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A Letter From A Tree

A Letter From A Tree

I love trees. They are pillars of strength, patience and longevity. They help clean the air and water and build our homes. When I need to ponder problems or recharge my batteries I do so beneath the peaceful shade and comfort of trees. They do so much for us. The health of Earth and our lives depend on them. That’s why I share the following letter from a tree regarding climate change. Dear Humans, Hot enough for you? It’s going to get worse. You’re shattering record high temperatures a

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

From Flood Water To Scotch And Water

From Flood Water To Scotch And Water

As you probably know by now, this year is the 50th anniversary of the devastating flood of ’72. You know this because the media loves over-reporting on the anniversaries of historically terrible events, like natural disasters, wars and the Jerry Springer show. Not everything flood-related was bad. It helped me get a job as a bartender and bouncer. The bar was the Pub, located at the site of today’s Southport Town Hall in Bulkhead. It was owned by a sweetheart of a woman, the late Ann
Saying Goodbye To My Best Friend

Saying Goodbye To My Best Friend

Several months ago, my wife, Shelley, and I lost our best friend and soul mate. Her name was Sammy. She was our pet dog of a dozen years. She had cancer and we had to end her suffering. I’m still grieving the loss. I’ve had pet dogs all my life and I’ve had to decide when to end the lives of five of them. It never gets easier. I’m never sure if I’ve made the right decision. Did I end their lives too soon, when they still had many “good days” ahead of them; or did I wait too long, because I
Huck And Tom Ponder 'Bout Worm Fishin' On The Chemung

Huck And Tom Ponder 'Bout Worm Fishin' On The Chemung

Summertime means fishing time on the Chemung River. Mark Twain spent many summers in Elmira writing about Huck and Tom, and most likely fishing the river when he needed to clear his mind of writer’s block. If Huck and Tom were here today, I bet we would witness something like this: The scene: Huck and Tom are sitting on a grassy bank on the Chemung River, the sun warming their backs, long stems of grass dangling from their mouths, straw hats on their heads and cane poles in their hands.
Speaking Of Speakers, They've Gone From Gigantic To Tiny

Speaking Of Speakers, They've Gone From Gigantic To Tiny

“These rock! I can’t believe how great they sound.” I said that after trying on my Bose audio sunglasses that played music from my smartphone. The glasses were a birthday gift from my thoughtful little sister, Pat. The microscopic speakers in the frames produce a clear and deep sound that rivals any full-size stereo system, and they don’t need an extension cord. How we listen to music has changed drastically since my high school and college years in the ‘70s. Back then, stereo systems
My Three Steps To Charcoal Grilling: Stop, Drop & Roll

My Three Steps To Charcoal Grilling: Stop, Drop & Roll

Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer grilling season, so I decided to grill the old-fashioned way – with charcoal briquettes. It’s one of the few times that I can play with fire and accelerants and not get yelled at. I normally use my cheap Wal-Mart gas grill. It’s fast, convenient and relatively easy to use. But it doesn’t give my steaks that tasty, smoky flavor that comes from cooking over charcoal. The gas grill makes my strip steaks taste like, well, Wal- Mart. Ick. That’s why
Dogs Unleash Their Advice On Life

Dogs Unleash Their Advice On Life

I’ve had pet dogs all my life. They are loyal, playful and great companions. I’ve learned a lot from my canine friends and discovered that they have their own set of social rules and norms. Below are some of those rules: Toilet bowl cocktails should never be served before 4 p.m. and always remember to put the seat up. Never wear those silly dog sweaters. If your owner insists that you do, run away. Run Spot, run! If you unexpectedly pass gas, blame the cat. When walk
I Hate My Garden Hose

I Hate My Garden Hose

When is technology going to invent an easy-to-use garden hose? I’ve tried them all: flat, round, expandable, indestructible, flexible, steel-coil, rubber, polyurethane and even pantyhose. They’re all difficult to use, heavy, stiff, cumbersome, kinky and a big pain in the grass. A hose full of water is heavy and stubborn. It fights me like an angry anaconda, wrapping its coils around my ankles and tripping me. I have to tug, lug and slug it around the yard to water my spring-planted grass se
Whatever Happened To School Dances?

Whatever Happened To School Dances?

