Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Life with Dog

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Ah, Otto… What would I do without you?

  1. You’re walking along with your pet human for your regular after dinner walk.

  2. You smell a delicious chicken leg bone just a few feet away.

  3. Your pet human sees your interest in the bone and immediately barks, “No!" and directs you away. You comply.

  4. Suddenly you have an urgent urge to poop and must use the closest tree.

  5. Your human, as he is trained to do, reaches into his pocket, pulls out a little plastic bag and waits patiently.

  6. You have to strain to get anything out because you’ve already gone twice today, but you manage.

  7. Finished, you get out of the way to let your human do his work. While he does so, you make for the delicious chicken leg bone waiting for you nearby.

  8. Your human searches for a trashcan, giving you extra time to wolf down the bone. It’s wonderful.

  9. You’re eating as fast as you can but it’s a good size chicken leg and you can’t just swallow the thing (don’t humans know that???).

  10. He turns and sees you chomping. “No! No! No!" he barks again. You hold your position and keep chewing.

  11. Your human even tries to take the bone out of your mouth, but it’s just too good. You’d never hurt him, but you have really really really strong jaws. He can’t win.

  12. Your pet human gives up in exasperation. You finish the bone, smacking your lips after the last chew.

  13. He’s cross for a minute, but you know it won’t last: your pet human is a pushover.

  14. He chuckles as he figures out you just gamed him but you’re not worried. You’ll be able to pull this trick at least a half dozen times before he’s prepared for it.  

Making procedural lemonade

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Sitting in the dermatologists waiting room yesterday, I saw two women exit The exam area. The first one looked burdened, a heavy frown on her face. The second was more relaxed, lost in thought.

"Did you get all that?" said the first to the second. "What the procedure entails, what you have to do to get ready?" I was surprised. If I’d had to pick one for having a procedure, I would’ve picked her. The second woman looked up with a smile.

"No problem,” she said brightly. “Got it all." Her smile turned into a grin. "Looks like I’m going to have to hire someone to clean my house!"

Her friend  was speechless. Whatever she’d been expecting it wasn’t that.

With a "Let’s go!" the woman getting the procedure led her friend out of the office.

By this time I shared number two’s grin. No doubt: whatever the procedure was, number two was going to get through it just fine.

Off topic: Descent, a poem

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

If you are, have been, or may become a Rod Serling fan, you’ll understand how I came to write this poem a few years ago while staring out the window on a long flight.


by Ed Brownson

Through acrylic
I expect to see Rod Serling sitting on wing
Legs crossed, flashing that famous half smile
A tray table in front of him fastened to nothing
Holds his ancient Underwood, the sort with
Circular keys in bleacher rows and the “W”
Improbably missing. Lack of a “W” is no
Impediment for Rod: his forefingers push
Letters onto a sheet of paper carefully
Avoiding the bare metal lurking between
The “Q” and the “E”.

Once in a while
He leans back for a frown or forward
Into a thought and I worry he’s conjuring the deep
Or bringing us down on some crepuscular
Island where deception holds court and Rod has
A lock on the rules because – no question here –
He wrote them. Then turbulence, and all of us
Who chose window over aisle press eyeballs
To plastic thinking angels or speed bumps or
Aliens at least but Rod just flashes the rest of his
Smile and shrugs.

Now the Underwood
Transforms into a flight recorder box – how in hell
Do I know what that thing is? – and unflappable
Rod starts tearing it apart. I bang on the window
Loudly objecting: dismantling a recorder while sky
Diving doesn’t seem very wise. Next, no warning
We’re inside a cloud and Rod and the tray table
And the box disappear along with the wing
As if we’d snapped tight those cheap shutters
That cover the windows. Long seconds pass by
Before we break back into blue.

Rod’s gone!
No sign of his seat on the wing, no tray, no
Recorder even the Underwood’s not to be found.
Panicked I crawl over the guy snoring next to me
Sprawl across a couple in the seats beyond the aisle
Hoping he’s only switched wings, but Rod’s not there
And I have to think hard about where else I can
Look ‘cause I really need to ask him how to write
A story with no “W’s” and while I’m at it find out
Why his skinny black necktie never once
Blew out in the wind.



I’ve published Descent with a Creative Commons license.
You can print the poem but you can’t rewrite it and  you can’t publish it without contacting me.

Creative Commons License

Like, simile, dude!

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Haven’t linked to anything like this before but this ‘toon has so many levels I couldn’t resist. Click to enlarge.


Why nothing works.
Part 1: Let’s save the park!

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

An outbreak of community activism has turned into a crash seminar in why absolutely nothing gets done in America any more.

I’ve become involved with a group trying to keep a large, “unactivated” chunk of San Francisco’s McLaren Park from being strip-mined into a disc golf course. I have doubts as to how successful the group will be – read on to see why – but the cause is just and true: McLaren Park is an oasis of wildness in a densely urban environment, the last bit of city land untouched by developers, planners, and others who consider unbulldozed real estate “wasted”.

Disc golf, for those not in the know (and I sure wasn’t),  is one of those fake sports made up by bored post-pubescent males. Expensive frisbees, edges honed and hardened like an axehead, are thrown from coffin-sized chunks of concrete called “tees” at chain-link baskets on five foot poles called “holes”. Put 18 tees and holes together and you have a “course” consuming dozens of acres. Add beer and bongs to the discs whizzing by at 50 mph and you can clear a park of trees, picnickers, birds, meadows, hikers and dogs in no time. The city allowed a course in Golden Gate Park a few years ago. Today the area looks like an active Marine Corps training ground.

Park aficionados are very upset with this plan and not just for the obvious reasons. The decision to install the course was taken by the Grand Poo-Bahs of S.F.’s Recreation and Parks Department (affectionately known as “Wreck-Park”) without notifying anybody who actually uses the park – a big no-no here on the Left Coast, especially in this city.


Please, stop “sparing me!”

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

It is a universally accepted truism that we medically complicated folks “have enough on our hands” and mustn’t be troubled with your problems. No matter how much we ask, how much we insist, however close we are, you are always “fine”, your life is always uncomplicated and all is going exactly as you planned.


How many of you have told me when I’ve felt guilty about relying on you yet again for some necessary kindness that it’s not only not a bother to help but is even a distraction for you from your own day-to-day problems? Lots of you. Did you say that just to shut me up? Over concern for my health? Please. I’m not that fragile.

So why are you robbing me of the essential human tic of worrying about you like you do about (more…)

Coastal California’s seasons explained

Friday, January 8th, 2010

I just posted this picture on Flickr. I took it yesterday in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park after a visit to UCSF Medical Center. The morning was misty and cold, the grass and trees a delightful winter green.

Winter green?

DSC_0093 walk in GGPark copy

Many other flickr photographers (from the Northern Hemisphere anyway) are posting pictures of ice storms, whiteouts, buried snow plows, and barren windswept fields. And here come the Californians showing snapshots of green.

California’s coastal winterscapes can drive the ice-bound crazy. Once again we’re seen as Violating All The Rules and Just Not Making Any Sense. But there is a logic to our seasons, even if it’s obscure. It helps to remember that the planet’s largest heat-sink (aka the Pacific Ocean) is just to our left.

So as a service for those who just don’t get all this green, here’s a short guide to our seasons.


Every hillside is green. A ridiculous, Irish/New Zealand green. So green your eyes hurt looking at it, especially when the sun shines. Green? In the land of perpetual drought? (more…)

A New Year

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

False (1 Jan 10)

What better way to start a new year than finding what’s true?

Unfortunately, this one truth just led to another, then another and another,
finally to the end of the building.

All true, but no answers.

Maybe next year.

Flu shot

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

I finally got my H1N1 shot today at a big inject-a-thon held in San Francisco’s Bill Graham auditorium. Out front, mimicking event volunteers right down to their day-glo vests and friendly manners, the anti-vaccine, it’s-a-government-big-pharma conspiracy! folks were greeting everyone, handing out official-looking yellow papers. Reading this you found not info on what to do to get your shot, not the who-gets-what-and-why of vaccinating, but furtively hinted-at, semi-argued, conflicting pleas to avoid this vaccine – all vaccines! – at all costs. Especially if you want to “Save The Children”.

I stuffed the thing in my pocket and went in.
After rolling up my sleeve and getting the poke, I dug out the crumpled paper. As I exited, I went up to one of the anti-vaccine guys and tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around, and I silently held out the crumpled paper and stood there. Looking at me quizzically, he finally extended his hand. I dropped the crumpled yellow sheet into his hand and walked away. He stared at me and the paper in his hand, never said a word.
You can’t argue with these folks. But you don’t have to carry their garbage.

I stuffed the thing in my pocket and went in.

After rolling up my sleeve and getting the poke, I dug out the crumpled paper, went up to one of the anti-vaccine guys and tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around. I silently held out the crumpled paper and stood there. Staring at me quizzically, he finally extended his hand. I dropped the crumpled yellow sheet into his hand and walked away. He looked at me and at the paper, confused.

You can’t argue with these folks. But you don’t have to carry their garbage.

Medical system FAIL

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

This happened yesterday. The only info you need to make sense of it are a) I was in the hospital for a few days about two weeks ago due to high fevers following an endoscopy (a look down the throat), and b) when they were looking, the docs saw something that concerned them,  declaring it Must Be Removed. I agreed. Now if only I could get it done…

Rather than polish it up and risk losing the, er, spontaneity, here’s the eMail I wrote to my friends.

Went to ENT (Ear/Nose/Throat) clinic today to get the thingy in my throat removed. The following happened:

1. Doc saw me, said situation is exactly what the docs in the hospital had said two weeks ago: growth on pharynx, probably papilloma, needs to come out. Said he’ll do an excisional (right word?) biopsy removing the whole thing (unless it extends into my brain or some other inconvenient spot). I said hooray for that! (more…)