Monday, December 30, 2013

Ruminate on this

To clarify: The North American white-tailed deer is to be distinguished from the red deer, which looks like a smaller wapiti. The wapiti is named for its white tail; in the Shawnee language waapiti means white tail. When Europeans arrived in North America, they thought the wapiti looked like a moose, so they called it elk, because elk was their word for moose. Then, when they saw some actual moose, they had already used up their word for it (elk) and so adopted the Narragansett word for moose, which is moose. Back in Europe, a moose is still an elk.

Monday, December 23, 2013

I have no idea why...

...I woke up this morning thinking I would write a rant about Grover Cleveland, about whom I know nothing except that he was not from my hometown, Cleveland. I've tried to talk myself out of it, but it looks like my choice of topics is to write about Grover Cleveland or to keep writing about my compulsion to write about Grover Cleveland. Oh. Here's something. Both True Grit movies get Rooster's physical appearance wrong. For one thing, there's no indication that he wears an eyepatch, just that he's missing an eye. And, he resembles Grover Cleveland. Except with one eye.

Monday, December 16, 2013

I had a hunch something like this would happen.

Captain Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, the designer of the Gipsy Moth aircraft flown nonstop from England to Australia in 1930 by Amy Johnson, was so far as is known to this correspondent not a relative of the American cartoonist Fontaine Fox, he of the justly celebrated Toonerville Trolley. I simply cannot imagine from whence this confusion arises. While the two men were indeed contemporaries (Sir Geoffrey, 1882 - 1965; Mr. Fox, 1884 -1964), there is no evidence that they ever met, much less that there was some longstanding rivalry between them. I suspect neither was aware of the other's existence.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Oscar Hammerstein, too

There's a crisis looming in the English language that demands our attention. I mean the coming word shortage. There's probably not a million words in the language, yet there are way more than a million things. And that's just nouns. Add in all the actions nouns can perpetrate and you'll need a lot more, plus adjectives and adverbs and the little words that fill in the gaps, sentence grout I call them. Just how bad is the shortage? We've already had to assign numbers to things that should get their own unique terms, like “World War” or “Sonny Boy Williamson.”

Monday, December 2, 2013

Other big attractions: Molson's, Shatner.

It has come to our attention that the Earth's North Magnetic Pole is not a stable point on the surface of the world, nor is it at the actual North Pole. It is in fact located in Canada, close to Ellesmere Island. Fair enough, you say, that's certainly within spitting distance and plenty good for my own navigational needs. But listen. The North Magnetic Pole is moving, at a rate of about 35 miles each year, towards Russia. And I ask you, can we afford to allow one half of our planet's magnetic poles to slip behind the Iron Curtain?

Monday, November 25, 2013

If you're so smart, why ain't you dead?

I've been thinking about bad decisions, and how good decisions grow out of them. Stuck behind a log truck on skinny winding blacktop, it's probably a bad decision to try to pass. Being patient is statistically speaking the better option, survivalwise. Jumping into the pool from a second story balcony is a bad choice. I know that now, though it worked out fine at the time. Climbing the radio tower was dumb. The borrowed motorcycle, the drummer's sister, the mysterious powder, the third trip to the buffet. All terrible ideas. My question is, how do cautious people ever learn anything?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Science News

I don't often use the word flabbergasted. It is an unpleasant word, with a sort of moist meaty sound to it. It seems somehow vulgar and possibly slightly obscene, although its meaning is innocuous enough. Perfectly decent folk are known to employ it in ordinary conversation. But I see no compelling reason to speak it in the presence of ladies or the very young, when dumbfounded or astonished convey the same general meaning. But the word seems completely apropos when one is confronted by the sentence “Newly discovered hermaphroditic sea slug deploys specialized needle-thin organ for injections near the eyes.”

Monday, November 11, 2013

Substantive Issues

I believe it is intrusive to prohibit driving under the influence of alcohol. Because the issue isn't whether a driver is drunk, but whether he or she is dangerous. So I propose administering the driving exam under progressively higher blood alcohol levels, and issuing a license at the highest level of inebriation at which the driver can pass the test. I also think it's nobody's business what performance enhancing drugs an athlete uses. Professional sports is show business, after all, and you don't see them taking back the Grateful Dead's gold records because they were achieved while using banned substances.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Leaving no mind unboggled

Here are two good reasons to mention Nikodem Poplawski. First, I suggest saying his name aloud a time or two. Nice, right? Second, Nikodem Poplawski is a physicist who theorizes that every black hole in our universe causes a Big Bang that creates another universe, which presumably would contain black holes of its own, ad infinitum. Conversely, our own universe is on the wrong side of an event horizon in another universe. Again, ad infinitum. Each universe has its own space-time; we can't ever visit. Sort of like how Nancy and Sluggo can't hang out with Charlie Brown and Lucy.

