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Brent A. Diggs

Writer of books and other things that tend to contain words

The Buck Stops At Last – Buck-O-Quest: Conclusion

Like a homesick camel plodding through the arid wastelands of American finance, the Buck-O-Quest Economic Survival Series staggers on past the once-thought insurmountable limits of my attention span, to its long awaited end, providing readers with one last dose of hope, inspiration, and questionable financial advice.

We begin today’s thought-enraging lesson with a letter from yet another satisfied literary consumer.

Dear Author,

I am not impressed with the flippant and frankly irresponsible tone you have taken in your self-proclaimed Economic Recovery series. These are serious financial problems we are dealing with, requiring serious measures to be implemented by serious people. I would suggest your words and your time would be better spent in helping your readers climb out of debt and develop fiscally responsible habits to help them stay on the road to solvency. If this proves too difficult for you, please at least get some better jokes.


Robert B. Pukensmite,

Rising Tide, FL


Thank you for writing, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate reader feedback, even when it comes from a communist like yourself.

Although I find your concept of personal responsibility very amusing, the truth is that you simply cannot fault the American people for living beyond their means, or financial institutions for encouraging them to do so.

Lenders lend, consumers consume, and bankers bank on the hope that this cycle will provide them with a comfortable living for some time to come. This is the nature of global finance. If you must bring responsibility into this issue be sure to lay the blame where it belongs, which of course is with our money.

As everyone knows, the U.S. currency is a timid and cowardly thing, always seeking security in numbers. Those with small reserves of cash are in constant danger that their meager supply will escape and seek out the company of larger corporate accounts.

Clearly what we need is a way to train our legal tender and instill it with discipline and obedience, just like major financiers do.

That’s right Robert, unknown to the less lucratively-endowed citizenry, millionaires and multinationals alike have long relied of the services of exclusive financial obedience schools to train their vast collections of currency to circulate carefully through the markets and return home, followed closely by droves of stray, undisciplined bills.

Although many Americans lack available funds for instruction, not to mention the sizable fees charged by more illustrious services, there are resources at hand for those willing to start somewhat smaller.

Penny Ranch

With the help of more modest monetary obedience institutions like the Penny Ranch, average citizens can corral their loose change, preventing its usual vending machine-driven stampedes, and even herd it toward more useful investments.

Thank you again for writing, Robert. The next time you have a brilliant economic breakthrough, please contact my associate Lastdollar Don who I’ve recently subcontracted to handle helpful individuals like yourself.

Came in late? Don’t miss a single installment of the Buck-O-Quest extravaganza.
Part 1- Taking Economic Recovery For A Spin
Part 2- Putting The Economy In Motion
Part 3 – Shoring Up Liquid Assets
Part 4 – The Buck Stops at Last
Bonus – What The Promised Recession Means To You
Bonus 2 – Stimulus Package Video

Any other readers with questions or burning concerns to address may do so through the convenient and sturdy-looking Ominous contact page, where they will be routed to the appropriate website personality for eventual response.

This post is all the rage at

It is also plummeting faster than gross adjusted median incomes over at

Shoring Up Liquid Assets – Buck-O-Quest: Part 3

Today our economic survival series Buck-O-Quest rolls on like the mighty Mississippi River: slowly, majestically, and with a distinct lack of clarity.

We will begin with more Concerned Reader correspondence.

Dear Author,

First off, let me thank you for the way you’ve handled the economy. Everyone I’ve ever read always approaches it from the perspective of homeowners, job holders, and other overachievers. Thank you for keeping it real.

My question is this: having invested my money in a balanced portfolio of malt liquor, cheap wine, and other liquid assets, is there any way I could continue to bypass employment and just live off the interest?


George Wellfeller, Central Park, NYC


You present an interesting problem. How does a person who has basically spent every dollar on alcoholic beverages, wrangle a profit from such an investment?

Fortunately for you, and those like you, the U.S. government is already on the case. Thanks to the Federal Department of Intoxicant Commodification and their willingness to underwrite a network of small, privately owned alcohol exchanges, you may yet stave off the clutches of personal industry.

Liquor Bank

FDIC – Keeping Spirits High and the Market for Spirits Higher.

Originally created to subsidize failing savings and loan institutions, the FDIC is always on the lookout for a losing cause. They are currently backing liquor layaway plans and small self-distillation-kit loans and are expected to soon branch out into the burgeoning blood plasma market.

Thank you George for your question, it is always good to see someone putting those wi-fi soup kitchens to good use.

Don’t be bearish, the fundamentals are sound on the entire Buck-O-Quest series.
Part 1- Taking Economic Recovery For A Spin
Part 2- Putting The Economy In Motion
Part 3 – Shoring Up Liquid Assets
Part 4 – The Buck Stops at Last
Bonus – What The Promised Recession Means To You
Bonus 2 – Stimulus Package Video

If you have a pressing question you wish to ask the Author, or if you’re truly desperate, ask Doctor Toboggans, you may do so at the newly instituted Ominous Contact Page.

Weekend Bonus Video- Stimulus Package

Happy weekend everyone.

Despite appearing to be ever bit as dormant as pork-belly futures, the Buck-O-Quest Economic Recovery series lives on.

In this moving installment we witness the irresistible power of chocolate as applied to our current stagnant situation.

A big thanks to Comma Girl and SPF-100 for their generous and uncoerced assistance, Daddy was only kidding about being grounded until Christmas.

Thanks also to Roann for supplying the cure to all out woes: crispy chocolate Toboggans.

Psychiatric Snacks

If only the doctor were so deliciously helpful. Or as silent

Don’t miss any of the Buck-O-Quest excitement, click away:
Part 1- Taking Economic Recovery For A Spin
Part 2- Putting The Economy In Motion
Part 3 – Shoring Up Liquid Assets
Part 4 – The Buck Stops at Last
Bonus – What The Promised Recession Means To You
Bonus 2 – Stimulus Package Video

What The Promised Recession Means To You As An American

You have been bad.

Selfishly saving your money right when your economy needs it the most.

As a consumer you have been a huge disappointment to us all.

If you care anything about this country, get up right now, go to your nearest retail outlet, and buy until your cards will swipe no more.

After all, it is not your assets propping up the GNP.

Only ours.



the Corporate Interests of America


Coming soon. The next chilling installment of Buck-O-Quest, the internet’s most urgent humor series on the economy to ever visit this site.

Told you it would be soon. Select your next mind-watering Buck-O-Quest installment here:
Part 1- Taking Economic Recovery For A Spin
Part 2- Putting The Economy In Motion
Part 3 – Shoring Up Liquid Assets
Part 4 – The Buck Stops at Last
Bonus – What The Promised Recession Means To You
Bonus 2 – Stimulus Package Video

Putting The Economy In Motion – Buck-O-Quest: Part 2

Welcome to the second installment of Buck-O-Quest,1 the surprisingly continuous series dedicated to the stumbling U.S. economy and what you as a potentially impacted citizen can do to recover yourself out from underneath its ominously descending bulk.

We will begin today’s missive with a conveniently timed letter from one of our concerned readers.

Dear author,

The economy is really getting me down. I’ve never had what you would call steady employment, but with this recession things have been harder for me than ever.

In happier times I could always supplement my income by liquidating the assets of local banks and liquor stores. But ever since I suffered a debilitating trebuchet accident I have been confined to my recliner, living at the mercy of a former cell-mate and an array of absorbent undergarments.

What can I do to help regain my financial independence?

Benchly Setward

Folding Chair, AR


You are not alone. The sudden sagging of economic indicators combined with the recent increase in catapult-based security systems has propelled a large number of former criminals into desperate financial straits.

Fortunately there are resources available for disabled felons like yourself, to assist you in your quest to put sizable chucks of U.S. currency back in motion.

Economic Mobility

A growing number of companies have entered the ambulation-impaired Armed Robbery Accessory Market. Some early product entries include: armor plated wheelchairs, gurney mounted chain guns, and specially trained safe-cracking robotic chihuahuas.

Between ever expanding merchandise offerings and special recession financing, I am confident that there is an affordable assault package right for you. With the help of your local medical arms dealer, you’ll be out terrorizing your neighborhood in no time.


