After Military Says No, Trump Must Look Elsewhere for Protest Control. Here are Some Suggestions.

Trump wanted to send 10,000 active-duty troops into the streets of Washington, DC until military aides convinced him otherwise. He has since used everything at his disposal against the demonstrators including personnel from the U.S. Secret Service, National Guard, Customs and Border Protection and more.

Given the growing anti-Trump fervor, this still may not be enough. Here are some other loyal resources he can tap.

  • Mall cops — No one is more imposing than a uniformed person with a badge and a book of Cinnabon coupons.
  • Meter maids — Five words: “Stop or I’ll ticket you!”
  • Unemployed Olive Garden busboys — They’ve got unlimited bread sticks and are not afraid to use them.
  • Civil War impersonators — Isn’t it about time we see what these folks can do in a real fight?
  • Boy Scout Troop 27, Fort Wayne, Indiana — Most have earned their merit badges in Knot Tying and Pepper Spraying.
  • Amazon delivery drivers — Nothing clears a street faster than a wave of hurled packages.
  • “The Bachelor” Runner-up Alumni Association — Imagine an army of rejected women so desperate for any exposure, they’d risk a TMZ clip showing them kneeing a 75-year-old grandmother in the groin.
  • Junior high school hall monitors — These are some of the world’s leading experts in pedestrian flow control and chewing gum detection.
  • Radio City Rockettes — They kick high. They kick ass.
  • Assault rifle-wielding American Yahoos — What better way to audition for the next Trump acting cabinet secretary position?

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

Bigfoot Talks About Struggling With Forced Isolation


At a time when people struggle with forced isolation, who better than Bigfoot, aka Sasquatch to offer insights on living alone like the plague?

I recently caught up with him, partaking in his usual regimen: fleeing civilization.

How are you holding up during the pandemic?

Aside from evading an increasing number of mask-wearing hikers, my life is about the same.

I imagine many of them are tired of being cooped up in their homes.

I understand, but, there’s a reason why no one has ever taken a blurry photo of me sitting in their living room. I respect their space. I wish they would respect mine.

Speaking of photos, I’ve never seen a picture of you with anyone. Would you describe yourself as a loner?

That pretty much sums me up. But I’m not antisocial. It’s just hard for me to connect with people and other creatures.

How so?

I try to fit in. When peering at people from behind trees or bushes, I want to jump out and say, “Hey, that happened to me too.” or “I know how you feel.” But it just doesn’t feel natural.

I’ve never enjoyed being the center of attention, so living alone works best for me. However, it doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally dream about kanoodling with a sexy young primate.

What advice can you give people for whom human interaction is normal and are currently struggling without it?

Non-stop socialization is overrated. I get it. You miss holding your grandchild or shaking hands with a car salesman. But you can’t tell me you haven’t dreamed about waking up by yourself on a crisp clear winter morning under a pile of leaves. If you feel you can’t go a few months without the familiar touch of a loved one, take a deep breath, close your eyes and embrace your inner hobo.

And that’s enough for you?

More than enough – especially if I’ve just been visited by a chipmunk won’t stop yakking about its vacation to the swamp.

I won’t lie to you. Being the world’s number one recluse is a stressful job. Sometimes I want to pour my heart out to someone, anyone. Most of the time, though, I’m at peace with myself. I couldn’t handle someone constantly asking, “What are you thinking?” or “When are you going to shave your body?”

What about people who, during these challenging times, feel desperate for any kind of intimacy?

I confess, on those rare occasions when I need some sort of human/semi-human interaction, I do online dating.

Really? I don’t mean to be insulting, but how do dates feel about your physical appearance?

I use a profile picture of James Franco, because I feel he best fits my personality. By the time my dates start to catch on, I’m usually exhausted from chatting about favorite Netflix series and 600-thread-count sheets. I’m ready to flee the cybercafe and head back into the wilderness.

To conclude, what is your number one advice for people accustomed to constant human interaction and contact, and are now struggling without it?

As the song goes, “If you can’t be with the one you love, honey, Love the one you’re with.” It can be your spouse, your partner or your old Farrah Fawcett poster. Even an annoying chipmunk that over-explains everything but has a cute smile.

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

Grubby Trumpy

A cybercriminal gang is threatening a ransomware attack on New York celebrity lawyer Allen Grubman’s firm Grubman, Shire, Meiselas and Sacks (GSMS). They’ve doubled their ransom demand to $42 million and have promised to publish compromising information on A-list stars including President Trump, according to reports.

I’ve been able to get my hands on some of the Trump files. Most include complaints about fast food orders that skimped on the French fries. But there were a few other interesting correspondences.

December 15, 2000: Hi Grubby, I’m sorry to keep asking you this but do you spell lawyer with one or two Ws?

November 9, 2001: Eric is out of my will until he gets his SAT scores above 100.

August 8, 2003: I can assure you, the countless letters, videos, audio tapes and 53 signed affidavits are all lies. And I had no idea there was a hooker sending text messages to Page Six from my Mar a Lago bedroom closet.

June 8, 2008: It’s very simple: I didn’t pay my cleaning lady for three months because I had lost confidence in her ability to dust.

September 12, 2011: Quick question. My iPhone doesn’t work. I dropped it in the toilet again. Can we sue Apple?

February 7, 2012: If my cook sculps cows out of Spam, can we then call them Trump Steaks?

May 8, 2015: Important!!! Cease Trump Tower eviction proceedings immediately for Skippy Putin. I had no idea who his older brother was.

January 12, 2016: I need to know something very quickly, and this is purely hypothetical. Say I’m standing in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody. From a legal standpoint, can I deduct the bullets as a business expense?

July 10, 2018: Allen, check your law books and the Constitution again. There has to be a way to change “In God We Trust” to “In Trump We Trust.”

January 3, 2020: I’m just spit balling here but can I pardon myself now for anything I’m convicted of after I leave office?

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

Really Reaching Out – Hey, Remember Me?

During these challenging times, it’s important to reach out to friends, ask how they’re doing and let them know you’ve been thinking about them.

Lately, however, friends have told me, “Yes, I’m fine. I was fine when you called yesterday and the day before and the day before, and ….” So I decided to reach out to other people who might need some friendly words and support.

  • I contacted the kid who bullied me in the third grade. I think he still feels bad for stuffing my head in the boy’s room toilet, because he only halfheartedly professed not to have remembered the incident that forever emotionally damaged me. Interesting though, he now works for Roto Rooter.
  • I made a point of making sincere eye contact with a guy who lives one floor below me. We’ve never spoken to each other even though I’ve mumbled “hi” underneath my mask. I’m afraid I may have frightened him, because he reported me to the condo board.
  • I emailed a former workmate who I’m almost positive stole my yogurt from the break room refrigerator in 2003. She remembered. In fact, she immediately responded, “I didn’t take your damn yogurt. It’s time to let it go.” That’s the kind of toughness that will sustain her during these trying times.
  • I tracked down a woman with whom I had one Tinder date. I forgave her for not looking like her profile picture. She forgave me for accidentally posting a photo of Brad Pitt. We both wished each other well and told each other to stay safe.
  • I once threatened a high school acquaintance because he, not I, was voted Most Friendly in our senior class. I wished him well and told him we’re all in this together, as I was being arrested for violating a still-active restraining order.
  • I called my former dog walker and offered her a heartfelt virtual belly rub.
  • I gave an extra friendly hello to a Walmart greeter whom I had shunned after I realized I wasn’t the only person to whom he was being nice. I also plan to find out where he lives and greet him when he arrives home — from a safe distance, of course.
  • A few years ago, I crashed into a woman driving a car, totaling mine. The insurance company ruled in her favor, thus raising my rates for years. I called her, apologized for appealing the judgement 38 times, and assured her we’re going to be okay.
  • A few weeks back, a man in a public restroom got very upset with me when I noted he only sang Happy Birthday one and a half times while washing his hands. I never got his name, but I left a message on Craigslist saying I’m pulling for him.
  • And finally, I sent a warm note to a local actress I once saw portray Nurse Ratched in a community theatre production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” because we should support ALL our healthcare professionals.

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

Things I’m Selfishly Thankful for During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • I have enough toilet paper.
  • My wife and I are getting along even though we don’t always agree on disinfecting etiquette.
  • Since I’m an introvert, I’ve adapted easily to social distancing. Quite frankly, I was disappointed when I heard it was six feet and not six miles.
  • After being asked for lifetime, “How come you never smile?’, I love wearing a medical mask. It means I no longer have to lie and respond, “I’m grieving over the death of my pet ameba, Lewis.”
  • I’ve learned to appreciate food that most shoppers don’t hoard—like seagull-flavored gelato.
  • My political action committee has only been Zoom bombed once, by a lonely naked guy who has since become the only group member who truly gets me.
  • When listening to Bob Fosse musicals, my jazz hands are just as expressive with nitrile gloves.
  • Since I’ve always worked at home, I already have cubicles for me and my dog.
  • I live in a state which places more importance in increasing testing than reopening tattoo parlors and Waffle Houses.
  • Did I say I have enough toilet paper?

