All posts by JackEdwards

Next Year’s Smash “Must Have” Christmas Gift

Sumptuosus Aquae Perfume

It’s next year’s smash “Must Have” Christmas gift.  Eager consumers will be lining up like penguins in the freezing cold outside Macy’s at 3:00 a.m. on Black Friday clutching their Visas.  Shark Tank producers will be begging me to appear on their show.  And yes, Mr. Wonderful, I’ve got a patent pending (well, patent pending, pending – I’ve bookmarked the US Patent Office website).  Pull out your checkbook Mark Cuban – you’ll want a piece of this!  It’s called Sumptuosus Aquae – and it’s the world’s very first fragrance-free perfume.

Consumers will go bonkers over it, because it solves the problem guys run into every time they add to their mounting unsecured credit card debt trying desperately to please their mate – she sniffs at it like a jug of three-week old milk and then says politely, “It’s nice…, but it’s not for me.”  It’s too sweet.  It’s too musky.  It’s too whatever.  She just doesn’t like it.  But Sumptuosus Aquae solves that problem.  For the very reasonable price of $80, you get a beautiful one ounce spray bottle in a designer box complete with ribbon, or if you really love her, and aren’t just pretending, you can spring for the two ounce bottle for only $120.  Sumptuosus Aquae also solves other common perfume problems:

1. She doesn’t have to worry about applying too much.

2. Those irritating people at the office who are overly sensitive to otherwise pleasant fragrances will stop making their annoying complaints to HR, and will have to divert their time to hunting down those violating the strict peanut allergy regulations (that they helped implement).

3. Sumptuosus Aquae is guaranteed to be 100% hypoallergenic.

4. And, as I explain in detail below, on the off chance that you ever find yourself stranded in the Mohave Desert, you can drink it.  Yes, Sumptuosus Aquae may actually save your girlfriend’s/wife’s/significant other’s life one day!

Mark Cuban, Mr. Wonderful, and the rest of the gang at Shark Tank will have massive heart attacks and take knives to one another scrapping for a piece of this thing.  Why?  Because the mark up on regular perfume (the kind that is incapable of saving your life in the desert, i.e. “non-lifesaving perfume”) is just over one million percent.  Just below the margin on tar heroin.  Well, Ha-Ha to that, because Sumptuosus Aquae knocks the socks off that silly margin.  Why? Because of the pure genius of the patent pending, pending, formula.  You see, thanks to the fact that only three people currently living in the US speak Latin, no one will realize (at least according to Google Translate) that Sumptuosus Aquae is Latin for “expensive water.”  The formula?  Water + Love.  Yeah, that’s right.  We don’t hold back on pouring in the love.  We inject massive amounts of love into each and every bottle.

Don’t wait!  Pre-order your two ounce bottle of life-saving, fragrance-free perfume at www.SumptuosusAquae.com.  Workers at the Culver City Municipal Water Treatment Plant are standing by.

Note from Jack Edwards:  If you enjoyed this week’s column, please consider using the various “share” buttons 🙂  Also consider “subscribing,” and we’ll email you the column each week.  Just click on the menu symbol in the upper right hand corner of this page if you’re on a desktop (the three horizontal lines), or scroll down if you’re on a cell phone.  It’s free, and we promise not to do anything with your email address other than send you the column. Thank you!

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Oregon’s Wine Country Promotional License Plates Might As Well Say, “Pull me over, officer. I’m drunk.”

Oregon Wine Country

It’s supposed to promote state tourism.  I get it.  Oregon has over a dozen of them.  Specialty vehicle license plates that drivers can pay extra to use in lieu of Oregon’s generic green fir tree plate.  Among them are the Salmon plate, the Cultural Trust plate, the Amateur Ham Radio plate, and the Wine Country plate.  The picture on the Wine Country plate is a vineyard with a big WC on it, and if that abbreviation isn’t clear enough, the words, “wine country” are printed below the plate number.  While I can understand the desire of a vineyard or winery owner to slap a Wine Country plate on their BMW, the sheer insanity of anyone else doing so is beyond me.  The “Wine Country” plate might as well say, “Pull me over, officer.  I’m drunk.”

