Road Rage at Zero Miles Per Hour

Yeah, buddy, there’s a reason your ’86 Volvo is moving forward while your transmission is in park. You went over your allotted time for ordering at the Burger King drive-up window. How complicated can your order be? How confusing can five items on a menu be?

Open !!!

You got your hamburger; you got your fries; you got your soda. Yes, there are different sizes, and there is the coke or diet coke dilemma. Maybe next time you’ll buy an American pick-up truck like mine and nobody will push you around while you’re holding the sauce on the hamburger…at the drive-up window.

The advertisement says: “have it your way.” It doesn’t say “the way you think you might possibly want it.”

And by the way, I wouldn’t tarry at the pick-up window. Don’t be checking your order for accuracy because I’ll break your other bumper in the street in front of you.

An Insidious Practice Alert (ipAlert) from Dane Zeller

Taxpayer Asks: What’s The Rush?

It’s too late for my insidious practice alert (ipAlert). Your CPA, protective of his time, scheduled your meeting on February 1st. You went. You’re done. No fuss, no worry, no tension caused by an impending tax filing deadline.

Forget this insidious practice of early tax filing.

My Annual Friends

The problems with early filing:
1. You give up the thrill of the risk of being in violation of federal law.
2. You give up the camaraderie of last minute filers who show up at the post office in the waning minutes before midnight.
3. You wouldn’t get to meet Pyrus McVee, a professional gambler, on break from the poker table.
4. You’ll lose the excitement of showing up ten minutes before midnight with your wild guesses and your rubber checks.

You can live your life in boring peace, a world populated by dreary well-prepared people, nodding off to Steven Colbert when you could be constantly checking your watch and your speedometer and your GPS locked into the main post office. You will never meet Sally Bare, taking off a few minutes of her job at Mickey’s Legs and Grill.

It’s too late now for 2015, but you can start postponing 2016 immediately.

You can do it!

#ipAlert taxdeadline

Poet Laureate Apologizes to His Fans

You may have misunderstood me. The truth of the matter is that I’m retiring from my job as Poet Laureate of Olathe, Kansas. I will still be making my living writing other forms of literature, like short stories, epic novels, and recipes for chocolate fudge.

The Road Less Traveled

I’ve decided that the rules and mandates of poetry are too many and too restrictive. Also, I am distracted by my fans at my readings. I’ve identified at least four ways people nod and hum in appreciation of what they think is a great line in my poem. But they all are performed with a glaze over their eyes. The last seven people I’ve met after a reading have all said, “love your poetry.” All of them. Those exact same words.

Also, Jenny Steitliner, you are the one who finds the deepest levels of my poetry. Jenny, there are no deep levels. I studied under the great Bob Dylan and Peter Paul and Mary.”Puff the Magic Dragon” is about a magic dragon.

There is no reason to buy my books, nor attend my readings. You are living a lie. Do you remember my last reading? Your eyes were locked on me, but your neighbors were discretely typing critical comments in text to their boyfriends who made it a point to be busy the day of my reading. No male loves, or even has sympathy for, my poetry.

I recently submitted the following poem to the International Poetry Awards committee in London:

Bill Puckett
A poem about a young man who could not easily
express his love for his family because his actions were most always unclear

There was a young man from Nantucket,
Whose toilet he could not flush it.
The content of the Kohler one-holer,
would always flow the bowl over.
So he gave it to his mother-in-law in Pawtucket.

I won first place.

I quit.


College Professor Destroys New Year’s Resolutions

In a study submitted to “The Journal of the Psychology of Economics”, Professor Dane Zeller has shown the deleterious effects of the making of New Year’s resolutions.

Only eleven more days until Stephen Foster Memorial Day

“Centering a resolution on January 1st of the new year has the effect of postponing good habits until the end of the year. No one uses August 1st to make their resolutions,” Zeller concludes.

Furthermore, this annual habit has immense cost to the economy when the resolutions are broken days after they are made on January 1st. Zeller states that the widespread practice of lowering our efforts, economic and otherwise, until the 1st of January, causes a 6.4% reduction in our GDP. That is after factoring out the increase to the economy of the purchase of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes, and the chasing of designing women.

The forward-thinking college educator suggests having multiple resolution days such as Columbus Day, Labor Day, and Halloween.

“With several resolution days, we will make and break many more resolutions, allowing us to reach many more of our goals, and causing our GDP to soar,” argued Professor Zeller.

The editor of “The Journal of the Psychology of Economics” will not comment on Zeller’s submission, citing his New Year’s resolution not to publicly criticize “oddball, without merit, phony studies made by scholars of questionable credentials.”

The Lord Giveth; Let Him Take it Away

Another insidious practice alert by Dane Zeller: shoveling snow.

There, a few more things out of my garage and I’ll be able to park my car inside this winter. You may think I’ve been hasty in my decision to throw away my snow shovel. Not so. God drops snow on all of my neighborhood. He covers my lawn, the branches of my trees, the leaves I didn’t rake this Fall and the driveway leading to my garage.

Cleaning Out the Garage of Unnecessary Tools

Rest assured, what god provides, he removes…with sunlight. I need no shovel to assist in this natural process. Any snow removal that I perform will be by driving my SUV over it in my driveway and mashing it to a manageable thickness. It requires no dangerous winter exercise to do this; it’s just a byproduct of the comings and goings of our family.

