In Memoriam: Those We’ve Lost to Make Paul Manafort’s Belongings

This piece originally appeared on Robot Butt here: In Memoriam: Those We’ve Lost to Make Paul Manafort’s Belongings.

Over the years, we have lost many great creatures to Paul Manafort’s desire for lavish clothing and other exotic belongings. Here, we remember those who are no longer with us:

  • Tony (Python) – Jacket
  • Al (Alligator) – Luggage
  • Demetrius (Crocodile) – Belt and Shoes
  • Lorelei (Gazelle) – Drapes
  • Darcy (Chameleon) – Watch Band
  • Brody (Dolphin) – Bottle Opener
  • Ginger (Koala) House Shoes
  • The Moore Sisters (Ducklings) – Earmuffs
  • Petunia (Horse) – Horse-Hoof Paperweights
  • Sam (Labradoodle) – Throw Pillows
  • Tedford (Shark) – Tooth Necklace
  • Koko (Gorilla) – Automobile Seat Covers
  • Graham (Komodo Dragon) – Fancy Underwear
  • Tre (Giraffe) – Propane Grill Cover
  • Brian (Anaconda) – Anaconda Costume
  • Eleanor (Siamese Cat) – Dress Socks with “Purrfection” Stitched on the Sides
  • Grace (Skunk) – Bath Mat
  • The Tichner Family (Mice) – Small Drawstring Jewelry Pouch
  • Marilyn (Polar Bear) – Rug
  • Ava (Lioness) – Claw Fountain Pens
  • Noah and Eli (Human Babies) – Waterproof Hunting Boots
  • Luke (Steer) – Decorative Skull

Portrait of a True American

This piece originally appeared on Medium.com here: Portrait of a True American.

I am an American man.

I live in a modest house with my modest wife and average children.

I work 60 hours a week at a job that brings me no satisfaction for the insurance.

I don’t care for funny things, but that Bill Engvall sure can sure tell a joke.

I type in all caps in my Facebook posts — even the ones about restaurants.

I am an American man.

Just give me a phone that makes calls. That’s all I need.

Lock her up!

I have enough wraparound sunglasses to get me by.

I live in the Midwest somewhere.

I am an American man.

My favorite channel is, of course, USA.

I own a dozen guns that I keep securely locked away in a closet with a babyproofing doorknob cover on it. Just try and take them.

You can take the man out of the country, but you can’t take the USA out of me.

I have a purebred mutt-dog named Patton. His name? Patton.

I am an American man.

I watch nothing but WWII documentaries, and the weather.

It didn’t take a village when I was growing up.

I call a lot of people libtards — a lot of people.

My cousin studied philosophy. You know what it got him? Turned gay.

I am an American Man.

You can quote your Shakespeare. As for me and my house, we’ll quote the Scriptures.

I can trace my lineage back as far as it matters — 1776.

My nickname is Little Burger. Burger was my daddy.

If you want this country, you’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.

I am an American man.

Dispatches from a Memphis Snow Bunker

This piece originally appeared in the Memphis, TN Commerical Appeal and online here: Dispatches from a Memphis Snow Bunker

Friday: We knew it was going to happen. We just didn’t know when.

My family and I had been watching the weather for days, but we still couldn’t nail down exactly when the snow would come. 3 a.m.? 6 a.m.? All anyone knew was that it was imminent.

For hours on Thursday night we looked on in silence, and upon awaking Friday morning we saw it wa worse than we imagined. My children ran outside to play in the dangerous stuff. I didn’t have the heart to tell them what they were dealing in.

I just watched in horror as they threw it, rolled in it, ate it. I held my wife’s hand. Tears welled in her eyes. “Stay strong,” I said. The kids were cold and decided to go back inside. We made it through. They survived — barely.

All we can do is outlast it. Time is our enemy. We’ve depleted our bacon and egg supply. There’s just a little milk, and the snow shows no signs of stopping except for the weather telling us that it will end around 11:30 a.m. What about what’s already on the road though? What about that? It could last for hours, possibly until tomorrow. Tomorrow!

Needing supplies, we kept watch on the roads. By the time we felt safe enough to drive a little that afternoon, we had eaten all the chips and salsa in our pantry. Weak with hunger, fatigued physically and emotionally, we braved the weather.

Covered from head to toe, socks on our hands because we couldn’t find gloves, we made the half-mile trek to Kroger. There wasn’t much, but we found enough to make it another day.

