My Brain is a Prehistoric Babe Magnet

          Evolutionary psychologists argue that the human brain evolved as an entertainment device for male hominids competing to impress females.

           Charlotte Allen, The New Dating Game, The Weekly Standard


Me and my buddies Ug and Nutz were hangin’ around, taking a break from hunting and gathering. Ug seemed kinda down in the dumps and, uncharacteristically for a male hominid, I asked him why he looked so glum.

“Ug no find nice girl,” he said, poking a stick in the dirt.

“You gotta talk to them,” Nutz said rather glibly. Easy for him to say–he practically has to comb female hominids out of his hair once they see his cave paintings, but I sensed that Ug’s problem ran deeper than that.

“Are you using your brain?” I asked, as diplomatically as I could.

Surprise your favorite female hominid with a frappucino!


“What a brain?” Ug asked. This was going to be harder than I thought.

“It’s something new,” I said. “Nutz and I both have one. We use them for consciousness, reasoning and artistic creation.”

“Glzzz,” Ug said with dismay, drooling down his bison pelt. Have to talk to him about hygiene too.

“Take Nutz,” I said, “Please.” Ug laughed, distracted from his troubles. That was a good one, I thought. I hope comedians of the future will perpetuate my legacy by using my schtick. “He draws on cave walls, and women love it.”

“Why that?” Ug said. Geez, I’m gonna have to give the guy some of my spare verbs if he’s ever going to master the gift of gab.

“Well, no one really knows,” I said thoughtfully.

“Women like a man with a sensitive side,” Nutz said, chewing a piece of hyena gristle that dangled out of his mouth, giving him a debonair, devil-may-care air. I saw a female over on the river bank turn her head and smile at him. “Also sincerity,” he continued. “If you can fake that, you’ll get laid a lot and perpetuate your genetic material.”

“You’re such a cynic!” I said.

“I have to be. I’m competing against every other man on the planet for a finite number of females capable of procreation.”

“It’s not all about sex,” I said.

“Then what is it about, smarty pants?” Nutz said defiantly.

I had to stop and think for a moment. Ug looked at me with a quizzical expression on his face, something new for him. Maybe exposure to animals with more highly developed language skills was having an effect.

“Well, uh,” I began hesitantly. “There’s companionship . . . “

“Wuss,” said Nutz.

“There’s . . . mothering and nurturing skills that enable your offspring to survive and mate themselves.”

“Hire a babysitter,” Nutz said. “You’ll kill two pterodactyls with one stone.”

“Cut it out,” I said finally with exasperation. “Ug doesn’t need The Playboy Advisor–he wants to meet the girl of his dreams so he can have little Ug Jrs. and Uggettes.”

Nutz got up and came over to Ug and crouched down on his haunches. The man-cave hadn’t been invented yet, so no Barcaloungers to sit on.

“Ug–listen to me,” Nutz said.

“Ug listen.”

“If you want to meet girls, you’ve got to have your thing together.”

“Thing down here?” Ug said, pointing to his crotch.

“No–thing up here,” Nutz said, pointing to his temple. “You’ve got to have a line, a story to tell to women. Otherwise you’re just another crude mesomorph leaning up against the singles bar of evolution, his big grubby paw in the pretzel and pizza-flavored goldfish bowl.”

Highly-developed man cave.


“Like . . . um . . . what?”

“Well, what are you interested in?”


“Okay–there’s a start. Try talking to women about food.”

Maybe I’d sold Nutz short. “Yeah–that’s a great suggestion. Or mead,” I added.

“How about stories–do you like stories?” Nutz asked.

“Ug like story. Scary story. Blood.”

Nutz left eyebrow shot up as if it had been jolted by a lightning bolt of skepticism. “No can do, Uggy-boy,” he said. “The story should be scary enough so that she hugs you, but not so violent that she can’t relax in bed later.”

“Oh,” Ug said. I think he was starting to get it. “So . . . tragic story of . . . woman lose husband?”

“Yeah,” Nutz said. “Or a kid dying from a disease always brings on the tears.”  I had a vision of the future–and something called the Lifetime Channel.

“So sad,” Ug said. “No Conan the Barbarian?”

“Not on the first date,” Nutz said, sanding down a rough spot on our newly-remodeled buddy.

“Just remember,” I said, adding in my two clam shells, for what they were worth. “A woman’s most sensitive erogenous zone is between her ears.” I was rather pleased with my succinct but trenchant little aphorism.

“So . . . rub noses and drive her wild?” Ug asked, looking perplexed.

Nutz snorted at me with contempt and started to walk off. “That’s what you get when you take a lesson from the master.”

