City on a Hill

Once upon a time there was this guy named Jesus, you might have heard of him or even read his book.

One time at a major public address, he said that the people that followed him would be like a city on a hill: unmistakable, un-missable, un-hideable. A prominent feature on the skyline of society.

Which sounded kind of strange…until he described what his followers would be about. They would feed the hungry, they would clothe the poor, they would visit prisoners.

Not as a way to score points or impress people, but as a way to worship God.

Instead of courting favor from the powerful, they would serve and protect the powerless. They would not strive for wealth or status, but instead their success would be defined by the degree with which they were able to serve others.

And the metaphor fit, for a group of people that genuinely loved others without condition or reciprocation would be hard to miss.

But they have been missed. Sorely missed.

Although today more people today claim the title of christian than ever before, as a group they…okay, we… have never been more unrecognized, undistinguished, insular, and well…flat.

So much so, that at least in America, many now resort to advertising how different they are on billboards, t-shirts, bumper stickers, or any available surface, often ironically declaring their uniqueness in the most unoriginal styles possible.

So Close And Yet Completely Wrong

Which leads me to wonder…perhaps what the world really needs is not more hype, but rather more height.

Is it possible?

Hit me with your best thought.


The Official Memphis Position on Snow and Ice

When I first moved to Memphis I realized right away that locals and motor vehicles shouldn’t be allowed to mix.

Even under the best of conditions they form unstable compounds, traveling in erratic, unpredictable trajectories which, in some unexplained quantum-mechanical fashion, are able to occupy all possibly lanes of traffic simultaneously, at least until interacting violently with similar neighboring compounds.

The only know method of intensifying this chaotic reaction is to add precipitation.

Brent Diggs demonstrating the Memphis cold weather response

Your author practicing the suggested Memphis cold weather response

When introduced to the greater metropolitan area, rain is enough to cause spontaneous formations of rapidly bonded steel to accumulate on freeways and intersections throughout the region.

With the addition of snow, there ensues a cascade reaction of such severity that only the most intrepid researcher would travel outside his or her immediate neighborhood.

Bottom line: When traveling to Memphis this holiday season, leave your snow at home.

Listed at,, and now Blogerella.

Commentary Fiction


I entered the establishment off a crowded thoroughfare. The place was dark, only the occasional splash of illumination painting the stark white walls. The scent of teenage aftershave mingled freely through the sparse crowd.

Humor Noir - a first at the Comma

Music, blunt and pulsating, saturated the air like a rhythmic fog, filling every breath, every pore, with barometric waves of insistence.

Its beat was warm and relentless as it slowly worked its way down my spine, following the tangled trajectory of my nervous system.

Imperceptibly at first, I started to twitch and then to sway in an unsettling approximation of rhythm, every moment abandoning myself further to the sound’s harsh demands.

Soon I began to embrace my inner dancer, earnestly shaking what my mother had passed on to me. That’s when I heard it, the strident sound of reality calling from some distant area code.

“Dad! What are you doing?! This is a store. You’re supposed to buy things here.”

Chastened, yet still not free of the music’s hypnotic grasp I stumbled toward the exit, pausing to check a few price tags as a cover for my retreat. I had to squint to make out the numbers in the darkness, but eventually discerned their message. Sticker shock did more than any number of offended offspring to restore me from my senses and propel me to the safety of the waiting mall.

Later, despite the urging of my immediate family, my lawyers assured me that a formal apology would not be required. Nonetheless I have decided to issue the following statement:

“Owners, manager, and employees of Hollister, Inc, have no fear. No matter what the current economic uncertainty holds for you and your overpriced garments, if times get tough be assured that you can always fall back on the nightclub trade.”

-Happy Tuesday.

—— will be happy to take you to the mall. will even buy you an Orange Julius.


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