A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

01 February 2008

Some High School Musings...Not That There's Anything Right With That

I was just thinking, reminiscing if you will, about my high school days. The impetus of this thought happened to be a blurb that was in my daughter's school's newsletter which stated something to the effect of "these are the students who haven't had any Class I infractions since the start of the school year"...and, she was, because she is so incredibly good, one of them. Which brought me, apparently, to this thought...why, I have absolutely no clue (that's just the way my mind works I guess)...

...when I was in high school, we had smoking breaks.

Okay, they weren't exactly "sanctioned" smoking breaks...but, nonetheless, we were allowed to smoke between classes.

Which called to mind some sayings which I found hilariously funny at the time (none of which I ever heard uttered...then OR now):

"There will be a five minute smoking break at the flagpole...guidance counsellors will be passing out matches in their offices beforehand for anyone who needs them."

"We 'frown upon' bumming smokes off the construction workers. The construction workers are the ones in the white hats and not wearing designated uniforms."

There was also one about "in back of the pod" and "Marlboro's" that I have since forgotten. Everything is funnier when you are saying it at three in the morning or in front of your kids at rapid fire pace...especially when you haven't eaten all day and had a Martini.

This, again, was not sanctioned at my school...but we did it anyway (we were so brazen back then): Who else my age remembers getting cigarettes from their teachers who were on duty to watch us kids during our lunch breaks outside? And why was it that shop teachers never had any problems with doling out smokes?

Ah...the good old days. No wonder I am the way the way I am. Endless thanks, Mr. Hollowell!


  1. We even had a smoking area on my campus. This was not a place for the most popular kids, mind you - usually the stoners and the malcontents. But it was there and well populated every lunch break, and nobody ever got too up in arms about it. There must have been a tacit agreement between smokers and school officials that said so long as smokers stay around the designated smoking area and don't go sauntering into class puffing on a Marlboro, there won't be a problem."

    Today everybody's wound so tight you couldn't even draw a picture of a cigarette on the grounds of a public school without being arrested and prosecuted for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. And we've become so obsessed with involving ourselves with every challenge confronting our kids that before we know it, we'll be handing out ulcers along with diplomas.

    "Here", "here" to the good old days.


  2. Hey, I really enjoyed your "ulcers with diplomas" comment. Good one! :)

  3. I've always been amused by the thought of smoking at school. It always seemed like a rebellious act to me. Of course, by the time I got to high school, smoking had been phased out. But I believe that teachers were still allowed to smoke in their lounge.

    Now I have Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette by Tex Williams stuck in my head!

  4. We had smokers at my old high school, but they all died a horrible cancerous death. Kidding. I think most of them got hit by a beer truck.

  5. They banned smoking at my high school, and that is NOT o.k!

  6. Being apparently older than the other children responding to this blog, I went to two high schools in Texas and both had smoking rooms. In junior high, we, who were not mature enough to participate on campus, would simply stand across the street and smoke. In the last high school, I remember being downstairs, next to the boiler room, in that hazy, hot room. Unfortunately, all my (football/track) coaches smoked and did not approve of my smoking (bad image I surmised). Their dilemma was the fact I was all district so would not be expelled from the team, so their solution was my running extra laps after each practice. They saved face (and an all district two way player) and I was in great shape. It did help I came from a Pro Set Offense from my previous school and they were still in the Single Wing. So we all met at lunch, smoked, and I diagrammed plays for them to augment the offense they had.

    While I have not smoked for over 30 years, my three pack a day habit, when I quit, still makes me crave a cigarette every so often. If they ever prove smoking: enhances and extends your life, prolongs your youth, increase your potency, makes you leap tall buildings with a single bound, and makes pretty women attracted to you, then I will stoke it up again..

    For someone that smokes or remembers those halcyon days, I find it interesting you are paranoid about germs, to the point of a phobia, and would steal your poor childs nutritional chocolate milk, rather than use cream for her coffee that is provided by the store. REASON.. She did not know how long it had been there. If you are the one I discussed this hysterical fear of bacteria with at the farmers market, it appears you have change your hair style since this blog picture was taken. You also have me responding to a blog for the first time in my history. Hope you get your wish to write.

