New State Nicknames

Been thinking the States all need new nicknames. The old ones have become a bit worn out. So here’s a list I am proposing:

Alabama, the “between Mississippi and Georgia” state.

Alaska, the “I can see Russia from my house” state.

Arizona, the “wanna see our sinkhole…it’s a canyon” state.

Arkansas, the “Bill Clinton, need I say more” state.

California, the “who’s afraid of the big bad earthquake” state.

Colorado, the “our pot is better than your pot” state.

Connecticut, the “who can spell me” state.

Delaware, the “we’re bigger than Rhode Island” state.

Florida, the “we do know the difference between a dimple and a chad” state

Georgia, the “we have real pits in our peaches” state.

Hawaii, the “we’ve got lu’aus and surfing, what have you got” state.

Idaho, the “can you take some of these potatoes off our hands” state

Illinois, the “our President Lincoln was better than your President” state

Indiana, the “you spell it backwards and you’ve got anaidnI” state.

Iowa, the “we start the whole mess every four years, would you please forgive us” state.

Kansas, the “when you’re in Kansas, you know you’re in Kansas” state

Kentucky, the “wanna race” state.

Louisiana, the “oh, no, not another hurricane” state.

Maine, the “Stephen King scares us too” state.

Maryland, the “we’re in the Navy” state.

Massachusetts, the “home of the Boston cream pie, don’t you wish you had a pie as good” state.

Michigan, the “we’ve got four Great Lakes, how many do you have” state.

Minnesota, the”oh geez bet it’s gonna be cold tomorrow” state

Mississippi, the “we’re right next to Alabama” state.

Missouri, the “we can show you the way to Kansas, Dorothy” state

Montana: the “we warned Custer and he just wouldn’t listen” state.

Nebraska, the “Warren Buffet lives in our state” state.

Nevada, the “get married and divorced in 24 hours” state.

New Hampshire, the “can’t get more Yankee than us” state.

New Jersey, the “we’re really not that bad, we just play it that way on TV” state.

New Mexico, the “hey, come see our balloons” state.

New York: the “youse guys” state

North Carolina, the “we got nice mountains” state.

North Dakota, the “wish I was South Dakota” state.

Ohio, the “we’re named after a river, what are you named after” state.

Oklahoma, the “I’m just passing through” state.

Oregon, the “we’re just below Washington” state.

Pennsylvania, . the “nobody steals our stealers and we have the authentic cheese steak” state.

Rhode Island, the “yes we’re here.. just look really hard” state.

South Carolina, the “if you wanna be a Republican president, you better win our state” state.

South Dakota, the “I wish I was North Dakota, y’all” state.

Tennessee, the “state where al gore invented the internet and discovered global warming” state

Texas, the “our jack rabbits are bigger than your jack rabbits” state.

Utah, the “our capital is named after a lake” state.

Vermont, the “state where two hippies could make ice cream and name it after other hippies” state.

Virginia, the “older than all the other states” state.

Washington, the “rain and more rain” state.

West Virginia, the “we’re the only state that’s got west in its name, Kanye” state.

Wisconsin, the “our cheese really is cheese” state.

Wyoming, the “cow tipping” state.

Fudgenado

You’ve heard of sharknado. It’s Mother Nature’s way of getting even, and she always gets even. It’s a tornado spewing sharks. Scary stuff. Hope it doesn’t come to your part of the planet. If it does, learn how to duck. Those teeth are vicious. Never forget how much damage that thing did on the east coast, the west coast and the in-between coast.

I, for one, am glad it’s over. We can take a little breather. While we wait for the next disaster. But here’s a comforting thought. There is a new superhero on the block.

Yes, you heard me right. A new superhero. And he’s one for the 21st century. His name is Fudgenado. All those other superheroes are old school. They are so 20th century. Of course, I’m talking Superman, Batman and all those D C Comics guys, and the Marvel gang—The Fantastic Four, Thor. You know the ones.

