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Rod in action at The Riverton Rendezvous, July 2001. 
Photograph courtesy Jay Hagan.

A Thought for Today

Big is in the eyes of the beholder.


Because all of can use a smile or two, Pass It Along comes a day early this week.


Ralph Jones is back from the summer trail where he witnessed a rather short hunting trip.


A couple of good-ol'-boys are hunting in the woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn't seem to be breathing, his eyes are rolled back in his head.

The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls 911. He gasps to the operator, "My friend is dead! What can I do?"

The operator, in a calm soothing voice says, "Just take it easy. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead."

There is a silence, then a shot is heard......

The guy's voice comes back on the line. He says, "OK, now what?"


Wes Fish is a born teacher. Here he explains the world’s political philosophies with his only visual aid being . . .


You have two cows. You keep one and give one to your neighbor.

You have two cows. The government takes them both and provides you with milk.

You have two cows. The government takes them and sells you the milk.

You have two cows. The government takes them both, shoots one, milks the other, pays you for the milk, and then pours it down the drain.

You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

You have two cows. You sell one, force the other to produce the milk of four cows and then act surprised when it drops dead.

You have two cows. The government taxes you to the point that you must sell them both in order to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow which was a gift from your


Ellen is stuck in the dog days of summer.


Three handsome male dogs are walking down the street when they see a beautiful, enticing, female Poodle. The three male dogs fall all over themselves in an effort to be the one to reach
her first, but end up arriving in front of her at the same time.

The males are speechless before her beauty, slobbering on themselves and hoping for just a glance from her in return. Aware of her charms and her obvious effect on the three suitors, she decides to be kind and tells them, "The first one who can use the words "liver" and "cheese" together in an imaginative, intelligent sentence can go out with me."

The sturdy, muscular black Lab jumps up quickly and woofs "I love liver and cheese."

"Oh, how childish," replies the Poodle. "That shows no imagination or intelligence whatsoever."

She turns to the tall, shiny Golden Retriever and asks "How well can you do?"

"Um. I HATE liver and cheese," blurts the Golden Retriever.

"My, my," say’s the Poodle. "I guess it's hopeless. That's just as dumb as the Lab's retort."

She then turns to the last of the three dogs and says, "How about you, little guy?"

The last of the trio, tiny in stature but big in fame and finesse, is
The Taco Bell Chihuahua. He gives her a smile, a sly wink, turns to the Golden Retriever and the Lab and says,

"Liver alone. Cheese mine."


This one comes from Edward and although he doesn’t wear beads or drop earrings he’s steeped in Indian lore.


The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. In modern education and government, however, a whole range of far more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

1. Buying a stronger whip.

2. Changing Riders.

3. Threatening the horse with termination.

4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.

5. Arranging to visit other countries to see how others ride dead horses.

6. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.

7. Reclassifying the dead horse as "living impaired".

8. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

9. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the speed.

10. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse's performance.

11. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.

12. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is, less costly, carries lower overhead, and therefore, contributes substantially horses.

13. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.

14. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.


Coral writes:

“This is a big worry...and we should all work hard to see it does NOT eventuate! Mind you - as a writer it requires NO adjustment on my part whatsoever!”


We have just been informed that the European Commission has announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and accepted a five-year phase in plan that would be known as 'EuroEnglish'

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will
Make the sivel servants jump for joy. The hard "c' will be dropped in favour of the "k". This will klear up konfusion and keyboards can have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the second year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with the "f". This will make words like "fotograph" 20% shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptance of the new spelling kan be expected to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will encourage the removal of double letters, which have ben a deterant to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent "e"s in the language is disgraseful, and should go away.

By the forth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During zis fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from words containing "ou" and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of letters.

After ziz fifz yer, ve wil hav a reli sensbl riten styl. Zer vil be no
Mor trubls or difikultis and evirvun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer.

Ze drem vil finali kum tru! And zen ve vil take over ze vorld!


This arrived from Jane and I can only guess that the heat is more intense these days in Northern California than I thought. Whatever. I don’t think this came from a stroke of genius.


A small Alabama Wild Animal Park had acquired a very rare species of Gorilla. Within a few weeks, the female gorilla became very horny, and difficult to handle. Upon examination, the park veterinarian determined the problem. The gorilla was in heat. To make matters worse, there were no male gorillas of the species available.

While reflecting on their problem, the park administrators
Noticed Ed, a redneck part-time intern, responsible for cleaning the animals’ cages. Ed, like many crimson necks, had little sense, but possessed ample ability to satisfy a female of ANY species. So, the park administrators thought they might have a solution.

Ed was approached with a proposition. Would he be willing to have sex with the gorilla for $500? He showed some interest, but said he would have to think the matter over carefully.

The following day, Ed announced that he would accept their offer, but only under three conditions.

"First," he said, "I don't want to have to kiss her. "Secondly,
You must never tell anyone about this." The park administration quickly agreed to these conditions, so they asked what was his third condition.

"Well," said Ed, "you gotta give me another week to come up with the $500.00.


Yet another gem from our resident naturalist, Edward.


One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement, he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the
well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of! the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping-stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up!

Here are a few rules for being happy and staying that way:

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.


Whoops! Sharronann has been in the kitchen again.


One of the matrons of the church was cooking a pot of her
famous beans for the church potluck. Her son, Little Johnny came running through the house, with BB gun in one hand, and a handful of BBs in the other. He of course tripped, and the BBs naturally went right into the pot of beans.

Thinking it over, Little Johnny could think of no reason why
he should risk punishment, so he said nothing. The dinner went well and as usual the beans were one of the favorite dishes.

The next day the church secretary Mary, called Little
Johnny's mother and said, "Jane, your beans were delicious
as usual. What did you put in them this time?"

Jane replied, "Nothing new. Why do you ask?"

"Well," said Mary, "this morning I bent over to feed the cat and shot the canary."


These lovely sentiments come from my old bud Kyletta Miller. She sent quite a long list but I’m rationing them over the month. I must say some of her slogans come across as . . .


The sex was so good that even the neighbors had a cigarette.

I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

Some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them.

I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Don't take life too seriously, you won't get out alive.

You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me.

I got a gun for my wife, best trade I ever made.


Nicky Williams takes home the prize.


These are the 10 winners of the Bulwer-Lytton contest (run by the English Dept of San Jose State University), wherein one writes only the first line of a bad novel:

10) "As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the echo chamber he would never hear the end of it."

9) "Just beyond the Narrows the river widens."

8) "With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned, unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description."

7) "Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along the East wall: 'Andre creep ... Andre creep
... Andre creep.'""

6) "Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was about to give his body and soul to a back-alley sex-change surgeon to become the woman he loved."

5) "Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from eking out a living at a local pet store."

4) "Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often do."

3) "Like an overripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor."

2) "Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know the meaning of the word 'fear,' a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of death - in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies."

1) "The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog's deception, screaming madly, 'You lied!”

See you tomorrow. Sleep warm.

RM 9/5/2001 Previously unpublished

Details of Rod's next appearance can be obtained by following the link below.

"Tap Your Troubles Away" - the music of Jerry Herman

notable birthdays Henry Seidel Canby o Claire Chennault o Jane Curtin o Jeff Foxworthy o Marilyn Gardner o Joseph P. Kennedy o Swoosie Kurtz o Marquise de Lafayette o Mike McCoy o Rosie Perez o Billy Rose o Greg Rusedski o Felix Salten o Evgeny Svetlanov o Jo Anne Worley
Rod's random thoughts My dog like oranges, but he’ll eat apples too. Don’t bother me with your conventions and I’ll not trouble you with mine.

The journey back is always longer than the forward run.

It’s not how great you are but how willing you are to contribute to the greatness in others.


We know the clocks are changing
        but we’ve come prepared.
The three of us have run all day
and all the season too.

You might expect us to be tired.
It’s just that after thumbing beach to beach
we thought perhaps that somewhere in our travels
        going from the sand
                or coming from the water
we might have accidentally come by you.

A loss.
But totaling this summer’s gains
       would not be fair.
And anyway how do you write down secrets
and make them not so secret anymore ?

The three of us
       ( the dogs and me )
are maybe tired after all.

But we still hope to see you
        one more time
coming down the beach.

-from “Seasons in the Sun,” 1967

© 1967, 1980, 1988, 1999, 2001 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan o Coordinated by Melinda Smith
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