How to Have a Safe Thanksgiving (Turkey Excluded)

  • Move the children’s table out to the tool shed.
  • Point obnoxious relatives, who expend potentially lethal particles while explaining why Trump actually won the election, in the direction of an open window.
  • Warm chestnut stuffing is very pliable. Still, covering your face with it is no substitute for a mask.
  • Always get tested before and after cranberry sauce wrestling.
  • During family Zoom gatherings, make sure the children leave the room before Uncle Jeffrey Toobin logs on.
  • Don’t share food or drink with anyone. As an added precaution, dogs should drink out of separate toilets.
  • Stay at least six feet apart from anyone who does not live with you. Stay at least twelve feet apart from anyone you wish did not live with you.
  • Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, mouth – unless you’re putting the moves on yourself.
  • Make the meal more of a shared experience by deciding which family member has been the biggest disappointment.
  • It’s okay to loosen your belt after stuffing yourself with turkey, yams and green bean casserole. It’s not, however, okay to maintain any social distance between you and your pants.

Ben Alper writes for late night talk show hosts, comedians and others. He is the author of “Thank You for Not Talking: A Laughable Look at Introverts.”

Trump’s Reaction to Losing

  • “I don’t like make excuses, but Hitler had more support in his bunker.”
  • “Dammit! I won’t be able to appoint the first Hell’s Angels member to a cabinet position.”
  • “I was very specific about this: I wanted an October, not December surprise!”
  • “Did Fauci just give me the finger on CNN?”
  • “Rudy says we can still void all the California votes.”
  • “I don’t understand it; we had such great hats.”
  • “New retroactive executive order: We sold Pennsylvania to Portugal.”
  • “I told you we should’ve used the pictures of Hunter Biden with Jane Fonda in Hanoi.”
  • “What do you mean Putin now has an unlisted number?”
  • “I don’t care if it’s screwed to the floor. I’m taking the Oval Office desk with me.”
  • “Ivanka, Jared, get in here. We’re doing a group self-pardon.”

Ben Alper writes for late night talk show hosts, comedians and others. He is the author of “Thank You for Not Talking: A Laughable Look at Introverts.”

What We’ve Learned from Jeffrey Toobin’s Zoom Doom

  • Contrary to what you may think, there is actually someone who understands less about modern technology than your parents.
  • Being unable to hug and shake hands online isn’t the worst thing that can happen.
  • Attorney Toobin will never again be able to ask, “Would you like to see my briefs?”
  • Zoom needs to create a second Mute button labeled “CLICK AND LEAVE THE ROOM.”
  • We should be thankful CNN always shot talking head Toobin from the neck up.
  • You can do a lot worse than Anthony Weiner.
  • If Zoom existed in 1925, lawyer Clarence Darrow might have been known for the Scopes Spanking the Monkey trial.
  • The next time someone resigns over a “personal matter,” don’t count on people fighting to get their cubicle.
  • Be thankful Harvey Weinstein went to jail before virtual meetings became popular.
  • It’s tough to be a public figure when you have less social media impulse control than Donald Trump.

Ben Alper writes for late night talk show hosts, comedians and others. He is the author of “Thank You for Not Talking: A Laughable Look at Introverts.”

Generic Advice Column Answers

These should have you covered for any situation.

  • You need to get into counseling.
  • Maintaining a long-distance relationship requires extra effort. If you can’t afford airline tickets, consider flying as freight.
  • It may never be easy for her to accept you dressing as a woman. Try meeting her half way; go with a more butch look.
  • To calm your husband down, rub his belly.
  • To calm your dog down, rub his belly
  • Sending a wedding gift is not necessary if the bride’s family is responsible for you being deported back to Guatemala.
  • You really need to get into counseling
  • It’s unreasonable to ask your wife to remove tattoos of her old boyfriends’ names – especially if she took the time to list them in alphabetical order.
  • You’ll never have peace in your house as long as your mother-in-law is living with you. Have you considered moving her into a tastefully redecorated tool shed?
  • Being a bad cook is no excuse for ending a relationship. Insisting you buy your own stomach pump is.
  • You are not responsible for other people’s life decisions, even if you were driving the getaway car.
  • If your 88-year-old husband won’t stop chasing women, put a Denver boot on his wheel chair.
  • It’s never too late to find love and companionship. In fact, many people have found rich and rewarding lives with inflatable soulmates.
  • Unfortunately, in this superficial day and age, there are people who can’t get past a sudden 600-pound weight gain.
  • There’s no reason the voices in your head can’t get along. But if they don’t, all four of you most definitely need to get into counseling.

