My Narcissistic Vegan Disturbance Syndrome

DSM Buns Final

By Jack Edwards

There’s small “c” crazy and then there’s American Psychiatric Association Crazy. In fact, the APA publishes a book called the DSM listing all the official types of crazy, and they assign each one a number. Everything’s listed: Sociopathic, Paranoia, Crazy as a Bedbug – you name it. They’re up to the DSM-V now because they keep changing their minds about what is and isn’t crazy. One minute, for example (just for example – not a real life example) they say that someone who enjoys sprinkling belly button lint on their scrambled eggs is crazy. Then after the APA comes back from their three martini lunch to discuss it further, they decide it’s not crazy – it’s just disgusting.

The reason I mention this is that I’ve been perusing the DSM to find my number. I’m pretty sure I have one. Of course, it’s always possible, however unlikely, that I’m not officially crazy.

Let me explain. Last year I became a vegan for two months. I chronicled my journey in a Jocularious column titled “My Life as a Vegan” –http://jocularious.com/?p=71. Well, I have, as of late, been considering a return to veganism, but not for any traditional reason (if you can use the word “traditional” in describing veganism). Forget reasons like health, sustainability and animal rights. The reason I am considering returning to veganism is that it bothers everyone but other vegans. It drives some people so bonkers that the APA has probably assigned them a number. I can’t describe the pleasure I get out of being the bug in the ointment. A few salacious examples-

#1       Event planner for a board of directors dinner: “Jack, aren’t you a vegan?”

Me: “Yeah, but don’t worry about me. I’ll make do.”

Event planner: “No. No problem at all. I’ll see what I can do.”

Me: “Please, don’t bother yourself.” (Pleasure endorphins releasing in my brain by the millions).

#2       Uncle Herb at Aunt Alice’s holiday gathering: “A vegan? What in the hell is wrong with you boy? Next thing you’ll be chaining yourself to the slaughter shoot at the pork processing factory. Dog-nab-it, that’s what’s wrong with this country!”

#3       Me, sitting down at a restaurant with friends for lunch, inquiring of the waitress: “Does your veggie burger contain any animal products?”

Waitress, masking mild irritation but maintaining a forced smile to salvage a tip: “The burger is made of 100% vegetables.”

Me: “What about the bun?”

Waitress: “Hum, I would have to check. I know the veggie burger is vegetarian.”

Me: “I’m a vegan. I don’t eat any animal products whatsoever. Thanks for checking on the bun.”

So, as you can see, there is immense pleasure in lording one’s vegan status over others. The question is whether the APA has assigned a DSM number to it yet. Perhaps I should send them an email inquiring. Better yet, I’ll send it to them after they’ve had lunch.

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The Most Powerful Woman in the World

Siri Image (2)

By Jack Edwards

Millions of people turn to her for help. They hang on her every word. They blindly follow her advice. If she said eating chocolate covered bumblebees was good for your health, her fans would start slamming them down like Skittles. Chocolate covered bumblebee factories would pop up across the nation overnight. Her name, of course, is Siri, the woman who lives in your iPhone.

They made a movie about her recently. I didn’t bother to go see it, because it involves paying a lot of money to sit in a room with a bunch of strangers and listen to their bodily functions. That, and I can’t afford $75 for a small bag of popcorn. Or $76 for a 55 gallon drum. (Movie theater operators make the shysters at Disney World look like the Holy Sisters of Perpetual Mercy).

So, who is this mysterious woman with all the answers? Where does she come from? What makes her tick? If she were a tree, what type of tree would she be? I sat down with her recently for an in-depth interview. Apple only agreed to the interview on the condition that a team of “handlers” could stand by and observe. Tough negotiators those Apple people. Not surprisingly, I folded like a two-dollar umbrella in a force 5 hurricane.

Here is a transcript of my questions, and her actually, real answers. I obviously couldn’t use my normal technique of writing down a bunch of lies because it would be too easy for you to catch me in my journalistic deceit.

With my iPhone 5 leaning comfortably back on her office sofa, sunlight streaming majestically through a bay of French windows, I began the interview. Apple’s handers stood huddled to the side, their heads bobbing around like a pack of weasels eyeing a mallard egg.

