Saturday, April 30, 2005

Fractured Etymology No.7

The Pointmeister put on his glasses and rolled up his sleeves and dug into his dictionary and came up with a few more words for your edification,
  1. Accord - a lot of firewood
  2. Arctic - common misspelling of artic
  3. Astute - a small statue
  4. Britches - nasty wealthy women
  5. Brouhaha - giggles from drinking too much beer
  6. Budget - Neanderthal term for "get me a beer"
  7. Cereal - continuing story about corn flakes
  8. Commentators - ordinary potatoes
  9. Donate - past tense of donut
  10. Ennui - where you find a tear drop
  11. Java Script - a cup of coffee and a morning newspaper
  12. Pastry - a tree from which the sap is made into paste, related to the rubber tree
  13. Piazza - catcher for the Mets
  14. Placebo - a toy gazebo for dolls
  15. Popsicle - a large tricycle for adult males
  16. Pugilist - a roster of prize fighters
  17. Puppets - tiny pop-ups on a computer
  18. Quarterback - change from a dollar bill for a purchase of 75 cents
  19. Rhubarb - Ru Paul's sister who dresses up as a man
  20. Utilitarian - person who works for the electric company or the gas company

~ The next edition of Fractured Etymology will return. There's always room for Jello and some new words!

No. 126


Friday, April 29, 2005

Got Milk?

"Have a nice day, sir," the young girl at the register said to me.
~ Actually I had been having a fairly nice day before I walked into that supermarket. Stopping in for a gallon of milk and the few obligatory add-ons, my goal was to get in, get my milk and get out. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Only a few feet from the entrance I was besieged from behind by a shopping cart, not once, but twice by the same lady. That was the moment my day begin to deteriorate.
~ Upon finding the dairy case in dire need of restocking, I wondered if perhaps there was some unexpected shortage of milk. Of course, the previously mentioned lady had also parked in front of of the empty milk display. Needless to say, she had conveniently positioned herself where the stockboy needed to be. Indignant that she was asked to please move, she uttered a few expletives deleted not exactly becoming of a lady. I had always thought that gallons of milk containers coming from the same case would also have the same "sell by date." Apparently, this lady's experience shopping suggested otherwise as she read one by one the stamped dates.
~ From that point on I gave her the right of way and made sure she was in front of me. I strategically avoided any aisle she chose to take. A box of Cheez-Its and a bag of chips fulfilled my add-ons as I headed to the front of the store. Just as I emerged from one aisle, a mountain of on-sale cans of garbanzo beans came crashing down in my path. Someone had crashed their cart into the base of the display causing the avalanche. You guessed it, the same lady! She plowed through the debris while I was busy removing a dozen or so cans of garbanzos from my cart. By the way, I hate garbanzo beans!
~ Finally arriving at the express line of 12 or fewer items, I was dismayed to see my nemesis was there ahead of me. After a heated debate with the checkout clerk, her 30 or so items were scanned. It seems that her myriad of ailments precluded her from complying to item restrictions. A comment by a man behind me gave her the excuse to practice some more choice expletives. By the way, I also hate lines! Apoplexy had begun to set in as I patiently waited while she was digging through her pocketbook for coupons and her senior citizen discount card. Wetting the tip of her finger as she pulled one bill at a time from her purse, I was tempted to offer to count it out for her. Next was the excavation for the loose coins to make exact change. Apoplexy was just about full blown as the clerk began to eliminate items from the total. Yes, she had put more groceries into her cart than she had money. While this was going on, she muttered something about the stores high prices being responsible for her embarrassing shortage of funds. Curiously, one of the items left off her purchase was the gallon of milk.
~ As the lady carted her groceries away, I was stopped by the clerk. It was time for her break. The register was closed. By the way, I hate shopping! By the time I had moved to another register, got checked out, and finally left the store, I was most definitely having a bad day.
~ The girl at the register had meant well, but I don't think she realized the pressure she had put me under. She had put the onus on me. (I was reminded of a George Carlin skit). Did it occur to her that maybe, just maybe I didn't particularly want to have a nice day? Maybe I would have preferred to have a mediocre day or a so-so day. For all she knew, I might have been looking forward to a lousy day! She could have very well spoiled my day because she wasn't thinking about what she said.
~ The rest of the day I found myself walking on egg shells. I was cautious in every thing I did, overly cautious to a fault. From the moment I left that register, it was ordained for me to have a nice day. When I got to my truck, it was my turn to practice my skills of using expletives! Another car had pulled in beside me, so close that I couldn't open the passenger door. My only option was from the driver's side to reach across the console to deposit my bags on the floorboard. Once behind the wheel, I glanced in my rear view mirror in time to see the owner of the car approach. I nearly screamed! It was her again! I don't know who I pissed off that day, but they were getting their money's worth of revenge.
~ I got the hell away from there as fast as I could without taking out any one on the parking lot. Instead of first heading back to the house, I instead went to the drive-up window of the nearest coffee shop. Nothing, this side of a stiff alcoholic beverage can soothe ones soul like a cup of Joe. As it turned out, naturally, I had to go back into the place for a donut to help wash down the coffee. I would've bet the house that the one who served me the coffee must have been a relative of that lady in the grocery store!
~ I started to pull out of the coffee shop's lot when a another car whipped into the exit lane cutting me off. I lost it then and there. Parking where I sat, I was going to give that lady a piece of my mind! I had had all I could take from her. It wasn't her! It was the register clerk who turned me away to go on her break! In what might have looked like a comedy routine, the two of us apologized to each other, both of us claiming fault. Back in my truck about to turn into the traffic, I saw something that promised the rest of my day was going to be nice. There she was, that lady, tail-gating another car and blasting her horn. The poor bastard, he picked the wrong lady to cut off!
~Got milk? I got mine.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Cow Pie In Your Face

This could well be but the first in a series of periodic nominations of those certain individuals who have exhibited in actions or words, questionable behavior. In time this list will grow as more nominees are added. Only those who sink to the lowly station of pond scum have a chance to receive a " Cow Pie In Your Face Award."
~ In the near future, the growing list of nominees will be graded and ranked based upon the callousness of their misdeeds. The Cow Pie will come in five varieties, or "flavors," each recognizing different degrees of demerit. The Meadow Muffin, indicating a fresh deposit, will be worth 5 points. A Pasture Burger, crusty on the outside but having a soft center, will earn 4 points. Worth 3 points, the Country Flapjack is characterized by a flattened shape, crusty but pliable. The Cow Chip, a 2 pointer, is also crusty but brittle. Worth only 1 point, the Field Frisbee is hard and flat enough that it can be hurled and will sail great distances.
~ Who will receive the first Cow Pie? As you no doubt observed above, the Pointmeister doesn't believe in using conventional pies. There will be no meringues, no whipped creams, and no shaving cream pies used at this awards ceremony. They are much to easy to clean up after. These nominees deserve an award that reflects the stupidity of their actions.
~ Recently in the news, and thus recently having displayed actions worthy of a Cow Pie in the face, the following have the honor of being on the initial list of nominees, they are listed based upon the "flavor" of the Cow Pie they received in the face.
~ Cardinal Bernard Law gets a Meadow Muffin and 5 points. This arrogant Catholic Priest's vestments are as soiled his legacy. He continually protected his pedophile brethren with absolutely no remorse for the victims. Terri Shaivo's mother gets a Pasture Burger. While her 4 points places her behind Law, it is just barely. This self-righteous woman placed her own agenda ahead of her daughter's dignity and seemed to care little for her quality of life. Getting 3 points with a Country Flapjack, Michael Jackson is being afforded a little levity. While this 47 year old man acts like a 14 year old, he definitely has some issues and should be placed under psychiatric care, there are reasonable doubts surrounding his guilt. Also worthy of Country Flapjack and 3 points, Kobe Bryant will also get a benefit of doubt. Kobe was probably innocent of rape and more than likely his accuser was a willing participant. His faux pas was just simply allowing himself to get into that position in the first place. The girl probably should have been nominated in tandem with Kobe. A Cow Chip and 2 points goes to the one and only Martha Stewart. Had she admitted her guilt and not lied to the Federal Jury in the first place, she wouldn't have been offered a sniff of a Cow Pie. Finally, we have the Senator from Massachusetts, John Kerry. Since this is the very first of the nominations, there had to be at least one to receive a Field Frisbee and the 1 point.
~ There you have it, the inaugural nominees, a veritable rogues gallery, for the Cow Pie In Your Face Awards. The flavors awarded thus far are of course based upon my own personal views. You may or may not happen to agree with my list.
~ To make this work like I have envisioned it, I need help. If you would like to vote and hurl your own Cow Pie, feel free to click on comments. State your flavor and the nominee you think deserves a Cow Pie. If you happen to think any of the nominees do not deserve Cow Pies, you can make that statement and give the nominee a 0 (zero). Eventually your flavor points will be added those already in place. After a while, who knows, the Cardinal might fall down the list. Martha Stewart may climb the list.
~ You can also make a nomination of someone you'd like to see with Cow Pie in their face. Please feel free to do so, also in the comments. As the votes accumulate I will update the lists with standings and points. If there happens to be enough interest, there could very well be a an end of the year winner who could win "The Great Fertilizer Award."

