Knozzle http://knozzle.com Serious Humor is Serious Business Mon, 13 Mar 2017 01:12:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://i0.wp.com/knozzle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/zz2-54f62816v1_site_icon.png?fit=32%2C32 Knozzle http://knozzle.com 32 32 24438389 Tacoma Aroma Caused by Flatulent Locals, Study Claims /2016/06/24/tacoma-aroma-caused-flatulent-locals-study-claims/ /2016/06/24/tacoma-aroma-caused-flatulent-locals-study-claims/#respond Fri, 24 Jun 2016 12:30:33 +0000 /?p=1732 While many residents of Tacoma are uncertain where the city’s aroma comes from, one researcher believes he has found the answer. Tacoma, Washington – Few would deny the stunning beauty and diversity of Washington. From its vast green meadows to its frozen peaks, the state is known for its stunning vistas. …

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While many residents of Tacoma are uncertain where the city’s aroma comes from, one researcher believes he has found the answer.

Tacoma, Washington – Few would deny the stunning beauty and diversity of Washington. From its vast green meadows to its frozen peaks, the state is known for its stunning vistas. It’s also known for Seattle’s active music scene, an incubator where new, independent artists can flourish, and its connection with the tech world through companies like Microsoft. What many outside of the state might not know, however, is Washington’s less appealing side.

“It’s the smell,” claims a citizen of Tacoma who wishes to be known only as Mr. Smith, “if there is such a thing.”

There is such a thing. The scent in question is a pungent odor permeating the air in Washington’s second-largest city. It is both strong and bitter and coats everything it comes in contact with, and it’s best known as the Tacoma Aroma.

“I feel saturated by it,” Smith continues. “I can taste its stink and every time I do I fear that I’ve somehow been infected by it.”

Despite Mr. Smith’s fears, there are no known cases of people becoming “infected” by the aroma. In fact, it one researcher claims it might be the other way around. The people of Tacoma may well be infecting their surroundings. How could they be doing such an unconscionable thing?

“Gas,” insists Dr. Edwin Tannhauser, a researcher with the Flatulation Administration – Research and Technology, Executive Division. “The people of Tacoma are, simply put, active flatulators.”

The history of the Tacoma Aroma is a long and storied one, but despite blaming the odoriferous curse on everything from a local oil refinery to a nearby paper mill, nobody has been able to put a finger on the cause. Tannhauser, who holds advanced degrees in aromatherapy and  aromachology, believes he has followed the culprit’s scent to its origins.

“According to studies done in the Administration’s laboratory, not only are the residents of Tacoma seven percent more likely to pass gas more than once every fifteen minutes,” he says, “but they release four percent more vapor with a ten percent higher saturation in ammonia and sulfur.”

In plain English, they fart more often, and when they do, their farts are bigger and smellier. To quote Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad, “Yeah, science!”

Science or not, Mr. Smith doesn’t seem convinced.

“These studies, they’re just temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose,” he says.

Maybe he is right. Maybe trying to divine the origin of the Tacoma Aroma as a wild goose chase down a rabbit hole to catch one’s own tail. Until we know for sure, however, we have a trained researcher’s opinion.

And you know what they say about opinions. Everyone’s got one, and most of them stink.

Like Tacoma.

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/2016/06/24/tacoma-aroma-caused-flatulent-locals-study-claims/feed/ 0 1732 Take the Shot, a Tragic Comedy /2016/06/20/take-the-shot/ /2016/06/20/take-the-shot/#respond Mon, 20 Jun 2016 12:30:31 +0000 /?p=1713 The job of an assassin can be difficult, but even more so when suffering a mental breakdown! CHARACTERS MR. GRAY: Hired assassin. Sharpshooter. Former special forces sniper. Average appearance, dressed to fit in with the crowd – sport coat, dockers, mock turtleneck, sneakers. AL: A drooping Aloe Vera cactus. COP ONE: Police …

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The job of an assassin can be difficult, but even more so when suffering a mental breakdown!

CHARACTERS

MR. GRAY: Hired assassin. Sharpshooter. Former special forces sniper. Average appearance, dressed to fit in with the crowd – sport coat, dockers, mock turtleneck, sneakers.

AL: A drooping Aloe Vera cactus.

COP ONE: Police officer

COP TWO: Police officer

SCENE

Rooftop. City. Sounds of a parade coming from the street below. There’s an Aloe Vera cactus (AL) sitting atop a cinder block just right of center stage. Off to stage left is the roof access door.

AT RISE

Stage is empty, save for AL, sitting on his cinder block. The sounds of the parade come from somewhere in the distance, drawing closer. The roof access door opens. MR. GRAY enters carrying a trombone case. He walks to stage right, where he sets the case down on the precipice and opens it up. He begins to assemble his sniper rifle while whistling If I Only Had a Brain. This takes maybe thirty seconds – he’s fast and efficient.

AL

Hey.

MR. GRAY

(Swings around quickly, bringing the rifle to bear, but doesn’t see anyone.)

Hm.

(Shrugs and goes back to setting the sniper rifle up on its tripod.)

AL

Hey you. Whatcha doin’?

MR. GRAY

(Stands up and spins around again, this time his hand goes inside his coat, presumably to a handgun; looks around, but again sees nobody.)

Who’s there?

AL

Pssst. Down here.

(MR. GRAY lowers his gaze until he sees the cactus. He approaches it slowly, looking around it and its cinder block.)

AL

Short, green, spiky. Come on, dude, I’m totally curious. Whatcha doin’?

MR. GRAY

Goddammit. Not again.

(MR. GRAY stares at the cactus for a few moments, then shakes his head and turns back to the task at hand. He looks over the edge of the building and down the street. AL‘s fronds wiggle.)

AL

Big parade, huh? Bet there’s someone important down there. I mean, that’s why you’re here, right, because there’s some VIP in a convertible, and you’re here to make sure nobody pulls a JFK on him, huh?

MR. GRAY

(Doesn’t look AL‘s way.)

Shut up.

