Tennis players and golfers must be wussies

Humor Post #35 from Middle School’s Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Blog (and probably the awesomest YA blog too) –

So I couldn’t sleep Thursday night and I wake up at like 3 AM and turn on my TV. Not much to see at that hour unless you’re interested in infomercials for football-shaped coffins with your favorite team’s colors and logos plastered all over them, which was pretty funny for awhile, but then it was just kind of pathetic, you know. It was enough to make me go back to sleep. Almost. Then I saw that the Australian Open was on. And there was this great match between Andy Murray (whose name I can spell) and Novak Djokavic (whose name I can’t spell). And even though there were some great shots and stuff the main thing that got to me was every time they were ready to serve, the crowd got real quiet and if there was the least little bit of noise, the announcer would come on and say, “Quiet, please” and everyone would shut up even more. And I thought to myself, “Crankenfuss, it sure seems like those players are pretty sensitive. They can’t take any noise? Any noise at all?” I couldn’t think of any other sport like that, unless you count the National Spelling Bee as a sport. Then I did. Golf! Yeah, I remember one time — though I can’t remember where — they kicked this guy off the course for taking a picture during a big putt or maybe he just yelled something like “In da hole!” Anyway, I remember the TV announcers talking about how rude and crude that spectator was and how he didn’t have any respect for the game.

Please don't breathe too loud or this guy will collapse.


What about most every other sport? I like to watch pro football and basketball and most of the time I’m sure the players can hardly hear anything, the crowd is so loud. Yeah, when the home team guy is shooting a foul shot, the crowd gets quiet, but when it’s the other team, the crowd goes nuts, waving their arms, probably yelling stuff about the foul shooter’s mama, and generally acting like maniacs. How come the announcers don’t talk about those fans’ disrespect for the game? In baseball I don’t see how the pitcher can concentrate on anything with the crowd so out of control.

Is this how a tennis player responds to a cheer during his serve?

So I have one question about all this? How come tennis players and golfers are such wussies? Why don’t they just go ahead and play like every other person on a sports team? Maybe they should get their mommies out there to tell them to do their best. (But not while they’re putting or serving, of course. That would be rude.) Just askin’.

I mean, when I write my posts, I never do it in quiet. I have the TV on or the radio or the stereo or something. And on top of that, I have all those voices in my head that keep me from concentrating. So if I can do it, so can those tennis and golf superstars. Time to suck it up, gentlemen (and ladies). Get with the program. Bring on the noise.

from the Dude with the ‘tude, your truth teller and blogger supremo,
Dr. Crankenfuss

P.S. And yes, I did get back to sleep. Thank you for asking. It’s hard for me to get excited about much anything at 3:00 in the morning. I think I lasted probably 20 minutes.

Let’s get excited like they do in Mexico

Humor Post #34 from Middle School’s Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Blog (and probably the awesomest YA blog too) –

English is a great language, I’ll say that right up front. First off, it’s probably spoken by more people than anyone else in the world. Now Chinese might be catching up but I’m pretty sure that since they speak English in India, good ol’ English is still on top. Second off, stuff sounds good in English. Songs sound good in English, movies and TV shows sound good in English, my jokes sound good in English, and hey, what else is there that really matters?

But what I’m really getting at is even though English is cool, it could still use a bit of tweaking. Especially with a couple punctuation marks I’ll be talking about today. That would be the question mark and the exclamation point. I never thought much about these two little guys till I started taking Spanish. And it was there that I found out that Spanish speakers have got two things right that we really should copy.

And don’t go telling me we shouldn’t be copycats. (BTW, where did the word “copycat” come from? Cats can’t even write, much less copy.) We copied pizza and ice cream from Italy and China and I don’t hear anyone complaining.

So anyway to get my ADD brain back on topic, here’s the way we ask a question in English:
Hey, Joe, whatcha know?
And here’s how they ask the same question in Spanish:
¿Oye, José, qué sabes?

Do you see a big difference?
No, no, banana head, I can see that the words are different. I’m talking about the punctuation. Yeah, that’s it. They put an upside down question mark at the beginning of the Spanish question. Now why do I like that? Because it warns you that the next sentence is going to be a question, that’s why. Just last week we were taking turns reading out loud from this novel in English class. (Our teacher is big on getting us to practice our “public speaking voice.”) And I was near the end of this sentence that went something like, “And then you’re going to the market and you’re going to talk to Maria?” But I didn’t see the question mark till I was almost at the end of the sentence and it didn’t sound right. If someone had warned me a question was coming up, I could have been prepared. In Spanish, I would’ve been.

They also do the same thing with exclamation points. If you see an upside down exclamation mark at the beginning, you know you’re going to act excited for the whole sentence. Look at these two examples:

With English punctuation:
“I love you incredibly, so much that it makes my heart ache and my eyes tear up to look at you!”

With Spanish punctuation:
“¡I love you incredibly, so much that it makes my heart ache and my eyes tear up to look at you!”

See the difference? It’s huge! In the first one you could be using a romantic, sexy voice and you think you’re supposed to act all sad. Then you see that ending punctuation mark and you have to come to a screeching half on the mushy stuff and start yelling the last few words. Not good. But in the second sentence, you get that warning so you’re all excited right from the get-go. By the time you get to “heart ache,” you’re practically ripping your heart out of your chest and by the end of the sentence, that girl would need Noah’s Ark. Now THAT’S what you could deliver if you knew what was coming.