If you have questions for your author, it’s you own fault. You’ve had plenty of opportunity to get them off your chest by now. Still, it’s never too late to ask. Contact me at my slick and highly impressive contact page.

In the meantime, stick around. Not since last year’s Blogging Week have I had a train of thought travel so far without derailment. This could very well set a record. Or a precedent. Or possibly even a fire. So whatever you do, don’t miss the next ironon fortified serving of this profusely fact-starved series.

To receive my next stunning contribution to world literature in your email inbox click this link.

Or receive it in your favorite feed reader by clicking this one.

Or if you’re not up to that level of commitment, you can play the field of eligible Buck-O-Quest advices here:
Part 1- Taking Economic Recovery For A Spin
Part 2- Putting The Economy In Motion
Part 3 – Shoring Up Liquid Assets
Part 4 – The Buck Stops at Last
Bonus – What The Promised Recession Means To You
Bonus 2 – Stimulus Package Video

  1. Okay, I admit that I had never given the series a name before this very moment, but due to the Orwellian possibilities of the internet, by the time you check the previous post, it will have been there the whole time.

Taking Economic Responsibility For A Spin

I want to apologize to all of my readers. To those currently engrossed in this article, to those yet to discover this blog, and even to those whose best attempts at reading so far have been limited to glassy stares in the direction of diaper packaging.

I have let you all down.

Approximately one year ago I informed you that I had discovered the secret of the U.S. economy…

Approximately one year ago I informed you that I had discovered the secret of the U.S. economy. I assured you that it was a relatively uncomplicated matter and, due to its simplicity and security, that you needn’t worry yourselves too much about it.

More specifically, I revealed to the members of the Comma-reading public that despite its complex appearance, the national financial system was in fact controlled entirely by a small fan.

Well, now the economy is suffering and I feel responsible.

Yes, it seems that our own Doctor Harold Toboggans1 who has several patients within the upper echelons of the federal fiduciary community, used his undue influence to borrow the Fan of State for his own nefarious purposes and in doing so, broke it.

It must be realized that the Economy Fan is a delicate instrument, designed for the rarified air of upper level economic circles; it was never intended to handle the extreme pressures of ego inflation, especially those of an obesely overblown ego like that possessed by Dr. Toboggans.

Hand over the fan and no one gets hurt.

Being the individual responsible for introducing the doctor’s analytical arrogance to the world, I must assume some blame for this tragic turn of events.2

And so in an effort to help mitigate this whole unpleasant mess, I am launching an invigorating multi-part series dedicated to the prospect of worldwide economic betterment.

Watch this space for the next adrenalizing installment of this series, Buck-O-Quest, coming urgently soon.

(Or you could skip the whole suspenseful vigil and just subscribe to the Comma in a feedreader or by email.)

(Or not, it’s up to you.)

Suspense over. Here’s the entire Buck-O-Quest series for your perusal.
Part 1- Taking Economic Recovery For A Spin
Part 2- Putting The Economy In Motion
Part 3 – Shoring Up Liquid Assets
Part 4 – The Buck Stops at Last
Bonus – What The Promised Recession Means To You
Bonus 2 – Stimulus Package Video


This post can be found stimulating circulation over at

  1. The phrase “our own Doctor Toboggans” in this context does not denote pride or ownership but merely an unpleasant and unavoidable association, such as found between men and woman, men and remotes, and Mississippi and deep fried Twinkies.
  2. No legal liability is admitted or implied by this statement, please adhere to all applicable lawyer restraint codes and frivolous litigation restrictions. Please keep your attorney on a leash unless posted.

The Blog Of State Address

My fellow Commaricans,

Today is the first anniversary of the ground-bruising weblog known as The Ominous Comma.1 On this solemn occasion I stand before you humbled in tearful amazement, a fact having just as much to do with the freshly spilled coffee in my lap as with the undeniable glow of achievement which not only permeates this site but also illuminates entire neighborhoods, disturbing the circadian rhythms of countless innocent victims.

Without a doubt, this blog is really something.

