Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What Does This Song Remind You Of?

During the holidays with friends and family and food around, there should be music to accompany the fun and frolic. While this is background noise to most, now and then a song will come on that makes you stop. It is a ‘special song’ that has a meaning more than just the hooks and lyrics.
Maybe it is that first dance or a movie theme or from frat boys’ party tape but when it plays there is a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye that no one else will understand.
So now all the Halloween candy has been eaten and the silly costumes put away and the you stuff more than the turnkey and before become engulfed by wrapping paper and carols, thing of one song that has a special meaning.
Let me tell you a story of a ‘special song’.
In my town there is a neighborhood called ‘the Fan’. Row houses built in the 1900’s fanning out from the downtown area to what would become the WWII suburbia. A western expansion of the city after the civil war was mostly blue-collar apartments and duplexes until the late 70’s and the 80’s when real estate took off and the renovations took dilapidation to architectural marvels. 
The Fan is peppered with seedy bars and restaurants but with the transition, these dives became bistros, cafes, brasseries, and other chic establishments for dining. A few held on to their tradition.
On a side street in the middle of the block next to the alley a house converted into a bar was born. Established in 1952 it was a bit far away from school but became a hangout in the early 80’s. It is a comfortable establishment with a diverse mix of early morning bar hounds, families, students, and couples.
Joe’s Inn has two sides to every story. One is the bar and wooden booths and the other side have the kitchen and tables. Some years ago they did some renovations but this story took place before the removal of the tin ceilings and jukebox. 
In each booth, on the bar side, were selectors on the wall. A quarter would give you three choices of whatever the jukebox held to offer. It was first come first serve to get your playlist. There were classics, rock and soul, new wave, and whatever the distributor loaded that week. 
Then there was G6.
 “867-5309/Jenny” is a 1981 song written by Alex Call and Jim Keller and performed by Tommy Tutone that was released on the album Tommy Tutone 2, on the Columbia Records label. It peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #16 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart in May 1982.
I liked the hook and the beat and the message and would play G6 whenever I went to Joe’s Inn. After awhile it became a habit and everyone else in the booth would sing along. 8-6-7-5-3-0-9.
Then I met this girl there. Joe’s Inn became our hangout and we’d spend hours drinking pitchers and eating greasy food and lots of laughs in the roar of the crowd. Friends would come and join us and then leave but we would stay for hours. We even had a plaque up on the wall acknowledging our regular attendance.
And every night we sang 8-6-7-5-3-0-9.
On one particular night a large group of us were crammed in a booth and I started plugging the jukebox with quarters. G6, G6, G6. It became a passion to see how many times that song could play. 8-6-7-5-3-0-9.
Other patrons came and went and some stayed the night but they all heard 8-6-7-5-3-0-9 over and over again.
Then something magical happened. When “Jenny, Jenny” came on for the umpteenth time, not only was our booth singing the words but so was the whole bar. The next time it played the other side of Joe’s Inn started chiming in on the chorus and a call and answer was formed between the two sides. Even the harmonies were good. 8-6-7-5-3-0-9.
We were laughing so hard that when the music stopped everyone cheered at the accomplishment with hopes they didn’t have to hear that song ever again.
So that is the story of a ‘special song’. You probably have one too. If you want to sing along to mine…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WTdTwcmxyo
If you need to learn the words, play it over and over and over and over again.
Until next time, what was that number?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Living In A Cave

