Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Holiday hiatus space-fillers!

Hey, I'm taking the next two weeks off for the Holidays because unlike previous years, I have a reason to do so. Don't worry about it. It's not really something that anybody needs to care about at this point.

I may pop in and out to plug shows (that's gonna happen, I'm sorry) or something but no regularly scheduled new material 'til after The New Yearsss.

Anyway, here is some holiday stuff (some of which, I post every year and some of which is new... for this site anyway) to keep you occupied until I come back.

And lastly, the beloved ridiculously inconsistent foul-mouthed robot family classic...

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and all around Happy Holidays of every kind to you and all the people you like!

Monday, December 21, 2015

I'm doing the best I can

I'm writing this more for myself than anybody else so please pardon the self-indulgence. Of course, if you get something out of it, that's great. But sometimes, I need to tell myself things with words (and be able to refer to those words later) by writing them out. This is one of those.

Things are just at a generally shitty level of bad right now. At least they seem to be. I don't remember a time when fear and the resultant tension were so prevalent. Maybe that's just a perception, fed by overwhelming waves of negativity foisted on us by the all the various sources of media with which we surround ourselves. Frankly, the fact that more people aren't running around screaming with their eyes bugged out (literally or metaphorically) when so many are, actually gives me hope. But yeah, this current cloud of a nasty mood sure seems to be palpable and pervasive, as invisible-yet-real as humidity.

I refuse to surrender to that.

I'm not perfect but I'm committed to being a force for good. I fight back against all this hatred and mistrust and mendacity with the few, limited resources I have at my disposal.

Granted, that ain't much.

I try to amuse and entertain with what I share here and I do stand-up comedy in front of less than a dozen people sometimes. That's about it, really.
Sometimes, that's discouraging, but it's the best I can offer so I can't afford to let it drag me down. If a couple of people get a chuckle at something they read here, that's fine. If those dozen (or fewer) people put aside their differences, point their chairs toward me and laugh at anything I have to say for a couple of minutes, that's great. It's not much, but it's something. At the risk of coming off like I'm taking myself too seriously, I believe that to be able to make even small, incremental nudges toward making people happy (or happier) is something of a calling and there's a responsibility that comes with it. That's something I sincerely believe and I also see it as an honor and a privilege. My reach may be limited but my scope is vast.

Beyond that, all I can do is preach the value of empathy and pledge to try to be as empathetic as possible myself.

For example, I disagree STRONGLY on most major points with people who want to keep immigrants out of the country. But do I understand why they're fearful and why they might feel a need to take drastic measures to protect themselves? Absolutely! I can totally see where they're coming from! I disagree... again, STRONGLY... with virtually all of their ideas.
But I get it. Honestly, I do.

That's empathy. A willingness to simply try to understand where your opponent is coming from. I honestly believe that the lack of it is our single biggest obstacle right now. Because you simply can't have a meaningful, productive conversation about important matters without it and we have more than enough proof that screaming over each other isn't accomplishing anything at all.

A SIMPLE TEST: If you believe "(Insert the name of group who hold an opinion that opposes yours, like 'conservatives' or 'liberals') are stupid", your empathy game is too weak for you to be of any use to anyone. Work on that and try again.

I don't know, maybe I'm just a dumb guy with unrealistic hopes and some fart jokes. It's all I've got, though. So until I smarten up or something better comes along, I'll be over here doing the best I can.

Friday, December 18, 2015

$ometime$, I enjoy the finer thing$

I know I come off as a working-class "everyman" to whom everyone can relate, but I have my sophisticated side too, a part of me that likes to look down on people for no good reason. Last night, I was craving small portions of food that have to be arranged geometrically on a plate in order to be enjoyed so I ate dinner at a restaurant named after a French-sounding adjective that makes food that looks like this:
It looks like this because THIS IS THEIR ACTUAL FOOD!
It's located in South Tampa so you know it's sophisticated! Everything south of Kennedy Boulevard automatically costs at least $5 more than it does anywhere else. Why? Location! Location! Location! South Tampa is just better than everywhere else. Even the pets are better looking than your prom date. Take this simple test:

Do you live in South Tampa? (Choose one)
  • Yes
  • Inferior
See? Can't argue with test results. 

