Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Barackula

As we make our way into All Hallows Eve, I can't help but think about something that happened to me last year. It was on Halloween Eve of last year that I saw the scariest movie I've ever seen, and, no, I'm not talking about Ron Jeremy's* latest film, The Thing That Wouldn't Leave. Ron Jeremy plays The Thing.**
     It was almost midnight, and I was walking Downtown El Paso by the old Palace Theater, where I used to watch horror double-features when I was a kid. Later, it became a porno theater, and began showing movies that were horrifying in a different way altogether. Eventually, it went out of business. Someone, however, must have renovated it, like they did with the legendary Plaza Theater, because it looked like it must have when it first opened.
     I bought my ticket. It was thirty-five cents. I felt like a kid again.
     I went inside. The audience looked vacant-eyed, much like the porno audiences of the dying theater's last years... um, not that I would know anything about that. The movie was about vampires who hid their true natures by becoming politicians. Chauffeured around in black limousines with windows tinted so dark they were protected from the sun's deadly rays and angry constituents.
     The hero of the movie gets elected to office, discovers their terrifying secret, and then spends the rest of the movie trying not to become one of them. The vampire politicians create zombie slaves who are kept subservient with free government cheese. It's a symbiotic relationship. The vampires can't live without the zombie's votes, and the zombies can't live without the free cheese. Each creature's hunger causing the other's to grow.
     "We are the Nosferatu," the vampire lord, Count Barackula of Taxsylvania, proclaims. "The undead. As long as you vote us back into office we'll never die."
     The hero tries to lead a voter revolution to get them out of office, but fails tragically.
     "We vote straight ticket," the zombie voters eerily moaned as one, "because the vampires give us more."
     "Don't you understand?" the hero cried out, desperately. "They have to take from you before they can give to you."
     But it was no use. The zombies wouldn't listen.
     "Free cheese!" they chanted. "More free cheese!"
     Finally, the hero succumbs to the blood-sucking vampires... and votes himself a nice pay raise.
     What a great movie. It was filmed in a 3D so realistic you could practically feel Count Barackula's hand reaching into your wallet.
     When the movie was over, I left the theater. I thought about our country's future, and then I thought about my own voting record. After this, would I continue to vote the same people back into office, as I've done in the past? Same people, same problems. I looked back at the Palace Theater hoping for an answer, but of course...
     ...it was no longer there.


*Will that guy never retire?
**Or--ahem--at least, a part of him does.
 
