- Discovering too late, that what you thought would “make you stronger,” actually killed you
- Cleaning the leaves from your gutter and getting hit by debris from a Boeing 777 engine
- Asking Chuck Norris which of the LGBTQ letters he most closely identifies with
Eating 3 consecutive meals at any restaurant featured on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”
- Challenging someone by saying, “Over my dead body.”
- Falling asleep in Steve Bannon’s laundry hamper
- Puncture wounds from taking a Meteor Shower
- Getting gored when falling on a fire hydrant – during the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain
- Getting Gored to death while discussing carbon emissions with former Vice President Al Gore
- Involuntary head removal due to a low hanging ceiling fan
- Inhaling next to Kim Jong Un
- Walking into a bar. Not the kind that serves drinks.
- Drinking an out-of-season Shamrock Shake
- Drinking an in-season Shamrock Shake
- Experiencing a 9.5 earthquake in Ireland: aka a Shamrock Shake
- Standing next to an amorous Randy Quaid when he realizes you’re under a mistletoe
- Covering yourself in honey and standing too close to a mother birthing her bear cub
- Covering yourself in asbestos and standing too close to a Saturn V rocket nozzle when it blasts off
- Standing too close to Gwen Stefani when she peroxides her hair
- Wondering too strongly what it’s like to free climb El Capitan
- Arrogantly trying to prove “There’s absolutely no way the power is still on” by sticking your tongue into a circuit breaker
- Getting sucked into an Escher print
- Getting sucked into a conversation with Joe Rogan about MC Escher
- Experiencing a fall from Grace. Note: Grace must at least 15 feet or taller.
- Trying to find meaning in The Who song “Squeeze Box”
- Self-inflicted wounds from poorly aiming your bullet points
- Getting blindsided by a tumbleweed
- Getting into the dryer just to warm up for a minute
- Trying to Binge watch The Dukes of Hazard
- Trying to Bitch watch Sex and the City
- Getting “let go” from your job at a firing range
- The Lambshank Redemption – After a disastrous Thanksgiving dinner, prison cook Kyle Porter redeems himself with a Christmas lamb shank dinner all the inmates praise.
- Petty Woman – Julia Roberts presides over a book club of small-minded women who read and discuss one-star Yelp! reviews
Plump Fiction – Tarrantino blows the lid off the weight loss industry
- Fat and Furious: How Roseanne Barr Lost Her TV Series – Weight waits for no one
- Apocalypse Later – In this dilatory sequel to Apocalypse Now moviegoers felt cheated. They said “Armageddon delayed is Armageddon denied”
- Batman: Dark Chocolate – A very sweet picture where Ghirardelli and Cadbury vie for global chocolate supremacy. Cadbury sets the bar low, so children can reach it. Ghirardelli sets the bar high, to attract adults with money. How low can they go? – that question is in limbo.
- Triassic Park: Algae-geddon – In this slow-moving thriller set 225 million years ago, red and green phyto-planktons vie for chromatic dominance in the primordial ocean. In a stunning reveal at the 3-hour mark, they penetrate each other’s membranes only to discover they’re each other’s fathers. In the end a unifying Algae Bloom appears to be reddish-green confirming the truth that all single-celled life matters. It’s a movie only a microbiologist historian could love – all 9 of them.
- When Harry Met Larry – A recent widower (Harry) seeks counseling from an LGBTQA? group. He gets the acronym all jumbled-up and somehow falls in love with his grief counselor (Larry).
- Hairy Poppins – Robin Williams in his last role. A hairy and magical male nanny brings great cheer into the joyless lives of sheltered children. Songs include: Just a Spoonful of Nutella and SuperDisneydocious
- The Sound of Mucous: Life in a Tuberculosis Ward – A light-hearted look at respiratory distress. Patients find the songs an inspiration before their expiration.
- Melted: Life in a Globally Warmed World – It’s Frozen warmed over. All the action figures are damp.
- Close Encounters of the Worst Kind – How COVID has upended dating
- Close Encounters of the Wurst Kind – Weinerschnitzel deals with a contaminated batch of brats.
- Close Encounters of the Aryan Kind: Hitler Gets a Massage – After a superlative massage given by an archetypal, bare-chested Rhine maiden, the Fuhrer has an epiphany. He’ll pursue hedonism, pleasure and love instead of world domination, genocide and war. The term Nazissage is introduced. All it took was one positive experience with a caring, giving woman and boom; 40 million people get to live. Funny how the world can turn on the slimmest of events.
And the Oscar Goes to: These Make-Believe Movies in Make-Believe Categories
- Diluted Sriracha – Won for Best Weak Sauce
- Butterscotch Sundae – Won for Best Week Sauce
- Friday – Won for Best Week Day
- Judas – Won for Worst Weak Link
- Weinerschnitzel – Won for Best Wurst
- Weinerschnitzel – Won again for Best Hot Link
- Chimpanzees – Won for Best Missing Link
- Link – Clarence Williams III won for Best Former Mod Squad Character.
- Blynken – Won for Best Link between Wynken and Nod.
- Lincoln – Won for Not Joining LinkedIn. Bad optics: Lincoln in LinkedIn
- Weakest Link – Won for Breaking the Chain
I’ve enjoyed writing this for those who enjoy reading it. So to you who got this far and would like to send me money, send it to the World Food Programme https://www.wfp.org/. Mr. Hardiman is not a paid spokesman, nor does he receive any food from the World Food Programme. I’m telling you the Trith.
The American Academy of Farts and Seances Presents The 2020 Reality Awards
After a brutal 2020 in the real world where dumb people said stupid things that made the rest of us smart, escapist dimensions loomed large for a COVID-weary citizenry. And this dynamic likely accounts for Virtual Reality (VR) winning top honors at the 2020 Reality Award Show held Saturday night in a ZOOM meeting at a Cupertino GameStop. Virtual Reality’s award was expected as the competition (the actual reality of 2020) was like diluted Sriracha – very weak sauce. 2020 was a kooky year: Netflix produced every movie made, COVID-conscious brothels offered “no-touch” Platonic climaxes and oh yeah, a lethal pandemic killed about half a million Americans. Is it any wonder so many chose to decamp to Virtual Reality? Regular Reality, aka “the collective hunch”, never stood a chance as the beleaguered year started with a pandemic, folded in the deaths of Regis Philbin, Sean Connery and Alex Trebek, and finished with more dumb people saying more stupid things that made the rest of us smart even more. At first I didn’t believe dumb people could make me smart, but the more I listened, the more it stung.
In 2020 many people who were unable to reconcile having 2 opposable concepts reside in their mind simultaneously (e.g; police are worthy, policing needs reform), decided to take leave of their common senses and seek to relieve mental distress by embracing the short reach of demonizing opponents through grievance politics. This Manichaean remedy bolster their fragile, fearful egos as wagons were circled in a pique of unified tribalism. In effect they doubled down on being twice as dumb and that made them 4 times more stupid than was thought possible. We’re talking about people that can’t make out heads or tails from a coin, let alone trying to navigate an abstruse, multi-factorial world of societal inconsistencies, competing messages and the cancellation of TV’s Hogan’s Heroes (yes, sadly 50+ years later, we’re all still processing that sad event). Who’s smarting now? They are, but so are the global elitist snowflakes like me who think they can sterilize the world with a few well-chosen keystrokes. Paging Col. Robert Hogan. Report for duty sir. Your eager heroes await your return.
Back to Reality…Sort of
Everyone attending the ZOOM meeting recognized that VRs simulated reality was orders of magnitude better than the actual reality for 2020. Closer examination of the underachieving year of 2020 revealed a startling fact. People were psychologically concealing themselves. It was like everyone was hiding behind a mask or something. Clearly VRs lack of HIV, IEDs and STDs rendered its somewhere-over-the-rainbow universe a shoo-in. And speaking of shoo-ins, Dr. Scholl’s Arch Supports won for Best Inserts in a Supporting Role.
Learning from the lessons of 2020, 2021 has set the bar low for its success by promising nothing more than to pick you up on January 1st and drop you off on December 31st. In other words, to be nothing more than a faithful calendar of days. At minimum, 2021 should be able to deliver on its promise of sequentially organizing days as long as our sun doesn’t unexpectedly supernova or the nuclear codes fall into the hands of Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene. And because it’s not a Leap Year, 2021 has the added advantage of having one less day to deal with.
And while it was ironic that we couldn’t see our way clear in 2020 of all years, 2021 promises to be an improvement; if only by showing up. And it is in that spirit of grinding out one year after another I offer this pause to take stock of 2020’s Reality Awards.
The Academy of Farts and Seances bestowed other Reality Awards besides VR’s award. A list of notable motion picture winners and their categories are listed below:
- Best Dock-umentary: The Wharves of Boston…. Harboring no illusions was the quay
- Best “Doc”-umentary: My Daze in Medical School …. Zac Efron also won in a Life Supporting Role.
- Roosters Strutting on the Sidewalk…Best Cockumentary…aww c’mon I’m talking about the bird damn it
- I Taunt Thee with Glee…Best Mockumentary. It’s scorn-y, but it’s good.
- The Key to My Love Vault…Best Lockumentary. Like enlightened Southerners, it’s a “safe-cracker.”
- Best Short Film: The Dwarves of Lilliput…. What it lacked in length, it made up for in brevity
- The Fermented Lagers of Germany…Best Bockumentary. Beer Aficionado called it, “Full-bodied and pleasantly yeasty.” No. Wait. My mistake. That’s what they called Kirstie Alley.
- My Left Pig Foot…Best Hockumentary. Rated V-17. Vegans under 17 must be accompanied by a carnivore.
- Locker Room Hijinks…Best Jockumentary. It’s all here: towel snapping, soap dropping and salami-hiding. Good, clean fun for the entire cell block.
- A Little Yellow Fever Outbreak…Best Small Pox-umentary. You’d think audiences would be suffering from pandemic fatigue, but no such luck with this 2020 chiller. Stars Anthony Scare-amucci
- I Bid Thee Goodnight – Mattress Quarterly called this movie a real sleeper.
- Mineralogists in Love…Best Rockumentary. Stone-faced Dr. Carruthers has his igneous-hardened heart melted by volcanic intern Jane Granite. He never takes her for granite again. In fact he takes her in his arms and cries out to his inamorata, “Oh Jane. God has a plan for us in the shale of this planet.”
- You Rook Mah-velous…Billy Crystal’s ode to Fernando Lamas won for Best Complimentary.
- My Toasty Feet…Best Sockumentary. Many thought My Toasty Feet stunk, but no worse than the movie The Anusthesiologist.
- The Second Hand of the Clock…Best TikTocumentary. Moves at the speed of time. In one scene a Rolex dies an untimely death.
- Cows of the Himalayas…Best Yakumentary. Elevated bovine joy. Will there be a Cows of the Himalayas sequel? – Not Yeti.
- 2 Scoops of Raisins in Every Box of Raisin Bran Cereal won in the new category of Promises Made, Promises Kept.
- I’m Really Straight, I’m Just Choosing to be Gay won for Best Manipulation of the False Narrative that Sexuality is a Choice.
- And finally, Ringo Starr’s son Zak won for Best Zakumentary…
He’s the drummer for Who?
Yes, he’s Who’s drummer.
The guy playing drums for Who.
OK, what about John Entwistle then?
And as the Reality Awards ZOOM show came to a close it was gratifying to see that none of the members of the Academy of Arts & Seances were caught with their pants down. No one had to see a member’s member. We look forward to next year’s awards when 2021 promises to convey the idea that Freedom is not dom, although sometimes it smarts.
- I just Googled “goggles.” I Googled goggles and it responded with baby talk.
- Did you know that a small, attractive manicurist is called a “cuticle?”
- Least romantic words ever whispered into a lover’s ear: “Oh darling, God has a place for us in the shale of this planet.”
Is a person who repairs a fender bender a dent-ist?
