Sunday Timericks. August 30, 2014.


When Jonah was called to obey

He fled to the ocean to stay;

But it was his fate

Instead to be bait

Of the fish that did not get away.


Why should a fellow be nervous

When told to be rendering service?

Home teaching is pleasant

When those who are present

Turn out to be dainty and curvous.


Forgive and forget without hitch;

For neighbors do not dig a ditch.

Do not think to sue –

Unless it’s the few

Who happen to be stinking rich.


The Bishop makes announcements

And sometimes they’re rather long;

So the speakers have to hurry

And they cut the closing song.

I could wish that church announcements

Were like gossip, treated so

They take no time in telling

Yet we all are in the know.

Seven Steps to Better Cooking.



Tired of the same old thing for dinner every night?  Well, have you ever thought that she might be tired of you, too?  Joking aside, we’ve culled the latest food journals and websites to bring you 7 of the best ways to make each meal at home a memorable event.  These are meals you won’t forget, or forgive, for a long time:

  1. Cook with wine. The French have been doing this for centuries, and their cuisine is celebrated wherever fine dining and hangovers are appreciated.  Start by putting a little chardonnay in your soup.  Then add a soupcon of sauvignon blanc to your scrambled eggs in the morning.  A cup or two of Beaujolais to poach your fish in will bring out the natural oleoresins and peptides that so often escape with our crude cooking methods.  Try boiling spaghetti in a gallon of Champaign – then throw away the noodles and drink the broth; it’s most refreshing.  Hic!
  2. Always parboil before you roast. Whether it’s duckling or lamb or tripe, a quick dip in boiling water will firm up sagging ligaments and seal in that red, juicy blood, so that when you pull your roast out of the oven at last and cut into it a spurt of red hot ruby juice will fly out and hit your rich uncle right in the kisser; and thus he will leave his millions to someone else in the family and you will remain dead broke for the rest of your miserable life.  That’s when you really start cooking with wine, to deaden the pain of your wretched existence.
  3. Do you know that the most sought-after chefs today cook with lard?  For too long has this creamy white substance been kept a secret amongst the cognoscenti!  Use it in place of butter and watch the greasy smiles blossom at your table – or, slather it on the kitchen floor and watch your hapless victims slide down the basement steps.
  4. Cricket flour. Roasted crickets are ground into a fine powder and used in dozens of cookie recipes as a way to add protein and body. But if your family starts telling the temperature by chirping and then adding forty, you better cut back on the cricket flour.
  5.    Everything looks and tastes better when it’s glazed.  Think of the humble donut and how much better we like ‘em when they’re glazed.  You can make a simple glaze by mixing one part water to one part sugar, put it on to boil, add one drop red food coloring and a pinch of sea salt.  Pour this over your family, piping hot, when they start to complain about dinner being late.
  6. Save room for tomato aspic! That’s right; just clear a space on the table for it.  Then leave it strictly alone.  And don’t let Lionel Atwill get near it – he’ll try to bring it back to life in his laboratory.
  7. Start using asafoetida. Also known as devil’s dung. It goes well with anything strong enough to hide its unpleasant flavor.  Once word gets out in your neighborhood that you use liberal amounts of asafoetida in your cooking you’ll never be bothered by drop-in dinner guests again.  In fact, you may become the prime suspect in any mass poisonings that occur in your region.

Opium-based Hydrocodone Abuse Continues to Rise in the United States.


Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, recently applauded the decision by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to move drugs containing hydrocodone, such as Vicodin and other painkillers, from schedule III to schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act.

The change is intended to help reduce the growing rates of hydrocodone abuse. It means doctors can only write prescriptions for 30-day supplies of pills and patients must get new prescriptions in order to receive refills.

“The DEA’s decision to place these painkillers in a more serious category of narcotics is an important step in the ongoing battle against prescription drug abuse,” Feinstein said.“Painkillers containing hydrocodone are some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs, and strengthening their regulations will help combat the growing epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse.”

