Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Collage days

October 10, 2016

The cover page for two showings of my work, in 2003 at red ink studios in Palo Alto and in 2005 at the Stanford Humanities Center:


The big point here is that I consider these works (and two other sets of collages) to be art — eccentric art, perhaps, but nevertheless art. For many people, this is a problematic claim, so I’m somewhat defensive.


The Mystery Man of Crotch Beach

September 11, 2016

(Some crude sexual talk, but some humor, too, and plants, several plants. Use your judgment.)

(Notice: Prunella vulgaris and Orchis mascula are real plants, and what I say about them and their names is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate. As for the rest, caveat lector.)


Hunky Herb hides his
Puffy purple penis, his
Funky fleshy fruits, but fuck, his
Buddy Larry says, lewdly, a
Feast to eat, and pretty too.

The back story, in a recent press release:


Briefly: vice-presidential anagrams

August 24, 2016

In the August 2016 issue of Funny Times, a reprinting of a Dave Barry column (from the 7/26 Miami Herald), “Is this what really goes on inside the Democratic dance and beer hall?” (about the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia), ending:

I will conclude today’s report with the following:

UPDATE ON TIM KAINE: At this point, all we know for certain about him is that the letters in “Tim Kaine” can be rearranged to spell “I eat mink.”

Even better: “Ain’t Mike”.

As for his Repblican counterpart: “Mike Pence” anagrams to “Keep mince”, or better: “Pink emcee”. I love the idea of anti-gay Pence flouncing on stage in pink.

That concludes today’s political commentary.

Briefly: a humorous postcard

August 8, 2016

From Ryan Tamares (attending a conference in Chicago) a couple of weeks ago, this humorous postcard:


Much of its time (1953, apparently; note that the man wears a hat), mildly racy (because it has a naked guy in it), silly (because he’s using a public fountain for bathing), and seriously phallic (fountains in general are, but this one has a figure spouting a spray onto the bather).


Offer #11: funny stuff

June 27, 2016

More things you can get free in the mail (well, you pay for shipping): this time, about 40 CD albums of comedy and humor, from Shelley Berman, Beyond the Fringe, Bob and Ray, the Bobs, and the Bonzo Dog Band to Allan Sherman, the Smothers Brothers, the best of This American Life, and the best of Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me (both from public radio in the U.S.).


Programmer paintings

May 21, 2016

From Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky, a link to the Tumblr site “Classic Programmer Paintings”, in which paintings (some famous, some genre paintings chosen for their pictorial content) are captioned with jokes about the life of programming. Two examples (both from painters new to me):


Ivan Bilibin, “Koschei the Deathless” from Marya Morevna (1900): “Senior security engineer on his way to deliver comments to developers”


Osman Hamdi Bey, “The Tortoise Trainer” (1906): “The Shell Scripter”

(a play involving shell program ‘a program that provides an interface between the user and the operating system’ (NOAD2))


Calvinesque humor

May 7, 2016

Today’s replay of an old Calvin and Hobbes:

Classic humor: idiots, explosives, and falling anvils. Who could ask for anything more? Well, at least on Saturday morning, in front of a television set. If you’re a 6-year-old boy.

[Correction: my original posting said “falling animals”, rather than (the correct) “falling anvils”. Yes, I have a reading problem. I got new glasses last week, prescribed last October but only arrived last week, and they did indeed sharpen my vision, but they were also bifocals rather than the ordered trifocals. Missing the bit for viewing my computer screen. While my optometrists rage at and revile the firm that grinds the lenses, they told me to use the bifocals. But it turns out that with then I can see my computer screen only by taking off my glasses and getting really close to the screen. I’ve been making a lot of reading errors, like the “animals” one. Ok, now I’ve gone back to the old, somewhat fuzzy, glasses, which at least give me a better chance. (Almost surely TMI, but there it is.)]


More Peepshi

March 25, 2016

Jeff Shaumeyer on Facebook points us to a new piece on Serious Eats, “Peepshi: The Next Generation” by Niki Achitoff-Gray on 3/21/16, the latest of the Peepshi (Peeps + sushi] postings there (on an earlier one, see my 3/23/15 posting “Peeps time in Japan”):

(Hurry! Only two days until Easter!)


Morning names: the two Gracies

February 23, 2016

This is a tribute to the associative abilities of the human mind. When I woke this morning, my iTunes was playing what I recognized as comic songs by Gracie Fields, and what came into my mind was a bit of imagined comic dialogue:

(1) A to B: Say hello to the kids.  B: Hello to the kids.

in which there’s a quotational scope ambiguity, over how much of what A said is used and how much mentioned.

I quickly figured out the route from Gracie Fields songs to (1): from Gracie Fields to Gracie Allen (both comic actors with the first name Gracie) to this famous but (as it turns out) apocryphal exchange:

(2) Burns to Allen: Say good night, Gracie.  Allen: Good night, Gracie.

to (1) as a new variant of the joke in (2). But this path was beneath the level of my consciousness, producing an almost instantaneous short-circuiting from the music to (1).


A passion for pickles

February 17, 2016

Note: this posting is about pickles (in the American sense: pickled cucumbers) and uses of the word pickle, especially in proper names; my main theme is that pickles and the word pickle tend to be intrinsically funny, inherently risible. I’ll be citing a whole bunch of uses, but I do not intend this posting to be a complete inventory of uses of the word, so if I don’t mention some example that you know or especially like, please add it in a comment, but don’t do this by accusing me of having failed or neglected to mention your example; that would just be gratuitously insulting.

It started with an entertaining piece by Winnie Hu in the NYT on the 15th: (on-line) “At United Pickle, Preserving the Standards of a Deli Staple”, (in print) “Family-Run Supplier Preserves Standards For a Briny Deli Staple”, beginning:

Not every cucumber has what it takes to be a pickle. As dozens of them tumbled from a steel hopper onto a conveyor belt in a Bronx factory, two workers enforced a strict pickle standard.

Bruised. Broken. Too curvy. Too short. Sorry, no exceptions.

The rejects — about one in 10 — were tossed into plastic bins, destined to become relish.

“You can’t just pickle any produce,” said Stephen Leibowitz, the self-described “chief pickle maven” of this operation, as he reached past the workers to personally pluck out an offending cucumber. “I can put in the best ingredients, and they still won’t turn out right.”

Mr. Leibowitz is the man to see if the pickles at your local deli, diner or burger joint have lost their crunch. Whether kosher dills, sours, half-sours or bread-and-butters, chances are they got their start on the production line at United Pickle, the largest family-owned supplier of pickles and pickled condiments in New York City.

Or as Mr. Leibowitz, 73, ever the pickle pitchman, put it, “If you’re in a pickle, call United Pickle.”

Kosher dill spears in preparation: