On 1 April 2015, I sent this to the family newspaper I write a weekly column for:
By David Bruce (XXX)
© 2015, David Bruce, All Rights Reserved
Sook-Yin Lee worked as a VJ (Video Disc Jockey) at MuchMusic, a cool Canadian version of MTV. She had a ring that a best friend named Marina had given her; it was engaged with the words “cats, cunts, and rubber cocks,” which were, according to Marina, their favorite topics of conversation. When she first got her VJ job, Sook-Yin was worried about even accidentally saying swear words on television, but apparently she soon ceased to worry. During a commercial break when she was interviewing the Red Hot Chili Peppers, singer Anthony Kiedis noticed and asked about the ring, and she told him to ask about it on-air. He did, and they had a discussion about, of course, cats, cunts, and rubber cocks. The interview had been put on a time delay instead of being broadcast live because the TV management had worried about one of the red Hot Chili Peppers cursing. After the interview the TV management told Sook-Yin, “We were concerned about those guys, but you were the one we should have been concerned about.” Later, Sook-Yin mentioned to Anthony that she had gotten into trouble because of the interview, and he said, “I thought it was a bit odd that we could talk about that stuff on air, but I just figured Canada must be more liberal.”
John Barrymore was a big actor in Hollywood, and John Carradine was a big actor on Broadway. They were friends, and when Mr. Carradine wanted work in Hollywood, Mr. Barrymore said that he would help him with his screen test. Mr. Barrymore said that part of the screen test would be a pantomime: “I want you to come out from behind this door, and you’re to make the audience feel that you’ve had the best feast of your life.” Mr. Carradine did just that, licking his lips and sighing with pleasure. Mr. Barrymore then said that he would show the screen test the next day at lunch at the commissary. But Mr. Barrymore added something to the screen test that Mr. Carradine did not know about. After Mr. Carradine licked his lips and sighed with pleasure, the next shot showed Mr. Barrymore coming out from behind the door and zipping up his pants.
The Ritz in London is known for excellent service — its staff always tries to do at least a little better than the staff at other luxury hotels. A waiter who had been in training was being given his first table to service. At the table was a young Lord and a beautiful young woman in a low-cut dress. During drinks before dinner was served, the beautiful young woman leaned forward, and one of her breasts popped out of her low-cut dress without her noticing it. Thinking quickly, the waiter used a spoon to lift the breast and put it back in the beautiful young woman’s dress. An older waiter beckoned the young waiter over and complimented him on his quick thinking, but added, “At the Ritz we warm the spoon first.”
In the days when pornography was not nearly as available as it is now, comedian Red Skelton sometimes showed pornographic movies in his apartment, and sometimes he drank too much and projected them out the window and onto the wall of the apartment building next door. Motorists could see the pornographic movies, and often they would slow down or stop in order to enjoy them. This sometimes caused traffic jams and sometimes brought the police. When the police arrived, Red would quickly shut off the projector. Occasionally, he did not shut off the projector quickly enough, and police officers would knock on his door. Red would try to stall the police officers, and a friend would take the pornographic films out the back entrance and burn them.
Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller fame occasionally slept with groupies before getting married, and he remembers his most brazen groupie. After shows, he and Teller go out into the lobby and mingle with the audience — a habit from the days when their dressing rooms were depressing. A woman waited until other people had left, and then she walked up to Penn, who was standing in front of a huge advertisement that prominently featured his name. She asked him, “Fuck me if I’m wrong, but is your name Debbie?” He calls this “the best pickup line anyone ever used on me after a show.”
In 1912, Woodrow Wilson became President of the United States, When his elderly aunt heard the good news, she didn’t believe it, saying, “Don’t be silly!” Lots of gossip surrounded his courtship of wealthy widow Edith Galt. One joke was this: Q: “What did Mrs. Galt do when the President asked her to marry him?” A: “She fell out of bed!” And people agreed with the Washington Post when an article stated, “The President spent much of the evening entering Mrs. Galt,” although the newspaper claimed that “entering” was a typo for “entertaining.”
Some of the comments on YouTube about music videos are funny. For example, a video of the Divinyls’ hit “I Touch Myself” had 477 likes and 8 dislikes in May 2011. A person who calls him- or herself “Tomdotp” commented, “The 8 people that dislike this song touch themselves a bit too much!” And a person who calls him- or herself “TwilfsMind” commented about the video, “It’s not about masturbation. It’s about looking into your soul and finding out who you really are […] Just kidding it’s about Masturbating.”
Sometimes, comedians make risqué comments to members of the audience. Sometimes, the members of the audience include comedians (or comediennes) who can make a quick comeback. A comedian once said to comedienne Kym Whitley, “Hey, lady, as long as I’ve got a face, you’ve got a place to sit.” She replied, “As long as you’ve got a face like that, I’m going to keep standing.”