AL

Whoa… grumpy! But I guess that’s what you SWAT guys are like, right? All business, no fun.

MR. GRAY

I said stop talking.

AL

Geez. Whatever.

MR. GRAY

(Kneels down behind his gun and starts adjusting its sights.)

AL

(Speaks quietly.)

Dude, that sure is a cool gun. I can just hear it now.

(Speaks louder, with a deeper voice.)

Headshot! Headshot! Headshot! Headshot!

(Almost shouting.)

UH-UH-UH-UH-UNSTOPPABLE!

MR. GRAY

(Slowly turns his head, glancing back over his shoulder.)

What are you talking about?

AL

Dude! Haven’t you ever played a video game?

(MR. GRAY grunts, then goes back to adjusting his gun’s sights.)

Aww, come on. Video games, you know. Pew pew pew! The again, in your line of work, who needs video games for excitement, right? You get to shoot the—

MR. GRAY

(Sighs, resigned that AL is not going to stop talking.)

I played Pac Man once, when I was young.

AL

(There’s a long silence.)

Pac… er. What’s that?

MR. GRAY

(Actively watching down the road now, peering into the rifle’s scope.)

Pac-Man. Little yellow circle. Maze. Ghosts.

AL

Ghosts! Does it have zombies, too?

MR. GRAY

Just ghosts.

AL

Do you get a special ghost-killing gun to shoot ’em?

MR. GRAY

No.

AL

A hatchet?

MR. GRAY

No.

AL

A holy chainsaw?

MR. GRAY

No chainsaw.

AL

Ooh, one of those neat lightning blasters like that movie with the big, walking marshmallow man and th—

MR. GRAY

No. No weapons.

AL

(Incredulous.)

Then… how do you kill them?

MR. GRAY

Sometimes you eat them.

AL

Dude.

(There’s another long pause.)

Dude. Eat them?

MR. GRAY

(Seems to have loosened up just a little.)

Eat them. The maze is filled with hundreds of little dots that you have to eat to get to the next level. In the corners of the maze are power pellets, and when you eat them, the ghosts change color and become vulnerable.

AL

(There’s yet another long pause.)

Dude. What the hell, man? You play a druggie yellow circle that drops acid so he can eat ghosts? No wonder you’re all Mr. Serious… you gotta be carrying some big-ass mental scars if you played a game like that as a kid.

MR. GRAY

(Tenses again, reminding himself that talking to a cactus is pretty much the definition of “crazy”.)

How about we go back to “Shut up”.

AL

Awww, come on! I’ve never got to hang out with a real cop before. Guns, donuts, badges… you gotta badge, right? Can I see it? Lemme see lemme see lemme-seelemme-see!

MR. GRAY

I don’t have a badge.

AL

Why not?

MR. GRAY

I don’t need a badge.

AL

But all cops need a badg—

(Has a sudden AHA! moment.)

Heeey… you’re not a cop, you’re an ASSASSIN!

MR. GRAY

Be quiet so I can line up a shot.

AL

Whoa. Did Pac-Man do this to you?

MR. GRAY

(Pulls back from the scope.)

What?

AL

I mean, I’d heard video games could desensitize you to violence, but this is pretty extreme. Grand Theft Power Pellet! Dude, you totally need to tell your therapist.

MR. GRAY

I don’t have a therapist.

AL

No wonder you’re so screwed up! Eating ghosts and then not having anyone to tell about it?

MR. GRAY

I don’t need a therapist.

AL

What d’ya mean, man? Everyone needs a therapist, these days. I mean, split personalities, paranoia, narse– narcisi– uh. Having a big ego! Everyone’s got problems.

MR. GRAY

(Angles his gun a little lower, as if he’s following a car.)

I don’t have any of those problems. I don’t need a therapist.

(There is a palpable pause.)

AL

(Slowly, as if he’s measuring out his words.)

Well, you ARE talking to a cactus…

MR. GRAY

Not for long if you don’t shut up.

AL

Ooh, hostility.

MR. GRAY

And violence. I kill people for a living; you don’t think I’ll hesitate to take you out, do you?

AL

Uncool, dude! I’m just havin’ some fun with ya!

(MR. GRAY is back on his feet again in a flash. He spins around, whips out the handgun, cocks the slide, and buries the silenced barrel deep into the Aloe Vera.)

MR. GRAY

(Visibly agitated, voice raised.)

You think this is fun? Is this some kind of game? I’ll blow you away without a second thought!

(MR. GRAY holds the gun to the cactus for a few seconds, but AL doesn’t respond. It doesn’t take MR. GRAY long to realize how silly he looks. He holsters the gun and turns back toward his rifle.)

MR. GRAY

Good riddance.

AL

I’m still here, man.

(MR. GRAY doesn’t respond. He goes back to lining up the shot.)

So, like, this hired killer thing, do you travel much?

(Pause.)

Money good?

(Pause.)

Bet the ladies like it!

(MR. GRAY still doesn’t respond. He looks at his watch.)

Hey, whoa! Can I hire you?

MR. GRAY

(Looks back over his shoulder again.)

What did you say?

AL

Hire you. Can I hire you?

MR. GRAY

What could you possibly want me to do?

AL

Well…

MR. GRAY

(Stands and turns around.)

Come on. Keep going. I could use a laugh.

AL

It’s just that there’s this cute little number one roof over, Vera, but she only has eyes for Ricardo.

MR. GRAY

What are you talking about?

AL

Vera. She’s this, uh, well, dude, she’s like me. Cactus, right? But she has this thing for Venus Fly Traps, and spends all her time wishing they could cross-pollinate. Now normally, I’m not against inter-racial relationships, but a cactus just can’t reproduce with–

MR. GRAY

I can’t believe this.

AL

Yeah! That’s what I thought! I mean, he totally eats FLIES!

MR. GRAY

(Sinks to the rooftop, leaning against the wall by his gun, and drops his head into hands.)

I’m going insane.

AL

Come on, it can’t be that bad.

