I had an “Aw, shit!” moment the other day. We had received warnings of immanent, severe weather. It was the usual blurb from local meteorologists:
“Nothing to worry about (if you’re Superman).”
“Secure children and small pets to sturdy fixtures driven at least six feet into the ground.”
“If you are driving on a major highway, abandon your car now!”
“Good news. The storm has been downgraded by the National Weather Center from cataclysmic to merely life-threatening.”
I took the usual precautions by checking for loose objects, taking light weight items inside and resupplying my liquor cabinet. I went out on the back porch to watch the storm, which did turn out to be rather severe. As I sat there placidly and amusingly watching the rains beat sideways and the winds pick up, I noticed an object floating in the lake near my house. Someone, I thought, has had the misfortune to have their shed blown into the lake and slowly sinking.
At the moment, I realized that it was MY shed blown into the lake and slowly sinking.
How many times in our lives have we had that unfortunate moment when we realize that no amount of prayer, wishful thinking, incantations to the gods or promises of remorse is going to reverse the irreversible.
All of this, by way of my swamp of consciousness, brings to mind a winner of the Bulwer-Lytton contest. As you may recall, entrants to the Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest are invited “to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels” – that is, deliberately bad. This one came immediately to mind:
“The bone-chilling scream split the warm summer night in two, the first half being before the scream when it was fairly balmy and calm and pleasant for those who hadn’t heard the scream at all, but not calm or balmy or even very nice for those who did hear the scream, discounting the little period of time during the actual scream itself when your ears might have been hearing it but your brain wasn’t reacting yet to let you know.”
In other words, “Aw, shit!”
FOAF has found another winner. It undoubtedly appears elsewhere but, like pizza, is too good to pass up.
CALLER: Is this Gordon’s Pizza?
GOOGLE: No sir, it’s Google Pizza.
CALLER: I must have dialed a wrong number. Sorry.
GOOGLE: No sir, Google bought Gordon’s Pizza last month.
CALLER: OK. I would like to order a pizza.
GOOGLE: Do you want your usual, sir?
CALLER: My usual? You know me?
GOOGLE: According to our caller ID data sheet, the last 12 times you called you ordered an extra-large pizza with three cheeses, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms and meatballs on a thick crust.
CALLER: OK! That’s what I want …
GOOGLE: May I suggest that this time you order a pizza with ricotta, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes and olives on a whole wheat gluten-free thin crust?
CALLER: What? I detest vegetables!
GOOGLE: Your cholesterol is not good, sir.
CALLER: How the hell do you know!
GOOGLE: Well, we cross-referenced your home phone number with your medical records. We have the result of your blood tests for the last 7 years.
CALLER: Okay, but I do not want your rotten vegetable pizza! I already take medication for my cholesterol.
GOOGLE: Excuse me sir, but you have not taken your medication regularly. According to our database, you only purchased a box of 30 cholesterol tablets once, at Drug RX Network, 4 months ago.
CALLER: I bought more from another drugstore.
GOOGLE: That doesn’t show on your credit card statement.
CALLER: I paid in cash.
GOOGLE: But you did not withdraw enough cash according to your bank statement.
CALLER: I have other sources of cash.
GOOGLE: That doesn’t show on your last tax return unless you bought them using an undeclared income source, which is against the law.
CALLER: WHAT THE HELL!!!
GOOGLE: I’m sorry, sir, we use such information only with the sole intention of helping you.
CALLER: Enough already! I’m sick to death of Google, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and all the others. I’m going to an island without internet, cable TV, where there is no cell phone service and no one to watch me or spy on me.
GOOGLE: I understand sir, but you need to renew your passport first. It expired 6 weeks ago…
The US’s problems seem insurmountable: disagreements over gun control, immigration, the deficit, taxes, right-to-life, loss of religious values, global warming, and sexual abuse. Can anything solve these seemingly insurmountable problems?
There is nothing that cannot be fixed with the proper application of duct tape. I use it to fix everything – leaks in my roof, leaks in my car, leaks in my pants, financial failure and noisy grandchildren. Proper application of this ubiquitous material can resolve any and all crises.
Duct tape applied to every member of Congress, the President, all governors, state and local legislators as well as all news commentators would silence the unending war of words and require them all to resort to hand gestures and written statements. Derogatory hand gestures can also be stopped by duct tape as well.
Overuse of social media can be remedied by applying duct tape to all electronic devices like TV screens, monitors and smart phones.
Duct tape can fix – broken pipes, broken windows, broken arrows, broken hearts, broken necks, compound fractures, hyphenated words, misplaced modifiers, discordant harmonics, nasal drip and whistling, loose dentures, loose teeth, loose lips, holes in your socks, holes in your shoes, holes in your ceiling, holes in your head, squeaky floorboards, squeaky doors, squeaky neighbors, bumpers, fenders, hood ornaments, trailer hitches, diesel locomotives, and Boeing 777’s.
Just imagine what $100B worth of duct tape can do to improve our deteriorating infrastructure. Rusting bridges, potholes the size of a compact car, warped train tracks? No problem!
Why spend $50B for an unnecessary wall between the US and Mexico when we can just duct tape the border shut. Duct tape is waterproof so taping over the Rio Grande is no impediment.
Lawyers, ambulance chasers, debt collectors, used car salesmen? Duct tape!
Inaction by Congress, unduly long NFL replay analysis, unfair trade tariffs? Duct tape!
Unruly children, yapping dogs, unwanted relatives? Duct tape!
Sexual abuse, serial murderers, run-on sentences? Duct tape!
Arthritis, bunions, hemorrhoids, hair loss? You guessed it; Duct tape!