Tag Archives: humor

Anyone know where I put my keys?

“Who was it that went to the piscine?”my wife asked the other day as she walked into our family room where I was sitting watching television.

I wasn’t sure what sparked the question, although conversations about the French language have recently been popping up in our home as my son is taking the class in middle school. It’s a story I’d shared with her before.

“Phillipe” I responded. “I’ll remember that for the rest of my life!”

***********************

When I started taking French classes in New York, in 7th grade of Junior High (that’s what us old people called “middle school” back in the day) we had a French textbook that we would read from.

“Open up to lesson one, we are going read aloud” the teacher would say. She would always read the lines first so we had at least some guidance as to how we should sound.

Speaker 1:  “Où est Sylvie?”

Speaker 2:  “Au lycée.”

Then she would point out some poor kid in the front row to start and one by one each student in class would read the two-line conversation, trying desperately not to mangle the words.

Once the last student had read, the teacher would continue.

“Please turn to the next page.”

Again she would read first before asking each student to read aloud.

Speaker 1: “Où est Phillipe?”

Speaker 2: “À la piscine.”

Some kids would get it right, some would get it sort of right. Some kids, especially those with the thickest Long Island, New York accents, would read the text and the teacher would follow-up with a long dissertation on tongue placement, including lots of nasally sounds and exaggerated lip formations.

During that one year of 7th grade French class I’d estimate each student read those four lines somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,726,864 times. Who says rote school lessons don’t work?

I never really learned much French even after taking four years in secondary school and another two semesters in college. I just was never very interested, I guess. But, I’ll tell you this… when I’m on my deathbed someday, I’ll still know where the hell both Sylvie and Phillipe were!

***********************

In my junior high school there was this kid named Peter Curto. He was an eighth grader when I was a seventh grader. Peter was a tough kid, with long, sandy brown hair and always dressed in jeans, heavy black boots, a t-shirt and even while inside the school he’d be sporting one of several denim jackets he owned that were decorated on the back with full-size appliqués of rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Blue Oyster Cult. Our school called these kids “heads” back then or “dirtbags” if you really wanted to pull out a derogatory description for someone.

Peter was not a mean guy, at least not that I remember. He wasn’t necessarily intimidating like some of the kids in junior high that looked like they were thirty-five years old with beards and muscles and thick silver chains connecting their wallets to their belts, while I was working my hardest to just barely sprout out a few pubic and armpit hairs.

I knew Peter smoked cigarettes and assumed he was involved in plenty of other illicit activities. I sometimes wondered what his home life was like, but in reality I didn’t really know him very well. But for whatever reason he would often sit at the same lunch table with me and my posse of unbelievably dorky friends. There we would be, clustered around a table in the cafeteria, my friends and I dressed in khakis and Izod polo shirts and eating Wonder Bread Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches that our Mom’s had made and packed up in a brown paper bags for us to bring to school. And there would be Peter Curto, in the middle of all of us, perhaps like a bouncer or security guard, but more likely standing out like a Biker at a Mensa convention.

One day during lunch, Peter came to the table a little bit late, carrying a banana. He sat across from me and I watched as he cracked the stem of the banana and started tearing its yellow peel off. He didn’t say anything to the group, just worked on peeling that banana until he was holding the bottom like a handle with three or four sections of peel hanging over his hand. Then he took a big bite, chewed it up and swallowed it, looked over at me and said “man, I fucking love bananas!”

That’s it…that’s the story.

***********************

I don’t know why I remember that day or more specifically that five or so minutes of my life. Or those four lines from my 7th grade French textbook. It’s really not information that needs to be socked away in my brain like some important document or cherished family heirloom tightly secured in a lock-box at the bank. There are many other seemingly irrelevant moments in my life that I clearly remember as well, to the point where I have this mental list in my memory of minor events, conversations, passing happenings, that frankly I shouldn’t be remembering but likely always will. Remembering each one, of course, reinforces it even stronger.

Sometime as I get older and more forgetful, I wonder how much brainpower and space this stuff is taking up.

