Apologies, I Thought Your Breast Was an Ink Pen

2021 September 29
by mockers

I am diabetic. I have been for 25 years. I have never been very good at it. For a couple decades I generally ate and drank what I wanted. I did my best to crank up the insulin to compensate, but I certainly wasn’t willing to change my lifestyle. These horrible decisions eventually resulted in stage-IV kidney failure, gastroparesis, and a host of other complications. The worst among them is retinopathy. A little over a year ago, I went blind in my left eye. Don’t feel too bad, I did it to myself. It has, however, changed a few things about how I go through life. For example:


I taught myself to juggle one summer when I was 10.  I was living as a latchkey kid in the suburbs of Des Moines. I was alone and had nothing better to do. I learned with some magazine article (I think it was Boy’s Life) and pool balls. I just sat on the ugliest lime green carpet I have ever seen and straight practiced until I could do it without thinking. I never learned how to juggle more than three balls because there’s no point. If you can juggle four, people aren’t generally all that more impressed…and they inevitably ask, “Well, can you juggle five?” So, I was happy with three.

I have no idea why, but when people see me juggle, it makes them smile. Making people smile is my favorite thing to do in the world. Whenever I saw three things that were close to the same weight, I just got in the habit of picking them up and juggling. It was always worth a laugh, and I may have even gotten a date of two out of the deal.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago: my wife and I were taking my mother-in-law grocery shopping at her local Walmart. It was filled with frustrated, pandemic-weary shoppers who just wanted to get out of there. My mother-in-law was being a handful, zooming around in the little electric scooter and generally driving my poor wife nuts. I saw a giant display of limes and recognized an opportunity to distract my wife from her frustration and catch a glimpse of her pretty smile. I grabbed the three items as I’d done thousands of times before and started throwing them in the air. I have no idea what happened. The three-dimensional juggling world that I had know for 34 years had suddenly transformed into flatness. Without the benefit of depth perception, I was no longer a juggler. I was a mental patient indiscriminately chucking citrus fruit at Arizona hillbillies.  Nobody cared…because, Walmart…but still, I had to cross juggling of the list of stuff I could do when I needed to get a smile. Stupid blindness.

Catching Anything

Similar to the juggling incident, this one involves timing and the ability to judge distance. Due to partial blindness, I no longer have either of these attributes. Imagine a scenario when I have to go somewhere, but I can’t remember where I put my keys. I look at my family and say, “Hey, has anyone seen my keys?”

My son responds by grabbing them from the coffee table next to him, saying, “Here you go, Dad!” And throwing them across the room to me. For the first 17 years of the boy’s life I would say, “Thanks!” while simultaneously catching the keys while turning toward the door. Now that I am half blind, I freeze in terror as I realize the keys are flying toward me. I take my left hand and stab helplessly at the air in the hopes that I will make a one-in-a-million, half-blind grab. I wince in shame as I whiff with my empty hand and the keys clink into my face. I briefly consider crying as the keys crash to the floor.

Sadly, that’s just the tip of that particular iceberg. I now dream of enjoying a backyard Norman Rockwell moment with my kids where we have a game of catch while grilling dogs and burgers. Instead, this dream now quickly disintegrates into a game of, “Let’s repeatedly bean Dad with a horsehide-covered projectile.” Frankly, it may be more fun for them this way.

Handing Me Things

I wasn’t writing last week because I was canvassing for a political cause that I care about. The whole process is as follows: I go somewhere public and ask complete strangers to sign a petition in the hope that I will get enough signatures to qualify for a referendum on next year’s ballot. They ask what it’s about. I give them my version of the situation and invite them to read the Senate bill behind the petition. If they say no, I thank them and go on to the next person.