MR. GRAY

I’m talking to a cactus–

AL

I already pointed that out…

MR. GRAY

–who just tried to hire me–

AL

Just need to know your rates!

MR. GRAY

–to kill a Venus Fly Trap.

AL

Totally! I was thinking poisoned flies! You do use poisons sometimes, right? I mean, what kind of boring assassin would you be if all you did was BANG BANG BLAM BLAM?

MR. GRAY

(Muttering now, as he crawls back around to his knees to look down the scope of his rifle.)

Just need to finish this job. Go home. Get a nap.

AL

(Cautiously.)

So is that a “no”?

MR. GRAY

(Sounds like he’s on the verge of a breakdown.)

Just need to take the shot…

AL

I mean, I’m sure we can work something out…

(MR. GRAY pulls the trigger. There is the sound of a bullet ricocheting off metal, followed by a single scream, then the sounds of general panic. Sirens can be heard below. MR. GRAY stares into the scope, frozen in place. He can’t believe what’s just happened.)

Dude. Did you get him?

(Pause.)

Headshot?

MR. GRAY

(Stands slowly.)

I missed.

AL

What do you mean?

MR. GRAY

I mean I didn’t hit my target.

AL

Whoa. Missed? You know, this whole assassin thing? You kinda suck.

MR. GRAY

That’s never happened before. I’ve never missed.

AL

Dude. Never? Then it was bound to happen sooner or later. I mean, it happens to everyone, right?

MR. GRAY

Not in this business. And not to me.

AL

Aww, come on. It’s like premature pollination. It happens. You’re just not on your game. Now you gotta g–

MR. GRAY

This is YOUR fault!

(MR. GRAY turns, furious. He stalks to AL’s cinder block and lifts the pot holding the cactus.)

AL

Dude, don’t do anything stupid.

(MR. GRAY is chuckling softly. As he walks toward the edge of the building, he lifts AL over his head, and the laughter becomes louder, more maniacal.)

AL

You don’t know what you’re doing, man!

(MR. GRAY stands at the edge of the building. He’s going to throw AL to the street below! He’s no longer laughing, but he has a huge, crazy grin across his face.)

AL

This isn’t the way you want it to end, bro! We can get you counseling!

(MR. GRAY chucks the pot over the precipice. AL can be heard screaming all the way down. There’s a THUD! as he hits, but we don’t hear the pot he’s in shatter.)

MR. GRAY

(Takes a deep breath.)

Finally. He’s gone.

(Begins to whistle If I Only Had a Brain as he takes a couple steps toward stage center.)

(The roof-access door opens. In walk COP ONE and COP TWOMR. GRAY is caught, and he knows it. He holds out his hands, expecting to be cuffed, but the police officers walk past him, one to either side.)

COP ONE

(Picks up the sniper rifle.)

Here’s the gun. Where’s the shooter?

(Not believing his luck, MR. GRAY starts to sneak toward the roof-access door.)

COP TWO

(Looks over the edge.)

Found him. Jumper

(MR. GRAY freezes.)

COP ONE

(Joins partner in looking over the edge.)

Huh. What’s that he’s holding.

COP TWO

I dunno. Looks like a plant. A potted plant. Maybe a cactus?

COP ONE

(Turns and walks toward the roof-access door, passing MR. GRAY.)

Just another weird one for the books.

(Looks at watch.)

Would you look at that? Shift’s about up. How about we get CSU up here and go grab a brew?

COP TWO

Hell yeah. A cold one sounds good right about now.

(COP ONE and COP TWO disappear into the roof-access door. MR. GRAY slowly makes his way to the precipice and looks over the edge of the building. He stands there, both hands on the wall, for a few moments, gawking. He can’t believe what he’s seeing, then turns, sinking to the rooftop, back against the wall, head in his hands.)

(Curtain.)

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Iowa Man Realizes Hidden Ambition in Cornography /2016/06/17/iowa-man-realizes-hidden-ambition-cornography/ /2016/06/17/iowa-man-realizes-hidden-ambition-cornography/#respond Fri, 17 Jun 2016 12:30:39 +0000 /?p=1704 Can a man’s love of corn become something greater? Can he find success and happiness in the obscure world of cornography? Story City, Iowa – Some people are passionate about cars. Others are audiophiles. People collect telephones, vacuum cleaners, and barbie dolls. Others create junk art out of scrap metal from …

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Can a man’s love of corn become something greater? Can he find success and happiness in the obscure world of cornography?

Story City, Iowa – Some people are passionate about cars. Others are audiophiles. People collect telephones, vacuum cleaners, and barbie dolls. Others create junk art out of scrap metal from local salvage yards. Hobbies are varied and strange, but very few get quite as odd as the one chosen by Elmer Hatfield: Cornography.

That one word sums it all up for Hatfield. Where others compile scrapbooks full of rare stamps or garages packed with hood ornaments, Elmer Hatfield takes photographs of corn.

“I’ve been taking these snapshots since I was knee high to a cornstalk,” he claims. “Truth is, I love corn.”

But Elmer’s love of corn hasn’t always been easy. As a child, he once took a bushel of farm-grown Iowa sweet corn to school for show and tell. For weeks afterward, other kids teased and bullied him, calling him names like “Cornholio” and “Corn Nut”. Even his parents thought his affection for the golden veggie overly strange, going so far as to suggest he seek professional help. When the world seemed as though it might close around him, Hatfield did the only thing he could: He hid his love of corn.

Once something he longed to share with others, corn became a private obsession. He still took pictures, but only out on country roads when he was alone, or in the privacy of his back yard. He often remained awake until the wee hours of the night pouring over the images he had captured, marveling at their beauty.

“There’s an inherent sexiness to corn,” Hatfield says. “The curves, the lines, how you have to gently remove its silky clothing in order to expose it to the world.”

Elmer remained in the closet for over a decade, and only a select few knew about his addiction. Among these was his therapist, Dr. Julie Ann Shelton.

“He was embarrassed by this preoccupation with corn,” Dr. Shelton explains. “He would bring in his iPad full of images and sit there almost in tears as he showed them to me. But there was nothing to be embarrassed about.”

