Friday, December 26, 2014

Dear Neighbor...

Here it is, the twenty-sixth, Christmas has come and gone
Time to take the decorations out of your front lawn

It's not that I don't appreciated the manger and the hay
I'm warding off them being here on baseball's opening day

I like the inflatable snowman and the twinkling icicle lights
And how it gives the luster of midday through all our December nights

I grin at the endless Peanuts® loop projected on your garage door
And the bass-heavy Mannheim Steamroller that rattles my kitchen floor

I like it all! I celebrate! No "Humbug" will you hear!
But could you please just take it down before spring thaw this year?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Almost Christmas Classics: Movies

Ah December! The time when television programmers can take a break and just broadcast the old reliables, knowing that we unwashed masses will settle down with our cups of eggnog or cocoa, in our kerchiefs and caps, and thoroughly enjoy it all.

Hallucinations turn an old miser into a giddy spendthrift.

Building and loan president becomes town's largest welfare recipient, while mobility-challenged mogul steals $8,000.

Good Samaritan manipulates Broadway star throughout a lustrous career, only to wind up losing money on a last-minute performance in a barn.

The merry mishaps of a weapons-of-minor-destruction-obsessed, myopic moppet.

Truth in advertising.

Natalie Wood whines her way into the heart of a lawyer who goes on to make a mockery of the American Justice System with the help of the United States Postal Service.

Lowbrow slapstick comedy with tinsel.

Fish-out-of-water man-boy with questionable wardrobe inexplicably wins the heart of a cute girl (which is the same description used for most Will Ferrell and Jerry Lewis movies). 

Documentary exposing Santa's animal cruelty and slave-labor practices.

Chronically-depressed child with egocentric dog blows his top when a jazz jam breaks out at play rehearsal. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Almost the Truthlets, the Seventh

Let's recap the Status Updates seen relatively recently on the Almost the Truth PublishingTM Facebook page. It serves as a good way to remind you to go there, "Like" the page, and "Follow" it as well...then you can be all snooty and superior by having seen the next batch of these as they will have appeared almost every Wednesday.

It also serves to buy me another week before needing to come up with something original here.

  • This may just be a rumor, but we heard that the world came to an end 14 years ago...the present is all a dream that Stephen King had in 1997.
  • When the laxative kicks in, the tough get going.
  • Well, drop me from a tree and call me a nut!
  • And the Emmy goes to...the Enny...which leads inevitably to the Ohhy...
  • All have grinned and called sport the story that's odd.
  • With apologies, I admit that when someone says Wednesday is "Hump Day," my first thought has nothing to do with camels.
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor interested in investing in orchards.
  • Dear Sherlock, If the game's a foot, then what is my hand?
  • All hood's rings must come from a hand.
  • If you can't stand the heat, move to Minnesota.
  • I now own won one.
  • Question everything! Except this instruction...THAT you have to adhere to unswervingly. (Hmmm...)
  • Come and listen to my story 'bout a man named Jed, with ears so huge they were named Ned and Fred.
  • Why does Superman wear his underpants on the outside of his tights?
  • "Certainly, you can't be serious." "I AM serious, and don't call me Certainly."
  • We gather together to stuff all our faces / For turkey and taters we gladly give thanks / We lay down right after, piled high to the rafters / And promise to diet, or buy bigger Spanks.

Friday, December 5, 2014

You'll Never Guess What Happened When The Weinermobile Visited The Zoo

I recently finished re-reading a book by Brent Olson, Letters from a Peasant. I had never heard of Olson before picking up this collection of essays in the bargain bin of my local Christian bookstore, but apparently he writes a syndicated newspaper column full of good humor and noble intentions. (You can check him and his books out by clicking here.) 

Because this book was part of the inspiration behind starting this blog, I'd like to share one of the chapters with you. It's called "Dancing Pig".

