Again . . . fun with puns . . . 2016



As always, I am absolutely fascinated with wordplay, and it is so especially appropriate during a holiday vacation time when we love to laugh and have fun with friends and relatives. Happy New Year to all of you !

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Once again, the Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words . . .and the winners are:

  1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
  1. Flabbergasted (adj.) appalled over how much weight you have gained
  1. Abdicate (v.) to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4.Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

  1. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.
  1. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
  1. Lymph (v.) to walk with a lisp.
  1. Gargoyle (n.) gross olive-flavored mouthwash.
  1. Flatulance (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
  1. Balderdash (n.), A rapidly receding hairline.
  1. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
  1. Pokkemon (n.), a Rastafarian proctologist.

13.Circumvent (n) an opening in the front of  boxer shorts worn by Jewish              men.

14. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand):  The belief that when             you die your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.


Christmas fifty years ago today . . . . .


Exactly fifty years ago I sat down to my old Royal portable typewriter to write this Christmas letter to counteract all the cards we received that bragged, bragged, bragged. Don’t worry. My friends knew me. No one was insulted, and they already knew we had pretty good kids.

Christmas letter 1966

Dear Friends,

A Merry Christmas letter from the office mimeograph can sometimes read a little like a family epitaph, recording wise decisions made and listing honors won, with panoramic glimpses of togetherness and fun. So for a change the Markland clan is running off the press a Christmas letter sparkling with homey truthfulness.

We haven’t made our fortune yet, the bills are rolling in, and postage is expensive so we’ve kept the letter thin.

The kids are eating better than they’ve eaten in their lives. They’re breaking lots of records too . . mostly 45’s. Aside from that it seems we’ve not an awful lot to boast. John’s class nominated him the boy who talks the most; while he and Sara share alike distinction on the whole of failing just a point below the posted honor roll.

The music lessons screech along to a pretty tidy sum, and neither side admits to where the talent’s coming from. Our baby Tom is growing up; he’s running everywhere . . except in the direction of his little potty chair.

The market has its ups and downs, Gene’s competition’s keen, and with cattle or with golf balls it’s hard to “make the green.” The wife stayed out of politics and, judging from the score, discovered why her party lost elections years before. And as for the vacation fun we each, including Mother, went separately in great relief to rest up from each other.

In all it’s been a normal year, and as we wish you well, we’ll leave to speculation all the things we didn’t tell

Warmest wishes for a wonderful season.

The Marklands

Take time to be merry . . .

You know that I like to have fun with words. So of course my favorite comedians were people like George Carlin and Steven Wright. Here are a few quotes from Wright to give you a smile today. So quit making cookies and wrapping presents and shoveling snow just long enough to take a break and break out laughing.


  1. Borrow money from pessimists ..they don’t expect it back.
  2. Half the people you know are below average.
  3. 99% of all lawyers give the rest a bad name.
  4. 82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
  5. A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.
  6. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
  7. If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain.
  8. All those who believe in psycho kinesis, raise my hand.
  9. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
  10. I almost had a psychic girlfriend, …but she left me before we met.
  11. OK, so what’s the speed of dark?
  12. How do you tell when you’re out of invisible ink?
  13. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
  14. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
  15. When everything is going your way you are in the wrong lane.
  16. Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.
  17. Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.
  18. I intend to live forever …So far, so good.
  19. If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
  20. Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.
  21. What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
  22. My mechanic told me, “I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.”
  23. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
  24. If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
  25. A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
  26. Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
  27. The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.
  28. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
  29. The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
  30. The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up.
  31. The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.
  32. Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don’t have film.
  33. If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.
  34. I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
  35. If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?


Just a suggestion . . . . .

Xmas book sale

Here I am, a few weeks ago, selling my book at a Christmas event at our local convention center. It did well too. The book seems to be enjoyed especially by older people. But, surprisingly, their kids get something out of it too, And being Baby Boomers, they surprise me by not sighing and rolling their eyes.

So, I’m just reminding you that the book does make a simple convenient Xmas gift, and it’s easy to wrap. Available at local book stores where I live, and also at Amazon. com and Also, for friends who enjoy their computers, it is available (cheap!) to read on their phones and their iPads.

Hope all your Christmas plans are coming together well.

Merry Merry . . . .D. M.



Post Script to Apple Pie

Well, okay. The recipe I tried was in fact very easy to handle. But when baked it was tough, not light and flaky as my mother’s were. She used lard. I wonder if that’s the secret. Well, on some other snowy day I might try that. In the meantime I have a whole pie to eat and it is very tasty, the apples with ginger and cinnamon and lemon. But the crust is tough-ish. Oh, well . . . .

Pie-eyed Venture on a indoor day . . . . .


It happens every year, but the first time I look out to a white lawn, pristine, free of footsteps or any signs of disturbance, it is always a feeling that I’ve been given a clean slate, a new beginning. It also takes me back into the past and my childhood joy of finding snow to play in and to give us the background for everything beautiful about Christmas.

Yet, it does tell me it’s cold outside, the streets may be slick. I don’t want to walk to the mailbox. I’m glad I’ve stocked up on groceries and have no appointments. This is a day when I stay inside and make cozy.

So I lit the gas fireplace and spent the morning in my comfy easy chair, refining a few pieces for what may be my next book. It was a lovely  day, and I decided to do something I’ve been thinking of.

I hadn’t made a real pie completely from scratch for years, although a few times a while back I may have made one with a boughten crust. Homemade pie crust like my mother made is tricky and hard to handle. But I read a hint online recently that if you use about 3 teaspoons of vodka to replace some of the water in the recipe, the pie crust is very easy to handle (and the alcohol is cooked off in the baking.) I found I could buy a tiny bottle of vodka at Hy-Vee, and I had done so.

The idea came back to me this morning and got me out of my chair this afternoon and to the kitchen. It took me an hour to cut up the apples and to make the crust, roll it out and put the pie together. (Well, I did have to answer the phone and have a few other interruptions)

The pie came together easily. It baked beautifully. It is cooling now and I’m told I should not cut it for at least two hours. Oooh, but it smells good.

However, with  a bit of scrap dough I made and baked a tart. Did your mother do that? I rolled out the dough, cut two circles, one with a smaller round hole in the middle. Then, after baking, I put them together with jam.  I’ve baked it and eaten it now, and while it was presentable I think the crust was a bit tough, not flaky. So we’ll see, after a while how the pie rates. No doubt, I still don’t have the touch anymore.

Did your mother have a certain design she cut into the top crust of a pie for vents? My mother’s was always the same and I have always used it too. Maybe we can be as proud of that as the English are of their family crests.