A Vegan meets a Funny Speaker

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A Vegan meets a Funny Speaker

What happens when a Vegan meets a Funny Speaker with an agriculture background?  Sarcasm.

We are a nation of different opinions and that is healthy.  There’s an old saying that goes, “if two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary”.  I respect an opposing view, I just want my opponent to respect mine.

Such was not the case with my last encounter with a vegetarian.  Let me emphatically state that I have nothing against vegetarians.  Some of my best friends are vegetarians.  I admire their perseverance and their steadfast belief.  Because as you know, a vegetarian will not eat anything that comes from or is derived from…flavor.  That takes real commitment.  And I repeat, I LOVE vegetarians!  It means more steak for me.  I’m selfish that way.

She sat next to me on the plane.  And she had the attitude that she was far superior and far more intelligent than anyone who was a carnivore.  Her name was Connie, which I think was an abbreviated nickname for “condescending”.  Let’s just say we had a conversation.  I’m sure when she started the dialogue she didn’t know she was talking to a funny speaker who is also a “steak and taters” farm kid who’s been involved in agriculture his entire life and who speaks fluent sarcasm.  She later found those two things out.  Here’s the recap, and remember…she started it.

I had an inkling she was a vegetarian because she was eating from a baggie filled with sticks and twigs.  I was preparing to eat as well.  I had raced to make my flight and had grabbed a meal from that Five Star restaurant known as “Nathan’s Hot Dogs”.  I love hot dogs, because I love eating many types of meat parts all at once smushed together in a tube.  Yes, I have a very distinguishing palate.

She looked at me, scowled and said, “seriously, you’re not stupid enough to eat that in front of me, are you”?  (I told you she started it.)  So I replied, “why, you want some, you look a little puny…like you’ve been eating too many sticks and twigs”.

And we’re off.

She told me she couldn’t believe I was eating that “junk”.  I tried to diminish her disappointment in me by telling her it was made from 100% natural, organic, GMO free, nitrate free, cage free, free range, grass fed, nut free, egg free, dairy free, sugar free, and processed free sticks and twigs.  She didn’t buy it.  I think she somehow detected my thinly veiled sarcasm.  She told me it was bad for me.  I said of course it’s bad for me, that’s why it tastes good.  That’s the number one food rule.  If it tastes good…it’s bad for you.  Donuts taste good, but they’re bad for you.  Anybody see a pattern here?

I told her I had no ill will against vegetables.  It’s just that I prefer my vegetables to be fed to a steer so they become a steak.  #farmkid

And I let her know I knew a little bit about the food industry.  In fact, I knew that the stick of celery she was eating only had four calories, which is why it’s a great diet snack.  I also let her know that to eat and digest that stick of celery a person burns six calories.  Which means if you keep eating celery, you’ll eventually disappear.  I could be wrong on that one.

She questioned a lot of my reasoning.  Like when I suggested we examine one of the five basic food groups…chocolate.  I could be wrong on that one too, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of the major groups.  It is at least in my house.  So follow me on this logical journey:

Chocolate comes from the cacao bean.
The cacao bean comes from a tree.
A tree is a plant.
Therefore, chocolate is salad.
It’s a simple matter of deduction.

So how did this conversation end?  She told me she preferred to be called a “vegan”.  I told her the word “vegan” was actually an old Latin word that means “bad hunter”.

In case you’re wondering, that’s the type of comment that will stop a conversation.  She started it.  I guess I ended it.

MARK MAYFIELD…A funny speaker with a serious message.

The Olympics as seen by a Funny Speaker

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A FUNNY SPEAKER LOOKS AT THE OLYMPICS

Take a twisted look at the Summer Olympics through the eyes of a funny speaker. 

Hey, how about them Olympics?  We took the medal count over China, but if it was a badminton & ping-pong Olympics we wouldn’t stand a chance.  Fortunately we also had Michael Phelps who won another 97 medals just by himself.  We had personal records, American records, Olympic records, and world records, but the biggest record was the length of the opening and closing ceremonies.  In fact, I think you can still catch the closing on TNT.  It’s still running.

