I just had a large Coke and a pack of Fruity Mentos. It is physically impossible for me to not eat candy that is set before me. However, ever since I had my braces I can’t handle too much sugar so right now my stomach is trying to combat the fruity goodness invasion. I’m hoping for a truce.jeffblue

Check out a fake news story I did for Springfield’s premier fake news website run by my friend, Chad. www.faircitynews.com. If you don’t live in Springfield, it won’t make any sense.

A lot of good suggestions. Most of the suggestions involved words that, when pronounced incorrectly, make the speaker sound more like a hillbilly. Ultimately, I chose Brian’s suggestion. This is his first suggestion of his I’ve used so I can imagine his excitement.


“Aluminum. If I have to, I’ll just say “tin foil.” No one knows the difference. Except chemists.”


I love the word aluminum. The reason I love it is because of the time I spent studying abroad in Wales in 1999. You may have noticed a great weight lifted from the slacker millstone around America’s neck for that brief time. Wales is connected to England, across the Irish Channel from Ireland, and part of the United Kingdom. I was studying in Swansea, which is the birthplace of the greatest actress of our generation, Catherine Zeta Jones. You may know her as the woman from the T-Mobile commercials and the one who works tirelessly for the charity for the elderly, HMD, Help Michael Douglas.

In Wales they pronounce aluminum AL-E-MEN-YUM. The first time someone said that to me I had no idea what they were talking about. They also pronounce the car company, Hyundai as HI-UN-DIE. Go figure.

My favorite story from my time in Wales comes from when I traveled around after the semester with my friend, Brendan. We had a big plan to go to Paris, Brugge, Munich, Budapest, Venice, Geneva, Nice, back to Paris, to London to Chicago, to Iowa. We traveled on a charter bus from London onto a ferry across the English Channel back on ground to Paris. It was a typical trip on a bus with strangers. You try to figure out the story of everyone else on the bus, you try to fall asleep on the steel wool upholstery and you try to locate that smell. You know the one, it smells like cigarettes, old sausages, and fear.

After getting off the bus there were these two guys standing there. One had dark bushy eyebrows that looked like caterpillars which raised as we went past. Well, he raised one angry caterpillar. We ignored him and got stopped by a guy trying to sell us hotel rooms. All of the sudden the one eyebrow raising guy was in our faces speaking angrily in French. I responded with, “Uh.”

The hotel guy told us, “He is with customs, you are to go with him.”

We got separated into different concrete rooms with different agents. I got the caterpillar refuge guy. He was wearing tight jeans, a brown leather jacket, and an angry disposition. If there had been neighborhood kids around there probably would have been a story about how he killed a cow with his bare hands, yanked the skin off, tanned it, and turned it into a jacket.

He rifled through my things, asking me, “do you have any alcohols or drugs?”

I said, “No.”

After having me take my shoes and socks off and looking through my shoes he said in a strong French accent, “Return your sock!”

I replied, “Ummm, what?”

“Return your sock!”

“What?” I said holding two worn white athletic socks in an empty, save for my strewn about belongings, concrete room.

“Return! Return your sock!”

“Ummm…I don’t know what you’re saying.”

So he grabbed them and turned them inside out. “Ooooooh,” I thought to myself, but decided not to explain to him American vernacular. After being granted permission to exit I sat on a metal bench eating an orange and waited for my friend to be pardoned as well. When he was released we got up to leave. My agent, whose caterpillars had now turned into butterflies and flown away, screamed some more in French.

Apparently, I had left my orange peel on the bench. Or, as they say in French, my peel d’orange on ze bench. He pointed out a trash can and I walked over to throw it away. When I turned around after placing the peel in it’s proper receptacle, he was two inches from my face. I could see the remnants of two little coccoons above his eyes.

With as much French pride, arrogance, and passion he exclaimed to me, “France is not a rubbish bin! You know!”

I slinked away and went on my trip. Luckily, I was not detained long enough to have my trip ruined. The agent and I didn’t become pen pals, but we gained an understanding for each other’s culture. Since then, I have not had the chance to “Return to France! Return! Return to France!

Next prompt: What is a unique mannerism that you have?

About jeffhoughton

I'm a sometimes writer, actor, comedian and an all the time adventurer.

2 responses »

  1. Art Vandelay says:

    I conclude sneezes by performing a backflip and taunting all nearby witnesses. It gets me pumped up for the next sneeze.

  2. Leah says:

    France may not be a rubbish bin, but Canada is. Oh. Too easy.

    As for a unique mannerism: If I hit one part of my body, say my right hand knocks against a table, I get incredibly anxious until I provide a similar sensation to the left side of my body. It is all about keeping it even.

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