There’s no shame admitting you haven’t seen Janet Jackson’s breast

What did I miss?! Though it’s been nearly a decade since the introduction of the phrase “wardrobe malfunction” to the world vernacular during the 2004 Super Bowl, the fact that I missed that historic broadcasting moment continues to be the subject of ridicule by several of my so-called friends.

As luck would have it, in the same instant that 90 million viewers were gawking at Janet Jackson’s breast, I was picking a tortilla chip off the floor. The sequence of events leading up to that fateful moment went as follows:

1) While watching Janet Jackson dance in a highly suggestive manner, Ned inadvertently steps on a tortilla chip.

2) Being a polite guest, he reaches down for the chip just as everyone in the room shouts “HER _ _ _ _ IS SHOWING!!”

3) In a panic, Ned tries to knock his fellow guests aside but, instead, falls forward and lodges his head between the couch and coffee table, spraining his neck. Continue reading

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Online banking: Bringing Zimbabwe and Snakegut, Alabama closer together

Red necks It’s not every day that I receive an email from a Zimbabwean prince who needs help relocating $20 million into an American bank account as soon as possible. In fact, in the last five years, I’ve only received this letter maybe 18 times. In each case, the letter explains that I’ve been chosen because I’m reputed to be a “dependable and trustworthy” person.

Given that this letter is always addressed to Dear Sir or Madam, I can only assume that my reputation is in fact so great that I no longer need an actual name.

Either that, or I’m not the only person to receive this letter.

Each time I’ve gotten this e-mail, I’ve deleted it because, let’s be honest: Who wants to spend time figuring out how to access their online bank account? I have no intention of adding to that headache (or potential jail time) by making a cross-continental transfer of millions of dollars from Zimbabwe.

Besides, having our checking account suddenly jump to over $20 million — I think — would look a little suspicious.

I’m sorry Mr. Hickson, but you don’t have money in your account to cover…Oh, wait a minute. Scratch that. Will this bagel be everything? Continue reading

Hello: My name isn’t Larry

why-hire-a-contractor-1 copy There are three things I know about “Larry.”

He is a contractor; he lives somewhere in Multnomah County; and he has the same cell phone number that I do.

The calls started about a month ago, presumably about the time “Larry” got his contractor’s license and began making bids. Since then, he has been a busy man, picking up jobs and making sure that his clients know they can call him any time. Day or night. For any reason at all.

Which they do — to my cell phone.

The Hansons, for example, call whenever they change their mind about what color tile to use around the bidet in their new bathroom. For the Gilmores, deciding between cedar shakes or aluminum siding requires at least one consultation a day. And the Reyboulds are still contemplating the ripple effect of kitchen cabinets without knobs. Mrs. Reybould thinks knobs would make their kitchen look more inviting; Mr. Reybould believes not having knobs would stymie their 2-year-old and keep him out of the cabinets for at least another year. Continue reading

The bigger your lips, the sexier you’ll be when dating a sucker fish

fishlippies copy Nothing says “sexy” faster than someone with a pair of giant lips, even if that person’s collagen injections have made their lips so enormously seductive that they can’t actually pronounce the word “sexy,” and must instead settle for calling themselves “shek-shee.”

The point is, big lips are no longer just a cosmetic enhancement for people less fortunate than Mick Jagger and Angelina Jolie, whose lips are so large and incredibly sexy that they are prohibited by international law from bearing children together because, quote: “Said children could potentially upset the delicate balance between populations of humans and sucker fish.”

Though we all know that true beauty stems from inside, as any cosmetics surgeon will tell you, no one will notice unless your lips are the size of tractor tires. Which is why a new product called City Lips is being heralded as the newest, easiest and safest way to give you the lips you always wanted, but never dreamed you could have. At least not without surgically implanting tire stems in them and inflating your lips to 350 psi. Until now, those of us unable to afford expensive collagen injections were forced to live with the embarrassment of having normal, everyday lips. But thanks to City Lips, you can avoid the hassle and expense of collagen injections by using their patented do-it-yourself lip enlargement process! Continue reading

Don’t panic: It’s just your toilet paper getting smaller

Evolution of toilet paper I have a friend in Atlanta who I consider an astute observer. The kind of person who is aware of even the most subtle changes in routine or appearance. Which is why it came as no surprise when I received the following e-mail from him:

I think they shrunk my toilet paper.

According to “Derf” (Note: Out of respect for his privacy I have created a fictitious name that should not be held up to a mirror), his recent purchase of Scott toilet paper seemed “more narrow than normal.”

