Bad Writing Suggestions Insult My Intelligence

I have nothing interesting to say today.  Call it writer’s block if you like.

Of course, people often say that the best way to overcome writer’s block is to sit down and look for inspiration from whatever words manage to come out of you.

Okay, I’ll try it.  Here’s the random smattering of ideas that are running through my head:

Sleep is fun.

Pollen is not fun.  Achoo.

That’s a very nice stapler sitting over there.  I forgot I had it.

I believe that worms have a right to dig holes in the lawn until a chicken crosses the road to eat them.

And now for something completely random:

Rand Paul looks like he was born with a spittoon on his head.

The Greek gods are dead because, as it turns out, feta cheese is carcinogenic.

Mogwai!  Mogwai!

I’m done now because I still have nothing interesting to say today.

Your Blog Insults My Intelligence

I would like to welcome the new bloggers who are reading this post.  I’m sure you’re all excited to start writing and build a large and loyal audience.  The thousands of you starting today all believe that you have something special to offer the blogosphere: unique insights, original jokes, or perhaps an especially poetic way of writing that will win you the adoration of people across the world.

By now, you’ve probably noticed that your blog’s traffic statistics aren’t what you had hoped for.  Since you’re searching in vain for that magic bullet that will generate the awestruck readership you desperately feel you deserve, I’d like to share a very important secret from the blogging world:

Your blog sucks.

I’ve seen your jokes before and your personal stories have been told hundreds of times by people with superior storytelling skills and writerly competence.  Of course, your tales do contain one unique element: instead of choosing a fun name for your dog, you call him Fido.

I see little reason why anyone should want to read your work, unless of course they’re reciprocating for the visits you give them.  Is that what you dreamed of?  Cashing in (minus the cash) on other people’s sense of obligation?

The trophy is clip art from Power Point.  As you can see, I'm trying to be as vapid and unoriginal as you are.

The trophy is clip art from Power Point. As you can see, I’m trying to be as vapid and unoriginal as you are.

And then there are the unfortunate people who work for WordPress and other similar companies.  The only way they can stay in business is to convince gullible saps like you that your work has value and deserves the added oomph of paid upgrades and services.

Of course, you’ll quit within a few months… after buying a year-long upgrade.  For that, I thank you.  Like people who buy a gym membership who actually use it, I benefit from the reduced costs associated with using a service that many people pay for in advance and quickly give up on.

The less you write, the less bandwidth WordPress has to pay for.  That means I get more free goodies.

I would also like to remind you that today is April Fool’s Day.  You are a brilliant writer, just like everyone else who has a blog.  You should also know that the various blogging companies make no attempt to manipulate your blogging self-esteem and/or comfort in an attempt to maximize their profits.  They exist for your happiness.

With that in mind, I’d like to close with a song:

If you’re happy and you know it, beep beep boop
If you’re happy and you know it, beep beep boop
If you’re happy and you know it
Then your face will surely show it
If you’re happy and you know it, beep beep boop

Fancy French Phrases Insult My Intelligence

Because I’m bilingual and have a Ph.D., I usually don’t like to criticize people who use “fancy schmancy” vocabulary; after all, I happen to be one of those people.

Nevertheless, one can misuse sophisticated vocabulary and use (or mandate the use of) intelligent-sounding foreign terms when no need exists for it.

That said, I’d like to introduce you to the cooking term “mise en place.”  In English, this translates loosely as “gather all your shit before you start.”  Something so simple and helpful and obvious shouldn’t sound so daunting.

Obvious means obvious.  If you’re making tacos for your family, this means getting all of your ingredients in one place before you cook.   It also means frying the meat and grating the cheese (etc.) before you begin constructing the tacos.

On the other hand, I suppose you could grab your taco shell, then pull your meat from the refrigerator, then cook the meat, then put the meat in the taco shell, then locate and grate your cheese, then realize you forgot lettuce at the grocery store, then chop lettuce when you return from your emergency shopping trip, then find your sour cream, then smell your sour cream to make sure it isn’t expired, then realize that it is expired, then feed it to your cat, then eat the soggy lukewarm taco that has been waiting for you all this time.

