Saturday, September 8, 2018

Lest You Think

as featured in Desert Exposure Magazine 
Lest you think I consider my father a burden, I don't.
    It's just if all I wrote about were unicorns and rainbows, both you and I would be bored. Besides, I find everything my father does incredibly entertaining. Maybe not at the time, but, you know, when I look back. Now I understand the saying, "I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you." I'm not laughing at my father, because I'm just like him. I'm laughing with him, because I can see what the future has in store for me.
    Old age takes pity on no one.
    One of the reasons we bought this particular house is because it had a small guest house in the front where we knew my father could live and have his privacy. It was a way for him to keep his independence, yet let us keep an eye on him at the same time. In his home away from home he has his own TV with its own satellite signal. Now that I think about it, his TV gets more stations than mine does. He has a radio/CD player. Telephone. Refrigerated air. Heck, it sounds so good, I think I'm going to start living there.
    The problem is he likes to watch TV in the main house, and that forces everybody else to watch TV someplace else. While he's busy hogging the TV, he's also busy complaining our house is too cold.
    "Why don't you put on a sweater, dad?" my wife will ask him.
    "I don't want to wear a sweater."
    "But, if you're cold, a sweater might help warm you up."
    "The problem isn't that I'm cold, the problem is that the house is cold."
    So my wife will feel sorry for him, turn up the heat, and the rest of us have to suffer.
    "Pop," I've told him, sweating like a pig, "maybe you'd be more comfortable watching TV in your room."
    "I don’t think so."
    "You could watch what you want to watch."
    "I do that here."
    "You could have your house as warm as you want."
    "I don't know, it's pretty warm here. Except when it's cold."
    So what can I do? I sit in a hot house watching something on TV that doesn't particularly entertain me, and, man, I hate the heat. I try to avoid it like it was the police. You can dress for the cold. You can put on a sweater, you can wear a scarf, but there's nothing you can do about the heat. When it's hot, it's just hot.
    The times I beat my father to the TV, he'll come in, sit down, and watch for a bit. Then he'll look at me, and then back at the TV. At me, then the TV. Me. The TV.
    "There's not a baseball game on?" he'll ask no one in particular.
    He knows perfectly well there's a baseball game on. In fact, we pay extra for an entire channel devoted to nothing but baseball games for him. So, at any given time, my father can watch one if he wants to...  and he always wants to.
    "This show's pretty good, pop. You should give it a chance."
    "Oh, okay," he’ll say.  And he'll watch. For awhile. Then he'll look at me, and then back at the TV. At me, then the TV. Me. The TV.
    "There's not a baseball game on?"
    My wife will eventually feel sorry enough for him to change the channel from whatever it is I'm watching.
    "Can you also turn up the heat?" he'll ask her. "It's too cold in here."
    Once again, I can't watch my programs. I think he pretends to watch baseball on the outside, and laughs at me on the inside.
    "Heh, heh, heh," he laughs to himself. "Heh, heh, heh."
    Trust me, I understand why my father prefers watching baseball. He's hard of hearing, so it's difficult for him to follow the stories on the programs I watch. Baseball, he understands, and when he can't hear the color commentators, he makes it up himself.
    "You know," he'll say, in between chewing on the snacks my lovely wife provides. Smack, smack, smack. "These games are fixed."
    "Are they, pop?"
    "Yeah--smack, smack--fixed. I don't even know why I watch them."
    “I don’t either.”
    The bases might be loaded, and the batter will hit a home run.
    "See?  I knew he was going to hit a home run. I had that feeling--smack, smack, smack--the games are fixed--smack--I knew they were going to win the game."
    "Did you, pop?"
    "Ahhh, yeah. They're all fixed so the owners can make more money." He'll laugh, and shake his head a bit. "I don't know, I don't know. How else can you explain their scoring four runs and winning?"
    "Maybe the batter just hit a home run, pop. I mean, somebody has to win."
    "Nah, they're fixed. How else can you explain it?"
    By this time my wife will have already gone upstairs to bed.
    "Goodnight, pop," I'll tell him.
    "Huh… ahh... wha?"
    "I'm going to bed, pop. Can you turn off the TV and lights before you go to bed?"
    "Sure, son. Don't worry."
    And then, sometime in the middle of the night, I'll wake up, go check the locks, and find the TV, the lights, and the heater all on. The door leading out of our house and to his will be unlocked, and my father will be in his room. Sleeping like a baby. He knows how to turn everything off, but for some reason he won't do it.
    Maybe that's his way of paying me back for not letting him watch baseball.
Lest you think I’ve forgotten, you can find more nonsense at,, and @JimDuchene.
American Chimpanzee

Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Week In Tweets: Special Double-RIP Edition!

