Warning: Attempting Political Correctness Can Be Injurious To Your Standing As a Bigoted Dweeb

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Recently, a friend asked me, as a topic-introducer, though Lord knows we don’t need one, since we never shut up when we get together, what topical issue I am soft on. Frankly, I am soft on all of them, especially fitness, because getting hard is really hard. Especially at my age.

You should not answer this question if someone should ask it, except on your own blog, which you can be pretty sure none of your friends are reading.The friend who may ask you this question will have a diametrically opposed opinion to yours, and yours is also likely to be opposite to the popular consensus, and you will look like a bigoted jerk. Since I am a bigoted jerk (although I do manage to hide this fact from most people) I don’t really care what other people think, but not everyone can be as brave as I.

Of course, there are some issues that almost everyone agrees on, such as discrimination (which is generally bad, but just try proving you’ve been dissed) and bullying. After some thought, I’m not even sure about bullying. I have met many middle-schoolers who could have used a little bullying by a cranky substitute teacher.

So, to reiterate the Bigoted-Jerk question: What hot-button issue are you soft on? Safest answer: Almost all of them. Or, none of them. Whichever you prefer. I don’t really care. If you answer the first way, you remove all doubt about whether you are a rednecked, bigoted jerk. If you answer the second way, you will be considered ill-informed and wimpy. Since you will never win, have fun with it!

Most of my liberal friends are against guns. I, however, am soft on gun control. I want to know I have protection against all the police who are likely to shoot me. You may think cops don’t generally shoot older white women, but they may be rethinking their strategies even as we speak, and will decide to start shooting them in order to distract the public, in the same way they pat down old ladies at the airport, to prove they are not discriminating against a certain group of people.

I have never seen a regular person, meaning someone like me, with a gun, who is involved in a shoot out, even though I do get out of the house now and then, so I’m never sure what all the fuss is about, gun-control-wise. All the background stuff they do on people who want to buy a gun is great I guess, but that just doesn’t seem to matter if someone really wants one. They’ll just go steal one. My consensus: The safest place to live is in a town where everyone carries a gun. Of course, most cowboys in the Old West did not die in a dramatic face-off in a corral or the street, but from a shot to the back, so you will need to watch yours, and quit stealing your neighbor’s newspaper.

With the exception of just a few, most people I know think anyone who wants to get married should be able to. I, however, am soft on same sex marriage. I have never been married, and I don’t see why I need to get all worked up about someone else’s proclivities toward a legally binding union. I personally don’t care if someone wants to marry the family goat, although I am firmly for animal rights, and I would want to know the goat was happy with YOUR choice, before I approved a union of this sort. Plus, he’s the family goat, so it would be incestuous.

I don’t know why a goat would lower itself enough to marry a human, but each to his own. I also do not know what benefits are conferred by getting married. There must be some and I must remember to ask a same sex couple when I get the chance.

My educated acquaintances want to give everyone citizenship. I, however, am soft on immigration. I don’t like all the people who are already here, although that may be because I keep watching video film clip shows of stupid people, or catching glimpses of reality shows where strange looking people keep towing away cars. I see no reason to let more weirdos into this country. Castro sent us a bunch of Cubans once, and right away incestuous relations with sisters increased in Miami. Also, I hate traffic, and I fail to see why anyone would be in favor of more.

I may be wrong, but it seems many people are against the death penalty. I, however, am soft on the death penalty. If they’d let me, and if they’d give me one of those guns, I’d just remove certain perps from existence. I would require definite proof of guilt which is conveniently provided on You Tube by the people who committed the crimes. Any revenue provided by their video clips would go directly to their victims.

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I am soft on drugs. I think all drugs should be legalized. This would not only deepen the gene pool, because many carriers of that Stupid Gene are puddled in a corner somewhere with rivulets of drool rolling down their chins, but it would empty the jails, keeping the cells free for insider traders, and would add dollars to the GNP. This stands for Great New Pot. They should sell all drugs in vending machines. A percentage of the profits from the vending machines will go to people who don’t do drugs. I’ll expect my check by the fifteenth of every month.