This Fudgenado is a rootin’, tootin’, genuine superhero up to the villainy of the new millennium. He’s taking on all the baddies. Evil villains like The Nugget and his sidekick, Candy Bar. The twins Creamy and Delicious. And, of course, Karamel. You know, how sticky he makes things when he flies through. Last time he came to my city we were up to our fingers in sweet stuff for a month.

Then there’s the most dastardly, evilicious, black-hearted Brownie Maker. She has been making brownies without the nuts and taking out planets one-by-one all the way from the star, Titus Andronicus, to Sirius. She is on her way to Planet Earth. Rumor has it that she left last Monday from her home planet. She’ll be here by Saturday. And she’s got plans for us humans. She’s about to make global warming look like a game of tiddly-winks.

She has brownies to bake and one of those brownies is our planet. But there is no need to worry. Fudgenado is ready and waiting for the knock-down, drag-out. She won’t know what hit her. He’ll k.o. her in the first round. That’s for sure.

So read this fast, then get ready for the show. Pop a tub of popcorn and pour yourself a beer, or a soda, and sit out on your back lawn and watch. You’re in for a treat. There will be a really big show.

When they meet, it will be the superbowl of super dooper folks. It’s going to be out of this world, that show. Just be comforted by the thought that Fudgenado is our guy. Without him, it would be like a tsunami on steroids. We’d be baked. I hate the thought of that prospect.

For now, Fudge (that’s what we call him for short) is out barn-storming the planet with his absolutely unbelievable, delicious fudge. You really have to try his maple. It’s so good the gods think it’s ambrosia. Oh man, just writing about the stuff makes my mouth water.

And make sure you put out your fudge buckets. He will making fudge out of Miss Brownie Mix. There will be plenty of fudge to go around for everybody.

The Poker Game of 1776

July 3, 1776. A tavern across the street from Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

John Adams couldn’t bluff at poker if his life depended on it. Thomas Jefferson knew it. Benjamin Franklin knew it. Old Stone Face, George Washington, sitting across from Adams, knew it.

Ben and Tom folded. Neither of them had any kind of hand to play. But Adams was staying. He didn’t believe Stone Face had a winning hand.

“I call you,” Stone Face said to Adams across the table.

John Adams, a big smile on his face, threw down three aces.  Stone Face threw down his full house, then reached over and pulled the wad of English pound notes toward him.

Adams’ face dropped into a frown. Lost again. Here he was doing the very thing Abby warned him against. Playing poker with Stone Face. Washington always won. Over the course of the last two months, he had just about wiped out all the delegates of the Continental Congress of their cash. But he had done it for a good cause. He needed a new set of false teeth.

Adams said, “I give up. I’m broke. So what are we going to do about John Hancock?”

“We should shoot the son of a bitch,” Stone Face offered. Washington seldom lost his cool but John Hancock had gotten under his skin in a way that British General Howe never did.

Jefferson followed up with, “That’s what we’d do in Virginia.”

“Now, boys,” Ben interjected, “let’s be serious. But not that serious.”

Washington said, “I can’t believe I came back to have to deal with this. My guys at Valley Forge are going to mutiny if we don’t get this settled once and for all.”

“Why don’t we just get him drunk?” Franklin suggested.

Jefferson said,” That is your answer for everything.”

“Just about,” Franklin answered. “How you think I survived that thing with the kite? Remember the old saying, ‘Three strikes you’re out.’ When that lightning bolt hit the kite, I was as drunk as Gulliver must’ve been the day he saw those Lilliputians. The lightning struck me three times, and yet, here I am.”

John Adams knew Hancock too well for that. “He’ll just fall asleep.”

Jefferson was miffed. “All I know is that I am not letting him put those words into the Declaration of Independence.”

Stone Face put in his two pences. “I agree with Tom. I mean, Hancock and his ‘when in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to kick King George’s butt because he is, and ever shall be, a pantywaist’ is a little too much. Even for this Congress. We all don’t like the king but that is a little too much. The British will never take us seriously.”