- Is a trail marked by bones an osteopath?
- Are card-iologists skilled at hearts?
- Did you know Egyptian cancer doctors are known as ankh-ologists?
- Eco-podiatrists have small carbon footprints
- If your urologist is my urologist that makes him myologist. What a pisser.
- A doctor who puts your rectum to sleep is called an anusthesiologist. The pay is good, but the job stinks.
- Virgins celibate life every day.
- I’ve learned recently that Crayons are not edible. And thank God they’re non-toxic too.
- Dumb New Year’s Resolution #1. This year I will drink all my beverages by dipping-in my toothbrush and then sucking it out through the bristles.
- Palette Cleansing Statement of Certainty: The truth does not require your belief.
- Breaking: Baby doctor loses her license. But the real question is how did she get one in the first place. I mean she’s only 16 months old. That is one baby doctor.
- New Spice Girl works with dying patients. Her name: Ho Spice.
- Botanists who love flowers are petalphiles.
- Pediatricians who like to cycle are pedalphiles
- Secretaries who like to file are filephiles
- Manicurists who like to shape nails are also filephiles
- People who adore manicurists who like to shape nails are filephilephiles.
- Stories about foul air and stale odors are must-y reads
- You can change your name. You can change your lion’s name. But you can’t change your lion’s mane.
- Breaking: Felt finds new uses in women’s apparel. Women say they never felt this way before. The dark side is that many dresses are felt during fittings. #Handsoff
- At the Garment Worker’s Bakery these items loom large: Silk Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Lemon Chiffon Pie.
- Studies reveal that Evil people are unable to stomach Angel Food Cake.
- You can eat ramen. You can eat your friend’s ramen. But you shouldn’t eat your friend’s crayons – even if they are non-toxic.
- We screwed up. We thought we were brainstorming. But we were actually barnstorming.
- In a related story, the National Weather Service has issued a tornado advisory for the Kansas Farm Belt. “Strong cyclonic winds may cause large farm structures to be ripped from their foundations. This may lead to widespread Barnstorming. Judy Garland should take note.”
- He’s exceptional. You can give him a date and he can tell you how many business days it is till that date.
- He’s exceptional. You can give him a date and he can tell you which tree it came from.
- He’s exceptional. You can give him a date and by the end of the night they’re deeply in love.
- He’s a visionary. You can give him a blind date and by the end of the night she’s seeing again.
- Parallel Duo-verses? Why do we run counterclockwise on an outdoor track when everything else we do is clockwise? However let us remember, it’s not counterclockwise when you’re looking at it from Hell. In that case you’re running absolutely clockwise. Same thing with pineapple upside-down cakes…or any upside-down cake for that matter (pineapple being the foremost of the upside-down cakes). When you look at these belly-up cakes from Hell, they’re actually right side up. In this rare double-negative case, 2 wrongs do make a right…side up.
- In Victoria Secret’s book A Brief History of Briefs, chafing becomes an issue for Lady Chatterly’s ombudsman. Eventually an ointment soothes her irritated skin, in a chapter entitled Balm is the Bomb.
- I’m a firm believer in the 2-party system: one in the morning and one in the evening
- Sponsored: The culture in Dannon Yogurt fortifies both society and the intestines. However the culture in Greek Yogurt, for no apparent reason, causes one to throw dishes.
My favorite nut is a donut
- I like compliments, but be careful what you fish for.
- I’ve got all the thyme in the world. I’ve now cornered the market on that herb. Screw you hedge funds. Any sage advice?
- I’m more interested in celebrity nail clippings than I care to admit. If science makes it possible, maybe someday we can clone a Paul Giamatti or a James Dean (if we can get permission from his estate). Nailed it!
- Feb 2nd. Well for some reason I saw your shadow this morning. Looks like another 6 weeks of non sequiturs.
- I really have nothing to say. No, really. If you stop reading I’ll stop writing.
- Look away and this whole thing can end. Now. But you won’t, or you can’t. Damn it! I can’t quit you either and yet I still got nuthin’ to say.
