Archive for the ‘House & Home Humor’ Category

Plumber vs. Lawyer (Humor Column)

Saturday, June 9th, 2018

People think lawyers have a built-in edge – an advantage which helps them cope with, and even avoid, life’s little difficulties.

Take plumbing, for example. To most people, a lawyer is an easy match for even the craftiest plumber. And if something does go wrong, so what? At least lawyers can visit legal vengeance, without going broke paying the price of justice.

Consequently, if a lawyer is victimized by a plumber, and is foolish enough to admit it, she shouldn’t expect anything resembling sympathy. Scorn is more like it, with a bit of barely hidden pleasure thrown in.

Her listeners may chuckle at her misadventures, and possibly pretend to sympathize. But what are they really doing? They’re crossing her off their list of lawyers. After all, any attorney who can’t hold her own against a plumber, can’t be much of a lawyer, right? Well not necessarily, but more on that later.

As you may have guessed by now, I’m one of those lawyers who have suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous plumbing bills. I’ve also made the mistake of telling non-lawyers about my woes. Here’s their reaction:

“What’s your problem? You could always sue the guy.”
“You of all people should have known better.Why didn’t you get it in writing?”
“Why didn’t you check him out first?”

Now that’s what I call sympathy!

These are all good questions, of course. At least in theory. But what happens in the real world when you try to take a lawyerly approach to plumbing transactions? It doesn’t work – that’s what happens.

Sure, you can solicit references and letters of recommendation. You can call the Better Business Bureau and check the local courthouse to see who has lost the most lawsuits. These are all good ideas – I recommend them highly.

Unless of course your living room cushions are acting as flotation devices.

But if time is of the essence, and it almost always is when it comes to plumbing, you go directly to Step Two. You leave messages on every plumber’s answering machine within a 30 mile radius. Then you wait for the phone to ring.

How do you pick your plumber? It’s simple. The first one to call back, show up and actually agree to do the job some time this century, is clearly your man.

Price? References? Qualifications? Get real! If a warm body with some tools walks through that door, grab him. Even if he does demand your first born and your left arm as part of his fee.

Now that you’ve found someone who isn’t booked up until the year 2000, then what? Being a trained professional, you ask for a written estimate, right? Naturally he’ll be glad to give you one, once he’s had a chance to check out the problem.

Well that certainly sounds reasonable. Except for one thing. In order to check out the problem he has to find the problem, right? Somehow, this always involves drilling several pre-estimate holes through your plaster kitchen ceiling.

You now have an unusable bathroom and a ravaged kitchen, and you’re still awaiting that estimate. But that’s okay. He’ll be glad to recommend a plasterer.

Hours go by, and your plumber is still narrowing down the problem. You watch him, and try to decide whether he knows what he’s doing. This is quite amusing because you wouldn’t recognize a wrench if you tripped over it.

You can’t postpone going to the office any longer. So you give up awaiting the elusive estimate and leave this complete stranger alone in your house with all your worldly possessions.

Rational? No. Lawyerlike? Certainly not. But it’s either that, or become a plumber’s apprentice, and frankly, you’re not qualified.

Now that I’ve told my plumbing tale in public, I’ll surely never get another legal client. But that’s okay. It’s probably time to think about going into another line of work.

I’m not certain what I want to do, but I understand that plumbers are rather well paid. And I’m getting pretty handy with a plunger.

*****

(This column was published in Hysteria Magazine, way back when I was a baby humor columnist.)

Limerick-Off Monday – Rhyme Word: Made/Maid at the end of any one line

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same rhyme word. Then you post your limerick(s) as a comment to this post and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

I hope you’ll join me in writing limericks using Made or Maid at the end of any one line. (Homonyms or homophones are fine.)

The best submission will be crowned Limerick-Off Award Winner. (Here’s last week’s Limerick-Off Award Winner.)

Additionally, you may write themed limericks related to Intelligence, using any rhyme scheme. And of course I’ll present an extra award — one for the best Intelligence-related limerick.

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, cleverness, and humor. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here’s my How To Write A Limerick article.)

I’ll announce the winners on May 14, 2017, right before I post the next Limerick-Off. So that gives you two full weeks to submit your clever, polished verse. Your submission deadline is Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 10:00 p.m. (Eastern Time.)

Here’s my limerick:

Berating his maid, the man brayed:
“Just why is my bed still unmade?
Your house-cleaning sucks,
And I pay you big bucks.
Lucky thing I already got laid!”

Please feel free to enter my Limerick-Off by posting your limerick(s) in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity on my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please email Madkane@MadKane.com Subject: MadKane’s Newsletter. Thanks!

Birthday Misadventure (3-verse Limerick)

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

This is how my brother Arthur’s birthday began today, translated by me into a 3-verse limerick:

Loud sounds woke you up with a fright.
Did a drummer come visit at night?
Seems your exercise pool
Somehow drained. A mere drool
Of water is left. What a sight!

