Category Archives: Humor

An Ode for Retail Employees Who Work on Thanksgiving

In response to many requests, we are rerunning our popular Thanksgiving post, Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving.


bossTwas the night before Thanksgiving and all through the store,
Not an employee was stirring. They could give no more

Their stockings were torn but they did not care.
They just hoped that closing time soon would be there.

The children’s department was completely a wreck
While the staff glared at shoppers and wished them to heck.

The managers were tired, the employees were pooped
And all wished with fervor they could go and get looped.

When out in the aisles there arose such a clatter
They all started swearing. Now what was the matter?

Away to the noises they wearily trooped
With heads that were bent and shoulders all stooped.

The overhead lights did glaringly glow
Like the rage of a fire from someplace below.

When what to their overworked eyes did appear
But a nut in a sleigh full of holiday gear.

And the little old driver was so peppy and sleek
They knew in a moment they were all up shit’s creek.

A man from corporate to the staff came
And he whistled and shouted and called them all names.

“Now, Dumbass! now, Birdbrain! Now, Stooper and Bonehead!
On, Cranky! on, Stupid! on, Leadass and Meathead!

“I want top profit stores, I want top profit malls!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before a wild hurricane fly
The staff looked at each other and let out a sigh.

So up to the man, the staff they did drag
To see what new horrors he had in his bag.

And then, in a twinkling, he loudly did yell
“I want you all to sell, sell, sell, sell!”

The staff bowed their heads and were turning around
When out of the sleigh he came in a bound.

He was dressed all in Gucci from his head to his feet
His tie cost more than they all made in a week.

A bundle of sale signs he had flung on the floor
But then he said, “Wait! I have even more!”

His eyes, how they twinkled! his smile, how scary!
His cheeks were like roses, (from drinking some sherry).

His cruel little mouth was drawn up in a grin
He had the air of man who knew he would win.

The plan from corporate, he held tight in his fist.
And when he unrolled it, the staff got quite pissed.

He had a girl on each arm and a group of kiss-asses
(Who were really accountants with bow-ties and glasses.)

He was greedy and dumb, a corporate kook
And the staff when they saw him, all wanted to puke.

A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head
Soon gave them to know they had something to dread.

He spoke no more words but went straight to his work
He changed the whole store plan (because he’s a jerk).

And giving the finger to all of the staff
He then strode away with a soft evil laugh.

He sprang to his sleigh, and his suck-ups he hailed
“Let’s get out of here, boys, before we are flailed.”

But they heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight
“You had better make plan before Christmas night!”

Why, Zoe, Why?

Intro PicWe have two cats. One is Katie, a gray-striped, furry ball of affection. Nothing bothers hers. She rolls with schedule changes, house repairs, and guests with equal aplomb. She spends her days sleeping beneath our writing desk or lounging on top of the sofa in the sun.

The other cat is Zoe.

There is only one way to describe Zoe. She’s a maniac. Amazingly, she and Katie are sisters, found by construction workers in an abandoned restaurant four and a half years ago. As you can see, they look nothing alike, and, you can take it from us, their personalities are completely different. Zoe is the yin to Katie’s yang, a cat seduced by the dark side of the Force.

mystery ZoeZoe is the cat who leaps six feet in the air and turns  somersaults trying to catch bugs. She climbs drapes, fights with her sister, and zooms around the house at something close to light speed. She is a member of the Society for Knocking Things Off Tables and The Cats Who Hide in Impossible Places Association. Trying to find Zoe in our basement is a true adventure. When she was still a kitten, we began referring to her as our wild and elusive Zoe. (See our posts about the time Zoe dislocated her jaw: When Greed Overshadows Compassion and The Kindness of Cats.)

This is a cat with an inquiring mind. She tests gravity everyday (a requirement, it seems, of the Society for Knocking Things Off Tables). She is trying to learn to fly. She has a fascination with electric light bulbs, dripping faucets, and anything that resembles string. This includes electrical cords, long hair, and the sashes of expensive dresses.

And what a talker! Every evening after supper, she gives a discourse. Sometimes she is explaining the scientific experiments she performed that day. Other times she is merely demanding playtime. She treats her leisure activities as seriously as her work.

There is no stopping her. When she has pulled off a particularly naughty caper (like the time she pulled the lace curtains down, rod and all, and then made a nest for herself and took a nap), we imagine how much worse it would be if she were a human child instead of a cat. And then we sigh and ask what has become a common question in our home.

Why, Zoe, why?

lace curtains

A Note to Santa

We purchased this handmade card many years ago. It always has a prominent spot on our Christmas tree where Santa can easily spot it.


Happy Holidays from Joe and Mary

The Force is Strong with this One

The Force and Zoe

Our cat Zoe levitating a ping pong ball.

Don’t Annoy the Writer

Anne Lamott quote


From the Facebook page of author Sue Fitzmaurice.

Waiting for the Blizzard

We’re both sitting here at our computers staring, not at the screens, but out the window. Blizzard Nemo is approaching and we are waiting for the first snowflakes to begin falling.

Ironically, we have just started a new book (Time’s Warriors, #5 in the Time’s Edge science fiction series)  which opens with a big snow storm. Our hero is standing up to his knees in snow trying to prevent two other characters from killing each other. (It’s been a long, dark winter on the planet where they are.)

We are experiencing a strange sense of deja vu. Why do we have the feeling this is going to be us in a few hours?

Life Sometimes Feels This Way

keep calm

Misquoting Feynman


Extra points to those who know the correct quote!

When Dead AuthorsTweet

Dead Authors Tweet

from the essay Status Updates by Julianna Baggot in the New York Times Sunday Book Review

Shakespeare Can Make Anything Sound Amazing

Hokey Pokey

“The Hokey Pokey, Shakespearean Style” by Jeff Brechlin is a winning entry in The Style Invitational, The Washington Post’s weekly humor/wordplay contest.

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