American idiots - hangerAmerica is the greatest melting pot on earth, welcoming people of all backgrounds and beliefs. It does not matter if you’re black or white, Christian or Jew, tall or short, young or old, wealthy or poor. And all of these groups have something in common: None of them has any shortage of idiots.

Based on my extensive research on the explosive growth of knuckleheads in our country, I’ve concluded that our great nation leads the world in idiots per capita. If you don’t believe we live in a nation of nitwits, how else can you explain some of the warning labels our manufacturers feel compelled to put on their products?

For example, there is actually a warning label on an iPod shuffle that reads, and I quote: “Do not eat iPod Shuffle.” (Honest to God.)  I, for one, am so glad they added that warning because, I was just about to spread jam on mine and eat it with scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast.

In fairness, companies are only adding these product warning labels because they don’t want to get sued for millions in bogus liability lawsuits, as might happen if, say, a large gathering of people came together for an iPod Shuffle pot luck dinner party and failed to heed this important safety warning. God knows how many panicked trips to the emergency room this warning has helped to avoid over the last decade. I’m guessing zero (but I am just rounding).

The more research I’ve done on warning labels, the more I’ve become convinced that half the people in this country probably should not be allowed to use electrical appliances of any kind – or vote – or date my daughters. Here is a tiny sampling of actual warning labels for the American consumer (I swear I am not making any of this up):

On an iron: Caution: Do not iron while wearing article of clothing. I will remind my wife the next time she irons my dress shirt that she needs to do it in the nude – because I worry about her safety.  (Why is my wife doing my ironing?  That’s a blog for another day). (more…)

In Defense of Facebook – by Barney Likezitt

In Defense of Facebook – by Barney Likezitt

This week’s View From The Bleachers guest commentator is Barney Likezitt, from Dayton, Ohio. Barney loves America and he really loves Facebook – oh, and beer!

This week’s View From The Bleachers guest commentator is Barney Likezitt, from Dayton, Ohio. Barney loves America and he really loves Facebook – oh, and beer!

[Note from the Staff of VFTB: Tim Jones is on vacation this week, so in his place, we invite you to enjoy this guest commentary by Barney Likezitt, an ardent Facebook advocate who would like to defend this social media site against its detractors. The views expressed by Mr. Likezitt do not necessarily reflect the views of Tim Jones or the staff of VFTB or any of its readers.]

Sometimes, I wonder how I survived life prior to 2004 – the year that the modern world’s greatest invention was created. No, not the beer helmet. I’m talking about Facebook. It’s hard for me to recall how I spent those nine hours a day before Facebook entered my life. Oh, now I remember. I was raising a family.

Since its inception, the number of Facebook users has grown to 2.4 billion. That means on any given day, roughly one out of every three people on the planet is updating their Facebook status while pretending to work. Some Negative Nellies consider Facebook a waste of time. But if you ask me, showering, shaving and putting on pants are much bigger time wasters. Watching hilarious videos of people falling into wedding cakes makes me laugh. And we all know laughter is the best medicine. Besides, Facebook’s also a great way to keep tabs on my kids’ activities. Why should I put myself through the annoyance of interacting with my brooding, self-absorbed 15-year-old daughter Megan when I can covertly scroll down her Facebook timeline?

More importantly – oh wait…. Someone just uploaded the funniest GIF where Hilary’s face was CGI’d onto a donkey. LOL. I have to share that one….

Anyhoo, where was I? Oh, right, Facebook is a great way to reconnect with people. Talk about blasts from the past! This very morning, I received a friend invitation from Ned Lumpkin, who I vaguely recall might have been in my ninth grade algebra class. Or perhaps it was a bot (I am so hip with the FB lingo). So, naturally, I accepted his / its friend invitation. I also reconnected with a former college flame named Brenda. She has definitely NOT aged well. I have no idea how Brenda is doing these days, but her Schnauzer Butch posts the most hilarious cat videos.

Don’t try to argue that Facebook isn’t educational. That’s fake news. Why, in the last hour, I learned that most alien abductions occur in Bluff, Alaska, climate change is a hoax, Brexit is going to save Great Britain, Brexit is going to ruin Great Britain, and I can buy a cool new litter box that will solve all my pet’s excretory issues for only three easy payments of $19.95.

Sometimes I wonder: What if the Founding Fathers had had access to Facebook? They could have saved so much time – and parchment – if they’d merely shared the Declaration of Independence on Facebook.

And when it came to voting on the various Articles of the Constitution, each delegate to the Constitutional Convention could have simply indicated either  or . Admittedly, there would probably have been a few snarky comments from defenders of King George, but Madison, Jefferson and their cronies could have unfriended them. Easier and more targeted than a musket shot.

