Disappointment Trumps Excitement on President’s Day

President's Day, Donald Trump, politics, humor, Modern PhilosopherI was talking to a coworker today, Modern Philosophers, and asked her how she was enjoying President’s Day.

And that’s the first problem right there.

I was at work on President’s Day.

Remember when President’s Day was a national holiday?  Hell, when I was in grammar school, we’d get the whole week off to celebrate of great leaders.

I guess now that we have such a lame ass President, no one really wants to party on the holiday that salutes the 45 men who’ve sat in the Oval Office.

Anyway, back to my story.  My coworker, in turn, asked me how my President’s Day was, and I told her I was so bummed about the holiday that I didn’t even dress up like Grover Cleveland as I usually do.

After all, it’s not really President’s Day if you’re not honoring the only man to get elected to non-consecutive terms as our Commander in Chief.

Let me point out here that President Trump didn’t even get elected once.  The Electoral College hung the Orange Albatross around the nation’s neck, and now we must bear the weight of that horror for at least two more President’s Days.

Let’s cleanse our mental pallet by admiring this nifty photo of Grover Cleveland..

Grover Cleveland, President's Day, humor, politics, Modern PhilosopherI’m afraid to even look at my Twitter feed.  Why do I have this sickening feeling that Trump is all over Twitter tweeting about how he is the greatest President ever, that today is the holiday created specifically to honor him, and that no other President ever had a higher President’s Day approval rating than he does?

I mean, it is a Federal holiday, right?  So the President has the day off to watch Fox and Friends, play on Twitter, and see what other trouble he can get into before someone sends him to bed with his cheeseburger.

You know how I think patriotic Americans should be spending President’s Day?

They should read up on How to Impeach the President.  After all, once Trump gets impeached, it will probably become a regular part of American History class.

I never had trouble getting pumped up for President’s Day when President Obama was the man in charge

Hell, I was even giddy about the holiday back when the Bush Boys and Wild Bill Clinton were making us roll our eyes and realize that none of them would ever be chiseled into a mountain or smiling at us from our currency.

President's Day, Donald Trump, politics, humor, Modern PhilosopherBut things are so much different with Trump behind the wheel.  I’m always deathly afraid that he’s going to send the car speeding off the edge of a cliff, or crashing into the side of the sketchiest strip club he can find.

I’d love to make America great again, and I think the quickest way to do that is by celebrating our 46th President next President’s Day.

Unless, of course, it’s Mike Pence.  If that’s the case, then be prepared for an even more despondent post the next time this holiday comes up on the calendar…

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A Failure to Communicate

short story, The Devil, social media, communication, humor, Modern Philosopher“We are a couple of oddballs, are we not?” The Devil asked as a charming smile spread across his handsome face.

As always, he was dressed in an impeccably tailored suit that would have earned him a gold medal if the Winter Olympics had fashion categories.

“That’s pretty obvious, so could you narrow it down to what you’re referencing at the moment?” I asked and then blew my nose for the millionth time today.

“We live in a time when no one communicates face to face anymore,” Lucifer clarified as he passed me the tissues.  “Everyone uses social media to interact now, and they laugh if you suggest getting together to do something.  But here we are, every Sunday, chatting it up like a couple of old school hold outs.”

I was certain he meant that last line as a positive, but it made us sound like a couple of rejects from a time before the internet changed the world forever.

“I see what you mean,” I conceded as I took a long sip of my Snapple.  “I’m not a fan of leaving everything to texting, tweeting, and whatever the correct verb is for using Snap Chat.  Snapping?  Chatting?”

The Prince of Darkness shrugged because he had absolutely no idea what the word was, either.  Not that it was an actual word, but another slang term forced into the vernacular by lazy millennials who couldn’t be bothered to use proper English.

short story, The Devil, social media, communication, humor, Modern Philosopher“I’d much prefer to be face to face with most of the people I text,” I confessed.  “However, if the only choice is social media over no communication at all, I’ve got to give in to peer pressure.  The sound of utter silence would be absolutely deafening.”

“There’s no WiFi in Hell!” Satan declared proudly.  “My house.  My rules.”

I chuckled at my guest’s bravado and then blew my nose again.

“Maybe this is the problem with the world today,” I philosophized as I tossed my tissue into the wastebasket.  “No one knows how to communicate anymore except through slang, photos, memes, and emojis.  No wonder the place is falling apart around us.”

