Thursday, March 26, 2015


There is a question asked on Google that never would have been asked in my youth.

"What does it mean to have people throw toilet paper into the trees of your yard?"

Really, people, have we descended into such a state that we do not know what it means to have your yard "TPd"?

It is a badge of honor, or at least it was in the mid-70's in East Cobb. Only the cool people had their yard "rolled". That's what we called it. We would say, "Yeah, did you hear Alan got rolled Saturday?"

Actually, we wouldn't say that. Alan wasn't cool enough to get rolled. I still blame that on not being selected for  The Key Club, which would have meant I could have worn a cool goldish-yellow shirt and have my house rolled. Maybe being short, skinny, with major league zits, Coke-bottle glasses and the hint of b.o. had something to do with it too.

For the young people out there, here's how the pros did it.

First of all, you went out late at night, when all of the adults have gone to bed. You go to the store and buy some toilet paper and you throw it up into the trees of your buddy's house (note: it was important to make sure your buddy was inside his house and not out rolling his own home). That's it. That's what we did in the 70's besides sex, drugs and listening to records. (Another thing kids: we listened to RECORDS not VINYLS. Don't make me repeat myself.)

Once you have thrown the paper into the trees, you stand back and marvel at your work. Then you rush back into the car, laugh, and go home to watch Blue Oyster Cult on The Midnight Special.

When you got to school Monday, you asked your buddy about his weekend. He would say, "Man, somebody rolled my house. Man, my Dad was super ticked. Man, he made me clean it up, man. Then it started to rain. Man." When he walked off, you laughed at him behind his back. It was a great preparation for adulthood.

One of my friends says he must have gone "rolling" at least ten times.  They did such a good job on a yard that it made the newspapers.

Another friend had a boyfriend and his pals roll her yard. When they completed their task,they piled the empty roll tubes on her front step and rang the doorbell. When her family answered the door, the boys were already at the top of the street. The family was treated to a Wheeler boy version of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas".  She was, in her own words, "extremely flattered".

She still had to clean it up the next day.

There were different groups that "rolled". One group, a bunch of Baptist kids, called themselves "The Holy Rollers". The band rolled everybody in the band. Heck, my friend Moody was in a group that rolled with people from our Latin class. It was called "The Roman Rollers " and they had their own song.

Oh we're the Roman Rollers you've heard so much about.
Mothers hide their daughters whenever we are out.
We fight with knives, forty-fives and broken bottles, too.
Oh, we're the Roman Rollers, who the (blank*) are you?
*Back then we censored even the mildest of profanities.

And yes, I even went rolling one time myself.

On the evening of the Senior Prom, the group I was with went and rolled this guy's house. There was a girl in the group that had a crush on this boy and when he failed to ask her to the prom, she ended up having to go the prom with a geek. Therefore, she initiated a "Revenge Roll". Or maybe it was a "We're Still Friends Roll". She was bound and determined to show this boy her true feelings, no matter how complex they were.

We arrived at this house at around 2:00 in the morning.  From there, we just threw toilet paper into the trees.

The sound the toilet paper made coming down from the sky was absolutely beautiful. Kind of like The Fourth of July, except with  toilet paper.

What made me think about rolling was not that it is getting to be Prom Season. It was David.

I have known David since I was six years old.  He was born missing a heart valve and wasn't expected to live past the age of twelve. There he was, at age seventeen, rolling this house with us.

When we finished rolling the house, we scampered off to the cars. We got in and began making a slow roll out of the area. We heard "Wait!" and stopped the car. Then we heard a thud. David ran into a stopped car.

Instead of being mad with us, David laughed that laugh. I can still hear it now. He always laughed at my stupid jokes. I can't describe how much that means to me.

After high school, David had other health challenges, but he always bounced back. He graduated college, got married and had a career.

David died the other day.

Now when I think about rolling yards with toilet paper,  I think of David. I am extremely flattered to have known him.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


This is the eulogy I gave at my father in law's funeral. I promise to try to be funny next week.

First of all, we would like to express our appreciation to all of you for coming out on such short notice. To be honest, although Mr. Stanley had been in a bad way for a long time, it is always a shock when that moment comes. However, it was very peaceful and for that we give thanks.

