Friday, March 14, 2014

Every Day is a Holiday


With St. Patrick’s Day mere hours away, I actually heard some nimrod in the office the other day refer to the weekend prior to it as St. Patrick’s Day weekend, as in, “I don’t want anything to ruin my St. Patrick’s Day weekend.”

Now, presupposing that the douche bag who would utter such tripe has a functioning brain, my reaction was to ask why, as in “Why would anyone give holiday status to such an inconsequential day as St. Patrick’s Day?”

For that matter, why do days like St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Flag Day, Veterans Day, Groundhog Day and Columbus Day even exist?

They serve no purpose. Only government workers, who deserve extra days off as much as millionaires deserve more money, benefit from some of these bogus days scratched into the calendar every year.

Is there anything wrong with their existence? Probably not. But at the same time, why should anyone actually care they exist?

Let’s take these meaningless days one at a time.

St. Patrick’s Day is, of course, associated with the Irish, although St. Patty himself was either Scotch or English, depending on what fairy tale you choose to believe. His claim to fame was being kidnapped by pirates as a young boy, dreaming of God coming to him in a dream and following God’s word and baptizing the people of Ireland, then mostly heathens, into the Christian faith. He used the shamrock to explain the concept of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost (why must these words be capitalized?).

St. Patrick died, conveniently enough, on March 17.

Nice enough tale, but hardly reason for a Polish dock worker living in Teaneck, N.J. to go out on the town, drink enough green beer to drown a dolphin and throw up on his shoes.

So why is the day even celebrated? Probably for the same reason people go out on New Year’s Eve – it gives ‘em a reason to drink enough imported beer to drown a dolphin and throw up on their shoes.

Next, we’ll lump together Valentine’s and Veterans Day because they both fall into the same category – which is, taking one day a year to honor those that should be honored every day.

Valentine’s Day? Great, if you own a flower store or peddle chocolates. But somehow, taking just one day out of the year to pledge your love and devotion to your mate after treating them like the neighbor’s noisy cat all year is a bit like donating money to the local volunteer fire company because your house is on fire.

As for Veterans Day, when you have kids a half a world away putting their lives on the line every waking hour, perhaps one day’s remembrance isn’t quite sufficient. And it’s certainly no reason to go without mail.

Flag Day I never could understand. It falls on June 14, the day back in 1778 the country’s flag was adopted by the Second Continental Congress. But the flag and what it represents, I believe, are covered in other bigger and better holidays, like the Fourth of July and Memorial Day. Once again, it only serves to inconvenience the general public by closing township buildings, suspending all local public services and denying mail delivery.

Next up is Groundhog Day, a great movie, but little else. Granted, this day is way down on the bogus holiday list, possibly even dropping below the old favorite, Arbor Day, in overall importance. But to its credit, Groundhog Day does not come with a perfunctory ban on mail delivery.

Also, Punxsutawney Phil is a better forecaster of the weather than most of those brain-dead, but fully breasted, weather people now bouncing across the local TV dials. But be that as it may, it’s about time to retire the rodent and hand February 2nd over to a more deserving celebration.

As for Columbus Day, it’s blatantly bogus to honor some schmuck whose only purpose in coming to this land was to find gold and who was responsible for the torture and mutilation of the many natives he and his fellow discoverers came across after anchoring on what are now American shores.

Although come to think of it, old Chris would probably fit in perfectly with the current American mindset – get rich and hack up anyone that gets in the way.

As for me, I’ll continue to honor those days for which I get paid days off from work, and try to ignore those that mean less than nothing.

And I’ll try my damndest not to ruin anyone’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The New Model Trucks


There was a time when pick-up trucks were tied to the old, rural American work ethic.

You’d see the battered and dilapidated Ford with a couple of taillights busted, the side view mirror long gone and the rear end of the truck about a foot off the ground, and you just knew some old, calloused crap-kicker was going to emerge from the front seat, Camel sticking out of the side of his mouth and wearing enough dirt, paint and general crud on his overalls to scrape off and use to erect a new office building.

It didn’t take Jeremiah Johnson to figure out this guy was all about busting his balls, getting the job done - no matter how many hours it took - and downing a hard-earned shot and a beer at work day’s end.

But, naturally, in today’s world, where hard work is what some other poor schlub has to do and long hours means punishing the keys on that iPhone while doing pilates at the gym, that same critter no longer inhabits pick-up trucks.

Today’s pick-up owner is, generally, a white guy between the ages of 18 and 30 whose only contact with the bed of his truck is tossing a case of beer or 12 on it so he can get wasted this weekend.

Using his truck to work or even haul something across town is an idea that rarely, if ever, enters his head.

He will, however, fly through the streets like a bat out of hell, take up two parking places whenever possible and generally behave like an unwiped ass when behind the wheel.

It’s the old bigger is better mentality. My mode of transport is larger than yours, I have the right of way. You have my exhaust fumes to inhale.

Call him the Suburban Cowboy, and his mount has four tires and an NRA bumper sticker.

Now, since there are no absolutes, I’m not about to throw a blanket over the entire pick-up truck-drivin’ community and call them all a bunch of non-perspiring dickheads.

There are still many of those dilapidated models of truck out on the roads, and there are plenty of hard-workin’ cusses in ‘em. Their numbers, unfortunately, pale in comparison to the new, slick, Armani-wearin’ nitwits who work no harder than the average millionaire’s child and haul nothing bigger than their own massive ego.

The only thing I can figure is that these lunkheads need to look, feel and seem important to the world at large. And tooling through town in the latest model pick-up is one more way to announce how big, cool and important they actually deem themselves to be.

All that’s left for these testosterone-fueled, Marlboro-man wanna-bes is to start wearing Stetsons.

That would just be too much to stomach – the soft-handed, no-hauling, Mr. Look-At-Me doing a JR Ewing imitation, complete with a bottle of beer in his hand and a softball-player tan, seeking out the latest thing in big breasts.

It’s a far cry from the shot-and-a-beer lineage that used to be part and parcel of the truck-drivin’ crowd.

But then pick-up trucks didn’t get treated like Jaguar XKEs back then either.

Back then, they were a working vehicle and a place for a working man’s tools.

Now the only tools in them are the ones behind the wheel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Human Way - Feed it, Film it, Kill it


The utter asininity of man never ceases to amaze me, or surprise me.

Now, considering there’s no law against being a complete idiot, the majority of the time man displays his inevitable buffoonery, it’s laughable, something to chat about around the ol’ water cooler at work.

But when it winds up leading to the death of another living thing, it ain’t so funny no more.

Take the case of the innocent elk that was just snuffed in Asheville, N.C.

Now, this elk, who we’ll call Ed, was a regular in Great Smokey Mountain National Park. And much like another regular we remember hanging out in a national park, Yogi Bear, wasn’t shy about chasing down some munchies every now and again.

As anyone who has ever traipsed through a zoo will tell you, however, the feeding of the animals by human visitors is a practice that’s frowned upon (unless you stick a couple of quarters into the nearby gumball machine and extract some pretty disgusting-looking grub, which presumably is OK for animal consumption even if it does look like rat crap). I’m sure this park had posted the proper signs warning of the dangers of stuffing a bacon and lettuce with mayo on toast into the jaws of a nearby badger. But in typical human-being fashion, I’m positive such signs were completely ignored.

After all, Mr. and Mrs. Ima Fatass from Cowpie, Utah know better about what’s consumable for the four-legged and furry than vets, animal experts and learned folks that study that sort of thing for a living. Besides, they paid good money for their vacation and nobody, most of all some bozo who looks like Ranger Smith in Jellystone Park, is going to tell them who they can and cannot feed.

So Ed was fed, fed and then fed some more, to a point where Ed was ignoring his own animal instincts that should have told him that hanging out with the likes of Mr. and Mrs. Fatass was more dangerous than accepting party favors from Amanda Bynes.

It got to a point where Ed would simply approach anything on two legs, looking for a culinary handout.

This brings us to another sweetheart of a human being, Mr. iPhone. Now Mr. iPhone thinks that anything and everything should be the subject of a picture, which he is only too happy to take, and then post on whatever website he can find.

After all, as Mr.iPhone would be the first to tell you, he is so talented and important that anything he finds amusing should be loved and adored by all humans everywhere.

It just so happened that our boy Ed was in full begging mode, playfully nudging some guy on the side of the road in the park.

“Oh, how cute,” said Mr. iPhone, who proceeded to film this blessed event and rapidly post it on Videosofanything.com.

Sure enough, the video goes viral and soon websurfers around the globe are watching en masse and creaming their jeans over the guy on the side of the road being nuzzled by a clone of Bullwinkle J. Moose.

It didn’t take long for the Great Smokey Mountain National Park hierarchy to become aware that one of its own – our boy Ed – had become an internet superstar, of sorts.

Now, the park hierarchy, one would think, should be looking after the well being of all of its critters, particularly the four-legged and furry, who might have a hard time thinking and reacting like anything but what they are.

After witnessing the video, the park hierarchy determined that Ed or any other food-crazed mammal running amok was a recipe for potential disaster (in other words, animal bites that lead to lawsuits that lead to some bureaucrat in the hip pocket of a local politician coming to the conclusion that the national park land was better suited to being the site of a new Best Buy-anchored strip mall, or better yet, a location to drill for oil).

This was the moment when the park folks should have swooped in, reprimanding all those who illegally stuff food into the jaws of those that don’t know any better and pledging to do whatever necessary to prevent these transgressions against nature to occur in the future.

Instead, and to the surprise of no one, they reacted like human beings. And rarely does anything good come from that reaction.

Did the park decide to move Ed 20 miles or so from where he was bumming dinner? Did the park decide to relocate Ed to a different wooded park? How about donating Ed to a nearby petting zoo?

Nope, the brainchildren of the park decided to do the human thing – they killed Ed.

Ed, that internet hero and innocent furry friend to park goers of North Carolina, was euthanized.

It’s the human reaction to most sticky situations, and a slam dunk to any situations involving a non-human – convince the public there is a potential danger (even if there’s no evidence to back it up) and then remove another soul from the planet.

So our star Ed found out what most stars soon learn – revered today, dead tomorrow.

Unfortunately for a soul that didn’t have a say in the matter, the lesson was literal.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I'm the King of the World (Apologies, Leo)


The last thing anybody should want in this world is for me to run it.

Fortunately for Planet Earth, I have no aspirations to be declared the King of the World.

I’m much too lazy and apathetic to care that much. I’d rather be like the rest of humanity and stand back and rail at all of the chuckleheads who pass through my daily life.

But if I did somehow manage to ascend to the throne , it wouldn’t be a terrible idea for all women and children to sprint off the field with alacrity.

My reign would be about righting the hundreds of thousands of wrongs I’ve seen in my first go-round on this spinning rock. In other words, I’d serve a plate of revenge with my royal meal, thank you very much.

I wouldn’t play favorites. I wouldn’t simply call for a plague to be brought down on all republicans or all greedmeisters or all enemies of the environment. I’d choose those scum, regardless of race, creed or political affiliation, that have taken all that’s good about the world and completely flushed it in the name of money, or perverted amusement or just because they could, and they’d get a little of my considerable wrath.  Damn the judicial system.

And, if I can do it with a sense of humor, so much the better.

Hey, I’m the king, after all.

I’d start with those assholes that take advantage of the innocent.

Target Number One: Michael Vick and those like him who find nothing wrong with committing  genocide of an entire species just to make a little money and get a few laughs -  and then hide behind the alibi that something like dog fighting is a common sight for a young man growing up in the south, so that justifies the actions. Hey, I grew up in the northeast where the rites of winter included firing iceballs at passing motor vehicles. I guess that should allow me to go all Mr. Freeze on somebody’s ass and dump the equivalent of a small glacier on a truck or two every January.

I would like to think a certain amount of wisdom comes along with growing up, and I can’t think of anything dumber or more unfeeling than forcing living creatures to fight each other to the death.

I’m also not a believer in the old, “He served his time for the crime he committed, and now everything is hunky dory.” Nyet, there are some debts that are impossible to repay.

