Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jersey Devil Spotted in Washington Township

On Mischief night, over in Washington Township, NJ, three brothers that I know, Mark, Bob, and Luke Nigel were enjoying themselves soaping cars, while their parents thought they were at their friend, Hari’s house watching a movie.

Amid muffled giggles, the kids marveled at their creativity. Bob, who was a good artist, had soaped a picture of Darth Vader on a windshield, and Spiderman was on someone’s back window. Luke fired off some acrylic paint balls at mailboxes. The only car left unscathed was their dad’s new Chrysler 300.

Afterwards, Luke went home. Mark and Bob ditched the left over soap in a nearby drain and started walking through the woods adjacent to their back yard.

The quiet and eerie woods echoed the sounds of an owl and a patchy breeze rustling through the trees. Some tall trees with faces and bare zigzag branches cast their spirit shadows in the boy's path. An owl swooped down to grab a rodent that was scurrying around, its wings just missed the top of Mark's head, and the boys began to walk faster. Then, someone in a Halloween costume appeared. It was half bat with wings, a long tail, and a horse face with horns. It was the strangest costume the boys had ever seen.

"Hey, that's a good costume, what kind of a ghoul are you?

"I'm not a ghoul at all," the creature responded.

"What's your name?"


"Do you live around here?"

"You might say that."

"Secretive aren't you? You shouldn't be out here by yourself, wanna go trick or treating with us tomorrow night?"

"Not unless they're giving out ham and eggs." Then, Leeds let out a horrible screech and disappeared into the woods behind Nigel's property.

"What the heck was THAT?" Bob said as they went running home.

"I dunno, maybe it was a burglar. Hurry up!" Mark said frantically.

The boys got home and into bed before their parents arrived home.

"Do you think we'll get caught?" Bob asked.

"No," Mark answered, "We'll deny everything and blame it on Luke."

Halloween morning was a total nightmare, Mr. Nigel was furious about the cars and the neighbors were furious with Nigel for letting the kids out of the house. He put the boys on the carpet and badgered them with questions about the night before.

"Dad, there was this strange kid in the neighborhood last night; he said his name was Leeds and he was dressed up in a bat and horse costume. Mark and I saw him when we came back from Hari's house. We only watched a movie"

Leeds?" Mr. Nigel said, "What exactly did he look like?"

The boys described the costume and Leeds' exact comments about ham and eggs. Mr. Nigel was skeptical, but gave them the benefit of a doubt.

The morning paper was sitting on the front porch "JERSEY DEVIL SPOTTED IN WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP" the headlines read. Mr. Nigel read the article and with a look of shock, told the boys what had happened. The creature in the article was spotted about a quarter-mile away from the Nigel's home and described almost exactly as the boys had told their father. It was seen raiding a chicken coop.

"Gee dad, do you think he did it?" Mark asked.

Mr. Nigel's eyebrows narrowed.

"He missed my Chrysler," he clenched his teeth. "However, I will look into this further. Go to your room for a while."

The boys went upstairs feeling a little apprehensive about what lay ahead for the rest of their day.

"Hey, that was close," Bob breathed a sigh of relief.

"Yeah, for a minute there, I thought we would get punished on Halloween."

"I don't believe that we actually saw that Jersey Devil!" Mark said, "Awesome!"

Mr. Nigel finished reading the paper and called his friend over at the police station to find out what happened.

"We've had news reporters outside since early this morning, Howard," his friend said. "In addition to the sightings, someone started a fire over at the Craig's. Mrs. Craig could not positively identify the perpetrator, so she blamed all the kids within a 3-mile radius, including your boys. I told her that your boys wouldn't set fire to bags of dog feces and that if she didn't see who did it, we couldn't do anything, except file an incident report."

The hairs on the back of Mr. Nigel's neck stood up when the fire was mentioned, as he was aware of the fireworks fiasco the night before that at Hari's, when they were "allegedly" celebrating Diwali.

"In case you were not aware of the history of the Jersey Devil," his friend continued, "It allegedly originated in Leeds Point and has been spotted throughout three counties for over 200 years. Sounds like a local myth to me, though."

"Leeds?" Mr. Nigel responded.

"Yes, legend has it that a Mrs. Leeds over in the Pine Barrens gave birth to the devil 200 years ago. It was her 13th child. It was cursed from conception, as the lady didn't want another child. When it was born, it looked just as it does in reported sightings, half bat and half horse with a long tail. It flew out the window scaring its midwife, and has been on the loose ever since."

Mr. Nigel thanked his friend, and hung up.

"Poppy cock!" he commented, as he sat in the kitchen pensively munching on his cold pizza like a dog on a bone. The family dog, an overweight Golden Retriever named Buckwheat, was sitting patiently for a crumb to fall off the table. His eyes were blinking quickly, as if he was anticipating a shower of crumbs and he began to drool.

"Ruff!" Buckwheat pleaded, but still no crumb of pizza was forthcoming. He muffled a sound of disappointment, belched, and laid back down. His jowls were spread out across the comic section of the newspaper on the floor like lava that had just petered out after running down the side of a mountain. They stopped just short of a Mike Peters' cartoon of a demented Superhero, who even looked like Howard Nigel.

