Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Sunday, December 25, 2016

"The year in review—in holiday rhyme"

'Twas the day we call Christmas, and all through the states
not a cit'zen was stirring, afraid of the Fates

"This year they took Bowie," one gentleman winced,
"Muhammad Ali, Nancy Reagan and Prince

"John Glenn and Gene Wilder, Flo Henderson too,
Alan Rickman and Shandling and Zsa Zsa, it's true"

The election sat smoking, a crater still deep,
and it left some Americans feeling like [bleep]

Still others exuded a newfound fresh aura,
their frustrations heard (there had been a plethora)

The children, oblivious to the whole trauma,
unwrapped their new toys, unaware of the drama

While grown-ups residing in states red and blue
agreed on the past year—it totally blew

We had floods, there was drought, and electoral doubt,
militia occupation, and Zika breakout

On the plus side, they tell us the pandas are good,
they're off the endangered list, safe in their 'hood

Numbers of tigers in India are higher,
pulled back from the brink to a spot not as dire

So thinking Big Picture, the year didn't suck
(Notwithstanding that new-minted cretin word, "cuck")

They beat HIV (sure, it's only a trial,
but I'll call it a "win" against something so vile)

Fidel Castro checked out, will it mean they're free?
"El Chapo" was captured (What is this? Strike three?)

DiCaprio's Oscar for chewing raw meat
along with the scenery's a dubious feat

In Syria humanity lost its soul
The world looked away, shrugged, and wrote off the whole

Scientists found goats are as smart as dogs (really!)
though teaching a goat to chase Frisbees seems silly

The Britons went "Brexit" and entertain regrets
When gambling with finance, you takes what you gets

Pokemon Go was a craze in the summer
How it sucked battery, though, was a bummer

Harriet Tubman got plenty of traction
her face on the twenty soon, bumping ol' Jackson

Juno reached Jupiter, flying there to explore
its gases, its origins, its secretive core

A coup failed in Turkey, some feathers were ruffled
"Dictator!" some cried, but their voices got muffled

Docs said coffee cuts cancer and suicide rates
(proves a theory once floated by old Hippocrates)

This year was a pain, really bad, on its face
In history, I hope it sinks without a trace

It did have one bright spot, this one saving grace
Look it up—they grew the first flower in space!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

We have reached civilization's pinnacle: self-tying shoes

No doubt about it; what happened last month was a clear sign of the End Times—they invented the self-tying shoe.

It is not something anybody on Earth needs, so naturally, much like the deep fried chocolate covered pickle, that made inventing it irresistible. You might not have heard the shoe hoopla over the crashing down of the hopes and dreams of two coasts of voters, but it happened. There was shoe hoopla.

Why did humans invent the self-tying shoe? Well, if Sir Edmund Hillary were here, I think he would probably say, "Heck if I know. Who needs that?"

It is not even a self-tying shoe, it is a self-inflating shoe, and we have had those for 25 years already. The Pump. Remember the Pump? You squeezed a little basketball on the tongue of your shoe and it tightened around your foot?

Ah, but this one is different, they say. They are right. This one costs $720.

Plus the electric bill. Yes, the 21st Century self-tying inflating shoe uses batteries, so you have to plug in your shoes at night. Ray Bradbury, even dead, is rolling his eyes.

The novelty is, when you step into them, they automatically tighten up, like a blood pressure cuff. There is no "tying," self or otherwise, but nobody in marketing is going to let you hype a "self-fluffing shoe."

Step in and the shoes whir with the faintly nostalgic sound of a VCR ejecting a tape. The underside glows a futuristic blue, as if you are jogging on a peaceful ocean of gullibility.

Like the Apple Watch, wearing these is a statement. It says about you, "I am on the forefront of the cutting edge, and out here on the cutting edge we pay $720 for what we used to call 'slip-ons.'"

The shoes do not come with a remote, which seems odd. How else do I loosen the shoes without bending over? Avoiding bending over is, I would think, the whole point. I guess if you can afford these shoes, you have people for bending over.

It is the 21st Century, and shoelaces are one more thing you can finally stop concerning yourself with. Add it to the list, along with truth, civility and the quaint notion that clothes make the man. A man makes himself. But if anybody wants to give a man novelty marshmallow shoes for Christmas, a man does not have a heart of stone.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Beaver made famous in Maryland dollar store tells all

You may have seen the story last week of the beaver which supposedly entered a Maryland dollar store and wrought havoc on its artificial Christmas trees. Jonesing for the real thing, supposedly, and outraged at the deception. It smelled like fake news to me, so I got the beaver on the phone for an interview.

GW: Hi, are you the beaver from the dollar store?

Beaver: I'm from Schenectady, but, yes, that's me.

GW: What is your name?

Beaver: Bvvvphhht!

GW: Wow.

Bvvvphhht: It's a family name. I'm keeping it simple for you. There are chirps and stuff too, and several seconds of flatulence.

GW: Thank you then. Well, let's get to it. There were pictures of you in a lot of papers last week. As if a wild beaver just wandered into a dollar store, without fear, and let people walk up and take pictures. Level with me. You're tame, right?

Bvvvphhht: You mean married?

GW: I mean not wild. You live with people. You're a pet. This was a stunt.

Bvvvphhht: Tame is a strong word, bro. I admit I'm pretty chill, but I live in the woods. Dam. Lodge. The whole lifestyle.

GW: So you are asking me to believe you just happened into a dollar store and ended up near the fake Christmas trees.

Bvvvphhht: I thought it was a Hobby Lobby. I was looking for one of those three-wick scented candles.

GW: Um, why?

Bvvvphhht: Ever been in a beaver lodge?

GW: Ah.

Bvvvphhht: Smells like a muskrat exploded.

GW: How were you going to pay for the candle?

Bvvvphhht: Pay? How am I managing to use a phone and speak English?

GW: Good point.

Bvvvphhht: I wasn't looking for publicity. I got a little lost. Next thing I know, this guy has his phone out and he's laughing at me, but all I see is boxes with pictures of trees on them. The boxes smelled delicious. Cardboard you call it?

GW: Yes.

Bvvvphhht: I couldn't help myself. I sniffed them. They were like wood, but soft.

GW: I apologize. I thought it was all staged.

Bvvvphhht: No problem. I guess my mistake entertained some people.

GW: What's next for you?

Bvvvphhht: Me and Pizza Rat are shooting a remake of "The Odd Couple."

GW: Ha ha.

Bvvvphhht: It's a little obvious, but it's hard to push boundaries these days.

GW: Change the system from within, dude.

Bvvvphhht: I'm on it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wednesday Wa Pic - When the season goes right off the rails

 Because by today's exacting standards, THEY WEREN'T "PUMPKINY" ENOUGH.

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?