Portrait of Invisible man in the hood isolated on black

Then there was that time I burned a hole in the back of my bathrobe.

Fortunately, I wasn’t wearing it at the time.

For reasons I can’t remember, but that made perfectly good sense back then, I was up in the middle of the night and trying to read.  For some reason the light wasn’t quite right, so I threw my robe over the lampshade.

A few minutes later I was interrupted by the unmistakable fragrance of stupid. [click to continue…]

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Old Jalopy

The Rental

Last week we made a cross-country U-turn and returned to Lubbock for a wedding and some work and training.  We needed to rent a car, but weren’t too worried about it.  Hey, it was Wednesday, in June, in Lubbock Texas.  What could possibly be a problem with renting a car?

Texas Tech University, that’s what.  It’s the tail that wags everybody’s dog in Lubbock, and it seems they were having Freshman Orientation or something, and all the cars were booked.  Except at Hertz.  So we stand in the long line and wait.  Finally I tell the desk jockey I would like an SUV for four days.

“I can do that rental for $131.00,” she says.  I’m impressed.  “Go for it,” says I.

Turns out that was $131.00 a day.  Something about supply and demand.

Oh well.  Sometimes you’re just running on five cylinders.

(Speaking of supply and demand, the next day Alamo had a supply – $21.00 a day for a Camry – and I made a demand that Hertz take their gold-plated rental back.) [click to continue…]

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Egg on faceIt’s a new year, and with it comes new opportunities for all of us to contribute to the blooper reel of life.  Yes, friends, your wait is over – it’s time for another edition of Hanukkah Hams.

Not Hanukkah.  Pretty sure that’s done.  Hanukkah Hams.

If you’re new to all this, let me catch you up.  A Hanukkah Ham, inspired by that all-too-famous Greenwich Village grocer who suggested a ham would be a great addition to anyone’s Hanukkah celebration, is whenever really smart people do really dumb things.

Or when really not-so-smart people do really dumber things.

Past editions have explored regulations for the ladies’ room in a town in California, student life, airline travel, and money, to name a few.  Do a search for Hanukkah Hams here and you’ll find the whole bunch.

So.  This edition is dedicated to the really dopey things we do when no one else is around.  And we’re really grateful that nobody was around to see it.

Yeah… I see that memory already starting to form in your mind.  But I’m letting you off the hook.  Today the pork’s all on me. [click to continue…]

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Strike up the band celebrity endorsements, hang those chads, and God bless the United States of America!  It’s that time again!  Voters in many parts of the country are already heading to the polls to vote early for the upcoming election, and the turn-off (um, I mean turnout) is high!

What better way to remind you that these are humans, not just 8 x 10 glossies, than with another round of Hanukkah Hams?

Since it’s been a while, let me give you the talking points on what a Hanukkah Ham is.  Named in honor of somebody who suggested that his Greenwich Village Jewish customers would love a big ham for their next Hanukkah celebration, a Hanukkah Ham is a really bad (translation:  stupid) idea concocted by usually really smart people.

Previous Hanukkah Ham stories have explored the worlds of  electricity, money, college life, Christmas, air travel and hunting, to name a few.

But with so many words flying these days, what could invite more people to ask, “Did he just say that?” than political races across the country?  Ever since I heard Philip Johns promise to get grits au gratin taken off the lunchroom menu in seventh grade, and Richard Tyson promised to build a student center in ninth, I’ve heard people running for office – any office – say some pretty outlandish things.  I guess it just comes with the territory. [click to continue…]

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I’ve Gotta Get Out More

by Andy Wood on August 10, 2011

in Turning Points

For the last six years I have had the privilege of serving on the adjunct faculty of Regent University’s School of Undergraduate Studies.  When I started, Regent Undergrad was a simple two-year degree completion program, designed to help people complete a bachelor’s degree so they could attend the prestigious graduate program founded by Pat Robertson of The 700 Club and CBN fame.  But now RSU, as it’s called by insiders, is a four-year institution of its own.

And I hear they’re thinking about starting a golf and tennis team.  Woo hoo!

Anyway, one of the high points for me is the Fall Faculty Workshop, where they fly people in from wherever to attend a day or two of meetings for training, inspiration, coordination, and schmoozing.

Especially schmoozing.

Whatever my day job has been during the last seven early-Augusts, it has been a highlight since 2005 to return to the scene of my Ph.D. work, with its stunning campus, caring people, and fresh ideas.

