Chapter 3: Into the Gutter

1pointperspective:

Here’s the third (and final?) chapter to my series over at the Nudge Wink Report. I work my fingers to the bone coming up with mediocre fiction for that site! Seriously, you should see my fingers – they’re boney as hell right now. Everything I eat goes to my expanding waistline, and bypasses my fingers.

Originally posted on The Nudge Wink Report:

Link: Chapter One / Link: Chapter Two / Collect all three, trade with your friends!

Illustration by the author

Illustration by the author

The Bowl-A-Drome lies on the fringes of the old meat packing district, not far from the Chiselers’ home arena.  The giant red pin getting knocked over by the big blue ball on the sign lit up years worth of broken bottles in the parking lot.  Part of the neon tubing was out, so every time it got hit, the pin changed for a moment into some sort of foreign calligraphy.

I stepped inside and the smells of waxed hardwood, stale beer and rented shoes hit my nose like a fifteen pound house ball with no spin on it.

It was league night.  The usual assortment of embroidered synthetics were well represented.  Some teams looked like slobs with matching shirts while others were just a few sequins away from being dressed…

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The Sarcasm Workout

In my defense, there were still some patches of snow around when I started writing this post, but I got distracted. Please forgive me.  (image from wikimedia dot org)

In my defense, there were still some patches of snow around when I started writing this post, but I got distracted. Please forgive me. (image from wikimedia dot org)

It looks like spring might finally be here.  There are buds on the trees and migratory bird-shit on the pollen on the snow.  Spring means one thing; it’s time to shape up.  Even though my abs look like I’m 5 months pregnant and the places where my arm muscles used to be look about as well-defined as sausages, I’m not talking about the traditional pumping of iron.

I need to get some tone where it counts – on my sarcasm muscles.  The past 17 months of winter have done wonders for my cynicism, and I’ve got a personal best for reps of bitterness, but my sarcasm is as flabby as Rush Limbaugh’s third neck wattle – that’s right, I said the third one!  Any flabbier and Obamacare would cover me for a wattle-ectomy (obviously my irony still has a pulse).

Wattles two through five are kind of merged together into one mega-wattle in this pic, but you get the idea.  (Image from wikimedia dot commons)

Wattles two through five are kind of merged together into one mega-wattle in this pic, but you get the idea. (Image from wikimedia dot commons)

The logical place to turn was the myriad of gyms which sprout up constantly in my area, usually in under-performing strip malls.  They promise all sorts of workouts and low introductory rates.  Surely one of these sweat shops could help me.  I checked in at the one just down the highway which was sandwiched between a vacant supermarket and a space which had a sign in the window promising that a pet grooming business was “Comming Soon“.  Clearly the spelling portion of the pet grooming curriculum is not as critical as “Advanced Schnauzer Trimming” or graduate level offerings such as “Persian Cats and the Dingleberry Dilemma.”

I was set up to chat with a personal trainer.  He seemed like a nice enough guy and had one hell of a handshake, but I wasn’t sure he was going to be able to help me.

I need to tone up my sarcasm” I told him.  There was no need to beat around the bush, and I wanted to avoid having him start focusing on my absent abs or gelatinous gluts.

He looked a little confused for a second, but then he nodded his head.  “Sure!” he said.  “I can see that you know your anatomy.”  He started going into some discussion about which machines would focus on which muscle groups and after a minute or two, it was clear that he’d confused the sarcasm muscle with the one called the “sartorius”.

The sartorius is the green one, and this is a right leg.  If the sartorius on your left leg runs in this direction, or if you have an erection lasting more than four hours, see your healthcare professional right away.  (Image from kenhub dot com)

The sartorius is the green one, and this is a right leg. If the sartorius on your left leg runs in this direction, or if you have an erection lasting more than four hours, see your healthcare professional right away. (Image from kenhub dot com)

I left the gym without signing anything and trudged across the nearly empty parking lot with the added burden of knowing that my sartorius muscles were withered.  I tried not to think about how horrific I’d look in a bathing suit, with neither well-defined muscles nor the defense of sarcasm I’d need to deal with the disapproving stares of fellow beach goers.

I tried another gym.  Since sarcasm resides in the very center of my being, I foolishly assumed that working on my core strength would address it.  After one Pilates session, I realized that I was very much mistaken, and now my tummy hurts when I laugh.  Fortunately, nothing is that funny these days.  Hot yoga also turned out to be a bust from a sarcasm-building standpoint, but I did discover that after enough limbering up, I am physically capable of kicking myself in the ass.

