Slack Chat: Shutdown Showdown I – Flexing

January 23, 2019

J: Hey T, did you see that Nancy Pelosi told President Trump to go have the State of the Union in a Holiday Inn in north Baltimore for all she cares?

T: Those two are funny. Pelosi’s doppelganger twin in this farce is actually Mitch McConnell, not Trump. McConnell’s resistance to a spending bill caused the shutdown. Trump can’t keep Mitch from introducing a bill; he can only ask. It’s on McConnell that he refuses to tell Trump no. 

J: The veto-proof bill, yes.  

T: I don’t think I realized just how politically incompetent Trump was until the shutdown. He has built this reputation as a deal-maker over the years, despite literally never making a deal, by being really good at bragging about all his deals. Now he’s in between two professional dealmakers, desperately trying to judge the wind between them to grab the credit.

And neither is having it. McConnell is standing back and making sure that everybody knows that the shutdown is Trump’s play, not McConnell’s play.

J: And Pelosi is an old hand at the one-upmanship game. 

T: Trump relies on misdirection to get away with his mostly obvious sales tricks. He’ll confuse everyone or distract them while he positions himself to get credit (or shift blame), then once he’s in position he’ll say “hey, look at me NOW!” 

He can’t do that here, because, well … ‘taint nobody lookin’ away this time.

J: I think he’s trying to deal with Pelosi (and probably McCornhole, too) the way he dealt with people in New York City, with bluster and bullying and threats. He’s not used to dealing with someone like Pelosi, who is in charge of the House and knows it. He doesn’t get on the House floor without an invitation, and she’s not about to give him one. Her House, her rules.

T: How do you think his speech will be treated? Will all the networks cover it, or will some of them farm it out to their subdivisions, like the wall speech?

J: I think they’ll cover it, it is the SOTU after all. But Pelosi knows how to hit him where he lives; there won’t be any pauses for applause, no standing ovation when he comes in, no adulation, and that has got to just be killing him. In that sense (the hitting-where-he-lives sense) it was an absolute masterstroke by Pelosi.

T: Will he bring in an audience of sycophants, like at one of his rallies? I bet he wants to. A screaming crowd of red hats, waving those d-picture of a fence signs … he’d feel like John Holmes grabbing Pelosi’s … well, attention.

J: I’m sure he wants to but I’m not sure how he’d pull that off. I expect he’ll do the speech from the Oval, and there’s not all that much room in there. He could go to one of the bigger rooms, but he’d run the risk of looking like he was speaking from a hotel conference room somewhere.

T: I mostly agree with you. But I wonder … given a week and with a desperate need to punch back, and a room full of dipshits who mostly think in revenge and grievance terms, I think something weird might happen. Will he try to be dignified? He really sucks at it, so that would be to Pelosi’s advantage. If I was advising him, I’d say book that area where the protest thing took place and invite everyone in but make sure the crowd is full of MAGA hats and screaming women.

J: I doubt he’ll be able to resist airing his grievances. The Democratic response will be interesting, for sure. What will they say? Will they stick the needle in further or will they try to position themselves as the adults in the room?

T: Trump is an incredibly predictable person, as we well know. His motivation will be clear (make Pelosi look bad) but his obsession with his dick means he can’t look weak. So he has to thread the needle between “she’s being mean to me” and standing over her in his wife beater tank top, pouring beer over her head.

How does he bully Pelosi while making it look like she is bullying him? His previous attempts have largely failed, mostly because he is so obviously lying about everything. He can’t play the truth card without a laugh track.

J: Trump needs a laugh track.

T: And subtitles. I think Kevin Nealon’s subliminal man would be a perfect translator.

Trump: “My wall”
Nealon: “My wall (penis)”
Trump: “National emergency”
Nealon “National emergency! (circle jerk)”
Trump: “Humanitarian emergency”
Nealon: “Humanitarian emergency! (Gimme my wall or I deport the entire cast of Machete)

J: He’ll probably go back to the same playbook as before, accusing Pelosi of being intransigent but not really offering any serious solutions.

T: A State of the Union address is supposed to list accomplishments … how is he going to threadt that needle? I mean, what’s he actually done?

J: He’ll talk up his tax cut, and probably talk about the economy, but other than that he really doesn’t have much to point to. Judges, maybe. But I suspect there’s going to be a lot of stuff that you wouldn’t normally hear in a State of the Union speech. And I’m sure he’ll try and get in a dig at Pelosi.

T: I suppose he’ll — well, he’ll just brag like a god dammed peacock about whatever he brings up, but I have a hard to finding something he can brag about. He’ll be spinning like a top, but the world is learning to wait until he stops spinning before they react.

J: Dreidel , dreidel, dreidel ….. makeamericagreatagaindreidel, dreidel, dreidel …

T: He’s been the Teflon Donald so far, but this could be a speech he’ll regret later. The narrative is in a dangerous place for him right now, and he’s about to provide confirmation bias for the centrists, not just the lefties.

J: He doesn’t realize how unpopular the wall actually is among the rank and file independents.

T: According to the latest AP/Norc poll: 80 percent of republicans still support him, but his overall approval rating is just 34 percent. That means independents have largely soured on him. 

J: He needs the independents.

T: Yep.

Slack Chat: Fuelings … nothing more than Fuelings

T: Hey J, did you know “llamba growing” is an anagram for “global warming”?

J: That doesn’t make any sense. What’s a llamba?

T: I’d tell you, but it would offend the Twitter-verse.

J: Why would that stop you?

T: You are right; the Twitter-verse is to being offended what Beeker is to nervous lab assistants.

J: Got one for climate change?

T: Um ….

How about “tea chime clang”?

J: That sounds like a rap group I’m about to characterize with a wildly racist stereotype.

T: I dare you.

J: No way. I get enough GOP junk mail as it is.

T: That wasn’t racist.

J: No, but it was sort of partisan … Partisanist? Partist? Sanist?

T: Careful.

J: Sanist is the other part of … never mind. What do you want?

T: Just catching up … how’s the weather up there in Connecticut?

J: It’s 60 and sunny. We are thinking about planting a banana tree.

T: In Connecticut?

J: This global warming stuff is getting out of hand.

T: Come to think of it, Grillmates just came out with a line of sun screen.

J: Lady Gaga’s meat suit is now medium-well.

T: I can see snow out my window, so we are at least a little pink in the middle, still.

Wait, Lady Gaga’s meat suit? How long ago was that?

J: I dunno … ten years?

T: That suit would be ripe enough to gag a maggot by now.

J: How long did you have that locked and loaded?

T: I dunno … ten years?

J: I think I heard it the first time from my grandfather when he was changing my diapers.

T: Are you still …

J: Stop it.

T: It’s a good thing Gaga passed that meat suit through her body first, or it would really stink by now.

J: A poop joke? We are roasting on our own spit up here, and you are making poop jokes?

T: Hey, at least you’ll cook evenly.

J: Seriously, though, the weather has been pretty warm here lately.

T: We’ve been fairly mild too, at least the last couple of years. I think over time our seasons have moved a little bit forward, too. We seem to get spring a little later, and fall lasts a little bit longer every year compared to what I remember from when we were kids.

J: Well, that’s global warming for ya… it’s subtle, but it’s there. Like the notes you don’t play in jazz.

T: I’m not sure that qualifies as global warming. Global repositioning? I dunno.

J: Global forwarding? Global call forwarding? Global your pleasure, Global your fun?

T: “Doc, all this heat is making me dizzy and I have global vision.”

J: George Global-U Bush.

T: Nope. Doesn’t work.

J: Worth a try.

T: Yaknow, I don’t think global warming is all that well understood, at least by the masses. Political causes use it like a football so much that it’s almost impossible to get a good grasp on what the term actually means.

J: People tend to confuse climate with weather.  Weather is what you see when you look out the window; climate is the big picture. People look out the window and see that their weather is pretty much the same as it ever was, so they tend to think climate change is a hoax.

T: Yep. Plus Climate Change and Global Warming aren’t the same thing, but they are bandied about together so much that the public thinks they are.

J: That’s true too. Global warming is just the number by which the Earth is warming. Climate change is the effect that number has on Mother Nature’s big muscles, the ice caps, the oceans and the forests.

T: To me, Global Warming is the lead singer of the Climate Change band. Here’s the band:

  1. Global Warming, playing the greenhouse effect. And sometimes the tambourine.
  2. Deforestation, playing the cow farms replacing the Amazon rain forest and other temperate climate forests that keep the land masses from becoming deserts.
  3. Resource depletion, playing the oil derricks, coal mines and occasionally the spoons.
  4. Overfishing the oceans, playing the fishing nets that comprise 90 percent of the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Island.

Global Warming interacts with the others, especially with deforestation. Forests regulate temperature patterns along with rainfall patterns.

J: All of those things play into climate change. It’s not as simple as just cars or cow farts, although both of those play a role, maybe the bass fiddle or the keytar.

T: I think a lot of people use the term Global Warming when they really mean Climate Change, and vice versa.

I’m not sure which is more disingenuous. Using Climate Change when you mean Global Warming dismisses the effects of deforestation, overfishing and resource depletion. Using Global Warming when you mean Climate Change gives deniers an excuse to scream bullshit, because they can’t tell weather from climate.

And it works, because the people who need to be convinced can’t tell, either.

J: It’s not helpful that there seem to be a lot of deniers in the government at the moment. Their mantra seems to be “drill, baby, drill” despite the strong scientific evidence that CO2 emissions are the lead guitar and backing vocals of the Climate Change Band. And no, I’m not gonna let go of that analogy. I like it.