Ben Alper writes for late night talk show hosts, comedians and others. He is the author of “Thank You for Not Talking: A Laughable Look at Introverts.”

College Alumni Notes That Didn’t Make the Final Cut

  • Emily Wells ’72 – After procrastinating for many years, I’m finally taking kazoo lessons.
  • Jacob Stein ’68 – I found my other pair of glasses.
  • Ernie Wallis ’10 – My wife and I joined a progressive political action committee which turned out to be a cult. It also partially explains why I’m writing this note with my own blood.
  • Cynthia Hastings ’12 – We adopted a beautiful Labrador retriever named Bailey and are now in a legal battle with its birth mother.
  • Nicholas Page ’78 – This year marks the twenty-fifth year our son has been living in our basement.
  • Nicholas Page Jr. ’91 – This year marks the twenty-fifth year I’ve been living in my parent’s basement.
  • George Stanky ’77 – My colleagues at the MIT Robotics department honored me with a lifetime achievement award. My wife, 38C-8D7 and I celebrated by taking a long-planned trip to Greece.
  • Alice Lerthy ’95 – Now that our last child has flown the nest, it’s just my husband, Lewis and I in our beautifully restored 20-room Victorian house. To give him more space, I’m building a 15-room she shed.
  • Tom Fortuna ’19 – I was honored by Subway for purchasing my 500th Footlong sandwich.
  • Ron Neel ’05 – I reconnected with Mary Strickland-Souza ’05 at our 15th reunion. Pending her divorce to Phil Souza ’05, we plan to move to Manhasset.
  • Phil Souza ’05 – I’m just beginning to get over the trauma of discovering my wife, Mary Strickland-Souza ’05 in Ron Neel ’05’s Holiday Inn room during our 15th reunion.
  • Ralph Willborne ’65 – I sold my company for 10 billion dollars. To this day, I still have no idea what we manufactured.
  • Lilly Tosh ’07 – Contrary to what you may have read in the news, our daughter Tiffany was accepted to our wonderful college on her own merit. Our $500,00 contribution to the school’s badminton program was purely coincidental.
  • Tara Tinsley ’15 – I’m currently on a book tour promoting my twelfth semi-autobiographical novel, “The Secret Life of a Lactose Intolerant Data Analyst.”
  • Steve Greely ’12 – I’m still living in my dorm room. This semester I will have audited my one thousandth course.

Ben Alper writes for late night talk show hosts, comedians and others. He is the author of “Thank You for Not Talking: A Laughable Look at Introverts.”

Speed Dating Saves Time. Why Not Speed Relationships?

Speed dating is a great way to quickly meet a lot of potential mates. Why spend an evening getting to know one person who likes candle-lit dinners and long walks on the beach when you can meet ten or twenty?

Neil, a freelance card counter from Reno, Nevada has one gone one step further. He has embraced speed relationships. “I enjoy companionship, but I’m basically a solitary person who needs his own space. After 90 minutes with someone, I’m ready to move on, go home and stare into the abyss.”

Now, using dating apps, he’s had over 1000 fulfilling relationships in the last six months.

“Speed relationships perfectly suit my lifestyle. After meeting someone online, having a great dinner and an interesting conversation, I’m ready to suggest we should start seeing other people. It doesn’t mean I’m not a romantic. I’ll always cherish our hour together as well as the Ultimate Nachos special.”

Neil says speed relationships have other advantages.

  • It’s the one and only time you’ll meet. There’s no chance your date will ever complain, “We never go anywhere!”
  • Ambivalence about introducing your new girl or guy to your parents is never an issue – unless they’re sitting in the booth next to you.
  • Height disparities are irrelevant since the relationship will probably conclude with both people sitting down.
  • As long as you space your dates at least ten minutes apart, infidelity will never be an issue.
  • You’ll be long gone before the thrill is gone.

Consider giving speed relationships a try. And remember, love is never having to say, “I promise I’ll call you.”

Ben Alper writes for late night talk show hosts, comedians and others. He is the author of “Thank You for Not Talking: A Laughable Look at Introverts.”

The New Abnormal: Preparing For A Job Interview

Finding work in any job market is not easy. Finding work in today’s “new normal” job market is even tougher. The key, as always, is to stand out among the crowd. Here are some tips that can help give you an edge up on the competition.

  • Research the company with which you’ll be interviewing. For example, does it have a comprehensive COVID-19 policy? Or do they have Friday afternoon hydroxychloroquine chugging parties?
  • Wearing a mask is now standard garb for all interviews. Wearing a ski mask is only required when interviewing for an armed robbery team.
  • Many job interviews are now conducted by phone. Avoid rookie mistakes like asking, “How much does the job pay?” or “What are you wearing?”
  • Job interviews are also now conducted on video conferencing apps like Zoom and Facetime. Dress appropriately during these meetings. For example, avoid wearing outfits that reveal large tattoos – particularly tattoos on your buttocks.
  • Your background during video interviews also says a lot about you. A neatly organized bookcase is good. A neatly stacked pile of empty Ben & Jerry containers is not.
  • Have an updated resume available. And remember, you haven’t been laying on your couch for the past five months. You’ve been doing research on binge watching Netflix during a pandemic.
  • Treat everyone you encounter with respect. For instance, this may be the first time you’ve spoken to a human being in months, but don’t blame anyone for the fact your boyfriend left you for the Grubhub delivery guy.
  • Don’t appear resentful if your interviewer uses your “I guess this is the new normal” line before you have a chance to.
  • Don’t say anything negative about your previous employers – particularly the employer who fired you for self-quarantining in her executive bathroom.
  • Score a success in the first five minutes. In this day and age, the company may declare bankruptcy after that.

Ben Alper writes for late night talk show hosts, comedians and others. He is the author of “Thank You for Not Talking: A Laughable Look at Introverts.”

 

Ask Robot Woman


Dear Robot Woman,

Ashley and I had been dating for twelve and one half hours before deciding to move in together. Minutes later we were in lock-down.

In retrospect, we may have rushed things. It’s now been five months and I still haven’t gotten used to her whistling through her nose while she flosses her teeth. And for some unexplained reason, she seems irritated by my yodeling during sex.

I realize it takes time for couples to get to know each other, but have we jumped the cohabitating gun?

Suffocating in Southampton

Dear Southampton,

Living together often gets off to a rocky start, but your differences may not be insurmountable. Just because someone whistles while they floss shouldn’t make you ignore their better qualities, like healthy gums. And who hasn’t yodeled a tune or two while in the throes of passionate lovemaking?

The important thing to remember is love conquers all, except in my case, getting use to a cyborg that processes data with its mouth full. There are, after all, limits to everything.

Dear Robot Woman,

I’m dating a guy who is perfect in almost every way except for one thing: He doesn’t believe in wearing a mask — anywhere. He thinks it’s a violation of his constitutional rights, plus he loves catching insects with his tongue. He claims they’re a great source of protein.

His refusal to wear face covering has already cost him nine jobs including four as an operating surgeon. I know he’s wrong, but every time I threaten to leave him he surprises me with a romantic dinner of broiled crickets. After that, I’m putty in his hands. Should I give him another chance or find a more responsible partner who doesn’t bug me.

