Funny stories that have found no home

May 31, 2012

By Pat Detmer

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Because Dana The Cartoonist asked that I write May’s column the day after I turned in April’s column because he was taking a trip to Italy and would need it to create his cartoon, I am opting for speed over creativity and providing you with a list of funny stuff that I’ve saved over the years but has yet to find a home in print:

— My sister Barb was at a junior high school parent/teacher conference for her son. He tagged along, and as Barb was talking to the teacher, he paced back and forth outside the classroom window, throwing worried looks into the room. He had good reason to be worried. He’s bright, but could be disruptive in class, always with the intention of making everybody laugh. But the teacher recognized that he was special, and said that she loved having him as a student.

Barb nodded toward her fidgeting, nervous son. “The next time he comes to the window,” she said to the teacher, “look very concerned and worried as you talk to me.” The teacher played along, and when Zack stopped for a look, Barb knitted her brow, opened her mouth in mock horror, dropped her face into her hands and pretended to sob.

— Sister Susie’s grandson was playing with a toy battery-operated light saber. When he was done, he sat the still-lit saber in the corner. Susie pointed it out and suggested that he turn it off.

“Oh, Grandma,” he said dismissively, “you don’t have to turn this off. You just sit it there, and in a couple of days it turns off all by itself.”

— Susie blasts through her house every spring and puts items that she no longer uses on the corner with a sign that says: “Free.” One year she put out matching lamps. They didn’t work, but they still looked great, and she figured someone handier than she was might be able to fix them. The next day, she was delighted to see that they were gone.

A year later, she put out another pile of stuff. After several hours, she looked out the window. Everything she’d put out that day was gone, but the sign was still there. So were the lamps from last year.

— I once entered a contest where you made up words and definitions specific to the writing/publishing industry:

“Chic Lit”: Hot new niche, smart and elegant, but shallow. Very skinny books. Also a candy-coated gum.

“Choc Lit”: Hot new niche, best with a soft creamy center and sprinkling of nuts.

“Book con tracked”: Bloodhounds sent after escaped felons incarcerated for overdue library fines.

“Jack ‘et blurb”: Itinerant backwoodsman explains what happened to the leftover blurb.

I didn’t win.

You can reach Pat Detmer, who is not going to Italy, dammit, through

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