Tim's recent thoughts on how to fix the world that aired on the Bob and Tom show.

Tim's recent thoughts on how to fix the world. These were not aired on the Bob and Tom show.











The Legend of Walmartus
By Tim Bedore 2003

Long, long ago in a land so far away you wouldn't want to walk there from here was a merchant named Walmartus. So glorious and large was Walmartus that smaller merchants feared him because when Walmartus set up shop in their village they became as worthless as week old gruel, losing everything they worked to build. Then, the best they could hope for was to receive recompense for standing outside the doors of the Walmartus' bizarres and trading centers crying out "Welcome to Walmartus, neighbor... and former customer of mine. Have a good day."

Greeting fellow villagers in this manner made them not as happy or wealthy as when they themselves were merchants but looking on the bright side they said we can still afford to eat something better than week old gruel.

So wondrous was the power of Walmartus that one day after one of the biggest feasts of the year, Walmartus put DVD players on sale for 29.99. And all across the land the people rushed to Walmartus because DVD players were normally 69.99 or more, but most importantly these much desired players could unlock the magic of the movies contained within and entertain the people mightily.

Excited beyond reason by the amount of money Walmartus had knocked off the regular price the people knocked down one of their neighbors and trampled over her like a herd of elephants. These fellows humans and neighbors acted as if they did not even notice the woman who was unconscious beside them as they surged forward towards the players of DVD.

And they had every right to act oblivious because they themselves had done nothing wrong. In fact, if a printer/fax/copier went on sale these otherwise good people would slay and gut anyone foolish enough to slow the surge or stumble on the way.

A few villagers came to the aid of the unconscious woman and when they lifted her the crowd noticed she was lying on top of something, protecting it from the crush of the crowd with her very life. Was it her child? A helpless stranger? No, it was one of the cherished DVD players which Walmartus promised to sell her at the sale price once she woke up.

And the village jester said "No one ever got trampled at the Mom and Pop stores where we used to shop." But an advisor to the King said "And they never had DVD players for 29.99. Only a merchant the size of Walmartus could bring us such magic at such a low price."

And someone from the area where Walmartus once lived said "It takes a village" and the jester said "Preferably a village where your neighbors won't trample you to save 40 bucks."

But most of the village didn't hear the jester because they too busy savoring a Paul Shore movie, after which, their cheap DVD player... broke.

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I Had a Dream Where Bea Arthur and I Killed Somebody
By Tim Bedore 2003

I had a dream that Bea Arthur and I were walking down the street looking for her stolen Honda Civic. Bea Arthur is the actress who played Maude on the popular 70's sitcom of the same name and was also the tall one on the Golden Girls. I don't know why Bea Arthur and I were together in my dream but for some reason the two of us ended up in a bad part of downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Bea and I were walking and all of a sudden, there it was, her 1983 Honda Civic. Bea rushes up and yanks this nasty looking kid out of the driver seat and starts to knock him around. And in my dream I remember thinking, when she was playing that Maude character, she wasn't acting. Bea Arthur is one tough old brawd. She's smacking this kid, yelling at him and I'm thinking "Bea, we've got the car, let's get out of here". But, Bea keeps knocking the snot out of this kid and he pulls a gun on her and I yelled, "Don't shoot. She's a celebrity."

And the kid with the gun said, "A celebrity? What is a celebrity doing driving a 1983 Honda Civic in downtown Kalamazoo?" I had no idea but I said, "Aaa... aaa.... We're here having an affair." I don't know why that's the first thing that came out of my mouth but frighteningly neither of the two kids said "No way," when informed of my sexual liaison with a woman twice my age and size. Then the kid with the gun said, "If she's a celebrity how come I don't recognize her?" But his friend said, "She's the tall one from the Golden Girls."

And the kid with the gun said, "Yeah, I hate that show". And he aimed the gun at Bea, but Bea, in my dream anyway, has really quick hands and snatched the gun from the kid. I thought everything was over because we had the gun and the car and we could just leave but Bea was just all jacked up and she said, "You hate the Golden Girls?!! Well suck on this punk." And she shot the guy right in the chin. Then Bea turned to me and said, "Let's you and me go someplace quiet and get comfortable."