Monday, October 28, 2013


When they make you turn off all electronic devices on the airplane, I’m pretty sure they’re just messing with you. Because, if there was even the remotest chance you could do any damage, they wouldn't let you have them. They don’t say, “If you’re travelling today with any explosive devices, please be sure they are disarmed and securely stowed during takeoff and landing. ” You probably couldn't hijack a plane by threatening to turn on your Nook. Then as we deplaned, I saw a Sikh driver holding a sign that said “Christian White.” And I thought, “That man is mislabeled.”

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hey good lookin'

Rule of thumb, here: Mutations tend to persist in a species if they meet one of two criteria. Either they are adaptive and help an individual to survive (big brain, opposable thumbs) or they are so inconsequential as to have no effect (male pattern baldness, rollable tongue). Mutations that are bad for you tend to go away pretty quickly. Now, alcohol rots your liver, makes you stupid and lazy, gets you into fights that aren't worth winning. So why do so many humans tolerate, even crave, this toxic fluid? Anecdotal evidence suggests that it may convey an important reproductive advantage.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Imagine canine cologne.

We have peculiar relationships with other lifeforms. For instance chalk. Because, if you were a diatom, think how horrified you'd be to discover that billions and billions of the skeletons of your ancestors where being scraped across sidewalks for purposes of hopscotch. Then there's dogs, who have to eat food that's designed to smell good to people. Seriously, if dogs formulated it, dog food would smell like a blend of sun-ripened carp and cat feces. And I just read that researchers have found a promising treatment for multiple sclerosis in mice. Shouldn't we be investing in cures for humans first?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Velcro was a blind alley.

This is an age of wonders. I suffer no risk from diphtheria, polio, or smallpox. Cheap shipping makes it possible to locate the menial underlings who serve me far enough away so I never have to see them. My communications are enhanced by a little apparatus that keeps me in touch with people all over the world while ignoring the human across the table. I have a water filled chair that rinses away any substance I put in it, allowing me to urinate and defecate right inside my own home. However, my shoes are still held on with knotted strings.

Monday, September 30, 2013

That good old shock of the new

Everybody knows who Virginia Woolf and James Joyce are; we just don't read them. We haven't read what they read, either, and context and continuity count for a lot. Maybe that's why to us Florence Lawrence doesn't look like a movie star, Whispering Jack Smith doesn't sound like a pop idol, and Bob Hope just ain't funny. Maybe you're only ready to hear Sonny Rollins, Elvin Jones, and Wilbur Ware riff for almost a quarter hour on "What Is This Thing Called Love" after you've plugged a whole pocketful of nickels into a jukebox to hear Billie Holiday sing it.

Monday, September 23, 2013

When life gives you melons, make an analogy.

The thing about cantaloupe is every once in a while you get one that is absolutely exquisite. No amount of thumping, thumb-pushing, or sniffing can predict when this will happen. You just open it up and it astounds you with its preposterous and unanticipated deliciousness. Some days are like that and in this way cantaloupes are sort of like life. However, in my experience no cantaloupe is so awful you can't imagine how you will get through the whole thing and you certainly don't look forward to ever starting another. In this way, cantaloupes are not like life at all.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Wodehouse version would be a hoot.

George Cayley was this English guy, the 6th Baronet of Bromptom. In 1853 he built a glider that was basically a kayak on wheels dangling under a big canvas kite the shape of a manta ray. He got his butler to sit in it and pushed it off a hill for a successful flight across Brompton Dale. If they made a biopic about this guy, he would fly it himself, but George Cayley was 79 years old at the time and also a Baronet, a level of social standing that exempts one from hurtling through the air in a canoe.

