Dear Reader:

We here at Writer's Cramp have lost one of our brightest lights. Juris Rasa, one of the strongest supporters of the idea behind this magazine was diagnosed with cancer nearly a year ago and recently succumbed to its effects.

Words are never sufficient and it's especially difficult for those of us who live by words to admit we cannot find enough of them to do justice to those we love and whom we'll suffer without.

Here I am trying to compose an appropriate epitaph, one that says who he is and what he was to so many people, and I just have too many words, but still not enough.

He appeared to be an exception to all the rules, if not an exception, at least an easing of what the rules should allow. He remained larger than definition, broader than description, deeper than surface impression – he is, for those who tried to discover, an example of how life intended – not vicious, not cruel, not greedy or animalistic, but humane and human and humorous. It’s too easy to twist the moustaches of idiots and bombasts, so sometimes he tried instead to trim those moustaches into tolerable dimensions so the idiots could see over them. Even as he chuckled he taught.

My problem is; who can I talk to to get an opinion on how I’m doing with this epitaph so far? He's not there to give me the input I need to clean up my text, to streamline my ideas or to get the point across in the least verbose way. See, my best friend isn’t here to pick up the phone anymore. He’s not here to answer my emails and he’s not here to sit across the table with me and talk for hours over nothing but those things that make us both laugh. My friend is no longer with me and I am lost without him. I’m finding it very hard to continue.

And he’ll be the first to tell me to stop being such a wuss and look around at who he's left behind. There are so many who need his memory as a surrogate for his smiling face, his comforting voice, his sparkling eyes. So . . .

Let's let him speak for himself. Over the years we've communicated through emails and Juris was never one to leave his pen undipped. In each issue we'll include an insight or two from the spiritual realm via JJ's twisted wit.

Here we go . . .

When I get back. When I die, that is, I’m gona sue that Heavenly Placement Agency – "Real Life Adventures". Yes, I read the brochures as did you all, - "Real Life – Suffer the pangs of acne. Suffer the humiliation of rejection. Procreate. Grow old. Be shunted aside, then slip into unloved ignominious decrepitude. – The Adventure of a Lifetime."

Now that part is all fine and good. It’s what we all signed on to.

However, the reason for my lawsuit is that I was assured, albeit, yes, a verbal promise, that this time I would be incarnated into an ‘earth time’ when ‘monkey brain’ was no longer the organizing principle to human activity. Mankind would be spiritually evolved.

Three dates were given me that fit my physical requirements, - 1867, 1944 and 2164. I shoulda picked 2164, but I was assures 1944 was going to be free of ‘monkey brain’.

I hope those of you who might have been likewise misled, will, when we’re all back ‘where all dogs are most assuredly welcome’, join my class action. And remember, time is, if not ductile, certainly malleable.


P.S. A couple of things I’ve learned this time around:

1 – Sally Struthers ate all the food. The food that was supposed to go to the starving kids – she ate it all.

2 – To forefend accusations, don’t, I repeat, you should not take Viagra an hour before accompanying your wife and her best friend, gay friend, downtown to catch the Gay Pride Parade, in the summer wearing only a light cotton shirt and loose linen slacks.

Yes, Rumsfeld should be allowed to amble without a history book under his arm. Scary, but yes he should be allowed to walk. Not talk; walk.

GW though. I don't think there's a bungee cord taught or reflexive enough, to swoosh him back out of idiocy's embrace. He's constantly surrounded by handlers who make sure he functions to a degree. The one time he was left alone he choked on a pretzel, banged his head, and passed out.

Yeah... right.

JJ, waiting for the back-swoosh of the idiot.

Nyquill Shmyquill. For a really good buzz strip down to a torn T-shirt and mischievous underwear and heft a 40oz. bottle of rye. With the elbow at the 2:00 o'clock position let the amber liquid just slosh down the gullet, stopping only when spillage exceeds consumption.
Lap lap. Smack smack.