I’m very politically active on Facebook because I love my country. I will thoughtfully react with a  to all Fox News articles. And I have signed every petition to deport anyone with black hair (which covers most questionable minorities). Now you might say, “Hey, Barney, if you’re so concerned about our nation’s future, how about doing some fundraising calls to stop gun violence, or knocking on doors for signatures on a petition to end inequality in the workforce?” And of course I would, but It takes forever just to type “Send her back” in response to the latest insightful MAGA rant. I can’t do everything, ya’ know!

Unlike TV, where the commercials are constantly in your face, Facebook allows me to choose which intriguing teaser ads I want to look at, like “Famous Musicians who are Serving Time in Prison” and “5 Foods to Burn Away that Belly Fat” and ”Whatever Happened to Calista Flockhart?” and “Poll: What Would You Sell Your Soul to the Devil For?” There are life lessons to be learned here.

Some detractors express concern that Facebook is collecting tons of data about every user without their permission. Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg’s company makes billions by sharing this info with marketers, Russian hackers, and “attractive single women” in Turkmenistan who are looking to meet me. What’s wrong with that? Besides, did I mention I’m single?

Why all the fuss? If you ask me, sharing my most personal data about my political leanings, how I looked in 4th grade, and my online purchase history for the past six years (I can explain the inflatable doll if you’d give me a chance) is a small price to pay to find out the latest news in the celebrity feud between Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. Personally, I’m on Miley’s side. Taylor can be such a prima donna.

Thomas Jefferson’s latest Facebook status update: “Congrats to Luis and Clark on their awesome Exploration” – HA! Jefferson misspelled “Lewis.” LOL.

Thomas Jefferson’s latest Facebook status update: “Congrats to Luis and Clark on their awesome Exploration” – HA! Jefferson misspelled “Lewis.” LOL.

I know what you’re thinking. But I’m not addicted to Facebook. It’s not like I sit around all day compulsively checking my  feed. Sometimes I do it lying down. And I take plenty of walks – to the bathroom, the fridge (to get another beer) and back to the couch. So don’t tell me I’m missing out on life.

For you arrogant neo-luddites who self-righteously point out that you’ve never been on Facebook, you can wipe that smug, superior expression off your faces. Go walk in the park with your family or read that riveting new novel by J.K. Rowling, or…or… climb Mount Everest. Meanwhile, I’ll be checking out what my very dear old friend Ned Lumpkin is up to. Unlike me, you would have missed the video he shared of a golfer who drove his cart into a lake. LOL.

Well, I have to go. A moment ago, I noticed an important FB post: “Proof that Princess Meghan Markle isn’t a very nice person.” I always suspected…. – By Barney Likezitt*

[* VFTB Staff Note: You may be asking yourself, ‘Where did you guys find this Barney Likezitt fellow?’ Um, the photo above of Barney is a random stock photo. Barney is not a real person.]

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time 

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2019

If I Ruled the World

If I Ruled the World

If I ruled the world - misspelled namesThe world is falling apart. People are oblivious to the needs of others. It seems nobody ever holds the door open for the next person anymore. We’re all in a rush. We blame others for our problems. Politicians talk about building 50-foot walls to keep out Mexicans. North Korea is launching missiles at South Korea. And my Mariners are on another five-game losing streak. What has this world come to?

If I’m ever given the chance to rule the world, things will be different. Way different. I’d implement long-overdue legislation that will make life way better for everyone (well, at least the people I like). When I rule the world…

  • I’ll declare Cookie Dough ice cream the official junk food of the United States – and I will use my presidential authority to veto any attempt by Congress to pass a Constitutional Amendment changing it to Pistachio.
  • People will get ticketed for being obnoxiously rude. Failure to hold the door open for the person behind you will be subject to a $25 fine. Talk on your cell phone in a movie theater? That’ll be a mandatory 10-day jail sentence – with no cell phone privileges.
  • People who nab my parking space, even though they could clearly see I was there first, waiting for the other car to leave, will lose all driving privileges for a year. Enjoy taking the bus, dude.
  • I will ban Twitter. It’s been ten years now, and I still don’t get the appeal. #banTwitter.
  • If my computer becomes infected with malware simply because I clicked on a Facebook link that reads “25 celebrities who have aged badly”, the perpetrator of that malware will be sentenced to six months in jail – and their job 16 hours a day will be to remove malware and viruses on laptops worldwide.


Please Accept My Heartfelt Apology If I’ve Offended You

Please Accept My Heartfelt Apology If I’ve Offended You

I apologize - Tim and PopeI want to apologize. Recently I’ve learned that remarks I’ve made in previous humor articles have offended some readers. To Mr. Arnold Halasz of Budapest, Hungary, whom I appear to have sent completely over the edge, I apologize for my snarky comment that in Hungary, the only three foods you’ll find are pickles, cabbage, and pickled cabbage. I completely failed to mention cauliflower, and that one is totally on me. Thank you, Mr. H., for all your letters. I should mention, however, that your most recent death threat came postage due. Don’t forget to use two 1st class stamps next time.

