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June/July 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 all Honorable Mentions in our June/July 2010 Humor Writing Contest!

(Listed alphabetically by author

Poo: The Great Equalizer
By Tiffany Carboni, California

Matty was a woman of many distinguished titles. After graduating high school as an honors student, she went on to complete her master’s degree a semester ahead of schedule. She was her class valedictorian and made a brilliant speech that was revered by her esteemed professors and mentors.
Her career accomplishments were astounding. By the age of 25, she climbed up to a management position at a prestigious tech firm and became the company’s director by age 29. She and her husband were invited to every party on the circuit. She was a household name in her industry and everyone tried to woo her to competing companies offering her ungodly amounts of money. Her net worth at the age of 32 was mind-blowing, but she was missing something from her life—a family.

When she got pregnant, her company’s CEO smiled politely and congratulated her. He knew. Her work friends rejoiced for her happiness but with an undeniable undertone of glumness. They knew. Her jealous colleagues smiled with spiteful delight. They knew.

For the next few months, Matty tried to convince everyone that nothing would change after she returned from maternity leave. She was convinced of it herself. Even on the day her water broke, during an important client meeting, Matty hurriedly waddled out the door apologizing for the wet leather seat but assuring everyone that she’d be back in six weeks ready to go with the project.

She had no idea what the next 48 hours, let alone the next few years, would hold for her. The answer she found out was a whole lot of poo.

Two children and a puppy later, Matty admits that her life as a part-time, work-from-home consultant has lost a bit of its sheen, is many decibels louder than before, and is really, really messy. She fought it for a while, but finally decided to embrace the fun and fulfillment for what it is, a blessing. The inordinate daily amount of poo from her three charges, however, was still something she couldn’t get over.

Between the newborn, the just-barely-toddler, and the not-quite house broken dog, she felt surrounded by fecal matter. The house constantly smelled like a gigantic poo storm. And worse, she stopped smelling it because it became part of her environment. It took her husband’s coming home every evening from work or her mother’s weekly visits and their melodramatic reactions to the horrible aroma for Matty to snap back into awareness of it again.

No matter how many times she cleaned the diaper pail or flushed the toilet or laundered the bed linens or steam cleaned the carpets or washed the sofa slipcovers, she felt like she was trapped under a perpetual cloud of stench. Thank goodness, she thought, for her being able to work exclusively via telephone and email, for she could never open her home to clients.

After an argument with her husband over the matter, for which neither one of them really understood why they were arguing over crap, Matty decided to address the taboo subject with her two best mom girlfriends—just to make sure that this was normal.

“Oh sure, my kid just smeared his poo all over the crib last week,” said one mom.
“We find chunks of it all over the house thanks to our potty training toddler,” said another. “We just call it hunting for Easter eggs.”

“Well, a couple of weeks ago,” Matty started, feeling more confident after hearing these brave confessions, “I licked a delicious-looking dollop of chocolate-caramel off my shirt sleeve only to realize it was poo. After unwrapping myself from the kitchen faucet, I looked down to see the possible culprits: the baby and the dog. I don’t know whose it was and frankly, I don’t want to.”

Phew, she thought. That felt good to finally get off her chest with people who understood her.

Matty looked up to discover the horror on her girlfriends’ faces.

“You…ate…poo?” they both said wide-eyed with lips snarled in disgust.

“Uh, yes,” Matty said meekly.

“You didn’t smell it before you ate it?” they asked accusingly.

Matty shot back defensively, “If you saw a gorgeous looking dollop of chocolate-caramel dangling precariously off your sleeve, would you question it or quickly accept it as a gift?”

The friends froze in horror and gulped back their gag reflex before finally agreeing, “Guess you win the title for the Queen of Crap.”

And with that, Matty put another feather into her cap of distinguished honors.


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

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Mandi, Wake Up!
By Amanda Hayes-Spencer, Kentucky

 “Mandi, wake up!”

I was in the midst of my wedding with Johnny Depp when my dream was shattered by my mother’s wake up screech. Unless the house was on fire or there was a tornado in the vicinity, I really couldn’t imagine what could be so urgent.

