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Blog: A. PLAYWRIGHT'S RAMBLINGS
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: A small zoo. Zebra, Christmas show director/producer/mentor to the lesser talented, is preparing the zoo denizens to put on their annual Christmas performanceAT RISE
: Some of the performers are chatting amongst themselves while others work closely, in some cases too closely, going over linesZEBRA(
...sleigh...bag of toys...jingle bells... What's missing? Hello? Where are the reindeer?REINDEER RANDY
(munching on moss)
I'm here, Zee (burps) There - betterZEBRA
Did your mother not teach you it's uncouth to burp out loud, not to mention very impolite and boorish REINDEER RANDY
Maybe she did if I knew what those words meantZEBRA
Why...why do I agree to do this every year?
(ZEBRA stares at himself in the mirror
) 'You do it for the sake of the theatre, you talented, handsome beast...'(cont'd.)
Where, pray tell, are the others, he asks, afraid of what he'll be toldREINDEER RANDY
They're back in the barn, playing poker. ZEBRA
Say what? The show is about to begin and they're gambling? REINDER RANDY
They're playing for some greenZEBRA
Stop them immediately! The last thing we need is for the zoo to be raided!(staring at himself in the mirror)'
It just never ends, does it, gorgeous beast!'REINDEER RANDY
Not to worry. There's only moss in the pot. Want me to go get them?ZEBRA
Why must I suffer the humiliation of amatoor
performers? Why? REINDEER RANDY
Because nobody else will do it?ZEBRA
Tell them to take their places in front of the sleigh, immediately. I'm a professional... I have a reputation to retain... they need me... without my presence there is no show. Go and bring them here posthaste - that means fast for your edification(ZEBRA stares at himself in full-length mirror. Places a cloth on his forehead)(cont'd.)
I feel a mee-graine
coming on...must control myself
(cont'd.)'My but those stripes are stunning! I would fall in love with you if I hadn't already!' (loud squawking can be heard)(cont'd. ZEBRA)
My head...the noise...Is there no peace for moi
? (staring at himself in the mirror)
'What did I do to deserve to be put in charge of these...these maladroit soubrettes
? Still, the show must go on. I am a professional. Hmmmm
- my stripes do give my very well proportioned body a certain je ne said quoi...What are you doing after the show, handsome...RAT
Excuse me Zeb...but there's a problemZEBRA
...those dark enquiring eyes...those long lashes... Rat! Why are here? You're in the opening scene RAT
Figured you'd want to know -ZEBRA
- we can't afford any more delays. My mee-grain
is definitely getting worse so break it to me in gentle hintsRAT
Well...it has to do with Santa....ZEBRA
- are my eyes bloodshot? There's nothing worse than a zebra with red eyes. People will think I've taken to drink, although I wouldn't blame myself. Is it the costume thing, again? I mean, really, the chicken is quite vain. She assured me she could handle the role. Nobody will even realize that the jacket won't close...just tell her to hold her mitts in front...RAT
...and one of the actorsZEBRA
I sent her to a quiet place to go over her lines with the acting coach, although why the necessity is beyond me. I mean, really, "Ho-ho-ho. I think I hear Santa" Nevertheless - where is she? Thespian chickens tend to be peckish. I'll have to give her a pep talkRAT
Well that's just it...ZEBRA
What's it? Stop speaking in riddles and go get herRAT
Seems somebody offered to give her private coaching in his denZEBRA
That can't be a bad thing. Wait a minute - did you say 'den'
? That Cheetah! I should have known better! Last year it was Mr. Squeeze who got up close and personal with the squirrel and now this. I need some of my special tonic to help assuage my nerves.RAT
Perhaps that's not such a great idea, Zeb. Remember what happened last yearZEBRA
They don't pay me enough greens to direct this Christmas show. Must calm down. Is it...RAT
(holding up feathers)
No! This can't be happening! There's no time for a replacement so I, myself, will be forced to don the red costume, even though it clashes with my stripes and does absolutely nothing for my skin. The show must go on. But first, a dose of tonic....maybe two doses...down the hatch. "Places everyone! Curtain up!" NEXT:IT'S SHOW TIME, IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE
Once again as has been the case on too many occasions, a rejection slip slipped in my email 'in' box. Somehow, in spite of nice, genteel words of apology by the theatre or whoever is in charge of the rejection notices, it doesn't get easier.
Really, given my former position as a freelance newspaper columnist/writer for many years, rejection slips aren't an unusual occurrence, but receiving playwriting-related rejections is a downer.
This time the recipient of the rebuff was one of my favorite short plays, "The Lemon." A short comedy, it focuses on the trials and tribulations of a woman attempting to contact a towing company in order to get her car removed, while trying to convince a public phone user to make the call. In spite of the usual assurances that the theatre will keep the play for possible future use, it was a disheartening notice. Dejection, as any writer will attest, never gets easier.
Looking back, none of my plays have yet to be produced in spite of witty dialogue, interesting plots and good spelling and punctuation. Look - gotta look for positive points where I can find them! Had high hopes for "The Shrubs", which didn't materialize and my short plays came back home without a successful showing.
Today while skimming through potential submission opportunities, came across a notification that the deadline for the BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition is coming up at the end of January 2016. In the past on two occasions, attempts to convert a play and a short story into radio format met with rejection. I'm toying with the idea - that's as far as it's progressed - of trying to convert "The Lemon" into a radio play. Given the fast approaching deadline, starting a new play isn't practical and it would be a personal challenge to see what can be accomplished in a month. Who knows...
Meanwhile, old soldier Joe McKenna and his vet pals are still meeting at the neighborhood bar, waiting for a new direction from the playwright. This play keeps calling me back in spite of self-declarations to let it die in peace. But it won't. There is something about the characters and the story line that is compelling and begging to be told.
"We ain't gettin' any younger," they all keep reminding me.
Neither are any of us, guys. Neither are any of us...
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By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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Love is in the air at Riverdale, and Archie, Betty, and Veronica are breathing deeply! Valerie from the Josie & the Pussycats band has caught Archie’s eye this Valentine’s Day, but Betty and Veronica have something to say about that. Check out the Comics Beat’s exclusive preview of Betty & Veronica Comics Double Digest #239! […]
Fail once, try twice more. Although NBC’s Constantine may be gone after a graceless one-season bow, DC Comics is continuing their partnership with the rainbow peacock in an attempt to solidify their domination of superheroes on network television. They’ve already announced Lucifer, and today Deadline reported that NBC would be producing a new office comedy with DC called Powerless. […]
Title: Luck of the Draw
Writer: Michael Smith
Director: Matthew Dye
Performed by: Renegade Theatre Company and VF
Cast: Neil Brown, Claire Deards, Tom Hurst, Niven Willett, Grace J. Willis, Hayley White, and Zac Abbott
Seen at: Duke Street Theatre
Review: Six friends, getting ready for a night out, with Papa John's pizza, waiting for the lottery results, and plenty of alcohol. It's funny, it's dirty, it's crazy. But then there's an accident which throws suspicion into the group, and by the end, the night has gone horribly wrong.
I wanted to see this because I love the Renegade Theatre crew, and this was being advertised as a black comedy, which is definitely my cup of tea.
The humour was just as good as I'd hoped. Yes, you can think badly of me at laughing at various parts of it, because, as I said on the night, the majority of jokes are centered around things that cause people to go to hell (the effect of sexual favours for animals on a career in TV, potential necrophilia, what appeared to be multiple stabbings whilst everybody panics (I'm not sure about that one, I was laughing too much)) but at the time, in context, with the characters and the delivery, it was perfect. I also enjoyed the running gags- it's a menorah is probably one of Tom's greatest lines.
The writing, despite the mild bigotry that came in-character from some, is excellent. It's sharp and funny. Relationships and characters are established really quickly. The cliffhanger before the interval is huge, and act 2 went in millions of directions, expected and unexpected, bringing in things you thought were throwaway lines but turn out to be very important indeed. I didn't really enjoy Neil's philosophising in act 2, though, but the poignancy of the phone call was a poignant breather before...everything else.
The cast was brilliant. Everybody was completely in character, and they complemented and interacted with eachother like a real group of friends would. The improvisation especially was on point (I only saw one show, but I heard an usher saying he noticed some parts improvised. The Star Wars lines between Grace and Tom! Perfect!)
