February 1, 2023

An American Driver in Canada

I’m a good enough driver when I’m in familiar surroundings, but I’ll freely admit that I always seem to be in the wrong lane or fifty feet past my exit when driving in a strange city. If I’m driving a strange car, it just adds to the excitement. During one of our vacations, we flew to Seattle, rented a car, drove to Vancouver (that’s in Canada), and caught a ship for Alaska (that’s back in the United States). A trip of that length is fraught with hazards. The first thing I learned is that rental car companies try to trick…

On the Refrigerator Door

Dear Dogs and Cats, The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate of food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest. The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn’t help because I fall faster than you can run. I cannot buy anything bigger than a king-sized bed. I am…

Big Bird Protests

The Excentric World Really Big Story staff take a close look at the most recent protest to flare up at a university in the United States. On the heels of the election and the debates, characters from Sesame Street hit the streets to alert Congress that they won’t stand around like puppets on a string while federal funding is slashed so millionaires can keep more of their ill-gotten booty. Statistics show that children who watch Public Television grow up displaying a higher aptitude than those who are confined to sugar coated cereal sponsored cartoons–unless the cartoons were from the varietal works…

Shameless Brother

Dear Frankly, My mother lives on Social Security and has very little savings left since Dad died last year. I manage her affairs, and encourage her to save for emergencies. The problem is my 38-year-old brother. He can’t keep a job and is burning through the little bit of savings she has. It has reached the point that Mom is now hiding food in her own house so she’ll have something to eat. Any advice on how to deal with my brother? Bothered Brother Dear Bothered, Are you aware of interventions? I suggest you have a family gathering, perhaps a…

Gossip

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. “None are so fond of secrets as those who do not mean to keep them.” — Charles Caleb Colton “Even doubtful accusations leave a stain behind them.” — Thomas Fuller “Gossip is always a personal confession either of malice or imbecility.” — Josiah Gilbert Holland “What people say behind your back is your standing in the community.” —…

Trailer Haunted by Ghosts from a Nearby Graveyard

Q: I read that while shooting his latest film ‘Dog Fight’ in New Orleans, Will Ferrell reported hearing sounds in his trailer. After security cleared the trailer, Ferrell returned only to hear noises coming from the bathroom. Eerie, rattling noises forced the actor the declare the trailer was haunted by ghosts from a nearby graveyard. He returned to the set after producers brought in a new trailer. Why do you think ghosts would taunt Will Ferrell? A: My guess is that the ghosts may have been film critics that had seen some of his movies.   Q: In a recent…

Why You Should Vote . . .

OUT OF CLOSET INTO JAIL NEWS: Uganda’s parliamentary speaker said she wanted to pass as a “Christmas gift” for Ugandans an anti-gay law, which rights groups have criticized for its draconian penalties against homosexuals. The bill had initially proposed the death penalty for gays in the conservative east African country but still presents an array of jail terms for convicted homosexuals, including life imprisonment in certain circumstances. With 60% of Ugandans being Catholic, everyone is nervous. SUPREME VOTING RIGHTS NEWS: The world’s greatest democracy was laden with long lines, misinformation and voter suppression during the 2012 elections. It proved to…

Horoscopes for December 9-15, 2012

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) This month, melodramatic complications can come from people close to you. It would be best to keep your distance, or wear one of those surgical mask thingies. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) You may feel as though it is impossible to combine your desires with what is good for you. You know – if it’s fattening, looks good or feels good, you can’t have it. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You decked your halls, sang carols door-to-door, gave away cookies to friends and co-workers. All that’s left is to smile when you unwrap…

The Sunday Paper

Ahhhh, Sunday. The day of rest. The day of relaxation. The day of exhaustion. From the newspaper. Let’s hear it for the Sunday paper. An institution that’s as American as apple pie and baseball. Sunday just wouldn’t be Sunday without a hearty breakfast and the Sunday paper. It offers stimulation for the mind, delight for the eyes, tantalizing recipes for the home cook and aerobic exercise for the lucky family member whose job it is to go out to the street to retrieve it. In our house that’s me. All efforts to get my wife or my cat, Buckshot, to…

More Thoughts To Ponder–Or Not!

I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes. Gardening Rule: When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement. Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway. There are two kinds of pedestrians: the quick and the dead. Health is merely the slowest possible rate at…

Laws of the Universe

Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch or you’ll have to pee. Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner. Law of Probability: The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act. Law of the Telephone: Dial a wrong number; you never get a busy signal. Law of the Alibi: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire. Variation Law: If…

Long Live Snail Mail

If you receive an email on your computer entitled “Bedtimes” then delete it immediately. Do not open it. Apparently, this one is pretty nasty. It will not only erase everything on your hard drive, but it will also delete anything on disks within 20 feet of your computer. It demagnetizes the stripes on ALL of your credit cards. It re-programs your ATM access code, screws up the tracking on your VCR and uses subspace field harmonics to scratch any CDs you attempt to play. It will program your phone auto dial to call only 900 numbers. This virus will mix antifreeze into your fish tank….

