This year, I got knocked out on November 11th!
That is a record (pun intended).

John Tarman and I play a holiday game every year starting about now. It’s called Dodgesong. But I’m already out, out as of November 11th while innocently walking through a Walmart parking lot.


Holiday Dodgesong Game

So one of my favorite holiday traditions is playing Holiday Dodgesong with John Tarman. In Holiday Dodgesong players try to see who can go the longest without hearing Paul McCartney’s 1979 dirty ditty, Anthem for the Commercialization of Christmas, Ballad of Bah Humbug, Psalm of Psychological Torture, Shanty of Sh… (well you get the idea), it’s the Christmas song “Wonderful Christmastime.” Once you hear the music you’re out. Once you’re out you must immediately call the other players to declare you’ve been taken out by the mass-market holiday song. After making the declaration you may freely begin complaining about the start of the “Holiday Season.” 

The complaints are not about Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Yule, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Advent, Festivus, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, St. Stephen’s Day/Boxing Day, Winter’s Solstice, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, or Epiphany specifically.  But the grievances usually center around commercialization, broadening marketing scope, and premature holiday cheer-ulation. 

Some traditional criticisms are how you’re not ready for Christmas, how Christmas creep annoys the hell out of you, how everyone has missed the true meaning of Christmas, etc., etc. You may pontificate on any other pre-holiday gripes you may have once your ears catch that tune. An especially popular expressed beef is about wives oozing with Christmas cheer in early November.

It should be noted that the winner, the last player to report hearing the song, receives nothing for their victory.  The satisfaction of a holiday season without “Wonderful Christmastime.” is rewarding enough. The trick is not to go anywhere with holiday music playing until the other player has gotten knocked out. I think I made it to December 23rd one year. That was a happy year and a perfect time to start holiday shopping.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m a huge Paul McCartney fan, my friends can attest for that. I was even accused, in the late 1990s, “If Paul McCartney made a CD of him farting, you’d buy it.”  I’m a big fan. 

But that song blaring through some retail establishment’s PA system makes my teeth sting! I think you’d all agree; it’s nauseating.

So, since I’m out, I thought you might comment below when and where you first hear the song this year. Gripes are bonus points.

Oops! You’re out! You can start complaining!

Dad's Feed an Army of 3 Chili! - Single Dad Recipe

This chili recipe is an emergency recipe. I usually would not use all the canned ingredients if I could help it. So, when hatch green chili is not in season, I’m generally in trouble. I’ve lived all over the country, which allows me to blend many different regional styles of chili to form my own. Most always, my chili is improvised. I do have a few rules. First, at 52 years old, I can damn cook chili without any beans in it. Second, a spiced-up hamburger is not chili. My chili needs to feature chili, not the meat, usually hatch green chili. That said, here is the chili I did tonight. It turned out fantastic!
Anyway, I accidentally bought 5 lbs. of hamburger instead of the 3 lbs. I had intended. And for some reason, I didn’t catch the error until I had started browning it. The fact, it was overflowing with my 12’ cast iron skillet should have been a clue.
Anyway, my usual recipe was now out of whack, so I just started improvising. Saying I’m going to start improvising is odd as I always improvise when I cook, so this was improvising on top of improvising.
Anyway, it’s all in the slow cooker for the next 10 hours. Look over the ingredients list, tell me what you think, how many servings I will get (25?). The goal of this batch is to freeze for my sons to use as frozen dinners.
Anyway, I have overused the word “Anyway” in excess of two extra pounds of hamburger.
At the first tasting, about an hour into the “slow and low,” I’d say, “The chili had a sweet chunky start with a lingering heat.” But no real kick. That’s when I decided to add the tiger sauce and cayenne pepper! The cayenne sure shored up the front end. My eyes watered from the tasting. The Tiger Sauce will take care of the tail! But, It’ll need a full 10 hours in the crockpot to "slow and low" blend all the tastes.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 hrs
Portion and Freeze15 mins
Total Time13 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chili, Pre-made Meals, Single Dad Hack, Single Dad Recipes
Servings: 12 Large Servings


