What’s with the way we use forks and knives at the table? IT’S CRA-A-Z-Z-Y!

Humor Post #109 from the world’s Awesomest & Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Middle School and YA Blog –

Boy, do I have something amazingly important for you today. Okay, maybe it’s not that great, but it’s still pretty weird and weird is always good, especially when Dr. Crankenfuss explains how weirdly we live our lives.

“Oh, shut up, Crankenfuss, and get to the point,” many of you are saying.

All right, here it is. The way we use our eating utensils is kind of messed up. I’ll prove it to you. But first here’s a diagram of a table setting I took from CollageMama’s Hearty Breakfast Blog. I hope CollageMama’s okay with me borrowing it.
typical place setting
The more I look at this diagram though, I have to say I’m not very confident of the intellectual skills of Collage Mama’s audience. Why did she feel it necessary to actually label the parts? (I’m surprised she didn’t put “picture” out to the right with an arrow to the illustration.) Looks fairly simple, doesn’t it? So say I have a plate piled high with something gooey, like a bunch of mashed potatoes I’ve carved into a Vesuvius-like exploding volcano. The second I reach my right hand — I’m right handed — across the table to that fork on the left, there’s at least a decent chance I’m going to get mashed potatoes (no doubt with gravy because that would be the lava part) on my sleeve. Sure, I can sit way back from the table to avoid that mess up, but hey, I’m a sit-near-my-food kind of guy.

That’s just the first problem with the place setting. Now, say I have a nice big juicy steak on that plate there. I’m not going to put the whole steak in my mouth at once. (Well, actually I tried that one time — as a joke, you know — but I got sent to my room and ended up with exactly ZERO of that scrumptious hunk of meat. Never again.) No, I’m going to cut that steak up into pieces. No problem so far. I reach out and take the fork in my left hand to pin the sucker to the plate (just in case it’s still moving), then use my knife with my right hand — sharp side down for better results — and cut the baby up.

Here comes the ol’ bugaboo. How’m I gonna get that piece of steak into the ol’ pie hole? I put my food in my mouth with my RIGHT HAND. Well, I have to put the knife down, switch the fork to my right hand and then stick that mama and insert it into my mouth. What a pain! I’m risking another sleeve incident and meanwhile the meat is getting colder by the second. Why can’t I just keep the fork in my left hand and put the meat into my mouth from the left? Makes great sense, doesn’t it? But almost nobody does it that way. Unless you’re from England, of course. That’s the way they ALWAYS do it. They just sit there, calm as you can be, cutting their meat with aplomb — ooh, there’s a new word for you, or for some of you anyway — See, I like it cause you can make a rhyme out of it:

I was sitting at the table,
All happy and calm,
Eating my steak
With apt aplomb.

Well, now I’m so pleased with my little rap there, I’ve lost track where I was. Oh yeah, then those English dudes DON’T HAVE TO SWITCH HANDS, POSSIBLY HAVING SOME SORT OF DISASTROUS COLLISION BETWEEN KNIFE, FORK, AND FINGERS. They just insert their meat in a neat little feat.

Just sayin’, folks. Maybe they should have another of my often-suggested Congressional Committees on this potentially dangerous situation. There are many fingers (and groded up sleeves) that could be saved through this.

From Your Dude with the ‘Tude,
Dr. Crankenfuss

Since when is your finger considered a private part?

Humor Post #108 from the world’s Awesomest & Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Middle School and YA Blog –

I got quite a chortle the other night when I was watching ESPN’s NBA playoff coverage. See, there was this game between the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls a few nights before. They were playing in Miami and the Bulls weren’t doing so hot. Actually they were getting killed by the Heat and a few of their guys got technicals and thrown out of the game. Joakim Noah, their center, was one of them. As he was leaving the court after getting the old heave-ho, this fruitcake ‘roid-raged dyed-blond lady fan got in his grill and gave him the middle finger. They showed it a bunch of times on TV.

