Monthly Archives: May 2020

Conception: Introduction to The Birth of Tippy Gnu

This is the second installment of my autobiography, The Birth of Tippy Gnu.
To read the first installment, click this link.


Conception:
Introduction to The Birth of Tippy Gnu

There I was with all these other spirits, laughing, kicking it, just having a good time. Then the thrill vibe hit us. That’s the vibe that comes from the physical world, when we sense some other creatures are having a good time.

If you know what I mean.

It drew us like mosquitoes to a porch light. The thrill vibe is always a draw. It’s a vibe of fun, joy, and delight. It is life itself. Life is what we spirits thrive on. Life is our food. We must have life if we are to have, well, life.

It was a couple of humans humping and moaning away, really going at it. The thrill vibe can come from any creatures getting it on. But I liked the human thrill vibe the most. That’s because I was a real twisted fuck.

Humans are the stupidest of all the creatures in the physical realm. And yet they’re also the smartest. Humans are just really messed up. Like me. If I had been more mature and developed spiritually, and had not allowed myself to degenerate so badly, the human vibe would not have been my thing. I’d have gone for the rodent vibe, or worm vibe, or, if I was among the most advanced, maybe the bacteria or virus vibe.

One of the stupidest and most biased of human beliefs is that we reincarnate into more and more advanced creatures, in the physical realm, until we finally enjoy the rare opportunity of becoming human. It’s supposedly the pinnacle of reincarnative achievement, according to some gurus and other illuminati.

But think about it. The math won’t allow it. Consider how many bacteria, plants, insects, and animals populate this world. It’s one hell of a lot more than humans, by an astronomical amount. If they were all advancing toward human life, planet Earth would soon be overwhelmed. It would not be able to sustain the vast numbers of new people being born.

Here’s the real truth. We use the physical realm as a kind of school. We must face many dilemmas in the physical realm, and from these we learn many lessons that help us to develop spiritually.

Some dunderheads have to go to remedial education. And so we’re born as more advanced, complicated creatures, such as mammals, who have to deal with complicated problems. And the worst of us, like you and me, are born as humans, who are not physically adapted to this world, and thus face the most complex and challenging issues of all.

But the more we advance spiritually, the less we need to learn from the physical realm. And so the most advanced spirits incarnate into the simplest creatures, such as bacteria, which typically have very short life spans and uncomplicated lifestyles. They usually just come here for brief, routine exercise, then quickly get back to their lives on the Other Side.

And that’s why we have so much bacteria on our planet. There are a lot of advanced spirits on the Other Side seeking a little tiny bit of spiritual exercise on This Side. You wouldn’t believe how many. It’s impossible to count them all.

Unfortunately, humans were what I, and all my friends, related to the most on the Other Side. We were in a tiny minority at the very bottom of the spiritual hierarchy. Which, by the way, looks a lot like an inverted pyramid. I once was advanced, but I allowed myself to degenerate badly. And now I was among the lowest of the low. Lower than whale shit, and at the bottom of that upside-down pyramid.

But minority though we were, we formed a pretty large crowd compared to populations in the physical realm. Why, there were more than a billion of us lowly spirits just at this one party alone. And we all dug the human vibe.

So there we all were, our spirits jumping with glee into the balls of this man humping his lady, and fighting over his sperm cells. I got into one successfully and held on for the joy ride.

What always happened in these cases was, I’d be ejaculated into some skanky vagina, and have a fun little adventure swimming up toward the cervix, uterus, and that distant, impossible-to-reach, golden egg.

Things always turned out well, because I never actually got to the egg. Not that I didn’t want to reach it. Some sort of mania always took me over and yeah, I’d go delirious as a hound on a fox hunt, trying to find the prey. But I was up against a billion other competitors, and barely stood a chance.

And then someone else would always shout “Bingo!” while all the rest of us cursed “Shit!” then shriveled up and died.

Then in a flash I’d pop back into the spirit world, feeling more electric and alive than ever. What fun I’d had! And the disappointment from not reaching the egg vanished like a cloud in a sunburst.

But not this time. No, fuck no, not this time. This time for some crazy reason, I guess by pure luck, I happened to land in the strongest sperm cell of all. And I swam like Michael Phelps himself. This time, there I was, right at the lead, looking and feeling like a champ. Suddenly, right before my little tadpole eye, loomed the gigantic golden egg itself.

A couple of strong swimmers pulled up beside me, and it was a race to the finish. My delirium swept me into a vicious madness. I tripped up one of my competitors by grabbing its tail, and whipped the other in the face with my own writhing tail. And then, whoosh! I plunged straight into the face of the sun!

But so did a few hundred others. We all started chewing like we were in a pie-eating contest, on this delicious egg, trying to be the first to penetrate the shell.

Suddenly I felt a crunch and a caving in, and the thrill vibe surged through me like a billion volts of alternating current. The biggest orgasm I’d had in eons coursed through my soul, blowing my mind out and dissolving me into a misty field of nothingness.

All faded to white.

I was the first to bust through the egg. I won the race! I was conceived, and became a human embryo.

Damn!

This was not what I expected or wanted. No, not before the delirium overtook me. Because every rational minded spirit knows what birth into the physical realm entails. Especially human birth. It is hell. The worst of hells.

It is the perception of mortality, and a struggle for survival every moment of your existence. It’s a bad trip, where your mind grows deluded and desperate. Nothing makes sense, unless you trick yourself into thinking you know everything. You find yourself blindly following a maze, and every direction you attempt to go ends up in a different, unintended vector.

