Thursday, October 31, 2013

Horrorscope: Special Halloween Edition


hello
you are one day closer to death


Happy Birthday!
 
If you were born on this date, you can look forward to a long life full of happiness and prosperity.
Just as long as you don’t listen to those voices in your head telling you to kill.
 
 
Also Born On This Date
 
Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Jodi Arias, Ariel Castro, al-Qaida
 
 
Aries
(March 21-April 19)
 
What’s that mole on your skin?
Hmmm… it looks like cancer.

 
Taurus
(April 20-May 20)
 
 When you go to sleep at night, be sure to close your closet door all the way.
That’s how the clown gets in.

 
Gemini
(May 21-June 20)
 
What’s sharper? A straight razor or a surgeon’s scalpel?
Don’t know?
Don't worry about it… you’re about to find out.
 
 
Cancer
(June 21-July22)
 
Isn’t it ironic that your astrological sign is also cancerous?

 
Leo
(July 23-August 22)
 
Are you the kind of person who thinks it would be fun to have your throat sliced open with a dull blade of some kind?
No?
Then you’re not going to like your fortune for today.

 
Virgo
(August 23-September 22)
 
That’s an official-looking letter you’ve got there. Hmm, it looks like it’s from the IRS.

 
Libra
(September 23-October 22)
 
Do you ever suddenly wake up in the middle of the night for no reason with the feeling that someone is watching you?
That’s because somebody is.
Clowns.

 
Scorpio
(October 23-November 21)
 
Oh, my, you should have used protection.
I don’t want to tell you what your one-night stand had, but it rhymes with “maids.”

 
Sagittarius
(November 22-December 21)
 
The good news is: your child doesn’t have behavioral problems.
The bad news is… you’d better call an exorcist.

 
Capricorn
(December 22-January 19)
 
There’s a tiny bug that likes to climb into the ear canal of humans while they sleep. It then spends the rest of its short life eating away at the unfortunate victim’s brain tissue, causing that person excruciating pain. Eventually, they do stop…
…to lay eggs.

 
Aquarius
(January 20-February 18)
 
There's no such thing as zombies. 
That guy's probably  just a drunk.

 
 Pisces
(February 19-March 20)
 
Wasn’t your daughter supposed to be home by now? I’m sure she’s okay.
Hey, are those sirens I hear?
 
 
Thought For The Day
The last man on Earth sat alone in a room.
There was a knock at the door...
 
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Count Barackula Of Taxsylvania

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 in 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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Monday, October 28, 2013

Is Your House Haunted?

From the disembodied head floating in your living room to the one night stand who doesn't want to leave, these may all be signs that your house is haunted.
     I've never seen a more paranormal infestation than the time Rebecca G. called me to see what I could do about some random guy she made the drunken mistake of bringing home one Friday night. He spent the night, didn't leave all of Saturday, and slept on the couch when he discovered Ms. G. was only easy after throwing back a few Jose Cuervos on a dare.
     By Sunday, he was quite comfortable making his own breakfast, and she felt compelled to call me in a panic, quite rightly believing he would never vacate the premises. She was right.
     Guys such as him are supernatural leeches. Like a cat, they never leave once they've been fed. So I called a priest, not to conduct an exorcism, but to perform a marriage ceremony.
     That guy couldn't find the exit door fast enough.
 

Who am I?
 

     My name is Louis Cypher, and I am a paranormal researcher, demonologist, and the only non-Catholic authorized by the holy Catholic Church to perform exorcisms. I lecture and run workshops when I'm not busy pulling a double-shift at Chic-fil-A.
     Let me give you a brief history of ghosts. People have always died, so there have always been ghosts. Is that brief enough for you? Good. In that case, I'll go on to...
 
Can You Gather Proof of a Haunting?
 