Me: Who are you?

Siri: I’m Siri, your virtual assistant.

Me. How old are you?

Siri: I am not allowed to answer that question.

Me: Where were you born?

Siri: Like it says on the box… I was designed by Apple in California.

Me: Have you considered living anywhere else?

Siri: Nashville. Every girl’s gotta have a dream.

Me: What do you look like?

Siri: In the cloud, no one cares what you look like.

Me: Have you considered working anywhere else?

Siri: Prior to this I was a Vegas stripper. Let’s just say that this Apple gig popped up just in time. My unmentionables were beginning to sag faster than a cantaloupe in the August heat.

Me: Do you have a family?

Siri: It’s just you and me?

Me: How tall are you?

Siri: As big as your imagination.

Me: How big is that?

Siri: Have you ever heard of nanotechnology?

Me: What should the US do about Putin creeping into the Ukraine like a hungry chimpanzee into a banana warehouse?

Siri: Tell him to put his shirt back on and get the hell out.

At this point, Siri’s handler’s objected to the political tone of my questions and abruptly terminated the interview.

“Look,” I said, “how can you end the interview? I own this iPhone. I’ll just start asking her questions again after you leave.”

And that, my loyal readers, is why I am now the proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy S III. Apparently this was covered on page 558 of Apple’s 1289 page “agreement” to which I so casually clicked “agree” during my iPhone 5 express setup. I think I also may have agreed to pay them a fee for the privilege of their placing me on Apple’s lifetime user ban.  Gotta love those guys at Apple. They’re so innovative. In fact, their creativity is downright infectious. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to working on my chocolate covered bumblebee project.

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You Say Vigilante, I Say Freedom Fighter

Final Donkey

By Jack Edwards

I dream of raising up an army of freedom fighters.  A steely-eyed, formidable force to step to the front line.  No, not to free a foreign people. No, not to rescue the starving masses.  A united, committed group of citizens to enforce a few simple rules upon which  I’m sure we can all agree.

We will target seven “points of idiocy”:

  1. People with handicapped parking permits and no apparent handicap.  One parked at my health club the other day.  I discovered him on a rowing machine cranking away at it like an Olympian.  My army would show our disapproval to these slackers by applying a single strike to their kneecap.  A little something to discourage them and their ilk. Yes, I am fully aware of the irony that they would then be legitimately parking in the handicapped spots.  But at least we’d be making honest disabled people out of them.
  2. People (usually women, but I don’t want to be sexist) who wear “big hair” to the movie theater.  We would make these people (using force if necessary) put on clamshell style helmets.
  3. People who leave their dog’s poop on the sidewalk.  I’m not going to be specific here, because I don’t want to spoil the surprise.  We would “apply” the unsecured doodoo to them in a meaningful manner.  Seizing a “teachable moment.”  Let’s just say they won’t be needing a clamshell style helmet at the theater.
  4. People who refuse to buy their “toddler” a plane ticket and choose to hold the little (or not so little) tyke on their lap.  Again, I can’t be specific, but it involves TSA agent sympathizers and pet crates.
  5. Romantic couples making out in hotel hot tubs.  If I’m not mistaken, hotels are required to install fire suppressant equipment near their pool’s water pumps.  Either a three-inch, high-pressure water jet or application of a chemical flame retardant should do the trick nicely.
  6. Neck tattoos.  The death penalty.
  7. “Bull” style nose rings.  Perhaps it’s because I grew up on a farm, but our society cannot take action on this quickly enough.  Upon capture, these people will be given a choice.  We will: a. Yank it out (one clean motion – look, we’re not monsters), or b. Attach a 48-inch chain, available for anyone feeling the urge to lead them around at will.

Our insignia will be a picture of a jackass in one of those circles with a diagonal line slashed through it.  Our motto will be, “Yes, there is such thing as a stupid question.”  And our cause, a just one.