And that's when I woke up screaming. My wife asked me what I was dreaming about and I said something about Gary Coleman becoming governor of California. What's my point? I would say, generally you should never lie to your wife but in cases like this, it's probably best.

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The Other Animals Are Agin' Us
By Tim Bedore 2003

Did you see that in the paper the other day about those carp in the Mississippi River jumping into boats and bonking fisherman in the head? It's true. They're called big head carp, they're from Asia and they're attacking and severely injuring many fisherman.

Biologists claim the roar of boat motors agitates and excites these carp and they jump towards the sound but I think these biologists are naively missing an obvious connection. Fish are attacking fisherman. For the fish it's get them before they get you, kill or be killed. Even if these fisherman are practicing catch and release, that's a very painful, embarrassing experience for any fish and apparently they have had it.

What about the increase in mountain lion attacks? Great White sharks moving closer to shore? Moose have been showing up in towns and stomping on people. A squirrel was in my living room last spring. Am I the only one that sees a pattern here? People, wise up! The other animals are against us. It doesn't take a genius to see there's an inter-species conspiracy to thwart the urban expansion of man.

How do the squirrels fit in? Surveillance. They spy on what we people are doing in the cities and report back to the bigger species out there on the front lines.

And taken together these other species represent walking, we hope not yet talking, scratching, biting weapons of mass destruction. And if these other species can convince the insect world, for example a well known anti-human group like the killer bees, to join up our way of life and our democracy could be history.

The skeptical may ask why would these other species want to hurt us? Obviously, they hate us. They are jealous of our way of life. We swim in chlorinated, safe environment pools, then towel off and have an adult beverage. They are stuck eating sludge in the Mississippi, a river polluted by guess who: their mortal enemy man. And to top it all off we eat them.

This invasion of Asian carp is no accident. This is stage one of their well planned attack. We ignore the obvious at our own peril.

We can no longer sit back and wait for them to attack us. It's time we adopt a new doctrine regarding these other animals. We have to wipe out any and all species who are a lined against us, wherever they are. We can not rest until every big head carp, great white shark, mountain lion, moose and squirrel and any other species that associates with them are defeated.

If the U.N. wants to get involved fine, if not we can do it alone. Of course the British will show up, they always do, but we will fight to protect our way of life. And if you don't agree, you're an unpatriotic idiot who hates America.


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I'd Go Out and Kill Someone but I Have to Finish this Pound of Bacon
By Tim Bedore 2003

Did you see that in the paper the other day? (Pause) Well, did ya? Excuse me, I have to tell you what it is I saw in the paper before you can answer: did you see that report that kids today are more likely than ever to be overweight but less likely to commit acts of violence or get pregnant as teens? You know why? They're overweight.

Kids today are fat and lazy. "Oh, I'd go out and put a cap in someone's skull but I can't get off the couch. I'm so tired. Bring someone in and I'll cap 'em but I can't move." "Yeah, I'd like to have sex with you but unzipping just wears me out. If I got undressed right now I'd have to take a nap first to recover. And anyway, I have to finish this pound of bacon."

So it's kind of a good news/bad news situation. Yes, kids are less likely to end up inseminated or incarcerated but it's because they're too chunky to feel spunky.

Maybe there's more to it than that, maybe years of Just Say No to drugs and sex campaigns are paying off. And now that I am the father of a daughter and no longer a teenage boy I can tell you teenage girls absolutely just say no to sex. Especially with boys. Teenage boys are not to be trusted. I know. I was one. Oh, if I was a teenage boy I'd be saying 'Have sex with teenage boys. In particular, me'.

Which proves my point. The same guy that's telling you to not do it now, back then, was telling you "To just touch it. Come on, just touch it." And, I was one of the nice guys.

Obviously, I'm a totally nervous father. I worry about everything. I know I shouldn't worry too much because I will work very hard to raise my daughter right, telling her about all of the perils of teenage life in America but the early signs aren't good. The other night we were out for a ride and saw some teenage boys, kind of rebel looking types, standing on the corner drinking beer. Of course they weren't supposed to be doing that but there they were, brazenly flouting the laws of society and as we passed them, from the back of the car, strapped into her safety seat, my daughter said "Daddy, let's go back and talk to those boys." I said, "Why Claire?" She said, "I just thought they were cool." And that is why I am sending Claire to a lesbian convent school.