Drivers use these plates to make a statement.  The Salmon plate allows one to emphasize the importance of the conservation of salmon.  The Cultural Trust plate allows the opera and fine arts crowd to stick their noses up in the air an additional five degrees.  And the Ham Radio plate lets the pocket protector brigade proudly announce their expertise.  I have to be careful making too much fun of the ham radio guys (I say guys because I’ve never met a girl interested in ham radio), because when everything collapses (you know, the Big One, total annihilation of modern infrastructure), I may need to hunt down one of these fellows to help me find my relatives, some of them anyway.

The Wine Country plates are a whole different matter.  Drunk driving laws have now become so strict that when a police officer smells even the hint of liquor on a driver’s breath, he is required to immediately stun the person in the neck with a Taser and drag their behinds to the nearest hoosegow.  No questions asked.  These aren’t license plates, they’re targets.  I imagine that Salmon plate people like salmon.  And I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind sticking a Ham Radio plate on their car who isn’t a ham radio operator (unless, of course, they’re just using them to cruise for chicks).  Well, what do you think a cop thinks a Wine Country plate driver is interested in?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Yeah, that’s right Sherlock.

So here’s the nut.  If you have the cojones to bolt a Wine Country plate onto your car, you need to keep three things in your vehicle at all times.  First, the personal cell phone number of a flesh-eating criminal defense lawyer – the kind that eats state troopers for breakfast.  Second, a roll of Benjamins to post your bail.  And third, lip gloss.  Because after you’re arrested, you may as well kiss your *** goodbye.  Why risk chaffing that baby smooth skin of yours in the process?

So, in conclusion, I pose one question to Oregon wine lovers: Have you ever thought of learning the time-honored skill of Amateur Ham Radio?

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The World’s Best Gift for Lawyers OR The Proper Care and Feeding of Sharks

Inscription

According to the most recent census, there is one lawyer for every man, woman, child and four-legged creature living in the continental United States.  (Alaska, of course, is the wild frontier; yes, there are lawyers in Alaska, but they limit their professional activities to officiating at duels.  And Hawaii is the Land of Aloha, and Aloha means never having to hire a lawyer.)  Disturbingly, the number of lawyers continues to increase faster than a herd of bunny rabbits loose in a Viagra factory.  (Yes, it is a “herd” of rabbits.  I always thought it was a “hutch” of rabbits, but it’s a herd.  That’s what my iPhone says, so it’s true.)  This leaves us with a problem – what to get the five lawyers we each know personally for Christmas.  The last thing you want to do is set yourself up to be sued for the common law tort of Negligent Gift Giving.  (And, sadly, we each know lawyers, perhaps close relatives, who would file that nuisance suit in a New York minute.)  Having been down that litigation road before, I am here to help.

Let me begin by ruling out a number of gifts you may so foolishly be considering.

First, forget any products using, claiming to be, or insinuating that they are associated with shark skin.  Especially, shark skin belts.  No, it’s not clever or cute.  And it’s about as original as grandma giving Johnny that t-shirt that says:  “My grandma went to Aruba, and all she got me was this lousy t-shirt.”  Besides, have you priced a shark skin belt?  Ouch.  Find me a lawyer worth that.  I’d want to put him on retainer immediately.

Second, refrain from the tired pen and pencil set.  Sorry, yes it’s cheaper than a shark skin belt, but it’s equally as trite.  It also sends a clear message:  “I refuse to put any thought into this gift, at all.”  A pen and pencil set is in the box of chocolates category.  And you might as well throw that pencil in the trash.  He will.  Nobody uses pencils anymore.

Without further ado, here it is.  The answer to your problems.

[WARNING:  The remainder of this column is an info-laughable.

Info-laughable (in-fo-laf-able), n.  a humorous entertainment designed to be amusing, but also to shamelessly promote a commercial product.]

So, we have arrived at our destination.  The world’s best gift for lawyers.  Drumroll, please….

An inspirational book.

No, not a hardback (Don’t be crazy.  Do you know what a hardback costs these days?).  A paperback.  An uplifting read.  One that comes to mind is The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the Legal Wilderness

http://www.amazon.com/The-Lawyers-Song-Navigating-wilderness/dp/1608443248

You’ll laugh.  You’ll cry.  You’ll thank God you’ve scratched that lousy chore off your list.  And according to 60 Minutes, Amazon will now deliver it by next-day drone.  But remember that the most important thing about presenting any lawyer with a book – the inscription.  Don’t make a costly mistake.  I suggest the following heartfelt sentiment:

“Dearest [fill in name of blood sucker],

I hope you will find sufficient inspiration within these pages to brace you through the stressful year ahead, where few truly appreciate the necessary work you do.  But, please, I beg of you, do not bill me by the tenth of the hour to read this gift!”

