t need to water them; your Black Hole will manage to pull down plenty of rain clouds as they try to pass overhead.
  4. Since Black Holes generate an inconceivable amount of energy, you can jury rig a power outlet that will run every electric appliance in your home.  Just invite some of the boys from the Large Hadron Collider over in Switzerland to stop by for a barbeque and ask them to hook it up for you – they’ll be glad to oblige after they’ve had a couple of beers.
  5. The Event Horizon is a good place to build a gazebo. The view is amazing.  And you won’t be bothered by mosquitos.
  6. While Black Holes themselves are completely noiseless, some of the items they suck in may make quite a racket – such as airplanes, utility lines, nervous people, or buildings. To muffle any unpleasant sound we suggest you replace the nasturtiums with a hawthorn hedge.
  7. Occasionally something from another dimension may force its way out of your Black Hole and want to hang around the neighborhood. Most of these disgusting things are not malignant, just curious.  It’s best to have a very large shop vac on hand, so you can clean them up as they enter our world; most landfills will take them off your hands for an additional fee.
  8. Black Holes do have a tendency to meander. This means that your Black Hole may wind up in the neighbor’s yard, or even out in the street where it might disrupt traffic.  If your Black Hole wants to wander you can keep it in place by offering it sacrifices while dressed in a grass skirt with your face painted deep purple.  Just bow down before it, chanting “Bugawuga mufu, O mighty one!”  and throw chicken gizzards into it.  It’ll settle right down and become like a member of your own family in no time.

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Six Holidays You Never Knew You Needed.

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We don’t know how it happened, but every year on September 19th people with nothing better to do celebrate International Talk like a Pirate Day.  Except it should be called International Talk like Robert Newton Day, since the British actor was the one to come up with the stereotypical pirate accent and vocabulary when he played Long John Silver.

The holiday referred to above is symptomatic of our disturbing descent into triviality.  We must have something to celebrate every day of the year, no matter how inconsequential.  That being the case, here are 6 holidays you can use to fool your friends and maybe fool your boss into giving you it off:

  1. October 3. International Walk Like a Can Opener Day.  Canned goods are not going away anytime soon, and neither are can openers.  Just how you would walk like a can opener is not something we care to speculate on right now – we had a bad night.  However, someone somewhere will undoubtedly figure it out and then there will be Can Opener Marathons for charity.
  2. November 13. International Old Timey Radio Day.  This could almost be a legitimate holiday, if we chose to focus on talents like Jack Benny and Edward R. Murrow.  But we don’t so choose.  Instead, the day is dedicated to the likes of Vic and Sade, Lum and Abner, and Colonel Stoopnagle.  Never heard of them?  Well, take the day off from work and listen to their scratchy recordings on Youtube!
  3. December 14. International Sandpaper Appreciation Day.  Where would we be without sandpaper?  Especially in kindergarten, where it is wrapped around two wooden blocks and then rubbed together as some kind of percussion instrument.  Try using it as wallpaper.  Or as a placemat at dinner.  Carry some in your purse or wallet.  See how it chews.  And then collapse in existential despair when you learn there is no sand in sandpaper – only aluminum oxide.
  4. January 2. Prinking Day.  This is a made up old English custom, wherein the village squire would go from hovel to hovel on Prinking day to distribute gilded pine cones and hand-turned splinters to his poor shivering and starving tenants.  Today we celebrate this old English custom by going to the Mall to shop and eating at an overpriced Japanese noodle house run by some big box store.
  5. February 22. Leap Day.  Due to an astronomical miscalculation, we have to add one minute to one day each year in order to even things out and not be called in for an audit by the IRS.  So February 22nd has been arbitrarily chosen to tack on the sixty seconds.  Just think of all you can do with this extra minute in your life!  We personally recommend you spend it rubbing two sandpaper blocks together.
  6. March 4.   International Bird Call Day.  What fun!  Everyone packs a picnic lunch of hard boiled eggs, Triscuits, and lemon curd to take into the woods.  After lunch and a nap, everyone finds a comfortable spot and starts calling “Hey birds!”  The fun only ends when the park rangers chase everyone away.

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Seven Important Things You Didn’t Know About Kangaroos.

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We all learned in grade school that kangaroos live in Australia and carry their babies in their front pouches –which makes them marsupials.  But beyond that, there’s not much that the average citizen knows about these mysterious creatures.  We therefore take great pleasure in blowing the lid off of their cover story and telling you about the 7 things you never knew about kangaroos:

  1. Kangaroo milk is highly nutritious and chock full of antioxidants. In fact, it is so healthy that the mother kangaroo will not give any to her baby but drinks it all herself – which is quite an acrobatic feat.  The baby kangaroo must learn to survive on the dew that collects on thorn bushes each morning.  Australian ranchers have started milking herds of kangaroo, but it’s not an easy job; they have to do it while riding pogo sticks.
  2. Kangaroo oil is highly toxic and can cause a platypus to palpitate precipitously. The oil is secreted from a gland located on the kangaroo’s tail.  When frightened, an adult kangaroo is capable of flinging as much as 10 liters of oil around in a semicircle.  The oil can cause blindness, skin lesions, and cattywampus.  It is currently fed to tax collectors to tone up their sense of charity.
  3. Carry a kangaroo foot for good luck. That’s what Teddy Roosevelt did at the Battle of San Juan Hill.  The captain of the Titanic left his behind on that last voyage.  Of course nowadays PETA would MAKE bad luck for you if you carried a kangaroo leg around for good luck, so the thing to do is carry a LIVE kangaroo around so you can rub its belly for good luck.  It may kick you in the stomach while you’re rubbing it, but no doubt you’ll land in a pile of saffron.
  4. Kangaroo hair is much in demand for snoods.
  5. Kangaroo meat is rather gamey, but it is extremely popular in Australia and second only to hedgehog in consumption. The best way to prepare kangaroo meat is to first sear it in cotton seed oil and then poach it in about a pint of Liquid Wrench for several hours until the scales loosen and fall off, revealing the tender green flesh.  Serve with Rowbotham sauce and a smidgen of citronella.
  6. Kangaroo dung is excellent fertilizer for certain flowering plants, such as Fitzwilly’s Thistle, Saint Andrew’s Shuck and Dipple of the Dingle. It can also be spread around certain people, like accountants and tech support, to induce budding and fruiting after they have been pruned.
  7. Kangaroo eggs have long been recognized as making the best grandfather clock pendulums. In Victorian times the eggs were gathered by work gangs made up of convicted knickers and swaggers, then fermented and hardened in vats of salacious liquid before being painted black and shipped to England.  The Queen’s consort, Prince Albert, had the world’s largest collection of Australian pendulums extant. It was donated to the British Museum in 1902 and hasn’t been heard of since, although we suspect we had one for breakfast at a Denny’s about a month ago.

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Eight Essential Keys to Greater Peace of Mind.

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The Greek philosopher Socrates said “The greatest good to the greatest number is always the greatest good.”  While this may seem self-evident, redundant, and slightly idiotic, you can’t argue with old Greek philosophers!  Besides, any blog that starts with a quote from a dead philosopher is going to be really good for you, like spinach.  So just shut your pie hole and pay attention to these 8 keys to greater peace of mind:

  1. Always start your day in the morning. Waking up in the afternoon means you’ve spent the previous night in riotous debauchery; shame on you and may your headache blossom into a nuclear warhead!  If you wake up in the evening you are probably a vampire and can skip all the rest of this, because we all know vampires are way cool already.
  2. Never go to bed with a porcupine on your head. Some people WILL try doing this, no matter how often it is condemned by the best minds of the Western Hemisphere.  In the first place, porcupines are nocturnal; they will drive you crazy by roaming around and grunting all night long.  Secondly, they don’t much like discussing anything but how to find radishes; so you cannot expect any scintillating conversation from them.  Thirdly, they have constant gas from eating so many radishes.  Fourthly, they are sensitive about their education; most have never made it past pre-school, and if you start prating about your college experiences you can expect nothing but a cold shoulder from them.  And that is going to hurt.
  3. You CAN have your cake and eat it, too! Right along with that chicken soup for the pancreas, or whatever vital organ it is.  Don’t listen to the naysayers; you can do anything you set your mind to. Except inline skate on sand. Don’t even think of trying it.  You’ll make a complete fool of yourself and be laughed out of town.  Then where will you be?  Homeless, gritty, and stuck with a useless pair of Rollerblades.
  4. Embrace the Noid. Remember him?  What a lovable character!  So gentle and vulnerable, yet fiery and persistent.  If you think of life as a cold pizza you will never be disappointed – or hungry.
  5. Do not be given the name Lud Gluskin.
  6. Learn to wiggle your ears.
  7. Practice Thanayanabananafofana yoga. The best way to do this is while in the lotus position fold your legs around your neck and your arms around your midriff, then let your head drop forward until it reaches your sternum.  You will never be able to get out of this position and thus will be put on display at tawdry carnivals in the Midwest, where your life will become torture.  But you’ll never be bothered by halitosis again.
  8. Release your inner egg timer. You may have thought that inside you resides a concert pianist or a mathematical genius or a spiritual giant or a gluttonous vulture, but no . . . the only thing inside you is an egg timer, the kind that goes DING! when it finally winds down.  This is all there is to your inner life.  Deal with it.

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If I Were President.

bettyboop

 

There’s an old Betty Boop cartoon called “If I Were President” which is fun to watch, even in an off election year.  In it Betty promises that streetcars will not only run on time, but go up the sides of buildings to pick people up so they don’t have to come all the way down to the lobby and out into the street; now THAT is a presidential candidate with customer service on her mind!