It is difficult saying goodbye to such a larger than life character as my father in law. And he was a character.

He was a refrigeration engineer for Colonial Stores/Grand Union. His job was to make sure the refrigeration units were running and to fix them when something happened. His motto: "It was running when I left".

He was a true engineer. He loved taking things apart to see how they worked.

He was not afraid of new technology. He loved his computer and playing around with it. We got him a cell phone a few years ago and he learned how to text. He could text as well as any teenager!

He had his hobbies. The Day Lillies and Bonsai Trees. He was a talented woodworker. He had an incredible shop. He made us a clock when we got married. He inscribed on the inside: "Handcrafted by W.A.Stanley".

He also raced Homing Pigeons. One time he went up to Chattanooga for a race, released the pigeon, drove home and when he got there, the pigeon was there! However, the pigeon was up in a tree. He needed the pigeon to fly out of the tree and into the pigeon cage where he untie the tag on the pigeon's leg and clock his obvious winning effort. The pigeon had another idea and so there was Pogie, out in his backyard  yelling at a pigeon to fly down and get into his cage.

About his nickname: he was tagged "Pogie" by his father after a cartoon character. [Note: After the service, my brother in law says he was named after a boxer. I'm sure that's right and I regret the error.]  The name stuck and it was always odd to hear someone call him William or Bill.

When they made Pogie, they broke the mold. There was nobody like him.

He had a way of speaking that was all his own. His oldest daughter's name is Julia. I never heard her called anything but "Jew-ya". My own beloved wife, Lori, L-o-r-i, was called "Laurie" L-a-u-r-i-e.

When you asked him a question, he would answer it "Well, you see here..." and you were in for a long detailed explanation from an engineer. And if he said "Yeah..." you were in for a story.

My all time favorite Pogie story is about Pogie and the Georgia fan. I'm not meaning to offend or surprise any of  my fellow Baptists here, but Mr. Stanley's father was a tavern owner. The tavern was called "Duffy's" and was in Mid-town near The Fox Theatre.

Once after a Georgia-Georgia Tech game (back during the Bobby Dodd years when Tech was a power house) a customer came in. He was dressed head to toe in the stereotypical boola-boola get up of the time. The man was wearing a full length fur coat with a straw hat.

The man ordered a beer. Pogie served it to him and he drank it in one long continuous swallow. When he finished, the man wiped the foam off his face with the sleeve of his coat and said "I HATE GEORGIA TECH!"  Pogie responded (and I will use only the initials ) "THWG" and punched the man in the face, which obviously caused a big ruckus.

Now, I have been a UGA fan all of my life, mainly because I'm saved, but I could not help but to say to Pogie: "Haven't you heard that the customer is always right?" He said, "Yeah..but that time he wasn't!"

I would like to thank his neighbor, Janice Foster. She really helped us out. A LOT. Thanks, Janice, you are the best.

I would also like to take this opportunity to address the Masons that are here. He loved being a Mason and was once a "Worshipful Master". One time, he and Mary went to North Carolina in a old used car that he bought. Up until recently, he always bought used cars and he went through cars like you might go through office supplies. So, here's Pogie and Mary somewhere in North Carolina and the car conks out.  He pulled off to the side of the road. He said, "Yeah....there we were on the side of the and I just flashed the Mason Signal of Distress and somebody stopped". I later found out his "signal" was standing by the side of the road, jumping up and down and waving his hands. But, don't worry, that was the only "secret" he revealed.

One side of Pogie that a lot of people don't know is that he was an incredible cook. The man could flat "burn". I'll give him this: he made the best chili and Brunswick stew. He was a biscuit making master, too.

Someone who can't be here today was his little friend, Chico. Chico was a dog he found at the pound and became Pogie's companion. Pogie took care of Chico and Chico looked after Pogie.

[Note: After the services, the Funeral Home director said Chico would have been welcomed to come. I laugh thinking about giving this eulogy and looking over and seeing Chico in a pew.]

Someone else, of course is Mary. They were married for about 56 years. After he retired, he would take her shopping and down to Union City to see Mary's sister Gerri. Mary and Pogie are now together again, "in a land that knows no parting".

