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GUYS, so much fun for you this COTW day. First, I must regale you with True Tales of Josh’s Upcoming Standup!

The first true tale: I’ll be performing at the always fantastic Hot Action Comedy show in Arlington, Virginia, on this coming Tuesday, July 16. It’s at 8 p.m. at Hard Times Cafe, 3028 Wilson Boulevard, right across the street from the Clarendon Metro station. If you are a DC-area person and have been all like “I refuse to come see you do comedy until you do it near DC,” you just ran out of excuses, buddy. Here is a poster with all the information I just told you, and also pictures!

NEXT: If your attitude towards seeing me do live comedy stuff has been more in the way of “I plan on seeing Josh do comedy but I haven’t gotten around to it even though I live in the Baltimore area and he does it around here all the time,” you get another chance! I’ll be in the always amusing Chucklestorm show on Wednesday, July 24, using their rudimentary AV equipment to do an odd and amusing slideshow. The show is at 8 p.m. at the Ottobar, 2549 North Howard Street. There is no poster, but there is this Facebook event, which features an amusing photo of a robot.

And now: your comment of the week!

“I guess the gag here is that Trixie thinks she’s going to outlive the sun (ha ha?). The joke’s on them though: if there’s one thing for certain we can say about our solar system 7 billion years from now, it’s that Hi and Lois will still be running, somewhere.” –pugfuggly

And your very amusing runners up!

“Well, who says that genetically engineered earthworms wouldn’t live aboveground basking in the sunlight, especially if they could get their food that way rather than tunneling through the dirt for it like they usually do? Hell, Weirdly has created a living scrotum and painted it purple, so anything is possible.” –TheDiva

“After one week Wilbur Weston’s new column I Shouldn’t Be Alive! ceased to be about maritime disasters. Now it has become the newspaper’s most popular feature, offering daily contests for readers to suggest new reasons why, in a just world, he wouldn’t be.” –seismic-2

“Oh, Heathcliff. With all his crazy transportation lately — scooters, hot air balloons — I feel very strongly that he’s undertaking some avant garde version of Oleta Adams’ song ‘Get Here.’ But, why? It seems super ominous. When he ‘cross[es] the desert like an Arab man,’ I’m fucking heading for the hills. His trifling orange ass can windsurf into someone else’s life.” –notmydesk

“Meanwhile, in a shadowy room in Washington, men are fretting about the situation in Costa Verde. Now, no one’s going to pretend it’s a Jeffersonian democracy down there, but they’re useful allies in the wars on terror and drugs, and sometimes you just have to look the other way. But this Tarantula fellow, maybe he can topple El Presidente, and who knows what his politics are? No, the current government must stand. What to do? They can’t intervene directly for some tin-pot dictator, they can’t send a wet-work team to deal with Tarantula. All the options have too much blow-back potential. And then the phone rings. It’s the head of the TSA, with some new information. Spider-Man is going to Costa Verde to help the Tarantula. A wave of relief in the room. Spider-Man’s going to assist the revolution? It’s as good as over now. Our friends in Costa Verde are safe.” –Voshkod

“‘He puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things. It irritates the hell out of my clitoris, but it’s the only way to get him to go down on me.’ Enjoy the mental image and have a wonderful day!” –Nekrotzar

“Okay, I have put up with many things Obama has done since I voted for him, but THIS. CANNOT. STAND. NO. YOU CANNOT CALL SPIDER-MAN A HERO AND GET AWAY WITH IT. IMPEACH! IMPEACH!” –casino LF

‘Do whatever you like. I’m done with you.’ ‘M-Margo?'” –Brian Cooksey

“This portrayal of Spider-Man’s reputation seems a little inconsistent, by the way. He’s beloved enough that the PRESIDENT openly declares himself a fan, yet so little respected that some random kid on an airplane will taunt him mercilessly? Maybe this kid just has no respect for any authority figure. ‘Hey, Spidey – how come you’re not an Avenger? And did you see the obvious anti-aliasing on that birth certificate? 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB!'” –Windier E. Megatons

“Those Gil Thorp extreme close-ups stay terrifying. I’m pretty sure that last panel is what you see in the bathroom mirror at the stroke of midnight after whispering ‘Karl Malden’ three times.” –notmydesk

“You haven’t seen any deer? Try checking the foreground, Mark; that’s where they usually hang out.” –bourbon babe, unbuckled

Mary Worth: “Mary comes to the realization that this is no different than the yoga classes that are held regularly in the Charterstone Community Room, except that the walls and floors are not covered with a thin veneer of mayonnaise and disillusionment.” –AhClem

“A personal day? Man, what I would give for it to be more than a personal 15 minutes.” –Mike N.