No, the spiritual realm is the best place to be, even for a degenerate like me. A smart spirit only wants to dally with the physical realm. To live for just a few hours or days as an unsuccessful sperm is good enough. It’s a momentary joy ride, that breaks up the equanimous bliss of eternity. And it also helps us to advance a little bit spiritually. Not nearly as fast as one advances if born into the physical realm, but eventually, after a hell of a long time and a whole lot of sperm rides, we can get back up there with the most advanced beings.

To get trapped in the physical realm is not what anyone wants. But it does happen from time-to-time. And on this rare occasion it happened to me. I guess it was my turn to be the unlucky lucky one.

The sperm cell roadster I’d carjacked contained an X and Y chromosome. And so, in just nine human months, I was destined to become a baby boy.


Come on back in a few days, or so, for the next installment of The Birth of Tippy Gnu, entitled, The First Trimester, Part 1: Mom and Dad.

Planet of the Humans


Stolen Quote:
We’re kind of like cockroaches on the planet, and no matter how much damage we’ll do, enough of us will survive to procreate and keep it going. ~ unidentified woman, interviewed in the documentary film, Planet of the Humans.


Planet of the Humans is a documentary that was executive produced by ultra-liberal and self-avowed socialist Michael Moore. It’s surprising that this documentary was produced by such a liberal, because it turns the environmental movement on its head. It exposes hypocrisy and a disturbing fraud facilitated by the darlings of green energy.

These darlings include former Vice-President Al Gore, Bill McKibben (founder of the environmental movement, 350.org), Van Jones (CNN commentator and Barack Obama’s Special Advisor for Green Jobs), Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, and the Sierra Club. Planet of the Humans takes these leaders to task, inferring corruption, especially for their support or promotion of biomass as a form of green energy.

Biomass, or biofuel, energy often involves the widespread clear-cutting of forests in order to generate electricity through the burning of wood. The film claims that the fossil fuel consumed cutting down forests and hauling logs to “green” energy power plants, could instead be used for generating electricity, and would produce as much electricity as the biomass power plants produce themselves.

The film also points out that burning wood pollutes the air with carbon dioxide, about as much as burning coal. And that aside, we also need our forests in our fight against climate change.

Wood isn’t the only questionable biofuel. The film shows a gruesome clip of whole cows being tossed into an animal shredding machine, which helps to render fat from the cows, for the production of biomass animal fat. And ethanol takes a hit, because it comes from farm crops, such as corn, that require fossil fuels to raise, harvest, and transport.

Biomass is portrayed by the film as a fraud perpetrated upon the American and worldwide public for the purpose of profiting from lucrative government subsidies. When we think of biomass, we think of green energy, environmental friendliness, and the saving of our planet, and so we don’t mind the subsidies provided to big businesses that utilize biomass. But this form of renewable energy apparently does far more harm to our planet than good, according to Moore’s documentary.

What is Moore disturbing (get the pun?), is that we now have hundreds of biomass power plants scattered throughout our country, and many Moore worldwide. For instance, Germany has been praised for its progress at producing green, renewable energy, and yet the film depressingly points out that most of this energy is from biomass.

Planet of the Humans also takes on solar and wind energy. It shows the huge amount of environmental destruction required to construct vast fields of solar panels and wind turbines. And it points out the amount of destructive mining required to harvest rare earth minerals and other raw materials needed for constructing solar panels and wind turbines. And back to the efficiency question, the film suggests that the fossil fuel required to produce solar and wind energy materials might be more efficiently used just generating electricity by itself.

Planet of the Humans was cynically released on Earth Day, April 22nd of this year. It’s been met by a withering barrage of criticism from many environmentalists. Apparently, they don’t like their sacred cows to be tipped. Some have accused Michael Moore of playing into the hands of Big Oil. And many have accused the film of inaccuracies and spin.

Actually there does seem to be some spin and distortion of facts in this documentary. Not a great amount, in my view, but some. On the whole, I’ve found the documentary to be thought-provoking. I’ve often wondered just how much bullshit pervades the environmental movement.

For instance, our local trash company uses two different garbage trucks to pick up trash. One is for non-recylables and the other for recyclables. It’s my understanding that most of the “recyclables” don’t actually get recycled. Instead, they end up at the dump. But consider how much extra fossil fuel is used to power two different diesel-guzzling garbage trucks, to do the job of one.

I was a letter carrier for several years at the Palm Springs, California post office. All of our mail trucks sported a bumper sticker that read, “Powered by clean, natural gas.” A lie. They were all powered by regular ol’ gasoline. The engines had been modified so that we could use natural gas if we wanted, but we never did.

It seems that all you have to do to make something environmentally acceptable to the general public, is slap a green sticker on it. It’s called greenwash, and I suspect it’s far more pervasive than most people imagine. Planet of the Humans has done much to uncover this fraud, even if it might exaggerate the problem to some extent.

Planet of the Humans was recently pulled from YouTube, citing an alleged copyright infringement. This so-called copyright infringement involves the unauthorized use of a 4-second clip, shot by a photographer who disagrees with the documentary. Michael Moore has justified using this 4-second clip as falling under the Fair Use Doctrine, and has accused YouTube of blatant censorship.

But the website, Gizmodo, has hailed YouTube’s decision, lambasting Planet of the Humans as “garbage”. Garbage or not, Rotten Tomatoes has thus far given the film a 64% score.

