This is an offshoot of the original Liam & Janet blog. That blog has become overrun by Liam's inability to keep his mouth shut when something annoys him. The serious rants there seemed incongruous with the humor columns. The plan for the humor columns continues to be to post a new one every Friday, plus occasional extras when the mood strikes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Tale of Two Liams

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. But mostly, it was just the most boneheaded of times.

Regular readers of mine will no doubt recall that the main recurring theme of my oeuvre can best be described as "What stupid thing has Liam done today?" And generally, the Liam in question is I, your humble scribe, and so what makes today's little missive so special to me is that it BEGINS with something stupid Liam did and ENDS with something stupid Liam did, but only one of the Liams is me!

The first Liam tale begins at the end of a morning commute in to work, perhaps three or four weeks ago. Now, I think we can all agree that when we arrive at work, we rarely are thinking "Yahoo! Let me jump right out of my car and race in to my desk, counter, lab or other workspace". Usually it's something more like "coffee... like coffee... must get coffee... coffee good."

Morning is not a good time for Liam, and it's generally best if he doesn't try to do anything complicated or important before he's reduced the amount of excess blood in his caffeine system(*), and on this particular morning if there were any coherent thoughts in his head as he pulled his car into the parking space, they would have been along the lines of how important it was that he get some coffee stat, before having to do anything important or dangerous, like operating heavy machinery.

It is never a good idea to interrupt an established pattern in life. Such as in the evening when one is showering and dressing for bed, being interrupted by a telephone call can lead to one waking in the morning to discover they've slept all night in a pajama shirt and no pants... and drooling toothpaste foam.

On mornings such as the one we are discussing, such interruptions-of-routine can mean the difference between a good, normal, boring work day and a morning spent frantically trying to figure out whether the engine (which is still running) will run out of gas before the locksmith can arrive to free the keys which are now locked inside the car, thus causing the battery to have to power the radio which is blasting loud enough to be legally classified as "demolition equipment" until that battery is reduced to a smoldering pile of battery parts, unable to generate enough spark to power a wristwatch, to say nothing of an internal combustion engine's starter motor.

And so you see where we're going here when, on successfully halting his car more or less evenly between two white lines on pavement (in much the same sense as wealth in this country is more or less evenly distributed), Liam decided to sit in the car for an extra minute and a half to hear the end of a radio news story which had caught what little pre-coffee attention he had on this particular morning.

Now, understand, this Liam owns a car with a key system which does not, technically, involve a key. It involves something called a "fob", which is basically a little rectangular block that somehow knows whether it is inside or outside of the car, a car which will stubbornly refuse to start unless authorized to do so by this little plastic know-it-all. And this "fob" is equally adept at authorizing the car to start from within Liam's pants pocket, so there's really never any need to take it out, nor any risk of its actually being locked in the car.

And actually, when the radio news story was over, Liam did somehow muster the wherewithal to turn off the car, so walking away leaving it running is not where this particular story is headed, either.

No, in this case, the net result of this break-in-the-routine came in the form of Liam learning what it feels like to be the pellet in a sling shot, as he opened the door and began to exit the car, only to be slammed back into his seat with all the grace of a whale on a bungee jump.

And thus did this Liam learn that seat belts can leave vicious seat welts.

Which brings us to the second Liam who, just this evening, concluded bath night and climbed out of the tub to towel off and begin dressing for bed. He was in the bathroom for some time, and when he finally emerged it was with the words "I'm having trouble."

A nearby casual observer looked up to find this Liam had managed to get his underwear so badly messed up that he was grimacing from some small discomfort, and what had ultimately happened was that he had accidentally put both of his legs into the same leg hole of his underpants. And although something had seemed wrong to him, he just couldn't figure out what, so he'd just kept pulling until the whole undergarment was around his waist, squeezing painfully.

One imagines that this casual observer had to work very hard to look concerned and comforting and not burst out laughing at the sight of a Liam, naked but for a pair of underpants twixt his waist like an overly tight belt, saying in all seriousness "Um, Dad, I'm having trouble."

And so now you've heard the tales of the two Liams, and all that remains is for you to figure out which one was me. But if you do figure it out, please don't tell me, I think the embarrassment might kill me... assuming I survive my ordeal.

Now where did I put those scissors?

(* In fairness, I can't claim ownership of this joke. This is a phrase originally given to me by my ex-wife. The first one. And by the way let me tell you, THERE is a differentiation I really never wanted to have to use.)

Copyright © November 15, 2011 by Liam Johnson.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Blog Index

For a quick introduction to the blog, click here. If you would like to have entries in the blog mailed to you, click here to learn more. I have also begun posting these as audio "podcasts", for those who like all humor squeezed out of their humor essays by hearing them read in a droning monotone, the feed is at:

Index of prior posts, by type. Items marked "NEW" are new within one week of the date this index was last published. (NEW INDEX POLICY: I will try to keep the blog index as the SECOND post, so that a new reader's first introduction to the blog is a column, not the index.)

Most Recent New Column:

Wanted: Dead or Alive (5/30/2010)

Essays Only Available On-Line:

Oracle User Conference series:

  • It's A Small World, But an Expensive One (intro) (5/6/2005, only in the book)
  • IOUG-A Live! 2005 (Day One) (5/2/2005)
  • IOUG-A Live! 2005 (Day One, Continued) (5/2/2005)
  • IOUG-A Live! 2005 (Day Two, Morning) (5/3/2005)
  • IOUG-A Live! 2005 (Day Two, Afternoon) (5/3/2005)
  • IOUG-A Live! 2005 (Day Two, Evening) (5/3/2005)
  • IOUG-A Live! 2005 (Day Three, Morning) (5/4/2005)
  • IOUG-A Live! 2005 (Day Three, Afternoon) (5/4/2005)
  • IOUG-A Live! 2005 (Final Thoughts) (5/4/2005)

  • Hoist the Sales Matey! 'Tis Black Friday! (12/2/2006)
    But Soft, What Brick Through Yonder Window Breaks? (12/9/2006)
    Only the Fifth Day of Christmas? I Can't Take All Twelve! (12/29/2006)
    Across The Atlantic... On Half A Battery (2/28/2007)
    Mmmmmm. Spicy! (3/4/2007)
    Really? So That’s What a "Tranny" Is? (6/14/2008)
    We'll Leave The Light On For Ya... It Makes The Roaches Scatter (6/21/2008)
    Diagnosis: Over 40 (6/30/2008)
    Senators, Out Standing In Their Field (7/7/2008)
    That Surgeon Really Has Gall(bladder) (7/18/2008)
    I’m Not Single, But I Sure Am Swingin’ (8/12/2008)
    The Rope Wasn't Hemp, But I Got High on It Anyway (8/23/2008)
    STUFFED: A Thanksgiving Tale of Weight Loss and Bodily Function (11/28/2008)
    Flightmares (4/2/2009)
    Positively Liam (4/9/2009)
    A Taxing Essay (4/15/2009)
    Yule Never Believe What I Did Today (4/23/2009)
    Well Now, Isn't He Special (4/28/2009, special extra essay)
    When Pigs Fly: Swine Flu (4/30/2009)
    Nailed It! (5/7/2009)
    It's a Car, Not a Crisis! (10/14/2009)
    All Dressed Up and Nowhere to ... Go (10/25/2009)
    On Firetrucks, Floods and Other 'F'-Words (10/31/2009)
    Vacation Vignettes (1/22/2010)
    A Hair of the Dog, or "Take Two WHAT and Call You In The Morning?" (4/12/2010)
    Wanted: Dead or Alive (5/30/2010)
    On Stereotypes (6/14/2010)
    P.S. Daddy, I Love You (6/28/2010)
    Cute Story (not humor) (7/8/2010)
    My Car Doesn't Corner Well (7/17/2010)
    15 Essays in 30 Days (12/6/2010)
    15 Essays in 30 Days (12/13/2010)
    Drink? Yes, Please, But Something Stronger Than Holiday Cheer (12/20/2010)
    Yule Be Happier Staying At Home (12/27/2010)
    Hey, Universe, Stop Throwing Things At Me! (1/3/2011)
    Shingles? But I Have a Metal Roof! (1/10/2011)
    Memory-Rolled (1/17/2011)
    The Germ of An Idea (1/24/2011)
    Visions of Meconium Dancing in My Head (1/31/2011)
    Mr. Love Pickle (2/7/2011)
    Open Mouth, Insert Foot (10/15/2011)
    A Tale of Two Liams (10/16/2011)

    Essays Available in my book, "Cue Ball City":

    Sleep Study Trilogy:

  • Modern Medicine: Takes My Breath Away (2/17/2005)
  • Mr. Vader... Paging Mr. Vader (2/19/2005)
  • Who Was That Masked Man? (2/22/2005)

  • Tragedy Strikes Musicians (2/27/2005)More Harmony, Less Hardware (3/4/2005)Guilty? Me? (3/11/2005)Cue Ball City (3/18/2005)Prius? You Don't Even Know Us (3/25/2005)We're All Going To Play Bruise Cruise (4/1/2005)Ahhh!!! I'm Bleeding! (4/8/2005)

    Van from South Carolina series:

  • Vanward Ho! (4/15/2005)
  • Leave the Driving to Us. (4/29/2005)
  • There's No Place Like Home. (5/13/2005)

  • Atonal, Arrhythmic, Aaaaaaaaa! (4/22/2005)

    It's A Small World, But an Expensive One (intro) (5/6/2005)
    Building a Baby. (5/20/2005)Not the Compact Disk I Was Looking For. (5/27/2005)Cell Phone? Or a bottle of Thunderbird. (6/3/2005)What Do You Get For Their Anniversary? Depends... (6/10/2005)Got a Sticky Situation? Buy Something Useless! (6/17/2005)Sure as Death and Taxes. (6/24/2005)A Snowball's Chance in... New Hampshire? (7/1/2005)The Bonds of Holy...MOLY, is that guy HUGE! (7/8/2005)The Plaquo-Terrorist Threat. (7/15/2005)No, Officer. She's just a little Tipsy. (7/22/2005)How Can I Get That Prescription? (7/29/2005)Hairy Situations. (8/5/2005)Liam: Mountain Man (8/12/2005)Caution: Terrorist on Board (8/19/2005)Sleep? It's Overrated (8/26/2005)Labor Day (9/5/2005 (Posted late due to hurricane Katrina))Business Travel Ranting (9/13/2005 (Posted late because I'm a forgetful bonehead))Fashion Plate Barbie and Homeless Ken (9/16/2005)Momma, He's Lazy! (9/30/2005)Field Trips: Not Just For Students Anymore (10/9/2005)Hamming It Up (11/27/2005)Globally Warm This (3/4/2006)Beans Beans... woot (3/10/2006)Underpants and Stolen Jokes (3/29/2006)Ah Uh Goo (4/25/2006)One of Those Days (5/31/2006)1/4 of July, You Can Keep The Other 3 (7/2/2006)So THAT'S Why They Call It 'The Old Country' (11/8/2006)Payback is Hell (11/17/2006)Musing Unconsciously (11/25/2006)

    "Cue Ball City (and other bald musings)" can be purchased directly from the publisher at:

    It will also be available (after mid-January 2007) from,, and other national booksellers.


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