Handshake Horror

Humor Post #95 from the world’s Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Middle School Blog (and probably the awesomest YA blog too) –

Okay, it’s time to admit it. I have a great fear of handshakes. They’re not exactly as bad as running into someone with a gun, but they’re not far behind. See, I know what they’re for and how they’re supposed to work. Two bro’s spot each other in the hall, they’re all bonky with happiness cause they haven’t seen each other in like maybe a day, and they give that crosshand clasp thing (sort of like an arm wrestling position) which leads into some kind of hug. Or they do that and then add a finger grip or a slip away move to it. Or all three (or is it four?) Or maybe there’s a slap on the shoulder or back. And let’s not forget the option of a wiggly finger send-off.

Then there’s the problem of the pre-shake action. It can start when the two of you are maybe three or four feet apart. Do you come in with your right arm forward and your left arm way out to the side like you’re ready for a big, happy bear hug? I see  pro athletes do that all the time. But what if I do that and my friend doesn’t? I look like a jerk. Besides, I don’t think anyone even likes me enough to do that one.

And that’s just the start. Let’s see, the fist bump is okay. Well, the idea is okay, but how hard do you do it. If you give it too light, the other guy thinks you’re chicken. If you give it too hard, a fight could start. And what if the other guy puts his hand in a fist but then starts a top-and-bottom kind of fist bump, you know, a two-parter. Very tricky!

The old fashioned grown-up kind is easy, but not many people I know do that one. I read that the handshake was supposedly invented in the Dark Ages when it was supposed to show you didn’t have a weapon in your hand. You know, like two guys checking each other out. I guess they really needed that in the Dark Ages, seeing how dark it was and all. But if I try that on someone my age, it can look so dorky. Like I’m little Mr. Businessman or something.

High fives can be good. Unless you try one and the other person doesn’t and all they get is a nice view of your underarm. Or you end up hitting them in the face with your elbow. And some people say high fives are out. How they know beats me. But somehow they do.

And let’s not even go to what you’re supposed do with a girl.

This is a big problem, people, and it’s even bigger cause I think I might be the only guy who worries about it. Everyone else seems to enjoy handshakes (or greetings, or whatever they’re called). Most people seem to laugh or at least smile when they’re giving them. Me, I’ve gotten into trying to predict what the other guy is going to do and changing my motion really fast so he won’t notice I don’t have a clue.

Can’t there be just one kind of handshake for everybody? Why is the world so complicated? Why not just hold up a sign that says, “Yo dude, wuzzup?”

Well, all this honesty has gotten me in a funk. Till next time, I guess. If you see me, be nice and just wave or call out from across the hall.

Your Dude with no ‘Tude (today, anyway),
Dr. Crankenfuss

Win a free Freaky Dude Book. Contest rules here.

Post #94 from the world’s Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Middle School Blog (and probably the awesomest YA blog too) –

Hello. Dr. C here.I hope this will be totally on topic. (That will be a new one for me.)

Daniel is giving away 100 books for free but he doesn’t want to just give them to just anybody. He says he wants to give them to people who really want them. So here’s a system I came up with. It has two steps. Follow them and you have a good chance to win.

1) First check out Daniel and Maureen’s newest dance video on YouTube. I said I’d stay on topic but this dance is even sillier than their first one. Go to the end and write down what Daniel says about the dance. He put it in one word. That word is great, good, okay, or awful. Just tell us what he said. That’s question #1.

2) There’s just one more thing to answer. Go to the Freaky Dude books page and figure out which book you want to ask for. You can click on each cover for a big preview of the book. But I told Daniel a bunch of people would just pick one without even looking at them, so I’m giving you one easy-peezy question to answer for the book you want. You get that one question right, you have a very solid chance to win.
**If you want a Moose Joke Book, tell us the name of the moose doctor?
**If you want Firebug, tell us what humiliating thing happens to Bobby on his first day at school.
**If you want Stories Guaranteed to Make you Sick, tell us who is the most dangerous bug. (Hint: he has a short name.)