"Do you think we should let the children go out trick or treating tonight with that thing on the loose?" Mom asked.

"Don't worry, I'll go with them" he assured her.

On Halloween, the boys wore pirate costumes. They told all their friends about the Jersey Devil incident and their mom got a phone call from two newspaper reporters, who interviewed them for the Courier-Post about the sighting.

They went out trick or treating hoping they didn’t run into Leeds!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Schiller’s Hole in Juan

The recent events at FoxNews: First, the Bill O’Reilly fiasco regarding Muslims on The View; then, Juan Williams getting fired from NPR for making a personal remark about Muslims on The Factor, made me think about what my grandmother always told me about “moderation.” In her opinion, you can do almost anything in moderation, as long as there is no law against it. Her side of the family immigrated to America in 1634, aboard the Christian from London, so I figured she knew something about American freedoms and common sense. At least two of her ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War, several in the Civil War, and many in WWII. She lived to be 90 years old remaining true to her convictions. You know, the gallon of blackberry brandy was only consumed during flu season and the only time she called the milkman a “jackass” is when he overcharged her.

On the other side of my diverse family spectrum, we had Italian immigrants, who came here in 1918. From my Italian grandmother, I learned about the negative effects of discrimination, overcoming language barriers, and again moderation. You know, if you watched too many episodes of Combat and called the German bread man a “Kraut” once too often, he’d forget where you live and you could starve; a way never to pronounce “baloney;” and learning that sneaking too much Chianti will make you sick .

As a woman, some of those lessons about discrimination, I also learned first-hand on my job, which adds to my sensitivity on the subject.

Did the Buddhists Bomb Pearl Harbor?

I have to tell you that when O’Reilly said “The Muslims attacked us on 911” on The View, several people in my age-group with similar backgrounds, were about ready to travel to Canada and ask the Dalai Lama first-hand, if Pearl Harbor was a Buddhist conspiracy or if the Japanese government acted alone on December 7, 1941. It was a ridiculous comment by O’Reilly, which he later apologized for and clarified by saying “Not enough Muslim moderates voice their opinions against the jihadists.”

Freedom of Speech in America

Then, we have Vivian Schiller, CEO of NPR going to the opposite extreme by actually firing Juan Williams for making a mild personal remark, on The Factor, about being uncomfortable when Muslims in religious attire board his flight. I say mild, because if you have ever heard Beck and O’Reilly go off ranting about Muslims on their respective shows, Juan’s comment, although bigoted, is mild by comparison. However, he said it on Fox, not NPR. The ideology of hate thrives on Fox. I’ve heard more hate speeches on that network than anywhere else and both Beck and O’Reilly still have jobs. Why? Because in America we have freedom of speech, but you should only abuse that freedom moderately.

I did some research and found out that Vivian Schiller did not study American Civil Liberties in college. Instead, she majored in Russian Studies earning a Bachelor’s degree at Cornell and a Master’s Degree in Russian at Middlebury. Beck will be calling her a communist very soon.

I couldn’t feel too sorry for Juan either. He got a $2 million contract from Fox and filled in for O’Reilly on The Factor Friday night. He also managed to eviscerate NPR and Schiller quite nicely. The polls said that over 4.3 million people were watching. By the time those who were watching CSI, The Mentalist, The Big Bang Theory, Sh*t My Dad Says, and Grey’s Anatomy, tuned in at 11:00 pm, The Factor probably ended up with over 5 million viewers.

How to Spot Moderate Muslim Women

I did still more research, and found out what moderate Muslim women do in Saudi Arabia. They take bi-monthly shopping trips to Cairo, Egypt. They board the plane in Burkas and get off the plane in Cairo wearing designer outfits and jewelry, full makeup, manicure, and heels. Evidently, Juan’s Muslims were not moderates. Trust me Juan, it’s like recess in a Catholic school; they can’t unload the burkas fast enough.

The solution to all of this is like my grandmother said, moderation. We need to hear more moderate rhetoric on FoxNews and less ranting and labeling. There are more moderate viewers out there than they think. They also need to watch this video on profiling:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Don't Drink the Kool-Aid

Current events have been both interesting and enlightening. Last week, someone posted a note on Facebook stating that the automobile manufacturers are now using female dummies, as well as male, to test crash vehicles. They are considering installing cams in the steering column, so that if you hit something at 25 mph, you will engage the air bag and get a nanosecond mammogram when your boobs smash up against the wheel.

The Cadillac Escalade made headlines again. I think I might buy one. Not only can it withstand a swedish beating with a five iron and a fire hydrant, without seriously injuring the driver; but it can also safely go over a cliff. While most of us would be dead if we drove our SUV off a cliff, former NFL linebacker, Junior Seau, who drives an Escalade, is now writing a new psychological thriller called "Oops I Crapped My Pants."