Although scientists are torn as to what that something might be, they generally agree that whatever it is, it’s probably not anything worth getting torn over.

NASA Photo ~ Courtesy of

But, putting aside all questions of composition, the Comma has existed, some would say thrived over the last twelve months.2 And having personally guided the ship of site during that period, past all danger of recession or even accuracy, I feel that it is high time to settle down to the serious business of granting myself a slew of generous, retroactive pay raises.

Although it is customary on these sort of occasions to impress the crowd with a few statistics, I will not. Allow me to assure you that I do indeed have numbers and that they are both large and numerous, featuring digits and decimals and other types of obscure mathematical notation. Numbers so fierce and intimating that I prefer to keep them stored in specially engineered Byzantium-lined PO boxes, for reasons of national security.

However, to further bolster my own claim on competence, I will slip you a few figures. To date, I have let fly 182 posts and been greeted with 3774 comments, many from people who have read what I have written, a couple having no mention of male enhancement products.

Truly, these are heady accomplishments, the kind that would inflate the ego of a lesser man. That I can stay humble is the face of such over-awing achievements is something in which I take great pride.

This brings me to an announcement of great significance and prestige. This blog, The Ominous Comma, the very same one you are currently reading has been declared the best blog in Tennessee by a distinguished panel of purple and green refrigerator stars, one of which has agreed to pose for photographs immediately below this sentence.3


With this distinction, the Comma is ready to assume its place among the other A-list blogs of the Volunteer State such as…um…well…many fine blogs, none of which I am personally acquainted with at this time.

Clearly it is a new day in America, an event unparalleled in over twenty-three and half hours. And as such, I pledge to the people of this website to continue in the tradition of excremence and sheer speculation on which our beloved blog was founded, bringing forth upon the internet a kinder, gentler Comma, smelling faintly of lilacs…or ex-lax, whichever is more readily available.

Thank you.


  1. I hope to one day add a research department to our fine organization and so upgrade our status to the rank of Surface-Scratching, but until that time fact checking will remain strictly one of the more enjoyable aspects of trivia hockey.
  2. Of course, these are the same people who keep trying to set you up on that blind date with the convicted Ukrainian wankel smuggler, but around here we take our endorsements where we can get them.
  3. <p>Although the inclusion of the Comma in their fine directory reveals the highest level of taste and cultural appreciation on the part of the, they seem to be lacking some of the more basic mathematical skills. For example, let’s just say that there is a statistically improbably number of Best Blog in Tennessees.</p>

    There is also no category for Memphis Humor, a redundancy I’m sure they sought to avoid.

Rouge Agent Flips Canada The Bucket

The Fording Report:
A Herman Fording exclusive.

In a shocking, gratuitous, and hopefully award winning display of international impropriety, survivalist and blog-stalker Christopher NotSee, has confessed to assaulting the nation of Canada with former rap star M.C. Hammer.

French for “Bucket of refuse” the trebuchet has long been used to demoralize enemies…

According to reliably verbose sources, NotSee, an ex-marine and serial commenter, propelled the aging performer into Canadian airspace with the assistance of a household trebuchet.

Hammer, best known for his brief fame and visually painful costumes, is rumored to have encountered NotSee while seeking assistance re-launching his stalled career. Sources close to the artist have been unavailable for comment, trapped deep in the gravity well of the artist’s pantsware.

…And dispose of clutter

French for “Bucket of refuse” the trebuchet has long been used to demoralize enemies and dispose of clutter. Medieval propulsion specialist, Joseph Phlengham went on record saying, “This is just the sort of thing the trebuchet is made for, the real surprise is that no one thought of it sooner.”


“Another Job Well Done.”

Although in diplomatic circles the lobbing of faded rap stars is considered a rude gesture, Canada is taking it well.

“Mr. Hammer is not the problem,” said Canadian Cultural Attaché, Marvin Bently, “We love him up here. His hit song Can’t Touch This has even been translated into French by the Ministry of Reproduction, so that every citizen can properly enjoy it. The uproar is strictly about his pants.”

Long the target of boycotts and sanctions, Hammer’s pants are indeed a problem, they are considered so detrimental to national self respect and diplomatic prestige that they have been deemed Trousers of Class Destruction.

Canadian officials are understandably reluctant to harbor a garment of such catastrophic potential but are uncertain how to contain the situation. “We’ve lost three weapons inspectors, four U.N. pantskeepers, and two-dozen news anchors to the slacks so far,” said Bently, “and frankly, we’re begin to worry about the trousers reaching critical mass. There is just no telling how many people could be in there.”


The Only Known Pants With Their Own Event Horizon

This has been a Herman Fording special report, presented by the Dissociated Press.

We will keep you apprised of this Pulitzer-worthy situation as it unfolds.

Don’t miss Herman Fording’s last desperate attempt at journalism:
Cetaceans Strike Back – Terror From the Deep

Writing Prompts for the Not-So-Prompt

There comes a time in every blogger’s life when having answered every email, researched every YouTube video, and basically exhausted every imaginable resource, he finds himself1 in the desperate position of actually having to write.

If you are a stranger to the delightful world of wordcraft, perhaps spending your time on more respectable and rewarding occupations like say, Roadside Carcass Removal, you might believe that those who call themselves writers would have long ago resigned themselves to the fact that sooner or later they would be called upon to produce verifiable written material.

You would be wrong.Bratwacker ~ photo courtesy of

You see, being a writer is a lot like being a rock star: you are allowed, and even expected to dress funny, hold bizarre and often conflicting opinions, and basically act like an adolescent.

The act of writing, however, is a lot like work.

This is why the great majority of activities undertaken by writers, bloggers, and other content providers are specifically aimed at postponing the moment of creation as long as physically possible.2

However, once all contingencies of denial are exhausted, once the sheltering tissue of fantasy is punctured by the viscously barbed shafts of plummeting deadlines, an author simply has no choice but to buck up and write something.

Even if it is a note explaining why he can’t write.

A handwritten excuse for why the writer can't write

One time-honored tactic used to leverage reluctant writers into literary productivity is the writing prompt, a suggestion or hint used to startle the subconscious into an accidental discharge of useful ideas.

And, due to the kindness and generosity bestowed upon me as licensed internet resource, not to mention the fact that I can’t think of anything else to write, I have decided to share with you three of my most punctual prompts.

Start at the End

Determining how your tale will conclude can provide you, the author, with many useful clues on how to construct your story, such as who’s in it, if they’re me, and if we all end up in Acapulco.

An example of an excellent end-starting is this:

Slowly the blogger rose to the dais, glanced at his notes and began, “ I accept this lifetime blog achievement award, with generous cash prize, in the field of humorous quasi-fiction in name of all part-time writers, frustrated comics, and overlooked luminaries everywhere.”

The crowd combusted in an endless thunderclap of applause. As he returned to his seat he grinned a thoughtful little grin, Now I can afford that species change operation.

Start in the Middle

Just because many good stories begin in the middle doesn’t mean that yours can’t start there too. Jump right into the action. Boring chores like introduction and conclusion can be handled with flashbacks and time travel.

A modestly awesome example of this technique is:

So there I was surrounded by a ring of angry Pomeranians, their harsh growls rumbling like a thousand tiny leaf-blowers. Slowly they inched their way forward, constricting the circle around me step by step. Desperately, I searched my pockets for any shred of hope.
Coming up with lint, a gum wrapper and– A rush of excitement coursed through my limbic system– the enchanted chew toy!

Start at the Beginning

Starting at the beginning, while endorsed by many grammar schools and other educational afflictions, is in fact the surest sign of a true amateur. However, if you are feeling nostalgic for the heady days of young writing-love and its baseless optimism, feel free to revisit this technique. You will of course require a strong opening line, something that firmly grasps the reader‘s attention if not his entire nervous system.

Something like:

Of all the flatulence that has escaped all the colons in all the world, why did this one have to come from mine?

That’s It

explodetypewriter.gif courtesy of graph.slndesignstudio.comThere’s no time like the present to write, unless of course there is new material up at Or fresh road kill on the turnpike.

Keep those keys clicking and remember: when you fail to write, you only write to fail…to write…or something.

