As Women’s Tennis Grunts Spread, Men Try Armpit Farts

WIMBLEDON, England. When it began with Monica Seles, it seemed innocuous, or merely annoying. But now, say old school tennis champs including Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, the practice of grunting by women’s tennis players when they hit a shot has become a technique to rattle an opponent, a violation of the sport’s high standards of etiquette.

Monica Seles: She started it.


“It used to be I could get away from my job and relax by watching tennis,” says Dr. Nigel Holcomb, an obstetrician at London’s St. Mark’s Hospital. “Now I hear the same grunting out here that we get during a forceps delivery of a twelve-pound baby.”

Francesca Schiavone: “Aaargh–double aargh!”


The dominance of the grunters has enticed spectators away from the men’s matches, as sadists and those with a more straightforward prurient interest flock to the stands to hear the sounds women make when they are really, truly satisfied with a shot. “It was like a ghost town out here today,” said Novak Djokovic against Bernard Tomic of his match at Wimbledon yesterday. “Usually the spectators just look dead.”


So Djokovic and Tomic decided to do something about their plight, and began to engage in friendly but competitive armpit farts, at first just between points but later, as the match progressed, after baseline ground strokes as well. The crowd responded favorably, and by the third set were cheering heartily in recognition of the players’ dexterity and volume.

Irina Armpitkova: Eventually, the women will catch up to the men.


“It was really one of the most remarkable feats of athleticism I’ve ever witnessed,” noted All England Club teaching professional Oswald Nitzi. “Djokovic was volleying at the net, Tomic hit a perfect lob to the corner, but Djokovic recovered with a splendid passing shot and a noise that sounded like a twelve-year old Boy Scout after a campfire meal of beans.”

“That was a good one you got off, mate.”


An armpit fart is a simulated sound of flatulence produced by creating a pocket of air between the armpit of a partially raised arm and the hand, then swiftly closing this pocket by bringing the arm close to the torso. Unlike non-simulated farts, no gas is released by the process and the only offense given to those in close proximity to the perpetrator is aural, rather than olfactory.

“No I don’t smell anything–why do you ask?”


Number one seed Djokovic hopes to bow to the Queen after moving on yesterday. “It’s a wonderful tradition,” he says as he lifts his shirt. “I’ve been practicing a really juicy one for her.”

Available in Kindle format on as part of the collection “This Just In–From Gerbil Sports Network.”

Summer Party Advice From Father to Son

We were sitting outside, enjoying the first clear night following several days of rain, when my wife told me that our eldest son was going to Martha’s Vineyard with friends for the Fourth.

“You’ll talk to him, right?” she asked nervously.

“Absolutely,” I said. “I was young and twenty once, and did things that befit a dunce.”

“I wish you wouldn’t recite poetry when I’m trying to be serious.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, and I sorta meant it. “But when poetry chances to hit my ear, I recite it aloud, for all to hear.”

He was out on the driveway, practicing his lacrosse shots. I sauntered out, gin-and-tonic in hand, warming up to my best fatherly-advice tone.

“Hey there,” I said. “Off to the Vineyard, are we?”

“Yep,” he said, as he continued to whip shots at the goal. At his age, filial piety is best expressed by ignoring his parents.

“You’ll remember some of the things I told you when you came home . . . inebriated a while back?”

“I know,” he replied impatiently. “Whiskey on beer, never fear.”

“You’ve got it backwards. It’s ‘Beer on whiskey, never risky.’ And ‘Never mix, never worry.’”

Sandy Dennis, in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

“Who said that again?” he asked. Maybe I had gotten through to him–if only just a little–when we spoke before.

“Sandy Dennis, in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’.”

“Right, right,” he said dismissively, and went back to shooting.

“It’s important,” I said, returning to my theme of responsibility.

“It’s no big deal,” he said.

“Yes it is. I see so many young men your age making tragic fashion mistakes.”


I got right up in his face. “Madras shorts with those candy-ass Brooks Brothers shirts? If you wear stripes with plaids, you’ll look like a TV test pattern.”

That sobered him up a bit. “Maybe you’re right dad,” he said, with a serious tone. “Even though I don’t know what a TV test pattern is since I grew up with cable, I sure as hell don’t want to look like one.”

“Attaboy,” I said as I tousled his hair. We heard a horn honk out front.

