Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Tea Party Plan for America

Today we talk to Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell, two Tea Party candidates for the United States senate. Welcome.
Sharron: I hate the media, always asking questions I can’t answer. Don’t ask me any of those.
Christine: You’re not masturbating while you write this are you? I'm going to be sick.
CO: Ok, enough with the opening remarks, let’s get started. Sharron you have called for the abolishment of social security and Medicare. What’s your plan to take care of the millions of elderly poor who depend on these programs?
Sharron: I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question.
CO: Poor, elderly, need money and health care, how do you provide?
Sharron: I couldn’t hear you.
Christine: I’d like to answer.
CO: Please.
Christine: They need to stop having sex.
CO: How will that pay their bills and provide health care?
Christine: I don’t know, but they should still stop.
CO: Ok, let’s table the first question and talk about your obsession with sex Christine.
Christine: I’m not obsessed with sex. I want a world without sex.
CO: You do know that the people in the Bible had sex, right?
Christine: I don’t agree with that. I believe the original texts of the Bible were mistranslated. Those people were just snuggling. It was cold.
CO: It was cold in the Fertile Crescent 365 days a year?
Christine: I believe so.
CO: You’re parents had sex, or you wouldn’t be here.
Christine: No!
CO: You’re parents had sex.
Christine: La la la, I can’t hear you! La la la!
CO: Wow. Let’s turn back to Sharron Angle.
Sharron: I don’t like that question.
CO: I haven’t asked you anything yet.
Sharron: I’m right about everything.
CO: One of the main tenets of the Tea Party is to lower taxes. This is an easy platform to run on, but how do you plan to pay for things without the tax revenue?
Sharron: Yard sales.
CO: What?
Sharron: Government sponsored yard sales every weekend. I have one every year and easily clear $500.
CO: In order to match the tax money brought in you would have to have 4 billion yard sales.
Sharron: No, my people tell me only a dozen or so are needed.
CO: Tax revenue is $2 trillion a year.
Sharron: No! La la la! I can’t hear you! La la la!
Christine: La la la!
Sharron: La la la!
CO: There you have it folks. The Tea Party plan for America: no money, no insurance, no assistance, no sex. Sweet death, take us all now.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A York Fair Fable

Here in York County, PA every September after Labor Day we have the York Fair. It’s the oldest county agricultural fair in the United States at 245 years. The York Fair has happened every year since 1765, which is pretty amazing.

I went to the fair last Saturday and it was a lovely day. The Sun was showering us with healthy rays, leaving out the gamma, x-rays and the ultraviolet radiation. Clouds danced across the sky doing a delicate samba. Mothers were reading poetry to their children while fathers hummed madrigals in the background. As I traipsed down the midway, bluebirds alighted on my arms, singing a song they had written for me extolling my virtues and damning my enemies.

A few hours into my day at the fair, however, I made the acquaintance of the worst merchant/salesman the blackest depths of hell has ever produced. Ok, that’s overselling him, but he really bugged me. His claustrophobic tent was crammed to the rafters with t-shirts, baseball hats, stickers and sundry crap he bought off of EBay. I went in to look around and the first thing that irritated me like a prickly heat rash was that he didn’t have the price of anything displayed. If you wanted to know how much something cost you had to ask about each item, picking his brain like snatching a grape from the vine. Feeling my annoyance, the bluebirds sat outside the tent beating a drum for my vexation.

I don’t know the merchant’s name but I shall refer to him as Dipshit McGee. I perused Dipshit’s merchandise and found myself interested in 3 Philadelphia Phillies baseball caps. In my friendliest voice I asked, “Dear shop keep, pray how much legal tender are you asking for your baseball-logo adorned chapeaus?” Instead of looking at me and engaging me in conversation, Dipshit folded a t-shirt, responding briskly, “They’re all different prices.” The bluebirds’ drum beat got louder.

Continuing to fold his precious shirt he asked, “Which ones are you interested in?” I replied in a humble tone “Why, the triumvirate of Philadelphia Phillies caps hither”, and I helpfully pointed with my index finger.

Here is what I was looking for in an answer: taking a cue from my helpful first digit, Dipshit McGee walks over and using his own pointing finger, illustrates each hat one at a time and says, “This one is $8, this one is $12 and this one is $25, good sir.”

This is the answer I received: “They’re anywhere from 8 to 25 dollars” Dipshit mumbled disinterestedly while extending his love affair with the folded shirt, petting it in a seedy, sexual way while calling it “my darling Clementine” and puffing breaths from his cheeks like a woman in labor. At this point the bluebirds’ drumhead rolled like the rushing ocean waves in my ears.

I don’t know whether he was insulted by my receding hairline, didn’t believe that I actually had $8 in my pocket, or perhaps he believed his existence of selling trinkets from a tent in between cattle judging and hot tub sales was a hollow mockery of what life should be and for this he hated all his customers. Whatever the reason I determined I would not spend one ducat in his tent. I threw him a stout, “good day” and left his shop. As I passed my honor guard of bluebirds I instructed them, “Burn it down boys.”

A few vigorous flutters of their hearty wings and an ember from the stove fire of the Italian sausage shop next door lit the offending tent. By the time the blaze started I was long gone, already in line for my chocolate milkshake.

The moral of the story? Act like you want my 8 bucks you piece of crap. I know, it’s not as lofty and poetic as the messages in Aesop’s fables, but I’m working on it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Have you ever been really scared? Like when you’re watching the shower scene from Psycho, the ending of Halloween or any Whoopi Goldberg movie. As the feeling passed over you, how did you refer to it? People have many different sayings to express their momentary frisson of fear.

You scared the hell out of me—This is actually a good thing. You should be glad to get those demons out of you, even if it took watching Sister Act 2 to do it.

I was scared shitless—Now this is scared. If you excrete every drop of waste in your body, you must have found out that you can’t afford cable or satellite TV and are stuck with an indoor antenna that picks up 3 channels. Sometimes. I was in this circle of hell for a year so you have my sympathy.

You scared the living shit out of me—Hmm. You never hear anyone say “you scared the dead shit out of me” do you? Can shit be alive or dead? Since it’s in your body and you’re alive, it must contain living particles in which case this variation has a corollary to being without cable TV. But since shit can’t eat, breathe, talk or think on its own, you’d have to say it’s not living which means this saying makes no sense. Of course, neither does me spending 60 words writing about it.

That scared the bejeesus out of me—Honestly, I don’t know what “the bejeesus” is, so I don’t know how you get it scared out of you. Possibly it’s related to the heebie jeebies or maybe the hoochie coochie but probably not the cha cha, can can or Walla Walla. To get something scared out that you knew was living inside of you but you don’t even know what it is, I believe would take listening to Celine Dion screech her way through an entire Vegas show. I choose to keep the bejeesus inside of me, thank you.

She scared the pants off of me—I’m not sure how this happens. I know alcohol can make your pants come off and category 5 hurricane force winds could do it but I’m not sure what kind of scare could be responsible. Possibly watching The View and realizing this is how far our culture has fallen.

You almost scared the life out of me—Obviously this is the ultimate and as such, is very personal. You need to figure out for yourself what could scare you close to death. Myself, it would have to be if the publishing world decided that only one author was allowed to write novels anymore and they chose as The One, the God-awful hack James Patterson.

Now I’m going to tell you something that should scare you and we’ll see what your reaction is. Let me know whether you lose your shit, your bejeesus or drop trou. Here goes: There are 3 million Americans unemployed, some for more than a year, but The Situation from Jersey Shore stands to make $5 million this year.

I need to go change my underwear.