🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Disappearing Christians ⛪
I didn’t intend to bring doughnuts for my co-workers yesterday morning. It just sorta happened. How it happened and how it played out is a window into my weird mind.
First, an explanation: I have a card purchased from Boy The Younger that entitles me to a dozen free Krispy Kremes if I buy a dozen. The card has 10 such coupons attached to it. Though I could most definitely put away 240 Krispy Kremes on my own, as I wrote recently, if I’m not in a good place, the best thing for me to do is to do things for others.
The Krispy Kreme shop is not on my primary route to work. But I never head down that primary route without first checking the traffic on Google Maps. That habit has saved me from being caught in hours-long backups. Yesterday morning, it saved me from driving smack-dab into a 15-minute delay caused by what I’m sure is a typical Missourah Moron driver.
The Krispy Kreme shop most definitely is on my backup route to work. Well, Backup Route #1, anyway. I’ve got about five, which comes in handy in this state. That said, I still wasn’t thinking “Krispy Kreme” when I started my drive.
As I said, I’ve been in the Struggle Zone for much of the week, which, while not necessarily good for me, is quite good for people in my orbit. I tend to do things for others in an attempt to lift my sad-ass spirit from being so sad-ass. This week, I’ve left anonymous coffee gift cards around the office, gave bags of supplies for homeless people and brought flowers home for Wifey Poo. So about five miles short of the Krispy Kreme exit (my name for it, not the official name of the exit), I thought about the coupon card in my wallet.
But was the coupon card really in my wallet? No time better than when you’re traveling down the highway at 70 mph to check, right? The first search of the cavernous wasteland that is my wallet produced many interesting finds, including a membership card to a laser tag facility I haven’t been to in more than a year, a membership card to a shooting range I haven’t been to in at least three years and a receipt from my work trip to Florida last month, but no Krispy Kreme card.
“Oh well,” thought I. “It must be on my desk at home.”
On I drive.
“Wait. There’s no way that card’s at home. It has to be in my wallet,” thought I.
That sparked a more thorough search of my wallet, again, at 70 mph. There, tucked behind a long-forgotten Chick-fil-a free-fries gift card, I found what I was looking for. Bingo! We’re headed to Krispy Kreme!
Except what does that coupon actually say? If you’re thinking that it’s got to be small print on each coupon attached to this credit-card sized card, you’re right. My eyes are 48 years old. Without contacts, I can’t tell whether a person standing five feet in front of me is a human being or a lamp post. With contacts, it’s better, but lately, my vision of tiny print in dim lighting is starting to fade a bit. Fuck you, aging.
Not content with risking my life and the lives of innocent others trying to find the card, I now use my phone’s magnifying glass to attempt to enlarge the tiny print so I can be assured of what the coupon says. This, it seems, is a skill beyond my capacity, so I’m left thinking, “Well, hell, whatever the coupon says, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll just read the coupon when I get in line at Krispy Kreme.”
Except there is no line at Krispy Kreme, which seems to be to be a sign of Muricah’s decline. There was a time when the Krispy Kreme at 7:25 a.m. on a Thursday would have been around the building. But on this particular Thursday, there’s no one in line, and the drive-thru attendant is apparently very eager to talk with me.
“Welcome to Krispy Kreme. What can I get for you?” she says the millisecond after I stop at the menu with a speaker in it. Side note: I was telling Boy The Elder the other day that when I was really young, there were no drive-thrus. It blew his freaking mind.
“Um, I have a coupon for a dozen free glazed doughnuts if I buy a dozen glazed doughnuts. So that’s what I’d like to do.” I said.
“So how many doughnuts do you want?”
“I have a coupon for a dozen free glazed doughnuts if I buy a dozen glazed doughnuts. So that’s what I’d like to do,” I repeated.
“So you want two dozen glazed doughnuts?”
“That’s 24 glazed doughnuts?”
