Short Stack #18

Him: “Why do you do this? I mean, why do you want to take away people’s faith? Even if they believe things that aren’t true, what is that to you?”

Me: “If you’re walking along a roadway and you see a nail out on the pavement, do you leave it there where it could puncture somebody’s tire, or do you pick it up?”

Him: “What? I pick it up.”

Me: “Yeah, well so do I.”

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My friend Eben Stolzfus was expelled from the Amish order after telling one of the elders “Elder Mittlemann, come quickly and see what is in thy barn! Thou will not believe it!” Whereupon a group of mischievous youth began singing “Never gonna give thee up!”

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The non-English-speaking world is up in arms at being left out of Talk Like A Pirate Day. Apparently in at least one Asian language, the word “Yarrr!” translates as a suggestion of intimate congress with one’s mother-in-law. Linguistics experts at the UN have refused to even translate “matey,” fearing it may spark global thermonuclear war.

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There’s double-stick (double-sided) tape. And there’s duct tape. Why is there no double-stick duct tape? Fucking Obama. I bet it’s one of them Muslim things.

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Dark chocolate is a gateway drug … to more dark chocolate.

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It’s too bad, really, that Goofy isn’t a Catholic. Because there would be at least a tiny chance that he could someday be known as Saint Goofy.

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My understanding of how you get started as a tattoo artist is mostly guesswork, of course, but someday I hope to sneak out behind a big tattoo academy and see all the pigs there in the pens. I know most of what I’ll see is amateurish, but still, I’ll bet there are some really cool designs.

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Channeling Mitt Romney:

With 7 billion people on Earth, why are there guide dogs? I mean, it’s not like we don’t have enough potentially-available servants to help blind people cross the street, or find a bathroom, or read aloud.

Plus, you know, with neutering, it’s not like there would be a problem with them taking sexual advantage of the handicapped person.

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Some mornings I wake up with a really good idea in mind. Other mornings, either nothing, or a bad idea. This morning, the idea was that I should rewrite the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” to make it a country-western song about the love life of a horse thief. I’m pretty sure “Like A Stolen Roan” is not one of my best.

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New term for highway driving: Headgating. It’s when someone passes you and then moves back into your lane, ending up so close that YOU are suddenly tailgating.

For just such occasions, front-axle-mounted terawatt lasers were made.

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They’ll deliver pizza to your door. Why won’t they bring hamburgers? Hell, I wouldn’t mind paying someone to deliver a nice bacon and eggs breakfast with fresh orange juice right now. Over medium, please, and wheat toast?

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No, we atheists don’t actually eat Christian babies. On the other hand, we do occasionally enjoy Christian-baby-flavored tofu, just to keep alive the dream of better days to come – you know, when we have the freedom to do the stuff we REALLY want to do.

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I know for a fact that I pioneered the phrase “scuba diving laser cats.” For a few minutes there, I thought I’d done it again with the phrase “Christian-baby-flavored tofu.” But no, someone beat me to it.

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Mitt Romney doesn’t drink? I’ll bet it’s because he becomes even more embarrassing with a beer or two in him.

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So … are we letting Mitt’s frequent gaffes distract us from the fact that he refuses to release his tax returns?

Mitt, we gotta see those tax returns. Now or never, mister.

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Hiking with my nature-wise buddy, we see three deer and end up talking about two species of deer in North America, the whitetail and the mule deer. He tells me they actually crossbreed in Montana and Alberta, and I come back with:

“Being able to mate with females of either species is a really good deal for the males, eh? More bangs for the buck.”

Ba-dump, bump, chee! —Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week.

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Right-wingers are already practicing the excuses they’ll use when Romney loses. Hint: It’s not because well-informed voters just don’t want him. It’s because so many of us are welfare parasites, and have to keep the socialist train chugging along so we can stay comfortable with all that free government money.

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For me, it’s almost overwhelming to walk into a Toys R Us and realize that about 90 percent of the stuff on display is what I call “pre-garbage.” Brightly colored, unneeded crap – almost literally shiny lures – sold to people to give to their kids, so THEY get hooked too.

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Jeez. I just realized … Considering overpopulation, resource depletion, pollution, global warming, deforestation, species extinction …

Humans have not yet learned how to live on Planet Earth.

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I wish things out in the real world had an “Undo” feature. Well, except toilets.

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Sometimes, just as an artist, I want to go “DAMN — you had THAT put on your skin? Forever??”

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I think it would be cool if, when Mitt Romney loses this election, he also lost all that money. I mean, damn, how can I really celebrate, knowing the guy will still end up worth a quarter billion dollars?

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Yeah, but what about the OTHER Spider-Man? You know, the one where it was a teenaged spider bitten by a radioactive man?

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If it’s true that when your pets die they cross the Rainbow Bridge, there must be a shitload of pets in Asgard. I just hope Thor’s being good to my Ranger the Valiant Warrior and Tito the Mighty Hunter.

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Somewhere out there is a very old Republican thinking, “That damned child labor law just completely destroyed the children’s work glove industry.”

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It seems strange to me that something so vital, so central, to what it means to be a human being – sex – is forever the domain of amateurs. There are no schools you can go to, no lessons you can attend. There is no Olympic level of sex. There are no international sex games, no awards ceremonies, no well-recognized stars. Yes, there are movies, and yes there are porn actors, but they’re all about titillation rather than learning, or teaching, or research.

On the day we can accomplish the pro-level-sex equivalent of a one-and-a-half gainer with a half twist off the high board, or a triple Axel on the ice – and there are household names and even posters associated with those feats – that’s when we’ll know we’re paying proper attention to sex, respecting the skill of it and expanding the frontiers of human sexual performance.

Also when that day gets here … don’t expect to see me for a week or so.

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On Sept. 11, I was thinking this: Anyone who’s ever been to Washington DC has marveled at the number of monuments to war and warriors, blood and death. What the U.S. capital lacks is any monument to peace, conscience, or compassion.

Speaking just for myself, I wouldn’t mind seeing one small plaque dedicated to whistleblowers. Possibly a tasteful urn devoted to environmental fighters. A TINY statue honoring war protesters. A rainbow pinwheel remembering gay rights activists.

Hell, they have a SONNY BONO park in Washington. If space is so damned scarce, combine all the progressive values into one monument, drop it on top of Sonny Bono, and I’ll go honor them all simultaneously. Sonny would probably be tickled.

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Some people think I’m an introvert. Actually, I get along very well in large groups … as long as everybody else is a dog.

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My theory is that there’s a intense level of sensitivity you have to have in order to write the deep stuff, but that sensitivity is a two-edge sword in that it makes you prone to depression.

Really good writers are a bit like Prometheus – they climb to the heights and bring us back the fire, but they also often get badly burned by it.

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Something to think about: We all know the Republican strategy of the past several years, when caught in a lie or a mistake, is to double down on their course, to make the claim or defend the decision all the more strongly. For instance, when Bush faced criticism of his Iraq war, he sent MORE soldiers there, and all his little cheerleaders at Fox News and elsewhere called the critics America-haters.

But now the GOP deliberately decided not to invite George W. Bush to their convention. Double-down doesn’t work when it’s shit. You just get double the stink and mess.

Speaking of George W. Bush, I’m continuing to enjoy the refreshing silence from that world-class bundle of stupidity, falsehood, cruelty and cowardice.

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I just joined Escalator Users Anonymous. I’m going to my first 12-step meeting tomorrow.

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As long as he doesn’t get elected president, I can forgive Mitt Romney almost anything. But the one thing I can’t forgive is that he’s so goddam boring.

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You know, as an atheist … once people get over the understanding that I’m pure evil, they actually seem to think I’m sort of fun.

