Friday, September 21, 2012

Have Bacon Will Travel

The folks who brought you the Wiener Mobile have done travel one better…

Yes, I’m talking about the Bacon Trailer.

In one of the most creative promotions ever, Oscar Mayer has given comedian Josh Sankey 3000 pounds of bacon to haul from New York to Los Angeles. But here’s the catch – Josh must barter with his bacon the whole way. That’s right. No cash. No cards.

Just bacon.

And so far so good. Josh has been able to purchase all of his fuel, food, and lodging with the other white meat. I think he’s even sporting a new tattoo – yep, bacon bought.

Today he’ll roll into Salt Lake City. So if you’re in the area, hit him up for a BLT.

And now a word to his sponsor: Oscar Mayer, I know Armour totally out-schooled you in the 1970’s hot dog jingle department (Trust me, NO ONE wants to be an Oscar Mayer wiener. NO ONE.) – but this bacon barter thing… Armour bacon doesn’t stand a chance.

Well played, Oscar. Well played.


Bacon currency.

I don’t know about you, but I’m seeing piggy banks in a whole new light.

PROMPT: Do you have a terrific travel tale you’re eager to tell? Well, tell it! Who knows, one day it may help you bring home the bacon.
Meanwhile, get out there and do something creatively crazy this weekend. After all, if a person can travel the country using only bacon, your lifestyle options have just been busted wide open!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My PC Apology

Those of you who are younger than dirt may not remember the days before political correctness. Back then, hurt feelings were not given high priority. In fact, the “sticks and stones” rhyme was pretty much the American kid motto. And if we weren’t saying it to the neighborhood bully as we stuck out our tongues, well, our parents were preachin’ it like the Gospel.

Meanwhile, horrifyingly insensitive and incorrect jingles filled the airwaves. Like this fabulous favorite –
Hot dogs, Armour hot dogs
What kind of kids eat Armour Hot Dogs?
Fat kids, skinny kids, kids who climb on rocks
Tough kids, sissy kids, even kids with chicken pox
love hot dogs, Armour Hot Dogs
The dogs kids love to bite!

Okay, I’ll admit it – when I was seven years old, I thought that jingle ROCKED! I was a skinny sissy kid who climbed on rocks, after all.
But these days, I kinda, sorta, feel bad about it. I mean, I actually sang a song with the “F” word in it. NO! Not THAT “F” word! The other one, you know – F-A-T.

And now that I’m a writer, I feel obligated to make up for it. So, I thought I could tweak the lyrics a little as a way to make amends. Something, I don’t know, more fitting for the times we live in, I suppose.

Well, here goes –

Hot dogs, Armour hot dogs
What kind of kids eat Armour Hot Dogs?
Kids suffering from the ravages of childhood obesity,
kids suffering from the ravages of anorexia nervosa
(both needing our compassion and kind consideration),
kids who climb on rocks – carefully with parental supervision.
Kids with anger management issues,

kids with assertiveness issues,
even kids whose parents have opted out of the Varicella vaccine but love their children anyway…
love hot dogs, Armour Hot Dogs
The dogs kids love to bite – unless PETA is demonstrating nearby!

Disclaimer: The American Dietetic Association would like to inform you that a hot dog is 81% fat, and not a recommended part of a child’s daily caloric intake. Don’t even THINK about serving it with a Big Gulp.

Wow. I feel so much better now.

Don’t you?

Sure, it’s probably the worst writing I’ve ever done, and it’s tough to sing,

but hey –

I will sleep well tonight!

PROMPT: Take a walk on the PC side today, just for a bit of satirical fun.
Author James Finn Garner has made an entire career out of inclusive, respectful, and bias-free sensitivity with his Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, Once Upon a More Enlightened Time, Politically Correct Holiday Stories, and Legally Correct Fairy Tales.

I’m sure he sleeps like a baby.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ahoy, Me Hearties!

Aye, landlubbers in the Pacific Northwest are a wee bit addled. Methinks it might have something to do with scurvy… Or the fact that rain waterlogs rational parts of the brain for 6 months out of every year.

Anyway, it is no surprise to me that it was a couple of Northwest scallywags who had the fool idea that there should be a day of the year set aside just for yammerin’ in pirate. It’s not known whether our heroes, Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy, were a wee bit squiffy at the time, but no matter – it was a creative idea and that is precisely why yer seein’ it here on the good ship Elbow.
The two buccaneers chose September 19th as the day for everyone to go on account since it happened to be the birthday of Cap’n Slappy’s ex-wife. He claims that that he picked the date so that he would remember it, but methinks he just wanted a good excuse for callin’ her a thievin’ wench.
Well, humor columnist Dave Barry caught wind of the notion in 2002 and, shiver me timbers, the bloomin’ day went global!

So Mateys, if you’d like to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day, here’s a Pirate Dictionary to help you get started.

Meanwhile, raise the Jolly Roger!

Mutter and scowl a lot.
And what the heck –

shake yer booty, too.

Fair winds, me friends, fair winds!

PROMPT: Man yer pens, ye cowardly swabs – Dead men tell no tales, so ye best write ‘em now!
Here’s some piratey inspiration to get ye started –

How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long and David Shannon
Do Pirates Take Baths? by Kathy Tucker and Nadine Westcott
Voyage of Plunder by Michele Torrey


Monday, September 17, 2012

Risky Business (minus Tom Cruise)

“You've got to jump off cliffs and build your wings on the way down.”
~ Ray Bradbury


You know – just thinking about cliffs gives me the willies.

When it comes to physical risk, I guess you could call me a gutless wonder.

For example, you will NEVER hear someone mention my name and the words “thrill-seeker” or “daredevil” in the same sentence.

You will never find me at the end of a bungee cord.

You will never find me at the top of any mountain that requires the use of an oxygen tank.

And you can bet that you will never find me taking leaps from airplanes.

Leaps of faith, however – psychological risks – are an entirely different matter.

Those I can do.

So, over the weekend I worked my couch potato tail off and FINALLY finished the novel revision that I’ve been working on for months. The novel itself – well, I’ve been working on THAT monster for YEARS.

Now it’s time to take one of those crazy psycho (um, I mean psychological) leaps once again…

and send it out.

Of course, that may lead to a whole stack of NO.

And the hint that a whole lot of my time on the planet has been wasted.


I could just play it safe, you know –

and stash it in a drawer.


Playing safe is probably the most unsafe thing in the world. You cannot stand still. You must go forward.

~Robert Collier

So, I’m going forward…

with a fistful of feathers

just in case.

PROMPT: It’s Take a Risk Week! Get those words out of your head, out of the printer, or out of the drawer, and get them in front of someone else’s eyes! Artists – frame it and hang it, dang it! Today is a great day to take a chance! Who’s with me?