Now you’ve got all you need to win. Go to the ”Contact Us” Page and tell us your two answers: 1) Daniel’s video comment and 2) your book answer. (You can add any of your own comments if you want.) Then give us the email address where we’ll have Amazon send your free digital book if you win. (IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: We will never send you spam or newsletters. We will never sell or give away your email address to anyone. We will only use it to tell you that you won and ask you to confirm that you want the book. Also please put the word at instead of the @ in your email address so it will be more secure.)

The winners will be the first person to follow these rules, the fifth person, the ninth, and so on. Every fourth correct entry till all 100 books are gone. (We hope this will keep someone from flooding us with emails to get all the books. Your extra comments in your entry might help us decide who’s legit.)

Good luck! We hope you win.

From Your Dude with the ‘Tude,
Dr. Crankenfuss

P.S. How’d I do about staying on topic?

It’s time to get rid of the penny. And the nickel too!

Humor Post #94 from the world’s Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Middle School Blog (and probably the awesomest YA blog too) –

What I’m about to tell you is actually old news, but I bet very few of you know about it. But of course that’s why you’re here, isn’t it? Why bother reading the news when ol’ Crankenfuss can keep you up to date. Good reasoning, I’d say.

Anyway, here’s the scoop: Canada is getting rid of the penny. No, silly, not just one of them. All of them. Here’s a link to the story in the New York Times. Just the first few paragraphs will give you enough of the picture.

Now any of you who’ve been reading me for a while know that I’m no big fan of how our money is put together. I realized this when I was trying to teach my little pal Jojo how to count money. And that experience kind of made me blow my top. In case you forgot, the whole sad experience is right here.

And now I just found this other article that makes me even madder. Go ahead, you can read it for yourself. Or here it is in short form. Our country is throwing away a penny for every penny we make! And it costs us ten cents just to make a nickel! Now I’m no business whiz, but those numbers are just wacked, aren’t they? How can we be wasting money like that?

But I’m not one just to complain about a problem. Well actually I usually am, but today I have a solution. Let’s get rid of the penny and while we’re at it, let’s get rid of the nickel. In their place, we can have — get ready for this — THE CRANKENCOIN. It’ll be worth 5 cents but it’ll cost next to nothing to produce cause we can make them out of old bottle caps. They can be had for zero and it’ll help recycling. I’ve even come up with a design for the coin. Here it is:

the crankencoin, created by Dr. Crankenfuss at Freaky Dude Books
THE CRANKENCOIN -- The answer to our money problems.

See, it’s all patriotic and stuff with the red, white, and blue, and it has the national symbol for awesome coolness — ME! It’ll probably be better to flatten out all the bottle caps so they’ll go in our pockets better, but hey, that’s not up to me. And the government could put whatever they want on the other side, maybe a president or someone even more important, like a rap star or Katy Perry or somebody like that.

So there you go. Another problem seen and solved by

Your Dude with the ‘Tude,
Dr. Crankenfuss

If vampires are real, maybe Santa is too.

Humor Post #93 from the world’s Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Middle School Blog (and probably the awesomest YA blog too) –

Well, as I wrote about so brilliantly the last time, there’s a not-so-terrible blizzard “slamming the Northeast,” but there’s far worse news slamming the Middle East and maybe us in the near future. I mean, it’s REALLY BAD! And I’m not talking about that awful stuff in Syria that’s on the news every night. That’s truly horrible, but Crankenfuss isn’t here to get you too down. He’s here to entertain you with weird and wonderful horrible news.

“Huh?” you’re saying. Cool it, dude, and let me explain.

Now first off, let me say I’m not a big Twilight fan. Some girls I know are all dizzy in love with all the characters, but to me they’re kind of… uh… FEH (to borrow some Yiddish expression I learned that says a lot in only three letters). Not much to get me worked up, but you’d never know that from all the girls screaming and fainting at the red carpet openings. Guess it’s a girl thing.

Well, I might be more interested now that I find that this kind of stuff is REAL! I mean it. Check out this article from NBC. Read it all and come back.

