Friday, December 7, 2012

The 12 Pains of Christmas – Part 2

Click Here to read Part 1…

4. The madness of idiots who have somehow passed a driving test at some point in their lives.

  Granted, the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex is not going to win any awards for civility on the roadways. Many of these people are already cray cray, having escalated the art of vehicular insubordination to a level that would stun the residents of smaller towns and hamlets across the nation. I’d almost say that these demon drivers consider it a badge of honor to terrorize neighboring cars as often as possible, but it’s fairly obvious that these folks have long since lost the concept of honor, if they ever grasped such a concept, and they have been reduced to grunting animals who simply haven’t been arrested yet.

  But once we have reached the Thanksgiving milestone each year? Holy COW, does it get wicked, and fast. Maybe it’s the whole Black Friday thing, that shopping hell-frenzy created by retailers, wherein consumers are convinced to stand in line for 72 hours for a DVD player they don’t really need because the one they already have works just fine. (Screw Hi-Def, do you really need to see every single pore on Angelina Jolie’s face? Like she has any. And the plot of the movie is still the same, regardless of whether or not you can see each individual blade of grass in the climactic rescue scene.)

  Yep, that could be the catalyst. We have a shopping day where the Retail Gods convince the peasants that they must fight and rip at each other to somehow gain an advantage in a line that leads to a pointless victory, and then those same peasants are tossed out of the stores once the poorly-planned stock is gone. (Dudes, why advertise a sale if you are going to run out of the product 3 minutes after the store opens?) And the peasants, still pumped with adrenaline, get back on the highways and byways and they are out for blood, because they didn’t get the latest i-Whatever.

  And this uncontrolled dissatisfaction and anger lasts for another month. From T-Day until C-Day, bitter people rule the roadways and cause considerable distress for the smart people who planned ahead and bought what they needed on eBay three months ago, at a better price and without having to sleep in a tent made out of discarded fast-food wrappers in front of a chain store.

  Whatever is stuck in their craw, these mindless zombies behind the wheels of SUVs increase exponentially come Yuletide season, their otherwise-flatlined neural centers minimally reactivated by some holiday trigger. You can be innocently driving to the local supermarket, breathing in the aroma of your eggnog-scented car freshener and thinking pleasant thoughts about a kitten video you watched on YouTube, and BAM, hundreds of out-of-control vehicles are suddenly swarming all over the road, driven by demons hell-bent on forcing you to plummet into a nasty ditch and spill your pumpkin-spice latte.

  So you need to protect yourself. Call your insurance agent right now and demand something like this: “Update my policy to protect me against anything an idiot can do in a functioning motor vehicle. Anything. And maybe throw in a clause or something that will save my ass if I snap and pull some Walking Tall business with a meat cleaver, because it might come to that. And stop sending me those asinine holiday calendars that always go directly in the trash. You’re not on my Christmas list and I shouldn’t be on yours.” Click.

5. The radio stations that start playing Christmas music at the end of September.

  Jesus would not approve of this. Stop it.

6. Those Salvation Army people with their stupid bells.

  Okay, first, there’s that whole mess with the Salvation Army actively doing whatever they can to restrict the rights of gay people in this country, and that some of the loose change you pluck into their rusty bucket goes right into the funding for such an un-Christian stance. (Haven’t heard of this? Go do some clicking on the Web. I can wait.) I’m already not going to give the bell-ringers a single penny, but does that stop them from getting in my face with a device that should only be used to signal the household staff that you’re ready for your bath to be drawn?

  No, it does not.

  Here they come, arms pumping and bells clanging, despite the fact that I’m babbling with my same-sex partner about the latest Lady Gaga CD. (If these fools had read the bylaws of their organization, they would know that my kind are considered the work of the devil, and if you piss us off enough we can direct the paths of hurricanes with our sheer debauchery. Why are you begging for our tainted rainbow money?)

  I just want to walk into the store and help the economy, since some of our elected officials clearly don’t want to do anything about it. I don’t want to fight my way past somebody with irrational focus issues that seems determined to psychologically abuse me with a musical instrument that no one has taken seriously since the Mayflower slammed into that rock. Get. Out. Of. My. Way. Do they train you to do this? That’s some jacked-up wrongness right there.

  Of course, on the flip side of the manic ringers who think that every human walking in their general direction is a beast to be sonically conquered, we have the total-slacker ringers who couldn’t be more obvious that they would rather be doing anything else in the world, including oral surgery. They just stand there in a dirty Santa hat, smoking a cigarette and lethargically waving the bell with a minimum of effort so that the thing only makes tiny clicks. You could throw a Buick into their bucket and they wouldn’t even blink.

7. The trashiness of certain customers in retail establishments.

  I understand that some people are just generally pigs. Nothing can be done about it, they’ve been that way all of their lives, we’re better off trying to rehabilitate the previously-decent folks who are drifting toward a life of sloth and negligence due to experimental drug-usage, unsatisfying romantic relationships, and failed attempts at climbing the corporate ladder. But still, one would think that the Trashy Folk could take a shower and try to be decent during the holidays.

  Sadly, this does not happen. Rather, the Trashy Folk seem to be on some sort of pork-rind inspired mission to prove to the world that nothing is sacred and we all might as well stop reading books and just go rut in the jungle. Specific case in point: The Christmas section at your local Target. Or more pointedly, what that section looks like after the doors open and the unwashed are allowed to touch things.

  Things start out fine, with energetic employees lovingly arranging the products in a manner that inspires joy and harmony. (The concepts, not the backup singers for the latest funk-rap band.) Everything is glowing with childhood memories and a bit of sparkly glitter, because things just aren’t properly festive until glitter is introduced, ask any drag queen. It’s a lovely scene that could probably be in a movie where Sandra Bullock debates which hunky guy would prove more satisfying under the mistletoe.

  Two seconds after those fabled front doors open, you would think you were at a nuclear testing facility in the desert sands of Nevada.

  Fragile ornaments have been unjustly thrown on the floor and shattered, strings of Christmas lights have been ripped from their boxes and stretched all the way from here to the pharmacy (and you can never get those things back in the box), the wrapping paper bins have been knocked asunder like The Three Little Pigs story originally had four porcine characters before the closeted editor decided to chop out the subplot about the gay piggy with his fabulous foil-wallpaper house, and the Christmas candy has been both sampled and spat out in one aisle that is now a minefield of sugared goo.

  What is wrong with people?

8. The Christmas cards that you fully intend to send but never do.

  The art of selecting and sending Christmas cards is truly a fine thing indeed. Or at least it used to be. But that was back in the day when people had both patience and a lack of other things to distract them when the weather turned cold and you could no longer leave the house, just like Laura Ingalls Wilder when she was surviving all those blizzards where they nearly lost the livestock if it weren’t for Pa and his rugged manliness.

  In the current day, three things intrude on the sending of folded-cardboard greetings.

  One: We now have the technology to communicate with each other every day, several times a day if you happen to be one of those miracle people who have jobs where you don’t have to actually do anything. Texting, skyping, group-chatting, sexting. We can reach out and touch anyone as long as we have the right data plan. What’s the point of sending something through the mail if it means you have to wait a week for the payoff?

  Two: Have you looked at the card selections lately in your local chain store? (Assuming that you can claw your way past the bell-ringers and the folks camping out to save three dollars on an electronic device that will be obsolete in 20 minutes.) Most cards these days are inane, aiming at the lowest common denominator with “jokes” that wouldn’t make a sea urchin laugh. And the cost? Ten bucks for four cards. Even more if you want actual envelopes, or a message that hasn’t been so politically-corrected that it’s more boring than the fruit cup at a retirement home.

  Three: Time. Who has enough of that any more, with our crazed rushing to accomplish so much that in the end proves meaningless. Maybe that’s what I’ll ask for this Christmas. Time. I’d like some of that, please, so I can sit down and sip some hot chocolate and watch the tree twinkle and listen to old-school Christmas songs that haven’t been mangled by the latest pop star and not worry about wrapping everything and just breathe.

