I Yam What I Yam

Menu card on the buffet table at our Christmas Day feast:

Photo: Menu card says ''Candid Sweet Potatoes.''

I passed. I had a hankering for the Painfully Shy, Evasive Sweet Potatoes.


Gopher Break

Photo: Mike boogies with The Gopher from ''Caddyshack''

It was a lovely Christmas at our house. How could it not be when spent with our houseguest, my acting teacher and mentor, The Gopher from "Caddyshack."

With his kind help, I updated my dance moves. He can really tear up a rug. Later, we went outside and tore up the lawn.

Photo: Morty the Cat sulks at the sight of the housegopher.

Feline Security Morty, as you can see, sulks whenever we have company. He does not care for strangers burrowing through his litter box.

We need to do a Time Out with him about sharing.

Morty turned three this month and has become the alpha cat, replacing Kelp, who is sprawled in mandatory retirement at age 16.

Photo: Morty noses in on crime?

In this photo, Morty checks Mr. Gopher for concealed weapons.

Photo of Morty and Mr. Gopher: Pals and fashion conscious, too.

And here, the boys have become best of friends, relaxing, and watching Animal Planet. Morty TiVoed "Queer Eye for the Straight Stray."

::::: See Mr. Gopher: The Gopher Dance


Happy Noncommittal Generic Holidays, Everyone!

We're off to our whirling frenzy of celebrations with the family, after last minute shopping sprees at Mad Cow Burger Grease Warehouse and LintWorld. ("Look what I got you for Christmas, Timmy. Your very own burger grease. It's hours of congealing fun! Just like Mommy.")

I'm taking along the camera, so smile. Meanwhile, from 2002:

::::: Hairy Christmas | Photo Gallery: A Durrett Family Christmas


I Give and I Give

From the transcript of our picture perfect evening at the gala homestead, wrapping pricey presents and nogging eggs.

On the topic of Christmas gifts:

Mike: (Holding up the latest purchase) For my brother, Bob, I got this box of Kleenex.

Donna: Honey, I think it needs a little something extra to go with it.

Mike: It has Lotion.


This Just In...

One thing's for sure in the new year, I've got to do better. I've got to pay more attention to world events. It's vital. Did you hear the latest?

A few minutes ago, while shopping, I was stunned to read that big headline: "Choosy Moms Choose Jif."

Who knew? I wonder if there's reporting ever on TV? Maybe they've got pictures, surveillance or something.

I need to be held.


Woo Her Male

A Bob Walker of Wichita, Kansas, writes: "I wanted to buy a pager to impress the ladies ... [I] got a Glade clip-on.

"Women say, 'You're a dork, but you smell like mountain berries.'"


Little Orphan Mikey

I have to tell someone.

I'm Strom Thurmond's missing love child.

The evidence is irrefutable. The birthmark on my face pictures his milk carton.


And That Brings Up a Question...

This gentleman, Mr. T, that's his name. He's always billed as "Mr. T."

If I were to introduce Sylvester Stallone to an audience, I'd announce him as "Mr. Sylvester Stallone." Robert Redford, I'd introduce him as "Mr. Robert Redford." Denzel Washington, "Mr. Denzel Washington."

So, what about Mr. T? Should I introduce him as "Mr. T" or "Mr. Mr. T?"

I must admit, on occasion, I have referred to him as "Lord Mr. T," but there was always a comma involved.


Fun Flu Facts!

"Tylenol" spelled backwards is "Lonely T."

Ironically, the gurgling noise my sickly stomach made, "SUCARABEDUTITTADABABTREBLAOCSOBTGS," spelled backwards is "Sgt. Bosco Albert 'B.A./Bad Attitude' Baracus" -- the "A-Team" character once played by Mr. T, who was never lonelier than when he lost the fight in "Rocky III," which may explain why my sneeze blats don't "ah-choo," they "ah-ClubberLang!"

Pity me, fool!


Top 10 Hallucinations During My Flu-Induced Stupor

Ugh, I've been ill for a week. Last month's flu shot worked ... just ... great.

I'm back to normal except my hacking cough is opening for Rage Against the Machine.

Top 10 Hallucinations During My Flu-Induced Stupor

10. Mommy went by school and got my homework.

9. Pussycats make nice tea party guests.

8. Saddam found in a hole.

7. Sore throat would rather hold grudge than kiss and make up.

6. Pounding in my head won Best New Artist at Hip Hop Awards.

5. Favorite "Star Wars" character: Chewypepto-bismol.

4. Nausea is Nature's Alarm Clock. And, come to think of it, Nature's Hamilton Beach Smoothies & More 12 Speed Blender with Stir Stick.

3. Cold chills are Nature's way of saying, "Freeze, you miserable bastard! Die, you worthless son of a bitch! You're the coolest, Fonzie!"

2. Aunt Bee and Clara were stoned soul picnics.

And the number one hallucination during my flu-induced stupor ...

