December 17, 2017

  • Call Waiting

    When I answered the phone the other day a woman asked to speak to “B Marks.” I knew this was not a social call because only two people in the world refer to me as “B,” and I knew this wasn’t “F” or “L.” I thought, “This person must have gotten my name from the phone book.” I answered, “I be B.” She said, “Hi, this is Melissa from the local phone company, how are you today?” Even though she asked, I could tell she really was not interested when I told her about how the cold and damp weather…

  • Words are the Horses a Writer Rides

    Just as a jockey wonders about and studies horses, so should a writer study words; for words are the horses a writer rides. Language that was perfectly acceptable a couple of hundred years ago has fallen into disuse and I wonder why. Take the word thither for example. I will never have the opportunity to say, “I shall hasten thither to the Seven-eleven for a Slurpee.” I suppose the reason is that all too often it comes out: “I thall hasten thither to the theven-eleven for a thlurpee,” but that’s not reason enough to kill off a perfectly good word…

  • The Common Man Behind the Curtain

    What comes to mind when you think of a winery? It’s probably a picturesque property covered with vines, a sophisticated tasting room that pours the range of wines, maybe a few knick-knacks, and that mysterious cellar you can get invites to if you’re a member of the club or there’s a special event. That or it’s something quaint and rustic with not much fancy decor, but still a good bit of tourist charm. The world looks a little different when you’re on the other side of the tasting room table, though. When I tour a winery, I usually go where…

  • Business Opportunities!

    Listen to the radio and you have to be impressed with how many business opportunities are out there. There seems to be no end to the sure-fire schemes people are hawking on the air waves. Let’s face it. How good can it really be if the people promoting it have to beg you to get started? Do you really want to squander your life savings on a phone card business? How about stuffing envelopes? Wow! Medical billing. There’s an exciting and lucrative career. I, on the other hand, have come up with a system that CAN’T FAIL! What do successful…

  • That “Crushing” Feeling

    Currently, there’s just one thing on every winery’s mind – and that is the harvest, a.k.a. “the crush.” This is the time of year that vineyard managers and winemakers start running around their fields checking, double checking, and triple checking the ripeness of their grapes, waiting for the perfect time to pick the crop and make the season’s wines. You watch the weather forecasts, worry about having everything ready for action in the cellar, and on top of it all have to make room by getting the previous vintages still in the cellar finally bottled. Depending on the size of…

FEATURED WORLD EDITION

Top 10 Signs You Were Too Old to Trick or Treat

May 12, 2016

10. You got winded from knocking on the door. 9. You had to have another kid chew the candy for you. 8. You asked for high fiber candy only. 7. When someone dropped a candy bar in your bag, you lost your balance and fell over. 6. People said, “Great Boris Karloff Mask,” and you weren’t even wearing a mask. 5. When the door opened you yelled, “Trick or…..” and couldn’t remember the rest. 4. By the end of the night, you had a bag full of restraining orders. 3. You had to carefully choose a costume that wouldn’t dislodge…

No Girls Allowed

May 12, 2016

I’ve always been a skeptic when They cried, “Conspiracy!” But, lately, it’s apparent that They’re ganging up on me! Not lobbyists, or lawyers, or Republicans, or gripes. I’m talking about plumbers and The placement of their pipes. Or, maybe, it’s the architects Who all are growing taller, And simply draw the men’s room plans That plumbers all must foller. At any rate, I’m 5 foot 5″ A Lilliputian prince And when I use a public john It makes my ego wince. The plumbing has ascended far Above my dignity: The fellow with the kiddy stool Is more than likely me!…

Out-of-work US Citizens

May 12, 2016

Excentric World staff members take a look at empty offices, vulture capitalists’ answer to inflation. The job of the person who used to sit at this cubicle has been shipped to India. For just a few rupees, corporations can hire apologetic technical help to assist Americans with questions about their computer products. Out-of-work U.S. citizens are considering training in speaking with an accent and apologizing for your difficulty.   Related posts: Yard Work! Financial Struggle The Italian Pasta Diet Americans with No Abilities Act Passes

On Marriage

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “A married man should forget his mistakes; no use two people remembering the same thing.” — Duane Dewel “In olden times, sacrifices were made at the altar, a practice that still continues.” — Helen Rowland “Eighty percent of married men cheat in America. The rest cheat in Europe.” — Jackie Mason “Marriage is like putting your hand into a…