Do kids dance anymore?   When I was a kid, schools and churches held teenage dances almost every weekend, featuring live bands, chaperones and underage kids puking from drinking Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill wine.   If you are a Boomer, you remember Boone’s Farm wines, or maybe not, because Boone’s Farm wines contained formaldehyde, for real. If you drank it, you’re lucky if you can remember your name.   Fortunately, I only drank enough to forget my las
The Older I Get, The Longer It Takes

The Older I Get, The Longer It Takes

Aging slows me down. Everything takes longer, especially my body’s plumbing. It’s leaky, no longer up to code, and a hassle to prime the pump, especially in the middle of the night, when it wakes me up to play “red light green light” at the toilet. Many guys my age have the same problem and will try most anything to be able to pee at will. Some of them talk to it, trying to coax it into action. (Not me. Not my style. Besides, it wouldn’t listen to a word I say.) I imagine that one of those
I Love My New Truck, But It's Too Smart For Me

I Love My New Truck, But It's Too Smart For Me

Technology is great, but I long for the days when I was smarter than my truck. I bought a new 4WD Toyota Tacoma pickup truck two years ago, and I’m still trying to learn the purpose of the scores of switches, buttons, knobs, levers, dials, gauges, meters, lights, vents and portals. The truck’s dashboard is called an “instrument cluster” (sounds like a candy bar, to me), and bristles with more electronics than the Space Shuttle. It overwhelms with flashing lights, buzzers, bells, multi-infor

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

Doctors Discover A New Way To Help You Fall Asleep: Watch A Baseball Game

Doctors Discover A New Way To Help You Fall Asleep: Watch A Baseball Game

When it comes to sports, we want more of everything – speed, scoring, tackles, slam dunks and car crashes. Major league baseball has few if any of these. The game is slow, boring and loses fans every day. Baseball is like us Baby Boomers, the older we get the slower we get. If the game gets any slower, it will go backwards. Games will end in negative scores. Today’s average nine-inning Major League Baseball game takes three hours and 10 minutes, and only 18 minutes of that is actual pl

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

I'm Two Sheets To The Wind

I'm Two Sheets To The Wind

Don’t you hate it when you have something simple to do and you think “No sweat. It’ll take but a few minutes,” but it doesn’t because, like everything else, it’s become more complicated? (That wasn’t a rhetorical question. So, if you really don’t “hate it,” you might as well stop reading). My latest “thought it would be easy” task is buying new bedsheets. I discovered that sheets have greatly evolved from the standard white, sorta-scratchy, non-fitted twin bed sheets of my younger

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

A Fear That Comedy Will Turn Slapstick

A Fear That Comedy Will Turn Slapstick

It’s the slap felt ‘round the world and discussed ‘round the clock. Will Smith’s roundhouse smack of Chris Rock during the Oscars reveals one of the hazards of being a humorist. What Will did was wrong and inexcusable. Yes, Chris cracked a bad joke, but it didn’t deserve him being sucker smacked on live TV. I worry that this incident will encourage others to go slap-happy on comedians and humorists if they don’t like the words they say or write. I don’t want to have to wear a mouthguar
“What Are You Kids Doing In There?”

“What Are You Kids Doing In There?”

Raising kids is difficult for parents. Raising eight Pfiffer kids is hell for parents. That’s why Mom and Dad have free-first-class-no-questions-asked-front-of-the-line-all-expenses-paid passes to heaven. Nothing, not even a housefly, can keep their eyes on that many kids at once. Hell, it’s hard to just keep track of all of our names. That’s why Mom relied on all her natural senses as well as ESP and eyes in the back of her head to keep tabs on us. I was most impressed with her l

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

A Remote Battle Of The Sexes

A Remote Battle Of The Sexes

TV remotes are supposed to make life easier. Not mine. The remote in our home causes frustration, stress, marital strife and the throwing of things. The problems begin when we can’t find the remote. My wife, Shelley, and I  frantically search for it beneath cushions, furniture, piles of magazines and newspapers on the coffee table and under the dog if she is in the room. You never know. (For the record: Shelley doesn’t actually “help” look for the remote. Instead, she offers

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

Things I Don’t Understand

Things I Don’t Understand

I’ve always been curious. That’s why I became a newspaper reporter, chasing after the five W questions of life. It’s also why I’ve been punched a lot. I have some feline curiosity in me. I also have a lot of stupidity in me. That’s why I’ve burned eight of my nine lives. I’m trying to temper that ignorance by learning and asking “how” and “why” about things that we don’t think twice (or even once). Here are my top ten. 1.   Telling someone to “Bite me.” If you are angry at someone, wh

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

Open Sesame? Not With Today's Containers

Open Sesame? Not With Today's Containers

My kitchen throw-rug stinks of pickle juice and “squishes” when I walk on it. Got that way because I tried to do one of the most difficult tasks of modern life: open a jar with my bare hands. I tried both hands. No luck. Got miffed. Ran it under hot water. Nada. Got pissed. Pried it with a spoon handle. Still stuck. Got furious. Got my pliers, clamped them around the lid, clasped the far ends of the handles for max leverage, took a sturdy feet-apart stance and twisted with
On The Record: My Fave Album Covers

On The Record: My Fave Album Covers

I’m glad that vinyl record albums are regaining popularity. I grew up listening to music on records. They were an essential a part of my life, like family, education, sports and reform school.  Records are simple to operate. No moving parts. No rewinding. No batteries. No apps or subscriptions. You set the needle in the groove and soon you’re groovin’ between 33 1/3 and 45 rpms.  Unfortunately, vinyl records are fragile and easily damaged. You can ruin the acoustics with fingerprints,

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

I Started Writing This A Year Ago

I Started Writing This A Year Ago

A year ago, this weekend, I began posting this weekly humor column. It’s been a fun ride, after retiring from writing a twice-weekly humor column for the Elmira Star-Gazette (Motto: “Yes, our news is two days old, but it doesn’t matter, because it’s wrong.”) I hope you have enjoyed my musings. If not, that’s cool. Not everyone shares my disturbed sense of laughter. I hold no ill regard for people who think that my writing “bites the big one.” But, if I run into you in public, I’m going

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

This Body Shaping Procedure Lifts Your Spirits And Your Mind

This Body Shaping Procedure Lifts Your Spirits And Your Mind

It’s interesting how our changing culture dictates what body part is the sexually attractive appendage de jour, from implanted breasts and collagen-filled Donald Duck lips to six-pack abs, protruding pecs and thigh masters. There is one body part, shared by both genders, which has always been a sex symbol: the two large fleshy halves of the posterior known as the buttocks. Fashion culture decided that it’s time for Americans to shake their booties and enlarge them with cosmetic surgery call

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

A Bit About Bitcoins

A Bit About Bitcoins

Bitcoins are the latest trendy investment opportunity, thanks to viral stories about people becoming overnight Bitcoin millionaires. Bitcoins are one of more than 1,500 cryptocurrencies on the market, with names like Dogecoin, Solana and Ethereum (which sounds like a radioactive element used to make A-bombs or it’s a part of the human body.) You’re probably wondering if you should get in on this speculative mania and invest in cryptocurrency. Well wonder no more. I will explain c

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

Losing My Keys And My Mind

Losing My Keys And My Mind

Age plays mean on the mind. It makes me more forgetful and scatter-brained. I’ve lost the use of the area of the brain that remembers where the hell I left stuff, like my truck keys, my phone, my wallet and my way home. It’s a three-fold problem. First fold: I forget where I put things, because my mind doesn’t pay attention to what I’m doing and make a note of it. Second fold: Ummm. . . it’s when I . . . ummm . . . what was it I was writing about? Third fold: What’s with all

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

Get Under Your Desk! The Russians Are Coming!

Get Under Your Desk! The Russians Are Coming!

Russia is at it again, threatening to invade another country. This time its Ukraine. This happens whenever Russian “President-for-eternity” Vladimir V. Putin, feels that the world doesn’t fear him enough. He threatens to invade and take over some smalltime third world country that you and I couldn’t find on a map. Vladi (that’s what all his friends call him, both of them) likes to shoot selfies of him going bare-chested and riding around on a horse or engaging in other manly activities

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

 

How To Make Good Covid Choices: Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe

As we stumble into a third year of COVID we are more confused, uncertain, worn out and frustrated than ever. We think we’re beating the virus, then we’re not, then we are and then a new one comes along and we’re back to square one, we don’t pass Go and we don’t collect $200. We’re living our own “Groundhog Day” movie. As for helpful COVID information and advice, we might as well use a Ouija Board or Magic 8 Ball, instead of listening to the alleged experts. Who do we believe? Should I

JIm Pfiffer

JIm Pfiffer

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