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April/May 2010 Humor Writing Contest Results!

Enter "America's Funniest Humor"TM Writing Contest to claim (or regain) a spot in our next Humor Showcase!



Congratulations to the Winners of our April/May 2010 Humor Writing Contest!

Right to Bear and Date Arms

By Mary Tompsett, Wisconsin

Did you hear about the Korean guy who married a pillow? He joined in holy matrimony with a body pillow imprinted with a female cartoon character. I wonder, was it Marge Simpson? Or Dilbert’s co-worker Alice with the big hair? I’m not a betting man—actually, not a man at all, despite a couple of rogue whiskers—but I’ll put money on The Littlest Mermaid. Trust me, after a gestation period, the newlyweds will hatch a litter of fish sticks.

Marrying a pillow may be demented, but it’s also resourceful. Imagine the difficulty in finding a clergyman who’s also a stock clerk at Beddings-R-Us. And how brave! A person would need a huge glob of courage to enter a legal commitment with an entity that over a lifetime will house legions of skin mites.

The average marital road is bumpy enough for two Homo Sapienses, but ethical boundaries get blurry in a hurry if you tie the knot with a sack of feathers. For instance, when traveling, is it adultery to snuggle up with an airline pillow? Can you ever sleep on the couch cushions?? OMG, what about your car headrest?! Even if you kept a plastic dust cover on it for “protection,” the moral ramifications boggle the mind. And if thy mind be liketh unto mine, it dwelleth knee-deep in bogglement.

Hence, I’m not mentally or emotionally equipped to marry a pillow. I do, however, date them. I don’t cavort with cheap throw pillows that are all glitz and no stuffing. Au contraire, my fellow neurotics, for some time now I’ve been seriously dating a “man arm” pillow. Not the deluxe kind with Johnny Depp’s face. Mine is the cheaper model patterned after Joe the Plumber. It has dirty fingernails, and sweats like a Clydesdale.

But the arm is a romantic at heart. Is that anatomically possible?? Whatever. I duct-tape it to my own arm and we stroll through the park, holding hands.

Did your grandma ever wear a fur shoulder stole? Maybe not mink, but two or three foxes hung around her bosom, biting each other’s ass? My granny had a stole made from chipmunks, and her shoulder parade of tiny vermin resembled a furry rosary, with tails. Why am I telling you this…?? Anyhoo, I drape the man-arm over my shoulders so it can open the car door, or carry the groceries, etc. And while doing dishes, all three of our hands wear rubber gloves. For dependable, renewable energy, nothing beats denial.

This relationship tops any I’ve had with my own species. I hang the arm on a door frame, insert drapery hooks into the fingers and…Aaahh…scratch that unreachable spot between my shoulder blades. Never again must I bear the shame of leaving tufts of my back hair snagged on the bark of the neighbor’s trees.

Pssst. I also have a secret crush on my electric mattress pad. Matt’s only a twin, but hey, performance over size, and all that. He lets me control the heat between us, and accepts that often my moods, and pajamas, are ugly. Every spring, Matt heads for the linen closet to brood in the dark until fall. Yet, while we’re apart, I trust him to keep his coils off the pretty guest towels. Like, that bad boy is so unplugged. I may be cuckoo, but I’m not stupid.

And I’m not a slut. Promiscuous is a classier word, from the Latin term for “friendly.” Besides Joe and Matt, I’m really friendly with my snooze alarm. All bliss and zero commitment, every day begins with several nine-minute quickies.

Are you too shy to date household items? Join millions of other social misfits, and call a sex hotline. But be careful. I misdialed and got 1-800-FONE SOX, whereupon I listened to a non-tenured professor murmuring, “Ooh baby, feel my argyles, oh yeah!!”

But it was the sound of support hose soaking in Woolite that really creeped me out.


© Copyright by author, used with permission by Humor Press. No unauthorized reproduction or redistribution is allowed.

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Razing Arizona
By Barry Parham, South Carolina

(Pets. Politics. Aztecs. Angst. Just another week in America.)

I heard on the news that there may be as many as 20 million pets in the United States, many of them here illegally. You have to admit that this is getting out of control.