If they say they’ll sign, I extend my pen to them. They take the pen and my clipboard. After they are done signing, I begin to tremble with fear. They are going to hand the pen back to me. Now that I am a little more than half blind, I have no idea how close or far away the pen is. Sometimes I just extend my hand and they mercifully insert the pend into my grasp. Other times they just stand there, waiting for Jesus to come back or whatever, and I find myself forced to reach out and find the pen with my fingers. So far it has worked out okay. I might grasp at air once or twice before I get it, but I eventually get there as I exhale in relief. I take my pen back and start the process all over again.

However, I am terrified that one of these days things will go terribly, terribly wrong. They are going to be done signing and just standing there holding the pen in front of them. I am going to attempt to grab it back. With absolutely no depth perception, I will end up reaching forward and squeezing my hand, hoping it closes around the pen. In this worst-case scenario I will miss the pen and end up with a handful of right breast.

The moral of the story is that if you end up with diabetes, check your sugar often and live accordingly, otherwise you’ll end up explaining to the police, “I am sorry Officer. I thought that stranger’s right breast was my ink pen…”


2021 September 28
by mockers

I’m back in Atlanta. But I’m a much more seasoned and tender lakrfool this go round. I sound like a delicious steak. Just don’t cook me past midrare…that would be criminal 

My first go round in ATL (2002-05) I was in a bitter, doomed marriage. I really had the inspiration daily to transition from a functional alcoholic to a non-functioning drunk. But I wasn’t there just yet. I had to be patient, and gradually increase my intake. (I got there eventually)

Remarkably, our kids from that time (7 & 2 yo) have turned out remarkably as high functioning Millennials. Multiplying two negatives makes a positive. You can’t argue with math. 

So it goes.

So now I’m older numerically, married to a woman who loves me loves me loves me for who I am instead of begrudging me for what I’m not. Things are looking up. But I still suck magnificently if the occasion calls for it. Ask her about it.

Speaking of assholes in Georgia, look at this shit I saw walking home from the Marta station, plastered in the window of one of those hi-rise gentrification monstrosities:

Look at those names…


They sound like the most pretentious neo-yuppie douchebags you could ever be so unfortunate to get stuck behind in line at Starbucks when he makes a pistachio Frappuccino order that goes on for over a minute until you just wish Flanders was dead.

Seriously…you know that one dude pronounces his last name rih-shard and drinks single malt scotch out of a hand chiseled crystal tumbler with one giant ice cube, when he’s not out with Tosh, Biff, and Lunden quaffing overhopped microbrews made with real local spring water, rooting for their favorite Euroleague soccer team loudly. They each have the crest of their team tattooed on the underside of their forearms, because that’s how they roll. Oh they roll HARD, like a golf ball on the unwatered fairway of a 5 par on Thursday afternoon at the  newly opened country club in Alpharetta of which they are all members, where they take viagra and enjoy a warm sauna afterwards, and when they’re sufficiently dry, they sniff coke off of each other’s dicks before racing back to Midtown in their German sportscars. I ran out of ideas of what a group of horribly pretentious doucheclods might do. (Comments please)

I know nothing about these men except for their name, and I think I hate them for it.

Yeah, I reckon I’m still rather bitter, judgemental, and hate myself in an unhealthy manner, but at least I’m directing my anger at those most deserving.

Thanks for the rant.


(look forward to the tale of a giant tree crashing into my bedroom…ATL is the gift that keeps on giving!)

A Half-Pun is Not a Joke

2021 September 17
by mockers

Back when he was alive, my father suffered from genuine hearing loss. We would often say something to him, and he could only pick up a few syllables. His poor brain tried to fill in the rest. He would then repeat back to us what he thought he might have heard. For example, after my family hurriedly prepared and consumed a meal on a busy weeknight, we neglected to do the dishes while we cooked (which is a big part of properly cooking and the subject of a future mockable). In short, the kitchen was trashed. At some point toward the end of the meal, my sister looked up from her plate and surveyed the damage.

“Look at the kitchen!” She exclaimed.

My dad shot her a puzzled look, tilted his head like a border collie at a whistling contest, and repeated, “Mookah mah heekah?!”