Available in Kindle format on as part of the collection “Let’s Get Primitive.”


As Folk Music Returns to Roots, Some Try to Bury Them

ACTON, Mass.  It’s Folk Music Night at The Den of Iniquity, a coffeehouse in  the basement of an Episcopal Church here that serves as a meeting place for  those whose tastes are offended by the thumping bass beats and loudspeakers to  be found in local bars.  “Folk music aficionados are more genuine than lounge lizards,” says Rev. Norbert Stowe, who is manager of the club by virtue  of his status as pastor.  “Instead of a meatmarket atmosphere, we promise a more  tofu-like experience.”

” . . . and Jim is sleeping with Jerry’s  wife.”

Part of the passion for sincerity that is embedded in the club’s mission  statement is a commitment to original music that faithfully depicts the lives of  everyday people in the area.  “I think we’d be doing our patrons a disservice if  all they heard when they came here was ‘Greensleeves’ and ‘The Whistling Gypsy  Rover,’” Stowe says.  “We carefully vet our acts to make sure the mirror they  hold up to life doesn’t present a mere reflection of the past.”

“. . . and so vote NO on Proposition  2-0!”


As a result, featured acts take a page from the happenings around them in the  area, much as the wandering minstrels of days gone-by would work true stories of  love affairs and killings into their lays.  “People have forgotten that folk  music comes from real folk,” says Ted Dwynar, tonight’s opening act, as he tunes  his guitar.  “You’ve got to use the material of your own life if you want to  keep it fresh.”

“That lousy bitch was such a phony/I stopped  paying alimony.”


Dwynar’s opening number is a rousing anthem on a political issue that has no  reverberations beyond the town’s borders, an upcoming vote on a bond issue that  would finally, after 300 years of doing without, finance a sewer system for  residents who currently rely on septic tanks or cesspools.  “It’s gonna  raise our taxes quite a bit, and only for to haul away our . . . poop,” he  says with a smile in a nod to the church’s no-profanity policy.  The audience is  evenly divided between those in favor and those opposed to the measure, but they put aside their differences with a bi-partisan round of applause when the song  comes to an end.

“Well my old man is such a total jerk–cut off my  allowance and told me to go to work.”


Next Dwynar turns to a song of a love gone wrong, specifically, his first  marriage.  “Violet was into shells and sea anemones, now I deal with her  lawyer ’cause she’s the enemy,” he sings, and a few grey-haired widows in  the crowd try to catch his eye to signal their availability.

Next up is Basil Sheed, a banjo-picker with a self-produced EP to his credit,  who is known for his detailed slice-of-life songs that, in his words, “peel back  the shrink wrap from the little hermetically-sealed packages our daily lives  have become.”  “O, the Daisy Chain goes round and round, sparking gossip  round the town,” he begins, then settles in for a series of verses that  detail the various infidelities he’s aware of.  “Jim is sleeping with  Jerry’s wife, keeps her moanin’ through the night,” he sings.  “Sandy  likes the way Bob spanks, when he’s done she gives him thanks.

“Good song.  I didn’t realize you were boinking my  wife until the last verse.”


Stowe grows concerned that Sheed is coming dangerously close to a violation  of the group’s policy of not giving needless offense to any living animal,  vegetable or mineral, and rises from his spot at the card table near the  entrance in order to act swiftly if he goes over the line.

When a preacher comes to visit your spouse, you better make sure you’re  in the house,” he sings, but before he can get the next line out of his  mouth Stowe cuts him off with a curt “Thank you very much Basil,” and grabs the  microphone.  “There’s congo bars and mulled cider over in the Snack  Shack.”

After Bruising Mid-Terms, Congress Relaxes With Laser Tag

ARLINGTON, Virginia.  With Thanksgiving recess approaching, Democratic and Republican legislators adjourned yesterday afternoon for Laser Tag at the Fun Time Play Zone, an indoor arcade in this suburb of Washington, bringing smiles to many facing burn-out from bruising mid-term elections.

Democratic caucus.


“I nailed ol’ Dingleberry Pelosi square in the back,” Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said with a smile as he removed his LazerWare jacket. “She can run through the maze, but she can’t get away from me.”

Roberts: “I put ol’ Nancy’s derriere back in her chairiere.”


Lasertag is played as a team or individual sport, with players attempting to score by hitting targets on their opponents with an infrared-emitting “tagger.”  Laser tag can be played either indoors or outdoors, and may incorporate combat simulation, role-playing, and Shiatzu massage depending on the number, sex and species of the players.

First-term Congressperson from the 7th District of Illinois.


“I thought it was important that we send a message to the American people that the old confrontational style of politics was out the window,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn). “We want a new style of confrontation, where you can win cheesy prizes for zapping somebody with a ray gun.”

Blumenthal:  “I wanted the pink Power Ranger prize, not the green one.”


Democrat Chris Coons, junior Senator from Delaware, was twice cited for aiming his gun at Republicans’ faces. “Here’s some of my witchcraft,” he shouted as he blasted infrared light at Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

McConnell reported the violation to Fun Time Play Zone management, claiming that the flash had blinded him, throwing off his aim.  Security personnel provided him with eyewash, then administered a precautionary wedgie.

McConnell:  “I get two votes because I have two chins.”


When McConnell complained of the rough treatment he was escorted from the premises by bouncers, whose parting shot to the Kentucky Republican was “If you don’t like it, you and both of your chins can take it to the United Nations!”

Pope Names Panini Girl Patron Saint of Sandwiches

PANINI, Italy.  Bowing to pressure from an anxious College of Cardinals, Pope Francis today named a teenaged girl from this village the patron saint of sandwiches for her role in the development of the panini, a fast-casual menu item that has taken the world by storm.

“Fine–go ahead and spoil your dinner.”


“St. Luciana of Panini died for her belief that a sandwich is a meal if it includes cheese and lettuce,” the Pope said from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica as street vendors below hawked the wares that are named in her honor.  “Call me old-fashioned, but to me a sub or a hoagy or a grinder or whatever you want to call it is a near occasion of sin.”

“No–anything but the panini press!”


Panini are Italian sandwiches made from unsliced bread; sandwiches made from sliced bread are referred to as tramezzini or porci.  The bread is cut horizontally, filled with deli ingredients and served warm after having been pressed in a grill.

        “It’s good–try it!”


Luciana Resphigi was the daughter of strict parents who insisted she have a sit-down meal of pasta salad, pasta, chicken, pasta, seafood, pasta, spaghetti with pasta and linguini gelato.  The girl rebelled and grabbed a sandwich as she fled her childhood home, but was captured and put to death between two heavy steel plates that had been heated on a wood-fired grill similar to those found in fake Italian restaurants.

Arinze:  “I keep telling you guys, Gonzaga will never make the Final Four without divine intervention.”


“With the recognition of Luciana the Catholic Church has finally planted its flag in the ‘fast casual’ segment of the restaurant industry,” said Cardinal Francis Arinze, himself in line for sainthood after winning the Vatican’s NCAA men’s basketball pool for the past three years in a row.  “A toasted sandwich is crunchier, and all God’s children love crunchy snacks.”

Available in Kindle format on as part of the collection “Here’s to His Holiness: Fake Stories About Real Popes.”

Stunned by Loss of Amazon’s HQ2, Freedonia Takes Stock

ZZLOGKI, Freedonia.  In the end, say corporate relocation experts, competition to be Amazon’s second headquarters was just too competitive for marginal players such as this town of approximately 35,000 in central Freedonia.  “High tech types are looking for good schools and an interesting cultural climate, and their employers are looking for government handouts,” says Noel Fleiss of Municipal Governing magazine.  “Freedonia had none of those, and they came up with some incentives that were–quite frankly–bizarre.”

“Show your Amazon Prime membership card or I’ll shoot!”


But try telling that to Ngiesk vor Blader, who offered Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos his two virgin daughters in an effort to lure 25,000 jobs paying over $150,000 a year to the depressed Glorknok province.  “These girls I offer Bezos, they are everything I have in the world,” he says through a translator.  Then who, this reporter asks, is the third girl who emerges from the family’s smoky hut?  “Eglezia?  She went and got knocked up by the village idiot to spite me for burning her VHS cassettes of ‘Three’s Company.'”

Cast of Three’s Company: Worshipped as gods throughout the Uizlk mountain time zone.


The all-out effort to entice to open a campus here has left this war-torn nation, formed out of parts of Bosnia-Herzegovenia, an abandoned Six Flags amusement park and leftover Thanksgiving stuffing, with a boosterism-fueled hangover.  “We could not compete with New York and Virginia,” says Freedonian Minister of Commerce Olglk Nuriziek, the first female to hold the lucrative office, which doles out subsidies in exchange for bribes.  “They paid two billion dollars, we have only a weasel-backed currency to offer.”

“Perhaps someday I find man–until then, I date horse.”


Good government types from both ends of the political spectrum have criticized the competition, which will drain resources away from schools and other public needs to enrich amazon, one of the richest companies in the history of the world.  “It is shame, New York got screwed,” says Nuriziek, referring to the $1.525 billion in incentives the city will pay amazon.  “Me, I would have let them screw Freedonia for much, much less.”