Friday, October 31, 2008

The Fly Hunter

I hate flies.

What's more, I don't feel at all bad about it. I love all of God's creatures equally, and believe that they should be allowed to live in their own environmental niche without any provocation or torture beyond what is necessary to render them useful or tasty.

But flies are not one of God's creatures. They are the creation of the devil, and deserve to be treated as such.

Proof #1: flies like to eat poop. Lots of you will protest that dogs do as well, but dogs don't land on the poop, get it all over their multiple feet, then take back off, only to land on the honey bun that you were about to eat, wipe off six very poopy little feet, and then fly off to go land on some more poop.

"Oh, come on, it's a microscopic amount of poop!" some of you are saying right now.

You know what else is microscopic? Ebola. And I bet you don't want to eat any of that, do you? I don't know about you, but my personal daily allowance for feces is 0.0 grams.

Proof #2: They make an annoying buzzing sound and smack themselves, over and over, against your window, your lights, and you, yet never just drop dead to the ground.

Proof #3: I'm pretty sure that flies cause erectile dysfunction.

Unfortunately for my sanity, we're having a fly infestation at work. Yesterday, when I came in, there was a very large, very ugly fly buzzing around the hallway. Our ceilings are about eight feet here, so it's out of the question to whack it with a magazine, and the damn thing wouldn't land on the ground to get a good swat at it.

My European colleagues had resorted to what Europeans do best: bitching about it.

"It's very annoying!" my seven-foot-tall colleague complained. "There's no way to hit it!"

"That sound is driving me mad!" said another.

"I'm going to have to take a personal day!" complained a third.

And on and on and on.

Finally, I did what every American does when confronted with this kind of issue: I decided to take matters into my own hand. I took a large piece of paper, rolled it up, and fabricated the three-foot Fly Swatter Deluxe.

When I came out into the hall, they simply goggled at me.

"What are you going to do?" asked one.

"I'm going to kill that damned thing," I said. "And keep it's body as a trophy."

So I took a big swat at it with my FSD, managing to stun it and drop it to the ground. As it lay there, twitching its little fly legs, I stomped on it and turned it from fly to smear in a matter of seconds.

"What have you done?" asked an aghast colleague.

"You killed it!"

"Why did you do that?" asked a third. "You could have let it go!"

"It deserved to die," I said. "Stupid fly."

One shook her head sadly at me. "Barbaric."

"No," I said. "Barbaric is to sit with the flies and accept that they are swarming all over you. Civilized is to kill the damn thing, realize there are another ten waiting to take its place, and going on with your work."

Needless to say, I didn't win any popularity points on that one. Nor did I win any points by insisting that everyone call me "Fly Killer" for the rest of the day.

But what cinched up my reputation as a barbaric American was what happened next.

I was sitting in my office the next day, minding my own business, when I heard a buzzing against my window. I looked up to see another fly, slightly smaller than the one that I'd smeared the day before, sitting at ease.

So I slowly took a plastic cup, crept over, and caught the fly inside. Then, sliding a piece of paper under the rim, I created my fly prison: an overturned clear cup with a fly inside. I let out a whoop of joy which brought my coworkers running.

"What have you done?" asked one.

"I caught a fly," I said. "I am no longer the Fly Killer. I am the Supreme Fly Hunter in All the World!"

"The poor thing," said one. "Will you let it go?"

"No," I said.

"Are you going to keep it?"

"No," I said. "I'm going to leave it here as a warning to the other flies until it dies, and then I'm going to have it stuffed and mounted and put up on my wall as a trophy to remember my glorious victory. And I'll have my Fly Swatter Deluxe bronzed, as well."

They all looked at me in shock for a moment. Finally, one said "how much does it cost to have a fly stuffed?"

In my shock, I dropped my fly prison, losing my victim. It took off into the air, buzzing around my office.

In retrospect, I should have simply let it get away, but in my urge to kill, I began laying about with the Fly Swatter Deluxe, attempting to knock it out of the air. Unfortunately, sensing sympathy from my coworkers, it headed towards the door, and I followed, bellowing and thrashing.

And I proceeded to hit at least four of my coworkers about the head and shoulders with the Fly Swatter Deluxe.