Tuesday: This time it came out of nowhere.

The weather lulled us into comfort, then returned like a thief in the night. For the past few days we’d managed pretty well. The roads were OK. We even went to the Grizzlies game Monday like everything was normal. What arrogance!

Tuesday morning, it was back and worse than before. How are we expected to live like this, without help, without hope, without school? This is no way to raise a family.

Jake drew the short straw, so he will be the one to sacrifice himself for the rest of us, if we need supplies. He’s had a good life, though, a long, full 9 years. Hopefully it won’t come to that, but, let’s face it, it probably will.

I feel like we’ve been in this house for weeks even though we got to leave Saturday afternoon, Sunday and Monday. The mind can play tricks on a man. Just now, the dog looked like a giant ham, like in the cartoons.

The bright side is we’ve learned a lot about survival and the resiliency of the human spirit. Rationing the oatmeal, buying an ice scraper, using blankets—these have been the keys to our making it so far.

If things get much worse, though, we’ll have to switch to Emergency Heat. God help us.

Possible Royal Titles for Meghan Markle from Someone Who Doesn’t Know Anything About How British Royalty Works

This piece originally appeared on Medium.com here: Possible Royal Titles for Meghan Markle from Someone Who Doesn’t Know Anything About How British Royalty Works

Duchess of Kensingtonshire

Countess Megz

Lindsey Buckingham

Queen Mother Sheer Dress

The Artist Formerly Known as Prince(ss)

Lady Nottingham of Phife

Her Majesty, Your Highness

Princess Diana

Annie Ortiz from the 2009 Reboot of Knight Rider

Don’t Fret Holiday Chit-Chat; Just Find a Narcissist

This piece originally appeared in the Memphis, TN Commercial Appeal here: Don’t Fret Holiday Chit-Chat; Just Find a Narcissist

Now that we are in the middle of the holiday season, you are no doubt going to be around a lot of family. Inevitably, you will encounter at least one narcissist.

There have been countless advice columns by psychologists, therapists, counselors, people with eyes and brains, about the negative/poisonous affects of having a narcissist in your life.

I invite you to think of all the benefits that come from having narcissistic personalities around you during the holidays.

You never have to decide what to talk about

Keeping a conversation going can be exhausting. Eventually, you are going to run out of topics. (Let’s face it, you can only talk about weather, sports, kids, and work for so long. Humans have their limits.)

With a narcissist, the conversation will never lag because there is always a new accomplishment or new reason someone is jealous, or not as smart, or a new idea that is not as good as your narcissist’s.

Developing your own opinions and making good decisions can be a hassle

There are so many external forces vying for your thoughts, so many sides trying to persuade you to jump on board in politics, entertainment, religion, fashion, education. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one source for correct opinions and decision-making without even having to think any of them through?

Well, that is exactly what you have in your narcissist. You don’t even have to ask to get your answers. A simple, “Well, the Grammys are coming up,” or “Man, I just can’t decide where my kids need to go to school,” and you will get every ounce of information you will ever need to draw your own conclusions without any of the trouble of reasoning. Just take it in and accept it. Doesn’t that sound easy?

Placing blame has never been easier

When something negative happens, we all look for someone to blame. The problem is, most of us were taught that problems are complicated and nuanced. Having a narcissist puts you two steps ahead. First, it is a lot easier to assign blame when you know whose fault it isn’t, and it will never, ever be your narcissist’s fault. Second, your narcissist — if worth his or her salt — should tell you exactly who to blame in every circumstance.

You always have something to do

Narcissists are needy creatures. They need affirmation and someone to boss around. This means you will never be bored. The bigger the narcissist, the busier you will be, and that is less time you have to occupy with your own things. It is also less time to think about how sad your narcissist is making you. You will be way too busy for any of that.

Hopefully this helps you to realize how blessed you are to have such a self-centered, egocentric, self-absorbed person in your life. If you are lucky enough to have more than one, even better. You can just put them in a room together and watch what happens. That should keep you entertained for quite a while.

(Photo: CBS)

 

What Your Favorite Celebrities Look Like Now (No Pictures)!

This piece originally appeared on How Pants Work here: What Your Favorite Celebrities Look Like Now (No Pictures)!