Being encased in phlegm is not so bad, once I figured how to sew the buttons on it.


And How Is Your Day?

I'm sitting here, minding my own business, and -- PING! -- I've got mail.

A Bob Walker of Wichita, Kansas writes: "May a weird construction worker dip Sacrete on your parakeet."

To which, always one with the hipster references, I reply: "May Ben Vereen tap dance on your Sizzlean."

To which, Bob replies: "Alrighty then ... May a day old bread truck back-fire mold on your sister."

To which, I reply: "May a leper waiter leave his thumb in your soup."

To which, Bob replies: "May a weird pirate leave a peg-leg in your chicken bucket."

To which, I reply: "May Paris Hilton eat your pillow mint."

To which, Bob replies: "May Michael Jackson snort your sitz bath."

To which, I reply: "May Michael Jackson dangle his baby over your lunch."

To which, Bob replies: "May Pee-wee Herman refreshen your [mayo] jar."

To which, I reply: "May Pee-Wee Herman dance the 'Tequila' on your worm."

To which, Bob replies: "May Barney the Dinosaur leave an unwanted relic on your teeter-totter."

To which, I reply: "May the ghost of Ed Norton plunge your grandmother."


Another Turkey Thursday

Photo: Wild turkeysWord gets around fast on the Internet. Last week, I blogged about our turkeyless Thanksgiving dinner and only a few minutes ago, strange visitors appeared in the yard. They must figure our land is a safe haven.

Four of these guys dropped by. I guess they are turkeys. They don't look like the standard issue, none of those hangy neck thangs.

I thought they might like a meal, so I proceeded outside with some hard corn. The turkeys showed interest, but scurried away when I set down the bowl of gravy. Nobody has drinks with dinner anymore.


Suffering Succotashes

Our clan's Thanksgiving feast is always a treat, especially when I get to watch vaguely familiar carnivores I haven't seen since last November rip apart and devour a champion turkey, who probably had better things to do.

"Why is there Stovetop Stuffing in the eggplant?"
Celebrating my 15th Thanksgiving as a vegetarian, I undertook 30 minutes of table glory in a brisk, skillful clip, chomping and slurping around the meat and fowl. I was blessed to scarf down enough food and fizzy pop to transport me into bend-over cramps nirvana.

When I get cramps, moan for a cot, and stupor my way into assorted in-laws and chives, I know I'm the happy guest -- usually at the moment I pass out on the poodle and mutter disparagements at the umbrella urn.

What was delightful to the banqueting tongue? Succotash. Donna made succotash and so did Lynn. My wife's recipe is secret, but nobody reads this, so I'll share it with you. She mixes kernels of corn with lima beans.

I guess that explains why Lynn's succotash, although tasty, was different. I pulled her aside and discovered her recipe calls for mixing lima beans with kernels of corn. Ahhhh, hahhhh! Yes, nuances make the cheffff.

For the remainder of this holiday weekend, I'll be finishing the succotash and three leftover casseroles. There's a brocolli and rice casserole, a brocolli and rice casserole, and a brocolli and rice casserole. I'm eating a brocolli and rice casserole sandwich as I type. What I did was: improvise in the kitchen. Two pieces bread, brocolli, rice. It's yummy, but could use some more and.

Later, we're having broccoli and rice casserole soup for dinner, broccoli and rice casserole a la mode for dessert and, then, for snacking, hot, melted broccoli and rice casserole popcorn while we watch some James Bond movies -- good ones produced by Cubby Broccoli.

Tomorrow morning, as soon as I consume Lucky Charms with tiny bits of broccoli and rice casserole ("It's vegically delicious!"), a broccoli and rice casserole omelet, and hash browns, scattered, smothered, covered, riced, broccolied, casseroled, I plan to start whining with diligence until I get a change of diet. Before Saturday is done, my friend, I shall be pigging on brocolli and rice casserole s'mores!


State of the Mike

"Good morning, Mr. Durrett," said my doctor, entering the tiny meat freezer, medical jargoned as the "Patient Examination Room."

"It's magic time," I replied, referring to the impending physical perusal of me, external, internal, and walletal.

"Has it been a whole year since your exam?" he asked, nosing through my records.

"Yessir," I said.

Like "Bingo," he blurted, "To the day! Paid in full."

After I answered a long series of identical medical questions from the nurse and the requisite fill-in-the-blanks forms, the doctor got down to business. He asked me his list of identical medical questions. I must've done well because I wasn't sent to Study Hall.

And I got to go pee for them first! Usually, they make me hold it and hold it and hold it until things are looking distinctively orange through my rose-colored glasses.

I've always been fascinated by urine samples. (Hummel figurines and other captivations were previously taken by the kids up my street.)

Is a squirt too much? A phweet too little?

My medical knowledge is nearly nil, so the samples I leave are an amount equivalent to a small serving of warm apple juice. If restaurant chains say it's sufficient, I say it's sufficient, although seldom do I place parsley and hash browns on the side.

