Funny Times, January and February 2009

January 2009

January 2009

February 2009

February 2009

The only thing I want to note about either of the first two issues of The Funny Times for 2009 is a cartoon in four panels.  It’s not available for embedding, so I have to describe it.  Titled “The Stages of Idealism,” panel one shows a man with his head obscured by clouds.  Panel two, he’s bending over, his head buried in sand.  Panel three, he’s standing, his head up his rear end.  Panel four, his head is on a platter.

Funny Times, December 2008

currentcover_small0812I’ve never objected to corny jokes, and this issue includes quite a few.  The corniest are to be found in Richard Lederer‘s “Blessed be the Children,” a collection drawn from his “Revenge of Anguished English” of startling things children have said about religious topics.  Some of the funniest:

A teacher was explaining the story of Noah and his ark to her young students.  She asked the class if they thought Noah did a lot of fishing during the Flood.  “No,” said a bright boy, “he only had two worms.” 

A woman was trying hard to get the catsup to come out of the jar.  During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her four year old daughter to answer it.  “It’s the minister, Mommy,” the child said to her mother.  Then she added, “Mommy can’t come to the phone right now.  She’s hitting the bottle.”

A friend of mine took her four year old daughter to a baptismal service at her church.  Later that night, her daughter took all of her dolls into the bathtub with her and held her own “baptism.”  As she dunked each doll under the water, she repeated, “Now I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and hold your nose.” 

These may be true stories, they may not be.  It scarcely matters.  One case where it does make a difference is the first item on the list:

A little boy’s prayer: “Dear God, please take care of my daddy and my mommy and my sister and my brother and my doggy and me.  Oh, and please take care of yourself, God.  If anything happens to you, we’re gonnabe in big trouble.”

If you actually heard a little boy saying this prayer, it would be very funny.  But it sounds so much like a joke a preacher would make up to open a sermon that the phoniness gets in the way of the laugh. 

Jon Winokur’s “Curmudgeon” column has some good quotes on the topic of work.  Robert Benchley: “Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to bedoing at the moment.”  Benchley made this claim decades ago, but in the last 12 years the world’s bloggers have established the truth of it beyond doubt.  Don Marquis: “When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him ‘Whose?'”  Well, ask away- I doubt you’ll get much of an answer.  Robert Frost: “By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be the boss and work twelve hours a day.”  Lane Kirkland: “If hard work were such a wonderful thing, surely the rich would have kept it all to themselves.” 


Funny Times, November 2008

Many columns and cartoons this month ridiculing Wall Street and its enablers in Washington for the financial meltdown and the bailout that followed.  The “Minister of the Treasury of the Republic of America” joke email is included.

“Curmudgeon” gives a series of quotes about gluttony, fatness, and dieting.  The best is a line from P. G. Wodehouse: “She looked as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say ‘when.'”

Keith Knight asks how the corporate media would treat Sarah Palin if she were black anda Democrat.  Here’s his scenario:

The Funny Times, October 2008

This month, Dave Barry goes to the Olympics, where he finds American reporters and tourists eating things like fried scorpions and sheep-penis-on-a-stick.  Meanwhile, every actual Chinese he sees is eating fresh fruit and roast lamb.  Curmudgeon quotes witty remarks about gossip, including my favorite, Alice Roosevelt Longworth’s first rule of socializing: “If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anyone, sit right here by me.”  News of the Weird describes accomodations High Point University in North Carolina offers its undergrads, accomodations so luxurious (hot tubs, concierge service, etc) that the school has come to be known as “Club Ed.”  Garrison Keillor recommends that all our leaders do as he has done and undergo Japanese spa treatments, so that they will learn that as wet naked people they are essentially indistinguishable from the rest of the world’s wet naked people.  Planet Proctor quotes an oldie-but-goodie:

We’ll begin with box, and the plural is boxes,

But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.

One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,

Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,

Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,

Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?

If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,

And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?

If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,

Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,

Yet hat in the plural would never be hose

And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.

We speak of brother and also of brethren,

But though we say mother, we never say methren.

Then the masculine pronouns are he, his, and him,

But imagine the feminine: she, shis, and shim?

Funny Times, June 2008/ July 2008

A couple of notable bits in these two issues-

June- Lenore Skenazy, founder of Free Range Kids (  explains “Why I let my 9-year-old ride the subway alone.”  Apparently lots of horrified parents demanded to know how she would feel if her son were abducted while out alone in the city.  She told them about statistics showing how safe NYC is these days, and how rare child-abduction is.  I couldn’t help but wonder which is less rare, abduction of children out on their own or violent home invasions.  For all I know the kid might face less danger of attack by strangers while wandering alone through Alphabet City than he would sitting in his own living room.   The column is funny, and so doesn’t treat that question. 

July- Dave Maleckar’s “100 Word Rant” is titled “brain brain what is brain”- some guys over 35 will recognize the reference (