Billy Joel

1973: A long-haired tough guy from the Bronx

2017: An angry, flesh-colored egg with a goatee


Matthew Perry

1994: Just a young guy with a butt-cut, a big shirt, a vest, and a smirk

2017: That guy who lives next door, alone, in the giant house and walks outside in a loose bathrobe to get his paper every morning


Amy Schumer

2007: A fresh-faced comic with ultra-curly hair, hardly any makeup, and barely visible eyebrows

2017: The same girl with people to help her get ready for things


Justin Timberlake

1998: A Q-tip

2017: A short Chandler Parsons


Michael J. Fox

1985: Classic Marty McFly

2017: Marty McFly in a slow, constant earthquake


Scarlett Johansson

1996: A Scarlett Johnsson-looking child

2017: OUT WITH COLIN JOST?


Cyndi Lauper

1983: A wild dresser topped with huge, bright red hair and filled with youthful vibrance

2017: The same but with pink hair and a touch of your mother


Heath Ledger

1998: The quintessential late-1990s happ-go-lucky Australianer

2017: You don’t want to know


Bono

1978: A lone-wolf

2017: An Andy Samberg character


Luke Perry

1990: A ruggedly handsome James Dean type

2017: A FREAKING 50-YEAR-OLD MAN!!!

An Updated Look at Trump’s Leaked “To Oppose” List

This piece originally appeared on Robot Butt here: An Updated Look at Trump’s Leaked “To Oppose” List

1. Democrats

2. Republicans

3. Politicians

4. The Swamp

5. POWs

6. Disabled people

7. John McCain specifically 

8. Hispanics

9. African Americans

10. Any other brown people I forgot

11. Muslims

12. Refugees

13. Muslim refugees

14. Hillary

15. Women

16. Other Clintons

17. Gold Star parents

18. Protesters (female and/or black)

19. NFL players

20. NFL owners

21. NFL refs

22. John McCain again

23. Bob Corker (?)

24. Gold Star spouses

25. The troops

26. Children

27. Dolphins

28. Marshmallows

29. The flag

30. Fun

31. Game night!

32. Soup kitchens

33. Beaches

34. The Unknown Soldier

35. Charity

36. Kittens

37. Sparkles

38. Tom Hanks

39. Happiness

40. Those killed in action during WWII

Anthony Scaramucci’s 5 Favorite Buzzfeed Quizzes

This piece originally appeared on Medium.com here: Anthony Scaramucci’s 5 Favorite Buzzfeed Quizzes

After Mooch’s Twitter poll about the Holocaust, we checked his Buzzfeed history. Here are his favorites.

Which Man From Anne Frank’s Diary Would You Go Home With?

Van Daan? Otto? Peter? After a night out, who would you go home with?

How Hitler are You?

Everybody’s a little Hitler. Find out how much Hitler you are.

Did the Holocaust Really Happen?

This quiz is one “Yes or No” question.

How Long Would You Survive in the Death Camps?

Find out how long you would survive based on how you respond to photographs of different landscapes.

Which Friends Character are You?

I bet you’re Joey, you idiot.

Advice for My Son on Becoming a Man

This piece originally appeared on Slackjaw here: Advice for My Son on Becoming a Man

  1. Always stand when a lady enters a room, and never sit back down.
  2. “Like” everything you can on Facebook. There may come a time when you can’t.
  3. Don’t blink. Ever.
  4. Linus didn’t need that blanket.
  5. Always take your phone in the bathroom with you. You never know how long you may be.
  6. It’s more like, “Jack of a lot of trades.” Nobody’s that good.
  7. The pocket square ain’t for snottin.
  8. Life is more than a series of connected events and personal relationships, probably.
  9. Mantles are there for a reason.
  10. O. J. totally did it.
  11. Craps is a usually a dice game but not always.
  12. Listen to the wind, and always — ALWAYS — do what it tells you.
  13. A china cabinet is for dishes and not what you might assume based on the name.
  14. The only rugs worth having used to be animals.
  15. Don’t worry about comma splices, they’re totally fine.
  16. If you meet a one-armed man with the last name LaVerne, do not tell him who you are.
  17. When you shake a man’s hand, look him straight in the forehead. He’ll think you’re looking in his eyes, but you’ll know the real story which gives you the upper hand.
  18. A dog is never a person. It’s a dog even if it’s wearing glasses.
  19. Always fly first class. According to Home Alone there’s free champagne.
  20. Never play hide and seek with a blind man. You think it’ll be easy, but they’ve got heightened senses, remember?
  21. Confidence.
  22. Don’t name your son Gary. I know there are adults named Gary, but it’s weird to picture a little kid named Gary.
  23. Romantic comedies are only good for one thing: nothing.