It took nearly two years of weekly sessions before the doctor convinced Elmer Hatfield there was no shame in his peculiar fascination. For some time, he felt as though coming out of the closet might cause problems at work or with his family. Slowly but surely, however, he began to view his affection for corn as a more positive aspect of his life.

“There was nothing sexual in his corn fetish, just the passionate love of a vegetable.” she says. “And there’s nothing wrong with love.”

With Dr. Shelton’s encouragement, Elmer came out of his shell. He told his wife and children – all of whom already knew, despite his attempts to hide his infatuation – and then his parents. Then, supported by a loving family, he made the announcement to the entire town of Story City by opening up The Corn Hole, Iowa’s first cornography studio. He hopes to show his neighbors – and then eventually the world – just how incredible corn art can be. He’s even considering a website for his cornographic images.

So what does the future hold for Elmer Hatfield?

“Corn, of course” he says. “And maybe I’ll branch out a bit. I do love me some popcorn.”

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FUGGEDABOUDIT #1: Peanut Butter-in-Law /2016/06/15/peanut-butter-in-law/ /2016/06/15/peanut-butter-in-law/#respond Wed, 15 Jun 2016 13:30:22 +0000 /?p=1683 One reader’s peanut butter-scented mother-in-law is coming to stay permanently, and he wants to know if there’s anything he can do to put a stop to it. Hello once again youse fellas and youse dames! Joey the Finch here, and I gots to say, it’s about time our mutual friend, …

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One reader’s peanut butter-scented mother-in-law is coming to stay permanently, and he wants to know if there’s anything he can do to put a stop to it.

Hello once again youse fellas and youse dames!

Joey the Finch here, and I gots to say, it’s about time our mutual friend, Mr. Hawk, saw the inherent value in my presence on his Interweb site. So here it is. Take a looksee. He done gave me a much deserved column of my own. Welcome to Fuggedaboudit, a little nook where I, in all my humble glory, can answer the questions and queries youse folks send my way. What? Who better to hand out wise advice than a wiseguy? Fuggedaboudit! I’m like a loan shark, ‘cept instead of money and busted kneecaps, I hand out helpful hints what needs to be paid forward rather than back. Needless to say, I’m a man what’s got a big heart; sharing makes me feel all butterflies and rainbows inside.

‘Course, youse tell anyone in the Fambly I said words like butterflies and rainbows and we’ll have to see about havin’ youse visit a different kind of shark, one that’s great and white. Capisce?

Good. Glad we got that out of the way. Let’s read our letter for this week:

Dear Mr. the Finch…

I’m no Stephen King, but here are the ten most frightening words I will ever write: My mother-in-law is coming to live with us.

My wife and I have been happily married for nearly ten years. Part of our relationship’s success is that we moved away from both our families shortly after our wedding day, meaning my in-laws (her parents) and her in-laws (my parents) could only come to visit when they could afford to make a cross country drive or an expensive flight. While it means the kids see their grandparents less often, it also means I don’t have to put up with her disapproving stares and passive aggressive tater tot surprise on casserole night.

My father-in-law left his wife last summer for a twentysomething blonde he met in Vegas. Lucky him, right? That’s where the problem really started, what with visits every month, each one more protracted than the last. And then my wife drops the bomb: In order to keep her mother from feeling lonely, she made the unilateral decision to let her move into the small apartment over our garage.

Thing is, the mother-in-law has been a troublemaker in the past, coming between me and my wife. Seriously, a guy can’t catch a break around her. One minute everything seems like it’s going to be okay, the next, I find her snooping through stuff in my man cave – my man cave! – or whining about how the pinups I keep in the garage are so representative of my toxic masculinity.

I mean, what in the world is THAT supposed to mean?

And then there are the little things. She puts toilet paper on the roll backwards, knowing it’s one of my biggest pet peeves, she sings Let It Go – you know, the song from Frozen? – all the time, only in a creepy nasal old church lady voice, and she smells like fermented peanut butter.

What can I do?

John

Trapped In My Own Home

Dear Trapper John:

Let me counsel you on one point first. This woman, this monster you describe, she’s the woman what gave birth to the woman what gave birth to your kiddos. This ain’t the person you wanna take to the mat like she’s some kind of rival. That ain’t sayin’ she ain’t one, but you gots to be careful with how you treat this situation, all delicate-like.

Youse guys, you and the fambly, that there is a sacred trust. Maybe she’s part of it on the peripheral level, and maybe she ain’t. But either way, if you go at this all head-on, the best you can expect is maybe a red handprint on the cheek to commemorate the day you played the dumbass around your old lady, especially when it comes to her mother, her own flesh and blood.

Respect is the name of the game, then, and you gots to have it in spades. Be above reproach. Help her move in, get settled. Make her feel all comfy, like she was livin’ in her own place. After all, the wifey-poo already told her she could stay, so it’s up to you to act as though it was an equilateral decision made by youse guys, not just the side of the relationship lacking a Y chromosome. Point is, you can’t do nothin’ stupid right now, like putting Liquid Drano in her morning coffee or hiding a cobra in her hat box. Let me tell you from experience, that sort of thing goes over like a solid lead beach ball.

You also gots to let go of the little things, like the toilet paper and the squeaky church lady voice. But not the peanut butter smell. Allow me to be the first to recommend an enforced shower schedule, followed by a liberal application of her favorite brand of smell-good. Peanut butter is all well and good on a sangwich, but there’s a reason we ain’t never seen Eau de Skippy or The Jif Collection perfumes.

Look, a man’s home is his castle, no? So maybe you gots to have boundaries, though. I mean, come on, boundaries is how we all manage to survive, right? Imagine if we ain’t had a boundary along our northern border, for instance. Those Canucks, bet you dollars to donuts they would have already attacked. But having a border means we can be friendly with those schemers in Canadia, even if we know they’re plotting an invasion behind those polite smiles. I mean, come on, they already sent us Justin Beiber. If that ain’t a declaration what leads to war, I don’t know what is.

