Incongruities are the chief source of my humor.

It could be that I am creating the incongruities in my head, twisting reality to suit the joke, or just being an irascible, irritating, embarrassing dad, but that’s me. I hope the 13 pieces The Family Farce published this quarter will encourage you to look for and recognize the incongruities in your house, work, leisure time, celebrity culture, reading habits, and any other space where the tilting up of the corners of your mouth might spark a better day.

Recap of this quarter’s pieces:

Jesus Saves

Jesus believed in giving to the poor. He believed in amplifying and repurposing for the collective good the perceived minimal resources one person might have. Thus, I believe He would have approved of the mug I found at Goodwill that was captioned “Jesus Saves” and juxtaposed Jesus with coupons. He’s helping people drink coffee. He’s helping people save money. He’s inspiring creativity. Jesus saves.

Advantage: Humans

The questions of can we? and should we? loom large in this one. Beauty should not be relegated to the RGB Hex Code #0000FF eyes of your CPU. Plus, who wants to listen to an album of beeps, boops, and amateur fart noises?  

Covid Couture

You might be okay living/working in the same sweatsuit for three days in a row, or longer (No, Bob, that’s not a cheese factory next door; that’s your neighbor), but fashion houses aren’t. Their sales are down, and they’re on a compressed thighs mission to keep you from visiting thrift stores. They have rebranded the evil of all false fashion incantations into one word: Goodwill.

Higher Thievery

If you’re going to ride a slip-‘n’-slide, ride a slip-‘n’-slide. Get yourself lubed up in the best chicken grease you can find. If that’s not your bag, and you’d rather steal stuff, then steal stuff. We at The Family Farce have got love for Bobby 7, but please have higher larcenous ambitions than him. UH-thar-WIIIZE, it’s em-BEH-ruh-SANG.

Cockadoodlescream

Nuclear war-inspired food design themes, building material choices, forest management—the conversations of farm animals are more sophisticated than you think.

Machete Mike’s Mowing

Hobby craftsmanship is common. Many would-be Ron Swansons focus their fine motor skills on weekends to produce their own versions of Chair, Chair, and don’t forget Chair. But it takes a special boldness to practice your craft in front of the world, or at least in front of those people who may agree that chlorophyllous plants, and their anarchist tendencies, need to be kept in check, as does Christopher Nolan.

Redneck Tanning Solutions

Do you suffer from an uneven tan, with one arm always darker than the other? Are you also in need of a life coach? No to both? Too bad. Your rigidity proves you are in desperate need of RTS.

Extreme Exfoliation

Did you know that video games can affect your skin care? I’m not talking about calluses to allow you to play a 24-hour marathon tournament; I’m talking about chainsaws.

Electric Jackhole

Lady Gaga is amazing, but I’ll bet she never knew her work inspired a lesser known pop star, Spady Haha, to use bovine motivation equipment to redirect the lazy priorities of Spady’s man.

Demon Pilgrim

Did you know that every Thanksgiving, fire departments across the nation are called to extinguish fires where deep-frying the turkey was the cause? It sucks, and it sometimes has tragic results, but that’s nothing compared to what the pilgrims had to deal with during the first Thanksgiving. Grease fires versus a possessed cannibal? Aren’t you glad you’re living in 2020 now?

Best Books of 1020

We’re heading into the rainy season here in Portland, which is the perfect time to start a new list of reading material. It’s either that or stare out the window with a blank expression, dreaming about when you can get a refill on your antidepressants.

Let books be your antidepressants. That’s a nice sentence, right?

But what if you lived in the year 1020 instead of 2020? Based on how 2020 has gone so far, maybe some of you would rather travel back a millennium, but hold your judgement on that until you read through the offers from back then.

Unless you have a side interest in the origins of English common law, kingdom toppling, technique for eating desserts while fighting, the limitless variations of gruel, and dragon-fire barbecuing, maybe trade the time machine for your local book store.

Violent Writers

2020 has been a year of unleashing. A virus has traveled the globe with impunity. People have raised their voices with unanimity and equanimity. Forgotten folks are getting closer, I believe, to equality. I applaud all of this, but I decry violence. An eye-for-an-eye didn’t work in Biblical times—Jesus rose from the dead, motherfuckers—and it’s not going to work now.

By the same token, I decry violent writers. Use your imagination, people, not your fists or guns or knives. Sadly, some popular writers among us need to create the violence about which they write, and to punish them, we buy their books.

Shiny Wing Lips

Have you ever thought about being someone else? Are you lax in your exercise habits? Get your ass moving, and you just might find yourself with the looks of Marilyn Monroe and the skills of Batman.

Does any of this make sense? Sure it does. Is it incongruous? Sure it is. Will any two readers internalize this in the same way? There is no way to know.

But if you made if through one or all of these pieces, your visual brain map might have looked like the lights on a short-circuited pinball machine.

But your amygdala was firing in a different way, which is healthy, science says.

You’re welcome for the moving target.