At this point, I’m wondering if I’m being pranked, if the woman talking to me through the squawky speaker is having a brain incident, if she’s astounded by the thought that I want these doughnuts just for myself or if the definition of a dozen somehow became ambiguous overnight.
“Yes, 24 glazed doughnuts.”
Shockingly, when I hand over my torn-out coupon and my credit card, she hands me back 24 glazed doughnuts and wishes me a good day. I do the same for her, minus the doughnuts.
“Oh crap. My gas tank is a quarter full,” I recognize as I pull away. This, in the past, wouldn’t have been a problem. I am a professional at driving a car until there is literally one drop of gas left. But that was causing me undue stress, so about a year ago, I made a pact with myself to start thinking about getting gas when the tank hit half full (or is it half empty?). That means I usually get gas before the gas light comes on.
The Krispy Kreme shop is right next to some gas stations, and not only that, but right next to gas stations selling gas (duh) for about 20 cents a gallon cheaper than the one closest to my humble country abode. So I stop. I get gas. I pee (a cup of coffee and jug of water have already entered my system at this point in the day). And then I head to work.
Typically, I arrive at work between 7:30 and 7:45. No one checks up on me when I get to work. No one has ever said anything if I arrive at 8 or 7 or 8:15 or 9:30. There is a general awareness that, whatever time I arrive, I’m going to get my shit done and done well, so no one really is watching the clock for me.
But on this day, there’s this thought in the back of my mind that someone is going to be pissy with me because, according to Google Maps, I’m not supposed to arrive until 8:10. As I said, no one has ever been pissy with me for arriving at 8:10. No one has ever been pissy with anyone for arriving whenever they arrive, to the best of my knowledge. But in my mind, someone’s going to say something.
So I prepare a response: “Hey! I stopped to get the team doughnuts!” I say indignantly in my mind to the person who’s going to give me crap for being “late,” a person, I remind you, who doesn’t exist.
I arrive at work. There’s no one in the parking lot waiting to reprimand me, let alone a person in the parking lot with all the crap from my office boxed up and topped with a pink slip. So I calmly walk into the office — still on guard to give my retort should someone say something.
No one does.
Of course, I can’t just put the doughnuts out and let people find them. I type an email. “People of The Upstairs. I was driven off the road by an angry South Pole elf while I was driving to work today. When we stopped, he got out and told me that if I didn’t stop and get my colleagues doughnuts, I’d end up on Santa’s naughty list. Not only that, but the elf told me Santa would kidnap my dog. Thus, there are hot, fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts on the table by the stairs.”
Anyway, people seemed to enjoy them. And that made me happy.
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in saying that there’s a direct-proportion relationship between the amount of work that gets done at the workplace and the number of days left until the holiday season, by which I mean the Muricahn Christian holiday season. This isn’t to suggest I’m goofing off at work. I’m not. But if they are going to continue to pipe Christmas music through the office speakers and I’m forced to listen to freaking Mariah Carey hit those damn high notes over and over and over again, there has to be consequences.
Most workplaces recognize this. Mine does. They planned two weeks of events in the run-up to the new year. We’ve had a Christmas potluck lunch. We’ve had crazy sock day, which is pretty much every day for me. Yesterday was virtual Bingo day. Hell yes, I’m down for some virtual Bingo.
So were about 20 of my colleagues, apparently. We logged on at the appointed time and got ready for some hot Bingo action.
The first letter/number combo called was O-69. *Snicker.* But it’s a conservative workplace. Though I know at least half the people in the game are thinking exactly what I am thinking, no one says anything.
Things don’t start out to well for me. I don’t have any of the first four numbers called. But then I get on a roll. Suddenly, I have four X’s across the top and need just I-16 to win. Win what? I have no idea. Nothing has been said about any sort of prize. But still, my heart is pumping just a little bit faster. I have never won a game of Bingo in my life. I’m quite convinced I could be the only person in the game and somehow still would find a way to not win.
“I-16” the caller of the game types in the Teams chat.
“BINGO!” I type back.
