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.

. . .

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wednesday Wa Pic - And don't get me started about the nasty Chianti

 You've gotta respect a shop that believes in truth in advertising.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Leaking and dumping—a perplexing new trend

I wonder what I would have done if a time-traveler had sauntered up to me in high school in, say, 1978, and told me, "One day you will hear, comprehend, and not be grossed out by, the phrase 'WikiLeaks dump.'"

I probably would have said something like "What's that on your head? Are you an Aunt Bea impersonator?"

"It's a man-bun," the time-traveler would reply. "Where I come from, it is also ridiculed."

"Wait," I would say, "You're a time-traveler! I can tell. Your jeans have been completely shredded by the portal."

"No, that's just the way they come," he would say.

"Hold on. Before you go back, tell me. What stocks should I invest in?"

"I cannot be specific, but let's just say computers will be big."

"Got it! Thanks! Texas Instruments it is!"

So many leaks. So many dumps. How many dumps am I expected to endure before I suffer dump fatigue? I do not even click on those stories any more. Just because you dump something doesn't mean it has value. Look at Wells Fargo stock.

We have become a culture which likes to believe there is something fishy going on at all times, something which needs to be hacked and revealed. It makes us feel smart, special, and there is just enough actually fishy going on to feed the trend.

Conspiracy theories I wish would catch on:
  • Balding is experienced only by certain men who were taken as babies and inoculated with a serum which increased their intelligence, sexual magnetism and leadership abilities.
  • The reason the birds and the bees are dying off in such great numbers is because Internet porn has rendered their romantic symbolism irrelevant. 
  • Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both actually Ralph Nader in disguise, using advanced theatrical makeup and TV editing tricks. So is Anderson Cooper.
  • Julian Assange is, and always has been, Ralph Nader.
  • The "A" in Chick-Fil-A stands for Assange.
  • 9/11 was caused by conspiracy theorists.
  • The moon landing was not only faked but had subliminal images inserted into its TV coverage which gave the public a subconscious urge to buy MoonPies.
When I was a kid, leak and dump had very different meanings, and you got very little public praise for them. The only people getting hacked were extras in Bruce Lee movies. Times change. I am sure something fishy is going on; don't get me wrong. But sometimes I wonder if it all isn't just a clever piece of fishdirection.
. . .

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wednesday Wa Pic - Theatrical signage

 It's nice to see that the Hollywood Bowl is unwilling to spell out obscenities on its signage. I bet those seats are more expensive too.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Famous poems parodied for this election year

This election cycle is almost over, and to celebrate I took several famous poems, pulled their pants around their ankles, and painted their hineys red, white and blue. I hope you will enjoy them with the laughter and relief which usually only comes at the end of a very long bout with the flu. Viva democracy!

"O Clinton! my Clinton!" (With a nod to Walt Whitman)

O Clinton! my Clinton! your fearful trip is done,
the campaign's survived all attacks, the White House almost won,
Some people jeer, some others sneer, the pillories insulting,
But despite calls for jail (or worse), ol' Hillary's exulting;
But O Bill! Bill! Bill!
O the email server woe,
Whitewater and Vince Foster, they
just won't let it go.

O Clinton! my Clinton! They say you have your foes
outfitted for new cement shoes, they drop like dominoes.
Is it not true you'll push right through a shift to Sharia Law?
Wasn't it you, back in the day, smuggled coke in Arkansas?
Troopergate, Benghazi!
Infractions e'en more dire!
Can you blame those who think
that where there's smoke, there's fire?

. . .

"Stopping by Showy Woods" (With a nod to Robert Frost)

Whose woods these are I think I know / His hotel sets the trees aglow / He'll surely see me stopping here, from a penthouse on the 100th flo'.

The woods are lovely, every tree / has his initials carved, you see / the bark embossed in letters, gold / Each one says "T-R-U-M-P."

For TV work he is hard-wired / He had more fun saying "You're fired" / Campaigning's thankless; TV pays / By April, Fox will have him hired.

"The polls are rigged, the pundits conned / Trump Nation surely will respond!" / But if he's wrong, his backup plan? Three words for you—Trump Walden Pond.

. . .

"Where the Polling Ends" (With a nod to Shel Silverstein)

There is a place where the polling ends, and before the vote begins,
And there the mood glows hot and white,
And there is fought the Facebook fight,
And there the nonsense claims take flight,
then pool where our brain cells have thinned.

Let us leave this place where the hucksters flack
and our dark mood costs us friends.
Past these fits where our fear and anger grows
we must walk our way back off the ledge on tiptoes
and try to have empathy for our "foes,"
to the place this insanity ends.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wednesday Wa Pic - Masterpiece martial arts

 When you need to settle a beef over which is better, "Downton Abbey" or "Poldark."