Humor Articles

Stories of misery, humiliation will make your holiday letter a success

Austin American-Statesman, December 17, 2016

It’s that time of year again. Part of getting into the holiday spirit is reconnecting with family and friends. We want to hear how they’re doing and share how we’re doing. But we’ve all gotten those letters we can’t finish, either because they’re too long or too full of news of young Ella’s nauseating excellence […]


Uber: The case of the fox guarding the henhouse

Unpublished, April 28, 2016

[Author update: Uber and Lyft lost Austin’s May 7 election by a margin of 56 to 44 percent, making national news.]  As a casual observer, it looks to me like Uber and Lyft rode into town in 2013, operating outside the law. People liked the service, so the Austin City Council, taking seriously its responsibility for […]


There’s nothing quite like a camping adventure

Austin American-Statesman, April 10, 2016

“That’s it, no more. I’ve had it with air travel, hotels and restaurants. Let’s go back to Big Bend!” I announced to Ian the spouse, whose eyes widened. I hadn’t gone to the national park since the kids were little, despite Ian’s urging me to go on his dozens of trips throughout the years. Delighted, […]


Crosses on patrol cars? Let’s try pyramids instead

Austin American-Statesman, January 24, 2016

Last summer, the police department in Childress, a Panhandle community deep in the Bible Belt, placed “In God We Trust” decals on the back of police patrol cars, prompting Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton to fall all over themselves eagerly heralding the idea, each giving legal arguments why it is OK. Not […]


There’s something for everyone at the State Fair of Texas

Austin American-Statesman, October 6, 2015

Did any of you get as sick as I did of hearing about the vaunted pork chop on a stick at the Iowa State Fair, you know, where the presidential candidates tromped around in August trying to act normal? Well, summer has ended, so it’s time to think about Fletcher’s Corny Dogs on a stick […]


Dress-down of media merited regarding Hillary Clinton coverage

Austin American-Statesman, June 25, 2014

The line into BookPeople on June 20 snaked from West Sixth Street and Lamar Boulevard (in full sun) north to West Ninth Street, east to Henderson Street, then south back to West Sixth Street. I live a few hundred feet away and was on an errand when I saw it. I pulled my scooter over […]


Predictions of water wars not far-fetched

Austin American Statesman, February 5, 2014

Long before “global warming” was a household term, my father-in-law, Dr. Jack Inglis, would pronounce that it would all come down to our killing each other over water. The conversation-stopping concept seemed, at best, farfetched. The respected Texas A&M ecology professor, who died 16 years ago in an ultralight crash, would have taken great interest […]


Nothing says Thanksgiving like a jar of green beans

Austin American-Statesman, November 28, 2013

Here we are at Thanksgiving, that holiday when we gather in a confined space to eat to oblivion with loved ones and rediscover all the reasons why we don’t actually live with them. But seriously, Thanksgiving is the near-perfect holiday, untainted by commercialism except for its promiscuous proximity to Black Friday. The annual celebration of […]


Catching Up on Christmas Past

Austin American-Statesman, December 26, 2012

There’s nothing like the day after Christmas for reading those family newsletters you didn’t have time to read before today. Reconnecting with those we care about is part of the holiday season. We want to hear how family and friends are doing and to share how we’re doing. But we’ve all gotten those letters we can’t […]


The boy’s curse of the unpleasant pecan tree

Austin American-Statesman, May 5, 2012

An Austin tradition for 34 years, the Pecan Street Festival is happening this weekend. Hearing the name never fails to take me back to my son Burton’s 2005 email. For Christmas, he and his family had given me and Ian a nice bag of cracked pecans. Their majestic backyard tree in Dallas had produced 120 […]