 
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Friday, October 26, 2012

Night of the Living bin Laden


when hell is full
the dead will walk the earth
 
I have nightmares.
     It's been years, and I still have nightmares.
     It all began with a simple phone call from President Obama. And when Obama calls, I jump. It's the least I can do for the man who once saved my life in 'Nam. But this particular phone call caught me by surprise.
     "I want you to go to Pakistan," he told me, smoothly. "You're the only one I can trust to verify that Osama bin Laden is dead."
     "Of course he's dead," I answered. "We've both seen the video."
     I paused... and then we both broke up laughing at the same time. Video. What a joke.
     "And don't worry," he assured me. "Your little, ah, 'problem' in the Middle East has been smoothed over."
     That's Obama for you. Mr. Smooth. And that's how I found myself back in Pakistan, taking a freight elevator down to the basement where bin Laden's murdered body was kept.
     The elevator stopped. There were three guards, all of them big. The one in the middle was the approximate size of a truck. He stood in front of me. Not moving.
     "He wants a gratuity to let you enter," my interpreter explained, business as usual.
     The Incredible Bulk took an aggressive step forward. He was trying to use his size to intimidate me. His mistake. I gave his kneecap a swift kick. It shattered, and down he went. He fell in slow motion, like a giant oak in the forest. Screaming all the way down. Fat men amuse me. When they fall, they make more noise.
     I knelt over him, and relieved him of his weapons. An old AK-47 that had been hanging casually over his shoulder, an old hunting knife strapped to his ankle, and... a brand-new .45. He must have collected a lot of "gratuities" to pay for it. I stood and secured the gun in the waistband of my jeans. And then I stepped over him. The other two guards got out of my way.
     In the middle of the room was a wooden table so old Jesus probably used it at The Last Supper. On top of the table was the lifeless body of Osama bin Laden. The real one. Not the decoy the SEALS unceremoniously tossed over the side of a boat.
     I stepped closer. They hadn't even bothered to clean him up. I took out a pair of scissors and clipped a lock of his hair. It was filthy. I put it into a small plastic baggie and sealed it.
     "Did he have any last words?" I asked my interpreter, conversationally. But I really didn't care. I was just distracting myself from what I had to do next. With a cardiac syringe I took a sample of his blood directly from the source. "I mean, besides, 'Don't kill me!'"
     "He vowed to come back. To revenge himself upon his enemies. You know, the usual camel dung."
     "Is that a fact?" I said, my mind a million miles away. I put away the blood and hair samples. Just one more thing to do. I forced open his jaw. It was easier than I expected. In fact, it took no force at all. Using several sterile cotton-tipped applicators--Q-Tips--I swabbed the inside of his cheek. I couldn't help but see his teeth. They all had gold fillings. Every one. I laughed.
     "Only the living are rich," I said in Arabic.
     My interpreter came closer.
     "It would be a shame to let all that gold go to waste," he said, sticking a finger in bin Laden's mouth to take a look for himself. The guards both grunted greedily in the affirmative.
     Bin Laden's eyes opened suddenly. They were a dead, milky color. He bit down. Viciously. Like a starving jackal. My interpreter screamed. Blood gushed out of where his finger had once been. The two guards rushed to help. I don't know why they bothered.
     Me? I headed for the freight elevator. As I stepped inside I could see bin Laden grab one guard by the head, gouging out the man's eyes with his thumbs. Then he brought the screaming guard closer and took a nasty bite out of his neck. More blood. Everywhere.
     Bin Laden was standing, off the table now. He began lumbering toward me. Every step an effort. I looked down. The guard whose kneecap I shattered was trying to crawl inside the elevator with me.
     "Mercy," he cried. "Mercy."
     Using his own gun, I shot him in the head. A quick death is mercy of a sort. With some effort, I rolled his lifeless body back, out of the elevator.
     I pushed the "up" button, and the freight elevator creaked to life. The elevator was slow. It barely moved. I could hear screams all the way up.
     Finally, the screaming stopped.
     No sooner did I exit the elevator, than it began to descend again. I heard it stop. And then I heard it start to climb back up again. I stepped back and waited. The .45 heavy in my hand. Whoever got off that elevator...
     I would be ready.
 
 
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Monday, October 22, 2012

The Presidential Debate Demands

Thank God the debates are over.
     The demands the two presidential candidates were making for each of the debates were driving me nuts. You see, I'M the Walt Disney of the political world. I'm in charge of making their dreams come true.
     For example, while President Obama insisted that there be no brown M&Ms in his candy bowl, Governor Romney insisted just as forcefully that he receive all the brown M&Ms that Obama discarded.
     Like I said, these bozos drive me nuts.
     The last of the presidential debates was held at Lynn College, proudly named after Ginger Lynn, a legend in the hallowed halls of academia. Many a college professor has pulled an all-nighter contemplating the beautiful simplicity of Ginger's mathmatical theorum: 2d + 1v = dp.
     The college is located in the city of Boca Raton, Florida. Did you know "Boca Raton" is Spanish for "rat mouth"? Somehow, it seems fitting.
     Lynn College found out the hard way that not only do presidential debates require a lot of work, but they also requires a lot of cash. For this particular debate, Lynn College has spent nearly $5 million just in campaign contributions alone. When I asked the president of the college about this, she assured me that it was merely a coincidence that tuition will be going up by the same amount next year.
     My taking care of all those demands means paying attention to details. Is the temperature set at a cool 68 degrees? Is the broccoli cut into individual florets? Has Ron Jeremy arrived yet? The list of demands is almost endless. For example, I recently shredded papers containing a total of 473(!) demands. And that was just from Michele Obama.
     Here's an abbreviated list of the items and services I was required to provide for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney backstage:

     1) An Elvis impersonator who only covers Led Zeppelin songs.

     2) Pumpkin aromatherapy candles. The scent of pumpkin is supposedly an aphrodisiac for women. Which probably explains the...

     3) Box of Magnums. Interestingly enough, they weren't for Obama.

     4) A map of the campus drawn by a one-legged map-maker. People with one leg know the easiest way to get places.

     5) A small bottle of KY Warming Oil (see items #2 and #3).

     6) All the leftover Red Bull from the Joe Biden debate.

     7) A vegetable tray, which should be immediately be thrown into the trash. Just keep the steaks coming, cheapskates.

     8) A case of Grey Poupon mustard. Gee, I wonder who ordered that one?

     9) A one-humped camel that likes to hump twice.

     10) Because of the recent resurgence of al-Qaida, a terrorist attack is certainly possible.
Therefore, all audience members will be required to change their underwear every half hour to foil the plans of any potential underwear bombers. To make sure of this, underwear will be worn on the outside of any and all clothing.

     11) An empty chair, just in case Clint Eastwood shows up.

     12) 72 virgins. Although, since this debate is being held at a liberal arts college, I don't know if I'll find any.

     13) Copies of the President's new book, We'll See, But Don't Hold Me To That, and an Obama look-alike to sign them.

     14) A really old debate moderator. Wait... never mind.

     15) A duffel-bag filled with cash to be picked up by some guy from Chicago. I was assured I'd know him when I'd see him.

     16) One Hawaiian birth certificate. Name and date to be filled in at a time to be determined later.

     17) An apple. Actually, this is also a part of ObamaCare, since you-know-what keeps you-know-who away.

     18) Plenty of weed and blow. Just kidding!  (No, I'm not.)

     19) A coupon for one free abortion to be redeemed at the Planned Parenthood of your choice (see #2 and #3).

     20) DVD copies of the movies The Re-Animator and Return of the Living Dead.

     21) A young Korean masseuse to administer the Al Gore Special.

     22) Cucumbers.

     23) Something nice for the wife.

     24) In fact, make it a baby-doll nightie with fur along the bottom to keep her neck warm.

     25) A name whose number of letters don't easily divide into 6-6-6.

     26) A copy of the Koran.

     27) A copy of Fifty Shades of Grey.

     28) ObamaPhones for everybody!

     29) A good economy.

     30) Sarah Palin (see #2 and #3).


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Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Halloween Fish Fable

As a faux member of the Advisory Committee reporting to the FDA, I felt it was my duty to inform them that, while genetically engineered salmon appears to be safe, more testing would be needed before I, in good conscience, could approve it.
     "When you're dealing with the public's safety it's better to err on the side of caution. Do the math," I insisted, "do the math."
     AquaBounty Technologies, Inc., the developer of the would-be country's first genetically engineered food animal, made it clear to me that they were "unpleased" with my stipulation, and offered to give me a personal tour of their facilities. When I hesitated, they also made it clear to me that I did not have a choice.
     I must admit, I was very impressed with what I saw when I got there. The whole farm looked very clean and state-of-the-art.
     "See that," my guide pointed to a randomly selected room. "We even have computers."
     "And who's that," I asked, pointing past the computers to a man trying to stay hidden behind some poorly hung drapes.
     "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain," I was instructed.
     I noticed that the male workers were all tall, muscular, and ruggedly handsome. I also noticed that all the women had humongous breasts.
     What were the odds of that?
     I tried to shake the hand of the Personnel Manager, but instead shook the hand of one of his toadies who had snuck between us and welcomed me to their facility. He shook my hand, pinned an "I Eat Fish" button on my lapel, and still had one hand left over.
     Curiouser and curiouser.
     "What makes our salmon so safe," I was told by one of the ruggedly handsome employees, who, I must admit, couldn't be distinguished from any of the other ruggedly handsome employees, "is that they are farmed, not wild-caught."
     "Doesn't farmed salmon contain higher levels of PCBs, dioxins, and pesticide residues?" I asked my guide. "Aren't they also treated with antibiotics, fungicides, and parasiticides?"
     My guide blinked his one eye, that happened to be located in the middle of his forehead, furiously.
     "What's your point?" he asked.
     He led me to one of a dozen water tanks used to farm the fish. As I passed a window I glanced outside and saw an employee walking a giant chicken on a leash. It was the size of an elephant. I shook my head in amazement.
     "That's a big chicken," I couldn't help but say out loud.
     I looked over the side of the spawning-tank. In it were hundreds, maybe thousands, of these genetically altered fish.
     One of them made eye contact with me. I was astonished by how human its eyes looked. In the background, sounding somewhere far, far away, my guide was still talking.
     "...salmon DNA mixed with human DNA, and not just any human DNA, but baby DNA. It's what makes them so delicious. They've received the Dr. Mengele Seal of Approval. Do the math," he kept insisting. "Do the math."
     The fish that I had made eye contact with began to swim cautiously toward me. What I remember most was how sad its eyes looked. It poked its head out of the water, and, maybe it was just the water it was swimming in, but it looked as if it was crying. Then it mouthed the words, "Help me. Heeelp meeeee."
     I did the math.
     And then I ran.


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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Partisan Paradox

     "Yay! Obama won the debate!"
     "Yay! Romney won the debate!"
     "No, Obama won the debate!"
     "No, Romney won the debate!"
     "Obama won the debate!"
     "Romney won the debate!"
     "Obama won!"
     "Romney won!"
     "Obama won!"
     "Romney won!"
     "Obama won!"
     "Romney won!"
     "Obama won!"
     "Romney won!"
     "Obama won!"
     "Romney won!'
     "Obama!"
     "Romney!"
     "Obama!"
     "Romney!"
     "Obama!"
     "Romney!"
     "Obama!"
     "Romney!"
     "Obama!"
     "Romney!"
"Obama!" "Romney!" "Obama!" "Romney!"
"Obama!" "Romney!" "Obama!" "Romney!"
Obama! Romney! Obama! Romney! Obama! Romney! Obama! Romney! Obama! Romney! Obama! Romney! Obama! Romney!
Obama Romney Obama Romney Obama Romney Obama Romney Obama Romney Obama
Romney Obama Romney Obama Romney Obama Romney Obama Romney Obama Romney
ObamaRomneyObamaRomneyObamaRomneyObamaRomneyObamaRomneyObamaRomneyObamaRomney
ObamaRomneyObamaRomneyObamaRomneyObamaRomneyObamaRomneyObamaRomneyObamaRomney
obamaromneyobamaromneyobamaromneyobamaromneyobamaromneyobamaromneyobamaromneyobamaromneyobama
romneyobamaromneyobamaromneyobamaromneyobamaromneyobamaromneyobamaromneyobamaromneyobamaromney...
 
 
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Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Biden Vs. Ryan Debate

NOTICE*
 
Persons attempting to find originality in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find ingenuosity in it will be banished; persons attempting to find other big words that they don't understand but pretend they do will be shot.
BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR
Per G. G., CHIEF OF ORDNANCE.
 
 
Martha Razmataz, the 2012 Vice Presidential debate moderator, welcomed Democrat Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan to Centre College in Danville, Kentucky for their one and only debate. Centre College is well-known in the halls of acadamia for not knowing the correct spelling of the word "center."
     Biden eyed Ryan cautiously. The challenger had a conservative air about him that ate into the Vice President's vitals.The more Biden stared at the young upstart, the older and less-relevant he seemed to himself. Neither man spoke. If one moved, the other moved--but only sidewise, in a circle; they kept face to face and eye to eye all the time. Finally Biden said:
     "I can lick you!"
     "I'd like to see you try it."
     "No, you can't, either."
     "Yes I can."
     "No, you can't."
     "I can."
     "You can't."
     "Can!"
     "Can't!"
     An uncomfortable pause. Then Biden said:
     "What's your name?"
     " 'Tisn't any of your business, maybe."
     "Well I 'low I'll make it my business."
     "Well why don't you?"
     "If you say much I will."
     "Much--much--much. There now."
     "Oh, you think you're mighty smart, don't you? I could lick you with one hand tied behind me, if I wanted to."
     "Well why don't you do it? You say you can do it."
     "Well I will, if you fool with me."
     "Oh yes--I've seen whole families in the same fix."
     "Smarty! You think you're some, now, don't you? Oh what a hat!"
     "You can lump that hat if you don't like it. I dare you to knock it off--and anybody that'll take that dare will suck eggs."
     "You're a liar!"
     "You're another."
     "You're a fighting liar and dasn't take it up."
     "Aw--take a walk."
     "Say--if you give me much more of your sass I'll take and bounce a rock off'n your head."
     "Oh, of course you will."
     "Well I will."
     "Well why don't you do it? It's because you're afraid."
     "I ain't afraid."
     "You are."
     "I ain't."
     "You are."
     Another pause, and more eyeing and sidling around each other. Presently they were shoulder to shoulder. Biden said:
     "Get away from here!"
     "Go away yourself!"
     "I won't."
     "I won't either."
     So they stood, but neither could get an advantage. Each relaxed his strain with watchful caution, and Biden said:
     "You're a coward and a pup. I'll tell Obama on you, and he can thrash you with his little finger, and I'll make him do it, too."
     "What do I care for Obama? I've got a running mate that's bigger than he is--and what's more, Romney can throw him over that fence, too."
     "That's a lie."
     "Your saying so don't make it so."
     Biden drew a line in the dust on the floor with the tip of his shoe, well-shined by an unpaid intern, and said:
     "I dare you to step over that, and I'll lick you till you can't stand up. Anybody that'll take a dare will steal sheep."
     Ryan stepped over promptly, and said:
     "Now you said you'd do it, now let me see you do it."
     "Don't you crowd me now; you better look out."
     "Well, you said you'd do it--why don't you do it?"
     "By jingo! for two cents I will do it."
     Ryan took two broad coppers out of his pocket and held them out with derision. Biden struck them to the ground, and then, just as quickly, bent down to pick them up and put them in his pocket. He was a Democrat, after all. In an instant both politicians were rolling and tumbling on the floor, covering themselves with dust and glory. Presently the confusion took form and through the fog of battle Biden appeared, seated astride Ryan, and pounding him with his verbosity.
     "Holler 'nuff!" said he.
     Ryan only struggled to free himself. He was crying foul,--mainly from rage.
     "Holler 'nuff!"--and the pounding went on.
     At last Ryan got out a smothered " 'Nuff!" and Biden let him up and said:
     "Now that'll learn you. Better look out who you're fooling with next time."
     Ryan went off brushing the dust from his clothes, occasionally looking back and shaking his head and threatening what he would do to Biden the "next time he caught him out." To which Biden responded with jeers, but as soon as his back was turned Ryan snatched up a hard fact, threw it and hit him between the shoulders and then turned tail and ran faster than Bill Clinton dropping his pantaloons at the Miss Arkansas pageant. Biden chased the impertinent pup back to his seat, held a position at the table, and dared him to stand up and face him like a man, or as close to one as a politician can muster. Ryan only made faces at him and declined. At last Martha Razmataz regained control of the debate, and called it to an end.
     Biden went away; but said he " 'lowed" to "lay" for "my friend."


Fifty Shades of Funny
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*With apologies to Mark Twain.
 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Horror of President Obama

P is for Psycho
     Don't let Norman get too chummy
R is for poor Ramses
     You know him as the Mummy
E is for the Evil
     In Dr. Jekyll's drink
S is for Lord Satan
     A Republican, I think
I is for the Invisible Man
     Who challenges your sight
D is for Count Dracula
     He'll love you at first bite
E is for Elm Street
     Where Freddy likes to play
N is for Nightfall
     The Wolfman's favorite time of day
T is for the Tortured Souls
     Burning sinfully in Hell
O is for the Opera
     Where the Phantom likes to dwell
B is for Bigfoot
     A wookie gave him birth
A is for Space Aliens
     Who've come to conquer Earth
M is for the Monster
     Dr. Frankenstein's his pop
And A... well, A is for All the rest
     I'm so scared, I'd better stop


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A Halloween Dog Tale

Charlie and Buster were digging in the backyard when they found an old metal box.
     "Maybe there's money inside."
     "Yeah, it could be worth its weight in Puppy Chow."
     They both laughed at Buster's bad joke. When they forced the rusted box open they were disappointed. It was only a book. Someone's diary.
     They began to read it out loud.

     January 1, 2013--Mayor John Cook's new law goes into effect today. The one prohibiting the sale of dogs less than a year old within the city limits. It's a shame that, until now, dogs could be bought and sold like, well, animals.

     The two friends looked at each other.
     "Can you believe this?" Charlie asked.
     Buster just shook his head.

     June 27, 2014--The last of the pet stores went out of business today. Those poor employees. Losing their jobs. Especially in this bad economy. But that's a small price to pay for animal rights.

     August 1, 2014--I almost ran over a dog today. Its owner should be shot! Mayor Cook should have instituted a death penalty for people who abandon their pets when he had the chance. He was the best mayor we've ever had.

     July 30, 2017--John Cook was the worst mayor we've ever had! People's pets keep having litters, but since they can't sell them, they just dump them in the streets. Now the city's overrun. Where are all the pet stores when you need them?

     December 20, 2021--I drove past a pack of dog's today. They all watched me as I went went by. I looked in my rear-view mirror and--I know this sounds crazy--but it looked like they were conspiring against me.

     July 4, 2030--The Fourth of July's been cancelled. President Palin has declared a state of emergency. There are dogs everywhere. You can't even order pizza without some mangy mutt jumping out of the box.

     September 23, 2031--I just saw our old mayor, John Cook. He was wandering around the empty baseball stadium Downtown, looking old and confused. He was wearing a sign. It said: "The End Is Near!"

     February 2, 2032--This is my last entry. When I'm done, I'll bury this diary in my backyard. I don't have much time. There's a group of dogs at my front door and--dear God--they're all standing on two feet!

     The diary ended there.
     Charlie and Buster looked at each other in silence. After a while they began to laugh, and shook their heads. Their big ears flopping from side to side.
     "Talking humans," Charlie chuckled, his tail wagging in good humor. "What a joke. By the way, have you finally had your pet human fixed?"
     "Woof!"


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