I did the deed, tidied the area, and wrote my name on a slip of paper which identified the tumbler o' goo.

To be extra-festive, I signed the note, "To Dr. Probst and his love, and to the girls in the Lab and their loves." I adore life when everyone knows my sugary goodness doesn't exist only in a cup.

I placed the liquid on the sill, next to a little shuttered window which could be opened by the medical technician on the other side. To signal emission accomplished, I knocked on the wall.

"The Urine Fairy!" she gasped.

"I heard that," I heard me say.

Soon, following a series of tests, I rendezvoused with the doctor for his portion of my evaluation. He reviewed the data collected during the past few minutes.

"Your EKG, good," he said. "Lab results on Friday, flu shot done-- oh, DEAR MERCIFUL GOD IN HEAVEN! PROTECT THIS MAN FROM THE SUCCUBUS! -- Um, your blood pressure seems high, Michael."

"Can you prescribe a vampire?"

"Not with your deductible, " he said. "Besides, a vampire means certain death."

What about one that's just now teething?"

He ignored me. He was holding my chest x-ray near the light. "Lungs good, nothing to worry about. We'll keep an eye on this spot in the shape of Lee Harvey Oswald."

Next, assuming fish-mouth mode, I took some deep breaths while Dr. Probst listened through my back and front. No tsk-tsk noises from him, a good sign. Then, he nailed me on the knee with a hammer.

"Don't do that," I said.

He tapped the other knee.

"Don't do that," I said.

"I'm checking your reflexes." He hit me some more.

My legs were flailing around the room and before we knew what happened, I was on my feet, strutting, "These vagabond shoes! Are longing to stray! And make a brand new start of it! New York! Newwww--"

"Drop your pants to your knees and face me."


I did what I was told. It was time for the money shots, kids. The heavily gloved doctor examined my you know. I prayed I was healthy and he was not being paid by the hour. It, of course, as you might imagine, probably often, was a big job.

"Turn your head and cough," he said, inspecting a testicle or two.

"Cough," I said.

Coughing the other direction, the doctor examined me.

"You have a dangling participle," he said.

"Can you give me a salve?"

"No," he clarified, "I meant what you were thinking a moment ago: 'Coughing the other direction, the doctor examined me.' It's dangling."

"You heard that?"

"This stethoscope is strong. Bend over, arms on the table."

"Oh, great. What are you gonna hear in there?"

I consider prostate examinations to be necessary, preventive maintenance. I'm not embarrassed by the routine, but I do have a dire fear of hangnails.

"You've been biting your nails again, Doctor," I said, pre-examining his hands.

"You can see that? I'm wearing gloves."


I assumed the position, sprawled across the table. To say the procedure was "short and sweet" is probably not proper. The piercing Dr. Probst is a professional. His investigative manner was skilled and swift. Me, I made vehicle backing-up beeps.

"I'm going to push on your prostate and you'll have an urge to urinate," said Doc.

"I gave at your office."

Wonderful news followed. "No problems detected," he said, exiting my premises.

"Buh-bye. Buh-bye. Buh-bye," I said.

"See you in a rear." He was gone.

And that's my story. I guess I can dress now. It's really hard to type in this position.

::::: Extras: Mikey's Colonoscopy Corner | Top 12 Joys During a Colonoscopy Examination


I'm Dating the Paris Hilton Sex Tape Game

I'm having a perfectly lovely Sunday. Sandwiched between the Psalms and Jell-O shooters, I've been playing the online Paris Hilton Sex Tape Game. I found it while researching The Funny Site of the Day feature for About.

There's nothing the Internet loves better than a celebrity sex scandal and you'd think poor little rich girl Paris Hilton would know better than to be videotaped during a frisky romp. Heck, even I'm hip to photo faux pas! That's why no video cameras are ever on the premises when I'm manning the traffic cones, chocolatey Nutter Butter Bites, and lawn gargoyles of love. Oh, occasionally, I'll admit a sketch artist into the bedroom to sit in the bleachers and doodle me diddling, but that's for my eyes only -- and, maybe, an attractive pant-by-numbers portrait, available at better stores everywhere.

If you wanna play with Paris, here's more on the game, which is innocent, by the way. But screwy!


Meow, Dammit!

We're all vegetarians in this house.

--Well, except the cats.

That reminds me, we're out of cat food and I can tell when the cats are hungry. They've taken to calling me "Roy."

I've been called "Roy" so much, I'm nervous. I may have to take off the spandex kitty tamer's suit.

That's the last time I put Siegfried-nip in my pockets.


What's My Beet?

I'm a vegetarian. I'm not allowed beefs.

I can't even moo like a cow. I can forefinger-thump my head to simulate gourd sounds. That's about it. I'm allowed that.

And that's my beet.


The Dream

Some day I hope to make this blog an oasis of pithy didacticism. 'Til then, enjoy my socks.
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