“What we have here is a failure to communicate,” The Devil emphasized with a smile.

“I’m a writer,” I stated the obvious.  “Bending words to my will is my superpower, and yet, I go on that dating website, and I can’t figure out what to write to get a woman to respond.  It shouldn’t come down to an awesome profile pic and a perfect email that breaks some cryptic internet dating code to start up a conversation.  I should be able to meet a woman face to face, talk to her, and then read her body language and facial expressions to know if I’m doing well.”

short story, The Devil, social media, communication, humor, Modern Philosopher“The world would be a better place if the power went out, and everyone was forced to interact via candlelight,” Lucifer mused as he sipped his Snapple.

I blew my nose yet again and nodded.

“Is a worldwide blackout something you can arrange?” I wondered aloud.

“Just say the word, and The Prince of Darkness will level the playing field for you with the snap of his fingers.”

I smiled and thought about my guest’s offer.  A life free of technology did have a certain appeal to it, and I’m probably more handsome in the dark.

Definitely something I’d have to consider in the weeks ahead…

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Stop Giving My Nose Free Refills!

humor, cold and flu season, life, Modern PhilosopherI’ve never been good with science, Modern Philosophers, so I’m going to need a little help with some questions…

Where does my nose get all the snot?  How is my body constantly creating more?  How many times do I have to blow my nose before it is finally empty?  When can I breathe through my nose again?

I tried Google for the answers, but after my first query turned up nothing helpful, I gave up.  Perhaps I should have asked Google a different question, but I went with…

Where the @#$% does all this snot come from?

Maybe I should have referred to it as mucus?

I don’t know.

All I’m certain of at the moment is that I’m blowing my entire paycheck on tissues, and that is simply not acceptable.

And now I’m writing horrible puns in my blog post.  What is happening?

I thought I was finally kicking this malady that has had me in its death grip since Sunday, but the last battalion of germs has apparently hunkered down in my nose and refuses to give up the ghost.

I went for a five mile run this morning, and I’m not in the habit of bringing a box of tissues along with me on a run.

I wish I had.

humor, cold and flu season, life, Modern PhilosopherEvery quarter mile, I was hocking up a loogie.  I felt like an infected version of Hansel and Gretel as I left behind a trail of mucus so I could find my way home.

All I kept thinking was: Who keeps giving my nose free refills?

Running is hard enough, but when you add the challenge of not being able to breathe out of your nose, it becomes a sweaty, snotty nightmare.  After a while, my nose was running way faster than I was.

There’s going to come a point when my body can no longer manufacture the material it needs to keep my nose stuffed and then running, right?

I mean, there’s got to be a limited supply of mucus in all my membranes.

Would someone with knowledge of how the body works please confirm this for me and put my troubled mind at ease?

I was hoping for a quiet, relaxing weekend, but I’m at the point where I want to punch myself in the head because I’m tired of listening to me blow my nose.

I don’t get why my nose is being such a prick.  The rest of my body has fought back against the germ invaders, so why is my nose choosing to harbor the enemy?

humor, cold and flu season, life, Modern PhilosopherSome of you might remember an earlier post about how being sick has helped my creativity.

Despite what this poorly written post might lead you to believe, I am still on a creative tear.  Progress is being made on the book idea, and I rewrote my bio on that dating website that has led to nothing but headaches.

I don’t consider this nose issue to be part of that whole “sickness equals creativity concept”.

This is nothing but annoying, and to put it in simple terms even my nose can understand: It blows!

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Show Me The Money, Uncle Sam!

filing taxes, income tax, humor, Maine, Modern PhilosopherToday was my annual trip to Bangor Public Library to have my taxes done, Modern Philosophers.

I like getting as much money back as possible when I file my taxes, which means I want to get them done for free.  And I certainly don’t trust myself to do them.

The one year I did my taxes, I wound up owing money.  Clearly, a future at the IRS is not in the cards for me.

Fortunately, volunteers from AARP show up every year to help Mainers file their tax returns.  It’s a wonderful service, and I get to hang out at the fancy library that Stephen King keeps afloat with his donations.

I usually go at the end of February, when it’s not so busy.  This year, however, my day off fell earlier in the month due to The Nite Show’s shooting schedule, and I was not prepared for what that would mean.