  But I still want that i-Whatever under the tree as well, the one that can sync all my contacts, allow me to push a button and record my favorite TV show while I’m being booked at the county jail for slapping a drunk Santa, and scrub the toilet until it shines…

To Be Continued…

Friday, November 30, 2012

The 12 Pains of Christmas - Part 1

1. Getting all that crap out of the attic.

  Dragging boxes out of their non-holiday nursing home wasn’t such a big deal 20 years and 30 pounds ago. It wasn’t my favorite activity even then, but I could generally haul the goods in under 15 minutes without breaking a sweat or requiring reconstructive surgery after the deed was done. Then again, those were my “salad” days (translation: broke-ass poor) and I had maybe three boxes of mostly handmade or handed-down yuletidery.

  Now? Good God.

  Just opening the attic door and lowering the ancient ladder causes me to have a small anxiety attack, with whimpering and such. Then I have to rest halfway up that stupid ladder because I’m so out of shape that turning on a light switch wears me out. After the pit stop, I finally make it up to the last few rungs where I can begin the ritual of searching for the invisible hanging chain that is connected to the light that only gets turned on twice a year, four times if something dies up there and we notice an odd smell while watching Survivor.

  This quest for fire, with lots of Helen Keller arm waving, usually lasts at least 5 minutes, two minutes of which are spent recovering from rounds of nearly losing my balance and plummeting to my death. (And of course there’s no one down there to help break my fall. As soon as I utter the hellish words “It’s time to get the Christmas stuff out of the attic”, there’s an instantaneous mass exodus from the house, with relatives and friends and family pets fleeing for their lives, scampering to hide behind bushes and trees and startled neighbors, communicating via walkie-talkie until all agree that the risk of returning is minimal.)

  It’s just me and the mice droppings. Alone again, naturally.

  And when I finally locate the light chain and pull on it with the exasperated fury of a Kardashian who doesn’t yet have her own designer cologne or country, casting a weak light on the contents of the Hell Above Our Heads? Boxes. Boxes from here to China in all directions. Towers of boxes. If you need to hide from the po-po, just head up here, and your story will someday appear on Unsolved Mysteries.

  To be fair, most of this mess is my own doing. As some of you know, I have an obsession with setting out a Christmas Village every year. (You can read some of the sordid details here.) I’ve toned it down a bit for the past few years, but there was a long stretch where my madness for acquiring miniature real estate knew no boundaries, with me snapping up tiny houses with a feverish intensity that nearly, and should have, led to an intervention.  Or an exorcism. Something.

  But even though I acknowledge 97% of the responsibility for the fact that there isn’t a single inch of available floor space in the attic (2 of the 712 boxes have things in them that are not mine, which therefore means that I am not alone in my transgressions and thusly everyone shares in the guilt, even the cats, who own nothing up here), it doesn’t mean I can’t fuss about it. So I do.

  I whine as I’m flat on my belly, my body contorted unnaturally as I stretch for a box of must-use ornaments that have been shoved into a far corner for some ungodly reason, a tiny space where even Jiminy Cricket wouldn’t be able to wear his top-hat, yet the box has been crammed in there somehow. I whine as I stumble-fall down the ladder under the weight of an enormous tub that has 50 rolls of after-Christmas bargain wrapping paper in it. I whine as I’m lying face-down on the couch hours later, my body wracked with spasming muscles that haven’t been used in 11 months, half-heartedly listening to the all-clear alert that has been sounded in the neighborhood so my family can return home.

2. That stupid wrapping paper in the stupid enormous tub.

  We have three of those tubs. Well, at least three that I can identify in a police line-up. (Since I’ve pulled back on my Christmas Village display, from a time when I used to cover an entire 20x40 room down to just a subsection of that abused room, I don’t even use a big chunk of the boxed houses in the attic anymore. There are stacks of houses that haven’t even been inventoried in years. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me to walk (crawl?) around one of those stacks and discover Amelia Earhart and Jimmy Hoffa having tea.)

  Anyway, the wrapping paper. We have more than we could possibly use for the next 50 years. We could wrap a fleet of Buicks in foil paper and not even make a dent in the stock. And I’m not talking about the pointless rolls of paper, the kind where you can only wrap two CD’s and you’re already down to the cardboard tube. Nope, these are the industrial rolls, where a single roll could repave all the streets in my neighborhood and you’d still have enough left over to papier-mâché the Statue of Liberty. Big. Ass. Rolls.

  How did this happen, you ask? Well, there’s a two-fold answer. Exhibit A is the fact that I lose control when they first introduce the new wrapping-paper designs each holiday season. I’m fully aware that we already have enough wrapping paper that activists concerned about the Brazilian rainforest have started an online petition to have me placed in lock-up for the last three months of each year.

  But I still can’t help myself. When I see the shiny new patterns and designs, there are always several that I must have, even if somebody has to get hurt in the process. So I snag the ones I want and throw them into the shopping cart, next to the suntan lotion because the start of the retail Christmas season has officially been moved to Independence Day. Then I lug my purchases home and throw them in a tub and no one ever sees them again. Except possibly Amelia and Jimmy.

  Exhibit B has two perpetrators, myself and my partner. (He’s very tight with his money, never paying full price for anything unless a court order is involved, so he can resist the pre-Christmas temptation of paying 86 dollars for two designer sheets of wrapping paper.) But once Santa has gone back to the North Pole where he can live with hundreds of small boys and no one asks questions about it? Well, we’re both on the post-sales like crack-heads in the flour aisle at Piggly Wiggly.

  How can you NOT buy something when it’s super cheap and you might possibly use it before the end of the century? That’s just un-American. When a roll of paper the size of a cheddar wheel has been slashed to fifty cents, that puppy is going in the basket, even if the design printed on the paper is a little questionable and clashes with the tree decorations and everything else in the house.

  Moral of the story? We never use most of that discount paper. A few rolls, yes, on gifts for those relatives where you are obligated to get them a little something but you really don’t care for them and your heart isn’t in it (don’t lie, we all have those kinfolk), so you end up shoving their present to the back of the tree in that mystery zone where you eventually always find that one present that no one claims to have wrapped, with a name tag of somebody you don’t know. (“Aunt Charlene? Who the hell is Aunt Charlene? Anybody?”)

  Crickets chirp.

3. The Tree of Pain

  There was a time when I was equally divided between having a “live” Christmas tree and an artificial one. Live trees are pretty swell, I love the smell of them and the uniqueness of each tree. Downside? The damn needles that fall off constantly, of course, ending up from one end of the house to the other, aided and abetted by pets who are religiously convinced that these needles must be shared with the world and the bare feet that walk upon it.

  Oh, and we mustn’t forget the watering angle. This is not a particularly taxing aspect of live-tree nurturing, but a healthy tree can suck up gallons of liquid before it realizes that its days are numbered, and it can be quite easy to forget to keep an eye on the bucket of nourishment neath the tree. And when you do forget, two horrid things happen: One, the tree can become so dried out that someone lighting a cigarette at the convenience store two blocks over can inadvertently cause your house to burn down. And two, those damn needles are no longer pliant and less able to pierce the skin. They are now hardened spikes that qualify for regulation by government authorities.

  Now, a fake tree is no walk in the park, by any means. First off, there’s the misconception about the box that it comes in. That box is only adequate storage for the tree parts for a very limited amount of time, namely the duration of the trip from the store where you bought it to your house. Once you slice the binding tape on said box, the Christmas music playing in the background should change to the soundtrack from The Exorcist.

  Because that tree is never going to fit in that box again. Ever.

  Try as you might, it’s just not going to happen. Sure, the first year, you might get most of the parts back into the original receptacle. You’ll sweat your ass off doing so, but the tree has not yet learned that you are its bitch and is still mostly cooperative.

  Within two years you can only get half of the tree parts in the box. Within four, the whole process is pointless. The box now has the consistency of wet toilet paper, ripping apart if you breathe on it, and the only thing that fits in the box is the tree stand, and that thing has lost a critical turn screw (the cat denies involvement, but you know that Fluffy has lied in the past during interrogations) and you might as well throw the stand away. Or at least into the stack of older, rusty stands that have also disappointed their parents.

  The turning point for me? The invention of the pre-lit artificial tree.

  This was a sign that there is a god of some kind, a caring god, one that does not want his/her children to suffer through the mind-wrecking ordeal of stringing lights on a Christmas tree, a horrendous task that the World Health Organization should ban based on the number of divorces and voluntary commitments to insane asylums that have resulted from a burnt-out bulb that cannot be found.

  So it’s been pre-lits for me ever since. You simply connect the various parts of the tree together (using the instruction manual, written by someone making two cents an hour and who really doesn’t know any other English than “Lady Gaga”), connect the various electrical plugs (which can be a bit tricky, since you will initially encounter more female plugs than male plugs, something that historically only happens on the island of Lesbos or at the Dinah Shore Invitational, but keep at it and things will balance out), and then shove the main plug into a socket that hopefully has the blessing of the local chapter of the IBEW.

  Et voila! Pretty lights without the need for attorneys and restraining orders.

  Now, the pre-lit does not get my full love and support. It’s still an artificial tree, and as such, it is subject to the new tree-fabrication technology that allows these things to be manufactured in a manner where the various branches have been so tightly wound together that it looks like a small shrub on the conveyor belt in the factory located in a country that does not recognize things like a minimum wage that actually means anything.

  This production process allows the tree to be nestled in a box that you will never use again. It also means that you must now “fluff” the tree, once it has been released in your home.

  Fluffing = misery. It takes forever to pry the little branch-lets away from the main branch. And you can’t screw around with this prying. You have to shape and mold each little tendril or your tree will look like road-kill. This means that, even though you got the Express Pass with the “not having to string lights” angle, you must still spend a considerable amount of time with the fluffing. Hours and hours. Long enough that by the time you are finished, everyone else has gone to bed.

  Except the cat. The cat who has been eyeing your handiwork for most of the evening, waiting for that sublime moment when you quit jacking with the tree and walk away in defeat, seeking counseling and hopefully prescription tranquilizers. Once you leave the room, the cat will leap on the tree, claw its way to the top, chew off the top third of the tree, and then knock the rest of it over for you to find in the morning when all you really wanted to find was a bagel and some coffee….

Click Here to Read the Next Entry in This Series…

Friday, November 16, 2012

20 Signs That You Might Not Be Getting Enough Whoopie In Your Life

1. You become aroused simply walking through the produce section of the supermarket. (Stay away from the cucumbers and the carrots. And you might want to avoid the gourds as well, because some of those raised bumps can look very interesting.)

2. You seem to be having too much fun driving over speed bumps. (Especially if you circle the block just so you can hit the same patch again.)

3. You’re just trying to squirt some Hellman’s on your turkey sandwich and your mind goes places it shouldn’t.  (And the noises those plastic bottles can sometimes make? It’s like the soundtrack from Debbie Does Dallas.)

4. You have no idea where the personal lubricant might be in the house. (And with things as dried out as they must be by this point, you’re going to need a gallon of that stuff.)

5. You find cobwebs in your underwear. (And Charlotte the spider has spun one of the webs to read “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”.)

6. You can no longer remember the color of your bedroom ceiling. (Or whether or not that mirror is still there, the one everyone had to have in the late 70’s when the whole nation took drugs and became exhibitionists.)

7. You watch an entire season of an otherwise worthless TV show just because that one guy always takes his shirt off at some point in every episode. (You have no idea what the actual plot of the series is, but you can definitely and accurately describe the actor’s nipples to a police sketch artist, should the need arise.)

8. The word “arise” in the previous sentence triggers images that you would never share with your Sunday School teacher. (Unless your teacher also blushes when holding a bottle of mayonnaise, then you might have something in common that you can work into a discussion while the other folks are busy naming all the Apostles.)

9. When sitting at a local park, you can’t help but realize that every piece of playground equipment could be utilized in a creative sexual scenario of some kind, given enough stamina and flexibility. (But only after the kiddies have gone home. The little urchins don’t need to see you hurtling down the giant slide, completely naked, whilst your partner assumes a position at the end of the slide that will hopefully result in satisfaction and not hospitalization.)

10. You no longer have pet names for your private parts. (If you mention them at all, it’s usually in clinical terms to your doctor after one of the parts started doing something you didn’t appreciate.)

11. The list of desirable qualities in potential partners has dwindled over the years from an entire notebook of scribbled “must-haves” that you planned out when you were a dewy, attractive youth in your twenties to the current day, when things are much more creaky and fragile, and you now have just a two-word partner requirement: “life insurance”. (Or if you’re really desperate, one word: “pulse”.)

12. When in a bar, you no longer have to drink for hours until someone becomes blurrily attractive enough to qualify for a “last-call” hookup. Instead, it takes just two sips of wine and suddenly you’re humping the pool table and using an app on your smart phone to broadcast your phone number on the ceiling. (This is why you should always have a Designated Divider when bar-hopping with friends. This is the person responsible for keeping your horny ass away from strangers who don’t realize that you are suffering from a literal seven-year itch.)

13. You do the mental math and realize that the last time you actually had an orgasm, there were only 46 stars on the American flag. (Back in the day when social-etiquette still required that you write a tasteful, post-coital thank-you note to the one who done ya.)

   “Dearest John Thomas, thank you ever so much for the lovely time we spent sliding about on a stack of fertilizer bags in your adorable little garden shed. It certainly appeared that you enjoyed it as well, what with your repeated invoking of certain religious figures just before the dismount. I do so hope that there will be a repeat performance. Perhaps even season tickets!

  Sighingly, Lady Chatterly

  P.S. Please advise if there is anything I can do to assist with the repairs to the tractor. I don’t think either of us quite expected that to happen. Perhaps next time we should leave the absinthe bottle out of the picnic basket…

14. You encounter a group of co-workers whispering about happiness over “The Big O” and you gleefully announce that you voted for President Obama as well. (The stunned look in their eyes convinces you that you should continue your journey to the copy room and never speak again.)

15. You have no idea what a MILF or a DILF is, but such things do appear to be very popular with certain segments of the Internet world. (Are they talking about new computer languages? Characters in a Disney movie? Another product that the Kardashians are trying to promote in their endless quest to actually do something of importance?)

16. You actually do check out the porn sites on the web from time to time, not for any pleasure-based purpose, but to see if they have invented any new positions or dress-code requirements that you might need to be aware of so you aren’t startled by any requests should your boudoir reopen for business. It’s just downright tacky when you can’t think of an answer to the question “Do you have a sling?”

17. You still don’t know why a milkshake would bring boys to your yard. Or why you would want to sing about it. Or what type of appetizer you should serve when this happens. (And what if you’re dairy-intolerant? Is that even important? And what brings the girls? Lattes? So many questions, so little time to mow the various lawns.)

18. Whatever happened to Dr. Ruth? She made things so simple. (“You ask the partner what partner likes, then you do that and everybody feel good. Serve strudel after, nice touch.”)

19. You no longer dress to maximize your sexiness. Now you dress to cover up the fact that most of the voting districts in your state have been realigned in a manner that is not the most appealing. (And most of the population has moved south.) It really is true that youth (and sex) are wasted on the young. When I was 21, all it took was a steady wind for me to present arms and I was ready to go. Now I know hundreds of exciting things to do. I just can’t get into the necessary position to exhibit my repertoire without needing medical assistance.

20. In the end, though, it’s not about how much or how often or how many medals you earn for endurance, strength or quickness of locating your clothing if someone knocks on the door that wasn’t supposed to be home. Sex, and especially sexiness, is all in the mind. Yes, there are primal grunters who are satisfied with the rudimentary aspects of life and don’t want to know about anything else (the Tea Party). But for most of us it’s the non-physical things. Intelligence is top on my list, very important, but we also have a certain spark in the eye, a smile that is genuine, a gentle tenderness, a shared passion for life, for words, for decency. The way a person really looks at you and willingly allows you to really look at them. No games, no baggage, just truth.

  That’s what I find hot, that’s what I find sexy.

  And that’s the kind of milkshake I would order every time…


Friday, November 2, 2012

20 Very Important Things To Do On A Vacation Friday – Part 3: The Evening

  Note: As we all know, night hours are dangerous when it comes to slacker activity, because you might get a second wind and actually accomplish something, and we don’t want to ruin our personal goal of contributing absolutely nothing to society for one day. (I almost blew it with the near-arrest for public-indecency, as my incarceration would temporarily improve the quality of life on city streets. At least those streets that lead to bars.) Therefore, we must be especially diligent and restrict our efforts to only those activities with minimal or even negative value. And here we go…

  (If you need to read this series from the beginning, click Here.)

41. Go into the bathroom, flip the toilet paper so it unrolls the other way, then leave. Wait for eventual commentary.

42. Count the number of items in your refrigerator that contain cheese in one form another. Briefly realize that this might be a reason why you have to grunt when you get out of chairs. Decide that you don’t care and slam the door.

43. See how long you can sprawl on the couch and stare out the window before you get a cramp.

44. Get a black felt-tip marker, take out a box of cereal, and scribble across the front: “Why don’t these things have prizes anymore?” Put the box back and throw the marker in a corner.

45. Watch the cat attack the marker with a determination that you have never felt in your entire life.

46. Wonder what it would be like if you could pounce at will and there were no complications from doing such. Would you still have the same friends?

47. Take the marker away from the cat once he pries the cap off and starts scribbling an EKG readout on the kitchen floor.

48. Listen as the cat goes into the other room and starts clawing furniture because you are stifling him as an artist.

49. Go into your clothes closet with the mission of finally getting rid of all those things you can no longer wear. Run across your “Frankie Say Relax” t-shirt. It’s now 400 sizes too small and there are more holes in it than Mitt Romney’s campaign. But you can’t possibly part with it and this mission is doomed. Leave.

50. Decide that you want to listen to some 80’s music. Turn on the radio and, after frantically switching stations, discover that said music is now considered “Golden Oldies” and you can only find it on satellite radio, usually on a station hosted by Nina Blackwood as she shuffles to the microphone using a walker. Cry a little bit.

51. Wonder how many people reading this post will actually get these references.

52. Wonder how many people understand that MTV used to play music videos.

53. Turn on the TV to find out what IS playing on MTV these days. Get distracted by clicking on a movie that you don’t recognize, starring people that you don’t know, and featuring a non-existent plot comprised of folks doing nothing other than standing around and trying to jump-start new catch-phrases while promoting products that no one really needs. Realize that the main character is actually an extended car-crash sequence.

54. Wonder if actual screen writers have been banned from Hollywood. Is this something else that the Bush Administration destroyed? Giggle at the thought of how the current Republican Party is pretending the Shrub Administration never took place. Stop giggling when you realize that people are stupid and Romney could get elected and eventually we’ll have to overcome what he has destroyed. Curse the stupid people who forgot about the first car-crash sequence and are voting for another one.

55. Turn off the TV and think about reading a book. Wonder how different the world would be if everyone did that from time to time. Wonder if this thought makes you seem like those slightly-obsessive people who wail about the dangers of watching too much TV. Wonder if that’s not such a bad obsession to have.

56. Realize that you have wandered in your thoughts from humorous to thought-provoking, and that this is not such a good thing to happen on a Friday night. Friday nights are when you do random and carefree things because you have the rest of the weekend to do something more serious, like shell out money to pay for the damages you and your dumbass friends caused on said Friday night when somebody hollered “hey, let’s try this!”

57. Try to get back in the proper fun-loving spirit as you think of three absurd but entertaining activities to round out your list of pointless things to do on a vacation day. Try your best to make them not sound like filler entries just to meet your quota.

58. Drink beer. (Okay, I failed with the originality on that one, but seriously, everything is always much more enthralling when drinking an elixir intended to jack up your faculties. (Drinker A: “I once went to a peanut farm.” Drinker B: “Oh my GOD, I’ve always wanted to go to a peanut farm. Tell me everything!”) Until the next morning, when simply opening an eye feels like your eyelid is made of sandpaper as it rips your cornea to shreds.

59. Eat some of that cheese in your refrigerator. I know it’s essentially artery-clogging, but it sure tastes good, even the smelly ones, and I can pretty much guarantee that no one has ever said on their death bed “Dear Lord, I wish I hadn’t eaten all that cheese.” Unless they were talking about something else entirely, some non-dairy bit of tomfoolery, but that’s none of my business and I don’t judge. Okay, I do, every day, but only in a professional capacity as a blogger. Swear.

60. Go back and read all 775 posts on this blog. This won’t improve your life in any way. But you never know when I might show up as a category on “Jeopardy”, and you really should be prepared…


Friday, October 26, 2012

20 Very Important Things To Do On A Vacation Friday – Part 2: The Afternoon

  Note: Continuing our enumeration of critical things one must do in order to squeeze the maximum productivity out of your personal day and yet still remain relatively content and happy. Click here to read the first part of the series, in case you don’t recall the bit of a pickle I was in when last we chatted…

21. Avoid getting arrested for public indecency.

  This goal proved to be much more attainable than first thought when I realized that the window I was standing at only came down to general chest-level. This meant that the annoying minor and the medicated major standing in the street could only see, at best, my nipples, which definitely kept things more family-friendly. (Although, if those nipples could talk, they would definitely have some stories to tell. Perhaps another time.) However, I have to admit that a very small part of me was a little disappointed that I would not have a reputation as a sex criminal.

22. Avoid the public, period.

  As it dawned on the staring Trixie and June that there was indeed life within these walls, and Trixie started to re-hoist her evil cookie collection and stomp back my way, I grabbed the curtain and wrenched it shut again. Trixie made a little gasp of indignation (something she probably did daily, based on the professional sound of it) and turned to mother June, prepared to launch into a treatise on the indignity of my actions and how her retail aspirations were not being satisfactorily met. (Children simply have no patience these days. Perhaps if some parents weren’t shoving wireless phones and iPads into their tiny little hands as soon as they shoot out of the womb, things would be a bit different.)

23. Spy on people even though you really just want them to go away.

  There was a convenient rip in the window curtain, a drab bit of material that has been hanging from the same rod since the first moon landing, which allowed me to observe the family dysfunction taking place at the curb. Little Trixie was fully intent on making me purchase every box of sugared fat on the planet. Momma June was starting to realize that her offspring was making a bit of a scene, a notion that rarely crossed Momma’s mind unless she ran out of wine. More importantly, Momma was aware that the other mommas were getting an eyeful of what happens when ill-prepared people manage to conceive.

24. Discover that you can learn a lot just by looking at someone’s face.

  Due to the delicate nature of the situation, what with Momma June having been nominated for an important committee in her favorite organization, a pointless group that only had functions so the women could buy new clothes to attend them, a nomination that was dependent on the very women who were now standing around Momma and gloating that their own children were temporarily not having over-privileged meltdowns, Momma lowered her voice so I couldn’t hear her exact words to Trixie. But Momma’s eyes were very clear: You are going to shut the hell up right now and get in the car before I wallop you with this Gucci handbag that can only hold a tube of lipstick and a thong.

25. Discover that children can learn things very quickly, when they apply themselves.

  Trixie’s eyes: I am also up for a nomination in my own favorite organization, the Pre-Teen Bitchy Queen League, and if I give in to you right now, I will get two demerits and therefore disqualify myself from the election. However, I also wish to remain in your will, specifically so I can get the house in Connecticut and generally because I abhor the thought of ever having to work for a living. Therefore, I am going to petulantly get my ass in the car and we can continue to psychologically damage each other at a later time.

26. Remind yourself that some people have absolutely no respect for the environment.

  As June and Trixie and the cadre of Junior Leaguers and Junior League-ettes piled into their enormous SUV’s that were bigger than some residential housing and drove away, they collectively used up 47 gallons of gasoline before they reached the end of the block.

27. Try once again to force the cat to stop doing irritating things.

  I turned to Scotch, he who found it necessary to rip open the window curtain in the first place, and explained to him that Daddy was not very happy about his unwelcome behavior. If he wished to retain all rights and privileges that were in the original contract that we signed, he must refrain from activities that redecorate the house in any way or potentially cause Daddy to be involved in litigation concerning his nudity. Scotch studied me briefly, then hoisted a leg and went back to searching for Jimmy Hoffa in his nether region.

28. Take another nap.

  Watching disharmonious familial relationships can be very exhausting, especially if you have to stand at a window and peek out while doing so. I flopped back on the bed and fell asleep to the repetitive sound of a tongue on fur.

29. Actually leave the bedroom.

  A bit later, or maybe hours, no one was keeping score and I didn’t have to be anywhere that was court-ordered, I finally got tired of sleeping (ahem) and wandered down the hallway to the kitchen. It looked exactly the same as the last time I was in that room, so I was a little disappointed and almost turned around, but then I realized that perhaps I should eat something. After all, it takes a lot of energy to not do anything important. Besides, I couldn’t hear the damn cat drilling for oil in this room.

30. Test the longevity of the refrigerator light bulb.

  This is something I do quite often, so I obviously have a talent for it and should put it on my resume. (Somebody somewhere is surely interested in hiring someone that is capable of just standing there and waiting for something to happen instead of being proactive about getting things done.  Maybe the House of Representatives is hiring?) Anyway, I stared at the contents of the fridge for a good 20 minutes before deciding that nothing had the least bit of appeal and I slammed the door shut. Perhaps food producers should consider mechanizing their products so that the packages dance and sing and compete for a chance to be devoured. This would improve the quality of meal times and reduce wasted energy. Write your congressperson.

31. Contemplate unloading the dishwasher.

  Stare at the washer briefly, as if considering the joys of domestic athleticism, even though this doesn’t appeal to you at all. Then decide that all the little bowls and knives in there have become friends by this point and you really don’t believe in breaking up families. To avoid heated arguments later in the evening when some irritating person questions why you avoided the task, briefly open the door so the annoying “Clean!” light goes off, thus giving you an alibi. (“I thought they were still dirty. My bad.”)

32. Check all the other TV’s in the house to make sure that a new channel hasn’t been invented since you turned off the TV in the bedroom.

  This is a very doubtful development, but you should always strive to be an informed citizen.

33. Take something random off the kitchen table and throw it on the floor to see if it interests the cat in any way.

  If kitty pounces, you get to eat three cookies of your choice. If kitty just sits there and looks at you with that “insanity of the two-legged people” expression, eat the cookies anyway. They’re just going stale.

34. Try to organize that closet that you’re always talking about organizing.

  Open the door. Lift the lid on an unmarked box. Realize that you don’t recognize any of the contents, and you don’t know if they are important objects or just random crap from some long-ago half-ass housecleaning experiment. Close the lid. Close the door. Make sure the “Clean!” light turns off. Walk away.

35. Attempt to pay bills.

  Sit at your desk. Move things out of the way until you find the dusty stack of envelopes where people want money from you. Pick out one that looks like a credit card bill and open it. Stare at the outstanding balance and realize that the figure could also be the population amount of a medium-size city in Oklahoma. Read the now legally-required warning notice that “if you only make the minimum payment, it will take you 112 years to pay the damn thing off”. Sigh. Put the bill back on top of its little friends and leave the room. This is obviously a spiritually unhappy place and you don’t need to be in there.

36. Do some creative dusting.

  Track down the cat (he’s probably out smoking behind the barn) and convince him that you are not going to do anything annoying or psychotic this time so he will jump into your arms. Walk over to the coffee table and place him on his back, then slide kitty from one end of the table to the other. (If kitty gives the appearance of wishing to speak to management about this development, explain to kitty that what you are doing is just like that new ride at Six Claws Over Texas. Kitty should appreciate the efforts that Daddy goes to just to provide cultural entertainment.) Repeat this process with other furniture until kitty gets all Norman Bates on you.

37. Open the front door and explain to the SPCA representative that just showed up that you are only playing with kitty and it is not child abuse.

  Make a donation, if necessary. Donations often make people vote the way you want them to. (Just ask the NRA.) Then close the door and go take the SIM card out of kitty’s phone so he won’t be alerting anybody else.

38. Flop on the couch in the den and contemplate how many times today you’ve nearly been involved in legal matters today and you haven’t even left the house.

  Perhaps you need to change your diet in some way? Maybe you’re a little under the weather. Go into the bathroom and give yourself a health check. Stare into the mirror and try to determine which of your body parts show the most signs of decay. Check the box marked “all of the above” and leave your co-payment on the counter.

39. Contemplate leaving the house for a while, if only so people can’t see your house number as they report suspicious activity to authorities.

  Then realize that you would actually have to bathe and get dressed in order to make this little spontaneous field trip. And you might possibly have to interact with other human beings whilst loose in the wild. This is far too much to suffer through after your harrowing day of dealing with urchins bearing snack treats and the physical exhaustion of avoiding everything on your to-do list. You need to build your strength back up before facing societal problems like gum-smacking cashiers or people who don’t know how to work an ATM.

40. Go back to the bedroom and take another nap.

  It certainly can’t hurt anything. After all, no one has ever died from too much sleeping and a lack of measurable progress of any kind. Well, except for the Republican Party….

Click Here to Read the Next Post in This Series…

Friday, October 12, 2012

20 Very Important Things To Do On A Vacation Friday – Part 1: The Morning

1. Absolutely nothing.

2. Test out the stamina of your alarm clock. You’ve always wondered how many times you can hit the snooze button until it just stops working and you wake up the next day. (It explains all this in the manual, of course, but you haven’t seen the manual since you first opened the box.) Change the alarm setting to “radio”, then keep hitting the little bar every time an annoying pop starlet starts bellowing some pointless song about rainbows. When the little urchin is finally dead, write down how long it took for Lady Kesha Spears to pass on. You now have a guideline for future reference.

3. Train the cat to bring you the TV remote, even if the remote is sitting right there on the nightstand. Two feet is a lot of distance to cover when you’re not in the mood.

4. If the training goes well, reward the cat by listlessly moving your foot around under the covers, so kitty will be convinced that something is under there that must be killed.

5. Think about actually getting out of bed at some point. If the thought of such an activity brings a tear to your eye, you’re not ready. Baby steps, people.

6. Pick up the TV remote, brush off the cat hair, stare at the number buttons as you try to think of what channel might have something interesting on at the moment, then set the remote aside. Some people just aren’t very good at math in the morning, and you really don’t want to push yourself.

7. While shifting around to get more comfortable, because lying around on your ass is a very intricate process, you discover something cold, flat and hard under the demarcation pillow that is used to clearly distinguish your side of the bed from your partner’s side. You pull said object out into the light. It’s your phone. Why was it there? Did I really not think I could sleep without it? This is entirely too much to think about, so toss the phone on the bed beside you so Kitty can pounce on it like Jesus just dropped a brick of catnip.

8. Sigh and turn on the TV anyway. Flip through the hundreds of channels, not stopping on anything because, even though several programs sound interesting, you don’t know if you can go on living if you missed something more important on one of the higher channels. When you hit the music-only channels, sigh again and throw the remote next to the your phone on the bed while Juice Newton wails about us calling her an angel and Kitty has a small catgasm over a new playtoy.

9. Ponder for a while about how much fun it would be if you were a cat. You sleep, you play, you eat. Every day is full of the wonder of sleeping and playing and eating. Then again, you have to go boo in a gritty box of pellets that manage to stick to your claws until you can successfully fling them down a random hallway for Daddy to stomp on in the middle of the night. Hmmm.

10. Stare at the ceiling and realize that it really needs to be painted. (What the hell happened in the corner over there, with the odd brown spots? Did somebody have a mustard fight? Why do I not know about this?) Then remember that the last time you and your partner decided to paint anything, there was a colossal disagreement on everything from the color to the texture to the way one should properly hold their brush whilst perched atop a rickety ladder and wearing poor-choice painting couture of cut-offs and flip-flops. The fallout from that extravaganza meant nobody had any sex for at least a month. Nope, we won’t be painting today.

11. Congratulate yourself on having marked ten activities off your list, even though you didn’t even know you had a list when you first woke up. As celebration for your hard work, take a small nap. Or three.

12. You awaken to an odd, insistent sound. You glance at the alarm clock. Nope, not that. You look at the cat, who is forcefully licking at a private part with a determination equal to a Tea Party member refusing to read a book. No, probably not that either. Then the sound comes again, and you realize that somebody is ringing your doorbell. Aw, hell no. It should be against the law to ring someone’s doorbell at eight o’clock in the morning. Then you glance at the alarm clock again. It’s after ten. Oh. Well, maybe they’ll just go away.

13. The doorbell rings again. The cat pauses in mid-hygiene routine, with one leg perfectly hoisted straight in the air, which is both an envious and an annoying ability. Dude, you gonna do something about that? I’m kinda busy.

14. You sigh again, which is what you’re always doing at work, so you might as well be there. You throw back the covers, a move that sends Kitty tumbling and is sure to become a plot point when Kitty files papers about child abuse, and stagger to your feet. You approach the front bedroom window that reveals that least amount of your body, because you haven’t worked out since 1982, and, well, you’re sort of naked, and cautiously peer out a one-inch gap in the window treatment. (We’ll ignore the fact that there’s a half-inch layer of dust on said treatment. We all have different priorities.)

15. Your stunned eyes discover that there are several cars parked in the street, still running, as chaperoning moms wait while a horde of pre-teen girls are stomping all over the neighborhood, lugging boxes of cookies. Oh. My. God. Is it cookie time again? Didn’t we just do that? Why are they so insistent? If this country could just harness our financial engine to the backs of little girls who really, really, really want to go to camp next summer, we would never have a financial deficit again.

16. The doorbell rings again. Okay, seriously? Why is that little Honey Boo Boo not giving up? Why isn’t one of the perfectly-coiffed, committee-attending moms not marching up to Honey and explaining to her that if you ring a doorbell 47 times, the inhabitants of the house are either not home or they are dead. Neither situation will help you reach your goal. Let go and let God.

17. Amazingly, one of the Stepford Wives honks. Oh, happy joy. There’s the sound of something happening on my front porch, and then Little Trixie suddenly appears in my line of vision, racing up to an SUV that cost more than my house. It seems that Trixie is a bellower, and I can catch every word of her status report: “Mommy, there’s somebody home. I can hear them.” (My eyes widen. Hear me? What can you hear? My nudity? The incessant licking of a cat that really, really wants to be clean?)

18. June Cleaver smiles at her willful child. “Honey, maybe they just left the TV on for their kitty or doggy, like we do when Mommy has to go to an appointment with her divorce lawyer. It helps keep the kitties and puppies calm and happy so they don’t slice people open with their claws in the middle of the night.” Little Trixie nodded sagely, as if recalling a recent event wherein an animal thought domesticated and gone all ghetto and shifty. “Yeah, TV’s should be on for kitties.”

19. My own cat, Scotch, stopped in mid-lick, leg still hoisted, glaring at me. “What is this about entertainment when my daddies are not here? Why am I not aware of this? I must know more.” He leapt to his paws and did that odd shake cats have when they are trying to rid themselves of things that no one else can see. I felt a tingle of panic. “Scotch, my pretty kitty” I said soothingly, “don’t listen to the little urchin with the big mouth. She’s in a different tax bracket than we are, and they lead different lives.” Scotch studied me momentarily, his cryptic and possibly sociopathic mind contemplating his next move.

20. Then he raced up beside me, leapt up to the window sill in that stunning way cats have of leaping forty times their own height, snagged a drape with one of his weapon-like claws, and whisked the material aside, exposing my anatomy to the world. Before I could even engage my mind to react, June and Trixie both turned toward the window and suddenly had a whole lot to talk about in their next therapy session.

Oh God.

Click Here to Read the Next Entry in This Series…

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The First Presidential Debate, With A Little Bit Of Sarcasm - October 2012

Jim Lehrer:  “This is the part where I kick things off by appearing completely unprofessional and scatter-brained despite my sterling reputation and years of experience indicating I should perform otherwise. After I finally figure out where I am, I kick off the first session. Let’s start with President Obama, who apparently won some type of coin toss.”

President Obama:  “This is the part where I seem to be a little unfocused, rambling on about something that involves the anniversary of my marriage to Michelle Obama. Even though I didn’t marry Michelle Obama. I married Michelle Robinson. Maybe I just get flustered with any last name that starts with ‘R-O’. What was the actual question?”

Mitt Romney:  “I don’t care what the question is. Me and my weirdly-gelled hair are here to prove that Okenya has destroyed this entire country, especially the parts that have country clubs.”

JL:  “I don’t think either of you actually answered the question, but I might have forgotten to take some sort of important pill and I really don’t know if…”

PO:  “I was talking to a woman in one of the lesser states the other day and she was so thankful about what I’ve done for this country  that she offered me one of her low-cost prescriptions that might help me appear to be more energetic  in a national debate.”

MR:  “That woman is a pig for having thanked you. I was talking to my wife, Marie Antoinette, in one of our lesser houses the other day and SHE thanked ME for our own marriage, where we are so super wealthy that we get to have Mormon slaves who take care of everything, including her impregnations and a human shield that prevents us from ever having to see reality. Just like Rush’s high-cost prescriptions.”

JL:  “I really don’t know where this is going…”

PO:  “Mr. Romney is a little confused about his facts, but I need to rest against this podium for a minute and try to get my strength back while I mystifyingly don’t contradict him…”

MR:  “Screw facts and screw resting. This is the part where I get to wave my finger defiantly at you while I make up some more crap about some things I said but I’m now going to claim that I didn’t say.”

JL:  “Why in the hell did we not opt to have commercial breaks?”

PO:  “Your fiscal plan is, um, way wrong. Can somebody bring me a stool?”

MR:  “I don’t have a fiscal plan that has any basis in real life. But that’s really not important, because everyone at Fox News knows that as long as I keep moving my lips, they’ll be able to manipulate the video so that it appears that I said something more important than Jesus ever said. So I’m going to bellow and bellow and bellow and…”

JL:  “Mr. Romney, you’re a little over you time limit…”

MR:  “Screw you. YOU don’t have a house in the Hamptons. I don’t have to listen to you.”

JL:  “Umm….”

MR:  “And bellow and bellow and…”

PO, visibly shaking off the effects of malaria or whatever the issue might have been:  “Mitt, there’s not a single competent economist on the planet who agrees that your budget plan will work.”

MR:  “It doesn’t have to work, it just has to get me elected. I’m going to stand here and keep repeating that it will work until the polls are in my favor. I don’t have a day job, I’ve got all the time in the world.”

JL:  “Can someone remind me what topic we’re on at this point?”

PO:  “Mitt, you have a five trillion dollar tax cut in your plan. With no additional revenue. How can that work?”

MR:  “I’ve never said the words ‘five’ or ‘trillion’ or ‘dollar’ or ‘I accept responsibility for my habitual lying’ in my entire life. What part of ‘I just need to get elected’ do you not understand?”

PO:  “Well, I understand about getting elected, having already done that a few times. But you have to work on your political agenda to make sure you satisfy as many people as you can. It’s the American way.”

MR:  “Then you’re a stupid man. All you have to do is say whatever your audience wants at the time and then deny it the next day. Obviously you’ve never read the Republican handbook. See, folks? Obama can’t even read. I have lots of people who read books and explain them to me, so I’m the better candidate. And now I’m going to bellow some more, because it’s really not important what comes out of my mouth as long as I keep talking and they have video editors at Fox News. Bellow and bellow and meaningless bellow and…”

JL:  “Um, Mr. Romney, could you try to stay on topic and not talk past your time limit and-“

MR:  “You don’t have a house in the Hamptons! Shut up.”

JL:  “Okay, my bad.”

PO:  “Does anybody have some water? I just need a little sip of something…”

MR:  “People who make water have lost their jobs because the Republicans, um,  I mean YOU, have blocked the Jobs Creation bill repeatedly.”

PO:  “Hold up. I haven’t blocked anything. Boehner and Cantor are the ones who-“

MR:  “People don’t have water! All because of you and your Muslim evil-doing. I talked to a woman the other day who hasn’t had water since 2007.”

PO:  “I wasn’t actually the President at that time and-“

MR:  “People are stupid! I’ve made it this far depending on the stupidity of people with the attention span of road-kill. This is America! Where rich, white people control everything.”

JL:  “Oh dear God. I just want to go home. Somebody call my agent.”

Random Democrat in the audience:  “Is this really happening? There hasn’t been a word out of Mitt’s mouth that got within miles of the truth. Why isn’t Obama shutting him down?”

Random Republican in the audience:  “Mitt is the new Jesus! I want to have his baby!”

Random Independent in the audience:  “And why is it that we don’t have a third political party with any real significance?”

Jim Lehrer’s agent, texting:  “Dude, I know you took your vitamin supplements this morning, what the hell is wrong with you? This is really going to affect your speaking tour when you retire…”

Ann Romney:  “I’m bored. Aren’t we paying somebody to change the channel when I want them to?”

Anne Rice, out of nowhere:  “And people wonder why I turned to vampires for comfort during my time of need…”

Michelle Obama, somewhere not at the debate:  “Sasha, Malia, head on upstairs to bed. Momma needs to talk to Daddy when he gets home, and you don’t need to hear this.”

Michele Bachmann:  “What’s a debate?”

Marcus Bachmann:  “I did not sleep with that man. I was healing him.”

Britney Spears:  “Buy my new album! There’s one song where I actually sing!”

Madonna:  “Bitch, please.”

Jim Lehrer:  “I think I might have lost control at some point…”

Mitt Romney: “Damn right you did, working for that liberal network with Big Bird and children who know how to count. You killed Jesus! Or somebody that was important. I don’t have to prove it I just have to say it.”

President Obama, whispering to a Secret Service agent that really doesn’t care:  “I had no idea that Romney could even put a sentence together.”

Secret Service Agent:  “Dude, he’s like lying out his ass. Say something!”

PO:  “But it’s not part of the plan. I have a plan. I always have a plan. I just don’t always explain it to people. Michelle gets a little pissed about that.”

Agent:  “Okay, look, this is kind of an important election. Maybe you should alter the plan a little bit and quit just standing there and taking it and making Romney look like he’s right. I can guarantee you that there are a whole bunch of Republicans having an orgasm right now. Or at least ordering their servants to have one for them. Call his ass on this.”

Jim Lehrer:  “Is somebody talking on stage when it’s not his turn? Other than Mitt Romney?”

Mitt Romney:  “I’m gonna kill that bird.”

Anne Rice:  “Doesn’t matter. I’ll make him come back to life in the next book in my vampire series. I think I’ll set this one in Cozumel, because there’s always a lot of stupid people running around and not paying attention and drunkenly going down the wrong street.  A lot like New Orleans, but with more humidity and less important architecture…”

Producer of the show:  “Does anybody have any idea what is going on right now?”

Assistant Producer:  “Well, bloggers across the country are breaking their necks trying to get to a keyboard. Does that help?”

Jim Lehrer:  “Okay, I believe that we’re on session 3 of the agenda. Or maybe we’re still on 2 because I really don’t have any control here. Mitt, since I’m now apparently your bitch, maybe you could let me know where-“

Mitt Romney:  “I totally refute everything I said before today. Everything. Somebody else said it. Whatever I said, I don’t agree with it anymore, and now I’m going to say what it takes to get me elected, because that’s how the Republican process works. I get to change my answers now that all the other Republican candidates are ass-up in the wind. And screw the facts. We all know that doesn’t matter as long as Fox News is still on the air.”

President Obama:  “Bingo. I finally and lethargically got you to say what I wanted you to say.”

Secret Service Agent:  “Dude, part two, I really don’t know if the world is going to understand your agenda based on how this thing went. Just sayin. Maybe next time you could drink a Red Bull?”

Random Republican woman in the audience:  “Bring back polygamy! I want to marry Mitt Romney and make sure there are more of him in this world even though I couldn’t stand him during the primaries. Because that’s how we Republicans roll.”

Random Democratic woman in the audience:  “Sister Girl, you are jacked up in the head if you are even considering voting for Romney. Are you seriously giving up ownership of your own vagina and everything else that you’ve worked for in your life?”

Republican woman:  “Work? What is that?”

Hillary Clinton, texting from yet another country she’s had to visit as Secretary of State in the hopes of undoing the political damage inflicted by Little Bush, Little Boehner, Little Rove, and the dumb-ass Supreme Court Justices who upheld Citizens United and unleashed the Beast of Corporate Greed:  “I’m on it. Like I always am. Do you think I would have a hairstyle like this if I wasn’t serious? Have somebody make some coffee and I’ll be there in the morning.”

Mitt Wrongme:  “What time is it? Has it been long enough that I can change what I just said?”

President Obama:  “Did you hear the part about bloggers scrambling to certify what you’ve babbled all night? It’s the modern age, Mitt. People in Tokyo already know what you just said.”

Mitt:  “Tokyo? Didn’t we bomb them? At least I think one of my companies did. Before I outsourced it.”

PO:  “Night, Mitt.”

Secret Service Agent to PO:  “Dude, part three, kind of a risky move, don’t you think, letting the people make their own interpretations of what happened tonight.”

PO:  “Really? I’m thinking I just let Mitt show the world what he’s really like.”

Agent:  “Yeah, but this is America. There are a lot of stupid people out there. When you don’t confront his lies, you look weak.”

PO:  “I had one night where I was off. Mitt has had 364 of them. We’ll bounce back.”

Agent:  “Tell that to Howard Dean. Fox News will spin the hell out of this.”

PO:  “Let them spin. Maybe someday they’ll land on an actual fact.”

Random Republican, leaping out of her seat and hollering despite the supposed “Quiet Game” rule for the audience:  “Romney is the Messiah because Rush Limbaugh said so. I willingly pledge that my vagina is now corporate property of Citizens United and Grover Norquist!” (Amid the scattered applause, someone hands the woman a toaster oven as a membership prize. It appears to be Ann Coulter, but it’s hard to tell when it comes to drag queens who look really tired and haven’t properly moisturized.)

Random Democrat in the audience, unfortunately seated next to the delusional woman who doesn’t understand property rights and free-thinking:  “This is 2012, right? Who invited somebody from the Old Testament?”

Anne Rice again, texting from Cozumel where she is already scribbling away on her next Vampire Chronicles entry:  “Now do you believe me that the dead are already walking the earth?”