Having struck out in gyms, I decided to take a break from the quest to rebuild my diminished sarcasm.  I turned to my trusted friend the internet.  After brief forays into Dutch Toe-porn and checking the Facebook status of that girl who sat behind me in 3rd grade and allegedly ate paste, I surfed over to the news.  There were tons of stories from the world of entertainment, sports and politics.

It seems Subway, among others, has long been using an ingredient in their breads which is also found in yoga mats.  The company has been so concerned that they are nearly done phasing it out of the recipe.  This begs the questions as to whether your sandwich tastes like a yoga mat, or if your yoga mat tastes like a sandwich (or in some cases, both).  For the record, toasting ones yoga mat will make hot yoga even hotter.

Stephen Colbert has been attacked via Twitter for upsetting some group.  Calls for his firing were attached to a hashtag.  He’s been such a target of onslaught that he’s been awarded the single most prestigious job in TV, replacing a retiring David Letterman.  There’s rumor of a new Twitter option which essentially says #GoAheadAndGetMeFiredBecauseIveAlreadyGotABetterJobLinedUp.

Back in January, an Ohio man was buried straddling his beloved Harley in a custom plexiglass casket.  A team of morticians (and/or taxidermists) labored to insert rods into his back and take the necessary steps to keep him upright on the Electra Glide for all eternity.  This is a perfect example of the kind of human interest stories which got buried*  due to all the media hype about stray dogs at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

* Pun not originally intended, but left in as an attempt at appearing clever.

If the sight of a dead guy on a motorcycle in a big plastic box offends you, then avert your eyes from the picture above.  If you already looked, just pretend you didn't see it. (Image from the Dayton daily news dot com)

If the sight of a dead guy on a motorcycle in a big plastic box offends you, then avert your eyes from the picture above. If you already looked, just pretend you didn’t see it. (Image from the Dayton daily news dot com)

With each word I read, I can feel the sarcasm rising within me like a crocus shoot breaking through the permafrost.  It seems the answer to my problem has been right at my fingertips all along.  With my sarcasm back on track to potency, maybe I’ll find the time to work on those saggy sartorius muscles after all.

 

 

 

Finding Memo

The receptionist is out on maternity leave and the secretary is busy doing important work, like running the place and getting my car detailed.  I’ve been assigned the arduous task of handling the memos.  Today’s memos cover reality TV shows.

Memo

To: Network programming people

Message: Re-running the same episode but with the Tweeted comments of idiots inserted into the corner of the picture does not constitute new entertainment.  You may fool my DVR with this ploy, but I see right through it.  If I wanted the opinions of dolts added to my viewing experience, I’d watch TV down at the corner bar.  For the record, @pornstarrentacar Tweets “#1ptperspective I agree, man.  U blog truth! – this episode sux as bad as 1st time – even Twitter cant help it

I scoured the internet for a screen shot of one of these shows and struck out, big time.  So I Tweeted a Tweet, cut and pasted into the corner of this pic, and whew, I'm freaking exhausted.  (Doctored image from Naked and Afraid)

I scoured the internet for a screen shot of one of these shows with a Tweet in the corner and struck out.  So I had to post a Tweet, cut and paste into the corner of this pic, and whew, I’m freaking exhausted. (Doctored image from Naked and Afraid)

 

Memo

To: TV Creative Consultants

Message: We’ve seen a married couple survive the wilderness, we’ve seen a barefoot hippy dude paired with a military-type guy survive the wilderness, we’ve seen a British guy who allegedly spent his nights out of the wilderness off-camera in luxury hotels survive the wilderness, we’ve seen a guy with nothing but a couple of cameras and a harmonica survive the wilderness, and most recently we’ve seen pairs of naked strangers survive the wilderness.  How about making a show about people who don’t survive the wilderness?

 

Search and rescue teams worldwide agree it's much easier to locate the remains if a camera cre documents everything.  (Image from saportareport dot com)

Search and rescue teams worldwide agree it’s much easier to locate the remains after a grizzly bear attack if a camera crew documents it first. (Image from saportareport dot com)

 

Memo

To: TV Location Scouts

Message: Alaska is an enormous state, but it’s relatively sparsely populated.  We’ve now got shows which include nearly every segment of its population, including state troopers, crab fishermen, gold miners, ice-road truck drivers, dredge gold miners, lumberjacks, vice presidential candidates, mountain men and homesteaders.  By my reckoning, the only remaining segments of the population who don’t have their own shows are convenience store clerks and salmon cannery workers.  Please begin taping the shows about these last two groups as soon as possible, so we can move on to another state.  FYI, I hear Delaware is beautiful at this time of the year and to the best of my knowledge, no one has done a show about chicken farmers yet.