As part of the deal, AARP bumps senior citizens to the front of the line.  That has never been a problem for me in the past, but this year, well, it nearly drove me crazy.

Or crazier than I already am.

I got to the library at 10:25, less than half an hour after the doors opened.  There were already a lot of people sitting in the cafe, but I didn’t know how many of them were there to have their taxes done.

According to the sign in sheet, I wasn’t too far down the list.

I found a table, got out my book, and waited to hear my name called.

The only problem was that the place kept filling up with senior citizens.  Which means I was getting bumped further and further down the list.

After an hour and a half, I checked where I was on that list.  The nice lady manning the desk told me there was one senior ahead of me, and then five non-seniors.

I went back to my table to wait.

Mind you, I’m wearing my FitBit and I need to get my 250 steps every hour or the device will explode on my wrist.

I was in a crowded cafe, but I didn’t care.  I got up to pace to collect my steps.  And if that made me look like I was impatient, then so be it.

filing taxes, income tax, humor, Maine, Modern Philosopher, Rod TidwellBecause I wanted Uncle Same to show me the money.

And I was getting fed up with waiting.

Plus, I was pissed off with the policy that allowed folks to jump the line.

I understood that AARP wanted to cater to seniors, but it didn’t seem fair that they could stroll in at any time, wait five minutes, and then get an appointment.

Every time an older person wandered in, I groaned.

I hated myself for doing it, but it just meant my day in the library was getting longer.

After three hours, I went up to check my standing again.  The nice man at the desk told me I was next.  I was confused because four seniors had recently joined the group.

Much to my delight, he told me they’d decided to ditch that rule because so many people under the age of 60 were slowly dying of old age from waiting.

My mood improved considerably.

Of course, when that same nice man called someone else’s name next, I was pissed.

Where the hell was Jerry Maguire when I needed him?

filing taxes, income tax, humor, Maine, Modern Philosopher, Jerry MaguireShow me the money, Jerry.

I said SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

When I very quickly materialized at the check in desk again, the nice man apologized for his mistake.

He put a big arrow next to my name and assured me I would be next.

Twenty minutes later, after having waited for three and a half hours, I was finally ushered into the back room where agents worked furiously to get our money back from Uncle Sam.

The volunteer who helped me was very nice, and as soon as I was seated at her desk, all my negative thoughts vanished.

I was getting my taxes done.

For free.

So what if I had to wait longer than the average running time of a James Cameron flick to get into the back room and have my taxes sorted?

filing taxes, income tax, humor, Maine, Modern PhilosopherAll that really matters is that she showed me the money.

Uncle Sam and Governor LePage will be making deposits to my bank account shortly.

Enough to cover a few car payments.

I’m sorry for my temporary rage against those over 60 with tax needs.  It was in the heat of the moment, and all that sitting around and wasting my day off was making me anxious.

I’m just glad my taxes are done.  Until next year, when I will lie about my age and jump to the front of the line…

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Flying Solo on Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day, humor, relationships, being single, Modern PhilosopherI didn’t even realize it was Valentine’s Day, Modern Philosophers, until after my run when I was scrolling through Facebook.

Facebook friends who are in a relationship would never allow the rest of the world to forget Valentine’s Day.

How considerate of them.

My big nod to the holiday was to trade out the green shirt I’d planned to wear for a red one.  Look at me all filled with the Valentine’s Spirit.

I guess what I’m trying to say, once you clear away all the sarcasm, is that I’m okay with being alone on Valentine’s Day.

Some years, this holiday bugs me.  It’s just a blatant reminder that I’m single and nowhere close to being in a relationship, and that usually annoys me.

This year, though, I don’t care.

I got up early like I always do and went for a four mile run.  That’s probably the only time my heart will beat faster than normal this Valentine’s Day.

If you look at the first photo in the post, you will see that I took my post-run selfie with the snowman on Janine’s front lawn.  Sadly, that was the closest I came to any interaction until I got to work, where my coworkers are literally paid to talk to me.

Again, no skin off my nose.

Valentine's Day, humor, relationships, being single, Modern PhilosopherPerhaps it helps that I’m sick.