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Disney Makes Us Eat Ourselves
By Tim Bedore 2003

My daughter is five and it's an unwritten rule in her pre-school that the kids invite all 22 of their classmates or none at all, to their birthday parties. I don't know who wrote that unwritten rule but I suspect Toys-R-Us.

So, we're at the Disney Store to buy yet another birthday gift for yet another birthday party. And of course my daughter, Claire, wants a toy, as well. I explained she only gets toys for her birthday and Christmas. I expected an argument, perhaps a minor meltdown, but she got it. She accepted what I said, and I was so proud of her... I bought her a toy. Alright, I'm an idiot.

But I got the cheapest thing they had. Disney knows today's parents are spineless wimps and so there's a bunch of 5 dollar-big-weinee-parent-pacify your kid and get the hell out of there items.

Claire wanted this battery operated, and how many things aren't these days, thing -- a handle with a Cinderella figurine on top. Cinderella has a hole in her head into which they've stuck a lollipop. And when you hit the button the lollipop spins around so our children won't have to go through the exhausting effort of twisting and sucking on the lollipop themselves. What a vigorous nation we have become! By the way, this is all part of Disney's plan to make children so lazy all they will want to do is sit home and watch Disney DVD's.

As adults, they won't clean their home unless they have a riding vacuum cleaner. "Oh, I can't push this vacuum all the way across the living room, it's too far."

When I was a kid we didn't have a riding lawn mower, we didn't even have a power mower. We had a push mower and not only did I have to cut our lawn, I had to cut the neighbor's lawn because they were old and we were Catholic. I said to my Dad, "If you're going to force me to do this much charity lawn work we need a power mower." He said, "I have four power mowers, you and your three brothers." Dad, was a laugh riot.

What's my point? When future anthropologists dig through our land fills and discover a Cinderella automatic lollipop dissolver there will be an "A ha" moment, just like when they figured out why those Anasazi Indians in the Southwest disappeared: they got too lazy to go out and hunt and ate whatever was around the house– themselves. But as I help our culture cannibalize itself just like the Anasazi cannibalized their whole tribe I can feel good because, in the meantime, I'm doing my part to keep the economy chugging along.

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The self-censored un-aired Terry Shiavo piece

Our Fanatics are the Good Fanatics

The Bush administration has America fighting to install democracy in the Middle East so religious fanatics can't control the government... over there. But for the United States government it's OK to have religious fanatics running things because we... we can handle it. The religious fanatics over there get all nutty when they get into politics but in American politics our religious types would never do anything as crazy to suggest we force feed a human body incapable of simple thought or quality of life just to create a legal foundation for their future anti-abortion efforts. Thankfully, in America, that Frankenstinian nightmare could never happen.

Our pagan politicians, who obviously don't get it, say that's exactly what's conservatives are trying to do in the Terry Shiavo case. Well, you soul-less buffoons, you couldn't be more wrong. Not only do I believe the government should step in and keep Terry Shiavo alive, but I believe if they can't legislate or adjudicate a proper result the Republican Party should buy Terry Shiavo from her husband. If money is a problem they could cut some wasteful hot lunch program or pointless pre-natal care boondoggle. And if the Republicans don't want the government to spend the money I am sure Christian televangelists could go on the air and raise enough money that Terry Shiavo's husband would make the deal. Everyone has a price and if anybody can find out what that price is it's a Christian televangelist.

I support the Bush administration's efforts to keep every living thing alive by any means necessary, unless that living thing gets in the way of drilling for oil in Alaska or democracy in Iraq. Of course at that point we spare no expense in knocking the snot out of them, but otherwise let's keep humans who are incapable of any future happiness or perception of the world around them alive and well.

In fact, thanks to the Bush administration, in addition to handicap parking and wheelchair ramps one fine day we will have special sections in movie theaters for those in a persistent vegetative state. Who are we to say these people wouldn't enjoy the new Woody Allen film? Although considering their mental state... perhaps a Pauly Shore offering or something on FOX might be more appropriate...

