Humor Under Duress, Soviet Style

In Trumplandia, Maybe We’d Better Get Used to Long Lines

In Trumplandia, Maybe We’d Better Get Used to Long Lines

The other day, I saw a great Futility Closet post on Soviet humor. What with Trumpf’s close ties to ex-KGB-head Vladimir Putin, we had better get used to Soviet style humor . So, here goes:

A man is walking along the road wearing only one boot. “Did you lose a boot?” a passerby asks sympathetically. “No, I found one,” the man answers happily.

What is it that doesn’t knock, growl or scratch the floor?
A machine made in the USSR for knocking, growling, and scratching the floor.

It is the middle of the night. There is a knock at the door. Everyone leaps out of bed. Papa goes shakily to the door. “It’s all right,” he says, coming back. “The building’s on fire.”

A shopper asks a food store clerk, “Are you all out of meat again?” “No, they’re out of meat in the store across the way. Here we’re out of fish.”

Why doesn’t the Soviet Union send people to the Moon?
They are afraid they won’t come back.

A man fell asleep on a bus. When someone stepped on his foot, he woke with a start and applauded. “What are you doing, citizen?” “I was dreaming I was at a meeting.”

“What is the difference between Pravda [Truth] and Izvestia [The News]?”
“There is no truth in The News, and no news in the Truth.”


Why Isn’t There Any Bird Crap on This Man’s Shoulder?

Why Isn’t There Any Bird Crap on This Man’s Shoulder?

The following are fake Donald Trumpf tweets from the New Yorker of January 27, 2017:

Weak Hamlet should stop moaning about past and get on with his life. All talk, no action! King Claudius has my full support.

Tremendously fat honey thief Winnie-the-Pooh deserves to get stuck in Rabbit’s hole. Not crying for him, believe me, OR low-energy Eeyore.

Successful businessmen should be left alone by boring ghosts and sad employees. Bob Cratchit is a loser. No enthusiasm!

Little Miss Muffet doesn’t deserve curds OR whey if she can’t deal with a bug. No strength or stamina and her tuffet is a disgrace.

Anyone who thinks a good relationship with Mordor is a bad thing is stupid. And crooked Frodo should return ring to rightful owner.

Wolf well within rights to evict disgusting pigs from below-code structures.

Overrated king’s horses and men are failed élites. Humpty Dumpty deserves better and will get it after Obamacare repeal.

Very Little Jack Horner’s biggest accomplishment: putting in thumb, pulling out plum. Sad!

Stepsisters deserve compensation for loss of employee. Shame on you, prince!

Better British schools and Hogwarts would fail on its own. Instead, England has disastrous witch problem. I WON’T LET IT HAPPEN HERE!!!

Advancing the Schmilblick

Some Untranslatable French Expressions

Some Untranslatable French Expressions

I think we tend to seriously underestimate the French. (Oh, drat, I split another infinitive!) Here are a few expressions that you might find interesting.

Faire avancer le Schmilblick

That strange word means nothing more or less than “thing.” When having a conversation, comments not deemed to be helpful are described as not advancing the Schmilblick along. If you speak excellent French, here is a YouTube video describing the origin of the term.

C’est le petit Jésus en culotte de velours

You’ve just had an incredibly smooth wine. It was, in other words, “as smooth as Baby Jesus in velvet knickerbockers.” (You can’t say that about an American beer.)

Avoir le cul bordé de nouilles

You are incredibly lucky—such that your ass is surrounded by noodles.

Il pète plus haut que son cul (ou tête)

There are two variants to this one, both describing someone who is incredibly pretentious. The way Martine and her mother described it, “He tries to fart higher than his own head.” Others say  “higher than his own ass.” Perhaps Martine’s version is the way they say it in Normandy.

Dark Light Verse

Another Discovery of Great Material from the Futility Closet

Another Discovery of Great Material from the Futility Closet

I am always amazed by what I find on the Futility Closet website. The following are light verses with a somber subject by Jocelyn Henry Clive “Harry” Graham (1874-1936)—journalist, military hero, lyricist for light operas, and humorous verses employing the darkest of humor. Here are a few selections  taken from Futility Closet’s posting of June 9, 2011:


Little Willie, in the best of sashes,
Fell in the fire and was burned to ashes.
By and by the room grew chilly,
But no one liked to poke up Willie.

Aunt Eliza

In the drinking-well
(Which the plumber built her)
Aunt Eliza fell–
We must buy a filter.


I had written to Aunt Maud,
Who was on a trip abroad,
When I heard she’d died of cramp
Just too late to save the stamp.


Weep not for little Léonie,
Abducted by a French Marquis!
Though loss of honour was a wrench,
Just think how it’s improved her French.

Mr. Jones

“There’s been an accident,” they said,
“Your servant’s cut in half; he’s dead!”
“Indeed!” said Mr. Jones, “and please
Send me the half that’s got my keys.”

He wrote in one preface:

Fond parent, you whose children are
Of tender age (from two to eight),
Pray keep this little volume far
From reach of such, and relegate
My verses to an upper shelf,–
Where you may study them yourself.

Quisquilian Diversivolence

The New Face of American Politics?

The New Face of American Politics?

The term come from a Futility Closet posting entitled “In a Word.” “Quisquilian” means worthless or trivial. “Diversivolence” is the noun form of an adjective meaning desiring strife. Those two words together pretty much summarize the 2016 election—most especially if you add Hillary’s phrase, “Basket of Deplorables.”

Obviously new terms are welcome, if the standard old ones put us in the mess we are in. Since the news media have signally failed to make any sense out of the this grim period, we need new ways to describe the, uh, situation.

I will attempt to search out new terms and bring them to your attention. Perhaps it will entertain you as well as add new shades of meaning.

Short Takes: Trump Now Sez Earth DOES Revolve Around Sun

A Handful of Short Stuff to End the Week

A Handful of Short Stuff to End the Week

Prezidenchul Candidate Donald J. Trump has announced that the Earth “definitely” revolves around the sun, so it is okay to think and say that without being roughed up by his jackbooted thugs. Next: Does water “definitely” flow downhill and does the Pope “definitely” shit in the woods? Keep tuned to this channel for more breaking admissions from the campaign.

At the same time Hillary Clinton has been blamed for the earth’s new subsidiary role in the Solar System.

Geography textbooks in the State of California are being re-edited to revise all reference to rivers, lakes, and reservoirs as being essentially mythical.

Both the 2020 and 2024 Prezidenchul campaigns have begun in earnest as of September 1. According to GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, “It’s good for American voters to plan ahead and keep thinking about possible futures, all of which appear to be disastrous.”

The National Civil War Commission has voted to declare the Confederate States of America as the winners of the war, and to retroactively pardon Jefferson Davis, John Wilkes Booth, and Henry Wirz, Commandant of Andersonville Prison. Yes, but will there now follow a period of Reconstruction? Yes, according to the carpetbaggers lining up along the southern border of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Angela Merkel has taken to wearing a pink berka after she changed the name of her country to Germanistan. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden has considered changing the color of the nation’s flag to green and adding a crescent and Koranic verses.

All cars produced since 1956 have been recalled by their manufacturers for various reasons. Traffic is expected to be light next week.

A cruise ship to the Caribbean has returned to Fort Lauderdale with no cases of Legionnaires’ Disease or food poisoning, no plumbing or sewage malfunctions, and no passengers or crew members fallen overboard.