It seems this is the season for retiring from social interaction. Of course it is the holiday season so you have to put up with close family and friends but after a long and divisive electoral campaign, many are retreating into their caves.
As the temperatures get colder the fall burst of color is now becoming burnt umber and soon the wooden fingers pointing to the sky will sleep until spring. The smart ones have either flown to warmer climates or hibernated but the rest of us must endure the frost, snow, and try to find something to entertain our minds in the grey days and longer nights.
Distressed by all the unpleasant and sometime rude comments by ‘friends’ on social media, many of us have uncluttered our contact list. Like changing our closets from the sweat stained t-shirts and ratty shorts of summer to the snuggly fleece and sweaters of winter, the digital conversation is also changing.
Like daylight saving time is a reminder to change the battery in your smoke alarm, the winter season is a good time to uncluttered your emotions. A long Christmas card list to strangers may be necessary to network and a large gathering at Thanksgiving to a one-time-a-year celebration of strangers makes the stress of the holidays as tough as the barrage of social media nonsense.
Work hard trying to find that perfect gift for your neighbors or friends that will soon show up on eBay while trying to decide ‘why?’ they are worth the cost. Traditions of following the past but adding the constant checking social media in a chance someone might post something you have to know at that very moment in time and even more pressure to respond to.
Is it just a waste of time?
If you call that person or even more intimately sit face-to-face with another, how long can the conversation go on until it becomes boring? Is it the same for all the cute babies and puppies and sentimental selfies that we constantly scroll through?
Like turning off the lights when we are not in the room, is this a conversational conservation or a trend? As the ‘new’ president makes his commitment to the country I think I know who is ‘us’ and who is ‘them’. Are we becoming aware that all the news is not real and no photo can be believed and anyone can write anything on this gigantic chat room called the Internet? And the kids are basing their values and morals on what they see on their phone rather than what they get emailed from their parents. Can they make intelligent decisions with emojis?
Perhaps this is a good time to retreat into a cave for self-preservation? Whatever the reason it is a good time to start a new year with some different priorities. Attend a poetry reading, discuss a book with the author or write your own, take your partner dancing, learn to play an instrument, take a college class or many other variations can change our 2017 routine.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Bless This Food

Saying ‘Grace’ at mealtime was always a family habit. It was mostly said from the head of the household and as we grew older, my brother and I were required to come up with something. Like our nightly prayers before sleep, we kept it as short as possible.
On Thursday, family and friends will all get around the table full of abundance and before gorging be asked to say ‘Grace’.
Some will sit quietly, hold their hands together, close their eyes and bow their heads while the person who is going to carve the bird will pontificate on the meanings of this holiday and the wonders of having family around to celebrate. This speech can go well beyond the day and become a family yearly scrapbook of those present and those who couldn’t make it. Some will stand and hold each other’s hands and the request for each to give ‘thanks’ for their life. Meanwhile the gravy is solidifying and the turkey is getting cold.
The idea of blessing those who brought you this meal is fine but hard to do when you pop open the microwave or unwrap a paper wrapper or wait for the delivery. There are a lot of people, legal or illegal, who pick and ship and wrap and cook and ultimately prepare and present our food.
I suggest a prayer that may sum up our desire for a day with hopes that mashed potatoes won’t be thrown over political discussions or how to revive the drunken relatives to get them back home so you won’t have to deal with them in the morning.

“Dear Lord God Almighty please blesses the bounty here before us.  Bless the tomatoes grown from the backyard garden and sliced with only minor accidents to present such a wonder on a plate of lettuce picked in California by people who are just here to pick our food and not reap the reward of their efforts. Bless the Brussels’ sprouts that no one will eat along with the yams and the cranberry sauce, the seven plates of string bean casseroles and the creamy buttery potatoes mashed by hand as a game for the children that is just one of our starches with our baked rolls and finely seasoned stuffing making our elastic pants essential holiday wear.
Bless the health of all the people surrounding this table with hopes they do not have a heart attack or need a Heimlich maneuver to get through this meal.
Please bless Grandma Nana who secretly passed down her special recipe for the pumpkin pie that never tasted as good as when she was here.
Bless the children sitting at the small table in the other room watching their electronic devices to nourish their road to obesity.
A special blessing for mother who spent hours in the sweltering kitchen drinking spiked coffee and smoking cigarettes while the others of us were singing and having fun telling stories and watching football while depleting the stocks from the bar. May she please not poison us all for our lack of civility?
And forgive me Father for my sin of gluttony is about to begin. Amen. Let’s eat!”

At Puppywoods, it is a little simpler. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Register Now

Some news story (real or fake?) was discussing the creation of a registry for Muslims in America.
Seems like this idea when back to the Bush day’s after 9/11.
The main Homeland Security points were to:
1. Update and reintroduce the NSEERS (National Security Entry-Exit Registration System) screening and tracking system that was in place from 2002-2005. All aliens from high-risk areas are tracked. 
2. Add extreme vetting questions for high-risk aliens: question them regarding support for Sharia law, jihad, equality of men and women, the United States Constitution. 
Vetting is the process of performing a background check on someone before offering them employment, conferring an award, etc. A prospective person or project may be vetted before making a hiring decision. In addition, in intelligence gathering, assets are vetted to determine their usefulness.
Vetting is also a term used in the field of transitional justice. When countries undergo a process of transition—after a period of armed conflict or authoritarian rule—they must determine what to do with public employees who perpetrated human rights abuses. They also must examine and revise the institutional structures that allowed such abuses to occur. Vetting is the set of processes for assessing the integrity of individuals (such as their adherence to relevant human rights standards) in order to determine their suitability for public employment. Countries transitioning to democracy and peace often utilize such processes to ensure that abusive or incompetent public employees are excluded from future public service.
So if I read this right, if you follow Islam and declare yourself a Muslim, this government wants to keep track of you. In other words, you are defined as a possible terrorist.  You are defined a terrorist for your religious beliefs?
This government has all the questions to access if you are qualified to stand on this land or be sent back from where you came from? If the Native Americans had done this with the Pilgrims, we wouldn’t have this problem.
Why stop at Muslims?
The world of today wants to know everything about you so why not increase the registry?
Let’s make a registry for all the Baptist. How about the Jews? One registry for the Catholics and another for the 7th Day Adventist or any other sect or creed or following would be real handy? And don’t forget to include Orthodox!
Why stop there? There is so much to know about each and every one of us unique individuals.
A registry for white folks would be helpful and maybe one on the African-American or Latino. Who did you descend from is better than an ancestry search.
Are you tall or short? Left handed or right-handed? Are you blonde or brunette or ginger or bald? Do you have freckles or gapped teeth? Do you have any deformities or handicaps to declare?
Did you finish any schooling that gave you a diploma? Have you served in any national conscription or alternative service and survived? How many jobs have you had?
Are you married? Do you have children? Are the children by the same woman you are married to?
Do you drive? Do you own a car? Have you purchased a house? Do you have brown shoes?
Are you getting the idea?
We are now junkies to data. The more the better seems to be what is presented to us in charts and graphs and we build our prejudices on whatever we can consume.
The next time you go shopping during this season and you place that plastic card into the register reader like an old calculator, what is on that chip? Not to worry for your smart phone has already told where you are, what you are doing, your bank account, friends, and even have a photo of you. A fingerprint is no longer needed.
Just relax you have already given out more information about yourself to not be the ‘current resident’ on your junk mail.
Welcome to the future, we know who you are.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Let’s Make Some NOISE!!

This is the time of year, the season’s change and nature starts to turn off. The flowers wilt and leafs turn a magical palette saying “Good Night” until spring.
As a chill fills the air those pesky leafs fall all over the place. Your Home Owner’s Association finds this unsightly and quite abhorrent in appearance so you hire a crew of day worker immigrants to remove brown carpet. With trailers full of mechanical devices, the choice of this time of year is the backpack leaf blower.
The leaf blower, invented in the 50’s, seems like a good enough tools to move light debris around but that is all it does. Blow leafs around.
It used to be small and have an electrical cord but someone needed more power so the backpack gas powered version was invented to go anywhere. The user has to wear headphone ear protectors because it sounds like a motorcycle. It makes a wonderful noise to wake up to on Saturday morning.
Now back in the day of black and white television and phones on cords, the idea of removing leafs from the yard became a family affair. Fathers would bond with their sons over rakes.
For those who do not know what a rake is, let me explain. A rake is about the size of a broom (you do know what a broom is?). A wooden stick with a bunch of blades attached at one end. The blades are fanned out in a triangle with the ends bent 90 degrees. With a sweeping motion leafs can be moved from one place to another. It does take a little exercise and still won’t pick them up but they do make wonderful piles to jump in. After pealing off layers of sweaters, a cup of hot cider was perfect to view you accomplishment of a clean yard.
In the forest leafs fall and become mulch for the trees. This is mulch that people will go to garden shops in the spring and purchase. In the old days, leafs were just raked to the curb. In the city you could burn leaves until environmental restrictions and the fear of catching the neighborhood on fire stopped that. Now people just wait for the city trucks to come by and sweep them up. The ones that get missed just root in the street and are gone by spring. (Note to bicyclist: these piles on the curb makes you ride further out in traffic and become very slippery in the rain)
Soon enough the snow will cover leafs in a wondrous winter land. 
Yeah, I know, there is a LOUD machine to remove snow too.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


