Sunday, December 06, 2020

Santa Faces Possible Indictment Over Mutant Deer Discovery

Today I bring you another Christmas Classic.  OK, that's a lie.  It's just easy to repost things while I am laying here in an eggnog stupor!

A Wisconsin man discovered a deer with seven legs recently after he struck it with his truck. Perhaps even weirder is the fact that the animal had both male and female ‘parts’ (to be politically correct). The Associated Press reports that the extra legs were each a few inches long and were attached to its ‘regular’ legs.

The growing concern is that there may be something screwy going on up at the North Pole. Although no other reports of the existence of ‘genetically unique’ deer have been reported, there have been rumors. PETA officials have scheduled an ‘exploratory mission’ to the North Pole to investigate the treatment of the local deer population.

‘Obviously there’s something funny happening when deer can fly and some are born with red noses, so you have to make a connection between that and this mutant deer turning up,’ said a PETA official. ‘I don’t know what you do to get reindeer to fly, but it’s obviously harmful,’ he added.

The North Pole has remained quiet and secretive about their deer breeding practices and all reindeer flights have been cancelled until investigations have been completed. The Pole has always maintained that safety of their animals is the highest priority. Other than an ugly sleigh collision in 1973 that purportedly took the lives of three deer and a myth about a banjo-playing snowman who talks, no other reports of North Pole animal injuries or oddities have ever been reported.

“The whole Santa operation is very image based and the big guy would cringe if anything happened to tarnish that finely honed image,” said a diminutive North Pole spokesperson with pointy ears. “Believe me, when companies like Coca-Cola and large department stores give us free publicity, we don’t want to have any freaky transsexual deer running around to spoil an image we’ve been perpetuating for over 100 years,’ the spokesperson added.

If anything at the North Pole is found to be the cause of the mutant deer, Kris Kringle could face stiff fines and possible prison time for the ‘cruel and unethical treatment of fictional flying animals that don’t normally fly.’ Some observers worry about the global debate that will follow over who has jurisdiction over the North Pole as it has often been thought of as international territory. Canada, Russia, the United States, Denmark, Greenland, the ACME Ice Manufacturing Company and the estate of the late Liberace have tried at one time or another to claim territorial rights to the North Pole. The most likely outcome would find Santa imprisoned at Gitmo or Abu Grahib.

This will likely be a tense Christmas for the Clauses and little children the world over as they wait to see what will happen. Those close to Santa have reported that he’s in a very foul mood and mumbles constantly saying, ‘all because of one deer, one #^%#$#%$$ deer!’ Like one Santa believer said, ‘if they use nuclear energy to power submarines, there’s no telling what they use to get reindeer to fly.’

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Don’t Say You Heard It From Me or I Can’t Believe He’s On Social Media

Positive quotes and advice are EVERYWHERE — from my daughters’ schools to TV and the interwebs.  That’s fine and dandy but you really have to watch where you get the positive advice from. What I’m trying to say is it’s best NOT to take that advice from me. Being a motivational speaker is something I will never see when I fill out an aptitude test! Here’s some of my bad advice:

I don’t do math. Not “I don’t do math very well,” just “I don’t do math.” I like taking a look back at history and pointing out to people that on this day something happened. I usually say what year such and such took place. It’s not uncommon for me to exaggerate the day. That’s only because I couldn’t do the math to figure out what year it really happened. So I make it up. First piece of advice NOT to take from me: don’t do that! You’ll only end up looking foolish. People who read what year you said such and such happened in will think you really don’t know. For example, when you say that Lincoln’s Gettysburg address was given this day 653 years ago, it’s probably not funny and people will think they’ve befriended an idiot. And, you’ve committed that to writing. It’s permanently associated with your  name. Again, don’t do that!

