They Say That Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

It was love at first sight.

I had needs, needs that couldn’t be satisfied within the boundaries of my little world. Oh, I had searched countless times for my heart’s desires in local establishments. I had always come up wanting.

Then, she came into my life.


Her name was Amazon. We met in 1999, and I instantly knew that she would become my everything.

I wanted stuff. She had stuff. Lots of stuff.

It was a match made in Cyberheaven.

I would ask her for stuff without so much as a glance at what might be available locally. It didn’t take long to get what I wanted — often less than 48 hours after I had asked for it. Our love was deep, fulfilling and eternal.

Six years later, he came along.

His name is Prime. Suddenly, Amazon became more distant, more demanding.

If I wanted to continue our perfect relationship, Amazon told me, I would need to send her money — now. Otherwise, she could no longer promise to give me what I needed, whenever I needed it.

I was wounded, but I didn’t blame Amazon. I was certain that the new creep, Prime, was behind this heartbreaking development.

I steadfastly refused give into Prime’s demands. When Amazon seductively whispered to me about how I could still make points with her, I got one of her credit cards.

Things got better.

I put everything I purchased everywhere on that card, earning one to three points for every dollar I spent. Top rewards were, of course, reserved for stuff bought directly from Amazon.

I was OK with that — for a while.

During the next few years of our relationship, I frequently earned enough points to avoid shipping costs. I even occasionally had a few points left to put toward the items purchased.

Amazon and I had rekindled our love.

Prime, however, took every opportunity to complicate our relationship. He waved perks like free movies, books and music under my nose. He never let an order through without reminding me of how much I would save and how much sooner I would get my stuff if I would only send him $99.

He was right on the second threat. Free shipping orders, which once reached me in a couple of days, were now taking up to a week.

I was feeling increasingly like an extortion victim.

I reluctantly took Prime up on his standing free trial offer when I was desperate to receive an anniversary gift book order in time for the event. The books still came too late, apparently because Amazon was having a spat with a publisher.

No guarantees. Lesson learned.

I canceled the trial before it started costing me money — and more self-respect.

Right around this time, I made two shocking discoveries. When I bothered to look, I sometimes found an Amazon offering at a local store for a lower price. I also learned that some merchants, if challenged by a lesser Amazon price, would match or beat it.

I was getting the same deals without shipping costs and without the waits. Sweet.

I began to seriously question whether I should keep Amazon in my life, but the siren call of points kept me captive.

The abuse continued.
Some items not directly sold by Amazon did not count toward the latest minimum for free shipping. Other items could not be purchased with shopping points.
Confused and hurt, I started seeing other credit cards.

Then came the ultimate insult. I was not allowed to buy the latest Game of Thrones season Blu-ray set from Amazon.

I could not use points for the purchase. I could not use dollars. This item, I was told, was available to Prime members only.

I was outraged.

I paid off my Amazon card and vowed to never use it again. I began a breakup e-mail message to Amazon, listing our irreconcilable differences and canceling both my card and my 19-year-old account.

Midway through my fiery message, a sudden realization hit me. What about our love children?

What would happen to Echo and little Dot if I severed all ties with Amazon? I shuddered at the thought of waking up one day to find them lifeless and incapable of being anything more than paperweights.

No more weather reports. No more shopping lists. No more fart noises on demand.


Alas, although I may never again see an Amazon good buy, she and I can never say goodbye.


Society Adds New Meaning to ‘Trump’

It’s official. The National Synonym Society today approved “trump” as a new word for “dumb.”

“This is a well-earned honor,” said Sebastian T. Wordsworth, NSS president. “Never in the long history of the NSS has an alternate meaning for an existing word been so well documented by multiple media.”

Wordsworth added that the new meaning is, also for the first time, attributable to the acts of a single individual.

“That individual, is of course, Donald J. Trump, whose elevation to President of the United States of America and whose unfiltered access to Twitter have showcased his trumpness to the world daily,” Wordsworth elaborated.


Trump had a long, honorable, pre-Donald J. history. As a noun, it traces its origins back to games in which certain playing cards were designated as trump and ranked above other cards in the deck.

Mutating into a verb, trump became the act of beating cards of other suits. This was eventually more broadly defined as making a winning move in a competitive situation.

Trump’s positive past, however, has come to screeching halt with its coronation as an adjective.

“It is now perfectly acceptable to substitute trump for dumb in any sentence not referring to speechlessness,” Wordsworth said. “By extension, trump may also now replace any previously existing synonym for dumb — including but not limited to, stupid, dense, brainless, slow, empty-headed, vacuous, moronic and half-baked.”

Wordsworth also noted that trump has earned the right to replace close relatives of dumb, such as ignorant, illiterate and bonkers.

Wordsworth provided sample sentences incorporating the new meaning of trump.