“That’s Will,” my son said. “I gotta go.”

“Okay,” I said. “But I want to talk to him.”

We made our way to the front driveway, where I saw a carful of boys, energized with youthful high spirits.

“Whut up, dawgs?” I said in a cheerful tone. If you want to communicate with kids these days, it helps to know the latest in “hip-hop” slang.

“Hi, Mr. Chapman,” Will, the driver said. “Whut up wif you?”

I approached the car and put my hands on the driver’s side door. I gave Will my best look of grave concern. “You’re going to be cautious–right?” I asked with an upraised eyebrow.

“Don’t worry,” the boy said, unconvincingly.

“Because it’s every father’s nightmare to think that his son will come home someday–”

“I know, in a casket.”

“No, actually, in those goofy-looking pants with the little whales on them.”

The seriousness of the situation finally hit him. “I understand,” he said with downcast eyes. “I’ll keep your son out of the nicer men’s wear shops–promise.”

I gave his arm a comforting pat. “Attaboy. Have fun,” I said.

“Wait a minute,” he replied. “You’re forgetting your ham-handed attempt to appear cool by using hip-hop slang.”

I was mortified. “You’re right. Peace out, brother!”

“Peace out to you too,” he said, a big smile on his face.

My son was throwing his stuff in the back of the Volvo station wagon, but I had one more topic to cover with him.

“You know, I went to a fair number of wild parties at East Coast fleshpots in my chequered youth,” I said to him. “I know you’re saving yourself for your wedding night . . .”

“Absolutely, dad.”

“But you’re probably going to meet some pretty wild girls. I just want to make sure you’ve got some . . . protection.”

“Right here,” he said as he reached for the wallet in his back pocket.

I gave him a look of disappointment. “Not that kind of protection,” I said.

He appeared confused. “Then what are you talking about?”

“The Amazing Flying Monkey Sling Shot!” I replied.

“The one you gave me when I went off to college–for no apparent reason?”

“That’s the one. There’s nothing that sends the message that you’re a poor marriage prospect, and someone a girl doesn’t want to find in her bed the next morning, like a screeching simian projectile hurtling towards her.”

He seemed a little embarrassed that he’d overlooked this detail.

“Thanks, dad, I’ll go get it,” he said, and started to run up to his room.

“Wait a minute,” I said as I stopped him with my hand on his chest. “Aren’t you forgetting something?”


I nodded at the car. “You’ve got three friends in there, and you’re going to someone’s vacation house, so you need to bring a hostess gift.”

It was my wife’s turn to get involved, since shopping for gifts is a native art form among her clan. “There’s no time to get a really nice gift now,” she said, her brow furrowed in concern.

I had to allow myself a moment of self-satisfaction. “You all make cracks about my lack of social skills, but it looks like I’m the only one who planned ahead.”

“What do you mean?” my wife asked.

“I had the foresight to buy the 7-Monkey ‘Me and My Homies’ pack for only $25.95, not including shipping!”

Available in Kindle format on as part of the collection “Kids: They’re Cute When They’re Young.”

Olympic Body Hails Boston’s Plan, City’s Classy Hookers

BOSTON.  Reassuring worried business leaders, the U.S. Olympic Committee yesterday hailed the city’s revised plan to host the 2024 summer games of the XXXIII Olympiad, saying organizers had made “remarkable progress” and that local prostitutes they examined were “first rate hookers.”

Image result for boston combat zone

“The quality of a municipality’s commercial sex trade is an important driver of our decisions due to anti-money-laundering laws,” said committee member Herman de Borchgrave.  “It’s virtually impossible for Olympic officials to accept cash bribes anymore, so we need to take it out in trade,” he noted as he examined three Rolex watches given to him as part of Boston’s application, which was filed in triplicate.

Image result for hooker statue state house boston
The Hooker statue, Massachusetts state house


A “hooker” is a woman who sells sex for money without first requiring a wedding, reception and bridal shower with fun games and presents.  The term is thought to be derived from prostitutes who followed Major General Joseph Hooker during the Civil War.  Hooker, a native of Hadley, Massachusetts, is honored today by a statue on the lawn of the state capitol building, and by numerous prostitutes who patrol the streets of Boston’s “Combat Zone.”

Image result for naked eye cabaret boston
“Seriously?  Because I like Chomsky too!”