Those of you who need wide swaths of snow removed from their driveway can simply drive up and down the pavement several times at different angles. Job done.

By the way, the neighbors will no longer complain about the leaves I left on the lawn this Fall. Such is the joy of a blanket of snow.

Local Author Fails at Writing

Words Typed So Far

NaNoWriMo (National Write a Novel in a Month) is a writing project that is sweeping the nation. This is the fourth day of the month, and if you divide the number of days (30) into the number of words (50,000), your daily quota is 1,666 words. Your counters should stand at near 4000 right now. Of course, if you are shy of 4000, you can compensate in the days ahead.

My counter stands now at…let’s see…add the subtrahend…multiply by the divisor…square the root…yeah, I’m at zero, right now.

Not to worry. There was this little thing with daylight savings time that threw my clocks off. The world series intruded into my writing time, and my wife wanted me to change the oil in her car, and dust off the dash a little.

Things are different now, in the fourth day. I do have to get my exercise in, but I plan to write 4,000 words this afternoon, if my depression lets up.

No problem, I’ve experienced this before, and shit, I’m a writer for god’s sakes! I ought to be able to write a lousy 4000 words, especially when quality is not required!! Geez, this is it! If I can’t write 4000 words, I should become a greeter at Walmart. Damn. And my coffee…why isn’t it warm? And, what did my wife mean by “love you”. Was she mocking me? And what’s with my dog peeing on my shoe?

This is not good…


ipALERT !!! Your Dog Doesn’t Want to Wear a Costume on Halloween: An Insidious Practice Alert !

You might think your dog looks cute with a Donald Trump wig on at Halloween, but “cute” is not a dog concept. If King is wagging his tail and smiling when you photograph him in his Aardvark, or Mongoose, costume, do not misunderstand his behavior. He is planning to visit dog karma on you, not soon, but maybe closer to Easter.

One day, after having a few beers more than usual with your work buddies, you will come home to a redecorated house. This is a proven fact. The couch pillow you got from your girlfriend will be in shreds. The reclining lever of the chair you got from your dad, will look like a bad totem pole carving. Your 150.00 pair of tennis shoes will need more than shoelaces to affix them to your feet. King will be standing next to the shoes, smiling and wagging his tail.  If he could talk, he would ask, “do you think I’m cute now?” But he can’t. That’s why he chewed up the Donald Trump wig, too.

Don’t put a costume on your dog. You will regret it.

Insidious Practice Alert !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Someone soon will ask if you want to be a participant in NaNoWriMo. Refuse! Otherwise, you will have to write a whole novel in November. (National Novel Writing Month.)

During those thirty days, you will not be:

  1. Watching college basketball.
  2. Sleeping in your recliner.
  3. Relaxed.

Your Target For NaNoWriMo Words for Today

You will be:

  1. Regretting how far behind you are.
  2. Punishing yourself for not being on a writing schedule.
  3. A failed writer.

Think about it! Start your preparation for November by #1 taking up the hobby of… oh, say… cooking? Politics? Drawing by number?

Is it me or the world? Lulu talks at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Hello ladies and germs,

Lulu Rose

Thursday, October 1, 2015, Lulu will be talking to us on KKFI 90.1, on the program, “Shots in the Night”. The show will begin at 7:30 pm, with several stories.

You can listen live at KKFI,  Streaming audio.

For those of you who missed Bob’s confession on September 3rd, click here at ShotsInTheNight.

Also, Bill answers, without a pause, the question, “Do You Love Me, Bill?” It’s at the 18 minute mark of the same ShotsInTheNight recording. Warning: if you don’t like the sound of sweat, don’t listen to this one.

It’s called “radio”.

Appealing to just one of the senses, I remain,


Employment Advice From The JobBuster: Beeeeep!!

Dear Mr. Monk,

I own an auto parts business in Tupelo. I have seven employees who get along real well. I usually hire someone by word of mouth. So, they’re likely friends of friends, or relatives of friends.

JobBuster's Typewriter

Last week someone walked in with a resume. No one knew him, and I didn’t feel comfortable about offering him a job, even though I had one open. Also, I think a few of the guys would have trouble working with a black man. Do you think it’s good strategy to rely only on word of mouth to find prospective employees?

Ted in Tupelo

Dear Ted,

That strategy, Ted, is illegal. And, worse than that…it’s wrong.

There may be ways, with a good lawyer, to do an end run around our laws. Following laws, however, is not enough. Our laws represent our society’s need to identify right and wrong behavior. But human behavior is complicated, and can’t be completely prescribed by lawmakers.

I can make it easy for you. Right and wrong can be answered most always by asking yourself if you would like to be treated the same way. A concrete example: your business fails, and at age 59, you go looking for a job. Would you like to interview with a 30 year old who feels uncomfortable with old guys?

Your business fail? If the laws and ethics are too complicated for you, you might consider the effect of hiring friends of friends who guarantee little difference among your employees. That is a recipe for failure.

I suggest you hire the black guy, the woman, the senior, the guy in a wheel chair, because your team will be better. Your business will change not just because there is variety in your work force, but because you’ll have a variety of skills, attitudes, ideas, and influences.

In the Church of the Free Market parlance, variety is profitable.

Comfortable and legal are not enough.

Jobbuster Monk

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