This documentary seems intended to point out that it’s futile to try to save our way of life through renewable energy. It argues that the only way to prevent a mass die-off of the human species is to vastly reduce the amount of humans occupying our planet. But the film doesn’t specify how to accomplish such population control, and this leads to accusations from critics of suggesting eugenics and ecofascism.

But I think Planet of the Humans does a fairly decent job making its overall point. I felt sad and alarmed while watching this documentary. But I also appreciate the courage of Michael Moore for risking brickbats from his liberal peers, while exposing hypocrisy and fraud in the environmental movement.

You can watch the full, 100-minute movie for free, until the end of June, at this website: https://planetofthehumans.com/

The Birth of Tippy Gnu: Preface

We begin my book, The Birth of Tippy Gnu, with the Preface. Every few days following this will be a new installment, as we progress deeper and deeper into the book.


The Birth of Tippy Gnu:
Preface

 

From a young age, my megalomaniacal ego urged me to write my autobiography. But my pride in my humility always resisted this urge. The two forces battled it out for decades, but finally pride lost. One day I caved into my ego, faced my keyboard, rubbed my hands together, cackling like a madman, and commenced typing.

I didn’t get far. For the life of me, I could not get past the time of my birth. I kept drawing a blank. But I persevered, and finally managed to conjure up some memories. These were the highlights of my life. My achievments. But as I pondered these highlights, I felt a powerful lethargy dragging me under. I couldn’t stop yawning. And eventually I succumbed to a deep sleep.

Over and over, day after day, I repeated this exercise of reviewing the highlights of my life, only to find myself face first on top of my keyboard, with drool shorting out the circuits beneath.

I learned to buy cheaper and cheaper replacement keyboards. But I couldn’t figure out how to prevent losing consciousness, and over time even these cheap keyboards put a strain on my wallet. Finally one day, as I was chucking a fried keyboard into the trash, the truth hit me. I realized I had no interest in the highlights of my life. I was literally boring myself to death.

It occurred to me that what I was most interested in was not the things that happened after I was born, but rather, the events prior to birth.

I felt much more excited about what happened before I exited the womb, than after. Because it seemed to me that one cannot understand the after until one becomes acquainted with the before. The before explains it all. And then there’s no need to discuss the after, and all the monotonous details.

All anybody needs, to understand my life, is to know what was going on with me before I arrived in this world. Before my birth. Before the water broke. Before each trimester. And even before conception. That is where the foundation lies. And the grand design. The blueprint. That is what makes me, me.

Therefore, this autobiography of Tippy Gnu is about the birth of Tippy Gnu. It’s about what happened before birth, during, and immediately after. It does not concern itself with the details of my childhood, my schooling, my romances, my various careers, nor any other folderol I may have involved myself in as a human bean.

After the reader learns about my birth, the reader will know as much about me as the reader will need to know.

Birth is the creation of human life. It’s as much a spiritual event as it is biological. The two are intertwined, at first loosely, but gradually more and more tightly, like a spool of string reeling in a kite. In this autobiography, I’ll provide the spiritual details. But I’ll also throw in some biological minutia, for your scientific curiosity. For the former, I spent my research time in meditative reflection. For the latter, I researched on the internet.

I’ll take the reader through the biological stages of human gestation, from conception all the way to parturition. And I’ll throw my soul, my spirit, the very heart of me, into these stages, and show how they affected my inner core. That is how the reader will learn about me. That is how the reader will come to understand my true essence.

So now, let’s go back. Way back. Back to when I was not thought about in this world, nor ever had been. To a time when Earth had been spinning along on its wobbly orbit quite well without me for over four billion years. To a time before conception, when I was but a twinkle in my happy-go-lucky father’s eye. For that is where my story starts.

That is the true beginning.


Come on back in a few days for that true beginning, when I’ll post Conception: Introduction to The Birth of Tippy Gnu.

An Old Birth Is Born


I recently finished writing a short book. It’s my autobiography, and I had to keep it short. That’s because I only wanted to cover my accomplishments, and skip over all the bad stuff.

I call it, The Birth of Tippy Gnu, or TBOTG. It’s a mere 13,000 words, so it hardly qualifies as a book, but for my own pride’s sake, that’s what I’m calling it.

I’m parceling it into 14 or so installments, which I’ll soon be posting for your reading displeasure. In fact, this fantastic, intriguing, inspiring yawner will be born tomorrow, with the first installment. TBOTG will provide handy filler for my blog over the next month or so, allowing me to kick back and start doing what I’ve always been doing. Which is kicking back.

I wrote this book for the purpose of becoming rich and famous. But if that doesn’t happen, I at least hope to have fun reading and responding to any comments readers might leave. That’s always a trip. 🙂

So tomorrow I will be born again. And what’s great is, I don’t even have to attend a revival meeting. Stick around for all the fun, entertainment, and lurid details. I hope everyone likes TBOTG. Or at least a majority of my readers. Or at least a few. One, maybe?

And as you read along, maybe we will be drawn closer together, until somewhere near the end we become like family. I hope so. Because then I will ask you for a loan.

And with that, I’ll see you tomorrow, bright and early, for a fresh new start in life.

Quote Stealing Recidivist

To my mind, the only possible pet is a cow. Cows love you. They will listen to your problems and never ask a thing in return. They will be your friends forever. And when you get tired of them, you can kill and eat them. Perfect. ~ Bill Bryson, Author


I once had a bullshit feature on this blog, called “Stolen Quote,” where I wrangled quotes from wise guys and gals. I then added my own little wiseass comments in an effort to udderly destroy the quotes, like a stampeding cow.