- Oh face it. I’m nothing without you and you can’t turn away from my nothingness. There’s less here than meets the eye and perhaps that’s why it’s so compelling. I’m writing from the other side. I’m not trying to make a case or engage you and you like that. Don’t you? Yeah, your daddy author knows you alright – I feel you pouring over my words with your eyes. I’m onto something here and you’re a breathless witness to it. Oh man. Now we’re on an adventure. I know it. You know it and somewhere the Hallmark Network knows it too. This thing has become, well….a thing.
- And now I’ve peaked. And I can see the truth. I mean, I’ve peeked and I can see the truth. It’s what you always suspected. It’s just a dream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily.
- Conversely, this. This list is what you’d read if you had nothing to read.
- I’d say we’ve achieved some significant literary closure here – that is, if I had anything to say at all.
- The first words I hope to hear after I die are: “You have arrived!”
- The last words I want to hear are: “When able make a legal U-turn.”
Back in 1982 AD it never crossed my mind that Dustin Hoffman would one day become a Hollywood relic. At that time he was a mercurial Hollywood mega-talent of the highest order – a chameleonic actor who lent off-beat certitude to the myriad characters he embodied. Tootsie had just been released and his body of work prior to that had been fascinatingly varied and searingly memorable. But alas, I must report, he has at long last become an appreciated, but mostly forgotten relic. An 83-year-old amulet of a bygone era when box office stars could carry a movie – when you’d go to the cinema to see the actor and not necessarily the movie. That he has recently been dogged by sexual harassment claims further tarnishes his evaporating status.
Life is so fleeting. One minute you’re delicately trimming your debonair moustache because she likes it neat and tidy, and in the next instance you’re trimming crab grass from your ears because you’re beginning to look like you should be institutionalized. Things change. Sorry Dusty, few are still interested in stories about how during casting calls for Kramer vs Kramer you found chemistry with the adolescent actor who won the part of the little kid (“And then I knew…That’s my guy?”). People little note the happenstance of the gritty, unrehearsed “I’m walkin’ here” street scene from Midnight Cowboy. Like so much celebrity stardust it positively fades into generational obscurity. It’s done. It’s over. I’m bereft.
Strangely, these behind-the-scenes Hollywood stories are preserved in my memory because when I first heard them I thought these anecdotal celebrity tales meant something special and, for whatever reason, I held them close. Wouldn’t they last forever as part of the national memory? Is there even a national repository where such memories are archived? The point is, celebrity anecdotes like these were searingly memorable to me. They were definitive Tinseltown accounts on how somebody got a part, or on how a famous scene evolved, and they were forever preserved in my mental amber. This informed my world and allowed me what I thought was a sure, swift purchase on the prevailing cultural zeitgeist. I wasn’t wrong then, but 40 years hence I think I’m wrong now.
At the risk of sounding too profound, let me just say: the only permanent thing in life is change. And now that I’ve reread that last sentence, I don’t think I ever had to worry about sounding “too profound” …or even “profound” at all. If you’re not a little profound you’re actually lost. Which is where I go to find my deepest profundity – to the Lost and Profound Dept. Anyway this whole “Dustin Hoffman is a relic” thing is more my problem than his. After all, he got to be Dustin Hoffman while I just watched.
And now Billy Crystal and has gotten old – and without anyone’s permission. As of this writing he’s 71 and counting. His relevancy has ebbed. He deserves better. We deserve better. Crystal hosted the Academy Awards 9 times. For me he was the definitive host – a little majesty mixed with unexpected, spot-on humor. It’s true. When he finished an Academy Awards show there were spots on everything (maybe I should leave the humor to him). The SNL “You Rook Mah-velous” schtick was a timeless comedic landmark. Hell, Billie Holliday babysat him and Lew Alcindor and Cassius Clay were his friends (am I dating myself?). Time stops for no man, but it is kind enough to slow down if you’re passing a kidney stone or waiting to give a speech. And while time stops for no man, GameStop’s for no hedge fund.
