Sunday, August 2, 2015


I hear that leprosy cases are way up in Florida this year, and it is not even an election year. (That is a dig at somebody. I haven't figured out who yet.) Local scientists suspect that rising contact with armadillos is causing the uptick.

(Side note: I saw Leprosy Uptick at the Troubadour in '79, back when punk was still punk.)

"What's new in your state?" "Oh, we're having a leprosy uptick"...said no governor, ever.

Imagine if the entire U.S. itself were undergoing a leprosy uptick. The president would be blamed immediately for being "soft on armadillos."

They are adorable. Have you seen the babies? Like little grenades with faces.

Did you know that armadillos are the only other animal known to carry leprosy? I decided to compile a list of other traits which only humans and armadillos share:
  • Indifference to U2
  • Thick armor which even Oprah combining forces with Deepak Chopra cannot often pierce
  • The enjoyment which only comes from spitting
All right, "enjoyment" is perhaps a strong word, but yeah. Armadillos spit when riled. Their spit contains the bacteria which causes leprosy. As armadillo habitat is destroyed for subdivisions, more armadillos are coming into contact with humans, and humans do not always use the greatest judgment, especially if they are Floridian humans.

The incubation period for leprosy can be between five and twenty years! Suddenly you are experiencing odd symptoms—skin lesions, claw-like hands, collapsed facial features—and you go, "Oh yeah, back in '95 you dared me to kiss that armadillo outside Hooters. What are the odds that would come back to bite me?"

The Center for Disease Control admits you are unlikely to contract leprosy from an armadillo, but recommends you avoid contact with them "when possible," which is always. It is always possible. Even after Jello shots, people. As the saying goes, if it's close enough to spit on you, it's probably already got a boyfriend anyway.

Luckily, in the U.S., leprosy cases are mostly found in Texas, Louisiana and Florida, states which can be easily avoided if you have a smart phone. I only know one person in those states, and she is unlikely to rile armadillos. Unless the armadillo is a Democrat.

Anyway, antibiotics can take care of it nowadays. Leprosy, I mean, not liberals. Donald Trump has been working on a cure for liberals for years. Trouble is, nobody wants to kiss him.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wednesday Wa Pic - What The Animals would be singing about today

 This has not been the ruin of many a poor girl.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Infidelity dating site is hacked; slow news week is unaffected

By now you have heard about the Ashley Madison hack, or at least your lawyer has. If you do not know what an "Ashley Madison" is, look in the dictionary under "End Times--Harbingers of."

To keep it simple, it is a Web site where married people can search for people with whom to have affairs. Back in my day, we called this "community theater."

The pastime has gone tech since then, though. Now it's like shopping online, but without waiting for shipping.

"Ashley Madison" combines two of the most popular girls' baby names from 25 years ago, which is just about the right fantasy age target, I'm guessing, for men who sign up. Madison is still in the top 10 for babies, though, which is a little icky, frankly.

But the name is incidental. Guys being guys, they would jump on board if the site were called "Tugboat Repairs." Nobody knows the exact ratio of men to women on the site, but I would bet 100 to 1 would not be far off.

This week hackers purportedly acquired the names, addresses, fantasies and photos of Ashley Madison's 37 million members, threatening to release them if the site was not shut down. The site was not shut down. As of this writing, the members' info has not been released.

Well, they supposedly outed a guy in Massachusetts and a guy in Canada, just as a sample. Imagine, your odds are 37 million to 1 and you still get picked. I would get on a plane to Vegas. I'll bet my wife would pack my bags.

Ashley M labels itself the "most famous name in infidelity," but I think that governor, Mark Sanford, who "hiked the Appalachian Trail" is up there. Tiger Woods. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It is the only one I just named which charges a fee, however. It even charges a fee to erase all traces of you from its site, so they get you coming and going, which is certainly fitting.

I'll bet you when this blows over, A.M.'s membership numbers will get a nice bump. I am sure there are people who had not even heard you could sign up for affairs as easily as ordering CDs from Amazon.

Despite the slick marketing, infidelity seems like a lot of work to me. Plus, when you're done, you probably feel like ordering a pizza. I say why not just cut to the chase?

. . .

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesday Wa Pic - Moments in bad marketing brainstorming

 Gives a whole new meaning to "Let it go, let it go..."

Sunday, July 19, 2015

College orientation turns out to be blast for parents

My wife and I attended our daughter's college orientation last week even though, together, we don't even constitute one rotor of a helicopter parent. But since we had to drop her off anyway, parent orientation sounded fun. I thought we might learn some insider parent songs, at least. Maybe a secret nose-wiggle that would get us past the guard at the building with the gargoyles. Nope.

We were met by an army of student orientation ninjas, though, each spaced about 10 feet apart for a quarter mile, directing us to the student union for the presentation, What It Means To Be A Bulldog. (Actual college mascot altered for privacy, plus, let's face it, "bulldog" is the height of mascotry.)

What does it mean to be a bulldog? You should have pride! (I totally called it.)

The students went their way and we stayed behind so we could watch a video about how safe the campus is. Also how doctors are standing by to treat our precious kids whenever necessary, as long as we pay the mandatory annual medical fee. "But our kid is already covered by our insurance," several parents said. "What part of 'mandatory' do you not understand?" the admin asked (in so many words), the subtext being that college is as good a place as any for a kid to learn that bureaucracy is not just a word.

We were escorted out to the quad and into tents with nice box lunches for which we had prepaid, and, blatantly catering to our particular demographic, they played songs from our youth like "Night Fever" and "Girls Just Want To Have Fun."

An enthusiastic student then toured us around the school, pointing out the place where, in the fall, the science geeks launch pumpkins with catapults, and the medical building where there is a robot mannequin which gives birth 10 times a day for onlookers. Impressive, yes, until you find out there is a Starbucks right in the library.

The dorms were spanking new, and were just a few steps from the spanking new student cafeteria. There is also a little cafe if you are hungry after hours. In my day, car-less, we had to walk a mile to a Naugles for succor. Times have changed.

Even freshmen have it good. They have this thing now you can rent called a microwave-fridge combo. In my day—toaster ovens. I tell you, I was born too soon.