For Mr. Vick, there would have been no jail time served. As soon as he was convicted of his dog fighting atrocities he would have been stripped naked, smeared with raw meat and tossed, unceremoniously, into a pit of rabid dogs.

Sayonara, Mike, now you can get a front-row seat to watch some vicious canines do what you feel they do best.

As you might have guessed, I’m a proponent of making the punishment fit the crime. I’d kinda like the douche bags in question to get a taste of the heinous acts they’ve just committed before their lights go out permanently.

Next on the hit parade would be those greedy dirtballs responsible for obliterating the rainforest. Now, I’m not going to punish the poor sluggos that do the actual cutting. They are, after all, just doing their jobs.  And while they could, conceivably, grow a pair and refuse to begin the whacking process on principle, I’m not about to set a guy’s balls on fire for attempting to feed his family.

I would, however, have no qualms whatsoever about finding the suits responsible for scything down thousands of square miles of forestry and forever damaging the environment by taking a chainsaw to their genitals.

I guess we would both be accused of chopping wood.

And last but not least, my first round of revenge would be completed at the expense of those companies responsible for oil spills. Yep, I mean you, the cesspools who run British Petroleum.  Not only were you malodorous slime responsible for the biggest release of oil into marine waters in the history of the industry via the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, a disaster that resulted in the company being found guilty of double-figure counts of felony manslaughter and a count or two of lying to Congress, but you doubled your pleasure by giving the act a positive PR twist by producing TV ads espousing how wonderful you were for aiding in the cleanup.

I, for one, really think it was a stand-up act on your part for helping to clean up what you ruined. I’m sure the dead, oil-riddled marine life now sucking rust off of Davy Jones Locker appreciates what a great, responsible company you have.

Imagine, cleaning up what you spilled, what a unique concept. That’s almost as noble as digging graves for the bodies you just sliced up. Way to go, guys.

I know this peachy and sunshiny act should earn you callous greedheads at least a spot in the waiting line at the Environmentally Responsible Hall of Fame. But for now, as king of the world I sentence all those responsible to a long walk off a short pier, and into a vat of oil-drenched water, set on fire for this special occasion.

When taking into consideration their impact on the world around us, I think they’re getting off easy.

And if I were the King of the World, I’d just be getting started.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Marooned in the Land of 1,000 Dances


I’m your typical old American white guy – I don’t dance.

I can appreciate it as an art form, applaud wildly at the end of a well-executed ballet and am capable of forcing a smile when the neighbors’ kids show off their latest attempts at dance steps.

But on the whole, the less dancing I see or am forced to take part in, the better the world is for it.

For years I’ve taken guff from the wife, who would just absolutely adore taking dance lessons and having her husband take her out dancing. Personally, I’d just as soon kiss a chainsaw running on “max high.”

Ironically, I’m a fan of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire movies and can truly appreciate their hoofing talents.

However, when it comes to having to put up with dancing as if it were running on a continuous loop, I’ll side with the elder townspeople in “Footloose.”

Of course, lately, in typical bend-over-and-take-it-up-the-wazoo fashion, we non-boogieing folk have been inundated with more dancing than anyone should have to endure in a lifetime.

It’s as if “Dance Fever” was impregnated by “Soul Train” and the progeny was cast as an extra in “Dirty Dancing.”

When I’m not seeing ads for “Dancing with the Stars,” or “So You Think You Can Dance” or “Dancing with the Stars Who Like to Think They can Dance” or all of that nonsensical contest crapola, ad nauseum, I’m being barraged by one commercial after another that feature – what else – dancers.

There’s one in which everyone and his dog is dancing their asses off, doing flips and handsprings and flopping on the ground and running up walls and I almost had a coronary just watching the damn thing.

For about the first 300 times I saw it I never knew what the commercial was for because I was sweating so profusely just watching these goings-on I had to turn it off. It turns out it’s for some dot-com company that buys used cars.

So, naturally, it makes sense to advertise it by enlisting hundreds of Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe rejects to simultaneously throw fits in front of a camera.

Kinda makes me want to sell my used car, but only after break dancing on the sidewalk for half an hour.

Better yet is another ad, this one for Nissan (and I actually had to watch this tripe recently just so I’d know what car company it was -the sacrifices I make for my millions of readers), that features some suave and debonair couple going through their elegant dancing paces all over town, waltzing through a parking lot and pirouetting on a city street before sashaying out of the way of an oncoming tractor trailer.

I might briefly consider shopping for a Nissan if Fred and Ginger wound up kissing the truck’s grill, but since that didn’t transpire I guess my chances of joining the Nissan-shopping market are zip and zero.

Once again, I don’t have the slightest clue what these Arthur Murray dropouts have to do with the quality of the automobile they’re shilling for, but these days, it seems, as long as you’re dancing some schmuck somewhere is watching - and preparing to vote on line.

Then, of course, you have the recent movement afoot (pun intended) to add ballroom dancing to the slate of the Olympic Games.

You know I’m a potential captive audience for that, especially considering they’ve already put the kibosh on such sports trivialities as baseball, softball and wrestling.

Yes sir, nothing like the cutthroat, live on the edge, faster than the speed of light world of the ballroom dance.

My competitive juices are spilling all over me just thinking about it.

Folks, it’s freakin’ dancing, as if the world needed more. You do it at proms and the occasional wedding and then you leave the rest to the 37 or so background dancers of just about any female singing act in the world.

I don’t want to see it in ads; I don’t want to see it as a competition.

And most of all, I don’t want to do it. And I’m not alone.

Don’t believe me?  Just ask any old white guy who ignores the desperate pleas of his wife.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, April 22, 2013

An Air of Discontent


In the “I’m Number One and Nobody Else is Even in the Top 10 Department” comes this item:

A family of four – Mom, Pop and sons aged eight and four – were on a flight from Denver to Baltimore and all was just peachy keen, sunshine and lollipops.

That is, until the in-flight movie began.

The movie, a PG-13-rated film starring Morgan Freeman entitled, “Alex Cross,” somehow did not go over too well with mom and dad.

The duo, reportedly, were aghast at some of the film’s opening scenes, which presumably featured way too much of either of the two best things in movies, sex or violence, and asked the flight attendants to turn off the monitors showing the movie that were closest to their toddlers. The attendants responded by telling mom and pop that crew members had neither the authority nor the ability to turn off the movie.

Unfortunately, they also didn’t have the authority to tell these two nimrods to shut the hell up, sit down and look at the passing clouds.

Now, going on the assumption that mumsy and dadsy felt there was something objectionable in the film and that their two obviously pure and overly sheltered tots should not be subjected to it, the best option would have been for the two disgruntled parents to mumble to themselves, punch an armrest or two and begin diverting their kids’ attention from the film by, perhaps, giving them some attention.

Naturally, mom and dad decided to ignore Option A and instead morphed into the biggest pains in the ass since GEICO began making TV commercials.

Offended that their pleas to the flight attendants proved fruitless, the parents of the year went to the plane’s captain looking for satisfaction. Once more, they were rightfully ignored.

About an hour later, the remaining passengers, whose only transgression was boarding a plane with Mr. and Mrs. Pay Attention to Me, received an announcement that the flight was being diverted to Chicago.

Bottom line, the protective duo believed it was the airline’s duty to play parent, instead of performing that duty themselves.

How many times, as parents, do you find yourselves and your young children in delicate or uncomfortable situations? Now, how many of those times are you actually moved to take action?

Even though it might be the right thing to do, do you offer to disembowel the buffoon in a crowded room who just happened to step on your seven-year-old’s foot? Do you run through the Electronics Dept. at Sears, knocking over customers and screaming to have the display TVs turned off just because they’re showing Rambo wasting a few commies?

Chances are, unless you’re reading this from Cellblock Six, you’ve dealt with these situations by walking away, diverting your children’s attention and going about with your life.

That’s what Mom and Pop Perfection should have done.

Instead, a plane full of innocent travelers wound up adding a couple of extra hours of inconvenience to what should have been a by-the-numbers flight from one city to another. Mr. and Mrs. Listen to Me or Else were booked on a different flight.

