Thursday, December 30, 2010

Goodbye 2010 and Four Loco

2010 was a year of escalating divisiveness in America. White Americans demanded that foreign-looking people show their papers, but at the same time objected to being searched at airports. Some Republican politicians were incensed that an Islamic cultural center might be built near the site of 9/11 bombings but Republicans also refused to address legislation to provide health benefits to 9/11 first responders.

BP Oil, whose well leaked massive amounts oil into the Gulf of Mexico, was the most hated organization in the United States until we found out about WikiLeaks. Leaked catty remarks about foreign dignitaries are much more damaging than mere billions of gallons of oil in our seafood.

Football players, including Ben Rothlisberger, Brett Favre and the entire NY Jets team got in trouble for harassing individual women. That was nothing compared to the outrage created when basketball player Lebron James screwed the entire city of Cleveland.

It was the year of the bedbugs, literally, in terms of infestations and also in the sense of “crazy as a.”

Christine O’Donnell, campaigning for Senator in Delaware, appeared on TV stating that she is not a witch, with her husband Darrin and daughter Tabitha by her side for support. Her mother, Endora, refused comment.

Glenn Beck held a rally to restore honor and said he wanted to “reclaim the Civil Rights movement”. I think he meant to take back the rights that were gained since the 1960s.

Sarah Palin who began her campaign for President by resigning as governor of Alaska in 2009, stepped up her political efforts by getting a reality TV gig showcasing her life of leisure and by getting her daughter onto “Dancing With the Stars”, because it was too late to book her on “16 and Pregnant”.

In other entertainment news, the decrepit Larry King retired but Betty White found work on Saturday Night Live and in Snickers commercials.

Miners rescued from a collapsed coal mine in Chile was probably the biggest rescue story of the year. Runners up for best release from an uncomfortable situation were:
Steven Slater who left his flight attendant job at Jet Blue by jumping out the emergency slide on a plane
Tipper Gore, separating from Al
Elizabeth Edwards dieing to get away from John
Dr. Laura, Helen Thomas, Rick Sanchez, and Juan Williams losing media jobs due to making others uncomfortable with their opinions.

Maybe the story the best epitomizes 2010’s essence of controversy over trivia and the battle of us-against-them is the Four Loco controversy. Four Loco is an alcoholic energy drink – a contradiction in terms and intent if there ever was one. Companies making alcohol & caffeine drinks were investigated by several attorneys general of various US states. The FDA issued warnings about these drinks, “there is evidence that the combinations of caffeine and alcohol in these products pose a public health concern.” They also state that concerns have been raised that caffeine can mask some of the sensory cues individuals might normally rely on to determine their level of intoxication. Really? It seems like a lot of stodgy old people upset and confused about some new fad they can’t understand. After getting Four Loco, this “new” type of drink, banned, legislators celebrated with several rounds of Irish Coffee.

Friday, December 24, 2010

New Visitation Champion leaves Cold Spring KY out in the cold.

Councilman Denny (“Denny”) Soward sits in the kitchen of his modest, two-bedroom ranch house in Cold Spring, Kentucky and ponders what might have been. He says his surname is pronounced “soured” and that’s the way he now feels about the Catholic Church.

Denny has just learned that the Roman Catholic Church has officially validated reported apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Champion, Wisconsin. Under other circumstances, he might have been proud that the United States now has one of just a dozen or so such sites in the world. “But it should have been Cold Spring,” he says softly but adamantly, shaking his head slowly.

In 1992, Sandy Rasmussen, a 49-year-old grandmother, claimed to have received divine messages telling her that the Virgin Mary would appear at St. Joseph’s Church in Cold Spring, Kentucky. In 1993, she told a news reporter that Mary had been booked for monthly visitations at the church. Over the next couple of years, thousands of the faithful, the curious and the media flocked to the town to see the apparition or just participate in the type of semi-spontaneous gatherings people had before internet flash mobs.

“We were on our way,” Denny says with a faraway look as he ponders what the new millennium might have been for this fifth-class city, 8 miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio and just 16 miles from the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Airport. “We could have been 4th class,” he says, balling his hands into fists in his lap. “Oh, we got a WalMart out of it, but there could have been so much more. Lourdes and Guadalupe are world renowned” (Ed Note: those are the two most famous places visited by the Virgin).

“Cold Spring could have been like them, with annual pilgrimages of folks coming to see our church and feeding our economy. That’s better than any casino and second only to having a pro sports team around. What did Champion do that Cold Spring didn’t do to get the Catholic Church to grant them a Virgin Mary franchise?”

Followers did petition the Church to recognize the Cold Spring as an official site on the Virgin Mary Tours. Most frustrating to Denny is that the petitions did not even get past the home diocese; the holy mission was rejected by Bishop Hughes of the Covington Diocese.

Cold Spring is not on the official church list of Virgin Mary appearances but they are still known for the 1990s visits. That means little to the people here. Denny and others believe it is no coincidence that after the Visitations were dismissed by the Church, the nearby Cincinnati Bengals have had losing seasons almost every year and that air traffic at the nearby airport has declined substantially, with the main tenant, Delta Airlines, going bankrupt. “The Virgin Mary could have saved this whole region,” Denny states wistfully. “Instead they give it to Wisconsin. Why? They already have the Packers,” referring to the pro football team from Green Bay, a larger city near Champion. Champion residents, meanwhile, believe the Church's decision is compensation from God for having taken away Brett Favre.

Denny Soward finds no irony in the fact that Sandy Rasmussen, the Cold Spring visionary, originally came from Wisconsin, where, at the age of seven, she had her first religious visions. “It ain’t ironic,” he muses, “just sort of a wry, paradoxical twist on what you might have expected.” The Church let us down. Asked if he believes the Virgin Mary still makes her monthly appearances at St. Joseph’s Church, he replies brusquely, “Who gives a rats ass? If she shows up and ain’t no out-of-town pilgrims to see her and buy a hot do and a coke whilst they’re doin’ it, it don’t do no good. Besides, I’m a Baptist. I don’t go over to Saint Joe’s anyhow.”

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I don't know if Google Fight has been neglected or if I am incapable of interpreting the results; but this result from a fight between Google Fight nad Google Ngram seems wrong; I believe 6,480,000 is more than 104,000, but if it says the opposite on the internet, I must be mistaken.

Google Ngram Viewer was brought to my attention by The Velvet Blog who used it to track the uses of Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays vs. Seasons Greetings.

Of course it tracks only the occurrences of the test phrases in books; since book reading is an ancient art, Ngram can't measure any meaningful relative usage in popular culture. Nevertheless, it's interesting to me.

I used it to learn that in the 20s and again in the 60s, Paul Bunyan's popularity was giant compared to John Bunyan, the religious author; now they are relatively equal. John Paul Bunyan has yet to achieve an measure of popularity.

But I was more popular than the Beatles until 1964 and more popular than Elvis until he (supposedly) died.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Hypocrites Christmas Song

Republicans have stalled legislation including the START treaty and the Zadroga Bill, which would provide funds for medical care for 911 first responders who are dieing because of toxins they were exposed to while saving lives in 2001.

Senator John Kyl (R-AZ) has said that for Senators to NOT take two weeks off would disrespect Christmas.

Mitch McConnell (R-KY) complains that SOMEBODY is trying to shove the New Start Treaty down their throats. He says, “They want us to focus on their concerns, not ours.” This from the soulless hypocrite who orchestrated the Senate Republicans refusal to address any concerns of the American people until they got the extension of tax cuts for rich people.