That’s not what made me laugh. No, what’s so funny is that now TV shows are putting the photo on air, but they’re blurring out the middle finger of that lady. It’s like they’re showing someone’s face who needs their identity protected or a part of the body that’s usually covered up by a bra or underpants.

This is hilarious, people! It’s not like we don’t know what’s under that blur. It’s her finger! Woooh, pretty dirty! Hey, I know what a finger looks like. And it’s not like it’s a nasty part of the body either. I could see that logic if she’d thrown her breast into Noah’s face. (Oh, how I wish that was the case.) Now she might want that covered up. But I don’t think she’s all that embarrassed by the appearance of her finger. (If you ask me, it’s her face that should be blurred out. Just look up the picture and see if you don’t agree.)

I guess the next move will be if some guy is yelling out some blankety-blank comment at a player and a photographer takes a still shot of him shouting, on TV they’ll show him with his mouth or his head blurred out. After all, we don’t want little children seeing his tongue in the process of making that sound, do we?

Anyway, here’s my idea. If the middle finger needs to be blurred, shouldn’t there be a new piece of clothing sold to cover it up at all times. After all, it must be a no-no part of our body if they can’t show it on TV. We could call a “third finger thing.” Or “third finger thong.” Or how about a “finger flap”? If you have any other ideas for names, let me know. But be sure to give me a cut of the profits if you start selling these things. I’m sure everyone will be lining up to buy them. I mean, we don’t want our privates to show, do we?

From Your Dude with the ‘Tude,
Dr. Crankenfuss


Humor Post #107 from the world’s Awesomest & Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Middle School and YA Blog –

It’s time for Dr. Crankenfuss to get all happy again. Yeah, I know that might make you sick, but I just found out something yesterday that blows my mind. See, I bought this computer for one whole dollar. It’s new. It’s perfect. It does everything I ask it to. Now don’t get me wrong. This ain’t no iMac or anything but it does exactly what it’s supposed to. What a great world we live in. Technology is getting better and better and cheaper and cheaper all the time.

If you had predicted this, say, 45 years ago, nobody would have believed you. Back then it costs a couple hundred dollars for this thing and people thought that was a pretty good price.

I know what you’re saying. You’re saying, “Yeah, sure, you ol’ Crank, there’s gotta be a trick here somewhere, right?”

And I’m telling you there’s not. And to prove it, here’s a photo I just took of my new $1 computer.

a one dollar computer Bought it at the Dollar Store. Yeah, I know what you’re saying again. (I’m special that way.) You’re saying, “But Crank, that’s just a calculator. Of course, they’re cheap.”

Yes, they are, but they’re computers nonetheless. And my grandpa told me that back in the 70s (or, as I call it, in “medieval times”) a bunch of his friends chipped in for his birthday and bought him a calculator that probably was like this and it cost them over $100. And that price had come down in the last few years from much higher.

Think about how powerful this thing is. It can do math better than you ever could and it’s practically free. So when Dr. Crankenfuss goes on one his usual rants, just remind him that there really are some pretty cool things going on out there.

From Your Dude with the ‘Tude,
Dr. Crankenfuss


Humor Post #106 from the world’s Awesomest & Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Middle School and YA Blog –

Okay, it’s been maybe a couple weeks since I gave y’all one of my die-no-might poems. Many of you know — and the rest of the world should know — that I’m pretty decent when it comes to puttin’ together a poem, be it a rap or something a bit more regular. I have a hard time keeping them apart myself. I’ll let you judge what kind this one is. Just judge that it’s awesome, okay? And dudes, while you’re at it,
Go spread da word/ ‘Bout dis rare cranky bird/ He speaks da truth/ To all bangin’ youth./He knows where it’s at/Ain’t no doubt o’ that/ He soars da highest/ Cause he’s da flyest.

by Dr. Crankenfuss

The Earth is heatin’ up
The temps make record highs
The ocean’s much too warm
That leads to rising tides

The tides rush into streets
Buildings wash away
Peeps build sandbag walls
The waves say, “Make my day!”

