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virtual children by Scott Warnock

The silence of the Warnocks

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So I come home from work early and my little guy is playing video games again. Again. I go right into the usual bawling about how he plays video games too much and my wife although she states her agreement with me again — again! — comes up with the excuse this time that I only saw the video game-playing because I came home early. That line of logic – if I came home later that would have meant he’d been on it longer! — drives me to rage. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten United Airline excuses

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10. “We had no idea he was a doctor, because he wasn’t wearing scrubs and a stethoscope.”

9. “Our slogan is ‘Fly the Friendly Skies,’ but we were still on the ground.”

8. “All publicity is good publicity, as long as they spell your name right – and that’s ‘Airlines, with an ‘s’.”

7. “Our in-flight entertainment system was on the fritz, and we wanted to provide our passengers something with a bit of drama to it.”

6. “Of course we think United employees should get preference; after all, they’re United employees!

5. “He refused to return his tray table to its full upright and locked position.”

4. “We had no idea other passengers would use their cell phones to take footage of the incident – that’s on them!

3. “We offered him accommodations in an overhead compartment, but he refused.”

2. “The day before I gave the order, I massively shorted United Airlines stock.”

1. “Why do I get the feeling any excuse I give just won’t fly?”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingreligion & philosophy

Top ten lines from a joke you should tell at Easter Dinner today — or on Monday a day late (since this post is a day early)

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10. Tom, Dick, and Harry are in a VW when they have a head-on collision with a Mack truck.

9. Suddenly, they find themselves walking across these white billowy clouds towards these pearly gates.

8. As they start running towards the gates, St. Peter swoops in and says, “Wait a second, you can’t just come buzzing in here like you own the place!…”

7. “…You have to prove you learned something on Earth, and we have it boiled down to one question: What is Easter?”

6. Tom thinks about it for a while, then says, “My aunt and uncle come over, and we have turkey and cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie,….Pilgrims!”

5. Saint Peter pushes a button and Tom disappears down this fiery chute.

4. Dick’s sweating now because he’s next and there’s that fire there, and he thinks for a second, then sings, “Jingle Bells! Jingle Bells!” – Saint Peter pushes the button and he’s gone.

3. Harry, also sweating, says hopefully, “Well, it has something to do with Christ’s death.”

2. St. Peter considers this, smiles, and says, “Well, so does Good Friday; let’s be a little bit more specific.”

1. And Harry says, “There’s this massive rock, Jesus rises from the dead, He rolls back the rock, steps outside,…[pause]…and if He sees His shadow…”

art & entertainmentbooks & writing

An Interview With Rebecca Schuman

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Rebecca Schuman’s new memoir is a fast read with a long title: Schadenfreude, A Love Story. Me, the Germans, and 20 Years of Attempted Transformations, Unfortunate Miscommunications, and Humiliating Situations That Only They Have Words For. The book offers an engrossing look at the author’s adventures in the liberal arts, graduate training, and much more. Schuman’s memoir takes us from the Pacific Northwest to college back East, and then on multiple excursions to Germany where she has a chance to be reminded that her literary love, Franz Kafka, wasn’t German even as she immerses herself in a language that bamboozles her in comic, yet thought-provoking, ways. The book grabbed this reader, and I was eager to return to it every chance I got. Toward the end the narrative moves to graduate school and the anguish of an extremely competitive academic job market where we know that well over a hundred applications can greet each new tenured slot, particularly in the humanities. Since completing her PhD and failing to land such a dream job, Rebecca Schuman has built a substantial online readership writing about academia for Slate. More recently, she has returned to Germany as a subject “in the accusative case” in spunky columns at The Awl. In the middle of Schadenfreude, it occurred to me that it would be fun to interview Rebecca Schuman, and the author was kind enough to respond to these questions. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingreligion & philosophy

In honor of Easter, top ten favorite Bible quotes

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10. “And God created light, and saw that it was good. Then God created man, and saw that it was hilarious.” – Genesis 12:5

9. “As ye sew, so shall ye rip.” – Galatians 6:7

8. “And the Lord said unto John, ‘Come forth, and receive eternal life.’ But John came fifth, and only won a toaster.” – Leviticus 12:18

7. “Then the three disciples went to Mount Olive, but before they could, Popeye swooped in and beat the crap out of them.” – John 3:18

6. “Many are cold, but few are frozen.” – Matthew 22:14

5. “Then Doubting Thomas asked, ‘If we’re all God’s children, what’s so special about Jesus?’” – Mark 11:16

4. “And God said unto Abraham, ‘Be not mistaken, and doubt not that widescreen is the best.’” – Sony 16:9

3. “Thou shalt not raise thy hand to thy child. It leaves thy groin unprotected.” – Corinthians 9:7

2. “The lion and the lamb shall lie down together, but the lamb won’t get much sleep.” – Deuteronomy 13:3

1. “In the beginning, there was nothing, and God said, ‘Let there be light.’ Then there was still nothing, but now you could see it.” – Genesis 12:5
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

virtual children by Scott Warnock

Phones and drugs and rock & roll

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With three teenagers, I’m getting on the other side of it – could it be this column may have run its course?! – and now I feel I have some hard-earned perspective to provide to people just starting this kid-raising bit. One of my starters: Keep them off the phones as long as you can. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten unanswered questions

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10. Where does it say Humpty Dumpty was an egg?

9. Do gun manuals have a “Trouble Shooting” section?

8. If a man is talking in the forest and there is no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?

7. If someone with multiple personality disorder threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

6. Why does mineral water that has “trickled through mountains for centuries” go out of date next month?

5. If a firefighter’s business can go up in smoke, and a plumber’s business can go down the drain, can a hooker be laid off?

4. Doesn’t expecting the unexpected make the unexpected become the expected?

3. Why don’t autobiographies ever end with the author writing a book?

2. If an indoor shooting range is burning, what do you yell to raise the alarm?

1. On a scale of 6 to 2.3, how much do you hate not being confused?
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.