Have you ever watch children play? They create some game with a ball or a stick and run around joyfully with each other. They don’t care if the other kid is of their same background or attend the same church or wear the same cloths or even speak the same language. They create their own communication and laugh and run and play and have fun together.
Then one of the parents comes up and says, “No, you can’t play with that child.”
The kid will look puzzled but it was an authoritarian parent that gave the order and being a kid under complete rule of laws pronounced by the overloads of life, you give up playtime and learn the lesson of ‘discrimination’.
Sometimes it starts much earlier.
From the crib everyone you see is the same color. You mime what they do and learn the right and wrong way to walk and talk and worship and learn, surrounded by clones of YOU.
When someone different enters your space of activity, even ever so briefly, you pay special attention to him or her. If he or she talk and walk and act like you they are still aliens from another world.
“Mommy, why is that person different from us?” you may ask and the answer will start you on your road to discrimination.
As you grow up you will learn even more ways to separate yourself from others around you. Even organizations and associations are formed to reinforce your discrimination.
Our books of faith teach love and respect but a few pages later defines the sinners who must smite down. Our politics discriminate into various definitions and are followed as closely as our faith. Our prejudices are fed by those of the same thinking and are passed down to our siblings and offspring.
As generations grow more diverse, whether by choice or by law, the natural assimilation of those who were avoided or worst will question discrimination.
The more you learn, the less you realize you know.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Read the Instructions

You cannot buy anything now that doesn’t have a set of instructions. Tiny print and diagrams and warnings are written in at least twelve different tongues to make your purchase even more pleasant.
Of course it doesn’t.
Much like those contracts agreements we skip to download and upgrade, we tend to put the telephone book size instructions to the side and forge ahead blindly forward.
After the first or second failure of succeeding to conquer whatever the appliance or tool or whatever has to obscure our accomplishment, we turn to our friends. With vague advice, a few more tries increase the frustration before searching the Internet. More false truisms or voodoo spells and finally you dust off the original instructions.
I appreciate the instruction manual. I have written several. The idea of taking a simple task and breaking it down to the commonest evaluator for the simplest mind to understand is difficult.
How to plug the electronic gizmo in are at least two pages. Take extension power cord (figure A) out of the box. Take off that little wire thingy and stretch the length of the cord straight. (What do you do with the little wire thingy is up to you). Find a nearby electrical reciprocal and plug the end with the metal plugs in. Whoo! Too complicated? The electrical cord has two ends. One with a pair of metal strips or tongs or blades and sometimes with a little round pole underneath so you need a three-way receptor or need to get an adapter.
You get my idea. That is why there are ‘help lines’.
This may have started in school when we asked the teacher should we use a #2 pencil and double space our answers and use upper and lower case cursive writing? What about using a pen?
Recently I had a simple job of replacing a set of blinds in the window. It had been several years since I’d done this task but it didn’t seem to hard. As I recalled it was a little measuring, a few screws, sliding in and locking the blinds and bingo it worked. Not so fast buckaroo.
The NEW blinds are held in an entirely different manner than I remembered.  There are no hanging cords that raise and lower the blinds because some kids might hang themselves on them. They supposedly snap in 1,2,3 and everything is done.
Except when you look at the diagrams and see a placement for a hanger where it says in Section 3 do not place the hanger in the area of where it told you to place the X mark. Why didn’t they make the ‘do not’ in bold type?
I had a similar occurrence with changing a blade on a circular saw. I’d had this saw for many years and had lost the original instructions but YouTube had a cool video that I thought answered all my questions. Then it didn’t work.
Solution? I bought another circular saw.