Bacon is not good for you
Wow!!! That was hard to write!!!!  It literally took me 10 minutes. So when I post a picture of bacon look the other way or jog 12 miles. Both would be far better for you. (That reminds me; get out a package of bacon to defrost with for dinner. Ohhh, that’s for me to remember when I’m proofreading this post. That wasn’t for you, the reader…). Bacon leads to high cholesterol, and heart disease and blood pressure and yada, yada. Sorry, I’m having a really hard time writing this!! It’s not good for you. That’s the part I want you to take from this, not how delicious the house smells when cooking it!! Granted drugs are really bad for you so when you look at bacon from that point, it’s probably ok to eat. Again, that’s not the point of this message…

Eating cheese in large quantities is not perfectly OK
I’m dying a little inside with each of these points I’m making! I bet you are reading this list and thinking I weigh 400 pounds. I should weigh that with what I put into my body. A scientific study released in the past few weeks said that eating cheese can be as addictive as drugs or alcohol. But, like I said about bacon, drugs are REALLY bad, so having an addiction to cheese is comparatively ok. No, no, no. That’s not the advice I’m trying to give! Eating a huge amount of cheese can lead to high cholesterol, and heart disease and blood pressure and yada, yada. Again, sorry. My mind drifted off to a piece of Havarti and me in a rolling field of grass. Cheese in large quantities is also not good for you. There, I said it. Now leave me to sit and pout.

I probably have several other pieces of “advice” not to give but my coffee is getting cold. DON’T say anything about coffee. Especially don’t say a peep about how caffeine is bad for my irregular heart condition. If I want that type of negativity in my life I’ll schedule an appointment with my cardiologist. Now where did I put my hidden stash of Slim Jims?????

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

They’re Playing Our Song???

Maybe it’s because I still have a little Valentine’s Day spirit left or maybe it’s because I just listened to some great (although 40 years old) music, I wanted to share with you some toe-tapping ditties that REALLY makes the listener take notice on this day of love…
For the record, I love all the songs I’m going to talk about! Really!!

Love Child by the Supremes
The title is enough to make hearts swoon. And when you hear the line:
I started my life in an old, cold, rundown tenement slum
 you’re humming along!! I think I’ve written about this song before. Who doesn’t like a love child?

Alone Again, Naturally by Gilbert O’Sullivan.
Where to begin? The name of the artist. He should be headlining around the world!! I should mention when I was little boy (yes, I listen to Gilbert and his chart topping compadres when I was little) I thought this was solo record by Paul McCartney—which made it even better. And who doesn’t like to dance to
In a little while from now

If I'm not feeling any less sour
I promise myself to treat myself
And visit a nearby tower
And climbing to the top
Will throw myself off…
I don’t even dance and I want this song to be played everywhere I go!! Such a great song!!

Superstar by the Carpenters (Ok, really ANY Carpenters song)
It sounds by the title like Karen would be singing about how great it is now that she’s a superstar. There’s the rub. She actually missing someone who became a Superstar. Don’t we all know that feeling?! And the way the backup singers (also Karen) sing the “baby” melts my heart. With lyrics like:
Loneliness is such a sad affair

And I can hardly wait to be with you again
What to say to make you come again?
Come back to me again and play your sad guitar
It really makes you want to see him come back. Only problem is: he didn’t!

Silence Is Golden by The Tremeloes.
This is such a great mid-60’s hit by an English group. Wow, that was a pretty generic description. But nothing is generic about the upbeat lyrics!!
Oh don't it hurt deep inside
To see someone do something to her
Oh don't it pain to see someone cry
How especially if that someone is her
Silence is golden
But my eyes still see
Silence is golden, golden
But my eyes still see
 This song has it all!! The very definition of a chart topper with upbeat words like: hurt deep inside, pain, cry, and silence. How did Lawrence Welk never do that song on Saturday nights?

We Just Disagree by Dave Mason
This is THE sound for happily married couples. With lyrics like:
So let's leave it alone, 'cause we can't see eye to eye
There ain't no good guy, there ain't no bad guy
There's only you and me and we just disagree
Who wouldn’t want to see that in a Valentine’s Day card? That’s pretty much all I need to say about We Just Disagree. Hey, I rhymed!!!

Yesterday’s Gone by Chad and Jeremy
A very upbeat song by the Bristish Invasion group. A side note: Chad was one of the British vultures in The Jungle Book. Nothing like looking back on lost love which is pretty much all this song does.
I loved you all the summer through

I thought I'd found my dream in you
For me you were the one
But that was yesterday and yesterday's gone
Seriously, the beat is so catchy I wish they had more yesterdays to bid adieu to!!

