Monday, November 5, 2018

Shrimp For Dinner

as featured in Desert Exposure Magazine
"Dad, I'm cooking shrimp for dinner," my wife says. "Would you like regular or coconut?"
     Meanwhile, the guy who's actually helping make dinner--namely me--his opinion goes unrequested.
     I really can't get upset. My wife's just trying to make my father feel at home. It wasn't that long ago my beloved mother passed away. After a brief time of him living on his own, we decided to ask him to move in with us. It's not a decision I regret. Given the opportunity, I would do it all over again, but it's been tough. You can't have two alpha males in the same wolf pack without one wolf becoming incredibly annoyed at the other.
     "What?" my father says.
     "I'm cooking shrimp for dinner."
     "You're cooking dinner?"
     "What are you cooking?"
     "Yes, shrimp. Would you like regular or coconut?"
     I turn my head so my wife can't see me laughing. That's what she gets for not asking me how I would like the shrimp prepared. I can feel her eyes boring into the back of my head like angry twin lasers. She knows I'm finding amusement at her expense.
     "Shrimp..." my father continues, "...shrimp.... Yeah, that sounds good."
     "Would you like regular or coconut?"
     "What are you yelling at me for?" my father yells back. "I can hear."
     It's true, my father can hear. Unfortunately, he only seems to hear the things he not supposed to hear.
     "Pop!" I could yell. "There's a fire! Grab your mutt and get out!"
     "What?" my father would say, not moving his eyes off the TV.
     "A FIRE! GET OUT!"
     "What are you yelling at me for? I can hear!" he'd yell back. And then, "Are you grilling chicken? Save me a leg."
     On the other hand, my father could be sitting down in his Tommy Johns, watching his two favorite baseball teams playing each other on TV, and I could be in the next room with my wife. If I leaned over and whispered in her ear, "Let's go upstairs," my father would shout to us, "If you're going upstairs, bring me back that blanket I like."
     Meanwhile, my wife apologizes for yelling, and my father says, "What kind of shrimp did you say?"
     Regular or coconut."
     "Hmm... regular. What's the other kind?"
     "Coconut? Yeah... I like coconut."
     "So you want coconut, then?"
     "What's the other kind?"
     My wife is getting flustered now.
     I'm still chuckling under my breath.
     Personally, I prefer coconut, but no one's asking my opinion. I don't know why she's giving him a choice. He'll eat anything that even resembles food. If my wife feels like eating regular shrimp, she should make regular shrimp. If she feels like eating coconut shrimp, she should make coconut shrimp. It's that simple. You see, my  wife has the good fortune of being married to someone who appreciates whatever she cooks.
     "Regular," my wife says.
     "What's regular?" my father wants to know.
     My wife sighs, and then explains how she prepares regular shrimp. I don't think my father understands a word of it. Heck, even my  eyes start to glaze over.
     "I like coconut," my father says, probably afraid she'll go over her explanation again, so coconut shrimp it is. I win, without even having to play the game. And I got a good chuckle out of it as well.
     I remember when I was a kid, my mother never cooked shrimp, those little cockroaches of the sea. The closest thing my mother ever cooked was liver, and that's not close at all. To eat that liver, I added a lot of ketchup to get it down. A LOT of ketchup. In those days, what you were served is what you ate. If you chose not to eat, you went hungry. The way it should be. Go to any country where people are starving. You don't have picky eaters. You don't have eating disorders. You don't have morbid obesity. What you have is a country of people who would be grateful for some mudwater and a chickpea.
     So, even though I might have preferred a hamburger, I ate pretty much whatever was place in front of me, adding ketchup to whatever I didn't like.
     Heck, I even added ketchup to scrambled eggs, and I like scrambled eggs.
     Why am I telling you all this? Because my wife takes her time when she cooks, and makes everything from scratch. She cooks with love, and, as that great philosopher Diana Ross sang, "You can't hurry love."
     Finally, my wife serves all of us a delicious plate of coconut shrimp on a bed of tropical rice. I take a quick inventory. Hmm... my father's got seven. I've only got six. Not that I'm keeping score or anything.
     As my father stares at his plate, my wife serves herself and joins us. My father continues studying his plate.
     Who knows?
     I get started on mine.
     I don't believe in having a staring contest with my food.
     "Do you have any ketchup?" my father finally asks.
     "It's coconut shrimp, dad," my wife says softly.
     "It's coconut shrimp."
     "I know what it is," my father says. "Do you have any ketchup?"
     I step in.
     "Pop, it's coconut shrimp. You don't put ketchup on coconut shrimp."
     "Sure you do," he says.
     My wife doesn't argue. She doesn't say a word. She just gets up, brings back a bottle of ketchup, and hands it to my father, who drowns his shrimp with it, much like I used to do to the liver my mother would also cook with love. I find myself wishing I could tell her, "I'm sorry."
     My father spears a soggy shrimp with his fork.
     "Oh, yeah," he says between chomps, "this shrimp is good."
     He turns to me.
     "Your wife is a good cook," he says.
You can't hurry love, but you CAN hurry to,, or to @JimDuchene and read more of my nonsense.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Week In Tweets: Special Undead McCain Edition!