"Gathering all your shit before you start" is also useful if you're hosting a party and plan to play bartender.  (Photo credit: Tannaz)

“Gathering all your shit before you start” is also useful if you’re hosting a party and plan to play bartender. (Photo credit: Tannaz)


Having Only One Blog Insults My Intelligence

If you have to ask what this post is about after reading the title…



I have decided to sponsor a Monday writing challenge at my former test blog: The Blacklight Candelabra.  The concept is simple: a few bloggers with extensive education and/or writing experience have expressed an interest in more challenging writing prompts than what WordPress can offer its broad audience.

I have already created the first eight prompts and the first is scheduled to appear on The Blacklight Candelabra on January 5 at 10:00 am EST; a prompt will appear at the same time each Monday.   If you want to participate, you’ll need to follow that blog as well or perform a weekly Monday click from this one.  You might also benefit from following me on Facebook and Twitter.

Did I mention that these prompts will be difficult?

Schedules Insult My Intelligence

Quoth the sloth: sleep some more.  (Photo credit: Hunterwisson)

Quoth the sloth: sleep some more. (Photo credit: Hunterwisson)

Today is Wednesday.  I always post on Wednesday.  It’s my schedule.

I don’t feel like writing anything today.  But today is Wednesday.  I have to write something.

No I don’t.  I’m the boss.

Pass the donuts.

But I should write something.  My readers expect something.  My fingers expect exercise.

I don’t want fat fingers.  I want muscular fingers.

But I am tired.  I want to take a nap.  Sleep is good.

But it is Wednesday afternoon.  Sleep is for nights.  And I have to write.

Why do we say “write?”  I’m not writing.  I’m typing.

type type type type type type type

I must type because today is Wednesday.  Wednesday is typing day.  Wednesday is also “hump day.”

hump hump hump hump hump hump hump

Oh great.  Now I’ll never get anything done.  Maybe I can change.

I am a sloth.  I want to become two parts camel.

Slothdom eats.  Slothdom sleeps.  Slothdom humps.

Slothdom is beautiful.  Slothdom is incomplete.

Cameldom would carry me through the desert of parched ideas to the promised land of a finished piece of typistry.

And then I could still eat, sleep, and hump.

Misunderstood Graveyards Insult My Intelligence

English: English Cemetery, Málaga, Spain

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you apply for jobs, every detail of every sentence must be free of factual errors and grammatical mistakes, not to mention typos.  Applicants have to spend a lot of time preparing these perfect materials for HR departments and other employer contacts who probably couldn’t recognize accurate language use if they saw it being copied from an English textbook.

I am not here to gripe today.  I’ve already written about how people with bad grammar and spelling habits probably move ahead in the employment process because the HR folks think the errors are correct.

Instead, I wish to entertain.  I was looking through job postings today and found an organization that is seeking someone to work the graveyard shift.   And they decided to use the word “graveyard” prominently in the job ad’s headline, presumably to scare off people who would reject such a work schedule.

You already know this can’t end well, don’t you…

They have put up an ad for a “Bi-lingual Spanish Graveyard Youth-Care Worker.”  I’m not quite sure what graveyard youth-care is (much less Spanish graveyard youth-care) but I can’t believe people would send their children there.  Or, if it’s care for newly buried corpses, why the need for a bilingual caretaker?  I’m pretty sure corpses can’t understand Spanish.

So maybe I should apply…

Lack of Focus Insults My Intelligence

The theme for the newest Weekly Photo Challenge is focus.   And some of you visiting today will have clicked on this post expecting some photography from yours truly.  Sorry about that.

Oh, and the only person whose intelligence is allowed to be insulted around here is me.

However, I am using the focus topic to make an announcement.  When I started this blog, I had intended to do daily posts for the first month.  My followers can probably tell you that it has been well over a month.  Well, today I’ve finally decided to lay off the post-per-day schedule.  The bottom line is that I need to focus my writing energies on cover letters and other job search materials; unfortunately, there’s a limit to how long you can sit in front of a computer before your eyes glaze over.  My top priority has to be the job search, so I’ll probably only be posting 2-4 times a week from now on.

Nevertheless, I do not want to end this post without trying to be entertaining.  Therefore, please enjoy this photograph of a 2008 Ford Focus.

2008 Ford Focus photographed in Waldorf, Maryl...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you feel that the picture, when combined with the title “Lack of Focus Insults My Intelligence,” is too much of an advertisement, please contact the Ford Motor Company so they can give me the appropriate monetary compensation.

Writer’s Block Insults My Intelligence

Rubik's Cube scrambled

When you have writer’s block, free your mind and go play with a block instead. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Writer’s Block (n.): A leading cause of blog posts you wish you had never clicked on, especially when they were combined with self-imposed deadlines.  It is best combated by not writing anything when you have nothing of value to say; ideas flow best when you’re not trying to force them.

On a completely different note, WordPress is recommending “Toilet paper” as a tag for this post.  (The recommendation includes the odd capitalization.)  This shows how one can discover new blog content by not looking for it.

And I shall skip the obnoxious potty humor…

Pen Pals Insult My Intelligence

A small United States Postal Service truck see...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To make something unpalatable to a sixth grader, assign it as homework.

My teacher didn’t quite realize this and decided to match all of her students with pen pals from far far away… but not far enough away to make the exercise interesting.  This was back before email had caught on, so we were using good old fashioned pen and paper.  And the first letter or two counted towards our grade.

To make matters worse, we wrote the initial letter before knowing who we were being matched with.  So, technically, we weren’t even writing to anyone. That’s always a good start.

And then someone finally did the pairing.  I don’t know what logic they used but I ended up with a basketball player.  That’s all I remember about her because she sent pictures of herself in uniform.  (This was with her first letter.)  Brilliant idea.  I had a baseball card collection a long time back but I was no athlete and no fan of watching sports.  And, generally speaking, I probably would have never chosen to befriend this girl.   She just wasn’t my type.

I don’t remember whether my teacher required us to write a second letter.  However, I do remember that I never wrote again after the requirement ended.   My teacher’s attempt to inspire regular writing might have worked better if someone in charge had known how to match pen pals effectively.

It would never have occurred to me that the person on the other side was expecting another reply.  I don’t know what she and her classmates were told about this whole pen pal thing, but hopefully our level of excitement hadn’t been misrepresented.  In any case, she eventually sent me a “why haven’t you written?” letter.  I don’t remember any details but I didn’t respond.  No one ever asked me if I wanted a pen pal and, since I was twelve and only understood the exercise as a homework assignment, I couldn’t understand why someone would be so into interacting sporadically with someone they had never met, have nothing in common with, and likely would never meet.

And then I received another letter from her in 11th or 12th grade.  With another picture, again in basketball uniform and with enormous hair.  If she was insinuating “look at this hot woman you missed out on,” I didn’t catch it.  Perhaps it’s because she still wasn’t my type.

And then she finished high school and became a porn star.

Just kidding.  I never heard from or about her again and I can’t say I’m disappointed.  It probably helps that I don’t have a personal Facebook account.  And I would love to leave you with a warm and fuzzy moral to this story but I don’t feel like it today.  So here’s what I’ve got:

Once upon a time, you could ignore “friends” you had never met and get away with it without encountering much creepiness.  Those were the good old days.

Bad Poetry Insults My Intelligence

There’s lots of bad poetry on the web and I want to help it proliferate… sort of.  To assist you in becoming a productive contributor of garbage, here’s a list of the ten worst topics you could write a poem about.  Maybe you can insult my intelligence with your creations.

(And by the way, please welcome our friends who will be visiting us from The World’s Top 10 of Anything and Everything.  This will be doubling as a guest post over there.)