The set and tech is very different to Spring Awakening. It's just a mess. There's nothing else to call it. Reflecting Niven's personality totally, made with little details like a Katy Perry poster and a full book/dvd case where you sat close enough to be able to see some titles. I love how completely versatile Duke Street Theatre is, and how well they transformed the space for Luck of the Draw.
Overall: Strength 4.5, just a 4* to a fast, funny, filthy show that I wish I'd seen multiple times.
*If I hadn't had other theatre reviews with ratings, this would have probably been a 5. However, the last two shows I reviewed with a 5 were on a level that transcended every single expectation and left me breathless in awe, so that's my standard of strength 5 theatre shows. The problems of having a numerical rating system that you can't extend upwards!
Title: Tony Takezaki’s Neon Genesis Evangelion Genre: Comedy, Parody Author: Tony Takezaki Publisher: Dark Horse (US) / Kadokawa Shoten (JP) Serialized In: Young Ace Release Date: May 27, 2015 Review copy provided by the publisher. Is there such a thing as “Evangelion fatigue?” If so, the fandom certainly hasn’t felt it, as the manga spinoffs ... Read more
Even though I have a plastic watering container, for whatever reason, punching holes in the lid of a large, empty juice container seemed like a good idea. This got me thinking - one of those "what if" moments: what if everyone reading this decided to do the same and pursue our creation on the "Shark Tank" TV program for financial backing! Would it fly?
SCENE: SET OF “SHARK TANK” TV SERIES. A FEMALE, FOLLOWED BY A LARGE GROUP OF MALES AND FEMALES HOLDING JUICE CONTAINERS, ENTERS. THE FOUR “SHARKS” STUDY HER WHILE MAKING NOTES.
VOICE OVER: “NEXT ON SHARK TANK, A GARDENING AFIENCIENADO WHO HAS COME UP WITH AN INNOVATIVE ALTERNATIVE TO A STORE-BOUGHT WATERING DEVICE. SHE’S ASKING FOR $50,000 FOR 30% EQUITY Hello moneyed sharks! My name is blah-blah and I’ve come up with an inventive and cheap alternative to the watering can. When it comes to buying gardening tools, most gardeners head to their local gardening outlet to buy their equipment. Chances are that you or your maid or whoever takes care of buying grocery supplies buy the larger sized juice containers being more economical (sharks all shake their heads in agreement and take more notes). Once the container is empty, it’s tossed in the recycling pile. But wait a minute! Don’t do that! It can be recycled again.MARK CUBAN Who are all those people you brought with you?FEMALE INVENTOR They’re the CYBER FRIENDS OF FACEBOOK group who are my strongest supporters. They’re also big fans of Shark TankKEVIN O’LEARY Yuck! Juice spilled on my very expensive tie. If you can’t wash out your invention before bringing it here… I’m…FEMALE INVENTOR Wait! Let me elucidate this great concept that’s akin to reinventing the wheel!MARK CUBAN What is this? Says here in my notes that this is about juice containers. Now you’re talking about a new wheel? Give her a chance, Mark. So why exactly have you come to us for big bucks? Are you asking us to fund a juice container with wheels? I don’t get it… FEMALE INVENTOR (visibly nervous) Honestly? All I see there is a used juice container. Maybe this isn’t for me… Okay. I got it together now. Time is marching on, lady. Get on with your pitch! As I was saying…I was about to throw an orange juice container in the recycling pile and suddenly – you know – one of those eureka moments – I get the urge to punch holes in the lid, which I did… …this is painful. So big deal! Anybody can do that! Next! …filled it up with water and then used it to water my flower boxes. No splashing and the perfect system for a gentle watering of plants So let’s see this container of yours I’ve only brought one sample. If you can pass it along… We have to share one lousy juice container and it’s sticky with juice residue You should’a brought enough for all of us and Kevin is right. The least you could have done is wash the juice container All I see is five holes in a lid of a juice container. Anybody… No everybody who buys juice can do that. I’m out Maybe this has potential and maybe it doesn’t. Tell you what I’m gonna do because they don’t call me Mr. Wonderful for nothing. I’ll give you $500 for a 75% equity. That’s more than fair I don’t know…what do you think, people? (she turns and asks the large group of people with her holding juice containers. They shake their heads indicating approval) Better hurry up and decide whether to take my offer. Your only offer Um…I don’t know what to do… (large group of people chant, “take it, take it…”(cont’d. FEMALE INVENTOR) As much as I thank you for your support, I have to decline your offer (laughing) You made a big mistake, lady. Next!KEVIN O’LEARY You are nothing to me! A cockroach looking for leftovers in the juice of life…or something. Leave and take your container with you BARBARA CORCORON Kevin – must you always philosophize when someone tells you and your offer to take a hike? You could be more charitableKEVIN O’LEARY And lose my reputation as Mr. Wonderful?FEMALE INVENTOR FOLLOWED BY HER GROUP LEAVE, DROPPING THE CONTAINERS IN THE TRASH AS THEY WALK OUT
Sharing the first scene of my first play, "A WEDDING" a.k.a. "MAKE ME A WEDDING." A comedy, the story focuses on the trials and tribulations of a young couple who want a small, intimate wedding, versus the bride and groom's mothers, who want an all-out, no holds barred (expensive) affair.
In this opening scene, the bride announces her engagement to her parents.
SETTING: Greenberg family living room. Plastic slip-covers cover, kitschy French-provincial furniture, circa 1970’s. On either side of the couch are two end tables with drop “crystal” lamps on each table AT RISE: A tense MORTY GREENBERG paces, stopping periodically to glance out of a window.SADIE his wife, sits in an armchair, absorbed in her knitting. She glances up from time-to-time to watch MORTY
Five minutes later than the last time you asked me. Stop pacing already or you'll wear a hole in the carpet. It's thin enough as it is
What could they be doing in the middle of the night?
Counting toothpicks in a restaurant. What's it your business? She needs your permission to stay out late?
What'll the neighbors think?
Oh pul-l-eeze! Get a life. They'll talk no matter what she does or doesn't do and what they don't know, they make up. Sit down and watch TV
I can't focus knowing that my daughter is out there – somewhere - doing who-knows-what. Maybe we should go search for her or better yet, call the police
Not! If we brought her up right, she's okay. You stay up and wait for her if you want but I'm going to bed
Don't you wanna be here when she comes in?
Why? She doesn't know the way to her room? Come to bed, Morty! Some mother you are. What happens if… if they were in an accident or something? Maybe they're injured and can't call us Maybe the cell phone got crushed along with the car… …and maybe you should get a life? I'm staying up and waiting for her like a good father, unlike other people who are more interested in their beauty rest. Like it'll help anyway… I can’t take it anymore! I’m calling the police Enough already! Really Morty, she’s 22 years old. Sit here if you want to but I gotta get some sleep Sure, go to bed and leave me all alone to wait for your daughter
How come she’s “your daughter” when she does things that you don't like? Besides, I'm sure David is taking good care of her
Move away from that window or the neighbors will think you're a voyeur! Did I mention Becky's daughter got engaged last night? Don't think she didn't rub it in about the big diamond that her Joanie got. Two carats she tells me! Like the size of a diamond would interest me!
Of course not! Things like that aren't important to a person with your class. You materialistic? Never!
It's what's inside a person’s heart that counts, not the size of a bank account. That's what I told Becky. Honestly, that woman is so money-oriented! I don't know how we stayed best friends all these years Are you telling me that you’d hold it against a potential husband for your daughter, if he was cash-friendly?
Let me put it this way: if and I say if, the boy happens to come from a wealthy family, I wouldn’t hold it against him. I'm not prejudiced that way. Listen, I get dark circles under my eyes if I don’t get enough sleep
“And you need all the help you can get!” Dark circles aren't her only problem. The woman needs a complete head transplant. Where's that daughter of mine?
MORTY rushes to chair and feigns sleep
'Don't forget to call me the minute you get home! Mom will be thrilled when I tell her our news. Wave to Mrs. Belinsky across the road, the nosy busybody. I love you, David!'
Hi popsy. Wha'cha doin' up so late? Are you waiting up for me again?
Wha…hmmm..? Must'a fallen asleep in front of the TV. What time is it?