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The incredible true fact is that some of the atoms in your body were born in the heart of a supernova.

Somehow that bright beginning makes it seem worse that I ended up living in a 3rd-floor apartment in Schenectady, New York.

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Um … when did the “be quiet in the library” rule go away? I’m required to silence my cellphone when I go in, but I hear people talking in loud voices, kids running around yelling. I used to be able to go to the library and write, but I can’t now. Is it just me?

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Thinking about Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, I’ve come up with a sort of baseball metaphor to describe it: Clinton pitched a no-shitter.

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Speaking as someone who enjoys eating at a restaurant occasionally, I’m glad we finally whipped the problem of secondhand smoke. Now we need to do something about secondhand kids.

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Chuck Norris, I’ll take my chances on your “1,000 years of darkness” if I can just get 4 more years of brightness in the White House.

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Fox’s Second Law: There is nothing a Caucasian with a Y chromosome can say online that cannot be interpreted as a hateful attack on someone.

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Hey, conservative Christians! MY people have a robot taking home movies on Mars right now. What are YOUR people doing?

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As someone who grew up in Houston, where we had three or four different types of roaches, a couple of different kinds of mosquitoes, several kinds of ticks and wasps, and flies and flies and more flies, I’m not a live-and-let-live kinda guy. Far as I’m concerned, insects are just little organic machines. You’re not killing them so much as simply switching them off.

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Every Catholic Church on U.S. soil gives its sole allegiance to a ruler in the Vatican – a foreign leader in a foreign nation. Every Catholic Church is both an embassy of the Vatican and a missionary school for teaching Catholic ideals and obedience to American children. I’m just amazed that everybody seems okay with that.

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I’m in favor of complete equality. Heck, I think that when the Zombie Apocalypse comes, the lady zombies should get an equal share of the big, tasty, college-educated brains.

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Just got an emailed offer for a special deal on “Electric Dental Hydrofloss”! Ooh, baby, all this time I’ve been using that utter crap PLAIN dental floss. Where’s my credit card??

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Playing the Lottery is like paying an electric bill every month without getting any electricity in return. But you keep paying because you hear stories of people just like you winning free electricity for life.

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Next time I do a really embarrassing public screw-up, I’m going to say “But bear in mind, I AM from the Cenozoic.”

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Oh boy, I just had the most fantastic idea for a reality-TV series! Now where can I get a couple of Buddhist monks, a girl’s beach volleyball team, a giraffe and some paintball guns?

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Molly Ivins, I’m truly sorry you missed this GOP convention. You would have died all over again … laughing.

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They say “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is the single greatest rule for living in society. Just don’t try to use it in court after you get arrested at the pub for unwanted touching.

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I’m wondering: In my home state of Texas, just how many Target stores have actual bullet holes in their signs?

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One of the weird little facts about aspen trees is that, usually, all of the aspens in an area are genetically identical. New aspens grow from root grafts of some original tree. In fact, an aspen forest is called a “clone” of aspens. So what you see when you look at a big grove of aspens is a single tree … multiplied by a thousand.

There is one such tree in Utah – Pando – weighing almost 7,000 tons and estimated to be 80,000 years old:

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“Short selling” is a stock market technique for making money by betting the price of a stock will fall rather than rise. In other words, you prosper when the company takes a hit. So the minute you buy in as a short seller, you begin to hope the company will fail, and the stock price will drop drastically.

Short selling is also the entirely obvious Republican political strategy for the past 3 years or so. If America fails, the GOP wins big. It’s why they’ve blocked every strategy for recovery, every bill and effort that might make things better, and why they’ve backed efforts to increase the division, the suspicion, the fear and paranoia.

Whatever else you think about Barack Obama, know this: He’s on the other side from Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. His bet is that America will grow and succeed, rather than fail.

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My plans to become a self-actualized, gloriously happy, world-traveling billionaire were right on track. Then Facebook showed up.