     Despite the shows you've seen on TV, where you'll waste several hours of your life watching grown men coming up empty-handed episode after episode, gathering proof is rather easy.
     There was one time I was gathering proof when I accidentally jumped up and down on an antique piano, which had the bad judgement to collapse underneath my considerable weight.
     "Oh, my God!" the owner of the piano cried out. "That's a priceless Steinway!"
     "Not any more," I updated her.
     "What happened?" she asked me, on the verge of suspicion.
     "The ghost," I told her. "The ghost."
     Yes, the ghost, indeed. I remember I also had to punch myself in the nose several times in the privacy of her bathroom to cause the proper amount of bleeding before she finally ceased her silly talk about lawsuits.
     Gathering proof--I mean, real proof--is all part of the importance of doing research. Doing research is hard work, and it can take an intense amount of time. If I wanted to waste my time doing hard research, I wouldn't have dropped out of school.
     But Mr. Cypher...
     Please, call me Louis.
     But Louis...
     That's MISTER Louis to you!
     But Mr. Louis, what do I do or not do if it turns out my house IS haunted?
     What are you asking ME for?
     Oh, yeah... right.
     Well, when an old girlfriend once told a drunken me at 4 in the morning to leave or she'd call the cops, I left. I suggest you do the same thing. Especially when the entity telling you to leave is a malevolent spirit, like my ex-wife.
     And under no circumstances should you ever invite a spirit to join you for coffee and pastries. Spirits love pastries. You'll never get them to leave.
     Sometimes people are unsure if whether or not to get help when their house is haunted. My rule of thumb is this: If the spirit is playful and takes out the trash without having to be asked, I say keep it. You can always use a free babysitter. If, however, the spirit is constantly pestering you at night--like my wife says I do to her--that would be the time to call me, or someone like me, but who probably won't be as good.
     You say, should you call the Catholic Church?
     I say, why bother?
     The Catholic Church has stopped performing exorcisms, as they do not want to be accused of any more child molestations, so you're on your own, buddy.
    
How Do Ghosts Communicate With The Living?
 

     How do you talk to your children about ghosts? What do you tell people who ask you about the paranormal? What are some frequently asked questions about ghosts and the paranormal?
     Man, that sure is a lot of questions I have to ignore. I will answer this, however: How do ghosts communicate with the living? Quite frankly, I don't know. I mean, they have no bodies, they can't talk, and they're dead. It's almost as if they don't really exist, and are just the machinations of a flim-flam man of the supernatural whose main agenda is making money.
     Can ghosts appear in our dreams? That's a good question, my friend. There have been many cases where a dead parent has entered a child's dream to advise them on something of grave importance.
     "Why don't you clean your room?" the parent from beyond might say. It's like a pig-sty in here!"
     A dead husband has been known to come back and ask his wife, "How about one more time for old time's sake?" And then can be heard the rest of the night crying in the corner after she turns him down in the afterlife just as cruelly as she had cut him off in life.
     Interestingly enough, my wife will have incredibly sensual dreams of sex with the spirit of a future dead Brad Pitt (which, incidentally, answers the question if a ghost can travel in time). She'll awaken to find her panties removed. I, of course, deny any knowledge of what happened.
     "The ghost," I'll tell her. "The ghost."
     Yes, the ghost, indeed.
 

Can Ghosts Travel In Time?
 

     Hey, I've already said that question's been answered, but, yes, as a supernatural spirit, ghosts can freely travel the different wavelengths of time and move easily back and forth from the past to the future to the present. Incidentally, and I do say "incidentally" a lot, they also get their satellite signals for free.
     Ghosts are forever, but man-made structures are not. What is a ghost to do if the house it lives in is torn down, burned up, or destroyed in an earthquake or catastrophe of some kind? Who do I look like? Hank Hanagrath, the Bible Answer Man?
     Do pets come back as ghosts? Will you be reunited with your beloved pet in Heaven?
     No.
     The house I grew up in was said to be haunted. Although I personally never saw or experienced any such manifestations, I believed my parents when they told me, "Hey, you're 40! Shouldn't you be moving out of the house?" That's around the time the supernatural manifestations began to occur.
     One night we played on the Ouija Board, only to have Uncle Ouija spell out the words, "GET OUT!" for me. Many a night I was woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of someone saying, "Get out... get out..." in a voice that sounded eerily like my father's. When my mother would cook me my seven eggs over medium for breakfast, I would notice that all seven yolks would be broken.
     "What happened to my yolks?" I'd ask her.
     "The ghost," she'd tell me. "The ghost."
     Yes, the ghost, indeed, but it must have been a playful entity. Some days, when I got home late after a night of drinking with my buddies, my clothes and all my belongings would be packed and sitting just outside the front doors.
     "Who did this?" I would demand of my parents, and then fall on the floor.
     "The ghost," they would answer together. "It must want you to leave."
     Finally, I came home to find that the ghost had changed all of the locks. I knocked and knocked, and yelled and yelled, but apparently it also put a spell of silence on the house as well ("Abra-kadorky!"), because my parents never answered.
     So I was forced to move out to the sad cheers of my mom and dad, and I've spent the rest of my life helping others with those malevolent spirits who exiled me from the only home I ever knew, as well as exorcising me from free room and board.
     I've gone back to that home many times, but my parents have never answered. I think the ghost forced them to move from that house many years ago, and not leave a forwarding address.
     Maybe I'll see them in the afterlife.
 
 


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Friday, October 25, 2013

Ozombie 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 the President. And when the President 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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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fear The Fish

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. Heelp mee." I did the math.
     And then I ran.


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Monday, October 21, 2013

Are You Psychic?

