Monday, May 22, 2017

This makes me very, very happy.

On January 1, 1802, the town of Cheshire, Massachusetts presented President Thomas Jefferson with a 1,234 pound cheese, known as “The Cheshire Mammoth Cheese.” It was engraved with the motto “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God,” and came with a letter certifying that “the cheese was procured by the personal labor of freeborn farmers with the voluntary and cheerful aid of their wives and daughters, without the assistance of a single slave.” That’s what America once was and God willing, can be again. Free cheese. Free people. Grandiose and looney gestures that actually make absolutely no sense at all.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Wait for it...

You’re walking home from the tavern. You have enjoyed as much Pabst Blue Ribbon as you can possibly contain. The quickest way home is across the park, right over the Little League diamond. It’s dark. There’s a small cinderblock equipment shed, and you’re passing right behind it. Hm. This is probably a good place to urinate. Definitely. So okay, stand at the wall and – wait – is that a flashlight? Is it pointed directly at your crotchal region? Yeah. It’s the security guard, who was standing in front of the little building. Next time, walk once around. Loop before you leak.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Snake oil helps it go down easier.

Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient, abundant in meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. Rabbits are vegans, and they have evolved a strategy for getting enough B12. There are bacteria in the large intestine that excrete the vitamin, but that’s too far down the alimentary canal for effective absorption. So bunnies eat their own poop, accepting halitosis as the cost of avoiding a dietary deficiency. Hence the phrase “hare's breath escape.” Feces is a rich source of B12. It’s good to know that even with the excellent health care their high office affords them, House Republicans are still taking their supplements.

Monday, May 1, 2017

As predicted by the prophet Costner

Okay, so what happens is the sun shines on the oceans and evaporates water and makes clouds. And then it rains everywhere, including on land, which is largely water soluble. So some of the land melts and runs off into rivers. And the rivers flow downhill until the water ends up back in the ocean. And when it gets evaporated again, it leaves all those bits of the surface world behind. Doesn’t it seem like the water cycle would eventually dissolve all the dry land and wash it down into the sea? Is this something I should be concerned about?

Monday, April 24, 2017

It's not plagiarism; it's sampling.

I don’t know why I bother. All the good writing has already been done, creating a rich natural resource. It’s just a matter of judicious harvesting. Like I found 58 percent of today’s rant on Wikipedia, ripe for the cutting and pasting: “Handfeeding or touching large barracudas in general is to be avoided. Spearfishing around barracudas can also be dangerous, as they are quite capable of ripping a chunk from a wounded fish thrashing on a spear, or out of the arm which is holding the spear. Humans are not on their preferred menu, but haste can lead to confusion.”

Monday, April 17, 2017

Because expired meds might be dangerous

Imagine you have your head in the refrigerator and notice that the cottage cheese is about to pass its sell-by date so you grab a spoon and some celery salt and sit down and eat that stuff until you feel soggy and morose. Arkansas was going through something like that with their death penalty drugs; they needed to hurry up and kill eight people in 11 days before their poison expired. I’m picturing Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson sitting on the edge of his bed reading the Viagra bottle and saying, “Honey, we need to have intercourse seven times before May.”

Monday, April 10, 2017

Stravinsky! Gandhi!

Here’s an experiment you can conduct in the privacy of your own head. Find a photo of Pablo Picasso as a young man, an early picture of George Szell, and one of 30-year-old Henry Miller. Okay, now compare what they looked like as old men. Holy crap! They’re like, um, triplegangers. I call this MFC (Male Facial Convergence) and it strikes an alarming percentage of us. Beyond a certain age there’s just three basic models: Geezer, like the previous examples, codger (Mao, Churchill) and coot (George Burns, Amiri Baraka). Of course, there’s also a strong family resemblance between all newborns.