T: The Climate Change band album:

  1. “Rock my World” (with an actual rock)
  2. “Love me Tender” (but stop eating cows)
  3. “Joy to the World” (Jeremiah was an extinct bullfrog)
  4. “Stairway to Heaven” (made out of fishing nets and discarded fracking equipment)
  5. Inna Godda Davida (I got nothin’, that’s just the phonetic spelling of Iron Butterfly’s drunk-assed lead singer trying to say “In the Garden of Eden”)

OK, it’s an EP. Sue me, I got bored.

J: I won’t sue you, but the Iron Butterfly guy might.

T: By the way, you used climate change for global warming again. I’m going to start charging you a quarter every time you do that. I need a jar…

J: A jar for one quarter? Optimistic, aren’t you?

T: That’s one hell of a superhero nickname, isn’t it?  I’m “The Iron Butterfly Guy! AWAY!” (tries to fly, falls into the drum set)

J: Anyway, what are we going to do about it? People ain’t gonna stop eating cows, and they ain’t gonna quit driving cars. So what do we do? Give cows Gas-X?

T: I think Global Warming is the least worrisome of the four horsemen of the Climate Change apocalypse.

J: Jeez, mix metaphors much?

T: It’s the Ringo in the Climate Change band. Satisfied?

J: I am, but now Ringo’s getting a lawyer.

T: Smart people have learned how to fix carbon, and other smart people have learned how to turn old plastic bags into fuel. It’s early in the process, but the Wright Brothers didn’t start out with a 747.

J: Good point, Batman.

T: Thank you, Alfred. Sunpower is the long term solution, I think. We only use about two percent of the sun’s ambient power potential. We’ve made massive strides recently, and we’ll make more.

Wind power, I suspect, is the eight-track tape of the new energy paradigm, but it has led to some nice innovations. One is that battery storage can bridge the gap between oil- and coal-based electricity and sun power. Maybe wind is the cassette tape to sun power’s MP3 of the future.

J: What’s the CD?

T: It’s a disc they use to … oh, you mean metaphorically?

J: If it’s not too much trouble.

T: Lemme think about it.

J: The huge (glowing) elephant in the room is nuclear power, if we could just eliminate the regulatory issues. The next generation of nuke plants are far more efficient than current ones.

Germany gets something like 80 percent of its electricity from nukes. It could be done here, too, but people still hear “nukes” and think “Three Mile Island”, even though that was really no biggie, radiation-wise. Chernobyl was WAY worse, but that was a reactor design that was archaic in the 1980s and would never even be considered today.

T: Nuclear power might be the CD in the metaphorical alternative fuel soup.

J: That’s a lot of adjectives for a soup nobody will ever order.

T: I’m sure Sarah Sanders has had a bowl or two.

J: Saliva is not an alternative fuel.

T: Or metaphorical.

J: So how is it the CD (nuclear power, not saliva)? Impress us with your amazing logic, Batman. If that is your metaphorical name.

T: Well, the public issue with nuclear power is the fear of a blowup. I don’t know what the blowup chances are, but it’s like anything else that would be catastrophic if it ever happened. One blowup is too many.

The primary concern, as I see it, is that nuclear power generates so much toxic waste that, in comparison, the ocean garbage island looks like a flower pot.

And nuclear waste isn’t just dangerously toxic to humans. It’s literally the earth’s juice being wasted. How much nuclear power can we get from the earth before we are right back to dangerously depleting its resources?

Like the CD, we’ve made nuclear power largely obsolete by harnessing wind and the sun. We don’t need nuclear CDs in an MP3 world of wind and sun power.

J: I don’t think there’s any one “right” answer; I think solar, wind, hydroelectric and nuclear all have their places in the future.

The biggest thing we need to do is get away from burning fossil fuels, for power generation and (especially) in our cars. Electric cars are the wave of the future; we should do more to encourage people to buy them and, equally importantly, encourage car makers to build them. There used to be a tax credit for buyers of electric cars; that should be reinstated, and there should be some form of subsidy for manufacturers.

Ironically, steam-powered vehicles were just about to overcome their major tech hurdles when they were swamped by the Model T. They had problems with boilers either not lighting or exploding, but Stanley had ironed those bugs out. Unfortunately, they – along with most other early automakers – got crushed under Henry Ford’s wheels.

T: The best way to get electric cars into the mainstream is to make electric cars that the public will want to buy. We need electric sports cars, big ole electric trucks and white electric panel vans for pedophiles.

OK, maybe not the last one.

J: Tesla is already building electric sports cars; electric semis are on the horizon, but still a couple years from mass production. As far as electric pedophile vans go, I wouldn’t know. Hopefully, they’ll have the capability to connect the battery directly to the driver’s testicles.

Mini-Slack: Bustin’ a Kaep

T is still Terry and J is still John. The other two are still in witness protection. It was some sort of summer sausage and crackers scandal, but I can’t remember who rammed who, or who absconded with all the cheese whiz.

B: Originally Colin Kaepernick took a knee in protest of police brutality, but as the media took notice it became about the flag. I support his efforts against brutality and racial profiling by the police, but if you don’t stand for the National Anthem, how is it NOT going to be about the flag? Ironically, it has hurt the NFL and been detrimental to his career. A simple case of wrong place wrong time? Attention seeker or hero? What is the real story behind Colin’s intentions?

T: Kaepernick knowingly gave up his career, just like Curt Flood did in 1970 when he refused to be passed around the league like a groupie at Burning Man. Kaepernick even declined his $19 million contract to keep the 49ers safely out of the political fray.

The respect protesters give to the flag, by protesting to the flag, is the same respect given to all authority figures around the world. They protested the flag BECAUSE of its symbology, not in spite of it. The flag represents the authority they are protesting TO, not AGAINST.

In effect, they are telling the US authorities that they matter. That it’s not OK for the police to shoot young black men for committing petty drug crimes, while young white men get to go to rehab.

Remember – this is really the main issue – remember that all protests are calculated to piss people off. If you are pissed off, you are probably on the side of what they are protesting. That’s how it works.

B: I am merely searching for answers, because I initially saw this as selfish but I wonder now (still not completely convinced), that this obviously had a bad outcome for him. Are you saying he welcomed this for the cause?  You have to be specific with me, statistics tell me nothing. So he declined 19 mil to defer media from his team?

T: Nothing is ever as simple as it looks. Kaepernick has always been sort of a flake, dancing to his own beat. He’s about as ethnically mixed as you can get, with some of the whitest and blackest blood coursing through his veins, and several competing ethnicities within the more obvious ones. He’s a true world citizen, in that he’s a little bit of everyone. And he’s wealthy. His family has money, and of course he’s made millions playing football. So he was in a position to turn down the money, and take the stand.

At the time he took the first knee, I thought he was making a confusing gesture that nobody would get, but I admired his guts in taking on such an iconic symbol. I was right that he was kneeling into the teeth of a serious symbol – the flag inspires a lot of emotion – but I was totally wrong about the message.

Other players took up the protest, because it struck an obvious nerve. Whether it’s fair or not (I can’t say), the public perception is that black men get shot, white men get forgiven. Kaepernick was protesting that.

He turned down the contract to avoid the inevitable public relations nightmare for the team if they cut him. And they would have cut him, because he wasn’t worth the money. He was a backup QB by then, and backup QBs don’t make $19 million.

But if they had cut him, there would have been discrimination lawsuits. Kaepernick didn’t want that, because he wasn’t protesting his right to make $19 million. He was protesting something else.

B: I did not know it was for a cause at first like everyone else. There still remains no specific incident that was brought to light to veil police brutality, and it’s confusing that the protest gained momentum when the opposing protest was specific about heroes of war and specific about the flag. Why didn’t he stop when he had to see what was coming, with all the press he could have made a statement and found another place and time. I guess I still can’t get past my initial beliefs … although I no longer see him as selfish, and it is a GREAT cause, just wrong place and wrong time.

J: To be honest, it was the conservative media that made Kaepernick into the villain; they were the ones who made it seem like he was protesting against the national anthem, which he absolutely was not. They were the ones who made him seem unpatriotic and not a supporter of our troops for the stand he was taking or, more specifically I guess, just when he was taking it.

The ironic thing is that every single military person I’ve spoken to about this issue, without exception, supports Kaepernick; after all, they served to defend the right that he is exercising.

K:  All good protests make people uncomfortable. It’s too bad the message got twisted up in the flag.

B: So is America so racist that a clear line was never drawn about his intention? He continued to sacrifice his career when he knew what people thought? Or like T said, his career was secondary to the fact that he did not need the money anyway. On the other hand he did the right thing. If he had allowed the team to cut him the protest would have certainly become about him and not the original cause for which he stood, or kneeled.

T: The problem with people is that we are all inherently selfish, manipulative and greedy. Normal versions of this are part of the deal, so I mostly just sigh and move on. But political greed, selfishness and manipulation causes an unbelievable amount of angst and confusion, because it’s aimed at huge numbers of people. The curse of ignorance is that you become lambs to slaughter in front of your television sets. Nothing is more dangerous than misplaced concern.

Was Kaepernick’s concern misplaced? Honestly, I can’t say. Was the concern about the flag misplaced? I think so. The flag stands for the freedom to disobey, and nothing is more American than a good, angry protest that pisses everyone else off.

So agree or disagree with Kaepernick as you see fit. But his protest was as American as apple pie, and his sacrifice, misplaced or not, was genuine. He knowingly gave up his career.

Fathers Day

I loved my father.

