Blind Mumbling

A compilation of writings that never got anyone excited.

Location: N. Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, United States

Former teacher, co-editor of Total Football and the author of more than 20 books and over 200 articles, most about sports history. His credits include Pro Football: When the Grass Was Real, The Hidden Game of Football (with John Thorn and Pete Palmer), Baseball Between the Lies, The Importance of Napoleon, and the Battle of Stalingrad. He is presently Executive Director of the Pro Football Researchers Association.

Thursday, March 31, 2005


I wished them "Merry Christmas!" but the PC crowd said, "Tsk!
I thought I would ignore them, but I dared not take the risk.
They said I hated Chanukka and Kwanzaa too. Alas!
I wracked my brain to find a phrase to cover up my ass.

I wished them "Happy Holidays!" but the Super Christians sneered,
This thing was getting worse and worse and also getting weird.
They said I hated Christmas. They called me anti-Christ!
Recall the Inquisition? Heathens tortured, burned, then diced!

I wished them "Seasons Greetings!" The Sierra Club complained
"Which season are you greeting? The season when it rained?
Or when the snow came down? The season filled with storming?
Or maybe all those seasons that are skewed by global warming?"

I tried a little silent wave and pleasant, knowing smile.
I hoped my lack of substance would be made up by my style.
My neutral gesture failed and produced an all-time low:
An ugly letter in my mail from someone named Marceau.

I vowed this seasons thing was not going to defeat me.
I finally figured what to say when friends or strangers greet me.
"Bah! Humbug!" I reply. They laugh and think I’m funny.
In truth, I think my Bah-Humbugs! are right there on the money.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to fish and he’ll start taking Fridays off from work.

All that glitters is not gold; some of them are gay.

A bird in the hand will probably crap on your thumb.

There’s many a slip ‘twixt a cup and the panties.

Some people see the glass half full; others see it as a great place for breeding mosquitos.

A friend in need should be avoided at all costs.

You can’t teach an old dog to stop sniffing your crotch.

A horse of a different color will still finish out of the money.

If a thing is worth doing well, you can overcharge for doing it.

A fool and his money shouldn’t talk to telemarketers.


Please don’t shoot that hurt insurgent.
That is not our way of fighting.
Any time we see emergent
White flags, we must do the right thing.

We will bind his grievous wound up,
Clean him with our best de-lousing,
Give him rehab till he’s tuned up,
Clothe him, feed him, give him housing.

Then when he is hale and hardy,
We can lift him from his nice bed,
Send him homeward (with a party)
So he can bomb, shoot and behead.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I WAS AN ABDUCTEE: A Really True Story

Dear Sir:

I think you’re wrong to say that kidnappings by beings from outer space are often remembered under hypnosis because of suggestions made by the hypnotist to gullible people. I believe my own case illustrates my point.

A few weeks ago I became concerned about an occasional stabbing pain in my lower abdomen. As I couldn't think of any logical reason why I should be so afflicted, I found myself becoming distraught. Fortunately, I remembered the name of a psychotherapist whom a friend had recommended. The therapist had helped cure my friend’s depression. She told me so the very morning of her suicide. I immediately made an appointment.

The psychotherapist, I’ll call him Dr. Henderson because that’s his name, ushered me into his office at the mall the next day. I explained about my friend. He hadn’t heard about her death, but noted he had become concerned when she missed her regular appointment and her bill came back marked Undeliverable. I was touched by Dr. Henderson’s concern, especially when he asked who was handling my friend’s estate. I surmised he wanted to express his sorrow to any survivors.

After a few minutes of this pleasant chit-chat, Dr. Henderson asked me why I had come, and I explained about my abdominal pains. When I told him that I hadn’t changed my regular diet or been punched in the stomach for months, he observed that the source of my pains might not be explainable by traditional diagnosis as medical doctors want to keep patients in the dark. He suggested that we try hypnosis.

The prospect of hypnosis excited me because I expected we were about to delve into past-life regression. I’ve long suspected that I was Cleopatra in an earlier life. How else could one explain my fear of snakes?

However, Dr. Henderson quickly corrected me. I had deduced incorrectly, he said. Any thoughts of past-lives were foreign to his intent. And, to avoid implanting pre-hypnotic suggestions, I should not harbor alien deductuctions. He said that twice.