“HEY WAIT A MINUTE JOSH,” you’re probably saying, “What about the fantastic poems everyone wrote in response to the challenge you laid down on this post?” Well, don’t panic: I wanted to set the ones I loved the most aside in a special list. (All of them were pretty great, though, you should scroll through the comments here and check ’em out.)

“this is just to say

your father
puts ketchup
on so many
inappropriate things

forgive him
i’m not dead yet
so sweet
and so old” –GracieLoPan

“Your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things
This puritan before you recoils in disgust
At his application of fine tomato paste
To all he sees and eats.
Look: his plate
Resembles a Rothko canvas
And buried beneath: fresh fruit and wild rice.
But what appalls most,
Is when he will ask a hotdog vendor
For duck sauce” –Tim O’Shenko

“your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things

yellowed obituaries pressed tight by the widowed wives of faded men
they fade too, but memories burn brightly before extinction
the black and white obscured the flesh and blood, but now
it too is red

woolen blankets soaked through with filth, held dear,
the contents of infants
washed until washing did no more, and they were no more
and mother still held tight
but part of them remained there, older than they will ever be, and now
they too are red

fiery men with broken faces, clutching wasted evidence of evil thoughts,
this could have been, she could have been
sixty remembers sixteen with drunken clarity
this image of her, held loosely between shamed fingers
is as true as the reaper’s stride
and it too is red

your father smiles and lifts his bottle
all things are easier to stomach
when they are red” –vewatkin

“Your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things!
What kind of things?
Inappropriate things –
Things that can sing, maybe things that can think?
Things that can stand up and order a drink!
Things that can run and things that can not,
Things that say NASA once faked the moon shot!

Your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things!
He must have a boundless supply, I suppose,
Ketchup in closets behind all his clothes,
Ketchup in steamer trunks, red bottles in rows
Down at the end of the bed by his toes.
Ketchup as far as the seeing eye goes!
Ketchup in boxes and cupboards with lockses!

Your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things!
I wonder from whence springs this impulse, this quest,
To ketchupcoat everything sans any rest,
To pour it and squeeze it and pump it and best:
To pat the round bottom of bottles with zest,
With glee and with vigor, to spank out a mess
Of ketchuping glory – still, nevertheless,

Your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things!
It cannot be healthy, this constantly topping
Of items with ketchup; he should think of stopping
Or at least curbing back, considering swapping
This hobby of his for one needing less mopping
(For it must be considered that he makes quite a whopping
Mess out of things, with his ketchup nonstopping.)

Your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things!
Where does he get it, how much does he spend?
When will his ketchup-y ways ever end?
Or will they go on for an infinite time,
A ketchup-y spree on galactic-ish time,
Not in fire or ice but in condiment: Yes!
That’s how the universe comes to its death!

I’ve heard that the universe might be dark matter
But I think it’s something quite different: the spatter
Of ketchup from salads, from burgers, from platters
Of food on which ketchup ought not to have lain,
Not to mention the things that aren’t food! It’s insane!
The ketchup now binds us with theoretical strings.
Your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things!” –Briane Pagel

“Your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things
The neighbors always ask questions
but I just ignore
Inappropriate things are just

The neighbors need not know

Your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things
Asking me to help those hard to reach places
Places that have given me nightmares
When my eyes close

I’ll let your imagination roam” –Gary

“Your father puts ketchup
on so many inappropriate things

Like the American flag
or Lu Ann’s fancy new gown
see? the colors ran in the wash
now everything looks hideous

So tell me
who will wipe the children’s tears?

This poem was funded
by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation
and viewers like you” –Missal

“Your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things
Green beans
his jeans
Your mom’s finest things.

Ketchup, he says, is not just tasty, but curative
The gift that eternally gives.

Your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things
Chicken wings
His 1984 Winter Olympics bobsled medal-thing.

Not just a condiment, but a way of life
On tripe
outta sight
When spread with a knife.

Your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things
My collector’s edition DVDs of “Lord of the Rings”.

A vegetable, even, by government decree
‘You see
it’s not just me’
He says smiling.