Boston is known as the “Athens of America” because of the high concentration of colleges and universities there, and as a result female sex industry workers are often touted for their advanced degrees and high I.Q.’s.  The now-defunct Naked I Cabaret for many years advertised an “All College Girl Revue,” but local writer Con Chapman, who was forced to attend a bachelor party there against his will, cast doubt on that claim.  “This one woman who was rubbing my thigh said she was an anthropology major, but she’d never heard of Claude Levi-Strauss,” he recalls.  “She did, however, have a bodacious pair of knockers.”


Greece Sends Letter to Creditors, Forgets to Enclose Check

ATHENS.  Hopes for settlement of the Greek monetary crisis continued their roller coaster ride today when the International Monetary Fund opened what they thought was an envelope containing an overdue payment and found no money inside.

Image result for angry greek mob
“The letter is already sealed–we can’t just open it again!”


“We are considering all of our options,” said IMF spokeswoman Natalie Grillet.  “They told us the check was in the mail, but we didn’t know that was one of the three big lies of all time, along with ‘One size fits all’ and ‘Sure, I’ll respect you in the morning.'”

The letter was supposed to include $1.73 billion for a late payment due the IMF, but the text written by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said “I was going to include that big check we owe you, but I see that I have sealed the envelope without putting it in.  Be sure and remind me about it next time you’re in Greece.”

Image result for angry greek mob
“Grab her–she’s got some change in her pocketbook.”


Greece has previously staved off default on its debts by post-dating or forgetting to sign checks or not putting a stamp on envelopes.  “At some point, you have to ask whether they are serious about reform or are just jerking us around,” Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany.  “They said they were going to return some bottles and cans over the weekend, but then they used the deposits to buy more retsina.

Image result for angela merkel
Merkel:  “It’s in your other pair of pants–like I haven’t heard that one from Spain and Italy before!”


The IMF’s remedies are limited due to the sovereign nature of Greece and its debts.  “We could bar them from the Miss World and Miss Universe contests,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.  “We could also boycott Greek yogurt, but I really love the strawberry and banana kind.”

EU: Greece Will Run Out of Syllables by Friday

ATHENS. A reeling Greek nation averted disaster today as it reached a temporary accord with creditors, but linguistics experts say the effort may be too little and too late as the nation will run out of syllables this Friday unless silent letters from euro-zone partners become available.

Members of elite Polysyllabilist corps


“For too long, the Greeks have lived high on the spelling hog with last names such as Papadopolopoulosas,” said Dr. Armand de Bergerac of Paris University. “What’s wrong with just ‘Plato’ or ‘Socrates’?”

Greece is a member of the “eurozone,” an economic and monetary union that consists of Austria, Belgium, the Cleveland Indians, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, a second-round draft pick from the Denver Broncos and a country to be named later. It issues the “euro,” a currency that can be redeemed for prizes at Chuck E. Cheese, a pizza restaurant that features arcade games fought over by overbearing parents.

Hermes ties, manufactured by Greek god of commerce


“Why should I, who has lived so long to pass on my name to my son, give it up to some fat-assed banker with a Hermes tie and slick-backed hair?” said Alkman Mossialosopapoulias, a shopkeeper here. “I chop offa his baklava before I chop offa one-a syllable of my name.”

Baklava (not shown actual size)


Finance ministers of other eurozone nations said they would draw down on reserves of silent letters if necessary in order to avoid a world-wide orthographic contagion, but would prefer to see Greece get its house in order before doing so.

“We probably don’t need both s’s in patisserie,” said Michel Gangemi, assistant undersecretary of phonics and fiscal affairs at the Banque de France. “But Germany should go first, with overgrown monstrosities such as Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz, which can mean either ‘beef labelling supervision duty assignment law’ or ‘feeling widow gets seeing daughter go out on first date with accountant’ depending on the context.”

The First Apartment: A Rite of Passage

Today, with the signing of a lease and payment of first and last month’s rent, security deposit, key charges, broker’s commission and the short-term national debt of Finland, my younger son became a man. For there is no step that so clearly marks the crossing of the threshold from childhood to adulthood as that which confers upon you an interest–however temporary–in real estate. As Scarlett O’Hara’s father said to her about Tara, the family plantation, in Gone With the Wind: “Land, Scarlett, land. It’s the only thing worth living for, worth fighting for, worth dying for–not all of your crinoline dresses and gew-gaws and frippery.”

Scarlett O’Hara and father: ” . . . and remember to put a Post-It Note that says ‘Scarlett’s Soda!’ on your Diet Cokes in the refrigerator.”

As such, the move out of a college dorm and into an apartment comes freighted with heavy responsibilities, which it is a father’s duty to discuss with his son. “Say,” I said, although that part always goes without saying, “we should have a little ‘chat’ about the apartment.”

He rolled his eyes, as he always does when I put quotation marks around the word “chat.” He knows what’s coming.

“This apartment you’re moving into–it’s a big step.”

“I know, dad.”

Folk dancing: For some reason, they’re always short of men.

“It can be a wonderful thing. No more goofy flyers in the hall of your dorm urging you to join the Young Socialist League, or that more male dancers are needed for Friday night folk dancing. On the other hand, it’s a place where you’ll form friendships–and enemyships–that can last a lifetime.”

He sat there glumly, suffering in silence. I guess he figured if he didn’t speak it would be over sooner.

“An apartment comes with major responsibilities,” I said. “You’re not in a dorm anymore, so if your refrigerator breaks down–you’re on your own.”

That caught his attention. “We are?”

“Sure–if you want to keep your beer cold and your hot dogs from rotting, you’ve got to go to a used appliance store and pick up a cheap one. Your college isn’t in loco parentis any more.”

“What does loco parentis mean?”

“That your mother and I are crazy to be paying for this.”

“So–we have to haul a refrigerator up three flights of steps?”


“And what do we do with the old one?”

I looked at him with a disappointed surmise. “What in the hell are they teaching you kids in college these days?”

“I’m a double major–I don’t get to take many electives.”

“Still–I thought every red-blooded American boy would know what to do with a dead refrigerator in a third-floor apartment.”


I laughed a mirthless, condescending laugh–perhaps I was a member of the smartest generation in history, as Time magazine told me back in the 60s.

“Listen up, and listen good,” I said, getting right up in his face to show him I meant it. “You throw the refrigerator off the back porch!”

He was stunned, silent, as he is always is when I reveal one of the elegant solutions of my misspent youth. It’s true what they say–mathematicians, poets and madmen do their best work in their 20′s.

“You threw a refrigerator off a porch?” he asked, incredulous. Maybe the old man wasn’t such a dummy after all.

“Of course I did. Remember, I had a summer job installing appliances. I wasn’t about to move a refrigerator down three flights of stairs for nothing!”

He was silent for a moment. “Did . . . you ever have any regrets about it?”

I sat down next to him and tousled his hair. “Of course I did, kiddo. Everybody else in my gang remembered to wear a Halloween costume when we did it. It never even occurred to me that a colorful mask–Bozo the Clown, Chewbacca–would lend an air of antic gaiety to the proceedings, as well as disguise my identity.”

“Did you get caught?”

“Throwing refrigerators off apartment porches is really a victimless crime–unless you hit somebody,” I said, drawing on the reservoirs of knowledge I’ve built up after 35 years, two weeks and five days of my legal career, not that I’m counting or anything. “The cops in our student ghetto had their hands full with recreational drugs.”

He seemed to be “getting” it. “What else?” he asked.

I put my arm around him, the better to convey that while the advice I was about to give him was harsh, it was the product of paternal love. “I know you’ll be tempted to get involved in . . . illicit activities now that you won’t be under the watchful eye of your dweeby graduate student dorm monitor.”

“That guy is such a turd!”

“I know–they all are. Anyway, the thing I want you to understand is that if you’re going to bring in black lights and grow marijuana in the pantry, be sure you have shades on the windows.”


I shook my head from side to side–kids! What do they know?

“Because that purple glow out the window is like putting a sign on the side of your apartment building that says ‘Arrest me!’”

Indoor pot farm (not mine).

“Oh,” he said. He sounded embarrassed that I had exposed his ignorance in this very vital area of apartment living. “So you . . . grew marijuana in your apartment?”

“Of course not. No one ever grows marijuana in their apartment. When the cops come, you say it was left there from the guys who rented the place the year before.”

“The TV’s busted. Should we throw it off the front porch or the back porch?”