Faster, Higher, Stronger is the Olympic motto (Citius, Altius, Fortius for you Latin buffs), but it needs to include “Skimpiest”.  Did you see the swim trunks on the male divers and the women beach volleyball players?  I guess it is convenient to be able to pack your uniform in a cough drops box, but I can assure you no one is getting a gold medal for modesty.  And somewhere along the line, the Olympic committee decided the motto included “Oddest”.  I know it’s graceful, but rhythmic gymnastics is just…odd.  To me, a stick and a ribbon doesn’t fit the faster, higher, stronger theme.  Nor does tossing two items in the air while doing a pirouette and a plié.  Unless, of course, those two items happen to be tire irons or swords.  Anything that involves a possible impaling is definitely a sport.  Which is precisely why I’m starting a move to bring Mumbley-peg to the Olympics.

That’s the real problem.  We’ve got too many events.  And at each Olympic games, they add more.  I can’t wait to see who wins “Fitted Sheet Folding” in Tokyo.  For that matter, why isn’t there a funny speaker contest?

I love horses but I’m not a fan of Equestrian events either, mainly because it’s unfair.  A lady in a goofy hat riding around an arena gets a gold medal, while the horse who has been launching himself & rider over water jumps, fences, and rails gets a bale of hay.  What?

And Race-Walking?  I know they’re in great shape, but there’s no way you watch that event and keep a straight face.  The real question…should we give medals for walking?  What’s next, skipping?

The Hammer Throw?  My Dad was a contractor and that ain’t no hammer they’re throwing. It’s a metal ball attached to a steel rod and a chain.  I think I saw that thing in “Braveheart”.  Wanna make it a sport?  Make them play catch with it.

A lot of these events used to relate to the real world, but about the only one that does now is the gymnastics balance beam.  That skill’s gonna come in real handy at a sobriety check.

All in all, here’s the weird thing.  I spent two weeks watching events that I care nothing about, and will end up watching them in another four years.  Why?  National pride.  There’s something about beating the rest of the world.  Even if it is just bouncing on a trampoline.

MARK MAYFIELD…A funny speaker with a Serious Message.

A Funny Speaker Looks at the Presidential Race

Politics are always funny to a funny speaker.  Particularly a Presidential race with a bunch of candidates posing as comedians.

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A Funny Speaker Looks at the Race for President

I know it seems like the Presidential race has already gone on forever, but we really haven’t begun.  We don’t even know who the nominees will be, that’s when the mud will fly and the annoying commercials will air.    My partners and I at FunnierU have been trying to ease everyone through this process by writing topical humor on the subject, so I thought I’d share some of our postings from this process to help you as well.  Don’t worry, I’m a non-partisan funny speaker.  I will offend all of you regardless which side of the aisle you sit, and who you support.  It’s how I roll.  Here’s your therapy…

Every candidate running for President wants to simplify the tax code.  And if you think that means less taxes, then you are what’s simple.
 
To keep Donald Trump’s hair in place they use the same stuff they use on gymnasium floors.
 
At her latest Presidential rally, Hillary said the Benghazi issue is nothing but a political witch hunt.  Then she got on her broom and flew away.
 
I don’t care what you think of his policies, but you have to agree, Chris Christie is the perfect shape for the Oval Office.
 
Ben Carson is a neurosurgeon.  Is there anyone that would be more out of place in Washington, D.C. than a brain surgeon?
 
Jeb Bush announced today he really doesn’t want to be President, he’s just sick and tired of being made fun of at family reunions.
 
The last Republican Presidential Debate included seven people.  I come from a big family and when there’s seven people talking it’s not a debate, it’s an argument.
 
The Bible says you can’t buy your way into heaven.  It doesn’t say anything about the White House.
 
I don’t agree with Bernie Sanders on a lot of things, but he is my favorite Muppet.
 
