Category Archives: Tomfoolery

A Dramatic Reading of a Conversation I Had With My Cable Company (Embellished Version)

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP (CSR):  Hello, thank you for calling Big Ass Cable Company.  We’ve already told the NSA how much porn you watched today.  How may I help you?

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER: Hello, ma’am.  Bookshelf Q. Battler here.  I’d like to schedule an appointment to get a cable jack installed in my house.

CSR:  (typing sounds). OK, Mr. Battler.  I see here you just ordered an Awesome Box and it is on the way.  I’ll schedule your tech visit after your Awesome Box’s arrival.

BQB: Oh, ok.  Hey, listen, this might be confusing but I’ll try to explain.  You see, I just got a new TV for my BQB office.  I really shouldn’t have spent the money but, well, you can’t take it with you and I doubt I’m ever going to have a hot, big breasted blonde to spend the money on, so I figured I needed a brand new TV so I can see Ben Affleck’s hair plugs in high def whenever I watch “Reindeer Games” and relive my 1990s glory.  Anyway, I ordered an Awesome Box for this TV but your company made a mistake and sent me a Suck Box instead.

CSR: Uh huh.  I’m pretending to understand.

BQB: Well, at first I was irate, but then I just decided to re-order the Awesome Box and pray to Jesus that you get it right this time.  In the meantime, you’re in luck, because your company’s incompetence has born fruit.  I decided that at the low rate you’re offering the Suck Box, I can afford to attach it to a small TV in a room I rarely use.

CSR: OK.  One moment please.  Hold on…I’m processing this information.

BQB: Sorry, this has gotten so complicated.  You know, to simplify this, we don’t really need to be worrying about any boxes.  All I need is for a human being from your company to come to my BQB HQ and install a jack…

CSR: A jack?

BQB:  Am I using the right terminology?  An outlet?  It’s the plate in the wall that you would attach the cable to your cable box and then in turn, you’d attach the box to your television.

CSR: I see.  OK we can do that.  I’m going to cancel your order for an Awesome Box and just make the note that the technician can bring an Awesome Box for your appointment and…(typing sounds)…oh, sir, I’m sorry but my system won’t let me arrange for a technician to install your Awesome Box until it arrives.

BQB:  (breathes deeply and sighs for dramatic effect.)  I’m sorry, maybe I’m not explaining this well.

CSR: That’s ok.

BQB:  Why I am calling has nothing to do with any boxes.

CSR: OK.

BQB: The box situation is fine.  We can stop talking about the boxes and move on.

CSR: OK.

BQB: What I need is a cable outlet installed…

CSR: For your new Awesome Box?

BQB: (breathes loudly and sighs.) No.  Alright, let me try this again.  I got a new TV.

CSR: OK.

BQB: The new TV is located in a position where there already is a cable jack in the wall.

CSR: Got it.

BQB: I ordered an Awesome Box to attach to this new TV via the already installed cable jack.

CSR: OK.

BQB: Your company, in error, sent me a Suck Box instead of the Awesome Box instead.

CSR: OK.

BQB: I don’t want a Suck Box for my Awesome TV.  I want an Awesome Box for my Awesome TV.  It’s in a room I spend a lot of time in.  Ergo, I want to be able to watch Nicki Minaj videos where every little droplet of sweat pours off her copious butt cheeks in high definition surround sound, an experience that the Suck Box just can’t offer.

CSR: OK.

BQB:  But, I have decided to reward your company’s stupidity.  You see, there is a smaller, suckier TV in a room I rarely use.  And, for the low rate you offer for the Suck Box, I figured I can attach the Suck Box to the Suck TV in the room I rarely use and I will rarely, ever watch this Suck TV with the Suck Box but I figure, you know, since you’re offering a cheap deal, it will be worth it whenever I have a family gathering and I can excuse myself from all the relatives and friends I despise.  I can tell them I have to go to the room I don’t use and hang up my company’s coats or some bullshit that sounds like I’m working hard on my hosting duties, but really I’m going to just going to pull up a bean bag chair and watch Suck TV on the Suck box.

CSR: OK.

BQB: And for this rare occasion, I don’t need the high performance Awesome Box.  I can get by with the low def for watching, I don’t know, the 11,000th episode of NCIS or whatever will be on while I’m hiding out from my guests next Thanksgiving, drowning my sorrows with cheap beer and wondering where I went so wrong and what can I do better next year so I’ll end up celebrating with people I actually like.