Hopping helpless in Tuscaloosa

Dear Hopping,

So you’re worried about ending a relationship with a selfish man who isn’t concerned about transmitting a deadly disease; who catches insects with his tongue; and whose idea of romance is serving you a plate of dead insects?

Give me a call. I’d like to introduce you to my sister’s no-good, unemployed android that still lives in her basement.

Robot Woman is a friend and colleague of Ben Alper who writes for late night talk show hosts, comedians and others. He is the author of “Thank You for Not Talking: A Laughable Look at Introverts.”

Social Recluse Dolly Lama Attempts Deep Thinking Record

History could be made when self-absorbed, deep thinker extraordinaire, Dolly Lama attempts a record-setting journey to her previously-unexplored emotional depths. No one has ever focused longer and more intensely on inconsequential and mundane thoughts than she, but this could be her deepest self-absorption yet.

Lama, who last year spent an amazing 329 consecutive hours wondering why a Tinder date hadn’t called her back, plans to go further while obsessing about a workmate who gave her a funny look when she asked for the time.

She also holds a previous record of 297 hours set while questioning her decision to wear a striped halter top at a friend’s cookout. That record was broken shortly after by Leo Lawnfeld who spent 311 hours fixating on an old girlfriend who left him for a gender fluid airline pilot.

Dolly has been unintentionally training hard. Her daily workout regimen includes:

  • Wondering why she’s never had a successful long-term relationship.
  • Wondering why she’s never had a successful short-term relationship.
  • Questioning why as a child she didn’t sell more Girl Scout cookies.
  • Contemplating whether she’s responsible for her sister joining a book discussion group dedicated to the works of Sidney Sheldon.
  • Worrying if anyone will notice her new Zoom background.
  • Feeling guilty because she told an automated phone solicitation to F*ck off.

Asked why she spends most of her waking hours consumed in her own thoughts, Lama thought for a few days and responded, “That’s a good question. I’ll get back to you next year with an answer.”

Ben Alper writes for late night talk show hosts, comedians and others. He is the author of “Thank You for Not Talking: A Laughable Look at Introverts.”

It’s Our Constitutional Right to (Insert here)!

Thank you, amateur legal scholars who’ve enlightened us about rules and regulations that violate our Constitutional rights. Without you, how would we know:

  • The government has no right to make us wear a mask in public, except on Halloween.
  • The Second Amendment clearly gives us the right a register and protect ourselves with a bazooka.
  • Nowhere in the Bill of Rights does it say anything about sharing a restroom with women who used to be named Phil.

When it comes to violating our most basic human and Constitutional rights, our overreaching government is just getting started.

Consider the following:

  • Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. be dammed, we have a right to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater — and then yell, “No, I really mean it, Fire!”
  • Don’t let anyone tell you differently. It is our Constitutional right to say “Merry Christmas” at a Passover Seder.
  • Regardless of what you read in the Harvard Law Review, no one can stop you from co-owning a timeshare with your pet miniature schnauzer.
  • It goes without saying, the Second Amendment grants us the right to bear arms including your own personal B-1 bomber.
  • Ignore those lefties at the New York Times. If you are a justice of the peace, you have every right to refuse marrying two Civil War reenactors dressed as General Ulysses S. Grant.
  • Ask yourself this? Where in the Declaration of Independence does it say we can’t fire off illegal fireworks in our living rooms?
  • Free enterprise is the bedrock of our country. Don’t let any health inspector tell you your restaurant can’t sell hydroxychloroquine smoothies.
  • And speaking of health, Obamacare be dammed, we must never give up the right to  purchase a health plan that costs more than the gross national income of Sri Lanka.
  •  I dare you to find anything in the Federalists Papers that says you can’t fly on Delta, TWA or United Airlines with a rabid service dog.
  • Our country was founded on the belief in God. We should be able to attend any church service that has a reasonable COVID-19 infection rate.

Stay vigilant, patriots!

Ben Alper writes for late night talk show hosts, comedians and others. He is the author of “Thank You for Not Talking: A Laughable Look at Introverts.”