Even worse, it has emptied indoors,
And that noise is your pump at its chores.
Now you MUST figure out
How to stop it without
A bad shock. When it rains, it sure pours.

I’m so sorry your birthday began
In a manner you never would plan.
Happy birthday, dear bro!
I wrote this to show
There’s a way to make home mishaps scan.

Happy birthday, Arthur!

Disempowered (Limerick)

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

We lost power. It’s fixed, but I gird
For another bad outage. My word!
It’s a jerry-rigged mend!
Will it break, or just bend
If descended upon by a bird?

Author’s Note: We lost power last night, shortly after midnight, and were the first to call Con Ed. (Apparently our neighbors go to sleep early.)

Con Ed came quickly to assess the situation and then sent back a larger crew. And 9 or 10 hours later we had a temporary repair — a couple of wires tied to trees, stretched precariously from one house to another across the street.

The temp fix doesn’t look like it could withstand even a minor winter storm, and the real repair isn’t scheduled until February 6th. Yes that’s 2.5 weeks from now. So all fingers and toes are duly crossed.

Limerick-Off Monday – Rhyme Word: GRIND at the end of Line 1 or 2 or 5

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same rhyme word. Then you post your limerick(s) as a comment to this post and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

I hope you’ll join me in writing limericks using GRIND at the end of Line 1 or Line 2 or Line 5. (Homonyms or homophones are fine.)

The best submission will be crowned Limerick-Off Award Winner. (Here’s last week’s Limerick-Off Award Winner.)

Additionally, you may write themed limericks related to AUTUMN, using any rhyme scheme. And of course I’ll present an extra award — one for the best AUTUMN-related limerick.

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, cleverness, and humor. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here’s my How To Write A Limerick article.)

I’ll announce the winners on October 16, 2016, right before I post the next Limerick-Off. So that gives you two full weeks to submit your clever, polished verse. Your submission deadline is Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 10:00 p.m. (Eastern Time.)

Here’s my limerick:

A gal who was always behind
In her chores, said her spouse did not mind:
“My gifts in the sack
Make up for this lack.
I excel at a far diff’rent grind.”

Please feel free to enter my Limerick-Off by posting your limerick(s) in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity on my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please email Madkane@MadKane.com Subject: MadKane’s Newsletter. Thanks!

Open Limerick To Plumbers Everywhere

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Dear plumber, your ass crack ain’t pretty.
To be honest, it’s looking quite gritty.
So we’re begging you: “Please,
“If you’re feeling a breeze,
“Pull your pants up.” — The Owners’ Committee.

April 25 is Hug A Plumber Day.

Hug A Plumber Day? Why?!? (April 25)

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Hug A Plumber Day? Why?!? (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Whenever I deal with a plumber,
It’s rather a strain and a bummer.
As problems keep flowing,
My agita’s growing.
I’ve a leak that’s seen more than one summer.

April 25 is Hug A Plumber Day.

Limerick Ode To A Petty Thief (Limerick)

Monday, August 18th, 2014

What sort of burglar sends stolen jewelry to a newspaper, complaining that the stuff he stole from a socialite turned out to be fake?

Limerick Ode To A Petty Thief (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Bad luck has befallen this snake,
Who’s upset by his jew’lry heist take!
His chagrin is immense
Cuz he called on his fence
And was told that his haul was all fake.

UPDATE: National Jewel Day is March 13th.

Not “In The Pink” (Limerick)

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Not “In The Pink” (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A fellow would frequently sprawl
On the couch as he cursed at the wall.
How he fumed! His complaint
Was its bright color paint:
“Yummy Pink” was his wife’s tasteless call.

Happy National Pink Day!

Limerick Ode To The Stove

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Limerick Ode To The Stove
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A stove is a handy device.
For cooking, some say, it works nice.
I can’t speak to that fact,
For I don’t interact
Well with kitchens. I can, though, boil rice.

Today in Kitchen History: On June 11, 1793, Robert Haeterick was granted the first American stove patent for a stove design of cast iron.

Limerick Ode To The Shopping Cart

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Limerick Ode To The Shopping Cart
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Sylvan Goldman designed something smart;
He invented the food shopping cart.
With its basket, it aids
In a task that pervades
All our lives — buying stuff at the mart.

On June 4, 1937, Humpty Dumpty supermarket chain owner Sylvan Goldman introduced his invention, the shopping cart, in Oklahoma City.

The invention did not catch on immediately. Men found them effeminate; women found them suggestive of a baby carriage. “I’ve pushed my last baby buggy,” offended women informed him. After hiring several male and female models to push his new invention around his store and demonstrate their utility, as well as greeters to explain their use, his folding-style shopping carts became extremely popular and Goldman became a multimillionaire by collecting a royalty on every folding design shopping cart in the United States.

