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When did this country get so damn angry and serious about everything? 

I seem to have missed the memo on this one. 

It’s as if most people have forgotten how to laugh, and laugh at themselves and worse yet, not take everything as an afront to their gender, equality, sexuality, etc. 

The other day I was asked to speak at a function of Nuclear Engineers…

EDITORS NOTE: This “meet and greet” was for a book promotion, anyone that knows me would be terrified at the notion that I had anything (Any damn thing) to do with Nuclear anything. 

There were probably about two or three hundred of these illustriously educated engineers from the Nuclear Field in attendance, and although I didn’t think we would really “jive” I was looking forward to the opportunity nonetheless, because it’s all about the book sales. 

Before I was being introduced, a be speckled Nuclear Engineer whose name tag said “Bob” made his way to the microphone and asked a question to the assembled group of educated men and women in attendance. 

“Before we get started….

Has anyone checked the integrity of the Dike at Unit 1 this morning?” 

Not one to ever shy away from such an opportunity, I politely took the microphone from “Engineer Bob” and said, “I saw Pat this morning and to my knowledge she hasn’t lied or stolen anything today, so I think she is good.” 

It was suddenly so quiet you could have heard a mouse peeing on a ball of cotton in that large room. 

I assume in an effort to recover the situation, “Engineer Bob” leaned over and stammered into the microphone I was holding and muttered,

“I don’t think, I mean I don’t know….”

Now in the tradition of the great buddy acts of Hollywood, I picked up the ball that Engineer Bob had obviously fumbled, and I announced to the crowd, “Haircuts don’t lie Bob, they just don’t.” 

EDITORS NOTE: Fortunately for me I was able to escape before they were able to light their torches and gather up their sharpened pitchforks and sticks. 

Some of you may be say……

“That is Horrible!”

“You are a terrible person!” 

EDITORS NOTE: “IF” you are offended by this…

Then your real name is probably “Roberta”, but you go by Robby and you are in a bowling league with other people that have terrible haircuts and wear lots of flannel shirts. 

I even got some hate mail via email or hate email if you will that said things like….

“We here at LBGTQI are deeply offended….”

EDITORS NOTE: Is it just me or did they add some letters to this acronym lately? 

The letter went on…

“Your gross ignorance can be explained by your Southern Roots……”

EDITORS NOTE: Did that person just offend Alex Haley and “Roots?” O’ No you didn’t!
 
There was more….

“We demand an apology, or our organization will demand from your publisher that your book be banned and recalled from Amazon and other outlets such as Barnes and Noble.”

These people (Can I still say that?) were madder than the Canadians I offended last month while on a phone interview with a radio station from Toronto to promote my current book and my forth coming book due out later this year. 

It went a little something like this….

DJ: We have a noted Southern Author here today of “Sunnyside Up”, How are you Mike?

ME: I am doing great thank you for having me on your program today. 

DJ: Have you ever been to Canada? 

ME: O’ Yeah….

EDITORS NOTE: O.k. this is when the thing started going downhill, not as in downhill skiing either which O’ By the Way I know nothing about as you will see further on in the interview. 

DJ: What did you think of Canada?

ME: To be honest I can’t respect any country that still honors the metric system. 

DJ: What do YOU mean by that? 

ME: Let’s face it, we tried to give you people the sport of football and you messed that up and then the whole metric system thing you still cling too is confusing, and the fact you only have two seasons; The Queen of England’s Birthday and Winter doesn’t speak well for the country if you know what I mean. 

EDITORS NOTE: Que the crickets. 

ME: Are we still on the air? 

DJ: Yeah. YOU do KNOW that Canada has ruled the Winter Olympics, don’t you? 

ME: In all fairness nobody in America has watched the Olympics since our hockey team beat the damn Russians in 1980, well, unless you live in Utah or New York, but those people don’t believe in Santa Claus either, so there you go. 

DJ: I cannot believe how offensive you are….

ME: Hey, back to the Winter Olympics thing you mentioned, what’s the deal with “Curling”? is that really a sport or are you all just making stuff up as you go? I mean really, somebody with a broom sweeping? Come on now. Don’t get me started on down hill skiing or that single sled thing, what’s it called again? 

DJ: It’s called the luge; you ignorant ingrate. 

ME: That explains a lot, who in their right mind names a sport after something you cough up after drinking a glass of buttermilk, although thinking about it, the name is probably appropriate.  

DJ: You are the worst guest I think we have ever had…

ME: I don’t know why you are mad, I didn’t say I hated Canada or mention anything about the baby seal beating thingy you enjoy doing. In fact, I truly appreciate you sending Michael J. Fox to America but in all honesty, I think he just escaped to avoid another winter in the frozen tundra.  

EDITORS NOTE: I know what you are probably thinking here….

With my keen eye for cultural anomalies and sensitivity of others I should probably ply my trade at the United Nations and take my rightful place at creating world peace and harmony. 

Come to think of it…

We did used to get along a lot better when we could laugh at and with one another. 
Now before you overly sensitive millennials go screaming for your “Safe Space” let me explain. 

There is a reason the word “Stereotype” is in the dictionary. 

Believe it or not there was a time, that it wasn’t considered a “bad” word. 

EDITORS NOTE: I should know it’s not a bad word too, I spent an inordinate amount of time as a youth looking up dirty words in the dictionary. So, don’t judge me, just don’t. 

Some examples of “Stereotypes” in sports might be……

How do you get an Ohio State graduate’s fingers out of their nose?

 “Compliment their class ring…”

The best pickup line at the University of Tennessee?

 “Hey, nice tooth!” 

What’s the difference between Auburn and Clemson?

 “A Lake……” 

Certainly, there are more, but “IF” we can pick on each other’s teams and fans then why can’t we laugh at ourselves? 

I know, I know….

Some of you may be thinking, “That is NOT the same thing!” 

Of course, it isn’t the same thing…

Just like…

There is a reason there aren’t any Asians driving in NASCAR, because you can’t drive in the left-hand lane at 45 miles per hour with one blinker on while your family is taking pictures of the grandstands. 

Some of you might be saying or thinking….

 “I bet Mister Smarty Pants here doesn’t like to be the brunt of jokes!” 

I learned some time ago, laughing at one’s self is a choice. 

The fact I look like Billy Bob Thornton in “Sling Blade” can either cause me consternation or I can enjoy it and believe me I do enjoy laughing at myself. But on an unrelated note, for those people in the Atlanta Airport that I signed autographs for two weeks ago as “Billy Bob”, you are welcome. 

But I will tell you a couple of other things that you may have been missing and you can thank me later. 

Laughter is good for the soul and I am not talking about being “mean” here, and we all know the difference between being mean and having fun with one another. In the event you don’t know the difference then you are probably one of those angry, unhappy people I mentioned earlier in the article. 

Lastly as I failed to impress upon “Engineer Bob”, it is also important to note here, that haircuts don’t lie.

They really don’t.

I am just saying. 

RTR
MEB