Wait. Damn. I think I’ve been reading too many of Jason Frels’ cattle tails.

I won’t hide the fact that I got tired of it, after milking this feature for many years, and I’m sure it was chapping my followers, too. But lately, some of them have forgotten about all that, and tried to lasso me into restarting the feature.

This wasn’t my first rodeo. I could resist the pressure from those clowns. But then I got to remembering how much fun it is to steal quotes, and got to imagining greener pastures. It seems the best quotes are those that have been rustled from others. Coming up with my own wise things to say just ain’t my brand.

So I’ve come to a fork in the trail, and decided to go left. It ain’t my fault though, it’s the fault of the coronavirus, because after wearing a facemask this past month I’ve grown nostalgic for my old bandit days. That’s another reason why it didn’t take much spurring from my followers to bring back Stolen Quotes.

It won’t be a dairy daily feature though, as I’m gettin’ too trailworn in my old age to carry on like that. Which is good, because no one will be saddled with too much to read. It will just be filler when I don’t have nothin’ else to post about, and I’m bored, and my wife won’t fall for my cow eyes.

So now and then expect to find some Stolen Quotes in your reader corral. This quote stealing recidivist is riding the range again. Yee-haw!

Puzzle Pieces


Scientists and other experts keep warning us about the coronavirus. But new cases are in decline, and the longer this decline continues, the more puzzling the warnings become.

Maybe this is why there’s been a run on jigsaw puzzles. I think people are in a puzzle-solving mood these days, the more they try to make sense of what the experts keep telling us.

In fact I want to solve a puzzle right now. I’m going to present the pieces of our Covid-19 puzzle, and then fit the pieces together, the best I can figure out. I’m no genius, as I’m sure many reading this will come to realize. And I’ll admit I’m not above using a hammer to make interlocking pieces of puzzles fit together.

Piece #1:
Experts continue to stress that there is no evidence that antibodies protect from future infections. Why do they keep stressing this, when new infections are declining, even as social distancing restrictions are being relaxed?

Piece #2:
Experts say that the more contagious a disease, the more people must possess antibodies to that disease, for us to achieve full herd immunity. Experts further claim the coronavirus is highly contagious, and that because of this, 50% to 67% of the population must have antibodies (if antibodies are even effective) before full herd immunity is possible. However, current estimates of those with coronavirus antibodies seem to range from about 5% to 10% of the population. With so few people having antibodies, why are new cases in decline in most states, at a time when social distancing restrictions are being relaxed in all states?

Piece #3:
I’ve heard some experts claim that new infections are declining because the virus doesn’t do well in warm weather. But if that’s the case then why are hot climate places such as Brazil, India, and Saudi Arabia, currently experiencing a large increase in new infections?

Piece #4:
I’ve heard some experts claim that the coronavirus will return this winter with a second wave that will be deadlier than the first. But experts also say that if antibodies give us immunity, they don’t know how long that immunity will last. If they don’t know, why do they stress a second wave in the winter? Why not in the fall, or next spring? Or one year from now? Or two years? What’s this obsession with next winter?

Piece #5:
The experts I’ve seen in the media claim to know very little about this virus. And yet, they only predict gloom and doom from it. None of them seem willing to speculate that this virus MAY be going away for good, and that there will be no significant second wave. Why aren’t they willing to balance their negative speculations with positive speculations? Why are they so intent upon fearmongering?

I’m no expert. But when I hear experts say they don’t know much about something, and then make awful, horrible predictions about it without offering flip-side possibilities, their credibility suffers with me. And so, rather than relying upon the experts, I’ve decided to think for myself and unriddle the coronavirus mystery the best I can, with my own untrained, dipshit brain. I’ll just utilize that thing that experts seem to hate the most. Which is common sense.

Here’s how I would solve the puzzle:

Piece #1:
Antibodies DO protect from future infection. This seems obvious, because new infections are in decline, even as social distancing restrictions are being relaxed, and even as testing for new infections has increased.

Piece #2:
The coronovirus is NOT as contagious as experts have warned. New infections in the U.S. are in an overall decline, even though only 5% to 10% of the population has antibodies. Social distancing restrictions are being relaxed in all states. Testing is on the increase everywhere. But rather than going up, as one might expect, new cases are in decline in most states. Apparently, herd immunity is achievable with far less than 50% to 67% of the population possessing antibodies. Therefore, this virus is probably not a highly contagious microbe.

Sure, areas of dense population, such as New York City, have been hard hit. But not sparsely populated areas. Dense populations is what this virus apparently needs, to spread quickly and pervasively, due to its lesser virility.

Piece #3:
The coronavirus is not greatly affected by weather. Warm weather will not make it go away, and cold weather will not cause it to return.

Piece #4:
The coronavirus could return in a second wave. That’s because we don’t know how long antibodies afford immunity. But if it returns, we don’t know when that return will be. It could be a month or so from now. Or it could be six months from now. Or a year or two. Or maybe 10 years from now. Or who knows, maybe never. It’s anybody’s guess at this point.

Piece #5:
Those who run the media love fearmongering. It has a track record of driving up viewership and readership. So they’re much more inclined to highlight experts that predict doom and gloom from this virus, than those who are willing to speculate that the virus MAY be going away for good.