What am I going to do with you, pops? Where's mom? Your mother was tired so she went upstairs. She was knitting me another one of her scarves to join the other sixteen stored away in the closet. When will she realize that I only have one neck? Where were you so late? I was under the impression I can come home whenever I feel like it – at least that’s what you tell me What'll the neighbors think, a nice girl like you coming in at the crack of dawn? Would you prefer that I move out altogether and you won’t have to worry about what everyone will say? Let them mind their own business for a change
It's a lot to ask to call home and say you're alive?
Can we move on? I have something important to tell you both. Better still, go wake up mom. She'll wanna hear this
Something is wrong! I knew it! I told your mother that she should wait up but did she listen? Noooo! Her beauty rest is more important
Why do you always think the worst? It just so happens that this is fantastic news and mom will be thrilled when she hears what I have to say
Dances around room, waving her left hand
D'ya notice anything new – like - on my left hand?
You changed the color of your nail polish? Whoa! That’s new since breakfast? You do know what this means… A miracle! At last there's gonna be another male in the family and I'll have a chance at winning an argument, for a change! I didn't expect that kind of reaction but I'll take it as a sign you approve?
What's not to approve? The groom to be is David?
Who else? You know we've been seeing each other seriously and there's never been anyone else in my life, nor will there ever be. He's the most wonderful, sensitive, romantic…
And those are just his so-so qualities. Only joking, honey. He's a good guy and normal, unlike some of those other weirdos you brought home to us. I still break out in a sweat thinking about - what was his name now - Clifford? What kind’a person tattoos the name of his girlfriend on his forehead and God knows where else?
That was just a high school crush, pop and besides, I kind’a thought it was romantic at the time
Sure you would 'cause you're not a parent - yet. Let’s see now - who came next? What did he call himself - Pukey? Porky? And then there was…
I get your point, popsy
Remember your first rock concert? I couldn't hear for three days and never told your mother. Let me tell you - it was bliss! So? I'm still waiting for congratulations and a kiss My little girl - a bride! That means I’m old. I’ve never been old before How 'bout go get mom so I can share the good news with her, too? You want me to go wake up sleeping beauty? If I disturb her beauty rest, she'll open up a mouth to me but if I don't… Be right back
‘Whad'ya doing? Lemme alone Morty. I'm tired! It's not Saturday night…go watch another program or something. What about Rachel? Are you talking about our daughter,…. Get me my duster in the cupboard! The other one! That's for the rummage sale. Do you ever look at what I wear?’
SADIE rushes on stage followed by MORTY
Rachel, is this another of your father's senior moments?
It's about time! Looks like a decent sized diamond. Must be - what - a carat at least? Bigger maybe? David surprised me with it tonight. We don't want a long engagement so you won't have to plan a big party You're both so young. What's the big rush? They've been going out for five years! D'ya want she should be an old maid like your sister Miranda? I'm so excited! Becky's Joanie got engaged yesterday so she only beat you by one day! This isn't a contest as far as I'm concerned. We want to get married in three months
A summer wedding would be perfect, don'cha think? Maybe we could have it under a tent, in the back garden, just like those fancy society weddings. Mind you, indoors might be better in case of rain, but we have plenty of time to talk about the details
Did you hear what I said? We wanna get married in –like -three months
Come again? I gotta get my ears checked 'cause I thought I heard you say three months Your ears are fine, ma, and even if - and I say if - we wanted a garden wedding, pops has his old cars stored on the lawn, along with a thousand spare parts covering every square inch Listen, you want a reception in the back yard, I'll move everything into the garage… It has to be at that time because David's been invited to be a keynote speaker at a big lawyer's convention in Europe, so we'll make it a working honeymoon. It's the only time we're both free …maybe call a few scrap dealers today to see what they'll give me. At least we'll have a couple of extra dollars towards the wedding expenses… Typical! Your father is worrying about the gelt, already! You expect we should get everything together in such a short time? It takes a year at least to reserve a place and even then, we have to talk to a caterer, get a band… …then again maybe I should keep them all. 'Ya never know when my car is gonna die on me. It's going on nine years already
There’s something else I haven't told you. We want a small wedding with just close friends and family, so there shouldn't be any problems with the arrangements
Grabs chest, feigns shock and grabs MORTY for support
Do I hear right? You would deprive your parents of making you a big tra-la-la-wedding? I think I'm gonna faint. Catch me Morty!
We'd rather put everything towards important things like buying a house. You should be happy with all the money you’re gonna save Happy? You're gonna kill me! What'll I tell my friends? They'll think we're too cheap or can't afford to marry off our only daughter right! You can't do this to me Rachel! Sorry? It's our wedding and we want to keep it small. The idea of inviting a lot of people we don't know is not for us! I'm really tired and not prepared to hash this out with you now. We'll continue tomorrow when I'm fresh and can think clearly. At least I'll have a fighting chance Stay right where you are! I wanna hear all about how David proposed. This is what a mother waits for! I promise to tell you everything only let me get a couple of hours of sleep. Please? Let her go to bed, Sadie. The kind of wedding you want will put us back a few dollars. I like the idea that the kids are thinking small. Small is good You would, Mr. Cheap-skate! I'm sure David's family would want a decent-sized affair, too. Open up your pockets father-of-the-bride and let the moths fly out! Small wedding - over my dead body
I've heard enough for one night. Enjoy yourselves, you two!
You don't get it, do you? A big wedding means nice gifts. Have a small wedding and you end up with a bunch of fruit bowls and vases As far as I know, the only green growing on our trees are leaves. I have to worry about the cost if you don't What's money when you're marrying off your only child? Dear, dear, husband of mine, you should keep your nose out of things that aren't your business. Planning a wedding is a woman's affair. The husband only writes the checks
0 Comments on First scene of A WEDDING as of 5/6/2015 7:45:00 PM
Sue Morris @ KidLitReviews
Blog: Kid Lit Reviews
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Nickerbacher, The Funniest Dragon
Written by Terry John Barto
Illustrated by Kim Sponaugle
34 pages Age 5—8
“Nickerbacher is a sweet-tempered, bushy-browed beast who spends his days guarding Princess Gwendolyn and dreaming of being a stand-up comic—not exactly a profession for a dragon! He’s true to his duty as dragon—as dictated by his Papa—but wants only to make the world laugh. Gwendolyn is supportive and encouraging, telling his he needs to do what makes him happy. It isn’t until the dashing Prince Happenstance comes along, ready for a fight, that they realize that instead of battling each other, they should do what’s in their hearts and pursue their true desires (the Prince wants to e a baseball pitchwer). With a winning set at The Comedy Castle and his family’s newfound support and pride, it’s all laughter, happiness, and dreams come true for the good-natured dragon!” [press release]
The sign by Nickerbacher’s station below Princess Gwendolyn’s tower window states,
“BEWARE OF DRAGON”
Maybe at one time, but Nickerbacher is no threat to any Prince or enemy. The softhearted dragon loves the princess, but he would rather be doing something else—telling jokes—on stage, on the road, or just about any place he might land. Nickerbacher’s papa is not one for tomfoolery. The gigantic orange and red-spotted dragon strictly obeys one commandment,
“Every dragon has a duty to guard princesses.”
Nickerbacher is to be no exception and quickly stands guard—fearfully—whenever Papa checks up on him. Poor Nickerbacher, he tries to explain, but Papa will not budge. Nickerbacher may display his angst but will not disobey Papa. Kids will feel for him, but they will identify more with Prince Happenstance, who would rather be a baseball pitcher than a knight. (Did baseball exist at the time of knights and dragons?) The story is cute and the illustrations are captivating, nicely enhancing Barto’s story. I love the spread where Prince Happenstance flips a coin, which bounces off Nickerbacher’s nose.
Though he looks young for a knight (maybe eleven or twelve), Prince Happenstance is a tad full of himself, which fits his knightly role. Once the prince decides to follow his dream his attitudes takes a major shift. Nickerbacher’s family finally accepts his true self, encouraging him to pursue his comedic dreams. The story does not end there. We see Nickerbacher signing his book How to be Funny with modern appearing people waiting in a long line for his signature. Nickerbacher no longer looks like a dragon as he dons a red hat and an Hawaiian-styled shirt.