“Mandi, get up! You have to see this!” She yelled, the excitement in her voice caused the last word to go up about 12 octaves and come out as more of a squeak then an actual word.

So, out of bed I tumbled, mumbling thoughts that would get me in more trouble then I would like to think about.

Hearing the back door slam, I threw on my high top LA Gear sneakers, complete with glittery pink shoe strings, and out the door I went.

Through the fog I could barely see my mom. She was in her nightgown the same as I was. The difference being that she had on penny loafers without socks, her hair was in pin curls and she was holding a five pound sack of potatoes. She was crouched behind our puke green Cordoba, a monster of a car, as if she were hiding from a sniper.

Fearing for my mother’s mental health I went to squat down beside her. I was working down a mental checklist of things that her new home would need. Like say, nice bathroom facilities and nurses who didn’t strap you down to the bed.

“Look, Mandi, LOOK!” she said, pointing her finger in the direction of the front yard. The fog was thick but I could see the outline of a large object that appeared to be moving. Before I had the chance to ponder exactly what it was, my mom put a stop to the mystery.

“It’s a horse!”

And that’s when I saw it. Emerging from the fog was, indeed, a horse.

We lived inside the Flatwoods city limits. You’re not even allowed to have horses inside the city limits. But there it was, grazing in our front yard like it owned the place.

My mom and I stayed behind that Cordoba for probably an hour. We fed the horse the entire sack of potatoes, which I’m guessing is probably overdoing it a little. But, we were so mystified that we couldn’t stop. It’s not everyday you find barn animals in your yard.

After running out of potatoes, I decided I wanted to pet it. After working up the courage, I was able to do so without incident. I think I heard my mom let out a sigh of relief and say something like, “Thank goodness it’s a nice horsey.”

The rest of my morning was spent hanging out with our new barnyard pal. I was living a little girl’s dream. But, no matter how hard I protested, my mom called the authorities to let them know that we were in possession of a horse escapee. It was an unfortunate coincidence that the owners weren’t located until I managed to make a mess of the situation.

I tied the horse to a tree so I could have lunch. When I came back 5 minutes later, it was looking a little agitated. It took me all of 20 seconds to realize that I’d tied a noose rather then a knot.

“MOM! MOM!” I yelled, watching as the horse started to buck around and panic.

“What? OH! Has it gone mad? Get away from it!” my mom yelled, running out of the house.

“It can’t breath! The knot slipped and it can‘t breathe!” I screamed, dancing around, trying to get to the rope. During the ruckus, I managed to get my foot stuck in the water bucket I’d left out for it to drink from.

“Mandi, I swear to you if you don’t stop messing around you are grounded! Quit goofing off and get over here and help me!” She said, as if I’d gotten stuck on purpose.

I did free my leg from the bucket. Just as we had finally gotten the rope off, the police pulled in , followed by a truck with attached horse trailer.

The owner thanked us profusely for taking care of his favorite horse. We didn’t feel the need to explain the situation. Seeing as how it was fine and all, it didn’t seem important. Plus, we didn’t want to go to jail for attempted murder.

All’s well that ends well, as they say. Waving and smiling as they pulled out of the driveway, I’m pretty sure I heard mom say, “Next time, we’re taking the horse to the neighbor's house.

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

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Don't Forget the Small Stuff!
By Anita Lanning, Oregon

Lately, as we observe the overwhelming problems plaguing Mother Earth, it’s easy to forget to work ourselves up about the day-to-day stressors that demand our attention. It’s called sweating the small stuff. I highly recommend it, and there are plenty of opportunities give it a try.

Like when the driver ahead of you at a traffic light, the one who idles away precious seconds after the light turns green, failing to immediately put the pedal to the metal and roar across the intersection. I’ve actually counted to five waiting for these scofflaws to get off the dime so I can get on with my life. I mean, I have places to go, time clocks to punch, lines to avoid at the espresso stand. It’s at these moments that those huge problems intrude upon my thoughts and I want to shout at the driver, “What are you waiting for? Peace in the Middle East? The Gulf oil cleanup? North Korea to nuke its neighbor to the south?”