And that day will come thanks to faith based politicians like Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist who is also a doctor, and unlike our pagan politicians Dr./Senator Bill Frist could tell from watching a videotape of Terry Shiavo something her own neurosurgeons, using CAT scans and highly sophisticated medical equipment could not... that Terry Shiavo represents a golden political opportunity to shore up support among the right to life wing of his party. Yes, the nay-sayers, the pagans say it's impossible for Dr./Senator Frist to diagnose neurological damage from a videotape, and that when a patient can't tell you where it hurts because they are brain dead that it's time to let nature take its course.

Well, Ladies and Gentleman God gave us brains to figure out how to sustain life beyond what God intended. The Bible is very clear on this-- Thou shalt not kill... unless oil or democracy in Iraq is involved. And praise the Lord we have some politicians who know when God wants them to follow the Bible and when He doesn't.

And you can only know that when you are talking to the one true God. As opposed to those fanatics over there who are talking to the wrong God and thus need democracy.

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Only the Experts Know For Sure

Sometimes things just look differently to me than the experts say they should.

For example, when President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier last week and walked off that jet carrying, not wearing, his un-photogenic helmet it looked to me like the whole thing was a big campaign ad. But the experts said it looked like the President was so anxious to welcome back the troops he had to fly out to greet them even though their ship was just moments away from getting home. Some cynics thought it was nice Bush was finally making up for the time he went missing during his Texas Air National Guard days but they are not experts so what do they know?

Another instance of the experts seeing things differently than me was when Bill Bennett said it was OK for a Catholic who wrote the Book of Virtues to be a high stakes gambler. Growing up Catholic we were always taught that wasting (8 million dollars of gambling money in the Bennett case) was a sin. Well, I was wrong again but at least I finally saw what the first Bush Administration meant when they talked about those thousand points of light - it was slot machines. So, if gambling is not a vice is it a virtue or a half-virtue? Maybe Mr. Bennett, an expert on virtue, will get back to us on that.

Anyway, last week there was a report saying that the just announced huge first quarter oil company profits had nothing to do with the "coincidentally" record high gas prices during the first quarter and that we consumers hadn't been gouged or taken advantage of, and although I am no expert, I just can't see it being true.

Why? I've heard this story too many times before - during wars, crises, or every summer, oil companies report profits are up for that period but they claim those profits had nothing to do with prices being high at the pump. If the two aren't connected how can those two things keep happening together? Talk about your happy coincidences happening over and over and over again.

I wish just once, whether it's accurate or not, just to make us feel like we're not crazy even if we are; the experts would just say oil companies made a bundle, they made record profits because they took advantage of you. And that we consumers are too weak and unorganized and helpless to stop it. That would make me feel great. Because I'd feel I wasn't losing my mind, only some money.

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Gun Totin' Feminist

I am the father of a daughter and have developed a bit of a personality paradox - I'm an ardent, reactionary, gun-totin' feminist. If anybody so much as considers denying my daughter an opportunity in life because she is female or compromise her life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness because she is a woman, even one iota, I'll put a cap in their ass.

My wife says my vigilante attitude is a bit extreme and impractical, but she's a lawyer and they too often error on the side not going to trial or prison.

Anyway, my point is that women should be allowed to join Augusta National Golf Course, and if the President of the club, Hootie Johnson, doesn't submit to the pressures being put on him, they should be forced to do so, by law. And to support this pan-gender equality effort, as an ardent feminist father, I am going to sue to join the Girl Scouts. Why? When I was a Boy Scout I always wanted to be in the Girl Scouts and they'd never let me and it was so unfair. Going to summer camp with the Boy Scouts was O.K. but after a day or two you realize, it's just all guys out here. There wasn't one girl around and you're stuck at this stupid camp for a whole week. What's the point of knowing how to shoot a bow and arrow or make a canoe out of tree bark if the only people that see you do it are guys?

Actually, upon more mature reflection, and as the father of a daughter, I think it's a bad idea for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to be in the same tent. Yet, I absolutely understand the ambition.

So, I understand why some women want to force their way into the Augusta National Country Club but I wish they wouldn't. Why? What would change at Augusta if one unwanted woman forces her way in? The token Black member would finally have someone to play with? Someone would finally say the famous Green Jacket they wear is the most embarrassing shade of green ever created? This is a stereotype I know, but I don't think a woman could wear a jacket that looks like it was, at one time, a pool table.

