Tag Archives: humor book

Texas dies in fiery car crash at 162

by John Johnson, staff writer

KENNEBUNK, ME—The state of Texas was killed yesterday in a multi-car pileup along I-95 near Kennebunk, when his car plowed straight into a concrete overpass and burst into flames after he attempted to swerve around a previous pileup. Paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive the state, and he died at the scene. Texas was 162.

The recently deceased state of Texas

The recently deceased state of Texas

Longtime neighbor Oklahoma told The Teaspoon Times that Texas was a great state to have as a friend. “He was just your typical, old-fashioned, down-home, hootin’ and hollerin’, nitty-gritty, Tex Mex, greasy spoon, shoot-’em-up kind of state. He was a big guy, but he had a big heart,” recalled Oklahoma.

Texas, who would have turned 163 in December, had endured his share of tough times. Even though the Mexican-American war ravaged many parts of the state in the 1840s, Texas met Louisiana soon after, and the couple settled down to a life together on the southern edge of the United States. Most recently, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike had caused some tension between them, but the two were just beginning to put that discord in the past.

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“There are just too many memories,” said Louisiana, choking back tears. “I still have the yellow rose he gave me when we first met. And I remember…excuse me…I remember…the Alamo.”

Texas is survived by his father, Delaware, his wife, Louisiana, as well as his three children, Austin, Dallas, and Amarillo, who all live nearby. An estranged son, Waco, moved to San Diego in 1994 and could not be reached for comment.

Officials have warned anybody with plans to drive through the state of Texas that they will only find empty space devoid of all substance and matter in place of the familiar, painfully long stretches of large-state nothingness and small-town mentalities devoid of all substance and matter.

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Global warming attributed to liberal imagination

by John Johnson, staff writer

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A recent study by the Multinational Council on Climate Research, a Washington-based think tank, found that global warming, the phenomenon that is causing average temperatures on Earth to rise, is actually nothing more than a collective figment of overactive left-wing imaginations across the country.

A major source of greenhouse gas emissions, which exist only in the minds of liberal snobs.

A major source of greenhouse gas emissions, which exist only in the minds of liberal snobs.

“We were astonished by the results,” said Jacob Harcourt, managing director of the MCCR. “I had always thought the primary cause of global warming to be gases in our atmosphere that trapped the sun’s heat and caused an increase in surface temperatures. Turns out it’s nothing more than a penchant for foreign films and organic food.”

The study also found that glacial retreat, extreme weather events, and the melting of polar ice caps is not so much due to emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as it is to an infatuation with universal healthcare, unwavering support of communist governments, and an affinity for high taxes.

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Although many question the study’s findings, Harcourt insists they are based on sound science. “We did experiments,” he said. “For example, we showed people an assortment of spatial variability charts, and the only ones who were in any way alarmed or somehow interpreted them to mean that subsurface temperatures worldwide are directly impacted by rising atmospheric heat gradients were the people that drove Volvos or had body piercings. It was crazy.”

Experiments also found that listening to hip hop music or even just thinking about France caused the average liberal to remove his or her sweater. By contrast, a control group that was shown clips of Bill O’Reilly immediately reported feeling a chill in the air.

“What was really weird—and this is very revealing—was that a chart depicting seasonal oscillations in carbon dioxide measurements, which were directly proportional to temperature increases, correlated almost precisely with people’s wine and cheese intake during those same periods,” Harcourt said.

The study pointed out that decades of burning oil, coal and other fossil fuels, which have raised our atmospheric carbon concentration to almost 400 parts per million, mean little when one considers the number of soy lattes consumed and the amount of volunteer work at homeless shelters over those same years.

Patty Simmons, one of the study’s participants, said the results opened her eyes. “I grew up in a household with two mothers, and every day they reminded me that the quickest and best way to become a godless nation of gay, socialist, flag burning weenies was carpooling. Now I can see that won’t work, because climate change is all in our heads.”

