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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fox News vs. Frogs

The CEO of Fox News was on This Week this morning. Guest host Barbara Walters couldn't stop looking at this issue of Cosmopolitan that showed Scott Brown nude and herself 2-3 decades younger. The Jabba-the-Hutt-like Fox guy (much like right-wing clone of Larry Flynt) proved his perfect grossness by responding to every point with something petty, like, "Everyone in the media hates Sarah Palin because her book sold so many more copies than their books sell." Somehow this was an answer to a question about Palin's future plans. George Will was still rolling his eyes from Barbara looking at Cosmo; everyone else was hoping Paul Krugman would jam a pencil into Jabba's jowls or temple.

The lesson of the day seemed to be shaping up into something like, "Conservatives: primarily an army of fat conniving bastards who put forth beauty-queen champions like Palin and Scott Brown under false pretenses of persecution," and "Liberals: Can Paul Krugman juggle the three balls of his logical humanism, his voluminous facts and his frightened, elfin demeanor, all while staving off the inevitable nervous breakdown?

Just when I realized there was a silent showdown going on between the luxurious hairdos of George Will (tidily radiant) and Arianna Huffington (youthfully resplendent), my wife got mad and compared Fox's Jabba to a frog. Unfair to frogs! Now I must again rise to the defense of frogs, beginning with one of the classic lessons of Sesame Street: they eat flies, thus helping mankind.

FOX NEWS vs. FROGS—the main points

FOX: Always the lowest, pettiest ideas....FROGS: Always moist
FOX: Breeds paranoia ........................FROGS: Eat pests
FOX: Slave to ratings .........................FROGS: Friends of man
FOX: Loved by elderly shut-ins .............FROGS: Undetermined favorability to elderly
FOX: Justly hated by my wife...............FROGS: UNjustly hated by my wife

Just when Paul Krugman had managed to nail down a few substantive points, thus allowing his rhetorical momentum to overtake his shrimpy awkwardness, Jabba de Fox wrested the spotlight back with the obvious untruth that America has the best healthcare system in the world, and then dragged everything back to 9/11/2001 by declaring, "The #1 issue is still the safety and sovereignty of the United States. For years we've had to take our shoes off, and now a lot of people are going to have to take their underpants off." He managed to say "underpants" at least one more time, which I'm sure scored high with frightened elderly shut-ins.

Let's afford the frog some basic dignity, people.
(Like FOX, I will find ways to profit handsomely from controversy.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Amish Delight

This is the sort of thing that helps.

Sabre-toothed Martian Death-Rabbit

He careens into the stratosphere on his ferric asteroid! Surrender your carrots or be destroyed.

You can make your very own asteroid-riding rabbit, with minimal investment, especially in the supply-rich environment of an office or kids' art class. All you need: a rock (preferably pitted and meteoric), a small paper clip, a bendy brad, one pipe cleaner, two googly eyes, and something for teeth (paper or plastic fork tines).

Just poke the paper clip into the base of the brad (between the dish part and the two tines). Some bending may be required. Spread the brad tines into "ears." The paper clip is now the rabbit's "spine." Now wrap and bend the pipe cleaner into a body, starting at one front leg, then torso, back leg, tail, back leg, torso, front leg. Be strategic--one pipe cleaner is enough, but you can always cut part of another one if you run out before all the body parts are done. Now just affix two eyes and two teeth. I glued on the eyes, then just jammed two plastic fork tips into the base of the brad, where tension keeps them in, but you could use glue if you enjoy gluing.

Now put your rabbit on display at the local county fair or house of ill repute.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Munchkins & Mexicans

When my brother was about 3-4 years old, he spoke with what sounded like a French accent and said wacky things. For a while, the things that scared him most were beetle grubs and croutons. These fears were my fault: I was 11 years older than him, and held great sway over his views. I told him that Ronald McDonald killed kids by choking them with croutons, and whenever we dug holes (we dug a lot of holes at our place), grubs turned up and I tossed a few at my brother, which happened to scare screaming hell out of him. I hadn't told him any terrifying things about grubs, but he later said that he thought their reddish heads came from drinking blood.

For a year or so, he also thought "Mexican guys" came into his room to rummage around and steal toys. We originally thought he dreamed this up from scratch, but eventually I deduced that when he said "Mexican guys," he really meant "Munchkin guys," sort of like when he called helicopters "haplicopiters."

Just as the fear of Mexican guys can be outgrown, it can also be grown into. Several years ago, my 80-year-old landlady was convinced that some Mexicans who pulled into her driveway were there to steal her antique doorknobs, and now my mom is convinced that the reason you see fewer horses on local farms is that they're all being taken to Mexico to be tortured for sport--some kind of stabbing with long knives, kind of like bullfighting. I'm hoping that eventually her worries about Mexicans will evolve into a fear of Munchkins who steal toys, thus demonstrating that we return to a form of childhood in old age. Plus, she has too much junk stockpiled at her house, so it would be good if some got secreted away by little humanoids.

On the other hand, my mom's youngest grandchild (my niece) is a dwarf, so this could cause an odd difficulty in the family.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Grimy Snowboy Survives Day of Motoring

I'm proud of my buddy. He was not even expected to make it to the highway, much less across town at 70 mph. He lost a lot of weight in the 30+ hour ride on my wipers, but he never lost his will to live or his pleasing demeanor. His puny stick arms stayed high in glee/terror until the end, and he brought joy to at least one teen, one dad w/ toddler, and my brother. One time he slid over directly in front of my steering wheel and I feared I'd have to wipe him; instead, I just drove ever gentler around corners, to the dismay of the drivers behind me. He even survived my giving a Little Debbie snack to a homeless man on an exit ramp at Battlefield & 65-- I said, "You want a brownie?" and the guy whipped out a paw straight from "The Road" and said, "YES SIR!"

That's a full account of the life of Snowboy. He lived a full life for a guy with dirt for eyes.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Litter Box Update

After a week of paleolithic, Minnesotan, cold-ass Little House winter siege, we’d only had one pipe burst. But now my wife’s two cats seemed to be trying to simulate a haunting of our house--tearing around, spinning, clomping into things, batting magnetized items off the fridge and yowling into paper bags. Cabin fever for cats. In nicer weather, they poop outside. “What the hell are they doing down there?” I said from upstairs. My wife thought maybe the litter box needed to be cleaned. She was feeling puny in a female way, so I said I could do it. She ended up following me to the box anyway because she likes to direct me in simple tasks and to confirm that I don’t proceed idiotically. On the back porch stairs it was probably near freezing, but the chill wasn’t suppressing the stink. I said, “It has been getting pretty stinky back here.” She said she couldn't smell the litter pan and I said, “How can you not smell that? It’s like a cat is shitting directly into my nostril!” “Maybe I smell it a little,” wife said. She must have been pretty congested. She went on elseways and I got down to it. Ha haa, cats, I saw all of your poops that you worked so hard to conceal in grit. Must have been a week’s worth of secrets in there. I sacked up the weight of an extra cat in pure shit. Well, to be fair, a lot of that weight was the litter clumped into pee-clods, but still.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Check Your Woe

I got tired shoveling snow the other day. I thought I felt like shit. Times like this demand that one ask oneself, "Do I really feel terrible? Do I qualify for woe?"

It may be helpful, in such moments, to establish a scale of woe. Here are a few check points:

1. Lightly chapped lips/ bad radio song stuck in head (low woe)
2. You are reminded of when your first pet died many years ago.
3. Flu/ long DMV line (moderate woe)
4. You're a Hollywood agent representing only Sinbad and Pauly Shore.
5. Severe diarrhea fills your pants in a public venue.
6. You just hit your thumb with a hammer in cold weather
7. You just backed a truck over your dog, and it won't stop yelping.
8. You're the dog (see 7).
9. You're a tunnel rat in Vietnam, and the tunnel collapses.
10. Crucifixion with mockery and biting flies (maximum woe, but no need to found a religion)

With these ratings in mind, I give the 10-hour snow shoveling marathon a 3.5, and I don't think I've ever gone past 7.

Stay tuned for our next topic, "What is the opposite of an orgy?"