“Do you work at being trump, or were you born that way?”

How can anyone in their right mind, be that trump?”

“Well, that was a trump move.”

“That has got to be the trumpest damn thing I have ever heard anyone say.”

 “Way to go, trump-ass!”

Hey. Maybe they can change the name of one of my favorite movies to Trump and Trumper.

Planetary Explorers Confounded By Giant Enigma

Don’t mess with the Giant.

We learned that fundamental rule very early in our stay here. The natives take their god seriously.

“Do Not Touch” is a simpler way to put it.

Our lesson came the hard way. Six of our best people were killed on the first expedition to the Giant – felled by the otherwise most congenial people we have ever encountered on our planetary explorations.

0025sign Signs of Trouble

We don’t know whether the Giant is animal, vegetable or mineral. It was visible from orbit upon our arrival, which was the primary reason we set down here. The giant rules the horizon, driving us crazy with its nearby unknowability.

The giant appears to be worshiped by the planet’s primitive humanoids. We’ve been close enough to see the structures erected at its feet. Temples?

We’ve observed that some of those who march, single-file to the temples every four planetary rotations don’t always come back. Sacrifices?

Theories about the nature of the Giant abound, as one might expect in a scientific community denied access to the focal point of its curiosity and further hampered by an incredibly hostile environment.

A few of us speculate that the Giant is a natural landscape feature, mindlessly forged by the same forces that shaped the planet as whole.


The least discerning eye cannot escape the detail of the Giant’s sagging face and posture. Random elements of nature could not create that figure.

More likely. The Giant is a mountain, painstakingly transformed, Mount Rushmore-style, as a tribute to some fallen hero from the planetary past.

Yet, the inhabitants to not appear to have the technological means to create such a monument.

That leads to my pet theory: The giant was a living being. He was a member of a king-sized race which preceded the current dominant species.

Slumped in despair at the demise of the rest of his kind, he was the final victim of an ice age that suddenly engulfed his world.

I am alone in this flight of fantasy. Most scientists, meaning those who are not me, require empirical data to support a hypothesis and form a theory. I had gone straight to theory.

I argued that, completely lacking scientific evidence for any theory explaining the giant’s existence, my conclusion was as valid as any other. As highly-educated and rational people, my fellow expedition members refrained from burning me at the stake, but I could read the look of dismissal in their eyes whenever we met.

Then came the awakening.

I had taken advantage of a toasty, minus 40-degree day to make a solo trek to an ice ridge about a quarter-mile from camp when the ground abruptly heaved and tossed me on my face. Somehow, I did not feel surprised when I looked back to see that the giant had risen and was facing the camp.

He did not look pleased.

I watched in horrified fascination as the giant strode purposefully toward the camp. The ground shook with each step.

When he reached the camp, he paused to look down on those who had invaded his domain. The entire expedition had grouped at the edge of the camp, staring up at the giant with, I assumed, an intense, scientific thirst for knowledge.

I cupped my hands and shouted in their direction.

“Ha! I told you so!”

Big mistake. As my words of vindication still echoed across the barren landscape, the giant squashed all of my colleagues with one well-placed foot.

Now, he’s coming in my direction. I wonder if I can somehow convey “I believe in you, Mister Giant,”  when he gets here.


Donald, the Teenage Toddler

Here’s a little ditty to help cheer you through the holidays. You all know the melody.


We’ve had Andrew and Millard and Chester and Theo
Richard and Gerald and Ronald and Geo
But will you recall
The worst President of them all?

Donald, the Teenage Toddler
Had some very tiny hands
And if you ever saw them
You would scoff at his demands

All of the Teenage Toddlers
Laughed at him and called him names
They never let poor Donald
Spout his many brainless claims

Then one rigged election day
Voters seemed to say
“Donald, though your hair’s a fright
Won’t you march us to the right?”

Now teenage toddlers love him
And they tweet it out with glee
“Donald, the Teenage Toddler,
You have set our hate so free.”

The Bad War

This is a special, unedited “guest blog” written and typed by my 7-year-old grandson, Matthew. His devotion to Doctor Who exceeds my own and has outlasted his previous fixation with Thomas the Tank Engine.

matthewandtardis5Chapter 1
Once upon a time there was a fire. They almost died but then someone came for them. He said “SUPERBOY WHAT EVER MY NAME IS TO THE DAY!” He said he doesn’t remember what he usually calls himself. The Mysterious Hero saved the people from that fire. The Mysterious Hero can fly, Run 100 miles per hour, and can even have laser vision! Then… what we all been waiting for. The Doctor & Clara lands the TARDIS (Time Relative Dimensional In Space) at London 2020 Time is 3:30 Clara was so amazed she couldn’t say a thing. “Impressing.” Says The Doctor. “What time is this?” asks Clara. “London 2020.” Says The Doctor.