Also, there seems to be an element of political correctness involved. It seems that a sure way to be beat up by the press, or be character-assassinated by one’s peers, is to come out and contradict anything the CDC says. Scientists who harbor doubts may also harbor a survival instinct, and thus may be keeping their mouths shut.

Add to this that it’s safer to err on the side of caution when many lives are at stake. If an expert were to concede that this virus may be going away, and that it may be safe to relax social distancing restrictions, and then a huge second wave hits, that expert would look very bad, and could lose their job. People love to blame, shame, and punish, and this can discourage professionals with high-paying jobs from sticking their necks out to predict anything but danger.

And so, when I put the pieces of this puzzle together, I see a pattern. And that pattern is a big clusterfuck of groupthink, that has led to an explosion of panic and unemployment, while keeping the jobs of experts safe. The sky is falling because we’ve brought it down upon ourselves, with the help and encouragement of experts.

It is not the coronavirus’s fault that the economy has been destroyed. It is the fault of our own fears, and our extreme reaction to our fears.

It reminds me of owls and mice. Owls are assumed to be wise, but they’re not. Like experts, they just look that way, while only possessing a narrow set of skills.

The “wise” owl catches the mouse by hooting. The mouse runs in fear, exposing itself in the open, only to be swooped down upon and snatched. Likewise, the “wise” experts have hooted, and we have run in fear and in deference to their supposed wisdom. We’ve run into our houses and allowed ourselves to be caged like lab mice, at the mercy of experts. This has resulted in an economy in shambles, with us mice left to pick up the pieces.

Including pieces of a puzzle that the experts could have kept together, with a little bit of common sense.

Hotel in a Hurry

630 miles and his legs were cramping, his back was getting scoliosis, and his hypnotized eyes were following the dashed lines on the highway into dreamland. But even worse, the bran flakes he had for breakfast were sending musical telegrams through the borborygmus of his bowels. He felt the urge to find a room.

Elroy cranked the steering wheel into the first hotel he found.

Lockdowns and social distancing rules had recently ended, and cabin fever tourists like himself crammed the lobby. He had to wait a long time for his turn at the front desk, while tightening his butt cheeks. “Room for one, just for the night,” he blurted out to the petite young blonde behind the counter.

“Certainly, sir,” she typed something into the keyboard, then looked up from the monitor. “Will that be shitting or non-shitting?”

He was caught a bit off guard by that question, and just stood there staring blankly for a moment. “Excuse me?” he eventually queried.

“Shitting or non-shitting, sir?” the blonde smiled, all business-like, with fingers on her keyboard, poised for a reply.

“Uh, I don’t understand. What do you mean?”

“Well sir, if you choose non-shitting, then you’ll only be able to go #1 in your toilet, and not #2. If you do do a #2, you’ll be charged a $200 room freshening fee.”

“I’ve never heard of such a thing before,” Elroy mused, feeling a little flushed with irritation. “But I’ve got to go, so of course I’ll choose shitting.”

“Very good, sir,” the pretty clerk cheerfully offered. “Now let’s see . . .” clackety-clack went her fingers, seemingly forever, as she gazed into the monitor, “ . . . looks like we have one shitting room left. That will be 50 extra dollars, for a total of $140, plus $53.75 in taxes and resort fees. So I’ll charge your card $193.75 for the night.”

This was well above Elroy’s budget. “Look,” Elroy remonstrated, “I’m not even going to get into it with you over the resort fee thing. Been there, done that, with other hotels. It ain’t right, but I know I can’t fight it. But this shitting room charge, this is ridiculous!” his voice rising with every syllable. “Who ever heard of charging someone $50 to take a shit?!!” Now he was kind of shouting. And he shook his fist in the air.

The smile on the pretty blonde’s face evaporated, as her lips pursed in fear. She took a step backward. “Sir . . . sir . . . I’m sorry but I don’t set the rates here,” her voice trembled. “Would . . . would you like . . . like to spe-speak with my supe-supervisor?”

Elroy hated to scare people, and immediately felt horribly ashamed at his outburst. But by-goddamnit, this shitting charge was an outrage! Still, it wasn’t her fault. She was just an employee following her training. He forcibly collected himself. He took inventory of his bowels. And he got an idea. He had noticed a supermarket about a block away, as he was driving to the hotel.

He lowered his voice and tried to reassure her. “I’m sorry, ma’am,” he spoke with soothing tones. “It’s not your fault. Tell you what. I just now felt it go back up inside me, so I don’t think I’ll need a shitting room. I’ll take a non-shitter.”

And for a savings of $50, Elroy got himself a room. The first thing he did after he stepped inside, was rush into the bathroom, drop his trousers, and cut about five large loaves into the pellucid waters of the porcelain throne.

Fuck their shitting and non-shitting rooms, Elroy smugly concluded as he gasped with relief. Anyway, how would they know?

By the stink-ass smell, of course. But Elroy had a plan for that. As soon as he finished his business, he planned to walk down to that supermarket and buy a can of air freshener. Then he was going to spray the hell out of the bathroom. And God knows, it needed it. He crinkled his nose.

He stood up, flushed the toilet, and hitched up his pants. But suddenly, as the last gurgling gasps of the plumbing faded away, an alarm went off over his head.

Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!

It scared the crap out of him. Figuratively, of course, as his cannon had already spent its ammo. He looked up and spied a round device on the ceiling that resembled a smoke detector. He immediately sprang up onto the edge of the tub, in an attempt to reach this tattletale alarm and silence it.

But then came a thundunkerous pounding on his door.

