Short Stack #13

[Apology in advance: Some of these may be repeats.]

Jesus praying to God is the same as masturbation.

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New Superstitions for the Modern Age: If your oatmeal has black specks in it, and if you eat the black specks, you will sicken and die. Eight-year-olds, take note.

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Why, yes, you’re right. It IS a “mute” point. Probably best to say no more about it.

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“Shaken, not stirred.” — If James Bond had been a real person, cocktail waitresses the world over would have thought “Jeez, what an asshole. You’ll take what I bring you, mister, and like it.”

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Just woke up from a dream about vending machines. I think when you dream about vending machines, it means life is going to give you whatever you want. You just have to put in enough quarters.

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Given the life expectancy of fat comedians, if I was a young person, I would not choose “Fat Comic” as a career path.

I mean, besides the fact that I would really suck at it.

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Art is communication. Whatever medium you work in, that’s the medium in which you speak. If you paint a picture, but then have to TELL me what it means, you have failed to communicate in your medium. You have failed as an artist.

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Forgive my redneck roots, but the word “penis,” used by anybody but a doctor, just sounds so sissy. Guys, if you’re going to talk about your dick, say DICK. Use “penis” one more time and I’m sending a couple of 98-pound weaklings over to collect your Man Card.

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The blowtorch of human reason has, through the centuries, burned away those bits of religion that are actually arguable — such as, for instance, the need for evidence for any claim you make. At the same time, the fertilizer of human imagination has gifted religion with slippery tendrils that wedge into every tiny crack of human life and mind: “Oh but with God you don’t NEED evidence. You just need faith.”

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I listened to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody on the radio Friday. I was expecting to enjoy it again, as I always have in the past, but I made the mistake of listening to the lyrics for the first time. Amidst the interesting instrumentalization and superb vocalizations, there is … nothing. It’s like they upended a juvenile poet’s trash can and just threw in everything they could read.

Man, when you grow up, you have to repeatedly face the fact that some large percentage of what you loved when you were a kid was … crap. It was all gilded garbage — you loved it because it was shiny and loud and fast and brightly colored.

Shouldn’t the songs you remember be the ones that taught you some vital epiphany about life? The ones that struck your heart and mind like lightning, changed you from boy to man? Shouldn’t they be more than garbage?

Sometimes I wake up for a moment, lift my head up and look around me, and think “Hey, what am I doing in this penful of grunting, slobbering hogs?”

But then I go back to the slop. God this stuff tastes good.

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There’s this vast social dialogue that goes on around us all the time, where everything gets turned into stories that fit into a familiar narrative. And yet the real stuff, what happens underneath that narrative, seldom gets through.

It’s important to know we live behind this wall of narrative, and that there’s a real world out there somewhere where unexpected things happen, things that don’t fit into the heavily embroidered tales we live within.

This unexpected stuff isn’t the mystical, the spiritual, the freakishly paranormal. No, that stuff is common as dirt – it’s our everyday foundation, the very building blocks of the wall of narrative.

What’s unexpected is the REAL. It’s so alien to us we still have a hard time thinking about it. Our very language struggles to wrap itself around it, and to allow us to escape the stories.

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Ahead of the upcoming Republican National Convention, the city of Tampa, Florida has banned certain items from the vicinity, including squirt guns. But due to state law which prevents cities from passing ordinances regarding actual firearms, they are unable to ban handguns from the area.

So … If two men were standing next to each other outside the convention, one with a squirt gun, the other with a .44 magnum, the police could arrest the one with the squirt gun.

I can’t help but find that funny.

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Hurrah! Mitt Romney has hired a gay staffer! All is forgiven, Mitt! The liberal voters will leap to support you! I’m expecting some great ads to show how cool you are: “Mitt Romney Approves Gay Aides!”

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Mitt Romney is reportedly worth $250 million. If you make $35,000 a year, it will take you a mere 7,143 years to make that much.

Considering that the (unofficial) doctrine of the Mormon Church is that the Earth is 6,000 years old, you need to go back in time to The Beginning, ask for a raise to at least $42,000, and be sure not to call in dead at any point.