Joining Augusta is not the answer. What the LPGA and N.O.W. and Virginia Slims and Oprah Winfrey and anybody else who thinks Augusta should accept a woman member should do is build a new Augusta. Start your own club and course. Start your own Masters tournament. Don't join the Old. Start something new.

As much as I would love to play Augusta, just one time, I'd rather be a member of your new course. Why? Because that's where the girls are. And I could take my daughter. And you don't have to wear one of those awful, gaudy green jackets like they do at Augusta. (That's another reason I left the Boys Scouts. The uniform looked ridiculous.) Augusta is the past. You women should be the future. And when you invite me to play your new pan-gender Augusta, out of gratitude because it was my idea, make sure none of the caddies or pool boys chase after my daughter or I'll have to put a put a cap in their ass.

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The King of Freaky

Michael Jackson. Freak? Or promotional genius?

Well, certainly he's a freak. Not because of his sexual preference, or lack there of. I'm basing my opinion on his by-choice total lack of a nose or fashion sense. O.K., he has some nose left but you know what little is left is gone soon as he slowly whittles himself to death.

Yes, I believe his face whittling is promotional genius. What happened in England and America after the King of Freaky-self-promotion made his network TV pitch for man/boy bed sharing? In England his record sales grew by a 1000%, going from "minimal" according to industry sources to cracking the Top 40 on the English charts. And his older records, the good ones, have sold out and might be re-issued.

Oh yes, I think his freaky thing is all part of his marketing plan. Nobody who has been taken to court for child molestation goes on TV holding hands with a 13 year old boy he's admitted to having slept with unless what he's really trying to goose is record sales. (Even Jeffrey Dahmer knew when the cameras were rolling to shut up and say "O.K., so I've made some mistakes." But if he had a lagging recording career it might have been a different story.)

When Jackson forcefully denied (as forceful as you can with a Mickey Mouse voice) having had plastic surgery he was hoping his fans would show their support by buying more records. They should have noticed his tucked and sutured face was almost too tight to make his lips lie about it or that he never invited little girls to the sleep-overs but that's just another part of his genius.

In an era where top rated TV shows feature women in bikinis eating barbecued rats and agreeing to marry a clown because he might be a millionaire, this type of promotion is what it takes to get noticed and might even be taken advantage of by more enterprises.

Viagra might benefit from a total freak out testimonial campaign featuring guys who took the pill too soon biting the heads off chickens because they can't wait for the wife to get home.

Even President Bush, who is having a hard time convincing Europe to go to war with us, might try the Jackson approach. If he went on TV, kicking over bar stools, cracking a whip, chomping on a piece of raw steak, then turned to the camera and said, "Saddle up boys. We ride tonight," he might get the curious French to come along just to see what happens next.

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An SUV Gets Stuck in a Flower Bed

I saw the funniest thing the other day that was "so L.A." and a wonderful argument against SUVs.

I was walking through the grocery store parking lot and a woman, driving one of the biggest, mammoth, luxury SUVs had cut a turn too short (which is easy to do in those tanks) and her rear tire had gone up and over a median-curb thing and was now in a rut of muddy grass. And she was stuck. She had no idea what to do. So, she had her husband on the cell phone and store employees putting wood planks under her tires.

Mind you, she had three tires on dry pavement but she still had no idea how to use the SUV part of her SUV to drive off that tricky four inch tall mound of mud and curb. For the first time in her life she used her SUV to go off road and now had no idea what to do out there in the wilderness.

And, literally all she had to do was hit the gas. Three of her tires were on asphalt. Obviously this woman (like most SUV owners out here) do not use the SUV part of their SUV. The SUV part of these vehicles is just wasteful and useless and completely unnecessary.

So, I was telling this story to a friend, a self-described libertarian (which means he's a conservative who won't admit it), and he launched into a tirade about how Barbra Streisand travels around L.A. in a Winnebago so she won't have to use public restrooms and Norman Lear has a huge wasteful vanity ranch consuming copious amounts of energy and liberals are hypocrites flying around in their private jets and telling the rest of us to sell our SUVs. And I said, if so, then they're wrong too.

I'm not saying any of these people are evil. I just think we as a nation have stopped thinking.

