The Last Word

Issue #489

June 2015

Things cool people think are funny
Very few things are truly funny to me anymore. It actually takes a lot to get me to laugh.
I don’t mean just cracking a stupid smile. I mean a good, hearty, uncontrollable belly laugh. A pee-inyour-pants kind of laugh.
What sort of things do cool people like me think are roll-on-the-floor guffaw inducers?
When my 5th grade teacher said, “It smells like a toilet in here,” I couldn’t contain my laughter. Over 30
years later, I think it’s
even funnier than I
thought back then.
You see, one
day in 5th grade, the
teacher was droning
when a silent-butdeadly bunker blast
classroom. Then she
suddenly changed the
topic and declared,
“It smells like a toilet
in here.” I didn’t even
notice the scent, but
the instructor gave
the whole class a
lecture about their flatulence stinking up the classroom.
If she used the word bathroom instead of toilet, it would’ve been slightly less hilarious, and I may have
even forgotten about the whole episode by now. But nope. She was talking about an actual plumbing appliance—
not the room where it was located. I guess she must have stuck her head in a toilet to know what toilets smell like.
Or—since this was at Highland Heights Elementary, where the restrooms actually had signs that said “Boys’
Toilet” and “Girls’ Toilet”—maybe she really meant a restroom, not the amazing porcelain device we all know
and love.
World record
The idea of a person blowing a bubble with bubble gum through the hole of a record—preferably a 45
RPM single with a larger hole—is also uproarious. Stupid and destructive perhaps. But funny. I wouldn’t
necessarily recommend it, because the bubble would probably burst onto the record and ruin it. If the record was,
say, Ted Nugent or that Christmas song about the shoes, I’d say go ahead. But if someone stomps into my
apartment chomping on a big wad of Tidal Wave and insists on grabbing a record from my collection—even if it’s
one I haven’t listened to since 1986—and bubbling through the hole in it, that’s a whole other story.
I have a gut feeling somebody is going to try to do exactly that in the very near future. Nobody has tried it
yet, so we’re due for it. I fully expect a knock at the door soon.
It’s unclear whether anyone has ever tried to blow a bubble while wearing one of the Big Boy masks that
used to accompany the Sunday comics in the Cincinnati Enquirer. In fact, it’s unclear whether anyone has even
worn one of these masks. Why the hell would they? Nobody dresses as Big Boy on Halloween. These masks did
not appear to have a hole for the mouth, but even if they did, it’s easy to conceive of a scenario in which the mask
was completely destroyed by bubbling (since it was made of paper). Thus, it’s probably safe to assume that only
an idiot would bubble while wearing such a mask—and that’s why it’s so funny.
Whenever bubbling is mentioned—and if I didn’t witness the act myself—I usually get an image in my

head of a frontal view like this scene from the ridiculous Care-Free gum commercial of the ‘80s...

(Fair use, so tough toilets.)
When you add a record to it, you get this uproariousness...

To protect your pristine 45’s, you may want to leave them in their sleeve when you bubble with them. But
if it’s a picture sleeve, which usually has no hole, you may want to bore a hole in the middle like so...

Also, one version of this commersh sang, “Care-Free sugarless bubble gum...Means no sugar when you
chew...” I made up a parody that went, “Means no boogers when you poo...” I used to think that was just as funny
as everything else in this article, but I stopped thinking it was that funny when I was about 37.
Dog days

Another hilarious story is the time when I was about 10 years old and the family dog defecated on the
newly painted crawlspace door. When I was growing up in my hometown of Highland Heights, Kentucky, our
house was tiny. My mom always lamented that we didn’t have a basement, but we did have a crawlspace. I never
ventured into the crawlspace—since that’s probably where all the bugs in our house came from—but it was
accessed via a wooden door in the backyard. The door was set against the ground, slightly elevated, and slanted at
a very small angle.
Eventually, the unending rain rotted the crawlspace door, so the oldsters had to buy some plywood and
build a new door. They painted it white. While the paint was still fresh, my mom definitively proclaimed that the
dog “better not” shit on the new door. This was a foolish hope. Why wouldn’t the dog shit on the new door,
considering he always shit on the old one? A few minutes later, I went out in the backyard and discovered the
brand new door had been decorated with...are you ready for it?...poo-poo!!! It was of the unmistakable canine
Yes, the dog had shit on the door! When the paint was wet, no less!
When I came back inside, I couldn’t help but snickering. My mom kept asking why I was laughing, but
soon she figured it out. “He didn’t, did he?” she asked, referring to the dog defecating. But the white paint on the
dog’s paws was the smoking gun (as if the dog crap on the crawlspace door wasn’t enough of a smoking gun).

If you’re not laughing so hard right now that it makes your spleen sore, there’s something wrong with
you. I recommend counseling.
Boogie fever
Boogers are funny too. They’re badass.
So—during that famous phase when people used to wipe mucus on the walls at home, an era that lasted
approximately 10 years—it wasn’t uncommon to overhear my mom angrily asking, “Is that another booger?” The
question was rhetorical: By the time the question was asked, it was already clear that the small morsel of green
crust caking the wall was indeed a boog. Besides, who was going to answer that question? Whoever wiped it there
wasn’t going to come out and say, “Why yes, that is a booger.”
Wiping snot on walls must have gotten old after a while, but people not cleaning up after themselves
when they used the bathroom never did. Finally, around the time I was in high school, my mom lectured me about
it, even though I wasn’t among those leaving the messes. “It’s getting to be like a public bathroom,” she
How so? Was there a portrait of the governor in the hallway? Did I get a free road map each time I used
the bathroom?
Another memory that still makes me heehaw: One day, at the hated Bishop Brossart High School, one of
the usual suspects kept harassing me, hitting me, and calling me nasty names. I then noticed that there appeared to
be termites crawling around in his ears, so I replied, “Shut up, mitey dog.”
It’s also a laugh riot when people laugh at stupid stuff—stuff that’s even stupider than the stuff in this
article. What they’re laughing at might be idiotic, but the fact that anyone thinks it’s funny is downright sidesplitting.
All in all, I have almost no sense of humor. I don’t laugh at most of the things I used to laugh at—let
alone at what was never funny in the first place. Let’s face it: Facebook quizzes about has-been celebrities and
YouTube videos of babies slobbering just aren’t funny.

No outrage like faux outrage
Pzt! Papp! Challenge!
The Last Word is carefully worded so as not to offend any person who has ever lived in the history of
the universe. Sort of like Star Search.
That’s how I do my job. If I was on the political right, I could get away with offending everyone for no
good reason, since it would be expected. But being on the political left is much harder. You have to stay ahead of
everything else. That wasn’t as difficult 15 years ago, when Americans’ sensibilities were gearing up in reverse,
but it’s tougher now.
You’d be surprised at the origins of some common phrases. Their origins come from old prejudices.
People don’t always know this, because school doesn’t always teach this stuff. Maybe we’d have an excuse for
not knowing it before, since we went to school for so long, and school didn’t teach us. The difference between us
and a less progressive publication is that we wouldn’t keep making
the same mistakes. If I catch something right after an issue is
published, I’ll quickly upload a replacement copy, but I have such a
great track record—especially lately—that I seldom have to worry.
Language changes. The meanings of words and phrases
change over time. Some of these changes are positive, but at other
times, someone takes a perfectly good word and taints it with a
negative meaning. As a progressive populist, my inclination is to
watch my own words very carefully.
Milquetoast “liberals” criticize us for our populism, but I
think they actually believe their own complaints. Those on the far
right, however, do not. They are practitioners of the propaganda
technique of manufactured outrage.
And faux outrage works—at least when we let it. They
know it.
The Far Right pretends to get upset over stuff that they
might have had a reason to get upset about if their own record
wasn’t so bad. Yet when one of their own says something
deliberately offensive, they defend that person and accuse their
critics of being too politically correct. They cry of being censored

and persecuted.
So here’s a challenge: I already once challenged the Evil Empire to either prove this zine’s hat is as
tarnished as they claim, or cool their crappers. Now I’m challenging them to put their money where their face is
regarding their contention that I should stop protesting stuff when somebody else out there has it worse. If they’re
so concerned about other people having it worse, I’m challenging my critics to do something about it—or shut the
crap up.
I’m actually surprised I’m not hearing about things published in these pages decades ago. This zine used
to zig and zag a lot in its early years, and I could see how parody items could manufacture outrage in someone
who is too dumb to know what I was talking about. I’m waiting for my critics to show what total fucking idiots
they are by attacking me for it.
I refuse to be held hostage by a bunch of right-wing bigots and bullies. Life is too short, and the stakes are
too high.

People peed on the floor on a bus
We call Greyhound the Supertramp Express, because Greyhound takes the long way home. Get it? Like
the Supertramp song!
Megabus might as well be called the Pee Express. So far, I’ve had good luck with Megabus—especially
compared to Greyhound—but other customers say pee often rules the roost on this intercity bus line.
And it’s funny—because it’s pee-related.
One Megabus passenger said on Facebook...
“We stopped for a 30 minute pit stop, which is understandable. But someone pissed on
bathroom Floor, which is smaller than an airplane bath or boat bath, and it ran all the way down
the aisle, which was vile and nasty!!!”
That’s what pee often does, because it’s badass stuff. It runs down bus aisles. If it’s a bus where the aisle
is made up of a special grooved strip like school buses had, the pee flow is particularly interesting to watch as it
collects in the grooves.

A person pooed in a tunnel
In Wellington, New Zealand, the bathroom got goed (as we say in chat rooms). Except the bathroom itself
wasn’t used.
Victoria Tunnel was
supposed to reopen after
a maintenance closure
reopening was delayed
by what the press called
“a poo on the road.”
Transit authorities said a
man defecated inside the
tunnel at 6 AM, which
forced a delay of 45
minutes to clean it up. It
is believed that the man
was intoxicated.
Or just weird.

The Mix Van humanely destroyed!

This is what I did in college when I was bored. I drew cool stuff like this.
I found that unfinished drawing recently when I was rummaging through my closet looking for a book I
still haven’t found. It’s a giant monster in an Izod shirt stabbing a person—with the Mix Van in the background
with a clown inside holding a balloon. The Mix Van was a vehicle that was talked about constantly by Mix 94.5
after they degenerated from Power 94.5—not like anyone else ever noticed, since they lost 80% of their listeners.
This is what we did in the ‘70s, except it was the ‘90s.
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