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Mitt Romney has temporarily suspended his presidential campaign while his wife receives medical attention. A bank teller handed Mrs. Romney a large stack of brand new $100 bills, and she suffered a nasty paper cut while counting them.

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One of the reasons the Hulk keeps relapsing is that he’s never gone through a 12-step program in rehab …

“Hi, I’m Bruce, and I’m an unstoppable, radiation-enhanced monster.”

“Hi, Bruce!”

Of course, as a guy who could fight Superman to a draw, he’d have a hard time picking his “higher power.”

(And yes, I know Hulk and Big Blue come from different comic universes. Hush.)

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I just realized: John McCain was our first presidential candidate representing the zombie demographic. He’s remarkably well-preserved for one of the rotting undead.

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If you live long enough, and devote yourself to one main thing, eventually you’ll be the Grand Old Man (Hey! Why is there no Grand Old Woman recognition??) of that thing, just by virtue of outliving all the other devotees.

Plus, your cries of “Get off my lawn, you young hooligans!” from your upstairs window will carry a great deal more weight.

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If anybody runs with my “First Church of Steampunk Jesus” idea, I want full credit.

Complete absolution for all my sins would be nice, too.

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Used to be, you could be a secretive, anonymous person. Or if you worked at it, you could be a famous person. But in the age of the Internet, which includes screen names that stand in for real identities, you can be a secretive, anonymous, famous person.

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Thank you members of the faith community, for jumping on the Earth Day bandwagon. I forgive you the couple of thousand years in which you believed we should:

“Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Also, that continuing, unrelenting opposition to all forms of birth control, hey, anybody can make a mistake, eh? All is forgiven.

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Sitting next to my Dad’s ashes sipping apricot brandy, which he introduced me to. Here’s to you, Old Ranger. All the best bits of me, you helped them happen.

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No, I’m sorry, I can’t pray for you. I’m locked out of the prayer channel for abusing the Terms of Service. But I’ll WISH real hard for you.

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I came across the phrase “knee replacement” and immediately started fantasizing about what you might put there instead of knees. So far, rocket engines top the list.

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If SOMEBODY isn’t hating you, you’re probably not living boldly enough.

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Talking to an online friend who mentioned he was friends in Meatspace with a mutual acquaintance. Someday I want someone to give me directions to that club. Meatspace sounds like someplace I really want to go.

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If you ever find yourself in the business of naming new drugs, I came up with some suggestions today.

Good drug names: Theropros. Adirolyn. Xerolex. Meliorone. Tramiptin.

Bad drug names: Sneerolax. Phartofrin. Vajayjaynol. Defecablast. Goshitazir. Felonex. Dickotrin.

Just doin’ my part.

(Friends suggested Givashit and Fukitol. I would not mix the two.)

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If I ever end up hosting a weekly radio show on quantum mechanics, I’m going to call it “Schrodinger’s Chat.”

I won’t know shit about the subject, but at least my show will have a cool name.

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Religion is a lot like flax. Important once upon a time, today it is pretty much irrelevant to anything.

The funny thing is, I know there will be a few people people who will read this and leap to flax’s defense: “Hey, flax is still an incredibly useful crop!” The funnier thing is, I’d tend to believe those people more than I’d believe the huge numbers of people who will leap to defend religion.

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When your blog gets a million hits, you should automatically get a Ph.D. in blogging. That way, you could sneer at all those snooty college boys who, you know, STUDY and stuff.

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Just before Easter this year I deprived myself of my favorite peppermint candies, but also had the dents in my car removed. I gave up hunting with my bloodhound and cut perfumes and colognes out of my life. Finally, I gave away my camping gear, stiffed my landlord, and offloaded my collection of antique radios. I also plugged the dryer exhaust, postponed my heart surgery, and tossed out all my rare movie posters.

So it was a a mintless, dentless, doubly-scentless, rentless, tentless, Atwater Kentless, ventless, stentless, collectible printless Lent.