If I could get rid of some of these memories, maybe I wouldn’t have such a hard time remembering where I put my keys.

Perhaps I left them “á la piscine.”

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DeflateGate: The Political Debates

TOM BRADY

Democrats: Bush deflated the balls to trick us into believing the Patriots are a national threat.

Republicans: Obama deflated the balls so he could hand out free air to everyone.

Libertarians: Hey, it’s a free world, the Patriots can do whatever they want, screw these big government rules.

Green Party: We deflated the balls, we shouldn’t be wasting scarce, high quality air inside footballs anyway.

Tea Party: Who is paying for all this anyway? Let’s have a protest!

Constitution Party: George Washington didn’t lie when he got caught cutting down the cherry tree!

Independents: Could we please stop arguing about this and get something relevant accomplished?!?!

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Psssst… George, you’re killing us over here.

Clooney

George, c’mon, seriously?!? You just said all that gushy, romantic shit on TV? At an awards ceremony no less? Dude, what the fuck, did you not read the handbook they gave you when you got married? C’mon, it’s the handbook… THE HANDBOOK… and you were supposed to read it! But obviously you didn’t. Or maybe you just skimmed through it like some kind of savant and thought “whatevs, I got this, I’m George Fucking Clooney.” But you should have read it… especially the part about not showing up all your fellow men in front of other women… especially millions of other women!

The morning after the Golden Globes my family and I were sitting around with the TV on and all the stations were recapping the highlights of the previous evening’s festivities. I didn’t watch the awards, it doesn’t really interest me. Maybe the rest of the family watched some of it, I don’t really know. But the highlight among highlights was apparently when George Clooney got up on stage to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award and after thanking a bunch of people he (more or less) said this:

“So congratulations to all of you for having a very good year. I’ve had a pretty good year myself. Listen, it’s a humbling thing when you find someone to love. Even better if you’ve been waiting your whole life and when your whole life is 53 years. Amal, whatever alchemy it is that brought us together I couldn’t be more proud to be your husband.”

Upon seeing a short recap of this part of the speech that morning, my 14 year old son turned to me and jokingly asked “Dad, how come you never do that for Mom?”

I smiled and listened closely for the inevitable chortle from my wife.

“Do what?” I answered.

“Give a romantic speech like that” he said, egging me on.

I thought for a minute and then replied with the best I could come up with. “Well, I guess because no one has ever thought I deserved to receive a really prestigious award like that.”

“That’s because you don’t” chimed in my 17 year old daughter with a smart-ass smirk on her face.

Wow, tough crowd!

Look, I can dress up nice and “product” up my hair and stand around and look handsome with the best of them. But I’ll admit, I’ve never been that great in the “romance department”. Apparently a lot of guys aren’t if you take a long stroll through the ROMANCE section at the local Barnes and Noble.

But what really is romance? Is it what you see on the screen at a movie theatre? Is it what you read in a $6.99 paperback you found in the book section of a Wal-Mart? Is it pouring your heart out at a gala event of overpriced celebrities while our materialistic, gossip driven world watches in awe?

Perhaps on rare occasion it’s those things.

Or is it climbing onto the whirling carnival ride of life with someone you love and frantically pulling down the security bar… a ride that starts slow but before you know it is moving and spinning and you’re hanging on for dear life through weeks and months and years of changing shitty diapers, not sleeping, driving to a million of your kid’s sporting events, lifting them up when they’re down and guiding them to places you’d always felt you should have gone, celebrating victories and mourning losses, working endless hours to pay endless bills, watching family and friends battle illness and tragedies and everything else the world wants to fast-pitch, 90 miles per hour at you on a daily basis… only to be the happiest two people on earth when you’re given ten minutes at the end of the day to share a glass of wine and talk about anything other than the carnival ride that’s just stopped for a short moment to let a few people off and welcome a few new people on.

“Three tickets please.”

No author or screen-writer is making a living off of that story. Maybe no one is even writing that story. But maybe that’s what romance really is.

Had I actually been watching the Golden Globes, when those words poured out of Clooney’s mouth like an oversize serving of mushy cream-of-wheat being scooped from a cast iron cauldron into a cereal bowl, I imagine I would have heard the collective swooning sighs of millions of breathless women and the sounds of flapping pages as all of the Nicholas Sparks books sitting on shelves lifted off in unison and began flying around houses like doves at a royal wedding.

That’s a tough act to follow.

But it’s fiction. He’s a celebrity. He’s not real life.

I have nothing against George Clooney. I like him as an actor. He’s probably a great guy and he gave a speech that evening that was honest and moving and inspirational. He’s certainly one of the most handsome celebrities around right now. MAN is he fucking handsome! He seems compassionate and whether you agree with his politics or not, he actively uses his fame and wealth in many philanthropic ways and I respect that.

He and his new wife have probably just climbed onto their own version of the whirling carnival ride.

The toothless “carnie” is standing in the control booth with a pocket full of tickets, ready to push the start button.

George, you need to read the damn handbook…

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Traveling to Canada: A Guide for Dumb Americans

I recently spent some time in Ontario, Canada for a business trip. I’d been to Canada before but only for very brief visits. This time I had a whole week though so I was able to thoroughly engulf myself in the whole culture and society. I know us American’s sometimes are not the most well liked when we visit a foreign country because we seem either dumb or elitist or arrogant. So here are six general things I learned that might help you assimilate easier in case you ever need to travel to Canada. I have a lot of Canadian friends that subscribe and read this blog too, so please don’t hesitate to help out if there’s anything you’d like to add.

1. Canadians can speak a lot of languages. Even though the national language is Canadian, like a lot of foreign countries, most of the people are capable of and willing to speak English when talking to Americans. They’re pretty good at it too, except some of them are hard to understand when saying words like “out” and “about” and “trout” and “pout”. One guy said he was “out and about” and I thought he said he was “oat in a boat” and I got confused and pretended I got a phone call and had to excuse myself. In Canadian they also call the bathroom the washroom instead of the restroom which is confusing because it implies people are washing in there instead of resting and bathing and for the first several days there I didn’t know where to go to the bathroom. There’s also a lot of people in Canada that speak French which is weird because I didn’t think Canada was anywhere near France.

2. Canadians are really nice. I mean really nice! Maybe the nicest people I’ve ever met. I’d heard that about Canadians before but now I’ve confirmed it’s most definitely true. Every last one of them that I bumped into was super nice, even the one I bumped into with my car apologized for getting in my way. I bet the two Gopher’s from the Warner Brother’s cartoons were Canadian. Sure, I haven’t traveled extensively, only to Mexico and a few tropical islands and now Canada so I’m sure there are some mean Canadians out there. Probably not very many though. Even the Canadian Border Agents were really nice. They were very polite and smiley and happy to see me as opposed to the U. S. Border Agents who seemed very snarly and mean and had a lot of scary attack dogs around.

3. Canadians have money that’s very colorful and some of it has little plastic windows where you can see through the money. It’s pretty weird and you can waste a lot of time looking through the plastic part to see what the world looks like through money. They also have weird names for some of their money like Loonies and Toonies. When I first got there I went into a bank to exchange $40 and had this conversation:

Me: Hi, can you exchange out some American money for me? Just an assortment, but include some quarters please, as I need to pay parking meters.

Teller: Would you like any Loonies and Toonies?

Me: Excuse me?

Teller: Would you like any Loonies and Toonies?

Me: (panic) Uhhhh….. je ne don’t speaké…. uhhh…. Canadian… eh?

Teller: Yeah, I’ll just give you some bills.

4. Canadians use something called the Metric System. I know, I have recollections of this stuff being taught to us in the 1970’s too. On the highways Canadians are allowed to drive 100 which I really liked because it was super fast and I could get places quickly even though most of the locals didn’t seem to be driving that fast. But I got a bunch of speeding tickets while I was there too which I didn’t understand because I thought I was only going 100. Maybe the police aren’t as nice as the rest of the Canadians. The whole metric system is really weird though, apparently people there think it’s easier to measure and count everything in increments of 10’s rather than dozens and 4’s and 8’s and 16’s and the difference between 32 and 212. I don’t get it.

5. Canadian cities are very clean and safe with not a lot of vagrant types or homeless people. In one city I actually saw a female city worker climb out of a white official city work truck and pick up two or three leaves from the side of the road. I thought that maybe she was just working extra hard or that maybe she was working on a craft or something that needed some leaves. The cities also seemed very safe and a man on the radio said there were only about 500 homicides in Canada last year which I thought couldn’t be right since there were probably at least that many in Chicago alone during the same period. So I called up the radio station to ask if he had made a mistake and he said no, but then he was so nice and said I was the 12th caller and I ended up winning two tickets to a Maple Leafs game which was pretty cool.

6. It’s hard to buy wine in Canada which is weird because I’d always heard that Canadians liked to drink. In the U.S. the average grocery store has an aisle the length of two football fields full of wine. In Canada, if you can find a grocery store that actually sells wine, it’s in these little mini-stores inside the grocery store which are about as big as a bathroom and you have to actually talk to the clerk and pretend to be a sophisticated sommelier American while you are frantically scanning the shelves to find the cheapest wine they sell. They also sell some of their wine in Milk Cartons. On the other hand on every corner are these giant stores called “BEER STORE” so apparently they’d rather have you drinking beer than wine. I didn’t see a single place to buy actual liquor though. Maybe that’s why there are not very many vagrant types or homeless people.

So that’s all you need to know about traveling to Canada! Oh, and make sure your passport is up to date.

Safe travels!

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Ten manly things every guy should know how to do:

Sure, this sort of list has been hashed out a million times on internet sites, in Men’s magazines and over drinks at a bar. But here’s my take on it (in no particular order):

1. Wash your own laundry:

Wash it, dry it, fold it, maybe even hang some of it up to dry so it doesn’t shrink. You don’t really need to sort it all out, that’s one of those female “myths” that’s been perpetuated for eternity. Well, except for anything red… sort that shit out or you’ll have a real problem with pink underwear. While you’re at it, learn to operate an iron. Then go wash a bunch of dishes. You might get laid.

2. Tie a tie:

I know, I know… I can already hear you saying “I don’t ever wear a tie, why should I need to know how to tie one?” Well, because you should. Guys have been wearing ties for a long time and it’s just a manly thing to do. Plus if you have a son, teaching him to tie a tie is a rite of passage, right up there with throwing a ball, riding a bike and learning how to shave. So go put on a dress shirt and learn to tie a basic Windsor knot. If you’re not used to wearing a tie, it may be uncomfortable and will likely generate some activity from your gag reflex. But it’s good for your soul.

3. Build a fire:

Everyone loves a good fire. It’s one of those things like water and air and sunshine that bring us life and make us happy. I’m not talking survivalist skills here. I don’t expect you to go out and start a fire by rubbing sticks together. I’m talking about quickly building a fire, in your fire pit at home, or at a campground or even in your own fireplace, with some wood you found, some very basic supplies and without having to use gasoline, an entire box of matches and every last page of the New York Times.

4. Change a flat tire:

We’ve all been driving down the road and heard that ominous thump, thump, thump sound. Or even walked out into our driveway and found our car leaning just a little bit because a tire was flat. When that happens you have two choices: call up the Auto Service membership you’ve been paying for and when the handsome guy shows up in tight jeans with ripped arms you can hand him your man card… uhhh… I mean your Auto Service card (and maybe your wife) and have him change your tire. Or you can change your own tire. It’s not hard.

5. Mix a decent drink:

With all due respect to all the problems that alcohol sometimes causes in our society, mixing and consuming alcoholic beverages is becoming a lost art. All most of us drink anymore is crappy American beer and cheap wine. I’m as guilty as the next guy. So learn how to mix some basic classic drinks and next time you have some friends over instead of handing out cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, impress them with a Whiskey Sour or a Manhattan.