Every Vote Was Counted

May 12, 2016

While looking at a house, my brother asked the real state agent which direction was North because, he explained, he didn’t want the sun waking him. She asked, “Does the sun rise in the North?” When another person explained that the sun rises in the East (and has for some time), she shook her head and said, “Oh, I don’t keep up with that stuff.” And then she voted! I used to work in technical support for a 24/7 call center. One day I got a call from an individual who asked what hours the call center was open. I…

Biggest Task in America

May 12, 2016

ECONOMIC RECOVERY NEWS: Economists say that when the dollar is weak, meaning it’s losing value compared to other currencies, one benefit is that more American products can be sold overseas. Now, the biggest task for American manufacturers is to find a way to sell more products in America. EDUCATION NEWS: The latest trend in modern education is tutoring 2 and 3-year-olds for preschool. Next will come surrogate potty training followed by substitute breast feeding. END OF THE WORLD NEWS: According to Harvard University scientists, a dying star lurking dangerously close to Earth is on the brink of exploding into a…

Lesser Known November Holidays

May 12, 2016

November 1. . .Plan Your Epitaph Day November 2. . .National Deviled Egg Day November 3. . .Sandwich Day and Housewife’s Day November 4. . .Waiting For The Barbarians Day November 5. . .Gunpowder Day November 6. . . Saxophone Day and Marooned Without A Compass Day November 7. . . National Bittersweet Chocolate With Almonds Day November 8. . . Dunce Day November 9. . . Chaos Never Dies Day November 10 . . Forget-Me-Not Day November 11 . . Air Day November 12 . . National Pizza With The Works Except Anchovies Day November 13 . . National…

New Toys

May 12, 2016

While the toy recalls mount through the ceiling, Sending outsourcing importers reeling, And Barbie’s lead paint Causes Elmo to faint, While the Easy Bake Oven is peeling, There’s an old fashioned movement re-starting, Causing Wal-Mart and Cosco some smarting, ‘Cuz without Einstein Blocks To stuff in kids’ socks, Toys R Us, from their profits, is parting. They are words often spoken by mothers, And repeated by grandmas and others, Fisher Price is appalled ‘Cuz they can’t be recalled: “Just go play with your sisters and brothers!” Related posts: Ask Kids about Mom and Dad On Board Computers The Sun Mystery

The Sport of Torero Goring

May 12, 2016

Excentric World staff members take a look at the sport of Torero Goring. The rules of this new sport include a brightly dressed human armed with a cape and a sword. Thrust into an arena, the human’s goal will be to tease a large, agitated bull with the cape and, after a number of passes and close calls to the cheering and jeering of the stadium audience, the matador stabs the bull for no apparent reason other than to kill him. If he misses the spot aimed to disable the bull, the bull is finally able to use tools given…

The Universe

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man does not have to experience it.” — Max Frisch “The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.” — Kilgore Trout “I’m astounded by people who want to know the universe when it’s hard enough to find your way around Chinatown.” — Woody Allen “In the beginning,…

Sex Equals Happiness

May 12, 2016

JOB SATISFACTION NEWS: According to scientists in England, leaders in the field of “happiness economics,” increasing sex frequency in marriage from once a month to weekly provides as much happiness as a $50,000 a year raise. Also, a lasting marriage is the equivalent of $100,000 annually. So, if you spend too much time at the office trying to get a raise, you’re better off leaving early and doing business with your spouse. STATISTICAL NEWS: A new study shows that about 42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot, with a margin of error of around + or –…

Lesser Known October Holidays

May 12, 2016

October 1 is World Vegetarian Day and Magic Circles Day October 2 is Name Your Car Day October 3 is Virus Appreciation Day, Techies Day October 4 is National Golf Day October 5 is National Storytelling Festival, Do Something Nice Day October 6 is German-American Day, Come and Take It Day October 7 is National Frappe Day, National Frugal Fun Day October 8 is American Tag Day October 9 is Moldy Cheese Day, Curious Events Day October 10 is National Angel Food Cake Day October 11 is It’s My Party Day October 12 is International Moment Of Frustration Scream Day…

Homeward Drowned

May 12, 2016

They say that you cannot go home— You never can go back! I’m here to take exception, and Encourage you to pack Your grip, and quit your worthless job, And terminate your lease, And drag your furniture outdoors, And burn it, piece by piece, And call the Postal Service, and Exterminate your mail, And cancel all your credit cards, And don’t forget to fail To call the county coroner, And tell him that you’re dead, But not to pick your carcass up— You’re going home, instead! And, when your bus pulls into town, Prepare to be bereft: Because, in twenty…

