Hard Knocks U.

Connie sent me a text this morning stating that she’d stumbled across a list of best humor writers on the internet and that I was rated number sixty-seven. Let’s hope none of those above me are mimes. That would be embarrassing.

I also assume this means “living” humor writers. In which case, I need only track down and systematically eliminate the other sixty-six to improve my rating. C.E. Ayr, if you’re reading this, I’ll be enlisting your services for the next few months. Your retainer is in the mail.

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the queen of our international ring of KAOS is Consuela Siegfried, aptly played by the lovely and talented Bernice Kopell Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness, head over to her blog for instructions. To rent a box in the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.


Recruiters frown when seeing Hard Knocks University on resumes.

They are concerned that the new hire will continue to adhere to the failure-equals-success mantra, and in so doing, rise to the ranks of upper management, thus jeopardizing the careers of those in power.

Furthermore, corporate America loves college athletics. How can a university be taken seriously if it doesn’t have a football team?

This may seem unimportant to those who believe academics should be the primary function of a school, but if you’re out on the golf course with the CEO, it’s a BIG DEAL, especially on college game day.

57 Comments on “Hard Knocks U.

  1. not too bad in my estimation if you can consider abraham lincoln, walt disney, and vincent van gogh as honorary graduates. 🙂


    • I’m almost 62 and about to enter the junior class. The freshman studies only took two decades and achieving sophomore requirements another two. It’s one step forward and two steps back.

      Liked by 1 person

    • As the person guilty, I mean responsible, for the photo, Ted, I should perhaps explain that it shows an exalted American academic in his younger, Pre-Mesozoic days. You’re welcome.


    • I recently posted an essay on the intellengence of rocks, Ted. I think it’s in bad taste to keep repeat yourself. Congratulation on catching me on the second point. I did outsource the writing of this week’s post to a blind, deaf mute whom I found panhandling on the corner of College Avenue and West Dickson St. At ten cents a word, you get what you pay for.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story, Russell . Hmm a healthy dose of (knowledge of) games + high connections is probably the mantra of success in our today .
    Congratulations on the ranking!🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Moon. Those of us who’ve been suffered through the Hard Knocks curriculum don’t get the respect we deserve from the corporate world. It’s a tough school.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I had no idea what Hard Knocks University was until I googled it a few minutes back. 🙂Thanks , Russell.


  3. Dear Sir,
    Thank you for the retainer. Consider me retained until 12.26 today.
    As a Scot who does not play golf (we invented it, we don’t have to like it), let me just say this.
    Too much academia can melt your braiii…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a short timeline. We’re going to have to act fast.
      As for golf, chasing a small white ball around a cow pasture seems rather a waste of time to me. Who knows what you might step in while wandering around the fairway (why do they call it that?). All that heavy thinking gives me a headache.


  4. Dear Dash Riprock,

    Sixty-Seven is impressive…unless, of course, it’s out of sixty-eight.

    Yes football is very important in the world of academia. And you can see it every time a professional foo’bawl player is interviewed on television. Meanwhile arts and music are expendable. Who needs ’em? You’ve rocked my morning.


    Bernice Kopell W(T)F

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Bernie,

      According to your cuz, I was rated 67 in a class of 10. CE is going to have his work cut out for him.

      I’m glad our major colleges have their priorities in order. You don’t hear of young people entering the work force singing, dancing, or selling art at $20million a year, do you? So what if they can’t pronounce three syllable words or count to eleven. They can hire people like Kellyanne Conway do those tasks for them.

      It’s plain as mud,
      Dash Riprock


  5. Hm, all this golf talk brings up unpleasant associations. And didn’t I read an article about American football causing early dementia recently? I think I prefer the hard rock school. Fun story, Russel.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Out of 50 humorous writers, you came in at 67? Oh well, think of all the other guys that made it before you.
    It got me nervous in college when the coach asked our QB if he could pass the football and the kid answered, “Duh, well, gee, coach, if I could get my mouth open wide enough to swallow it.”

    On the serious side, I really like this piece. It’s a keeper.

    As to golf, Bob Hope talked about how he and Bing were playing and the wind blew Crosby’s hat into a cow pasteur. He said Bing tried on four of them before he found the right one. “And they all looked good on him.” 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • 67 out of 50 ain’t too bad if you’re grading on the curve, which is what we do at Hard Knocks.

      I’m impressed at your quarterback’s witty reply. He’s probably one of the guys ahead of me on the top 50 list. Please pass his name on to CE.

      As for Bing & Bob, they both spent a lot of time in a golf pasture. Bob would have looked good in a natural green toupee as well.


