And So It Begins

Since nobody will see this (okay, a couple people probably will), I’m just going to go with whatever strikes my fancy. Mind you, I don’t want to end up with a bruised fancy, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take. Anyway…here goes…


Prior to my retirement as an Environmental Services Associate (you know them as “custodians”), I pondered whether I should develop my own website. This would be a place where I could express my inner, deepest thoughts. Or fart jokes. Don’t judge.

This summer, I moved from the dumpster fire which is Pennsylvania to the insanity which is Virginia. As of this writing, Pennsylvania is still a dumpster fire and the jury’s out on Virginia. I relocated to Virginia Beach to help out my daughter and new son-in-law get on their feet. In a year, though, I plan on moving farther south. I’ll still be close to them (and my son and his future wife, who live in Richmond, but I’m tired of hearing sirens. I want to virtually disappear somewhere rural where, hopefully, my Yankee accent won’t get me into too much trouble.

What energized me into going with this website is the fact that Facebook, where I usually post my own brand of silly, suspended me for a month due to “violating community standards.” I have no idea what I could have done. When I tried to investigate, I could not actually see what got me tossed “into the can.” Moreover, the most recent troublesome post was January, 2019. That’s right, over a year and a half ago.

So, therefore, I decided to launch this website a little earlier than I had originally planned. I’m still finding my way around Word Press (i.e., not exactly sure how it is I post pictures…I do that sort of thing a lot). In a few weeks, I’ll reactivate my Facebook account (they suspended me…I suspended THEM. Screw those fascists). At that point, I’ll direct my friends there to find me on this site. It will contain most of the stuff I already post on Facebook and will be free. At least for the time being. It would be nice to have some money coming in. After all, I am a pensioner now. For now, though…enjoy?

Well, that’s all for now. Supper’s calling and “Jeopardy” will be coming on soon.

Stay safe, both of you.

Sunrise, Sunset

I’d post the actual pictures from their wedding, but my son and daughter would object most vehemently to that. After all, I’m older now. And easier to catch.

            The two of you who read my column last week, Till Unmasking Do Us Part, know where I was Memorial Day weekend.  For the multitude who did not (and probably aren’t reading this, anyway…in which case, how would you know and what’s the point?), I was in Blacksburg, Virginia.  No, I wasn’t drinking beer and roasting weenies (especially my own) in celebration of the unofficial beginning of summer.

            Okay, I was drinking beer.  More than my share, but that’s neither here nor there.

            No, I was at the home of Virginia Tech (NOTE:  unpaid plug for the Hokies) to witness the marriage of my second child to a woman who hasn’t yet come to grips with what kind of family she married into.

            She’ll learn.

            Anyway, as the COVID pandemic begins to loosen its grip (along with the ludicrous face diaper mandates), it was a return to the type of celebration that we had all grown used to.  Sure, there was no dancing or type of rituals you’d normally associate with a wedding reception (e.g., throwing of the bouquet and garter), but it didn’t matter.  Everyone had a great time regardless, lack of a chicken dance notwithstanding.

            Two more family weddings will follow at the ends of June and August.  And, even though they will be held in the asylums of New York and Washington, a good time will no doubt be had by all.  Especially me.  Both my son and daughter are married, don’tcha know.  I can go to these weddings as a guest and not have to be one of the role players of the event.  Not that being father of the bride and father of the groom were onerous tasks, mind you.  It’s just that I had to maintain some some semblance of dignity and gravitas, is all.

            The fact that I won’t be able to stay up all night partying is actually a plus.  The earlier to bed you get, the less partying you do, the better any hangover.

With age comes wisdom. And odd smells.

            Before I continue on with my point (trust me, there will be one.  I think), I must mention  my daughter’s nuptials last September.  Thumped by restrictions wrought by the pandemic, her wedding at an oceanfront hotel in Virginia Beach had to be cancelled.  Instead of a planned grand affair (and grand it would have been), she and her husband said their vows on the actual beach, accompanied by direct family only.

            A lovely event, to be sure. Even though it didn’t come close to being the type of celebration she had planned, I’ve no doubt that in years to come she’ll look back on it with fondness.  I know her mother and I will.  After all, she wed the man she loves and that’s really all that should matter.  Not watching her father mangle the Hokey Pokey.  As funny as that would have been.

            So…both of my kids are married.  I’m now left with the feeling of “Jeez, where’d did the time go?”  I remember ignoring my own parents when they told me that youth is fleeting and that one day I’ll be staring in the mirror, wondering who it is who’s looking back at me.  And what’s up with those eye bags?

            PFFFTTT!  Well, what do the old people know, anyhow?  I’m was in my 20s, don’tcha know, acid jeans, moussed hair, and my own bad self.

            Well, here we are.  The brown hair has turned white, the smooth face has become a road map of wrinkles, and, to tell you the truth, those are eye “suitcases,’ rather than ‘bags.’

            Mind you, there are other signposts to “late middle age” (I refuse to go gently into that good night of senior citizenry and call it that, AMAC membership notwithstanding), but that’s none of your business.  Let’s put it this way, fiber has become my friend, my knees make more noise than a mariachi band, and I generally need a nap after a good fart.

            I remember the terrors of potty training, keeping britches on my daughter, and kindergarten.  Luckily, kindergarten cured that “britches” thing.

            Likewise, the “talk,” first dates, and driving lessons.

            NOTE:  We pause now for this brief story.  At nine o’clock on the night my daughter got her drivers license, she asked me to drive her to the store.  I started to reach for my car keys, hesitated, and said, “Yeah, I’m going to bed.  There’s the keys.”

            I also chuckle when I recall how worried my son was when he fretted he would only be as tall as I. 

Fortunately for him, he favored that part of the family which catered to normal height.

            High school graduations gave way to college graduations which gave way to first jobs and first houses.

            I watched with great pride as, along the way, they became adults in their own right.  My heart would swell, if proper cardiac care wasn’t such a concern nowadays.  If the purpose of life is to give the world something of yourself, someone better than you, well, mission accomplished.

            Although, it wasn’t until I watched our son walk down the aisle that I realized that his mom and I were now the older versions of the flashiest models in the showroom.  Much like Tevye in Fiddler On the Roof , I’m left thinking “Is this the little girl I carried?  Is this the little boy at play?”

            Yes, yes, I know quoting lyrics from an old movie is exactly the type of thing you’d expect from a …ahem…older gentleman.  Shut up.

            Okay, sure, I realize this sounds like a pity party for the young man I once was.  You know, that’s not it at all.  It’s all good because, on the contrary, this is a joyful celebration that my little girl and my little boy have found love.  An added bonus?  While certainly not a requirement, they’ve found it with two remarkable people.  I eagerly look forward to the journeys they will experience as they make their own way through the wonders of lives together.

            I’ve had my turn.  Let’s see what they can do.  I bet they do better.

            Sunrise, sunset.

            Sure, one day, they’ll find themselves in the same spot as I (while people speak of me in the past tense).  They may have kids of their own, they may not.  In any case, however, I hope with all my heart that they will, as do I, look back fondly on lives well-spent. 

            After all, that is the way of things.

            Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not ready to check out just yet.  I still have lots I want to do.

            For instance, I wanna do something about these eye suitcase things.

Till Unmasking Do Us Part

Not the actual wedding party.

                For the two of you who breathlessly await one of these, I apologize.  I was at my son’s wedding in Blacksburg, Virginia this weekend.  Perhaps not surprisingly, a movement is afoot in that small western Virginia town to rename it “Burg of Color.”  Since the college, Virginia Tech, is out for the summer, I think the effort will fail due to an overwhelming amount of brain cells.

                NOTE #1:  I’m kidding, but seriously, would it surprise you?

                NOTE #2:  Incidentally, if you are breathlessly awaiting one of these, might I suggest intensive psychiatric help?

                In any event, it’s been more than three weeks since I wrote anything besides personal checks.  Things have been busy, and I now find myself at my son’s and new daughter-in-law’s house in Richmond, watching their dog.  Who has a remarkable ability of licking himself.  Sigh…if only…

                Anyway, the wedding was a blast.  Happily, nobody got injured or arrested.  This all despite the fact there was an open bar.  There were more than a few hangovers the next morning, I’m sure.  Not me, you understand.  As father of the groom, I held myself to a high standard of gravitas and dignity.

                This was not the case the evening before at the “Welcome Party” held at a local brewery, mind you.  Somewhere that evening, I lost the power of speech.  And my pants.  So there’s that.

                So, what’s the point of this entire screed, you might be asking?  That is, if you’re still with us.

                My point is that I didn’t see a mask the entire wedding.  Okay, sure, the Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam (He of the Blackface), rescinded the Commonwealth-wide mask decree the Friday before.  A lot of private businesses are still allowed to require patrons to don the face diaper, though (by the way, I have zero problem with this.  If a private entity wants to go this route, do).

                The only time I saw a proliferation of masks was at our hotel.  That was cool with me, even though quite a few times I just didn’t wear one (same went for a lot of guests).  I kept it with me just in case an employee asked me to throw it on.  No way would I give them any grief about it.  None did.

Wrong mask

                The existence of vaccines has resulted in this shift.  I’d go for the reemergence of common sense, but okay, whatever.  I’m just thrilled to be able to walk around without a piece of cloth hiding my face.  Although, it was nice being able to hide my cold sores and not have to shave on a regular basis.  Still, I’m happy.

                The skeptical among us wonder whether this has anything to do with the Idiot-in-Chief’s botching of just about everything besides eating ice cream and sniffing little girls.  Removing mask directives could be a way to distract people away from the seemingly countless disasters coming from Washington.  Maybe, maybe not.

                Establishments have posted notices that if you have been vaccinated, a mask is not mandatory.  Of course, this requires all people to be honest about their medical status.  Personally, I think that’s placing a whole lot of faith in humanity.  If you doubt that, how many people do you actually think pay attention to “55 MPH” signs?

“I do. Especially on sidewalks. Oops. Pooped myself.”

                To ensure compliance would involve asking folks to produce proof of their vaccinated status.   HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…yeah, good luck with that.  So we’re clear, if ANYone asks whether I got the shot or not (hasn’t happened yet), I’m prepared to answer “Nunya.”

                NOTE #3:  For those who do not know-“None Ya Bidness.”

                I hope to see an increasing number of bare faces in the coming weeks.  I honestly feel that the more people ditch the diaper, the more other people will feel comfortable with ditching the diaper.  Just like before it was mandatory, when people put on masks just to fit in with the crowd, so it will go in the opposite direction.   Although, if I see “mask not required” at the store entrance I have no trouble sticking that nonsense in my pocket.  I’ll admit, though, that some folks may be hesitant to do the same.  That said, I maintain that the more people’s faces you see, the more comfortable you will be joining them.

                Disturbingly, I’m seeing the response to this entire episode becoming political.  My goodness, why?  Is common sense, logic, and critical thought dependent on whether you’re a donkey or an elephant?  For some, it apparently is.

                Likewise with the fact that the states leading the way are largely governed by Republicans, despite being accused of “Neanderthalism” (I made that word up.  Feel free to use it).  Even though places like Florida and Texas have lower reported cases of COVID-19 while eschewing the mask than the sideshows of, say, New York or California, the Left beats the drum that Red States are irresponsible.

                For pity’s sake, numbers don’t lie.  What’s more, the same people who bleated “follow the science” (we won’t get into the fact that science isn’t infallible all the time here.  I’m talking to you, Al Gore) aren’t following the science now since it doesn’t fit in with their narrative.

                Incidentally, what’s even more disturbing?  I wonder how many people wouldn’t be leery about getting the vaccine had Donald Trump been reelected (I won’t get into whether that’s true or not here, either).  Call me cynical, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Republican Party would then be leading the charge into shot clinics.

                After all, it was his administration which aggressively green-lit the things in the first place.

                To be seen as a mask-wearer is to be seen as a Republican “Anti-Vaxxer.”  I really wonder what the case would be if the shoe was on the other foot.  Like I said, call me cynical, but I ‘ll bet that many in the Democratic Party would be bitching about the vaccine.

                In other other words, if Ron DeSantis thinks the sun rises in the east, Nancy Pelosi would demand a special commission to determine if it’s so.

                Oh, and if you’re wondering whether I got vaccinated or not?  Nunya.

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Potty work tuckers a body out.

            The following is a story from my past.  I’ve always enjoyed telling this to those too slow to escape one of my tales and I still get a chuckle out of what turned from an easy fix into a porcelain disaster.  Even more importantly, it’s a beautiful day outside and, with a little tweaking, this is ready to go.  Since this happened, my daughter is now a married woman of 26 while I’m a divorced man of 62 who ironically is once more living with his daughter.  Time flies.

    “Poo!”

    Hearing this, I stopped short at the bathroom door.  Peering in, I saw my two-year-old daughter pointing excitedly at the toilet.  Upon seeing me, she grew more animated and jabbed her pudgy little finger toward the bowl.

    “Poo!”

    Aw, wasn’t that cute?  After what seemed like a lifetime of noxious diapers, pungent baby wipes, and soiled sheets, my little girl was starting to get that whole potty-training thing down.

NOTE:  As I draw closer to my mid-60s, this may be her future as she takes care of me.  And you thought life didn’t have a twisted sense of humor.

    “That’s right, sweetie,” I smiled, “that’s where you go ‘poo’.”

    Ignoring the bewildered look on my daughter’s face, I scooped her up and went off in search of my wife.  “Honey!” I cried, “You can throw away those Pampers!”

    Lost in my enthusiasm, I ignored my daughter’s continued cries.

    “Poo!  Poo!!”

    The following week, while riveted by the fascinating “Origami Death Match” on ESPN, my wife stormed into the family room, a scowl crossing her face.

    “Toilet’s still stopped up,” she declared.  “You really have to do something about it this time.”

    Reluctant to pull my eyes from the Chinese team’s truly stunning rendition of the Last Supper made from yellow stickies, I shot back, “What, again?  I took care of it!”

    “Jiggling the handle doesn’t count.”

    Of course, I knew she was right.  When it came to repairing things around the house, I wasn’t exactly Bob Vila.  I was actually more like Lou Vila, the guy who lived with his collection of cans under the I-95 overpass.

“A NICKEL A CAN! FIFTEEN CENTS IF I GO TO MICHIGAN. BITCHES.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m always willing to try.  After all, there’s something primal about strapping on a tool belt and launching headlong into a challenging do-it-yourself project.  My testosterone pumping at maximum levels, I pound my chest, secure in the knowledge that, with my bare hands, I could fix everything from a broken heart to the crack of dawn.

    Or, with the same bare hands, dial the phone for an actual repairman.     

    Sadly, as much as I like to identify with my pioneering forebears, my forays into the world of the “Fix-It Man” usually ended in disaster and frenzied calls to an electrician, plumber, carpenter, or doctor.

    Of course, determined to maintain my inviolability as a guy, I always complained that it was really my wife who so hopelessly screwed the whole thing up that we had to call for help.

    Like barbecuing, bowling, golf, and auto repair, familiarity with tools and their uses are what separate men from the animals.

    Well, those and recliners.

    So, it was with no small amount of trepidation that I took on the task of fixing our only toilet.  I knew that one small slip on my part would place the family’s entire lavatorial capability in the, no pun intended, dumper.

    Desperately hoping to reenact my early success, I pulled the flush lever.  Watching the water slowly swirl down the drain, I jiggled the handle a few more times, hoping for the best.

    As I watched the water leave the bowl about as slowly as in-laws at Thanksgiving, I knew this was going to take much longer than I feared.  I grabbed the Plumber’s Helper-hmmph!  Some helper!  Where’s the butt crack?-and began to violently plunge up and down like some manic Dutch milkmaid assaulting a butter churn.

“Huh. Is that how you do it?”
“You do know we’re not really Dutch. Right, Amos?”

    Water went flying everywhere.  I jammed the plunger in as far as it could go before yanking it free in the hope that whatever was impeding the water would be thrust out onto the floor.  At the same time, though, I wasn’t all that keen about actually seeing what that clog was.

    Out of breath, I ceased my exertions.  Moving the plunger out of the way, I looked into the bowl to see what, if anything, I had dislodged.  All I saw, though, were tiny, rusty flakes that no doubt had been ripped from the pipes by my efforts.  Other than those, there was nothing in the water to indicate anything had been stopping up the flow.

    Hmm, time to give my original trick another shot, I thought.  Maybe the clog had been loosened somewhere down the line and all it needed was another flush…

    This time, the water went nowhere.  Frighteningly, it rose to the rim of the bowl, threatening to overflow onto the floor.  Frantically grabbing towels, dirty laundry, or anything else I could lay my hands on-Oh, no! Not my Jokes for the John!-to sop up any overflow.  Luckily, the water stopped just short of the rim before slowly receding to its normal level.

    OK, that didn’t do a darned thing.  At this point, I knew the problem couldn’t be resolved by an amateur.  A clog of this nature cried out for an expert who was highly skilled in the plumbing arts.  Yes, a professional was needed to get to the bottom-once more, no pun intended-of this situation before a family was left without any means to flush away their problems-ok, pun intended.

    In other words, it was time for me to tinker around with it and see what I could do.  I didn’t know much but, what I did know is that I’d have to remove the bowl.

    Dutifully securing the valve which fed water into the tank, I checked to make sure what kind of wrench I’d need.  Normally a vise grip or channel locks with a rubber band would do the trick but I knew that it was vitally important to use the right tool.  A wrong wrench thingie could shatter the fragile porcelain into a million pieces.

    Passing my wife on the way to the garage, I assured her that I was on top of things and there was nothing to fear.

    “You mean unlike that time you cleaned the fireplace and set the house on fire?”

“Fireplace is clean!”

    Ignoring her, I kept on going.

    “Or the time our old furnace fell out of your truck and into the middle of Main Street?”

    Finding what I needed, I strode back into the family room.  “Completely different situation,” I said and headed toward our bathroom.

    “Yeah, you’re right,” she called after me.  “This time you’re working on our only toilet.  Want me to call the plumber now?”

    I frowned.  What kind of respect is that, I thought.  I mean, it’s not like I screw up all the time.  After all, I installed a dimmer switch in the living room.  No, wait, the insulation caught on fire…bad example.

    No, I got it!  I wallpapered the entire kitchen!  And, you can barely tell I put it up upside down.

NOTE: Picture of competent plumber inserted for entertainment purposes only.

     I gently removed the plastic caps which lay atop rusty anchor bolts.  May have a little trouble getting them off, I reasoned, so I determined to go extra careful.  My wife was right about one thing, at least.  This was our only toilet.

    I eased the correct sized wrench on one of the bolts and paused.  Now, which was it again?  Righty-Tighty or Lefty-Loosy?

    Momentarily confused, I wanted to make sure I got it.  All that razzing I got from my wife left me a little frazzled as I pondered which direction to turn the wrench.

    I got it!  If I’m looking down at a bolt, I have to go right to loosen a bolt!

    Confident, I pulled at the nut.  But, instead of watching it ease itself off its bolt, all I heard was a barely discernible cracking sound.

    Half a second before the entire toilet bowl exploded into pieces, leaving me only with a rusty nut gripped firmly by a Sears Craftsman 1/2” combination wrench.

NOTE:  “Rusty nut.”  Feel free to insert a double entendre.

    “What the heck was that?”  I heard from the family room, shortly followed by the stumbling footsteps of my daughter as she came to investigate what had exploded in the bathroom.

    Wanting to cry, I knew I’d done it again.  I sat back on my knees and tried to figure out my next step.  I realized I had contributed yet another chapter to the book of my shortcomings as a repairman who can’t even remember how to get his nut off.

NOTE:  Another double entendre.  Free of charge.

    My daughter’s eyes grew wide as she took in the devastation that littered the floor, the walls, and in the bathtub where she kept her seemingly hundreds of Disney action figures (Disney action figures!?).

    As I peered into the empty maw of the toilet outflow pipe, I at least saw the source of the clog.  Nestled among the porcelain shards was a toothbrush, baby’s comb, half a wad of Kleenex, what looked like a bag of Twizzlers, and, grinning insanely up at me, a little plastic Winnie the…

    My daughter clapped her hands and excitedly squealed, “Pooh!”

Thattttttt’s right.

    Yes, sometimes what comes out of the mouths of babes isn’t necessarily crap.                

Those Who Will Not Work*

*should not eat

                As happens every time I write one of these, the biggest difficulty I face is trying to decide on a topic.  To be sure, there were plenty of possibilities during the Trump Administration.  I realized that idiocy never sleeps, no matter who is in the White House.  Eating Tide Pods, lectures from Hollywood scolds, and never-ending bitching from the likes of Morning Joe and the chimpanzee class carried on in spite of the Mean Orange Man.  Who, while demonstrably better than the demented muppet we now have, wasn’t perfect himself.

                I’m talking to you, Space Force.

                Still, I have an even greater number of things to discuss now that we have the Idiot-in-Chief and Her Royal Scabby Knees in office.  The border, skyrocketing taxes, “wokeism”, China, Russia, Iran, and the aforementioned dementia make for a veritable cornucopia of lunacy.  Not to mention the Left losing their shit over Caitlyn Jenner throwing her/his/whatever hat in the ring for Governor of the Circus of California.  Just because Ms. Jenner has the balls to declare herself (okay, I’ll just pick a pronoun already) a Republican.  Incidentally…balls?  Not sure.  Don’t know.  Don’t want to know.

                Today, though, I’ll talk about the erosion of the American work ethic.

                A couple weeks ago, my girlfriend and I had lunch at a local “Mom and Pop” restaurant.  Eschewing chains like Wendy’s, Burger King, or, God help me, McDonald’s, we decided to actually sit down to eat rather than ordering cheeseburgers at the drive-thru before pulling into a parking spot.

                Unfortunately, though, we were told there would be about a twenty-minute wait.  Not because there were an inordinate amount of people queuing up for their signature souvlaki gyro (which is awesome, by the way).  No, it was because a shortage of staff impacted the number of diners who could sit down and be served.

                When I asked the hostess (who happened to be the owner-short staff, remember) why this was so, she told me that, despite a number of openings, she could not get people to work at her restaurant.  Not because she was a Simon Legree who used a cat o’ nine tails to motivate her workers to keep the unsweetened ice teas refilled.  But, because potential employees didn’t want to work.

                We quite rightly mourn those hundreds of thousands of our family, friends, and neighbors who were taken from us by COVID-19.  I consider myself lucky that neither I nor any of my family fell victim to this cruel scourge which traces its origins to a lab in China (which is why it’s not called the “Polish Flu”).  Whether by accident or by design,  the damage it wrought will be felt for years.

                Luckily, several types of vaccines have been developed and we are starting to see some easing of the draconian restrictions placed upon us.  Some more than others (e.g., Florida), but some.  I refuse to believe in the efficacy of masks (aka “Face Diapers”) to arrest this plague, and I fear they may be with us for quite some time, but things look a little brighter.

                NOTE:  The wisdom of taking a vaccine to combat a disease with a 99% recovery rate is another topic for another time.

“Hasn’t affected me.”

                One of the biggest reactions to the Coronavirus pandemic was the shuttering (in some cases, permanent shuttering) of many businesses in a thriving economy.  Part of me agreed with this approach in the early stages because we had little idea of what we were dealing with.  Then, as time went on and I realized this wasn’t the second coming of the Black Death (or “Death of Color”), I supported opening many of these businesses back up.

                Unfortunately, on the way to reopening, more than a few people remained uneasy about returning to work, especially those which dealt with the public, specifically the restaurant business.  Personally, I think these folks are cowards.  Unless a customer is sneezing on you or giving you a bear hug while coughing up a lung, I fail to see that you’re in any greater danger than catching a very bad cold.

                Okay, I could be wrong and probably more than a little insensitive.  I’ll grant that.  I see many people who are still genuinely terrified.  It makes me sad that they have put their lives on hold, but I shouldn’t doubt their sincerity.

                However, there are those who find it’s more financially advantageous for them to stay home, collecting unemployment, rather than waiting tables, slinging hash, washing dishes, and, yes, teaching our kids.  Unemployment compensation is $600 a week.  This, incidentally, works out to $15 an hour for a 40-hour work week.

                Golly, where have I heard that figure before?

                Not only that, but those collecting unemployment are not expected to report in on their success, or lack thereof, of finding work elsewhere.  Instead, once they make a claim of unemployment, they will continue to suckle at the teat of the federal government until the “emergency” is over.

                This practice may change sometime this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Uncle Sam extends this practice indefinitely to further solidify a dependency class.  Bread and circuses, if you will.

                The result of this is a number of people who refuse to work.  They see nothing wrong with getting something for nothing.  Who cares if someone else’s taxes pay for their lack of drive?  The suckers will always be there.

                The only problem is that when fewer people are pulling a wagon loaded with more and more of these slack asses, eventually the mules will drop dead of exhaustion.

                I have zero problem with helping those who cannot work.  I do have a lot of problems with those healthy individuals who stick their hand out for a handout.  Teach a man to fish and all that.

                A funny line in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” was, when asked why Cousin Eddy was unemployed, Ellen Griswold replied that he was “holding out for a management position.”  Well, I have serious doubts that many of these leeches at the public trough would work if they were even given a management position.

“Pfffttt! As if.”

                In an odd sort of way, while I would never accept something for nothing, I can see their point.  So, how about placing limits on their never-ending vacation?  If you’re not going to decrease the amount of unemployment (it should be decreased, but I really can’t see that happening), what about insisting that recipients actively search for work?

                It’s not the taxpayer’s responsibility to subsidize perpetual good time rock and roll and happy times.

                In the meantime, I plan on visiting that restaurant owner.  Maybe I’ll submit an application.  I’m not as young as I once was, but I remember how to bus tables. 

Foto Funnies XXXI

Okay, while this may be a little creepy, disturbing, and give off a Jeffrey Dahmer vibe, I’m cheered by at least one thing.

The mannequins are maintaining proper social distancing.

So, there’s that.

So You Think You Know Narwhals?

“Be honest, does my tusk make my butt look big?”

WARNING:  When trying to come up with a column for today, I was faced with a choice of addressing hard-hitting news or dementia in Washington, D.C.  I chose this.  The following contains absolutely zero intellectual value.  Unless you’re a marine biologist.

Even then.

Sources:  Wikipedia, National Geographic, a sixth-grader named Stewart

     The narwhal or narwhale (that’s what Stewart told me anyway) belong to the species Monodon Monoceros (Latin for “Watch Out, This Bitch Carries Mono”).

     It’s a medium-sized whale (not unlike Oprah) which lives year-round in the Arctic (after its distant relatives, the manatees, got all uppity and kicked them out of their Tampa winter homes for laying around and eating all the fish).

     One of two species of whale in the Monodontidae (there’s that ‘mono’ word again) family, along with the beluga whale (who knew?), they are distinguished by being punier than their snotty cousins, the sperm whale (who really have no reason to feel superior.  Given their name and all).

     In addition to the lack of a true dorsal fin, they possess a characteristic long tusk which extends from a hole in their upper lip.  Primarily a male feature (as if a penis wasn’t enough), they aren’t actually “tusks” at all, but some kind of weird-ass tooth. Which makes them a target for ridicule by fish and even squids. 

“Boo hoo. Cry me a river.”

     Evidently-drunk medieval Europeans confused this tusk as the horn belonging to the legendary unicorn.  Which had no business swimming. What’s more, they believed this horn had magical powers which could cure melancholy, poison, plague, and the Moors.  But, since Europeans also believed that elves caused genital herpes, it’s kind of hard to take them seriously.

     The purpose for this narwhallic snaggle-tooth (I just made that up) remains a mystery.  Differing theories hold that it may have something to do with mating, breaking through dense pack ice, capturing prey, scratching the itch of friendly sea lions, or for advertising.  Although, most reputable biologists now refute its use for catching food.

“Eff.”

     These creatures are found in Canadian, Russian, and Greenland Arctic waters, Seaworld, and with Buddy the Elf.  A specialized predator, their diet consists primarily of benthic fish (NOTE: I have no clue what that means. Feel free to look it up).

     Narwhal have been hunted for millennia by native Inuit people (the Polynesians having long since left because the beaches were much better in Hawaii) for their meat, ivory, skin, blubber, and as conversation pieces for igloo coffee tables.  However, this practice has dwindled due primarily to a shrinking herd, conservation efforts, evolving cultural practices, and the fact that Door Dash now delivers to the North Pole.

“I could be wrong, but I’ll bet all that snow will be a bitch. I knew I shoulda worked for Uber Eats.”

     Other predators include killer whales (which aren’t whales at all, but particularly bad-ass dolphins), polar bears, and the occasional confused mountain lion.

     The narwhal. 

     Master of the Northern Ocean (if sperm whales are on vacation), Denizens of the Deep, Bucktoothed Whipping Boys of the Whale World, Scourge of Benthic Fish. 

     Or, as Qaanaaq, Tribal Elder and Noted Inuit Crazy Person, likes to call them, “Nanooq lamooq na attatook hanni boof.”

     Or, “Beast In Front of Whom One Must Never Bend Over.”

     But, I could be wrong.

DISCLAIMER: A lot of the above is probably definitely not true.  Especially that “Qaanaaq” business.  But, elves probably do cause herpes.  At least that’s what Sister Mary Ignatius of the Yardstick told us in Religion and Marine Biology class.