Anywho, the man cave and the garage, maybe they go off-limits for the time being, so you have a safe place to go, a sanctum for your sanity.

Oh, before I fuggedaboudit – see what I did there? – you and the little woman need to sit down and have a heart to heart confabulation. Communication is key in a relationship, and you need it now. You don’t go make decisions like buying that sweet new Caddy you been eying without her input, right? She should give the king of her castle the same respect. If this is the kind of decision she makes without involving you and the kids, she ain’t thinkin’ this is some kind of equilateral partnership. And if it ain’t equilateral both ways, it means someone’s in charge, and it don’t sound like that someone is you, bub.

If you still feel like you need some advice and can’t sees no other ways out of this and there’s some spring cleaning to do, let me offer you a little advice: Quikrete is my brand of choice when a choice has gots to be made. Choose a lesser brand at your peril.

Fuggedaboudit.

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Lone Security Gate No Deterrent Against Thieves /2016/06/13/lone-security-gate-no-deterrent-after-all/ /2016/06/13/lone-security-gate-no-deterrent-after-all/#respond Mon, 13 Jun 2016 12:30:16 +0000 /?p=1656 Thieves have been stealing citrus fruit from Sunnyside Groves, and no security measure taken by the company has been able to stop them yet! Queen Creek, Arizona – Sunnyside Groves, LLC. had a security problem, and it was getting worse. Their product – oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits – was vanishing off the tree, …

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groveslider

Thieves have been stealing citrus fruit from Sunnyside Groves, and no security measure taken by the company has been able to stop them yet!

Queen Creek, Arizona – Sunnyside Groves, LLC. had a security problem, and it was getting worse. Their product – oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits – was vanishing off the tree, leaving the company with a significant cut in profits over the last two fiscal years. As margins fell, owner Michael Clementine worried the company might go bankrupt. Yet he remained at a loss to stop these brazen thieves.

“They drive right up, not even bothering to sneak in,” he claimed in an interview last summer. “Some cars had as many as three or four people in them, and they’d each take an orange or two.”

“Some even grabbed grapefruit!”

As scandalous as it might sound, many people believe access to a commodity makes it fair game. In the case of Sunnyside, dozens of visitors would pick fruit over the course of any given evening, after the workers went home for the night, many pulling right into the grove’s driveway to get close to choice trees.

“We tried multiple deterrents,” Clementine stated, “most notably a sign campaign. Signs asking people nicely not to take our fruit were placed around the perimeter of the grove.”

And the result?

“Utter failure. The signs were ignored and, in some cases, even ripped from the ground and left laying there to be found the next morning.”

It would take until the summer picking season arrived this year before the company would come up with a better idea, one virtually guaranteed to bring an end to the thefts.

“One of my guys, Manny, suggested we get a security gate,” said Clementine. And so Sunnyside Groves did exactly that. The security gate, complete with reflective paint on the bar, was placed halfway through the grove along the main driveway in hopes would-be thieves would reconsider.

Unfortunately, the company’s woes continue to compound. The grove, which lacks any kind of fence or wall around its borders, seems to be losing product at an even more rapid pace, as if the citrus burglars are mocking the Sunnyside crew’s futile attempts. When asked why the grove had no perimeter barrier, company officers shrugged and dithered, but provided no reasonable response, preferring instead to return to the subject of the security gate.

“I don’t understand,” the company’s financial officer, Trisha Seville, was quoted as saying. “We have a security gate. Why won’t these criminals respect our attempts to put an end to their nefarious activities?”

Experts in citrusecurity have been called in to assess the problem, but so far there are no solid answers.

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Lord Voldemort May Appear in Star Wars Episode 9¾ /2016/06/10/voldemort-possibly-appear-star-wars-episode-9-3-4/ /2016/06/10/voldemort-possibly-appear-star-wars-episode-9-3-4/#respond Fri, 10 Jun 2016 12:30:57 +0000 /?p=1607 An industry insider claims an upcoming Star Wars installment could have a surprise guest from an altogether different story: Lord Voldemort. London, England – Fans of Star Wars and Harry Potter are, in many cases, one and the same. Indeed, a Venn diagram depicting the two fandoms might be remarkably similar …

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An industry insider claims an upcoming Star Wars installment could have a surprise guest from an altogether different story: Lord Voldemort.

London, England – Fans of Star Wars and Harry Potter are, in many cases, one and the same. Indeed, a Venn diagram depicting the two fandoms might be remarkably similar to a single circle. While there are some hold-outs – notably old Star Wars grognards who just want the children of the Harry Potter generation (who really are not children any longer) to get off their collective lawns – people who enjoy a story of swashbuckling lightsaber duels and blaster fire are likely to appreciate a romp through a magical England.

“Both Disney and Warner Bros. are counting on that fact,” said an insider source who wished to remained unnamed.

What is he talking about? The source, who we’ll call Mr. Jones, claims that Warner Bros., who owns the movie rights to the Harry Potter franchise, and Disney, who recently bought Lucasfilm (and with it the Star Wars property) for an estimated four billion dollars, are in talks to bring an infamous Harry Potter character to a galaxy far, far away. Which one?

“Voldemort is the obvious choice,” Mr. Jones said.

If the news is legitimate, his reasoning seems sound enough. After all, there are no small number of similarities between the Harry Potter villain and the bad guys who lead the Empire and the First Order. Voldemort, for instance, is called a Dark Lord, as are masters of the dark side of the Force, the Dark Lords of the Sith. He Who Must Not Be Named once used a more banal moniker (Tom Riddle) as did Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker) and Kylo Ren (Ben Solo). Voldemort uses magic to throw lightning at his foes. Some of his Star Wars counterparts – Darth Sidious and Darth Tyranus – use the Force (which is sometimes considered magic) to rain lightning down on their enemies.

“Even the word Sith sounds like Parseltongue,” insisted Mr. Jones.