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Just a heads-up for all you young people who have heard the jokes and might be thinking about trying something: Cats actually do not taste very good.

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If you ask me, Cinco de Mayo is blatant bigotry! Why do all the other sandwich dressings — like mustard and ketchup, for instance — have to take a back seat?

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Easter in tweetspeak: jesus is like im back lol and the disciples are like wut lol

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Remember: “He is risen” can also be said about the Pillsbury Doughboy.

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Yesterday I ALMOST said to one of my friends, who was bragging about some recent accomplishments: “I want to be YOU. Only without the ugly.”

Probably best that I kept that to myself, right?

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I got patted down by a big buff guy when I went through security at the airport on the way to the Reason Rally, and his strong fingers explored every feature of my body. I was thinking, “Boy, this will get a lot more gay men buying plane tickets.”

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When somebody you hate dies and you really want to say something about how good it is the bastard is dead at last, but you also don’t want to be seen as disrespectful or insensitive at the tragedy of death, I think you could turn it into a statement of compassion if you say “I’m just glad it wasn’t a puppy.”

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There must be outrageous moments in life. Otherwise …

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If you go into a biker bar and see a bunch of guys with skull rings and devil tattoos, those are the lesser men. The REAL tough guy is the one with the Hello Kitty tattoo.

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Rules for a bachelor’s day off: If you’re not going out, you don’t have to dress, shave, or even shower. But damn, you do have to brush your teeth.

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Also, if you’re living with an extreme introvert, knock on his door every six weeks or so. If he answers “WHAT?? Jeez, why do you have to keep BOTHERING me all the time??” — he’s fine.

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In a much better world …

There would be a place in every town where you could go to be reminded that you’re more than just this everyday person. That there’s something special about you. That you’re extraordinary, that you’re capable to incredible things – that you not only CAN do those things, but you SHOULD. We’d call it the Temple of the Human Spirit, or maybe the Palace of Human Possibility.

In this world …

We have churches.

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To all those Catholic priests: Whatever you do to a child, there will always be an adult who witnesses what you do. Because children grow up, and remember.

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In retrospect, the genetically-engineered intelligent cattle and pigs of Earth came to regret the belligerent campaign slogan Madison Avenue came up with to convince humans to stop eating them.

But in the beginning, “Hey, Humans — Bite Me!” just sounded so perfect.

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Yeah, I’m in favor of space exploration, and space habitation. At the same time, I realize that *I* am never going to get there. Neither are MOST of the rest of us. That’s why I’m also in favor of saving the planet we have. You know, the place most of us will continue to live, no matter how successful we get at going into space.

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Mega Millions jackpot is $540 million. All you clear-thinking, independent-minded individuals, go buy your ticket. You’ll win, you know. Hey, it’s the government! Would they lie to you? Abuse you? Turn you into mindless puppets who think their only chance in life is a scam to tax the ignorant and the hopeless?

No way!

And pick up a carton of Chesterfield Golds while you’re down there; you’re almost out of smokes.

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I’m thinking of having some paper crowns printed up, like those that Burger King hands out to kids. Only instead of “Burger King,” these will say “Drama Queen,” and I’ll hand them out to certain people in my life. I could do a few extra, if some of you need them. So: Blog Friends, how many should I order? ;-)

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No thank you on the invite to those Facebook games. I’m on Facebook for SERIOUS stuff.

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According to studies, men say they have sex with women more than twice as much as women say they have sex with men.

A Republican think tank is commissioning a followup study to determine why women — more than half the time — forget having sex.

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On Dick Cheney’s heart transplant: Finally freed from its prison of pure evil, Dick Cheney’s heart was last seen at a petting zoo in Minnesota. Witnesses said it seemed happy, relaxed, and upbeat (see what I did there?) about the future.

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I just invented the honorary title “Terrible Atheist Thunder Wizard” in an email to friends. I finally know what I want to grow up to be!

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If I’m right that there are no such things as gods — and yes, of course I think I am — and yet so many people believe in them, in so many SILLY ways … it just makes me feel damned lonely on this planet.