Is It OK if I Wear My Overalls to Bible Study?

This piece originally appeared on How Pants Work here: Is It OK if I Wear My Overalls to Bible Study?

I don’t want to be a nuisance, but I have a question: Is it OK if I wear my overalls to Bible study? I just didn’t know if it would be a problem. I know we’re talking about modesty, and, well, most would think overalls would fall right into that category. You may even think that I would be a prime example of modest dress in my overalls, but you couldn’t be more wrong. I am seductive in my overalls. These are the overalls I wore when I asked Mattie to prom, and you know how that went. She said “yes” abnormally quickly. It wasn’t natural, and it was all because of the overalls.

You see, they seem to hug all the right parts of me — or wrong parts for what we’re talking about with the Bible study and all. I just don’t want to be a distraction in my overalls. I want the people (ladies) there to get everything they can out of the Bible study, but I’m afraid they’ll just be thinking about me and my overalls.

Before you ask, yes, I am planning on wearing a shirt under my overalls. What do you think, I’ve got a death wish or something? The ladies may not be able to focus if I’m in my overalls with a shirt on. If shirtless, you could just kiss the whole night goodbye! The part of the Fruit of the Spirit known as self-control would be gone. There would be no sense even reading Galatians 5 because it would be too late. Everyone would just be reacting carnally and impulsively to my overalls with no shirt under them, so I’m definitely wearing a shirt. Don’t worry.

But the question remains: Do you think my overalls will be appropriate for the Bible study? Keep in mind that lust is a sin when answering please. I don’t want to be cut or plucked out of some dear soul’s life because I wore my overalls to Bible study and caused that person to stumble. That is not my intention. Relationships are very important, but sometimes my overalls make real, platonic relationships very difficult — impossible even.

Just let me know what you think about the overalls question, so I can wash some pants if I need to.

Thanks.

You Guys are Doing a Great Job!

This piece originally appeared on How Pants Work here: You Guys are Doing a Great Job!

In light of the recent tensions among Americans from all walks of life, we, the Holy Trinity, one God in three parts, want to let you all know where we stand on the matter. There are those on both sides who keep invoking the Bible—or, worse yet, Us by name—and frankly we’re tired of it, so we’re taking this opportunity to let everyone know we’re behind you, conservative American Christians, 100%.

Jehovah, God, the Father Almighty

Hey, guys. Hope everything’s going well. I just want to start by saying that I am so proud of you. You’ve finally done it! You got my candidate in office, and I, for one, couldn’t be happier. I was honestly beginning to wonder if you’d ever figure it out. I kept giving you people, and you kept questioning them: “But Romney’s Mormon!” “But Palin is annoying and got shut down by Katie Couric, and McCain is old!” “But Clinton’s so much cooler than Bush. How can we compete with that?!” Finally I just sent out the most in-your-face guy I could think of, hoping you’d be like, “Screw it. We’re just doing this.” And it worked even better than I thought it would… and I’m omniscient!

And he’s doing great, isn’t he? He’s my kind of guy. I mean, I did write a whole book in the Old Testament about building a wall. Now, don’t squander this. Also, you guys have been so great I even hooked you up with a Patriots comeback! I know you’re not all Patriots fans, but I couldn’t let that team from Atlanta win. Have you ever been there? That city is filthy and dangerous. (If you don’t know exactly what I mean by that, DM me. I can’t elaborate in public.)

Jesus Christ, the Son of Man

Dudes! This is going so well. You probably won’t believe this, but some of the angels were actually betting that you’d chicken out and go Kasich or something — or even stand up to Trump once he took office. I had faith in you, though. Look, I spent my life on earth surrounded by poor, hurting people, so I get it: They’re exhausting. Those Gospels made it look like I did that on purpose (idiot Matthew!), but the fact is the Pharisees wouldn’t give me the time of day after I accidentally read that passage from Isaiah in the Synagogue that one time. This is what I wanted all along. Poor people, for the most part, suck. They’re always asking for things: “Feed me.” “Heal me.” “Raise my dead son!” Speaking of healing and junk, I can’t tell you how angry I was with Obamacare! After all, that guy is the Anti-Me, but that’s all over now thanks to you, my people.

