Monthly Archives

August 2016

All Entries Communication History Humor Technology

Great Moments in Digital History

August 18, 2016

If you’ve ever run a marathon, then you’re probably familiar with how the grueling 26.2 mile event originated. According to myth, the race was originated by the Greek messenger, Pheidippides, the early version of FedEx. Dispatched from the front lines at the Battle of Marathon, Pheidippides ran non-stop to Athens, bursting into the assembly exclaiming, “Nenikékamen,” or, “We have won” before collapsing and dying. Why didn’t he just send a tweet?

The answer, of course, is that while he could have faxed or emailed the message to Athens, Twitter wasn’t invented until hundreds of years later. If he had tweeted the message and skipped the run, chances are there wouldn’t have been a Boston Marathon, the running craze of the 1970s, running sneakers or those cute little shorts we enjoy seeing on each others’ heinies. Thousands of middle-aged, overweight couch potatoes would be even more middle-aged and overweight. There wouldn’t have been much demand for sports bras and heaven forbid… there probably wouldn’t be any Lycra. read more

All Entries Entertainment and Show Business Home Life Humor Romance

You Can’t Compete with a Serial Killer

August 11, 2016

Barbara Tedesco was easily the hottest girl in my Poli Sci class. She was so hot, her aura screamed, “Don’t even bother to hit on me until you get your nose fixed, lose those ridiculous glasses and buy a new car.” So, when I ran into her several years later, I was surprised she remembered my name, let alone that she took the time to strike up a conversation. I should have known she had ulterior motives.

“How would you like to be a contestant on ‘The Dating Game?” she asked.

After graduation, Barbara took a job as a production assistant with the ABC Television Network in Los Angeles. They produced the popular dating show and sent Barbara out fishing for unsuspecting young bachelors like myself willing to embarrass themselves on national TV. At the time I was a daft 21-year-old ski instructor living in Big Bear Lake – a mountain community two hours outside of L.A. – so I was an easy target for a gorgeous production assistant who promised wealth, women and adventure.

“The Dating Game” was the televised equivalent of Produced by Chuck Barris (who went on to popularize other high quality programming like, “The Gong Show,” “How’s Your Mother-in-law?” and “The Newlywed Game”), it first aired on December 20, 1965 and was televised on and off until the late 1980s. I was abducted by the show during the spring of 1972 and went missing for nearly a month. read more

All Entries Family Health Humor

Dealin’ Delbert’s Fine Used Babies

August 11, 2016

With the economy in the toilet for the third straight year, Matt and Kimberly Williams were beginning to doubt they’d ever be able to afford the large brood of kids they dreamed about while dating at Harvard. Matt lost his job as the Chief Financial Officer at Preston Porsche & Audi, while Kimberly was reduced to reading Tarot Cards in their basement.

In addition to building a life filled with memories and adventures, the couple was looking ahead to the practical aspects of having children – cheap labor for household chores and someone to roll them over and change their diapers when they slipped into old age. The problem, however, was the cost of having children the conventional way. To make matters worse, Kimberly didn’t want to endure the pain of childbirth or lose her sorority-sister figure, so the couple began contemplating adoption.

“Are you sure?” asked Matt. “When you buy a used baby, you never know if there’s anything wrong with it until you get it home. Who was the previous owner? How well did they maintain them? Have they been in any accidents, and if so, how badly were they damaged? You just can’t tell by looking at them.” read more

All Entries Humor The Great Outdoors

The Doctor Wiww See You Now

August 7, 2016

After spending a week in the ICU, the only residual effect keeping me from returning to work was a minor pronunciation impediment, so my neurologist recommended I start working with a speech pathologist. Fortunately, one of the country’s top specialists worked right down the street. Being in the entertainment industry, I’d heard of him and the valuable work he was doing with celebrities. He was instrumental in eliminating Daffy Duck’s lisp, Porky Pig’s stuttering and Foghorn Leghorn’s southern drawl. He’d also worked with the Roadrunner to expand his miniscule vocabulary from meep meep to that of a graduate student in English literature.

I was ushered into an exam room and given the standard stack of insurance papers. I lied about how I injured myself. Fearing the insurance company would consider my accident a stunt and not a bonafide medical emergency, I wrote down that I blew my nose on the summit of Mount Everest. Ten minutes later, the doctor walked into the room.

“Good mowning, Miwfte Smiff. I’m Doctow Fudd. How awe you feewing this mowning? What seems to be the pwobwem?” read more

All Entries Humor The Arts

Screenplays Are Easy

August 7, 2016

Late Sunday evening, the phone rang. Which, in and of itself wouldn’t be remarkable except that I had been in the Federal Witness Protection Program for over six months. What was more intriguing was the nature of the call and how it would change my life forever.

“Hello, is this Allen Smith?” It is.

“This is Yolanda Vonnoh and I’m the Dean of Curriculum at John Wilkes Booth Community College. I got your name from one of the articles you wrote for The Morning Sunset and would like to know if you’d be interested in teaching a class for us?”

The Morning Sunset was a throw-away neighborhood newspaper that was made up of mostly advertisements, obituaries and a summary of weekly church services, so they were willing to publish just about anything I pitched them. I didn’t get paid for my writing, but I thought with a circulation of over 300 readers it was a good way to get my name known on my way to becoming famous.

“Mr. Smith, we have an immediate opening to teach our Beginning Screenwriting class. I’ve read some of your articles and thought you’d be perfect.” I’d like to think that I earned the invitation based solely on the merit of my work, but the fact was the new semester started the next day and the professor who taught the class for the past seventeen years ran away to Banff with a ski instructor. The college was in a tight spot. read more

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