Short items, short attention span

Bill Mann
Mann Overboard
Posted 11/13/18

I once did a radio show in the San Francisco Bay Area called “Bill Mann and His Short Attention Span.” Herewith is further proof:

— Locker Up: Oddball sight of the week: A guy shaving in a …

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Short items, short attention span


I once did a radio show in the San Francisco Bay Area called “Bill Mann and His Short Attention Span.” Herewith is further proof:

— Locker Up: Oddball sight of the week: A guy shaving in a storage locker — and using his cellphone as a light. Classy. He then left, so presumably there wasn’t a shower in there.

— The funniest sight of the week, by far: In the co-op parking lot, I spotted a Subaru with what appears to be, incongruously, an NRA bumper sticker. Really? Here?

But upon closer look, it was a clever facsimile of the NRA logo with this inscription: “Small Penis Gun Club.” It cracked me up. Plus, instead of the NRA eagle atop two shootin’ irons, it had an illustration of something related that I can’t describe in a family newspaper. (Use your imagination.) I would love to buy one of those stickers for my own car. As long as I never park outside of PT, of course.

— An ad I spotted in another newspaper reminds me of that hilarious headline I’ve mentioned here, from The Onion: “Balsamic Terrorists Bomb Hidden Valley Ranch.” The recent ad, for a local flooring store, announced that it’s National Karastan Month. I can see the headline now: “Local Flooring Outlet Hit By Carpet Bombing.”

You must admit, Karastan does sound a bit like an insurgent group. Or someplace near Pakistan.

— The New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz, arguably the country’s top satirist, sent out this funny headline right after last week’s election: “Putin Loses Control of the House.” Putin added: “Maybe if Facebook hadn’t banned so many of my fake accounts, the results would have been different.”

— I’ve heard his ads far too many times on Seattle radio: “Hi, this is consumer advocate Rob McKenna … ”

Consumer advocate? Since when? The same clown who, when he was this state’s Attorney General, joined a lawsuit to try to kill Obamacare? Proof that McKenna, who also helpfully did TV ads to help kill the carbon tax last week, has his mind in the gutter: He’s now shilling not just for a local foundation-repair outfit — but also for a company that sells, yep, roof gutters.

Maybe this Seattle hustler will show up on weekend TV in one of those cheap ads flacking for Granite Rock frying pans.

— Speaking of radio ads: Instead of locking people up in prison for years, you could save a lot of money by instead making convicted felons sit in a room for 24 hours and forcing them to listen to a tape loop of the ultra-annoying “1-800-Kars4Kids” jingle. I bet they’d reform — and they’d also “donate their cars today.”

— Checking In: The other day at lunch, my friend and I were discussing whose turn it was to pay. I remembered a funny term popular in Hollywood about someone who never picks up a check: “He has short fingernails.”

But the preternaturally witty Dorothy Parker had the best line. Parker, who once entered a restaurant and quipped, “I’d like to get out of these wet clothes and into a dry martini,” also observed that, “If you want to know what God thinks about money, look at the people he gave it to.”

She had this classic definition of a cheapskate: “Someone who throws nickels around like manhole covers.”

I paid the check.

Port Townsend resident Bill Mann has written the humor column at and USA Today. He’s always on the lookout for funny items — and funny local people. He’s @Newsmann on Twitter and


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