Plus, now you’ve got that refugee/immigration ban happening. This is perfect. (Don’t worry. We’re working on that federal judge for you. Just keep on keeping on, and we’ll handle him.) The only thing worse than poor people is more poor people who can’t speak English. Keep it up, guys. And remember who’s # 1!

Holy Spirit (a/k/a Holy G)

First, let me say that I realize some of you don’t know me very well, but I know you. I also know some of you don’t believe I do very much. Well, guess what: I really do! In fact, if it weren’t for me, you never would have figured out how important the abortion issue is! I told the other guys we needed to include something — anything — in the Scriptures to let you guys know that it trumps (get it?) everything else, but they wouldn’t go for it, so I took matters into my own hands. Despite the fact that the Bible says absolutely nothing — not. one. thing. — about abortion, I showed you guys that it’s worth ignoring the most obvious, fundamental Christian principles for.

It’s like The Father always says: “The means justifies the ends.” And He’s exactly right. Rahab lied that one time to protect her family. See? Proof! I knew you would get it with a little prodding, but now you have to stay strong. There are a lot of things coming out that don’t look great. Just remember, it was all worth it to get Roe v. Wade overturned, and I’m there with you for that sole purpose.

In Conclusion…

Keep it up, everybody. You make us proud!

Good Luck and Us Bless,

The Holy Trinity

You’re Invited to Rhonda’s Bereavement Party!

This piece originally appeared on How Pants Work here: You’re Invited to Rhonda’s Bereavement Party!

Hey, Girls!

As you all know, Rhonda’s husband Gary passed away yesterday after a long, hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer, so we’re putting together a little girls’ night on Friday. This is Rhonda’s first night of freedom, so get ready to get turnt!

Here’s how it’s going down:

5:30 PM

Rhonda’s had a tough time, so we’ll start off kinda slow. We’ll meet at her house for a period of comforting silence. We’ll hug and cry. We’ll take as much time as Rhonda needs. Then we’re heading to the Embassy Suites for free cocktails at 5:45!

7:30 PM

After the Embassy Suites, we’ll get some fresh air (we’ll need it!) and walk down to Shooters just like when we were in college — before people died. They’ve still got the best mojitos in town. Trust me. We’ll feel out the situation, but I’m thinking three hours should do it!

10:30 PM

I’ve reserved us a party bike for two hours from Spin-N-Tonic with an “In Loving Memory of Gary Huggins 1972–2017” banner on the back. Melanie’s bringing a tiara, and Charla’s made a sash that says “widow” in gold glitter!We get to select our own music, so be thinking about what you want to hear. I’ve got dibs on I’m So Fancy and Worth It, so back off. Those are my JAMS!

Also, I put in a request for Derek. He’s the best.

12:30 AM

We’ll take an Uber down to Riverside Park for a time of prayer and reflection — remembering what the night is truly for. I need someone to bring an unlit candle if you’ve got one. If not, no biggie.

12:45 AM

There’s a bubble party in the street outside Club 85904! And up in all those bubbles, I imagine somebody’ll be getting a little handsy in a public place with some strange men (hint: me)!

3:00 AM

After we change clothes, we’ll head to Rachel and Na-Na’s Discotech (where Sears used to be). Our mission will be to find Rhonda some male accompaniment for our time there! Just because she’s grieving doesn’t mean she can’t have a little fun, if you know what I mean! And trust me, there will be plenty of dudes to choose from. There always are, and 3–4 AM is the optimum time. There may be a line, so I’ll have some berry vodka in my purse, and Jackie is bringing a portable speaker so we can listen to You Raise Me Upand Wind Beneath My Wings if we have to wait.

6:00 AM

We’ll go back to Rhonda’s place to get a little rest. She’s cool with it, she said. And Gary’s hospital bed is still there, so we should all have a place to sleep.Those things are roo-my!

10:00 AM

We are celebrating Gary’s life at 11:00 at Christ Presbyterian Church, but we’ll need to get there early to set up for the flash mob. Hope you’ve all been working on your Whip and Nae Nae. It’ll be so funny! Rhonda will freak! It’s what Gary would have wanted.

IMPORTANT REMINDER

Remember, for gifts Rhonda is registered at Flowers by Alison, Marshall-Hilburn Funeral Home, and Target.

Also, everyone bring $40 to reimburse me for the mantle clock urn.

See y’all then!

Deborah