The Best I Can Do – Foreword

Thank you for your purchase of this book. Or, if you are just thumbing through a copy while killing time somewhere, I trust you washed your hands before doing so.

This collection contains pieces covering a ten-year span. I started a humor blog, called FactsOptional, in December 2012 and have continued posting right up until (and, I anticipate, beyond) the moment you are reading this sentence.

Along the way, in addition to the humor (or, at least, attempts at) posted on that blog, I also branched into political commentary via light verse, which eventually resided at a site called The Trump Poems. I also continued in the verse vein with comments on news-adjacent oddities (non-political, although these days it seems everything is political) under the banner Rhyme for the News.

In 2022, I consolidated all of these blogs into one easy-to-overlook website, That’s where all previous posts have been archived and where anything new that comes to mind is affixed.

All of which leads to this compilation of jocular reflection and commentary – some of which were previously-published, others are newly-published, and a few should never-have-been-published.

I admire the writing of so many humorists, essayists, columnists, poets, novelists… far too many to list here. I trust their influences upon me are opaque and not too blatant. To paraphrase a quote, some version of which has been attributed to any number of creative luminaries: “Immature artists copy; great artists steal.”

Me? I type.

John Branning / Winthrop, Maine / August 2022

Start a Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: