Railing Safety Nearly Laughable

For those of you who dont know, let me explain what a railing is supposed to do. Railings are designed to keep children, the elderly, and the unaware from unintentionally popping over an edge to a space below. Its not typically the space below that is undesirable, but rather the experience of unexpectedly going there, often quite quickly.

Everyone got their own separate presents, for sure, and I got mine. We’re still bearing in mind that every present really is a gift inside a gift, right? Once everybody opened their stuff, they gave me the wrapping! Hey, it’s only like 10% of what makes the gift great, but it’s by far the best 10%. I got pretty crinkle paper, I got sparkle ribbon, I got sticky name tags for my hands and hair, I got teething bows, and by gum I got holiday joy.

Shirts, toys, stuffed animals and blocks, yeah, yeah, whatever. I got all the wrapping paper. Did you hear me? Look at all this. How delightful! Maybe these people are buttering me up for favorable write-ups in the paper, I don’t know. Maybe they expect really awesome gifts in return. I prefer to think it’s because I’ve been really good all year, or my whole life, whichever is longer.

To all those who’ve made this possible I thank you. You’ve been very special to me my whole life and today is no exception. Thanks for our friendship, thanks for the gifts, and thank you so, so much for the paper.


Uh Huh, Present. Why’m I Wearing Antleers?

Huh, yeah, thanks, something wrapped in paper for me. Um, why the heck am I wearing antlers here? I’m not a reindeer and I don’t know anyone with a sleigh, so what on peaceful earth is the deal?

I understand that there’s some kind of relentless pursuit of adorability underway, but the costs are rising and I’m not sure how much more I can budget.

For one thing, it’s Christmas, let’s not forget that. I mean, technically it’s still Christmas Eve, but it’s my first one, so that should count for something. Aren’t there child labor laws in this God we trusting country? I doubt Jesus had to work on Christmas and him and God are related. Consider that.

A second and equally important factor to consider would be that these antlers are really uncomfortable. They don’t want to stay on and they have sure got my vote for coming off. Before or behind my ears, they want to slide off my head. That leaves only two distinctly uncomfortable options, the diagonal pinch or the ear squish. If you’ve ever seen a reindeer with kallywompus antlers I image you can share in my alarm. As for the ear squish, well, I don’t think I need to tell you why that’s no good.

Let’s just enjoy our time together, and by “our” I mean mine and yours, not mine and the antlers.

Mom & Dad Cheap; Got Each Other Me

I don’t know what to make of this. While I’m told this is supposed to be a season of giving, I’ve got two people I’m supposed to be looking up to totally cheaping out on each other.

Isn`t this a surprise... baby in a box.
Isn`t this a surprise… baby in a box.

Yeah, yeah, Christmas is a time to be with family and blah, blah whatever. Still, if you’re expecting a real present and all you get is the same old stuff you got last year re-wrapped, you’re going to feel a bit ripped off. This isn’t my first time in a box, nor am I unfamiliar with being given as a gift, so I’m not just complaining for my own sake here.

And when did I become a gift anyhow? Doesn’t this at least kind of break the law? I thought the closest thing to legal slavery anymore was being among the working poor… maybe that’s why they don’t have real presents for each other, I don’t know. Scary thought though.

Possibilities? Sure, let’s run ‘em down.

  • They’re broke.
  • They don’t like each other.
  • Compared to the gift of me, nothing else is worth buying.

Boy, those are tough choices… I’m going to go with “C,” I’m super cool. I mean, I know I’m not the hottest gift of the season or anything, but still, sometimes you just don’t know… and other times you do.

Hate to cut this short, but apparently I have just a ton of stuff on my schedule for today. Not sure what all it is, but hey, when the calendar calls, you gotta obey.

Christmas Cheer Written All Across My Face

You’re looking at me funny, so what gives? Yeah, it’s a joyous time of year, I’m wishing my brother-man this season’s joys and greetings… so what’s your deal? You don’t have “stupid” written across your face, so why are you staring?

What is so funny?
What is so funny?

I’ve heard it’s a time to be joyous and all that good stuff, but I don’t know how to get into it. What do I have to do to express my holiday well wishes? For that matter what’s a “holiday well wish” anyhow?

Seems to me like there would be an easier way than this. Hallmark has us convinced that it costs about four bucks just to say Merry Christmas (non-verbally), but I’m thinking it can be done for free… but how? That’s the question, how?

And why did Hallmark go through all the trouble of inventing this holiday without at least having the decency to print a manual to go along with it? It just doesn’t make any sense. How are people supposed to know if they’re doing it right?

If I had a manual I could be more confidant that this quacky chicken thing I’ve got here is truly an icon of the holidays. It’s a little odd to me, a fluffy quacking chicken used to symbolize the birth of Christ but, hey man, what do I know? I’m still new here.

I am confident that even without reading this article, which I’m told even my biggest fans won’t, you could know what’s on my mind as well as my forehead. I wear my heart on my sleeve and my slogan on my noggin’.


B Lighting Ceremony Truly Electrifying

Yesterday evening at the center of my known universe the officials held a B lighting ceremony. How exciting, to be alit my ownself. story169

It was quite the evening of festivity. Gene Autry was playing on the forbidden stereo, the buttons of which for once were acceptably off-limits. Dad, brother and mom were all in attendance, mom even brought the unborn brother-X in her marsupial pouch. Everything was ready to go.

The lights were presented in box form which brother and I hastily opened. From there was a bag, which brother tore right through. It worked out well because he wanted the lights and I wanted the crinkle-plastic. Oh man, how I love the plastic.

Next the lights were splayed out on the floor and brother insisted it was time. With the help of expert adult supervision they were plugged in and the lighting had been done.

As far as I’m concerned, that’s when the real fun began. Do you have any idea how pretty Christmas lights are? This holiday just keeps getting better and better.

My only real confusion is when this maddened string of so-called holidays will end. It seems like a good 30% of my life has been dedicated to a parade of holidays. First with the spiders and ghosts, then the turkeys and leaf collages, now all this snow-type stuff. There’s only been one day of snow so far, so I’m still not sure how this holiday is going to pencil out.

One thing I learned is that if you want prompt attention and you have no more desire to be among the lights, go ahead and put them in your mouth and you will immediately be removed from them. I can’t speak as to why it might not be okay to put something electrical in your mouth, but people seem to get pretty uptight about it.

In case you’re curious, the lights we had only came in original flavor, which is really, really bland (and somewhat hot).

Anyhow, there’s a couple days left until Christmas, so forgive me if it seems I’m abridging this article. I have so much more research to do and me and time are both short. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted on developments as they, well, you know, as they develop.


The Dark Ages Are Today

For a long time I thought it might just be me. But now, more than ever, I’m convinced that the days of light are gone. Even the daytime itself may be gone. It seems to me from here on out we’re committed to the dark.

Even here, early in the afternoon, there is just darkness... okay, and wind too.
Even here, early in the afternoon, there is just darkness… okay, and wind too.

I noticed it first a couple of months back. I used to go to bed and rise by the light of day. Then I would get up or go to bed around dark. I figured I was sleeping less just as many people do as they age. As weeks passed though it got to be worse and worse to the point that it would get dark hours before I would sleep and remain dark another hour after I had arisen.

In an effort to be objective, I checked the local paper this morning. Sunrise was at 7:54 and sunset is at 4:21. That’s only 8 hours and 28 minutes of daylight. When will this end? Will it ever recover? To top it off, the eight hours we will get are overcast here in Seattle. And since we’re so far north if the sun does make it through the clouds, it will barely get up over the trees before it starts falling again. Did I mention the trees? Oh yeah, there’s lots of trees here, so it takes it even longer to get light, and makes it dark even earlier.

Everything I’ve learned is coming apart at the seams. Like, “The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.” What? No it doesn’t. It rises in the southeast and sets in the southwest. Am I crazy or did something go seriously wrong?