Which Witch Will Twitch?

An Excentric World undercover reporter was recently dispatched to infiltrate the committee responsible for privatization of National Parks. To maintain his cover, photos had to be taken at night. Most park facilities include a visitors center, classrooms, theaters, gift shops, picnic tables, developed trails, restrooms and group areas with ramadas and facilities, some used for weddings. When revenue data was plugged in from the parks that included concessions, the computer hard drive fried. Danger, Will Robinson. by Blodwyn Smythe, Sedona’s Virtual Reporter SEDONA, AZ: Not too long ago, the Romanian government passed a witch tax. The tax levies a duty…

The Beer That Conquered the World

What image comes to your mind when I say beer? Is it the dark, inky, black body and creamy white head of Guinness? Is it the cloudy, opaque appearance and creamsicle hue of a hefeweizen? Most likely it’s a beer with a light straw color and bright clarity similar to a Pilsner, as roughly 9 out of every 10 beers brewed and consumed in the world is an imitation of this Czech standard. How did this beer come into being and make its way around the globe to be imitated by brewers worldwide? Let’s go to the town of Plzen and…

The Issue of Sending Holiday Cards

The issue of sending holiday cards has always presented a dilemma. Each year you have to decide whether or not to send a card to so-and-so because the cards have become more expensive, postage rates have gone up, and the list of potential recipients has grown exponentially. No matter how many cards (or letters) you send, you always forget somebody or you receive a card from someone you took off your list. It never fails, as you are walking back from the mailbox looking at return addresses, that you realize, “I never sent them a card.” And have you noticed…

Horoscopes for December 2-8, 2012

CAPRICORN (January 19 – February 16) You’re an activator, an instigator, maybe even an agitator trying to convince a certain someone that your way’s the best way. Unfortunately, they’re not buying it. AQUARIUS (February 16 – March 11) You’re hoping to celebrate as you work to expand your mind. Sadly, your waistline is expanding at a more rapid rate, holding your mind hostage on the couch. PISCES (March 20 – April 18) Your hopes and desires come into play this December — and the stars favor a risk. Stand under the mistletoe at work until someone comes along who will…

New Living Will!

I, __________________________, being of sound mind and body, do not wish to be kept alive indefinitely by artificial means. Under no circumstances should my fate be put in the hands of pinhead politicians who couldn’t pass ninth-grade biology if their lives depended on it or lawyers/doctors interested in simply running up the bills. If a reasonable amount of time passes and I fail to ask for at least one of the following: ______A Bloody Mary ______A Margarita ______A Scotch and Soda ______A Martini ______A Vodka and Tonic ______A Steak ______Lobster or Crab Legs ______The Remote Control ______A Bowl of Ice Cream ______The Sports…

Slam Dunk

DOUBLE DUH NEWS: Harvey Miller, 43, a paraplegic, and Edwin Marzinske, 55, both from Wisconsin, were recently charged with drunken driving the same vehicle simultaneously. They were clocked doing 35 mph in a 55 zone. Miller, working the steering blew 0.16 and Marzinske, working the gas and brakes, blew 0.09. They were planning to defend themselves. Perhaps Miller will open and close and Marzinske will cross examine. A slam dunk. UNDERCOVER PLANT NEWS: Two of Maine’s brightest, Travis Child and Jeremy Belskis, both 20, were arrested after they’d seen a pickup with marijuana plants in the back being used by…

Shadows on a Cave Wall

Sitting in a semi-lotus position on hard stones, Plato watched flickering shadows cavort on the cave wall. He had the bemused look of someone who was confident the shadows weren’t real in any meaningful sense. They were there for a moment’s fleeting entertainment, pale imitations of essences he was sure existed. Plato chuckled at the foolishness of people who spent time–often an entire life–measuring, dissecting and building with the puny tools of reason foisted on them by Aristotle and his ilk. They took appearances made of shadow matter–so much fairy dust–entirely too seriously. Thinking about the meaning of the ideal and the real and…

Efforts to Save on Rising Fuel Costs

Excentric World staff members take a look at Americans’ efforts to save on rising fuel costs. This motorist is a prime example of why you may not want to trade in that gas guzzling truck for a fuel saving compact. While the forklift operator argued that the vehicle could not withstand the weight of the load the homeowner ordered, the driver insisted his car had no problem carrying his order home. Judging by the photograph, the driver misjudged his car’s hauling capabilities by just a bit. The forklift driver, who snapped this picture, said the car’s axle had broken and…

Mysterious Flash of Light Occurred on Live Television

Q: A mysterious flash of light occurred on live television in Phoenix, Arizona during a morning newscast on Thursday, March 8. The light flash appeared during a traffic update on local Fox affiliate Fox 10. Anchor Andrea Robinson delivered the traffic report in front of a live video feed from a camera showing Phoenix’s 1-17 freeway and the northwest valley. The bright flash happened quickly, but the station certainly noticed. Utility companies denied any power anomaly. Any idea what caused the flash? A: Since it was on FOX, the president will most likely be blamed.   Q: I read an…

Horoscopes for November 25-December 1, 2012

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) This month, take into account what’s going on in your partner’s life, and don’t get too mad. Try to think about how you’d react if you had to put up with you. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) Your life will become so fast-paced that you pass by opportunities never noticing that they were even there. Funny, usually it’s opportunities passing you by. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) Later this month, after days of working like crazy, you’ll be the happy recipient of some wonderful attention from the person you love most in the…

Ask Kids about Parents

Why did your Mom marry your Dad? 1. My Dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot. 2. She got too old to do anything else with him. 3. My grandma says that Mom didn’t have her thinking cap on. Who’s the boss at your house? 1. Mom doesn’t want to be boss, but she has to cuz dad’s such a goof ball. 2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed. 3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than…

28 Thoughts to Ponder–Or Not!

1. My husband and I divorced over religion. He thought he was God and I didn’t. 2. I don’t suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it. 3. I work hard because millions on welfare depend on me! 4. Some people are alive only because it’s illegal to kill them. 5. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke. 6. Don’t take life too seriously; no one gets out alive. 7. You’re just jealous because the voices only talk to me. 8. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder. 9. Earth is the insane…

Words Women Use

“FINE.” This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up. “FIVE MINUTES.” If she is getting dressed, this is half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given 5 more minutes to watch the ball game before helping around the house. “NOTHING.” This is the calm before the storm. This means “something,” and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with “Nothing” usually end in “Fine.” “GO AHEAD!” This is a dare, not permission. Don’t do it! <LOUD SIGH> This is not actually…

Drinking on the Dark Side

I’m going to tack in a different direction and discuss that malty cousin to wine, also known as beer. Some people may wonder what a wine column is doing discussing beer. In truth, I think of my musings as an equal opportunity chance to highlight all tasty beverages of the adult persuasion. Besides, those that know the wine industry are familiar with the cliché, “It takes a lot of beer to make great wine.” And this is the best time of year for beer. The fall and winter months bring the return of all the tasty seasonals that warm you…

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s that time of year when we give thanks for all the blessings heaped upon us in the past and reflect upon that which we wish for the future. First, let us give thanks. We are thankful that we have been productive enough to be able to feed our dogs on time (or close to it) so they have not turned upon us and ripped our throats out in retaliation for an empty food dish. We are thankful that none of our friends have demanded photographic proof of the existence of “the big one that got away.” We are thankful…

Horoscopes for November 18-24, 2012

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) Getting your way will come easier this month. Asking people to comply by threatening to release your ferret up their pants leg seems to be getting the job done. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) This November, you will need to see a doctor about a sudden case of hyperactivity. Later you will confess to eating all the candy you bought for trick-or-treaters. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) This is the time of year when family gathers to celebrate and share good times. Unfortunately, your family all voted the other way and hate you…

Differences Between Men and Women

NAMES: If Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara go out for lunch, they will call each other Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara. If Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Scrappy. EATING OUT: When the bill arrives, Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom will each throw in $20, even though it’s only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back. When the gals get their bill, out come the pocket calculators. MONEY: A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs. A…

Headlines from Other Papers

“Worker Suffers Leg Pain After Crane Drops 800-pound Ball on His Head” “Bridges Help People Cross Rivers” “City Unsure Why the Sewer Smells” “Study Shows Frequent Sex Enhances Pregnancy Chances” “Meeting on Open Meetings Is Closed” “Man Accused of Killing Lawyer Receives a New Attorney” “Puerto Rican Teen Named Mistress of the Universe” “County to Pay $250,000 to Advertise Lack of Funds” “An Australian Army Vehicle Has Gone Missing After Being Painted with Camouflage” “Caskets Found as Workers Demolish Mausoleum” “Federal Agents Raid Gun Shop, Find Weapons” “Statistics Show that Teen Pregnancy drops Off Significantly After Age 25” “Meat Head Resigns” “Barbershop Singers Bring…