You probably couldn't find two people who were less alike than me and him. He could fix just about anything and I am one of the biggest klutzes in the world. I can't tell you how many times he came out to our house to fix something that was torn up or worn out. But he always came out and it was running when he left.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

She's No Bill

The latest scandal involving a Clinton (and isn't that a phrase we learned how to cut and paste) has erupted over Hillary Clinton conducting government business over a private email.

From ABC  News

She may have been fundraising for The Clinton Foundation, which supposedly is doing wonderful things around the world with the money from despicable people. Or she may have been discussing Benghazi or rather, discussing how to make Benghazi no big deal . Or, if you listen to her, she was sending 30,000 emails about her mother's funeral or Chelsea's wedding. Or sending a "personal" email to President Bill.

What would a personal email from Hillary Clinton to President Bill look like?  "Hey, stuck in Munich. Again. :(  Hope you enjoyed going to Little Rock. Love ya- H"

Or would it be:  "That little tart BETTER BE out of the house when I get home!- H"

As we all know, Hill's and Bill's marriage has been one that is either "a mystery" to quote George Stephanopoulos or one of convenience to quote everybody else on the planet. Bill needed Hillary to sweep away his Southern Horny Frat Boy reputation and Hillary needed Bill to prove to everyone that she is a heterosexual. (That's just a joke, son, just a joke.)

However, in one way, Bill has it way over Hillary and that is in lying.

A lie, in President Bill's hands, was truly a incredible work of art.  He was a master at it.

Take his famous "Ah, dad naught have sacks wid that woemun, Miz Lewinsky" (Translation for the Southern Impaired: "I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.") statement.

He looked straight at the camera. He pointed his crooked index finger at the camera as if to say, "You little idiot, HOW DARE YOU EVEN THINK OF SUCH A THING!".  He then pounded the podium to emphasize his point. Not only did he not have sex with that woman, he wouldn't even think to have sex with that or any woman besides his darling Hillary, who was stupid hot back at Yale. (That's another joke, son, just a joke.)

This is what stupid hot looked like in 1969

It made you sorry that it was brought up. Sorry, President Bill, go on with your President Bill stuff and we'll leave you alone.

Of course, as we learned later, President Bill did not have sex with that woman because he didn't think that counted as sex when even the educated fleas that do it count it as sex. So in President Bill's mind, he wasn't really lying, per se, it was just a disagreement on definitions.

Hillary's press conference last week didn't even come close to the artistry of President Bill. She looked tired. She acted like a victim, which she learned from President Bill, but she really didn't do very well.

In her book It Takes A Village, Hillary relates her first nursing experience with Chelsea. “There I was, trying to breast-feed my baby [Chelsea], and all of a sudden she starts foaming at the nose. The nurse surveyed the scene and said, ‘Mrs. Clinton, it would help if you lifted her head up.’ All those years of education, all those degrees, it was no help. For all the talk about family values in this country, we do so little to value families.”

This is an interesting passage. The education and degrees that were of little value was Hillary's. The education and the degrees of the nurse came in handy. The sentence:  For all the talk about family values in this country, we do so little to value families” is a little odd to me. Was it society's fault that the first nursing experience wasn't this grand and glorious moment?  Hillary sounds like she would have done it right if it hadn't been for these darn Republicans.

She also sounded like she didn't know what she was talking about. The whole idea that she thought she would need two "devices" (smart phones) for two separate e-mail addresses is laughable. Here's a woman that we have been told for decades is one of the best and the brightest in this country actually thought she would need two smart phones for two email accounts?

Democrats are always talking about how Republicans are not smart enough. Dan Quayle. Sarah Palin. George W. Bush.  Yet, Hillary Clinton thinks you need two smart phones to have two email accounts. To me, that's worse than misspelling potato.

Or does she know it is not true and thinks you're too dumb to care. I am betting on that.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


Big news everybody! Your humble correspondent has decided to take the plunge and have some of his "work" published.

Someone I know is starting up a Kindle (ebook) Publishing arm and asked me to come along. He'll do the actual hard work of getting my "work" out there to the public while my job will be to come up with enough booger jokes to make Dave Barry jealous.

Actually, during a pitch meeting I had with him, I threw out some ideas I had for some books, which would make both of us insanely rich (or just insane).

