Archive for February, 2010

Riders: Beware of Brats, Fats, & Yaks

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Riding the bus is still a trip! One year after my car died,  the bus continues to be an adventure.  I’ve seen people up close and personal that I previously saw only on television. Of course then you can turn them off.  And you can’t smell them either.

Many of the younger riders look like wannabe gangstas and rappers.  Sometimes I think I should just call ‘America’s Most Wanted’ and say,”Yup, John – I’ve found ‘em ALL! Every last one of the damn suckers is now on Bus #7 rolling down Monroe Avenue in Rochester, New York.”

If you ever go-by-bus, here are some travel tips I’ve learned:

– the bus ONLY stops at designated stops. If you’re walking between stops and you see the bus, do NOT step into the street and wave your arms. Everyone laughs at you – ESPECIALLY the driver. Some jerks even wave.

– do not sit near high school students. The bus should just drop them all off at the county jail – it’ll save time – cut out the middlemen. It’s painful – PAINFUL – to hear them speak, YO! They crowd you, spit, honk, snort, belch, blow, and fart! And the guys are even worse – WORD UP, YO!

– feel fat? Ride the bus. Sometimes when a ‘2-seater’ comes huffing slowly down the aisle, I feel positively anorexic! Stare at them! If you politely pretend to look out the window, they’ll slam their huge jello butts into the seat and a half next to you. Tip: take a long piece of dental floss, stick it between your two front teeth, hang it out of your half-open mouth, then stare at the ceiling before they get on. Chances are good the brats and fats won’t sit with you.

– yakers – people who talk CONSTANTLY to you – are the worst! On planes I used to pretend I was deaf in the ear on their side. Polite business people would usually shut up. But this is the friggin’ bus – they don’t take the hint! You must pretend you are completely deaf and wave some made-up sign language at them. If they continue, broadly grin and continually shake your head “no!” They’ll stop.

– DO NOT accept the rule “the older you are, the more bags you must carry.” The general guideline seems to be “1 extra bag for every three years past 55″.

Finally, if you ask some goof about getting off at a certain spot and he says, “get off the stop before me,” don’t make a thing of it. Of course he’s just a stupid nitwit riding the bus – but, of course, so are you. And he’s BETTER than you. He knows where to get off.

What America Teaches Kids About Sex:

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

“Sex is a dirty, shameful thing. Make sure you
save it for someone you love. Any questions?”

Gov. Paterson III …

Friday, February 26th, 2010

GOAT.

Dear Gov. Paterson II ….

Friday, February 26th, 2010

It’s about  2:15 pm, Friday.  You’ve got a news conference at 3:00 probably to announce you’re dropping out of the campaign – just as we planned.  Now, make this speech your greatest ever!  Make a 10% cut across the board to balance the budget and expose the corruption in Albany.

You’re a free agent now, Dave.  You can be a HERO or a GOAT.  Go Dave!

Sincerely,
paolo.

Death of an Illusion

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

The fatal attack of a killer whale at Sea World brings up the guilt from which I can usually disassociate myself when I watch elephants.

I love elephants!   I am in awe of their size, intelligence, and their love of other elephants.  When I go to a circus to see them, I have to try hard to forget the high cost of my entertainment.  These incredibly noble creatures are carted in shaky boxcars stop to stop – isolated from every natural element they’ve known and then are forced to perform demeaning tricks for human applause.

Yes, I know circuses treat them well (because they’re too valuable not to) and some are born in captivity but if I thought too much about it, I could never see one “perform” again.  Even if you’re one of the warden’s pet prisoners and get all sorts of perks, he gets to go home every night while you get to stare at the bars.

You just can’t think too much in this world – but I don’t think I can ever go to a circus again.

A Quiet Riot, Eh?

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010


I felt a little bad the other night when the Americans beat the Canadians in their hockey game.  It just meant so much to our northern neighbors – and they’re so reserved about everything else.  Did you know the Canadian Prime Minister asked his nation to cheer loudly and wave Canadian flags during the Olympic  events?  He didn’t want them acting like they were at the PGA.

A few years ago I actually saw a Canadian “riot” on the news. When I heard the announcer say “riot in Canada”, I immediately started to pay attention. Really – what could possibly shoot up a Canadian’s blood pressure enough to riot?  The answer was embarrassingly obvious: hockey.

When that particular game ended, the Canadian fans oozed into the street. They didn’t want to go home drenched in depressing , degrading defeat. So they milled around fueled by too much of the fermented national beverage. Soon a department store window was broken – and the crowd decided to “riot” – Canadian-style.

It was hard to watch. The Canadians didn’t know what to do. Some danced to music only they heard. Others walked on the hoods and roofs of cars balancing with one hand as the other clenched a can or bottle. Many drunkenly smiled and waved at cameras and camcorders guaranteeing their place in oblivious-nitwit history. (“No dear, that’s not Mommy. I was at University that day and we all watched this debacle with disgust.”)

One inspired rioter-trainee managed to mount heavy electrical lines a good 20- or 30- feet over the crowd and began an impromptu tightrope walking show with real sparks popping. The confused Canadians, either to keep the dolt from electrocuting himself or to show off their superior target shooting skill, began to hurl bottles and cans at the guy.

Most of the containers missed, but, of course, crashed on the heads of the mob on the other side of the wire. This prompted massive, retaliatory can and bottle throwing from that team. Finally, someone scored. The dope took an impressive dive onto the pavement and it was about that time when all the police arrived. Lots of police; seemingly hundreds of them.  While the police began lining up in an impressive formation, a loudspeaker blared a woman’s voice, “Would you please disperse? You must leave this area! Would you please disperse?”

The Canadians seemed to get annoyed that anyone in authority would even speak to them like that. So no one moved and their taunts grew louder. That’s when the first tear-gas canisters were shot at the street near the front line of demonstrators.

Now, everyone in the world learned in ‘Rioting-101’ that a tear gas canister should be picked up with a gloved hand and thrown back at the police. I mean, that’s basic; you’ve seen it dozens of times on TV, right? But not these newbies. They just left the bombs where they landed. Then, while most of the crowd moved back, a handful of chowder-heads actually hung around the gas-spitting canister and looked at it like it was just a large version of the smoke bombs they set off in the sixth grade. Surprise! Soon they started coughing and retching and falling down and making a terrible mess. It was just too embarrassing to watch.

I clicked off the television. Actually, I didn’t know quite how to feel.  I decided Canadians are best at being civilized Canadians.  If they want to see some real buffoonery, they’ve got 300,000,000 southern neighbors who are experts at it.

Is Paris Burning? (You Up?)

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010


Hero worship is a lot  different than being entertained by a celebrity.

I like Paris Hilton.  I think she’s funny and has fun being a character of herself.  I have finally figured out why you and the rest of America hate Paris: JEALOUSY.

“You’re wrong! I don’t like her because she has no talent and she’s famous because she’s famous.”

And your whiney, little point would be what? You’ve got to have talent to be famous? I’m trying to type this and not fall off my chair laughing. Switch on your TV or look at the movie listings.  Who’s got a surplus of talent there?

You hate Paris because she didn’t have to work for her money? JEALOUSY. If that were you, would you give it all away and move to Henrietta? You hate her because she’s beautiful? JEALOUSY. Has a great body? JEALOUSY. Women hate her because she’s a “slut.” JEALOUSY. Ladies, is she going after your man? Hmmm?

Hate her because she’s sometimes silly, gets drunk, high, parties in public, and doesn’t take herself very seriously? At 11:00 pm on any warm, summer Friday night, drive down East Ave. between Alexander and Scio streets. You can run over hundreds of goofy, Paris wanna-be’s with no effort at all. Hate them, too?

JEALOUSY is an ugly slime to wear – but you can wash it off. The soap is honesty. Next time you see Paris, smile and say to yourself, “You lucky little twit. You hit the jackpot in the lottery of life and I didn’t. Too bad for me – but good for you. Have fun – laugh – and party your little ass off. If I were you, I would too!”

Playing Footsie With Reality

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

There was just not a lot of good news on this day last year.  Maybe that’s why we got such a kick about a human foot found on a conveyer belt at a recycling plant in Seneca, a small town in upstate New York.

Naturally the workers at Casella Waste Management were quite concerned when they saw the foot coming down the line. Are human body parts recyclable?  Was the rest of the body on its way? Was somebody just putting his best foot forward and keeping the rest?

As rumors ran rampant, law enforcement and county officials called the media for a press conference. They looked grim. Yes, initial medical reports said the foot was human and only partially decomposed. Yes, we’re sending it the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office for DNA confirmation. No, it has not been determined if it’s a male or female foot. No, we don’t know if it’s from a child or an adult.

Please people, they said, stop calling the police with reports of missing persons until we kick this thing around a bit and see what’s up.  Casella Waste gets refuse from 15 New York counties and parts of Canada – we’ve got to check all of them.  Yes, we’re on our toes down here – we know what we’re doing.

By Tuesday the crisis was peaking.  The plant was closed and inspectors were all over the place like smell on garbage. Then, a shocking development!  The foot was tracked to Canada – specifically to a load from a recycling centre on New Toronto Street, near Lake Shore Boulevard.  The Toronto Homicide Department stepped in.

“It could only be one of two things: medical waste or foul play,” said Toronto police Staff Sgt. David Vickers.  Uh oh.

The kicker came on Thursday.

“After days of DNA testing, we’ve determined that what we have is not a human foot – but probably the foot of a black bear,” said Seneca Sheriff Philip Povero. Oops – a bear foot – not a bare foot!  How embearassing! At least now Toronto Police could refocus their investigation to search for a large, black bear hopping around their city.

And what can we learn from this drama?  Something computer geeks taught us long ago  – “Garbage In – Garbage Out”.

I Feel Cheap, Used, and I Caught Something

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Street Walkers have been called the “Fast Food of Sex”. What an insult to the women! Fast Food might be the same – but I guess my digestive system is demanding a more loving relationship with what I eat.

In the early ‘60’s, Carrols Hamburgers opened near Syracuse where I lived with my family. We were amazed. Hamburgers were 12¢, fries-10¢ and a Coke was a dime too. Imagine, 32¢ for a meal! My Dad often brought us kids to Carrols late Sunday afternoons to give my Mom a rest.

I’m sure Mom needed a rest – but she didn’t like this new dining experience for the same reasons we kids loved it: junkie food, no vegetables, no sitting down as a family to eat, no place to wash our hands and faces, no napkins on our laps, no grace before meals, no waiting to be excused when we were done and no bothersome polite dinner conversation. She let us go because it was only 1 meal out of 21 in the week.

So anyway, I was rushing around today like a fly on acid and ended up at my final destination, Walmarts, around 1:00 pm. I was quite hungry but knew there was only one choice: McDonalds. These days, I only eat there about three or four times a year and the experience is almost always the same: grease, messy tables, screaming kids and other undesirables, and a surly counter crew which snarls at customers. They’re pretty bad until you see the real animals in the joint – the “cooks” grunting to bells and beepers in an ugly, crouching trance.

I’m not picking on McDonalds – I’m sure all these grease palaces are pretty much the same. But as the burger and fries slid down my throat on the bubbling flow of brown sugar-water, I had a strange thought. There’s really not much food there for which you need teeth. You could gum down virtually any item on the menu. Maybe that’s why there are so many old customers – and babies.

Anyway, what did I catch? I really don’t know who Montezuma is – but he could be the leader of all the fast food counter people worldwide – and now he’s getting their revenge.

Dear Governor Paterson…..

Saturday, February 20th, 2010


OK, let’s take a shot of reality here.  Dave, you’re not going to win the election – there’s no chance you’re going to win the election.  Freakin’ Nelson Rockefeller has a better chance of winning the election – and he’s dead!  I have a better idea:

Drop out of the race now and leave a memorable David Paterson legacy: a fiscally – responsible EXPLOSION that can lead government back to serving the people instead   of special interest groups, unions, porky legislators, and political hacks.  The idea will be shocking at first – but that’s exactly what you need when you’re NOT running for reelection and beholden to party bosses, lobbyists, and large campaign contributors.  The idea?

Cut EVERY New York State expenditure across-the-board by 10% for 1-year.

NYS salaries (yes, teachers and correctional officers too),  contracts, retirement benefits, health care workers, disability clients, Medicaid payments, SUNY, Social Services pay outs, arts funding, aid to schools and municipalities – EVERYTHING  – for one year -no exceptions.

Isn’t 9/10 of a loaf better than nothing for 1-year?  If I were the CSEA, I’d much prefer my members take a 10% cut for a year – rather than have even one of them lose his job, go on unemployment, and sidetrack his career.  Cuts are being made now in your budget!  But now the hacks get to choose which department, which program, and what people are getting sliced.  Why not have everyone tighten his belt – uniformly and fairly for just a year?

New York State has been very generous to many people for many years.  That’s one reason we can be proud of our heritage.  That’s one reason New York is New York! But right now you’re telling us we’re in a fiscal crisis and everyone wants to pretend and play ‘business as usual’ – even YOU – with minor reforms.  It’s time to JUMP outside the box!

I know I don’t know the right figures or if this is “doable” under the our present laws – but I’m thinking someone like you can make this – or something like this – happen.  If you’re going after the impossible dream, why not make it a revolutionary, fiscally – responsible BOMBSHELL instead of tilting at windmills in a hopeless election?  Why not be a REAL leader for the people?

Dave, make us proud of you!

Sincerely,
paolo.