6. Split wood with an ax:

Is there anything more manly and satisfying than swinging an ax or better yet a heavy wood maul through a log? If you haven’t split wood in years, or maybe even (gasp!) ever, go out and try it. Seriously, you’ll feel totally fucking exhilarated, like Stallone training for his fight against Ivan Drago by splitting wood in Rocky Four. But it also can go wildly wrong if you aren’t careful and don’t follow some simple precautionary rules. There’s a reason axes often pop up in Slasher movies.

7. Do basic home repairs:

You can leave the serious, heavy electric, plumbing and structural work to a professional. I sure do. But you shouldn’t need to call Joe Contractor every time you have to change out a busted electric socket or fix a window or replace a doorknob or clear a drain. Be adept with a hammer, screwdriver, pliers, wrenches, and a few other basic tools. Simple repairs are just that… simple… and there are endless instructional videos available on the internet. No, duct tape doesn’t count.

8. Sew a button:

Buttons are constantly falling off our clothes. That’s why often when you buy a shirt or pair of pants, there are those extra buttons sewn into weird places on the garment. So when one falls off learn to sew it back on. It doesn’t need to look great as long as the thread matches up pretty well. If someone is looking at your pants button that closely, well, then you might have other problems. Remember that sweet pillow you had to make in Home Economics class in high school? If you could handle that, surely you can handle sewing on a button.

9. Cook on a grill:

There’s something rewarding and special about cooking on a grill that’s different from cooking in a kitchen. It’s the whole experience, the charred meat, the ashes if you’re using charcoal, the “being outside” thing with a drink in one hand and the grilling tongs in the other. Plus you don’t really have to be a very good cook to produce a decent meal on a grill. The food is supposed to be sort of burned.

10. Cry in front of others:

Don’t worry I’m not asking you to get together with all your buddies and watch a Rom Com and have everyone get all misty eyed. But hey, it’s okay to show some emotion once in a while. If something sad occurs in your life, or your kid does something really special that makes you super proud or you see a really great Hallmark or Folger’s Coffee commercial on the TV… go ahead and let it out. C’mon brother, there’s nothing to be ashamed of!

So there you go… what would you add to this list?

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Open for Business

Open

Ring… Ring…

“Yo, dis is Joey’s Pumping Service, dis is Joey speakin’. What can I dooz for you today?

Hi… ummm… this is Steve Warner… ummm… just wanted to see if maybe you were open today?

Yo, why da fuck wouldn’t I be open today?

Sorry, just thought maybe because it was a holiday week.

Yeeaaaaah…… no….. I’m open today…. we work every day in dis bidness… there’s always lotsa cleanin’ up ta do. So…. Mr. Warner, what can I dooz for you today? I’m very busy…

Well, I’m not sure, but I think I might have a problem with my tank.

Yeah, okay, we’re da experts in dat department… so what’s goin’ on wit your tank?

Well… ummm… I don’t know but I think maybe it’s full…. there’s stuff kind of bubbling up and oozing out. Like it’s all filled up and overflowing or something…

Yo…. yeah…. dat’s a problem…. dats all da piss and vinegar.

Excuse me…?

Yeah, don’t you worry about dat Mr. Warner, dat’s just an expression we use in da bidness…. so Mr. Warner… what else is goin’ on?

We’ll there’s kind of a smell…

Ha, ha, ha… yeah, I’ve heard dat before too. Dat’s all da bullshit…

Ummm… excuse me?!?

Yeah, dat’s all da bullshit… it’s overflowin’ with da bullshit and the piss and vinegar… but don’t you worry about dat… we can getchu fixed right up good.

So… you can help?

Naaahh…. you don’t need me Mr . Warner… but I know someone dat can help… you just hold on for a second and I’ll transfer you.

Ring… Ring…

“WordPress Technical Support, this is Julie, how can I help you today?”

