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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Poopie Political Poopieheads!

It has come to this...
You see, I wrote a political satire novella for my genre series. I wrote it in 2013, and polished it up nicely last year, ready for a launch for the holidays - I even listed it as published in a collection of short stories I wrote.
The nabobs at Go Figure Reads dragged their heels (drugged the heels? drugs that heal? eels on drugs?)
and now, close to a year later, it's still not anywhere near publication.
The thing about political satire is that it's a lot like guacamole; it doesn't get better when it sits around. The politicians have been doing their utmost to satirize themselves over the last year, and a few of my key figures have become less relevant.
I blame congress.
(That's always a safe bet.)

The upshot is that the earning prospect for stale satire is no longer worth the eleven dollars and twenty-three cents that Go Figure Reads spends prepping a story for e-book.
I've come to two conclusions.

One: I'm staying out of politics. They not only rot, but their stories rot, and that just... rots!
Two: I'm far too lazy to let all the work I put in this story languish on the Island of misfit novellas, so... I'm going to bore you with it. This should effectively cut my loyal readership down to Uncle Humbolt, who has nothing else to do with his time for the remainder of his sentence in the home for the criminally tedious.
But, in an effort to inconvenience one or two other readers, I will alternate between the serialization of my irrelevant novella, and my ordinary irrelevancies.
What does that mean?

I'm not sure, but I think it means you'll find excerpts from the satire on Fridays and on Tuesdays you'll see stuff about penguins wearing party hats and crap like that.
So, starting on Friday and for several tedious Fridays to come, look for a complete unproofed (but not unpoopie) serialization of... Dirk Destroyer's Less Destructive Brother, Book Three in Cataclismically Unprofitable Genre Series - The Political Satire!
Oh, and sorry in advance.

As a matter of fact, I feel so bad about it, that I'll make the first two books in the series Trouble in Taos Trouble inTaos, and Volition man Volition Man free for e-book download on Amazon September 30th and October 1rst.
What do you mean that makes it worse?

And now for a completely unrelated video.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Yogi Berra – The Yankee Exception by Will Wright

Yogi Berra – The Yankee Exception
by Will Wright
, "I never play a game without my man." Casey Stengel

I'm a life-long Red Sox fan. It's sacrilege for a Fenway acolyte to admit liking a Yankee. But for the last fifty years (since his retirement,) there's been one Yankee that Red Sox nation has been allowed to like - Yogi Berra.
It wasn't just admiration for the way he played the game, and some people forget what a great player he was. It wasn't just because he was always kind and approachable. There have been other Yankees with these credentials that remain damned to lowest circles of the Red Sox fan inferno.

What endeared Yogi Berra to even those he beat on the diamond from the mid forties to the early sixties, was that he was one of the funniest men alive (until just recently, when the alive part stopped.)
The thing is, nobody seems to know if his humor was on purpose, or just a series of fortunate mistakes. A number of Yogi-isms are so popular that they’ve become cliché’s

It ain't over til it's over.
It's deja vu all over again.
It gets late early out here.
When you come to the fork in the road, take it.
You can observe a lot by watching.

Is it a great accomplishment to create cliché’s? In Berra's case, I think it was, because not only were his sayings funny, they forced us to look at common words in a new way. There was wisdom in his humor.

Never answer an anonymous letter.
The future ain't what it used to be.
If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.
Take it with a grin of salt.
Baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical.
It ain't the heat, it's the humility.

Berra affected the culture by maintaining his naive, wise, humor all his life, never taking a bow for lines other humorists would die for.

Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel?
The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.
I don't know (what gender the streakers were.) They had bags over their heads.
He hits from both sides of the plate. He's amphibious.
You better cut the pie into four slices. I'm not hungry enough to eat six.
Even Napoleon had his Watergate.

So here's to Yogi! (Yogi-isms in bold) If you can't imitate him, don't copy him. Don't ask me anything I don't know. I'm not going to answer. Let's pair up in threes, and take a two hour nap from 1 to 4. Remember, we have deep depth, and you wouldn't have won if we'd beaten you, but we were overwhelming underdogs. Because in theory there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is. If people don't want to come to the ball park, nobody's going to stop them because nobody goes there anymore - it's too crowded. Possibly because it was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much, and half the lies they tell about me aren't true. Up till now, it's tough to make predictions, especially about the future, because he must have made that before he died.

I'm surprised Weird Al, or some other genius hasn't made a song of them yet. But maybe parody would be just gilding the lily.
I can imagine the eulogy Yogi might make for himself. It might begin with, I never said most of the things I said, but I want to thank everyone for making this night necessary.

Even those of us who revere Yaz and can't say Bucky Dent without an obscene adjective proceeding, will miss Yogi Berra!

His career highlights.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Beware the Swiss Reprise

In honor of the Pope's visit (and because I just got nothing,) here's a repost from February.
Don’t piss off the Swiss!
Last Olympics the Swiss hockey team didn't get a medal.  Although they were excellent skaters, they didn't fare well for the following reasons
1)    When the referee called icing, they thought he was talking about pastry
2)    They were penalized for attempting to build a large ice-capped barrier around their goal
3)    They spent far too much time in the “neutral” zone.
We think of Swiss and we see people in fairy tale clothing, blowing 12 foot horns in between bites of chocolate. 
 Amiable, comical, harmless people: hardly a people to fear. 
Those who have visited the Vatican (or those, like me, who've seen pictures of people visiting the Vatican and been spared the 18 hours in a tour bus next to retired couple from Toledo who ate something they shouldn't have) have seen the famous Swiss guards.  They look like they just came off the label on a bottle of scotch.  On the ferocity scale they appear to fall somewhere between Tony the Tiger and Winnie the Pooh.

And so they are – assuming Tony was a real Tiger and Pooh a real bear.

Those of us of German descent pretend to be tough.  We go around spitting threatening “ach” sounds at the end of our words and stare malignly at any collection of items or people not in a straight line.  We've been living next to the Swiss for centuries but you don’t see us ever bothering them.  Martin Luther was once impolite to Zwingli and the Reformation nearly met a tragic end right there.
In all the World War II movies, refugees are always escaping to Switzerland.  Do you think Clint Eastwood, Donald Southerland and Don Rickles were concerned that the Nazis would try to get their gold back?  Do you think Maria and all those sickeningly sweet children worried that Papa Von Trapp would be snatched back up and put on a U-boat?
As they climbed the Alps and crossed the boarder they met one pudgy guy in leather shorts who greeted them.  “Welcome to Switzerland, have some chocolate, pet the Saint Bernard, bend over and moon Berlin.”
Rumor is the Heidi and her Grandfather alone, held off an entire SS company using nothing but a shepherd’s crook and hair ribbons.
  Once, the finish to a professional football playoff game was preempted to show a rerun of the movie “Heidi.”  If Roone Arlidge was scared of them, so am I.
It’s OK, you tell me.  The Swiss can be tough but we don’t have to worry about them.  Sure, every citizen over the age of three has an automatic weapon
 but the Swiss gather only short-range defensive ordinance.  They’re interested in stopping an enemy from climbing over the Alps.  After all, Hannibal surprised them with arrow-proof elephants and they want to make sure no one ever does that again!
Oh yeah, smart guy?  You’re so sure you won’t see the Swiss rolling across Europe, North America or even (for the hell of it) Australia, establishing marshal law, resetting clocks and disposing of inferior chocolate?
You’re forgetting one thing.  The most devastating tactical assault vehicle known to man.  The M-1 tank you ask?  The Bradley fighting vehicle?  No, I’m talking about the Pope-mobile.
Whenever you see the Pope traveling, he’s always safely ensconced in a Pope-mobile.  These vehicles are not built like some spit guard on a salad bar at your local Ponderosa; these babies are high tech!  You could launch a smart bomb, a nuke or even Oprah at one of these machines and you wouldn't even bother the man’s pointy hat.  All of this advanced armor is there just to protect an icon of peace?  C’mon, we know better.
Still, you argue (you just don’t give up do you?).  What do we have to fear from just one Pope-mobile?
You don’t see any crumbling “I break for baby ducks” stickers on the Pope’s bumper do you?  No!  The Pope has no interest in keeping a vehicle past its first oil change.  The man gets a new ride for every trip.  I bet he’s gone through hundreds, if not thousands of these suckers.
You never notice a Pope-mobile blowout at Billy-Bob-Joe-Ben McGinty’s Used Car Heaven?  I’ll tell you why.  The used papal assault vehicles are stored in a massive alpine bunker directly below a coo-coo clock manufacturing plant and several thousand of Donald Trump’s safety deposit boxes.
Do you want to wake up at five every morning to the sound of elongated brass performing cough drop jingles?  Are you willing to surrender the Swiss Miss cocoa company executives to a Geneva war-crimes tribunal?  Are you prepared to be conquered by an army that speaks five languages better than you speak English?
Write to our President.  Tell him to forget middle-east terrorism and stop Pope-mobile proliferation.  Only when every Pope-mobile is safely decaying in a New Jersey hazardous waste dump am I going to feel safe sleeping at night.
Then maybe we can do something about the Tony the Tiger and Winnie the Pooh threat.

Don't believe me?  Check this animated documentary from the mid 90s.  They're even more scary now.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Signs... Mistakes or Frankness?

   I'm beginning to wonder if all the mistakes I see in signs are really mistakes at all.

 Maybe there's a reason that software makes you want to jump off a cliff
 This house has plenty of room for family
The hospitality industry is very competitive
Sounds "pathologycal" to me
 Sure enough, there is no "excetions" in the English language... I think
American retail is twisted
I have no doubt
I'd rather not think about this one
  Some signs are just frank - even helpful
 Yeah, rub it in
 I'm not tellin'
 So... I should spend more time on the stepper at the gym - or don't bother?
 This company must be over-insured
 Make sure you get one that will look good on your wall
Brought to you by Starbucks and the ASPCA
I'm sold

   Or maybe it's not a matter of mistakes, frankness, or helpfulness.  Maybe it's just tacky.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Name That Gadget!

   Today on Just Plain Stupid, we're going to play an educational game.  See if you can find the purpose of the following 12 gadgets.  Those with a perfect score are permitted to buy their own gold star and affix it to their foreheads.
   Ready?  Let's get started.

1)  This gadget is...
A) A 19th century doorstop
B) A shoehorn for Masochists
C) I don't know

2)  This gadget is...
A) A multi-band radio
B) A pork-free piggy-bank
C) I don't know

3)  These gadgets are...
A) Incredibly obvious spy cameras
B) Potty-training robots
C) I don't know

4)  This gadget is...
A) A shoe for people that don't walk
B) An uncomfortable lounge chair
C) I don't know

5)  This gadget is...
A) A fat-burning belt
B) A device to fight excessive privacy
C) I don't know

6)  This gadget is...
A) A one-handed surfer
B) A three person nose picker
C) I don't know

7)  This gadget is...
A) A prevarication detection device
B) A drug-free acid trip
C) I don't know

8)  This gadget is...
A) An all wooden camera
B) A toilet paper kazoo
C) I don't know

9)  This gadget is...
A) A compassion-free ambulance
B) A mobile Soylent Green factory
C) I don't know

10)  This gadget is...
A) An on-the-go hair transplant system
B) A cranial relaxation unit
C) I don't know

11)  This gadget is...
A) It's not a gadget - it's a bug!
B) A presidential candidate
C) I don't know

12)  This gadget is...
A) A high-altitude, debris flusher
B) A sadistic enema
C) I don't know

    Alright - get you answers ready and see how you did.  The correct answers are: 1c, 2c, 3c, 4c, 5c, 6c, 7c, 8c, 9c, 10c, 11b or c, and 12c.  That's right - I don't know.  What did you expect?
   Stop complaining - you're the one looking for education from a blog titled Just Plain Stupid.

   You want educational?  Okay, here's an European agricultural film.