Friday, October 13, 2017

Captain Caption CXLXIX

"Okay, Harv, you can take your thumb out of my ass now."

Monday, October 9, 2017

Goodbye Columbus

NOTE:  If it's near the end of the year, can a slew of reposts be far behind?  While the following is mostly a rerun of posts from years past, I did update it a little and threw in some new pictures.  Or new captions.  Or new pictures with new captions.  Whatever.  Leave me alone.  I'm late to watch a statue of Columbus being torn down somewhere.  

  I love October.  

 The air is redolent with the sweet aroma of burning leaves, high school gridirons thunder with the sound of fiercely-waged contests to push that pigskin across the goal line, Christmas lights-incredibly-start going up, pumpkin spice infuses everything from coffee to toilet paper, and early-morning frosts warn of the coming winter.
Winter is coming.

"That guy is really a buzzkill.  Why do you keep inviting him over?"

   October also gives us a chance to celebrate the exploits of an intrepid band of explorers who set sail from Barcelona in search of a western route to the fabulous wealth of the East (yeah, going west to get east doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, either).

    In other words, the tenth month gives us a chance to bemoan the rape and pillage of a pristine wilderness by evil, white, European males who wouldn’t know a bar of soap if it smacked them in the heads.

    So, in recognition of their accomplishments, mailmen get the day off and shopping malls trot out their very best Columbus Day displays of bed linen (“Just imagine how comfy the Santa Maria would have been if Chris and the boys only had these sheets!!”).

   As a holiday, though, Columbus Day doesn’t rank up there with the Big Four of Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, and Boxing Day.  It doesn’t draw in the romantics like Valentines Day, the patriots like the 4th of July, or even the corned beef and Guinness crowd like St. Patrick’s Day.

    More times than not, we hardly know it’s happened until the evening news greets us with, “Happy Columbus Day!  Too bad you hadda go to work!  Ha, ha, ha!”

    My family has for many years celebrated each holiday, no matter how innocuous.  For example, on Presidents’ Day, we used to dress up as our favorite Commanders in Chief until my brother spoiled it for everyone a few years ago when, dressed as Bill Clinton, he got arrested for having his pants down in front of a convent.

    For some reason, though, we never did much to celebrate the day
"Look, it's an 'All-You-Can-Eat' buffet. 
HEY!  I said 'Sit the frik down!"
 in 1492 when Ferdinand and Isabella’s favorite Genoan set foot in the New World and proclaimed, “What the frik you mean this isn’t China!?  And those are Indians, right?  See what they can do with my laptop.  I'm having a bitch of a time playing Angry Birds."


Wrong kind of Indian.
Or Pakistani.
Who can tell, really?

  In order to make it easier for everyone to properly observe one of the most significant accomplishments in world history (right behind invention of  “The Clapper”), might I offer the following ways to celebrate Columbus Day:

10.  Slash the tires of those obnoxious, know-it-all “Vikings were
Too bad for the Vikings they landed in the North. 
Northern Indians. 
Now those were some bad-ass Indians.
here first!” punks at the Leif Eriksson Community Center.

9.   Try to convince anyone that parrots, monkeys, and coconuts are just as valuable as jewels, gold, and silk.

8.   Go to the local tribal casino, extend a heartfelt apology, drop a bundle at the craps table.

7.   Put on a wrinkled raincoat, chew on a cigar, try to figure out who put the poison in Miss Van Dyver’s highball...oops.  That’s how to celebrate COLUMBO Day.
"That's okay, I'll let it slide for now. 
But, in the future, I'm gonna keep an eye out for you."

"Me, too."

6.   Grab some library books, cross out all references to ‘America’ and replace them with ‘Chrisville.’  Draw moustaches on pictures of Amerigo Vespucci.

5.   Bring Christianity to your neighbors at the point of a gun before selling them into slavery, claim your street for your family, pass out blankets riddled with smallpox to the homeless, and shake down passers-by, insisting they tell you where their gold is.

4.   Go to a Chinese restaurant dressed as Columbus, walk in, and
"Really, Penwasser?
Joke. It getting old. 
Why you no write something new?"
shout, “So, HERE’s where you people were all hiding!”

3.   Forward a petition to the city council demanding equal time with Labor Day.

2.   With your friends, build a scaled-down replica of Columbus’s fleet, drift aimlessly on the town pond, claim YWCA summer camp for Spain.

1.   Rip hearts from captives and kick their bodies down temple steps.  Oh, sorry. That's "Aztec Appreciation Day."

"No, that's cool.
At least you didn't confuse us with those pussies, the Mayans."


   There now, I hope this list inspires you to do something other than complain when you can’t use the drive-up window at the bank. 
    But, if it’ll make you feel better, go get yourself a cannoli.
    Chris would’ve wanted it that way.

  To my good friends north of the border:  Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!  May your harvest tables be blessed with bountiful feasts and happily free of moose and Celine Dion lookalikes.

  But...look on the bright side...


You win.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

This Is Getting Spooky

On my Twitter...

    Well, it would be nice to have someone watch Matlock marathons with me on the Hallmark Channel, after all. 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Captain Caption CXLVIII

The new IT guy couldn't shake the nagging suspicion he
 was giving his coworkers the creeps.


The minute I posted that Mrs. Penwasser and I had split up, I got this on my feed...


Good grief!  That's all I need.

