Merry Christmas Eve


Another old spot rummaged out of the archives especially for the holiday season. Get it? It’s the ghost of Christmas presents. Some joke. Not even original. MAD magazine used that pun to hawk subscriptions for years. For all I know they still do, I haven’t purchased or read an issue in years. They’ve only got themselves to blame since Ye Mad Ed never once opened one of my submissions and cried “Ha-ha! This is just the stuff to give the troops. Do they give Pulitzers for funny?” or anything like that. A deserved cold shoulder from me at the rebuff pretty much sums it up. Wonder if they’ve noticed.

‘Tisn’t the season to dwell on sleights of the past, but to deck the halls, don gay apparel, roast chestnuts, and warm the cockles of the heart with visions of sugar plum fairies and all that sort of whatnot. Why any internal organ should ever host bivalves, what­ever their temperature, is a mystery. Are cockles happy as clams? Never mind. Let’s get back to trimming the tree and hanging the stockings with a rumpa-pum, pum, ho, ho, ho and a fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, and, once more with feeling, la.

Though dashing through the snow to grandmother’s house or anywhere else hereabouts is not on the board as it appears a white Christmas is but a dream this year. After delivering over­generous amounts of the fluffy white last winter, it seems old Ma Nature has decided parts west are more deserving and is giving the midwest a miss this time around. And if she neglects to shove another polar vortex our way, we won’t resent the inattention.

We suspect the reader didn’t tune in to read about the weather. So we roll up our sleeves and get down to the usual business of providing the very best tidbits and frivia we can find. Or invent. Santa has his double-checked pre-flight checklist and we have one, too. Our Christmas gift to you, the TerryColon.Com Holiday Checklist:

  1. You can’t have too many strings of lights, the more the merrier the Christmas
  2. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
  3. Mistletoe is the best part of the mistle
  4. Don’t shout, don’t pout, don’t cry, and be good for goodness sake
  5. Nothing says Christmas like a giant, inflated Santa on the roof; there are better ways, but nothing like it
  6. If you travel over the holidays, jingle all the way
  7. Don’t be alarmed, ladies or sugar plums dancing is normal this time of year
  8. To keep mice and other creatures from stirring don’t entice them with cookies and milk left out in the open
  9. Donned apparel shouldn’t be overly gay, not that there’s any­thing wrong with that
  10. Keep bird seed on hand in case of partridges, turtle doves, french hens, calling birds, geese and/or swans

And that, boys and girls, is, for what it’s worth, it. We end where we began: Merry Christmas Eve.

Filed 12/24/15

We Have the Right for You to Remain Silent

Last year there was this spot I did for Reason. Yep, another “Brickbats.”

A French judge has ordered blogger Caroline Doudet to pay 2,500 euros to a restaurant she gave a bad review to and ordered her to change the title of that blog post. The judge said the review showed up too high in Google’s search results for the restaurant. The judge also expressed concern that her blog had too many followers.

Obviously, only judges are entitled to opinions.

Filed 12/16/15

A-a-and, We’re Back


Regular readers may have noticed things have changed here at terry colon dot com. Basically I’ve come full circle and now it’s a lot like the old a long narrow column broken up with spot art. Anyway, enjoy the Sucky retro revamp. If twenty years qualify for being retro. Time flies.

This explains the picture for which there is no related text. It’s simply one of the earliest spots I did for Suck. At least, the earliest I have in the old archives, which are missing the first year or so for reasons too boring to detail.

Filed 12/11/15

You Didn’t Ask, but We’re Telling Anyway


Fifteen years ago today in Suck dot com… OK, not today but fifteen years ago at any rate. Rather than refer to the article it went with, let’s have some new old somewhat related content from a 1999 Reader’s Digest article by Army vet Catherine Aspy.

“I was stunned. The Army was a vast day-care center, full of unmarried teen-age mothers using it as a welfare home. I took training seriously and really tried to keep up with the men. I found I couldn’t. It wasn’t even close. I had no idea the difference in physical ability was so huge. There were always crowds of women sitting out exercises or on crutches from training injuries.

“They [the Army] were so scared of sexual harassment that women weren’t allowed to go anywhere without another woman along. They called them ‘Battle Buddies.’ It was crazy. I was twenty-six years old but I couldn’t go to the bathroom by myself.”

Filed 12/6/15

Pocket Micro Aggression

Yet again, another Reason magazine “Brickbats” spot art rerun, another bit of what-the from officialdom.

Officials at Rhode Island’s Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School sus­pended Joseph Lyssikatos for three days and barred him from a class field trip after finding he had a gun-shaped keychain charm slightly larger than a quarter. They refused to discuss the matter with local media, saying they can’t talk about student discipline issues. The boy’s parents say the prin­cipal and superintendent have also refused to talk to them.

