A sip of Transgender Tonic.

Down the hatch.

I took my sip of my first dose of Transgender Tonic to begin what I hoped would be a gradual transition to becoming a woman. I had gone over my options and decided that trying this mysterious tonic would be a better option than having the more expensive surgery. I felt like a fool for having chosen such an unproven method for my transgender journey.

I occasionally glanced at myself in the mirror to see if anything changed. Nothing. Maybe this stuff takes a while. Yet I got only one bottle of the stuff. Would this be a one-dose wonder or did I fall for a snake oil scheme? I silently took this as a lesson to do a little more research next time.

Then I glanced at the mirror again and gasped in horror. My nose appeared all distorted and out of shape, as if sculpted by someone new to sculpting. The nose began to sag downwards and suddenly dropped to the floor. In its place was a delicate, feminine nose.

It’s happening.

And right before lunch with my parents.

I glanced at the mirror again and noticed that my formerly blue eyes were now amber. The rest of my face was momentarily distorted before shifting into a more feminine form. I was now beginning to look like a woman.

Knock, knock.

The clock on the wall indicated that it was now time for lunch with my parents and they were now at the door to pick me up. At once I felt myself descending into panic. Sure, I wanted to become woman but what would my parents think? But then I remembered what they told me. I’m the one who knows myself the best and what makes me happy. Well, this was it. Freeing myself and my true identity was what I needed the most to be happy.

Knock, knock.

The knocking was a little louder this time. The worst thing one can do is leave their parents waiting outside when it’s time for lunch. I was nervous about showing my face to my parents but sometimes there’s no choice but to take the plunge. I opened the door and saw my mother.

“Hi, mom,” I greeted, noticing I still had my deep voice.

My mother stood there speechless and with a face of shock. “M-Mike? Is that you?”

“Yeah, it’s me,” I sighed.

“What happened to your face?”

“Mom, I’ve decided to transition into a woman. I know it’s not what you want but…”

“But are you happy?” My mother interrupted.

My face broke into a smile. Apparently that lesson of happiness survived the test of time.

“Yes,” I replied in my new female voice.

“Then that’s all that matters,” my mother said as we embraced. “Come on, let’s go eat. Your father’s starving.”

As I approached the car and noticing my unsuspecting father, I once again became nervous about his reaction, but then again, having won over my mother, I was halfway there to true happiness.

In search of the Mamtaput.

My phone was ringing and I knew who it was before I picked it up.

“Hey Ralph,” I answered.

“Hey Sam,” Ralph greeted. “How are things going down there? Find the, er, what’s that thing called again?”

“Mamptaput,” I replied, “and no, I haven’t found it yet.”

“How much more time do you need? Either document it or come home. I didn’t send you to Jamaica for a free vacation, you know.”

“I am fully aware of that,” I replied. “I think I’ll be headed home soon anyway. From what I’ve gathered so far, the Mamtaput may just be a part of Jamaican legend and may not exist at all.”

“Fine. As soon as you’re packed, see if you can catch the next flight to Fort Myers in Florida. There’s a nearby town called Palmetto Bay that’s got something promising. Have you heard about the legend of the Palm Tree Ape?”

“That’s just another folk tale,” I countered.

“Think so? Some residents there cleared some ground near the woods where they think it lives. The next day they found some size 13 footprints. I think you’ve got a better chance with this one.”

After a moment of pondering I made my decision. “Okay, I’ll go ahead and close the Mamtaput case and start heading to Florida.”

“Good,” Ralph agreed, “Give me a call when you get to Palmetto Bay and we’ll touch base then. I have a list of people who’ll work with you to get the Palm Tree Ape documented.”

“Sounds good,” I smiled. “I’ll talk to you later.”

After I hung up I turned around to see Henry, my host and my sole contact to confirm the existence of the Mamtaput. He had on a face of great concern.

“Are you leaving already?” he gasped.

“I’m afraid so,” I replied. “As far as my research goes, I believe the Mamtaput is only a Jamaican folk legend and does not exist.”

“I’m afraid you’re wrong. The Mamtaput is not an actual creature per se but a mischievous spirit that roams the island at night in search of nonbelievers like you. It will cast you under its spell and take control of your body without it ever being seen.”

“That’s what I read,” I confirmed, “but unfortunately there isn’t any evidence to prove that this is true.”

“Then why are you touching the ceiling?”

After a confused pause, I then realized that I was in fact touching the ceiling without my knowing it. Something, some unseen force, was controlling my arm.

“The Mamtaput,” I whispered.

Henry smiled and pointed at the window where a glowing mist illuminated the dark patio outside. Right away I knew that my trip to Florida would have to wait.

In defence of Space Chase.

I am appalled and disappointed by the response to my web cartoon series Space Chase. I have been accused of plagiarism and attempting to cash in on a certain well-known science fiction franchise on which Space Chase is based.

Yes, the hero is Duke Starswimmer, a young man similar to Luke Skywalker. Yes, his mentor is Elder Wan, inspired by Obi-Wan Kenobi. Yes, the wise teacher is Soga, which bears great resemblance to Yoda. Like Star Wars, Space Chase is an epic story of a battle between rebels and the empire, but under no circumstances am I even trying to rip off the entire Star Wars franchise here.

There are differences in the Space Chase story that sets it far apart from Star Wars. Instead of the Force, the characters practice the Strength that not only moves heavy objects with ease, but it also boosts one’s extrasensory abilities to make them keenly aware of any hidden dangers not normally perceived by normal senses alone.

Also different from Star Wars are the characters. Duke’s parents are both alive throughout the story as is Elder Wan. The sole fatality is Soga, who is apparently killed by an Empirical officer, although he may have executed a last-second maneuver to transport himself to safety. I left that up to the Internet community to decide what really happened to Soga. Instead I get accused of ripping off the Star Wars storyline and its characters.

Never mind that as the story progresses, Duke and his rebels destroy not one but two more battle stations before proceeding to the final battle at Triangle City, the very heart of the Empire. I think it is here that Space Chase truly takes on a life of its own, yet the hate mail I have received seems to indicate otherwise. Yes, Star Wars was an inspiration for Space Chase, but under no circumstances am I even trying to rewrite it. Why go after me as if I’m trying to deface the face of Star Wars?

Why not go after Mel Brooks for daring to make “Spaceballs”? While you’re at it, how about Clint Eastwood for making “Space Bullets”? Or Rob Zombie’s “Space Bowels”? The list goes on and on, yet I’m the worst of them all. Shame on me for cashing in on the Star Wars phenomenon when others can do the same thing and get away with it.

In any case, I have voluntarily removed all 136 episodes of Space Chase from this site and am closing my online store, but not without putting everything on clearance, so if you want a Space Chase T-shirt or some action figures, now’s your chance to get them at insane prices. They’ll be collector’s items some day and maybe then I’ll have the last laugh.

Dark days ahead.

So here we are, one year into the terrifying presidency of Al Bleetworm, 90 years old and the oldest man ever elected. Come to think of it, the only reason he even won the election was because his opponent was many, many times worse. Dan Vilan was constantly accused of fraud and corruption yet constantly played it down despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Sure enough, Vilan’s life of crime finally caught up with him as he now rots away in prison.

President Bleetworm has yet to reveal his so-called “Vision for America” that was to restore our country back to the prosperity everyone is so hungry for. Apparently it involves severing ties with our allies and ensuring our isolation. Some vision. I’m sure I speak for everyone when I ask, does Bleetworm even have eyes?

Just look at him. Constantly squinting with his oversized eyelids and barely looking awake at his press conferences. When standing at the podium in silence, it looks like he’s sleeping. Or dead.

Even more terrifying is Vice President Pal Hefford. He has absolutely no experience in politics yet was chosen as Bleetworm’s running mate when he was spotted working the garbage cans on the street during his garbage truck’s morning run. That’s right, our Vice President is a garbage man. He may not understand the Constitution but he sure knows the location of the nearest garbage dump.

So now we have to turn to the wives for signs of assurance. First Lady Madge Bleetworm may appear cheerful and hospitable but stories have emerged that she spends hours in the kitchen baking pies and cookies for herself and no one else. She even keeps a cleaver nearby to discourage anyone from stealing. That’s not exactly assuring.

Oh, and Second Lady Flowerpot Hefford looks like someone still living in the 1960’s. She is completely out of tune and out of touch. Come to think of it, she acts like we’re still living in the 1960’s while speaking nonstop of flower power and having a nice day. Sure enough, it was her idea to have the walls of the White House lined with smiley face wallpaper and proclaiming Mondays to be “Have a Nice Day Day”. How is that reassuring?

Our country desperately needs competent leadership and assurance that there are brighter days ahead. We have none of that right now. Our so-called President seems intent on making our dark days even darker. We must continue to remain vigilant and strong for the next three years so we can unseat Al Bleetworm and send him back to the nursing home where he belongs.

All in a day’s work.

At my job I work as an order puller and spend most of the day filling online orders. One day I was filling an order for a bucket and some light sensors. There were plenty of buckets in stock but the store was out of light sensors, so the next step was to call the customer to let them know before processing the refund.

When I called the customer I reached their voicemail, and I left a message that went something like this:

I am calling about your online order. We don’t have any light sensors stock, so I can give you a refund. However, your bucket is ready.

I found it very difficult to leave the rest of the message without laughing.

The Aisles of the Forbidden.

Don’t go to aisle 47, sir, don’t go to aisle 47

The customer ventured to aisle 47
Then the lights went out and the silence quick to deaden
Now the customer’s gone but he didn’t go to heaven

Don’t go to aisle 48, sir, don’t go to aisle 48

The customer proceeded to aisle 48
I really tried to stop him, but it was much too late
He wound up as the main course on a giant dinner plate

Don’t go to aisle 49, sir, don’t go to aisle 49

The customer insisted on aisle 49
The next thing that unfolded was anything but fine
He was digitized and then transferred one byte at a time

Don’t go to aisle 50, sir, don’t go to aisle 50

I didn’t even watch as he entered aisle 50
The details were too sketchy and the demise rather iffy
That was when I quit my job and ran out in a jiffy

Donald Trump just nailed it

For five minutes the meeting was unable to proceed due to the room filled with uproarious laughter.

“Oh man, that’s a good one!” gasped online publisher Pill Balmer.

But staff writer Hobert Rarrington remained adamant. “Think of the traffic that headline will bring to Balmer Report. I think it’s going to be the most clicked link on the entire site. Our revenue from the ads will fly through the roof!”

“But here’s the problem, though,” Balmer leaned forward. “I want our site to focus on factual reporting. It’s the one thing that separates us from the other political news sites. I don’t mind using that headline but we need facts to back it up.”

“That’s going to be tough,” Journalist Khirley Sennedy spoke up. “Trump’s been pretty much out of the public eye since he left office. He hasn’t made any public appearances anywhere, much less gave any interviews. And with him banned from the major social media sites, he can’t reach out to anyone anymore. Bummer, there’s really nothing to back up that headline.”

“Unless,” fellow journalist Sames Jullivan spoke up, “we look at ‘nailed it’ in a literal sense, as in actually using a hammer and nail to say, hang some pictures.”

“Hanging pictures? That’s news?” Balmer balked.

“At least we’ll get to use that headline.”

Donald Trump just nailed it

Nowadays former President Donald Trump stays busy by hanging pictures in the hallway of his South Florida home using none other than a hammer and some nails…

Happy 2021, I think.

mjbdiver> hello room!
ghost> i knew it
ralph> not again
dragon> just when 2020 couldnt get any worse
ghost> oooo
ralph> oooo
mjbdiver> well, 2020 can’t get any worse than it already is
ghost> how
ralph> how
dragon> how
mjbdiver> there’s only a few minutes left in 2020
ghost> oh
dragon> oh
ralph> WELL 2020 JUST GOT WORSE CAUSE DIVERS HERE
*** ralph has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (SORRY TO MAKE YOUR 2020 WORSE)
*** ralph has joined channel #chat
ralph> that was uncalled for
ghost> at least i didnt get kicked this time
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (FEEL BETTER NOW?)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> dragon you hurt my feelings
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (SOWWY TO HURT YOUR FEEWINGS)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> i didnt need that
ralph> 2020 sucked
*** ralph has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (BIG TIME)
*** ralph has joined channel #chat
ralph> that was uncalled for
ghost> we cant say that 2020 sucked????
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (NOPE)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> dragon you hurt my feelings
ralph> i swear the rules in this chat get weirder and weirder
ghost> what do you mean
ralph> cant say sucked or talk about falling balls
*** ralph has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (LAAAAAAAAAAA)
*** ralph has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (DUM DUM DUMMMMM)
*** ralph has joined channel #chat
ghost> wow ralph got kicked twice
ralph> SHUT UP GHOST
ralph> OH NO
*** ralph has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (ONE FOR THE MONEY)
*** ralph has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (TWO FOR THE SHOW)
*** ralph has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (THREE TO GET READY)
*** ralph has joined channel #chat
ghost> and GO GO GO
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (THATS MY LINE)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> dragon you hurt my feelings
ralph> that was uncalled for
mjbdiver> you guys are too funny
ghost> SO IS YOUR FACE
ghost> OH NO
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (HI FUNNY FACE)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> dragon you hurt my feelings
mjbdiver> don’t worry, 2021 is going to be better
ghost> diver how do you know
ralph> 2021 a better year, yeah right
ghost> diver how do you know
ralph> yeah diver how do you know
ghost> DIVER HOW DO YOU KNOW
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (YEAH DIVER HOW DO YOU KNOW)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> dragon you hurt my feelings
mjbdiver> I just know 2021 is going to be a better year
ghost> yeah right
mjbdiver> and here we go!
ralph> what
ghost> oh no its diver and his falling balls again
*** ghost has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (BOING BOING BOING)
*** ghost has joined channel #chat
ghost> dragon you hurt my feelings
mjbdiver> 10!
ralph> here he goes again
ghost> yah diver and what comes before 10
mjbdiver> 9!
ghost> divers so smart
ralph> im going to bed
ghost> yah me too
dragon> same here
mjbdiver> 8!
ralph> 8 what?
ghost> this is going nowhere fast
mjbdiver> 7!
ralph> i dont have to put up with this anymore
mjbdiver> 6!
ghost> dragon do your stuff
mjbdiver> 5!
ralph> this is getting really annoying
ghost> this is getting really annoying
ralph> thats what i just said
mjbdiver> 4!
mjbdiver> 3!
ralph> okay dragon now
mjbdiver> 2!
ghost> dragon do it
ralph> DO IT
ralph> OH NO
*** ralph has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (I JUST DID)
*** ralph has joined channel #chat
ralph> that was uncalled for
mjbdiver> 1!
*** You has been kicked off channel #chat by dragon (SEE YOU NEXT YEAR)

How to get free jalapeno pepper plants from Papa John’s.

I know this sounds far-fetched, but there is a way to get free jalapeno pepper plants from Papa John’s. As you know, there’s a single jalapeno pepper that comes with each order. Whether you eat this pepper or not, be sure to save the seeds, which can be planted in a seed starter kit like this one.


I add some water in the container before keeping it outside where it can get some sun and warmth. About 5 days later, the seeds will sprout.


At this point I’m planning on keeping the sprouts in the container a little longer before I move them to their own flowerpot. Then I’ll start enjoying my own bounty of jalapeno peppers, courtesy of Papa John’s.

I’ll update this blog with pictures of my plants as they grow and definitely the peppers they produce. Stay tuned.

Sinking Key.

After my bizarre meal at Potato Key I drove back on Highway 1.5 to see where it would take me next. The highway crossed miles and miles of the pristine waters that sparkled under the midday sun. It was a perfect day for driving and exploring the New Keys.

A half hour later I arrived at Sinking Key, a rather curious name for such a beautiful island. It presented itself well with palm trees lined up alongside the road overlooking the beach along with trees with colorful orchids blooming from its branches lined up along the median of the highway that passed by countless souvenir shops and restaurants. Yet there was no traffic here, no cars to be seen anywhere. I drove on a few minutes more when I spotted the city hall with its parking lot overflowing with cars. Apparently there was something going on, and my curiosity got the best of me to find out what it was.

I walked into the city hall to join what was a meeting in progress. The room was so full that there were people standing because all the chairs were taken, yet they stood in silence to focus their attention on the man at the podium.

“Who knows how much longer we have,” the man said, “but we need to get moving soon. All of us.”

“But where?” asked someone in the audience.

“Who knows where, but as I speak we may be headed to our respective dooms.”

“Respective dooms,” chortled another attendee. “All because we live on Sinking Key.”

There was murmuring throughout the room upon this revelation.

“Yes, just as the name implies, we’re slowly sinking into the ocean, and we need to find ourselves new homes and fast.” the man at the podium announced.

“But I’ve lived here 20 years and I see no signs of us sinking!” an old man spoke up.

“That’s because it’s a very gradual sinking we’re going through. It may not be obvious now, but in 20 years we’re most likely going to be knee deep in water!”

More concerned mumbling. I decided to speak up.

“Excuse me, I know I’m a mere visitor but there’s something I’d like to point out,” I said.

“Oh, please do,” the man at the podium invited me on stage. “Anything to put our troubled minds at ease.”

“Thank you,” I took my place at the podium. “As I was driving into Sinking Key, I couldn’t help notice a corroded sign along Highway 1.5. I took a closer look and saw this inscription:”

Welcome to Sinking Key

In the name of Britain I so claim this island. Deal with it.

Captain James Sinking
July 1841

There was a hushed silence as everyone stared at me in disbelief. I waited a few minutes before sensing my time was up, so I left City Hall and returned to my car. I looked back at City Hall one last time and heard nothing but silence. Even the ocean was quiet. Shrugging, I got in my car and drove on to continue my journey.

To be continued…