This photo shows the grid-lock traffic typical in Alaska during rush hour.  (Photo by Anne Kostalas)

This photo shows the grid-lock traffic typical in Alaska during rush hour.  Two of the drivers in this shot are rumored to have their own reality TV shows. (Photo by Anne Kostalas)

 

Does Anyone Else See This, Or Am I Hallucinating?

I went to look at a couple of my favorite blogs just a few minutes ago.  The first one had a photo early on, because successful writers know how important it is to give us pretty pictures before they bombard us with the wordy things.  There was some sort of ad which popped up on the image, but I ignored it, since I was already starting to read.

It's almost that time of year, so my old sketch of the Easter Bunny at the bar in the Florida panhandle seems timely enough.  With the bottom third covered by an ad for jerky dispensers, you won't see his deftly drawn feet or more importantly, MY NAME!

It’s almost that time of year, so my old sketch of the Easter Bunny at the bar in the Florida panhandle seems timely enough. With the bottom covered by an ad for jerky dispensers, you won’t see his deftly drawn feet or the checkerboard tiles of the bar.  Illustration by yours truly, and it better not be obscured!

When I started reading the second one, also with an early photo, I noticed the same ad popping up on the image.  This blogger, who writes wickedly funny posts, had gone to great lengths to find the perfect picture to lure us in.  Unbeknownst to her, the bottom third of the image was covered by an ad.

I looked at the ad this time, just to rule out it wasn’t some cool funny thing that people were putting over their blog illustrations.

In order to keep the WordPress Gods happy, I won’t discuss the actual name of the company, but I can’t help but describe the service it provides, because it’s quite possibly a harbinger of the end of days.  The ad is for an app which allows pet owners to watch their pets from anywhere, presumably with smart phones, tablets or pc’s and even dispense treats from afar.  Personally, I think this is ridiculous (However, if they come up with an app that picks up dog dookie from the back yard, they’ll have my attention).

Like many people, I sit around wishing I could come up with “the next big thing”.  I long to escape from beneath the giant thumbs of my work oppressors and bask in the glow of my creative genius.  Somehow though, the incredible breakthrough ideas never come.  Then again, if the notion of inventing a remote spy-cam for Labradoodles complete with liver-based treat dispenser ever popped into my head, I would have dismissed it immediately and vowed to give up spicy food before bed.

Maybe I’m just not the entrepreneurial sort.

I am, however, the creative sort.  I write these blogs and occasionally illustrate them.  I can’t begin to tell you how furious I’m going to be if the drawing I put in the beginning of this is partially obscured by an ad catering to people who are too busy to own pets.  I can only imagine how outraged Andy Warhol would have been if some website put an ad for Campbell’s Soup over the top of one of his masterpieces.

Please be good readers and let me know if there’s an ad over (part of) my original artwork.  Don’t lie and say there is even if there isn’t just to get me all riled up – it’ll take more than a crunchy meat flavored treat to turn that around.

You take the espadrilles out of this one and it's nothing but the shallow end of a pool.  You also lose my name, which I proudly stuck in the corner.  Gimme credit WP.

You take the espadrilles and dandelion out of this one and it’s nothing but the shallow end of a pool. You also lose my name, which I proudly stuck in the corner. Gimme credit WP!

 

 

Chapter Two: Doing The Legwork

1pointperspective:

A little something I wrote for my slave driver boss BD, over at the Nudge Wink Report. Why not be a sport and read it and maybe leave me a nice comment. Feel free to check out Chapter One too, there’s a link at the end. I went to a lot of trouble to make this crap up and draw a picture of a Dirty Mohican with extra capers, the least you clowns could do it spend a couple of minutes reading it. Who knows, maybe in Chapter 3, we’ll find out more about the mayor and what exactly goes in a Dirty Mohican in the first place.

Originally posted on The Nudge Wink Report:

Illustration by the author

Illustration by the author

BD flew into the offices like a small, well-dressed tornado.  She had supermodel looks and pit bull intensity.  If Prada made spiked choker-collars, she’d look incredible in one.  She stopped in the doorway and threw me a look of annoyance.

Where the hell are Oma and Tom Tom?” she snapped, gesturing toward their vacant desks.

They’re not here.” I stammered, immediately regretting opening my mouth.

She gave me a look comprised of equal parts pity and disgust.

Listen Pointless, just ’cause I wear dark shades doesn’t mean I’m freakin’ blind – I can see those two shit-birds aren’t here.  I’m trying to build a mother-humping blog here and empty chairs don’t write funny posts.

BD had the habit of screwing around with people’s names.  The range of name varieties was usually a pretty good indicator of how pissed she…

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The Eyes Have It

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need glasses to see clearly.  In a slightly less-than-perfect world, those of us who need glasses would discover that every pair we tried on made us look like the models in the posters plastered on the walls of the local eye glass boutique.  Any life-long wearer of glasses can look at those models and tell you that none of those pretty people even wears glasses, unless they’re paid to do so.

Now that I have the attention of the women and gay men in my reading audience, allow me to assure you I don't look like this young stud, with or without glasses.  If you actually think a guy as perfect as this doesn't have 20/20 vision, you're delusional enough to go eye glass shopping with me.  (Image from fanpop dot com)

Now that I have the attention of the women and gay men in my reading audience, allow me to assure you I don’t look like this young stud, with or without glasses. If you actually think a guy as perfect as this doesn’t have 20/20 vision, you’re delusional enough to go eye glass shopping with me. (Image from fanpop dot com)

As much as I’d like to see some ruggedly handsome transformation of my face once I try a pair of frames on, I am usually greeted with one of the following versions of myself instead.

A young Roger Ebert with Russ Meyer.  This serves as an example of why I also avoid sweater vests.  On a personal note, I was always more of a Siskel man myself.  (Image from wikimedia commons)

A young Roger Ebert with Russ Meyer. This serves as an example of why I also avoid sweater vests. On a personal note, I was always more of a Siskel man myself. (Image from wikimedia commons)

The Young Roger Ebert Look:  Make no mistake, Roger Ebert was a great film critic and displayed a rare brand of grace and courage when he fought thyroid cancer.  Be that as it may, when I try on a pair of larger glasses with solid frames, I bear something of a resemblance to a young Roger, which is not the look I’m typically going for.  I guess it could be worse and I could look like a male Sally Jesse Raphael.

This photo doesn't do Vandy proper justice, then again, I'm recalling his image from a dusty brain who last saw him 43 years ago on a Sears TV with aluminum foil on the antenna. (Image from sitcomsonline dot com)

This photo doesn’t do Vandy justice, then again, I’m recalling his image using the dusty brain of a man who last saw him 47 years ago on a black and white Sears TV with an aluminum foil antenna. (Image from sitcomsonline dot com)

The Vanderbilt From F-Troop Look:  Excuse me while I date myself with a reference to an obscure character on an old TV show.  Some of you senior citizens may recall Vanderbilt (or Vandy as Agarn would call him).  He was the fat, visually impaired soldier in F-Troop who could be seen chatting up horses he mistook for pretty ladies and falling down the well on at least three separate episodes.  This was back in the days before political correctness, when people could be made fun of for having poor vision, just like Mr. Magoo.  If I try on glasses with lenses which are too small for my face, I end up looking like Vandy.  Despite my not living in an area with too many horses or open wells, it’s not a look I’m comfortable with.

I'm not sure what this guy was charged with, but he is wearing an orange jumpsuit and was found on whatacreep dot com, so you can jump to your own conclusion.  I used to see him out curtting his lawn, he seemed like a nice enough guy...kept to himself, kinda quiet.  (Image from whatacreep dot com)

I’m not sure what this guy was charged with, but he is wearing what appears to be an orange jumpsuit and was found on whatacreep dot com, so you can jump to your own conclusion. I used to see him out cutting his lawn, he seemed like a nice enough guy…kept to himself, kinda quiet. (Image from whatacreep dot com)

The Creepy Convict From Down The Block Look:  If I try on any pair which doesn’t easily fit into the other categories, I may be surprised and a little scared to look in the mirror and see the guy from three blocks over who was just arrested for some sort of deviant activity.  We all know the type.  When neighbors are interviewed, they’re always shocked that he has been arrested for being a peeping tom, animal porn collector or Sarah Palin stalker.  Watching TV at home, we look at his mugshot and wonder how anyone could have imagined he wasn’t up to something nasty.

If someone stops and offers you a ride and he's wearing glasses like these, you should walk...or maybe run is better.  (Image of Jeffrey Dahmer from rapgenius dot com)

If someone stops and offers you a ride and he’s wearing glasses like these, you should walk away…or maybe run. (Image of Jeffrey Dahmer from rapgenius dot com)

The Serial Killer Look: When I try on a pair of snappy aviators, I hope to see a cool looking pilot or race-car driver looking back at me in the mirror.  Instead, I see a guy who has moved well beyond the “Creepy Convict” look listed above and into a whole different dimension of evil next door.  He knows where the bodies are buried, because he’s the one who buried them.  I don’t think even serial killers want to look like this.

For the record, I seldom wear an ascot, unless you count the self-portrait I recently used to in my post "It's All In The Wrist".  (Image from milliesmoviestowatch dot blogpsot dot com)

For the record, I seldom wear an ascot, unless you count the self-portrait I recently used to in my post “It’s All In The Wrist“. (Image from milliesmoviestowatch dot blogpsot dot com)

The Mel Cooley Look: Now that my hair has left my head to migrate to other parts of my body, I no longer resemble a young Roger Ebert (or a young anyone for that matter).  To be perfectly honest, large frame glasses now make me resemble the actor Richard Deacon, who was best known for his role as Mel Cooley on the old Dick Van Dyke show.  There is one saving grace of resembling characters from really old TV shows, most of the young people I know have no idea who these characters were, so to them, I just look like an old, bald guy in glasses.  I suppose that’s a good thing.  I don’t necessarily like the look, but I need to see where the hell I’m going.

As much as I’d like to let you all believe that I’m some kind of creative genius who comes up with these thoughts out of thin air, I’m not.  The lovely and talented “She’s a Maineiac” wrote a post recently about her possibly needing new glasses, and it spurred me on to share the trials and tribulations with my own miserable experiences shopping for fashion eye wear.  If you don’t read her blog, you’re missing out.  Just don’t forget who sent you over there.

Meet The Parents – Mr. and Mrs. Public Enemy

Perhaps you’ve heard about the New Jersey girl who is attempting to sue her parents for her current private school tuition then college costs and legal expenses.  In her suit, 18 year old Rachel Canning claims her parents tried to make her live by their oppressive rules.  She has been living with the family of a friend.  The friend’s father happens to be a lawyer who apparently has a little time on his hands.

While a judge has made a preliminary judgement against Canning’s case, there’s no question she’s opened an exciting, slimy can of legal worms for the rest of us to consider.  Upon learning of the story, my first instinct was to follow her example and go after my own parents for punitive damages.  I made a short list of their horrible transgressions which included my lack of birthday ponies in the 60′s and top shelf orthodontia in the 70′s.  After considering their fixed-income octogenarian lifestyle as well as some issues with the statutes of limitations, I’ve decided against that route.  Looks like they’re going to be able to afford a little sweater for their dog, after all.

Look at that sweater!  That's custom work and it don't come cheap.  I grew up wearing hand-me-down Sears jeans and that mongrel gets European duds?! (image from Wikimedia commons)

Look at that sweater! That’s custom work and it don’t come cheap. I grew up wearing hand-me-down Sears “high-waters” and that mongrel gets European duds?! (image from Wikimedia commons)

My other alternative is to join Rachel’s legal team.  I watch my fair share of TV crime dramas and as such, I’m pretty sure I could do the whole lawyer thingy.  While tuition and expenses are certainly good starting points, there are a bunch of other potential claims which have been overlooked by her current squad of legal eagles.   As a show of good faith, I’m willing to divulge a few examples.  I hope her lawyers have the good sense to add me to their team, or I might have to take some legal action myself.  After all, I’m an American and goddammit, somebody owes me something!  Here now, are a few of the additional offenses which Ms. Canning’s parents may well have perpetrated over the years of oppression.

Oh the humanity!  Little cabbages make you gassy!  (Image from wikimedia commons)

Oh the humanity! Little cabbages make you gassy! (Image from wikimedia commons)

The pain and suffering of having to eat Brussels sprouts.  Your honor, Brussels sprouts are a member of the cabbage family and as such they are yucky.  My client has been scarred by their foul, sulfurous taste and may have been socially embarrassed on more than one occasion by the resulting flatulence of having been forced to eat such inhumane fare.

Aunt Hilda in her youth back in the 1920's.  Otto is hidden in the shadows, and possibly devoid of hair in those early years. (Painting by Korb from wikimedia commons)

Aunt Hilda in her youth back in the 1920′s. Otto is hidden in the shadows, and possibly devoid of hair in those early years. (Painting by Korb from wikimedia commons)

The repetitive trauma of having to kiss Aunt Hilda every Thanksgiving.  If it would please the court, please refer to Exhibit A, to be identified as the photograph of one Hilda Shisler, the maternal aunt of my client.  As you can see, Ms. Shisler has a prominent hairy nevus on her left cheek, known to the Canning children as “Otto the hairy mole.”

It wasn't bad enough to be segregate the kids in those days, they weren't even fed indoors. (Image from wikimedia commons)

It wasn’t bad enough to be segregate the kids in those days, they weren’t even fed indoors. (Image from wikimedia commons)

The social stigma of being relegated to the children’s table at Christmas dinner.  Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, eating at the children’s table may have passed for something of a tradition for many of you back in the days of your youth.  Fooled by the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia, some of you may even have fond memories, when in fact it was nothing less than age-discrimination against the youth class!  The sagging, stained tops of folding card tables and lack of good china have hurt generations of Americans, and my client is bravely taking her pain public to stop this barbaric practice once and for all.

Courtroom artist's illustration of the Easter Bunny in the off-season.  Those poor children can still smell the bourbon and carrots on his hot breath.  (Illustration by the author - yup, I drew the wabbit all by myself)

Courtroom artist’s illustration of the Easter Bunny in the off-season. Those poor children can still imagine smelling the bourbon and carrots on his hot breath. (Illustration by the author – yup, I drew the wabbit all by myself)

The mental torment of being betrayed and at times threatened with repeated lies.  Among the fictitious demons planted in the head of my client are a giant mysterious rodent known as The Easter Bunny and an obese night visitor who goes by the name of Mr. Kris Kringle.  The psychological terrorism and invasion of privacy was further perpetrated by her parents via their emissary of evil, The Elf on the Shelf.

You can't tell from this picture, but those girls were laughing at her.  LAUGHING!  (Image from wikimedie commons)

You can’t tell from this picture, but those girls were laughing at poor Rachel. LAUGHING! (Image from wikimedie commons)

The social ostracization due to the forced use of sub-par athletic equipment during summer field hockey camp between freshman and sophomore years in high school.  Your honor, if it would please the court, I refer to exhibit 13-J which is a generic brand field hockey stick typically available at large sporting goods retailers for prices ranging between $35 and $40.  My client specifically requested a Nano brand carbon fiber composite field hockey stick like all the starters on JV already had.  Mr. and Mrs. Canning denied her requests and Mr. Canning reportedly commented that he wasn’t buying a field hockey stick that costs more than a monthly payment on the family’s minivan.  (I pause here, letting the unfairness of it all sink in – pursing my lips, blinking and swallowing repeatedly to hold back the outrage, keeping the tears of injustice from cascading down my face.  Point made, I slam the stick onto the display table and walk away from it as if it has the cooties).

No further questions, your honor” I say, my voice nearly cracking with emotion.

The judge, tired of my drama and a little pissed about the scuff mark on his display table, points out that I wasn’t questioning anyone.  He further states that I am not actually a lawyer.  Embarrassed and without an opportunity to retrieve the field hockey stick I paid $37.95 for out of my own pocket, I’m escorted from the courtroom by a guy who looks a bit like Rusty the Bailiff.

After a moment, it occurs to me that my lack of a legal degree is not my fault.  The blame lies squarely on the shoulders of my parents, who neither applied to law school on my behalf nor offered to pay for it once they did.  Statutes of limitations or not, I want justice.  Looks like their little mutt is going to be shivering on his morning walks in Sunset Acres.  Justice will be served!

Author’s disclaimers: I don’t know any more about Rachel Canning, her family or legal representation than what I’ve read on the internet.  While the case in question has given me fodder for a satirical post, I am certain it is no laughing matter for any of those involved.  I do not condemn either side and any opinions regarding the shortcomings of her legal team are purely comedic in nature and should not be considered slanderous.

My parents actually paid more than enough of their hard earned money to raise me right.  In truth, I was an emotionally needy child with a massive appetite.  They had every right to put me up for adoption just to save money on tissues for my tears and groceries for my constant hunger.  My lack of ponies and orthodontia ended up helping me develop the character traits and coping mechanisms which serve me to this very day.  The preceding post was a satirical commentary on the news of the day.  As for my parents, I’m sure they’re beaming with pride that their little One Point has written what some might consider to be “satire”.  Their little dog’s sweater is safe.

It’s All In The Wrist

In most of the USA, it’s illegal to use a cell phone while driving, unless you use a hands-free device.  What’s baffling is that many people apparently believe that driving while holding their cell phone like a French bread pizza in front of their pie holes is somehow less dangerous than holding it up to their ears, and therefore should be considered less illegal.

I’m no cop, and I have no idea if the open-faced sandwich defense will hold water in court, but it makes me wonder if there are similar strategies for using style points to try to keep oneself out of jail for other offenses.

An exhaustive internet search revealed no one holding their cell phone this way.  I was going to hire a model, so to save money, I found one who'd work in exchange for the excitement of being featured on a real life blog.  Isn't he adorable?!  (Photo by the author, thanks Ryan)

You see officer, not actually having the phone up against my ear, I’m able to drive safer.  By holding the phone like a delicious piece of French bread pizza, I’m far better positioned to react to emergencies on the road.  Plus, you have to admit I look absolutely ridiculous, so in that regard, I’m bringing joy to my fellow drivers.” (Photo by the author, thanks Ryan)

Illegal Actvity: Talking on a cell phone while driving

Stylish Alternative: Talking on a cell phone while driving, but holding it like a little diving board for your tongue instead of like a phone.

Verdict: You’re still a tool.  $100 fine.

Macho standards require only holding ones own crotch with the free hand.  (Image from boards dot bengals dot com)

Macho standards require only holding ones own crotch with the free hand. (Image from boards dot bengals dot com)

Illegal Actvity: Hold the pistol vertically with your dominant hand, and brace it with your other hand to shoot at innocent people.

Stylish Alternative: Hold the pistol sideways with one hand while gesturing in a menacing manner with your free hand, possibly throwing gang signs and/or waving a giant foam “We’re Number One!” hand.

Verdict: It’s been proven in courts that the sideways grasp will not get you off the hook for guilt, despite the obvious style points.  Please Note – While alternative grips do not appear to hold sway in Florida courtrooms, the color of the hand doing the grasping may play a role.

Look at this butt-munch!  No style and no regard for the safety of jaywalkers.  (Image from walesonline dot co dot uk)

Look at this butt-munch! No style and no regard for the safety of jaywalkers. (Image from walesonline dot co dot uk)

Illegal Activity: Littering in a public place.

Stylish Alternative: Missing from 3-point land complete with play by play and crowd noises provided by the offender.

Alternative Stylish Alternative – Winter Olympics Tribute: Littering curling-technique where you shove your trash and have it slide across the ground while a friend or two scurry in front of it sweeping like crazy.

Verdict: You’re still a tool – go pick that shit up and throw it away!  Don’t make me come down offa this porch! $50 fine and community service.

Ay!  We gotta dissa statue, we doana mind dee paparazzi, less spilt dissa phona boot, heh?  (Image from theredlist dot com)

Ay! We gotta dissa statue, we doana mind dee paparazzi, less split dissa phona boot, heh Blondie? (Image from theredlist dot com)

Illegal Activity: Yelling “Fire” in a crowded theater.

Stylish Alternative: Yelling “Fuoco!”  in a theater showing a Fellini film festival.

Verdict: The butterfly in the park scene symbolizes the fleeting nature of youth and frailty of human relationships.  You’re still guilty, but with a deeper appreciation for the stark beauty of the inside of a jail cell.  30 days in the foro.

Why settle for amusing readers, when I can shatter stereotypes at the same time?  (Image from mybroadband dot co dot za)

Why settle for amusing readers, when I can shatter stereotypes at the same time? (Image from mybroadband dot co dot za)

Illegal Activity: Public Urination

Stylish Alternative: Going number one while striking a pose as a cherub in a historic city center fountain as your friends laugh nearby.

Verdict: Guilty, but possibly worth a minor bit of internet stardom.  It’s a shame about your photo bombing the background of that couple’s wedding portraits.  $150 fine, not allowed within 500 feet of a school for next 10 years.

For those of you from outside the Delaware Valley, this is a mummer.  Out of towners have been known to mistake them for fashion challenged homeless people (Image from myspace dot com)

For those of you from outside the Delaware Valley, this is a mummer. Out of towners have been known to mistake them for fashion challenged homeless people. (Image from myspace dot com)

Illegal Activity: Public Intoxication (See Public Urination Above)

Stylish Alternative: Attempting to distract arresting officers with avant garde poetry and interpretive dance performance.

Verdict: The pirouette attempt could be construed as malicious intent; Tased, $300 fine, time served.

Classic dick drawings never go out of style.   (Illustration by the author - no, I'm not proud)

Classic dick drawings never go out of style. (Illustration by the author – no, I’m not proud)

Illegal Activity: Smoking where prohibited.

Stylish Alternative: Wearing a smoking jacket, ascot, jaunty cap and using a cigarette holder.

Verdict: You’re still a dick (literally in the case of the recycled illustration)  $50 fine and increased chance of emphysema.

Comments Welcome

So I wrote a post, as we bloggers often do.  It was moderately topical, insofar as it was about the hellish winter which is on the verge of kicking my sorry ass yet again.  I edited and edited.  I scanned the internet for pretty pictures to give myself some clever captioning opportunities as well as appeasing some of my less literate readers.  I shined that turd till it sparkled like a shiny turd.

It was time to hit the “Publish” button and wait for the accolades, or witticisms, or obscure comments which had no relevance to my post whatsoever.  It’s these comments where I get the satisfaction of writing the blog posts in the first place.  If I wasn’t interested in  prompt feedback for my creative efforts, I might as well just write novels or user instructions for Q-Tips.

I got a “like”.  Then another and another.  I got a little message from WordPress congratulating me on being here two years.  I waited some more, did some work on my other laptop, but still got no comments.  Finally, the little cartoon talk bubble lit up in the corner of the screen.  It was one of my dear blog friends, the only one I’ve actually met face to face for 30 beautiful seconds.  She was commenting on my “About” page to tell me that the comments were closed on my weather post.  Then Blogdramedy Tweeted me much the same message.

According to WordPress, I’ve hit the publish button 190 times in two years.  For reasons only the IT department can explain, this time my readers got the message that the comments was closed.  I went to my post and opened the edit option and found the comments open.  I made a comment on my own post, feeling like I was kissing my sister.  Still, my readers get the comments closed message.

Okay WordPress, you’ve pissed me off.  Before the weather post, I wrote a nice seasonal, amusing post on cheap Valentine’s gifts.  I had the nerve to foolishly hope that it might be Freshly Pressed.  Instead of watching my numbers soar from being FP’ed, I’m going to post this whiney piece of junk in hopes that readers can comment on it, if they can’t then I’ll have to really wonder why I would continue.

“Polar Vortex” Is Sooo Last Apocalypse

Hurricane Bieber?  No one's going to worry about a hurricane with a pansy-assed name like that.  (Image from en dot wikipedia dot org)

Hurricane Bieber? No one’s going to worry about a hurricane with a candy-assed name like that. (Image from en dot wikipedia dot org)

In some ways the folks at the National Weather Service and local forecasters aren’t really too different from the marketing department at an ad agency.  They know that to keep everyone’s attention, it’s not enough to just predict the weather – after all, groundhogs routinely do that with 50% accuracy.  That’s probably why they started naming hurricanes all those years ago.  Assigning them human names gave us an identity to fear, hate or ignore.

After decades of limited success naming hurricanes, the weather experts have decided to start naming damn near every two-bit squall to form in the Gulf of Whatever.  As they’ve discovered, giving a storm a name doesn’t guarantee it’ll live up to the hype.  In addition, some names just don’t have the ominous ring to them which a big storm deserves.  Take for example the innocuously named Hurricane Sandy which kicked the crap out of much of the Northeast, versus the scary-named Tropical Storm Lucifer who’s only claim to fame was causing a ten minute rain delay at a Florida Marlins game.  When the weather people ended up amending Sandy from “Hurricane” to “Super-Storm”, it seemed they had stumbled onto something beyond playing the name game.

This year, they really hit a home run with The Polar Vortex.  The name really has it all; a reference to the frozen tundra of the north and the sexy technical term “vortex”.  For those of you too captivated by my writing to jump over to Google for a definition of vortex, I’ve provided one below.

Vortex; vor-teks, n .  1. A howling, unforgiving funnel of nastiness, often found in weather forecasts during the winter of 2014.  2. An antiquated term once used in weather forecasts in 2014 but rarely seen again outside of midterm exams in meteorology schools.  Origin:  From the Greek Fartecs, the God of mean %@#$*# weather.  Example: An equatorial vortex is expected to bring typhoon-strength winds and high temperatures in excess of 137 degrees to the greater Duluth region this April.

Go ahead, giver it a name, then run like hell.  (Image from birdsofeden dot za)

Go ahead, give it a name, then run like hell. (Image from birdsofeden dot za)

As we slip and plow through February, the weather gurus are already scrambling to come up with new names for the next big thing.  There are no definite winners yet, they’re still in the brain storming phase.

Here are a few of the front runners so far:

  • Polar Vortex II – Return with a Vengeance
  • Hurricane Miley
  • Shit Storm of Epic Proportions
  • End of Days – Ice Box of the Lord
  • Tropical Storm Christie (Expect Delays and a partial eclipse of the sun)
  • Adding “-mageddon” to the end of damn near any weather related term – Favorites so far include swamp-ass humidity-mageddon and ball lightning-mageddon.
  • Kelvin Kold Front – This aint your Daddy’s Fahrenheit
  • Trumpnado (Includes super-heated winds which will mess up nearly any hairstyle)
  • Broomhilda’s Bosoms
  • Deep Freez – (The Last “e” Froze Off)
  • Satan’s Sauna
  • Super-dupercells
  • Mr. and Mrs. Coldfront and the Twins
  • Oh Hail No!
On the west coast, you rarely see weather girls bundled up in fleece jackets, but if you get too many jet streams like this one, it might be time to stop going commando.  (Image from the nayshun dot com)

On the west coast, you rarely see weather girls bundled up in fleece jackets, but if they get too many jet streams like this one, it might be time to stop going commando. (Image from the nayshun dot com)

It’s obvious that some of these catch phrases will never see the light of day.  It’s likely that they have even better ones that they’re keeping secret under a blanket of 3-6 inches of snow (with higher totals north and west of the city).  In fact, you can fog-bank on it.

It took me longer than usual to even get the first draft of this dog done, due to my having to drop everything repeatedly to go out front and shovel snow.  They’re predicting another twelve inches tonight, so if you happen to comment and don’t get a prompt reply, it may be because I’m out front working on finding the pavement again.