Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Quiz: Who Said It? Archie Bunker or Donald Trump

Satire: noun

(An example from my cousin, Areola.)
The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

synonyms: mockery, ridicule, derision, scorn, caricature, irony, sarcasm

I love satire in all its forms. My new favorite thing is when someone reads a satirical online article, doesn’t realize it’s a joke, gets offended, and then shares it on Facebook. But the kicker is when they add a sentence or two of their own relaying their disgust and anger about the post. It makes my day! Three words: Hi.Lari.Ous.

Archie Bunker, the grumpy, bigoted lead character of the classic television show All in the Family, is one of the all-time best examples of satirical comedy. Archie was a conservative, misogynistic, homophobic, racist who said the things no one should ever say out loud. What made the series work is that the majority of Americans realized the joke, knew it was an exaggeration, and was able to laugh at Archie, not with him. Of course, most of the plot lines worked out so that Archie’s tirades were proven wrong. It was a sitcom after all.

Unfortunately, there was a small segment of the population who didn’t get the joke. They actually agreed with the things Archie Bunker said, and thought they were finally being given a voice in mainstream media. However wrong these people were, though, they remained silent and happily watched All in the Family with the rest of us. They didn’t try to make Archie into a cult hero or anything larger than a fictional television character.

The rise of Donald Trump in American politics is Archie Bunker 2.0—this time he’s serious. When
Trump first began his campaign, I laughed at it. I thought of the things he said and did as satire. I thought everyone was in on the joke. I had no idea people were taking him seriously. Had I posted anything on Facebook about it, I would have been one of the people who totally misinterpreted the accompanying article, except instead of thinking it was real, I would have been convinced it was a joke.

In fact, the two characters—one a fictitious satirical grump, and the other an apparent real candidate for President—are very similar. So much so, I decided to develop the following quiz. Go and take it and see if you can tell a difference in the two.


1. "It’s not supposed to make sense, it’s faith. Faith is something that you believe that nobody in his right mind would believe.”

2.  “[We have ] the highest standard of living. The grossest national product.”

3.  “Do you mind if I sit back a little? Because your breath is very bad.”

4.  “That's how you got your Chinatown, your Harlems, your Little Italy...all those grettos.”

5.  “I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke.”

6.  “It’s freezing and snowing in New York – we need global warming!”

7.  “The most successful painters are often better salesmen and promoters than they are artists.”

8.  "I was talking about the Bible which has nothing to do with the Jews."

9.  “Women have one of the great acts of all time. The smart ones act very feminine and needy, but inside they are real killers.”

10. Question: Did you know that 65% of the people murdered in the last 10 years were killed by handguns?
Answer: "Would it make you feel any better…, if they were pushed out windows?"


  1. Archie
  2. Archie
  3. Trump
  4. Archie
  5. Trump
  6. Trump
  7. Trump
  8. Archie
  9. Trump
  10. Archie

How did you do?

8-10 Correct: You are a master of separating fact from fiction! Nothing can slip by you, not even the nuances of two grumpy New Yorkers.

3-7 Correct: This category is for the majority of Americans. Most of the time, you can sniff out a b.s.-er when he is b.s.-ing, but you occasionally get tripped up by the better shysters.

1-2 Correct: Unfortunately, you fall in the Keith Stewart category. You fall for anything, and you most likely will post an article on Facebook that means absolutely the opposite of what you think.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I See London, I See France, I See Someone's Underpants

Maybe I'm just getting old. They do say the mind is the first thing to go.

Maybe I just have too much on my mind. That can make a person forgetful.

Maybe I'm just crazy.

I have had two underwear calamities in April, and there are still ten days left in it. Heaven help me through this final week and a half.

The first incident happened in Dayton, Ohio, at the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop. This is a conference of around 350 humor writers from all over the country. It's a great place to network and make connections. Unless you spend the day with a large hump on your lower back:

Very Diaper. Not Dapper.

I am assuming when I packed for this conference, a t-shirt somehow was wadded into the inside of another shirt, and because I always wake up late and must rush to get ready on time, I didn't notice the extra fabric resting on the top of my jeans and lower back. The resulting look is an ill-fitting adult diaper muffin top.

I had been extra hot that day, but just thought it was the meeting room. I never considered checking my backside to see if anything was amiss. Around 9:00 PM, I needed to pull my pants up as the weight of the extra shirt had finally begun wearing the jeans down, and that is when I noticed something felt "not right" about the situation. I excused myself, went to the restroom, and discovered what everyone else had known all day--I was an idiot.

The second accident happened only yesterday. I can't blame waking up late on this, however. I had plenty of time getting ready for my day. I showered, shaved, had coffee, played Angry Birds. A leisurely morning. I am a member of a doctor-monitored weight loss facility, Ageless Weight Loss, and had an appointment with them at nearly midday. I had nothing on my schedule until then.

I showed up for my appointment, went on to work, then came home and fixed dinner. Afterwards, I was changing into my exercise clothes when I noticed this:

(Don't look if you don't want to see me half nekkid.)
I had worn my whitey-tightys BACKWARDS all day. Who does that?! I had noticed that my drawers had ridden up in the back something awful all day, but never considered they could be on backwards.

The REALLY BAD part of this is that every few weeks, I receive a shot of vitamins and minerals at the fat doctor's office, and I had received one this very day. The shot is administered in the rear, so I had taken down my pants and underwear in order for the nurse to do it.

To her credit, she didn't bat an eye at seeing the "venting area" at the "barn door" on my backside. I'm sure, however, after I left, she marked in my permanent medical file, "Wears underwear backwards, possibly inside out."

At this point, I am seriously considering just going without underwear the final ten days of this month. What's the worst that can happen?