Top Ten Country Western Songs

10. She Took My Duck and Left Me with All the Bills

9. I’m Drunk

8. Line Dance Polka Steel Guitar Remix

7. I’m Lonelier Than a Porta-John at an Indoor Plumbing Festival

6. Darlin’ You Add a Gallon to My Ten-Gallon Hat

5. Hillbilly Fiddle Rap

4. I’m Drunk (Reprise)

3. My Hunting Dog Can’t Find All The Pieces of my Broken Heart

2. I Went for a Roll in the Hay and You Kicked Me Into the Baler

1. I’m Looking Forward To Regretting You in the Morning

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Top Ten Signs You Need To Get Out More

10. Layer of moss on skin growing itchy

9. You are on a first-name basis with Facebook moderators

8. You spend hours picking out the perfect desk chair

7. Most social interaction involves emoticons

6. Have pattern on ceiling above bed memorized

5. Have forgotten how to ride a bicycle

4. No longer sure how you feel about the concept of a “Sun”

3. Local Domino’s calls to check on you if you go more than three days without ordering

2. Jehovah’s Witnesses avoid your house because they don’t want to get drawn in to long conversation

1. When asked to specify next of kin, list TV character

More on social isolation: http://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-isolation.html

Barbarian Interlude

Grakthor, son of Bokthaz, tightened his grip on his mighty, broad-bladed axe as the Orkthug charged.  His large muscles rippled as he swung the greataxe, cleaving the head off the fiend’s tentacled mount with one massive blow. The Orkthug staggered as it dismounted the the beast’s oozing corpse, but quickly regained its footing, drawing its own curved, hooked doomitar and trying to cleave Grakthor’s head with a powerful blow.

The fiend’s blade was stopped by the barbarian’s axe, and the two found themselves grappling, grunting, thrusting, trying to overcome the other’s defenses.  Grakthor’s gritted teeth parted as he howled in defiance, and shoved the Orkthug back a step. The creature tried to recover, but the mighty barbarian was quick to press his advantage,  driving the Orkthug back with swing after fearsome swing of his axe that the foul cur was only barely able to parry. Finally it stumbled over a stone, landing on its reeking hindquarters.

The sniveling simpleton held up its doomitar in a futile effort at defense. “Mercy, MERCY!” it hissed through that passed for its lips.

Grakthor’s eyes bulged. “Mercy? You DARE ask ME for MERCY? Did the gibbering hyenamen of the wastes show my family mercy when they slaughtered then and cooked them in a vile stew??”

“Well, I- wait, what?”

“Did I show MERCY when I came across the foul jackals raping my horse??”

“I don’t even-”

“MERCY IS FOR NUNS!” Grakthor was beginning to foam at the mouth.

“Um, look, do you maybe need someone to talk t-” The sniveling beast’s cries were cut short as Grakthor’s mighty axe smashed its skull, spraying black blood and brain matter all over the parched dirt.

“JUSTICE! TRIUMPH!” Grakthor parted his mighty loincloth and let flow a manly stream of urine onto his vanquished foe. “URRRRRARGH!”

 

Top Ten Reasons You Are Not Going To Win a Teen Choice Award

10. You’re Wilford Brimley

9. Book “Hoppy The Bunny Discovers Rectangles” involves too much reading

8. You were cited for beating Justin Bieber around the head and neck with a fencepost

7. Only claim to fame is an obscure WordPress humor blog

6. Once again fluffers have been overlooked

5. New pop song “Teenagers Are Stupid and Suck” not charting as well as anticipated

4. Introduced a bill to raise the driving age to 30

3. Teenagers not as excited about TV show describing how to make things like early colonial end tables as you thought

2. Weekly column about stock tips yielding substandard returns

1. One Direction gerrymandered districts after last census

Column Writing

(originally published in 2003)

I can’t tell you the amount of times that people have asked me, “What makes a good column?” I usually mutter something about Dave Barry and go hide behind the buffet table. This can cause problems in restaurants.

But what does make a good column? Insightful comments? Well-considered arguments? Horrible puns? No one really knows. Columns are one of the great mysteries of the universe, like where babies come from and what actually happens when you mix equal parts of Coke and Pepsi. (My theory for both is “a nuclear explosion.”) Let’s take a look at the structure of an average column.

First, we have the “Hook,” an opening line designed to get the reader’s attention. Examples of hooks are, “Recently, I was immersing cute puppies into a vat of sulfuric acid,” or “Everyone said I was a fool to take up nude chainsaw juggling.” But one must be careful, as a poorly executed hook will turn the reader off and send him looking for porn on the Internet. “The world of Backhoe Repair is a fast-paced and exciting one” is a completely uninteresting and poorly executed hook, especially if your column is on the zany antics in college dorms.

Immediately after the hook is the “follow up,” a second comment made to support the hook. Good follow-ups are, “Boy those puppies sure looked cute in their little Hazmat suits.” and “But I’ve never seen clothes for a chainsaw! Wakka wakka wakka!” As with the hook, the writer must choose his words carefully, as a bad follow-up will leave the reader confused and with a headache, as if he has spent an evening watching reality television. A good example of a bad follow-up is “But not as fast-paced and exciting as this in-depth thesis on the gross national product of Belize I’m gonna lay on ya!”

