Archive for the ‘ Humor ’ Category

A Cynic’s Response to The Desiderata

Max Ehrmann’s inspirational poem – Desiderata was written in 1927. The myth of the poem is that it was written in 1690 by an unknown author. Nice story. Anyway, depending on how you look at it, the Desiderata can be considered either a credo to live by or a poem of inspirational drivel.

If you’ve never heard of, or read “Desiderata”, here’s a link to the poem and a bit of it’s history: .

Below is my response to Mr. Ehrmann’s poem. Please keep in mind that although I am cynical, I am not pessimistic. To put my comments in perspective, you should, if you have not already done so, read the Desiderata… 





By: Jake Jakubuwski

Copyright, 2013


Go placidly (Even if it means doubling your normal dose of Xanex!) amid the noise and haste, and remember that peace, of any sort, is always short-lived — so keep your mouth shut!

There is no possible way to be on good terms with everyone — no matter how hard you try. If you speak your truth quietly and clearly, some idiot will shout you down — so why waste your breath?

If you listen to others, especially the dull and the ignorant, you only get confused or bored. They might have their story to tell but it may be tainted by delusional thinking and fantasy. That’s especially true when it comes to listening to politicians.

Avoiding loud and aggressive persons is a sound idea since such avoidance may keep you from punching their lights out and winding up with an assault charge!

If you compare yourself with others, the chances are you will be selling your self short. And, remember: No matter how humble your career, you can always get a degree in business manage-ment at the local community college!

If you ain’t happy with your job look for another one, shoot your boss, or start your own business. There are always alternatives. Just remember that there ain’t nobody who is going to look out for your interests as well as you will.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. Therefore never extend more credit then you can afford to lose. And remember that there really is no such thing as a “Free Lunch!” There truly may be a bunch of folks in the business world that profess high ideals. However, there are many more that don’t have any virtues, scruples or morals whatsoever — so watch those folks like a hawk!

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. You might as well since Mother Nature is going to take care of most things like good eye sight, strong bones, good hearing, steady nerves and plaque-free arteries anyway. So, stop fighting the inevitable and resign yourself to the onslaught of time. Pretend you’re being graceful about it if you must — otherwise go kicking and screaming into the not-so good night…

A merry heart might “doeth good” like a medicine — but distress, misfortune, stress, fear and loneliness are tough conditions to overcome. All of them are very real possibilities as you age — gracefully or otherwise! So is spending your final days in a nursing home. As the Red-hatters say: “Pull up your big purple panties and deal with it!”

You might as well be gentle with yourself since you didn’t ask to be here to begin with. You may be a Child of The Universe and you might even have a right to be here (whether it’s against your will or not) but that doesn’t make the trip any easier.

Therefore: be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, it is well to remember that life is a terminal disease and none of us are going to get out of this deal alive.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. If you believe that you’re most likely severely delusional already!

So try to be cheerful. Strive to be happy. Keep a smile on your face and everyone else will wonder what you’ve been up to!


Jake Jakubuwski (February, 2013)



Looking South From Our Front Steps

There really is nothing boring about a snowstorm

Note: In January of 1993, “The Storm of the Century” brushed our area and I wrote the following piece that appeared in The Henderson Dispatch and the Oxford Ledger. This article later became one chapter in a book that I published in 2008 titled: “Lockin’ Up!” Just recently, a Face Book Friend posted and asked if anyone remembered that storm. I did  and  thought I would share this article with all my FB friends because…

 There’s Nothing Boring About A Snowstorm!

By Jake Jakubuwski

(Copyright, 1993, 2013. All Rights Reserved)

            Recently, when the “Storm of the Century” brushed our area and showed us the first snow that we had seen in several years, my wife, Christie, her aunt and I sat watching the snowflakes run frenziedly before the wind.  Listening to the wind howl around the corners of the house and rattle at the storm windows with an almost demented arrogance, made us more appreciative of our warm home, hot coffee, and the fact that none us needed to be out in the storm.

            About 9:30 that night, after being silent for most of the day, the telephone made its own arrogant and insistent demand on our warm, cozy evening.  Since we had either called or been called by our various relatives who wanted to know if we had been flooded-out, snowed-in or wind-whipped, I knew that I was about to hear from Mr. Murp       Y’all know Mr. Murphy!  He’s the fellow that causes unexpected things to happen at the most inopportune times.  That evening, I’m certain that he was cavorting on the wind with Mother Nature and getting ready to interrupt my cozy evening.

            I do know — for a fact — that Murphy and Mother Nature will team up occasionally and concoct some memorable prank to keep us mortals from getting bored with our lot in life. I would have been happy to try to dissuade them of that notion, but they don’t usually check in with their victims before doing something unnecessary to disrupt a perfectly satisfactory and enjoyable evening.

            The two of them must’ve thought that I was becoming bored with a warm fire, a comfortable chair, my wife, her aunt and the dazzling acrobatic dance the snowflakes were doing outside our win

            At any rate, the persistence of the ringing telephone was undeniable.  When I answered, Mother Nature disguised her howling hilarity as the voice of a distraught young lady who, when she had gotten off work, discovered she had locked her keys in her car.  In the background, I could hear Mr. Murphy moaning in an effort to contain his mirth.

            Now my truck is about as cold natured as a green lizard, and it took a little coaxing to get it started and warmed up to the point where I could get to where M&M were waiting.  Then, I couldn’t get the car open because the door linkages were frozen solid and absolutely refused to budge.  I drove the lady home, and went back home myself.

            I didn’t know it but Mr. Murphy and Mother Nature weren’t quite finished having fun yet.  As I walked in the door, Christie handed me the phone.  It was now Murphy disguising his voice as that of the young lady’s spouse.  It seems that not only were her keys locked in the car, his were too!  To complicate matters his wife had left her purse, money, credit cards, etc., in the car.  Was there anyway I could help?

            So it was back to the couple’s house to pick up the husband this time.  Then back to where the car was located.  Now things really got, as my granddaughter would say, “funner!”  The car had been out in the snow and the freezing rain all day.

            In order to “break” the ice inside the door panel, I had to crank up my generator, and using Christie’s hair dryer, blow hot air down the inside of the door.  This took about thirty minutes while Mother Nature had her friend, Wind, blow his icy breath up my trouser leg and down my collar.  In the meantime, she threw a snow flurry or two at me.  Finally, I got the door open and sent Mr. Murphy’s unwitting agent home.

            Cold, somewhat damp and in a slightly less then humorous frame of mind, I walked in the door. Yep!  Christie handed me the phone again!  This time it was the young lady.  Her husband has gotten home all right, but he was still outside in the car!  It seemed he could not get either one of the car doors open!  Help!  This time, the Green Lizard was warm and ready!

            When I arrived at the house, I walked up to the driver’s side door (through 8 or ten inches of snow), tried the handle and pulled the door open!  The reason the young lady’s husband got “trapped” was because the inside handle to the door was broken off (not by me, folks! They bought the car that way).  The windows and passenger door were frozen shut, and nobody thought to try the driver’s side handle!

            As I drove home I thought of the old adage about “all’s well that ends well.”  Was that gleeful giggling I heard on the edge of the wind?  Nah! Surely Mr. Murphy and Mother Nature had had enough fun with me that night

            They were … until about 5 a.m., when they had Wind knock down a power line.  That little trick shut down our electrically fired gas furnace.  Believe me!  I wasn’t bored!  Cold maybe, but I was not bored.



Author’s Note: “Lockin’ Up!” was the title of a weekly newspaper column that I wrote regarding personal security tips and ways to thwart the depredations of Tommy and Tessie Thug. Those articles (which appeared from 1992 until 1994) also included some personal social commentary about crime, punishment and even an unkind word or two about our system of justice and how it seemed, even in the early 90’s that the judicial deck seemed to be stacked against the good guys and gals.

 The book is currently available as an eBook downloadable directly to your computer for only $9.99.

To purchase Lockin’ Up! or any of my books, videos, PowerPoint presentations and eBooklets, visit:  Y’all take care and have a prosperous and SAFE New Year!



Barbie: A Christmas Gift


By: Jake Jakubuwski

Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

 I have a confession to make.

 Actually, I have two…

 First, I am not a Christmas person.

 Nothing to do with religion, per se, I just can’t get myself into all the hoopla, hustle and huckstering. In fact, I am sincerely happy when December 26th gets here. It’s like the first day of vacation after months of Christmas Specials, Sales flyers in the mail and used car sales people dressed as Santa (Or reindeer, or elves — Please!) and telling the unwary how much money they can save if they buy a car from them with no payments for the first 6 months!

I mean all of that hype and histrionics begin to wear thin by the time Thanksgiving dinner is over — and you realize that you’ve still got another month to go — with Black Friday getting here before your left over turkey gets cold!

Now, I don’t want you to take that to mean that I am a Scrooge — I just don’t get all wrapped up in wrapping, swapping and returning shirts that don’t fit or gizmos that I have no earthly idea how to operate and neckties(!) that I never wear.

I am fortunate. Christie does all our Christmas shopping and she is a world class shopper. By mid-January, she’s scouting out bargains and sales for stuff that she will send to family and give to friends the following Christmas! The only one that I have to buy for is Christie — that suits me just fine.