Being a tad fussy,]]] I notice out-of-place details: baseball, Hawaiian shirts, and modern looking people in the era of knights and dragons. I doubt kids will care and may appreciate the reference to a game most have played. Those details side, Nickerbacher is a good story about standing up for your true self. Barto gets his message across without hammering them by using kid humor. It is a shame the book is in paperback (eBook is available). Kids may well wear out the pages with repeat readings. They will love the goofy jokes. Parents who like read using different voices will have loads of fun with Nickerbacher, the Funniest Dragon. Barto’s first foray into children’s book was Gollywood (review here).
NICKERBACHER. Text copyright © 2015 by Terry John Barto. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Kim Sponaugle. Reproduced by permission of the AuthorHouse, Bloomington, IN.
Purchase Nickerbacher at Amazon—Book Depository—AuthorHouse.
Learn more about Nickerbacher HERE.
Book’s website: http://www.nickerbacher.com/
Meet the author, Terry John Barto, at his website: http://www.tjbkids.com/
Meet the illustrator, Kim Sponaugle, at her website: http://www.picturekitchenstudio.com/
Find more picture books at the AuthorHouse website: http://www.authorhouse.com/
2015 Beverly Hills Book Awards Finalist: Picture Books
Mom’s Choice Award Gold
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews
Filed under: 4stars
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The following is an extract from Comedy: A Very Short Introduction, by Matthew Bevis. It explores the relationship between laughter and aggression.
‘Laughter is men’s way of biting,’ Baudelaire proclaimed. The sociologist Norbert Elias offered a rejoinder: ‘He who laughs cannot bite.’ So does laughter embody or diffuse aggression? One theory, offered by the neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran, is that the laugh may be an aborted cry of concern, a way of announcing to a group that there has been a false alarm. The smile could operate in a similar way: when one of our ancestral primates saw another individual from a distance, he perhaps initially bared his canines as a threatening grimace before recognizing the individual as friend, not foe. So his grimace was abandoned halfway to produce a smile, which in turn may have evolved into a ritualized human greeting. Another researcher, Robert Provine, notes that chimp laughter is commonly triggered by physical contact (biting or tickling) or by the threat of such contact (chasing games) and argues that the ‘pant-pant’ of apes and the ‘ha-ha’ of humans evolved from the breathlessness of physical play. This, together with the show of teeth necessitated by the play face, has been ritualized into the rhythmic pant of the laugh. Behind the smile, then, may lie a socialized snarl; and behind the laugh, a play fight. But behind both of these facial expressions lie real snarls and real fights.
People often claim to be ‘only joking’, but many a true word is spoken in jest. Ridicule and derision are both rooted in laughter (from ridere, to laugh). The comic may loiter with shady intent on the borders of aggression; ‘a joke’, Aristotle suggested, ‘is a kind of abuse’. And comedy itself can be abused as well as used—racist and sexist jokes point to its potential cruelty. As Waters says of Price’s stand-up act in Trevor Griffiths’s The Comedians (1975): ‘Love, care, concern, call it what you like, you junked it over the side.’ Comedy is clearly at home in the company of insults, abuse, curses, and diatribes, but the mode can also lend an unusual inflection to these utterances. From Greek iambi to the licensed raillery of the Roman Saturnalia, from Pete and Dud on the implications of being called a fucking cunt to the game of The Dozens, in which numerous aspersions are cast upon Yo Mama’s character, something strange happens to aggression when it is stylized or performed. W. H. Auden pondered choreographed exchanges of insult—from Old English flyting to the modern-day exchanges of truck drivers— and observed that ‘the protagonists are not thinking about each other but about language and their pleasure in employing it inventively … Playful anger is intrinsically comic because, of all emotions, anger is the least compatible with play.’ From this perspective, comedy is the moment at which outrage becomes outrageous. Some kinds of ferocity can be delectable.
‘Playful anger’ sounds like a contradiction in terms, yet in Plato’s Philebus, Socrates notes ‘the curious mixture of pleasure and pain that lies in the malice of amusement’. Descartes suggests in The Passions of The Soul (1649) that ‘Derision or scorn is a sort of joy mingled with hatred.’ This chapter examines such curious mixtures and minglings of feeling by considering modes of comedy that seem to have a target in their sights—versions of satire, mock-heroic, parody, and caricature. We might turn first to the satirist; Walter Benjamin identified him as ‘the figure in whom the cannibal was received into civilization’. So the satirist is at once savage and civilized; he cuts us up after having been granted permission (perhaps even encouraged) to take that liberty. What is it, then, that we need this cannibal to do for us? The satirist, it would initially appear, is the comedian who allows audiences to join him on a mission. Satire is a scourge of vice, a spur to virtue; Horace imagines his ideal listener as ‘baring his teeth in a grin’. So far so good, but the listener may also get bitten from time to time: ‘What are you laughing at?’ the poet asks us, ‘Change the name and you are the subject of the story.’ Indeed, as Hamlet would later quip, ‘use every man after his desert, and who should scape whipping?’
Image credit: Business team laughing, © YanC, via iStock Photo.
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May Contain Spoilers
Valentine’s Day seems like a complicated occasion in Japan. It’s no wonder it gave Kyoko so much trouble in the 24th volume of Skip*Beat! Her interactions between the men in life are confusing to say the least. There’s Sho, who tromped on her heart but now reluctantly harbors feelings for her, and Reino, the lead singer of a rival band of Sho’s, who stalked her and now that he’s captured one of Kyoko’s grudges, is demanding chocolates made with “her true feelings” from him before he’ll return what he’s stolen from her. And then there’s Ren. Ren. Ren! The guy who has gone out of his way to help her navigate the cut-throat world of show biz, but does she give even the slightest regard for his feelings? No. No. No! Sigh. Kyoko, you need to worry more about the people who care about you because of who you are, and less about those who only want to manipulate you.
I loved this volume of Yoshiki Nakamura’s comedy romance. It’s funny. Kyoko makes a muddle of Valentine’s Day, and Sho is driven to misery when he thinks that Kyoko likes Reino. I wasn’t so happy when Ren thought Kyoko liked someone else after dropping the chocolates she made with every bit of hate she possessed for the Beagle, or when she skipped around the movie set giving everyone obligation chocolates – everyone but him. At least she gave him a birthday present, belated though it was, so I think Ren should cut her some slack. Anyone who knows Kyoko well knows that she’s kind of a spaz. What they don’t all know is that after Sho left her heart full of holes, she swore off love and guys, so because she’s not looking for a relationship, she doesn’t see the possibility for one when it’s standing right in front of her. She is blinded by her need to have her revenge, and to silence all of her little grudge Kyoko’s.
I love how this storyline sets up all kinds of opportunities for misunderstandings between, not just Ren and Kyoko, but between Kyoko and Sho, and even Kyoko and Reino. I think that Kyoko’s personal, as well as professional life, is going to get very, very complicated, and I can hardly wait to see what happens next!
Review copy purchased from Amazon
Valentine’s Day is on its way, but Kyoko won’t be able to celebrate love and friendship the normal way. She’s getting blackmailed into giving chocolate to guys she hates, she has her ongoing revenge to oblige, and to top it all off, it’s Ren’s birthday! How can Kyoko give him a meaningful present when she’s slinging meaningless chocolate left and right?
The post Graphic Novel Review: Skip*Beat! Volume 24 by Yoshiki Nakamura appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.
Title: D-Frag! Genre: Comedy Publisher: Media Factory (JP), Seven Seas (US) Artist: Tomoya Haruno Serialized in: Monthly Comic Alive Translation: Adrienne Beck Original Release Date: August 5, 2014 I follow a very simple rule when it comes to reading comedy manga: if I’m laughing because it’s legitimately funny instead of laughing while making up scenarios ... Read more
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Holy Cow! Sometimes I just have to get that off my chest. The 25th volume of Skip*Beat! ROCKED! The drama was cranked up when Sho made a surprise appearance during the filming of Kyoko and Ren’s TV show and WOW! He really knows how to stir up trouble. And best yet, how to get under Kyoko’s skin. Jealous when he thought that she was hung up on Reino, a rival singer, Sho wanted to make sure Kyoko knew what she was missing. Delivering a huge bouquet brimming with all the things he thought she’d love, he throws down the gauntlet. He’ll not be overshadowed by the Beagle or by smarmy Ren, either!
