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Archive for the ‘Comedy writing’ Category

My Profile of Comedian Greg Behrendt

In Comedy writing, Journalism on June 5, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Greg Behrendt

Greg Behrendt ’91, a comedian and writer probably best known for his relationship-heavy standup act and his book, He’s Just Not That Into You, describes his coming unto comedy as “a really long, slow car crash.”

When he arrived at the UO, it was to study business. He joined the rugby team and he joined a frat. And then he got kicked out of the frat. He broke his hand and forsook rugby. And then he kicked business. For theater. “I thought it would be easier!” he confesses.

Read the rest in Oregon Quarterly online.

The Skookumchuck Police Blotter: Sunday, January 16

In Comedy writing on January 23, 2005 at 4:43 am

The complete Police Activity Reports for the town of Skookumchuck, Washington, for the week of Monday, January 10 through Sunday, January 16, 2005, as published in the pages of the Skookumchuck Weekly Flood Warden by Staff Reporter / Editor-in-Chief Merle Hotchkiss.


At six in the morning, Jimmy Phillips, who had just opened his donut shop on Orange Park Road and Main Street, saw a man breaking into his Dodge Ram, which he had parked out back. Phillips and a patron, Leslie White of the South County, intervened, whacking the man mercilessly until he dropped over in a heap. Officers Dale Dell and Dell Dahlman ascertained that the man was an employee of Nisqually’s A-Number-1 Vehicle Repossession Service which was acting on behalf of the North Dakota bank that held the title on the car. Phillips and Small were charged with assault and released on their own recognizance. Phillips blamed his ex-wife, Cissy Phillips nee Kreiser, of Bucephalus.

Monday afternoon a couple returned to their home in the 100 block of Ron Street from a business trip to Seattle to find graffiti scrawled on their back fence, which faces the busy Oak Road. The graffiti said, “F*ck everybody in the govemint excep Jerry up to fish lake and fuck all the minorties too excep billy at Taste of oogadugo.” Captain Ron Icenogle said members of the Skookumchuck Branch of the American Nazi Party were being questioned. Tim Bourgeois of the Nazi Party refused to comment except to say, “That Taste of Ougadougou, that’s good eatin’.”


Joe Rembrandt of the Ocean Globe Camp Meeting Association called police Tuesday, midday, to complain that the association’s new meeting hall leased from the Moose Lodge in the old Liebes Building at 5th and Taylor streets looked like a scene out of the movie “Ben.” When Rembrant and fellow association members Lee McQuiddy and Glenda Mahpsuhong arrived and began rearranging the stacks of chairs and old bureaus, a steady stream of Norwegian wharf rats began to pour from holes in the wainscoting, effecting the hurried dispatch of all three on to what Mahpsuhong described as a “gorgeous mid-19th century highboy.” From there Rembrant, a real estate appraiser, called the police on his cellular phone. Officers Dale Dell and Dell Dahlman beat off the rats with a broom and called the Health Department, which closed down the Moose Lodge and closed up the Liebes Building until measures had been taken to deal with the situation.

Members of the Teeny Tiny Theater also had to call for rescue Tuesday afternoon when they found themselves locked inside the theater next to City Hall at Third and Johnson. The company members were in dress rehearsal for next week’s opening of the light opera, “Wrong Way Feldmanesque,” described as “if Fellini had written an opera based on the Gilligan’s Island TV show.”


Gloria Alvarez and Hudson Sarnhole of the Phukon Porn Thai Restaurant on 3rd Street called police around closing time to report unruly behavior on the part of two of their clients, Tim Bourgeois of the Skookumchuck Nazi Party and Alden Garcia of the Skoomuchuck Socialist Revolutionary Cell. They had gotten into a shouting and name-calling match over the alleged presence of UN-sponsored Chinese shock-troops in the Burglar’s Crook area of the South County. “Hell, I always eat at Phukon Porn on Tuesdays,” complained Bourgeois. “It’s their massaman special.”

Officers Anne Nagle and Stanton How responded to a wild animal call in the 600 block of Daisy Lane off Orange Park Road late Wednesday night. Andrea Potsdam-Bonetti called to report a bat loose in her pottery studio. Nagle and How were able to effect the escape of the bat through the discharge of their weapons into the plywood walls of the studio near the roof. How then ran home to fetch his circular saw and the two replaced the wall’s damaged panel.


Officers Dale Dell and Dell Dahlman responded to a call by Rose Chasuble of Rose’s Antiques at 3rd and Tyler streets. Chasuble had called to complain that a local homeless man, Terry Captain, whose can- and bottle-filled shopping cart is a familiar site to downtown employees and shoppers at the Skookumchuck Downtown Pedestrian Mall, refused to leaver her shop. He had attempted to use his scrip to buy a chafing dish. Scrip, or “bum bucks” as it is sometimes uncharitably called, is part of a Jaycee’s program to provide the indigent with a means to purchase non-food necessities, like shampoo and laundry detergent at local participating retailers. When Chasuble refused to honor the scrip for the purchase, Captain became agitated. “I just had to have that chafing dish,” Captain said later, in reference to the 18th century American silver antique. “It is simply exquisite.”

Later that afternoon, Ralph “Moose” Small was chatting with Nally’s deliveryman Mike Okuzuna next to his delivery stepvan in front of Reznor’s Super at the top of the Plain Street grade. Small, whose name is ironical for the six-foot five-inch, 285-pound timber inspector, leaned against the back of the van as Okuzuna was inside, arranging boxes. The emergency brake, which was on only slightly, gave way and the van, which had been left in neutral, began to roll. Officer Anne Nagle found the van some minutes later on the other side of town, past the I-5 onramp with a very shaken and disoriented Ozukuna inside. The van has sailed through two stoplights and one stop sign before coming to rest in a patch of blackberry bushes. No one was hurt.


Officer Ramses Morgan pulled over a speeding, swerving Cadillac Friday night. The driver, none other than longtime Skookumchuck mayor Bolbo Wincas. He said he was returning from a political meeting at the Grass Hut Gentleman’s Club in New Chilliwack. Traveling with the mayor was his aide, Savoy Peppers.


Acclaimed mystery writer and longtime local resident Proberta Gerber was accosted by a zealous fan at her home on Snell Court Saturday evening. Like a scene out of one of her own Rabbi Johnson mysteries – “S is for Shut Up Or I’ll Kill You” or “Hands in the Air and Nobody Gets Hurt” – Gerber jumped out of her kitchen window and sprinted across Pat Jorgensen’s cow pasture, trailed by the fan, later identified as Petrus Iliescu of Onalaska. She ran into the Holladay Inn on Orange Park Road through a side entrance and straight into the arms of renowned crooner and longtime local resident Tony del Plano, whose swing act has lit up local nightlife since 1975. The singer, pianist and heppest cat to ever come out of Skookumchuck and Klipchak counties and erstwhile session partner of Doc Severinsen, leapt into action. Del Plano lit into Vader, knocking him down. He was taken into custody by Officers Lubers and Aldin.

Later Saturday night, Officers Leslie Eisenberg and Ramses Morgan responded to the newly installed silent alarm that Lenny Ma put in at the Burger Hole on Market near Plane street. It was a false alarm.


Chip Stone was cited Sunday afternoon by Officer Mo Aldin for littering and driving with an uncovered load. Chicken feathers were flying out and blood spattering the roadway from Stone’s pick up as he drove down Fish Hatchery Road. He was also instructed to put the two live chickens he was carrying in his cab into the bed and tie them up.

The Skookumchuck Police Blotter: Sunday, January 8, 2005

In Comedy writing on January 9, 2005 at 3:53 am

The complete Police Activity Reports for the town of Skookumchuck, Washington, for the week of Monday, January 3 through Sunday, January 8, 2005, as published in the pages of the Skookumchuck Weekly Flood Warden by Staff Reporter / Editor-in-Chief Merle Hotchkiss.


Cleo Van Iderstine of Cleo’s In-Home Beauty Salon reported two of her roosters had been stolen from the chicken house out back of her home / salon in the 600 block of Fish Hatchery Road late Monday night. Van Iderstine told officers Anne Nagle and Stanton How the two roosters were a Rhode Island Red named Greg who took best-of-show in last August’s Poultry Show at the Skookumchuck County Fair and a Rock rooster named Mr. Rooster.


Police responded to reports of suspicious noises coming from a room at the Don’t Mind If I Dew Drop Inn Motel and Coffee Shop on Hazel Court off of County Road 9 in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Described as a boing-boing, tock-tock-tock type sound, responding officers Nagle and How could find no reason for the reported sounds, which did not repeat while they were there.

Sgt. P.P. Parenti and Officers Dale Dell and Dell Dahlman were called to the Stump Tavern on Orange Park Road at around noon Tuesday. A patron, Ralph “Moose” Small had left the tavern drunk with an old couch in the back of his pick-up. Stump proprietor Lev Green said that by the time Small had circled around the large gravel parking lot beside the tavern the couch he was carrying had somehow caught on fire. Green said Small seemed oblivious to the fire. The two officers hit the lights and went after Small while Sgt. Parenti radioed other officers and other area law-enforcement agencies. Small was reported just north of Kelso heading south on I-5, couch still blazing, when police lost track of him.

Friday Lamott, and elderly lady who lives in the 800 block of Mosswood Street, reported Tuesday afternoon that her neighbor keeps moving her stone rabbit figure from her lawn and placing it on her own lawn beside a stone dog. The neighbor, Sissy Zylstra, also an elderly lady, refused to say why she was doing this, if in fact she was. Neither lady pressed charges and both said they didn’t know where the stone dog came from nor why young ladies would want to run around with their asses all hanging out. They indicated Officer Dell Dahlman, who was a man and clad in regulation Skookumchuck Police Department uniform, including pants.


Ramona McCoy called police Wednesday evening after arriving home to find her husband, Archie, missing. All of Archie’s cologne and aftershave bottles, including his trademark scent, Old Spice, were out of the cabinets and empty and his pistol was missing. Officer Stan Halberstan later found McCoy in a cul-de-sac off Templeton where he was shooting out the streetlights. Halberstan disarmed him and transported him to the Skookumchuck County Hospital for evaluation.

Lester Gellert, owner of the Notes From Underground bookstore on Raffel, called police Wednesday night to report a bomb. Officers Alvin Borman and Stan Halberstan responded to the call from Gellert’s home at the Oakpark Condominiums at Oak and Park. A package made to look like an explosive device had been placed under the lid of Gellert’s barbeque located on his balcony. Police had no leads but Gellert said he suspected the Skookumchuck Branch of the American Nazi Party was angry at him for letting the Skookumchuck Socialist Rovolutionary Cell hold its meetings in his bookstore after closing time. Both Tim Bourgeois of the Nazi Party and Alden Garcia of the Revolutionary Cell denied involvement.


In the early morning hours neighbors in the 2400 block of Treacle Avenue reported a vehicle horn had been honking without cessation for a significant length of time. Officers Anne Nagle and Stanton How found Benjamin “Ben” Benben-Busvan III, a financial adviser from Olympia, passed out at the wheel of his Lexus, head pressed against the horn.

Night Sergeant Bette Thin responded to a report by several homeless campers who lived in the bushes by the eastbound Amtrack rails that one of their compatriots, nicknamed “Skillet,” had been “hit in the hand by aliens from outer space” and had run screaming up the connector toward New Chilliwack. The vagrant in question was not found but police in New Chilliwack were notified.


Longtime Skookumchuck mayor Bolbo Wincas was cited for driving under the influence of alcohol at the corner of Ash and County Road 9 late Friday night by Officer Ramses Morgan after leaving a political meeting at the English Garden Gentleman’s Club at Oak and Orange Park Road.


Pete Cornejo of Pete’s Ice Warehouse on Howard Boulevard called police Saturday midday when he discovered two homeless men, later identified as Alphonse Ghilotti and Timmy J. Jimmy, trying to build an igloo with blocks stolen from an unattended refrigerator truck parked out back. The two men were treated for hypothermia at the Skookumchuck County Hospital and later released when Cornejo decided against pressing charges. “I thought igloos was supposed to be warm,” said Jimmy.

Saturday night found Officers Veronica Lubers and Mo Aldin pulling Leland Stevens and Jill Takahara ouf of Stinging Nettle Creek after Takahara’s Doge Dart Demon hit the rail at the Plain Street offramp from I-5 and dropped nose-first into the watercourse, full to the brink from recent rains.


Officer Tsagadesh Haileselassie was called to the 800 block of Mosswood Sunday morning. She found two elderly women, Friday Lamott and Sissy Zylstra, exchanging punches in Lamott’s yard. She separated them and gave them a good talking to.