Sunday, December 4, 2016

On this day in history, December 4th...

On this day in history, December 4th:

In the year 771, Charlemagne becomes king of the Frankish Kingdom. After years battling to create a Frank kingdom, he is forced to admit the closest he will ever get is Frank "ish."

In 1674, Father Jacques Marquette founds a mission near Lake Michigan to minister to local natives' religious needs. The settlement eventually expands to become Chicago, whereupon the "mission" changes dramatically to providing "Saturday Night Live" with sketch comedians.

In 1745, during the Second Jacobite Rising, Charles Stuart's army reaches Derby, whereupon Stuart joyfully cries, "Bulbous black hats all around!"

In 1786, Mission Santa Barbara is founded. Sadly, no sketch comedians are produced, and the wine sucks too.

In 1872, the ship Mary Celeste is discovered abandoned at sea, with no crew aboard. I don't have a joke here. It just really creeps me out.

In 1875, Boss Tweed escapes from a New York prison, but is eventually recaptured in Spain living under the alias "Jefe Tweed."

In 1909, the Montreal Canadiens hockey team is founded in an act of misspelling which quickly proves too costly to correct, on billboards, jerseys and promotional flyers, and so is grudgingly kept.

In 1954, the first Burger King restaurant is opened, creating a line of "American royalty" second only to the Kennedy family.

In 1998, the second module of the International Space Station, the Unity Module, is launched. It is greeted with disappointment by the astronauts, however, when a closer look at the advertisement for the module reveals, in tiny type, "beer not included."

Today is the birthday of American rapper "Big Pokey." Or it might be the birthday of pokey American "Big Rapper." I can never keep it straight.

On this day in 1131, Omar Khayyam dies, leaving behind his Rubaiyat to a feckless cousin who, disappointed because he was expecting a "ruby yacht," feeds it to his pigs. Thankfully there are copies.

In 1649, poet William Drummond of Hawthornden dies, proving that if you have to say where you are "of," you are not that famous a William Drummond.

Today is the feast day Ada, named for Saint Ada, the patron saint of palindromes. It is also the feast day of Osmund, who was apparently Bishop of Salisbury and, by extension, of fake steaks everywhere.

It is Navy Day in India, a day Indians set aside once a year to celebrate their ships and stuff.

 Bulbous. See?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday Wa Pic - And instead of sit-ups, gelato!

 I don't know where in the world ice cream is a sport, but I want to live there.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Why California should secede and become its own attractive nation

The recent election has revived talk of California seceding from the union, taking its huge economy and supremely attractive people and going its own way. 

A sovereign country of California would have the sixth largest economy in the world but also the most kale-centric population. In fact, if we do secede, I'd like to suggest we call our country Kaleifornia. Foreign powers should know right up front who to bow down to when it comes to their roughage. 

Liberals like secession because it means no more pesky red states to fly over, just a big foreign country full of people they can't begin to understand, like Canada. 

It would be easier to handle, emotionally. Kaleifornia would have a lot going for it; the movie industry, the vegetable and nut production, and rumor has it that the porn industry is coming back. Talk about diversification of assets. We don't have all our eggs in one basket, nor do we require them to wear protection while canoodling. 

Our capitol would have to be moved, of course. Sacramento does not cut it for a country as elegant as Kaleifornia. I suggest Malibu. It would be hard to pass despicable legislation when you spent lunch sitting across a Whole Foods salad bar from a poorly disguised Barbra Streisand. 

I am joking. There IS no Whole Foods in Malibu, because the voters fought its construction off, considering chain stores to be a form of slumming. This kind of snobbery is exactly what one needs in the capitol of such an illustrious (insert nondenominational deity here)-blessed country.

Kaleifornia would not have elections; we would have awards. To keep the awards fair, there would be two political parties, the Dodgers and the Giants. Only season ticket holders would vote. The presidency and the vice presidency would be awarded in prime time by young actresses who have something coming out soon. All other offices, treasurer and so on, would be given out on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, as time permitted.

Yes, Kaleifornia would be a great country. Militarily, it would of the best-dressed. Our flag would have to be changed. I suggest two crossed leaves; kale and marijuana. I would be open to anything regarding the national motto, as long as it included the word "dude." Minorities, like Republicans, would be treated respectfully, and every schoolchild would be taught that Kaleifornia is "one nation, indivisible."

At least until the Big One hits. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wednesday Wa Pic - It's the new "dagnabbit"

 I like to exclaim the name of this cereal in the place of a profanity whenever I bang my shin or get cut off in traffic.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Writing about dog is safer than tackling politics

I have written a few political columns this year, but people are burned out on politics. So I have decided to write exclusively about my dog from now on. Dogs are safe. Dogs don't perform an upset. Dave Barry created this genre years ago, and it's gold. Even cat lovers like a dog column, because it will usually make a dog seem like what he is—kind of dumb but loving, like  Americans in general.

My dog cares nothing for politics. He did not symbolically poop more passionately than normal, in protest or celebration, on his morning walk the day after the election. He still treats finding a flavor-blasted Cheeto in the gutter as the best moment of November.

Skipper is not a discriminating eater, so we have to be careful what we leave within reach. Gesture with your sandwich to make a point, and he is on it. He is like Shamu leaping to tap that pole.

One time we left a half eaten pizza on the dining table and went off to our various books and computers. Dude jumped right up on the table, then made like pizza-rat down the hallway. I wish there were a way to convince him that the after-effects of pizza on an ex-wolf are not worth it. There isn't.

The next day on our walk as he is hunched on somebody's lawn, he will look up at me with desperate eyes that ask, "What in the name of the Great Dog God has happened to my pooter?" If you could teach a dog "cause and effect," the dog poop bag industry would collapse.

As the election results came in last week, Skipper was preoccupied with cocking his comically giant ears to detect people who might dare to deliver a package, or worse, walk past the house laughing. He was not inflamed by our political process, which is an enviable attitude.

Like me, he twitches when he dreams, but not about the well-being of his countrymen; rather, I imagine, about me tripping over a lamp cord and dropping an entire bucket of meatballs.

Sometimes, still asleep, Skipper will raise his head, eyes unseeing, and howl mournfully, as if protesting something cruelly unfair. He is hard to wake up in these moments, as if by clinging to the pain he proves something to himself. He has his pride, and his hunger. I will say this—he was certainly born in the right country.

. . .