  • Slow cooker
  • 12' cast-iron skillets
  • Cooking spoon
  • Food processer
  • Freezer strength zip-bags


  • 5 lbs. Lean hamburger browned and drained
  • 3 Large Chopped White Onions
  • 3 Large Chopped Green Bell Peppers I left about half the seeds
  • 3 10 Oz Can Casa Mamita Original Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
  • 3 4 Oz Can Hatch Select Diced Green Chilies - Hot
  • 2 6 Oz Can Happy Harvest Tomato Past
  • 2 8 Oz can Happy Harvest Tomato Sauce
  • 2 1¼ Oz Pack Stone Mill- Original Chili Seasoning mix
  • 1 Tbsp. Coarse Sea Salt
  • 2 Tbsps. Garlic Power
  • 3 Tbsps. Ground Cayenne pepper
  • 1 5 oz bottle Tiger Sauce The Original


  • Mix all in a large slow cooker set on low. Let cook for 10 hours.
  • Place 2 cup portions into sandwitch baggies and then into quart size freezer baggies.
a mosh pit at a Joan Baez concert

My 2020 One-Liners

I’ve been writing a joke a day for over 2 years now.  It’s been an antidepression skill.  So, I thought to share some of my better one-liners from the past year.  I had a nice explanation and introduction planned about humor and treating depression, but that was a buzz kill.  We can talk about that at another time.  Here are my one-liners:

Visual 2020 One-Liners:

— An interpretive display of emoji in the form of George Carlin’s Seven Dirty Words:

?, ??, ??, ???, ??, ?‍?‍???, & ?  Do better!


That really needs to go on a T-shirt!

Standard 2020 One-Liners:

— My memory so good I remember things that didn’t even happen.

— In the immortal words of George W. Bush, “That was some weird shit.”

— You know, ABBA’s song Fernando really holds up. It sucks as much today as it did in 1976.

— I remember my junior year at Purdue, I was so upset that I couldn’t attend my Psychology 403 final, went to the bar, and got blotto drunk because my mom had told me the truth about Santa.

— Saying “we need to think outside the box” is a very in-the-box type of thinking.

— I was very fond of the music in the ‘80s. I especially like it when Madonna left the Beatles and formed Wheezer with Willie Nelson and Dean Martin.

— Hello, welcome to the poetry hotline; examples of onomatopoeia are Aaaaaaa, ohuuuuu, and Thrupppppp. 

— My hypnagogic audio hallucinations have a broader vocabulary than I do. Man; that’s really weird.

— You know it’s going to be a good day when after the morning constitutional your bidet is straight on target?

— Tonight I grilled some steaks, it was rare enough that a good Purdue veterinarian could have it back on its feet in 15 minutes

Elias’ 2020 One-Liners

— if our velocity stays at 0 miles an hour, we will arrive in an infinite number of hours.

Pandemic 2020 One-Liners

— I just looked in the mirror and my soul shuddered like an epileptic experiencing a piss shiver.

— The pandemic’s treating me like it caught me sleeping with his wife.

— Don’t hurt yourself, I don’t want to have to put on pants and a mask just to go to the ER.

— Do you ever think we’re living in some satanic version of Matryoshka dolls with disasters and crises nested inside disasters and crises?

Rock and Roll Advice 2020 One-Liners

— I did listen to John Mellencamp… partially. I forgot all about that macho shit, but I forgot to learn how to play guitar.

— I also didn’t really heed the Rolling Stones. I know I can’t always get what I want. Yet, I didn’t really try as Mick suggested, so I have also not gotten what I need.

— I just out and out ignored Kenny Rogers. I have never known when to hold ’em, never known when to fold ’em, never known when to walk away, and never known when to run. And somehow, I’ve always counted my money when I sat at the table.