Donald Trump confuses me.  When he speaks I sometimes can’t tell if he’s on to something, or if he’s on something.
 
Hillary Clinton said there’s not a shred of evidence of any wrongdoing with her email servers.  She said SHRED!
 
The last debate had interruptions, sarcasm, angst, and name-calling.  It was like a family reunion.
 
Here’s a recap of the last Republican Presidential debate.  Carly Fiorina was angry, Jeb Bush was invisible, and Donald Trump acted like he needed to go pee.

My crossword puzzle asked for a seven-letter word, beginning with “C”, meaning twisted or devious.  “Crooked” works, but so does “Clinton”.  Hmmmm…

I’m not gonna say Bernie Sanders is too old, but if he was a car he’d be hard to get parts for.

After Donald Trump complained about unfair news coverage he was told, “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”.  And that’s why I never got into politics…I hate doing dishes.

MARK MAYFIELD…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

A Funny Speaker’s take on Thanksgiving

Dinner with a funny speaker?  Sometimes not so funny.

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Thanksgiving with a Funny Speaker

Thanksgiving is a terrific time.  Families gather.  Feasts occur.  And we count our many, many blessings.  But let’s face it.  It ain’t all peachy.  We love our families, but there are always a few that we sorta wish would stay home.  Don’t sit there and shake your head “no”.  You know it’s true.  You’re thinking of that weird uncle right now.  The one who shares his latest medical malady in graphic detail before you sit to eat, then blows his nose during the meal, then clips his nails after the dessert…toenails, that is.  You wonder why he has to bring his fourth wife who luckily got the weekend off from the chicken gizzard processing plant.  She’s got a new tattoo of which she’s really proud.  And who wouldn’t be?  A dragon biting the head off a gopher as they disappear down the back waistband of her stretch pants…which, by the way, have no choice.  She’s a real prize, in a gag gift kinda way.  And she fits in sitting next to the cousin that decided to overhaul the Harley right before the meal.  Lovely.  The other uncle is there.  He works for the paper.  He throws it.  And the nephew with the purple and orange hair got paroled in time to show up.  Across from you is the niece who is complaining about how long her work day is now, since she started showing up on time.  It’s an entire family affair, there’s screaming and crying and whining.  And the kids aren’t acting any better either.  Grandpa is telling his favorite joke you’ve heard a million times:  “your Grandma and I were very happy for many years…and then we met”!  There’s a couple of drama queens in the group, which is convenient because they can try to one-up each other even if it means saying, “well oh yeah, I just had an appendix transplant”.  Your sister, who has a voice that can crack a glass, knows nothing about football but wants to narrate the game you’re trying to watch, “why are they fighting over that little ball, is it on sale”?  It’s a never ending day of irritations, and you’re committed that next year you’re just going to tell everyone you have to be home by yourself because you have a bad case of ebola.

 

Feeling better about your slightly dysfunctional family now?  Me too.  We may try to make things sound as bad as I just wrote, but it never is.  In fact, it’s almost always a GREAT thing. 

 

So when that relative grabs that last piece of pumpkin pie that you had your eye on, just remind yourself that you can’t pick your family.  And also remind yourself, they’re gonna leave in a few hours.

 

MARK MAYFIELD…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

Funny Speaker – Funny (and ornery) Grandkids


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A Funny Speaker’s Grandkids…Archer, Delaney, Everett, Reid

A funny speaker has four funny grandchildren.  Genetics.  A beautiful thing.

Four grandchildren.  Four angels.  Slightly ornery angels, but angels nonetheless.  Enjoying them like crazy now because once they’re teenagers, this old man, even though he’s their grandpa and makes audiences laugh as a funny speaker, will not be as cool.  So in honor of these unpredictable packages of joy, I’m listing the Top Ten things my grandchildren have taught their “PaPa”.