I started with an $11 soup that's made by two chefs throwing an onion back and forth over a pot of boiling water.

For my entree, I chose the pampered chicken shanks, lightly terrified with a confused demi-glace and a side order of antisemitic trumpet leeks. 

Dessert was a stewed cheesecake brioche muffin, served left-handed. 

I left hungry and unable to make my mortgage payment at the end of the month. It was magnificent!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How the rebel eats healthy(-er-ish)

I had this for lunch the other day: carrots and celery with a little tub of peanut butter to dip into that I found at a convenience store.

All right, maybe not "health food" in the truest sense but certainly healthier than countless other lunch options. It's pretty much the Triple Cheeseburger of things that are Not Triple Cheeseburgers in how spectacularly un-decadently delicious it is. It's a choice I feel good about.

Get off my ass, judgmental red exclamation point! I'm tryin' over here!
Anyway, I ate the carrots first because they're harder work, all dense and crunchy. And then I ate the celery, which seems to be made of crisp strings and water. Each item got the slightest little dab of peanut butter, just enough to taste it. Until the last piece of celery, which got the remainder of the peanut butter in the form of one enormous blorb of it. That last piece was absorbed entirely to the point that I might as well have scooped peanut butter right our of the jar and ate that. Let's just say that if that last part of the "meal" were a movie and that piece of celery were an actor, it wouldn't even merit a mention in the end credits.
I feel like I earned the reward of doing that by using so little peanut butter on all the preceding pieces of carrots and celery. In fact, that was my intent from the start, budgeting the allocation of peanut butter in such a way that I could make a lavish, totally self-indulgent spectacle of the whole thing at the very end.
Because, yeah, I'll eat right and do it for the right reasons but that doesn't mean I have to do limit my enjoyment by doing it the right way.

Monday, December 14, 2015

A binger's remorse

For many of us during the holidays, the general mood of joy is often tinged with a hint of melancholy, because some of those whom we hold most near and dear are unable to be with us.

Who am I missing right now?

I'd definitely have to say it's Jessica Jones. Because I watched all 13 episodes in about a week.

I'm such a fool.
Come back, Jessica, come back.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions on a Friday about Saturday

Tomorrow night, come see the hilarious J.B. Ball make fresh LOLZ just for you at Side Splitters!

 J.B. Ball LIVE!
with your host, Clark Brooks
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618 
(813) 960-1197
Let's go to the FAQ!
Q: What time is the show?
A: 6:00 PM

Q: How much is this going to set me back?
A: You can see the show for as little as $5 when you buy your tickets RIGHT HERE and use "ball" as a promo code.

Q: What's the regular, non-discounted price?
A: I don't know and who cares? Why would you pay full price when you can see the show for as little as $5 by getting your tickets RIGHT HERE, using "ball" as a promo code?

Q: Is J.B. Ball funny?
A: Heck yeah! He's an award winner!

Q: Who else is going to be there?
A: I believe Mr. Jared Waters will be the feature act. And yes, he is also very funny.

Q: I didn't ask you that.
A: Consider it a bonus answer.

Q: Wait, why are you plugging this?
A: Because I will also be there, hosting the event!

"Why did the fart cross the fart? Fart!"
Q: Hosting? What does that mean?
A: It means when the lights go down, I'll come up on stage, say hello, make some announcements, tell a few jokes and then introduce the comics that are performing.

Q: So the comics don't come up until you say so?
A: Yeah, pretty much.

Q: So you're actually J.B. Ball's boss?
A: Yes. Unless J.B. reads this or somebody tells him about it, in which case, definitely not.