When Sho steals Kyoko’s first kiss, hilarity ensues. She is distraught, Ren is quivering with rage, and poor Yashiro – he can only look on in horror as his client’s sense of well-being is shattered into a billion tiny pieces. I didn’t know who I felt worse for – Ren, Kyoko, or Yashiro, who would have to deal with the fallout from Ren’s state of agitation. Kyoko is traumatized, until Ren scoffs at her reaction to Sho. If she wasn’t a willing participant in the kiss, is it really a kiss? Besides, she’s an actress, and there will be times when she’ll have to kiss a co-star. That’s not a kiss, either, it’s just part of the script, and part of the job. Just when he’s made her feel better about the whole episode, Ren works in a little threat; she needs to be careful to never let Sho take advantage of her again, because she only gets one chance. There will be no second chances. Oh, dear!
Later, when Kyoko is alone in Ren’s dressing room, he does something to push Sho completely out of her mind. Literally. Suddenly, she can only think of Ren, and don’t think that doesn’t make him all smug and extremely self-satisfied. Valentine’s Day was so much fun, I was sorry to see it end. This has been my favorite volume of Skip*Beat! so far, and I wonder if it can be topped. Even the art was kicked up a notch, but that impression might be due to the amount of illustrations featuring Ren.
Review copy purchased from Amazon
Kyoko’s Valentine’s battle with Reino has finally gained her Sho’s attention—but now it’s the last thing she wants! Sho is determined to make her obsessed with him, and shows up on set with an over-the-top gift to taunt her. But when Kyoko explains her true relationship with Reino, Sho makes an inexcusable move. Has he undone her years of healing in one fell swoop?!
The post Graphic Novel Review: Skip*Beat! Volume 25 by Yoshiki Nakamura appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.
Blog: A. PLAYWRIGHT'S RAMBLINGS
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Arks to Go: the Flood II
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SCENE: ANGIE'S APARTMENT.
ANGIE scans the telephone directory
Good I kept this old phone directory. Let's see here... H....J...N...What would he be listed, under? Duh! I'm so dense! Logically, has'ta be under boat building. If only I could remember the name of his company. The Ark Store? Try that. Good a name as any. Nope - not listed. How about...Arks for All... This is ridiculous. They're a gazillion possibilities. Maybe he gave up his land phone, which would make this search an exercise in futility. Should have been nicer to him. I mean, he is old and all and meant well I suppose...and he did introduce me to a decent guy even though it didn't work out...What did I do in return in the way of thanks? Told him to take his ark and...
Phone rings. ANGIE answers
She hears heavy breathing
Still more heavy breathing
Do we have us a pervert, here? Really, your type are so obvious. Disgusting, vile, dregs of the earth...
...sewer slime... Noah? That you?
(he sneezes and coughs)
Good that you stopped me. I was about to direct some very bad language at what I thought was one of those heavy breather pieces of garbage that pollute the earth...
I understand you were trying to reach me?
I misplaced your number and was trying to touch base with you again, but how did you know?
Let's just say that - (sneezes) -
I am that. As I was saying...I have connections. What's up?
I've been thinking things over and - well - perhaps I've been too rash in my judgement of your project
(coughing and blowing his nose)
As I recall in our last conversation, you made it clear that you didn't want to hear from me ever again
That was then. This is now. Sometimes my mouth gets the better of me and things roll out of my mouth that I don't mean
Not giving you the benefit of the doubt and questioning your authenticity. I should have trusted in you but nooooo... Instead I gave you your walking papers or in this case, your sailing papers...
Are you trying to say you've re-considered helping me rebuild the ark?
You got it - if you'll have me
How do I know that you won't lose interest like before. Time is marching on and bad weather is just around the corner.
Let's just say that I've come to the realization that there are more important things in life than finding mister right
No time like the present to get back to work.
Where do we start?
There are some conditions, though
I knew it was too good to be true
Nothing that you can't handle
Your duties will include keeping the interior of the ark clean, when it's built of course
You have to be joking. All those animals...
I'm not finished. You will also have to play the roll of peace maker
But...there are so many species. How do I communicate with them?
Darn if I know but I have every confidence you'll find a way. Time is marching on and there's a lot to do. I'll send Roger to come pick you up
Would this be the male representation to me? I better wash my hair...and pick my wardrobe to take with me...don't want to give a first bad impression...
Really - Roger doesn't care about those things
Has he seen a photo of me, perchance?
I did show him the one that we took together. Roger never forgets a face
I'm sending him over to pick you up. He should be there in ten minutes.
Hello...? Noah...? Better get dressed for the occasion. Want to make a good impression
(Ten minutes later the doorbell rings. ANGIE opens the door)
Just a minute...com-ing! I've heard so much about you...
(Angie opens the door and jumps back)
(TO BE CONTINUED)
In this 1980 tribute to legendary animation director Tex Avery, fellow legendary director Chuck Jones shared six lessons that he learned about comedy from working with Avery in the 1930s. The advice remains essential to animation director working today.
Just read a piece that Nia Vardalos is doing a movie sequel to "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". As much as I really enjoyed this film - I've seen it many times - my play, "A Wedding" which could be described as a Jewish equivalent, is as funny if not more. Here's a taste and scene out of the play to see what I'm talking about and see if you agree. It's part of one of my favorite scenes - but then they all are. Some of the formatting has been lost cut and pasting and transferring from Word.
THE SCENE: At the Greenberg house. The bride and groom's family are meeting for the first time for dinner. Lenor, mother of David, groom-to-be, is on the snobby side unlike his father Charles who is down to earth. Meanwhile, Sadie, mother of the bride, Rachel, is middle-class and in competition with Lenor while husband, Morty, is realistic and down-to-earth like Charles. Morty has done a lot more than taste the wine as his mother, Sylvia, arrives unannounced. The leg of a dining room chair is broken.
Excuse me people…what kind of person visits at this time of night? SADIE re-enters with her mother-in-law, SYLVIA
And here is the answer to that question
Ma? Whad'ya doing here? I fought you were shtaying wiv Elaine until shummer Can a mother visit her only son, without having to announce her arrival before? Maybe I should check into a hotel and come back tomorrow, since you have dinner guests. Are you drunk? My poor baby boy! See what living with you does to him, Sadie? The man has turned to liquor for escape. I warned you, Morty, what life would be like living with…her An excellent idea, Sylvia. Why don't you come back tomorrow…or maybe next month…next year? Never would even be better Don't talk shtupid! Shadie, put mom's shutecases in the rare shpoom. You've come jus' at the right time. You ate already? Your sister packed me a sandwich and fruit for the train but I finished that hours ago. Just make me some toast and a glass of tea and I'll go to my room until your company has left Nonshense! Rajel, go get a chair from the kitchen, for your…your… bubie. You heard our good news? Does anybody tell me anything? Who am I anyway? Just a sick, old woman shipped from place-to-place, because nobody has room for me. Why should anyone share their news with me? Our Rachel here is… em-em-gaged to be marry, ma! Uh-huh… So, you couldn't have picked up the phone to tell me, Sadie? You forgot my phone number, maybe? After all,…I'm onlythe grandmother. Why should you share a happy event with me? So, introduce me to your fiancey David, this is Grammy Sylvia, my best friend in the whole world! And what am I? Chopped liver? Sadie dear, look at yourself as the pickled herring: always a hors d'oeuvre but never the main course. How many times have I told you that she always liked me better than you? Come again? Morty – you better tell her… Now ma, you know you shouldn't tease Sabie like that. You shtill ‘aven't tol' us why you here Your sister, Elaine, went on a cruise so I landed up here on your doorstep. That cheapskate husband of hers didn't even pay for my fare. I tell you – nobody has respect for the aged anymore. In my days… Will you be honoring us with your presence for a long time, she asked, afraid of the answer? She jus' got here f-fur crying out loud. You-you can shtay for has l-long has you wan, ma
MORTY gets up to get another drink and SYLVIA
You want I should stand all night or maybe I should leave, better? I'm a weak, old woman…my legs don't hold me up any more. Oy! The pain! Starts in my big toe and travels all the way up my hip and stays there! Soon I'll need a wheelchair! Pain is my constant companion! Rushing over to pull chair away
Trust me ma, you don't wanna shit on that
Weak like a bull! Rachel honey, go get your grammy a chair from the kitchen. Morty sweetheart, you don't look comfortable. Wouldn't you prefer to drink…sit in your favorite armchair over there, so you can relax? But…I wanna be able to…to…talk wid eberyone…
I'm sure we can sacrifice your…witty observations of life, so that you can be comfortable!
MORTY staggers to the armchair
The truth is you really don't want me to join your dinner party, do you. Don't worry 'bout old Sylvia. She'll watch television upstairs, all alone in her room, listening to everyone laughing and having a good time. Excuse me, people, for bothering you…it's past my bed time…just get me a glass for my teeth, Sadie, and I'll get out of your way
You know you're alwaysh welcome and you'll shtay 'ere to celbrate wid ush! RACHEL enters with chair; MORTY follows her Places TV tray in front of MORTY MORTY Cont'd. Absolutely! There's nothing I love more than a visit from your mother. Almost as much as an appointment with the dentist. Set a place for your bubie, Rachel Attempts to sit in armchair but jerks to an standing position, waving arms as he speaks Shadie mape her besh dish tonight, ma. Roast ducky in orange sauce, wiv orange booze Duck? I couldn't possibly eat that! Too fat and it's bad for my cholester-ail Couldn't you gib her shomething else? MORTY teeters over to SADIE, tries to kiss her on the cheek but she pulls away
Oh something springs to mind alright, but I could get arrested for homicide
Moves a chair in back of SYLVIA, who sits down
I'm sure you could find something for grammy, mom, couldn't you?
I'll go check what I have in the fridge. How 'bout a cheese sandwich, ma? …Where's your manners! Don't be so rude Morty and introduce me to your guests MORTY is drinking another glass of liquor
Meet Dabid's parents, Lee-oree and Ch-Charmie Skybird
So, what do you think of my granddaughter? Is she not a beauty?
You have a lovely granddaughter, Sylvia. And what do you think of our David?
Seems like a nice catch but he makes a living for my Rachel? She's used to good things! He's a corporate lawyer with a very good practice He's a partner in the firm, maybe? I'm sure that will happen in the future. After all – he's got all the right ingredients – a good family background… Has my mother in law been telling you all the family secrets? Here's your cheese sandwich, ma, with low-fat dressing, just like you asked. Now close your mouth…and enjoy! So where's the lettuce? Salad greens are good for my constipation I'm definitely getting a migraine! Any particular kind…iceberg,romaine…bib…? Your wish is my command your majesty…I mean, Sylvia Rachel sweetheart, bring me my small suitcase. I have all my medication inside So what pills are you taking these days or do you have one of everything?
With all my conditions, they're so many. This is for my vangina and this is for…
…thank you for sharing, but I'm sure our guests aren't interested in all your pills I'll be at the wedding as long as my vangina doesn't act up but you never know How c-come n-n-nobody tol' me you 'ad am…vam-gi-na? I-I'm the son! Do you feel up to cutting us some more duck, dear?
MORTY stands up and teeters over to the table.
He grabs the carving fork, thrusts it in the
Morty…dearest, the duck is dead already! There's no reason to keep stabbing it!
LENOR takes her napkin and wipes her dress.
SADIE distributes plates of duck. When MORTY
takes his portion, he lifts the plate to his
lips and drinks; LENOR is horrified My Shabie makes the bes' gravy! You-you make dood guck, honey-bunny Did I mention I mixed up my medication and ended up in the hospital emergency room? I could'a died, y’know! Rachel dear, bring me my blood pressure thing-ie like a good girl No such luck - I mean, isn't it dangerous taking your own blood pressure? You could over pump and then… Why don't you let medo that for you?
MORTY puts on TV and an
ear-piercing screech comes from the TV.
Everyone jumps in response Look ad dat! My faborit all-time mooooomie is playing on our big screen TV too – Night of the Living Dead. Reminds me of our supper tonight…just a joke
Thank you for sharing, sweetheart…
Don'chu love zombies? They scare me shi-… - dearest, shouldn't you close the TV when we have guests? Why? We could all watch it togevver. Shabie – go make some popcorn for eberyone Let him watch his movie! It bothers you? You always were a fun killer I think you should close the TV – NOW – and we'll discuss this later, dearest? You start clearing the table, mom, and let me take care of grammy SADIE clears the table of dishes Morty dearest, be a darling and help me? MORTY gets up but loses his balance and falls backward on the broken chair, which collapses under his weight You gave him that chair on purpose, didn't you Sadie? Don't think I'm not on to you trying to collect on his insurance. Your wife wants to trade you in for a new model, Morty. Better leave now while you still can! Oh God! She's over-medicated herself again You could have married Roseanne Epstein and her family would have given you the world. She was crazy for you, Morty, and I hear she's divorced from her third husband. It's never to late to find real love You're such a kidder, grammy! She loves pretending to hate mom, don't you?
SYLVIA looks away and doesn't answer
(getting up from sitting on floor)
Shabie is my one and only true love! We m-may not be rich in dollars b-but my Sadie has a lot of sense. Get it? Dollars…cents…?
SADIE re-enters holding a cake with sparklers
Morty…sweetheart, why don't you give your mouth a rest…I mean, relax and watch your movie. You've had a long day but not half as long as this evening has been Wow! That's some cake! I bet it tastes as good as it looks You outdone myself, my sweet bon-bon! You baked this for us? It must have taken you hours It was just a little something I whipped up My Shadie is good at whipping things, aren't you my little pickle? Who wants coffee and who wants tea? Nothing for me since both keep me up at night
I know exactly where you're coming from Leoree. Drinking liquids before I go to bed makes me pee all night too! Sometimes I think I spend more time in the bathroom than I do in bed
Charles dear, we really must leave now. My migraine is getting quite intense
LENOR stands up
Sadie, it's been wonderful meeting you and Monty… We have to have a slice of this special cake Sadie made or she'll be insulted. Won't you Sadie? Just a little sliver…please? Remember your cholesterol, dear… …you too? What pill are you taking for that? Wanna see all mine? I'll take half of the sliver you gave Charles Now this is what I call a supper. Everything was perfect. Why don't share your recipes with Lenor? Anything is better than the grass we eat We really must leave dearest. I have a busy schedule tomorrow. Call me Sadie But… arem't… you… Lenor? If you…you wam me to call you Shabie, than Shabie it’ll be. I got a g-good idea! I'll call Shabie, Lemor, and Le-le-more, Shabie!
THE MYSTERY OF THE SOCKSSCENE: THE KITCEN OF MR. AND MRS. EVERYBODY. MRS. EVERYBODY IS LOADING THE DISHWASHERAT RISE: MR. EVERYBODY ENTERS THE KITCHEN CARRYING HIS SOCKSMR. EVERYBODY
What's wrong with these socks?MRS. EVERYBODY
Just a sec - I'm loading the dishwasher...this new dish set we bought is too large. Takes up too much space... MR. EVERYBODY
You had to have them, remember?MRS. EVERYBODY
Excuse me? May I remind you that you also were very anxious for me to get them 'cause they were on sale. Why are you holding two socks? Are you making hand puppets? 'Get...in...there...dishes...or...you're...gonna...feel...so...sorry...'MR. EVERYBODY
Like I said before, what's wrong with these socks?
Just another sec...let me start the dishwasher. Okay. Now you have my full attention. So I see two socks...navy blue to be exact. Look to be your size. I'll go out on a limb and say that they're yours Oh look! I made a play on words. Out on a limb...sock...leg... Get it?MR. EVERYBODY
You should get your own comedy show. Now take a good look at them. Come closer. What do you see now?MRS. EVERYBODY
What do I get if I give you the right answer?MR. EVERYBODY
Stop with the snarky remarks and look closely at themMRS. EVERYBODY
Here - hand them over. Okay. Like I said before, "a" pair of socks. Should I be look for something else? Are they socks from outer space?MR. EVERYBODY
Do you notice something...off, perhaps?MRS. EVERYBODY
Hmmm...can't say that I do... The left one is worn out a bit at the toe?MRS. EVERYBODY
(holding up a sock in each hand
Now what do you see?MRS. EVERYBODY
One sock in the left hand and another in the right. What's this big mystery?MR. EVERYBODY
How about the size of both of them?MRS. EVERYBODY
I dunno...you take a size 10 shoe. I'll go out on a limb here and say that those socks, those very socks are size 10. Can we stop playing quiz show and get to the heart - or toe in this case - of the sock issue?MR. EVERYBODY
You're right that these socks are navy blue but something is offMRS. EVERBODY
Of course! You're barefoot. Put them back on and the mystery is solved. MR. EVERYBODY
Getting closer to the point I'm trying to make. What do you think would happen if I put them back on?MRS. EVERYBODY
Your feet would be warm? I dunno!MR. EVERYBODY
Here - let me show you(MR. EVERYBODY puts socks on his feet)(Cont'd.)