While my porcelain sheen is grateful for the safety that comes with being kept in the dark, I’m worried about the sun. Is it sick? Did it cut back to part-time? Is this the distancing that is so common right before a nasty break-up?

Doesn’t light equal life? And isn’t life supposed to be a good thing? Maybe I should dump some Perplexing budget on lamps or invest in a big fake sun like the ones they use on a Hollywood film set. Something, man, I don’t know, but I need some light.

I’ve heard the sun has been moonlighting in South America under the name Del Sol, but I think we can afford to win it back. Let’s start new contract negotiations and see what we can get settled. Is that how it works? Let’s see if we can resurrect beach life. After all life’s a beach and what good is being there if there’s no sun of a beach? While unsure of what I just said I think you can nod your head with me and say, “exactly.”

Let’s do this.


Modern MaJello Goes Under Cupboard

Like MaJello, I’m an explorer, no two ways about it. I love to discover new places where I can go and spots where I can fit. Whether it’s wiggling under chairs or digging through closets, it just gives me a full-sized thrill. Yes, I’m an exploration pioneer, but don’t tell anyone, because as you can see, I’m under cupboard.

No one here but us mice.
No one here but us mice.

It’s fun to find new places. The world is so big and I’ve only seen some of it. I used to think I’d seen it all, but then I noticed new rooms in my home and those rooms were closets and drawers and furniture to crawl under. Has anyone claimed these dust bunnies yet, because if not I want naming privileges. After all, I am the one who discovered them.

There are so many disadvantages to being a fractionling such as confusion, lack of education and rampant discrimination, but onethlings can’t do a lot of the things I can. Have you ever seen a full-sized person giddily bounce about in a thirty-inch compartment? How about eat lunch underneath a kitchen chair? I’ll give you an easy one, have you ever looked for your keys by hanging out between the wall and the arm of the sofa? Odds are you never even considered it. It’s not your fault though, you’re probably not a groundbreaking explorer like me.

I should have a flag. Can you imagine what my pad would look like from the two-foot mark on down if I could visibly stake my claim hither, thither and yon? Maybe Post-Its would be more appropriate, but even then it would look like the place was vandalized by an ambitious office temp.

Can’t go back under the sink, in case you were curious. Apparently the garbage can is somehow more important than me waiting for the bus in there. That’s okay though, that spot is pretty played out. I have to cut this report short, don’t you know. I have hundreds of square feet and thousands of cubic feet to explore and chart. Besides, with Christmas coming there’s bound to be some killer loot around here somewhere.


All Work & No Pills Makes Brendan a Dull Boy

Behind every story is another story and behind that story is a reporter, but what’s behind the reporter? Is it money, power or a quest for prestige? The answer is yes, all these things and so much more.

Shake, shake, shake!
Shake, shake, shake!

When I’m not working (and for that matter, when I am,) I like to get a little crazy. I’ll be the first to admit that I experiment with many things in many ways, though primarily orally. I’m still in my infancy when it comes to exploring my world, as well as in some other critical ways too, I’m told. Sometimes I play music or just chill with the people around me, but sometimes it’s just straight to the bottle to bring me down and the pills to bring me up.

pills2How do you wake up in the morning? Coffee or tea? Did you ever think there might be a better way? If I want to wake up in a good mood, I have to have a bottle handy, and if at all possible, something to shake things up a bit. And what shakes better than a Tylenol brand rattle?

My family is cool with the bottle, but I am starting to sense that the pills3pills make them nervous. When they see me going for them they say things like “oh no you don’t,” when in fact oh yes, I do. Then when I’m using them they seem really irritated like I’m busting dischordal la Cucaracha all syncopated, which I may well be. It’s not that it soothes me because it doesn’t, it’s that it stimulates me.

Don’t worry, I’ve never had the pills unsupervised, nor have I ever managed to get the darn thing open, thank you very much stupid kid-proof lids. I don’t drink and drive and I don’t let it affect my work.