Parseltongue, for the uninitiated, is the language of serpents, serpentine creatures, and those who can speak to them in the Harry Potter universe. On that count, noted linguist and Knozzle correspondent Alexander Magpie agrees, informing us that a word made up of a single S sound, punctuated by a TH, with only a short I in the middle does sound like it might be spoken by a snake.

“Seriously. Say it out loud,” Mr. Jones persists. “Sith. Siiiith!”

While Voldemort seems the obvious choice, Mr. Jones agrees that other Harry Potter characters might be part of the crossover instead. Professor Tralawney, for instance, could be a Force mystic rather than an astrologer. Perhaps Peeves is the remnant ghost of a former Jedi who lost his mind in a battle between the light side and the dark side. He remains firm, however, that the serpent-faced bad guy is a shoe-in for the story, possibly as Supreme Leader Snoke’s replacement in the next trilogy.

“Why else would they bandy about names like Star Wars Episode 9¾ with subtitles like The Prisoner of Belsavis or The Half-Blood Sith?” he asked.

Why indeed.

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Weirdnesday #1: Wednesday Deconstructed /2016/06/08/weirdnesday-1-wednesday-deconstructed/ /2016/06/08/weirdnesday-1-wednesday-deconstructed/#respond Wed, 08 Jun 2016 12:30:32 +0000 /?p=1628 Coffee is deconstructed, robots become the victims of kill switches, the Burger King hopes for a new ring, and goat milk goes boom! The weirdness is out there! It’s hip, it’s new, and it’s deconstructed here for you. Weirdnesday is an occasional mid-week dip into the world of the strange, the …

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Coffee is deconstructed, robots become the victims of kill switches, the Burger King hopes for a new ring, and goat milk goes boom!

The weirdness is out there! It’s hip, it’s new, and it’s deconstructed here for you. Weirdnesday is an occasional mid-week dip into the world of the strange, the things that may or may not be happening out there around you. This week in…

. . . Sidney, Australia

Hot on the heels of one hipster cafe offering deconstructed coffee – three beakers, one containing steamed milk, one hot water, and one espresso – an Australian coffeehouse has decided to go one step further. Patrons of The Human Bean sit at tables equipped with coffee grinders, french presses, water spigots, and milk steamers, along with a variety of fresh coffee beans and flavorings from around the world. After paying for their hot caffeine fix at the front counter, they are free to make their own beverage just the way they want it. And if they get hungry and want a bite to eat? The do-it-yourself bakery in the back allows them to cook up their own bagels.

. . . Mountain View, California

The idea that machinery and robotics could one day achieve a degree of sentience has long been the stuff of science fiction. Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot pondered the fate of a world where robots are people too, while the Terminator series and The Matrix trilogy frightened viewers with images of a world under robotic control. Fear no more, however. Google, a company on the forefront of technological breakthroughs ranging from cell phones and web browsers to self-driving cars, has decided to build a kill switch into their technology. What prompted them to take such precautions? The decision was spurred on by the dire predictions of futurists like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, who have warned against the possibility of a coming war between humans and artificial intelligence. When asked if Microsoft would be implementing similar technology, former CEO Bill Gates simply responded, “Resistance is futile.”

. . . Tokyo, Japan

The internet has seen a lot of chatter about a new McDonald’s contest in Japan. To promote their Chicken McNuggets, the fast food giant recently announced a scavenger hunt style giveaway. The prize? A solid gold Chicken McNugget worth upwards of fifteen hundred dollars. In order to win, contestants must follow McDonald’s Japan on Twitter and keep an eye out for the Nugget Thief, a strange gremlin who looks like the unholy lovechild of Ronald McDonald and the Hamburglar. Burger King has responded with a contest of their own devising, offering customers in Japan a lifetime stipend of Whoppers in exchange for McDonald’s golden nugget, which they promise to melt down and recast as a giant new ring for the… well, for the Burger King.

. . . Sacramento, California

Researchers at the University of California, Davis campus have reportedly begun a series of experiments with the rather lofty goal of solving a host of medical problems. Professor Pablo Ross, the reproductive specialist who is heading up the project, is injecting pig embryos with human stem cells in hopes the little piglets will be born with fully functional – and eventually transplantable – human organs. But UC Davis isn’t the only place researching pharm (short for pharmaceutical) animals. A Russian biotech firm announced the successful first step in growing an octopus with human eyes. And in the Middle East, Al Qaeda Technical College reported two members of their weaponized goat cheese team deceased after a recent milking accident.

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Absurdity is the Soul of Change – The Hawk-Eye View /2016/06/07/absurdity-is-the-soul-of-change/ /2016/06/07/absurdity-is-the-soul-of-change/#respond Tue, 07 Jun 2016 12:30:38 +0000 /?p=1568 Absurdity is the catalyst that drives us to change, the fuel for transformation. Simon Hawk is ready to make a change, to be absurd. Will you join him? Warning: This is not a funny post, satirical article, or witty letter. This is just the truth – my truth – and …

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Absurdity is the catalyst that drives us to change, the fuel for transformation. Simon Hawk is ready to make a change, to be absurd. Will you join him?

Warning: This is not a funny post, satirical article, or witty letter. This is just the truth – my truth – and may get a little dark.

Absurdity is the soul of change. A wise man once hammered out those very words, etching them in the collective consciousness of the internet with the same permanence that sees old GeoCities sites still available through internet archives. In context, this rather handsome individual of deep and resounding discernment said:

Satire matters because absurdity is the soul of change. It’s not until we can laugh at our foibles, our eccentricities, and our mistakes that we can move on to better things. Satire matters because it is the exemplification of the right to free expression. Satire matters because not only is it inherently divisive, but it holds the key to atonement with those who hold views divergent from our own. Satire matters because it brings hypocrisy – that of the satire’s target and its author – to light.

I had no idea how right I was. Especially that last sentence. Egads, this last year has been hellacious, like riding a roller coaster, only instead of being comfortably seated in the last car (some people like the first car, but you get the best yanked-over-the-top sensation from the last!), it’s your job to drag the train of carts up each rise, then catch it from behind and keep it from plummeting down each fall at breakneck speeds. On every level, the last twelve months have been being trying, and I’m not just talking about for me.