Did I mention schmoozing?

With a lot of turnover, growth, and the ebb and flow so typical of a young, growing enterprise this is an annual opportunity to make connections.  And memories.  And yes, impressions.  Add to that the fact that this Coastal Alabama boy had not left drought-ridden Texas since Thanksgiving last year, and hadn’t seen rain in over six months – I was ready for a change of pace.  And, of course, to make an impression.

Well, maybe not like the impression I made at the DFW Airport. [click to continue…]

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Live in 30 seconds.

Go Camera One.

Camera one.

Go Camera Two.

Camera two.

Cue Intro.

And five… four… three… two…

From around the world, across the nation, and up your street, we welcome you to another edition of…

(bup bup budup bup baaaaaah!)

Hanukkah Hams!

It’s been a while since our last edition, so for the uninitiated, let me catch you up.  A Hanukkah Ham is sort of like Candid Camera without the “candid” or the camera.  It’s a glorious celebration of people who later asked “What was I thinking?”  Hanukkah Hams are named after the Greenwich Village market who did this clever ad display.  And in the past we have explored drains on the brain such as airline travel, higher education, electricity, hunting laws, and Christmas.

Today we go live and on the air to the world of news, weather and sports broadcasting, where, as you probably know, anything can happen.


Like this: [click to continue…]

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Raise those tray tables, buckle that seat belt (that you wouldn’t have known how to do without that handy demonstration), and turn off that portable electronic device!  Hanukkah Hams is taking off again. 

In case you missed any of the previous editions, a Hannukah Ham is an episode of brilliance in the blooper reel of life – leaving us all to ask… “What were they thinking?”

In celebration of the fact that tomorrow I’ll be enjoying that living enema called commercial airline travel (flying to ‘Bama for a week), this edition of Hanukkah Hams takes you past the ticket agents, through security, by the food court, and into the pressurized metal tube.

The problem, friends, is NOT a shortage of material. [click to continue…]

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Hanukkah Hams: Game Warden Edition

by Andy Wood on November 20, 2009

in Gamblers, LV Alter-egos

HuntingTomorrow gun season begins for deer hunters in my home state.  And what better way to celebrate than with another round of Hanukkah Hams!  In case you’ve missed previous editions, allow me to explain.  Hanukkah Hams are glorious acts of intelligence-gone-south.  Ideas that seemed to make perfectly good sense at the time, but leave you asking, “Huh?  What was I thinking?

In honor of my shotgun-totin’ four wheelin’ Bambi-chaser friends in Alabama and beyond, this edition of Hanukkah Hams takes to the woods or the marshes, the fields and even the lakes to remind you – the Second Amendment protects your right to bear arms.  But thousands of other laws exist to protect the deer, the antelope, and apparently every other known species known to man.

And frankly, all of this gets confusing.  I mean, really, did you actually read all those regulations when you got your license?  I just look for the dates when the shells and fur can start flying.

What’s more, everything varies from state to state, and even region to region.  So we here at the Hanukkah Hams Research Institute sought the help of a recognized expert.

Couldn’t find one of those.

So we checked with local Game Warden Burney Fife, who seemed to have a surprising amount of knowledge on the subject.  Here’s an excerpt from our interview: [click to continue…]

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Crime“Thank you for calling Killinger, Meeks, and Nowlin.  This is Brenda.  How may I direct your call?”

“Hi, Brenda, this is Andy.  I need an attorney.  I’ve been busted.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, sir, but I’m sure we can help.  KillMeNow specializes in not being picky at all in who we represent.”

“Uh, thanks, I think.”

“So I can assist you further, can you tell me why you’re behind bars?”

“Well, it’s sort of embarrassing. [click to continue…]

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sleeping-studentOkay, you students of all things gloriously stupid!  Time for another round of Hanukkah Hams.  In case you’ve missed previous episodes, a Hanukkah Ham is a reminder of what can happen when unlicensed people are left free to drive an imagination without supervision.

What better place to discover colossal displays of “what-were-you-thinking” than in the hallowed halls of academia?  I once had a college professor that said, “College is the only place where people don’t want to get their money’s worth.” See if these true stories, drawn from the actual testimonies of college professors, don’t restore your hope in the future of America.

Remember, friends – these people will be managing your nursing home.  Or running your country. [click to continue…]

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