Common sense keeps me from honking my horn or flipping an obscene hand gesture. In these days of road rage with its potentially detrimental consequences, better to be safe than sorry. Thus it is I mutter a few bad words under my breath, keep my hands glued to the steering wheel and wait in surly silence until, at last, the slacker in front of me moves on.

Another stressor is losing track of one’s car in a shopping center parking lot. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only shopper who, giddy with excitement that I actually found an empty space, parks and enters the store, confident I’ll remember exactly where I left my car when, shopping spree ended, I retrace my route. I am careful to identify nearby signs and cart returns, landmarks to guide my way. Ah, that it were that easy! I can’t count the times I’ve found myself wandering aimlessly through the lot, often in a torrential downpour, pushing a cartload of merchandise, desperately seeking my vehicle. My heart leaps with joy as I see a sign, one I’d noticed on the way in, advising the store is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Then I realize those signs are everywhere. I acknowledge their benefit to merchants, for whom plausible deniability is crucial, and of course no shopper wants a car burglarized. But posting these signs every second row does little to assist customers like me who rely on them to aid us in finding our cars.

I mean, could these lots not be marked by easily identifiable icons, like at the Disney theme parks? There, you glance up, notice Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Dumbo or the Little Mermaid hovering above you, and the return to your vehicle is a cinch. You’d think at least grocery stores could come up with logos to mark sections of their lots. A bunch of bananas, maybe, or a cluster of grapes? Or perhaps a gallon of milk, a brick of cheese, a carton of eggs, a loaf of bread? I can almost promise no one will get confused by these symbols, not to mention they could serve as reminders of something overlooked on one’s grocery list. Whatever the image, if it pointed the way to a shopper’s vehicle, I can almost guarantee customer satisfaction would soar to stratospheric heights.

Of course, aggravating and stressful as these minor irritations may be, we know they’re nothing compared to wars, impending financial collapse, environmental disasters and world hunger. However, things like inconsiderate drivers, cars that seem to vanish in parking lots and a myriad of other petty aggravations do help keep our minds off the huge issues that bombard our senses with doom and gloom. Plus it is hard indeed to chill out in the face of global warming, inching us ever closer to planetary destruction.

Thus my advice remains: Sweat the small stuff. Trust me, you will definitely feel a whole lot better, your stress level with keep pace with the significance of just which small stuff you are sweating, and besides—those who seem to know about these things are saying that perspiration is good for one’s health. It burns calories, improves the cardiovascular system, helps the body cleanse itself and gives our skin a healthy glow.

So give it a try. I can almost guarantee you’ll feel better. But one more small piece of advice: Keep your deodorant handy!

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

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A Tempest in a D-Cup
By Vincent O'Keefe, Ohio

If I told you a male college professor were having an affair, what subject would you assume he teaches? Accounting? I think not.

You would probably assume he teaches English, that intimate field of luscious prose and arousing poems. At least this is the romanticized view of literature professors that Hollywood has frequently portrayed (Michael Douglas in Wonder Boys comes to mind, among others).

As a former English professor, I am amused (and slightly flattered) that the more mundane details of the job are often overlooked in favor of a sexier image. On the other hand, it troubles me that a presumption of immorality seems to be attached to English professors, as if we’re all just a shared sonnet away from naked bliss with a colleague or student.

Consequently, imagine my chagrin a few years ago when Hollywood again sullied the moral integrity of my current line of work as a stay-at-home dad. In the movie Little Children, Kate Winslet played a disillusioned stay-at-home mom who gradually has an affair with a stay-at-home dad played by Patrick Wilson. (I’ll skip my rant here about how beleaguered at-home parents have no time for things like torrid love affairs.)

While I am happy to see at-home fathers start to be represented in popular culture as more than just bumbling “Mr. Moms,” again I am troubled by the link to infidelity. As a literature professor turned stay-at-home dad, I seem destined for moral depravity.