Monday, November 14, 2016

‘Tis The Season For Gorging

As the days grow darker and the temperature drops, we all wander inside to the warmth of a fire. The holidays are upon us so the grocery list grows longer in anticipation of parties and gatherings of friends and family. Much of the next couple of months will be spent in the kitchen preparing concoctions to entertain and entice. There seems no limit to our recipe libraries and exotic palette adventures.
It seems we must devour as much comfort food during the months of winter to keep our sanity until we can roam again outside and lie in the sunshine.
The waffling smells of turkeys and hams in the oven with all sorts of starches baking away looks so appealing that we gorge until falling asleep over-exercising our knives and forks. Round after round of appetizers, soups, taters, meats of every size and description, and breads slathered in butter make dining an Olympic sport. Don’t worry about salads. They are for spring when you want to lose all the weight you are packing on.
Even when not entertaining we sit on the couch watching some terrible movie finishing off a bag of chips before the pizza arrives. That Halloween candy is long gone and another slice of that pecan pie wouldn’t hurt.
While out shopping for the perfect gift for Uncle Albert or Aunt Martha you got to take a break and that coffee shop isn’t going to handle your hunger. Season shopping is hard work so skip the junk food and load up the carbs. You’ll be able to go to the gym and work it off later.
Our gorging must be washed down with an assortment of adult mixtures for nothing says “Party!” like a good strong drink of alcohol. You don’t know who will want what and how much so you better stock up. Besides you can always find another reason to consume. Wearing those gawky sweaters and lighting up the neighborhood and singing carols out of key will always be more fun when you loopy.
Get out the stretch pants and that extra-large package of t-paper and some extra bottles of Tums and probably a few cans of air fresher.
‘Tis the season for Gorging.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Learn How To Be President of the United States of America in 71 Days

Our president-elect has never held a political office. He has no experience on how government works. He will have to be trained from scratch.
Now we all have been hired for jobs with little or no experience and will be required on-the-job training. The question is can you become proficient at your job in 71 days?
It is more than learning where the washroom is or what your hours are or when are the holidays, this job is more about getting the keys to Air Force 1 and having a guy following you with a suitcase. Those guys surrounding you in sunglasses aren’t there to keep the paparazzi away.
In this job you will shake more hands, eat more food, get less sleep and ask more questions than answers. You will have to deal with disgusting situations and you get to meet the Pope; probably the Dali Lama too. Everything you do or say will be recorded and translated and analyzed in languages you’ve never heard of. Thousands of countrymen’s sons and daughters will stand at attention when you walk into a room. You can’t go to McDonald’s whenever you want but you can get a chef’s specialty roast beef sandwich whenever.
This job requires knowledge of economics, sociology, science, history, horticulture, medicine, religion, weaponry, aeronautics and technology, just to name a few. This job requires persuasion of not only your staff and other members of your government but others around the world that may not agree with your presentation. This is the art of the deal.
You will be required to attend more funerals and give sympathy to more families than anyone on the planet. You will required to stand for photo shoots with other leaders and attend boring ceremonies all over the world. You must express your condolences and anger yet it is your job to motivate the country that things will be better in a civil manner that a 3rd grader could understand.
You got 71 days to learn all of this before you take your Oath.
Good luck to you and all of us.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Just Another Fall Day

Extra hour today means nothing other than I can set the clocks that have either been off or wrong time for the past 12 months. So that is why the clock says 1:00 but it is really 12:00? I forgot.
So what is the big deal? The sun is up and it bright and wonderful. A nice fall breeze is helping to dry off the roof sans pine tags. Prediction of a nice pleasant warm Sunday, so get out and enjoy.
Usual routine (that is why it is routine because it happens in the same pattern everyday) and check the yard. Everything looks good and welcoming so I join in.
No thought of where I’m going or how to get there for that is routine also. The chimes are singing as I put on my fingers and walk my pony to the back. More white trucks than usual but there are always white trucks around here. Where is the diversity?
Whoo! That guy almost went through a red light. It is a sign to wake up from my morning stupor and pay attention. Some more examples of bad driving show me that extra hour didn’t quit sober up everyone from their college football yesterday.
So I silently weave around walkers and joggers observing the young raking leaves and cutting grass or mulching and start to think about why I’m writing this story in my head of everything I’m seeing. Is it the artist eye? Turn the corner and crank up the gears and look up for the enjoyment of what fall has to offer. Than a wooden marble bonks me on the head. Good reason to wear a helmet. Then I caught my first leaf.
The store was a bit crazier than most, but I was in a time warp and didn’t realize it. Everyone seems in a panic, maybe trying to catch the most of the extra hour? I’ll put that in my story.
Loading up and packing out I remember I brought a letter mailed to my next-door neighbor. I could have walked next door and placed it in her mailbox but I don’t do that. Instead I take it to the local mailbox and drop it in to be re-delivered. Why the extra trouble? The postman/woman should have checked the numbers on the houses. Mine are really big.
Back at home with the family fed and in their own frenzy but they don’t know what time it is. The shadows follow the same patterns and they rest when they get tired. Check my to-do list and wonder will I get as much done today as I’ve gotten this week? Well, there is football on but I’m unrepentantly caught in pre-pregame shows of talking heads and the sunshine is inviting.
Halloween is done, the World Series is over and the weather is getting chilly. The days will start cold and the nights will fall early. There will be more clouds and grey skies. This will be the season.
The bonus of the week will be the Super Moon. I’m hoping it will be as fantastic as the last night I sat outside and watched that huge silver ball that seemed to rise out of my backyard. It lit up the yard like a spotlight and slowly crawled across the sky. It seemed close enough to reach up and touch. I won’t be in the same mood as I was then or perhaps I will.
So at the end of the evening, a few chores were done, a new to-do list was made for next week, and tonight I’ll crawl into the same rumpled bed but at a different hour and attempt to reschedule my sleepless pattern.
It is just another fall day in Just Another Life.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Would Have Been

What is our fascination with the past? Ancestry or can we just not forget?
Our history is our past and we have writings and photos and paintings as reference. There are plots of land with headstones with names of the forgotten and even statues to some who were important a long time ago.
Our daily lives are built on the foundation of those who came before us. We can’t change history and we can’t predict the future so we must flounder in the present in what we have read that has influenced us and hopefully format a positive path forward.
Still I wonder our obsession with ‘what was then’? Is today not good enough to bring a smile without a reference to former family and friends and times gone by?
Are we so shallow?
My question comes from the post on social media about what would have been if someone had lived longer than they did. If John Lennon hadn’t been murdered at the age of 40 he would be 76 now. Would he have wanted to be 76? Would he be a healthy productive 76 or…. another John? Would he fulfill our remembrances and our dreams or just been an ancient who only had memories to reflect to?
If my father were still alive he would be 111. My mom would be 106. Folks, that is just real, real old and I feel neither would be functioning very well.
Now I’m not inhuman and I understanding feeling the loss of a loved one and remembrance of them while you knew them, but you forget the crap and try and remember the good times.
Holidays bring this out in us. Dust off the old scrapbooks and look through the blurry black and white photos trying to remember the names of the faces and what relevance they had on your life or the lives of your offspring who never ever saw them.
While we remember the wonderful soup grandma made or those biscuits Auntie Edna made, we don’t visit their graves. On a normal day of stress, phone calls, texting and tweeting and following the latest social media event, they will be forgotten. That is until the next holiday.
Yes I will remember certain people and have forgotten others who past through my existence here. A few I carry with me everyday but do not celebrate with others how they changed my life.
Tonight we turn back the clock an hour and have another chance. Should we do the same with the calendar?

Fact Checker

This used to be the job of journalist. Somewhere there would be a report of a story and a qualified news hound would be sent to investigate. Poignant questions and constant digging offered the details of the story that the established new agencies stated as ‘fact’.
Today what do you believe?
 Everyone is bombarded with ‘news’ or some variance of what could be true or not. How are we to make heads-or-tails of daily events that may (or may not) affect our lives?
So what are you going to do?
Tom: “Hi, I’m Tom.”
(Fact Check: Is his name really Tom or Thomas? Why did he shorten his true name?)
Kathy: “Hi, I’m Mary Katherine. My friends call me Kathy.”
(Fact Check: Is her name ‘Mary’ or ‘MK’ or ‘Kathy’ or as her father calls her ‘Babs’? Why would she tell a complete stranger like Tom what her ‘friends’ call her?)
Tom: “I think I’ve seen you around here before.”
(Fact Check: Does Tom just hang around this bar? Is he a lush? Is he just trolling for easy bar party girls?)
Kathy: “No, I’ve never been here before. I just got a call from my friend Wendy to come down and get a drink.”
(Fact Check: Does surveillance recognize her? She is letting Tom know she has backup. She is also letting Tom know she drinks.)
Tom: “Here is my wingman Tony. We come here all the time. They have great dance tunes.”
(Fact Check: Toni’s cute. Why do Tom and Tony come here all the time? Are they gay? Is Kathy wasting her time?)
Wendy: “Introduce me to your friends, Kate.”
(Fact Check: Kate? Where did that name come from? Does Wendy want to meet these fellows or get her friend out of a potential bad situation? )
Tony: “Hi, I’m Tony. Love your eyes.”
(Fact Check: Is his name really ‘Tony’ or is that just some kind of gang tag? He looks more like a Fred. Tony, or whoever you are, the eyes are up here.)
Tom: “Hey why don’t we leave this dump and head back to my place?”
(Fact Check: I though Tom and Tony came here all the time? Why do they want to leave? Did they drop something into Kathy’s drink? And where did Cindy go?)
To find out what happened next, you’ll have to turn the page.
(Fact Check: There is no other page. I’ve scrolled down to the bottom and there is nothing more about these make-believe people. It is all an illusion.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Vote For Me!

If you have not had enough of the bombardment of political television, radio, print and sound bites, let me add an alternative.
Vote For Me!
Why not? I’m an upright citizen. I pay my taxes on time and pick up my trash and don’t cause any problems. I even go to bed on time.
I’m a fine outstanding community member without participating in any illegal or immoral or questionable activates (at least recently) and am not affiliated or associated or emancipated by any political ideology or religious persuasion.
I was a boy scout and graduated from the higher establishments of learning. I’ve held down employment and provided for a family for over three decades. I even bathe more than twice a week.
I’m Caucasian because my parents were both and their parents were both. I have not done a environmental evolutional genealogy check of my past so I may be part Hindu or part Communist.
Other than that I’m a swell guy. I’ll shake your hand and laugh at your jokes. I won’t kiss your babies because they smell funny but I will pet your puppies.
So why vote for me?
Let me tell you. I’m a no-nonsense-kind-of-a-guy. “Get to the meat of the problem and get it solved” is my motto. No pussyfooting around. Don’t worry about not having enough money or time or people. Those are all poor excuses for not taking action.
What do you the ‘voter’ want? I’m the guy to deliver more than pizza.
Better schools? No problem. These old crumbling building from the 50’s without Wi-Fi and lead paint and limited plumbing facilities must be torn down and rebuilt to the NEW 21st Century standard. Talk about job creation. The responsibility of the training of these young minds is put in the hands of nannies, nurses, consolers and caretakers? Have you realized as soon as you graduate your ideas are all old hat? Families cannot teach fundamental education of speech and reasoning in a few hours without reinforcement.
I will form a new school system of camps that will take the children in and place them in 24-hour interment of acceptable social interaction, exposure of art, music, dance and even mechanical engineering. Instead of judging the teachers on their competence of training, each student will be rewarded in what they want to accomplish. This is not rocket science.
Parents were be free to visit at any time to see their son/daughter play sports or sing in the choir or show off their science project while still being able to party-hardy on weekends without worrying about a babysitter.
Of course taxes will go up but look at all the free time you have. It isn’t cheap to feed and clothe and house all these rug rats. We are doing you a favor.
Healthcare, have we talked about that yet? Folks, you been living a miserable lifestyle and the country is paying for it. The doctors and hospitals and insurance companies are milking us blind while we gorge on junk food and take our stress pills. How do we cut the cost?
“Doc, I don’t feel so good”. And then the doctor says, “Do you have insurance?” What happened to the family?
As long as we continue to come up with more and more descriptions of aches and pains and maladies that used to be just put aside as growing older then we will continue to demand easy fixes.
The doc-in-the-box on every corner is great for the broken bone or other boo-boo and you should be able to walk (or drag your body in) and go out without paying. The citizens want to participate in helping each other so taxes will go up.
Now those who have some weird delusion of phobias and assorted ailments might want to rethink their problems.
Speaking of crime, what will keep you safe? Can you walk the street without the boogeyman accosting you? Should the streets have more lighting? Should there be an officer of the law on every corner? Should you feel threatened when you don’t know what to fear?
Should we build a wall? Will that keep ‘them’ in or keep ‘us’ out? Wonder why it took so long to learn the blues?
Gun laws? We have enough gun laws that don’t seem to make a hill of beans. I purpose giving every man, woman and child a gun. Let them carry them to work. Let them carry them to school. Load up your car and attics and pack them away for a rainy day. Talk about job creation.
Just give law enforcement BIGGER guns.
Speaking of jobs, we need to put people to work. Work doing what, flipping burgers or stacking shelves? Where is the innovation of creating the light bulb or cell phone? Is it education or inspiration? For everyone else, pick up a hammer or patch a pothole and be happy at contributing. That goes for criminals too. Remember chain gangs? Get them out of sensitivity training and episodes of Dr. Phil to cutting the grass, picking up trash, and shoveling snow. Make crime too hard so no one wants to go back to jail.
Now don’t you be worrying about all that climate change or discrimination or gender aggression for it is all out of our hands. Like sending a person to Mars is no better understood by the common citizen than what makes up a candy bar. As many laws and bills and buffoonery that people have produced, some things will not change. Have we evolved or continued with our war of love vs. hate? No politician or theologian or lawyer or plumber is going to fix it.
Let’s take a look at transportation. After we repair all the bridges, highways and by-ways and sidewalks, we still need to deal with finding space for parking and petroleum based fuels and by-products such as that stinky air that is clogging up everything in the ozone. So instead of speeding things up, I propose to slow things down. More environmental methods of transportation, like walking, will become the norm. What? You need a quart of milk to complete the Rafanata and you have to run out and hop in your $40,000 gas-guzzler to speed up to the local stop-and-shop store. Don’t forget to grab a bag of chips and a six-pack too.
Get your lazy butt out of your soft leather couch and walk up to the store. Remember healthcare?
Have you ever tried public transportation? Less convenient but in the overall scheme of things it might just save our species. There is also this 200-year-old invention called a bicycle. It takes up fewer parking spaces, can be shared, and is good exercise.
What about the rural folk? Well you guys have always been good about living off the land and providing for yourselves. That is why you didn’t move back to the cities. All that freedom and space is great. There may not be a big box store close by but you really didn’t need that 300-rolls of paper towels unless you are really messy.
So what do you think? Am I as good as the other guys who are promising rainbows and unicorns but you know they will not do anything that they say so the cycle goes on of complaining about unqualified city administrators, bungling bookkeepers, concentrated poor and rich areas, piles of leaves and potholes, crumbling schools, decaying pipes and escalating crime.
Since the time when our wise leaders dressed in sheets pontificating visions of wonder, the common man has adjusted to crises and evolved. 
If you can’t make up your mind on option A or B or C or D…
Then Vote For Me!
Signed, the other one.