— And for Christ’s Sake, do not tell Aerosmith that I have not dreamt until my dreams came true.

— Alas, Idina Mendel told me to, “Let It Go.” I didn’t.

— Finally, 2020 made me Stop Believin’, even though Journey told me not to.

— Is Bobby Sue from Take The Money and Run the same person as Bobby McGee? I have never seen Steve Miller and Kris Kristofferson; they might be the same person.

Simile 2020 One-Liners

— My ears buzz more than a tipsy bumblebee ? trying to hump his reflection on the tip of y’all’s grand momma’s stainless-steel “massager.” (I have wicked Tinnitus)

— … like the self-righteousness of a small-town cop pulling over a tie-dye clad driver of a VW bus.


Lalochezia Producing 2020 One-Liners

(Coming soon to a Subscribers only content)

Okay, a Lalochezia inducing teaser:

— In the Lalochezia reboot of I Love Lucy, the twin beds are replaced by a king-sized waterbed and I would LOVE Lucy.

Political One-Liners

—What this country needs is just for Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Ted Cruz to sit down to have dinner together and a good heart to -heart attack.

— I am starting to view my political perspective as an anarchist. Not the type of anarchy proposed by punk rockers with studded leather and military surplus boots, but the classical form of anarchy espoused by Ronald Reagan.

— Anyone else gets RuPaul and Rand Paul mixed up?

~ Uh… No more; we don’t know each other well enough yet.





Note: I really wanted to have some kind of voting or rating for each joke.  Does anyone know of a WordPress Plugin for that?


Now, Your Turn in the Comments!



We might have gotten some shit in our water, as a side effect of the botched rolling blackouts during this Texas Big Freeze. Our water trickled out along with the power but remained off quite a bit longer. I don’t know how much our lack of water was based on frozen pipes in the apartment complex or if Fort Worth turned off our water. It matters not; what does matter is we didn’t have water for about 36 hours. That in itself was a trite inconvenience (we can always drink Bourbon). What mattered is three men in one apartment, didn’t connect the real problem of a waterless lifestyle until it was way too late. Viewing the preverbal optimistic silver lining, our olfactory discomfort triggered an amazing use of all those STEM classes so espoused by our school district.

Emmons will leave for Texas A&M next Fall. He wants to double major in Physics and Engineering. Standing in front of the microwave, he quipped, “Fun Fact: a ½ gallon Mason Jar full of snow takes 00:06:00 in the microwave to meltdown to about a pint of water.” He continued, “We’ve got the math and can now figure anything out. Let’s see… it’s going to take a little over 21 minutes to flush the commode.” 

I started to poke a little fun with optimization questions. “Does it have to be fully melted to flush?” “Can you overheat a smaller amount of water to expedite the melting process?” and “Can you alter the chemical makeup of the solution to expedite the melting/flushing process (I.e., add salt)?”

I got some eye-rolling, and he recruited his young brother to follow him outside to fill 6 of said Mason Jars with snow.

I tried to help ? and accidentally moved the tank stopper a little when I tried to speed things up by dumping in a whole popcorn bowl of snow straight into the tank. I was immediately removed from the project, sent back to this keyboard, and told I can’t leave until I think about what I have done. I was also asked to do the math because I set the project back, “Damn near 18 minutes.”

Gotta love those STEM classes! 

What’s been your biggest problem during this Declared State of Emergency? I hope everyone is safe, warm, and well. After that, I hope you are having fun with your kids!


The boys wanted me to try to raise a little Disaster Relief. So, we're selling Fun T-shirts that I just overdesigned.

The boys wanted me to try to raise a little “Disaster Relief.” So, we’re selling Fun T-shirts, Survivin’ Texas Rolling Blackouts.

You’ve “Been There! Done That State of Emergency!” but, don’t have the T-Shirt yet? Or maybe you just want to show solidarity for us frozen ones in Texas!

<—– There is your chance!  All proceeds help the Ratliff Boyz do something cool!