CSR: OK.

BQB: I don’t need much for my Suck TV.  I don’t need HD to watch Fox News and learn how Trump’s farts cure cancer, or when I watch CNN and learn how Trump’s farts cause cancer, or when I watch MSNBC and learn how Trump’s farts cause cancer and AIDs, or when I watch C-SPAN and get to see the raw footage of Trump’s farts and am left to determine on my own their potential curative properties or lack thereof in relation to cancer.

CSR: OK I think I understand.

BQB: To review, I’ve got the boxes I need.  Now, all I need is for a human being experienced in the installation of cable outlets to come to my house and install one.

CSR: Uh huh…. (typing sounds) …OK, sir, I’m sorry I’ve tried putting this into my system but I’m afraid I just can’t have the tech install your Awesome Box unless I cancel the delivery of the Awesome Box and…

(BQB covers the receiver.  Screams loudly out of fury and exhaustion.  Retreats to the fridge to eat half a cheesecake.  Returns to the phone.)

BQB: Ma’am, please, I’m trying here.  I really I am.  Listen, let me break this down.

CSR: Fuck you, mansplainer.

BQB: Pardon me?

CSR: Sorry, bad connection.

BQB: OK.  You work for a major cable company.  Your company is in the business of providing channels that come into TVs via cable installations.  My question is…

CSR: I understand your question, sir.

BQB: Do you?  Because it sounds like you’re telling me that your cable company cannot install a cable jack and to me, that’s like going to Dunkin Donuts and being told by the worker at the counter that they only have peanut butter celery sticks, or showing up at Starbucks and being told I’m a shithead for thinking that they would have coffee.

CSR: OK.

BQB: So, ok, drumroll, moment of truth here, please, just yes or no, can your cable company, which is in the business of providing cable, install a cable outlet in my house?

CSR: Sir, if you’d like to install your Awesome Box on your own, that’s fine, we’d just have to.

BQB: Am I being Punk’d?  Is Ashton Kutcher going to jump out of my closet and laugh at me?

CSR: I have no idea what that means.

BQB: I give up.  I’ll just assume you’re telling me that you can’t install a jack.

CSR: A what?

BQB: (eats the other half of the cheesecake): Look, it’s fine.  It’s not you.  I blame the public school system.  I need a cable jack.  I’m not sure how it’s done. I think someone smarter than me crawls the fuck around in my attic and feeds a cable line down my wall and then cuts a hole with expert precision that, when all is said and done, will allow cable to appear on a television.

CSR: You could just plug your Awesome Box into the…

BQB: The Suck Box…Look, just…I….I’m sorry…I need to hang up now and crawl into a corner and curl up into the fetal position and question why my luck is so terrible.

CSR: OK.

BQB: Because seriously, whenever I look at Facebook, all my high school friends are playing golf and eating lobsters on yachts and jamming on guitars and strolling through Tuscany and I just know that whenever they call your company in need of a jack they just get a person who knows what to do…

CSR: Would you like to upgrade and get STARZ and CINEMAX for the low price of…

BQB: Goodbye.  To the fetal position I go.

 

 

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Merry Christmas, 3.5 Readers

Hey 3.5 readers.

Merry Christmas.

I’ve been writing this blog since 2014.  Next March, it will be 5 years.  My Christmas wish is that next year this little enterprise will actually start turning a profit.  Toilet Gator will hopefully come out in 2019 and if a book about an alligator who eats people while they are pooping can’t make me a millionaire then I don’t know what will.

In the meantime, check out one of my books below and if you have a spare 99 cents, feel free to buy one.

What is your Christmas wish?  Discuss in the comments.

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SJW Lyrics – Oh Average Night (Formally Oh Holy Night)

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Oh average night, the stars are brightly shining!

And the night is just normal because it isn’t holy because we will no longer be subjected to the patriarchy’s puritanically rigid belief system that forces the ignorant into modifying their behavior in accordance with the whims of a fictional man in the sky who simply isn’t there.

Fall on your knees!

But only if you want to take a rest.

But if you don’t, that’s ok.

In fact, don’t because then you’ll get grass stains on your jeans!

A night that is not divine!

No, it’s just another night as usual except is it just me or is this night hotter than usual? Damn it, when will you all learn that global warming is real, people?!

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SJW Christmas Carols – Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

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Rudolph the red nosed reindeer,

Had the unfair advantage of a shiny nose.