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The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the legal wilderness at –

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Seven Rules for the College Playground –

https://buff.ly/2IqXxgn

Seven Secrets You Need to Know to Hire the Right Lawyer –

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Jim Gaffigan: Is He a Hero or Villain?

Hotpockets

Jim Gaffigan is the storm trooper of stand-up comedy.  Search his name on YouTube or Netflix if his name is a mystery to you.  Fair warning, be prepared to spend quality time listening to him expound on the multitude of challenges encountered by the Average Joe, that is if the Average Joe was named Jim and had five young kids.  You can thank me or curse me later.  His comedy is addictive.  That said, people are addicted to both positive and negative things.  Aerobic exercise – good (not for me, of course).  Black tar heroin – arguably bad.  With this in mind, let’s evaluate Jim Gaffigan’s cost/benefit ratio.

You, one of my millions of loyal readers, may ask yourself, who is Jack Edwards to answer this question.  Well, I’m a guy with a laptop, internet access (until my neighbor secures his router), and too much time on my hands; that’s who I am.  But I am also a “student of the game.”  You see, I’ve devoted far more hours than are normal or healthy to watching Jim Gaffigan’s specials on Netflix (complete with frame by frame analysis), and reading his book, Dad is Fat.  My copy is dog-eared (My Corgy Walter got ahold of it).  Let’s just say that I now know far more about the almost infinite varieties of Hot Pockets than is healthy for any middle-aged man.

Let’s get to it:

Reasons Jim Gaffigan is a Hero:

  1. He makes us feel okay about marching into McDonalds and ordering three Big Macs with extra sauce (enough to lube a Toyota Carolla), and even better about answering that iconic question, “Do you want to supersize it?” with a confident, and unhesitating, “I’ll dive across this counter and slam your head into the McMilkshake machine if you don’t.”
  2. He makes us feel okay about living a sedentary lifestyle, where the most activity in one’s day is placing a Hot Pocket in the microwave and then engaging in the aerobic exercise of standing upright peering through the little window waiting for the seconds to tick off the clock only to break down and push the stop button to retrieve the prize seconds before the recommended cooking time.  (Aren’t they already cooked?  Precooked?  I think it’s safe to eat them like a Popsicle if you want.)
  3. His alien-like translucence gives the rest of us the false impression that our skin is tanned akin to the average Mediterranean cabana boy.

Reasons he is a villain:

  1. See #1, #2 and #3 above – especially #2.

As we can determine from this Nobel Prize worthy analysis, I may actually be Jim Gaffigan.  Wait a minute – You may be Jim Gaffigan!  Just what kind of a Twilight Zone episode have I been sucked into?

Conclusion:

Jim Gaffigan is a villero.  He’s half villain and half hero.  You wouldn’t mind having him over for dinner, but you wouldn’t post it on Facebook.  He is in truth, the crack cocaine of comedy.  Slap a PG-13 sticker on his pasty forehead and enjoy.  But, like so many other guilty obsessions, please, don’t let the habit interfere with your day job.

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The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the legal wilderness at –

https://buff.ly/2K41Tax

Seven Rules for the College Playground –

https://buff.ly/2IqXxgn

Seven Secrets You Need to Know to Hire the Right Lawyer –

https://buff.ly/2roFIov

 

 

The World’s Worst Fly Fisherman Reveals His Secrets to Success

Fly Fishing

I didn’t set out to hold the undisputed title of World’s Worst Fly Fisherman, the victory just fell in my lap.  Kind of like winning the lottery, except in reverse.  There’s no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.  Perhaps it was my destiny.  You see I was raised by a bait fisherman – fish eggs, worms, shrimp, you name it.  If it was squirmy or gave off an unpleasant odor, we tossed it in an old soup can and later stuck it on a hook.  Then we added a lead ball the size of a grenade, reared back, lobbed, and hoped for the best.  I didn’t know what fly fishing was when I was a kid.

Then along came the movie A River Runs Through It, and everybody had a heart attack over how majestic it was.  They immediately ran out and cleared the shelves of their local LL Bean, and then raced off to drown themselves in the nearest municipal culvert.  It’s not so majestic when you’re standing on a concrete embankment and casting over the remnants of a discarded truck tire.