We need to be critical thinkers on this issue. And let's start with celebrities with bladder infections. Do we as a nation really want to see Barbra Streisand limping out of a Honda Civic, running up to the attendant at an Arco station and screaming for the key to the washroom? Actually, yes. But if she doesn't stop driving her Winnebago, if indeed she has one, it still doesn't mean your SUV is anything but big-time silly and bad for America.

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"There but for the grace of God goes... Jesus!"

Being in favor of a sane energy policy, and seeing SUV's lousy gas mileage as the enemy of my daughter's future geo/political and physical well-being, I was pleased to hear the recent "What would Jesus drive if he were alive today" debate. And if your answer is Jesus would drive an SUV that would only be true if he had to go cross country through mud and snow to bathe a leper.

Being a lapsed Catholic and former altar boy I think I have some standing to comment on what the correct answer would be and that is Jesus would drive any car that had a JESUS IS THE ANSWER bumper sticker on it. Just kidding. It would be an I'M RIDING WITH JESUS bumper sticker.

Catholics are raised to believe it is a sin to waste. So, I see Jesus on a ten speed. Jesus would be that guy on the bike with the rear view mirrors on both sides of the handle bars and mud-flaps and side baskets and you'd see this character coming at you and say "There but for the grace of God goes... Jesus! Hey, Jesus. Hi." And then Jesus would honk the horn on his bike and wave and in the future you'd think twice about what you think about crazy homeless people.

Anyway, keeping in mind Jesus was the first Catholic and it's a sin to waste, if Jesus drove a car today, and if he had enough money (and why wouldn't he, he's Jesus, who wouldn't co-sign for that loan) Jesus would drive a fuel cell car because the only exhaust put out into the world his Father created (that is if you believe that whole creation story) is pure water, which Jesus could then collect and turn into wine. Cause that was His trick.

The car-shopping Son of God would also drive a fuel cell car because He would not like what is happening in the Holy Land, and much of that is over oil.

One must-eth remember, back in His time, when the Romans were tooling around in golden chariots or loitered about by neutered Nubians, Jesus saddled up his ass and rode from town to town. His donkey did produce some pollution, but all vehicles did back then and ashes to ashes, dust to dust, droppings to fertilizer, it all worked out. But if today were yesterday, it would be the greedy, god-less, orgy partaking Romans driving their Escalade to the Promenade, and Jesus taking his fuel cell vehicle to a party of the ONCE I WAS BLIND BUT NOW I CAN SEE SOCIETY to drop off the free wine he made with his non-polluting vehicle.

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Not Bitten by the Flea Market

Not by choice, but by an evil twist of fate, I happened to find myself at a flea market in Sacramento. It was about 98 degrees out and, although the nuns didn't describe Hell this exact way in Catholic School, the concept of Satan's underworld kept appearing in my mind's eye.

This hellish vision had nothing to do with Sacramento or it being 98 degrees, by the way. It had everything to do with the fact that I abhor rummage sales and flea markets are rummage sales to the hundredth power.

What are the underlying monetary principles for vendors in a flea market economy? Buy low, sell high? Gather goods for little or no money and then sell at retail prices with little overhead? No. Flea markets aren't about making money.

How do I know this? When I walked around this giant flea market I saw that nobody was buying anything. The customers just silently walked by each vendor's selling area, which generally are bent folding tables and beach umbrellas that separate Bob the flotsam-schlepper's-crap-he'll-never-sell from Nancy-the-jetsam-hauler's crap she'll never sell, and the browsing customer runs their eyes up and down the laid out useless crud/merchandise maybe making the briefest eye contact with the twit that owns it. And after giving the poor sap a quick thank-you-for-bringing-your-junk-out-into-the-hot-sun-smile, they move on.

No, flea markets are not about the money. Flea markets are about getting out of the house. Flea markets are the troubled offspring of bad marriages. "Honey, I'm going to the flea market and try to move some inventory." "Please! Get the hell out of here and take your mountain of junk with you. Your folding tables, the umbrellas, your little cardboard signs with the prices for your junk, pack it all up and go. And don't you dare buy anymore junk from your junk friends when you're there. No more 'inventory.'"

