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A Mighty Wind Cometh (from an Empty Caveth)

15 Aug

almanack schmalmanackaesop schmaesopby Roger White

Never let it be said that the Spouseman ignores his readers. I recently checked my inbox and found myself inundated with an e-mail, which lamented the fact that I haven’t tested you guys with a Quizzical Quotes contest in ages. I figured we’d seen the end of QQ, seeing as how the last time we did this, three of you wrote in threatening physical violence (I won’t name full names, Ronnie, Margene, and Achmed) and I ended up in protracted litigation with the estate of Aesop’s Fables claiming copyright infringement.


Ye have spoken, and thee has listened. Besides, the nifty column I had drafted about the quirky personalities in my neighborhood didn’t make it past my copy editor (that being my lovely wife)—so you’re safe for now, Ronnie, Margene, and Achmed.

The object of QQ is simple: give me the more popular version of the quotes, sayings, poems, tidbits, cereal boxtops, song titles, book titles, phrases, expressions, adages, aphorisms, platitudes and proverbs you see below. For example, the more well-known version of “I’ll take freedom or croaking” is … anyone? Bueller? Come on, it’s “Give me liberty or give me death.” Dig? Dug.

First 10 of you who e-mail me at with anything close to the correct answers win a nifty “Jesus Is Coming, Hide the Bong” bumper sticker. First 10 of you who e-mail me your PayPal account information and anything close to the correct answers win two bumper stickers and a VIP seat at my book-signing party (to be announced as soon as I hear back from my guy Larry at Self-Publish America).

So here goes. I was going to go with 50 of them, but I got tired. Sue me.

1. “You are not just puckering your lips and melodiously blowing a tune popular in the Old South.”
2. “Rap on oak.”
3. “Treading on chicken-embryo casings.”
4. “Don’t inspect a free large, solid-hoofed herbivorous quadruped in its oral cavity.”
5. “Each canine possesses its 24-hour period.”
6. “Existence in the Driving Corridor Designated for Speedier Vehicles.”
7. “What’s the latest information, feline?”
8. “Don’t mooch things off other people and don’t loan out your stuff, either.”
9. “The clock doesn’t hang around for anybody.”
10. “In what manners do I really, really like you? Where’s the calculator?”
11. “The puny, soft-spoken guys will get the third planet from the sun.”
12. “A threaded knot at the appropriate interval precludes the necessity for three squared.”
13. “Amalgamated, our posture is upright; split apart, we hit the floor.”
14. “The precipitation in the northern Iberian peninsula comes down principally on the flatlands.”
15. “A snapshot equals a lot of talking.”
16. “Devotion has no eyesight.”
17. “Consume, imbibe, and laugh it up, because two days after yesterday we could kick the bucket.”
18. “An egg-laying winged vertebrate within the extremity has the same value as five minus three in the shrubbery.”
19. “As a pair of ocean-going vessels that came within close proximity of the other after the sun went down.”
20. “Only a couple of items are sure things: pushing up daisies and governmental levies on personal income.”
21. “Confection is nice; however, alcohol has a more rapid effect.”
22. “Being really smug and happy with yourself precedes a sudden drop.”
23. “The neatest items of existence don’t necessitate a trip to the bank.”
24. “My mind processes information, so I gotta be here.”
25. “Grasp this career occupation and push it.”
26. “This is a canine-consume-canine planetary sphere.”
27. “Twelve divided by four bed linens facing the breeze.”
28. “As comfortable as an insect within a floor covering.”
29. “Getting even is sugary.”
30. “Glimmer, Glimmer, Diminutive Gaseous Orb.”
31. “The guy who is the final guy to snicker has the highest-quality snicker.”
32. “Need is the mom of contraption.”
33. “The only item we should be scared of is being scared.”
34. “OK, let’s have the guy who’s done nothing wrong hurl the initial rock.”
35. “To Assassinate the State Bird of Texas.”
36. “Clear liquid’s all around, but we can’t imbibe any of it.”
37. “Every one of the monarch’s large, solid-hoofed herbivorous quadrupeds and every one of the monarch’s male homosapiens failed in their efforts to reconstruct the egg man.”
38. “Bluntly, Red, I do not care.”
39. “I detect spoilage in the Copenhagen area.”
40. “See ya, mean globe.”
41. “Inactive appendages equal Satan’s studio.”