I Go To Pieces by Peter and Gordon.
Another song by a 60’s British Duo? Yep!!!! Peter Asher was the sister of Paul McCartney’s girlfriend for most of the 60’s—which again made it better. With lyrics including “die” it was destined for glory!!
I go to places we used to go

But I know she'll never show
She hurt me so much inside
Now I hope she's satisfied
And I, go to pieces and I want to hide
Go to pieces and I almost die
And a line about come-uppance, I hope she really is satisfied!!

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here. Actually, I’d like to include in this list pretty much EVERY Elton John ballad. Granted I’m still pretty unsure of the meaning of most of them but with titles like “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues,” Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word,” and “That Train Don’t Stop There Anymore,” (which obviously isn’t about a train stop) he could be the master of “feeling the love ditties!!!”

*****Also there are some noteworthy titles I’ll probably tackle next Valentines Day.
Suicdie Is Painless – The orginal title of the M*A*S*H Theme Song
I’m Not In Love by 10cc – I don’t what they drinking but the doctor to give me 100ccs of it!!!

Seriously though, have a great Valentines Day!!!

Holy Blank Page Batman or Coming to Accept My Stroke, But That's Not Too Uplifting Of A Title

They always say a blank page to a writer is the worst horror imaginable. Well, something like that. There was a time when that didn’t affect me in the least. When I sat down with my cup of coffee at the computer I could type  300-800 words in an instant. Nowadays, that doesn’t happen as much. OK, or at all. Perhaps that’s because as a society we don’t want to pay attention to someone’s finely crafted prose (or in my case whatever I happen to be rush-writing. Rush writing, adj.:  to hurry and write a blog post while at work so no one catches you).

You’re saying that’s an excuse offered up by me. But, there’s credence in it (I think that is the FIRST time I’ve used that word without following it with the words Clearwater Revival). It’s much easier to write a sentence joke or a meme and get a laugh. And memes contain pictures, which immediately captures the viewer like something written could never do.

I know in the last 10 years I’ve taken the meme route many times. It’s just easier. Like BBQ’ing on a gas grill as opposed to a charcoal grill. Even though gas grills give you NO taste. There’s something about wood smoke while BBqing that…well, that’s another discussion for another time. I’m really hungry right now. But it’s time to get back on board with doing actual writing, despite the problems I now face with writing.

Since the stroke there are NUMEROUS times I’d have to stop what I’m writing to look up a word (even a common word) on Google to finish my thought.  I did it in the second paragraph when I Googled “Rock band named Creedence). That’s not only time consuming, it really derails my train of thought. BTW, if you are looking for a band name, Derailed Train of Thought is available, if you pay me the finder’s fee of $50 or 10 percent of your royalties from your first 3 singles.

If that wasn’t annoying enough, I can only write with one hand and whenever I place my right hand on the mouse, I seem to erase stuff. Don’t ever use me as your editor. In addition, I make A LOT of mistakes in my writing now. Some can be solved with (I just had to Google: “autocorrect with MS Word” to find the word “proofing”) the proofing feature of your writing software. But other mistakes I make I actually have to figure out what I meant, which has always been a trying experience!!

Maybe all of these things will get better the longer I actually sit down and write. If you’ve never heard my “writing and sports analogy,” here it goes. Writing does to your brain what sports do to your muscles—with the exception of eating as a competitive sport. (I think all that does is make you a candidate for Levis stock. You know, because you have to keep buying larger pants sizes. Never mind…) What I’m saying is that you get better at writing and laying down your thoughts in a COHESIVE manner the longer you write.

So, that’s what I’ll be doing from here on out and you a free to enjoy  witness the horror ride with me. Though I will probably delete this post after I reread it tomorrow. Now I’m off to Google “what do you feel when no one reads a post you’ve spent a lot of time on…”

Monday, February 12, 2018

My 353rd Try At Becoming A Blogger, Again!