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Take one person who believes in the Ghost of the Green Turtle, and you have a crazy person. Take a thousand people who believe it and you have a religion.

This is why I’m finally revealing the holy words of the Ghost of the Green Turtle to those of you who have expressed an interest in joining me in my holy works.

But first, the collection plate.

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Is Dora the Explorer the daughter of Carmen Sandiego and Waldo?

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During the planning sessions at which Marvel originated Daredevil and Professor X as the world’s first superheroes with handicaps, few people know there were a number of other potential heroes that didn’t make the grade:

The Incredibly Flatulent Hulk
Extremely Myopic Iron Man
Invisible Woman with Tourette’s
Thor, the Vertiginous God of Thunder
The Scarlet Bulimic Witch
Prince Namor, the Submariner with Moderate-to-Severe Motion Sickness
Peter Parker, the Substance-Abusing Spider-Man
Severely Allergic Wolverine
Beast, With Mange

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There might be certain special cases where ignorance really is bliss. But knowledge is power every time.

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Okay, what the hell happened to fenders on bicycles? You know, that thing that keeps your tires from slinging a streak of dirty water up your back when you ride on a wet street? I mean really, whose bright idea was it to do away with fenders? Obama AGAIN??

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There’s this stuff called “almond milk.” And it comes in chocolate. My roommate discovered it several months back, and twice now I’ve almost blacked out because I can’t stop myself from finishing an entire glass in one continuous guzzle. This shit is GOOD.

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Interesting little tidbit: Though Paul Ryan is Mitt’s Veep sidekick, he’s ALSO campaigning to keep his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Way to commit to the presidential campaign, Mr. Ryan: “Honey, I know we’re getting married in a couple of weeks, but I’m keeping my other girlfriend in case this doesn’t work out.”

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A novice limbo dancer walks into a bar …

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I think they should do a remake of the popular comedic TV series Gilligan’s Island. Only to make it more contemporary, maybe Mrs. Howell could be an immortal vampire.

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Mitt Romney: Vacant, plastic, TV evangelist face. Creepy. White House? No way.

  • http://physicalism.wordpress.com/ Physicalist

    bacon and eggs breakfast with fresh orange juice right now. Over medium, please, and wheat toast?

    Grub Hub. $14.25; including delivery.

    (Bottled orange-mango juice instead of fresh squeezed. Sorry. Got the rest covered, thought.)

  • http://becomingjulie.blogspot.co.uk/ BecomingJulie

    I’d leave the nail there! Anyone driving a vehicle or riding a bicycle on the pavement pretty much deserves to get their tyre punctured.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty (Always growing and learning)

      On this side of the pond, “pavement” refers to near any paved surface, rather than only sidewalks.

      That said, if you don’t like the way I drive, get off the sidewalk!

      (I drive a motorized wheelchair.)

  • http://www.skepticfriends.org/ Dave W

    “There is nothing a Caucasian with a Y chromosome anyone can say online that cannot be interpreted as a hateful attack on someone.”

    Fixed that. People intent on being offended don’t care about genetics.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty (Always growing and learning)

    *ROFL*

    I lost it at “Saint Goofy”.

  • c2t2…

    I can’t believe I didn’t see this one before!

    So, about the ones on tattoos: I’ve wanted for SO LONG to see a thread for skeptical/atheist tattoo brainstorming. It seems ALL simple and cool-looking symbols are tied to either religion, other imaginary woo bullshit, or corporate logos. So I only have 2 tattoos, even though I want to design myself tattoo ‘socks’ (as opposed to ‘sleeves’) because I refuse to be a permanent, unpaid billboard promoting bullshit. I also refuse to get random tribal designs that don’t mean anything. Is it really so impossible to find meaningful symbols that don’t glorify woo or capitalism?

    This is pissing me off to the nth. Even things like cladograms and the official geological table are subjective and possibly incorrect. Not to mention science things don’t usually make simple and attractive tattoos.


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