For more practical writing advice, see the fine folks at

  1. I will be sticking with the masculine pronoun for the duration of this piece, not from any chauvinism or disrespect for female writers, but because in this case “the writer” is a thinly veiled reference to myself, a man of unquestionable maleness.
  2. The true reason that most writers have migrated from typewriters to computers is not because of the fancy formatting options and spell checkers available with modern software, but mainly due to the fact that typewriters had crummy games.

Education Is Wasted On The Young

Although I would never mention it, I am in fact something of a celebrity.

The extent of my fame is not always obvious to the causal observer, mainly due to the surprising restraint shown by my admirers in open areas, but in the enhanced proximity of an enclosed space, their distinctly fanatical character is revealed. In fact, it is a rare occasion that I can slip away from a restaurant, doctor’s office, or even a speed trap without some stern, often uniformed fan demanding my autograph on the bill.

But, like many other newly-minted luminaries, news of my social elevation has been slow to travel home.

Of course I’m not referring to the members of my immediate family, who extract paychecks, extort allowances, and otherwise allow me to house and feed them with the appropriate sense of reverence and awe due a man of my standing. No, I am talking about my childhood friends.

It may surprise you to know that as a young man, I indeed had friends…

It may surprise you to know that as a young man, I indeed had friends, and that I did not have to financially compensate them in any way for the pleasure of my company. It may also surprise you to know that even today a statistically improbable number of comment-dispensing Comma readers are former high school associates of mine.

What always surprises me, however, is how these longtime aficionados of my “work” are also the quickest ones to point out any hypothetical failings I may possess as an author, fearlessly critiquing my often-thought unassailable humor technique.

They are also impressively speedy to call upon the Hot Comma Momma, by far the friendliest of my high school acquaintances, for reinforcement in any comment section battle of wits they might find themselves decidedly not winning.

You can tell these “friends” of mine primarily by the bold way they deliver their jabs and slights to my authorly self, here at the very heart of my Ominous empire. They think nothing of harassing me, providing violent ego-decompression, or even comparing my carefully cultivated Surrealistic Lyricism style of Artistic Blogging to a juvenile round of Mad-Libs.

Along with droves of other internet humor connoisseurs, you might wonder how these spectators from my past could possibly find fault in an artist of my stature.1 I often ponder this mystery myself, and the only conclusion I have come up with so far is that somehow my former educational associates still see me like this:

Late Eighties Brent

The Young and the Clueless

Instead of this, the towering bloggeranaut I have become:.


The Veins of Our Lives

So as a service to those of you whose mental picture of me is painfully lodged somewhere in the late eighties, I have generously arranged this opportunity for you to get with the program. It is a simple, three step program, consisting of the following tasks: halt your mockery, acknowledge my manly accomplishments, and tremble.

Those readers as of yet not trembling are clearly approaching the forgetful stage of their chronological advancement. So for the benefit of these semi-senile individuals, I have provided this handy Accomplishment Reference for your trembling convenience:

  • I write the Ominous Comma, hailed by critics as “the most inventive and un-credible blog ever to be named after punctuation.”2
  • I have a full head of my own original hair.
  • I arose from my bed this morning unaided, narrowly escaping the clutches of gravity.
  • Did I mention the Comma?

For anyone who may have already forgotten the purpose of the preceding highly impressive list, here is a reminder, in large, bi-focal friendly print.


Alright my readers, it is now your turn to wax reflective. If you went to school with the author, if you went to school with people, or if you in any way participated in the educational process,3 please send your memories, pictures, anecdotes, or anything else likely to embarrass you to this fine publication via the comment boxes securely mounted at the bottom of this post.

Our usual $72 dollar entry fee has been waived in order that even the most starvingly artistic, as well as the merely unemployed, can participate in what is sure to be painful spill down memory lane.

Let get remembering, people. While you still can.

This post has seen better days over at

  1. It is a well known fact that 73 inches is the height of artistic perfection. That is why so many aspiring artists invest in platform shoes.
  2. Yes, I made that up. But genuine, unfabricated praise for this site does surprisingly exist and can be found here.
  3. Military and obedience schools included.