I think that title made sense. Anyway, I am trying to blog again. I used to love blogging and it was my creative outlet. Nowadays my creative outlet is me yelling at the TV while watching Hawaii 5-0. Clearly, I need more to stimulate me. So, I’m going to list a bunch of hashtags that you never see. If one speaks to you, by all means, start using it! As a warning, I’m new to hashtags. Here is my list of hastags (man, I’m using that word a lot) you never see.

#CurlingAsASwearWord – Have YOU ever used the word “curling” as a cuss word. I thought not.

#TheyShouldMakeHawaiianShirtsInFlannelForPeopleThatGetColdEasilyButStillLikeToWearThatTropicalLiefestyle – I was putting away a flannel shirt next to one of my Hawaiian shirts in the closet. Again, hashtags are new to me.

#TheWeirdestThingIHaveCleanedUpUsASchoolCustodian – The fewer time I spend on this one the better. Fingernails can be disgusting…

#IsBaconAThingYouPutIntoPancakes – Obviously the answer is YES!!

#WhyAreThereNoBluegrassRapAlbums – Seriously! I might actually listen to rap if there were.

#DenimsOverallsShouldMakeAFashionComeback – This was my New Years Resolution for the last 12 years. It gets pretty old having to repeat this one year after year.

#IWantADeepFryer – I do Nothing else needs to be said.

#YouWouldBeCloserToYourIdealWeightIfYouAteLess – But life wouldn’t be as much fun.

#AreHashTagsReallyJustSublimialThoughtsThatArentThatSublimial – Think about it.

#AreGifsTheEndOfSocietyAsWeKnowIt – I was just angry with gifs one day because I was having a hard time finding a gif for someone’s post.

#DidAbeLincolnReallyUseThatBoomBoxHeIsPicturedWith – Inquiring minds want to know!! 

So, there is my list and possibly the end of my 353rd attempt at restarting my blog…

Monday, May 30, 2016

What A Concert! Also named "My Type Of People."

 This was written Memorial Day weekend of 2012. I still have fond memories of going to that concert. I even bought the CD of that concert tour. Sooooo great!!!

This past Saturday I attended perhaps the best concert ever.  It was timed perfectly.  It was Memorial Day weekend AND Sirius radio was playing their music constantly!  You may ask yourself "how did I get here..."  No wait, that's something entirely different.  What you are most likely asking yourself is "what band is he talking about?"  The band is The Accordion Kings! 

Actually I don't know if there is a band named that but if there is, I'm free to manage it, but it won't be free to manage.  The band was named the Beach Boys and it was there 50th Anniversary Tour!!  I have never written a review of a concert and I'm not about to now - other than to say it was KICKAWESOME!!!  40+ songs and it lasted at least 2 1/2 hours!  You might be doing the math about how long the songs were, but back in the 60's most songs were 2 and a half minutes.

I have seen the Beach Boys many times, but this was the first with Brian Wilson, which made it all the more special.  Now I guess I should have known what the audience would be since it's the 50th Anniversary of them getting together, but I can also be very "not-fast of mind."  So,  I was surprised that most of the audience were over 60 and practically all the men had Hawaiian shirts on!  (Not that there's anything wrong with that...)

Maybe it's just the place we saw them at - a casino in Palm Springs.  But as we were in the buffet line (ok, hold you're wise cracks) I complemented every guy I saw that had on Hawaiian shirt and asked them if they were going to the concert.  Every one of them said they were.  If I had that type of success rate, I should have gone to a casino!  Oh wait...

So what I am trying to say is that the concert was stupendous and people over 60 years old and wearing Hawaiian shirts are my type of people!!  I fit in better with that crowd than I do people my own age!  All that I am missing is the gray hair!  Uh-oh, I see one coming in...

Monday, May 23, 2016

WWWhat a Great Anniversary to Celebrate

This was written to honor Al Gore's greatest invention: the worldwide web. The anniversary is sometime in July, but sitting here recuperating from my procedure last week, all I can manage is a repost. When my body allows me to sit at the computer long enough, I'll post something new. I think that's the excuse all great writers use. Right?!