It also makes for an exceedingly freakish sight for the Jehovah's witnesses that have been pounding at my front door.


Do you never whisper into the night? Are all your thoughts so safe-vouched? Is your rail against all so couched?

WELL BEEMER, you've just won a NEW LUXURY SEDAN.

(My people talk to your people etc,)


I consider myself 'spiritual'. I believe in a God, but do not believe the 'trappings and chants and rituals' are necessary to find kinship.
According to Jane, a 'born again', I should fry for merely sniffing at a rye cap, though she'll not say that since I keep pulling thorns out of her paw.

Is Orthodox religion missing the boat by being so recalcitrant?

JJ, baa baa

In six days we could have the Coliseum up and running with Christians thrown to lions.
In five Salem could fire up to toast some witches.
In four, send the brats in on all fours to work the coal mines.
In three, no, take a breath and muse on the trinity.
In two, still receding? Then blow up something really explody.
One day....


It is with solemn determination that I attempt to drag the more reluctant of youse into the fray of humor.

Bubbles, as Letterman's sidekick Paul, who's Canadian by the way would tell - it's humour, not humor. The American way of sensing that sound could be likened to a Humvee with a raccoon stuck in the drive-train. HmmmRrrr.

That is why their ears do not necessarily perk. One way around would be to send emails in HTML with laugh tracks.\I don't know. How can we get them to laugh?

I know. Monty Python were Americans. Charlie Chaplin was American. Jim Carrey is American.

I can sense a slight crinkling around the eyes. Now let's get them with those phony lottery winnings and credit rebuilding scams.


Ahem, It doesn't have to have a beginning, nor a middle, nor an end, to require fewer commas nor need better grammar.

That black irritating thing floating behind your eye that irks you so, is actually called a floater and not, "That goddamn bastard trying to steal my ideas."

Only a Texan will play Russian Roulette with an automatic. Unless his friend from New Mexico is driving the pickup. Then you'll need a six-pack to convince them to use two pistols.

Using Viagra in any situation takes as much as forty dollars and no brains.

Taking Viagra when you're supposed to will cost an extra hundred for the woman and twenty for her Chihuahua. If you wear the loose linen slacks you may escape the attention of her manager, the woman's not the Chihuahua's.

But heaven forbid you wear the white Levi's. Oy.

An Arab a Rabbi and a Mullah were sitting down to a big breakfast of sausages, bacon and ham, with a side of scrambled eggs and flapjacks and oatmeal and whole wheat toast at Denny's. After the waitress laid down their food and walked away they noticed at least fifty redneck pimple faced hardcases grumbling and staring at them over cups of black coffee. The Arab looked over at the Rabbi and asked,

"You gonna eat that?"

The Rabbi looked down at his plate and answered, "No. Nu, you wanna . . .?"

The Mullah interjected, "Wait till we're all finished and then we'll make a move."



They ate in silence with their heads bowed low over their plates. When the last of the maple syrup was sopped up by the last forkful of flapjack on every plate, the Arab whispered to the Mullah and the Rabbi.

"Leave a good tip."

The three rose and stood away from the table, and as one, pointed down at a plate in the center, heaped with succulent bacon. They bowed at the rednecks and shuffled out making humanah humanah humanah noises like they'd learned from Jackie Gleason tapes they were forced to study during their indoctrination and backed out into the parking lot. When they saw that they'd made it that far to freedom they high fived one another and streaked to the Honda SUV.

Inside Denny's, first one, then another, of the rednecks took tentative steps toward the plate of sweet, glistening bacon left on the Semite's table. Then as one, they pounced and scoffed it all in a nonce.

On the road to Damascus the Mullah remarked to the Arab,

"I'da ate it, but . . . "

"Yeah, me too," Said the Arab.

"But if they can't get the bacon crisp, why even try," laughed the Rabbi?

Coming next month, Porkey's Six. "If you can't say nothing nice, say what you learnt."