The Season 4 premier of The Mystery Hour is next Friday, the 14th, not tomorrow night. Do not show up tomorrow night.Mystery Hour Oct 13 011

I got my hair cut this morning by my wife and while she was at it she took the stitches out of my forehead from my basketball injury. Now we’ll have to wait to see if the scab becomes a scar. I sure hope not. I like getting scars generally, just not facial scars.

Hey! Have you had the chance to bid on the prize of becoming a guest on the next Mystery Hour? It’s on Ebay, and the bidding is getting hot, hot like chilled applesauce. It’s above six dollars now! The bidding ends on Monday night, so you only have a few days.

Bid right here.

For the last prompt I asked: What is a memory you have from 1996?

I’ll use Allan’s answer:


“1996 was the beginning of my golden era of jerkness. but my best memory of ole ‘96 was the ultimate make a padded home for an egg and throw it off a large building. my design was flawless, using suspension to prevent the egg from even touching the ground. . .and it failed miserably.”


Allan, there’s some sort of metaphor for life in their somewhere. Maybe one about how we’re all eggs and we need to surround ourselves with good people to provide padding for us when we fall. Although, then people are both eggs and padding, so the metaphor doesn’t hold up. Maybe, even when we lay the best plans, sometimes they fall off a building. No, that’s not it. Maybe, we’re all born to fail, it’s just a matter of how you quickly you clean the yoke up off the sidewalk, to hide the failure before someone else sees it and realizes you spent a long time working on something that failed, and yell at you, “Hey Jeff, you’re a big idiot and you haven’t grown into the size of your ears yet!” Or something like that.

I hated building stuff like that for school projects. I blame my dad. I didn’t grow up with my dad taking me aside and teaching me how to fix things and build things. He would never say things like, “Hey, son, hand me that socket wrench,” or “Hey son, you wanna help old Dad build a birdhouse this Saturday?” or “Hey, son, you look tan.” My dad couldn’t build something to save his life.

Here is a list of the things my dad has built in my lifetime:


Yeah, short, huh?

In sixth grade science class we had to build bridges with toothpicks and then we had a contest to see which could hold the most weight. In sixth grade science I had Mr. Yoder, who had one fake arm. It always hung at his side with his elbow bent about 90 degrees. A fake arm is great fodder for sixth grade gossip. There were rumors that he would take his arm off and beat bad students with it. There were rumors his first name was Hobart.

Fo my toothpick bridge I went home and got to work. I figured the key was just using as many toothpicks as I could. I glued them right next to each other going lengthwise with another layer going widthwise. Then, I went the extra mile and put another layer going lenghtwise. It was the strongest way to structure it I could think of. The top layer would put pressure on the next layer, but ha, the toothpicks are going the other direction. Then the middle layer would put pressure on the bottom layer, but, ha, the toothpicks are going the other direction. Essentially, it looked like this from a bird’s eye view:


Take that Word Art. I asked my dad, “Hey, Pops, do you think this looks good?” He said, “Son, are you using Elmer’s glue?” I said, “Yeah, dad, I am.” He replied, “Did you know you can let it dry on your hand and when you peel it off it looks like dry skin?” I replied, “Yeah, I’ve done that before, but I’m wondering about the structur…” Dad interrupted, “Ha ha ha, save some for me. Oh man.”

The day of the contest I strode in with confidence bcause my bridge hadn’t broken on my way to school. In the afternoon they started the contest. Mr Yoder positioned two desks near each other with enough space for the bridges with his good arm. The contest started and people’s bridges were cracking left and right. They stupidly did not layer as much as I had. Next up was Matt Furman, with his bridge that was made up of all these triangles that was more shaped like the Golden Gate bridge and less like a packet of spaghetti like mine. He was my main competition. Matt’s held the initial weight and he moved on to the next round. Matt is now an engineer by the way.

It was finally my turn. Hobart made some comment about it. He placed it down with his good arm. Then he placed the weight on my bridge with his good arm. The weight impacted the first layer, but it was buttressed by the second layer, which was butressed by the bottom layer. I could see it all happen. This lasted all of .38 seconds as my bridge crashed to the floor. It lay in a million pieces. I looked at it and knew that I should have added another layer.

Matt was the champion eventually.

Later in art class I put some glue on my fingers, waited for it to dry, and giggled as I peeled it off.

Next prompt: What is the last thing you bought from Wal Mart?

About jeffhoughton

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

2 responses »

  1. allan says:

    this is a proud moment for me. i never thought it could happen, but it has been so long since i have been to walmart that i do not remember my last purchase! i guess it was probably a cheap pay as you go phone. i needed it for business. . .

  2. Shanners says:

    Tis the season – I bought SCHOOL SUPPLIES! And, I tell you – the teachers can be picky! They want 24 crayons, but not RoseArt, they don’t color as good. 24 pencils, but ONLY the plain yellow ones. The cool decorated ones jam up the sharpeners, apparently. Colored pencils – only 12 – 16, NOT the 24 pack. A heavy duty binder – but NOT a Trapper Keeper. Why? I still don’t understand the ban on Trapper Keepers. They were the coolest binders to have when I was in school. The list goes on and on of what to get, and what NOT to get. I hope I passed the test.

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