Second Confession:

   I have aA CHRISTMAS GIFT Barbie Doll. 

   I don’t mean that I collect Barbie’s — I mean that I have one in my office. She’s mine!

   My granddaughter, who is now twenty-five, could never  understand why, as a little girl, Grandpa would not let her play with HIS Barbie doll.

My Barbie is about twenty years old now and proves the old adage about being careful what you wish for — ‘cause you just might get it!

Let me tell you how I came to be the proud owner of my very own Barbie…

To really appreciate this tale, you have to understand that my wife, Christie, has a really great sense of humor and she and I have always been able to play pranks on each other. With that said…

Just before Christmas of ’92 we had been to the State Fairgrounds Flea Market inRaleigh. On the way home we decided to stop and have dinner at a Golden Corral. As we’re standing in line, Christie is giving me the rundown on what she’s found for everyone and what else she might add to the list.

I was sort of in my Christmas Grump mood and was giving answers like: “Uh, right,” “Okay”, “That’s fine by me,” etc. and so forth. She could tell that I really had the spirit.

The place was busy and there was a hostess who was seating people. The young lady that led us to our table had long, blonde hair that hung nearly to her waist; a short skirt that hung well above her knees and a somewhat noticeable figure. I looked at her, turned to Christie and said: “Can we renegotiate my position on Christmas, this year?” She said: “Forget it, Charlie!” I reminded her that my name was Jake and she had to understand that all I wanted under the tree that year was a “…little blonde…”

Sure enough! I got a Barbie doll, dressed in a pink outfit that showed off her long blonde hair and long shapely legs! See what I mean about being careful what you wish for?

So, what does a guy pushing his mid-50’s do with a Barbie doll he got for Christmas? I can tell you this: Even Christie was surprised!

For a long while, I set my Barbie on the top of the passenger seat of my van! She went on all of my service calls with me. She didn’t get out and help me but she’d wait patiently until I finished the job and then accompanied me to the next one.

Every once in awhile, a customer would see her sitting on the seat back and asked if my daughter, or granddaughter, forgot to take her home. I’d tell them that “Barbie” didn’t belong to my granddaughter, she belonged to me! And, that she was a Christmas present from my wife.

That got me some strange looks. It also got a lot of laughs and “Yeah, right!” comments. At the same time some customers wanted to know the story. And I’d tell ‘em. 

Barbie also travelled with me. The first time was when I went to an ALOA show. When I unpacked my suitcase: there was Barbie lying on top of my clothes! So, I took her out and set her on top of my TV. One evening Greg Mango, TNL’s managing editor, came to my room to yack — saw Barbie on the TV and asked it I had bought her for my granddaughter.

I said “No, she’s mine and travels with me when Christie can’t come!” I’ll say this for Greg; he laughed and then wanted to know the full story.

About six, or seven years ago, Barbie quit travelling with me and sits on top of the file cabinet in my office. Remarkably, she hasn’t seemed to age much although she has to be dusted off every now and again.

Even today, when someone comes into my office for the first time and sees Barbie sitting there, they frequently ask if my granddaughter left her there…they look puzzled when I tell them she belongs to me.

Most of the time, they laugh and I tell them the story. Every now and again, I get one that says: “Oh.” and nothing else. When that happens I find it really difficult to keep a straight face.

Like I say, Christie and I still have a lot of fun together. Someday, maybe, I’ll tell you the story about the green plastic frog…

Curing The Black Friday Blues

Curing The Black Friday Blues

By Jake Jakubuwski

Copyright, 2012. All rights reserved

Black Friday is almost here! In fact, WalMart, Target and others are trying to get a leg up on Black Friday by beginning their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day, this year.

There are all sorts of pro/con/”I don’t give a …..” blogs and articles about how to survive Black Friday, and now, I guess — How to Survive “The Day Before Black Friday.”

Unions are up in arms, employess are protesting and a large percentage of consumers seem to be panting in anticipation of the bargains they’re gonna snag on Black Friday Eve (which is really Thanksgiving Day) and Black Friday; which is a retaling nightmare that the retailers themselves have created.

If I remmber correctly from my long ago days with Sears, August through December would account for roughly 60% of a store’s annual sales. If that still holds true, retailers are using Balck Friday Eve and Black Friday to help pad their gross…by offering Real Deals on everything from auto accessories to zippers…

That’s fine by me because I have NEVER felt the need to camp outside any store in order to be able to save a zillion bucks on already outrageously overpriced merchandise…That’s just me, of course.