None of the other reindeer,

Had a very shiny nose.

All of the other reindeer,

Were made to feel bad about themselves when they gazed upon Rudolph’s shiny honker.

Knowing that someone was doing better than they were, really drove them nuts and bonkers.

Then one foggy Christmas eve, Santa came to say,

Rudolph take your nose so bright,

And get it away from the reindeer’s sight.

Then how the reindeer were happy,

And they shouted out with glee,

“Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, we’ll never be as good as you, but now we’ve dragged you down to be as bad as we!”

 

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SJW Christmas Carols – Away in a Manger

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Away in a manger, no crib for a bed (because capitalism is the worst because the wealthiest 1 percent use the unwitting 99 percent as their pawns and socialism will totally work if we just give it one more try)…

The little Lord Jesus, laid down his, her, or possible xer’s head.  Whatever.  It’s way too early to box this child into a gender and Jesus will let us know what he, she, or xe is in time.

The stars in the sky, look down where he, she, or xe or any combination thereof because gender is fluid, lay.

The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay, again, because when are we going to wake up and realize that capitalism is barbaric and only when government seizes control of all business interests will all children of indeterminate gender be allowed to sleep in the proper cribs they deserve.

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Super Politically Correct Modern Version

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HER: I really can’t stay.

HIM: That’s cool, you’re free to leave at anytime.  You’re a strong, independent woman in charge of your own agency, capable of making her own decisions and if remaining here is not your wish then I bid you adieu.

HER: I’ve got to go away.

HIM: No problem.  There’s the door.  Right there.  Good evening.  Drive safely.

HER: This evening has been…

HIM: I’m sorry, but I see you’re lingering.  Would you mind signing this memorandum indicating that you remained on the premises even though I distinctly said you were free to leave and I in no way impeded your exit?

HER: …so very nice.

HIM:  Don’t mind me.  I’m just going pull out my phone so I can stream us on Facebook live and, ok, here we are.  Hello, everyone.  Shout out to all my followers.  I just want to show the world that I’m being a total gentleman and I am not keeping this strong, independent woman from leaving.  See?  Right there’s the door.  Nothing is blocking it.  I’m all the way over here.  She’s free to go whenever she chooses.

HER: I ought to say, “No, no, no, sir!”

HIM: You have and I respect that.  Just a reminder you are more than welcome to walk out the front door and I will not interfere in any way.

HER: At least I’m going to say that I tried.

HIM: Yes, and as loudly as possible I am telling all 257 of my Facebook friends that I am trying to make sure that you are aware you are free to vamoose.

HER: My mother will start to worry.

HIM: Hold on, I’m going to get on my landline because I’m one of the last few people ot have one of those and I’m calling your mom and, “Hello Her’s Mother how are you? Him here.  Say, just wanted to clue you in on the situation. Her is fine. Totes fine. She’s here. I’m being totally respectful and I would never keep her here against her will.”

HER: My father will be pacing the floor.

HIM: You know, it dawns on me that maybe you aren’t leaving because you don’t have cab fare.  Now, please don’t take that the wrong way. I understand you are a very powerful, strong, independent woman who earns her own living and doesn’t need a man to pay her way but please, my treat, let me call you an Uber on my account and we’ll have the driver take you home or anywhere you want to go.  By the way, I will also pay a private detective to run a full background check on the driver and I will hire two armed guards to accompany you in case anyone tries to touch you during your ride.

HER: My sister will be suspicious.

HIM: Nope, she’s fine.  Hi, sis!  Thanks for friending me.  See?  Your sister’s A-OK. Hey I’m just going to step outside myself and I don’t even care if there’s 6 feet snowdrifts out here I’m just going to step out here on the front porch and, ah, that’s better! There we go! Now you’re safe in the house, and I’m out here so as to avoid the appearance of impropriety.  No one can say anything unsavory happened if you’re in there and I’m out here.  See that, Facebook? Everything’s totally legit.

HER: My brother will be pacing the floor.

HIM: I’m just going to send my carrier pigeon to your brother with a note in his beak informing him that you’re fine and if he or any of your other family or friends would like to come over and verify that you’re OK, they are welcome to come here and do so.  Away you go, pigeon! In the meantime, I will keep speaking to you through the open door but I will remain outside in these arctic conditions so that you remain safe.

HER: Your welcome has been…

HIM: Oh thank god, it’s a police officer out on patrol! Officer!  Yoo hoo!  Would you be a pal and stand next to me to verify that I am not doing anything to harm this strong, independent female and Her, just an FYI if you feel unsafe I’m sure this officer would be willing to escort you past me just, again, to be on the safe side.  You can never be too careful.

HER: …so nice and warm.

HIM:  Shit!  She won’t leave.  Let me get on the phone again.  Hello?  Ajax Public Relations Firm?  Look, there’s going to be a huge story about me tomorrow and we need to get ahead of it ASAP.  Cancel all your business. I’m putting you on retainer because it is going to be blasted all over the inter webs and I’ll need your full staff ready and waiting to field press inquiries 24/7. I want to tell you right up front I did not lay a hand on this strong, powerful woman and in fact, I streamed our entire evening on Facebook from outside the house while a police officer was present and what?  Well…no, of course I’m not calling her a liar!  I’m not saying that tomorrow, she might believe that something bad might have happened, I’m just saying that I will not be the culprit.  What?  What do you mean that’s as good as calling her a liar?  No, I don’t believe all women lie.  Yes, I believe all women…

HER: So really I’d better scurry.

HIM: Officer, if you’d be so kind as to handcuff me and yes, there we go.  My hands are now restrained behind my back.  Officer, if you wouldn’t mind to use my phone to keep the Facebook stream going.  Wait, let me shout to my neighbors.  NEIGHBORS! COME OUT AND BE MY WITNESSES, PLEASE!

HER: But maybe just a half a drink more.

HIM:  Oh no.  There’s no alcohol here, ma’am.  I’m not implying that you, as a woman, would somehow be prone to abusing alcohol or that women should not feel free to imbibe, I’m just saying I do not keep alcohol in the house so as to prevent a situation where a woman might become inebriated because then she would be in a state where she could be taken advantage of.  You are welcome to get some tap water but please keep your hand over your drink at all times as you never know when someone might slip a mickey into it.

HER: My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious.

HIM: That’s fine.  See? My neighbors came outside so I have over a dozen witnesses on the scene who can testify I did no wrong here.

HER: But maybe just a cigarette more.

HIM: I’m sorry, there’s no smoking allowed here.  By the way, it just dawned on me that maybe you are not leaving because you fear reprisal if you do.  Please rest assured that no harm will come to you, should you decide to leave.  There will be no harm done to you at any time in the future, whatsoever.  I will not say anything bad about your reputation and we don’t work in the same field so I have no power to get you blacklisted or drummed out of your profession and you know what?  I’ll put this in writing.  Let me just write this down.  OK.  Here’s a fully binding legal document indicating you are free to leave and there will be no repercussions for doing so and I will not interfere with your livelihood if you go and hey?  Isn’t one of my neighbors a notary?  Fred, you’re a notary, right?  Cool.  Fred just notarized this.

HER: You’ve really been grand…

HIM: By the way, just now, I wrote that all behind my back.  I trained on how to write while handcuffed just for occasions like these.  Her, it now dawns on me maybe you’re not leaving because you think you want to engage in voluntary sexual congress with me right now but perhaps thirty to forty years in the future you will regret having sex with me and will consider the act a violation of your person.  It just so happens, one of my neighbors is a fortune teller so I’m just going to let her…

MADAME OLGA: By the light of the full moon, I gaze my eyes upon the wonders of my crystal ball and I look forward into the mists of the great beyond.  Oh spirits, tell me if sex that happens today will be appreciated or despised in four decades time.

HIM: You know what?  Cut that, Olga. I’m just going to refuse to participate in any sex at all.  You hear that, everyone?  I refuse sex.  There is absolutely no way to tell if this woman, who has gotten all naked and is lying spread eagle on my bearskin rug, licking her lips and beckoning me to come hither with her finger whilst a bright, flashing neon sign points to her vagina that says, “OPEN FOR BUSINESS!” Yes, to the untrained eye, it looks like this strong, independent woman desires sex but there’s no way to know for sure.  Anyone could have put that sign there.  I’ll just decline.  Fred, draw up a legal memorandum indicating my declination of any and all possible sex acts this evening.

HER: But can’t you see?  Baby it’s cold outside…

HIM: Oh my god!  She’s coming this way!  Quick, officer!  Shoot my dick off!  I beg of you! I don’t want to be declared the next sex pervert du jour on the inter webs tomorrow! Please!  Shoot my dick off!  I beg you!

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Happy Halloween, 3.5 Readers

I’m late in wishing you a Happy Halloween but I hope you had a good one.

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Please Don’t Buy Assemble Yourself Furniture Ever Again

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

Please don’t buy furniture you have to assemble yourself.  Don’t do it.  Ever.  Never, ever, ever.  Just don’t do it.

Earlier this year I regaled you with how I ate $100 because I bought a desk that was missing parts and so infuriated was I that I just needed to get the thing into a dumpster and curl up in the fetal position and take deep breathes for 17 hours.

Maybe it wasn’t that bad, but still.

I told myself then I would never buy assemble yourself furniture ever again.

Then I did it again.  I bought a cabinet.  I liked the style and color and felt it would be a good fit for the space I wanted to put it in.

About an hour and a half into putting this thing together, I realize the entire back of the cabinet was not included.

Think that matters? Nope.  Because the pre-drilled holes the instructions say should be drilled already so I can screw the back (that isn’t there) also isn’t there.

So I throw a temper tantrum.  I curse like a sailor.  Worse than a sailor. I was very creative.

I examine this thing like the Zapruder film.  Maybe I’m missing something?  Am I looking at it wrong?  Maybe if I look at it in different ways, maybe I put it together upside down and I’ll find out I really should have done X, Y, Z and nope.  Nothing.  I was screwed.

I call customer service.  The lady says I can bring it back to the store for a refund or if I’d rather, they’d send me the replacement parts.

I think about it.  Well, I really do like the photos of the cabinet.  I really think it would look nice.  But then I ask myself, “Do I have faith that they won’t screw me again?”

Suddenly, I imagine the next 4 weeks of my life:

ME ON THE PHONE: Hey, you sent me a cabinet without the right parts.  I need a back and I need the sides with screw holes already screwed in.  I should drill them myself?  Fuck you, I’m not a carpenter.  Do I look like Bob Villa?  If I knew how to drill holes and shit I’d just buy some wood and make a cabinet myself.  Maybe that’s why Jesus was the savior because he was a carpenter and carpentry requires patience.  Anyway, send the right parts please.

ME ON THE PHONE A WEEK LATER:  Hi, I asked you to send me a back and  the side with screw holes but there must have been a mix-up because you sent me a basket of stale croutons and a framed photo of 1980s teen heart throb Corey Haim.  Can you send me a back and sides with drilled screw holes?

ME ON THE PHONE TWO WEEKS LATER:  Hi, me again.  Yeah, I asked for a back and sides with holes and you sent me a Corey Haim photo and a basket of croutons so I called you and asked you to send the right parts but instead you sent me a SpongeBob SquarePants DVD and a butter sculpture of Mike Tyson.  Why are we not understanding each other?  OK, you’ll send the right parts?  Good.

ME ON THE PHONE THREE WEEKS LATER:  Hi.  So, I got the Corey Haim photo, the croutons, the SpongeBob DVD, and the butter boxer but what I need is a back and sides with pre-drilled screw holes.  Yes.  Please.  This half put together cabinet has been in my living room forever now.  A family of raccoons just built a home in it.  OK, so this time you swear you’ll send me the correct and accurate parts.

ME ON THE PHONE FOUR WEEKS LATER: Hi.  I was just wondering why is it when I said “Send me a back and sides with screw holes” you apparently heard “a rubber clown nose” and two cancelled ticket stubs to a Menudo concert.  No.  No, I don’t want you to try again.  I give up.  I will enjoy lighting this half-put together cabinet on fire and what?  No, I will not pay for the expense of shipping you back the Corey Haim photo, the croutons, the…

So I told her I’d just bring it in and return it.  And, from this day forward, I will never buy anything that requires self-assembly.

First, I’m not a cobbler.  Doctors don’t send me do it yourself surgery kits so why the eff are furniture companies sending me do it yourself cabinet kits?

Second, there is apparently no pride in workmanship.  There’s no one in the factory who gives a shit if I get a cabinet that works. The pieces are complicated that the workers can just throw a bunch of shit in the box and no one finds out until dumbass me opens it up.

Maybe I don’t even blame them.  I can only assume the parts are made by little orphan Chinese kids who are grabbed up and forced into a childhood of slave labor for a nickel a day and the foreman is probably beating a drum and whipping them and telling them he’ll burn down their villages if they don’t pack X amount of boxes per day so I guess if that is the case (probably isn’t) then I guess I don’t blame those little Chinese kids for forgetting to drill my screw holes and for forgetting to add my back.

OK.  Enough ranting.  I have lost faith in the world.  Do you want to lose your faith in humanity too?  Then go on and buy assemble yourself furniture.

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The Salem Witch Trials – 2018 Reboot

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Salem, MA – 1692

Prudence Goodhope sighed and lamented her fate as she struggled against the ropes that held her tight against a wooden pole buried in the earth.  Villagers came and went, dropping off handfuls of twigs and kindling at her feet.  With each drop, the pile grew larger and larger until it reached her waist.

The stern looking Reverend Cotton Snerdway approached with a lit torch in hand.  “Right then, time to send you to hell witch.  Have you got any last words before I set you ablaze for the committing the crime of witchcraft?”

“Yes!” Prudence shouted.  “I’m not a witch! Please believe me!  I swear I’m not a witch at all!”

A hushed gasp overtook the crowd of villagers.

“She just accused her accusers of lying!” a random farmer cried.

A random old woman swooned and was about to fall when her fellow villagers caught her.  “Fi on thee, witch!  Your words cut my ears like knives! How dare thee mistreat thine accusers so!”

The reverend held up his torch.  “Now, see here, you dirty witch.  If your accusers say you’re a witch, then you’re a witch and that’s all there is to it.  So shut your gob and enjoy your burning.”

“Please!”  Prudence said.  “Good reverend, allow me to plead my case.”

“Sorry,” Reverend Snerdway said.  “Once you’ve been accused, that’s all there is.  If we let people start denying accusations then people who make accusations will get their feelings hurt and then the next time someone sees a witch they’ll just shut their traps and not tell anyone because they won’t want to feel as bad as your accusers will when you start runnin’ your dirty witch face about your so-called innocence of witchcraft and then before you know it, the whole bloody colony will be overrun with witches, flying around on their broomsticks, turning children into newts, cackling at all hours of the night.  We can’t have that.  Not on my watch.  Come on, now.  It will just hurt for a minute.”

“But I can prove I am not a witch!” Prudence said.  “I have, at all times, been in the company of my family and if they had seen me dabble in witchery, then surely they would have said something.”

“They’re probably all witches too,” the reverend said.  “Fear not.  We’ll burn them next.”

“Wait!” Prudence said.

“What now?” Reverend Snerdway asked.

“I’ve never flown on a broomstick,” Prudence said.  “I’ve never turned a child into a newt.  I’m not green.  I don’t know any spells.  You can search my home top to bottom and you’ll find nary a wand or a book of incantations, not even a single potion…”

“My hands are tied,” Reverend Snerdway said.  “If your accusers say you’re a witch, then you’re a witch.  But rest assured that your imminent burning is most assuredly deserved because if you hadn’t been a witch, then surely, your accusers would not have accused you of being a witch.”

Prudence’s eyes grew wide with shock.  “Wait?  Reverend, you mean to say that accusers never get their accusations wrong?”

“Not at all,” the reverend said.  “Since the dawn of time, not one single accuser has ever made a false accusation, either on purpose or accidentally due to a misunderstanding of the pertinent facts relative to the issue at hand.  You were called a witch and ergo, you are a witch.  If you weren’t a witch, then you would have never been called a witch, so which witch is a witch?  That’d be you, witch.”

Prudence sighed.  “I can’t argue with that impeccable logic.  You have convinced me, sir.  I must be a witch.”

“Finally,” the reverend said as he leaned down.  He was about to set the kindling ablaze when Prudence called out.  “Wait!”

“Blast!” Reverend Snerdway said.  “What now, witch?”

“What if there’s a tiny, absurdly small chance my accusers are wrong?” Prudence asked.

The reverend shrugged his shoulders.  “Unlikely, but no matter.  Most assuredly, you are a witch, and so when I set you on fire, you will die a painful death, shrieking in agony and being justly punished as the witch that you are.  But, in the unlikely event that you are not a witch, you’ll still die and just get to Heaven that much sooner, enjoying all the rights and privileges thereto that a good Christian death can offer and I’m sure our Lord will be there to offer his condolences for the mix-up.”

“Hmm,” Prudence said.  “Well, I should very much like to meet the Lord.”

“And meet him you shall,” the reverend said.  “Unless you’re a witch, and then you’ll go straight to hell.”

“Now I’m very uncertain of this whole ordeal,” Prudence said.