In fact, shortly after the movie’s release, my wife discovered apparent evidence of such depravity. I had spent part of the day at a variety of the usual kid-friendly venues: a playground, a shopping mall, and a recreation center. Early that evening, my wife needed a pair of socks for our youngest child, so I said casually, “Check in the diaper bag.” (I should add that I had recently replaced my light blue Fisher Price diaper bag with the most manly diaper bag I could find: a dark green Eddie Bauer.)

As my wife rifled through the bag, she suddenly stopped, looked closer, and slowly removed a long, black piece of clothing.

“What . . . is . . . this?” she asked. What she was holding was now obvious to my eyes but unclear in my mind: a large, black, lacy brassiere.

“Uh . . . it looks like a bra,” I said with no emotion.

“Yes, I know. But what is it doing in your diaper bag?”

“Isn’t it . . . yours?” I tried to say with some conviction, but clearly the bra was not hers. (Why did it have to be so huge?!, I thought.) I stifled a giggle as the absurdity of the situation grew.

Fortunately, my wife started chuckling too, for we knew we were entering a ludicrous zone. After a few more questions reassured her that I really didn’t know anything about the bra, “How did it get here?” became the question to explore. Our best guess: a mom must have mistaken my bag for hers in one of those shared family dressing rooms at the recreation center. I chose not to present the bra to the woman at the Lost and Found desk, for fear of losing my membership privileges.

I suppose it’s a testament to the strength of our relationship that my wife did not suspect the worst of me upon discovering the bra. Another (equally plausible) explanation is that she knows I would be incapable of covering my tracks if I were to have an affair. In my case, there is some truth to the stereotype of the absent-minded professor.

Occasionally, I fantasize that one of my stay-at-home colleagues found me so attractive that she planted the bra in my manly bag to break up my marriage and lure me away, as in some bodice-ripping romance novel. But that would be the Hollywood version of the story.

I prefer to end the story in the spirit of Freud: sometimes a bra is just a bra.


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

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The Great Toothbrush Takeover
By Jill Pertler,

Something is awry around here. I believe my household slipped through a wormhole and the rules of the cosmic universe are no longer in effect.

In other words, my life is spinning out of control and reality’s gone right along with it.

Something’s fishy with the toothbrushes. My family possesses six sets of teeth (not counting the dog); therefore logic would dictate a total of six toothbrushes should reside in my bathroom (as the dog doesn’t use the bathroom, per se).

There is no room for logic in my bathroom; it’s a cramped space– except when you are talking toothbrushes. Yesterday morning, 10 of them rested in the toothbrush cup on the edge of the sink. I’m sure, because I counted. Twice.

Ten toothbrushes and only six mouths to clean. You do the math.

It all sounds excessive, but wait; things get even more superfluous. By last night, the toothbrush tally rose to 11. Somewhere during the span of 12 hours, we grew another toothbrush.

Then things got scary. By this morning, the number of dental cleansing instruments in the cup in my bathroom in the house where six sets of teeth reside had receded back to 10.

Like me, you may be asking, what happened to the eleventh toothbrush? Did it travel somewhere – on its own? Perhaps a reconnaissance mission of some sort? Are my toothbrushes recruiting other inanimate followers? Are we talking friends… or foes?

My theories on the matter aren’t pretty. I’m not saying I’m frightened (or paranoid, for that matter), but along with the toothbrushes, other everyday items are multiplying at alarming rates.

I worry that my lone, warrior toothbrush may be sharing his knowledge with other household objects. For instance, to compound already compounding matters, I can declare with a fair amount of certainty that my laundry has learned to propagate, and I think we all know who is to blame.

As of today, the toothbrushes are fraternizing with the laundry and this may be the beginning of the end. If my toothbrushes – cleansing instruments that they are – are willing consort with the likes of dirty laundry, what’s next? I am pretty sure they’ve made contact with the dust bunnies. If left unchecked, this toothbrush phenomenon could become a plague.

Oh sure, the toothbrushes only have one handle to stand on and they haven’t yet mastered going up or down the stairs (that I know of) but what happens when they gain audience with the shoes at the back door? Or (shudder here) what if the toothbrushes make contact with the junk mail?