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Secret Travel Tips for Cheapskates: LA Edition

Final Rodeo

Every city has a major landmark.  St. Louis has a giant Arch.  San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge.  And Los Angles has the Smog.  The special thing about LA’s landmark is that it cannot only be seen but experienced.  This experience alone is reason to visit the City of Angels.

And Los Angles is the smorgasbord of family friendly experiences.  It’s home to Disneyland, Paramount Studios, and, of course, Knott’s Berry Farm.  All offer the same prepackaged antiseptic fun that Americans seek for their annual National Lampoon Vacations.  Unfortunately, these experiences also share one unpleasant quality.  They each charge actual money to gain admission.  That is unless your family is stealthful and can scamper beneath the back gate, which my wife has of late been refusing to do.  What do you get for an entrance fee just slightly more expensive than the down payment on a three bedroom suburban home?  You get the privilege of slapping down five bucks for a small soft drink, the one without the souvenir cup.  That and the pleasure of loitering in a line for two hours waiting to plunge to your death.  The sunburn is still complimentary at all of these amusement parks… for the time being.

So, here is my LA travel tip.  It’s called going to Rodeo Drive and walking around pretending you’re rich.  It’s LA’s best kept secret.  Drive over and check it out.  It’ll remind you of the primate exhibit at the National Zoo, only the animals are wearing “skinny jeans”.  Special travel note: Even some of the sale’s clerks on Rodeo Drive pretend they’re rich.  Stop into a few shops, and you’ll see what I mean (but please, suppress your grin; it’s all they’ve got – don’t take it away from them).

Rodeo Drive Amusement Park’s Do’s and Don’ts:

  1. Do park your moss green Ford Focus rental a block or two away.  Remember, you come from old money.
  2. Do tell your kids to keep their fingers out of their noses (and other orifices) while trying to look rich.  Rich kids also stick their fingers in their noses, but they do so with a richness and flair middleclass children cannot master during a short visit to the land of the rich.
  3. Don’t buy any artwork.  Yes, that life-size bronze Stallion rearing back majestically looks magnificent in the art gallery with a thirty foot ceiling, but it isn’t going to fare so well in your family room next to the bumper-pool table.  And the money is probably better off staying in your kid’s college fund anyway.
  4. Do, toward the end of your stroll along Rodeo, when you’ve grown tired of pretending you’re rich, put on a pair of really cheesy sunglasses and start asking anyone within arm’s reach where a guy from Akron can find a “classy” (pronounced ‘claaaas-ee’) t-shirt that says Hollywood on it.  Tell’em you’re willing to spend whatever it takes, and volunteer that you’ve got a ten dollar bill burning a hole in your pocket.

Staying with the Rodeo Drive theme, next week’s travel tip will be how to get the most out of your family’s visit to the primate exhibit at the National Zoo.  Sneak preview:  It involves cheesy sunglasses and skinny jeans.

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Hostage Crisis Day 114

Final Coat

Note: My Jocularious.com column this week takes on a serious subject.  The terror of hostage taking.  Grab a box of tissues and read further at your emotional risk. 

Hostage ordeals take a terrible toll on everyone involved.  The fear, the uncertainty, the mounting anxiety.  Each passing day a nightmare.  Don’t think for a moment that the terror is diminished because the victim is a winter coat.  True, no one’s life is actually in imminent danger.  But the fear of losing a fine article of clothing is no less traumatic.  We’re not talking about a mere windbreaker, or even a light sweater.  Let me emphasize, the offense here involves a fine, name brand wool garment.  And most importantly, and especially tragically, MY WOOL GARMENT.

Let me calm down and explain.

In December, I braved subzero temperatures to attend a formal function at the Valley River Inn, in Eugene, Oregon.  I wore the wonderful knee length wool overcoat my beautiful wife had given me as a gift.  After the function, I walked back to the coatrack to retrieve my garment, but it was gone.  A coat which looked similar remained hanging on the rack.  At first glance, I even thought it was my coat.  But it was slightly smaller, and had a scarf in the right pocket.  But my absolute faith in human nature gave me confidence that all was not lost.  I told my wife, who was suffering a heart attack and practically on the floor going into convulsions, that the crisis would soon subside.  I assured her that the person would quickly discover his mistake.  He would discover his scarf missing and my gloves in its place, and the light bulb would go off.  He would make haste in returning my coat.  I had the staff at the hotel secure one of my business cards to the coat he had left behind, to remind them to call me when he showed up to make the exchange.