My co-workers in the Upstairs give me shit. They’re still salty because I came out of the gate in the annual NFL pick-’em contest red hot and won four of the first five weeks. I currently have a three-game lead to win the overall title, and that a rookie is doing this is somewhat of an embarrassment to them, it seems. Or it’s just good-natured guy-ribbing, which I personally love. I can give it as well as I can take it and take it as well as I can give it.
We play two more games. I am one number away from winning each of those games, but it doesn’t happen. That’s OK. It feels good to have won Bingo once before I die.
Why You Shouldn’t Give a Knife to a Chicken
When good ole’ Q.F. was a bitty boy growing up in the hills of Northern California, I wasn’t allowed to own toy guns. Hippy Mom, she of the butt-length wavy blond hair and constant wearer of culturally appropriated moccasins, thought this would infuse me with peace, love and happiness. Instead, it infused me with devious…Keep reading
The Pew Research Center earlier this week released an article entitled, “Striking Findings From 2022.” It’s a review of 15 of its surveys from the year that showed things that apparently they weren’t expecting. Several caught my attention, as well.
For example, Muricah is one of only four countries surveyed where a majority of respondents think social media a good thing for democracy. We, with 64% believing this fallacy, are at the top of the list, joined by the morons in the Netherlands, France and Australia. The 19-country median is 35%. Of those countries surveyed, Poland has its shit together the best. Only 15% believe such a stupid thing there.
What struck me the most from the article, however, was a poll that said that, at the pace we’re headed right now, less than half of the nation will be Christian by 2070. This is a precipitous fall. The chart shows things bouncing around relatively flat — somewhere between 85% and 90% Jesus believers — from 1972 through the 1990s. Then, the drop looks like a really angry log flume ride.
Currently, we’re at 64% of self-identifying Christians. The survey offers several projections based on the trend line. If no one else switched from “Yay Jesus!” to “Meh. There’s a God … maybe… or somethin’” by 2070, enough current Christians would have ascended into their private heaven to reduce the total to 54%. That’s hardily a realistic path to expect given the reality of the number of switchers right now.
The worst trend line from the perspective of megachurch pastors with large mortgages on their third and fourth mansions and many payments left on their yachts is the one that shows the number decrease to 35% in 2070. A more realistic estimate is probably somewhere between 39% and 46%.
But none of that should matter. Surely when Jesus said he was coming back “soon,” he meant before 2070, right?
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Considering a run on the Professional Bingo World Tour.
- Boy The Elder is home this weekend for in-law Christmas.
- I have nine doughnut coupons left.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mission: Failed 👎Ho 🤣Handy Family 👍 It has to suck to work at the Missouri Department of Transportation. Why? It took exactly 75 minutes for all of 2023 to be a failure. Let me explain. Those of you unfortunate enough to have been involved in any sort of corporate planning process…Keep reading
Writing Retreat — Jan. 15, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Houston 🖊️Sad clown 🤡Taco Seasoning 🌮 Houston, Missourah, is not unlike a lot of other rural Missourah towns through which I’ve driven and bears a resemblance to the Small Town USA in which Boy The Elder did a lot of his early growing up and to which Boy The Younger came…Keep reading
Ceilings — Jan. 14, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Definitions 📖Missing Bourbon 🥃Mysterious Knocks 😵 I generally abhor any writing that starts with, “Webster’s dictionary defines …” Webster’s dictionary defines “ceiling” as a noun meaning “the overhead inside lining of a room.” The implication is that it’s a limitation, a max, a point of demarcation between what’s out there and…Keep reading
Movie Ambush — Jan. 13, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Annoyance 😠Disappointment 😞 When Boy The Elder was Boy The Only in our home, he watched one of the Air Bud movies featuring a basketball-playing dog. Or maybe it was football. Or soccer. By the time that series was over, that dog had played them all. Anyway, whichever Air Bud…Keep reading