Something is awry around here. The situation started as a toothbrush takeover, and morphed into inanimate anarchy. My household is overcome by the chaos of ordinary objects and I believe the pirates of plastic will not stop there.

Beware. Their leader is a bristly sort, with a reputation as a ruthless and gruesome brute of a brush. He may attempt to recruit the objects at your house.

Keep a lookout for this lone troublemaker; monitor for changes at your residence. Do your dust bunnies hop with a skip in their step? Is the laundry behaving more tawdry than usual? If so, grab your floss, duck and run for cover. At the very least, you might want to count your toothbrushes – just to be sure.


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

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Dogzilla - Man's Best Friend?
By Terri Spilman,

It was a beautiful, quiet Midwestern spring afternoon. The windows were open and the intoxicating scent of lilacs filled the house. I sat down with a turkey sandwich, tall glass of blackberry iced tea and the weekly small town newspaper. As I settled in, Dogzilla jumps on the table out of nowhere, like in a slasher movie. Iced tea flows like a river on the table while Dogzilla savagely eats my sandwich leaving only a pickle on the soaked newspaper. That’s a pretty typical day with our six-year-old golden retriever, Lillie Beatrice a.k.a “the bean”, “Lil Spil”, “that damn dog”.

Almost seven years ago when our beloved cocker spaniel suddenly passed away, we could only stand two weeks of silence before we decided to replace the fallen canine member of our family. A co-worker found a picture of a litter of golden retriever pups online and I was instantly in love. My husband had great luck picking out his first dog so I sent him to pick out our new puppy. He told the breeder, “I want a dog with some personality”. The breeder said, “How about this one? We call her Spunky.” I think the breeder probably whispered, “Special”. A misunderstanding that can be compared to one in the classic movie, “Young Frankenstein” when Marty Feldman’s character, Igor, is sent to get a brain and he recalled the name as being, “Abby. Abby Normal”.

There wasn’t anything Lillie didn’t eat — the laundry room wall, underground sprinkler system, furniture – just to name a few of the more costlier items we had to replace. One particular talent was devouring a roll of toilet paper in five seconds flat. Sporting scratches and bite marks on our arms and holes in all of our clothes, my husband and I looked like we were homeless drug addicts during the first year of her life. She had a wild ”I’m gonna git you sucka” look in her eyes. The invisible fence repairman affectionately nicknamed her, “Crazy”. This coming from a man who has a permanent smile on his face from ear to ear as a result of hundreds of electrical shocks over the years. Her deafening bark drove neighbors to write numerous complaint letters, even suggesting training facilities. She’s eaten enough crayons and plastic toys to poop out a Fisher-Price village complete with a rainbow overhead.

We were shocked when we took her to puppy socialization class and she hid under the chairs. The trainer did not believe we were having so many problems with her. About a year after our daughter was born, out of pure desperation, we took her to the equivalent of a doggie Betty Ford Clinic. After two weeks as an “inpatient”, they refunded our money and diagnosed Lillie as the most severe Type A golden retriever the trainer had ever seen. We were close to giving her away, but we are dog people and we just couldn’t do it. She was part of the family and we all had to learn how to co-exist peacefully.

We had a major turning point with Lillie after we read the book, “Marley and Me”. Maybe she was just wired a little differently and she is only capable of controlling herself to a certain point. Made sense to us.

This fall she’ll turn seven. That’s almost 50 in dog years. The latest research indicates people feel less stressed after age 50. This theory is holding true with Lillie. She still thinks she rules the roost, however, that wild look in her eyes has given way to a loving glance. Our walls remain intact as long as the goodie jar is filled, there is a steady supply of rawhides and she gets her nightly walk with her daddy. The Barbie townhouse has even remained untouched after being considered a canine Golden Corral by a younger, more rebellious and quite frankly, hungrier Lillie.

Food, love and attention. Doesn’t that make everyone happy? Now, if only there was a cure for table surfing.


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

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Daddy Long Legs
Karla Telega, South Carolina

Spiders! I hate spiders. I wasn’t born with a natural fear and loathing, but experience has taught me that you don’t want to get within hopping distance of one. Don’t try to tell me that spiders don’t hop. With a magnifying glass you would be able to see the anticipation in all the little lenses of their compound eyes, and the gnashing of their venom-filled fangs each time a person gets within range.