I’ve spent the day blowing my nose, coughing, clearling my throat, sneezing, and trying to calculate how long it will be until the Angel of Death pushes Cupid out of the way and comes to claim my unloved heart.

I mean, that sort of behavior doesn’t exactly put one in the mood for romance, flowers, and chocolate.

Let me correct that previous statement.  I’m always in the mood for chocolate, but I wasn’t longing for someone to give me Valentine’s chocolates.

Not that I would have turned them down, of course.  Let’s make that perfectly clear.  I might loathe the holiday, but I’m a big fan of its sweets.

One of my dear coworkers brought me a Swiss roll, which was very nice.  I also stopped at the grocery store on the way home for some medicine, and made sure to pick up a half gallon of chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

If I’m going to be honest, I classify the ice cream as medicine.  It’s definitely going to make me feel better, will reduce any fever I might have, and give my tummy a coating to fight off any germs that might be down there.

As for being sick, it doesn’t exactly attract members of the opposite sex.

I was chatting with an attractive coworker this morning, and as soon as she realized I was sick, she ran off.

At least I hope it was because I’m sick.

If it was for other reasons, I might have to add an extra scoop of ice cream to my bowl tonight to get over that one.

Valentine's Day, humor, relationships, being single, Modern PhilosopherI suppose the point of all this rambling, aside from being a distraction from how sick I am at the moment, is that I’m cool with being single today.

Sure, there have been fleeting thoughts of Rachel and Melissa dancing through my head at points today, but I didn’t let the black clouds roll in and have to hide under my desk to avoid the storm.

Look at this picture of me.  I’m happy.  Some might even say handsome.  Perhaps there’s a chance I might find love yet.  If I ever get over this cold.

I’ve got my germs to keep me company, ice cream in the freezer to put a smile on my face, and the day off tomorrow to relax and work on that book that’s ready to explode out of my head.

Sure, I’d love to have someone special snuggled up next to me on the couch right now, but I’m not depressed because I’m alone on Valentine’s Day, or on any other day.

Happy February 14th!

Posted in Dating, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Sick and Twisted Humor

humor, writing, flu, Modern PhilosopherI have been sick the last few days, Modern Philosophers.

I was going to write that I felt like $%^&, but this is a family friendly blog, and the truth of the matter is that while I have been under the weather, I haven’t fallen victim to the flu or some other monster winter disease that renders one bedridden for a week.

I’ve still gone for my runs, I haven’t missed any work, and I’ve yet to require any medical attention.

Since Sunday, I’ve had a sore throat, headache, running nose, and a constant need to sneeze.

I don’t like being a slave to the tissue box all day.  And the sore throat has been more of an annoyance than an actual symptom that worries me.

Today, I was kind of, sort of feeling better.  After blowing my nose all morning, I thought I was finally clearing my system of the crud.  However, all afternoon and into the evening, I’ve been coughing because of an annoying tickle in my throat.

How delightful.

The weird thing is, though, that I’ve been on a writing spree the last few days despite my body’s brush with what feels like death, but is certainly far from it.

Is it possible that being sick forces my mind to focus on the more creative side of things?  Perhaps it is a coping skill to distract me from the overall feeling of drowning in mucus that has been dominating my life?

humor, writing, flu, Modern PhilosopherAs you can see from the x-ray on the left, my brain is a very colorful place.

I’m no doctor, but I’ve watched enough medical dramas to assume that the red section is where the pain resides, while the other colors denote where the creativity is blossoming in my giant brain.

Since I was pretty much stuck inside on the couch all day Sunday, I had an intern fetch me my laptop, and I just cranked out jokes for this week’s taping of The Nite Show.

Writing monologue jokes can be a tricky business because you’re trying to come up with various comedic takes on the same topic to give the host plenty of choices.  Plus, if it’s a good topic, he’ll use multiple jokes if they are well written.

So you’re trying to make each joke funnier than the previous one, while also different enough to not be considered the same gag, so it can also be used.

For whatever the reason, conjuring up the funny was easier over the last couple of days.  Perhaps being a little out of it allows me to loosen up a bit, or maybe being sick simply gives me a different perspective on the world.

Who cares as long as Danny uses the jokes and they kill, right?

Last night, when I turned in my finally batch for Wednesday’s monologue, I asked Danny to excuse the strangeness of my humor, as I was hopped up on cold medicine.