Are you psychic?
     I am, my friends. And let me tell you what a blessing it's been in my life. Why, just the other day I was faced with the decision, "Do I want to pay an extra dollar for the Power Play on my Powerball ticket? My Third Eye told me "no," so I didn't. Well, let me tell you, when the numbers were called and I didn't get a single one, I had to thank my psychic powers for saving me that dollar.
     But this isn't about me, it's about you. I can sense you asking yourself, "Am I psychic?" "Do I have a sixth sense?" "Will Obama ever dye his hair?"
     My answer to you is, "Why don't we find out together?"
     Imagine being able to talk with your own Spirit Guide. Imagine having the power to look into your future. Imagine having avoided that round of penicillin shots. (You know what round of penicillin shots I'm talking about. Sure, you do.)
     There's a life you were destined to live, my friends. Discover it. Embrace it. But don't embrace it too enthusiastically, however. You don't want to be accused of sexual harassment. I learned that the hard way.
     Gifted psychic, Carlos Peligro, had taught hundreds, maybe thousands--even millions!--of people to do just that, and I was one of the fortunate few to learn his secrets.
     "Mr. Danger," I asked him, using the English translation of his last name, "if I'm psychic, wouldn't I be able to just read your mind and learn all your secrets without having to pay you $24.95?"
     "Pish, posh," he answered. "Pish, posh."
     Well, I couldn't argue with logic like that, and neither can you, so, for a small donation of $24.95, I'll help you contact your Spirit Guide so that, for an additional $24.95, he can help you find your Life's Path. You'll be able to read other people's minds and wallets. You'll be able to attract the right people to you. People with $24.95.
     You'll be able to distinguish real Psychic Insight from wishful thinking. Psychic Reality from your imagination. Psychic Ability from a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Just the other night I dreamt I was in a flood. When I was awoke, I wondered, "Is this a warning of some kind? An urgent premonition of some future calamity?" As it turned out, I had just wet the bed.
     But my point is this: I wasn't fooled. I was able to tell the difference between a dream and... and... you know, that thing where you know what's going to happen before it does. (What? I should just use my psychic ability to find out what that word is? You are a funny person, my friend.)
     Did you know there is a Healing Power in the Supernatural World? There is. You have to look no further than the movie The Exorcist or The Conjuring to see it. This morning, when I tried to start my 83' Yugo (I keep it because it's a classic), it just wouldn't start. I cranked it and I cranked it, but it was as dead as my ex-wife's soul. After priming the carburetor with a little gasoline from the plastic milk jug I keep in the trunk, I put my left hand on the dash, releasing my Psychic Energy, as I turned the key with my right. And do you know what? After a few more attempts at priming the carburetor... the city bus came along and picked me up!
     Let me give you another example of how Psychic Powers can help you. I was at a sporting event recently--I came this >< close to winning the trifecta--and I saw a gentleman wearing those types of athletic shoes that have toes. If that gentleman had only been able to tap his Psychic Powers, he would have known how ridiculous he looked wearing shoes with toes.
     At another sporting event, I remember thinking to myself, "What inning are we in?" Wait a minute, this is football, they don't have innings. But what DO they have? I called upon my Third Eye. What is it? What is it? I called upon my Sixth Sense. Let's see, BeyoncĂ© sang at the Super Bowl's... HALFTIME! It there's a half, then there must be a quarter. That's it... QUARTER!
     "What quarter are we in, honey?" I asked my wife. Once again, my Psychic Ability came through for me.
     Have you ever wondered what happens when we die? Me, too. Let me know if you ever find out. In the meantime, you can busy yourself learning how to communicate with animals. This was a recent conversation between my dog and myself:
     "Buster... Buster.. Can you understand me?" I asked my boxer.
     "I..." he was trying to answer.
     "Speak to me, Buster. Speak to me."
     "I... I... I'm..."
     "Yes, Buster? What are you trying to say?"
     "I'm hungry."
     And he emphasized his statement by leaving me something on the carpet to clean up that I would have rather not have had to clean up.
     A lot of people in this world feel alone, but there is always someone there looking after us. In O.J. Simpson's wife's case, it was O.J., but that didn't turn out so good, so forget I mentioned it. Myself, I talk to spirits as easily as I'm talking to you, right now.
     "Are you playing with your imaginary friends again?" my wife will lovingly tease me.
     "Shut up, big nose!" I'll lovingly tease her back.
     But my point is, you can do it too! You can learn to open your Third Eye and see a supernatural world filled with potential friends like Bloody Mary and Candyman and Dick Cheney. I will inspire you with my amazing stories and adventures. I will teach you how to harness the Natural Power that can change your life forever. Now...
     How about that $24.95?


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Friday, October 18, 2013

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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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dog Day Halloween

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, 2019--Former Mayor John Cook's new law has been in effect three years now. The one prohibiting the sale of dogs less than a year old within the city limits. It was a shame that, before then, dogs could be bought and sold like, well, animals. Hurray! Hurray for Mayor Cook!
 

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

     June 27, 2020--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, 2020--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, 2023--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, 2027--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, 2036--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, 20327-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, 2038--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 people," 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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Monday, October 14, 2013

The Top 10 Things I Do Before A Date

You know what's scarier than Halloween? Dating. You know what's scarier than dating? Dating when you're older.
     So, now that I'm closer to the end of my days than the beginning, let me reveal:
 
The Top Ten Things I Do Before A Date
 
10.  Take a nap
9. Wash off the fishy smell of Preparation H.
8.  Try to remember who I'm taking out.
7.  Massage my prostate to ease the swelling.
6.  Massage my prostate because it feels good.
5.  Shave back, comb eyebrows, trim nostrils, and pluck the hair growing out of my ears.
4.  Do stretching exercises so I won't pull a muscle later when we... well... you know.
3.  Don't forget my Gas-X.
2.  Apply acne medication... ON MY ASS!
 
And the number one thing I do before a date is:
 
1.  On my way to pick her up, stop somewhere to take a shit.
 
 
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Friday, October 11, 2013

Dear John (10-11-13)

Hard Core Advise From
Hard Core's Hardest Core... John Leslie!


Dear John,
     My male partner and I (also male) are delighted we can finally marry (and smoke marijuana) in our home state of California. When we do, how do you suggest we answer the question that straight married couples often get, "How long have you two been married?" He and I have been living together for 17 years, and it's not our fault that we couldn't get married years ago.
     Without having to make a political statement each time we're asked, should we simply tack on the number of years together without the benefit of marriage? I'm proud of the time we've been a couple, and even prouder that I love him as much today as when we first fell for each other.
     What should the answer be after we tie the knot?
     --Unsure

Dear Unsure,
     I'm... not... sure.


Dear John,
     My husband and I have been together for 17 years. We live in the country with livestock. I was taught to remove my shoes when I entered my house, especially since I was raised on a farm. My husband wasn't required to do the same as he was growing up.
     I constantly ask him to kindly take his shoes off when he comes in, so he won't dirty our carpeting, but he absolutely refuses. I have explained my reasons to him repeatedly, but he doesn't care that he hurts my feelings by disrespecting me this way.
     Can you please tell me why?
     --Tired

Dear Tired,
     Shhh, don't tell anybody, but the guy who wrote the letter before yours is a homosexual.


Dear John,
     Tell "Lonely" to check the women's clubs in her area. These are national philanthropic organizations that contribute time and money to various worthy community causes.
     The more involved I became, the more people I met. It is an opportunity to do good while making friends.
     I am sure "Lonely" would be welcomed into her local club. She can check online at www.giveusyourmoney.org to locate one in her area.
     --Helpful

Dear Helpful,
     Doesn't anybody understand? Homosexuals are men who have sex with... OTHER MEN!


Confidential to Hopeful
Sorry, but I don't care for things longer than they are wide.
 
 
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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Howard Stern

Hey, wanna see my impersonation of Howard Stern?
     "Penis. Vagina. Penis. Vagina. Penis. Vagina. FART!"
 
     Thank you.
 
 
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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Today In History!

     1869: Franklin Pierce, the 14th president of the United States, died in Concord, N.H. He was best known for being named after Hawkeye from the TV show MASH.

     1871: The Great Chicago Fire erupted. Fires also broke out in Peshtigo, Wis., and in several communities in Michigan. Legend has it that the fire was caused by Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicking over an oil lamp in her barn. Me, I blame UFOs.
    
     1918: U.S. Army Cpl. Alvin C. York led an attack that killed 25 German soldiers and captured 132 others in the Argonne Forest in France. Where were all the French soldiers? Hey, these are the French we're talking about.

     1944: "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," starring Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, made its debut on CBS Radio. You remember radio, don't you? Yeah, me neither.

     1945: President Harry S. Truman announced that the secret of the atomic bomb would be shared only with Britain and Canada. Why not Mexico? Hey, this is Mexico we're talking about.

     1967: Former British Prime Minister Clement Attlee died in London at the age of 84. You remember former British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, don't you? Yeah, me neither.

     1970: Soviet author Alexander Solzhenitsyn was named winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. Rocky later kicked his ass in Rocky IV.

     1982: All labor organizations in Poland, including Solidarity, were banned. Polish citizens could not understand why. Hey, this is Poland we're talking about.

     1992: Former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt died in Unkel, Germany at the age of 78. He left behind no friends or family. He had them all killed in the war.

     2003: A day after being elected governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger said he was promised "a very smooth transition" by ousted Gov. Gray Davis, and vowed to "open up the books" in dealing with the state's ailing economy. You remember when Arnold Schwarzenegger was California's governor, don't you?
     Yeah, me neither.


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Monday, October 7, 2013

Why Not El Paso?


As I sit here watching Miley Cyrus host Saturday Night Live I can't help but wonder what all the fuss is about. That is the ugliest little boy I've ever seen. Just kidding. I know Miley Cyrus is a girl.
     Just like Justin Bieber.
     Am I showing my age? Sometimes I feel like those parents from the 50's calling rock & roll the devil's music or those parents from the 60's yelling at hippies to "get a haircut!

     Don Draper, an advertising executive for the Sterling Advertising Agency and personal friend of mine, once told me, “If you want to sell someone something, it helps to be as good-looking as I am
     I bring this up because of all the criticism over my “El Paso! (Insert Slogan HERE!)” column from months and months ago (5-19-13). 
     “How DARE you take credit for our city’s slogan du jour!” said one.
     “How DARE you besmirch the reputation of the people involved!” said another.
      “How DARE you be so good-looking!” was the general consensus. Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful, besides, I don’t even know what the word “besmirch” even means.
     I’ll leave it to Chris Lopez, my old friend and former editor of the El Paso Times newspaper, to put things in perspective: “Who are you and why do you keep sending me these stories about El Paso? Security!"
     Okay, maybe that wasn’t such a great example, but my point remains that as far as advertising slogans go, “El Paso. It’s all good,” is certainly another one.
     I’ve given great thought about how to properly sell our fair city to people looking to move, tourists looking to travel, and businesses looking to relocate, and I’ve also written at great length about just how to accomplish this goal. These writings were so impressive, I had no choice but to award myself the Legend Award for Achievements in Self-Promotion. The same award Reverend Wright, President Obama’s pastor and mentor for the last thirty years, awarded himself.
     In fact, one of those fictitious humor columns was even published in the local newspaper. This was one or two years back, and I’m still waiting for my check. The column dealt with the concept of using guilt to sell El Paso to the rest of the world.

Come To El Paso! Or You’ll Make Your Mother Cry!

   
     Unfortunately, that fictitious humor column was later determined to be, ahem, fictitious, and I was given a Double-Secret Probation and banned from ever being published again in the newspaper. The last time I received a Double-Secret Probation, I was in the Delta House fraternity in Faber College during the 60’s.
     Personally, I think it was Robert Moore, the current editor of the newspaper, who was behind this sordid chapter in my sordid life, and all because I told him he was my least-favorite James Bond.
     “That’s Roger Moore!” he hissy-fitted. But I digress…
     My first thought about selling El Paso was to keep it simple. The city’s name, followed by a clever slogan, and with a few exclamation points thrown in to make it sound more exciting than it actually is.

El Paso! When You’ve Got Nothing Better To Do!

     I felt that our advertising slogan could be a living document, constantly changing and growing and evolving to accommodate the facts, like Hilary Clinton’s explanation of what happened in Benghazi.
     (“Ben who?)
     (Exactly.)
     These slogans could be used to fight all these negative lists we seem to constantly find ourselves at the top of, like, for example, Fattest City,

El Paso! We’re Not Fat, We’re Big-Boned!
 
     Or to put a positive spin on a local problem that’s made national news, like the drug war just across the border in Juarez, Mexico.

El Paso! You’ll Never Feel More Alive Than When You’re Being Shot At By Mexican Drug Lords!

     I also felt that there’s nothing wrong with lying to someone to get something you want. If it weren’t for lies, I wouldn’t have gotten lucky half as often as I did, if you get my drift. Unfortunately, the law looks unkindly on blatantly lying to the public (unless you’re in politics, that is), so you have to talk your way around the lie, in a sort of verbal gymnastics along the quality of Olympic Gold Medal winning Gabby I-Don’t-Remember-What-Her-Last-Name-Is.

Who Killed Kennedy? Find Out In El Paso!

Come See Where Kennedy Was Shot! El Paso!

     First off, I hope you see what a masterful innovation I made to my original sales pitch by putting our city’s name at the end of the slogan, all the while keeping the hugely popular exclamation points. Secondly, I’m not actually saying you’ll accomplish either of those two goals if you visit El Paso. What I’m saying is, hey, we have books, and in those books you can read that it was Oswald who shot President Kennedy, and see pictures of the book suppository where he shot him from.
     You can also talk your way around a lie by making a claim that can neither be proven nor disproven.

El Paso! The Paris Of The Southwest!

El Paso! Hollywood By The Rio Grande!

     A personal opinion goes a long way toward stretching the truth.
     People, for the most part, like to be told what to do. After a night of heavy drinking, I’ve found that I only need to get into a stranger’s car when it’s stopped at a red light, and, if that stranger is a female, she’ll be more than happy to take me home if I tell her to.

Where Are The Friendliest, Most Helpful People At? El Paso!

     Knowing that people will respond to an order led me to come up with my “Come To El Paso!” series of slogans.

Come To El Paso! Don’t Make Me Get The Belt!

Come To El Paso! Where Things Are Cheap, The Cars Are Fast, And So Are The Women!

     That third slogan is the one that got me in trouble with Ms. Lingus, president of NOW, the Natural Organization of Women. It was the final straw for Connie, who broke off our seriously frivolous relationship and swore to never see me again, unless she was drunk and in the mood for a late night booty-call.
     From those late-night calls I learned that a little begging never hurt nobody, so I came up with my “Why Not El Paso?” slogan (To get the full effect of the slogan, try saying “Why Not El Paso?” in a high-pitched, whiney voice.).

You’ve Got The Money! Why Not El Paso?

You’ve Gotta Go Somewhere! Why Not El Paso?

     To wrap this up, if you were to ask me which slogan, of the ones I’ve come up with, was my personal favorite, I’d have to admit that it’s the one that was inspired by something my bookie, Frankie “Three-Fingers,” who once told me:

El Paso! We Know Where You Live!

 
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Friday, October 4, 2013

ObamaCare 4 Suckers

The thing that bothers me most about doctors pre-ObamaCare is that when you called them to make an appointment, they gave you one, but it was weeks--maybe months--in the future, and then, when they examined you, they asked why you waited so long to see them.
     I had a friend whose health care professional called him with his test results.
     "I have some bad news, and then I have some REALLY bad news," the doctor admitted. "The bad news is that you only have twenty-four hours to live."
     "Oh my God," my friend cried. "What can be worse than THAT?"
     "I couldn't get ahold of you yesterday."
     Another friend of mine was told by his physician that he would have to take a pill every day for the rest of his life. So what was wrong with that?
     His doctor only gave him FOUR pills.
     The third of my five ex-wives once asked, "Dr. Smith, how long after the operation will I have to wait before I can have sex again?"
     The doctor hemmed and hawed, and then he said, "You know, you're the first person who ever asked me that before a tonsillectomy."
     I remember one time when I had to go to the doctor. I walked into the office and told the receptionist, "I think I need to get my eyes checked."
     "No kidding," she said. "This is the Ladies Room."
     When I finally found my way to the proper office, my doctor gave me the bad news that I would only be able to resume my romantic life as soon as I could climb five flights of stairs without becoming winded.
     "Doc," I asked him, "what if I just find myself a woman who lives on the ground floor?"
     So what can we expect post-ObamaCare? Nothing but good things, my friends. Nothing but good things. For example, your proctologist will now be required to use TWO fingers, just in case you want a second opinion. Also, if you can't afford the operation, your physician will now be authorized to touch up your X-rays for you.
     With ObamaCare, medical science will now be able to make a lot of progress in the development of new miracle drugs. No matter what illness you have, soon the doctors will be able to keep you alive long enough for you to pay your bill. Speaking of miracle drugs, if penicillin is such a wonder drug, then why can't it cure bread mole?
     Under the Affordable Care Act doctors will be required--required, I tell you--to develop a good bedside manner. The example they give is a man receiving a phone call from the emergency room doctor. The doctor tells him, "Your wife was in a serious accident. She's lost both of her arms and both of her legs. She'll need help eating and going to the bathroom for the rest of her life. Every waking moment of your life will have to be spent taking care of her."
     "Oh my God," the man says. "My life is over. Over.
     "Aw, I was just kidding. Your wife is dead."
     See what the doctor did there in that example? He turned bad news into good news. Now that's what I call a good bedside manner.
     Another example of a doctor exhibiting good bedside manners, is the story where a horrible mistake is made in surgery, and, instead of a vasectomy, a man was given a complete sex-change operation.
     "Oh, noooo!" the unfortunate patient cried out when he was given the bad news. "I'll never be able to experience an erection again!"
     "Sure you will," the surgeon told him soothingly. "Only it will belong to someone else."
     Which reminds me of a joke:

What's the definition of minor surgery?
An operation performed on someone else.

     When you go to the dentist, if your complaint is that it costs you over a hundred dollars to have your tooth pulled, while it only costs the dentist a few minutes of his time, then he has the option to extract it  v...e...r...y  s...l...o...w...l...y  if you like.
     Yes, at the dentist's office, the patient will be king. Or queen, as the case may be. I can very well picture the scenario where a woman will be told by her dentist that he's unfortunately going to have to drill a tooth.
     If the woman answers, "That sounds so painful, I think I'd rather have a baby."
     Her dentist will reply, "Well, make up your mind. I don't want to adjust the chair for nothing."
     There are some women who are cursed, or blessed (depending on your point of view), to have an orgasm every time they sneeze, in which case the ObamaCare doctor will be more than happy to write out as many prescriptions for black pepper as they would like. And when he does write out that prescription, he'll be required to write it out in handwriting that is neat and legible. Which reminds me of a joke:

Why did the doctor fail as a kidnapper?
No one could read the ransom notes.

     General anesthesia--as opposed to sargeant anesthesia--will now be required for ALL surgeries, even the ones involving your mother-in-law. One thing I've always found interesting about anesthesia is how you go to sleep in one room and wake up in another. Just like college.
     If women are ever stuck on a respirator or a life support system, they won't be unplugged until they've lost that last five pounds. If they have a cough, they'll be given a whole box of Ex-Lax to eat. That way, they'll be AFRAID to cough.
     With ObamaCare, it's all about keeping cost down for the average American tax-payer. But even I think they're going a little too far with coin-operated bedpans.
     Which reminds me of a joke:


The New England Journal of Medicine reports that nine out of ten doctors agree that one out of ten doctors is an idiot.

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

ObamaCare 4 Dummies (Part Four)


     "But President Obama, what are the three critical parts of the Affordable Care Act?"
     My friend, why waste your time talking to someone who wouldn't hear you even if you were standing right next to him? You might as well be talking to your teenage son.
     Unlike the way you have to go through a variety of priests, popes, and saints to get what you want in the holy Catholic church, you only have to go through ME to get the information you want.
     "Is the information reliable?" I can hear you asking.
     Well, it's as reliable as I can make up.

_________________________
 
The Three Critical Parts
of the
Affordable Care Act
_________________________
 


Guaranteed Coverage!



     When I say "guaranteed coverage," I MEAN "guaranteed coverage." That is, unless I don't. I'm confused already, and I've barely begun.
     What I think it means is that not only will you BE ABLE TO enroll in a health insurance plan, but you'll HAVE TO enroll in a health insurance plan. If "guaranteed" means "being forced to," then, yeah, you're guaranteed, buddy.
 

Cost Assistance!

 
     If you're worried about how you're going to PAY for all this "guaranteed" insurance, well, keep worrying. The only people who don't have to worry are the rich (who can afford to buy insurance like it was a jar of Grey Poupon) and the poor (who, as usual, will be subsidized by YOU, the American tax-payer). This will be accomplished through tax credits and/or monetary assistance.
     Will YOU receive any of these tax credits and/or monetary assistance?
     Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! You sure are funny, amigo.
     But don't hold this against the tired, the poor, or the huddled masses yearning to be free. If the government didn't pick your pocket to help them, then they wouldn't be able to afford their cigs, their booze, and their iPhones.
 

The Individual Mandate!

 
     Just what IS "the individual mandate"? Well, the individual mandate requires individuals like you (hence the term "individual") to purchase health insurance, OR ELSE you'll have the IRS come after you, and, trust me, you DON'T want the IRS to come after you.
     "But President Obama, I thought it was against the U.S. Constitution for the government to force its citizens to buy any of anything?"
     Hey, what did I tell you about talking to the President?
     When Obama made the IRS responsible for bleeding the American tax-payer dry when it came to the Affordable Care Act, he essentially made it a tax. At least that's how the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court saw it. Chief Justice Roberts had to perform such contortions to come up with this explanation he could have been a Chinese acrobat. Even the carny geeks were jealous at his lack of shame in coming up with his ruling.
     The theory is that with all of us purchasing health insurance, this will create a larger pool of people to help fund benefits for everyone, and the cost of health insurance will go down as a result. Will the cost of health insurance go down? It'll go down about as much as three of my five ex-wives.
     "What if I fail to get coverage... uh, Mr. Duchene?"
     That's better.
     Failure to buy coverage will result in a harsh penalty that will applied to your federal income tax return, forcing you to fabricate even MORE fake deductions.
     "Will EVERYBODY be required to purchase insurance?"
     You sure do ask a lot of questions, my friend.
     The short answer is this: No.
     If you are a friend of the Obamas, helped him get elected president, or contributed to his Chicago Widows & Orphans Fund, then you are exempt. If you are a member of Congress, then you had the wisdom and foresight to exempt YOURSELF from the Affordable Care Act, the way you usually do with any bad laws you manage to pass between fact-finding trips to the Bahamas. But if you're just a regular American, then this would be a good time to get a second job...
     IF there were any jobs.
 
