You don’t often hear the term “beloved dentist,” but it certainly would seem to describe the reason for a recent gathering of 200 or so who packed the Cotton Building to mark the retirement of ubermensch Dr. Steve Scharf, dentist extraordinaire, art patron, and beloved employer.
Scharf laughed when I passed along this list of “Three Ways to *Freak Out Your Dentist”: (*groovy 60’s term)
1. When that suction thing is removed from your mouth, keep making the noise.
2. Swallow everything the dentist puts in your mouth.
3. My personal favorite, one guaranteed to make dentists cringe: Every few minutes, act like you’ve lost consciousness.
Dental comedy! Just. That. Easy.
- My wife and I got a bit lost one day cycling east of Sequim. We stopped to get our bearings, and spotted this appropriate road sign overhead: Schmuck Road. I am not making this up.
- I wish PBS would rerun that great series, “The Naked Civil Servant,” starring genderfluid pioneer Quentin Crisp. The devilishly clever Crisp was recently quoted in the Toronto Globe and Mail fashion section: “If at first you don’t succeed, failure may be your style.”
Speaking of that network, SF comic Will Durst says “PBS” stands for Pledge Break System. The PBS motto, says Durst: “Why not pay for something you get for free?”
- Grocery-store humor: I’m leaving a PT supermarket and walk by a large lotto-ticket vending machine. I remember investor Warren Buffett’s classic description of lotteries: “A tax on stupidity.”
The next day, I leave the same store through a different door, where I encounter a big display of...tiki torches! It was almost like being in Charlottesville! Here was the perfect gift for that crazy, MAGA-hatted uncle! (See bonus Nazi material at bottom of column).
- Speaking of retrograde politics, one of my top two go-to sources for political humor is, not surprisingly, The Onion. Under the picture of a third-line marching band, there was this recent caption: “New Louisiana Abortion Law Requires Fetuses Be Given a Jazz Funeral March Through the French Quarter.”
Then there’s The New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz, arguably the country’s top humorist. (He gets my vote). Some of his funnier recent headlines:
“Mueller Stirs Controversy By Urging Americans to Read.”
“Pelosi Takes Advantage of Trump Storming Out of Oval Office to Hide Nuclear Codes.”
“Trump Urges Americans to Boycott Chinese Goods And Just Buy Things at Wal-Mart.”
Speaking of big-box stores, comic Kevin Nealon issues this cautionary clothing alert:
“Never wear a bright red shirt in Target.”
- Team Work: A sampler of some of the cleverest, most offbeat team names from the pre-Race to Alaska SEVENTY48 competition:
Team It Sounded Good After Two Beers, Team Where’s My Hat?, Team Big Lampowski, Team Aroma From Tacoma, Team Hope Floats, Team Don’t Tell My Dad, Team Damn Quixote, and Team Kidney Donor (???).
- Seagoing Wealth: Once in awhile, I spot a big rich guy’s boat cruising out past Point Wilson. There’s a good chance it’s a sea trial being conducted by Westport Yachts, which keeps about as low a profile as any business on the Peninsula. Westport builds these gilded, wood-paneled yachts in Port Angeles, and you rarely see the company’s name in the PA paper. After all, no reason to be ostentatious and attract the notice of the unwashed masses. That would be so... déclassé.
I heard that one plutocrat wrote a check to Westport for his floating pleasure palace and the bank bounced. (rim shot!)
Finally, I used to judge the San Francisco International Comedy Competition. I still remember a great line from comic Mike Dugan about Nazis that brought the house down:
“If this is the Master Race,” joked Dugan, “I’d sure as hell hate to see the qualifying heats.”
(PT jokester Bill Mann has written humor columns for CBS MarketWatch.com and USA Today).