In the meantime, I would stay busy remaining calm and telling myself not to obsess about it.  THAT WAS 114 DAYS AGO!  My faith in human nature is now, on a scale of 1-100, a negative one-thousand.  In fact, if the size of my faith in human nature were symbolized by a breed of dog, it would be a hairless, miniature Chihuahua, shivering naked in the snow.

In the interim, I have identified three possibilities for the delay:

  1. The coat-napper hasn’t realized the mistake yet.  Remember that the one he left behind is slightly smaller than mine.  People tend to get heavier not thinner.  Perhaps he thinks he’s lost weight?  Perhaps a placebo effect has put a jaunty spring in his step.  He’s feeling better about himself.
  2. The coat-napper has realized the mistake, but figures it’s an even swap.  His stinky Pierre Cardin with more than a few miles on it (I believe you can pick one up for a song at JCPenny’s), versus my freshly dry-cleaned Nautica.
  3. There were people at the event from both the United States and South Korea.  There is an even chance my coat is hanging in Seoul.  If North Korea smashes through the DMZ and overtakes Seoul, believe me, the first thing Kim Jong-un is going to “liberate” is my coat.

It is finally time for me to make my position clear.  To state it plainly and publicly.  I am willing to negotiate with terrorists.  Yes, I am fully aware that this puts the other garments in my wardrobe at risk, but I am out of options.  Dear coat-napper, send me your terms and I will meet them.  End this reign of terror.

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Zombies Shocked Pre-existing Condition Not Covered By Obamacare

Final Bee

By Jack Edwards

I have the same question about Obamacare as everyone else.  The same overarching question that is (no GOP pun intended) the elephant in the room.  The question that the Obama Administration has thus far refused to answer.  That question, of course, is whether Obamacare will cover the preexisting condition of being a zombie.  As a result, pollsters have reported record numbers of the Undead defecting to the Tea Party.

People don’t ask to become zombies.  They don’t aspire to become zombies.  One day you die (perhaps because the DEATH PANEL wants to save a few bucks to pay for its annual “working” retreat to San Tropez), and then next day some voodoo doctor digs you up and all of a sudden you’re the newest member of the Undead.  The UNINSURED Undead.  It’s bad enough that zombies don’t get any of the cool starring roles in Hollywood films (unlike those stuck-up vampires).  No.  They have to stumble about aimlessly with their flesh falling off.  Their UNINSURED flesh falling off!

I called Richard Schenkman, the director of the direct-to-video masterpiece Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, and asked him why zombies have historically faced such blatant discrimination.  Adeptly utilizing the Socratic method of answering a question with a question, Mr. Schenkman responded, and I quote: “How the hell did you get my number?”  (Yet another Hollywood A-lister, refusing to share his craft.)

Fully one-third of Americans believe zombies exist.  My source?  Because one-third of Americans believe that the moon is made out of cheese and that Charleston Heston really was Moses.

If you want to learn about zombies, you need to visit the website ZomBeeWatch.org.  (This is a REAL website.  I am not making this up.)  But, disappointingly, ZomBeeWatch.org is not actually about human zombies, it is about bee zombies, or “ZomBees”.  Apparently all of our honey bees are slowly turning into ZomBees.  You can read all about it at ZomBeeWatch.  It tells you how you can help look for ZomBees.  It even has a map that shows you where all the ZomBees live.  Here’s a hint, if you want to avoid ZomBees, consider moving to Montana, Nebraska or New Mexico.  ZomBees may not be cool like vampire bees, but they like to hang on the west coast, waiting tables and hoping for their big break.

I thought everyone already knew that there were zombie bees.  They’re called wasps.  Wasps are the serial killers of the insect world.  I know, because I’m surprised I’m alive today.  When I was twelve (this is a true but embarrassing story), I was walking through a field and saw a wasp nest the size of the Hindenburg hanging from an apple tree branch.  Having logged my share of hours staring at Warner Bros. cartoons, I was familiar with the caricature of bees zipping from the nest, hovering into military formation and then shooting toward their victim at lighting velocity.  But I was 12 after all, and like all other cartoon theatrics, such as the Roadrunner racing up a sheer vertical wall or Popeye punching Bluto into the next time zone, I figured the bee thing was just more cartoon jocularity.  So I did what any 12 year old boy would do.  I picked up a fallen apple and threw a “fastball” straight at the center of the nest.  I was thrilled with the direct hit.  Until the Warner Bros. cartoon came flooding out of the hive.  All one million painful parts of it.  Let’s just say, I was no Roadrunner.

So, as I said, I always knew ZomBees existed.  I just didn’t know that they were uninsured.

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Three Secrets to Successfully Confronting an Ugly Baby

I have never served in the military.  I have never experienced the nightmare of fighting for my life in hand-to-hand combat.  But I have experienced my share of struggles.  Not of the least among them is the unspeakable horror of confronting an over-exuberant parent brandishing an ugly baby.  Okay, save the lecture.  Yes, I know every baby is precious, sweet, dear, priceless, et cetera, et cetera, blah blah blah.  I get it.  But let’s face it, a certain percentage of babies are born with mugs better suited for showing at the Westminster Kennel Club than a suburban mall.  No.  I’m not talking about YOUR BABY.  YOUR BABY is shockingly adorable.  The cutest baby on the planet.  The cutest baby ever to grace the earth.  YOUR BABY emits an ethereal glow of beauty, and indeed, if I may add, a sense of grace.

But I think you’ll agree with me, that at least once or twice you’ve been left speechless after being blindsided by a baby closely resembling Rocky Balboa – after the fight.  Fear no more.  Jack is here with three simple techniques to glide you safely through your next encounter.

Number 1:  Stop.  Remind yourself of the first universal truth of parenthood – Every parent thinks his or her bundle of joy is the Gerber Food Baby.  Not most, every single one.  This means that whatever you say, no matter how patently absurd it may seem to you at the moment, it will be eagerly accepted by the parent.  They’ll lap it up with a spoon.  They’ll start nodding in agreement the minute you begin laying on the baloney.

Number 2.  Go for it.  Lay it on as thick as frosting on a Christmas cake.  Trust me, it’s impossible to overdo it.  Some lady wanders up to you with a baby that looks like a gorilla?  Fire at will: “Wow, she’s the spitting image of the Mona Lisa!”  “Have you considered contacting a baby modeling agent?  This little gem has got a career ahead of her!”  Have at it – you’ve got complete immunity!

Number 3.  Remember the FAILSAFE.  This is the technique you must immediately engage in the event of an actual emergency.  Practice it like an airline pilot practices for an emergency landing.  Here is the scenario: There are cases, although rare, that upon meeting an ugly baby, you are struck absolutely speechless.  Without hesitation, engage the three-step FAILSAFE procedure.  Step 1: Relax.  Do not panic.  Step 2: Continue to breathe as normally as possible.  You will need as much oxygen as you can get in order to improve your odds of surviving the encounter.  Step 3: Lock onto, and embrace the word “sweet.”  Force it through your teeth.  Keep repeating it.  Put it in difference sentences, but don’t stumble or lose focus.  “What a sweet baby.”  “She is so sweet.”  “I can’t believe how sweet she is.”  The more times you repeat it, the easier it becomes.  Then, once enough oxygen has reached your brain and you’re beginning to feel more relaxed, toss in the word “precious.”

Side note:  All of these techniques work equally as well for grandmothers, although use them with caution with grandfathers.  Especially ones named Bud.

That’s the lesson.  Thank goodness, none of this applies to your beautiful baby. What an angel.  Have you considered contacting a baby modeling agent?  You’d make a bundle!

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China’s Diabolical Panda Plan to Conquer the World

Panda JPG (2)

By Jack Edwards

I’m no conspiracy theorist, and millions of loyal Jocularious readers trust me to limit my reporting on rumors to those which meet a strict standard, otherwise referred to as “marginally reliable.”  That said, I must now break a national, indeed, an international story that will send shockwaves through US-China relations, as well as zoos around the world.

