Monday, March 13, 2017

Everything is Out to Get Me

Kellyanne Conway said over the weekend that former president Obama spied on Donald Trump through a microwave. At first this seemed ridiculous and I scoffed with a hearty “That bitch is crazy.”

But I’m re-thinking my position. I’ve taken a hard look at my own microwave and my suspicions have grown like mold on meat sold out of the back of a pick-up truck.

Why does the light come on while cooking something? Is that a signal to a passing satellite? Is the NSA bugging the photons of light to collect data on how I live? Do they know I dance to Abba in chaps made of Italian cold cuts?

I haven’t used my microwave in days because I no longer trust it. When I open the door I’m sure I hear voices:

“Begin data dump now.”
“Why is he cooking fish sticks in the microwave? They come out chewy this way.”
“Not Dancing Queen again.”

I also realized if they’re tapping my microwave then my can opener can’t be safe either. That whirring sound as the can spins around could contain my bank account information, my H&R Block password or my secret security questions into the Captain Jean-Luc Picard Fan Fiction Club, I-95 corridor chapter.

I’m starting to get really paranoid. The light bulb in the living room lamp is flickering. Is that a signal between the CIA and the DOD? Is NCIS Los Angeles feeding the contents of my medicine cabinet to NCIS New Orleans (note: the fungal cream that was prescribed was a misunderstanding)? Does MLB now know I prefer the NFL and what about my complete disinterest in the NHL and MLS?

This is getting serious. I’m not sleeping, all the lights are off. I was going to cook something in the oven but I’m sure I saw a satellite dish coming out of the propane tank outside. The light in the refrigerator snapped my picture as I reached for a soda and the box of baking soda told me to have water instead.

I think I’ll go talk to the cat for a while and calm down. Wait, did she always have those faint stripes in her fur or are those implants installed by an agent of the shadow government that’s living in my underwear drawer?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Lost and Found

It’s ok everyone, I found them. They had fallen behind the couch. 

I want to thank everyone who had suggestions on where my keys were, although not to Dan from Sheboygan who said to look up my butt. Very funny Dan.

Sheila from Niagara Falls was closest when she guessed they were under my fainting couch. I got rid of that though once my case of the vapors cleared up with my program of outdoor activities and pure thoughts.

Gary from New Mexico seemed to think a badger ate them. I don’t even have time to start with you Gary.

Jenny from South Dakota, along with 456 others said they didn’t care where my keys were. Well, that’s really nice. I was just asking for suggestions. I didn’t expect you to fly to my state, rent a car, drive to my home and physically join in the search. And if you had, I would have provided a selection of pepper jack cheeses, cured meats and gift bags filled with hand crafted soaps. So you all missed out.

Roman from Ocean City Maryland, about your suggestion that I dropped my keys into the “vast, crude-oil black skin of eternal nothingness that is life on this rotting planet”, uh . . . maybe you need to get outside more buddy. Get some vitamin D flowing through your system, have a Snicker’s bar, stop listening to Albert Camus books-on-tape, miss a meeting or two of the Nietzsche Admiration Society. Just a few ideas.

Stacey from Washington DC I think you had a typo. I think you meant “re-trace” your steps but it said “re-brace” your steps so I spent the entire weekend building a complicated system of cross-arms and footers for my staircase. Looks nice though.

Anyway, thanks again for helping me find my keys. Now if you have any thoughts on why I enjoy watching baseball, let me know.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016


2016 is almost over. For the world at large 2016 has been as Helen Mirren said “a big pile of shit”. Wars continue unabated in many parts of the world. The United Kingdom has caused an uproar by voting to exit the European Union. White Nationalists are rising in power in many countries and too many people don’t seem to care. Oh, and the United States voted an unstable, racist jar of orange marmalade in as their new president.

Then there are the deaths in the entertainment world. Many, many deaths. An unrelenting torrent from the Grim Reaper taking our music, our storytellers, our play actors. David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Glenn Frey, Paul Kantner, Greg Lake, Keith Emerson,  Richard Adams, Harper Lee, Ken Howard, Doris Roberts, Garry Shandling, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Garry Marshall, Michel Cimino, Gene Wilder and Alan fucking Rickman. 2016 took Willy Wonka and Hans Gruber.

And this is only a sampling of those that passed. The real list is ridiculously long.

I can’t say on a personal level that it’s been too bad of a year and I hope that’s the case with anyone who reads this. But as a whole I think we’re all ready to move on. It’s time to say goodbye to 2016.

2016 . . . goodbye and good riddance, get out, hit the bricks, take a hike, beat cheeks, make like a tree and leave, skedaddle, vamoose, be gone, leave my sight and never return, there’s the door, so long, farewell, smell you later, ciao!, auf wiedersehen, au revoir, Sayonara, adios, jet, take off, roll, run, split, scoot, make tracks, hit the road, head east, skate, bounce, take a long walk off a short pier, turn the corner, depart, cut out, move off, sally forth, set sail, shove off, pack it up, vacate the premises, take your leave, disembark, make it so, reverse engines, follow the yellow brick road, toodle loo, let her rip tater chip and last but not least, get the fuck out!

Monday, December 5, 2016

When Cats take over the World

My cat’s name is Wild Colleen and she’s not much of a talker except at feeding time and then she repeats “Give me food, give me food, give me food”. My previous cat’s name was Phantom and he was a chatterbox. Every morning he wanted to talk about philosophy, why mac and cheese is a better side dish than cole slaw, how the Clemson Tigers can improve their running game, whatever.

You can imagine my surprise then this morning when Colleen comes in the bathroom jabbering away. I wasn’t even really awake yet but it had something to do with the volatility in the world financial markets due to the resignation of the Italian prime minister, the election of Donald Trump and the UK leaving the European Union. My response was something like “Huh? I already fed you.”

My indifference didn’t stop her though. She doesn’t trust the stability of the dollar, yen or euro and believes we should be going to a Little Friskies based economy. I thought she was joking and responded with “No you can’t have treats, you just ate.”

I was shocked when she showed me the email she had sent to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank with her plan to replace all current currency with kibble. I spit out my toothpaste when she showed me their response asking for a detailed power point presentation of her plan including time tables for implementation, proposed interest rates for loans and would the substitution of cat nip be okay for some of the poorer countries. Again my response was inappropriate, “You’re getting fur all over my iPad.”

So now my evening of quiet reflection and Law and Order re-runs is being replaced with designing charts and tables on how the world economy can function with the payment of dry cat food for goods and services. Does anyone know how many pieces of Purina Cat Chow equals 1 ruble? This is going to take forever.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Negative Nancy Runs for Office

We only have a week before the national nightmare of this election cycle will be over. I should be breathing easier. Seven short days and we get at least a few months before the 2020 cycle begins. And yet I can’t relax. I’m so tired, like my blood has been replaced by Gummi bears.

I was writing a lot about the candidates during the primaries but I got lost in the swamp of stupidity and arrogance. It took me a long time to climb my way back out into the sunlight. And yet the sun isn’t as bright as it should be. Every day I’m battered by commercials on radio and television about this candidate or the other one. And it’s not just the presidential race, its state campaigns.

“Bill Fenstermacher eats pickles in bed!”
“Jane Woebegone makes cat videos in her attic!”
“Clancy Chigger voted against new hats for railroad conductors!”
“Bill Fenstermacher used to work as a carnival freak called ‘Billy the Goat Boy’!”
“Diane Loosescrew wants to tax your toe nail clippings!”
“Jane Woebegone shops at Target with your tax payer money!”
“Clancy Chigger knows what you need . . . because he’s a stalker!”
“Diane Loosescrew has an ingrown nose hair. She’ll never survive a full term!”

All day, every day, it’s a bloodbath of negativity splashed across my face. I grab a towel to wipe it away but it smears like melted chocolate until my whole head is covered in electoral slime.

“Larry Bungle sold crystal meth to panda bears!”
“Francine Fuss wants to give our jobs to migrant ornithologists!”
“Larry Bungle and his brother Harry share 1 pair of socks!”
“Francine Fuss feels fairly fine with festering fish fouling fresh water!”

Make it stop! It sticks to my skin and won’t wash off. All the yelling and name calling and lies and acting . . .

“Did you know Harold Megawealthyman bought his position as county lunatic?”
“Sarah Hatespeople wants to force us all to love pumpkin spice!”

Voter down! Voter down! I need platforms and policy papers. I need voting records and plans for strengthening infrastructure. Stop the insults! Stop lying! Stop with the fear-mongering! Dorothy? Dorothy, where’s Toto? We have to get home! The flying monkeys are coming, click your heels together!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Chuck Woolery on Line 3

I’ve been listening to ESPN radio all day at work so I hear the same commercials over and over again in between show segments. A new one popped up last week starring none other than Chuck “I used to be Famous” Woolery. You know you have a small advertising budget when you’re doing a radio spot, not TV, and the best voice guy you can afford is a) a game show host and b) hasn’t been popular in 20 years.

“We need a recognizable voice for our commercial. Who can we get?”
“An actor?”
“No, too expensive.”
“A singer?”
“They cost more than actors.”
“A game show host?”
“That’s it. Get me Wink Martindale.”
“Already tried, he turned us down.”
“Shit! All right, call Woolery.”
“He’s been in the lobby for a week looking for work.”

The product is Australian Dream Back Pain Cream. Not making that up, it’s an actual product for sale everywhere currency is exchanged for goods. My favorite part of the commercial is after the Chuckster names the product, his next words are “It’s real medicine.”

You hear that? Those are alarm bells. Those are Klaxons blaring, warning you about this product. When you see a commercial for cough syrup, medicated powder, Viagra, cholesterol meds, whatever, at no point do they ever say the words “its real medicine!”

If you have to tell me that it’s legitimate, you’ve actually told me it’s not.

“Hi, I’m Dr. Smith and I’ll be doing your surgery today. These are real surgical instruments!”

“I’m Mary, your nurse, I’m here to check your blood pressure. I have a license! I know what I’m doing!

“Hello, my name is Roger and I’ll be doing your taxes. I can count!”

“This is Captain Thomas and I’ll be your pilot today. I know what all these buttons do!”

Do all Australians dream of medicated ointment? Is the manufacturing of unguents a large part of the Aussie GNP?

“Oy, pass me another tube of non-greasy, anti-fungal, extra strength formula elbow joint cream.”

All these years my picture of Australia was blue water, beautiful women, kangaroos and Crocodile Dundee. It turns out, their providing employment for washed-up American emcees and curing our aches and pains with clean, no odor balm with a capricious rhyming name. They should have gotten Paul Hogan to do the commercial though.

“You call that a tube of arthritis cream? This is a tube of arthritis cream.”

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sarah, Is that You?

I’m a big fan of the singer Sarah McLachlan so I follow her official Facebook page where she posts song links, pictures and sometimes inspirational quotes. Last evening I found the quote she posted to be very meaningful so I liked it and then shared it. As I continued perusing FB, maybe 20 minutes later, I get a notification that I’ve received a friend request from Sarah McLachlan.


That’s odd.

Internationally famous singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan wants to be friends on FB with me, who, she’s not only never met, but has never interacted with in her life. Literally doesn’t know I exist. If you said my name to her she would tilt her head like a dog who wonders why the cat is eating his food.


I went to the page and there were 2 pictures of Sarah, both taken directly from her website or FB fan page. And nothing else.

There was no information, no other pictures, no posts and no friends.

How stupid does someone think I am? I mean this is just insulting. I get friend requests all the time from obviously fake FB accounts but they usually have dozens of “friends”, a couple of pictures, maybe an innocuous post or two. And most importantly none were ever from someone who has started their own summer music festival.

I got a request once from a guy in an eastern European country. The entire page was in his own language and all his “friends” were eastern European, but he did not have 7 Billboard top 100 songs.

Being a man, I used to get a lot of requests from women in bikinis or lingerie advertising their web sites. But I’ve never gotten one from a woman who has appeared on David Letterman, the Tonight Show, SNL and has her own ASPCA commercial.

I don’t know who really sent the friend request or what their purpose was but I didn’t fall for it.

Now, having said that, if Sarah McLachlan created a new page just to be friends with me on FB and I rejected the friend request, then I’m probably out of the fan club.