“Totally destroys the mood,” Jefferson added, “don’t you think?”

The Virginia delegation was unanimous about its approbation against John Hancock. Either the Continental Congress gave Hancock his walking papers or they would be walking. But everybody knew what would happen if Hancock went home. The whole New England bunch would leave with him.

From the beginning, Hancock had been cause for alarm. First he wore that pink outfit. Oh, my gosh. And the chicken costume. It looked like he was trying to out-Elton-John Lady Gaga. Then his proposal that the country use “We are the champions of the world” for its national anthem. It had taken months for John Adams to get his friend to calm down and be reasonable. Now this.

Ben had an idea. “Bet Betsy Ross could get him to go along with the program. After all, she’s his tailor.”

“You know what she’s going to charge?” John Adams inquired.

Stone Face, always a pragmatic man, said, “Yes, but can she get results. When she threatens him, he’ll cry uncle. After all, she’s the one who turned him into a fashionista. Says she has a flair with the silk pajamas”

“Ben,” Adams asked, “have you been able to get her price down? Last I heard she was charging an arm and a leg.”

Jefferson said, “Yeah, just look at Long John Silver.”

“On this one,” Ben said, “she knows she has us over a barrel. She wants the flag concession.”

“Can she get the job done?” Tom asked.

“I believe so,” Franklin said. “She has a long history with Hancock. Something about babysitting with his kids when they were just knee-high-to-a-grasshopper.”

Stone Face was satisfied. “I say we give it to her.”

Jefferson and Adams nodded their heads in agreement. But Franklin was not finished. “In perpetuity.”

“What?” the other three said as a chorus.

“No way are we going to go along with that,” Stone Face said. “John, can’t Abby help in this department?”

“When Hancock puts his mind to a thing,” Adams said, “he puts his mind to a thing. I’m afraid Betsy is our only option. If we want Hancock, we are going to have to give in to her demands.”

“Then,” Stone Face finalized the discussion, “Betsy gets the flag concession in perpetuity. But you tell her that I want a free ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ for each of my Regiments, and according to my specifications.”

John Adams breathed a sigh of relief. He was going to get his revolution, after all. The other three had given him a big thumbs up with their agreement on the Hancock Matter. “So, Tom, looks like you’ll be able to do a press release.”

Jefferson took out his pen and pad and began to write. Then he looked up at the others. “I just realized we have another problem.”

“”What now?” Stone Face was just about fed up with all the back-and-forth going on at the Congress. Why didn’t folks just do what they were told? It would be so much easier.

Jefferson thought so too but he didn’t say anything out loud. “It’s Tom Paine. He’s going to insist on editing my text and publishing it the way he wants.”

Adams was now in the fray. He didn’t like Paine. “Please. No more ‘These are the times that try men’s souls’ crap. God, that man has an ego.”

“Yeah,” Ben agreed. “He gets a fifth down him, and there is no telling what he will write.”

Stone Face had an answer. “We could just draft him. I need a good secretary and he does take shorthand.”

The others smiled. Stone Face once again came to the rescue. Guess that was why folks were calling him “The Father of the Country”.

“Glad we’ve got all that settled,” Stone Face said. “Now I have to go and kick some British hineys.”

“Don’t forget,” Adams requested, “to take a piece out of Cornwallis for me.”

The four men gathered up their things and made for the door, then John Adams said, “I just remembered. Just one more thing.”

“No,” the other three said.

“’Fraid so. It’s Paul Revere. Every time we get ready to attack the British from behind some trees, guerilla style, Paul shows up on his horse. He lets the Brits know where we are by yelling, ‘The Americans are coming. The Americans are coming.’”

Ten Things To Know About Cow-tipping

Note. For purposes of safety, do not confuse cow-tipping with outhouse tipping. The latter can get you damaged by the outhouse occupant. If you do practice this sport of outhouse tipping, please be prepared to run like hell.