So, to all of you people out there who can read — and I hope that’s a good percentage of you — if you know who I can write to ask about making this a new grammar law, I’d really appreciate it. I was thinking of writing my Congressman, but my mom says Congress never gets anything done except giving themselves pay raises so that’s probably not the way to go. But who’s in charge of punctuation out there? Guess this’ll take some real research. Maybe the Mexican or Argentinian government can help me. Hope they speak English.

from your gifted gabber, your seeker of sagacity (ooh, sagacity, whoo-hoo!), your middle school master of merriment,
Dr. Crankenfuss, the Dude with the ‘tude

Caution: Newest Brain Terminator Appears Here

For this IQ killing Brain Teaser, you need to be somewhat proficient in two fields: counting and spelling. If your level in either of these is below the fourth grade level, you may encounter difficulties with this one. Otherwise, this is a lock, dudes.

Here you go. We call this one “You can count on it.”
If you had to spell out each number as you counted — as in one, two, three, etc. (No, etc. is not a number. If you thought it was, maybe this puzzle is a little over your head.)

Let’s start over, okay?
If you had to spell out each number as you counted, how far would you have to go before you used the letter a in your spelling?

Now if you really have to write every number in order, we promise you this will take a long time. But if you’ve mastered the advanced skill of spelling out loud, you’ll get the answer. However, we think you’ll be surprised anyway by the result.

Click here for the answer. (Clue: the answer is not “a bazillion.”)

Daniel uses a four-letter word on the Freaky Dude Books site — DIET

Daniel Berenson, head guy at Freaky Dude BooksConfession from the guy who brings you most of the junk at Freaky Dude Books (except the art and animations that come from Maureen, but we all know her stuff doesn’t hold a candle to Daniel’s genius writing)–

So here’s the confession. I’m going on a diet. Again. Now this site is supposed to be entertaining and we hope it is, but there’s nothing entertaining about not being able to tie my shoes because my big ol’ gut’s in the way. Okay, it’s not that bad, but here’s the story. I spent most of last year losing 30 pounds. Ooh, I was so proud. I exercised all the time, kept my food intake under control (most of the time) and was ready to lose even more. Then I made my first mistake. Went on a dance cruise with Maureen.

No, honey, I didn’t mean you were the mistake. Honey, no, no, not the electric toothbrush in the eye! Let me explain. O-w-w-w!

Whew, that wasn’t fun. Anyway, back to the subject before she comes back with something sharper. And the dancing was fine too. It was those all-you-can-eat-anytime-you-want buffets and snack bars that did me in. And when I came back, I’d caught the food fever. So I’ve gained back 1/3 of what I lost. That would be 10 out of 30 pounds.

Daniel no happy with himself.

So now I’m putting it on the line. And online. I’m going to lose 10 pounds in two months. Don’t believe me? Just watch. Today’s Saturday. This morning I weighed exactly 179.8 pounds. So my goal is to get below 170. That’ll get me back to where I was 20 years ago. Back when McDonald’s was offering to put me on their breakfast menu as a Studly McMuffin. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. But only in reality, not in my fantasies.

I’ll let you know at my Twitter page how I’m doing. No, I won’t bore you with constant tweets like, “Just had a nice hot bowl of water for dinner” or “Who knew styrofoam peanuts had so much flavor?” But once a day I’ll announce that day’s weight. Anyone who wants to join in, feel free. If you let me know how much you lost or are losing by posting your news at this site, hey, I’ll give away three of my books — you know, like by way of a drawing — to three people who lost weight too. And since the book is called STORIES GUARANTEED TO MAKE YOU SICK, reading the book will probably help you lose even more weight.

Okay, that’s it for now. Gotta get to work. This afternoon, it’s an hour on the step machine. Or an hour trying to convince myself to do 15 minutes on the step machine. (I don’t want to start too fast, you know. Might peak too early.)

Wish me luck. And good luck to you if you feel like joining in.

from soon-to-be-svelte-and-saucy Daniel

Don’t you go calling me a caffeine head! I’m just getting smarter, that’s all!

Humor Post #32 from Middle School’s Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Blog (and probably the awesomest YA blog too) –

Some people might call me a little hyper. Those people would be right. But I don’t like to call it hyper. I call it “focused.” I mean, my brain zeros in one something and doesn’t let go, like a pit bull’s jaws. Of course then I have to let everyone know about that something whether they really want to hear about it or not. So I get called for interrupting or not being “on task” or whatever. Well, that’s not true. I AM on task, just not your task, okay?

So here I am again in one of my focused moods. And part of that is probably because I just part of an energy drink. Don’t tell my mom. I don’t think she’d be real cool with that. She lets me have coffee sometimes though. It’s really good, especially with whipped cream. But I’m getting off-topic again.

Anyway, the good thing is I just found out all that talk about energy drinks and coffee and caffeine being all bad for you is just a bunch of Hooey. (Notice that’s hooey with a capital H.) People trying to hold you back, that’s what it is. How do I know this? From this article, that’s how.

Now I admit I don’t get everything it’s saying there. I’m not a scientist, not yet anyway. But it seems to me that all those people going “No, no, no” to energy drinks and coffee oughta get their ducks in a row. (Attention–Brilliant insight coming! Why would ducks stay in a row anyway? Getting them there would be hard enough, but wouldn’t they like immediately waddle off somewhere? What a useless exercise that would be!)

Back to my thought. No, it looks like caffeine might be the ticket to success for me. I can feel myself getting smarter even as I write this. And it feels good. Hey, wait a minute. Is that a little earthquake I feel? Huh, in North Carolina? That can’t be. I look around for evidence. Nothing. No dishes shaking or anything. Hey, now I see what I’m feeling. It’s my hands. They have the jitters. I’m trying to hold them straight out without moving them. C’mon guys, calm down some, okay?

Okay, maybe I have gone a little too far on this caffeine. Too much of a good thing, ya know. I’ll have to get back to you. Soon as I chill a little.

Peace out from your jumpy junior genius,
Dr. Crankenfuss