In 1979 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the owners of the Comic Strip opened a branch where young ladies often skinny-dipped in the swimming pool. Easy sex was a major attraction for the comedians. Rick Overton remembers taking a waitress to bed. She said, “I can’t believe I’m doing this,” but when he fumbled around looking for a condom, she told him, “It’s in the third drawer.”
April Fool! Here is the real column:
By David Bruce (Bible) © 2015, David Bruce, All Rights Reserved
The Bible contains stories of giants such as Goliath, so many people believe that giants once walked the earth. In the mid-1800s, a man named George Hull decided to help that belief along. He and a business partner, H.B. Martin, hired a couple of sculptors to make a “giant corpse” from a 5-ton block of gypsum, then Mr. Hull used a darning needle to make hundreds of holes resembling pores in the gypsum. He then buried the “corpse” in a farm located in Cardiff, New York, and a year later he hired two workers to dig a well where the “corpse” was buried. Of course, they unearthed the “corpse,” and of course Mr. Hull made money exhibiting it. Even after Mr. Hull admitted that it was a fake, people still came to look at it. Even today, people come to look at the fake. In Cooperstown, New York, a popular exhibit of the New York State Historical Association is the “Cardiff Giant.”
According to Deuteronomy 24:19, if you reap your field and you forget a sheaf, you are not permitted to go back to your field and get it; instead, you have to leave it for the poor. A Hassid was conscientious in his life, and for many years he did not forget a sheaf in his field, but one harvest he forgot a sheaf and he rejoiced because he had the opportunity to obey a command of God. He told his son to prepare a great feast: to sacrifice one bull for a burnt-offering and another bull for a peace-offering. His son wondered why his father was so happy about forgetting a sheaf in his field, and the father told him, “All the other duties of the Torah come to us by paying attention, but this one comes to us by inattention. All the earnestness and good intentions in the world will not bring us the merit of this deed, only a moment of forgetfulness.”
During her rule, Queen Mary I of England persecuted the Protestants. Benjamin Franklin’s great-great-grandfather was a Protestant under her rule, but he continued to read the Bible even when doing so was forbidden. He kept the Bible strapped underneath a covered stool, and when he wanted to read it, he stationed one of his children to serve as a lookout, then he turned the stool over. Whenever the child said that an officer of the crown was coming near, Benjamin Franklin’s great-great-grandfather would immediately hide the evidence of his Bible reading by turning the stool right-side up.
Harry Smith, a line coach at the University of Missouri, was desperate for a win after three straight losses (and was under pressure from the alumni), so he made a vigorous speech to his linesmen, telling them, “You’re letting the other team shove you all over the field. You’ve got to beat them to the charge, and when you hit them, try to knock them into the stands. Remember, the good book says, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’” A linesman objected, “I was taught that the Bible said, ‘Love thy enemies.’” Mr. Smith replied, “That’s what it used to say — the alumni changed it.”
Preacher Will D. Campbell does not suffer fools gladly. He once met an up-and-coming Southern Baptist, with whom he discussed a proposed expansion of the federal death penalty. Mr. Campbell asked him, “You do believe in the Commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ don’t you?” The man replied that he did. Mr. Campbell then asked him, “Surely you are opposed to this death penalty expansion?” The man replied, “Absolutely not. We sent a letter to the White House in support.” Mr. Campbell then told the man, “You are a hypocrite and a jackass.”
“What is the point of the Genesis story of creation? What was the author trying to say? Well, the Bible intended to give a religious lesson, not a science lesson. The seven-day story of creation is just a way of making the point: God created the universe with wisdom, care and order. If science determines that the universe actually evolved over millions and millions of years, there is no conflict with the Bible.” — Daniel A. Helminiak, Ph.D. and Roman Catholic priest, “What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality.”
In “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” young Tom wins tickets each Sunday by reciting a few Bible verses — the tickets, when numerous enough, can be exchanged for a plainly bound Bible. Mark Twain’s Sunday school had the same system except that the tickets entitled a child to borrow a religious book from the Church library. In his later years, Mr. Twain claimed that he won his tickets by reciting the same five Bible verses each week.
Many of us read the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, in which the Pharisee says, “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as that publican [tax collector]. I fast twice in the week. I give tithes of all that I possess.” Unfortunately, when many of us read this, we think, “Thank God that I am not as that Pharisee.”
A homophobe once said to lesbian comedian Judy Carter, “You can’t be gay and be a Christian.” She replied, “I must have a misprint in my Bible. It doesn’t say, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, except homosexuals, should not perish but have everlasting life.’”
Ellen C. Waller, a Quaker, asked the children in her class to check and make sure that they had the Revised Version of the Bible, from which she was teaching. One child said that she had the wrong version of the Bible, because it wasn’t “Revised” — it was “Holy.”
Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts could be immensely insulting when speaking about Ulysses S. Grant, who once said about him, “The reason Sumner doesn’t believe in the Bible is because he didn’t write it himself.”
“It’s still a mystery to me how godly people can tithe their income, give to the poor, read the Bible, pray, love folks, and let God run every fiber of their being except how they treat black people.” — Jerry Clower.
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