Because many of you are probably reading this over breakfast, I will not explain how he reached this conclusion, nor will I ever be caught without two-ply toilet paper should he come to visit. What I will tell you is that, after reading about his deductive process, I felt a need to go clean my hands, which I did, by dipping them in kerosene and lighting them on fire. Continue reading

Got the late shift at Denny’s? Compare SAT scores with ‘Mr. Sizzles’

Who needs good SAT scores when you can have the fried platter?

Who needs good SAT scores when you can have the fried platter?

During the next few weeks, every high school senior who plans to attend a four-year college will sit in a room with dozens of other nervous seniors and be handed a 300-pound Scholastic Aptitude Test. Shortly thereafter, each student will open the exam to page one and choose between a) continuing on with the test, or b) sticking a No. 2 pencil in their eye. That’s because they’ll be answering questions they wouldn’t otherwise face without at least one “lifeline” and a chance to win $1 million.

The reason it’s important to do well on the SATs is because your score tells colleges how smart you are. The smarter you are, the better your chances of getting into a prestigious university because, let’s face it: The last thing any university wants is a bunch of dumb students who need to be educated, even if they are paying $40,000 a year toward a degree which, in many cases, still won’t provide them with their most valuable document — a food handler’s card. Continue reading

Ratings decline may require Oscars to get jiggy before things go wack

See how getting "Jiggy" saved the Intoxicated Karaoke Awards?

See how getting “Jiggy” saved the Intoxicated Karaoke Awards?

As you’ve probably discovered, we have entered the annual “awards show” season, which officially began with the Golden Globe Awards, and is due to wrap up some time in April, when David Hasselhoff hosts the coveted Intoxicated Karaoke Performance Awards live from Tijuana, Mexico.

Every year, I watch at least some of these awards shows because, as a columnist, it’s important for me to keep up with cultural trends. I also watch because seeing Nicki Minaj always makes me feel better about the way I dress. However, according to a recent poll, ratings for awards shows have actually dropped. So much so that programming executives are calling it “an alarming trend.”

Personally, I think the word “alarming” is a little strong. Continue reading

There’s nothing funny about being a firefighter… well, mostly

My cubby, complete with mint gum to wake me up for those late-night calls.

My cubby, complete with mint gum to wake me up for those late-night calls.

Anyone who has read my “About” page knows that, in addition to being a humor columnist, I’m also a volunteer firefighter — a subject I have purposely avoided in my columns because, let’s face it:

Entering a burning structure with someone who writes about glow-in-the-dark mice isn’t exactly reassuring.

For this reason, I have tried hard to separate my two pursuits. As I’ve discovered, this is a little like trying to separate marshmallows using a blow torch; the longer you keep at it, the more they blend together.

The truth is, once the emergency is over, firefighters are funny — which is why, after three years, many are still asking, “Why haven’t you written about being a firefighter yet?”

So to all of you, I say:

You asked for it. Continue reading

Going down to the AP wire against Brian Williams

Busy newsroomHere at the Siuslaw News (Motto: Your dependable source for news. Twice weekly. Unless we lose count), we journalists steadfastly adhere to a strict code when it comes to gathering important national news.

And that code is this: We will never, under any circumstances, have the budget for an Associated Press wire service membership.

Hence, we do not receive hourly updates from news sources around the globe. If we feel the need to go beyond the local scope of a story, we must do so the old-fashioned way, by grabbing our pad and pen (which most of us are pretty good about sharing) and making phone calls until, eventually, another journalist with access to a wire service mistakenly answers their phone. Continue reading

Contemplating life without training wheels

My daughter, age 7, surveying the parking lot across from our home, moments before we removed the training wheels from her bike.

My daughter on Aug. 11, 2002, surveying the parking lot across from our home, moments before I removed the training wheels from her bike.

As a parent, you never think it will happen to you even though, somewhere in the back of your mind, you know the possibility exists. When it does happen, you realize that no amount of preparation can prepare you for something like this.

On Jan. 13, it will happen to me.

Suddenly, and without warning, my oldest daughter will turn 19.

This morning, I came into work early and sat with my cup of coffee. It was my first opportunity to really contemplate this event without interruption or distraction. As I scrolled through old columns I’d written about being a dad, and specifically those about my oldest daughter, I was drawn to this piece I wrote when she was seven. She had just learned to ride her bike without training wheels. As I read it, it struck me how more than a decade later the experience, as well as the advice I had given her, still applies. Continue reading