 

10.  The things that your kids did that made you mad, are now hilarious when your grandkids do them.

 

9.  The best place to wipe your hands is on the underneath side of the table.

 

8.  Super Heroes are AWESOME!!!

 

7.  On a grandchild, eyeglasses are the cutest.

 

6.  Being pulled around in a laundry basket never gets old.  Pulling the basket, however, can get old.

 

5.  A “Bouncy House” is a solid investment.

 

4.  You can read a book ten times in a row and it’s just as good the 10th time.

 

3.  A “Princess” dress can be worn at anytime, including during a nap and at an airport.

 

2.  The quality of the dining experience is directly proportional to the amount of food on your face and shirt.

 

1.  Grandkids give the best hugs.

 

 

Okay wait, here’s ten more, and then I promise I’ll stop.

(Did I mention I was an annoying Grandpa?)

 

10.  The best part of the cake is always the frosting, which is why you eat that first.

 

9.  The location in the bed where you go to sleep, bears no resemblance to the location in the bed where you wake up. 

 

8.  Bribery is sometimes okay.  Getting a grandchild’s kiss by promising a present is perfectly acceptable.

 

7.  It’s not important what you do outside, just that you BE outside.

 

6.  Playgrounds are mankind’s greatest invention.

 

5.  All shoes are adorable on a grandchild.

 

4.  All food is better on a stick.

 

3.  Bedtime is only a suggestion.  It can be extended by a variety of stalling tactics.

 

2.  A grandkid running to you with outstretched arms yelling “PaPa”, is the sweetest sound EVER!

 

And the number one thing I’ve learned:

There is nothing stronger than the grasp of a grandchild’s tiny hand.

 

My daughters know how much I love them, but there still is no truer adage than the old saying, “if I’d known how much fun grandkids would be, I’d have had them first”.

 

 MARK MAYFIELD…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

A Funny Speaker Looks at Road Construction

Funny speaker and road construction Funny Speaker A Funny Speaker Looks at Road Construction ROADconst

Funny Speaker sees Funny Signs

A funny speaker gets to travel a lot.  And that’s annoying after a while.  Particularly when you’re navigating road construction.

Most of my work as a funny speaker involves travel by plane, but lately I’ve spent more time than normal traveling by car.  I’m glad this happened when fuel prices spiked.  I have excellent timing.  Got that goin’ for me. 

I don’t know if it’s residual stimulus money or not, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much road construction.  A lot of the work was way overdue, like the other day when I saw a pothole in a pothole, a recent inductee into the “Pothole Hall of Fame”.  But some of the work I truly believe is optional, like those Round-Abouts.  Those are all the craze in Europe, but they just make me dizzy.  If I want to drive in a circle and turn left, I’ll enter a NASCAR event.

I’ve never seen so many construction signs and I think I could save the government some money.  Just buy two road signs that say “No Road Construction Ahead” and put them the two places in the country where there isn’t any work going on.  I haven’t seen those two places, but I’m sure they’ve got to exist. 

As you might guess, I’m constantly looking for funny stuff as a funny speaker, and road signs are a bonanza for this.  Like when there are several signs in a row and I’m faced with the dilemma:  do I read them together as though they are a story instead of independent signs?  Case in point:  I see a sign that says “Flagman Ahead”, then a few hundred yards down the road a sign that says “No Shoulders”.  Really?  I’m glad they hired him, but how does he do it?  And some of the signs make absolutely no sense.  I actually saw this sign:  “Lane Closed to Ease Congestion”.  What?  I’ve always thought that shutting down lanes helped traffic flow, didn’t you?  The only thing I know about lane closure is that it’s just a game to see how many people can pass you on the right and squeeze in before they hit the construction barrels.  This despite the fact that the “Right Lane Closed” sign was posted two miles back.

So here are my road construction truisms I assimilated after my last few thousand road construction miles. 

1.  Never get in the way of a car that needs extensive body work.  This is self-explanatory.  And you shouldn’t explain to someone that something is self-explanatory, unless you’re just wanting to imply they’re so stupid they might need an explanation.  So just forget that I said this was self-explanatory.

2.  Under no circumstances should you leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you no matter how fast you’re going.  If you do, that space will be filled in by someone else putting you in an even more dangerous situation.

3.  The number of cones is inversely proportional to the amount of work being done.  Two miles of cones will often mean one pothole is being filled.  In these cases, it often takes more time to place the cones that to actually do the work.

So the next time you see more Orange Cones on the highway than you do Pine Cones in the forest, just remember you’re not really a tourist this summer, you’re a detourist.

Mark Mayfield…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

A Funny Speaker at the Post Office

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Funny Speaker at the Post Office

Going to the Post Office sometimes (0kay, every time) requires patience.  Particularly if you’re a funny speaker with a short attention span.

Every time.  Not some of the time.  Every time.   

I swear every time I go to the post office, I get behind THAT PERSON.  You know THAT PERSON.  You may be THAT PERSON.  They come in several forms. 

THE STAMP COLLECTOR:  Should I get teddy bears or daisies?  Do you have any Elvis commemorative stamps?  And everyone better get comfy if it’s close to a holiday, ’cause this is gonna take a while.  Come to think of it, it’s always close to a holiday.  Christmas stamps.  Valentine’s Day stamps.  National Cheez Whiz Day stamps.  So here’s a newsflash if you’re one of these people.  The recipient doesn’t care.  It’s a stamp.  It’s gonna end up in the trash.  But if you feel you’ve got to “theme” your mail, try to make a decision before I’m drawing social security.

THE BEST BUDDY:  These people have one goal:  become BFF with the postal clerk, regardless of how long it takes and how long the line is behind them.  They go on and on with one uninteresting anecdote after another.  Trust me, no one wants to know about Aunt Myrtle’s prostate surgery.  (Actually, that would be interesting.)

THE INDECISION MAKERThese people have been living in a cave and want to know every possible shipping option available.  “How much is insurance for $100?  What about $200?  Does delivery confirmation cost anything?  What about parcel post?  So what’s media mail?  Is this the flat rate shipment box?  How much more for priority?  How do I track it?  When will it get there?  Do dogs really bite you guys?  What’s the best remedy for gout?  And then…all those questions again with the next package.  Really?  While I’m waiting in line I could read a book.  Check that, I could write a book.

THE BULK MAILER:  This person has been packaging items for two months and is bringing in all 27 of them with hopes of a group discount.  Wrong answer, but thank you for playing.  How does this person with a loaded dolly always get there just a split second ahead of me?  Next time I run that red light.

THE BATHING OPTIONAL:  It’s just the post office, so personal hygiene is apparently not mandatory.  You’d think they could smell themselves.  The clerk can.  He’s passing out.  And don’t comb that hair either.  You wouldn’t want to disturb the nest of rabbits.

Neither rain nor sleet nor gloom of night will keep these people away from me.  I attract them like flies to honey.  So if you’re THAT PERSON, I’m gonna make a request.  Give me a break and head on over to the self-service kiosk.  You can buy a kitty-cat stamp there too.

Mark Mayfield…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

A Funny Speaker Turns 60

60 is easy for this funny speaker.

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Funny Speaker with his Girls

My spectacular daughters threw a surprise 60th birthday party for me.   And yes, I’m okay with being 60.  Beats the options.  This party was the most creative and amazing function I’ve ever been to, and I’ve seen a few.  The surprise, the videos, the game show, the banners, the photo booth, the Dee-Jay, the food…it was unbelievable.  I got to see so many dear friends and loving family members, but for me the focus was still on my kids.  I got unbelievably lucky with these two girls and have been thinking about them ever since that party.  It made me remember one of my favorite times with them.

Growing up, they loved to travel with me to gigs.  We’ve had some great trips over the last 30 plus years and since I was working, it was always like a paid vacation.  Theme parks, historical sites, nice hotels, even the Oval Office.  But nothing ever beat…room service.

There may be no greater traveling joy for a little kid than room service.  Pick up a phone, order some food, have it brought to you, and then just leave the mess for somebody else to clean up.  Can’t do that at home, unless you’re planning on it being your last meal.

My girls and I are at a nice resort at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri and the room service has a feature that I’d never seen before, but is now commonplace.  It’s the card you fill out for breakfast room service and place outside your door the night before.  That’s standard practice now, but in the early 80’s hadn’t caught on yet.

Leah and Lindsay are 8 and 6 and think they’ve gone to room service heaven.  This is so cool.  Leah was reading and writing by then, and insisted on filling out the card.  Her sister Lindsay and I were placing our “order” with her.  As was normally the case when it came to food and the three of us, we couldn’t agree on anything.

One wanted whole milk, one wanted chocolate milk, and I wanted hot tea.  Orange juice, apple juice, cranberry juice.  Muffins, toast, pancakes.  Bacon, sausage, ham.  Everything on the card was getting checked.  The only thing we agreed on was eggs.  Everybody wanted two eggs, so Leah wrote down “6” since there were three of us.

As Leah is reading and asking the questions to Lindsay and myself, I’m thinking that at some point in time the room service folks will need to know how many place settings for this order.  When Leah finally got to that question, I obviously said, “write down three”.

But here was the glitch.  The question didn’t say “settings”, it said “servings”.  I don’t know if I had “settings” in my head or if Leah misspoke, all I know is that I placed the card on the door handle and we all went to bed, unsuspecting of what lay ahead the next morning.

At 8 AM I answered the knock at the door and saw not one, but two men from room service.  With two huge carts that resembled flatbed trailers.  They were carrying three “servings” of everything.  Three milks, three orange juices, three pancakes, three hams, you get the picture…three of everything.  Except for eggs.  We had 18 eggs.  We could have fed a football team.  This was 1985 and room service cost me $145.  My girls were freaking out because they had been taught you can’t go play until all your food is gone.  They thought they were stuck in the hotel room all day.

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Funny Speaker – Funny Girls

I’ll be honest, I don’t think I was laughing at the time.  The cost of breakfast was going to seriously cut into our go-kart budget, but I can guarantee you I laugh about that now.  Every single time I think about it.  If I’m having a bad day or think the sky is gray only over me, I go back to that morning in 1985.  I picture the look on the faces of those two men from room service when they saw me and two small children, and then one of them asked “are you all expecting company”?

It’s called a joy moment, a moment that will make you smile and laugh.  Dr. C.W. Metcalf, author of “Lighten Up”, says everybody needs a “joy list” that you can reference when your attitude isn’t right or you need a lift.  That’s some of the best and most practical advice I’ve ever read.  I refer to my list all the time.  I’ve got it with me 24-7 because it’s in my head.  It’s a huge list.  And this story is on it.  Right near the top.  Right next to my birthday party.

I love my girls.

MARK MAYFIELD…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

Funny Speakers and Funny Pets

I make a living as a funny speaker making people laugh (hopefully).  But often what makes me laugh are my pets.

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Cats are Funny to a Funny Speaker

Pets are great companions because they love you unconditionally, as long as you give them a treat or scratch them behind the ears.   I scratched my wife behind the ears once and found it’s apparently different with women.

I’m a cat lover.  I love dogs too, but when you travel a lot, cats are a great option.  Fill the bowl with food, clean the litter box, leave the toilet seat up, and you’re good for a week.  I know they won’t fetch your slippers, but they won’t chew them up either.  I do recognize that one of the biggest negatives to owning a cat is that they seldom come when you call for them and they love to hide.  Last year a woman in Washington bought a used couch on Craigslist and discovered a live cat in one of the cushions.  That should serve as a reminder to always have your couch spayed or neutered.

One of my cats is a shaded chinchilla Persian.  Beautiful cat, but not the brightest. The other day he got his head in a paper bag and did a cat dance for five minutes trying to get it off.  It was hilarious.  I think he would have done it all day had I not untied it….   