Beach peeps got lots o’ problems
They want the Gov to cure ’em
The Gov ain’t got the answers
I’m glad I live in Durham

Our altitude’s 400 feet
Plenty high enough, that’s true
But if things start acceleratin’
I’ll have an ocean view

No way I’m stickin’ around
I’m puttin’ my theory to the test
I’m askin’ my mom to look
For a condo on Everest

If she won’t go for that
There’s only one way to stay afloat
I’ll spend the next twenty years
Convertin’ our house to a boat

So that’s it for now, all your freaky dudes out there.
Here’s to rappin’ our way to da stars.

From Your Dude with the ‘Tude,
Dr. Crankenfuss

An Incredibly Intense Passage

Daniel Berenson here. If you’re looking for Dr. Crankenfuss, I’ve taken the liberty of moving him down the page today because it’s time for this week’s Sunday Snippet for Weekend Writing Warriors. Be sure to visit the Warrior site and look through all the contributions there. Some interesting stuff, to be sure.

The passage that follows is from FIREBUG, a published novel by Daniel Berenson of Freaky Dude Books.

Setting the scene: Eleven-year-old Curtis is playing with matches in his grandpa’s tool shed. He has just shot a lit match toward an open-mouthed jar. His aim is perfect. A direct hit.

The jar exploded into dust, and with it, the world.

The white blast enveloped Curtis, devouring him in pure, searing energy. Hot needles pierced his body and face and he went blind as he was blown backwards. He was somehow aware of electricity, light yellow dots slamming into him like Uncle Joe’s soldering iron, turning creamy liquid and soaking him in a rush of tweezers tearing at every pore in his skin. His body shrieked.

Time stretched thin and strong as spider silk, dragging him through black tunnels of razor wire slitting his every nerve. No thoughts… just pictures and pain, pain, pain without understanding… everywhere the feel of ground glass… power saws ripping through lips… electric piranhas… sparks of light piercing his eyes… there was something ahead of him… the house… the house was in front of him… now the ground… now the sky… his skin being ground between Indian arrowheads… the ground melting into his face… his nostrils filling with burnt meat… infinitely tiny bullets shooting into him everywhere… his hair… his hair?… HE WAS ON FIRE!
Thank you and now it’s time for your usual host, Dr. Crankenfuss.
News from the world’s Awesomest & Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Middle School and YA Blog –

Well, that was sure pleasant!
Thanks, Daniel. Now I’m really steamed! I’m trying to run a humor site for you and you post stuff like THAT? How can I top that? By jumping out the window? Hey, I could try that, seeing as how we’re on the first floor here. But it still wouldn’t be anywhere near as gross.

Man, after that intro, I think I’ll just fill all of you in on the news:
Daniel’s novel FIREBUG, the book where he got that piece at the top, is getting nice reviews at Amazon. There are only nine so far, but they’re almost all 4 or 5 stars. Daniel got a bit upset with the one 3 star review, but I helped him get over it by making him practice the karaoke number he’s doing tonight at a party. He’s singing, well, butchering Hard to Love by Lee Brice. After he saw and heard his performance on the computer, he felt a lot worse than he did after seeing that review. He’s trying to figure out how to create some kind of six-hour virus to get out of tonight.

Also he released LOVE THUG at Amazon last week and it already has a few reviews. Well, I exaggerate. Two, actually, but both of those guys bought the book at least. And both of them gave him 5 stars. I told him, “Daniel, books are like doctors. They take patience.” He tried to slap me for that one, but he got himself in the head instead. (Now that’s what you call an inside joke, people.)

Anyway, he’s still trying to give out a few review copies of both books in return for honest reviews. So if you know anyone who’s interested, after reading the sample of the book at Amazon, send him a message here and tell him how to get in contact with you.

Talk to you soon. But I hope it’s after a somewhat lighter piece of work than Daniel gave you today. I’m still a bit freaked out.

From Your Dude with the ‘Tude,
Dr. Crankenfuss