Ready for history’s Valentine hall of shame?

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Tyrades! by Danny Tyree

Not everyone does Valentine’s Day well.

A significant number of people are too unromantic, lazy, cheap or unimaginative to make the best of the occasion.

Don’t despair if you fall into one of those categories. Some of the most prominent people in history have been romantic duds. For instance…

Philosopher René Descartes, who declared, “I think, therefore I am going to break up with her before I have to buy a Valentine’s Day gift.”

King Arthur, who fumed, “Isn’t it enough that I splurged for a round table? I draw the line at using sissified coasters on it!”

Library reformer Melvil Dewey, who invariably told women he met in bars, “No, don’t give me your number. I’ll assign you one.”

Economist Adam Smith, who confessed, “Nations have wealth, but I’m tapped out. Let’s go Dutch treat for Valentine dinner.”

Charles Dickens, who had lots of time to reconsider his critique, “It was the best of kisses, it was the worst of kisses…”

Renaissance polymath Nicolaus Copernicus, who blundered into pointing out, “The world really doesn’t revolve around you, dear. I can prove it…”

P.T. Barnum, who proclaimed, “There’s a younger trophy wife born every minute.”

Painter Salvador Dali, who made the excuse, “Sorry I’m late for our date, but have you seen this piece of crap watch that some guy on the corner sold me?”

George Washington, who beamed, “I cannot tell a lie. That dress does make you look fat. Whoa – put down that hatchet!”

Leonardo da Vinci, who delivered the regrettable greeting, “Enigmatic smile – or just gas? Let me guess! Let me guess!”

Pres. Herbert Hoover, who bullied, “There! A chicken in every pot! Now start cooking, woman!”

Winston Churchill, who proclaimed, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. So, if you’re looking for a bouquet, you’re up the Thames without a paddle.”

Marc Antony, who explained, “Friends. Romans. Countrymen. I could have sworn I told you that all of them are tagging along on our date.”

The captain of the Titanic, who snapped, “Putting the toilet seat down? Yes, I prioritize that right after rearranging the deck chairs.”

Russian tsar Peter the Great, who reminded his date, “I’m Peter the Great and you’re Arm Candy the Adequate.”

Physicist Erwin Schrodinger, who told his significant other, “The chocolates in this box – I have both saved them just for you AND eaten them all. Gimme a quantum kiss.”

Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who exclaimed, “If whatever doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger, I ought to be freakin’ Superman after paying for that stretch limo!”

J.R.R. Tolkien, who made the excuse, “My knee hurts too much, and who cares about a ring, anyway?”

Martin Luther, who encouraged his date to be uninhibited and “Dance like nobody’s posting negative reviews of it on the church door.”

Benjamin Franklin, who groused, “Who really needs a candlelit dinner? Here, hold this kite string.”

Karl Marx, who mansplained, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Wait, do you really need another pair of pumps?”

Try your best to have a fun Valentine’s Day. Think positive thoughts, rather than dwelling on poor Galileo Galilei, who gushed, “I dropped everything to be with you tonight. Unfortunately, I dropped it off the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa without yelling, ‘Look out below!’”

Copyright 2023 Danny Tyree, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”

Controversial author Harlan Ellison once described the work of Danny Tyree as "wonkily extrapolative" and said Tyree's mind "works like a demented cuckoo clock."

Ellison was speaking primarily of Tyree’s 1983-2000 stint on the "Dan T’s Inferno" column for “Comics Buyer’s Guide” hobby magazine, but the description would also fit his weekly "Tyree’s Tyrades" column for mainstream newspapers.

Inspired by Dave Barry, Al "Li'l Abner" Capp, Lewis Grizzard, David Letterman, and "Saturday Night Live," "Tyree's Tyrades" has been taking a humorous look at politics and popular culture since 1998.

Tyree has written on topics as varied as Rent-A-Friend.com, the Lincoln bicentennial, "Woodstock At 40," worm ranching, the Vatican conference on extraterrestrials, violent video games, synthetic meat, the decline of soap operas, robotic soldiers, the nation's first marijuana café, Sen. Joe Wilson’s "You lie!" outburst at President Obama, Internet addiction, "Is marriage obsolete?," electronic cigarettes, 8-minute sermons, early puberty, the Civil War sesquicentennial, Arizona's immigration law, the 50th anniversary of the Andy Griffith Show, armed teachers, "Are women smarter than men?," Archie Andrews' proposal to Veronica, 2012 and the Mayan calendar, ACLU school lawsuits, cutbacks at ABC News, and the 30th anniversary of the death of John Lennon.

Tyree generated a particular buzz on the Internet with his column spoofing real-life Christian nudist camps.

Most of the editors carrying "Tyree’s Tyrades" keep it firmly in place on the opinion page, but the column is very versatile. It can also anchor the lifestyles section or float throughout the paper.

Nancy Brewer, assistant editor of the "Lawrence County (TN) Advocate" says she "really appreciates" what Tyree contributes to the paper. Tyree has appeared in Tennesee newspapers continuously since 1998.

Tyree is a lifelong small-town southerner. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications. In addition to writing the weekly "Tyree’s Tyrades," he writes freelance articles for MegaBucks Marketing of Elkhart, Indiana.

Tyree wears many hats (but still falls back on that lame comb-over). He is a warehousing and communications specialist for his hometown farmers cooperative, a church deacon, a comic book collector, a husband (wife Melissa is a college biology teacher), and a late-in-life father. (Six-year-old son Gideon frequently pops up in the columns.)

Bringing the formerly self-syndicated "Tyree's Tyrades" to Cagle Cartoons is part of Tyree's mid-life crisis master plan. Look for things to get even crazier if you use his columns.