While walking through the carnival today, I saw this “help wanted” sign posted in the elephant ear booth. The sign makes it clear that the standards for this position are high. But don’t worry. For those with a blood alcohol above .30, there’s always The Scrambler or Squirrel Cages operator position.
(Do you suffer from unsightly vision? Continual breathing? An itchy bladder? Reptile disfunction? You’re not alone! Join millions others who suffer these afflictions each week during Flashback Sunday, when we dig deep into the archives — back when I thought “Freshly Pressed” was a kinky website for people with a Pillsbury Dough Boy fetish. And while this week’s Flashback won’t cure any of your symptoms, it might help with regularity…)The act of “playing” is a crucial part of how a child establishes self image and a basic understanding of the world. I know this because, as a progressive father of today, I have read extensively about this very topic — which is why I progressively freaked out when I found my son playing in the shower with a Barbie doll.
It wasn’t the fact that he was playing with a doll that bothered me, it was the fact that it was still completely intact — something I don’t expect from a child who routinely disassembles my office chair and a good portion of my desk in less than four minutes using nothing but a three-piece “Bob the Builder” tool kit.
I decided something needed to be done. It was time to enlist the help of an old friend; it was time for G.I. Joe to break Barbie’s mojo. Continue reading
(Fridays are always a good reason to get excited! And not just if you’re a cross-dresser who tells his wife he “works late at the office” on Friday nights while secretly going by the name “Bobbi.” No! The other reason to get excited — and this includes you, too, Bobbi — is that it’s also time for “Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing.” Or as some people have suggested, “Ned’s NWOW,” which is definitely the kind of thing that could stick, unless I use a disinfectant. As always, today’s Nickel’s Worth is brought to you by Gliterary Girl, a literary website where I’m a regular contributor each week, or at least until they change the pass code…)
It’s rare when an author of this caliber agrees to acknowledge your presence, let alone be interviewed and, during the course of that interview, actually speak. So you can imagine my excitement at having gotten award-winning and self-proclaimed best-selling author Ima Knowitall to discuss her career and upcoming book release, Time-traveling Vampire of Love. She has been heralded by the New York Times as “…our generation’s J.K. Rowling, mixed with E.L. James, if they weren’t already from our generation, and if she added initials to her name.”
High praise indeed.
In addition, Knowitall has been recognized by prestiges writers’ groups across the globe, such as London’s famous Nouns of the Baskerville, Seattle’s Puget Sound Pronouns and the Dangling Participles of Dublin. The author of more than 40 online novels this past year, Knowitall has received the coveted Prolific Speller Award, the Hemmingway Award for “longest run-on sentence of 2013 and 2014″ (same sentence) and, most recently, she was honored by the Society of Illiterate Columnists (SIC) for her contributions to “…the advancement of people who write without the shackles of proper grammar.” Continue reading
He was 30 years old.
I had been working late at the newspaper that evening and was just heading out the door when my cell phone rang. Seeing that it was my friend, I stopped in the open doorway and leaned against the jam, enjoying the spring air and watching the Ferris wheel begin its first revolution in preparation for opening night. It was well past dusk, and the strobing and spinning lights of the carnival were like shooting stars, rising into the night sky and reflecting off the surface of the nearby Siuslaw River. As my friend spoke, I found myself watching The Zandar, a spinning hub routinely hosed down after launching people’s stomach contents. When the words “cancer” and “inoperable” escaped the phone, my world began to spin as well. I remember slowly sliding down the jam, and the feel of the strike plate gouging my back until I had collapsed into a hunched position. He explained the ocular cancer, which had taken his left eye nearly two years earlier, had returned and spread to his brain and organs through his lymph nodes. He had less than three months. In the distance, I heard the first screams of carnival goers and, for only the third time in my life, I wept uncontrollably… Continue reading
They say idle hands are the Devil’s play things, especially if he has access to Photoshop. My funny and slightly twisted (like a length of hemp rope woven by weed-smoking hippies) blogger friend, Tom Nardone, took the photo from last night’s blog post (“What’s wrong with this picture”) and made it even more wrong, as only Tom can do… which is a real talent.
Some of his earlier work was released several years ago, in the JFK assassination files, when he put Lee Harvey Oswald’s head on the body of someone holding a rifle.
(…At least, I think that’s the correct response….)
So this afternoon, my friend Jack sent a photo he took of me on Saturday at the Dunes City Triathlon. Was I competing? Hahahaha! Anyway, I was there to shoot for the newspaper and help EMTs should someone become exhausted or injured, not counting myself. Looking at my ensemble of camera gear, fire department shirt and OSAA media pass, is it just me or do I look like someone suffering from multiple personality disorder? I mean, what if the Port-O-Potty suddenly burst into flames (it could happen), causing a cyclist to have a heart attack and ride into a flock of endangered geese, requiring photos for what could be the biggest breaking news story since last year’s visit from the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile? Do I give CPR? Pull a charged line? Take photos? Use the opportunity to acquire a new high performance bicycle of my own?
I may need to consider simplifying my life…
No, that’s not a photo taken inside an empty office at Chernobyl. It’s what I look at every time I glance up from my desk in the newsroom here at the Siuslaw News. It is The Door (of Shame, Blame and Brilliance). As any reader of this weekly feature will tell you, it is a shrine, a journalistic Mecca, a print media Wailing Wall to which we make a pilgrimage each Tuesday and, with deep introspection, ask ourselves that eternal question:
How did THAT make it into print without someone noticing?!?
The Door has been a work in progress since the early 1970s, when journalists began taping examples of the best and worst headlines, typos, cutlines and correspondence to it as a way to 1) keep a healthy perspective on what we do, and 2) keep The Door from falling apart since the budget won’t allow for a new one. In addition to its significance as a sentinel of journalistic history, it also contains enough tape, paste and glue to withstand the blast radius of a backfiring 1967 Volkswagen Beatle. Continue reading
(Given that it’s Mother’s Day, I realize there are a lot of you who, to celebrate the joy of motherhood, have already had one too many mimosas. But that’s OK! Because it’s also Flashback Sunday, that other special day when we dust off the archives and go into the past, back when I thought “Freshly Pressed” was something that happened to new inmates. Some of you may be thinking, “Ned, why didn’t you flashback to a Mother’s Day post?” And to you I say, “What mother doesn’t want to look at Bruce Willis?”)It’s true I sometimes make fun of scientific discoveries that, in my opinion, seem a little silly — such as genetically altering a mouse to glow in the dark. That’s because I just can’t see any benefit to creating a rodent with its own built-in night light. While it might make for goofy fun at the lab when all the lights are out, should one of these neon mice manage to escape and reproduce, I’ll be the one stuck taking my cat to therapy twice a week.
However, from time to time, there is a scientific breakthrough so significant, so far-reaching, so groundbreaking that even I — a trained humor columnist — must stop and say:
WOW! This is quite possibly the most important scientific discovery since….
…The glow-in-the-dark mouse!
(For me, the yardstick by which all modern scientific discoveries are measured.)
Thanks to researchers at Lewis and Clark University and the University of California Berkley, we are on the verge of another milestone in scientific achievement — something that could quite possibly change the world as we know it!
At least in terms of adhesiveness.
I’m talking, of course about Gecko Tape. Continue reading
(It’s FRIDAY! No, seriously — pinch yourself! See?!? That means, in addition to making it through another week, getting paid today and cutting out early for the weekend, it’s also time for Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing, that special time when I offer insider trading tips coded as writing advice! In fact, I can almost guarantee today’s post could potentially double your initial 5-cent investment. As always, you can see more of my NWOW at Gliterary Girl, where my NWOW link is much larger. Not that I’m bragging…)
When you consider that there were nine Muses in Greek mythology, you’d think finding yours would be pretty easy. In fact, I’m looking for mine right now. The Muses, as you probably know, were all extraordinarily beautiful women (remember, philosophers were all men back then), with names like Fallopia, Urethra, Tetracycline, Chlamydia, Herpes, etc., and were the daughters of mighty Zeus and the goddess of personified memory… uh, whose name escapes me. Each muse served as inspiration for different art forms, such as literature, oration, sculpture, music, Reuben sandwiches, and others.
I realize that last paragraph probably guaranteed that my muse is now hovering over our unsuspecting copy editor who, at this moment, is jotting down an outline for the next blockbuster literary franchise. But that’s OK! I like our copy editor. If she achieves fame and fortune with the help of my angry muse, I will be happy for her. I won’t buy her damned book, but I’ll be happy for her. Continue reading
Soon, it will be Mother’s Day. For many of you, it means sending a flowery card that says all the wonderful things you’d say if only you had a thesaurus and someone from Hallmark breathing down your neck. The truth is, the meaning of Mother’s Day has been lost over the years thanks to stupid greeting cards filled with heartfelt phrases like:
If your love was an ocean, you would’ve drowned me as a child.
When I think of love, I think of you. Because of this, you have no grandchildren.
With every smile, I remember a special moment that will never ever be forgotten — Happy belated Mother’s Day!
The true meaning of Mother’s Day, as any mother will tell you, has absolutely nothing to do with flowery cards or fond memories — and everything to do with sacrifice.
That’s right. You want to let Mom know you really care? Forget about comparing her to “a beautiful rose laden with thorns of caring,” and remember all the stuff she endured for you even before you HAD a memory. If you’re not sure where to begin, I have two words for you:
Breast Pump. Continue reading