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Still Atop the Canyon

Jun. 27, 2013
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I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So listen, the month of June has become a 30-day sentence of remembrance given my last 12 years of ambulatory consciousness. No butt-biting essay this week. I’ve got a heaping stack of mail I got to get to. What may follow goes out to my lifelong buddy and pal, Jay-U, wherever he may be—Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Savoy Brown, five focking bucks, Chicago, 1969. I sorely miss your assistance, I kid you not.

Hey Artie, I’m worried that here it is, almost July, and you haven’t yet officially declared that you’re running for governor, county sheriff, or what have you. Cripes, I’m sure you could clean any other candidate’s clock, so what gives? You got something else in mind other than professional politics?

—Little Jimmy Iodine

Screw politics. I got my eye on that top Summerfest job that pays about $900 grand a year. It’d be a snazzy boost from what I’m pulling down here at the paper. And to boot, how long does that festival last—10, 11 days? Those are a hell of a lot better hours than if you’re mayor or something, ain’a? I’d leave the Fest just the way it is with only a few cosmetic changes—cut back on the music (how much wah-wah boom-boom can a guy stand?), and add slot machines, a bourbon tent and a topless tent.

Dear Mr. K, it’s possible that I may have a touch of what they call gonorrhea. I’ve never had such a thing before and I’m too embarrassed to call my doctor. You’re a worldly kind of guy, so I’m wondering if you think this condition could clear up all by itself?


(Note to self: better-looking and more hygienic prostitutes.) Hey, I like to think that anything’s possible, what the fock. Also, not everyone feels that the gonorrhea is the worst thing in the world. I heard of one church where the Mother Superior called all the nuns together and said to them, “I must tell you something. We have a case of gonorrhea in the convent.” And one of the elderly nuns said, “Thank God, I'm so tired of Chardonnay.”

Dear Art, I’d like to add some upper body strength this summer ’cause last year every time I went to the beach I got the crap kicked out of me. You got any tips I can try at home so I don’t have to join a gym? I’d probably get the crap kicked out of me there, too.

—Pencil Neck

Here’s something I tried once. Three days a week, get off your lazy ass and with a 5-lb. potato sack in each hand, extend your arms straight out to your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Then, after a couple, three weeks move up to 10-lb. sacks, then 50-pounders until finally you get to where you can lift a 100-lb. sack in each hand and hold your arms straight out for more than a full 60 seconds, mister. When you can accomplish that, what you’re going to do is go back to the 5-lb. sack only this time you’re going to toss a potato or two into the sack before you lift and hold. Hey, and remember, as in all physical endeavors except at the tavern, don’t overdo it.

Dear Mr. Kumbalek, I am the father of a very sweet daughter, Sally, who just turned 7. Sadly, a week ago she went out into the garden and saw her cat Mittens lying on the ground, eyes shut and legs in the air. She got me to come look at Mittens, and as gently as I could, I said, “I'm afraid Mittens is dead, Sally.” Fighting back the tears, she asked, “So why are his legs sticking up in the air like that, Daddy?”

At a loss for something to say, I replied, “Mittens’ legs are pointing straight up in the air so that it will be easier for Jesus to float down from heaven above, grab a leg and lift Mittens up to heaven.”

It seemed to me that she took Mittens’ death quite well. However, two days later, I came home from work and Sally had tears in her eyes. She said: “Mommy almost died this morning.” Fearing something terrible had happened, I grabbed her by the shoulders and said, “How do you mean, Sally? Tell Daddy!”

“Well,” she stammered, “soon after you left for work this morning, I saw Mommy lying on the floor with her legs in the air and she was saying in a loud voice, ‘Oh Jesus!!! I'm coming, I'm coming!!!’ and if it hadn't been for Uncle Don holding her down she would definitely have gone, Daddy!”

Are there grounds for divorce here?

—Down-in-Dumps Daddy

You not only got the grounds, you got the whole pot of coffee, pal. Just remember, there’s always two sides to divorce—yours and fockhead’s—’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.


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