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2012 approximately 2.5 million Americans were addicted to opioids, a group of drugs that includes painkillers, many of which are hydrocodone-based.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 16,917 overdose deaths involved opioids in 2011.

The Labor Day Gopher.

Say 'Hi' to Gary, the Labor Day Gopher!
Say ‘Hi’ to Gary, the Labor Day Gopher!

Gary, the Labor Day Gopher, recently took some time out of his busy schedule of guest appearances to sit down for an exclusive interview with us.  Here’s what this rather unknown holiday icon had to say on a number of different subjects:

Us:  Gary, it’s good of you to spare us a few minutes of your time to explain your origins and meaning to everyone who celebrates Labor Day.

Gary:  Thank you.  I’m pleased to have this opportunity to maybe set the record straight on a few things.

Us:  First of all, can you give us some background on how you became associated with Labor Day in the United States?

Gary:  Sure thing.  As most people know, President Grover Cleveland first inaugurated the holiday in 1887 at the suggestion of the Knights of Labor.  It was to be celebrated on the first of September to commemorate the social and economic achievements of the American worker. It just so happened that I was tunneling through the White House rose garden at the time, and right as President Cleveland signed the proclamation I happened to pop up under the table and bit him on the shin.  I thought he was the gardener’s dog.  There was a little ruckus and then I was brought before President Cleveland, who offered me a Presidential Pardon if I would agree to become the mascot for Labor Day.

Us:  Fascinating.  And what are your official duties?

Gary:  To begin with, I lead the Garwinkle’s Hardware Store Parade bright and early on September First, in Zanesville, Ohio.  We have all sorts of floats symbolizing the contributions American workers have made over the years to the labor movement.  There is the Coffee Break Float, and the Clock Punching Float, and, one of my favorites, the Pin the Tail on the Boss Float – made entirely out of paperclips!  As I lead the parade I throw brightly colored sticky notes to the crowds of boy and girls lining the street.

Us:  Wonderful!  What else do you do to help us all remember Labor Day?

Gary:  Well, frankly, that’s about it.  Once the parade is over I hop a flight down to Miami and spend the fall and winter working on my tan.  Then I often head over to the Easter Bunny’s place to give him a hand with jelly beans – they don’t grow on trees, y’know.

Us:  Um, is that why we have never really seen your picture anywhere and don’t have a TV cartoon special about you?

Gary:  Yeah, probably.  I never had a good press agent, like the Bunny or Santa.  Heck, even the Tooth Fairy gets more coverage than I do!  And my cousin, Punxsutawney Phil, gets the spotlight on Groundhog Day, and after that who wants to deal with a measly gopher like me?  I’m viewed as pretty redundant.

Us:  Have you thought about an aggressive social media campaign to get your name and face out there?

Gary:  Frankly, I’m just not that ambitious.  I don’t want kids sitting on my lap, telling me what they want for Labor Day, or having to prepare a zillion little tool boxes to give to every boy and girl in the country.

Us:  Please excuse us for being blunt, but it doesn’t seem like you take Labor Day very seriously at all!

Gary:  Right you are, chum.  That’s because the way things are going now, I won’t be Gary the Gopher for much longer; with this economy I’m gonna be demoted to Gary the Gofer . . .


For more information about the blogger of this piece, please click here.

Stop the Presses! There’s a Missing Manhole Cover!


One of my grandchildren’s favorite stories isn’t much of a story at all.  It concerns the Fourth of July when my older brother Billy threw a cherry bomb into the back seat of a patrol car as it cruised through our old neighborhood.  After the explosion the officers clambered out of their cherry-top and gave chase, but they never caught him. That’s all there is to the story.

My own relationship with the American constabulary began with my first job in radio nearly forty years ago.  I needed a job, being temporarily on the outs with the circus, so a friend of mine arranged for me to work as the news director at radio station KGCX in Williston, North Dakota.  The place bustles today as an oil boom town, but forty years ago it was a sleepy backwater.

Each morning I would walk over to the police station, known as the “cop shop”, and give ear to whatever the Chief felt like giving out.  He gave out with a lot of unprintable expletives describing his ongoing battle to quit smoking, but otherwise there was very little that could be incorporated into a radio broadcast.  I do remember a moose being surprised by officers in the middle of eating laundry off of a clothesline, and the mysterious case of the missing manhole cover on Main Street – those were the highlights of my time in Williston.

A few years later I was once again in between circus gigs, so I took a news job at a radio station in Park Rapids, Minnesota.  The place swarmed with anglers during the fishing season, but otherwise was as somnolent as Rip Van Winkle.  I don’t recall ever sitting down with the police chief for a chit-chat.  Instead, he simply let me read the “police blotter”, the daily log of incoming calls; it was mostly fender benders and parking tickets.

I returned to radio news, in Iowa, in 2006.  Things were different this time around.  The police, the sheriff, even the Highway Patrol, had their own websites, where they posted the news they wanted the public to have.  Anyone with internet access could read it, so what did they need a newscast for?  The police chief sat behind a bullet-proof glass sheet most of the day; the sheriff’s building was guarded like Fort Knox and I needed a special pass with more holograms on it than my driver’s license in order to go inside.  Just to be told that the only news releases were already posted on their website.

So I broadcast farm bulletins from the 4-H club and spraying schedules for the county mosquito and vector control district.  School board meetings took up a lot of my time.  At one point, starved for news, I began listing all the garage sales for the upcoming weekend.

Looking back, I should have tossed a few cherry bombs in the back seats of a few cop cars myself. Then I could’ve broadcast from inside the Pottawattamie County jail – I think the grandkids would appreciate that story more.

What do City Mayors do All Day?

A scavenger hunt means a lot to these people.
A scavenger hunt means a lot to these people.

Provo City, Utah,  has teamed up with Google Fiber and Downtown Provo to bring an exciting new event to Provo called, Passport to Provo! To celebrate all of Provo’s accomplishments and raise awareness of the 9/20 Google Fiber sign-up deadline, Provo will host a record-breaking scavenger hunt on Saturday, September 13, 2014. This FREE community event will send provo residents, students, family and friends all over Downtown Provo (in teams of 2-8 people) to local businesses and landmarks.  A judge from Guinness World Records will be on site to see that the record is broken, and to make it official!

To break the record which was previously set by the University of Chicago in 2011, Provo City will need at least 925 “hunters” but we are aiming for more!  Tasks may include everything from snapping a photo with a local landmark to sampling a product at a local restaurant.  Teams will be required to be on-site for the start of the hunt at 1:00 pm and to be counted as official they must return to the Utah Valley Convention Center no later than 6:00 pm.

For more information on this scavenger hunt, please click here.

Humor = More Traffic to Your Site.


It’s big news, alright!  Humor brings in more traffic.  Viewers appreciate something that is light and funny, and they are more likely to visit your site multiple times if they like the humor you provide them with.

Have you heard from viewers who complain that you post too much doom and gloom?  As a responsible news organization, of course, it’s your public duty to inform people on the facts of what is happening in our world.  But once that obligation has been met, your subscribers will appreciate all the more something zany and entertaining.  

Tim Torkildson has been providing clean, reliable humor for the media for the past 20 years.  A former circus clown, he brings to his posts an exuberant and unpredictable viewpoint that is neither liberal nor conservative — just fun-loving.  

St. Paul Pioneer Press editor Dan Kelly calls his work “Delightful and daffy.”

Deseret Digital Media editor Jacob Hancock says of Torkildson’s prose, “It’s fantastic and always spot-on; he’s a one of a kind writer.”

You can sample his work online at:

The Saint Paul Pioneer Press.

Deseret News.

Terms are very simple; for just $30.00 per week your media outlet will receive 5 posts each week, of not less than 500 words.  The posts will be exclusive in your state.  

Just post a comment on this post and Tim will get back to you immediately to answer any further questions you may have, and to set you up to start receiving humor posts that will drive traffic to your site like voyeurs to a nudist colony!  


Thirty-Eight Ways to Know You’re Stuck with a Bad Teacher.


  1. They think an electric pencil sharpener is “the latest thing in technology.”
  2. They belong to a group trying to bring back corporal punishment.
  3. Their bad breath extends to the rest of their body.
  4. They think Pontius Pilate is an exercise program.
  5. They have tattoos on their lips.
  6. They keep sniffing the glue sticks.
  7. They keep a framed portrait of Torquemada on their desk.
  8. They click a pair of steel ball bearings in their hands while asking about the strawberries.
  9. They ignite passion in their students by teaching them to make Molotov cocktails.
  10. They genuflect whenever they hear the word ‘curriculum’.
  11. By the time they finish taking role the class hour is over.
  12. They keep students after school to clap erasers, even though there are only whiteboards in every classroom.
  13. They start a lecture and cannot be stopped by anything less than an earthquake or someone chewing gum.
  14. They spend so much time giving homework that there’s no time left to learn anything in class.
  15. Field trips consist of going to the Wash-O-Mat and watching them do their laundry.
  16. They teach Social Studies using MAD Magazine.
  17. Their alma mater advertises in the back of comic books.
  18. They’re certain dyslexia is an eating disorder.
  19. They would rather exterminate a question than answer it.
  20. They subscribe to the Flat Earth Society magazine.
  21. They work evenings as a bouncer in a book store.
  22. They get nervous when students stay awake the full hour.
  23. They plant seeds but don’t water them.
  24. They bring their parole officer on Career Day.
  25. They believe in repetition like others believe in religion.
  26. They are banned from the teacher’s lounge for embezzling the coffee fund.
  27. They claim to be writing their thesis on Angry Birds.
  28. They give open book tests on subjects they never got around to teaching.
  29. They mistake curiosity for insubordination.
  30. They think volume equals discipline.
  31. They are so disorganized that when their socks don’t match you are amazed they have any on at all.
  32. Their social skills are so poor that they talk more to the class hamster than to their students.
  33. They text more than their students during class.
  34. They take up a collection in class to pay off their bookie.
  35. Their Facebook page was voted Number One Entertainment Site by Playboy Magazine.
  36. They think of Powerpoint as the ability to point at a student and send them to the Principal’s office.
  37. They use their students as a group therapy session, reviewing all their personal problems and hang ups.
  38. They are always late . . . because “The dog ate my car keys!”

Are You Prepared for a Water Emergency?


Let me tell you some of the places in North America that have really fine tap water:

  • Tioga, North Dakota. Since putting in new wells back in the late 1980’s, this little village’s tap water has acquired a fresh and invigorating bouquet that makes it a pleasure to use for lemonade, soups, and coffee.
  • New York City. You might think that the tap water in the Big Apple must be polluted and full of subway grit.  Not so.  It has a smooth taste with a light touch of organic chemicals, and comes from reservoirs far to the north of Manhattan.  It’s what makes their pizza dough so unique and delicious.
  • Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Their tap water comes from mountain glaciers, and is so cold and crisp you can almost feel it crunch in your mouth.  Natives of Whitehorse claim their tap water is so pure and strong that no one who drinks a glass of it each day ever has bad breath.

The reason for this little tap water tour is to remind us all that potable tap water is NOT a given in most of the world.

In Mexico the tap water must always be boiled, and then left for 24 hours, before it is considered safe to drink.  A large majority of men and women in Mexico find it more convenient, and safer, to simply drink beer.  For those who prefer not to include any alcohol in their diet, there are a large variety of Jarritos flavored mineral waters to choose from.  But a steady diet of those sweet drinks tends to cloy the taste buds, making it difficult to enjoy the superb cuisine of Mexico.  Should you happen to drink a glass of unboiled tap water, you can expect anything from a mild case of Montezuma’s Revenge to an infestation of parasites that will send you, clutching your stomach in agony, to the nearest hospital.  This happened to the author many years ago, and he has never been able to look at a faucet since without a shudder.

Or take Thailand, for another example, where the author has lived for many years.  Their municipal water works and purifying stations are just as up-to-date and effective as those here in the United States.  When the water leaves the plant it is perfectly good to drink.  The problem lies underground, where the water pipes have not been replaced in many a moon, and thus are cracked and porous, allowing all sorts of vicious characters from the surrounding soil to seep in and contaminate the water.  Not even boiling it will save you from some deeply distressing and embarrassing episodes if you happen to drink it.  Most foreigners in Thailand will not even brush their teeth with plain tap water.

With our mania for bottled water and reverse osmosis and other such fancy-schmancy trappings, we should remember, and be grateful, that we can step up to the kitchen faucet, or even the garden hose, anytime we please for a gulp of good old-fashioned tap water without fearing for the integrity of our gastro-intestinal system.

(While North America is currently a bastion of safe tap water, there’s no guarantee that this will last forever.  You should make plans to protect your family from tainted water during a local or national emergency by having on hand a reliable water filtration system, such as AquaPail.  This storable, fast-flowing, gravity –fed water filtration system is available from at a very reasonable price.)

Cues to a Bad Relationship — 35, to be Exact.



  1. You only stroll hand in hand when you’re handcuffed together.
  2. You give her flowers when she has hay fever; she gives you chocolates when you are on a diet.
  3. If you’re not arguing, you’re asleep.
  4. You take taxis everywhere, because when either one drives the other has hysterics.
  5. Your wedding plans not only include a prenup, but a set of the Marquis of Queensbury Rules.
  6. You treat each other with so much exaggerated courtesy that others suspect you are trying to kill each other with kindness.
  7. You both join a church just to learn more about what hell will be like for each other.
  8. Your prospective in-laws have contacted Ripley’s Believe-it-or-Not about you.
  9. You’re already in arbitration about who’s in charge of the TV remote.
  10. You get along fine, when you both have laryngitis.
  11. In the grocery store you both ask for sour grapes.
  12. You have “I’m sorry” tattooed on your arm, and she has “I told you so!” tattooed on the back of her shoulder.
  13. When you go out for dinner, you not only ask for separate checks . . . but separate tables.
  14. You begin to wonder if you can have a soul mate without a soul.
  15. Any room you’re in together needs air conditioning.
  16. You not only rub each other the wrong way, you give each other splinters.
  17. You may be evenly yoked, but you keep spitting out the bit.
  18. ‘Teamwork’ sounds like a type of punishment to you.
  19. You know exactly where you want to hold each other’s funeral – and when.
  20. The only way you can hold your tongue is to pretend it’s the other one’s throat.
  21. You can’t imagine living without him or her – but you’d like to try.
  22. You are right for each other in all the wrong ways.
  23. You’re not a couple, you’re a chain reaction.
  24. You work well with a crosscut saw, because when one pulls the other pushes.
  25. Curiosity takes the place of romance.
  26. The volume of communication rises the longer you are together.
  27. You can forgive the past, but not the future.
  28. You are ready to take your relationship to the next level, and hope that there will be a deep cliff nearby.
  29. You’ve both learned a new language – sarcasm.
  30. You no longer shave every day, and neither does she.
  31. It started as puppy love, then went to the dogs.
  32. Your partner is still your mirror image, but cracked and with the silver lining gone.
  33. You are two minds with but a single thought – mayhem.
  34. You use the word ‘tolerance’ with each other when what you mean is ‘indifference’.
  35. You know you have finally found the right person to be with – yourself.

To learn more about the author of this post, please click here.