Friday, July 27, 2012

A tale from the motivational vault

Rocket was a racehorse. That is to say that he was horse—in every way—from forelock to fetlocks. Equus ferus caballas. And he ran in many races.

But he was not a good racehorse. He never won a race. Indeed, Rocket was a very slow racehorse. Equus slowus molasses.

His rider, Jacque E. Shortz, who was as light on the whip as he was in the saddle, believed Rocket’s lack of alacrity was all in his head.

“Listen, Rocket,” he whispered in the horse’s ear. “Speed is relative. Compared to a walking horse, you’re Hermes incarnate. Compared to a plow horse, you’re incredibly fast. A Clydesdale could not hold a candle to you. Compared to a rocking horse, you’re supernatural. 

“My goodness,” Jacques chuckled, “compared to a saw horse, you’re a million times the speed of light!”

Patting Rocket on the rump, he cooed, “You’re an Olympian, Rocket. … Now get on the truck and meet you’re destiny.”

And with that, the horse happily clopped onto the back of the truck, which was emblazoned on the side with big red lettering:

Jumping Jack’s Pommel Horses
Made with real horsehide!

 Morale: Run faster. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

No turn signal? Your brain is on the blink.

Dear dude in the silver Lexus, who refuses to use a turn signal: the world already knows all it needs to about you. You are either:

A. An idiot
B. An arrogant a-hole
C. Both A and B

And it’s important to emphasize that none of these are good.

After all, there can be only a few reasons for you burning up the road blinkerless and brainless. And they all boil down to this: you don’t know or you don’t care.  

Here’s what we can assume you don’t know:
  • The basic rules of the road
  • Where the turn indicator lever is
  • Where you’re going
  • Where you are
  • What a major ass wipe you are

Perhaps you didn’t know the car was turning. Cars are, however, seldom known to do that on their own. Perhaps you didn’t realize you were not driving Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Maybe you didn’t know you weren’t being chased by mobsters with tommy guns. Using turn signals while being chased by mobsters would be pretty dumb. Or maybe you didn’t know we all shouted, “Simon says, ‘Use your blinker. (Goddammit.)’”

This is beyond being a pet peeve. According to the Society of Automotive Engineers, failure to use turn signals results in 2 million accidents a year.  Also, environmentalists have proven that you non-blinkers contribute to global warming because you cause motorists to gasp an extra 20% carbon dioxide. … This is not true. But now you can say you read it on the Internet—and that’s good enough for cable news.

(Speaking of pet peeves, note to self: name the next cat you own “Peeve.” I would introduce her as my pet Peeve who scratches the furniture, meows too much, and yaks often on the carpet. Seems apropos.)

So, dude in the silver Lexus, I don’t accept that your blinkers are broken. Or that they work on the inside. I don’t accept that it doesn’t matter. And I certainly don’t accept that you are above the law … or the parameters of common courtesy.

Your attitude is unacceptable. Turn it around. And when you do, use the friggin’ blinker.

Monday, July 16, 2012

It's not the heat, it's the lucidity.

The cat spread out on the patio like peanut butter on toast.  The hotter it got, the wider and flatter she became. I wondered how much the mercury would have to rise before she ended up pooling up—a melted milkshake with a tail.
“Would mercury work on the planet Mercury?,” I asked my imaginary friend.
“A Mercury doesn’t work on Earth; those cars are pieces of crap,” he said.  A blue dragonfly darted near him, then buzzed through his imaginary head.  My friend was wearing a fuzzy pink bathrobe and sipping a mint julep from a plastic Slurpee cup.  He glanced at the dragonfly and gestured the universal sign language for “shoo.” But as the dragonfly lacked my imagination, it flew away out of simple boredom.  
“No … I mean mercury in a thermometer.”
“I don’t know,” my tutelary admitted. “I’ve never been to Mercury.” He paused, perhaps to ponder the boiling point of mercury—or perhaps to burp. “But if you think this is hot, you should go to Venus.  It’s nigh on 900 degrees out there, rains sulfuric acid … and forget about getting a decent cannoli.”
“You can’t get a decent cannoli here. If you haven’t noticed, we’re out in the middle of nowhere!”
“Yeah, but you know what we have here?” he asked. And with that, he stood up, winked, and shed his fuzzy pink bathrobe. Before the terrycloth hit the deck near the melting cat, he transformed into a winged jaguar and hovered—with deft flaps—ten feet above the patio, waiting for my answer.
“Good mushrooms,” I replied. “Good mushrooms.”

Note: the boiling point of mercury is 674.1° F. Temperatures on Mercury can fluctuate bewteen -279 and 801° F.  We can assume, then, that a mercury thermometer would not be pratcical on Mercury--as would very little else. It's also interesting to note that, although farther from the Sun, Venus is much hotter because it has an atmosphere comprised mostly of carbon dioxide. So write your legilsature; global warming is real, man. I would also suggest that, if women are really from Venus, they're messed up. Sulfuric acid rain? C'mon, ladies, why you gotta hate like that?   

Friday, July 6, 2012

The scoop on what will kill you

A few weeks ago, I wrote that hot sauce brands were trying to kill you. Whereas, I do not wish to be a mouthpiece of morbidity, I am finding out daily that there are a lot of things that want to kill you.

(Incidentally, if you want to see a real mouthpiece of morbidity, go to the attic and pull out your old pacifier from the box marked “keepsakes.” That bulbous piece of plastic binkie probably had BPA, ortho-phthalates, lead paint, asbestos, and two forms of tuberculosis all melded into a baby ball gag that would shut you up. But hey, you’re still alive!)

Very quickly, here are some things that want to kill you: al-Queada, al-Shabaab, al-Cohol, al-Imony, al-Zheimer’s, al-Igators, al-Abama, and Al Pacino (“Say hello to my little friend!).

And I’m not even out of the A’s. But for now, let’s skip the B’s and go straight to the C’s. … The Big C—not cancer. Nay, I’m talking about Capital C; that rhymes with “see” and that stands for “Look, a cat.”

Your cat wants to kill you.

Scoop my litter--I command it! 
And she is recruiting some dangerous friends. Not al-Qaeda, your el gato has recruited an equally dangerous partner, the toxoplasma gondii parasite. (This is not to be confused with Toxic Plasma Gandhi, the name of my punk Bollywood fusion prog band … which I have not yet formed.)

According to a recent study, the t. gondii parasite residing in your cat’s gut and litter box may make women more prone to suicide.

This is, no doubt, in cahoots with your cat, who wants to eat you.

The study of 45,000 women in Denmark apparently shows that exposure to the parasite causes changes in the brain. It concluded that women infected with t. gondii are 1.5 times more likely to attempt suicide than—say—women infected with t.e. lawrence.

There are, however, some flaws in this study. First of all, it was done in Denmark, dank dark Denmark, where suicide is a national sport. (Note: this is not statistically true. Denmark often ranks as one the happiest nations in the world. But I simply refuse to believe that and your complaints will not change my mind.)

Second, it’s not parasites in your cat litter than make you want to kill yourself.  It’s just the cat litter. It’s the drudgery of scooping your cat’s waste—the realization that you currently live in a Turd World country—that makes you ask, “Is this all there is?”  To be or not to be. To scoop pee or not to scoop pee.

I can't believe I ate the whole human. 
There’s something rotten in Denmark, indeed. And it needs to be scooped.

Your cat knows this. And teaming up with a parasite makes perfect sense—more carcass for kitty. Make no mistake, your cat would sell you out to a tiger or mountain lion if it meant it could eat at least a bit of you. But it would rather have all of you.

In the meantime, Mr. Mittens will kill you with cuddles until the parasite takes over. A mountain lion, however, will kill you with gnashing teeth and claws.   

They say, if you encounter a mountain lion in the wild, you’re supposed to open your jacket to make yourself look bigger. Yeah, right. This is akin to a cow walking up to you and exposing its psoas major (filet mignon city) to make itself look cuter.

You will find these parts particularly tasty. 
Rather than exposing all your soft and juicy parts to a cougar, I suggest you poop your pants. No mountain lion will want to get near that … and—you got it—risk getting a parasite.