Laughter

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.” — Carl Sagan “Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than…

Wife Carrying Champion

May 12, 2016

SPORTING NEWS: John Farra, a former Olympic skier, won the North American Wife Carrying Championship at Sunday River, Maine last month. His first-place finish earned him and his 110-pound wife Tess her weight in beer and five times her weight in cash, or $550. Sedona considered such an event, but found no man who could lift his wife, never mind carry her. MORE SPORTING NEWS: A 62-year-old retired accountant from Nevada swallowed 247 peppers in eight minutes to win the Jalapeno Eating World Championship at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas. Richard LeFevre won $2,000 for prevailing in the…

Lesser Known September Holidays

May 12, 2016

September 1 is … Emma M. Nutt Day September 2 is … National Beheading Day September 3 is … Skyscraper Day September 4 is … Newspaper Carrier Day September 5 is … Be Late For Something Day September 6 is … Fight Procrastination Day September 7 is … Neither Rain Nor Snow Day September 8 is … National Date Nut Bread Day and Pardon Day September 9 is … Teddy Bear Day September 10 is … Swap Ideas Day September 11 is … No News Is Good News Day September 12 is … National Pet Memorial Day/ Chocolate Milkshake Day September 13 is … Defy Superstition Day September 14 is … National Cream-filled Donut…

Terrorism Creativity

May 12, 2016

TERRORISM CREATIVITY NEWS: The chairman of the Judiciary subcommittee on terrorism, technology and homeland security, said that terrorists could unleash electromagnetic bombs that would damage our vital electrical systems. He warned that an e-bomb attack could devastate the nation. This warning will create a nation of chaos with massive panic among Americans unless they realize that terrorists can’t create imaginary weapons as fast as we can create imaginary defenses against them. EDUCATION NEWS: Students at an Ivy League university were asked to write an essay that contained four subjects: religion, royalty, sex and mystery. The student who got an A+ wrote…

Laser Achievement

May 12, 2016

NUCLEAR DEFENSE NEWS: The U.S. Air Force has tested an infrared chemical laser meant to shoot down launch-phase enemy missiles from a modified 747 airliner. The test wasn’t airborne; it was in a hangar at Edwards Air Force Base, and it didn’t actually shoot anything down, but one of the contractors said it was an exceptional achievement. The project has been in progress since before 1988 when Dr. Angelo Codevilla, a staff member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, declared the chemical laser ready to deploy. BANK ROBBERY NEWS: Thieves responsible for the $42 million heist in Belfast,…

On Age

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “The real menace in dealing with a five-year-old is that in no time at all you begin to sound like a five-year-old.” — Jean Kerr “The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.” — H. L. Mencken “We are always the same age inside.” — Gertrude Stein “It’s not catastrophes,…

Raising the Retirement Age

May 12, 2016

Excentric World staff members look at the potential results of raising the retirement age. Not only are businesses not hiring new college graduates, but seniors who don’t qualify for a gig at Wal-Mart or McDonald’s are left to their imaginations. This octogenarian (Billy) who once swung in a swing band gathered instruments from garage sales and hit the streets, performing songs from better times. Born during the Great Depression, he recalled his parents working up to their retirement years. With everyone living longer, he was forced to supplement his Social Security to pay for his parents’ nursing home bills. Billy’s…

Intelligence and Intellect

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn’t.” — Emerson M. Pugh “Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson “We’ve all met people who are supposedly incredibly intelligent but don’t know which way…

Ask Kids about Mom and Dad

May 12, 2016

Why did God make mothers? 1. She’s the only one who knows where the scotch tape is. 2. Mostly to clean the house. 3. To help us out of there when we were getting born. How did God make mothers? 1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us. 2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring. 3. God made my mom the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts. What ingredients are mothers made of? 1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and…

Side Effects

May 12, 2016

PRESCRIPTION NEWS: People suffering from chronic headaches, nausea, diarrhea, gas or dizziness may finally find relief in a medical cure-all. The only drawbacks of the new pill, available only by prescription, are the side effects: headaches, nausea, diarrhea, gas or dizziness. LAW ENFORCEMENT NEWS: A thirty-year-old Arizona lottery winner has been convicted of a felony and sentenced to 10 years in state prison or 1 day a week for 70 years. ENTREPRENEURIAL NEWS: Due to the fact that their machines only accept quarters, coin-operated laundries, car washes and amusement devices in Utah were forced to raise prices from $1.25 to…