In a similar vein, I have decided to list the 9 things I would do if I were elected to the Oval Office:

  1. Abolish the IRS. A no-brainer, right?  They’ve always been about as popular as sand in spinach dip.  I propose that instead of hounding people to pay their taxes with the IRS as muscle, I will ask Bill Gates to chip in some of his astounding wealth to keep us afloat, and then in return give him the deed to the Moon.  Cuz, yeah, America owns the Moon, right?  (Wink-wink; there’s one born every minute!)
  2. Make Tom Cruise Vice President. How cool would that be? Ol’ Tom would get after those terrorists and scofflaws and beat ‘em to a pulp and then make love to every beautiful woman in the room.  In just one afternoon.  The rest of the time I’d put him on display at the Smithsonian.
  3. Give every American citizen over the age of twenty a free electric car. Oh wait . . . my campaign manager says I misspoke.  I meant to say a free electric razor, okay?  (Whew!  Almost blew that PAC donation from Big You-Know-What!)
  4. Shake hands with babies and kiss all their mothers. I don’t CARE what my campaign manager says about this one – he can campaign HIS way and I’ll campaign MY way.  And guess which one of us will have the most fun?
  5. Outlaw parking meters. If cities want to raise money they can steal hubcaps like the rest of us.
  6. Open an all-you-can-eat cafeteria in the White House. Whenever some foreign nabob shows up he or she can just wait in line for a corn dog and custard pudding, instead of wasting the president’s time and all that money with fancy-schmancy banquets.  And they’d better be good tippers, too, or I just might have Congress declare war on their country.
  7. If I’m elected, I promise to take a long nap every afternoon; I’ve learned from long experience that that is the best way to stay out of trouble.
  8. I will handle Congress with a firm hand. If they won’t pass a decent and timely Federal budget I will send them to their rooms without any supper and they won’t be allowed to watch reruns of The West Wing.
  9. Replace our stodgy national anthem with “Yes, We Have No Bananas!” That song will be much more catchy at baseball games and no one will pop a tonsil trying to reach those treacherous high notes in the current anthem.  It’ll be good for baseball, good for the country, and it won’t hurt the native banana industry one little bit!

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How to Housebreak a Husband.

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How to housebreak a husband.

 

Husbands really only have one problem; they tend to be men.  But that one problem covers a wide variety of concerns, which we will address here.  No need to hire a “Husband Whisperer” to get the job done.  Just follow these 5 handy dandy little tips, and you’ll have him not only doing his business outside, but thanking you for the privilege!

  1. The first time your husband throws something dirty or wet on the floor, get a rolled up newspaper and tap him gently on the nose several times, while repeating firmly, but not loudly, “Bad husband!” After about a dozen times he should catch on and begin leaving his stuff in a laundry basket, or at least at the foot of the basement stairs.
  2. Break him of the habit of leaving water rings on tables, right away. It’s easy to say to yourself “Oh well, the dumb creature is caught up with a football game and I’d rather not disturb him until it’s over.”  We cannot begin to tell you how wrong such delay is!  The minute your husband puts down his beverage without a coaster you must confront him.  Turn off the television or radio, or quietly take away his Sports Illustrated magazine, and make him sniff the coaster you wave under his nose.  Demonstrate several times in a row how to use it.  Then throw one in the corner and make him fetch.  By now he should have a pretty good idea of what to do with a coaster.  Leave a large supply of them within handy reach, and don’t forget to reward him when he does use a coaster – give him some additional Doritos or an extra piece of Slim Jim.
  3. Husbands like to sleep on the furniture, where they shed hair and leave unpleasant odors. Unless you have purposely banished him to the couch for the night, you must maintain a constant vigilance so your husband does not curl up and begin snoring on your fauteuil.  When you catch him getting too comfortable, have a spray bottle filled with water ready to give him a couple of spritzes with.  He will quickly learn that his place is on the floor, and not on his mistress’ good furniture.
  4. Keep him out of the bathroom. Husbands love nothing better than to mess around in your bathroom, lathering themselves, shaving, gargling with horrible sounds, and singing Beach Boy songs in the shower. To prevent this you must make your husband understand early on that you have made a place for him out in the garage.  When he displays the urge to enter your bathroom, tighten his choke collar for 30 seconds to indicate your displeasure and then walk him out to the garage and leave him there for an hour.  He will soon prefer to spend all his time out THERE rather than in your house.
  5. It is frustrating, and embarrassing, when you are out walking your husband, to have to stop every other minute so he can mark his territory by saying hello to every pretty girl that passes by.  You can solve the problem very easily by putting a muzzle on him for a few weeks.  Once he gets over the discomfort and stops wagging his head back and forth you can take the muzzle off and he’ll remain as quiet, and docile, as a mouse.

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