Tag Archives: laughter

Sunday Showcase: Haiku Mama

The haiku is the highest form of internet-enabled poetry.

Only seventeen syllables and comprising three lines, the haiku is short, focused on one image or idea, and is, therefore, perfect for reading when you don’t have a lot of time, but have a huge need to be entertained.

The best haikus are quick little hammerblows to the back of the head, stealthy jabs to the pleasure button in your brain.

I like to think of haikus as the body of poetry, stripped of pretense and boiled down to only the bones, but then seeing those bones tattooed and colored.

All of which might go a long way toward explaining why I really enjoyed a new book called Haiku Mama (because 17 syllables is all you have time to read) by Kari Anne Roy.

If you’re interested, and why wouldn’t you be, you can purchase a copy of the book from Amazon.com at this link.

Yay! The perfect time
To strip down naked and scream—
When Mommy’s on the phone.

Substitute the word Daddy for Mommy and you’ve got a perfect

Illustrated by Colleen O'Hara
Illustrated by Colleen O’Hara

snapshot of my life with the little dudes. So, yeah, this is a book that spoke to me.

And, once it spoke to me, it left me in tears. Mostly from laughter. I honestly don’t know when I last enjoyed a non-fiction book this much. It’s a tremendous and tremendously fast read. Just like the medium through which Roy is expressing herself.

In case you’re wondering, I fell for the book with the very first haiku. I read this and realized I needed to read the rest, that Kari Anne Roy was speaking my language.

Sniffing newborn’s head,
a primal urge takes over —
try not to eat him.

Brilliant.

This book gets a wonderful five dudes out of five. Great book that speaks a lot of truth in between the fits of laughter.

Go buy it and enjoy it quickly. You’ll be glad you did.

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Dude Review: Book Of Mormon

The Book of Mormon stage musical is a hoot.

Well, it’s a hoot as long as you’ve got a relatively open mind, don’t mind some almost overused 13-letter expletives, poop humor, silly names, and a complete and total disregard for the sensitivities of various ethnicities or religions.

When I tell you Book of Mormon is by the creators of the South Park television show on Comedy Central, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, I think you might begin to understand why the play comes across like it does.

The big conceit behind South Park is a bunch of little grade-school kids running around Colorado, getting into very odd adventures and cursing. A lot. Ha, ha. Kids cursing. The thought being, I guess, that kids cursing is  transgressive and funny. In addition to the cursing kids, South Park also takes aim at various societal trends, religions, what have you, and gets into some seriously pointed satire.

So, take an episode of South Parkdrop the kids, remove the restrictions on cursing found even on cable channels, plug in some very catchy musical numbers and make the focus on Mormonism, the fastest-growing “religion” in the world, add in a very basic fish-out-of-water scenario, stereotypes of Mormon missionaries and residents of Uganda,  add in some very catchy musical numbers and there you go. That’s Book of Mormon.

I went to the show with Zippy the College Boy and his sort-of date, Hyper Lad, my sister in-law the Crystal Cleaner, my in-laws and my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Smokin’ Hot In Her Going-Out-To-A-Play Dress, and we all enjoyed ourselves a great deal.

Yeah, there was a lot of nervous laughter at some of the more risqué jokes, and I overheard more than one person express disbelief that this play would or even could be put on in button-down Charlotte, North Carolina.

The show definitely isn’t for the younger dudes and dudettes, for the most part. And it’s certainly not for those who are easily shocked by profanity, vulgar situations, harsh stereotypes or people mercilessly mocking religion.

Other than that, though, you’re good.

The show concerns Elder Price, a hotshot young Mormon kid from whom much is expected as he leaves missionary training and heads out into the wilds to convert the heathens. He wants to go to Orlando, but ends up in Uganda, along with another missionary, Elder Cunningham, who might be the most unsuitable missionary in the world.

Elder Price’s massive ego convinces him he’ll land in Uganda and immediately do something “incredible,” because he’s incredible. Elder Cunningham, who hasn’t actually read the Book of Mormon, is mostly along to have a captive best friend and spread the gospel according to Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

Hilarity ensues.

Although, yes, there is plenty of cursing and some significantly different interpretations of Mormonism founder Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and the Jesus character, the play actually ends up being a celebration of the good bits about religion.

If you parents get a chance to see the show (It’s touring the country, but most performances tend to be sold out, so act quickly.), you really should go. It’s not for the young dudes and dudettes, mostly because of all the swearing and the fact that most young dudes and dudettes are like parrots in that they play back mostly the stuff you don’t want them to hear, but it’s a great night out for parents.

Not only will you find yourself humming the tunes, but it can provide fodder for a great after-play discussion.

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Zippy The Birthday Boy

It’s not always easy watching your little dudes grow up, but it can be rewarding.

Today, on this date 19 years ago, sometime in the early afternoon, Zippy the Monkey Boy came squirting out into the world. I mean that literally.

His mom was bearing down so hard, Zippy the Monkey Boy almost shot out past the doctor’s waiting hands. Fortunately, the doc had played softball for a long time and was a good fielding glove.

Not kidding in the least.

Still, his entry into the world was indicative of how Zippy the Monkey Boy would go through life. He wasn’t named Zippy the Monkey Boy when he first started staring owlishly at this new, bright and cold place in which he suddenly found himself.

We mostly called him Happy. Or Smiley. Or something along those lines, because that little dude was a marvelously well-behaved baby. For a while. We paid for the easy beginning later one, oh, yes we did. But the start was a smooth one.

Looking back, all I can do is wonder What in the hell were we thinking? Seriously, we looked at his older brother Sarcasmo, who at Zippy the Monkey Boy’s birth was 14 months old, and thought he would be mature enough to help us care for his baby brother. Zippy the Monkey Boy is a lucky little dude getting through that messily wrong assumption relatively unscathed.

He also had to put up with stuff his older brother didn’t. Sarcasmo got to sleep in a cradle borrowed from friends. Zippy the Monkey Boy? He got an egg crate folded up inside a sheet and placed in a clothes basket in which to sleep. It actually turned out great, because we could simply pick up the clothes basket and move it wherever we wanted the little Zip to go.

It was a great dirty clothes basket. In fact, we still have the thing out in our garage. We still have Zippy the Monkey Boy as well, but that’s not nearly as astonishing I don’t think.

For most of his life, Zippy the Monkey Boy has been a stubborn little dude. He’s finally beginning to turn that to the good, instead of using it for evil. It’s been a long, slow process, but the little dude has turned into a pretty amazing young man.

It’s not to say that he doesn’t suffer the occasional lapse, like for instance when he went off to a job interview wearing flip flops and fought valiantly to keep doing so because forcing him to wear actual shoes was, and I quote, “unfair.” Still, those instances are few and far between. And growing farther.

He’s become a young dude I like talking to. He has opinions that can differ significantly from my own and he’s not afraid to get into a spirited defense of those beliefs. And his arguments are more sophisticated than “because they’re cool.” He’s applying his analytical mind to things more significant than a logical reason why he should be allowed more cookies to eat before bedtime

It’s been an honor and a privilege watching as Zippy the Monkey Boy has grown into Zippy the College Boy. He’s given us trials and hugs, screaming fits and screaming laughter, anger and love.

Like everyone’s life, that of Zippy the College Boy has been a roller-coaster of a ride, filled with zigs and zags, ups and downs, but it’s been a ride I wouldn’t have missed for the world.

For a little dude who raced into the world, eager to experience whatever it had to offer, to a young man who believes that on-time happens to other people, he still has a ways to go. I can’t wait to watch his journey there.

Happy birthday, son. You’re deeply loved by more people than you’ll ever know.

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