“What if the cops came the year before?”

“Those plants were there from time immemorial. For all you know, Moses sneaked them out of Egypt through the Red Sea.”

He seemed to understand. “Did you take the marijuana with you when you left?”

“No, I was pretty much done with pot by then. I’d smoked enough so that the THC in my system was making me paranoid. It happened to Stevie Wonder, too.”

“Who’s Stevie Wonder?”

“Just the guy who created some of the greatest pot-smoking music of all time. Anyway, your lease says you have to leave the apartment ‘broom clean’–it’s a legal term. I was the last one to leave, so I had to move about forty crates of dark, rich soil out of the place.”

“How did you do it?”

“I may have smoked a lot of pot, but it looks like my short-term memory is better than yours,” I said smugly.

“What do you mean?”

I threw it off a porch!” I screamed. I didn’t mean to, but I was growing exasperated.

“Oh, right–sorry,” he said.

“Maybe you should be taking notes,” I said, and I wasn’t kidding.

He took a pad of paper out of his backpack, and started to write: “Throw . . . pot . . . plants . . . off . . . back . . . porch.”

“Gimme that,” I snapped as I grabbed the pad and pen from him. I drew a thick line through the word ‘back’ and wrote ‘front’ over it.”

“You throw the pot off the front porch?” he asked.

“Sure–you already threw the refrigerator off the back porch. People will start to complain.”

“Like who?”

“Like the old lady who lives on the floor beneath you, with the divorced daughter who comes over every Sunday with her annoying kids.”

Look out below!

“Why does she complain?”

“Because she was sitting on her front porch, and I hit her with the dirt when I threw it off our front porch.”

“Oh,” he said as I handed the pad back to him. “Makes sense.”

“One last thing,” I said, as I held out our copy of the short-form apartment lease. “Signing this document carries a great many legal responsibilities with it. This is your introduction to the real world–for the first time, you’re on the hook, understand?”

“I guess.”

“I don’t think so. The landlord’s got the security deposit–if you mess the place up, he can keep it.”

“What if I disagree, or I didn’t do it?” he asked. I had to admire his spunk, but at the same time I had to give him a practical lesson in the slow workings of the American legal system too.

“The landlord’s got you over a barrel–he’s got your money, and it will take you at least two years to get into court to get it back. By that time, you and your roommates will be scattered across the country. You won’t want to come back for a lousy $300 each.”

“So what do we do?”

“You do like my friends Rick and Carl. Rick went on to a third-rate medical school in the Caribbean when none of the U.S. schools would have him, and Carl turned into a sadistic U.S. Marshall. Two very savvy guys.”

“What was their solution?”

“They got a couple of packs of Jimmy Dean’s Pure Pork Sausage, and stuffed it into every nook and cranny in the apartment before they left.”

Available in Kindle format on as part of the collection “Kids: They’re Cute When They’re Young.”

As Crisis Deepens Greece Demands Return of Fishermen’s Caps

ATHENS, Greece.  As the fiscal crisis in Greece deepened over the weekend government officials demanded the return of all Greek fisherman’s caps, calling them “a national treasure that is being squandered and defiled in the name of fashion.”

Genuine Greek fisherman’s cap, non-genuine Greek fisherman

“We cannot stand idly by while western ‘hipsters’ appropriate for dating and coolness purposes the hat that for centuries has been emblematic of the Greek fisherman,” said First Minister of State Konstantin Konstantinopoulos.  “If we wanted to do that, we would have called it the Greek hipster hat.”

Tenured professor trying to look jaunty

In America, Greek fishermen’s caps are favored by liberal arts college faculty who desire to appear jaunty, old guys hogging tables while nursing a cup of coffee in diners, and bicycle messengers who risk their future earning capacity by going without helmets.

Elgin Marbles

In recent years Greece and other countries have taken a more aggressive approach to the repatriation of works of their classical eras.  “We want the Elgin Marbles back, too,” said Konstantinopoulos as he picked up the last syllable of his name, which was dragging the ground.  “Also Jimmy the Greek and Greek salads.”

Image result for marbles collection

The Elgin marbles are a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures that were removed from the Parthenon and transported by sea to Britain.  Greece has demanded their return, but the British government has so far offered only two cat’s eyes, one hog roller and three “cleary” marbles as reparations.

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