Are You Playing with a Full Deck?

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I am often asked this question and clearly, I am not.

I can only think of the lyrics from The Statler Brothers’ song Flowers on the Wall:  “Playin’ solitaire till dawn with a stack of fifty one…”


Suppose one of your friends has made a really bad choice – see Bad Decisions – or a series of unforced errors.

When your friend commits one of these questionable actions, whether from lack of intellectual prowess, a deficit of synaptic receptors, a shortage of morning caffeine or just general dumbness, what (politically incorrect) saying do you use when referring to said friend?


  • Not playing with a full deck of cards.
  • Not firing on all cylinders.
  • Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
  • Not the brightest bulb on the tree.
  • Not the sharpest crayon in the box.
  • No grain in the silo.
  • The lights are on but nobody’s home.
  • The wheel is spinning but the hamster’s dead.
  • The train is running but the engineer is asleep at the wheel.
  • The elevator works but not to the top floor.
  • The engine is running but the gear is stuck in park.
  • A few bricks shy of a load.
  • One taco short of a combo platter.
  • A few clowns short of a circus.
  • A few fries short of a Happy Meal.
  • A sandwich short of a picnic.
  • A couple pennies short of a nickel.
  • Got a screw loose.
  • Doesn’t have both oars in the water.
  • Has a leak in the ceiling.
  • Missing a few buttons on the remote control.
  • Gets mail at an unknown zip code.
  • Gets orders from a different planet.
  • Didn’t pay the brain bill.
  • Has room temperature IQ.
  • Their antenna does not pick up all the channels.
  • Their receiver is off the hook.
  • Their sewing machine’s out of thread.
  • Their belt doesn’t go through all the loops.
  • Their cord doesn’t quite reach the outlet.
  • Their ladder is missing a few rungs.

…and my favorite:

  • Their tray table and seat back are not in a fully upright and locked position immediately before landing and takeoff.

Any favorites of yours that I’ve missed?

Imponderables vs. Alien vs. Predator

Yet more imponderables to amuse you (waste your time):

  • Do radioactive cats have 18 half-lives?
  • How come wrong numbers are never busy?
  • Do people in Australia call the rest of the world “up over?”
  • Can a stupid person be a smart-ass?
  • Does killing time damage eternity?
  • Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard?
  • Why is it called lipstick if you can still move your lips?
  • Why is it that night falls but day breaks?
  • How come abbreviated is such a long word?
  • Why is it that when you’re driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on the radio?
  • Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?
  • Why is the third hand on the watch called a second hand?
  • Are part-time band leaders semi-conductors?
  • Can you buy an entire chess set in a pawn-shop?
  • Daylight saving time – why are they saving it and where do they keep it?
  • Did Noah keep his bees in archives?
  • Do stars clean themselves with meteor showers?
  • Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?
  • Have you ever seen a toad on a toadstool?
  • How can there be self-help “groups”?


Double Jeopardy

I am indebted to Madame Weebles and her post Search Terms: WTF Edition for this chapter of Fallen Arches.

Personally, I have nothing against Alex Trebek or his wife but the idea was too good to pass up.  All the phrases in italics are taken from Weebles’ search terms.


Alex Trebek sat tidily erect at the dining room table reviewing the latest topics for his game show Jeopardy.  Despite the early morning hour, he was already dressed nattily in a double-breasted summer-weight wool suit, whose creases were squarely aligned without wrinkles, his azure-blue Countess Mara tie squarely formed in a Windsor knot and a carefully folded monogrammed handkerchief peering delicately and precisely from his suit jacket.  His signature silver hair crowned his head and was as full now as it was decades ago when he first started as the host of his eponymous variety show.

Sipping elegantly from his cup of freshly seeped Oolong tea, he was momentarily distracted from his morning chore as he stared across the table to a plate of half-eaten spaghetti with weebles.  Next to it sat a food-stained edition of Weeblerotica magazine opened to an article entitled Picturesque Vagina.  Alex instinctively wrinkled his nose at the messy intrusion into his otherwise neatly arranged world.  As he returned to his list, he suddenly noticed that someone, annoyingly and surreptitiously, had penciled through the list of topics and entered another, and more vulgar, set.  In place of Towns Starting with ‘B,’ Presidents’ Day and Wild West were scratched in Barricading the Cheese, Precocious Tits and Dead Marshmallow.

Drawing in his breath, his brows furrowed, he knew who was responsible when the culprit, his wife, lurched into the room.   Wearing a shocking pink nightgown, her hair in curlers and the butt of a cigarette dangling from her lips, she staggered to the liquor cabinet and helped herself to a morning bourbon.  Looking at Trebek, she spat out the words: “Well if it isn’t Subway Penis.”

Alex, unfazed, put down the altered list and said smugly: “You need to phrase that as a question, dear.”

She snorted: “Here’s a question for you Alex, when are you going to stop wearing pantyhose, you butt-plug?”

Alex, unsmiling, replied: “I wore pantyhose for Halloween, now I can’t stop.”

Undaunted, his wife continued:  “Here’s some more questions for you.  Can I touch up my hair and raid it the same day?  Why is Alex Trebek such an insufferable prick?  Can cats carry demons?  Why does Alex Trebek think he’s hot shit? “

Bolting upright from his chair as though shocked by a cattle prod, Trebek stomped firmly out of the breakfast room but not before his wife shouted one last question to his back.  “Will Mr. Pantyhose Ascendant have a nice day?”  She let out a guffaw followed by a series of chortles, gasps, snorts and wheezes, the result of many years of chain-smoking and binge drinking.  Alex marched stiffly forward, slowly and determinedly, as though walking to the gallows.

Imponderables Strike Back

Let me end the year with another round of imponderables:

  • If a fine is a tax for doing wrong, is a tax a fine for doing well?
  • If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?
  • Isn’t Disney World a people trap operated by a mouse?
  • If cats like mice why can’t you buy mouse flavored cat food?
  • Doesn’t expecting the unexpected make the unexpected become the expected?
  • If you fail and succeed, which have you done?
  • If horrific means to make horrible, does terrific mean to make terrible?
  • Is there another word for synonym?
  • Why do women wear evening gowns to nightclubs? Shouldn’t they be wearing night gowns?
  • Why is bra singular and panties plural?
  • Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It’s just stale bread to begin with.
  • If you mixed vodka with orange juice and milk of magnesia, would you get a Philips Screwdriver?
  • Is Atheism a non-prophet organization?
  • If all is not lost, where is it?
  • Do Roman paramedics refer to IV’s as “4’s”?
  • Why is it that if someone tells you that there are 1 billion stars in the universe you will believe them, but if they tell you that a wall has wet paint you will have to touch it to be sure?
  • Did you know that dolphins are so intelligent that within only a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand at the very edge of the pool and throw fish at them?
  • How do you tell when you run out of invisible ink?
  • If quitters never win, and winners never quit, what fool came up with, “Quit while you’re ahead?!”
  • How much faith does it take to be an atheist?
  • If a person with multiple personalities threatens suicide, is that considered a hostage situation?
  • So what’s the speed of dark?
  • After eating, do amphibians need to wait an hour before getting OUT of the water?



To lighten your mind (translation: waste your time) after a seemingly endless election campaign season in the US, ponder on these imponderables:

  • If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren’t people from Holland called Holes?
  • Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?
  • If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
  • If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?
  • Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
  • When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say?
  • If a person who plays the piano is called a pianist why is a person who drives a racing car not called a racist?
  • Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?
  • Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?
  • Why isn’t the number 11 pronounced onety one?
  • “I am” is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language.  Could it be that “I do” is the longest sentence?
  • If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn’t it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?
  • What hair color do they put on the driver’s licenses of bald men?
  • Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don’t they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so that mail carriers can look for them while they deliver the mail?
  • You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
  • No one ever says “It’s only a game” when their team is winning.
  • Isn’t making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool?
  • If four out of five people suffer from diarrhea, does that mean that one out of five enjoys it?
  • Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?
  • If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest have to drown too?
  • How is it possible to have a civil war?
  • If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?
  • Can fat people go skinny-dipping?
  • Why is it that to stop Windows, you have to click on “Start?”
  • If work is so terrific, how come they have to pay you to do it?