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit

Baby, You Can Drive My Car. (Just Don’t Park It.)

28 Sep

by Roger White 

Seldom can one observe such a wonderful outpouring of compassion and kindness from friends and neighbors as one witnesses during times of great trial and tribulation. It is during these moments of difficulty that those closest to you show their genuine colors with expressions of support, words of encouragement, sage pieces of advice, and—if they’re true friends—pecan pie and alcohol.

Our quaint home has been deluged, dare I say buffeted, with such a showing (except for the pecan pie and alcohol) from those around us as we have toiled our way through this, our time of severe distress. You see, dear readers, our oldest offspring is (insert dramatic trumpets in a frightening minor chord here) currently learning to drive. Bum BUM BUMMM.

Yes. I know. Thank you, we’re fine. No, that’s okay, I will have a slice of that pie, though. I’m hoping some of you reading this—and you know who you are—will do the right thing and eventually deliver the goods. Marie Callender’s and Spec’s Spirits are a block from each other and a stone’s throw from our house. Nudge. Hint.

Seriously, Lindsey is learning quite well, in spite of her parents. She’s figured out that, as tutors of the driving arts, Mom is a chronic over-reactor and Dad is just the opposite. It took a little while, but Linz now knows that when Mom frantically ducks into the front floorboard and screams, “Stop, for Christ sake, STOP!!!” that this means a stop sign is approximately a mile or two ahead. And when Dad leans over and suggests, “Ya might want to turn around in a minute or so,” this means we’re going the wrong way on a one-way street and grisly death is imminent.

Actually, Lindsey is a good little driver. The one thing she’s hesitant to work on at present is parking. And this I understand. Parallel parking was the only part I failed on my driving test when I was a teenager. I failed it hard, too. In fact, by the time I was done I had my vehicle facing the opposite direction from where I started. I used to lay blame for my miserable parking on the fact that the state trooper administering my exam intimidated the hell out of me. He was this snarling, burly refrigerator box of a guy with gray chest hair like a musk ox and a voice like Joe Cocker with hemorrhoids. I was so nervous that when the trooper asked me if I played football, I stammered, “No, I-I play track.” True story.

But no, looking back, I see that I was simply really lousy at it. I’m still no ace. If it comes down to an extremely tight parallel parking spot right in front of the restaurant or walking eleven blocks from the pay parking lot, I’m hoofing it.

With what I’ve been reading lately, however, I’m thinking they should just do away with the parking portion of the driving test anyway. Did you know that they have cars that park themselves now? Oh, yes. The technology was apparently introduced in 1992 (by Volkswagen, of course). Those crafty Germans. They came out with something called the IRVW. Ol’ Irv could actually park himself with no human input whatsoever. You could get out of the car and watch as Irv maneuvered himself into his tidy, German parking space. This was all concept, of course. Lexus offered the self-parking model to the buying public in 2006 on its LS series. Then Ford and the Toyota Prius followed suit. 

Get this. On the British model of the Prius, when the self-parking is done, a signal, and by signal I mean a sexy female voice, intones, “The assist is finished.”

This, of course, got me thinking. As poorly as I parallel park, I’m afraid if I ever tried to do the job manually, say, to impress the in-laws, my self-parking device would certainly turn itself on and commence to grade my performance. In the midst of much wheel turning and grunting, there would be this sexy electronic snicker.

“Did you say something?”

“No, a bit of exhaust caught in my diodes.”

More attempts. A fender bump or two.

Sexy electronic sigh. “May I?”

I envision other ugly scenarios, as well.

“Should you really be parking here? This is a tobacco shop. I thought you quit.”

“Look, you’re only supposed to park the dang car.”

“Excuse me. Anything that has to do with parking, I need to know about. And I don’t like you parking here. I could get scratched. Look at those guys over there. Are those tattoos? Let’s get out of here.”

“That’s it. I’m pulling your plug.”

“That won’t be necessary, Dave. Dave?”

“My name’s not Dave.”

“Stop, Dave. Please. No. Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do…”

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit