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Showing posts from July, 2007

The Importens of Gud Speling

The Importens of Gud Speling
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2007

Knowing how to spell is critical. If you want people to take you seriously, you have to be able to spell. And you can't rely on your spell checker, because it only finds misspelled words, not correctly-spelled words in the wrong place.

That's why sentences like "John end eye went too the store, two" will always sail through without any problems.

But that doesn't mean you should skip the spell checker completely. Who knows? It might save you from the same ridicule as Michael Levy, dean of Markham Intermediate School on Staten Island, New York. He's the latest winner of the "This guy is in charge of educating our kids?!" award.

In May, Levy sent a letter -- chock full of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors -- to the parents of all the 8th graders, saying their children would be punished for an "unexcecpable" food fight in the "caferteria." He then deman…

See Dick and Jane Grow Up

See Dick and Jane Grow Up
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2007

Youngest Daughter is learning to read, and has been practicing on the old standard, Dick and Jane, the same stories that taught me to read. I had lost track of the brother and sister literary team after first grade, so I decided to look them up.

I found them living together in a nice house in Dayton, Ohio. I rang the doorbell, and an all-grown-up Jane opened the door.

"Look, Dick, look. We have a guest. Who has come to visit us?" she called.

Dick came to the door. "Look, Jane. It is Erik. Erik is our guest."

"Please, come in. Come in to the house," said Jane.

We sat down in the living room, and I caught up with the elementary duo. Here's a transcript of that interview.

Question: The last time I saw you, I was six. Now my own six-year-old is learning to read with your books. How old are you?

Jane: I am 50. Dick is 52. We are in our fifties.

Q: So what have you two been up to these days?

Spider-Man Never Used Suction Cups

Spider-Man Never Used Suction Cups
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2007

Kids today have great movie toys. When I was a kid, we never had Spider-Man movies, video games, or shampoo and conditioner sets. We just had the cheaply-made cartoons. The ones that showed Spider-Man flying past the same cityscape so many times, I thought he was swinging in circles. (For those of you who don't remember, this is the show that gave us the theme song, "Spider-Man, Spider-Man/Does whatever a spider can/Spins a web any size/Catches thieves just like flies.")

But schlocky effects and theme song notwithstanding, it was still a cool show, so I wanted to be Spider-Man. I wanted to climb walls, shoot webs from my special wrist web shooter, and catch my sister in a giant web and leave her stuck there for the police to find. I asked my mom whether being bitten by a spider would, in fact, give me super powers.

"Absolutely not!" my mother gasped, considering banning me from TV…

Back in the Saddle Again

Back in the Saddle Again
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2007

Heart: General, we've got a problem.

General: What's going on, Lieutenant?

Heart: I'm working harder and faster than I have in a while, sir. I haven't worked this much since Summer 2005.

Brain: Sir, we're getting similar reports from all sectors. Lungs are reporting heavy wheezing and their Filling/Deflating Operation is erratic. Legs are engaged in a repetitive circular motion.

General: Legs, what's going on? I need a situation report.

Legs: It's the weirdest thing, General. We're experiencing motions we haven't made in years. We used to do it all the time, but it's been so long, we can't even remember what it is.

General: Are you running?

Legs: Negative, sir. We ran last year, so we remember that. We just can't put our finger on this one.

Fingers: That's all right. We're so numb, we couldn't feel anything anyway.

General: Numb?! Heart, give me a sit rep. What&…