The Big Bang Theory

Driving through a foreign state, Alabama, I saw this sign outside a fireworks store.




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From: "Summer Job"

Caption: "Dunk Soup."

The water was way too hot. That's the last time I man the tank for a Cannibal charity.

From: "Which 'Napoleon Dynamite' Character Are You?"

Occasionally, I grow my beard to check on it, see how it's doing.

I'm startled at how much gray there is. I'd been told I have the follicles of a 20-year-old.

I really should scrub out that bathtub.

From: "Profile in Courage 2"

I never swim in the nude. I'm not much for shinny-dipping either.

Caption: "Mike wonders if he'll get into Heaven, since he can't even buy his way into this movie."

From: "'Come Back on the Third Day'"

I have a giant head. I've yet to find a ball cap large enough to fit my skull. I've gone as far as to consider a crown of thorns, but I would never know if I was wearing it stylishly backwards or not.

And you can forget finding one with an Angels logo on it.


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Another teaser photograph from "Have Gut -- Will Travel or Go West, Young Man or Darth Vader, My Ass," an unfinished memoir.

Caption: "Mike and Donna in Utah looking for Osmonds."

Sundown at Arches National Park, a place a friend terms "America's Best Kept Secret."

By me mentioning it here, the secret is safe.

From: "My Night With Elvis: Kitten With a Dip"

Caption: "Mike Durrett, always the coolest, connects with the crowd."

These young people today are so out of touch with pop culture. Few recognized me as wearing my collar up like Elvis Presley.

I got called several "Igors," a "Quasimodo," and one brat insisted his mother "put the giant turtle in a cardboard box."

At least, she poked air holes in the lid with a pencil and the grass was clean.

There I'd be on my back, legs and arms flailing about, and those two would upright me every time. I was humiliated. It was enough to make me give up the breakdancing.

From: "100 Things About Me #30"

"Mike cracks a tattoo tale."

I started the fashionable tailbone tattoo craze and young women everywhere copycatted me. The artistic accessory became cheapened and is now ridiculed as a "tramp stamp."

I couldn't be a part of such tackiness. Maturity, taste, and dignity won the day, so I had the handsome inscription, "EXIT," removed from my backside and relocated to my winky.

Let's see the girls pull that trick.

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Caption: "Mike Durrett in the Grand Canyon."

In a teaser photo for the uncompleted sequence of "Have Gut -- Will Travel or Go West, Young Mike or Darth Vader, My Ass," that's me and the lovely Darth on his stroll through the ravishing ravine.

I've ridden mules twice from the Grand Canyon rim, down to the Colorado River, and back up. We plan to do it again, just as soon as I get the Flubber implants in my bottom.

Mike Durrett has a special relationship with the sea.From: "Waves Goodbye"

Caption: "Mike Durrett has a special relationship with the sea."

I don't like to go in it, but I do like to look at it.

Of course, I say the same thing about show business, hot air ballooning, and Pamela Anderson.

From: "On the Road" at About.com Humor

"Mike Durrett, Way Out West, 1998, looking for Forrest Gump."

I'm standing where Forrest ended his cross-country jog in the film, on the highway to Monument Valley.

Nowadays, there's talk of a movie sequel. What took them so long? I already have more recent pictures of me on that same spot.

Some without tread marks.

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100 Things About Me #95

Tummy Double
I'll show you mine, if you don't show me yours.

Those are my intestines to the right.

Indeed, I am festive.

I seem to have four. Apparently, I'm eating for two.

That does explain a lot.

More: Make Your Own Multicoloured Intestine Diagram via About.com Humor

100 Things: #1 | Previous | Next


Pet Food Snafus

I've learned of a deadly pet food scare, concerning meals with heavy gravy. There is a product recall for numerous items in cans and pouches. Here are the brands for dogs and cats.

I think our cats are safe. The boys are not fed the problematic heavy gravy dishes, although Morty is into gravy. I hope he's not dealing.

We've had to curb his intake. Gravy leads to freebasing giblets.

In general, Morty is a reckless eater. He inhales his food. He does not chew, so the chunks irritate his system and he barfs up slightly dented hot meals onto my shoes. And, frankly, that socks.

To stop the vomiting, we consulted with his physician and have introduced human baby food into Morty's diet. He's The Gerber Kitty.

Morty loves the soupy meats and so do my feet.


God Is in My Corner

I was feeling discouraged on my birthday, so I asked for a sign.

Two minutes later, there it was.

"Firecracker Chicken Taquito."

After decades of indecision, I have found my wrasslin' name.


A Cup of Cheer!

Today is my birthday! My gift: a mug with my name on it!

Photo: Mike with his personalized Mia mug.
The store was out of "Mike," so they got me the closest thing!


Trip Cheesed

I used to eat at this sandwich shop. Here's the actual reaction, when we drove past their sign.

Mike: "'New look?'

"What? Did they clean the place?"


100 Things About Me #94

My favorite singer with a pulse is Linda Eder.