Animal Updates — Jan. 12, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Thor’s Blurry Hammer 🍆Pigeon Delivery 🕊️Idiot List 🤪 Thor is really, really good with his hammer. And by that, I mean that Thor the walrus in Scarborough, England, is really good at masturbating and ruining New Years Eve. If you haven’t heard about this story, stop reading stupid news like politics…Keep reading
Bad Boys— Jan. 11, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bruising Basketball 🏀Poke ☝️Six?!? 🔫 I grew up in the NBA era of the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons while loving a New York Knicks team that was, to put it mildly, quite physical. Guys like Steph Curry and LeBron James can makes basketball seem like artistry these days, but give me…Keep reading
Done — Jan. 10, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What There is Like! ⛅’Modern Policing’ 🚨Xylophone Time! 🎵 When you decide to talk about a time in which you truly believe you more-or-less died and saw what comes after this life, you have to be comfortable with the fact that people might think you’re nuts. Hell, talking about it on…Keep reading
Media Landscape — Jan. 6, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Grace Ashford! 📰Idaholy Shit! 🥔Story of the Year! 🍆 The three most influential people in my life as a journalist are, sadly, all part of the Great Newsroom in the Sky now. Professors Michael Perkins and Bob Woodward (AKA Bob Woodward-Not-That-Bob-Woodward) helped educate me at Drake University, and Lisa Warren was…Keep reading
Santos Kills Puppy — Jan. 5, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poor Puppy 🐶Romeo and Juliet 🤴👸Meta Mistake 🙊 Disturbing news out of Washington, D.C., today as Republican Congressman-elect George Santos (if that’s his real name) brought a 6-month-old puppy to the house floor and screamed “Hey, look at me!” before slitting its throat and lapping up its squirting blood like a…Keep reading
Institutions — Jan. 4, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Pretty Good Rant 😠Tesla Plunge 🚗Missed Lasts 😥 Those of you who regularly read my drivel (I see you, DirtySciFiBuddah) might have become aware of the fact over the past year or so that I am not a huge fan of our world’s modern institutions. All of them might, in…Keep reading
Finishing — Jan. 2, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Incomplete 🕮Frustration 😠Bowl Bust 🏈 To say that I know how to write is like saying I know how to breathe. No one considers that they know how to breathe. They just … breathe. No one is particularly good at breathing or bad at breathing. Again, they just … breathe. I’ve…Keep reading
Fifty Intentions for 2023
Welcome to Issue No. 15 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. So last year, I had a list of 100 intentions for 2022, and I did fairly well,…Keep reading
Vision Board — Dec. 30, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩2023 📅Helping 🧠The Universe 🔭 I’m not much for long-term plans and goals. This isn’t to suggest I don’t think they’re important. I just think that spending a lot of time on them is futile. What’s the saying? Man plans, God laughs. Something like that. Anyway, I’ve learned through experience that…Keep reading
The Point of Suffering — Dec. 27, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chain Links 🔗”Work” 🧑💼Popular Toys 🧸 After my first son died in December 2000, I spent a lot of time wondering why. Why me? Why Wifey Poo? Why Jacob? Why this level of suffering in a world supposedly created and run by an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God? So I did what…Keep reading
Freezing Fans — Dec. 26, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chiefs! 🏈Indy Tickets 🏎️Bank Visit 💰 When I bought the tickets to the Christmas Eve contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks as a gift for Boys The Elder & Younger, it was sometime in September and temps hovered around 90 degrees. The thought that the game might…Keep reading
Jacob at 22 — Dec. 20, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Timelines 👶Extinctions 🌋Sin City 👌 As I fall deeper down the rabbit hole learning more about theories on space and time, the concept of alternative timelines comes up again and again and again. Whether it’s the stuff of science fiction or one day will be proven to be the stuff of…Keep reading
