Walking God’s Dog
March 18, 2012

A familiar old man sat down next to me on my favorite park bench yesterday.
“Aren’t you George Burns, the comedian”” I said. “I mean, weren’t you George Burns? Your dead, right?”
He lit up a big cigar and smiled. “No,” He said in a voice much like Burns. “I’m very much alive. Have been since the beginning of time. I take on many forms.” He paused. “I’m God.”
“Oh, I get it. You’re still playing the part of God. Like in that movie.”
“What movie?”
“Oh God.”
“Yes?”
I looked away and muttered, “God help me.”
“I hear that all the time,” He said. “But today I want your help.”
I grumbled and reached into my pants pocket and took out a handful of change. “I thought so,” I said and handed him a quarter. “Go buy yourself a coffee and leave me alone.”
He pushed back the quarter. “I don’t have any need for money. I just need a few minutes of your time.”
I tried to give him the quarter again. “Listen, at my age, my time is more valuable than money.”
“I know,” He said. “That’s why this little favor will help you get into heaven.” He paused. “Right now, I’d say your chances are about fifty-fifty.”
I put the quarter back in my pocket and said, “Okay, so what’s the favor?”
He smiled and crushed out his cigar beneath his open-toed right sandal. “I just want you to walk with Oscar.” He looked around and gave a shrill whistle that could have cracked the marble altar in St. Peter’s Cathedral.” Then, in a flash, there appeared a big hairy St. Bernard dog with a face that looked much like Joe Pesci.
“What is that?” I said, backing away.
Oscar slobbered all over my Florsheim shoes and then glared at me. “We’re not going to have a problem here, are we, pal?” he said in a Joe Pesci voice.
“Jesus Christ!”
They both turned and asked: “Where?”
“I’m talking about Oscar,” I said to God. “He talks?”
“Of course,” God said, matter-of-factly. “Seven languages.”
“Eight, when you count sign language” added Oscar, puffing out his chest. Then a squirrel got his attention. He studied it for a while and then flapped his big ears from side to side. “Nothin’ but a big rat with a long tail and people think they’re cute. Go figure.”
God patted Oscar’s head. “You should learn to love all my creatures, Oscar.”
“Yeah, yeah. I heard that sermon a million times.”
“He’s a little grumpy today,” God said to me. “Something he ate, I think. But you two should get along fine.”
Oscar sneered and I shouted, “Like hell!”
God’s eyes turned black and as serious as a deadly shark’s eyes. His words erupted from deep in his chest. “We don’t use that “H” word where I come from!”
But I wasn’t going to let him intimidate me. “Oh, yeah,” I said. “Well I have another four-letter word for you and it begins with “F” and it sounds like–”
“Enough!” God bellowed and the ground beneath the bench shook and the sky darkened just above my head.
Oscar ambled behind the bench and whispered to me: “I wouldn’t tick him off if I was you.”
God stood and looked at his Rolex. “It’s time,” he said. He attached a leash to Oscar”s collar and handed me the grip end. “Twice around the park should do it.”
“And if I refuse?” I said, folding my arms over my chest in a defiant manner.
Again God’s eyes turned black and the dark cloud over my head burst and showered me with a hard, stinging rain.
Oscar shook his head. “I tried to tell you, pal.”
I struggled to my feet and wiped the rain from my face. “Okay, so you want me to walk your dog?”
“That’s right,” God said. ” And … well, you know.”  He handed me a large brown bag. “You may need this.”
I snatched the bag from his hand. “You mean to tell me that you came all the way down from heaven just so I can walk your ugly dog and pick up his crap?”
Oscar gave me a real wiseguy grin. “Bingo!”
Exasperated, I swallowed the words I wanted to say and yanked at Oscar’s leash. “Okay, come on,” I said, “Let’s get this over with.”
“Take it easy, pal” Oscar said, jerking me to a stop. “I had a big prune Danish for breakfast and six tacos for lunch.”
I looked at the grocery store-size brown bag in my hand and sighed. “So I guess that’s why God picked me to take you for a walk today?”
Oscar sniffed the ground, found a scent he liked, and squatted over a patch of green grass. He showed me every one of his teeth and grunted loudly.
“Bingo again, Pal,” he said.

Global Warming And Flatulence
February 14, 2012

Global warming is in the news again. Now one noted German Professor of Gastronomy, Maxwell Von Schmelling, said he has discovered the cause of all that gas.

“Flatulence,” he said, “is why life on earth stinks.”

