December 18, 2013
9:56 PM | Permalink
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9:46 PM | Permalink
December 1, 2013
to the Humor Gazette
Hi, welcome to the Humor Gazette. I'm John Breneman, lifelong
journalist and humorist -- four-time winner of the coveted
Photoshop Yourself Onto a Wheaties Box Award.
I've posted hundreds of humor items here since my friend
Jeff helped me launch the site in 2003. Recently, I've been
snooping through my archive of newspaper stories, and have
decided to post some of my favorites.
I was not scheduled to be in the newsroom on Sept.
11, 2001, but when I got there I was asked to write
essay to lead the next days front page.
I was honored to meet Miss
Ruth Jones, a proud descendant of the legendary
abolitionist Frederick Douglass, at her home in Cambridge,
Mass., on her 100th birthday.
One of the highlights of my five years editing the Cambridge
(Mass.) Chronicle was our 150th
anniversary edition of the Chronicle (honored as
the years Best Special Section by NEPA). I welcomed
readers to the magazine with these
Ive been reporting on New
Hampshires famed presidential primary since
1988. Heres my take on Al
Gores visit to Portsmouth during the 2000 campaign.
Walsh was an extremely controversial Cambridge city
councilor who disappeared after being indicted on bank fraud
charges. I got him on the phone just before deadline for
My community was already reeling from an Air
Force base closure when the news came that Loring
AFB in northernmost Maine would also be shuttered.
So I took off on a 24-hour road trip that produced this
Facing re-election, then-Gov. Bill
Weld had this unexpected
encounter with possible challenger Rep. Joe
Sweet, photographic legend, is one of my favorite
people of all-time.
8:54 AM | Permalink
July 30, 2013
Questions about firearms? Ask Professor
note: This column (published Sunday in the Portsmouth, N.H.,
Herald and online) has provoked strong negative reaction,
much of it from readers calling me a "racist,"
"moron" and "asshole." (Also, my favorite,
"an angry, unhappy little man" with obvious "daddy
Due to some recent confusion about when it is OK to shoot
someone, today we check in with noted firearms advice columnist
Professor Gunn, who generously agreed to answer a few questions
Dear Professor Gunn,
For a good while now I've been itching to shoot a fellow
human being, but I'm a little worried that our judicial
system might send me to jail. What should I do?
George Z., Main Street
Continue reading "Questions about firearms? Ask Professor Gunn" »
9:21 AM | Permalink
July 1, 2013
Independence Day: What would Founding Fathers
The Fourth of July isn't till Thursday, but there sure
were some fireworks this week illuminating vital American
issues of immigration, the right to vote and the ability
to pursue happiness by marrying the person you love.
The Supreme Court fires a rocket into the Voting Rights
Act. Ooh! Then sparks celebrations, and tantrums, with its
vote on gay marriage. Aah! The Senate blazes forward on
immigration reform, igniting opponents in our horribly dysfunctional
House. Ooh! Aah!
I'm hoping these political pyrotechnics provide a high-voltage
jolt to a democracy badly in need of one as well
as to we the citizens who supposedly run the show.
We are a people suffering a blinding hangover from out-of-control
parties and I don't mean the fun kind.
Continue reading "Independence Day: What would Founding Fathers say?" »
12:49 PM | Permalink
June 23, 2013
Ode to Portsmouth: Paradise by the Piscataqua
PORTSMOUTH Seriously, Chicago Tribune travel writer
Portsmouth is that perfect? "So ideal that I ache,
I envy and I curse my childhood for not including your idyllic
In case you haven't heard, "perfect" Portsmouth
got a poetic pat on the posterior last week from a Windy
City travel columnist who blew in for a quick visit and
discovered a charming, brick-lined paradise where the only
litter is dollar bills and homeless people dine on free
The breathless opening of his
Port City paean mimicked, then quoted above
has inspired considerable fresh-roasted coffee talk
about whether his overly effusive tone and whimsical sentimentality
included at least a modicum of gentle mockery.