I had taken one pill earlier in the day.

I just knew the jokes were a tad “out there” and didn’t want him to be alarmed and call the police to do a health and welfare check.

My hyper creativity wasn’t merely limited to the world of late night television, either.

humor, writing, flu, Modern PhilosopherThe ideas for the novel I’m planning to write were flowing out of my brain even faster than the snot was escaping from my nose.

I am not one to outline, but I have been typing up page after page on this one, Modern Philosophers.

I already knew I had a great idea, but after reviewing my notes, I now realize that I have enough to turn this into a series if I so desire.  And by “if I so desire”, what I really mean is if I stop hemming and hawing about trying to write a novel, and just sit down and start turning this brain bubble into a book.

I wonder if I would have a better chance of writing this novel if I stay sick.  There always seems to be some malady making the rounds of my office, with my coworkers bringing in the disease of the day that their kids brought home from school and daycare.

But I’m not complaining.  I want to support myself as a writer, and that apparently means  exposing myself to as many germs as possible.

So please don’t tell me to feel better in the comments section.  That’s just going to screw with my new and improved creative process…

Posted in Humor, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

No Love For Cupid

Valentine's Day, Cupid, relationships, humor, Modern Philosopher“Any plans for Valentine’s Day?” The Devil asked with a charming smile as he reached for the Arts section of the Sunday paper.

As always, my weekly guest wore an impeccably tailored suit.  Today, he’d added a red tie and pocket square in a fashionable nod to the upcoming holiday.

“Unless you intend to use your dark powers to bring back Rachel or Melissa, I’m going to treat February 14th like any other Wednesday,” I replied defiantly and took a long sip of my Snapple.

Lucifer chuckled.  “You know, I could easily arrange for either of those past loves to return to The House on the Hill, and give you the happily ever after you so desperately want and deserve.  However, I know the Hopeless Romantic in you would not approve.”

“Isn’t it weird how I want love to happen naturally, rather than by having The Prince of Darkness intervene on my behalf via nefarious means?” I shot back sarcastically.

“I would hardly classify it as nefarious,” Satan countered defensively.  “I assume both of those young ladies still love you, and they merely need a little nudge from an interested third party to allow true love to blossom again.”

He flipped the pages of the newspaper as I rolled my eyes.

Valentine's Day, Cupid, relationships, humor, Modern Philosopher“For the record, I used to excel at Valentine’s Day,” I informed the being seated at the end of my couch.  “Even when I was married, I always crushed it.  Of course, I’ve never understood the need for the holiday.  If you love someone, you should make sure she knows it every day.”

“Spoken like a true romantic,” The Devil said and put down the paper to applaud.  “Then again, your current hatred for the holiday sounds more like sour grapes rather than a case of open-mindedness about how every day should be Valentine’s Day.”

“Why do you have to ruin everything?” I demanded as I snatched the newspaper from his lap and hurled it across the living room.  “Can’t you make me feel like I have the moral high ground, instead of pointing out that I’m just some loser who can’t get a date?”

“I’d never refer to you as a loser,” Lucifer assured me.  “If anything, you’re unlucky at love.  The women around here have no clue what they’re passing up when they don’t go out with you.  Regardless, there’s nothing wrong with saying that Valentine’s Day is a stupid holiday created to prey upon the insecurities of couples.”

“You still manage to surprise me, even though the Nuns painted a very clear picture of who you are, and what the world should expect of you,” I said with a laugh as I sipped a little more of my Snapple.

“If you are going to conjure up a special holiday just for lovers, why would you set it deep in the heart of winter?” The Prince of Darkness continued to share his deep thoughts.

Valentine's Day, Cupid, relationships, humor, Modern Philosopher“Exactly!” I agreed excitedly.  “It should be during the warmer months so couples can go out for romantic picnics, spend time scantily clad at the beach, and not have to bundle up against the elements.  Everything about this holiday is wrong.”

“There is no love for Cupid at The House on the Hill!” Satan declared emphatically.

“None whatsoever!” I agreed.

Of course, there was also no love for Austin at The House on the Hill, which probably explained why I was so cranky and bitter.

On the bright side, I’ll be able to brighten my mood by purchasing a ton of Valentine’s Day candy at a deep discount on Thursday, once the stupid holiday has passed..

Posted in Dating, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments