Quick Thoughts

Real quick thoughts

  • I always thought it was important to be a results-oriented person until I impulsively screamed during sex: “I finished first!”
  • I’ve always wanted to argue a case before the Supreme Court, but I have a fear of being asked, “Do you even know what amicus curiae means?”
  • If you want to witness some nice brawling, accept any invitation to a Political Affiliation Reveal party.

Was I dreaming?

I have this vivid image of calling 911 and the operator only wanted to talk about her problems. After twenty minutes, I realized my burning home was less important than her disagreements with her roommate.

I believe

Every relationship begins with trust. Just provide me with blood and hair samples, and then let the magic begin.

Has this ever happened to you?

Last week, I was trying to think of something interesting to write about, but was distracted by a space alien captor probing my body orifices. Then a few days later, I headed into the woods for a little solitude, and wouldn’t you know it, Big Foot kidnapped me and insisted on showing me his new breakfast nook he carved out in his cave. These distractions are killing me. I think I’m just going to write about shopping for socks.

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.”

For Me, All Bitch Faces Are Arresting

How can you tell if someone’s natural facial expression is a queasy grimace, commonly known as resting bitch face (RBF), or they are simply downright ornery?

As someone who’s often accused of looking like Jack the Ripper on his worst day – even while happily folding my laundry, I know what it’s like to be constantly asked, “Are you okay? Is everything alright?”

It’s precisely because of my sometime – okay, all the time – less-than-sunny facial expression that I give every angry, moping, sullen, surly face I encounter a free pass. Cutting a few ill-tempered characters some slack is a small price to pay for showing a little empathy for every RBF I meet.

I’ll absorb an icy glance from any might-be psychopath on the off chance they are actually a wonderful person who was voted Most Unapproachable in high school.

As someone who is regularly misjudged as a threat to society or, at the very least, a threat to my book club, who am I to judge folks who don’t say “Hi” while attempting to break into my car?

So your constant look of oncoming nausea regularly causes family and friends to dial 911. Big deal. It still beats trying to force a smile whenever a sales clerk says “Have a nice day.” (Note: According to many studies, so I’ve heard, more crimes are committed by smiling sales clerks than scowling proof readers.)

Will the world ever be more accepting of sullen facial expressions? Probably not. But here’s one thing you can count on: If your angry puss ever encounters my resting bitch face, it will be met with an accepting and non-judgmental frown.

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.”

Famous Pick-Up Lines

George Washington – I cannot tell a lie. You put the hot in hotty.

Alexander Graham Bell – Watson come here, I must have you.

Patrick Henry – Give me Liberty, or give me that beautiful smile.

Abraham Lincoln – Even a house divided would agree you’re babe-a-licious

Jim Bowie – If you think my knife is big, get a load of this.

Michelangelo – Ever do any nude modeling?

Wilbur and Orville Wright – Anybody ever tell you you’re pretty enough to be a stewardess?

Paul Revere – Honey, for you the British can wait.

Henry Morton Stanley — Dr. Livingston I hope.

Virginia Woolf – Would you like to see my room?

Alexander the Great – Care to find out how I got the name, “Great?”

Nostradamus – What’s your sign? Wait, don’t tell me!

Herman Melville – The name is Herman, but call me Ishmael.

Attila the Hun – Raping and pillaging have made me a more sensitive person.

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 Does Your DNA Have To Say?

After years of wondering where I got my compulsion to flick errant crumbs off messy eater’s lower lips, I decided to trace my ancestry with one of those DNA kits.

It’s been quite a journey. So far, I’ve discovered:

  • I had a great uncle who was a failed bootlegger of non-alcoholic whiskey.
  • My quarter half aunt twice removed was the first female elevator operator to announce: “Third floor, women’s lingerie.”
  • An extremely distant relative on my father’s side cured a young Abraham Lincoln of his stove pipe hat phobia.
  • My paternal great-great-great-grandfather was the first Pony Express rider disciplined for riding side saddle.
  • My great-great-not-so-great-aunt traveled with her husband to California in 1850. After their gold mine went bust, she opened the world’s first brothel for pets.
  • Immigration agents at Ellis Island granted my great-great-great-grandfather entry to the United States, but not his pet komodo dragon.
  • I’m also related to Lewis and Clark’s first official biographer, who in 1813 was fired for refusing to remove a chapter titled: “More Than Just Good Friends.”

My DNA search didn’t lead me to an explanation of my crumb flicking urges, but it’s nice to know I have enough interesting descendants to more than make up for our present day family of couch potatoes.

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.”

airbnBust Cottage Guest Book Entries

June 15 – July 9

Thanks for sharing your wonderful vacation cottage with us. The sights, the sounds were relaxing and restorative. By the way: Did you know Big Foot lives in the woods behind the boat shed? He taught our son how to search for grub worms in exchange for the Wi-Fi password.

Looking forward to our next stay.

The Grayson family

July 9 – July 23

We had a great time at your wonderful cottage. Caught 15 stripers on the first day! Thank you for your gracious hospitality. We hate to leave. Just a note: The grill’s propane tank is empty due mostly to Bigfoot’s raccoon roasts.

Can’t wait until next summer.