Hammer Films Presents!
Zombie McCain!
"When there is no more room in Hell... John McCain will walk the earth!"
Just in time for Halloween!
Hammer Films Presents!
Dracula Vs The Monster!
Starring John McCain as the fey political bloodsucker and Ron Jeremy as the foul-smelling Dr. Crapenstein!
Fake News Reports!
John McCain Comes Back From The Dead!
MURDERS Dennis Hoff!
"My 'little soldier' hasn't saluted since Viet Nam," he admitted to Ron Jeremy. "If I'M not getting any, NOBODY'S getting any!"
Fake News Reports!
John McCain GOBBLES Ron Jeremy's Goblin!
Swears him to secrecy!
"Wouldn't you rather have one of the Bunny Ranch's prostitutes?" the geriatric porn star offers.
"Gimme dat goblin!" McCain insists.
Fake News Reports!
Zombie John McCain EATS The Newly Dead Dennis Hoff!
"I'm having a ball," he says.
"That's because you're eating too fast," Ron Jeremy points out.
Fake News Reports!
In The Vile John McCain's Most Evil Act Yet...
Johnny "Wet-Start" Leaves The Bunny Ranch WITHOUT PAYING!
Fake News Reports!
John McCain CONFESSES To Evil Plan Of Bringing The Dead Back To Life!
"By 'the dead,' I'm talking about my penis."
Fake News Reports!
Back From The Dead, John McCain Spotted Drinking The Blood Of Republican Babies!
People are afraid of clowns, but what are clowns afraid of?
John McCain!
Is there something hiding in your closet?
Of course there is...
John McCain!
You know that feeling you get that someone is watching you?
That someone is John McCain!
John McCain has a good head on his shoulders...
...and another one in his refrigerator.
John McCain!
That last scream you hear will be your own!
John McCain!
If you don't wake up screaming, you won't wake up at all!
John McCain!
Back From The DEAD...
...with a few days TO KILL!
If John McCain doesn't scare you...'re already dead.
It's not fear that tears you apart...'s John McCain!
  American Chimpanzee

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Raven (edited for time)

Back in the day, writers used to be paid by the word, that’s why our classics are so looong. And, in addition to that, what else was there to do? You could spend six hours enjoying an opera, and not feel it’s gone on five hours too long, much like the fans at a baseball game.
     You can’t tell me Edgar Allan Poe’s classic poem The Raven doesn’t ramble far longer than it should. I don’t know what seems longer, reading The Raven or suffering through one of my mother-in-law’s visits.
     At any rate, that’s why I rewrote it for today’s audience.
     An audience whose time and attention span is limited.
The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary,
My eyes bloodshot, my vision bleary,
Something knock-knock-knocked at my chamber door.

Feeling, I, a wee bit drunky,
Hadn’t bathed, smelling funky,
So whomever was there I decided to ignore.

Yet there it waited, a stately raven,
An ebony bird in search of haven,
Thus it continued knocking, and then knocked some more.

“Get out!” I yelled, feeling pissy.