But after reading the following article, I had a brilliant idea. At least I think it’s brilliant — even if it’s not origirnal. This Black Friday Eve stay home with your family, enjoy a turkey and cranberry sauce sandwhich, another peice of pie and watch a faviorite rerun on TV!

Then on the dreaded BLACK FRIDAY, don’t get up unill at least an hour later then you normaly get up, have a leisurely cup, or two, of coffee and spend the day (if you don’t have to work) with your family — but STAY AWAY FROM THE STORES!

After all, you still have about 3.5 weeks to do your Christmas shopping if you haven’t done it before hand.

If enough folks did that, it would definitely take the BLACK out of the biggest shopping day of the year.

And, just in case y’all haven’t been paying attention, there’s this new-fangled concept that makes Christmas shopping a breeze…it’s called the Internet!











By: Jake Jakubuwski

(Copyright 2012. All rights reserved) 

 The headline read: “Japan, Russia See Chance to Clone Mammoth.”

 I’m not gonna get into an ethics discussion about tinkerin’ around with Nature and maybe even cloning a Mammoth and winding up with something on the order of Godzilla with tusks — and the disposition of Attila The Hun.

 But I think those scientific types should leave sleeping Mammoths lay, so to speak.  I mean Mammoths have been extinct for ten thousand years, or more. Why would we want to jump start a whole new species of Mammoths?

 First off, none of us have any idea how a Mammoth would adapt to today’s world.

 You know Mammoths were like really, really big and they ate a lot of stuff everyday. Where’s all that forage going to come from?

 Yeah, I know that as kids, we fed elephants, in zoos and circuses, peanuts: but they also ate half a ton of hay every couple of days to supplement the peanuts. And, who’s to say that a Mammoth would even like peanuts or living in a cage with funny looking people pointing and giggling at him?

 If this newest Mammoth winds up with any species memory (that’s stuff that is sort of remembered in the genes) he might realize that of all those people looking at him through the bars of his cage — none of them have a spear or a bow and arrows.

 Then in his prehistoric angst…

Wait! Would he be prehistoric if he were born in aTokyo, orMoscow, zoo in the next year or two?

 Anyway, maybe he gets the idea that he can simply yank the bars of his cage out of the ground and run amuck over all those people crowding around and pointing and giggling at him.

 No one alive has ever seen what can happen when a Mammoth runs amuck. Therefore we can only speculate how seriously amuck, umpteen tons of unhappy Mammoth can run.

 It would probably redefine the word “Amuck”. Maybe we’d have two definitions. One would be like “amuck” indicating a rowdy crowd of New Year celebrants. Like nothing to it.

 The other meaning would be “A-MUCK!”

 Like a Sherman tank running out of control in your backyard!

 But I’ll tell you what worries me the most.

 Nobody knows what will happen. Nobody!

 Oh, I know, the scientists think they can remove the nucleus from an elephant’s egg and insert some Mammoth DNA and a year later out pops this cuddly little Mammoth that already weighs two tons!

 Scientists (Ya gotta love ‘em) estimate that Mammoths may have reached a weight of about 12 tons. Let’s see: that’s only 24,000 pounds! That equals almost as much as THREE M3 Halftracks (like those used in WWII), weighed!

 Listen, folks!

 Didn’t these people learn anything from the movie Jurassic Park?

 That one movie proves — beyond a shadow of doubt — that it is not nice to mess with Mother Nature. Especially if you’re messing with a really big animal that might not be amenable to potty training on a newspaper. Talking about things running amuck!

 Another thing: Have you ever seen a Mammoth tusk?

 They are HUGE!

 I’m talking huge in the sense that a talented Oriental carver could probably get nine thousand figurines of Buddha out of one tusk! And still have enough ivory left over to carve eight dozen jewelry boxes big enough to hold the Royal Jewels of a fair sized monarchy and a couple dozen of those neat little ivory balls that rattle around inside and ivory cage.

 Got that image in your mind?

 Now think about this cloned Mammoth, standing maybe as much as fifteen feet at the shoulder and swinging not one, but a pair of those tusks at you!

 Why would he be swinging his tusks?

 Because: He  would be unhappy.

 He probably will not like the 21st Century and he will not like the fact that he doesn’t have a mate and his only choices for a soul-mate are some scrawny elephants that would probably be afraid of him anyway.

 With all that said, I know that the Japanese and Russian scientists (By the way the word Mammoth has its roots in the Russian language) are probably gonna take a shot at giving the world a real live Mammoth. There just are no guaran-tees that the experiment will have a happy ending.

 Think about Jurassic Park!

 But before this Mammoth cloning idea gets out of hand, I want you — and especially the scientists that are thinking about messing with Nature — to be aware of something that very, very few people are privy to. Hopefully, this will give those scientists pause…

 My father had an uncle who never leftPoland. I never met him but heard lots and lots of stories about him. He became a microbiologist and was the lead guy on the University of Krakow’s team that was trying to clone a human.

 Uncle Piotr (“Piotr” is the Polish equivalent of “Peter”) according to family lore, decided to use himself as a donor to see if he could clone a twin. The experiment was successful and the University had scientists from all around the world coming there for symposia and to see the results of their cloning program. Uncle Piotr was very happy.

 Unfortunately, the clone began to exhibit some really bad social traits. He would grope female students. He spoke like a Polish sailor and in general was a disappointment to Uncle Piotr. One evening after the clone had tried to force the department’s secretary to go out behind the barn, Uncle Piotr had enough! He got the clone in his car and drove him way up in the mountains and threw the clone off of a cliff!

 Unfortunately for Uncle Piotr, two policemen had pulled into the overlook just as Uncle Piotr shoved the clone over the precipice. They arrested him and charged him with making an Obscene Clone Fall!

 With the foregoing in mind, and to verify I’m not fabricating the whole thing;  here’s a link to the Mammoth cloning story…you might want to read it!


Oh! My Aching Back!

Oh! My Aching Back!

By Jake Jakubuwski
Copyright, 2012

 We humans have only one internal, self-regenerating, organ  —   the liver.

 What I would like to see is back regeneration. I know the back is not an organ — but if your back is on the bum, you ain’t a whole lot of use to yourself. 

When I was younger, and less wise then I am today, I would hear folks beg off lifting anything because their “back was out”. I, in the infinite wisdom of youth, snickered to myself and thought they were just looking for an easy way to get out of working. Maybe some of them were.

About six years ago, I found out what was meant by a back “being out”.  Mine not only went out, it loudly (or should I say “painfully”) declared that it simply didn’t want to play anymore.

 It wasn’t like my back hadn’t tried to warn me that I was being a jerk for lifting (Yeah! Like picking them up and carrying them) heavy drums of cleaner and chemicals or picking up sofas and rolls of carpeting by myself, without the aid of a dolly — it did. Repeatedly.

 But being young, strong, hard-headed and able to lift heavy objects — I did.  Repeatedly.

 And, truthfully, I liked to sort of show off doing it. I’d carry six, five-gallon pails of epoxy rather then two!

If something needed lifting and carrying — I was the first to lend my back to the effort. 

 Once, before Christie and I married, I took a day bed over to her apartment and impressed her by carrying it up two flights of steps — by myself — and on my back!

 Much later I learned that your back actually remembers all the bad stuff you subject it to. Frequently, my back will painfully remind me of those transgressions while I’m trying to perform some mundane task — like brushing my teeth.

 Some back problems are caused by accident.

 Most are the result of lifting too heavy a weight. Lifting stuff the wrong way, or showing your machismo by lifting heavy drums and carrying day beds up two flights of steps without help.

 The main cause (As I see it) of back problems is self-inflicted idiocy.

 I readily include myself in that group of folks who think their backs are invincible and will last forever. Folks who consistently and foolishly strain our backs doing things that backs were not designed to do.

 Then one day, in our future, we not only have to pay the piper, we find that we can no longer even dance. Or walk without a cane. Or pick up an empty cardboard box from the floor. Or… Well, you get the idea.

 Most back problems are preventable.

 Prevention starts with good lifting habits and not showing off. There’s really no reason to let your friends, or co-workers, see how strong you are and how big a load you can carry.

 There might be some self-satisfaction in carrying six, five-gallon, buckets full of whatever, to wherever — but the long-term cost of doing so is staggering.  Literally.

 I know, ‘cause I’ve been there and done that!

 Modern orthopedic medicine is truly remarkable when it comes to replacing hips, knees and performing corrective surgery. If it wasn’t, I’d be in a lot worse shape then I’m in.

 Even with all the strides that have been made and the remarkable things orthopedic surgeons are able to accomplish; I think about what my grandmother used to say: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”

 Like many of her platitudes, that one was spot on. After all, truisms are truisms because they’re true, right?

 Take it from me: The kinder you treat your back while you’re young, the better your back will treat you when you reach The Age of Physical Retribution. The Age of Physical Retribution is the time in your life when your body, and all of its sundry parts, informs you that it is Payback Time!  

 Treat your back well while it’s still in good shape and it’s less likely you will later be moaning:

 “Oh! My aching back!”

 The following link will give you some information from the National Safety Council about protecting your back when lifting.