Now what do you see?MRS EVERYBODY
Uh-huh...I see now... One of your legs has shrunk. That happens in old age. MR. EVERYBODY
Not! They do not match. Not partners. Single socks. Looking for mates. Get the picture?MRS. EVERYBODY
Now I see what this is all about. You know - your pant legs cover up the socks. Nobody knows and I can assure you I won't tellMR. EVERYBODY
That's not the point. Somewhere in the sock drawer...MRS. EVERYBODY
...or sock bag. There are a lot of single socks looking for a partner...MR. EVERYBODY
You mean, there could be a matching sock to this one? Last week I wore a black sock on the left foot and a blue one on the rightMRS. EVERYBODY
I'm sure nobody noticed. Did anyone say anything?MR. EVERYBODY
They were probably too polite to mention anything especially since I was wearing a grey suit at the time!MRS. EVERYBODY
These things do happen. You should check more carefully next tmeMR. EVERYBODY
"I" should check? MRS. EVERYBODY
Uh-oh! Darn dishwasher is acting up again. Sounds like somebody is playing a set of drums. When are you gonna call a repair guy? The neighbor upstairs is gonna complain again and there she goes, right on time! 'Okay Mrs. Bud-inski! I know!'
I better go upstairs and calm the poor woman down.MR. EVERYBODY
What about the sock situation?MRS. EVERYBODY
What about it? Why don't you go take a look in the sock bag in the cupboard and maybe you'll get lucky and find your sock's mate. Then they can live happily ever afterMR. EVERYBODY
The last time you went up to calm down Mrs. Bud-inkski, you disappeared for a couple of hoursMRS. EVERYBODY
Is it my fault she makes yummy strawberry cheese cake and buys off my silence? NEXT TIME: AT THE MALL: THE EVERYBODYS' LOOK FOR A PARKING SPOT
By: Catherine Fehre,
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Seinfeld famously added a ton of terms to English, such as low talker, high talker, spongeworthy, and unshushables. It also made obscure terms into household words. Shrinkage and yada yada existed before Seinfeld, but it’s doubtful you learned them anywhere else.
Another successful Seinfeld term has gone under the radar: Jerk Store. The term was coined in “The Comeback,” when George is unselfconsciously stuffing his face with shrimp during a meeting. A co-worker sees George’s gluttony and says, “Hey, George, the ocean called. They’re running out of shrimp.” George is speechless, but later he crafts a comeback: “Oh yeah? Well, the Jerk Store called, and they’re running out of you.” The episode shows George going to absurd lengths to find a way to use his comeback, as well as his friends’ unwanted workshopping of the joke.
In a way, that workshopping has never ended—at least on Twitter, which is likely the largest collection of jokes, good and bad, by professionals and amateurs, ever created. Many of those jokes involve formulas, and the Jerk Store has become a popular one. On Twitter, every day is the Summer of George.
Most variations start with “The Jerk Store called,” which is as trusty a joke starter as “Relationship status:” and “When life hands you lemons.” From there, the joke can go just about anywhere. Comic Warren Holstein makes a food joke out of the formula: “The Jerk Store called but I couldn’t understand their thick Jamaican accents.” Matt Koff reveals what would likely happen to a real-life Jerk Store: “The Jerk Store called. It’s closing because it couldn’t compete with Amazon. :(“ Some use the formula to comment on politics: “The Jerk Store called; they’re no longer hiring because of fear of Obamacare mandates.” I particularly like this joke, which finds the funny in sadness: “The jerk store called. We didn’t chat for long but it was good to hear their voice. It was good to hear anyone’s voice. I’m so alone.”
Other tweeters abandon the formula when making Jerk Store jokes, like Laura Palmer: “I’m applying at the Jerk Store and I need references.” This holiday tweet sounds like perfect storm of jerkdom: “Looking forward to the Black Friday deals at the Jerk Store.” Food trends also get spoofed: “when will the jerk store start getting organic jerks. tired of getting these jerks full of gmos.” Here’s a particularly clever joke, playing on an annoying Frankenstein-related correction: “Actually, the jerk store’s monster called.”
This term/joke formula isn’t going anywhere for at least a few reasons. Seinfeld is still omnipresent in reruns, and I reckon the entire series is imprinted on the collective unconscious. Plus, the world is full of jerks. The following are some recent epistles from the Jerk Store to help you get through the polar jerk-tex. Jerk Store might never make the OED, but it’s one of the most successful joke franchises in the world.
Headline image credit: Seinfeld logo. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
The post The Jerk Store called…and called and called appeared first on OUPblog.
Blog: A. PLAYWRIGHT'S RAMBLINGS
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Today would have been Elvis "The King of Rock'n'roll " Presley's 80th birthday. It is generally believed by most that Elvis is no longer with us as in gone to that great jam session in the sky. However - love those howevers of life - there are those who believe he arranged for his disappearance and is out there somewhere, doing gigs. What if they're right? You just never know.
TAMMY 40-something avid Elvis fan and wife of LenLEN 40-something husband of Tammy"THE" ELVIS, former big star/singer/performer Jackson’s 7-11 GAS BAR AND DINER Photos of Elvis cover a large portion of one wall; Elvis songs play non-stop. There is a table with two chairs on one side of the room, while the other side of the room has the usual gas station displays of motor oil, etc.AT RISE: TAMMY and LEN, two customers, are seated at a table looking around the room
(Scrutinizing the surroundings)
Um…who recommended this place?
TAMMYThe restaurant guide write-up says it’s fine dining with a differenceFine dining if you’re a rat! Did you happen to notice that a cockroach just crawled out of our bread basket? Must be one that escaped the Chef’s special catch-of-the-dayStop being so negative and take in the atmosphereYou mean the aromatic scent of “eau du trash” coming from the back? Phee-ew!You’re so…so…provincial in your thinking, sweetheart. It's about this authentic ‘60’s décor that gives the place its special caché!More like early condemned. Every square inch of wall space is covered with faded Elvis photos and the man’s been dead for how many years?
That's the beauty of this place! It’s like a shrine devoted to “The King.” It's all too…wonderfulAre you saying that this…this gas station and one-table-diner was the King of Rock and Roll’s eatery of choice? Not!For your information they say he used to eat fried chicken here and sometimes he even entertained dinersWas that before or after he turned into the Goodyear blimp? If I had known we were coming here to eat, I’d have checked to make sure my insurance policy was paid upYou know how long I hadda wait to get reservations for this restaurant……obviously not long enough……seven months! If you think I’m going to give up the chance to dine here……and a fine dining establishment it is – if you’re into salmonella poisoningGet a grip! The waiter is coming to try to act normal, if that’s possible the waiter dressed in an Elvis jumpsuit struts over, swinging his hips in a typical Elvis-like walk. He smoothes the sides of his hair with his hands, frequently
(swinging his hips between every word)Evening folks’. Need a menu? Uh-huh – oh yeah…No. We prefer to use ESP to order. Of course we need a menu!Don’t mind my husband – I don’t. Leave the menu here and we’ll chooseSo tacky. All the dishes are Elvis songs. 'Be-bop-a-lu-la' chicken wings…' The 'Love Me Tender' T-bone looks questionable and it comes with fries that are probably a couple months old and a 'I Did It My Way' salad. Look at this: says here on the menu that all their steaks are aged to perfection. Yesterday's road-kill most likelyHave you considered that your cranial spark plugs have stopped kicking in? I can’t make up my mind – so many choices… the waiter comes over to take the orderAre all those dishes served a la carte?
WAITERNo – on a plate. Uh-huh…Just choose something already, will you?Want me to come back, folks? Uh-huh…
Ssshhh! Quiet! The shows is gonna beginI don’t see why we hav’ta be quiet. Cheez – I can hear the sound of someone pumping gas outside, not to mention the smell. Mind you, it's hard to tell the difference between the food and the gas (The song from “2001: A Space Odyssey” is heard and the waiter now dressed in a mechanic’s uniform on the other side of the room walks in front of the
counter holding a hand mic)
“For you entertainment and pllllea-sure, the King has entered the building!” “Direct from his engagement at the luxurious Pink Flamingo Laundromat and Bank Drive Thru in Tijuana, Mex-i-co, the management of Jackson’s 7/11 and Diner is proud to present, “the” King of Rock’n’Roll himself, the one – the only – El-vis!”