And don’t get me started on our 75-year-old national treasure: Mr. Steve Martin. You want a stable genius? – thy name is Steve Martin. His protean artistic skills are enviable. And even though he’s not yet going quietly into that dark night, I don’t even want there to be a dark night for him to go into. It would be best if there were no dark nights for Steve…or even for Heath Ledger. And anyway, by definition aren’t all nights dark? And double anyway, I think the Dylan Thomas quote is “Do not go quietly into that good night.” Dark night, good night. I feel so impotent. I wonder if women ever feel impotent. Well that’s another story. Anyway, I love me some Steve. After getting his COVID vaccination he tweeted: “The good news is I got my COVID shot. The bad news is I got it because I’m 75.” Don’t go Steve. Not into any night. Move towards the light and banish the darkness by saying, “Goodnight good night.”
We Secretly Asked 10 Retirees What Their Future Plans Were. One of Them Responded 3 Times. See If You Can Guess Which One.
Duh. Spend as much time as possible watching Hogan’s Heroes. There is no viable alternative. Achtung Baby!
- Sleeping. Napping. Sleeping some more. And then hibernating. In between go on “Pajama Week” binges in my new pillow top bed.
- Obey the folksy surety of Tom Selleck and get reverse mortgages on everything I own. Make Magnum Great Again.
- Pretend to be spending more time with my family, when I’m really spending all my reverse mortgage money at the Indian casino
- Visit car dealerships and do crossword puzzles in the backseat of a nifty showroom model, until they call security
- On second thought, not to spend most of my time watching Hogan’s Heroes, but to spend all of my time watching Hogan’s Heroes. The prisoners running the Camp?…crazy man.
- Visit the graves of Ben Matlock, Perry Mason and Colombo
- Start peppering my vocabulary with age-appropriate words like spry, good days and bad days, tinkering, guff, puttering, early bird specials and back in the day
- Obey Joe Namath and buy Supplemental Medicare Insurance for Part B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I-P and Z. Make Broadway Joe Great Again
- Forget what I said before. I look forward to moving into the light and irrevocably crossing over into a Hogan’s Heroes Heaven where everything goes right because nothing can go wrong.
While this startling discovery was not as crown-shattering as that of King Richard III’s bashed skull found beneath a Leicester parking lot in 2012, the unearthing of 23-year-old Mrs. Prudence Goodheart’s diary during excavations at a London Underground Station has antiquarians salivating in their spittoons. Written on durable vellum, the well-preserved journal was found buried in a sealed chamber pot at Charing Cross Station. The diary dates from 1600 and brims with keen insights into the grimy life and murky times of ante incendium London (before the Great Fire of London in 1665). I’ve taken the liberty of translating the journal from Ye Olde English into Ye New English and its archaic syntax has been updated to make it more readable. For example, Prudence’s antiquated entry of June 15th “With thine own beef I do reject thee” has been modernized to read “I think we should see other people.”
Mrs. Goodheart’s fascinating catalogue of ancient events arouses the imagination and plucks the mystic chords of memory as we survey her clogs-on-the-ground account of London’s early 17th century life. Those souls consigned to that period had to live this life. We pampered readers 400 years hence are privy to it like a fly on the wall; or perhaps more time-appropriately, like a louse on the scalp. The diary’s unique window on this hoary world animates the sights, smells and customs of the Olde World in ways that make one appreciate the abundant privilege of this age. With its unburnished, firsthand accounts, the journal captures the zeitgeist of the period. It then releases this zeitgeist on its own recognizance and parades it around for everyone to see and enjoy. Who doesn’t love a parade?
Do we identify with these historic events through some kind of morphic resonance drawn from the collective unconscious? Or is our interest more prosaic – a simple curiosity in old timey affairs told in the first person? The main take away at this point is that you’re still reading this. And if you continue we will commence on a profitable frolic where I do the driving and you can sit comfortably in the passenger seat, drinking in the countryside and whatever hipster beverage is in your stainless-steel hydration flask. So buckle up and enjoy history’s histrionics. And remember, with me doing the driving, there’ll be one extra air bag in the vehicle. Read the rest of this entry »