06/01 Direct Link

Harrow Like You Mean It
Dektol Dreams
The Martyring of Gary Tennisball
Automobiles and Stranger Things
A Poet Purports
Kayaking Grand Central
How to Log Out
We Called Them Valises
Interplanetary Pup Conquers Mars
Interplanetary Pup and the Vixens of Venus
Interplanetary Pup, Captain of the Asteroids
Shureshot’s Guide to Juicy Chops
Shureshot’s Guide to Lemony Treats
Shureshot’s Guide to Soups, Stocks and Stews
City Hens, Country Hens
2009 Fancy Napkin Price Guide
What Time They Close: American Car Washes
What Time They Close: American Dry Cleaners
What Time They Close: Chinese Takeout (U.S.)
06/02 Direct Link

Finagle on Home Repair
Finagle on Car Maintenance
Finagle on Hobbies You Can Try
Learn to Repair the World Wide Web
North — To Delaware!
Dr. Shapiro’s Good-For-You Desserts
Coping with Dissidents
You Learn English Easy Now
Little Golden Book of Arachnids
Tin Ceilings, Tin Floors
Fruit We’ve Got
When We Were Sailors
Sherwin Williams Accuses: Red
Sherwin Williams Accuses: White
Sherwin Williams Accuses: Blue
What We Ate in 1973
You Say Football, I Say Footootball
My Pal Rumsfeld
Snacks to Take With Water
A People’s History of Route 9
Nimoy’s Cousins
06/03 Direct Link

A Lion Named Murray
He Claimed to Have Had Pitied a Fool
Propose By Walkie-Talkie
Wil Wheaton Faxes
Shureshot’s Guide to Crispy Crusts
Shureshot’s Guide to Dietetic Fillings
Shureshot’s Guide to Off-Brand Hams
The No-Allowance Gang Rides Again!
Golf Had Other Ideas
A Child’s Garden of Lifestyle Diseases
Raise That Turtle Like You Mean It!
Great-Aunts’ Wisdom
All God’s Neighbors
The Collected Letters of Captain Kangaroo
Interpreting Sneezes
When In Doubt, Eat
CD ROMance
Help! She Has a Cuter Sister!
Bar and Bat Mitzvah Your Pets
06/04 Direct Link

—and I thought it was a lovely piece of writing. I’m not normally a sentimental man, but I’m sensitive to transitions. Enoch is handling his family’s with typical grace.

Dear house
You raised two of my babies
You built a business with me
You taught me I can run
You sheltered us
You watched me turn 30
You had bonfires
You made every view peaceful
You surround me with wildlife
You let me play music all hours
You watched us all laugh, cry, hug, fight, whisper, scream and grow.
I will miss you.…
06/05 Direct Link
Dear residents,

My name is Josh Slates and I am the assistant location manager of a movie called John Snyder. The film is being directed by Jason Reitman (Up in the Air, Juno) and stars Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. We are scheduled to film exterior scenes in the Shelburne Falls area on Tuesday, June 5 (with a rain date of Wednesday, June 6).

Thank you for your help in making our filming project possible, for supporting the Massachusetts film community, and for sharing your beautiful town with us. If you have questions, feel free to contact me directly.

— Josh
06/06 Direct Link
Dear Josh Slates,

We are a bunch of yokels who, by sheer good fortune or otherwise, have the time to stand around and titter while you film your Hollywood movie in our Dogpatch business district. We enjoy being barred from our grocery store, pharmacy, book and consignment shops for a week, detouring around Bridge Street like we do whenever the area floods or there’s boondoggle street repair afoot, and peering at the back of your massive reflectors, seeing nothing of the well-paid stars on the other side.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact us directly.

— Townies
06/07 Direct Link
Beer, burger, pub noise and fatigue (some existential, some merely Thursday) have me woozy. Today, please be satisfied with three


To wit:

I DON'T MIND that they’re filming a movie in my town. I got to see what’s her name, that Titanic lead, the female one. What the hell’s her name… shoot a scene. The shot her entering the pharmacy where I buy my kid’s meds, three times; with an extra passing behind her on the sidewalk, three times. Finally they got it right, I guess.

I CREATED A Toastmasters club, G-d damn it! Flippin' A.

06/08 Direct Link
He heard?

— Yes.

How’d he take it?

— ‘Bout well as you’d expect.


— What?

Meaning what, exactly. I don’t know how he’d expect to take it. That’s why I asked.

— No, not he; you. “About as well as you’d expect.”

This isn’t about me. How I would take it is, well, it’s meaningless. I want to know how he took it.

— He took it as well as one might be expected to take such news. You just have to put yourself in his place, is all. For the sake of argument.

I don’t …

— He took it fine! Just fine. Jesus!
06/09 Direct Link
Jesus yourself. I was just asking.

— I know, but you’re … what are you, willfully misunderstanding me?

Excuse me?

— How he took the news. I don’t know how he took it. All I’m saying is you can well imagine.

But you were there.

— Yeah?

So I don’t have to imagine. You can just say. You can just “report.”

— Report? I should report to you how he took it?

No, not, like, as a reporter. I mean. You could just say, you know…

— No, tell me: how should I “just say.”

Like, “He took it this way,” or “he took it that way.”
06/10 Direct Link
Like, “He took it this way,” or “He took it that way.”

— I’m not a mind reader. He seemed fine. Took it in stride.

Well, fine. That’s all I was asking.

— Took it like a champ. OK?

Yeah. OK. I got it … Because that just raises the question. I mean, you say, "About as well as you might expect." I might have expected a different reaction.

— Pardon me?

Like, maybe shocked. Or angry. You say “fine,” and that’s fine with me. That’s great. But don’t expect me to know how he’s “supposed” to take it.

— Oh, I beg your pardon.
06/11 Direct Link
So we’re square on all this?

— Yeah. I guess. I’m not sure what we’ve established.

We’ve —

— I mean —

No, it’s —

— No, wait.

No, well. Wait, I’m sorry. You go —

— No, you go. You go ahead.

No, I was… I was just… It’s fine. Whatever.

— No, was there something else?


— Nothing else? I’d hate for you not to —

I’m fine. I’m totally fine. Please.

— Yeah?


— OK. Cool.


— So he took it well...

Yeah. Yeah, for the most part.

— What do you mean?

No, he took it well. He did. But you could tell something about it bothered him.
06/12 Direct Link
— Well, yeah.

Yeah. He had a kind of a look.

— Like a pained look?

A what?

— A pained look?


— Yeah, a —

No, oh, yeah. No. I’m sorry. I didn’t —

— Like, you know —

Oh, no, I under… A pained —

— A pained look.

Pained. Right. No, I understand. I didn’t hear you right or something. I didn’t connect —

— “Pained.”

No, I totally understand. No, it wasn’t a pained look.

— OK.

I don’t know how you’d describe it. Not pained. Not exactly.

— What, then?

I’m thinking. “Offended,” if anything.

— He looked offended?

Not principally, no. I would say “fine,” right? But … something.
06/13 Direct Link
— So wait. What did he do?

When he heard?

— Yeah.


— Nothing? He didn’t —

Well, he looked, you know, surprised at first. Like [pantomimes surprise].

— He said, “Pantomimes surprise”?

No, that’s an editorial thing. That was … forget it. His eyes widened. His mouth opened. He leaned in slightly.

— I get all that. What’s this about an editorial …?

Nothing. Forget it. Forget I said that. I didn’t think I was saying that out loud.

— I just —

Forget it, please. Please.

— OK. So he registers surprise. Fine. Now here’s what I don’t get. This notion of offense. He looked “offended,” you said.
06/14 Direct Link
Why does it matter to you? Do you —

— I’m just interested —

Do you care?

— Yes, I like to know. I’d like to know.

This doesn’t even concern you. This isn’t even about you. Do you even —

— I like to know —

Do you even know him?

— No, not really. He’s still —

Then why do you care?

— He’s … it’s just that I like to get the full picture on these stories. It’s an interesting story. How he took this news reveals —

You don’t even know him.

— No, but it reveals something of the human condition.


— It’s a quiet moment, revealing much.
06/15 Direct Link
That’s … wow. Are you really that interested in, like ... on aesthetic grounds?

— I don’t know about “aesthetic.” Are you using that word properly? I just like to get as clear a picture as I can about these little, often ineffable, moments. I can’t explain it. It’s not like it’s —

Is this a hobby of yours?

— No, I was just saying. It’s not like some weird fascination. Or maybe it is. If you don’t want to talk about it anymore, that’s fine.

Hey, whatever floats your boat.

— Oh, now that’s hostile. That’s —

I’m sorry.