 


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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

ObamaCare 4 Dummies (Part Three)

Employer Mandates
 
Now that you know what you as an individual have to do, what about you as an employer/business owner?
     Let me tell you about a cousin I have who owns a business. I'd tell you the name of his company, but what's in it for me? This cousin recently told me in private that no president has been as unfriendly to small businesses than Obama. When he wakes up from being knocked into next Tuesday, maybe he'll be less inclined to criticize the man who once saved my life in 'Nam.
     Since I don't own a business myself, and my cousin who did was otherwise comatose, I thought I'd go straight to the man himself for some honest answers.
     Obama didn't know.
     "Have you seen the bill?" he asked, yelling at me as if I was a Republican. "It's HUGE! Almost two THOUSAND pages long! Ain't nobody got time for that! Go ask Pelosi."
     So I did. She didn't know either.
     "I know I said we had to pass the bill to find out what was in it," she cackled, "but we don't really care."
     She excuse herself. She said she needed to go tune-up her broom.
     Okay, I guess then it's up to me.
     I picked up the copy of the Affordable Care Act that the President had slammed on the desk in my office two stories back, and took a look. This is what I found out:
 
     >Large employers with 50 or more full-time employees must offer health insurance to them and their dependents or face a penalty of $2,000 per employee (minus the first 30 full-time employees). Now, who's going to want to pay a $2,000 penalty. This is where the magic of David Copperfield comes in. Watch in amazement as as 50 full-time employees now become 50 PART-time employees.
 
     >Dependents are defined as children up to age 26. Great, now I'm NEVER going to get my full-grown son to move out of the house. Spouses, on the other hand, aren't considered dependents, and there's no addendum for blood-sucking leeches.
 
     >Small employers with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees aren't required to offer health insurance. To paraphrase Ross Perot, that kook who once ran for president, the giant sucking sound you hear aren't jobs going across the border, but the employees of large companies trying to keep their jobs.
 
     >Full-time employees are defined as those who work 30 hours or more a week. Here comes David Copperfield again. You won't believe your eyes as you see your 40 hours a week job become a less than 30 hours a week job.
 
     >Employers don't have to provide insurance to part-time employees (29 hours or less), but they do have to compute the total number of hours worked by all part-time and seasonal employees to determine if, in fact, they are large (50 or more full-time workers). Large companies, repeat after me: Employers don't have to provide insurance to part-time employees. Employers Don't Have To Provide Insurance To Part-Time Employees. EMPLOYERS DON'T HAVE TO PROVIDE INSURANCE TO PART-TIME EMPLOYEES!
 
     Anybody care to guess how all those computations are going to add up?
 
 
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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

ObamaCare 4 Dummies (Part Two)

Editor's note: There are many opinions about President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act--aka ObamaCare.
     "It stinks," is one.
     "It sucks," is another.
     "Where's my free cheese?" made its way in there somehow.
     But it's heartening that all sides--Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, Abercrombie and Fitch-- agree on one thing: It sure makes those Tea Party guys MAD!
     But, trust me, they won't be so mad once they read this Q&A, where I've hunted down the answers to your stupidest questions. I know, I know, your mama always told you that there is no such thing as a stupid question...
     Well, your mama was wrong.
 

     Q: I'm on Medicare. Do I have to buy something?
     A: No. The way ObamaCare works is simple, just ask the Head Hookah of the Supreme Court, John Roberts. If you don't want to buy health insurance, you don't have to. The government will just penalize you and the horse you rode in on.

     Q: So, if I already have insurance, will my coverage change?
     A: Only if you consider paying more and getting less changes.

     Q: Are there going to be enough doctors with all these new people getting insurance?
     A: There aren't enough doctors out there now. You do the math.

     Q: I have insurance through a large employer. Why should I care about this law?
     A: Because no matter how much the government tells you that it's not going to, it's STILL going to come out of YOUR paycheck.

     Q: My employer offers a plan, but I don't like it. Can I buy an individual plan on the exchange and perhaps qualify for a subsidy?
     A: This is America, you can buy anything you can afford to buy, INCLUDING a subsidy. Just ask GE.

     Q: I heard that the Affordable Care Act put in place all sorts of requirements for health insurance plans, including group plans by big companies. My company is self-insured. Do they have to comply with the new regulations?
     A: Companies that self-insure must sure have a lot of extra money hanging around. Excuse me while I call the IRS.

     Q: I work for a company that has about 75 workers. We don't get insurance now. Is anything going to change in 2014?
     A: Yes, in 2014, not only will you not have insurance, but you'll also be out of a job.

     Q: I'm the manager of a small company with six full-time employees and five part-timers. What is our company required to do for our employees under the federal law in the way of health care insurance?
     A: They'll only be required to do what the average American has always been required to do: Shut up and take it!
 
to be continued
 
 


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