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Showing posts from August, 2007

Since When is My Past "History?"

Since When is My Past "History?"
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2007

My family and I were sitting outside a coffee shop at my alma mater, Ball State University, last weekend. We were watching a steady stream of teenagers come and go, when an innocent voice said, "Do those kids' mommies and daddies know they're out so late?"

I thought it was one of my own kids talking, until I realized I was the one who said it.

"When did they start letting little kids into college?" I asked my dad, a Ball State professor.

"They didn't," he said. "Those are regular students."

"Since when? They look 12."

According to my dad, the little whippersnappers have always looked this young. Which logically means my friends and I looked that young when we were 18. I'm not buying it. We never looked that young.

It didn't help matters when I realized that their parents are probably around my age.

To try to understand this year'…

Hell Hath No Fury Like an Ex-Wife Scorned

Hell Hath No Fury Like an Ex-Wife Scorned
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2007

I learned a long time ago about the importance of treating one's wife with respect and kindness. And unlike some of my other life lessons, I didn't have to learn this one the hard way.

Not like some Guys I've known. Guys who still haven't learned this lesson, even after years of marriage. Despite countless fights, numerous nights on the couch, and a wife's frigidness that reduces global warming by ten percent, these clueless clods still haven't learned not to make their wife feel stupid, disrespected, or unloved.

These are the morons who still think a woman's place is in the kitchen, and that her job is to cater to his every whim. But it's not just the older Guys who think this. There are even some 20-somethings whose ideas about women haven't changed since Leave It To Beaver was brand new.

Years ago, I knew one Neanderthal who boasted that he didn't need to …

British Bosses Ban Barney's Balloons

British Bosses Ban Barney's Balloons
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2007

God bless the British bureaucrat. They've got that special something their American cousins will never achieve. Their single-minded dedication to their rules and regulations, despite all common sense and human decency, is unrivaled in this world. And that gives me job security as a humor writer.

This week, from the We Hate Clowns and Children file, comes another example of their sheer bloody mindedness when it comes to political correctness and adherence to arbitrary rules.

This time, British supermarket chain Tesco's have banned a children's clown from using balloons at one of their supermarkets.

Barney Baloney, also known as Tony Turner, was booked for a five hour gig at a Tesco's supermarket to entertain the kiddies. But the bosses popped Barney's balloon show, because they were afraid some of the children might have an allergic reaction to latex.

"My job is to capture a c…

Are You 4Real? No, I'm Superman.

Are You 4Real? No, I'm Superman.
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2007

I wanted to change my name when I was four, because I thought it would make me a fast runner. There was a kid named Sam in my nursery school, and he was a fast runner. So I figured out a way that I could run as fast as he did.

"Mom, can I change my name to Sam?"

"What's wrong with your name?" my mother asked.

"Because if I'm called Sam, I'll be able to run fast." And I explained my well-reasoned theory.

My mom was the voice of reason. "Your name doesn't make you run fast. That's just something people are able to do. Names don't change how we act or what we can do."

That was actually pretty good advice, since I was named for Erik the Red, the Viking explorer.

According to historians, Erik the Red was banished to Iceland from Norway after committing several murders. He was then banished from Iceland after committing several more murders, includ…

Who Scams the Scammers?

Who Scams the Scammers?
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2007

Erik is out of the office this week, so we are reprinting a column from 2003.

Several years ago, I knew I had made my mark in the world when I received my very own Nigerian scam letter, addressed to me. When Nigerian scam artists put your name on a letter, rather than addressing it with an impersonal "Dear Friend," you've obviously done something important.

At least that's what I tell myself.

But there it was, in a pile of mail, directly from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation with my name on it. I had finally arrived.

Keep in mind, this was before crooks realized email was a much cheaper and easier way to swindle people. This was back in the day of fax machines and the post office.

"Grandpa, tell us a story about how crooks used to swindle people with pen and paper."

Nowadays, the crooks use email to blanket hundreds of thousands of people. But back in 1995, they used word processo…