A writer’s brain is kind of like a big septic tank, all full of bullshit and piss and vinegar. Every day, more thoughts and ideas are flushed into that oozing, gurgling, swirling, soggy mess filling our heads. All of the stuff we experience in our lives, the stuff we see and do and hear, all the thoughts that cross our mind, all the things other people do and say, all the stuff we dream about and long for and all the stuff we accomplish and leave behind, it sits in our brains and ferments until eventually it needs to come back out in some form of written word. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and Instagram are like the bacteria swimming in the tank and struggling to eat up all the ideas, running around like a frantic team of workers in white Haz Mat suits… with the brain screaming orders.

“C’MON PEOPLE, WE DON’T HAVE ALL FUCKING DAY… THIS PLACE IS FILLING UP FAST! MOVE ALL THOSE IDEAS OVER TO SECTION ONE, THEY’RE PRETTY GOOD BUT THEY STILL NEED TO FERMENT SOME MORE… WHO IS RUNNING SECTION TWO, THAT PLACE IS A GODDAMN SHITHOLE… FUCKING USELESS STUFF OVER THERE… JUST BURY IT UP… IT WILL NEVER BE WORTH ANYTHING! ARE YOU PEOPLE EVEN LISTENING TO ME? IT LOOKS LIKE YOU’RE ALL JUST STANDING AROUND. GODDAMN, YOU JUST CAN’T GET GOOD HELP ANYMORE! MOTHER FUCK, HERE COMES SOME MORE… DOES THIS STUFF EVER STOP POURING IN? I DON’T GET PAID ENOUGH MONEY FOR THIS… FORGET IT, JUST PUT IT ALL IN SECTION THREE, THERE’S JUST A BUNCH OF USELESS SHIT IN THERE, DR. APPTS, BAND CONCERT DATES, FOOTBALL GAMES…

It was about a year and two months ago that I retired from blogging. I didn’t miss it for long while, then some days I did, then more days I didn’t and then some days I did again. But missing it isn’t why people blog… at least I don’t think.

Lately I’ve been posting some things on Facebook that I classify as “Seymour” posts. They were long enough that the reader would have to press the “See More” link to read the whole thing. They didn’t necessarily start as longer posts. They were just ideas that grew as the words started to flow, like a chunk of burning ember firing up on a windy day. That’s how Brown Road Chronicles originally started, when little bits of writing started turning into longer pieces of writing.

For a lot of people, social media sites are places to bitch and whine and maybe share pictures of their vacation or what they had for dinner last night. Or a place to crack some jokes or share links to writing they find interesting or keep in touch with far away friends. For others… well for me at least… they are forums that allow me to get rid of little chunks of writing, creative ideas, funny (or not so funny) jokes, epic rants, ideas that are taking up space in my brain.

My wife came home the other day and asked, “so, are you going to start blogging again, I’ve noticed some of your Facebook posts seem to be more like blog posts?”

“I don’t know, there’s so much pressure involved” I said sort of jokingly, but with a definite hint of truthfulness.

“Well, just don’t put the pressure on yourself” she answered innocently like someone who has never reviewed a stats page.

“There will always be some pressure… that’s just the way I operate.”

But maybe the tank is overflowing… yep, its definitely overflowing… chock full of bullshit and piss and vinegar. So, at least for a little while, Brown Road Chronicles is Open for Business.

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Five Questionable Playground Debate Positions from when I was a kid

Playgrounds were a tough place when I was a kid and we often had to use our limited resources to stand up for our rights. Here’s five examples of Playground Debate Positions that were questionable in their results.

1. You have Cooties:

Example:

Sally: Will you kiss me under the Monkey Bars?
Billy: Gross! I’m not going to kiss you under the Monkey Bars. You have Cooties!
Sally: Well, I guess I’ll have to kiss all the other boys under the Monkey Bars.

Why this is a questionable playground debate position:

The Centers for Disease Control have no actual documentation of the disease Cooties, what pathogen might cause it and what the signs and symptoms might be. But the similarity to the words Cootch or it’s derivative Cootchie Mama, leads many researchers to believe that it is a form of Sexually Transmitted Disease associated with girl parts.