A river runs through the valley I grew up in too, but if they shot the movie there, they would have had to call it A Freezing River Runs Through It.  Scientists who claim that life cannot exist below absolute zero have not been fishing with my father.  My dad has a strict policy, no fishing when the weather is above absolute zero.  He would explain to you that if you are serious about landing a steelhead, then you needed to set the Law of Physics aside and man-up.  This policy will explain the first step in my achieving the World Title: I only fish when weather conditions are ideal – not for fishing, don’t be silly, for me.  I enjoy a warm day – not too warm though.  Preferably with a nice breeze.  This is the first jewel in my triple crown.

My wife suggested I give fly fishing a try, because I had been living what you might call a sedentary lifestyle.  (Have you noticed that the word “sedentary” is getting a bad rap all of a sudden?)  My particular activity level at the time was just below that of a medium-sized baked potato.  So she bought me a gift certificate to a local fly fishing shop.

My first visit to this shop was not a pleasant one.  A clerk spotted me wandering around and gave me the onceover like I had just walked into a fine dining restaurant wearing bibbed overalls and a filthy t-shirt.  In the middle of the shop was a wooden box containing a variety of fishing flies.   It was a large display approximately the size of Kansas.  It held hundreds of flies of every size, shape and color.  Many appeared identical.  I made the mistake of pointing this out to the clerk who was assigned to walk around behind me and make sure I didn’t steal anything.  My observation was greeted with slightly muffled arrogant laugh as he lifted two of what appeared to be the same fly and held them in front of me.  “A fish can tell the difference between this,” he shook the first and paused for emphasis, “and this,” as he shook the other.  I then made the second mistake when I asked, “Well, if a fish can tell the difference between this one and that one, why can’t it tell the difference between either of those and the real bug?”  My clerk then made a face which I interpreted to mean that I was hopeless.  Which, in his defense, turned out to be true.

By utilizing the time-tested recipe for success – devoting time and attention to one’s new pursuit – and turning it on its head, I finally captured the crown.  It was not an easy task, but if you would like to compete with me in the big leagues, if you would like to threaten my title, I have three pieces of advice.  First, never set your alarm clock to wake you up at the “crack of dawn.”  Sleep in, enjoy a nice breakfast, and peruse the morning paper.  Second, if it’s raining, or even looking like it might rain, forget about it.  And finally, only fish in “catch and release only” areas.  That way, if some misguided fish has the audacity to strike at your hook and disturb an otherwise peaceful stroll along the river bank, you never have to clean it.  Oh, and take plenty of snacks.

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The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the legal wilderness at –

https://buff.ly/2K41Tax

Seven Rules for the College Playground –

https://buff.ly/2IqXxgn

Seven Secrets You Need to Know to Hire the Right Lawyer –

https://buff.ly/2roFIov

 

 

How to Enjoy a Smoke Free Casino

Smoke Free Slots

I recently attended a professional conference near a large casino.  Naturally, I was drawn like a moth to the flame.  I decided to drop by and make a small donation to the cause.  After all, at least it would buy me the privilege of sitting on an uncomfortable stool and damaging my retinas for a couple of hours.  My only hesitation, however, was my sanctimonious aversion to cigarette smoke.  As you may know, an impenetrable wall of smoke sits immediately inside the entrance of every casino.  Federal law requires this.  Casinos face stiff fines if the smoke plume hovering over the main floor drops beneath a specific density.  If a federal regulator with 20/20 vision can see through the cloud past the third slot machine, he is required to shut the casino down until the casino can reach acceptable plume density.  But lucky for me, this casino advertised Smoke Free Slots. 

The gambling industry likes to refer to itself as the gaming industry.  (Another name for it is the mob, but you might be wise to steer clear of that little descriptor, unless you’re on good terms with your orthopedic surgeon.)  The term gaming apparently puts people in a better mood to drop next month’s rent in pursuit of a jackpot.

Like most middle-aged folks, I grew up around people who smoked.  We never thought about it.  Someone might ask, “Mind if I smoke?” as they lit up in your home or car.  Or they might not.  And car ashtrays were for ashes, not spare change.  Ashtrays were everywhere, every table of every restaurant.  You were never ten feet from an ashtray.  Now we refer to secondhand smoke in the same tone we reserve for the term radioactive death plume.  It’s now socially acceptable to remove the tire iron from your car and bludgeon anyone who lights up within 25 feet of you.  Especially in my state.  My state has outlawed even displaying a cigarette in public.  People react as though you’re brandishing a Colt .45.

Except in casinos.

In states that have banned smoking in public places, not only is smoking banned from restaurants, but in venues where smokers have traditionally hung out – bars, pool halls, bowling alleys.  Casinos are the smokers’ last refuge.  It was into this lion’s den I entered to enjoy their Smoke Free Slots.

I’m not an architect or an environmental engineer, but as I made my way through the doorway and down the hall to the Smoke Free Slots, I looked to my left and noticed what appeared to be a minor design flaw.  There was no wall separating the Smoke Free Slots from the main casino floor.  The designer also forgot one of his fourth grade science lessons – the one about smoke rising.  The floor of the Smoke Free Slots area was elevated from the main floor.  I had to hand it to them though.  There was noticeably less smoke hovering over the Smoke Free Slots.  The haze was akin to LA on a crisp spring day when the coastal breezes are blowing 30 to 40 percent of the smog inland.

I walked to the farthest back corner and took a seat.  My eyes were tingling only slightly from the mildly smoky, smoke-free air, so I fed the machine a bill.  No sooner had the machine swallowed my money when a burly guy in a windbreaker plopped down in front of the machine next to me.  He fed it a twenty, and yes, simultaneously lit up a butt.  In his defense, I feel compelled to admit, How was he to know?  But that was it for me.  This was the point of my swift surrender and hasty retreat.

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The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the legal wilderness at –

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Seven Rules for the College Playground –

https://buff.ly/2IqXxgn

Seven Secrets You Need to Know to Hire the Right Lawyer –

https://buff.ly/2roFIov

 

 

American Football Renamed “Handball”

Handball

I am as stubborn as the next guy.  Do I ever stop and ask for directions?  No.  Even when I’m hopelessly lost?  No.  Even running late to an important event?  No.  A wedding?  No.  A funeral?  Sorry, not going to happen.  Back when the United States was trying desperately to convert to the metric system, I was playing defense on the front line.  It was not going to happen.  Not on my watch.  We measure by feet, gallons and pounds.  Liters are for smarmy folks who prefer mineral water over tap water.  I am still duking the liter thing out.  I make a point of buying my soda in 12 and 16 ounce containers.  I scorn the half liters and the liter bottles.  In short, I am as set in my ways as any other red blooded, ethnocentric American.  I offer this proof of my loyalty to tradition, because I am about to commit sport’s fan heresy.  I may even need to enter the witness protection program, change my name, and get a nose job.

The title says it all.  It is indeed time for the US to man-up and join the rest of the civilized (and uncivilized) world in referring to the game Americans call soccer, by its more logical name, football.  Yes, I am fully aware that this would cause a domino effect.  We would need to rename our national sport (No, not baseball – wake up buddy; look at those empty stadium seats).  American football has little to do with feet.  In fact, it has as much to do with feet as soccer has to do with hands.  So, there you have it – we should rename American football “handball.”  (Now don’t start whining; the runner-up alternative name was my personal favorite, “concussion ball.”)  “But Jack,” you say, “shouldn’t we ask the Canadians?  They play American football too.”  No.  They’ll just need to get with the program.  It’s not real football anyway.  “But Jack, there is already a sport called handball.”  No, not really.  There are only three people who play handball, and I have already spoken to each one.  They were fine with it.  I gave them their choice of three new names: Palm ball, small ball, or wall ball.  They chose wall ball for obvious reasons.  When I mentioned to them that racquet ball players used walls too, almost in unison, they chuckled and whispered something in a derogatory tone under their breath.  Then they stared at me as if they had just eaten something sour.

And here is where you, my loyal readers, come in to play.  Although my audience includes readers from over 50 countries (a true and shocking fact—who would have imagined?), only a tornado-like social media revolution will rock my pig-headed brethren into even considering this modest and reasonable change.  (As a side note, it would be great for the American economy, like when Apple decided to screw everybody over by changing the plugin for the iPhone 5 and force us to buy new $20 chargers that cost Apple a negative one penny to produce, except here it would be sports apparel).  I know that both the American and the world football audience is out there.  In fact, I wrote a column titled “Stinky Football Fan Creates Chaos,” and loyal fans of Jocularious.com nearly burned up GoDaddy’s servers.  So I rest my case.  I’ve done my duty.  It’s now time for the world’s soccer fans to like, share and tweet this worthy cause to victory.  Let the handball revolution begin!

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The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the legal wilderness at –

https://buff.ly/2K41Tax

Seven Rules for the College Playground –

https://buff.ly/2IqXxgn

Seven Secrets You Need to Know to Hire the Right Lawyer –

https://buff.ly/2roFIov

 

How to Avoid a Halloween Candy-mare

Candy-mare

When I bought my house, the realtor told me to stock up on candy.  She said the next street over really went all out on Halloween.  “Stock up on candy” turned out to be code for, “Cash out your 401K and hire a former Army Supply Sergeant to coordinate candy distribution logistics.”    My new neighborhood turned out to be Ground Zero for trick or treating.  I don’t know what drives a person to take the time, effort and expense to stage a full horror show complete with severed limbs and Zombies in his front yard.  Let’s face it, people who go turbocharged nuts for Halloween are a little off.  They’re whacked.  A piece of their brain is missing.  And the odds of a dozen of these people end up living on the same block is astronomical.  Think DNA identification testing error.  Of course, what probably happened is that one weirdo moved in and then infected his neighbors.  His neighbors being people who happened to lack self-esteem and might otherwise have gone off camping with a Jimmy Jones type in Guyana who promised a refreshing Kool-Aid spritzer after they got the tents set up. 

We have kids who live in the neighborhood.  But we don’t have two million kids.  Parents actually bus these rascals in.  Beginning just before dusk, a convoy of 1986 Dodge Caravans driven by chain-smoking moms in moo-moos arrive and unload their precious cargo of running noses. This year, Halloween nearly killed me.  I had been nursing a lower back strain and getting up and down every 30 to 90 seconds was really aggravating it.  To make matters worse, and yes it shames me to say this, I had recorded an episode of Nashville that I was trying to watch.  (Don’t judge me – you’re no better!)  It took me an hour to get through the first ten minutes of the program.  The interruptions were incessant.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to follow an episode of Nashville, but I was losing track. 

Earlier in the evening, a friend of mine who I’ll refer to as “Tim,” because his name is Tim, posted the following warning on his Facebook page: “Any child caught trespassing on my lawn tonight will be shackled, beaten and hung from the basketball hoop in my driveway!”  I found it more than honorable of Tim to broadcast fair warning via the worldwide web, though I paused to wonder what percentage of five to eleven year olds were likely to check their Facebook updates given their near total insane focus of collecting as much free candy as possible prior to their mother calling “time” from the Caravan.  Tim later added the comment that next year he planned to install strategically placed punji stick pits throughout his front yard.               

Now that another festive Halloween has passed, let me offer a few brief guidelines for next year’s celebration:

  1. Wear a costume.  I’m happy to hand out candy to anyone between the ages of fetus and 110, but wear a costume.  “I’m a babysitter.  I’m babysitting these other kids.” No.
  2. Open your bag.  I’m handing out free candy here folks.  I’m not your manservant or your valet.  Don’t just stick you bag out; open it up.
  3. If you’re an adult in street clothes accompanying a child, don’t stick out a bag after I’ve put candy in your kid’s bag.  There are two kinds of pathetic.  There is regular pathetic, and then there’s the overweight adult with no costume begging for candy pathetic.  (Listen to me here, folks.  These are nuggets.)
  4. If you’re trick or treating in Tim’s neighborhood, you might consider staying on the walkways.  On this note, I have something shameful to confess.  When Tim recently posted a question on Facebook asking where he could purchase dry bamboo to make punji sticks, my “buy local and sustainable” instincts kicked in, and I suggested that straight-grained Douglas fir should work just as effectively.

Well, I need to go now.  One of the Dodge Caravans broke down in my driveway last night, and I told the owner I would jumpstart her battery.

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Google Buys NSA on eBay

Google Final

At a press conference yesterday, Google announced that it had purchased the National Security Agency (NSA) from the US government.  The Obama administration had posted the agency on eBay earlier that day, and Google used the “Buy It Now” feature to secure the purchase.  Google spokesperson Charlie Snort explained that the timing of the purchase was perfect.  “This appears to be the final tool, or piece of the puzzle as it were, which will enable Google to complete its stated mission to collect and catalog all available data of not only those living in the United States and among the free world, but indeed, all seven billion people on earth.”  Snort added that Google already had the ability to filter most email traffic and capture the inner most personal thoughts and desires of the public.  Now, however, with its newly acquired intelligence agency, the company will be able to assure any entity seeking to purchase information the from Mountain View, California company that it can feel confident that few if any secrets remain.  “Very little mystery will continue to exist concerning any particular target,” Snort added.  The spokesperson was quick to correct his use of the word “target” and explained he meant to say “person.”  “Our customers can now feel comfortable that whether they need to know the favorite cuisine of the First Lady of France, or the lingerie tastes of the guy down the street, Google stands ready to deliver.”

Reached during a rare appearance at a White House briefing, President Obama proudly described the sale as a major coup for his administration.  “This is yet another example of my administration’s continued willingness to reach across party lines in the spirit of compromise.  My friends in The Tea Party haven’t been able to shut up about the need to shrink government and privatize traditional governmental operations.  Well, here you go.  Heck, I’ve attended several top security briefings during my tenure as Commander and Chief, and it’s clear to me that most of the ‘intelligence’ the NSA has gathered as of late is from Google anyway.  Just wait until Google staffers unlock the doors to the NSA offices.  I wish I could be a fly on the wall and see their faces.  Believe me, all they’re going to find is a bunch of notepads with Google passwords written on them.  Okay, they might find a Yahoo account in there too, but, come on….” he added with his trademarked chuckled.  “Now, instead of calling in a representative from the NSA for a briefing, I can just type my inquiry into my Google taskbar.  And,” he added with a grin, “don’t forget to note that we got our ‘Buy It Now’ price on eBay.  How often does that happen?  Suckers! This was yet another Obama victory for the American People.”

Later in the day, Google issued a written press release assuring citizens of the United States that the new division of its company collecting and cataloging terrorist threats to the American people would be provided to law enforcement agencies at “a steep discount.”

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Stinky Football Fan Creates Chaos

Stinky

Dear Abby,

I am at my whit’s end.  I requested a change in the location of my college football season tickets, and couldn’t be happier with the new view; however, my wife and I quickly realized why these seats became available.  The guy to our left smells like a dead possum.  The stink fumes rising off this guy are actually visible.  I have visited landfills on hot August days that were less offensive.  After considerable thought, we have identified the following options:

Option 1.  The stadium has a “jumbotron,” an enormous video screen visible to all 60,000 people in attendance.  For an immodest fee, fans can post announcements during breaks in the game.  Birthday wishes.  Anniversaries.  An occasional marriage proposal.  (This is the University of Oregon’s Autzen Stadium – but delete this comment before you publish this, I don’t need to get dragged out to the parking lot by the athletic department’s henchmen and put through a little “Spring Training” if you get my drift.  Let’s just say they don’t tolerate criticism of their program very kindly, even if it is just one smelly guy in Section 32.  I repeat, DELETE THIS COMMENT BEFORE PUBLICATION!) Anyway, my idea is to surreptitiously take a photo of my neighbor using my iPhone, and then posting the photo with an anonymous message on the jumbotron.  Something subtle.  I’m thinking, something like, “When even your dog won’t sit next to you, it’s probably time for a shower!”  This option could also include hiring one of those planes that fly over the stadium before the game pulling a banner.

Option 2.  I watch my share of law enforcement dramas on television.  So I have seen my fair share of fake autopsies.  The pathologists and cops are always smearing some sort of gel beneath their noses to dull the odor of the corpse.  (Sometimes the tv detectives smear this stuff on before they enter a home where some poor sap of a beat cop has discovered a decomposed body; so you know it’s got to be good.)  If that stuff is real, I could get some of it.  Of course, it would take away from the “crisp fall day” experience, but the air isn’t too crisp as it stands now.  Right now, it’s the “ripe fall air.”

Option 3.  I could confront him.  Tactfully.  Now keep in mind, I don’t know this fellow.  He is a complete stranger.  And this would take something of which I am in desperately short supply.  Courage.  This is the Achilles heel of Option 3.  I floated the idea by my wife that she might engineer this little social intervention.  She explained her position on my request as follows, and I quote, “No.”

So, Dear Abby, I implore you.  Help!  If you are kind enough to respond to my plea for advice, I can use Option 4:  Taping your column to his seat prior to the next game.  So, please, in your answer, refer to us as “Sitting behind him.”

Signed,

Sincerely,

“Victims of the stinker in front of us!”

_______

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