A Few Good Anagrams

When attempting to come up with anagrams, I’m occasionally rewarded by a eureka moment that makes the otherwise incomparably wasteful procedure worth the effort.  Here are some of the best ones I’ve generated over the years.  If you’re really into anagrams (and not everyone is, understandably), check out the list I assembled on my old blog, http://www.lettuceprey.weebly.com.  I think there are about a thousand of them.

Anyway, I hope you like them.

Poseidon     POISONED

Medusa     AMUSED

constipated     CAN’T DEPOSIT

predators     TEARDROPS

nudity     UNTIDY

discover     DIVORCES

listen     SILENT

reincarnation     AN INCINERATOR

happiest     EPITAPHS

Palestine     PENALTIES

Maher*     HAREM                   *as in Bill

ideals     LADIES

Pentagon     NOTE GAP

violence     NICE LOVE

evangelist     EVIL’S AGENT

depression     PERSON DIES

caricatures     ACCURATE, SIR

women     OWN ME

cretinous     NEUROTICS

wealth     THE LAW

poverty     VERY TOP


Tongue Twisters (R – Z)

Regina regurgitated religiously on Reginald’s refrigerator and roundly registered his revolted reaction, rejoicing and regaling him with her ravenously relished rebellion as Reggie retaliated by ridiculing her rudeness with a ricocheting riposte.

Steven stammered a staccato stampede of silly syllables as he sneezed, sniffled, and saluted his supercilious and superfluous supervisor Simon Sarcophagus, a sinister, sneaky snob who secretly sucked up to spineless, sputtering sycophants.

Tempted to topple the temple with a titanic tide of TNT, Tina tittered tearfully and tore apart a department store instead with tremendous trepidation, taunting a tidal wave of tuna to tear the town in two.

Unable to utter an understatement, Uncle Ulysses ululated unctuously under his unwieldy umbrella at the unfortunate universe and uneasily used a unicycle.

Valerie vivaciously vomited on the vacuous vampire’s vermilion vest as the vexed vermin vehemently averred in vanilla vowels that she’d vitiated the volunteer vulture and vanquished his vitality.

Wondering where Waldo was, Wanda wished the wizard would wipe her weeping wounds with his wobbly wand and walked woefully with Wonder Woman, waving out the window at the widow wandering on the wharf who whispered wispily, “Why will we win, and wherefore worry about the Wichita Wallabies?”

Expecting an excellent example of excrement, Xavier exuded exuberance as he exonerated the exceptional executioner of excessive executives and expectorated expressively on the expectant exporter of exalted expletives.

Yodeling Yakov yearned for a yellow yak to yoke his Yugo to and yipped at the yogurt-yielding youth in the Yosemite yurt.

Zealous Zeke zigzagged on his zebra and zoomed through the zephyr’s zipper into the zinc zenith of the Zimbabwe ziggurat.

(Zorry, but I don’t zmoke zigguratz.)

What To Do In An Emergency

1.  If you’re having a heart attack, make sure to:

A) finish your cigarette.  B)  take a selfie.  C)  eat a cheeseburger.

2.  In the event you cut your hand badly:

A)  take a moment to appreciate what a pretty color crimson is.

B)  run around until you feel woozy.  It’s fun!

C)  remove one of your socks to make a tourniquet.

3.  If you wake up to find the house on fire:

A)  take several long, slow, deep, breaths.  That way you’ll be able to relax.

B)  break out the marshmallows and have a party.

C)  go back to sleep.  You’re probably just having a nightmare.

4.  If somebody sticks a gun in your face:

A)  read him his Miranda rights, then say, “Wait, aren’t you supposed to say these to me?”

B)  Say, “I regret that I have but one life to give for my suburb.”

C)  Look him in the eye and say, “I won’t come visit you in prison.”

5.  If you get hit by a car and the driver is kind enough to stop:

A)  ask, “Why did you do that?”

B)  say, “Thanks–I’ve always wanted to be killed by a Ferrari.”

C)  (if you’re lying on your back) point at the sky and say, “Methinks that cloud looks like a whale.”

6.  If the boat you’re on sinks and you find yourself drowning in the ocean:

A)  ask a fish for directions to the surface.

B)  inhale some seawater to provide yourself with refreshing and revitalizing electrolytes.

C)  find a large piece of plastic trash to hang onto until a Coast Guard cutter appears.

Playing Scrabble

After awhile–

Approximately a lifetime–

You get tired

Of trying to make

Sense of the world

With words.


Discarding their 

Unpardonable power,

You deem them

Impotent, if only

For their relentless

Presence in your mouth,

Ears, and brain–

Even eyes–frankly

Speaking, you get


Sick of them.

They’re like people

In that respect.


Which is why,

If you’re like me,

You like to play

With them instead

Sometimes, throwing

Out syntax

In favor of double letter

And triple word scores,


Ever vexed by exes, zeds,

And Qs, perplexed

By the haphazard

Row of vowels

Staring back at you

From your green plastic

Tray (unless you’re lucky

Enough to have a wooden

Set) like monogrammed

Pats of butter, and then


You grow weary

Of the alphabet’s

Absurdity, of the futility

Of sedentary combat


With a student, friend,

Or spouse.  The board

Grows crowded

With random verbiage

Until the bag of tiles

Is empty, you 

Work with what’s left

Until your patience 

Ends, and you fold

And tilt the board

Into the bag,

Thank your opponent

For a game well-played,

And go surf the internet

In search of words

Strung together with purpose,


A maze of meaning

In which to get lost

For the rest of your 

Life, a blizzard

Of symbols and sounds

To pass the time

Before you lie

Down in a box

In silence, utterly

Devoid of anything

To say, read, or write,

Deprived by the cessation

Of vital functions–

Suddenly profound

Due to your newfound

Ability to shut up



When You Piss Upon a Car

Life is beautiful–just not my life.

Peter, John, and James dragged Jesus through the sand and laid him out in the afternoon sun until his skin was a nice, shiny grey.

When I woke up this morning I thought, “Tomorrow is another day.”

All I want for Christmas is the death of Santa Claus.

I won a new car on a game show and drove it straight to a TV commercial for an oil company.

I’d like to see a cockfight between Colonel Sanders and Frank Purdue.

“If you want to make an omelette, you’ve got to break some legs.”  Frank Sinatra

My ashtray is your ashtray–or vice versa.

Looking at musty old high school yearbook photos makes me sneeze, bringing back memories of adolescent hay fever.

If Beethoven were alive today and heard K-pop, he’d kill himself.

How many roads must a man walk down before he gets hit by a car?

She was one in a million girls just like her.

I can play a few songs on the guitar by ear but I can’t take the bleeding.

Why isn’t “Holy Matrimony” employed as a curse?

People who talk loudly to their kids in childlike voices on city buses should be forced to sit on the roof until they quiet down.

Have you ever noticed how when Bob Dylan says the name “Mary” in the song Just Like a Woman he sounds like Jerry Lewis?

Anyone who spits on the sidewalk should have to kneel down and lick up their own puddle of spittle.  That’ll teach ’em!

Did you know that Hitler used to practice his speeches before a mirror?  He cut himself shaving a lot–on purpose.

I had a dream in which Cary Grant played Rick Blaine in Casablanca (a role made famous by Humphrey Bogart).  The plot diverged from the original version, however, as he dumped Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) in order to drop acid and follow the Grateful Dead around on a silver pony.

The next James Bond film will take place in the Alps; it’s called License to Yodel. 

A bird sped towards my living room window and paused to flick a morsel of worm off the side of his beak before flying away.

My fellow commuters on the subway keep stepping on my toes.  Serves me right for wearing clown shoes.

Dr. Cupid performed open-heart surgery on the patient, apologized for botching the operation, and said, “Right, who’s next?”