“I don’t care if you’re a male or missy,
Please exit thou from my chamber door!”

Yet, like an ex, it wouldn’t leave,
Thereupon causing me to lust and grieve
For my hot 13-year-old cousin named Lenore.

And so my sobriety I am quitting
As the Raven, never flitting,
Still is sitting, still is sitting.
I shall be sober... nevermore.

American Chimpanzee

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Week In Tweets: Special Bombtober Edition!

Fake News Reports!
Daniel Frisiello Pleads GUILTY To Sending President Trump's Sons Threatening Letters With A White Powder Enclosed!
"Mental note: Next time, DON'T include my return address."
Fake News Reports!
Democrats Say The Migrant Caravan Should Be Let Into Our Country!
And they can stay with THEM?
"Are you out of your FRAKKING mind?"
Fake News Reports!
Rihanna Announces She WILL NOT Perform At The Super Bowl!
"As it turns out," she says, "you have to be asked to do those kinds of things."
Fake News Reports!
Amy Shumer Announces She WILL NOT Be Starring In Any Of This Year's Super Bowl Commercials!
Has she been asked?
"What does THAT have to do with anything?" she said, trying to restart her career.
"When I said to be uncivil... I didn't mean to ME!"
--Hillary Clinton
"Hey, I said, 'If they bring a knife to a fight, WE bring a gun,' but I didn't say nothing about no BOMB."
--President Obama
"When I said, 'When they go low...' to KICK them, I was talking about Republicans, not Democrats."
--Eric Holder
"When I called on the dogs to attack, I didn't think they'd attack ME!"
--Maxine Waters
"I ain't scared."
--Maxine Waters about bomb
Apparently, she ain't articulate either.
"A device--possibly a bomb--has been sent to MY office. As it turns out, it was only a bribe."
--New York's Mario Cuomo
"Thank you, Cesar Sayoc, for not forgetting about me."
--Joe "I Want To Beat Up Trump" Biden
American Chimpanzee

Monday, October 22, 2018

Bananas Revisited: The Migrant Caravan

Our migrant caravan, the one heading to the United States from Central America as we speak, has grown to seven thousand foreign nationals strong, all of us planning to enter the U.S. illegally. The question I’m most asked by CNN reporters is this:     “Just how do you FEED all those people?”     This question isn’t new to me. I’ve wondered the same thing ever since I first learned about the history of warfare in the little one-room escuela in Honduras. The Hun Army, The Mongol Invasion, Rosie O’Donnell... just how do you feed THOUSANDS?      You could live off the land, but an army of empty bellies would lay waste to the natural resources like locust.

