Paul’s Groaners

Have You Ever Danced?

An old prospector shuffled into town leading an old tired mule.
The old man headed straight for the only saloon to clear his parched throat.
He walked up and tied his old mule to the hitch rail. As he stood there, brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.

The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, “Hey old man, have you ever danced?”
The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, “No, I never did dance… never really wanted to.”

A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said, “Well, you old fool, you’re gonna dance now,” and started shooting at the old man’s feet.
The old prospector –not wanting to get a toe blown off– started hopping around like a flea on a hot skillet. Everybody was laughing, fit to be tied.

When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.
The old man turned to his pack mule, pulled out a double-barreled shotgun, and cocked both hammers.
The loud clicks carried clearly through the desert air.

The crowd stopped laughing immediately.
The young gunslinger heard the sounds too, and he turned around very slowly. The silence was almost deafening.
The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old timer and the large gaping holes of those twin barrels.

The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old man’s hands, as he quietly said, “Son, have you ever licked a mule’s ass?”

The gunslinger swallowed hard and s aid, “No sir….. but… I’ve always wanted to.”

There are a few lessons for us all here:

Never be arrogant.
Don’t waste ammunition.
Whiskey makes you think you’re smarter than you are.
Always, always make sure you know who has the power.
Don’t mess with old men, they didn’t get old by being stupid.

I just love a story with a happy ending, don’t you?

Jesus on the cross…

Christ is on the cross, and Peter is down the hill conforting Mary Magdelene when he hears a faint voice, “Peter…Peter…”
“I must go and help my saviour,” he said and went up the hill, only to be beaten and kicked back down by the Roman centurions guarding the cross. But soon he hears, “Peter…Peter…” in even fainter tones, and he cannot ignore the call. Peter limps up the hill, leans a ladder against the cross, and is halfway up when the centurions knock over the ladder, beat him brutally and toss him back down the hill.
Again, he hears, “Peter…Peter…” even fainter and he cannot sit idle. He staggers up the hill, drags himself up the ladder, and finally gets even with Christ’s face. Just as the centurions are reaching for the ladder, Christ says, “Peter…Peter…I can see your house from here!”

Congrats to Oprah!!!

Congrats to Oprah on making the cover of this month’s O Magazine. You deserve it, girlfriend.

The Newfie Birthday…

Two weeks ago was my 45th birthday and I wasn’t feeling too good that morning. I went to breakfast knowing my wife would be pleasant and say, “Happy Birthday!” and probably would have a present for me.

As it turned out, she didn’t even say good morning, let alone any happy birthday. I thought, well, that’s wives for you, the children will remember.

The children came in to breakfast and didn’t say a word. So when I left for the office, I was feeling pretty low and despondent.

As I walked into my office, my secretary Janet said, “Good morning, Boss. Happy Birthday.” And I felt a little better that someone had remembered.

I worked until noon, then Janet knocked on my door and said, “You know, it’s such a beautiful day outside, and it’s your birthday, let’s go to lunch, just you and me.”

I said, “By George, that’s the greatest thing I’ve heard all day.”Let’s go!” We went to lunch.

We didn’t go where we normally go; instead we went out to a private little place. We had two martinis and enjoyed lunch tremendously.

On the way back to the office, she said, “You know, it’s such a beautiful day. We don’t need to go back to the office, do we?”

I said, “No, I guess not.” She said, “Let’s go to my apartment.”

After arriving at her apartment she said, “Boss, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll go into the bedroom and slip into something more comfortable”.

She went into the bedroom and, in about six minutes, she came out carrying a huge birthday cake — followed by my wife, children, and dozens of our friends, all singing Happy Birthday.

And I just sat there –on the couch — naked.

Happy Hour in Newfoundland…

A Newfie saw a sign at a restaurant.

It read….

Happy Hour Special:
Lobster Tail & Beer.

“Lard Tunderin Jaises!” he says to himself, “Me three favourite things!”

You might be a Newfie Jedi if…

1.You ever heard the phrase, “May the force be witt ya by*’.”
2. Your Jedi robe is made of seal skin.
3. You have ever used your light saber to quarter a moose.
4. Both wings of your X-Wing are done over with sheet metal and rivets and are covered with polybond.
5. You have ever eaten bottled Ewok.
6. You have ever used a land-speeder to get away from wildlife officers.
7. The best part of spending time on Dagobah is the great weather.
8. Even C3-PO cannot understand what you are saying.
9. You have ever used the force to convince a Human Resources Canada officer to give you unemployment insurance cheques.
10. Your father has ever said to you, “Come on by’ son, come on over ‘ere to the dark side and have a Black Horse (a Newfie beer) witt yer old man.”
11. You have ever had your R-2 unit use its self-defense electro-shock thingy to scare off mosquitoes on May 24 weekend.
12. You have ever used the Millennium Falcon to smuggle booze and cigarettes from St. Pierre.
13. You have a Newfoundland dog painted on the hood of your land-speeder.
14. You have a trailer hitch on the back of your land speeder for hauling your trailer to gravel pits.
15. You suggested that they outfit the Millennium Falcon with snowmobile skis.
16. You were the only person drinking Newfie Screech during the cantina scene.
17. If you hear . . . “Luke, I am your father … tell me what the hell your mother’s getting on with by’?!”

The Newfie and the Genie…

A drunk Newfie was stumbling home one day when he got lost and found himself in the bush. He fell to the ground and noticed a lamp. He picked it up, and rubbed it, and out came a genie.
“You have three wishes, choose them wisely.” says the Genie.

The Newfie, looking down at his last, and empty, bottle of beer, smashes it on some rocks and says, “I want a beer that will never run out.”

A bottle appears in front of the Newfie. He takes it, looks at it, and downs it. He looks at it again, and to his surprise, it was still full. The Newfie being very content starts walking away.

“Where are you going,” asks the Genie, “You still have two wishes left!”

“Well,” replies the Newfie, “Give me TWO more of these!”

This is why your local bookstore clerk hates you…


You Stole All Our Bukowski
It’s hard to keep Bukowski on the shelf when he keeps getting stuffed in the pants of street punks when no one is looking (but we are looking!). Although punks love him (he’s so easy to read) so does the staff (Hank worked a menial job for years, drank an eternity, and still ended up famous). He provides hope for apprentice alcoholics who are going to start writing sometime tomorrow or Thursday for sure. If you do steal him, please sell him back to us when you’re finished.

You’re Spending Too Much Time in the Erotica Section
Huh, and you’re totally and creepily not moving.

You Camp Out in the Self-Help Section
What is it about the self-help section that attracts people who take off their shoes and eat fruit salad right in the stacks? Or what is it that doesn’t attract them, amirite? Though we don’t mind you blocking the aisle, making your little piles of books and scribbling action items in your notepads (this means we can avoid the section), at least tidy up when you’re finished for the night. This goes for everyone in the spiritualism section, too. See you all tomorrow.

You’re Asleep
You know that’s weird, right? Barnes & Noble may have the square footage to stock recliners, but used bookstores don’t. Used bookstores use their space to sell books. Ever notice how much empty air a superbookstore contains that could be going to books? Of course you don’t, because you’re asleep on our footstool.

You Were Our Favorite English Professor
Oh look, it’s the bastard who inspired us to skip a useful degree for one in contemporary American fiction, here to again dash through the store with a comely grad student in tow and witness, once again, how well we are doing with our crack alphabetization. Looking for Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex? Try the Ds. College!

You Smell, Sir
Golden Gate Park does not shrink from an unwashed human; a cramped bookstore with adorable little alcoves does. Scent creeps. A tangy human can infect an entire store by the time he’s made it to the graphic novel section, and the store will remain hot until long after he’s made his way back aboard the bus home. Don’t make us ask you to leave, because we won’t — we hate conflict, which makes us hate you even more.

You Don’t Check Your Bag
Ah, the little rebellions that go into a day’s shopping — we get it. We don’t always Lávese Las Manos in the store bathroom either. But understand these are devil eyes we’re looking at you with, and while only the gutsiest of us are screaming Hey how about you CHECK YOUR BAG, everyone is thinking it.

You Check Everything You Own
Please don’t make us put your bedroll or “pack” behind the counter. We appreciate the gesture, but we don’t want it. If you have the balls and sleight of hand to squeeze some Bukowski in there with half the staff watching, consider it a farewell present.

You Ask for a Discount — Every Time
Ah, you’ve figured out that tracking used-book inventory is like trying to catch a waterfall, and that pricing used books is not a science — one pricer’s $5.98 is another’s $10.98. (Perhaps you saw a clerk set the pricing gun at $5.98 and let it ride for a whole afternoon, like more than a decade ago in Berkeley?) Granted, sometimes we like it when a person gets up the guts to ask for a few bucks off — we like guts. But every time? Don’t do that. We feel like you’re onto us, and we don’t like feeling onto.

You’re Selling Us Books
Do you have a car trunk full of paperback genre fiction? A single copy of Eat, Pray, Love? Anything by John Gray? Three years of Nat Geo? A textbook, for God’s sake? Do you not understand why a $24.95 Stephen King book from 1997 is worth approximately $0 now? We can go on, but someone beat us to it. But if you’re selling us Bukowski — or Freedom, for that matter — name your price.

You Want to Know if We Sell Calendars
Yes, we do. And we hate you for asking, because we hate being a gift shop during the Christmas season. Now sell us your used Ham on Rye so we can feel vital again.

Mexican Jews

Sid and Mundo were sitting in a Mexican restaurant. “Sid,” asked Mundo, “Are there any Jews in Mexico?”

I don’t know,” Mundo replied. “Why don’t we ask the waiter?”

When the waiter came by, Mundo asked him, “Are there any Mexican Jews?”

“I don’t know sir, let me ask,” the waiter replied, and he went into the kitchen. He returned in a few minutes and said, “No, sir. No Mexican Jews.”

“Are you sure?” Mundo asked.

“I will check again, sir.” the waiter replied and went back to the kitchen.

While he was still gone, Sid said, “I cannot believe there are no Jews in Mexico. Our people are scattered everywhere.”

When the waiter returned he said, “Sir, no Mexican Jews.”

“Are you really sure?” Mundo asked again. “I cannot believe there are no Mexican Jews.”

“Sir, I ask everyone,” the waiter replied exasperated. “We have orange Jews, prune Jews, tomato Jews, and grape Jews, but no one ever hear of Mexican Jews!”

An Englishman, Frenchman, Mexican, and Texan…

An Englishman, Frenchman, Mexican, and Texan were flying across country on a small plane when the pilot comes on the loud speaker and says “We’re having mechanical problems and the only way we can make it to the next airport is for 3 of you to open the door and jump, at least one of you can survive”

The four open the door and look out below. The Englishman takes a deep breath and hollers “God Save The Queen” and jumps.

The Frenchman gets really inspired and hollers “Viva La France” and he also jumps.

This really pumps up the Texan so he hollers “Remember the Alamo” and he grabs the Mexican and throws him out of the plane.