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Showing posts from January, 2008

Rebel Without a Tongue

Rebel Without a Tongue
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2008

Kids' brains work in amazing ways. At times, they can grasp complex concepts and make impressive discoveries. Other times, you have to wonder how we ever survived as a species.

My kids have come up with lame excuses for some of their behaviors, which makes me question their intelligence. Or wonder if they question mine.

Recently we were at a restaurant when my five-year-old son started acting up, My wife scolded him, and he responded with something he had never done before: he stuck his tongue out.

We teach our kids to be respectful of others, so this was a big no-no. So when she got on his case about it, I could see the little wheels spinning in his mind, and he latched on to the first excuse he could think of.

"I was thinking about my hamburger, so I licked my lips because I was looking forward to it."

I turned away so he wouldn't see me laugh. I wanted to say, "Kid, if that excuse was any more…

Giving Presentations Like Steve Jobs

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Tip of the Big Hat to Anthony Juliano, who came up with the "Top 10 Little Known Steve Jobs Presentation Strategies.

I'll let you read the list on Anthony's blog, but I'll preview my two favorites here:

6. Use scissor lift to reach point on graph showing "Number of people pissed off when we lowered the price of the iPhone."

4. Put a pile of MacBooks on the stage next to a bag of tangelos; yell "that's like comparing apples and oranges!"

Great job, Anthony!

Project Please Kill Me Now

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Project Please Kill Me Now
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2008I hate myself for what I'm about to say:I've been watching Project Runway.It's one of the most annoying shows I've ever watched, like watching a train wreck, or meeting someone with a really disgusting growth. I want to look away, but I can't.It's a show about wannabe fashion designers who are supposed to create fabulous new designs out of different exotic materials -- colorful fabrics, recycled blue jeans, and even candy bar wrappers. Last year, the contestants had to use recycled materials for their designs.Each week, host Heidi Klum tells the designers, "either you're in, or you're out." And she says "out" with each T perfectly enunciated and crisp, like a snare drum -- "out," "outt," "ouT." It's so annoying, I've begun to hate the word."Honey," my wife asks, "do we have any more milk?""No, we&…

Top 10 Signs You Have or Don't Have a Man Bag

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Top 10 Signs Your Bag is a Man Bag10. It's made from the finest Italian leather, lovingly treated so it doesn't chafe the tender areas under your arms.9. When you get angry at a friend, you stamp your little feet and hit him with it.8. It has separate clips for your keys, cell phone holster, and a coin purse.7. It comes with a matching fanny pack.6. The guys from "Queer Eye" roll their eyes and tell you to butch up.5. It's a big hit with Manfred Mann, Eli Manning, and Chuck Mangione.4. Everyone thinks your wife asked you to carry her purse again.3. It has extra roomy compartments to carry your dignity. And a small zipper pocket for your masculinity.2. You can buy it at Abercrombie and Fitch, the Gap, and Limited Too.1. It easily holds your cell phone, your PDA, and the first three seasons of "Sex and the City" on DVD.
Top 10 Signs Your bag is a Guy Bag/is not a Man Bag10. It was made from a bear skin. With the bear still in it.9. Ernest Hemingway was ban…

Does This Match My Shoes?

Does This Match My Shoes?
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2008

My wife recently committed the heinous, unpardonable crime of asking me to carry her purse.

Not hold the purse, but to actually lug the thing around so I look like I've got so much stuff, I need to carry it in a large leather bag. It's a humiliating thing for a Guy.

For the record, I carry a messenger bag or a backpack. They're not man purses, man bags, or man clutches. They're testosterone-laden, adrenaline-pumping, football-playing messenger bags and backpacks.

It's hard enough when I have to hold the thing. Then I have to figure out the most masculine way to hold a woman's handbag, trying to figure out a how to give off the vibe that I'm reluctantly doing this as a favor for the woman I've chosen to spend the rest of my life with. A vibe that says it's only a lifetime commitment made in front of family and friends that has saddled me with this humiliating task.

Once I tried pi…

The Price of Love

The Price of Love
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2008

They say you can't put a price tag on love. That true love is more valuable than money. That money can't buy you happiness.

Apparently they're wrong.

If you're Johnny Valentine of Holly Springs, Mississippi, it turns out you can put a price tag on love. Actually, you can put a price tag on "society, companionship, love, and affection," plus "the loss of sexual relations."

To Valentine, that's worth $750,000.

That's how much Mississippi millionaire Jerry Fitch has to pay Valentine after stealing Valentine's wife.

In 1997, Sandra Valentine went to work for Fitch, a prominent businessman, oil man, and big-shot real estate guy. Shortly thereafter, Fitch and Sandra began having an affair, and in 1999, she gave birth to Fitch's daughter.

Which means Valentine can't make any "son of a Fitch" jokes.

Sandra originally denied the affair or that their new daughter wasn…

It Is What We Thought It Was

It Is What We Thought It Was
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2008

It's the first column of the new year, and faithful Laughing Stalk readers know what that means: Lake Superior State University's List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse, and General Uselessness.

Each year, for the last 33 years, Lake Superior State University (LSSU) of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (official motto: We're up here!) has created a list of words they want people to stop saying, because they're used incorrectly, they're used too much, or they're just plain dumb.

The words, not LSSU. Or the people.

As a writer, language is my stock in trade. So when an institution of higher learning bans words, I try to pay attention. To spread the news, I've wordsmithed a column about The List for the past four years. Or at least I did, until LSSU banned the word "wordsmith."

So I asked if I could say I authored a column, but they said axed "aut…