      • Actually, it was Bing who wore the toupee, but Bob would have been a scream in that.

        The guy who told me that QB joke had me laughing, I still have trouble saying it without laughing.

        As for the curve grading, don’t go in to a class and screw it up. Students will get a complex.

        BTW, I met Bernie Kopell on our morning show. He was very nice, although, I never (and I should have) asked him to do Siegfried. “Starker, vee ahr profezionals. Vee don’ go ‘Goody, goody, goody!’ hee-ah!” Classic.

        Liked by 1 person

      • What a cool story. I’m sure many reading this blog aren’t familiar with Bernie Kopell and his ties with KAOS. Get Smart was one of my favorite TV shows.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. This is truly a fun piece. I got kind of excited about the no sports thing, Wouldn’t it be dandy if some kids went to school to actually learn something instead of playing ball?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe so. I thought it was about learning to party on a large scale. All those monotone lectures and studying makes my head hurt.


  8. That really is the trouble with HKU. No football team. I tried to point out to an employer that no football team hardly equates to poor academics. The guy pointed out that had I got a proper education (from a university with a football team) I would understand. *sigh* It’s hard to beat circular logic. Fun piece! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • It sounds like this piece really hit home with you. The funny thing about higher education at the company where I work is that it doesn’t matter what you majored in. All they care about is that piece of paper. And of course, if your team is ranked in the AP top 25 you get promoted faster.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Haha! Actually, I was just joking around with my comment. I never had any such conversation. I thought your notion about colleges needing to have a football team was pretty funny. I just picked up the ball and ran with it, so to speak. 😉 That AP top 25 is a tenuous thing. My alma mater has been in and out of it many times.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s kind of the way the Razorbacks are. They climb into the ratings just long enough to get the fans hopes up, then snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and come crashing back down.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Congrats on your stat, 67 could be really impressive if… Well, that’s been discussed. 😊
    Speaking of discussion , would you please install a like button on your blog so I can like everybody’s smart remarks…wise comments, I mean.
    And as for Uni, one of our Canadian reporters found a university online where you mail them the fee, they mail you the books and the degree. Study is optional. Shall I send you the name?

    Liked by 2 people

    • After 30 minutes of frustration, and finally some assistance from WordPress–you may now click like on the wisecracks (I mean comments). I had been wanting to do that for a long time. Thanks for giving me a push.

      Don’t worry about the diploma. I work in a print shop and can make as many as I want for whichever school I chose to blasphemy. But thanks for thinking of me. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh good! ‘Cause I got to thinking later that the University maybe changed their name after his article went to press. He had, after all, saved — and published — their e-mails to him assuring him that there was never any testing done. I understand the secretary even said some unladylike words once she realized he was a nosy reporter and not a potential student.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. hehe, back when I was taking “Lay Speaker” training for church, the minister conducting the class asked who played golf. About half raised their hand. To the other half of us, he smiled, and then handed out business cards to the nearest golf training center. I still have the card, still don’t golf… except for put-put.


    • I don’t golf either, but I have considered being a lay speaker. I’ve been attending Toastmasters for almost 2 years and done some public speaking on other occasions. I find those skill sets much handier than golf, especially if you called to give a 30 second elevator speech in an elevator.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m rare. As introverted as I am, naturally. I love public speaking. Goes along with the enjoyment of teaching, I suppose.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I feel for the graduates of the Hard Knocks U. Didn’t they realize they may need sports as a fall back position.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Class reunions won’t be much fun. They won’t be able to sit around and talk about their “glory days” on the football field or gossip about the former homecoming queen who divorced a doctor to marry a garbage man and now lives in a trailer park.


      • Oh makes me think of the “glory day” talks for nerds rehashing their conquests. I think the Hard Knock one would be more interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. They say “you learn from your mistakes and you become wiser”. If that is the case, then I must be the smartest person on earth — for I have got many semesters at the Hard Knocks U.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My problem is I don’t always learn the first time and wind up making the same mistake over and over before the lesson sinks in.


  13. Be interested to look at the college curriculum – what are the classes like in the field? And yes, we must keep those blue collars down – must maintain standards after all. Nice one Russell

    Liked by 1 person

    • It worked for me. I have a double major; Laziness & Procrastination. They should be handing me the keys to the Executive washroom any day now.


  14. Sixty seven of the top fifty writers is impressive. In this technological age, photo-shopping yourself into a football team is a breeze. I suggest framing the picture once you’ve done it.


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Mandie Hines Author

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