Okay, that’s not true, just a bad joke.  But the following is true and I’m somewhat embarrassed to share it but as we all know, bad decisions make good stories.  Particularly if you make a living telling stories as a funny speaker.

“Bo” was my cat when I was single, and he was a man’s cat.  He loved to wrestle like a dog and you better be wearing leather gloves when you played that game or you were going to lose some hide.  He was so much like a dog that I decided I wanted to teach him to go for a walk using a leash.  I imagined myself walking my cat through the neighborhood just like everyone else walked their dog.

My first problem was putting on the halter.  He took to that like Paris Hilton takes to leftovers.  But after a few days he stopped trying to pull it off and I decided it was time to attach the leash and give this walk a try.  Normally Bo would walk along beside you, but with the halter & leash he just extended his front paws and refused to move.  So I pulled him a bit thinking he just needed to get started.  And I pulled him some more.  He absolutely refused to walk, just kept digging in with his front paws.  My neighbor saw this from across the street and yelled, “what the heck are you doing.”  I yelled back, “it’s obvious, I’m taking my cat for a drag”.  That’s when I realized this idea was about as good as when I thought of trying to potty train Bo.  I had read an article about how you could actually train your cat to use the commode, and it was a fairly simple process if you had the time.  But I nixed that idea because Bo was a guy cat.  I could see him sitting in the bathroom reading “Cat Fancy” for hours while I was outside looking for a place to dig a hole.

So this writing has three little lessons for you:  don’t try to potty train your cat if he’s a male, forget about taking your cat for a walk, and don’t scratch your wife behind her ears.

Mark Mayfield…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

Funny Speaker or Grumpy Old Man?

I make a living as a funny speaker, but sometimes I wonder if I’m a grumpy old man.  Such was the case on a recent flight.  It was just one flight, but I had to ask myself that question.

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A Grumpy Funny Speaker?

The row of kids behind me kept kicking the seat and slamming the trays up and down. Their parents were two rows ahead of them despite the fact there were plenty of seats nearby.  I think they knew something.  So I had to be the “Grumpy Old Man” and calm their kids down.

My serenity lasted all of 45 seconds because the twenty-something couple in front of me decided to work on their dance moves while listening to their iPod.  Bouncing up and down in their seats caused my laptop on the tray to hop to the beat.  Based on the rhythm I’m guessing Kanye West, certainly not Glenn Miller.  So once again, I had to tap them on the shoulder and be the “Grumpy Old Man”.

Calmness again was short-lived as the hefty lad beside me started air-drumming and air-guitaring to whatever was blasting from his headphones.  It had to be shattering his ear drums, because it was hurting mine.  So again, the “Grumpy Old Man” asked him to turn it down a bit and stop performing a live mime of the song.  And this required risking my own life since he had me by a couple hundred pounds.

This two-hour flight (that seemed like ten) finally ended and as we touched down on the runway the lady across the aisle immediately got on her cell phone to provide the latest up-to-date news flashes for the person picking her up.  I don’t know why she called the person, because they could have heard her from inside the terminal.  She was loud, and apparently couldn’t wait to let her friend know that the honey-roasted peanuts on the plane were “scrumptious”.  As the bustling noise of people deplaning picked up, so did her volume.  In comedy vernacular, we call this “an opportunity”.  I put my phone to my ear and began yelling, “I’m on my phone.  And I want everybody to know it.  So I’m gonna talk loud.  So everyone can hear me.  ‘Cause I’m a Grumpy Old Man.  And I’m really annoyed right now….”

She finally got the hint and hung up.  After that, no one would make eye contact with me.  Go figure.  They knew if they were rude, or obnoxious, or wrong, I was gonna let ’em know.  Why?  Not because I was a funny speaker.

‘Cause I’m a “Grumpy Old Man”.

Mark Mayfield,  A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message