    HUMAN locust.
    I got my answer like I get most of my answers... from Woody Allen.
    Having been the only one of us who had seen a recent airing of Woody’s early classic movie Bananas on the Turner Classic Movie (TCM) channel, I suggested a scenario for feeding the tired, the poor, the hungry masses of future welfare recipients yearning to be Democrats.
    Here’s an excerpt about that scenario from the diary Brett Kavanaugh recommended I always keep:
Along the route this migrant caravan is taking, we happen upon a charming Mexican cafe. This is where I hatch my devious plan.
    But first, the volunteers.
    I am not the one in charge. That would be Soros, and he comes up with some straws plucked from a broom Nancy Pelosi’s future housekeeper was carrying with her.
    There are five of us. Soros first hands Beto a long straw. Then he hands Pablo a long straw. He hands Carlos a long straw and keeps a long straw for himself.
    “Short straw goes,” he tells me, handing me the short straw.
    “Well,” I say, “as long as it was fair.”
    I leave, and, with two other “volunteers,” we enter the cafe.
    “Bienvenidos,” the cafe owner greets us. “May I be of service?”
    I lean up against the counter nonchalantly.
    “Coffee, please,” I tell him, and then add after a casual pause, “I also want something to go."
    “Yes?” he says, without getting me my coffee.
    Capitalist swine.
    “Do you have any grilled cheese sandwiches?" I ask, trying not to betray my contempt.
    “Yes, sir,” he tells me, his pad and pencil at the ready.
    “Well,” I say, pretending to think, “let me have four thousand.”
    “Four thousand?"
    "Yes, that sounds about right. Also, a thousand tuna fish. And two thousand BLTs. That’s bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches."
    “BLTs, ,” he said. “You want the cheese on rye?"
    “On rye,” I confirm, and then go back to where we were. “For the BLTs, let me have half on whole wheat and half on white bread."
    “Gustavo wanted his on a roll,” Nacho, one of the volunteers, reminds me.
    “And one on a roll,” I repeat.
    “And the tuna?" the owner asks.
    “All the tuna on whole wheat,” I tell him.
    “Anything else?"
    “All the BLTs, we'll have on toast."
    “Right,” he says, continuing to write on his pad. “And what to drink?"
    “Let me have a thousand regular coffees, six decafs, three thousand Cokes and two thousand Diet Cokes. And nine hundred ninety-four 7-Ups."
    “No 7-Up,” he tells me. “Sprite."
    “Sprite is fine,” I assure him. “And also coleslaw for seven thousand."
    “Coleslaw for seven thousand, right. Anything else?"
    “Mayonnaise on the side."
    “Got it."
    He leaves to prepare our order. We wait, trying to act completely natural. He still hasn’t brought me my coffee, I note bitterly.
    “Everything is ready, sir,” he tells us, coming out of the back with our order.
    “Which one is the roll?" I ask him.
    “I have it right here,” he says, handing me a small brown paper bag, crumpled at the top.
    “Ok,” I say, looking inside the bag. “What about the coleslaw?"
    “It's coming, sir,” he assures me, and, sure enough, from the back comes wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow filled with coleslaw. “Here's your coleslaw, sir."
    He does some scribbling on his pad and double-checks his figures.
    “That will be forty-six thousand eighty-seven pesos and forty-two cents, sir,” he tells me with a smile. “The gratuity is included."
    We pull out our guns.
    That wipes the smile off his face.
    “We're the migrant caravan, señor,” I tell him.Get your filthy money from Presidente Trump!"
     Viva La Inmigración!
American Chimpanzee

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Week In Tweets: Special Spooktober Edition!

Fake News Reports!
Diane Gardea, a fugitive on El Paso's Most Wanted list, was arrested at her east side home!
"They'll never look for me here," she chuckled, just before they broke down the door.
I'm not saying they're ugly, but I don't blame caterpillars for wanting to be butterflies.
Fake News Reports!
Experts Warn Hurricane Michael Will Be DEVESTATING!
"Why hasn't President Trump STOPPED it!?" bemoan Democrats.
I don't do social media.
Technology may have given us more ways to communicate, but it's just given me more ways to avoid people.
Fake News Reports!
A CDC survey has determined that a lot of people eat fast food.
Another survey that cost taxpayers millions of dollars recommends breathing "if you want to stay alive."
My company has a very strict policy concerning taking time off for a death in the family.
In order for me to get the day off, the person who dies has to be ME.
As a child, I always got in trouble for not washing my hands after using the bathroom. That taught me a VERY important lesson:
ALWAYS run the water for a few seconds before leaving the bathroom.
When I need advice, I always go to my ex first.
I like to start at the bottom.
My car mechanic must think I'm stupid.
He just told me my tires need to be rotated.
"Hey," I told him, "my tires rotate on their own every time I drive."
American Chimpanzee

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Week In Tweets: Special Blogtober Edition!

You know you're a loser when you're able to write your Last Will & Testament on Twitter.
It takes a monster to make a monster.
I'm not half as great as I think I am.
But that's still pretty good.
An Ouija board is a doorway between the supernatural and the gullible.
I'm not saying I procrastinate, but my smoke detector comes with a snooze button.
Good morning, Democrats!
Whose life shall we destroy today?
I have a great exercise program.
I run late ALL the time.
Success 101
Nothing is impossible.
The word itself says "I'm possible."
Self-delusion is the same as success, only you don't have to work as hard.
I try to live each day like it's my birthday.
I eat more cake that way.
Old age doesn't sneak up on you gradually.
It attacks you overnight.
American Chimpanzee