Some friends of mine in Lincoln, Nebraska, sent me a newspaper clipping. Evidently the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile was in town doing a promotion for hot dogs. The promotion was being held at the local zoo, with the idea being that a bunch of cute kids would show up to sing the hot dog jingle, "Oh I wish I were...." It seemed to be a fairly harmless idea. The Weinermobile would sell a few hot dogs; the zoo would get a few more people visiting that day. All in all a win/win situation. Nothing controversial about a hot dog, that's for sure.

Boy, what a fool I am.

There were a few other people participating in the day's activities. They were there to protest the use of pork in hot dogs. One of the people was wearing a pink fuzzy pig suit and carrying a sign that said something like, "Pigs aren't food, they're friends!"
If I were a better person, I would pass on this cheap and easy subject. I'm sure these people are very serious and making fun of them won't help anything.
On the other hand, I get paid to make fun of people and this is too good to pass up.
First of all, I've spent almost 40 years of my life in fairly close proximity to hogs. They are not my friends. When we're having a party, I don't scout the hog barns in the morning looking for the most athletic pigs in case we need more players for the volleyball games. I don't go bowling with my pigs, and if we played cards together, I'm pretty sure they would cheat, if they didn't eat the cards first.
It's not just me either. When Lewis and Clark headed for the west coast, they didn't saddle up their trusty sow Ginger to show them the way. Lassie does not have a sidekick named Buffy the Berkshire. Even cats, which are the psychopaths of the animal world, are...more friendly than hogs.
Scientists say hogs are very smart. So what? Brains aren't all they're cracked up to be. Richard Nixon was smart as a whip, but I wouldn't have invited him over to play volleyball either. I don't have an opinion on how he would have tasted in a hot dog.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Racist Holiday

Speaking as a European-American, I feel led to express my outrage at the blatant racism of today's holy celebration known as "Black Friday".

On this special day of the year, dedicated to the buying and selling of abundantly superficial objects, it is sick and wrong to offer such savings and early-morning wrestling to a particular skin-tone-based minority.

Am I not also a consumer? Do I not also have the capability of impulsively buying a kitchen widget? When you scan my plastic, does it not cha-ching?

It's Just...Not...Fair!

And it's not that I begrudge people of color the opportunity to waste their money. I just would appreciate some equal time.

If we must celebrate Black Friday, could we also have a Pale-Pink Saturday? Or a Brown Tuesday?

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Dog in the Hand is Worth Doodoo in the Bush

Having bidden a sad farewell to RatDog (Edgar) earlier this year, and having also bidden a reluctant farewell to my full-time job at Big Brother, Inc., neither Beloved nor I expected to be getting a new dog anytime soon.

[Editor's Note: Yes, indeed...I am currently in job transition. Having spent the most-recent 7 years as a top performing technical writer on the world's second-largest computer network, I excel at collaborating with subject matter experts to produce audience-appropriate communications, including user manuals, work instructions, and FAQs. Interested employers can see my LinkedIn profile by clicking here.]

But get a new dog we whose mother is a PomChi (Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix) and whose father is a teacup Chihuahua. In other words, this little puppy is probably not going to get an awful lot bigger.

In the above Skype-generated photo, the fuzzy image to the left is my smiling face and the fuzzy image to the right is the furry, four-footed non-feline feces factory known in these here parts as MarcoSansPolo (MSP). And yes...that IS my hand MSP is standing on.

We didn't really realize how small MSP is until we brought him home for the first time, set him on the floor, and lost him in the nap of our carpet.

Sunday afternoon, we were hosting a big meal for our kids and the family of ActorBoy's fiance, AbbeySeeinYa. The biggest laugh of the day came when the other dad in the room saw MSP for the first time and said, "I don't know whether to pet it or set a trap for it." 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Observed Absurdities™ 14 - Grammer Iz Gude

I am in great fear and am experiencing trembling of Richter-scale proportions as I think about the future of the English language.

As to the future of this blog? Unending fodder.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Willy Wonka & the Virus Factory?

I know, I know...people are losing their lives because of the Ebola virus and it is far too serious of a thing to almost about.