Last night, we enjoyed seeing and hearing Linda with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, second row, center. The concert was our fifth encounter, after discovering her in the musical "Jekyll and Hyde."

For me, the highlight of the show was the back-to-back punch of "Over the Rainbow" and "Don't Rain on My Parade." The little hairs on my neck stood up and did jumping jacks and squat thrusts.

Linda Eder: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" via YouTube

Linda Eder: "Don't Rain on My Parade" via YouTube

It was an exceptional performance. Those telltale signs were there.

I weep profusely. Then, the Environmental Protection Agency sends over a guy in a hazmat suit to remove my mildew.

100 Things: #1 | Previous | Next


100 Things About Me #93

"You and me will be the greatest pardners, buddies and pals!"

--"Pardners" (1956)
Today is Jerry Lewis' 81st birthday.

Jerry's been my imaginary friend for half a century and he is my foremost creative influence. It was through his surreal comedy, primarily the films and television of the '50s and '60s, that I was able to form the foundation and inspiration and joy inside whatever it is I am.

Here are three of many Jerry Lewis movie sequences that I find funny, fascinating, instructive, and essential.

In "The Errand Boy" (1961), Jerry plays bumbling flunky Morty S. Tashman (the namesake for my bumbling cat). I've been riding this elevator scene for 46 years.

"The Chairman of the Board" piece, also from "The Errand Boy," is a musical pantomime timed to the last section of Count Basie's "Blues in Hoss' Flat." Lewis is a huge Basie fan and the brassy swing jazz style is an important element throughout Jerry's work. By osmosis, I've long adored Basie, too.

The uproarious hat bit from "The Ladies' Man" (1961) ends this chunk, featuring Buddy Lester and Kathleen Freeman.

If Donna ever leaves me, I would consider marrying the hat scene. I love it that much.

Watch and listen closely. Jerry's cracking up, too.

Previously in This Blog: Jerry Lewis
More: "'The Ladies' Man': Another Movie That Makes Me Laugh" --About.com Humor

100 Things: #1 | Previous | Next


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From: "'South Park' Create-A-Character" at About.com Humor

Caption: "Mike Durrett in South Park."

I may not retire this picture, after all. Too cute, huh?

That's how I would look in the second grade in South Park. The truth is, in my day, I looked like this:

Mike in real-life 2nd grade.

Mike and his clone crash the movie trailer for Wedding Crashers.From: "Mike and Lester Mike: An Act of the Clone"

Caption: "Mike and his clone, Lester, crash the movie trailer for 'Wedding Crashers.'"

That's me in the Owen Wilson role and wig. It was interesting playing scenes opposite my clone. Ordinarily, I get angry when another actor steals my lines, but when it's my own flesh and blood, I'm okay with that.

Mike Durrett is a good groomer 50 per cent of the time.From: "101 Things About Me #31"

Caption: "Mike Durrett is a good groomer 50 per cent of the time."

My name is Mike and I am a Half-and-Halfic.

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From: "Taste Test: Scooby-Doo! Baked Cheddar Crackers"

Caption: "Mike Durrett, extra cheesy."

You know your diet is on target when you're scarfing down snacks endorsed by a cartoon dog.

Hanna-Barbera, the "Scooby-Doo" company, is notorious for cutting corners on their animation, so I remain suspect of the nutritional value in food shaped like Velma Dinkley.

From: "100 Things About Me #55"

Caption: "Mike Durrett, birthday boy, age 9."

I'm not sure, but my current thinking is this picture was taken at my 10th birthday, not the ninth. I was so much more mature at 10.

That's a party hat appendage on my forehead. I distinctly recall the moment, morphing into this last second pose. I knew the value of a good picture.

My mother was flummoxed with cameras -- a woman who enrolled in a three-day seminar on the term "point and shoot."

She never paid attention to what was going on in the scene while she attempted to line up a shot. She'd get rolls of photos back from the lab with me crossing eyeballs or with my tongue extended. I pulled that stunt well into my 40s.

I was a caring son, though. I'd help her by shouting hints like "Lens cap!" or "Hey, Mom! Yoo hoo! Over here! Planet Earth!"

From: "Taste Test: Kellogg's Disney Chocolate Mud & Bugs"

Caption: "Mike Durrett eats a good breakfast."

Toasted cereal based on "The Lion King," insects floating in milk, a heaping helping of sludge and slugs with a hint of chiggers.

Sorry, it's not my cup of ticks.

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From: "P.P. and Me"

Caption: "Mike Durrett, personal pal of Pablo Picasso."

This is the painting Pablo made of me during my Red Period, which coincided with his famous Blue Period. We'd get together and drink the purple. Period.

Picasso was much more of a party person. I tried to paint the town red properly, but he'd go outside the lines.

Mike Durrett faces hair issues.From: "100 Things About Me #21"

Caption: "Mike Durrett faces hair issues."

Oh, I've seen worse. Antlers in my beard.

From: "Set Yourself Free! It's No Pants Day!" at About.com Humor

Caption: "Mike Durrett and his pointer, No Pants Day, 2004"

People see this photograph and they always have the same reaction: "Why?"