Now, before you start firing off a heated response, let's be clear. Nobody is anti-animal. In America, all pets are welcome. Well, maybe not those monster Burmese Pythons in Florida. They've over-populated so much that they've been spotted voting in Palm Beach. And maybe not pet spiders. And ferrets, as a dinner table guest, I can do without. But you get my point. We welcome pets. We always have. And unlike some other countries, we almost never eat them.

Earlier this week, traffic in Tucson ground to a halt as thousands of protestors held rallies and staged marches to protest Arizona's new border-management initiative, nicknamed Don't Bark, Don't Tell. Now, to be fair to the Grand Canyon State, Arizona has borne the brunt of a massive influx of pets, like Chihuahuas, illegally crossing the Mexican border in search of a better life, or to avoid being eaten.

And it's not just Chihuahuas. There have been numerous sightings of gangs of tattooed coyotes and tiny Mexican Hairless, loping across the border, donning gang colors, and making crude, untoward remarks to hapless coed border collies.

According to my research, performed in-between updates from Florida's Governor about which political party he was in this week, the Mexican Hairless has been around for over 3,000 years, like the Coffee-Mate in my fridge, and Dick Clark. And never once in all that time did the breed's agent contact a marketing department to brainstorm for a better name than "Mexican Hairless."

The official name for the Mexican Hairless is Xoloitzcuintle (pronounced "Show-low-its-queen-tli"), though it's also known as the Tepeizeuintli (pronounced "Oh, stop it. You're just making that up"). I have no idea what a queen's "tli" is, but I promise to research that, too, just as soon as Florida's Governor switches political affiliations again. Unless he simply gives up and marries Arlen Specter.

But I can share with you this nugget of knowledge from my research about the Xolo, and this is an exact quote: "The hairless Xolo should never be hairy."

Whew. You gotta admire pure, hard science.

According to that same think tank, you should never treat the Xolo like a human, else it may suffer from Small Dog Syndrome. Okay, look. Here's an extremely diminutive quadruped, with a tail, no hair, and ears like a bat, that destroys furniture, often runs around in circles, and, occasionally, shuts up. Personally, I'm not likely to confuse that creature with a human. Congressman, maybe. Human? Nah.

Long, long ago, the Xolo were considered sacred by the Aztecs, except when the Aztecs were eating them. So I guess we can't really blame them when they make a run for the border. In America, at least, they may be able to get a job that American pets don't want, like wearing silly knitted sweaters, or goose-stepping about at American Kennel Club events. Hollywood starlets might drape them in diamonds and carry them everywhere. They might even aspire to participate in the Kentucky Derby, the oldest continuous sporting event in the United States, if you don't count Manifest Destiny.

Meanwhile, Arizona is up to its cactus in politically-polarizing pets; mired in this quadruped quandary. Irate citizens across the country are angry at Arizona, and not just because Arizonans mispronounce "Gila monster." Remember, Arizona also has days in December that can reach 428 thousand degrees Centigrade, and locals will still look you straight in the eye and say, "Yeah, but it's a dry heat."

It's heating up politically, as well. Anti-Arizona boycotts are being threatened. And if I know political correctness, get ready for girlcotts, too.


© Copyright by author, used with permission by Humor Press. No unauthorized reproduction or redistribution is allowed.

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Hopes and Dreams: The Art of Meaningful Conversation
By Burton Cole, Ohio

“We don’t talk anymore,” she said.

“We talk all the time,” I said.

“About rashes, doctor appointments and lunch money,” she said. “But when was the last time we had a meaningful conversation?”

“Yesterday I told you all about the new iPad I want.”

“MEANINGFUL conversation,” she said.

“I think there’s an app for that. In fact, I’m sure there is. Let’s get it.”

“REAL TALK!” she shouted.

“Like what?”

“Our hopes and dreams, our goals, how we want to encourage our kids in life choices, things like that.”

“Let’s see, in the future I want to be rich,” I said. “Short-range, I’m hoping you’ll fix a T-bone steak, medium rare, with all the fixings for supper tomorrow night. And tonight, we should encourage the kids to go out for pizza while we snuggle on the couch and, well, snuggle. Now that was meaningful conversation, wasn’t it!”

I’m guessing by the way she slammed the bathroom door that it wasn’t.

I have been a husband myself for 15 years. Plus, I know many guys who are husbands. Or who were once, anyway. None of us ever actually knows what our wives want to talk about.