You’re back already? Yeah, I see how you might have gotten bogged down after the good parts. But still this is creepy news. Drinking your own blood? Stabbing other people for theirs? If these guys are for real, that boogeyman I was always scared of at night when I was little might not have been just in my imagination. And aliens could definitely be watching us right now. All sorts of possibilities are possible.

On the good side though, that bad news I got about Santa Claus a few years back has a chance of being reversed. I still haven’t totally gotten over that even though I pretend I have.

See, it’s just like they say: When one door closes, another one opens. Whatever that means.

From your Now-I’m-picking-out-my-friends-more-carefully Dude with the ‘Tude,
Dr. Crankenfuss

Seven Reasons why Blizzards are GOOD for you!

Humor Post #93 from the world’s Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Middle School Blog (and probably the awesomest YA blog too) –

Oh, there’s a blizzard a comin’. I see it on all the news shows. And Crankenfuss knows cause he definitely keeps up on the news. It’s gonna be a whopper. Boston might get 2 FEET OR MORE of snow, New York City at least 6 inches. Everyone’s yelling that the sky’s about to fall — well, actually it IS, come to think about it — but anyway, get your supplies, get ready to be holed up for a while and not go anywhere. Power outages, impassable roads, you get the picture.

But Dr. Crankenfuss is here to tell you WHY BLIZZARDS ARE GOOD FOR YOU! Yep, you heard me right so look real hard at my list and see if you don’t agree just a teeny bit.

1) The news shows always tell you how many people died because of the storm. But they never tell you how many lives are SAVED because of the storm. How about all those people who would’ve died in traffic accidents? Crankenfuss ran the numbers till his little fingers were numb. Here’s the stats: about 40,000 people a year killed in auto accidents in the U.S. and about 1/6 of the people live in the northeast. So that’s almost 6700 deaths in the Northeast in a year. Horrible thought, isn’t it? Divide that by 52, I say, because it looks like this could be about a week of everyone driving way less (and at slower speeds). That’s 128 people who might have died in a week in the blizzard areas. I’m betting that number will be WAY DOWN.

2) Crime — The good doctor is also betting that crime will go down this next week. Easy to see why? What self-involved crook — and to be a crook, you definitely have to be into yourself — will risk freezing his fingers or some other extremity off to do some street crime. It’s just not worth it. They’ll be home trying to keep warm. And gang shootings should go down too. Lots of frozen trigger fingers out there.

3) Think of how family life will be so much cozier. Right now, most families have the kids playing their video games or watching tv, the parents doing their own thing. During a blizzard, everyone is brought closer. Maybe it’s because the power went out and you’re all huddled around that candle. Whatever. This is a chance for some real quality time, time to bond and learn all about each and love.

4) If you’re in a big city like New York, you’re probably sick of hearing all those car horns. Those are going to practically disappear for a while.

5) All you guys out there who aren’t the biggest fans of school will probably get a vacation from this. Hello, happiness!

6) Snow is fun, at least for a while. Now’s your chance to sled, ski, make an igloo, go mushing with your Pekingese through the neighborhood, make sno-cones, sommores, snow soup (cheap and easy to make), and all other sorts of holiday happies.

7) Yes, a bunch of businesses will be hurt by closing down. And that’s bad, I admit. But some places will make a killing. Hardware stores, Home Depot and Lowes, grocery stores, sled and snowmobile and snowshoe stores, pet shops that sell huskies.

Well, nuff said from your precocious purveyor of profound pearls of wisdom. (That one took me about two days to come up with.) So let’s turn our frowns upside down and welcome this blizzard.

P.S. If this turns out to be a real killer, I take all this back and reserve it for a not-so-bad storm. This post is really aimed at those nice, quiet blizzards. Hey, I’m trying to brighten your life with a bit of humor before all this mayhem happens, not have you come after me with a pitchfork like I’m Frankenstein. And I bet you don’t even have a pitchfork.

So that’s it
From Your Dude with the ‘Tude,
Dr. Crankenfuss