Whereas my reaction is more elaborate, "Why isn't that black-out bar larger?"

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Snaps: Shot

I've decided to retire the rotating thumbnail photographs which have splashed across the top of these pages for several years. They are worn out.

Perhaps a few words are in order.

Caption: "The Mike Durrett Fan Club gets together for a group hug."

Here I am in Monument Valley (2003), one of the most stunningly beautiful places on Earth. The Arizona-Utah locale was the site for countless Hollywood westerns. I've fully intended to write about our fourth visit to the Navajo lands, but I got sidetracked. Naps will do that.

The start of the mammoth automobile journey incorporating Monument Valley was recalled in 2004's "Have Gut -- Will Travel, or Go West, Young Mike, or Darth Vader, My Ass." The story gets as far as the phony cowboy town in Mescal, AZ. Someday, I'll finish it. Darth is still waiting for his face time.

Caption: "Mike Durrett has known Writer's Block, the evil terror."

Every now and again, I draw a blank. Those are the days they close all of the schools and throw impromptu street carnivals. I think last time somebody won a jet ski.

The photo is from a sequence of posts chronicling "How I Spent My Writer's Block." Ironically, it mostly wrote itself.

Caption: "Mike Durrett, age six weeks."

From: "Bye Bye Birthday"

Okay, yeah, I know. I was pretty big when I was born. But, Mom was late -- in her 17th month.

Hey, how many times do I have to tell you people? I am SHY!

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"Practice Makes Purr-fect"

Have you heard? On this Internet thing, you can send stuff to your friends by way of the email! So, I tried it with a short home video I liked, starring a piano-playing cat.

Ha! Ha! A cat playing the piano! I am rolling on the floor with the laughter, reattaching my bum.

I found the recital clip at GooTube and sent it to my friends by way of the email!

Hollywood pal, Burbank's Frank, responded by way of the email!

"You know, I thought the cat had a great deal of presence, and if performance is all you're after, he gives a great show. I grant you that. But the song itself was repetitive and derivative. I mean, where's the originality? Really shockingly low level of technique. I'm sorry, I'm going to have to give him a 'no.'"

You, sir, are a tough audience. The cat had me at bench posture.


Making Something Clear

My continuing education is important to me. Not a day goes by that I don't endeavor in a scholarly pursuit at this very keyboard.

The other night, while writing about the clinical complexities of urination, which appears in the story thread beginning with "Bear Scare," my thirst for knowledge sent me to Answers.com. I found this bit of irony -- and some darn fine learnin'....

Screenshot from an online thesaurus. Oh, it is wacky.
Well, duh, when you say "wee-wee," you're "meaning #1!"


Photo Finish

The Big Squeeze
Continued From: Pardon Me, Boy, This Is the Paparazzi Poo-Poo

Oh, man.

The past few days were a debilitating blur. I've been huddled with law enforcement officials from the county and state, a team of attorneys in contrasting suspenders, and Homeland Security and their too strong instant coffee. Crunchy.

The Shriners, working back-up Security in teensy, roving, comical funny cars, helped. They streamed around-the-clock tepid seltzer water into my mug filled with French roasted pellets.

I have been firmly advised to not deal with the extortionist who threatens to release photographs of me practicing self defense in my yard.

Donna and I have been concerned about the large black bear(s) we've seen next to the house, so I gush my urine around outdoors to keep them away. That's a proven, chemically sound remedy.

Nearly a year has elapsed since I began Project Rainbow and the treatment has worked perfectly. No bears have entered our home looking for food. One did peek in at the Wander-Thru Window, but we stop serving breakfast at 10:30 a.m.

Apparently, this swindler, this Pepe, as he calls himself, was stalking me with a telephoto lens sometime last spring. He'd been waiting patiently for a good opportunity to fleece me for his snapshots.

I tell ya, get a little celebrity nowadays and you are toast. Free Blogger blog, I rue the day I acquired thee and thy fame. The paparazzi can't get enough of Mikey.

I've made up my mind. I am not paying the $200,000 ransom to destroy the photos and avoid scrutiny and humiliation. My advisers say I need to deflate the extortion, take away the money motive. I'm to publish the photos myself, right here in the free Blogger blog. Nip it in the bud.

And zip it in the pants.

Oh, man, oh, man, oh, man.


Pardon Me, Boy, This Is the Paparazzi Poo-Poo

To my grave consternation, there is fallout from posting "Urine the Know."

I found this note and photos taped to our door.


Seen story on bear. You whizz your place to run him off.

You seen these pictures?

Got more. Will be in touch.

$$$, 200 grand.

Or else.

Hang loose,


Continued: Photo Finish


Life Is Sweet

Continued From: Urine the Know

Although it was deeply embarrassing for me to go public about my fear and the spreading of my urine to keep the bear away, I'm beaming now. I've had a sign.

Quotation on a SPLENDA packet: When the going gets tough, add a sprinkle and a smile.

Continued: Pardon Me, Boy, This Is the Paparazzi Poo-Poo
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