In fact, Dr. Henderson said, it might be best if we interposed a conversation on an entirely unrelated subject to clear my mind before hypnosis. I asked him what we should discuss. He asked if I’d heard that the great movie director Stanley Kubrick had died recently. I admitted that I often found Kubrick’s films boring and liked a little more action. "Do you mean like Jaws?" he asked. I allowed that Spielberg was my favorite director. He wondered what other films Spielberg had made. I named a dozen or so. "Close Encounters?" he asked. "Is that a love story?" I laughed, and told him the plot of the film.

Then, at his request, I explained that E.T. was not about time zones. Apparently, Dr. Henderson is such a workaholic he doesn’t get out much. By then, the doctor felt my mind was clear of alien deductions and we could proceed with the hypnosis.

When I awoke, bits and pieces of a very strange experience were floating through my mind like feces in a toilet bowl (pardon the literary conceit). I was certain they were dreams, but fortunately Dr. Henderson had tape recorded what I had told him while hypnotized. As the tape played, it all came back to me.

I was somewhere – perhaps my bedroom. Suddenly, I was enveloped in a yellow barrell floating upward through the ether. It emerged next to a vessel of some sort. I couldn’t quite make it out but it seemed almost like a giant bicycle. A strangely familiar five-note theme was playing somewhere. Then hands with long, twig-like fingers lifted me into the bicycle where I was placed on a table and covered with small fish.

Across the room at a lecturn was an emaciated figure with no ears, eyes like prune centers in Danish rolls, and rows of sharp triangular teeth. It aimed a rifle at me. I tried to get away, but the table tilted and I slid toward a garage door. Then the rifle fired. A silver spear blasted into my abdomen. I reached down, pulled it out, and saw that the tips of my fingers were glowing like little light bulbs.

And then I was spinning slowly down through the ether, trailing a stream of darkness behind me like an outhouse shoved off a cliff (pardon the literary conceit).

"My gosh, Doctor," I said. "I think I was kidnapped by creatures in a flying object!"

Dr. Henderson said we’d explore that in our next session. After I paid him, he set a date for my next appointment. For my convenience, he let me pay that in advance.

As it turned out, I had to reschedule when I was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. When I finally made my appointment, Dr. Henderson asked if my infected appendix had been examined to discover what the creature had implanted there. Sadly, the hospital had thrown away the evidence.

The good news was that during my operation I had remembered more details of my abduction.


(Please don't use my real name as I am presently in hiding.)


It used to be there was just a little spam on my computer in the morning. I’d sit down with my first cup of coffee and delete it. But it kept growing. Soon it would take me through the coffee and a bowl of cereal. Then I had to add another cup of coffee. Then a danish. And so on. Now, by the time I finish, I’m past my mid-morning candy treat and deciding what’s for lunch. I’ve gained thirty pounds.

Don’t get me wrong. A lot of the spam makes me feel good.

It’s great to know I qualified for a loan. We all like to be trusted. It seems I make Walter Cronkheit look like a klepto. All the credit card companies trust me. I’ve been pre-approved for enough cards to pre-purchase Argentina.

Apparently my reputation is so good that everyone in Nigeria wants to trust me with fifteen million dollars they had left over from something. I’m not sure whether they’re all touting the same fifteen million or if each one of them has a different fifteen million. Or maybe fifteen million Nigerians each saved a dollar. Anyway, I appreciate their faith but right now I don’t have the $5,000 they need to buy stamps or officials or whatever.

It’s nice that so many kind people want to supply me with pills to improve my sex life at bargain prices. It’s like offering me something to improve the gas mileage on my car; the first thing I need to do is get a car.

I was surprised to learn about all the bored housewives – many in my neighborhood they said – who are looking for sex while their husbands are at work. I just surfed through the photos to see if there was anyone I know. They didn’t look like they’ll be bored very long. wasn’t as tempting as making $700 a day by stuffing envelopes. I thought long and hard about buying the equipment. I figured I had the skills. In the end, I let it go because I wouldn’t have time to stuff all those envelopes if my mornings were given over to deleting spam.

Although I resisted most of the temptations, I finally broke down and sent for two things – a kit to reduce my debts and stuff to increase the size of my penis. I may have used them wrong. My debts have grown bigger and now I’m afraid to take my pants off.

Monday, March 28, 2005


Here’s a name game based on some obscene creations we giggled over in 7th grade; everyone remembers the book titles: The Hole in the Sheet by Mr. Completely and so on. As I enter my second childhood, creating these things can still give me a grin. I suspect many cleverer people have come up with better names.

Tim Alien: star of TV’s Saucer Improvement
Hannah Barbarian: crude TV cartoonist
Bonny Anne Clyde: Scottish highwaywoman
Walter Crankcase: the most trusted mechanic in America
Drew Curie: star of TV’s The Drew Curie Show and Whose X-Ray Is It Anyway?
Red Grunge: legendary, grubby football player
Don Ho-Ho: Hawaiian singer with a soft creamy center
Andy Kafkaman: deceased comedian known for strange, weird routines
Don Kong: boxing promoter last seen on Empire State Building swiping at airplanes
Dot Qualm: runs a very nervous website
Julia Robots: beautiful actress lacking in spontaniety
Connie Sutra: Japanese sex therapist
Mata Meusel: female octagenarian and German spy
Pearl Herbivore: vegetarian once attacked by Japanese airplanes
Dotty Eyes: anal-retentive stenographer
O.J. Kanusee: patriot and accused murderer
Art Decco: attractive but insubstantial designer
Guy Onnaconnor: mobile entrepeneur who sells bargain rings and watches
Bull Leemea: underweight Southern sheriff of the 1960s
Babe Ruthless: cruel, stop-at-nothing baseball player
Ollie Oxenfrei: fugitive; whereabouts unknown
Rhoda Rooter: world-famous female plumber
Milton Butter: chef who specializes in rich, high-caloried food
Sally Forth: fearlessly aggressive lady
Riley Roundaflag: politician; shows extreme patriotism in times of national emergency
Claude Dizway: successful but extremely ruthless businessman
Jimmy DeLock: burglar
Mona Lott: unusually loquacious malcontent
Wyatt Midoor: anti-nuclear plant demonstrator
Gordon Detoob: star of Mexican TV’s Saturday Afternoon at the Bullfight
Jiminy Crockett: insect who died at the Alamo
Mark Mawerds: prognosticator
Ken Wehallgitlong: Rodney King biographer
Bob Zuronkel: British wiseguy
Willie Merrier: reluctant bridegroom
Aunty Fungal: spinster bacteriologist
Hans Onnatabel: gambler
Lon Cheney: vice-president and silent movie star; known as "Man with 1,000 Oil Rigs"
Dismember Seben: butcher who will live in infamy
Louis Necksflor: British architect
Ann Teedum: Civil War historian
Boris Alltudef: the world’s dullest orator
Greg Arrius: party giver
Maxwell House: decorator with the slogan "Good to the Last Drape"
Mickey Mousse: recently voted The Cartoon Character with the Best Hair
Demi Tauss: flat-chested actress
Juan Meetbal: chef; famous for "diet spaghetti lite"
Mel Tofflab: aerobics instructor
Igor Beevore: volunteer


One reason you always should steer clear of verse
Is once you get started, it only gets worse.
Like, you start out seeking a nice rhyme for "June"
And feel like a Shakespeare when you blurt out "the moon!"

You know you should quit then while you’re ahead
But maybe you’ll do just one more instead.
The next thing you know, you’re fooling with "love"
Which automatically yields "skies above."

"This poetry stuff!" you yelp with a grin,
"Turns out that the racket is easy as sin!"
But just as you’re planning to rewrite Longfellow,
You realize that you’re maybe the wrong fellow

To do this rhyme work you thought was a cinch.
The gaps in you rhyme-sense are starting to pinch.
What tipped you was when you tried to rhyme "sugar"
The only word you could think of was "boogar."


. . . struts around the field after making the routine tackle he’s overpaid to make.
. . . poses and preens after getting a sack like he’s just created life.
. . . signals he made a first down with an arm sweep they can see in the blimp -- like the ref forgot how to do it.
. . . scores and then points up to heaven like God told him the other team was all sinners.
. . . gestures "Who me?" after he’s caught mugging the receiver.
. . . gestures "I was interfered with!" when no one touched him until two seconds after he dropped the ball.
. . . points accusingly at the defensive lineman he hit before the quarterback could say, "Hut!"
. . . crows "Nobody gave us a chance!" after winning when his team was favored by two touchdowns.
. . . thanks his God for the victory like God gave a damn about the score.