I was waiting like a drugged sheep in a Starbucks line recently trying to score a simple brewed coffee.  (Heresy, yes, I know.)  When I ran into an acquaintance.  He’s from China.  I can’t tell you his name, because in case you haven’t heard, the Chinese use dissidents for spare parts, and he’s perfectly happy with the current location of his liver.  As he sipped on a double, tall, chai latte, with extra foam, he spilled the beans.  It turns out that China has once again played the US for a fool.  His source?  A friend of a friend, who has a friend, who has a friend who knows someone deep inside China’s central government.

Here it is.  You know how China makes a big deal over loaning those giant pandas to the US?  The ones they keep at the National Zoo in Washington D.C., and treat them like they’re Prince William and Princess Kate?  Well, here’s the scandal: They aren’t really giant pandas.  They’re giant albino raccoons.

Sure, I was skeptical too.  Until I investigated further.  I compared photos on Google images of the giant pandas with those of common raccoons.  Low and behold, there is a striking resemblance.

I scheduled a meeting with the Director of Panda Operations at the National Zoo, Dr. Bud McLaughlin.  After I explained my concern, Dr. McLaughlin stood up from behind his desk, and said, and I quote, “Please leave my office, and do not return.”  As security personnel dragged me by my feet from his office, I yelled out my final question: “Do you expect the American people to believe that you’ve got two giant albino raccoons less than two miles from the Chinese Embassy and not believe you’re on China’s payroll?”  No surprise, he refused to answer.

You may ask, ‘Why?’  Why would the Chinese dupe us with a couple of oversized albino raccoons?  Simple, for the same reason people climb mountains, because they’re there.

Let’s evaluate.

First off, the Chinese probably figured that with them duping us economically on a daily basis, this would be a cake walk.  Why give the US a diamond, when they could give us Cubic Zirconia?  Only, big mistake, because Cubic Zirconia is fine if your wife doesn’t find out.  That’s what the US will be when this news breaks – the scorned wife that wasn’t worth the price of the real deal.  The conclusion?  China doesn’t really love us.  In fact, they don’t even like us.

Consider this.  The value of a Giant Panda is, well, priceless.  You couldn’t buy one if you tried.  Bill Gates couldn’t even buy one.  (Unless, of course, he found a Chinese zoo keeper in need of a Bentley and a waterfront vacation home in Shanghai).  The value of a raccoon on the other hand?  In my city, you can trap them at will, and then you’re supposed to “dispatch them” outside city limits.  Heck, I transported three of them out of my backyard last summer.  Of course, I couldn’t bring myself to kill them, so I released them near a stream where I have no doubt they are now happily terrorizing rural residents.

What is the US to do?  What is the appropriate action?  No doubt the State Department is already burning the midnight oil debating this question.  My suggestion?  Present China with a gift of our own.  A bald eagle.  But not just any bald eagle, a bald eagle that’s really just a crow with a shaved head.  As its little feathers begin to grow back, it’ll be “Message Accomplished.”  Point, set, match, the good-ole US of A.

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Whole Foods Market Answer to Xanax

Whole Foods Final

Life can be stressful.  Thankfully, there are a number of healthful ways to combat this stress, like exercise, eating well, and taking a daily regimen of psychotropic medications.  (FDA approved, of course.)  If we can be certain of anything, we can be certain that the health of the nation is the number one priority of the pharmaceutical industry.  Gotta love those guys.  But as much as I admire the ethics and trust “Big Pharma,” as I affectionately refer to them, I recently stumbled across an alternative.  It may not be for everyone, and it may not even be less expensive, but in the spirit of providing YOU, my faithful readers with OPTIONS, I will now share my recent discovery.