He swung the door open and came face-to-face with the petite, blonde clerk. How the hell was this frail-looking thing able to knock so hard? he wondered.

“Sir, the stink alarm has gone off in your room,” she sternly advised him. “Did you take a shit in there?” Then the effluvium hit her and she twisted her face. “Eww, you did, didn’t you?”

“Please, I was desperate,” he begged. “I’m going to clean it up with air-freshener. I promise!”

But none of poor Elroy’s begging and pleading could sway her. Rules are rules and policies are policies. She was sympathetic but firm. His card would be charged an extra $200.

Learn a lesson from Elroy. Never choose a hotel in a hurry. Take time to check out all their fees and rules before you walk in their door. On top of exorbitant taxes, you may find a nebulous resort fee, an outrageous parking fee, wi-fi fees, early check-in fees, early departure fees, late-arrival lockouts, cancellation fees, minibar charges, extra person fees, fridge fees, linen fees, and yes, even toilet paper fees.

You could even be charged for writing a bad Yelp review.

Elroy’s story is fictional. So far, I’ve never heard of shitting and non-shitting rooms. But I wouldn’t be surprised if something like that is next. And if it should happen to you, my advise is to lay off bran flakes, and all other forms of roughage, for a few days before your trip. You can always have an enema after you return home.

This tip alone could save you hundreds of dollars.

Our Sophie’s Choice


The term “food insecurity” is cropping up more and more these days, as unemployment levels rise and food lines grow longer. For me, food insecurity occurs when I can’t find anything to eat in the cupboards or fridge, except things I have to cook.

But for many others these days, food insecurity is when there’s nothing in the cupboards or fridge, and they don’t know when they’ll eat their next meal. It’s when kids tell their parents there’s nothing to eat, and they’re not exaggerating.

A recent study indicates that nearly one in five children in the U.S. are now going hungry, as a result of lockdowns and high unemployment. That’s about 13 million young Americans. Their out-of-work parents simply don’t have enough food to feed them. Food banks are strained, and with schools closed, many kids don’t have school lunch programs to help fill their bellies.

According to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, our current unemployment level is probably around 25%, or nearly double the official figure. And it’s still rising. So it makes sense that food insecurity is becoming an issue. When people can’t work, they find it difficult to eat.

So let’s face it, our economy has gone to hell in a handbasket. I think it’s safe to say that we’re in a depression. I know I feel depressed. And I still have enough to eat.

But not everyone is feeling depressed, according to some conservatives. They claim that our self-destructing economy is great news for liberals. They accuse liberals of cheering on and facilitating this depression, because liberals believe a bad economy will keep Trump from being reelected.

It’s as if liberals have become kamikazes in their effort to sink the big, bloated battleship, U.S.S. Trump.

I find this a fascinating theory. It’s highly partisan, of course, and designed to inflame conservative passion against liberals. But I wonder if there’s any truth to it? I also wonder if it’s not such a bad idea.

I’ve noticed what seems to be glee in the tone of some liberal pundits, when discussing our plummeting economy. And it seems to me that it’s liberals who are most resistant to opening up the economy, with the rallying cry, “Choose lives over the economy!”

And yet, ironically, some lives are in danger of starvation as a result of choosing lives over the economy. Incredibly, here in America, this is actually happening. Right now at this moment, millions of children in our country are suffering from malnutrition because of lockdowns and business closures. So are we really choosing lives over the economy, or are we choosing something else?

Are American children going hungry due to our fear of the coronavirus, or our hatred of Trump? Are we trying to keep from getting sick? Are we worried about old people dying in rest homes? Or do we want so badly for Trump to lose reelection that we’re willing to sacrifice the lives of children, our economy, our livelihoods, and our civil liberties, to convince voters to oust him this November?

And even if we are trying to keep from getting sick, and prevent old people from dying, is that worth starving millions of children?

What if ending the coronavirus restrictions resulted in a rebounding economy and four more years of Trump, along with a second wave of infections? Would that be better than continuing the restrictions, where children continue to starve, but Trump is defeated, and a second wave is prevented?

It’s one hell of a dilemma. It’s kind of a Sophie’s Choice, in my view. After all, Trump’s belligerence and incompetency could easily plunge us into nuclear war if he’s reelected. And that would be far worse than a great depression. But to prevent his victory in November, and prevent a second wave, we must continue our descent into poverty and immiseration, while allowing millions more children to starve.

I believe this is the most crucial question we face in this crisis:

Which poison is the least toxic?

What would be our best Sophie’s Choice?

Black Market Bingo

Three quick raps from the back door, followed by two slow ones. I peeked through the shutters and saw an old lady leaning on her cane. It was Big Mouth Betty. I cracked opened the window on the door and hissed, “What do you want?”

“Governor Gavin’s a gasbag,” she hissed back. That was the correct passphrase, so I opened up and let her in.

Betty was our first arrival for Black Market Bingo. The bingo hall had been shut down two months ago, due to the coronavirus lockdown. Bingo regulars, such as Betty, had been going stir crazy, itching to get back to their favorite game. My wife and I were bored and needed something stimulating to do, so we organized a game for them.

We had to be careful, so we only invited those we knew and trusted. But anyone wanting admission had to remember a secret door knock and passphrase. That’s standard. It was a habit we insisted our clients got into.

Another door knock. Four quick raps, and that was it. I felt suspicious. I peeked out and there stood Madelyn. All 81 years of her. Yikes! I always had to be careful around Madelyn. “What do you want?” I hissed.