Fathers and sons playing catch – what is it about throwing that baseball back and forth in the yard, anyway? We did so many other things together, after all. So many things shared and remembered by sons long after Dad has passed away, memories that both stir the heart and catch painfully in the throat.

But that little, repetitive activity was somehow kind of personal and private and precious. Throw and catch, throw and catch, over and over. It was simple, it was fun, and it didn’t intrude on what we shared, the simple pleasure of being together. He was my Dad. I felt like I never wanted this to end, that I just wanted to be with him, to be loved and accepted by him, to someday be just like him.

 

Now, you’re going to hate me.

 

I lied.

 

The last time I saw my father I was 5 or maybe 6 years old. We never played catch. I don’t remember any kind of conversation with him. He drank. Once in a while over the next few years he’d call. I could hear traffic in the background as he spoke from a phone booth somewhere. Too polite or timid to hang up, I would stand there, listening to his repetitive, awkward, guilt driven words, just hoping the call would end.

When I was in my early 20’s my phone rang. It was my brother, letting me know that my father had died. It meant nothing to me.

I’m older now than my father ever was. Looking back on my life, sometimes I think of him and I say to myself, “Where were you, Dad? Where the hell were you?”

I never did play catch with my father. I bet it would have been great.

 

Gary Fletcher

June 11, 2017

Slack Chat: Gandhi, Ganja Goo Goo

.05T: Hey J, did you see the WaPo Democrat candidate article?

The top 15 possible 2020 Democratic nominees, ranked

J: I read the article… I definitely disagree with it.

T: Right? Do they think the Democrats are chasing the rest home vote?

J: It seems that way… they’ve got four 70–plus candidates on there. Or they will be in 2020, anyway.

T: Actually, 70 + would be a frigging’ youth movement; three of the top four will be 80 by inauguration day in 2021, I think.

J: All three of the top ones would be 70+ at inauguration.

T: I exaggerated a little bit, but Granola Brown will be 82 on election day, Sanders 79 and Biden 78 shortly after.

J: The Democrats badly need some new blood, not the same old names that have been kicking around for the last 30 years.

T: No shit. I’d put my money on the second tier – Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. They all at least have to pay full price for pancakes.

J: I think it’s either Booker or Harris; Gillibrand isn’t as well known – although she’s definitely upped her profile recently. Harris would be a good one to carry the Sanders flag.

T: I don’t like Gillibrand’s profile much. She’s a political leaf, not quite for hire but a little too willing to adjust her ideology to the shifting winds. I’d prefer a more centrist, reasonable candidate, but it can’t be anyone with ties to the Clintons. Not this time. Gillibrand is way too close to the Clintons, and way too much like Hillary, another politician built out of ideological wet cement.

J: Harris came out for single-pay insurance, which is one of the Berniecrats’ pet causes. She would have solid liberal cred if she ran.

T: I think that’s right; single-pay will be a hot issue in 2020, along with fixing whatever negative fallout comes from the tax bill. Plus, you know – all that infrastructure remodeling after we get the shit nuked out of us.

J: There is that whole nuking thing. But yeah, the two hot-button issues are going to be income inequality and healthcare. If Sanders doesn’t run himself, he’d be smart to endorse Gillibrand.

T: I think he’ll realize – especially if McCain passes – that the country ain’t going to put an octogenarian in the White House.

J: The midterms are going to be really interesting if both Arizona seats are up. Flake’s not running, and if McCain dies, they’ll both be up. I think the Dems would have a solid shot at both of them.

T: Have you seen the latest 538 article? The current generic ballot has the Dems 12 points ahead.

Also, McConnell is all over Bannon, saying he blew a race in the reddest state in the country. Did you see that?

J: I saw the McConnell thing, and he’s got a fair point. Strange would have beaten Jones by double figures simply by not being Roy Moore. Bannon really screwed up that deal, and he’s on his way to screwing up some other races, too. If I was the national GOP I might put out a hit on him or something.

T: There’s a really interesting dynamic going on with the GOP and the Freedom wing. The Tea Partiers need to prove they can win, so Moore’s loss loses them a lot of face with the establishment wing. It’ll be that much harder to get national backing for the next right-wing kook.

J: We’ll see with the midterms. I think that redneck populism took a major hit when Moore got beaten, and the Bannon candidates in Arizona and Mississippi are just as weak. The national GOP wants nothing to do with either of them. I think a lot of those Tea Party guys are going to have a tough row to hoe in 2018, just because of Trump’s toxicity.

T: I’m not sure Trump is toxic to them – not yet anyway – but Alabama might be evidence that they simply don’t have the numbers to continue to fight logic, like the Trump campaign did.

J: I don’t think the Democrats should make the midterms a referendum on Trump, although the probably will. They should focus on their core issues and refine their messaging.

T: The Democratic party is in a rest home. They need a serious injection of fresh blood, fresh ideas, and – if possible – a large dollop of credibility.

J: I don’t disagree. The Democrats are pushing the same tired faces and names that they’ve been pushing for 30 years. Pretty soon they’ll LITERALLY be pushing them. They need fresh faces. Their recruiting has been very strong since Trump was elected, but it’s going to take time for the newcomers to make national names. What they need to do now is promote their middle-tier candidates.

T: There are two people in the country right now with the potential to unite us: Mark Cuban, and Oprah Winfrey. Maybe the Dems should get on their knees and beg Oprah to run?

J: She’s not exactly a spring chicken, either. She’ll be 65 in 2020.

T: Oprah’s a really young 65, though. Picking her in 2017 might look silly by 2020, but you know dammed well that she could win.

J: Well, she would have the same name recognition Trump does… of course, no one knows much of anything about her politics. But no one knew about Trump’s, either.

T: Oprah is probably Clintonesque, but she would be perceived as a fresher version, without all the baggage.

How sad is our political system? We just elected a reality show hack, and our best counter solution is to run Donahue with tits against him.

J: Donahue with tits might be a good porno, as long as the girl doesn’t actually look like Donahue. Or Jerry Springer. Just in case you had him locked and loaded.

T: You know me too well.

J: Cuban is probably the biggest wild card in American politics today, because of his money and his reach and his name recognition. I don’t know if he’d run himself or just back someone, but anyone he did get behind would have instant credibility.

T: How cool would Cuban be as the republican candidate? Heads would explode all over the GOP beltway.

J: It’d be cool, but I don’t think they’d ever go for it. I think they’ll tweak the rules after the Trump fiasco, to prevent that kind of candidacy again. Besides, I think Cuban is more of a natural Democrat.

T: I see Cuban as a centrist, closer to us than to either party. He might smell like a democrat right now, but I am about 80 percent sure he’s actually a registered republican. He’s an American Dreamer type – a mousetrap maker. Aren’t those types always republicans?

I mean, Shark Tank’s audience has to be about 90 percent GOP.

J: Cuban is a social centrist but a fiscal conservative; he’s said he would probably run as a republican if he did, but he was backing Clinton in 2016. It’s hard to say if that was because of philosophy or just out of his antipathy for Trump.

T: He backed Obama in 2012, too. I think he’s a lot like me, in that he is fiscally to the right of the establishment wing of the GOP, but socially a bit to the left of center. He claims to be an independent, and he’s offered to join both parties, but only in high positions.

His donation history is all over the place, with wild swings to both sides. I believe that shows he’s an independent in the most literal possible sense, making decisions based on logic and evidence, rather than lock-stepping behind the head goose on either side.

J: Anyone with that kind of net worth has to be taken seriously, if only because of the potential cost of alienating him. I’d rather have a guy with $10 billion in the bank inside the tent pissing out, rather than on the outside pissing in.

T: Well, how many billionaires are there? He’s not exactly J Paul Getty.

J: No, he’s not. For one thing, he’s not dead.

T: So he has that going for him.

J: Which is nice.

T: Remind me to send Bill Murray .6 cents, before he sues us again.

J: We need to stop using Caddyshack references.

T: Or at least stick to the lines from the dead guys. They don’t sue.
J: Or wear plaid.
T: Son of a bitch! Do we have a current address for Steve Martin?

J: Is he still alive?

T: Who?

J: Mark Cuban.

T: What?

J: We were talking about Mark Cuban.

T: Oh, right. Well, he’s no Phyllis Diller.

J: Um, no. No, he isn’t.

T: But he is a republican.

J: If he’s a Republican, he’s what they call a RINO (republican in name only). He’s a fiscal conservative, true, but his positions on social issues definitely lean Democratic. There are lots of billionaires, but not nearly as many who have the name recognition he does, or are as politically active (at least publicly).

T: Well, he’s a celebrity billionaire. We make people on television into stars, regardless of their roles. Charlie Manson was a star. Hitler is still a huge superstar, one of the biggest stars in the world. Honey Boo Boo is a star.

We have to acknowledge that reality, whether we agree with it or not (I don’t, and I doubt you do, either), and factor it in as one of the countless wind adjustments needed to take aim at the political scene.

j: No, I definitely don’t agree with that.

T: So absolutely, Cuban is way up the list of moneyed influences, because he has a ton of money – probably more than Trump  – a dominant personality, a sense of humor, natural charisma, and actual intellectual chops. There ain’t that many guys who have the full meal deal like that.

J: I should say I don’t like it; I agree that people are getting famous just for being famous a lot more than they used to.

T: Oh, I don’t know about that. Being famous for no real reason has been the same ever since Cain put out that expose on Abel’s eating habits. The conditions have changed a bit, though. Cain didn’t have a smartphone.

J: “You eat POTTAGE?!”

T: “Hey, pass me the pottage cheese, willya?”

J: That was Jacob and Esau, but still biblical. Also the first expose: “I am an hairy man, and Esau my brother is a smooth man.”

