HOT SHEET: Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. are America’s sexy mom and dad now — plus the last of the trick-or-treat jokes for 2020

From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station, Des Moines, Iowa.

ITEM FIRST: The typist takes a night class on Thursday and missed publishing Thursday’s Hot Sheet. He apologizes to loyal readers who rely on this critical crass menagerie for information and entertainment amidst the daily drudgery of pandemic restrictions and political campaign excesses.

ITEM TWO: Speaking of political campaigns, the long presidential election cycle draws to a close with last fevered pitches to be made over the weekend. It will soon all be over. By this time next week, the entire country could be engulfed in flames, riots and the general destruction of society as we know it. But at least there won’t be any more political commercials during football games.

ITEM THREE: Speaking of commercials, the typist was surprised to see Sarah Michelle Gellar of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fame and Freddie Prinze Jr. of “married to Sarah Michelle Gellar” fame starring in a commercial for Cascade dishwasher detergent. The couple traded sweet jokes about “doing it every night,” which of course meant washing dishes with water-conserving Cascade and not that other nasty thing your filthy mind thought about. That’s right Gen Xers, the youngsters once so hip they could play Daphne and Fred in live-action “Scooby-Doo” movies are now playing America’s mom and dad. The typist notes he is older than both Gellar and Prinze Jr. The ol’ Paragraph Stacker feels like time has shoved one of Buffy’s stakes into his heart and he turned to dust and blew away.

ITEM FOUR: Friday is Beggars’ Night in Des Moines, the night the capital city typically sends its children out into their neighborhoods dressed as monsters, superheroes and other characters real and imagined. In eight of the last nine days, the Hot Sheet has published four one-sentence jokes for kids to learn and say, as is also tradition in Des Moines. Due to last night’s absence, the remainder of this edition will be dedicated to silly jokes for Beggars’ Night.

Q: What do you call a sleeping bull?

A: A bulldozer.

Q: What did 0 say to 8?
Nice belt!

Q: What do sharks say when something radical happens?

Q: What kind of music do chiropractors listen to?
Hip hop.

Q: What do you call a baby with a drum?
A baby boomer.

Q: Why was the tomato blushing?
Because he saw the salad dressing!

Q: What to you call a lazy baby kangaroo?

A: A pouch potato!

Q: What did the policeman say to his tummy?
I got you under a vest!

Q: Why did the cookie go to the hospital?
He was feeling crummy.

Q: Why shouldn’t you write with a broken pencil?
Because it’s pointless!

Q: What do owls say when they’re introduced?
Howl do you do?

Q: What’s the best way to carve wood?
Whittle by whittle.

Q: Why was the cat afraid of the tree?
Because of its bark!

Q: What room can no one enter?
A mushroom.

Q: How did dinosaurs decorate their bedroom?
With rep-tiles!

ITEM LAST: Happy Beggars’ Night and happy Halloween everyone. Watch out for cars and pay attention to pandemic procedures.

Q: What’s black and white and read all over? A: Daniel P. Finney’s Paragraph Stacker. is free, reader-supported media. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I continue writing while I pursue my master’s degree and teacher certification. Visit

HOT SHEET: Let people have their pineapple on pizza and pumpkin spiced everything; More ways to avoid Election Day blather; and new comics Wednesday recommendations

From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood station, Des Moines, Iowa.

ITEM FIRST: Let’s stop fussing about things that some people enjoy but don’t affect our ability to enjoy similar things. The typist refers to, of course, the great debates of our time: pineapple on pizza and pumpkin spice flavors. This is America. There is room for people who love pineapple on pizza and people who hate pineapple on pizza. Pumpkin spice flavors may seem ubiquitous during the fall, but that is only because lots of people enjoy it and corporate America is not very creative. The only time you have to worry is if somebody tries to require pineapple on every pizza or pumpkin spice in every latte. In other words, friends, live and let live.

ITEM TWO: Today in COVID-19/Election Day survival tips: Randy Evans, executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, recommends careful consideration of the comedic stylings of Jerry Van Dyke in “Coach” reruns available in the Des Moines metro on WHO-TV’s digital subchannel 13.3.

The ol’ Paragraph Stacker chips in with his traditional favorites: classic “Doctor Who” and old school James Bond movies, both found on the free streaming service PlutoTV.

At no point should you turn on or read the news. It will only depress you.

ITEM THREE: Unavailable due to the typist’s need for self-care.

ITEM FOUR: Four more jokes to learn and say on Beggars’ Night in Des Moines:

Q: What building has the most stories?
A Library!

Q: What do you call a grandmother who tells jokes?
A: A gram cracker!

Q: Where should you go if your dog is missing?
The lost and hound.

Q: What has no legs but can do a split?
A: A banana.

ITEM FIVE: New comics Wednesday recommendations:

  • SUPERMAN’S PAL JIMMY OLSEN: WHO KILLED JIMMY OLSON — This trade paperback collects all 12 issues of Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber’s Silver Age romp with comics’ most famous newspaper photographer. Need more? There are giant turtles. Giant. Turtles.
  • RED SONJA AND VAMPIRELLA MEET BETTY AND VERONICA, VOL. 1 — These Archie Comics crossovers are always fun. Crossing two of comics’ great sexpots, Vampirella and Red Sonja, with the seemingly sugar-sweet Betty and Veronica might seem like an odd juxtaposition, but remember Archie once hung out with the Punisher.
  • VAMPIRELLA VOL. 1: SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT — The ol’ Paragraph Stacker makes no apologies for his appreciation of Vampirella comics, but the title “Seduction of the Innocent,” a reference to a debunked book that tried to get Congress to censor comics, makes him want this one all the more.

ITEM LAST: At the risk of adding more worry to these anxiety-riddled times, the typist notes the Florida Man website, home to stories of the most bizarre behavior in our wacked-out nation, has not updated with any Florida man fuckery since Sept. 29. Could it be Florida has settled down to be just average? One shudders at the thought.

Daniel P. Finney is the best there is at what he does. What he does is nap. is free, reader-supported media. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I continue writing while I pursue my master’s degree and teacher certification. Visit

HOT SHEET: 2020 Sadness Machine cranks out two more blows; more jokes to learn and say; and trick-or-treat rules

Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020

From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station, Des Moines, Iowa.

ITEM ONE: Two dozen of us stood under and around a tent spiked to a hilly expanse at Highland Memorial Gardens to say goodbye to our beloved Lois Newcomb, mother, grandmother and great-great grandmother.

The pastor reminded us Jesus shared our grief. When Jesus went to the tomb of his old friend Lazarus, he saw the sadness in the faces of Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha. Jesus knew he was about to perform the miracle of raising Lazarus. And yet he sanctified grief, expressed in perhaps the greatest sentence ever written: “Jesus wept.”

Family recalled Lois’ open heart, empathy and ability to forgive. Others remember her teaching grandchildren how to drive in the wide lanes of the same cemetery where Lois was laid to rest.

We prayed. A grandson played one of Lois’s favorite songs. We hugged. We shook hands. We cried.

The typist was silent. He saw Grandma Lois as the linchpin that kept a big family together. He hoped her death reminded us we are stronger together than apart and that periodically renewing our shared connection would be the greatest tribute we could pay her.

ITEM TWO: The typist learned late Friday that one of his closest friends has cancer. His wife, a respiratory therapist, contracted COVID-19 earlier this year. It passed to the typist’s friend. His symptoms lingered. Doctors eventually found a mass the size of an orange on one of his kidneys. Treatment includes the loss of a kidney. The prognosis is uncertain.

Again the typist is reminded of how precious life is. We live never really knowing how much time is left on the clock. The typist doesn’t believe in living every day as if it were your last. That would be exhausting.

Instead, look for a moment each day that you can be kind, extend grace and friendship or remind someone they are worthy of dignity and respect. Forgive. Love.

ITEM THREE: Left blank for you to allow readers a moment of peaceful reflection.

ITEM FOUR: Four more jokes to learn and say for Beggars’ Night in Des Moines:

Q: What is a tree’s favorite drink? 

A: Root beer.

Q: What do you call a broken window?

A: A plain in the glass.

Q: Why don’t ducks tell jokes while they are flying? 

A: Because they would quack up.

Q: When does it rain money?

A: When there is a change in the weather.

ITEM FIVE: The maximum age for trick-or-treating is 13 or eighth grade, whichever comes first. High school kids are close enough to jobs and driving that they can get their own candy. Stop begging off the neighbor.

ITEM SIX: Your trick-or-treat mask should be worn over your pandemic mask this year, but you still have to wear your coat over your costume if it’s below freezing.

ITEM LAST: Say thank you. This also applies for anytime someone gives you something or shows kindness.

One day, Daniel P. Finney held aloft his magic sword and said, “By the power of Greyskull …” and after a long pause realized everyone was staring at him, so he put the sword away and went back to eating lunch. is free, reader-supported media. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I continue writing while I pursue my master’s degree and teacher certification. Visit