Analysis:

Like any Sexually Transmitted Disease, the odds of someone Sally’s age having Cooties is very slim. As children grow into adults and become more sexually active the chances of being exposed to a disease like Cooties becomes much more prevalent. If Billy had been more caring to Sally on the playground and not worried so much about catching Cooties, perhaps Sally would not have grown up and exposed Billy to a real STD when he slept with her in the back of his Ford Mustang.

2. I’m rubber and you’re glue, everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you:

Sally: Billy, you’re a dumb jerk!
Billy: I’m rubber and you’re glue, everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you.

Why this is a questionable playground debate position:

Anyone that has ever tried to glue something that wasn’t on a flat surface understands that if a person was actually made of glue, the odds of something sticking and not immediately falling off is very slim.

Analysis:

Billy has not figured out that Sally calling him a “dumb jerk” is actually her way of showing affection for him and that she is likely interested in a romantic relationship. Billy’s response, alluding to the fact that everything people say to him bounces off, is indicative of a serious self-esteem issue, his avoidance of conflict and personal contact and an inability to stand up for himself in any productive way. In addition, Billy describing himself as “rubber” suggests he has been labeled with terminology such as “bouncy” or “bouncing off the walls” which leads us to believe there are more serious, untreated hyperactivity disorders.

3. I know you are but what am I?:

Example:

Billy: Sally, you’re a dumb jerk!
Sally: I know you are but what am I?
Billy: You’re a moron!
Sally: I know you are but what am I?
Billy: YOU’RE A STUPID HO AND SO IS YOUR MOTHER!
Sally: I know you are but what am I?
And on and on…

Why this is a questionable playground debate position:

On the surface this seems like a “can’t lose” debate position for Sally. She is subtly throwing the insult back at Billy each time (“I know you are…). But she is also continually asking Billy to come up with another, even more horrible insult (…but what am I?).

Analysis:

After an hour or so of this back and forth, Sally will have been called at the very least, a DUMB JERK MORON STUPID HO AND SO IS YOUR MOTHER, while offering nothing back in the way of any defensible position for herself.

4. Up Your Nose with a Rubber Hose:

Example:
Billy: Sally would you like to go the 1st grade dance with me?
Sally: No Billy, you have Cooties!
Billy: Up your nose with a rubber hose.

Why this is a questionable playground debate position:

Billy’s response offers nothing of value to the conversation. Had Billy just responded honestly and declared himself “Cootie free” he may have secured a date to the 1st grade dance.

Analysis:

Although Billy’s statement may sound somewhat aggressive, in reality it’s his way of reiterating that he really likes Sally and that he hopes she will reconsider going to the 1st grade dance with him. From Sally’s viewpoint, however, such a non-sensical statement only reinforces her belief that all men are ignorant, it offers nothing productive in the way of continuing the conversation and it certainly doesn’t spark her interest in going to the dance.

5. Boys go to Mars and get more Candy Bars, Girls go to Jupiter and get more stupider:

Example:

Sally: Girls are better than boys!
Billy: Boys go to Mars and get more Candy Bars, Girls go to Jupiter and get more stupider.

Why this is a questionable debate position:

Certainly going to Mars would be preferable to going to Jupiter. Mars offers a much more hospitable, although mostly deadly climate than Jupiter and is the one planet that humans are continually researching as the next frontier of space travel. However, there is really no supporting documentation that going to Mars would result in getting ANY candy bars, let alone MORE candy bars and that going to Jupiter would make someone stupider.

Analysis:

Whereas Sally makes a very simple, concise and well thought out statement, “Girls are better than boys”, Billy’s response reeks of the desperation of a boy who has romantic feelings for Sally, panics when spoken to and responds with another completely nonsensical statement. Billy also uses the word Stupider which clearly proves he is remedial at best and falls on the lower end of the educational spectrum.

In conclusion:

Billy and Sally were sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First came love, then came marriage, then came a baby in a baby carriage. The end.

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