I guess this is another one of those instances where my article expires rather than ends. It’s not that I’m feeling unmotivated or uncreative today, more that there’s just no more to tell.


Minimum Security Christmas Tree Brings Joy, Mischief

On or about November 28th of this year, a Christmas tree was spotted lurking conspicuously in the north end of the offices of Perplexing Times. When Officer B. Alexander moved in to investigate, the tree began a fight with the officer.

Perhaps if I move quickly enough no one will notice me getting into the tree.
Perhaps if I move quickly enough no one will notice me getting into the tree.

First, the suspected tree began dropping fragile ornaments on the floor to distract the officer. When an attempt was made to subdue the tree it started flailing wildly about and swaying as if to fall. The smell of alcohol was not apparent, though drunkenness could not be ruled out. Witnesses reported the officer shaking the tree violently and squealing.

Immediately Officers Hey Mama and Daddy-o rushed in as backup. The suspected tree and officer B. Alexander were separated for questioning, after which the tree was detained pending the outcome of a full investigation. The officer was asked to surrender both his arms, but they were found to be attached.

xtree-tallIt was determined by investigators that although the tree had been invited and was in fact a welcome guest, it was potentially guilty of creating an attractive nuisance* and would be tried accordingly.

The tree has subsequently been convicted of said crime. Since it is a first offense, attorneys were able to work out a plea agreement as follows: Sentencing includes one month of minimum security work-release confinement, based on the seasonal nature of employment kept by said tree, followed by 11-23 months solitary confinement. With good behavior the tree may be eligible for parole as early as next Christmas, though terms of parole may require any additional supervision as deemed necessary at that time.

The minimum security confinement will be a low but secure fence surrounding the grounds where the tree will reside. Work release will be entirely supervised by senior officers and only on specially designated “holidays,” so as to bring good cheer to all.

If you see a perpetrator in your home matching the profile of the one described above, do not attempt to wrassle it down to the ground yourself. Immediately call in for backup and maintain a safe distance. Many of these trees are terminal and they all are believed to be carrying needles.

* That’s when you leave something dangerous around that’s just so appealing no one could resist getting themselves into trouble.

Above: Officers seen here gloating over their success in securing the neighborhood from the menace that is a shiny pretty tree.


News Staff Under 24-Hour Watch

If you’ve ever owned a business you know the problems that come with trying to keep an honest crew. Between laziness, theft and insubordination I just can’t tell you how much work it is having people do the work for me.

Seen here cleverly napping whilst appearing to supervise.
Seen here cleverly napping whilst appearing to supervise.

I’ve found that if you aren’t constantly hawking down your people, they’ll quickly revert to playing poker in the lunchroom and selling office supplies on the black market to fund their eating habits. That’s the trouble. How can I do my job and other things I like to do if I’m constantly babysitting the big people?

A mentor of mine had suggested, “sleep with one eye open,” so I tried it. The experience was neither pleasing nor effective. I woke up with a dry eye and hadn’t observed anything at all during the overnight, plus I apparently heebie-jeebied everyone out… so much for him being a mentor, felt more like a prank to me.

I had heard once that “perception is reality,” which I can’t say, even at my age, that I completely agree with. However it sounded good enough to give a shot. Starting about a week ago I’ve moved my naps from the executive lounge to the newsroom. Not because I sleep better in the newsroom, but because I’ve found a way to give the perception that I’m still watching over them.

I affix prosthetic eyes to my forehead in such a convincing Hollywood fashion that very few would ever know they were fake, then explain that I have to think about some things for the paper, and I lay down and take my nap. As far as these ignorami know I don’t blink a wink during the two hours or so I’m out. When I wake up, it’s amazing how much work has been done. Photos are processed, proofreading is all done, the daily stats have been reviewed. It’s simply amazing.

So long as I can maintain this illusion (and no one who works here reads this article) you can count on the high quality standards you’ve been enjoying as of late. At the rate we’re going around here, before you know it, someone will actually read this stuff.