Humor for Adults
Who Can Handle
Adult Humor

— by Len Kennedy, Esq.


A Brief History of Me

Hell is — other people!

 — Jean Paul Sartre, No Exit

At 4:44 a.m. on December 19, 1972, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I was ejected from my mother’s cockpit.  I went places, I did things — yada, yada, yada . . . blah, blah, blah . . . et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. . . .

     And after high school, I made the mistake of joining the Army, but shortly after completing Basic Training, my knee serendipitously snapped backwards, and after surgery — and some excruciatingly painful physical therapy — I got a medical (honorable) discharge.  And since I was in the military for over six months when all was said and done, I’m now technically a disabled veteran.  Ain’t that some shit?

     I then attended college, majoring in social psychology, but I dropped out a little over a year later for pragmatic reasons (i.e., money).  I subsequently worked for about three years in a plastics factory, a year or so in data entry, and a couple years as a customer service representative.  (I tried my hand at freelance gynecology, for a while, but there aren’t a lot of openings around here.)

     Since June 20, 2011, I’ve worked at Easton Technical Products, Iowa Division, painting ridiculously overpriced McKenzie archery targets for the American buyer.  Why do I paint archery targets?  As crazy as it sounds, I actually enjoy doing what I do — and it’s a lot less exasperating than doing web design for other people . . . or trying to make a living from writing by writing humor that’s suitable for mass consumption.

     In what little free time I have these days — in addition to dashing off my usual drivel and slipslop — I’ve been writing some short articles on long topics — “serious” disquisitions on important subjects, such as cognitive dissonance theory, Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy, and death.

I’m a Gimp!

In 1995, due to a genetic abnormality (something else I can blame on my parents), I suffered what’s called a spontaneous pneumothorax, in which my left lung collapsed because a bleb — a blister on the surface of the lung — burst, causing air to seep into the pleural space between the lung and the chest cavity.

     That first time my lung collapsed, all the doctor had to do was insert a tube into my chest cavity and suck the air out of it, thereby reinflating the lung.  But in 1999, in the middle of March, my lung collapsed again, necessitating surgery to prevent it from happening yet again.  And this second collapsed lung was far more serious than the first — it was what’s called a tension pneumothorax: The pressure from my chest cavity filling up with air was forcing my heart up into my rib cage, and if I hadn’t gotten to the emergency room as quickly as I did, I undoubtedly would have died.

     Shortly after my lung surgery, my father — whom I never even knew, since he left when I was just a little munchkin of one and a half years old — died of bone cancer.  (We Kennedys aren’t exactly known for our longevity.)

     On the day I was notified of my dad’s death, I still went to work (after all, there is no “my dad just died of bone cancer” in team).  But since I have the sometimes-annoying habit of dealing with stress with humor — and the more intense the stress, the more vicious the humor — I sent hundreds of hilarious e-mails, one of which implied that a certain adulterous middle-aged woman in upper management was an old whore.  Too many people found the e-mail funny and forwarded it to friends of theirs, who in turn forwarded it to friends of theirs — and it eventually got forwarded to the woman in management who was the butt of the joke (and she apparently didn’t share my sense of humor).  So I wound up getting fired the next day.

     So within the span of a few short months, I almost died of a collapsed lung, my father died of bone cancer before I ever even got a chance to meet him, and — the very next day! — I got fired from one of the few jobs I could actually tolerate.

     But life’s full of inconveniences — one learns to adapt.

     Speaking of inconveniences, in 2004, once again in the middle of March, my right lung collapsed.  And yes, goddammit, I then had to have surgery on that lung.  But, fortunately, the surgery is fairly permanent — and I only have two lungs — so, although it’s possible that one of my lungs could collapse again sometime in the future, it’s highly unlikely, Haile Selassie.

     After my first lung surgery, I quit smoking and started walking, biking, and lifting weights like a madman.  And now, after my second lung surgery, I’m once again exercising assiduously.  In many ways, I’m in even better shape now than I was when I was in the Army.  As Friedrich Nietzsche says in Twilight of the Idols: “One must need to be strong — otherwise one will never become strong.”

     And I suppose life would be awfully boring if there weren’t continually new obstacles to overcome.  And vaginas.  Life would be dreadfully boring without vaginas.

But Enough about Me

Now I’m going to talk smack about other people.  For example, people who have written things that I later thought up independently.  I was so certain that I was the first to coin the expression “Only the young die good,” but it turns out that some schmuck named Oliver Herford was the first person to make that particular cliché reformation — over a hundred years ago.

     And perhaps even more annoying are those people who independently think up and publish things that I thought up years ago — e.g., Toby Young, who authored a book titled How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.

     Well, I tried selling a book with that exact same title to a few literary agents in 1999, at least three years before his book was published.  After reading Toby Young’s book, I realized that that dopey little bald bastard couldn’t possibly have been clever enough to have thought up that title himself.  But just as I was thinking that he must have somehow gotten my How to Lose Friends and Alienate People title idea from a writer who had heard it from a literary agent who had happened to have read my earlier book proposal, I discovered one Irving Dart Tressler.  Not only did Mr. Tressler independently think up the same reformation of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People; Irving Tressler published his book How to Lose Friends and Alienate People (which, of course, was a parody of Dale Carnegie’s book) in 1937 — just one year after How to Win Friends and Influence People was first published.

     While I wouldn’t go so far as to say — with the preacher in Ecclesiastes — that there’s nothing new under the sun, there’s no denying the fact that there are only so many ways to juxtapose words in a meaningful manner — and very few of them are actually funny.  So don’t be surprised if you come across any quips & squibs here that you swear you’ve seen somewhere else.  As much as I try to be original, whenever I think up something that I think no one else could have possibly thought up before, chances are, someone else has probably thought it up before.  Put succinctly: We are rarely as clever as we think we are.  >:(

     So, basically, what I’m saying is that other people suck.  And not always in the fun way.

Well, Anyway . . .

I hope you enjoy, have enjoyed, or will enjoy reading my writings.  If you have half as much fun reading them as I’ve had writing them — I will have had twice as much fun as you . . . because, believe me, I had a ball.  Maybe two balls.

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Home | LenKen Photo Essay | Part I: Quips & Squibs | Part II: Intermezzo: Bad Poetry for Bad People | Part III: Weird Stories for Weird People | Addendum: The Slapdash Mishmash: A Legacy | Appendage: Short Essays on Long Topics | Preamble: A Brief History of Me | Preface: Freedom of Speech versus Freedom from Speech | Prelude: Maturity versus Immaturity | Prologue: Strength versus Weakness | Prolusion: The Period: Dickens Redux | Quips & Squibs | Universal Rules of Etiquette | A Writer and His Hookers | The Sadistic News Network | Books That Cause a Tingling Sensation in My Left Testicle | Alternative Uses for a Brick | A Calm and Rational Analyis of Winter | Odium | Drivel, Blather, Prattle, and Twaddle | Bad Pick-Up Lines | Bilge, Dreck, Tripe, and Schlock for Schlemiels, Schlimazels, Schmucks, and Schmegegges | Arizona | Chickens | If You Make a Girl Snicker, She May Let You Lick Her | A Lesbian’s Lament | THC | Ode to the Paperboy | Sesquipedalian Love Song | Interview with a Petulant Old Shrew | Interview with a Persnickety, Pugnacious Pedant | A Freak Like Me | I Have Weird Dreams | A Long, Hard Look at Gun Control | Readings in the Cassandra Times | The Infamous Stickflipper | Keeping a Kennedy Tradition Alive | The Stalker | Lucy in the Sky with Dysentery | Beyond God & Devil | Pile of Nothing | How to Quit Smoking and Die Anyway | Epilogue: Quirky Colloquy: A Play in One Act | An Introduction to the Slapdash Mishmash | Poppycock? | Der Klusturfuk der Katzenjammer | The Cowardice of One’s Convictions: Cognitive Dissonance Theory in a Nutshell | Controlling Your Emotions before They Control You: Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy in a Nutshell | Why We Should Be Dying to Live Rather than Living to Die | About the Author | Sign My Guestbook