The Songs of Blind Peanut Nicholson – SONGBOOK

We are pleased to announce the publication by Citizens Creative PRESS of “The Songs of Blind Peanut Nicholson – Greatest Hits Vol. 1.” This collection includes the full lyrics for such classics as “You’ve Stolen My Heart,” “De Facto Divorce,” “If You’d Been Thinkin’,” “Moonshine Song,” and more from the Sage of Possum Claw, Arkansas – eleven songs in all! To access the PDF (designed for double-sided printing), just click the link below.

Songs of Blind Peanut Nicholson – Greatest Hits Vol. 1

And be on the lookout for Peanut’s first recorded tracks, coming soon…


My column for December 2016…

When we lived in Pittsburgh some 25 years ago, I stood in for St. Nicholas at a couple of corporate Christmas parties.Fake-bearded and properly pillowed (I was thinner then, and clean-shaven), I’d wander from table to table, inviting folks to share their holiday wishes. Rather than extravagant desires for Porsches and diamonds, I was gratified – and a little surprised, frankly – to hear folks express instead a general sense of contentment, and gratitude for their health, their families, and their friends.

I’d had some training from a temp agency that provided Santas to the various department stores around town. (They called their training program the “University of Santa Claus.”) There were a few basic rules – simple enough when you hear them, but not necessarily what you might think of yourself. I’ll share some of them here for any of you who might find yourselves doing Santa duty this year:

  • Keep a twinkle in your eye at all times.
  • Never let loose with a big “HO, HO, HO!!” – you might startle or even terrify a small child. Restrained chuckles will work just fine.
  • If a child does start crying, sympathize with them and gently return them to their adult – your attempts to make them stop will usually just make matters worse. You’re bigger than life, after all, and maybe a little intimidating, despite your twinkle. Keeping your good cheer about you, tell the adult the child may return ”whenever they’re ready.”
  • Never ask about a child’s “parents” – after all, you don’t know what their situation is.
  • Always refer to yourself as “Santa,” not “I” or “me” – for example, “Come talk to Santa!” or “What would you like to ask Santa today?”
  • And most importantly: NEVER promise ANYTHING – the best response is some variation on “Hmmm. Santa will see what he can do.”

So what would I say if Santa aimed his twinkly gaze at me and asked, “So, Skip – come tell Santa what you’d like this year”?

All I want for Christmas…? Well, I can’t say I’m content, exactly, though I am certainly grateful for the many blessings I’ve had in my life so far. There’s just one thing I’d wish for:

A slightly better world.

Liberals are sometimes criticized for harboring utopian beliefs in the “perfectibility” of humankind. It’s a theological and philosophical debate that goes all the way back to ancient Greece, and I’m certainly not going to try to rehash it all here. But our imperfectibility, I’d argue, while pretty obvious, is also no excuse for not trying to make things better… even if only slightly.

Let there be a slightly better world …

  • where it isn’t quite so easy to cause harm
  • where people are a little less reckless with themselves and each other
  • where facts have a bit more power than demagogues
  • where jerks don’t get rewarded just for being jerks
  • where simple kindness is the default choice
  • where it’s harder to make profit from war
  • where we have learned the meaning of “enough” and “too much”
  • where love is always natural and hate is always a disease
  • where we better understand the actual costs of things
  • where the laughter of children outweighs any item on any balance sheet

I hope that’s not too much to ask for … oh yes, I know: Santa will see what he can do.

Happy Holidays to you, whatever your path – and best of luck to us all in 2017.

Miscellaneous Jokes, Q&A Division

(I have spur-of-the-moment jokes scattered all over the darn Internet. I’ll try to find them and collect them here…)

Q. What’s the most popular pasta dish for Hobbits?
A. Fettucine Al Frodo.

Q. What did the womanizing bon vivant do when he got his cancer diagnosis?
A. He got his affairs in order.
Q. What did the man with OCD do in the same situation?
A. He got his affairs in alphabetical order.

Q. How do evil overlords recruit their minions?
A. They use henchhunters.

Q. What did the doctor say to the rock?
A. “You’ve got to get out of this sedimentary lifestyle.”

Q, What do insects take along when they travel?
A. Buggage.

Q. Why are German existentialists like race cars?
A. They’re always going around like “Warum, warum, warum….”

Q. What did Bono say to the librarian when she said it was closing time?
A. “But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”

Q. Is anyone else finding that it is becoming more and more difficult to communicate clearly these days?
A. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Q. Why do space aliens object to our athletes using steroids and human growth hormone?
A. It makes the meat bitter and difficult to digest.

Q. What did Ron say to Hermione the first time he visited her room?
A. “So, this is where the magic happens!”

Q. What’s a dentist’s favorite arcade game?
A. Whack-A-Molar.

Q. Why was the young bird dog only allowed to retrieve ducks?
A. He was still working on his other quailifications.

Q. What happened when the rock band changed their t-shirt selling strategy?
A. It didn’t make merch difference.

Q. What did the zombie bride say to her zombie husband on their zombie wedding night?
A. “Is it still on?”

Q. What did the Jedi master say to the Zen master?
A. “This isn’t the Void you’re looking for.”

Q. Which dinosaur will listen to your problems?
A. A therapod.

Q. Why did the bro get so frustrated while trimming his sideburns?

Q. Why did the not-very-bright person start stealing iPads and Kindles?
A. His doctor told him to take two tablets a day.

Q. Why did the poorly-endowed man become a streaker?
A. He thought he had nothing to hide.

Q. Who lives in a cave in the Himalayas, but emerges once a year to give presents to children?
A. Shanti Claus.

Q. Why did the alien fly his spaceship to the crematorium?
A. His mate asked him to pick up some takeout on the way home.

Q. Why did the chicken move her nest across the street?
A. She had Restless Egg Syndrome.

Q. What did the ornithologist do when she couldn’t attend the reception?
A. She sent her egrets.

Q. Why do cannibals make lousy detectives?
A. They get too obsessed with grilling their suspects.

Q.What has six legs, no wings, and brought sexy back to the insect world?
A. Justin Silverfish.

Q. What has six legs, enjoys a stellar career in movies, TV, and theatre, and scuttles under the cabinets when you turn the lights on?
A. Benedict Cumberoach.

Q. When the super-villainous Israeli mad scientist passed away suddenly, what did his underlings do?
A. They had a minion minyan.

Q. What has four wings, big fluffy antennae, and a fire extinguisher?
A. Fire Prevention Moth.

Q. Name a brilliant jazz guitarist with a flatulence problem.
A. Pat Methaney.

Q. How many Congresscritters does it take to run a government?
A. More than we have, apparently.

Q. Why is the overweight Klingon at the salad bar?
A. Because today is a good day to diet.

Q. What’s the difference between a Muppet and a person with a hangover?
A. The person with a hangover has their head in their hands; the Muppet has a hand in their head.

Q: What is the longest period of time known to man?
A. The time between paychecks.
Q. What is the shortest period of time known to man?
A. The time it takes to spend a paycheck.

Q. What was the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary?
A. That Joseph had already made reservations.

Q. Who has a four-foot wingspan, eats fish, and can throw you through a brick wall?
A. Stephen Seagull.

Q. What did Cicero say when he tried the Japanese fried eels?
A. “O tempura! O morays!”


Based on “The Little Drummer Boy,” up to…

“Can I play for you (barumpapapum) on my drum…?”

Mary nodded (barumpapapum)
The guys backed up the truck (barumpapapum)
Unloaded all the gear (barumpapapum)
Moved the animals to the rear (barumpapapum, barumpapapum, barumpapapum)
then I laid it down (barumpapapum)
On my drums…


We rocked that stable hard (barumpapapum)
The neighbors called the guards (barumpapapum)
I played my drums for Him (barumpapapum)
Played my ass off for Him
(barumpapapum, barumpapapum, barumpapapum)…

(mp)Then he flashed the sign \m/ (barumpapapum)
For me and my drums…


“Staying Ahead of Reality Since 2001”

“I’ll Abandon Control Of My Businesses – If…”

WASHINGTON (Plausible News Service) – President-Elect Donald Trump today announced plans to divest himself of all control of his worldwide businesses.

But in return, he wants something.

“I ask just one thing,” he said in a statement. “And I know the American people will understand. For me to concentrate fully on the sacred trust that you have placed in me, I need to know that I can trust you as well. I need to know that you, the American people, will keep my interests foremost in your minds and hearts while I am President. In all your business dealings, in all your consumer purchases and financial planning, I need you to ask yourself, ‘Will this, in the long run, help or hurt my President?'”

“This is a truly extraordinary statement,” said campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. “He is literally placing his future well-being, and that of his family, directly in the hands of the American people. I mean, really, what a guy!”

To make it easier for Americans to help ensure Trump’s future prosperity, the Trump Organization will grant a 15% discount on all Trump-related expenditures to all Americans who purchase a “Trump Card Plus” for only $17.76/year (plus shipping and handling costs).

Plutocracy Resolution

Things being what they are, I think the time has come for someone to bring forward the following resolution, or something like it, on the floors of the House and Senate:

recognizing Plutocracy, not Democracy, as the guiding principle of the Government of the United States of America.

WHEREAS, a 2014 Princeton study has shown that the USA is not a democracy, but a plutocratic oligarchy; and

WHEREAS, former President Jimmy Carter has stated that America has become “now an oligarchy”; and

WHEREAS, over 50% of the members of Congress are millionaires, as opposed to 3.5% of the American public; and

WHEREAS, years of effort to create and enforce meaningful campaign finance reforms have been mostly fruitless; and

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court has done its best to render such reforms moot anyway, through its rulings in Citizens United v. FEC and other cases; and

WHEREAS, let’s face it, wealthy donors get our attention much more easily than our less-endowed constituents; and

WHEREAS, the American people seem to have given their tacit approval to the whole arrangement by repeatedly re-electing most of us; and

WHEREAS, it will be a cold day in Hell before we here in Congress would actually do something about a system from which we profit so handsomely; now,

THEREFORE, we, the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring, do officially declare and establish what everyone knows to be the truth, that Plutocracy, not Democracy, is the underlying and governing principle of the Federal Government of the United States of America.












Did God Select Donald Trump?

Could Donald Trump’s victory have been “God’s Will”?

Possibly: but not in the way that evangelicals interpret it.

Consider the extent to which Trump embodies & personifies so many of the non-Christian qualities that have run amuck in our society – greed, ostentation, lust for power, unkindness, bullying – perhaps the Lord has seen fit to hold a mirror up to our collective national face. “Here you are,” He says. “Take a look, if you can.”