“The Governor’s in a . . . a . . . b-bag of gas,” she hissed back. Close enough. I let her in, then gave her a wide berth. Yet still she managed to brush her fingers across my thigh as she moseyed past me.

George, Lucy, and Lil the Pill arrived next, and all managed to get the passphrase right, more or less.

Lil the Pill was last to walk into the room, and greeted everyone with, “Good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening!” with one good evening for each person present, other than herself. We each returned her greeting with a good evening, because we knew that if we didn’t, she’d get in our face and keep saying good evening to us until we said it back.

We also made sure we smiled when we said good evening to Lil, or she’d order us to smile. Everyone hated Lil the Pill, but nobody dared admit it.

The bingo players sat at least six feet apart from each other, in our spacious livingroom. Lucy had a cough that left everyone feeling nervous, so we put her a little further away, off in the corner.

“You better not have the virus!” Big Mouth Betty remonstrated to Lucy.

“No, no, [cough, cough] I just swallowed something wrong,” Lucy defended herself.

Madelyn made sure to sit close to the front, where I would be calling the numbers, and might perhaps stray within arm’s reach. George sat near my wife and leered at her. And Lil sat in the middle of the room, because she always liked to be in the middle of things, making demands of everyone.

Big Mouth Betty was rambling on and on, like she always did. My wife stood up and clapped her hands for about 30 seconds. That finally shut Big Mouth up and got everyone else’s attention as well. “Alright, listen up! There’s a $10 buy-in. Has everyone paid?”

“All but Lil,” I informed my wife.

“I forgot my money. I’ll pay next time.” Lil firmly declared.

“Okay, Lil. But you can only play for fun. You can’t win anything tonight,” my wife said sweetly, while smiling like a cherub. She knew how to handle old bitches.

Lil the Pill rummaged through her purse, and after a minute her bony fingers produced a ten-dollar bill. That settled that.

[cough, cough] went Lucy.

“Now we all have to be very careful,” my wife continued. “If anyone knocks on the front door, we all have to be quiet. No talking at all!” she cast a hard, meaningful glare at Big Mouth Betty. “My neighbor across the street is very nosy, and she might call the cops on us.”

Everyone nodded in agreement. They understood. Lucy coughed.

“Lucy, you shouldn’t have come here with that cough!” railed Betty. “You’re making us all scared!”

“It’s allergies,” Lucy pleaded. “I always get them this time of year.”

“None of us are wearing masks,” my wife pointed out, “And the county no longer requires it. So if you cough, be sure to cough into your arm,” she said to no one in particular. But we all knew she meant those words for Lucy.

My wife sat down, then stood up quickly. “Gaah!” she yelled. George had scooted his chair near hers and put his supinated hand on her chair’s seat, just as she sat down.

“Whoops, sorry,” George grinned, “I didn’t see you there.” George was a 75-year-old widower. His wife had been my wife’s friend, and while she lay on her deathbed, George started making passes at my wife. He’s been pursuing her ever since.

“Okay everyone, let’s get started!” I announced. I stood before a TV tray with two bowls on it. One bowl contained folded paper slips with letters, and the other contained folded paper slips with numbers.

My wife and the other five contestants sat poised with their bingo daubers and cards. I reached into each bowl, randomly selected paper slips, and unfolded them. “B-16,” I announced.

“What? What? What? What? What?” came a chorus, back.

“Speak up!” my wife reminded me.

“Beeeeeeeeeeee–16eeeeeeeeeeeeen!!!!!” I shouted.

“Oh, this is so exciting!” Big Mouth Betty proclaimed. “When I was young I knew someone who was in the mob during Prohibition. He was a big tough, guy, and he blah blah blah blah blah . . .”

I continued with my job, selecting paper slips and announcing numbers. And Big Mouth Betty continued with her job, yacking and yabbering away.

“Would you shut up!” Lil finally snapped at Betty. “I can’t concentrate!”

“Oh sorry,” Big Mouth apologized.

But a minute later her logorhea kicked in again. She just couldn’t help herself. Big Mouth Betty was always the most reviled contestant in the bingo hall, and she continued to live up to her blatherskite reputation at our Black Market Bingo.

“Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-55iiiiiiiiiiive!!!!!!” I shouted.

“[cough] Bingo!” Lucy shouted back with glee.

“Shit!” everyone else muttered.

Sure enough, her card checked out. I paid her $54, which was the $60 prize money, minus our 10% vigorish. Then we prepared for a new round. Lil managed to find another ten-dollar bill in her purse. Everyone was in. But then Lucy raised her hand.

“I have to go to the bathroom,” she announced.

“Number one or number two, Lucy?” my wife inquired.

“[cough, cough] Number one. But I can’t get off the toilet once I sit down. Do you have an old spaghetti pot I can use while standing up? That’s what I do at home.”

Note to self: Don’t ever eat Lucy’s spaghetti.

Madelyn stood up. “While Lucy’s using your spaghetti pot, I’ll use your bathroom.”

“No wait, Madelyn,” my wife stopped her. “Lucy, I’ll help you get up. You’re not using my spaghetti pot. Madelyn, you’re next after Lucy.”

About ten minutes later it was Madelyn’s turn. But as she walked past, heading toward the bathroom, she somehow tripped and fell against me. I instinctively grabbed her by the waist to keep my balance, while she steadied herself with her hands all over my ass, and her lips and face pressed against mine. “I’m so sorry,” she apologized, with a huge smile on her face. Then she triumphantly proceeded down the hallway, while I brushed my face and clothes off the best I could, feeling grossed out and dirty.

