Friday, May 31, 2013

"Total" Has Been Totaled

The only thing I can say with total certainty is totally should be total. You agree, right? Totally.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Less Is Not Always More

Let me be brief: I hope my sharp wit entertains you today.

In Hamlet, Shakespeare introduced us to the following proverb, now famous:

Brevity is the soul of wit.

I conjured a play on Shakespeare's words from a play the moment I saw the headline pictured here. To wit:

Brief wit is the soul of with.

If brevity is indeed the soul of wit, we must be concise and must choose our words wisely. The headline writer would have been wise to choose with.

You wit' me?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Everything From A to Z in the USA

At the risk of revealing that my youth, much like the flavor in a stick of Juicy Fruit gum 30 seconds after chewing, is long gone, I have been alive for a little more than 14,500 days. Of those, only 10 have been spent in the greater Los Angeles area. Still, when I glanced at this "Across the USA" note in an old copy of USA Today, it was as if I were on Venice Beach's famed boardwalk, because something strange grabbed my attention.

Azusa, a city located about 25 miles northeast of downtown L.A., along the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, has made like a Beverly Hills housewife and had some work done. The job was botched; the s and z have switched roles. We no longer go from a to z. Instead, the s, impersonating a rude, hungry hot dog eater at Pink's, has pushed its way toward the front of the line. Sorry, s, but you're not on the A-list.

Before I come to a full stop, allow me to point out that a full stop is missing after Sunday. You missed the (punctuation) mark, USA Today. Where's the period? And don't tell me it got stuck in I-405 traffic.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Mr. Smith Goes Missing

Remember Roscoe Smith, the supposed All-Big Ten rookie I blogged about back in September 2012? He's in the news again. This time around, his conference affiliation is not the issue — his last name is.

The former University of Connecticut basketball player has the most common surname in the United States, yet the Connecticut Post set the ball rolling by changing it to Ball in this photo caption. That's the way the ball bounces, you might say. I won't accept that. Make like One Times Square each Dec. 31, Connecticut Post, and drop the Ball.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Amending Amanda

Moe: (answering the phone) Yeah, just a sec; I'll check. (addressing the bar patrons) Uh, Amanda Hugginkiss? Hey, I'm lookin' for Amanda Hugginkiss. Why can't I find Amanda Hugginkiss?
Barney: Maybe your standards are too high.
Moe: (talking into the phone) You little SOB! Why, if I find out who you are, I'm going to shove a sausage down your throat and stick starving dogs in your butt!

On The Simpsons, Bart tricked Moe into searching for Amanda Hugginkiss. I’m looking for Amanda. Just … Amanda.

I wonder if what appears below is a copy of the statement Knox released.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Bonus Checkup

Early December, and dusk had settled on the City of Brotherly Love. The coldness outside was biting. Fortunately, the large windows on the 23rd floor blocked Philadelphia’s chilling, penetrating winds. It was toasty inside. Quiet, too. The only noises the two of us heard were the muffled voices of people making merry at a party a floor below.

No such frivolity existed on the 23rd floor. At 5 o’clock the crowd had thinned, and now, 20 minutes later, just she and I were present — and our day together was drawing to a close. The taxi I had reserved would be outside the building in 10 minutes. It was almost time to head home.

Would this be the day? Would she finally say it? My confidence was high. Why shouldn’t it be? We’d been together for months. We’d spent countless hours in close proximity. We’d dined together. Shared laughs. Traveled. Provided moral support. Dealt with pressures. Learned from one another. Listened to one another. Relied on one another. The stars in the Philly sky, masked by falling snow, had aligned. A life-changing moment was imminent. Today, I thought. Today is the day I’ll be on the receiving end of those three words I’ve longed to hear. I romanticized the moment, envisioning the words uttered from her heart, dispensed with a glowing smile. I wrapped my scarf around my neck, bracing for the cold and the impact of her impending declaration. As I nervously fumbled with its tasseled ends, I breathlessly awaited to hear … “Here’s your bonus.”

I never did.

My bonus, like the taxi, never came. No generous check. No stock options. No extra week of paid vacation. No bonus. Instead, on that cold December evening, my boss enrolled me in a jelly-of-the-month club. An eccentric cousin told me it was the gift that keeps on giving the whole year, though his sentiments fell on deaf ears. Jelly? Jelly! Strawberry in January. Apricot in February. Boysenberry in March. Garlic rosemary in April. In early May, I broke; “J-e-l-l-no!” I shouted, to no one in particular.

I merited more than jelly, jammit! I deserved something in addition to my usual compensation, something meaningful. Without hesitation, I placed on n the onus to return to bonus.

You’re bogus, bous.

Bonus, I love you.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Public of Hairs

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the typos. I am about to go public with one that was just a hair off, resulting in plenty of pub.

Image originally posted to Twitter by Evan Smith of The Texas Tribune
My friend Chas, of the It’s Filmed There website, e-mailed me a link to a Yahoo! News story a year ago. I opened the link immediately, and by that time the story already had more than 3,500 comments. That’s understandable. This is comic gold. So, without further ado, let the commencement-program jokes commence:

 This must be a private matter, because it sure as heck isn’t public.

 Waiter, there’s a hair in my commencement program!

 Did it have to be President Johnson?

 I’ve got a pubic bone to pick with you, University of Texas.

 It’s public record: Public is a wrecked word.

I can go on (Unlimited Possibilities), but I won’t. It’s time to get serious, to get to the root of the problem. A hair is out of place. Actually, a letter has been misplaced. An L has been plucked from the nether regions of a certain word. Public, it turns out, is losing hair; the word has a bald spot. Yikes.

Someone aired a hairy error. Yes, “public affairs” sounds a bit like “pubic hairs.” So, are we splitting hairs? No. Not when the bad hair day occurs on the cover of a commencement program at Texas’ flagship university, in the pubic public eye.

We all err from time to time, and this hair folly is nothing more than follicle fallibility. Still, it’s not every day an L falling out results in such humorous fallout. The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, a graduate school at the University of Texas, may need a top-notch PR firm to handle this hair-raising situation. PR is short for public relations, not, well, you know.