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One of the things I hated hearing as a kid was “You think too much.” How the heck do you respond to such a thing?

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Well, crap. It appears the shipments of whiskey and beer once again failed to make it to the Islamic countries in time for St. Pat’s Day.

I just hope some of my friends in Ireland, England, Scotland, New Zealand, the U.S. and elsewhere pitched in and did their part to keep it all from going to waste. (I do know you Australians did your best. And once again, mates, it was a legendary effort!)

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When you make a mistake, as you will, there are two ways to deal with it. One is, you simply accept that you’re wrong and take your emotional and social lumps — ouch! — and move on as best you can.

The other is, you tinker with your mind and memory so as to never feel the pain of the mistake. If you’ve made a factual error, you never admit it – you claim that everyone else is wrong, and flounce away in anger, never revisiting the subject. If you’ve hurt someone, you convince yourself either that you didn’t hurt them, or that they deserved it.

If you do this second thing, you never have to feel the pain of being wrong. I’ve known a couple of people who did this almost automatically. One guy in particular, I don’t think he EVER admitted being wrong. He NEVER apologized for the stuff he did.

But damn, what a scary thing to do. Seeking to avoid a little pain or embarrassment, you make yourself permanently into the kind of person who can be wrong and never correct it, who can hurt someone and not feel bad about it.

You not only freeze yourself into the position of never learning anything new, you also become a sort of guiltless monster.

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If I ever conduct a screaming insane public rampage, I swear I won’t be running through the streets in my underwear.

I’m going COMMANDO!

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If there was a university-level course of study in marriage, and you got a Bachelor’s Degree in it …

 

  • machintelligence

    Can I add a few?
    If you see three identically dressed western guys riding in a pickup. How do you identify the real cowboy?

    He’s the one in the middle. He doesn’t have to drive or mess with the gates, and he has the first crack at the radio.

    If SOMEBODY isn’t hating you, you’re probably not living boldly enough.

    And you can tell more about a man by his enemies than by his friends.

    One of our conservative talk show bloviators claims to have the heart of a liberal. He keeps it in a jar on his desk.

  • machintelligence

    Now you’ve got me started.

    When somebody you hate dies and you really want to say something about how good it is the bastard is dead at last, but you also don’t want to be seen as disrespectful or insensitive at the tragedy of death, I think you could turn it into a statement of compassion if you say “I’m just glad it wasn’t a puppy.”

    Or you could say: ” I only say good things about the dead–He’s dead–GOOD.”

    If you go into a biker bar and see a bunch of guys with skull rings and devil tattoos, those are the lesser men. The REAL tough guy is the one with the Hello Kitty tattoo.

    http://boingboing.net/2006/07/30/hello-kitty-darth-va.html

  • http://www.roelanddebruijn.nl Roeland

    Not my joke, read it in a book somewhere:
    What is the difference between an introvert and an extrovert biologist?
    The extravert biologist looks at your shoes when he is talking to you,…

  • http://www.roelanddebruijn.nl Roeland

    how do i highlight the ‘your’ in my previous post?

    • Hank Fox

      I did it for you, and yes, that’s a pretty good one.

      There are tags you can use when you’re making comments; the cheat notes appear above the comment window when you’re putting in your text. You bracket the words you want to format in a start tag and an end tag. In this case, the two tags are “strong” and “/strong”, except you surround them with angle brackets instead of quotes.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    … these will say “Drama Queen,” …

    Terrible Atheist Thunder Vocabulary Enforcers riding in from all directions in three, two, …

    … “You think too much.” How the heck do you respond to such a thing?

    “I don’t think so.”? (I think.)

  • http://raisinghellions.wordpress.com/ Lou Doench

    If you paint a picture, but then have to TELL me what it means, you have failed to communicate in your medium. You have failed as an artist.

    One caveat, there is an outside chance your audience might be stupid. I mean there are some people out there who are stymied by the depth in Velvet Elvis paintings.

  • Roeland

    I get it know.


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