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

Our Mad-Scientist-in-Chief May Be On To Something

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Sure, injecting disinfectant into the body as suggested by President Trump might cause 99 or 100 percent of sick patients to die, but as he says, isn’t it worth taking a chance?

And while we’re on the subject, why aren’t we testing other household cleaning products. One person’s (or practically everyone’s) lethal prescription could be another’s medical breakthrough.

Think of the possibilities:

  • Scrubbing Bubbles has products that clean everything, from your toilet to your shower. It only makes sense that one of them could put the shine back in your liver.
  • Why spend countless dollars on surgery when a simple application (or two) of Drano can instantly clear a clogged heart valve?
  • Do you know who really benefits from cataract surgery? The insurance companies. Perhaps that’s why none of them will pay for a simple squirt of Windex.

I’m not criticizing Dr. Fauci. I’m sure he’s a qualified immunologist. But has he, like President Trump, watched countless hours of Fox News hosts pitch insightful softball questions at some of the world’s great medical minds like Doctors Oz, Drew and Phil?

The president may not have a medical degree or know the difference between a ventilator and a George Foreman grill, but as he says, “I like this stuff. I really get it.” That’s enough medical knowledge for me. After all, whom would you rather be examined by: a doctor who is totally familiar with every part of the anatomy—even the ones you hardly ever use—or a clinician whose great instincts tell him your heart is located somewhere in your upper torso?

Let’s support the president. Be open minded the next time he says, “That guest with the tin-foil hat who Judge Jeanine interviewed said chugalugging Pine-Sol will kill the coronavirus. Isn’t it worth a try?”

After all, who wouldn’t want their corpse to have a forest green scent?

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

No Representation Without Self-Gratification — Election Commission Meeting Interrupted by Man Masturbating on Zoom

nakedman_02A virtual meeting of the Indiana Election Commission on the Zoom online video platform was disrupted by a video of a man masturbating.

I realize that every voice in a democracy should be heard. But should we respect every comment, cry and groan?

And what was this guy, who obviously cares about election procedures, thinking about while polishing his banister? It’s certainly something to ponder the next time your caressing hand so gently inserts your vote into a ballot box.

This is not to imply that self-pleasuring people cannot have valid opinions about important issues of the day. In fact, I have to give this man some credit. Many people are too lazy to even vote. This bishop choker not only attended the meeting but “took over the single screen shared among commission members, numerous state and county election officials and members of the media.” Less civic-minded citizens have skipped elections to stay home and wax their cars.

Maybe it’s time we start giving some — not all — public turtle burpers their due. Some may have deep-seated problems that require tons of professional help. That does not mean, aside from their uncontrollable libidos, they aren’t standup citizens who care about their country.

The next time your online city council meeting is interrupted by a heavy-breathing man cuffing his carrot, don’t be outraged, don’t be repulsed, don’t insist the self-abusing scoundrel should not count as part of a quorum. Simply look away and say, “Thank you for your service.”

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

Man Survives Titanic Sinking While Avoiding Eye Contact

SurvivorMost people are familiar with the British passenger liner  Titanic, On April 15, 1912 during its maiden voyage, it struck an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean taking with it more than 1500 passengers.

Few people are familiar with one of the 498 survivors, introvert Felix Flambeau who might have saved the ship had it not been for his reclusive ways.

Flambeau, an itinerant toothpick designer from Boonton, New Jersey was taking his first-ever vacation. Using his life savings, he booked a luxury one-bedroom cabin on the ocean liner. Initially, he was having the time of his life: avoiding passengers, avoiding the crowded buffet lines and avoiding invitations to enter limbo contests.

All that changed on the evening of April 15th when, while seeking some solitude underneath an unoccupied deck chair, he spotted an enormous iceberg ahead of the ship.

Sensing the seriousness of the situation but not wanting to approach a crewmember much less make eye contact with them, Flambeau leaped into action. He made a mental note to write the captain a serious warning note and slip it under his door the next morning.

Tragically, the Titanic struck the iceberg and sank before dawn, denying Felix a place in history as the world’s first introverted hero.

As the ship began to sink into the freezing North Atlantic Ocean, passengers desperately fought to board crowded lifeboats. The dazed Flambeau stood by, witnessing the ensuing chaos. Suddenly, a voice from a panic-stricken hoard offered him a place in their jam-packed boat. Felix didn’t want to go down with the ship, but the idea of spending time in a crowded vessel, making small talk with total strangers was more than he could imagine. He politely declined their generous offer.

Felix Flambeau leaped off the ship’s bow and floated alone in the ice-cold water for two days. During this time rescue ships passed within whispering distance, but he remained silent, not wanting to attract attention to himself. Finally, he was rescued by an Argentine trawler which had spotted “a strange man floating in the water writing post cards.” For the solitary gentleman from Booton, New Jersey, it was the most peaceful and enjoyable part of his vacation.

Unleashing Your Inner Willy Loman

Willy_Loman_01It’s time to let the world know what you have to offer – even if you’re offering 2 for 1 deals on recycled sweat socks.

We get it. You’re an introvert. You don’t like bringing attention to yourself. But face it, it’s hard to succeed if no one knows you or what you do unless you’re being monitored by Homeland Security.

Fortunately, the same skills that got you voted in high school “Most Likely to Strike Up a Conversation with a Potted Plant” can help unleash your inner, socially-averse self-promoter.

Using just a few of your introvert strengths, you can show the world what you have to offer.

  • Listen and observe – (Please note: observing your neighbor through your telescope does not count.) By talking less, and listening and observing more, introverts can pick up on conversational subtleties that others don’t. For example, after one short conversation, you may conclude: “This is the perfect person with whom to merge my multi-national corporation” or “Why doesn’t he trim his nose hairs?”
  • Manage your energy – Attending an entire two-hour networking event is exhausting. Better to cut it down to a more manageable amount of time, say 20 seconds, 25 if the food is good. Then it’s time to head off to the nearest empty coat closet and collapse into an exhausted ball on the floor.
  • Go with your strengths – Why try to sound like an expert nuclear arms negotiator when you can dazzle them with your real strength: sleight of hand magic tricks. It doesn’t matter if your potential employer is looking for an experienced project manager. When delivered with confidence and authority, stories about your years as a one-legged Hooters waitress will seal the deal and put you a hop, step and jump ahead of the competition.
  • Prepare what to say – If you’re too nervous to speak extemporaneously, memorize your talking points. If that’s too hard, bring along a portable teleprompter. And keep it simple. Don’t try to impress with flowery language when monosyllable grunts will suffice. A rule of thumb: Never attempt to remember anything that you’d forget while screaming the same thing during sex.
  • Share your experiences – An entertaining story about convincing a Nigerian prince to buy a non-existent Florida timeshare is bound to help you land a new account or great job. People may not connect your face with your business card, but they’ll never forget the woman who talked about being abducted by a UFO.
  • Build meaningful connections – Introverts excel at one-on-one relationships. They may not remember everyone they encountered at crowded parties, but they remember every conversation, word-for-bark, they had with the host’s pet. Self-promoting for introverts works the same way. Don’t focus on meeting lots of people. Rather, build a relationship with the assistant sales manager with whom you chatted for hours about migratory robots.
  • Be honest with yourself – Introverts are notoriously bad phony phonies. It consumes too much energy – energy that can be used for other endeavors, like endlessly replaying conversations in your head. When in doubt, look at yourself in the mirror (it’s okay to avoid eye contact) and give it to yourself straight. After all, no one knows you better than you – and perhaps your therapist who plans make you the subject of her next book.

Self-Promotion For Recluses

self_promoter_01
Aside from feinting, I thought my presentation went well.

If you’ve ever spent an evening at a networking event wondering which alias to write on your name tag, you know self-promotion can be tough for introverts.

Self-promotion goes against an introvert’s nature. (Some would say better nature.) Unfortunately, it’s hard to succeed without putting yourself out there, even if “out there” feels like having a bad case of acne at a clothing-optional bus stop.

Extroverts love waxing poetic about their achievements. Introverts, on the other hand, would rather stay at home and write in their journal, “Today, I invented a cure for bad foreign accents.”

Unfortunately, unless you’re pursuing a home-based career in envelope stuffing, some self-promotion is required for professional and personal growth.

The good news is the same qualities that impel introverts to avoid social interaction also makes them great self-promoters. For example, you’re not just a person nervously standing alone at a meet-and-greet; you’re an entrepreneur promoting your freelance mime business.

The secret to being a great introvert self-promoter is doing what works for you and then finding people who appreciate you and what you do – whether it’s your creative mind, boundless energy or uncomfortable facial expression.