Limerick Ode To Flowering Weeds

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Limerick Ode To Flowering Weeds
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Our neighbor insists we should weed
And refuses to even concede
That a weed can have beauty.
That gal is too snooty.
Methinks that her soul’s gone to seed.

UPDATE: March 28 is Weed Appreciation Day.

Nosy Neighbor Appreciation Day (Limerick)

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Happy “Nosy Neighbor Appreciation Day!” Yes there’s really such a day, though I’m pretty sure this isn’t what they’re talking about:

Nosy Neighbor Appreciation Day (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A man with a habit of peeping
Into homes while their owners are sleeping
Was arrested and tried.
His appeal’s been denied.
Now he’s jailed for his neighbors’ safekeeping.

Foreign News Blues (Limerick)

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Foreign News Blues (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

It’s so windy, I have to go out:
Foreign papers are scattered about.
Though I clean up our yard,
It’s soon once again scarred.
This paper route’s making me pout.

True story: This afternoon, I look out our living room window and see that our front lawn is strewn with newspapers. It’s a windy day, and a neighbor’s Korean (I think) newspaper has apparently made a run for it.

I immediately stop what I’m doing and go outdoors to contend with the litter. Why the big rush? Because New York City Sanitation workers just love to peruse neighborhoods during windstorms, so they can give out messy-lawn citations.

Ten minutes after I finish, I look out the window once again, only to find that it looks like I never dealt with the garbage. So I go out once again, this time picking up similar-looking papers from the neighbors on either side of me, as well.

No, I won’t take credit for being a Good Samaritan. This was purely defensive.

It was only a matter of time before my neighbors’ messes decided they like my lawn better.

Another Snow Job (Limerick)

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Another Snow Job (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear Mark, thanks for shov’ling today.
If you hadn’t, that snow’d surely stay
Until I did the chore,
A job I abhor.
It’s more fun to make limerick hay.

Happy “Worship Of Tools Day” (Limerick)

Monday, March 11th, 2013

I’m celebrating National Worship Of Tools Day (March 11th) with this limerick:

Happy Worship Of Tools Day (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

“If only I had the right tool!”
That’s my husband’s pet phrase, as a rule,
Fueled by trying a fix
With his personal mix
Of chewing gum, tape, and some drool.

The Perils Of Super Bowl Fare (Limerick)

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

The Perils Of Super Bowl Fare (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

My blood nearly came to a boil,
As our microwave flamed. Was it oil?
We stopped it in time,
And Mark’s wings were sublime.
Lesson learned: They come wrapped up in foil.

(While engrossed in the game, hubby Mark absent-mindedly put his box of Pizza Hut chicken wings in the microwave. Bad idea!)

There’s An App For WHAT??? (Limerick)

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Just when you think a problem is unsolvable, a creative company comes up with a solution. I’m referring, of course, to Smarter Socks which, we’re told, “makes sorting socks child’s play” through “interaction between the socks with a communication button, the Sock Sorter and an iPhone app.”

What would Seinfeld have to say about this?

There’s An App For WHAT??? (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

If you find that your socks keep cavorting
And consorting with strangers, your sorting
Can be helped with an app:
Smarter Socks fill the gap
When your laundering skills need supporting.

UPDATE: Alternatively, you could ditch the app and celebrate No Socks Day 365 days a year.

Limerick Claim (Limerick-Off Monday)

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same first line. Then you post your limerick here and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

The best submission will be crowned Limerick Of The Week. (Here’s last week’s Limerick Of The Week Winner.)

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, cleverness, and humor. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here’s my How To Write A Limerick article.)

I’ll announce the Limerick of the Week Winner next Sunday, right before I post next week’s Limerick-Off. So that gives you a full week to submit your clever, polished verse. Your submission deadline is Saturday at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time.)

I hope you’ll join me in writing a limerick with this first line:

A woman would frequently claim…*

or

A fellow would frequently claim…*

*(Please note that minor variations to my first lines are acceptable. However, rhyme words may not be altered, except by using homonyms or homophones.)

Here’s my limerick:

Limerick Claim
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A gambler would frequently claim
That his friends and his spouse were to blame
For his being a louse
And losing his house.
Shifting guilt for misdeeds was his game.

Please feel free to write your own limerick using the same first line and post it in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity on my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please email Madkane@MadKane.com Subject: MadKane’s Newsletter. Thanks!

Camp-Free Limerick

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Poetic Asides prompts us to write poems about camping. As you can see, I’m not exactly a roughing-it kind of gal:

Camp-Free Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I’m reluctant to rough it outside.
I need comforts a house can provide.
I’m too timid to camp,
But at home I’m a champ
Where mosquitoes can’t feast on my hide.

Update: August 20 is World Mosquito Day.