Yesterday was the anniversary of the World Wide Web, or the WWW, if you’re cool and hip. I’m not, so I will keep having to type out World Wide Web. In just a relatively few short years, think of how this invention has become so integral to our lives. I mean you are reading this blog post on the World Wide Web and will undoubtedly leave it to surf other things on the World Wide Web. In fact, you may leave this World Wide Web page before even finishing this post. Granted, that’s kind of rude, but not really the point I am trying to make about the World Wi…you know what, I’m going with just calling it the WWW and I don’t care what anyone says!

The WWW has made accessing information so much easier. It has made terms or companies like Google or MapQuest now part of our language. Heck, Google and MapQuest are actually verbs now. I Google and MapQuest stuff all the time. I Google recipes, information on things of interest, you name it. I used to ogle, but I am past that now. I also MapQuest directions almost daily. Granted I never trust their directions and go with my own intuition, but 9 times out of 10 that just leads me to turning around and going back to the exact spot that I deviated from MapQuest’s directions in the first place.

I waste a lot of gas doing this, but that’s ok because I can just use the WWW to find the cheapest place selling gas. The only problem with that is it’s the same place everyone else goes to get gas. Fortunately, I can also use the WWW to find the station selling the most expensive gas. I go there and never have to wait in line. In fact, the people working there are so incredibly friendly. They always smile and laugh as I pull away.

The WWW is an amazing never ending maze of interesting websites with one leading you to another with just a click of the mouse and your interest to guide you. It’s almost like an intricate spider web that begins at one single point and radiates out in many different ways. This complex web of entertainment and information is made up of sites from all over the world. When you think about it, it’s like a spider web that is world wide. Oh, wait a minute…so THAT’S why that call it that. Hmmm, go figure.

I have found that I can seek the answers to almost anything on line. When I wanted to know how to crack open a coconut, I used the WWW. Although I think I did it wrong because I ended up striking my thumb with the hammer. Still though, the information I received on the WWW gave me a starting point. When I needed a recipe for homemade frozen ice cream, the WWW gave me several. The only thing is, apparently you need to make sure you are using the right recipe for the capacity of your ice cream maker or you will make too much and then the ice cream maker will stop turning. The reaction of that action seems to be a burnt motor. No fear though, you can find your ice cream maker manufacturer’s website on the WWW and check the warranty. I did that, and the warranty doesn’t cover the mistake I made. I was tempted to use the WWW to send a nasty letter to the ice cream maker’s maker, but I came across a news story about panda poop souvenirs and never sent it.

I hope I have given you just a small sampling of the World Wide Web’s amazing power and potential. I feel so strongly about it (and the fact that I missed the WWW’s real anniversary yesterday) that I composed a short poem to honor the World Wide Web…
What would I do without ya

It’s such a fun trick
To be able to click

When I need something really quick

It’s so much fun to be online
All of the time...

Unless I am at work

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Insomnia Man

  To celebrate Super Hero Day, I present Insomnia Man. I wrote this after a few nights of insomnia, which kind of explains a lot...

Insomnia Man (IM because I’m too lazy to type the full name) was a sheepherder until being laid off in the late 90s when computer software and technology made it possible to count sheep more cheaply and efficiently than a mere mortal could. This disturbed Insomnia Man deeply and disrupted the ebb and flow of his life, but he found work not long after in a local office complex. He would spend his days in his drab mono-colored (coloured for any of my European readers) cubicle staring at a computer monitor listening to the incessant droning native to the office environment while pushing papers and taking things in and out of manila folders because that’s what he saw those around him doing. Due to the lack of excitement he was used to on the sheep farm, he would often fall asleep at his desk. IM could get away with this because he always had plenty of manila folders on his desk and was never seen not clutching one. This daytime sleeping made it hard to fall asleep at night and before too long IM became a full-fledged insomniac. Well, that’s what he believed after seeing that he had a few of the same symptoms as an insomniac does on the internet. Perhaps he was too quickly convinced that he was an insomniac because he thought it made him a candidate for disability until he was laughed out of his company’s HR Specialist’s office. This made him bitter and agitated which further deterred his ability to sleep.

The insomnia didn’t bother IM too much at first because it made it much easier for him to sleep through his workday and that made the workday pass much quicker than if he actually worked straight through 8 consecutive hours. IM would spend his nights learning foreign languages by watching their infomercials or enjoying his TiVo’d episodes of ‘The Wonder Years’ (don’t we all have Winnie Coopers or Kevin Arnolds in our past). One night while craving a Chalupa, he took to the streets to find a Taco Bell. It was at this time that he witnessed his very first crime. At least he thought that the guy was breaking into his neighbors house until he called the police and they discovered that it was his neighbor’s Father-in-law trying to get back into the house because he locked himself out while house sitting. Never the less, the adrenaline rush he experienced while thinking he was foiling a criminal act now and forever would be in his blood. It was only a bonus that his neighbors later dropped the charges against him.

IM now knew what he must do. He would use his sub-super powers to prevent evil in his city by finding crime in progress and calling the police. Sadly, IM was not smart enough to realize that the crime would be over by the time he reported it. He upgraded his cell phone plan, bought a digital camera and while his wife slept one night, he assembled everything he would need to fashion his own superhero costume, although he disliked the term costume as he felt it belittled him and referred to it as his ‘Superuni.” He later realized he had no talent for combining words and just stuck with ‘My Uniform For Deterring, if Not Repelling, Because I Can’t Really Fight, Crime.” One night after driving himself to the emergency room to have his fingers removed from the cape he had accidentally sewed to them, his Uniform For Deterring, if Not Repelling, Because I Can’t Really Fight, Crime was finished.

IM was now free to patrol the streets at night looking and listening for crime. He found that the longer he went without sleep, the harder it was to walk or drive straight and trust what he was seeing. Unfortunately, he missed more crimes than he prevented and was asked by the authorities to stop searching for crime after striking a group of elderly women leaving a bingo game one night. In time, the police dispatchers stopped taking his calls and then became further irritated when they had to dispatch officers nightly to get him off the yards of the town’s citizens. It turns out that those Neighborhood Watch programs really are effective. But then, how difficult is it to spot someone in a mask and cape with big ‘ZZZZs’ on their chest peeking in through your neighbor’s window.

Times were tough for IM. Then when having to go to the grocery store for his wife one day (despite his insistence that he needed to try and sleep during the day because he did really important stuff at night like Elvis used to), he realized that he actually did have an almost superpower. The bags under his eyes had become so big that they repelled the sunlight allowing him to not have to squint, just like the pro athletes who paint black streaks under their eyes before they compete. Now he could seek out and report crime to the authorities in the daytime too. 

Insomnia Man patrolled the local streets day and night unsuccessfully for over 20 years. Then one day his social security check began arriving and his wife retired. She insisted that they buy a motor home and travel the country (mostly to escape the constant ridicule for being the wife of the sleepless caped idiot). While driving the motor home, he fell asleep at the wheel driving through Needles, California and was hospitalized for 8 months. Ironically, that day driving and the ensuing 8 months was the best (and by best I mean only) sleep he had experienced in 23 years. After recovering; they retired to Florida, took up lawn bowling and he now falls asleep at 3PM everyday while watching ‘The People’s Court’ in his recliner. 

It’s still a sore subject for him when his grandchildren make fun of Insomnia Man. Except for the one grandchild who is afraid of sleep and found Insomnia Man’s Uniform For Deterring, if Not Repelling, Because He Can’t Really Fight, Crime in his grandfather’s attic one day…

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

They Don't Make Roommates Like That Anymore.

Since it's National Tell A Story Day, this story came to mind. For one weekend in 2007, I was admitted to the hospital to have them administer a new heart drug to me. This is the story of my roommate...

My hospital roommate was something one could only dream up, except I’m telling the truth. He was an older Southern Gentleman, a real Southerner. As opposed to fake Southerner, which be would akin to Harvey Corman in the Carol Burnett "Gone With The Wind" skit. Listening to his voice, I felt like the Confederates were just moments away from stealing my plantation and drinking all my sweet tea…I mean that what the Civil War was like, right? I should probably begin podcasting, because written word will never, ever do justice to my impersonation of him calling his mother’s caretaker. As he was watching an I Love Lucy rerun (as opposed to the new episodes I guess. Did I really need to say it was a rerun), he called his mom’s care taker and this is what I heard (now picture a very, very dignified Southern voice saying this ‘tell mutha, that Vitameatavegimin is on. You can watch your stories lata, Vitameatavegimin is on.’ I was laughing so hard I almost popped my IV out. Moments later his phone rang and in the same dignified voice, I heard ‘I will have to call you back in 90 minutes. Vitiameatavegimin is on and then I need to watch my Judge Hatchett.’ All I could do every time his mouth opened was picture Forrest Gump’s Mama’s house.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Join the CIA!!!!!

I joked last week (OK, 7 years ago for those scoring at home) about wanting to do a story based on a radio commercial I heard about the fact that the CIA is hiring, but I was too afraid of Big Brother. They're like HR only with weapons and wiretapping, though unlike my HR, they probably let you surf the web. Although I'm sure it's in the name of National Security, which really isn't a good name. I prefer something more traditional like Dale or possibly Ella, if it's a girl. 

Well, after reading this AP story about the CIA on Yahoo, I’m ready to. The story is about how the CIA is looking for new employees, which I guess they call recruits or perhaps newhires or maybe if you're really lucky, agents. The story says that they have shown ads during baseball games, taken out ad space in various magazines and airport billboards as well as during movie trailers. If they're smart, they would take out ads next to the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World ads, which I wrote about just a few posts below - but don't go there yet. I'd like you to finish this one first. It even says the CIA has hired an ad agency. I bet the ad company’s creative folks are having a blast pitching ideas to CIA employees. I can hear it now, “ok guys, if you don’t think this tagline is good, you’re not going to shoot or torture me, right? Guys, smile, that was just a joke, really.” No, it's not a slick pitch like they make on "Mad Men" but it's how I used to pitch clients and I even landed one of them once, so there.

Now I’m glad to know that I wasn’t the only one noticing how weird it is that our government’s intelligence agency is publicly seeking employees. Apparently one of the things the CIA wants to do is wipe away the notion that all CIA work is like the very fictional world of James Bond. I’m sure my stereotypical driveling in the next few paragraphs is the exact type of thinking they want to discourage, but I just can’t help it. And with that, cue the moving gun barrel and the image of a well dressed man walking across it preparing to shoot you. Why yes, you can pretend it's me if you'd like...

What a relief though to know that if the CIA were to hire me I wouldn’t have to go out and buy enough tuxedos for every day of the week. It would be a little sad in a way to be hired by the CIA and have all of those myths associated with covert work demystified so quickly. I could see myself sitting in my new cubicle saying to no one in particular, “so this is it, really? Can my ballpoint pen kill anybody? When do I get to meet Q? Did I miss the lady with the caviar cart or does she come by after lunch?” At that point I’m sure I’d be executed fired.

Although I know nothing about the workings of our country’s intelligence agency (in fact just using the word intelligence usually trips me up), I would imagine that working in a cubicle there beats working in a cubicle for anyone else. My guess is that the two most interesting departments would be HR and the requisitioning department. My mind can only imagine what items would be requisitioned at the CIA. Of course, in reality it’s probably the same type of stuff at any company like pencils, pens, computers, paper, copier toner and explosive tie clips. Wouldn’t it be great to hear a line like, “did you get that order of magnetic, homing device, self destructing wrist watches filled yet,” just once while at work.

HR might be the easiest department since every personnel file would be marked ‘classified.’ Imagine having to review someone’s file to determine whether administrative leave is necessary after he or she destroyed an entire riverfront Bistro in pursuit of a wanted dangerous international smuggler. More than likely, the day-to-day monotony of a CIA HR person would be filled with healthcare enrollment options, retirement packages and sexual harassment claims filed by older cold war relic spies who keep hitting on their new, young secretaries by calling them Ms. Moneypenny and asking if they’d like to see his Aston Martin (if you catch my drift). I should tell you that the notion to go with Pussy Galore instead of Ms. Moneypenny in that last sentence crossed my mind, but there's a certain word there that makes me blush. I shudder to think of using the word Moneypenny in a public setting.  The word should actually be two separate words, but that's how they created it. It's so embarassing when you catch other people making spelling or grammatic errors.

Man, I bet the training films are great to watch. Do you think they save money and just show Bond films or episodes of Get Smart or do you think they actually make the training films themselves complete with monotone narration and lots of great black and white 1950's stock footage? Do the training films talk about how important it is to forget what you overheard during lunch or to only look down at the floor or up to the ceiling when walking down the hall? Are there plenty of suggestions on how to make the perfect double entendre or witty remark after you have killed someone? Does it cover the importance of leaving your disguises in the office and not forwarding government email to your best friend from high school just because it says ‘for your eyes only’ or ‘this message must be destroyed after receipt?’ My mind tingles at the possibilities.

Do you think the CIA plays other government entities in a governmental softball or bowling league? I bet that all the CIA players show up in Ray-Ban sunglasses and fake beards. I wonder if the other teams just throw the games because they are afraid of what would happen if they beat the CIA. No matter what the answers to all of these questions are, I think me asking them out loud has just guaranteed that I will never be invited to work for their agency. Oh well, it was worth a shot, right? After all, you only live twice. And diamonds are forever. And nobody does it better. And tomorrow never dies. And we have all the time in the world (bonus points if you can name which movie that one was in). There, I think I milked that dead horse for all it's worth. Wait, that can't be right...

Monday, April 25, 2016

Let's Get Rid of Monday!

This blog post was originally written in 2006 on a Monday, as I recall...

I have to say how much I hate Mondays. I know that I am not alone and it’s certainly not a new sentiment among the blogging or Facebook community. You can see the disdain for Mondays on the faces of coworkers, other commuters and just about everyone you interact with on this solemn day. Go ahead, wish someone a Happy Monday and see what happens...

It’s time to address the issue head on. Monday should be removed from our calendar. I propose that we make Tuesday the new Monday. Of course, Tuesday has done nothing to deserve the wrath that becoming the new Monday will bring. Therefore, I also propose that Tuesdays become a universal casual day at work. By 'casual,' I don't mean shorts and sandals, although they certainly are welcome. I mean relaxing, kicking back, sipping drinks and visiting with your coworkers (providing you actually find that relaxing) all while listening to music. Plus, because things are so relaxed, you can come in whenever you want!
That and the fact that it’s one day closer to the weekend should help Tuesday remain the somewhat innocuous day it already is. Is there the chance that your company will not want to pay you for relaxing on Back To Work Tuesday? Probably not, remember that the bosses and payroll folks will be relaxing too, just hopefully not with you. That would not be relaxing at all. Well, unless the payroll guy has a little too much to drink and starts doling out 'expense' reimbursements!!

I don’t expect much flak about the abandonment of Mondays except from the folks getting royalties on music about Mondays. I’m speaking of tunes like “Manic Monday,” “Come Monday,” “Monday, Monday” and my favorite “Rainy Days and Mondays.” (Yes, I just used the word 'favorite' in conjunction with the title of a Carpenters song. And yet I still maintain my dignity!) Those Monday songs would become outdated over night. Would it affect “Ruby Tuesday?” I don’t know, I haven't thought that far ahead. Do you really think the Stones are complaining?

When we remove Monday from the calendar it will set in motion a horrible period of chaos and confusion as was expected to occur during the dawn of Y2K. Remember buying up canned goods and erecting a Y2K bunker? No, well then never mind, you daredevil. I suppose you don't cook your pork until it's completely done either! Surely I was not the only one who built a Y2K bunker, right? Well, at least I got a tin-foiled lined, cable TV ready storage shed out of it. I just wish I wasn't still paying it off.

To avoid the problems that converting to a 6-day week would cause, I’ve come up with a solution I hope will be a popular one. We will name the new day Funday and it will become essentially another Sunday (to fill up the empty day) with a Friday feel. This will create the 3-day weekend, every weekend.

So there you have it, a well thought out fair and balanced solution to Mondays. Now if I can just find some crackpot candidate belonging to some obscure political party, we’ll be good to go. We’ll call the new party the Calendarians. Imagine how well a candidate campaigning on the Calendarians’ “Create Funday” ticket would be. How in the world can you run a smear campaign against that? Even if the party loses, man the nominating convention will be a blast!