“Woman,” the reverend said.  “Please stop questioning this for in the end, the important thing is that your accusers not be offended.  If I don’t set you on fire and allow hot flames to lick the very skin off of your bones, then they will think I do not take their accusations seriously.  If I ask them simple questions like, ‘Say, accusers, why do you think Prudence is a witch?’ or ‘Did you even see Prudence ride around in the night sky on a broom?’ then your accusers will be cross and their feelings will be hurt and do you have any idea how inconvenient it is to make an accusation?”

“OK,” Prudence said.  “You make a fine point, reverend.  It would be easier to just burn me than offend an accuser with basic lines of inquiry.  Have at it then.  Lord, here I come!”

And so, Reverend Snerdway burned over 100 accused witches without even bothering to find out if they had ever even owned a broomstick because, holy shit, you can’t ask an accuser a question, you un-woke sack of crap.

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The Shawshank Redemption – 2018 Reboot

Imagine this in Morgan Freeman’s voice.

My friend, Andy Dufresne.  He was a kind and gentle man.  I’ll never forget when he walked into the doors of Shawshank all those years ago.  He told me he was innocent of the accusations that had landed him in the hoosegow.  You see, his wife was cheating on him with another fella when a random hoodlum broke in, shot the two dead and robbed them.  Poor Andy ended up being the patsy.  The fall guy.  The cops didn’t know who to pin the case on so they figured as a jilted husband, Andy had motive and that’s all they needed to make an accusation.

And so, the years passed us by.  After a couple of decades, Andy got it into his head that he was going to make an elaborate break for it.

I managed to procure a tiny rock hammer for Andy.  He was allowed to keep it on the idea that he was using it to carve chess pieces but in secret, why, old Andy would stay up all night, removing an inch of wall here and there and then sneaking the chiseled off cement out into the yard in his shoes.

After ten years of doing this, Andy had finally created a tunnel, which he had hidden behind a poster of Rita Hayworth.  When the tunnel to freedom was finally dug, Andy stopped and appeared to be lost, deep in thought.

“Well,” I said.  “Aren’t you going to make a break for it?”

“Nah,” Andy said.

“What?” I asked.  “Why not?”

“I’ve been thinking about it, Red,” Andy said.  “And, well, even though I did not shoot my wife, someone went to all the trouble of accusing me of shooting my wife and well, shucks, golly, it sure would be rude of me to offend someone who took the time out of their busy schedule to accuse me of something I didn’t do.”

“But Andy,” Red said.  “Your life has been ruined.  You didn’t do anything to deserve being sent to this Godforsaken place and look what has happened to you.  You were butt raped daily by psychos.  You became the warden’s bitch.  And a fellow inmate was even willing to testify to the fact that he once overheard his bunkmate admit to doing the crime you were falsely accused of.”

“Yeah,” Andy said.  “And I’m glad the warden shot that inmate to keep him from providing the testimony that would have secured my freedom because, hey, my life isn’t that important.  What’s really important is that all accusers, whether they are making true or false accusations, should be able to make them and why, if you defend yourself against the accusations, then that means you are a piece of shit who literally hates everyone who has ever been a victim of anything.”

“Holy shit,” Red said.  “The art of nuanced debate is dead.”

“Huh?” Andy asked.

“Nuanced debate,” Red said.  “When you say something like, ‘I agree accusers should be treated with respect, not dumped on, given their chance to make their claims and not received repercussions for doing so but that also people who are accused must be given a chance to defend themselves lest innocent men be put behind bars for crimes they did not do.”

“Right,” Andy said.  “People are too dumb to wade into all that, Red.  All I know is if I escape through this tunnel, I’ll be hurting the feelings of the people who accused me and albeit a false accusation, that still took a lot of guts to falsely accuse me, so I respect that.  I don’t want them to feel bad and I don’t want people making true accusations to feel bad and so, even though in this particular case, I didn’t do it, I’d be a piece of shit for standing up for myself.”

And so, Andy put the poster back up the wall and went back to bed.  Over the next ten years, he snuck the cement pieces he’d snuck out back into his cell, again in his shoes and patched up the wall like nothing had ever happened.

Nope.  Andy never achieved his dream of moving to Mexico and buying a boat.  Instead, he rotted away in that cell until he was 101 years old.  I should know because I lasted until 120.

Andy’s last dying words? “I sure am glad I stayed here and wasted the one and only life God will ever give me.  Escaping and offending my accuser would have been a total dick move.”

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