What is that old Chinese curse? “May you live in interesting times.” We live in interesting times, alright. We live in times of absurdity.

On the global theater, we’ve seen increased tensions in the Middle East, with ISIS members murdering those who won’t join by the scores, enacting their violence in ways that would make the Marquis de Sade blush. On a cultural level, we’ve lost icons such as Harper Lee, Alan Rickman, David Bowie, and Prince, people who did not merely entertain us, but who challenged us to think our own thoughts rather than be dragged along by the currents of the popular mindset. Here in the States, our latest presidential race has come down to a liar, a fool, and Donald Trump. (I would have called him something else, but his name alone evokes such a broad disparity of emotions in readers that it becomes and effective epithet.) And don’t get me started on Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Paging Helena Handbasket. Ms. Handbasket, it seems the world is going to you.

Things have been wonky on a personal level, too. No, there haven’t been any major deaths or dismemberments (as far as I know everyone still has all their bits still attached!), nor have my molecules revolted against one another in a microscopic civil war. And while this global absurdity hasn’t yet kicked down my door, there have been a thousand needles poking me from within the confines of my own life, shadowy beasts creeping up from the darkness beneath the veneer of the humor-loving fat-and-happy me. The most tenacious of these creatures has a name we all know: Depression.

Depression is the absurdity within. It is the demon whose claws are buried three inches into the soul not because it fought for its hold, but because it forces a person into a state of passive submission, digging those daggers into the heart with tacit permission – and sometimes active assistance – from the victim themselves. Depression is a master of the snowball effect. Once it starts, it rolls onward, growing larger and and more daunting with each thought, all the while encouraging its victim to pile on more dirty, compacted snow for it to add to its ever-burgeoning mass.

The beast is a stealthy figure, obscuring itself behind your memories and your thoughts, insinuating itself into every aspect of your life. It makes itself your shadow, sewn to your feet by strands of your own imagination; where you walk, it walks, and where you hide, it hides. Many who suffer from its virulent ministrations are clueless as to its presence, and those who know they are its victims still have a difficult time shaking off its presence.

See? I told you it might get a little dark. Heck, that was so steeped in shadows I swear I heard Batman mutter, “I am the night.”

I know from firsthand experience just how dark it is. My war with depression has been waged on the battlefield of my mind for over two decades; most days it feels as though I gain no ground. This last year, especially the last six months, has been a grueling reminder of how out of control life can spin. It has hit on every front, breaking down my confidence and leaving me all but helpless. Each rejected resume, every ignored job application, all the letters of intent sent out and answered with a resounding “NO” made me question my value, my ability to contribute.

But as dark as Depression might be, the wily creature is an absurdity unto itself, and because it is an absurdity, the embodiment of things that should not be, it is a catalyst for change, a call for transition. It demands the victim make a choice: change or wither away into a husk.

This is the choice presented to me. Either find the strength to change or wither away to a soulless cadaver. I choose to be strong. To survive. To thrive. To move forward.

Or at least sideways.

To find my place.

So now, after hundreds of resumes and cover letters written, after scores of attempts at finding where I belong, I have come to a conclusion – one I discussed just over a year ago. As I said in that article: I have two skills, two marketable talents, things I do with enough panache to be considered reasonably above average. I write and I speak. Heck, I’m not even particularly funny. I just write things and say words, and I aim to make one (or both) of those of those things a grand player in my search for change.

But I’ve taken this route alone, and I’ve failed, so I’m asking for your help.

Up in the top right hand corner of this page, there’s a little graphic with the words “Support Knozzle on Patreon”. This what I’m asking from you. Support Knozzle – support me – on Patreon. Don’t know what Patreon is? As I said in a previous editorial:

A long time ago writers didn’t sell their works. Instead, they were paid through the generosity of wealthy patrons to whom, in turn, books and poems and plays were dedicated.

Which explains why such dedications tended to be so stuffed with flattery.

Well… Patreon is sort of like that. You play the part of the wealthy patron (even if you’re not wealthy!) and I play the part of the writer. In other words, you (and others like you) donate a small amount to keep me doing what I do. On the individual level, people who donate might get small rewards – “Thank You” notes or invites to Google Hangout Q&As or the odd fur-bearing tropical fruit.

As those small amounts start to build toward something that resembles a living wage and I reach certain milestones, I make changes that benefit both me and my readers, like adding a podcast by octogenarian Melvin Kingfisher, or posting a video of me dressed in a pink gorilla suit doing handstands in downtown Wichita. (Don’t be silly. First, I’m way too large for your average gorilla suit. Second, even at my best, I’ve never been able to manage a handstand. But I’m okay with pink. Real men can wear pink and never bat a long, dark eyelash.)

What I’m saying is I want to build a future, to create something wild and vivid and fun and… who knows? Put words to paper, maybe write something to make people laugh, to brighten someone’s day. From there, who knows where it could go? I have the basics for a studio set up already, so maybe podcasting (with Melvin Kingfisher!) or even YouTube videos. The vision is bigger than just Knozzle, of course, but I’d rather take some small steps now in order to be certain my footing is strong when I begin to make larger leaps.

Of course, this is its own absurdity. Can some guy careening headlong into his middle years really start over, really make something out of mere words? Is it possible to create success out of air so thin? What does the future have in store for me?

Can I go from one absurdity to another?

This is the beginning of a new journey. If you want to come along, drop me a line here at the site, or follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Or, if you’re so inclined, check out my Patreon page and lend a hand.

Thank you.

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Presidential Candidate May Be Alien, Researcher Claims /2016/06/06/presidential-candidate-may-alien-researcher-claims/ /2016/06/06/presidential-candidate-may-alien-researcher-claims/#respond Mon, 06 Jun 2016 12:30:53 +0000 /?p=1546 While millions of Americans prepare to vote for Donald Trump, one man believes the presidential candidate may indeed be an extra-terrestrial. New York City, New York – It cannot be denied that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is different from other White House hopefuls. Financially beholden to none, the self-proclaimed “self-made billionaire” …

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While millions of Americans prepare to vote for Donald Trump, one man believes the presidential candidate may indeed be an extra-terrestrial.