— Come on, man.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
06/16 Direct Link
— Can you just … to the degree you’re inclined to keep talking about this … be as specific as possible? These fleeting feelings mean a lot. We don’t pay them enough attention. I just want to honor them, at least in this case.

You’re really committed to hearing this story.

— I am.

Are you just pulling my leg? Are you really —

— It’s like the Big Bang.


— The Big Bang theory. Not the show; the real thing.


— We know what happened, scientists do, all the way back until the first fraction of a second, pre-inflation. Some wicked small fraction...
06/17 Direct Link
Are you drawing some parallel —

— Yes. I’m saying what transpires in human relationships, if you follow this deterministically, effects proceed from causes. If —

— This is flawed.


— Intrinsically flawed. You’re saying you want to know with certainty what, in this case, one man’s reaction appeared to a third party to be, and from this induce some cosmological truths about human relationships generally —

No, not generally: specifically. In this specific case.

— You can’t.

You didn’t let me finish.

— In the first place —

You didn’t let me finish

— It’s mere inference. At best you can only —

You didn’t let me finish.
06/18 Direct Link
Oh, please. […] No, please go on.

— Thank you. Look, I know this is an inexact science —

Oh, it’s science now!

— […] Aren’t you at all curious as to his state of mind at receiving that news? And wouldn’t it be fascinating to track, to the best of our ability, what he does next as a consequence of having had that state of mind? And from him to others; from others out; exponentially. So much of human life is lived in the dark. Nobody knows us. We don’t even know ourselves. We lurch —

Jesus H. Christ.

— We lurch bewildered, lost, blind, alone.
06/19 Direct Link
I can see you’re —

— No, wait. Wait, this is important. … If we can know —

We can’t know. I agree: nobody knows nothin’.

— Dammit, I’m serious. I’m serious here.

Oh, I can tell. That’s the one thing I know for sure in all this.

— Are you … is it that you don’t agree this is an interesting subject, or you don’t agree —

I don’t agree with the premise. I just think it’s ridiculous. It invites ridicule. What are you looking up?

— I’m Googling something.

I mean, we can talk about it if you want. I’m just telling you —

— Hang on. … Slow connection.
06/20 Direct Link
— Is that a 4?


— Nice.

It’s all right.

— What do you pay in —

OK, here. Got it. Look.

— OK. What am I looking at. This is a NASA page?

“In that crucial split second, changes occurred that allowed for the creation of stars and galaxies hundreds of millions of years later.”

— Yeah?

“A trillionth of a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang.” What —

— Yeah?

Doesn’t that fill you with wonder? Why are things the way they are? Can they have been any other way? What led up to —

— You’re nuts.


— A trillionth of a trillionth!

... And?
06/21 Direct Link
The north-going Zax and the south-going Zax were squat, and so neither could let the other squeeze through his legs. Still, could one have crouched to let the other climb over his back. Engineers with cranes erected the overpass; did no one offer to hoist a Zax skyward for a moment to facilitate passage?

Isn’t anyone ever going to remove those horrible leaning skeletons?

What happens if my car breaks down on the Highway of Prax? There’s no breakdown lane. I’ll be screwed. We all will.

“Get a job,” she said.

I never should have left the beaches.
06/22 Direct Link
ALL RIGHT, MR. POTTER, you’ve fought a long way through dangerous country in order to stick your nose where it doesn’t belong. I admit, I am impressed with your daring, if not your discretion.

Well, I might as well tell you what you came all this way to learn. The information will do you no good, even if I were to let you leave here alive, which, I assure you, I shall not.

You and your friends were quite correct: the “enchanted amulet” Professor McGonagall wore to the cotillion was —


“Discretion” wasn’t quite the correct word.

What, then...

06/23 Direct Link
Book says:

The purpose of the Ah Counter is to note any word or sound used as a crutch by anyone who speaks (formally) during the meeting. Words may be inappropriate interjections, such as and, well, but, so and you know. Sounds may be ah, um or er.

Also note when a speaker repeats a word or phrase such as “I, I” or “This means, this means.” These repetitions can annoy listeners and distract from your message. The Ah Counter role is an excellent opportunity to practice your listening skills.

I say:

Hey, hey, it’s all good.
06/24 Direct Link
ONE OF THE SKILLS Toastmasters practice is expressing a thought within a specific time. As timer you are responsible for monitoring time for each meeting segment and each speaker. You’ll also operate the timing signal, indicating to each speaker how long he or she has been talking. Serving as timer is an excellent opportunity to practice giving instructions and time management, something we do every day.

Here’s how to succeed as timer:

Before the meeting, contact the Toastmaster and general evaluator to confirm which members are scheduled program participants. Then contact each speaker to confirm the —

Sorry, out of space.
06/25 Direct Link
GRAMMARIAN, the syntax sentinel.

Yeah, to go in there and have a meeting you wanna pretty much go in and get this right off the bat. I’m only saying out of experience how important it is. I’ve seen (see the apostrophe? That’s because of grammar relationships with “I have,” and that’s a perfect example) where people get this wrong.

That reminds me of a funny story.

Otherwise, the thing that happens is if you get grammar all wrong, or even slightly, it totally can mess up how they receive you. I’ve seen this happen too often to even be funny.
06/26 Direct Link
WHEN I GO, I’m taking the dirt from that cactus. It’s my dirt. Frankly, it’s my cactus, but I can’t bear to deprive Alexander of it, he loves it so. My dirt and my planter... Oh? Oh? Excuse me, I remember going online and clicking on an eighteen-inch terra cotta Claudia round resin planter, and charging it to my Visa. I distinctly... Christ, I don’t know. The site that sells planters. God. You know what? Keep the planter. Keep it. My gift to you. No, enjoy, enjoy. Put something in there you can keep alive. Good luck with that.
06/27 Direct Link

Iceberg Lettuce Breakfasts
Mr. Monsanto Makes it Better
Impossible Mnemonics
All the Cool Kids Shop HoFoo!
Diagnose Your Earache
Diagnose Your Toothache
Diagnose Your Cricked Neck
When Laughter is Called For
When Your Kid Can't Hack Sports
When She's "Late"
Grisly on Lovin'
Grisly on Scrapbookin'
Grisly on Grandparentin'
Magnetic Rays Can Hurt!: A Betcha Didn't Know Book
What You'd Weigh in Space: A Betcha Didn't Know Book
Where The School Bus Sleeps: A Betcha Didn't Know Book
Cheney Wore a Suit
Calligraph Your Way To a Sharp-Ass Resume
Collecting Plastic
06/28 Direct Link

You'll Be a Doctor Yet

Put on Your Fucking Shoes! Let's Go!: What to Do With Your Kids

Caps Lock, Num Lock, and All the Rest: A Cyber Guide

I'm Not Saying You Should Rob a Bank (But I'm Not Saying You Shouldn't)

Master Business Basics: Upsell, Cross-sell and Over-sell

Master Business Basics: When Not to Give a Receipt

Master Business Basics: Picture “Purrfect” Profits

If This Night I Die: Lullabies From Auntie Sue

Count Your Fingers, Count Your Toes: A Counting By Twenties Book

Doctor Danube’s Only Eat When You’re Full

We Eyed the Sea
06/29 Direct Link

Kids’ Wackiest (And Correct!) Test Answers

Happy Worm, Sad Worm: A Kid’s Guide to Freshwater Fishing

Hidden Stuff to Click on Facebook

Rude, Crude and Downright Lewd Things to Write on a Friend’s Cast

Ruder, Cruder and Downright Lewder Things to Write on a Friend’s Cast

The Rudest, Crudest and Downright Lewdest Things to Write on a Friend’s Cast

The Russkies Are Layin’ Low: A Patriot Prepares

Your Totally Awesome Innards: Extreme Organs!

Your Totally Awesome Innards: Trippin’ Bones!

Your Totally Awesome Innards: Mega-Sick Fluids!

Appeal to Vanity — and Win!

The Fotomat Franchise Advantage

Iowan Veterinary Practices
06/30 Direct Link

Gather Unto Thee Thy Tithings

You Put the Ow in Meow, Marmalade!

You’ve a Stinging Wit, Marmalade!

Fifty Years of Marmalade, The Vicious Cat

Mark Bronson, Man of the H.O.U.R.

Mark Bronson, Ally in A.R.M.S.

Mark Bronson, Cloak of the N.I.G.H.T.

Gary B. Buckles Talks Turkey

Gary B. Buckles' Comedy Crack-ups

Gary B. Buckles' Tearful Earfuls

Principal Barters, Sheriff of Dry Gulch High

Principal Barters and the Haunted Headmaster

Principal Barters and the Canine Commandos

Robot Wars of the Seventh Grade Goofballs

Lightning Ninjas of the Seventh Grade Goofballs

Crocodile Kingdom of the Seventh Grade Goofballs