For some reason, the absurdity of the idea that my sister might suddenly proclaim something so strange during a family meal struck us as funny. So funny, in fact, that I am telling you about it over 30 years later and 13 years after the man’s death. I don’t expect it to be funny to you. There was just something about the timing, the moment, and the level of absurdity that made it hilarious. My point here is that ANYTHING can be funny.

By contrast, please consider this entirely fake scenario intended to illustrate a type of “joke” that people tell that is almost NEVER funny:

One day I came home from work after busting my ass for twelve hours straight without any sort of break. I was sore, tired, and ready to be unconscious. I gaze into my wife’s beautiful eyes, and with a weary sigh, I proclaim, “Wow. I hard a really hard day.”

In response, she cups her hand to her ear and says, “WHAT?! YOU WENT SWIMMING IN FART BAY?! DID YOU VISIT TURD ISLAND OR SOMETHING?! HAHAHAHAHA!”

Now, my wife is an amazing human, and would never tell such a “joke” in real life. For the sake of the example, let’s unpack this “humor”.

First, she is pretending to be deaf. She is not deaf. Many people think that this effort meets the definition of a joke. It does not. Lying does not qualify as a joke in any way. Have you ever heard someone say something that is ridiculously incorrect and unreasonable, only to be called on their bullshit? Then then realize what they have said is stupid, so they try to save themselves the embarrassment by saying, “Just kidding…that was a joke”? Yeah…that’s a lie. It’s not a joke.

Second, farts and poop are inherently funny, but just saying the word fart or turd is just lazy. Seinfeld’s career would have been decidedly shorter if his act consisted of getting up on stage, lying, and then just saying the word fart over and over.

The closest thing to a technical term that I can think of to explain this brand of “humor” is the half-pun. By definition, a pun is a joke that exploits the different possible meanings of a word. For example, this is a pun that was submitted to Facebook by my friend Erika:

Now, this pun is so horrible that it throws me into a fit of cringe-rage and makes me never want to speak to Erika again…but it is, most certainly, a joke.

In contrast, here is a half-pun “joke”:

I do not wish to debate whether or not the duly elected president of the united States is a piece of shit. No good could come of such an exercise and I don’t care about your politics. I will, however, point out how this “joke” could only be funny to the hackiest losers known to man.

  1. Get it? People who grew up speaking some language other than English say English words with an accent! I am too stupid to learn to speak another language. I won’t even try. I can, however, make myself feel a tiny bit better by making fun of other people who are doing their best to communicate. My pathetic defenses are hilarious!
  2. Roughly half of the voting public believes that President Biden is not a good president. Instant relatability! Goddamn, you’re lazy. I know, put the man in a sombrero and draw a fake mustache on him. The stereotypes will have them rolling in the aisles! Comedy genius!
  3. Folks walk around calling others a pizza sheet all the time! I have taken a common everyday saying like pizza sheet, pretended like someone with an accent is saying it, and secretly called a political figure a piece of shit! How terribly witty am I? The fellas down at the rally shall surely enjoy a thunderous guffaw upon deciphering my hilarious secret message!

Yes, “pizza” might sort of sound like “piece of” when said by someone with an accent. “Sheet” kind of sounds like ”shit” if one imagines really hard. None of this is a joke. I once had the job title of “pizza chef”. This is an oxymoron and a silly title – but despite being around pizza for 60 hours a week, I never once said pizza sheet. This is not a common saying in any language that I know of . Your “joke” is not a pun. You are a terrible, insecure human for even making the attempt.

Therefore, I do hereby declare the “half-pun smack” a thing. When you are out in the world, simply trying to live your life, and someone breaks out a “half-pun” joke, yell out the phrase, “half-pun!” and smack them in the reproductive organs. Tell them metten sent you. And if you happen to see Erika, feel free to smack her for that Momoa joke, just for good measure.