Women apparently analyze life in detail from every angle. They want to know what a person is thinking, when they thought it, why, and what the other 463 possibilities are, emotion by emotion.

We guys kind of wing it. We may know that another dirty diaper is coming but beyond thinking how to get out of changing it ourselves, we just let it come.

I know plenty of husbands who could discuss at length the slugging percentage of Manny Ramirez in the eighth inning with men at the corners and two runs down with the wind blowing in from left center field at 12 mph, 40 percent humidity and a temperature of 69 degrees during a full moon. That’s meaningful. Vital, in fact.

But we’re not very good talking about picky little details like why cousin Ed called collect from a jail in Idaho when he was supposed to be on a cruise with Janice in the Bahamas, and was that kid’s hair on fire when he ran through the living room or did he merely get into the paint cans in the basement? You get ulcers sweating small stuff like that.

My college buddy Brian and his wife stopped over the other day. We sat in the living room watching an old version of Robin Hood – a movie of which we were pretty certain the outcome since we’d seen it at least 42 times over the last 30 years.

There was a lot to catch up on. He was still alive and so was I. We figured this out in silence. He had put on some weight and so had I. We figured that out in silence, too. I knew I still could outrun him and he knew he still could outrun me. It would have been too much trouble to find out who was right. Of course, we didn’t talk about that, either.

Our wives retreated to the kitchen, perhaps to discuss their favorite topic, “The misadventures of bone-headed husbands.” Neither wife has been married before so we have no idea on whose husbands they’ve collected so much material, but it seems they can keep at it for days.

During a commercial we’d both seen before, Brian and I opened up.

“Got any hopes and dreams?” I said.

“Guess so,” he said.

“Yeah,” I said. “Me too.”

It was a good talk.

Enough said, we finished our movie in silence.


© Copyright by author, used with permission by Humor Press. No unauthorized reproduction or redistribution is allowed.

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How to Organize Your Home Office When Your Baby Is Filed Under "Miscellaneous"
By Margie Finn, California

The reason that you're not successful in your home-based business is that you're obviously not communicating properly. Not only that -- and I say this with the deepest respect -- you're probably not coordinating your household chores well, either.

Let's face it: if you're ever going to increase your pathetic net worth, you're going to have to organize your home/business behaviors, which I assure you can be a stimulating, fun activity for the entire family, and there is very little likelihood that this transformation could cause you to anger customers and result in having to max out your credit cards, making your finances so unstable that bill collectors will be phoning constantly and banging your doors down in the middle of the night, inevitably forcing you to declare bankruptcy and having to go live with your mother-in-law. This is provided, of course, that you follow some simple procedures.

The first procedure -- assuming that you are currently on speaking terms with your children -- is to enlist their cooperation. This will generate many rewards, the most desirable being that they'll probably leave home much sooner than anticipated. If any remain, they'll learn important lessons, like the unfortunate teenage son who misfiled his baby sister in a carton of wallpaper samples and couldn't find her for three hours, practically ruining the wallpaper. The lesson here is obvious: when this boy marries, he'll be thoroughly accustomed to ongoing criticism.

The second procedure suggests saving time through multi-tasking. This is a natural skill that women possess because, as teenage girls, they secrete hormones which enable them to talk on the phone while doing homework, polishing their nails, and piercing a friend's nose, usually while pouting at their mothers. Later, this skill advances to diapering babies while chain-sawing tree limbs, vacuuming carpets (with all lines going in the same direction) while preparing dinner, and hanging curtains while administering the Heimlich maneuver.

Most importantly, the third procedure requires the family to speak courteously to customers, especially while on the phone. One home-based wife and mother, whose name I'd rather not mention at this time, became upset with a family member during a conference call, and hissed furiously under her breath: "Didn't I tell you not to pick your teeth with my credit card?" And this was just a simple comment to my husband.

To help streamline your office, here are some frequently-asked questions and answers:


Utilize stacking trays, which store vital business supplies such as incoming mail, empty beer cans, bottles of nail polish, and take-out pizza menus. Caution: do not stack more than 17 trays in any given area, as this may cause your office to tilt.