As curator of the Queen Ebola Hemlock FaceBook page, I am predisposed toward seeing the lighter side of the whole thing. Besides, my sensitivity filter was in for repairs when I saw the following picture above the caption "Dr. Phillip Coule and senior staff nurse Tracier Sowinski on Thursday demonstrate how to put on personal protective equipment used when treating possible Ebola patients at the emergency room in Georgia Regents University Medical Center in Augusta, Ga."

I'm just so happy to see that, apparently, affirmative action is now working on behalf of Oompa-Loompas.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Hollow Wienie Whiny

All Saints Eve has never been my favorite holiday, and for several reasons:

1)  I was raised so very non-Catholic, non-High Church, non-ritual/creed/early-centuries-traditional that All Saints Day was a total non-entity...not even on the radar. So why should its Eve be of any importance?

2)  During my years in The Youth Ministry Daze, when I was earning grocery money by enhancing the spiritual upbringing of the next generation, I campaigned against the heathen, satanic, druid-inspired origins of many of the aspects of the modern celebration of it would have been hypocritical to send my offspring out in ghost-deceiving disguises, threatening to wreak havoc upon our neighbors if they weren't paid off with Milk Duds and Tootsie-Roll Pops.

[Of course, since that time, I've come to see the attitude of Halloween being a gateway drug to satanism and the occult as a twisted variant on "Keep Christ in Christmas."...and just as effective in terms of popular culture and advertising dollars.]

3)  Truth be told...the biggest reason I've tended to avoid the celebration of Halloween is because it scares me spitless. Skeletons, spider webs, dripping blood, eerie music, things that go bump in the name it, I'm pretty much afraid of it. Haunted houses give me hives. Carnival dark rides have been endured with my eyes closed and ears plugged. Even Snow White's Scary Adventure at Disney World was too creepy for my liking. (Of course, It's a Small World fits that description, too.)

As you might deduce then, October is not my favorite month for movies. I purposely avoid all forms of "entertainment" that include the undead, serial killers, exorcists, and/or Kristen Stewart. Some people thrive on zombies, arterial splatter, pea-soup vomit, and meaningless staring, but I prefer my good times with more smiles than sneers.

So, while some are enjoying themselves with viewings of Nightmare on Pine Tar Road and The Screaming Skull, I'll be making popcorn balls (sans razor blades) and watching The Passion of the Christ.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Almost the News XXII

Real Headlines. Almost Real Stories. Almost the News.

Bill Would Limit Members of Congress in Hiring Family
Atta boy, Bill!

Shooting Suspect Reward Up To $25K
The reward has jumped up by ten thousand dollars for anyone able to shoot the suspect, who still remains at large.

Man Gets One Year For Hiding Corpse
...but after that, we're going to come looking for it. ("Olly olly oxen free!")

FBI Takes New Look At Twin Cities Terror Ties
The possible Halloween addition to agents' attire include the "Nightmare (on Elm Street) Knot" and the "Exorcist Ascot".

August Apartment Building Dives
The grand, majestic Esther Williams Apartments successfully completed a Forward 2 1/2 Tuck in yesterday's competition.

DNR Rules Against Bear Researcher
Department of Natural Resources spokesperson, Ima Ranger, said, "Bears should be out eating fish and stealing pic-a-nic baskets, not cooped up in some research lab."

Friday, October 17, 2014

The ABCs of Almost the Truth

With inspiration from fellow blogger and former co-worker, Allissa Danielson, I hereby offer a primer on the way things are around this here piece of fluff called Almost the Truth.

AngelFace and ActorBoy - Our oldest child, and our only son, respectively. One is a perfectionist; one spent all of high school pulling the wool over our eyes. I'll let you figure out which is which.

Beloved and BuckEye - My wife, and our second daughter. Beloved and I have had our fair share of good times and decidedly not good times. A shared faith and a huge dose of stubbornness have kept us together. BuckEye is the only one of our four children who was born in Ohio...get it?

Church - More than an act of obedience or a socially-acceptable habit, church attendance is a great source of material for a humor blog

Diet - Meat and potatoes; Pizza and pasta; CornNuts and Dr Pepper; When thinking of diet as a strict adherence to a particular menu for the purpose of losing weight, don't think of me.