Monday, September 9, 2013


After you've eaten and tended to sanitation and hygiene, once you've gotten enough rest and taken a bit of moderate exercise, by the time you've seen to it that your financial obligations are taken care of, your social commitments fulfilled, your emotional entanglements properly lubricated, and your personal goals satisfactorily advanced upon, when you have devoted some time and energy to first determining and then acting upon your ethical obligations on the local, regional, and global levels, and given some thought to our shared fate in a vast and incomprehensible universe, it's difficult to find time to get anything done.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Oh the Humidity

Consider water, and its pervasive influence in our lives. For the most part it is a benign and even essential component of our day-to-day routines. It is an important element of one's bath. Goldfish require it. But the possibility of a deadly conflagration lies hidden in every molecule, in the form of the element Hydrogen, which makes up fully two-thirds of even the daintiest droplet. One need not describe the dreadful events of 8 May, 1937, at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Perhaps by substituting Helium, water could could be made safe. I leave it to Science to work out the details.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The old man is snoring.

You know how it is when you get caught in the rain. First a few tiny droplets, barely more than mist. And you think, “I hope it holds off till I get home.” Then you're getting lightly sprinkled- polka dots appear on your trouser legs. Oh crap. And suddenly balls of water the size of grapes are banging into you and that turns into a torrent. Apparently you've grown gills, because there's certainly no room for air between the drops. You're wet as you can be. You're free to enjoy the rain. And you think, “What was I worried about?”

Monday, August 19, 2013

Off the rack

There's a rusty little picnic sized grill up on a cinderblock outside our back door. I said, “You know what would be cool? I'll find an old metal cocktail cart and cut out a circle to fit the grill,” and she said, “It's 13 years old. Let's get a new one. With legs.” Harrumph. But I didn't get grumpy. I took a look into the depths of my soul - pretty shallow going. It turns out my virtuous thrift was really aesthetic snobbery. In the time and place where I exist, there is nothing more deadeningly banal than making a purchase.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Buffer Overrun

A few thoughts: Pretty much anything you put on a bun with mustard, ketchup, pickles, and onions will taste like a hamburger. If you smear yourself with that buck lure that’s supposed to make you smell like a doe in rut, don’t hang out in the woods without your gun. Don’t be resentful of life lessons that leave you feeling disillusioned. Rather, try to figure out what illusioned you in the first place - that’s where the problem was. And finally, don’t let your pets hear you say, “It’s a dog-eat-dog world.” They tend to take everything literally.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Galoshes. Hoover. Xerox.

I was opening mail from the NAACP when it occurred to me that when older white people use the tern “colored,” they're simply using the term that was contemporary and accepted when they where forming their vocabulary. Like when they say icebox or davenport. My grandpa called my tricycle a velocipede. So listen for context, is my point. Are they being racist? Or just old fashioned? Dang. It'll be a great day when a white person can without a second thought invite a Black friend over for a supper that includes fried chicken and watermelon. Because those things are delicious.

Monday, July 22, 2013

There's not a lot I know for certain.

Beyond the tying of shoelaces, there isn't much you can teach a person. But I believe every child should be given this little speech: “Whether they know it or not, everybody you meet is trying to make you more like themselves. Strong people tend to make you stronger. Weak people do things to weaken you. Drunks offer you drinks; whiners want you to whine back. Cruel people will be gratified if you respond to their cruelty with your own. Look for the kind, sad, funny people. They are the best. Try to learn for yourself how to be like them.”

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monsanto are still jerks, though.

Maybe it was shortsighted to pump up our agricultural outputs to where we can feed so many of us. Probably we should reduce our dependence on commodity-crop monoculture. And certainly we'll be restructuring the entire food chain over the next few decades. But look: When a living cell gets its DNA tweaked so it grows in some new way, that's called mutation. If a mutation enhances an organism's ability to survive and reproduce, then that mutation is replicated many times over. Like zebra stripes. Or opposable thumbs. So stop worrying about Frankenfood. You're a GMO and so am I.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Road Rant

East Cleveland is east of Cleveland. East St. Louis is east of St. Louis. So it’s peculiar that East Troy, Wisconsin is actually to the west of the ancient city of Troy. A long way, too. It hardly qualifies as a suburb at all. Down the road, there’s a chain of burger joints in Rockford, Illinois, called Beefaroo. The only other thing I know about Rockford is that’s where Cheap Trick is from. I fail to see any connection. Also, wouldn’t you think that entering a building called Piggly Wiggly would be an occasion for uproarious hilarity? It’s not, though.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Kelly and Scott, too

As I slouch through my 60th year on this planet I find myself contemplating important people from my formative years. Occasionally from the lofty perspective which the intervening decades have provided I will suddenly have astonishing (to me) insights into relationships that I had taken for granted at the time. Like, that charming uncle who showed up periodically was a lonely drunk. Like, my parents were amateurs, young people with problems of their own who on balance did a great job. And, really, when you think about it, Kirk and Spock were just Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin in space.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Shut up in there.

Back in 1978, Sony prototyped the first Walkman, a little cassette player with headphones for private listening on the go. Then smaller, better, cheaper: today there's no reason whatsoever when jogging or biking or riding a public conveyance to listen to the actual world around you. They even have these noise-cancelling headsets that wrap you in a spooky silence that feels like your skull is turning inside out. But really, the entire world you live in fits nicely into a baseball cap. And for me at least, that's where all the racket is coming from. I need a noise-cancelling mindset.

Monday, June 17, 2013

We're all of Ethiopian descent.

People can establish a sense of ownership in an incredibly short time. Like, you get on the bus and walk past everybody to an empty seat and get settled in, then at the very next stop you look up at a boarding passenger and think to yourself, “Who's this new guy on my bus?” That's your inner two year old, the one who just learned the word “mine.” The same part of the brain creates ideas like, “This was always a Jewish neighborhood, now it's all Colored,” or “How come there's so many Mexicans in Texas?”

Monday, June 10, 2013

Romero never used the z-word.

Science fiction is whatever we're worried about now, spray painted silver. Our monsters are metaphors for what scares us most. RUR was about industrial class struggle, Flash Gordon fought World War II in advance, 1984 was about 1948, and we knew all those crappy '50s flying saucers were piloted by godless commies. So what are we afraid of now? Zombies. They stay scary, year after year, because, what if somehow you yourself became a mindless shambling thing, just a blind hunger groping around wanting more more more for no good reason? What if the brains you ate were your own?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Misty whatcha call your mem'ries

Here's the thing about memorabilia; it turns out it's unnecessary. Say you leave a ticket stub in your cufflink box. Years later, perhaps on some rare occasion when you need to wear cufflinks again, you might stumble across this item, and you'll think to yourself either, “How could I have ever thought I'd need something to remind me of that important and pivotal moment in my existence?'” or, “What's this doing here? I have no memory of attending this event. What the heck is a 'Meat Puppet?'” Learn to trust your brain. It forgets stuff for a reason.

Monday, May 27, 2013


Retailers love three-day weekends. And remembering is easier than decorating. That's why we have Memorial Day. When there was Decoration Day, every May 30th people would make time no matter what day of the week it was to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers. The holiday was initiated about a century and a half ago by northerners and freedmen to commemorate the Union dead fallen in the war against slavery. There are people, credentialed and tenured, who will tell you the Civil War wasn't about freeing the slaves. These people are full of shit. That's exactly what is was about.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mouth of the Root

Tell you what pal you get up at 4:30 a.m. in the morning go to the airport fly to O’Hare catch a shuttle to Racine Wisconsin and have a buffet lunch at the Iron Skillet and a meeting about tractor videos at a little table in the hotel lobby then take a walk around an American city where your close study of the signs along Main Street suggests that the remaining citizens support themselves entirely by selling each other tattoos and soy dirty chais you try that just once yourself pal then come back here and complain about late rants.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A way to feel useful.

I'm very fond of amphibians. Frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, efts. They're a charming evolutionary dead end. I almost forgot caecilians, an “order of limbless vertebrates with rudimentary eyes, whose vision is limited to dark-light perception and whose anatomy is highly adapted for a burrowing lifestyle.” Lifestyle. Like condo living? Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that amphibian populations are dropping precipitously worldwide and they eat mosquitoes, so an itchy mosquito bite can serve the valuable secondary function of feeding not only the offending insect but also maybe a fat toad, giving meaning and purpose to your blood sacrifice.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mongolian Gerbils

Our perception of pitch and harmony is dictated by the geometry of our cochlea, the little spiral that does our hearing for us. That's why some musical ideas remain, even after decades, as popular as a cuisine based on steel wool and chlorine. As if a seamstress, tiring of shirts, skirts, pants, had invented a new garment for a body part that simply did not exist. Doesn't the term avant-garde imply that somebody is being led somewhere? It seems if you claim to be a leader you'd occasionally look over your shoulder to see if there was anybody back there.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Must I explain everything?

Recently I made reference to the “Wild Bull of the Pampas” and was shocked to meet with glassy-eyed stares of total incomprehension from a small group of otherwise intelligent and well-educated individuals who had no idea I was referring to Luis Firpo, the guy in the purple trunks knocking Jack Dempsey out of the ring and into the laps of a bunch of reporters in a pretty dang famous painting by George Bellows famous himself as a member of the Ashcan School and though the art of conversation may not be dead pal it is certainly circling the drain.

Monday, April 22, 2013

My pot boileth over.

It is unlikely you would ever happen to read “The Valiants of Virginia” by Hallie Ermine Rives, although in 1913 it was a bestseller. Here's how it begins:

“'Failed!' ejaculated John Valiant blankly, and the hat he held dropped to the claret-colored rug like a huge white splotch of sudden fright. 'The Corporation – failed!'”

Seriously. And the hilarity continues. So here's a note to anyone who thinks writing is getting worse: Literature is like houses. It might seem they built them better 100 years ago. But, see, after a century only the best ones are still standing.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Skepticism is to cynicism as doubt is to...?

Truth is to fact as faith is to knowledge as hope is to optimism. You can know a fact; you can only glimpse a truth. A fact is like a stick of lumber. Complete, nailed down, utilitarian. You can turn it over and pass it around and examine it from every angle. But a truth is alive, a cool toad between cupped palms. You just barely get to peek at it through a gap between your fingers. Open too wide and it’s gone. Squeeze too tight and you kill it. And it will more than likely pee in your hand.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Deep down inside, I'm very shallow.

If you're a regular reader (Hi. Let's have lunch.) you may remember a rant where I posted some near-automatic writing scribbled on an envelope in the middle of the night. This is even dumber. I woke up and remembered a dream: I was having tea with a group of people when somebody said, “I like that camouflage tea at bed time.” And I said, “You mean chamomile. Camouflage tea is when you drink it on the lawn it's made of grass, but when you're in the woods it's oak leaves.” Great. I make bad puns in my sleep.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Bye Week

It’s April Fools’ day. Probably you’d be assuming that as a professional rantist I would be churning out some sort of especially funny word play or an unusually astute and droll observation about this funny world we live in. I’m not going to do that. I think we agree that I could, and pretty easily. My record is clear. But, see, the point of this special day is to confound one another with wacky pranks and hilarious high jinx, and thereby create laffs. To me, it’s like New Year’s Eve to a truly committed alcoholic: Amateur hour. I’m laying low.

Monday, March 25, 2013

How 'bout them ersters?

Jonathan Swift is supposed to have said, “It was a brave man who first ate an oyster.” But that's sort of more silly than funny, because really, the normal thing to do with anything is eat it and see if it stays down. We don't eat stuff because it's food; it's food because we eat it. And oysters are obviously made of meat and they don't run away. No courage required there. The truly brave person was the one who decided to crawl up under a cow and try to get some of what the baby cow was having.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Homer Eon Flint

I just finished reading a story about four people who travel in a cube shaped space car, eating canned soup and peaches and also cake. They explore the ruins of a long-dead civilization on Mercury, then head for Venus to meet a hyper-evolved race of spiritually advanced people with withered little legs and big noble brows. These Venusians subsist entirely on liquids and have lost their teeth through a combination of desuetude and a flawed interpretation of evolution. I'm not here to ridicule, but rather to note that our solar system was more interesting in 1919 than it is today.

Monday, March 11, 2013

PSA :60 Live Read

When there's a natural disaster, relief organizations show up with water, food and shelter for the victims. Not just the human ones. There are volunteers who work to rescue the victims of disaster who happen to be pets. But what about the rodents? Take a moment to remember the millions of rats displaced each year by nature's savagery, exposed to the elements, deprived of their customary shelter and food sources. Now there's a non-profit group that provides miles of plastic tubing to serve both as shelter and a secure avenue of transportation. Won't you give generously to Habitrails for Humanity?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Get in on the ground floor.

In the near future, a fresh generation of arty creative iconoclastic counter-culture types will be looking for new neighborhoods to be not at all like their parents in. By now, we've pretty much used up all the cool-as-hell 19th and early-20th century real estate that could possibly be converted into lofts and studios and bars and restaurants and galleries. By now, also, the post WWII period is starting to feel like ancient history. Next step: a mid-century tract house will soon be the residential equivalent of that unspeakably cool sweater you found at the thrift store. Levittown. The new Greenpoint.

Monday, February 25, 2013

100 words

Normally, I get a rant up here by about midmorning, and yet here it is after lunchtime and I'm still flailing around, metaphorically speaking, for an appropriate topic upon which to unleash my keen powers of observation, my shrewd sense of judgment, my mastery of the language (English), and my endearing and quirky sense of humor. What I could do, I suppose, is accept that I got nothing this week, and write about that for exactly 100 words. But I have way too much pride for that sort of crappy hackneyed tactic, and you, my dear reader, deserve far better.

Monday, February 18, 2013

A game of inches

I'm amused by big stuff like the world's biggest pencil or watering can. I like absurdly little things, too, like tiny bibles or those dogs you can put in a teacup. So I don't know how I missed this up to now: Wichita Falls, Texas, is home to the world's littlest skyscraper. It's a four story brick building, about 10 feet across and 18 feet deep. Unimpressive, but the good part is the guy who built it in 1919 bilked investors out of $200,000, having them sign off on blueprints specifying the skyscraper would be 480” tall. Which it is.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Nothing possible is worth doing.

I've been over this before: I keep thinking about what a terrible mistake it's been to outsource all the very best aspects of life. Other people act out our stories, tell our jokes, perform our music, play our games, teach our children, nurse our dying. Don't talk to me about efficiencies of scale and specialization. We're not termites. You can paint frescoes and pick potatoes with the same two hands. And yes- it's impossible to be expert, or even competent, at everything. Don't let that stop you. Just being alive is impossible; everyone fails at it within a few decades.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Thank me later.

Probably, right after I die, people will look back over these rants and see that taken as a whole they point the way to an all-encompassing philosophy that combines rationality and universal bonds of filial affection in such a way that once adoption of these ideas reaches a critical tipping point a virtually eternal epoch of global happiness becomes not only possible but actually inevitable and smiling crowds of blissful humans work together in orchards and pastures and gardens to produce without backbreaking toil everything they need for their simple joyous lives. I'm pretty sure that's what going to happen.

Monday, January 28, 2013

How we roll

You know how in crummy movies the Eiffel Tower is outside every Paris window, and every day in New York includes a ferry ride? Similarly, if you live in New Orleans, you get used to people making the assumption that your life is one endless crazed street party. But it's simply not so. This year, for instance, the city fathers have very sensibly suspended Mardi Gras festivities for a week in order to accommodate the serious business of hosting the Super Bowl, which involves parades, live music, skads of food and drink, and ecstatic crowds filling the streets. We're versatile.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Dark matter is a kind of cosmic spackle that fills all the gaps in the universe. Nobody's seen it (it's dark), but it's the best way to explain the discrepancy between how much the whole universe seems to weigh and how much all the visible things weigh when they're added up. Less than 5 percent of the universe is actual normal stuff like you and me and the galaxies. Dark matter is 23 percent, and the entire rest of everything, 73 percent, is something called dark energy. What I'm saying is, cut yourself a great big piece of king cake.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Witness Protection

Good morning to you too. I'm pretty good, thanks. Why are you on my porch? Why, no, I haven't heard any especially good news, at least not so far today. What you got? You've come to warn me that unless I carefully follow a set of very specific printed directions which you are willing to provide, immediately following my death an invisible supernatural entity of infinite power will subject me to the most sublimely horrific tortures, agonies beyond all imagining, literally forever? I have to tell you, this is not particularly good news. Is this your idea of a shakedown?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Catsup is also acceptable

I'm a rebel, a loner, I make my own rules. I march to the beat of my own drummer. I answer to a higher power. I'm willing to take the unpopular stance to be true to myself. Ketchup does not belong on hot dogs. Nor mayo on corned beef. A pizza without anchovies is... well, less good than with. Still pretty good, though. I don't want to come off as hidebound and intransigent. Also, if you had half a hot dog you couldn't finish and you had already ketchupped the whole thing, I would still eat it. No big deal.