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Prisons Do Have TVs

There is a buzz in Oshkosh, by gosh! One woman has found herself in an unenviable position. It's a dilemma no football fans in their right minds would want to face. Given the choice of giving up Green Bay Packers season tickets or going to jail for ninety days seems like a no-brainer to most people. Most people don't live in the Green Bay, Wisconsin area!
~ Sharon E. Rosenthal, 59, stole more than $3000 from labor union accounts before leaving her job. The money was used to pay household bills. Found guilty, she was sentenced Friday, 4/23, in Winnebago County Circuit Court on one felony count of theft. Judge Scott Woldt gave the Appleton, Wis. woman the option of donating her family's four Packers seats next season or to spend ninety days in lock up. The Judge suggested that the 3-game season package go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The jail time or the ticket donation will occur as part of her 2-year period of probation.
~ She has not yet indicated what she will do. It's a football fan's worst nightmare, especially when it comes to tickets for the Green Bay Packers. Fans there are among the most rabid in the country. Rosenthal's plight, not surprisingly, has sparked much debate in the county known for cheese, Oskosh clothing and of course the Pack!
~ One fan, a 40-something male who wished to remain anonymous, said he would go to jail. He said it took him much longer than ninety days to get his season's tickets. He spent over 12 years on the waiting list before he was able to garner his ducats. When asked what he would do if it were his wife facing the decision, he had no comment. The women of the area appeared to be split when asked what choice Rosenthal should make. One woman said that the Judge had levied a much too excessive punishment. Her daughter agreed, saying the decision was cruel and unjust and not fitting of the crime.
~ By the time the date is set for the sentence to begin and any possible appeals are filed, it could be late summer or early autumn before her time is actually served. There lies the tragedy one man said. Rosenthal would have to weigh whether to serve jail time when the season begins, or to stay home. Either way she will be unable to attend Packers games at Lambeau Stadium next season.
~ Hmm, now I understand this woman's dilemma. It's not that she herself would not be able to see the home games. The woman is clearly thinking of her family first. If she forfeits the tickets, she would also be denying her family to see the games. In jail, she would miss the games, but her family could attend the contests. I guess you can say that football is thicker than blood, even at the frozen tundra!
~ Another woman, sporting a Bret Favre jersey made it a point to note that either way, at least she can still watch the games on television. They do have TVs in prison, don't they?

Mirrorority Complex

While shaving, I cannot help but look into the mirror. Many times over the years, I have seen myself looking back at me. The face of my observer has changed quite a bit through it all, this thing we call life. The skin is looser. There are bags under my eyes many days. I can see the sagging skin beneath my chin.
~ The hair atop my head is thinning and it is flecked with grey. That same tint of grey is also prevalent in my beard and moustache. In places my hair is vanishing ever so slowly. Curiously there is hair growing elsewhere that I do not want at all.
~ Shaving has become so laborious. Not only do I have to take pains to trim my moustache, but now I have to trim my ears and nostrils. Even my eyebrows command attention.
~ Alas, this is not a picture of Dorian Gray that I gaze upon. The image staring back at me is no longer that of a youthful full-of-piss-and-vinegar man. I wonder what he is thinking, he on the other side of the glass? Is he as perplexed as I, as he looks upon my haggard visage?
~ A friend once told me that I had a face tailor made for radio. At the time, I thought it was funny. My reflection isn't laughing either. It may have been the same friend who once said I was two-faced. If I was indeed two-faced, there is no way in hell I'd be wearing this one! Once again the face in the mirror is maintaining a frown, finding nothing funny.
~ The two of us have been through a lot over the years. There was a time when our attention was directed at other parts of ourselves, not so lately. I never appreciated the reflection of the younger me. Perhaps he felt the same way. They say youth is wasted on the young. I didn't realize then that we were probably looking at each other and seeing the best of us in better times. You know, I miss that young foolish man. The things that I could tell him, I wonder if I would have listened if my likeness had said the same things to me then.
~ We were much younger then. We were invulnerable. Time was a number on a clock; nothing so esoteric as the past or the future. Then, there was only the present. Now, it is today, and it is the present that seems esoteric. The young man is not going to look back at me when I gaze into the mirror, just as he never saw the older me.
~ No, I never appreciated that bygone reflection of the younger me. I do now. I miss him. I wish he were here. I wish he were now!
No. 122

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Air Guitar-ing To The Oldies

Perhaps you have heard of us? No? You will! Well, we're one of the hottest bands around! We are The Air Apparent, the avant garde of the next and newest trend in touring bands.
~ You are among the first to see us live on stage. Welcome all of you! Before we start blowing your minds and rocking the ceiling off this place, let me first introduce the band. That's Joe, our lead vocalist at the air-mike. There's Pete on air-base. Back there is Gene on the air-drums. To my left, that handsome devil is Willie on the air-rhythm guitar. Tim is the one who tickles the keys on the air-organ. Bob, on my right is the air-sax player. Me, I am mike, lead air-guitar. And we are The Air Apparent!
~ It is between sets now, so I'll tell you a little bit about us. We all hail from different backgrounds and all work in different fields. Don't worry, for the time being we have all kept our day jobs! For several years all of us have struggled to get this band together. It hasn't been easy juggling family, work and a band. We persevered and practiced our raw talents, eventually fine-tuning ourselves into a legitimate band.
~ All of us at one time or another have endured the embarrassment of getting caught practicing at hoe or at work. Be honest now, how many times have you played some air-guitar? I'll bet there is more than a few out there who play a mean set of air-drums.
~ While some people compare us to lip-synchers, I must take exception to that. Lip-synchers have the music and beat backing them, and all they need to know is when to move their lips. An air-band, on the other hand, must know the chords and rifts on the guitars. The drummer needs to capture the tempo. The organist needs to when to cut in. The hornist must know his cues. Then all of those individual pieces must be synchronized into a fluent rendition of the song. We don't have a scrolling Karaoke monitor prompting us like the lip singers. We need to know all of the elements of the songs we play inside and out.
~ Tonight we are being paid in air-money. This free show is just the first step to stardom. But someday our gigs will be for real money. The crowds will be real. The major recording contract will be real. The garbage will be real. (Poof) Huh?
~ Oh yes. Yes dear. I'll take out the garbage now for real! Yes, right now. What? What am I doing? Er .. ah .. nothing. Nothing at all!

Westchester Witch

Which Westchester witch may have violated her probation? That Unidentified Flying Object seen over Manhattan last week did more than leave a sonic broom. The broom has landed.
~ The dastardly diva might have flown the coop once too often this time. With an ego immeasurably larger than her fortune, Martha Stewart has apparently stiffed the law again. A New York press member, probably in her pocketbook, referred to the incident as a faux pas. Hardly! A faux pas is a social blunder, a mistake, or an error in judgment. This act appears to be a malicious and direct act of defiance of her work-release sentence.
~ Time Magazine held a gala celebration of its 100 Most influential People. You want an example of faux pas? Why else would she be included on such a list unless it was an error in judgment. Nonetheless, there she was in a gray suit, the jacket held together at the breast by a gold diamond encrusted horse shoe. Of course, no outfit would be complete without the ultimate accessory - an electronic bracelet. Aha! Another faux pas, a fashion faux pas, can you say tacky? Where are those Rivers' gals when you need them? Maybe the FBI, Fashion Bureau of Investigation should have been called in.
~ To the editors of Time Magazine I say, "Yes, she has influenced people. She has influenced hundreds of thousands of people from both beyond and behind bars. But that hardly qualifies her as one of the most one thousand influential people, let alone one hundred.
~ Chris Stanton, chief federal probation officer for the Southern District of New York said, "We're going to do some questioning to see if this event was directly related to her employment." No Chris, it has nothing whatsoever to with her work. The so-called sentence she has been serving has had her under house confinement, except for 48 hours a week. Those 48 hours allow her to work, shop for food, keep medical appointments and to attend religious services. I assume the term "religious services" affords her the freedom to meet with her coven.
~ I am no expert on probation, but it appears to me that the above mentioned in no way allow for soirees at adulatory media galas. It certainly falls short of the perceived guidelines of good taste for convicts.
~ Thanks are given to the New York Post for breaking the story. There are excerpts from that paper's article included in this blog. I, for one, can only hope that that rag keeps us abreast of further developments in this matter. We need to know what the doyenne of de rigueur is up to. Convicts should not be allowed to roam where they please.
`No. 120

Monday, April 25, 2005

On The Prowl

~ The large cat had assumed the classic crouch, its body low to the ground. Its eyes and ears were attuned to its target which was milling about at the edge of the clearing. This was a drama that played out every night; the nervous but unsuspecting prey stalked by the hunter.
~ Somewhere out of sight was a second cat and it too was watching the animal. The two hunters were clearly working together, a team that been successful on many other nights. The smaller of the two would charge at the prey sending it scurrying for its life into the path of the other. The cats had aligned themselves in such a way that the prey had only one avenue of escape. That route however, was reduced greatly as the cats one after the other began to slowly close the distance between them and their prey.
~ The only sound noticeable was that of the prey foraging for food as it moved furtively in small arcing paths. It carefully avoided venturing too far into the open plain. Although it was a nocturnal animal, its eyes were much inferior to those of the cats. Under these conditions, it relied heavily upon acute hearing and an enhanced sense of smell.
~ There were other sounds, muffled sounds of the night in the distance. Those sounds and the creatures responsible for them were of little interest to the hunters and the hunted in this corner of the darkened landscape. An overcast sky had all but covered a bright full moon, casting no shadows but blanketing the scene in an eerie darkness.
~ The eyes of the cats were especially adapted for such darkness, unlike their prey. Normally its hearing and sense of smell would serve the small creature well. These cats however, were experienced at the hunt. They had been careful to remain downwind. Their stealth was a product of instinct. If perchance the cats' scent was detected or if their approach was heard, at this distance the prey had little chance of survival.
~ When the swift charge of the cats had been sensed, the poor creature had only a brief moment in which to react. Perhaps if there been only one predator bearing down upon it, there would have been another day. If it had decided to run boldly at the charging cats, it might have been able to have fled between them. Those options of course, needed time to formulate, time it didn't have.
~ The morning light crept over the plain ever so slowly. The darkness was dissipating, giving away to shrinking shadows. The night sounds were gone now, the creatures of the night had retreated to their hidden havens.
~ I came upon the scene of the drama from the night before. There were the two cats at rest beside the carcass of their kill. Contented for now, they had not yet fed upon the tiny creature.
~ Only when the whirring of the can opener would be heard from the kitchen, would they hungrily stir. Successful in cornering and ultimately catching the mouse, our two cats waited patiently as I disposed of their prize they had left for me to find. Only too happy to accept the praise in the form of of strokes to their heads and backs, they meowed and purred.
~ Back in the familiar crouch, not as a predator, but this time eating from their respective dishes, the two cats gorged themselves. Shortly the two of them would disappear somewhere, migrating to some asylum to sleep. Yes, they will venture out from time to time to the scene of the kill. The recent taste of the kill will have them out there again tonight. When the night once again rules the sky, they will rule the plain. They will be on the prowl.
~ NO.119

Sunday, April 24, 2005


>Counter< Nothingness! I just took an inventory of my relevant thoughts. I found nothing!
~ I was experimenting with the vistor's counter, and this where it landed. It was not what I had in mind. I like
nothing about it there. But I am leaving it there for now as a lesson to leave well enough alone. If it ain't broken don't break it by trying to fix it.
~ Nothingness! There doesn't seem to be anything in there as I shake my head. Nothing!
~ Let's see, nothing is an interesting word. Splitting the word you get: no thing. So what? That fact does nothing for me, as this blog is proving. Nothing. Not a thing. Zilch. Zip. Nada. Zero. Blank nothingness.
~ This must be where speech writers for politicians get their training. Writing nothing with nothing to write about nothing for nobody and no one. What a nothing idea! If not for nothing I would be in bed with dreams of .. nothing. I need nothing but sleep anyway. But nothing seems to sway the stubborn even when there is nothing to gain and nothing to lose. What does this prove? Nothing!
~ And those 600 indicated on the counter up there, where it does nothing for me, have been reading nothing. All those other zeroes mean something, even if is nothing. Well, if they are reading a whole lot of nothing, that explains why they leave nothing in the way of comments. Nothing to say, I guess. But if I said nothing, then that explains it.
I had nothing to say, ergo they have nothing to comment on.
~ The solution is a simple one. Write nothing further with nothing to say until I find something to say. That said, I have accomplished nothing, and have nothing to show for it. The poor reader who comes a long with nothing better to do, thus finds nothing worthwhile to read and has nothing to comment on. He/she then has nothing to do but to go and find another blog to read.
~ I would apologize, but then since I wrote nothing, I have nothing to be sorry about. And I have nothing to complain about. Whew! I sure feel better now. This whole blog was much ado about... nothing !
No. 118

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Mechanic

A man, whom I will call John to protect the idiot, had recently moved to Chicago. Having been born and raised on a rural Iowa farm, John had little knowledge of urban life. On the morning of his fourth day in his new neighborhood, he was shocked to find that his car had been vandalized sometime during the night.
~ Not familiar with area, he asked passersby on the sidewalks and strangers in a coffee shop, if they could recommend a good mechanic. After several "get losts," and those who just simply walked away, he was finally successful. The short order cook at a nearby deli gave him a name and phone number.
~ "Mario is the best mechanic in the city. And he is reasonable," the cook advised him.
~ Later, at the same deli, John saw a well dressed, well tanned man walk through the door. "You the one needa mechanic?" he queried.
~ Nodding, John noticed that Mario was wearing an expensive three-piece suit. "You like my suit?" he asked. "Something wrong with the way I look?"
~ Oh, no," replied John. "It's just that I've never seen a mechanic dressed so well where I come from."
~ "And where would that be, where you're from?" Mario countered.
~ In Iowa," John answered. "My mechanic there wore bib overalls."
~ "Bib overalls?" Mario roared. "Hey, Tony," he said over his shoulder to the cook. "Where did you find this guy? And you gave him my number?" Mario, not waiting for an answer from Tony said to John, "Okay. So you need a mechanic. Well, here I am, a well dressed mechanic. Now tell me why you need my services."
~ John, matter of factually told Mario of the fate that had befallen his car. He told him that he was new in town, and Tony was the only one who offered to give him help and the name of a good mechanic.
~ "Ah," said Mario. "Now we are getting somewhere. You need a wax job! So, you know who did this to your car?"
~ "Er, no. I was in bed. And..Wax job? I need have my car fixed! Not waxed!"
~ John noticed that a change came over Mario's countenance. His face seemed to redden. His dark eyes seemed to be burning. From the corner of his eye, he caught a glimpse of the cook slipping into a backroom. Suddenly two powerful fists were clutching bunches of his shirt and he was jostled roughly against a wall.
~ "Fix your car? Fix your car!" Mario yelled angrily. "You waste my time because you think I'm going to fix your car? That's what you think? A mechanic of my skill fixes cars? How about me waxing you, right here, right now?"
~ A half hour later, John woke up next to a dumpster in the alley behind the deli. His whole body ached. There was blood on his shirt. He tried to get up but he could not. The pain in his leg confirmed the worst, his kneecap was broken. He wasn't going anywhere without help. Mario had beaten the living daylights out of him!
~ It was several minutes before his cries for help were finally answered. The good Samaritan seeing his condition, said to John, "Who did this to you? Are you all right?"
~ It hurt to even talk, it felt like his jaw was broken. John managed to whisper to tell the man what had happened as well as he could remember.
~ "You definitely need a doctor!" he said as pushed a few buttons on his cell phone. "Some advice before help arrives. You are in the big city now. If you want your car fixed, look in the Yellow Pages. Don't ask anybody on the street in this neighborhood for a mechanic. If you want an eraser, make sure you are in an office supply store. Not on the street!"
~ His benefactor stood up and began to walk away, "Here comes the doctor now. Remember," he said, "Be careful what you ask for on the street, you just might get it!"
~ Barely conscious, John was trying to understand what the man was saying. He was still trying to fathom just exactly what happened to him in that deli. A sudden thought occurred to him; doctors in Chicago make alley calls?
~ The large man stood before him, looking every bit a well dressed giant from John's perspective. He knelt down looking John over. He poked him a coup[le of times as John winced from the contact.
~ "You musta pissed somebody off real good," he said. "They sure did a number on you." He nodded toward the entrance to the alley, "Your friend did the right thing not calling an ambulance. You definitely need a doctor. Your treatment can wait."
~ "What? What do you mean?" John said. In agony he slowly told his story to the doctor before him. John froze, he saw the same transformation he had seen on Mario's face now appear on the doctor's face. He could remember nothing from that moment on. He later learned that he had been in a coma for six weeks in the hospital bed he awoke in. It seemed like his entire body was in a cast. He learned that in addition to his shattered kneecap, he had also sustained two broken arms, several broken ribs, a broken jaw and multiple contusions and lacerations all over his body.
~ A nurse carrying a clipboard entered the room and said, "Good afternoon. How are you feeling today?" Making no attempt to to understand his muffled speech because of the jaw brace, she added, "We found your identification in your wallet, sir. And a telephone number for your place of employment. They confirmed that you worked there and were covered by their insurance."
~ John sighed. That was the first and closest thing to good news he had heard since he went to bed the night before he discovered his damaged car.
~ Atfer checking his vitals, the nurse started to leave to continue her rounds. "Oh, yes," she said softly, "Your boss asked if it was okay for him to stop by and see you. The doctor said it was okay for you to receive visitors." She pointed at the door, "He is outside now. I'll send him in."
~ What happened next is the stuff of urban legend. Of literally dozens of witnesses, several different versions of the story were told. The most frequently told story relates how on that day a patient with casts on two arms and a leg had jumped out of a second floor hospital window. Somehow the man had survived the plummet to the parking lot and then had disappeared. He was reported by several pedestrians to have been hobbling down Main Street.
~ To this day, it has been speculated that a man described by some as a mummy had boarded a bus chartered for Des Moines, Iowa. The man's boss and the nurse on duty that day were overheard stating the man had reacted in terror when told of his visitor. The man, as well as the employees at the company could find no clue as to why the man would be afraid of the boss. Why would anybody be so afraid of a taxman?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Flayed and Keelhauled

Imagine having your skin scraped off and then be bound by your wrists and thrown overboard a ship at sea. Imagine trying to hold your breath while the crewmen haul you underwater beneath the ship from port to starboard. Finally, imagine the sting of the salt water on your raw skin!
~ It's not the sort of thing I'd wish upon my worst enemy. But as I write this, and as you read it, it's about to happen to us all! Well, actually we won't be flayed and keelhauled, but it will be just as bad.
~ It would probably be more correct to call it McCained and Kennedyed! In an AP article, it was reported on Friday, April 22, that the Senators McCain and Kennedy are co-authoring a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. Under their proposal, these people would be fined, but allowed to remain in the country to earn a chance to apply for permanent residency.
~ The Flayed and Keelhauled Bill would be an alternative to President Bush's guest-worker program, which of course caters to big business and corporations and which is opposed by many conservatives. The McCain-Kennedy proposal would allow illegal immigrants to acquire 3-year visas, renewable one time. After 6 years of work, they would be eligible for legal residency.
~ McCain said it would not be practical to deport 10-12 million illegals. He cited that there would be those who'd say, "Send them back to their own countries." (Count me as one of them.) "It's not going to happen," McCain said.
~ I submit to both McCAin and Kennedy, if these illegals aren't honoring their visas now, what makes them think they will be interested in this option? It ain't going to happen!" Imagine the rush of 10-12 million people pushing and elbowing to be first in line to come out of hiding to stay in this country. Unless I miss my guess, aren't they already here? Aren't they already working? Aren't they probably not paying taxes? Aren't they managing 7-11 Convenience stores? Aren't they driving cabs?
~ I wouldn't doubt that some of them are manning the ropes on a ship, keelhauling our flayed asses underwater in stinging salt water right now!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Say It Ain't So, Scooby Doo

Earlier today, the world of animation was thrown into wide spread turmoil. Not since the infamous scandal involving Mr. Magoo and Porky Pig, has the cartoon industry been subjected to such close scrutiny. The controversy involving those two individuals also embroiled the artists and animators. On the heels of that came the sweeping changes that targeted violence and subject material of children's entertainment ever since.
~ To this day, Mr. Magoo has maintained it was all a big mistake. Because of his myopic vision, he had entered the wrong dressing room. He was supposed to have met a certain toon starlet, the identity of whom has never been revealed. As for Porky, he too said he was waiting for a certain unnamed character. Not wishing to draw attention to themselves, the two of them thinking they were with their expected date, soon found themselves in a most compromising pickle.
~ The uproar today, however, has nothing to do with trysts or relationships. As is often the case, this story has broken on the eve of the release of a tell-all-book. Rumors of its publication had been whispered about for several months. Not unlike the Jose Canseco book which threatened to confirm the suspected use of steroids in baseball, this novel too would cast a shadow. There was a rumor that afterwards, Pepi le Pew was seen outside the dressing room door holding a rather large bouquet of flowers.
~ Long suspected as a user of banned substances, Bluto has come clean on his use of performance enhancers. Like Canseco, he too has decided to name names and take others down with him. In the book he claims to have administered steroids to his long-time screen nemesis, Popeye the Sailor! In fact, he claims they were injecting each other in the bathroom stalls at the studio.
~ Popeye vehemently denied the allegations of Bluto, claiming that he has at no time ever used performance enhancing chemicals. In his signature pose, he squeezed open a can of spinach and declared that the source of his strength came only from naturally grown greens. His pipe twirling angrily in his mouth, he said to the gathered press, "I yam what I yam! I'm Popeye the Sailor Man!" A toot-toot and puffs of smoke escaped from his pipe.
~ Sources in the lucrative cartoon business stood firm that they were not aware of any cartoon characters using illegal substances. They went on to say that a full scale investigation of their own had already been launched.
~ It was learned also that several other toons named in Bluto's book had retained legal counsel. Among those hiring attorneys were Foghorn Leghorn, Underdog and Mighty Mouse. Once the pall of suspicion had befallen Popeye, those with powers and brawn were cast immediately under the microscope. Besides the strong men, curious eyes also turned to the toons known for quickness. This group included Speedy Gonzalez, the Roadrunner and Sheriff Ricochet Rabbit.
~ Tennessee Tuxedo has volunteered to represent any toon free that might be unable to afford an attorney. Mr. Peabody with his boy Sherman, has offered to use the Way-Back Machine to return to any alleged dates of abuses. Tudor Turtle has also offered assistance, because with the aid of Mr. Wizard, he too could visit any date in the past.
~ There was also another breaking story with possible damaging consequences to the world of cartoons, though not as scandalous. There are rumors flying among the female characters also. It was not covered in his book, but Bluto was overheard saying that many of the girls had had plastic surgery and liposuction. Also several of them had been fitted with both buttocks and breast implants. They were not named specifically, but both Betty Boop and Jessica Rabbit have been long suspected of body enhancements. There have even been whispers about Tinker Bell!
~ Sheesh, isn't anything sacred anymore? If our American cartoons are going to be subjected to such controversy, one can only wonder when disparaging attacks are aimed at the characters of Japanese Anime. After all, those powers are not acquired naturally!
~ Perhaps like baseball, most of the troubles in Cartoon Land will be swept under the rug and soon forgotten. Say it ain't so, Scooby Doo!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Blog Not Written

(With appologies to Robert Frost)
Two blogs merged in my noggin' of wood.
And sorry I could not post them both
And be one blogger, longing it to be good
And jotted down one as fast as I could
To where it took form and was not loath;
Then wrote the other as just and fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was sassy and had flair,
Though as for that, the blogging there
Had made them really about the same,
And both that evening equally play
On keys I stroke on white with black.
Oh, I saved the other for another day!
Yet, blogging drives me in such a way,
I doubted if I would ever recall it back.
I shall be posting this one with a sigh,
Somedays nothing makes any sense:
Two blogs in a head of wood, and I -
I posted this one and I don't know why,
Cos neither were of any significance!
(This was just an experiment. A silly idea I thought I'd try. I can give no reason why. I'm not sure of my intent. For you see, no Frost am I.)
No. 114

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Your Mama Wears Combat Boots

This morning on NBC's The Today Show, there was another one of those "original" make-over segments. It is just what we all needed isn't it? That must have been quite a think-tank meeting back stage at the studio. Let's see, Matt and Katie on one side of the boardroom table, were probably across from Al and Co-Jo? With all that talent, the make-over savvy could only be rivaled by such a production as "the Sims."
~ This make-over should have someone special, someone all of America would want to see being made-over. The suspense was killing me during the eternity of a commercial break, after which the make-over guest would be announced. I was certain that they would make over someone who has been desperately crying out to be made-over, transformed into a more pleasing appearance. My fingers were crossed. It just had to be Joan Rivers! And why not throw in the daughter while they are at it?
~ Well, alas, that wasn't who they announced. It wasn't Meryl Streep either. Rats! Thankfully it wasn't Martha Stewart. Whew! That would have been some serious waste of air time, not to mention the truckload of cosmetics needed for such an overhaul. Besides, can beauty cream make-over a personality deficiency?
~ Disappointed as I was, I had to admit that their choice was commendable. Their choice was more deserving than the others anyway. Would you believe they are making over between fifteen and twenty women of the U.S. Armed Forces? NBC had responded to an e-mail from one of the female soldiers. Their unit was finally coming home after an extended tour of duty in Iraq. They say Basra and Baghdad are lovely this time of year. (They also said that Seinfeld was funny!) Since the parenthesized is obviously not true, it is a safe bet to say the same for the former.
~ Since Levitra, Oil of Olay and Kelloggs Fruit Loops were picking up the tab, the Today Show make-over specialists were there at the base when when the unit disembarked from the luxurious C-130 Hercules planes. As the G.I. Janes, Jeans and Judys filed into the hangar led by G.I. Sgt. Bertha, I thought "I sat through those commercials for this?"
~ Well, to make a short story long, shortly after the soldiers had been debriefed, the make-over began. You've all seen at one time or another these make-over shows, so it should come as no surprise if I told you the transformations were quite dramatic. You've never seen a make-over until you've seen a change from fatigues to formals. Khakis and safari hats gave way to high heels and plunging necklines. Dogtags morphed into necklaces.
~ I would be remiss if I didn't throw in an obligatory "oh, by the way." Oh, by the way, there were several of them who looked better in the khakis. As evident by the hooting and howling and wolf whistles from the men in the unit, a lot of them were knockouts! The aforementioned several were told to put the khakis back on! Apparently agreeing with their critics, some of them went to the dressing room and did just that. For some reason, the men of the outfit had much more interest than before in their distaff numbers.
~ Shortly, as the Today Show crew was wrapping up, the families of the soldiers were allowed access to their loved ones. Something tells me that those civilian husbands and boyfriends were hugging and kissing their made-over wives and girlfriends with a lot more passion than they might have had they been in fatigues.
~ Two young boys, probably friends, were standing by their parents who were still embracing. One was standing next to a young woman in a sexy dress with a thigh-high slit. The other lad was with one who had changed back into here government issues.
~ The first boy was overheard saying to the other, "Your mama wears combat boots!"
No. 113

Monday, April 18, 2005

How Much Is That Bloggie In The Window?

Whenever I find the time, I like to browse around blog sites reading the efforts of other bloggers. I cannot help but to be amazed at the sheer variety out there, not only of style and subject matter, but also of the intelligence behind them. While some blogs are comprised of random, scattered thoughts, still others border on the bizarre. There is of course, the smattering of pornographic and racist materials out there also.
~ I am neither a critic nor a morality cop, and I apologize if I come across as either. I am just trying to see how and where I fit into the scheme of things. I read my fellow bloggers' postings with great interest.
~ I have my own style, usually in the forms of satire, humor and parodies, which have garnered me some measure of praise. It is not for the proverbial pat on the back that I write, but more so to purge my brain of thoughts and ideas that have been bouncing around in there for years.
~ Take the title of this blog for example, it obviously rings somewhat familiar to most. I have had that line written down for over three months, but not quite sure how to use it. Touring the Universe of Blogdom the last few days, I was also struck with the realization that many blogs are actually diaries of sorts. The authors open up and actually post "themselves" into their bodies of work.
~ I suppose some of me exists in my postings, although I have never sensed that I was consciously injecting myself into them. Another thing I noted was that many of the blogs were not only visited and read, but the readers were not shy about leaving comments. Since Jan.20, 2005, this will be the 112th blog I have posted. If I were to disregard the comments from my friends, real and cyber, I would be left with very few comments at all. The counter I use has recorded over 560 visits to my site, an average of 140 per month. Where are the comments?
~ It is now that I'll finally get to the point. Should I adapt to conform to the diarist style of blogging? Should I abandon my passion for satire, my love of humor, and my enjoyment of parodies? Perhaps there is a way that I can incorporate a more personal approach to my postings and yet maintain the personae I have already established.
~ How about it, blog readers? I guess you could say I am fishing for comments. There must be something wrong with the bait I am using! Maybe it is my antennae and I am transmitting on a different frequency. I don't know. I would appreciate your comments and/or advice that you might proffer. In the meantime, I'll go with the flow and stick with my thoughts and ideas as they trickle from my brain onto the keyboard.
~ For now, I am going shopping! By the way, how much is that bloggie in the window?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Lavender Leopard

Pierre Clouseau had been a loser for most of his life. Everything he touched it seemed, turn to mold. It seemed that he was fated to stay in the shadow of his bumbling brother, Inspector Jacques Clouseau. His brother could step in crap and come out smelling like a rose. Pierre, on the other hand, would pick the rose that a cow had just crapped on.
~ After their schooling days, they went their separate ways. Jacques had pursued a career in law enforcement and had become quite famous. Pierre, meanwhile had drifted from one failed endeavor to another venture and another.
~ At one time he was a Pachydermologist, but that business soon folded. Apparently there were not many of the elephants looking for plastic surgery or liposuction. He bought a partnership in a camel racing track after the first debacle. He learned rather quickly that there wasn't much interest in thoroughbred camels. Few ever came out to watch the camel races.
~ He once had the idea that he would have success building docks for all those wealthy yacht owners. Pulling up stakes, he left home headed for the Boondocks. Once he had arrived there, he was dismayed to learn that there was no need for docks there. The people there didn't even own boats and therefore had no marinas where a dock could be put to use. His next venture was into the culinary field. His specialty however, was not well received. It seemed that no one wanted his piping hot vichyssoise, preferring it cold.
~ Another time he tried to garner fame by attempting to take credit for the invention of the Internet. He gave up on that idea when he learned that Al Gore had beaten him to it. His one big chance at success was at hand once, but he let it slip through his fingers. Trying to find a cure for hangnail one day in his make-shift laboratory, he found a chemical process whereby iron could be changed into gold. Assuming that if he had figured it out, someone else would have done so already, he threw away his formulae and notes. He soon completely forgot how he had done it in the first place.
~ He later realized that the ability to create gold so easily would have upset the world's economy. Even though no one knew of his discovery, he took solace in the fact that he had saved the very financial fiber of the globe.
~ It wasn't until he heard on the news of a terrorist takeover of a downtown skyscraper, that he realized his true calling. In a press release they had demanded, the leader of the Patriots Haj Of Oppressed Eastern Yahoos, also known as P.H.O.O.E.Y., announced that they had thirty hostages and would execute them one by one if their demands were not met. Their first demand was that Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California take voice lessons until he could properly pronounce the state he governed. The second demand was that President Bush's two daughters be sent over to have a few drinks and listen to CDs of 50 Cent and Lenny Kravitz. To prove their point they shoved one of the hostages in front of the camera and placed a rifle to his temple. It was his brother, Jacques, the world famous detective, Inspector Jacques Clouseau!
~ While the world watched in horror to see the great Pink Panther humbled, Pierre was en route to the scene. It was incredible, but he managed to slip by the four sentries posted to the lobby, and climbed the stairs to where the hostages were being held. Hiding behind a large gray cylinder, he surveyed the scene and was horrified to see that the sixteen terrorists were entertaining the hostages by singing Karaoke. The thirty hostages, his brother among them were actually tapping their feet as one did an admirable "Stairway To Heaven."
~ He realized that he was in over his head and would need help with the rescue. A female terrorist took over the microphone and started to sing a wonderful version of "Don't Sleep In the Subway." Trying to retreat, Pierre tripped on his own shoelace and fell against the cylinder. Crashing on the floor, the valve was snapped off releasing the gas.
Within minutes everyone in the room, the sixteen terrorists and the thirty hostages were rendered unconscious. He looked down at the lettering on the cylinder and saw that it was made in Mexico. It read: "Mucho Strong Sleeping Gas."
~ He went around the room gathering the terrorists' weapons. Certain that everything was secure, he picked up the phone and dialed the police headquarters to report that he had incapacitated the Phooeys. He couldn't resist when he looked over at the microphone on the floor. Making his selection, he went into a hearty version of Freddie Mercury and Queen's "We Are The Champions." Meanwhile, the four sentries immediately surrendered when the police SWAT team began approaching the building. Because he had a similar voice as his brother, the officer at headquarters had informed the force that Inspector Clouseau had subdued the terrorists.
~ Amid the cameras and the sea of microphones, a subdued Jacques Clouseau was rambling on about the fruitless attempts of evil terrorists to defeat the decent people of the world. Fearing that his brother once again was smelling like the proverbial rose, Pierre turned to help with the freed hostages. Then he heard his brother say, "And over there is the real hero here today. The man who saved us, the man in the purple suit, my brother Pierre Clouseau!"
~ It must have been something innate in the two of them, for as the two brothers were fending questions from the press, they suddenly launched themselves into song with a great rendition of "Love By The Dashboard Lights." Side by side, reveling in the applause, were the duo of the Pink Panther and the Lavender Leopard.
No. 111