Harcourt said that those suffering most from delusions that the earth’s sea levels are somehow rising, or that permafrost is thawing in polar regions, are welfare mothers and single parents.

“The more you hate your own country, or eat tofu, the more likely you are to feel as though the earth’s surface temperatures are increasing in direct proportion to greenhouse gas emissions, and to entertain fantasies of someday reducing your carbon footprint,” Harcourt said.

He added: “My six-year-old daughter went trick-or-treating last week and had to put a coat on over her costume because she felt ‘chilly.’ My daughter, by the way, is a solid social and fiscal conservative. So you tell me.”

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Don’t park your trunk in the City of Fun Times

by Timothy Stephen Pike

And now a word about parking tickets. I hate them. I got one the other day for an expired meter. The biggest problem with all this is that they want you to send in a check, which is difficult because the department you have to pay is the department that takes care of forty-five different things around town. So there I am making a check out to the “City Department of Traffic Control, Parking Tickets, Money Collection, Downhill Skiing, Nose Blowing, Lawn Mowing, and So Many Other Things All Combined Into One Department That If You Can’t Fit Our Name On Your Check Just Attach a Separate Piece of Paper.” Whew! But oh, I fit in on there. Just to spite them.

A photo of Paris featuring several unused parking spots.

A photo of Paris featuring several unused parking spots.

Ever seen a parking ticket with an attitude? You should have seen this one. I know you’re thinking, “How can a piece of paper have an attitude?” Well, it can. And this one was glaring at me. It looked so downright menacing, in fact, that it might as well have been issued by “The Department of You Better Pay Us or We’ll Send Johnny After You and Johnny’s a Big Guy.” So I promptly mailed my payment, and a week later, I got a very nice letter from the Department that said something like, “Dear Mr. Pike: Congratulations, you are the first person ever to pay a parking ticket! We are so grateful, we are refunding your money, and we feel so bad for ever giving you the ticket in the first place that we are throwing you a party. Just come on up to our office, we’re in the City Department of Traffic Control, Parking Tickets…” Six pages later, it went on: “Our sincerest gratitude, signed, Grace Smith, director of the City Department of…” You guessed it. Six more.

So maybe I should move to Paris. It’s a great city—there are no ‘NO PARKING’ signs, no parking tickets, and no cars bigger than the left rear wheel of one of our obnoxious American SUVs. What I’m getting at is that it’s awfully easy to find a parking spot in Paris, because the entire city is a parking spot. Two cars already parked close together along the curb? No problem. Just slip yours in perpendicularly between them. Won’t fit? That’s okay, just go ahead and shut off your car and leave it in the middle of the street—you’re good. One time I was watching a guy trying to park his car in the Latin Quarter, and although I couldn’t be sure, it looked like he was using a forklift to stack his car onto another. Perfectly acceptable in the City of Light.

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That’s another thing that bugs me. Being from Denver, I think my hometown needs a better nickname than “Mile High City.” That’s like saying, “Come to Denver! You’ll pass out in our thin air and your nose will bleed for a week, but it’s not a bad place.” The problem is that Denver is not the “City of” anything. You’ve got Las Vegas, “City of Sin,” Los Angeles, “City of Angels,” Philadelphia, “City of Brotherly Love,” and of course Omaha, “City of…Omaha.” So I’m going to lobby for Denver to be the city of “Fun Times.” Yes, a name like that would be very descriptive and certainly lock in Denver’s reputation as a place to go to have fun times. But now that I think about it, it’s not always fun times in Denver. Like in the morning, when everyone in town feels the need to drive to work at exactly the same time. I guess our pamphlets could say “Denver: City of Fun Times Mostly But Not Always*” (*Like when you’re driving to work.)