Q: Will I get an opportunity to meet J.B. Ball? Maybe say hello and take a picture?
A: I don't see why not. He's a nice guy. Very friendly.

Q: Will I be able to follow him home afterward?
A: Ummm...

Q: Sit in my car outside of his house, in the dark?
A: I don't think...

Q: Wait a few hours, break in quietly and watch him while he sleeps?
A: I'm really uncomfortable with this current line of questioning but I'll go ahead and say no.

Q: What about you? Can I do all that with you?
A: Totally. Any lady who ever wants to do that is welcome.

Q: I might be a dude.
A: In that case... ah, who cares. Sure.

J.B. Ball LIVE!
with your host, Clark Brooks
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618 
(813) 960-1197

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Go Fund Myself!

Hi everyone. I got a flu shot today. I was very brave and didn't pass out and only cried a little. But I found out (after the fact!!) that my chances of acquiring super powers of any kind are remotely slight. Sure, I probably just minimized my chances of getting sick and of spreading flu germs around to other people but what's in that for me? My shoulder is a little sore now and I want some chicken wings! WHAT ABOUT THAT?!?

In light of this not being something that has gone 100% my way, and in looking at some of the other GoFundMe campaigns that exist for that very reason, I think I'm entitled to your money. Please take into account the following factors:
  • Some of my relatives have died over the years. That's sad.
  • I don't have as much money as I want.
  • Everything does not always go the way I want.
  • That shot hurt for a second.
  • My shoulder is STILL a little bit SORE now, almost 45 minutes later!
  • Once, I wanted something and I couldn't even have it! Why? Money.
  • The doctor said I may have to wear a BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandage for "a little while". 
  • You have some money. I know it.
  • Gimme.
Pretty compelling, right?
So do this. Listen, maybe I won't raise $5,000,000 but I really want some chicken wings. If I raised $20, I could get them AND some curly fries! 

Monday, December 07, 2015

Baby, it's colder inside than it is out here

ME: Umm, What are you doing in there?
HER: Umm, I'm sitting on your desk and looking at you through the window. I would think that would be self-evident.
ME: I think we both know that you aren't supposed to be sitting on my desk.
HER: Yeah, well, maybe if you came inside you could do something about it.
ME: Hey, my house, my rules.
HER: As previously established, you aren't currently in the house, so in absentia, you have, in effect, vacated your authority to enforce these "rules" of yours. Therefor, I see them less as "rules" and more as arbitrary suggestions or guidelines. Regardless of the circumstance, I don't necessarily feel that I need to comply.
ME: I'm coming inside in two seconds. Are you going to get down?
HER: I'm not going to make any promises but I'll see what I can do.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Pluggity plug plug plug

Guess who's hosting a week of shows at Side Splitters in Tampa next month?

This guy!

That means I will be the one who goes up on stage and welcomes you to the club, tells you about the drink specials and comment cards and how to win free tickets to upcoming shows and introducing the comedians who are on hand to perform for you. I'll also be doing some jolly joking of my own. I've hosted a couple of events in the past but never at Side Splitters and never for an extended run, so this is kind of a big deal for me. I'm escited about it.

But first, I'll be doing all that stuff for JB Ball's show at Side Splitters on December 12

Let's sum up, shall we?

Hosting these upcoming shows:

JB Ball
Side Splitters
Saturday, December 12, 6:00 PM

Dale Jones
Side Splitters
Thursday, January 28, 8:30 PM
Friday, January 29, 8:00 PM
Friday January 29, 10:15 PM
Saturday, January 30, 6:00 PM
Saturday, January 30, 8:00 PM
Saturday, January 30, 10:15 PM
Sunday, January 31, 7:00 PM

Side Splitters Comedy Club
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa
(813) 960-1197

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Clarketplace: The various wares of the enterprising Jeff Hickmott

I'll let Jeff say it all...