One of them went down in a heap, one beat a hasty retreat, one spilled coffee all over herself, and the other surrendered Monaco and most of France. On and on I surged, only dimly aware of the pleas for mercy from my coworkers, coffee and tears mixing beneath my feet as I lunged, striving to kill the buzzing speck which had befouled my morning.

It zipped, upwards, through a crack in the ceiling tile and was gone. It had escaped. I stopped, suddenly aware of the sobbing forms lying around me and the growing smear of coffee, tears, and now urine that was slowly oozing down the hallway.

The fire alarm shrieked and doors up and down the hallway slammed shut as my colleagues, terrified that I would turn the Fly Swatter Deluxe on them, huddled under their desks and called their spouses for a tearful goodbye.

I stood, conquering barbarian, in the destroyed wreckage of my once-calm office. At my feet lay a coworker, clutching at my ankle, pleading for mercy.

At that very moment, the elevator dinged, and the boss stepped out. He cast an eye over the scene: the red siren throbbing angrily, two employees face-down, me panting and holding a snot-stained roll of paper, my tie askew, every other office door cracked open just a touch to allow those inside to peer out and see what was going to happen.

He cocked an eyebrow at me, waiting for an explanation.

"Don't worry, sir, I killed the fly. It won't be troubling us any more."

He nodded. "Good job. I hate those things." Then he walked on by and down to his office.

There's a reason why my boss only keeps one American around.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Moral Delimma?

Let's say you're on a crowded bus in a foreign country, waiting to be shuttled fifty meters over to the plane, when onto the bus steps a person who, you are quite certain, is a transvestite.

How much staring is *too much*? I mean, can you take a glance, think to yourself "geez those five-inch stiletto heels look awkward on shim" and no more? Can you stare longer at the long, bleach-blond hair cascading awkwardly down the shoulders and wonder why shim didn't pick a more less-glaring hairstyle?

Is it okay to search in vain for an Adam's Apple, or is that considered gauche?

I feel that the social auspices of this situation are currently poorly-defined. I know all the rules about looking down a woman's blouse, or having a chick try to stare up your shorts. But with people pushing the boundaries, it's time we began to establish societal rules of conduct for those of us who are square and not sure how to deal with these situations.

Could somebody write Dear Abby on this?

"Dear Abby: how long can you stare at a potential transvestite in a public setting before you've crossed over from stunned onlooker to obnoxious gawker? And is it ever okay to just straight-out ask 'hey, you were once a dude, right?' Signed, Rubbernecker

"Dear Rubbernecker: The rule for transvestites is the same for trying to catch a glimpse of panties on a woman sitting in a too-short skirt: one to three seconds is allowed, but anything over five and you're leering. And unless you plan on buying him/her/it a drink, you may never ask what was the original tool kit. "

That seems like a decent rule, doesn't it?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Editorial: McCain Should Concede

[In the interest of early compliance with the reinstitution of the Fairness Doctrine, we are bringing you this special editorial from the New York Times.]

On the eve of this historic presidential election, instead of focusing on the historic transformation of the United States from a racist backwater into a leading nation for progressive values, the entire world is captivated by one question: what is John McCain thinking?

The aged senator, whose Panamanian birth certificate admits to at least 72 years, insists on holding a vote on November 4th. Worse, he and his running mate, the nattily-dressed siren from Alaska, insist that they actually may win a victory in the election, inflaming passions around the country and dividing an already-fragmented electorate.

We ask why McCain insists on maintaining this fantasy, and the answer is that, deep within his crusty heart, he must hate this cradle of liberty. Why else would he force voters to the polls to choose between the future and his benighted version of the past?

Doubtless there are some holdouts, locked away in their mountain-top cabins, who will take a break from polishing their automatic weapons and writing their six-hundred-page manifesto against society, and turn out to vote for the worst-prepared vice presidential candidate in the history of the republic and her fossilized running mate.

Regardless of that, though, Obama will surely sweep through the polls like a breath of fresh air after passing an open-air sewer, and the country will be woken from the nightmare of the Bush presidency into a new dream of cooperation and sharing that will lift our spirits to new heights of glory.

One for all, and all for one, just like the musketeers of old!

After the pain of the 2000 stolen election, and the unseemly Swiftboating of John Kerry in 2004, it is only right that we unify the country by acclaiming, not voting, for the next president. Obama needs to know that he has the full support of every citizen of this nation, and that we will not tolerate any form of dissent of any kind.

If John McCain were half the honorable man he claims to be, he would concede now, before the election, and allow Obama to sweep into office unanimously, with the full backing of an all-Democratic congress to allow them to do the repairs to this leaky country that it so sorely needs.

To do otherwise is, dare we say it, unpatriotic.

Friday, October 24, 2008

How I Lost My Jacket

One of the most endearing things about Wifey is that she takes great pains to ensure that everyone in the family is always outfitted in clothing which is in good condition and adequate for the weather, yet never purchases anything new for herself without outside intervention.

I once lost the entire contents of my underwear drawer, many of which were collectible, because she decided that when the fabric of your tightie whities becomes transparent, that means that it's time for them to go. I had been wearing some of those pairs since I was in high school. Meanwhile, she wears T-shirts whose designs have literally been washed off over the years.

Two months ago, when temperatures started to regularly drop below 80° in the morning, she pulled out her light jacket. It's a gray hoodie zip-front sweatshirt jacket, and she's been wearing it for the last seventeen years, ever since somebody left it at my parent's house after a Christmas party and she rescued it from being trashed by promising to give it a good home.

So last weekend we were preparing to go out, and she said to me "some of my friends said that it's time for me to get a new jacket. What do you think?"

"There's nothing wrong with that jacket." I said. In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with any of her clothing. I'm not Mr. Blackwell, god rest his bitchy soul, so I generally don't venture any opinion on any textiles whatsoever.

"That's what I think," she said.

See, I should have stopped there. Probably would have gotten laid. But instead, I decided to freelance.

"I've always liked that jacket," I went on. "It's sort of a retro-hobo look that has equal facility at keeping away both panhandlers and religious fanatics. Even winos in the throes of alcohol withdrawal would think twice about trying to bum change off of somebody whose jacket cuffs have load-bearing grunge on them."

After that, not only was I not getting laid, but she'd likely revoke my groping privileges for the foreseeable future. Undeterred, and not noticing the look on her face, I continued to riff on the jacket.

"Forget those knife-proof jackets popular with UK school children, that jacket just oozes security," I said. "Whose gonna mug somebody who can't afford anything better than that piece of crap? Not to mention the very real risk of serious infection from the layer upon layer of grimy stains and…"

It finally dawned on me that my mouth continued to run off of the teleprompter in my head. I guess this is what Joe Biden feels like.

A silence hung between us, as if to say if you think you're seeing her naked any time soon you'd best have pictures, only you never took any, and if you suggested it now they'd never find your body.

"You're not finding this humorous, are you?"

"Thank you for your opinion," she said. And that was that.

Well, this morning, lo and behold the temperature has reached "chilly" for me (less than 50), and so I decided that I needed to get my light jacket out. Unlike Wifey, my light jacket is new, and has the benefit of being waterproof with a hide-away hood and an internal pocket for important documents, like the stupid European ID that is too large for a conventional wallet.

Only, my jacket wasn't there. I was rooting through the closet when I heard Wifey in the other room.

"How do you like my new jacket? I didn't even know we had it. I found it in the closet yesterday, and since you hate my hobo jacket, and nobody was using this one, I decided that this is my new light jacket. All my friends just love it."

I found her standing in my jacket. Now, you have to understand two things about Wifey:

1) She's on brain medication, so there's every possibility that she does not, in fact, remember that this is my jacket.

2) I'm more than a little bit afraid of her.

What could I do? I could protest, of course, but that would certainly mean extending the nudity ban that has chilled our bedroom relations. So I did what I should have done in the first place.

"That jacket looks great on you," I said. "Really chic and sexy."

She gave me a hug and walked out to take the kids to school, with a mysterious smile on her face.
Damn her! Fortunately, though, I have a backup jacket from Carlsbad Caverns.

Stupid hobo jacket. I'd burn it, only I'm afraid that I'd catch bubonic plague from the fumes. Or worse, erectile dysfunction.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Boring Math Stuff

Mrs. Peel has a post on Monty Haul and how it doesn't apply to Deal or No Deal. It's boring math stuff, but is just the kind of thing I like. I understand and concur exactly with her conclusions.

Now, here's the situation on DoND: you have picked a case, eliminated the rest, and now you are down to two cases. You know one has the million, and the other has one dollar. Should you switch, or stick with the case you picked?

It makes no difference what you do. Here's my thinking:

If there are 30 cases, your chance of picking the million at the outset is 1 in 30. So the chance the million is in one of the other cases is 29/30.

You eliminate a case. The chance it was the million case is 1/29. There are now 28 cases left.

In fact, there are 28*27*26... ways to eliminate the remaining cases to get to having just two cases, the 1 and the 1 million. That's a lot of potential paths. The chance that you follow one of these paths is about 28!/29!, or 1/29.

So it seems to me that when you get to two cases, there's a 1/30 chance the million is in case 1, and a 29/30*1/29 = 1/30 in case 2.

Ergo, do what you want, since the odds are even now.

I'm not enough of a math stud to be sure this logic is correct, though. Anybody else out there who is?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Wherein I Meet Someone Important

Today on the bus in Rome, I met a very important personage: the Bahaman Ambassador to Europe. So while the rest of you were trying to break through your employer's adult content filter to download bootleg pictures of Scarlett Johansen kissing Penelope Cruz, I was hobnobbing with international movers and shakers.

It happened like this:

The first thing you do when you get on a plane in Rome is you wait on a bus for about fifteen minutes. They do this in order to save valuable jet fuel by parking far away from the airport, and to provide gainful employment for surly bus drivers.

So we waited, and waited, and waited. We'd been waiting for about ten minutes when one woman asked the lady standing next to me "You're going to Brussels?"

"Yes," the lady responded.

"Oh, no!" said the woman, and she jumped off the bus and ran away.

There was a moment of stunned silence from everyone in the bus. "You know," I said to the lady next to me. "She just assumed you were correct."

"I guess I look like I know what I'm doing," she said.

"I believe I'd have asked somebody else if they were also going to Belgium. It's entirely possible that you were the one on the wrong bus."

Well, we got a big laugh out of that, and then proceeded to discuss what had brought us to Rome. I mistakenly assumed she was American, but she told me she was from the Bahamas. When I asked her what she was doing in Rome, she said:

"I'm on an ambassador's visit to Rome."

"Wow! You're an ambassador?"

"No," she admitted. She pointed to a very nicely-dressed man standing nearby. "He's the ambassador. I'm the political officer."

I would now describe what a political officer did, only she didn't describe it to me all that well, and admitted that it's kind of vague. I got the feeling it involved doing a lot of stuff for the ambassador that he didn't feel like doing, and attending boring meetings while he hobnobbed with monarchs.

She's actually the second political officer I've ever met, and the other one didn't describe the job nearly as well as she did. He just told me he has to work long hours, which was enough to let me know it's a job I never want to have. I'm still hoping to replace George Jetson someday soon.

However, I can share with you these facts about the ambassador of the Bahamas to Europe:

1) He has a very nice political officer, since she introduced me to him while we were waiting to board the plane. I didn't think much of her taste in shoes, though, and I told her that three inch heels were probably not appropriate for travel. She admitted as much, but said it's a risk of the job. And to think, I complain because I have to wear a tie to work sometimes!

2) He wears bitchin' suspenders. I didn't tell him this, although I did mention it to his political officer, and she said he'd be delighted to hear that. When she introduced me, she mentioned that I liked his suspenders, and I then complimented him on them, although without the expletive. I'm a moron, not an imbecile. He took it as graciously as you can.

3) He wears cufflinks, and they are quite nice. Why don't more men wear cufflinks? It's a little bit of extra bling that you can stick on your shirts to personalize them, and it opens up a whole new non-tie avenue of gift-giving. I'm thinking a cufflink revival is overdue. Why did we stop wearing them? Plus, wearing cufflinks means that fewer buttons will be harvested every year, which will probably be good for the environment, unless we buy cufflinks from China or something, in which case they'd be made of tri-methyl-ethyl-lead and lead to a worldwide clubfoot pandemic or something.

4) He's very nice. Even though he was forced to shake hands with some idiot on the tarmac in Rome, he handled it with grace, and laughed, and chatted with me a little bit. He's the third most important person I have ever shaken hands with. The first is a US ambassador, and the second is the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

5) He wears a Bahamas flag pin on the lapel of his suit. I didn't even know these existed. Do you suppose that a lapel flag pin exists for every country? Probably so, except for maybe Canada, where the natives are embarrassed and wearing them is probably illegal.

What Not to Do

Here's a piece of gastronomical advice: if you ever find yourself in Italy and suffering from intestinal distress, don't order the seafood kabobs.

It only makes things worse.

I'll spare you the gory details, other than to say that I have spent the entire flight in prayer that I don't need to change seats. And underwear.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I work in a soap opera?

I have become convinced over the past few days that I am working in a soap opera. The only thing we're missing is a guy with a black mustache who screws all the secretaries and ends up getting promoted because he has incriminating evidence about the boss.

Oh, wait, I forgot that he left the department about six months ago, and now he's a Vice President with a Secretarial Grotto instead of a pool.

For one thing, the guy with the office near the coffee machine is often crying. I'll go down to get a cup of joe, and there he'll be, watery eyes rimmed with red, quietly sobbing at his desk. I swear it's like he's either a heroin junkie who needs a fix or he just found out that his girlfriend ran off with his sister.

Worse, they just changed out the coffee machine, so now it takes practically forever to get your drink. So there I am for forty-five seconds while he quietly sobs, without even the basic dignity to close the door to his office.

I have to say something, right? But at the same time, I don't want to hear his tale of woe, and I don't really know him, because I make it a rule not to socialize with anyone whose office is more than two doors away. Too much walking.

So I've decided to do the only thing that is both masculine and allows us both to keep our dignity: I punch him in the crotch and say "there, now you've got something to cry about!"

Then I leave. Hey, I'm the only American; they expect me to be nuts.

Then there's this other guy who spends about half the day in the only toilet in the men's room. I don't know what he's doing in there, but when he comes out he has a big smile on his face and is practically singing.

All I know is I don't shake his hand. Ever. I figure it's better that way.

Add in the haunted water fountain, the fact that every other week somebody goes to the hospital, and the guy that looks like a hobo who nobody knows and who seemingly sleeps in the abandoned office at the end of the hall, and you have a very strange work environment, indeed.

At least all is going well with me, except that I've become addicted to the tomato soup from the new coffee machine. I don't even like tomato soup, either; it's just that this stuff is 25% salt, and I don't eat salt anywhere else, because it leads to hypertension, which can cause heart attack, stroke, and more serious problems like erectile dysfunction.

So I'm drinking ten cups of tomato soup a day, which when you factor in coffee means that I'm crotch-punching crybaby like twenty times a day, which HR has warned me I need to limit to five times a day or face a verbal reprimand.

Which is okay, because my knuckles are killing me.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Home Improvement, Plebian Style

Like most women, Wifey doesn’t understand home repair.

Men know that every home project has three phases: the first phase, where you grossly overestimate what it is you are capable of doing, the second phase, where you spend vast amounts of money purchasing items which are directly or indirectly related to the task at hand, like getting a new cordless drill for a painting job on the logic that something might need to be re-hung, and the third phase, where you bleed and swear at the job in question until your wife is afraid to ask you to do any further work on it for fear of your health and/or sanity.

That’s home improvement, in a nutshell.

Women always think that home repair should be like This Old House, where people whisper expletive-free phrases, the fat guy with the beard never bleeds, and the antique table ends up in better shape than when you started.

I’ve got news for you: around my house, if a table needs some finishing work done on it, we call it kindling.

This weekend, though, we took on a fairly routine home task: we bought Ikea furniture. I like Ikea furniture, because it has directions with no words inside and the pressed wood smells like a Swedish forest. Fortunately, it doesn’t smell like the Swedes who assembled it, who often remind you of the hind end of a moose just after a meal of baked beans and chili.

The girl needed a new armoire. Since houses in Europe have the delightfully quant custom of being totally closet-free, we all have our hanging items in armoires, and the girl had outgrown hers. But it was nothing that Ikea couldn’t handle. We dutifully measured the space available: 105 centimeters.

Yes, I do everything in metric. If you don’t like that, go furlong yourself.

At Ikea, though, Wifey fell in love with an armoire that was 135 centimeters long. Being a good husband, what did I say?

“If you like it, get it. We’ll figure out how to make it fit.”

Now entering Phase 1. Since we were in Ikea, we also decided to get glass curio cabinets and a new baker’s rack to replace our current baker’s rack, which is in perfectly good condition but only weighs about fifteen pounds and can be easily folded down.

The new rack weighs eighty-four pounds and is slightly smaller than a Yugo. But it does smell of Swedish pines, which is a major upside.

Phase 2 was now accomplished.

We lugged all this out to the car, and Wifey did what she always does when it’s time to lift up something heavy: she batted her eyes at me and thrust out her chest and said “how can I help?”

With testosterone coursing through my veins and machismo now flooding my brain, I was not about to let Wifey help me fill the car up with cheap, imported pressed wood furniture, so I wrestled it into the car myself. In the process I herniated myself in several places, but I forgot to swear.

On the way home I made several jokes about stopping suddenly and having the boxes come hurtling forward to decapitate her. For some reason, she found this less than humorous.

Having learned my lesson, I kept my eyes north of the border and insisted that she help me lug the boxes upstairs. She tried me the time-honored woman’s trick of explaining that if we broke the boxes open we could carry everything upstairs easily in several trips.

Like I’m gonna fall for that. You know who makes the trips? Me, because she’ll end up unbuttoning the collar on her shirt or something and using cleavage to make me stupid. I insisted that we carry everything up, in boxes, because otherwise “we might scratch the wood.”

Yeah, right. Like that’d ever happen. Pressed wood’s indestructible, isn’t it?

After wrestling with them for the better part of half an hour, we got the boxes upstairs. We hadn’t sweat that much together since our wedding night, and only then because we discovered that the Chinese condoms I’d bought were expired.

Then we each took up our positions, ordained by the cosmos to be Wifey reading the directions, and me dutifully ignoring them to put it together “the way that seems right.”

We have put together most of our furniture this way, and in fact it works quite well. In all the time we’ve done this, we’ve never broken a piece.

What’s new, though, is that the children now “help” us. Mostly, they do this by running off with pieces and tools, or sticking dowel rods so far into their holes that they are lost forever.

And I’m strictly forbidden from swearing at the children, for reasons not entirely clear to me. Sometimes they deserve it, you know?

Two hours later, as something resembling an armoire began to take shape, I smashed my thumb with a hammer. I emitted a string of vile curses, because everybody knows that swearing at a smashed thumb makes you feel better.

“Are you bleeding?” asked Wifey.

“No, doesn’t count.” I said. Then I turned and, because I was preoccupied by the smashed thumb, I tore the top cross bar in half just by brushing it with my leg.

Stupid pressed wood. There goes our perfect record! Why don’t they just build the shitty thing out of balsa next time? At least then it’d be light.

Wifey gasped, the girl cried, and the boy just shook his head at me as if to say “I thought you were a man!”

I emitted another string of curses. “Get the tape,” I said.

“What? You’re going to tape it?”

“You have some other magical pixie dust way to stick the damn thing back together?” I asked.

Note to self: this is not conducive to intimacy.

When I’d finished taping it together, Wifey said “We’ll just stick a bow on it or something.”

“I’ll tell you where I’d like to stick it,” I muttered.

“What?” she asked me. “What did you say?”

“I love you sooooo much,” I responded.

Then we finally got it together. It only took us three hours and a minor squabble. Not bad, I say.

Next up: the all-glass curio case.

This was a bit trickier, if only because glass is often sharp, breaks easily, and is heavier than all get out. Midway through the job, I managed to slash myself and started bleeding. Not on the glass; it was actually on a Canada Dry can that I decided to crush with my bare hands before tossing it into the garbage.

Phase 3 was now complete.

As I was trying to get the darn thing together, Wifey was cautioning me all the while “don’t get blood on the glass! Don’t get blood on the glass!”

Finally it was ready to put into place, and the hang the door on it. “Just hold it there a second,” Wifey said. “I wanna clean it off before you put it in the corner.”

She left to go get the glass cleaner, the boy going along with her, and I took a moment to rest and revel in a job well done.

That, and I farted. Listen, at this point, it was one of the few bodily functions I still felt chippy enough to go through with. I could barely walk, I’d herniated everything, all my digits were throbbing from being hit with a hammer, and I’d cut myself on a drink can.

It’s amazing I was still upright.

Well, Wifey comes back, and she launches into this sniffing dry-heave, where she bobs her head, wrinkles up her nose, looks around the room, shakes it off, then starts it all over again. Every third one, she looks suspiciously at me.

“It smells like rancid moose toots in here,” Wifey said. “What happened?”

“Fine!” I finally admit. “I did it! I farted! I cut the cheese! That rancid smell is me! Me! There! Are you happy?”

“Daddy!” the boy said. “That’s awful! And in MY ROOM!”

“Good lord!” she said. “I thought there was a sewer leak or something.”

“Is this the thanks I get for putting together all this furniture all day?” I said.

“Well, you’re hardly finished with it, are you?”

Sigh. I should have bought that cordless belt sander.

The King Code

Many of you probably read Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback column today and totally missed the hidden subtext of his political denouncement of John McCain.

That's because many of you are dimwitted cretins. Fortunately for you, I am here to spell it out for you.

The background is this: King has sworn off political commentary this year in order to avoid alienating his readers, as he did during the 2004 and 2000 elections by his rampant boosterism of Democratic candidates. He made this vow two weeks ago.

Last week King came under fire by readers for re-airing a Chris Rock quote about Sarah Palin, where he said her choice for VP was so bad he expected it to have come from Al Davis. Many equated this to political commentary and let King know how displeased they were for violating his promise.

King renewed his vow, declared to be apolitical, and closed up his column by noting that he could listen to Keith Olbermann talk all day.

Translation: from now on, King will send his shout-outs via coded message.

So what were his coded messages this week? They are on this page. Just after praising Spike Lee's new film (calling into question King's tastes in movies), he tells us that:

l. Finally got to see the premiere of Family Guy, and if I had to pick, I'm not sure which TV character I'd chose as the best in history -- George Costanza, Barney Fife, James West or Brian the dog. Brian's quite a maverick.

We know from the use of the word "maverick" that King is referring to John McCain. And look at the list of characters that come before: loser Costanza, incompetent Fife, womanizing West, and Brian, who is an alcoholic dog.

What King's really saying: John McCain is a dying racist who plans on turning this country over to a crazed Christianist who will drive the Zionist agenda and lead us all to destruction, where we will be forced to eat dogs to survive.

I see through your ruse very clearly, Mr. King. Shame on you for violating the sacred trust between coffee-breathed sports journalist and reader!

King ends with this point:

m. Best pizza in New York, if you like thin crust similar to the best pizza in Italy: Fiorello's, on Broadway, between 63rd and 64th.

Which, as you no doubt realize, is a tacit admission that he likes to dress up in ballerina costumes and drink camel urine in hopes that they will help rejuvenate his waning libido. Oh, and he's frustrated because the only thing he's gotten by consuming up to 64 cases of penis-enlarging pills is massive flatulence.

Any idiot can see that in the subtext.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wherein Wifey Lets Me Down

Today Wifey received this call straight out of the blue:

"Hello," said the kind woman on the other end. "My name is Barbara, and I'd like to invite you to an elite, high-level fundraiser for Barack Obama."

What do you suppose Wifey said?

You'd expect that, given that her husband is an anonymous blogger with at least three readers, she'd leap at the chance to attend an elite, high-level overseas fundraiser for Barack Obama that was stooping to cold-calling any Americans they could find the number for.

It's the very definition of a target-rich environment for a master satirist such as myself!

But she just said "No, thank you."

And she hung up the phone!

Just thirty minutes at that affair would've written my blog for a week. A couple of hours would have kept me blogging up through the election! And can you imagine the fun I'd have had making an ass of myself?

Plus, I never get invited to any kind of elite, high-level events. Oh, sure, I got thrown out of an elite gentleman's club one time, but that was hardly my fault. I still maintain that it was her boob groping me, not the other way around, but the bouncer saw things differently. So did I, after he broke my glasses.

So I'll have to make do without whatever wisdom gets dispensed at these events. I must really have arrived, though, because four years ago nobody asked me to any kind of fundraisers for John Kerry.

But in 2008, Europe is apparently a swing state. Or a failed state. I can't ever remember the difference.

Being a good husband, though, I'm not going to hold a grudge or demand remunerations from my wife. She was, after all, trying to spare us the horrors of having a campaign flush with cash hit us up for money just after a Wall Street crash put another five years onto my career. For this, I will thank her.

But she better not complain about being groped again, I can tell you that. Because this time the bouncer's not there to save her.