Finally everyone was seated and ready for the next round. I announced the first number. But before I could announce the second, there came a rapping on the front door. Front door? My hackles went up. My wife cast a worried look my way. I put my finger against my lips and shushed everyone, especially Big Mouth Betty.

I crept to the door. “Who is it?”

“It’s your neighbor, Mrs. Javvits!” we all heard. That fucking nosy bitch! “Is there a party going on in there? What are all these cars doing parked by your house?”

“I don’t know, Mrs. Javvits!” I shouted through the door.

“Aren’t you going to open up so I can talk to you?”

I had to think of something quick, and I don’t think well on my feet. What should I say? What should I say? I frantically searched my brain. Finally, “No, I just got out of the shower. I’m naked!” I heard Madelyn sigh, somewhere behind me.

Silence. Then, “Okay, well, I hope you’re not having a party. We all have to do our part to fight the virus, you know. Have a good evening!” I heard retreating footsteps.

We resumed our play. But after this scare, everyone was subdued. Even Big Mouth Betty lowered her voice.

“Innnnnnnnnnnn-42oooooooooooo!!!!” I hush-shouted.

“Bingo! [cough, cough]” announced Lucy.

“Shit!” from everyone else.

Betty turned on her with daggers in her eyes. “Lucy, you shouldn’t have even come here! You sound like you have the virus!”

“No, no,” Lucy pushed back. “It’s my heart condition. It makes me cough sometimes.”

But Lucy’s win, after my neighbor’s visit, broke up the game. Everyone decided they’d had it and it was time to go home. But they all said they’d had a good time, and vowed to return in a week for more Black Market Bingo.

“Can you come to my house someday?” George whispered into my wife’s ear, as he walked out the back. “I have something that my wife wanted you to have.”

“Ohhh, okay, we’ll see,” my wife patted him on the back while pushing him out the door.

This unnerving exchange distracted me, and Madelyn managed to sneak in a goose, as she followed George outside. Dammit!

After everyone was gone, there came a pounding on our front door. It was a cop.

“Excuse me sir, but we got a complaint that there was a party going on here. Are you aware of anything like that around here?” the young officer inquired, while peering over my shoulder and observing my wife straightening out the furniture.

“No sir, not here,” I told him. “It could be my neighbor across the street, though. She has family reunions there all the time. You might want to keep an eye out on her house. I think she’s been breaking the lockdown rules a lot.”

He looked me over carefully. Finally, “Okay, well sorry to disturb you. Have a nice evening,” and he left.

That was a close call, but we got away with it. And with a total vig of $12, plus $29 in net profit from refreshments and snacks my wife had sold, we’d netted $41.00 under the table.

All-in-all I think we did okay for our efforts. We got together with some screwy, but fun old people, and filled a vacuum of loneliness that months of lockdown had created. It had been a successful night for everyone, at Black Market Bingo.

[cough, cough]


This story is fiction, but the characters are not. They’re real people who frequented my wife’s beauty shop for many years, before she retired. Her beauty shop was connected to our house, so for better or worse, I got to know them well.

Stolen Quotes: Expert Failures

Experts once recommended cocaine toothache drops for kids.

There’s been a lot of talk about experts these days, and how we should listen to them when they give dire warnings about a certain virus that shall remain unnamed. But are experts always right? Not so, say some experts. In fact they claim experts tend to be wrong more often than right.

David H. Freedman, author of the book, Wrong: Why Experts Keep Failing Us—and How to Know When Not to Trust Them, wrote this article for the New York Post in 2010 entitled, Why Experts Are Usually Wrong: https://nypost.com/2010/06/13/why-experts-are-usually-wrong/

In 2015, Wired Magazine published this article, entitled, Scientists Are Wrong All the Time, and That’s Fantastic: https://www.wired.com/2015/02/scientists-wrong-time-thats-fantastic/

And in 2017, this interesting article appeared in the online magazine, Pacific Standard, entitled, Modern Scientists Are Wrong Far More Than You Think: https://psmag.com/education/scientists-are-wrong-a-lot

These articles got me wondering about what experts have been wrong about in the past. So I jumped in my time machine and went hunting for quotes to steal from the experts our ancestors blindly believed. I found a mother lode. I hope the following will help cheer you up if you’ve been listening to experts and feeling anxious lately:

“There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.” ~ Albert Einstein, 1934.

“We have reached the limits of what is possible with computers.” ~ John Von Neumann, physicist and computer scientist, 1949.

“Before man reaches the moon, your mail will be delivered within hours from New York to Australia by guided missiles. We stand on the threshold of rocket mail.” ~ Arthur Summerfield, U.S. Postmaster General under President Eisenhower, 1959.

“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.” ~ Marshal Ferdinand Foch, French military strategist, 1911.

“Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever.” ~ Thomas Edison, 1889.

“While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming.” ~ Lee DeForest, American radio pioneer and inventor of the vacuum tube, 1926.

“Transmission of documents via telephone wires is possible in principle, but the apparatus required is so expensive that it will never become a practical proposition.” ~ Dennis Gabor, British physicist, 1962.

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” ~ H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

“X-rays will prove to be a hoax.” ~ Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883.

“More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.”
&
“11,105 doctors say Lucky Strikes prevent throat irritation.”
~ Cigarette ads from the 1940s.

“If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can’t be done.” ~ Peter Ustinov, English actor and comedian.

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