Joe(y) the Comedian — Dec. 18, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Cousin’ Laughs🎤Improv!?!? 🎭Drake Hoops 🏀 Back when I was a boy, I had a favorite Cousin-Who-Wasn’t-A-Cousin. His name was Joey DeVito, and he was in no way a blood relation to me, though I called his father Uncle Frankie and his mother Aunt Celia. I’m pretty sure this is an East…Keep reading
James and Stinky — Dec. 15, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩STL’s Homeless 😥Snake Hoo-Hoos 🐍That Was Epoch 👴 I found James huddled underneath a blanket as he sat, knees to his chest, head bowed, just outside the doorway of a CVS in the Delmar Loop section of St. Louis. If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s a fun place filled…Keep reading
Paul Silas — Dec. 14, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Knicks Memory 🏀JBM LLC 🧑🏼💼Brain Drain 🧠 My most memorable interaction with Paul Silas occurred when I was a 17-year-old kid with big dreams of being a sports reporter. I’d talked with Paul before — his wife and Mother Dearest were active in the local Make A Wish Foundation chapter and…Keep reading
Humbug — Dec. 13, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Piped-In Music 🎵Astronomy 🔭Fusion ☢️ Here’s the thing about Christmas: I want to love it, and in many ways, I do. I love giving gifts and, to be honest, I love getting gifts. There’s something so cool about the magical times when someone knows you well enough to get you that…Keep reading
Aunt Pauline — Dec. 9, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Familial Reflections 👪Career Rebuild 🛠️Andrea 📱 It’s hard to think of my Aunt Pauline as old, hard to imagine how it is that she’s just about to leave her 80s and, thus, it’s hard to understand how she could be in such poor health right now. Aunt Pauline is Father Dearest’s…Keep reading
Bye-Bye, Zombies — Dec. 8, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩The Walking Dead 🧟Nose B Gone 👃Turkey Trouble 🦃 I spent Tuesday night watching the final episodes of The Walking Dead. I have always been the type who can get so lost in a good story that I have really strong emotions (shocker, I know) when it ends. It happens with…Keep reading
Redefining Family — Dec. 6, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Who’s Family? 👪Music Speaks 🎵Wedding Websites 👨❤️👨 I was raised as an East Coast Italian, despite being a mixed bag of ethnicities born in Denver, Colorado. That meant that there was this huge importance placed on family that’s not necessarily shared with the same ferocity by others. Yet as I grew…Keep reading
Grief — Dec. 5, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Messy Grief 😔Hear Ye! 👂Die Trump Die 😡 I am acutely aware that I am hardly alone as a 48-year-old man when I say that I am well acquainted with grief. I’m not sure if it was always this way — though I imagine it was — but I don’t think…Keep reading
Human Jewel Beetles — Dec. 3, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Beer Bottle Connections 🍺Ear Concerns 👂BTE vs. Deer 🦌 What exactly is reality? Is there a limit to the universe? How can something as heavy as the Earth be just sort of suspended … and what exactly is it suspended in? This is the rabbit hole I’ve fallen down, all while…Keep reading
Be Yourself — Dec. 1, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Good Self 👋Urgent Care, Revisited 👩⚕️Slow Down 🐢 I remember this time back in sixth grade when a trusted adult was talking to me as I struggled through what turned out to be a pretty life-defining traumatic experience. The friends I’d grown up with since I was a small boy…Keep reading
Deer Drama — Nov. 30 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Shooting a Fake Deer 🦌Time Spent Poorly ⏰Child Support 💸 About midway up my left shin underneath my leg hair is a scar about three inches long and the width of a deer antler. Well, a fake deer antler, anyway. “Deer-antler width” is hardly a standard unit of measurement, I know,…Keep reading
Metallica! — Nov. 29 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Gods of Music Deliver! 🎸Insta-Anger 😠Unpleasant 😓 I was in need of something good to happen yesterday. Desperate need. The gods of music delivered. Metallica is coming to St. Louis in concert in 2023 for a two-day show at the Dome at the America Center. I found out about this at…Keep reading
Double Ear Infection — Nov. 27, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Urgent Care 👂👂Alone Update 😔Rest 🛏️ It’s never a good sign when, less than two seconds after sticking a light in your ear and gazing through the little viewfinder thingy (patent pending), the doctor says, “Oooooooooh.” That was followed by a diagnosis of a “nasty” left ear infection and the question,…Keep reading
