Friday, August 31, 2018


  Long time, no posting.

  I could complicate things by explaining and/or excusing why I’ve neglected this space since June, but let’s go with the simple:

  I got cancer.

  And, because the only time I can abide duplicity is with cookies and rollercoasters, I’ll just direct you to where I have applied the muse since then, at my cancer blog.

  On this day, August 31, 2018, I’m just on the other side of completing weeks of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

  If you are in any way connected with this disease --- family, friends, even yourself --- I think you’ll find the daily reportage on my blog helpful, if not informative, and dare I say it, even entertaining (I am an incorrigible humorist, after all).

  I’ll leave it there for you to explore.

  Meanwhile, let’s revisit some chestnuts that still ring fun, funny and true.

  Hey! Dave Barry makes a living recycling ten-year old humor columns. Good enough for Dave, good enough for a cancerous fellow funster.

  Enjoy both spaces, here and there.

      All best, El
      P.S. Okay, okay … cookies, rollercoasters AND past humor columns. That ought to do it.

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  I knew there was another noun to describe me:

  Don’t run away, I had to look it up, too. I just needed a label for this tendency of mine to sometimes operate away from my area of expertise. The word means: “a person out of his or her element.” I’m by no means a consummate Ultracrep; I do know my limits in most things. But, I wrote the Ultracrepidarian Bible when it comes to one field of endeavor:  the Mr. Fix-It home front.
  For this outing only, we will cover excerpts from Genesis and Prophecies:

  In the beginning, Man created machines and machine parts. And the machines ran smoothly until they broke, and the machine parts were called upon to fill the void, and this is where I got into trouble.

  And Man said: “Let there be a connection between machines and machine parts,” and I’ve been looking for it ever since.
  And the partner of Man said: “Honey, don’t bother about that old lawnmower, it’s time to replace it, anyway.” And the man said: “What, are you kidding?  I can fix that.
  And the Man’s partner rolled her eyes and became mute and dark, smug in her unspoken prediction.

  And on the second day, cast out from the lawn and garden, the lurching, smoking, three-wheeled grasscutter was brought forth to the scrap metal pile in the Garden of Landfill as prophesized by the partner’s silent treatment, followed by a gathering together of man and partner in the Land of Outdoor Tools in Eastern Wal-Mart. Amen.
  This is not all my fault.
  I am equipped with the temperamental curve of a scientific poet, one who at once believes the mysteries of tree rings and bone structures can be finite blueprints, while sump pumps sometimes require exorcism along with priming. Hence the limping, spitting lawn machine that, despite my earnest tinkering with recycled sinktrap parts, became a pouting recluse in a combustible cave.
  Now, hold on, I’m not dumb to the nomenclature and workings of machines; I’m just stuck with this idea that nothing mechanical works entirely right without a dash of body English and a pinch of “Go baby go!” Conversely, feeling blue must have some roots in a dysfunctional thyroid.
  The mathematics of freshly baked bread. The tantrums of my truck transmission.
  If I investigated the inner workings of a toilet tank, I could tell you, coil and spring, and in strict, structural terms, why in fact the “jiggling the handle” remedy is effective. But, even then, were I to pass on the procedure to a novice flusher, I’d have to add, “No, here, see it’s all in the wrist."
  This dooms me to forever suffer from two infernal conclusions:

  1. The exact same amount of flour, sugar, oil, salt and yeast mixed, kneaded, risen, greased and baked in the exact same pans, oven and temperature will always yield slightly different loaves.
  2. Pounding a steering wheel will sometimes start a cold engine.
  And lo, the shivering crankcase brought forth the hissy fit parallelogram, which begat the incontinent sinktrap, which begat the asymmetrical tulip bed, which begat the bipolar lawnmower.
  In his poem, “All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace,” Richard Brautigan wrote:
I like to think of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully past computers
as if they were flowers with spinning blossoms.

  And Man looked ahead and said, “Let us move into snow season as our conspiratorial snowblowers lurk in the shed.
  And Man’s partner said, “Woe be unto us, should the toilet water rise or the bread collapse."
  And life was good.   

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Senior Wire News Service Syndicated Humor Columnist B. Elwin Sherman writes from Bethlehem, NH. He is an author, humorist, agony uncle columnist and poet. His latest book is “THE DIOECIANS – His and Her Love“. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. Used here with permission.