OK, class, what have we learned about educators? Anyone?

Filed 12/2/15

Every Morning Students Recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the Hag


Once again, another Reason magazine “Brickbats” spot art rerun, another bit of what-the-heck-are-they-smoking.

Parents of students at California’s Calimesa Elementary School weren’t happy with a new policy that required students to kneel before Principal Dana Carter and a few other admin­istrators. Officials described it as a safety measure.

Now then, class, what can we learn from educators? Anyone?

Filed 11/21/15

And You Thought Bottled Water Was Pricey


Another old Reason magazine spot, another “Brickbats.”

In April, Tom Hoffman got a $66,000 water bill from the city of Dallas, Texas. Because he has autopay and the bill was for more than he had on hand, his bank locked down all his accounts, including his ATM and credit cards. He eventually fixed the problem and got an apology from the city. He also canceled his autopay. Smart move: The city recently sent him a new bill for $67,000.

Filed 11/10/15

No News Is No News


It’s an old spot from nearly twenty years ago. Meaning a rerun. No substantial new text to read with it, I’m afraid. But then, you can find lots to read all over the Internet. Every Moe, Larry, and Curly has a blog. This is, global home of the goofy, animated, interactive, mystery splash page. Try finding that on your average blog, eh?

Filed 10/14/15

Roaming the Halls Praying on the Innocent


Presented for your viewing pleasure, a spot of “Brickbats” art from Reason magazine, January 2009.

A security guard at Seagoville High School in Dallas, Texas, ordered a student to take off her rosary. Local police say rosary beads are a gang symbol.

Filed 10/7/15

Useless Diagrams and Equally Useless Rules of Grammar


Another old Suck dot com spot for which I’ll provided new content in reference to the picture. Which is the opposite way these things are usually done, but can’t be helped in this case because the picture was done years ago. What more is there to say about that?

I remember diagramming sentences when I was in junior high. I could never see the value in it. Still don’t. Seems to me you improve your writing skills, find the best ways to construct sentences and what-have-you, by reading and writing, examples and practice. How parsing sentences into these weird, tree-like structures was supposed to mean anything to a 12 year-old is a mystery to me. Besides, if you wrote an entire book in diagrammed sentences it’d be unreadable.

Think of learning to play baseball. Practice, playing, practical instruction, and watching the pros play can really help. Understanding the physics of a baseball in flight won’t help you hit a curveball, the bane of poor hitters everywhere.

You do need structure in language, that’s what grammar is all about. All the same, there are some rules you learn that really don’t make sense. Or they’re just wrong and should be ignored. Like the don’t end a sentence with a preposition business which came from Latin grammar and doesn’t even apply to English.

Rather than duplicate my source’s effort, you can read all about it at Mental Floss:

Four Fake Grammar Rules You Don’t Need to Worry about

Did you find their headline awkward or confusing? It ended in a preposition. Following the rule you get, “Four Fake Grammar Rules about Which You Don’t Need to Worry.” Does that sound better to you? Maybe it would translated to Latin, but in English not so much.

Filed 9/25/15

Clothes Make the Man


Here’s an old Suck dot com spot about… uh… doesn’t matter. Let’s have it about some brand spanking new content. Where exactly the expression “brand spanking new” comes from is a mystery to me. What’s spanking got to do with new? In fact, what’s brand got to do with new? Is brand new newer than just plain new or what?

All that aside –which has nothing to do with the pic anyway– ever notice in WWII photos the leaders of countries liked wearing military uniforms? Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini. Even Churchill, the King of England, and the Emperor of Japan. Uniforms are standard regalia for dictators even today, but are Prime Minister, King and Emperor military ranks?

Still, who’s going to tell any of these folks they can’t wear a snappy uniform festooned with medals and awards? Especially a dictator. Try it and you might end up in a different kind of uniform altogether. One of very low rank with gray on gray stripes.

Filed 9/18/15

All Laws Enforced to the Full Extent of Their Stupidity


For your edification a bit of old “Brickbats” art from Reason magazine of November, 2008.

Massena, New York, code enforcement officer Gregory Fregoe says inflatable pools are a menace, and he has cited at least 20 people so far this year for having them. City and state codes say any pool with at least 24 inches of water, even inflatable ones, must have a permit, a four-foot-high locked fence, and an audible alarm to let people know if someone falls in.

Filed 9/16/15

More From the Suck Archives


Here’s an old Suck spot from 2000. This pic had to do with Bob Hope being the first modern stand-up comedian bucking the Vaudeville trend of clownish attire and slapstick behavior by dressing in a suit telling jokes. He was also the Woody Allen persona before Woody Allen. You know, the wisecracking coward.

But that’s old content. Let’s add a little new. Though inspired by the old illustration.

The business suit and tie has spread to just about every corner of the globe –despite globes not having corners– and has remained virtually unchanged for a hundred years. Has it reached sartorial perfection?

Thing about the business suit, it’s pretty impractical. Well, for anything other than standing or walking around. You can’t do any kind or physical labor in it. Raise your arms and the jacket completely loses its shape. Sit in it and the tail wrinkles and the bit at the back bunches up at the collar.

At one time the lapels could be folded up to enclose against the cold and wind. Not any more. Lapels are vestigial now-a-days. As are the buttons on the sleeves. Side pockets are often sewn closed. The necktie has never had any purpose other than decoration as far as I know.

I suppose the suit’s impracticality might be why it’s so popular. It’s a sign the wearer is above manual labor, that the only heavy lifting the wearer is prepared for is picking up the phone and giving orders. It’s also a sign you’re not a clown, you’re a comic.

Filed 9/6/15

She Made Her Escape Holding a Keychain Troll Hostage


Another bit of “Brickbats” art from Reason magazine of August, 2008.

Marnina Norys was trying to board a plane at Canada’s Kelowna Airport when security guards noticed her necklace, which had a 1.75-inch silver replica of a Colt .45 on it. An agent told her she couldn’t board the plane with it on. She noted that the pendant couldn’t actually shoot anyone. “It’s what it represents,” came the reply. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority is unapologetic about the incident. “How do you know it wasn’t a real gun?” one agent said.

Filed 8/28/15

Good Thing It Wasn’t a Peanut or They’d’ve Had to Call the Toxic Waste Disposal Unit


Another oldie but goodie “Brickbats” from the Reason magazine archives from July, 2008.

Kate Badger of Wolverhampton, England, faces up to six months in jail and an unlimited fine. Her crime? Tossing an apple core from her car onto the pavement.

Filed 8/24/15

She Said She Had to Catch a Plane


Because I’m not motivated to write or draw anything new, you get an old spot illustration from the Reason magazine archives. Though if you haven’t seen it before it’s new.

Early one morning in Newport, England, a speed camera snapped a photo of Tom Matthews' 12-year-old cab. He later received a notice informing him he’d exceeded the 30-mile-per-hour speed limit –by about 390 miles per hour. “I drive an old Cavalier –not a jumbo jet,” Matthews told the London Sun. “According to this, I’ve broken the land speed record.”

Filed 6/25/15

Nobody Expects… You Know


Another oldie but goodie spot illustration from the Reason magazine archives.

Darling Velez waited years to become a Spanish citizen. But after finally accepting the Colombian woman’s application, the government reversed itself. Spanish law forbids the government to register names that do not clearly indicate gender or might provoke ridicule. Registry officials suggested Darling change her first name to that of a saint to clearly indicate her gender, but she wants to keep the name she has had for 33 years.

Filed 5/22/15

Halloween in New York


In honor of National Police Week I present this spot of art from Reason magazine of February 2008. OK, I admit not so much in honor really. National Police Week recognizes good police work, not the kind of police work below. If you can call it police work.

When officers Thomas Elliassen and Michael Danese caught a 14-year-old boy tossing eggs at cars on Staten Island last Halloween, they did what any cops would do. They took him to a swampy area, made him strip to his shorts and socks, and left him there.

Filed 5/11/15

Not Guilty Is No Excuse


Another “Brickbats” spot done for Reason magazine in 2007. Once again, it happened in Britain.

Warren Blackwell spent three years in a British prison after being falsely accused of rape. After an appeals court freed him, he expected to get some compensation for being wrongly imprisoned. Instead, he got a bill for nearly 7,000 for “board and lodging” from the Home Office.

And if he doesn’t pay he goes to jail and the meter will just keep running. If it were debtors prison he’d never get out.

Filed 5/8/15

Staking out the Trash


Another “Brickbats” spot done for Reason magazine in April 2007:

In London, England, the Ealing Council is spending $285,000 a year for plainclothes police officers to hunt down people who put their trash out too early.

Because CCTV cameras on every corner just can’t contain the crime wave of premature rubbish sweeping across the city. What could be worse than early trash? Witness this “Brickbats” from 2010:

The English shopkeeper Mark Howard says he recycles all the cardboard boxes his bicycles come in, sometimes as packaging for secondhand bikes and sometimes at home as bedding for his chickens. The Southend Council has fined him 180 for not producing any garbage.

Filed 5/1/15

Fourth Time’s the Charm


And now, an old ‘Strange Deaths&lrsquo; spot illo from Fortean Times magazine of several years back.

A Pentacostal preacher who followed his father into the practice of handling snakes to prove his faith in God died after a timber rattlesnake bit him on the thigh during an outdoor service in Panther State Forest, near Bluefield, West Virginia, on 27 May. Mark Wolford, 44, pastor of the Full Gospel Apostolic House of the Lord Jesus in Matoaka, West Virginia, had survived three previous bites. Praise the Lord and pass the rattle­snakes, brother, he had written four days before his death. His father had also died after being bitten – in 1983, aged 39. Serpent-handlers cite Mark 16:1718 as justification for their practice. It is illegal in some states, such as North Carolina and Tennessee.

Yes, I’ve posted this one before. But now it’s in the archives so I won’t do it again. Some people learn not to repeat things over and over until it bites them on the behind.

Filed 4/21/15

Blue Light Special in Isle Three


Since I’m currently busy doing the “Brickbats” art for an upcoming issue of Reason magazine, I thought I’d post an old “Brickbats” spot from an old Reason magazine issue. Enjoy.

Georgette Prince was coming out of an Akron, Ohio, convenience store when a man pushed her back into the store, pointed a gun at her, and told her to get on the ground. When she did, he pulled her hands behind her and handcuffed her. Outside, another man pointed a gun at her 12-year-old son, Davonte, ordered the boy out of the vehicle he was sitting in, and forced him to the ground. The armed men were part of a SWAT team that was raiding the store as part of a shoplifting inves­tigation. SWAT team members and other members of the sheriff’s office say their treatment of Prince and her son was "according to the book."

Who wrote that book? The Committee for Public Safety?

Filed 4/16/15

England, Where No Legal Activity Goes Uninvestigated


You can tell I’m busy doing other things when I trot out a rerun of an old illo spot from days gone by. This one’s an early “Brickbats” from Reason magazine. You’re not surprised, right?

In Wales the Gwynedd County Council has informed Jeanette Gordon-Crawley and her husband, Gordon, that they are under investigation for smoking in their own home. A council official says a neighbor complained she could smell the smoke. “We can’t see how smoke from our house could possibly get into the house next door,” Gordon-Crawley said. A council spokesperson told a local newspaper, “We are duty-bound to investigate.”

Filed 3/27/15

Qu'est-ce Que C-est?


Here’s a spot I did for Fortean Times a while back. Don’t have the text to go with it. Must have something to do with mastodon bones found under Paris or something. Or is it a wooly mammoth? What’s the difference? I don’t know. This is Snippets not Fun Facts and Trivia. In any case I liked the pic, so here it is for all those who missed it in the magazine.

If you really want a story to go with it, here’s one for you. A Borg Jean-Paul Sartre and a mammoth are in a café on the Left Bank in Paris. The mammoth says, “I think I’m going extinct.” Sartre says, “It doesn’t matter, existence is futile.”

Filed 3/23/15

We’ve Never Felt Better about Tajikistan


One from the second batch of “Brickbats” spots I did for Reason magazine back in March, 2007.

Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmonov has banned state employees from having gold teeth. Gold and silver crowns are considered a sign of affluence in Central Asia, and some reports indicate up to half of all current government workers will have to resign or have their gold teeth replaced. Rakhmonov says the move will improve the country’s image abroad.

Filed 3/16/15

Whether Children Upset Pet Owners Is Unknown


One of the first four “Brickbats” spots I did for Reason magazine back in February, 2007.

In Saudi Arabia, the provincial government of Makkah has banned the sale of cats and dogs. According to the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, people were taking their pets out into public and upsetting families with small children.

Filed 2/25/15

Actually, Strange Undeath


For a little change of pace, a sample illustration from Fortean Times. This one from “Strange Deaths” in 2012.

William Lawlis Pace, holder of the Guinness World Record for living the longest with a bullet in his head, died on 23 April 2012 at a California nursing home at the age of 103. It was 94 years and six months since his older brother Marvin shot him accidentally with their father’s .22 rifle in October 1917. Pace, who farmed for more than 60 years and sired two sons, was left with a damaged eye. Doctors in his home state of Texas left the bullet in place for fear surgery might cause brain damage. In 2006, he was crowned world record holder in the category of unwanted cranial ammunition acquisition.

This is about the twentieth rerun from magazines I’ve put up. So, I decided to add a new Shorts category, Snippets. Unfortunately I didn’t plan this ahead and most of the previous ones are gone. Well, un-saved as such. The art and text are still around I just have to find and put them together. I don’t exactly remember which ones I reused, so there’s bound to be some re-reruns. Oh, well.

Filed 1/29/15



Yessiree-bob, another entry where I don’t have to do any actual work. An illustration sample from Reason magazine’s “Brickbats”, April 2011.

Maryland State Highway Administration road crews were supposed to put salt brine on the Capital Beltway to reduce icing. Instead, they accidentally sprayed magnesium chloride on the road. The magnesium chloride froze, leading to 11 accidents.

Since they did the research and writing, here’s a bit of back­scratching: Reason Online

Filed 1/20/15

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