I recently took on the challenge of cleaning the screened porch. This involved sweeping away cobwebs along the roofline while standing directly underneath them. Tiny strands and egg sacks were flying every direction and I was at ground zero. I struggled to be strong and not beg for rescue each time I had to gish a live one. I couldn’t wait to strip out of my shorts and t-shirt so I could take a shower with boiling bleach.

The night after my ordeal when I went to bed, I felt some discomfort in my yoo-hoo area. I was itching and scratching in a most unlady-like manner. Fortunately, as we all know, scratching is acceptable as long as you are under the covers with the lights out. Finally, I turned on the light to investigate and found a spider bite right where my panties meet my inner thigh. Let me be perfectly clear: there had been a spider IN MY PANTS! Thank God for those extra middle-age pounds that kept my panty elastic stretched tighter than shrink wrap, forming an impenetrable barrier between my lady parts and any 8 legged creatures.

I grew up in Seattle, where there were no poisonous spiders, but a lot of earwigs. On those rare occasions when you had enough sunshine to hang your pants on the line, you risked an infestation of earwigs in your favorite jeans. This was the inspiration behind one of the worst strip tease dances in the history of the Pacific Highway Texaco station; but I digress.

I should be used to icky creatures by now. I live in the Low Country of South Carolina where they grow free-range spiders as big as saucers. Dogs and cats under 15 pounds have mysteriously disappeared without a trace in areas frequented by these Goliaths. No spider has been caught in the act yet, but if you go to the bar, you can hear them bragging to each other about their latest conquest.

A walk through the woods involves a lookout man with a baseball bat, and a revolver. On one such walk, my son stopped to do what guys normally do when confronted by alligators, snakes and giant spiders: he poked one of these monsters with a stick. I swear I am telling the truth. The spider grabbed the stick and took it away from him. Then he shook the stick menacingly at my son. Even the armed and dangerous lookout man wasted no time getting back to the car.

I don’t want to discourage anyone from visiting our beautiful state, but you might want to stay out of the woods and off of my back porch when you come.


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

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My Fair Lady
Susan White, North Carolina

My lady and I take off from work, and we’re one happy pair—
Pimping our truck for the county fair.

She wears extra large running shorts ’cause the elastic waist
Lets her belly spread with all she tastes.

Her bleached hair’s sprayed and standing tall; she sports a tight tank top
(With a ketchup stain from the I-Hop).

My fair lady’s got a tattoo, stars and bars above her hip;
She lets me kiss her with Skoal in my lip.

On her flat feet she wears flip-flops; on rides, they’re in her hand,
They smell like her and parking lot sand.

My fair lady knocks down tin cans, whacks moles, and throws quarters on a dish
’till she wins herself a bagged goldfish.

She’ll eat corndogs, and gyros, a fried meatball on a stick,
Then fried snickers—and never get sick.

And my fair lady, I tell you, she ain’t never too full
To gyrate on the mechanical bull.

She plays Bingo to cool down. My lady ain’t no dunce.
She can play three or four cards at onct.

Don’t never miss a single call. When she covers a row,
She shakes the world when she booms, “Bingo!”

She just loves them wacked-out sideshows: idjit boy covered in hair,
Tiny woman, five-legged mare.

She’ll whoop at the piggy races, then pet on a llama,
Feed a cub milk like she’s its mama.

And when the day turns into night, she slips gin in her snowcone.
Snaps glow necklaces and puts ’em on.

She covers herself in rings like Saturn—that or a bobcat’s tail.
She glows like the dadburn Holy Grail.

As we sway in the evening breeze atop the Ferris Wheel,
My fair lady lets me cop a feel.

But we had to leave early from the fairgrounds late last night
‘cause my fair lady got in a fight.

A woman in line smiled at me, so my lady grabbed her.
If she’d had a knife, would have stabbed her.

They kicked my lady outa the fair,
But can’t nobody take the fair outa my lady.

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

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