Success 101:
An ounce of gold cannot buy a second of time.
Things That Make Me Go Hmm...
Why aren't there any FAT vampires?
Economist: Someone who doesn't have the personality to be an accountant.
A galss of wine at night may decrease the risk of heart attacks, but it INCRREASES the risk of pregnancy.
I may look like a frog, but I'm really an enchanted prince. You can break the spell... giving me your credit card number.
Sports Fan: Someone who yells at an athlete for being an idiot, and then can't find his own car in the parking lot after the game.
I've eaten so much I can't move.
Not that I planned to.
Things That Make Me Go Hmm...
You know what I never see?
I never see a fat guy who's old.
The Good Old Days
A time when my hair had more body, and my body had less hair.
American Chimpanzee

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Week In Tweets: Special Before Labor Day Edition!

Corner Bakery Café motto:
"Feed The Day".
Why would I want to feed the day when I'M the one who's hungry?
Men reach old age before they reach maturity.
I'm going to the store for a few things.
I'll be back in about two hundred dollars.
Fake News Reports!
Black Lives MATTER!
Except in Chicago.
Did you hear about the new economy car?
It comes with an airbag you have to blow up yourself.
Fake News Reports!
Stuttering John UPSET That Howard Stern Is Releasing A New Book TWO WEEKS Before His!
Don't worry, John.
Your book wasn't going to sell any copies anyway.
Smokey Bear Says: "Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires."
That's a lot of responsibility for just one person.
Fake News Reports!
Aretha Franklin!
Sadly, there's a lot of that going around.
Success 101
Hard work without talent is a shame, but talent without hard work is a tragedy.
The best time to be a vegetarian is between meals.
Someone who travels somewhere else to experience something different, and then complains when they aren't the same.
What's left after you've forgotten everything you've ever learned in school.
A person with nothing on their minds and the power to express it.
I put a seashell to my ear...
...and got a busy signal.
American Chimpanzee

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Week In Tweets: Special J.Lo Still Single Edition!

It's so windy I saw a chicken lay the same egg twice!
I'm not saying my ex is ugly, but when she has a bad-hair day... the hair is on her face!
My ex is like an open book... with most of the pages missing.
When Rush Limbo tell me how safe nuclear power plants are, I like to remind him, "Yeah, the plants are safe, but what about the people?"
Fake News Reports!
In her interview with Jeanine Piro on The View, Whoopi Goldberg vehemently DENIES suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome by becoming vehementally deranged!
I'm not saying my ex overdoes things, but who wood-fires a Pop-Tart?
Fake News Reports!
What the fudge, Trump?
With all this Russia nonsense, drop the bomb already.
On Hollywood!
I'm FOR what works.
I'm AGAINST what doesn't work.
When did the Politically Correct declare THAT a crime against humanity?
That cloud looks like a dog.
That cloud looks like a pony.
And that cloud looks like--THUNDER!--trouble.
Fake News Reports!
Tom Arnold Says President Trump "is obviously a racist" who "doesn't like black guys."
That would mean more if I knew who Tom Arnold was.
I just found out my ex is mad at me and swears she'll never speak to me again.
Who says God doesn't answer prayers?
Fake News Reports!
As your elected official, I won't be satisfied until I've dotted every "i", crossed every "t", and double-crossed every voter.
In a time of drone attacks, guided missiles, and self-driving vehicles... nothing will ever replace our soldiers.
SOMEBODY has to clean up the mess.
For me, reading a book is like eating a big meal...
It makes me sleepy.
It says what it says, and what it says it says.
What's wrong with the government?
I'll TELL you what's wrong with the government...
It doesn't do enough for ME!
I can't afford another mid-life crisis.
When I married my ex, I thought my ship had come in.
Who knew it would be the Titanic?
Fake News Reports!
Guatemala First Lady visits illegal alien children from her country housed at Texas CBP facility to make sure the U.S. is properly taking care of them.
Did she take any back home with her?
"Heck, no! We don't want them either!"
Fake News Reports!
After recent escapes in various facilities holding the separated children of illegal aliens, the CBP is eliminating certain outdoor sporting activities, such as team pole vaulting.
Good Results: This Way >
Bad Results: < That Way
Can't decide?
Take your time.
When life hands you lemons...
Re-gift it.
What do I say about our politicians acting like children?
I say, "Nyah, nyah, nyah-nyah, nyah!"
Fake News Reports!
In explaining President Trump's presidential upset over Hillary Clinton, LeBron James--the Freddy Corleone of the NBA--said, "I don't think a lot of people was educated."
Like him was, I suppose.
What disappears every time you make a U-turn?
A parking space.
Fake News Reports!
Lance Bass Has Brady Bunch House SNATCHED From Him In Real Estate Bidding War!
"That's the first time I've ever had anything to do with a snatch," the former NSYNC singer says.
My ex built a robot, and then gave it Artificial Intelligence.
Now even it wants nothing to do with her.
Fake News Reports!
Jennifer Lopez Says She DOESNT Want To Marry Alex Rodriguez!
"I don't want to jinx our relationship," she explains. "Plus, he changes the subject every time I bring it up."
American Chimpanzee

