Category Archives: Curmudgeonry

Ordering Pizza

FOAF has found another winner.  It undoubtedly appears elsewhere but, like pizza, is too good to pass up.

Ordering pizza

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…

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Duct Tape

 

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?

Two words:

Duct tape

Duct Tape

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!

 

Donorrhea

CNN Style recently posted an article entitled “What North Korea propaganda posters reveal.”

“To the outside world, North Korean propaganda posters are notorious for their militaristic and anti-American messages.  But one former Pyongyang resident is hoping that her sizable Korean poster collection can present a more nuanced picture of art in the reclusive state.  Stanford fellow Katharina Zellweger — who lived in Pyongyang for five years while working for a Swiss government agency — has collected over 100 examples from inside the country.”

These posters are on exhibit as “Korea’s Public Face: Twentieth-century Propaganda Posters from the Zellweger Collection” at The University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG) at the University of Hong Kong until Jan. 28, 2018.

Being the kind-hearted soul I am, I thought that it would be amusing to see what nuanced themes Team Trump would construct for propaganda art in the coming year using these same posters.

Hence, Donald Trump North Korea posters become Donorrhea posters.

NKDT7

North Korea:  “Spinning tops is fun!”

Donorrhea:  “Whipping people is fun!”

 

NKDT1

North Korea:  “Agriculture is the first priority.”

Donorrhea:  “Sucking up to me is the first priority.”

 

 

NKDT4

North Korea:  “Let us provide more electricity to the battlefields where we are breaking new ground!”

Donorrhea:   “Let me use my small hands to shut down science and environmental protection before they can break new ground!”

 

NK6

North Korea:  “Let us raise more grass-eating animals.”

Donorrhea:  “Let us raise more grass-eating loyal followers. (But only white sheep.)”

 

NKDT10

North Korea: “Let us further encourage our nation’s excellent sports activities and folk games!”

Donorrhea:  “Always grab them by the ass or the p***y!”

 

NKDT9b

North Korea:  “Let us achieve the party’s agriculture revolution policy thoroughly and brighten the year with increased grain production.”

Donorrhea:  “Let us brighten the year by stomping out fake news with fire and fury!”

 

As the old Chinese proverb states:  “May you live in interesting times.”

DT5b

Cue the theme from The Twilight Zone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b5aW08ivHU

 

Presidential Curmudgeon Portraits

 

A man can dream, can’t he?

If the United States can elect its oldest president, a man with no political background or experience, why can’t it elect a true elderly curmudgeon?  I can envision the day when, despite the (incorrect) prognoses of all the pundits, I sit in the Oval Office and determine whicih presidential portraits I get to hang on the walls.

I decided that I would pick a curmudgeonly president from each century.

The eighteenth century gives me only two choices – George Washington and John Adams.  Adams is the obvious choice.  He had no slaves; he considered his wife, Abigail, as his equal and he was, by all accounts, a true pain-in-the-ass.  The result is immediate elevation to curmudgeon status.

Presidential1

Although the nineteenth century has many choices, there really is only one:  Lincoln.  Abraham Lincoln was affected by depression, had a true black sense of humor and was, as I have often said, the greatest prose poet of the nineteenth century.  Alternate choices may include Jackson, Cleveland and McKinley but these pale in comparison.  Nope, Lincoln is my choice.

Presdential2

The twentieth century also has many choices.  Perhaps TR or Coolidge or LBJ but, again, they really don’t qualify as curmudgeons (in my humble opinion).  My first and clear choice is Harry S Truman (no period after the S. The S stood for nothing; Truman felt the need to have a middle initial.)  Despite the critics who point to his dropping of the A-bomb on Hiroshima, Truman accomplished many achievements during his presidency (or presidentiary, as Will Ferrell pointed out playing the role of George W. Bush);

  • Creation of the UN and NATO
  • The Truman Doctrine (which stopped the communist threat to Greece and Turkey)
  • The Marshall Plan
  • The Berlin Airlift
  • Establishment of the NSC, CIA and NSA
  • Ended racial segregation in the US armed forces
  • Legislation to allow immigration of 200,000 refugees from World War II

He also had time to pen and mail (by hand) a letter to Paul Hume, who was critical of his daughter’s concert performance.