So if I have offended any of you the way I appear to have done to the entire nation of Hungary, let me extend an olive branch by way of apology in the hopes that someday you might find it in your heart to forgive me.

To Edna Weppler of Racine, WI, who was offended by my post A side by side comparison of our Savior vs. the Apple iPad, I apologize. I absolutely respect your deeply held religious convictions. I was not trying to imply the iPad is better than your Lord and Savior. I was simply trying to point out that it has a much faster operating system than Jesus, with more advanced graphics, comes with way more free apps, and has a more forgiving interface. 

To Maria Solbein of Hornbeck, LA, who was offended by my post Women, help end discrimination against men. Get struck by lightning, I apologize. I appreciate that from your perspective it seemed I was arguing that men face more discrimination than women in our society. Your exhaustive list of 342 studies documenting longstanding patterns of discrimination against women in the workforce, politics, and society was, I must say impressive – not to mention exhausting. But I stand by my claim that far more men than women suffer from male pattern baldness. So let’s just agree to call it a tie, okay? 

To Angus O’Shaughnessy of Halifax, Nova Scotia, who was offended by my post Seven myths about our neighbors to the north, I apologize for my insensitivity to your great nation and for my callous stereotypes about your country being totally ice-covered for 10 months of the year, along with my egregiously flippant comment that most Canadians live in igloos and leave their elderly to die alone on ice floes. In doing some additional research, I realize now I meant to say Norway, not Canada. I promise to print a correction in the next issue. (more…)

It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better) – Part 2 of 2

It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better) – Part 2 of 2

Its a wonderful life - Happy family[From Part 1: I had the weirdest dream recently. A lot like the Jimmy Stewart classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. In the film, Stewart’s character, George Bailey, questions whether the people in his life would have been better off had he never been born. Then a guardian angel named Clarence shows him how their lives would have turned out much worse had George never existed. Well, my dream was a bit like that.  A bit…. 

To read Part 1 of this 2-part series, click here. We pick up with my guardian angel named Tyrone continuing to show me what life would have been like for others if I had never been born.]

Me: So where are you taking me to now, Tyrone?

Tyrone: To see someone who was your best friend as a young child.

Me: My childhood playmate Danny Scott?

Tyrone: That’s right. Look out there. What do you see?

Me: A baseball field – with a bunch of kids playing.

Tyrone: And notice who’s playing short stop?

Me: Is that Danny? It can’t be. He could barely walk for most of his childhood on account of a bad fall off a swing set.

Tyrone: No, he didn’t have a bad fall.

Me: Are we going to start this again, Tyrone? Yes, he did. I know. Because I was the kid who pushed him too hard from behind, and he flew 12 feet into the air before landing hard, breaking his leg. He never walked the same after that.

Tyrone: You didn’t push Danny off the swing. Because you were never born, remember?

Me: Oh right. That It’s a Wonderful Life thing. I almost forgot. So what happened to him?

Tyrone: Well, because Danny never had that terrible fall, he never injured his leg. He played little league and went on to play high school ball, then college ball. He got so good the Chicago Cubs recruited him as a pitcher in 1977. He became a Major League all-star. He went on to earn millions. Technically, hundreds of millions. All those Nike endorsement deals added up. (more…)

It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better) – Part 2 of 2

It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better) – Part 1 of 2

Its a wonderful life - Happy familyI had the weirdest dream the other night. Remember the Jimmy Stewart classic, It’s a Wonderful Life? In the film, Stewart’s character, George Bailey, questions whether the people in his life would have been better off had he never been born. Then a guardian angel named Clarence shows him how their lives would have turned out if he had never existed. Well, my dream was a bit like that. A bit….

Me (in my dream, thinking to myself): Today was a crappy day. Nothing went right. My boss chewed me out for botching an important deal. My wife is upset with me too, for – um, to be honest, I have no idea why. Something about my buying a pet yak without consulting her. Who knows? Even my kids were pissed at me again – although in fairness, that’s been their normal feeling about me since puberty. Gosh, I’m depressed. Sometimes I wonder if everybody in my life would have been better off if I’d never been born.

Angel Tyrone: Why do you say that, Tim?


Tyrone: Nice to meet you, Tim. I’m your guardian angel – Tyrone.

Me: The Hell you are. Who ARE you and how did you get in here!!?? I have a pistol under my pillow, and I’m not afraid to use it.

Tyrone: No, you don’t.

Me: Oh, yeah? Just try me. And how would you know anyway, TY-RELL, if that’s even your real name?

Tyrone: It’s Tyrone. As I said, I’m your guardian angel. So I know you don’t have a gun under there. I’ve known you your entire life, Tim. For example, I know where you stashed the Playboy magazines you stole from your brother when you were 11.

Me: Oh, you do, eh? Well, why don’t you just tell me, Tyson? (more…)