Archive for the ‘Self-Help Humor’ Category

A Lemon Of A Limerick

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

A Lemon Of A Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

“Turn lemons to lemonade?” Ugh!
Such advice sounds to me oh so smug.
No I won’t sugar-coat,
Cuz it sticks in my throat.
But turn lemons to lim’ricks? We’ll hug.

Happy National Lemonade Day! (For some odd reason, it’s celebrated both on August 20th and on the first Sunday of May.)

Passover Haiku

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Passover practice:
Cut leavening from your bread.
Add it to your life.

Stubborn Limerick

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Opinionated Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A fellow who thought he knew best
Spurned conflicting opinions with zest—
His perpetual song:
“I am right. You are wrong.”
Self-improvement, it seems, not his quest.

Unstuck (Limerick)

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Unstuck (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Whenever I feel like I’m stuck —
Like I’m trapped in a rut or in muck,
I attempt something new.
(What else can you do?)
And sometimes that changes my luck.

(Inspired by Big Tent Poetry’s stuck prompt.)

Hoping For Humor (Sundry Verse)

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Today I’ve written four poems on a theme called hope. There’s a pair of quatrains, one haiku, and a limerick — something for everyone, or no one, as the case may be:

Hope springs eternal—
a “truism” some speak.
Yes, hope springs eternal,
until it springs a leak.


Alexander Pope
wrote about hope.
His eternal quote
helps some folks cope.


Showing up to vote—
a yearly exercise in
unrequited hope.


A gal who is often caught moping
And is terribly dreadful at coping
Drives her family mad.
Things have gotten so bad,
That they’re hoping to hear she’s eloping.


(Inspired by Haiku Wednesday’s hope prompt and Poets United quotation prompt. For more optimistic poems see Friday Poetically.)

Acidic Tanka

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Every so often I break into tanka:

Acidic Tanka
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Pithy recipe:
Turn lemons to lemonade.
Don’t mean to be tart,
Acid, ill-natured, sour—
But sugarcoating’s tasteless.

(Prompted by lemon prompt over at Poets United.)

UPDATE: August 20th is National Lemonade Day.

Limerick Affairs

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

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

A fellow who had an affair…

Here’s mine:

Limerick Affairs
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A fellow who had an affair
Got caught by his lovely wife, Claire.
She considered divorce —
Took a far diff’rent course.
Now her spouse does not live anywhere.

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 in my Limerick-Offs.

Valentines Day Humor

Monday, February 5th, 2007

A Valiant Guy’s Guide To Valentine’s Day
By Madeleine Begun Kane 

Attention guys — it’s time to get ready for Valentine’s Day. After all, you don’t want a repeat of last year, do you? I didn’t think so.

For most men, the very mention of Valentine’s Day conjures up memories of a last minute, fruitless shopping expedition followed by a quarrel with their girlfriend or wife. Women, on the other hand, tend to think romantic thoughts: champagne, dining by candlelight, strolling violinists, and an after-dinner brandy in front of a roaring fireplace. This scenario exists only in their fantasies, mind you. After all, they are dating or married to you.  … (A Valiant Guy’s Guide To Valentine’s Day is continued here.)

How To Become An Insomniac

Monday, November 13th, 2006

Becoming an insomniac isn’t as easy as it might appear. But with the help of these guidelines, dark circles and a cranky disposition will soon be yours.

1. Be born into a family of worriers. (Certain ethnic groups have the advantage here, but won’t be identified for obvious reasons.)

2. During your infancy, become accustomed to dozing in serene silence, a state you will never encounter as an adult.

3. Have parents so desperate for peace and quiet, that they routinely send you to bed hours before you feel even a hint of fatigue. This will allow you to develop helpful habits like gazing at the ceiling, counting sheep, and plotting revenge.

4. Cultivate your neuroses. A dedicated would-be insomniac will work on this throughout the day. But if time is limited, performing any of these activities right before bedtime should do the trick: … (How To Become An Insomniac is continued here.)

Contending With Time

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Unless you live on another planet, there are never enough hours in the day. But if you use these efficiency techniques, you can win that battle with time:

1. Always do at least two things at once. While showering, write a screenplay. While sorting laundry, invent a handy appliance for the home. While chatting on the phone with a dull acquaintance, take a nap.

2. Consolidate self-improvement routines. Exercise to learn-a-language tapes while watching watercolor videos. Not only will you save time, but you’ll have thin thighs for that trip to Le Musée du Louvre.

3. Buy a speaker-phone for your kitchen. You’ll be able to cook, vacuum, and knit dog-hair booties while you talk on the phone.

4. When you’re in the kitchen, post reminder notes on the fridge. (“It’s the laundry, stupid.”)

5. Group chores alphabetically. If you have to go to the pharmacy, combine your trip with errands beginning with the letter ‘P.’ …”  (Contending With Time is continued here.)

How To Disorganize Your Life

Monday, September 25th, 2006

“Stop The Chaos!” screeches the magazine cover. “Take Control Of Your Cluttered Life!” Periodicals are packed with chaos-avoidance techniques. But do they work? Let’s see.

1. Awaken early, inspired by self-help articles to finally organize your life. Grab paper scrap and jot down all urgent chores. Admire list, savor it, enhance it with scribbled notes. Spill coffee, rendering list illegible. Then, lest you be tempted to do something that might garner a check mark, file list under “T” for “To Do.”

2. Forget where you left list. Start new one, grow bored, take shower instead. Dash through house naked and wet in search of clean towel. Try to start a wash. Realize you left detergent off list.

3. Check if you’re low on other cleaning supplies. Notice several empty containers squandering space under sink. Yank everything out of storage and strew on floor. Resolve to rearrange cabinets once you’ve looked at mail.

4. Retrieve bills, ads, alarming bank statement from mail box. Hunt for check register and fail to find it. You never find it … which is why you haven’t made an entry since the Eighties.

5. Decide bank info must be buried in your bag or briefcase. Dump contents of both onto table and chase renegade coins. Smooth every particle of crumpled paper. Use magnifying glass to decipher contents. Take your time; any fragment could be a clue to your deficit balance.

6. Find nothing that sheds light on finances. Decide bank’s probably right. Stuff papers back into bags … just in case.

7. Forage through remaining mountain of debris. Find 97 pennies and count them twice. Hunt for coin wrappers. Start third list.

8. Spill pennies into already stuffed drawer. Resume foraging. Find stale stick of gum, half eaten candy bar, rusty key, crud-encrusted tissues, and several items you’ve never seen before. Attempt to throw out. Add garbage bags to list… (How To Disorganize Your Life is continued here.)

De-Stress Or Distress?

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

Are you stressed out? A quivering blob of nerves? Are your muscles lodged in a permanent clench? Here’s what not to do:

1. Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and pointed upward. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and exhale slowly. Take another deep breath. Wonder if that smell is gas.

2. Concentrate on your breathing, on releasing that stale, toxic, virulent energy trapped inside you. Feel your body begin to relax. Sense the tension seeping out of your shoulders and toes, your life force beginning to renew. Jump up to check the stove.

3. Resume the position. Resume breathing. Become obsessed by cobwebs on the ceiling.

4. Decide to play a relaxation CD. Your choices are “healing harps,” ocean waves, and whales. Wonder which best suits your persona. Whales remind you of sharks. Decide to go with the harps.

5. Lie down a third time, notice ceiling, slam eyelids shut. Breathe deeply, welcoming the return of your vital juices. I.n.h.a.l.e…t.w.o…t.h.r.e.e…f.o.u.r…E.x.h.a.l.e…t.w.o…t.h.r.e.e…f.o.u.r. Savor the rise and fall of your abdomen. Focus on the harps which remind you of angels which remind you of heaven which reminds you of hell which reminds you that maybe you should listen to something else. … De-Stress Or Distress is continued here.)

UPDATE: August 15th is National Relaxation Day.

Working Stiffed

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

Finding a new job can be a daunting challenge. But if you follow my simple 21-step plan, you’ll soon be battling cranky alarm clocks, rush-hour traffic, and the “living for the weekend” daily grind.

1. Lose job.

2. Panic, freak out, and turn into a pulsating blob of hysteria. CAUTION: It’s best to do this at home — you’ll be wanting that reference.

3. Torture everyone you’ve ever met with your tale of woe. Bitch about your former boss, your boss’ boss, your lousy luck, the manipulative coworker who stole your job, the economy, and, of course, the world as we know it. Seriously consider buying a voodoo doll.

4. Perfect the art of sleeping late, parading about in slatternly garb, and doing absolutely nothing. Tell your spouse you spent the entire week working on your resume. When spouse says “Let me have a look,” say you’re still fine-tuning it.

5. Start working on resume. … (Working Stiffed is continued here.)

Hapless Home Buyer’s Guide

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

The road to buying a house is paved with dwindling bank accounts, devious brokers, and home owners who (you hope) are desperate to sell. Yes, it’s a challenge. But with the help of these easy to follow instructions, you can negotiate your way into unthinkable debt:     

1. Decide you must buy a house because your present one is:
a. too small;
b. too large;
c. non-existent … (Hapless Home Buyer’s Guide is continued here.)