After that comes the part we columnists like to call “winging it.” You’ve stated your thesis, now you back it up. “Why sulfuric acid?” “How exactly would you get pants on a chainsaw?” “Is Belize like a country or something?” These are all questions your reader will want answered. And it’s up to you to answer them, since you were dumb enough to bring it up. Sentences like “Obviously, the Puppy Method is a surefire way to take over the world.” and “To my horror, I realized that the audience wanted me to turn the chainsaw on!” will keep them confused enough to where you can avoid answering.

Finally comes the “Zinger.” This a sentence used to wrap everything up and shoot the point of the column home with the reader. “And so, I learned a valuable lesson about puppies and dangerous chemicals,” and “It turns out it’s a good idea to learn to juggle before putting on a show for a room full of soulful-eyed orphans” are good examples. Sentences like “Well, me done now,” while having the air of finality, doesn’t really have the conclusiveness necessary for a good column, and should be used only as a last resort.

Well, me am done now.

Dear Daniel Dos

As a humor writer, I am of course besieged by throngs of fans. It is not uncommon for me to be pelted by underwear and phone numbers when I am out in public, though both tend to be taped to bricks. I often end up wandering the streets, dazed and bloody. But just as often I get requests for advice, and I’ll answer them here.

Dear Daniel,

My daughter is acting strange. During our nightly jigsaw puzzles, she tends to be distracted, sighing and looking wistful. She also has taken to wearing t-shirts that say things like “I’m A Belieber.” I fear she has lost the ability to spell. How can I get her back to her normal self?

Troubled in Toledo

Dear Troubled:

Part of growing up is participating in fads and listening to music that will leave you embarrassed as an adult. You can’t figure out who you are without starting at the bottom of taste. When you’re 16, you’ll wear parachute pants and listen to pop rap. When you’re 26, you’re wearing khakis and listening to the Manic Street Preachers. When you’re 36, you’re wearing whatever you can find without chicken noodle soup on it and listening to “Old MacDonald” while driving your five-year-old to soccer practice. Your daughter will never go back to the child she was once was, but you can speed her evolution into an adult you can relate to by force-feeding her the pop dreck she craves until she is sick of it, at which point she will mature and wear salvation army clothes while listening only to unsigned bands that play for crowds of less than fifty.

 

Dear Daniel,

I recently sat bolt upright in bed early one Tuesday morning and said “Egad, I am a Fairly Wolf Princess trapped in the body of a pudgy 22-year-old male.” My question is, how do you come up with ideas for your written works?

Curious in Charleston

Dear Curious,

Inspiration can come from many sources. I can be perusing the internet and come across a picture of a creepy clown, and suddenly I have an article. Or I can sit around thinking of things that make me laugh, and see what I can run with. Or I can sit for three hours, staring at a blank page, the cursor blinking as though to mock me. I feel a vein in my forehead begin to throb. It’s almost time to publish something and I have nothing. The walls are closing in. Somewhere, inside of me, a voice begins to scream. I hear music. “I threw you the obvious and you flew with it on your back” WHAT WAS THAT SONG?? AAAAAAAAAAAAAA I AM A FAILURE AT EVERYTHING KILL ME NOW!

Then I usually dash off an advice column a day late and go hang out on YouTube.

 

Dear Daniel,

Please forgive the clumsy my words, I will use the program to convert is not my native language is English. My question is, up to now, do you have to tell a problem on the Internet?

Mistranslated in Michigan

Dear Mistranslated,

I have a lot of problems, such as English, do not have to become an international language of commerce. However, complication can arise from English is the language of complex fluid thing to learn in the native speakers is difficult. It is possible that confused the idea of placement for colloquialisms and idiom of misunderstanding sometimes, exhilarating sense of errors. You can translation program help but, your best bet is to learn the language really. I wish you good luck in the communication efforts of your future.

 

Dear Daniel,

Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want, So tell me what you want, what you really really want, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want, So tell me what you want, what you really really want, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really really really wanna zigazig ha.

Spicy in Seattle

Dear Spicy,

If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends. Make it last forever, friendship never ends. If you wanna be my lover, you have got to give. Taking is too easy, but that’s the way it is.

 

Dear Daniel,

I am a cutesy cat mascot from Japan. I am on lunchboxes, hair bows, cars, sushi, pencils, pens, vibrators, cartoons, hand grenades, machine guns, vending machines, and at least one very confused squid. My question is, will anyone really love me for ME?

Anxious in Asia

Dear Anxious,

Love is a complicated thing. We all wear masks, trying to juggle holding back what we think is the bad of us while putting forward what he hope is the best of us, even if it’s just an act, in order to attract a partner. We are all sad, lonely, confused people. Love doesn’t find everyone, even if you go out and chase it. So if you’re lucky enough to find someone who sees the truth of you and loves you for who and what you are, keep that person close and treasure them for as long as they want to stay in your life, no matter what form that love takes. Otherwise you’ll just be left with regrets.

But you’re a cartoon corporate mascot, so I sincerely hope not. No one should love a corporation.

Top Ten Signs You Are Not Going To College

10. Live in sub-Saharan Africa

9. Are the female protagonist of a Disney movie

8. Lack of checkers scholarships

7. You get lost mowing lawns

6. Your math teacher has given up on algebra and now just urges you to color inside the lines

5. Where some parents started a college fund, yours were breaking into trailers looking for change for meth

4. English paper “Feasibility of Bipedal Linear Acceleration while Holding Two-Bladed Hinged Cutting Apparatus” failed to impress admissions board

3.  Pastor says there’s not enough time before the aliens come

2. Have bad habit of never finishing what you start

1.