Rupert Murdoch got them all together to sing a Christmas song about it.

(All right you Hypocrites! Ready to sing your song?
-I'll say we are!
-Let's sing it now!
Okay, McCain?
Okay, McConnell?
Okay, John Kyl? John Kyl? JOHN KYL!

Christmas, Christmas time is near
We must keep our schedules clear
We've worked hard, but we can't last
Legislation won’t get passed
We respect the Prince of Peace
So we won’t pass the START treaty
For first responders it’s too late
So, for health care they can wait

Okay fellas get ready
That was very good, McCain.
Very good McConnell.
Ah, John Kyl, you were a little flat, watch it.
Ah, John Kyl? John Kyl? JOHN KYL!

We respect the Prince of Peace
So we won’t pass the START treaty
For first responders it’s too late
So, for health care they can wait.
For first responders it’s too late
So, for health care they can wait.

Very good, boys
-Lets filibuster again! Yeah, lets filibuster again!
No, That's enough, lets not overdo it
-What do you mean overdo it?
-We want to filibuster again!
Now wait a minute, boys
-Why can't we filibuster again?
-[hypocrite chatter]
John Kyl, cut that out..McConnell, just a minute.
McCain will you cut that out? Boys...

Hat tip to my friends at Mock Paper Scissors

Monday, December 6, 2010

Don't Stop Me, I'm On a Roll

Toilet paper injury lawsuit can go to jury

"DETROIT — A Michigan woman whose hand was broken while she was reaching for toilet paper can sue a restaurant over her injury."

The restaurant is concerned that she might win and they could not absorb the loss. "We'd be wiped out," said the owner.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

People Ask Me Why I Moved From L.A. to Cinci

PASADENA, Calif. - Dozens of fans brawled in a Rose Bowl parking lot before the USC-UCLA football game Saturday, leaving two men stabbed, two police officers with minor injuries and three men arrested, authorities said.

CINCINNATI, OH. - A snowball fight broke out between the crowd and the Bearcat mascot around 1 p.m. during Saturday’s UC-Pittsburgh game at Nippert Stadium, causing police to kick out the Bearcat.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

On The Edge

Clinton loses Iran official at 'hello'
Country's foreign minister 'just turned away' when greeted by U.S. secretary of state

And there he stood, firm as salami
He looked fine, until he saw me
I said, “Hello,” but he just turned away

Hey, Mottaki, whatcha building, nuclear?
How are you using it? He turned and walked away. (Turned and walked away)

They are not eager, Iran, to discuss it
We’ll be waiting with an open door

Oooo, there’s Iran (On the edge of atomic bombs)
What’s our plan? (On the edge of atomic bombs)
Reprimand? (On the edge of atomic bombs)
Won’t heed our commands, ‘cause you know
they’re Iran, on the edge (on the edge of atomic bombs)

Friday, December 3, 2010

I'm Gettin' Nuttin' From Congress

Senate Republicans Vow to Block Dem Legislation Until Tax Cuts, Budget Pass

I’m gettin’ nuttin’ from Congress
McConnell says they won’t do jack
I’m gettin’ nuttin’ from Congress
‘Til rich folks get their tax cuts back

Won’t aid responders to 911
Republicans shit on me
Unemployment extension won’t get done
Republicans shit on me

They won’t repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell”
Immigrants can go to Hell
But at least our TV ads can’t yell
Republicans shit on me

I’m gettin’ nuttin’ from Congress
McConnell says they won’t do jack
I’m getting’ nuttin’ from Congress
‘Til rich folks get their tax cuts back

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WikiLeaks and the Playboys

Cables Depict U.S. Haggling to Find Takers for Detainees


Who wants to buy-uy-uy, these detainees?
Just take them off our hands and you get anything you please.
This detainee could bring time with our President,
Or this detainee could mean funds from the I M F;
Or we could send them to the Saudi Arabians
For rehabilitation

At Gitmo it’s closing time and voters made it clear
The pris’ners don’t have to go home, but they cannot stay here
These detainees could be dumped on the Yemenis
But then they would just return here as our enemies
And we don’t want it known that we provide a
Recruitment for Al Qaeda

Lyrics | Gary Lewis And The Playboys lyrics - This Diamond Ring lyrics

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Willie Don't Let Your Police Get Probable Causes

Sheriffs ain’t easy to love and we don’t get along
They’d rather pound on your head then hit on your bong
You can’t get that far on only six ounces
But with that much they’ll put you away
They just don’t understand life or music or songs
They just want to ruin your day

Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be sheriffs
Don’t let ‘em work vice squads or border patrol
Let ‘em guard school yards or collect highway tolls
Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be sheriffs
‘Cause they take my home grown and won’t leave me alone
On my bus with the stuff that I love

Monday, November 22, 2010

And That, Charlie Brown, Is What Christmas Is All About

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage."

When King Herod heard this, he said, that was not a star but it was the lights of the mall stores for they stay open late for this season. Herod suggested the wise men buy a Garmin, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage."

When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, were the lights of the mall and then went therein to buy some gifts for the child. Entering the door, the wise kings heard angels singing on high, for the mall managers had suspended plastic angels overhead, with speakers embedded in their mouths, which blared forth "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" and "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" seemingly until the End of Days.

A young drummer boy had also entered the mall, stopping at the Spencer’s Gifts to grab some gold, frankincense and myrrh. “Happy Holidays,” the drummer boy called to the shopkeeper.

“You mean ‘Merry Christmas’”, the shopkeeper replied, “for Christ is the reason for the season and the savior of my bottom line.”

“Well, there is Thanksgiving still to come and then Christmas and New Year and possibly you celebrate the Jewish holidays. I just wanted to wish you happiness for all of them.”

The shopkeeper said, “Lo, you have joined the war on Christmas. We must be Merry in these days and you may be happy when the New Year comes, but not before. Now get thee away from my shop.” And the drummer boy was forced to go seek the King with no gift to give.

But the wise men, having observed this, went to the shopkeeper crying, “Merry Christmas” and bought the gold, frankincense and myrrh the drummer boy had wanted. “We should also get something for Mary and Joseph,” suggested one of the Kings. So it was that they visited Hickory Farms and bought a selection of summer sausage and cheeses. “This is not kosher,” remarked king one. “I have a feeling things are changing,” said king two. “We should also get something for the dog,” offered king three. And so it was.

Then they went forth and followed the Garmin until they came to the place where the child was. It was an inn, festooned with twinkling lights and a flashing “No Vacancy” sign that lighted their way. Office Christmas parties had filled the inn, so that Mary and her child had to stay in the adjoining parking garage which cost 20 shekels per day.

There the wise men found the child nestled in a Graco baby carrier, surrounded by plaster reindeer, an inflatable snowman a giant Winnie the Pooh dressed as Santa Clause and a pine tree covered in shiny ornaments. They offered the baby king their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Mary took the gifts, saying, “Seriously? What the hell is myrrh?”

And having been warned in a dream they could not return the gifts at the mall, the wise men just smiled uncomfortably and had some shrimp from the buffet table and then quickly left for their own country by another path.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Amendments to the Constitution

This past election has left me bereft of hope and doubting the possibility of change. To reform our system, we need the following amendments to the Constitution.

An addendum to the first amendment:
AMENDMENT 1: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, provided that the people’s speeches, signs displayed at assemblies and petitions shall be grammatically correct and all words contained in them shall be properly spelled. Furthermore, to retain their rights, the press must employ competent editors.

The only provisions in the Constitution about voting regard who may not be denied that right - we need a new amendment that says who should be denied that right:
NEW AMENDMENT 28: The right of a citizen of the United States to vote shall be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State if the citizen cannot clearly explain who and what he or she is voting for and give one good reason for doing so, or if his or her given reasons are based on lies, distortions or ignorance.
The italicized addendum to this article should be added to those regarding the qualification for Senator and Representative - and mandated to all the states as well:
ARTICLE 2, CLAUSE 5: No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States and who does not display a modicum of common sense, cannot clearly articulate the issues that citizens actually care about and cannot state his or her priorities in addressing those issues.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Now For a Public Radio Pledge Break

They left out mention of my man Juan Williams,
whom they fired for sayin' he's afraid of Muslims
on a plane, it's insane and it hurt his feelings,
but now he talks on Fox and he's makin' millions

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Prince Willy's Engagement

Prince William's statement announcing his engagement:

Kate Middleton’s my very best girl; we got engaged to be married today
Kate Middleton is part of my world, if the Queen lets me have it my way
My father tells me if I love her or not,
I still have to get approval from my Nana
Kate Middleton’s a pretty nice girl, I don’t want her to end up like Diana,
Oh yeah, don't want her to end up like Diana

sounds sort of like this

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Kosher Not OK in OK

There was a bit of a public tsimmis last week when Oklahoma discovered they might have outlawed the Ten Commandments along with Sharia Law. This week, however, officials in the Sooner state have come to terms with the situation.

“Those Commandments are a Jewish thing, anyway”, State Representative Chris Simon said with a shrug. “We’re don’t need their God telling us we can’t covet our neighbor’s wife. It’s un-American.”

The tablets brought from Sinai by Moses are not the only Jewish edicts that Oklahoma has banned along with Islamic laws; the constitutional amendment also barred rabbis from approving food preparation in accordance with Kashrut, or Kosher law.

“The Hebrew National people used to talk about their wieners answering to a higher authority,” Rep. Jones asserted; “well, that authority was not Jesus, and Jesus wants us to have pork in our wieners.”

Oklahoma police have been assigned to block rabbis from entering factories to oversee food preparation. Executives at Sooner Salami Works were arrested yesterday for perpetuating the practice of preparing their products following Kashrut. Rabbi Moishe Finkelman has been organizing protests of the Kashrut ban, but has not been able to stop enforcement.

Meanwhile Jewish Oklahomans have been ordered to cease separating meat and dairy products. Police have begun going house to house in Oklahoma shtetls and confiscating the second set of cookware and dinnerware kept by observant Jews.

“We can’t allow American dining decisions to be made under laws of some other religion or national origin,” Rep. Jones explained. It's not just Muslims we fear, coming in here and cutting off people's hands under Sharia law; we fear the Jews as well, coming here and taking away our shrimp and our pork rinds. I’m sure the Jews will understand if they just look in their hearts and ask how their savior, Jesus Christ would handle this.

A federal judge put a restraining order on the enforcement of the Sharia law ban. Jews are expecting to get a similar ruling soon. “We have all the lawyers,” rabbi Finkelman declared with chutzpah.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Meal Banned in San Francisco

They have no heart in San Francisco
Banned Happy Meals at Mickey D’s
Though little children’s psyches are
Left traumatized and scarred,
Though tiny tots cry, “It’s unfair!”
They don’t care!
They plugged free trade in San Francisco
Like Happy Meals clog arteries
The People’s Republic of San Francisco
That Golden Gated community

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Producers II - Springtime for Haters

Scene 1
Max Bialystock's apartment: Leo Bloom enters

Ah, Bloom, I'm glad you could come.

Hello, Max. It's nice to see you, but your message made me upset. You have a project? We can't work on a project together. As a condition of our parole ...

(Pats Bloom reassuringly)
Don't get hysterical, Leo, please. We aren't doing a play. It's a sort of political gig.

(Bialystock sits on a sofa. Bloom paces the room, clutching at a piece of blue blanket he has taken from his pocket.)

Political? When did you get involved in politics?

When I hooked back up with some of the women who invested in my plays. They are members of Focus On The Family and they are willing to keep 'patronizing' me if I keep quiet about our relationship.
(He rises and, standing behind Bloom, holds his shoulders to stop the pacing. He speaks softly in Bloom's ear.)
There are also some men in the group who would like to 'patronize' you.

Max! They are an anti-gay group. They are very clear about their opposition to my people.

Of course! The ones who protest loudest are the ones who have been taught to hate themselves for something they were just born with.
(Bialystock leads Bloom to the sofa. They sit)
Here's their problem. Focus on the Family kids are being punished for bullying homosexuals. The parents want to protest that punishment without making it seem like they support the kids' beating up gays.

Support it?! They encourage it!

(soothing Bloom)
I know, I know; but they can't be so openly hateful. So we have to come up with a public message they can put out to make it look like a positive thing.

Max, you know I can use the money; but I'm just an accountant. I don't know how to manipulate ... Wait a minute - I have used some twisted logic with the IRS before.

Good, you're in. Look, you know I don't like hard work. I've got a scheme.
(Bialystock grabs a stack of papers from the coffee table)
I've collected a series of absurd arguments the conservatives have used before. We just scan these and steal the best parts.

(picks up the papers and reads through them)
Here's one where Bill O'Reilly tried to stop people from saying "Happy Holidays". He called it a "War on Christmas". That's ...

(Takes some of the papers)
Absurd. Here's one. Conservatives start a campaign to "take back America". It's not clear from whom.

These people are crazy. Sarah Palin joins Fox News but continues to rail against the media as if she is not part of it now. When a judge calls California Prop 8, creating a state consitutional amendment against gay marriage, unconstitutional, Palin denounces the decision. She says the Founding Fathers never intended activist judges to overturn the will of the voters. Does she understand that the judiciary was set up by the Founding Fathers as part of the Constitutional checks and balances?

Here is a related one. Opponents of gay marriage say employers should be against it because they would have to pay health insurance premiums for the spouses.

Ha! by that logic, employers should oppose heterosexual marriage also.

Please. The word "logic' should not be allowed within a hundred miles of this garbage. Here's a recent one. Glenn Beck says conservative white people have to "take back" the fight for civil rights. I assume he means they want to take back the civil rights laws and return to the days when minorities and gays knew their place: hanging from a tree.

I think I've got it! Focus on the Family needs to make themselves the victims, like in O'Reilly's war on Christmas scenario. Then they use code words like Palin's "activist" label that raises fear in the ignorant. Finally they spin the whole thing positive by "taking back" the fight against bullies, i.e. taking away protection of gays and lesbians.

Yes! Perfect! We say something like: "School officials allow these outside groups to introduce policies, curriculum and library books under the guise of diversity, safety or bullying-prevention initiatives. We feel more and more that activists are being deceptive in using anti-bullying rhetoric to introduce their viewpoints, while the viewpoint of Christian students and parents are increasingly belittled. This issue is being hijacked by activists. They shouldn't be politicizing or sexualizing the issue of bully prevention. We have to confront the gay agenda, which includes homosexual-themed curricula, books with sexually graphic content and anti-religion stereotypes, assemblies and celebrations. There have been several incidents in which religious freedom has lost out to the right of gay activists to promote their views."

That is too obvious. No one will think a group could seriously make that argument. "Guise of diversity"? Accusing "activists" of "being deceptive in using anti-bullying rhetoric" when Focus on the Family is a bunch of activists promoting anti-anti-gay-rights activity.

You can't underestimate the ignorance of the public. "Springtime for Hitler" should have taught you that. The Focus people will love it. Intelligent people will see through it and mock them, allowing them to feel even more victimized and attack the educated people for creating a War on Stupidity.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We Go To The Mattresses!

What's new in school fundraising?

Selling mattresses. Really.
A flyer went up at work today for a school selling mattresses to raise funds for the soccer team. And this is a deal being offered all over the country now.

This is great. No longer do the schools have to deal with wads of crumpled, nasty $1 bills from kids selling thousands of chocolate bars. No longer will there be confusing sheets of orders for overpriced tins of cookies or specialty candies. No longer will they lose vast portions of the funds raised buying cheap prizes for kids who participated.

Now one or two parents manage to sell a few mattresses and we're all set. The only thing to worry about is the risk of getting arrested when we steal the truckload of mattresses on its way to Target. then we make you an offer you can't refuse.

Tom Hagen: What did he say?
Sonny: What did he say,? "Badda-beep, badda-boop, badda-boop, badda-beep", he wants us to send Michael to sell chocolate and the promise is it’s “The World’s Finest”: so good people can't refuse. Ha.
Tom Hagen: What about Sally Foster?
Sonny: Ah, that's all over done. Candy and wrapping paper were sold by my father.
Tom Hagen: We ought to hear what they have to say, Sonny.
Sonny: No, no, no, not this time, Committee Chairperson. No more chocolates, no more wrapping paper, no more fund raising tricks. You give them a message from me. I want soccer money. And it’s not candy door-to-door. We go to the mattresses.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pick Me Up!

My company participated in an event at Children’s Hospital yesterday. There were parents and kids there for a program on sickle cell anemia. Those families brought siblings and cousins with them and these other children needed to be entertained and fed while their families were going through the program. I ended up in the activity room for pre-K children; there were maybe 30 kids and 8 volunteers.

I learned that I still have the energy needed to entertain and play with a bunch of kids that age for 3 hours. We were with them for 3 and a half hours.

Some kids were very upset about being left there without their parents. I tried to comfort one little girl who was standing against the wall, crying. Next to here was a bag of children’s’ books so I figured maybe one would draw her interest and cam her down. I pulled out the biggest picture book and opened it to a two-page picture of a giant, hairy spider. Thanks for nothing, Eric Carle.

I re-learned a lesson I had forgotten about playing with kids. When the littlest one comes to you and holds his hands up, do NOT take his hands and help him bounce and jump really high. If you do it for him, every other kid will drop everything and scurry over to form a giant swarm of wiggling bodies and waving arms, shouting, “Do that for me! I’m next! Me! My turn!” and you have to lift and bounce every child in the room, over and over until you expire. And there is quite a difference between the cute, tiny, child you started with and the largest child in the room.

The kids were incredibly sweet and a joy to be with. I would do it again anytime … after my back and arm muscles and joints recover.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Emotional Rescue - the Movie!

I took a recent blog entry and turned it into a sketch starring me and my friend, Dr. Mize

Monday, August 23, 2010

How Do You Cause a Problem By Sharia?

There were a lot of options they had:
"Take a Letter Sharia"
"Sharia (I Just Met a Law Named Sharia)"
"How Do You Cause a Problem By Sharia"

"They" are the protesters of the Islamic Cultural Center approved to be built a few blocks from where the World Trade Center stood - I'm sorry, I meant the mosque being built directly on Hallowed Ground.

They were trying to write a song to explain why they are protesting the building and holding signs saying "SHARIA!", implying that that is a word of terror, when what it means is "the body of doctrines that regulate the lives of those who profess Islam".

But I've digressed. My point is that, with all those obvious songs to choose from, they chose a forgotten song from the 70s by Leon Russell called "Masquerade".
(the song lyrics dont come in until about 1:30 into the video)
Here are the lyrics they came up with:
We are really happy with the loaded words we say
Dealing out the hate cards we play
Stirring up emotion with a modern day Crusade
We’re causing a Mosque charade

A Muslim culture center built some blocks away
We label as a mosque on hallowed ground
We say “Obama’s Muslim, or at least he leans that way”***
We’re masters at the mind games that we play

This is an election year and so we must devise
A wedge issue that will divide
We cannot win with reason, so we carry on this way
We’re causing a mosque charade

You cite “religious freedom”, abstract words that hold no sway
You’re losing to the loaded words we say

We’re causing a mosque charade
And we’re causing a mosque charade

*** This is a clip from some craftily edited sound bites they put out
"Who's the leader of the club that hates the U S A?
B-A-R A-C-K O-B-A-M-A"

"Marxist, Muslim, Mosque-a-teer
Barack Obama's not from here"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Today's the Day the Stoner Bears Have Their Pic-a-nic

"BC police: Bears surrounded pot fields"
Police who uncovered two marijuana fields near the U.S.-Canada border had to tread carefully: 13 black bears were wandering around the crops.

The economy has reduced the number of vacationers visiting Canada, resulting in a shortage of pic-a-nic baskets. The native black bears, unable to secure legitimate employment, have turned to guarding pot fields to earn money.

Some bears have fallen to using the marijuana themselves, with the expected unfortunate results, ending in indolent, unproductive lives. The life of one such bear was documented by researchers:
Yogi Bear’s a stoner and a slackerish bear,
Yogi Bear has munchies and a vacant stare
Where you stash your snack food you will find him there
Stuffing down more goodies than the average bear.

He will sleep till noon but before it's dark,
He'll smoke every ounce of weed that is in Jellystone Park.

Yogi Bear is cooler than a polar bear
But can’t escape the rangers, ‘cause his mind is impaired.

Mom Always Told Me Not To Brag

But I probably should have posted this here earlier.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Emotional Rescue

I don’t understand how the iPod randomizes tunes when I have it set on “shuffle songs”.

I listen to my iPod in the car, and every day for two weeks straight it was playing "Emotional Rescue" by the Rolling Stones. Now, I like "Emotional Rescue", otherwise it wouldn’t be on my iPod, but it just seems to me that it can not be random that it comes up every day.

When I was young, if you wanted to know how something worked, like a clock or a tape recorder or a radio, you just took it apart and looked at it. You couldn’t ever get it back together again but you could understand how it worked. Life was simple to understand.

Now I could take my iPod or laptop or cell phone apart but I wouldn’t see how it works because everything is programming: it’s invisible instructions put into microchips.

Now, don’t think that I imagine that all our electronic devices are programmed to do evil or take over the world – no, definitely not all of them - and it’s not my imagination – but, for the most part, they are designed to keep us constantly in touch, no matter where we are, with people we didn’t even know we wanted to be in touch with. And the iPod is designed to play us songs we didn’t even realize we wanted to hear. It makes things simple and yet stressful.

I am not listening to music enough to go through 999 other songs and just come back around to Emotional Rescue in a week let alone a day. I know I could skip the song, but my iPod was choosing that song for me and I started to think that perhaps there was a message there.

So I went to a psychiatrist. He asked why I was there and I said, “My iPod suggested it. Listen, Doc, one day my iPod played this song from Todd Snider’s early career, when critics were comparing his sound to Tom Petty, and in this particular song Todd references that comparison to Tom Petty and the very next song my iPod played was Last Dance With Mary Jane by Tom Petty, followed by Red Hot Chili Peppers Dani California which is a total rip off of Tom Petty’s Last Dance song.”

The doctor responded in a controlled, reasoning voice, “Dani California was not a ripoff, it was a tribute song,” which is exactly what my Blackberry had told me he would say – but I didn’t tell the doctor that.

I said, “My point is that those three songs are a perfect set together and the odds of the iPod randomly playing those three out of 1000 is … I don’t know – it’s beyond my comprehension; which is why I’m feeling tense around technology devices. I think they are talking about me, maybe not in a bad way, but like they know something they are not telling me.

Then I told the doctor about Emotional Rescue and I told him that I had finally talked to my iPod about it.

“I was driving home from Yellow Springs and I had some time, and I said, ‘you know, iPod’ - I don’t have a name for my iPod, I don’t treat it like a human being or even a pet, I’m not crazy – but I said, ‘iPod, I guess I have been having a little trouble sleeping. And I’ve been feeling, I don’t know, like I am just not connecting with my communication devices. I mean I’m not going off the grid, but maybe you are right iPod, maybe I do need an emotional rescue. Maybe I should see someone.’”

The doctor was mumbling a song to himself, "stumblin' thru' the street, shufflin' on my feet, askin' people - doot doot doo doo - whutsamattah wit chu, boy?"

I stared. "That's 'Miss You'." "I'm talking about 'Emotional Rescue'."

The doctor looked slightly stoned, his mouth gaping half-open. Then he asked a bit too loudly, “Did the iPod answer you?”

I said “No, of course not.” and he seemed relieved. And I said, “iPod was just trying to help me see the problem it didn’t need to force the issue.”

The Doctor paused, thoughtfully. “John I’m going to have to agree that you could benefit from some counseling.”

I said, “I know! iPod knew. How does it pick up on that? How do they program it to diagnose psychological issues?”

“We can talk about it,” he replied. Why don’t you see Barbara at the front desk and set up once a week appointments.”

Well, Doc,” I said thoughtfully. “I do want to get some sessions going … but perhaps not with you.”

“Oh? Why is that?” he asked

“Well,” I said gently, “it’s just something my GPS was saying about you on the way over here. It was pointing me in a whole different direction.”

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

If Politicians Were Honest

We always see politicians in State of the Union speeches or rebuttals to same or in campaign speeches, bring up a story about some "real" person in order to garner sympathy and put a face to whatever it is they want us to believe in.

I would like to see a politician get up and say, “I traveled this country – this country full of resourceful people who work hard and don’t give up. I traveled this country, speaking to real people about my plan to improve this great country. In Norwood, Ohio, I met Bernadette Music who got shit faced and dialed 911 looking for a date – preventing one dispatcher from doing her job for nearly a half an hour. Bernadette then proudly recounted the story for a local news reporter.

In Fort Collins, Colorado, I met Richard Heene, a man who fabricated a story about his young son being aloft in a runaway balloon, occupying an enormous number of rescue workers, police and fire personnel, just so the Heene family might get a reality show on TV.

All across the country I met people willing to fight against legislation and demonize their leaders without knowing any facts about either one, willing to obstruct efforts to help people in need, out of fear and hatred. Willing to believe the lies spread by sensationalist sleeze mongers on “entertainment” programs disguised as cable “news” shows.

I traveled this country with my plans for improvement and finally I just said, “Fuck it”. These people are screwed up. They are not universally hard-working or resourceful, caring or compassionate. Definitely not intelligent or responsible.

I quit. I’m going to grab a six pack, apply to get some medical marijuana and just kick back somewhere and listen to some tunes while I wait for this place to fall down around me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Classics in the News

"According to the Washington Post, Palin Tweeted Monday that 'peaceful Muslims' should 'refudiate' a New York mosque that is being built near the World Trade Center site ...
She followed with this Tweet: “’Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!”"

Sarah, considering a run for President in 2012, followed up with this:
To run or not to run, that’s the questing. Is it more better to suffrage the slams and errors of the lame-stream media or stand up like a mama bear and by deposing, refudiate them?

Meanwhile, Dick Cheney underwent an operation to install a pump that keeps him in a lifelike state but eliminates his pulse. “Doctors cite him as a model for the benefits of modern cardiac care.”
Cheney entertained reporters with a description of his condition ala Gilbert and Sullivan:
I am the very model of the modern care for cardiacs
My granite heart’s protected from erosion by more heart attacks
My pulse, like my location, is completely undetectable
My resemblance to a human is still outwardly respectable

My body is equipped with a new pump that is mechanical
So I remain undead and may maintain my reign tyrannical
Like ghosts and vampires, cockroaches, the damned and all the zombies do
Forever I will walk the Earth, much longer than the lot of you

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


John Creamsicle Boehner said of financial reform legislation currently being considered, “This is killing an ant with a nuclear weapon.” It's more like killing a cockroach with a nuclear weapon. The cockroaches on Wall Street and in the government will survive.

The ant they are trying to kill is one tough insect, himself.

Once there was a silly old ant
Thought he’d cause a stock market crash
Everyone knows an ant can’t
Cause a stock market crash
But he had D.C. dopes
He had D.C. dopes
He had un-reg-u-la-ted mar-kets, ig-norant folks
So if you think your government’s
Co-ver-ing your ass, just remember that ant
And whoops there goes another stock market
Whoops there goes another stock market
Whoops there goes another stock market crash

The Blog Goes Commercial

An expanded, better version of something you may have read here before.

Click on this link.

Meals on Wheels for Everyone

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hallelujah! It's Raining Oil

Hi - Hi! We're your Weather Girls - Ah-huh -
And have we got news for you - You better listen!
Get ready, all you wildcat drillers
and leave those oil rigs at home. - Alright! -

Humidity is rising - Barometer's getting low
According to all sources, the street's the place to go
’Cause tonight for the first time
You won’t need to drill in soil
Just build your own refinery
It's gonna start raining oil.

It's Raining Oil! Hallelujah! - It's Raining oil! Oh boy!
I'll need my oil funnel to let me collect
Enough to get me out of debt!
It's Raining oil! Hallelujah!
It's Raining oil! Don’t you get spoiled!
Slick, smooth, dark: the kind
I can use to get refined

God bless Mother Nature, Halliburton, BP too
And the regulators, not doin’ what they’re supposed to do
Out there in the ocean something went awry
The oil spewed in the ocean, evaporated to the sky
It's Raining oil! Hallelujah! - It's Raining oil! Oh boy!
It's Raining oil! Hallelujah!
It's Raining oil! Oh Boooooooyyyyy!

Comments in the Rolling Stone

MSNBC had the brilliant headline "McChrystal leaves White House after meeting". Later I'll be waiting to read "McChrystal hangs up after phone call", or something equally dramatic and informative. 4-Star General, Commander of Afghan Forces, Stanley McChrystal (McWhiteCastle in some states) is in trouble for comments quoted in Rolling Stone magazine.

By the time you read this, he may have lost his command. Prior to his meeting, however, he made these comments exclusively to me:

I’m a war commander, who’s accused of slander
That is making the President sore
There is no Afghani who can whip my fanny
But this controversy’s worse than war
I’m not insubordinate, and no enemy ordnance
Could ever be so over blown
It’s an EFF-ing big farce if I get my discharge
For some comments in the Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone
Gonna get my assed chewed by Obama
Rolling Stone
I am getting too old for this drama
Rolling Stone
Can’t believe I’d be replaced
By some comments in the Rolling Stone

I said the plans of Biden, just a tad short-sighted,
Would create Chaos-istan
I pissed off Karl Eikenbarry
Whose own ass-cov’ring is his plan
It seems that I’m, just steppin’ on mines
In a political combat zone
Obama should defend me, I am not the enemy
For some comments in the Rolling Stone?

Rolling Stone
Gonna get my assed chewed by Obama
Rolling Stone
I am getting too old for this drama
Rolling Stone
Can’t believe I’d be replaced
By some comments in the Rolling Stone

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No Thanks, I'm Not Hungary

From - a restaurant in Budapest, Hungary

Apparently, when you enter the restaurant, you are greeted by an animated votive candle who welcomes you and then sings with all the dancing plates and utensils:

Ma chere Mademoiselle, it is with deepest fear and greatest caution that we welcome you tonight. And now we invite you to despair, let us pull up a chair as the Fatal Restaurant presents - your dinner!

Be our guest, be our guest
When you visit Budapest
Have on hand some ipecac, dear, and
Beware what you ingest

Our hors d’oeuvres
Have no cures
Eat them, if you have the nerves
All this gray fuzz is pernicious
It’s all over all our dishes

Will you die? There’s a chance.
The odds of ptomaine are enhanced
We’ll make messes you can’t possibly digest

Go on, unfold your menu
Take a chance, and then you’re
Laid to rest, laid to rest, laid to rest

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Meals on Wheels For Everyone!

My neighbor dug up most of his basement floor to redo the plumbing under his house. Several guys in the neighborhood pitched in to help. I wasn't among them because they all have some kind of job in a relevant industry or trade that makes them an asset to such a task, while I do not. They also have far greater quantities of youth and strength than I.

So there they were, deep in a cavern of noise and cement dust, when there came the sound of The Chicken Dance being played on mechanical bells. It was the Gold Star Chilimobile coming down the street. All the boys dropped their tools and ran outside to stop the truck and get an afternoon treat.

My neighbor hung back, looking forlorn. “Don’t worry,” I said, “they’ll be back after they finish off their three ways.”

“It’s not that,” he muttered, head down, “I don’t have any money.”

“Come on,” I urged, pulling him toward the street, “I’m buying today.” Turns out some of the other boys were standing by the truck, digging in their pockets for coins that might be hiding among the cell phones, iPods and yoyos stuffed in there, hoping to find enough for at least a coney.

Bob was on his phone, pleading with his wife. “I used the last five you gave me on cigarettes. Can I please have an advance on my allowance? Please, please, please, please, pretty pleeeeaaassseee?”

The chilimobile is a real thing, though it won’t actually be rolling down my street. But I don’t know why not. The article says “The Gold Star Chili Chilimobile is bringing three-ways and coneys to the hungry lunch crowd downtown and other places with minimal food options.” I’m sorry, I work downtown and there are far more food options, in easy walking distance, than there are in my neighborhood at home. Why aren’t they driving down my street?

When I was very young, our neighborhood in L.A. still had milk deliveries. The Helms trucks still delivered bread and doughnuts and other baked goods up until I was a teenager. All the services that had fleets of delivery trucks have disappeared except for the ice cream truck (which is not as good as when I was a kid – you can’t get a double buddy Popsicle to break on the edge of the curb and share with your older sister).

Why not have the chilimobile come down my street, followed by the Christian Morelein beermobile? Think of all the possibilities: Starbucks coffee and muffins in the morning, the Steak and Shake (or In ‘n’ Out or Fatburger – consult local listings) for lunch and a big brick oven on wheels delivering pizza for dinner. I know you are imagining your own favorite things coming down YOUR street and outside YOUR door right now.

Sure, this would put a few gas-guzzling trucks on the road. But think of the millions of cars NOT idling in long drive-thru lines. This would be convenience AND energy savings at the same time.

I am going to look into buying my own …. wait … I think I hear the chicken dance bells …

Saturday, June 5, 2010

He Should Have Had a Strap-On

"Shoppers recall silence, fear in Lynnwood Lowe's store when man shot himself in testicles."

Good headline.

"For a few seconds, there was total silence at Lowe's Home Improvement in Lynnwood just after the gunshot went off at 12:30 on Sunday afternoon. 'It was dead quiet,' remembers Jim Fischer, who happened to be at the checkout line with his wife, Kim. They're doing a bathroom remodel." Essential information to set the scene.

"Kim Fischer will remember that after deciding there wasn't a random shooter in the store, 'nobody got panicky.'

"What Michael McDougall, of Snohomish ... will remember also is that initial moment of fear. 'Initially I thought it was maybe gang-related. I was afraid for my wife and daughter, and I thought, 'I think we should be leaving.' ' he says.

"And he remembers the initial scream, 'Oh, my God, I shot myself in the groin!'

So, how long was this period of fear and thoughts of possibly leaving ("hmmm, could be a gunfight, but I just drove all the way here and paint is on sale just today, so ...") before that guy screamed and everyone knew it was just a another funny epic FAIL story?

But that's not what really bothers me. Why do people carry around guns in the waistband of sweatpants? Especially after Plaxico Burress made it abundantly clear how stupid that is.

If only they made some kind of pouch thing, like you put your cell phone in, to strap the gun into.

Now it makes sense to me why guys wear their pants with the waisteband down below their butts. Keeps the jewels safer.

And if guns are kept in the waistband, you sure can't blame this cop for his mistake.

It's Not Easy Finding Green

I’m Chiquita Banana, and I’ve come to say
If you want a green banana, you’re SOL today
Artificially ripened to a golden hue
Already they are mush before they get to you

This s#!t is bananas

I don’t want to eat green bananas but I also don’t want to eat the sickeningly sweet, overripe ones that make me gag like that girl in Fast Times at Ridgemont High practicing her technique.

Bananas are a convenient food to take to work for a mid-morning snack. They are easy to eat and healthier than toaster strudel, even though that has 100% real fruit.

What we would do is buy a couple green ones and a couple almost yellow ones. They ripen on their own quite nicely and you can have one just at the peak of ripeness every day.

Now I go to Kroger and all the bananas are fully yellow, starting to turn brown, which, contrary to Ms. Banana’s lyrics, is way past acceptable firmness. They must have determined that more people buy them that way, though, so they artificially bring them to that level before stocking the shelves.

It’s just not natural. I don’t want my banana artificially ripened and I wouldn’t like it if Chiquita had artificially ripened melons either. I like it the way nature intended it.

I guess I will have to go back to enjoying Pop Tarts, which, by the way, I enjoy raw.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Battle for the Bananas - Round One

In case you are not a Facebook friend of mine and want to see what's been occupying my free time lately, there's this:

Round two in in July.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Can We At Least Still Be Friends?

I used to belong to Toastmasters International, an organization developed to increase members’ communication skills and self-confidence.

About 6 months ago I decided I’d achieved the level of personal growth I was looking for from the club and I did not renew my member ship.

Today I got an email from Toastmasters which had a header saying:
From: Toastmasters International To: John Bunyan
Please respond to donotreply
And it started out like this:
"Dear Toastmasters Member,
Please disregard the e-mail below as it was sent in error."
The message below reported that they had noticed I had not renewed my membership. They thought this was perhaps an oversight and
"We thank you for your membership and hope you continue to enjoy and benefit from your Toastmasters experience!"
Apparently, right before they hit “send” they realized who I was.
"Oh, THAT guy? Never mind. Just tell him we sent this by mistake."
So much for communication skills.

The message reminded me of all the confusing social interactions I had with girls in high school. I was always responding to donotreply.

So much for self-confidence.

They did add this to their message:
"We apologize for the confusion."
At least that was considerate. Those girls in high school never did that.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Blame for Breakfast - My Morning With Rand Paul

Rand Paul met me for breakfast at Mom's Country Cholesterol and Vegan Home Style Diner in Rabbit Hash, Kentucky. He ordered the “Extremely Conservative Breakfast”: red and blue berries in a plain, white yogurt and some tea. I had the “German Sampler”: eggs, goetta, potato pancakes, bratwurst, baked apples and toasted salt-rising bread with some black coffee.

Rand eyed my foreign dishes suspiciously as he explained to me how unfair President Obama is being to BP Oil, blackening their reputation and tarring them with responsibility for the explosion and spill. I was inspired to take another swig of the rich, thick coffee in front of me.

“It’s un-American,” insisted the Libertarian/Republican/Tea Partier Senatorial candidate. "And I think it's part of this sort of blame-game society in the sense that it's always got to be somebody's fault instead of the fact that maybe sometimes accidents happen," Paul said. “Just because BP may have been aware of safety problems doesn’t make then responsible.”

Paul was interrupted when Dewayne Ortiz, the owner of Mom’s, came over to our table. “You’re Rand Paul, aren’t you?”

Paul stood and extended his hand. “Yes, sir, I am. Thank you for a wonderful breakfast. I’d love to have your vote this November.”

“And I’d love for you to get out of my restaurant.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Yes you are, Mr. Paul. And I reserve the right to not serve sorry-ass racists in my establishment.”

“I am not a racist, sir. But I respect your right to refuse service to anyone who offends your personal sensibilities.” And to me he said. “Come on, I’m getting used to this. People want to blame me for the words that accidentally spilled out of my mouth.I can’t be held responsible for my loose grasp on the concept of fairness and equality.”

Dewayne saw me sadly eyeing my island of foodstuffs surrounded by a quickly cooling and coagulating puddle of grease still on my plate. He swiftly packaged it to go and sent us out the door. Rand turned to wave to him and didn’t notice the car weaving down the street, pursued by police with sirens blaring.

I dove out of the way, shielding my to-go carton, when the car suddenly jumped the curb and struck Paul, who was knocked against the wall and fell on the sidewalk. The driver looked aghast as he stumbled out of the car and knelt next to the fallen politician. Officers scrambled from their cruiser and threw the driver to the ground. “Sir,” they advised him, “you are under arrest for driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, failure to control your vehicle, and, possibly, manslaughter.”

Rand, endeavored to raise his head. “Oh, I’m fine,” he insisted, “and I request that you cease this unfair treatment of a free, white, citizen of America. Don’t blame him, don’t blame the bartender who over-served him, don’t blame the liquor companies. Accidents happen. It’s nobody’s fault. We live in this blame-game society, because of all the liberal, big-government bleeding hearts. It’s their fau … responsibility for this mess we’re in.”

Mr. Paul was rushed off to the hospital and I went home to finish my breakfast, with thoughts about civil rights and responsibility spilling out of my brain the rest of the day.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Vatican Shag

First you get down on your knees,
Fiddle with boys, as you please,
Bow your head to sin unchecked,
but, stand erect, stand erect, stand erect!

Do whatever crimes you want; if
Caught you’ll be cleared by the Pontiff.
Everybody have his own
Prurient liaison,
Doin' the Vatican Shag.

Pervert priest with sex obsession’ll,
Be absolved in the confessional,
Though the guy does things that we revile
And the Church knows he’s a pedophile,
There’s nowhere that he’d be safer,
There’s no crime he’s put away for,
Jail’s not his fate
All he does is relocate!

So get down upon your knees,
Fiddle with boys, as you please,
Bow your head to sin unchecked,
but, stand erect, stand erect, stand erect!

The Pope attests he didn’t know men,
Touched those boys with hands a roamin’
Oy, you’re naïve, ya
Think that we’ll believe ya
Still you ejaculate,
”I am immaculate”
Doin' the Vatican Shag!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

All They Will Call Them Will Be Deportees

Arizona’s Legislature passed a Bill making it illegal to look like an illegal immigrant. The Governor proudly signed the bill into law, confidently declaring, “I have no idea what an illegal immigrant looks like”, but I’m safe, so who gives a crap?

One man alleges that he is an innocent victim of profiling under this new law. He claims he was arrested for having only a valid driver’s license and social security number and not carrying his birth certificate, white skin and English-sounding name with him.

President Barack Obama traveled to Arizona this morning to see what the commotion was all about. Upon landing at John Birch National-Socialist Airport, Obama was detained by authorities who demanded that he prove his citizenship. Obama happened to be carrying his birth certificate and stated, “I thought everyone in America had ordered one of these from Hawaii by now.” Arizona officials averted their eyes and stuffed their hands in their pockets, refusing to touch or even look at Obama’s birth certificate, saying there was no proof it was real.

When news of the legal struggle brewing over President’s arrest and imminent deportation got out, Arizona citizens was outraged. “We can’t have this much time spent on each and every obvious case of an illegal immigrant infiltrating our country,” one demonstrator shouted to the crowd. “Our police force, under funded because of the Liberal Communists who ruined the economy, can’t be expected to find every one of those bastards. We have our guns; let’s go out ourselves and find those people in their homes and places of work and round ‘em up. Some of them might be legal, but we’ll sort that out later.”

Governor Brewer vowed to step in at that point and have the state build camps to house the suspected Mexicans and A-rabs. She immediately hopped into her pickup truck and started cruising the streets of Phoenix, picking up men willing to work cheap to get the camps built.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Who Knew That Iceland Would Be a Hot Spot?

Hot Freak Style News
updated 8:02 a.m. ET, Sun., Apr. 18, 2010

NEW YORK - An urgent special session of the United Nations Security Council was called today to address fallout from Iceland’s unprovoked volcanic ash attack on Europe.

The session was just as quickly called off when U.N. event planners realized that most of the participants were unable to travel to the meeting due to grounded flights. “We’ve got caterers delivering every kind of ethnic food New York has to offer and nobody here to eat it except the U.S. delegation,” said Rosario Iglesias, Chief of U.N. Concierge Services. “Those guys are just wandering around, playing with their Blackberries and breaking into the booze supplies.”

That scenario is symbolic of the crippling effect the Icelandic volcanic attack has had on the entire world. Cancelled commercial airline flights threaten international trade, business operations and the vacation industry. Travelers stranded in European airports can only wait along with the rest of the world to hear what Iceland wants in return for ending the airborne ash assault.

It is rumored that Iceland’s government just wants to be known for something other than a source of cod fish. However, heads of state of leading nations have been reluctant to call Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde of Iceland about the crisis because they are still working on pronouncing his name. “Is that first ‘H’ a middle initial or part of his last name?” asked Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev. “This is a ridiculous thing to try and say.” “Ha ha. You should talk,” responded Vladimir Putin, according to sources.

President Obama felt confident that he would not embarrass himself talking to Iceland’s Prime Minister, reportedly saying, “I have a golden tongue and I can pronounce anything, such as ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, even though the sound of it is something quite precocious.” However, White House operators were unable to find Iceland in the rolodex. It turns out that the address had been refiled under the island’s Icelandic name, Forsætisráðherra Íslands, by Presdient George W. Bush. “I ain’t as dumb as you all thunk I were. Heh heh.” Bush reportedly laughed when the current President’s staff contacted him to locate the address. “I can’t pronunsciate that shit, but Laura read me a book about that place and I made an executive order to have it reaphlabaptized.” Ironically, the former President is capable of pronouncing Icelandic words perfectly.

Presdient Obama is thought to be preparing to call Prime Minister Haarde as soon as he can assemble his Security Council and develop a strategy. It is rumored that the U.S. has been in contact with England about a plan to parachute Special Forces Chimney Sweeps from Great Britain onto the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Reykjavík and have them snuff it out while also forming a spectacular large group musical dance production on the irregular and dangerous edges of the volcano crater. The plan is stalled, however by the aircraft flight restrictions in Europe. “It’s a bit of a sticky ‘Catch 22’,” commented a British Prime Minister who wished to remain anonymous.

Republicans in Congress are blaming President Obama for the entire crisis, saying he should have acted to prevent Iceland from obtaining volcanic capabilities instead of concentrating on meaningless healthcare legislation. A White House spokesperson shot back, saying, “It’s Forsætisráðherra Íslands, not Iceland, stupid.”
Glenn Beck, on his popular TV show on Fox News Network drew extensive doodles on his chalk board showing the link between volcanos on Obama’s Island home of Hawaii and the Forsætisráðherra Íslands volcano and socialism. “'Volcanic ash and socialism'. It contains the words 'Sasha' and 'Melia', Obama’s daughters. Also the word 'Volvos' – the car of the elite liberals. Am I the only one who sees this?” Beck asked no one in particular.

President obama responded to critics saying that pressure was building in the volcano during the term of the prior administration but that they ignored it in favor of attacking Middle eastern countries who really posed no lasting threat to the rest of the world. “If you’ve ever played Risk,” the Presdient stated in a deep, authoritative and condescending manner, “you know that Iceland is a critical link between North America and Europe.”

Saturday, April 3, 2010

In Which Pooh Gets Contact Lenses and Then Goes Out On a Blustery Day

“Ow! Ow! Ow! Bees and cheeses! This damned wind is blowing dust in my eyes. I’m blind, Piglet!”
“Ouch! Jesus H. Christopher Robin, Piglet, what just hit me in the head?”
“Ooh, Pooh, the wind is blowing dead branches out of the trees. We will have loads of lovely Pooh sticks to play with on the bridge.”
“Blast the bridge games, you pygmy pork product! I beg you, take one of those Pooh sticks and gouge my eyes out.”
“Holy crap, what just happened to me?”
“You fell in our heffalump trap, Pooh. I’ll get Christopher Robin.”
“No, just leave me here a while, Piglet. The wind can’t get me down here. And there’s still some honey in the pots. It’s so much nicer in here, I have composed a hum:

The more it blows
Tiddly ₤#@&
The more it goes
Tiddly ₤#@&
The more it goes
Tiddly ₤#@&
On gusting

And so I cry
Tiddly ₤#@&
And gouge my eye
Tiddly ₤#@&
And think I’ll die
Tiddly ₤#@&
From dusting.”

"Yes, Pooh?"
"I apologize for the 'pygmy pork product' remark."
"it's okay, Pooh."


Today I mowed the lawn for the first time this season.
Last fall, we had all our huge trees serviced – pest preventative applied, roots fertilized and dead branches thinned out. It seemed reasonable to me that I shouldn’t need a hard hat to protect me from the flying timber as I pushed the mower around blindly because the intense gusts of wind were throwing gravel up under my contacts.

But I did.

I told my wife about it and she had a totally uncalled for response.
“So, did you wear your hard hat?”
“No. My hard hat is in my office at work where it is more convenient when I need to not wear it on the job site tours I don’t go on.”
“Did you at least wear those big sun glasses you got to protect your eyes when you’re whacking weeds?”
“Do you remember Bill Cosby’s routine about the giant chicken heart that ate Manhattan?” I asked.
“Of course.”
“What happened at the end of it.”
“The radio narrator says, ‘The chicken heart is out side your door!’.”
“Right, going ‘BOOMP, BOOMP. BOOMP, BOOMP’.”
“Yeah, and young Bill smears Jello on the floor and lights the sofa on fire.”
“Because monsters won’t come near smoking fire and Jello.”
“And Bills father comes in and says, ‘What’s going on?”
“And Bill says, ‘Gotta stop the BOOMP, BOOMP. BOOMP, BOOMP.’”
“So Bill’s dad turns off the radio.”
“And young Bill says …?” I prompt
“He says ‘I never thought of that.’”

Thursday, March 18, 2010

When I Think About It, I Cry Like a Baby

I remember where I was when I heard that Alex Chilton had died:
reading the news at lunch yesterday, skipping over the article because I didn’t recognize his name.
I remember where I was today when I finally read the story:
back in 1967, attending the Wednesday night Crozier Junior High School dance.

I don’t even have to hear the song to be transported; I just read the words, “As the (lead) singer for … the Box Tops, Chilton topped the charts with the band's song ‘The Letter’” and I am back at the Inglewood Recreation Center, doing an awkwardly flailing dance, with Linda.

I can hear the song. I can see Linda’s brown eyes looking up from just below mine. I can feel the cool chill of the Southern California evening. I can taste the paper cups full of fizzy fountain Coke that I bought for the two of us. I can smell the petrified, sweaty stench of puberty.

I remember that Linda loved “The Letter”, so we kept requesting the DJ to play it; I guess others did too because I remember we danced to it at least 5 times. I remember having no clue what to do with a girl at a dance besides dance to “The Letter” and then buy Cokes and mill around the lobby. I remember guys trying in vain to help me out.

I remember my friend Kevin, during the third time through “The Letter”, leaning over and whispering to me, “dance better,” and being bewildered as to how I would accomplish that by just wanting it. I remember Mike Maris (a semi-thug who was not even a friend of mine) telling me to “take her outside and kiss her,” and being bewildered as to how I would accomplish that by just wanting it.

I just can’t quite remember her name. I’m 99% sure about the Linda part. For the last name, “Smith” keeps popping into my head. However I think her parents were, or at least her father was, Mexican, so “Smith” seems wrong. Her possibly-Mexican father was very strict, she told me, so, after the dance, I couldn’t stand with her and hold her hand while she waited for him to pick her up.

I clearly remember, though, what happened a couple days later. She asked me to walk her home after school. Her house was in the opposite direction of mine. I would miss my bus or possibly spend hours finding my way back from whatever mysterious paradise she lived in. I don’t know if it was those fears or fear of her strict father catching me with her that caused me to turn down her invitation. Maybe I doubted that she actually liked me.

It was Linda who initiated the conversations we had in English class that got us in trouble. It was Linda who suggested we meet at the dance. It was Linda who asked me to walk her home. It was me who blew the chance to have a girlfriend. I probably blocked out the obvious conclusion that she liked me because I didn’t know, if a girl likes you, what’s the next step?

Whenever I hear “The Letter” the entire experience oozes back, in a bitter-sweet sludge of stomach acid and nostalgia. I want to return to that day, smack 12-year-old me in the head and scream, “Idiot! The next step is to walk her home. The next step is to learn a dance. The next step is to step outside and kiss her.” (PDA would get you kicked out of the dance, so kissing had to occur behind the building, with the smokers.)

I don’t remember anything about Linda after that day of not walking her home. I know I never got another invitation. But mainly I don’t remember her being in our school any more. I have this feeling that her family moved away. Maybe that’s just how I resolved my whole stupid, pathetic behavior in my head.

Give me a ticket for a time machine,
I must go back and change that sorry scene.
Although those days are gone, they still live on
Every time I think of “The Letter”.