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

10: Phlegm

The winds, they wage a wheezing war
Which we can hardly stem.
The lungs, they lunge like lion’s leap
To loosen up the phlegm.

English: Mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata)

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

9: An orange

You can’t rhyme it and you can’t complain about the lack of rhymes.  That would be too predictable.

Headquarters of the NSA at Fort Meade, Marylan...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

8: The NSA

Every breath I take
And every move I make 
Every bond I break 
Every step I take
You’ll be watching me.

Basic Algebra Review

(Photo credit: Gene Wilburn)

7: Algebra

If 2x plus 4 over 7 is 3,
Then 20 plus 4x times 13 beats me.


(Photo credit: diluvienne)

6. The city of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch


Sweet town of

English: A selection of kitchen spatulas

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5: A spatula

Be honest.  A poem about spatulas would make people flip.

English: Mothballs

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4: Mothballs

My love, these mothballs I do take
And put them on my spoon.
And if my love you do forsake
I might die sometime soon.

Triple H wins the WWE Championship Match again...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3: Wrestlemania

Because every poetry collection should mention oversized men in their underwear pretending to wrestle…

Seminoma of the Testis

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2: Testicular Cancer

Scrotum, scrotum burning bright
In the middle of the night
What infernal cancer now
Disrupts thy fearful symmetry?


(Photo credit: Octavio Rojas)

1: Wikipedia:

Hey bub!
This poem
is only
a stub.

Email Greetings Insult My Intelligence


I’m unemployed and, as you can probably imagine, I spend a fair amount of time on my job search.  Looking for a job isn’t always as thrilling as people usually make it out to be.  In today’s digital age, the pitfalls are greater than ever before.

Back before the dawn of online communications, people would check the newspaper want ads or go to agencies in person or do whatever else was popular back then.  I wouldn’t know.  But these days, one must often apply by email and this can be tricky.  For example, a job advertisement might look something like this:

We are looking for a new employee with the standard set of qualifications.  To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Terry J. Squawchawk at

Since I’m addressing a specific person, I now have to devise an appropriate greeting for my email.  In the old days, I imagine that people could just say “Dear Sir or Madam” on those occasions when they were required to submit a letter.   Because advertisers paid newspapers by the word or letter, a contact person’s name was presumably not published unless it was absolutely necessary.  Consequently, applicants could also choose to address their letters to the HR department.

Life was simpler back then.

These days I have to know whether Terry J. Squawchawk is a man or woman because “Dear Sir or Madam” would be offensive.  And since one can’t always learn someone’s gender online, one must sometimes devise creative solutions.  Here are a few alternative salutations I’ve considered:

Dear Bodacious One,

O Captain My Captain,

Hey you!

To the boss of my dreams,

Yo bitch!

Hail Terry, full of grace,

To whom it may concern,

Hey hey Terry J!


Your Majesty,

Hail to the Chief!

Oompa loompa doompety doo – I’ve got an application for you,

If you have any better ideas, please let me know.  Appropriate email greetings are critical and I don’t want to mess things up.

Bad Timing Insults My Intelligence

greek god

(Photo credit: giopuo)

A writer’s inspiration can strike at any time.  Fortunately, one can bring a pen and paper almost anywhere.  Well, I suppose you shouldn’t scribble notes at 65 mph on the highway.

However, I rarely need to use a highway.

On the other hand, I can’t avoid showering.  After I make my daily decision not to offend the vigilantes of cleanliness, I constantly come up with ideas for this blog.  How inconvenient!  Pen and paper don’t exactly work in a wet environment.

I conclude from this that I share a trait with numerous distinguished writers: the ability to productively commune with the Greek gods.  It’s just me and my body in the shower (and some soap too) and I draw strength from observing the divinity manifested in me.

And now it’s time to ruin my comedic timing.  You see, this is where most writers would put a self-deprecating joke about being fat, ancient, or not so well endowed in certain bodily regions.  We don’t go for that kind of predictable humor here at Bumblepuppies.

That means you’re going to have to do without a final punchline from me today.  I’m sorry.