Hi, my name is Jeff Hickmott and I am a blogger, podcaster and sometime photographer. Please peruse the following items I have available for your pleasure this holiday season (and every other day of the year).

First I should mention that along with the esteemed Mr. Clark Brooks and Michael Noble, Esq., I co-write a humorous fiction blog entitled The Unbelievables. if you'd like to read about our exploits, head on over to If you read it and find you enjoy it, why not show off your neat sense of reading style by purchasing a T-shirt or two and either wearing them yourself or (and this is the festive holiday type part) giving them as gifts!

There are two styles to try: This is the first design and a true classic. It's a unisex Fruit Of The Loom tee and it's a paltry $18.00.
I have this in purple - Clark
See? - Clark This second design has a different picture on the front, AND (!!) the original on the back! It's also a unisex tee and will set you back only $23.00.

I also pen a blog called The World Of Jeff! and one of the pictures I use as a background is a picture I took when in Brighton, of a spray-painted cassette design on a telephone junction box. I digitally tinkered with the picture till I just had the cassette in white on a purple background.  This design on a tee is available at
and is a mere $13.00.

I host a podcast called The Podcast Of Jeff (great title, eh?) and one of the regular shows I do is called Into The Unknown. It's a new music showcase and comes out three to four times a month. You can listen to it at

You can also hear archived episodes at

You can also buy official Into The Unknown tees at

These are also a meagre $13.00.

Some of my photos are available on RedBubble as tees, pillows, mugs, etc... Find them at

I hope you like these items and have a happy and healthy holiday season. Kooshti Sante!
01580763756 Home
07506899337 Mob

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Somebody in Georgia needs a hug. Or a hobby.

A new sign posted by a Georgia sheriff declares the county he works for “politically incorrect” and asks any people offended by it to leave.
Underneath the 'Welcome to Harris County Georgia' sign, Sheriff Mike Jolley added another sign that reads: 'WARNING: Harris County is politically incorrect. We say: Merry Christmas, God Bless America, and in God We Trust. We salute our troops and our flag. If this offends you… LEAVE!'
Jolley told local station WRBL that he paid for the sign on his own because he feels like not enough people are speaking out.
"I spent 20 years in the army to give everyone the right not to agree with it, and voice their opinion if they’re not and that’s fine. But after being the sheriff of Harris County for 23 years, I believe that the vast majority of my citizens here in Harris County agree with what’s on that sign," Jolley told WRBL. -

I'll go ahead and guarantee that the ratio of people who pass through Harris County, Georgia, that might be offended by any of those things to people who pass through Harris County, Georgia, trying to find the bridge where Merle and Daryl saved that family in season 3 of "The Walking Dead" is about 1:300. But still, here are more signs that the apparently attention-starved Sheriff Jolley can buy with his own money because not enough people are talking about the things that virtually no one is offended by...

"Not only do we say Merry Christmas, God Bless America, and in God We Trust while we salute our troops and our flag, we also like chocolate chip cookies, golden retriever puppies and the NFL. You got a problem with any of those things? And also blowjobs. If you don't like that stuff THEN GET OUT!" 
 "You know what else we like? Music. That's right, if you don't like music for singing or dancing or just listening to, you'd best keep on moving!"
"Also, movies with compelling plots and likable characters! If that offends you, then we don't want your kind here!"
"Okay, they don't have to be likable but you should at least be able to identify with them on some level as they try to resolve whatever conflict is at the center of the story. That's the kind of place Harris County is, mister! And we don't apologize for it!"
"You know how when you take the foil off a container of pudding (or yogurt, if you're so inclined) and you lick that before you start eating what's in the actual container? I, Sheriff Mike Jolley, will fight TO THE DEATH anyone who tries to keep us from doing that in Harris County!"
"Proud of my record of not a single citizen of Harris County having been killed by dragons since I was elected! Dragons...and vampires...LEAVE!"