That's why it's O.K. when this poor sap sits all day at the flea market next to his handmade jewelry and stained glass shaving mirrors and lawn chairs made out of green tree branches watching people walk past his neatly spaced crap and take a big pass, after which he has to pack it all up in a special transportation of crap vehicle and bring his mountain of junk back home.

If you were a normal business person or sane you'd load up, display, not sell, and then pack up and take home your mountain of junk just once. You're done. No more.

But I guess most marriages need a release valve, a diversion, a seemingly purposeful but actually pointless, no chance for success reason to get out of the house. I know this because I golf.

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Reading the Toilet Paper

When you hear all the hard numbers about the lagging economy the human reality is often lost. But I was talking with a young tech guy from the silicon valley and the story he told made the human tragedy of these tough economic times universal in the way of a great novel like Cannery Row or painting like Guernica. He told me he can always predict when his company has another round of employee layoffs coming because about a month before the layoffs begins the company starts buying cheaper toilet paper.

And doesn't that bring it all home? If you have traveled the world you know the American standard of living is pretty high and leading the way is the quality of our toilet paper. In fact, the vagaries of toilet paper quality you're forced to encounter is one of the most stressful things about foreign travel.

First, I'll bet the tender types in the executive office suites at this company aren't suffering through the same coarse toilet paper hell the average workers have to face. But almost certainly the money this company saves on cheaper toilet paper isn't going to save them from another round of employee layoffs. So why even do it?

Efficiency experts would say, well, when cutting costs you gotta' look everywhere. But after hearing about the salaries and perks of many CEO's and their CFO, COO minions it doesn't take a rocket scientist (but I am sure a rocket scientist could) to figure out there are more places to save money up in the executive suite than down in the employee bathroom. So much savings perhaps the company may not have to fire any workers or the good toilet paper.

I don't want to sound like a communist here or even a liberal but shouldn't there be a law? Not about grades of toilet paper, but should any company be able to cut back on its workforce when its CEO continues to make 40 million a year or has a daily floral arrangement allotment in his retirement package? I know capitalism says every worker including CEO's should get the best deal they can extract from the company but when people are getting fired and those that aren't fired have to use cheap toilet paper it just isn't good for the overall economic health and/or mood of the country.

But until we can get some laws on the books, when your company puts you through the hell of recycled, cheap, thin, toilet paper, start brushing up your resume. Because that cheap toilet paper is just the first way the company is putting your butt on the line.

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And Forever it has Been Thus

So, let's see. The family that runs Adelphia Cable wouldn't put the Playboy Channel on their system because that's immoral but they would steal hundreds of millions of dollars from their shareholders because what... that was more moral than showing bulbous breasts?

To me, Adelphia's shaky moral compass is another example of how deregulation has been a giant bust, and I don't mean that in a Playboy Channel sense.

Let's just start over with this premise when you look in the Bible, Shakespeare, or any recorded history of human behavior the thing that leaps out at you is this - we stink. People are awful.

After being de-regulated, how long did it take the Savings and Loan industry to become thieves and whores? Minutes? Maybe seconds before the savings and loan people started pilfering and plundering like deregulation was the Oklahoma Land Rush? And would anybody say the airline industry is in better shape after de-regulation? Sure, but all those people work in the airline industry.

The phone industry. Better or worse? Is it even possible to get good service from your cable company? And how about the energy industry and Enron, a company that had the bankrupt morals of an Enron. The cheating done by the guys running Worldcom was so openly stupid and blatant in retrospect it sounds like they wanted to get caught.

What's my point? Some Republicans and their buddies in the media, recently have tried to blame Bill Clinton for the recent sleazy behavior in corporate America. Why? Because primarily Republicans were the ones who told you de-regulation was your friend, that if we got government off the back of industry, industry would soar. Yes, many of us are so sore we can't sit down.

Thus, therefore, ergo the next time politicians tell you de-regulation is the answer, that government should get off the back of industry say this - Cain slew Abel, then stole his 401 K. And forever it shall be thus.

As for Adelphia, the new management is now thinking of adding porn to their cable service. Why? To make up the money stolen by that moral family that used to run the place.

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I Found the Answer to World Peace in Las Vegas

How many lives, how much time, energy and money could be saved if there was peace in the Middle East? Enough so that it might be time to try something crazy. Because when the diplomats fail, when logic and reason and all else fails, it's time to send in the comedians.