“Some day I hope to meet you.  When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!”

Immediate elevation to curmudgeon status.

Presidential3

For the twentieth-first century, we have only three choices – George W. Bush, Barak Obama and Donald Trump.  The first two are disqualified as being too cheerful.  The third is disqualified, period.  The Donald is many things but being a curmudgeon is not among them.  We have only started the century so we will have to wait on the fourth portrait.  It could be mine.

Grumpy_Curmudgeon3

 

In the meantime, let me say to my fellow Americans…

Walking Sticks and Death by Selfie

 

“Get up off your butt and stop sleeping! I’m tired of doing nothing.”  In such dulcet tones did I receive the proclamation of She Who Must Be Obeyed*.   (*from Rumpole of the Bailey by John Mortimer.)

I, in turn, responded in my most Rumpolean manner by stating: “Huh? What? But, my dear, I am not ‘doing nothing.’  I am, in fact, emulating the habits of my good friend the Koala Bear.”  Koala Bears sleep, on average, 22 hours a day and spend the remaining time eating Eucalyptus leaves.  I create something similar by putting Eucalyptus leaves in my drinks.

“Emulating Koala Bears. Nonsense.  We are going to do something by visiting the National Parks.”

“Oh wonderful. Uh, wait… by National Parks, you mean outdoors and hikes and uh, more hikes.”

“Yes, exactly. Now get up because we are on our way.”

Thus began our trip to some of the more storied National Parks of the western United States – Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, and the Petrified Forest. Despite the exacting toll on my feet and the interruption of my Koala Bear studies, it was a very pleasant trip and allowed me to observe some unnatural wonders among the wonders of our National Parks.

The first is the use of the walking stick.  It seems that nowadays no visit to a National Park is complete without the use of one.  My own unscientific observations have concluded that there are only three categories of people who use walking sticks:

1. Dudes who look cool with walking sticks.

Walking stick1   Walking stick2   Walking stick3

2.  People with disabilities or injuries who need the aid of a walking stick.

3.  Everyone else.

Only categories 1 and 2 should use walking sticks. Unfortunately, category 3 predominates in National Parks.  Actually, the device should be called a carrying stick because most users are carrying rather using their walking sticks.  I think that the organizers of National Park tours highly recommend a walking stick as de rigueur for the upcoming visit and then just happen to have them available at highly inflated prices.

Those who actually use walking sticks use modern ones in tandem like ski poles and have determined that their use entitles them to the right of way on any park path. Failure to yield will result in being pushed aside or poked with the sharp ends of the stick.  I have reserved a new ring in hell for category 3 users of walking sticks.

My other observation is the occurrence of the ubiquitous selfie and selfie stick. Most of the people who take selfies are instant candidates for a Darwin Award.  For the uninitiated, Darwin Awards are given to those individuals who improve the human gene pool by eliminating themselves from it.  A double Darwin Award was given in 2014 to two men in Kenya who were capturing selfies with a wild elephant when they were trampled to death by the irate pachyderm who proceeded to bury the corpses with brush. The two men were actually touching the elephant’s face while taking the photos.

Similar Darwin Award candidates inhabit our National Parks. The idea is to get a picture of yourself overlooking as close as possible a treacherous chasm, cliff, overhang or precipitous drop.  While endangering themselves, and often unsuspecting visitors nearby, the selfie taker fails to understand some basic rules of photography.  First, you are taking up most of the picture so no one really sees the natural wonder to which you are adding yourself.  Second, most selfie pictures can be composed at a safe distance from the dangerous perch or drop off with the same result and no requirement to jeopardize yourself.  But where is the fun in being practical?  Most selfie takers get an “A” for enthusiasm and an “F” for practicality.

Thankfully, the Darwin gene pool remained unaltered, my sore feet recovered, and I was able to return to my study of Koala Bear sleeping habits.