  7. First off, it was "The Fresh Market"...don't you mislabel my favourite haunt in this town. And yes, my germophobia keeps me from even looking at communal-type fixings that happen to be free at any establishment...I think this all stems from an "all you can eat free shrimp while you drink" incident back in a New Jersey bar all those years ago when you could actually drink before you turned 21. I ended up getting violently ill and had food poisoning" And YES...I WAS smoking then, as well! But I have since stopped smoking and, unfortunately, I always manage to get the "strange-tasting" shrimp out of the batch so I rarely eat those little buggers even tho they are sooooooooo tasty.

    So much for alcohol actually cancelling out any nasties which you might ingest whilst imbibing. Sure, I might not have cared at the time that one or two tasted "funny"...but I sure did in the morning.

    And yes, I have another hairstyle - I was also wearing other clothes - but you forgot to mention THAT part. ;)

    And let's see if you respond to my next blogumn (I refuse to call them blogs)...they are more like stories or columns. Oh...let me live my dream - you know my jet-setting lifestyle so far amounts to pouring organic chocolate milk commandeered from my daughter. I believe the CIA is interested in this type of covert prowess. Can a Bond film be made, next, centered around my life? Maybe the next Jason Bourne film? Just please, not Blade.

    Regardless, I will do my utmost best to write those scripts for them...c'mon Hollywood...you're missing out on one of your best and cheapest writers, here!

  8. Farmers…Fresh… oh, my, are we sensitive to a name. Just remember what the bard said.. A rose is a rose and still stinks good. For all the Shakespeare fans, please do not send your poison letters and venomous replies. Besides, I was a good person and did not get fresh.

    Silly rabbit!! We all know that shrimp, smoke, and alcohol are lethal combinations for a teenager. I can now picture your “taste and spit” remedy to the classic sea food buffet lines of the world. Your abstinence from eating the tasty crustaceans is more due to this testing technique, rather than your preferences of food groups. I can see you now being escorted to the door from many a fine eatery. I do know that the “commode hugging” that you endured makes many a person take the oath of abstinence immediately and eternally. What have you got to lose?? Get back on the horse and eat a shrimp for your peace of mind. The time is now to shed the shackles of your self imposed moratorium on eating shrimp. Psychologically, I would recommend you eat a big one and call it a prawn. Thus you can keep your vow of abstinence from shrimp, but still enjoy the small creature of the sea. As an aside, you would be interesting in a calamari eating contest.
    I do think you will be shocked and awed that I did respond to your blogumn. This is a major feat for me since, after a day looking at a screen, I usually do not even look at a computer. Your influence is overwhelming .. maybe underwhelming… or just whelming. I like the stories and have read a few. Your dreams of super spydom or covert prowess are a bit misconstrued. Should you not be the beautiful woman in a Bond movie with a provocative name to drive the drones of society wild with desire? I can picture that, but if you want to be the spy, ok. I have got to admit, you are attractive enough to play the less desired part, and I did note the changing of the clothes from the FRESH market to your lovely picture on the blogumn. And you thought males were not attentive. How is that for defying the opinion you have for the male of the species??
    Finally, you are not cheap. Wrong word, totally. You may be: less expensive, a bargain, willing to work for less, etc but you are not cheap. To me, that always meant of ‘a lesser quality’, and your writing and humor and looks, and insight seem to be of a quality and quantity much above that word.

  9. Hey, can I put this comment on my resume? How about you just write to the newspaper people on a regular basis and tell them I should have my own, bona fide column...you know, with actual pay?

    I have you know I have consumed a shrimp or two since that incident...but it always seems one will end up tasting "funny" and I'll get paranoid. I even ate three coconut shrimp from Fresh Market the other day and survived.

    And I LOVE calimari - and I pretty much eat every type of food out there. I even make Brussels Sprouts once a year to confirm that I still don't like them. Strange...as my mother WAS from Belgium and all. I guess there's something ironic there I can maybe use for a future blogumn.

  10. "Calamari"...I can spell sometimes. "Calimari" sounds like it should be a movie sequel to "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari".