chainsaw_headerA woman comes home from work, carrying a tote bag containing a bottle of wine and some long candles. Married love life has been on the rocks lately. So, they’ve both agreed to put forth an effort to bring back the romance.

Her husband excitedly meets her at the door. “Hello, my love, you were right — it’s all about setting the mood. And I’ve done it… just like you said.” She’s a bit bemused as he takes her hand and leads her down the hallway to the bedroom and opens the door with a sweeping gesture of proud presentation.

The walls have been painted a stark brilliant white. A thick orange stripe runs around the room like a wide chair rail. The ceiling fan has been replaced with a pulsing, spinning red light. The letters ECNALUBMA are stenciled on the wall backwards. She looks at him exasperatingly and says — “I said you need to create a romantic “ambiance” you idiot!”

So…. What do you think? Is it funny… at least kinda funny? Frank, the angel of death (a close personal friend of mine) somberly looks up. He’s seated across the room in one of the collapsible theatre chairs (a parting gift of my reviewing days from the Crown VI Cinema 1975-2003 R.I.P.). Dressed in a simple black suit and guised in his human persona, he sourly grimaces back, as a waft of smoke curls up and over the brim of his black fedora. Smoking’s not allowed in here, but there’s no logic in arguing that with the Reaper.

Okay then wise guy, do you have a better one?

He thinks for but a moment, ducks his butt and then in a silver tongue that would soothe Satan says, “The human race is far outreaching this planet’s ability to support it. Ironically, you’re killing yourselves through reproduction.” He lights another cig and concludes, “If the planet dies, you’ll die, but if you die the planet will live. But then I’d be out of a job.”      

Meanwhile, At The OfficeBefore I can determine if he’s serious about that being a joke or joking about that being serious, Thee bustles into the room, a whirlwind of tight-bun hair and horn rimmed glassed atop a modest, long brown tweed skirt and jacket. “Thee” as in Thee Secretary HCSAWWT’s official secretary (who in hell names their kid Thee is beyond me). “Very humorous, Mr. Chainsaw,” is her curt unsmiling response to my joke. Then she’s down to business — as required by her prompt, prim and proper nature. “Sir, the bills have been paid and invoices sent to the proper venues. The filing has been updated, sorted and prepared, with the requisite photos sent in for this week’s article. All required X-mas cards have been purchased, signed, sealed and sent.”

X-mas cards? Hold up Thee, since when does HCSAWWT send out X-mas cards?     

“We don’t sir. Which is why it’s already done and why I volunteered to do it.” she says with a slight mischievous smirk. As she turns and returns to her outer office. 

Frank coughs, subduing a smoke-filled chuckle beneath his brim. What the hell? Does everybody got jokes today? As if in response to this query, John Q. (my diminutive, stuffed, yellow bear sidekick) bursts into the room, singing at full off-key volume… swinging a hotdog?

“In the meadow we’ll do a fiwre! We can sing an dance and jump awound! We’ll have wots of fun pwaying with fiwre, Long as we don’t buwrn any-nothing down… Later on, we’ll pwespiwer…woasting wienies by that fiwre! Got mallows too… for them smores we will do! Walking with a wiener in my hand…” Assuredly at this absurdity, the original perpetrator of that yuletide classic “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” is cartwheeling in his grave.

When John pauses to catch his breath, I take the opportunity to tell him my joke. He laughs uncontrollably for a moment. Then goes blank and tells me, “I don’t anyno get it.” Before racing out of the room again.

Frank rises, motions towards the door in an, “I’ll tend to whatever that’s about” manner. Then at my blank screen, indicating that I need to get to work as he leaves the room.

Yes, I suppose I do. But how to begin…? Maybe with a bad joke? I know just the one.

I welcome almost all questions, comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected].

Hope to hear from ya until then try and stay focused! See ya.