Earworms - Those annoying little snippets of songs that keep replaying in your head. I used to publish a quarterly recap of earworms that appeared out of nowhere when I was waking up...then realized that the eclectic list of unexplainable melodic infestations was probably only interesting to me.

Farnsworth - Mild expletive, as in, "What the farnsworth is up with that?!?"

Giant Step Theatre - I've been working with this children's theater that "exists to provide performance opportunities for youth and entertainment for families' for almost 15 years. I have been dressed in drag, painted blue, dragged across stage by 4th-graders, and had my head shaved. I've seen the necessity of having my grand choreograhic visions reduced to "Lean left, lean right." I've also been utterly amazed at how the little hambones can always seem to pull things together for opening night.

Hashtag - I've tried to get #FredBassetMustDie to become a Thing, but no one else seems to be as appalled by the utter lack of humor and/or redeeming social value in the waste-of-ink called Fred Basset. I'd rather newspapers just print reruns of Calvin and Hobbes. Farnsworth, I'd prefer a daily printing of nutritional facts from breakfast cereals to that stupi-er-unfunny cartoon canine!

Indiana Jones - The lead character in one of the three best movie trilogies of all time (Back to the Future and the original Star Wars being the other two) and one of the most-disappointing fourth episodes of a movie series ever. But the idea of having a full-length Muppet parody has merit.

Juan - As in, "Juan was such a nice guy," which is the catch phrase in one of the Stupid Stories I tell before Giant Step Theatre performances.

King Kong - The only movie in my DVD collection that starts with K, thereby helping me complete this alphabetical extravaganza. (And yes, we are talking about the 2005 Peter Jackson version, featuring Andy Serkis as the motion-captured behemoth AND a sailor named Lumpy who gets his head swallowed by a giant worm...nice.)

Let It Go - As of this writing, this song from Disney's Frozen is the subject of Almost the Truth's most-read post.

MisterSquishy - My youngest grandchild. There is also the oldest, SkittleKid, and the only granddaughter (so far), SweetCheeks.

News - Well...almost. A semi-regular feature here is to take real headlines and follow them up with twisted interpretations of said headlines.

Observed Absurdities- From time to time, an observant reader or co-worker or stranger will send along a picture or advertisement or thingamajig that strikes them as odd. If it strikes me that way as well, then you all get the pleasure of seeing it.

Pop Culture - Whether it's reacting to my Twitter feed, getting perplexed by the latest celebrity faux pas, or becoming a digital cartoonist, popular culture is always ripe for a bit-o-skewering. 

Queen Ebola Hemlock - The character I portray in Giant Step Theatre's Snow White and the 7 or 8 Dwarfs. A perfect name for a perfect, egocentric villain. Find her on FaceBook.

Reality - What a concept! (Apologies to R. Williams)

Skyline Chili - The original Cincinnati style chili, served over spaghetti and covered with grated cheese. One man's poison is another man's Olympus-worthy nectar.  Either you love it or you have dumpster detritus for taste buds.

Twitter - You can follow me (@deweyroth), or risk missing out on the 140-character events-of-the-moment.

UberFacts - One of the factoid feeds I follow on Twitter...the one that frustrates me to no end with their typos and incessant use of the word "actually," which makes them sound like junior high school girls from California.

Voiceovers - The tiniest, most-secret corner of the Almost the Truth universe. Consists mostly of non-profit work and my imagination.

World Wide Wackfest - Otherwise known as the Internet, the Web, or the Everlasting Online Information Highway.




Made ya look.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Grammar Police: May Eye Sea Yore Poetick Lyecents?

The bell tolled
and so I was told
my underwear was under there.
"Under where?"
"Yes," the responder replied.

This, of course,
failed to spell out an appropriate course
for my undies-seeking horse
whose blanket was coarse.
(But who's going to yell about that till they're hoarse?)

And now I know
no way to weigh
the truth of what the speaker spoke:
"They're over there with their parents' grandchildren's parents."
In other words, they are alone with themselves.