In the aftermath, the airline did what one would expect in today’s politically correct world - vow to inspect their in-flight repertoire of films, while the two douche bags who created this tempest in a teapot groused about the plane’s captain abusing his power by diverting the flight.

Had these two chuckleheaded parents condescended to actually do something parental, about 40 or so airplane passengers would have had a peaceful, uneventful ride through the friendly skies instead of a bad, one-act fiasco while on their way to the wrong city.

 

 

 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Fast Way to a Healthy Life


Remember when fast food was fast food and not expected to help you live to see your 100th birthday?

McDonald’s, that bastion of better living through caloric intake, is the latest to suffer an identity crisis, and has declared that its Egg McMuffin will no longer include eggs containing yolks.

From now on, Ronald’s version of the breakfast burger is going to be yolkless, which means it drops from 300 calories to 250, and contains less cholesterol.

This is just the latest brain fart from boobs who are operating under the delusion that fast food should somehow be healthy.

And that just ain’t the way it’s supposed to be.

If you’ve ever driven about 10 miles in any direction, you’re certain to have discovered a vast array of restaurants, from greasy spoons to silver spoons, any number of places to attach the feed bag whether you’re clad in cut-off jeans or an Armani tux. And in your travels, when you choose to park your butt in a fast-food nook, you know what’s on the menu. And it isn’t Duckling a L’Orange, red-skinned potatoes and baby limas.

It’s called fast food because it’s delivered relatively quickly at a price that even folks working in the local bowling alley can afford. And from Day One of the emergence of the fast-food restaurant no one considered the cut of meat they were getting or the amount of animal fat it was cooked in. Like bovines to the trough, the public dug in and was grateful it could chow down without the formality of a dinner table (if so desired), and at a cost that would not require a second mortgage.

And everyone waddled home happily.

Ah, but then came the age of the dual-provider household, when both dad and mom were required to work in order to make ends meet and where once-commonplace activities such as family meals had become as rare as cathedral bell-ringers.

The last thing either mom and dad wanted to do after a day’s work was cook a meal, so little Bobby and little Mary were carted off to the fast-food restaurant for dinner, or whatever meal fit the time of day.

And because fast-food items such as French fries and chicken fingers turned out to be such kids pleasers, little Bobby and Mary not only didn’t complain about fast food, they clamored for more of it.

It didn’t take long before kids were willingly gorging themselves on food items that no one ever proclaimed would guarantee health and long life. And before you could say, “Oprah Winfrey,” 200-pound seventh-graders were the norm and threatening the support beams beneath school hallways.

“How horrible,” the parents, suddenly rationalized, refusing to look in the mirror.

But still not willing to take the time to actually prepare healthy alternatives to the fast-food circuit, parents decided to do a reenactment of the temperance movement and toss their guilt-ridden darts at the restaurants themselves.

“The food we’re forcing our kids to eat must be healthy,” they screamed. And so, armed with all sorts of dietary facts and figures yanked off the internet, they began their assault on the fast-food troughs.

As a result, perfectly good Chicken McNuggets, once consisting of both white and dark meat, became “improved” and morphed into tasteless, all-white meat substitutes for cotton balls that flat-out required flavored sauces to be remotely edible, while salads and low-fat, fill-in-the-blanks became fast-foot menu staples.

At no point did the critics of fast food consider suggesting that parents actually cook healthy meals for their children or at the very least suggest taking them to restaurants that don’t include a 911 number as part of its dinner menu.  And under no circumstances will they encourage parents to, perhaps, deny their kids trips to Burger King.

No, they’ve decided to fight this disease of their own making by disinfecting the hospital.

And so those of us who enjoy eating the slop and grease of the fast food we grew up knowing and loving, with no concern about caloric content or percentage of fat within, get stuck eating bland crap that’s good for your heart but that has all the appeal of moldy cheese.

If I want to eat healthy, I know where to go, and it ain’t to McDonald’s.

Perhaps, instead of insisting that restaurants that never proclaimed to cook healthy begin cooking healthy, they might insist that people who proclaim to be parents begin acting like parents.

In the meantime, pass me another yolkless egg, or a piece of all-white chicken or a burger that is made with all-lean beef.

I feel like eating healthy today.