But back to the main topic of this article and the whole reason you started reading it in the first place: our discussion of Paris. I can’t say enough good things about it. In addition to being the parking capital of the world, they have really good cheese, and a very romantic language. Cheese and language are always a deadly combination in my mind. Also, as I mentioned earlier, they have extremely small cars. And when I say small, I mean you could fit one of these suckers in your trunk. In fact, for the most part, they are trunks. Just trunks with wheels and a seat that people drive around, mainly because they get close to 450,000 miles to the gallon.* (*well, you know, kilometers to the liter, but still.) These cars are also handy for when you’re stuck behind a truck that’s going too slow—you can just drive underneath it and be on your way. On your way across the Atlantic to the City of Fun Times. You’re always welcome here. But just a warning: when you get here, don’t park.

Timothy Pike is an antediluvian essayist who kills time for sport.

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I was named after a kitchen utensil

by Timothy Stephen Pike

It was pretty early on in my life that I made a profound self-realization. And that is, my initials are actually a cooking term. If you’ve ever so much as peeked into a cookbook, you’ll know that “TSP,” in culinary lingo, means “teaspoon.” 2 TSP sugar = 2 teaspoons of sugar. 1 TSP sugar = the medicine will go down. Likewise, “TBSP” means “tablespoon.” So if my parents had named me something like Timothy Billy-Bob Stephen Pike, then I would simply be too ashamed to ever tell anyone my real name. This is how I live my life from day to day, with the burden of knowing that my name—my entire identity and reason for being—is basically an insignificant quantity of salt being thrown into someone’s chocolate chip cookie dough recipe.

My namesake.

My namesake.

Speaking of cookie dough, allow me to introduce myself. You already know my name, but what you may not know is that I am a Colorado native. Of course, by “native,” I mean I was born in L.A. But ever since I was an embryo, I had the full intention of coming to Colorado, which I feel qualifies me for native status. In my hometown of Littleton, I attended Heritage High School, which was conveniently located about a mile from my house. “Conveniently,” here, means “too close to drive.” So I always walked to school. Mainly because my parents would never have let me drive—not when they (like all other parents) used to trudge “six miles, barefoot, in the snow” to get to school when they were younger. Except that story got exponentially more melodramatic every time I heard it. I think the last version somehow included acid rain, and I knew if I kept hearing it, it would eventually defy various laws of physics: “Son, when I was your age, I had to shovel my way through seventeen feet of snow to get to school every morning, uphill, for sixty-two miles, with frostbitten hands and feet, through a minefield, while solar flares reached out from the sun, melting my flesh, and that’s not to mention the neighbor’s pitbull who always bit a few fingers off every morning.

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I did take a break from the snow, though, and spent a couple years getting in touch with my roots back in the Golden State—California. Apparently, nowadays, “golden” means “really expensive.” For example, it’s a well-known fact that in San Francisco, there are only two classifications of rent: obnoxious and nauseating. A person apartment hunting on the phone can be overheard saying, “Hmmm…that sounds nice. How much is rent?” (pause) “Well, that’s just nauseating. I was hoping for something down in the obnoxious range.” So I lived in a tiny apartment with five people, and to save money, I had to share a room, which was approximately the size of a dining room table. This made the monthly rent payment a little more manageable, and I even had enough money left over to eat three meals a week.

But aside from the cost, California does have a lot to offer: great places to hike and camp, beautiful coastal views, and freeways that resemble long, skinny parking lots. And let’s not forget about what attracted me to California in the first place: the excitement of knowing that whenever I went out of town, there was a chance my apartment might not even be there when I got back. I’m talking, of course, about earthquakes.

Since I grew up in Colorado, the concept of the earth shaking violently about my feet is completely foreign, and unnerving at best. After all, the only Richter scale we have in Colorado is the one in the Richters’ bathroom. Now, don’t get me wrong—we in Colorado still have our fair share of natural disasters to contend with: the occasional blizzard, tornado, flash flood, and those creepy little things that sneak up on you in the night when you least expect it and nip you in the butt. I, uh, could be mixing that up with something else.

At this point you may be asking yourself, “How is any of this hogwash benefiting me?” It isn’t. But if I got you to smile, chuckle, guffaw, snort, or even so much as fall out of your chair laughing, then I’ve accomplished my mission. And as long as you understand that, I’d like to conclude by thanking you, the reader, for taking the time to delve into the inner workings of my being, and I hope you realize that after reading this, you still don’t know a thing about me. So maybe I do have a warped perspective on the world, but so would you if you were named after a kitchen utensil. I look forward to sharing my skewed opinions of life with you so you can hear about what keeps my engine running, who’s behind the wheel, and what we’re about to crash into. And I’m sure that as you read each issue of The Teaspoon Times, you’ll be that much more ready to set your hair on fire and run out of the room shrieking. And now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to go bake some chocolate chip cookies.

Timothy Pike is a sempiternal essayist who prefers to take life one nanosecond at a time.

The Teaspoon Times e-book: pick up a copy today!This and much more in my new 120-page e-book!
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Invisible man found after three-day search

by John Johnson, staff writer

ATWATER, CA—After an exhaustive three-day manhunt, Harold Stokes, 63, an invisible Atwater man who had been reported missing by his daughter, was found yesterday, apparently in the throes of watching television in his own living room.

Harold Stokes pictured here relaxing in the living room of his Atwater home, where he was found by police yesterday.

Harold Stokes pictured here relaxing in the living room of his Atwater home, where he was found by police yesterday.

“Nobody answered when we knocked on his door,” said Don McFarland, one of the officers involved in the search. “So we peeked into his living room window. We didn’t see anybody in there, but suddenly the TV started changing channels all by itself. Then a few minutes later, when we saw a bag of potato chips float from the kitchen to the living room, we knew we had our man.”

Police chief Linda Poole admitted the search was difficult. “We’ve gotten calls about invisible people before,” she said. “But this particular case was unusual because it seems he was home the whole time. Boy, it sure is hard work keeping track of the invisible.”

Stokes’s 36-year-old daughter, Sheila Branch, who lives in Dallas, reported him missing on Monday. After not hearing from him for nearly a week, she became worried and thought he might have absent-mindedly wandered too far from home and gotten lost, as she said he has done on several occasions.

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“I don’t see my dad too often,” said Branch. “Actually, I never see him. But he usually calls every couple days to ask how I’m doing. When I didn’t hear from him all week, I tried calling him several times but couldn’t reach him. That’s when I started to worry.”

Stokes told police he was not aware he had been reported missing. “I haven’t heard the phone ring all week, but the TV’s been turned up so loud that I—well, didleyhickens, there’s the culprit,” he said, tugging on the phone cord, only to reveal it had come loose from the jack. “One week’s worth of no phone calls, right here.”

Stokes became invisible in 1998 during a medical study gone wrong. Scientists in charge of the study, who were testing a new pain-killing medication called “Invisi-Pain,” allegedly failed to mention that people with certain genetic makeups could experience invisibility not just of their pain in a figurative sense, but of their entire bodies in a literal sense. Stokes sued the following year, but the case was summarily thrown out of court when the judge proclaimed that he and Stokes “just didn’t see eye to eye” on the issue.

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Aluminum cans make great house pets

Dear Jackie,

I am a little concerned about my dog, Rolex. Yesterday, he drank an entire can of cream soda—then proceeded to eat the can. Funny thing is, he actually seemed to enjoy it, and last night he didn’t bark nearly as much as he usually does. Do you think he’s okay?

-Jose Carmen
Tampa, FL

Jackie Hardy finishes a scuba diving expedition in the Gulf of Mexico, where she was searching for long-lost aluminum cans.

Jackie Hardy finishes a scuba diving expedition in the Gulf of Mexico, where she was searching for long-lost aluminum cans.

Dear Jose,

Dogs are resilient creatures, and your little Rolex will probably be just fine, but be careful. Sometimes after ingesting that much aluminum, dogs can become restless. Keep an eye on him—if he does anything unusual, like hyperventilates, develops a craving for fresh-baked blueberry muffins, or tries to run for local office, call a vet.

Every issue, readers from all over write in to ask our featured advice columnist pressing questions about a very specialized field. Whether they hope to resolve a dilemma or find a way out of their quandaries and quagmires, they get their answers here.

Today we are proud to feature Jackie Hardy, a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, resident specializing in aluminum cans.

Dear Jackie,

I have kept a can of RC Cola as a house pet for the last four years, because that’s the only kind of pet my father would let me have. I named him “RC Cola Can.” Anyway, just last week, my mother accidentally recycled him. How can I get over this loss?

-James Claybourne
Davis, CA

Dear James,

Sometimes the best way to overcome the grief that accompanies the loss of a pet is to replace the pet. In this case, just head on down to your local supermarket and pick up a twelve-pack of RC Cola. Although “RC Cola Can 2” may not exhibit the same personality traits as “RC Cola Can 1,” you may find yourself growing quite fond of him in very little time indeed.

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Dear Jackie,

My best friend calls the aluminum can “the best invention since sliced bread.” However, I argue that it is the best invention since peanut butter and jelly. Who’s right?

-Kate Madison
Traverse City, MI

Dear Kate,

Neither of you is right. I’ve done extensive research on the subject and found that the aluminum can is actually the best invention since pourable concrete.

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Facebonk and Hoogle see record traffic levels

by John Johnson, staff writer

PALO ALTO, CA—Two once-obscure online companies, Facebonk, Inc. and Hoogle Corp., have reported a record number of visitors to their websites over the last few years, due in part to the staggering success of two similarly-spelled internet powerhouses, social network Facebook and search giant Google.

Two of the largest internet companies, Facebook and Google, have provided some extra traffic for lesser-known Facebonk and Hoogle.

Two of the largest internet companies, Facebook and Google, have provided some extra traffic for lesser-known Facebonk and Hoogle.

Facebonk, which started out in 1996 as a tree-identification website, quickly outgrew its roots and blossomed into a site where users could create profiles and send e-mail “bonks” to each other.

“The whole concept of friending and building social networks hadn’t been invented yet,” said Todd Germaine, acting vice president of Facebonk. “So people just went around ‘bonking’ other people, because that was the only thing you could do. Then when Facebook came along and offered a means of actually forging friendships, we did all we could to catch up with the times, and after six months, we finally had a way for users to change their screen name.”

But the age of mistyping URLs had only just begun, and as Facebook gained popularity, so did Facebonk. “Initially, when people accidentally arrived at the Facebonk website, they were immediately captivated by the bonking function, and signed right up,” said Germaine. “But now, as membership skyrockets, we intend to introduce new features, like the ability to see other user’s profiles, and before too long—by next year, maybe—a means of logging out.”

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“We probably owe most of our success to fat-fingering,” admits Germaine, referring to how many of Facebonk’s visitors inadvertently end up there with a simple typographical error.

The same goes for Hoogle, which was founded in 1998 and has a somewhat sordid past. Soon after going live as a one-stop-shop for pet monkey supplies, its CEO was arrested for knowingly selling less-than-top-grade bananas as monkey feed. After reexamining their business model, and considering demographic reports showing that very few Americans actually owned monkeys, Hoogle’s product line was broadened to include pet elephant supplies, as well as an array of accessories for giraffe owners.

With Facebook continuing to expand across the globe, and Google offering more online tools and products than ever, Facebonk and Hoogle welcome more and more new, unwitting visitors every day.

According to sources close to the two companies, Facebonk is in preliminary stages of merger talks with Hoogle. The deal would have several legal and regulatory hurdles to overcome, but if approved by the Justice Department, the new company would be an online travel agency, and would operate under the name Hoogabonk.

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