New York City, New York – It cannot be denied that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is different from other White House hopefuls. Financially beholden to none, the self-proclaimed “self-made billionaire” represents a kind of hybrid entrepreneurial-political animal the likes of which nobody could predict. His followers are ardent, even fierce, and his detractors are staunch and full of vitriol.

Love him or hate him, however, Trump is changing the landscape of American politics. Dr. Bob Huxton, an independent researcher with an eclectic resume that includes stints with groups as divergent as SETI (the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) and Chuck E. Cheese, believes he knows what is behind the real estate mogul’s polarizing presence.

“Aliens.”

Huxton says it deadpan, without a hint of humor in his voice. His theory is simple. Certain people rise to success not because they are so well liked, but because they generate a “personality aura” capable of rewriting the programming in the minds of human beings.

“Look at Steve Jobs,” he said during a recent phone call. “People either flocked to him or scoffed at him, but hardly anyone was in the middle.” Jobs’ reality distortion field is indeed a well-known and documented fact, one mentioned nearly every time his marketing of Apple’s products was reported.

“Steve used his ability to infect his followers with an information virus. That’s why Apple was so successful during his latter years with them, and why their success is waning now.”

He claims Trump has capability of creating a similar aura, and that the former host of The Apprentice may indeed be more powerful than Apple’s deceased CEO, but lacking in some of Jobs’ finesse. Still, Trump seems to have gotten the hang of this power, if recent polls are to be believed. How else could the meteoric rise of such an outsider to the political arena be explained?

“It’s because he’s more alien than Jobs,” Huxton insisted. Jobs, he claims, was three quarters human, with only one quarter genetically extra-terrestrial.

“Flip the numbers for Trump.”

It is unclear whether Huxton believes people like Trump and Jobs possessed true alien ancestory or if they were genetically modified, but there is more evidence that the general principle behind the scientist’s theory is correct, he assures us.

“The presidential candidate’s orange-tinted skin and sentient toupee are both unmistakable signs of the billionaire’s alien genetic code,” he said. “The toupee in particular is a symbiotic creature capable of magnifying Trump’s aura through subtle movements of its individual threads.”

“It also hides his antennae.”

The irony is delicious, of course. Many believe Trump regards illegal aliens – what the left calls “undocumented immigrants” – with disdain, while others allege he has a deep-seated hatred of American minorities in general. How interesting would it be to discover Donald J. Trump is the true alien?

We reached out to other experts, including Giorgio Tsoukalos (who produces History Channel’s Ancient Aliens), author Alan Dean Foster, and alien hunter and abduction specialist Derrel Sims, but received no response, other than a quick note from Jodie Foster, who starred in Contact. Unfortunately, her message was penned in an unintelligible mish-mash of Aurebesh, Klingon, and Zentradi, which nobody seemed too intent on translating.


Also available in audio format by Knozzle correspondent Geoffrey Willowtit.

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Girl Composes Guitar Ballad for Unappreciative Comatose Boyfriend /2016/06/03/girl-composes-guitar-ballad-unappreciative-comatose-boyfriend/ /2016/06/03/girl-composes-guitar-ballad-unappreciative-comatose-boyfriend/#comments Fri, 03 Jun 2016 12:30:50 +0000 /?p=1449 A Haysville, Kansas girl is inconsolable after her comatose boyfriend has an adverse reaction to the guitar ballad she wrote especially for him. Haysville, Kansas – A girl from the Wichita suburb of Haysville is inconsolable after her boyfriend, a Wesley Medical Center patient who recently succumbed to a brain-eating virus …

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Guitar Girl

A Haysville, Kansas girl is inconsolable after her comatose boyfriend has an adverse reaction to the guitar ballad she wrote especially for him.

Haysville, Kansas – A girl from the Wichita suburb of Haysville is inconsolable after her boyfriend, a Wesley Medical Center patient who recently succumbed to a brain-eating virus after fighting for his life for three years, regained consciousness.

“He slipped into a coma last September,” Shelly Maycomb, 17, said, speaking of her boyfriend, Bobby Newall. “He was so strong, but he just couldn’t fight forever.”

Shelly shared in Newall’s fight for the entirety of his struggle. They began dating while attending middle school together, and have been described by other students as “too cute” and “the perfect couple.”

“She held fundraisers to help raise money for Bobby,” said one fellow Haysville High senior. “I mean, she’d do concerts and everything.”

Indeed Maycomb, an accomplished folk guitarist in spite of her youth, often playing at local coffeehouses and eateries. Singing mostly old Carpenters tunes, she spent countless hours strumming her six-string for tips, raising tens of dollars to help pay for Newall’s medical expenses.

Her most notable accomplishment, however, was a song inspired by Bobby Newall’s love of doughnuts, a sweeping guitar ballad titled You Make Me Hole, which she debuted at one of her boyfriend’s favorite places, a confectionery known as The Donut Whole. After a pittance of applause she interpreted as approval, Maycomb upload the tune to Apple’s music service so the world could hear how much she loves Bobby.

You make me hole
I’m just a doughnut without you
You make me hole
A jelly Bismark, frosted too

“You always hear stories,” Maycomb said, “where someone is in a coma and their significant other writes them a song and sings it and then they live happily ever after.”

Reality, however, was not so kind of Shelly Maycomb. In February, she sang her song to Newall. During the second chorus, he woke. To Shelly’s horror, however, Bobby scowled and asked for everyone but his mother to clear the room.

“He asked for my iPhone,” recalls Nancy Newall, Bobby’s mom. “I gave it to him and he used it to post a review of her song on iTunes.”

After a brief pause, she concludes with three words: “It wasn’t pretty.”

Bobby Newall and Shelly Maycomb are, by all accounts, still a couple. Both of their Facebook pages, however, have their relationship status set to “It’s complicated.”

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