Archive for April, 2008

You Are So Fuelish!

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008


If I hear one more recycled “environmentalist” whining about the high cost of gas while driving a guzzler, you may see my reaction on the national news. In 1978, I worked for an ad agency which had the RG&E account. I was the only writer who was willing to create an ad that advocated nuclear power in a mix with more fossil fuel, budding alternative energies like solar power, and conservation.

My reasoning was simple: the more America depended on oil from foreign countries, the weaker we would become and more likely to start wars with nations which sat on the oil to which we’d become addicted. Of course my hippie friends called me a ‘capitalist pig’ and sneered when they passed me a joint. And you may think I’m too big a person to say, I told you so – but


So suck it up, snivelers – whine all the way to the athletic clubs, first run movies, kids’ soccer practice, and the ritzy restaurants you seem to favor.

Now, what’s that I hear? “Oooh, Franco. We’re sorry! Please tell us how we can get gas down to $3/gallon again. We’ll listen this time!”

All right. I’m big on forgiveness this month – the Pope was around. Do you really want to get gas back to $3/gallon? Drive 25% less – your weekly gas bill will be the same as if the pump price were 3-bucks. Simple. Now stop whining!


Cashing in on American Puritans, Prigs, and Prudes

Monday, April 28th, 2008


It probably had nothing to do with my last post on sexual hypocrisy but bubble gum star Hannah Montana posed for some steamy shots in Vanity Fair and America is bellowing with outage! It’s as if a condom fell out of the Pope’s robe or Hillary Clinton did a center spread for Hustler magazine. Showing less than LaToya Jackson when she popped a pasty at last year’s Superbowl, 15-year old Smiley Miley Cyrus, the actress who plays Hannah, bared her mid-drift and just may be topless under a satin bedsheet although it’s impossible to tell. Oh God, no!

The same moral indignation which is missing from our national reaction to the bloody war in Iraq is now flooding the streets over a boobless teenie who’s trying to look hot. And, of course, all the usual players are reading on cue their cliched scripts of hypocrisy.

An embarrassed Hannah apologized to her fans “who I care so deeply about”.

The clean and chaste Disney Channel – which carries Hannah’s show – said the magazine “deliberately manipulated” the kid into the sexy shoot.

And Vanity Fair defended itself by noting Cyrus’s parents were on the set the whole time and everyone approved the shots.

Of course no one is whining about all the free publicity the controversy is generating.

Good show, Hannah! But for now, just keep those beasts leashed. Save them for someone you love in the privacy of your own mansion – preferably after you’re legally married. Right.


Thought for the Day

Friday, April 25th, 2008


Sex is a dirty, shameful thing. Make
sure you save it for someone you love.

Damn Women Drivers!

Sunday, April 20th, 2008


(Moscow) — Russian officials announced today that space capsule, Soyuz TMA-11, made a “rough” landing in Kazakhstan, 260 miles from its planned touchdown point. It took search helicopters 25 minutes to locate the damaged craft as Russian civilians in cars raced after the fast-moving parachute carrying the capsule.

A Mission Control spokesman said the condition of the the three astronauts was satisfactory despite the fact they were subjected to extreme G-forces upon reentry. The crew members included two women – a South Korean and an American – and one Russian male flight engineer. All three are expected to recover.

Endearing himself to feminists all over the world, Russian Space Agency chief, Anatoly Perminov, told reporters of an old naval superstition that having women aboard a ship was bad luck. He continued,

“In the future, we will make sure the number of women will not surpass the number of men. When a majority of the crew is female, certain kinds of unsanctioned behavior or something else occurs” He did not elaborate.

Mr. Perminov failed to mention that the last two out of three Soyuz spacecraft landings were botched in a similar manner – even though all the cosmonauts were men.


The Power of Papal Infallibility

Friday, April 18th, 2008


I grew up in a hick town in the ‘50’s. Until Junior High, we Catholic kids got Religious Instruction for 40-minutes every Thursday afternoon. Our teachers were nuns who came from city parochial schools and they never had a good time of it.

It was easy to figure out why. Parochial kids spent every school day dominated by nuns and priests. They cowered at the sight of knuckle-cracking rulers and smart-ass comments might result in a visit to the dentist. We town kids never dreamed of giving that kind of respect to teachers – especially ones who couldn’t call our parents.

One Thursday afternoon, when I was in the sixth grade, the new nun was reading about us being soldiers for Christ or some such crap and I raised my hand.

“Yes?” she said.

“Sister, I was reading about Papal Infallibility,” (she looked at me suspiciously through her wire frame glasses) “and I was wondering what we Catholics would do if the Pope said 2 + 2 was 5 ?” Titters and whispers in the classroom. In Catholic theology, papal infallibility means the Pope cannot possibility be in error in anything regarding our faith. (I pretended I forgot that last part.)

Sister Brutus (or whatever her name was) looked like she was socked in the stomach. After a moment or two she hissed, “The Pope would NEVER say that.”

“Well,” I said all innocent-like, “what if he did? Would we have to believe that?” And then John Burnmeyer, a REAL troublemaker, chimed in, “And what if the Pope went crazy and said ‘people could fly’ – what about that?” Of course the room burst into chaos and the holy lady seemed to go into shock. And then a strange thing happened.

The nun began to cry. She just stood there and cried.

We were stunned! No one said a word or made a sound.

I guess I felt guilty for starting the rebellion so I quickly said, “We’re sorry, Sister. Please go on with the reading.” Murmurs of, “Yeh, let’s go on,” and “C’mon Sister.” She sat down and continued the lesson. We never saw her again.

The next Thursday, this huge priest walked into class and said, in a very loud voice, “My name is Father Wright – and I’m ALWAYS right. That’s why I hit first and ask questions later!”

It was probably paranoia – but I got the distinct feeling he was glaring at me.


“Moneychangers: Report to the Temple”

Thursday, April 17th, 2008


WARNING: This post contains words and ideas some Catholics may consider objectionable. Tough. I’m a recovering Catholic and this is America. Readers’ Discretion is Advised.

Pope Benedict has come to America and, boy – do we need him now. The war continues to roll down its murderous path, our economy is spewing new levels of toilet matter, and Congress just doesn’t have anything to do since it finished grilling baseball players on steroid use. Just when you thought you might never laugh again, heeereres………. Benny!

Every Papal roadie hawks souvenirs, but this tour has inspired new depths of merchandising trash. The little Polish Pope (I forget his name) started the wave when his handlers got him to officially bless “Pope Soap on a Rope” -$9.99 – (“Imagine the possibilities!”) for his US tour in 1995. But that wet trinket was just the beginning. For this Papal tour, there’s enough glitzy crap to start a new Shoppers’ Club Channel.

The star of Benny’s first visit will be The Pope’s Cologne – a 2- ounce bottle in a gift box which sells for only $29.95. Here’s the ad copy:

“A truly extraordinary cologne with surprising freshness and notes of violet and citrus, The Pope’s Cologne is a classic Old World cologne made from the private formula of Pope Pius IX (1792- 1878). It uses the same essential oils that perfumers used 150 years ago to create its subtle, yet striking, fragrance.” Right.

Something stinks about all this.


He’s Tall, That’s All

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008


(March, 2008) Leonid Stadnik, a Ukrainian, has been verified by Guinness Records as the world’s tallest man. The former veterinarian stands 8 feet, 5 inches and is seen here shaking hands with the President of the Ukraine.


The MOST Annoying Television Shill

Saturday, April 12th, 2008


It took me awhile to figure out why Jimmy Dean’s Breakfast Sun gave me such a negative, stomach – wrenching reaction. At first I thought it was the guy’s insipid, cheery prattle about why it’s better to eat a gob of microwaved, spiced turkey and pig guts mixed with fake eggs – instead of cereal in the morning. But that wasn’t it.

Then I thought it was because the nitwit has a superior, “sunny- bright” attitude even though he’s mincing around in a goofy, stuffed-sun costume which couldn’t win third place in a grade school Halloween contest. But that wasn’t it either.

Finally I discovered what makes me queasy the instant I see these spots: the damn dolt is so SERIOUS about this fluff. When he delivers a line like “Guys, I have to illuminate the entire eastern seaboard in 15- minutes,” he does it with a studied, earnest sincerity that makes me want to heave. I’d like to say,

“Hey Buddy, don’t get pissy with anyone who doesn’t chow down your greasy, concoction of coagulated crap – save your bile for the shyster agent who convinced you to take this lousy job in the first place.”


Debra. 1980

Friday, April 11th, 2008


No Lack of Characters

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008



My ex-wife and I were talking about ‘characters’. Do you know any?

Characters are people who live in their own colorful definition of reality and have a hard time fitting into the black and white world most of us share. I know a number of characters – a guy who was one of New York’s best safe crackers in the ‘60’s – a woman who believed she was John Kennedy’s illegitimate daughter – a man who became a pet groomer to find the reincarnation of his dead dog – well, the list could go on. I LOVE characters! But the discussion took an unpleasant turn when T. said I was a character. Me?

“You’re kidding!” I said, “I’m not a character.”

“Characters never think they’re characters.” she said.

“Wait a little minute here, “ I said trying to get my thoughts together.

I thought of Johnny, a 65-year old guy who moved to Washington Square Park in Manhattan in December so he could be homeless and live in a cardboard box. When I asked him why, he said, “Franco – that’s New York! If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere!”

Then there was Christine, an ex-dancer with whom I was talking about “looks”. I said, “I know I’m no Brad Pitt.” She immediately sat up, seriously looked at me and said, “Why did you bring up Brad Pitt?”

Of course I said, “You know Brad Pitt?”

She laid down again and said, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Now THESE people are characters! I’m not a character.

“Don’t worry about it,” T. said, “There are a lot of good people who are characters. Think of your Father.”

“My FATHER? He’s one of the kindest, smartest men on Earth!”

“I know that – but it doesn’t mean he’s not a character. How many old men, who are fairly well-off, wear the same cheap, light jacket, every day, summer or winter, for THIRTY-FIVE YEARS? And when he got a stain on it last year, he DYED IT!”

“Well,” I said, “he’s no slave to fashion.”

“He’s a character! And so are you. It doesn’t mean you’re bad.”

“Yeh, well – what about YOU? How many people walk around deciding who’s a character and who isn’t, hmmm?”

“I see we can’t talk about this any more,” T. said. And then she stood up and walked out of the room. What a character!