Simply explain that a telephone is the family's most powerful tool, and not just because, carefully aimed, it can keep insurance salesmen at bay for weeks. To make a good impression, instruct everyone to answer the phone thusly: "Good morning, thank you for calling the ABC Company." WARNING: THIS GREETING IS ONLY APPROPRIATE IF YOUR COMPANY NAME IS ACTUALLY "ABC COMPANY."


No. This would be a waste of time because the Kennedy family already has that information.


Using a large blackboard, jot down needed items with chalk. Unfortunately, the blackboard is usually too large to fit into the grocery cart. We're still working on this, but as soon as we figure it out, we'll let you know.

And so, you'll find that this project will bring exciting surprises. One is that, because of the time involved in reorganizing your office system, you may successfully manage to delay actually working at your business -- sometimes for weeks on end. But best of all, you'll experience the heartfelt spirit of our country's great rags-to-riches entrepreneurs. In no time, you'll feel the passion and drive to emulate these business leaders. And then, feeling totally worthless, you'll just have to go and lie down.

© Copyright by author, used with permission by Humor Press. No unauthorized reproduction or redistribution is allowed.

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The Wrong Side of the Bed
Laurie Lichtenstein, New York

Apparently, long ago I chose to go to sleep on the wrong side of the bed. As a result I often wake up on the wrong side of the bed. In the early years of my marriage, before I even realized the implications, I selected the left side. It was closer to the door (in the event that I needed to make a speedy getaway) and the bathroom (for those frequent middle of the night trips).

Now, a decade and a half into my marriage, I realize the error of my ways, for I am the parent who is most likely awakened for middle of the night visits from one of our three darling children. Need some more water? Ask mom! Had a bad dream? Crawl in next to mom and steal her pillow. Climb over her in horror to go back to your own bed as you say, “How do you sleep when Dad snores like that?” It’s tough kid.

If you need Motrin in the middle of the night, don’t bother taking the extra five steps to Dad’s side of the bed, it’s not worth the trip. Just ask Mom. She will be delighted to get up at 2:50 in the AM, sway and stumble like a drunkard into your bathroom to search in vain for the Motrin which is actually in the kitchen. She will then dance down the stairs barefoot and nearly naked in this coldest, darkest part of the night to retrieve the bottle. And as she measures this liquid gold, barely able to see in the bright light that her eyes have not yet adjusted to, she can only hope she has poured enough to keep you quiet until morning. And then, she will tuck you in and sing a lullaby before she effortlessly drifts back to sleep…

And since we still have one in a crib, Mom pays visits as often as she receives them. One would think that the crib could be like a cage, where its occupant would stay contained until morning. Not so when its occupant is very picky about the way his blankets are arranged and can’t seem to fix them himself. And why is it that the kid in the crib, who seems to prefer his father at all other times of day, has no problem when Mom shows up in the wee hours to situate him?

My prime real estate on the left side of the bed of also makes me the lucky recipient of my children’s well visits. A well visit in parental terms is defined as an early morning wake up call from someone entirely too noisy and too enthusiastic for a time of day when the sun’s first rays have just appeared on the horizon. These drop- ins usually involve a loud voice, that must share his brilliant insight about how funny Sponge Bob is at 5:45 AM.

This unfortunate circumstance of my parenting adventure has become particularly clear to me over the last two weeks as my family has battled strep throat. I can’t recall the last night I slept uninterrupted by my offspring. I mentioned this to my husband in a “it’s funny, haven’t you ever noticed how the kids only wake me up in the middle of the night?” way.

He shrugged, “What can I tell you. They want their Mommy.” I suppose this is supposed to appeal to my ego, but it doesn’t. I’ll test the theory, though. Next time I get into bed first, I am going to commandeer the right side of the bed. He will have no choice but to sleep on my side. If the kids walk around to wake me, I will make a minefield with their toys so they trip as they walk around the bed in the dark to fetch me. And if they decide to climb over Dad to reach me, then I will be able to say, “You really shouldn’t have woken up your dad, but he’s up, closer to the door, and happy to help you.” Finally, if my theory on bedroom real estate is true, and they wake their dad, out of sheer convenience, then I suspect there will be a bidding war for the best plot of land in our king size bed. And to the winner, a lot more sleep.


© Copyright by author, used with permission by Humor Press. No unauthorized reproduction or redistribution is allowed.

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