On Wisdom

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj?un), n. [origin unknown]  1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man.  2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him how to fish and you get rid of him all weekend.” — Zenna Schaffer “How to make a million dollars: First, get a million dollars.” — Steve Martin “Why don’t they make the whole plane out of that black box stuff.” — Steven Wright…

Cheeky Creations

May 12, 2016

CRACK NEWS: Outside of class and under an alter ego, the self-proclaimed artist, Stephen Murmer, a fun, popular art teacher, creates floral and abstract art by plastering his posterior and genitals with paint and pressing them against canvas. His cheeky creations sell for hundreds of dollars. This has not gone over well with Chesterfield County school officials, who placed him on administrative leave from his job in Richmond, VA. Monacan High could soon be the butt of many jokes. SPACE NEWS: Using a gold-plated 6-iron, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin hit a golf ball into orbit from a platform on the…

Astrology for the Weak

Horoscopes for November 17-23, 2013

CAPRICORN (January 19 – February 16) There is a whole lot of excitement happening in your life in November. Or, perhaps there’s emotional turmoil in your immediate vicinity. Hard to tell which. AQUARIUS (February 16 – March 11) You need a party, even if you have to throw one yourself. Your social energy is great and you need others to help you develop your little inner party self. Yippee. PISCES (March 20 – April 18) If you’re going out on the town this month, try a lecture, art event or the theater. Not that this is your kind of entertainment,…

Horoscopes for November 10-16, 2013

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) This month, you’ll need peace and quiet to think clearly. So, much like Thoreau, you’ll head out into the woods. You will solve the falling tree conundrum. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) If there’s anyone to whom you have felt attracted, this is the time to move in. You’ll appear as the most tantalizing person around, especially if trapped in an elevator. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) Use your artistic nature and love of beauty and harmony to inspire others to put away their differences. If that fails, crack the whip. Leave the…

Horoscopes for November 3-9, 2013

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) You will overhear people talking about you today. They say you are a real buff, hot, techno-muffin. Later you will discover they were talking about someone else. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) You’ll be in an accelerated mode this November. Instead of the normal day late and a dollar short, you’ll somehow manage be a total no-show and flat broke. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will stumble over an oddly shaped rock while on a hike in a remote part of Sedona. A psychic had told you good fortune was on the…

Horoscopes for October 27-November 2, 2013

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) This is not a good time to change your diet. The economy just can’t take the shock of the closing of yet another all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) November is the month for watching football, family gatherings, big meals, raking leaves and dragging winter clothes out of mothballs. Spring will be here soon. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) Just when you think your luck has changed, you get a letter explaining the all expenses paid luxury vacation for two weeks to New Orleans expires in two weeks. CANCER (June 21…

Horoscopes for October 13-19, 2013

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) After constantly being rejected by members of any sex, you decide to call one of those 900 phone sex lines and will be told, “Sorry, I’m just not in the mood.” TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) Concerned with your weight gain and lack of energy, you will become a vegetarian, only to learn that vegetarian is an old Indian word for “crappy hunter.” GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) Your ship will finally come in this month. Unfortunately, it’s cargo will be one of the six percent checked by Port Authority and confiscated as…

Horoscopes for October 6-12, 2013

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) Halloween pranks start early. You’ll find scary things happening around you this month. The first will be a stinky toilet apparition who laughs when you sit down. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) October is more than a little spooky. With the discovery of Sedna, the new alignment of the planets show you being attacked by a deranged animated leaf blower. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You would still be having one the best times of your life this month if it weren’t for the sighting of that tenth planet in our solar system….

Horoscopes for September 15-21, 2013

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) You tell your family that you are going to take up repelling. They don’t know repelling from rocks and dismiss your announcement as a continuation of your being repulsive. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) You’ll invent an amazing product called D-Tails that could vastly improve life. Unfortunately, rumors spread that the devil’s in the D-Tails and it fizzles out. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will rush across the country when you hear of a discovery of the fountain of youth. You’ll be disappointed to find it is just another concrete peeing boy….

Horoscopes for September 8-14, 2013

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) You have to choose between the Road Runner and Wiley Coyote. If you could only be one, which one would you be? Yes, you get to keep the ACME gadgets. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) This month you’ll answer the phone to a prankster that says your mate has lost their job and has been cheating on you. Unknowingly, you admit to the same vices. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will fake an illness just to get attention. It’ll be remarkably successful. You’ll get attention from the doctor, your boss, your insurance…