1.   According to the International Organizations for the Advancement of Cow-tipping United for Pleasure (better known as IACTUP), cow-tipping has been in existence since the founding of the country. Previous to the coming of the English at Jamestown, the Indians participated in a practice called bear-tipping. Due to the high percentage of loss of life from the exercise, the Indians were absolutely thrilled when they discovered the English had brought several cows and a bull with them to the New World.

2.   When the country was trying to decide who the first president would be, the founding fathers held a cow-tipping contest. George Washington beat out Thomas Jefferson by fifteen seconds. General Washington would have done a slam dunk of three minutes had he not dropped his false teeth and picked them up and put them back in his mouth. The teeth always needed considerable adjustment. Why did he waste time retrieving his teeth? He knew that the paparazzi would be taking photos and he wanted to look his best.

3.   When Theodore Roosevelt went west, he participated in the sport. He not only tipped cows. He tipped waiters. He tipped waitresses. He even tipped buffalo. By the time he returned east, he had gotten himself into the Guinness Book of Records with forty-three cow-tips.

4.  According to Hoyle’s Rules for Cow-tipping, proper attire must be worn for a successful cow-tipping affair: For the casual cow-tipping, broad-brimmed hat such as a cowboy hat, long-sleeved shirt, jeans and boots can be worn by both men and women. For the more formal affair, broad-brimmed hat, black tux and dress boots for the men. For the ladies, a gown of any color will do in addition to the hat and the boots.

5.  It is essential that the prospective cow-tipper bring two bottles of whiskey to the arena. One for the cow-tipper, one for the cow.

6.  Before the actual cow-tipping, identify the target of your affection. Is it a cow or is it a bull? To do this, approach said target from the rear, lift the tail and inspect the goodies. If a bull, please do not disturb the fellow. Back away slowly and leave him in peace. He may very well think you are a cow. Bulls are well-known for their poor eyesight.

7. When approaching the cow, watch your step. If you don’t, you may be up to your neck in manure. In 2012, thirty potential cow-tippers died from drowning in the stuff.

8.  If you happen to hear loud noises during your cow-tipping, it probably is not a car backfiring. More than likely it is a the cow’s owner. He/she may very well be  upset with you for cow-tipping without a license. Cow owners, better known in the local vernacular as cow havers, have been known for their excellent marksmanship when drawing a bead and firing on a potential cow-tipper. In most Western states, it is not against the law to damage a cow-tipper. IACTUP is lobbying to have the law changed. The Wyoming legislature in 2013 was the first state to cooperate. California may soon join Wyoming.

9.  Cow-tipping has become so popular there is a movement to create a National Cow-tipping Hall of Fame.

10.  A cow-tipping kit is now being sold for all those amateurs who may see this as a rite of passage into adulthood. Please follow the instructions exactly. The manufacturer will not be responsible for any deviations.

The First Day of School

Under the sign of the A-B-Cs
a teacher auditions for a semester run
as actor, director and stage manager,
standing before a new class
ready to loot and pillage his emotions.

A moment, just a moment of stillness,
before a return to a hue and cry
of gossip, comradery, and spit balls
thrown across the room with an accuracy
of a Major League pitcher,
thirty mouths filling the air with chaos.

Suffering from stage fright and first day jitters,
his balloon of molding young minds
crashing to the hardwood floor,
he turns his back to the mongol horde
who has slashed and burned his enthusiasm
into a thousand humpty-dumpty pieces,
folds his arms and faces
the giant musical notation on the blackboard.

And he waits.

A September breeze eases through the open windows.
One by one student voice after student voice
drops off a cliff until silence fills the air.
The teacher unfolds his arms,
turns to his audience,
and the play begins,
neither a comedy nor a tragedy
but a semester of moments
when stars are born
and Shakespeares emerge
and young minds released
to play with unicorns,
follow yellow brick roads,
and grow wings and fly.