Legalization would also necessitate making nice clean drugs, made according to government standards. These standards kick in about the time attorneys first find out about the third nipple you’ve grown after ingesting the legal drug your doctor gave you three months ago.

Most people I hang out with are outraged at their lack of privacy, and the their loss of freedom to organize terrorist cells. I, however, am soft on privacy and government surveillance. I say, have fun with it! When you are talking on your cell phone, burst out with random words now and then, words like ‘assassination’ or ‘Al-Quaeda’. Do this while you are talking to your mother.

I have a friend who came to visit us here in Sin City, where many things are legal except the lottery, unless you have a hooker you want to auction off for charity.  We took him to visit Hoover Dam. There is very little here that is private, and if you think that ‘what happens here, really does stay here’, I have a casino I’d like to sell you.

As we walked over the bridge of the dam and passed a security guard, our friend said, ‘Jihad!’ in a high voice. The guard looked around, trying to determine the source of the word, and we prepared to roll over on our friend, if the guard decided our group should be filed somewhere at the bottom of the dam. (I haven’t heard from my friend in awhile, and I’ll just go check up on him, if you don’t mind.)

As for surveillance, if the government wants to spy on us with little robot cockroaches, moths, and drones, give them something to see. Dress your husband in thong panties and a bustier, while you dress as a leather-clad dominatrix, snapping a whip.

Reasonable people are all for education. I, however, am soft on literacy. I don’t care if everyone knows how to read and write, or not. No one reads or writes, anyway. If they tell me they are the next Dickens, I might relent. However, I don’t know anyone who has ever read Dickens, other than Tale of Two Cities, or the Christmas Carol, much less writes books like his. Writing is limited to a comment on a post they have put up on their Facebook wall, such as, ‘‘There kitten really wants that cheeseburger over their” and who am I to correct them?

Incidentally, someone commented on a quote they posted on their wall, which showed up on mine. It was a quote about literacy, and their comment said something like ‘whom wanted to read and write’. How could I tell this person they were really ignorant, without sounding smug and superior?

I really felt smug and superior, two of my favorite feelings, whomever wants to know, but those feelings come naturally to bigoted dweebs. Please continue to overlook all of my grammatical errors.


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Hashtag: James Dean, Retirement, and Classic Rock

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Like many people who have reached retirement age, I have reconnected with former friends and colleagues on social media. They proceed to keep telling the world that it has been ‘several decades’ since we all embarked on that job we had together. The other day, one of them put up a picture she said was taken 37 years ago, with #bestjobever under it.

I summarily corrected her math, until I realized she was right. My math sucks; it was almost forty years ago, and I wrote #don’tremindme. I still don’t know what the hashtag actually means, but I knew it as a pound sign, back when I was a child, in the 1800’s. The pound sign speaks to me in ways the hashtag does not. It was a word I wanted to demonstrate right then and there, but  #ViolenceNeverSolvedAnything.

Friends aren’t the only ones who keep getting older. Sales catalogs chock full of handy devices for better living arrive at regular intervals in my mailbox; catalogs that remind me that I am at the Dawning of the Age of Incontinence, limping, swollen feet, arthritic hands, widening waistline, forgetfulness, failing eyesight, faulty hearing, and any number of other physical inconveniences. I peruse them carefully, fully aware that I can depend on my son only so much to read a label for me , lift something, explain something, or pick me up after I’ve fallen down. #WhatADragItIsGettingOld.

He has enough to do just staying awake. I do too, for that matter, but there isn’t a device for that in the catalogs. For something like that, I would have to go to the streets. Going to the streets takes too much effort; back in the day, every housewife had drugs for staying awake and getting things done. #MamasLittleHelper, and #WhyCan’tDoctorsPrescribeGoodDrugsAnymore?