Chapter 2
The Doctor sees a DALEK chasing a CYBERMEN. The Doctor whispers to himself “That can’t be good… That cant be good at all.” “What?” Clara asks The Doctor. “There’s going to be incoming trouble later.” Says The Doctor. The Mysterious Hero sees The Doctor “Hello. What brings you here? And why are you standing by a blue box??!” asks The Mysterious Hero. “Well. This isn’t just a plain old blue box. This is a time machine. I call it The TARDIS. T A R D I S stands for Time Relative Dimensional In Space.” Says The Doctor. “No Way! Your so silly it can’t be a time machine. Its not possible to have a box that is bigger in the inside.” Says The Mysterious Hero. “Your Wrong. It is possible. Take a look.” Says The Doctor. The Mysterious Hero opens the door & then he could not believe his eyes. “B-B-But.. Hhow?!” says The Mysterious Hero.

Chapter 3
Magic.” Says Clara. “Magic.” Says The Doctor. “Oh and one thing. What’s your name??” asks The Mysterious Hero. “My name… is The Doctor.” “Doctor what?” asks Mysterious Hero “Just The Doctor” Says The Doctor “But Doctor who?” asks The Mysterious Hero “I told you The Doctor” says The Doctor.

Chapter 4
Mysterious had to stop asking and had to see that if he is actually a timelord. So he made tests “Hmm.. Speak a different language.” Says The Mysterious Hero “őíň ıįåç Ţ ŹŲćă ŢŦ” says The Doctor. “Now. Prove me that it’s a time machine. Take me to the same place just in the date that is 100,20,33” says The Mysterious Hero. “Ooooh I cant do that. Earth doesn’t live forever. Neither will you.” Says The Doctor. “What about.. 1995 but same place.” “Sorry I cant. If I do then I will see myself from the past. I have different faces.” Says The Doctor. “Fine.” Says The Mysterious Hero “Doctor. Your forgetting about me again.” Says Clara in a stressed way. “Yeah sorry about that Clara. Everyone stay here, its safe nothing can get in. There’s some enemies I need find.”

Chapter 5
Said The Doctor. The Doctor leaves The TARDIS and locks the door. “Lets see where are you little monsters.” Says The Doctor when The Doctor gets far away from something comes to come steal it and destroy it. “THE TARDIS IS DETECTED! YOU. TELL THE BOSS THAT WE DETECTED THE TARDIS!!!” Says DALEK “YES SIR.” Says CYBERMEN (That got Dementedetated. (Pretending it’s the daleks upgrade) ).


Chapter 6
The Doctor heads back to The TARDIS. He sees that The TARDIS is gone. “Oh no you don’t.” says The Doctor as he pulls out his sonic screwdriver and turns it to Land Here mode. (Meanwhile in The TARDIS) “Well that’s good we landed and stopped shaking” said Mysterious Hero & Clara. The Doctor unlocks the doors and opens doors then he asks “Are you two alright?” “Yeah were fine.” Says Clara and again The Doctor save the day.

The End

Man Seeking Woman

No, that’s not the the heading on a Craig’s List personal ad. It’s show that fans of off-beat TV might want to check out.

This over-the-top comedy, three episodes into its second season on FXX, is absurdist humor at its finest. A few words of warning: this show is rated MA for reasons of language, sexual situations and/or nudity, although not the type of nudity you find on the likes of Game of Thrones

MSW focuses on the oftentimes surrealistic trials and tribulations of Josh Greenberg (Jay Baruchel), whose relationships with women are so disastrous they make the Hindenburg look like a transportation success story. Josh has been turned down by the Last Woman on Earth. He has discovered that 100 percent of women on the planet may be genetically incapable of being sexually attracted to him.


Josh has gone on a blind date with an actual troll. Josh and a girlfriend have taken the next logical step in couplehood by becoming surgically conjoined, which made their inevitable breakup more than psychologically painful. His mother (Robin Duke) has held him hostage and tortured him for information about his latest girlfriend.

The show frequently goes beyond the boundaries of good taste, depending on where you might personally draw the line. Last season, both Josh and his best bud, Mike (Eric André) leave a club with women, only to discover that they left their penises back at the club. This season, Josh attempts to find sexual fulfillment with a 1998 Saturn.

MSW is based on The Last Girlfriend on Earth, by Simon Rich, who is the top dog behind the TV version. Adding comedic chops to its pedigree, the show lists Lorne Michaels (Saturday Night Live) is an executive producer, teaming his Broadway Video with FX Productions to make the series.

For me, Man Seeking Woman has been a consistent source of laughs and admiration for the fertile creativity of its writers. Of course, I regularly stray from mainstream television fare. Your reaction might be as different as the show.