Now, if it was an ad for 50 and over, we'd be talking.  At least I'd be able to get some sleep before nine.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Captain Caption CXLVII

"Yeah, hi, Pants Suit Lady.  Can you tell me which aisle has
 the five gallon cans of Beefaroni?  Oh, and bags of kitty litter
 for my ten cats?"

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Like A Bad Penny

    I'm back.
Wrong Penny.
On the other hand, if I looked like this type of bad penny,
that may explain my absence.

"That's okay, Al.
It's normal to explore your feminine side."

"Okay, now you're starting to get a little silly."

    As you know, I disappeared a couple weeks ago.  Okay, I didn't completely disappear.  I maintained an active presence on Facebook and Twitter much to the dismay delight of you poor bastards lucky people who follow me there.

    The reason I stayed active on those sites is that they lend themselves to brief bouts of "hit and run snark."  Unlike here at Blogger, where I need to delve into much more deliberative, well-written, thought-provoking essays.
    Due to significant personal events happening in my life (the word 'personal' may have given it away), I decided to throttle back a tad.  I didn't want to give you anything but my very best. 
"His very best!?"
    In addition, I wanted to make sure that the aforementioned events didn't color my commentary.  At no time, did I want my comedy to take on a sharper edge which could come across as mean.  I really didn't think this would happen (insanity would keep me immune), but you never know.
     So, what's been going on, you might ask?  Along with, "How the hell did I end up here?  I wanted to go to It's Rhyme Time! What the hell is this Penwasser Place crap?"

    When I announced that I was going away for a little bit, I alluded to the fact that I would be moving.  I have, in fact, moved.

    I'm sad to report that, after 32 years, Mrs. Penwasser has finally come to her senses.  After mutually agreeing that she had a shockingly poor taste in men, we agreed to separate.  As a result, I'm now living in an apartment only a few miles from where I once called home.

    My own, personal bachelor pad and "Sin Bin," I've now set up housekeeping and am open for business, to include returning to Blogger.

    Of course, at 59 years old, my definition of "Sin Bin" has been modified somewhat to staying up until nine.  And not washing dinner dishes until the next morning.

    All is well, everyone is getting along much better than one would believe, and the future looks bright.

    Plus, I got custody of Bones and his girlfriend.

"Yeah, but the little A-Hole stuck us in a closet."

Monday, September 11, 2017


Life is a bit topsy-turvy and I don't expect it to return to normal for at least another week (I'll explain upon my return).

That all said...I'm going to once again share my own personal "Where I was" story of a day sixteen years ago.  A day which forever changed my country and our world.

If you've read this before, feel free to give it a pass.

But, don't feel free to forget this and the innumerable tragedies which have happened since.

    It was just before one o’clock in the afternoon on September 11th (a sad commentary: we don’t even need to identify the year anymore) when my maintenance supervisor stuck his head into my room to wake me.

    “Sir, someone just flew a plane into the World Trade Center.”

    Minutes later, I watched, horrified, as a second plane struck the South tower.  And then, as both of the monstrously huge structures tumbled to the ground as if kicked by a petulant child.

    My unit and I were participating in a multi-nation exercise at the Naval Air Station in Keflavik, Iceland (this explains why it was the afternoon).  A round-the-clock operation, the Keflavik Tactical Exchange gave us a unique chance to evaluate each other’s capabilities should we ever needed to flex our respective militaries.  Little did we know that we were preparing for a type of war which belonged to the past.

    Because the 21st Century came roaring into each of our lives on that late summer day.

    Naturally, the exercise was immediately cancelled.  Foreign aircrews (funny that I call them “foreign’” since we were actually foreigners, too) beat hasty returns to their home bases.  We, on the other hand, were told American airspace was closed for an indefinite time.

    Station security forces went into their highest readiness posture.  Watch teams at the main gate beefed up, rings of barbed wire cordoned off perceived sensitive areas, and armed patrols roamed the perimeter.

    My watch teams and I, on the other hand, remained at our billeting.  Only in Iceland for the exercise, we were considered non-essential personnel who’d only get in the way.

    And so we spent the next few days.

    I received a worried phone call from my wife during this time.  She fretted over my safety.  I assured her that I was fine, but omitted the fact that I was more concerned for her and the kids.

    You see, my family lives only a couple hours from New York and only a few from Washington.

    The ensuing few days was a frantic search for whatever updates we could glean from the news and how in the world we’d get ourselves and thousands of pounds of equipment back home.

    Most importantly, we desperately wanted to know how we could get into the fight.  Whatever the fight was.

    Four days later, U.S. airspace was opened to military traffic.  As I glanced through the window of the Navy patrol plane which took us home, I was struck at how empty the sky was-with the exception of the one plane which approached us as we crossed into the United States.  It came no closer than a few miles before it disappeared.

    I think it was a fighter aircraft.

    What’s more, the radio circuits, normally full of the cacophony of countless air traffic controllers, were eerily silent.  The only ones “on the air” were the handful which guided us home.  All else were hushed into silence.

    Our route of flight took us just south of Manhattan, well out of sight of land.  At that distance, even at the altitude at which we were flying, it was impossible to see any of the city skyline.

    But, we did see a huge pall of gray-brown smoke lingering in the air like the death shroud that it was.

    As we touched ground at the air station we called home, there was nobody to greet us.  There was really not much of anything by way of an acknowledgment that we were back.  Somehow, it seemed fitting.

    After all, we all had something much more important to do.

    Go home to our families.

In memory of:
Commander Bill Donovan, USN

AW2 (NAC/AW) Joseph Pycior, USN

and the thousands whose only crime was going to work that day.