Fitting in — Nov. 25, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Alone 😔Christmas Changes🎄My Two Skillz 🔪 I would venture to guess that most of us like the feeling of fitting in somewhere. Even the most self-confident, secure person likes to have a tribe. We’re social creatures, and to have a place we just seem to slide into safely is a blessing.…Keep reading
Spouse+ Subscription — Nov. 23, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Marriage Talk 💑Requesting Money 💰Murder-Free 🔪 If you’ve been married as long as I have (rounding the corner and heading toward 26 years), you understand that conversations between spouses can sometimes be awfully weird. I mean, Wifey Poo and I have known each other more than 30 years now. How much…Keep reading
Coffee Hand — Nov. 22, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Man Cold? 🤒Balloon Analogy 🎈World Flop ⚽ If you want to know how my Monday started yesterday, I poured coffee all over my hand. It isn’t that I don’t know how to pour coffee. I’ve done it a billion times. It’s that, on this particular Monday, somewhere in between the start…Keep reading
Zoo Signs — Nov. 20, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Gorilla Harassment 🦍Brother Love 👨👦👦True Crime 🔪 My love of wild animals was fostered early in my childhood. Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom was appointment viewing for my family. I grew up with scenes of hungry cheetahs chasing down baby gazelles that included what’s not included on nature shows today ……Keep reading
No Slides Allowed — Nov. 17, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Presentation Skillz 📽️No Tribe 😔Fuck 45 🖕 There was a time not all that long ago, cosmically speaking, that the mere thought of standing up in front of a crowd and giving a talk would have made me want to throw up in my shoes. In fact, there has been a…Keep reading
What’s Funny? — Nov. 15, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Boss Kudos 🙌Chill Time 😌One In 8 Billion🧍 It always feels good when the Big Bossman comes up to you and shakes your hand for a job well done. That happened last night when El Presidente of our company congratulated me on the video I wrote, shot and produced for our…Keep reading
Engaged — Nov. 14, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩BTE and Div 💍Brother Greetings 👨👩👦👦Travel Day ✈️ The morning after Boy The Elder was born, I awoke in the hospital to his sweet cooing and his momma’s deep-sleep breathing. Scooping him up carefully and holding him nervously, I sat in a rocking chair in the pre-dawn darkness and talked to…Keep reading
Dying Democracy — Nov. 11, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Election Message 🗳️School Priorities 🏫Tickets Aplenty 🎫 It would seem to me that if a common sentiment from wise people following an election is that it’s a good thing the results were so muddled because it means not much will get done in the next two years, you’ve got yourself a…Keep reading
Fairy Tale — Nov. 9, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Stephen King 🕮Legal Weed🌿Public Schools🏫 I read my first Stephen King book when I was in high school. It was summer, if I remember correctly, and everywhere I went, I carried a worn library copy of Pet Sematary. Since that time, King’s words have been a regular companion through every stage…Keep reading
Year In Music — Nov. 5, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Concert Craze 🎵Back Crackin’👩⚕️To-Dos Done🚗 My year of music is over. And, my God, has it been good. It started on a sweltering mid-July afternoon at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in which Wifey Poo and I watched my Backup Wife Jewel do her thing. It ended last night on an evening that…Keep reading
Update: My Favorite African — Nov. 3, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Little D’s Return 🏥Irony 🔨Planet Killer 🌎 Being a host parent to a little boy from Africa (Burkina Faso, to be precise) was one of the hardest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done in my life. And now, that little boy is returning to the United States. For those not…Keep reading
Mega Billions — Nov. 2, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Stupid IT Rules 🖥️The Bend 🚑Is The War Over? ✌️ Tonight, there will be a lottery drawing in which someone could win $1.2 billion. That someone won’t be me, as I didn’t buy a ticket, but it didn’t stop me from thinking about what I would and wouldn’t do with that…Keep reading
Fun Family — Nov. 1, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Family Dynamics 👪New Mattress 🛏️To Share Or Not To Share? ❓ Let’s say the only cracker you’ve ever eaten is a Saltine. You have no experience with any other crackers. In fact, you don’t even know that there is such a thing as other crackers. You might not love the Saltine,…Keep reading
Halloween Haters— Oct. 31, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Ghosts of Halloween 👻Wrinkles 👴Words Spawn Action ✍️ Wifey Poo made a bold declaration about her opinion of Halloween on our drive back from Springfield, Missourah, Saturday afternoon: “Halloween is a great time for kids to dress up …” If you think there’s more to that statement, nope. She added: “Period.”…Keep reading
How I Do Me — Oct. 27, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Empath Life 🤗Earthquake 🌎Revolutionary Failure 😶 About six months after I started my career as a professional journalist, I started walking past this job opening in our company every time I walked in and out of the building. It was for editor of a weekly paper routinely ridiculed by those who…Keep reading
School Shooter Match Game — Oct. 24, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Game Time 🎮Family Picture📸Marriage Tips 🪢 I remember when it was simple. Horrible, yes … but simple. There was Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold and they matched up with Columbine — which, side note, would have been my high school had my parents not moved to NY when I was 2.…Keep reading
Helping the Homeless — Oct. 23, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Helper Bags 🆘What’s In The Bag?🎒Mini Golf ⛳ I was raised to avoid the homeless. Avoid eye contact. Avoid conversation. And most definitely avoid giving them anything they asked for. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this, which doesn’t make me feel any better. What was instilled in me as…Keep reading
Marcus F’n King — Oct. 21, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Books & Covers 🕮Seeking Balance ⚖️Weirdo🤪 We’re taught at an early age to not judge a book by its cover. If I remember correctly, that was impressed upon me sometime around the first grade. Yet to be honest, I don’t think it’s a lesson that ever really sunk in. I imagine…Keep reading
Political Ads — Oct. 20, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Illegals or Guns? 🤦Scrolling Through Stupidity 🖱️Worst Nurse Ever 👩⚕️ If there’s anything I hate more than politics and politicians, it’s political advertising. Cutting the cable cord has lessened its intrusiveness in my life, yet it still manages to seep in. Case in point: I was watching the Padres-Phillies game last…Keep reading
Chocolateman— Oct. 19, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Passion 🍫Sarcasm 😜Poop 💩 I appreciate people who are passionate about something. Well, except politics. Then I’d prefer it if you’d just keep your mouth shut. But if you’re super-interested in photography, goats, cooking, geocaching, quilting, etching … whatever … your enthusiasm feeds my soul. Which is part of the reason…Keep reading
Top 5 Things From The Past Week: Oct. 10-16 edition
Welcome to Issue No. 9 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to email@example.com. No. 5: I pledged to finish something I am a writer. If I’m going to be a…Keep reading
Evolution — Oct. 17, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Monkey Crap 🐒BTY Day 👨👦Incomplete Stories 🖊️ If you’re of the belief that human beings evolved from apes, I’m not here to try to dissuade you. What I am here to say is that, if evolution is true, we sure have come a long way. I say this after a trip…Keep reading
Basement Water — Oct. 15, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Personal Growth 🌱Mad Mom 😠Oh, Jeffrey 🧠 About a year ago, Arti The Wonder Therapist waited patiently for me to finish yet another of my amazing monologues detailing just how I felt about the various situations I was attempting to address in my life at the time and then calmly asked…Keep reading
Death! Death! Death! — Oct. 14, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Cue the Outrage 🔫Animal Extinction 🐆Eye Update 👀 Even back in the day when I considered myself a Republican (before the dark times … before the Trumpire), I never quite understood the death penalty. Perhaps it was because I looked around at the other nations that still killed people as punishment…Keep reading