Jim Lehrer:  “Um, can somebody validate my parking ticket. Because I’m not really sure if I’ll be back…”

End trans.

Friday, October 5, 2012

10 Flavors of Tea-Bagger Brand Tea

  Stuck there standing in the conservative-beverage section of your local Wal-Mart, in a pickle about what refreshments to serve your extremist right-ring dinner guests later this evening? Well, we’ll skip over the head-scratching part about why you would allow such people into your home (we all have crosses to bear, yes?) and get right to the menu-planning. With these helpful tips, you should always have just the right liquid to shove at Ann Coulter so she will hopefully take a sip and stop babbling idiocy for a few minutes so you can run check on the pot roast…

1. Camo Meal Tea

  It’s no secret that the tea baggers love to hunt things down and try to kill them. Part of this irksome activity includes the donning of camouflage gear, a type of apparel that the tea baggers find quite fetching. In fact, they love camouflage clothing so much that they often wear it during inappropriate activities, such as getting the newspaper off the front lawn or having sex.

  It was once thought that tea baggers wore camouflage to support our military men and women, but since we now know that a tea bagger will vote for a politician who will cut veterans’ benefits faster than you or I can google “hypocrisy”, we’ll have to go with the Plan-B explanation. This is the one where the camouflage clothing is symbolic of the fact that the tea bagger has no identity or thought process of his own, and therefore he wears a fake camo uniform so he can blend in with other members of the herd as they are wrangled toward a voting booth.

  In any case, Camo Meal Tea is packaged in a variety of designer boxes, where the camouflage color palettes vary so you can select the box the represents your favorite made-up war. True to the form of military spending traditions in America, each box of tea comes with fewer tea bags than advertised as being allotted, a tribute to the fact that a big chunk of military budget money ends up in the hands of people who have nothing to do with the military. As an added bonus, the Camo Meal Tea boxes are designed to be inter-locking so you can eventually build your very own deer blind in the back yard.

2. Green Tea

  Green Tea is very popular with tea baggers because the color of the box reminds them of money. Specifically, money that they don’t actually have (you’ve seen the clothes they wear at rallies, right?) but money that they think they should have, based on the mere fact that someone gave birth to them. The tea baggers are very adamant about this virtual money that has supposedly been ripped from their un-manicured hands. The tea baggers firmly believe that they would become instant millionaires if the Evil Government would just stop taxing them and then using that tax money to fund liberal programs that Jesus hates.

  And then there’s the related money issue, where tea baggers at rallies love to holler nonsense and wave about mis-spelled signs, proclaiming that they “don’t take no money from other peoples’ pockets”. Really? Then I guess these people have never sent their children to public school, received treatment from  a county hospital, had the need for police or fire services, or even driven on a public road. The money for that comes out of all our pockets, so don’t act like you don’t have a hand in my trousers, fondling my loose change.

3. Black Tea

  This selection is only in the product line as a promotional attempt to attract a minority of a minority that might possibly vote for a Republican during a temporary loss of sanity. The box is actually empty.

4. White Tea

  Understandably, this is the biggest seller in the entire Tea-Bagger Tea collection. The tea baggers love the concept of whiteness, and the perpetuation of the myth that white is the best color in the rainbow. Once you have finished gulping down all the self-validation, you can refold the box into the shape of a pointed hood.

5. Earl Grey Tea

  Some behavioral analysts (well, at least those who aren’t occupied with trying to discover why “reality” TV shows continue to multiply instead of just going away) have pointed to the Earl Grey line of Tea Bagger Tea as one of the foundations for the disillusion of the typical bagger. By drinking this tea, with its hint of British aristocracy, the baggers begin to believe that they are indeed members of royalty. (This seems to be in conflict with another tea bagger trait, that of hating everything British, or foreign at all, unless Margaret Thatcher is somehow involved. But as we’ve learned, tea baggers have no concern for logic or reasoning.)

  So now we have tea baggers with visions of royal bloodlines and crowns and getting to issue decrees that no one is allowed to challenge, mixed in with their instinctual belief that if they saw it on Fox News then it absolutely must be true. Is it any wonder that we have an army of walking dead out there with no grasp on reality? (No offense to the zombie series on AMC, love that thing, and at least those folks have the decency to sit down and round-table things before they go and eliminate people they don’t want around anymore.)

6. Herbal Tea

  This one is a big-seller only because the baggers pronounce the “H”, which makes it sound like somebody named Herb made it, and that’s a nice country name that people can respect, and it doesn’t sound at all like the name of someone who was born in Kenya. This greatly soothes the Birthers, although I’m sure it’s safe to say that the Birthers will never be truly satisfied, even if someone locates footage of President Obama clearly shooting out of the womb of a woman wearing a colorful lei while the attending nurses dance a hula, pineapple plants wave in the wind, the Diamond Head volcano erupts in approval, and a military fly-over does a tribute in nearby Pearl Harbor. It’s a done deal, Donald. Move on.

7. Oolong Tea

  No one knows why this one is even offered as an option. Sort of like Mitt Romney.

8. Ice Tea

  No, not a tribute to that nearly-forgotten rapper from Dallas who didn’t know street from boulevard, but a nod to a basic beverage staple in the deep South, where much of the population is still pissed off about the end result of that Civil War thing. It’s amazing to me that they so desperately want to turn back time, but every damn one of them is clutching a wireless phone. (And a side note to the brave folks who are actually trying to bring Louisiana and Alabama into a century somewhat closer to the current one: My hat is off to you. Keep the faith, be strong, and VOTE.)

  So anyway, have you seen the amount of sugar that the southern belles dump into their glass pitchers of homemade tea? It looks like the biggest cocaine bust in the universe. No wonder people get so bent out of shape over nothing. Their eyeballs are vibrating from the sugar rush.

9. Insani Tea

  This is a vanity brew, personally concocted by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Karl Rove (why isn’t that bitch in jail?), the afore-mentioned Ann Coulter and her skinny-ass desperation to make up stuff so she can be in the spotlight, the entire Republican House of Representatives, and all the Baptist preachers and Catholic priests who are hypocritically up in arms because someone dares to love someone of the same sex. They stir their pot of swill daily, sprinkling in hatred and ignorance, then rush to dump the moldy nectar down the throats of people who have been force-fed all their lives.

  On the flip side, at least the drug companies should be thrilled with all this mess, because it’s going to take a lot of pills to help people work their way back to the path of reality after the “Fateful Day When the Republicans Swung So Far To The Right That We Had To Eliminate A Planet From The Solar System Just To Get Things Back In Balance”. (Oh, wait, I forgot that we already did that. Poor Pluto. He was already so distant and cold, this demotion is certainly not going to help his self-esteem. Maybe you should send him a nice card or something.)

10. Mister Tea

  This product was developed as a tribute to the likes of Todd Akin, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and all those other Neanderthals who firmly believe that women are merely possessions who don’t have a say in the quality of how they’ve been raped. These men are essentially pissed off about not only women having the nerve to be upset about uninvited intercourse, they are still seething over the fact that their play-toys actually have the right to vote. And the Republican national party is standing by them and continuing to send money.

  This, right here, is why I don’t understand how there can be a woman in America, who actually has a pulse, that can still identify as a Republican. Seriously? Is money that important to you that you will completely subjugate yourself to this jacked line of thinking? Did you not learn anything from Sue Ellen on Dallas?

11. Par Tea

  This is a subversive addition to the product line that was secretly slipped onto the conveyer belt by Democrats. (The Republicans didn’t notice because they were too busy demanding birth certificates that they’ve already seen and voting to legislate vaginas.) This special elixir should be opened on a certain evening in November, as the voting results scroll across your TV screens and it becomes clear that the Republicans bedded the wrong people. (But at least it wasn’t “forcible” rape, right Republicans? Because you clearly didn’t say no…)