To get her together,
it would take the arms (but what's the harm?)
of several occupied octopi.
I would have
if I could have
half that many manly charms.

Even when lucid,
I may lose it
if a child wrests his wrist
and forces me to loose it.
At which point, even a witch would rest...
though a wooden one wouldn't have won.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Quintessential Almostification

While spending time slogging around the World Wide Wackfest, it is not a rare occurrence at all to see a quote attributed to someone who never actually said or wrote the statement in question.

The following picture was offered as one comment in a string of replies to a recent incident of just such an adventure in misinformation.

While I offer apologies, condolences, and a strong What-the-Farnsworth?!? to any readers unfamiliar with either Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter, the picture is such an absolutely perfect example of Almost the Truthosity...if it weren't stolen from sources unknown, it would surely become the new cover photo at the Almost the TruthTM Publishing FaceBook page.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tweet Repeat

This tweeter couldn't be sweeter 'cause I know you are a reader. So I got what you be needin' and that's what I be feedin', so come and belly up to the bar no matter what you are; whether you're unknown or a great big star, or come by train, plane, or vintage muscle car.

These have already been seen and read on Twitter, but I'm thinking right now nothin' could be fitter than to lay all of them on all of you so you can laugh till your face turns blue...if that's a thing you're prone to do.

  • NotCommonFacts: The least financially successful Harry Potter film made $90 million more than the most successful Twilight movie.” #neener
  • UberFacts: William Shakespeare's birthday, April 23rd in 1564 – He would have been 450 years old.” When he was BORN?!? #longgestation
  • UberFacts: There are spiders big enough to eat snakes in Australia.” ...while spinning a web in New Zealand.
  • UberFacts: Sloths only poop once a week.” but it takes 7 hours.
  • Know: Chocolate comes from cocoa, which is a tree. That makes it a plant. Chocolate is salad.” #AlmostTheTruth says "Eat Your Veggies!"
  • UberFacts: New studies suggest that men really don't understand women's emotions.” #gasp
  • UberFacts: A person will B more willing to do something for you when touching their forearm.” So how do I get them to touch their forearm?
  • UberFacts: Until 2001, Disneyland workers wore company jock straps while in costume... which they returned.” #eww
  • UberFacts: 56% of people fold their underwear while 27% say they just toss it in the drawer.” Apparently, 17% eat theirs.
  • UberFacts: A new study in France suggests people with tattoos drink more than those without.” This a ChickenOrEgg thing
  • Factsionary: Johnny Depp was discovered by Nicolas Cage.” Doing what?
  • Factsionary: Rubbing a slice of lime on your forehead will reduce the pain of a headache.” Insert alcohol-related joke of your choice here
  • UberFacts: Michael J. Fox's middle name is Andrew.” #waitwhat
  • UberFacts: Studies show that people who feel lonely are more likely to take longer showers and longer baths.” Creating More Time Alone
  • UberFacts: In the UK you are legally required to stop your car if you run over a dog, but not a cat.” #justsaying
  • ChristianHumor: I'm at church and I can hear the worship team practicing for Sunday. I'm glad they practice.” #hahaha
  • UberFacts: A "buttload" is a real measurement of volume – One buttload is equal to 126 gallons.” That's a lotta junk in the trunk
  • tomhanks: Summer reading! Alan Furst’s newest and man, that guy hit’s my groove." Hit's? ... Hit's?!? Ack! #grammarpolice
  • UberFacts: Getting your tongue pierced can lead to heart problems.” It's also a sign of mental problems
  • UberFacts: 5Guy’s fries are the most unhealthy in America; nearly 1500 calories & 71 grams of fat.” And probably taste the most #awesome
  • UberFacts: Female-named hurricanes kill more people than male hurricanes do.” #justsaying

  • UberFacts: 123456 is the most commonly password hacked.” or rather, most commonly hacked password. #hireme as your proofreader!
  • Factsionary: The guy who invented Doritos was also buried with Doritos after he died.” Glad it was AFTER he died. Whew!
  • NotCommonFacts: After death,there are 7 minutes of brain activity left. It's the mind playing back memories.” How would anyone know this?
  • UberFacts: Sarcastic people tend to be more creative.” #yeahright
  • UberFacts: jumping thru a tunnel thru the Earth would take about 42-53 minutes.” except 4 stopping in the middle because of GRAVITY
  • UberFacts: The is a website that takes your photo and finds people around the world who look like you.” The is? #HireMe as your proofer
  • UberFacts: It took Leonardo da Vinci 10 years to paint the Mona Lisa's lips.” ...she kept licking them off #diva
  • UberFacts: The starfish is the only animal that can turn its stomach inside out.” or wants to.
  • Know: Well, another day has passed...and I didn't use Algebra once.” #justsaying
  • Factsionary: A plastic shopping bag can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.” but only 3 seconds to rip and drop my eggs
  • UberFacts: A new study released in July 2014 states that even moderate consumption of alcohol is bad for your heath.” or "health" #HireMe
  • UberFacts: Astronauts don’t do laundry, they just throw their underwear out of the ship.” ExplainsWhat I FoundInMyBackyard
  • NotCommonFacts: Your mind spends about 70% of it's time....” Should be "its". #HireMe as your proofer
  • UberFacts: Recycling one aluminum beverage can save enough energy to run a TV for 2 hours.” Should be "saves". #HireMe as your proofreader
  • UberFacts: The average man will spend a year of his life staring at women!” Mine was 1978.
  • UberFacts: ...mosquito bites...stirs up they're saliva.” "They're" should be "their". #HireMe as your proofreader...seriously.
  • UberFacts: There is enough gold on Earth for every person to own 5 golden rings.” 4 calling birds, 3 French hens...
  • UberFacts: A lemon will float in water, but a lime will sink.” Green is heavier than yellow. #AlmostTheTruth
  • NotCommonFacts: Your nightmares&dreams may be memories from another life, studies suggest.” I went 2school naked in another life?!?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Riddle Me This, Batman

Why is it a selling point for Beloved's shampoo to have "Acai Berry Antioxidant" and "Camellia Oil" in it? Ewww...

What's the difference between "Why" and "How come"?

How do single people who don't go to bars and are afraid of the Internet ever meet new people...besides constantly changing jobs, I mean?

At what age do short necklaces on men stop being cool and start being a sad, desperate attempt to retain one's youth?

Why, why, the name of all that is good and decent...why do newspapers continue to waste paper and ink by printing the blank-stare-inducing yawnfest (mistakenly referred to as a "comic strip") titled "Fred Basset"?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Almost the Truthlets, the Sixth

There's something here that's not quite right, methinks. Oh yes, now I know...if you've never seen these snippets before, it means you've not Liked and Followed the Almost the TruthTM Publishing Facebook page.

What the Farnsworth?!!?

  • ♫♪♪ I can sea clearly now, the boat is launched.
  • New book just released: "The Case for Corporal Punishment", by Ben Dover.
  • I am the eggman. They are the eggmen. I am having an identity crisis.
  • Pleasingly plump: recommended translation of the thought "Yes! Of COURSE those jeans make you look fat!"
  • A penny saved is...not worth the trouble.
  • Don't hate me because I'm beautiful...there are lots of other more sensible reasons.
  • Coke...It's the Real Thing...the real, nasty, battery-terminal-cleaning thing.
  • Freedom's just another word for not being locked up or knocked up, but probably being stocked up with fine, feathered friends who have flocked up in support of your general awesomeness.
  • Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain, telling me I'm gonna get wet. But it doesn't bother me or cause me pain, in fact, it's never hurt me yet.
  • Jose, can you see by the neon's flickering light what so proudly we hailed as Taco Bell's best approximation of a burrito?
  • Pride goeth before a fall...and fall goeth before winter.
  • Sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows...The Unicorn Diet...legendary weight loss!
  • Favorite song from the Shlocky Horror Pitcher Show: "Let's Do the Mime Twerk Again!"
  • If you can't stand the heat, sit down.