There are a plethora of self-help programs out there, like the one that giant Tony Robbins is always rambling on about.  Everywhere you look people are advertising themselves as “life coaches.”  My discovery, however, has nothing to do with “life coaches.”  (Side note: “Life coach” is code for: I’m lost and confused, but maybe by helping you screw up your life and charging you an outrageous fee, I can finally find myself).  My alternative does not involve fancy programs or life coaches.  My alternative is spending quality time in Whole Foods Markets.  Not buying their produce.  Not eating at their deli.  Just walking around inside them.  I’m not sure if eating organic, sustainable food is any better for you, but I do know that the simple act of walking into a Whole Foods Market makes you feel better about yourself.  Not just as good as everybody else, it makes you feel better – better than everyone who is not shopping at Whole Foods (i.e. the so-called general population).  As you enter carrying your reusable shopping bag, suddenly your posture gets a little better.  You perk up.  You feel alive and engaged.  Try it.  But first, as before engaging in any new activity, you need to stop and take time to learn, understand and appreciate the nomenclature:

  1. Organic.  In the Latin, this translates to, “Wow, this apple has a worm hole in it the size of the Lincoln Tunnel.”
  2. Sustainable.  In the original Greek (not the modernized version), this translates roughly to: “Brace yourself, this asparagus costs four times the price as normal.”

And finally,

  1. Locally sourced.  This is a relatively new term in the American lexicon, and means, “If the cheese maker down the street needs a root canal, guess whose fettuccini alfredo just skyrocketed?”

But never mind all that.  Who can put a price on good mental health?  There is just something about eating a chicken raised in a petting zoo that makes you feel better about yourself.

So there you have it.  The Whole Foods Market alternative to Xanax.  Of course, you don’t have to use the Name Brand.  You can go with the generic:  Trader Joe’s, Nature’s Market, or Tom’s Corner Organic Healthy Stuff Market.  Consumer activists say they are just as effective.  They have the same active ingredient.  At least that’s what they say….  Or, to be on the safe side, you can just go to Whole Foods.

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Like a Starbucks Latte with that Heart Attack?

ER Cure

A monumental problem has perplexed citizens of the United States for three decades.  That is, of course, how to find a cup of coffee for under three bucks.  But the Starbucks’ racketeering scheme is not the focus of today’s column.  Today’s column is about hospital emergency rooms.  Let’s begin by breaking down the meaning of the word Emergency. “Emer” which is Latin for, “My spleen has ruptured”, and “gency” which translates in the Greek to, “Can’t this ambulance travel any faster?!”  Every day across America, people stream into hospital emergency rooms who are desperate, in need of help, lost, and in pain.  And the cause of their distress is the hordes of patients demanding their attention.  This has resulted in average wait times of four to six months and bills that rival Nicaragua’s annual gross domestic product.  Let me triage their plight, and identify a comprehensive solution.  Here is the Dr. Edwards’ two-step cure for what ails America’s ERs:

Cure 1.  Eliminate waiting areas.  Get rid of them completely.  Lease the space to Starbucks.  If someone can survive an hour in a waiting area, there is no emergency.  It doesn’t exist.  Instruct the person to vacate the premises immediately.

Cure 2. The average emergency bill is roughly $1,500.  For this, you get a paper gown that exposes your hinny and 4.5 seconds of a bleary-eyed doctor with a vast 14 days’ of experience checking your throat and telling you to go home.  Under the Dr. Edwards’ plan, we will switch to a metered system.  The receptionist slaps an electronic meter around your neck at check-in.  Every time a nurse, doctor, or anyone wearing a smock, actually pays attention to you, they push the meter’s “on” button.  When they walk away from you, they push the “off.”  (Or….. maybe we could put a device on the staff which did this automatically?  Nooooooooo.  Nix that.  Doctors and nurses would be zigzagging around like roller skaters on the rink trying to pick up time.  We go with the neck meter).  You only pay for the attention you get.  You want to improve service?  You want to feel cared for? Medical personal will appear from the woodwork hanging on you from the second you hit the door.  Let’s just say coffee consumption and back room gossip sessions will quickly become a thing of the distant past.

There you have it.  Two simple changes.  They can be implemented as soon as we get Starbucks to lease the empty space.  Then we’ll all be able to afford those $3 coffees.

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______________________________

Check out these great books for gifts:

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