The last catalog that arrived featured pages of vibrating ‘love devices’. They ‘come’ (yuk, yuk) in the pages just after all the devices designed to fill my twilight years with comfort and convenience. Its definitely a comfort to know that when I experience incontinence, it will quite likely be because my vibrating love device has excited me uncontrollably. The catalog had labeled these purple and pink vibrators with whimsical and charming monikers, but I knew I would never be able to recline in my bed, making love to something that has a cuter name than my dog. #YouShookMeAllNightLong.

I go to my community pool several times a week, and work out all my hostility towards these sales people and their catalogs. I throw them into the pool, where they eventually sink and turn to mush at the bottom. (The catalogs, not the salespeople, although I can be convinced to throw them in, too). #BridgeOverTroubledWaters.

While I exercise in the pool I listen to my classic rock station. I tuck my radio into a plastic bag, and then put it under a headband I wear. I look a little funny, but there’s a song for that: #LoveGrowsWhereMyRosemaryGoes. (Rosemary’s clothes were kinda funny).

One day, while I was having a blast running the lap lane and listening to my music, every commercial break had an invitation to attend a reception at a retirement community, and taste the pleasures of living there. This would happen after all who have loved me have flown the coop. #WillYouStillLoveMeWhenImSixtyFour.

Each of these breaks featured a resident who was of a Certain Age, extolling the community’s virtues and activities. These included Movie Night, Bingo Night, and Lecture Nights on How to Deal With EMTs, #JustKillMeNow. These testimonials also informed me how much all the residents enjoy making new friends there. One woman assured the listeners that these new friends will be sure to come and check on you the minute you fail to show up for two days in a row. #FollowYourNose.

This charming village of seniors was named Destinations, but I had dubbed it Final Destination long before my work out was over. #OnlyTheGoodDieYoung. I had been enjoying all the old songs of my misspent youth (I just like to say that; my youth was spent in a pretty average manner) and in between songs I was forced to listen to my fate, should I survive my exercise routine. #BloodSweatAndTears.

This routine involves running, hopping, swimming, and pushing through the water for an hour and a half, with two rounds of ballet and weight lifting at the side of the pool. I use dumbbells, a resistance belt, and a ten pound weight. I am the only person smiling, because why?  I am listening to great music, that’s why! Granted, some might argue that ‘Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I Got Love In My Tummy’ is not as classic as ‘Gimmee Some Lovin’ ‘, but those people can drive on over to Final Destination for movie night; #Cocoon.

Here I’ve got all kinds of endorphins rushing through my body, letting me know in their perky, cheerleader, endorphin-like way, that I am still young and carefree, and am on my way to ‘Surf City’ where its Two to One. Thanks to these commercials though, I remember that Surf City is now filled with aging surfers, and there are Two Walkers to Every Cane. #LeanOnMe.

Through the magic of marketing, I realize that the songs of my youth are fifty-plus years from being on the top of the charts. An unexpected intersection appears on the horizon of the Endorphin Expressway as the Final Destination Village People invite me once again to come play Bingo. #WishYouWereHere. My mood crashes like a Porsche Spyder. #JamesDean.

Sigh. As I’ve learned in my years on this planet, our fate is inescapable. My dog is always hanging around, anyway. If I owned any of those special devices, she’d immediately investigate in an embarrassing way, and want me to throw my lavender love machine for her to fetch. She’d pounce on it, accidentally turn it on, freak out, and suddenly, #ImPickingUpGoodVibrations.



You Say Couch Potato Like Its A Bad Thing

I heard that if you are a couch potato, who watches cooking shows on the food networks, or indeed any network, you will gain weight. Can you beat that? Well, I guess you could beat it, especially with a handy beater, which is probably in your kitchen drawer. My question is, if a person stops watching those foodie shows, and watches exercise shows instead, will they lose weight?

This report did not explain the reason a person gains weight watching these shows. So, in my usual semi-detached, scientific manner, I conducted an experiment using a control group of skinny couch potatoes who watch cooking shows, and who became fat over a matter of just a few shows.

