Tag Archives: rants

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.

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SHAREing

Here’s something I wish to SHARE with you.

I am never going to ask anyone on Facebook to SHARE anything… ever!

I am not going to ask you to SHARE if:

  1. You agree with Donald Trump;
  2. You hate Donald Trump;
  3. Parents should be allowed to teach their kids to shoot;
  4. U call yourself my buddy, friend or family;
  5. You are lactose intolerant;
  6. You need a hug;
  7. You need an Amen;
  8. You need a laxative;
  9. Chuck Todd is an idiot;
  10. Bill O’Reilly is an idiot;
  11. I am an idiot;
  12. You think that Hitler and global warming are related;
  13. You found Jesus;
  14. You found inspiration:
  15. You found your ass with both hands;
  16. You need to water your lawn;
  17. You have to pass water;
  18. You have a used sofa for sale;
  19. You passed water on a used sofa for sale;
  20. I want to show you what I had for breakfast for the last five months;
  21. I want to show you my infrequent bowel movements;
  22. You ran behind the DDT watering truck as a kid;
  23. You have 12 cases of chocolate soy milk to give away;
  24. You are looking for others to participate in a cardio exercise by the pool;
  25. The abandoned puppy in this picture will be shot unless 1,000 people share and say No;
  26. Only 1% of the population can pass this quiz;
  27. You like my recipe for kale lemonade;
  28. Sharing is caring;
  29. “i” before “e” except after “c;”
  30. You believe in alien anal probing.

Sadly, less than 2% of you will like and share these sentiments.

Hit LIKE and SHARE if you AGREE.

SHAREing

(Just kidding!)

Pet Peeves

I was asked the other day what my pet peeves were. After a few minutes, the person who asked realized the painful mistake of asking a curmudgeon for a list of pet peeves.   Now, we can name Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bill O’Reilly and CNN but these pet peeves are individual and personal. Death and taxes are inevitable. I believe that pet peeves should be generic and universal.

Pet Peeves

Here are a few of mine. Thousands more to follow.

  1. Robo-calls and telemarketers
  2. Butt cracks
  3. People who invade your personal space when talking to you
  4. Stealth farters, especially in elevators
  5. All reality TV shows
  6. The guy who leaves the restroom smelling so bad it would knock a buzzard off a garbage truck
  7. The lady ahead of you in the checkout line who waits until all her items have been totaled before looking for her wallet (Did she think that the items would be free?)
  8. All waiters who wait until your mouth is full to ask you how your meal is
  9. Bad grammar
  10. People who found Jesus (Was Jesus ever lost?)
  11. People who come up to you and say “Smile!” (I’m a curmudgeon; smiling isn’t permitted unless the person saying “Smile!” falls into an open manhole.)
  12.  Public nose pickers and crotch scratchers (Yes, I’m guilty but at least I try to do these ugly things in private.)
  13.  Parents who abandon their uncontrolled children in stores, malls, movie theaters until you discipline the kids and the parents suddenly appear and act indignant.
  14. Drivers who take up two parking spaces
  15. The guy next to you who coughs continually on a non-stop flight from NYC to Buenos Aries
  16. The lady at the dining table next to you whose piercing shriek of a laugh would break glass (and eardrums)
  17. All commercials or ads involving the digestive system
  18. Born again anything (Please stay dead.)
  19. The phrase “Can I give you some advice?”
  20. People who make lists of pet peeves.

I know that you are itching to tell me your pet peeves so go ahead, I dare you; I double dare you; I triple dare you. (Yes, that’s another pet peeve.)

 

Election Postmortem

election-pm

“Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.”

-Thomas Jefferson

 

“And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

-W. B. Yeats

 

“Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

-H. L. Mencken

For this election, I’ve got a little list.

With apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan.  To the tune of I’ve Got a Little List from The Mikado.  Chorus is in Bold Italics.

for-this-election1

Martyn Green as Ko-Ko, 1930s

As someday it may happen that a victim must be found, I’ve got a little list — I’ve got a little list.

Of society offenders who might well be underground, and who never would be missed — who never would be missed!

The lady whose email servers have problems of their own

Thirty-three thousand disappear like a stone.

There’s the party outsider who praises in raucous tones

Every party but his and every country but his own.

And the election outcome denialists,

They’d none of ’em be missed — they’d none of ’em be missed!

 

He’s got ’em on the list — he’s got ’em on the list;

And they’ll none of ’em be missed — they’ll none of ’em be missed.

 

Apologists, deniers, spin room activists,

Irrational supporters who get me really pissed.

All TV journalists who speaks as though listeners care

And the other ones who claim to be balanced and fair.

The dead who vote Democrat but that theory is not sound,

For you see, Mayor Giuliani, they are already underground.

WikiLeaks, tax returns, foundation donations and grants

And all those fanatics who substitute enthusiasm for facts.

And that singular anomaly, the lady plagiarist — I don’t think she’d be missed — I’m sure she’d not he missed!

 

He’s got her on the list — he’s got her on the list;

And I don’t think she’ll be missed — I’m sure she’ll not be missed!

 

There’s the pestilential congressmen who give democracy a pass.

The judicial obstructionists who are running out of gas.

And apologetic statesmen of a compromising kind,

Who defend outrageous statements by saying – “Oh, never mind.”

Third party candidates without a world view

The little, lyin’, disgusting, crooked, low-energy crew

Bad hombres, nasty women and also you-know-who

The task of filling up the blanks I’d rather leave to you.

But it really doesn’t matter whom you put upon the list,

For they’d none of ’em be missed — they’d none of ’em be missed!

 

You may put ’em on the list — you may put ’em on the list;

And they’ll none of ’em be missed — they’ll none of ’em be missed!