Saturday, April 16, 2005

High Road To Low Life

When the inmates run the asylum, all manners of strange stories are the results. When law breakers have more rights and receive better treatment than the victims, our judicial system is in dire need of a major overhaul.
~ From his book Evil: An Investigation, Lance Morrow says, "Evil portrays itself, almost with exception, as injured innocence, fighting back." That certainly seems to be the case when you hear about the defense ploys of some of the accused.
~ One might feel like a homesteader in a wagon train being drawn into a circle to fend off an Indian attack. Leading the charge are the defense Attorneys of the perpetrators. The following are actual cases where the accused claim to be the victim, and where the "real" blame belongs.
~ A man shot another man in a restaurant after an argument over a lounge singer. The shooter claimed he was nervous because of terrorism. He bought the gun because the country was in an Orange Alert.
~ A female Air Force Captain was facing Court Martial after testing positive for cocaine. Her husband claims he was at fault; he had put cocaine on "himself" prior to her performing oral sex.
~ A nursing home aid raped and impregnated a comatose patient. He claimed his intentions were honorable. He was trying to shock the victim out of her coma.
~ A lawyer found himself as a defendant after sixty-one child porn movies had been found on the hard drive of his computer. He claimed it was ddue to a mysterious porn virus that had infected his computer, not once, but twice.
~ A man assaulted a woman who was sunbathing topless on an isolated beach. The man claimed the attack was the result of his indignation by the woman's nudity.
~ A Port Authority cop was caught video-taping an 11 year old girl taking a shower. His defense? He claims it was because of stress from the 9/11 attack. The girl's actions earlier were so suspicious, he felt obligated to keep an eye on her.
~ A man savagely beat his girlfriend and threw her infant son against a wall. The perpetrator claimed that PCP dust had floated down from a hotel balcony and landed on his head.
~ An investment counselor faces the judge after he had ripped off up to 53 people for $7.3 million. He claims he has an addiction to money.
~ An African-American man whipped and beat his two year old son to death. He said that he was suffering from "post-traumatic slave syndrome!"
~ A pedophile is accused of twice grabbing a co-worker's ass at a homeless center. He claims it was due an "involuntary muscle spasm."
Is that enough to "impress" you just where our judicial system is heading? Talk about a high road to low life! The previous cases all resulted in convictions, though some will probably be appealed. Want to be impressed even more?
The following cases have lead to dismissal or have civil suits pending.
~ A careless teenager had fallen into a gorge. Risking their own lives over a 300 foot gorge, firefighters retrieved him in dramatic fashion. The teen's injuries however, proved to be fatal. The parents have sued the firefighters for not securing his head properly.
~ A woman became pregnant by her boyfriend while the two of them were incarcerated on separate charges. The family of the girl are suing the sheriff for not preventing the sex. They are seeking child support.
~ A woman left a smoldering cigarette in her car. In a resulting fire, her toddler was severely burned. She successfully sued Philip Morris, the maker of the cigarette, and is awarded $2 million.
~ A man is electrocuted while knocking a palm frond from a power line with a pool skimmer. His widow has filed suit against the pool supply store because the pool skimmer did not have a warning label.
~ A New York City man climbed atop a garbage truck at the WTC during the clean-up after 9/11. When the truck pulled away he fell off. He is suing the garbage firm for "failing" to respect his rights as a pedestrian.
There you have it. Sad to say, but it appears that the bad guys have the advantage all over us in the white hats. No one wants to be a victim, but it sure would be nice if we were playing on a level field. I don't know about you, but this is positively the last time I take a wagon train, especially one that uses the high road to low life.
(Please note that the this blog has taken excerpts from an article appearing in the May 2005 issue of Playboy magazine. What kind of man reads Playboy? The Pointmeister does.)

Friday, April 15, 2005

Taxes Attacks Us

March has the Ides and April has the taxes. Beware the two fifteenths! Beware the Ides of March was a good piece of advice that Julius Caesar ignored. He got the point and was stuck with it. Beware the Taxes of April was advice that Al Capone should have heeded. In a way he got the point also, for he was nailed for tax evasion.
* Every year on this date, there are those nervous, despondent faces of those who have waited until the Nth hour to file their State and Federal taxes. Whether they are filing themselves or are paying someone to prepare them, their numbers are large.
* Despite advice to have accurate records, there will be those souls who arrive at H&R Blockhead's offices with stacks of receipts and notes on napkins and shirt sleeves. Almost all of the receipts are not acceptable. The notes are as ridiculous as they are sublime. Some are shocked to discover that they cannot claim their cats, dogs, and birds as dependents. (Crap! I have to start all over. I forgot about that pet thing.) Why is that the car they had towed to the junk yard cannot be deducted? They are perplexed to learn they need a receipt for the twelve thousand dollars in charitable contributions they had made during the year. That the church gave them no receipts makes no difference, is something they are not too happy to hear.
* Some show up in suits with coordinated ties and socks to make the best impression. Surely if they show up looking successful, then surely they will be given the benefit of any doubt. It seems to them that if they are well dressed and kempt and their records are neat and organized, every thing they declare will be accepted post haste.
Others show up in tattered or worn clothing, looking for all the world paupers. A preparer will surely see that they are indigent and need every break they can get.
* How successful are the ploys of appearance? Well, let's just say that appearance and a dime will not get you a cup of coffee. The following story pretty much explains the fruits of appearance to sway tax preparers and auditors.
* A man is faced with meeting with an IRS examiner who will be auditing his recent tax filings. Worried sick, he seeks advice from his neighbor who is a successful Stock Broker. Walking next door past his neighbor's two Jaguars, he knocks on the door. Inside, he relates his plight to the neighbor.
* "How should I dress?" he asks.
* "Wear the best suit you own. Have your shirt and pants cleaned and pressed. Make sure your shoes are polished. Make sure you are clean and well shaven," advised the broker. "Make the auditor think you are a successful business man. A successful man does not cheat on his taxes because he doesn't have to."
* Leaving his neighbors house, he is still uncertain. He is not sure that as a middle income office clerk that he can convince anyone that he is a highly successful business man. He decides to call on his lawyer to see what advice he might get from him.
* Sitting in a coffee shop with his lawyer he explains his plight and what the stock broker had told him.
* "Take it from me," the lawyer began. "You need to do just the opposite. I want you wear the raggiest suit you own. Don't wear a matching tie. These auditors are not idiots. They will see right through that ploy. You need to see him as a poor man, barely eking out a living. He will take pity on you and go easy on you."
* Afterward, he is more perplexed than ever. Both options from obviously successful men required him to be less than honest. He was walking past his church and decided to talk to his Rabbi.
* After hearing the man's story and the two sets of conflicting advice he had received, the Rabbi assured him that everything would work out favorably.
* "I can best help you by telling you an appropriate story," said the Rabbi.
* "Okay," the man said not certain that this would help him.
* "A young woman is getting married. She is distraught because she is not sure what she would wear to bed on her wedding night. Her mother told her to wear a floor length long sleeved night gown to keep an air of mystery over her new husband. Like you, she sought out more advice. Her best friend told her to wear the skimpiest, sheerest and most revealing negligee she could find." The Rabbi smiled and nodded at him.
* "But what has a bride and what she wears on her wedding night got to do with me? How can this help me with an IRS audit?" he asked the Rabbi in anguish.
* The Rabbi spoke almost in a whisper, "You and that bride are quite alike. For no matter what you wear, in the end you are screwed!"
* Well, good luck with your tax filings today folks. Ahem, I filed mine in February. I have since received both refunds in the mail and deposited them. In fact, those funds have since been depleted. Though it is too late now for you, the best advice is to file early and not wait until the last minute. Ponder that while you go through your closets and dressers looking for the good suit or the old suit. Remember the advice when you look for your flannel gowns or those see-through teddies. Try not to get screwed....too much!
No. 109


It is ironic that a town famous for its controversial history would find itself embroiled in more. The infamous witch hunts of 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, are well documented in the chronicles of history and folklore. The execution of nineteen people for practicing witchcraft forever etched this town in the pages of dark history.
~ Somewhere along the line, the citizens of Salem decided to no longer hang their heads in shame. Indeed, the city has embraced witchcraft, turning it into a profitable tourist gimmick. Billing themselves as "the Witch City," those nineteen victims have been personified into a living legacy. This is evident by no other date on the calendar but Halloween. All Hollows Eve, or the Witching Night, upon which the city uses its nefarious notoriety to lines its coffers, has become a virtual holiday there.
~ Salem's latest dance with controversy in today's news is an internal one. A debate is raging over a proposed statue of a witch, and not just any witch. The debate however, is not that the statue is of a witch, but where in the city it will be placed. The proposed site, Lappin Park, is in the center of town. One faction is satisfied with that location, while the other side would prefer a less conspicuous site.
~ No one is contesting the fact that the statue is that of a witch. There is no talk that it represents not just any witch, but a ficticious, albeit well known witch. The nine-foot bronze statue is being sponsored by TV Land. They have a vested interest of course, as the cable company owns the syndication rights to the 60's TV program Bewitched. The publicity of the soon to be released movie version starring Nicole Kidman, is not lost on TV Land and the Salem Redevelopment Authority.
~ If you haven't gathered by now, the statue in question is to be a replica of Samantha Stephens, that nose-twitching witch played by Elizabeth Montgomery from the series. This is not the first time that the program has caused a stir involving a statue. In one episode, the statue of The Fisherman in Gloucester, Ma., is brought to life by Samantha. Incidentally, Max Baer, Jr., Jethro Bodine on The Beverly Hillbillies, was the actor who portrayed the living fisherman statue.
~ Say what you will about erecting a statue of a TV character, I find it amusing that that isn't a controversy in Salem. From where "Samantha" will greet the tourists is the hot topic at City Hall in the Witch City.
~ While Salem decides the fate of the bewitching statue, I was set to wondering about such tributes to other TV characters. I have a few characters in mind to suggest that their personae be immortalized in a statue. I would like to see the following statues erected forthwith.
~ At a U.S. Naval base, I propose a ten-foot replica of Popeye the Sailor Man. Perhaps in Auschwitz they could put up one of Col. Klink of Hogan's Heroes. Somewhere in America's heartland they should consider a large likeness of Arnold Ziffel, a star of Green Acres. Don't you think a Daisy Duke statue could dress up a southern town square? What marina would be complete without the imposing fifteen-foot Gilligan?
~ Redd Foxx as the lovable Fred Sanford feigning the "big one," would be a nice addition to the court yard of large hospital. Archie Bunker and Dingbat could look down upon admirers in Central Park in New York City. In Milwaukee, visitors could imitate the six-inch raised thumb of the Fonz. Almost any town in Appalachia would be proud to have a ten-foot Jed Clampett watching over them.
~ While all of the above suggestions have been met with much interest and approval, some of my ideas didn't fly. The people of Auschwitz would want no part of a German soldier being honored by a statue. There wasn't much interest in Rosanne Barr, Oprah Winfrey, or Ellen Degeneres statues. Alas, I didn't get any positive feedback on my proposal for a likeness of the Pointmeister. Oh well, you can't blame me for trying!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Alien Passports

~ Let's see if I got this right, everyone must have a valid passport to enter the U.S.? Even if they are wanting to enter from Canada and Mexico, they must have a valid passport? Now, this also includes someone who just left the U.S. yesterday for a brief visit to Montreal or Tijuana? This also applies to someone returning from a vacation in Bermuda?
~ Well, I am glad to see that they have us, the citizens covered. I suppose this must apply to illegal aliens already here in the States. If we American citizens need a passport, then surely illegal aliens must also. Man, can you imagine how long the passport lines are going to be? Maybe they will have two lines: one for citizens, and another for illegals.
~ If I were to hop over the border into Mexico for some ..ahem.. partying or a tattoo in Tijuana, I would need a passport to get back across the border into the U.S. of A. Okay, I can accept that. It makes sense in the age of terrorism. On the other hand, this would also have positive effects on keeping non-citizens in check. Without a valid passport, they would not be able to re-enter America. Uh, question: how were they getting in here in the first place? Couldn't they just keep doing what they have been doing to get here in the first place? Why would they want to wait in a line to get a passport? I would think that status quo would work best for them. Correct?
~ (Scene: Mexico at U.S. border Customs check point)
~ Customs Agent: Okay, Mr. ..uh.. Muhammad? Your passport seems to be in order. What brings you to the U.S.? What is the nature of your visit?
~ Suspicious Arab: My mission is to blow up a bomb at a major spoting event.
~ Customs Agent: Very good. Have you anything to declare?
~ Suspicious Arab: No. All the supplies I need to build my explosive device are on sale at Wal-Mart this week.
~ Customs Agent: Very good. Here's your passport. Enjoy your stay in the United States.
~ (Scene: Canada at U.S. border Customs check point)
~ Customs Agent: Okay, Mr. ..uh.. Abdullah? Your passport seems to be in order. But you really should spell your name on the passport the same as on your other documents. What brings you to U.S.? What is the nature of your visit?
~ Suspicious Arab: My mission is to recruit your college students for Al-Qaeda training. Also, I have been accepted to take course to learn to fly Boeing 747.
~ Customs Agent: Very good. Have you anything to declare?
~ Suspicious Arab: No. All of my explosives and anthrax samples were sent Fed-Ex last week to my cousin in Washington, D.C.
~ Customs Agent: Very good. Enjoy your stay in the United States.
~ All of this is exaggerated, of course, only a satire. I just hope our Homeland Security isn't paying too much attention to the citizenry, instead of watching out for potential threats. I would like to see more effort put into finding all the illegals that are here in this country now!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Harbinger of Spring

Well, I just saw the first sign of spring,
And no, twas not the very first robin
Outside in the back yard a-hoppin;
It was not that the trees are greening.
It was not that the clock has changed,
And not that all the snow has thawed;
It wasn't that the mower's overhauled,
Or that the furniture was rearranged.
No, it wasn't because days are longer,
Or that our clothing is much thinner;
And not that my team was no winner
Opening day, the other was stronger.
The kids with bats, balls and gloves,
Playing on all the parks and the fields,
Are not the signs where winter yields
To spring's flowers and morning doves.
I just saw today the surest sign of all,
That one certain harbinger of spring;
Yes today I saw that one special thing,
I saw it today, the very first carnival.


Tuesday, April 12, 2005


~ A couple of towns over from mine, there are these two pizza and sub shops on the same block. For several years each have been running sales, specials and promotions in attempts to outdo the other. While both are quite busy and profitable, that hasn't stopped their food feud. Pizza Pizzazz and Subthing Else are located in a busy section of the town and tap into the same resources. While has their own regular clients, both depend heavily on the transient customer.
~ Two other businesses separate the two eateries. One, a Laundromat, provides both of them with a steady flow of patrons. While waiting for their laundry, the presence of the food nearby draws them in for a bite to eat. Pizzas and subs fit the bill nicely. Indeed, both shops conveniently plant their menus on the bulletin board and leave them on the tables next to the magazines.
~ It is the other business, however, that they both strive to corner. The clientele there are all over weight women, and the exercise Emporium has no shortage of those on a waiting list for membership. The place provides a service for women who are dedicated to hours a day to lose weight through a regimen of exercise and specialized diets.
~ Depending on which of the employees you talk to at the eateries, there are a number of nick names for the place and the members. I have overheard quite a few, such as the Fat Habitat and the Slim Reaper. One of the grill men refers to the women's workouts as a Leviathon. After each two hour session, there is a massive exodus. The women pour out of the place, dispersing either left or right depending on which of the two restaurants they prefer. It is like a stampede of women in tight jeans strained at the seams, in a road race. Having witnessed the scene, the term Leviathon makes a lot sense.
~ Every two hours, like the changing of the guards, the scene is played out again and again. Although the Running of the Bulls is a spectacle itself, another drama unfolds inside the two rival shops.
~ Sitting in a corner away from the counter, one can imagine a feeding frenzy like the ones on those nature shows on PBS. A little imagination, and you feel like you are watching a pride of lions at a fallen wildebeest. You are Jacques Cousteau witnessing sharks tearing into a whale carcass. Woe be the person trying to place an order amid that herd. The elbows and pocketbooks flail like the contestants in a tag-team wrestling match.
~ It is almost hilarious to see one emerge from the scrum already trying to shove one of two subs down her gullet. You can only marvel at the energy they spend just to run the gauntlet to get at the trough. If they expended that much energy during their exercise sessions, this bevy of blubber will someday be the objects of every man's desire.
~ While some of them leave the scene of the grime to camp out in their minivans and SUVs, several lay siege upon the few tables. The woman in the seat near me has polished off a large tuna sub and an order of French fries. She completes her feast by washing it all down with a twenty ounce bottle of Diet Pepsi. Her remaining sub is stashed into her gym bag, probably to be eaten on the drive home. Perhaps to relax, or for the benefit of her session mates, she scans a calorie chart. Watching discreetly, I think to myself, there is a true dieter if I ever saw one.
~ Meanwhile, Pizza Pizzazz and Subthing Else keep rolling in the dough for their hungry cash registers, even as they are rolling out the dough for another batch of pizzas.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Nunc Est Bibendum

~ [jjjj]D
~ Last weekend I decided to trek into Rome to look at a possible upgrade of my transportation. The roads to and all around the city were in disrepair with ruts and potholes. The iter I had used from Cambria through Umbria had been no exception.
~ I needed something a little larger and with more horsepower. My present ride was a four, and I felt I was ready for an eight. All my neighbors had warned me about those city-slicker dealers in Rome. "Caveat emptor," they said as I pulled out of my driveway. "Ha! There is no worry for this buyer," I scoffed at them. "Caveat venditor, let the seller beware." I knew how to deal with them, besides I had friends in high places in Rome. I, Pointus Meisterus, was well known in the Forum.
~ Most of everything the dealer tried to sell me were high mileage and had been through a lot of wear and tear. Quite a few of the models needed wheel alignments and suspension work. One rig he showed me looked nice, but a quick spin around the block proved otherwise. It pulled hard to the left and was too difficult to steer.
~ "Non gradus anus rodentum!" I snapped at the dealer. If he resented being told it wasn't worth a rat's ass, he didn't show it. He simply turned and took me to the back of the lot. He stated, "This just came in this morning. It once belonged to the mother of a Centurion. She only used it on the weekends to go shopping. It has very little mileage and is almost new."
~ There it was, the most beautiful set of wheels I had ever seen. It was jet-black with chrome trim. It had a large and clean passenger area. Even before we discussed money, I knew that I would be driving this baby home. Having made a good purchase and gotten a fair deal on the trade in, I drove off toward downtown. It had been a while since I had last been to my favorite watering hole. I was able to park right in front of the Novus Loci, the New Place. Nunc Est bibendum, I thought. Yes, it was surely time to drink. I was hoping my old friend Julie was in that day. [jjjj]D
~ Sure enough, at the best table in the house, sat Julius Caesar. A quick arm shake and a slap to the back, he waved to the bar maid and said, "My friend is here, ergo bibamus!" Let us drink indeed I thought, for I was quite thirsty from my long morning drive. [jjjj]D
~ As the barmaid was placing the round of drinks around the table, Caesar slipped his hand beneath her short skirt and raised it quickly offering a view to us all. "Fiat lux!" he said. "Let there be light," we all chimed. Caesar then said, "Credidi me felem vidisse!" He repeated it again, "I tot I taw a puddy tat!"
~ To Caesar she glared, "Pone ubi sol non lucet!" Then she was off in a snit. Laughing he asked, "Did she just tell me to stick it where the sun don't shine?"
~ "Ita est, Caesar. Yes," I replied.
~ "Carpe cerevisi, Pointus," he said pointing to my untouched drink. I needed no further prompting to seize the beer. "Quomodo vales, Pointus," queried Caesar. "I am well," I answered and asked in return, "Quid novi?" He shook his head, "Nothing new, Pointus. SOS, day in and day out." I nodded knowingly. Whether a common man or a Patrician, some things never change.
~ "Mihi ignosce," I said rising. "You're excused," he said. I continued, "Cum homine de cane debeo congredi." He smiled and offered, "You still cannot hold your beer? Already you are going to see a man about a dog?"
~ By the time I had returned, Caesar was dancing with a gorgeous red-haired goddess. On the stage a rather portly young woman was singing a song Caesar had requested. I had to stifle a laugh when I heard the redhead ask him, "Caesar, estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre?" When returned to the table with her in tow, in case no one had heard the exchange, he repeated what she had said to him. "Imagine, my friends, she wanted to know if there was a scroll under my toga or if I was just happy to see her?" Now that everyone was laughing, I too laughed aloud.
~ There was a realized silence. I turned and asked, "Obesa catavit?" Said the man next to me, "Yes, the fat lady has sung." With that the redhead announced that she had to get home before her husband. Turning and throwing a kiss to Caesar she said, "Noli me voca, ego te vocabo." Everyone in the place watched her sway as she left.
~ "Of course, I cannot call her. She has to call me," said Caesar. "Her husband is Brutus, my best friend." I turned and waved for the barmaid, "Cogito sumere potum alterum." I thought that maybe the most used words in a bar was "I think I'll have another drink." It leaves the door open for another and another, etc. However, saying "I'll have one more," suggests one must leave after. I, however, was not yet ready to leave. [jjjj]D
~ This time the barmaid avoided going near Caesar's end of the table as she laid down the drinks. But he winked at her and dangled his tongue. She shook her head and said, "Ascendo tuum!" As she walked away, he jokingly asked, "Up my what?"
~ He leaned forward and said to me, "Why not ask her out, Pointus. She seems to prefer you over me." I said, "Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit!" Caesar and the others roared laughing. I flushed slightly. "My friend, you watch too many science fiction plays at the Coliseum! To boldly go where no man has gone before? I assure you, everyone in this bar, save you has gone there, as well as half of my Centurions."
~ "What can I say, si vis amari, ama," I said. "If you wish to be love, love," Caesar nodded. "Or if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with." At that, everyone raised their glasses.
~ The drinks flowed like the Tiber through Rome for several hours more. Drink after drink, toast after toast I held my own for a while. Letting my judgment prevail, I pushed away from the table. "Absum!" I proclaimed. "You are out of here, Pointus? Why, the sun will be on the rise before you know it."
~ "Yes, Caesar. And I want it at my back when I am close to home." I yawned and continued, "Diem perdidi. I'll be a radix lecti as it is." Caesar nodded, "Yes, the day is lost, but being a couch potato isn't so bad is it?" I smiled, "Always the advocatus Diaboli." Caesar nodded again, "True, but this Devil's advocate will not stop you from doing the right thing, my friend." He added, "After all, nullus est instar domus."
~ "Yes, there's no place like home. And I wish I were there now." I walked to the door and over my shoulder I said to Caesar, "Nil illigitium carborundum tomorrow at the Forum." He chuckled sitting up straight, "Ha! There is no chance those bastards will get me down!" He waved before returning to his drink. "See you soon, Pointus. Don't be a stranger."
~ Outside the door was my chariot, the eight steeds, snorted seemingly relieved that I was finally leaving. I shared those sentiments. Soon the dim lights of Rome were behind me. Ahead of me lay miles of iters before I could sleep.
~ It was late the next afternoon when I recieved the news that Caesar had been assassinated by Brutus and his closet friends in the Senate. I paid homage to him at his funeral. I will long remember that I had drank and laughed with the Great Julius Caesar.
~ [jjjj]D

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