Frankenstein’s monster got a job waiting tables at a family restaurant but the manager had to fire him for imposing himself on too many customers out of loneliness and a desperate search for meaning.

My baby loves to be spoon-fed apple sauce, mashed banana chunks, and strained peas.  She’s the only woman for me.

When you hear a knock on the door, don’t hesitate.  Shout out loud and clear:  “OCCUPIED!”


Unbelievable News

What’s the story with Reverend Pat Robertson?  Do you know who he is, the perennial American televangelist who looks like a very tall bat (my condolences, by the way, to the loved ones of the several million bats who died a few weeks ago in the Australian heat wave)?

The same man who once condoned the assassination of the late Venezuelan Hugo Chavez as a sound U.S. foreign policy maneuver, and later blamed Haitians for their own devastating hurricane, saying they’d brought it on themselves by practicing voodoo and inciting God’s wrath, is starting to sound, well, almost–sane.

A year ago he pitched the idea of legalizing marijuana as a way to curtail the problem of U.S. prisons overcrowded with nonviolent “offenders.”  (Maybe he should change his name from Pat to Pot.  Then he could move to Jamaica and convert to Rastafarianism.)

More recently, he’s spoken up against simian creationist Ken Ham’s claim that the earth is only 6,000 years old, saying such transparently false views just make fundamentalist Christians sound like idiots (as if they needed any help).

Could it be that Pat Robertson is–God forbid–actually evolving?

No Banana Peels Necessary

I can barely see through my right eye.  I’ll get to why in a minute.

You know how quickly accidents seem to happen?  I’ve never been in a serious car crash, though I’ve been in a few funny ones.

Even though proverbs are a species of cliche, the reason they’ve stuck around so long is they often happen to be true.  Haste makes waste.  Pride comes before a fall.  You know the drill.  (Something my dentist loves to say.)

When I was a kid and I lost a tooth, my mom told me if I put it under the pillow at night, the Tooth Fairy would come and leave a quarter for me in the night.  As I was a homophobic child, I asked if the Tooth Fairy was a gay guy who wore a suit made of human teeth.  She told me this particular fairy, whose gender evidently no one had as yet ascertained, was not necessarily gay (not that she felt I was precocious enough for her to disabuse me of my homophobia), but was akin to Peter Pan’s friend Tinkerbell.

Having had wet dreams about Tinkerbell (maybe because her name sounded so much like “tinkle”), I was reassured by this explanation.

Sure enough, when I woke up the following morning and lifted the pillow, the tooth had been replaced by a shiny new quarter depicting the profile of George Washington before he became a bridge.

I was so ecstatic about suddenly having some money to put in my piggy bank, I even considered taking one of my dad’s hammers and knocking all of my teeth out so I could make some serious cash.  But I didn’t want to be too greedy–besides, how would I know the Tooth Fairy didn’t have some sort of dental limit?  Otherwise, she’d be buried under mountains of teeth.

After what happened yesterday, I almost managed to lose all my teeth anyway.  Luckily, they’re all still there, even though my jaw still feels tight and slightly unaligned.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in a hurry on my way to work, so I barreled down the escalator in the bowels of the subway station, swinging my arms like an orangutan.  I managed to clip the steel post at the foot of the escalator with the back of my left hand, drawing blood and curses.  It was a superficial cut, however, so I didn’t let it cramp my style too much.  On other occasions I’ve stumbled while rushing up the concrete staircase of a pedestrian overpass and grazed my palms and kneecaps.

The problem with living in Seoul is that once you leave your apartment, you never stop running around like a beheaded fowl.  You literally go crazy as soon as you close your door behind you.  Ask anyone who lives here; they’ll tell you the same.

Compounding matters, my wife always wants me to do things pronto if not sooner.  Sometimes, after I’ve settled into the couch with a comfy book or in preparation for a sedentary nap, she’ll call me from the other room and ask me to get up and look at something she’s found on the internet.  

“Bali!” she’ll say.  (Directly translated, that’s “fast,” although “Get your ass over here!” captures the meaning more succinctly.

If I stand–or sit–my ground, we’ll privately enact World War III, and who has the energy for that?  Wars also tend to be bloody expensive.  So I’ll get up and see what’s so urgent, say, “Oh, that’s very interesting,” then trudge back to the couch to resume reading or vegetating.

Last night as I was riding the subway home from work she called me and asked if I wanted to meet for dinner.  I said sure, told her where I was on the subway line, and we “hung up.”  As a perfunctory gesture to stave off cardiac arrest, I’ve taken to walking up the subway steps, which is a decent work-out, considering the only other exercise I get is walking (all told, I probably average about an hour a day).

When I got to the uppermost floor within the station, I went to use the head.  Jina called me and I told her where I was.  Sometimes she’ll call me three or four times in the space of an hour.  It’s maddening.  Hardly anyone else ever calls me, so you can imagine how excited I am whenever the phone “rings.”

The plan was to meet at home and for her to prepare us dinner.  Since I didn’t want her to get impatient, I decided I’d better hurry.  I chose to run up the escalator steps, passing a woman on my right.  As soon as she moved out of my way, I fell–hard–on my face.  It happened so quickly I couldn’t tell what the blood was doing on the corrugated steel steps.  I felt the impact in my jaw and right eye.  If my mouth had been open, I would have felt a bit like that poor black guy ordered by Edward Norton’s white supremacist to open his mouth against the curb before Norton stomps on his head in the movie American History X.  I staggered back to my feet and rode to the top to get off, greeted by some horrified looks.

A few nice people came up to ask me if I was all right, and I said I was.  I touched my face and found that it was bleeding.  Some blood dripped on my bright blue scarf.  

“Would you like us to take you to the hospital?” one of them inquired.

“No, that’s okay.  I just need to call my wife.”

When I called Jina, she freaked out.  She asked to talk to one of the people who’d stopped to help me.  I handed my phone to the young Korean woman on my right.  They talked for a minute.  The woman handed me the phone back.

“If you’d like, we could get a taxi and take you to a hospital,” said a Korean man who was with the woman.

I said that was okay, that I’d wait for my wife.

A German woman who’d been the first to assist me said she had to go.  I thanked her, and invited the rest of them to leave, saying I’d be all right in the meantime.  I thanked them all profusely for stopping to help me, touched by their kindness.  

I called Jina again and told her I didn’t think I needed to go to the hospital.  She advised me to take a taxi home, instead of taking the bus, but I opted to walk home instead, stopping at the convenience store to buy some eggs and yogurt drink.  (Before that I’d gone to a market, but they didn’t have eggs; the cashier–a middle-aged Korean man–regarded me impassively.)  The woman at the convenience store offered me the same horrified look as the Good Samaritans, blended with concern.  I told her “Kenchanna, yo,” which means “Everything’s cool.”

At home, Jina got upset when she saw me.  I went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror.  I looked grotesque. There was a purple pouch under my right eye, along with some contusions on my nose and cheeks, plus a horizontal gash on the bridge of my nose where the rim of my glasses had bitten it before they got bent.

I remained calm as the injuries didn’t hurt much and let Jina be the one to engage in histrionics.  I also wanted her to know I was going to be fine.  (Initially, I’d been concerned about the impact on my teeth and jawline, but everything seems to be intact.)

After dinner we went to a drug store up the hill and the druggist sold us some pills to reduce the swelling, along with some kind of disinfectant to put on the cuts.  She also recommended putting some ice on it, but I thought she said “some mice,” which I thought an unwise move.  Finally, she gave me a white gauze eyepatch to wear while teaching, but I don’t think I’ll bother.  Looking ugly is a great way to keep the students’ attention.  

Not that I really had to go out of my way to do that.

The moral of the story is:  slow down.  Take your time.  Stop and smell the roses, but preferably without falling on your face in the process.  That way you’d just end up with a broken nose full of thorns, the next best thing to a broken heart.