  • Teenage vampires and werewolves in a town in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Teenage wizards at a wizard college in England. The protagonist has a scar on his forehead
  • A man beats a beautiful young woman for sexual pleasure but it is okay because he is rich and handsome. 
  • A teenage girl kills a woman for her shoes and with three friends look to kill again.
  • The creation of the universe until the end of time.

Unfortunately, it seems that all of those ideas have been turned into books. However, I have some other ideas.

I will be working on a book about growing up in East Cobb County (Georgia) in the seventies called Wierd.

It was a time in which East Cobb went from being the outer hinterlands of Atlanta (Neal Boortz used to say Cobb County was the armpit of Georgia) to a fancy-smancy suburb. 

For some reason, everyone I went to school with, even the brainiacs, misspelled the word "weird". (Also, for some reason, this word appeared a lot in my yearbook as in "Alan, you ain't too wierd. Ha, Ha. Seriously, don't call.") Hence the title: Wierd.

This book will have some audience participation. If anyone has a NON-LIBELOUS story about Wheeler High School and the students in the 70's, please feel free to message me on Facebook or leave a comment at the end of this blog.

Another idea I have is called My Presidents in which I review the Presidents from Eisenhower to Obama. It is hard writing a good Eisenhower joke, by the way.

I'm also tossing around an idea called Father of The Groom. As everyone knows, my son is getting married and my idea is to give fathers of the groom some advice on that big day because all I've heard is "Show up and sit down".

However, just to get a little personal here, I really appreciate the nice comments people make about the blog and my writing.  I'm sort of like a humor writing version of "Mr. Tanner".

"Mr. Tanner" was a song by the late Harry Chapin. Young people today have never experienced a Harry Chapin song. Harry Chapin's songs were very long, depressing and made you want to step out in front of traffic. He made Leonard Cohen seem like Jerry Lewis.

In one song, he was driving a taxi and met an old lover that was really rich but she really wasn't happy. Then in the next song, he was rich but had to take a taxi to her shabby apartment.

Of course, his most famous song is about ignoring his kid and then when he gets old his kid ignores him. Or his kid drives a taxi. I don't know, they all kind of blended together.

"Mr. Tanner" is about a dry cleaner in Dayton, Ohio that was a good opera singer. Everybody told him he was great and one day he went to New York to make his debut. In any other decade but the 70's, the song would have ended Mr. Tanner becoming the greatest singer EVER in America. But since this was the 70's, Mr. Tanner's debut fell flat and he went back to Dayton to drive a taxi.

But the refrain of "Mr. Tanner" has always stuck with me.

But music was his life, it was not his livelihood,
and it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good.
And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul.
He did not know how well he sang; It just made him whole.

I'm sort of like Mr. Tanner except I write jokes when discussing accounts. Humor is my life, not my livelihood. It makes me feel happy and good when I can get people to laugh. I joke from my heart and I joke from my soul.  I don't know how funny I am. It just makes me whole.

And I'm hoping this endeavor will make me a whole lot of money.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Six Degrees of Scott Walker

One thing Bill Clinton said that is absolutely the truth: "Democrats fall in love and Republicans fall in line". Except, of course, in 2016.

It looks like Democrats are falling in line and willing to crown Former Secretary of State Senator First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton as their party's nominee even though she has more baggage than Samsonite and she is as charismatic as concrete. 

But that doesn't matter, Clinton is a woman and would be historic and the world would fall in love with us again just like it did with President Faculty Lounge.  Oh, wait.

Over on the Republican side, just about everybody that didn't run in 2012 is running in 2016. But, so far, it is about two candidates: Former Florida Governor and Current Bush son/brother Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Currently, at this moment, right now, it looks like everybody else is way back in the pack.

The problem with Jeb Bush is his last name. Dad President Bush lost re-election to Bill Clinton, mainly because he looked at his watch during a debate. That led to eight long years of hearing about Bill Clinton's glands, which became a real drag. Brother President Bush stood tall after 9/11 but then we got into this Never-Ending War  which led to where we're at now, which is another real drag.

Jeb is kinda/sorta leading in the polls, such as they are. Polls at this time of an election cycle could best be termed as "Hey, have you heard of this guy?"  

Jeb seems smart and seems like somebody the average person could see as President. But, I don't know. I just wish he had a different last name, like Kardashian.