Tom and Gail Hannity

July 23 – August 6

This is our 6th year at the cottage. We so enjoy this lovely, quiet spot. Perfect weather, wonderful friends and delicious food. Just curious, did you give Bigfoot permission to use the shower?

See you next year!

Harold, Sandi, Lisa, and Tony

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.”

First Instincts Begging for a Second

We’re often told: “trust your instincts” or “trust your gut.”

That may be true some or most of the time. But all of the time? Here are ten instinctive moves that should’ve waited for a second.

  • What if it’s just a cold sore? Tongue, prepare to launch. I’m going in for a big smooch.
  • Do you believe every “Danger: Shallow Water” sign you read? Watch me do a reverse flip dive.
  • Yes, my entrée looks like it’s breathing, but our waitress did say it was an optical illusion.
  • His Linkedin profile name is Hannibal Lector Jr., but he’s got lots of coding experience.
  • Something tells me a flame-eating, eunuch stripper is just the thing that could help our women’s church group bond.
  • It may be the tequilas talking, but I gotta have that Elizabeth Warren tramp stamp.
  • I normally don’t give my social security and credit card numbers to strangers, but I normally don’t have the honor of meeting Nigerian royalty.
  • Trust me, if the salesman says it was owned by a little old lady who only drove it on Sundays, believe him.
  • Yes, I realize we just met, but I have a hunch you’re going to love firewalking.
  • I’ve never hired a lawyer who lives in his car, but I like your gumption.

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.”

If Abraham Lincoln Hired a 21st Century Teenage Speechwriter

Four score and, like, seven years ago our fathers, like, brought forth upon this continent, a new nation, like, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to, like, the proposition that, like, all men are, like, created equal.

Now we are, like, engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or, like, any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can, like, long endure. We are met on, like, a great battle-field of that war. We have come to, like, dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for, like, those who here gave their lives that that nation, like, might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that, like, we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not, like, dedicate—we can not, like, consecrate—we can not, like, hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have, like, consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or, like, detract. The world will, like, little note, nor, like, long remember what we say here, but it can never, like, forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be, like, dedicated here to the unfinished work which, like, they who fought here have thus far so, like, nobly advanced. It is rather for us to, like, be here dedicated to the great task remaining, like, before us—that from these honored dead we take, like, increased devotion to that cause for which they, like, gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly, like, resolve that these dead shall not have, like, died in, like. vain—that this nation, under God, shall, like, have a new birth of freedom—and that government, like, of the people, by the people, for the people, shall, like, not perish from, like, the earth.

— Abraham Lincoln and Zoe

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.”

Caution, Incoming Social Interaction

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Dear God, I want to go home and hold my cat.

For most introverts, the definition of Hell is being at a large party hosted by Satan in which you don’t know anyone.

Introverts don’t like being in large groups of people, particularly crowds where strangers ask intrusive questions like, “How are you?” or “Is that your car being towed?”

There are essentially three strategies for avoiding socializing with hordes of people:

  • Never leave home. This works well but can become tedious after 20 or 30 years.
  • Go to social functions, then hide after you arrive. This usually works, although many introverts grow tired of hearing, “I really need to use this bathroom; can you at least close the shower curtain?”
  • Go to social functions, then leave as soon as possible. This is a frequent choice among introverts. The most popular method is to enter through the front door, cordially greet your host and then continue on until you’ve passed through the rear entrance.

These three approaches can help you avoid human contact or, at the very least, keep it to a minimum. The key is to select the best strategy for the right situation. You’ll know you’re on the right track when someone from Social Services knocks on your door and asks, “Are you alive?”

Awaken the Strong and Silent You

Strong_and_Silent_01The Learning Annex is proud to present Luther Spivak, entrepreneur, pushup champion, silent auctioneer and author of the best-selling pamphlet, “All Quiet on the Western Front of My Mouth.”

Luther will present a short history of strong and silent types: from Orga, the first cavewoman to calmly wrestle and then briefly date a wild hyena; to Gary Cooper, an actor so quiet he didn’t realize movies had sound until his 15th talkie.

Luther will next quietly and assertively talk about his 10 easy, foolproof steps to becoming a more confident and less audible you.

  • Rid a town overrun of evildoers without saying more than three words. Then quietly leave.
  • Initiate a relationship with a needy, hysterical, overly-emotional person. Calmly, and silently listen to their problems. Pretend to go to the bathroom and then quietly leave town.
  • Join a local branch of Toastmasters. When it’s your turn to speak, stand up, say “yup” and then quietly leave town.
  • Hang out at a karaoke bar for at least two years and don’t do or say anything. One night, finally get up and sing “I’ve –,” and stop. Then quietly leave.
  • Sign up for a yoga class. Speak to no one. The first time a classmate speaks despairingly of another, beat the miscreant to a bloody pulp. Then quietly leave town.
  • Attend your next family gathering with a new tattoo that covers your face. If they don’t ask you to leave town, quietly leave anyway.
  • At a ceremony for winning the Nobel Peace Prize, announce to the audience you’ve mistakenly left your acceptance speech in your other tuxedo/pocket book. Then quietly leav
    e town.

Luther Spivak is an entrepreneur, personal and impersonal trainer and the nation’s #1097 life and business strategist. He was featured on TLC’s “Naked and Unaware.”