Continue reading "Ode to Portsmouth: Paradise by the Piscataqua" »
12:37 PM | Permalink
June 16, 2013
Father's advice to son was 'write stuff'
What's that, chum? Father's Day kind of snuck
up on you again. Well, no need to panic. Heartfelt gifts
for Dad can be found just about anywhere from Walmart
to the corner Pump 'n' Pay. These last-second surprises
are sure to let Dad know exactly how much you care:
Continue reading "Father's advice to son was 'write stuff'" »
1:01 PM | Permalink
June 3, 2013
Local warming comes with a warning: Sun may
Yes, the official start of summer is a little ways off.
But we all know that when the calendar hits June, summer
can strike at any moment.
And I think the heat may already be getting to me because
I'm supposed to be writing something on deadline, but I
can't seem to stop gazing out the window.
The sun is shining. Birds and bees are chirping and buzzing.
And we're all wearing, on average, 1.7 pounds less clothing
than this time last week.
For the human species, summer signals a return to those
warm-weather passions like going to the beach, bobbing around
on boats and grilling up heaps of juicy, charred animal
Yes, hail to the sun. O, benevolent provider of Vitamin
D. It nourishes and sustains all life, and just basking
in its rays can make you feel sky high.
But, beware, because this evil yellow blob of hydrogen
and helium can also put you in the ground.
Continue reading "Local warming comes with a warning: Sun may cause fun" »
9:24 AM | Permalink
May 26, 2013
Happy Birthday to URL: World Wide Web turns
out the e-candles and virtual cake ...; the Internet has
Created either by brilliant scientists
or by God himself, depending on your political beliefs,
the Internet has given us countless spectacular advances
in the way we live and avoid living our lives.
Don't worry about buying a gift. Because, really, what
do you get for the all-pervasive global system of interconnected
computer networks that has, literally, everything?
Back then it was known as the World Wide Web or the Information
I began writing about the Internet back when it was just
a toddler. And I have to admit I was highly skeptical and
a smidge cynical about this new sci-fi reality called Cyberspace.
"Some say Cyberspace is humanity's next great frontier.
Others say it's South Berwick," said me, back in 1998.
Continue reading "Happy Birthday to URL: World Wide Web turns 20" »
9:14 AM | Permalink
May 21, 2013
Bicycle commute right in my wheelhouse
By John Breneman
Finally rode my bike to work on Thursday just a
man and his trusty iron steed.
We're a couple of old-timers, he and I. Combined age: 84.
He's about 33, so that makes me what, 29ish? And though
I am pretty sure we weren't the oldest man-cycle combo to
saddle up for Bike to Work Week, my vintage Peugeot mountain
bike could've been a contender for creakiest contraption
on the mean streets of Portsmouth and Newington that day.
least the creaks, rasps and groans emanating mostly from
the crank case drowned out the softer sound of my own knees
grinding (though fortunately not yet "bone on bone"
as my mom is quick to inquire).
Ever since I ditched my Boston commute to join what is
pound-for-pound one of the finest media organizations in
the entire Fourth Estate, I've been periodically flapping
my gums about riding my bike to work ... one of these days.
Continue reading "Bicycle commute right in my wheelhouse" »
3:59 PM | Permalink
May 12, 2013
The mother of all Mother's Days
By John Breneman
Hey, it's Mother's Day. And, like any grown son, I am determined
to do whatever it takes to let my mom know how much she
means to me.
After all, over the last half-century, she has put up with
a lot from her first-born pranks, wisecracks, tantrums
on topics ranging from lima beans (but I hate them) to high-top
sneakers (pleeeaase) as she gracefully guided my
metamorphosis from cranky baby to cranky man. (Look how
beautiful she is in the photo above, posing with yours truly
sporting my favorite Sunday bonnet.)
But enough talk. Let's get to it.
Continue reading "The mother of all Mother's Days" »
10:03 PM | Permalink
May 8, 2013
Kim Kardashian does NOT endorse miracle sex pill
9:12 AM | Permalink