The only person of the rest to have made an impression is Gov. Scott Walker. He's won three elections in four years in a "blue" state and seems to be a person that could unite the factions of the Republican Party and appeal to independents.

Ahem. Not so fast.

It seems Gov Walker has stepped into one of the Democrat Party's templates about Republicans.

The templates that Democrats use on Republicans are as follows: 1) Republicans are rich and out of touch; 2) Republicans are evil; 3) Republicans are dumb.

Walker comes from a middle-class background, so you can't say he's rich. While some Democrats might say he's evil for breaking up the State Worker's Union in Wisconsin, most Americans could care less about unions or their labels.

That leaves The Dumb Template, which I wrote so brilliantly about in 2011. You can read it here:

It seems Scott Walker does not, please hold on to your chairs because this is shocking, have a college degree. He "dropped out" of Marquette University with a year or so remaining in his degree program. To quote Jack Webb, this makes Walker: DUM de DUM DUM

This explains the fascination some have in the press with Walker's opinion on this important matter facing the country: Darwin's Theory of Evolution. The reason for this, according to Jamelle Bouie in Slate magazine, is  "evolution is a public policy issue. The foundation of modern microbiology and pathology, disbelief in evolution could lead to bad policy choices around disease control and other public health concerns. Likewise, evolution helps us understand biodiversity and helps us grasp what happens when we damage the stability of an ecosystem. Which is to say that a stance on evolution could also have consequences for environmental policy." Right.  Which means if Walker doesn't "believe" in evolution, people could die. That's not what Bouie said, but that's where it is heading.

But that was at least kind in comparison to what Bill Press said. I know what you're thinking. Nobody really cares what Bill Press says. But he does. Press says, "I’ll say it right up front: I would not vote for any candidate for president, Democrat or Republican, who did not have a college degree."

My wife will tell you that one of my pet peeves is intellectual dishonesty. First of all, Bill Press would never vote for a Republican for President.  Second, I guess that means Press would have voted for Thomas Dewey over Harry Truman. Fat chance.

Press continues, "Actually, for Walker, the issue is more than the fact that he didn’t graduate from college. It’s that he chose to drop out of college — and then chose never to go back and get his degree."  Press almost goes into vapors when he says, "All Walker will say is that he was offered a job, took it, intended to go back and finish, but just never got around to it. He’s never given any reason why he quit in the first place or why he decided completing his college education wasn’t that important."

Press seems to imply that it would have been better for Walker to get booted from college than choose to take a job and make money.  Most people go to college so they can get a job to make money. I'm not sure why this is a big deal to Press. 

Press calls Walker "a politician who belittles the value of college education and won’t even say whether or not he believes in evolution."  Heavens to Betsy. The only thing belittling the value of a college education are the college graduates themselves. Some are real smart. Some are real dopes.

Press goes in for the total burn. "Sarah Palin went to at least four different colleges over the course of six years before getting her degree from the University of Idaho in 1987. If Sarah Palin could pull it off, don’t you think Scott Walker could, too?" Nobody is saying Walker couldn't. I think just about anybody, if they have the patience (and money) can get a college degree. (Which, incidentally, is what belittles college degrees.)

I read Press's piece on an iPhone, which is a company created by a college dropout and I would venture a guess that Press wrote his column on Microsoft word, which was created by a college dropout.  Press deals with that this way: "What about Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg? True, they dropped out of college. But they both regret it, and they’ve both spent a good deal of their fortune in support of improvements in education — unlike Scott Walker, who has made war against public education the hallmark of his governorship, from his early attacks on teachers to his latest proposal to cut $300 million, or 13 percent, from next year’s University of Wisconsin budget."

I will translate it for you. I have a policy disagreement with a person so he's stupid.

The same people who will tell you Walker would be too dumb to be President because he doesn't have a college degree are the same people who said George W. Bush was too dumb and he had degrees from Yale and Harvard. The same people who said Yale Law School graduate Gerald Ford was too dumb to be President. The same people who said Dwight Eisenhower, who was the President of an Ivy League school and liberated Europe was too dumb to be President. The same people who will then turn and say we need another President like Harry Truman, who did not have a college background.

I'm not saying that Walker should be President or should even be the nominee of the Republican Party. I'm just not sure his lack of a college degree is that big of deal.