Tag: humor

Dr. Seuss predicts the Nook in 1960


At present, the book du jour that I read to the Little Man each night is Dr. Seuss’s One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. We read it every night and while I’d memorized it as a kid, I’d forgotten a lot of it until I started reading it again. Now I have it memorized again, and there is one passage in the book that comes across as rather prescient for a book written in 1960. Quoting from memory (because I’m not going to fetch the book right now), it goes like this:

We took a look
We saw a nook.
On his head, he had a hook
On his hook, he had a book
On his book was “How to cook”

We saw him sit and try to cook
He took a look at the book on the hook
But a nook can’t read so a nook can’t cook, SO…

What good to a nook is a hook cook book?

I don’t think you can read that passage in today’s world and not think of the Barnes & Noble e-reader device, which happens to be called a Nook. Of course the fact that nooks and books came together in the Dr. Seuss passage has only to do with the fact that the words rhymed.

Or does it…?

Humor for a Tuesday morning

Tuesdays seem like they are neglected, so I decided to post something funny in honor of the fact that it is Tuesday. (And in truth, seeing my high school class group revived on Facebook spurred the idea.) So without further delay, here is a picture of yours truly, taken in either the fall of 1989 or the spring of 1990. I’m not sure which. I was either getting ready to go to homecoming or prom. Note the hair! It’s incredible that what seemed so cool back then looks so ridiculous now. Compare that to my author photo–more or less what I look like today.


And don’t forget to leave your ridicule, mocking, teasing, and any other thoughts you have in the comments. Happy Tuesday!


John Brenkus

A colleague stopped by today asked me if I knew who ESPN’s Sport Science host John Brenkus was?  I didn’t.  So he told me to go look him up at once on ESPN.  Apparently, he looks just like me.  Or I look just like him.  I dunno, he looks older than me, but setting that aside, I suppose I can see a vague resemblance. Then again (and contrary to what others might like to believe) I don’t spent a whole lot of time looking at myself, so I am poor judge of these things.  What do you think?

A proliferation of bathrooms

Nerd moment of the day:  I spent part of the afternoon today cleaning bathrooms.  In doing so, it occurred to me that bathrooms in the houses in which I have lived since summer 2002 have increased exponentially as a function to each move.  The chart below illustrates this:

I started with 1 bathroom when I lived in Maryland.  We moved up to 2 bathrooms when we moved to Arlington, Virginia.  When we bought our house, we moved up to 4 bathrooms.  The dotted, yellow bar is the projected number of bathrooms in our next house.  Cleaning four bathrooms is a chore enough; I don’t even want to think about eight.

Holy $#!+

In the November 1 issue of NEW SCIENTIST is an amusing review by Fred Pearce of a book called The Big Necessity by Rose George, which apparently is about the history of the toilet. I can’t give you a flavor of the one page review without quoting from it a few times:

The Big Necessity is the story of how we go to the toilet; it is the cultural, bacteriological, and psychological landscape of poo and pee.

Or how about this one:

The book contains a wealth of odd statistics. The average dump is 250 grams. The average American wipes him or herself with a staggering 57 sheets of toilet paper a day… and did you know the word "shit" has the same ancient root as the word science?

I like reading books on obscure subjects, but I’m not sure I’d be able to find this one in my local library.

My future interview with James Lipton

I might as well tell you that I have been to the future a time or two. This is one of the benefits of being first a science fiction fan, and second a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. As a fan, I traveled to the future through the hundreds of books and stories that I have read. As a SFWA member, I’ve had access to the time machine they keep for their members under lock and key in Schenectady. On one of my trips, I went to see myself interviewed by James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio. (Apparently, around 2014, he runs out of actors and starts to interview writers of note.)

I won’t bore you with the whole interview. You know how these things go. (“We begin our class as we always do, at the beginning. Jamie, where were you born…?”, and so on.)

But I thought you might find the end of the interview interesting. And so here is the finale of my interview with James Lipton, which took will take place at Pace University on January 17, 2017.

JL: We begin our class with the questionnaire first used by the great French interviewer Bernard Pivot, Jamie, what’s your favorite word?

JTR: Mellifluous.

JL: What’s your least favorite word?

JTR: “Whatever”

JL: What turns you on?

JTR: A well-told story

JL: What turns you off?

JTR: Cigarettes

JL: What sound or noise do you love?

JTR: Thunder

JL: What sound or noise do you hate?

JTR: Ringtones

JL: And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Jamie, what is your favorite curse word?

JTR: [bleep!]-er!

JL: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?

JTR: Astronaut

JL: What profession would you not want to try?

JTR: Lawyer

JL: Finally, Jamie, if heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

JTR: “Bar’s in the back, library is just off to the left…”

JL: Here are your students…

Well, there you have it. Incidentally, Lipton never seems to give up those blue cards. I swear, 9 years from now, digital paper is everywhere and he insists on using those blue cards. Of course, they are 100% recyclable…