I concluded that the visual calories consumed while watching chefs whip up crepes, invade the hippocampus, travel through the bloodstream, attach themselves to the hips and stomach, and spell out nicknames like ‘Hippo’ with the new veins they create. Hippos are generally very educated, having spent their entire lives in the campus library where no one talks to them; otherwise they would have sued long ago for slander and libel.

I also came to the sociological conclusion that couch potatoes and their viewing habits are very important to our culture. I have been practicing the art of lounging for many years, and the sofa and my bed are two of my favorite places to lounge. I always have the television on, and see no need to hide that fact from the snobs who profess to never watch tv.

‘Ha!’ I say. If they never watch television, how can they possibly carry on a civilized conversation? And besides which, the food shows would die and most families would starve without the potato to fill the gaps in our diets left by uneaten broccoli. Leave your house and look around as you drive; three out of the four food groups you regularly see on signs will be a potato in one guise or another.

My proclivity for lounging on the sofa may have begun in the far distant reaches of the past and my deprived childhood. One of my favorite toys was Mr. Potato Head. He was invented before the potato, so all a child had were ears, noses, eyes, and mouths, some hats, a mustache, glasses, thong panties, a bra, and killer boots for Ms. Potato Head.

She was better known as Mrs. Potato Head back then, but has since become a feminist potato. She was even prepared to use her maiden name, Ms. Tuber, but her friend, Ms. Corn, said she didn’t care for the sound of it. Ms. Potato Head trusted her friend’s decision, since her friend has an ear for names. Ms. Potato Head however, was the one who coined the phrase, ‘I have eyes in the back of my head.’

She actually has eyes everywhere, which really freaks out Mr. Potato Head, especially when they engage in marital relations. At any rate, there was no head to stick all the accessories into when I was a child, and thus, there was no need to make Mr. Potato Head anatomically correct. I’m not sure why the whole mess was invented.

Finally, thanks to a shady deal between Hasbro, the toy company, and the Phoenicians, a group of people from Arizona, the alphabet was created a few years after Mr. Potato Head was invented. The Mighty P’s ( a name bestowed on the Phoenicians after a win by their football team) had been needing a placeholder between O and Q, because it was too easy to confuse the two. They had been inspired to add a tail to the Q to prevent it from rolling away like the O kept doing. The tail served as a kickstand.

The Phoenicians, under the aegis of the Department of Health and Human Services, were told they had to have a reason for inventing a new letter, besides just keeping the O upright; thus, they named a knobby thing they pulled out of the ground a Potato, and created the P. (Strangely enough, their nickname hadn’t inspired them invent the P). The name for the potato was a close call though; the Irish heard about the Phoenicians naming tubers, and were ready to come fight them over it. The Irish were already seriously ticked at the French for taking credit for fries.

Many people don’t realize this, but there were supposed to have been 53 letters in our alphabet. Since the Phoenicians, after whom the capital of Arizona was named, didn’t have paper back then, they had written the alphabet in the sand during a particularly raucous picnic they were having one day. As usual, much fermented cactus beverage had been consumed. The wind came up and blew away a bunch of the letters, but no one was concerned about the loss when the Phoenicians later committed their new alphabet to rock. They just thought it must be the beginning of censorship in the press.

So, when you find yourself grappling for a word that is on the tip of your tongue, you are actually searching for those lost letters our ancestors wrote in the sand one blustery day in the desert. These letters reside in your primordial (meaning your best ordial) memory banks, waiting for withdrawal. They have accrued quite a bit of interest, so once you withdraw the word, you will be able to go on that round-the-world cruise you’ve been dreaming about.

At any rate, children were at long last able to stick their noses, lips, and ears into something besides the dryer or the banisters, or even their parents’ business; I am speaking of course, of the Potato Head anatomy parts. This love of the potato and dressing it up to look like a goofy person from the Midwest, led to the natural desire to sit on the sofa watching other people cook dinner.

To answer my original question: Yes, you will lose weight while watching exercise shows, but only if your heart rate increases. This will happen when the host or hostess of the show comes out wearing Ms. Potato Head’s thong panties and bra.


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