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Don't Tell Your Mother

as featured in Desert Exposure Magazine
There’s an old joke:
    An elderly man with a hearing problem suddenly lost his hearing completely, so he immediately went to his doctor. After many failed attempts at communication, the doctor finally looked in the old man’s ear and discovered the problem. He asked his nurse for some forceps, and then used them to extract a suppository from the old man’s ear canal.
    “Here’s the trouble,” the doctor told him, showing it to him.
    “Oh, my goodness,” the old man replied. “What the heck did I do with my hearing aid?”
    I told you last month that my father uses a hearing aid, sometimes to what he thinks is his advantage, but I've never told you how I found out.
    Back when my beloved mother was still alive, I used to go over and join them for breakfast on Saturday mornings. My mother was an old-school cook, so for breakfast she would fry up some bacon, cook the eggs in the grease, and then refry some refried beans in what was left over.
    It was delicious.
    That’s what she would call a healthy breakfast, and--you know what?--there are some nutritionists who would agree with her. Dr. Robert Atkins is one. Vinnie Tortorich is another. I’ve heard him on the Adam Corolla podcast, and he says there’s nothing wrong with red meat and saturated fats. Grains and simple carbohydrates, on the other hand, are what’s making our nation fat. I can’t tell you what’s true, all I can say is we’re a pretty fat nation. Anyway...
    "Go see if your father is awake," she told me one such Saturday. "Tell him his coffee is ready."
    So I did.
    I walked down to my parent's room and knocked on the door.
    There was no answer.
    So I knocked again.
    Still no answer.
    "Pop," I called out.
    Finally, he answered.
    "What?" he yelled back.
    "IT'S ME!"
    "YOUR SON!"
    "What do you want?"
    "Are you awake?"
    "You're talking to me, aren't you?"
    My father, the comedian.
    There was a pause.
    "Come in," he ordered.
    I guess, so he could hear me better.
    I knew my father's hearing had been getting steadily worse for some time, just like my hearing is doing these days, but I had never had this kind of trouble conversing with him before.
    When I opened the door and looked in, I saw why.
    He was already fully dressed, and sitting on the bed with his legs over the side. I saw him reach into his nightstand and pull out two small devices that he put deep into his ears. I was surprised, to say the least.
    "Pop?" I said.
    "What?" he said back.
    "How long have you had hearing aids?"
    He thought about it.
    "Oh, I've had them for a while now."
    Now it was my time to think about it.
    "Mom must be happy," I said, finally.
    "About what?"
    "That you've got hearing aids."
    "Oh," he said, matter of factly, "I haven't told her yet."
    "You haven't?"
    "Because," he said, in his don't-tell-your-mother tone, "I like hearing what she says about me when she thinks I can't hear."
If a deaf person swears, does their mother wash his hands with soap?
Find out at,, or @JimDuchene. 
American Chimpanzee