Within the last few days, a British judge refused to dismiss a plagiarism lawsuit against best-selling author J.K. Rowling. Supporters say her accusers speak in Parseltongue and are part of an ongoing smear campaign by Nearly Headless Nick (suffering from an identity crisis), who swore under oath that he used to be The Canterville Ghost.

A few days before that, foreman, Luis Urzua, rose to the surface to the cheers of "Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le!" It was a long, drawn-out rescue. They could have thrown a rope down there and let the Chilean miners out right away; but, they took a few weeks to build a 924-pound, red, white and blue rescue capsule; line the drill hole with sheet metal; and conduct preliminary dry-runs. It reminded me of a Miracle Max quote "You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles."

Psycho, Mel Gibson, will be making a cameo appearance in the new movie sequel, "The Hangover 2." They wouldn’t give him a mic for any length of time to run his mouth, so they cast him as a tattoo artist.

On the political front, FoxNews is still scaring the crap out of everyone; but in these hard economic times, you have to sign up for Bill O’Reilly’s “Premier Service” or Glenn Beck’s “INSIDER Extreme” to find out all the gory details. The way they tell it, Michael Myers is alive and well on Capitol Hill being sustained by Barney Frank’s boyfriend.

Oh, yes, just in case Glenn Beck was out in the mid-west looking for acreage to establish a commune, remember - don't drink the Kool-Aid!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Baltimore East County Times Newest Column – Wojo’s World

The Baltimore East County Times has a new humor column, Wojo’s World, written by popular humorist and comedienne, Michele “Wojo” Wojciechowski. You will love her humorous look at life.

Read Wojo’s World

This week, in her column “Parallel Universe,” Wojo addresses the age-old problem of parallel parking.

You’ve been there, right?

The way I look at it, in order to master the art of parallel parking, you must be proficient at the games of pool and shuffleboard. Anyone who can master the "cliff hanger" and put the right English on a cue ball, can usually parallel park a car without difficulty. Then, there's parking by ear... and Wojo's World.

Watch how this guy did it in a rush:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Getting Naked in Illinios

If you have spent a lot of time convincing people to get out and vote during major elections, you will love this!

The State of Illinois has changed its voting law, You can now vote at home and mail in your ballot. There are drawbacks, of course. This holds true for both voters and tabulators. I would not want to be a tabulator, unless I was also writing an essay on weird submissions and political gifts.

It’s not easy qualifying as a candidate in Illinois either. The number of signatures required to get placed on the ballot is discriminatory. Republican, Democrat, and Green Party candidates require fewer signatures than those running as Independent or New Party.

Independents running for Supreme and Appelate Court or Circuit Court Judge need signatures from practically all of Michael “Big Mike” Sarno’s fan club to qualify.

Then there is the problem of getting voters. Remember dangling Chads?

Whaddayagonnado, right?

In an ingenious strategy maneuver, the State Board of Elections, with the assistance of MPAC Chairman and business model, Ron Jeremy, has released this new video to encourage people to vote:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Humor Book - ‘Sitting on Cold Porcelain’

My book has four great reviews at Amazon and is in the top 100 in the "Entertainment>Humor>Essays"  category at the Kindle Store. Thank you all!

A new way to describe Murphy's Law, political scandals, our screwed up economy, and life in general - Sitting on Cold Porcelain.

Read my recent interview with humorist Wanda Argersinger at Associated Content.

To quote Erma Bombeck “If you can't make it better, you can laugh at it.”

Political unrest… government scandal… corruption... extortion! What do all these things have in common? They are perfect fodder for satire! In Sitting on Cold Porcelain, you will find an amusing, perceptive, and laugh-out-loud take on the state of our country and our world, on celebrities and politicians, and all the events that make us all roll our eyes and groan.

Some of the satirical essays within the pages of Sitting on Cold Porcelain include "Giuliani's Gaffe Could Qualify for Political Darwin Award," "Rush Limbaugh: The Don Rickles of Radio," "State of The Union 2010: Bitch-Slapping Congress," “Islamic Cleric Declares Jihad on Mickey Mouse,” “Little Egypt to Run Against Sarah Palin,” and ”Who Moved My Mascarpone?”

I included a few family-oriented holiday fiascos as well. They are always fun and dysfunctional, right?

You will also find my hysterical consultations with Annette Giordano, a South Philadelphia Malocchio (evil eye) doctor. Annette hates one-way communication, she likes to interact. She often bloviates in Italian and is the Italian equivalent to the ‘Numa Numa Guy’ in front of the TV when she watches The O’Reilly Factor.

I’m currently putting her on to Twitter, so she can send her pithy Italian comments to the media and the White House whenever she pleases, its less frustrating.

You can read an excerpt here: Take a peek
Click here to access my Author Page, and here to Order the Book.

You can order the book from, and at, Barnes and Noble online, and the Amazon Kindle Store.

I know you will enjoy reading the book and I am gathering more laughs for another.

Thank you for reading Rosie’s Renegade Humor Blog. Thanks to you, we are in the No. 2 spot in the “Top 50 Networked Blogs” in Philadelphia on Facebook.

You people rock!