Before it first opened the Holy Land was just like Las Vegas, nothing but a useless patch of desert until someone had a dream, a vision that started out small, overtime got popular and eventually became a sacred and/or popular tourist destination. The Holy Land is so important to the Muslims and Jews that they go to war over who gets to stand next to a pile of old rocks and who doesn't.

So, I'm saying the guys that built the Venetian, and the Parisian and New York, New York in Vegas should go over to the Middle East and build a new Wailing Wall. A new Temple Mount. The Arabs would give up use of an old religious site to the Israelis in exchange for a new one and vice versa. Just like those hotels in Las Vegas the replica sites would be so realistic the only way to tell the difference between the old religious site and the new one would be the new one has a 99 cent breakfast buffet and slot machines. Because these Vegas guys don't build anything for free. So, it's going to be the New Wailing Wall and Casino.

Perhaps initially the new religious sites wouldn't have the same spiritual impact of the old ones but the old ones don't have prime rib for a dollar-ninety-nine, all you can eat. You combine dollar-ninety-nine prime rib, some free drinks, gambling and religion in one spot and watch the tour buses and the tourist dollars come roaring in.

And the beauty part is the only price of peace is that every now and again they have to let Wayne Newton sing. That's it.

The Wailing Wall and Casino is the solution. In the new Jewish religious sites instead of two cherries and a lemon signifying you lost, you'd get two Abrahams and a Noah. Envision the slot machines and then you can envision world peace.

Right now this sounds like an absurd, even bizarre notion. But if Colin Powell, in all seriousness presented The Wailing Wall and Casino proposal as the best solution America can come up with it just might force the Arabs and Israelis to think, "Maybe we've gone too far. If serious people are coming up with Las Vegas style religious sites, maybe we have to think outside the box a little bit."

And if they don't see the absurdity of their situation and stop the fighting then we should actually build these places. The Middle East might get peace and prosperity due to separation of the warring parties and increased tourist dollars. I await my Nobel Prize and when in the Middle East I expect my meals and room, comp-ed.

Once Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple but in the name of peace it's time for the money changers to take it back.

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How to Fix Politics and the Olympics

If you want to understand politics in America you should watch the Olympics. Why? The Olympics is the perfect blend of pure, unadulterated desire to achieve excellence and... total whoredom. And doesn't that pretty much describe American politics?

First of all, just like American politics, the Olympics is a T.V. event. If it weren't for all the money you can make by being on T.V. who would work so hard to get there? The pure ones. And if it weren't for the money who would use banned drugs or pressure judges, in other words, cheat, to get there. The whores. Just like politics.

So, I suggest the governing body of the Olympics separate the stuff they do for ratings from the true sports stuff. Have ratings grabbing stuff and sports. Don't ever merge the two.

For example, you could open every winter Olympics with Tanya Harding chasing all the other skaters with a hammer. How cool would that be? Tanya Harding chasing after everyone swinging away, the other skaters doing those triple half soft-cows(?) to kick the hammer out of her hand. A ratings bonanza.

The biathlon, an event which combines cross country skiing and target shooting is a T.V. ratings loser but has it half right. What you want for T.V. is to combine downhill racing and shooting. If you have a downhill racer going 80 miles an hour down an icy hill trying to shoot pie plates off pine trees with an Ouzi, you'll get Super Bowl type ratings.

The next logical step is ski jumping and shooting. Give a guy a loaded shotgun and when he goes flying through the air throw some clay pigeons up and see how many he can hit before landing. Of course, landing without killing yourself gets you into the next round. Thus, the ratings success of reality shows like Survivor becomes joined with the beauty of sport. And with these ratings producing, thus money producing events in the mix, the real sporting events could be covered straight, for what they are, instead of the hype and personality profile ratings boosters tagged onto them that we see now.

How does this apply to politics? For a start we shouldn't corrupt real politicians by putting them on T.V., those from the right/from the left scream-fests. Those are just for ratings and money. Clown or stunt politicians, whose vote doesn't actually count, should go on T.V. and put on their little wrestling match. The politicians with pure unadulterated desires to achieve excellence could then get work done. This assumes that there are any of those politicians left but I'm willing to roll the dice if you are.

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