He went on to state that every life form from the lowly ameba to humans to creatures in the sea and even some rare exotic plants exude harmful gases into the atmosphere. And this has been going on since creation. (Thank God we got rid of the dinosaurs.)

“This has got to stop or vee will all be asphyxiated!” Prof. Schmelling warned.

According to the good professor, the human species is mostly at fault. I mean, how much gas can be blamed on shrimp or squid? So we humans, he said, must limit the amount of flatulence we produce on a daily basis, or die.

According to Schmelling, the Greeks, Russians, and French are the worst offenders, followed by the Irish due to their consumption of large amounts of dark beers. Although the English never admit to passing gas, Prof. Schmelling’s findings prove that they do. It’s just that the human ear is incapable of hearing their emissions. However, many English Setters and a certain bred of sheep in Scotland reportedly have gone deaf due to the extremely high pitch of gas coming from England’s populace. Schmelling attributed this to the English having such tight asses.

Adolph Hitler’s gas, he admitted, was so frequent and so foul that 12 high-ranking Nazi generals surrendered to the Russians rather than spend one more day in the confines of Hitler’s underground bunker. Likewise, a few brave followers of Osama bin Laden have defected to the American side because they said the air in their cave was putrid. They said they asked their leader to put in a window or two, or even a small a/c unit, but he denied their request.

Prof. Schmelling demanded that a law be passed immediately to limit the amount of gas each human being can expel before being reprimanded and flogged, or sent to a gas chamber. At one point during his speech in Berlin he became so furious with the doubting audience that he turned to the German Chancellor and shouted: “Mein Fuhrer! You must heed my words!” At this point, he was shackled and dragged away.

Personally, I agree with the deranged professor. A law should be passed.

Of course, old farts like me would be exempt because we no longer have control of our bodily or mental functions.

Read My Crap In Yesterday’s Magazette
September 5, 2010

Yep, the crazy editor of Yesterday’s Magazette said he had a hole to fill (besides the one in his  head) in his online magazine and decided to use some of my crap.

The guy must be desperate or insane. I mean he has been publishing this “Magazine of Memories” since 1973. He should be looking for someone else to take it over. How long can one guy hold on to a dream? Wake up, Burke! Stop living in the past!

Anyway, you can take a quick look at http://yesterdaysmagazette.com

Yeah, it’s free. If you want the e-book version you gotta pay a few bucks.

I checked it out at http://yesterdaysmagazette.info

What? No way! I ain’t opening up my wallet for a bunch of essays about the past.

Hell, I know all about the past. I was born there.

Listen, I gotta go. Time for a nap.

Yesterday’s Magazette Is Still Alive?
March 1, 2010

OlderCartoon copy

Edgar Barryton, The Cranky Curmudgeon, here to tell you about this old fart and his “dream” of keeping his little-known and little-read retro magazine going.

The guy’s name is E. P. Ned Burke and he and his magazine, Yesterday’s Magazette, have been around before Nixon got booted out of the White House.

Burke started with a weekly newspaper up in the backwoods state of Pennsylvania and soon added Yesterday’s Magazette. (Magazette because it was half magazine and half gazette.) He says he  started it because he wanted to “preserve individuals memories for posterity.”

A noble calling, but with little or no financial future.

Nevertheless, Burke persevered and turned his YM rag and a few other magazines into glossy publications for 3 decades. Now, rather than retire like the rest of us, he continues with his sorry-ass magazine online at http://yesterdaysmagazette.com.

Rather than change with the times, Burke’s online YM looks much like the printed version he had for years. Nothing fancy. No audio. No video. No gimmicks. Just numbered pages in the navigation bar that you click on and read. Very user-friendly, as the young whippersnappers say today.

Let’s face it: Yesterday’s Magazette is for old farts, like myself.

Normally, I don’t (can’t!) read the  crap online because the type is too damned small. But Burke, being an old fart himself, produces his online magazine in readable 16 pt. type. I guess that’s the nicest thing I can say about YM.  Also, the fact that a subscription to YM is FREE gets my attention.

Oh, I admit he does a fair job with the layout and, on occasion, the content stirs me enough to read beyond the first paragraph of some bygone era story. But returning to yesterday doesn’t make me happy.

(Then again, not much does make me happy these days.)

I wouldn’t recommend it for you young bucks out there, with your iPhones, iPods and all that other iCrap you stick in your ears or stare at hour after hour.

Yesterday’s Mgazette is from another era, my friends. Don’t waste your time visiting Burke’s site unless you want to be sucked back to a time when life was happier, easier, and cheaper.

Not me! I live for the misery and despair of today!