T: My favorite biblical mystery is the obvious one. A few years ago, somebody came out with evidence that Jesus was married.

My first thought was, “Cold Case Files presents: Mrs. H. Christ – unwitting victim, or willing co-conspirator?”

“Was the Crucifixion a fulfillment of the prophecies, or just a marital spat?”

“Film at XI.”

J: “X Central time.”

T: “On channel VII, your home for the NFL (National Flogging League).”

J: The married Jesus thing has been kicking around for a while. The biggest evidentiary argument in favor of it is that the disciples all called him “Rabbi.” Under the Jewish law of the time (and I think it’s still strongly encouraged today even if not actually required) rabbis had to be married; you couldn’t be single and be a rabbi.

T: Mary Magdelene, overheard in a bar: “I’m heading home to nail my husband.”

J: Mary Magdalene: “How do you like getting nailed?” Jesus: “Oh shut up, Mary Nagdalene.”

T: Mary: “Don’t cross me, you son of a bitch – your mother is a virgin like I’m a prostitute. Do you think anyone will ever believe that shit? Nobody is that stupid.”

J: I feel like this would be a good place to pretend I don’t know you.

T: Oh, I just got that. Mary NAGdalene.

Groan …

J: Sure, Christ’s mother is a slut, the Bible is full of shit, but Mary NAGdalene is a groaner?

T: I didn’t call her a slut – Mary Magdalene did. But only after Joseph called her a whore. Haven’t you seen “The Real Housewives of Bethlehem”?

J: Betting the farm that there ain’t a Hell, are we?

T: If there is, they are going to hire me to run the place.

th (10)J: Fair enough.

According to the Bible, Mother Mary had at least four kids besides the late JC: there’s a verse that says, “Are not his brothers and sisters among us?”

Brothers and sisters, plural. At least two of each. Like you said, she only became a virgin later, after the Council of Narnia.

T: Wasn’t that the royal brothers and sisters?

J: You mean like Andrew and Fergie?

T: No, like, “are we awake?” and “I’m not sure. Are we black?”

J: Um, “Blazing Saddles,” right?

T: Oh crap, that’s right. Any chance Mel Brooks kicked off today?

J: I’d say no, but he is past 90.

T: Now I got you saying Narnia. Are we convinced?

J: No, it was when he was claiming to be the son of God, and the townspeople were saying, “Hey, wait a minute. We know this guy; he’s a carpenter, and his brothers and sisters are around here, too.”

I know it’s not Narnia, but you would have said it anyway. The council of Nicea.

T: The council of bluffs.

J: Was that where Radar was from?

T: No, that was Ottumwa. Do I send the money to Gary Burghoff, or Alan Alda?

J: Larry Gelbart, wasn’t it?

T: Oh yeah, right. Any chance he’s –

J: Yep, 2009.

T: Yes! I mean condolences.

J: You know this is some weak shit, don’t you?

T: I am aware. But I can’t stop now, it would take me a week to edit it all out, and I’d still owe Bill Murray .6 cents.

J: I looked it up: “According to Mark 6:3, Jesus had four brothers and two sisters: “Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?”

So yes, Mary had seven kids.

T: Wow, you took the long way around on that. I’ve seen dogs lie down more efficiently.

J: Well, we gotta pad our word count somehow.

T: I’ll stop magging you.

J: Speaking of weak shit.

T: Hell, I figured it was worth a shot.

J: Well … If your wife is really bad about nagging, would you call her a Nagnum?

T: You mean Nagmum?

J: Dammit, you’re right.

T: Or maybe a Nagapotomus. Who reads dirty nagazines.

J: Her breath could gag a naggot, but she has a nagmetic personality.

T: She can be nagmamanous.

J: She’s going to see the nagistrate.

T: “Presenting the Queen! Welcome to Downton, your Royal Nagesty”

J: “Mrs. Nagilla Gorilla.”

T: Have you seen the nagina monologues? This guy sits in front of a television set while a woman in curlers tells him the story of her life at the top of her lungs.

It’s a board game now; all you need to play it is a television and a loud bitch of a wife. If you kill her, she wins.”

J: How do I win?

T: You can’t.

J: Weren’t we handicapping the 2020 Democratic Primary?

T: Yaknow, I think we were. Where were we?

J: I dunno, but we wound up in Bethlehem, so that whole left turn at Albuquerque thing is getting to be a serious issue.

T: Well, don’t feed me red bull.

J: Here’s my Top Five:

  • 5. Mark Cuban. Total wildcard, could just as easily run as a Republican, but I’m assuming here that his dislike of Trump will overcome his nominal party loyalty.
  • 4. Elizabeth Warren. Has name recognition and she would motivate women voters, but has her own negatives.
  • 3. Kirsten Gillibrand. Has raised her profile substantially recently, but is not as well known as Warren and would require a lot of introduction to voters nationally.
  • 2. Cory Booker. Would appeal to the Obama wing of the party, but wouldn’t run strong in the South because 1) he’s black, and 2) he’s gay.
  • 1. Kamala Harris. Probably the best bet for a unity candidate between the various wings of the party. She makes all the right liberal-sounding noises, is from California so would help the party out West, and would run strong with the Sanders wing because of her support for universal health care.

T: Here’s mine:

  • 5. Kamala Harris. She’s new to the Senate, so 2020 is probably too early for her, but she has the kind of across the spectrum experience that might be palatable to both sides of the aisle.
  • 4. Bernie Sanders. He’s ancient and way too liberal for my tastes, but he’s as transparent as they come and a Sanders presidency would give Larry David a chance at a third massive career vehicle.
  • 3. Kirsten Gillibrand. She’s Hillary Jr., but without Hillary’s baggage.
  • 2. Oprah Winfrey. There are only two people I can think of who might have the ability to unite the country. Oprah is one of them. She is the ultimate character candidate – beyond reproach.
  • 1. Mark Cuban. Cuban is the other one. I put Mark ahead of Oprah because he has shown the most interest and demonstrated the most aptitude for the job. I’d be ecstatic to get either one of them.

J: Cuban certainly knows enough to get the best people around him, and not just to hire all his friends and family members. That’s where he’s smarter than Trump; he’s smart enough to know what he doesn’t know and to get people around him who would help him get up to speed.

Trump didn’t do that, whether out of lack of intelligence or just ego I don’t know, and that has contributed significantly to the problems he has had.

T: You know who Cuban is? Mark Cuban is what Trump’s voters think Trump is. Wouldn’t you love to get a pair of those Trump-colored glasses to wear while you’re making love to your wife?

J: I think I follow you, but I’m terrified if I’m even a little wrong.

T: I get that a lot.

J: I see we have a couple of names in common. Right now, I think Sanders is the front-runner for the Democrats, simply because he’s been there before. His main negative is going to be his age; I think the whole “socialist” thing got played out last time, and wouldn’t do him any more damage.

T: I’d much rather see Bernie endorse one of the up-and-comers. That would be more valuable in terms of party unity. Sanders has three weaknesses, I think. Age is one (duh). I’m not sure it’s his largest weakness, though. His almost socialistically liberal ideology would make it hard to win a national election unless he was running against Trump. That’s number two.

But his biggest weakness – the weakness that cost him the nomination in 2016 – is that he’s not a Democrat. The party will only get behind him if they are forced to. They don’t want to back a socialist wolf in democratic clothing. They want an actual democrat.

J: There’s some truth to that, but he does have a considerable (and fanatically loyal) constituency. His endorsement would be very, very helpful to someone.

T: Oh, he’s going to wield one of the biggest hammers at the 2020 convention.

J: Definitely… but who does he give the hammer to?

T: Yaknow, thinking about it – we came pretty dammed close to a race between two independents in 2016, didn’t we?

J: We really did, thinking about it that way.

T: Remember when Granola Brown used to run for President all the time, back when he was nailing Linda Ronstadt? He was the country’s resident Bree-chewing, Merlot-swilling liberal of the 1970s.

J: Someone had to be. It was Jerry Brown, and then it was Ted Kennedy, then Al Gore, and now Bernie Sanders.

T: I don’t know if I would give Al Gore that spot – he came 537 votes from winning. That, to me, almost precludes giving him any sort of radical title. But then again, he was the balance that sold the Clintons to the liberals in 1992, wasn’t he? The Clintons were – and I think still are – fundamentally centrist.

J: Yeah, Gore definitely strengthened Bill’s liberal cred.

T: You have Kamala Harris on top. Gimme your Kamala pros and cons.

Let me rephrase that.

So, do you think we are going to elect a Gandhi-Ganja chick President?

J: Harris’s pros: she’s a black woman, appealing to the diversity wing of the party, and has already endorsed universal healthcare, which would win her over some supporters among the Berniecrats.

Cons: she’s not well known nationally, so there’s work to be done as far as name recognition, but that’s not insurmountable; Obama wasn’t well known, either. She’s also pro-choice, which won’t sit well with certain segments of the electorate.

T: I think the pro-life movement is silly, but that’s just me. I mean, who really cares about abortion? I mean cares enough to know what the current rules are, and what the respective sides advocate? I bet my personal views of abortion are miles to the left of the unthinking masses who think they are with the pro-choice GOP, and the actual laws are miles to the right of where conservatives think they are.

Basically, pro-lifers think their pro-life congressmen want to disallow all abortions, and that pro-choice means aborting teenagers. In other words, they think care deeply about a subject that they won’t lift a dammed mouse finger to research for themselves.

Pro-choicers mostly think they want to allow abortions up to about 3 months, which is several weeks earlier than the present laws allow. In other words, they think they care deeply about a subject that they won’t lift a dammed finger to research for themselves.

Abortion has always been left alone for (1) the poor and (2) those who are less than 20 weeks along, as long as they are (1). This has been the norm for centuries. Anti-abortion forces always rise up when people with money start getting convenience abortions, but the rest of the time abortion is in the don’t ask – don’t tell morass of moral indifference. Nobody really gives a fuck what happens to poor children, from fetus to prison.

Nobody cares about 12-day old fetuses unless some hand-wringer is yelling at them to care. Nobody cares if a single mother chooses to abort a 3-month-old fetus she can’t afford to feed, unless some handwringer is yelling at them to care. We do care when a woman with the means to take care of a child chooses not to, and we do care when an abortion is performed on a mature, or “quickened” fetus. The lines are usually drawn at the poverty level and about 20 weeks.

J: Are you done?

T: Sorry, I tripped over a soapbox.

J: You should stop leaving those things lying around.

T: In Harris’ case, specifically, I doubt being a pro-choice democrat is that big a deal personally, because, well – most democrats are pro-choice.  But it’s a legitimate point to make, they way you made it, because part of her appeal is that her law and order background might help her snag some votes from the right.

J: It will at least help her get a look.

T: I want to get one more point out about Harris, who I would vote for. Hell, who I would marry, except I’m pretty sure the restraining order won’t allow it.

J: How many soapboxes away from her do you have to be?

th (13)T: Her ethnicity is fascinating; she’s part Indian and part Jamaican, which would lead you to believe she’s to the left of Bernie in many ways, but her background is in law enforcement.

J: She was California’s attorney general before she went to the Senate, so she does have a strong law-and-order background.

T: Based on her Wikipedia page, her profile is that of a sleeves-rolled-up legislator, maybe not so much brilliant like Obama, but logical and to the point. She is certainly intelligent, and she is glib – she speaks in words the public can digest. I see this as a huge part of her skillset, a tremendous advantage.

Hillary could never learn how to speak plainly, and as a result it was ridiculously easy to mock her words. I don’t think it will be so easy to mock Harris. She has Truman’s ability to create word-brands, I think.

In other words, so to speak, she gets to the fucking point.

th (14)

 

 

J: So she ™ her words.

T: What?

J: Trademark. alt+0153.

T: ™

Hey, cool!

J: ø

 

T: How do you do that?

J: Alt+four numbers; I don’t remember which ones I hit that time.

T: ¥

Like that?

J: ò

Yep.

T: So, just alt+4 random numbers?

J: ░

Yep.

T: š

That’s pretty cool.

J: Well, until you do alt+0666 and summon Satan.

Seven Words-a-Bleeping

Warning: the following slack chat is almost gleefully filthy, so make sure you are wearing a condom.

T: Hey J, what were Carlin’s seven dirty words?
J: George Carlin’s seven were shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. That would have an effect on my vocabulary.
T: Yeah, it would cut it by about a third.
J: Not to mention shortening these chats significantly.
Plus no squirrel pics.
T: Are the Carlin’s Seven still in effect?
J: I think the seven – if there are still seven – have changed.
T: I’d drop shit, piss and maybe tits. You hear all three on network TV these days, though most shows use boobs, a word they said on I Love Lucy.
There’s one obvious add (starts with n), but I’m not sure if there is a second obvious one, let alone a third that could knock tits off the list.
cakeJ: I think piss is off, probably tits too. Cunt is the obvious add… drop piss, add cunt.
T: The world’s worst fruitcake recipe.
J: Ew.
T: I didn’t say to make it.
J: Julia Child just threw up in her grave.
T: Context often matters more than the words themselves. You can say fuck when you are scared in a PG-13 movie, but you can’t say it in anger. Or in lust; saying fuck when you mean coitus is reserved exclusively for 17-and-up crowds.
J: Nobody gets free fucking.
T: Except in the drive-through.
J: Right – it’s always free there.
T: Except in the movies.
J: I think the rule is two F’s equals one R, movie ratings-wise.
T: A lot of writers go by that same standard. They get to say fuck once in the entire book, so they pick the spot. It’s like you get one lobster a year. When are you going to get it? Birthday? Anniversary? Random day when you boss yelled at you?
J: God, I could never write a book, I’d average about three fucks a page.
T: Oh, eventually the Viagra would wear off.
J: If your erection lasts longer than it took you to write the Lord of the Rings trilogy, see a doctor.
T: Preferably not Dr. Oz.
J: Oh, ba DUM. Pish.
Ugh.
T: I coulda gone with Dr. Spock, got a double-header pun in there. So to speak
J: A triple-header pun! I’d say well done, but we both know you’re going to hell for it.
T: Hell – the punster capital of the underworld. The Devil is that guy who wrote Bullwinkle.
J: Ward … um – Jay Ward.
20106359_10211847679520634_8524929535845546218_nT: That’s the son of a bitch.
J: Are you still bitter about the flying squirrel incident?
T: I can’t have one tree to myself?
J: You know that stuff’s biodegradable.
T: So is water. Talk to the wicked witch about Dorothy spunking all over her face.
J: Really?
T: It’s a metaphor.
J: For what?
T: Never mind – what were we talking about?
J: Shit.
T: Oh, right. I wouldn’t want to ruin that discussion by talking about anything dirty.
J: You can say “shit” all you want, as long as you’re not referring to actual excrement.
T: You can say shit to represent stuff – “hey, leave my shit alone” or as a mild epitaph – “shit, I just soiled myself” – but not to describe fecal matter (“crap, I just shit myself.”).
Also, crap is fine as a noun, but it can’t be used as a verb to describe the act of crapping.
J: What if you do it in the John?
T: John C. Crapper … hey – HEY! Is that where the C word came from?
J: No, his middle name is a different c-word.
T: I thought I was onto something there for a minute. Well, crap.
J: Shitfuck.
T: Fuckshit.
J: Joe Schultz was a genius. (editor’s note: google him; we’re busy.)
T: Piss – I think it’s ok in the past, and sometimes in the future, but never in the present. Unless it’s used as a replacement for anger.
J: You can say piss if you are a cowboy, but not if you are into golden showers.
T: Cunt, nigger, fag.
J: Hey!
T: No, I didn- never mind. Are those the new Big Three? The New big three?
J: They might be. Fag was everywhere ten years ago, but nowadays you can’t even ask for a British smoke.
T: So what are the seven dirtiest words in politics? Are they the ones the CDC banned from their grant applications?
download (1)J: Medicare cuts. Social Security cuts.
T: Those aren’t words. Those are phrases.
J: Anyone who uses those will be referred to as “former congressman” shortly after.
T: Top five are Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump and Grabdapussy, so I suppose that’s not the best way to look at it. How about the seven dirtiest words of 2017?
J: Clickbait.
T: Words that incited the most passionate anger among the public?
J: Charlottesville.
T: Trump is number one, but what are the other six?
J: Pedophile. Antifa.
T: Nazi, pedophile, Antifa, Alt+right. Liberal is close.
If you are a Nazi Antifa liberal pedophile, I doubt they’ll let you speak at Berkeley.
J: Snowflake.
T: There you go. Neo-Nazi, pedophile, Antifa, Snowflake, Alt+right, Libtard?
Pedophile is an all-purpose dirty word.
.J: Fascist. Bernie-bros.
T: Fascist is good … but sort of lumps with Neo-Nazi, doesn’t it?
J: Well, “snowflake” and “libtard” are kind of the same thing, too.
What about ammosexual?
T: What is that? Somebody who gets sexually aroused by their guns?
J: Works for me.
T: If a duck barks, shoot it and make it go get it.
J: What?
T: Sorry, thought I had something there. So – Neo-Nazi, Fascist, Antifa, Snoflake, Libtard … how about shemale? Or tranny?
J: Yeah, tranny should be in there. Feminazi?
T: I think that’s an older one, too, like tranny and shemale. Which one is the current version?
J: Transgender is the current usage. Feminazi, SJW (social-justice warrior), patriarchy.
T: Plus, is there a bathroom-related insult?
J: I’d go with tranny, more au courant.
ASST: People who say au courant should be a dirty word.
J: Va te faire foutre.
T: Did you just ask me to the fair?
J: No.
T: I don’t know that tranny is that current, though. I think shemale might be more current. Tranny used to be used when people still thought there were hermaphrodites everywhere. It used to mean dual-gendered. Shemale is a guy with fake tits.
J: I remember hearing “shemale” when I lived out there, 20 years ago.
T: I think they might both be older, like recent, but not this year recent.
J: they’re both older terms. I don’t know the current preferred insult.
T: Tranny’s been around for a while for sure; we used it in the Navy for crossdressers.
Shemale was used like “girly boy,” but that was more for an effeminate guy than for a guy with actual tits.
J: I sense a Crocodile Dundee test. Did you guys have a squeeze test for wanna-be Sheilas?
T: Don’t ask, don’t tell.
J: You played that card awfully fast.
T: Moving on … the term shemale has a more specific definition now, I think. Tranny is short for transgender, but I think it was used for what we think of as shemales now – guys who get fake boobs but still have their penises.
If you have your penis removed and replaced with a makeshift vagina, you are – what? Do they even do that anymore? Is that a trans-sexual? I remember that term.
Anyone reading this knows what a couple of old bubbas we are by now, don’t they? I mean, we don’t know shit about this subject.
J: Nope. We are strictly men’s room attendants. So to speak.
T: Don’t drink the blue stuff. Rookie mistake.
J: I still don’t know what that stuff was. Wasn’t it mouthwash?
T: They sterilized combs in mouthwash?
J: We really don’t know what we are talking about.
T: Shh … like we ever do.
J: Good point.
T: So what do we know?
J: Well, I knew a surgeon who said he could make a penis into a vagina that a gynecologist wouldn’t be able to tell wasn’t real.
T: Because if it’s just a dude in drag, the terms are interchangeable. Right?
J: Transsexual is the term for someone who’s had the operation. So I guess the terms are interchangeable.
T: Transgender means the dick is still there?
J: Yes. Transgender is pre-operation.
T: And they want to use the women’s restroom?
J: Yep.
T: Why? Do they need tampons or something?
J: No.
T: Then go use the fucking boy’s room. The humans with penises room. It’s not a sexing place, it’s a crapping place. If you have a penis, use the urinals. I don’t get it.
J: Fucking snowflakes.
T: If snowflakes fuck, why aren’t any of them the same?
J: Bad genetics.
T: You played that fast.
J: Don’t ask, don’t tell.
T: I don’t know wh- never mind. We are going to have to strike all of this, by the way.
J: Oh yeah, none of this is going on the site.
T: We still need two more 2017 insults. What do we call stupid people these days? Trump voters? Isn’t there a nickname for them?
J: Nednecks?
T: Nednecks?
download (3)J: Shh …
T: I guess Snowflake and Nazi are the main ones.
J: Yeah, those are the ones that have been all over.
T: I should just dump the last 800 words and end with hookers. As usual.
J: Hookers always make for a happy ending.
T: And – scene.
J: Lol.

 

Gram from Trois-Rivières – Part II

In which the author ‘rends his garments’ so to speak.

 

Jesus F Christ, my writing is just…terrible. What a bunch of sappy, artsy-fartsy crap.

Let’s get real here, as much as I can.

My Grandmother was born in 1904, big family, Catholic, poor. She liked her father, had a contentious relationship with her mother. Met a man from Paris, got married, ended up in prairies as wheat farmers, starved through the depression, had a smaller family, and moved to British Columbia.

I’ve heard it said that the sins of the church are not justification for denying God. Maybe yes, maybe no; but certainly good enough reason for leaving the god damn church. She told me a lot of stories; maybe I’ll use some of them, if I can recover from my current mood.

One of her daughters was my mother. She married two drinking men; the second one was my father. He rear ended a truck when I was about a year old. Mom went through the windshield. She never left the hospital, dying a couple of years later.

My grandmother took the kids in. My father hung on, then moved on, and moved out. She was sometimes deferential (with a purpose) but tough as nails when she had to be. Having raised one family, she was probably more lenient the second time around.

In the first story, the scene in the hospital takes place around the mid-1990s. That’s about right, about my grandmother dying.

The bit about joining the human race, that’s true. I got half way there when I fell in love with my wife, and I got the other half done when I became a father. My math is still a bit off, though. I’m still not sure if I feel completely at ease with the human race.

That stuff about being a child no matter how old I have been, or will be, that’s just my opinion.

Fuck, I can’t believe how bad my writing is. I feel that way every time I finish something. Then I get over it. I have the soul of a writer. I wish I was better at it. Okay, I feel a little bit better now.

Fuck.

 

Gary Fletcher – December 8, 2017

Mongolian Streetwalkers

T: Hey J, I got an idea for a great show.

J: tv show?

T: Yeah. Jersey Shore vs. Duck Dynasty in a battle to the death. The winners get to fuck the Kardashians, the losers have to go fuck the Honey Boo Boos.

J: Won’t the losers be dead?

T: Oh, right.

J: Honey Boo Boo is going to have to go fuck herself.

T: That poor kid. That poor, poor little diabetic coma-waiting-to-happen kid. That poor, she probably already has three step sister nephew-children kid.

J: She probably weighs 450 pounds too.

T: “How do you solve a problem climb a mountain like Honey Boo Boo?

J: “Here Comes Honey Moo Moo”

T: Her husband is a crane operator. How funny is that?

J: Do you mean ironic?

T: Well, it better be ironic.

J: No kidding – a wooden crane ain’t lifting that mountain.

J: You can’t make this stuff up:

Man sits on gun, shoots himself in crotch

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WKRC) – A Jacksonville man accidentally shot himself in the penis when he sat down on a gun in the driver’s seat in his car. Several media outlets report that the man ran into his girlfriend’s house after the gun discharged.

T: I’m impressed, to be honest. He hit such a small target.

J: Florida Man strikes again.

T: Did he have health care?

J: This might be the ultimate Florida Man story:

Pool Suction

Man catches penis in swimming pool suction fitting.

T: Yaknow, I never really thought of Florida as a redneck state until recently. I always thought of it as a giant Miami.

J: There’s two things about this next one.. it’s on the website of Fairleigh Dickinson… and the study was obviously done at the wrong place… should’ve been USC, they’re the Trojans.

users.dickinson.edu

T: I’m not reading anything in APA style; gimme the upshot. What’s the rub?

So to speak.

J: It’s a study on condom usage among college students.

T: What’s Farleigh Dickinson’s mascot, the diaphragm?

J: Fairly Dickinsome.

T: That’s about a third grade level joke.

J: And my mother said I’d never grow up.

T: That’s a legitimate threat when she’s holding a meat cleaver.

J: Naw, I could always outrun her. She could still hit into her 40s, but she lost her legs early.

T: You see Dance Mom’s new show, Salad Tossing Moms?

J: She’ll be in there until the cows come home. Or one cow.

T: Dance Mom going to jail is poetic justice. It’s too bad they can’t beat her to death with an iron skillet, all the while yelling “leave my fucking kids alone you fat Hitler bitch!!!”

But then again, I never thought giving a bunch of money to some fat angry cow to yell at the wretched offspring of failed ballerinas was a good idea in the first place.

J: That sentence would asphyxiate Houdini.

T: Trump met Putin.

J: Beware the Draconian subject change.

T: Gary’s a bad influence on me.

J: Flippin’ Canadians.

T: The Trump-Putin meeting took over two hours. I guess Putin is pretty old, so it takes him a long time to cum.

J: Would too many teeth have been an international incident?

T: Trump still has teeth?

J: Did you check out that old Russian wargame?

T: I did. I was going to make a joke about Mongol whores, but I deleted it because the timeline doesn’t match up. The Mongols were gone by 1444.

I wouldn’t want somebody to give me the “read a fuckin’ history book, moron” treatment.

J: You have to make sure that your jokes are historically accurate now?

T: Maybe I can go “too bad the Mongol whores were gone by then.”

I mean hordes.

J: Whores, hordes, what’s the difference?

T: If you don’t know the difference, stay the hell out of Times Square.

J: I think the Rome Total War game is the best, it has good combat mechanics and a good trade/diplomacy mechanic. I took a nomadic tribe of goatfuckers and conquered most of the known world… I could have taken over the rest but it got boring.

T: Well, if you start with goatfuckers, isn’t that like adding a machine gun to the battle of Jericho?

J: “A tribe of goat fuckers” has an 80’s new wave band ring to it.

T: Imagine the credits at the end of the movie, watching it with one of the extras. “Hey, check it out, I was in that movie! There’s my name, right there! 16th goat fucker, that’s me!”

Ok, I’ll stop.

J: The idea was to conquer a nearby band of slightly more advanced goatfuckers, then steal their tech to improve weaponry… repeat, each time conquering slightly more advanced tribes/cities and turning their tech to make weapons for the glory of Greater Goatfuckistan.

Eventually I was able to take over the entire Roman Empire.

T: Yeah, it’s all fun and games until all your kids look like Omar Sharif.

J: Johnny Carson’s ghost thinks that’s an old reference.

T: By kids I mean the baby goats.

J: “Who’s your da-a-a-a-a-a-a-ddy?”

T: You tell a hardcore Christian that Jesus was probably a 4 foot 10 inch version of Omar Sharif, and man do they get pissed off.

J: They all think Jesus looked like Aragorn, from Lord of the Rings.

T: Hey J, did you see that tweet from Toby Keith’s daughter? She called him “the best dad I ever had.”

Which just goes to show: if you have to pick one, your dad might be a redneck.

J: If your mama takes you to a truck stop and says “your daddy’s around here somewhere,” you might be a redneck.

T: If there’s a present under your tree that says “To Uncle Daddy, from your Nephew, Junior,” you might want to talk to someone from Duck Dynasty about a spin-off.

J: If your stepmother, cousin, aunt and stepsister are all the same person …

T: If you have a step-twin …

J: If you put a dollar $ign in your name …

T: I dunno why, but every time I see the word “Ke$ha” I envision the term “bloated corpse”

J: Is hers the most slappable face in entertainment history? Or is it Taylor Swift?

T: I don’t mind Taylor Swift; she writes good songs and she dances to ELO.

J: It’s hard to hate those ELO dancers.

T: Isn’t EMO dancer a thing?

J: Are you asking the guy who was your best man, like … 30 years ago?

T: Yeah, wtf was I thinking?

J: You gave yourself away with the ELO reference.

T: Ke$ha, she’s probably fine, just like anyone else, trying to make a buck in the entertainment industry. But she has that desperate, Anna Nicole vibe.

J: Check this out; Anna Nicole and George Takei, blowing shit up

Literally, in one case.

E*TRADE Blow’d Up Commercial

T: Nothing says “sell like a motherfucker” more than the dreaded Anna Nicole-George Takai team.

J: I’d sell that stock in a heartbeat.

Shmoozing on K Street

T: Hey J, any new episodes of “As Flynn Turns” in the hopper today?

J: Well, Obama’s ethics guy seems to think that he’s going to turn, and he makes a pretty persuasive argument.

T: Obama’s ethics guy? Oh right, I saw that. What does Trump’s ethic guy do all day?

J: I dunno – fix Maytag washers, maybe.

T: Wow, that’s a hip reference.

J: A broken hip reference.

T: So what would Trump’s ethic guy do all day in this century?

J: Name a band that’s been on the Billboard charts during this decade.

T: Adele?

J: Not a band.

T: Well, she’s the size of a –

J: Not. A. Band.

T: When did Amy Winehouse kick off?

J: Amy Winehouse? She’s not a band.

T: Amy and the vodka shooters?

J: Too soon.

T: Why, is Amy following the blog?

J: Nobody is following the blog.

T: Having dead mothers really cuts down on the recital attendance, doesn’t it?

J: Only you could find that analogy.

T: I mean, every recital I ever did was my mother and everyone else’s mothers. It was a bitch trying to concentrate on “Alley Cat” with all that snoring.

J: Can we move on?

T: I forgot what we were talking about.

J: So Obama’s ethics guy?

T: Oh, right. I’ve never heard of him, but I’ve never heard of a lot of these guys. Does it bother you that he sent out a tweet with a misspelling? I don’t know that I care, but I’ve gotten so used to seeing spelling and grammar errors from rightwing screen spittlers that it kind of put me off.

J: Nah, it didn’t bother me – could happen to anyone. For me, his argument is pretty sound; Flynn has criminal exposure, and has said that he wants immunity. How’s he going to get it? Give up his kid? Not likely. Rat on himself? Mueller either already knows, or doesn’t care, probably both. The only get-out-of-jail-free card Flynn has is to give up someone higher, either for collusion or obstruction in the Comey case

T: I think the key to turning him was his son. I don’t know much about him, but I know Flynn has said that he was concerned about them going after the kid. Looking at it that way, we were both right about him. I said he’d sing, while you were skeptical that he would – all that Ollie North crap – but he may have turned out of a stronger loyalty: family.

J: Yeah, I think the key was his son. Flynn would accept the consequences for himself, but he wouldn’t want his son to suffer for his bad decisions.

T: So that’s the ask? What’s the prize? To get immunity for Flynn and son, what’s the bid? What does Flynn have that Mueller doesn’t? What gets Mueller to the altar in a print dress and sensible shoes?

J: There are some possibilities; first, of course, is info on Russian contacts between the election and the inauguration. Mueller would definitely be interested in that. Second would be information on Russian contacts during the campaign; I think that’s less likely, but possible. The big casino, from Mueller’s perspective, would be Flynn saying that Trump told him something like, “I’m going to lean on Comey to knock off the investigation.” That would be yuuuuuuge. Bigger than yuuuuuuge. They’d have a hard time not impeaching Trump for obstruction of justice, if that came out.

T: I guess we should ask … does Mueller want Flynn, or is Flynn begging Mueller for a date? Who is pursuing who?

J: I’m sure Flynn is the one doing the begging. There’s little doubt that Mueller already has the goods on Flynn; he wasn’t very good at covering his tracks. So the question is, does Flynn have anything worth cutting a deal for?

T: And the answer is – … well, we don’t know; not yet. You said you have another scenario?

J: Yeah … Flynn was heavily involved in the stuff between the election and the inauguration; he might have something incriminating on Junior or Kushner, something related to that – maybe something that one or the other of them said to the Russian ambassador.

T: That makes sense. My own feeling is that Mueller is more interested in the campaign activities, but we don’t know much about what went on between all these Russian lobbyists.

Speaking of lobbyists, I read something yesterday – I wish I could remember where, I’ll have to look it up – regarding how the Beltway lobbyists are taking this investigation. If Mueller nailed Manafort, Flynn and their associates to the wall, it’s going to be surprisingly clean around the D.C. foreign lobby for awhile.

Here’s the article.:

Why Robert Mueller is making K Street Republicans and Democrats sweat

J: Yeah, Mueller is probably more interested in the campaign aspects right now, but Flynn might be Trump’s Paula Jones, the one who opens up the whole separate line of inquiry that leads to serious shit.

T: I wonder if this will be Mueller’s primary use in the long run. If he throws the book at money laundering, that’s going to change the game is a big way.

J: K Street is going to look like Sani-Flush went through there. Those guys will squeak when they walk, they’ll be so clean.

T: I dunno about that … that money is going to move around no matter what, but it’ll be good to make it a little harder, at least. As big as Trump is on keeping wetbacks out, he’s a fucking welcome mat when it comes to greenbacks.

J: Did you see him going on about the terror attack in Egypt? He said we needed the wall and the travel ban, until someone pointed out to him that Egypt was not on the ban list.

T: He’s such a clown that it gets boring, talking about what a clown he is. Every crime begins with the same question: What color were the criminals? If they are white, he pretty much dismisses it as the work of individuals. If not, it’s always a conspiracy.

He gets away with it, though, because he’s desensitized his people to his racism; I talk to Trumpians, and they are genuinely surprised that we still think Trump is a racist. They think he explained it, even though he never really did. He just said he was going to explain it.

J: Do you think this new turn is going to take him down?

T: Trump? He’s got to be the final domino, right? I still can’t assume that he’s part of the conspiracy. Honestly, his openly racist, selfish tactics lead me to believe he’s not clever enough to maintain his role in such a deep conspiracy without leaving a trail like a snail.

J: Maybe the Russia stuff won’t get to him, but that’s not the only track Mueller is running on. There’s also the obstruction-of-justice angle, and I think that’s the likelier one to give Trump grief.

T: Doesn’t that feel like the final domino to you? All the President’s Men go down, plead for leniency and sing like canaries, while Doonesbury builds a brick wall around the White House. Trump, looking out the window, insists to Melania that he’s “not a crook!”

J: While the Maytag repairman claps. One. Clap. At. A. Time.

T: I can’t use Watergate?

J: Watergate’s ok, but Doonesbury? Why not bring back Lil’ Abner?

T: What the hell is a shmoo, anyway?

Slack Chat: Never-Have-I-Ever

J: Follow the money:

Trump’s Deutsche Bank Records Said to Be Subpoenaed by Mueller

Special prosecutor Robert Mueller zeroed in on President Donald Trump’s business dealings with Deutsche Bank AG as his investigation into alleged Russian meddling in U.S. elections widens.

T: What do you think it means?

J: I think Mueller either knows or suspects that there was Russian money flowing to Trump during the campaign… not that that’s necessarily illegal, but it sure doesn’t look good for a presidential candidate to be taking money from a foreign power.

T: What if the money is flowing the other way?

J: Trump is a real-estate developer, and I seem to remember that he was making noise about doing a development in Moscow, so that wouldn’t be as surprising.

T: We have a guy – Manafort – whose ass is in a sling for money laundering. What are the chances all that laundering crossed from one automat to another, 100 percent? Or only 99 percent?

J: I might not go as far as 100 percent but it’s entirely possible. That could be what Mueller is looking for. Deutsche Bank is about the only major non-Russian bank that will deal with Trump after all the bankruptcies, so there’s that.

T: It has to be a popular staging area for these guys. If I was on Trump’s team and I had to find a way to channel money to the Russians for propaganda, that’s probably the bank I’d want to use.

J: Probably. I don’t know if Manafort had a relationship with them already, but I wouldn’t be surprised. The $64 million question… does this give Mueller a wedge to subpoena Trump’s tax returns?

T: Does he need one?

J: Well, yeah. He’d have a hard time justifying just out of the blue asking for the tax returns, that would smack of a witch hunt – but if he’s looking into Trump’s financial dealings anyway, he might decide he needs to see the returns.

T: Al Capone went to prison for tax evasion, and he had a team of accountants and – well, let’s face it. Capone might not have been a rocket scientist, but compared to Trump he was doing wheelies in a wheelchair and listening to old Thomas Dolby songs.

J: There’s more than one Thomas Dolby song?

T: I don’t know, the first one blinded me.

J: Boom. Chuck. No Psst.

T: I still have fevered Kelly LeBrock dreams, and she looks like Phyllis Diller now.

J: Phyllis Diller was hot.

T: What?

J: Hey, I’ve done worse.

T: On purpose?

J: Well, let’s not talk about my Jersey days. So does Mueller go after Trump Capone-style?

T: Yaknow, this investigation might be running fast by investigation standards, but it’s slower than drying paint by news cycle standards. I don’t really want to follow Mueller’s mercurially glacial movements all that closely, to be honest. I figure, let the guy work, and stop watching the pot so it can get to boiling.

But Trump, man, every time I start to soften on him – figure he’s not actually going to kill America – he does something that makes me want to draw straws to see which one of us has to go drag him out of the White House and into therapy.

I’ve always likened him to Captain Queeg in the Caine Mutiny, and the comparison just gets better and better. He’s literally raving like a loony sea captain.

J: Did Queeg get a promotion?

T: Sorry. Commander Queeg. Yeesh.

J: Tiny distinctions matter. It wasn’t the Commander and Tennille.

T: Commander Morgan sounds ok.

J: Maybe, but Commander Kangaroo doesn’t have the same panache.

T: You can trust the country to a Captain in Chief, can’t you?

J: Maybe, but would you trust your whale with Commander Ahab?

T: Yeah, I guess you are right. “Take me to the Commander” doesn’t have the same ring.

J: I’m not playing “Ship, Commander, Crew,” either.

T: Ok, point made.

J: Does it matter that Trump is acting like Commander Queeg? I mean, it’s not a new look on him.

T: Yeah, but he’s got half the country believing they stole his strawberries. Or something, I never watched that movie.

J: I wonder what he’d do if someone stole his strawberries.

T: Trump?

J: No, the Archbishop of Hudafukyathink.

T: Sorry.

J: So Trump’s the deflection king? We knew that.

T: Don’t you think it’s dangerous?

J: His deflection has gotten so obvious now that it’s just white noise… most people don’t even pay it any attention any more.

T: Oh, but they do!

J: The same 30 percent that blindly eat up anything he says, yes.

T: Did you see what ABC did? They took one of their reporters off the Trump beat and called him everything short of a lying bitch, just because his timeline was a couple of days off.

ABC says Ross will no longer cover stories involving Trump

Suspended ABC News reporter Brian Ross will no longer cover stories involving President Donald Trump following his erroneous report last Friday on former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

J: I saw that… you did call it, it was overreaching.

T: The public’s perception of Trump is directly affected by his gaslighting, and Trump ain’t going to get LESS gaslighty, is he?

J: I don’t think so… he’s been a little more restrained tweet-wise the last few days, after someone pointed out to him that tweeting about an ongoing criminal investigation which you may be a target of is probably not a good idea. But yes, he’s still going to make the same kind of up-is-down, black-is-white, reality-denying statements that he’s always made

T: The article reports that 31 percent of the public thinks the media is the enemy. That’s beyond the stupid Trumpians; that’s a chilling statistic. The poll also reported that 63 percent of Republicans think the media lies on a regular basis. How many of them think Trump lies?

Trump’s incessant, self-serving bullshit is dangerous, but it’s not all that lying that’s dangerous. It’s all that believing.

J: I don’t know, I haven’t seen any numbers on that… but the media DOES, if not lie, distort and exaggerate and clickbait in search of the almighty dollar (or click).

And yes, the lies by themselves aren’t the problem; the problem is the people who BELIEVE them, even if you fucking SHOW them documentary proof. And the Trumpians can seize on the distortions and exaggerations to say “See, he’s really NOT lying!”

T: There’s an underlying question not being asked. What part of the media is the actual media, and what part is just a bunch of fake news, click-bait watch salesmen? We used to see Walter Cronkite and just believe what he said. We don’t have that anymore, so we have to find the happy medium between trusting everyone and constantly looking for the conspiracy.

Which part of the media is actually media?

J: I think the “actual media” is the same group of sources it’s always been… yes, some are slanted more than others, but most of the major news sites are at least reasonably factual.

T: The watch salesmen – the click baiters – are distorting the perception of the actual news organizations that dedicate themselves to the truth. We can’t tell a journalist from a watch salesman, and far too many of us have just rolled over and given up on the truth altogether.

J: It’s true… even the most reputable sources are slipping gradually into clickbait territory… it’s sad, but it’s a product of the social-media revolution. Clicks drive ad dollars, and ad dollars are the lifeblood of the media.

T: Why did Billy Bush have to say the tape was real? What treasonous reporter decided that this was a question that needed to be asked, and a story that needed to be published, so the conspiracy dipshits could have an excuse to claim the tape was fake?

J: Trump was claiming it was fake, or “sources close to Trump” were claiming that Trump was saying it was fake.

T:  Well, I call bullshit with extreme prejudice. Of course the tape was real. If Trump wanted to deny that it was real, he should have done it a year ago. To bring it up now is just stupid and obvious – and so blatantly self-serving that it should have been laughed at. Or yelled at.

In Trump’s world, it is literally impossible to establish any fact he doesn’t want to establish. He’s replaced truth with confirmation bias. The Trumpians are so hypnotized, now, that he could turn into a holocaust denier and we’d have to deal with that, too.

J: Trump just handwaves away anything he doesn’t want to accept. And his base accepts it; he’s their Dear Leader, and he’s infallible.

T: Wanna get rid of all the Jesus rose-from-the-dead theories? Have Trump call Jesus fake news. Are stars, constellations and outer space real? Of course not. Fake news. Want to deny that the sun came up today? Easy peasy. “It’s totally fake. Sad!”

The only reason Trump isn’t crediting God for everything is that he hates to share credit.

“Jesus was a great, great friend of mine; I gave him the cross. I had it specially made, out of such good wood that it was just the sickest wood ever. He was so happy with it, I mean it was ridiculous how happy he was with that cross I gave him.”

J: “I totally told Noah to part the Red Sea.”

T: You know that game, never-have-I-ever? You are supposed to drink whenever someone calls out a thing you’ve done. But Trump? He is like Pavlov’s dog: he hears something he did, instead of taking a drink he starts yelling denials and calling everybody names.

J: He should be drunk off his ass, but he’s sober all through the game. Just deny, deny, deny. That’s his whole schtick.

T: What if everybody did that? What if other people had resorted to Trump’s blanket denials? Never-have-I-ever …

Shoeless Joe Jackson, when the kid at the courthouse said, “Say it isn’t so, Joe.”

Joe: “Of course not, kid. All I did was take $5,000 that was just laying around, and it would have gone to help the Germans win the War. I hated to do it. I begged the guys not to do it, but I had to, kid.”

Oh wait, that’s what he actually did, plus he played left field like Lupus from the Bad News Bears. Three triples were hit to left field in that series. There shouldn’t be three of those in a full season, unless the left fielder is tanking it.

What’s a better example?

J: “Never-have-I-ever had sex with that woman.” – Bill Clinton

T: Clinton was a classic denier, and the single largest reason Trump gets away with so much, I think.

J: If he had just admitted he got the blowjob, do we get stuck with Trump? Maybe not.

T: “Never-have-I-ever told a lie” – George Washington

J: “Never-have-I-ever bugged the Democrats.” – Richard Nixon

T: “Never-have-I-ever seen nobody like you” – Webb Pierce

J: “Never-have-I-ever seen a whole play.” – Abraham Lincoln

T: “Never-have-I-ever been a crook” – Richard Nixon

We could probably build a Nixon wing.

J: Probably… his name should be on the award.

T: Never-have-I-ever had the never-have-I-ever award named for me” – Richard Nixon

J: “Never-have-I-ever named a cabinet member that I later remembered who he was” – Ronald Reagan

T: “Never-have-I-ever conducted foreign policy based on tarot cards” – Ronald Reagan

J: You know, Nancy was probably running the country for about the last two years of Ronnie’s presidency.

T: That explains all the pleated pants on TV.

J: And the bulimia.

T:”Never-have-I-ever called my shot in the World Series” – a winking Babe Ruth

J: “Never-have-I-ever started a land war in East Asia.” – Hitler

T: “Never-have-I-ever been to Philadelphia. But I hear it’s nice” – W.C. Fields

J: “Never-have-I-ever been to Spain, but I kinda like the music.” – Three Dog Night

T: The NFL record of 40 points in a game is held by Ernie Never-have-I-Evers

J: “Never-have-I-ever more” – The Raven

T: “Never-have-I-ever meant to hurt nobody” – O.J. Simpson

J: “Until the twelfth of never-have-I-ever” – Someone’s fair lady

T: Or Donny Osmond.

J: “Never-have-I-ever quoted musical theater. – Me

T: “Never-have-I-ever never been mellow” – Olivia Newton-John

J: She used to call her kid Fig. Did you know that?

T: For the purposes of this bit, no. I did not.

J: What bit?

T: I’m empty; can you top Fig’s Newton-mom?

J: I knew you’d have something. I hoped it would be something good, but wish in one hand …

T: Still your turn.

J: Oh wait … school’s out. I got one. This might be the one.

T: Um, ok. What is it?

J: You are going to hate me.

T: Uh oh.

J: Can you see it coming now?

T: Uh oh.

J: Are you ready?

T: I’m scared.

J: You should be.

Ahem (cough)

“Never-have-I-ever given you up, let you down, run around, or deserted you” – Rick Astley

T: Oh gawd.

J: I believe that may be the first Rickroll of a slack chat.

T: I feel violated.

J: The dreaded slack-chat Rickroll

T: “Never-have-I-ever felt so Rickrolled” – everyone who never-have-I-ever reads this

J: Well, if it wasn’t dreaded, it should be.

T: The Foo Fighters got him up in a concert and Rickrolled their own audience. Never-have-I-ever thought that would happen.

J: I believe he once Rickrolled the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

T: Never-have-they-ever felt so deflated.

J: He probably makes more money now from Rickroll-related stuff than he does from music.

T: Well, it’s hard to get a lot of airplay when playing your song is known as “Rickrolling.”

J: He did have a couple of other songs, so he does get some airplay.

T: What’s the Mt. Rushmore of unplayable classic songs?

Rickroll, it never-have-I-ever needs to be said, gets the first spot.

J: Unplayable as in musically, or unplayable as in people throw shit at you if you put it on Youtube?

T: The throw shit at you thing. And I’m making a command decision to add “Achy Breaky Heart,” so we have room for two.

J: “MacArthur Park” has to be there.

T: That’s a good one. The only problem is, I actually like that one myself. We’ll give it a conditional yes.

J: “Seasons In The Sun”?

T: I know lots of people who love that song. I used to know more, but a few of them committed suicide.

J: “Midnight At The Oasis”

T: Too obscure … if you are going to get me on a 1970s song, it’s going to have to really suck.

J: “You Light Up My Life”

T: Ooh, he shoots. He SCORES!

J: Game over, man. Game over.

T: I bet Debbie Boone is still doable, though.

J: That’s sexual harassment. You’re fired.

T: Fired from what?

Are we getting PAID? Nobody told me we were getting paid.