An over-weight bordering-on-obese man dressed in a white jump suit enters, stopping to pose while leaning on a cane. A wide belt hangs well below a sagging stomach; black aviator glasses cover his eyes and a badly-fitting black wig sits lob-sided towards the front of his head
A bent over Elvis slowly makes his way to the other side of the room. He bends over to kiss Len, who pushes him way
“Whoops – sorry. Gotta get my eyes checkedHe whips out a dirty handkerchief, spits on it and cleans his eyes and replaces it in a back pocket
(in weak squeaky voice)
Thank y’all very much! It’s the first time I been back this way goin’ on twenty years…or maybe it’s thirty…could be forty… Anyway… Good t'see y’all ain’t fergetten the King
whips out his handkerchief again and blows his nose
Guess I ain’t the same Elvis you remember a ways back, huh? But then who is? Starts coughing and choking. Scantily dresses nurses rush over to pat him onthe back
See? I still got it but now I don’t know what to do with it! Thank y’all very much… Listen ladies – go see if you can find my extra set of dentures that I left in a steak yesterday. He chokes again and a well-endowed female doctor wearing tight fitting clothing enters, with a stethoscope draped around her neckNow Mr. Elvis – honey – you know you gotta take it easy. Your ticker ain’t what it used to be
(laughing and staring at her breasts)Yeah but ask me if I care. Thank you all very much. And now before the spaceship comes to take me away, I’m gonna sing you a personal favourite of mine… ELVIS sings the first few lines of “My Way” completely off-key Oh fer… We’re not gonna stay and listen to this… The man is obviously senile Sound of tires squeaking to a stop and the slam of car doorsUh-oh…they’re coming back…I knew they’d find me… Damn aliens!
Two males wearing white outfits move on either side of Elvis and take his armsC’mon pops. You got another gig at the Sunnyvale Nursing Homeut…but…I ain’t finished my set, yet!
Shaking his head and winking at Len and TammyYou don’t wanna be late for your big entrance.Where’s my peanut butter and banana sandwich. I caint sing without it
the two men start to lead Elvis off the stage but Elvis stops and addresses the
Elvis walks over, signs a piece of paper and hands it to Len and then exits with the men
That was not “the” Elvis Presley now, was it? You got us here under false pretences. And that’s against the law, y’know!
The guy is 80 years old. Whad’ya expect? He’s got two hip replacements, a bad knee and now all that shaking he does is the real thing, poor bastard. By the way, know that piece of paper he handed you?
I really couldn’t care less about the man’s autograph… In fact this is what I think of you AND your Elvis
LEN rips up the piece of paper into small pieces
You shouldn’t have done that. Uh-uh…
That piece of paper would’a given you a tank of gas with your meal. Oh well…uh-huh… Len throws himself down on the floor picking up the pieces of paper trying to put them together
Don't just stand there, Tammy. A tank of gas is a tank of gas is…
“The King has left the building
(on his knees scooping up pieces of paper frantically)
Hang on a minute. I can put these pieces together… gimme some of that leftover barbeque sauce...
Title: Jaco The Galactic Patrolman (Ginga Patrol Jako) Genre: Sci-fi, Comedy Publisher: Shueisha (JP), Viz Media (US) Story/Artist: Akira Toriyama Serialized in: Weekly Shonen Jump Translation: Tetsuichiro Miyaki Original Release Date: January 6, 2015 If this is the final manga Akira Toriyama does — after all, he’s getting up there in age and I think ... Read more
Title: Assassination Classroom Genre: Comedy Publisher: Shonen Jump (JP), Viz Media (US) Story/Artist: Yusei Matsui Serialized in: Weekly Shonen Jump (volume one reviewed) Translation: Tetsuichiro Miyaki Original Release Date: December 2, 2014 Review copy provided by Viz Media Sometime in the past few years, the hosts of the American Weekly Shonen Jump stated on their podcast that Assassination Classroom was never going ... Read more
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Title: Spirit Circle Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Publisher: Shonen Gahosha (JP), Viz Media (US) Story/Artist: Satoshi Mizukami Serialized in: Young King Comics (33 out of 33 chapters reviewed) Fuuta Okeya lives a normal life and has gotten to his second year of middle school without incident, although he can see some spirits including the one following his new classmate, ... Read more
Title: My Neighbor Seki (Tonari no Seki-Kun) Genre: Comedy Publisher: Media Factory (JP), Vertical Inc (US) Artist: Takuma Morishige Serialized in: Comic Flapper Translation: Yoshito Hinton Original Release Date: January 13, 2015 It’s a great pleasure to jump back into the world that Seki himself created. I watched the anime last year, and it made ... Read more
Title: Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches Genre: Comedy, High School Publisher: Kodansha (JP), Crunchyroll Manga (US) Kodansha USA (US) Story/Artist: Miki Yoshikawa Serialized in: Weekly Shonen Magazine Translation: David Rhie Ryu Yamada is a delinquent at Suzuka High School and wholly unpopular so while he’s heard about honor student Urara Shirashi he’s never talked to ... Read more
Blog: A. PLAYWRIGHT'S RAMBLINGS
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SCENE: DEN IN THE EVERYBODY HOUSEHOLD.
AT RISE: MRS. EVERYBODY IS HAVING AN IMPORTANT CHAT WHILE MR. EVERYBODY IS READING A NEWSPAPER
Why? Why must you torture me like this? What did I ever do to deserve this treatment other than heap undying love and devotion to your upkeep?
(MR. EVERYBODY glances up and returns to reading his book)
You seem to be dying slowly right in front of my eyes and I'm at a loss how to save you
You talking to me?
Fed you top of the line nutritional supplements and this is the thanks I get
I appreciate your cooking, honey. You make fantastic meals and really, I'm in great shape
You are not aging well, sweetheart
(gets up to examine himself in the mirror on the wall behind him)
For the record, I'm in better condition now than I was when we married. Sure there's a few extra inches on my stomach but that's due to your good cooking. Work out on the tread mill...
I fear it's time for us to part, sweetheart. You are halfway between this world and the next
Say what? Is it something I said?
You've given me a lot of pleasure over the years. Your nightly performance kept me riveted and it's something I will cherish all my life
Hey! There's still a lot of life left in this body! Is there somebody else? I can change, y'know!
(MRS. EVERYBODY turns around and stares at her husband)
It's just so hard to say goodbye! Did you say something?
You never said a word. I deserve to know who's the new love of your life!
Say what? What are you babbling about?
You're leaving me!
Are you insane? You thought that... That is really funny
There is nothing funny about being informed that your wife is leaving your for someone else. It's always the husband that is the last to know
Husband of mine - I was talking to my prayer plant here that is slowly croaking after 40 years and I'm about to replace her with a new one
How was I supposed to know? There was only you and me in the room and I never guessed you were talking to a...a... house plant
I've raised this houseplant from a small little stalk. Fed her...coddled her...and she gave me years of pleasure but lately she seems to have taken a turn for the worst. The writing is on the wall...or in this case, in all those brown leaves.
A plant is a plant is a plant. Don't know what the big thing is. Just empty the pot and replace it with a new one. Simple
How could you be so cruel and callous! You just can't...discard it like it that!
I dunno. Never bothers you to do that with your clothes
Besides, I read an article that said plants can sense pain and they react to it. How could I betray my friend after all the years we've been together? I feel like a killer! I feel like I'd be ripping out her guts and tearing her apart
Not that I pretend to feel what you feel but check this out
(MR. EVERYBODY shows her a page of the newspaper)
What's this? The Plant-a-atrium is having a sale on houseplants?
(turns to look at plant and at newspaper ad)
(MRS. EVERYBODY cont'd.) 'Parting is such sweet sorrow my formerly green friend. Go meet your other friends in the composter! Do not think badly of me for I shall remember you with great fondness.' I'm ready.
To make new friends at the Plant-a-atrium, silly! We all gotta go some time. I mean, it's just a silly plant for heaven's sake...