Madeleine Begun Kane, Humor Columnist Latest Humor Columns
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Madeleine Begun Kane,
Humor Columnist,

Madeleine Begun Kane

USA TODAY AWARD       Political Song Parodies


It's hard to believe, but people actually pay me to write humor and bitch about stuff that gets on my nerves. (Of course others beg me to stop.) Catch me "Raising Kane" about marriage, money, fashion, music, President George Dubya Bush, politics, statistical surveys, education, technology, home ownership, cars, and other stuff that irks me.

  • A High-Test Case: Marrying your car, The next legal frontier. "My husband Mark swears that he's never proposed to an automobile. The same can't be said for Buster Mitchell of Knoxville, Tennessee..."

  • Ballsy Limerick
    " Although males come equipped with two balls,
    There are men who ainít ballsy at all. ..."

  • Sparring Over Spare Time "Do you and your spouse argue about how to spend your spare time? Togetherness can be tough to achieve when a couple's interests just don't jibe. But this contract may be just the cure for your spare time blues..."

  • How To Give A Speech (Humorous How-To) "In a moment of weakness you agreed to give a speech. What are you in for? If you're lucky, it won't be any worse than this..."

  • What A Card!

  • Wonderbra Song (To be sung to "Miracle of Miracles" from "Fiddler on the Roof")
    "Wonder of wonders.
    Miracle of miracles.
    Wonderbra can make you huge..."

  • To Sleep, Perchance To Clean "One of my favorite pastimes (besides begging my husband Mark to teach me how to nap) is unearthing useless surveys and..."

  • Religious Fervor, Or Fever? "Hey, Madeleine," my husband Mark recently said. "How would you like to convert..."

  • Ashcroft's Favorite Things (To be sung to the tune of "My Favorite Things")
    "Rifles and roscoes and Winch'sters and cannons,
    Rich NRA guys who own lots of weapons,
    Generous men to whose pockets I cling,
    These are a few of my favorite things..."

  • Sounding Off "I really hope my neighbors hate classical music..."

  • Garbage Out, Garbage In "How would you like to own a precocious trash bin? If Ohio based NCR Corp. has its way, your next garbage can will have a higher IQ than you..."

  • Mad Cheney Interview You wouldn't think Dick Cheney'd sit for an interview with the author of Dubya's Dayly Diary. And you'd be right.

  • Ogling Eyes "I was ogled last night by a very handsome, classy looking, much older man. Now most women (and I'm no exception) are secretly gratified by the occasional gawker ... unless catcalls and droopy drawers are involved. (Okay, maybe not the sponsors of the Anti-Ogling Addendum to the ERA)..."

  • Comics' Relief: Late Night Comedians Begin Group Therapy "In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the United States, political humor has virtually disappeared, replaced by patriotic platitudes. Deprived of their customary targets, late night TV talk show hosts are at their wits' end, struggling to find a new humorous voice that entertains without offending. So it's not surprising that Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Jon Stewart, and Bill Maher have sought comic relief in group therapy. Here's the transcript of their first joint therapy session, leaked to me by someone I'll simply call Deep Doc..."

  • George Dubya Bush Channeler Seeks Therapy "Doctor's Notes: An unusually difficult first session. Patient was referred by Employer law firm, who has placed Patient on indefinite mental health leave. HR files furnished by Employer report erratic behavior dating back eight months, including: 1. Patient refused to address sundry judges as "Your Honor" on seven occasions, leading to..."

  • Pumped About The Web "I have great news for all you multi-taskers and for people who think pumping gas is a bore: Any day now, your local service station may be equipped with a combination gas pump/Web browser. That way you'll be able to surf hot sites and scan your spam while breathing in gasoline fumes..."

  • Dubya's Dayly Diary Week 33 "Dear Diary -- I made a buncha good speeches since I finished takin a vacation from Washington & connectin with real Americans. Fer instance, I thought Saturday's radio address bout my education reform bill went real well. I specially liked where I said that in return fer gettin new resources, schools will have more countability. It's so cool how new resources sounds like more money but isn't..."

  • Unplugged And Unhinged "Maybe I was getting a bit cocky about my Internet prowess. Perhaps I bragged one time too many about my overnight-conversion from high-tech dummy to..."

  • Mad Kane's Diary "10:45 a.m. Another late start on this week's column. That's what I get for surfing every night until 3:00 a.m..."

  • Dubya's Dayly Diary Week 22 "Dear Diary -- Boy am I glad to be back home in God Bless America! I'm soooo tired of diplobabble. And of havin good meetins & lookin guys straight in the eye & tryin to remember that Africa isn't a country. Plus I haven't had a good taco & workout in days..."

  • Taking A Vacation on the Contract Plan "Planning a vacation can often be a daunting challenge. Especially when one spouse likes to rough it and the other prefers luxuries like toilets, showers, and cable TV. So what's a couple to do? Well, they can take separate trips. Or they can negotiate and sign on the dotted line..."

  • Dear CardHolder: Frankly, We Expected Better Of You "One year ago we welcomed you to the EASY COME EASY GO ("ECEG") Credit Card Family with open pockets and the kind of unbeatable terms we could offer to..."

  • Dubya's Dayly Diary Week 5 "Dear Diary -- There was lotsa family high fivin this weekend over my Friday operation. That'll teach Sadam to start up with this Bush. From now on that guy's gonna confirm with his agreement or else..."

  • Tow Guy Blues "I should put my local tow guy on a yearly retainer. Hereís a typical conversation:
    Me: Hi, itís me, Madeleine Kane. Guess whose husband left the lights on again. My address is...
    Tow Guy: Still have you down from last week. Have you considered our frequent-user plan?"

  • Ms. LegalPerson Tries To Explain Election 2000 "Ms. LegalPerson is happy to report that Tuesday's Presidential election is over and that Gore ... no ... Bush ... no ... Gore ... no ... Bush ... no.... Hmmm, better begin again in the "do over" spirit that's overtaken the U.S. media. Here goes: Ms. LegalPerson is happy to report that Tuesday is history. Tuesday's election, however, may never end..."

  • Election News Alert "Health care professionals throughout the United States are bracing for a severe outbreak of National Election Withdrawal Syndrome..."

  • A Kiss Before Speechifying "Actually, I was trying to send a message to Tipper." So said Vice President Al Gore, when asked if he was trying to send a message to the country with the Gores' nationally televised smooch on the final evening of the Democratic National Convention. For some reason I can't quite grasp, people are making a big deal about the not quite X-rated kiss Al gave Tipper right before he began his nomination acceptance speech...

  • Mad Gift Giving Guide "Exchanging gifts, while fun in theory, offers endless potential for aggravation: Thronging crowds, ransacked stores, confusion, indecision, cash depletion and, finally, the belated knowledge that you bought the wrong thing. And even worse, perhaps, is receiving a spousal gift that you wouldn't buy for your worst enemy. Well, maybe for your worst enemy, but only if it's on sale..."

  • Ms. Legal Person Answers Your Holiday Questions "Ms. Legal Person returns by popular demand with advice for the holiday season. "Your free help was worth every penny," wrote one satisfied reader. "Do you have malpractice insurance?" wrote ... oops, wrong letter..."

  • Held Up By Music-On-Hold "According to a recent study done by The Institute To Get Press Coverage By Conducting Studies, men's preferred phone-on-hold music is classical. Excuse me? Have you ever seen a man remain on hold long enough to hear more than three notes of anything? How many men do you know who can..."

  • Dubya's Dayly Diary -- Dubya's Early White House Daze "Dear Diary -- Poppy says I haveta keep a diary of my Prezidency. Every night at 9:30 before my lovely wife Laura and I turn in I'm supposed to write something about my day. He said I should try to make it sound dignuhfied..."

  • Our Infectious Net "When I was a child, my mother always worried about my catching a virus. Well, I'm a married woman now, and she still worries about my catching a virus. Only these days they have names like the Love Bug and Melissa..."

  • Contending With Time "Unless you live on another planet, there are never enough hours in the day. But if you use these efficiency techniques, you can win that battle with time:
    1. Always do at least two things at once. While showering, write a screenplay. While sorting laundry, invent a handy appliance for the home. While chatting on the phone with a dull acquaintance, take a nap..."

  • Seven Questions For some unfathomable reason Tom Mangan, a San Jose Mercury News editor, interviewed me at his Seven Questions site. I answered his questions ... more or less.

  • Directionless Study "This familial exchange should sound familiar: Spouse 1: Weíve been going in circles for hours. If you donít stop for directions, I shall kill you..."

  • Millionaire for the Masses? "I've come up with a great way to impress friends, relatives, enemies, prospective dates and, most important, your mailman: Subscribe to Millionaire magazine and display it prominently at all times. Better yet, order two subscriptions and..."

  • The Blue and the Gray "I have great news for all you fashion loving fans of navy blue: Navy blue is the new black. Or to be precise, navy blue is the new gray which (until roughly twenty seconds ago) used to be..."

  • False Alarm "My husband Mark and I have a weekend hideaway, a respite from the pace of New York City life. Our country haven is smaller than most; it was once optimistically measured at 400 square feet. In fact, itís so petite that the very act of staying there more than a day without a single quarrel is persuasive proof of a sound relationship..."

  • Testy About Tests "Now that school's back in session, people are obsessing and fretting about tests. Newsweek even devoted a large chunk of a recent issue to "The Truth About Testing." But while Newsweek focused on pre-college tests and the SAT, it's the GMAT that's really driving me "Mad." Or at least it would be, if I were hoping to earn an MBA. Not that I was planning to, mind you. Law school was more than enough punishment for one lifetime, thank you very much."

  • You Really Want A House? Okay, Here's The Drill. "President Clinton recently picked up a cordless electric drill and joked that he'd be needing one now that he's about to become a homeowner..."

  • What, Me Lie? "I shouldn't have been surprised by the fact checker's call. Yet another columnist (this one in Arizona) has been accused of making stuff up..."

  • Scouting For Trouble "My husband Mark is a Boy Scout. Not in the literal sense, of course. Although he claims to have earned badges for everything from..."

  • Surfing For Madeleines "I want to be Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Not that I'm power hungry or anything like that. Hey, cut out the snide comments ... and that's an order..."

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