Your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things
Vinyl siding
aluminum springs
Just about everything.” –Rob Murray

“‘Out, Out–‘

‘Your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things,’
Sniffed the judgmental matriarch, smirking
And the bottle shook in the old man’s palsied hand,
The bottle lip clinking and ringing against the plate
As he shook it with a hand that once was strong,
Once could firmly close a bus door on approaching, crying children.
But now that hand was weary, the old man had seen his best years go by,
And the red sauce splattered out in gobs, scarlet flecks
Dotting the rim of the white chipped china,
And even staining the tablecloth and the sleeves of the other diners.
The sweet-scented stuff splattered and dotted where it landed,
Those that lifted eyes could count the red spots,
On the glistening pork chops, the crisp green beans, the limp zucchini,
Flavoring this dinner under the setting Ohio sun.
And the bottle clinked and rang, clinked and rang,
As its glass lip hit the plate staccato in the old man’s shaky hand.
And nothing happened: day was all but done.
That’s enough ketchup, Ed, I wish they might have said
Or maybe taken the bottle from him and helped to pour.
But the smirking matriarch said ‘So many inappropriate things.’
At the words, the bottle, as if to prove that bottles know
What is truly inappropriate in this world,
Leaped from the old man’s hand, or seemed to leap
And spun across the table, its red treasure gurgling forth,
A spiral of sugary scarlet vinegar with spices,
Splattering the diners, young and old alike,
Not just their cuffs now, but their shirts and faces,
The ketchup oozing down where it landed back to the table,
As if drawn to the food it wished to cover and make tasty.
The old man saw all – he was old enough to know, old man
Doing young man’s work, smirking like a young man,
Keeping age at bay with horrible puns.
But there were no puns now, ‘Don’t let them put me in the back room,’
He cried, ‘Pam and Jeff, don’t let them–‘
So. But the damage was done. The couple exchanged a look.
It would be a back room with no exterior door,
And no separate phone line. Ed would live there, for a while,
But not long, and then he’d be put in a home.
The old man sensed it and took a fright.
The ketchup bottle, half-empty now, rolled back and forth on the table.
No one thought to right it again.
And they, since they were not Crankshaft, turned to their affairs.” –J. Elhew Bisbee, Hobo Detective

“Your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things
Wheat germ, Cialis, an unmentionable ring
When he’s in the mood (oh please, don’t throw up)
He picks up a bottle and says, ‘Dear, the cat’s up!'” –comcis fan

“Hwæt! we in Funkenwerse
Hu fæder Krankenscyft wið Ketchenscyp
Putten on beanen ond cucumberan
Ond Swinchop, þæt wæs yfel kooken!” –Jack Scat

“How doth thy father freely ketchup pour
On items both appropriate and not!
No doubts, no hesitations, ne’er a thought,
Sure of his own perfection, like Les Moore.
And who are we to question or deplore?
To tell him what he can’t or shouldn’t ought?
To limit him or ration or allot
Or mock him for the ketchup he adores?
Nay! Let him pour out ketchup on all things!
At his consumption, smirk thou not nor joke
Give him bottle upon bottle on demand,
And let him bask in endless ketchup springs!
And ever with a bottle in his hand,
We all can hope eventually he’ll choke.” –midnightotter

“Ketchup, on green bean:
Retch up, and dry clean.” –Uncle Lumpy

“Your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things.

His life, his love, his dog when
he wants to make a pun.

‘Look, a hot dog!
Get it?’

They do not reply.
They simply grimace.

He looks at them eagerly,
hoping that, one day,
they will love him enough
just to laugh,
just once.

They do not comply.
They simply hope he’ll shut up.

One day, he’ll die.
At least, that’s all
they can hope for.” –StrawGirl

“Your father puts ketchup on so many inappropriate things
The red stain mixing with the juices
The tomato tang in the air

He told me once that he couldn’t eat ketchup after he got back from Korea
It reminded him of red pepper paste
and his friend’s blood mixing with rain and the Korean mud at Pusan

Now he drowns his food in red
blotting it out
submerging it in ketchup.
I guess he got over it somehow
the sweet acid taste soothing the ache.

But if he makes that fucking Pork Chop Hill joke again I swear I’ll kill him.” –Gladly, the cross-eyed bear

And finally, one last poem that was written on the occasion of my ninth blogiversary, which touched me very deeply:

“My heart is like a meddling witch
Who lives in condo Charterstone;
My heart is like a stupid girl
Whose gov’nor has bought her a gown.
My heart is like a lawyer fine
Who gathers undeserved fee;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because this blog is come to me.
Raise me a dais of otter fur;
Hang it with plaid and high-waist jeans;
Carve it Weirdly with Cassandra Cat,
And who knows what the heck that means;
Work it in Herbs and even Jamaals,
In diapers filled with Marvin’s pee,
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, this blog is come to me.” –Christina R.

Thanks to everyone who put some scratch in my tip jar! To find out more about how you could be thanked in this spot, and more about sponsoring this site’s RSS feed, click here.