It’s out with the old and in with the new around my home office this week, time to clean out the old in-box and toss collected column ideas that never quite made it to print.
Here are some of the columns you missed (or luckily avoided, as the case may be):
Item 1 – Who said Philosophy Isn’t Funny? Jean-Paul Sartre walks into a café in Paris. The one waitress on duty is busy with a table of nihilists ordering burnt toast, preferably blackened by the unquenchable fires of hell. The waitress arrives at Sartre’s table and takes his order. Sartre asks for coffee without cream. The waitress said, “Monsieur Sartre, I’m so sorry. We are out of cream today.” “All right then,” Sartre said. “I’ll have it without milk instead.”
Item 2 – Speaking of Burned Toast, Finally a Museum to Honor Mom. The Burnt Food Museum, an online series of photo exhibits depicting incinerated comestibles like a “thrice-baked potato” and a microwave-seared quiche, is offering a souvenir apron that features a photo of apple cider so burned that it stands on its own, unsupported by a mug.
Item 3 – It’s Only Words. Each year the Washington Post hosts a contest in which readers are asked to take a common word and supply an alternative definition for it. Examples of winning entrants include: Coffee (n.) the person upon whom one coughs; Abdicate (v.) to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach; Lymph (v.) to walk with a lisp; Gargoyle (n.) olive flavored mouthwash; Balderdash (n.) a rapidly receding hairline.
The Post also asks its readers to take a word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter, and then supply a new definition for the resulting word, such as: Bozone (n.) the substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from entering; Cashtration (n.) the act of buying a house or car, thus rendering yourself financially impotent for the foreseeable future; Girafiti (n.) vandalism sprayed very, very high; Sarchasm (n.) the gulf between the author of a sarcastic comment and the person who doesn’t get it; Inoculatte (v.) to take coffee intravenously when you are running late; Hipatitus (n.) terminal coolness; Osteopornosis (n.) a degenerate disease; Glibido (n.) all talk and no action; Dopeler effect (n.) the tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly; Karmageddon (n.) it’s like, when everybody is sending off these really bad vibes, right, and then, like, the Earth explodes, and it’s like, really a bummer.
Item 4 – Apropos of Nothing. Frank Zappa, John Denver and Jerry Garcia all died when they were 53 years old. Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Hank Williams, and legendary blues guitarist Robert Johnson were all 27 when they died. Barry Manilow, Elton John and Cher are all still alive.
Item 5 – From the Rivers of Babylon. Jeff Rigo, a 30-year-old engineer from Pittsburgh, stepped out of his shower and noticed that a water leak had produced an image of Jesus on a section of his bathroom wall. Rigo immediately offered up the sanctified plaster on eBay where the bidding started and ended at $2,000. A photograph of the holy water stain shows an undeniable resemblance to the popular image of Jesus. The relatively low bidding was apparently influenced by the large number of viewers who claimed that the image more closely resembled Shakespeare, Kris Kristofferson, Charles Manson, Cat Stevens, Frank Zappa, Johnny Damon or Rasputin, the Mad Monk, among others. So far, the Vatican has been strangely silent on the story.
Item 6: Jazz great Charles Mingus wrote a song called “ll The Things You Could Be By Now If Sigmund Freud’s Wife Was Your Mother.”
Item 7: We are remembered for the totality of our greatest accomplishments, but we are defined by our greatest failures. Discuss.
Item 8: H.L Mencken said: “Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.” Don’t discuss, at least not in front of me.
Final Item: The Flat Earth Society recently announced that it had signed up members from all over the globe.
Tom Tyner of Bainbridge Island writes a monthly humor column for this newspaper.